“Is that a runway??”
So there’s a runway on the Hydra island, meaning that Ajira 316 was always meant to land there, and the Others somehow knew it. To refresh your memory, in case you don’t remember the runway before, if you recall Kate and Sawyer when they were locked in the polar bear cages, during the day they were forced to do manual labour, putting rocks into wheelbarrows and clearing a particular spot. Later, in the season 3 finale, Sawyer walks across the island with Juliet and asks what the Others were forcing them to make:
SAWYER: So, when you pulled us out of those polar bear cages and put us on the chain gang, what the hell you have us breaking all those rocks for anyway?
JULIET: We were building a runway.
SAWYER: Runway, for what?
JULIET: [Turns to him] The aliens.
JULIET: I don't know what for, do you think they told me everything?
Apparently it wasn’t for the aliens, but for another plane that was going to drop out of the sky three years later.
Oh my god, I was hyperventilating when Jin tore off in the jeep to find Radzinsky. My arms flew up in the year and I yelled, “I’ve been waiting for this for three years!!!!” I swear every 6 episodes or so I say, “Could this person be Radzinsky?” For those readers who, like my husband, went, “Uh... who the hell is Radzinsky?” here’s the quick refresher: We saw Desmond arrive on the island in 2001. He was pulled into the Swan station by Kelvin Inman, who told him about his previous station-mate, Radzinsky. Radzinsky killed himself, and he points to a giant bloodstain on the ceiling of the station and says that’s all that’s left of Radzinsky. He tells Desmond that he took the body outside and buried it, but he had to do it really quickly because he had to be back at the Swan to push the button every 108 minutes. Radzinsky is the originator of the blast door map that Locke found in “Lockdown” and that we saw Kelvin working on, and Kelvin also said that the pieces of the Dharma orientation films were missing because Radzinsky had edited them. Now we know that Radzinsky was some Paul Giamatti lookalike who actually designed the Swan station. Because he’s still working on the model in this episode, it probably wasn’t completed until the late 70s or early 80s. It has a distinct 60s/70s feel, but the design could be earlier because maybe Radzinsky had been on the island a long time already, so his sensibilities were toward designs like the other stations. In this episode, he’s working at the Flame station (where we later see Mikhail).
“We’re gonna name him Ethan”
The baby’s name is Ethan! Big points go to “theothers108,” one of my readers, who predicted that one early in the comments for “LaFleur.” What I loved best about that theory is that in “A Tale of Two Cities,” when we see Juliet at her book club, there’s an elderly woman there named Amelia. She talks to Ethan with some authority, like he’s her son. Amelia = Amy. What caused some other readers to disagree, however, is that Ethan definitely looks in his early 40s in 2004, and certainly not 27, which is what he would be if he’d been born in 1977. Could he have time traveled, aged some more, and then bounced back? In any case, when I rewatch season 1 and see Charlie kill Ethan, that scene is going to be a lot sadder for me, now that I saw his birth.
Possibly the greatest line EVER on Lost:
Chang to Jack: “Based on your aptitude test, you’ll be doing janitorial work.” HAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Score one for Sawyer!
There’s a new sheriff in town...
The tables have officially turned. Jack was always the guy in charge, and Sawyer was always made to feel useless. Now Sawyer’s the guy calling the shots, and Jack has to listen to him. Sawyer reminds Jack of the many casualties due to Jack’s bad leadership (ouch). In the first two seasons, Jack was the reluctant leader. I said it many times in my books that he had the mantle of leader foisted upon him, and was uncomfortable in the role. But he took it, and by the third season, he was the alpha male of the group and refused to let anyone else have their say. To this day he believes that he got everyone off the island, and apparently none of the rest of the Oceanic Six had anything to do with their own rescue. Sawyer, on the other hand, quietly lived under the radar of the survivors. He was the guy reading the heavy literary tomes, but he had the redneckness about him that made others assume he was some sort of buffoon. But Sawyer’s ignorance is all an act. He’s the more methodical leader, the one who started with four other people with him, and has only lost one, in three years. He figured out how to get the Oceanic 3 into the compound without anyone suspecting anything. He’s weaseled his way into the DI and is head of security. Sawyer is a smart man, and oh, what an amazing feeling it must be for him to have this showdown with Jack now after all these years of remembering how Jack treated him. He’s been waiting for them to return for three years: was it because of Kate, or was it for this moment? That said, Jack looks sincere when he admits it’s a relief to follow and not lead. But will he follow? Jack’s leadership philosophy was, “Live together, or die alone.” Sawyer’s is, “Every man for himself.” Will Sawyer continue to think that way?
• Ben’s flat response to Frank asking where everyone on the plane disappeared to: “How would I know?”
• Hurley lifting Sawyer off the ground, and then saying he misses Sawyer’s nicknames.
• Hurley’s response to Sawyer’s announcement that it’s 1977: “Uh... what?”
• Hurley to Jin: “Dude, your English is awesome.”
• Angry Jin!
• Sawyer saying he’s not here to play Nostradamus to these people.
• Ben’s response when Frank pleads with Sun, telling her that when he came on the boat, it was filled with men who were just here to get Ben: “And how did that work out for everyone?” He’s SO slimy. I love him.
• Sun clocking Ben, and then saying in a very Ben-like way, “I lied.”
• “Based on your aptitude test, you’ll be doing janitorial work.” HAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
• Sawyer calling Radzinsky “Quick Draw.”
• Phil: “Everyone say Namaste!” Hurley: “Nama-what?”
• The look on Sayid’s face when the boy says his name. It’s like he’s face-to-face with Hitler and has a chance to take him out before he can do any harm.
Did You Notice?:
• When Ilana first wakes up, she says, “Jarrah?”
• When Sawyer hugs Kate, she’s the only one he doesn’t give a nickname to. There was no “Freckles,” like some of us might have been expecting him to say.
• When Jack tells Jin and Sawyer who else was on the plane, he doesn’t mention Ben.
• On one of the Flame station monitors, you can see an episode of The Muppet Show. Ha!
• We’re seeing a bit of history repeating itself with the Ajira flight. When 815 crashed, Jack called everyone together and told them help would arrive. He then immediately took off with Kate into the jungle. Frank tells everyone to be calm, then takes off with Sun. Everyone has the same confusion, is going through the suitcases for supplies, and wants to know where the hell they are. Just as Sayid jumped up on a rock a few episodes in and challenged Jack’s leadership by not wanting to go to the caves, Caesar jumps the gun a little earlier and talks about searching for a radio or food, disagreeing with Frank’s instruction to stay put.
• That island magical disappearing post-pregnancy healing was as strong in 1977 (allowing Amy to look refreshed, showered, and flat-stomached the day after giving birth) as it was in 2004, when it did the same for Claire.
• When Amy says they’re going to name the baby Ethan, Juliet almost drops the kid. I thought that was very funny.
• No offense to Hurley – y’all know how much I love the guy – but there is NO WAY a baggy sweatshirt of Sawyer’s would also be a baggy sweatshirt on Hurley... unless it was Hurley’s sweatshirt to begin with. Even so, that would have come down to Sawyer’s knees.
• Radzinsky finds “the hostile” in Grid 325. In season 2, Ben sends Michael off the island by having him follow bearing 325.
• Jin might have learned English, but apparently he didn’t learn the subtlety of the wink. He pushes Sayid to the ground, tells him if he speaks, he’s dead, and as Sayid just stares at him in disbelief, Jin holds a rifle an inch off Sayid’s nose. Um... WINK?!
• In our discussions for “LaFleur,” we wondered if Sawyer knew about the Purge. His reaction when Hurley says, “You do know they all get wiped out, right?” seems to suggest he does know.
• The song playing when Sawyer et al pull into the Dharma camp is “Ride Captain Ride” by Blues Image:
From the San Francisco Bay,
Rolled off of their ship
And here's what they had to say.
"We're callin' everyone to ride along
To another shore,
We can laugh our lives away
and be free once more."
But no one heard them callin',
No one came at all,
'Cause they were too busy watchin'
Those old raindrops fall.
As a storm was blowin'
Out on the peaceful sea,
Seventy-three men sailed off
Ride, captain ride
Upon your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends
You have here on your trip.
Ride captain ride
Upon your mystery ship,
On your way to a world
That others might have missed.
• Jin tells Sawyer there’s a 14J situation – we first heard that emergency code in “The Shape of Things to Come,” when the phone rings in Ben’s house and Locke picks it up, and you hear a woman’s voice saying, “Code 14-J.” When they run over to the other house to tell Ben, he freaks out, arms himself, and knows Keamy and his men are close by.
• Pierre Chang couldn’t be more wound up. Except when he’s saying, “Based on your aptitude test, you’ll be doing janitorial work.” HA! Okay, I’ll stop now.
• Sayid looks shocked when he sees Sawyer for the first time, since the last time he saw Sawyer, he was leaping out of the copter – most of them assumed, to his death.
• There’s a really creepy painting on the wall of the Flame. I’d love to see it close up.
• Smokey’s in New Otherton. If you listen closely, you don’t just hear the leaves rustle, but you hear that NY cab ticket sound that Smokey always makes right before an appearance. This would lend credence to the idea that Christian is a manifestation of Smokey. Watch when Christian hands the 1977 photo to Sun and the door blows open; you can see smoke in the doorway.
• Sawyer puts Sayid in the holding cell and tells Phil to get Sayid some food, adding, “We’re not savages.” In “Confidence Man” in season 1, where Sawyer is pretending to have Shannon’s asthma medicine, Jack tells Kate he’s going to kill Sawyer, but the only thing stopping him is, “We’re not savages, Kate, not yet.” In “The Other 48 Days,” when Ana Lucia has the man in the pit, Goodwin tells her to let him go, and says, “We’re not savages.”
• Jack hugs Juliet and tells her that he’d seen her earlier and wanted to say something, and Juliet says, “But we’re not supposed to know each other.” Yet it’s OK to hug in a doorway while Creepy Phil is watching suspiciously. Awesome.
• There seems to be a small continuity error. Sawyer sends Phil to get food for Sayid. Phil leaves, probably to tell Ben to fetch the sandwich. He’s crossing the compound and runs into Jack, who asks him where to find Sawyer. Sawyer is happily ensconced in his house, instead of standing by Sayid’s cell, where Phil had left him moments earlier. Maybe this is later in the evening, but if that’s the case, it took a VERY long time for Phil to get Ben to fetch the food Sawyer wanted to give to Sayid.
• I like how Sawyer decides he’s going to try to think things through, but come on... he hasn’t seen Jack, Kate or Hurley in three years, he’s been watching the shores for their return, and the moment they do, he doesn’t want to talk to them, find out how they’ve been, or catch up in any way? I realize he has to pretend he doesn't know them, but it wouldn't hurt to get to know the new recruits, even if just for 5 minutes apiece.
• In my blog for “LaFleur,” I said that Ben should have been in the camp by now, and I couldn’t figure out why Sawyer didn’t notice him. Now I see Ben IS in the camp, but my question still stands. Didn’t Sawyer pick up on the boy named Ben, who has a father wearing the Roger Workman jumpsuit that he later saw? I think Skeletor would have stuck with him.
So Many Questions...
• Sawyer tells Juliet that he’s got to deal with Kate and company before someone else finds them and “they screw up everything we’ve got here.” Is he referring to Kate, Jack and Hurley? Does he find their arrival an unwelcome one just like Juliet does? Had he planned on staying in the DI for the rest of his life?
• Sawyer mentions Faraday, saying he has interesting theories on what they can and can’t do, but when Jack asks if he’s here, Sawyer says, “Not anymore.” I said in my post for “LaFleur” that when the alarm goes off, Faraday runs in the other direction, and I was wrong: you do see him in the house. But I added that when we don’t see him in 1977, I wonder if he disappeared into the jungle at some point, filling his notebooks with the info on the DI that we later see when he flips through them. Does he lose his mind? Does he time travel away? How does he make it back to the 21st century?
• Now we know why Ben was very bloody when Locke saw him lying in the barracks. Did he regain consciousness and talk to Ilana and Caesar? If he didn’t, then there’s no way Ilana would have known the information she gave to Locke, that there had originally been three outriggers, but Frank and “a lady” took one in the night. Since they’re not with the other survivors, how would Ilana have known that?
• Did Juliet purposely show up to the recruitment office a little late to let Kate sweat a bit? If so, that’s kind of awesome.
• WHEN did the rest of the survivors land? Are they really in 2007 or 2008? New Otherton looks more like what it would look like a few years after the Purge than the way it did when Ben was running it. You can see the sign for the Processing Centre hanging there, and there are Dharma symbols on the doors. Neither is there when the Others are living there. Have they landed in another time? Or is New Otherton actually completely gone, and it’s become as ethereal as Jacob’s cabin, with Smokey just making it look like however he wants it to look? Those yearly photos of the Dharma recruits weren’t in the rec room before.
• When Jack asked Sawyer, “So where do we go from here?” did anyone else get the song from Buffy in their heads?
Next week: Based on Jack’s aptitude test, he’ll be doing janitorial work. By the looks of it, Sayid believes he’s been sent to the island to kill Ben, Sawyer turns on the Oceanic 4, and Kate decides to try to steal Sawyer back from Juliet. Presumably so she can sleep with him and the pretend she doesn’t know him the next day.
UPDATE: My DocArzt column is now up.