Tagged: season 3

3.08 “Flashes Before Your Eyes”

The mystery of what happened to Desmond when he turned failsafe key is revealed, allowing Desmond to make a shocking prediction about Charlie. (Includes My Theory about Course Correction!)

Written by Damon Lindelof & Drew Goddard
Directed by Jack Bender


The moment he turned the failsafe key in the Swan station, Desmond’s consciousness traveled back through time to a moment from his own past. Throughout the events that he relived in the past, Desmond kept witnessing odd coincidences, references back to the things he saw and did on the island — or rather, would do in the future. It was a time back two years before he joined the military (and was subsequently discharged after imprisonment), when he and Penny were still a couple living in England.

In the past, Desmond had an appointment at Widmore Industries with Penny’s father, Charles Widmore, where the two of them met for the first time. Penny believed Desmond was going to interview for a job, but in reality he went to ask for Widmore’s blessing over his planned proposal to Penny. Though the two of them seemed to hit it off, Widmore was merely biding his time, waiting to lower the boom on Desmond by demonstrating that Desmond was not “a great man” and therefore not worthy of his daughter. When Desmond left Widmore’s office in anger, he was shocked to encounter Charlie playing his guitar out on the streets of London.

Desmond visited a friend, a scientist named Donovan, with whom he shared his entire story at a local pub and asked his thoughts about time travel. Donovan didn’t buy Desmond’s tale, so he attempted to demonstrate his ability to remember everything by showing him things he remembered. But things didn’t play out the way he recalled.

The next day, Desmond visited a jewelry store, intending to buy a wedding ring for Penny and go through with his marriage proposal this time around, because the first time he chickened out. But the proprietor, a peculiar woman named Mrs. Hawking, revealed that she knew not only who he was, but also all about his future on the island, and that he had traveled back through time. She tried to dissuade him from buying the ring, insisting that Desmond had to ensure that the future played out the way it did before or “every single one of us is dead,” but Desmond wouldn’t hear it and bought the ring anyway. She explained to him that attempting to change the past is a futile effort, because “the universe has a way of course-correcting.” Mrs. Hawking said that the island was where his path would lead him, and that “pushing that button is the only truly great thing you will ever do.” But he defied her by taking the ring anyway.

Later, when he met up with Penny, the two of them passed by a street vendor who offered to take their photograph with a scenic backdrop, and Penny accepted. It turned out to be the photo that Desmond would take with him to the island, of the two of them standing in front of a marina. Looking at the photo, Desmond realized that Mrs. Hawking was right, that he was going to end back up on the island no matter what he did and that he and Penny simply weren’t supposed to be together. He broke things off with her and threw the engagement ring into the Thames.

When Desmond later visited the local pub and saw the events he expected to play out before with his friend Donovan, he realized he’d just gotten the date wrong. Which mean he could still change things with Penny after all. But when he was about to leave to find Penny and fix everything, he was accidentally knocked out in the pub, and his consciousness was transported back to the present-day island, where he woke up in the jungle, naked and brokenhearted at having failed to get things right with Penny for the second time.


As Charlie and Hurley set about going through Sawyer’s stash for supplies, Desmond approaches and asks them to join him. He takes them to see Locke and Sayid in the jungle, who inform them that Eko’s dead. Locke insists that “the island killed him,” which Charlie clarifies to mean the monster. As they’re talking, Desmond gets a premonition and then frantically runs off back to the beach. As everyone watches in shock, he jumps into the ocean and swims out for what seems to be no reason — until they see that someone else is far out in the ocean too. It’s Claire! And she’s not breathing. Desmond retrieves her and performs CPR, resuscitating her. As Desmond carries her back off to her tent, Charlie shouts after him, asking how Desmond knew Claire was drowning when they were out in the jungle. Hurley informs him that Desmond can see the future.

Charlie and Hurley devise a plan to get the truth out of Desmond about how he’s able to see the future: they intend to get him drunk. When Desmond sees the alcohol they’ve brought him — a Scottish brand called MacCutcheon, which reminds him of something — he agrees to share a drink with them. By that night, they’re drunk and singing drinking songs. Charlie picks his moment carefully and finally asks his question: how did Desmond know Claire was drowning? He plays it down at first, until Charlie goads him by calling him a coward. Desmond tackles Charlie and tells him he doesn’t want to know what happened when he turned the failsafe key beneath the Swan station. During that remarkable experience (see below), he learned that destiny can’t be changed. He rants on and on about how things can’t be changed, no matter how hard you try.

Charlie takes Desmond back to his tent, where Desmond explains that after the failsafe key was turned, he saw his life flash before his eye. But when he woke up in the jungle, the flashes didn’t stop. He’s been seeing the future again and again, but Charlie is stunned to learn that Desmond’s flashes aren’t about Claire. They’re about Charlie. Each time he’s prevented harm from coming to Claire it’s because Charlie was close to her — he was trying to save Charlie from dying. But, as he tells Charlie, he knows that the day is going to come when something happens and he won’t be able to stop it. One way or another, Charlie is going to die soon.

  • The Swan station’s implosion somehow transported Desmond’s consciousness several years back in time, allowing him to relive events from his past, and even attempt to change them. But eventually his consciousness was brought back to the present, where Desmond was seemingly reborn. So in a sense, he did die during the implosion. Temporarily.
    Question: Why didn’t Desmond die in the implosion of the Swan station? [3.03]
  • Though it’s never properly explained, the conjecture we’re meant to make is that the metaphysical events at the Swan implosion and Desmond’s travel through time caused him to be, in a sense, reborn. And like all newborns, he first appeared naked.
    Question: How did Desmond wind up naked after the Swan station’s implosion? Did the blast disintegrate his clothes somehow? [3.03]
  • According to Desmond’s ability to see the future, Charlie is going to die.
    Question: What was Boone referring to when he said that Charlie, Claire, and Aaron would be fine “for a while”? Is something going to happen to them? [3.03]

  • Who is Mrs. Hawking?
  • How did she just happen to meet Desmond on such an auspicious day in his past? Did she plan the meeting?
  • How did Mrs. Hawking know so much about Desmond’s future? Does she possess the same gift that Desmond now seems to — the ability see the future before it happens?
  • Was Mrs. Hawking right that “the only truly great thing” Desmond would ever do is pushing button on the Swan station computer?
  • Why do all of Desmond’s visions of the future revolve around Charlie and his impending death?
  • Is Charlie is going to die in the near future, as Desmond predicted?

“Flashes Before Your Eyes” is the second Desmond-centric episode of the series.

Like “The Other 48 Days” before it, “Flashes Before Your Eyes” breaks with the show’s traditional flashback format by presenting a series of flashbacks that occur without being framed by scenes from the present-day story on the island. Once Desmond decides to share his story with Charlie and Hurley, we see nothing but his time-traveling flashback all in one long narrative stretch.

Widmore’s office held a particularly big hint that Widmore knew all about the island and had a connection to it: a painting bearing a polar bear and the word “Namaste.” Looking back at it now, it’s a wonder most of us didn’t realize that Widmore was one of the Others long before it was revealed in Season 5.

My Theory about Course Correction: This episode really lays the groundwork for a lot of what would happen in Season 5 and Season 6 of the show. In particular, it was the first instance when time travel was used as a major plot device. It introduced us to Eloise Hawking. And it laid down the major tenet that would become so important in Season 5: that changing the past is impossible due to the universe’s built-in “course-correction.” Season 6, it would appear, is going to be about testing Mrs. Hawking’s conviction about time travel. It certainly looks as if Jack, Juliet, and everyone else managed to change their fates in 1977, altering history in a very thorough fashion. I still maintain my belief that Season 6 is going to present to us two alternate but concurrent views of reality: the one we already know, that we’ve been watching for the last 5 years, and this new one that’s been created thanks to the history-altering events of 1977. And that eventually, our heroes will be made aware of the dual nature of their reality and will be forced to make a choice, likely because the two opposing realities violate the laws of physics. However… There is a second possibility regarding what we could see play out in Season 6. Eloise Hawking — and later her son Daniel Faraday — was absolutely adamant that history could not be changed. Small things could be altered, like the red shoe-wearing man she could have saved in this episode, but he would have wound up dead anyway. What she’s ultimately is that you can’t cheat fate. You may be able to change some small things along the way, but the end result will always be the same. If the 1977 survivors managed to change some very big things, then the question becomes: can the universe still find a way to course-correct for 30 years of altered history? This may be the shape of Season 6 — trying to hold onto the changes made, and ultimately realizing that fate cannot be escaped from. Which would mean that if history isn’t restored to its original version, then somewhere along the way, all of the main survivors will eventually wind up right back on the island again.

I still wonder to this day why Desmond’s visions of the future always revolved around Charlie’s death. Why didn’t he ever see anything else? Mrs. Hawking, it seems, can see all sorts of things about the future, about lots of different people, and I always assumed that their abilities were connected somehow. But once Charlie died at the end of Season 3, it would appear that Desmond’s precognitive abilities died with him. Since that time, we’ve never seen him peek into the future again.


3.07 “Not in Portland”

Juliet plays a dangerous game of cat & mouse with both Jack and Ben while Kate and Sawyer receive unexpected help in their attempt to escape captivity.

Written by Carlton Cuse & Jeff Pinkner
Directed by Stephen Williams


Before she was one of the Others, Juliet lived in Miami, working as a fertility doctor for the Miami Central University Medical Research Lab. Her sister Rachel was suffering the sterility effects of cancer treatment, but desperately wanted to have a child. So Juliet secretly performed an experimental drug test on her sister, trying to allow her to become pregnant. She angered her ex-husband Edmund Burke in so doing, as he was the head of her department and didn’t approve of her using drugs developed under his watch on her own sister without his involvement — even though Juliet was solely responsible for developing the drug. Much to Juliet’s surprise, a few days later she learned from Rachel that the drug worked, and Rachel was pregnant.

Around the same time that Edmund found out about her clandestine research, Juliet was contacted by a company named Mittelos Bioscience, and its recruiter, Dr. Richard Alpert, and asked to come work for them. He was impressed that she had recently successfully impregnated a male field mouse, and wanted to put her skills to work for his company in a leadership position, believing her to be “special.” Richard showed Juliet a presentation about Mittelos, claiming that it was based “just outside of Portland.” He showed her x-rays of the womb of a woman who to Juliet appeared to be in her 70s, but Richard claimed was only 26. He offered her unlimited resources to figure out this puzzle, but though Juliet was interested, she assured Richard that her ex-husband would never allow her to leave, unless he was “hit by a bus.”

When Juliet went to tell Edmund that Rachel was pregnant, he was hit by a bus. Later, after identifying Edmund’s body in the city morgue, Juliet was visited again by Richard Alpert, who was accompanied by the man we know as Ethan Rom. Richard offered his condolences, but Juliet was shaken by the coincidence and asked if Richard had anything to do with Edmund’s death. He said he didn’t, and asked her again to come work for him, promising it would only be for a 6-month trial, giving her time to be back for her sister’s delivery. When Juliet asked if Rachel could come with her, Richard was forced to reveal that “actually, we’re not quite in Portland.”


Immediately after Jack demands that Kate and Sawyer make their escape, the two of them turn the tables on Danny and his pal, lock them in Sawyer’s cage, and flee toward the beach.

Back in the operating room, Tom tells Juliet to repair the damage Jack has done to Ben’s kidney, but Jack informs him that Juliet’s not a surgeon and can’t do as Tom wishes. Juliet says that Jack’s right. But just as Jack thinks that his covert plan with Juliet is working exactly according to plan, she tells one of Danny’s men to go get Danny and for the two of them to recapture Kate and Sawyer. Jack insists that he’s not bluffing, but neither, apparently, is Juliet, ordering that if it comes down to it they will kill Kate and Sawyer. Juliet calmly informs Jack that his plan can’t work, because he believes they’re on the main island when they’re not. When she suggests they come up with a “peaceful resolution,” Jack tells Tom the truth — that this entire plot to let Ben die on the operating table was her idea from the start. Tom orders Juliet out of the operating room.

When they arrive at the beach, Kate contacts Jack over the walkie-talkie, telling him they need a boat in order to escape. Jack demands a boat of Tom, but Tom doesn’t cooperate. Just then, Kate and Sawyer come under fire from Danny and two of his men, who’ve been freed and are out for blood. They shoot the walkie-talkie right out of Kate’s hand, destroying it, and Kate and Sawyer run into the jungle for cover. One of their attackers bears down on Kate, but Alex appears and saves the day with her slingshot. She helps the two of them get to temporary safety. She later tells them she has a boat and she’s willing to let them use it, but only if they help her rescue her boyfriend first. Her boyfriend turns out to be Karl, the teenage boy Sawyer met his first day on Hydra island, and he’s being held prisoner by the Others.

When they’re alone in the operating room, Tom asks Jack if Juliet really asked him to kill Ben. Jack affirms that it’s true, and that she’s going to get her wish in 40 minutes. Ben wakes up just then, having overheard what they just said, and asks for Juliet to be brought to him. When she’s brought in, Ben asks to speak to her alone. Jack reluctantly agrees, giving them three minutes. While Jack watches from the observation room above, Ben and Juliet have a conversation he can’t hear, a conversation that generates an emotional reaction from Juliet. Tom points out to Jack that Ben and Juliet “have got history.” When their conversation is over, Juliet emerges, still tearful, and asks Jack to complete the surgery. In exchange, she says she’s going to go help Kate and Sawyer to escape. Juliet heads for Ben’s monitoring room, and spies Alex helping Kate and Sawyer on one of the screens.

As it starts to rain, Kate and Sawyer are brought by Alex to a building on Hydra island we haven’t seen before, some kind of holding facility. A lone guard stands watch outside, and the three of them overpower him using a simple bluff — but not before Kate and Sawyer overhear that Alex believes her father is none other than Ben! They learn that Karl is being held inside in “Room 23,” and run inside to free him. In Room 23, Karl is strapped to a chair with an I.V. running into his arm, being forced to listen to loud music and stare at a screen that’s displaying an odd sequence of psychedelic images and phrases, including “Plant a good seed and you will joyfully gather fruit,” “Everything changes,” “We are the causes of our own suffering,” “God loves you as He loved Jacob,” “Think about your life,” and more. After shaking off the stunning sight of what they see in the room, they free Karl and run for the boat.

Danny and his men find that Kate and Sawyer have already been to the holding facility and escaped. Juliet finds him there and tells him that they’re letting Kate and Sawyer go, on Ben’s orders, but Danny refuses to listen and runs off to continue his pursuit.

In the operating room, Jack resumes surgery on Ben. He asks Tom — who’s squeamish around all the blood — why the Others didn’t take Ben to a suitable hospital for treatment, since they seem able to leave the island at will. Tom starts to explain that something about the sky turning purple is hampering this, when Jack accidentally cuts an artery. He calls on Tom’s help to repair the damage.

Kate and Sawyer are brought by Alex to her boat, and they haul Karl into it as well, as he’s still unconscious. But before they can cast off, Danny shows up alone, his gun drawn on Sawyer once again. Just as Danny’s about to fire, Juliet appears and shoots him dead. Juliet tells the survivors to go, but says that Alex has to stay, because as she knows very well, the only way Ben will allow Karl to live is if Alex is still safely with the Others when Ben wakes up. Alex and Karl say a tearful goodbye to each other, and then Juliet offers Kate her walkie-talkie so she can call Jack and tell the story he asked her to relate back to him. She does so, and it has a profound effect on her, reminding her of her deep feelings for Jack. Once it’s done, Jack asks her not to come back for him under any circumstances. Kate and Sawyer take Karl and sail away from Hydra island while Jack stays behind to complete his part of the bargain.

Jack successfully completes the surgery, and Juliet returns to talk to him. He asks what Ben said to her during their private conversation, that made her change her mind and want to save his life. Juliet reveals that she’s been on the island for more than three years, and that Ben said to her that if she helped Jack save his life, that Ben would finally let her go home.

  • It would appear that Ben has been keeping Juliet on the island against her will for more than three years, preventing her from being reunited with her beloved sister.
    Question: What’s the source of Juliet’s animosity towards Ben? [3.01]
  • Karl is Alex’s boyfriend, but it’s still unclear why he was being held prisoner.
    Question: Who was Karl? Why was he locked up? [3.01]
  • Karl was taken to Room 23, where he was subjected to some sort of mind-numbing or brainwashing.
    Question: Since he wasn’t returned to his cage, what became of Karl? [3.01]
  • Apparently so that he can escape from Ben, who seems to have it in for the poor kid for being in love with his daughter.
    Question: Why was Karl interested in joining the survivors’ camp? [3.01]
  • It seems safe to assume that that “the room” Ms. Klugh referred to was Room 23.
    Question: What “room” was Ms. Klugh threatening to return Walt to for telling his dad that the Others were pretending to be something they weren’t? [2.22]

  • The Others recruited Juliet to join their ranks because of her expertise as a fertility doctor. Why do the Others have need of a fertility doctor?
  • How many other members of the Others have been recruited from off the island, similarly to the way Juliet was? Or was she a special case?
  • What was the purpose of what was being done to Karl in Room 23?
  • What’s the meaning behind the messages seen on the screen in Room 23? Was the Jacob mentioned in one of the messages the same Jacob that Danny referred to (in “I Do”)?
  • What was Tom about to reveal to Jack about the sky turning purple (aka, the destruction of the Swan station) preventing the Others’ ability to leave the island at will?

“Not in Portland” is the first Juliet-centric episode of the series.

This episode marks the first appearance of Richard Alpert. Interestingly, he was first presented here as a doctor working for a front company for the Others called Mittelos Bioscience, though he would never be referred to that way again. Also fascinating, given that subsequent episodes would tie his life and history in so closely with the island, that in his first appearance on the show, we see him not on the island, but in the United States.

After the relatively disappointing six-episode mini-season that kicked off Season 3, and the unsatisfying mid-surgery cliffhanger that we had to endure for months, the show returned with a bang with this fantastic hour that was rich with hints of mythology, our fascinating first glimpse into the past of one of the Others (whose past turned out to not be all that different than the Oceanic survivors), big drama, and payoff after payoff (Alex’s place within the Others revealed! Karl returns! Danny gets what’s coming to him! Juliet’s motivations explained!). Finally, Season 3 found some momentum with “Not in Portland,” and it was much-needed. To this day, most fans agree that “Not in Portland” remains one of Lost’s most solid hours ever.


3.06 “I Do”

When Jack refuses to operate on Ben, Kate is told that Sawyer will die unless Jack changes his mind. On the main island, Locke and Sayid debate the cause of Eko’s death.

Written by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse
Directed by Tucker Gates


At some point during her life as a fugitive, on the run from Marshall Edward Mars, Kate — going by the pseudonym Monica — fell in love with a police officer named Kevin Callis, and the two eventually married. But try as she might to live a perfect, happy life, the entire affair was built on a lie, and the whole thing eventually unraveled. It began after Kate made a call to Marshall Mars, informing him that she didn’t want to play their game anymore. To her surprise, Mars agreed that if she could stay put and stop running, he would leave her be. After a scare one morning when she thought she might be pregnant, the reality of what she was doing crashed in around her, and she ended it. She knocked Kevin out by putting something in his drink, and then confessing the truth to him when he couldn’t do anything about it, before going on the run once more.


After being allowed to take a look at Ben’s medical files and x-rays, Jack determines that Ben’s spinal tumor will be inoperable in about one week. Ben says that he’s ready to proceed immediately, but Jack informs him that he intends to let Ben die by not performing the urgently-needed surgery.

Immediately following Eko’s death, Locke decides to bury him right where he died, to spare the rest of the survivors the anguish of yet another funeral. Locke leaves with Sayid to retrieve some shovels, and when they’re alone, Locke tells Sayid that it was the smoke monster that killed Eko, and that Eko died for a reason though he doesn’t know what that reason is yet. When Sayid points out that they don’t seem to be headed for the beach camp, Locke assures him they are — after a quick detour. It turned out that Locke just wanted to get Eko’s “prayer stick” to bury alongside him. Locke later presides over a brief funeral, after which he spots one of the inscriptions on the stick, which reads “Lift up your eyes and look north. John 3:05.” Locke seems to have a revelation when he sees those words.

Danny Pickett shows up at the cages to take Kate to work duty, but says that Sawyer has the day off. When Kate refuses to go without him, Danny relents and allows Sawyer to come. At the worksite, an alarm goes off warning of a breach in the compound. The breach is soon revealed to be caused by an extremely distraught Alex, who’s desperately looking for someone, and asks Danny to talk to Ben. When one of the Others grabs Alex and drags her away, she shouts at Kate not to believe anything the Others say to her, because they’re planning to kill Sawyer, just like they killed Alex’s boyfriend.

Later, Kate overhears Juliet telling Danny about an acceleration in their plans. Juliet then approaches Kate and asks her to put a hood over her head and come with her. Kate’s unconvinced until Juliet points out that Danny is going to kill Sawyer, but Kate can do something to save his life if she goes along with Juliet’s request. She agrees. Juliet takes her down to Jack’s cell, where the two communicate between the plexiglas wall. It’s the first time they’ve spoken since they were abducted, and it’s a raw, emotional moment for them both. They fill each other in on their respective situations, and then Kate pleads with Jack to do the operation on Ben or Sawyer will be killed. But Jack refuses to give in, and calls for the Others to take Kate away.

When Kate is returned to her cell, Sawyer is brought back in too by Danny, and Danny warns him that he’s going to die tomorrow. When they’re alone, she fills Sawyer in on her meeting with Jack and what the Others have asked him to do. Sawyer agrees that Jack shouldn’t do the surgery, but Kate becomes angry that Sawyer is just putting on his usual pretenses, pretending not to care about himself or anyone else. She climbs up out of her cage again and breaks open his, but he finally tells her what he recently learned from Ben: they’re not on the main island, and there’s nowhere for them to run to. He says he couldn’t bring himself to tell her because it would have destroyed her sense of hope, and she kisses him passionately in response. In an act of desperation, their passion quickly turns to sex. Afterwards, Sawyer proclaims his love to her.

Jack’s intercom comes to life again, and a voice tells him that his door is unlocked. He walks out of his cell, finding the facility empty, and finds his way into Ben’s monitoring room. One of the screens shows a close-up of Kate and Sawyer’s post-coital embrace, and Jack takes a long, hard look at the sight. Ben enters quietly behind him, and offers his condolences for losing Kate to Sawyer. Jack decides on the spot that there’s nothing left on the island for him, so he tells Ben he’ll do the surgery tomorrow morning if Ben agrees to let Jack leave the island for good. Without hesitating, Ben agrees.

The next morning, Jack and Juliet scrub in for the surgery, and an unspoken subtext between them indicates that Juliet has no idea if Jack intends to abide by her wishes and end Ben’s life on the operating table. Inside, Ben asks Juliet if Alex asked her about him, but she says that they’ve lost track of Alex after she was “taken home” last night. After Ben is under anesthesia, Jack makes his first incision, with Juliet assisting and several Others looking on. When he sees that Jack has started the surgery, Danny exits the building with one of his cronies, complaining about Ben’s decision to put his life in the hands of “one of them,” pointing out significantly that “Shephard wasn’t even on Jacob’s list.” They find that Kate’s escaped her cage, and as it begins to rain, they tell her to step aside so they can get at Sawyer. Inside the surgical bay, Jack makes a sudden incision when no one’s looking, and then knocks out the only other person in the room besides Juliet. He calls out to Tom, who’s watching from the observation room above, explaining that he’s made an incision in Ben’s kidney sac, and Ben will die if it’s not stitched up in the next hour. He orders Tom to come into the room and bring a walkie-talkie. Outside, Kate and Sawyer try fighting for their lives, but the two Others gain the upper hand. Just as Sawyer’s about to be killed, Tom calls into Danny’s walkie-talkie and tells him to give the walkie to Kate. Danny argues but Tom convinces him to hand over the walkie. Danny does so, and Jack informs her that she has an hour’s head start before the Others come after her and Sawyer. He asks if she remembers the story he told her the day they crashed on the island while she was stitching him up. She says yes. Once she and Sawyer are safe, Jack tells her to radio him and tell him that story to prove that she’s really safe. Kate doesn’t want to leave without him, but he screams at her to run.

  • The exact date is unknown, but Kate’s marriage occurred somewhere between the beginning of her life as a fugitive, and her trip to Australia, where she was captured by Marshall Mars.
    Question: When was Kate married? [1.16]]
  • Kate married a police officer named Kevin Callis, whom she loved deeply.
    Question: Who did Kate marry? [1.16]
  • Kate left Kevin when the weight of living a lie finally became too much to bear, after she almost wound up pregnant.
    Question: Why didn’t Kate’s marriage last? [1.16]
  • In addition to her childhood friend Tom Brennan, Kate also loved the man she married — Kevin Callis.
    Question: Who was Kate in love with in her past? [1.16]
  • The source of the list appears to be someone of great importance, named Jacob.
    Question: Who or what is the source of the list used by the Others to know who to abduct from the tailies’ camp? [2.07]

  • What was Locke thinking when he read John 3:05 on Eko’s stick?
  • Who is Jacob? Is he the leader of the Others that Ben referred to while he was being held in captivity by the survivors?

“I Do” is the fifth Kate-centric episode of the series.

My memories of this episode are colored with frustration due to the way it was handled on ABC. The first six episodes of Season 3 were shown as a “pod” in the fall, and then the show went on an extended break until January, leaving fans feeling dissatisfied with the right-in-the-middle-of-the-action cliffhanger at the end of “I Do.” Looking back, the whole thing plays a lot better than I remember it, and I particularly enjoyed seeing Jack turn the tables on the Others at the end, taking charge and barking orders. Matthew Fox played that moment with such righteous anger; it’s definitely a highlight of Season 3.

This episode marks the first time that Jacob’s name is ever uttered.


3.05 “The Cost of Living”

Eko treks to the beechcraft when his dead brother Yemi appears to him and tells him it’s time to be judged. Locke comes up with an idea that might help the survivors locate Jack, Kate, and Sawyer.

Written by Alison Schapker & Monica Breen
Directed by Jack Bender


Before he was taken by the guerilla fighters, young Eko once broke into a supply shed at the local church so he could get something to eat for his brother Yemi, who was hungry. A nun working at the church caught them in the act and demanded that Eko enter confession to ask forgiveness for stealing, but Eko struggled hard with the act of confessing.

Immediately after his brother was shot on the runway and the beechcraft took off, military soldiers returned Eko to the church where Yemi served, assuming it was Eko’s church. Eko was met there by a woman named Amina and her young son Daniel, who informed him that Yemi was planning to leave for London at the end of the week to “continue his studies.” Eko said that he would be taking his brother’s place.

The next day, Eko’s work was interrupted by the arrival of a warlord named Emeka, whom he learned offered his “protection” to the people of this village in exchange for 80% of a vaccine shipment that was sent to the local clinic every six months. When Eko threatened to discontinue this arrangement, Emeka shot and killed one of the villagers on the spot. Emeka promised to return later in the week for his part of the shipment, and left the decision up to Eko.

Eko was later warned by Amina not to cross Emeka and his men, but Eko ignored her, putting out the word that he wanted to sell the vaccine himself. When Emeka found out about Eko’s “plans”, he showed up at the church to retaliate, but Eko handily killed him and both of his men. When the townspeople found out what he’d done, they boarded up the church, saying that it had been desecrated by Eko’s actions. Amina condemned him, warning him that one day he would be judged for what he’d done, and that he owed Yemi one church to replace the one he’d defiled.


Sayid, Sun, and Jin return to camp after their adventures on Desmond’s sailboat, and Hurley and Charlie take Sayid to see Eko, who’s still unconscious after his polar bear attack. After they’ve gone, Eko is awakened by the presence of his dead brother, Yemi, who informs him that it’s time for him to be judged. Yemi says that he’ll be waiting for his brother at the place where the beechcraft crashed. Yemi then sets fire to Eko’s tent, forcing the other survivors to rescue him. But Eko soon disappears from where they leave him, delirious and unrelenting in his intent to reach Yemi.

That same night, Jack is visited in his cell by Ben, who’s dressed in a white tunic. He leaves a similar garment for Jack to change into and asks that Jack join him for a walk when he’s dressed. But before Ben can leave, Jack reveals that he knows Ben has a tumor on his spine. Jack scares Ben with explanations of the symptoms he’ll soon be experiencing, but Ben claims that Jack has the wrong guy. Ben takes Jack down to the beach, where about a dozen Others, all dressed in the same white tunics, are waiting with torches. It’s a funeral for Colleen. Ben descends to the shoreline, asking Jack to hold back. The Others light Colleen aflame in a funeral pyre, and send her body out to sea. Soon Juliet shows up for the funeral as well, and Ben privately asks why Juliet showed Jack his x-rays. Juliet points out that she didn’t tell Jack that the x-rays are Ben’s.

The next morning, Locke formulates a plan to find and rescue Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. After Desmond tells him that the Swan station’s computer could be used to communicate with other Dharma stations on the island, Locke suggests to Sayid that they use the computer in another Dharma station to try and communicate with the Others. When Charlie explains that Eko was mumbling about his brother before he disappeared, Locke realizes that Eko is heading to the same place he wants to go: the beechcraft’s crash site, which is also the location of the Pearl station. Locke tells the survivors that anyone who wants to come along with himself, Desmond, and Sayid is welcome to do so, so Nikki and Paolo volunteer to go.

In the jungle alone, Eko is trailed closely by the smoke monster. When the monster disappears, Nigerian men from Eko’s past appear, men who’ve been brutally injured. But they’re gone almost as fast, leaving Eko to wonder if he’s hallucinating. Later, he stops at a creek to drink, but he sees the smoke monster’s reflection in the water. When he turns to confront it, the creature quickly retreats. Locke appears just then on the other side of the creek, and they join up with him. It isn’t long before all six of them arrive at the Pearl station site, and while Sayid takes the rest of them down into the station, Locke waits with Eko for Yemi to reappear. Locke tells Eko in private that he saw the smoke monster once (all the way back in 1.04 “Walkabout”), but it appeared to him as a beautiful bright light. Eko says that he saw no light, only black smoke. Eko enters the beechcraft and finds that his brother’s body is not there.

Juliet brings Jack lunch in his cell, and the two of them seem to strengthen their budding friendship. Ben enters and asks to speak to Jack alone. After Juliet leaves, Ben says that all of his plans for Jack have been disrupted by Jack seeing his x-rays. He explains that they were working slowly at getting Jack to trust them, so that when they asked him to operate on Ben, he would want to. He even says that Juliet was chosen to be the one to get close to Jack because she bears a resemblance to Jack’s ex-wife Sarah. Jack assesses that this is the reason the Others kidnapped him and Kate and Sawyer, because Ben wanted to manipulate Jack into saving his life. Ben affirms that this is the truth, and then asks if Jack believes in God, saying that a spinal surgeon falling out of the sky two days after he learned he had a tumor on his spine is proof enough for him that God is real.

Locke joins his friends down in the Pearl station while Eko remains topside to wait on them. Inside, Nikki watches the Orientation video while the others work at accessing the computer. Sayid notes that the computer’s wiring is a “closed system” — it isn’t networked to any other computers, anywhere. Nikki asks about the other monitors in the Pearl and what they might be for, pointing out that Marvin Candle says in his video that there are six Dharma stations in all. Locke likes what she’s thinking, and Sayid attempts to patch into some of the other stations’ video feeds, if they exist. Sayid manages to get one feed to work — a station filled with old computers similar to those that were used in the Swan. Suddenly the camera pans to the side, where a man wearing a patch over one eye appears, and he seems to be looking back at everyone in the Pearl. Locke happily points out that whoever that man was, he’ll probably be expecting to meet them soon.

Juliet visits Jack in the adjoining room to his cell, and offers to put on a movie for him. Jack isn’t interested, but she does it anyway as an apology for bringing him and his friends here. While she pleads with him to save Ben’s life, the video begins to play, and Jack is surprised to see that it’s not a movie at all — it’s a recording of Juliet holding a series of handwritten signs. They read:

Ignore everything I’m saying.
Ben is a liar.
And he is very dangerous.
Some of us want a change.
But it has to look like an accident.
It has to look like we tried to save him.
And that’s up to you, Jack.
It’s a complicated surgery. No one would ever know.
And I would protect you.
Now tell me to turn off the movie.

Juliet turns off her movie and leaves right on cue after asking Jack to think about what she told him.

  • When Eko is alone, Yemi shows up at the beechcraft and leads Eko into a clearing. He asks Eko to confess, but when Eko begins his confession, he refuses to ask for forgiveness, claiming that he had done nothing wrong. Eko is convinced that he did the best that he could with the life he was given, doing only what he had to in order to survive. Yemi’s response is chilling: “You speak to me as if I were your brother.” Eko is furious, commanding Yemi to reveal his true identity, but after Yemi disappears into the jungle, the smoke monster returns, and grabs him, viciously tossing him into tree trunks and against the ground. Locke and the others hear the commotion from down below and quickly ascend the Pearl’s ladder. But by the time they get to the surface, it’s too late. Eko dies in Locke’s arms, but not before whispering into Locke’s ear that the rest of them were “next.”
    • The x-rays belong to Ben, who has an aggressive tumor growing on his spine.
      Question: Whose x-rays did Jack spy outside the Others’ operating room? [3.04]
    • Jack was abducted so that the Others could con him into saving Ben’s life from the tumor growing on his spine. Kate and Sawyer were presumably brought along as insurance.
      Question: Why did the Others take Jack, Kate, and Sawyer captive? [2.24]
    • It was all part of the manipulative plot cooked up by Ben to convince Jack to operate on him. Sawyer and Kate were brought along as collateral for Jack, to be manipulated and used against him if needed. Kate’s dress was undoubtedly part of this manipulation, meant to instill certain psychological connotations about Kate within Sawyer.
      Question: Why did the Others have Kate shower and change into a dress? [3.01]
    • This was more of Ben’s manipulation of Jack, his way of eventually convincing Jack that Kate loved Sawyer more than she loved him.
      Question: How was Jack able to hear Sawyer’s yells through the com system in the Hydra, when Juliet claimed that that system hasn’t worked in years? Is this more manipulation from Ben? [3.04]
    • Ben is hoping that Jack will agree to operate on his spine, to remove the malignant tumor that’s growing there.
      Question: What does Ben need Jack’s cooperation with? [3.02]

    • Why did Locke see the monster as a “beautiful bright light” (in 1.04 “Walkabout”) when every other time it’s seen, it appears as black smoke?
    • What station did the survivors in the Pearl catch a glimpse of in the video monitor?
    • Who was the man with the patch over one eye?
    • Who was the Yemi that Eko confessed to? Was he, as it appeared, the smoke monster taken human form?
    • Why did the smoke monster kill Eko?
    • What did Eko mean when he told Locke that the rest of them were “next”? Next at what? The next to die at the smoke monster’s hands?

    “The Cost of Living” is the third and final Eko-centric episode of the series.

    With the death of Mr. Eko, the remaining survivors total 45.

    So much has already been said and written about the unexpected departure of actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje that I’m not going to rehash it here, except to say that Eko was the first character on the show I was deeply saddened to see die. And I hope the producers can find a way to bury the hatchet with him and resurrect Eko in Season 6.

    Yemi telling Eko that he needed to be judged was a shock to me this go ’round; I had forgotten that this same phrase Ben would later use in Season 5 to describe his submission to the smoke monster, was earlier used by what was very likely the smoke monster in human form. Speaking of the smoke monster…

    We now have compelling evidence that the smoke monster has taken the shape of dead people many times. Yemi, Alex, and very possibly Christian Shephard. The fact that their bodies always disappear when the creature is taking on their form gives this notion further credibility. We’ve also seen Jacob’s nemesis take on the form of a dead person: John Locke. Though in Locke’s case, his body remained intact. Regardless, the similarity has led many a fan to guess that the smoke monster and Jacob’s nemesis might just be one and the same. The theory makes a certain kind of sense; the monster has certainly demonstrated intelligence and intent on many occasions. And its unique ability to access images from the past of anyone it encounters shows that it’s probably a supernatural creature, much like Jacob. What isn’t clear is how the smoke monster’s agenda — which seems to revolve around judgment — ties in with that of Jacob’s nemesis. We watched him comment about the various people Jacob brings to the island, and the endless pattern of their behavior, but he seemed rather disinterested in the whole business himself. The one thing we know for certain that he wants is to kill Jacob. But there has to be a reason that he wants Jacob dead. How do you suppose the smoke monster’s obsession with judgment connects to a desire to kill Jacob? I’m reminded once again of the biblical story of Jacob and Esau, where Jacob schemed to steal his brother’s birthright/inheritance — a scenario that would certainly cause Esau to want his brother to be judged for his wrongdoing. The Bible records that the two of them reconciled their differences later in life, but the parallel to the island’s Jacob and his enemy seems too coincidental to ignore.

  • More

    3.04 “Every Man for Himself”

    Ben plays mind games on his three captives, focusing his efforts on Sawyer after Sawyer refuses to stop trying to escape. Jack is called on by Juliet to help in an emergency, and back at camp, Desmond constructs a mysterious device.

    Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
    Directed by Stephen Williams


    Sawyer served nine months in prison due to his “long con” of Cassidy Phillips. She visited him one day and stunned him with the news that the two of them had a daughter together named Clementine. Cassidy wanted Sawyer to know, in case he might desire to establish a relationship with his daughter, but he told Cassidy in no uncertain terms that he would not be a father to this child.

    While Sawyer was in prison, a man named Munson was brought in — a man who had ripped off the government for ten million dollars. But although Munson was caught, the money was never found. Although there was bad blood between Sawyer and the prison’s warden, a man named Harris, the two of them collaborated in conning Munson out of the money. Sawyer earned an early release for helping the U.S. Treasury Department, along with a sizable reward, but instead of accepting the money, he asked that it be put into an account in the name of his daughter, with the condition that she never find out who the money came from.


    Desmond tells Claire that her roof has a problem that he’d be happy to fix, if she could move down the beach for the night. She refuses. He tries to insist, but Charlie stops by and warns him off. Later, Desmond finds the survivors’ set of golf clubs — currently in use by Paolo — and asks to borrow one of the clubs. Desmond uses the club to create a lightning rod suspended high off the ground, then sits back under a shelter to watch what happens. A storm hits out of nowhere, pouring a torrential rain onto the survivors, and a bolt of lightning strikes Desmond’s rod — which is very close to Claire’s tent. Charlie and Hurley both realize, separately, that Desmond saved Claire: he knew the lightning was going to strike, and deflected it with his lightning rod.

    Juliet visits Jack, who tries to get some information out of her about the Others’ authority structure. Jack asks if Ben is in charge, but Juliet says that the Others make decisions together. He insists that Ben made a decision on his own when Jack threatened to kill Juliet. Before she can reply, Ben barges in and tells her that “the sub is back” and he needs her, right now. She exits with him.

    As Danny Pickett and his men let Sawyer out of his cage for work duty in the morning, Danny gets a call over his walkie-talkie, informing him that his wife, Colleen, has been shot while on her mission to retrieve Desmond’s sailboat. Just then, a stretcher is run through the area with Colleen onboard, covered in blood. When everyone has gone, Sawyer points out to Kate that one of the Oceanic survivors must have shot Colleen, and he’s happy about it. “We just got our ticket out of here,” he informs her. Sawyer devises a plan to use the electrical shock from the fish biscuit dispenser in his cage to his advantage the next time one of the Others comes to let him out. Kate’s impressed but wants to be sure Jack escapes with them. Sawyer tells her that his plan doesn’t account for Jack even still being alive, and that they have to look out for themselves.

    Later, Ben visits Sawyer’s cage and Sawyer attempts his electrocution trick on him, but no power comes out of the food dispenser. Ben explains that they turned off the electricity to the dispenser, and then he beats Sawyer cruelly with a retractable baton before knocking him out.

    When Sawyer wakes up, he’s somewhere inside the Hydra station. He hears Tom complaining to Ben that since the sky “turned purple” two days ago, they’ve lost all of their communications abilities and can’t get them back. Sawyer finds himself strapped down to a table, and at Ben’s command, a very large needle is injected into his heart. Somehow, Jack hears Sawyer’s panicked sounds coming through the speaker in his cell.

    When he wakes up later, Sawyer finds a bandage over his heart from the injection. Ben and Tom enter the room carrying a white rabbit in a cage — a rabbit with a black number “8″ painted on its fur. Inexplicably, Ben begins shaking the cage viciously until the rabbit suddenly drops dead. Ben explains that the rabbit had a pacemaker that would kill it if it got too excited. Likewise, Sawyer has been given a pacemaker, and if he gets too worked up or tries to escape again, it will make his heart explode. He fits Sawyer with a wristwatch that monitors his heart rate, and warns him that if his heartbeat gets too close to his danger zone, it will beep and Sawyer will need to relax to survive. Sawyer asks why they won’t just kill him, and Ben says that he and his people aren’t killers. He also warns Sawyer not to tell Kate anything about what they’ve done to him, or they’ll give her a pacemaker, too.

    Sawyer is returned to his cage, and Kate wants to know what happened. Sawyer lies and says they just asked him a bunch of questions, but she doesn’t buy it. Later, Kate suggests that she might be able to climb to the top of her cage and squeeze through the bars there, which are spaced further apart than the ones near the ground. But Sawyer warns her against it.

    From inside his cell, Jack again hears Sawyer’s voice, this time talking Kate out of trying to escape again. But Juliet barges in in a panic, wearing bloodied scrubs. She begs for his help in saving Colleen. Jack agrees to help, and a hood is placed over his head as he’s taken from his cell to an operating room. But the route to get there takes him near Kate and Sawyer’s cages, so the Others activate a blaring alarm to keep him from hearing as they call out to him. When Jack and Juliet are inside, Ben is outraged that Juliet brought him here, but Juliet doesn’t care, insisting that Jack can help. While she explains the situation to Jack, he spots a set of spinal x-rays that interest him greatly. But Juliet says that the x-rays don’t belong to Colleen. She takes him inside the O.R. and Jack tries his best, but Colleen’s vitals crash and she dies as her husband Danny, Tom, and Ben look on.

    Danny, lost to his grief, marches straight out to Sawyer’s cage and brutally beats him, while angrily asking Kate if she loves Sawyer. When Kate finally says that she does, Danny ends his assault.

    When the two of them are alone again, it starts to rain, and Kate climbs up and wiggles out of her cage. Through Sawyer’s protests, Kate tells him she knows that whatever the Others did to him, it was enough to scare him into lying to her. She tries to free him from his cage, but he begs her to flee without him. She refuses, and he tries a different tack, saying that if she really does love him, she’ll leave him and save herself. But Kate says she only said that she loved him so Danny would stop hitting him. She climbs back into her cage, refusing to leave him, reciting Jack’s mantra, “Live together, die alone.” While all of this is happening, Ben watches from his monitoring room inside the Hydra station, and he’s pleased with how things are unfolding. Jack is visible on another monitor, still in the operating room with the deceased Colleen, and it seems that even Jack’s unexpected involvement in trying to save her somehow plays into Ben’s plans.

    Juliet retrieves Jack after a while and, all pretenses dropped, is very emotional. She explains that she’s a fertility doctor and that death is something she’s not used to. Jack tries to comfort her, suggesting that there’s nothing more she could have done, but when Juliet asks if he’s just trying to make her feel better, Jack tries to act like he doesn’t care how she feels. She prepares to take him back to his cell, but he quietly asks who the x-rays outside belong to. He knows just from looking at them that they belong to a forty-year-old male who has a very large tumor on his spine. Since he’s a spinal surgeon, he’s deduced the reason that the Others abducted him: he’s here to save the man with the tumor.

    Ben awakens Sawyer the next morning and takes him for a walk. Ben eventually reveals that there never was a pacemaker inserted near his heart, that it was all a ruse to get Sawyer to behave himself. He even produces the “8″ rabbit, alive and well, as proof. Ben takes him far from the Hydra station, high up a hill to the edge of the ocean to show him a remarkable sight: about a mile across the water is the real island. The place where they now stand is a smaller island about twice the size of the one that houses Alcatraz — but still much smaller than the main island that Sawyer is familiar with. Ben says he showed him this so Sawyer would know that there’s nowhere for him to run, no point in continuing to attempt an escape. Ben says they went to all this trouble because the only way to gain a conman’s respect is to con him. And he notes Sawyer’s hidden feelings for Kate with interest, pointing out that it wasn’t his threat against Sawyer himself that got him to behave — it was his threat against Kate that did the trick.

    • The Others own a submarine, which they have apparently used for some time to access various parts of the island with stealth and speed.
      Question: How did Colleen’s team of Others reach the sailboat at the Pala Ferry without ever setting foot on the shore? [3.02]

    • Where did the Others get a submarine?
    • Tom mentioned to Ben that “coms have been down since the sky turned purple.” What kind of communications technology do the Others possess?
    • How was Jack able to hear Sawyer’s yells through the com system in the Hydra, when Juliet claimed that that system hasn’t worked in years? Is this more manipulation from Ben?
    • Why was the rabbit marked with a number?
    • Whose x-rays did Jack spy outside the Others’ operating room?

    “Every Man For Himself” is the fourth Sawyer-centric episode of the series.

    I had completely forgotten that this was the first time we ever saw Ben’s retractable baton, which was used so memorably in Season 4’s “The Shape of Things to Come” as Ben’s weapon of choice off the island.

    Ben’s mind game with Sawyer was such a load of crap, I still can’t believe the professional conman didn’t see through it. Ben’s line about the Others not being killers sealed the deal; I really hoped in that moment that Sawyer would come back with, “Tell that to Charlie!” Alas, he did not.

    I have to say, I enjoyed this episode a lot more this time than I did the first time. The first go ’round, I was so interested in getting answers that I was frustrated that the show seemed to be stalling. This time I was able to appreciate it for all the wonderful character moments and great performances, in particular those from Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Michael Emerson.