Thursday, February 19, 2009

5x06 "316" Review

This week, friend of Lostpedia and the blog, user "ILostMyKeys", is posting the episode review. It's his first post ever so do be kind :)

"We have to go back!!" And now they are. I thought it wouldn't be until the later episodes of the season, perhaps the finale, that the O6 would make their return, but we saw it all in the latest episode of Lost, season 5 episode 6, entitled "316". When I learned of the title I immediately pictured Stone Cold Kate Austen, opening a can on some bad guys. In fact, it was flight 316, and this episode showed us the return of the O6.

316 was set almost entirely off-island, and was largely centered on Jack and the 36 hours after the cliffhanger of the previous episode, This Place Is Death. It began with a trademark of Lost, the close-up eye shot, in a very similar fashion to the first shot in season 1's pilot. Jack find's Hurley, and then Kate by the lagoon, before we are whooshed back in time 36 hours to find out how they got there.

Off the island, we are led into a new Dharma station, The Lamppost. Here, Ms Hawking explains that Dharma used this station to find the island, which is always moving. Using the apparatus they can predict where the island is going to be in a certain point in time, and Ms Hawking has found such a window for the O6 to exploit via a trans-pacific flight, Ajira flight 316, heading from Los Angeles to Guam. And this is the point where the episode and indeed the show itself turns in a direction I did not like. Ms Hawking insists that to maximize the chances of getting back to the island, not only must as many of the people on flight 815 be on flight 316, but other "recreations" must be made. She tells Jack that John Locke's body was a proxy, a substitute for Christian Shepard, who's body was being transported in flight 815. She tells him he must find something of his father's to give to Locke. My problem with this is: why does the island need them to make these recreations? Can it not tell the difference between Christian Shepard and another dead man with an item of his?!

Desmond tells the others that they are crazy to want to go back to the island, and tells Jack not to listen to Ms Hawking. Ms Hawking informs Desmond that the island is not done with him, he replies that he is done with the island, and leaves. Later, we are in Jack's apartment, in a very spooky scene. We hear a noise, and Jack goes to investigate, discovering Kate on her own, looking distraught. She says she will go back to the island with Jack if he promises never to ask about Aaron again. And then they do it! Goal for Jack! What happened to Aaron? If I could speculate, I would suggest that the guys with the traquilizer darts finally caught up with Kate, kidnapped Aaron, and are using him to blackmail Kate into going back to the island. I'd speculate further that Kate made out with Jack in an attempt to get pregnant, in another recreation of flight 815, Kate would take the place of Claire as the plane's pregnant woman.

What happened that night to everyone other than Jack is a mystery. In the morning, a beaten up Ben rings up Jack, and informs him that he got "side tracked" and needs Jack to pick up Locke's body. This leads to what I felt was a poignant scene. Jack had earlier met up with his grandad, who was trying to make a break from his old-folks home. His grandfather gave him a pair of his Christian's shoes, and Jack put's said pair on Locke's lifeless feet, and tells Locke that wherever he is he "must be laughing his ass off". Before closing the coffin, an emotional Jack gives Locke back his suicide note, telling him he already heard all he needs to hear and that he's going back.

At the airport we see Sayid, being led by an attractive, dark-haired, unknown woman. And we see Hurley, carrying what looked to me like a guitar case, for sure a case for some kind of instrument. These details seem to be following the recreation of 815 theme. On flight 815, Kate was being escorted by a marshall as a prisoner. Now it seems Sayid is the prisoner. Hurley takes the place of Charlie as the musician. On the plane, Sayid does not appear surprised to see the rest of the O6, an indication to me that he was aware of what was going on. Which begs the question, who is the woman escorting him, and why is he there when he explicitly said he wanted no part of returning to the island? I again go back to the tranq-gun agents, and speculate that they are Widmore people, and indeed the woman escorting Sayid on the plane is a Widmore agent.

An annoying recurring theme to Lost is the lack of communication, and on the plane it was especially absurd. You would have though someone would have said something to Sayid, at the very least said hi, but no. Jack hears that none other than Frank Lapidus is flying the plane, and he jumps at the chance to talk to him, in my view making the lack of communication between him and Sayid even more ridiculous, unbelievable and utterly unconvincing.

In the penultimate scene, Jack and Ben sit together, Ben reading. Jack asked Ben how he can read, and Ben replies his mother taught him. Jack, holding John Locke's suicide note (it found its way back to him after the security searched the coffin), asks Ben if he knew Locke killed himself, the reply a negative. Jack asks what was going to happen to the other people on the plane and Ben replies "who cares". I felt like this scene was designed to show just how selfish Ben is, the extent of his lying nature. He lies for the hell of it, nothing he says can be trusted as he only tells the truth when it suits him, and he doesn't give a damn about anyone. Jack reads the note, which says:


I wish you believed me.


And then the plane fills with a bright light, not unlike the flashes experienced on the island, and we are back where the episode started, Jack lying on his back in the jungle. We see him find Hurley and Kate again, before a Dharma van pulls up, and a man in a Dharma jump-suit points a rifle at the trio... It's none other than Jin! L O S T

I thought it was a great episode, well acted and well shot. I especially liked the atmosphere created in the plane, and the scene at night in Jack's apartment - very eerie and Lost at it's atmospheric best.. However I wish someone would have said something to Sayid, it just seems very hard to swallow that after all they've been through, no one said a word to him. Also, this idea of recreating things on flight 815 - it just doesn't make sense, and I fear Lost is trading science fiction for fantasy, a move that doesn't please me nor many fans of the show... Can't wait to find out what happened to Kate, Sayid, Hurley and Ben in those 36 hours, and of course the explanation for the recreating of flight 815. All in all, I'm glad they're back on the island at the very least, and the off-island stuff was for the most part only mildly intriguing. Let's hope not too much episode time is wasted telling more off-island stories and we get to the good juicy stuff on the island!

This episode gets 7 thumbs up. ilostmykeys
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