Feb 12, 2009

This Place is Death

I didn't get a chance to watch "This Place is Death" on Wednesday, but I did catch up today. At first I was worried that this episode would be more of the same ... some time jumps, Oceanic 6 still not coming together to get to the island, a few cool spots in the island's history ... but the second half of the episode kicked it in high gear and showed us that this isn't your Season 2-3 stalling Lost, this is your wide open finish line ahead Lost.

For my take on "This Place is Death," I'm not going to provide the lengthy recap style I've been doing (these will probably still be lengthy though). There are lots of recaps available online (check out darkufo.blogspot.com or longlivelocke.blogspot.com for some good ones) so I want to just get down to what stuck out to me and the questions I have for what's going on. Isn't that the fun part anyway? We all saw the episode, now lets figure out what's going on.

Now that's the Danielle we know
We got to briefly see pretty much everything that Danielle had revealed about what happened when her crew got to the island. Smokey tormented them right away and as it turns out, the monster is the one responsible for Montand losing his arm.

Montand got pulled into Smokey's lair (was this the Temple that Ben had mentioned last season?) but apparently lived. The rest of the crew goes in after him and Jin flashes away (he's still at the Temple, only with the decaying arm of Montand. Why was that never moved or picked up?). The next time we see Rousseau's crew, she's on her killing spree because the crew had contracted "the sickness." The crew had changed from their encounter with the monster. Danielle shoots her boyfriend (?) right after he tried to explain that it is just a security system (tell that to Montand's arm). She then sees Jin and thinks he's sick too because he just disappeared.

So there's an answer! When a person flashes through time, they do just disappear to the person who isn't flashing. This also brings up the same question as last week, did older Rousseau remember Jin?

We got a little bit more information later from Charlotte, but her reveal just confused me more. I'll get to that in a second, but first, are they now done with Rousseau's story? We found out that everything she told the Oceanic survivors was true, but we still don't know what she did in the 16 years since. She claims to have never seen any of the Dharma hatches. We do know that she had Alex, who was stolen by the Others, and that she did eventually travel to the radio tower. She knows where Black Rock is located. Anything else from her story? In 16 years, its hard to believe she didn't learn more about the island. I guess seing the monster and thinking your whole crew had a sickness can lead you to not explore too much.

Charlotte...at least your nose will quit bleeding
I had found out that someone died in this espisode and that person turned out to be our island anthropologist, Charlotte Staples Lewis. I was upset to see her go, but I guess they wrapped up her story pretty well. I'm sure we'll be seeing her again though, at least as a kid as part of the Dharma initiative.

She revealed to Daniel that she had lived on the island and had spent her entire life trying to get back. Its weird that her mom had lied to her and told her that all of her memories about the island weren't real.

There was a lot packed into Charlotte's death sequence. First she reveals to the group that she speaks Korean, which is a surprise to them. Why had she kept that a secret? And then as the flashes started to occur more frequently, her mind seems to jump around in her timeline. She started to reveal more information that she knew about the island. She told Jin not to let them bring her back (Sun?) and gave the title of the episode, "This Place is Death." She revealed that if the Orchid wasn't there, to just look for the well. How did she know this about the island? Even if she just lived there for a bit as a child, how would she know where the power of the Orchid is located?

Lastly, she provided the biggest reveal that could have been spotted a mile away. She said that a crazy guy had told her when she was little on the island to never come back because she would die and that crazy guy was ... none other than Daniel Faraday. We already know from the season premiere that Daniel makes it to the early stages of the Dharma Initiative, so its not a surprise that he was there, but to know that he interacted with Charlotte and warned her of her fate on the island (especially when Daniel himself says that you can't change the past) is interesting.

What's equally as interesting is that fact that Charlotte remembers meeting Daniel in her past, when as far as viewers know, this hasn't happened yet in his life. Think back to when Daniel talked to Desmond at the Swan. Des didn't have that memory until Daniel "changed" the past, but Charlotte already rememeber this in her past.

This is why I question whether Danielle remembers Jin. If we look at it like Desmond's mememory, then no she didn't recognize Jin because she wouldn't know him in the future until Jin went to the past, and since Danielle's dead in the future, we may never really know. But if we look at it as Charlotte's memory of Daniel, then Danielle likely does know Jin when she first encounters the 815 survivors. Confused yet?

Christian Mans the Frozen Donkey Wheel
So the Donkey Wheel was off its bearings, this seems to be the cause of the island skipping though time. It was cool to see Christian Sheppard again. He has a knack for popping up at just the right moments. It seems that the issues on the island may not only be because the Oceanic 6 left, but also becuase Ben moved the island. Christian had told Locke to move it. Guess he's righting that wrong by moving it now.

Everytime Christian shows up in an episode, we get more questions about him. I'd love a few answers. Is he alive? Is he Jacob or just working with Jacob? Is he physically there? Could he even have helped Locke up?

Great exchange:
Christian: Say hello to my son.
Locke: Who's your son?

Eloise Hawking
We got official confirmation of Ms. Hawking's name in this episode (from Christian). Previously, it was revealed in the enhanced version of "The Lie." It looks like it was also confirmed that Hawking is Daniel's mother, since the address Widmore gave Desmond brought him to her church. Looks like Des recognized her too. I can't wait for their conversation about their past and his memory of Faraday. But who else was worried when Ben first saw Desmond? He better stay away from Penny.

Ben was only able to round up Jack and Sun. I thought Sun would be the hardest to convince, but with Ben's knowledge that Jin was alive, she was eating right out of his hand. No mention though that she'll never come back (like he told Jack before). I wonder if her tune would change if she knew that she was leaving Ji Yeon behind for good.

When Hawking finds out that there's only Jack and Sun (are they counting Desmond?) on such short notice, she says that this will have to do for now. Can they go back without everyone else? I thought it had to be everybody (as did Locke). What will be the consequences if only a few of them go back? Kate seems like the hardest to convince now and Sayid isn't far behind her. I wondder how will they get them to come back?

A few other tidbits
Jin made Locke promise that he wouldn't bring Sun back. How will he feel when he sees her back on the island? I guess with Locke dead and all, there's not much he'll be able to do about it. (but all the fans know that Locke really isn't dead right? or is he? I guess we'll find out when they get back).

Speaking of Jin, hasn't he learned a lot of English since last year?

Nice move by Juliette tempting the island by saying something about flashing to a time when the Orchid was there, then flash, no Orchid. No wisecracks about the island please.

Sawyer started getting the nosebleeds too. That can't be good.

It was cool to see Locke enter the well. The visuals brought me back to season two when they descended the same way into the Swan hatch for the first time.

After the flash, we learned more about the rules of time travel. Anything that they are touching/holding flashes with them. Sawyer was holding the well rope, so in the next scene the wells gone, but he's still got the rope.

Ben is so smooth and always in control. You have to watch how you phrase your questions and question whatever information he provides. "Since when has listening to him got you anywhere." I guess Ben's still out of Jacob's favor.

Then we find out that Locke had talked to Ben before he died. He even gave Ben Jin's wedding ring (which Jin gave to Locke to show Sun prove to her that he had died). Michael Emerson's (Ben) delivery is always great. Whether it was his line about traffic or his I went to see him answer to Jack when he brought up that Ben had said Locke hadn't visited him, Ben's scenes always deliver.

I definitely enjoy the on-island story a lot more than the off-island one. But all that may change with the involvement of Ms. Hawking. At least it looks like they'll attempt to get back sooner rather than later.

Next on Lost: "316"

*Photos from Lost-Media.com

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