Friday, February 13, 2009

Lost Season Five: Episode 5

Even though Lost has abandoned the flashback format, this week's Lost episode, 'This Place is Death', maintained a thematic link with the first two seasons of the show. Our destinies, no matter how much the Losties try to change it, cannot be reversed. Everyone who crashed on the island was meant to be on Oceanic 815; Charlotte is meant to return to the island and die, no matter what Daniel does. Only Locke seems to have accepted his destiny and is willing to die to ensure it is fulfilled. But who wants to talk about destiny when there are smoke monsters lurking? On to the hail of bullets.

- Once the time travel plot was introduced, I'd assumed that the sickness Rosseau said had affected her people were nosebleeds. Instead, Smokey kills Nadine and rips off another dude's arm. Did the smoke monster kill everyone in the hole and then appear as them to Rosseau? Or is it able to fuck with people's minds and make them turn against Rosseau? Also, in a nice callback to Rosseau describing the smoke monster as the island's security system, we find out that its guarding the temple. What is the temple? You can bet it's something really important.

- This was a standout episode for Michael Emerson who always seems to hit the right notes as Ben Linus. Completely in keeping with his character, Ben uses Jin's wedding ring to prove that he is alive, exactly the opposite of what Locke intended to do and what Jin wanted him to do. I would love to see how Ben manipulated Locke into giving him the ring.

- At the end of the episode, Ben registers extreme surprise when Desmond shows up and announces that he is there to meet Faraday's mother. Is he surprised because he didn't expect Desmond to know who Mrs Hawking is or does he not know himself that she is Faraday's mother?

- I've really strained my memory to try and remember is Desmond and Ben have ever met before. They might have met at the start of season four, when Ben was being held captive by Jack, before being taken away by Locke. Either way, Desmond has no way of knowing that Ben is out to avenge Alex's murder, probably by targeting Penny. Run, Desmond, run.

- I hope we don't have to wait too long before we find out why all the Oceanic 6 had to return. And I hope it isn't something lame.

- Did Ben screw up when moving the frozen donkey wheel? That seems to be what Christian Shephard suggested. By dislodging the wheel from its axis, Ben seems to have caused the flashes. As crafty an operator as he is, I'm guessing he did it on purpouse because he didn't want any of the Oceanic 6 to leave and this way he could force them to come back. I am a bit confused though. If Locke has set the wheel right, and the flashes will stop, why do the Oceanic 6 still need to come back?

- And who/what exactly is Christian Shephard. Could he be the mysterious, God-like Jacob? After all, his name certainly suggests a Biblical figure.

-Speaking of the Oceanic 6, does Sun's daughter Jeon Yi have to return to the island? She wasn't born on the island but she was concieved there. If the island is a Republican, Ben may have to make a quick detour to South Korea.

- I've left the best for last. Charlotte's revelation that Daniel told her not to come back to the island. Does this mean that Daniel can change the future? My guess is that he will be so consumed by grief that he doesn't accept that he cannot save her. Which brings us back to the theme of destiny and how we, despite all our efforts, will not be able to change it.

7 comments:

supersizeme said...

yay! really appreciating this bubs!

what an episode! last ep was obviously the quiet before the storm.

there are a few mysteries i've been especially wanting to see unearthed in lost (aren't we all) and those are:
- where/when is claire?
- what is the smoke monster? yeah, yeah, it's some 'security system enforced by the island, but why did it target mr eko some seasons ago, did he know too much?
- jacob?
- and ben linus's role in all this, are the latter three like personifications of the island itself? spooky!
i was curious about rousseau for a while, but this episide explained a lot. but that partner of hers was no younger ben linus, so what's all that sbout?

i am curious about jack's father now though, i thought he was an average civilian doctor in this, who happened to father claire and jack, but wow, shady guy.

you have an awesome memory bubs, who would have thought that little old irish lady at that quaint little jewellers could wield so much control over the losties. i suspected she would have some kind of a small-ish but significant role, more like a spiritual fortuneteller type.
i loved the horror and action elements in this episode overall. i guess this sort of variety keeps us on our toes.

not to mention the little sarcastic quips here and there;
''that's what happens when you bring women. she's off chasing a butterfly''.

when jin frustratedly lets rip in korean and they all look at miles to translate, he's like; ''that's korean, i'm ____''. i'm sure many of us can relate to that moment.

i'm convinced miles is mr dharma initiative's son. why else would he nosebleed?

i liked the focus on jin's character, it's been a while, he's a cool guy who tends to get overshadowed a lot.

bless locke and his sacrifice, that was a heartwrenching scene.

and to answer the question;
oh yes, i believe a lot now rests on daniel to change things. he may not be able to save charlotte but now with his mum in the equation, he'll have much more clout possibly.

bubs said...

Most people seem to believe Claire was killed by Keamy's rocket attack on her house. The evidence for this - apart from her vanishing and reappearing with Christian - is the strange looks Miles (who, remember, can hear the dead) gave her. The producers have said Claire won't be there this season but will come back for the last season.

I suspect we will find out what the deal with the smoke monster is only towards the end of next season. This is the main mystery that they've kept dangling occasionally since the start of the show. The sparing use of the smoke monster, I feel, makes it all the more creepy.

I have no theories to offer on Jacob. This is something else we will have to wait for.

Ben Linus is probably the most fascinating character on the show, along with Locke. I don't think he's a personification of the island (if anyone is I would guess it's Richard Alpert) as much as someone who feels a sense of ownership over the island and acts as a jealous lover might. I also think the show has done a great job of humanizing him, especially with his reaction to Alex's death. We are still aware that he is a manipulative bastard, but I still find myself rooting for him.

I had always kept Mrs Hawkings in mind because during the much maligned first half of season three, when the producers were being criticized for making the show up as they went along, they revealed that she would play an important role later in the series.

supersizeme said...

ben is an absolute creep in every sense of the word. obviously the actor playing him deserves a bloody oscar!
what irritates me the most about ben is the way he reprimands the losties, and locks eyes with them, as if they're juveniles, using that tone like; ''because he's not your son kaaate''. what an asshole! who gave him that kind of authority? yes if the lost island is republican, he best not go back there.
my analogy is that ben is to the losties what america is to the rest of the countries around the world. maybe he is doing what is best for them, but he sure as hell has the tendency to piss people off with it.

i love how sawyer calls him ''bug eyes''. hilarious.

fyi; not that i have anything against big-eyed people, ''some of my friends are bug-eyed''.

i love that cliche (it makes me think of me and a bunch of bug eyed people holding hands in a circle ring-o-roses style... teehee).

Kalsoom said...

Bubs,

You forgot to mention how the Farraday-Charlotte moment MAY have gone against the Lost time travel rules delineated for this show - maybe. When Farraday confronted Desmond, it caused Desmond to have a memory, but in the present - like the memory all of a sudden appeared.

The Charlotte situation confused me - because I am assuming Farraday doesn't confront child Charlotte until after she dies - so why does she have a memory of it all of a sudden?

Just when you think you're starting to understand the dynamic of time travel, and they go complicate it further.

Mad Men said...

Please watch us!

bubs said...

Kalsoom: Whenever I try to think too hard about the rules governing time travel my head starts to hurt really bad. I agree this may be a slip-up on the part of the writers. Or maybe they'll have an explanation for it that makes some amount of sense.

Maryam said...

See, I don't understand how people are still following Lost.

The plot was Lost on me after the first season. No pun intended.