Not bad, not bad at all. Granted, we grade on a curve for any episode set in the seventies — peasant tops! — but while it was no LaFleur, this serviceable episode shifted our game pieces nicely, provided a few nice reveals, some Dharma culture, and only two bits of disgusting Kate-Sawyer eye contact. (We watched with our hands over our face.)
Only trouble is that there was a strange shallowness to it all — so much love quadrangle, so many fantasy payoffs of people kicking one another's ass. Show, you are so strange and inconsistent, why do we love you? Clearly you are our wonderful, awful Kate.
On the Ajira, the 05ers brood as Pilot Frank tolerates his chatty co-pilot, who dishes about noticing Hurley. But not for long, because scary plane-crash shenanigans commence — aaaaand FLASH. Frank performs a masterful Sully (Mayday! Gear down!), killing his co-pilot. Gossip is bad, people.
On the plane, Caesar wakes Ilanna (who mutters "Jarrah"), and Sun is there too, but the other Losties have vanished. Asked what happened, Ben smirk-goggles, "How would I know?"
Thirty Years Earlier!
Sawyer reunites with the O3, and it feels so good! There's handshaking and disgusting Kate-Sawyer eye contact, but the joybuzz dims when they reveal that Locke is dead, plus there's the whole "You're in 1977, and we're in the Dharma Initiative" revelation. "Uh, what?" says Hurley.
In the Present: The Sun Also Bashes People in the Head
Sun, with weird pink wounds, broods over her wedding ring. Among the crash survivors, Frank takes the Jack leader role, while Caesar plays the Sawyerish maverick; as they bicker, Ben slinks off. When Sun follows, he offers her a boat ride to Lost Island.
Ben and Sun tromp through the jungle, and we wonder if they'll fall in love: Bun? Instead, they bicker, and when Frank shows up, Sun claims she has to trust Ben, despite the fact that Ben's facial expression can only be described as Untrustworthy Weaselmouth. Then, when Ben tries to chatterbox Frank into joining them, Sun CLOCKS Ben unconscious with an oar. Ha. She lied.
1977: Year of the Big Lie and the Love Quadrangle
Info-trading among the reunited: "three years have passed," "yeah, us too" — but as soon as Jin realizes Sun was on the plane, he streaks off like a maniac.
Meanwhile, Juliet worries about Sawyer, especially when he returns in a frenzy to find the perfect sweatshirt; we watch it grimly sink in that Jack, Kate, et al. are back. With her trademarked blankface, Juliet suggests an arriving sub might provide the perfect fake-arrival story.
Jin rushes into the Flame and attacks an angry IT-personality-disorder guy, Radzinsky, shoving the nerd until he agrees to search for Sun's plane.
Meanwhile, Juliet visits postpartum Amy, who languorously naps in a hammock while her baby gurgles nearby. She's going to name him Ethan. SMOTHER THE BABY, JULIET! When Amy nosily asks when
Kate Juliet and Sawyer will breed, Juliet politely says the timing has to be right. Also, Kate will not be her doula.
Sawyer returns with the van, then talks the O3 into the fake-Dharma-recruit submarine story. They agree, even Hurley, who just had a whole episode devoted to how he hates lying.
Radzinsky finds no planes for Jin — but he does spot a hostile inside the perimeter. Jeez, Jin is as manic as a video-game character! He races off with his gun, only to find Sayid. And because he's a Dharmite, Jin has to Other-march Sayid back to the camp as a prisoner.
In the van, the O3 are disguised in goofy seventies duds. Hurley's quite reasonably worried about the upcoming genocide, but Sawyer won't play Nostradamus. As he preps them for Dharma initiation, Jin calls and explains to Sawyer that he's found a "hostile," a.k.a. Sayid.
With Sawyer not there to oversee their BS'ing, the O3 watch recruitment videos. Top Dharmite Pierre Chang (lab-coat guy from the videos) assigns Jack to janitorial work, triggering an entitled smirk on Dr. Science. Jimmy Barrett from Mad Men momentarily threatens Kate, but Juliet saves the day with a faked printout. The two ladies psychically communicate: Kate says thank you, Juliet says stay away from my man, you bitch.
Though Sawyer tries to handle the Sayid issue, Radzinsky is trigger-happy. A baffled Sayid plays along with Sawyer's fake interrogation: "We do not think of ourselves as hostile, but yes, I am one of them." A furious Radzinsky says he'll tell Horace, nyah nyah.
The Present: Dead Dad Strikes Again
Meanwhile, in the future, when Frank and Sun boat over to Lost Island, leaves rustle, branches snap, hints of Smokey. And we realize it's the Dharma processing center. A light goes on. It seems pretty damned haunted, and when a door opens — oh hell, it's Christian! Sun asks for her husband, and Christian tells them to follow him. Noooo!
In the terrifying processing center, Christian goes over the pictures of new recruits year by year — and shows Sun that her buddies are back in 1977. "You've got a long journey ahead of you," he intones. That was actually very helpful of you, undead exposition guy.
1977: Punch and Smackdowns, No Mustard
We watch that Dharma photo taken — plus, hamburgers, punch! — as Sawyer arrives with prisoner Sayid, who wears such an ugly purple shirt he fits perfectly into 1977. Sawyer locks him in a jail cell, gets him fed, succors him with eye contact.
When Jack stops by House of LaFleur, Juliet opens the door, all radiant smiles and secret pain. In Sawliet's peaceful living room, Man of Sanctimony harasses Man of Heat: Sayid is safe, where do we go from here, why are you reading a book? Sayid critiques Jack's leadership style — all reaction, no thinking! Now that Sawyer's in charge, he's gonna do some analyzyzing, ain't that a relief? (Hey, why is Juliet not in charge? She's the one who came up with the sub idea. Anyway.)
There are more horrifying Sawyer-Kate love glances in the dusk. Stop it, people!
A boy brings Sayid a sandwich. We're a little worried because he didn't put mustard on it, and that's totally what Ben would do, and sure enough, owlish boy introduces himself as ... Ben.
So basically, the appropriate plan here is to kill a baby and a ten-year-old. Go to it, heroes!
What We Know Now
• Sun knows Jin's in 1977, but Jin has no idea where Sun is.
• Ethan is the child of Amy and Horace.
• Boy Ben = Harry Potter.
The Wha? Factor
• The co-pilot notices Hurley but fails to notice Famous Murderer Kate, Spokesdude of the 06 Jack, or Smoldering International Hotties Sayid or Sun?
• Why is Sawyer so mad at Jack? I mean, yes, I know, Kate, but wasn't that smackdown a little out of proportion to their past relationship?
• Why didn't Sun flash to 1977? Where is Faraday? And Undead Claire? And ROSE AND BERNARD, you thoughtless fools!