The episode opens with Jack, Hurley, and Kate meeting up on the island. We flash back to Eloise as she explains to Jack, Sun, and Desmond how the Dharma Initiative discovered the island, giving instructions to Jack to collect something that belonged to Christian to take back with Locke’s body. There’s no sign of the islanders in this episode, which is kind of disappointing because we still didn’t get to find out what happened to Locke right after he righted the wheel, but there are some other pretty cool revelations, and it’s all in another great Lost, right after the jump.

Episode 6: 316
Full Episode Online: TV Dome

Home Sweet Home
Jack wakes up, surrounded by trees blowing in the wind, and as the camera zooms out from him, he stands up and sees that he’s in a jungle, holding a piece of notebook paper that says, “I wish,” broken off.  He hears Hurley yelling for help in the distance and runs after the voice, coming to a waterfall and seeing his friend almost drowning, trying to clutch a bobbing guitar case. He dives off the edge and into the lake, grabbing Hurley and dragging him to shore.  They look around, and marvel at their surroundings. “It really happened,” Hurley says, staring at the dense jungle. Jack nods, and they look over and see an unconscious Kate on the shore – they revive her and she asks, fearfully, “Are we here?”  “Yeah, we’re back,” Jack says.  “What happened?”  Kate asks.  Yup, Hurley and Kate indeed go back to the island, and it’ll be interesting to see exactly how.

46 Hours Earlier…
Eloise leads the Oceanic 2 into the building, down a dark winding metal staircase and into a cavernous hallway lined by thick electrical cords and dimly glowing fluorescents.  She leads them through another large metal door, this one with a bunch of warning signs, and into a circular room, where a wallfull of old fashioned computer, file cabinets, and desks surround a swinging pendulum that’s drawing those chalky lines across the ground that we saw earlier in the season.  “The Dharma Initiative called this place the lamppost,” Eloise says, smiling. “This is how they found the island.”  Jack asks Ben if he knew about this place, and he answers that he didn’t.  Jack asks Eloise is he’s telling the truth, and Eloise smirks, “Probably not.”  She pulls a blue notebook out of a drawer in a desk and starts to explain.  She points at the pendulum, and says there’s a strong pocket of energy directly underneath – just like around the rest of the world – the most important being the island’s.  They figured out that the island is always moving through time and so can never be found, and smiles at them.  “Why do you think you were never rescued?”  When the original scientists were figuring this all out, they discovered that it would be easier to predict where the island was going to be than where it was, so they found there were "windows" through which they could pass to get there.  Desmond stops it all and berates them for even considering going back to the island.  He then tells Eloise about Daniel’s message, and how it has to be her that helps them – not Jack or Sun or anyone else.  She says that she is helping them, and he just shrugs and says “Message delivered.” When he starts to walk off, Eloise calls out, “The island is not done with you, Desmond.”  He’s pissed, of course, and says that she cost him four years of his life, and dammit he is done with the island.  He storms off, and then Eloise continues – pointing them to a flight that they can take that will pass right through the window to get to where the island is – Ajira Airlines, Flight 316.  Oooh! Ajira Airlines!  The bottle that Sawyer and Co. found on the boat they stole in one of their time jumps.  Could they have jumped forward and just accidentally stole Jack’s boat? And if that's the case, was it the Oceanic 6 who were firing at them? In any case, Eloise tells them they need to recreate as close as possible the conditions that first brought them to the island – otherwise the result would be unpredictable, as she points out when Jack asks her what happens if they can’t convince anyone else to come.  He then says that no matter what happens, if they get back, that’s it, right?  She shakes her head sadly.  “No, Jack.  At least not for you.”

A Letter from Locke
Into another room Jack and Eloise go – she has something to tell him that “doesn’t concern” Sun or Ben.  She grabs a letter and hands it to him.  “It’s John Locke’s suicide note,” she says. Jack is shaken, and apologizes.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”  “Of course you didn’t,” Eloise says.  The obituaries apparently don’t print the manner of death if they hanged themselves.  “He is going to help you get back,” she says.  “He is going to be a proxy – a substitute.”  “For who?” Jack asks.  She says that he needs to get something that belonged to his father and give it to John – as he was on the original flight too.  Jack shouts at her that it’s ridiculous – his father has been dead for three years.  Eloise points out that he just needs to do it without worrying about whether or not it’s going to work.  “That’s why it’s called a leap of faith, Jack,” she says, smiling devilishly.  Jack leaves and goes into the sanctuary, where he sees Ben staring ahead, hands folded in front of him, solemn and silent.  They start to talk, and he asks her what Eloise said to him.  “Nothing that matters,” is Jack’s response.  He asks who she is, and how she knows all this.  Ben doesn’t answer, and instead looks at a painting on the wall – of Thomas, who had said, before Jesus’s crucifixion, that he would go to Jerusalem to die with him, but he’s not remembered for this – instead he’s remembered for his doubt after Jesus rose from the dead – and he needed to touch Jesus’s wounds to believe.  “We’re all convinced sooner or later, Jack,” Ben says, then walks off, saying he has a promise to fulfill to an old friend, a loose end to tie up.  Jack follows his lead and takes off too.

Christian’s Memento
At the bar, over a well-finished drink, Jack gets a call from Ray, his grandfather, who had tried to escape from his retirement home once again. Jack goes to see him, and asks why he took off this time, and if he knew where the bus was even headed. “It doesn’t matter.  Anywhere is better than here,” Ray responds.  They arrive at his room and continue to talk, and when Jack points out the suitcase, Ray says he's going to escape someday.  Jack starts to help him unpack, and Ray asks him about “that pretty girl with freckles.” “We’re not together anymore,” Jack says.  After a bit, Jack says that he might be going away for awhile, and Ray asks why. “Anywhere’s better than here,” Jack says.  Ray laughs. “Touche.”  As he’s unpacking, Jack finds some old shoes in the suitcase – his dad’s.  He says he’s going to take them, and Ray doesn’t mind at all.  Back at his house, Jack rifles through the cupboards, finding nothing satisfactory except an empty bottle of wine.  He hears footsteps and sneaks through his dark house to investigate, coming to his bedroom, where someone is lying on the bed – Kate.  He asks her what she’s doing here, and asks if he’s still going back to the island.  He says that yeah, he thinks he is, and she replies immediately that she’s going with him. He asks about Aaron, and she refuses to answer – if she goes with him, he’s to never ask her that question again. He agrees, and Kate thanks him, rushing forward and smashing her lips against Jack’s, kissing him furiously.  Jack doesn’t have a problem with this at all, and soon clothes have been removed and carnal relations consummated. If this were a game of Pong, Kate would be the ball and Jack and Sawyer would be the paddles.

A Nice Pair of Shoes
Jack pours a hot cup of coffee the next morning, and when Kate walks out of the bedroom, he cheerily informs her that there’s both coffee and juice available. She looks awkward at first, but accepts the coffee, with milk and two sugars, as Jack remembers.  She sees the shoes on the ground, and Jacks starts to talk about them, and how he gave old, white tennis shoes to his father to wear in his coffin, because nobody was going to see his feet.  He shakes his head, sadly. “Because my father wasn’t worth that much to me.”  Ben calls him then, and Kate excuses herself – we see Ben talking on the other end, his face all bloody, saying that Jack needs to pick up Locke because he’s been, uh, diverted. (Hm, maybe by somebody whooping his ass because he tried to keep his promise to Widmore of killing Penny?) Jack goes to the designated spot and knocks on the door, asking the woman who answers the door if she’s Jill; Ben sent him.  She says she knows who he is and brings him inside, telling him to give her five minutes to pull the van around back.  Jack walks over to Locke’s coffin and opens it up, taking off the dead man's present shoes and replacing them with Christian's – wow, that’s intense. Locke wearing Christian’s shoes – both of them sharing a special connection to the island. As Jack puts on the shoes, he whispers, “Wherever you are, John, you must be laughing your ass off that I’m actually doing this.”  He pauses. “Because this is even crazier than you are.”  He pulls out the suicide note and places it in Locke’s pocket, saying, “I believed everything, John. I’m going back.”  He closes the lid and says, half-ironically, “Rest in peace.”

Flight 316 to Guam
Jack’s at customs, being interrogated by someone about why he’s taking Mr. Locke to Guam – Jack answers all the questions, and the attendant says that they'll need to search Locke's body, but it's just procecure, so Jack's all good to go – he walks over to the baggage claim and meets up with Sun, and then sees Sayid escorted by a lady federal agent go walking by, boarding the plane..  We flash to a different section of the airport – where Hurley has apparently bought out the rest of the tickets on the flight to Guam so that nobody else could go.  Jack comes by and sees him, giving him a big hug, and asks him how he knew about the flight.  “All that matters is that I’m here, right?”  Hurley says. “Let’s do this.” Jack walks onto the plane and sees Sayid next to the woman in one of the rows.  He greets Kate as he walks by too, taking a seat in the back and observing Hurley coming into the plane.  They’re about to close the doors when they hear a voice call out to wait – and Ben comes aboard, his arm in a sling and his face still covered by dried blood. Hurley is outraged, and demands that Ben not come.  Jack assures him that it’s okay, and one of the flight attendants informs Jack that security found an object on Locke’s person while searching the coffin – she hands him Locke’s suicide note. Jack looks back and sees a whole bunch of other people on the plane, and turns to look at Ben. “What’s gonna happen to them?” Ben gives him an incredulous look. “Who cares?” The plane zooms up into the sky, and the seatbelt sign goes off.  Jack gets up and takes a seat next to Kate, starting a conversation, wondering aloud how Sayid and Hurley ended up on the plane. “You don’t think it means something that we’re all back together?”  “We’re on the same plane, Jack, it doesn’t mean we’re together," Kate replies.  Jack gets up and goes to talk to the flight attendant, asking her to get the pilot because he’s an old friend of his, and he needs to talk to him.  Out comes the pilot – and surprise, it’s Frank!  He starts to chat, and sees all the familiar faces.  “Wait a second,” he says. “We’re not goin’ to Guam, are we?”  Jack shakes his head, reluctantly half-smiling at the same time.  That night, as they fly, Jack sees Ben reading, and asks him how he can do that. “My mother taught me,” Ben says.  “I can do it because it beats what you’re doing, waiting for something to happen.” He’s bitter about Eloise talking to Jack and not him, and Jack asks if he knew Locke killed himself.  Ben replies no, and when Jack says he hasn’t read the suicide note yet, but feels like Locke, in a strange way, wants him to. Ben asks if he’s afraid of what it’s gonna say, if he’s afraid Locke’s going to blame him; “Let me give you some privacy,” Ben says as he gets up and walks away.  Jack, with trembling hands, opens the letter.  Five words. “I wish you had believed.”  Well now we know what the “I wish” was about. Nice touch. Jack sighs and closes his eyes, and right then the plane starts to shake (don’t storms always have such a good sense of dramatic timing? Kudos to them).  They all strap in, while Hurley simply tightens his seatbelt and lies back, putting an eye cover over his face and deciding to just accept it. The screen goes white, and Jack wakes up where we saw him at the beginning of the episode.  When he reaches Kate and Hurley, she asks where the plane is.  Jack says he doesn’t know, and asks them if they remember crashing – Hurley says no – just the shaking, light, and then he was in the lagoon.  They hear music and see a va drive by on the cliff above, playing loud music.  It stops and out comes someone in a Dharma tan jumpsuit, pointing an automatic rifle at them all, as they stand in the water at the edge of the lagoon.  Hurley squints, and asks, “Jin?”  Then gun comes down, and there’s Jin, in full-on Dharma drag, a very faint smile tugging at his lips.  What?  Jin’s part of Dharma now?  Holy shit!  Are they in the future, in that case?

Lost has yet to produce a bad episode this season, and this one is no exception – aside from the premiere, it’s easily the best – and a delightful surprise is Eloise Hawking’s character – now that there’s been more revealed about her involvement with the island, she’s much more able to be mysterious with a hint of batshit craziness.  Kate and Jack screwing around again didn’t seem to do much for the plot – they probably both figure there’s not a huge chance they’re going to survive, so they were banking on the whole “last day on earth” scenario. However, it is intriguing what it sets up for when Jack and Sawyer make contact – Sawyer’s probably missin’ Freckles pretty bad by now, and he won’t be none too happy about Jack and Kate playing doctor.  An especially nice part of this episode was its focus on one central storyline – sometimes jumping through three or four different ones like the last few have was a little confusing, as it felt like we didn't have a lot of time to dwell on how this was affecting each of the characters, but now this episode fixed that.

Why we needed to have that little intro at the beginning that gave away that they got to the island safe and sound is beyond me.  It could have easily been moved without any effect on the story whatsoever (losing that little “I wish” reference wouldn’t have been a big deal), and then there would have been slightly more tension, which could have made it an excellent episode instead of a very very good one. 

Questions that have popped up – where the hell did Ben get the crap beaten out of him?  Why are Hurley and Sayid on the plane suddenly, and who exactly is Sayid’s escort the federal agent? Lost doesn’t usually just randomly introduce characters, and it can’t be complete coincidence that she's bringing him to the exact same flight the rest of them are taking. The “lamppost” was a clever wink to the Narnia book series – in the series it’s a sign that points to where they can get back to their world, where they truly belong, but not the entrance itself – just like the pendulum room, suggesting that the Oceanic 6’s true home is on the island. Lost has always been clever with their literary references, and this is just another nugget to add. 

Other nifty twists – Frank being the pilot of their flight (maybe he has some kind of destiny with the island, too? And what happens to the rest of the passengers?), and perhaps most unexpectedly – Jin’s on the island, in Dharma garb, making an excellent ending twist that came completely out of the blue which opens up a whole new world of questions.

Next week's episode looks to answer a few that I was hoping this one would - mainly, what exactly happened to Locke after he turned the wheel? Looking back, it was a little disappointing that nothing was revealed about it this episode, but if next week's is going to be Locke-centric like this was Oceanic 6-centric, it should be superb. And finally everyone (well, mostly everyone) is back on the island, returning this to being, truly, Lost once again. None of that mainland BS. This is the island baby.

Preview For Next Week: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bantham

-Thomas Anderson
aka Movie Buzz Review Dude. Check out his movie/media/pop culture blog here.