Ian Rogers’ Oceanic Update: The 411 on "316", or What Was Lost is Found Again

The Oceanic Six has finally made it back to the island!

Or maybe it’s only the Oceanic Three?

Last week’s episode, “316,” ended (and began, in typical flashback style) with half of the O6 arriving back on the island. I have to admit that I was waiting for another plane crash, especially since we’ve already seen an Ajira Airways water bottle during one of the island’s time-jumps. So can we assume that since the island seemed to have plucked Jack, Kate, and Hurley off the plane that they did the same for Sun and Sayid? What about Ben? He was never on Oceanic 815. How about Lapidus? And what about the marshal’s proxy, or the mystery man who offered Jack his condolences. Me thinks they might have also taken that layover to Lost Island. Here’s hoping they didn’t have anything important in their carryon luggage.

Although the writers have cleverly fast-tracked the show by getting the O6 back to the island in record time, they still managed to leave us with more than a few questions to ponder. As always, I have a few theories.

1. Who told Hurley about the flight? And why is he lugging around a guitar case?

The answer seems obvious to me on both counts. Charlie. Hurley was visited by his ghost once before, at the mental institute, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he returned for an encore performance. Something along the lines of “This is your last chance to join your friends. Oh, by the way, since you need to recreate the original flight, I’m going to give you one of my old guitars.”

Did you notice that Hurley was the only one wearing a sleeping mask? I’m going to go one further and say that Charlie told him to bring that, too. A small, funny nod to the bright light that comes before each time jump.

I smiled when Hurley revealed that he had bought out the rest of the seats on the flight. Clearly he was also of the mind that they’d need to crash to get back to the island. It was just the sort of thing Hurley would do, trying to use his money for good, and to help people at the same time. He truly is the moral compass of the show.

2. Why is Sayid in custody? Who is the new marshal?

This one is a bit harder to answer. Did Sayid let himself get busted for something just so they would have a proxy for the marshal? Not likely. He wasn’t there for that conversation with Eloise Hawking. It’s more likely that Ben, in desperation, called in a favour and got Sayid arrested for something and somehow finagled him onto Flight 316. Why a U.S. Marshal would be taking a prisoner to Guam is beyond me, though.

3. Who is the mystery man Jack met in line at the airport?

Clearly this is someone we’re going to see more of, so it wouldn’t be a big jump to say he made it to the island with the rest of the O6. Maybe the island took everyone sitting in first class. Does that mean Lapidus didn’t make it? I like that guy, even if he doesn’t have his crazy beard anymore. They gave him the best line of the entire episode: “We’re not going to Guam, are we?”

4. Why is Jin wearing a Dharma jumpsuit?

This one is also fairly obvious. After Locke set the donkey wheel back on its axis, the island almost certainly stopped skipping and the remaining Losties got stuck in whatever time period they happened to be cooling their heels in. It would seem that they got stuck in either the 1970s or ’80s, the period when the Dharma Initiative was active. Remember that for the Left Behinders three years or so have passed between the time Locke turned the wheel and Jack and Co. returned to the island. All has probably happened in that time. I’m going to take a guess and say that Sawyer, Juliet, and the rest somehow got themselves jobs working for the DI. That Dharma van looked pretty new, and it sure seemed as if Jin was on some sort of security patrol. I’m betting he’s probably speaking fairly fluent English these days, too. After all, he’s had three years of practice.

As for the rest of the Left Behinders, I’m sure the DI could find a use for a con man, a fertility doctor, a physicist, and a ghost whisperer.

On an island where polar bear attacks are common, and pillars of black smokesmoke can tear you apart limb from limb, the real question is, does the Dharma Initiative offer any medical coverage?

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