Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lost, "This Place is Death": Sacrificial lambs

Spoilers for "Lost" coming up just as soon as I account for traffic...
"Since when did listening to him get you anywhere worth a damn?" -Christian Shephard
"This Place" is death is a very fun episode of "Lost," and a very necessary one. So much is happening, so many blanks are filled in, so many other answers are alluded to, and yet even more questions are raised that it's easy to simply buckle in and enjoy the plot-moving ride.

And yet those same qualities make it a little harder to embrace than some of this season's earlier episodes, and they make me regret, ever so slightly, that the show's expiration date is so near. A lot happened in this episode -- so much so that at times it felt rushed. And with so much ground to cover in the remaining season and two-thirds, I have a feeling we'll be rushing the rest of the way.

I know, I know. I've blathered on and on for more than a year what a boon that end date has been to the writing, about how happy I am that the story's finally moving forward, etc., so where do I get off complaining about them now? You can call me a never-satisfied "Lost" fan, I suppose, but I felt plenty satisfied with a lot of this episode. I just didn't find it as cohesive, or as emotionally resonant, as an episode like "Jughead" or "Because You Left." That's no crime -- just a sign that the current incarnation of the show has set the bar extremely high.

And there were certainly emotional high points. When Charlotte died (for real this time, as opposed to my false alarm at the end of "Jughead"), Jeremy Davies' portrayal of Dan's grief made me care about the passing of a character who got lost in the shuffle of the writers strike last season. (Kudos also go to director Paul Edwards for the decision to pull back from the moment, giving Dan some room the mourn, and to the usual beauty of the Michael Giacchino score.) Terry O'Quinn was just as good in John's time in the frozen donkey wheel cavern, suffering yet another leg injury, aware that he's likely to die on this mission, having the promise he just made to Jin rattling around in his head even as Christian gives him new orders, and gutting his way through all of it because he believes that it's his destiny -- his destiny -- to do this and save everyone. And Daniel Dae Kim, thrown right into the middle of all this time-travel insanity, kept it all nicely grounded as Jin tried to make sense of it all and figure out what's best for his wife.

But maybe the best way to approach an episode this busy is to break it down into what we now know, what we might suspect, and what we have no frakking clue about. In order...

WHAT WE KNOW

• We've now seen, in short, time-travel assisted order, what happened to the rest of Rousseau's group. The "sickness" wasn't the time-travel malady that killed Charlotte (or the similar one that killed Fisher Stevens), nor whatever was killing all the pregnant women; instead, they had an early encounter with Smokey, some died instantly, and others were somehow brainwashed by the monster (or its keepers), and Danielle killed them.

• Ms. Eloise Hawking and Faraday's mother are, in fact, the same person. Still no confirmation on the theory that Eloise and Ellie the Other from "Jughead" are also the same person, but it seems pretty damn likely.

• Charlotte was born on the island, something bad happened to her father (who I'm assuming will turn out to be a significant figure from the island's past), and her mom brought her back to the States. It was unclear from her dying monologue whether her family was part of the Dharma Initiative or if they were in the group that clashed with Dharma, but she was there far back enough to know about the well that pre-dated the construction of The Orchid. Also, we know that Dan, in the course of his time travels, will appear to a young Charlotte in a futile attempt to keep her from ever returning. (This either suggests that Dan will, down the road, find a way to bend the closed-loop rules, or he'll be so consumed with his grief that he'll try to pretend the rules don't exist.)

WHAT WE SUSPECT

• In 2005 on the island, Locke takes Jin's wedding band and promises to tell Sun that Jin is dead. In 2007 on the mainland, Locke is dead, Ben has the ring and tells Sun -- who had an encounter with Locke in which he apparently told her nothing about Jin one way or the other -- that Jin is alive. So I'm assuming John did his best to honor his promise to Jin, that his path crossed with Ben's, and that Ben once again got over on John -- either because he thinks it's his only way back on the island, or because he believes Locke was too bound by emotion (like his promise to Jin) to get the job done right.

• We get our first look at the much-discussed Temple, which is where many of The Others headed towards after abandoning New Otherton, and Rousseau's baby daddy Robert clarifies Smokey's role as a "security system," saying that the monster is specifically there to guard that Temple. But who built the Temple, who made all the funky hieroglyphics (which, as I recall, match some of the symbols from the hatch, no?), and what is it there to worship?

WHAT I HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT

• Christian claims that if Locke had moved the island, none of the time-skipping would have happened (maybe because John is stronger than Ben and wouldn't have had to knock the donkey wheel off its axis to move it?), yet now he insists that John has to get the entire Oceanic Six to return. I'm still waiting for clarification on what caused this mess, but I do find it amusing that, even as he's reminding Locke of the folly of listening to anything Ben has to say, Christian is in lockstep with Ben about the necessity of having everybody return.

• Along similar lines, did Locke's re-alignment of the wheel do anything to stop or even slow the time jumps? If so, I can't imagine there being a point to bringing the Oceanic Six back, plus, we'd need an alternate explanation for how Dan winds up back in the glory years of Dharma (and maybe even further back). Then again, we still don't know for sure that Dan hasn't already time traveled, which would explain the whole "Desmond will be my constant" entry from his notebook.

• We know Aaron has to come back, but what about Ji Yeon? Does the island, or the forces governing it, consider life as beginning at conception, birth, a specific trimester, or what? With the tight deadline Ben has -- not to mention the complication of springing Hurley from jail and convincing him, Sayid and Kate to join him -- I don't think a round-trip jaunt to Korea's doable. (And who else immediately yelled, "What about your poor daughter?" as soon as Sun agreed to go with Ben?)

• Also, does Desmond need to go back, also abandoning a child in the process? He's not one of the Oceanic Six, nor did Ben seem to be factoring him into the plans to return, but Desmond did leave the island under the same sketchy (by island rules) circumstances, and Ms. Hawking did act like he belonged in the group of returnees.

• How large of a fillet knife am I going to need to take care of Lindelof and/or Cuse if the series ends with Ji Yeon and little Charlie both orphaned, or at least permanently separated from their parents?

Some other thoughts:

• I had assumed, after the aborted encounter in "Jughead" where Richard never got around to explaining how to leave the island, that John would have to encounter him in time again before figuring out. Apparently not. Then again, we know The Others travel back and forth pretty regularly -- even in the days before they had access to the Dharma sub -- and moving the wheel seems to have drastic consequences, so could there be a simpler exit route?

• We complain sometimes when characters don't share information, but an episode like this is a reminder that sometimes it's simply not possible for the characters to know as much as we do. Desmond's never so much as laid eyes on Ben that I can recall, nor does he know that Ben blames Charles Widmore for the death of "his" daughter, so he has no reason to immediately bolt at the sight of the little weasel, or to put a bullet between Ben's eyes. (I, on the other hand, had no problem yelling for him to run and take Penny and Charlie far, far away from here. I guess the episode couldn't have been all that disappointing if I spent so much time yelling at it, could it?)

• How does Jin know where the radio tower is? He was part of the group (along with Sayid and Bernard) that stayed at the beach to ambush Tom and his crew while Jack led everybody else to the radio tower. I mean, he may have a general idea from whatever Jack was saying as they planned that op (was there a crude map drawn at one point?), but he seemed pretty confident in telling Rousseau and her people that he knew where it was.

• Maybe this should go up on the No Clue list, but what's the deal with the English-language recording coming from the radio tower? Like Rousseau's later French recording, it seems to be counting numbers over and over, but who left it? Someone from Dharma? Could anyone but the Dharma people have built the tower in the first place?

• The ongoing Miles/Sawyer battle for island comedy supremacy continues, as Miles explains, re: Jin, "He's Korean; I'm from Encino," while Sawyer reacts to Juliet's ill-timed comment about arriving at The Orchid at a time when it existed with, "You had to say something!"

• And am I correct in remembering that The Orchid was in much better shape the last time we saw it in "There's No Place Like Home"? If that's the case, then this is at least the second time (counting last week's outrigger shoot-out) where Sawyer and company have skipped into the future.

• Smokey ripped a dude's arm off! Some parts of this show require deep analysis. That wasn't one of them.

Finally, a reminder and a request: No talking about anything in the previews (or any other thing that would be even remotely considered a spoiler for future episodes), and if you're going to ask a question or propose a theory, please try to at least skim all the previous comments.

I bring the latter point up because we're now routinely topping 100 comments per episode (some weeks approaching 200), and a decent percentage of that is from people who are repeating points and re-asking questions made earlier, often with the preamble "Sorry I couldn't read all the previous comments, but..."

I recognize that people are busy, and that it's a lot to read through, but please try, out of respect for the people who took the time to comment before you -- and, especially, out of respect for the people (including me) who read each and every one.

With that in mind, what did everybody else think?

172 comments:

EOTW said...

So we find out that the monster was behind the deaths of Rousseau’s team. A sickness, but clearly not the “time sickness” that’s slowly affecting the I6.

How great was it to see Jin and Sawyer so happy to see each other, grateful that the other wasn’t dead? One of the best moments of the season so far. No question.

I LOVE the fact Jin has come so far from where his character began. Really, is arc might be the most impressive of them all (Locke included). Perhaps because he has to overcome just his own faults and sins.

Again, the on island action is handily trumping the O6 action.

Genius moment: Sawyer thinking Jin wanted Miles to translate for him and not knowing that Charlotte speaks Korean.

Loved the look on Jin’s face when Locke told him that he was gonna bring Sun back to the island. Clearly, he’d rather die than have that ever happen, especially after Charlotte tells him the place is death. Anyone here speak Korean? What else did she say to him?

Holy f’n heck!!! For a second, I thought that Charlotte was going to tell Daniel that she was his daughter. So now we know that Daniel was part of the DI at some point (around the time he shows up in the dig in the first ep of this season, maybe?) Did he tell young Charlotte at that time that she had to leave the island and never come back because he knew the time sickness would kill her? Gotta assume so at this point. Chances are, Daniel wasn’t crazy at all.

Juliette telling Locke thanks was a nice moment. Far too often, and through some fault of his own, true, Locke is the driving force of some of the more dubious things on the show and he has done things that feel morally wrong to the “do gooders (Jack, Kate, Sayid)” on the island. It was nice to see him get some thanks.

Again, Jin really steps up and just is amazing in this ep. The wedding wing was a nice touch Really so great.

Poor Charlotte. Poor Daniel.

That scene between Christian (Jacob) might be one of the best Locke moments in the show’s history. He has accepted he has to die in order to save the others. Just a great scene and it Christian/Jacob asking Locke when did listening to Ben ever turn out to be a good thing. Funny and true (still love Ben, though).

Anyone else sad to see Desmond pop up? I know Penny’s in LA, too. She has to be and I just hope Ben doesn’t find out.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Genius moment: Sawyer thinking Jin wanted Miles to translate for him and not knowing that Charlotte speaks Korean.

Thanks for bringing that one up, as I meant to include a note about how funny it was to see Jin once again involved in a scandale involving a woman who spoke a secret language, only this time it was an English-speaker who knew Korean, rather than the other way 'round.

Anonymous said...

Why were Rousseau and the baby daddy fighting in English?

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at the Frenchman's throwaway "next he'll be telling us there's a submarine" comment.

Steve Ely said...

I look forward to watching it again to be sure, but the way I remember it, Rousseau and her demented beau were fighting in French.

EOTW said...

For my brother and I, one of the big points under consideration is if Christian is really Christian or is he Jacob taken human form ot Jacob's mouthpiece? My brother believes Christian is alive (and him telling Locke to say hello to my son ain't going to help my POV on this point!) because his body was NOT in the coffin when Jack found it in hte first season.

I believe, and for me, this ep only confirms it, that Christian is just the mouth for Jacob. I really believe Jacob IS the island. He is the lifeforce behind it and I'd be happy, just fine, if they never explain him and keep it vain. I like the mystery of Jacob. the fact that he kinda dislikes ben, while clearly favoring Locke (as does Richard) just makes Locke a true leader, which maybe Ben could never be because of his own faults as a man.

One of the things that is also constantly in my mind, as well as my brother's, is this: is Locke truly dead, a sarifice as Christan/Jacob told him in the lastm inutes of this ep. My brother feels that once Locke's body gets back to the island, he'll be back a la Star Trek III. I really think it'd be genius to keep Locke dead. Period. And that we only see him in flashbacks from here on out. Don't get me wrong. Locke is my fave on the show, but it'd be pretty genius to have him stay dead. That'd take balls.

Alan, I think this was the best ep of the season so far. You're right: This is going like a rollercoaster. the hours seem to be flying by at top speed and it is such a nice change from the feel of seasons past, which I loved, but it's nice to see just how slick this whole thing can run.

Finally, I think the temple is all about Jacob. I know I'm beating it to death here, but he IS the island. He has to be.

Please let Penny and Desmond be happy!

Steve Ely said...

Alan said, "what's the deal with the English-language recording coming from the radio tower? ....it seems to be counting numbers over and over...." I couldn't tell for sure, but I thought those were THE Numbers. Didn't Hurley learn them in the mental hospital from a guy whose dead friend's widow told him (told Hurley, that is) that the two guys heard the numbers being broadcast over some radio frequency while stationed at a listening post?

EOTW said...

The submarine line was enius and VERY funny. And Alan, one more thing about your post: I really find it hard to belive that Jin and Sun's daughter has to og back to the island. It makes sense that Aaron does (being Claire's son and all) but does every kid have to come back? what about Walt, then? I doubt they'd go down that road. How many dang character's does this show need!

EOTW said...

Steve, you're right. Hurley's asylum mate Leonard heard the numbers with his friend being broadcast when they were on duty. Rewatched the first season last week.

groovekiller said...

I really enjoyed this episode. A few questions:

1) Did Ben know that Desmond had left with the O6?

2) If Desmond does need to go back, then maybe the island doesn't need Ben or Locke to get the band back together. Faraday was the one that drove Des to that point and so far, Dan has no allegiance to the island.

3) Did Sayid ever mention what Des was like in the "present" time when he kept skipping around in the Constant? I wonder if we'll have an ep where Charlotte, concurrent to her dying, is trying to eat chocolate before dinner, listening to Geronimo Jackson, etc.

Alan Sepinwall said...

but does every kid have to come back? what about Walt, then?

I can't believe I forgot about WAAAAAAAAALT!!!!!

Which, again, raises the question of why these six (or seven, if Desmond has to return) are so danged important, when Michael and Walt could leave without sending the island into disarray.

EOTW said...

Alan: That's what I mean. it would seem crazy to bring all these kids back. I bet just Aaron comes back. Do you have any theory on what Jacob really is? I'm really curious and can't remember if you ever expanded on your POV on this whole Christian/Jacob biz.

groovekiller said...

Also, two other things based on the onion's av blog...

a) Did we know about that jerky french dude's arm before this ep?

b) Does anyone else think that Danielle's boyfriend was actually the smoke monster in disguise, like Yemi? And that the smoke monster could calmly mimic the voice of the dude who's arm had just (!) been ripped off.

(If so, does anyone see a parallel between this and a certain bestseller & subsequent movie that recently came out about a bunch of stranded people, their attempts to escape, voices being mimicked, falling down wells, legs breaking...I'm not mentioning the name of the book since I don't want to even risk spoiling the book/movie.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

EOTW, I'm kind of on board with the theory that Jacob is a time-unstuck Locke. But I could go any way with it.

xyz said...

Alan, about the radio tower, its origin and purpose was explained in 'The LOST Experience' in the 'Sri Lanka Orientation video'. I don't know if you have seen it or not but you can watch it on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-eHEYswgK8 it is only 5-6 minutes long but it explains a lot of stuff like the numbers and the radio tower.

I liked this episode more then the constant, it is probably going to be my 2nd favorite episode of Lost after Through the looking glass. When Christian Shepard tells Locke that he has to sacrifice himself the look on his face is amazing; this is a man who believed he had a greater destiny on the island and now that he realizes that his destiny comes down to sacrificing himself, that realization is amazing emoted by Terry O' Quinn in 10 seconds. That whole scene was beautifully done, terrific acting by O' Quinn.

Kyle said...

I have a new theory. Two, but one involves something we've only seen in past previews, so I won't elaborate.

And this version of the theory has probably been discussed but couldn't the numbers be the latitude the island moves between each time?

EOTW said...

Alan: Just one more thought on "does Desmond have to go back?" we know the plane crashed on the island for a reason (it wanted Locke there to lead the Others, possibly for Jack to do the surgery on Ben, etc). But with Des, he crashed there. Got stuck there and, really, when you think about it, isn't nearly as tangled into the web of the island as the Oceanic folks are. Yes, he was there for a MUCH longer time than all of them, but he had almost NO interaction with ant of the Others and I think he doesn't have to go back if he doesn't want to, but it seems to me that something will make him go back there.

Alan Sepinwall said...

a) Did we know about that jerky french dude's arm before this ep?

I don't think it came up in Danielle's previous account of what happened. But keep in mind that when Jin next sees the severed arm, only a short amount of time has passed (Rousseau is still pregnant). Our characters haven't been to that part of the island before, but 16-17 years later, I expect all they'd find would be the bones, if that.

Steve Ely said...

EOTW, sure, there's really no reason the island would need Desmond's son to go there with him and not really much more reason at all that it'd need Ji Yeon, but still, it'd suck if the narrative just has Desmond and Sun blithely go back and leave their kids behind, like it's not that big a deal.

I'll be disappointed if Walt doesn't end up back on the island at some point.

And I'll be delighted if 2008 Widmore eventually returns to the island at the end of this season or sometime next. Abbadon on the island would also be cool.

FabiofromTopChef said...

I'm fairly sure Danielle mentioned one of her team had lost an arm.

Also, Alan, you got it backwards. Much like those quick-to-violence rappers, Smokey ripped that guy's whole body off. In the end, all he was was an arm.

Ben said...

Does anyone else think it's strange that Charlotte said, "That's why I became an anthropologist... to find this island again." Anthropology is an interesting and wide-ranging field, but how would it tie into someone's ability to find the island? It's not exactly heavy on science or even geography, necessarily. It's much more focused on history, culture, and the behavior of societies. Those ideas certainly tie into the show, but what was Charlotte hoping to gain in that field that could lead her back to her childhood home?

EOTW said...

XYZ says:

When Christian Shepard tells Locke that he has to sacrifice himself the look on his face is amazing; this is a man who believed he had a greater destiny on the island and now that he realizes that his destiny comes down to sacrificing himself, that realization is amazing emoted by Terry O' Quinn in 10 seconds. That whole scene was beautifully done, terrific acting by O' Quinn.

EOTW replies:

Agreed that it was an incredible scene (see my very first post above) and TOQ better get another Emmy speech ready, but I disagree strongly on your point about Locke's destiny.

This is a man who always believed in his destiny, even if he knew not what it was, he knew he was meant to do great things and the island only condirmed this belief in himself and in the idea of his destiny.

No, that look on Locke's face isn't a fear of death or a let down on his needing to be sacrificed. Instead, he is reinvigorated knowing this, knowing he must die in order to save his beloved island. Clearly, he is a man on a more precise, knowing mission. I don't feel the letdown at all, but, honestly, his gratitude in knowing where his path leads.

As I said in an earlier post, if we are indeed seeing the true end of John Locke this season (no rebirth once his body returns to the island) than we might be seeing one of the great moves in TV history.

I'm giddy as all heck looking forward to his destiny fulfilled.

Mike said...

When Smokey ripped the dude's arm off and after a few moments of silence we hear him call out from down below, did anyone have a flashback to Austin Powers?

"I'm not dead -- I'm just very badly burned! Ow! You shot me!"

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a wonderful gift to all the obsessed fans that have been pouring over every tiny detail of this crazy show since season 1. From the name Brennan (heard all the way back in the pilot!), to the numbers broadcast, 'the dark territory ... where Montaud lost his arm', Robert not knowing she took out the firing pin, and vindication for Rousseau killing her team as they were changed somehow and he tried to shoot her! The writers put it all in there, every little Danielle tidbit going back to very beginning of the show. Even the scene of them debating Alex's sex was a nice little nod to way back when the child's sex was debated among the fans. The best part is all the Rousseau answers get neatly couched in a fast-moving, action paced episode that covered a ton of key events (a major characters dies! Locke leaves!) and managed to touch on every major aspect of the show's mythology in some way: monster, temple, dharma numbers, and so on!!!

This was a major brain melter for me. I can't say enough about this episode.

xyz said...

@groovekiller I think Rousseau mentioned in the Season 1 finale that Montand lost his arm in the dark territory. I remember this because of Arzt's infamous line "That was before Montand lost his frikkin arm!!!!"

I know what book you are referring to and while there are similarities but considering what we already know about smokey I don't think it is the same explanation. I think when Danielle's team went into that hole they were told the secrets of the island and recruited by the others, for some reason Danielle is not special enough to join the others, that is why Robert tried to kill her. Also, in season 1, smoke monster tried to drag Locke into a similar hole, I don't how to explain that but something tells me what happened with Danielle's team and smokey's efforts to drag Locke down in a similar hole are not unrelated events.

Anonymous said...

If Locke did somehow figure out Christian was Jack's dad and told Jack his father was "alive" on the Island, wouldn't that go a long way towards explaining Jack's drive to return?

I think it'd be a more compelling reason than anything else we've been shown so far. Yeah his life sucked after he left the Island, but Locke would have had to tell him something big to convince him a return is necessary.

Alfred A. A. said...

Locke is most definitely not dead, he'll pull a Christian (vanishing out of the coffin included) Remember little Ben telling Richard he saw his dead mother, and Richard asking back if his mother died in or outside the island.

Also, does anyone else think that Faraday could be Charlotte's constant? (and as a result she shouldn't have died?)

groovekiller said...

In the pilot when Shannon translates the transmission, was it Danielle's voice that was saying "rescue us" or was it a male voice?

If the latter, when did any of the French males have a chance to do that before being smokified?

renton said...

Apparently Locke has to return to the island in a casket -- which is EXACTLY HOW CHRISTIAN GOT BACK THERE.

Hmmmmm....

Steve Ely said...

Somehow until the last xyz comment, it hadn't occurred to me that Montand might have survived being pulled into that hole. I hope we see a one-armed Montand at some point.

renton said...

Oops... Alfred posted while I was trying to get mine together.

fastest fingers, I guess.

EOTW said...

AlfredAA: Well, there was speculation after "Jughead" that when Daniel told Richard he loved her, that he was trying to make himself her constant. I don't know about any of that.

And yeah, Locke probably isn't really dead. I know. I am just saying it'd be pretty impressive if that is what would happen. He's the soul of the show in many ways.

Alan: That "Jacob is Locke" theory is something I also thought of. A pretty neat way to bring it all home.

Time will tell.

I gotta sleep.

EOTW said...

It was Rosseau on the transmission. Not a mae voice.

Steve Ely said...

Alan: "Did Locke's re-alignment of the wheel do anything to stop or even slow the time jumps? If so, I can't imagine there being a point to bringing the Oceanic Six back..."

Such a good point that it's almost depressing.

FabiofromTopChef said...

I think, based on who Locke has to go see, it would be pretty obvious who Christian's son is. Between Jack and Desmond really, and he probably just asked Jack.

And yeah, I think that's what sent Jack over the loopy end.

Alfred A. A. said...

@EOWT: well, it just seems to me that if she was part of his past, she cared (which I think she did) about Faraday then that fulfills the conditions for a constant. Either way it's probably not worth obsessing over, since it's likely she's dead for good (unless, like other losties that died on-island she can make non-corporeal appearances outside of the island)

JoeE said...

I'm starting to think that the Island/Jacob or whatever entity is controlling events is at worst quite evil and at best entirely self-interested.

I think Rousseau's described "sickness" is not an ailment at all but rather a major change in perspective brought about by something that is learned about the Island, either from the Temple or contact with the smoke monster, or both, that leads to the fanatical obsession with the Island displayed by so many characters on this show.

This is probably what happened to Rousseau's teammates - and I think Ben has the sickness too. I don't think it's a coincidence that both of Alex's fathers were willing to see her die because they felt it was in the best interests of the Island.

I think Locke may also be partially afflicted - remember his face-to-face encounter with Smokey in season 1? It was only after that that John started becoming a little loopy.

I think Charlotte, dream Claire, Desmond and Jin are all correct - a return to the Island is bad news for all parties involved.

Devin McCullen said...

Clarifying one thing - Jin didn't know where the tower was. The Frenchies were tracking the signal, he was just going along with them.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Devin, they ask Jin if he knows where the radio tower is -- and also if he knows how to find his camp from the radio tower -- and he says yes.

Anthony Foglia said...

I agree Alan. There are definitely some sloppy things, either because things are rushed, or we're finally seeing where the pieces don't quite mesh.

I feel we should have gotten more time with Rousseau, or seen her over a longer period of time. That would have made a great flashback episode, covering her arrival, the loss of her team, the birth of Alex, and the loss of Alex to Ben. But instead we just got a rush job.

Likewise, I don't know Charlotte enough to care about her. I don't understand her motivation for returning. We might see more in the near future when Dan shows up in the Orchid, but it still feels weak. Once Charlotte told Dan he saw her as a child, why did he not tell her, beg her, to use him as her constant? Do constants not work for this? And if so, how is Desmond Dan's constant?

Even last week, when Miles got the psychic nosebleed and Dan suggested the nosebleeds were correlated with the time the traveler had been on the island, wouldn't the logical conclusion be that it was a negative correlation? Both Charlotte and Miles's return arrival was the most recent of all, and neither knew about their past visits. It seemed a case of the characters relying on knowledge the audience suspected.
Except for some of Jin's scenes, this episode was nothing but moving pawns.

Hal Incandenza said...

Another very solid episode. Very impressed with S5 so far. But...

I feel like I'm missing something. How do we know the outrigger sequence in "The Little Prince" takes place in the future? I'm stumped. (Lostpedia seems to take it as sort of a given)

Anonymous said...

What are the stakes? When this show has completed its 6 season run, will it all have really just been about about keeping these 6-8 characters alive? So far as I can tell, that's the only thing getting everyone back to the island will accomplish. I'm not really complaining, because the show is extremely entertaining, but I guess the first couple of seasons sort of led us all to believe something really big and important was going on with the island, but now, not so much. Looks like it's ultimately just going to be about whether these characters live happily ever after.

As for this episode, pretty good. Although still not crazy about the fact that the time jumps are being conveniently used to resolve so many questions and/or backstory. Seems like a lazy writing device to me.

One other note, the fact that Farraday doesn't remember, and (until he knew of her death) didn't have a reason to warn Charlotte not to come back to the island. So to me, that means he'll still be time traveling as the story moves forward, so Locke's spin of the donkey wheel must not be what stops the time jumps. And if Charlotte's comment that Farraday was " a crazy man" is any indication, it appears that the time jumps won't end anytime soon , as I assume it takes a while to descend into madness.

Anthony Foglia said...

Hal Incandenza said...
I feel like I'm missing something. How do we know the outrigger sequence in "The Little Prince" takes place in the future? I'm stumped. (Lostpedia seems to take it as sort of a given)

The wreckage on the beach was from an Indian plane (at least the water bottle was), which hasn't been mentioned before.

That still doesn't explain the outrigger. Who would have made it? And when?

jdla said...

Does anyone remember if Rousseau and Jin ever had any interaction in Season 1? Did she react to seeing him after sixteen years at all?
I kind of doubt it but if that's the case then the writers are frakkin brilliant and would seem to be more proof that they have had a master plan for everything...

Lerf Status Zero said...

Does anyone know what Charlotte said in Korean to Jin?

radiomd said...

Does anyone know what Charlotte said in Korean to Jin?

Not sure, but I think it was: "Posthumously, on Lost..."

MisterResister said...

@JoeE,

Did you pull your thoughts from my post on the Bendis Board?

http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showpost.php?p=5729320&postcount=179

"So "the sickness" is really just a radical change in one's point of view based on an encounter with whatever's under the temple.

Ben Linus has the sickness. In the future storyline, we've seen Jack and the rest slowly get pulled into having "the sickness" as well as they get talked into taking Ben's side.

I think it's quite possible that the Island isn't evil per se, but definitely isn't good either. It's just got its own best interests at heart and is so beautiful/special/arresting that whoever comes into contact with it puts the island's needs ahead of their own."

If you did, no biggie. Just curious. Glad my theories are getting carried across the interwebz.

As to this episode:

This was one of the best non-Desmond episodes they've done since season 1. The stuff with Jin at the start was thrilling. Locke's descent was wonderfully creepy. Juliet's tatas were in fine form. And the finale with Christian was great. I was really worried the episode was going to end before Locke's scene at the bottom of the well played out, but thankfully, they gave us the full scene. Perfect.

Charlotte is dead dead dead and I doubt we'll see her again aside from a burial. She brought very little to the show and was killed in short order after the writers were done using her as the expendable parakeet in the mine shaft to get us scared for the characters we actually cared about. She and Daniel had zero chemistry and the big reveal that we all new was coming turned out to be a lot less interesting than we hoped. She met a "crazy guy" in her past who told her never to come back.

It's possible Daniel had a fling with her mom and that's where Charlotte came from, but that seems pretty unlikely now. Instead we're just left with a bunch of odd "I love you" moments that didn't add up to anything.

Will her corpse travel through time? I hope so. That'd be terrific. If so, they should bury her next to Nikki and Paolo, but far from Shannon, Eko and even the drowned man from episode 2 of season one, who all had a bigger impact on the show than Charlotte.

Tyroc said...

Where the heck are Rose, Bernard and Walt's dog?

And did no one else survive the arrow attack?

I liked this episode but felt it was more of a set-up episode than anything great on its own feet. Not sure why everyone is so excited about it -- unless there were bigger revelations I'm missing.

I did love the Jin/Sawyer reunion.

Still not sure why Ben told Kate the truth about it being him who set her up to scare her about losing her baby.

JoeE said...

Mr. Register -

Yeah, I combined some of your thoughts with my own. I tip my hat to you, good sir.

david said...

i think the writers strike had an impact on the backstories of both the freighter people (faraday, charlotte, miles, etc.) and danielle/alex/frenchies which may be why the emotional impact just wasnt there for some. since last season was truncated they decided it was more important to move the plot forward than leave the season unresolved.

Christopher said...

Renton said...

Apparently Locke has to return to the island in a casket -- which is EXACTLY HOW CHRISTIAN GOT BACK THERE.

I'm very intrigued by this -- no so much because of what it suggests for Locke, but moreso because of what I'm hoping it implies about Christian's journey.

Anonymous said...

am i crazy?
or did that voice reciting the numbers sound familiar?

also-i feel really bad for John.
Whether on or off the island, he keeps being used--even worse, they make him believe its his destiny.

ace said...

It was great to see Desmond fluster Ben when he said that Eloise was Daniel's mother (whether Ben didn't know or did but was surprised that Des knew is open to interpretation.) I'm thinking Desmond may turn out to be the most important character of them all. He seems to be operating outside of the Widmore-Ben feud, unlike the rest of the losties. Given that he's the only one who can safely travel through time, I wonder if the show's resolution will involve Des solving things with Daniel's help, independent of whatever Ben and Widmore's goals are.

jim treacher said...

Yeah, there was definitely a different vibe to this episode. Gears clicking into place. Appropriately enough...

I laughed out loud at the Frenchman's throwaway "next he'll be telling us there's a submarine" comment.

I had just mentally dubbed that guy "Sawyair" when he got his arm ripped off.

Speaking of which, did anybody else get a Stephen King's "It" vibe when the guy started yelling for help from down there? I know Lindelof is a King freak.

So: Where did Charlotte learn Korean, and why didn't she want anybody to know about it?

Ben K. said...

Based on what we've seen recently, I have a theory for how the whole show will end... one that explains why the Losties have to come back to the island, and which would tie up a lot of loose ends. Since I'm basically making it up out of nothing, I hope it's okay to post it here. This is it:

Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the rest of the core group of castaways... are the original Others.

See, at some point after they crashed on the island, a big time-travel wave sent them far, far back in time, where they actually became the island's original inhabitants. (Maybe when this occurred the first time around, Desmond did something that enabled them to break the can't-change-history rule -- but now it IS history, so it doesn't matter.)

The group would know how special the island is (and how some might misuse its powers), so they'd vow that they and their descendants would always protect it. (Maybe the heiroglyphics are a way of warning those descendants about what's going to happen in the future with folks like the Dharma Initiative, though they eventually lose the ability to read them. Heck, the four-toed statue could even be their way of honoring Locke and his constant foot injuries.)

In any case, now there's an infinite time loop in which the castaways crash on the island, go back in time to before the island was inhabited, and start the lineage that turns into the Others -- and then time keeps moving forward, to the point where the plane crashes again and the whole thing starts all over.

But during the cycle we're watching now, something happened to break this time loop -- maybe the magnetic explosion that went off when they stopped typing in the Numbers? -- and it changed current history, keeping them from going back in time. So now the island itself, or Jacob or whatever, is trying to set things right by bringing them back to the island, at which point someone will turn the time-travel crank and send them back into the past where they belong, resetting the infinite time-travel cycle. (Maybe that's why Ben is so anxious to help them -- if they don't go back, the Others will never have existed.)

Anyhow, that's my theory... The "Lost" gang becomes the original Others. And if that's not the way the show ends, it should be.

Teev said...

xyz, thanks for that link to the numbers video. It's weird though because I thought that Cruz & Lindeloff promised that all the important stuff/answers to questions would be revealed on the show and you wouldn't have to go to the expanded universe for that. I feel like "WTF with the numbers" is one of those important things that should have been on the show proper.

That said, I'm liking the fast pace of the current season. It's funny though, beause once you have time travel, you don't really have to hurry anymore, right?

Also, if the nosebleeds killed Charlotte in a few days, how is it that any of them would be alive in 2008(9?) when the O6 are thinking of coming back? Oh wait, they are alive in 2008 because they are alive in all the times right now. Or something.

I'm glad I stuck with the show during the shitty times so I could be here for this awesome season.

Steve said...

Alan,

- Once Ben uttered that phrase, I knew that it would be your "just as soon as I" bit about. What a perfect Ben-line.

- Loved the Geronimo Jackson line.

- When Charlotte mentioned an old crazy guy, I knew instantly that it was Daniel, and that Charlotte would then die. I wonder if her Carthage comment relates to the four-toed statue.

- I'm intrigued by the idea about the sickness being more of a devotion to the island.

- i LOVE the bit about Locke returning to the island in a casket just like Christian did.

- I read this elsewhere, but if you watch the smoke monster part in slow motion, right as he takes the Frenchman, there is a close up of his face. Behind him is the smoke, and next to that (and next to the Frenchman's face) is what looks like the image of a man in a black hooded sweatshirt (can't see the whole face). The smoke monster also seems to take the form of a guy in a black cloak. This could have a connection to Miles, who wore a black hooded sweatshirt once, I believe, and who also talks to the deat.

- The only thing I didn't like was Jin's accent and sudden lack thereof.

pgillan said...

When they showed the music box on the beach at the beginning of the episode, (with the little mechanical dancing couple), did anyone else expect a foot to come down suddenly and crush it? And possibly, but less likely, someone making a comment about how bad Harry's hat was?

Anonymous said...

Re: Sawyer and Jin reunion

I screamed: "Eagles!!!"


(I had just watched Scrubs beforehand...he he he)

Hillary said...

EOTW, I'm kind of on board with the theory that Jacob is a time-unstuck Locke. But I could go any way with it.

In the last official podcast, Lindelof actually says something like this, in an offhand way, and it jumped out at me because I couldn't figure out if he were just teasing fans who have come up with this theory. It seemed odd thought that he'd say it as a "for instance" if it were true - usually someone would reserve an aside like that for a ridiculous idea.

Does anyone else think it's strange that Charlotte said, "That's why I became an anthropologist... to find this island again."
I think it would give her an opportunity (or an excuse) to travel to exotic places, looking for groups of people living outside the contemporary world. And an opportunity to look for odd inconsistencies like the polar bear remains in the desert.

It was great to see Desmond fluster Ben when he said that Eloise was Daniel's mother (whether Ben didn't know or did but was surprised that Des knew is open to interpretation.)

Ok, I'm super literal, but what I saw was Desmond say he was there to find Daniel's mother and Ben turn away from him without answering, and walk into the church. Ben never confirmed either way, and Desmond has not yet asked her, "Are you Farrady's mum?" so there is still a slim chance that another woman will be summoned to see them. (Occam's razor be damned!)

I read this elsewhere, but if you watch the smoke monster part in slow motion, right as he takes the Frenchman, there is a close up of his face. Behind him is the smoke, and next to that (and next to the Frenchman's face) is what looks like the image of a man in a black hooded sweatshirt (can't see the whole face).

Why do I think this last is just a technician mistakenly caught on film?

Anonymous said...

whatever happened to the helicopter pilot? are they bringing him back? i believe the actor is jeff fahey (cant remember the character's name)

rafa said...

I've been thinking about Daniel's role on all this; and my theory (maybe a little too dark) is that everybody that is with Daniel now will die of the nose bleed (Sawyer start bleeding in this episode)because Daniel is the only one with a constant. That's why we only see Daniel on the past on the first episode of the season, and why Charlotte only remembers him on the past (also why he looks so crazy in that past, he has seen everybody he knew die). In this theory Daniel and Desmond (the only ones with constant)will stop the time travelling of the island. Maybe to make it less depressing,they will stop the time travelling at the moment it started; on the day the helicopter left (so all the losties will be alive).

Matt said...

I assumed that Charlotte dying was the explanation for why Dan was crying in his off-island flashback in season 4.

He knows something bad happened in the past but since he hadn't experienced the time jumps yet he actually hasn't had it occur yet. Or something. My head hurts thinking about it.

Jaynee said...

Man I love this show.

Favorite moment was Sawyer's voice going all high and happy when he realized Jin was back. He said something like "Well how about that!" and it was just awesome.

I'm SO gonna watch the whole series in a mad-crazy marathon when the whole thing is over next year.

Anonymous said...

The acting this season has just been amazing. You can tell what is about to happen or be said just by looking at the characters' faces. I agree though that Jin's accent was pretty random this episode. And it seems like all of that time in the water has made his English a lot better...

When Locke was in the cave at the end, just before we see the donkey wheel and its light is reflected on the wall, was anyone else reminded of Plato's Allegory of the Cave? It could be a nod to the viewers' lack of knowledge about what is really going on in the show, or a larger theme about the Losties themselves. Just a thought, but I could be grabbing at straws.

Also, I know people used to talk about who said the "previously, on Lost" line. Did we ever figure out who it is? Because every time I hear it I think it's Tim Daly of "Wings" fame.

-R

BF said...

* Does anyone else think that Charlotte was Ben's childhood sweetheart from "Man Behind the Curtain"?

* My guess is the temple is somehow ties into our 4-toed friend. Whoever built that temple and built the statue probably were the ones that built the donkey wheel.

Alan Sepinwall said...

And if Charlotte's comment that Farraday was " a crazy man" is any indication, it appears that the time jumps won't end anytime soon , as I assume it takes a while to descend into madness.

Dan comes across as insane now. I can only imagine how he might seem to a little girl, especially if he's also being driven by grief and a mania to change a timeline that he knows can't be changed. He may also got the time-sickness-related craziness, but he's plenty nuts on his own.

MattB said...

Was I the only one thinking (or hoping) that when Christian told Locke that he had to bring everyone back, he was including Walt in that group?

The fact that the Oceanic 6 would be coming back to the island several years after they left would be a good excuse for the actor playing Walt to look much older...

Anonymous said...

I'm drawing a complete blank here-- did we (the audience) already know that Charlotte speaks Korean? And how did Jin know?
Am I just forgetting a scene from last season?

special K said...

I was never a big fan of the actress who played Charlotte, but last night she nailed her scenes. She did not overact which is what I would expect. Those were some beautiful, well-acted scnenes.

One of my favorite moments of the ep was Sawyer's expression when he realized it was Jin. And their hug. I loved how happy they were to see each other. One of the things I miss about early Lost was watching all the friendships form; the little human moments like that.

EOTW said...

through time? I hope so. That'd be terrific. If so, they should bury her next to Nikki and Paolo, but far from Shannon, Eko and even the drowned man from episode 2 of season one, who all had a bigger impact on the show than Charlotte.

Actually, it was a woman who drowned in ep 2.

As for how Jin knew Charlotte spoke Korean:

In season 4, when they are trying to get everyoneoff the island, Sun and Jin are talking close to Charlotte and one of them makes a joke or something and Charlotte smiles and Jin sees her. He then tells her, in Korean, that no matter what, his wife will get off the island. I think he might threaten her, too, but I can't uite remember.

Alan Sepinwall said...

did we (the audience) already know that Charlotte speaks Korean? And how did Jin know?

It's in last season's "Something Nice Back Home." Dan and Charlotte go with Jin and Sun to the medical station. At one point, Jin and Sun are saying something in Korean about Dan's obvious feelings for Charlotte, and Charlotte reacts like she understands. Later, Jin confronts her in Korean and makes her promise to get Sun on the chopper, no matter what.

belinda said...

I think this episode started to raise the questions about the plan for the return of the Oceanic 6, which is exciting and completely mind boggling at the same time. I look forward to seeing more of the puzzle pieces on it.

Jin and Sawyer's reunion was fantastic, though what I probably laughed the most at was Jin's exasperated reaction to Locke/Sawyer/Juliet explaining to him about the flashes in the sky/time travelling in English. Sometimes I feel the same way with the show, especially now with the donkey wheel making its second appearance.

So, is Christian even a physical form when he talked to Locke? He did specify he can't give Locke a hand while he's crawling on the ground.

And, Smokey's back! I'm not sure how much I liked that, though, this episode did clarify that smokey might have nothing to do with all the time travel thing, but simply a security measure.

I don't know how I feel about Charlotte dying. I don't think I understand her part of the story just yet, so I'm assuming we'll get to see her again on the timeline.

Dan said...

I wonder if Smokey ripped Marvin Candle's arm off too?

Merrylegs said...

"• Maybe this should go up on the No Clue list, but what's the deal with the English-language recording coming from the radio tower? Like Rousseau's later French recording, it seems to be counting numbers over and over, but who left it? Someone from Dharma? Could anyone but the Dharma people have built the tower in the first place?"

Alan, in the season 1 episode--I think it was "Numbers"--when we learn Hurley's back story and he goes off to find Rousseau to find out why the numbers were written all over her notes and map, she tells him they were what brought them towards the island. They picked up the transmission and went to investigate. She tells Hurley that she believes they are bad because they brought her team to the island and led to all the death and other unfortunate events.

As to some other comments about why Charlotte would become and anthroplogist to find the island, Damon and Carlton spoke a little to the importance of her character in an official Lost podcast for season 4. They emphasized that she was an expert on ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS (emphasis theirs). So, perhaps she had seen or heard of the Temple or some of the other evidence of a very old culture on the island and that may be the important tie in.

Alan--I agree with on needing a really big knife if Charlie and Ji Yeon are orphaned!

Bill said...

I wonder is Marvin Candle/Edgar Halliwax/Pierre Chang lost his arm the same way the Frenchy did...

Also, best moment was Ben feeling "underappreciated" and slamming on the breaks. Anyone else feel that way? He might be the only interesting thing about the off-island story line. Well, him and Hurley. And Sayid being such a tough/cool guy.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Thanks for all the refreshers on earlier Rousseau episodes, by the way, guys. I had forgotten just how much of what we saw in this episode had been discussed previously by her.

Aaron said...

Alan, the radio tower was broadcasting the numbers:

4, 8, 15, 16 were all audible.

Jen said...

Re: Montand losing his arm- I thought in a previous episode there was an allusion to montand being a violinist making the loss of his arm even more tragic. It did seem like it was one of the other guys carrying the violin case though.

I wonder if Locke would have viewed telling Ben that Jin is alive as a legitimate way to get around the promise he made not to reveal the truth to Sun. Part of me (the part that doesn't trust Ben as far as I can throw him) thinks that Locke stuck with the story and told Ben that Jin was dead. Ben telling Sun that he's alive is just more classic Ben manipulation to get what he wants.

Jen said...

Also, I really loved the admittedly rushed Rousseau scenes. Having had in our minds how bat-shit crazy she was when the Losties first encountered her, seeing her first as a sweet innocent woman in love with Robert and then as a woman driven to kill the man she loves, the father of her child was really moving. Not least because it justified her actions. Part of what made Rousseau interesting in Season 1 was that it was never really clear if her fellow scientists had gone insane or if she had. Those scenes really legitimized her later ravings and made her a much more appealing character for me.

Aaron said...

Oops. I don't know how to edit my post, but seem to have read the comments to fast re: the numbers.

Sorry

Anonymous said...

is it possible Locke is already dead? When he was in the well when they flashed previously when it was solid earth?


my word verification is Hydra... I am scared now.

K J Gillenwater said...

"I really think it'd be genius to keep Locke dead. Period."

Okay, this is what I'm thinking...if the smoke monster 'possessed' the bodies of the French dudes in order to protect the island from invaders or what have you...could it be that the smoke monster also possessed the body of Christian to have him spout out the will of the island?

Therefore, I believe Locke will come back to life once he's returned to the island...perhaps as the container for the smoke monster. Ben had them steal the body of Locke after all....

Great ep. I, for one, don't think it's moving too quickly at all. I love the pace.

Ben said...

I wanted to post this last night before I went to sleep, but...

Great episode. Action packed, moved the story forward and answered many questions including…

- What happened to Rousseau’s team – the monster did it! Also we saw how Martan lost his arm and the moment where Rousseau fools Robert, just as she told Sayid in Season one. (Interesting that Robert was willing to kill Danielle while she was pregnant; since it appears that he was now brainwashed (by Ben?), his orders were not to take the baby, so I wonder why “the others” end up taking the baby at all?)
- We know how Locke got off the island
- We know what evidence Ben used to prove Jin was alive (ironic since Jin gave up the ring to show Sun that he was dead) AND that it is the reason Sun is willing to go back


Other thoughts…

- go back and listen to the repeating of the “numbers”. I swear that is Hurley saying them
- Charlotte tells Dan that she remembers that when she was a child on the island, Dan was the “crazy man” telling her to never come back to the island or she would die. I think she is right; since we know that Dan travels back in time to when the Dharma folk are around, he likely was there when she was a child. So, Dan warns Charlotte not to come back because he KNOWS she will die if she does. He tries to change the future, even though, according to him, its not possible. Now that is love.
- We are all so focused on the goings on with the 6 and those left behind that we have not focused on Desmond. I mean, I was waiting for his head to explode when he saw Mrs. Hawking (interesting that she did not seem surprised or upset that Desmond was there).

Also, if Desmond is there, Penny is close. We all know what Ben told Widmore last season, about killing his daughter...

Bryan said...

So much here I hate to even bring anything up without watching the show again but a couple things did stand out for me.

Ben's reaction when he encountered Desmond - he was completely flummoxed for some reason (I felt it was similar -though not as sad- to his reaction when Alex was killed and he realized Windmore had changed the rules)

I think Locke is on the right track but I'm not entirely sure. When Christian was talking to him in the cave and telling him he screwed up and that he had to die did anyone else get the feeling Locke might be getting played by Christian/Island/Jacob jsut like he was played by his father? I don't know- the look on Locke's face was indescribable, sadness, guilt and complete resignation - what an amazing piece of acting.

Boxman said...

EOTW said...
"Steve, you're right. Hurley's asylum mate Leonard heard the numbers with his friend being broadcast when they were on duty. Rewatched the first season last week."

As far as the broadcast of the numbers we heard last night, did anyone else think the voice sounded like Hurley? I could've sworn it was him. Maybe there's more time traveling ahead once the 06 return? Maybe Hurley somehow recorded the original broadcast that Leonard heard, who then told Hurley....ok my head hurts now.

Anonymous said...

The producers have said that with each appearance of Smokey we would learn something new about it ... what did we learn last night?

Aaron said...

Who was Brennan in the pilot/this episode?

Anonymous said...

I could just be confused here, but it seems that the characters who appear in dreams or in Jacob's cabin have all died. This leads me to believe that Claire is dead just like Jack's dad. I'm actually thinking that Locke is dead and when he returns in the casket the Island transforms him into an even more powerful force than when he was "human." Or it could be that Jacob is actually a spirit that chooses dead human bodies to use - right now he is in Jack's dad's body but soon he will be in Lock's. He uses guys like Richard and Ben to carry out his purposes. Just a theory.

One last thing - I don't remember seeing the one armed guy shot by Danielle. I thought there were only two dead on the beach and one that Jin witnessed being shot. I think the one armed guy died. Maybe, like Locke, Jacob wanted to use his body but who only wants one arm? Maybe again Jacob's plan was thwarted when Locke was saved from Smokey as well.

Anonymous said...

3 quick comments:

I don't think Charlotte is Annie, Ben's childhood sweetheart. The timeframe doesn't match up - Ben has to be at least 10 years older than Charlotte.

To the person who asked if the voice reciting the numbers sounded familiar, it kind of sounded like Hurley to me!

Also, it kind of bugs me about the constant speculation that Daniel might be Charlotte's father. He's said he's in love with her. You may love your children, but unless you are a seriously creepy perv, you're not IN love with them.

Jeff H. said...

I'm surprised no one's commented on what I interpret as a purposeful "let's screw with the audience" on the part of the writers. Namely, that the episode starts with 5 of the Oceanic 6 on the docks and then within five minutes three of them have taken off to parts unknown.

Scott Hollifield said...

Anon at 10:24 AM, Feb12:

We learned that the smoke monster:

1. Has a hidey-hole.
2. Is specifically guarding the Temple.
3. Imitated the voice of the de-armed Montand in order to lure the others down there.
4. Apparently brainwashed Brennan and the others in Danielle's group.

Jordan said...

A few things: after blowing up the camp, weren't Jin, Sayid and Bernard supposed to meet the other Losties up by the radio tower?

Theory: Charlotte's dad is Horace the cabin building hippie.

The hiroglyphs that were on the temple and the well were also in that room in Ben's house that he used to call the smoke monster. Where they also at the ruins?

All in all a great episode.

Anonymous said...

For me, the most interesting part of this episode was the growing tension between those who think that the Island is good or benign and that a return is necessary to restore order (Locke, Ben, Jack, Christian) and those who think that "This place is death" (Charlotte, Jin, Sayid, Kate, Hurley). This seems to me to be a great set up for the rest of the series - who has it right? Which faction is is looking at the island in the right way?

Bobman said...

It was unclear from her dying monologue whether (Charlotte's) family was part of the Dharma Initiative or if they were in the group that clashed with Dharma, but she was there far back enough to know about the well that pre-dated the construction of The Orchid

Well, she did make a point of saying that the only languages she spoke were Korean and English, specifically NOT Latin, so we know she's not an "other" in that sense. So she must be Dharma.

Anonymous said...

>>Smokey imitated the voice of the de-armed Montand in order to lure the others down there.

How do you know that?

Eric Johnson said...

I wouldn't be too surprised if Charlie and/or Ji-Yeon ended up being abandoned. Remember that the earlier, flashback-driven, seasons heavily featured bad parents and abandonment as driving forces in these characters' lives. Given that the show is focusing on "closed loop" time travel now I don't think it'd be odd at all to have a parallel "history repeats itself" type story happening across the generational divide.

As far as the "Why the Oceanic 6?" question, it could possibly be something similar to what happened in The Fly, the island was expecting the O6 to be there after it jumped and their absence is making it difficult for the island to remain coherent now. If true, that would seem to suggest that both Desmond and Frank would need to return as well. That said, I'm not entirely sold on the idea myself, but it's a theory at least.

Anonymous said...

In regards to Alan's question about whether or Jin would have known the location of the radio tower: wasn't Jin supposed to meet up with the other Losties at the tower after the ambush of the Others at the end of season three? I thought that was the plan. It would make sense, then, that even though the plan went awry, Jin would have been shown previously (or just told) how to get to the tower.

also, Ben has never met Desmond face-to-face, but maybe he knows about him and would therefore recognize him, since he knows about everyone on the island.

CTR

mr mike said...

Don't know if this has been mentioned already or not, but, I think that when everyone gets back to the island, for them the three + years will have elapsed, but for the Island "Left Behinds" they'll keep jumping in time until they jump three years ahead and meet the returned Oceanic Six, which means from their (Sun, Sawyer, et. al.) perspective, the Six have only been gone a handfull of days...

Dryer Sock said...

Perhaps Ben recognized Desmond from the hatch's security cameras.

AndyW said...

A small note of dissent: Most of the Charlotte stuff was far too on the nose. It was like she was reading the director's notes.

"Use the well instead" - then the well is shown like 10 seconds later? Deus ex machina lands with a thud.

Then she revealed her entire backstory in a 30-second monologue, which was certainly more time-efficient than the endless flashbacks of the early seasons, but they could have left a few things unsaid.

Liked most of the rest of the episode, even if it was a little rushed.

Rae said...

I think it's obvious Ben knows who Desmond is, even if Desmond has never "met" him. The Hatch had a camera and Ben seems to be well informed about anyone who was on the island with him.

Though we can't know for sure either way at this point, I felt that Locke was actually using Ben to break his promise to Jin. Especially since he clarified with Jin that he wouldn't tell Sun anything. I can't see any other reason Locke would have given Jin's ring to Ben or not said ANYTHING to Sun. His not trying to convince her that Jin was dead seems to point more at Locke being the manipulator here, not Ben.

Do we really know that Charlotte was born on the island? I thought we just knew she was there as a child, like Ben. Did I miss someone actually confirming her birth there?

I had assumed, after the aborted encounter in "Jughead" where Richard never got around to explaining how to leave the island, that John would have to encounter him in time again before figuring out.

Well, John knew Ben did something in the Orchid that got him off the island. I think John did want Richard to explain how to get off but, when he didn't flash to another time where Richard was readily present, he knew he could get off the island somehow via the Orchid and that's why he wanted to return there.

RE: The numbers. Everyone's pretty much covered this but I just wanted to note that the "enhanced" repeat of the episode also confirmed/clarified that the numbers being broadcast on the radio were being sent out by the Dharma folks. And, interestingly, this is actually what the French crew was discussing in their boat when they found Jin. (Here's a link to the translation: http://www.wellaboveaverage.com/2009/02/lost-oh-no-this-place-is-death.html.)

Finally, I also thought Ben was appeared flummoxed by Desmond's comment that he was there to see Daniel Faraday's mother. And then he seemed to be displaying a constrained anger when he was talking to Eloise as well. I suspect this was knowledge he didn't have and she hadn't shared. I'm hoping that's true because I like it when Ben's not quite as in-the-know as he likes to be.

Scott Hollifield said...

Anon at 10:51 AM, Feb12:

>>>Smokey imitated the voice of the de-armed Montand in order to lure the others down there.

>>How do you know that?

I think was heavily implied by the nature of the voice -- a man who just had his arm ripped from his body (or as another poster more accurately phrased it, had his body ripped from his arm) wouldn't be shouting "I'm all right!" in a relatively calm voice. Also by the nature of Jin's distrustful reaction made me pretty sure the voice was not to be trusted.

Electric said...

"they ask Jin if he knows where the radio tower is -- and also if he knows how to find his camp from the radio tower -- and he says yes."

Alan, I'm fairly certain that Jin had a non-response or a negative to the first question, as he was looking around trying to get his bearings. Then when asked if he knew how to get to his camp from the tower he said yes. They were then following one of Rousseau's French redshirts who had a receiver that was tracking signal strength.

dez said...

Finally, I think the temple is all about Jacob. I know I'm beating it to death here, but he IS the island. He has to be.

I wonder if Original Recipe Jacob only had four toes on each foot?

(If so, does anyone see a parallel between this and a certain bestseller & subsequent movie that recently came out about a bunch of stranded people, their attempts to escape, voices being mimicked, falling down wells, legs breaking...I'm not mentioning the name of the book since I don't want to even risk spoiling the book/movie.)


Dude, the movie version of "The Ruins" sucked so hard it's impossible to spoil (that, and it was released a long time ago, so I think it's fair game). But I thought of it, too, when I was yelling at them all not to go after the French guy Smokey ate. Based on an earlier poster's comment about the creators digging Stephen King, though, I'm wondering if we should start calling Smokey "Pennywise"?

Also, did it look to anyone else like Smokey had solid tentacles?

Bix said...

Is it just me, or is it strange that the only post-island O6 business that don't know about via last season's flashforwards is why Sayid stopped working for Ben? I wonder if it has some sort of arc significance other than keeping Sayid from trusting Ben and/or it got lost in the writers' strike shuffle...

Anonymous said...

Another thing mentioned in Season One by Rousseau was the smoke column (with the Others) coming to get her.

And the guy calling to the French team from underground didn't seem like someone who had just gotten his arm ripped off. But it was very convinient how the flashes worked perfectly to allow Rousseau's story to be told. I would have preferred it in a traditional flashback.

Anonymous said...

Coming to get her baby. Sorry.

Dave said...

Did it strike anyone else how similar Robert's comments and actions were to Others' comments and actions throughout the show? He sincerely looked in Danielle's eyes and said, "I love you, Danielle!" (I tried to strikethrough "We're the good guys, Michael!", but apparently blogger doesn't like that html tag) Then as soon as she dropped her weapon, he was ready to kill her, much like how Ethan was ready to kill Charlie and red shirts.

Re: Numbers - I know in past seasons, the producers have pointed out that Enhanced episodes are produced by someone else, so comments on Enhanced episodes aren't necessarily correct (and therefore non-canon). Granted, this season, the Enhanced episodes accurately named Eloise Hawking, but I'm wary to back them immediately regarding the Numbers. Also, I'm pretty sure the voice speaking the Numbers was the same automated voice reciting the iterations of Danielle's original distress message.

Bill said...

It was also nice to see Faraday semi-redeem himself by staying with Charlotte to take care of her, as opposed to the way he abandoned the girl who Desmond went to see when she got similary sick. Anybody agree? I enjoy Faraday as the new Ben in a sense - the writers have no problem handing over part of the show to a new comer. He's doing a real nice job.

Redsmom said...

Bryan, I agree about Locke being played. Locke's whole theme has been getting used, conned, hosed, and being wrong in his priorities his whole life. He was wrong about the policeman/narc boy, he ruined his relationship with that woman by obsessing over his father. His obsession about his father almost got him killed. He was wrong about not pushing the button, too, even though he was so sure. What I've gathered from the last few episodes is that Locke isn't necessarily destined to be the leader of the Others. Rather, he created the idea of such a destiny HIMSELF by going back in time and telling Richard to come see him when he was born and by giving Richard the compass. Richard was resistant to the idea of Locke as leader. Richard's exasperation shows when young Locke fails the test. Young Locke fails the test because he was never meant to be the leader. Locke's ego and wrong headedness are what have lead to nothing but trouble.

My guess is that Charlotte is Ben's daughter with his childhood sweetheart. Ben sent them away from the island before he gassed the rest of the DI. Ben took Alex to replace the daughter he lost and would never raise.

I am very intrigued by the idea that the planies are the original others. I used to think the crew of the Black Rock were the original others, but they must be more ancient than that given the Homer Simpson foot statue. Why are some others British and some American?

And where is my cutie Nestor Carbonelle? Does anyone else think he's supposed to look like Jeff Probst?

Anonymous said...

If you go back and watch the episode again, I am almost sure you will agree that it is Hurley reciting the numbers on the radio...

It especially sounds like his voice on the last 42.

christy said...

Along similar lines, did Locke's re-alignment of the wheel do anything to stop or even slow the time jumps? If so, I can't imagine there being a point to bringing the Oceanic Six back, plus, we'd need an alternate explanation for how Dan winds up back in the glory years of Dharma (and maybe even further back).

I think this could possibly be explained by Locke's turning of the wheel causing one more shift (to Dharma time) before stabilizing the island. I mean it could explain how Dan got to Dharma time. Not why the Oceanic 6 need to come back. I don't think there's any way to explain that at this point.

For a second, I thought that Charlotte was going to tell Daniel that she was his daughter.

I've been wondering for a while if we were going to find out that Charlotte and Daniel are related somehow. In addition to my general suspicion that more characters are related than we know so far, it's because Daniel and Charlotte's love story has been so incredibly chaste. We haven't even seen them kiss on stage, have we? So I've been wondering if it could be one of those things where relatives, separated their whole lives, randomly meet and "fall in love," and later realize that it's really just familial love because they're family. A little weird, I know, but I have been wondering.

Does anyone else think it's strange that Charlotte said, "That's why I became an anthropologist... to find this island again." Anthropology is an interesting and wide-ranging field, but how would it tie into someone's ability to find the island? It's not exactly heavy on science or even geography, necessarily. It's much more focused on history, culture, and the behavior of societies.

Well, being an anthropologist did bring her back to the island though. That was why--at least as far as we know--that she was assigned to the mission that brought her back. They needed an anthropologist because they'd likely encounter a strange society there--the Others.

If Locke did somehow figure out Christian was Jack's dad and told Jack his father was "alive" on the Island, wouldn't that go a long way towards explaining Jack's drive to return?

Yes! I love this. Jack's motivations have been one of the most puzzling parts of the off-island story. Christian told Locke in the cabin that his name was Christian. Also Claire was there. Locke hasn't told anyone about this yet. But what if Locke says to Jack, "It's weird, this tall skinny grey-haired guy named Christian told me to say hi to his son. And Claire was with him!" I'd think Jack's curiosity about what's going on with the island and his father paired with his guilt about leaving Claire behind, especially now that he knows they're siblings, is plenty motivation to fall off the wagon, go crazy, and want to go back to the island to track all that weirdness down. Brilliant.

Relatedly, there's always the possibility--IF Christian is not actually Christian, but Jacob appearing as Christian--that "my son" meant someone else. Jacob's son. But I don't know about that.

I think the look on Locke's face did contain some disappointment about having to die. If for no other reason than the fact that the time on the island has been awesome for him. He loves it there. And now it has to end. (FOR NOW?)

I feel like I'm missing something. How do we know the outrigger sequence in "The Little Prince" takes place in the future? I'm stumped. (Lostpedia seems to take it as sort of a given)

It's not because of the water bottle. It's because when they find the outriggers, they're at the camp. The camp exists, but it's abandoned--the beer is drank, the food's gone, and Vincent's leash is on the ground rotting away.

* Does anyone else think that Charlotte was Ben's childhood sweetheart from "Man Behind the Curtain"?

I still do. Or at least, I wouldn't be surprised. (Although it makes me wonder about the time Ben and Charlotte spent together as adults, especially when he shoots her).

The hidey hole is way scary. Sawyer and Jin's reunion was the best. I think Daniel does or will come to believe that he CAN change the past, but he's wrong.

I want to say how much I love reading everyone's thoughts. It so enhances the experience for me. While I'm watching the show, I think of so many things, then when it's over, it's a blur. So thanks for reminding me of the things I thought of and the things I didn't think of yet, everyone.

For instance: Hurley's buddy getting the numbers while stationed in the South Pacific, and us hearing that broadcast last night. If that's Hurley's voice--even more awesome!

christy said...

Oh! I forgot to say. Someone mentioned Horace. I definitely think he's going to come back into play. My reason is: he reminds me of Locke. The way he speaks. Also, again, I think we're going to be heading to Dharma time soon.

Mark Madel said...

I agree with the other posters that it's definitely Hurley's voice on the broadcast (as mentioned, easily recognizable on the number 42 right at the start of the episode).

Which means that Hurley records it at some point in the past - which substantiates what I already believed (and other people have noted in various ways): the reason that certain people are supposed to go back to the island and others are not, is that certain people figure into the past history of the island, while others do not.

It's that simple.

KB said...

"Who was Brennan in the pilot/this episode?"

The name Brennan was audible in the pilot episode when Sayid, Shannon, Boone, Charlie, etc. climbed up the hill and originally heard Rousseau's distress signal. Shannon translated only part of the message: "I'm alone now... alone on the island... it killed them all" or something very close to that. There are also portions of the distress signal she does not translate but can be heard in the background while the characters are talking. Obsessive online fans enhanced the audio and you get "Brennen took the keys.." in French. I remember many fans debating whether the name they hear is Brennan or Brendan, and there were long online discussions about the meaning or significance of this line. Over the years, it seemed to have lost any significance. But in this episode, one of the team members is Brennan! I guess we'll never know what "took the keys" was all about, but dropping the name was a nice little touch to the fans. Only the truly obsessed season 1 fans had ever heard that name before. He's not someone significant after all but it was a mystery dating all the way back to the pilot episode which is very cool.

REGARDING THE VOICE STATING THE NUMBERS: in the transmission Montand is listening to, the numbers are repeated with a count of the iterations. Thats not Hurley or Leonard's voice. We don't know who it is. It IS the same voice heard in the pilot episode that repeats "Iteration ____" after each time Rousseau's distress signal is heard. Sayid uses the iteration numbers to do some crazy hard math in his head and determines the message has been playing 16 years. Last night, we hear the same voice that says "Iteration ____" and is also repeating the numbers. This transmission drew Rousseau's team towards the island, and it was heard by Leonard. At some point after she shot Robert, Danielle changed the message repeating 4-8-15-16-23-42 to her distress signal that Shannon and company hear on the hill, but Danielle must have left the same male voice repeating "iteration ____".

David J. Loehr said...

I suppose it might be blasphemy, but I should admit, I'm not a fan of Lost, but I've been intrigued following some of the details over the years. One thing that sticks out for me is the whole numbers thing.

I don't think I've seen anyone talk about this anywhere, but could Lindelof and Cuse have been inspired (even just a little) by the stories of Numbers Stations?

There's actually a collection of recordings from these stations called the Conet Project. I first heard about it several years ago on NPR, and when Lost started dealing with that kind of thing, I couldn't help but wonder.

pgillan said...

Which means that Hurley records it at some point in the past - which substantiates what I already believed (and other people have noted in various ways): the reason that certain people are supposed to go back to the island and others are not, is that certain people figure into the past history of the island, while others do not.

It's that simple.


I think I agree. There's a lot of speculation about why the O6 have to come back to the island, and how doing that will stop the time jumps, but I don't think it's just that their mere presence is required (ie, it's not a "balance" thing). I think they have to come back to the island because they already did come back to the island; they did, therefore they will, based on the closed-loop theory.

It's a bit of semantic misdirection. Christian tells Loche that the O6 have to come back. It's implied that that Island needs them to come back, when in fact it's inevitable that they come back- they have to because they can't avoid it. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, the O6 gotta come back.

Dave said...

@KB - I assumed the same thing about the Numbers when I was watching last night too, but now I'm not so sure. Listening to the S5 voice over and over, it sounds a LOT like Hurley. Listening to it next to the Pilot voice, the two sound nothing alike.

Call me sucked in, but I think that's Hurley.

Jake said...

Okay, here's a scary thought. The smoke monster (or something else in/of the island) had shown it can possess bodies and speak through them. How do we know that all of our main characters are actually alive?

Why could Locke walk when he landed on the island? Well, who says he survived the crash? Is the island not merely influencing people like Locke, but actually using their inanimate bodies as puppets?

Why is Jin's accent better now? Maybe that's not him speaking anymore.

Why doesn't Richard age? Perhaps he stays the same apparent age as he was when he died (when the Black Rock crashed on the middle of the island, perhaps).

Of course, taken to the extreme, who says anyone survived the crash? This could be an elaborate Punch & Judy show, put on by the Island for its own (or our) benefit. That seems dubious--the ultimate reveal would really piss off a lot of fans--but I think it's quite possible that we will find out eventually that some of the characters we've cared about have been imposters. Or, if you're into internet memes, ZOMBIES!!!!

We know (or at least, we've been assured) the Island isn't purgatory. But it could be a graveyard.

Jake said...

And here's a related, but separate question: if "Christian" is really just Christian Shepard's body, inhabited by Jacob (or some other aspect of the Island), what did he mean when he told Locke to say hello to his son?

KB said...

"It's that simple"

What show are you watching?!?

Sorry but its not Hurley's voice. See my comment above. We've heard that voice before but its not someone we know. Of course, I suppose the writers could change things around on us. After all, we originally heard Danielle's transmission before Mira Furlan was cast to play the part. So the original message is not her voice but its supposed to be the same person. Similarly, we heard Minkowski on the radio with Jack before Fischer Stevens was cast, and we heard Boone talk to Bernard before that actor was cast. In all these cases, the voices sounds nothing alike but are intended to be the same characters. I'd be careful about making any major assumptions based on the sound of the voice. And if it does end up being Hurley, just know that they played that voice ("Iteration ___") looooong ago and it was definitely not Jorge Garcia's voice.

AndyW said...

Probably a red herring, but didn't Christian tell Locke to push the donkey wheel, and doesn't Locke then proceed to pull on it? I wonder if the direction of the wheel's spin matters?

Susan said...

EOTW wrote: "No, that look on Locke's face isn't a fear of death or a let down on his needing to be sacrificed. Instead, he is reinvigorated knowing this, knowing he must die in order to save his beloved island. Clearly, he is a man on a more precise, knowing mission. I don't feel the letdown at all, but, honestly, his gratitude in knowing where his path leads."

I disagree. Locke never wanted to leave the island, and he did everything he could to prevent other people from leaving, including blowing up the submarine. I think Locke is accepting his destiny, and his great sacrifice - not only must he leave the island he loves (more than loves - it saved him more than once, and he is passionately committed to it), but he is being told he must die, and as far as he knows, that means he will never return to it. I think Locke's face shows determination and resignation.

Mark Madel said...

KB:

It doesn't matter who's voice was used in the pilot - the creators of the show could have never guessed that Lost fans would be obsessively pouring over every detail then. What matter's is that they DO know it now - and I'm dead certain that it's Hurley's voice on the broadcast.

I'm a sound engineer, and I'm sure I could do a voice match between the number 42 being spoken during the broadcast on last night's show - and Hurley saying it in a previous episode.

Larry C said...

Love the episode, but one thing struck me as a bit of a retcon:
In season 1, Danielle said the smoke monster was a "security system". She also said she had never seen or met the Others. (forgot the exact words)

If you put these two statements together, you were left wondering how did she know the nature of the smoke monster? Who told her, or how did she otherwise learn it?

Well, we learned the answer last night - Robert said "It's not a monster; it's a security system for the temple." It all fits, but just a bit too neatly for me. Hence, I think it was a retcon.

Bryan said...

There's been a few comments on Locke fixing the wheel and did the island stop jumping, etc.

I think Locke did fix the wheel, dissappeared and the island stopped jumping but there are 4-5 other people still right on top of the wheel that may not know precisely what to do but know enough to start it back up again - especially Daniel.

Speaking of the wheel - that wasn't the same room Ben was in when he turned it was it? was he on the other side of the wall?

Dave said...

@KB - The reason those other voices you cited changed were because they matter. If the voice on the radio is just supposed to be the same iteration voice, they would have used the same voice. If they couldn't get the same voice, they could have gotten one that sounded just like it. The voice sounds too much like Hurley for it to be an accident. Maybe it's just the producers having a good laugh at our expense, or maybe it's significant. But to just write it off because we've had other voices change is foolish.

Fairview said...

Perhaps the time travel element explains why the others were making lists of people in the earlier seasons. They were looking for those who they knew they'd seen before.

QA said...

Re: the question of what Charlotte said in Korean:

She said the island was death and that they shouldn't have Sun come back. She pretty much repeated herself in English right after.

BTW, it was comical trying to understand what she was saying in Korean. Reminded me of the Bond movie from a few years back.

Also, it's interesting how sometimes the words and the subtitles don't match up. I suspect it's last minute rewrites to the dialog and they don't have to worry about getting the actor to redo their lines.

Joe said...

OK, so I was thinking that once the hatch with the button was built... the pushing of the button helped "reset" or "loop" the island in a time loop. Basically the isalnd was repeating a small segment of time over and over... thus explaining the inability of women to go full term with their pregnancies... and explaining some characters never aging...

so why does Rosseau age? She clearly ages the 16 some odd years she has been on the island.

NOLA said...

Their has to be some connection with many of the characters' parents being on island at some point....Jack and Christian, Locke and his dad, Claire and Christian, Faraday and Ellie, Mile and Halliwax(?), Charlotte and Annie(?), Penny and Widmore, Ben and his Dad, Claire and Aaron, etc. I am sure I am missing some pairings, and some just haven't been revealed yet.

Jeff H. said...

I'd also remind everyone that ABC now has every Lost episode steaming online and in HD to boot.

I'm a bit surprised to see people quibbling back and forth about things they think they remember rather than just examining the actual record, a process that would take all of 5 minutes.

Bobman said...

Of course, taken to the extreme, who says anyone survived the crash? This could be an elaborate Punch & Judy show, put on by the Island for its own (or our) benefit.

Jake, Lindeloff and Cuse have said in various interviews that the main characters are NOT dead. I wouldn't be surprised if ONE of them was, but they have promised fans that the main "answer" to all of this is NOT that they are all dead.

Anonymous said...

Loved the episode but there was one thing i didn't get: Just before being reunited with Swayer, Jin was alone. Jin then moves through time and Sawyer is there. But if Jin and Saywer and the others were moving through time together (albeit in physically different places on the Island), shouldn't he have seen Swayer before the flash because Swayer would have been there too and then moved through time along with him?

Bryan said...

Just before being reunited with Swayer, Jin was alone. Jin then moves through time and Sawyer is there.

I caught that too - my assumption was they were all moving (both physically and in time)and they were going to meet whether they jumped or not. I think it was just a poor editing job having Sawyer be there that quickly after the flash. (if Jin jumped and they didn't it would've at least raised some eyebrows from Sawyer/Locke and they would've had to mentioned it)

Pete said...

How are we certain that Christian Shepherd's body was in that coffin in Season 1 to begin with?

The flashback shows Jack in the airport in a heated argument with the Oceanic check-in woman, and she says that he doesn't have the paperwork to bring the body on to the plane. He says something to the effect of "so I have to fly back to L.A. with an empty coffin?". As far as I remember, that argument was never resolved, so how do we know Christian's body ever came to the island?

Andrew said...

Of course, taken to the extreme, who says anyone survived the crash? This could be an elaborate Punch & Judy show, put on by the Island for its own (or our) benefit. That seems dubious--the ultimate reveal would really piss off a lot of fans--but I think it's quite possible that we will find out eventually that some of the characters we've cared about have been imposters. Or, if you're into internet memes, ZOMBIES!!!!

Well, they're all obviously not zombies. if they were, there would have been much more eating of BRAINS!

Anonymous said...

I hope we learn more about Walt at some point. Like: 1. How is he special? 2. What were the tests (and results) that the Others were conducting on him while he was captive.

It's obvious he has some special characteristics. One example being in a season 1 flashback (I think) when the (rare?) bird flew into the patio door just as he was looking at a picture of it in a book.

Steve said...

I wonder if Locke will revert to a parapolegic when he gets off of the island. Does the island heal permanently, or only while on the island?

Dave said...

I'd also remind everyone that ABC now has every Lost episode steaming online and in HD to boot.

I'm a bit surprised to see people quibbling back and forth about things they think they remember rather than just examining the actual record, a process that would take all of 5 minutes.


I can't speak for everyone else, but I'm at work, and while I can get to (and reply to) blogs inconspicuously, I try to avoid too much streaming. I checked the Numbers recordings over my lunch via YouTube.

The flashback shows Jack in the airport in a heated argument with the Oceanic check-in woman, and she says that he doesn't have the paperwork to bring the body on to the plane. He says something to the effect of "so I have to fly back to L.A. with an empty coffin?". As far as I remember, that argument was never resolved, so how do we know Christian's body ever came to the island?

I believe that was resolved at the counter and Jack was able to bring his father's body onto the plane. That's not to say that the body was removed from the plane without Jack knowing...

Josh said...

Could Charlotte's mom be Eloise as well? And if Eloise is the Others' Ellie, perhaps Widmore is Charlotte's biological father. Ellie and Widmore had a falling out, so she took her daughter away and defected to the Others. This would make Charlotte and Daniel at least half siblings, which seems unlikely considering Daniel told Richard he was "in love" with her a couple episodes ago. But, aside from that proclamation, Daniels affection for Charlotte never seemed all that passionate to me; more of a protection, older brother type of affection. If they're full siblings, and Widmore is also Daniel's father, that would go further in explaining why Widmore was funding Daniel's research, not to mention his ex-girlfriend's life support. This theory would also have Daniel and Charlotte related to Penny which throws another cog into Ben's revenge plot. On second thought, it's all a bit convoluted and frankly is giving me a headache thinking about it.

Redsmom said...

BTW, when my local station came back from commercial break last night, Jin was already holding the well rope and threatening to cut it -- seemed like the commercial overran the scene a little what'd I miss?

Club4911 said...

The map to the Temple that Ben gave to Alex last season, had a Dharma logo next to the location of the temple.

Why would it be shown as a Dharma Station?

Anonymous said...

Ben and Desmond have met before on the island. I love how this is a point people consistently miss,and use as argument, unfortunately its just not true. In episode S401: They met in S4 opener at the cockpit section when they split into two groups. Also previously, Ben mentioned in S3 stealing Desmonds boat, so its not a shock at all to Ben who Desmond is, nor that he is there.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I never wondered about Ben knowing who Desmond was; after all, he had the ability to watch the Swan from the Pearl. I just wasn't sure if Desmond knew who Ben was on sight, and either way, I can't imagine him realizing what an enormous threat Ben is to his family.

William Kaminsky said...

Did anyone else get slightly freaked out at the beginning of the episode when Sun was in the car talking to her daughter Ji Yeon over the phone and Sun said something like "I've met a new friend for you in America. His name is Aaron"? I recall that several others commenters speculated on the last episode thread (The Little Prince) that it seemed Sun might have revenge plans for Kate as well as Ben. Am I the only one who interpreted Sun's comment as implying she was indeed considering killing Kate and then not only that---considering then taking Aaron to Korea and adopting him as Ji-Yeon's little brother?

Of course, even if you do make that interpretation, now that Sun's become convinced Jin's alive, maybe's all forgiven. Her comments to Jack in the van when Jack belatedly apologized for not waiting for Jin seem to suggest she might be reevaluating her anger toward the rest of the Oceanic 6.

(And of course, so much else happened in the episode that pondering all the loose ends of Sun's revenge plans---e.g., who was it in the last episode that sent her the gun and did the surveillance photos of Ben and Jack---seems like a low priority now... but hey, I got time to kill so why not speculate on low priority items :) )

dez said...

Well, they're all obviously not zombies. if they were, there would have been much more eating of BRAINS!

Are you kidding? With this group, it's more like the zombies would starve to death :-D

I think that if Desmond knew Ben was a threat, he would have choked him to death on sight.

Sam Hobart said...

Christian and Locke's discussion of sacrifice reminded me once again of the Christ allegory that has been hinted at with Locke, specifically his mother's false claim of a virgin birth. He's now died to theoretically save the island and there's at least some expectation that he'll be back among the walking if not the living soon. This sets up a nice parallel set of options in which they continue the allegory or subvert it, casting Locke's destiny as a creation of Locke's damaged psyche that Jacob/The Island has taken advantage of.

Chris said...

A thought on why those 6 have to return, maybe it is because they were on the fringe area between the Island and the rest of the world when the time event started. Because they have a connection to the event they are needed to complete it. This would exclude the need for Walt or others who left at a different time and we can assume that everyone else was either still on the Island or blown up.

The only flaw I can see is Jin who was outside but managed to float back to the Island, making him an anomaly. Speaking of which, how could he have got back to the Island, surely the boat exploding couldn't have thrown him that far to overtake the chopper which couldn't make it back to the Island.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Aaron is older than Ji Yeon, so big brother not little.

Forrester said...

Given that parents are such a strong theme on Lost, this is what I really want to know:

1. Who are Charlotte's parents? (Mabye Ben and ???)
2. Who is Penny's mother? (No idea, maybe Eloise?)
3. Who is Daniel's father? (My guess is Ben or Charles Widmore.)
4. Most importantly... who are Desmond's parents???? How come we know so little about such an important character?

I can't wait to see the family tree when Lost is finally over.

Nevada Smith said...

Charlotte never said she was born on the island. She said she grew up on it. What was the smoke plume Jin saw in the distance when he got on thew beach where the French were dead (it looked familiar). The recorded numbers WERE Hurley reciting THE numbers. If Christian tells Locke basically why do you listen to Ben-why does he listen to Ben when he gets off island. And for some reason it looked like Ben was a bit freaked out by hearing that Eloise was Faraday's mom.

Jordan said...

I just assumed the island wouldn't let Jin die, like it wouldn't let Michael kill himself. He had more to do.

Rich Lichtenstein said...

I got a bit of a "Journeyman" vibe from the scenes with Jin and Danielle. Three things in common between the two shows: character unable to control time travel, headache right before travelling, following the same person at different points in their life. Obviously, the model of time travel is pretty different in the two shows, but I was struck by the small parallel.

Peter Luna said...

Alan said, "In 2007 on the mainland, Locke is dead, Ben has the ring and tells Sun -- who had an encounter with Locke in which he apparently told her nothing about Jin one way or the other -- that Jin is alive."

I don't remember this encounter at all. Locke (or rather, Jeremy Bentham) visited Jack, Kate, Hurley, and even Walt. I'm assuming Sayid as well. But Sun? I'm drawing a blank.

Michael said...

I thought for sure that we'd see more of Danielle and Jin together, but apparently not.

I also wonder why Jin didn't experience the same number of flashes as the rest of the Lostaways did.

We already knew Smokey was a security system. but what we don't know is how it works, how it keeps mental tabs on someone, or what it's really doing.

Are the non-island scenes still filmed in Hawaii?

Sean L said...

I'm not sure whether this works with the timeline, but I'm wondering whether Annie (Ben's childhood sweetheart) is Charlotte's mother rather than Charlotte herself. I think Annie would have been a very young Mother though if this is the case.

I really like the idea that the Oceanic 6 have to go back because they are part of the island's past, this makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure about them being the original Others, but something along those lines seems plausible. (Although what about the crew of the Black Rock?)

Michael: what makes you think that Jin didn't experience exactly the same time flashes as Sawyer, Juliet et al? (I rewatched and although Sawyer and Jin encounter each other just after a time flash it's quite possible that they were just about to encounter each other before the time flash and Jin's reeling in response to the time flash brought him actually into the same location as the other lefties).

I listened again to the Numbers transmission, and I concur that the voice sounds a lot like Hurley. There's not quite enough audio though for me to feel sure, but it's certainly intriguing.

(Oh, and off-topic: although The Ruins was fairly trashy I actually enjoyed it quite a bit).

Maggie said...

If you are interested in location information, visit the hawaiiup.com/lost for Ryan and Jen's Transmission podcast and blog - they live in Hawaii and have info on much of the location filming. For the most part, it seems that a lot of the off-island stuff is really in Hawaii (Kate's house, the gas station where she and Hurley just avoided each other, the hospital, etc.)

(And they have a great podcast!)

re: Jin experiencing the same number of flashes, I'm not sure that he hasn't. He was passed out floating on a piece of wreckage - why couldn't he have been moving during that time?

I am a big proponent of the idea that those on the island will never live out those 3 years the 06 have. Either they'll jump to 2007 and run into the 06 as they arrive (meaning for Sawyer and crew it's been a week or so since they parted, while for Jack's bunch it's been 3 years), or the island will be somewhere in time (I'm betting on Dharma days) and both groups will experience the past together.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't remember this encounter at all. Locke (or rather, Jeremy Bentham) visited Jack, Kate, Hurley, and even Walt. I'm assuming Sayid as well. But Sun? I'm drawing a blank.

Sun asks Ben why Locke didn't tell her Jin was alive, and she says it in a way that implies that he saw her.

kchertu said...

I agree with the notion that the O6 are a part of the Islands past and that this is the way it's supposed to be... the loop that will bring them to the past, thus entrenching them into the Island's future.

I am dreading it being over, but at the same time I can't wait to find out what the hell is going on once and for all! :)

Dan Jardine said...

I tried to read all comments before adding my own, but dammit, there are only so many hours in the day and you cats are extremely chatty.

Two things to add, and I apologize if they've been said before:

1. Desmond will become determined to return to the island after Ben kills Penny. Revenge is a primal motivation.

2. Ben tells Kate he set her up because he can't stand her whiny-ass-ness and doesn't want her to return.

Sorry, got a little snarky with that second one, but really, good looks can only carry you so far with yours truly. I find Kate and (especially) the self-righteous Jack insufferable.

The Rush Blog said...

What in the hell is this show supposed to be about?

I thought I knew back in Season 1. I am no longer certain of this.

What is this show about? When I look at LOST now . . . and the way they have dropped or rushed past storylines over the years, I cannot help but feel that this whole mess should have been a miniseries, instead of a six-seasons television series with an endless round of unecessary mysteries and plot points.

Carol said...

I think Sun thinks she'll be able to return to the island to retrieve Jin and then come back to their life. There's a lot of assumptions that if they return to the island, they cannot ever leave again. We don't know that to be true.

Carol said...

Questions that have never been fully answered:

How did Desmond lose his honor? Why was he in a Scottish (military?) prison during his backstory?

Teresa Spencer (the girl in the bed who was the object of Daniel's research) skips back and forth in time in her conversation just like Charlotte did this week. However, Ms Spencer has not died. Why is that?

I think Charlotte wanted to return to the island to see her father again (lots of Daddy issues on this series) and also to prove to herself that it really did exist, unlike what her mother told her after they left.

Carol said...

When Ben said to Kate "But he's not your son, Kate!", why didn't she throw Alex back in his face? She wasn't his daughter.

Carol said...

"Charlotte was born on the island, something bad happened to her father...and her mom brought her back to the States."

Charlotte GREW UP on the island not necessarily born there; we don't know that something bad happened to her father, we only know that the mother said the father could not come with them off the island; Charlotte was not brought back to the States since she has a British dialect and in one of her delusions last week, she said something about how her mother would never let her marry an American. (Maybe it's because her father was an American?)

James said...

Could the Oceanic 6 be the island's constant? Maybe it needs a constant just as much as the inhabitants do...

tabernacle said...

Thanks for breaking it all down, Alan; fun episode, greatly enhanced by your analysis.

Ron said...

I liked the episode, except for the smoke monster. I find that to be the stupidest thing on the show and wish it had never been invented (well, maybe the polar bear was stupider). Sorry Losties, it just reeks of Deux Ex Machina which is lazy storytelling. Still, many oher great moments. Loved Sun!

Matthew L said...

Bit late to the episode this week. One comment I did want to respond to by Larry C:

Love the episode, but one thing struck me as a bit of a retcon:
In season 1, Danielle said the smoke monster was a "security system". She also said she had never seen or met the Others. (forgot the exact words)

If you put these two statements together, you were left wondering how did she know the nature of the smoke monster? Who told her, or how did she otherwise learn it?

Well, we learned the answer last night - Robert said "It's not a monster; it's a security system for the temple." It all fits, but just a bit too neatly for me. Hence, I think it was a retcon.


Wait, can you explain that to me again? Are you saying the information we were given last night was TOO consistent with other information we had? That if they had it all planned in advance it would have been more inconsistent? Perhaps if Rousseau had removed the bullets instead of the firing pin, or Montaud had lost a leg instead of the arm, would those inconsistencies prove that they had things planned out in advance? If it all fits together perfectly, without inconsistency, that means it was likely to have been planned, not the other way.

Here's the thing: Retcons are never neat. They do the job, try to explain away problems and inconsistencies, but it's never tidy. Look at BSG - they had to retcon away Tyrol's half-Cylon baby. So they have a somewhat clumsy reveal that the (long-dead) Cally had an affair with a minor character immediately before marrying Tyrol, and the baby was the product of that affair. It solves a plothole, but it's definitely not pretty.

Now, contrast that with this episode of Lost. It played out elegantly, it revealed new information that explained in greater detail what we already knew, and (to my knowledge) there was nothing that was inconsistent with earlier information, and there were no questions that were left unanswered (as least, not that I can think of). That means there is at least a good chance that this part of the story was fairly well planned out in advance. Perhaps the writing wasn't quite as good as it could be - they may have felt the need for the "security system" line just to tie together the idea that Rousseau had that knowledge because she had seen the monster in action - but it is entirely consistent with what we know.

The truth is, I think there are many people who have made up their mind that Lindelof and Cuse are making it all up as they go along. And I can understand people having that view - I don't share it, but I can understand it. But comments like this one from Larry frankly feel like he's so absolutely convinced that there is no plan that even scenes that demonstrate the plan working out instead becomes evidence of the lack of a plan. And that I don't understand.

Brendan McCarthy said...

Regarding the statue, anyone else starting to think that one of the castaways is about to lose a toe, travel back in time to when the island was inhabited by people who use hieroglyphics, and inspire them to build a monument in his or her honor? Trippy, dude. But maybe?

I'm certainly on board with the theory Jacob will "possess" Locke's body on its return to the island. I'm also curious as to whether Ben is behind Locke's death. I, too, believe that as usual, Locke is being played due to his immense faith. With all this talk of time loops and destiny, it seems only fitting that without fail, Locke ultimately falls for the long con. Talk about tragic.

Was anyone else a little disappointed that after all this hoopla about getting THE six back, Jack, Sun, and Desmond are "good enough for now" (to paraphrase Ms. Hawking)? Doesn't that kind of invalidate everything else that's happened this season? I'm saying this based on the assumption that Ms. Hawking is about to send those three back to the island right away.

OK. I was positive I posted this in the comments section for the first two episodes, but for some reason it was either deleted or I didn't go through with it. But:

Why is nobody mentioning (who seems to almost definitely be) Lance Reddick in "The Lie?" Go to ABC.com, watch the episode, pause it at 14:46. Is that not him posing as a member of the LAPD at Hurley's house?