Hurley struggles with keeping the Oceanic 6’s secret, while Ben’s attempts to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island hit a snag. On the island, the time-jumping survivors come under attack.

Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashback

The Oceanic 6, onboard Penny’s boat shortly after their rescue, debate whether or not to lie to the rest of the world about their experiences on the island. Hurley doesn’t want to do it, and after he looks to Sayid for support and Sayid refuses, Hurley promises that one day when Sayid needed his help, Hurley won’t help him.

On the Island

Rose and Bernard bicker about the best way to light a fire, while a survivor named Neil (aka “Frogurt”) laments the pointlessness of it all because they have no supplies and nothing to cook anyway. Juliet observes that whatever they had with them when the first flash occurred — like Daniel’s raft — appears to be along for the ride. She and Sawyer want to take the raft out to sea and try to escape. But Daniel stops them, explaining that they will need a specific heading to escape from the island — which is not the same bearing others like Michael have used to escape, thanks to the time jumping — and that he’ll need to find that bearing by calculating where they currently are in time.

Later, Charlotte tells Daniel about having headaches and a strange memory loss she’s experiencing, and Dan insinuates that he knows what’s causing it, but he doesn’t want to tell her. Miles enters the camp carrying a dead animal for food, which he claims he found in the jungle, having already been dead for three hours. Neil Frogurt freaks out about the group’s inability to light a fire, and is skewered by a flaming arrow. When a dozen or so similar fire arrows light up the night sky, Sawyer tells everyone to head for the creak in the jungle for shelter.

He and Juliet get sidetracked when Sawyer impales his foot on something and then a group of soldiers walk by. They try to hide, but are soon caught, and the no-holds-barred soldiers, led by a man whose jumpsuit reads “Jones,” demands they tell him what the two of them are doing on “our island.” The two of them are saved, however, by Locke, who emerges from the jungle for the first time since his conversation with Richard Alpert at the beechcraft.

Off the Island

Hurley frantically drives Sayid’s car, with Sayid still unconscious in the passenger seat. Hurley is panicking, unsure of what to do when a policeman pulls him over. The policeman turns out to be a very dead Ana-Lucia, who gives Hurley advice on pulling himself together and what to do next. “Do not get arrested,” she warns him, before adding, “Libby says hi.”

Later, Hurley visits a convenience store to buy a change of clothes. As he drives away, Kate pulls in and stops. Her phone rings, and it’s Sun, saying she’s in town and would like to meet with her.

Ben retrieves a hidden box and keeps it out of Jack’s view at the hotel, while Jack goes on a search for his pills. Ben explains that he flushed the pills down the toilet. He tells Jack to head home and pack anything that he wants to take with him back to the island, because he won’t ever be leaving it again. When Ben tells Jack of his intentions to take Locke’s body someplace for safekeeping, Jack questions this move, wondering why a dead body needs to be kept safe.

Hurley’s dad is interrupted from watching an episode of Expose (the cheesy TV show Nikki once guest starred on) by his on-the-lam son, who’s carrying Sayid. The LAPD soon arrive at the house, but Hurley convinces his father to tell them he’s not there.

Ben visits a female butcher named Jill who knows all about who he is, his plans of returning the Oceanic 6 to the island, and whatever is going on with Locke. He passes off Locke’s body to her, and she promises that he’ll be safe under her watch. The two of them mention a few others (or is that Others?) who are involved in their efforts, Gabriel and Jeffery, which tells us that whatever Ben is really up to, he’s not working alone.

Hurley realizes the cops haven’t left the house; they’re staking out the place out front. His dad wants to know what’s really going on with these people that Sayid has killed, and he knows that Hurley is lying about something big. Hurley explains that he’s not paranoid or insane, and that he has a really good reason for lying. They’re interrupted by the arrival of Hurley’s mom, and Hurley convinces his father to take Sayid to help.

I need to interject here how much I love Hurley’s mom, Carmen Reyes. She’s strong, she’s a kindhearted mother, and almost every time she speaks, I laugh out loud at her priceless delivery.

Kate meets with Sun, and Kate reveals to Sun about the two lawyers who came to see her. Sun says that there was no reason for them to threaten her privately if all they wanted was to expose the lie. These lawyers already know the truth, so what they really want… is Aaron. She advises Kate to “take care of them,” if she wants to keep Aaron safe. Kate is appalled at the notion, but Sun says she knows Kate is someone willing to “make hard decisions when she has to,” just like the decision she made to leave the freighter before she could find Jin. She reveals that she doesn’t blame Kate for losing Jin on the freighter.

Hurley’s dad meets with Jack, and delivers Sayid to him. He warns Jack to stay away from Hurley, that Jack is responsible for talking Hurley into something that’s creating all this trouble. Jack takes Sayid to the hospital, and on the way there, calls Ben to tell him Sayid just showed up at his door. That’s one less person the two of them have to track down.

Back at home, Hurley finally can take no more, and breaks down, telling his mom everything that happened on the island. It sounds ridiculous, of course, as he blurts it all out at once, but she surprises him by believing every word. He tells her he thinks all the bad stuff happening to the Oceanic 6 is happening because they lied.

At the hospital, Jack fixes Sayid up, and after he regains consciousness, Sayid explains that Hurley is in grave danger. He asks Jack who else knows Hurley’s there…

Ben shows up inside Hurley’s house, and tries to convince him to come with him. Ben reveals that he too wants to go back to the island, and does his best to smooth-talk Hurley into joining him. But Hurley doesn’t believe him, and runs out of the house, into the waiting arms of the police, who promptly arrest him. Hurley believes he’s won, by outsmarting Ben and putting himself somewhere where Ben can’t reach him.

But Hurley could be wrong. The episode ends with a hooded mystery figure in a room filled with strange technology, who’s taking some kind of scientific readings that appear to reveal the current location of the island. She types calculations into a very old computer, and a message is displayed: “Event Window Determined.” Satisfied with what she’s found, our mystery woman ascends a flight of stairs into a church. There, Ben waits to see her. She pulls back her cloak and it’s Ms. Hawking, the time-travel-savvy woman Desmond met back in Season Three’s “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” She tells Ben that he has only seventy hours to reunite the Oceanic 6 and get them back to the island. And if he can’t do it in that short amount of time?

“Then God help us all,” she replies, matching word-for-word Pierre Chang’s reply in “Because You Left,” when he was questioned about what would happen if the limitless energy beneath the Orchid station were ever unleashed.

  • What’s in the box Ben hid from Jack?
  • Why is the safety of Locke’s body so important to Ben’s plan to get everyone back to the island?
  • Who is Jill the butcher, and the other people on Ben’s “team”? Are they Others, living off the island?
  • Who are the people in the Army uniforms that are trying to kill the survivors on the island?
  • Who is the young man labeled “Jones”?
  • How does Ben know Ms. Hawking?
  • What is Ms. Hawking doing in a church in Los Angeles?
  • What kind of facility was in the church’s basement?
  • How does Ms. Hawking know that Ben has only seventy hours to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island?
  • Why is there only a seventy hour window for getting the Oceanic 6 back to the island? What happens if they wait too long and don’t get back?

How long will it be before the island survivors get wise to the fact that Miles can communicate with the dead? And now, apparently, he can communicate with not only dead people but dead animals as well? (I’d wager he merely got a “sense” of how long the animal had been dead, instead of conversing with it directly.)

Who are these out-of-nowhere soldiers that are attacking the survivors on the island? One answer could be the Dharma Initiative, but the uniforms these guys wear do not match Dharma’s uniform design. Another option could be the hostiles, but they’re supposedly indigenous to the island, so why would they be wearing military clothing? The most likely explanation is some kind of third party, but depending on where the survivors are in time, it could be just about anyone.

Hurley followed Sayid’s advice from “Because You Left” by doing the exact opposite of what Ben wanted him to do. But Hurley did not heed Ana-Lucia’s advice about not getting arrested. Will there be consequences to his not listening to her?

What’s in Ben’s mystery box that he hid from Jack? We were given no clues on this one, so… any wild theories?

Jack’s willingness to so blindly trust Ben out of his desperation to get back to the island will probably come back to haunt him, don’t you think?

Ben’s maneuverings with looking after the well being of Locke’s supposedly-dead body only further solidify my beliefs that Locke’s death is a big fake-out.

But Ben’s friend Jill the Butcher and the others working with the two of them…? Ben’s clearly not working alone, but he’s no longer the leader of the Others, so who are these people? Are they Others who have also left the island and want to get back, just like him? Are they random people who share a common enemy in Charles Widmore? Or what?

Before he moved the island, Ben told Locke that he would never be able to return there. Such is the price of being the one to turn the wheel. But three years later, we find Ben trying to do exactly that: return to the island. So was he lying to Locke? Or is he trying to cheat fate, by hitching a ride with the destined-to-return Oceanic 6? My money’s on the latter. Doesn’t mean he won’t succeed, though personally I hope he doesn’t, at least for a while. Ben’s always been a compelling character, but he’s become even more interesting while off the island.

Ms. Hawking’s long-awaited return is undoubtedly the most pivotal moment of this episode, and just the fact that she knows Ben and he knows her is very telling. It can only mean she is associated with, or at the very least has dealings with, the Others. Nothing more is revealed about who she is or her connection to the island, but as before, she proves to know a lot more about what’s going on that anyone else — even Ben — and just like when Desmond met her in the past, she knows what steps must be taken next to fix the situation. I still think she could be Daniel’s mother, but her role in all this is even juicier now, because Ben defers to her. It even seems he’s doing what he’s doing under her very specific instructions. If she’s above Ben in the food chain, then there can be no doubt that whoever she is, she’s a major player, possibly even second only to Jacob in importance.

It seems a reasonable assumption that the seventy hour window she gives Ben is a reference to how long the island will remain where it currently is, in the present. What isn’t known is what she meant by “then God help us all,” if Ben fails to get them back in time. What’s at stake here, exactly? The island, for sure. Richard Alpert already told Locke that the only way to “save the island,” which we can assume means “stop the island from time jumping,” is to get the Oceanic 6 back. (Why that will stop the time jumping remains to be seen.) But why would losing the island be so catastrophic? What makes it so crucial to the outside world? Would the whole world be harmed somehow if the island is not saved?