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October 24, 2014

Lost: This Place is Death

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 12th 2009 7:36AM

Daniel Dae Kim(S05E05) "Um... he's Korean. I'm from Encino." - Miles

The beautiful thing about Lost is that there's never two bad episodes in a row. That's not to say that "The Little Prince" wasn't good, but it certainly wasn't what we've come to expect. It was just too slow. Not the case this week - "This Place is Death" roared back and didn't let up once during its 60 minutes of perfection.

After last week's revelation that Jin was indeed still alive (Was anyone actually surprised by this?), the attention immediately shifted from him to the people who rescued him - Danielle Rousseau's research team. Fans (myself included) were furious when Danielle was killed so nonchalantly last season, mainly because we still had so many questions about her backstory and history on the island. Wish granted.

While Jin's initial shock wore off pretty fast once he found out from Danielle that it was 1988, I still couldn't help but laugh. Here's a guy who's now spent months trying to learn English and he ends up being stuck with a bunch of French people. That being said, he speaks English a helluva lot better than when we saw him last. Anyway, Rousseau's team had been following the signal being sent out from the radio tower and Jin agreed to take them to it.

On the way there, the smoke monster hit and from there on out, everything Danielle told Sayid in season one checked out. Nadine was the first victim and minutes later, we finally found out how Montand lost his arm as Danielle also mentioned in season one. Although, it's probably more accurate to say that Montand's arm lost its body. Smokey dragged him into a crevasse on the side of a giant temple and Brennan, Lacombe, and Robert all went after him while Jin and Danielle stayed behind. Then there was a flash.

Jin, alone and confused, saw Montand's arm still on the ground but slightly decayed. So it appeared that he only jumped maybe a few weeks or so into the "future." He stumbled back to the beach to find a camp and the bodies of Lacombe and Brennan. He then witnessed Danielle shoot Robert, her love and Alex's father, in the head because he had "the sickness." Danielle saw Jin, but another flash saved him and he finally joined up with Sawyer and the other left-behinders.

  • Robert spoke very knowledgeably about the monster. He somehow knew that it was a security system for the temple. So how did he know that? Did the smoke monster somehow possess his mind? Did the Others get to the three of them in the temple and brainwash them? Something was off because he tried to shoot Danielle and kill his unborn child. With all that in mind, I think it's safe to assume that this is the same temple that Ben told Rousseau to take Alex to after Jack called the freighter. Based on this experience, it would explain Rousseau's apprehension to the idea.
  • Did you notice that smoke column rising from the sky as Jin approached the camp? Just as Rousseau said, The Others are coming for Alex (as soon as she's born) just as they did for Walt in 2004.

After some laughs and embraces, Jin's reunion subsided and things progressed quickly. Charlotte explained everything they knew - the flashes, John's plan, where Sun was - to Jin in Korean. They began to head for the Orchid station and the flashes began to happen much faster, sometimes only seconds apart. Juliet and Miles began bleeding again and Sawyer began to as well. But Charlotte? She was down for the count, prattling off incoherent conversations that made sense to her when she was a child ("Turn it up, I love Geronimo Jackson!) just as Theresa Spencer did.

The rest of the group trudged on to the Orchid and Daniel stayed with Charlotte to comfort her. Her memories of childhood on the island become clearer (she even told Locke about an alternate entrance to get to the Frozen Donkey Wheel) and she recalled that her mother left the DHARMA initiative when Charlotte was young. They moved from the island and whenever Charlotte asked about it, her mother told her it wasn't real. Charlotte's goal was to find the island and it's why she became an anthropologist. Then she had one more memory. Once, as a young girl, a crazy man who scared her told her to leave and never come back. If she ever returned to the island, she would die. Charlotte was convinced this person was Daniel. Then she died.

  • Whoa. Key thing here? Assuming Charlotte was right (I see no reason for this to be a red herring) and it was Faraday who gave her the ominous warning in the past, then why did he seem so dumbfounded? He looked shocked and didn't remember the incident.
  • It creates a chicken or the egg scenario. Which came first - Daniel's warning or Charlotte's death? Presumably Charlotte dying came first and at some point during this season, they'll jump to the 70s and DHARMA will be in its prime. We already know Dan was there for the Orchid excavation.
  • But it still creates an inconsistency. How could Charlotte have had that memory if it hasn't happened yet? Unless it has. Daniel's mother was on the island in 1954. Perhaps Daniel was born then, the island jumped at some point and he ended up in the 70's, much younger than he should be? Perhaps he's suffering from the very symptoms he's diagnosed?

Locke's crew finally made it to the Orchid just in time for another flash - to a time when the Orchid wasn't built yet. But Charlotte's info proved useful and a few hundred feet away, John found the well she spoke of. He said his goodbyes. Juliet thanked him. Miles and Sawyer were still confused as hell. Jin, however, had a request thanks to Charlotte's "this place is death" warning: don't bring my wife back and tell her I washed up on shore dead. He gave her his wedding band as proof. Locke promised he would and descended into the well. Another flash occurred and everyone above ground was suddenly looking at just the rope John held, suspended in the ground. With the well gone, Locke fell into a cavern with the wheel and busted up one of his legs really bad. Christian/Jacob showed up and told him what to do. Locke spun the wheel and his life as Jeremy Bentham began.

  • Jacob told John that he was supposed to have been the one that moved the island. He seemed mildly pissed that it had been Ben that did it the first time and even ridiculed Locke for listening to him. So what's Ben's goal? Seems part of it was to at least try and win back Jacob's approval. Maybe get his "job" back?
  • It's important to note that Jacob said specifically that John needed to bring all his friends back - so is that more than just the Oceanic 6? Desmond too I assume?

As for the O6, their action picked up where it left off last week at Slip 23 down at the pier. Sun approached the group with her gun, taking aim at Ben. He told her he had proof Jin was alive and that they could go back and see him. Upon hearing of his plans, Kate and Sayid shared a collective "no F'ing way" and took off, leaving Jack and Sun to tag along and see this "proof." Ben took them to Eloise Hawking's church. Desmond showed up as well and the reunion was brief as it became clear he was there for the same reasons. Ben gave Sun Jin's wedding band and she agreed to return to the island. Inside the church, Ms. Hawking seemed unconcerned that not everyone was there and that they could get started.

  • Ben is so smart. If we assume that Locke kept his promise to Jin, then Locke would've told Ben that Jin was indeed dead, using the ring as proof. With Locke/Bentham dead, Ben took the ring and used it to argue the exact opposite. I'm guessing he actually has no idea.
  • During the ride to the church, Ben told Sun and Jack that they would be thanking him if they knew what he had done to protect them and their friends. I'm guessing that isn't a mind game. Ben wants this to happen too bad and it isn't far off to suggest that maybe Ben has been protecting them all in some way from Widmore because he needs them.
  • This entire season we've heard endlessly that everyone needs to go back. So why was Eloise so calm to get things going with only four of the eight (I'm adding Desmond and Bentham in for now)?

Final thoughts...

  • Is Desmond going to go back with everyone? It seems that way now. Ms. Hawking is presumably going to tell him he has to.
  • Jin's early time flashes with Rousseau were a little annoying to me. Yes, I wanted to know as much as possible about Danielle, but the flashes being so close together seemed to serve just that purpose. It didn't feel organic. However, we later learned that the flashes were happening closer and closer together, so maybe it wasn't such a stretch.
  • How exactly does Jacob work? Does he just take someone's image? Or does he actually possess them, similar to what I suggested earlier with Montand and Co.? I ask, because even though Jacob told John all his plans, right at the end, Christian slipped through with the request, "Say hello to my son."
  • Is there anything Dan can do at this point to save Charlotte? She obviously didn't heed his warning as a child.
  • One more question - what did Dan mean when he said that Locke's plan made empirical sense? It seems like he's suggesting that the problem is far greater than they know and that bringing back the O6 isn't all that's required. It may not even be required at all.

Here's the official release for next week's installment, "316." See you back here in a week!

"316" - The way back to the island is revealed to members of the Oceanic 6, but there's trouble ahead when not all of them wish to return, on "Lost," WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on ABC.

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