LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 5: “This Place Is Death”

13 02 2009

Hey gang, before I get into this week’s recap, I just wanted to let you in on some thoughts I had today.  Basically, I began to wonder about the relevance of this blog.  After all, there are a ton of people that do this kind of thing.  Especially now that EW’s Doc Jensen has picked up on doing a episode recap, I began to question myself.  What makes my blog so special?  Clearly, some people can do this with more insight than I do.  And most people get it out sooner than me…this is not my job, and I have to fit in my entries around my job, my life, my family.  So what makes this blog unique?

Then it dawned on me.  It doesn’t matter.  There are recaps that are probably better.  There are definitely recaps that are more timely.  But even if my blog doesn’t bring up anything more insightful than you can get anywhere else, I’m still going to do it.  And that’s because it’s as much about me as it is about all of you that read it.  I do this because I love LOST so much and because I love to write.  There really doesn’t need to be anything more to it than that.  And if I bring any extra enjoyment to the show for anyone else as a result, then it’s more than worth it.

Anyway, not sure if any of that really matters to any of you, but that’s what went through my head today.

But hey, we had a really cool episode of LOST last night…maybe the best of the season so far!  Let’s talk about that!

Make those words count, Sun

Anyone else have the same thoughts as I did during the opening scene?  As in, Sun better say what she needs to say to her daughter because it may be the last time she talks to her?  And here’s another, perhaps more relevant question: doesn’t the baby need to go back to the island as well?  I guess that’s up for debate, since she wasn’t born until after Sun left the island.  But it definitely crossed my mind as to whether or not “everyone who left” included Ji Yeon.

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42”

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen or heard the numbers, so it was kinda cool to hear them coming through the walkie talkie.  We know that Rousseau eventually uses the broadcast to piggy-back her own distress signal, but did we ever find out the *original* source of the broadcast?  Refresh my memory if I’m wrong, but I don’t think we did.  Hopefully the brief appearance of the numbers in this episode is not just a tease, and that they’ll give us some more on it before the series comes to an end.

If you can’t make it to the radio tower, would you settle for a trip to the temple?


Maybe…if it didn’t include going through the smoke monster!  Oh yeah, Smokey returns, and with a vengeance!  He outright kills one of Rousseau’s crew, and then tries to drag another (similar to what it did with Locke in Season 1) into the depths of the island.  But instead of pulling him into a hole, he drags him into a temple…or perhaps, *the* temple.  We’ve heard of this place before from the Others, but this is the first time we’ve actually seen it.  And it’s not like we get to know anything more about it either.  Except, of course, that it does something to the minds of those who enter it.


Rousseau was clearly about to get shot by Robert if not for him running out of ammo, so she was dead on about his mental transformation.  But in what way was he and the rest of the crew transformed?  By the way, I don’t believe that Robert’s desire to kill Danielle and his ability to tell the truth are mutually exclusive.  In other words, I think he was telling the truth when he said that the smoke monster was a sentry for the temple.  In fact, we pretty much already knew that it was a security device of some sort.  I guess now the question is, why does it protect the temple?  From what?  And why does it want to drag certain people into the temple, where it simply wants to kill others?  And, how could Ben *control* it last season?  Did his secret door in the barracks lead straight to the temple?  Oh, and don’t expect that I’ll be the one to try to decipher those hieroglyphics on the temple wall.  That’s not up my alley.  But if anyone else took a stab at it and wants to share in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!

Meanwhile, Ben’s plan goes up in smoke

OK, horrible pun there.  But certainly nothing goes as planned at the pier.  Kate does as expected and grans Aaron and bolts into the night.  Sayid has had enough of Ben’s duplicity and goes the other way.  But thankfully for Ben, Sun sticks around, and Jack tags along, so at least he has 2 of the Oceanic 6…

Charlotte looks like she’s one of the undead


Even before her eventual demise, Charlotte looks like a zombie!  Amazing job by the makeup crew.  She physically looked like she was hating life in this episode.  Excellent effect.

Ben calls Sun’s and Jack’s bluff

Like any good game player, Ben knows when to throw his weight around.  No, it wasn’t when they were all at the dock.  He waited until he had 2 weaker players in a position where they *thought* they had the upper hand,  After all, they still had the gun, right?  But Ben played them both good, getting them to shut up about turning the tables, and proving that he was in control.  And good for him too, because the only chance he has of getting *all* of the Oceanic 6 to agree to his plam is to have his key players, Jack and Sun, believing that he has their best interest at heart, and then manipulating them to bring the others along.

“Turn it up! I love Geronimo Jackson.”

I love that the writers continue to throw us little nuggets like this, even as we come to the tail end of the series.  Fun stuff!

And they leave Faraday behind

The guy who has the most knowledge of what’s going on with these timeshifts is exactly the guy they feel like they can do without to try to stop them?  Doesn’t seem like a really smart plan.  I’ll be very curious to see how the group handles things without either Faraday or Locke, if Locke’s actions didn’t stop the island (or the Losties) from skipping through time.

“Daniel, I think that man was you!”

A couple of fascinating things about this.  First, this appears to be our first event that shows that the Losties can interact with people from the past, so long as those interactions already happened.  In other words, Faraday can go back in time and interact with a young Charlotte, or anyone else for that matter.  It’s just that if he does, it means that it already happened.  If we know Faraday didn’t interact with someone, then he still can’t but if we don’t know, then he certainly can.  The second part of this is that if we know Faraday interacts with someone in the past (like the young Charlotte), then we know it *must* happen, whether Faraday wants to or not.  It happened, so he must do it.  In the case of Charlotte specifically, this creates an interesting paradox.  We know that at some point in Faraday’s future (but in the island’s past), he must tell young Charlotte to leave the island and never come back or she’ll die.  But he must do this, all the while knowing that she will indeed come back to the island, and she will indeed die as a result.  Quite sad, actually.

Jin gives Locke the proof

But isn’t it ironic how it’s actually used?  Jin gives it to John to have him “prove” that he’s dead.  But Ben uses it for the exact opposite purpose: to prove that he’s alive.  By trying to keep Sun off the island, Jin actually lures her to come back.

Christian (Jacob?) helps Locke the rest of the way


Many interesting thoughts to take from this scene, but the most thought-provoking is Christian Shepard and his role in everything.  Is he Jacob, or is he merely a spokesperson?  And why him?  How is it that he plays such a large role?  Of course, once you decide that there’s no good answer for any of those questions, then you’re left to wonder, why is Locke the chosen one?  Why is it he that was chosen to turn the donkey wheel?  And how is it that he’s the key to getting everyone to come back?  Hopefully we’ll get some more of these questions answered as the season goes along.

“You said John never came to see you.”

And once again, Jack is shown to be the extremely gullible, malleable material that Ben needs to help do his dirty work.  Ever since the end of Season 3 when Jack beat the tar out of Ben, Mr. Linus has had the clear upper hand in their interactions.  At some point has to realize how he’s being manipulated…

“You’re looking for Faraday’s mother too?”


Just in case you missed it, Ben is completely taken aback by this comment.  He has no idea that Ms. Hawking is indeed Faraday’s mom.  This probably sends chills down his spine, because remember, Faraday was hand-picked by Widmore to head up the team to extract Ben from the island (or kill him).  The thought that he’s having to rely on a relative of someone from that team is probably making him a little uneasy, regardless of whether or not he knows Ms. Hawking’s intial relationship to Widmore on the island.

Of course, at this point, he has little other choice.  It’s time to move forward with Eloise’s plan, whatever that happens to be…


Post-episode questions:


  1. What does Ms. Hawking have in store?  How can the Losties get back to the island?
  2. Can 2 of the Oceanic 6 plus Desmond convince the other 4 to come along?  Or will only some of them return?
  3. What happened to the island after Locke turned the donkey wheel?  What happened to Locke?
  4. What do the sickness, the smoke monster, and the temple all have in common?
  5. What’s the relationship between Christian and Jacob?  Are they one in the same?

I really loved that episode, I hope you all enjoyed it as well!




5 responses

13 02 2009
TV Geek Out

We really like your blog, so I’m glad you decided to keep doing it. I know a lot of people write about Lost, but I feel like you organize your thoughts really well, very clearly. Thanks for your hard work!

-Dana from TV Geek Out

13 02 2009

Excellent episode, and thanks for continuing to do these recaps. I think Jack, Sun and Desmond will return to the island first (probably with John’s body, I presume it’s back in the van right now?) And I’m predicting that the remainder of season five will play out with Ben trying to gather up Hurley, Kate and Sayid (and possibly Sun’s kid–hadn’t thought about that til you mentioned it), culminating in the finale being the last of them stepping foot on the island.

And I’ll say it again–what about Lapidus? Might they tap him to navigate them back?

16 02 2009

Since I read about the “Hoffs Drawlar” anagram, “Flash Forward”… I’m stuck looking for other ones. On the van Ben was driving the crew around in like the Scooby Doo wagon it read “Cantor Rainier”… I get the word container but not much else…

Anyway, love the blog. Keep it up.

16 02 2009

Hi Doug,

Thanks for checking in! You definitely are on the right track, as the “Canton-Rainier” van is certainly an anagram. Along with many others, we deciphered it last week when we saw it in the episode, “The Little Prince”. It’s an anagram for reincarnation.

What I think that means is that Locke is not going to be resurrected, which might be your first inclination. Instead, he’s going to be reincarnated as someone else. Who might that be? Aaron? Richard? Jacob? It’ll be interesting to see how things play out…

16 02 2009

Of course. How stupid I am… Thanks.

Many characters are dying and continuing on in some form- Christian, Chariie, Ecko, Ana Lucia, … it would be unlike LOST to go with the most obvious route- resurrection on the island. Christian died and his body was being shipped to LA when 815 went down, correct? Charlie drowned but has appeared to Hurley. Same with Ana Lucia.

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