Previously on Lost: The Oceanic 6 made it off the Island, which Ben moved by pushing a frozen donkey wheel. Locke was given control of the Others and he was also the man in the coffin the future.
A clock turns 8:14am and the alarm goes off. A man wakes up, but his Asian wife tells him to get the baby. He sets about his morning routine while playing a record of Willie Nelson’s “Shotgun Willie.” The whole scene is virtually identical to the opening of season 2 with Desmond in the Hatch.
The record skips and after turning it off, the man exits his home to reveal he’s living in the Barracks on the Island. He goes into another house, and as soon as he speaks, die-hard Lost fans recognize him as Dr. Marvin Candle. He films a DHARMA orientation video for the Arrow, saying it’s mission is to provide defensive strategies against the Hostiles. I’m guessing they failed, given the eventual Purge.
The filming is interrupted because of a disturbance at the Orchid Station. Drills are melting because of their proximity to a strange power source and people are freaking out. Dr. Candle orders them to stop because they’re closing in on the frozen chamber with the donkey wheel, which holds the Island’s mystical power that, when harnessed, can allow them to manipulate time.
However, Candle says there are rules and you can’t change the past. Also, if the chamber is opened, “God help us all.” The technician asks, “Time travel, how stupid does that guy think we are?” I’d say very stupid, because the man he’s talking to is…DANIEL FARADAY! This is going straight to the top of my “Best Season Opening Scenes” list.
Now we’re in the future, where Ben (Michael Emerson) is trying to convince Jack they need to take Locke’s body and gather up the rest of the Oceanic 6. Ben lets Jack (Matthew Fox) get a change of clothes and a shave, and they talk about Locke (Terry O’Quinn). Ben claims the last time he saw John was on the Island at the Orchid Station, but I’ve learned never to trust him.
Jack says he’s a believer because John told him that everyone would die if they didn’t go back, but that John didn’t tell him what happened after the Island moved. Ben seems relieved at this last part.
Three years earlier…
Ben pushed the wheel and the Island was enveloped in a glowing light. Then all the Others with Locke are gone and it’s raining. The people on the Zodiac can still see the Island because, as Faraday says, “We must’ve been inside the radius.”
Sawyer and Juliet are also confused because suddenly the freighter is gone, as is Sawyer’s shirt. Bernard and Rose storm out of the woods to announce that the entire camp is gone too. Faraday arrives and takes charge, asking for the location of a man-made object. Juliet suggests the Hatch, or what used to be the Hatch, but Sawyer is more preoccupied with where the camp is. Faraday tells him it’s not gone, it just hasn’t been built yet.
On the way to the Hatch, Sawyer stops to ask Faraday for his shirt. I’m a big fan of Jeremy Davies, but I think everyone would be happier if Sawyer kept going without his shirt. Sawyer wants to know what’s going on, but Faraday says it would be difficult to explain it to a quantum physicist. In the spirit of great discource, Sawyer’s slaps him.
It proves to be an adequate debating technique, because Faraday says that it’s like a record skipping, and they’ve become dislodged…in time! Faraday isn’t sure if they’re moving or the Island is.
Locke is still on his own when a plane buzzes over him and crashes into the Island. But this isn’t any plane, it’s Yemi’s drug smuggling plane with the heroin Virgin Mary statues. Locke goes to investigate, but while climbing the cliff, he’s shot in the leg and falls to the ground.
The shooter is Ethan Rom. Locke tries to talk his way out of the situation by saying Ben Linus appointed him the leader of the Others, but Ethan isn’t buying it. The sky glows and suddenly day becomes night and there’s another time jump. Faraday tells everyone “We’re either in the past, or we’re in the future.” That’s a narrow view, because for them, it’s always the present.
Back in the future, two lawyers show up on Kate’s doorstep asking for blood samples from her and Aaron to determine if they’re related. They do this on behalf of an unknown client. Kate tells them to come back with a sheriff, which gives her a chance to pack all her things (plus some money and a gun) so she and Aaron can flee. So Kate is running again, big surprise.
Meanwhile, Sun tries to board a plane to Los Angeles, but is stopped and held by Charles Widmore. He’s not too happy that she humiliated him in front of his associates and he demands respect. She agrees and they get down to business: Sun wants to work with him because they have common interests, namely killing Ben Linus.
Ben and Jack’s mission gets more difficult when they see a news report that Hurley has escaped the Santa Rosa Mental Institution and is a suspect in the murder of the guy Sayid killed in the car. Hurley and Sayid are partnered up, stopping for some fast food before heading to the safe house. Hurley is very calm about all this as Sayid warns him never to trust Ben. Things heat up when they get to the safe house and realize it’s been compromised.
Sayid goes to town, flipping one guy over the balcony to the parking lot a few stories down. Hurley looks on in shock as Sayid does battle with the second guy. Sayid gets a dart in the neck, but still fights back, making the bad guy fall onto an open dishwasher full of upward pointing knives. Outside, Hurley foolishly picks up the gun and some dude snaps a photo of Hurley holding a gun and with a shirt covered in ketchup.
On the Island, they finally make it to the Hatch, but it’s a massive crater, helping out those of us trying to figure out when they jumped to. Sawyer wants to go back to the camp to see if people are still there so he can warn them, but Daniel says that’s not the way it works. They can’t change anything, and if they try to change things, they will fail. Time is a constant, and there’s no altering the history of events. As a huge fan of time travel, I’m very happy they’re addressing these important rules right away.
Locke hobbles to the now fallen drug smuggling plane to get a belt to tie off his bleeding leg. Richard Alpert shows up to help with the bullet in John’s leg. Locke wonders how Richard knew, and it’s because John told him, or rather, will tell him. Richard goes over some rules and tells John that the next time they meet, he won’t recognize him, so Richard hands John a compass to give him. Finally, before the next jump, Richard tells John that the only way to save the Island is to get the Oceanic 6 back, and that to do that, “You’re gonna have to die, John.”
There’s another time jump, and this time the drug smuggling plane is back on the cliff and the Hatch door is still buried. Rather than start from scratch, Sawyer rushes to the Hatch’s back door to knock and get some supplies. He calls himself “the Ghost of Christmas Future,” but Faraday keeps trying to convince him it won’t work because Desmond didn’t know him the first time around.
Juliet calms him down and they go back to the beach. Miles goes with them, thinking he has a shot with Juliet. Faraday notices Charlotte’s nose is bleeding and he’s quite concerned about it. He sends her ahead and goes back to the back door with a plan. He knocks until Desmond comes out, pointing a gun and asking “Are you him?”
Faraday isn’t, but he’s excited because Desmond is uniquely special and the rules of time travel don’t apply to him. Faraday tells him that if they make it back, everyone they left behind is in danger, and the only way to help is for Desmond to go back to Oxford where they met and find Faraday’s mother. “Her name is…” is all Faraday can get out before he time jumps.
Three years in the future, Desmond wakes up, just remembering this chance encounter with Faraday. Penny is there with him, and he goes up to the topside of the boat he and Penny are living on, preparing to set sail for Oxford.
Next on Lost: Stay tuned for our recap of episode 5.2 “The Lie.”
(Image courtesy of ABC)