Next: “This Place is Death” (Episode 5×05)

With “LOST,” can there ever be too much of a good thing? The return of the smoke monster. The return of Christian Shephard. A glimpse of Rousseau’s early madness. Jin’s reunification with the left-behinders. Sun’s reaction to Jin’s wedding ring. Charlotte’s death. Ben being his sneaky self but with a flash of emotion. And yes, Mrs. Hawking, Eloise, and Daniel’s mother are one and the same. If this were season two, we would’ve had to watch three, four episodes to get such a bounty of plot twists and clues.

I was dizzy with glee at the closing thud, but Jen was a little less impressed. “It felt like a connecting piece,” says she. “The kind of touch-all-the-bases episode that usually came before a season finale.” And I can see her point. When once we lamented how the show dragged out the mysteries, I actually think we now miss some of that indulgent meandering and dramatic depth as we cover so much ground so quickly.

In terms of mythology, two characters’ last words carry the most promise.

First, Robert, speaking as a believer to a skeptical Danielle, explaining that the smoke monster is not a monster, just a security system protecting “the temple.” So the temple and the smoke monster are interconnected… and when the smoke monster isn’t on a murderous rampage, it has some pretty persuasive mojo. How awful, yet wonderful, was it to see just how Montand lost his arm (and Jen certainly didn’t feel bad for the guy)? What a delicious twist that Robert turned his gun on Danielle first? And that it jammed, as guns on “LOST” are wont to do, when the target still has work to do?

Secondly, Charlotte, flashing back to her youth on the island, suggesting a rushed departure with her mother as a child, and an early encounter with a scary man that was probably Daniel Faraday. I’m confident we’re going to meet a young Charlotte soon, reciting the very same lines about Hannibal and chocolate. The question is whether we’ve met Charlotte before? I still don’t believe Charlotte is young Ben’s doll-making Annie, but her final scene is certainly tantalizing. We’re pretty crushed that Charlotte died, as usual, just as she was getting really interesting: but we’re also confident her story has some missing chapters left to be told.

As for Christian Shepherd? Talk about leaving science behind. I loved it, though. “Since when did listening to him get you anywhere worth a damn?” And Locke was supposed to turn the wheel, not Ben. How would things have turned out if Locke woke up in the desert? I especially liked how Christian said he couldn’t help Locke to his feet. He is, after all, but a vision.

Jin’s sudden exposure to the flashes was well done, his reunion with Sawyer was heartwarming, and his demand to Locke to tell Sun he’s dead was especially intense. And Jen loved that his wedding ring went with Locke as proof of his death, but was ultimately used by Ben to convince Sun of his survival. How that ring came to change hands remains a mystery, and as Ben wiggled his way out of explaining, I got the distinct sense that he knows quite a bit more about Locke’s death than he’s let on.

Ben had some great lines. “I didn’t account for traffic,” or, “That’s true, Jack. I went to see him.” But his brief outburst in the van was great. His frustration with everyone trying to kill him was palpable, and the weight of his mission was clear. Whatever the moment, Michael Emerson is pitch perfect. He totally sold Ben’s surprise at learning Mrs. Hawking was Daniel’s mother, even if we weren’t surprised.

Other favorite lines: Miles bristling at the assumption he can translate for Jin, saying “He’s Korean, I’m from Encino.” Sawyer’s many quips, including, “Expecting a subway?” Or Charlotte’s love of Geronimo Jackson and fluency in Klingon.

But to us, little things gave “This Place is Death” some dramatic heft, despite all the mythological reveals. Danielle and Robert arguing about Alexander versus Alexandra. Jin pausing to get water from a leaf, and the reappearance of Danielle’s music box, which Sayid fixed in Season 1. And the almost too disarming smile Locke — or Terry O’Quinn — sneaks in just before he descends down the well. Go back and watch it. Golden. The magic is still there, and we love it.

What did you think? Please comment below, e-mail us at lost@hawaiiup.com, or call the LostLine at (808) 356-0127 by Friday, Feb. 13.

124 Responses to “Next: “This Place is Death” (Episode 5×05)”

  1. Connie in Alaska says:

    ChiliDog-I don’t think it is possible to flash out of your own time. It seems that those on the Island at the time Ben pushed the Wheel are the only ones affected (with the exception of the Others, but the “why” of that seems yet to be revealed.) Also unaswered is whether or not a time jumper could pull someone else along by grabbing onto them the way Sawyer did with the well rope.

    brermike-Well said! ;O)

    Adam & Camille-Wow, good catch. I wonder if (but hope not) karma or reincarnation will play into all of these reuse of names: same name means these people all have a common thread. Hmmm…

  2. Bomir from MTL says:

    Her are a few questions I have about Danielle’s team:

    When Jin came back to Danielle’s camp on the beach and turned to the rumble under the tent (after taking the musical box)
    we can clearly see a box of Explosives (even if the writing is upside down)

    Question 1
    If they had explosives, why not use them in going after the smoke monster under the temple?
    Questions 2
    Why would a French expedition have a box of dynamite not written Explosifs (intead of the English Explosive) ? after all their gear seemed to be identified by French names …
    Question 3
    Could it be that they found the explosives on the island?

    These must be the same old passed due explosives that Danielle later showed to the Losties at the Black Rock wreck to blasting the hatch
    What do you think?

  3. One thing that annoyed me: up until now the “law” has been that everyone–including dead John — has to go back to the island. But when the get to the church and Mrs. Hawking, that flies out the window? As much as I count Lost as my all-time favorite series, sometimes these nit issues can get frustrating, as if the writers are tired and just want to move on.

  4. NuckinFuts says:

    @Connie & Eveyone:

    Wow – – what you just said there really made me think. You said: “Also unaswered is whether or not a time jumper could pull someone else along by grabbing onto them the way Sawyer did with the well rope.” This may explain or tell us how Richard Alpert never seems to age. Imagine this. Richard may have discovered the time travel ability in the distant past. Each time he ages a few years, then goes back to before he first traveled and meets himself. Then he ‘hold hands’ with himself and flashes foward with the younger version along for the ride to take the place of the ‘older him’. The older him imparts the knowledge of what he has done to the younger version and then perhaps…crawls of and dies…or ‘retires’. When that version get’s a few years older he goes back to just a few mintes more younger than the previous version and starts the cycle over again.

    This, of course, means that Richard has some control over how far back he travels. He’s an alien. Let’s just admit it.

  5. Angela in MA says:

    Mike in Maine: in the last episode of season one (Exodus) when Rousseau takes Locke, Jack, Kate and Hurley to the Black Rock to get the dynamite to blow the hatch, she mentions they are in the dark territory and that is where Montand lost his arm. Ever since then we’ve been left to wonder how it happened. Now that we know, I’m sort of disappointed!

  6. brermike says:

    @Ron in MontClair:

    I don’t think that “law” flew out the window. Ms. Hawking said, “this will do, for now”. Meaning, they are going to start with the ones they have. This makes sense, especially if time is of the essence. I think we’ll see them convince Kate, Sayid and Hurley next week.

  7. Bit Bucket says:

    Chris (February 12, 11:57 A.M.) expressed disappointment about Jin’s time jumping. I agree completely with everything he stated.

    When Montand’s arm was severed, I do not believe that it was pulled off by the rest of his team trying to prevent him from being pulled into Smokey’s pit as everyone else seems to think. It appeared to me that Smokey wrapped himself around Montand’s sholder and severed the arm.

    After the Montand was pulled into the monster’s hole, was that his voice we heard calling for help, or does Smokey have the ability to imitate sounds and voices?

    How could Sawyer not recognize Jin, even as he was turning around slowly? It wasn’t until after Jin completely faced Sawyer (at close range and in broad daylight) that Sawyer recognized him?

    When Ben said to Jack “What I’m doing is helping you, And if you had any idea what I’ve had to do to keep you safe, to keep your friends safe, …”. Was this a reference to all the assassinations he had Sayid do?

    As Locke was climbing down the rope into the well, I liked the way the light welled up from the depths indicating that the Orchid station is built above the source of the time jumps and the related flashes.

    Yes, I loved the line “Since when did listening to him get you anywhere worth a damn?” Not only is it emotionally satisfying, but I find it a strong (and authoritative) hint to the question of whether Ben is good or bad.

    When Christian Shepherd said “Good luck, John”, it strongly reminded me of his early remark to Michael “You can go now”.

    Finally, in the cabin, didn’t Christian say that he wasn’t Jason, that he only spoke for him? I wouldn’t be surprised if Jason turns out to be Locke.

  8. Ilias says:

    Hi guys,

    Ben is a liar and an untrustworthy little bug eyed wanna be manipulative person. Sayid knows it and Jacob, a.k.a. Christian Shephard know it all too well. Locke should have known all along, especially since he was shot in the back by him and left to die. It seems that Ben has more power on people than one may thing possible. I love Ben do not get me wrong but why does anyone believe him anymore.

    Miles has become the comic relief in the show, his lines are hilarious.

    I do not get it how could Jin be time travelling and the O6 are not?

    Jacob and Aaron have a relationship in the Bible as they do on the show does that have any significance?

    Why does Sayid not want to see Jack? What did Jack do to him?

    Who and why were the numbers being broadcasted? Why was the French Team looking for the source.

    So was Robert infected? What happened to him and the other two when they went down the hole?

    So would O3 do? or will it be O6 going to the island soon?

    I am convinced that Ben will return to the island? I do not believe what he said to Locke.

    How did Sun know that it was Ben who was responsible for Jin’s death?

    How does the security system, …sorry…. Monster, work? What is it protecting the Temple from?

    What is the difference between Locke and Ben , does it matter who turns the wheel?

    Where is Bernard and Rose? Does anyone care? Are there any SOX left?

    Liked the episode, feels like we are moving. I tend to agree with Jen though that this was more a filler that touched a lot and covered missing information. It is the first time though that we hear anyone say anything bad about the island. Will the island turn on the people?

    As always I love your company!

    So long,

    Ilias

  9. Jeff from Houston, Tx says:

    Hey Guys!

    First I want to say what a great podcast! Thanks for the hours of entertainment you both have given me over the last few years.

    I have a quick theory that I would like to throw out there and if anyone else has mentioned what I am about to write, I apologize for not researching others posts on the Blog.

    About the nose bleeds, we all are pretty sure that the reason that Charlotte started with the nose bleed is because her length of time on the island, followed by Miles, Charlotte, Juliette and then Sawyer. We are also pretty sure that Charlotte was a child when she was first on the island and that Miles was an infant.
    What if all those with the nose bleeds were all children on the island back in the early dharma days and maybe even born on the island. That the whole reason for the plane crash in the first episode of the first season and for those who survived were all children on the island at one point and time and that the island “wants” its children back and that is why the oceanic 6 have to go back. We also know that Locke wasn’t born on the island, hence him being chosen to sacrifice himself for the lost children, the Surviors of Oceanic Flight 815

    I have other theories that tangent off of this one but I will save those for another time.

    Thanks for your hard work on the podcast,

    Jeff

  10. Lydia from Massachusetts says:

    Hi Ryan and Jen — I LOVE your podcast. I look forward to it almost as much as the show itself!

    I have a hunch about Charlotte and Daniel. I haven’t seen this mentioned here, but apologize if it has been. I am becoming increasingly convinced that somehow, Charlotte is Daniel Farraday’s daughter. The manner of his affection towards her seems very fatherly. He seems to care about her more in the way a parent would care about a child than a love interest. (I mentioned this on the Jay and Jack boards, by the way, as ihate2fly after the previous episode.) And she talks to Daniel almost like to a parent (telling him not to “baby” her.) Nothing in This Place is Death convinces me otherwise. In fact, it makes me more sure. She remembers him as a man, not a boy in the Dharma days. Wouldn’t a father want to warn his daughter about a possible danger? She moved to England just with her mother, it sort-of sounded like. If Daniel was born between 1954 and 1960 he would have been in his 20s in the 1970s/80s. He could have been her dad. Do you think it’s possible? Is there anything to suggest otherwise? It makes Charlotte’s death so much more tragic if she was Daniel’s daughter, because they weren’t lovers after all.

  11. Rob from Canada says:

    I’m sure this has already been mentioned, but there are just way too many comments go through them all lol Umm … I was watching Solitary and wanted to make sure that her story matched up with what we saw in This Place is Death. First off, I noticed that Danielle said to Sayid that her and Robert were together on the island for a few months before something happened (she didn’t finish her sentence) So her team musta came back after what we saw, maybe they didn’t find Montonde? Hmm.. She mentioned that it was on the way back from the Black Rock when The Others did something, they were the carriers. So …Jin musta flashed a few months ahead when this was occuring. I noticed that right after we see the music box in this past episode, we can spot a box of dynamite next to her camp. So I think it all seems to match up quite nicely, unless I missed something or haven’t thought of it yet.

  12. Traveling this past week I spent hours on airplanes and in airports listening to your podcast. I love it…its like watching the show with a giant group of friends.

    OK my comments:
    1) faraday and Charlotte’s relationship:
    I have been thinking all along that Faraday and Charlotte are brother and sister- that the love he has for her was familial and not romantic- I have felt this for a long time…until I read Lydia’s post which follows my train of thought but she says that he could be her FATHER…love it- she thinks this for the same reason I think he is her brother. My thought is that Eloise is both faraday and Charlotte’s mother and that he sent Des back so he could somehow establish a constant or to send a message that Charlotte and he are in danger (she would know they were both on the freighter and therefore the island). Also seems obvious that he goes back in time and warns her not to come back.

    2) Guns and Pens:
    I like what a few of you mentioned about Robert’s gun not going off like many other times when things didn’t work like when Michael was trying to kill himself until Shepard senior (jacks dad) appeared and said “now its time” and Michael finally dies (that was brilliant)…so last night I was rewatching the episode right before Claire is taken by Ethan- it has her back story with the fortune teller guy…in that episode she is meeting with a family who will adopt her unborn child and she takes the pen and it doesn’t write and they give her another pen which doesn’t write and a finally pen and she runs out of the room…I like when they have these reoccurring scenarios- like finding numbers in season one- I think on your pod cast you mention that possibly these little things and the people that we see over and over again are there to manipulate the future, manipulate people’s choices..like the woman in the Oxford library is the same woman who says to Hurley “Its your lucky day” and hands him a ticket to board flight 815.

    3) Claire’s dream in Season 1:
    Also (and finally) in that episode with Claire’s back story she has this creepy dream where it is Locke with the cards and he looks up and his eyes are creepy (one is black and one is white- he had just taught walt how to play backgammon- also the bag of rock’s jack found with black and white stones)…anyway- the dream is interesting given season 5’s turn of events:

    Claire has a dream that her baby is missing
    Claire has the following dream:

    She awakes in the camp, no longer pregnant. She hears a baby’s cry in the jungle and begins searching for it. She encounters Locke sitting at a table looking at tarot cards.

    She asks Locke “What’s happening?”. Locke replies “You know what’s happening. He was your responsibility but you gave him away Claire. Everyone pays the price now.”

    When Locke looks up at Claire his left eye is solid white and his right eye is solid black.

    Claire continues searching for the baby’s cry and finds a white baby bed in the jungle with an airplane mobile. She reaches into the baby bed and her hands come up bloody.

    She wakes up in camp screaming, still pregnant. Her hands are bloody from where she dug her fingernails into her own palms.

    There was a lot of creepy stuff in season 1.

    most looking forward to knowing who is good and who is evil- this was best played out back when Ben was Henry Gale…and continues so well with Christian Shepard, Alpert, Ben, Jacob and Widmore.

    I know I know get my own podcast blog…. 🙂

  13. HeyKir in NYC says:

    @Lydia from Mass:
    I completely agree with you on your Daniel/Charlotte relationship theory and have been trying to convince my friends of it since last week. I think Daniel is Charlotte’s dad and Charlotte’s mom is the lady in the coma (being supported financially by Widmore).

    Keep the posts coming! I love hearing all of them! Yes, even the crazy ones! 😉

  14. LisaDoddInTN says:

    I think Desmond was “sequestered” in the hatch with the task of entering the numbers and the warning to not leave the hatch because he was not supposed to see himself when he returns to the island with O6.

  15. Mirepoix from Mtl says:

    Now that Locke has turned the wheel
    is it likely that he will end up in the Tunisian desert at current time ?
    If so
    he should be paralised
    How the hell will he be able to escape this?
    He may be resourceful, but ….
    Will someone find him? or be waiting for him?

    I guess we will see the other left behind losties mingle with the Dharmites
    Remember the guy who looked like Sawyer filming Chang…
    How about Miles findinghimself as a baby …
    And Juliet ? Jin?
    Is it possible that some will join the Others instead ?

    Another basic question
    we keep hearing announcement for Lost Untangled after each episode
    When is this airing?

  16. Sydney from AZ says:

    Hey Ryan and Jen!

    Loved the episode, better than last week’s I think. And I agree with you Ryan, all the little nuances made this episode.

    I loved seeing Ms. Hawking at the end. “Let’ get started!” But like a few previous posters, I was a bit confused by the whole Ben/Desmond interaction. Isn’t this the first time we’ve seen them actually converse? Even indirectly? And was it just me or did Ben look surprised/pissed when Des mentioned Faraday’s mother? I’m wondering if Desmond is even supposed to be there since everyone only mentions that the Oceanic 6 have to return, of which he is not included. I’m also worried for Penny’s sake and the fate of little Charlie.

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! And happy Valentine’s Day!

  17. Hector from Mexico says:

    Hello Ryan and Jen, first of all, I gotta say that I love your podcast. I’ve been listening to you since season 3. This is the first contact attempt that I do with you.

    I just have a small comment. After all that has been happening to Locke after the island moved (got shot in the leg, being called “old man” by Widmore, not being recognized by either Richard or the others, having to die, etc) I’ve been thinking that when he said goodbye from Ben, and Ben said “Sorry for making your life so miserable”, he actually meant the UPCOMING life for Locke. I mean, we see that everything’s going wrong with him, none of his “people” seem to recognize him as their leader, and he doesn’t get any information or clues on what to do, plus he gets a really bad injured when going to Orchide station. It seems to me that after the island moved, except for the time when Richard says “Welcome home” everything in his life has been nothing but bad news.

    Anyway, that’s just my humble opinion. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep on listeninig, because your podcast is truly the best.

    Greetings from México!
    /Héctor

  18. Anthony says:

    I’ve been told that Daniel’s team speaks bad french, but I think they are speaking Canadian French. I hear there is a difference between them, like American and British English.

  19. Agus from Argentina says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned above, I think it has, but i believe that the island will stop flashing now that Locke turned the Donkey Wheel and the left-behinders will appear on the Dharma Initiative time. Faraday will Infiltrate the initiative, thats how he’ll get to know young Charlotte and warn her, thats how he’ll get to know the “RULES TO TIME TRAVEL” that the Island has. He may write some of these things in his Journal, thats why he always checks it and predicts some things.

    Anyway, just a theory, love the podcast keep up the good work!!!

  20. Mirepoix from Mtl says:

    Anthony

    Danielle’s team French is very distinctively from France
    Which makes sense since there must have been quite a few French people in the Thaiti area in the late 80’s given that France was still conducting controversial nuclear testing during this time period

  21. Carol says:

    Hector, great concept, I think you are right. I never thought of it that way.

    re: Charlotte being Daniel’s daughter, Daniel said he was IN love with her, not that he loved her, that implies a different sort of relationship.

  22. Wil says:

    All this stuff about why doesn’t 16 years later Danielle recognise Jin when she’d already met him when they first reached the island had me thinking. In the same manner as Desmond getting a ‘new’ memory in the present when Daniel got Desmond to come out of The Swan in the past, wouldn’t Danielle only get to recognise Jin after the past incident had happened (if you get my drift). So, if Danielle wasn’t (in the present) dead and we saw a scene with her she’d suddenly get a realisation that she knew Jin from the past. Of course, we’ll never get that scene because she is dead.

    I think I’ve tied myself up in knots there but, hopefully, you’ll get my meaning.

    Great podcast R&J. Thanks!

  23. Rey from Oly Wa. says:

    A few thoughts (and I am sorry if they are not entirely cohesive) that I would love others to comment on.

    Two facts from previous shows (and one from this one) that I am basing my conclusions on.

    1. Mrs. Hawking telling Desmond (I think it was Desmond) that fate is set and that there are some people in the world whose job it is to make sure that the timeline flows as it should.

    2. Alcott telling Locke that they pick their leaders at a very young age.

    3. The smoke monster security system at the temple.

    First off, I believe that the others are a group that are to protect a spot on the earth that allows time travel. The mission for the ‘run of the mill’ other is protection of the island, while the mission for ‘elite’ others is to make sure the timeline goes as planned (or perhaps recruiting new others). The temple was set up by an ancient civilization that understood the uniqueness of the place and the danger it represented to the world. Furthermore they put the smoke monster in place as a last ditch defense mechanism (and perhaps as a type of sorting mechanism).

    The others gain new recruits through a number of different means, but no one gets to leave the island unless they are completely clueless about the islands true nature, or they fall into the category of ‘elite’ others who are helping keep the timeline straight. One of the rules that Widmore (sp?) broke perhaps was leaving the island and striking off on his own when he was not supposed to.

    Another rule I believe Widmore might have broken was killing a future leader of the ‘others’. Alcott says very that others are picked at an early age. Ben seems to have been in contact with Alcott from the time he was a young man on the island. Furthermore, the others seemed particularly interested in the children on the island. Perhaps Alex was slated to be the next leader when she became old enough and Widmore broke another rule by killing her.

    Perhaps Alcott (and Jacob) are additional guardians of the island and serve as guides for the human guards. Furthermore, since they both may exist outside of time itself something might prevent them from directly taking a leadership role on the island.

    With all of this in mind I believe the real problem with the O6 is that they are doing things that are not supposed to be part of the timeline, so Ben and Mrs. Hawkins must set things right (which is part of their role as guardians of the island).

    Now how this theory works with the other things that are going in the show I have not completely figured out yet, but if this theory holds any water, may all of you could help out.

  24. Lee says:

    You’re right Anthony, Danielle and the dude she shot spoke perfect french. The other 2 spoke canadian french.

    I think they just couldn’t cast a whole crew of French, so they took canadians and hoped no one would notice.

    Not that it matters. The show is awesome!

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