First, there are at least three instances where Benry flat out lies in this episode, and I think that the episode makes a point about this, leading me to believe the show is saying that we can't really trust anything that Benry has said up to this point. (The lies if you didn't catch them yourself are 1. that he didn't know about the Lamp Post Station, we saw him there in the episode The Lie, hmmmm 2. that his mother had taught him to read, remember she died when he was born and 3. that he didn't know Locke committed suicide, in the preview for next weeks episode we see Benry there when Locke is about to hang himself.) Just something that I noticed in the episode, I think it is important to remember that the show has continually told us we can't trust Benry.
Second, let's talk about the title 316. Clearly this is a nod to the
The Island gave it's chosen one Locke so that the others could return. Meanwhile, Locke is using himself as a proxy for Christian, so there shouldn't be any doubt that Locke like Dr. Jack's father before him will be up and moving around again on the Island. Often referred to as resurrected. Also, I loved the direct Christian symbolism in this episode as we heard the story of the Apostle Thomas, most commonly referred to as Doubting Thomas. Benry relates the story that Thomas is most famous for, but he also relates the story found in John 11:16. The disciples are resisting Jesus' decision to return to Judea because of the danger to Jesus there, but Jesus will not be swayed. While most of the disciples are scared to go there and resist because of that fear, Thomas bravely says, "Let us also go, that we might die with him." After Jesus' death and resurrection, Thomas is believed to be the apostle that took the gospel the furthest, preaching well outside the Roman Empire, going to Persia, India, and China to spread the gospel. In a way, Dr. Jack has come to believe in the Island and has preached "We Have To Go Back" to the others after doubting John for so long.
Third, yet another Narnia reference from LOST, tonight, we see a Dharma station (ostensibly the first) called The Lamp Post. It is the station that led Dharma and our LOSTies to the Island. In Narnia, the Lamp Post is among the first things Lucy encounters when she first travels into Narnia in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It is also the way that the Pensieves find their way back into the real world after being in Narnia, it leads them back to the Wardrobe. In the books, I think of the Lamp Post as a way back to the world you are supposed to be in as opposed to the fantasy world (Narnia) you were just visiting. If you take it the same way here, then the Island is the real world now for our characters (despite the Island being Narnia in relation to Charlotte's story in the last episode). I suppose it differs based on who the character is and where they are supposed to be. Clearly since she died, maybe Charlotte Staples Lewis never should have returned to the Island.
Fourth, while we are unsure at this point whether Benry, Sun, and Sayid have returned to the Island, it is clear that Aaron and Desmond (and Walt, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!!!!!!!!!!!!, for that matter) have not yet. I have no doubt that at some point they will be returned as well. Desmond was told by Ms. Hawking that (yet again) the Island is not finished with him. I'm sure that he'll find his way back there and most likely against his will. Aaron's importance is even more clear to me now that we've met yet another member of the Shephard clan. I'm not sure why, but I have no doubt that the Shephard family is very closely entwined with the Island and would not be at all surprised if Dr. Jack's granddad will be showing up on the Island as a young man in Dharma time.
Fifth, speaking of people who are new but had some prominence in the episode, the man that gave Dr. Jack his condolences on the loss of his friend and the guy that Hurley told "Seriously, buckle up, dude" too is going to be important. That was too much screen time for someone we don't know for him not to have a role of some importance. At first I thought he was the terrorist that Sayid was with when he was undercover for the FBI, but after pulling out that episode I realized that it was not (and that guy died). There is going to be more of him, though, I don't doubt that at all.
Sixth, did the others on the plane not get to the Island, mainly Sayid, Sun, and Benry (as well as random dude, agent that appeared to have Sayid in custody, and Frank)? As for how Dr. Jack, Hugo, and Kate got on the Island, it didn't appear to be a plane crash, but much more like the time shifts that those left behind have been experiencing and that apparently have left them in Dharma time period long enough for Faraday to be helping build the Orchid and Jin to be tooling around in Hurley's VW van. As for the others on the flight I think that somehow, they got sent to another time. I think the plane did in fact crash, but while a time shift caught Dr. Jack, Hugo, and Kate, the others crashed in present day, 2008. Remember, the ones left behind (Sawyer, Faraday, Juliet, et al) saw an Ajira water bottle when they discovered the camp site and stole the boat. It's even possible that our friends were the ones shooting at them, after all, there was a marshal on board. Everyone else on that flight is on the Island, but in 2008, while the remaining LOSTies plus Dr. Jack, Hurley, and Kate are in the eighties with Dharma. And this way, the show can wait to give us our Sun and Jin reunion, building it up to Desmond/Penny proportions.
Finally, seventh, there were again a lot of visual references to earlier episodes in this one. The opening of course was a direct visual quote to the opening of the series with Dr. Jack's eye opening while laying on his back in the jungle. Benry rushed on the plane late just like Hurley did back in season one. Sayid came onto the plane handcuffed and accompanied by a marshall ala Kate in season one. Just to name a few.
Until Next Time, my love for this show is growing with each episode this season, I truly believe that this season is the best the show has had so far. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on what happened to the others on that plane.