A title card informs us that it is "Three Years Earlier." Ben pushes the frozen donkey wheel. Locke, Richard, and the Others sit in the jungle, listening to weird sounds. On the beach, shirtless Sawyer and (a be-shirted, sorry fellas) Juliet rise to their feet, at the same sound. At sea, Daniel and the crew aboard the little rescue raft turn toward the sound. Making its way through the sky is a helicopter. Inside, Aaron cries as Kate clutches him to her, and Frank, Desmond, Hurley, Jack, and Sun try to figure out what's going on with that noise. When we return to him, Ben's still struggling with the frozen wheel, but he's gotten his spoke nearly to the wall - when there's a brilliant flash of white light. On the beach, Juliet and Sawyer shield their eyes. And from out at sea, Daniel and crew watch as the island is enveloped in light. They shield their eyes. In the jungle, Richard and Locke shield their eyes as the music swells. Everyone shields their eyes, okay? When the light dissipates, Locke is standing alone in the jungle, in the pouring rain -- an apt metaphor for...oh who cares? There's too much to cover. The point is Richard and all the other Others are gone. On the rescue boat, Neil "Frogurt" asks Daniel what happened. Daniel says, "We must have been inside the radius," which may be accurate and scientific, but is no help at all.
While Sawyer and Juliet are trying to figure out what happened, Sawyer notices the freighter is gone. Juliet is afraid it went down, but Sawyer rules that out -- because it was just there, coughing black smoke. Juliet points out that the helicopter has disappeared from sight, too. Before they can freak themselves out even more, Bernard comes charging down the beach, hollering for Rose. Rose runs onto the beach from a different spot, and thank goodness, because you can take your Jack and Kate, and your Kate and Sawyer, and your Jack and Sawyer, or what have you. Just gimme my Bernard and Rose. Theer luv is so pur!!!!11 In an effort to calm them down (because he's a 'shipper, too) Sawyer suggests they return to the camp, but Bernard explains the camp and everything in it is gone. He leads them back to where the camp "was" and shows them how it has disappeared -- the kitchen, the food, the water, and their tents. Daniel returns next -- he got back to shore quickly, don't you think? He says everything isn't gone -- so everyone who isn't Charlotte looks at Daniel like he's crazier than all the people who thought the little Asian baby in the opener grew up to be Charlotte. Non-Asian, still quite British and ginger Charlotte, meanwhile, hugs him. Sawyer wants to know who the hell Daniel is and what the hell he means by saying the camp isn't gone. Miles introduces Daniel as, "Dan, our physicist." Daniel tells them they have no time, then asks Juliet to take him to something that was man-made -- some sort of a landmark. When Juliet suggests the Dharma station that's about 15 minutes from there, Sawyer says, "You mean the hatch -- the one we blew up?" Daniel says that's perfect and that they should move before "it" happens again. Sawyer, speaking for the fans, demands to know what "it" is. President Clinton says that depends on what the meaning of "is" is, and so they all make out. Or, maybe not. But they should, I mean Sawyer's still shirtless. It seems that without Kate around, he isn't nearly so randy. He wants Daniel to answer him, and he wants to know where the camp has gone, too. Daniel tells him the camp isn't gone -- it just hasn't been built yet and the creators take a moment to remind us we're watching Lost and to give the stage to those who pay for it (with their cold hard cash, not their sanity).