You want answers? You want answers? Well, that was a whole lot of answers we got from Eloise right at the start of the episode. Well, not right at the start, because the cold open was one of the more thrilling deja vu moments of the entire run.
Jack's eye opens.
Jack lying in the jungle. Hurley calling for help. All of this has happened before. Nice.
But back to the exposition. We found out the reason that the island is so hard to find -- it's ALWAYS moving, so not only is it (perhaps) protected by some kind of electro-magnetic/temporal distortion that makes it hard to find, but even if you can pierce that shroud, you're trying to hit a moving target. Getting to the island is a lot more like trying to land on Pluto than it is trying to land on Fiji.
So what does THAT mean? Let me suggest a few options.
1) It is moving in more of a temporal orbit, instead of a geographic one. In other words, it is constantly traveling throughout time in some kind of recurring, sequential, and predictable manner.
2) It is NOT moving. It stays still, the earth rotates past it.
3) It is a moon made out of dark matter, and thus passes THROUGH the earth as it orbits around earth's axis. In other words, because of its unique properties, it is actually able to orbit around earth's axis, but unlike most moons it can pass through the surface of the earth, surfacing at key locations off in Tunisia, the North Pole, the Pacific Ocean, etc.
4) All of the above.
OK? The first two theories are my own, the third is a VERY in-depth theory I once read (but I forget where) that used science and stuff to explain how a mini-planet could pass through earth and still have sunlight, and went on and on and on and ON about the properties of this theoretic dark matter, but I have to say, with the revelation that the island is always moving, I have to give that guy some credit for at least having a part of the answer.
By the way, kudos to everybody who had "the island is constantly moving" in the office pool. I don't think I ever wrote that possibility in this space, but it's been out there for sure.
Other things we learned from Eloise Exposition:
* Locke killed himself. Hung until dead. That's weird, I didn't even know he was in INXS.
* The island was discovered by some fella who postulated a formula to predict when and where the island would be.
* Those guys also built an unnecessarily huge pendulum-and-floor-map assembly to show the results of the formula, and from which I would love to swing. Was I the only person who was hoping that Desmond or Jack or somebody was just going to get housed by that thing as they walked across the floor with dramatic glowers?
* The next window is a flight to Guam on the same Indian Airline whose detritus the Island Six discovered, right before stealing some pontoon boats and getting shot at. Odds of the Island Six being shot at by the Oceanic Six rising, rising . . . falling . . . RISING! No pontoon boats and no bottled water make Jack something something. He'd give chase if some Others stole his boat. And remember, if that's the case . . . Juliet did shoot one of them.
* The reason that the whole O6 needs to go back is that they need to recreate their previous flight as nearly as they possibly can. Ooookay. That's kind of weird. Is that because the island needs all of their destinies, and the fewer of their destinies it gets, the more likely it is to just say, "You know what? Screw you destiny haters. I ALLOW YOU TO DIE." That's how I take it, anyway.
Other major items of note, random questions, and some surprising sloppiness:
- How did Hurley get out of the lockup? Even if he did get out of the lockup, how is he not on a "no fly" list? How is Kate not on a "no fly" list? Can you just transport a dead body to Guam that easily? I mean, I am pretty sure that's a stolen body Jack's got there. And how much do you have to tip the cabbie if he helps you get a coffin into the trunk? But for real, when Jack asked Hurley how he got there, and Hurley said "Isn't the important thing that I'm here?", my answer to that is "No! The important thing is HOW HOW HOW HOW." Anyway, my guess is it had something to do with Ben's fancy pants lawyers getting him out of the slam, and then the ghost of Charlie convincing him. But still, with the kind of security madness you get with airlines today, Hurley and Kate and Stolen Locke Body getting on is story-convenient sloppy.
- Where is Aaron? What convinced Kate to part ways with him? Is he dead? And, honestly, what do we make of Jack's decision to agree never ever to ask him where Aaron is? Jack is the First Emperor of Not Letting Things Go, but the location and health of his nephew seemed about as easy for him to drop as Kate's panties. I was SO hoping that on the island, as soon as she woke up, he would ask "Where's Aaron where's Aaron where's Aaron where's Aaron?" for about a minute. Anyway, my guess is that she gave him to his natural grandmother, and my guess is she was convinced by Claire, who is haunting her. Man, is that kid going to be screwed up.
- I expect that Sayid is in custody because of all the killing, but why is he being transported to Guam?
- Is Sun honestly not even a LITTLE bit torn about leaving her daughter behind, likely forever? Jin is going to be very pissed and joyful. He'll be poyful.
- Just as Widmore didn't seem as evil as we'd assumed when Desmond went to visit him, Eloise seemed more evil than we'd assumed in this episode, didn't she? Keep us on our toes, Lost writers. Keep us on our toes.
- Ben went to kill Penny, obviously, and now he's all busted up but still alive. What is the breathing status of our favorite island couple?
- Hurley buying up all the tickets so that lots of innocent people wouldn't die was a very moving touch, and made him a lot more human than Jack, who didn't even stop to consider it until he was aboard, Ben, who just didn't seem to care, and surprise guest pilot Frank Lapidus, who seemed a little excited and certainly perfectly happy to keep flying his plane straight into a temporal electro-magnetic event, innocent passengers be damned.
- OK, here's something I missed but my wife pointed out. In Season 4, the Oceanic Six were world-wide celebrities. Much was made about how they were among the most famous faces on the planet. I always hated this, because it made no sense. They'd be famous, for sure, but unless they made huge efforts to milk it, they wouldn't be more famous than the pilot who landed in the Hudson or maybe that guy who won Jeopardy! for about a year. In other words, famous for a minute, you've seen their face on People magazine's cover, but not Brangelina famous. But if they WERE really famous, wouldn't every other passenger take a look around, see EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the O6 on board, and just quietly shuffle off the plane? It would be like getting on a cruise and finding the entire cast of "Titanic" or something. That would have been a great scene.
- Ben, I don't think that Jack was asking how you could read at a time like this. He was asking how could you read Ulysses at a time like this. I thought you preferred Stephen King. You're just trying to make us think you're smart.
- So, is Hurley traveling with one of Charlie's guitars?
- Jin filled out a Dharma application! Hey, that's great! This allows us to make a few educated guesses. First, James Ford and His Amazing Timeflash Jumpers probably stopped jumping after Locke straightened out the donkeywheel. At least the jumps became sparse enough to allow these poor people to actually get jobs. Second, since they were last seen at a time before the Orchid was built, they either took one last flash up to Dharma times, or they waited for Dharma to get there. If it is the latter, might they be as ageless as Richard? It may have been a while. Third, at least one of them (Jin) is in danger of being killed by a younger Ben and the original Others when the island gets gassed, OR ELSE at least one of them (Jin) is working with a younger Ben and the original Others to gas the island. There's a lot of ways this could go, but I like it. Fourth and finally, the bottled water did come from that Indian airline that provided the return flight, so we can probably (I say probably) fix the point in time when the Island Six had their little boat-on-boat paddle battle.
- What's happened now is that everybody is back on the island, while there are still things off-island that we don't know about them. This essentially means that we are back to the Season 1 structure again. Character by character, we'll interact with them newly returned to the island, while flashing "back" to before they returned to fill in the gaps. I will miss the timejumps, but that's neat.
- Did all of the returning O6 (and Locke and Lapidus, I presume) return to the same when, or are they scattered?
- Ah, Lapidus. I guess nobody told you what happens to pilots on this island.
- Why did the Oceanic plane crash, but this plane just flashed out of existance, I wonder? Or, at least, we haven't seen any wreckage. Hey, while I'm on the subject, where did the fuselage of Ocean 815 go, anyway? Was that ever covered? I mean, I know it got scavenged, but for serious, we haven't seen that big honking fuselage on the beach in forever. Did they dump it in the ocean? How? What? Why? I'm crazy now.
Join us next time, when I say:
"Wow, my karma really took a hit for that INXS joke."