Next: “316” (Episode 5×06)

Jen didn’t quite know what to make of this episode. She said it was weird, she said it was surreal, she said it seemed like a dream. To be sure, “316” took its time, compared to the breakneck pace of the last few episodes, and — except for the fantastic opening scene — stayed entirely off the island with the Oceanic 6. There was a definite eerie tone throughout. And I, for one, liked it. The wailing strings of Giacchino’s score throughout took me back to Season 1. It was a good feeling. And that fantastic opening scene? I was thrilled that the show went there. Back to Jack’s eye, back to Jack on his back on in the jungle, back to the incredible “LOST” pilot. But it also made us doubt our prediction of how the entire series will end. Much like the return of the Oceanic 6 to the real world, this twist came earlier than expected, and is making us redraw our mental map of “LOST.”

If I have to give up on a variation on the time-loop theory, though, the otherwise odd and sudden appearance of Roy makes me pay more attention to the fans who are convinced all of “LOST” is tangled up in the Shephard family tree. Christian, Jack, Claire, Aaron… I mean, Roy says that one day he’ll escape and never be found. Where do you suppose he might go? Jack’s grand-dad gave off just the right level of creepy. And Jen said the casting, as kin of John Terry, was spot-on.

Either way, no other episode so far has made it more clear that this is the penultimate season of “LOST.” From the montage of our friends boarding another plane, to Jack’s explanation of Christian Shephard’s tennis shoes, the connections to the show’s beginnings are foreshadowing its end. We still have no idea what it will be, but now we can feel that it’s there.

The prominence of shoes triggered Jen’s memories of other key shoe scenes. The white tennis shoe is, of course, the first thing Jack sees in the Pilot. Kate removes shoes from a dead body in Season 1, then takes her stepfather’s shoes off before blowing him up in Season 2. Locke removes his shoes before entering the Swan station for the first time. And Hurley’s visions of Dave also featured a shoe. (Here’s a much longer list.)

A theme of faith was hammered home tonight, and specifically of Jack finally making the leap. His astonishment at how Sayid and Hurley ended up on the airplane was a bit much, but his “conversation” with Locke’s body was great. If he could only see the “Man of Science” now. The religious references are back in the spotlight, with Ben’s invoking Thomas the Apostle (and the episode’s title brings to mind “John 3:16,” a pivotal verse in The New Testament).

I was more struck by the “Chronicles of Narnia” link with the name of “The Lamp Post” Dharma station. (A lamp post is a major landmark in the “Narnia” story.) In “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” a character is instructed to bring his brothers and sisters through the magical wardrobe. Why? To fulfill a prophecy in which the return of the two sons of Adam and the two daughters of Eve will end a witch’s reign, and crown the character king. Sound familiar?

Of course, “316” is hardly subtle about planting new questions. Why did Kate change her mind, and what happened to Aaron? Why is Sayid in custody, and why would he be transported to Guam (or Honolulu)? Why did Hurley sign on? And what happened to Ben? There’s no question the promise and “loose ends” he had to attend to was the murder of Penny. We can only hope that his battered condition means it didn’t go very well. All of these things, I expect, will be revisited in flashbacks while things unfold back on the island. Which makes me wonder if the final acts of “LOST” will mirror the show’s first couple of seasons in structure.

Hurley was right to freak out about Ben being on the plane, though. I don’t think that’s part of the master plan. And given Ben’s adversarial relationship with Widmore, and Christian Shephard’s frustration with Ben’s actions last week, it would appear that Sayid was right when he said that the only side Ben is on is his own. I can’t wait to see what he’s up to.

And the closing scene, where Jin drives up in a shiny Dharma van wearing a Dharma uniform, was pretty great. It simultaneously tells us that the Oceanic 6 returned to the island in a much earlier time, and that Jin (and presumably the rest of the left-behinders) has been living in that time for a while. My secret hope? That the Dharma Initiative hired Jin and provided him intensive language courses in Latin… and English. Talk about a great way to save Daniel Dae Kim from spending the rest of the series speaking Korean.

Notes and Notions:

  • Just how closely were they able to recreate the conditions of the original flight? On one hand, much attention was paid to the little detail of Christian’s shoes. On the other, the plane was practically empty. No step siblings, no rockstars (save for a guitar), no cops or African warlords, and no high school teachers. Oh, and no pregnant women, unless Kate’s mysterious visit to Jack was for more than a little comfort.
  • Hurley’s decision to bring a guitar is yet another thoughtful homage to Charlie. Along with “Simon’s Butcher Shop,” it sure seems like the writers are going out of their way to make sure he’s not forgotten.
  • I loved that Hurley bought out the rest of the flight. I also loved the cold way Ben says, “Who cares?” when Jack asks what will happen to anyone else on the plane.
  • Looks like we have a few new characters, provided they survived whatever happened to Ajira Airlines Flight 316. May they be handled with a little more grace than Nikki and Paulo.
  • The brand of milk Jack served Kate is Meadow Gold. It’s available in many states, including Hawaii… but not California.
  • The way Kate was found on the rocks in the lagoon, Jen noted, seemed to directly mirror the way Jack found her on his bed.
  • The new and improved Frank Lapidas (Jeff Fahey) made Jen swoon.
  • Guaranteed the song that was playing in Jin’s Dharma van is a Geronimo Jackson track.
  • Locations: St. Andrews Cathedral housed The Lamp Post. Simon’s Butcher Shop is a real butcher shop in Kalihi. Roy’s care home is the Arcadia apartments, a real senior living facility.

Please comment below, e-mail us at, or call the LostLine at (808) 356-0127 by Friday, Feb. 20.

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167 Responses to Next: “316” (Episode 5×06)

  1. Jason_in_Tulsa says:

    Hi Ryan and Jen,

    Just wanted to to comment on “key shoe scenes” one scene not mentioned is on season 3 episode 8 when Mrs. Hawking was first introduced in the jewelry store. She mentions to desmond that a man is wearing red shoes (then of course he is promptly killed). Just seemed like an important key shoe scene to add in there.

  2. Pingback: LOST Podcast: The Transmission » Blog Archive » Trans 2009-02-21: “316″

  3. Kira says:

    There’s too many posts to read now but HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CONCLUSION THAT BEN KILLED PENNY??? I don’t remember anything that would’ve made me think that..if so, I will sad beyond belief..

  4. paintergirl1 says:

    @Toby – Unless the producers have been lying to us, they really can’t do anything that will “undo” the last 3 years for our O6. Their reasoning was it would be a total cheat if they did some sort of parallel universe that made the finale to season 3 (“We have to go back!”) irrelevant. Daniel F.’s “You can’t change the past,” rule holds true, in my opinion. Anything our characters do in the past simply fulfills what needs to happen for the present and future we know to come true.

  5. Connie in Alaska says:

    Kira-Last season when Ben confronted Widmore in the bedroom of his London apartment, he said that because Widmore “changed the rules” and killed his daughter, Alex, Ben was going to get even by killing Widmore’s daughter, Penelope. So when Ben leaves the church in “316” to keep a promise to an old friend, it is naturally assumed that he is going to kill Penny. Remember that Ben wasn’t aware that Des and Penny were in LA, so when the opportunity presented itself, he probably took it.

    About lots of posts…I hear you! Everyone is so excited about this season and wants to get in on the fun. I love reading all the different points of view and theories. The down side is that it is a lot of reading which can be daunting. It seems impossible to get through it all without committing to an enormous amount of time. But if you don’t read them all and post your comment, you may be repeating what many others have said before you thus adding unecessarily to the large number of posts!

    I don’t have a good solution and wouldn’t think of trying to keep people from posting just because they haven’t had time to read all the posts, but I do have a couple of suggestions:

    1. Shorter is better. I admit I sometimes skip over really long posts. I am probably missing some really good stuff, but…sorry. If you have lots to say breaking your long post into two or three short posts is visually less intimidating.

    2. It helps me to skim as many posts as I can to see if anyone before me has mentioned my particular theory. It is fairly easy to pick out names and quickly scan the content of those posts.

    3. If at all possible, get on the blog early and check back often. That way you may only have 10 or 20 posts to read instead of jumping in on Tuesday night and seeing 160 posts. I know this isn’t possible for all of you, but it does help.

    4. This is alread too long. Bye.

  6. MRPEMSTAR says:

    Could the Numbers that were being entered into the Swan station actually have been a Co-ordinance to keep the island “stable”? 4 8 15 16 23 42. DHARMA found the island and knew it was “moving”, I think the first “silly experiment” that they formulated was how to keep this “floating island” stable. And I think they accomplished this by building “the Swan” station.
    We know of the “electromagnetic properties” of the island, right? (to “bleed off” the extra electromagnetic energy). And we know that the Swan station, in one aspect, was a “test” of a psychological nature (to keep entering the same numbers every 108 minutes) and remain sane.
    But what if the numbers were used by DHARMA to “cement” the island to a “fixed position” in time and space. And those numbers keeping the island in the same place, wouldn’t that explain how people could go “to and from” the island without missing it? And wouldn’t that explain some of the “differences” that we are having about the island moving (or the window moving)?

    It could even be that “the incident” occured because someone entered the wrong numbers and moved the island?

    (Thinking “out of the box again”)

    ~ THE Pemstar Initiative ~

  7. MRPEMSTAR says:

    RE: to my numbers theory.

    The island was “locked” when the failsafe key was used and when the “donkey wheel” was used, the island started moving again. The swan’s purpose was to “fix” the error that happened during “the incident” and release the “built up energy” that had occured from this error.

    This is what we have been lead to believe, this doesn’t fly with me, I personally believe this new theory applies.

    This “built up energy”, I believe is the island trying to move again. (think of it as a electro-magnet that is slowly losing it’s ability to “attract” the opposit polarity) That’s why we saw all the “metal objects” moving to one side of the room, because the machine that DHARMA built was losing it’s “grip” on the island to move itself

    Just thought I would add this (helps my theory).

    ~ THE Pemstar Initiative ~

  8. Camille says:

    A few thoughts after listening to the podcast:

    *i’m still listening, but it occurred to me that maybe LIBBY showed up to Hurley. I think that would spook him and move him even more than Charlie showing up.

    * i am starting to get on board with the pregnant kate theory (though i must say it isn’t always that easy to get preg…), and i think that maybe ben might not actually have been saying “he’s not YOUR son” but rather “he’s not YOUR SON” — which i think means that ben has some insight into the future and knows that this kate/jack baby will be important in some particular way. because after all, a TRUE shepherd baby must be the son of a male shepherd not a female. if this is the case, i feel certain that someone — maybe Ghost Claire — came to Kate and told her to sacrifice Aaron so that she might bring her true child into the world or something. Kate has been living so many lies, there might be a part of her who just wants something that is real and true and hers, and her own baby would be that.

    *something struck me strange when Ben was telling the Doubting Thomas story. when he said the part about going with Jesus so that they might all die together (John 11:16). i think this return will be Ben’s reckoning.

    * i am still stuck on the story of ancient carthage (since charlotte mentioned it before she died, and since numerous people have been noodling around modern day tunisia on the show) and i think that while the former civilization on the island (that of the four toed statue and the temple) have been purged (much in the same way carthage was purged by the vengeful romans), there must be some vestiges of it housed in various spots, waiting and working to exact their vengeance. can’t wait for THAT story to be told, i’d prefer a flashback to a time shift…if that can at all be arranged.

  9. Scott in Chicago says:

    The character Ellie, from Jughead, is a young Eloise.

  10. Cat says:

    Connie – amen – this must be some sort of record for posts and trying to get through them all is daunting ….great stuff from everyone so if we could try to follow Connie’s suggestions, I think we’d have an even better experience!

  11. Mindstage says:

    Did anyone find it strange that Jack and Ben were sitting next to each other for hours on that plane, and Jack never once asked Ben how his face got all scraped up? Maybe he just figured Ben would lie anyway.

    Also, remember when Frank Lapidus was watching the TV report of the discovery of the fake 815, and he called the airline to say he knew it was not the actual plane, because he was supposed to be flying 815? Now he’s flying 316 to take the 6 back? No coincidence I’m sure.

    For those put off by the Christian references, get real. There have been Islamic, Buddhist, Scientology, Tao, and numerous other religious allegories woven throughout the story. All science fiction is ultimately about a leap of faith, and from a writer’s perspective, it only makes sense to build a story line around established lines of faith that are relative and familiar to the audience.

    That said, the choice of the name Christian Shepard is especially telling, as the Christian Shepherd is Jesus.

  12. BeckyD says:

    I always thought that the name “Shepard” was significant, since a shepherd is another word for a leader (usually in a faith context) and Jack became the leader of the Losties on the island.

  13. Tim from Sacramento says:

    Just posting a follow up to someone else’s post about what Ben called Jack in the church. I went back and listened extremely carefully and Ben definitely called him John twice. First when Jack walks in and Ben asks him what Ms. Hawking said to him. Then when he tells Jack that we all believe eventually. He calls him John in both of those instances. Then immediately afterward, while leaving to do the promise for a friend, he calls him Jack. I thought that was forshadowing of something or other.

  14. Wednesday says:

    if you search in google, lyrics “but you had another man”
    to find out what was the song we hear at the end of “316″, you’ll see that there are recent searches for these lyrics listed at the site “”… no success, but I think this is what I hear:
    yeah your kisses / feel so right / but you had another man / call up last night
    Aside from the lyrics, the tune can easily be mistaken for “Love the One You’re With” by Stephen Stills. I wonder, could it be a switch of tune with lyrics, where they can put different lyrics to same sounding rhythm because they couldn’t afford the cost of the original song? I thought it was the Stephen Stills song when I heard it until I researched the lyrics.

  15. Spion Kop says:


    Checked over all the above comments as best I could and you appear to have missed something massively important.

    The first time I watched this episode I was disappointed when it started off with Jack waking on the island, finding Hurley and Kate etc, followed by the church scene, only to jump back to the original waking on the isnald scene later.

    but then I noticed that the second time it was different.

    The first time, when Jack woke Kate she said ‘Are we…’ and Jack said ‘Yeh, we’re back’

    The second time when he woke her she appeared more distressed and said ‘What happened?’

    So I’m thinking they have had to make the journey twice?

  16. PJay says:

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned before, but is Kate really on the island? She looked dead when she appeared on Jack’s bed, and was in the same position in the water. Only Jack talked to her on the plane, and although Hurley saw her, we know that he sees people who have previously died on the island. It is almost like Jack wished her to be there.

  17. Shakespeare says:

    I grew up in California in the 50’s and 60’s

    Meadow Gold was a major dairy at that time in Kern County at least.

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