We open up on Ajira flight 316, and follow it before, during and after the FLASH and crash. As we already knew, the plane hits "turbulence" (or a rift in the space-time continuum). In the cockpit, Frank struggles to keep control, but the plane stalls out and he's forced to land on a makeshift island runway. When he wakes, his co-pilot is dead via shish kebab. Meanwhile, in the cabin, Caesar wakes Ilana, whom he doesn't seem to know, and they (and Sun and Frank) realize that some people have disappeared from the plane. Not Ben, though; he's standing there, relatively unharmed, save the injuries he picked up before he left L.A. (where he certainly did not kill Penny, do you hear me? La la la la la la la).
Thirty years earlier: Jin finds Jack, Kate and Hurley and brings them to Sawyer, who leaves them hanging on the shore while he goes back to Old New Otherton to grab them some clothes. He and Juliet decide to disguise them as some of the new Dharma recruits who are arriving on the sub that day. Sawyer is shocked by the Returnees' news that Locke is dead, but not as shocked as they are by Sawyer's news that it's 1977. Jin, not to be outdone, is shocked that Sun has come back with them, and makes like a bat out of hell to go find her. Somewhere. Oh, and Sawyer doesn't shock me, but he intrigues me when he tells his friends that Daniel is no longer there. [I think he means Daniel go cray-cray. - Zach]
Jin shows up over at the Flame Station, where we meet Radzinsky for the first time. He's building a model of the Swan. Jin tries to look at the output of the various systems housed in the Flame, but Radzinsky is rather proprietary about it all -- until Jin shoves him up again a wall, which seems to change his mind. In response to Jin's demand, Radzinsky contacts all the other stations, asking for news of any plane flying nearby, but there's none. There is, however, a hostile on the loose in grid 325. It's Sayid. Radzinsky wants to kill him right away.
Over at the crash site, 30 years later, Frank is trying to take control of the survivors, warning them to stick together and wait for rescue. Sun spots Ben sneaking off to the jungle and tails him. Frank leaves his charges and tails her. Ben doubles back on them and surprises them both. He explains they're on the wrong island (Hydra) and need to get back to the big one. Frank doesn't trust him, but Sun insists she must and they follow him to the beach where they find the outriggers. After Ben notes where they're headed, Sun BEANS him in the head with an oar. YAY Sun! No more cardigans in the tropics for her, y'all. It's dark when she and Frank finally arrive at Craphole. They make their way to New Otherton, which is rundown and abandoned. A light goes on in one of the buildings, though, and out walks Christian Shephard who tells them his (first) name. Sun asks for his help in finding her husband. Christian brings them into the decrepit recruiting center, mutters some dates, and removes a photo from the wall. It's from 1977. Sun and Frank can't believe it when they see the Strand-aways and the Returnees in the picture. Christian tells them they have a long way to go
Somewhere in there, Juliet catches up with new mama Amy, who has the file on the new recruits arriving via submarine, today. After making small talk and giving her orders not to work for a while, Juliet snags the file, picks up Amy's new baby, and asks her what she and Horace are going to name him. Amy says, "Ethan." DUN. I knew it. Okay, so did a whole lot of other people all over the world, but they're not staying up late writing this recaplet, are they? When Sawyer brings the Returnees to be processed as new recruits, Jack is interviewed by none other than Pierre Chang, who promptly assigns him to the custodial staff. [His coverall name? "Workman." Nice. - Zach] Kate's checked in by security guard Phil, who gets suspicious when he can't find Kate on his log of new recruits. Juliet saves the day, and she and Kate pretend to meet for the first time. You can nearly hear them say, Meeeooooow.
When Sawyer gets out to the Flame, the only way he can save Sayid's hide from death-by-Radzinsky is by getting him to "admit" he's a "hostile." He then arrests him (which means he's protected by the truce) brings him back to Old New Otherton, locks him up, and orders the guard to get Sayid something eat.
That night, Jack goes to "LaFleur's" cabin, and is welcomed in by Juliet, who gives him a big hug. He's taken aback when he realizes she's living with Sawyer, who is a little miffed he's no longer the only big man on Old New Otherton Campus. Jack does himself no favors either, because he tries to step right back into his old leadership role, but Sawyer's been running the show for three years, now. After slamming Jack for always reacting, rather than thinking, and costing people their lives, Sawyer shows him the door and Jack returns to his cabin. Kate and Sawyer, who seem to be next-door neighbors, exchange a tense little wave from their respective porches, and Sawyer returns to his love nest and Juliet.
A young boy enters Sayid's dungeon, and tells his keeper he was ordered to bring the prisoner a sandwich. When he passes the bag through the cell bars to Sayid, we finally see his face, but we already knew who he was, didn't we? Sayid doesn't, though -- at least, not yet. The boy asks Sayid if he's a "hostile." Sayid asks the boy what he thinks. And then he asks the boy his name. He looks up at Sayid and says, "My name is Ben." Really? I thought that was Harry Potter. Huh.
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You know, I thought this episode was weird in that... it wasn't all that weird. For Lost, anyhow. And then I saw all my friends posting about it, and its overwhelming weirdness, and thought, "Hmmmm. Perhaps I need my weird-o-meter recalibrated." Then I spent the weekend immersed in the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, after which my weird-o-meter levitated and flew out of the house toward the sun, along with my forks, measuring cups, a trowel, toilet tissue, toothpaste, soap, bandages, crazy pills, and all my other hi-tech stuff like that there. And I share that, by way of explaining that a bitter, confused, shell of a woman is writing this recap, and if Lee Adama had his way, I'd be doing so in the sands of the Sahara, with my frakking finger. So let's thank heaven for small favors and move on. How was your weekend? What's that... the recap? Um, sure. Of course. Let's get to it, shall we?
Nighttime. We open up on Ajira flight 316, its tail lit as the plane glides above the clouds. In first class, Kate, Sun and Jack each sit alone. Sayid sits next to the dozing Ilana. Huh. Some marshal she is. Hurley has the guitar. Ben has his eviltude. Same old, same old. In the cockpit, the co-pilot thinks he's letting Frank in on a big secret when he shares that the big guy with the curly hair is one of the Oceanic 6. "Guy's got nerves of steel, man. He survives a full-on commercial airliner crash. Now he's back flying over the same South Pacific?" No, it's a different South Pacific, on New Earth. Sheeesh. Try to keep up, co-pilot dude. Frank (the character, not the actor) seems to have gone to the Joey Tribbiani smell-the-fart school of acting, because that's what we're getting for his poker face, when he says, "Yeah, well... Maybe he doesn't believe that lightning will strike twice in the same place." Oh, Frank, lightning strikes maybe once, maybe twice... The co-pilot chuckles, which is lightning's cue, or at least turbulence's cue. The people in the cabin wake and shake and bake. Back in the cockpit, Frank turns on the No Smoking; Fasten Your Seatbelt; Use Seat Bottom for Floatation; We Hope You're Wearing Depends Undergarments sign. Hurley tells Caesar he might want to buckle up, then pulls down his sleeping mask, because he already knows he doesn't want to see what's going to happen to him. Back in the cockpit, things go south, fast. In the cabin, luggage falls out of the overheads. The passengers are in a tizzy. In the cockpit again, Frank shuts off the auto-pilot and takes the controls. In First Class, the flight attendant gets thrown around and things are pretty much upside down. The buzzing comes first and then the FLASH!