Mainland; Evening: We pick up at the Long Beach Marina where we left off last week. Gun in hand, Sun is about to exit her car when her phone rings, so she has a tense talk with her mother, and a sweet talk with her ridiculously adorable daughter Ji Yeon. Then she heads out to send Benjamin Linus to his likely well-deserved doom, but Ben swears Jin's alive and that he can prove it. Kate and Jack have a spat because she thinks he only offered to help her protect Aaron in order to get the back to the island. Jack seems offended, but it's sort of true, isn't it? Kate gathers the still sleeping Aaron from Sun's car, puts him in her own, and drives away. It's then Sayid's turn to storm off. He tells Ben he wants no part of this and then tells Jack that if he sees him or Ben again, "It will be extremely unpleasant for all of us." Kate's tires squeal to spell out, "Don't mess with the Sayid!" Ben convinces Sun to give him 30 minutes to get her to the person who has proof Jin is alive. She agrees, and with Jack, they get into the van and head off toward Ben's proof. En route, Ben has a hysterical, "Don't make me turn this van around," moment that you can't miss.
Island; Jin, Danielle and Crew: Jin wants to find his camp, but then realizes from talking to Danielle that it's 1988. The French Crew is looking for a radio tower so they can broadcast their distress signal, so Jin agrees to lead them to the tower. On their journey they hear the familiar-to-Jin sounds of the Smokeosaurus and realize one of their members, Nadine-with-the-canteen, has gone missing. Not for long, though. Nadine-with-the-canteen is soon smack-dab in front of their faces... erm... feet. Or, her corpse is, after it drops out of the treetops above. Next, the Smokeosaurus looms over a haughty, snotty, blond Frenchman, who tries to stare old smoky down. Bad choice. The Smokeosaurus grabs him by the ankles, drags him through the jungle a bit, and then tries to pull him into some hole that seems to go beneath some ruins. The Temple, maybe? Jin and the French crew try to save Haughty Snotty, but are only sorta kinda successful. Smoky gets the better part of him. Jin et al get... his arm. Ew! Haughty Snotty yells from the hole that he is hurt. Ya think? The Frenchies want to go in after him, and won't listen to Jin, who tries to stop them and who has already told them they're dealing with a "monster." He does stop Danielle, though, by reminding her of her unborn child. Soon, there's the familiar buzzing and light that Danielle does not seem to experience. She watches Jin writhe in discomfort, and in a flash he's gone. He won't encounter her again until that fateful day on which she shoots her whole crew, because they're infected with "the sickness." We see her kill her beloved Robert, and she almost does in Jin when she catches sight of him, but then there's a flash and...
Jin's safe for now, and finally meets up with Sawyer, with whom he shares a ginormous hug. Jin joins Sawyer, Juliet, Daniel, Miles, Charlotte and Locke on their trek to the Orchid. The gang is flashing in and out of time so quickly though, that Juliet's nose bleeds more and Sawyer's starts bleeding, too. Hey! Cut that out. Charlotte can't make it. She collapses and seems to be making mental jumps in time apart from the physical jumps, which are still happening. One thing is clear, she loves Geronimo Jackson. When she hears the crew wonder if the Orchid even exists in their current place in time, she tells them to find the well, but they look at her like she's nuts, and go on their way. Daniel stays behind with her, so she tells him that she grew up on the island but had to leave, and that a scary man told her she could never come back, and that scary man was him! She then dies. I think the island had it in for her because she said, "This place is death."
Locke and the rest make it to the Orchid, and then there's a flash and the Orchid is gone. They find Charlotte's well. Jin gives Locke his wedding ring and makes him promise to tell Sun he's dead and not to come back to Craphole, because it's Craphole. There's a flash while Locke's descending into the well, and once it passes, there's no well, just a rope sticking out of the ground. Sawyer starts clawing at the ground to dig Locke out, but Juliet's all, "Really, dude? C'mon." Meanwhile, Locke is in the underground chamber where the Frozen Donkey Wheel chills, and he's broken his leg. At first I thought there was a rock sticking into it, but when he didn't pull it out, I realized it was his shinbone sticking OUT of it. Ew again, Show. Christian Shepherd appears, and tells Locke that Locke should have moved the island, not Ben, and that listening to Ben is a bad idea. He convinces Locke that he has to gather all the people who left the island and take them to Eloise Hawking, who will get them back, and to prepare to sacrifice himself for this goal. On Christian's instruction, Locke pushes the wheel which had slipped off its axis, and everything grows bright. Shepherd says, "Say hello to my son," but Locke is gone before Shepherd can tell him who that is.
Jack, Ben and Sun finally reach their destination – a church. Ben gives Sun Jin's wedding ring as proof that Jin lives, and presses her to come with him back to Craphole. Suddenly, Desmond appears! He asks what they're doing there, and when Ben says he assumes it's the same thing he's doing there, Des replies, "You're looking for Faraday's mother, too?" Ben's eyes bug out even further. They enter the church and meet Eloise Hawking, who says to Ben, "I thought I said all of them." When Ben says this was all he could get on short notice, Eloise says, "I suppose that will have to do for now." She sizes up the group then says, "All right. Let's get started." And? She looks terribly pleased with herself. DUN!
If I may anthropomorphize -- this show is a college student who screwed off for two and a half years, ended up on the six-year plan, and is now hell-bent on graduating magna cum laude. With a double-major. It's not just the time travel. It's not just the island/mainland split. It's not just the juxtaposition of science and faith. It's not just the acting (which is nearly flawless in this episode). There's all this mind-blowing development and a consistent emotional resonance -- a quality that was hit or miss in the early years. When I watch the "previouslies" I start conflating it with Battlestar Galactica: "All of this has happened before. All this will happen again" and Peter Pan: "All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again." And I'm searching on terms like Eternal return. What are you trying to do to me, Show? Never mind. Let's not quibble. Just keep doing it, please.Previously on Lost... The word previously lost all meaning. Also? Lawyer Dan "Angela Chase's father" Norton, and an associate, served Kate with a court order which requires her and Aaron to submit to blood tests. So Kate goes on the run, and runs to Sun who is in L.A. Sun tells Kate to "take care of" them. Little cardigan-in-the-tropics-wearing, garden-growing Sun. She totally means nurture, right? Sun gets a dossier on (and photos of) Jack and Ben -- from "Surveillance Data Investigations, Inc." and some gourmet chocolates and a gun a.k.a. the best Emergency P.M.S. Pack with Perks, ever -- because sometimes, regular old chocolate just won't do. So ladies, did your men come through for Valentine's Day? At the Long Beach Marina, Kate tells Jack that Ben is the undisclosed client who's trying to take Aaron from her. Jack's all, nuh uh! And Ben's all "PSYCHE!" Sun takes this all in from her car, surely planning on how she can nurture him.
Meanwhile, on Craphole Island, Charlotte collapses in a bloody heap. Locke declares that the strand-aways need to get to the Orchid and that this is all happening because they left. Meanwhile, the survivors of a shipwreck ride out a horrific storm in an octagonal life raft and find the best flotsam ever. JIN! On the beach, Jin freaks the freak out when he realizes the sweet, young French woman who rescued him is Danielle Rousseau...16 years earlier. And now you're all caught up, and it's time for the next mind-altering installment of Lost.