Season 5 Episode 9


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 18, 2009 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (33)

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out of 10
885 votes
  • We've finally back on the island, though some people have skipped around.

    Technically, this episode is the first one in a while to not be focused on any one character. Technically, it centers more on Sawyer and Jack, who after three years apart, have now fallen into very different roles. But before we get there, we might as well see what really happened to Ajira 316 right after that big flash of light.

    We get a cockpit view of what happened --- after the flash, all the power in the engines went dead, and the plane went into a drop. Despite all that, Lapidus and the forever unnamed copilot managed to do a hell of a better job landing this plane than the Oceanic crew.(Admittedly, it would have been hard to do worse considering that flight was ripped in half, but details, details...) They are helped immensely by the surprise appearance of a runway. (Those of us with long memories will remember that Juliet said the Others had kidnapped Sawyer and Kate to clear rocks for what appeared to be a runway, though if they thought a plane was going to be landing on the island, it's unclear who gave the order or who finished the work.) Frank manages to get the plane on the ground in one piece, with only one immediate casualty--- his co-pilot, who is impaled by a tree. Everyone is in a daze, especially the only member of the Oceanic 6 still on the plane--- Sun. When she turns to Ben to ask where the others are, he just says: "How would I know?" As it turns out, there's a very good reason he'd know, but we'll get to that in a minute.

    Frank tries to reassure the passengers that they're going to be okay, but refuses to let on that he knows where they are. Caesar, however, jumps the gun and breaks up by revealing the existence of bear cages and scientific equipment. Sun, in the meantime, follows Ben, who once again seems to know what he's doing --- after all, just a few minutes after landing, he no longer needs the sling he was wearing. Frank tries to warn Sun how dangerous Ben is (which would appear to be a waste of air), but she has no intention of following him any longer than she needs to --- a minute after arriving on a dock, she smashes him up the side of his head with an oar. When they make it to 'New Otherton', the place still seems a wreck from the mess that Smokey laid down when Kearny and his boys made their first attempt to get Ben. There, they run into another blast from the past --- Christian, who takes them into the Dharma building, and a photograph of new arrivals. It is here that Sun sees that the other members of the Oceanic 6 are in 1977.

    Back in 1977 (where we're going to be for the rest of this season) Jack, Kate and Hurley have just arrived, with no more idea how they got there. Considering how long Sawyer has been waiting for the Oceanic 6 to show up, it's amazing he isn't more delighted to see them. Instead, he seems to be more interested in protecting the lie that he's been holding on to for the last three years, and that his friends don't blow it for them. What he doesn't know is that he's already made a mess in his own house. He didn't tell Juliet what had happened, so she went about her duties like everyone else, checking in on Amy's son--- who they've decided to name Ethan. (Now I have to digress, cause this a hole in the plot. If this is the same Ethan that would eventually migrate to the Others, he was 27 when we encountered him first, and there's no way that William Mapother could pull that off--- he was 40 when filming started. Also, how come his last name wasn't Goodspeed? He probably was lying to the Oceanic group, but it's not like they would've been able to know the difference) Juliet then hears from Miles what happened before. She seems upset that James left without telling her the truth rather than just the fact that these people have suddenly returned. This is a critical moment for her, though James doesn't see it.

    Improvising on short notice, James manages to arrange for Kate, Hurley, and Jack to become arrivals on the most recent sub. He puts Jack as a custodian (pretty hysterical, and malicious on his part), Kate in the motor pool with Juliet, and Hurley in the kitchen. But he has a much bigger problem than that--- because Jin is present to the appearance of what seems to be a hostile in Dharma territory. In actuality, it's a just as baffled Sayid, who before he can register seeing Jin (who he really thought was dead) before he is identified as such by James, who takes him into the barracks. (By the way, the man who's notices this is Radzinsky. For those playing the home game, we heard about Radzinsky indirectly from Kelvin Inman in the Season 2 finale. He was the man who built the Swan station {and he's working on a model of it when we first see him in the flesh}, removed the footage from the filmstrip, and designed the blast door map. He survived the Purge by all counts, though from what we learned, not for much longer.) He takes Sayid prisoner in order to keep him safe, but given how Dharma regards the Hostiles, Sayid may be living on borrowed time.

    Right now, Sawyer has arranged things so that he is more of a leader than Jack. This is a position that Jack held more or less continuously all the time he was on the island. Though he was challenged by Sayid, Locke and Kate by occasion, the huddled masses seem to regard him as the sane solution for staying alive. Which is remarkable, considering his track record, and the fact that on almost every critical juncture on the island, he was wrong. Pushing the button is a meaningless exercise? Wrong. I can trust the Others to get off the island? Wrong. The people on the freighter are trustworthy? Very wrong. Leaving the island at all? Wrong As Sawyer points out, a lot of his decisions were based on reacting, not thinking, and that kind of thought led to the deaths of almost every survivor. You've got to think that Jack would've been willing to surrender to one of these challenges, especially because he never really wanted to lead in the first place. Yet he stubbornly refused to let go, even when it came back to bringing everybody back to the island. And now that he's finally there, he finally seems willing to yield to someone else's leadership.

    From day 1, Sawyer never agreed to follow Jack--- he just sat around, reading his books, making his own plans. He challenged the authority of Jack a couple of time, but never seemed set on any one plan. Now, after three years of working his way up in the Dharma Initiative, LaFleur has become a leader. The people in security look up to him. He has a respect and code that he never needed when he was just 'Sawyer'. He's been asked to lead. However, he's gotten so used to power and routine, then when the people from what he might consider his old life appear, his first reaction is to keep his old life safe. He also seems to have come around to Daniel's way of thinking that you can't change the future from the past. (Which begs the question, where is Dan?) When Hurley brings up the purge, he says quite plainly that he's not here to play Nostradamus, which would seem pretty short-sighted on his part. But now that Sawyer has become the sheriff, Jack seems more than willing to let follow. (And for the record, after this, he seems far more relaxed then we've seen him all season.)

    But there's one wild card in this, the only person who's around in both timelines ---- the young Ben Linus The revelation at the end isn't really much of one (after all, we saw in 'The Man Behind the Curtain that Ben has been part of Dharma since 1973) but it does bring up a critical point, one that Sawyer seems to have overlooked. Ben is part of the makeup of the island, and he has a critical role to play in that island's history. Sawyer might have been willing to go by the idea of 'whatever happened, happened', but considering what he was put through by Ben as an adult, will Sayid? 'Namaste' has finally managed to get us where we needed to be--- the Oceanic 6, minus Aaron are back on the island, albeit not all in the same time. (It's still not clear why Sun couldn't have made the trip to 1977 with the Others; my guess, the writers are sadists who wanted to make us wait more than we had to) There are established relationships and bonds which have formed and some which have broken, but could be reformed with not much effort. The island seemed to bring them wherever they went for a reason. Now the question is, why are they dealing with Dharma now?
    My score:9