So...I suppose "where were we" is the epitome of a loaded question, and yet... There are (at least) two realities, now. One is taking place in L.A. in 2004. And unless I misunderstood what I saw, I believe this new L.A. reality exists because the Jack Daniels plan worked; when Juliet banged on Jughead with the rock, the bomb detonated, and the island and all its inhabitants from 1977 (right?) sank to the bottom of the sea. So, everyone who was on Oceanic 815 (Shannon was not) has arrived safe and mostly sound at LA X, but some of them are slightly different. For example, Hurley never has any bad luck, ever, but I'm getting ahead of myself. The other reality is the one with which we are most familiar and in which we're most invested, and it's happening back on Craphole Island, where Juliet is dead; Sayid is dying, and Hurley needs to lead everyone to the Temple, like Jacob's ghost told him.
At LA X, the people have deplaned and are setting about collecting their luggage and going their separate ways, because after all, these are just random strangers who shared a flight. Live alone, or at least not with each other; die at a reasonable age, of less spectacular causes. Not as catchy, is it? Anyhow, there's a problem with Jin's luggage. He's got assloads of undeclared cash in it, and he's unable to speak a word of English in his own defense. It seems Sun can speak English, but in 2004, Jin is still a domineering asshat who has again gotten on Sun about buttoning up that damned beige cardigan, so when he's taken in by security at customs, Sun's only response to the female security guard who suspects Sun knows everything that has been said is, "No... English." There is also a problem with Jack's biggest and previously ever-present baggage, i.e. his father. Christian's corpse and casket have gone missing, and the funeral is scheduled two hours from now. While trying to suss everything out with the claims department, Jack meets a nice man in a wheelchair (Locke!) who may have lost his knives, but is generous enough to give Jack some perspective: Oceanic didn't lose your father -- just his body. Jack's not only playing catcher; he's pitching, too. He gives Locke his card and tells him that nothing is irreversible (oh boys, if you only knew) and tells him to see him for a complimentary consult.
Never one to accept her fate, Kate cons her Marshal into letting her use the ladies room. He goes inside with her, but lets her close the stall door -- sucker. Inside it, she tries to pick the lock on her cuffs with a pen, but the Marshal doesn't give her enough time, so she has to improvise. Luckily, she's very good at that. She knocks him out, grabs his gun, covers her cuffs and chains with his suit coat, and tells two women who happen upon the scene that he's some random airport bathroom lady-attacker. She makes a quick getaway from the scene, but of course the women report the incident to security, and soon the Marshal has regained consciousness and the chase is on. Kate makes her first narrow escape tonight, aided by an amused stranger (SAWYER!), when she ends up on an elevator with airport security. She makes her second escape when the Marshal spots her on the curb, jumping into a random cab, which is already occupied by a pretty blonde (CLAIRE!). Kate points the Marshal's gun at the driver and tells him to step on it. How far will she go? How far will she get? Is this reality's Claire pregnant? Alas... more questions.
Meanwhile, back on Craphole, there are two stories going on. At Four Toes, Faux-Locke is putting Ben and the rest in their place. It's nice to see Terry O'Quinn in a less pathetic role, but as he and the rest of that group pass by John Locke's corpse on the sand, I can't help but feel sorry for real-island-Locke, and pause to hope that new-reality L.A. Jack can reverse new-reality L.A. Locke's paralysis.
The biggest action on the island revolves around getting Sayid to the Temple. Sawyer refuses to go with them, and asks Miles to stay behind (even though Kate offered) to help him bury Juliet's body. Once Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin, and a mostly dead Sayid climb in the van and head off to the Temple, Sawyer reveals the real reason he chose Miles; he hears dead people, remember? And Sawyer must know what Juliet wanted to tell him. Miles doesn't think he can tap into her spirit or whatever he does, but he manages to, and the special effects indicate he's not faking his success. When he tells Sawyer, "It worked," Sawyer's all Who's-On-First -- what did Juliet want to tell me? Miles clarifies. Juliet wanted to tell Sawyer, "It worked!" Dun!
The gang gets to the Temple through the hole under the outer wall and a good bit of action that I'll hit in the full recap. The Temple-Others are led by a Japanese man and his lieutenant-translator, who looks like Horace Lite. These new Others are all set to have our old friends killed until Hurley tells them Jacob sent them, and offers up the guitar case Jacob gave him, as proof. In it is a wooden ankh. The Japanese man breaks it open, much to Hurley's horror, and finds a note (from Jacob, I guess), which lieutenant-translator later says contains a warning that they'd best not let anything happen to Sayid. These new Others bring Sayid and crew into the Temple proper, but the healing spring water is not clear. The Japanese man tests the spring's healing property on a self-induced cut and it doesn't work, but Jack says they have to try to save Sayid (who -- shouldn't he be more bloody?) so they take him in the spring-fed pool and DROWN HIM! Die, new Others. Die. Die. Jack tries to resuscitate Sayid to no avail, and is feeling like a bigger failure/murderer than he did even when Juliet croaked, when Sawyer and Miles are dragged in by the new Others, just to rub salt in Jack's wound. Sawyer gets a head injury. Kate tends to him. Jack emos over that, and also refuses to cooperate with the new Others. At some point in there, Hurley reveals that Jacob is dead, too. Anyhow, just when Jack is just about to fight the New Others to the death, Hurley (who has been quite the leader, tonight) calls him off. Everyone turns to see that SAYID IS ALIVE. AGAIN. OR LOOKS LIKE IT. Bad Robot, indeed. I'm starting on the recaps now and will get them out as soon as possible, so keep your eye on the home page. In the meantime, when you get in a cab at LA X, lock the doors; you never know who'll try to hijack your ride.
Well, here's another thought. In Sci-Fi (not SyFy; yeah, I'm looking at you), what causes one reality to split into two or more? A paradox. Where's the real paradox here? It's not so much the bomb. It's the man behind it -- that is -- Daniel Faraday. The last time we saw 1977 on the island, Daniel was a full-grown man from 2004, who had ended up on the island, flashing to all different periods of time, including 1977. And in 1977, he met up with his own mother, who was pregnant with fetus-him. And? His own mother, who was pregnant with fetus-him, then shot adult-him and killed adult-him. If Juliet's bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang set off the Jughead, the detonation should have killed all our Losties, and probably all the 1977 Dharma folks and the 1977 Others -- including Daniel's parents -- (the pregnant) Eloise Hawking, and Charles Widmore. As near as I can reckon, last season, when Jack, Kate, et al were first transported to 1977, there was only one timeline, and they had just jumped back in it. So, if you're in timeline A and you put a plan into motion that was dreamt up by Daniel Faraday in the year 2004 of that timeline, and explained to you in 1977 (which is when you carried it out), but the guy who dreamt up the plan was not only killed in 1977, his existence was wiped out (because his mother had not yet borne him), then how could the plan happen at all, if Daniel never existed to suss it out. Maybe I should shut up, but do you see where I'm going with this? If you do, can you send me a clearly marked roadmap, because I have no freaking clue and my nose starts bleeding when I think too long and hard about it, so let's move onto the recap. Ready? Okay!
Daylight; Island Reality; Jungle: The gang unloads Sayid from the van. When Hurley grabs the guitar case, Miles teases, "Are you gonna sing "Kumbaya" on the way?" Hurley says it's not a guitar, but won't say any more. As Sawyer unloads shovels from the back of the van, he tells Kate he's not going with the group; he's going to bury Juliet. Kate asks to accompany him and help out, but Sawyer tells her to help with Sayid. Then he turns to Miles and asks him to assist. Ooooh, burn. Kate tells Sawyer and Miles she'll leave a trail so they can follow. Sawyer turns slowly toward her. "I ain't following nobody, Kate." Jack is giving water to a nearly unconscious Sayid, when Hurley asks if they're ready. Jack says, "Whenever you are," and then looks to see Sawyer struggling under the weight of Juliet's body. Once he and Miles are gone, the group lifts Sayid on his stretcher and heads off toward the temple. We cut to...
L.A. Reality: This is the same as the "Plane Reality" except they're not on the plane any more, and I like to be specific. So -- anyhow, Jack gets paged to the nearest courtesy desk. When he arrives, the nervous desk clerk informs him that they've lost Christian Shephard's coffin -- and he uses the word coffin, which, you know, is a perfectly fine word, but people usually use casket in professional sorts of situations, so it caught my attention. Also? Ahahahahahaha. Jack cannot catch a break, can he? The clerk says the coffin was never put on the plane. Jack tells him the funeral is in two hours and wants to know when it will arrive. The clerk doesn't know, "because we're not exactly sure where it is." Nice.