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LOST 5.05 – This Place is Death – Mini Recap

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost
  Comments: 38

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?

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  • Hexonxonx

    Robert’s gun wasn’t empty, she removed the firing pin. Or at least she said so in E109.

    • docarzt

      Ah, good memory!

  • Sam

    Rousseau removed Richards firing pin, as she recalled in season 1, he wasn’t out of ammo.

    • Sam

      Ah you beat me to the call, Hexonxonx. Great episode, though… AS ALWAYS!

  • Dorkusbob


    So Jin knows where the tower is, but not which beach he’s on? And therefore where is the temple, how have we not seen it? Or has been destroyed by the time Locke was pulled down?

    • Zonker

      re: the tower… I’m afraid this may be Doc’s 2nd oops this week! 😉 As I understood the episode, the French scientists were using their electronics to home in on the radio tower. Jin’s offer was to lead them back to the beach camp once they found the tower. Which itself is odd since Jin was one of those who stayed behind to blow up Others when the beach campers made the trek to the radio tower in the Season 3 finale.

      re: the temple… we heard Ben instruct Richard to take the surviving Others to the temple in order to escape the Freighters, again in the Season 3 finale.

  • Al

    I wonder if the name on the side of the van at the end was another anagram: Canton-Rainier. And if so, what is it?

    • Joe


  • angjen0816

    i really like the medusa spider idea, so then when they get back Locke is “resurrected”. the spider is too great to not reuse

    • hyperRevue

      That fucking episode has to come back and mean something, right? That’s the only reason, really, that I can see this being the case.

      DOC – Is there anyway to change the amount of time the captcha is valid? It’s really annoying.

      • Axolotl

        Just refresh the captcha image using the button right before you post, works for me.

        • hyperRevue

          Wow. Thanks. I hadn’t noticed that.

    • KeepingAwake

      Well, considering he was likely embalmed at the Funeral Home, he’s certainly dead now. 😉

  • Al

    So after a little Googling, Canton-Rainier is an anagram for REINCARNATION. The prevailing theory is that Aaron is the reincarnation of someone, but who? Locke? Probably not, as Locke was still alive when Aaron was born. Boone? Maybe, but why? My guess is Jacob, as he seems to be not really living or at least existing in spirit only.

    In the bible, Jacob was Aaron’s great-great-grandfather and Benjamin’s father. I wouldn’t be surprised if Richard Alpert is Jacob’s brother, or in Biblical terms, Esau, who lost his birthright to Jacob.

    Maybe Richard thinks the island is his birthright. Ben, if he is Jacob’s “son” wants to keep it in the family and bring Aaron (the possible reincarnation of Jacob) back for that purpose.

    I fully expect this to be disproved by next week’s episode, after which everyone will have entirely new theories!

  • horselover

    Al, going with the idea of Jacob-Ben-Aaron lineage in line with the bible: I swear that Thomas (Claire’s baby-daddy) is a dead ringer for a young Ben. To be clear, I don’t at all believe that it’s actually him (especially since they cast Thomas a full year before Ben was even an idea), but just go back and look at Thomas. If they were going for a younger Ben (with an Australian accent) they couldn’t have done better.

  • LV

    Why does Ben having the ring necessarily make him the last one to see Locke alive? Are you assuming he then killed Locke (as many others have theorized in comments on previous posts)?

    Also, has Christian Shepherd ever mentioned his son to anyone in previous episodes? That one made me gasp! “Who’s your son?” FLASH! Was he talking about Jack? If other commenters think Christian is a manifestation of Jacob, and Jacob is Ben’s “father” (what does that really even mean? lol), then was he referring to Ben (and possibly in a sinister way)?

    • Zonker

      In one of those 2-minute “mobisodes” between Seasons 3 and 4 they showed post-death “Christian” on the island telling Vincent the dog to “wake up my son, he has work to do.”

    • KeepingAwake

      He also mentioned to Sawyer (in Two For The Road, I think) that he had a son and Sawyer realized that Jack and Chritian were father and son when Jack also said “That’s why the Red Sox will never win the World Series.”

  • LV

    Oh, and I also loved that Ben didn’t know that Eloise Hawking was Faraday’s mother. I don’t know what the implications of that are, but it was nice to see Ben surprised by something for once!

  • LV

    Also noticed that the writers alluded even more to Miles being Chang’s son when he pointed out that he is, in fact, not Korean. I know they wrote and filmed this ep a long time ago, but I cheered a little for that after reading so many dumb comments on boards that Miles must be Jin and Sun’s kid (hello, he’s male, and Chinese is not the same as Korean *sigh*).

    • Yonko

      Did you guys notice that Jin was looking straight to Charlotte when asking for a translation? As if he knew she spoke Korean?

      • Axolotl

        He did know, he noticed when Daniel and Charlotte went with him and Sun to the Dharma medical station to get some stuff to operate on Jack’s appendix.

  • NL

    Food for thought: Charlotte told Jin to not bring HER back. Thanks to Christian we know to keep an eye on our pronouns, especially the unprecursed ones. Was she talking about Sun or Ji Yeon?

    • Jangras

      eh eh eh that’s it, brotha..

  • hyperRevue

    That fucking episode has to come back and mean something, right? That’s the only reason, really, that I can see this being the case.

  • hyperRevue

    Wasn’t Abaddon supposed to be in this episode?

    • Axolotl

      I think it’s the one with the life and death of Jeremy Bentham

  • I noticed a boat in the dock scene named “Illusion” – wondering what if any significance that has…

  • Haliwax

    Thought about Smokey – So far, the only time we’ve seen him go on a rampage is when there is someone who it feels needs to be “taken care of”. Either wiping them out (Nadine, Echo, Mercenary team) or trying to drag them down its holes (Locke, Montand).

    I have a hunch that there is 1 rampage we’ve heard but haven’t seen yet. In the Pilot Part 1, on the night of the crash (just before the first commercial break if you’re watching it on ABC’s site), we hear the monster for the first time, see the trees getting tossed around, and see lots of commotion from the Jungle. Why is Smokey all riled up? We’ve never seen him really just try to “intimidate” – if he shows up, he plans on doing something to someone. So who was he going after?

    Maybe we’ll see another time jump to the night of the crash?

    • brent

      I think we absolutely will at some point. But it might not be this season. There are probably a dozen elements of the Pilot that will be revealed to be a part of the big picture mythology.

    • Axolotl

      My guess would be some of the survivors of the crash wandering around in the jungle. Out of almost 50 people at least ONE of them must have been curious about where they crashed (remember they hadn’t heard the monster at that time).

  • Chuck

    I just want to know how Jin knows Charlotte knows Korean.

    • Chaz

      Jin noticed Charlotte listening in to a conversation between he and Sun. She followed along like she understood, and he called her on it in private. Could someone provide the episode name (S4)? I’m drawing a blank!

      • KeepingAwake

        4.10, Something Nice Back Home

  • elijahmoon

    When I saw the look on Ben’s face upon seeing Desmond I believed it to be a reaction to the presence of Desmond itself and not having anything to do with Hawkings being Faradays Mother. I mean Faraday said in another episode that Desmond was “special” and that the rules dont apply to him.. I believe Bens motives to be sinister I dont believe Hawkings is Faradays mom regardless of what Faraday thinks and I believe her intentions to be sinister as well… I mean she was fucking with Desmond several seasons ago… In short, Faraday+Desmond=good guys. Ben+Hawkings=Bad guys. I believe Faraday is Jacob [who we know asked for help] and Ben who shot Locke because he heard jacob asking for it… unless hawkings really is the good playing bad guy to decieve the ultimate deviever, Ben…. I think I just talked myself out of my own theory lol. Ta’

  • lewinner

    Im a little slow on the uptake lol, but where/when else is Montond’s arm referenced in the show?

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