With a title like “This Place is Death,” you can probably guess quite easily what the theme of LOST’s fifth episode of season 5 is. Death looms at every corner of this episode, one of LOST’s darkest this season, if not ever. On the flanks of the grim reaper is revelation, nostalgia, and a refreshing lack of new mysteries. For once, LOST feels like it truly is in answer mode – but at what price? Lives were lost, possibly saved, and quite probably about to be put in danger again as questionable motives began to surface.
Fans who were waiting to hear the truth about what happened to Danielle Rousseau’s people walked away happy tonight, in more ways than one. For starters, the question of whether Danielle just went crazy and killed her people, or whether there was something to this sickness claim of hers, got their answer: both.
Rousseau’s team were infected when they descended into a Cerberus vent to get Montand who – famously – lost his arm. Jin becomes our point of view for the mayhem to come when he flashes ahead a few months to find Rousseau pointing a gun in the face of her lover Robert, who begs her to put the gun down. She buys it, but Robert snaps his own gun up and pulls the trigger. Luckily for Rousseau she’d had the foresight to remove the firing pin. (Thanks to those of you who corrected me on this in the comments!)
The most interesting tidbit is in Robert’s dialog as he pleads with her to understand that the thing they encountered is just a security system there to protect “the temple.” We got a glimpse of the place, but not inside.
One tone of the episodes theme of mortal danger is characters being lead –innocently – to their demise. Consider this fact: Rousseau’s team encounters smokey and, subsequently, infection because Jin agrees to lead them to the radio tower. Way to go Jin.
Elsewhere, danger befalls others who have been ‘led’ when Sun emerges from her car with her chocolate surprise semi-automatic trained on Ben, ready to blow his head off. Ben manages to convince her that he can prove that Jin is alive, if she follows him somewhere.
On the island, things are going from bad to worse for Charlotte. Jin has met up with the group and Charlotte is deteriorating fast. On the verge of death she tells Jin not to allow Locke to bring Sun to the island. “This place is death,” she intones, first in Korean and then in English for the rest of the groups benefit.
Revelations are on tap with Charlotte as well when the team leaves her and Daniel behind due to her condition. She reveals to Daniel that she was raised on the island and that once she’d left her mother tried to convince her the island did not exist. As she tells this to Daniel she has a realization, she has seen Daniel before – when she was a child. He’d terrified her by warning her not to come back or she’d die. A hint that we will be seeing more of Daniel in the Dharma era before long.
When Sawyer, Locke, Juliet, Miles, and Jin get to the well that leads to the donkey wheel Jin makes Locke promise not to go after Sun, giving the bald one his wedding ring to offer as proof that he is dead.
In a troubling turn of events, the ring winds up being used as proof that Jin is alive. Ben claims he got it from Locke when he went to see him. A strange change of story, since this makes Ben the last person to see Locke alive. Personally, I think Ben unleashed a medusa spider on Locke, but I guess we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to find out for sure. Regardless, once she is convinced that Jin is alive Sun is all too willing to follow Ben.
Locke finally makes it back to the Donkey Wheel, after suffering a nasty compound fracture, and is met by an unlikely helper: Christian Shepherd. Christian tells him that he was supposed to turn the Donkey Wheel, not Ben. Did Ben deviate on purpose? Is Ben sneaky?
Now, about those questionable motivations. Desmond showed up at the church the same time as Sun, Jack, and Ben, surprised they were all looking for the same person – only Ben had no idea that Eloise was Faraday’s mother. Was that alarm on Ben’s face, or something else? Whatever it was, it was contagious because I felt a little bit of it too. Is Eloise serving a higher purpose in the game, or is her involvement strictly concerned with rescuing her little boy?