Trans 2009-02-15: “This Place is Death”


This episode of “The Transmission” takes a look at the fifth episode of Season 5, “This Place is Death.” We recap the story in eight minutes, then spend some time discussing it in greater depth. Then, we turn it over to You All Everybody, our brilliant listeners and readers. Then, in the Forward Cabin, we review what we know about “316” and share a tiny tidbit about the last week of filming on The Island.

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  • 0:00:41 Introduction
  • 0:01:12 “LOST” in 8 Minutes
  • 0:08:58 Sponsored by
  • 0:08:58 Discussion
  • 0:25:50 You All Everybody
  • 1:05:03 The Forward Cabin
  • 1:08:14 Closing

Got a comment about something mentioned in this podcast, or about the podcast itself? Have at it below. Otherwise, we encourage you to continue the larger listener discussion about “The Little Prince” on the previous post.

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24 Responses to Trans 2009-02-15: “This Place is Death”

  1. BennyD says:

    great podcast guys!!! keep up the great work!

  2. Rob from Canada says:

    Hey guys, just wanted to say thankyou on behalf of ..well, everyone here, for playing our voice mail messages and blog entries on your podcast. This episode is awesome (although I find it hard to stop listening when you get to the forward cabin, despite not wanting any spoilers) I’m currently going through the first season and came across something I thought was interesting (as I often do when revisiting old episodes) When Claire and Charlie are taken by Ethan. Jack, Kate, Boone, and John go out looking for them. Jack and Kate follow Charlies “letters” that he left behind, while Boone and John follow another trail that they find. Which leads them to discover the hatch. I may be giving the writers too much credit, but it’s interesting to think about… that these tracks could be from Juliette and company when they find the hatch in the premiere of this season. It’s probably silly of me to connect the two episodes like that, but it at least might lead more people to find better examples of this, perhaps in season 4 where they might be figuring out season 5. Anyways, keep up the amazing work Ryan and Jen.

  3. Rey from Oly Wa. says:

    I think I posted this in the wrong spot (sorry, I’m new here), so I am reposting it here because I would like some opinions as to whether or not any of my thoughts here are logical.

    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, maybe all of you could help out.

  4. yosemite chris says:

    you were talking about christain interacting with locke,you ask if they ever
    had connect. in the espiode where charlies goes to visits hurley he slaps him across the face to prove he really there. and i think in one of the connector clips in the dvd extra’s we see christain petting vincent.

    if danelle kill her whole crew after they came in contact with smokie, then
    why has she never reacted to locke who have also come in connect with smokie.was he not in connect,with smokie long enough.

  5. Sobes from Boston says:

    Thank you guys so much for the podcast. I look forward to it weekly, and while I listen to some other Lost podcasts, you are by far the most well informed, intelligent, and seem to put in the most effort.

    My two cents:

    I do not believe there are multiple timelines. There is only one. Aside from Desmond (whom the rules don’t apply to for some unknown reason) the Losties cannot change the past or the future.

    Example One: Jin was ALWAYS meant to go into the past and interact with the Frenchies. Otherwise Danielle and baby would have gone down into the tunnel with the rest of her crew. We know she survived until 2004, which means we know something stopped her from going in – Jin. As for why she didn’t recognize him, I believe it’s because she was nuts by the time she met him again. 16 years alone on an island with Smokey, a stolen baby, and the whispers? By the time she saw him again, I believe her memories were too far gone for her to recognize him at all or she simply thought “Oh, it’s you. I wonder when you’ll disappear again.” She had seen enough crazy/unexplainable things to not care anymore. Remember her when she first met Sayid? She had no concept of the amount of time that had passed. Remember in S1 when she stole Claire’s baby? This was a crazed woman. Most logic doesn’t apply.

    Example Two: Charlotte ALWAYS knew about a scary man who told her never to come back to the island. Her young age at the time and a mother telling her that the island doesn’t exist pushed those memories away. Similar to Locke not remembering meeting Richard Alpert when he was a kid, she never remembered enough about the incident. Being on the island triggered those memories again, hence her finally telling Daniel that she saw him once before. This has not happened for Daniel yet, so he does not know it happens. When he does travel to that time, I believe he will tell her not to return for one of two reasons:

    1. He is so in love that he is ignoring the very rules he articulated.
    2. He knows that she remembered seeing him in the past, which means that it already happened, which means he MUST tell her not to return. He’ll tell her because he has to.

    In short, I believe there is only one timeline and everything the characters are doing in the past has already happened, thus they are not changing anything – in fact, they are setting things up for the future without really knowing it.

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  7. Robert says:

    In regard to Ben and Desmond, a lot of people are questioning whether Ben knew about Desmond on the island. I would have to say yes, he did. On Day 49 Ben took Juliet to the Swan station to observe what was goin on in the Pearl station. Based on that fact, I would have to believe that they have observed the goings on in the Pearl previous to that day as well. Remember, Ben was a part of the Dharma Inititative and he knows of all the stations that exist. So even though he may not have had any physical contact with Desmond, he knew he was on the island in the hatch. Also, when he met up with Sayid after Nadia died, he lied and told Sayid he got off the island via Desmonds boat. So that to me would mean he knew how Desmond got to the island and thus knew when he got the island as well.

  8. ChiliDog says:

    Love the podcast Ryan and Jen. I have been listening since early last season and it is a highlight of my week.

    You have changed my outlook on the show. Formerly, I would be stunned each week when viewers of the show would exclaim how awesome each show was. It was like the boy crying wolf.

    “What are they going to exclaim when a really terrific episode comes up?” I would say to myself.

    Well I have resigned myself to look at the awesomeness of each episode and not dwell on how it could have been better. I am also going to be more contemplative before I rush to conclusions for the show.


    Oh and one more thing. I was reflecting on how Ben and Sayid could be so estranged and I thought back to the Economist. In the closing scene, while Ben is stitching Sayid’s gunshot wound, he tells Sayid that he has one more name for him. I am thinking that perhaps that name is Jeremy Bentham.

  9. Mirepoix from Mtl says:

    What is it about Geronimo Jackson?

    What is band nobody has ever heard of doing so often in this show?
    Lack of budget for paying royalties? Cannot be a good reason for show with the resources of Lost.

    There has got to be a link between the poster in nerdy young teen Locke’s locker (1956 + 16 = 1972) and Charlotte invoking the band on the verge of death.
    Was the band planted into Locke’s life by someone?
    Was he locked in someone else’s locker ? This someone having a link to Dharma…
    For the purpose to have him meet the principal or orientor ?
    For forging his will to do as he pleases («Don’t tell me what I can’t do»)

    How could Charlotte know the band when she was born in the mid 70s ?
    Parents accounts? Listening to it at Dharma when young ?
    Where there so few albums over there in the barracks ?
    Was it because of the Latin title of the band’s album ? (Magna Carta)

    Why is this unknown band keep popping up into the story not so coincidently ?

    Another topic
    The hieroglyphs on the Temple

    They look like they would be of Egyptian descent
    So they could be a couple thousand years old
    We know this island is in the South Pacific
    However, there seems to be some window linking it to Africa (the Nigerian traficers’ Beachcraft, the Tunisan desert)

    So some Egyptians would up on this island and build a Temple
    There was some advanced science done in ancient Egypt
    So there must be some link between this group and the four-toed statue remnant (not unlike the Rhodes Collossus)

    The question is
    Where have these «indigeneous» people gone ?
    Back to Egypt ? or elsewhere ?
    But the hieroglyphs keep popping up all over the place (in the Swan, on Ben’s secret door, near the donkey wheel)
    So the Dharma stuff was built around this existing ancient stuff?

    What do you think ?

  10. Agus from Argentina says:

    I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have just realized that neither Locke nor Faraday get a nosebleed. Why? Is it because they’ve found their constant, Faraday finding Desmond (and Breaking the “time travelling rules”) and Locke finding…Richard Alpert (in repeated ocations throughout his life)

    After watching TPID I can see a lot of byblical references, as to Locke being a kind of Jesus who has to sacrifice himself to save the others, and who is sent outside the island to gather more people…and then the reincarnation on Ben’s van…hmm strange!

    I don’t think that there is a sickness at all, I believe that the french men are “enlightened” by Smokey and they are instructed to kill Rousseau to leave the island. Rousseau freaks out and shoots them

    Just a few thoughts! Love the podcast im listening while im posting
    keep up the great work

  11. ChiliDog says:

    @ Mirepoix:

    Aside from the Magna Carta historical aspect, I never have given GJ much thought. It is interesting that the writers use real literary references, play real musical pieces and yet throw in a largely fictional band from time to time.

    I am not sure, but I do not believe that the Egyptians held a monopoly on hieroglyphics. There are pyramids and similar structures acattered throughout the world. I don’t think there is a question that the Dharma stations were built around many of these ancient structures.

  12. BeckyD says:

    Great show! You may have listeners who are really smart about all the science-y stuff, but you are the smartest when it comes to Lost!

    Thanks for your great show!

  13. Robin in CT says:

    Hi Ryan and Jen. Love your podcast!! I have my own theory (which may be insane) but here goes: This timeline thing is making me crazy, like everyone else, but I think that, like most everyone else does, that the island will only stop “skipping like a record” once the O6 come back — but here is where I deviate — the island will stop in the O6’s time, 3 years into the island losties own futures. I think that this is why there is a very short window to get them back. The island needs to “appear” in the present time so the O6 can find it and thus find their lostie friends. This window that Mrs Hawking has found is their only opportunity to get to the island in present time. Would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this idea. Thanks!

  14. anonymous2 says:

    Yours is the first podcast I ever listened to, before your interminable hiatus, and continues to be my favorite podcast. Since you first left us and suggested our going to the LOST Podcasting Network I have accessed LOST podcasts via their website. But your links on that are currently wrong.

    Since your podcast is my favorite, I have recommended your podcast to others but most of them say they are waiting for you to have it in ogg (vorbis) format.– the only one everyone can listen to.

    I don’t know what platform you use to recommend the best wat for you to record or transcode to ogg vorbis There are many many ways to do so on my OS of choice, linux, but it can easily be done from any platform.
    Everyone can listen to ogg vorbis, but until it overtakes mp3, despite the serious patent issues with mp3, you might want to use both.
    There are a great many people who only listen to free formats such as ogg vorbis for ethical reasons and there are some who can only listen to such free formats;
    Please consider adding ogg vorbis.

  15. Amanda Black says:

    Another wonderful podcast. Thanks!

  16. Ilias says:

    Hi guys,

    Great podcast and is I believe the right sponsor. We are the right audience and I like their site/products.

    Three quick comments. Ryan you said that you are going to be disappointed if it turns out to be zombies, but you know Darlton have promised us a season of zombies ;). It really bugs me that Jin’s English varies from very good to needing a translator from Encino. Another thing that bugs me is Rose and Bernard the Dentist, were are they?

    Keep it up guys!


  17. Sasha from Toronto says:

    I just wanted to mention that there is physical contact between Hurley and Charlie. Charlie slaps him in “The Beginning of the End” (4.1).

  18. andy from chicago says:

    Just listened to the podcast and it seems there is some debate as to what time period the islanders will be in after the wheel was turned by Locke. One person stated that the islanders will be cemented in time on the pre-darma island which was when they were at the time the wheel was turned. It seems, however, that after the wheel is turned they jump to a different time…like in the season opener. Here’s a quote supporting this idea from lostpedia’s summery of episode 5.1:

    “Immediately after Ben turns the frozen wheel, a loud noise is heard and a flash lights up the sky above all the survivors who are still on the island. As the light dissipates, Locke realizes that it is suddenly raining, and Richard and the Others, along with their entire campsite, have vanished.”

    I bet the islanders will conveniently jump to the future to precisely the time the other losties return. How do you like them apples?

  19. Tom says:

    What episode was “Our Mutual Friend” referenced?
    I don’t think it was the Constant.
    Live Together, Die Alone maybe?

  20. Bob from Florida says:

    I missed your Transmission while you were gone and am happier than ever that you have returned to full podcasts. Such fine discussions do seem to attract fine listeners. But I feel like I’ve missed something.

    I love all the mysteries, but am still wondering why all of the Oceanic 6 must return to the island. It’s such an important plot arc that I feel the need for some more logic to hold this link together while things continue to develop. Even the time shifts seem to have more to do with the “wheel” being off-axis and Locke appears to be taking care of that “with a nudge” before the Six return.

  21. Lydia from Massachusetts says:

    Hi Ryan and Jen!
    Thanks for another great podcast! I was interested to hear people’s theories about what happened to Rousseau’s team when they went into the smoke monster’s lair. It got me thinking:

    On the last official podcast, D&C said something about the smoke monster’s portal (I think they called it a declivity, though I am not so familiar with that word) being a portion of the temple. Now I happened to watch Meet Kevin Johnson (from last season) the other day and there was a conversation between Ben and Karl that might be related. Regarding the temple, Ben says, “the temple’s not for them, Karl. It’s only for us.” Hmmm — have all of The Others been exposed to the smoke monster and is that what sets them apart from the 815ers? Have they all been changed by it? Because if the temple is connected to the declivity, then the smoke monster is probably in the temple too, right? Here is the transcript of that segment of Meet Kevin Johnson from Lostpedia. The trasncript doesn’t quite do it justice, and it’s worth watching, because of the way that Ben says it. To me it seems like the tone of his voice is almost apologetic or resigned when he says “because the temple’s not for them.”:

    BEN: This is a map to the temple.

    [Alex takes the map.]

    BEN: It’s a sanctuary. It may be the last safe place on this island.

    KARL: How come we don’t know about this?

    BEN: Well, it wouldn’t be a sanctuary if I told everyone, would it? The rest of our people are already there. If you leave now, you can get there in a day and a half.

    KARL: If it’s safe, why don’t we all go – Hurley, Claire, the baby?

    BEN: Because the temple’s not for them, Karl. It’s only for us. These people that are coming – they know who I am, Alex. They’re here to capture me. They’ll kill anybody that gets in their way. If they knew who you were, that you were my daughter, they would use you to get to me. We don’t have much time.

  22. Lydia from Massachusetts says:

    …just to add to the above train of thought — Locke is the only one of the 815ers that has survived an interaction with the smoke monster and he seems to be acting “enlightened” to some degree. He also felt that the young Widmore was “one of my people” so he couldn’t kill him in Jughead.

  23. Hector from Mexico says:

    Hello Ryan and Jen, great podcast as always.

    I just wanted to mention that I have been watching season 2, and found a couple of things that relate to current season 5.

    First, remember when the code was not entered within the 108 minutes? It showed some egyptian letters…..I didn’t check, but I wonder if those letters are the same ones we see on the temple (I only remember a bird).

    Also, I watched the scene just before Ana Lucia kills Goodwin, and she points out that the knife they found on the “other” that came to abduct the tail section people is a US army knife. Was that knife probably kept from the “Jughead” time? I mean, if they were already using the army uniforms, it would be obvious they would use their weapons as well.

    And to finish, this is more like an open question. I still don’t understand what’s up with the “lists” that the others made. They were suppossed to grab the children and all the “good guys”, but I can’t seem to find a pattern on which people they choose (for example, choosing Sawyer instead of Hurley……perhaps because of his numbers jinx?) And also, after they become “others” they seem to be living very happy (remember the australian girl cargo which we see as part of the “other” community).

    Well, thanks again, your podcast is truly the best and I can’t wait to see the next episode and listen to you all everybody’s thoughts on it.

  24. Jan says:

    If Locke was acting as proxy for Christian on the flight and Locke killed himself. Does that mean that Christian committed suicide too?

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