Sunday, April 1, 2018

Lost - This Place is Death


*** / ****
The whole emphasis on getting on the island counters the burning desire to get off. Ben is off-island trying to recruit the Oceanic 6 to follow him to someone named Eloise Hawking, who it turns out is also the mother of Daniel Farraday. For fans of the time travel episode featuring Desmond’s encounter with “the universe”, that person turns out to be Eloise! I sound like a broken record, but yet again this is a lot to absorb. Jin tells Locke not to bring Sun back to the island, but Ben believes she should return. So Ben has to convince Sun that Jin is alive just so she’d be willing to return to the island. Jack needs no convincing, while Kate and Sayid flee Ben’s presence with no intentions on ever returning to the island. When Jack is about to “give the wheel a nudge”, through instructions from “Christian” (Jacob?), he is told he’d be a sacrifice so that all of those off-island would return…but is the sacrifice of his life enough to get the job done? It sure doesn’t appear Sayid and Kate (or Aaron, for that matter) will return to the island (or Hurley, either), so Ben’s mission appears to be not an altogether failure but not quite successful. However, the end of the episode has Eloise preparing those in attendance for the trip back. She has knowledge, even as told by Daniel to Desmond, who shows up with great surprise, seeing Jack, Ben, and Sun. But Desmond isn’t part of the Oceanic Six so his return doesn’t appear to be warranted. Nonetheless, Desmond arrives at quite a fateful time right as Eloise is ready to send those willing to return to the island back.

My question is why they should even go back. Why should the Oceanic Six listen to anything Ben says? Or why should any of them believe a returning Locke for that matter? How are we even sure “Christian” is a being on the island that deserves to be abated? Can we really fault Kate or Sayid for not ever wanting to return considering what they went through on that island? Ben says that the Oceanic Six should never have left the island yet “Christian” tells Locke that he was the one who should have moved the wheel (when Locke questions this, mentioning Ben’s insistence to turn the wheel himself, “Christian” makes a point that listening to Ben has never done him any good whatsoever). There is always this dichotomy with Ben…what are his ulterior motives and should he ever be trusted? He lies so pathologically, whatever Ben does say, no matter how convincing he might be, deserves scrutiny. He could very well lead a horse to water, only for the drink to be poisonous. All the same, Jack and Sun, despite reservations, follow Ben to the church where Eloise is lighting candles and agreeably willing to go ahead despite not all the participants being available.

On the island, Charlotte’s condition has worsened the most, and she reveals to a very worried Daniel (who has admitted to be in love with him) her childhood on the island when her parents were part of Dharma Initiative. Charlotte recalls being told “by a crazy man” (who she thinks was Daniel!) not to return to the island because death awaited her if she did. And yet Charlotte did return, with the time jumps increasing in intensity and speed to the point that her brain was too punished for her to survive. The crazy man was right, but still Charlotte came to the island anyway. And on this island would Charlotte breathe her last breath, Daniel remaining with her until the end. When Daniel told Sawyer that any attempts to alter the past were unsuccessful, he was correct…his own efforts seemed to fail despite trying to do so. Desmond sent to his mother through a communication in the past might very well determine the fates of those still on the island suffering the time hiccups.

Jin meeting Danielle’s French colleagues fills in a few details, but still not a lot. The smoke monster emerges in 1988 to kill one of their party while dragging another off into its hole with the other members (besides Danielle who agrees to remain outside due to Jin’s urging) following in the hopes of finding him. They hear his voice calling to them, while Jin tries (and fails) to warn them of the possible consequences. A second jump has Jin seeing further members of this party shot dead while Danielle appears more unstable, pointing a rifle towards the father of her child. She drops her rifle while he pulls his gun on her, realizing no ammunition was left, suffering for this with a bullet to the head. The slight time jump allows Jin (and us) to see how it had deteriorated when he was gone. Jin’s presence in the past placed him with Danielle in 1988, a significant development that nearly cost him his own life when she started shooting at him, considering him “ill” as well. Although not a lot of time was spent in 1988 (the same as 1954), details are elaborated somewhat, with the future and past unable to totally avoid each other, those from different times coming in contact with each other. Even if Locke is successful, the damage has been done…or has it? Despite Sawyer and company going backwards and forwards in time, did any of their actions really alter time enough to do serious damage? Daniel has appeared to have been busy trying to tie up loose ends and perhaps right wrongs in the past so the present/future would turn out differently. But did anything Daniel work towards do a damn thing except what they were intended to do in the first place. Telling Charlotte to not come back to the island didn’t help. She still returned and died. Will his commission of Desmond to visit his mother be a similar disappointment?











Charlotte knew about a well and told Locke to find it. The Orchid was temporarily available but a time jump took it away. The well is available to Locke for a short time and was just there enough for him to fall to the bottom and discover “Christian”, lantern in hand, not offering to help him walk to the wheel. A bone protruding from Locke’s leg, he’s forced to trek a bit to the wheel on his own, wincing through the pain while “Christian” urges him to move it back on its axis, restoring the balance. Locke’s mission is now to try and convince each member of the Oceanic Six to return to the island…knowing his death was certain. Locke, though, was willing to be such a sacrifice…but does the island deserve his risk? Locke understanding the mission ahead, is willing to make sure those on the island would remain safe due to his sacrifice. But how did Charlotte know about the well? Agreeing to tell Sun her husband was dead, carrying the wedding ring with him, promising Jin he would not tell her, Ben informs Sun that Locke gave him the ring, letting her know that Jin is in fact alive. So Jin’s hoping his wife would not return might not be successful. Locke didn’t tell Sun, so he kept that promise, allowing Ben to be the one to give her the news of Jin’s status. So Jin tried and failed to keep Sun from wanting to make sure he’s alive…leaving behind their daughter to remain with her mother. Whether or not Ben will convince Kate, Aaron, Sayid, and Hurley to return to the island is quite a work cut out for him.

The major dramatic impact in the episode is the departure of Charlotte, with a grieving Daniel unable to save her. Locke's leaving the island is also quite a substantial development, while those who remain now must try and figure out what is next for them.

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