Live Together, Die Alone (1) - Recap

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Picking up where we left off, everyone rushes to the shore at the sight of the sailboat in the distance. As many of the survivors try to catch its attention, Jack, Sayid and Sawyer ditch their shoes and dive headlong into the ocean and straight for the craft.

Once on board, the three pull out their pistols and begin making their way to the tiny cabin of the boat, from which Sawyer notices that an operatic aria is blaring at full volume. Just then, the three are surprised when bullets begin spewing forth from the inside of the cabin, and they duck for cover as the shooter empties his weapon. As it does, they circle around, with Jack kicking in the splintered trapdoor and Sayid and Sawyer taking position on either side of him.

As it happens, the shooter is lying in a corner of the boat's cabin, clearly drunk out of his mind and definitely out of bullets. As he looks up at the three men, an odd smile washes over his face as his gaze settles in on Jack. "You?" he says, then giggles maniacally. Sayid and Sawyer are a bit curious, but Jack knows who this is...

Later that night, Kate is bombarded with curious survivors herself, and she goes over to ask Jack what the hell's going on... After all, people want answers, and she can't give them any. Jack tells her simply that Desmond's back, and with that goes over to offer the inebriated Scotsman a bite of dinner, which he declines in favor of yet another bottle of Dharma Scotch.

"When you took off the last time, you forgot to mention that you had a sailboat," notes Jack. "Why did you come back?"

"D'you think I did it on purpose?" snaps Desmond. He then sums up what he's been doing for the last two and a half weeks - he was sailing due west at about nine knots, and should have, by his calculations, made Fiji within a week.

"But the first piece of land I came to... was it Fiji? Nooo. It was this place. And do you know why?" he asks Jack, who shakes his head. "Because this is all there is. There's ocean, and this island. We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe! There's no outside world, there's no escape." He then finishes by shooing Jack away, telling him he wants to be left alone to drink.

Jack is happy to oblige; he has more pressing issues to think about. Sayid beckons him from Desmond's fire and he joins him on a walk down the beach.

Desmond, on the other hand, flashes back to a time when he was being released from military prison. The sergeant on duty methodically reads off each of Desmond's personal items that were kept in storage for him, among them a photograph of Desmond and an unknown woman and a copy of Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend. When the sergeant asks Desmond why he didn't take the book in with him, Desmond replies that he has read every book Dickens ever wrote... except for this book. This book, he explains, is to be the last thing he ever reads before he dies. The sergeant concurs that the sentiment's nice, but in order for that to happen Desmond would need to know when he was going to die. With that, the sergeant stamps Desmond's discharge papers as "dishonorable" and sends him on his way.

Outside, Desmond notices a long black car in the pouring rain... and he knows who's inside. He gets in at the owner's request, and asks the man if he has a present for him, being that there's a box lying on his lap. The man, named Widmore, says there are two boxes for him - one containing his past, and the other his future. Desmond opens one of the boxes and finds it's full of letters, all written by him and all addressed to a "Penny Widmore". Desmond curses at Widmore, but the older man explains that by withholding Desmond's post, his daughter has moved on from her infatuation with Desmond.

Desmond opens the second box and is even more disgusted - it's full of large denominations of British pounds. Widmore explains that the money is his, on one condition - that Desmond never contact his daughter, in any form, ever again. This way, Widmore reasons, Desmond can "run away" and start a new life... away from Penny. When Desmond angrily asks why Widmore thinks he would ever run away from Penny, Widmore replies simply, "Because you're a coward."

Meanwhile, Jack and Sayid have started down the beach. Sayid doesn't mince words; he reminds Jack of a conversation they had started before the funerals and tells him that now they have their answer: Desmond's boat. When Jack queries, Sayid explains that while Jack, along with Kate, Sawyer and Hurley, follow Michael towards the Other's camp, he will use the boat to get there quickly and begin reconnaissance of the area. When he has finished his scouting, Sayid will light a fire of "black smoke" as a signal. When Jack arrives, Sayid will meet him and they will go into the camp together, armed with both weapons and intelligence.

Jack agrees to Sayid's logic, but counters that they cannot be sure that Michael has been "compromised," to use Sayid's term. Sayid assures Jack that Michael is indeed leading them into a trap. When Jack tells him that Kate, Sawyer and Hurley need to be apprised of the situation, Sayid discourages him from doing so. "Right now," he reasons, "you are the only one responsible for keeping this secret." Sayid also tells Jack that the element of surprise is the only thing they have in their favor. Reluctantly, Jack agrees to keep the plan a secret.

The next morning, the land party (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and Michael) meet to pack their things and start off. Sawyer passes out weapons to everyone, and is surprised when Hurley refuses one, stating the point of the expedition is to retrieve Walt, not kill someone. Kate, meanwhile, quietly confers with Jack... how do they know that the Others aren't setting them up? She cites the theatrical prosthetics she and Claire found in the medical hatch as proof, but Michael, who's overheard the conversation, angrily denounces this, saying only that the Others are as Michael said they were - small in numbers and backward at best. With that, the land party sets off.

In the hatch, Locke goes in to see Eko, who's been waiting for him. Locke tells Eko that once the timer begins to sound, they are not going to push the button. Eko calmly asks why on earth they would do such a thing, and sure enough, he resets the timer and pushes the button. Locke tries to stop Eko, even by attempting to strike the computer with Eko's "Jesus Stick," but Eko has had enough of this. He takes Locke by the collar and, despite his protestations, tosses him outside the hatch, and tells him not to return. With that, he locks the door.

In flashback, Desmond is standing in a coffee shop and has ordered the strongest cup of Java the establishment has to offer. Upon looking in his wallet, however, he realizes that all he has on him are pounds - he's used the last of his American dollars on the cab ride there. Suddenly, a familiar-looking redhead offers to buy Desmond's coffee, and after doing so she joins him at a table. When Desmond thanks her for the coffee, he tells her of his plan to win a sailing race being held by a Mr. Charles Widmore - the same Widmore who bought off Desmond some while earlier. When Libby asks why he needs to win the race, Desmond explains that it's to prove something to the man - that he's good enough for his daughter, despite what Widmore thinks. Libby is touched by this sentiment, and offers Desmond the one thing he needs to make his dream a reality... her sailboat, which was named after her (Elizabeth) and had been owned by her late husband who had planned to sail it in the Mediterranean. Desmond accepts at Libby's insistence, and vows to win the race "for love".

On the beach, Sayid goes over to see Desmond, who's finished retrieving his belongings off of the boat. He gets right to the point - he needs to borrow Desmond's boat to sail to the north shore, and fast. Desmond laughs - there's nothing out there, and on the north shore there's only "hostiles" (to which Sayid is puzzled, until he realizes that Desmond is talking about the Others). He grants him the use of the boat, but, when Sayid admits that he doesn't know how to sail, Desmond advises him to find someone who does, as he's certainly not going anywhere.

Near the hatch, Locke is hiding over near some trees and crying his heart out over the earlier fiasco with Eko, but someone overhears him... it's Charlie, who tells him that if he's "a bit upset" he should go over and have a drink with his "mate" from the hatch... personally, Charlie admits, he thinks the guy has pushed Locke's button one too many times. When Locke figures out that Charlie's talking about Desmond, he begins to make his way to the beach.

Meanwhile, Sayid does manage to find someone to help him and as Jin approaches, Sun tells him about Sayid's plan and that he needs Jin's help. Jin tells her he's not going to leave her, not now and certainly not in her condition, but Sun tells him that he won't have to - she's going along on the trip.

In the jungle, the land party make their way over some new terrain when Sawyer suddenly spots a doll lying on the ground. Before he can pick it up, however, Kate stops him, telling him that it's a trap of Rousseau's, and she has them all over the island. When Sawyer queries, Kate explains that it's a net... and that she and Jack got caught in one after she accidentally set it off. Sawyer takes this in, then chuckles to himself. When Kate queries, Sawyer tells her that Jack told him about that incident... he just thought Jack was referring to "somethin' else". Before Kate can learn more about that conversation, though, the party is put on edge by mysterious sounds coming from the jungle. Suddenly, there's a giant bird that dives over them, and oddly enough, it sounds like it's calling out Hurley's name. When Hurley tries to confirm this, Sawyer tells him that it said his name, alright... "right before it crapped gold."

A short distance away, Michael is wondering why his pistol never fired... he shot at the bird several times, but nothing ever fired out of the barrel. Jack notices Michael's confusion, and offhandedly tells him that his clip was likely empty due to an oversight on Jack's part. Jack takes the clip to "refill" it, but the look on Michael's face is clear... he's fairly certain Jack's onto him...

That night, Locke manages to find Desmond on the beach and, after a few pleasantries, tells him of the situation in the hatch. Desmond seems unfazed; if Locke's so certain that the button is for naught, then why doesn't he just stop pushing the damn thing?

Locke explains that he has... but unfortunately, another person has decided to take up the cause with vigor. Locke tells Desmond that he's going to sober up and get some sleep... because tomorrow, he's going to help Locke find out what happens when the button isn't pushed.

In flashback, Desmond is seen pulling up to a very familiar stadium in preparation for a tour de stade... and he's not alone, as a familiar face pulls in just after him and begins his own tour while Desmond laces his sneakers. Moments later, a third car pulls in next to Desmond, and out steps a woman... one who is all too familiar to Desmond. It's Penny, and as she tries to ascertain what it is Desmond is trying to do Desmond demands to know just how the hell she managed to track him down. Penny tells him simply that she has both limitless ambition and funding - two things that can greatly aid someone if they are determined enough.

It's clear that Desmond would like nothing more than to reconcile with Penny, but instead he asks her about her intended nuptials. She replies that she has not set a date, and that all anyone really needs in life is one person to truly love them. With that, she tells Desmond that she will wait for him... always. Desmond tells her that he has to win his race, which should take him about a year to complete. When Penny asks him why he's running away from her, Desmond counters that he's running towards his honor - something he needs to get back for himself. With that, he caresses Penny's cheek and then turns to begin his tour.

In the jungle, the land party has set up camp for the night. In a rare moment, Sawyer offers Hurley a bite to eat, which, to Sawyer's surprise, he turns down. Sawyer wisely decides not to push the issue - it's clear Hurley is still in mourning for Libby.

Further inland, Michael hides beneath the thick foliage and the dark to hide his true emotions - he's regretting his actions in the hatch, and his face is contorting in anguish over the thought of what he's about to do to the people that are trying to help him. He covers quickly when he's startled by Jack, who's gone looking for him, and tells Jack he's just out looking for more firewood. Jack tells him that it's probably not a safe idea to go out alone in the dark, and that he'll help him. After an awkward silence, Michael manages, in a roundabout way, to thank Jack and the others for coming out to help him rescue Walt.

"Live together, die alone, right?" says Jack. Michael can only agree as he once again thinks of what lies ahead.

On the coast, Sayid, Sun and Jin swiftly make their way towards the north shore on the boat. After she has a bout with morning sickness, Jin chides Sun gently for coming along on the trip. Then he tells her there's something she should see... and as she approaches Sayid, he hands her a pair of binoculars and points out to a large statuary on the shore. Oddly enough, it looks like a part of a larger statue; however, all that remains are a foot and part of a leg.

"I don't know what is more disquieting," says Sayid. "The fact that the rest of the statue is missing, or that it has four toes." Jin and Sun merely look on at it in wonder.

In the hatch, Eko begins adding a new piece of scripture to his "Jesus Stick" when suddenly there's a strange noise coming out of the main electrical control panel. Within seconds, the computer room plunges into darkness only to be offset by the emergency lights. Eko goes to check the main circuits and, as he does, he hears a familiar static and partial countdown coming over the loudspeaker. Then he realizes what's going on - it's a lockdown!

Eko races to get underneath the blast doors before they slam shut, but to no avail. He manages to shove his stick underneath the last one, but it's grabbed by someone inside the computer room and disappears as the door slams home. Eko's not stupid - the man inside the computer room is Locke!

As Locke (and Desmond, who was the mastermind behind the lockdown setup) settle in to wait for the timer to tick away, Eko screams at the door, pleading with Locke to let him in. When Locke refuses, Eko notices the broken ladder and rope up the hatch shaft, which he climbs to the surface. He also notices the 'quarantine" door lying off to the side... and this suddenly gives him an idea.

In flashback, Desmond recounts how he ended up on the island - having been caught in a particularly nasty squall, he was washed overboard and floated up to the shore of the island. There, Desmond vaguely recalls a man in a hazmat suit who carries him into the hatch and performs the ritual Desmond himself performed on Locke two weeks earlier.

"Who are you? What is this place?" asks Desmond.

The man replies that his name is Kelvin Inman (and oddly enough, he looks strangely familiar...), and that Desmond washed up on shore sans his boat. Just then, that familiar warning bleeps and as Desmond watches in amazement and wonder, Kelvin punches in that familiar code and hits the button. When Desmond queries, Kelvin merely replies that he's "savin' the world."

After Desmond is properly orientated, Kelvin tells him about the antics of his former partner, a man named Radzinsky. Kelvin also tells Desmond to give himself a shot of medicine every nine days, as he was exposed to "the sickness" for several hours while lying on the shore.

Back in the present, Eko has run back to the Losties' shore and asks Charlie if he knows how the hatch door was opened. Charlie, who's busy with his guitar, offhandedly tells him that it was blown up - and why is he asking, anyway?

Eko tells him that Locke has sealed himself inside the hatch and intends to run the timer out on the button. Eko also impresses the seriousness of the consequences of Locke's actions - in ninety minutes, everyone on the island could very well die! After this sentiment, Charlie readily agrees to help.

In the jungle, Sawyer questions Michael about the Others - could they possibly be left over from the Dharma group? Michael doesn't know, but Sawyer already has a theory - the Others are aliens, hence the prosthetic faces. Hurley quibbles on this, but soon Sawyer is scouting for Kate's opinion, which doesn't come... she's noticed something else. "We're being followed."

Sawyer does a double take, but Kate tells him to act natural. She points out the interlopers across the river, and tells them that in less than five seconds she's going to open fire on them. Sawyer, looking to settle an old score with these people, agrees to help. Within seconds both take aim and fire, with Sawyer nailing one and the other getting away.

As the rest take stock of the situation, Kate begins to head towards the escapee - after all, if he gets away, the Others will know they're coming for sure! Jack, however, stops her. When she and Sawyer protest, Jack tells them it doesn't matter if they catch them... the Others have already been warned.

Jack then turns on Michael, demanding that he tell everyone the truth. When Michael feigns ignorance, Jack gets louder and increasingly more physical until Michael finally breaks down and confesses. He tells them about the list, about how he had to bring all four of them to the Others or else he would lose Walt forever.

Naturally, everyone is stunned. "You let Henry go?!" Kate asks incredulously. Michael doesn't respond, but suddenly Hurley has put two and two together. "You killed them? Ana Lucia... and Libby?" he asks softly.

Michael is sunk. He tries to apologize and explain his actions, but Hurley's had enough. He tells them he's going back to the shore, and good luck to them. Jack, however, has another bombshell to tell him: "You can't go back, Hurley."

Hurley queries, but Jack gives it to him straight: if they turn back now, the Others will kill them all!

Hurley is livid. So too are Kate and Sawyer. Jack apologizes to them, telling them that while his actions were far from commendable, each of them has to know that he would never, ever lead them into a situation like this without some sort of contingency plan. Sawyer, finally wanting the whole truth for once, demands to know what Jack's plan is.

On the boat, Sayid is kneeling on the bow in prayer while Jin and Sun watch respectfully from the stern. Suddenly, Jin sees a recognizable sight, and calls out to Sayid, who confirms it: they've arrived at the Others' north shore camp.

Near the hatch, Charlie tries desperately to remember where Hurley told him the remaining dynamite from the Black Rock expedition was hidden. He and Eko manage to find it and bring it down to the blast door, but once Charlie figures out just exactly what Eko's planning to do, he freaks. For one thing, blast doors are made to withstand such things as dynamite. For another, they're lighting temperamental explosives in a very confined area.

Realizing that things do not look good for anyone involved, Charlie attempts to try and reason with both Locke through the blast doors and with Eko sitting nearby... to no avail. In the computer room, Desmond realizes that Eko will only blow himself up - the hatch doors can withstand a lot of beating... is evidenced in flashback, when he and Kelvin used to set off "lockdowns" in order to create the blacklight painting of the hatch map. Desmond complains that while Kelvin continually prattles on about the great Radzinsky, he's never told him exactly how he died.

Kelvin then nonchalantly points to a brown spot located on a corner of the ceiling. Seems Radzinsky had grown tired of pushing the button and, lacking any other way out, took a shotgun and blew his head clean off. For Kelvin, though, the bitch of it was that he only had 108 minutes to bury him.

Desmond tells Kelvin that unless he wants him to lose it, he should let him go out on the exploring expedition. Kelvin laughs, telling him there's nothing out there but "hostiles" and disease. Desmond counters that he's been cooped up for two whole years, and he does have army training, so what's the point of making him stay there? Kelvin scoffs at this, recalling that Desmond told him he was tossed out of the army for refusing to follow orders. When Desmond counters, Kelvin tells him he left his army because "men followed my orders." He then went on to join the Dharma Initiative, and that's how he ended up in the hatch. He then suits up for another trip outside, and tells Desmond to push the button - and that's an order.

In the present, Charlie realizes that Locke's not about to open the doors, so he tries one last time to talk Eko out of detonating the dynamite - even going so far as to tell him that the button may well be all for nothing. At his retort, Eko grabs Charlie, slams him against the wall, removes his belt, and throws it toward the magnetized portion of the wall. When the belt sticks, Charlie finally realizes that there's something about this place, alright...

Finally, Eko give Locke one last chance to open the door, to which Locke refuses. Eko then sets off the charge, against Charlie's protests, and it's Charlie who finds himself racing from a massive flaming fireball that's heading straight for him!

In flashback, Desmond recalls how one day he discovered Kelvin completely sauced on the local brew and sitting over a very strange lock, dangling the key overhead. When Desmond asks what it's for, Kelvin tells him that it's a "failsafe" - the only other way to end the torture of pushing the button. "Just turn this key, and the whole thing goes away..."

In the present, Desmond's concerned about the fates of Eko and Charlie. He tells Locke that they should open the door to see if they are alright, but Locke refuses, telling him it's nothing more than a trick on their part. Desmond's incredulous - people could be dead, for all they know - but Locke remains firm. When Desmond queries as to "the doctor's" whereabouts, Locke tells him that Jack is God-knows-where, and certainly not interested in the goings-on of the hatch.

Desmond finally asks Locke the question everyone wants to know: is the reason he's letting the timer self-destruct because he has this insatiable need to look down the barrel of a gun?

Locke explains that since he discovered the quarantine door, he's believed that it was his "destiny" to get inside that hatch, and that someone - a kid - died because of it. And on the night that that kid died - for nothing - he was sitting on top of that door, screaming at the heavens and asking what it was he should do. When the light came on, he thought it was a "sign"... but no, Locke reasons, it was probably just Desmond going off to the loo or something.

At the north shore camp, Sayid practices stealth techniques so as to keep his presence in the camp secret, but he finds out quickly the he needn't have bothered - the place is completely deserted. Being thorough, though, Sayid checks every structure, including the camp's hatch... only to find, that it, like everything else here, is a ruse. The "hatch" is nothing more than metal doors cleverly set into a tall rock face! Clearly, something's afoot... is the land party, who are continuing on under the guise of Michael's lead. In a clearing, however, there lies a sight that catches the attention of Kate, who then tips off the rest to what she sees - a giant pile of pneumatic tubes, nearly the size of three of Sawyer's tents back on the beach!

As Jack and Sawyer study the giant pipe that sits at one end of the pile of tubes, Kate opens one of them and finds a notebook... a notebook filled with what she calls "journal entries." She reads some of these aloud: "0400 SR moves ping-pong table again. 0415, takes a shower." Clearly, it's puzzling - what the hell's going on here?

Sawyer, however, notices two more things of importance - Locke's hand-drawn rendering of the map of hatches from the Swan, and more importantly, the sight of a column of black smoke coming from the shore... Sayid's prearranged signal.

Jack sees the column too, but realizes that there are more than a few miles between them and Sayid on the shore. He then angrily turns to Michael, demanding to know just where he's taking them. When Michael stubbornly insists they're going to the shore, Jack calls his bluff and demands the truth.

Before Michael can say anything, though, an ominous cacophony of whispers can be heard all around the little party, bringing Jack, Kate and Sawyer to draw their weapons and begin scouting the treeline.

Suddenly, Sawyer grabs his neck as though he's swatted a fly... but this is no fly bite - it's an electric dart, sending Sawyer into convulsions and finally into unconsciousness! Jack, realizing they're in a trap, screams at Kate and Hurley to run, which Jack and Kate do. Hurley, afraid of the whispers, covers his ears and tries to hide from whatever's making them.

Jack and Kate don't manage to get very far, however... within minutes Kate is struck in the shoulder, and though Jack attempts to eliminate the threat by firing into the treeline and then attempts to save Kate by carrying her with him, Jack is struck in the leg with another dart. Jack struggles, continuing to carry Kate, but soon he too falls to the ground in a haze. The last images Jack has are of the Others coming at him with blindfolds and binding his hands together behind his back.

In the hatch, Desmond demands to know about the Pearl hatch - what was it about? What was in it? Locke tells him everything about the Pearl, but Desmond presses - was there a computer? Yes, Locke replies, and he shoves the printout into Desmond's chest, telling him he has reading material for the next nineteen minutes.

As Desmond peruses the printout, he notices a correlation - the numbers in the log are the same as the times the button was pushed. He then flips through the log, as if he's looking for something...

In flashback, Desmond's gearing up for another day in the hatch while Kelvin suits up to go out. Desmond notices a large tear in the hazmat suit, and decides to follow Kelvin out on this particular trek.

So follow him Desmond does, over hill and dale and bush and rock... until they come to a cove that hides a very familiar vessel... Desmond's boat. Seems the boat didn't sink after all...

Suddenly, Kelvin pops out from behind, telling Desmond that he knew he was being followed... after all, he was with the CIA for over ten years. When Desmond demands to know what the hell's going on, Kelvin simply tells him that he's fixed up the boat, and he's leaving the island. He then suggests that Desmond come along, almost as an afterthought. When Desmond reminds Kelvin about the button, Kelvin simply replies, "Screw the button."

Desmond is livid - Kelvin's stolen three years of his life, not to mention his chance at gaining both Penny and his honor back. The two men fight, ending with Desmond accidentally knocking Kelvin against a rock, killing him.

Desmond freaks. He then races back to the hatch, where the hatch is in full blown system failure. Hieroglyphs appear where the numbers in the timer should be, the hatch is starting to shake, and all hell is breaking loose. After several tries, Desmond is finally able to get the computer to accept the code and the timer resets.

In the present, Desmond finally finds what he's looking for. He asks Locke when it was he came to the island, and when Locke explains that they crashed about 65 days ago, Desmond demands to know the date.

September 22, replies Locke. Why?

Desmond then scans the printout one more time to make sure he's not mistaken... and to his horror, he's not. The printout lists that on September 22, there was a system failure in the hatch.

"I think I crashed your plane," says Desmond in shock.

On a remote part of the north island, a strange group steps onto a large boat dock... a handful of Others leading four blinded, gagged and bound figures... Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley. All four, especially Sawyer, are struggling against their captors, but are eventually brought out to the end of the dock, where they're forced onto their knees and their blindfolds removed. Sawyer, having had personal issues with this group twice before, is cursing out the Others despite being gagged and muffled. One of the Others, a male, decides to shut Sawyer up by kicking him hard in the stomach... which, though painful and probably unnecessary, does the trick.

It's then that the bearded fellow takes charge, telling the four of them (along with the attacking Other) to settle down. Kate calls the man on his disguise, which is garbled through her gag but clear to the woman called "Klugh"... in fact, she slips and addresses the bearded fellow by his real name, Tom. "Tom" thanks Kate for her insight... finally he can take off the itchy beard he so despises... but cattily calls "Klugh" by her real name, Bea.

Just then, the sound of a motor can be heard offshore, and the four prisoners turn their heads to see a boat docking nearby. As it shores up, a strangely familiar man hops off the craft, walks towards the group, and makes a point to stop in front of Jack. He tips his head towards Jack in a sort of reversal of fortune - now he, "Henry Gale," is the captor while Jack is the prisoner. "Hello again," he quips ominously, then turns his attentions to Michael.

"Let's take care of business, shall we?" Gale says matter-of-factly, to everyone's surprise... including Michael's.

In the hatch corridor, Charlie wakes up from the explosion relatively unhurt, but experiencing temporary deafness from the blast. He goes over to Eko, trying as best he can to rouse him, while inside the hatch Desmond realizes exactly what the hatch is all about.

He tells Locke that on the day of the plane crash - September 22, 2004 - the hieroglyphs lit up, the screen read "system failure," and the whole hatch began to violently shake. Minutes later, Locke's plane crashed from the sky. That's how, he reasons, he caused the plane to crash... so now they have to push the button, or else!

Locke, meanwhile, insists that the button is all for naught, and even breaks the computer into irreparable pieces to prove his point. In desperation, Desmond lifts the lockdown and begins searching frantically for something...

...his book, Our Mutual Friend. In flashback, Desmond is seen at the kitchen table preparing to read his book before he drinks himself to death. Once he opens it, however, he finds a letter behind the front cover... it's from Penny, and she writes that no matter what, she will wait for him, always. "All we really need is one person who truly loves us. And you have her," she writes.

In desperation, Desmond begins tearing the hatch apart, tossing books, records... anything he can find. Suddenly, he's intrigued by some strange sounds coming from the hatch door on the surface. It's Locke, just as he described himself previously - screaming at the heavens and beating madly on the door. Grateful that someone else is in the world along with him, Desmond turns on the light that Locke mistakes as a "sign."

In the present, Desmond finds his book... and with it, the failsafe key. He runs to the trapdoor, ducks inside, and tells Locke that once Locke saved his life; now it's time to repay the favor. With that, Desmond makes his way to the failsafe lock deep in the bowels of the hatch.

As the hatch goes into failure, Charlie has a hell of a time trying to save Eko and himself from the onslaught of flying dishes, appliances, objects - basically anything metal and magnetic that is hurtling towards them. However, Eko has other plans - he shoves Charlie towards the door and tells him to get out as fast as he can. He himself goes to the computer room, where the place is self-destructing. "I was wrong, " admits Locke sadly.

Desmond recalls Penny's letter and he readies himself to turn the key. He declares his love for Penny, then, finally turns the key.

Within seconds, the sky over the entire island turns violent shades of purple and white; there is a deafening pitch that emits from nowhere, and the noise is so intense that everyone covers their ears (everyone, that is, except for Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley - in their present condition, all they can do is get as low as they can and close their eyes to the blinding light). On the main beach, it's all Claire and Bernard can do to avoid being killed by a falling object - the old hatch door, which lands in the sand with a sickening thud.

The only one to return from the hatch after the lightshow is Charlie, who's still experiencing temporary deafness. When Bernard asks about the fates of Locke and Eko, Charlie is surprised that they haven't returned yet.

On the dock, Gale discusses terms with Michael. He says that he's not happy with the deal that was struck, but he's lived up to his end of the bargain admirably. Gale also admits that Walt was "more than they bargained for," so giving him over to Michael is not such a terrible loss. Michael asks where Walt is, and Gale replies that he's on the boat already. Gale also gives Michael a compass bearing of 325; if he follows that bearing exactly, he and Walt are sure to return home.

Michael suddenly grows a backbone. What happens if he tells other people about the island and Gale's people?

Gale replies simply that he wouldn't do any such thing... because then, he reasons, he'd have to admit what it was he did in order to get his son back. And in any case, he'll never find his way back again.

Michael then tries to reassure himself that Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley will be unharmed; Gale tells him that "a deal's a deal" and that he shouldn't worry.

"Who are you people?!?" Michael finally asks incredulously.

"We're the good guys," says Gale. Michael then gets on the boat and has a tearful reunion with his son while Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley are forced to watch.

Then something unexpected happens: at Gale's motion, Hurley is cut loose. Bea tells him that his task is to return back to the south shore, to his camp; he must also tell "his people" that they can never come to the north shore.

Hurley, however, is concerned with only one thing: "What about my friends?" he asks as he looks at Jack, Kate and Sawyer.

It is Gale who answers him: "Your friends," he says, "are coming home with us."

At this revelation, all three of the prisoners look up at Gale quizzically, as if to say what in the hell are you up to? Hurley stands torn for several moments, finally looking over at the trio as if to get advice on his next course of action. Very softly, Jack nods his head in agreement, and sadly, Hurley sets off as the three of them watch.

At the same time, the boat sputters to life, and Michael takes a long hard look at the people he betrayed in order to achieve his own ends. Likewise, Jack, Kate, and Sawyer take a long hard look at Michael, but their eyes are filled with contempt and loathing for him.

As soon as everyone leaves, Jack, Kate and Sawyer are dragged to their feet in preparation for the long walk ahead of them. Kate looks at Jack, and Jack looks at Kate, almost as if to say that they'll find a way out of this, and whatever happens, they will do it together. Sawyer looks on at them in a mixture of solidarity and puzzlement at just what Jack and Kate are up to, and then their blindfolds are replaced, leaving them again in the dark.

Later that night, on the south shore, Claire tries to get some answers about what happened in the hatch. Charlie half-jokingly asks her if she'd like to hear about the flaming fireball or the flying fork incident first. Claire tells him to be serious, to which Charlie tells her that nothing happened. Claire then looks over Charlie's wounds, and before Charlie knows it, she's leaned in and kissed him. Charlie's not arguing... in fact, he's rather pleased with this development...

Meanwhile, in an unidentified polar location, two Portuguese men are whiling away some free time with a game of chess until one of them notices a strange light blinking. As one man frantically tries to look up the source of the signal, the other man gets on the phone and calls a woman... a strangely familiar woman.

The man tells the woman that the signal is going off and that he thinks they have "found it." The woman finally wakes up, turns on her bedside light, and allows this development to sink in as her face comes into view... it's Penny Widmore!