Tagged: season 5

5.07 “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”

Locke’s fateful mission off the island to recruit the Oceanic 6 into returning is revealed, along with the circumstances surrounding his death.

Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender

In the here and now, we see new character Caesar rifling through a Dharma office somewhere on the island. Among the objects he finds are vintage magazines about Hydrogen bomb tests, a map of the island, a time travel chart, and a sawed-off shotgun. He pockets the gun just before he’s interrupted by Ilana, the federal agent who escorted Sayid onto the plane. When she asks about what he put in his bag, he lies and retrieves a large flashlight.

She tells him that they’ve found a man that no one recognizes from the plane. He was standing in the water, wearing a suit, when they found him. Ilana takes Caesar to meet this man, and outside, they pass Ajira 316 — which looks almost completely intact. Outside the crash site, on the beach, the survivors are gathered around a hooded man who’s kneeling on the ground near a campfire. Caesar asks him who he is, and he pulls back his hood. “My name is John Locke,” says a very alive and well Locke.

The next morning, Locke looks across the shore at the main island. He spots a number of canoes on the shore, and Ilana tells him that they were already there when the plane crashed. One of them is missing now because the plane’s pilot (Frank Lapidus) and another woman took one of the canoes without telling anyone. He asks if they have a passenger list, and she says he’ll “have to talk to Caesar.” Ilana questions him about how he got there. She says she doesn’t remember seeing him on the plane. He says he doesn’t remember being on the plane, but he does remember dying.

From here, the show enters into an extended flashback, which reveals the entire story of what happened to John Locke from the moment he turned the frozen wheel to how he died. After turning the wheel, Locke ended up in Tunisia, in the exact same place where Ben was sent after he turned it. Locke is still injured from his fall down the well on the island, and he’s unable to stand. He throws up before noticing that cameras have been erected on poles, all facing the spot where he’s now laying.

By nighttime, Locke is going into shock. A pickup truck approaches, and a group of men get out and hastily load Locke into the back. At a local hospital, a doctor forces some pills down his throat, puts a bit between his teeth for him to bite down on, and resets his leg. Before he passes out, Locke sees Matthew Abaddon watching him from a distance.

Later, Locke is awoken by Charles Widmore, who tells Locke he had a compound fracture, but Widmore had a specialist flown in to repair it. He reveals his identity to Locke, and tells him that he first met Locke when he was 17 years old. Locke says that event was only four days ago for him. Widmore says that the cameras that Locke saw in the desert are his, that he’d had them placed there in case Ben Linus tricked anyone else into leaving the island the same way he tricked Widmore.

Widmore reveals that he was once leader of the Others, and that his people had protected the island for more than three decades. But he was tricked by Ben into turning the frozen wheel. He tells Locke that it is now three years since the Oceanic 6 left the island, and that it won’t be easy to convince them to return. But Widmore intends to help him do it. Locke asks Widmore why he’s helping him, and Widmore says it’s because he’s special. The island needs Locke. He then says that a war is coming, and that if Locke isn’t on the island when it comes, then the wrong side is going to win.

Later, Widmore supplies Locke with a fake I.D., using the name Jeremy Bentham. He explains that he selected the pseudonym because the real Bentham was a famous philosopher — just like Locke’s namesake. Widmore gives Locke the locations of all of the Oceanic 6, telling him that he’s been watching all of them. Locke still doubts Widmore’s motives, asking why he sent a freighter loaded with explosives to the island, if he’s such a good guy. Widmore replies that Ben Linus had to be removed from the island, so that Locke could fulfill his destiny. Locke tells him that Richard Alpert said that he has to die to get the O6 to return, but Widmore says he’s not going to let that happen, because the island needs Locke, and has for a very long time.

Matthew Abaddon arrives in a car, and Widmore says that Abaddon is to be Locke’s driver and protector. Anything he needs, Abaddon will get for him. He takes Locke to the airport, where he flies to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. There, Sayid is working as a volunteer for a Habitat for Humanity type organization called Build Our World. Locke tells Sayid that it was a mistake for the Oceanic 6 to leave the island, and that they have to come back. Sayid says that it wasn’t a mistake, that it led to his reunion with the love of his life. He and Nadia had nine months together before she was killed, and those were the best nine months of his life. Locke tells Sayid where to find him in L.A. should he change his mind. Sayid replies that if Locke wants to do some real good, he’s welcome back here anytime.

Next up is Walt, who Locke and Abaddon find at Fieldcroft School in New York City. While they wait for school to get out, he asks Abaddon to find his lost love, Helen, for him. Walt exits the school with other children and spots Locke across the street immediately, as if sensing his presence. He crosses the street and Locke asks why he’s unsurprised to see him. Walt replies that he’s been having dreams about Locke, about him standing on the beach wearing a suit, surrounded by people who want to harm him. Walt asks about his dad, Michael, but Locke doesn’t tell him the truth, that his father is dead. He merely says that the last he heard of Michael, he was working on a freighter. Walt asks why Locke has come to see him now, and after a moment’s hesitation, Locke appears to decide on the spot not to ask Walt to come back to the island. Instead, he merely says he wanted to make sure that Walt was okay. When Abaddon questions this decision later, Locke tells him that Walt’s been through enough, and he couldn’t bring himself to ask this of the boy. In the distance, the camera reveals that Ben Linus has been watching this entire scene.

In Santa Rosa, California, Locke meets with Hurley in the same recreation yard where Hurley spoke to Dead Charlie. Hurley is unsurprised to see him, assuming that Locke is dead, too. When Locke proves that he’s very much alive, Hurley sees that Matthew Abaddon is with Locke, and he freaks out, and runs away.

Back in the car, Locke asks Abaddon just who he really is. Abaddon asks Locke if he remembers that it was him, working as an orderly at the hospital, who suggested that Locke go on an Australian walkabout after his paralyzing accident. Locke says he does remember. Abaddon explains that his job is to “help people get to where they need to be,” and that this is what he does for Charles Widmore.

In Los Angeles, Kate flatly refuses to go back with Locke. Locke doesn’t understand why she would refuse to help everyone else on the island, when they need the help of those who are off the island. Kate dismisses him, suggesting that he’s desperate to stay on the island because he had never loved anyone. Locke tells her she’s wrong, that he once loved a woman named Helen. She asks what happened, and he says it didn’t work out, that he was “angry and obsessed.” “Look how far you’ve come,” Kate replies coldly.

Back at the car, Locke asks Abaddon once again about Helen. Abaddon says he couldn’t find her, that she’s moved, possibly married with a new name. Locke finds this hard to believe, when Widmore so easily tracked down the exact locations of all of the Oceanic 6. Finally, Abaddon takes Locke to a graveyard in Santa Monica, where Helen is buried. She died of a brain aneurism in 2006. Abaddon tries to console Locke, telling him that Helen is where she’s supposed to be, that this is where her life’s path led her, just like Locke’s path leads back to the island. He insinuates that Locke’s having to die, as Richard told him he must, isn’t fate at all, but ultimately a choice that Locke must make. When they return to the car, Abaddon is shot and killed. Locke jumps into the front seat and takes off, causing a terrific car crash with two other vehicles.

He awakens in a hospital, and Jack is in his room, waiting for him to wake up. He was brought to Jack’s hospital after the car crash. Locke immediately tries to convince Jack to come back to the island with him, that Jack is the linchpin, and if Jack agrees to return, the others will come too. He claims that someone is trying to kill Locke because they don’t want him to succeed, and that’s why he was in this accident. Jack tells him the whole thing is ludicrous, that Locke is just a delusional old man, looking for meaning amid a life that has none. As he goes to storm out of the room, Locke says, “Your father says hi.” He explains that he deduced it had to be Jack’s father who came to him on the island with Jacob’s instructions, because he knew it wasn’t Hurley or Sayid’s father. Locke even knows the man’s name as Christian, but still Jack claims not to believe him. He tells Locke to leave him and all of the others alone.

Wallowing in failure at his hotel, sometime after he’s been discharged from the hospital, Locke writes his suicide note, throws away the cell phone Widmore gave him, and makes preparations to hang himself. He has the noose around his neck when there’s a knock at the door and when Locke doesn’t answer, it’s broken down to reveal Ben Linus. He claims he knew Locke was here and what Locke was up to because he’s watching all of them, keeping them safe. Locke accuses him of killing Abaddon, and Ben admits to it, but says that Abaddon would have killed Locke eventually, if Ben hadn’t taken him out. He says that Widmore is the true bad guy, that he’s using Locke because he’s important. Locke believes himself a failure since he couldn’t convince any of the O6 to return, so he can’t be “important” or a leader. Ben reveals that Jack had just booked a plane ticket from L.A. to Sydney, and Ben believes Jack is hoping the plane might crash back on the island. So whatever Locke said to Jack, according to Ben, it worked.

Ben manages to talk Locke down, untying his rope and telling him, “You can’t die, you’ve got too much work to do.” Ben says he’ll help Locke, and suggests they go see Sun next, since Locke hadn’t made it to her yet. Locke says he can’t, that he promised Jin he wouldn’t tell Sun that Jin is alive. Ben says he doesn’t know what to do once they have everyone back together, but he’s sure they’ll figure it out. Locke says they have to take everyone to see Eloise Hawking, and he asks if Ben knows her. Ben says that he does, and suddenly he grabs the rope and uses it to strangle Locke to death!

Ben strings Locke up to look like suicide, cleans up the crime scene, and then takes Jin’s wedding ring and Locke’s suicide note. Before leaving, he says to Locke’s hanging body, “I’ll miss you, John. I really will.”

Back on the island in present day, Locke walks into the Dharma office and finds Caesar reading various files. Locke tells him that the logo on the files belonged to the Dharma Initiative, who lived on the island and did experiments here back in the 70s. Caesar takes the opportunity to grill Locke on what he knows. He says that he watched people disappear on the plane, before the crash, but others were hurt in the crash. When Locke asks about the passenger list, Caesar tells him that Lapidus took it when he left. He takes Locke to another part of the Hydra facility, where a number of injured people are resting. Among them is a sleeping Benjamin Linus.

Caesar asks if Locke knows this man. Locke nods. “He’s the man who killed me.”

  • Presumably, they know one another because they’re both Others.
    Question: How does Ben know Ms. Hawking? [5.02]
  • Because Ben supplanted him as leader of the Others.
    Question: Why does Charles Widmore want Ben dead? [4.06]
  • Essentially, yes. Ben took Widmore’s position as leader of the Others, and exiled Widmore from the island.
    Question: What did Ben take that was once Widmore’s? The island? [4.09]
  • Using the Exit transports one not only through space but time as well.
    Question: Why didn’t Ben know the date when he arrived in Tunisia? [4.09]
  • Apparently, it was Charles Widmore.
    Question: If Ben was telling the truth about not being directly responsible for the Purge, then who was the leader of the Others at that time, who did make the decision? [4.11]
  • It was given to him by Charles Widmore as a means of protecting him.
    Question: Why did “Jeremy Bentham” use a pseudonym? [4.13]
  • Locke spoke to Kate of “anger and obsession,” suggesting that such things were in his past. But she pointed out he was still just as angry and obsessed as ever, and hadn’t changed at all.
    Question: What did “Jeremy Bentham” say to Kate to convince her he was crazy? [4.13]
  • The survivors left behind were dislodged in time, jumping randomly from time to time throughout the island’s history, until it began to take a physical toll on them, endangering their lives.
    Question: What “very bad things” happened on the island after the Oceanic 6 left? [4.14]
  • Sayid was right, though he didn’t know how right he was. Locke was indeed murdered — by Sayid’s former boss, Benjamin Linus.
    Question: Did Locke, aka “Jeremy Bentham” really commit suicide, or was he murdered as Sayid believes? [4.14]
  • I think one of the biggest takeaways we get out of this episode is that Ben and Widmore are engaged in an endless Cold War against one another, constantly spying on each other, each of them watching the Oceanic 6, and anybody else with connections to the island. All of it is in service of each man’s desire to regain control of the island. And they’ll do absolutely anything to get back to the island — manipulating, killing, or using others. I think this notion of the Oceanic 6 being in danger comes from the dangers they were placed in at the hands of both Ben and Widmore, and not any one particular villain.
    Question: If Locke’s death was a murder and not a suicide, does that mean that all of the Oceanic 6 are in similar danger? [4.14]

  • How did Ajira 316 wind up on the island? Did it land? Did it crash?
  • How did Locke wind up standing in the ocean just off the shore of Hydra Island, apparently resurrected after killing himself in Los Angeles?
  • How exactly was Locke resurrected?
  • Why did Frank steal a canoe to go to the main island?
  • Which passenger did Frank leave Hydra Island to go to the main island with?
  • What is the “coming war” that Widmore told Locke about? Is it between Widmore and Ben? Or two other parties?
  • If Abaddon’s the reason Locke went to Australia for his walkabout, and Abaddon works for Widmore… does this mean that Widmore knew Oceanic 6 was going to crash on the island, and he arranged for Locke to be on it?

So John Locke is alive after all. Told you so. Still, he really did die; it wasn’t faked or an induced coma or any other kind of ruse as I suggested a while back. And I don’t even want to think about how long it must’ve been before someone finally found him hanging there. (The fact that Jack’s beard was only starting to grow when he turned up here is evidence that at least a few good weeks passed before he found Locke’s obituary and tried to kill himself on the bridge.) And since it was at Ben’s hands, we might take that to explain why Ben was so cagey about answering Jack’s earlier inquiry regarding Locke being dead, a few episodes ago.

There were the usual references to the cursed numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) throughout this episode. Widmore gave Locke a number to call to reach him, telling him to “press 23″ to speak to him personally. According to her tombstone, Helen died on April 8, 2006, aka “4/8.” Jeremy Bentham’s birthdate, according to his passport, was listed as “15 Feb 48.”

Ajira 316 crash landed on Hydra island, the tiny island off the main island where the Dharma Initiative’s Hydra station was. (This is the station where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were held captive by the Others back in Season 3.) This was confirmed in the final scene, where the Hydra logo could clearly be seen on the blue file Caesar was reading. That office Caesar was so interested in had to have been part of the above-ground portion of the Hydra station.

The objects Caesar found were most interesting. The magazines referring to the Hydrogen bomb tests are an obvious reference back to Jughead, the atomic bomb that the U.S. military attempted to detonate on the island. But Lost is fond of foreshadowing, so I think H-bombs will somehow play a part in the island’s future, possibly even in this “war” that’s coming. Oh, and in case you missed it, the issue of Life magazine that was on top of the stack was dated April 19, 1954.

The map of the island was the exact same map (or at least a copy) as the one that Daniel Faraday used to find The Tempest in Season 4’s “The Other Woman.” It’s also very similar to the one Ben gave to Danielle, Alex, and Carl to help them find the Temple.

And might that sawed-off shotgun be used in the near future to shoot from a canoe… at another canoe? A la the events we saw flash-forwarded in “The Little Prince.”

So, Ajira 316 did crash after all. But it looks as though it crashed onto Hydra island. If that’s true, then how did Jack, Kate, and Hurley end up over on the main island? Also, there’s the fact that Ajira 316 looked to be more or less in one piece, unlike Oceanic 815, which was torn into three pieces. We know that Oceanic 815 crashed because Desmond stopped pushing the button, triggering the super electromagnetic reaction that pulled the plane off course and onto the island. Aside from the giant magnet, what made Ajira 316’s crash so different that it was able to stay whole? And why did it end up on Hydra island instead of the main island, anyway?

Seeing the plane crashed there on Hydra island, I couldn’t help being reminded of an important landmark on that same island — the supposed “runway” that the Others were having Sawyer and Kate help build during their captivity there. I seriously doubt this is a coincidence on the part of the writers.

The mystery of the canoes back at the Oceanic survivors’ beach camp is revealed. They came from Hydra island, of course. This shouldn’t really be a surprise, because we saw back in Season 3 that the Others had canoes that they used to travel from one island to the other.

Ilana said that the plane’s pilot and another woman took one of the canoes without telling anyone. We know that the pilot was Frank Lapidus. So who was the woman? Sun? Seems like the most probable answer, though one should never assume anything on Lost. If it was Sun, she was obviously wasting no time in her desire to get to the other island and find her husband. But Frank’s motives for helping her remain cloudy. It’s possible that she merely asked him for his help, knowing that it would be difficult to paddle to the main island alone. Caesar said that Lapidus took the passenger list when he ran off. Why would he do this? If he’s with Sun, the Ajira passenger manifest would not help them find Jin.

It looks like we now have ourselves an entirely new group of castaways slash plane crash survivors. Interesting how quickly Caesar and Ilana have risen to leadership roles among them. And it looks like Locke and Ben are the only two pre-existing characters among them (that we know of so far). Now we know why the writers were so cavalier about killing off so many of the Oceanic redshirts at the beginning of the season.

Clearly the cameras at the Tunisian “exit” spot were placed after Ben left the island. But if Widmore left the island the same way, and ended up in the same spot, then why did he wait until after Ben left to put up the cameras? We can safely assume it was Ben’s nighttime visit to Widmore in London that prompted the move, but why didn’t he have the cameras there all along, since he left the island back in the day?

Locke’s scene with Widmore was one big info dump. Here’s what we learned:

  • The Tunisian desert is the “exit,” the spot where turning the frozen wheel always sends people who use it to leave the island. Why this is, remains to be seen.
  • Charles Widmore was once the leader of the Others. Presumably, this happened after the events we saw in “Jughead,” where Richard Alpert was maintaining order, and there was no other leader apparent.
  • Widmore was tricked into turning the frozen wheel and leaving the island by Benjamin Linus. And he’s been trying to get back ever since? Possibly. This means that Widmore was the leader of the Others for more than twenty years. I think we can safely assume this deception was done as part of Ben’s plan (which also included the Purge of the Dharma Initiative) to take over leadership of the Others.
  • The group of people we know as the Others protected the island for more than three decades while Widmore was among them. Are they truly indigenous to the island, or merely visitors like everyone else, who just managed to get there first?
  • Everybody with any kind of unique connection to the island or its past believes that Locke is special, and is needed by the island. Why is he so special, and in what capacity?
  • Widmore believes a war is coming to the island. Very likely it is to determine the possession and future survival of the island. I’m going to hereby stake my claim that this war is what Season 6, the final season of the show, is going to be all about.

Widmore somehow knows an awful lot about what’s taken place on the island, while he’s been away. He told Locke that he was “deeply invested in the future of the island,” but I wonder where he gets his intel. His quip, “I haven’t tried to kill you. Can you say the same for him?” leads one to believe that he already knows the answer to that question. Yes, Ben has indeed tried to kill Locke once before. How could Widmore possibly know this?

We’ve known all along that “John Locke” was the name of a real-world famous philosopher, but this episode marks the first time that this fact is mentioned in canon with the story. Widmore suggested that Locke’s parents chose the name for him because of an appreciation for philosophy. (This seems unlikely, given what we know of Locke’s parental heritage.)

The passport ID that Widmore gave Locke listed Jeremy Bentham as a Canadian, with a date of birth February 15, 1948. The passport’s “date of issue” is December 12, 2007, which gives us a decent idea of when this episode takes place.

Widmore clearly wants to be seen by Locke as the good guy in his struggle with Ben. This was driven home by his statement about helping Locke and saving his life, “Can you say the same for [Ben]?” So… Is it possible that he is the good guy? With all the time we as viewers have spent with Ben, it’s been easy to see him as a flawed antihero type, with Widmore being the true Big Bad. But since almost everything we know about Widmore comes from Ben’s perspective or Desmond’s (who also had a serious personal issue with Widmore)… could Widmore actually be the better of the two? Ben didn’t exactly go a long way toward proving himself the hero in this episode, despite all of his protestations the last few weeks about how hard he’s worked to “protect” the Oceanic 6. He killed Abaddon and then he killed Locke! On the other hand, we’ve seen Widmore kill people, too. I doubt that in the end it’s going to come down to a struggle between good and evil with Widmore and Ben. I think instead what we’re seeing are two very powerful and very motivated men doing everything in their power to possess the island. Both of them are capable of good, and both are capable of evil.

Interesting, is it not, that Locke is once again denied use of his legs while off the island? This was driven home by the bitter moment when Abaddon unfolded a wheel chair for him, much as he did the last time these two met. And interesting also, that once Locke is back on the island again — even though he was dead and his leg still broken when he died — he’s completely healed and whole, just like when Oceanic 815 crashed and he found he could walk. Is this evidence of Locke’s unique relationship with the island? It sure looks like it. The island certainly won’t let Locke die — it’s saved him from death at least twice now. And as Ben told Locke in Season 3, Locke is special “because I’m in a wheelchair, and you’re not.”

This marks the second time Ben has attempted to kill Locke. This time he succeeded, but the death wasn’t permanent. We can easily say that the island brought John back to life because he’s Mr. Special, but I still hope to find out how and why this was accomplished. In any event, the island clearly isn’t done with Locke yet, and once again, Ben’s attempt to kill him was all for nothing. Ben can’t outwit the island or alter its plans.

Given that the island has needed John Locke for so long, and that Richard Alpert has been watching Locke for most of his life, waiting for him to be ready to assume the role that the island (or destiny) had chosen him for… I can’t help wondering if there’s more to Locke’s lifelong delays than just general life circumstances. We’ve seen Ben try repeatedly to keep Locke from fulfilling his destiny, so could he have been involved in Locke’s life long before he came to the island, attempting to keep him from ever making it there? For that matter, since it was Widmore who told Locke that the island has needed him for a long time, could Widmore have been involved in keeping Locke away from his destiny?

And while we’re on the subject of Locke getting to the island… Matthew Abaddon suggested that Locke go on an Australian walkabout. In this episode we learned that Abaddon was responsible for helping people get to where they were supposed to be. And that Abaddon worked for Charles Widmore, in this capacity. Does this mean that Widmore and/or Abaddon had prior knowledge of Oceanic 815’s ultimate fate? Did they see to it that Locke got on Flight 815 to ensure that he made it to the island, at long last? If so, how could they have known that the plane would crash? It was undoubtedly an accident, due to Desmond’s actions on the island at the Swan station. Has Widmore or Abaddon ever traveled through time, and seen the future, and that’s how they knew 815 would crash on the island? Or maybe that psychic who told Claire to get on the plane back in Season 1 was on Widmore’s payroll.

Strange to find Sayid helping to build a church (there was a steeple, that’s how I know) for something called “Build Our World” in the Dominican Republic after two years of killing for Ben. No doubt he was trying to find a way to atone for his sins, but now I’m eager to find out how he went from good will doer in a foreign country back to full-on assassin mode, where we saw him when he rescued Hurley from the mental hospital.

There is no Fieldcroft School in New York — or anywhere else. It’s made up, though I do wonder about the significance of the name. A Google and Wikipedia search for the name “Fieldcroft” generated no results. Could it be another anagram?

There’s one fact in this backstory that does not add up. In the final scene of Season 4, when Ben meets Jack at the funeral parlor, Ben asks Jack if Locke told Jack that Ben was off the island. Jack nods an affirmative. But in this episode, during the brief meeting between Jack and Locke, no mention was ever made of Ben, off the island or otherwise. Discrepancy? Footage that got cut for time? Or just plain error on the part of Lindelof and Cuse?

So was it just me, or did it look like Ben really had no intention of killing Locke until Locke mentioned Eloise Hawking? If he’d wanted Locke dead all along, he could have just let him hang himself, instead of working so hard to talk him down. Maybe Ben thought he could get some choice intel out of Locke before killing him — and it looked like he did, when Locke revealed the bit about Hawking. But it could also be interpreted that Ben changed his mind on the spot, that maybe he felt threatened by Locke’s knowledge of Hawking. Ben probably knew that Locke’s knowledge of Hawking is something that could only have come from Jacob, and just like the last time he tried to kill Locke (when he shot him and left him in the Dharma grave trench), perhaps he just couldn’t stand the thought of someone else being Jacob’s chosen one. I’m sure some explanation of this will be forthcoming.

Ilana and Caesar made reference to “the ones that disappeared,” and Caesar later expanded on this, telling Locke that people disappeared from the plane in the middle of the white light, one at a time — before the crash. Yet the plane didn’t even look like a crashed aircraft. So the ones who are here, on Hydra island, were survivors of the actual crash. But they know that there are others who disappeared. Who were the ones that disappeared, and why? It looks like it wasn’t just the Oceanic 6, but was it? Ben wasn’t included among them… And if the woman who disappeared with Frank Lapidus really was Sun, then she couldn’t have disappeared, either.

Okay, here’s my big, wild thought of the week, and I’ll end with this… Since we know from Eloise Hawking that the island is always moving, could all of this mean that turning the wheel doesn’t actually move the island at all, but is merely a means of exiting the island? If that’s true, then it could be that Ben was lying to Locke and Hurley when he led them to the Orchid station back in the Season 4 finale. It was never his intention to move the island at all, just to exit it himself. On the other hand, Jacob (via Christian Shephard) specifically told Locke to move the island. And Christian later confirmed that this was done using the frozen wheel, when he met Locke at the bottom of the well. Further, we know from the first scene of Season 5 that the frozen wheel and whatever is behind it is a pocket of energy that taps into time itself. And I think we can safely assume that when Ben turned the wheel, he accidentally dislodged it, which caused the unpredictable, random jumps through time. Do the math on all of these facts, and it’s looking more and more like Jacob didn’t want Locke to move the island physically (since it’s always moving anyway), but through time, and that’s what the frozen wheel really does. But that leads to a new question: why did Jacob want this? What does moving the island through time get Jacob, or anyone else?

I still don’t know if Locke’s planned suicide was a decision made out of his own feelings of failure, or if he was going to do it as a last-ditch effort to fulfill Richard’s prophecy on the only way he’d be able to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island. Locke was certainly wallowing in his own feelings of uselessness, but I wonder if he might have hoped that this final, desperate act would succeed where he couldn’t while alive.

The thing that struck me the first time I watched “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” was how anti-climactic it felt. Sure, there was the twist of Ben murdering Locke, and we got some interesting answers about Widmore, but otherwise, almost nothing happened that could be described as “exciting” or “surprising.” It was more of a character piece than anything else. I do like the way the writers chose to wait until the Oceanic 6 returned to the island to go back and explain just what happened to Locke after he left the island. It was a perfectly self-contained storyline, worthy of its own episode. But it’s also a perfect example of how the questions are often a lot more interesting than the answers. So much time was spent in the last year alluding to these wildly dramatic and pivotal things that happened when each of the Oceanic 6 met “Jeremy Bentham,” but when we finally saw what happened, the events in question felt pretty ho-hum.

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5.06 “316”

Jack learns how to return to the island, but it involves exercising the one thing he’s never been good at: faith.

Written by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse
Directed by Stephen Williams

Wearing a suit and tie, Jack Shephard opens his eyes, awakening in the jungle on the island. Beat-for-beat, it’s almost an exact replica of the very first scene in the first episode of the show. (It sounded to these ears like composer Michael Giacchino even used the same musical cues he used in that original scene, or at least similar ones.)

Jack retrieves a torn-up note from his inside jacket pocket. Scribbled on the note are the hand-written words “I wish…” but the paper is ripped beyond that point so we can’t read any further. A voice shouts in the distance, calling out for help. Jack runs to the edge of a waterfall, to find Hurley struggling to swim in the water far below. Jack dives into the water and rescues Hurley, but then spots an unconscious Kate laying on the rocks at the edge of the water. He wakes her up, and she asks if they’re back. Jack says yes, and she replies, “What happened?”

46 hours earlier, we are back at the church where Ben, Jack, Sun, and Desmond are meeting Eloise Hawking, right where the last episode left off. Hawking tells them it’s time to get started, and leads them through the church, beyond a closed door, down a spiral staircase, and into an underground tunnel. At the far end of the tunnel is a door with a Dharma logo on it! She opens the door and leads them inside: it’s the room with the giant swinging pendulum we last saw her in. There’s a wall filled with longitude and latitude numbers, automatically changing on their own. Jack also notices a black & white photograph of the island taped to a chalk board; its imprinted with the words “9/23/54 – U.S. Army – OP 264 – Top Secret – Eyes Only.”

She tells them this is the Lamppost, a Dharma station constructed to allow the Dharma Initiative to find the island. It’s how they found it in the first place. Hawking explains that this station was built years ago over “a unique pocket of electromagnetic energy” — energy which is connected to similar pockets all over the world. But the Dharma Initiative was only interested in one of these pockets: the island. Dharma had gathered proof that it existed, they knew it was out there somewhere, but they couldn’t find it. The pendulum was built here by “a very clever fellow” who figured out that finding the island was not a matter of figuring out where it was supposed to be, but where it was going to be.

Jack asks what she means by this, and she says that the island is always moving. “Why do you think you were never rescued?” she asks him. She says that while the movements of the island seem to be random, this man who built the pendulum and his team created a series of equations that predict where the island is going to be, at a certain point in time. She says that windows provide a route back, but they never stay open for very long. She hands Jack a binder that contains all of the information he’ll need to reach the coordinates he needs to be at, at the appropriate time, to return to the island. And she says that their window closes in thirty-six hours.

Desmond stops the proceedings, shocked that the others are all going back to the island willingly. He explains he was sent by Hawking’s son, Daniel Faraday, to find her and ask for her help for all of the people still on the island. Hawking seems to take this in stride, saying she is helping, by helping Jack and his friends get back. Desmond tells them they’re all crazy for wanting to go back, and storms out. But before he can leave, Hawking tells him that the island is not done with him yet. He says that he’s done with the island, and warns Jack not to do anything that Hawking tells him to, since he once listened to her and wasted four years of his life on the island pushing the button, at her behest. He says that all of them are being used as pawns in a game by more powerful people — people like Ben, Hawking, and Charles Widmore.

When Desmond is gone, Hawking opens Jack’s binder and shows him a list of coordinates of where the island will be in two days’ time. She explains that an airplane will be flying over those exact coordinates at the right time, and that they all need to be on it. The flight is Ajira Airways flight 316, L.A. to Guam. She says that they must recreate the circumstances that got them to the island the first time, with as many of the same people as possible. The less accurate they are in recreating those original circumstances, the more predictable the outcome will be.

Hawking then takes Jack aside, to another room in the church, where she hands him John Locke’s suicide note! She reveals that Locke hung himself, and he did it to help Jack get back to the island. Locke is to act as a proxy, a substitute on this new flight for Jack’s father, Christian Shephard, who traveled, dead, in a similar coffin back on Oceanic 815. It’s another way of helping the Oceanic 6 recreate the circumstances of their original trip to the island. What’s more, Jack needs to find something that belonged to his father, and give it to Locke, to further solidify Locke’s status as the proxy.

Jack balks at this, but Hawking scolds him and insists that he believe in this if he wants to get back to the island. It’s a leap of faith, and he has to take it, like it or not. Jack leaves and finds Ben waiting for him in the chapel. Sun has gone, but will meet them at the airport. Jack asks who Eloise Hawking really is, but Ben changes the subject, telling him the story of Thomas the Apostle, aka Doubting Thomas. Thomas had to touch Jesus’ wounds before he would be convinced that Jesus had truly risen from the dead. Jack asks if Thomas was convinced, to which Ben replies, “Of course he was. We’re all convinced sooner or later.” Ben leaves, saying he has one last thing to do before he goes to the airport. He has a promise to keep to an old friend, a loose end to tie up.

Jack finds his way to a bar to get a drink, contemplating whether or not he’s willing to believe in Hawking’s assertions. But his phone rings, and he leaves immediately after taking the call. He journeys to an elderly retirement home, where he visits his grandfather, Ray Shephard. Jack was called by the facility because his grandfather was caught trying to escape “again.” In Ray’s room, Jack finds a bag that Ray packed, hoping to take it with him when he escaped. He promises Jack that sooner or later, he’s going to succeed in making it out of there, because “any place is better than here.” In Ray’s bag, Jack finds a pair of his father’s shoes, and he asks if he can have them. Ray agrees. Jack explains that he may be “going away for a while,” and when Ray asks where he’s going, Jack replies, “some place better than here.”

Jack returns to his apartment, his father’s shoes in hand, where he finds a severely distraught Kate waiting for him. Something’s happened to her and Aaron, and she no longer has him. He asks what’s happened and where Aaron is. She replies that she’ll go back to the island with him if he never asks her about Aaron ever again. One needy and passionate kiss later, and the two of them descend to his bed.

The next morning, over breakfast, Jack tells Kate the story of his trip to Australia to pick up his father’s body. He says that he had to make all of the arrangements for the trip back to the states, and that he thought it was unimportant what his father was wearing when he died, so he put a pair of white tennis shoes on the body. Kate leaves in a hurry, promising to see him at the airport. Ben calls Jack, tells him he got sidetracked, and frantically asks Jack to pick up Locke’s body from Simon’s Butcher Shop. The scene shifts to Ben’s perspective at a pay phone at the pier, and we see that he’s injured and bloodied from some experience that happened to him between last night and this morning.

At the butcher shop, Ben’s friend Jill lets Jack in. Jack’s carrying a backpack, and Jill asks what’s inside. When Jack doesn’t answer, she apologizes for being nosy, and she takes him to the freezer, where Locke’s coffin is waiting. Jill exits to retrieve Ben’s van, leaving Jack alone. Jack opens the coffin and replaces Locke’s shoes with Christian’s. He tells Locke that wherever he is now, he must be laughing at what Jack’s doing, because he’s finally taking a leap of faith. But Jack puts the suicide note in Locke’s jacket pocket, telling him that he’s already heard everything Locke had to say, and that Locke is getting what he wanted — Jack is going back to the island.

At the airport, the check-in clerk asks a lot of questions about “Bentham’s body,” which Jack distractedly answers, taking responsibility for the body and all of the funeral arrangements when they reach Guam. Jack spots Kate at the back of the check-in line, and they exchange a smile. As Jack finishes his check-in, the next person in line — a man we’ve never seen before — tells him he’s sorry Jack lost his friend.

Sun shows up behind Jack at the security gate, and Jack is almost surprised to see her. She says that if there’s even a chance of finding Jin on the island, she has to take it. They spot a familiar and unexpected face being escorted past security by a female federal officer: Sayid is in custody and being taken on board the plane in handcuffs!

What’s more, Hurley is at the airport as well. Jack runs into him at the gate, but not before we find out that Hurley has purchased seventy-eight tickets for seats on this plane. He refuses to tell Jack how and why he’s there, and suggests that all that should matter to Jack is that he’s there. Jack boards the plane and finds there Kate, Sayid, and Sun. Kate is wearing sunglasses to hide puffy eyes, evidence of recent crying. Hurley boards right behind Jack, and just before the plane is ready to leave the gate, Ben runs in and makes it onto the flight as well. Hurley objects strongly to Ben’s presence, but Jack calms him down.

A flight attendant approaches Jack and hands him Locke’s suicide note, explaining that security found it and retrieved it for him. Jack returns to his seat to find Ben sitting across the aisle from him. He asks what’s going to happen to the couple dozen other passengers on the plane. Ben replies, “Who cares?”

The plane takes off as all six island-bound passengers watch and wait with trepidation. Jack wanders up to Kate’s seat after the captain turns off the fasten seatbelt light, and expresses his astonishment that all of them came. He asks her if she thinks it could mean something that they’re all together again. Kate replies that they may be on the same flight, but none of them are “together.” Just then, the captain comes over the speaker to announce himself and their flight details, and it turns out to be none other than Frank Lapidus!

Jack goes to the flight attendant and asks her to tell Frank that he’s on board. Frank wastes no time exiting the cockpit to see Jack, and explains he’s been working for Ajira for eight months. But he quickly spots the other members of the O6 in the main cabin, and realizes that this flight isn’t bound for the destination he thought it was.

Later, as the flight is flying over the Pacific Ocean at night, Jack is jittery, watching and waiting for something to happen. Will the plane crash? Will a magical portal open up and swallow them? His mind is racing and he’s watching every little tic of the plane for signs that it’s beginning. Ben, sitting across from him and reading Ulysses, criticizes Jack for not being able to relax. Jack asks if Ben knew that Locke killed himself. Ben says that he didn’t. Jack pulls out the suicide note and tells Ben he can’t seem to get rid of it, that it’s almost like Locke needs him to read it. Ben cuts to the heart of the issue, saying that Jack can’t read it because he’s afraid that it was his fault that Locke killed himself. Ben assures him that it wasn’t.

Finally, Jack opens the note and reads its single line: “Jack, I wish you had believed me. -J.L.”

The plane begins to shake with some very familiar-looking turbulence. The captain tells everyone to fasten their seatbelts, but the flight attendant is flung across the cabin as the turbulence becomes more violent. Kate takes an apprehensive look back, as if expecting the rear of the plane to tear itself free, just like what she experienced on Oceanic 815. But before the plane can crash or even take any damage, a bright white light envelopes the passengers…

And Jack wakes up in the jungle, just as we saw at the beginning of the episode. After rescuing Hurley and awakening Kate, the three of them theorize about what happened. None of them noticed the plane crash; one minute they were on the plane, then there was the bright light, and now they’re back on the island. Then they wonder where everyone else is — Sun, Sayid, Ben, etc.

Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a blue Dharma van — a van identical to the one Ben’s father died in, and that Hurley hotwired years later. Only this van is in perfect condition, and shows no signs of age. Someone in a Dharma jumpsuit steps out of the van and aims a rifle at Jack, Kate, and Hurley. But they recognize this man.

It’s Jin!

  • The island is constantly drifting throughout the South Pacific.
    Question: Where are the survivors of Oceanic 815? Where is this island located, exactly? [1.01]
  • The island is unique in all the world, because it is always moving, making it very hard to locate. It also seems to be camouflaged from view somehow (perhaps due to the electromagnetic energy beneath the island?), including satellite imagery.
    Question: Michael’s question is a good one: how is it that an island so big has never been discovered by the rest of the world? [1.24]
  • Locke’s body is serving as a substitute on Ajira 316 for Jack’s father’s body on Oceanic 815. The circumstances of the original crash must be recreated in order for the Oceanic 6 to return to the island.
    Question: Why must Locke die to convince the Oceanic 6 to return? [5.01] & Why is the safety of Locke’s body so important to Ben’s plan to get everyone back to the island? [5.02]
  • Beneath the church is an off-island Dharma station called The Lamp Post. It was created and used by the Dharma Initiative as a means of finding the island. It works because the church sits atop a pocket of electromagnetic energy that’s connected to the pocket beneath the island.
    Question: What kind of facility was in the church’s basement? [5.02]
  • Ms. Hawking has determined that a window of opportunity for returning to the island will open for about 12 hours, after which it will close. It’s never made entirely clear why the Oceanic 6 can only return during this one particular window, but Ms. Hawking has insinuated that the results would be catastrophic if they miss it.
    Question: How does Ms. Hawking know that Ben has only seventy hours to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island? [5.02]
  • Jack had to have his father prepared in his coffin before he could put him on the Oceanic 815, and the only shoes he had available to dress him in were a pair of white tennis shoes. He figured it wouldn’t really matter since no one would see his father’s feet in the casket.
    Question: Why was [Christian Shephard] wearing a suit, and white shoes? [1.04]

  • Who is the “very clever fellow,” working for the Dharma Initiative, who figured out how to find the island?
  • Why wasn’t Eloise more concerned about her son Daniel when Desmond asked her to help him?
  • What did Eloise mean when she said the island “isn’t yet finished” with Desmond?
  • Ben’s “loose end” was him seemingly attempting to fulfill his promise to Widmore to kill Penny. Did he succeed in killing her?
  • What happened to Aaron? Why does Kate no longer have him?
  • Why did Kate change her mind and decide to go back to the island?
  • Why was Sayid in federal custody, and being escorted onto Ajira 316?
  • Who was the woman who captured Sayid?
  • Why did Hurley change his mind and decide to go back to the island?
  • Why was Hurley carrying a guitar case? Is there really a guitar inside?
  • What happened when Ajira 316 went through the bright light?
  • Where are Sun, Sayid, Ben, and Frank? Did they travel back in time as well?
  • What became of Ajira 316, and the rest of its passengers?
  • Why was Jin wearing a Dharma jumpsuit and driving a Dharma van? What’s happened to the survivors left behind on the island?

What a jarring way to begin the episode! We were expecting the Oceanic 6 to find out how to get back to the island — not get there so soon! But it appears that they’re back, or at least some of them are. Methinks all of them really are, but the writers are going to throw lots of obstacles in their way for the rest of the season to keep them from reuniting very easily with one another and the castaways who were left behind. Hawking warned Jack that the less precise they were about recreating the circumstances of their first trip to the island, the more predictable the outcome would be. And unpredictable it was!

The episode, with all of its juicy revelations and new mysteries, was nonetheless entirely Jack-centric, focusing on his longtime struggle between science and faith. Jack has always believed in what he knew or could prove to be true, but this entire journey requires him to take a leap of faith. This is something he was never able to do on the island, no matter how many times John Locke encouraged him to. Even now, with his decision to go back to the island at last, he still struggles to believe in the words of Eloise Hawking. But as the episode progresses, we see him slowly opening his mind to ideas like destiny and providence. He finds his father’s shoes at his grandfather’s place, right after being told he’d need something of his father’s to give to Locke; it’s as if the shoes were waiting on him. Jack wondering aloud to Kate if it could mean something that all of them managed to get back together in time for this flight, even though they shouldn’t have, points to this newfound faith. And Frank Lapidus appears at just that moment almost as if to confirm Jack’s newly spiritual suspicion. Plus there’s Locke’s suicide note, which he himself realizes seems to be stalking him. But what does poor Jack get in the end for finally making his leap of faith? A posthumous tongue-lashing from Locke: “I wish you’d believed me.” But no sooner do they get back to the island than Dr. Jack is out of mopey-dopey mode and back in life-saving-hero mode, diving into the water to save Hurley. Lickety-split, the doc’s got his mojo back, and all it took was a little faith to get him there. As Ben predicted earlier, sooner or later, this Doubting Thomas was convinced.

Before I go any further, I need to interject here that I am hereby obsessed with and captivated by Fionnula Flanagan, the actress portraying Eloise Hawking. In the scarce few scenes where we’ve seen Ms. Hawking over the years, she’s given us playful, menacing, studious, and now helpful. And she’s always portrayed tremendous intelligence and wisdom, despite being given little more to do than recite exposition. Every time she’s on the screen, the weight of the drama and intrigue kicks up about five notches. I want to know everything about Ms. Hawking — her entire life story. I hope we haven’t seen the last of her, even though this episode was clearly a culmination point for the character; there are still so many questions to be answered about her! They should make her a regular. Or give her her own spin-off: Ms. Hawking: The Living Flux Capacitor.

It is awfully convenient that the one place in all the world where the O6 could find out how to get back to the island just happened to be located in the same city where all of them found themselves at just the right time. But as a storyteller myself, I’m inclined to give the Lost writers the benefit of the doubt.

There’s so much to talk about regarding the Lamppost station… The fact that it was built over an electromagnetic energy source, when the island itself is known to be home to electromagnetic funkiness. The classified U.S. Army photograph taped to the wall, depicting surveillance video of the island. We know the Army has been to the island at least once before, as we saw in “Jughead,” when they tried to use it as a test site for detonating an atomic bomb. This photo was dated September 23, 1954, which would have been right around the same time as the Jughead incident. The photo would seem to indicate that the Army is aware of the island’s existence, and has been trying to find it for a very long time. One must ask: was the Army really interested in blowing up the island as a test site for atomic technology? Or were they trying to intentionally blow it up, because they know what it is?

Who is the “very clever fellow” who built the pendulum? Since it was almost certainly a member of the Dharma Initiative, that all but rules out Charles Widmore, Richard Alpert, or Jacob. That pretty much leaves only Pierre Chang as a possibility. But here’s another thought: what if it was Daniel Faraday, during his time traveling adventures? That would make Hawking’s description of him a bit of a wink, referring to her own son in that way. In any case, I hope to find out a lot more about this station, who built it, and that “series of equations” that Hawking referred to.

We’ve seen lots of people come to the island. Many of them, like the Oceanic 815 survivors, the French science team, Yemi’s beechcraft, the real Henry Gale, and probably the long-dead crew of the Black Rock, all arrived there by accident. But others have come and gone intentionally, at their will, primarily using the Others’ submarine but probably using other means of transportation as well. That would include people like Richard Alpert (who left the island several times to investigate young John Locke, and later to recruit Juliet), Juliet (who was brought to the island on the submarine), Tom (who left the island to convince Michael to work for Ben), and Ben himself (who we’ve seen evidence in the past of being able to come and go as he pleases). This begs the question: all of these Others who came to the island of their own choosing — did they make use of the Lamppost to facilitate their travels? If so, Ben was definitely lying when he said he didn’t know about the Lamppost’s existence. He would have had to, to get back to the island after leaving it. But then… there’s always the chance that use of the Lamppost is not a universal rule. The freighter made it to the island without using the Lamppost, though it found the island with great difficulty. I guess I’m trying to wrap my brain around why it was so crucial for the Oceanic 6 to use the Lamppost in this instance, since we know there are other ways of getting to the island. Not to mention why it was so important that they recreate the exact circumstances of their original trip to the island. There was also Hawking’s wording, that seemed to suggest that this particular “window” that Jack & Co. would use to get back, was specific to them in some way. Thoughts, anyone?

So Eloise Hawking, who was very likely once the Other named Ellie, knew all about the Lamppost station, even though she was not Dharma. Charles Widmore, also an Other, has been trying to find the island for most of his life. We know that Hawking and Widmore know each other. So does Widmore not know about the Lamppost? Hawking alone seems to have ownership or authority over the Lamppost. Is she denying him access to it somehow? Or does he legitimately just not know of its existence? He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to ignore such a useful tool when it’s so readily available.

Why was Hawking so cavalier about helping or not helping her son? Shouldn’t she have been more concerned about her son’s welfare? She didn’t seem all that worried, and kind of shrugged off Desmond’s exasperated pleas for help on behalf of Dan and the other survivors. Was it simply that she — who we’ve seen to be prescient before when it comes to matters of time — was unsurprised by this news? Or is there a dark side to her relationship with her son?

The island is not done with Desmond yet. Why? He wasn’t on Oceanic 815, so there was no need for him to be on Ajira 316. So what does the island want with him? And how will he get back, assuming the island’s needs for him require his return there. Maybe it needs him to do some stuff out in the rest of the world. And maybe most important of all… Just exactly how does Hawking know that the island isn’t done with Desmond yet? She seems to be an authority on all things related to the island, almost as if she’s in tune with how the island thinks. So why isn’t she on the island herself?

We know that Christian Shephard told Locke to go see Eloise Hawking when he got off the island. Clearly he did, because she was in possession of his suicide note.

We knew all this time that Locke died so the O6 could get back to the island, but until now, we didn’t know how or why. He wasn’t killed; he committed suicide. And he did it by hanging himself. And he did it to act as a proxy for Jack’s father, who was also dead on the original flight. Locke is very special to the island, and if it brought Christian Shephard back to life in some way or another (and I’m not saying it necessarily did exactly that), then surely it will do even more for Locke. I expect he’ll be brought back, but now he’ll be different from before. Transformed in some way. Elevated to a new state that will be of greater use to the island.

Ben almost seemed to be praying in the chapel when Jack found him after his private chat with Hawking. If he was praying, it was likely in regards to the “favor for an old friend” he was about to embark on. Who was this friend? And what happened there? His injury seemed to be unexpected, given his frantic call to Jack. So something clearly went wrong when he embarked on this favor for his old friend. Can’t wait to find out what.

Why did Ben tell Jack the story of Thomas the Apostle? I’m sure there was some significance to this, and the most likely explanation is that Ben is comparing Thomas to Jack — both men who were/are hesitant to take anything on faith. But I can’t help wondering why Ben told this story immediately after Jack asked him who Eloise Hawking really was. Was the story about her, somehow, too? Or as Ben’s final line suggested, was it about everyone?

Is there any significance to Jack’s grandfather in the overall story, and his need to escape from the retirement home? I tend to think there isn’t, that it was just a plot device to help Jack acquire his dad’s shoes. But this is Lost, so you never know…

Poor Aaron. Doesn’t look like he’ll ever make it back to the island to see his real mom again. Claire came to Kate in a dream and told her not to bring Aaron back, and Kate has complied. For reasons she kept to herself, she no longer had custody of Aaron, and she was suddenly ready to do an about-face on her feelings about going back to the island. The most likely and obvious answer is that for whatever reason, Kate gave Aaron up — very likely to his grandmother, Carole Littleton. But what prompted this move, why Kate seems to accept it so hopelessly, and why she’s suddenly ready to go back to the island, are questions that will be answered another day. Any wild and crazy theories?

Now we know why Christian Shephard is always wearing white shoes when we see him on the island. The real question is, what does that tell us about Christian and his status on the island? The fact that he can’t change his clothes could be significant in a ghostly sort of way, or it could just be that he doesn’t have access to any other clothes to wear. Something tells me it’s meant as a hint about his nature that will be further explained later.

Finally we know the significance of Ajira Airways. So what I want to know is, which one of the passengers was holding onto an Ajira water bottle? Remember the water bottle we saw two episodes ago, in a canoe that Sawyer and the other survivors found? It had to have come from Flight 316, which means that that particular time-jump was indeed a trip into the future (from the survivors’ perspective). So how did the water bottle wind up in a canoe, and who was shooting at the castaways from the other canoe after they got out on the ocean?

The man that Jack met at the airport check-in counter was a new character we will come to know as Caesar. The federal agent who escorted Sayid onto the plane was another new character named Ilana. I don’t know anything more about them than you do, but they’re both obviously worth keeping an eye on.

Sun made a bold move in choosing to return to the island in search of her long lost love. Why? Because of her daughter, Ji Yeon, of course. What will become of the little girl? Will her grandmother raise her? Or will Sun and Jin, once reunited on the island (and come on, you know they will be), seek once again to find a way off, so they can get back to their daughter and be a family together? If so, then the two of them are probably the only remaining major characters who would be interested in ever leaving the island.

What in the world did Sayid get himself into, and how did he just happen to find his way onto Ajira 316? Did he know of its true destination? A simple answer would be that, given he was in the custody of a federal officer, he was probably wanted for all those murders he’d committed and got himself caught somehow. Perhaps he was remorseful for all the killing he’d done, and turned himself in. Or maybe he was caught against his will. Either way, why on earth would a federal U.S. agent be transporting him to Guam? Hey, is that a flashback episode I see coming…? I loved Sayid’s thematic echo of Kate from the pilot episode, who was in handcuffs and in federal custody on Oceanic 815. Another recreation of their original circumstances? Perhaps.

Speaking of unexpected faces, what was Hurley doing at the airport? We know Ben was planning to get him out of jail, and had made arrangements to that effect. But Hurley had no desire to go back to the island, wouldn’t trust Ben or go with him, and he had no knowledge of Ajira 316. Who told him about it and convinced him to go? Did Ms. Hawking intervene and somehow persuade him to go? It clearly wasn’t Ben; even Ben was curious as to who told Hurley to come. My wife’s guess is probably the smartest one: somebody dead, like Charlie or Ana-Lucia, came to him and explained what he had to do. And Hurley’s learned by now not to ignore the advice of dead people.

Hurley’s purchase of seventy-eight tickets on Ajira 316 is pretty self-explanatory. Clearly he knew what was going to go down on the plane — or he suspected, at the very least — and wanted to spare as many people as possible the fate of ending up on the island like he knew he was going to (again). Ah Hurley, always with the big heart, always looking out for others.

Hurley was carrying a guitar case. Was this because Charlie carried one, and Hurley was doing his part to help recreate the circumstances of the Oceanic passengers? He also carried a Spanish-language comic book along (Y the Last Man by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan, no less), just as he did on the original flight.

Oh, and Flight 316 left from Gate 15. You don’t really need me to tell you that 15 is one of the cursed numbers, do you? Or that Jack’s seat on the plane was in Row 8, another one of the numbers? No, of course you don’t.

How funny is it that nobody on the plane asked Ben what happened to him, or if he was okay?

So what happened to that Ajira plane, anyway? It didn’t appear to crash like Oceanic 815 did. It seemed to be enveloped by the same bright white light that has been overtaking the island of late, when time-jumping occurs. Did they go through a “window” or portal, as Hawking said they would? And if so, what happened to the rest of the passengers on the plane? Is Frank Lapidus back on the island as well?

The way that Kate, Hurley, and Sayid all found their way onto the flight and presumably back to the island, practically at the last minute, despite their many protestations that they’d never go back, would seem to indicate that the island intervened and changed their circumstances so that they would have to return. We know the island can prevent people from dying, so it’s not a stretch to guess that it can direct people’s destinies in this way as well.

There’s no getting around the fact that if Hawking was to be believed about the accuracy of recreating the travel circumstances the O6 experienced the first time around, then Aaron should have been with them. He may not have been born yet, but Claire was almost nine months pregnant when Oceanic 815 crashed. Aaron was born just a few weeks later, so he was definitely on the first flight. I want to know what will become of the little guy now that his birth mother and adoptive mother are both out of the picture. Kate giving him up in such a short period of time has to point towards some major, highly dramatic turn of events. I can’t accept that we’ve seen the last of him, so I suspect that the next time we encounter him… he won’t be a little boy anymore. He’ll probably be all grown up. (Hey, maybe he’s Jacob!)

Probably the biggest revelation to come from the episode, mythology-wise, is Eloise Hawking’s statement that the island is always moving. Okay, I need a minute to take a breath and digest this. No wait, I don’t think I can. The island is always moving?!?! You’re kidding me!! It’s a game-changing eye-opener, without a doubt, and makes me want to go back and rewatch every episode we’ve ever seen where someone came to or left the island. Indeed, this fact does explain why the Oceanic 815 crash survivors were never rescued and why the island is so hard to find (such as the lengths Widmore’s freighter had to go to, to locate it). But in true Lost fashion, it opens a whole new can of worms: Why is the island always moving? If it’s always moving, why did Jacob want Locke to move it recently? Was he asking Locke to move it through time? But then… we saw it disappear when Ben turned the wheel. It physically vanished from the place it was at. I can’t get my head around this one. More explanation needed, pronto!

When Jack asked Ben how he could read while they were waiting for something to happen on the plane, Ben replied, “My mother taught me.” Was this more than sarcasm? We know Ben’s mother died giving birth to him, so she couldn’t have taught him anything? Could she? He saw her once since then that we know of, on the island (though this was long after he was old enough to read). Has he conversed with her again, on other occasions? And if so, could she be a manifestation of the smoke monster (since we know smokey can take human form), and might that explain the link between Ben and smokey? The bond that allowed him to summon the smoke monster to destroy Keamy’s men?

This isn’t a theory or an unanswered question, just me wondering something: That lake where Jack rescued Hurley and woke Kate up — was that the same lagoon-with-a-waterfall where Kate and Sawyer once visited? I think it was in the episode where Kate was trying to retrieve that little toy airplane from the briefcase… Can anyone tell if it’s the same location on the island? Looks pretty similar.

In the end, there were enough unanswered questions about the people who returned for the producers to have set up a new pilot for the show:

  • What happened to Aaron? Did Kate give him up? If so, why?
  • What happened to Ben that got him so bloodied up?
  • How and why did Sayid end up in Federal custody, and on the plane?
  • How and why did Hurley end up on the plane? And why was he carrying a guitar case?
  • What happened to all the other people on the plane?
  • What happened to the plane itself? Did it crash?
  • Where are Sun, Sayid, and Ben? Where is Locke’s body?

Finally, what happened to the island survivors since the end of the last episode, and our encounter with Dharma Initiative Jin? How much time has passed there? It seems pretty clear that we’re in the 70s, probably around the time of the early days of the Dharma Initiative. And the fact that Jin has had time to join up with Dharma somehow — probably as a member of their security force — can only mean that the island has been settled at this point in time for quite a while, with no more time jumping. Is this 1970s setting where the island ended up after Locke pushed the frozen wheel back in place? Did the time-jumping stop altogether, leaving everyone stranded here in the 70s? And will the show take place in the 70s, from now until its end?

More

5.05 “This Place is Death”

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

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

On the Island

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off the Island

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5.04 “The Little Prince”

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

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

Flashback

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

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

Off the Island

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the Island

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait for it…

It’s Jin! He’s alive!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5.03 “Jughead”

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

Written by Elizabeth Sarnoff & Paul Zbyszewski
Directed by Rod Holcomb

Flashback

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

Off the Island

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa.

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

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

On the Island

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy moley.

But let’s back up for a second.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy connect-the-dots, Batman.

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

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

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

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

Their children.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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