Lost Episode 5.06 "316"

Episodes like “316” are difficult to review. It’s hard for me to think analytically or objectively when my jaw’s on the floor for the entire breathless 40 minutes. It was a deliciously dark episode filled with pregnant moments, hinting at the awe and wonder ahead. Pure magic.

“316” belongs in the canon of Lost‘s greatest episodes. The narrative ingenuity, the nuanced performances, the haunting cinematography and score, the balance between long-awaited answers and new mysteries. That’s the stuff that makes Lost great. Mark my words: there will never be anything like this on television ever again.
“This is how they found the Island.”

Just when I thought Dharma stations were getting routine, the writers come up with the Lamp Post and blow me away. What a fascinating place to add to Lost‘s burgeoning mythology. I’m still fuzzy on the science: a Foucault pendulum demonstrates the Earth’s rotation, meaning the chalk marks wouldn’t actually move in reality. But I suppose the special pocket of electromagnetism beneath the church is what guides the pendulum towards the Island. Which is constantly moving. Didn’t see that coming.
I loved this scene, especially the incredulous, dumbstruck looks on Jack and Desmond’s faces. It’s amazing how much these characters have had to process over the last five seasons. My biggest question? Who’s the “great man” that built the pendulum? Pierre Chang? And is there any significance to its location (beneath a church)?
“We’re all convinced sooner or later, Jack.”

This line gave me goosebumps. What was Ben really talking about? The look on his face, his unique inflection, and the creepy musical cue certainly underlined the phrase. I assume Ben’s Christ allusion was a metaphor for the eventual resurrection of Locke once his body’s returned to the Island. But is that all Ben was referring to? I got the feeling he knows something monumental and miraculous about the Island, and possibly about Jack, that I can’t wait to discover.
Speaking of, it was interesting to see Ben’s contempt of Jack in the ep, for the information Jack was privileged to with Eloise Hawking and Locke’s suicide letter. You can tell Ben hates being out of the loop.
“Sit back, relax, and enjoy the in-flight movie.”

How cool was this? Seeing the Oceanic 6, plus a battered Ben, plus a clean-shaven Frank, back on an airplane headed for the Island. Between that and the opening scene in the jungle, I had some serious nostalgia for season one.
A few observations. Hurley’s probably on the plane because Dead-Charlie visited him again. Why else would he dodge Jack’s question? Or be carrying a guitar? Also, I’m betting Ben’s injuries have something to do with getting Sayid on that flight. Major kudos to the writers for leaving us in the dark though. Finally, how about these two new faces on the plane? Sayid’s cute escort, and Jack’s stalker? Widmore employees? People using the Oceanic Six to piggyback their way to the Island? Time will tell.
Conclusion
My favorite ep of season five. With last week in second (we got to see Rousseau, the Monster, and the Temple, sure, but the writing and directing was much, much stronger this week). At the end of the series (what a depressing thought), “316” will be in my top ten.
Stray Thoughts
  • Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but…gulp…I actually liked Kate in the episode. That never happens. I hate Kate. But she was suddenly mature and empathetic. I hope to God Aaron’s out of the picture for a while. That whole subplot was annoying. And hey, if Kate has a few more eps like this one, I might not hate her. Nah, who am I kidding?
  • The episode wasn’t without a flaw. The whole shoe exchange was very, very silly. I can understand the need to recreate the original crash conditions, but the shoes were too much. At least now we know why Christian Shepherd’s ghost is running around in Nike’s.
  • Speaking of the Shepherds, Grandad certainly popped out of left field. Surely Jack and his father will end up being a key part of the Island’s legacy. I’m about ready to figure out just what the deal with Ghost Christian is. And I’m willing to bet Ray’s been on the Island too. Maybe the Shepherds are the descendants of Jacob.
  • My new favorite line of the entire series: “My mother taught me.” Emerson’s delivery had me laughing out loud.
  • Loved the non-linear storytelling in this ep. Starting with the return was brilliant. Completely disorienting.
  • I never thought I’d cheer at the arrival of Jin. But I did. It looks like all of our castaways returned/flashed to the Island sometime in the 1970’s: Dharma’s heyday. Wow.
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2 thoughts on “Lost Episode 5.06 "316"

  1. I think ben’s injuries have something to do with what he did after he told jack that he had to leave to fulfill a promise to an “old friend”. Remember the promise he made to Mr. Widmore that he was going to kill his daughter, penny, for revenge after his daughter was shot by the mercenary? The shot of him on the telephone talking to Jack was also at a dock… Penny and Desmond were arriving via boat.

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  2. Okay, I definitely didn’t like this episode as much as you did, but I agree that it was a good one. I thought we already knew that the island is always moving, though. Now I’m wondering if I guessed that or if I heard it somewhere…probably the latter, as I’m not usually on the ball with putting the pieces together.I didn’t like the opening because once I realized that they had come back, it ruined some of the suspense for me. I knew Hurley was going to end up with them, so I suspected that everyone else would, too.Sun is starting to irritate me, and I think it’s your fault. 😛 Kate still pissed me off in this one, because really, Jack is just supposed to forget that she’s not toting around a kid anymore?

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