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February 9, 2009 |

By Daniel Carlson | Lost Recaps | February 9, 2009 |

“The Little Prince,” the fourth episode of Season Five of “Lost,” is notable for the way it continues to bring the disparate characters and storylines closer together in an increasingly dense timeline, and while it may not be as thoroughly engaging as the previous episode — which focused solely on the time-jumping survivors — it’s still a solid installment in one of the best sci-fi shows on the air. The episode was written by Brian K. Vaughan, of unstoppably great comics including Y: The Last Man and Runaways and episodes including “The Shape of Things to Come,” and Melinda Hsu Taylor, and it was directed by Stephen Williams, who’s been helming episodes since the first season.

The episode opens aboard the Searcher, not long after Penny rescued the Oceanic Six. Jack is staring out at the moonlit water, doing his best to look intentionally wistful, when Kate comes around the corner holding baby Aaron. Jack can’t sleep, and Kate agrees that it’s going to take more than a couple nights away from the island to get used to sleeping in a real bed again. Kate asks Jack if he knew Claire was planning to give Aaron up for adoption in L.A., and when Jack confesses that he didn’t, Kate moves right ahead with the speech she’s been planning. “I think we should say he’s mine,” she says, then goes on to outline how the Six can say Kate was six months pregnant when the crash happened, and she gave birth on Hell Island, and etc., etc. The only problem with this part of the scene is that we already know they decided to do this; we have known this since last season. It’s not that the scene is pointless or isn’t going to try to mine some emotional truth from the characters — Jack and Kate are a moment away from pledging their undying support for each other, which will be this episode’s Blatant Foreshadowing — but it’s just like “Lost” to want to really really make sure we know about the secret plan to say the baby was Kate’s. Kate says she can’t lose the baby, not after all the people they’ve already lost, like Sawyer. Jack reassures her that Sawyer’s still alive, and Kate responds, “But he’s gone.” (This is Blatant Foreshadowing #2). As Kate leaves, Jack stops her and tells her the only way to protect those left behind is to present a unanimous front to the public, and that starts with convincing the rest of the Six the next day. “If it’s just me,” Jack says, “they’re never gonna go for it. So I’m gonna turn to you first. Are you with me?” Kate, passionate and even defiant, walks up to him and says, “I have always been with you.” Jack is taken back by her directness, and is probably also wondering if “always” includes the time she banged Sawyer in the bear cage. Before he can say anything else, she walks away.

Three years later, in the present, Kate is getting all dolled up, Live Links style, in a borrowed suit in Sun’s penthouse. “Are you sure you want to do this?” Sun asks, and Kate reminds Sun that “it” was her idea in the first place. From the table, Aaron calls out for his mommy, and Kate walks over to tell him that she has to go “do an errand” and will be back soon. Sun tells Kate they’ll be fine since the minibar is stocked with candy and the TV has a hundred channels. (Awesome mothering, Sun.) Kate thanks Sun for her help, and Sun just says, “It’s what any friend would do.” Sun sees Kate to the door, and as she leaves, a creepy doorman walks up with a delivery for Sun. She thanks him and takes the bulky envelope inside to her bedroom, where she opens it to find a file with information from Surveillance Data Investigations. Paging through the folder, Sun finds a report and a few black and white photos of Ben and Jack from just a couple days earlier outside the funeral parlor. Sun then pulls a box of chocolates from the envelope, removing the ribbon to reveal a small tray of treats, which is then itself removed to reveal a pistol. Leaving aside for moment whatever lax security let somebody courier a gun to Sun’s place, she looks way too calmly pleased to see the weapon, which she pulls out and gazes at lovingly. Somebody better get shot tonight.

Back on the island, Miles fills a flask with water at the stream before running back to the clearing where Charlotte is still unconscious after her latest nosebleed. Juliet and Faraday are trying to revive her, but Sawyer just asks, “What the hell’s wrong with her? She’s been out for ten minutes.” Juliet tells him to shut it while asking Faraday if he’d like to come forward with any information that could help Juliet treat Charlotte. Faraday plays dumb, which sends Sawyer into another tirade: “She’s like this ‘cause the sky keeps lighting up. He knew this would happen and didn’t say squat about it.” Juliet is pretty much done with Sawyer losing it, so she looks at him levelly and says, “James, go away.” Sawyer, stung, marches off to stand with Locke, but casts a glance back at Juliet like a 9th-grader who totally found the girl of his dreams in third-period English. Faraday confesses that he thought Charlotte might eventually begin to have whatever problem she’s having, reasoning that her brain’s internal clock is being screwed with by the time flashes, resulting in “really bad jet lag.” Juliet shakes her head and says, “Really bad jet lag doesn’t make you hemorrhage, Daniel.” She asks if Faraday knows why no one else is having problems, and he says he doesn’t know.

Back in the present, Kate is meeting with lawyer Dan Norton at his office. They pointlessly rehash previous episodes in dialogue before Kate tries to strike a deal: She’ll provide blood samples for herself and Aaron if Norton reveals the identity of the client making the maternity claim. Norton says he’s seeing his client later that day and will pass along Kate’s offer, but the answer will probably be no. Kate, honestly surprised that putting on a skirt and saying pretty please didn’t work this time, listens as Norton says, “You’re in no position to be making any kind of deals, and we both know it. I have a signed court order compelling you to let us confirm that you’re the child’s mother. I could send the sheriff over there today and make you do it, but my client insists that we handle the exchange of custody quietly.” Kate starts to panic when Norton mentions an exchange of custody, but Norton isn’t about to get sucked into an argument with a crazy non-mom. Kate says she just wants to know who’s doing this to her, and like an arrogant parent, Norton responds, “You did this to yourself.” He tells her she needs to be prepared because she is “going to lose the boy.” Question: Can anyone out there shed a little legal light on this? Is inventing a parental relationship an act that can get you punished, or is it just a matter of losing the kid?

Out on Hell Island, Sawyer and Locke are still standing around waiting for Charlotte to wake up. Out of nowhere, Locke announces, “We have to go back to the Orchid. That’s where all this started. Maybe it’s where it’ll all stop.” Not a bad plan, but the last time Locke was there, Ben fried the time machine by nuking all the metal, then turned the pirate wheel that made everything get all unstuck in time, so it’s not like the place has been helpful in the past. Sawyer tells Locke the Orchid is a pretty long haul from where they are, but Locke reminds him about the Zodiac raft. “We could take that and cut around the horn of the island, be at the Orchid in half the time.” Locke admits that he doesn’t quite know what to do at the Orchid, but if he can use it the way Ben did to leave the island, then Locke can save everyone who remains by bringing back the people who left. Sawyer tells Locke the boat blew up, and that the chopper was probably on it, so everyone’s gone. Locke tells him that their friends aren’t dead, but when pressed, he doesn’t explain himself. “All that matters,” Locke says, “is they’ve gotta come back. I have to make them come back, even if it kills me. Don’t you want them to come back, James? Don’t you want her to come back?” Way to twist the blade, Locke. Man, does everyone know that Sawyer is in puppy love with Kate? Sawyer shoots Locke a dirty look, but Locke just looks at Sawyer with that “my baby’s all growns up” look like he’s proud of Sawyer for liking a girl. Sawyer does his best to be stoic, saying, “Doesn’t matter what I want.” Miles calls out that Charlotte’s coming around, and as she opens her eyes, she sees Faraday and clearly has no idea who he is or what’s going on. When she asks what’s happening, Faraday says, “It’s me. It’s Daniel.” After a moment, everything clicks into place, and Charlotte remembers who he is. Sitting up, she asks what happened to her, and Faraday explains that she passed out after the last flash. She tells him she’s still a bit dizzy but mostly fine. Miles douchily says, “Hooray, everything’s back to normal. Now what?” Sawyer slings his rifle over his shoulder, casts a glance at Locke, and says, “We’re going to the Orchid.” This is a great turn of events for two reasons. Yes, if they arrive at the Orchid maybe they can learn something or watch more videos about time-traveling bunnies. But it’s also an echo of the kind of mission-oriented storytelling that propelled Season One: The survivors are at point A and need something from point B to help person C. Repeat as necessary. Now they aren’t just trying to survive the time flashes, but they’ve got a tangible (-ish) goal: Reach the Orchid. And just like that, the castaways’ arc gets even more involving. I’m loving the time on the island more than the time spent in the future with the Six.

Back in that future, Jack is still at the hospital, examining an impatient Sayid who’s ready to get going. Jack reminds Sayid that he was unconscious for 42 hours and had the equivalent of three doses of horse tranquilizer in his system. Sayid insists that they have to rescue Hurley from Ben, but Jack says, “Ben is on our side.” What makes Jack more interesting than Sayid (for now) is his ability to redefine “sides” based on context. Instead of seeing good guys vs. bad guys, Jack is simply adjusting what he perceives to the ultimate goal worth pursuing, which is always a more compelling distinction than mere good against evil. Jack is interrupted when Dr. Ariza, the chief of clinical services, opens the door and asks to speak with him. She does not seem pleased. Out in the hall, she demands to know what Jack is doing at the hospital. He apologizes and says it was an emergency, but she reminds him she was suspended for substance abuse, and as such shouldn’t really be hanging around. He tries to “take full responsibility” for what’s happened, but she cuts him off and says the hospital is the one taking responsibility, which makes Jack a liability. Jack’s phone rings, so he pauses the conversation with the pissy administrator and walks away. It’s Hurley calling to see if Sayid made it safely into Jack’s care. Jack reassures him that Sayid is fine, then asks where Hurley is. Hurley reveals he’s in L.A. County lockup, but does not divulge that he’s been made to wear an unflattering jumpsuit. (He looks more like an orange than a little banana.) Hurley hangs up before Jack can get any info about his arrest, and just then, Ben walks in, spots Jack, and asks about Sayid. Back in his room, Sayid is lounging on the bed when a nurse walks in and says it’s time for Sayid’s medication. Since the nurse is a tough-looking guy, and since Sayid is flying under the radar, he’s understandably suspicious, telling the nurse he’s got the wrong room. Sayid plays it cool as the nurse insists that he’s in the right place, turning his back on Sayid to prep the medication. The guy wheels around with a tranq gun and fires two darts that hit the pillow on Sayid’s now-empty bed, and Sayid jumps from his pretty crappy hiding spot beside the bed and starts to strangle the guy with (I assume) a cord from his IV machine. Sayid wrestles the guy to the ground before the thug gives up that there’s an address in his pocket. Sayid spins him loose, grabs the gun, and fires two darts into the man’s chest, and the guy curls up and passed out. Sayid finds the address in the man’s wallet just as Jack and Ben burst in to discover the aftermath of the fight. “Do we know anyone who lives at 42 Panorama Crest?” Sayid asks. Jack takes the piece of paper and nods. “That’s Kate’s address.”

Next thing you know, Jack is taking an elevator down to ground level and calling Kate on his cell. (I guess the administrator who chewed him out was content with giving half a lecture before disappearing.) Kate is sitting in her car, parked somewhere, and looks less than thrilled to be getting Jack’s call. It’s important to remember that she last saw Jack a few days earlier, and he was in full-on Beard Getting It Done mode and cruising on booze and pills, so she’s probably not up for another awkward talk about “us” or the island or anything. Kate tells Jack she’s not at home at the moment, and that Aaron is at a hotel with Sun, and it’s news to Jack that Sun is in California. Kate, meanwhile, keeps looking across the street at an office building, waiting for a certain car to emerge from the parking garage. She tells Jack this isn’t a good time, but he presses on, saying he really needs to see Kate. She rubs her temple, wondering when the guy will get the hint, but she gives in and tells him she’s downtown, at Wilshire and Olive. Jack throws caution and regard for midday traffic to the wind and tells Kate he’s on his way. He hangs up and turns to Sayid and Ben, who have emerged behind him, saying he’s meeting with Kate. Ben says he’ll go for Hurley, but Sayid interjects, “Sorry, Ben. I’m not letting you go anywhere near him.” Sayid’s man-locks are looking considerably less luscious and more disheveled as a result of his near-kidnapping. Ben rolls with it, telling Sayid they need to get his friends to safety before dealing with any “dirty linen.” Sayid takes Ben’s keys and heads to the van. As Jack hops into his truck, Ben tells him to get Kate and head to the Long Beach Marina, slip 23. And just to get dramatic, he adds, “Jack, hurry. We’re running out of time.” After all, Mrs. Hawking only gave him 70 hours to (presumably) get to where the island will appear.

Back on the island, the group is marching quietly through the jungle on their way to the beach and the raft. Sawyer decides this is the moment to completely suck at pretending to be aloof, so he asks Locke what the older man plans to say to Kate to make her want to return to the island. Subtle, Jimmy. Had he asked Locke what he planned to say to convince everyone to return, then at least there would have been a shred of subtext left. Ah well. Locke says he doesn’t know yet what he’ll say to the Six, and Sawyer counters that Kate looked pretty happy to hop on the chopper and “get the hell out of here.” Dude! She wasn’t breaking up with you! She was escaping a deserted island haunted with paranormal tendencies! Seriously, Sawyer, get some perspective and man up. Just then they look up and see a light in the distance, shooting straight up into the sky. “What the hell is that?” Miles asks. Locke, knowing full well what it is but not quite ready to admit it, says he doesn’t know but that they should steer clear of it. As Locke turns to change direction, Sawyer protests that they’ll be taking the “scenic route” to get to the beach. Locke doesn’t respond. Faraday asks if Locke knows when they are, but Locke just says, “We need to keep moving.” He casts a few glances at the beam of light in the distance, but doesn’t comment on it. A few minutes later, everyone’s on the move again, and Faraday asks Charlotte how she feels. She says she’s doing better, and he reminds her that she’ll be able to rest once they take the Zodiac to the other side of the island. Charlotte says he’s sweet but doesn’t need to baby her. “I’m fine,” she says. Faraday’s smart enough to let it go. Walking behind them, Miles wipes his nose and comes away with a smear of blood on his finger. Juliet spots it and asks if he’s okay. “I’m peachy,” he responds. Miles probably gets like a bajillion ladies back home. Just then they all hear a woman screaming somewhere in the jungle, and they all halt and look around. Sawyer unshoulders his rifle and tells them all to stay put, though Locke warns him not to go. Sawyer cocks the weapon and slides off into the jungle in the direction of the cries. He reaches the scene and, hiding behind a tree, spies Kate and Claire a few feet away, a torch wedged into a branch. Claire’s giving birth to Aaron, and Kate’s guiding her through it. (The scene uses a combination of old footage and reshoots of Evangeline Lilly from the new angle.) From a storytelling perspective, it’s cool to see Claire again, specifically the one from this long ago — four seasons in the series’ past but just a couple months back in its timeline. Kate gives Claire a pep talk while Sawyer just about turns into a big old goofy puddle. As he watches Claire give birth, it’s pretty clear that baby misses his Freckles. Before Sawyer can say or do anything else, another time flash hits. It’s now full daylight out, and Sawyer actually looks back over at the clearing as if he expects Kate to still be there. Locke approaches and calls his name, and Sawyer turns around with just the saddest look of longing. Dude is cooked. “Did you see something out here, James?” Locke asks. Sawyer, mirroring the conversation Kate had with Jack aboard the boat, says, “Don’t matter. It’s gone now.” He grimaces a little and moves past Locke to meet up with the others.

Back in the present, Kate is still on her stakeout when she sees Jack park and approach. He’s clean-shaven and wearing a suit, which is apparently all Kate needed to flip her switch. Jack hunkers down next Kate’s window, and they have a little awkward moment of chit-chat about Jack’s refreshed appearance before she shifts back into the stilted manner of speech she uses to convey emotional complexity. She repeats that she doesn’t really have time to be “dealing with this” right now, but shakes Jack off when he asks her what’s really going on. Jack, I thought we’d learned by now not to try to get the truth out of the crazy or manipulative. Kate comes clean: “Somebody wants Aaron.” She tells Jack there’s a lawyer in the office across the street whose client knows the Six are lying and want to take Aaron away. Kate looks down the block and sees Norton pulling out of the lot, and she sits up straighter and gets ready to go. “Get in or don’t,” she says to Jack, and he scrambles around to the passenger side as they take off in pursuit of the lawyer.

Out on the island, Locke catches up to Sawyer at the head of the group and asks him if he’s ready to admit what he saw before the last flash. Sawyer again denies seeing anything, but Locke says, “You and I both know when we were before the flash, James. So who was it you saw? Charlie? Shannon? Yourself?” Sawyer isn’t quite ready to be buffaloed, so he turns it back and asks how Locke knew when they were. Displaying a flash of insight appropriate for a con man, Sawyer guesses that the light they saw was coming from the hatch, and Locke confirms his suspicion by launching into the story of how he went out there the night Boone died and starting angrily ranting at nothing and pounding on the hatch, at which point the light came on. “At the time, I thought it meant something,” Locke says. When Sawyer asks if it really did mean anything, Locke says, “No, it was just a light.” There’s a trace of defeat in his voice as he says this, and though that kind of disillusionment and the subsequent battle to overcome it are right in line with Locke as a character, it’s also a telling metamoment for the series itself. The first half of the show’s run asked question after question, and while some of those are getting answered in a way that ties them in with the larger mythology of the island, some of them are flat-out being scratched off the list. I remember the thrill, the shock, when Locke pounded on the sealed hatch and that light burst forth into the heavens, and I remember wondering what it could mean. But it was probably just Desmond taking a leak in the middle of the night. It’s as if the showrunners are coming out and saying: Not everything will be a big mystery. Some of this stuff is just going to have to go, or get explained in the simplest way possible.

Sawyer and Locke keep talking, and their conversation touches upon another murky area of the series’ recent time-traveling leanings. Sawyer asks Locke why he didn’t want to lead the group to his past self so he could warn that version about how to do things differently, to save himself “a world of pain.” Locke just says, “No, I needed that pain to get to where I am now.” But would he even have been able to interact with his past self or do anything? From a technical standpoint, it would require a ton of retconning, and from a mythological standpoint, both Faraday and Mrs. Hawking have been adamant that you can’t change fate; within a certain set of parameters, your future is pretty much set. Anyway. At the rear of the group, Miles approaches Faraday and tells him he just got a nosebleed but to keep it quiet so they don’t “freak out the others.” Miles wants to know why he and Charlotte are affected but no one else is, and Faraday posits that it could have to do with the amount of exposure to the island. Miles calls shenanigans on that theory, saying that “those yahoos” have been here for months but he didn’t show up until two weeks ago. Faraday just says, “Are you sure about that?” Well hold on a minute Danny. Just what kind of time-traveling hijinks have you and your buddies been doing?

The group reaches the beach to see that the camp is back, but it’s in a state of disrepair. Sawyer calls out for Rose or Bernard and goes hunting for DHARMA beer, but they’ve all been drunk, and the cans are scattered along the broken-down kitchen area. Sawyer growls this week’s “Son of a bitch!” as Locke looks around and wonders how long ago the camp was wrecked. He finds Vincent’s leash on the ground, and as Sawyer wonders where the dog and everyone else has gone, Faraday looks out to sea and realizes the Zodiac’s gone, too. “Maybe your people took the boat,” Charlotte says, but Sawyer asks why they’d do that. Looking down the beach a bit, Miles points and says, “To get away from whoever came in those.” Miles is looking at a pair of wooden outrigger canoes, just sitting there in the sand. As they investigate the boats, Faraday says they look pretty old, but Miles says they aren’t too old, pulling a plastic water bottle from one of them. Taking it, Sawyer sees that it’s Ajira brand, and Juliet pipes up that it’s the name of an airline based in India. (It’s also the focus of an extensive in-universe site and part of ABC’s ad campaign for the current season.) Sawyer asks Juliet if “other Others” came in the boats, but she doesn’t know who brought them. Faraday’s worried about the return of whoever used the boats to get to the island, but Locke says, “Let’s not wait to find out.” They all realize that a boat is still a boat, so they slide the canoe down the shore and out to sea. A few minutes later, they’re all paddling their merry way around the outskirts of Hell Island, and Miles is (predictably) the first to start bitching about manual labor. Calling up to Locke at the head of the boat to see how far they have to go, Miles is told it’s “not more than a couple hours” away. He’s definitely not happy about that. At the rear of the boat, Juliet turns around to look at Sawyer, and he looks like he’s been playing old George Jones songs in his head to pass the time. She asks him if he’s all right, but he just responds, “I saw Kate,” explaining how he saw her last night helping Claire give birth. “That was two months ago,” Juliet says. Sawyer just nods and continues to row, saying, “Time travel’s a bitch.” Amen, Sawyer. Sam Beckett never even made it home. Just then a shot rings out and everyone ducks. Sawyer looks behind them to see the other outrigger in pursuit, and someone’s shooting at them. He helpfully yells “Paddle!” as they try to speed up and escape their unknown enemies. “Are these your people?” Miles shouts to Juliet, who responds, “No! They yours?” Sawyer tells everyone to shut up and keep paddling, and the shots keep coming. One of the bullets blasts a hole in Sawyer’s oar, so Juliet gives him hers while she picks up the rifle and starts returning fire. The sky starts to light up as the time flash approaches, and Sawyer looks heavenward and shouts, “Thank you, Lord!” The light recedes, and it’s now the middle of the night with a heavy rain falling, causing Sawyer to shout, “I take that back!” Sawyer should be grateful that the canoe made the leap with them and that the flash didn’t drop them off in the middle of the ocean. Apparently if you’re touching something it will time travel with you, even if you’re touching it with your butt through jeans. Locke commands everyone to start paddling for shore, and they strike out in the darkness.

Back in the present, Kate and Jack tail Norton to a motel. Jack plays devil’s advocate and reasons that Norton might not be meeting the client he’d mentioned to Kate, and could in fact have been trying to throw her off. Kate, however, insists that Norton is here to see the person who’s trying to take Aaron from her. Jack counters that if that’s the case, what the hell can they do about it? “Come with me,” Jack says. “We’ll go get Aaron and we’ll put our heads together and we’ll figure something out.” As they’re speaking, Norton has exited his car and walked up to a second-floor room. The door opens, and Kate and Jack look up to see Norton step inside and past a blonde woman: Carole Littleton, Claire’s mother! Dunh dunh dunh! A few minutes later, Norton leaves, holding his briefcase over his head to keep off the rain that’s started pouring down. Kate releases the parking brake and gets ready to drive away, but Jack stops her; now he’s the one interested in sticking around. “Maybe she doesn’t know,” he says. Kate replies, “She knows about Aaron, and that’s all that matters.” Jack asks Kate to let him to go talk to Carole, to try and explain why they kept the boy. “I can fix this, Kate,” he says; he will never get over wanting to be the one who heals things. “Aaron is my family, too,” he reminds her. Kate is actually crying at this point, but she nods her head, and Jack gets out and heads to the stairs.

Inside her hotel room, Carole is just sitting on the bed, looking at a framed picture of Claire, when she hears the knock at the door. She’s a little confused to find Jack there, but she places him after a moment, calling him “Dr. Shephard.” Jack asks if he can come in, and she says of course, which is a little weird: It’s not like they have a history outside of knowing Claire, or the fact that Carole slept with Jack’s dad. Carole even references Christian’s funeral being the last time she saw Jack. “How did you even know I was here?” she asks him. Jack plays it mostly honest and tells her he’d tailed Norton to the hotel. He tells her he understands how she feels, but that everything he and Kate have done was for Aaron’s benefit. “Who’s Aaron?” she asks. Jack processes her confusion and decides not to say any more until he gets some info, so he asks her just why exactly she’s in Los Angeles. Cut to the parking lot moments later, with Jack hustling toward Kate’s car. He climbs in and says, “Let’s go. Drive.” He tells Kate to call Sun and have her meet them with Aaron at the Long Beach marina. Kate wants to know what’s happening, but Jack just says they have to go now, and he’s getting a little testy. (He’s probably thinking back to how many times he had to tell her to run away.) Jack tells Kate that Carole doesn’t know anything about Aaron, and in fact is in town to pick up a settlement she earned from suing Oceanic, who between the lifetime vouchers for the Six and various legal battles are probably not having the best fiscal year. “She still thinks that Claire is dead,” Jack says. “She doesn’t even know that Aaron exists.” Kate seems doubtful that it’s just a coincidence that Norton is working with Carole, but Jack says all he knows is that Carole isn’t the one trying to get Aaron. “Then who is?” Kate asks, setting up the story for the kind of cut that will reveal either the answer to the question or the most feared possibility.

Sure enough, the next image is one of Ben riding shotgun in his van while Sayid drives. (The carpet cleaning logo on the side of the van reads “Canton-Rainer,” an anagram for “reincarnation.” Impress your friends!) Ben asks why Sayid tried to rescue Hurley, and Sayid said he had to make sure the big guy was safe. At Ben’s direction, Sayid pulls into a parking garage and kills the engine, at which point Norton emerges from the car next to them. He walks up and hands Ben a folder whose contents he reads with a pair of glasses procured from thin air. The folder is about Hurley’s case, and Norton explains that since the body found outside the mental hospital was killed before Hurley escaped, he’s confident the judge won’t let things go past the preliminary hearing set for the next morning. Ben’s pleased as crazy punch to hear this, and thanks Norton for his work. Norton gives Sayid a weirdly knowing look before walking away, and when Sayid asks who he was, Ben simply replies, “That’s my lawyer.”

Back on Hell Island, the exhausted castaways pull the outrigger onto shore before mostly collapsing. “Remind me never to do that again,” Miles says. At least the rain has stopped, doucher. Faraday wants to know where they are — not even when, just where — but Locke says he won’t be able to tell until daybreak. Juliet, sitting next to Sawyer, says they never got to finish the conversation they were having where Sawyer was going to say how it felt to see Kate again. Sawyer denies ever deciding to admit any such emotions, but Juliet’s voice softens as she says, “Why don’t you tell me now?” These two are just days away from getting it on. As composer Michael Giacchino’s piano score swells, Sawyer unleashes his inner Lloyd Dobler and says, “I was close enough to touch her. If I wanted to, I could have stood right up and talked to her.” Juliet asks why he didn’t, and he quietly growls, “What’s done is done.” Yeah okay but still, isn’t the bigger issue here not just Sawyer’s broken heart but the fact that the castaways can, apparently, interact with past versions of themselves? And shouldn’t that be just way more important? Retconning aside, wouldn’t it be weird for Sawyer to run out of the woods and tell Kate he’s unstuck in time, only to vanish before her eyes? Wouldn’t that affect everything that happened after, resulting in a different present for Sawyer and Juliet on the beach? Whatever. As he’s looking at Juliet, Sawyer notices she’s got a nosebleed. She wipes it away, and neither one of them says anything. Charlotte, who’s wandered a few feet away, calls out to the group to come have a look at what she’s found. It’s the wreckage of a ship, but there’s not much there aside from scattered debris. Locke kicks over a canister with the word “besixdouze” on it, then turns to ask the group if anybody speaks French. (The word is a concatenation of B612, the name of the asteroid in the novel The Little Prince, the inspiration for the episode’s title. It’s also apparently [at this point] the name of the boat that’s wrecked on the island.)

Cut to a group of people in an inflatable life raft, out to sea in what appears to be the storm that just passed. They’re arguing in French about “the numbers,” and why they’re shipwrecked, and they’re pretty pissed. While the men are fighting, the woman in the group spots a body floating in the water not far from the raft. They paddle over to the guy and see he’s laying on some kind of wreckage himself, and with no small effort they reach out and drag the unconscious man into their raft. They flip him over:

It’s Jin!

Jin, who apparently did not die when the Kahana went kablooey! This is good news for Sun, even though her husband is unstuck in time and she’s pretty clearly plotting the murder of the man she holds responsible for Jin’s not-death. How this guy survived the explosion is beyond me, but maybe it’ll get explained. Regardless, it’s nice to see the guy again.

Back in the present, Kate and Jack arrive at the Long Beach marina, but Jack keeps an eye out for Ben and the rest because he hasn’t yet revealed to Kate what’s going on. She starts to wonder, though, so she asks him why he called. He plays it off like he was just worried about her, but then shows her the paper with her address on it and says, “Right before I called you, Sayid was attacked. And the guy that did it? Your address was in his pocket.” Kate moves right past the whole thing about her being an assassin’s target and asks what Sayid is doing in town, but Jack skirts the question. “What matters is that we get you and Aaron someplace safe,” he says. The van pulls up next to them, and as Jack and Kate get out, she sees Ben and Sayid walking toward them. Ben just looks at her and says, “Hello, Kate,” like he’s Norman frakking Bates, and she’s freaked. But she really loses it when Jack says, “It’s okay, he’s with me.” Jack starts explaining how Ben is going to help them all “be together again,” but Kate isn’t listening. She and Ben are having a genuine moment, and she realizes that he’s been behind the plot to take Aaron all along, and says so. Jack tries to defend Ben (!), but Ben cuts him off and says Kate’s right. “It was me,” he says. “Sorry.” Jack looks like Ben’s tugged at the rug he’s standing on, if not yanked it up entirely, and you have to wonder how far Jack is going to go before he realizes that Ben isn’t totally, you know, trustworthy. Kate asks Ben to leave her and her son alone, but Ben isn’t having a bit of that. “He’s not your son, Kate,” he reminds her. Why the hell does Kate look shocked to be confronted with this? Has she actually started to think Aaron is her legitimate son? Meanwhile, as the reunion continues, Sun is watching from her car a few spaces away. She looks over her shoulder at Aaron, who’s sitting in the backseat with his eyes closed and contorting his face like he just got back from the dentist. Sun then shifts her glance to the passenger seat and her purse, which holds the gun. She grabs the weapon and steps out of the car, and is probably about to cause some trouble.

Back on the island, day has arrived, and Jin is stretched out on the sand when he regains consciousness. He sits up a little to see the French crew trying to dry off their waterlogged possessions. One of the men is holding a radio that can be heard broadcasting the numbers. He and another guy discuss the transmission while the woman approaches Jin and attempts to communicate. He replies, “No understand,” but the woman speaks English, so she starts to ask him how he wound up in the water. “Boat,” he replies, and by now the rest of the crew has come to listen. They ask him what boat he’s referring to, but he says simply that it sank. The woman reasons that it was caught in the same storm that stranded her group, but then one of the men — addressed as Montand — starts grilling Jin about how long he was in the water and where he came from. The woman tells Montand to back off and tells another guy, addressed as Robert, to get some water. As he’s fetching it, the woman pulls off her raincoat to reveal a pretty pregnant belly. She hands Jin a canteen, and he downs most of it right away. As his strength begins its slow return, Jin tells the woman his name. “Hello, Jin,” she replies. “I’m Danielle. Danielle Rousseau.” Jin’s face goes slack as he does his best not to mess himself at the weirdness of the situation, but the young Rousseau just stares back, unknowing.

And that’s the episode, and a pretty solid one it was. The reveal that Jin is alive was good, but even better was his run-in with Rousseau, which what the hell is going to happen with that? I can’t remember offhand, but did she and Jin ever interact before he traveled through time? Is this going to affect their future dealings? Will the rest of the castaways find Rousseau and her team, and if so, wouldn’t that mean she’d remember Locke when “meeting” him in the future? How long until the expedition team reaches the transmission and/or the Black Rock, and what will happen there? Man. Also, who were the people shooting at Sawyer and company? Did they take Ajira airlines to get to the island? Is that how the Six return? And finally: Will Charlotte or Miles die from their exposure to the island? My money’s on the redhead.

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.

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