LOST Revisited, Season 5, Episode 5: “This Place is Death” (Feb 5)

Speaking of Jin, he’s playing serious catch-up, and confirms that it’s November 15, 1988. By the way, if somebody ever asks you what year it is in a panicked tone, they are either just out of a coma or they’re from the future. Be gentle with them. On the radio, we hear the broadcast that repeats Hurley’s numbers over and over. Man, we’re getting back to everything, aren’t we? Anyway, Jin doesn’t really know his Island geography and has no idea how to get back to his camp. That’s a nice touch, actually. Not everybody’s good at getting around in the wilderness.

Rousseau and her husband are arguing about the sex of their upcoming baby. They’ve already settled on the name ‘Alex’. And then, they notice that Nadine is gone. That’s never a good thing on the Island. Especially when you hear that low rumble that we’ve come to know and fear. Sure enough, Nadine’s corpse drops from the sky, and the Smoke Monster circles the group. It grabs one of the Frenchmen, and it takes on almost human shape for just a second there. As it drags him along the ground, we hear that tinny sound again, just like when Smokey grabbed Locke back in the Season One finale. By the way, I can’t even speculate why the monster drags some people, kills some, and tests some. I feel like we’ll get answers soon, though.

The monster withdraws into a hole, and tries to drag its prisoner down. Jin and the rest put up a good fight and end up tearing the poor guy’s arm off as the monster pulls him down. That was pretty gruesome. (Possibly unrelated, but Dr. Marvin Candle had a prosthetic arm in two of the Orientation films. Just saying, there’s a precedent for arms getting torn off.) He calls out once he’s below the surface, so clearly the monster hasn’t killed him yet. And that’s when the next time shift starts. This one establishes pretty clearly that the people who belong in that time don’t experience anything during the shift. A couple of weeks ago, Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert seemed to realize that a time shift was happening, so I wondered if maybe everybody experienced that rumble and flash. Rousseau very definitely doesn’t see or hear any of it, so that answers my question.

After the jump, Jin’s alone and we get a little better look at the wall, which is covered in hieroglyphics. The severed arm is still there, which means Jin went in to the future, but not very far. Sure enough, he soon finds two of the Frenchmen dead on the beach with bullet holes in their heads, and Rousseau is threatening her husband with a rifle. (Oh, and that’s Rousseau’s music box that Sayid fixed for her in her first appearance. Remember? That was how he gained her trust.) She says that he’s crazy ever since the monster attack. He says that it’s not a monster; it’s a “security system that guards the temple”. Interesting. Also interesting, Rousseau told Sayid that she had to kill Robert because he was sick. Turns out, she went crazy and didn’t believe him when he explained that he wasn’t crazy. Also, when we first told the story, she told Sayid that she had removed the firing pin from Robert’s gun. Who knew we were ever going to actually see that? So she was crazy, but the kind of crazy that lets you plan stuff.

And speaking of “the temple”… Back at the end of Season Three, Benry sent Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert and the rest of the Others to the temple. We don’t really know what became of that, do we? We need to find out more about this temple, especially if it’s important enough to have a monster guarding it. But that can wait, because we have a very nice moment coming up.

It’s the joyful reunion of Jin and Sawyer! Weren’t you tickled with how happy Sawyer was to see him? Those two kind of have a bond – between the raft and spending all that time with the Tail Section survivors, they’ve been together a lot. In fact, they often end up working on projects together. That scene really made me happy.

I also love that Jin seems to assume he’s not understanding this time travel thing and demands a translation. Hee. Even better is Sawyer assuming that Miles can do the translating for him. (“He’s Korean. I’m from Encino!”) But we know that Charlotte speaks Korean, and she steps up. Jin isn’t quite on board with the “bring them back to the Island” plan. Yeah, that plan is kind of a hard sell.

Back in 2008, Benry works a miracle and convinces Sun to come with him. He’s going to bring her to somebody who has proof. Of course, Sayid and Kate both bail on him. Well, he had five of the Oceanic Six assembled, and now he’s back down to two. This is really not going well for him.

On the Island, Locke is still trying to win Jin over. He says that “leaving the Island is a one-man job”, which certainly would seem to be true. There’s another time shift, and it’s clear the shifts are getting more violent and causing the Lostaways physical pain. Charlotte’s on her last legs now, and cries out to Jin in Korean, which she helpfully restates in English. “Don’t let them bring her back, no matter what! This place is death!” Boy, opinions remain divided as to what exactly needs to be done. Juliet and Sawyer seem to be going along with Locke, probably because they’ve realized that Locke is almost always right, even when he seems crazy.

Benry drives Jack and Sun in the Canton-Rainier (“Reincarnation”!) van. After both of them threaten him, Benry actually stops the van to chew them out. “If you knew what I’ve done to keep you alive, you’d never stop thanking me.” Sometimes it seems like Benry really is looking out for their best interests, doesn’t it? Like, he actually seems hurt that nobody appreciates his hard work.

After that last time jump, Charlotte is completely unhinged. She’s talking like a child and mentions her “Daddy”. Sawyer gets a nosebleed with this jump, too. So far, it seems like only Locke and Faraday are holding up, physically. Charlotte hears music that’s not there – “Turn it up! I love Geronimo Jackson.” Geronimo Jackson is a fake band that’s been referenced on Lost in the past. Their logo has appeared in flashbacks on t-shirts and posters, and their album was in Desmond’s record collection in the Swan. There’s a special feature on the Season Two DVD where some Lost writers talk about the band as if they’re real. I think it’s just a recurring joke at this point, but I’m afraid to dismiss anything at this point. Locke, Sawyer, Juliet, and Jin press on for the Orchid. Faraday, the guy who actually understands space-time, stays behind with Charlotte. Sawyer has a good point that the Orchid might not exist when they get there, but Charlotte tells them to look for the well.

Just after they get there, time shifts and the Orchid disappears. But Charlotte was right, and there’s a well. Cutting back to Charlotte and Faraday, she explains that she grew up on the Island. She and Miles discussed that last season, but this is a surprise to Daniel. Fading fast, she tells Faraday that her parents were with the Dharma Initiative, though she never saw her Dad. She and her mother left the Island because a “crazy man” told them to leave the Island and never come back. That man? Daniel Faraday!

Awesome. Now, either that happened when Daniel was time-traveling in the past (which hasn’t been verified as true, but is certainly possible), or will happen on an upcoming time shift. If the former, that gives more credence to the “Daniel is Charlotte’s father” theory. (Though her revelation seems to come as a surprise to him. If he did time travel before coming to the Island, he doesn’t remember.) If it’s the latter, the poor guy is going to try to scare Charlotte away to save her in the future, knowing full well that it won’t work because it didn’t work. It’s going to get worse for Daniel before it gets better.

At the well, Jin makes Locke promise not to bring Sun back, and instead to tell her that her husband is dead. He gives Locke his wedding ring for proof. Now, it’s worth noting that Locke actually does promise not to bring Sun back. He doesn’t make promises lightly, after all. I wonder what’s going through his head at this point. Promise made, Lock starts climbing down the rope. And then, the white light actually comes up from the well and there’s another time shift. It makes sense, since that’s where the wheel is, but I was really surprised to see the light come from underground rather than from above. Up until this point, we just saw the sky change colors.

With the shift, Locke drops to the ground, and there’s a vicious crunch. Above ground, Sawyer’s still holding the rope, only there’s not a well anymore. The rope goes into solid ground! That’s a really effective visual, by the way.

That last shift is too much for Charlotte. Like we saw with Theresa Spencer, Charlotte’s mind is unmoored, and her childhood self gets her last words: “I’m not allowed to have chocolate before dinner”. And that’s it. Farewell, Charlotte. We didn’t get to know you very well, but Daniel loved you, and that’s good enough for us.

Yaaaah! There’s that bone sticking out of Locke’s leg! That’s just upsetting. (True story: I broke my leg a couple years back. It happened just before the second episode of Lost aired. I saw that episode in a morphine haze while in the hospital, and I was convinced that I had to have hallucinated the polar bear. Why would there be a polar bear on a tropical island? Man, I had no idea what I was in for.) And here’s where it gets mind-blowing. Christian Shephard is waiting for Locke, and he’s there to “help (him) the rest of the way”. Christian reminds Locke that he said “You have to move the Island”. It wasn’t that the Island had to move, it’s that Locke had to be the one to do it. And here’s what’s important about that. Christian also talks about when Locke “came to see me”. So we’ve established that Christian is very specific in his word choice. Locke went to the cabin to see Jacob. So when Christian states that he is the one Locke went to see, that means that we are looking at Jacob. Yeah!

There’s obviously more to learn about Jacob, but I don’t think Christian Shephard is actually Jacob. Like, I don’t think Jacob got a job as a surgeon and developed a massive drinking problem. I think that Jacob needs a physical form to interact with people (sort of like DC Comics’ Deadman, if that helps you at all), and the corpse of Christian Shephard presented the perfect vessel. So yes, that’s Jacob that Locke is talking to, but it’s Jacob using the body of Christian. When Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert spoke to Jacob in the 50’s, I doubt that he spoke to Christian Shephard. Jacob probably had a different form then. Basically, Jacob is inside Christian’s body. But I’m convinced that it is, in fact, Jacob who’s talking to Locke right now.

Christian tells Locke to meet up with Eloise Hawking in LA. Well, that’s going to get White Oracle back into the plot! Most importantly to Locke, Christian says “You can do it”. Time and time again, Locke has had to say “Don’t tell me what I can’t do”. And here’s Jacob, at what may be the most important moment of Locke’s life, telling him that he can succeed. For Locke, that’s huge. And even though there may have to be a “sacrifice”, Locke picks himself up off the ground and stumbles on his shattered leg to the wheel, forcing it back to its axis. And Jacob’s last words, “Say hello to my son”, are important. Does he have some of Christian’s memories, since he’s possessing his body? If so, does he think of Jack as his son? Or is it all part of his further plan? Maybe it’s important for Jack to think that his father is alive on the Island. Or maybe Jacob himself has a son and it’s somebody else entirely.

With Locke having moved the wheel, we head back to 2008 for the final scene. Arriving at the church, Benry presents Sun with Jin’s wedding ring. Now here’s what’s great about that. First off, he uses it for the opposite purpose that Jin intended. Second, he had the ring on him the whole time. He didn’t have to bring Sun to the church to present his proof. I like the way he thinks. And it worked, because now Sun’s in.

Desmond shows up, too. Huh. He’s been sent here to find Faraday’s mother. Wow, what are the odds? Yep, White Oracle is Daniel’s mom! Yay! And she is not happy that Benry’s missing 2/3 of the Oceanic Six, but then “I suppose it will have to do for now”.

Now, I hate to end on a down note, but if Locke has now left the Island, we’re catching up to his death. If his body doesn’t snap back to life once he returns to the Island, things will be taking a very ugly turn indeed.
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