4.10 “Something Nice Back Home”

Jack needs an emergency appendectomy, and Juliet is forced to perform it. In the jungle, Miles notices something odd about Claire just before she sees a startling sight.

Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Stephen Williams

Flashforward


After Kate’s trial in the future, Jack had a change of heart and decided to take her up on the offer to become part of Aaron’s life. So he moved in with Kate and everything was coming up roses, even to the point that he proposed marriage to her and she accepted. But their happiness didn’t last. Jack began to emotionally unravel after seeing visions of his father.

Jack was called in to consult by a doctor at Santa Rosa Mental Hospital about Hurley, who had descended into a form of dementia where he questioned everything about the reality around him. He told Jack that he had been getting visits from Charlie often, who told him about things that would happen in the future. Charlie’s latest visit was to pass a message along to Jack: “You’re not supposed to raise him, Jack,” a statement clearly referring to Aaron. Charlie also told Hurley that Jack would be receiving a similar visit himself, and soon.

Jack went through with his plans to get engaged to an overjoyed Kate, even though he was troubled by Hurley’s warning. Things got worse when he saw another glimpse of his dead father at his medical practice late one night. Immediately after, he asked a colleague to write him his first prescription for the same potent drug he would later become addicted to. When he got home, he found Kate talking on the phone with someone she lied to him about.

His sudden paranoia over Kate’s secret grew until he confronted her one night while he was drunk, because she had been gone for several hours. She begged him to let the matter drop, saying it had nothing to do with the two of them, but it was a secret she needed to honor. When he pushed her, she admitted that she was doing something that Sawyer had asked her to do shortly before the Oceanic 6 escaped the island. Jack was outraged, pointing out that Sawyer chose to stay on the island, but Jack was here with her and he deserved her trust and loyalty more. He blew up in about how she’s not actually related to Aaron, and the two of them suddenly spotted Aaron standing nearby, having heard the whole thing. Kate rushed to Aaron’s side but with a single look between them, Kate and Jack both knew that things had just ended between them. Jack left the house, and never went back.

Now

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Jack’s abdominal illness worsens, and he passes out after breaking up an argument between the survivors and Daniel & Charlotte. He later tries to play it off as food poisoning, but Juliet has enough experience as a doctor to know appendicitis when she sees it. And it’s in danger of rupturing. So Juliet will have to take it out.

Jack can’t be moved, so Juliet makes plans to send Sun to the Staff station for surgical supplies. But when Sun says she doesn’t know how to recognize most of the stuff on Juliet’s shopping list, Daniel volunteers to help. He manages to convince Juliet of his sincerity, but Charlotte and Jin will both go as well, and Juliet gives Jin her pistol with orders to shoot them in the leg if either of them tries to run.

As Sawyer, Claire, and Miles trek through the jungle on their way back to the beach, they come upon the place where Karl and Danielle were killed, and Miles’ abilities as a medium lead them to a pair of shallow graves where the two have been buried. Sawyer angrily points out that it was Miles’ “buddies” from the freighter who must’ve done this, but Miles replies that Keamy and his men are not his friends, and slaughter is not what he signed up for.

Miles keeps a curious eye on Claire, observing her from nearby. A suspicious Sawyer notices and gives him a “restraining order” of not getting within twenty feet of Claire. Later, Frank comes running out of the jungle straight at them, and he’s shocked to see them there. He quickly tells them that Keamy is right behind him, and he warns Sawyer, Claire, and Miles to hide before Keamy gets there. They do so, and Keamy comes running in with what’s left of his team, who are still smarting from their encounter with the smoke monster. Frank wards them off back toward the helicopter before they can discover the castaways, reminding them that the plan is to get off the island and back to the freighter before dark.

Rose expresses great concern to Bernard about Jack’s illness, reminding him that people on the island don’t usually get sick. She finds it remarkably coincidental that Jack has come down with a life-threatening problem immediately before all of the survivors are about to get rescued.

Jack asks Juliet to use a local anesthetic so he can remain conscious during the surgery, because he wants to talk her through it. Juliet argues that there’s no way he can see what she’s doing, but he says to get Kate to be there to hold a mirror up so he can see — and he wants Kate to do this, and no one else. This action sends sparks through the love triangle between Jack, Kate, and Juliet, since Jack seems to be choosing Kate over Juliet for the first time in a long time.

Sun’s group arrives at the Staff station and she and Jin notice that Daniel has feelings for Charlotte. They confer with one another in Korean on the subject, but Charlotte seems to notice what they say, and Jin picks up on this. That night, when they get back to camp, Jin confronts Charlotte and gets her to confess that she really can speak Korean. He asks her to ensure that Sun makes it onto the helicopter when it comes back for her and Daniel, and he threatens Dan to ensure she’ll cooperate.

As Juliet preps for surgery, Bernard injects Jack with an anesthetic to numb the incision spot. Juliet tries to abide by Jack’s wishes to stay conscious, but the pain becomes overwhelming for him, and he’s unable to remain still enough for her to perform the surgery. So she has Bernard knock him out, and she orders Kate out of the tent.

Kate goes back inside the tent once the surgery is complete, and Juliet reports that it was a complete success and Jack will be fine. After the two of them have a friendly moment, Juliet confesses to Kate that Jack kissed her a few days ago. She says it was nice, but he didn’t do it for her; she sure he was trying to prove to himself that he wasn’t still in love with Kate. But Juliet’s explanation makes it clear that Jack was unsuccessful, and he is indeed still deeply in love with Kate. Kate thanks Juliet and leaves, after which Juliet tells Jack that she knows he’s really awake even though he’s pretending to still be asleep. He opens his eyes, having heard Juliet and Kate’s entire conversation.

Claire is alarmed to wake up in the jungle in the middle of the night and find that Aaron is missing. But she finds him nearby being held by her dead father, Christian Shephard. When morning comes, Sawyer is shocked to hear from Miles that he watched Claire get up in the middle of the night and walk off into the jungle with someone she called “Dad.” He says he didn’t follow her because of his “restraining order.” Sawyer hears baby Aaron crying in the distance and runs toward the sound, and finds Aaron alone, laying in his blanket at the base of a tree. But Claire’s gone.

  • Jack and Kate came close to achieving domestic bliss, even getting engaged and planning to raise Aaron together. But Jack ruined the whole thing by refusing to trust Kate when she wouldn’t confide in him a secret task that Sawyer had asked her to perform before she left the island.
    Question: What happened between Jack and Kate in the future that they wound up on such bad terms? [3.23]

  • Why was Miles so interested in Claire? Did something about her set off his abilities as a medium? Could Claire possibly be dead, having not survived the explosion of her house at the Barracks after all?
  • Is Rose right about Jack having done something to cause the island to make him sick? If so, what did he do? Is it his relentless plans for escaping the island? Could the island be trying to keep him from leaving?
  • Is Hurley really seeing visions of dead people, or is it all in his head?
  • What was the favor Sawyer asked of Kate?
  • Why did Sawyer “make his choice” to stay on the island?
  • What’s become of Claire? Where did she go with her father Christian? Why did she leave her child behind?

I suppose this is the episode where the Jack/Juliet relationship was officially scuttled, as the two of them never really had any further romantic overtones after this.

Jack/Kate shippers got everything they ever wanted between the two characters — sex, a marriage proposal, domestic bliss — and then saw all that happiness utterly destroyed, all in a single episode. It was quite the emotional rollercoaster, and ultimately, it was a tragedy. The two of them clearly are still madly in love, but they both have issues — Jack in particular — that need sorting out before they can achieve genuine contentment. Not the least of which is finding their destinies on the island.

Of all the Jack/Kate action in this episode, my favorite scene between them was actually the little moment after Kate finds out she’s going to help during the surgery by holding Jack’s mirror, and the two of them quietly walk down the beach together arm in arm. So much more goes unsaid than said in this brief moment, so much history between the two of them, and it perfectly underscores their entire relationship.

Dead Charlie’s message that Jack isn’t supposed to raise Aaron is a nice bit of continuity that goes all the way back to Season 1, when Claire learned that “danger surrounds” her child, and that she alone must be the one to raise him. Could there be more to this? Could Aaron somehow be at the heart of every major mystery related to the island?

So what really caused Jack’s mental breakdown? Was it his own control freak tendencies and trust issues? Or was it his stubborn refusal to listen to the island when it wanted him to come back? He definitely knew that the island wanted him back, but not listening to it caused him tremendous anguish, as we saw in “Through the Looking Glass.”

Going back to our ongoing discussion about Jacob’s nemesis, and my theory that it can take the shape of dead people like Yemi and Christian Shephard… If the Christian we saw in this episode — as well as the Charlie that appeared to Hurley in the Season 4 premiere — was a manifestation of Jacob’s nemesis, then wouldn’t that mean that it was Jacob’s enemy and not Jacob himself that wanted the Oceanic 6 to return to the island? This notion is validated throughout Season 5 when “unLocke” was seen as the one instigating this notion that the Oceanic 6 all had to come back to the island together, in order to save it. We still don’t know what they were supposed to have saved it from, and I’m wondering if this was just a lie on the part of Jacob’s nemesis in order to get them back to the island for some other purpose that’s yet to be revealed. By that same token, it would mean that Jacob’s nemesis was ultimately responsible for Jack’s mental breakdown, and the end of Jack’s relationship with Kate — all for the purpose of getting the Oceanic 6 back to the island.

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4.09 “The Shape of Things to Come”

Keamy and his men attack the Barracks and demand that Ben turn himself over, and the results of their standoff change Ben’s world forever.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan & Drew Goddard
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashforward

Sometime in the future, Ben woke up wearing a winter parka — which had a Dharma logo and the name “Halliwax” embroidered on it — freezing cold, yet laying flat on his back in the Tunisian desert. He was completely alone and seemed to have somehow just arrived there, and he was sporting a deep gash on his arm. A pair of Bedouins found him, riding on horseback and threatened him, but he handily took both of them out thanks to his retractable night stick. He took their weapons and one of their horses and rode off to Tozeur, Tunisia.

In Tozeur, Ben checked in at a hotel, where he told the desk clerk that this was not his first time in Tunisia, “but it’s been a while.” He was already registered at the hotel as a preferred guest under the pseudonym Dean Moriarty, and he had a passport to prove it. When he asked, the clerk told him that the date was October 25, 2005. But on his way to his room, he spotted a television in the lobby that showed Sayid — famous now thanks to his status as one of the Oceanic 6 — who was being hounded by reporters after his wife had died. Ben seemed to sense an opportunity in what he saw.

Ben traveled to Tikrit, Iraq where he witnessed the funeral for Sayid’s wife: Nadia. When he made contact with Sayid, he told him that he used Desmond’s old boat, the Elizabeth, to leave the island (which had to have been a lie, given his sudden appearance in Tunisia), and that he’d come to Iraq to find a man he believed to be responsible for Nadia’s death — a man he claimed worked for Charles Widmore. Nadia was killed by a hit-and-run in Los Angeles, and Ben said that this man working for Widmore was the driver that ran Nadia down. Sayid was convinced, and with Ben’s help, he found the man and killed him. But when Ben tried to part ways, Sayid stopped him and asked who else worked for Widmore, who else they might track down for revenge. Though Ben tried to talk him out of going down this path, secretly he was manipulating Sayid the whole time, getting him to act as his personal assassin.

Ben next went to London, where he made a surprise visit to Charles Widmore’s home, where he learned that Widmore had been having nightmares lately. The animosity and history between them was thick with hate, with the main topic of discussion being Alex’s murder. Each man blamed the other for her death, but Ben made a promise that he would kill Widmore’s daughter, Penelope, in retaliation for Alex. He again accused Widmore of having “changed the rules” by killing Alex. Widmore said that Ben would never find Penny, but he asserted that the island belonged to him, and always had, and it would be again. He also accused Ben of stealing everything he had from him. Ben said that Widmore would never find the island, so now a race was on between them, to see who could find what they were after first.

Now

Kate notices that Jack is favoring his let side, and he explains that he’s fighting a “stomach bug.” They hear Bernard calling for help and run out the doctor from the freighter has washed ashore, dead with his throat slit. Daniel and Charlotte recognize him and explain who he is. Jack is suspicious at his throat being sliced open, but Daniel and Charlotte say they know nothing about it. Juliet asks if Dan’s had any luck repairing the satellite phone, and he says that at best he might be able to get it to transmit Morse Code. But Jack is still suspicious, and takes Bernard aside to ask him a favor.

Later that night, Daniel attempts to contact the boat with his makeshift Morse Code device, and tells everyone he’s asking about the doctor. A reply comes that Dan translates to mean that Desmond and Sayid are fine, and are returning the next day on the helicopter. But Daniel is lying, and Bernard busts him; it turns out, Bernard knows Morse Code. He explains that the message actually said that they didn’t know what Daniel was talking about, because the doctor was still alive on the boat. Jack is outraged, and he grabs Daniel and asks if the freighter was ever planning to rescue the survivors at all. Daniel admits that rescue was never part of their mission. As Jack reacts to this, the pain he’s feeling in his abdomen intensifies and he nearly keels over.

As expected, Alex is captured by Keamy and his men, who take her and head straight for the Barracks. When they reach the sonic fence, they have Alex turn it off, but instead she triggers a silent alarm.

At Locke’s house, Locke, Sawyer, and Hurley are playing a board game when the phone suddenly rings. Locke answers and hears a recorded voice say “Code 14J.” He hurries to Ben’s house and tells him what he heard, and Ben is immediately alarmed. Ben grabs a shotgun, hands it to Sawyer, says they need to return to Locke’s house and get ready, because Widmore’s people are here, and an attack is imminent.

When Locke, Ben, and Sawyer reach Ben’s old house to fortify it against the attack, Sawyer detours to go get Claire — who’s been taking a nap while Hurley watches Aaron. But Ben insists that Locke stay close to him, because he’s too important to the island to lose. Widmore’s people won’t risk hurting Ben, so staying close to him is Locke’s best chance for survival. He later explains that the two of them are eventually going to need to go to Jacob together to get Jacob’s help. Outside, before Sawyer can reach Claire, the attack begins, and three survivors are cut down right in front of him from distant gunshots. He makes a mad dash for Claire’s house, but a rocket launcher is fired against it and it explodes before Sawyer can reach it.

Moments later, Sawyer runs into Clare’s destroyed house and finds her buried under some rubble, but she’s alive. He takes her back to Ben’s house, where Hurley breaks out a window so they can get in. Miles is the next to arrive, and they let him in. He’s carrying a walkie-talkie that he’s been instructed by their attackers to give to Ben. But Ben refuses to take walkie and talk to Keamy, until Miles reveals that Keamy has a hostage: Alex. He finally takes the radio and is instructed by Keamy to look out his window. There, he sees Keamy standing alone with the radio to his mouth. When Ben refuses to come out peacefully, Alex is brought out and knelt before Keamy. Keamy holds a gun to her head and warns Ben to come out now or she’s dead. But still Ben refuses. Keamy gives the walkie to Alex, who tells him that Karl and Danielle are dead. She begs him to save her, but Ben tells her he’s got everything under control and that she’ll be fine. Keamy starts a countdown from ten; Ben tries to convince Keamy that Alex isn’t really his daughter, explaining that he “stole her as a baby from an insane woman.” He again refuses to leave the house, but this time Keamy fires his gun, and Alex collapses to the ground, dead. As Keamy walks away, Ben is left in abject shock, unable to believe what’s just happened. “He changed the rules,” he mutters to himself, and suddenly marches across the house to his hidden room full of travel supplies, where he uncovers another hidden door, this one ancient and covered in hieroglyphs.

A few minutes pass, during which Claire wakes up and reports that she’s okay. Ben emerges from his secret room, covered in dirt, and tells everyone that when he gives the signal in a few moments, they’re all to run from the house and get as far away from Keamy and his men as possible. The ground begins to shake and everyone looks outside, where night has fallen. The smoke monster thunders into the Barracks moving like a freight train, Ben gives the signal, and everyone runs outside. Just beyond the tree line, the jungle is in chaos, with the smoke monster writhing about everywhere, attacking Keamy’s men. The survivors quickly realize that Ben somehow summoned the monster, and they flee the Barracks in fear. Ben tells them to head for the creek and he’ll catch up after he says goodbye to Alex. He kneels over her body and weeps for her in genuine grief.

Ben follows through and meets everyone at the creek. Locke offers condolences over Alex, but then points out that Ben lied a few days ago when he said he didn’t know what the smoke monster was. Ben counters that when they get to the cabin, Locke can ask Jacob to explain it. Sawyer declares that he’s had enough of all this mystic stuff and that he’s taking Claire and Aaron back to the beach. Miles goes as well, and Hurley tries to, but he can’t because Ben and Locke need his help to find the cabin, since Hurley was the last one to see it. Sawyer swears to kill Locke if Hurley gets hurt, but then leaves with his friends, while Locke, Ben, and Hurley head off in search of the cabin.

  • Sayid tried to numb his pain over losing his wife Nadia by killing those he held responsible for her death.
    Question: How did Sayid end up working as an assassin in the future? [4.03]
  • Ben cleverly manipulated Sayid’s grief and rage, convincing Sayid that it was his own idea to join up with Ben in his war against Charles Widmore.
    Question: How did Sayid end up working for Ben in the future? [4.03]
  • Nadia’s death.
    Question: What was the incident that Ben used to recruit Sayid into killing for him? [4.03]
  • Based on what we learned in this episode, the Economist who’s “not really an economist” that Elsa worked for is Charles Widmore.
    Question: Who is the Economist that Elsa worked for? [4.05]
  • The people on Ben’s list would appear to be people who work for Ben’s archenemy, Charles Widmore.
    Question: Why does Ben have a list of people he’s having Sayid kill in the off-island future? [4.03]
  • Ben implied that Widmore’s war against him had spread to the Oceanic 6 and everyone they knew and loved.
    Question: How will killing the people on Ben’s list protect Sayid’s friends (presumably meaning the rest of the Oceanic 6)? [4.03]

  • Why did the freighter’s doctor wash up on the island, dead?
  • How is the freighter’s doctor still alive on the boat if he’s washed up dead on the island?
  • How did Ben reach Tunisia — and why was he so cold when he woke up there?
  • When was Ben last in Tunisia? Under what circumstances? Did he travel there the same way that he did this time?
  • Why didn’t Ben know the date when he arrived in Tunisia?
  • Why would Charles Widmore have Nadia killed? Why would he want her dead?
  • What was behind the ancient door hidden beneath Ben’s house?
  • Why was the door covered in hieroglyphs?
  • What did Ben mean when he said that Widmore “changed the rules”? What rules?
  • What did Ben do behind the door to summon the smoke monster?
  • Why does Ben have such a bitter rivalry with Widmore? What’s their history?
  • Why has Widmore been having nightmares?
  • Why can’t Ben and Widmore kill each other?
  • What did Ben take that was once Widmore’s? The island?

What a wild, unpredictable ride of an episode this was. Ben got to be an action hero, Ben and Widmore shared a game-changing scene together, and we got our one and only appearance by the smoke monster — and it was a doozy. The ep was so huge, it could have been a season finale.

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4.08 “Meet Kevin Johnson”

Michael‘s post-island fate is revealed, along with an explanation of how and why he joined the crew of the freighter.

Written by Elizabeth Sarnoff & Brian K. Vaughan
Directed by Stephen Williams

Flashback

After the two of them escaped from the island back to New York, Walt distanced himself from his father because Michael told him about his murder of Ana-Lucia and Libby. Michael fell into a deep depression and repeatedly tried to take his own life, but his attempts were unsuccessful every time. Libby also haunted him in disturbing visions. He turned Walt over to his mother to raise, feeling unfit to do so himself, but he refused to tell her anything about the island or his escape from it. He swore her to secrecy about the two of them and told her she couldn’t tell anyone that they were alive.

After one suicide attempt where he tried to shoot himself, he was confronted by Tom, who explained that the Others had been keeping tabs on him since he left the island. Tom gave him a piece of particularly shocking news: Michael couldn’t kill himself because the island wouldn’t let him. No matter how many different ways he tried, Michael would always be unsuccessful at committing suicide, because he “still had work to do.”

At his apartment later, Michael tested Tom’s assertion by pointing a fully-loaded gun at his head and pulling the trigger. But it was no use; the gun refused to fire every time. It was then that a news report came on his television about the discovery of the faked wreckage of Oceanic 815.

Confused and devastated by the news report, Michael returned to visit Tom at the hotel where he was staying, and asked about what he’d seen on television. Tom explained that the Oceanic 815 wreckage was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by Charles Widmore, because Widmore wanted the location of the true wreck to be a secret that only he knew, because Widmore wanted to find the island and keep it for himself. Tom said that Widmore dug up a cemetery in Thailand to get the 324 corpses needed to pull off the hoax, he bought an old airplane and painted it to look like Oceanic 815, and funded a freighter expedition to drop the plane and its corpses into the Sunda Trench — a place so deep that none of the remains would ever be identifiable. Tom went on to explain that Charles Widmore’s freighter, the Kahana, was going to be departing from Fiji in a few days, and that Widmore had finally acquired the coordinates of the island. It was Tom that set Michael up with the fake Kevin Johnson ID, and arranged for him to join the crew of the freighter as a deck hand. Tom explained that this job was Michael’s chance at redemption, because he could be responsible for saving the lives of everyone on the island from Widmore’s invasion. It was an undercover mission where Michael’s sole purpose would be to kill the entire ship’s crew.

Michael ventured to Fiji and reported for duty at the docked freighter, where he discovered a large crate had been delivered for him. Tom called him and explained that inside the crate was a bomb, which he was to detonate two days after the ship was far out at sea.

While out at sea, Michael met Frank, who shared a conspiracy theory with him about the Oceanic 815 wreckage being faked. He explained that he signed up for duty on the freighter because Charles Widmore believed his theory.

After meeting several of the crew members and deciding they were good people Widmore was deceiving about his purpose for the trip, Michael wrestled with the decision of whether or not to destroy the freighter and kill everyone on board. But after he met Keamy and his bloodthirsty mercenaries, Michael made his choice. He went to his bunk and opened the crate Tom had sent. Inside was a briefcase, which he carried to the engine room and opened to find several blocks of explosives inside. His vision of Libby returned and warned him not to do it, but he did it anyway. Yet instead of a detonation, a little printed message popped out that said, “Not yet.”

Michael was frustrated by this deception, but he shortly received a call over the ship’s radio that turned out to be from Ben, who explained that the bomb was a fake because Ben wanted to demonstrate the difference between himself and Widmore. Ben claimed he was unwilling to take innocent lives — like some of those on the freighter — whereas Widmore wouldn’t hesitate. Ben asked him to compile a list of names of everyone on the ship, give it to him when he called again, and then sabotage the radio room, as well as the engine. Ben claimed this was how he would save his friends’ lives, by preventing the freighter from ever reaching the island. Though he agonized over the choices he’d made and all the ways he’d been manipulated by the Others, Michael eventually agreed.

Now

An uneasy meeting is held at Locke’s Barracks house, where he’s convened Sawyer, Hurley, Claire, Ben, Danielle, Alex, Karl, and even Miles. Locke tells them everything he knows about the freighter, including the fact that they’ve come for Ben. Sawyer is gung ho about just turning Ben over to them, but Ben points out that if he’s captured, the people on the freighter will kill everyone else on the island. Ben also reveals, much to their shock, that his spy on the freighter is Michael.

After the meeting, Ben gives Alex and Karl a map to the Temple, which he says is a sanctuary that’s effectively the last safe place on the island, and he asks them to go there, for their protection. The rest of the Others are already there, and Ben believes that the people coming for him would use Alex to get to him if they could. Karl and even Danielle agree with Ben’s suggestion, and the three of them set off for the Temple.

On the freighter, Sayid and Desmond are awoken in the night by a blaring alarm. They run up to the main deck where they find several members of the crew trying to run escape from the ship. Captain Gault puts a stop to it, telling everyone to sit tight until the engines are fixed and then everything will be okay. He calls on “Kevin Johnson” to clean the deck, and Sayid and Desmond stay behind to talk to have a much-needed conversation with Michael. Michael’s not interested in talking right now, but when Sayid presses him to explain why he’s on the ship, Michael’s response is, “I’m here to die.”

The next morning, Sayid and Desmond find Michael in the engine room, trying to help fix the damage. Michael warns them that the shouldn’t be there, but Sayid grabs him and demands answers. Michael tells him his entire story, including how and why he left Walt behind in New York to join up with the freighter, because Ben convinced him he could save his friends’ lives by sabotaging the ship (see below). Sayid is nonplussed to discover that Michael is working for Ben. He grabs Michael and drags him straight to the captain’s quarters, where he rats Michael out as a spy.

While traversing through the jungle toward the Temple, Danielle, Alex, and Karl are attacked by Keamy and his men, who are on the island now, presumably brought by Frank in the helicopter. Karl and Danielle are both shot and killed by an unseen sniper, leaving Alex alone and terrified. She shouts into the jungle at her unseen attackers that she is Ben’s daughter, and therefore more valuable to them alive than dead.

  • Walt went to live with his grandmother after learning of his father’s murderous sins. Michael had a harder time reentering society, falling into a deep depression over what he’d done and attempting again and again to kill himself.
    Question: How will Michael and Walt reintegrate into society without revealing anything about the crash of Oceanic 815? [2.24]
  • The Oceanic 815 wreckage found in the Sunda Trench is a massive hoax, meant to deter rescue searchers from ever finding the true location where Oceanic 815 went down.
    Question: How can the wreckage of Oceanic 815 have been found elsewhere if it’s really on the island? [3.18]
  • It does indeed. Charles Widmore is the mastermind behind the fake wreck.
    Question: Since Widmore knows that Oceanic 815 didn’t really crash in the ocean, does this mean he is responsible for the faked wreckage in the Sunda Trench? [4.06]
  • Frank signed up for the freighter mission to the island after finding that Charles Widmore shared his belief that the Sunda Trench wreckage of Oceanic 815 was a fake. Frank had no idea that Widmore himself was responsible for the hoax.
    Question: How did Frank join the freighter’s crew? [4.02]
  • Widmore raided a cemetery in Thailand to acquire the 324 corpses he needed.
    Question: Whoever staged the fake wreck of Oceanic 815 — where did they get their hands on 324 dead bodies to plant among the wreckage? 4.07
  • The “errand” is in actuality the true mission that the freighter has been sent for: finding and retrieving Ben Linus, and taking out anyone who gets in their way.
    Question: What is the errand Frank is taking Keamy to the island for? [4.07]

As you may or may not know, the appearances in this episode by Cynthia Watros as Libby were meant to be the first of several. Watros had signed on for a multiple episode arc in order to resolve the lingering mysteries about her character. But when the writers’ strike occurred — the same event that condensed Season 4 from 16 episodes to 14 — the Libby storyline had to be scrubbed until later, making this episode her sole post-Season 2 appearance. Sadly, the show’s producers have stated repeatedly that Watros has expressed no interest in returning a third time to finish things up, even though they continue to extend an open invitation to her.

As some of my readers have pointed out, there seems to be a discrepancy with the timeline in this episode. Michael and Walt left the island at the same time that the Swan station imploded, the electromagnetic shockwave of which destroyed the Others’ ability to come and go from the island at will. Yet here we see Tom off the island after the Swan detonation, confronting Michael in New York City, and we know that he returned to the island because Sawyer shot and killed him there. It was impossible for him to have left the island and returned within this timeframe. Likewise, Ben should have been unable to contact Michael from the island at this time, because the Others’ communications abilities with the outside world were ended with the Swan’s detonation as well. A pair of inconsistencies that can probably be chalked up to oversights on the part of the writing staff. Unless you can come up with a logical explanation…?

The Michael stuff was interesting, but I remember the biggest takeaway I got out of this episode was the tragic, shocking deaths of Karl and Danielle. Danielle especially deserved a better fate after all she had been through, all she’d endured. Living on the island had turned her into a warrior, and she should have gone out fighting instead of being cut down by some faceless sniper (who I’m thinking was most likely Keamy himself). If anyone on the show deserved a happy ending, it was Danielle Rousseau, but she was a tragic character from the start, and ended tragically as well.

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4.07 “Ji Yeon”

Sun decides to move to the Barracks, an action that Juliet believes is such a mistake, that she goes to shocking lengths to keep her from leaving the beach. On the freighter, Sayid and Desmond finally meet the ship;s captain — as well as Ben’s spy.

Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Stephen Semel

In this episode, Lost played a clever game with viewers. Since the identity of the final two members of the Oceanic 6 were still in question (because no one knew at first if baby Aaron was counted as one of them), it was possible we were still waiting to learn which two survivors were still to be added to the list. What appeared to be a pair of parallel flash-forwards featuring Sun and Jin, were at the end of the episode revealed to be diverging storylines; Sun’s scenes were flash-forwards, but Jin’s were flashbacks.

Flashback

Jin’s flashbacks showed us a time not long after he and Sun became married when he was performing a menial task for his new employer, Mr. Paik.

Flashforward

Sun’s flash-forwards depicted the end of her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter, Ji Yeon, in Seoul. After Ji Yeon was born and Sun returned home with the baby, Hurley arrived at her door for a visit and the two of them visited a grave with Jin’s name on it. Sun’s anguish at the gravesite leads us to believe that Jin’s death is genuine, but the date of Jin’s death seen on the headstone is fake, making him out to be one of the passengers who supposedly died when the plane crashed.

Now

At night on the freighter, Frank takes food to Sayid and Desmond, but finds a woman named Regina guarding the door to their room. Regina’s odd behavior suggests she might be suffering from the same time displacement illness that previously afflicted George and Desmond. Sayid reiterates his desire to speak to the ship’s captain, and Frank delivers several cans of lima beans, explaining that just like the radio room, the kitchen was recently sabotaged.

As morning arrives on the freighter, someone slips a note under the door of Sayid and Desmond’s room. They pick it up and find that it has a short message: “Don’t trust the captain.” Later, somewhere on the ship somebody starts banging on pipes, and the sound reverberates to the room where Sayid and Desmond are waiting. The doctor comes in and says the captain is ready to meet with them. He takes them up to the main deck, where they notice the helicopter is missing, and the doctor says Frank took Keamy somewhere in the night. He doesn’t know where, but there’s no place nearby the helicopter could have made it to but the island. Just then, Desmond spots Regina on the deck, wrapped in heavy chains. Before he can stop her, she jumps over the side of the ship. Desmond and Sayid spring into action and call for help from the many men working on the deck, but no one comes to their aid. Captain Gault arrives out on deck and introduces himself after ordering everyone back to their posts.

Captain Gault takes Sayid and Desmond aside and they ask why he refused to do anything to try and rescue Regina. Gault replies that he doesn’t want to lose any more people, since some of his crew are suffering an extreme case of cabin fever. He believes the illness is related to their proximity to the island, but he can’t move the ship right now because the saboteur has made it impossible. Once the engines have been repaired, Gault will move the ship to safer waters. He can’t do any differently because he’s acting under strict orders from his employer. And then Gault lowers the bombshell on them, telling them that his employer is Charles Widmore. Desmond knows that name all too well, and his reaction reminds the captain that Desmond and Widmore know one another.

Gault takes Sayid and Desmond to his quarters, where he shows them a surprising item he holds in his possession: the black box from Oceanic 815. He explains that it was found on the bottom of the ocean in the Sunda Trench, along with all 324 dead passengers, and procured by Widmore. But, he says, this was obviously staged, and speculates on the resources required to pull off a fake-out of that magnitude. “Where exactly does one come across 324 dead bodies?” he muses. He explains that this is just one of many reasons the freighter has been sent to get its hands on Benjamin Linus, implying that Ben was responsible for the fake wreckage.

That night, the doctor takes Sayid and Desmond to their new accommodations: a room infested with mice, with a big blood stain on one wall. The doctor calls out to a janitor named Kevin Johnson who’s working just down the hall, and asks him to clean the room. “Kevin” slowly comes toward the room, and as he draws near, Sayid is stunned to find himself face-to-face with former castaway Michael Dawson! Michael introduces himself to the two men under his new pseudonym, and Desmond, having never met Michael, doesn’t react. But Sayid, though he maintains pretenses in front of the doctor, has murder in his eyes at the sight of his former friend who not so long ago betrayed the rest of the survivors.

At the beach, Sun expresses concerns to Jin over Desmond and Sayid’s long absence. Jin wants to talk about baby names, and states his belief that their child is a girl. He wants to name her Ji Yeon, but Sun wants to get off the island before they settle on a name.

The next morning, Kate and Jack return to the beach and Kate tells Sun and Jin all about what happened at the Tempest station. Frustrated, Kate plants doubts in Sun’s mind about the freighter ever following through on its promise to rescue the survivors. Sun visits Daniel and asks him point blank if the freighter is going to rescue them or not. Daniel says it’s not his call, so she returns to tell Jin. She tells him in Korean to pack enough food for the two of them for two days and meet her at their tent in a few minutes. She’s decided they’re going to defect to Locke’s camp at the Barracks.

Juliet finds Sun rifling through the food stores, but Juliet quickly figures out that Sun is up to something, and Sun admits her plan. Juliet is adamant that Sun can’t go to Locke’s camp because he doesn’t want to leave the island, and it’s vital that Sun does before she gets much further along in her pregnancy. But Sun is unwilling to take Juliet’s word for it, because she doesn’t trust her. Kate later explains to Sun and Jin how to get to the Barracks, but Juliet shows up as they’re about to leave and tries to recruit Jin’s help in keeping Sun there, explaining that Sun has just three weeks to get off the island, or her pregnancy will kill her. But Jin is unconvinced, choosing to believe his wife over Juliet. So Juliet plays the last card she has: she tells Jin that Sun cheated on him before they came to the island. Sun slaps her for breaking their pact of secrecy, but the act only convinces Jin that it’s true. Angry and hurt, he returns to the beach alone.

Sun catches up with him as he’s packing supplies to go fishing, and she wants to explain herself, but Jin refuses to listen. Bernard happens by and asks if he can come along on Jin’s fishing trip, and Jin agrees. They go out about a hundred feet off the shore using the canoe that brought Karl to the beach, and have a private talk. Bernard and Jin have a long talk about things like marriage, right vs. wrong, and karma.

Juliet visits Sun alone and apologizes for breaking their trust. She says she did it because she had to keep Sun from staying on the island at any cost. Sun is still bitter about Juliet’s betrayal, so Juliet takes the time to explain in exacting detail precisely what’s going to happen to Sun starting in three weeks. It’s a terrible story, and Juliet becomes emotional as she tells it. She points out that Sun is her patient and she refuses to lose another pregnant woman on the island. Sun says nothing, but her reaction makes it clear that she finally believes Juliet.

That night, Jin returns to the tent he shares with his wife, carrying a fresh dinner made from the fish he caught. Sun is surprised but relieved to see him, and Jin explains that he knows the man she cheated on was a very different person than who he is now. He takes the blame upon himself for her indiscretion, and forgives her. Jin pledges to go with her to Locke’s camp if she still wants to, but she doesn’t. She’s decided Juliet is right, and they have to get off the island as soon as possible. He promises to protect her and the baby no matter what, but then asks one last question: he needs to know if the baby is his. She tells him truthfully that it is indeed his child.

  • With this episode, we learned that the Oceanic 6 — the survivors who escaped the island — are Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun, and Aaron.
    Question: Who are the Oceanic 6? [4.01]
  • Ben’s spy on the freighter is none other than former castaway Michael Dawson, who is working under the pseudonym Kevin Johnson.
    Question: Who is the double agent on the freighter who’s working for Ben? [4.02]

  • What is the errand Frank is taking Keamy to the island for?
  • How did Michael end up on the freighter? It seems likely that he is the spy working for Ben, so how did that working relationship come about?
  • Who was banging on the pipes on the freighter, and why? Was it Michael?
  • Why did Ben’s spy (presumably Michael) warn Desmond and Sayid not to trust the ship’s captain?
  • Whoever staged the fake wreck of Oceanic 815 — where did they get their hands on 324 dead bodies to plant among the wreckage?
  • Is Jin really dead in the future? If so, how did he die?

”Ji Yeon” is the one and only time Lost‘s writers played a trick on us, the viewers, by mixing flashbacks with flash forwards. It was a clever twist, but I think they were wise enough to know right away that they could only get away with playing this card a single time, without causing a riot among fans.

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4.06 “The Other Woman”

When Daniel and Charlotte disappear from camp, Juliet receives an ominous request from Ben. Meanwhile, Locke learns who sent the freighter to the island.

Written by Drew Goddard & Christina M. Kim
Directed by Eric Laneuville

Flashback

One week after she first arrived on the island, Juliet started seeing the resident psychologist, Dr. Harper Stanhope, an abrasive woman that Juliet never managed to get along with. Not helping matters was the fact that Harper was unhappily married to Goodwin, whom Juliet eventually became romantically involved with. Goodwin’s primary job on the island was at the Tempest station, an electrical station built by the Dharma Initiative that provides power to the island. Ben quickly picked up on the vibe between Juliet and Goodwin and began manipulating the two of them, because he had a crush on Juliet himself. He forcibly broke Juliet and Goodwin apart by sending Goodwin to the tail section of Oceanic 815 the day it crashed on the island. Harper also learned of her husband’s affair and although she admitted that their marriage was long over, she warned Juliet not to continue with the relationship because there would be consequences — thanks to Ben. Those consequences came true when Ben took Juliet out to the place where Ana-Lucia killed Goodwin to show her his body, and Juliet realized that Ben meant for this to happen all along.

Now

At the beach, Jack and Juliet discover that Daniel and Charlotte have ventured alone into the jungle, carrying the satellite phone. Jack recruits Sun and Jin to help look for her, and as it starts to rain, Juliet stops alone in the jungle when she hears Whispers. She’s found there by an Other named Harper, who gives her a message from Ben: Daniel and Charlotte are headed for a Dharma station called the Tempest, which contains some kind of noxious gas. Ben wants Juliet to stop Daniel and Charlotte from deploying the gas, because if they do, it will kill everyone on the island. Jack finds the two of them talking, but the Whispers return and Harper vanishes. Juliet immediately sets off for the Tempest with Jack in tow, but she doesn’t want to talk about what she’s doing or why. She merely asks for his help, and he agrees.

Daniel and Charlotte stop at a creek to rest, but they’re found there by Kate, on her way back from the Barracks. They try to hide their intentions from her, but Kate knows they’re lying. Ever impulsive, Charlotte knocks Kate out and they leave her behind.

Jack and Juliet find Kate a while later, and she reports that Daniel and Charlotte were carrying gas masks when she saw them. Juliet disappears, heading off to stop them on her own.

Kate helps Jack track Juliet to the Tempest, and Kate tells him why she stayed behind at the Barracks. She tells him what she found out from Miles, that the Freighter Folk know she’s a fugitive, wanted for murder.

At the Barracks, Claire visits Locke and asks to talk to Miles, hoping to get some answers out of him. She suggests that she might be less intimidating than Locke is, so Miles might be willing to talk to her. Locke flatly refuses, but Claire points out that everything Locke is doing is based on Charlie’s message about the boat not belonging to Penny. “Don’t you want to find out whose boat it is?” she asks. So Locke goes straight to Ben and puts the question to him. Ben agrees to spill what he knows if Locke will let him out of his prison cell to live like a regular person. Locke takes Ben upstairs where he shows him a video tape that reveals the owner of the freighter to be Charles Widmore, Penny’s father. Ben says that Widmore has been trying to find the island for a very long time, and that he intends to possess and exploit it. He gives Locke a file on Widmore that he says contains everything he knows about the man. Locke is satisfied with the answers Ben’s provided, but wants one more: the identity of Ben’s spy on the freighter. Ben says he’ll tell him, but he might want to sit down first.

Juliet arrives at the Tempest, a large steel structure, and enters, gun drawn. She goes into the main area of the facility and finds Daniel feverishly typing on a terminal. She approaches and tells him to stop, but he argues that he’s not trying to release the gas, he wants to render it inert. Charlotte comes up behind her and the two fight. Juliet gets the upper hand, but Charlotte backs up Daniel’s claim that they’re trying to make the chemical agent safe. She suggests that Ben could use the gas to kill everyone on the island if he chose to — because they know he’s used it before — and the two of them are trying to take this weapon away from him. Daniel finishes his work on the computer system and succeeds in rendering the gas inert, and Juliet realizes that she was once again manipulated by Ben into coming here, not to stop them from releasing the gas, but to stop them from taking away his weapon.

Jack and Kate find the Tempest station just as Juliet and Charlotte are exiting. Juliet explains the situation, but Kate is skeptical, so Charlotte offers to take her inside to prove it’s all true. Alone, Juliet tells Jack that Ben manipulated her again, sending someone who could “get to her” (Harper) to put her on this mission to kill Daniel and Charlotte. Juliet says that the Freighter Folk have come to wage war against Ben, but Ben is always so many steps ahead of the game that she knows he’ll find a way to win. She warns Jack not to be near her when that happens, because Ben believes that Juliet belongs to him, and he knows that Juliet has feelings for Jack. In response, Jack kisses her, and says that Ben knows where to find him. Juliet hugs Jack, seeing in him someone who cares about her enough to get her off the island and away from the man who’s ruined her life.

At the Barracks, while playing a round of horseshoe, Sawyer and Hurley are stunned to see Ben walking around outside, free from his imprisonment. “See you guys at dinner,” Ben happily says to them as he passes by.

  • The Dharma Initiative built a station called the Tempest, which was their power station as well as a containment unit for some kind of poisonous gas. Presumably, Ben rigged the gas to release, taking out every member of the Initiative.
    Question: How did the Others orchestrate the mass release of a poisonous gas on the island to kill every member of the Dharma Initiative? [2.20]
  • The freighter was sent on its mission by Charles Widmore. Everyone on board works for him.
    Question: Who owns/sent the freighter to find the island? [4.02]
  • Charles Widmore.
    Question: Who are the “people who have been trying to find the island” that Naomi and her freighter represent? [3.23]
  • Ben has clearly known about Widmore’s search for the island, and his plans to use the freighter to find it, for a long time now. So we can intuit from this that Ben made the decision not long ago to have the Looking Glass jam all transmissions, to keep Widmore from being able to follow radio transmissions to find the island.
    Question: The survivors have been able to receive transmissions on the island before now, such as Rousseau’s distress call and the radio station Sayid and Hurley once picked up. Why are transmissions being jammed now, seemingly out of the blue? [3.19]
  • Widmore does indeed know about the island, which explains his interest in the Black Rock. But how he knows so much about the island has yet to be revealed.
    Question: Why is Charles Widmore so interested in the Black Rock? Does he know about the island? If so, how? [4.05]
  • It would appear that just like Naomi, Keamy, and others associated with the freighter, Matthew Abaddon is an employee of Charles Widmore.
    Question: Who is Matthew Abaddon? [4.01]
  • All of these individuals can thank their knowledge of the survivors still being alive to their enigmatic and powerful employer: Charles Widmore. How he knows that Oceanic 815 didn’t crash in the ocean remains a mystery.
    Question: How does Matthew Abaddon know that the Oceanic 6 were not the only survivors of the plane crash? [4.01] & Question: How did the Freighter Folk know that the Oceanic 815 survivors were alive? [4.02]

  • Harper insinuated that Juliet was favored by Ben because she “looked just like her.” Which “her” was Harper referring to? Ben’s mother? His childhood friend Annie?
  • How does Charles Widmore know about the island?
  • Why has Charles Widmore been trying to find the island?
  • Why does Charles Widmore want Ben dead?
  • Charles Widmore appears to know that there are survivors of Oceanic 815 living on the island (because everyone who works for him knows). How does he know this?
  • Since Widmore knows that Oceanic 815 didn’t really crash in the ocean, does this mean he is responsible for the faked wreckage in the Sunda Trench?
  • Why would Dharma build a station (the Tempest) with the purpose of containing a poisonous gas inside it? Did they intend to use it against the Others if a weapon of last resort was needed?

This is, without a doubt, my least favorite episode of the series. I absolutely hate it. Others may cite different episodes as their least favorites for perfectly valid reasons, but for me, this ep was just a waste of storytelling. As much as I appreciate the writers giving Juliet another star vehicle — particularly in a season where she otherwise had almost nothing to do — “The Other Woman” is a disaster. It’s not poorly written, acted, or directed; it was just a terrible idea. I hate the utterly out-of-left-field notion of Ben crushing on Juliet, and I especially hate the retconning that was done to the iconic Barracks scene when Oceanic 815 falls out of the sky. The idea that Juliet’s relationship with Goodwin was an extramarital affair on his part, and that Ben intentionally had him killed for it, added absolutely nothing to the animosity we already knew about between Ben and Juliet. Not only did the Ben/Juliet crush never get utilized in any future storylines, it was never even mentioned on the show again. Which makes me think the writers themselves realized that the entire business was a bad idea from the start.

Because even bad Lost is better than no Lost at all… A few good things did come out of the episode, though they were all plot points that had nothing to do with the Juliet story. Most significantly, the seeds were planted here for the Widmore/Linus feud that we would see a lot more of in future episodes. How delicious is it that Ben lied about not to know how Widmore knew about the island? As we saw in Season 5, Ben was directly responsible for Widmore being ejected from the island, so he could supplant Widmore’s position as leader of the Others.

One last thought: we now know how the Others/Ben caused the Purge. The chemicals in the Tempest were released into the air, and everyone not wearing a gas mask was killed. Ben and all of the Others were wearing masks, and Ethan Rom must’ve been wearing one too, probably having been spared by his friend Ben. But what about Jacob? Jacob’s already displayed superhuman abilities, such as an incredibly long life, precognition, and the power to bring people to the island. So these special abilities of his must explain why Jacob survived the toxic gasses released all over the island during the Purge. Yet when Ben stabbed him, Jacob appeared to have died just like any mortal would. So which is it? Is he mortal or immortal? Man or superman?

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