“316” is the sixth episode of Season 5 of Lost and the 89th overall. It was originally broadcast on February 18, 2009. The way back to the Island is revealed to members of the Oceanic 6, but there’s trouble ahead when not all of them wish to return.” (Lostpedia.com’s recap)
- Kate shows up babyless at Jack’s place, and once again we play the all-too familiar game of “Where’s Aaron?”. I think the answer here is simple, with complex roots. Most likely, Kate’s given the baby to Claire’s mother, Carole. Aaron’s grandmother sure would seem the most logical choice to raise him at this point. Then again, Kate’s never been all that logical. So this also leaves the possibility that she sought out and hooked up with Cassidy, as Sawyer requested. She could’ve passed Aaron off to either of them for safekeeping before deciding to go back to the island. Whichever way it happened, giving up the baby is catastrophic for her – Kate loves Aaron and has fully been a mother to him.
Not so surprisingly, the reason behind the hand-off is once again Benjamin Linus. After pointedly telling Kate “You’re not his mother” last week, those seeds must really have grown fast. Those words seem pretty hypocritical of Ben, considering the whole Alex debacle. Ben was never really Alex’s father, and the whole situation ended badly because of his selfishness in wanting to raise her. I think in his own tactless and pretty harsh way, Ben was imparting this lesson upon Kate last episode. He was not-so-subtly letting her know that she shouldn’t make the same mistake he did. No matter how much she loved him, no matter what she did, the island wasn’t going to let her be his mother. A quick drive and some heavy thinking later, Kate resignedly admitted to herself that the island would never let go of her. Placing Aaron out of harm’s way was the type of sacrifice only a true mother could make. And now without him, there’s nothing to keep her from going back to the island. She’s not even doing it for the island, she’s doing to keep Aaron safe… Kate knows she couldn’t exist in the real world without wanting Aaron back.
- It’s not enough to just want to go back to the island – I think the island has to want you back as well. Jack’s trans-Pacific flights always failed because he never had faith that they’d work in the first place. Hawking asks him to take this leap of faith, and for Jack that leap is to put his father’s shoes on Locke’s feet. For Hurley it was listening to those inner voices/visions, realizing that he’s NOT crazy, and denying the big lie. For Sun it was believing that Jin is alive. For Kate it was giving up Aaron. And maybe for Ben, it’s *not* knowing everything and letting someone else take the reins for once. He all but asks Jack what Eloise said to him in the church, but later on he leaves Jack in peace to read Locke’s suicide note. Ben’s always been omniscient, manipulative, controlling… but now he must let go and let things play out the way they’re supposed to. That’s his penance for returning to the island.
- And speaking of Locke, his own act of faith was dying so that he could return to the island. Back in S2, Locke explains to Eko that Boone was “the sacrifice that the island demanded”. Now he himself is this very sacrifice, acting as “proxy” (Hawking’s word) in parallel to Christian Shephard’s corpse from flight 815. What happens when Locke returns to the island is going to be very big and probably just as weird.
- Sayid is now Kate – Shackled, sullen, and accompanied by some type of law enforcement official. The male/female roles are reversed here, with Sayid’s captor even looking somewhat like Ana Lucia. We don’t know who has Sayid or why, if he’s truly captured or just acting that way. But why the hell would anyone be shipping him to Guam, and with only a single woman to guard someone as dangerous as Sayid is? It’s a straight-up recipe for a classic headbutt/escape.
Hurley is now Charlie – Based upon the real-life holes in our existing judicial system, it’s (sadly) not too far of a stretch to say that Hurley got out with Ben’s kickass lawyer and some sick bail money. I’m just glad we didn’t have to watch a Hurley prison-break episode. As he shows up with the guitar case, it seems pretty obvious that Hugo probably had another sit-down with ghost Charlie. I’d even bet that the guitar actually belonged at one point to his late friend. Maybe Hurley met up with Liam, or maybe he bought it on Ebay. Either way, the guitar got beamed down to the river along with him… the island seems to be trying to put a band together.
Ben is now Hurley – Or at least he arrives that way. Ben is last to board the plane at the very last second, having just made the flight. It had me bemusedly wondering if Ben experienced the same S1 antics that Hurley ran into in his journey from the ticket counter to the gate. Remember that Hurley “wasn’t supposed to” make the original flight. A few seasons later there was even more evidence of this, as Hurley stands on the beach, looks to the ocean and claims “I’m not supposed to be here”. The actual context of that scene has Hurley ‘secretly’ talking to Sawyer, but I always suspected it had double meaning. Perhaps Ben is now the person who’s not supposed to make the flight – after all, he’s not one of the O6. Hurley even uses the words “He’s not supposed to be here!” Ben’s words to Hurley are interesting also: “Who told you to be here Hugo?” A knowing nod toward his probable brush with Charlie’s ghost, but also something more.
Kate is now Claire – Broken, confused, and torn over a decision she just made regarding her child. It’s not too far of a stretch here to assume Kate might even be pregnant, too. The plane needs a pregnant chick, and I’m pretty sure Sun hasn’t had any hookups. Dunno about coach.
Jack is now Locke (or maybe Ben?) – Suddenly Jack is somewhat of a believer. When Hurley’s outburst threatens to derail his position on the flight, Jack reins him in and keeps him calm. Jack’s taken some measure of authority here. Okay, maybe I’m stretching it.
Sun is now Vincent – Hehehe… alright, I totally couldn’t think of a parallel for Sun. Maybe she’s Rose, who after the crash somehow ‘knew’ her husband to be alive. You guys come up with something. And hey, where the hell is Vincent anyway?
- I think Ben went back to the dock for an entirely different reason: to convince Desmond that he needed to go back to the island. I’m pretty sure Ben knows at this point that Desmond is the game-changer; in the grand scheme of things, getting him back to the island would be like having his own secret weapon. So either Ben tried talking Desmond into returning, or Ben showed Desmond what would happen to him or his family if he didn’t go back. And then Desmond proceeded to beat the living piss out of him.
Before you wonder why Ben and Hawking didn’t chase Desmond out of the church and try to convince him to stay, keep this in mind: Desmond never arrived on the island by plane crash. Desmond came by boat. And handily enough, Desmond has a boat. And Ben just came out of a whole basement chock full of longitudes and latitudes and projected plot-points as to where they island will be in the future. If Desmond is to return to the island, his own leap of faith will be leaving his family behind. Ben went to sow more seeds, and to leave Desmond with the means to return to the island himself… the way he did the first time. (1-5 from Dark UFO)
- Hurley’s reading Y: The Last Man. Great shout out to Brian K. Vaughan, my favorite Lost writer. If you haven’t yer, I encourage you to read that series, it’s grrreat. And I believe it would make a great TV series (but it won’t happen). Not a very encouraging issue though. SPOILER , it’s the one where the space station crash lands and two of the astronauts die, it kinda made me worried about this crash. Bu the more I think about it, there weren’t any encouraging issues of Y: The Last Man.
- Sayid also had quite the reaction to Ben. Here’s a hypothetical situation. Ben goes to kill Penny, but guess who’s there to protect him, Sayid. Sayid beats him up. Ben finds some way to punish Sayid by blackmailing him to come on the plane. Ben realizes that he’s running out of time so he has to get to the plane before he can kill Penny.
- So Jin joined Dharma, $10 says he can speak fluent English. It seems like a pretty obvious, if surprising, series of events that led to the Dharma-ized Jin. Locke fixed the Wheel during the Dharma era. Everyone was stuck in that time period. The Hostiles wouldn’t accept them so they were forced to go undercover in the Dharma Initiative. Tadah! (6-8 from Not Confused Just Lost)
- Thematic literary references related to LOST often pop up in the show. In “316”, we get a long glimpse of Hurley reading a spanish version of “Y: The Last Man”. The story is about “the only man to survive the mysterious simultaneous death of every male mammal on Earth. ” Find more HERE. We also see Ben reading James Joyce’s Ulysses on the plane. “Almost every variety of human experience is crammed into the accordian folds of a single day, which makes Ulysses not just an experimental work but the very last word in realism. ” More on that one, HERE. (from Sledgeweb’s Lost Stuff)
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