Namaste, gentle readers. Our two week break of Lost is over, and episode 9 of Season 5 was largely a softball for dedicatees of the show, as it was primarily focused on tidying up some loose strings in the narrative of the season before we make our way into the home stretch. Much of the drive in Namaste was focused on getting Jack, Kate, and Hugo in like Flynn with the Dharma Initiative as well as playing up Sawyer’s considerably more developed character and all that comes with that.
One of the real surprises was to find that Sun did not land in the same time era as the others who have returned to the island. This is a little awkward as we have no explanation as to why the same rules didn’t apply to Sun as the other living Oceanic survivors on 316, but it is likely to be a little device to postpone the reunification of Jin and Sun. Another surprising development is what dupes the Dharma Initiative turned out to be with “LaFleur” slipping in new recruits with the very basic fraud. It’s worth keeping in mind when we are speculating on big conspiracies underlying the Lost story: the only ones who are pulling the strings are the ones who are telling us the story.
We need to touch upon the gripping crashing landing in which Frank Lapidus miraculously finds a make shift gravel air strip on the second island that Flight 316 land on. This was the same air strip that Kate and Sawyer had worked on as part of their forced prison labor in Season 3. Due to the fact that the Dharma Initiative and The Hostiles/Others all use different means of getting to and from the island, the strip raises the bizarre question of whether the strip was built just for Lapidus to land this particular plane. The landing strip itself bore a striking resemblance to the cargo cult landing strips of the Pacific Islands built in the post-World War II era. It’s almost as if that Season 3 plot side line was a cargo cult symbol designed with the intent that, if we build this landing strip in the middle of island, someday a miraculous storyline will come to land that will tie this sordid plot together. Praise be John Frum. For those who are utterly mystified as to what I’m talking about, there’s a couple of cargo cult links at the bottom of this article.
A couple of little pieces that were easy to miss. The federal marshal who was escorting Sayid on the Flight 316 calls out for “Sarah” as she is being roused to consciousness. The only Sarah that I am aware of on Lost is Sarah Sheppard, Jack’s ex-wife. No doubt we will be learning more about this character down the road as it is revealed why the Sheppard bloodline is so integral to the overarching story. We’ve yet to bump into soft spoken physicist Daniel Faraday lately, and we’ll have to see what Sawyer meant by him not being around no more by the end of the season. Also, if the off putting Dharma member sporting the unibrow looks eerily familiar, he’s a character actor that is best recognized as the mental patient of the diner in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.
The biggest question left over from this episode for me is this: where the hell is John Locke? Did he skip town once he caught site of Ben, or did I just miss a step? As typical for Locke’s story line, he’s likely out there lone wolfing it on something, and hopefully we’ll get up to speed on his deal next week.
This episode was also pretty light on comedic relief outside of the nervous laughter that comes Sun knocking Ben over the head with an oar a la Gilligan’s Island was pretty good; someone’s going to have to sift through the six seasons when it is all said and done and count up just how many times that Ben took a blow to the head over the course of the series. The whole little living room showdown between Jack and Sawyer had enough turning of the worm to make it a nice little break. But the coup de grace had to be the framed snapshot that Christian shows Sun and Lapidus of the graduating Dharma recruits, Class of 1977. I wasn’t able to parse the legalese to get rights to post the picture on here, so I put a link to the pic at the bottom of the article. They all look like a bunch of summer camp dorks, but the eager beaver camp counselor Jin easily takes the cake.
Anyway, this has turned into a pretty fun season of Lost to watch. Since it looks like we’re stuck the Dharma era for the time being, you might check out my article on the individual Dharma Stations to keep track as the characters bounce from one spot to another, link provided below:
LOST SUMMER CAMP (circa 1977):
CARGO CULT GOODNESS: