First, a brief word to my readers. Sorry for the delay in posting this recap. A new job, a sick baby girl (don't worry, she's doing fine now) and the longest, densest recap I've ever done took longer than normal. Of course, we have 8 months until the next episode of Lost airs, so I guess there was no hurry....but in any case, enjoy!
Catching Up On Where We've Been
Before we recap the finale to this most amazing fourth seson of Lost, which featured many out-of-order flashforwards, I thought I'd show you all a recap somebody else put together by editing highlights of all the flashforwards into what appears to be their "correct" order. Now, I have a few points where I disagree with this ordering, but it's generally how I understand things, and it serves as a great launching point to the recap proper...
Before the two hour second part of the finale, ABC re-aired the first hour, but with extra footage added to the press conference scene. Here's what was added:
Jack identified the three people who, according to their lie, survived the crash but died before rescue - Boone, Libby and Charlie - then said he had no real plans other than to bury his father. Sayid said there was nothing for him in Iraq, so he wouldn't return there. So, not much on the "new" front, but worth adding for completeness sake.
And Away We Go...
One major mystery solved! Two big bangs!! Three (apparently) dead castaways!!! Four Seasons in the bag!!!! Five disparate locales to start next season!!!!! And Six Oceanic 815 Survivors concoct their lies!!!!!!! All this, plus the "frozen donkey wheel" in the action-packed fourth season finale, "There's No Place Like Home, Part II."
The final installment of Lost's fourth season picks up at the very moment where Season 3 left off. After Jack shouted "we have to go baaaaack" as Kate started to drive away, she stopped, and reversed back to Jack's position.
She's not at all pleased that she's had to explain to Aaron why Jack stopped reading to him at night, only to suddenly have Jack call her for two days about the obituary of Jeremy Bentham.
Well, we were promised an answer to the question of who was in the coffin. But few of us expected a name we had not heard on the show before. My guess had always been Michael, given his suicidal tendencies and two aliases. But then Kate went and said "Jeremy Bentham," the name that was hinted at in the partial view we got last season of the actual obituary. Anyone who studied English philosphers in college probably guessed immediately who Mr. Bentham was. I, of course, did not, so I got no clue from the name. For those of you who would like a quick background course in who the "real" Jeremy Bentham was, click here.
Jack tells Kate that Bentham said returning to the island is the only way to keep Kate and Aaron safe, and Kate slaps him for even mentioning Aaron's name. Kate says she spent three years trying to forget the horrible things they had to do the day they left, so "how dare you ask me to go back."Hello, foreshadow much?
A Note On Structure
Although I normally consolidate story lines, I think it's best to more or less stick to the order in which things occurred in this thoroughly complex episode. 'Nuff said.
Don't I Know You From Some Place?
Hurley, at Santa Rosa, gets a visit from Walt (not taller, ghost Walt, but actual taller 'cause he's three years older Walt). Walt tells him point-blank, "you know, when you came back, I was waiting for one of you to come see me, but none of you did. But you know who did come see me? Jeremy Bentham. I don't understand why you're all lying."
Hurley, who has still been having conversations with people who died on the island, leans in and tells Walt, "we're lying, because it's the only way to protect every one who didn't come back." "Like my dad?" asks Walt, hoping to be reunited with his father. Hurley pauses, looks down, then says, "like your dad. Yeah."
The writers clearly knew many of us suspected Michael would be in the coffin, so this scene served to cross him off the list of possibilities. After all, it's hard to imagine Michael would return and not try again to see his son. So it would seem he got left behind, after all...
Jack and Sawyer, in the jungle, find the Orchid, with Hurley peeing nonchalantly in the bushes outside. Hurley seems to have mixed emotions over Jack's presence. The mercenaries and Ben are conspicously absent as they approach John Locke in the greenhouse portion of the station. John, who seems strangely happy to see Jack, says he's looking for a way in, then asks for a word with Jack alone. Sawyer is about to lead Hurley to the chopper, but Hurley says they can't go there because the mercs are taking Ben there now.
Keamy, leading a cuffed Ben through the jungle, asks his prisoner why he's so important to Widmore. Ben asks if Widmore told him to kill Alex, but Keamy doesn't answer, as he sees Frank has gotten hold of the toolbox and is trying to free himself. Suddenly, Kate comes running from behind a bush. She says she's running because she's being chased by Ben's people, so Keamy deploys his men in a search pattern. Kate and Ben exchange an interesting look before the Others' attack kills first one, then two of Keamy's men. A firefight ensues. Another merc gets hit with a tranq dart (hello, Season 2 flashback!) Kate saves Ben, and it's clear she and the Others are in cahoots. Keamy accidentally kills Omar by kicking a grenade towards him, then chases after Kate and Ben, but Sayid is there and seriously kicks Keamy's ass (and takes a few tough hits himself) before stabbing him in the side with Keamy's knife. Keamy gets the upper hand, however, but Richard emerges and shoots the badass merc several times in the back.
More Others emerge, followed by Kate and Ben. In a tense moment between allies who are not really friends, Ben thanks Richard for coming, and Richard responds, "my pleasure." Apparently, the Others had agreed that if Kate and Sayid helped them free Ben, they would get safe passage off the island. Kate, incredulous, asks Ben if that's really it, and they can actually leave, and Ben says, "that's it."
Man Of Science/ Man Of Faith (Revisited)
As Sawyer and Hurley hang back and watch Locke and Jack discuss "leader stuff," Sawyer doesn't answer when Hurley asks if Claire and the baby are ok.
Locke asks Jack to reconsider leaving the island. They compare faults, and John proposes letting bygones be bygones. He insists, "but you're not supposed to go home," and that Jack knows he's there for a reason, knowledge that will eat him alive if he leaves.
Since Jack won't relent, Locke insists those who leave should lie about their story to protect the island, "a place where miracles happen. And if you don't believe that, just wait until you see what I'm about to do." Ben returns, and shows John the secret entrance (he had instructed Locke which type of flower marked the door, and seemed to delight in Locke's inability to identify the particular type of fauna on his own). Ben encourages Jack, Hugo and Sawyer to get on the boat within the hour, then ducks inside an elevator with Locke. "Lie to them, Jack," repeats Locke. "If you do it half as well as you do it to yourself, you should have no trouble."
Ben and John continue the long descent into the Orchid, station, proper. John asks if this is the magic box, but Ben says no as if what he means to say is, "stupid rookie." John asks what all the equipment is for, and Ben responds with obvious contempt for both his origins and his anointed successor - "same thing that all the DHARMA stations are for - silly experiments." Ben patronizingly gives John the final cut of the Halliwax video to watch, which I have here for you courtesy of E! Online...
Even as the playback features Halliwax warning, "now for your own safety, and the saftey of those around you, metallic objects must never be placed inside the vault," Ben loads the Vault with all the metal he can find.
"In our first deomstration, we will attempt to shift the subject 100 milliseconds ahead in four-demensional space. For the briefest of moments, the animal will disappear, but in reality..." The tape mysteriously starts to rewind itself, and John can't stop it. Stupid DHARMA tapes - we never really get a full answer out of them, do we? As John asks Ben if Halliwax was actually talking about... Ben amusingly finishes the thought - "time travelling bunnies? Yes." Suddenly, the elevator closes and starts to rise again.
Back on The Freighter...
I can dispense with all the action on the freighter in one quick burst. In several scenes intercut with the rest of the action, Jin, Desmond and Michael wrack their brains over what to do with the big bomb. Unable to find a safe way to move it or dismantle it, they decide to freeze the battery with the last remaining can of liquid nitrogen from the freezing unit, which would delay detonation even when the signal to blow comes in. Of course, there's only so much of the stuff in the can, and they have to freeze in advance, since a red light means instant boom!
Hurley, Sawyer and Jack return to the helicopter, where Frank is still freeing himself. Sawyer saws off the cuff, and, after Sayid assures Jack it's safe on the freighter now (given the dead mercs), they take off. Hurley gets Jack's assurance they'll come back and look for Claire after dropping people off on the boat. And the chopper leaves, and, at last, the rest of the Oceanic Six seem poised to join Sun and Aaron...with Lapidus and Sawyer on board as well.
The elevator returns, and it's Keamy. Stagging, but still alive, he draws another knife from his boot. He tries to bait Ben into coming out, talking about how his armor saved him from Richard's bullets. Keamy confirms our suspicions - the device on his arm is a heart-rate monitor, a dead-man's trigger that will blow the explosives on the freighter. "If I'm bluffing, need I remind you of how your daughter looked when she bled out, face-down on the grass." Locke comes out, and says he has no conflict with Keamy, and neither do the people on the boat. But before he can respond, Ben charges, shouting, "you killed my daughter," repeatedly, and stabs Keamy multiple times. John, shocked, says, "you just killed everyone on that boat," and Ben, like a petulant child who would have paid any price for his revenge, responds, "so?"
These moments truly allow Michael Emerson to shine. Please, please Emmy voters. Please give him a damn statue this year!
Rose confronts Miles, who is eating DHARMA peanuts without permission. She warns him, "I'm keeping an eye on you, shorty."
Dan asks Miles to follow him. He tries to convince Miles and Charlotte to leave with him on the next Zodiac trip, but Miles insists he wants to stay, no matter how "dire" Daniel says the situation. Miles says he's surprised Charlotte wants to leave, "after all the time you spent trying to get back here." Charlotte asks what he means, and Miles grins, "what do I mean?" So Charlotte decides to stay, and tells Daniel she's still looking for where she was born.
The one thing we truly seemed to have missed out on due to the writers' strike seems to be more on these fascinating new characters. Fortunately, this finale did plenty to cue up some great storylines (and backstories) next season.
Juliet also doesn't go along with Daniel, because she promised she would only leave when everyone else is safe, and there are still more people to ferry out to Kahana. They can see the freighter on the horizon.
On the chopper, Frank notices the fuel is dropping. The chopper took a bullet to the fuel tank during the Others' fight with the mercs. Jack says not to land, because there's no fuel on the island, so they have to get to the boat, but Frank can't see the boat. He tells them to toss all the extra weight off the chopper, and they start to empty out everything. "I'd feel a hell of a lot better if we were a few hundred pounds lighter."
This brief, throwaway shot of Hurley was the kind of thing that makes Lost so rewarding to dedicated viewers. A casual viewer will hear Frank's line and think, "uh-oh, fat guy on board" and that will be that. But Lostophiles like us realize that Hurley's whole "cursed" life just came back to him. Remember, the first time he was institutionalized at Santa Rosa was because he stepped on a balcony at a party, causing it to collapse and kill several friends. While there, he learned "the numbers," which he played in the lottery, becoming a multi-millionaire, but soon coming to feel his winnings were cursed, and he was a jinx to those he cared about. Now, convinced that leaving the island to a world where his lottery money was now gone would mean he was at last free of his curse, he suddenly realizes that, once again, his weight was going to kill his friends, and you can see how he reacted. And Lost brought all this to our attention with one quick shot that lasted only seconds! Brilliant!
Sawyer whispers something to Kate, then plants a massive kiss on her, bigger than any kiss to date in the Skater or Jater relationships.
She asks why he told her whatever it was he just told her, and he says "just do it, Freckles," then jumps out of the helicopter, into the ocean.
If it weren't obvious, this was the beginning of the secret favor Kate would try to perform for Sawyer that ultimately led Jack into a jealous, parnoid downward spiral of booze and pills. Moreover, this courageous act of self-sacrifice culminated the brilliant arc that Sawyer has been following all year. It seems that having killed the real Sawyer actually did redeem him, and his paternalistic caring for Claire and Hurley, and his acting so romantically towards Kate, reveal the man James Ford may have been had he not been traumatized in his childhood.
Sawyer swims to the surface, and the helicopter flies off as he starts to swim back to the shore. Jack assures Kate they'll go back for him after they land. Hurley spots the freighter, and they turn to land on board...
Reunion In Blood
Sayid assasinates a man sitting in a car outside Santa Rosa (monitoring Hurley?) He goes into Hurley's room, where Hugo is playing chess, alone. Hurley comments that visiting hours are over. "This isn't a visit. I want you to come with me."
Hurley refuses to go anywhere with a friend he thought had abandoned him (as we all know, he never stopped by because he was out killing people for Ben). Sayid tells Hurley circumstances have changed - Bentham is dead. Sayid supresses a bit of a Ben-esque smile when he says it was apparently a suicide. Hurley asks why Sayid is calling him "Bentham," but Sayid stops him from saying the real name since they're being watched. Concerned about what following Sayid will mean, Hurley asks, "we're not going back, are we?" Sayid assures him, "no, just somewhere safe." As they leave, Hurley turns around, makes one final move in his chess match, and says, "checkmate, Mr. Eko."
Did Sayid kill Bentham? Did he do so on Ben's orders? More on this later. And how sneaky of the writers to inform us that "Bentham" was an alias for someone we already know, but prevent us from hearing who he really is!
Keamy slowly dies, and John scrambles to keep him alive. Ben says it's not his problem. Keamy assures Ben Widmore will find him, but Ben responds, "not if I find him first." As Keamy dies, the light on his device turns red...then so does the other one, on the freighter. Michael tells Desmond and Jin to get everyone off the boat, there are five minutes left in the tank, but Jin says he'll stay to try to defuse the bomb.
The copter approaches, even as Des scrambles to the deck. He tries to wave the chopper off, but Frank has to land. They scramble to refill the tank and patch the holes. Kate tells Sun to board, and she'll get to Jin. Michael convinces Jin to leave while he buys as much time as he can. Jack grabs Kate and won't let her return for Jin. The chopper lifts off, as Jin comes running, but it's too late. Jack and Hurley restrain Sun.
Michael's nozzle runs out of gas. Suddenly Christian shows up, and says, "you can go now Michael."
Why is Christian Shephard the designated spokesman for Jacob and the island? It's not as though anybody but Jack or Claire knows who he is. Is this just to keep us from actually seeing Jacob? Is there a Jacob to see? Also, it would seem the island is now done with Michael, and will "let" him die as he wanted to. So what exactly was his purpose? He didn't stop the mercenaries from getting to the island. He didn't manage to rescue anyone from the island, since the freighter is about to blow up. Yet now the island is done with him? Talk about phoning in your "assistance to mystical islands" efforts...
The boat blows, up, with most of the rescuees, including Jin, apparently still on board.
Sun is hysterical, but they can't go back with the fuel they have. They have to return to the island. So is Jin really dead? Ever the optimist, I hope not. He was, after all, running towards the front of the freighter, and the explosion happened in the middle of it. And there was no shot of his body getting consumed by flame or floating by. Still, it appears at the moment as though the only lie on Jin's gravestone was the actual date of his death. Which is too bad. As disinterested as I was in the Jin-Sun dynamic, Daniel Dae Kim was tremendously charismatic, and Jin's personal journey towards redemption has been almost as amazing as Sawyer's. Also, if some sign that he is alive were to present itself, that may eventually lead Sun back to the island...
Now, about the death of Michael. Many of you probably remember his cold-blooded killing of Ana Lucia and his surprise killing of Libby, and thought to yourselves, "good!" One person who unabashedly is not happy with the way Michael was brought back only to be killed is Harold Perrineau, the actor who plays him. Check out his scathing comments in TV Guide by clicking here.
Sun, in London, approaches Charles Widmore and introduces herself as Mr. Paik's daughter. Widmore calls Paik quite the golfer.
"Are you really going to pretend you don't know who I am?" She knows he knows her story. She says they have "common interests," and they're not the only ones who left the island. Widmore asks why she would help him, but she walks off.
Ben insists to Locke that sometimes good command decisions are compromised by strong emotional responses, but he trusts John will do better. Ben fires up the vault, which causes a bit of an explosion inside, then says he better change.
Juliet sees Sawyer swimming to shore, shirtless. How "Charlie's Angels" for the ladies! He smiles and guesses she's celebrating, since she has a bottle of rum, but she says she's not celebrating, and he turns and sees the smoke from the ex-freighter. He asks if that's their boat, and Juliet responds, "it was."
Ben puts on the same DHARMA Halliwax parka we saw him wearing when he materialized in Tunisia. He says he's going somewhere cold, but John's not going. Ben has to suffer the consequences for what Jacob wants, and whoever moves the island can never come back. The Others will be waiting for John to share what they know, and to follow John's every word. "Sorry I made your life so miserable," says Ben, and I, for one, believe he actually means it. John asks what to tell the Others to do, but Ben says, "you'll find your way, John. You always do." John finds the Others in the jungle, where they've set up a camp. Richard is particularly pleased to see him, and welcomes John "home." Meanhile, Ben removes the metal from the Vault, then steps through the blasted back wall into a narrow tunnell. He makes his way through to a ladder, which leads down to a purple glowing ice portal. The ladder gives way, and Ben falls into a cave, where he lights a lantern. The fall cut his arm through the parka.
In other words, we just learned that this scene immediately precedes Ben's appearance in Tunisia. Now as for what Ben finds in this cave, the producers have teased for months that the big surprise reveal in this season's finale was codenamed the "Frozen Donkey Wheel," but they refused to decode what that meant. Now, at long last, we see, it was literally a frozen donkey wheel...
"I hope you're happy now, Jacob," Ben says as he tries to budge the wheel.
It starts to turn, and, as Ben dons an expression of utter anguish, suddenly, we hear the same sound we heard just before the Swan imploded. Light and heat start to radiate out from the wheel housing. Suddenly, first Ben, then the entire island, and its surroundings, are engulfed in purple light, and then they're gone, and the ocean rushes in to fill the spot where the island was.
Now there's no place for Frank to land. Jack suggests they go to the Hydra island, but it's gone, too. They're out of fuel, and start going down. Frank tells them to get life vests on. Sayid opens a life raft and tosses it out. They hit, and the chopper goes under. As it sinks, Jack hears shouts above water. He swims and finds Hurley helping the baby into the raft. Frank finds Desmond passed out in the water. They swim him to the raft. Once aboard, Jack performs CPR and revives Desmond. So now we have...the oceanic six, plus freighter one, plus sailboat one? Jack is relieved they're alive, but everyone else is freaked.Holy parallelisms! The first season also ended with an unlikely group of survivors on a raft desperately hoping for rescue...
In a flash forward, Kate looks around. Her phone rings, but first there's nobody on the line. Then she hears island-like whispers, which someone online reversed and posted. Take a listen to what the voice actually said...
Kate grabs a gun and rushes to Aaron's room, where she finds... Claire?!
Suddenly, Kate's pleea of "don't you touch my son" seems hollow. Claire warns, "don't bring him back, Kate. Don't you dare bring him back." But it was just a dream, and Kate awakes (for real) to find Aaron safe in bed. She apologizes to the sleeping boy, and breaks down in tears.
On the raft, Kate notes that it's a miracle that Aaron's fine. Hurley says he can't believe Locke did it - he moved the island. Jack tries to disagree, but Hurley, tired of Jack's doubting Thomas routine, demands that, if he has another explanation for how the island was there, and then it wasn't, to please share . Frank sees a boat on the horizon. Anyone else thinking back to the Others tugboat that found Michael's raft? As the boat trains a spotlight on them. Jack suddenly realizes...they have to lie. Jack points out they were all to be killed by the mercs, and someone went to a lot of trouble to fake their deaths in the bogus crash. Kate doubts they can pull it off, but Jack says to let him do the talking.
The boat is the Searcher, and despite its Portuguese-speaking crew, it belongs to ...Penny! Desmond sees her and scales the rigging like Errol Flynn to climb to his lost love. Their kiss is phenomonal, like total "Princess Bride" quality.
Desmond asks how he found her. She says his phone call, and, oh, she has a tracking station. He promises to never leave her again. Penny's people help the survivors aboard. Desmond introduces them all to Penny. Jack says they need to talk.
On the one hand, it would appear Desmond's story is now over. After all, his one goal in life was to find and get back to his Penelope, and it would appear Lost's version of Odysseus has done just that. However, given Ben's pledge to Charles Widmore that he would get revenge by killing Penny, I'd say these two are bound to turn up again as the show progresses.
One week later, Hurley and Sayid rehearse the story. Jack and Frank prepare the boat that will take the Oceanic Six to their "real" rescue. They dress all dishevelled. "As long as I've got Penny, I'll be fine." insists Desmond Jack warns Desmond not to let them find him, then repeats, the line Desmond said to him more than three years earlier, "I'll see you in another life, brother." Jack rounds up his troops, and they row off using driftwood, to the fishing village from the Oceanic press conference photos.
Hurley looks relieved, Sun tired, Kate, lost. Jack goes to her, and together they walk off.
Finally, Moving Beyond Last Season's Finale
Jack returns to the Hoffs/ Drawlar funeral home the night after he was the only person to show for Bentham's funeral. He looks pretty strung out as he breaks the doorknob and kicks in the door. He grabs his head and paces around, then opens the coffin and looks inside...but is surprised to see Ben behind him.
Scratch the second most popular theory - that Ben was in the coffin. Indeed, once we learned earlier this year that Ben had left the island, he was my fallback if Michael didn't pan out.
Ben asks if Bentham told Jack that he was off the island, and Jack says, "yes." Jack says he spoke to Bentham a month ago, and Bentham saw Kate, too. Bentham told Jack that after he left the island, some very bad things happened, which were his fault for leaving, and Bentham said he had to go back. Ben tells Jack the island won't let him come alone. All of them have to go back. Jack says Sun blames him for Jin, Hurley's insane, Sayid can't be found, and Kate won't talk to him. Ben says he has a few ideas how they can do it - together. But they have to bring the body, too. The body of....John Locke!
Which again brings up the name Jeremy Bentham. If you followed the link I posted at the beginning of this recap, or if you otherwise know a bit about dead philosophers, you would know that Bentham and Locke were polar opposites, with Bentham following a Machiavellian worldview and Locke championing natural rights. What does this portend for what happened on the island after Jack left? How will leadership change Locke, and what would Jack's presence have made different? How and why did Locke leave, and did Sayid actually kill him? How will Ben and Jack function as allies? Some great questions to set up the next season.
Meanwhile, the producers went to some great lengths to preserve the secrecy of who Jeremy Bentham really was. In fact, they shot three alternate endings so that even the cast wouldn't know until they saw the final cut. Good Morning America showed these other endings the morning after the episode aired, and you can check them out here.
Where Does This Leave Us?
So now we've got the island, wherever (or whenever) it may be, where Locke leads the Others (oy, that won't go well), Sawyer, Juliet, Rose, Bernard, Miles, Charlotte and some scattered extras are still on the beach, Daniel probably got transported on the Zodiac with the island, Desmond and Penny are in hiding, from both her father and Ben, Sun has formed some sort of alliance with Widmore, Jack is working with Ben, who may or may not still be working with Sayid, who has secreted away with Hurley, who sees dead people. Meanwhile, Walt seems to want back into the story, and Kate is getting very conflicting dream messages telling her simultaneously to return to the island with Aaron, and not to. Finally, Claire may or may not be dead, but is on the island no matter what state of life she's in. For what it's worth, we will not see Claire next year, as whatever has happened to her will not be addressed in Season Five. However, she supposedly will be back in Season Six.
A Parting Theory
I came up with this take on the frozen donkey wheel on the fly, (a theory I've already posted on lostusers.com) and would love to hear your thoughts on it...
1) It is the fate of each and every Others leader to one day have to sacrifice his place on the island by moving it the way Ben did. This is what happened to the prior leader Ben alluded to at the DHARMA pit. And it's what will one day happen to Locke/ Bentham after the "terrible things" alluded to in the last scene last night.
2) When the island moves, it's in time, not space (much like the bunnies in the Orchid, who appear to disappear).
3) Each time the island moves forward in time this way, the Others must begin the search for a new leader. This explains the multiple times Richard sought out Locke. It also explains why he doesn't seem to age - the island jumps forward in time (not sure why he didn't age relative to young Ben, but hey, it's a new theory, and we'll work this out!)
4) This is Richard's role - to find the next leader. It's why he is not the leader, and, even when disenchanted with Ben, didn't stage a coup himself.
5) Many such leaders still try to act as agents of the island once they've been banished. Some of these include Brother Campbell, Ms. Hawking and...wait for it...Christian Shephard! (Ok, maybe the last one is a bit of a reach...or not!)
6) At one such jump in time that occurred in the past, the island materialized right under the Black Rock. I bet Magnus Hanso was searching for the island, and was in the right place, but not quite the right time. So it's not that the ship was carried to the middle of the island. It's that the island suddenly appeared under the ship.
7) It will take three years for the island to reappear this time. That's why Jack's plan to fly willy-nilly and hope for a crash hasn't worked. The island isn't back in the world yet.
8 ) The island's disappearance is never complete, and neither is its re-appearance. That's how "taller ghost Walt" could project himself to Locke (from the future) and why there is such a floating time discrepancy between on-and-off island areas.
That's It For Now...Or Is It?
So, even as we prepared to say farewell to Lost for the next 8 months, it would seem the Powers That Be threw us another little something to keep us busy. This print ad appeared just after the finale aired.
Meanwhile, during the finale, in the commercial break after Penny's boat found the raft, a "fake" spot ran. You can see the ad, and the website it directed viewers to, by clicking here.
Incidentally, the dates on which the website points viewers to San Diego coincide with the San Diego Comic Con. In past years, the Comic Con was where the climactic act of The Lost Experience launched, where the return of Michael was announced, and where the Orchid station was teased nine months before it appeared on the show. What will this year entail? Only time will tell. Until then...