5.05 “This Place is Death”

Jin witnesses some important events in island history. Locke takes the final step on his quest to leave the island. Charlotte confides a startling secret to Daniel. And Sun prepares to kill Ben.

Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Paul A. Edwards

On the Island

Some time after his rescue by seven-months-pregnant Danielle and her French science team pals, Jin is with them on the beach, at a makeshift camp they’ve set up, still trying to wrap his brain around the fact that he’s in the past. Danielle informs him that it’s currently 1988, and he’s stunned, but seems to be putting the pieces together that he has traveled through time.

[Side note: here are the names of the entire French science team, for the completionists out there. There’s Danielle of course, and her boyfriend/lover Robert (aka, Alex’s daddy). There’s Montand, the blonde jerkwad who got his arm ripped off. Nadine, the smoke monster’s latest victim. And finally, Brennan and Lacombe, who we never really learned much about.]

The French scientists hear the infamous cursed numbers being broadcast from somewhere on the island, and want to find the radio tower the broadcast is coming from. Jin is convinced by Danielle to help, though he wants to get back to the Oceanic 815 survivors’ beach camp. The group ventures into the jungle, where Danielle feels a labor pain, and she and Robert engage in a cute argument over the baby’s sex. (He thinks it’s a boy, to be named Alexander, she insists it’s a girl, Alexandra.) Someone notices that Nadine, the only other female on the team besides Danielle, is missing. And then everyone hears a faint rumble in the distance.

Jin recognizes this rumble as the sound of the smoke monster approaching, and he warns everyone that they have to get out of there. But the Frenchmen won’t hear of it, and insist on searching for Nadine. Nadine’s body falls out of a tree, and she’s been brutally killed by the monster. Jin tells them to run, but the monster appears and grabs Montand, dragging him away towards a hole in the ground. His friends and Jin all chase after him, and manage to stall his descent via a firm grip to a single hand. But he’s almost inside the hole, which rests just under a large stone structure, or ruins of some kind. Pulling for all they’re worth, it still isn’t enough as the monster snakes its smokey tendrils around Montand’s body and gives a final tug — tearing him free from his friends, and ripping his arm from his body.

Moments later, the sounds of the monster fade, and Montand is heard from under the stone ruins, calling out for help. He claims the monster has gone, so his friends decide to climb down and retrieve him. Danielle starts to join them, but Jin holds her back, reminding her that she’s pregnant and it’s not safe.

The first of many time flashes in this episode occurs, and Jin finds himself all alone at the stone structure. He finds Montand’s arm on the ground right where he last saw it, but it’s decayed a bit, so he’s moved forward in time by a matter of weeks or maybe a month. Jin sees black smoke rising in the distance, and he returns to the Frenchmen’s beach camp, only to find it better assembled than he last saw it. He finds Danielle’s musicbox — the same one Sayid fixed for her later in the first season episode “Solitary” — only here it’s still brand new. He finds two members of the team dead on the beach, having been shot. He watches from a distance as Danielle has her fateful final encounter with her lover, Robert (who’s now sporting a full beard). Both of them are aiming rifles at the other, but Robert seems to just be trying to defend himself. He begs Danielle to see reason, to stop killing everyone, but she believes that the monster changed him when he descended underground. She thinks he’s sick now, and he’s different. Shockingly, he tries to shoot her, but his rifle won’t fire, and she shoots him in the head.

She spots Jin and tries to shoot him as well, but he flees into the jungle, where another time flash saves him. Jin wanders back into the jungle, hoping to return to his own beach, but is stopped by a gun being leveled on him from behind. He turns around slowly… to find Sawyer, and all the rest. After a quick reunion with his friends, he asks where Sun is. Sawyer attempts to explain to him that they’re all traveling through time, but in spite of the English Jin has picked up recently, the language barrier still stands between them. He turns to Charlotte, remembering from an earlier encounter that she speaks Korean, and asks her to translate. Everyone else is shocked to learn that Charlotte speaks Korean, but she grudgingly obliges and explains everything that’s happened to Jin.

Later, as the group continues its jungle trek toward the Orchid station, Locke explains why he’s trying to reach the Orchid, that he intends to leave the island and bring the six who left back, including Sun. Daniel and Charlotte discuss whether or not Locke’s plan will work, and Daniel seems to think it’s a sound theory, that since the time jumping began at the Orchid, the Orchid might be the best place to stop it.

Two time shifts occur back-to-back, leaving the survivors dazed. Even Sawyer bleeds from the nose this time. Charlotte collapses, bleeding again, and she speaks to Jin in Korean, telling him not to let them bring Sun back. “No matter what!” she says. “This place is death!” Charlotte begins to hallucinate, seemingly experiencing moments from her past, much like Daniel’s last girlfriend did (as we saw in “Jughead”). Locke and Sawyer want to resume their quest for the Orchid, and express intentions to leave Charlotte behind. It’s cruel, yes, but if the time jumps continue, they’re all going to end up like her, so it has to be stopped.

After yet another time flash, Daniel refuses to go with them, saying he’s going to stay behind with Charlotte. Charlotte tells Locke that should they arrive at the Orchid at a time before it was built, they need only to “look for the well.” They’ll find it there. Straightaway, they find the Orchid station very nearby, but no sooner do they arrive than another time flash occurs and the Orchid station is gone. But following Charlotte’s instructions, Locke spots a large well nearby, surrounded by small stone pillars or ruins of some kind.

Back where Daniel and Charlotte were left behind, Charlotte seems to have a moment of clarity, and she reveals to Dan that she grew up on this island. Her parents were part of the Dharma Initiative, but her mother moved away and took Charlotte with her. She never saw her father again. Later, as she continued to grow up, Charlotte would ask her mother about the island, but her mother would tell her that it wasn’t real, that Charlotte had made it up. But Charlotte never believed that, always knowing that the island was real, and this is the reason she became an anthropologist. She’s spent her entire life trying to get back to the island.

Charlotte then tells Daniel that she remembers a crazy man who scared her, who came to the island when she was a little girl. This man told her that she had to leave the island and never come back, or she would die. Daniel is stunned when Charlotte says, “Daniel — I think that man was you!”

Back at the well, Locke prepares to climb down a rope dangling in its center, when Jin stops him and makes him promise not to bring Sun back. After witnessing what the island did to Rousseau’s people, and what it’s doing now to Charlotte, he doesn’t want Sun or his daughter to return here. He tells Locke to tell Sun that he died, that Locke saw Jin’s remains wash up on the shore and Locke buried him. He gives Locke his wedding ring to give to Sun, as proof that he’s dead. Juliet thanks Locke for attempting to save them, just as he climbs down into the hole.

He makes it about halfway down, when another time flash hits. Locke loses his grip on the rope and falls far down to the bottom of the well, where he cries out in agony. Up above, Sawyer clings to the rope, until he looks down and sees that the well is gone, and the rope runs into the ground. Wherever they are now, it would appear that the well hasn’t been dug yet.

Charlotte deteriorates fast, and Daniel tries to get her to hold on. He tells her that he has a plan to save her, that he went to Desmond and sent him to visit his mother in Los Angeles. She doesn’t understand how Dan’s mother can help, but before he can explain, her eyes go rigid, her body limp. She’s dead!

At the bottom of the well, Locke is badly injured. He’s broken his leg, with the bone sticking far out from his knee. He sees a shadow as someone approaches, and it’s Christian Shephard, who says he’s here to help John make it the rest of the way. He explains that around the corner from where Locke landed, there’s a wheel. And this wheel has slipped off its axis, and needs to be righted. Fixing it will allow Locke to leave the island. Christian says that it was John Locke who was supposed to move the island and leave it, not Ben, despite Ben’s insistence that Jacob meant it to be him. Christian tells him to go visit Eloise Hawking in L.A., and she will tell them all how to get back to the island. Locke says that Richard told him that he would have to die to convince the others to return, and Christian replies that this is a sacrifice Locke must make.

With his broken leg, and Christian unable to help him, Locke struggles to reach the wheel. He pushes it back in place, turns it a little bit, and the white light begins to shine from behind it. Christian tells him to “Say hello to my son.” Locke asks who his son is, but he vanishes into the light before Christian can answer.

Off the Island

At the pier where Jack, Sayid, and Kate have met with Ben, Sun still sits in her car, watching. She gets a call from her daughter, Ji Yeon, who’s being cared for by Sun’s mother. Both of them want Sun to return home soon, and Sun tears up at their requests. She promises to be back soon, saying she’s finishing up the thing she came to L.A. for now.

She exits the vehicle and approaches Ben, pointing her pistol at him. Kate demands to know where Aaron is, and Sun says he’s in the car. Kate runs off to retrieve him. Ben tells Sun that Jin is not dead, and he can prove it. Sun hesitates, still pointing her gun at Ben, but wants to see his evidence. He says that they have to go to see a woman at a church to get the proof. Kate returns with Aaron in her arms and freaks out, believing Jack was in on Ben’s scheme to take Aaron from her as a means to get her back to the island. She leaves. Sayid leaves as well, threatening both Jack and Ben that “it will be extremely unpleasant for all of us” should he see either one of them ever again. But Sun agrees to go with Ben to the church, and Jack goes with them.

Later, as Ben drives his van with Sun and Jack on board, Jack tries to apologize to Sun for leaving Jin behind back on the freighter, just before it blew up. Sun is unimpressed, pointing to his newfound alliance with the manipulative Ben. Jack replies that if she doesn’t kill Ben, he will “after what he just did to Kate.” Ben slams on the brakes, and says the two of them should never stop thanking him for all he’s done to keep them safe, that they have no idea how much he’s done for them. Ben tells Sun that if she’s going to kill him, she should do it now. Sun relents, and Ben resumes the drive.

The van arrives at the church, and when the three of them get out, Ben produces Jin’s wedding ring and gives it to Sun. He says that Locke gave it to him. Jack protests that Ben said Locke didn’t come to see him; Ben replies that that’s right, that he went to see Locke. Locke gave him the ring to offer to Sun as proof that Jin is still alive. Ben tells them both that the woman inside this church is named Eloise Hawking, and that she can help them all get back to the island. He asks if Sun will come, and with her husband’s wedding ring in hand, she says yes.

Just then, Desmond shows up, asking what they’re all doing there, outside the church. Ben says the same thing he is. Desmond replies, “You’re looking for Faraday’s mother, too?” Ben seems surprised to hear that Faraday’s mother is Eloise Hawking. He leads them inside the church, where Hawking is dismayed to see that Ben didn’t bring all of them. Ben says it was the best he could do on short notice, and Hawking supposes that it will have to do.

“Alright. Let’s get started,” she tells them.

  • The enigmatic Eloise Hawking.
    Question: Who is Daniel Faraday’s mother? [5.01]
  • The “sickness” Danielle spoke of was, in reality, the smoke monster. It took the rest of Danielle’s team and changed them somehow, so that they became completely different people. “Sick” was the word she used to describe them, but they don’t appear to have ever been infected by any sort of actual pathogen.
    Question: Danielle’s story about the rest of her science team was ambiguous. What exactly happened to them? [1.09]
  • Only what she witnessed first-hand when it attacked her and her teammates, and then took the rest of her team and altered them somehow.
    Question: What does Danielle know about the monster? [1.09]
  • Danielle believed that after her friends encountered the monster, it altered their personalities, making them dangerous to her and her child.
    Question: What is the sickness that took Danielle’s teammates “one by one”? [1.09] & Question: What is the infection Rousseau spoke of? Is it the same sickness that “took” her French crewmember friends? Could it be related to the injections Desmond was taking daily in the Swan station — the same reason the Hatch door was labeled “quarantine” on the inside? Is it even real? [2.15]
  • Danielle was prevented from getting close to the monster by Jin, while he was moving through time. When her friends went down beneath the Temple and found the smoke monster, she stayed on the surface.
    Question: Why was Danielle not infected by this sickness? [1.09]
  • Montand’s arm was ripped off by the smoke monster as it dragged him beneath the Temple.
    Question: How did Montand lose his arm in the Dark Territory? [1.23]
  • Presumably, the monster was taking Locke to the Temple — or rather, under it — just as it took Montand. I think we can infer that it planned to alter him the same way it altered Montand and his friends. To what end, is unknown.
    Question: Where was the monster taking Locke, and what did it intend to do with him there? [1.25]
  • After he had been changed by the smoke monster, Robert told her that the smoke monster isn’t a monster at all. He called it “a security system.”
    Question: Why does Danielle believe the monster to be “a security system”? [1.23]
  • Looks like.
    Question: Does the monster live in the Dark Territory, and that’s why it’s such a dangerous place? [1.23]
  • Charlotte grew up on the island because her parents were members of the Dharma Initiative, but after she moved away with her mother, her mother tried to convince her that the island wasn’t real. She returned to get back to the place where she was born.
    Question: What is Charlotte’s mission on the island? [4.02]
  • Because she knows it was where she grew up, and she needed to prove to herself that it was real.
    Question: Why has [Charlotte] been trying to get back [to the island]? [4.13]
  • To get the Oceanic 6 to return with him. Locke had been told by both Richard Alpert and Christian Shephard that the only way to save the people on the island (presumably from the time jumps) was to bring back everyone that left.
    Question: Why did Locke leave the island? [4.14]
  • The same way Ben did: by turning the frozen wooden wheel.
    Question: How did Locke leave the island? [4.14]

  • Why did the smoke monster kill Nadia, but leave Montand, Robert, and the others alive? Was it so it could “change” them, as it seemed to?
  • What exactly happened to Montand and the other Frenchmen beneath the Temple? Did the monster do something to them, as Danielle believed?
  • Why did the monster single out Montand to attack and drag beneath the Temple? Was he merely bait to get the others to go down there on their own, or was there some significance to the monster picking him over the others?

For the first time this season, an episode began without a flashback. Just felt the need to point that out.

Also from the (probably) pointless trivia file: Counting the flash that occurred when Locke fixed the frozen wheel, there were a total of eight time flashes in this episode. Eight, as I’m sure you know, is one of the cursed numbers.

Speaking of the numbers, who made that recording of them — the recording that Danielle and her people heard from their boat, which they changed course to investigate, and caused their shipwreck? Don’t forget, this is the recording that Danielle herself would later record over with her repeating S.O.S. message that Sayid, Sawyer, Kate, Charlie, Boone, and Shannon would hear in the very first episode of the show. I’m going to guess it was someone associated with the Dharma Initiative, just because the timing lines up, though I have no idea who or why such a recording would have been made.

This episode was positively overflowing with easter eggs for longtime fans, like Danielle’s musicbox. Or how about Montand’s quip regarding Jin: “First a boat. Then a helicopter. Next thing you know he’ll be talking about a submarine.” Jin very well could have mentioned a sub, since the Others possessed one, and like the boat and the helicopter, it was another means once used to reach the island. By Juliet, for example.

Nadine’s death at the hands of the smoke monster is eerily similar to the death of Seth Norris, captain of Oceanic 815. Both were yanked away and viciously killed by the smoke monster. Coincidence? Is the monster programmed to kill those it identifies as threats, or perhaps as leaders? Does the island require a death of some kind anytime a new group comes to it? I suspect we’re not going to know the answer to this one until Season 6, but I also firmly believe that Nadine and Seth’s deaths were presented to us in similar fashion on purpose. There is a method to the smoke monster’s madness, we just can’t see it yet.

Another similarity to something we’ve already seen came when Montand was captured by the monster. This was almost exactly, beat-for-beat, what happened to John Locke in the Season 1 finale, “Exodus.” In that episode, Locke was grabbed by the monster and dragged through the jungle toward a hole in the ground. Jack and Kate managed to save him by dropping a stick of dynamite into the hole, which forced smokey to turn John loose. So why is the monster dragging certain people underground? And what does it do to them down there? According to Danielle’s story from when the Oceanic survivors encountered her, Montand lost his arm to “the sickness” but survived. (Until she later shot him, of course. More on that in a minute.) So presumably, Montand was able to return from underground. Further, we saw his friends climb down into the hole after him, and we know that they survived as well. So why does the monster drag people underground, and what does it do with them there? Does it infect them, or change them, as Danielle believed? It seemed at first like she was crazy, but her assertions appeared to have been proven correct when her lover and father-of-her-child Robert tried to shoot her.

What the heck happened to them underground, in the monster’s lair? Since we know that the smoke monster can imitate human form, as it did with Eko’s brother Yemi, I can’t help wondering if the people Danielle shot were in fact… people. Is it possible they were facsimiles somehow created by the monster, and that’s why they seemed so different to Danielle? If so, then the four men all died underground, in the monster’s lair, and were almost immediately replaced. Something about the way that Montand began calling for help the second the monster’s noises faded away… And Montand didn’t even sound like he was in that much pain, after just having his arm ripped off. Was it really Montand calling to them for help, or was it the monster?

What else is down there, underground on the island? One would imagine there are all sorts of tunnels by which smokey accesses various locations around the island. Whatever it all is, it seems to be connected to the history of the island, with all those symbols and hieroglyphs. But I’m willing to bet there’s a lot more down there than we currently know. We’ve already seen two other locations underground with similar symbols: the frozen wheel well which we saw in this episode was surrounded by more ancient ruins, and the tunnel beneath Ben’s house at the Barracks, where he summoned the monster to wipe out Keamy’s men. It’s a natural conclusion that all of these underground places are connected to one another. The mind spins, wondering just what all that’s about, and what it has to do with the origins of the island.

My first thought when Jin spotted the plume of black smoke rising into the air, was its similarity to the black smoke the survivors saw before the Others came for Walt. Danielle told them she had seen that smoke one time before, when Alex was taken from her. But once Jin investigated, it looked as though this was merely smoke from the fire at the Frenchmen’s camp. It couldn’t have been the Others’ smoke from when Ben stole baby Alex from Danielle, because Danielle was still pregnant.

Danielle’s present-day story to Sayid was that her people were infected by “the sickness,” and she had no choice but to kill them. This appears to have been more or less true, but her referring to the effects of the monster as a “sickness” is quite a surprise.

I loved the little full-circle moment when Robert told Danielle that the smoke monster wasn’t a monster at all, “it’s a security system protecting that temple.” Danielle told Jack, Locke, Hurley, and Kate back in “Exodus” that the monster was “a security system.” Now we know where she got that idea. She also told Sayid that “there’s no such thing as monsters,” even though Jin repeatedly referred to smokey as a “monster” in this episode.

But this brings up the Temple itself, which is almost certainly the smoke monster’s lair. Did you see the symbols and hieroglyphics carved into the walls? Some of them matched symbols seen before, such as when the Swan station’s button counted down past zero, or when Ben descended to the wheel well beneath the Orchid station. Would this temple be the same Temple that Ben sent his people, the Others, off to last season for safety? Seems likely to me, though that would imply that Ben knows enough about the monster to know that his people would not be in any danger there. Why they wouldn’t be in danger there… is yet to be revealed, and probably relates to the Others status as supposedly indigenous to the island.

There’s one last Danielle-related matter to attend to, and that’s the obvious question of why she didn’t appear to recognize Jin when she met him sixteen years later. One could make the argument that her time alone on the island drove her mad, or that she’s suppressed her memories of the time shortly after the shipwreck, and genuinely doesn’t remember Jin as the man she encountered back then. But that seems too easy, and I ain’t buyin’ it. Young Danielle knew Jin’s name, for crying out loud, and he was the reason she didn’t contract the same “sickness” from the monster that her people did. No way would she forget someone like that. I think what we’re seeing instead is the effects of the Oceanic survivors’ travels through time. Even though Daniel swears history can’t be altered (and I’ve got a LOT more to say about that later), that “time has a way of course-correcting,” that doesn’t preclude them from making some small changes to the timeline, which have no real impact on the overall outcome of events. Perhaps in the original version of history, Danielle stopped herself from descending underground at the last minute. We’ll probably never know. The point is, Danielle survived unchanged, while her people did not, and that is true in either version of history. If this theory is true, then Jin was sort of inserted into Danielle’s story, but unable to make any real changes to it. And conveniently (not to mention sadly), Danielle is dead in the present, so there’s no way for Jin to go ask her older self if she remembers him from the past.

Did you notice that when Locke was climbing down the well and the time flash started up — the bright light that they always see in the sky seemed to be originating from down in the well? That would seem to make sense, given the frozen wheel’s significance to the island’s stabilization in time. But it was a nice little detail to see in action.

I still wonder where that wheel came from. Whatever power or energy is behind the wheel could eventually be explained as part of the island’s mysterious existence, but that wheel was man-made, and it was put there on purpose. Who, when, how, and why?

Is Christian Shephard really… Christian Shephard? I’ve always thought he was more of a manifestation of the island, a messenger from Jacob, or something similar. He’s clearly not a ghost, because he can physically manipulate objects — like baby Aaron in the jungle last season, the rocking chair in Jacob’s cabin, and now the lantern he carried in this episode. On the other hand, he couldn’t help John get up off the ground, and though he knew how to fix the wheel (“just give it a little push”), he insisted John had to do it, instead of doing it himself. If Christian is really himself… How the heck does he know so much about the island, about Jacob, about Eloise Hawking, and what Locke must do to save the island?

Now we have at least a partial explanation of why the island has been jumping through time, and just exactly what went wrong when Ben turned the wheel. Ben accidentally caused the wheel to slip free from its axis, and the wheel appears to very much be the island’s anchor — both in time and space. With the wheel all wobbly, the island was as well.

It’s confirmed at last: Eloise Hawking is indeed Daniel Faraday’s mother. Wowza.

So why was Ben surprised to learn this fact? And how could he not have known it already? We need some backstory on Faraday and Hawking, stat!

Daniel’s story arc for the season is starting to come into focus, and I’m sure I’m not the only one to see it. Let’s look at the evidence:

  • At Comic-Con 2008, attendees were shown a video of Dr. Marvin Candle admitting his real name was Pierre Chang, and recording this message for people of the future. In the video, he said that he knew that the Dharma Initiative was going to be destroyed in something called the Purge, and he asked whoever saw the video to help him and his people, to save the Dharma Initiative. The person videoing Chang was never seen, but Daniel Faraday’s voice could clearly be heard as he stopped recording, claiming that “this is never going to work.”
  • In this season’s premiere episode, “Because You Left,” one of the first things we saw was Daniel Faraday passing by Pierre Chang, disguised as a Dharma grunt, during the construction of the Orchid station.
  • “This Place Is Death” revealed that Charlotte was warned as a small girl not to return to the island or she would die — by Daniel Faraday!

Is the picture coming into focus? At some point this season, Daniel and the other survivors are going to time travel to the earliest days of the Dharma Initiative, and despite all his protests that history cannot be altered… I think the rest of this season, we are going to see Daniel Faraday on a quest to try to save the woman he loves by doing the impossible: changing history.

As sad as I am to see Charlotte go (and as poorly utilized as I found her to be of late compared to the force-to-be-reckoned-with she was last season), from a storytelling standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Charlotte dying is the one thing that could make Daniel throw caution to the wind, forget everything he knows about time travel, and attempt to change the past. And most of our lingering questions about Charlotte’s past were tied up with a neat bow just before her death.

I do still wonder just who she is, though, to the Dharma Initiative. Who were her parents? Is it possible she’s someone we’ve met before? I can’t possibly swallow that she’s Annie, Ben’s childhood friend. She’s the wrong age to be Annie, for starters, but Annie would also remember Ben, given all the time those two spent together in their youth. I don’t think she’s someone we’ve seen before as a child, but I am all kinds of curious to find out who her parents were — and why her mother left the island.

I would be remiss without pointing out that the fact that Charlotte was born and raised on the island tells us that whatever has happened to keep the Others from being able to procreate is a very recent development, probably well after the time of the Dharma Initiative. I wonder if it might have something to do with Jughead, the buried atomic bomb. Could it still be leaking radiation, or playing havoc with the island’s unique magnetic properties? I don’t think for one second that we’ve seen the last of that bomb.

The big question we’ll be facing next week, for episode 5.06 “316,” is just who will be going with Ben back to the island. Jack and Sun are a sure thing, while Hurley seems game, Kate is iffy at best, and Sayid is dead set against. I hope Kate brings Aaron along, because if she doesn’t, what will become of the little tyke? But I have a bad feeling about Aaron’s chances of returning to the island. And what about Desmond?

I also wonder what the consequences will be if Ben can’t get all six of them to return to the island. It’s as though there’s a balance that must be restored, and having everyone who left to return is the only way to restore that balance. Even though Hawking said that “it will have to do” to take back only the few of them that Ben was able to assemble, Ben himself has insisted all along that it has to be all six of them to go back. Christian Shephard was adamant when he told Locke the same thing in this episode, “it must be all of them.” It looks like Hawking is willing to settle for what she can get, but at the same time, I wonder about the consequences to the island and this notion of its balance should all of them not go back.

More

5.04 “The Little Prince”

Kate makes plans to confront the person trying to take Aaron from her, while the survivors on the island consider the consequences of changing history as they continue traveling through time.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan & Melinda Hsu Taylor
Directed by Stephen Williams

Flashback

Season 5’s trend of beginning with flashbacks continues, as we’re treated to another look at what happened on the Searcher (Penny’s boat) after the Oceanic 6 were rescued. This one, according to what we heard, took place two nights after the rescue, and the night before the group’s big conversation about the lie they would have to tell.

It’s late at night on board the Searcher, and Kate and Jack discuss Aaron as the little guy sleeps in Kate’s arms. Kate says she’s been thinking about how Claire originally intended to give him up for adoption. She wants to keep Aaron herself. Jack seems skeptical, but eventually the conversation moves to the upcoming conversation the six of them must have the next day. Jack requests Kate’s help in convincing the others to lie, asking if she’s with him on this. “I have always been with you,” she replies.

Off the Island

In the present, Kate has been staying with Sun since running from her home. She borrows a dress from Sun in preparation for some kind of plan that was suggested by Sun. Aaron stays behind with Sun, as Kate leaves. Sun, meanwhile, receives a package from a courier. Inside is a file full of surveillance transcripts and photographs that look like they were taken by a private detective. The photos are of Ben and Jack, at their first meeting together at the funeral parlor where Locke’s body was. Also in the package is a box of chocolates, and when Sun lifts out the tray of candy, there’s a pistol underneath.

Kate’s mystery meeting is with Dan Norton, of the law firm Agostini & Norton. This is the same firm that has a court order demanding a blood sample from both Kate and Aaron to determine their relationship. Kate offers a deal: she’ll give them her blood sample, if Norton will let Kate talk to his client. Norton turns her down, saying she has no leg to stand on, legally, and she knows it. He suggests she prepares herself for the inevitability that she is going to lose Aaron, and he says the “exchange of custody” should be handled quietly, for everyone’s sakes.

Jack is still at the hospital, watching over Sayid. Sayid still wants to get out of there and help Hurley, which leads to an argument between them about Ben’s motivations. Jack believes Ben truly wants to help, while Sayid insists that Ben can’t be trusted. Jack is pulled out of the room by a Dr. Ariza, who demands that Jack explain himself. He was recently suspended on charges of substance abuse, and has no business practicing medicine there on anyone. They’re interrupted by a phone call; it’s Hurley, calling Jack from L.A. County lockup. And Hurley is happy and proud of himself for outwitting Ben, and tells Jack to assure Sayid that he did the right thing, and that Ben can’t touch him. Ben shows up just as Hurley hangs up on Jack.

Meanwhile, a male nurse enters Sayid’s hospital room and says he’s there to give Sayid his meds. Just then, he pulls out a tranquilizer gun, but Sayid has gotten the drop on him, and the two tangle. Sayid overpowers the other man, asking who he works for. The man won’t tell, but says that there’s something in his pants pocket. Jack and Ben walk in the room, and Sayid is nonplussed at Ben’s presence. Sayid retrieves a piece of paper from his attacker’s pants pocket, and there’s an address written on it. Jack recognizes the address at once — it’s Kate’s house.

Outside the hospital, Ben says he’ll go retrieve Hurley from jail, but Sayid takes his keys and says he’ll do the driving. Jack calls Kate on his cell, and (surprisingly, considering their last encounter when he was stoned out of his mind) she answers. He asks if she’s okay, and where she’s at right now. He’s worried for her safety, so she reluctantly tells him where she is. Ben tells Jack to get Kate and meet them at the Long Beach Marina, and to hurry, because they’re running out of time.

Jack drives to Kate’s location, and finds her parked in her car right outside the offices of Agostini & Norton. She’s pleasantly surprised that he’s cleaned himself up and shaved the beard. She doesn’t want him there and asks him to leave, but finally confesses that someone out there knows the truth about her and Aaron, and is trying to take him away from her. Just then, Norton leaves the law office in his car, and she goes to follow him in hers. Jack hops in her car, wanting to help.

Kate and Jack follow Norton to a motel, where he meets with a client. Kate explains she’s hoping to find out who the client is that’s threatening her custody of Aaron. They watch as Norton knocks on the door of a motel room, and the person who comes to the door is Claire Littleton’s mother — aka, Aaron’s real grandmother, Carole Littleton. It starts to rain, and Norton leaves after a brief conversation with Carole. Jack suggests he go to the motel room and talk to Claire’s mother. He thinks he can make her see reason if he comes clean and explains why they had to lie. Kate doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but relents when Jack argues, “Aaron is my family, too.”

Carole is shocked to see Jack, but after a brief conversation, Jack determines that she doesn’t know anything. She doesn’t recognize the name Aaron, and has no idea who he is. Jack bolts, returning to Kate’s car, and tells her to book it out of there. They’re in the clear; Carole has sued Oceanic Airlines over the crash, and she’s in town to pick up a settlement check from her lawyers — who just happen to be Agostini & Norton.

In the meantime, Sayid and Ben end up not at the county jail, but in a parking garage. While they wait to meet someone, Ben asks Sayid why he felt compelled to rescue Hurley from the mental hospital. Sayid replies that he needed to know Hurley was safe. Ben’s contact arrives, and it’s none other than lawyer Dan Norton (this guy gets around!). He tells Ben that he’s worked out Hurley’s release, legally, that all charges against him will be dropped at a hearing tomorrow morning, and Hurley will be free to go. When Norton leaves, Sayid asks who that was. “That’s my lawyer,” replies Ben.

That night, at a pier, everyone meets together as planned. Kate and Jack arrive first, and she demands the truth about why he came to see her today. He tells her about Sayid’s attacker, and the fact that he had her address likely as his next target. Ben and Sayid arrive, and Kate is not happy to see Ben. Jack genuinely believes Ben is trying to help them, but seeing Ben in person helps her to put the pieces together: he’s the one who got the court order for the paternity test. Ben admits it without argument, and as he prepares to make his case, Sun arrives and watches the confrontation take place from inside her car. Aaron is with her, in the backseat. Eying Ben menacingly, she retrieves the pistol from her courier package and gets out of the car…

On the Island

Just ten minutes after Charlotte’s collapse and bloody nose, Miles retrieves water for her from the creek. Juliet questions Daniel about what’s happening to Charlotte, and Sawyer pitches in, demanding answers from Dan with his unique brand of wit. When Juliet asks him to walk away, Daniel admits to her that Juliet’s internal clock is suffering the effects of their movements through time, and compares it to “really bad jetlag.” Juliet observes that jetlag doesn’t make you hemorrhage, and asks why it’s only happening to Charlotte. Dan says he doesn’t know.

As they watch Daniel and Juliet attend to Charlotte from a distance, Locke tells Sawyer that they have to return to the Orchid station. Locke believes that their travels through time began there, and he might be able to make it end there. And if not, Ben Linus used it to leave the island, and Locke he can do the same thing, and retrieve the Oceanic 6. Sawyer is surprised to find out that Kate and the others aren’t dead, but Locke won’t tell him how he knows this. Locke says he believes that bringing back the Oceanic 6 will make the time jumps stop. Locke suggests they use the Zodiac boat and sail around the horn of the island to reach the Orchid faster.

Charlotte wakes up, and suffers a momentary memory loss, but it passes quickly. She assures Dan that she’s okay, and Sawyer comes to tell them that they’re leaving for the Orchid station. Locke succeeded in convincing him to go by asking him, “Don’t you want her to come back?”

Later that night, as they are returning to the survivor’s camp to get the Zodiac, Sawyer asks Locke what he’s going to say to Kate to get her to come back. Locke admits he doesn’t know yet. The group spots a very familiar-looking beacon of light shining into the night sky, and though it’s directly in their path, Locke tells everyone to go around. Daniel asks Locke if he knows when they are, but Locke doesn’t answer. Charlotte says her head feels better, but Miles secretly wipes away blood from his nose.

A scream is heard in the jungle, and Sawyer races toward the sound. He hides in the underbrush, watching as Claire gives birth to Aaron, with Kate’s help. They are two months in the past, when Kate is still on the island. Claire is in tremendous birth pains, but Kate calms her down by telling her that she’s not alone, that the baby has all of them to rely on, and Claire is going to get through this. Sawyer is deeply moved at the sight of Kate, who he thought he’d never see again, but he stays hidden from sight.

There’s a time flash, and now it’s daytime, and Kate and Claire are gone. Later, the group continues their trek toward the beach, and Locke asks Sawyer what he saw in the jungle, because he knows it was two months ago. Sawyer won’t tell, but he asks Locke how he knew when they were. Locke explains that the light they saw in the night sky was from the Swan hatch, and he tells Sawyer what he did the night that Boone died. He pounded on the hatch, angry and hurting, wanting to know what the island wanted from him. Sawyer asks why Locke didn’t go back there and save himself from that pain. Locke says that he needed that pain to get to where he is now.

Miles quietly confesses to Dan about his nosebleed, and Dan says he has a theory that the detrimental effects of time travel are related to the duration of exposure to the island — aka, how long one has spent on the island, and Charlotte as effected first because she believes she was born on the island, so she’s spent more time there than anyone. Miles replies that that makes no sense, because he’s spent less time on the island than Locke or Sawyer, neither of whom are symptomatic yet. Daniel asks Miles if he’s certain about that.

The group is surprised to find that the survivors’ camp is back on the beach. But no one’s there, the camp is trashed, and the Zodiac is gone. They also find a pair of canoes washed up on the shore that none of them have ever seen before; inside one canoe is a water bottle labeled with the Ajira Airways logo (!). Juliet has heard of Ajira and tells them that it’s an airline that flies all over the world, but is based out of India.

The group steals a canoe and races out to sea with it. On the water, Sawyer confesses to Juliet that he saw Kate in the jungle from two months ago. Before they can talk about this further, someone starts shooting at them from behind. In the water there’s another boat, and this one quickly starts catching up with them. Miles speculates, “I think they want their boat back!” Juliet pulls out a rifle and appears to hit one of their attackers (or they might have just ducked, it was hard to tell), but it’s not enough, and the other boat bears down on them. Just when all hope seems lost, there’s another time flash, and now they’re at sea in a rain storm, at night.

When they wash up on the shore, it’s still nighttime. Juliet presses Sawyer to talk about seeing Kate again, and he does, but her nose starts to bleed. Charlotte finds wreckage on the shore from some kind of boat, and Locke finds a piece of debris with a French word written on it: Besixdouze.

On a life raft out at sea, a group of Frenchmen we can’t really make out are struggling to survive, and they don’t seem to know that they’re near an island. They spot something floating in the water and intercept it. It’s a large piece of wood, with a man laying on it face-down, unconscious. They turn him over, and…

Wait for it…

It’s Jin! He’s alive!

The next day, Jin wakes up on the island beach with the French people. Their youngest member, a twenty-something girl, helps him. She speaks English, and she’s several months pregnant. The French crew question Jin about how he got there, and how long he was afloat on his makeshift raft. The girl asks his name, and he tells her. She replies…

“Hello, Jin. I’m Danielle. Danielle Rousseau.”

  • No, Jin lives! He escaped his brush with death by being blown out to sea by the bomb’s blast, and clinging to a piece of debris to survive.
    Question: Is Jin really dead? [4.14]
  • At Kate’s request while still onboard the Searcher, the Oceanic 6 agreed to pretend that Aaron was Kate’s son. Kate pointed out that Claire had meant to give Aaron up for adoption anyway, and she felt that it should be one of the survivors who became his adopted parent.
    Question: How and why did Kate end up posing as Aaron’s biological mother? [4.04]
  • Who else? Benjamin Linus.
    Question: Who is Agostini & Norton’s client that’s trying to separate Kate from Aaron? [5.01]
  • According to Daniel, the time jumps are causing something like “really bad jetlag,” throwing off the mind’s internal clock, though it has more detrimental physical effects, including brain hemorrhages. Now that all of the survivors are beginning to experience the headaches, it seems that the amount of time one has spent on the island dictates how early they are affected by the time jumps. Since Charlotte believes she was born on the island, she must have spent more time there than anyone, and that’s why she was the first to get the headaches.
    Question: Why is Charlotte’s nose bleeding in response to the time jumps? [5.01]
  • No, Jin is alive, having apparently been thrown from the deck of the freighter Kahana by the blast that destroyed it, and survived by floating on a broken off piece of plywood. He was caught within the radius of the island’s move, so he has been jumping through time with the rest of the survivors, though he has been unconscious since the jumps began. Sun believes that he’s dead because she saw the freighter blow up while she thought he was still on it.
    Question: Is Jin really dead in the future? If so, how did he die? [4.07]

  • Miles’ nose bleeding next, after Charlotte’s, means that he’s spent more time on the island than any of them except her. The fact that Juliet came next, means that Miles spent more than three years on the island (because that’s how long Juliet spent on it). When did Miles live for more than three years on the island, and why doesn’t he remember it?
  • Where did the canoes come from that were at the survivors’ camp? When in time did they arrive, and who brought them there? Did they arrive on Ajira Airways?
  • Who shot at the survivors from the second canoe?

Did Sun’s package-o’-revenge come courtesy of one Charles Widmore? Seems like a no-brainer. Which would mean that Widmore is trying to have Ben killed, despite the “rules” that exist between the two suggesting that neither one can kill the other.

I was kind of surprised to hear Sayid ask the nurse guy who he was working for. I sorta thought he knew who was after him and Hurley, but apparently not.

Kate’s home address is 42 Panorama Crest. 42 is one of the cursed numbers.

Ben’s meeting place is Slip 23 at the Long Beach Marina. 23 is also one of the cursed numbers.

Benjamin Linus and Carole Littleton both use the same lawyer. Coincidence?

Ben’s van — the one that he and Sayid meet Ben’s laywer in, in this episode, and the one Ben moved Locke’s body in, two episodes ago — is labeled “Canton-Rainier Carpet Cleaning.” Rearrange the letters of “Canton-Rainier” and you get “reincarnation.” Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. (I’m telling you, Locke’s not dead. Believe it.)

Raise your hand if you were surprised to see that Ben was Agostini & Norton’s mystery client. Yeah, I thought not. It was just such a Ben thing to do, manipulating Kate that way. Still, even though it wasn’t a surprise, Michael Emerson’s oh-so-innocent reading of the line, “that’s my lawyer” was priceless.

Is Locke right, that bringing the Oceanic 6 back to the island will stop the time jumps? Richard told him that it would save the island, but he didn’t specifically say that saving the island meant bringing all the time-hopping to an end.

I had actually forgotten that it was Kate that delivered baby Aaron into the world. Really brings everything full circle for the little guy, doesn’t it?

This episode marks the first time the survivors’ island time jumping has brought them face-to-face with their own people in the past. It felt to me like a bit of foreshadowing, as if the writer’s were sending us a subtle signal that yes, the survivors will encounter themselves during their travels through time, and the show is going to address what happens when they do.

The bit about the time travel sickness effecting people based on their duration of time spent on the island was very revealing. Charlotte is effected first because she was born on the island (yet she has yet to reveal anything about her past there, so one has to wonder if she even remembers?). Miles was effected next, presumably because he’s spent more time on the island than he realizes. Which really lends credence to that theory going around that he was the infant son we saw in the opening scenes of the season premiere, belonging to Dr. Pierre Chang and his wife. Juliet was the next one to show symptoms, which fits because she’s been on the island for years, working with the Others and their fertility problems. Based on this line of reasoning, it’s only a matter of time before Sawyer and Locke start showing symptoms too. But then there’s Faraday. He’s not symptomatic yet, which can only mean he’s spent very little time in his life on the island. Unless… he’s somehow special, in a Desmond kind of way, and immune to the effects of time travel. What do you think?

So the big easter egg in 5.05 was without a doubt that Ajira Airways water bottle. What did it mean? Here’s my theory. The fact that we’ve never seen the survivors’ camp completely deserted (not counting the Season 3 finale when everyone left because of the Others’ intended abduction of the pregnant women, because even then, Sayid, Jin, and Bernard were still there), added to the presence of the canoe we’ve never seen before leads to the very obvious conclusion that this is very likely our first real time jump into the future of the island. Now I have no idea why the camp was completely deserted, but the prevailing theory is that Ajira Airways is going to have something to do with the Oceanic 6’s return to the island. So my guess is that this time jump took our happy band of time travelers to a moment in time not long after the Oceanic 6 returned — and that that canoe belonged to them. I’ve got no idea about the identities of the people on the other boat that attacked them. Theories about that, anyone?

And I kind of doubt there’s any significance to the fact that Juliet had heard of them, unless they’re an airline somehow connected to the Others. But it seems like she would have mentioned that, doesn’t it?

Hooray for the arrival of young Danielle Rousseau and her French scientist friends! This can only mean we are finally going to get Danielle’s long-awaited backstory! Did you know it was her before she announced her name? I guessed it as soon as Locke found the French-labeled debris. Since we know that Rousseau was trapped on the island for sixteen years, we can safely assume that this time flash took our survivors to sometime shortly before that.

Speaking of that French word, Besixdouze… the word comes from the famous children’s story that this episode is named after, The Little Prince. The prince in the story lives on an asteroid named B612. In 1993, a real asteroid was discovered in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and it was named 46610 Besixdouze in honor of The Little Prince. Whether or not this is the name of Rousseau’s ship is yet to be revealed, but it clearly means something of significance to the French scientists.

Once again, we’re forced to wonder if our time-traveling survivors are changing the past. Danielle has now met Jin sixteen years before she would encounter him again, among the survivors of Oceanic 815. Why doesn’t she remember meeting him before? A case could be made that she had a nervous breakdown from spending so much time alone on the island, but I still wonder about Daniel’s “the past can’t be changed” rule… And I think this whole season of Lost is going to come down to putting that rule to the test.

Never before have I wished that I could speak French, but tonight that skill would have come in pretty handy. Ah well, I’m sure some fan will translate everything the French people said and post it online, soon enough.

When Sawyer was watching Kate and Claire in the past, it got me wondering… What if the time-traveling survivors are the Whispers, watching themselves in the past?

Following that line of thought even further… What if, when all is said and done, the time-traveling survivors and the Oceanic 6 travel back through time so far that they end up being the original Others, hundreds or thousands of years ago? Would that mean Aaron is really Richard Alpert? Maybe one of them will inevitably end up with four toes, and have a statue erected in their honor. Hmm…

More

5.03 “Jughead”

Desmond travels to Oxford to find a woman who may be able to help the survivors trapped on the island stop jumping through time. Meanwhile, the island survivors encounter the 1954 versions of some very familiar faces.

Written by Elizabeth Sarnoff & Paul Zbyszewski
Directed by Rod Holcomb

Flashback

For the third time in a row, a Season 5 episode kicked off with a flashback. This time it was Desmond, at some point in time during the three years he spent in hiding with Penny. He’s running like a madman through a village in the Philippine municipality Mabuhay, frantically searching for a man named Efrem Zolonga. Zolonga turns out to be a doctor, and Desmond takes him back to the yacht, where Penny is pregnant and in labor, bleeding profusely. The doctor delivers the baby safely, and it’s a boy.

Off the Island

Flash-forward to today, where Desmond is driving the yacht into England, following up on his decision two episodes ago to travel to Oxford, at the request of Daniel Faraday, to find Dan’s mother. Desmond’s young son, now seemingly around two years old, is at his side. He tells the boy about Great Britain, and particularly Scotland, where Des himself is from. Penny expresses concern about her father, Charles Widmore — who is also in England — finding out about Desmond being there. Desmond believes he can get in and out of Oxford and Widmore will never know.

Later, as Desmond is preparing to disembark from the boat, Penny states once again that she doesn’t want him to do this. She doesn’t understand why he has to do it now, if his instructions came from Daniel Faraday more than three years ago. Desmond doesn’t understand how it works either, but he knows that now is when he has to do it. He promises to be back to the boat by dark, at which point he’ll be done with all of this island business forever. Penny counters that she’d rather he promised never to go back to the island, but he simply says, “Why in God’s name would I ever want to go back there?”

At Oxford, Desmond speaks to a librarian who digs through the university’s archives for Daniel Faraday’s records of employment. The librarian tells him that there is no record of anyone named Faraday ever having worked at Oxford. Desmond goes to Daniel’s lab (which he remembers from “The Constant”), and finds a sign on the door stating that it is being fumigated. He enters anyway and finds the place deserted and locked down. But Daniel’s old equipment is still there, including the infamous rat maze that Desmond witnessed in the past. Desmond also notices a framed photograph of Daniel at Oxford, standing next to a woman we’ve never seen before.

A janitor interrupts Desmond in the lab, and explains that he covered up Faraday’s work after Dan left the university, “after what he did to that poor girl.” The janitor’s cover-up included destroying the rats Faraday used in an incinerator. The insinuation is that an experiment of Faraday’s went awry, and caused the girl seen in Daniel’s framed photograph to be harmed in some way.

Desmond goes to the home of the girl in Daniel’s photo, Teresa Spencer. He finds Teresa asleep or comatose in a hospital bed in her home, being cared for by a professional caretaker. Teresa’s sister, Abigail, informs him that Teresa is currently “away” — that when she awakens, she thinks she’s at different times in her own past. And this is Daniel Faraday’s doing, after which he abandoned her, leaving for the U.S. But Teresa is being taken such good care of because of the kindness of none other than Charles Widmore. Widmore pays for all of her medical expenses, and was also Faraday’s financial sponsor when he was at Oxford.

Whoa.

Angry, caution to the wind, Desmond storms into Charles Widmore’s London office and confronts the old man. Widmore admits that he knows Daniel’s mother and where she is, and concedes to Desmond’s demands to help him this one time, after which he’ll never see Desmond again. He tries to get Desmond to tell him if his daughter is safe, but Desmond won’t help him. Widmore says that Faraday’s mother is in Los Angeles, and that she’s a “very private person” who won’t take kindly to his seeking her out. Finally, he warns Desmond to deliver his message to Faraday’s mother, but then “get out of this mess.” He says that Desmond is involving himself in something that goes back many, many years, and will only endanger him and Penny.

Desmond returns to the yacht, and lies to Penny, telling her that Daniel’s mother is dead. She sees through the lie immediately, and he confesses that she’s really in Los Angeles. But, seemingly following Widmore’s advice to put distance between himself and affairs of the island, he tells Penny he has no interest in going to L.A. to continue the hunt. He promised her he would be done with this business by nightfall today, and it’s nighttime. But Penny knows him too well, and knows that he won’t be able to let go of this so easily. So she promises to go with him — her, and their son… Charlie.

On the Island

Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, and a few redshirts are heading for the creek, where Sawyer told everyone to regroup. Charlotte’s condition is worsening, with headaches, dizziness, and double vision, but Daniel tells her he’s going to prevent anything from happening to her. A few of the other survivors set off mines planted in the ground near the creek, and are blown to bits. But before the Freighter trio can find shelter, they’re surrounded by men and women carrying guns and bows & arrows. A woman named Ellie steps up, rifle in hand, and demands to know who’s in charge. Miles points to Faraday, and Ellie says to him, “You just couldn’t stay away, could you?”

They bind the hands of Daniel, Charlotte, and Miles, and start marching them back to their camp. Ellie claims her people didn’t plant the mines, and she believes Daniel’s people did. She demands to know where the rest of Daniel’s people are, but he won’t tell.

Not far away, Locke, Juliet, and Sawyer hold their would-be captors at gunpoint. Their uniforms indicate their names to be Jones and Cunningham. They speak to one another in a strange tongue, and Juliet surprises everyone by joining in. She explains that the language is Latin, and she speaks it for the same reason they do — they’re Others.

The other group is marching, and Miles reports to Daniel that they just walked over the grave of four soldiers from the U.S., who died just under a month ago. Three of them were shot, the fourth died from radiation poisoning. Daniel notices as they walk that some of these Others have bandages on their hands. They reach the meager camp and Ellie calls for Richard. Richard Alpert emerges from a tent, looking the same age that he always looks. He approaches Daniel and says, “I assume you came back for your bomb.”

Later, Daniel, Miles, and Charlotte are placed inside a tent at the Others’ camp. Richard comes in and accuses them of attacking the Others, invading their island, and conducting tests there. Dan realizes that Richard thinks they are members of the U.S. military, who had been to the island and left an active hydrogen bomb there while conducting tests on similar islands throughout the south Pacific. He offers to render the bomb inert. Richard wants to know how he can trust him, and Dan replies that he’s in love with Charlotte and won’t do anything to hurt her. Richard believes him.

Locke’s group is told by Cunningham that the rest of the survivors are either dead or captured by now. Juliet tries to negotiate a truce, asking to be taken to their camp to see Richard Alpert, whom she knows will be there. Cunningham agrees and tells them where to find the camp, but Jones breaks free, snaps Cunningham’s neck, and runs. Locke won’t shoot Jones because, as he tells Sawyer, “they’re my people.” Jones gets away.

Back in the tent, Daniel tells Charlotte that he meant what he said: he really does love her. Before Charlotte can respond, Ellie comes to get him and take him to the bomb. Outside, Richard explains to Dan that one month ago, 18 army men showed up on the island and set up the very camp they are now using. Richard offered them the chance to leave the island peacefully, but they refused, so the Others had to kill them. When Dan questions why they were “forced” to kill them, Richard says he was given orders by their leader (Jacob). Jones comes running into camp and reports his escape.

Locke, Juliet, and Sawyer find the Others’ camp. Locke asks how Juliet knew Richard would be here, and Juliet replies, “Richard’s always been here.” Locke asks how old Richard is, and Juliet answers that he’s old. Locke announces his intention to go talk to Richard, to finish the conversation they began back at the wreckage of the beechcraft, before the last time jump. He needs to know how to get off the island, to go convince the Oceanic 6 to return. He just has to convince this version of Richard Alpert, who has never met him nor heard of him, that he is who he says he is. Sawyer and Juliet go to save Daniel.

As Dan and Ellie walk through the jungle, Dan can’t seem to stop looking at her. She questions this, and he remarks that she looks remarkably like someone he used to know. She says that even though Richard is convinced, she doesn’t believe that Dan is who he claims to be. They arrive at the bomb, which is named “Jughead,” and is suspended inside a makeshift tower. Dan climbs the tower and finds corrosion on the bomb, evidence that it’s leaking radiation — which is the reason for the bandages on some of the Others’ hands that he noticed earlier. He tells Ellie that the bomb needs to be buried, but it will be okay. He knows it won’t go off. When she presses him to explain how he could know this, he finally reveals that he’s from the future, and the island is still around 50 years from now. So, logical conclusion: bomb no go boom.

Sawyer and Juliet appear and force Ellie to drop her gun.

Locke strolls into the Others’ camp and asks to see Richard Alpert. Richard, as expected, does not recognize him. Locke explains that “Jacob sent me,” and Richard orders his people to stand down. But the man we know as Jones doesn’t buy it, and keeps his gun aimed at Locke. Richard tells him to stand down, calling him “Widmore.” Locke, stunned, asks this man if his name is really Charles Widmore. It is.

A few minutes later, Locke gives Richard the compass that Richard gave him before the last time jump (in “Because You Left”). He asks Richard to tell him how to get off the island, but Richard says this is “very privileged information.” Locke searches for a way that Richard can confirm his claims about being from the future. He asks Richard what year it is; it’s 1954. Locke explains that he will be born in two years, and asks Richard to go visit him.

Another time jump builds, and Locke is unable to get Richard to reveal how he can leave the island before the jump occurs. After it’s over, the survivors are the only ones left; the Others and their camp are gone. Charlotte collapses, bleeding heavily from the nose.

  • Charles Widmore once lived on the island as an Other.
    Question: How does Charles Widmore know about the island? [4.06]
  • Most likely, Widmore wants to get back to the island, though it’s possible he could have other reasons.
    Question: Why has Charles Widmore been trying to find the island? [4.06]
  • They were both Others, and as Juliet can attest, one rule of being an Other is that you do not kill each another.
    Question: Why can’t Ben and Widmore kill each other? [4.09]
  • Apparently the rules preventing Others from killing each other apply to their offspring as well. Widmore gave his men clearance to kill Alex if it was necessary to get to Ben, which violated those rules, so Ben realized that with the rules broken, he was now clear to kill Widmore’s child in retribution.
    Question: What did Ben mean when he said that Widmore “changed the rules”? What rules? [4.09]
  • Richard Alpert checked on Locke as a child because Locke himself asked him to, when Locke traveled back in time to 1954. Locke explained that it was his destiny to become leader of the Others, so Richard tested Locke as a child repeatedly to determine if this was true.
    Question: What was Richard Alpert doing checking in on Locke so many times throughout his formative years? It appeared that he was trying to determine if Locke was destined to become the leader of the Others, but if that’s true, how did he know about Locke in the first place? [4.11]
  • The Others.
    Question: Who are the people in the Army uniforms that are trying to kill the survivors on the island? [5.02]
  • A very young Charles Widmore.
    Question: Who is the young man labeled “Jones”? [5.02]
  • The island was visited by a group of U.S. Army soldiers, who planned to use it to test-detonate a hydrogen bomb there, in 1954. But a conflict broke out between the Army and the Others, and the Others slaughtered them all, and then took all of their equipment and supplies to use as their own. The pocket knife very likely came from this event.
    Question: Where did the Others get a U.S. military pocket knife? [2.07]

  • Why did Widmore fund Daniel’s research? How does he know Daniel?
  • Why did Ellie remind Daniel of someone he used to know?
  • Is the young woman Ellie really Eloise Hawking?
  • Why did Jacob order Richard to kill the Army men?
  • Widmore was once an Other living on the island, so why did he leave the island?
  • Ms. Hawking likewise was once an Other on the island, so why did she leave the island?
  • Did the Others bury the bomb, as Daniel suggested? If so, where?

“Jughead” is chocked full of revelations about the history of the Others. Where does one even begin to examine it all?

How long did it take you to put together the connection between “Ellie,” the young Other in the past toting a rifle, and “Eloise Hawking,” the older woman in the present who seems to know a lot about time travel and is helping Ben and the Oceanic 6 get back to the island? Are they one and the same? Count on it. Look at the evidence: Daniel recognizes her; both women are British; Ellie is the right age; she knows Widmore in both timeframes; and they even wear their hair the same way.

All of this adds up to the revelation that the infamous Ms. Hawking is an Other who used to live on the island.

Holy moley.

But let’s back up for a second.

The big news is all about Charles Widmore, who was just brimming with surprises in this episode. First we learned that he was Daniel Faraday’s financial backer when Dan was at Oxford, sponsoring his unorthodox experiments in time travel. Why would Widmore be so interested in time travel? Obviously both Widmore and Faraday have connections to the island, and we know Widmore is personally responsible for sending Daniel to the island, so they have a history. But is Widmore equally interested in time travel? We know that his one real ambition is to regain possession of the island. Perhaps he decided to explore time travel as a way of accomplishing that.

Second, we learned that Teresa Spencer, the victim of Dan’s experiments, is being cared for thanks to Widmore’s financial aid. Why would Whidmore be so benevolent to someone in dire need, when we know him to be a cruel, ruthless man? Probably because of Teresa’s condition, which seemed to have her consciousness jumping randomly through time much like Desmond did in “The Constant.” Faraday’s experiments are still of interest to Widmore, even after all this time.

Third, Widmore knows Daniel Faraday’s mother, and he knows her well enough to know where she is currently, and that she values her privacy. If the woman in question is Ms. Hawking, and it almost certainly is, then the two of them have a history of some kind.

Fourth, Widmore is really the man in 1954 on the island wearing a uniform labeled “Jones”! Which means that Charles Widmore is an Other!

Let me say that again. Charles Widmore is an Other.

(Remember that “Other” on the show is vernacular for “the original, indigenous inhabitants of the island.”)

Holy connect-the-dots, Batman.

This is undoubtedly the biggest revelation of the episode, and it certainly puts this exchange between Ben and Widmore in a whole new light:

<

p style=”text-align: center;”>

Notice that Widmore says that everything Ben has, he took from him. In essence, in this confrontation, Ben represents the Dharma Initiative, and Widmore represents the Others. Dharma came to the island, unwanted by the original inhabitants, and one of them became the leader of the Others. Widmore apparently thinks Jacob’s decision to make an outsider their leader was a mistake.

If Ellie really is Eloise Hawking, and you can bet good money that she is, then that’s definitely how she and Widmore know each other in the present.

A unique picture is starting to form here. Another, more pressing connection between these past Others. Do you see it?

Their children.

Hawking’s son, Daniel Faraday, went to the island on Widmore’s freighter. Charlotte Lewis, also from the freighter, claims she is on the island looking for the place where she was born, which almost certainly makes her parents Others as well. And a popular theory going around right now is that Miles Straume was the infant son of Pierre Chang and his wife that we saw in the season premiere. If these assumptions turn out to be true, that means that all three of our key Freighter Folk are the children of either Others or members of the Dharma Initiative. All three of them have past ties to the island. And all three of them are now traveling through time, putting them in the position to encounter their parents in the past. (Daniel met his mother in this very episode.) And let’s not forget Penelope Widmore, another Other descendant, who now could be on her own path to the island alongside her husband.

Another very obvious question is why Widmore and Hawking are off the island in the present, and have been for a long time? (Does this mean that Pierre Chang is off the island, too? Or did he die on the island during the Purge?) What were the circumstances of their departures, when did it take place, did they both leave at the same time, and did they go willingly or were they forced off? Maybe they both left in order to have children, since we know the island isn’t kind to pregnant mothers, and were never able to get back.

Or is it that they’re unable to go back? Consider this: Widmore sent a freighter to find the island, but tellingly, he wasn’t on it. He told Ben that he intends to take ownership of the island, but he never said anything about traveling back there himself. Hawking is helping Ben get the Oceanic 6 back to the island, but her language (“seventy hours is what you’ve got”) suggests that she won’t be joining them. Is there something preventing this older generation of Others from returning to what is presumably their place of origin?

Who were the Dharma Initiative, exactly? We know they were rooted in something called the Hanso Foundation, an organization founded by one Alvar Hanso, but we know nothing of Hanso himself. Such as how he knew about the island, and why he established the Dharma Initiative there. Could Hanso be another of these earlier-generation Others, somehow removed from the island and unable to return himself, but still using it for his own purposes?

Ahhhh, the mind could go mad trying to put all of these puzzle pieces together…

For a minute there, I was convinced that Daniel was going to tell “Ellie” that he was her son. “You really want to know who I am?” he asked, rounding on her suddenly, meaningfully. Oh, how the writers love to tease us…

Going back to Widmore for a moment… We saw a slightly new shade of him in his warning to Desmond at the end of their encounter (easily my favorite scene of the entire hour; Desmond’s barely contained fury practically jumped off the screen), when he asked him to deliver Faraday’s message to his mother and then “get out of this mess.” It felt to me like the one altruistic thing he’s ever said to Desmond. Widmore wants to protect his daughter from Ben, of course, but there was also the way he described the situation as a “mess” that had a very long history. It felt like a man of war who’s tired of fighting and wants to keep outsiders from getting caught in the crossfire. Anybody else get that vibe?

I kept watching the last-generation Others, wondering if anyone else was someone we might know. If we were to look hard enough, might we spot a young Tom or Ethan Rom running around their camp? Or were they recruited and brought to the island, like Juliet?

Did you recognize the compass being exchanged between Locke and Richard Alpert? It’s one of the objects Richard uses to test young John when he visits him as a boy.

Now that we know the Others killed these U.S. military men who came to the island to test a hydrogen bomb, it’s obvious that the Others took their uniforms, guns, tents, and other equipment and used them as their own. So none of the names on any of the uniforms the Others are wearing are their own names. They’re the names of the soldiers they killed. We’ve seen the Others take possession of the things outsiders have brought to the island before, such as the Barracks built by the Dharma Initiative. This appears to be a longtime practice.

Was it my imagination, or did Daniel seem unfazed by Miles’ statement that the dead U.S. soldiers spoke to him when they walked over their graves? Not only was he not surprised, he even asked Miles if the dead men “told him what year it is.” I wondered last week when someone would notice Mile’s ability, and up until now, we’ve been led to believe that no one has figured it out, but it looks like at least one person has.

We’ve been told by the show’s producers that this year is “the year of Sawyer,” and I don’t want to contradict them, but so far, it’s been “the year of Daniel.” Not only is Faraday driving almost all of the action on the island so far this season, but this week he publicly professed his love for Charlotte, and may have come face-to-face with a young adult version of his own mother! Sawyer’s going to have to do a lot more than run around without his shirt on, slapping people, to gain prominence over that.

Because we know that no character — even a minor one — on Lost is named randomly, I’d like to point out that the name “Efrem” means “fruitful.” A fairly on-the-nose name for the guy who delivered Desmond and Penny’s baby.

Speaking of names, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Charlie Hume was not named after his grandfather (who apparently doesn’t even know his grandson exists). We all know he was named for the late Charlie Pace, whom Desmond was with at the time of his heroic death.

Did you notice the painting of a polar bear in Widmore’s office? The word “Namaste” was painted on it in white. Polar bears and “Namaste” are direct references to the Dharma Initiative.

The janitor told Desmond that he wasn’t the first person to come poking around in Daniel’s old lab, trying to find out about his work. So who else has been there? I couldn’t even venture a guess.

Richard told Locke that they have a very specific process for selecting their leadership, and that process begins at a very young age. We’ve already seen Ben undergo part of this process, and Richard’s travels off the island to visit young John Locke were also parts of it. I can’t help wondering who else has undergone this process. Anyone we know? Or maybe someone who lived a long time ago, and had only four toes?

When Penny promised to go with Desmond to seek out Faraday’s mother in Los Angeles, I got the distinct feeling that a little foreshadowing might be going on. Penny didn’t specifically say where she was promising to go with him, just that she would go. I’m hoping that includes returning to the island, which we all know Desmond will eventually have to do.

More

5.02 “The Lie”

Hurley struggles with keeping the Oceanic 6’s secret, while Ben’s attempts to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island hit a snag. On the island, the time-jumping survivors come under attack.

Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashback

The Oceanic 6, onboard Penny’s boat shortly after their rescue, debate whether or not to lie to the rest of the world about their experiences on the island. Hurley doesn’t want to do it, and after he looks to Sayid for support and Sayid refuses, Hurley promises that one day when Sayid needed his help, Hurley won’t help him.

On the Island

Rose and Bernard bicker about the best way to light a fire, while a survivor named Neil (aka “Frogurt”) laments the pointlessness of it all because they have no supplies and nothing to cook anyway. Juliet observes that whatever they had with them when the first flash occurred — like Daniel’s raft — appears to be along for the ride. She and Sawyer want to take the raft out to sea and try to escape. But Daniel stops them, explaining that they will need a specific heading to escape from the island — which is not the same bearing others like Michael have used to escape, thanks to the time jumping — and that he’ll need to find that bearing by calculating where they currently are in time.

Later, Charlotte tells Daniel about having headaches and a strange memory loss she’s experiencing, and Dan insinuates that he knows what’s causing it, but he doesn’t want to tell her. Miles enters the camp carrying a dead animal for food, which he claims he found in the jungle, having already been dead for three hours. Neil Frogurt freaks out about the group’s inability to light a fire, and is skewered by a flaming arrow. When a dozen or so similar fire arrows light up the night sky, Sawyer tells everyone to head for the creak in the jungle for shelter.

He and Juliet get sidetracked when Sawyer impales his foot on something and then a group of soldiers walk by. They try to hide, but are soon caught, and the no-holds-barred soldiers, led by a man whose jumpsuit reads “Jones,” demands they tell him what the two of them are doing on “our island.” The two of them are saved, however, by Locke, who emerges from the jungle for the first time since his conversation with Richard Alpert at the beechcraft.

Off the Island

Hurley frantically drives Sayid’s car, with Sayid still unconscious in the passenger seat. Hurley is panicking, unsure of what to do when a policeman pulls him over. The policeman turns out to be a very dead Ana-Lucia, who gives Hurley advice on pulling himself together and what to do next. “Do not get arrested,” she warns him, before adding, “Libby says hi.”

Later, Hurley visits a convenience store to buy a change of clothes. As he drives away, Kate pulls in and stops. Her phone rings, and it’s Sun, saying she’s in town and would like to meet with her.

Ben retrieves a hidden box and keeps it out of Jack’s view at the hotel, while Jack goes on a search for his pills. Ben explains that he flushed the pills down the toilet. He tells Jack to head home and pack anything that he wants to take with him back to the island, because he won’t ever be leaving it again. When Ben tells Jack of his intentions to take Locke’s body someplace for safekeeping, Jack questions this move, wondering why a dead body needs to be kept safe.

Hurley’s dad is interrupted from watching an episode of Expose (the cheesy TV show Nikki once guest starred on) by his on-the-lam son, who’s carrying Sayid. The LAPD soon arrive at the house, but Hurley convinces his father to tell them he’s not there.

Ben visits a female butcher named Jill who knows all about who he is, his plans of returning the Oceanic 6 to the island, and whatever is going on with Locke. He passes off Locke’s body to her, and she promises that he’ll be safe under her watch. The two of them mention a few others (or is that Others?) who are involved in their efforts, Gabriel and Jeffery, which tells us that whatever Ben is really up to, he’s not working alone.

Hurley realizes the cops haven’t left the house; they’re staking out the place out front. His dad wants to know what’s really going on with these people that Sayid has killed, and he knows that Hurley is lying about something big. Hurley explains that he’s not paranoid or insane, and that he has a really good reason for lying. They’re interrupted by the arrival of Hurley’s mom, and Hurley convinces his father to take Sayid to help.

I need to interject here how much I love Hurley’s mom, Carmen Reyes. She’s strong, she’s a kindhearted mother, and almost every time she speaks, I laugh out loud at her priceless delivery.

Kate meets with Sun, and Kate reveals to Sun about the two lawyers who came to see her. Sun says that there was no reason for them to threaten her privately if all they wanted was to expose the lie. These lawyers already know the truth, so what they really want… is Aaron. She advises Kate to “take care of them,” if she wants to keep Aaron safe. Kate is appalled at the notion, but Sun says she knows Kate is someone willing to “make hard decisions when she has to,” just like the decision she made to leave the freighter before she could find Jin. She reveals that she doesn’t blame Kate for losing Jin on the freighter.

Hurley’s dad meets with Jack, and delivers Sayid to him. He warns Jack to stay away from Hurley, that Jack is responsible for talking Hurley into something that’s creating all this trouble. Jack takes Sayid to the hospital, and on the way there, calls Ben to tell him Sayid just showed up at his door. That’s one less person the two of them have to track down.

Back at home, Hurley finally can take no more, and breaks down, telling his mom everything that happened on the island. It sounds ridiculous, of course, as he blurts it all out at once, but she surprises him by believing every word. He tells her he thinks all the bad stuff happening to the Oceanic 6 is happening because they lied.

At the hospital, Jack fixes Sayid up, and after he regains consciousness, Sayid explains that Hurley is in grave danger. He asks Jack who else knows Hurley’s there…

Ben shows up inside Hurley’s house, and tries to convince him to come with him. Ben reveals that he too wants to go back to the island, and does his best to smooth-talk Hurley into joining him. But Hurley doesn’t believe him, and runs out of the house, into the waiting arms of the police, who promptly arrest him. Hurley believes he’s won, by outsmarting Ben and putting himself somewhere where Ben can’t reach him.

But Hurley could be wrong. The episode ends with a hooded mystery figure in a room filled with strange technology, who’s taking some kind of scientific readings that appear to reveal the current location of the island. She types calculations into a very old computer, and a message is displayed: “Event Window Determined.” Satisfied with what she’s found, our mystery woman ascends a flight of stairs into a church. There, Ben waits to see her. She pulls back her cloak and it’s Ms. Hawking, the time-travel-savvy woman Desmond met back in Season Three’s “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” She tells Ben that he has only seventy hours to reunite the Oceanic 6 and get them back to the island. And if he can’t do it in that short amount of time?

“Then God help us all,” she replies, matching word-for-word Pierre Chang’s reply in “Because You Left,” when he was questioned about what would happen if the limitless energy beneath the Orchid station were ever unleashed.

  • What’s in the box Ben hid from Jack?
  • Why is the safety of Locke’s body so important to Ben’s plan to get everyone back to the island?
  • Who is Jill the butcher, and the other people on Ben’s “team”? Are they Others, living off the island?
  • Who are the people in the Army uniforms that are trying to kill the survivors on the island?
  • Who is the young man labeled “Jones”?
  • How does Ben know Ms. Hawking?
  • What is Ms. Hawking doing in a church in Los Angeles?
  • What kind of facility was in the church’s basement?
  • How does Ms. Hawking know that Ben has only seventy hours to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island?
  • Why is there only a seventy hour window for getting the Oceanic 6 back to the island? What happens if they wait too long and don’t get back?

How long will it be before the island survivors get wise to the fact that Miles can communicate with the dead? And now, apparently, he can communicate with not only dead people but dead animals as well? (I’d wager he merely got a “sense” of how long the animal had been dead, instead of conversing with it directly.)

Who are these out-of-nowhere soldiers that are attacking the survivors on the island? One answer could be the Dharma Initiative, but the uniforms these guys wear do not match Dharma’s uniform design. Another option could be the hostiles, but they’re supposedly indigenous to the island, so why would they be wearing military clothing? The most likely explanation is some kind of third party, but depending on where the survivors are in time, it could be just about anyone.

Hurley followed Sayid’s advice from “Because You Left” by doing the exact opposite of what Ben wanted him to do. But Hurley did not heed Ana-Lucia’s advice about not getting arrested. Will there be consequences to his not listening to her?

What’s in Ben’s mystery box that he hid from Jack? We were given no clues on this one, so… any wild theories?

Jack’s willingness to so blindly trust Ben out of his desperation to get back to the island will probably come back to haunt him, don’t you think?

Ben’s maneuverings with looking after the well being of Locke’s supposedly-dead body only further solidify my beliefs that Locke’s death is a big fake-out.

But Ben’s friend Jill the Butcher and the others working with the two of them…? Ben’s clearly not working alone, but he’s no longer the leader of the Others, so who are these people? Are they Others who have also left the island and want to get back, just like him? Are they random people who share a common enemy in Charles Widmore? Or what?

Before he moved the island, Ben told Locke that he would never be able to return there. Such is the price of being the one to turn the wheel. But three years later, we find Ben trying to do exactly that: return to the island. So was he lying to Locke? Or is he trying to cheat fate, by hitching a ride with the destined-to-return Oceanic 6? My money’s on the latter. Doesn’t mean he won’t succeed, though personally I hope he doesn’t, at least for a while. Ben’s always been a compelling character, but he’s become even more interesting while off the island.

Ms. Hawking’s long-awaited return is undoubtedly the most pivotal moment of this episode, and just the fact that she knows Ben and he knows her is very telling. It can only mean she is associated with, or at the very least has dealings with, the Others. Nothing more is revealed about who she is or her connection to the island, but as before, she proves to know a lot more about what’s going on that anyone else — even Ben — and just like when Desmond met her in the past, she knows what steps must be taken next to fix the situation. I still think she could be Daniel’s mother, but her role in all this is even juicier now, because Ben defers to her. It even seems he’s doing what he’s doing under her very specific instructions. If she’s above Ben in the food chain, then there can be no doubt that whoever she is, she’s a major player, possibly even second only to Jacob in importance.

It seems a reasonable assumption that the seventy hour window she gives Ben is a reference to how long the island will remain where it currently is, in the present. What isn’t known is what she meant by “then God help us all,” if Ben fails to get them back in time. What’s at stake here, exactly? The island, for sure. Richard Alpert already told Locke that the only way to “save the island,” which we can assume means “stop the island from time jumping,” is to get the Oceanic 6 back. (Why that will stop the time jumping remains to be seen.) But why would losing the island be so catastrophic? What makes it so crucial to the outside world? Would the whole world be harmed somehow if the island is not saved?

More

Lost: Season 5 Blu-ray

Season 5, on the off chance you haven’t seen it (and don’t worry, there are no major spoilers in this review), is a season full of unexpected turns, character payoffs, and major island mythology. There are so many major developments per episode, with endless shocks and astounding jaw-droppers, that it can’t help but be the best series of the show (so far). It’s a testament to the confidence of Lost’s cast and crew in the story they’re telling that the whole thing didn’t devolve into confusing madness.

The Season 5 DVD and Blu-ray collection brings together all 17 hours in glorious digital transfers that look great in either format. The best is of course the Blu-ray version, which has vibrant colors and incredible sharpness that add up to brilliant, drop-dead gorgeous on-screen imagery that’s among the finest that Blu-ray owners will ever see. Likewise, the audio is as good as it gets, promising surround sound owners the best sound quality possible.

Past Lost season sets have included multiple episodes that feature audio commentaries from the cast and crew, but Season 5 has only two. Maybe the producers didn’t want to risk anyone letting any secrets out prematurely, so they put a gag order on the usual tell-all commentaries? Or maybe they just couldn’t corral the cast and crew to record many commentaries. I don’t know. But in any case, this is the one and only area where diehard Losties will feel gypped. In every other way, the Season 5 collection is outstanding.

There are tons of great extras that eager fans will joyfully lap up. The best of them is “Lost On Location,” which provides behind-the-scenes peeks at the filming of several episodes. The on-set antics of the cast and crew, and how hard they work to produce Lost, may sound like dry stuff, but it’s surprisingly entertaining. You’ll find out how complicated it is to stage a car crash (like the one in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”), you’ll learn about how important wires are whenever fire is involved in a scene, and you’ll witness how much fun the actors have on the set in between takes.

“Building 23 & Beyond” follows Michael Emerson as he visits the Lost Writers Offices in Los Angeles for the first time. He takes us on a tour of the building and meets nearly every major creative person behind the show, including the entire writing staff, the show’s editors, continuity experts, assistants, and more. While it’s fun to see where the show is conceived, the thing that jumped out at me most about this feature was the amusing way that each of the staff members becomes a deer-in-headlights when Emerson sudden walks into their office. As they welcome him and show him around, their thought bubbles are plainly written on their faces, with half of them are thinking, “Holy cow, how cool is it that Michael Emerson is here!” and the other half, “Benjamin Linus is in my office and he could totally kill me.”

“An Epic Day with Richard Alpert” follows Nestor Carbonell through his paces on the final day of shooting for Season 5. It’s a fun little diversion — which includes a surprising revelation about Carbonell’s infamous eyelashes — but not a feature anyone but Carbonell groupies will return to again and again. “Making Up for Lost Time” finds the cast and crew talking about all the time travel in Season 5, attempting to sort it out and keep it straight. And Blu-ray viewers get a feature called “Lost 100,” which celebrates the 100th episode of the show with a look back at the first 99, along with an on-set celebration that took place during the 100th episode’s filming, with a special cake delivery from Baltimore’s Charm City Cakes (of Ace of Cakes fame).

“Mysteries of the Universe: The Dharma Initiative” is a fake documentary based on a television show from the 80s that digs into the darker side of the “secret society” we know as the Dharma Initiative. It’s a very well done feature, though frustratingly short on new information. Only a few nuggets of intel are revealed — including the fate of Horace Goodspeed’s original companion on the island, Olivia, and the exact relationship between Alvar Hanso and Gerald DeGroot — but all of our unanswered questions about the Initiative and its role in island history remain exactly that: unanswered.

The bloopers are, as always, hysterically entertaining, while the deleted scenes aren’t bad, but give us nothing terribly interesting to ruminate on. The menus are a little more interactive than usual, and just wait until you see what happens on the menu for the Extras disc.

One of the most hyped features of the Blu-ray set is “Lost University,” a very cool feature which a ton of thought and planning has gone into, and I highly recommend taking part in it if you can. For the first time ever, homework might just be enjoyable.

The Season 5 set is worth the price for quality of the episodes alone, but the fact that it comes with so much added content, and the care with which the package has been crafted, sends it way over the top. A must-have.

Image: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

More