On The Island
At 8:15 a.m., a man whose face can't be seen hits the snooze button on his alarm clock. Next to him, an Asian woman hears a baby making noise from a crib in the other room and tells him that it's his turn to take care of the child. After putting on a record, he gives his baby a heated bottle of milk before showering, shaving, and getting dressed for the day. When the record starts skipping, he turns the player off.
A man walks to one of the other buildings in the Barracks, where a camera crew has set up to record the first take of the second DHARMA Initiative orientation video. He is revealed to be Dr. Pierre Chang. The director offers Pierre a script, but he says he does not need it and indicates he is in a hurry to begin as he puts on a DHARMA Initiative lab coat. As filming begins, Pierre identifies himself as Dr. Marvin Candle and begins to describe Station #2's primary purpose, indicating that it involves protecting the DHARMA Initiative from anyone who lived on the island before they arrived. Suddenly, Pierre is interrupted by a concerned worker (named Eric) barging into the room. Dr. Chang curses and demands an explanation; Eric says that there is a problem at the Orchid.
Eric drives Dr. Chang to the Orchid in a DHARMA Initiative van, and they make their way past the construction workers to the elevator. After descending, Pierre puts on a hard hat and walks out into the subterranean station, which appears to be under construction. A foreman tells him that in the process of tunneling through a certain spot according to Dr. Chang's plans, six carbon drill bits have been melted and a drill operator has been incapacitated. He shows Pierre the seemingly impenetrable rock wall and the drill operator is lying on the ground nearby with a nosebleed. The foreman shows Chang a printout which he says came from SONAR-imaging of the wall that reveals the outline of the frozen wheel in an open chamber 20 meters behind the wall.
As the foreman begins to outline his plan to blow through the rock and expose the inner chamber, Dr. Chang emphatically forbids the foreman to set explosives in the area for any reason whatsoever, because he believes there is an incredible amount of power on the other side that will allow them to manipulate time. When the foreman asks incredulously if they will be able to travel to the past and assassinate Hitler, Pierre tells him not to be absurd, saying that there are laws which cannot be broken even if one has the ability to manipulate time. Dr. Chang orders the foreman not to drill anymore because doing so might allow the energy to escape, with potentially catastrophic results. As Chang leaves, he bumps into a worker who is looking down and carrying an air-gas tank. The worker apologizes, and when he looks up, he is revealed to be Daniel Faraday, wearing a DHARMA Initiative jumpsuit with the nametag "Joe" on it. As DHARMA Initiative medics in hardhats carry the drill operator away on a stretcher, the foreman remarks to Daniel that Pierre must think they are stupid if he thinks they will believe in the possibility of time travel.
Between 2001 and 2002
Immediately after Ben turns the frozen wheel, a loud noise is heard and a flash lights up the sky above all the survivors who are still on the island. As the light dissipates, Locke realizes that it is suddenly raining, and Richard and the Others, along with their entire campsite, have vanished. Confused and alone, he shouts for anyone in earshot.
On the Zodiac, Neil asks what the light was. Daniel, noting that they can still see the island, says that the raft "must have been inside the radius."
On the beach, Juliet and Sawyer realize that the smoke from the freighter has disappeared. Sawyer tells Juliet that the helicopter was heading for the freighter. Suddenly, Bernard emerges from the jungle, shouting for Rose, who arrives a few seconds later. Sawyer tries to calm them down, suggesting that they head back to the beach camp, but Bernard exclaims that the camp is gone. Indeed, all of the tents are gone, along with the kitchen and all of their crucial supplies. Just then, Daniel arrives with the other survivors from the Zodiac, insisting that the camp is not gone. Charlotte embraces him in relief at his safe return, but Sawyer interrupts their reunion and demands to know who Daniel is. After Miles tells Sawyer that Dan is their physicist, Dan asks Juliet to quickly take him to something man-made on the Island. Juliet tells him that there is a DHARMA station - albeit one that imploded - 15 minutes from the camp. Daniel is prepared to leave immediately, before the flash of light has a chance to happen again. When Sawyer prods him about his statement about the camp, he replies "Your camp isn't gone. It hasn't been built yet".
As Sawyer, Juliet, Daniel, Charlotte and Miles head toward the Swan, Faraday asks them to move faster. Sawyer demands that Faraday explain what is happening. Faraday says that it would be too hard to explain to a quantum physicist, much less Sawyer, and again insists that they keep moving. However, after Sawyer loses his temper and slaps Dan, he tells them to imagine the Island as a record that is skipping. The Island is now "dislodged" in time, and either the Island or the survivors are now moving through time. Sounding concerned, he asks if the survivors' group is all accounted for. Sawyer says no, realizing that Locke is unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, while climbing a hill, Locke narrowly misses being struck by a damaged, low-flying plane, which then crashes in the jungle. Finding a Virgin Mary statue that had fallen from the plane, he realizes that the plane is the Beechcraft that he and Boone found in the jungle. (It had been perched on a cliff for years when they discovered it in 2004). Locke arrives at the crash site and tries to climb up the cliff to the plane, shouting for survivors, but he is cut short by gunfire from the jungle below. One of the bullets hits him in the leg, and he falls to the ground, stunned. The shooter runs out of the jungle and reveals himself to be Ethan. Assuming that Locke was on the plane, he demands to know how many others were onboard. Locke tries to explain who he is, stating that he wasn't on the plane, and that he knows who Ethan is. Locke tells Ethan he was appointed by Ben as the leader of the Others, but Ethan says that this is ridiculous, and prepares to shoot him. Then - just in time to rescue Locke - the white light appears again (though Ethan does not appear to notice it) and the day suddenly turns to night.
January 2005 or later
Locke sees that the Beechcraft is now decaying on the ground, where it fell when Boone climbed inside. Elsewhere, the group arrives at the Swan, which is still a crater in the ground, prompting them to conclude that Flight 815 has already crashed. Sawyer argues that they could change the past by stopping Jack and the others from launching the helicopter (which they believe crashed in the ocean). Faraday, however, is adamant that the past is like a street - one can move back and forth along it, but one cannot create a new street.
Meanwhile, Locke sees a moving light in the darkness, which turns out to be Richard walking out of the jungle, holding a torch and a first aid kit. Richard removes the bullet from Locke's leg, explaining that he, Locke, told him where to find him - or rather will tell him. Richard gives him a compass that he must give back to Richard the next time he sees him; Richard says he won't recognize him then. He also tells John that the only way to save the Island is to get those who left to come back; and in order to do that, he will have to die.
Between 2001 and 2002
Another flash occurs and the hiking group realizes that the crater has disappeared. Juliet uncovers the hatch in the ground, now intact as Locke and Boone originally discovered it. The group quickly moves to the rear entrance and Sawyer repeatedly knocks on the door, but nobody responds. Faraday reiterates that Sawyer won't be able to meet Desmond because Desmond didn't remember meeting him in the past. After everyone else leaves for the beach, however, Faraday goes to his knapsack and retrieves his notebook. After paging through it while mumbling to himself, he goes and knocks on the Swan door himself, and Desmond opens the door momentarily, armed and wearing a HAZMAT suit. Faraday tells Desmond that he is uniquely special, and that only he can help them because "the rules" don't apply to him. Daniel instructs a confused Desmond to seek out his mother in Oxford if he escapes the Island. As he is about to say his mother's name, another flash occurs, once more causing a timeshift.
Inside the Hoffs/Drawlar Funeral Parlor where "Jeremy Bentham"'s funeral was held, Ben asks Jack to close Locke's casket so that they can put it in the van out back. When Jack inquires as to where they are going to take John, Ben tells him that before they take him anywhere, they must pick up Hurley. Jack informs Ben that Hurley is in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute and Ben thinks that will make him the easiest of the remaining Oceanic Six to recruit. When Ben refers to them as Jack's "friends", Jack replies that they're not his friends. He wonders aloud how all this happened, and Ben responds coldly, "It happened because you left, Jack."
Later, Jack shaves his beard off in a hotel room, and Ben lays out a suit for him to wear. Ben tells Jack that once they get Hugo they will then find Sun, Sayid, and Kate, but Jack doubts they will be able to recruit them all. Ben then reveals to Jack that he has not seen Locke since when just before he moved the Island in 2004. Jack tells Ben that John told him that everyone that they left behind on the island would die unless he returned to the island. Ben asks Jack if Locke told him what happened to those they left behind after the Island moved. When Jack says Locke did not tell him Ben remarks that they will never know what happened to them then.
In Los Angeles, Kate is at home, watching cartoons with Aaron, when she is visited by Dan Norton, an attorney working for an unknown client. Norton claims to have a court order to conduct a blood test to determine if Aaron is actually Kate's child. Kate refuses to allow the test and tells Norton to leave, which he does, saying that he will be back with a sheriff. Kate frantically packs a bag, grabbing an envelope of cash and a gun (which were hidden in her room). She tells Aaron that they are going "on vacation" before picking him up and leaving.
At Heathrow Airport in London, Sun attempts to fly to Los Angeles via Oceanic Airlines, but finds herself locked in a room by airport security. Charles Widmore reveals himself as her captor, saying that he is angry that she had the "audacity" to approach him the way she did in London, in broad daylight in front of his work associates, but he still wishes to talk about their "common interests." When asked what exactly those interests are, Sun replies, "To kill Benjamin Linus."
In their hotel room, Ben and Jack see a television news report about Hurley's escape from Santa Rosa after apparently murdering a man. Ben realizes that their plan to reunite the Oceanic Six has just become more complicated.
Meanwhile, Hurley and Sayid stop at a fast food restaurant before going to the safe house, which is in an apartment building. While walking toward the room, Hurley asks Sayid about the man Sayid killed (who Hurley is now accused of murdering). Sayid doesn't know who the man was, but said that he was armed and that he'd been watching Hurley for some reason, which made him "an enemy", especially after what happened to Locke. When Hurley comments on Sayid's paranoia, Sayid reveals that he has been working for Ben Linus and cautions Hurley that, if Linus ever tells him to do anything, he should do the exact opposite. Sayid notices that a piece of tape that he'd placed on the door to the room has been broken, indicating that someone has entered the safe house. One man attacks Sayid at the door, and Sayid quickly kills him by throwing him over the balcony. Another man attacks him inside, and after a lengthy fight, Sayid kills him too, but not before he is shot with an anesthetizing dart, which renders him unconscious a moment later. A passerby notices the dead body of the first man, and takes a picture of Hurley with a gun in his hand and covered in what appears to be blood (it is actually ketchup). Hurley runs inside, rescues Sayid, and the two escape.
Finally, on a sailing boat with Penny in an unknown location, Desmond wakes up, remembering what Faraday told him. While Penny brushes off the experience as a bad dream, Desmond insists that it was a real memory. He sets off for Oxford to find Daniel's mother.