This is the third season premiere to open with the playing of a record, and introducing/developing characters and a location/theme central to that season. In Season 2, we see Desmond introduced and what is inside the hatch (ie. the Swan station). In Season 3, we see Juliet and are introduced to the Others' island community. In this opening episode we see Dr. Marvin Candle and the consequences of attempting to drill into the location of the frozen donkey wheel. The skipping record fits nicely with the theme of this episode.