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Looking at the Little Things: 5.06 “316”

By SonyaLynn,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps, Lost Theories
  Comments: 36

If I find one of those in MY wardrobe, I'm moving.Well, well, well…by Lost standards, we certainly seem to have had ourselves a pretty straightforward episode in “316.” Even the allusions were simple! John 3:16, the lamppost of Narnia, doubting (but brave!) Thomas the Apostle. And it looked like there were only a few unanswered questions, even having only a few possible explanations. Goodness knows we needed a bit of respite from all the time-jumping. Hell, I thought I was going to start getting nosebleeds for a while there.

That breather’s also going to come in handy, given that the next episode is the obviously Locke-tastic “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” which can only mean another serious download full of head-scratchers from the more mystical side of Lost.

But then, maybe things weren’t quite as straightforward as they seemed…

I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.

Ow! A 6 from the East German judge!So the Oceanic…er…5 made it back to the Island, giving us a lovely mirror of Jack’s series-launching eye-opening among the waving bamboo and returning some of the Island’s favorite toys to it to be played with anew.

[***WARNING: Major Spoiler for The Dark Tower. Skip this paragraph if you haven’t read the series and don’t want it spoiled!***]

I sincerely hope that this puts to rest any notion of a Dark Tower-like ending in which the time-loop simply starts again, but with one minor alteration suggesting some differences this time around. I’ve been hearing that one for quite some time and it’s always bugged me. Next to a Sopranos-like cut to black or Bob Newhart waking up to find it was all a bad dream, I don’t believe I can think any less-satisfying ending to the series. But I digress…

[***End of spoiler zone! Carry on.***]

Literally as soon as he wakes up, we see the return of Action Jack™, hero at large, savior of the imperiled, bearer of Locke’s talismanic “I wish” suicide note fragment, and terrible diver.

Hurley and Kate turn out to be OK and, as our little “holy shit!” moment, we get ourselves a DHARMA-outfitted Jin looking mighty surprised to see his departed friends back again in the same time-slip as him. End of on-Island story.

But the fact that the majority of the O6 (plus Ben and Lapidus) are back on the Island this early in Season 5 has some far-reaching implications, and not just to do with Jack’s opening eye not being the last shot of the series in May of 2010. To my mind, this really opens up the storytelling possibilities of the show for the remainder of Season 5. Many amateur and professional Lostologists were thinking that the return of the O6, et al to the Island was going to be the climactic finale to this season, setting up whatever the on-Island end-game would be for next season.

Instead, we still have about 2/3 of the season left to go during which it looks like we’ll visit with the DHARMA Initiative to get their story, see how an Ajira Airways water bottle ended up in an outrigger canoe in the future, and get some potentially interesting off-Island action with Des & Pen, Widmore, Hawking, Aaron, Ji Yeon, Waaaalt, and other friends and loved ones of the O6. That all the adult members of the O6 would suddenly go missing simultaneously seems like the kind of thing that would draw some attention, don’t you think? Can an “815 Truth” movement and/or public knowledge of the mysterious Island in the outside world be far behind?

Of course, the very fact that there’s a comparatively flimsy Ajira water bottle in 2005 or later and a set of Ajira passengers back in DHARMA days also strongly implies that not everyone on Flight 316, including the plane itself, ended up in the same time-zone. All that remains to know here is who and what ended up when, and why. (By the way, anyone wanna take bets that Caesar is Widmore’s plant on the plane? Didn’t think so.)

Don’t leave false illusions behind. Don’t cry ’cause I ain’t changing my mind. So find another fool like before, ’cause I aint gonna live anymore believing some of the lies while all of the signs are deceiving.

(Or maybe I should be quoting the Thompson Twins…”Lies, lies, lies, YEAH!” But really, they were so cheesy weren’t they?)

I'd probably buy her story, too, in a place like that!Verily, I say unto you that the lies were flowing fast and freely from the mouths of both Ben Linus and Eloise Hawking this episode, and I’m betting that something of a long con was pulled. From Ben, we know that he lied about not knowing about the Lamp Post station, about something as niggling as his dead-in-childbirth mother teaching him to read, and almost assuredly about not knowing about Locke’s suicide. We also know full well that the “promise to an old friend” he was keeping was an attempt on Penny Widmore’s life seeking vengeance for Alex’s execution…and that everything didn’t go exactly as planned given Ben’s bloodied and soaked condition during his call to Jack.

But I think the far bigger lie was Hawking’s. Oh, it contained kernels of truth the way all the very best lies do—the Lamp Post no doubt was DHARMA’s way of finding the Island, for example—but fundamentally, she was lying about everything else except which plane the O6ers needed to be one. Why? Because I would lay dollars to donuts that she’s known all along that it would be Ajira flight 316 on that particular day that would hit the “window” that would allow it to get to the Island.

She knew that because some time-traveler in the past had given up that info. Just like the elder Others—and seemingly everyone else but the actual passengers of Oceanic 815—knew that 815 would come crashing down on their shores on 9/22/04 for 50 years. She just needed to make it all look good and sound plausible with the impressive setting, mammoth Foucault  pendulum, charming retro tech, and lovely story of the Lamp Post.

I’m also all but certain that she’s playing Ben right along with the O6. She might also be playing Widmore, both sides against the middle, as it were. Her availability in both Ben’s and Widmore’s rolodexes certainly leaves her ultimate allegiance murky. But really, I wouldn’t be even a little surprised to learn that Hawking and Faraday have an agenda all their own pertaining to the Island.

By the way…Ben’s strategic telling of the story of Doubting Thomas to make him out to be a hero? Smooth. The ol’ Benster’s still got it! 😀

See there! A man is born, and we pronounce him fit for peace. There’s a load lifted from his shoulders with the discovery of his disease. We’ll take the child from him, put it to the test…teach it to be a wise man, how to fool the rest.

So now, let’s handicap the answers to the obvious (and a few not-so-obvious) questions of this episode:

Kate doesn't have Aaron, and that makes her a sad panda!1. Aaron, Aaron, who’s got the Aaron?

Ben’s lawyers: 5-1
Cassidy Phillips: 3-1
Carole Littleton: 2-1
None of the above: 100-1 

To my way of thinking, Carol Littleton (Claire’s mum and Aaron’s gran) is the logical choice here, though I do rather wonder if wee Turniphead didn’t get to her by way of Dan Norton, Esq. I’ve also heard the notion that Kate stashed her moppet with Sawyer’s old flame, Cassidy, and while I find it an intriguing notion, I don’t think it makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. Carole Littleton’s “coincidental” appearance in LA surely couldn’t just have been a red herring in “The Little Prince“…could it? And couldn’t you just see the Carole and the Mr. Paik getting more than a little agitated by the abandoning of their grandspawn by their children?

2. Who roughed Ben up before giving him a dunk in the drink?

Desmond: 3-1
Sayid: 5-1
Penny: 10-1
All of the above: 3-2
None of the above: 20-1 

Everything clearly did not go according to plan in Ben’s plan to avenge his adoptive daughter’s death. His arm’s damaged badly enough to be in a sling, he looks like he went a few rounds with Mike Tyson, and he obviously took an unplanned swim. Given Ben’s track-record of badassery, I’m not buying anyone but former Royal Scot Desmond and/or former Republican Guard Sayid (with possible assist from Penny herself…you can’t be Widmore’s kid and not be tough!) doing that kind of damage to our international man of bug-eyed mystery. I’m just not buying Ben being taken down like that by a bunch of rented goons from Charles Widmore.

3. What was Sayid doing in cuffs in the custody of US Marshall Hottie?

Being deported for either his murders for Ben and/or his beat-down of Ben: 2-1
Being conned by a fake Marshall to do what Ben wants: 10-1
Conspiring with the Marshall, real or fake, to take down Ben: 20-1
It’s all just a great big misunderstanding: 1,000-1

Ben’s clearly not above using law enforcement to do his dirty work for him…especially after getting beaten to a bloody pulp. Even if it wasn’t Sayid who put that hurting on him, he may very well still have used it to implicate Sayid. And we know he has a scary-good lawyer.

4. Who got Hurley out of jail and told which plane to be on?

Dan Norton, Esq.: 3-1
Zombie-Charlie: 5-1
Other Island Apparition: 10-1
Anyone else: 100-1

Unlike any of the Island Apparitions, Dan Norton has the juice to get Hurley out of the pokey before telling him which plane to get on. And wasn’t it just the sweetest thing that Hurley let himself be thought of as a dick in order to save 78 people from enduring a crash and stranding on the Island? That boy is SO the moral center of the show!

5. Who’s the “clever fellow” who came up with the method of finding the Island?

Enzo Valenzetti: 7-1
Gerald DeGroot: 12-1
Pierre Chang: 30-1
Charles Widmore: 25-1
Alvar Hanso: 100-1
Daniel Faraday: 50-1
Horace Goodspeed: 10-1
Someone we haven’t met: 15-1
We’ll never find out:  20-1

OK…Chang’s an astrophysicist, so freaky earth-bound electromagnetism isn’t his area of expertise. Hanso and Widmore don’t seem to be scientific minds of any sort, despite clearly being high-wattage bulbs. Faraday would be a bit too cutesy and coincidental for my liking. It could easily be that we’ll either never find out who did it or else meet them later. But, of the people we’ve met or heard about, I like Valenzetti, DeGroot, and Goodspeed the best for coming up with that kind of mathematical model. Yes, I know Valenzetti isn’t exactly canon what with being from The Lost Experience and all, but I’ve always looked at the Sri Lanka Video as being at least as canonical as the Orchid orientation film bloopers and the transmission to the future shown at Comicon the last couple of years.

And, finally…

I told the priest, “Don’t count on any second coming. God got his ass kicked the first time he came down here slumming. He had the nerve to come, the gall to die and then forgive us. No, I don’t wonder why…I wonder what he thought it’d get us.”

Would you buy a Great Work of Art from this man?That brings us back around to faith, Christian imagery, and our dear corpsified friend, John Locke.

For all that faith often seems to get the upper hand on science in that particular great debate on the show, it sure does seem to be for suckers, doesn’t it? People making appeals to faith on Lost all seem to be manipulating others or are being manipulated by others (and sometimes Others). Ben and Hawking trying to buck up Jack’s courage to get him back to the Island, Locke trying to convince Jack of his “destiny” of staying on the Island, Locke seeming more and more like the Island’s dupe as time goes on, and so forth.

Most of the people who keep asking for faith from others—Ben, Hawking, the Island via Christian—seem to have empirical data to work from and don’t exactly need faith. The faith is for those who don’t have “need to know.” The fate of the faithful on this show is certainly looking like it’s to be used and then discarded…usually involving death. We the audience don’t need any convincing that there are miracles to be had on the Island. We’ve seen them. Actual gnosiskind of  eliminates the need for faith, don’t you think? If you have direct knowledge of the supernatural, you don’t need to have faith that it exists.

On a related note, am I the only one who’s deeply annoyed by ABC’s teaser for next week? None of the other recappers I’ve seen have mentioned this. I won’t get into the details for those who haven’t seen it, but ABC really looked like it spoiled a major reveal from next week’s episode and they should know better than that. Given what it was, I can’t even hope that it was misleading. Whoever did that should be canned post-haste.

Right. That’s it for now. See you probably about this time next week as I’m going to be out of town from Wed-Sun and won’t be in much of a position to be doing all the watching and gathering of resources I need to do for a proper recap. Sorry in advance!

(PS: Was it just me or was it more than a little poignant that an episode with so many CS Lewis allusions happened after Charlotte died?)

(PPS: Best line of the whole episode, “Wait a second…we’re not going to Guam, are we.” 😉 )

  • Section header references:

    “I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.”
    —Simon & Garfunkel, “I Am a Rock”

    “Don’t leave false illusions behind. Don’t cry ’cause I ain’t changing my mind. So find another fool like before, ’cause I aint gonna live anymore believing some of the lies while all of the signs are deceiving.”
    —Alan Parsons Project, “Eye in the Sky”

    “See there! A man is born, and we pronounce him fit for peace. There’s a load lifted from his shoulders with the discovery of his disease. We’ll take the child from him, put it to the test…teach it to be a wise man, how to fool the rest.”
    —Jethro Tull, “Thick as a Brick”

    “I told the priest, ‘Don’t count on any second coming. God got his ass kicked the first time he came down here slumming. He had the nerve to come, the gall to die and then forgive us. No, I don’t wonder why…I wonder what he thought it’d get us.'”
    —Andy Prieboy, “Tomorrow Wendy”

  • Craig

    That line was rich, but my favorite was Ben answering Jack’s query about the other passengers…

    “Who cares?”

    • Yeah…I damn near spit out my beer on that one. But I really did think Lapidus’ line was just a bit funnier. 😉

  • Ike

    Wow good job spoiling the ending to a 7 book series with no warning. I love Lost and the Dark Tower and enjoy this blog, but I’m betting there are some people who would rather not know that detail. Even those who read the entire 7 books may have chosen to not read that part.

    Just write, ‘I sincerely hope that this puts to rest any notion of a Dark Tower like ending’. That’s all you need. People like me who read the series will know what you mean bc we’ve been thinking about that possibility. Everyone else will get to chose how they get that information (read the series, read the last paragraph, surf the net, wait till Lost ends, etc). Problem solved

    • imfromthepast

      Writers are as responsible for what they write as readers are for what they read.

      • Ike

        I’m just trying to save the disappointment for the someone in book 5 accidentally finding out the end of book 7. Not saying that the reader isn’t responsible but you cannot make that decision without a spoiler warning.

        I sincerely thank SonyaLynn for fixing this.

    • That’s a fair cop. I’m sorry about that and have edited the article with a massive warning to people wanting the ending to The Dark Tower unspoiled to skip that ‘graph.

  • Chuck

    I’ll take 50-1 on Faraday if anyone is paying.

  • Desi’s Brother

    Great Article.

    I agree I was really annoyed at the teaser. It revealed WAY to much. They are not supposed to give away the major revelations! It was the equivalent of giving away the “we have to go back” or “The plane was found, there were no survivors…”

    I’m hoping that it is in fact totally misleading and could be a flashback or something.

    • Well, truth be told, I’m hoping it’s true ’cause that’s something I’ve been wanting to see happen for some time now and like what it would do for the story. I’m just peeved at ABC that they would do that to people who might have been less sure about that particular impending development.

  • Waaaaaaaaaalt!!!!!

    I actually rather like the Aaron/Cassidy option. It explains why Kate was so adamant about Jack not asking questions, Jack being prone to jealousy and all.
    –On a side note, I must say I laughed out loud when Jack yelled to Mrs. Hawking: “This is ridiculous!” Jack… man, how can you honestly be surprised by ANYTHING after three years of visions, coincidences, magic-hippy hatches, and exploding boats?

    • Yeah…for a smart guy, our Jack can sure be dense. Even an empiricist like Arthur Conan Doyle put the phrase, “Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, what remains, however improbable, is the truth,” into the mouth of Sherlock Holmes.

      The man watches an entire island disappear, knows a former paraplegic who can walk, and crashed in a remote place where someone needed *exactly* his highly-specialized skill-set rather urgently, and he still can’t bring himself to believe a little tiny thing like the need to reproduce as closely as possible the circumstances that brought him and the rest of the 815ers to the Island in the first place. *tsk* 😉

  • Hipster Doofus

    Enjoyed your review, as usual, but I’m not really sure what you’re referring to as to what the preview for next week spoiled.

    • hyperRevue

      Don’t worry about it.

    • brent

      I do… but I won’t repeat it here. I think it’s just misleading but I don’t know. I watch the “next week on LOST” at the end of each episode but I don’t watch the preview clips when they come out. They’re usually the first 7 minutes of the episode. We only get about 43 each week. I can take all 43 in one sitting.

      • talkingwires

        I wouldn’t say seven minutes worth, usually, but they are usually taken from just before or after the title card. This week’s were different: very short (two were like thirty seconds), mostly didn’t show anything new (the third has a cool scene with a very cool line at the end), and yet managed to be less spoiler-refic than the “Next Week on LOST” clip.

        (I’ll do my best to discuss the spoiler’s reveal in the clip without spoiling it.)

        In defense of the “Next Week on LOST” clip, perhaps “The Life and Death…” is structured like “316”, and we get the last scene first and work our way back there? Or maybe it’s written like the old “flashback” episodes from the earlier seasons? The person making the clip may not watch the show, and was just giving a general feel for the episode, and picked a clip of the opening scene?

        Then again, “316” and “The Life and Death…” were flipped in the schedule, so the “Next Week on LOST” clip may have given away the end, a big reveal, and, to the audience, a certain conversation in the chapel in “316” would’ve been an explanation instead of foreshadowing.

        (Quasi-Spoiler Alert!)

        That said, it’s safe to say that we all know what this episode is about, and I also think it’s safe to assume we’ve all seen it coming for two seasons now. Just sucks seeing it in a clip.

        • brent

          I understand what you mean… I think “Life and Death” will be a fairly linear story. Start at the FDW (life) and move towards whatever happens at the end (death?). They could do the “316” gimmick and split the final scene to the beginning and end of the episode, but for the most part, it should be a self-contained linear story, like “316” and “The Other 48 Days.” That’s why “Life and Death” and “316” were able to be swapped. I think it was a good choice. They said they did the same thing in season 1 but I don’t know which pair of episodes that was.

    • IslandHopper

      **** Possible Spoiler****

      It looked like our favorite bug eyed dude might be helping Locke change the light bulb.

      • hyperRevue

        That’s not the reveal I think people are upset about (although it is a pretty big one too).

    • If you aren’t sure, then don’t sweat it. You REALLY wouldn’t want to know in advance.

      • Hipster Doofus

        Is it “I remember dying.”?

        Because on second and third watchings of the preview, that’s the moment that stands out.

  • brent

    Super post Sonya. I’m glad someone else agrees with me regarding the notion of what’s already happened. Obviously, in 2008, Hawking would know that passengers on Ajira Airways Flight 316 crashed on the Island in 1980 (roughly). It’s been 28 years! Heck, Ben could have left the Island in 2001 and told her that some guys crashed there 20 years ago. Jack told Ben he was in flight 316 in 2008. Voila, the loop is closed. I don’t see why something just like that could have happened with Oceanic 815. Maybe in a scene we haven’t yet witnessed from 1954, Locke told Richard that he was a survivor of Oceanic 815 in 2004. Loop closed. The real question is what year is the entire story of LOST being told from? I say May 2010, that is, the entire show is a flashback. That’s how certain people know stuff and others don’t.

    So it looks like the Lamp Post was the very first Dharma Station and its location is based solely on the pocket of EM beneath it. I think Hawking is telling the truth here. For whatever scientific reason, being on top of one of these pockets allows you to detect other pockets. Especially that giant one somewhere in the ocean.

    • Yeah…I really think that a lot of people are trying to over-complicate the time travel on the show. With the exception of Desmond, Lost is using a very deterministic model of time travel: What happened, happened and there’s no changing it unless you’re Special™. And even then, there’s “course-correction” to figure in.

      As far as the Lamp Post is concerned, I find it interesting that neither it nor the bit of Australian outback inhabited by Isaac of Uluru match up with any of the known Vile Vortices ( ), while other known locations involving Island temporo-spatial weirdness are, such as the Island’s presumed location at the time of the crash of 815 and the Nigerian desert outside Tunisia where Ben appeared after turning the wheel, are Vile Vortices.

      Really has me wondering what the Lost-mythological explanation for that is…

  • I just posted on the forums how I thought Hawking had her own agenda LOL
    Her reactions to Dans name did it for me

    What do you think 2 superpowers?
    Hawking vs. Jacob

    • BongJohnSilvers

      Cool thought, but…

      I love the idea that Hawking and Faraday may have their own agenda… but I’m not too sure about the polarization of Hawking vs. Jacob – Christian Sheppard did tell Locke to go see Eloise Hawking before he turned the wheel, and since we’ve been assuming he does actually speak for Jacob, that doesn’t make much sense.


      Oh, and what about people’s thoughts on the unpredictability of the 316 crash, i.e. not bieng able to recreate the events exactly and 06ers being sent other places in time?

      • What im curious about is …why does Jacob need a voice? Why can’t he speak for himself?

        Bongjohnsilver you pose a good question. I may be wrong but something tells me aside from our questions/doubts about Ben’s allegiance, we really have no idea who is good and bad.

        • brent

          Well, I think one potential answer to that is to look at the occurrences WHEN Jacob needed a mouthpiece. Who else was around at the time? Just sayin..

    • I don’t think so. If anything, I suspect that Hawking and Faraday might actually end up being FOR the Island’s/Jacob’s agenda and against both Ben and Widmore.

  • Quick theory about the plane.
    It’s a small detail I haven’t seen touched on much, but there are two details that hint in a big way at its fate.
    From what we know about Lapidus, it has been established that he doesn’t let his ride crash. Sure, the chopper ran out of fuel, but that wasn’t his fault, right? Maybe his cocky comment from episodes past means that the plane is okay… but where on the island would he have landed it?!

    Remember when Kate and Sawyer were being used as slave labor for The Others? What were they building? According to Juliet, “A Runway”. Hrm…

  • Yeah,I had them before…just keep it full

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