The camera zooms in on an eye -- Jack's -- just like the pilot. He wakes in the jungle and hears a cry for help. It's Hurley! Jack dives into the waterfall-fed lake below to save him, and the guitar he's got with him because… he does. Jack and Hurley swim to an unconscious Kate on the shore and wake her. They're back on the island, and I'm back on the phone, trying to book a room at Santa Rosa.
Forty-six hours earlier, Jack, Sun, Desmond and Ben are with Mrs. Hawking in the Church. She leads them down the spiral staircase to her island-locating lab, which she refers to as the Lamppost, because we're not done with C.S. Lewis yet, babies. The Lamppost is located on an electromagnetic energy pocket (there are many) which the Dharma Initiative used to find the island. Mrs. Hawking, who amusingly allows that Ben is a big-ass liar, explains that the island is on another such pocket, but it's always moving through time -- so this lab was designed by a mystery man (Daniel?) to predict where it would be at a certain place in time. They've discovered a window back that will only be open for a short bit, and they must use it. Desmond says, "Are y' daft, then?" or something like it. He can't believe these people would be trying to get back to the island, warns Sun and Jack that "these people" are using them, then promptly leaves. I love you, you unique, precious, special snowflake, and I'm really glad you didn't get hit by that swinging Foucault's pendulum. Next time, please skirt its radius, m'kay? Mrs. Hawking hands Jack a binder full of flights and times and explains that flight 316 from L.A. to Guam will be their access to the window that lets them back onto the island, and they must be on it. What's more, they must have as many of the same people aboard and recreate the circumstances of Oceanic 815, as closely as possible, or the results of their efforts will be "unpredictable." She takes Jack, alone, to a back room and hands him a suicide note from Locke, but Jack won't read it, at least not then. She explains that John Locke's corpse is a proxy for Christian Shepherd's, and that Jack must give John something of Christian's. When he scoffs, she explains to him that this is a leap of faith he must take.
When Jack returns to the sanctuary, Sun is gone and Ben is praying (!!!) or pretending to. Ben tells Jack about the Apostle Thomas, and how although he's best known for doubting Christ's resurrection until he could put his hands in Christ's wounds, one of his more touching acts of faith happens earlier, when Jesus is planning to return to Judea (to raise Lazarus) despite the fact that his life is at risk, and Thomas says, "Let us also go that we might die with him." Ben then takes his leave from Jack, because he has to tie up some loose ends. Hmmm.
Jack's at a bar when he gets a call that his grandpa Ray has escaped from his nursing home again. And no wonder! Ray does not look like he needs a home. I'm just saying. Jack goes to see him at the home -- where he's on his last chance, and helps Ray unpack from his latest escape. In Ray's bag, Jack finds a pair of Christian Shepherd's wingtips. Jack asks Ray for them, and later explains that he might be leaving town. When Jack gets home to his own place, he finds an upset Kate lying on his bed. If Jack's going back to Craphole, she's going with him. He asks her where Aaron is and she makes him promise to never ask her about Aaron again. Then they make-out. Hey, I didn't write it (but it was kind of hot). In the morning, he tells her about the wingtips and the old white tennies in which he buried Christian, then his phone rings, and Kate takes her leave. Ben's calling from the Marina. He's all beat up (and so help me if he harmed one hair on Penny, baby Charlie, or Desmond's special snowflake heads, I'll beat him again -- myself) and needs Jack to retrieve Locke's body from Simon's Butcher Shop. Once there, Jack and Jill go up the hill, or actually, just to cold storage to get Locke. While there, Jack puts the wingtips on Locke, and slips the alleged suicide note back in Locke's pocket -- still unread.
Our various escape-aways make their way to Ajira airlines flight 316. Hurley buys up all the vacant seats on the flight (78 of them). Mirroring Kate's original trip to Craphole, Sayid seems to be in the custody of a police officer, or his girlfriend just likes it rough (hey, she looks a little like Ana-Lucia). Sun's there, too. She can't not take the opportunity to bring home Jin if he's really alive. And who is flying their plane but Frank Lapidus -- the pilot who was supposed to be flying Oceanic 815 -- who flew our escape-aways off the island in the freighter crew's helicopter. When Frank realizes who all he's got onboard, he cracks, "We're not going to Guam, are we?" Meanwhile, Ben's got his head buried in Ulysses. Jack can't understand how he can read, and says so, to which Ben replies (and notice how that ends in "lies"): "My mother taught me." Ha. He convinces Jack that it wasn't his fault that Locke killed himself (which he claims not to have known, but I totally think he's lying) and encourages Jack to read Locke's note. Locke wrote: "Jack, I wish you had believed me." Oh yeah, that'll make him feel better. Soon thereafter, the plane hits some turbulence which you just know is caused by an electromagnetic Hot Pocket or whatever, because there's a FLASH! And the next thing we know, we're back where we started -- both the series and this episode -- with Jack waking up in the jungle, hearing cries for help. After he and Hurley wake Kate, they wonder where Sayid, Sun and Ben are. Soon, a shiny, new looking Dharma Initiative VW Bug van comes rolling toward the lake. The armed driver hops out and trains his weapon on Hurley, Kate, and Jack look at this man all wide-eyed -- first in fear, then amazement. It's JIN! (Still alive.) Dun!
I don't like to tattle, but someone just pushed a button and reset the whole series. Again. I'm looking at you Damon and Carlton. And I'm done (not with the show - just with looking at the fellas). I'll now return to pushing my buttons, or keys, as the case may be.
The title of this episode, "316" is layered with meaning. The most obvious is the connection with the Bible verse John 3:16 which reads "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (King James Version.) Then, as you'll soon learn, there's a flight that figures into this episode: Ajira Airlines 316. And Lost episode 316, "One Of Us" is the episode in which Juliet comes with Jack back to Camp Lost-Away and confesses to drugging Claire, yet saves Claire's life, but seems to be working as a plant for Ben, and yet all she wants to do is get away from Ben and the bloody island and oh! Don't make me go back there. Instead, let's break down this week's previouslies, because everything old is new again. Again.
Previously, on Lost: At the Hoffs/Drawler Funeral Parlor Ben tells a drugged-out Jack that the island won't let him return alone. "All of you have to come back." And Kate catches onto this scheme later at slip 23 of the Long Beach Marina. "Is that what all this is about? This is insane. You guys are crazy. JACK DON'T!" Then it's Sayid's turn, "I don't want any part of this." Next we see poor Jin (who IS ALIVE if I haven't mentioned that lately), running across the freighter deck, trying to get the helicopter to return and pick him up. The freighter goes BOOM! Sun screams. Then she's at the Long Beach Marina holding a gun to Ben's throat, which is generally a great idea, demanding to know how he knows Jin is alive. Ben repLIES that there's someone in Los Angeles who can prove it. When Sun wants to know who, he says, "The same person who's going to help us get back to the island..." and now we're all caught up.
Island; Day; Time Period Unknown: The camera zooms in on Jack's right eye -- mirroring the opening scene of the pilot. He wakes to the sounds of birds chirping, and the breeze blowing, and I can't decide if the whispers I hear are from the show or from the voices in my head. Whatever. Lost put about a third of them in there, anyhow. Jack breathes heavily, because lying flat on your back can leave you winded (if you do it right) and springs up once he lets himself realize he's back on Craphole. He takes a deep breath of crazy island air and reviews the scrap of a note that reads, "I wish," when he hears shouting: "Help. Anyone." It's Hurley! Dropping the scrap, Jack heads towards Hurley's voice, first walking, and then running. Hurley continues to cry for help. Wading across a stream, Jack comes to the edge of a cliff, and finds Hurley holding onto a guitar case, and struggling to stay afloat in waterfall-fed lake below. Jack dives in to save him. I've decided he's well acquainted with this lake, so that I don't have to freak out about a spinal surgeon diving off a cliff into unfamiliar waters. He makes his way over to the struggling Hurley who is freaking.