Last night, four of the Oceanic 6 were reunited with Sawyer's gang. While they were zapped back in time 30 years, Sun, Ben, Locke, and the rest of Ajira 316 crash landed in 2007.
So we're dealing with two different time lines here: one taking place in 1977 and one taking place in 2007.
In 2007, Captain Frank Lapidus managed to safely land his plane, using the runway on the Hydra Island that the Others built in season 3.
You might remember that when Kate and Sawyer were captured and kept as prisoners in the polar bear cages, they were forced to work on the runway. Could it be that Ben had the runway built, because his time-hopping ass knew that he would need it in the future for a safe landing?
If that's the case, it worked. It appears that the only casualty was the copilot.
Meanwhile, back in 1977…after being discovered in the jungle by Jin, Kate, Jack and Hurley were reunited with Sawyer. Kate is looking way too much like Lara Croft.
Sawyer comes up with a plan to have his friends pose as new recruits to the Dharma Initiative. I've always loved how Dharma is so top-secret, yet invests so heavily in promotional materials, slapping its logo on everything form beer cans to balloons.
Jack, Kate, and Hurley had no idea that Lost is all about time travel now, but they seemed to take the news pretty well. It was driving me nuts that the whole crew weren't that interested in catching up with each other. If it were me, I'd be losing my shit like, "You would never believe what happened while you were gone, etc. And what's been up with you? How you did gain the ability to appear out of thin air?"
Instead, they played it cool and decided to go along with Sawyer's con, with their only real concern being able to adequately lie to the Dharma peeps, leading to the best line of the night, delivered by Hurley, "What if they start asking us questions we can't answer? Like who's president in 1977?"
The only real info that Sawyer shared with them is that Faraday's not "here anymore."
Did he join the Hostiles, because they recognized him from back in the '50s when he helped them dismantle that hydrogen bomb?
Did he get sent back to the mainland for being the big scary man that creeped out Charlotte and her mother?
In the first episode of this season, we saw him working in the Orchid Station, as the Dharma Initiative was first building the time machine. Did he end up using the wheel to move around in time?
Or did he die? Only time travel will tell.
Moving on, I liked Jack's new-tight shirt style, and instant '70s chilled-out attitude. He seems to just be going with the flow. It probably has to do with his recent transformation from man of science to man of faith.
Jack, Kate and Hurley were greeted with Dharma's token "namaste," which means "I bow to you" or "the spirit in me honors the spirit in you." The word has long had a lot of significance on the show—as Dr. Chang uses it in his orientation videos, and it appears on a painting in Widmore's office—but I haven't quite figured out exactly what that significance is.
Speaking of Dr. Chang, he filled in for Amy—who had just given birth the night before—by welcoming the new recruits.
Even seeing the man from the orientation videos didn't freak Jack out.
So the baby that Horace's wife Amy had the night before…turns out his name is Ethan.
We're supposed to believe that he's Ethan Rom, one of the Others who infiltrated the camp of the 815 survivors, pretended to be one of them, and then kidnapped Claire, only to be murdered by Charlie a few weeks later.
OK, so here's the thing, if this is the same Ethan, and he was born in 1977, than that would mean that he was 27 at the time that Oceanic flight 815 crashed on the Island in 2004. The guy who plays Ethan, William Maphother (Tom Cruise's cousin), is 43. Either that was terrible casting, or some time traveling shit went down, which is why he aged.
Also, if this is the same Ethan, than why isn't his last night Goodspeed like his parents? Further more, how and why did he survive the Purge?
Moving on, we finally got to see Radzinsky! He was the guy who worked in the Swan Station (aka "The Hatch") before Desmond got there. He drew the black light map of the Island on the doors that Locke discovered. He also shot himself in the head.
He was actually working on the model of the Swan Station when Jin discovered Sayid.
So what the hell happened to Sayid? Why didn't he land in the lagoon with Jack, Kate, and Hurley?
Also, at the end of the episode, when creepy kiddie Ben showed up to Sayid's jail cell (which he was in because he was posing as a Hostile), why did Sayid say he was "happy to meet" Ben. He hates him!
OK, now, back to the future…2007.
Frank gives the following speech to the survivors of Ajira 316:
"Listen up folks, here's where we at. the radio is dead, so I haven't been able to call in our situation. but that's alright. As soon as they figure out we're not where we're supposed to be, they'll come look for us. so the best thing to do right now is stick together and hunker down and just wait till help gets here."
Then Caesar says, "And where's 'here?' Where is here? What is this place?"
Frank: "Right now I'm just trying to keep everyone here safe."
This sounds like a very familiar exchange.
As we know, Sun, Locke, and Ben are all stuck in 2007, while their friends are in 1977. Could this be because Aaron did not make the journey with them, leading to what Mrs. Hawking indicated as "unpredictable results"? Anyway, Sun goes traipsing off with Ben, who knows where there are some boats hidden. Did he put those there in the past, just like he did with the runway?
Sun hits Ben over the head with a paddle, as she should, and she and Captain Frank take the boat over to the main Island and dock at the Dharma compound, where they see Jack's dead father (although they don't know that) Christian Shepherd.
Sun asks him where her husband is. He leads them into a room and shows them a picture of the 1977 recruits.
He tells Sun, ""I'm sorry, but you have a bit of a journey ahead of you."
This scene has tons of "Dharma" importance.
Dharma is an Indian spiritual term meaning "one's righteous duty" or "any virtuous path." It spans over many different cultures and religions, but always is presented as a central concept that's used to explain the "higher truth" or ultimate reality of the universe. It would seem that the 815 survivors are trying to grasp reality and some kind of order in their universe.
Hindu society has a caste structure, and Dharma constitutes the "religious and moral doctrine of the rights and duties of each individual." This sounds a hell of a lot like the Dharma Initiative that has a kind of caste structure of its own, relegating people to jobs based on aptitude tests. (As we saw in last night's episode, Jack, the spinal surgeon, tested into a lowly janitorial position.)
Here's where it gets trippy:
According to Buddhism:
Buddha spent forty-nine days in the neighborhood of the Bodhi Tree. Then the two merchants en route from Orissa passed close by and were advised by the spirit of a dead relative to make offerings to the new Buddha, who was sitting at the foot of a certain tree. They offered honey cakes and sugar cane and took refuge in the Buddha and his Dharma, thus becoming the first Buddhists and the first lay devotees in the world.
Frank and Sun are totally the two travelers and Christian is def the dead relative.
In Jeff Jensen's Lost recap this week, he wondered if the picture that Christian showed Sun of the Dharma recruits with Jack, Hurley, and Kate was always hanging on the wall.
Jensen asked, "Will the time travelers disappear from the photo if they do something in the past that negates the future, which brought them there?"
My answer: Maybe!
Case in point: The painting from Ben's home.
Ben had a painting in his home of a woman that looked kinda like his mother, and kinda like Juliet. It hung on his wall when he lived with his father, and remained there when he was an adult, living with his daughter Alex.
Initially, the painting was of a woman, with her hair in front of her shoulders, holding a hamster, and sitting next to some flowers, anthuriums, to be exact. These are the same flowers growing at the Orchid Station, which has the famous time machine/donkey wheel in the basement.
Later on, in other episodes, the painting changed slightly. The woman's face is a little different, and her blond hair is behind her shoulders.