This isn’t a full recap of the premiere, just a look at what on earth the island is doing, but before I begin if you haven’t watched both episodes from the season 5 premiere then stop reading now and come back after you have, I don’t want to be responsible for spoiling anything for you.
At the end of season 4 Ben turned the ‘donkey wheel’ and moved the island, to those aboard the helicopter it was simply there one moment and gone the next leaving them no option but to put the chopper down into the ocean, for Ben it resulted in him being transported from January 2005 on the Island to the middle of a Tunisian desert… in October 2005. But for those on the island the consequences appear to have been a little more severe.
As the bright light and loud noises dissipated Sawyer, Juliet and co found themselves still on the island but in a time before Flight 815 had crashed, the result being that they no longer had any of their shelter, food or other supplies that they’d been keeping at the beach. Sawyer points out to Juliet that the burning wreck of the freighter that they could see previously has now vanished. Dan arrives back at the island in the Zodiac, which he was on along with several other losties during the move and was brought along for the ride. He mentions something about “being inside the radius”, obviously both the freighter and the helicopter were outside this radius.
The ‘Island 5’TM (Sawyer, Juliet, Dan, Charlotte and Miles) head off to the hatch, on the way there the Dan explains that the Island is like a skipping record, and that they might have been dislodged from time. Before they get to the hatch the island ‘skips’ again, and when they arrive they find the hatch already imploded, in other words they’ve jumped forward again, but they don’t know how far. While standing looking over the imploded ruins of the hatch the island ‘skips’ again, taking them back again to a time before the hatch was found.