In a characteristic season opener, we see a man rise (at 8:15 am), greet his Asian wife, and prepare a bottle for his newborn baby. As Willie Nelson's "Shotgun Willie" plays on the turntable (Aside: Google tells me that Shotgun Willie's is also the name of a strip club in Denver - you're welcome!), I prepared myself for a shocking reveal - perhaps of Jin living a new life on the island. As I'm sure you can all relate to, this show has my mind bent like a pretzel, but at least it has retrained it to consider possible some fairly outlandish scenarios.
But no, instead we discover it's the very surly Dr. Pierre Chang (aka Dr. Marvin Candle, aka Dr. Mark Wickmun, aka Dr. Edgar Halliwax), the guy from all the Dharma training films, on his way to a taping. Shooting is interrupted, though, with news that drilling in an underground cave of sorts has halted because the drill bits suddenly melted. It's then that we see that we are in fact in the vicinity of that frozen donkey wheel that Ben enlisted during the season finale. Dr. Chang exposits that harnessing the island's mysterious energy will allow them to time travel. "So what? We're going to go back and kill Hitler?" asks one worker. "Don't be absurd; there are rules," spits Chang. Do tell!
As Chang charges out of the cave, he bumps into a worker whose identity is hidden by his giant hardhat, but we soon discover that it's Daniel Faraday, in the full-on 1970s mode that I dubbed Shagaday when I recapped "The Constant." What could he be doing there?
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