Tagged: season 5

5.17 “The Incident, Part 2”

Locke and Ben finally meet face-to-face with Jacob, while Jack receives unexpected help in his attempt to change history.

Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender

Near nightfall, the Others arrive at the statue, which is nothing more than a single foot here in the present. Locke asks what this statue has to do with Jacob, and Richard says it’s where Jacob lives.

That night, Richard sets up a camp for his people and then asks Locke if he’s sure he needs to do this, because if he waits, Jacob would eventually come to him. Locke says he’s tired of waiting, and wants to go see him now. Nearby, Sun asks Ben what happened to the rest of the statue. Ben says he doesn’t know, that it was that way when he got here. Locke tells Ben to come along as they head for the statue, but Richard protests. Only the leader of the Others can request an audience with Jacob, “and there can only be one leader on the island at a time.” “I’m beginning to think you just make these rules up as you go along, Richard,” Locke replies. He insists that Ben come along, so Richard opens the door in the side of the statue’s base, but then leaves them to it. As they enter, Locke asks Ben if he’ll be able to do this. “I know it won’t be easy, but things will change once he’s gone,” Locke assures him. Ben accepts a knife from Locke.

Outside the statue, Ilana and her group arrive and the Others draw their weapons. Ilana tells them not to shoot, that they’re friends, and they’ve come to help. She asks which one of them is “Ricardos,” and Richard steps forward. “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” she asks him pointedly. In Latin, he replies, “He who will save us all.” Ilana is visibly relieved that someone finally answered the question correctly, and shows him what’s inside the steel crate: it’s John Locke’s body! He’s still dead! Ilana says the body was in a coffin in the cargo hold of Ajira 316. Sun asks the question on everyone’s minds: “If this is Locke, who’s in [the statue]?”

Inside, Locke and Ben come upon the large room with the fire pit where we first saw Jacob at the beginning of the episode. Ben notices the large tapestry hanging on the wall and goes to examine it. Jacob, watching from the shadows, asks if Ben likes it. “It takes a very long time when you’re making the thread. But I suppose that’s the point, isn’t it?” he says. Locke bids him hello, and Jacob recognizes him at once for who he is: “You found your loophole.” It’s the 2nd Man from the beginning of the episode! Only now he looks like John Locke. “You have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here,” says Locke. Ben is stunned to see that the two of them know each other. Locke asks Ben to do what he asked him to do. Jacob steps forward and says he wants Ben to understand one thing. Despite whatever Locke has told him, Ben still has a choice. Ben is angered that Jacob ignored him for thirty-five years but no longer. Ben recounts his history, reminding Jacob that everything he was asked to do in Jacob’s name, he did, without question. He asked to see Jacob once but was told by Richard to wait. But when Locke asked to see Jacob, he was brought straight here. “Why him?” Ben asks. “What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?!” Jacob looks at him sadly and replies, “What about you?”

Outraged, Ben stabs Jacob twice in the chest. Jacob collapses and starts spitting up blood, mumbling about someone coming. Locke kneels quickly and asks what Jacob is talking about. “They’re coming,” Jacob repeats, and Locke stands to his feet and kicks Jacob into the fire pit. Jacob immediately catches fire and a stunned Ben and an angry Locke watch him burn.

In 1977, Jack gets out of the van and Sawyer asks for five minutes of his time to talk. The two of them walk into the jungle to find a private spot.

Sawyer tries a friendly approach first, telling Jack about how his parents died when he was eight years old. Then he points out that that happened a year ago, in 1976, and if he wanted to, he could have gotten on the sub and gone to the mainland and changed things. “But what’s done is done,” he concludes. Jack argues the point, but Sawyer cuts through his scientific logic, pressing him for the personal and emotional reason Jack is doing this. He believes Jack screwed up something so bad, he’s willing to detonate a nuke to get a second chance, but Jack says that’s not what this is about. “I had her, and I lost her,” Jack says, referring to Kate. Sawyer suggests that if Jack wants her back, he just has to go ask her. Jack says it’s too late, but Sawyer says that if Jack succeeds, Jack and Kate will be strangers and Kate “will be in handcuffs.” Resigned, Jack believes it’s meant to be. Sawyer realizes that he can’t talk Jack out of it, so he resorts to fisticuffs instead, and the long-brewing tension between these two finally comes to blows. Sawyer gets the best of him after a prolonged fight, but Juliet finds them and tells him to let Jack go. Juliet says Jack is right, and they have to do this. Outraged, Sawyer points out that she’s the one that told him to come back to the island and stop Jack. “What happened?!” “I changed my mind,” she replies.

Sawyer follows Juliet through the jungle, trying to get an explanation out of her, but she’s resigned to letting Jack do what he intends to do. “I changed my mind when I saw you look at her,” Juliet finally explains. “I don’t care who I looked at,” Sawyer replies. “I’m with you.” “And you would stay with me forever if I would let you, and that is why I will always love you. Just because we love each other doesn’t mean we’re supposed to be together,” says Juliet, repeating the words her mother told her as a child. Sawyer doesn’t buy it, and pushes her to tell why she’s really doing this. “If I never meet you, then I never have to lose you,” she says sadly.

At the Swan site, Chang tries again to get Radzinsky to stop the drilling, noting that the drill’s readings have suddenly gone off the charts. Radzinsky gets a call from Phil back at the Barracks, telling him about Jack and Sayid and the shootout. Radzinsky realizes the two of them are on their way to the Swan site, and he orders Phil to get out there on the double.

Jack watches this exchange from a safe distance, through the jungle foliage. Kate catches up with him, and the two have a heart-to-heart. She reminisces about the day she sewed him up when they first came to the island. He asks why she made him promise to never ask about Aaron. She says she was angry at him for making her come back, but she came back so Aaron could be with his mother, where he belongs. Jack points out that if his plan works, Claire will never come to the island, and Aaron will be born in L.A. Kate argues that Claire intended to give Aaron up for adoption, but Jack says they can’t know what she’ll decide once she gives birth and sees him for the first time. “Nothing in my life has ever felt so right” as this plan, he tells her, pleading with her for her help and support. An alarm sounds at the Swan site, and steam pours out of the drilling hole. Jack says the Incident is about to happen, and asks if Kate is with him or not. She affirms that she is.

Jack and Kate return to the others, where Hurley’s trying to reassure Sayid that he’ll be fine once Jack changes history. Sayid has prepped the bomb to explode on impact, and tells Jack to get the bomb as close as possible to the source of the electromagnetism. “This is going to work,” Jack assures Sayid, “and it’ll save you.” “Nothing can save me,” Sayid replies. Jack takes the bomb and leaves. He passes Juliet and Sawyer coming back to meet the others. “See you in Los Angeles,” he says to Sawyer.

While the rest of the group waits back at the Dharma van, Miles brings up a very important notion: “Has it occurred to any of you that your buddy is actually going to cause the thing he says he’s trying to prevent? Perhaps that little nuke is the incident. So maybe the best thing to do is nothing.” When no one answers, he adds, “I’m glad you all thought this through.” They spot Phil and some other security men driving to the Swan site, and they decide to go help.

At the Swan site, Phil and his men set up a perimeter. Chang protests again, but his words fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, Jack sneaks up on the drill area, gun in hand. But before he can get inside, Phil spots him, and a huge gunfight ensues. Jack’s friends ride in to the rescue in their stolen Dharma van, and now everyone is shooting. Many of the Dharma men are killed in the fight, but remarkably, none of the survivors are hit.

Sawyer gets the drop on Phil and has him order the other men to drop their guns. The shooting stopped, Sawyer tells Jack to come on out and do his thing. Chang tries to turn off the drill, but it won’t disengage because the electromagnetic pocket has been hit, and it’s pulling the drill downward. Jack gets out the bomb and prepares to drop it down the tunnel. He turns to Kate, and she nods approvingly with tears in her eyes. Sawyer and Juliet likewise make eye contact, and this time Juliet smiles that he’s looked at her instead of Kate. Jack drops the bomb and everyone closes their eyes, waiting for the blast. But it never comes.

Instead, the electromagnet goes into overdrive, and equipment from all over the site starts being pulled into the hole. Dr. Chang is pinned down by the drill, but Miles saves him, telling his father to get as far away from here as possible. Even Radzinsky runs. Phil almost shoots Sawyer, but a scaffolding falls on him first and a long piece of rebar impales him. A length of chain entwines around Juliet, and she’s dragged toward the hole. Kate manages to catch her at the last second, but the pull is too strong and she can’t hold on. Sawyer runs to help and grabs her by the hand. They share a very emotional moment as Kate tries to get the chains off of Juliet, but she can’t reach and the pull increases, the drill collapsing around them. “Don’t you leave me!” Sawyer shouts. “It’s okay,” says Juliet, smiling. “I love you, James! I love you so much.” To save their lives, Juliet pulls free and falls. Sawyer is utterly destroyed, collapsing into tears.

Moments later, Kate tries to pull Sawyer back from the hole before the drill collapses on top of him, but she can’t budge him. Jack helps and they manage to pull him away. The magnetic effects grow worse until the entire drill is dragged into the hole. Down at the bottom, Juliet’s broken body lays trapped, blood pouring out of her mouth and numerous injuries. But she opens her eyes and coughs — she’s alive! Nearby, she spots the nuclear bomb, which still hasn’t gone off. She grabs a rock and bitterly smashes it against the bomb, until finally, it explodes.

And everything goes white.

  • According to Sawyer, this episode takes place in July, 1977.
    Question: When, prior to 1980, did “the incident” occur?
    [2.03]
  • Chang’s hand was crushed by a large piece of metal during the powerful electromagnetic catastrophe known as the Incident.
    Question: Marvin Candle appeared to be wearing a prosthetic arm. Why? What happened to his real arm?
    [2.03]
  • From what we can glean about Jacob in this episode, the island seems to be his domain, or at least the shared domain of him and the Man in Black. So since the Others work for Jacob, then in a sense, yes the island is theirs, though the word “belong” implies an ownership that they can’t really claim.
    Question: Does the island belong to the Others, as they claim?
    [2.11]
  • Again, since the Others work for Jacob, then they no doubt see their actions as justifiable for the greater good. It doesn’t appear that Jacob gives specific instructions on how his orders are to be carried out — such as bringing new people into the Others’ ranks. It’s the Others themselves who decide to violently kidnap the people on Jacob’s lists.
    Question: Ethan told Claire that the Others “are good people,” a “good family.” Yet we’ve seen them commit acts of unspeakable cruelty. How can they be good if they do such bad things?
    [2.15]
  • Though a definitive answer is yet to come, it seems pretty conclusive at this point that most or all of the dead people seen on the island are probably the smoke monster in human form, including Yemi.
    Question: Who was the Yemi that Eko confessed to? Was he, as it appeared, the smoke monster taken human form?
    [3.05]
  • Emily Linus was no doubt another example of the smoke monster taking on human form.
    Question: Who or what was the Emily Linus we saw on the island, when she is known to be dead? Is she in the same state as Christian Shepherd, and other dead people who have been seen on the island?
    [3.20]
  • This was most likely the Man in Black.
    Question: Who was the second person Hurley saw in Jacob’s cabin (the one that appeared at the window)?
    [4.01]
  • Jacob gave him a little nudge.
    Question: Why did Hurley change his mind and decide to go back to the island?
    [5.06]
  • He didn’t — it was the Man in Black the whole time.
    Question: How did Locke wind up standing in the ocean just off the shore of Hydra Island, apparently resurrected after killing himself in Los Angeles?
    [5.07]
  • Locke was never resurrected! Ben was right — dead is dead. Instead, the person everyone thought was Locke was really Jacob’s Nemesis in disguise.
    Question: How exactly was Locke resurrected?
    [5.07]
  • Locke’s body — the real Locke.
    Question: What’s in Ilana’s steel crate?
    [5.12]
  • “He who will save us all,” which is undoubtedly a reference to Jacob.
    Question: What’s the answer to the question, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”
    [5.12]
  • Knowing the answer to the question appears to be an identifier for the personal servants of Jacob.
    Question: Why did Ilana ask this question to Frank? Is it some kind of pass code?
    [5.12]
  • He doesn’t — Jacob’s Nemesis does.
    Question: Why does Locke want to kill Jacob?
    [5.15]

  • How did the Man in Black take on Locke’s form? Can he assume the form of anyone he wants, or does it have to be a dead person?
  • What all did the Man in Black “go through” to get to Jacob?
  • Since we’ve seen other dead people (like Locke) on the island before, such as Alex Rousseau and Yemi, who very likely were the smoke monster taken human form, does this mean that the Man in Black is the smoke monster? Could they be one and the same?
  • Who was Jacob referring to when he warned the Man in Black that “they’re coming”?
  • Were Jack, Juliet, and the other survivors successful in altering history by detonating the hydrogen bomb?

I don’t quite understand Jack’s personal motivations for wanting to detonate the bomb, if for him, it was all about being with Kate. I could see his desire to wipe away the mistakes he’d made, such as his drug addiction and how he pushed Kate away. But he has to know that it’s unlikely that they’ll ever meet if history is changed. Maybe with his newfound belief in fate, he now believes that if he and Kate are meant to be together, they still will be, in the new timeline.

How awesome is it that Jacob lives under the statue? That’s just plain cool.

I was really hoping Sun and Jin’s long-awaited reunion might take place by the end of this episode, but it looks like we’re going to have to wait until next season for that.

Another mystery that will have to wait is finding out what’s inside Hurley’s guitar case. I’m guessing it’s something that’s going to come in pretty handy for Jacob’s people.

According to Jacob, Hurley isn’t crazy and isn’t just hallucinating visions of dead people. He really is seeing them. How did Hurley get this “blessing”? Did Jacob give it to him?

Do you suppose there’s any significance to Ilana calling Richard “Ricardos”?

We got an answer to “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” Richard’s reply was in Latin (naturally), translated as “He who will save us all.” A certain reference to Jacob.

I have to admit, I’m a bit bummed that John Locke is really dead, and now this new Locke we have appears to be evil. This is his long-awaited grand destiny? Not to be leader of the Others, but their greatest enemy? It’s a twist to be sure, and that’s what this show delivers consistently better than any other. But poor Locke deserved better. And if he always was destined to become evil (after a fashion), why did Jacob save him after his fall? Of course, there’s always the off-chance that the new Locke might not be evil at all, but the evidence is stacked against him. He’s been lying to everyone, has no interest in saving the 1977 castaways, plotted to kill Jacob, and next plans to take out the Ajira 316 survivors — likely because he knows that Ilana & Co. are agents of Jacob. These are not the actions of a good person. And yet, this 2nd Man-in-Locke’s-form possesses Locke’s memories and personality, in addition to his own. So is Locke in there somewhere, downloaded into this other being? Could he fight his way to the surface and take control?

I’m really curious about all of these past events that Jacob appeared at, physically touching the castaways at pivotal moments in their lives. The takeaway we’re supposed to get out of this is that all of the connections and ties that these characters have to each other from their pasts is not coincidence at all — Jacob himself has been involved in directing them towards their destinies on the island. Okay, so they were all meant to end up on the island. I can swallow that. What I’m having trouble with is that Jacob didn’t really do much for some of them. Sure, he saved Locke after his fall, influenced Hurley’s decision to go back to the island, and prevented Sayid from dying alongside Nadia. He gave Kate a little nudge toward being a good girl (which didn’t completely take), and offered Sawyer a pen to write his fateful “Dear Mister Sawyer” letter. But all he did for Jack was give him a candy bar. He attended Jin and Sun’s wedding. Big whoop. Is it enough that he was merely present at these important moments in our characters’ lives?

Who was Jacob referring to, when he told not-Locke that “they’re coming”? Ilana and Richard? Or could it have been Jack & Co., returning from the past?

What we learned about Jacob:

  • he can come and go from the island as he pleases
  • he appears to have the power to heal
  • he does not age
  • he is, despite all his incredible power, a mortal being, capable of bleeding and (possibly) dying
  • he has some prescient knowledge of things to come

What was the deal with Jacob’s tapestry? It’s a clear metaphor for all of the puzzle pieces he seems to have put in place: i.e., the survivors from Oceanic 815. The fact that it took him a long time to do it also points to this, since we know Jacob has been directing things on the island for a long time. But is it more than just a representation of things on the island? Is he channeling his powers through the tapestry, catalyzing certain events through the process of weaving? Perhaps it’s no coincidence that we saw Jacob working on his tapestry right before the Black Rock arrived. Did his weaving somehow cause the Black Rock to go off course and come to the island?

Richard Alpert told Sun in “Follow the Leader” that he “watched them all die,” referring to the survivors in 1977. Yet we didn’t see him anywhere around during their climactic showdown at the Swan. Which can only mean this hasn’t happened yet — and it’s something we’ll see in Season 6. Assuming, of course, that the detonation of the hydrogen bomb didn’t change history. (And I don’t accept that it did.)

Everything about Locke’s initial encounter with Jacob in “The Man Behind the Curtain” is now put in a whole new light, and much or all of what we learned or assumed from that episode could very possibly be untrue. I’m most interested now in the voice that said “Help me” to Locke. Was this really Jacob’s voice? Or was it the 2nd Man?

The fan-chosen code name for the big twist, “The Fork In the Outlet,” turned out to be surprisingly appropriate. And I loved that the final fade in of “LOST” after the last scene was washed in white, instead of the customary black. Clever.

The twenty-million dollar question: Who are Jacob and the 2nd Man? There are certainly parallels between the biblical notions of God and Satan between them. Or maybe yin and yang. Much like God and Lucifer held a “cosmic wager” over the fate of Job, Jacob and the 2nd Man’s early conversation hinted that these two had a similar arrangement: bring people to the island, see if they’re capable of something more than fighting with each other. Even Jacob’s “What about you?” reply to Ben was reminiscent of God’s answer to Job’s questioning why so much trouble had come upon him. The 2nd Man saw no end to the cycle of violence, while Jacob believed that one day a group might come to the island and choose a better way than violence. In this scenario, the island would be presented to each new group of visitors as mankind’s ultimate prize. Which fits with what we know: various warring factions have fought over possession of the island, very likely throughout its entire history. They wanted to control the island and all of its miraculous powers, and to get it, they’d eventually turn on each other.

Jacob hammered home to Ben in that final scene that he had a choice. He could choose to kill Jacob, or he could choose not to. Is this the ultimate message behind Lost? That we all have a choice, and our choices define us? Could it be that this is the nature of the wager between Jacob and the 2nd Man? It’s an experiment of sorts, to see if man is capable of rising above his sinful nature?

Here’s a thought that’ll make your head spin: What if Jacob and the 2nd Man, together, constructed the island?

It seems apparent now that the war we’ve been told about for a while now that’s coming for control of the island is going to be waged between Jacob and his followers, and the 2nd Man and whoever he can persuade to join his side. Whatever limitations once stood between them engaging in open conflict have now been erased, since the 2nd Man found a way to take on Locke’s form. If Jacob is dead — and I’m not convinced he is — could he take on a new form as well? A new avatar or representative, if you will? Who might that be? Someone well suited to go to war against the former John Locke? Someone… like Jack Shephard? Or Benjamin Linus? Hmm.

Jacob seemed unsurprised that Locke and Ben showed up at his door. He was expecting them, methinks. I wonder if he might have even been indirectly manipulating the entire situation. Did he know that Ben would kill him on this day? Could he still be directing events, even after his death?

For a while there, I was convinced that the 2nd Man was going to turn out to be Christian Shephard. The actor playing him had a bit of a resemblance to Jack’s pop. But that seems less likely in retrospect. Though there is a new question that needs to be posed about back-from-the-dead Christian: is he, like Locke, a manifestation of the 2nd Man? Dead is dead, after all, and undead Christian hasn’t been seen in quite a while. He claimed to speak for Jacob, but what if he was lying, and he really works for (or is) the 2nd Man? What has Christian done that can truly be labeled good, after all? He sent Locke to his death, when he told him to turn the wheel and leave the island. He took Claire away from her friends, and she hasn’t been seen since. He told Michael when it was okay for him to die, which admittedly does seem more like he was speaking for the island itself. But his ray of hope to Sun about reuniting with Jin could have been nothing more than the 2nd Man manipulating her to serve undead Locke’s endgame of killing Jacob. What do you think? Christian Shephard: good or evil?

“The Incident” provided us with perhaps the most important intel we’ve received yet on the smoke monster, even though Smokey didn’t put in an appearance. See if you can follow my logic on this: We’ve never seen the monster do anything that can be considered “good.” In fact, you could call it downright “evil.” It judges, brutally attacks, and kills people at will. Ben was told by the monster in human form (Alex) to do everything that Locke told him to. But we know now that the Locke Alex was referring to was really the 2nd Man in Locke’s form. If the monster knew the truth about Locke when Alex told Ben this (and I’m willing to bet it did), then that means the monster is in league with the 2nd Man. Making it possibly even an agent or tool of the 2nd Man. Did the 2nd Man create the monster? The 2nd Man seems to be “the bad guy,” which means that the monster is evil, too.

So here’s my theory: the dead people we’ve seen on the island are really the smoke monster/Man in Black assuming their form: Alex, Yemi, Emily Linus, etc. I still do wonder, though, about Christian Shephard. Sure, it’s possible that he’s another guise of the smoke monster/Man in Black, but there almost seems to be more to him, somehow. I wonder if he could be Richard’s opposite number, serving the Man in Black the same way that Richard serves Jacob. There’s a certain symmetry to it — Richard was made a symbol of life by Jacob when Jacob made it so that Richard doesn’t age, whereas the Man in Black used a symbol of death as his servant.

Is Juliet really dead? She seemed to have survived her long fall remarkably well. How exactly did that happen? I’m sure she has lots of serious injuries, but if the survivors are transported back to 2007, she would surely go with them since she didn’t die yet. And as for those injuries, the island is known for its healing powers… But I’ll freely admit I could be reaching, just ’cause I don’t want her to die. On the other hand, Juliet is the one person we witnessed in flashback tonight that Jacob never went to visit off the island. Significant? Is she not as important as the rest of them?

And what about Sayid? We didn’t see him die, so we have to assume he’s still alive and kicking, at least for the time being. His quest for redemption is probably still yet to come.

What will become of Pierre Chang? Will we ever see him again? Will he and Miles get some closure on their father/son relationship?

In the end, we’re left with this: What happens in the final season if Juliet succeeded in changing history? Would the survivors return to their former lives, but still somehow be drawn to the island, and spend some of Season 6 trying to get there? Might they somehow remember all of the events that they managed to erase, and reunite with one another due to that? And consider some of the people who died that would be alive once more: Boone, Shannon, Ana-Lucia, Libby, Eko, Charlie, Charlotte, Daniel, Juliet, and get this — Jacob!

So it all comes down to whether or not that bomb reset the timeline. My initial instinct upon seeing the episode was that there’s no way it could have. There’s just too much evidence to the contrary, such as Richard remembering that all of the survivors died (presumably from the bomb blast) in 1977. If the bomb blast changed history, he wouldn’t remember their deaths in the original timeline version of 2007. Or consider Chang’s hand/arm injury, which we’ve known to be part of continuity all the way back to the earliest Dharma orientation videos of Season 2. This episode finally showed us how his hand was injured, so wouldn’t that point to an unchanged timeline? Yet we know from all of the hints we’ve seen since way back at Comic-Con ‘09 that alterations to the timeline are something the show is going to play with heavily in Season 6. Is it possible that somehow the bomb both did and didn’t change history? We’ll find out soon.

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5.16 “The Incident, Part 1”

Jacob is revealed as Locke tries to manipulate Ben, while Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet try to stop Jack from detonating the bomb.

Written by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse
Directed by Jack Bender


Sometime in the mid-1800s, a man on the island who we’ve never seen before works inside a large room that has a fire pit in the center. The room has a decidedly “ancient Egyptian” look to it. He works carefully at a loom, slowly weaving together a tapestry by hand. Later, he’s outdoors on the beach, and he retrieves a fish trap with a fresh catch inside. He cooks the fish over a fire and begins eating it when he sees a black ship with tall white sails not far out at sea that has to be the legendary Black Rock, just before it ran ashore on the island. Another man we’ve never seen before walks up to Jacob’s spot on the beach and asks if he can join him. (Note: since we’re never given his name, for simplicity’s sake, I’ll be referring to this individual as “the 2nd Man.”) The two exchange a few pleasantries, before the first man asks if his friend came here because of the approaching ship. The 2nd Man asks how the ship found the island. When the first man is coy in responding, the 2nd Man admits he already knows how the Black Rock found the island: the two of them brought it here. “Still trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?” he says. “They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.” The first man replies, “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.” The two make eye contact, and it’s not a friendly gaze. “Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?” asks the 2nd Man. “Yes,” replies the first man. “One of these days, sooner or later, we’re going to find a loophole, my friend,” says the 2nd Man. “When you do, I’ll be right here,” the first man shoots back. Before leaving, the 2nd Man refers to his counterpart by name: Jacob. The camera pans up, and we see that Jacob’s beachside breakfast venue is right beneath the four-toed statue, which at this time is still fully intact. A side view of it reveals more of its facial features, which resembles an animal with a long head like a crocodile or hippo.

In the late 1980s or early 90s, a young Kate Austen and her childhood friend Tom Brennan are caught stealing a New Kids on the Block lunchbox from a small store. When the proprietor threatens to call the cops on “Katie,” a stranger approaches and says he’ll pay for the lunchbox. It’s Jacob, looking not a day older than when we just saw him over one hundred years ago, on the island. When the store owner is satisfied, Jacob turns to Kate and smiles. “You’re not going to steal anymore, are you?” She shakes her head no, and returns his smile, genuinely. “Be good, Katie,” he says, and leaves.

Next we see Jacob visit Sawyer in his childhood, who’s attending the funeral of his mother and father. The embittered boy takes a moment alone after the ceremony to begin writing his “Dear Mr. Sawyer” letter to the man he blames for his parents’ death. But when his pen runs dry, Jacob walks up and gives him a fresh one to use. “I’m very sorry about your mother and father, James.” After Jacob leaves, another man approaches, a friend or family member of Sawyer’s. He discovers the letter Sawyer is writing and makes him promise not to finish it.

More recently, Jacob travels to L.A., where Sayid and Nadia are walking down the sidewalk and talking about plans for their first anniversary. Nadia crosses the street but Sayid is stopped by Jacob, who claims to be lost and asks for his help. Nadia is suddenly struck by an oncoming SUV, which speeds away. Dying on the street and knowing it, Nadia asks Sayid to “take me home.”

In a foreign hospital somewhere, Jacob pays a visit to Ilana, whose head and one of her eyes is wrapped in a large bandage. She’s severely hurt, but unlike the others Jacob has visited, Ilana recognizes him. He says he’s sorry for not getting here sooner, and says he’s come to ask for her help. She seems to know him well, and gladly agrees to help him.

In another time and place, Jacob sits on a bench outside a highrise building and reads a book while waiting for John Locke to be pushed out of a window by his father, and fall many stories to the ground. When Locke does just that, Jacob calmly walks to him and touches his shoulder. Locke immediately wakes up. “Don’t worry, everything’s going to be alright,” says Jacob. “I’m sorry this happened to you.” Then he leaves.

At Sun and Jin’s wedding, Jacob turns up and pays his respects to the happy couple. He offers them his blessing, and says that their love is “a very special thing.” He tells them to never take it for granted, and then leaves. Neither of them know who he is, but Jin is impressed at how well Jacob speaks Korean.

Next, we’re treated to a look back at the very moment in the operating room that Jack told Kate about the first day they met, when Jack conquered his fears by “letting the fear in” for just five seconds. Christian, Jack’s father, is observing in the operating room when Jack makes his accidental incision, and when Jack begins to panic, it’s Christian who tells him to count to five. Jack does as he’s told. After the surgery, Jack tries to buy a candy bar out of a vending machine, but the candy gets stuck. Christian finds him and mentions that the patient is in recovery and showing no signs of permanent damage. Angrily, Jack chastises his father for putting him “in a time out” during his first major procedure, in front of the other doctors and nurses. “I know you don’t believe in me, but I need them to,” Jack says. “Are you sure I’m the one who doesn’t believe in you, Jack?” Christian shoots back. As Christian walks away, Jacob pulls two candy bars from the vending machine and asks if one of them belonged to Jack. Jack accepts the candy bar, mumbling that the machine got stuck. “I guess it just needed a little push,” Jacob replies.

Another flashback finds young Juliet and her sister Rachel being told by their parents that they’re getting a divorce, though they still love each other. “Just because two people love each other doesn’t mean they’re supposed to be together,” her mom says. Juliet doesn’t want to hear it, and runs out upset.

More recently in L.A., Hurley is released from jail after Ben arranges for his discharge. He hails a cab but finds someone already inside: Jacob. Jacob says he’s only going a few blocks and asks if Hurley would like to share the cab. Hurley agrees. The guitar case Hurley brings back to the island is on the seat next to Jacob. Hurley asks what he was in jail for, Jacob replies that he wasn’t in jail, he was waiting for Hurley. Hurley assumes Jacob is another dead person, but Jacob says he’s not dead at all. Jacob asks why he won’t go back to the island; Hurley says it’s because he’s cursed — he believes it’s his fault the plane crashed, some of his friends died there, and why he talks to dead people. Jacob argues that talking to people who’ve died isn’t a curse, it’s a blessing. Hurley says it’s pretty great except for the part where he’s crazy. “I’ve got some news for you, Hugo,” says Jacob. “You’re just going to have to take my word on this. You are not crazy.” Jacob tells him about Ajira 316 and tells him it’s his choice if he wants to go. Jacob asks the driver to stop the cab and gets out. Hurley points out that Jacob forgot his guitar, but Jacob says it’s not his guitar.

The Others continue their trek towards Jacob. Locke tells everyone to take a break, that they still have a long ways to go before they reach Jacob. Sun stops Ben and asks who Jacob is. Ben says Jacob is “in charge of this island.” Locke may be the leader, but the leader answers to Jacob. When Sun asks what Jacob is like, Ben admits that he’s never met Jacob.

A few dozen feet away, Richard stares warily at Locke, and finally Locke asks him what’s wrong. Richard says that Ben told him that he killed Locke, strangling him to death, and Richard can’t help wondering how Locke is alive. Locke replies that Richard’s been on the island longer than he has, and if anyone would know the answer to that question, it should be him (Richard). Richard says he’s seen a lot of things he can’t even describe, but he’s never seen anyone come back to life. Locke counters that he’s never seen someone who doesn’t age. Richard replies that he doesn’t age “because of Jacob,” and his guess is that Jacob is also the reason Locke returned to life. Locke lies, saying he agrees and that he’s taking them to see Jacob so he can thank him. He then says that once his business with Jacob is finished, they’re going to need to deal with the rest of the passengers of Ajira 316. Richard asks what he means by “deal with,” and Locke says that Richard knows exactly what he means.

A canoe arrives on the shore carrying Ilana, Bram, a few others, and an unconscious Frank Lapidus, as well as Ilana’s mysterious steel crate. Bram asks why they brought Frank along, Ilana says they might need him. Bram argues that Frank didn’t know the answer to the question, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” but Ilana says that that doesn’t mean Frank isn’t important. “You think he’s a candidate?” Bram asks. Ilana points out that Frank’s awake, and Frank opens his eyes, asking what he’s a candidate for. Dragged to his feet by Bram, Frank asks Ilana who she is. “We’re friends,” she replies. He asks if they smack all their friends around, and she smiles, answering, “Only the ones we like.” Suddenly, Bram drops his hot-head persona and becomes much more friendly to Frank, offering him a canteen of water. Frank asks what’s in the steel crate, and they show him, though we can’t yet see. Frank is stunned by what he sees. “Terrific,” he says.

As the Others’ march continues, Locke pulls up in step beside Ben and asks why Ben hasn’t yet told Richard about Locke’s plan to kill Jacob. Ben says he assumed Locke would prefer it kept a secret, and then tells him about his encounter with the smoke monster beneath the Temple, at which time he was told to do everything Locke says or he’d be killed. Locke is thrilled to hear that Ben is willing to do whatever he tells him to, and remarks that he won’t have to convince Ben after all. When Ben asks what he means, Locke says that Ben’s going to be the one who kills Jacob, not Locke.

As Ilana and her group walk through the jungle, Frank remarks that he wishes they’d never shown him what’s inside the steel crate. He asks what they’re going to do with “it.” Bram replies that they need to show it to somebody, “so they’ll know who they’re up against.” Frank asks what they are up against, and Bram says it’s something a lot scarier than what’s inside the box. But he reassures Frank, telling him that as long as he’s with them, he’ll be safe. Frank asks again who they are, and Bram replies, “We’re the good guys.”

The group arrives at its destination: Jacob’s cabin. They find the ring of ash around the cabin has been disturbed, with breaks in the ring. Ilana tells them to wait here, and walks into the cabin alone. She finds it in shambles, but there’s a piece of burlap with a drawing on it, stuck to the wall by a knife. She takes it and exits, telling Bram that Jacob wasn’t there and hasn’t been there for a long time. “Someone else has been using it,” she says, before ordering her people to burn it. Frank expresses concern that burning the cabin could set the whole jungle on fire, but they ignore him. Bram asks what they’re supposed to do now, and Ilana shows him the burlap. The drawing on it depicts the four-toed statue, and their direction from here.

Locke’s group arrives back at the beach where the Oceanic 815 survivors lived. Locke suggests everyone take another rest. Ben sits alone on the beach, until Locke approaches. Locke points out that behind them on the ground is the door to the Swan hatch, where the two of them first met. Locke asks Ben about the day he first took Locke to meet Jacob. Ben admits that he was pretending most of it, talking to an empty chair, because he was embarrassed not to have ever seen Jacob. But he was still as surprised as Locke when things started moving around the room all on their own. “I lied,” says Ben. “That’s what I do.” Ben asks why Locke wants him to kill Jacob. Locke points out his surprise that Ben doesn’t already want to, considering everything Ben did out of loyalty to Jacob, and all of the terrible things that happened to him in return.

Nearby, Sun spots Claire’s crib that Locke built her for Aaron. Inside it, she finds Charlie’s “DS” ring (Drive Shaft), which he gave to Claire before he died. The ring reminds her of her wedding day.

Onboard the sub, sedatives are being passed out among the civilians. Kate tells Sawyer and Juliet why she came back to get them, and that they have to escape to stop Jack from blowing up the hydrogen bomb. Sawyer says they’re not going to help her.

In the Tunnels, Sayid reads through Daniel’s journal to find out what Dan’s plan was for the bomb. Dan intended to dismantle the bomb and remove the much smaller and more portable plutonium core, and take it to the Swan. Sayid says they have two hours to get the core to the Swan site, as that’s how much time is left from the timetable Faraday set forth.

At the Swan site, Radzinsky arrives to find that Dr. Chang ordered the drill to stop drilling towards the pocket of energy far below. Chang argues that with all non-essentials evacuated and the possibility of a Hostile insurrection, now isn’t the time for Radzinsky’s experiments. Radzinsky says he’s been working on this project for six years. His work is dedicated to “manipulating electromagnetism in ways we’ve only dreamed of.” He says he came to the island to change the world, and that’s what he’s going to do. Radzinsky orders the drilling to continue.

On the sub, Kate has explained everything to Sawyer and Juliet about Jack’s plan to change history. Yet Sawyer stills says he intends to leave the island. When a Dharma man brings them their sedatives, Juliet knocks him out and takes the keys to their handcuffs. She points out that they decided to leave the island together — it wasn’t his decision alone — and now they’re going to go back, because they can’t abandon all of the people there to die from the bomb.

Free and armed now, the three of them commandeer the sub long enough to have the captain surface it. They tell him to continue on course once they’re gone. To prevent them from communicating with Horace or anyone else on the island about what’s happened, Sawyer shoots their radio.

Jack locates a backpack in the Tunnels which Sayid uses to store the bomb core in. Richard picks up a large sledgehammer and carries it along. He quietly asks Jack about Locke, whom he met in the 1950s. He says he’s left the island three times to visit Locke as a child since then, but Locke never seemed all that special to him. He asks if Jack knows Locke, and Jack says yes, and that Richard shouldn’t give up on him.

Once they have everything they need, Richard leads them through the Tunnels to a particular spot, where he uses his sledgehammer to break through. Beyond lies the basement of a Dharma Barracks house. Jack volunteers to go first into the house, but Eloise stops him, reminding him that she’s in charge here and that she’ll go first. But before she can get inside the basement, Richard knocks her out from behind, and tells the others that he did it to save his people’s leader. She’ll be mad at him later, but at least she’ll be alive. With that, Richard takes his leave and carries her away.

Jack and Sayid emerge upstairs to find they are in Horace and Amy’s house, but no one’s home, and the entire Barracks compound is in an uproar. The alarm is sounding, and announcements are being constantly made about the possible Hostile incursion, telling all of the Dharma folk to be prepared to defend themselves. Jack asks how they’re supposed to get out of there, but Sayid spots one of Horace’s jumpsuits and says they’ll hide in plane sight. Outside, they stroll through the compound as if they belong there, but Roger Linus spots Sayid and recognizes him as the man who shot Ben. Before Jack and Sayid can talk him out of it, Roger shoots Sayid in the stomach. Jack opens fire on the Dharma people, killing a few of them, and prepares to fight his way out while dragging Sayid, when up drives a Dharma van with Hurley, Jin, and Miles inside, who drive away and help them escape.

At sea, Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate paddle a liferaft to shore, though they can’t tell which part of the island it is. On the beach, they’re greeted by none other than Vincent the dog, who’s quickly followed by Rose and Bernard, who aren’t entirely happy to see them.

In the van, Jack tries to stop Sayid’s bleeding, but won’t let Hurley pull over to make it easier. Jack tells Hurley to drive to the Swan, and then he remarks to Jin that he’s found a way to reunite him with Sun.

Rose and Bernard lead the others through the jungle to a small shelter they’ve built for themselves, where they’ve been living for the last three years, alone. Sawyer says he had Jin out searching the island for them grid by grid, and Rose replies that they know that, and intentionally eluded Jin’s searches. Rose and Bernard know the others joined up with Dharma, and Sawyer says he could have brought both of them in too if he’d known they were here. Rose replies that they decided to keep to themselves “because we’re retired.” They made a nice, quiet place for themselves where they could live out their days in peace, explains Bernard. When Sawyer and Kate try to explain the situation with Jack, Rose and Bernard are unmoved. “It’s always something with you people,” says Rose. “You traveled back thirty years in time, and you’re still trying to find ways to shoot each other?” Juliet asks to know which way the Barracks are, or they’re all going to be dead from Jack’s bomb. Bernard shrugs and says, “So we die. We just care about being together.” Juliet is moved by their affection for each other and tries to make eye contact with Sawyer, but he’s busy similarly looking at Kate (who doesn’t notice). Rose tells them which direction the Barracks are in, and they leave.

In the van, Sayid says he needs to modify the bomb so it will detonate on impact. Hurley suddenly stops the van, because Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet are standing in the middle of the road, blocking their path.

  • Tawaret, the Egyptian goddess of fertility.
    Question: What did the four-toed statue originally depict?
    [2.23]
  • Richard claimed that he didn’t age “because of Jacob.” How exactly Jacob caused him to be this way remains to be seen.
    Question: Why doesn’t Richard age?
    [3.20]
  • Rose and Bernard are alive, but they’ve hidden themselves away in the jungle for three years, at a remote location where they could live out their days in retirement, together, away from the cares of others.
    Question: Sawyer, Jin, Juliet, Miles, and Daniel have wound up in 1977 after all that jumping through time. Are they the only members of the original Oceanic 815 group of survivors left alive? Did anyone else end up in 1977 with them? What about Rose and Bernard? What’s become of them?
    [5.08]
  • Ilana works for Jacob.
    Question: Who does Ilana really work for?
    [5.10]

  • Who is the Man in Black, aka Jacob’s Nemesis?
  • How did Jacob and the Man in Black come to be on the island?
  • Jacob and the Man in Black have a real yin/yang thing going on. What’s the nature of their relationship? And why can’t they kill each other?
  • Why does the Man in Black want to kill Jacob?
  • Jacob appears to be responsible for bringing everyone to the island that gets there. How exactly does Jacob bring people to the island?
  • Why was an enormous statue of an Egyptian fertility goddess (Tawaret) erected on the island? And what is the significance of Jacob living beneath it?
  • Why did Jacob touch so many of the castaways in their pre-island past? For what purpose did he mark them this way?
  • What is Ilana’s history with Jacob?
  • What happened to Ilana in the past, that gave her such a severe head wound?
  • What did Jacob need Ilana’s help with?
  • If Jacob hasn’t been living in the cabin, who has? The Man in Black? Is this who Ben and Locke encountered the day they visited the cabin?

Jacob has been revealed at last. And in the very first scene, no less! How long did it take you to realize who that was?

We know that the Black Rock ran ashore on the island at some point in the mid-1800s. Which puts Jacob and his counterpart’s initial scene in this episode around that same time.

White and black have always been important symbols on the show for good and evil, and in their very first scene together, Jacob is wearing a white tunic, while the 2nd Man wears one that’s almost identical — only black.

Jacob and the 2nd Man made reference to others in the past who’ve come to the island. Yet to our knowledge, the Black Rock and whoever was on board were the earliest visitors to the island. Who came there before them? How many others in the past have come — or been brought — to the island?

We still haven’t seen the statue from the front, and I can’t help but wonder if there’s a reason for that. For example, could there be a symbol there we might recognize? But we did get a decent look at the side of its head, which resembled a crocodile. That would make the statue a dead ringer for the Egyptian god Sobek, or maybe Taweret.

Man, that kid they got to play young Kate looked freakishly like Evangeline Lilly, didn’t she? The actress even had Lilly’s mannerisms and expressions down cold.

Richard told Locke that he didn’t age because of Jacob. So I’m thinking Richard came to the island at some point in the distant past — maybe as the captain of the Black Rock, as some fans believe — and was saved or changed by Jacob. Hopefully we’ll get a full flashback on this in Season 6.

What exactly does being a “candidate” mean, as Bram asked Ilana about the possibility of Frank being one? Could it be a candidate in the same sense as Miles, who Bram attempted to recruit to their cause three years ago? Or does “candidate” designate something else altogether?

Frank’s “terrific” — his response after seeing the contents of the steel crate — reminded me of the first act of the show’s pilot episode. When everyone is gathered on the beach the night of the crash and they hear the sound of the smoke monster in the jungle, Charlie frowns, and utters the same word. I don’t believe there’s any connection between the two occurrences, but it’s always fun to see little winks at things from the show’s past.

Something itched at my brain the way Eloise Hawking took charge over the Others in last week’s episode, even ordering Richard around. But I didn’t yet make the leap that she was the leader of the Others, and not Widmore. Wow. So Widmore became the leader after Eloise, no doubt when she decided to leave the island with baby Daniel. We still don’t know exactly when or why that happened, and I’m hoping we’ll get more details on that.

I’m wondering if that was Ben’s house that Richard sledgehammered his way into from the Tunnels. It looked a lot like it, didn’t it? But then, the tiny tunnel leading from Ben’s house to the magic monster-summoning toilet drain looked very different — there were no ancient ruins or anything else but a basic cave structure.

How much did you love Rose and Bernard’s retirement? They even looked after Vincent. Much like Sawyer and Juliet, these two lovebirds settled down over the last three years and found true happiness — and even managed to evade being found by either Dharma or the Hostiles. They intentionally checked themselves out of the island’s ongoing dramas, and it’s not hard to understand why. But if the 1977 castaways somehow manage to jump themselves back to 2007, then Rose and Bernard would almost certainly be brought along for the ride. So don’t assume we’ve seen the last of them (though this was a fine swan song for them if it should turn out that way).

I wish we knew what the ring of ash around Jacob’s cabin means. It’s been speculated by fans that it was some sort of containment system, keeping Jacob inside the cabin. It seems more likely to me that it might’ve been keeping the 2nd Man out. But the fact that it was found broken in this episode was a source of great concern to Bram and Ilana, which means it’s significant.

It’s interesting to me that Jacob apologized to Ilana for not arriving at her hospital bed sooner. Did he heal her injuries? Was it a trade — “I’ll heal you if you help me?” Ilana must be pretty darn special in the grand scheme, if she is friends with Jacob. I want more backstory on her, stat. She’s poised to be a player in Season 6 for sure. How did she end up in that hospital, and had she been shot in the head as it appeared? Who shot her? And what is her prior relationship with Jacob? (I half expected her to turn out to be his daughter.)

Who else has been using the cabin in Jacob’s absence, in 2007? Christian Shephard, for one.

And what happened to the cabin? The last time we saw it was near the end of Season 4, when Locke found Claire and Christian there, it was in better condition than the husk it was here. What happened to the cabin in the three years (in story time) between then and now?

For those that like to follow Lost’s many book references, Jacob was reading Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery OConnor, while he waited for Locke to take his destined tumble out of a highrise window.

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5.15 “Follow the Leader”

Locke finally takes up his mantle as leader of the Others, and in doing so reveals a startling plan. In 1977, the survivors try to escape from the Dharma Initiative, but Jack becomes convinced that changing history is what they were brought back here to do.

Written by Paul Zbyszewski & Elizabeth Sarnoff
Directed by Stephen Williams

At the Others jungle camp in 1977, Jack and Kate watch from a distance as Daniel brandishes his gun, demanding to speak to Eloise Hawking. Jack believes that Dan’s plan is their “one chance to put things back the way they’re supposed to be.” Kate is about to express concerns with this idea, when Eloise’s gun goes off and Dan falls to the ground, dead. Jack and Kate try to make a run for it, but a horseback-riding, younger Charles Widmore stops and captures them.

In 2007, the Others have abandoned the Barracks and erected themselves a miniature tent city on a beach. Richard Alpert is building a ship-in-a-bottle when a girl runs up and tells him, “He’s here!” Richard seems to know immediately who she’s referring to, though he’s no less surprised to see John Locke stride confidently into the camp, carrying a dead boar on his shoulders. “I brought dinner,” proclaims a grinning Locke. Richard says it’s been three years since he last saw Locke, and asks him what happened. Locke says he’ll explain everything on the way — the two of them have an errand to run. Richard immediately notices Locke’s new confidence and sense of authority, and comments on how different he seems. Locke replies, “I have a purpose now.”

While they’re talking, Richard spots Ben and Sun trailing into the camp after Locke, and he asks what Ben is doing here. Locke replies that it was Ben who helped him get back to the island. Watching their conversation from a distance, Sun asks Ben why Locke referred to the Others as “his people.” Aren’t the Others Ben’s people? “When I left the island, John stepped in,” replies Ben. “He’s the leader now.” She asks him who Richard is, and Ben describes Richard as “a kind of advisor — and he’s had that job for a very, very long time.” Sun runs over to Richard and shows him the Dharma photo from 1977, bearing the images of Jack, Kate, and Hurley. She asks if he was on the island in 1977, and if he remembers these people. Richard replies that he does remember them very clearly, “because I watched them all die.”

Shortly after Dan’s death in 1977, younger Eloise thumbs through Dan’s journal and stops at the handwritten note her older self wrote to Dan on the front page. Widmore enters the camp with Jack and Kate held captive, and asks what happened here when he sees Dan laying dead on the ground. Eloise turns to Jack and Kate, asking if they came here with Dan. Jack says yes, so she orders them taken to her tent. Widmore demands an explanation as to why the Dharma Initiative has declared war on them. Eloise replies that these three people are not from the Dharma Initiative.

In Eloise’s tent, Jack and Kate are roughed up a bit before being left alone. Kate picks up their earlier conversation, asking Jack what he meant by “putting things back the way they’re supposed to be.” Jack thinks that Dan’s plan is worth following, in order to save everyone who died since Oceanic 815 crashed on the island. “What about us?” she asks. This would mean the two of them would never meet. “All the misery we’ve been through would be wiped clean,” Jack replies. She says it wasn’t all misery, but he counters that “enough of it was.”

Eloise enters the tent, and asks what Dan wanted the hydrogen bomb for. Jack says he could try to explain, but she’d never believe him. Eloise relates her story of meeting Dan in 1954, when she was seventeen years old. He told her to bury the bomb before revealing that he was from the future, and then disappearing right before her eyes. Ten minutes ago, she shot that man in the back, but before he died, he claimed to be her son. She promises Jack that if he will explain all of this, she’ll believe him. She holds up Daniel’s journal and the note written in the front: “How is this my handwriting, if I don’t remember writing it?” Jack replies, “You haven’t written it yet.” He explains his belief that there’s a way she can take back killing her son. Dan came here because he figured out how to change things. He can live if they do what’s in his journal. Eloise turns to Kate, asking if Jack knows what he’s talking about. Sad and emotional, Kate replies, “He thinks he does.” Eloise agrees to take them to the bomb, but reveals that there’s a problem: the site where they buried it is none other than the place where the Dharma Initiative built their Barracks! Jack says it won’t be easy getting back in there.

Later in 2007, Sun sits on the beach and examines Jin’s wedding ring as Locke approaches. She asks if he believes Richard’s claim that all of their friends are dead. Locke replies, “I don’t think we went through all this for nothing.” Richard appears and tells Locke he’s ready to go. Locke asks if Richard still has the compass he gave him in 1954. Richard pulls it out of his pocket, saying it’s rusty but still points north. Locke calls out to Ben, who’s sitting nearby on the beach as well, and asks him to come along. Bitterly, Ben asks if Locke doesn’t trust Ben here with his former people. Locke replies that he’s not worried about anything Ben can do, anymore. A defeated Ben agrees to come along. Locke tells Sun to wait here at the beach, and he’ll be back in a few hours. He gives her his word that if there’s a way to save their friends and reunite her with Jin, he’ll find it.

At Dharma Security HQ, in 1977, Sawyer and Juliet are secured to a pair of chairs, and Radzinsky immediately lays into Sawyer, beating him with his pistol. He asks where Kate is, but Sawyer won’t tell. When Radzinsky’s beating grows increasingly violent, Horace steps in and tries to stop him. But Radzinsky takes charge, saying this has to be done in order to protect themselves and their work on the island. Horace reluctantly steps aside, as Radzinsky and Phil roll Sawyer’s chair over to a monitor and show him a recording of Kate passing beyond the sonic fence. Radzinsky says this is Sawyer’s last chance: Sawyer must tell where Kate is, or Radzinsky will kill him.

Radzinsky gives Sawyer a severe beating, but still Sawyer won’t talk. Juliet cries out, begging Radzinsky to stop this and reminding him that they’ve known each other for three years. They’re not enemies, they’re friends. She seems on the verge of telling everyone the truth of where they came from, when Sawyer warns her not to say anymore, because they won’t believe her anyway, and it will only get more people hurt. Horace steps back in, pointing out that beating Sawyer is pointless since he’s clearly not going to talk no matter what. Phil says he can make Sawyer talk. He steps forward and slugs Juliet. Sawyer is livid, promising Phil he’ll kill him for that. A Dharma guy comes in, reports there’s no sign of Miles or Jin, but using the manifest for the sub, he’s able to connect Hurley to Jack and Kate.

Hurley, meanwhile, is in the cafeteria’s kitchen, taking canned food and putting it in his backpack. He sneaks out of the Barracks and meets up with Miles and Jin at the edge of the compound. Unknown to Hurley, Pierre Chang follows him. Hurley asks what the rescue plan is, Miles says there is no plan, they’re heading for the beach. Hurley doesn’t want to leave Sawyer and Juliet behind, but Miles counters that they are far too outnumbered to mount a rescue.

Chang shows himself, but doesn’t threaten them. Instead, he says he has to know if Faraday was telling the truth about being from the future. Hurley nervously speaks up, trying to regard this as nonsense, but when Chang quizzes him on 1977 facts, Hurley fesses up. Chang asks Miles it’s true that he’s really Chang’s son. After a moment, Miles says yes it is. Chang says Daniel asked him to evacuate the island because of a massive accident that’s going to happen at the Swan. Is this true? “He’s been right about everything so far,” Miles replies to his dad, suggesting that taking Dan’s advice is a really good idea.

At night in 2007, Locke, Richard, and Ben traipse through the jungle on their way to Locke’s mysterious “errand.” Richard asks again where Locke has been for the last three years, but Locke is surprised Richard doesn’t already know. Richard explains what he remembers: the day that Ben turned the frozen wheel, Locke disappeared from right in front of him, amidst a bright light. Locke tells Richard that Richard is about to see exactly where Locke disappeared to that day — and once this is done, Richard is going to take Locke to see Jacob. This stops both Richard and Ben dead in their tracks. A stunned Ben chimes in first, explaining that “that’s not how it works” — you don’t go to see Jacob uninvited. Locke asks Richard if this is true, if it’s going to be a problem. Richard stalls, saying there’s no need to rush into anything since Locke has just gotten back. But Locke pushes his advantage, asking Richard if it’s true that he’s the leader now. When Richard affirms this to be true, Locke asks to be taken to see Jacob.

The three of them come upon the downed beechcraft, and we see that we are looking from a different perspective at the scene that played out at the beginning of this season, in the episode “Because You Left.” A battered and slightly younger John Locke has just been tossed around through time, and shot in the leg by Ethan Rom, before time-jumping to sometime in the jungle at night. The younger Locke is just about to stumble through the trees, so the present-Locke instructs Richard on what to do: go to his younger self, remove the bullet in his leg, and tell him to bring his people back to the island by dying. Richard is dazed and confused by all this, but does as he’s instructed, while Locke and Ben watch from afar. Ben remarks that Locke’s timing was impeccable, and asks how he knew when to be here. “The island told me,” Locke replies. “Didn’t it ever tell you things?” An increasingly agitated Ben replies that it didn’t, and then takes a jab at Locke’s newfound communion with the island by pointing out that the island didn’t tell him where to find Jacob, otherwise he wouldn’t need Richard’s help with that. Ignoring this, Locke eyes Ben knowingly and announces, “Jacob… You’ve never seen him, have you?” Ben doesn’t answer, but it’s clear from his expression that he resents the question, probably because Locke is right. Younger Locke disappears, jumping through time again, and Richard returns, saying that the other man seemed convinced, particularly when Richard told him he’d have to die. Richard says he’s glad that part didn’t happen. “Actually, it did,” Locke replies, with a pointed look at Ben.

Back at the Others’ camp in 1977, Widmore kneels over Daniel’s body and asks Richard why this man looks familiar to him. Eloise emerges from her tent and says to untie the captives. She tells Richard he’s coming with her. Then she kneels over Dan’s body and covers it with a blanket. She tells Widmore that she’s taking Jack and Kate to the bomb. He argues, mumbling something we can’t quite hear about her condition, with his hand over her abdomen. Jack asks Richard who this man is, and Richard tells him it’s Charles Widmore, explaining, “He and Eloise… Well, suffice it to say, love can be complicated.”

At Dharma Security, Pierre Chang marches in and orders the island evacuated immediately. He sees Sawyer there, beaten to a bloody pulp, and asks what’s going on. Radzinsky says Horace is no longer in charge, and that he’s decided that they’re breaking ground as scheduled at the Swan site later today. Sawyer speaks up and says that if Radzinsky will put him and Juliet on the submarine, along with all of the women and children, he’ll tell Radzinsky anything he wants to know. Radzinsky counters with a pencil and paper, telling Sawyer to draw a map of where the Hostiles are. Sawyer complies.

In the jungle, Eloise leads Richard, a redshirt Other, and Jack and Kate to a pond. She says they have to swim down into the pond to reach the Tunnels that run beneath the island, and this is how they’ll get access to the hydrogen bomb. Kate declares that she’s not going, she doesn’t want any part of this attempt to rewrite history. Jack says she can’t go back to the Barracks, they’ll kill her there. “And what are you trying to do?” Kate shoots back at him. The redshirt Other draws his rifle to bear on her as she tries to leave, but she walks away anyway, determined to go. Shots are fired, but Kate’s not hurt — it’s the redshirt Other, who falls dead to the ground. Sayid appears from the jungle, still holding the pistol he shot young Ben with, and Eloise and Richard raise their hands in surrender.

A few minutes later, the two factions in the jungle are divided, talking among themselves. Richard asks Eloise what they’re doing out here, following these strangers around and getting one of their own killed. Eloise replies that if the strangers are able to do what they’re trying to do, it won’t matter in the end. Meanwhile, Jack has just explained to Sayid his plan to change history and erase the last three years of their lives. But he says he’s already changed history by killing young Ben. Kate points out that he didn’t kill Ben, because she took him to the Others to save his life. Sayid asks why she would do this, and Kate replies, “Since when did shooting kids and blowing up hydrogen bombs become okay?” Jack reiterates his belief that changing everything is the reason they came back. Kate argues that if he’s wrong, then detonating the hydrogen bomb will kill everyone on the island. Jack is certain he’s not wrong, saying that “this is our destiny.” Frustrated, Kate asks Jack if he realizes who he sounds like — a man even Jack himself said was crazy. Jack says he was wrong; Locke wasn’t crazy at all. Kate gives up and leaves, saying that she’s going to go find their friends and enlist their help in stopping Jack from carrying out this plan.

When Locke, Ben, and Richard return to the 2007 Others’ beach camp, Richard offers to have a tent prepared for Locke so he can rest overnight, and then they’ll leave to see Jacob first thing in the morning. Undeterred, Locke wants to leave right now, in the middle of the night. All of the Others are watching this interaction, with eager and curious eyes aimed especially at Locke. Locke asks Richard if all of the Others are here at this camp; Richard says “there’s another group at the Temple.” Locke wants to speak to the present group, and Richard gives him the floor. Locke speaks:

“I’ve been told that for some time, you’ve been accepting orders from a man named Jacob. And yet, oddly enough, it seems that no one has actually seen him. Now, I’m sure there are very good reasons why his existence and whereabouts are a secret. I just don’t know what they are. And to be honest with all of you, if there’s a man telling us what to do, I want to know who he is… Richard has agreed to show us where we need to go. So I’m going to go see Jacob. Right now. And I’d like all of you to come with me.”

The Others enthusiastically agree, but Richard is nonplussed. Quietly, he wonders aloud to Ben if Locke is turning out to be trouble. Ben replies, “Why do you think I tried to kill him?” Richard is stunned at Ben’s admission of guilt.

At the Dock in ’77, the women and children are boarding the submarine — including young Charlotte and baby Miles. Adult Miles watches as his parents argue, and his father shouts at her that he wants her to leave. Hurley asks why his dad is yelling at his mom. Miles has a revelation in that moment: “It’s the only way he can get her to leave,” he realizes.

Sawyer and Juliet arrive at the sub in a jeep, and they’re paraded down the dock together. Sawyer suggests they buy Microsoft and bet on the Cowboys for the ‘78 Superbowl when they get off the island, so they can be rich. He says he’s sorry for not getting on the sub with her three years ago, when she wanted to leave. Juliet replies that she’s glad he talked her out of leaving. The two of them get inside the sub, but Sawyer pauses just before descending through the hatch long enough to look back at the island and mutter, “Good riddance.”

Out at the jungle pond, Richard jumps into the water, and Eloise instructs Jack to follow him. Jack dives in, swims through a narrow cave, and climbs up into hieroglyph-covered underground ruins that bear the same structural style as the chamber Ben fell into beneath the Temple. Richard says that this is the Tunnels, and Jack asks how they’re supposed to get the bomb out of here. “The same way we brought it in,” replies Richard, which is most decidedly not through the pond. Eloise swims in, as does Sayid, and Jack is pleased to see his friend, having been unsure that Sayid would join him. Sayid says he came because if this works, Jack might save them all, and if not, at least they’ll be out of their misery.

Back at the dock, the last of the women and children board the sub. Inside, Sawyer and Juliet are handcuffed to a table. When they’re alone, Juliet asks what they’re going to do when they reach Ann Arbor. Sawyer says they’re not going to Ann Arbor, because once they arrive at wherever they’re headed, the Dharma people will have no more authority over them, and they’ll be free. Juliet likes the sound of that, and he promises that whatever happens, he still has her back. “I love you,” she says, and he replies, “I love you back.” Just then, Phil comes onboard, saying to hold off on closing the hatch because “Horace wants her off the island, too. Let Ann Arbor deal with her.” And descending the ladder comes Kate, who Phil says they captured trying to reenter the Dharma compound. She’s cuffed to the same table alongside Sawyer and Juliet, and significant glances are exchanged all around. Juliet in particular seems very disappointed, as if her happy dream of living the good life with Sawyer on the mainland has just evaporated. No one says anything as the ship disembarks and submerges beneath the ocean.

In the Tunnels, the group walks along quietly. Sayid whispers to Jack a suspicion that Eloise may be doing this only as a means of destroying the Dharma Initiative. Jack says this occurred to him as well, but he still trusts her because thirty years from now, she’s the one who tells them how to get back to the island. The four of them enter a very large chamber, at the center of which rests the bomb, covered in a tarp. Eloise uncovers it and then eagerly asks, “Now what?” Jack and Sayid look at the bomb nervously…

Daybreak arrives in 2007, and the Others are marching together along the beach, following where Richard takes them. Far back in line, Locke and Ben walk side by side, and Ben tells Locke that Richard expressed reservations about whether or not Locke knows what he’s doing. Ben sucks up to the new boss, assuring Locke he’s here to follow him now, so if Locke wants Jacob to help him reunite with his friends– But Locke interrupts him and quietly says he’s not interested in reuniting with his time-tripping friends at all. That may be what he told Sun, but it’s not the real reason they’re going to see Jacob. Ben asks why they are going to see Jacob then. “So I can kill him,” Locke replies.

  • Richard Alpert is a kind of advisor who seems to work as a go-between, between Jacob and the Others.
    Question: Richard seems to hold a unique position among the Others, able to defy Ben with no repercussions. What’s the story between these two? And what’s Richard’s role defined as? [3.19]
  • Because Locke told Richard in the future.
    Question: How did Richard know where to find Locke, near the Pearl station? 5.01 & Question: How did Richard know so much about Locke jumping through time, including how to help him? [5.01]
  • Yes, the Others buried the bomb under the spot where the Dharma Initiative eventually built the Barracks.
    Question: Did the Others bury the hydrogen bomb, as Daniel suggested? If so, where? [5.03]
  • It was the only way he could get his wife to leave him and the island, when the Incident was about to happen at the Swan station.
    Question: If Pierre Chang really loved his wife and son so much, why did he “kick them out,” aka off the island, and never have any further contact with them? [5.13]
  • She and her mother were forcibly evacuated with all of the other nonessential personnel, just prior to the Incident.
    Question: If Charlotte was born on the island, why did she leave it? [4.13]

  • How exactly did Richard watch Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin, Sawyer, Juliet, and Miles die?
  • Is it mere coincidence that the Dharma Initiative built the Barracks over the place where the Others buried the hydrogen bomb?
  • Who built the Tunnels?
  • Do the Tunnels run all over (or rather, under) the island? What else do they connect to?
  • Why does Locke want to kill Jacob?

What do you make of Eloise’s revelation that the place where the “Jughead” hydrogen bomb was buried underground just happens to be where the Dharma Initiative built the Barracks? Juicy? Oh yes. Logical? I’m not so sure. One could argue that Dharma had no idea the bomb was down there when they selected their site for the Barracks. On the other hand, they apparently knew enough to know that one of the houses needed to be built atop a tunnel where one could go to summon the smoke monster (a house that eventually became Ben’s). And now we know that there are a lot of major Tunnels down there, confirming what we’ve suspected for years about the island: the surface is just the top layer. There’s a lot more underground, and it all relates to the ancient civilization that once lived on the island.

From this line of thought, I’m also wondering how exactly the Tunnels we saw beneath the island and more specifically beneath the Barracks relate to Ben’s smoke monster summoning chamber. Remember a few episodes back when Ben summoned the monster using the puddle-drain thingamajig beneath his house? We know that the monster lives beneath the Temple, in a place that bears the same hieroglyphs and Egyptian-style architecture as the Tunnels we saw in this episode. It’s reasonable to conclude that all of these Tunnels and chambers are connected to one another, and there’s an entire network underneath the island’s surface. Is the underside of Ben’s puddle-drain thing somewhere near the big chamber where the Others stuffed the Jughead bomb?

I’m still wanting more information on Radzinsky. We know that he ends up stuck in the Swan hatch for years, working alongside Kelvin Inman to keep pushing the every-108-minutes button, and eventually killing himself. When we first met this younger version of himself, he seemed to possess a lower level of authority, outranked by both Sawyer and Horace. Yet he was one of the masterminds behind the Swan station, and knew a whole lot of classified Dharma information. Now, he’s risen in power very fast, apparently usurping Horace’s role on the island and taking charge of the Initiative itself, at least for the moment. I want to know who he was pre-Dharma (one of the original Ann Arbor scientists, perhaps?), and what gives him the right to assume so much power in a time of crisis. And why he’s so darn angry all the time.

I sure wouldn’t want to be in Phil’s shoes after Sawyer told him he’d kill him. As Tom can attest, Sawyer holds onto grudges for however long it takes.

So Eloise Hawking was already pregnant when she shot and killed her own son. There’s some sort of dark, twisted poetry in that, probably, but I don’t want to get into it. The real revelation was that Eloise and Charles Widmore not only conceived a child together, but were once very much in love. So why did they split, coming to the embittered place we saw them at outside Desmond’s hospital in 2007? Was it because of Daniel? Did she decide to leave the island with their son, and he couldn’t or wouldn’t do the same?

I have an emerging theory about Eloise Hawking that’s been tugging at my mind since last week. In the future, she seems to have the power of precognition — the ability to see the future. But the 1977 version of Eloise doesn’t possess this ability (at least not that we’ve seen, and I think she would have put it to use by now if she had it). So we must conclude that something happens between 1977 and 2007 to give her this ability. It’s reasonable to assume that whatever happens to her probably happens on the island, since it’s the place of origin for all things supernatural on the show. We also know that sometime in the near future (from 1977) she leaves the island, probably while still pregnant, since Dan didn’t suffer the nosebleed effects of time-jumping until the same time that Oceanic survivors did (meaning he wasn’t on the island any longer than them, so he spent none of his childhood there, unlike Charlotte and Miles). I’m thinking that something is going to happen in next week’s season finale — some big, unexpected, supernatural whammy that not only sends the Oceanic survivors back to 2007, but also gives Eloise Hawking her precog mojo. Remember how Desmond acquired his powers of precognition? It came from the uber-blast of the massive, failsafe energy release from the Swan station. I’m betting a similar blast (aka, “the Incident”) from the very same energy source is going to give Eloise her ability to see the future.

Elizabeth Mitchell has seriously cornered the market on conveying a multitude of emotions in a single look. Her expression after Kate boarded the sub was amusing, heartbreaking, and totally relatable.

I’m thinking Jack couldn’t possibly know how to detonate a hydrogen bomb, so it’s probably going to turn out to be mighty convenient for him that his scientifically-inclined buddy Sayid decided to tag along.

Richard’s ship-in-a-bottle looked a lot like the Black Rock, don’t you think? You could practically hear the writers saying, “Hey, don’t forget about the old slave ship on the island! We’re going to get back to that soon!”

Richard’s stunning revelation that he watched all of the 1977 survivors die can only mean one of two things, because we know the show isn’t going to kill off the entire main cast before the final season:

  1. Daniel was right about their ability to change the past, and the past that Richard remembers where all of the Oceanic survivors die, is going to be changed.
  2. Richard saw what he thought was everyone dying, when in fact they were transported through time back to the present or somewhere else.

Either way, we’re probably going to find out in next week’s season finale. Though I’m betting this will play a big part in the season-ending cliffhanger, and won’t truly be resolved until Season 6 rolls around.

Why exactly did Locke want Ben to come along on his “errand” with Richard? Ben’s presence was in no way required for what they were going to do. I can’t think of a compelling reason to explain this, other than Locke wanting to rub Ben’s nose in the shift in power between them. But that seems kind of petty, and beneath this new and improved John Locke. Maybe he just wanted a moment alone to confront Ben about his knowledge — or lack thereof — about Jacob.

A recurring theme I’ve noticed this season is how the show has slowly made its most mystical characters more human, and less supernatural. It happened first with Ben, who finally admitted that he doesn’t know everything about the island — and now seems to know significantly less than reborn Locke. He’s become a sad, self-serving figure who never really had a destiny on the island; he had only his own selfish needs. Then it happened with Eloise Hawking. Once a seemingly all-knowing figure of tremendous mystique, Eloise has very recently been revealed to be a well-meaning but terribly overbearing mother who’s full of flaws. And in this episode, I was feeling it more and more with Richard Alpert. He’s a seemingly immortal man who knows more secrets about the island and about Jacob than anyone, who popped in and out of the survivors’ lives at just the right moments to give needed aid or just a nudge in the right direction. Yet even he has been upstaged by Locke, who here was revealed to have been the source of his information back in “Because You Left,” when he told Locke he had to bring everyone back to the island and die in the process. And it would seem that even he is not immune to things like jealousy, as he proved tonight in confiding to Ben that he thinks Locke may be becoming a problem. Will Jacob be next on this list of demystified characters? He’s pretty much the only one left.

Is it true that Ben has never seen Jacob? He seemed to be looking at him back in “The Man Behind the Curtain,” when Locke was first introduced to the invisible Jacob in his rocking chair. But was he really? Locke’s insinuation is that Ben was only pretending to see Jacob back then. For that matter… has anyone ever seen Jacob, in the history of the island? Has Richard seen him?

I’m kind of surprised that Locke is lying to Sun, and that he has no interest in reuniting with the survivors in the past. Does this mean he really has no intention of helping her? If so, what would he gain from stringing her along like this? Maybe he does mean to help her reunite with their friends, even if he doesn’t do so himself. This would fit with my Big Question of the Week theory, speaking of which…

This week’s Big Question of the Week is all about killing Jacob. Is it even possible? And if so, why would Locke want to do it? Since the island seems to be directing Locke’s every move, the logical conclusion is that the island has told Locke to kill Jacob. To take that notion a step further, perhaps Jacob speaks for the island, he’s been whispering in Locke’s ear since his resurrection, and he wants Locke to end his life. Remember that the first time Locke met Jacob, he heard Jacob’s voice say, “Help me.” My theory is that somehow Jacob has become an unwitting avatar for the island, trapped in some way for a very, very long time (centuries, even), and forced to fulfill a role that he cannot escape from. Maybe Jacob wants out of his “contract” with the island, if you will, and dying is his only way out.

I’d further posit that Locke’s grand destiny is to perform a role that’s far more than “leader of the Others,” or “Ben’s successor.” He’s not the next Ben, he’s the next Jacob! And in killing Jacob, could he be clearing the way to take Jacob’s place? Hmm.

I’m still pondering why Locke wants to take all of the Others along with him to see Jacob. He’s not going to see Jacob for the reasons he’s told all of them he is, so what does he get out of having them there when and if he’s able to kill Jacob? Maybe he thinks that if they witness him killing Jacob, they won’t question it when he assumes Jacob’s position and authority.

More

5.14 “The Variable”

Daniel returns to the island with an urgent, daring plan to get all of the castaways back to where they belong — a plan that divides the survivors.

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

Flashback

Daniel Faraday, as a young boy, plays the piano in his home with virtuoso skill. His mother, a younger Eloise Hawking than we know from the present, enters. She’s very sad, her eyes filled with tears. He stops playing, noticing her. She sits and asks him if he knows what “destiny” means. He says no. “Destiny means,” she explains, “that if one has a special gift, it must be nurtured.” She asks him how many beats the metronome atop the piano has counted since he started playing. “864,” he replies without hesitation. She tells Daniel that his gift is his mind, a mind meant for science and mathematics, and it’s her job to keep him on his path. So there will be no more time for distractions like his piano playing. He objects, saying he can both pursue his studies and play piano. “I can make time,” he claims. “If only you could,” she replies sadly.

Years later, Daniel graduates from Oxford with his doctorate. As he’s leaving the ceremony still in his graduation gown, he has a girl on his arm — the same girlfriend his experiments would later harm, Teresa. His mother waits to see him there, and Daniel introduces his girlfriend to his mom. Eloise all but ignores Teresa, interested only in congratulating her son. She invites him to a special lunch, but says she was hoping it would just be the two of them. She says she hopes Teresa will understand, since Eloise doesn’t get to see her son that often. Teresa graciously agrees that they should go without her.

At an Indian restaurant nearby, Daniel is very quiet as they eat. Eloise asks if something’s bothering him, and Daniel admits he’s frustrated that she was rude to Teresa. “She’s my girlfriend,” he says. “She’s your research assistant,” his mother retorts. “You should be focusing your energies on your work!” She tells him that he’s not going to have time for relationships, that the women in his life will only end up terribly hurt. He sees something more in this comment, and calls her on it. She backpedals, recovering quickly, saying it’s just that his work will always come first. Angry now, Daniel points out that she’s pushed him hard his whole life, and he wants to know when his accomplishments will ever be enough for her. He’s the youngest doctorate to ever graduate from Oxford, he reminds her, and he just got a 1.5 million pound research grant. She stops him there, unaware of this but excited to hear it. She asks who the grant is from, and he strains to remember the name. “Widmore, I think.” While he’s looking away, she recognizes this name all too well and reacts harshly, but pushes her reaction aside before he sees it. Instead, she tells him she didn’t come here to fight with him. She came to congratulate him. She gives him a gift-wrapped graduation present in a small box, and tells him good luck. As she exits, he opens her gift: it’s the leather-bound journal he will later take with him to the island. On the first page, she’s written a note: “No matter what, remember, I will always love you.”

Next we return back to the very first flashback we ever saw of Dan, from the Season 4 episode, “Confirmed Dead.” (This takes place sometime after the accident with his research that caused Daniel to suffer from memory problems.) That brief scene — of Daniel crying over TV footage of the faked Oceanic 815 wreckage, but not knowing why — is replayed, but then expanded on significantly. After Daniel claims he doesn’t know why the plane crash is upsetting him so much, there’s a knock at the door. Charles Widmore enters Daniel’s home, and Dan immediately apologizes, saying he has a condition that affects his memories. Widmore admonishes him not to be embarrassed, saying that they’ve never met. He tells Dan his name, and this Dan remembers — Widmore is the man who gave him his research grant. Dan explains that he’d meant to thank Widmore before he left Oxford, but Widmore corrects him: “You mean before you were dismissed.” Daniel becomes sorrowful, saying that he tested his experiment on himself before he did it on Teresa, because he would never hurt her. Widmore says it’s alright, that this isn’t the reason he came.

He came to offer Daniel a new opportunity. He tells him of the freighter and its destination, and the job that’s waiting for Dan there if he’s interested. Dan says he doesn’t think he can, but just then he sees the faked crash footage on the TV again and starts to cry. “Did I say something to upset you?” asks Widmore. “It’s this plane crash,” Daniel explains. “I don’t know why it’s bothering me so much. It’s just so sad. They’re dead.” Widmore responds, “What if I told you they’re not dead? What if I told you the plane is a fake — an elaborate, expensive fake?” Dan asks how he could know that, and Widmore responds that he put it there. Dan is stunned, and takes a moment to phrase his next question: “Why would you tell me that?” “Because,” Widmore replies, “come tomorrow, you won’t remember that I did.” He explains that the real Oceanic 815 crashed on an island. “A special island, with unique scientific properties. I want to send you to the island. It will further your research, show you things you’d never dream of. More importantly, it will heal you. Your mind, your memory.” Daniel can’t believe his ears, and asks why Widmore is doing all of this for him. Widmore replies that Daniel is a man of tremendous gifts, and it would be a shame to see them go to waste. “You sound like my mother,” says Dan. “That’s because we’re old friends,” says Widmore.

A few days later, Daniel is playing piano in his home when his mother enters behind him, come for a visit. He falters, unable to remember the notes, and then notices her there. She says she heard he’s been offered a job. He asks how she knows that, she says it’s her business to know. “I came here to tell you that it’s very important that you say ‘yes’ to Mr. Widmore.” He says he can’t, that Widmore requires someone to perform complex space/time computations and bearings, and he doesn’t remember how to do that anymore because of his condition. She points out Widmore’s argument that the island could heal him, and beneath a subtext of pain, encourages him to take the offer. “Will it make you proud of me?” he asks, childlike. “Yes, Daniel, it will,” she replies, with heavy emotion. “Then I’ll do it,” he says.

Now

In 2007, Desmond is rushed to the ER at the Marina Medical Center in Long Beach, after being shot by Ben. Penny and little Charlie follow close by, and as Penny tries to get answers out of the doctors and nurses about his condition, one of them shouts that Desmond is “coding” and then “crashing,” and they race his gurney into an exam room.

In the waiting room, Penny waits for news in desperation while watching Charlie sleep on a couch. Eloise Hawking approaches the two of them from behind, and remarks that Charlie has his father’s hair. Penny stands and asks if they know each other, Eloise says no but that she knows Penny’s husband. She introduces herself and says that it’s her son’s fault that Desmond was shot. “Your son is Benjamin Linus?” “God, no!” replies Eloise, horrified at the thought. “My son is Daniel Faraday.”

When Daniel emerges from the submarine at night in 1977, Miles asks why he’s come back. Miles never expected to see him again. Daniel pulls out a copy of the familiar “Class of ‘77″ photo that depicts the second batch of Dharma recruits, in which Jack, Kate, and Hurley can be seen. He says this is the reason he came back, and he asks Miles to take him to Jack right now.

Jack is awoken early in the morning at his house by knocking at his door. Without greeting, Dan enters and starts badgering Jack with questions about how he got back to the island in 1977. Jack asks Dan where he’s been, and Dan says he was at Dharma HQ in Ann Arbor “doing some research.” Jack answers Dan’s question, explaining that they came on a plane. But before he can finish his story, Dan eagerly interrupts, asking who told them to get on the plane. Jack says it was Dan’s mother. Dan seems to have suspected this, asking how Eloise convinced Jack to do it. “Did she tell you it was your ‘destiny’?” he asks. Jack says yes. Daniel replies that he has bad news: his mother was wrong, and Jack and the others don’t belong here at all.

Outside Jack’s house, Dan asks Miles to take him to the Orchid station. Jack runs outside after them, asking what Dan meant in saying that his mother was wrong about Jack’s need to return. Dan says he has to run this errand but he’ll be back and explain everything. Jack goes to Sawyer’s house and tells him that Faraday’s back and on his way to the Orchid. Sawyer tries to shoo Jack away, but behind him, Juliet says to tell Jack what’s happened. Sawyer reluctantly invites Jack in and tells him about Phil, who’s tied up in the closet.

At the Orchid, Dan and Miles wait in their jeep until Pierre Chang shows up. It’s the opening scene of Season 5, from the episode “Because You Left,” playing out again but this time from Daniel’s perspective. Dan tells Miles he’ll be back in ten minutes, and follows Dr. Chang down into the sublevel of the Orchid. There, things play out just as before, with Dan bumping into Chang after Chang has ranted to a worker about the dangerous time travel-related energies beneath this station, which were nearly unleashed and already took the life of one construction worker, who lies dead at their feet. Suddenly, Daniel turns and runs to Chang and asks to speak to him. Chang remembers him from three years before, when he arrived with LaFleur. He asks what he can do for Dan. “I need you to order the evacuation of every man, woman, and child on this island,” Daniel boldly states. He explains that the dead man died because of the electromagnetic energy that Dharma’s drilling unleashed down here. He says that in six hours, the same exact thing is going to happen at the Swan, only it will be 30,000 times more powerful, and the accident will be catastrophic. Chang asks how he could possibly know that, and Daniel replies, “I’m from the future.”

Outside the Swan, Miles overhears that Daniel has told Chang that he’s from the future. But Chang’s not buying it. Daniel shows Chang his journal, which contains equations that won’t be discovered for another twenty years or more. Miles runs over and tries to discount Daniel’s claims, so Daniel blurts out that Miles is Chang’s son. Daniel forces Chang to think it through — the odds of an Asian man being on the island, with the same name as Chang’s young son, and alongside himself, a man claiming to be from the future. Chang reluctantly starts to see the logic in Daniel’s claims, but when he asks Miles if it’s true that he’s his son, Miles says no. Chang reverts to his initial belief that Daniel is unstable, and tells Dan to stay away from him.

Miles takes Dan aside and asks what he thinks he’s doing. Suddenly calm, Daniel replies, “I’m just making sure that your father does what he’s supposed to do.” Miles asks what that is, and Daniel says, “You’ll see.”

At Sawyer’s house, he has gathered all of the castaways together to discuss the crisis with Phil. He says that this place has become his home, and the last thing he wants is to leave it, but they no longer have a choice. They must leave the Dharma Initiative. Kate asks how long it will be before someone realizes Phil is missing, and Sawyer replies that it won’t be long. “So where do we go?” asks Juliet. Sawyer says he sees two options: they can steal the sub and leave the island, or they can head for the jungle and start over from scratch. Jin gives his vote: he won’t leave the island if there’s any chance Sun could be there. Hurley agrees, speaking of the lengths the Oceanic 6 went to, to get back; he doesn’t want to turn right around and leave again.

There’s a knock at the door, and it’s Daniel and Miles, returned from the Orchid. Dan addresses the group, saying that what he came back to do is of critical importance to everyone in the room. “Does anyone know where I can find the Hostiles?” he asks. Juliet questions why he wants to know. “Because one of them is my mother,” Dan explains, to the surprise of everyone there. “And she is the only person on this island who can get us back to where we belong.”

Sawyer has trouble accepting that Daniel’s mother is a Hostile, but Dan points out that Sawyer met her in 1954 when her people called her “Ellie.” Sawyer objects to Dan’s desire to go visit his mother in 1977, reminding him that Dan was the one who told them to lay low, because nothing they do here can change how history plays out. Dan says he just wants to talk to her, but Sawyer refuses to tell him where the Others are. Jack speaks up, suggesting that they help Daniel so he can get them back to the future. “We don’t belong here,” he points out. “I belonged here just fine till you came back, Doc,” retorts Sawyer. Jack turns to Kate, suggesting she take Dan to see the Others. Sawyer protests, but Jack asks for Kate’s help, reminding her that she made him promise not to ask about Aaron or the reason she came back to the island. He’s kept his promise, but he knows that whatever she’s here for, it isn’t going to be found in 1977. Sawyer implores Kate not to help Jack and Dan, calling her “Freckles” for the first time since their reunion. Juliet immediately notices this, and surprises everyone by turning to Kate and giving her the code to deactivate the sonic fence. “You should take Daniel,” she says. “It’s over for us here, anyway.” Kate agrees, and Dan asks Miles if he’ll drive the three of them out to the fence. Miles says nothing, just tosses Dan his car keys. As they leave, Sawyer says, “When you realize you’ve made a huge mistake, we’ll be back at the beach. Right where we started.” He tells the remaining survivors to pack what they can and meet back here in twenty minutes. He takes Juliet’s hand and whispers, “Time to go.”

Walking through the Barracks to the motor pool, Kate suggests they arm themselves, as the Hostiles won’t be happy to see them. Dan is distracted by something nearby and tells them to go on, that he’ll meet them there momentarily. He diverts to young Charlotte, who’s sitting in a swing, swinging happily all by herself. It’s the moment adult Charlotte told Dan about right before she died: he goes to her and warns her not to ever come back to the island after she leaves. “I tried to avoid telling you this. I didn’t think I could change things,” he says. “But maybe I can.”

At the motor pool, Kate and Jack steal some guns from a locker using Jack’s janitorial keys. Dan returns and Kate gives him a pistol. Just then, Radzinsky and a pair of his cronies drive up in a Dharma van, see Dan & Co. holding weapons, and draw their own guns on them. Dan tries to talk his way out of it and get to the waiting jeep, but Radzinsky shoots him, grazing his neck. A big gun fight breaks out, and Radzinsky is shot but not badly. Jack shoots some nearby fuel barrels, creating an explosion big enough to cover their escape in the jeep. Radzinsky, furious, orders his men to sound the alarm.

The trio makes it to the pylons, and while Kate enters the code Juliet gave her, Jack checks Dan’s wound. Daniel says he’s lucky it was just a graze. Jack replies, “What does luck have to do with it? Like you said, whatever happened, happened.” “You don’t understand, Jack,” responds Dan. “This is our present. When we met, did I have a scar on my neck? No. Because I hadn’t been shot yet. We can’t be so naïve as to think that nothing could happen to us. Any one of us can die.” With the fence deactivated, the three of them set off on foot into Hostile territory, and Jack remarks to Kate that he hopes Daniel knows what he’s doing, because there’s no turning back now.

In 2007, Penny has difficulty swallowing that the woman standing before her in the hospital waiting room is the one that Daniel Faraday sent Desmond to L.A. to find — his own mother. “I came, Penelope, to apologize,” Eloise says. “Your husband has become a casualty in a conflict that’s bigger than him — bigger than any of us.” Penny demands to know what that means. Is Desmond dead or dying? “I don’t know,” replies Eloise. “For the first time in a long time… I don’t know what’s going to happen next.” A nurse appears just then, and tells Penny that Desmond is in the recovery room, and he’s asking for her. He’s going to be fine, says the nurse.

In the recovery room, Penny breaks down, saying she thought she’d lost Desmond. Desmond reminds her that he promised her the day they were reunited to never leave her again.

Back at Sawyer’s house in 1977, he and Juliet hastily pack bags full of clothes and a few food supplies. Sawyer tells Juliet she can say “I told you so,” after predicting that everything was going to end for them once the Oceanic 6 came back. He says he should have listened to her, but she’s preoccupied with her packing and doesn’t acknowledge him. He stops her and pulls in close. “You still got my back?” he asks. She pauses, still thinking of the way he spoke earlier to Kate. “You still got mine?” she shoots back. The alarm suddenly goes off outside.

Radzinsky barges into Sawyer’s house, angrily demanding to know where Sawyer’s been. Radzinsky shows Sawyer his gunshot wound, and says Daniel and two of the new recruits attacked him. “We’ve been infiltrated,” he declares. Sawyer tries to get Radzinsky to calm down, but Phil makes noise from the closet and everyone hears it. Radzinsky finds him in there, and turns on Sawyer and Juliet, ordering them down on the ground at gunpoint. They’re captured.

In the jungle, Jack, Kate, and Daniel stop for a breather. Daniel examines the gun Kate gave him earlier, and Jack asks jokingly if he really needs it to go talk to his mother. “You don’t know my mother, Jack,” Dan responds. Jack asks if Dan is ready now to explain why Eloise was supposedly wrong about them needing to come back to the island. Dan explains:

“In about four hours, the Dharma folks at the Swan work site are going to drill into the ground and accidentally tap into a massive pocket of energy. The result of releasing this energy will be catastrophic. So, in order to contain it, they’re going to have to cement the entire area in, like Chernobyl. And this containment — the place they build over — I believe you called it ‘the hatch’. The Swan hatch.

“Because of this one accident, these people are going to spend the next 20 years keeping that energy at bay by pressing a button. A button your friend Desmond will one day fail to push, and that will cause your plane, Oceanic 815, to crash on this island. And because your plane crashed, a freighter will be sent to this island — a freighter I was on, and Charlotte was on, and so forth. This entire chain of events is going to start happening this afternoon.

But. We can change that. I’ve studied relativistic physics my entire life. One thing emerged over and over: you can’t change the past. Can’t do it. Whatever happened, happened. But then I finally realized… I’ve been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables. Do you know what the variables in these equations are, Jack? Us. We’re the variables. People. We think, we reason, we make choices, we have free will. We can change our destiny.”

Dan concludes by saying that he believes he can negate the energy under the Swan by destroying it. If he can do that, then the hatch will never be built, and Oceanic 815 will land in L.A. just like it’s supposed to. Kate asks how Dan plans on destroying the energy beneath the Swan. Daniel replies, “I’m going to detonate a Hydrogen bomb.”

A little later, as the three of them near the Others’ camp, Daniel walks on ahead while Jack and Kate talk quietly to each other. Kate thinks Dan’s plan is a mistake; she doesn’t want to reverse everything that’s happened to them since the crash. Jack is starting to come around to Daniel’s plan, but before they can say any more, they arrive at their destination. Daniel tells them both to wish him luck, and leaves them behind, entering the camp alone.

Outside the hospital in 2007, Eloise is about to get into a cab, when a man calls out from behind her, “Is he alright?” It’s Charles Widmore, and Eloise recognizes his voice before she turns around. “Yes, Charles. He’s fine.” “Good,” replies Widmore. “Your daughter’s in there. Why don’t you go in and say hello,” she suggests. “Unfortunately Eloise, my relationship with Penelope is one of the things I had to sacrifice.” Eloise is outraged. “Sacrifice! Don’t you talk to me about sacrifice, Charles! I had to send my son back to the island, knowing full well that–” Before she can finish, Widmore cuts her off with, “He was my son, too, Eloise.” She smacks him in the face and gets into the waiting cab without another word.

In 1977, Daniel walks in and starts shooting the ground when some of the Others reach for guns. He says he wants to talk to Eloise. Richard Alpert appears and says Eloise is not here right now. Daniel asks Richard where the Hydrogen bomb is that he told the Others to bury in 1954. Richard vaguely recognizes Dan, but before he can answer Dan’s question, a shot is fired, and Daniel is bleeding from the abdomen. As he slinks to the ground, the shooter is revealed behind him — it’s his mother! Richard is angry, asking why she did that. Eloise says he had a gun trained on Richard, it was defensive. Richard says this man wasn’t really going to shoot him, and he calls her by name.

Laying on the ground now, Daniel hears this and realizes this is his mother — and she’s shot him. With his voice fading, he says, “You knew… You always knew. You knew this was going to happen, and you sent me here anyway.” She asks who he is, and he replies, “I’m your son.” As Eloise reacts to this, Daniel breathes his last.

  • After being reduced to a near-childlike state because of the damage his experiments did to his mind, Daniel was moved to tears over the wreckage at the thought of how many people had died onboard.
    Question: Why did Daniel Faraday cry when he saw the television footage of Oceanic 815 found in the Sunda Trench?
    [4.02]
  • At Oxford, Daniel used his expertise in the physics of space/time to conduct experiments in sending a person’s consciousness back and forth through time. After his girlfriend Teresa was affected by these experiments, Daniel suffered the same fate himself, with his mind becoming damaged.
    Question: What happened to Daniel’s mental stability in the past?
    4.02
    & Question: What happened to Daniel’s mind? Why does he have trouble remembering things? [4.04]
  • Daniel was personally invited to join the crew by Charles Widmore, who promised him that if he went to the island, the island would heal his mind.
    Question: How did Daniel join the freighter’s crew?
    [4.02]
  • This is exactly why Daniel came to the island — so his mind could be healed. And it worked.
    Question: Daniel and Charlotte spoke of “progress” with his memory problems. Is this the reason Daniel came to the island? Was he hoping to be healed?
    4.04
    & Question: Why is Daniel Faraday so interested in the island? [4.02]
  • The same way his friends did — their random jostling through time came to an end when they were deposited in 1974, and they were unable to get back to the present.
    Question: How did Daniel wind up in the 1970s as part of the Dharma Initiative?
    [5.01]
  • Charles Widmore is Daniel Faraday’s father!
    Question: Why did Widmore fund Daniel’s research? How does he know Daniel?
    [5.03]
  • Because she was his mother.
    Question: Why did Ellie remind Daniel of someone he used to know?
    [5.03]
  • Yes, Ellie is short for Eloise.
    Question: Is the young woman Ellie really Eloise Hawking?
    [5.03]
  • Eloise knew since the day she shot and killed her own son on the island in 1977 that it was his destiny to end up on the island as an adult, and to die there. She seems to have been determined to keep the course of history intact, despite the pain it would one day cause her. She wasn’t concerned when Desmond delivered Daniel’s urgent message because she already knew how the story would end.
    Question: Why wasn’t Eloise more concerned about her son Daniel when Desmond asked her to help him?
    [5.06]
  • After he and his friends wound up in 1974, Daniel left the island to do some scientific research at Dharma Initiative headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    Question: What’s become of Daniel Faraday in 1977?
    [5.09]

  • Why would Eloise Hawking send her son to the island, knowing that he would die at her own hands? What could be so vitally important to the fate the island that Eloise would sacrifice her own son to see it done?
  • Eloise Hawking said to Penny, “For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what’s going to happen next.” Since she seems to be able to see the future, why is it that as of this episode, she’s lost that ability?
  • Is it possible, as Daniel believes, to change history after all?
  • What will happen to the island if the hydrogen bomb is detonated in 1977? Will the blast destroy the island?

R.I.P. Daniel Faraday. I’m very sad to see him go. He was an interesting character who added something different to the show. But I felt it coming from the minute he started talking to Jack about how “any of us can die.” Didn’t you?

Was Daniel the promised Major Character Death of Season 5? I’m going with yes. Though this is Lost, so anything’s possible. Who knows, maybe he’ll show back up in the season finale, alive and well thanks to some unforeseen twist. (Can’t you just see a knock on Eloise Hawking’s door in the present, with the shock of her life waiting on the other side…) Or maybe there’s more than one big death coming up before the end of the season. It could be argued that Daniel Faraday doesn’t constitute the “Charlie-level” death we’ve been promised. Charlie was an original cast member who was on the show for three full seasons. Daniel’s been on the show for less than two.

In any case, we finally got some long-awaited answers about Daniel. We learned all about his unusual relationship with his mother. We learned just how smart Daniel really is — the youngest doctorate ever at Oxford. We learned more about his memory condition, and that he came to the island to be healed. We learned that Charles Widmore is indeed his father — though Eloise Hawking is not Penny’s mother — Penny didn’t even recognize her when they met, and we know from the episode “Dead is Dead” that Charles fathered Penny with “an outsider,” which Eloise certainly is not. So Dan and Penny are half-siblings who never knew one another. (And now they never will.) Which makes Daniel Faraday a “pure blood” Other/Hostile, if you will.

We didn’t learn why his last name was Faraday, when neither of his parents use that name. Nor did we learn what kind of research he was doing off the island, in Ann Arbor, from 1974 to 1977.

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around all of the things Daniel did and said in 1977, and how they relate to his return to the island. He told Jack that he and the other Oceanic 6 were not supposed to be on the island in 1977, and that his mother was wrong in sending them here. Essentially, he was telling Jack that what we’ve seen Richard and Locke both claim earlier this season — that the Oceanic 6 had to go back because this was the only way to save the island — wasn’t true. Daniel’s assertion was that the O6 had no business coming back at all. But we never quite found out why he believed that… What we did find out is that he came back to attempt to undo the past, to prevent the accident at the Swan from happening, in order to keep the Oceanic survivors from having to crash here. I’m still not clear on why seeing Jack, Kate, and Hurley in the Dharma photo from 1977 suddenly launched him on this crusade to try and change the past.

Dan also claimed that his mother was “the only person on the island” who could get the survivors back to where they belong. The viewer is meant to believe he means “back to 2007″ when he says this, but did he actually mean that Eloise was the only person who could help him change history? He went to the Others’ camp demanding to see her; he must’ve thought he could convince her of his identity and that she would help him retrieve the Hydrogen bomb to put his plan in motion.

Anybody else wondering about the “catastrophic” nature of the forthcoming accident at the Swan? Daniel repeatedly used that word to describe the effects of the event we know as “the Incident.” Yet how catastrophic could it be, if we know the island survives? Why did Daniel try to get Chang to evacuate everyone in the Dharma Initiative if everyone back at the Barracks and all the other stations will survive the accident? And the only result of the accident is the building of the infamous button in the Swan station? Which admittedly, as Daniel pointed out, causes the sequence of events that brings Jack & Co. to the island. But that’s hardly what I’d call a “catastrophic” end result. Tragic, sure, considering how many people on the plane died. But catastrophic? That implies something much bigger. I kept waiting for Daniel to reveal that the Swan accident caused all of the Dharma people to have to live with radiation poisoning for the next 20 years. That would have been quite a twist — it would mean Ben didn’t orchestrate their deaths during the Purge completely out of spite; perhaps he was putting them out of their misery, almost like an act of mercy. It kind of fits, logically — Ben could be immune to the radiation in ‘77 since he’s been magically transformed into an Other.

Daniel’s confrontation with Pierre Chang is very different from the 2008 Comic-Con video we saw, where Chang attempted, with Dan’s help, to send a message through time to the future, asking that the Dharma Initiative be reconstituted to try and save the original version of the organization. I suppose that video was merely apocryphal material. Dan’s remark to Miles that he approached Chang with the truth about the time travelers only reinforces my theory from last week that Chang is going to come to believe Daniel’s words, and send his own family away from the island to protect them. Dan has now played a part in helping that to happen.

Did anybody else get the feeling that when Juliet told Kate to go with Dan to see the Others, because “It’s over for us here, anyway,” that she was referring to herself and Sawyer as much as she was the survivors and Dharma? She’s quietly believed ever since the Oceanic 6 returned that her relationship with Sawyer was now doomed, and when Sawyer called Kate “freckles” again, those insecurities shot to the surface in a heartbeat. I’m still rooting for Sawyer and Juliet to pull through in the end, though.

The gun used by Faraday at the end reminded me of the gun Ben used to shoot Locke, and then Locke in turn later used to shoot Naomi. Could it be the same gun? It appears to have ended up with the Others, so it’s conceivable it could eventually have fallen into Ben’s hands.

I can’t think of a story reason for Radzinsky and his two pals to race in to the motor pool right when Jack, Kate, and Dan are trying to sneak out. Even if Pierre Chang had asked Radzinsky to keep an eye on Daniel after their encounter, this still struck me as a little too convenient.

Radzinsky was not loved as a child. Seriously, somebody needs to go give that guy a hug and a cookie. And a puppy.

I hope we find out what’s inside Hurley’s guitar case by the end of the season, because I’m starting to suspect it’s not a guitar at all. I’m betting it’s something related to the as-yet-unknown reason that he got on Ajira 316 and came back to the island. Could it be something he was asked to return to the island by someone? Maybe Charlie’s brother, or the family member of another Oceanic fatality?

Just because I need to spell this sequence of events out for my own sanity: Sometime in the morning on the day that Desmond was shot, we saw Ben talking on the phone with Charles Widmore, who was in England. Ben told Widmore he was going to kill Penny, and then hung up the phone. Widmore, who days prior had encountered Desmond in his own office and told Des exactly where to find Eloise Hawking, knew where Desmond and Penny were likely to be just then. So after he got off the phone with Ben, he must’ve hopped on a private jet and flown at once to L.A., in order to be there by that evening. Kind of surprising, though, that for all of Widmore’s concern for Penny’s safety when he and Desmond last spoke, that he wouldn’t go inside the hospital to at least try and reach out to her.

I’m sure there’s some significance to the fact that Daniel and his mother ate at an Indian restaurant near Oxford. But I have no idea what that significance is. Any theories?

I still think Daniel knew a lot more about the island than he revealed in this episode. The  “pockets of electromagnetic energy” that are beneath the island undoubtedly have great significance. He claimed that there was one beneath the Orchid — which we know to be in the unseen chamber behind the frozen wheel. And Dan also said there was one far more powerful beneath the site of the Swan station. The Dharma folks must’ve known this as well, since they selected these sites for two of their most important stations; they were trying to harness the energies down there. But my question is more “big picture” in nature: what do these pockets of electromagnetic energy tell us about the island? We’ve now seen the underbelly of the island in two very important locations: the frozen wheel room, and the monster’s lair under the Temple. Both of them bore the familiar Egyptian-like hieroglyphs. And neither the frozen wheel itself nor the columns and tunnels built beneath the Temple are natural formations. That’s man-made stuff. It all goes back to the ancient inhabitants of the island. What did they know of the electromagnetic pockets? Did they create them? Harness them? Come to this island because of them? Have the pockets always been on the island? Do they provide a clue to the island’s identity?

Did you notice the “Super Power issue” of Wired Magazine on the seat in Daniel’s home? Was this a wink and a nod at the seeming “power” of Daniel’s mother to predict the future? (More on that later.) Which got me to thinking about something… We’ve seen three prominent characters now who apparently have special, unusual abilities. One might even call them “super powers.” There’s Desmond Hume, who can see the future (even though we haven’t seen him do this since Charlie died). There’s Miles Straume, who can sense things about the dead. And Eloise Hawking, who can also see the future. I’m not including Hurley on the list, even though he regularly talks to dead people — I’m unconvinced that his “ability” is anything more than his minor mental instability. And let’s not forget the uber-mysterious Jacob, who apparently has so much power that the entire culture of the Hostiles is built around serving his purposes. We saw him use telekinesis the first time Locke met him, so that puts him in the “super powered” camp as well. Is there a reason for all of these power-ups? Could it be related to the coming war for control of the island?

In the restaurant, Eloise said “I hate to have to tell you this…” to Daniel before making a prediction about his future. This is the exact same phrase she used earlier this season when telling Desmond that the island isn’t done with him yet. I wonder if she always uses this phrase when stating predictions.

I really hope we get to see more of the early relationship between Eloise and Widmore. They were hardly friends when we saw them in 1954, and in 2007 their relationship was strained at best. At what point in between did they wind up having a son together? And how did that even happen, since they don’t really seem to get along?

Eloise Hawking spent her son’s entire life preparing him to venture to the island and go back in time, so that their fateful rendezvous could occur where she killed her own child. Everything she did, all the ways in which she pushed him to become a scientist, rejected his girlfriends, always wanting him to make her proud — it was all to get him back to that moment when her younger self killed him. I could expand for quite a while on the insane mental and emotional toll that living this way would take on someone, but the more pressing concern is… why? Why was Daniel’s death in 1977 at his mother’s hands so vitally important that both of his parents were willing to do whatever they had to do, to see to it that he met that destiny? Or, more simply, as Daniel put it in his final breaths, “You knew this was going to happen, and you sent me here anyway.”

My feeling is that for a mother to sacrifice a son that it was plain to see she loved — not to mention an estranged father who committed all of his resources to the same endeavor… Then it had to be for a bigger and better reason than just “because whatever happened, happened.” I.E., their reasons had to go beyond just seeing to it that their son played his prescribed role in history. Even though Eloise repeatedly told Daniel things to the effect of, “it’s my job to keep you on your path.” I think what we’re going to see in the weeks to come is Daniel’s death become the catalyst for something major that happens on the island — something so crucial to the island’s survival, that two parents were willing to send their son to die to ensure that it happened.

But consider for a moment that the young Eloise in the jungle, who shot her son, decides to take everything he said in his last moments at face value. Think back to the time-jumping at the beginning of this season, and how those who’d been on the island longest were affected by the time travel’s negative effects first. We can infer from the fact that Daniel was one of the last people to get a nosebleed back then, that he had very likely never been to the island before his arrival on the freighter as an adult. Meaning his mother became pregnant either after she left the island, or perhaps shortly before. Which means that at the time she shot her own adult son, not only was little Daniel not alive yet, Eloise probably wasn’t even pregnant yet. Eloise Hawking chose to become pregnant at some point in her life with what she knew would be a son, who would grow up and travel back in time, and die at her own hands! She chose to bring him into the world, knowing what would eventually happen to him. Did Widmore likewise intentionally choose to play his part in Daniel’s conception? Did both of them have this child simply to see destiny fulfilled?

It’s also possible that Daniel’s death has something to do with why younger Eloise left the island. We know from this episode that she left at some point between when she shot her adult son, and when she later gave birth to him. Did she leave because she found out she would have to, in order to raise Daniel off the island, to fulfill his destiny? Or was she so distraught at killing her own son that she decided to escape the island and everything that happened there, and start life anew on the mainland?

And what about Eloise’s power to predict the future? What’s up with that? Is that really how she always seems to know what’s to come, and how she does the things we’ve seen her do? Or is she remembering details that her younger self may yet learn from the castaways in 1977? It looked like Daniel didn’t know that his mother possessed this ability, and that she wanted to keep it that way (notice how she covered a prediction about him at their lunch following his graduation). Why does she mean to keep it such a secret?

One other thing: My feeling is that she was not born with this ability. If she had it in the past, when she was on the island, we’ve yet to see her use it there. It didn’t prevent her from shooting her own son, and back in 1954 it didn’t let her know that the strange man who told her to bury the bomb was her son. So I think that something happened that gave her this power. Probably something on the island, perhaps the island itself gave it to her somehow. The island gave Desmond his ability, and it was hinted just last week that Miles’ may have gotten his power by his childhood exposure to the island or something on it. Maybe the first flashback we saw in this episode — where Eloise was crying while Daniel played the piano — was one of the very first times her ability manifested itself. So it was confirmed to her that the man she killed on the island was in fact her son. Hence, the heavy emotions.

I’m also wondering if her remark about not knowing what’s going to happen next is in reference to what’s yet to come in 2007 on the island. Back where Locke and Ben and Sun are, and it looks like the future of the island is going to rest on the outcome of some kind of conflict or war. (And I still think the 1977 castaways are going to return to 2007 for the final season.) It would underscore the pivotal significance of what’s to come if even the powerful and mysterious Eloise Hawking can’t see what’s about to occur there.

And why is it that, if she really does have a special ability to see the future, she didn’t know that Desmond was going to be shot, and that he would survive? Is it because Desmond is “uniquely and miraculously special,” as Daniel told him earlier this season? Is it because Desmond too has demonstrated the ability to see the future? Or is something else going on related to her special powers? It does seem odd that she knew enough to tell him that the island wasn’t finished with him, when he left the Lamp Post in L.A., but didn’t know he was going to be shot the next morning. Does this mean the island still isn’t finished with him? Or has his shooting caused him to deviate from the path Eloise originally saw for him?

Okay, commenters. What did I miss? Hit me with those excellent observations!

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5.13 “Some Like it Hoth”

Miles gets caught in the middle of Dharma Initiative secrets, which bring him face to face with demons from his own past.

Written by Melinda Hsu Taylor & Greggory Nations
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashback

In an apartment building, sometime in the early 80s, an Asian woman is taking a look at an empty apartment (apartment number 7), the building’s superintendent following close behind. He questions her about what brought her here and who else is with her, and she says that her husband is out of the picture, so it’s just her and her small son, Miles. Just outside the front door, little Miles asks for money for a vending machine. She gives him a coin and he crosses the courtyard to a set of vending machines. But before he reaches the machines, a sensation comes over him, directing him to nearby apartment 4. As if knowing what he’s doing, he finds a buried key right outside the door and goes inside. Back at apartment 7, his mother is signing her lease papers when little Miles calls out to her in a panic. She runs to him, followed by the superintendent, and they find him in apartment 4, standing next to a man who’s collapsed dead on the floor. The superintendent recognizes this man as one of his tenants, while Miles’ mother asks what he was doing there. He explains that the dead man “was all alone. He was scared. His chest hurt. He kept calling out for Kimberly.” The superintendent says that Kimberly was the man’s wife, but she died last year, and he wonders how Miles could know this. “I heard him,” cries a distraught Miles. “He’s still talking right now! I can hear him!”

Many years later, a teenage or perhaps twenty-something Miles, sporting a Goth look complete with spiked hair, dark clothes, and multiple piercings, knocks on the front door of apartment 7. A woman we’ve never seen before answers the door and looks upon him disapprovingly. He tells the woman that he needs to see his mother, so she lets him in. In a bedroom, his mother is resting, surrounded by medical equipment, supplies, and varieties of medicine. She’s dying of cancer, as is evidenced by her hair thinning and falling out from her treatments. He becomes emotional at seeing her this way, but wakes her up and apologizes for not being able to get here sooner. She’s glad to see him, but asks why he came. “I need you to tell me why I’m this way,” he replies. “How I do the things I do. And why you won’t talk to me about my father.” She claims his father never cared about either of them. That he kicked both of them out when Miles was just a baby, wanting nothing to do with them. Miles asks where his father is, and she says he’s been dead for a long time now. “Where’s his body?” he asks. “Somewhere you can never go,” she replies.

Some years later, an adult Miles visits a man named Howard Gray, sitting at a picnic table in the man’s back yard. Miles looks at a photo of a young football player named Russell. He asks Gray to tell him what happened to his son, the boy in the photograph. About a year ago, a drive ran a red light and killed him, Gray explains. Miles asks if Russell was buried, and Gray says no, they cremated him and spread his ashes over the football field at his school. Miles is frustrated at this, remarking that it’s better for what he does if there’s a body. Gray complains that Miles’ ad said that he could communicate with the dead, anytime, anywhere. He wants Miles to ask his son if he knew that his dad loved him. Miles says his services will cost extra, since there’s no body, and Gray hands over a wad of bills. Miles asks for Gray’s hands, and tells him to concentrate on his son. After closing his eyes for a moment, he tells the man that his son knew that he loved him, always. Miles says he’s sorry for Mr. Gray’s loss, and leaves.

Out at his car in front of the house, he’s approached by a woman we recognize as Naomi Dorrit, the leader of the Freighter expedition funded by Charles Widmore and sent to find the island. She knows Miles’ name, and says that her employer (Widmore) has been following his work for some time now, and he’s interested in retaining Miles’ services. She suggests they go to a restaurant and talk, and he eagerly agrees.

They enter the rear of the restaurant a short time later, but Miles is dismayed to see that it’s closed and not in use. In the kitchen, Naomi leads him to a waiting dead body, and tells him this is his audition to work for Widmore. She throws him a wad of cash and asks what he can tell her about the dead man. Miles concentrates and listens, explaining that, “His name is Felix. He’s on his way to deliver something to a guy named Widmore. A bundle of papers, photos, pictures of… empty graves. A purchase order for an old airplane.” He comes out of his pensive state and asks if he passed the audition. She tells him she’s leading an expedition to an island, “and on that island is a man that will be very difficult to find.” He asks why she needs him for this, and she replies, “This island has a number of deceased individuals ‘residing’ on it. And as this man is the one responsible for their being deceased, we believe they can supply us with valuable information about his whereabouts.” He passes on the job — until she offers him $1.6 million.

One week before the freighter is slated to depart, Miles is abducted off of the street by an unmarked black van. The man in charge is none other than Bram, the brawny man we met in last week’s episode in the present day, as Ilana’s Ajira 316 cohort/soldier who helps her rise to power amid the Ajira survivors. Bram apologizes to Miles for having to do it this way, but he needed to talk to Miles, and Miles’ apartment is being watched. He advises Miles not to get on the freighter, and not to work for Charles Widmore. He repeats the same question Ilana asked to Frank Lapidus last week: “Do you know what lies in the shadow of the statue?” Miles doesn’t know, to which Bram replies that Miles isn’t ready, then, to go to the island. Instead, “if you come with us,” Bram says, “all those things you’ve spent your life trying to find out, you’ll know. You’ll know who you are, Miles. Why it is you have a gift. And most of all, you’ll know about your father.” Miles says he doesn’t care about his father, only money, and if they want him to pass on Widmore’s job offer, it will cost them double the $1.6 million Widmore’s offering — $3.2 million. Bram replies that he and the people he represents aren’t going to pay him anything, because money can’t fill the hole inside of him. They toss Miles out of the van, but Bram offers the parting words, “You’re playing for the wrong team.” Miles asks what team Bram is on, and Bram replies, “The one that’s going to win.”

Just before he leaves to meet the freighter, Miles returns to visit Mr. Gray again. He gives the man his money back and tells him he lied — he was unable to contact Gray’s son, and just told him what he wanted to hear. Gray asks why he’s admitting to it now and giving the money back, and Miles replies that keeping the money and perpetuating the lie “wouldn’t have been fair to your son. If you needed him to know that you loved him, you should have told him when he was still alive.”

Now

Miles is stationed at Dharma Security HQ when Sawyer calls, returning from the Others’ camp, after he and Kate have just dropped off young Ben there. He asks Miles to “accidentally” erase the security video of the pylons, which shows him and Kate taking Ben into Hostile territory. Miles reluctantly agrees to help. Sawyer sends Kate back to find Juliet and see if anyone has noticed that Ben is gone from the Infirmary. He tells her his intention to cover up their actions with Ben, no matter what it takes.

Just as Miles is about to erase the security tape, Horace enters Security HQ, looking for Sawyer. Miles covers for him, so Horace decides to entrust an important, deeply-guarded secret duty to Miles. Horace gives Miles a rolled up bundle of some kind, and sends him to Grid 334 to meet with Radzinsky. Radzinsky will then give Miles something in return, which he is to bring back to Horace with no questions asked. Miles points out that Dharma people are not supposed to be in Grid 334 because it’s Hostile territory. Horace agrees, pointing out that this is why it’s a secret.

Out in the jungle in his Dharma van, Miles goes to Grid 334, where Radzinsky jumps out of the foliage with his rifle drawn. He’s surprised to see Miles, and was expecting Sawyer. But Miles gives Radzinsky the bundle from Horace, and Radzinsky whistles into the jungle. He unfolds the bundle, which turns out to be a body bag. Two Dharma men wearing jumpsuits that bear the Swan logo bring a dead man out to the van on a stretcher. When Miles asks what happened, Radzinsky says the man “had an accident,” that he “fell into a ditch.” Miles notes that there’s a bullet in the dead man’s head, and asks if the ditch had a gun. Radzinsky angrily tells him to just get the body back to Horace. Back in the van, once Radzinsky and his men have disappeared again into the jungle, Miles leans back to the body bag and unzips it. “Okay,” he says to the dead man, “so what really happened?”

When Miles gets back to Security HQ, Horace is there waiting for him, talking on the phone to Pierre Chang. “Pierre,” he says, “if it was caused by the electromagnetism, we need to know… You want to see [the body] now?” After hanging up, Horace asks Miles to take the corpse to Dr. Chang at the Orchid. Miles doesn’t want to go, but Horace presses him until he agrees.

At the motor pool, Hurley opens the back door of Miles’ van (which still holds the corpse), and loads a pair of coolers inside. Miles arrives and tries to stop him, but Hurley says he’s headed for the Orchid too, to deliver lunch for the crew. Miles wants him to take another van, but Hurley says they should carpool. But then Hurley seems to realize that Miles is on some kind of “secret mission.” Before he can ask anymore questions, Miles tells him to “just get in.”

In the Infirmary, Juliet is putting away some medical supplies when Kate returns and tells her what happened with young Ben and Richard Alpert. Roger runs in with the medical supplies from the Staff station that Juliet sent him after when last we saw him, and immediately sees that Ben is gone. Juliet lies, saying she was away for ten minutes and when she returned, Ben was just gone. Irate, Roger leaves to tell security that someone’s taken his son. “Well,” Juliet calmly says, turning to Kate. “Here we go.”

In Miles’ van, Hurley is writing something in a notebook. He asks Miles how to spell “bounty hunter.” Miles asks what he’s writing, but Hurley won’t say. Hurley smells something inside the van and asks if Miles farted. Miles says no, and Hurley says it wasn’t him, so he insists that Miles pull over so he can find the source of the smell, afraid it could be coming from the food he packed. Unable to stop him, Miles has to watch as Hurley finds the body in the back of the van. “Dude, there’s a body bag back here. With a body in it,” he says. Miles retorts, “That’s traditionally what you put in a body bag.” Hurley asks who this man was, and what happened. Miles warns him not to tell anybody he saw it, but then explains what he learned earlier from the body: his name was Alvarez, he was digging a hole and “thinking about some chick named Andrea. Then he felt a sharp pain in his mouth, which turned out to be a filling from his tooth being yanked right out of its socket and blown into his brain. Then he was dead.” Hurley asks how Miles knows all this, but Miles won’t say. Hurley says he understands and he’ll keep Miles’ secret — because he talks to dead people, too.

Outside at a child’s playground in the Barracks, Roger Linus sits alone on a swing, drinking Dharma beer and getting drunk. Kate passes by, notices him, and asks if he’s okay. She says she’s sure things will work out, that she “just has a feeling that [Ben’s] going to be okay.” Roger realizes there’s more to what she’s saying, and becomes suspicious. He asks if she knows more than she’s saying, and she backpedals, saying she just believes he shouldn’t give up hope.

Back in Miles’ van, Hurley asks Miles why he won’t just admit that he talks to dead people. Miles can’t quite believe that Hurley actually converses with dead people, because that’s not how it works for him. He explains that he doesn’t talk to dead people, he doesn’t even see them. He just gets a feeling, a sense, of who they were and what they knew before they died. Hurley remarks that Miles is just jealous that Hurley’s power is better.

They arrive at the Orchid, which is under construction. Miles spots Pierre Chang in the distance and watches him warily. Chang demands to know what Hurley is doing there, because Miles was ordered to come alone. Miles explains about Hurley bringing lunch for the crew, but Chang is displeased. He threatens Hurley with demotion to janitorial duties at Hydra island, where “ridiculous experiments” are being conducted with animals. Chang orders his men to take “the package” (aka, the body) inside, and tells Miles to wait here until he returns. Hurley, watching Chang walk away alongside Miles, remarks, “Dude, that guy is a douche.” To which Miles replies, “That douche is my dad.”

Minutes later, Hurley wants to talk about Chang being Miles’ dad, but Miles doesn’t. Hurley mentions that Miles’ dad is “the guy from all those [Dharma] movies,” but he went by a different name then. He wonders if “Marvin Candle” was a stage name. Hurley asks Miles how long he’s known that Chang is his father. Miles replies that the third day he and the others were here in 1977, among the Dharma Initiative, he was standing in line at the Cafeteria when his mother got in line behind him. “That was my first clue,” he says. Hurley points out that all of these people are going to be killed in the Purge, and asks why Miles hasn’t tried to save his father from that. Miles says he can’t, that they can’t change the past and these people will die no matter what he does.

Chang reappears and instructs Miles to take him to Radzinsky at the work site, right now. Miles asks what happened to Alvarez’ body, but Chang brushes the question off, with no intention of explaining himself.

In the Dharma schoolroom, Jack is cleaning a chalkboard when a still-very-drunk Roger barges in. He says the schoolroom is on his rounds, and asks what Jack is doing here. Jack replies that he was covering for Roger, considering what’s happened to Ben, and asks why Roger came to work. Roger says he has nothing else to do. He mentions to Jack that Kate “has some kind of weird thing for my kid,” and says he’s starting to think that she might have something to do with Ben’s disappearance. Jack assures him that he knows Kate, they’re friends, and she would never do anything to hurt Roger’s son. “Sure,” Roger replies, skeptical of Jack’s words.

Back in the van, there’s an awkward silence in the front seat between Miles and Pierre Chang, while Hurley watches in the backseat with much interest. Hurley strikes up a conversation with Chang, trying to not-so-subtly get him to interact with Miles, so Miles can learn more about his father. He asks what Chang does at the Orchid, but Chang says it’s classified. He asks about Chang’s family, and Chang says he has a three-month-old son named Miles, a “coincidence” Hurley shows great fascination over. He asks if adult Miles and Chang ever hang out, having both been here on the island for at least three years. Miles pipes up and says they don’t exactly travel in the same circles. Chang remarks that he wasn’t aware that there were circles. Hurley suggests they all get together for a beer sometime and hang out.

Chang says to stop the van. He hops out, unlocks a hidden fence covered in foliage, and swings it open. They drive inside, down a path, where they find a new Dharma station being built in a big area that’s been dug out of the ground. Chang tells Miles and Hurley they can go, that he’ll get a ride back to the Barracks with Radzinsky. Hurley asks what this place is; Miles doesn’t know and doesn’t care. Just then, a construction worker carries by a familiar object right in front of them: it’s the Swan hatch! The worker asks a buddy what the serial numbers are for the hatch, and his friend recites the cursed numbers: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. The man carrying the hatch engraves those numbers into its side (and these are the same engraved numbers Hurley discovered on the side of the hatch back in Season 1). Hurley whispers the numbers to himself, completing the sequence before the workers do. Miles asks how he knows the numbers. “Because they’re building our hatch,” Hurley replies. “What hatch?” Miles asks. “The one that crashed our plane,” says Hurley.

That night, the two of them are still in the van, on their way back to the Barracks. Hurley explains about the Incident at the Swan hatch, that led to the creation of the button that had to be pushed every 108 minutes “to save the world.” He asks Miles if he knows his dad in the future, and Miles says no. Hurley thinks this is awesome, because now Miles has a chance to get to know his father. Miles slams on the brakes and says he doesn’t want to know his dad, because his dad was never around while he was growing up, he’s dead in the future, and he never knew the man in his entire life. His dad didn’t care about him or his mom, he explains, and nothing Miles does here and now will change that. Hurley argues the point that where they are now, his dad isn’t dead yet.

Miles shouts, “You want to get into my business? Let’s get into yours!” He grabs Hurley’s mysterious notebook and jumps out of the van. Flipping through the pages, he recites poorly-written script pages from The Empire Strikes Back. Hurley explains that he’s writing the script to the movie, because it’s 1977 and Star Wars has just come out, so George Lucas will be looking for a sequel soon. He figures he’d make life easier for everyone and send Lucas the script… “with a few improvements.” Miles says this is the stupidest thing he’s ever heard, to which Hurley jabs, “Well at least I’m not scared to talk to my own dad.”

At the Barracks, Sawyer comes home from a rough day to find Juliet talking to Jack. Jack reports that Roger suspects Kate of being more than she appears, but that he covered for Kate to Roger, and he doesn’t think Roger will press the matter. Jack just wanted Sawyer to know. Sawyer is frustrated at Kate’s loose lips, but Jack covers for her, saying her heart was in the right place. Jack leaves, and Sawyer thanks him for filling him in.

Outside of Sawyer’s house, Phil approaches and says that Sawyer is needed back at the Security office. Sawyer argues, tired and not wanting to go back to the office. Phil pulls out the security tape and tells him he knows that Sawyer took Ben. Sawyer says he can explain everything, and invites Phil inside his house. After confirming that Phil hasn’t told anyone else about the video tape yet, especially Horace, Sawyer knocks him out and tells Juliet to get some rope.

At the motor pool, Miles and Hurley return the van. Hurley apologizes for what he said about Miles being afraid to talk to his dad. He says that when he was ten, his dad left him and his mom, but the best thing he ever did was give his dad a second chance. “We got to be the best of friends, and although I may never see him again… I miss him. And I know he feels the same.” Miles says that his dad didn’t leave when he was ten, he was just a baby. He never knew his dad, and doesn’t want to. Hurley says that that was Luke Skywalker’s attitude too, and that even though Luke and his father worked it out eventually, their peace came at a high cost. It all could have been avoided if they’d just put down their lightsabers and talked.

Despite himself, Miles seems to hear some wisdom in Hurley’s words. He walks alone to Chang’s house, and peeks inside a window. Inside, he sees himself as a baby, sitting on his father’s lap, and Chang is doting over him, reading a story to his son in a silly, baby-friendly kind of way. There’s love written all over his face, and the baby feels it too, laughing and cooing at his father. Miles is shaken, can’t believe his eyes. He’s emotionally overcome.

Chang gets a phone call and hands the baby off to his mom, needing to leave. He spots Miles outside the house, and tells him that he needs his help. The sub has arrived from HQ, not carrying new recruits, but scientists from the Dharma Initiative’s home base in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The two of them drive to the dock.

There, the sub has already docked and Miles helps the passengers disembark with their belongings. The last passenger off the sub climbs out, and it’s none other than Daniel Faraday. “Dan!” Miles exclaims, surprised to see his old compatriot. “Hey, Miles,” Dan replies. “Long time no see.”

  • Naomi Dorrit visited Miles personally and extended Widmore’s invitation to join the freighter crew, for a payment of $1.6 million.
    Question: How did Miles join the freighter’s crew? [4.02]
  • Miles was hired to talk to the many dead people on the island in the hopes that they might help Naomi’s team locate Benjamin Linus.
    Question: What is Miles’ mission on the island? [4.02]
  • Miles was offered $1.6 million by Charles Widmore to help bring in Ben, so he asked Ben for double that amount to lie to Widmore.
    Question: Why did Miles ask Ben for $3.2 million? That seems like an oddly specific number for simple blackmail. [4.04]
  • Miles was born on the island and lived there as a baby with his mother and his father, Pierre Chang.
    Question: Miles’ nose bleeding next, after Charlotte’s, means that he’s spent more time on the island than any of them except her. The fact that Juliet came next, means that Miles spent more than three years on the island (because that’s how long Juliet spent on it). When did Miles live for more than three years on the island, and why doesn’t he remember it? [5.04]
  • Construction began in 1977.
    Question: When was the Hatch built? [2.01]
  • For unknown reasons, the Dharma Initiative designated it as the Hatch’s serial number.
    Question: Why are the Numbers inscribed on the side of the Hatch? [1.18]

  • Is Pierre Chang really dead in the present? Did he die on the island? If so, how?
  • If Pierre Chang really loved his wife and son so much, why did he “kick them out,” aka off the island, and never have any further contact with them?

This episode’s playful title, “Some Like it Hoth,” is a reference to the icy planet in The Empire Strikes Back. Yet the play on words of the title Some Like it Hot doesn’t seem to bear any direct references or similarities to the characters or setting of Lost. Though I’m sure that won’t keep Doc Jensen from finding some bizarre, miniscule parallel to expound upon.

Did you see the microwave in the opening scene? Its readout was 3:16, which is the Ajira Airways flight number the Oceanic 6 used to get back to the island. (Yeah, I know, it has no real significance. Just throwing it out there for those who like to examine the little details.)

I’m wondering what kind of life Miles led that kept him from visiting his dying mother sooner than he did. Obviously he went through some kind of rebellion, which was no doubt triggered or aggravated by his unusual ability, which probably led him to feel different than other kids all his life.

That Charles Widmore really gets around, doesn’t he? We know that he funded Daniel Faraday’s scientific research. We know that he owns part or all of Oceanic Airlines. And now we know that he’s been following Miles’ career as a ghost whisperer. It stands to reason that Widmore’s interest in Miles is rooted in his knowledge of Miles’ lineage.

We also learned that Widmore was receiving hard copy reports about empty graves and an old airplane, which points directly to the faked version of Oceanic 815 that was found at the bottom of the ocean. We’re meant to believe that the man taking Widmore this information was reporting back to him about operations conducted at Widmore’s orders. But it’s equally possible that this operative was spying on the actions of another party, and reporting back to Widmore about what someone else was responsible for. Or maybe even the guy was an enemy operative, and Widmore captured him and confiscated the info from him. This is Lost, so anything’s possible…

So Miles was on the Freighter because Widmore believed his skills as a medium could be put to use there to help find Ben. There have to be dozens, if not hundreds, of dead members of the Dharma Initiative on the island after the Purge (all buried in that big pit where Ben shot Locke), and Widmore believed these dead souls would still be on the island, and would be more than willing to help Widmore’s people locate the man who killed them. It’s a sound theory; too bad Miles never got the chance to put this plan into action.

Now we know why Miles was after $3.2 million from Ben. It still feels like a completely arbitrary number — he wanted $3.2 million because it was double the $1.6 million Widmore was willing to pay him? I kept hoping they would explain that $1.6 million was the amount Miles needed to pay for an experimental cure for his mother’s cancer or something. But no, the $1.6 million was given no explanation at all. And it’s just as strangely precise a number as $3.2 million is. Why not the more “nice round number” sum of $1.5 million? Why $1.6? Guess we’ll never know. Aside from showing a bit about Miles’ lust for money, this reveal was pretty much a waste.

But I am curious about why Miles is so interested in money. As we saw in his first flashback last season, he regularly fleeces his grieving customers for large amounts of cash in exchange for his services (but also sometimes gives them part or all of their money back, so at least he’s not a total heel). Naomi’s $1.6 million told him all he needed to know to get him on the freighter, and his counteroffer to Bram of doubling Widmore’s paycheck to keep him from going to the island spoke of arrogance and greed. Does the guy just like money, and there’s no better explanation for it than that? If so, that’s a bit disappointing, because Miles has left behind all pursuits for wealth while spending three years in the Dharma Initiative. He could conceivably have left the island any time he wanted on the sub, gone off to the 1977 mainland, invested some money in the likes of IBM, Microsoft, or another major tech company, and made a killing. What’s kept him on the island, if his primary motivation is money and (until now) he hasn’t cared anything about his dad?

Does Hurley have an actual ability to talk to ghosts? Or is this more of the paranoid schizophrenia surfacing that once landed him in a mental hospital? I tend to think the latter, though it would be cooler if Hurley had similar abilities to Miles. Miles’ ability just feels more legitimate in how it’s portrayed. Plus, Hurley only talks to dead people that he knew before they died. If he could really talk to dead people, it should be a universal rule, not limited to friends of his.

A recurring theme this season for the writers is not dragging out the payoff for viewers. We all went into this episode wondering if Miles Straume is Pierre Chang’s son, and true to form, the show didn’t make us wait long to find out. It was at the exact midpoint that they got that revelation out in the open.

I went back and looked at the opening scene of Season 5, right at the beginning of “Because You Left,” and the Orchid station under construction in that scene is almost identical to the state of the construction we saw in this episode. So it looks like my assertion way back in my recap for “Because You Left” could be coming true: before the season is out, we’re going to catch back up with Daniel Faraday and find out the exact circumstances of how he wound up sneaking into the Orchid, and what he was trying to do. (My guess: he’s hoping to find a way to use the Orchid’s time-controlling powers to send the time-traveling castaways back to the present.)

Hurley’s re-writing of The Empire Strikes Back was so cute and geeky, you just had to love it. When he asked Miles early on how to spell “bounty hunter,” I figured he was writing down a record of how all of the Oceanic 6 got back to the island, since Sayid was brought onto the plane by a supposed bounty hunter (Ilana). When Miles finally took the notebook and revealed what Hurley was up to… it was funny sure, but also sweet and naïve in that Hurley kind of way. He goes from downright silly to sagely in touch with his emotions faster than any character on the show. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Hurley has the purest heart of anyone on Lost.

Why does Chang regard the animal experiments on Hydra island as “ridiculous”? Is there no solidarity among the Dharma Initiative’s science crew? Are not all of their experiments of equal importance? And does Chang consider the experiments being performed at other stations around the island to be of equally trivial consequence? We know he doesn’t feel that way about the Orchid, but then, the Orchid is disguised as a nursery for plants and flowers — its true nature (studying time travel) buried deep beneath the surface. Maybe all of the truly important scientific stations — like the Orchid and the Swan — are hidden from view, and kept top secret.

The fact that Hurley asks aloud what the deal is with Pierre Chang’s multiple pseudonyms means that this is a question that we should be asking, too — a question that the show intends to answer, probably sooner than later. The only reason I can think of to disguise one’s true name is for security purposes, but I admit I find that a very dissatisfying explanation.

Did you notice that the chalkboard Jack was cleaning off was filled with notes about ancient Egyptian history and even some hieroglyphs? (We’ve been speculating a lot lately about the nature of the island’s ancient culture, which seems to be steeped in Egyptian symbols. And the fact that the island’s “exit” through turning the frozen wheel deposits people in Tunisia, which is very close to modern-day Egypt.) Note to Lost’s producers: “wink wink, nudge nudge” received, loud and clear. Ten-four, over and out.

What shall become of poor Phil, all tied up in Sawyer’s house? Will Roger mention his suspicions about Kate to Horace, or someone else of authority? Sawyer’s carefully constructed reality is starting to crack, what with Sayid’s escape, his friends’ slip-ups around other Dharma people, and his own complicity in Ben’s abduction. We’re building toward something here… Something that I would propose is going to end with our castaways’ need to escape from 1977 back to the present. And most likely this will happen at the end of this season, which is just a few short episodes away.

Now we know where Dan has been all this time: he left the island in 1977! He’s been in Ann Arbor, where the Dharma Initiative is headquartered. The question is, what has he been doing there? Is he the “very clever man” responsible for building the Lamp Post station in L.A.? One assumes that his big priority right now has to be finding a way to get around the laws of time travel so that he can save Charlotte’s life. Or, he could be looking for a way to help the castaways escape the past and return to 2007. Whatever he has planned, you can bet it involves Desmond, since he’s all “uniquely and miraculously special.” Though reaching Desmond won’t be easy, since they’re separated by 30 years at the moment. Daniel managed to use Desmond to change the history once before, at the beginning of this season when Dan told Desmond to go find his mother. The change came when Desmond suddenly, out-of-the-blue remembered his encounter with Dan outside the Swan station that happened years ago. Can the two of them somehow reunite and change time again, to save Charlotte? The change Dan made with Desmond the first time was small, just the conveyance of information. No historical events were actually changed. So I tend to think that Dan and Desmond will find it impossible to truly alter history. Desmond can have unique knowledge of future and past events, and pass that knowledge on to others, but physically manipulating the flow of history? I don’t see it happening without some kind of major change to the rules.

As suspected, the Swan station is being built in Hostile territory, without their knowledge. So why the big secrecy? What is it about the Swan that makes it so important (particularly to the ever-cranky Radzinsky) to guard its secret at all costs? Is the “Jughead” atomic bomb buried there, and Dharma doesn’t want the Others to know that they’re planning to tap into its power source to conduct electromagnetic experiments? Very possibly. Or it could be that the Swan is set overtop another unlimited power source, just like the Orchid is. I’m guessing we’ll know sooner than later.

What happened to poor Alvarez, aka the dead guy Miles picks up from Radzinsky in the jungle, near the Swan construction site? He was shot in the head, but by who? The Hostiles? Other members of Dharma? From what Miles said, it didn’t sound like Alvarez did anything to justify an unwarranted attack. He was daydreaming about his girlfriend, from the looks of it. Was he contaminated somehow from whatever the power source is at the Swan, and they had to kill him before he could spread the contamination? That’s what Horace’s phone conversation with Pierre Chang makes it sound like. And the body is being brought back to the Barracks (and then sent to the Orchid) so that Chang can study it somehow and determine the exact cause of whatever happened to Alvarez. Then when Chang does study it at the Orchid, he finds something that requires him to visit the Swan immediately. Did he detect radiation on the body, or something similar?

So, understanding the timeline as we do now… I have a theory about the Chang clan and how things ended up the way they did. We know from last year’s Comic-Con video that at some point yet to come (I’m betting on the season finale), Daniel Faraday is going to approach Pierre Chang and spill his guts about being from the future, and tell him that the Purge is going to one day destroy every last member of the Dharma Initiative. Despite his gruff, irritable persona when he’s working, I believe that the Pierre Chang we saw at the end of this episode was someone who truly loved his wife and son, and wouldn’t kick them out of his house or off of the island out of meanness. The Comic-Con video proved that Chang takes Daniel’s account of what’s going to happen to the Dharma Initiative very seriously. Seriously enough to fake a change of heart toward his wife and son, in order to get them off-island before the Purge, and therefore save their lives? You betcha. And I’d be willing to bet we’re going to see Chang’s wife and baby Miles shunted off of the island on Chang’s orders before this season ends.

IS there a reason that Miles can do what he can do? Miles seemed to suspect all his life that there was a reason for it. Bram promised to tell him the reason for it, if Miles rejected Charles Widmore’s employment. Did Miles’ father do something pseudo-scientific, back on the island, that caused his young son to be able to sense the remnants of a departed soul? Is the island itself directly responsible for Miles’ unique gift? Or is there another explanation?

Man oh man, I did not see it coming when the guy who abducted Miles turned out to be Ilana’s big friend with the rifle on the present-day island, Bram! And the really crazy part is that despite his maniacal harshness towards Frank in last week’s episode, here he was a very nice man who was exactly right that Miles needed more than money to fill the hole in his heart — and he even offered to give him what he needed, in the form of answers about his father.

So here’s my Big Question of the Week: Who the heck are Bram and Ilana working for? Bram claimed that he was not working for Widmore. When Ilana (and Bram) came into contact with Ben in last week’s episode, neither Ben nor Ilana seemed to recognize one another. So if Ilana and Bram aren’t working for Widmore… and they don’t know Ben at all… Who are they working for? We’ve been led to believe since last season that a war is coming over control of the island, and that there are two sides in this war: Ben Linus and Charles Widmore. But the actions of Ilana and Bram, if taken at face value, hint at the possibility of a third side — someone else out there who’s interested in controlling the island. Assuming this is true, who could that third party be? Who else is big enough of a power player to have known about Ajira 316’s true destination, and planted operatives on board (along with what’s got to be some fairly important cargo in that big steel crate)?

Ben and Widmore are both Others, regardless of how they came to enter that society. Is this third player someone from another party interested in the island? Say, the Dharma Initiative, perhaps? Could Ilana and Bram’s boss be Alvar Hanso, the man who founded (and funded) the Hanso Foundation, and its branch devoted to studying the island, the Dharma Initiative?

Did Pierre Chang somehow survive the Purge after all, and in the present day, an older and wiser Chang is trying to reclaim the island? (He’d be quite the heel for never visiting his wife and son over the years, if so.)

Could it be Sun’s father and his powerful company, Paik Industries?

Or is it an entirely new player, perhaps someone from the outside world who’s pieced together information about the island and has their own designs on it?

Whoever it is, they’re using the mysterious question, “Do you know what lies in the shadow of the statue?” as a sort of pass phrase. A riddle to determine either who is worthy of joining their ranks, or who is, as Bram suggested in this episode, ready to go to the island. Why, and to what end… These are things I look forward to finding out. And methinks they are going to have a lot to do with setting up the overarching scenario for Season 6.

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