Locke makes a last ditch effort to keep Jack from leaving the island. Later, he learns the true purpose of the Orchid station. Ben receives help from some old friends. Michael hatches a daring plan to stall the C4 explosion on the freighter, while most of the Oceanic 6 are on their way there.

Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashforward

The future airport scene that ended the Season 3 finale (“Through the Looking Glass”) was did not end with Jack shouting “We have to go back!” to Kate as her car drove away, as we were led to believe. Kate heard him shouting and backed the car up. Irate, she jumped from the car and challenged his assertion that the needed to return to the island, based on the obituary he read for someone named Jeremy Bentham. Bentham was a pseudonym used by someone they knew very well, but neither would say who it really was. Kate revealed that this Bentham had come to visit her not long ago, just as he had apparently visited most or all of the Oceanic 6, and she’d decided he was crazy based on whatever he told her. Bentham had visited Jack as well, and convinced him that going back to the island was the only way to keep Kate and Aaron safe. But Kate was hurt when Jack said Aaron’s name, because of the way things ended between them, and she slapped him. Kate tells him she’s spent the last three years trying to forget “all of the horrible things that happened on the day that we left” the island, so there was no way she would ever go back. She returned to her car and drove away.

One day at Santa Rosa Mental Hospital, Hurley received a visitor: Walt. Walt had grown three years older in the time since Hurley had seen him last. Now a teenager, Walt revealed that Jeremy Bentham came to see him too, at his home in New York. He asked Hurley why the Oceanic 6 were all lying about everything, and Hurley told him they were lying because it was the only way to protect everyone left behind on the island.

Now

Jack and Sawyer arrive near the Orchid, where they find Hurley. Hurley points them toward the Orchid station itself, where Locke is milling around, trying to find the elevator Ben told him about. Locke asks Jack to speak alone, but Jack is still angry and embittered at him. Jack finally agrees though, and Hurley and Sawyer give them some space. Locke tries to convince Jack not to leave the island because he says it’s his destiny to be there; Locke even argues that Jack knows this deep down inside, but he was fighting it with everything in him. When Jack refuses to listen, it’s Locke that gives him the idea of having to lie to the outside world about everything that’s happened here, because, Locke says, it’s the only way to protect the island and everyone still on it. Locke argues that the island is a place where miracles happen, but Jack says there’s no such thing as miracles. Locke assures him that what he’s about to do (move the island) will convince him that there is.

On the freighter, Desmond, Michael, and Jin determine that the stash of C4 is not on a timer; it’s attached to a radio receiver, which can trigger the bomb remotely. But there are tripwires everywhere to prevent tampering, with multiple built-in redundancies. There’s no way they can disarm it without setting it off.

Ben, now Keamy’s captive, is taken to the helicopter in handcuffs. Frank is still there, trying to get out of his own cuffs, but Keamy’s attempt to get answers out of him is interrupted when Kate runs into the clearing. She says she’s being chased by the Others, so Keamy deploys his men in response. Whispers precede the a stealthy attack by the Others, who take out several of Keamy’s men before they even know what hit them. A battle ensues and Kate, who’s obviously working with the Others, grabs Ben and runs. Keamy, the sole survivor of the attack on his team, gives chase, but he’s tackled by Sayid, and the two of them engage in a brutal hand-to-hand fight. Sayid manages to stab Keamy in the side, but Keamy still gets the upper hand and nearly kills Sayid before he’s shot in the back by Richard. Ben thanks Richard for coming to his aid, and Richard reciprocates, though there’s underlying tension between them. Kate frees Ben, and Richard explains that she and Sayid helped them rescue Ben because Richard told them they could leave the island if they did. Ben agrees, and allows them to leave the island.

Ben returns to the Orchid, where he finds Jack and Locke arguing about destiny, and he shows Locke the elevator. Ben tells Jack that Sayid and Kate are waiting at the helicopter, and that they’d better be on it within the hour. They both bid Jack farewell and descend inside the elevator.

Michael formulates a plan to freeze the explosives’ battery by spraying it with liquid nitrogen. He explains to Jin and Desmond that a red light on the explosives will light up when the C4 has been triggered, but if they’ve frozen the battery first, they’ll at least get a warning about when it’s coming. The problem is, they have only one canister of liquid nitrogen, so it won’t allow them to keep the battery frozen for long.

Daniel returns to the beach on the zodiac raft, and tells Juliet that things are going well and the next trip won’t take as long because the freighter is attempting to move closer the island. But he secretly grabs Charlotte and Miles and tells them that they have to be part of the next group he ferries to the freighter if they want to live. Miles says he’s decided to stay, but Charlotte agrees to go. After Daniel’s walked off, Miles comments that he finds it odd that Charlotte is so eager to leave “after you spent so much time trying to get back here.” She acts like she doesn’t know what he means by “get back here,” but he knows she’s only pretending, and that Charlotte has definitely been on the island before.

Locke and Ben descend on the elevator for a very long time until they finally reach the Orchid station, which is buried deep within the heart of the island. Whey they’ve finally reached the interior, Locke’s eyes light up at the wondrous sight of a whole new Dharma station to explore. He’s full of questions for Ben, but Ben needs to make preparations of some kind, so he gives Locke an orientation video to watch. Like the other orientation videos we’ve seen, this one features the man we know as Dr. Marvin Candle — this time posing as “Dr. Edgar Halliwax.” The video explains that the Orchid’s secret purpose is to study a pocket just beneath the station that could possibly contain a rare form of energy that can tap into and manipulate time itself. He warns the viewer not to place any metallic items into the main experimentation chamber, yet while Locke is watching the video, Ben is doing just that: filling the chamber with every piece of metal he can find. When the video ends, Locke confirms with Ben that the video was talking about something that can’t possibly be real: time travel. Ben is just about ready to activate the chamber when they hear the elevator ascending up the shaft, which can only mean that someone on the surface has called for it, and is heading down. Ben asks Locke for his collapsible night stick back as they watch and wait.

Hurley, Sawyer, and Jack get back to the helicopter and find Sayid and Kate there, along with Frank. Sawyer uses a hacksaw to finally free Frank from his handcuffs and he suggests they all get on board and head for the freighter. The chopper lifts off and the castaways get their first taste of the impending freedom it’s expected to bring.

The Orchid elevator returns to the sublevel and Martin Keamy steps off of it, alone. Keamy is injured, bleeding from the knife wound Sayid gave him, but he survived the gunshots because he was wearing body armor. His only weapon is a small knife, and he calls out to Ben in the dark, taunting him into showing himself. He reveals the electronic device attached to his arm, and explains that it’s a heartrate monitor connected to the radio transmitter on the freighter. If Keamy dies and his heartrate flatlines, the bomb is triggered and the freighter is destroyed. Locke steps forward, identifies himself, and tries to talk Keamy out of killing everyone on the freighter. Keamy refuses, and Ben suddenly appears, and beats the living crap out of Keamy with his night stick. Enraged, Ben cries out “you killed my daughter!” repeatedly as he stabs Keamy again and again with his own knife. Locke tries to stop him, but it’s too late: the heartrate monitor starts to skip, and Locke tells him he just killed everyone on the freighter. “So?” Ben replies.

At the beach, Daniel prepares to take his next group on the raft, but Charlotte reveals to him that she’s decided to stay behind. He tries to tell her that she’s risking her life by staying, but her reply is, “Would it make any sense if I told you I was still looking for where I was born?” He doesn’t understand, but she leaves him with a friendly kiss. He returns to the raft, where Juliet explains she can’t leave yet, either, because she promised Jack she wouldn’t go until she’d gotten the rest of the survivors off the island first. So he leaves with the next group, without her.

On the freighter, Michael continues to spray his liquid nitrogen on the battery, keeping it frozen. Desmond grows frustrated at his inability to find a way to disarm the bomb, and Michael tells them that they need to get everyone off the boat immediately, because he has only a quarter of a tank of nitrogen left.

The helicopter, on its way to the freighter, Frank notices that the chopper is losing fuel. There’s a bullet hole in the side of the craft, and it’s leaking fast. Frank doesn’t think they’ll make it to the freighter before they run out of fuel, and asks everyone to dump all the extra weight they can spare. They toss everything overboard they can, but it’s not enough. So Sawyer whispers a secret request to Kate and then kisses her, before he jumps overboard into the ocean.

  • The Orchid station.
    Question: What’s the Dharma station represented by the logo Charlotte found on the polar bear’s collar? [4.02]
  • In the future, three years have passed since the Oceanic 6 escaped the island.
    Question: How long was Jack off the island before his rendezvous with Kate at the airport? [3.23]
  • Ben seems to have sent a message asking for the Others to come to his rescue, which would indicate that it was part of Ben’s plan all along that he would be captured by Keamy.
    Question: What did Ben tell the Others with his mirror signal, while on his way to the Orchid? [4.12]
  • Presumably because she’s been to the island before. It would appear that Charlotte has spent a considerable part of her adult life researching the Initiative so as to find a way to get back to the island.
    Question: Charlotte recognized the Dharma logo on the polar bear’s collar. How does she know about the Dharma Initiative? [4.02]
  • The rabbit was one of several subjects used by the Dharma Initiative at the Orchid station, where they were conducting highly secretive experiments with the manipulation of time.
    Question: Why was the rabbit marked with a number? [3.04]
  • Keamy is wearing a heartrate monitor that’s wired to the radio transmitter affixed to the C4 explosives on the freighter. This “insurance policy” was meant to keep him alive no matter what, but when Ben killed him, his heartrate stopped and everyone on the freighter was doomed to die in a massive explosion.
    Question: What’s the electronic device Keamy is wearing under his shirt? [4.11]
  • Sawyer sacrificed his place on the helicopter so that its dwindling fuel would be enough to get everyone else to the freighter. He didn’t know it would be his last chance to escape the island, though he asked Kate for an off-island favor and kissed her goodbye, just in case.
    Question: Why did Sawyer “make his choice” to stay on the island? [4.10]

  • Who is Jeremy Bentham?
  • Why did “Jeremy Bentham” use a pseudonym?
  • What did Jeremy Bentham say to Kate to convince her he was crazy?
  • If Charlotte was born on the island, why did she leave it?
  • Why has she been trying to get back?

The full transcript of the Orchid Orientation film:

The film’s title screen reads “The Dharma Initiative, 6 of 6, Orientation.” A second screen shows the octagonal Dharma logo, and reads “Orientation – Station 3 – The Orchid.” The man we know as Marvin Candle appears, holding a white rabbit with a number spray painted on its side, and addresses the camera: “Hello. I’m Dr. Edgar Halliwax. This is the orientation film for Station 6 of the Dharma Initiative. As you’ve no doubt surmised, Station 6, or ‘the Orchid’, is not a botanical research unit. The unique properties of this island have created a kind of Casimir Effect, allowing the Dharma Initiative to conduct unique experiments in both space and time. [The camera follows as he tours the main room of the facility.] This is the Vault, constructed adjacent to a pocket of what we believe to be negatively-charged exotic matter. Great care must be taken to avoid leaving any organic materials inside the chamber. The electromagnetic energy within the island can be highly volatile and unpredictable. [He places the rabbit inside the chamber.] For your own safety and the safety of those around you, metallic objects must never be placed within the vault. In our first demonstration, we will attempt to shift the test subject one hundred milliseconds ahead in four-dimensional space. For the briefest of moments, the animal will seem to disappear. But in reality–” The video seemingly ends here, as the equipment Locke watched began to suddenly rewind itself at this point, and he couldn’t get it to stop.

The revelation of the Orchid and what it’s purpose was is what laid the ground work for everything that would happen in Season 5 and beyond. We would see the Orchid again in the Season 5 premiere, this time as it was first being constructed by the Dharma Initiative. Pierre Chang used a lot of techno-speak in his orientation video, as we saw in this episode, including terms like “Casimir Effect” and “four-dimensional space.” Here’s an explanation of what the Casimir effect is. As for four-dimensional space, this is a reference to time. The three primary dimensions — height, width, and depth — are followed by the fourth dimension: time.

Martin Keamy joins in the tradition of Lost villains who are wildly hard to kill, and appear to die more than once. Past members of this hard-to-kill club include Ethan Rom and Mikhail Bakunin.