Lost – ‘This Place is Death’ – 5.5


With 5 episodes down (and only 11 remaining this season), I thought it might be good to keep a running tally of how many episodes we have left until Lost is no longer found on a weekly basis. After this week, there’s only 27 episodes left.

With that said, it’s clear that the creators are heavily diving into answer mode. While they’ve managed to befuddle a few people with their time travel hijinks, as I wrote last week, they’ve found a great mechanism to resolve those lingering questions that have hovered over this fantasy island ever since Flight 815 splashed down in ’04. And that device has led to some great forward momentum in plot development even as we keep slipping further back in time.

Last night’s episode was a great example of that. A number of questions were answered and we got some teasing hints into the true nature of larger mysteries. More in a moment.

With that said, on with the show. Let’s get Lost.

1.   Last week we were reacquainted with a long-lost friend, Jin, who studied his Titanic and learned from Rose’s lead. If you ever find yourself lost at sea, just curl up on a nice, cushy slab of ship door and everything will be all right. And before the tears could dry from our cheeks at the site of our kick-ass Korean killer, we were reunited with another dear friend. Good ol’ Smokey wasted no time laying the smackdown on Danielle’s band of merry men.


2.   And here’s where the teasing hints come into play. Way back in Season 1, Danielle referred to the smoke monster as a security system. That notion has been underscored throughout the seasons – with Locke calling it the same (although he also refers to it as the “heart of the island”) and Ben calling upon his private security force last season to rip those rampaging mercs a collective “new one”.  And in this episode, we get definitive proof that it is indeed the island security system as Danielle’s main squeeze – who has traveled into its lair – corrects Danielle. It’s not a monster. It’s a security system. And what does a security system do (besides detach men from their arms)? They protect domiciles.

3.   Or in this case – ancient temples. And, at last, we come across the temple that has long been mentioned by Richard and company but never seen until now. Last season, when the mercs were on their way to the island, Ben told Locke that Richard was leading The Others to the temple. He called it the safest place on the island. With a guard dog like Smokey standing sentinel, I’m not sure I’d want to be anywhere else but there (assuming I let Smokey infest my mind with the “sickness”.)


4.   And there lies another answer. In the first season, Danielle told Sayid that she killed the members of her expedition when they became infected. This episode backed that up – with Jin getting a front row seat to the carnage. Now we know that the sickness derives from the temple. And it seems to be one of those assimilation things – i.e. Join us or die – as Danielle’s dude was ready to bust a cap into his pregnant wife the second she lowered her gun.

5.   Which makes you wonder if The Others are all infected by whatever is in the temple. Or, perhaps, whatever is in the temple doesn’t agree with outsiders?


6.   One final thing about the temple. It was dotted with hieroglyphics which were similar to those that appeared on that countdown in the first hatch as well as covered that secret door in Ben’s Othersville home last year. I think all of this ties into an ancient civilization and should likely tie back to that 4-toed statue that Sayid spied in the 2nd season finale.

7.   Now, before I move on to other developments, we’ve got to address the elephant in the room. Specifically – why doesn’t Danielle recognize Jin when she first encounters him with the other castaways in Season 1. I think there are two ways to explain this. First is most obvious. She’s nuts!!! She’s been on the island for 16+ years (in this episode she says its 1988) and during that time has to contend with the smoke creature, the Others, complete isolation and loneliness, and no DVR. She’s detached from reality. And once upon a time, Jin appeared before her, disappeared and reappeared. I think by the time Flight 815 crashed on that island, she had seen enough insanity to just go with the flow of anything else that happened and not question it.

8.   Then there is this theory. In the first episode of the season, we saw that Daniel confronted Desmond in the past and told him to find his mother. Now, the thing is – it didn’t really happen to Desmond. At least not in his traditional life. When Daniel journeyed back, he did something that hadn’t been done before even though Desmond had already lived a life where Daniel did not come banging on his door. Again, this works on the whole concept of the consciousness traveling through time, not necessarily the body, which is what Daniel subscribes too. So he knew he could implant a “memory” into Desmond’s mind which Desmond would suddenly, in the present, remember.

9.   With that said, the same could hold true for Danielle. If she didn’t meet Jin in her natural life but now due to the time travel phenomenon, she has met him, it wouldn’t change anything because she is now dead. Had she still been alive, she may have suddenly had this new memory but with her dead, it’s a moot point. She’s not around to remember him and she wouldn’t have remembered him the first time she saw him after the plane crash because it hadn’t happened yet.

10.   The other theory regarding all this time travel stuff is that the natural order of things aims for self-correction. That things are meant to happen the way they happened. So even though Jin had his little adventure with Danielle, it’s unlikely to change the way the rest of her life played out because fate would find a way to correct things to insure that things happened they way they did. That was illustrated in the episodes where Desmond was trying to save Charlie. No matter what he did, Charlie’s death was predestined. See, I did learn something from all those Final Destination flicks, after all.

11.   Elsewhere, we got some more answers from Charlotte’s deathbed confessional.

12.   First, there was the confirmation of what we long suspected. She had lived on the island before but was forced to leave with her mother when things took a turn for the worse. As she mentioned in her delirium, her Dad stayed behind and I’d like to thank my main man Sean for offering this theory. What if Charles Widemore is that Dad who stayed behind which would make Charlotte and Penny either biological sisters or step-sisters

13.   She also appeared to be popping back and forth through island time in her last few moments and wherever she journeyed to, she came back with the proclamation. “This Place is Death.”

14.   Also, we got further confirmation that Daniel has been monkeying around in the past – playing the part of a creepy, scary guy who came to a young Charlotte and told her to leave the island. Now, I’m not sure how scary he was back then but CREEPY is a certain if our fidgety Faraday was macking on an adolescent Charlotte in his trips. Where’s Chris Hansen when you need him?

15.   Finally, we had Locke and his journey to the Orchid station – which conveniently disappeared the second Juliet opened her big mouth. JINX

16.   I’ll get to Locke’s actions in a moment but I wanted to address Christian’s appearance. We know his body disappeared on the island and since then has taken to visiting Jack and Locke on a fairly frequent basis. My guess is that the island has co-opted him as its messenger. I think at the end of the day, we’ll learn that Christian (like Claire) is D.O.A. and that the island is just speaking through him – taking the form of something familiar.


17.   So Locke’s been voted off the island but we know he has to come back. Of course, 3 years later he’s dead – having made his sacrifice as prophesized. When Ben first left the island, he said he could never return. I wonder if the laws for re-admittance are flexible – that alive you cannot return but dead is a different story and that Locke must die in order to be resurrected. Or, perhaps, Richard is going for the Christ allegory, having Locke give up his life for the betterment of others?

18.   Last thing – and this has less to do with this week’s episode but may tie in to a big explanation. Another source of debate is centered around why the island disappeared from view when Sawyer and company were in the chopper. I think the answer to that is precisely why the island is so hard to find. Essentially, it’s always popping in and out of view (traveling through time and space) and therefore, it’s tough to get a handle on its true coordinates. That would explain why Eloise Hawkins is looking for the next “Event Window” when it will reappear and also explains that Season Finale a few years ago when those Antarctic Researches spotted an anomaly and called Penny to let her know the island was found. So, essentially, the island is always traveling through time. But when Ben moved the wheel he dislodged things so now the island is still traveling through time but the people on the island are out of synch with the island. Which explains why Christian had Locke move the wheel. Essentially, he had to put it back on its cycle and get the island inhabitants back in synch with the island. The interesting thing to see is if that left them stranded at a particular point in the island’s time.

All right, that’s enough for now. Let me know what you guys have.

See you next week for Episode 5.6 – ‘316’.

[tv 5.0]

Comments now closed (30)

  • My habit has been of late to watch the episode on Wednesdays, when Ron is out wargaming ( I think he is actually knitting for the soldiers) , read Eddie’s post, then watch it again with Ron. That has been working REALLY well for me.

    But I will leave you with Jessi’s comment last night ” Am I wrong to think that Daniel is hot?”. Which led into another entirely DIFFERENT discussion of the Islands bounty…

  • Jessi ( who is 25) and I agreed that Faraday is hot in that rumpled, caring, considerate, 90’s kind of guy way…now Sayid…THAT’S a whole different sort of hot…then there’s Sawyer…Desmond, but he’s taken…and Jack, of course…I hear Locke is a wanted man among the older ( than me!) crowd…no one cares that the Hobbit died ( at least in THAT way )…and it’s not news to Ben that he is not inhabiting anybody’s dreams…

    Gentlemen, any thoughts on the ladies?

  • Sawyer’s got that rogue, bad-boy charm. He’s the Han Solo of this show and HOT to boot – yeah, I went there.

    As for the chicas – Juliet/Kate dependng on the day are number 1. I used to have Claire higher on the list but her whiny Aussie accent (I dig Aussie accents but hers is whiny), knocked her down a peg. Also, I’ll throw Penny and Sun on the list – especially after seeing Pen on HBO’s “Tell Me You Love Me”.

    For the official scorecard, check out Sean’s Telefizzle Blog each week where he rates which gal stood out among the crop in a particular episode.

  • If you have heard of F Marry Kill…

    F Sawyer
    Marry Jack
    Kill every other guy on the island (that sounds a little harsh) 🙂

  • My FAVORITE game…and the analysis of each threesome is the best part
    F – Sawyer – because with that much experience,it should be worth it
    M- Sayid so I could have him whenever I wanted to
    K- Ben, because somebody has to and I’m not afraid of him
    Jack is out because I’m not sure he has the ‘nads for the job, although I did consider Richard for the Sawyer role-but the whole not-aging thing, while intriguing, is a little scary

    Thanks, Alissa, for a really nice mental break in the middle of a drama-filled morning!

  • Sharon that is a riot! My thoughts
    exactly on the Sawyer! But I think Jack
    is hot and why not marry a doctor? Haha

  • Jack started out pretty good, charging all over the island with a toothpick and a q-tip doing triage on the plane crash victims-even trying to operate on himself-but then his conscious kept the bad-boy Jack from emerging ( except the one time when he waled into Ben!) and I just can’t spend my life with such a good person…

    Plus, he looks so much like my daughter’s ex that she spends the whole show saying ” I just can’t get into Jack, looks too much like Jeff…”

    PS We play this game constantly – we can be reading the paper and I will hear ” Moe, Larry, or Curly?” . Also, we accept cartoon characters!

  • Regarding #16 – I thought the island had co-opted Christian as well but then found it surprising that he told Locke, “Say hello to my son”…weird.

  • Sharon I agree it’s a very fun game! I would have to say kill Moe with that dumb haircut but I don’t have any strong opinions on the other two..

    Hey Ed we need you to jump in here..are
    you actually working?? 🙂

  • If any one of my female readers are even considering “courting” the 3 Stooges – I am gonna’ have to lower the permanent band. I’m all dude and even I can’t stand the Three Stooges. Blech!!!

  • Are we really rating the men and women of Lost? It became something of a joke when I write about it, but I forget how I got started on that. I don’t think there is an official scorecard though. So, just to balance out the scales a bit here, let’s go with a top 3 of Kate, Juliet and Penny.

    Back to regular viewing, I am with Ed on the probable explanation of why Danielle wouldn’t have recognized Jin. She’s dead now and the memory cannot manifest.

    Interesting that the wheel being off its axis a bit was causing the time jumps, or at least that was my impression. The question after Locke fixed it and went off-island, is when are those he left behind? Would they stay in whatever time they were left in or would they revert back to their normal time?

    The other question is did Ben break the wheel on purpose or was that a side effect of him using it instead of Locke? Christian was pretty specific in stating back to Locke that he wanted HIM to move the island, not Ben. It certainly does seem like Ben did it as a way to try and get back in Jacob’s good graces and he probably knew that it was supposed to be Locke to do it.

    Based on the hieroglyphs at the temple, I’m going to go ahead and say that the 4-toed statue is a product of those same people that built the temple. I wonder what’s inside… besides Smokey of course.

    Can’t wait to see Desmond start freaking out now that he is face-to-face with Eloise again. I am also starting to buy in to the theory that she might be the Ellie girl from the Jughead episode. If that girl were the sheriff like I thought maybe she was, then she’d be too young. The age works out better for Eloise.

    Too bad Charlotte had to buy the farm. Maybe this is what makes Dan really go nutty. I threw the Widemore as her daddy theory out there, but I have been wondering about it more since. In order for it to work with age, etc., you’d think Penny would have been conceived right before Widemore went to the island and by a woman left in Britain. Charlotte would have been born by another woman on the island later. I don’t think that works out age wise and it seems unlikely Penny was after Widemore left since she appears older than Charlotte. Anyway, my connection was mostly based on them both Charlotte and Widemore being Brits and her resemblance to Penny.

    Between the guy’s arm getting torn off and Locke’s broken leg, this episode was pretty gross. Blech.

  • I’m glad you picked up on the hieroglyphics on the temple. I thought they looked very simlar to the ones seen on the countdown in the hatch, so this backs up my thought.

    As far as the 4-toed statue, this mystery has been bugging me moreso than others. I can’t wait to find out what it is. Just one idea, maybe it was built by whatever ancient civilization that lived there as a “keep away” device. Then again, with ‘ol smokey, why bother? 😉

    As far as Danielle not recognizing Jin, maybe its because he has long hair now, and he had short hair in the beginning! I know its a long stretch, but the same stretch that people don’t recognize Clark Kent as Superman when he wears his glasses.

    As far as Charlotte is concerned, maybe she is Ellie’s daughter. But then again, I still believe that Ellie is Eloise(sp?) and if Eloise is really Faraday’s mother, would that make Charlotte his sister?

    I still don’t really know what to make of Locke and the wheel. I loved Christian’s line “since when did listening to him get you anywhere?” So true.

    I think next week’s episode is gonna be big. Then again, with only 27 episodes left, they’re all gonna be big in comparison to past episodes. I think we’ll see everyone back on the island again.

    Also, this might be a moot point, but I take it that Michael is a gonner, since Harold Perrineau is now on a show called “The Unusuals” though, he’s still on the ABC payroll, so you never know! 🙂


  • @prfkttear – I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Ghost Michael in some fashion before the end of the series. In fact, I bet we see Ghost Boone, Charlie and others next season.

  • Me neither. I think we learned early on in this show that just because someone is dead, doesn’t mean they won’t pop up again!

    I wonder if by bringing everyone back it will somehow hit a big “reset” button, either to before anyone left the island, or even before they boarded the airplane and crashed!

  • Geeez, Alissa and I have a pretty interesting discussion going and you guys come in with all this detailed analysis stuff…what a rally killer…

    And FYI – we use the Three Stooges as our demo for anyone unfamiliar with the game. And we really only make you go through them once! For the record
    F Moe- because he desperately needs it and it might turn him into a nice guy
    M Curly because it would be funny
    K Larry because you just have to

    I won’t tell you who the female demos are!

    Now, on to wait for FNL, in which I cried like a little girly-woman last week when Smash made it to college! But I am going to miss watching him run…

  • You think you cried like a girly at the end of Smash’s arc. Just you wait until you get to the end of Street’s. That’s all I’ll say.

  • @Ed- not a huge Street fan, I felt so invested in Smash and his growth in character that I kept pulling for him every step of the way. My next hoped for happy ending is for Riggins, then Matt, then Landry…are there any girls on this show?

  • Well – Riggins plays a big role in Streets arc and Matt and Landy have strong roles to play as this season progresses. And you will grow to ABSOLUTELY HATE JD McCoy’s Dad.

    As for chicas, hell ya’. Tyra my fave (and she takes on some surprising depth this year) and of course the primo cougar in Tammy.

  • Okay…tonight was the Buy The House episode for Street, and he actually kind’a grew on me. Tyra has already grown quite a bit in her character, so the whole cowboy thing seemed like a little backsliding, I am hoping she rights herself. And I already hated McCoy’s Dad, and his mom for that matter, I will settle only for Matt coming in and saving the sorry little pampered superstar’s young butt by winning The Big Game-whatever it turns out to be.

    And Ed, just so you know, the teenage conflict scenes with Coach and his adored daughter ring absolutely totally true, as do the make-up scenes.

  • I gave Charlotte as Ellie’s daughter (with Widemore) some thought but grossed myself out with unintentional Luke/Leia almost incest thoughts if Ellie is Eloise.

    As for chicas, I already rated mine for LOST above, but now this has somehow turned into a FNL thread, so for the record: Tammy, Tyra and Julie (thankfully she’s of age now). I very much do not like Lyla. Blech.

    I am already not liking the direction of the Street arc. I hope it isn’t the sad ending to Smash’s happy one.

  • Believe me – there’s more HATE to come in regards to McCoy’s Dad.

    I’m not giving anything away with the Street arc. I’ll just say that it follows a good narrative course and ends on a satisfying note (I’m not saying whether that’s a happy or sad one).

  • I hsve to start watching FNL. I have the first 2 seasons on my Roku!

    I agree Sharon they ruined our FMK discussion! @Ed I know you aren’t above it. I remember the arguement you Rich and Eric had over who is the hottest Disney princess!

  • Street arc? McCoy’s Dad? FNL? BuH?!

    I like Ghost Whispererer! Though, the whole dead husband’s spirit taking over some other dude’s body is kinda weird, but interesting.

    I’m not really that into any of the ladies from LOST. I kinda liked Libby, but she’s got the crazy chick vibe (think Cameron Diaz from Vanilla Sky). I actually really liked Charlotte, but I’m always a sucker for a redhead.

    Kate, Sun, and Claire really don’t do anything for me. Rose on the other hand… 😉

  • Hey – Let the record show that Sean ruined your discussion by bringing things back on point.

    And the hottest Disney Princess used to be Jasmine but now it’s Giselle (Enchanted – Amy Adams). I saw that flick and the Transporter on the same day and instantly grew two new crushes – Amy Adams is my chick crush and Jason Statham is my man crush.

    And if memory, and the history of this thread proves anything, I already said Sawyer was HOT so believe me, I’m not above this.

  • @prfkttear – Believe me, I’m as surprised as you and anyone that I am as into Friday Night Lights as I am. My favorite shows of all time are The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, The Simpsons and Seinfeld. A CW knockoff like Friday Night Lights should not be in that list. But something compelled me to watch it in its first season and I got hooked. Sure it’s a night-time soap but it’s more raw, visceral and real then any I’ve ever seen. Dillon, Texas is now permanently etched in my heart. I truly think its one of the best televised dramas of all time.

    Alissa – Start watching those pronto. Season 1 is awesome but its really the entire sum of the series that makes it. The more you get into it, the more you are going to wish other people watched it (and therefore it didn’t ride through each season as a premanent bubble show – in that it’s always on the bubble of whether it gets renewed or now). Awesome show.

  • Having graduated from a Texas high school in a small town like Dillon, I swear I knew EVERY ONE OF THOSE GUYS- and I hated most of the girls because I was probably Tyra. The accents on the kids are really pretty good, Eric’s is forced, but Buddy has it nailed. And if anyone needs to know-which you don’t- “Remember the Titans” WAS my high school experience in Va- then I moved for my senior year to FNL.

    @Alissa- The Disney Princesses-how did we miss THAT one! I will toss them out to Ron when we go down to CBS Sports at Patriot Place for a Valentine’s lunch!

  • A buddy of mine who is a Lost-ite suggested that it is Hurley’s voice reading the numbers on the radio…

  • You mean the original recording that we heard the Frenchies listening to? I don’t recall it jumping out at me but that’s intriguing. I wish I hadn’t deleted it already.