Claire devises a plan to use migratory birds to get everyone rescued, but Desmond and Charlie earn her ire by sabotaging her efforts. Sayid, Locke, Kate, and Danielle are shocked at what they find when they reach the place where the Others live. (Includes My Big Theory about Jacob’s Lists!)

Written by Christina M. King & Jordan Rosenberg
Directed by Paul A. Edwards

Flashback

Claire was once in an accident involving a truck that collided with her compact car. Her mother was in the car with her at the time, and was thrown through the vehicle’s windshield on impact. Claire received only minor injuries, but Carole was severely hurt. Carole was left in a coma after the surgery, and the doctors believed that she might never wake up. Claire was shocked to learn that all of the expenses for her mother’s care had already been taken care of, but the doctor withheld the identity of the person responsible. One day Carole was visited at the hospital by none other than Christian Shephard, Jack’s father. Claire didn’t recognize him, believing him to be merely an American doctor called in as some kind of specialist. But when it’s revealed that Christian was the one paying for Carole’s hospital bills, Claire demanded to know who he really was. He revealed himself to be her father!

A day or two later, Claire returned to work — a tattoo/piercing parlor — and was visited there by her father, who asked for just a few minutes of her time. She wasn’t interested but finally agreed when he promised to be leaving that night for the U.S. and that she would never see him again. Christian explains that he and Carole had “a fling” years ago, and that he was at home in L.A. when she called to inform him that she was pregnant. He returned to Sydney many times over the next few years, staying over at Carole’s and spending time with the both of them. He stopped coming because Carole’s sister Lindsey hated him, and because Carole didn’t like the fact that he had another family in the States. When Claire asked why he came now, he said it was because he wanted to help, and suggested that it was time to consider ending her mother’s suffering. But Claire was outraged and asked him to go back home to his “real family.” Before leaving, he warned her not to keep her mother living off of machines because of her own guilt.

Some years later, when Claire was pregnant and nearly due, she visited her mother and told her that she was leaving for L.A. and giving away her baby. She offered her still-comatose mother an apology, having had a terrible argument with her in the car on the day of the crash, even telling her she wished her mother was dead. She left for Los Angeles on Oceanic 815, not knowing if her mother would ever wake up.

Now

After staring down death inside Hurley’s van, Charlie decides to stop moping and enjoy life, so he treats Claire to breakfast in bed and a special picnic. But just as they’re about to start their picnic, Desmond arrives and asks Charlie to join him hunting boar, implying that it’s safer than what he was going to end up doing today. While they’re talking, Claire spots a flock of migratory birds flying overhead, and has a revelation, believing she knows how to get everyone rescued. She runs back to camp and asks Sun and Jin for Jin’s fishing nets, hoping to catch one or more of the birds, explaining that they have to hurry because the birds are flying south and will only be over the island today. Claire says that the birds are tagged, and that they’ll eventually land in Australia or someplace to the south, so if they could catch one and attach a message to the tag, they could send an S.O.S. Charlie senses that this plan could have something to do with Desmond’s latest vision of his death, and he dampens her enthusiasm, refusing to help and questioning her abilities.

Sayid and Locke argue about the validity of the map Sayid took from the Flame station, which their group is using to find the Others’ home. Kate and Danielle talk privately about Alex, and Danielle reveals that she hasn’t asked Kate anything about her daughter because she knows Alex will remember nothing about her. Kate then asks Mikhail about how he came to be on the island. He begins to explain that he was recruited by someone when he was 24, but Kate points out that she only asked how, not when. Mikhail says he was brought to the island by the submarine, and Kate asks if the Others can just come and go from the island at will. Mikhail says that they can leave the island anytime they want, but returning is impossible now because the underwater beacon they used to reach the island from the sub was knocked out by the electromagnetic pulse that occurred when the Swan station imploded. Kate asks why they would want to come back, and Mikhail says she can’t possibly understand because she isn’t on “the list.” He says that the man who brought all of his people here — all of the Others — is “a magnificent man,” implying that the man in question is the mysterious Jacob. Mikhail reveals that none of them were on Jacob’s list, because they are all flawed in some way. Sayid asserts that the Others are not as omniscient as they want the survivors to believe, to which Mikhail replies by telling each one of them things that he knows about them, including their full names. He singles Locke out in the end, suggesting that he is different from his friends and somehow more important. Danielle interrupts their sparring with the discovery of a huge series of pylons extending around a huge valley like a fence.

Sun and Jin help Claire build her bird trap, and they almost succeed in catching one until Desmond fires his shotgun nearby and scares the flock away. He claims to have been hunting boar with no idea that Claire’s trap was so close, but Claire is angry and accuses him of sabotaging her efforts because he and Charlie are up to something. She marches back to camp and demands that Charlie tell her what’s going on with him and Desmond. But he cages up and refuses to tell her, so she angrily calls him a liar and kicks him out of her tent again.

Sayid recognizes some of the technology at work in the series of pylons and says that it’s some kind of defense perimeter around the Barracks. He suggests that they go around the pylons, but Mikhail points out that they surround the Barracks all the way around, and Sayid’s map verifies this. Impatient with all the talking, Locke grabs Mikhail and shoves him through the perimeter. The pylons activate, Mikhail says “thank you” to Locke, and he bleeds from the ears until he dies. Sayid and Kate are angry that Locke acted without consulting them, and Sayid accuses Locke of having ulterior motives for coming out here with them — something other than rescuing Jack. When Kate suggests they chop down a tree and use it to go over the fence, she retrieves an axe from Locke’s backpack only to discover a bundle of C4 explosives that Locke took from the Flame station before it exploded.

Locke, Sayid, Kate, and Danielle construct a contraption that will allow them to climb up over the sonic fence. Kate, being the lightest, volunteers to go first, and she carefully climbs up and over to safety on the other side. The others follow.

Claire decides to spy on Charlie and Desmond, and follows Desmond out to some bluffs where he catches one of the birds for her. Claire confronts him and asks how he knew to come here for the bird, saying she watched him walk straight here with no doubt about where he was going. She’s tired of being treated like she’s stupid, so Desmond finally breaks down and explains everything. He says that he knew to come here to these bluffs because Charlie was originally going to walk here after his argument with Claire, and wind up getting killed while trying to capture the bird.

Claire returns to Charlie carrying the bird, and he observes that she was right: it’s tagged. She tells him what Desmond told her, and the two of them make up. He later helps her send off a very moving message attached to the bird that concludes by asking whoever finds it to not give up on finding them all. As they release the bird, Claire tells Charlie that she’s not giving up on him, either.

Inside the perimeter fence, Sayid, Kate, Locke, and Danielle find the Others’ home, the Barracks. As they sneak up on the place from a distance through thick foliage, they’re stunned to spot Jack not looking anything like a prisoner at all, but more like a happy guest, playing a friendly game of football with Tom.

  • Claire Littleton is Christian Shephard’s illegitimate daughter. Claire had been told by her mother that her father died when she was two years old, but it was a lie to keep her from ever knowing the truth. This means that Jack and Claire are half-siblings, though they do not know it.
    Question: Who is Christian Shephard’s daughter? [2.20]

  • Why did the Dharma Initiative have a sonic defense barrier around their Barracks? Who were they trying to keep out? The Others?
  • What is Locke up to? Why did he steal C4 from the Flame station and bring it along to the Barracks?
  • What became of Carole Littleton? Did she ever wake up from her coma?
  • Will anyone ever find Claire’s message attached to the bird?


“Par Avion” is the third Claire-centric episode of the series.

This is the fourteenth episode of the series to begin with a close-up on a single eye opening. It’s the first time that the show uses the effect twice in a row: once as the cold open into Claire’s flashback, and then again when Claire wakes up from her dream and the scene jumps to the present on the island.

Mikhail’s explanation to Kate about the “man who brought all of my people to the island” pretty much tells us all we need to know about the history of the Others. We know that the man he was referring to is Jacob, and Mikhail spelled it out to us that Jacob is personally responsible for bringing all of the Others to the island — meaning that none of them are indigenous to the island after all. The Others’ purpose here is tied to Jacob’s struggle against his nemesis, which can only mean that the entire mystery of just what the island is, is wrapped up in those two very powerful figures. Is the island a place specifically constructed as the location where these two beings exist answer some eternal question about the human condition?

My Big Theory about Jacob’s Lists: One thing I don’t quite understand is the exact purpose of the Others. They obviously serve Jacob in some way, and I believe they exist primarily to carry out a set of age-old instructions that he set forth long ago, that went something like this: anytime I bring a new group of people to the island, study them and weed out the good from the bad based on a list I give you with all of the good people on it. Find them and bring them into your society. Okay, this part I get. What confuses me is the fact that these “lists” of Jacob’s are held up as the highest and most important standard among the Others — the determination that someone is worthy of serving Jacob. Yet Jacob himself, as we saw in the Season 5 finale “The Incident,” personally met each one of our not-on-the-list survivors at some point in their lives and physically touched them, marking them in some very important (but yet to be explained) way. So if the survivors who were touched by Jacob are important enough for him to take such a personal interest in… why were none of them on his “Good people from the Oceanic 815 survivors” list? I believe that he has some very important purpose for each of the ones he touched — Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Locke, Sun, and Jin — a purpose very different than what he has planned for the Others. The “touched” people are some kind of ace in the hole on Jacob’s part, a piece of a very elaborate endgame that everything on the show has been leading to. And I believe this plan of Jacob’s will be explained probably in the series finale, when it is enacted.