This episode begins with Jack opening his eye in the island. But it isn’t the first time. He hears Hurley calling for help. He has landed in the water and is floating using a guitar case. Jack jumps in to help him, but the water is shallow and they can stand. Kate is in a rock, unconscious, but she is OK.
Then it moves to 46 hours earlier and picks up where the previous episode left off. Eloise takes her visitors down into the basement, which was the station the Dharma Initiative used to find the island. They called it “The Lamppost.” It has a pendulum swinging through its center, and a board which lists coordinates.
Jack asks Ben if he knew about this place, and he says no. Jack asks Eloise if he is telling the truth and she says, “Probably not.”
The station is built over a pocket of energy which connects with other such pockets around the world. The island is always moving, and the man and his team who built the pendulum came up with an equation that would let them figure out when windows of opportunity appeared, when the island could be reached. Desmond delivers Daniel’s message. Eloise says that she is helping her son. Desmond tells Jack that these people are playing a game and that “we are just the pieces.” Eloise tells Desmond that the island isn’t done with him, but he says that he is done with the island. Eloise tells Jack that Ajira flight 316 is the way they can get back. She tells them to recreate as best they can the circumstances that took them there in the first place. Then she talks to Jack privately, giving him John Locke’s suicide note. Eloise says that John is going to help them get back, that he will be a proxy, and that he should get something that belonged to his father and give it to John. Jack says it is ridiculous. She tells him that it is called a leap of faith.
In the church, Ben appears to be praying. Jack talks to him, and asks who Eloise is. Ben talks about the painting on the wall, the apostle Thomas’s need to touch Jesus’ wounds to be convinced. Jack asks if he was, and Ben says of course – we’re all convinced eventually. Next we see Jack having a drink, when he gets a phone call. He goes to see Ray, his grandfather, who gives Jack a pair of his father’s shoes. When he gets home, Kate is waiting for him. She asks if he is going back to the island. She says that she is going with him. He asks about Aaron, and she says that if he wants her to go with him, then he will never ask that question again. She spends the night there. In the morning, Jack tells her about the shoes, and that when he picked up his father’s body in Sydney, he gave him a pair of old tennis shoes because he didn’t think he was worth a nice pair of shoes.
At the airport, Locke explains to the Ajira airways representative about Locke’s wishes to be buried in Guam. Asked about his relationship to the deceased, he says he was his friend. Kate and Sun arrive. We see Sayid being transported by some sort of officer. Hugo has bought 78 seats to keep others from getting on the flight on standby. Boarding the plane, there are a few people besides the Oceanic survivors. Ben just makes it, with a broken arm. The flight attendant gives Jack the suicide note, saying it was found while screening his cargo.
Frank Lapidus is flying the plane. He comes out to say hi to Jack, and then sees the others and asks, “We’re not going to Guam, are we?”
Jack says it feels like John needs him to read the suicide note. He reads it, and it simply says, “I wish you had believed me.” Then they hit some turbulence. There is a flash of light and then Jack, Hurley, and Kate wake up on the island. Then a Dharma van drives up, and Jin gets out of it.
The exploration of the idea of a “leap of faith” on LOST is a fascinating one. Given the fact that these individuals had been manipulated by others for their own interests, it is hard to say whether the show is affirming or challenging the idea of a leap of faith. Perhaps the point is that we can never know whether our leap is in response to prompting of the Ultimate, of God, or of some lesser powerful figure. That too involves an element of faith. But faith only makes sense in response to some experience that gives us a glimpse of a greater reality – having seen the island’s miracles, or Thomas encountering the risen Jesus in the painting in the church. The resurrection element also points forward to Locke’s apparent return – a case that also seems to affirm but then ultimately challenges the response of faith.
The 316 of the flight number also recalls the famous verse, John 3:16, presumably intentionally, even though nothing is made of that on the show.