LOST Notes, Episode 5.05: This Place Is Death

Sorry, I didn't hear your important mythological revelation because I was too busy delivering ham-handed dialogue telegraphing my next move

A review of the past week’s episode of LOST from a frustratedly loyal (and loyally frustrated) fan. This week: On the nose right from the start, This Place Is Death has no place for subtlety.

Jack Shephard: What are you doing?
Benjamin Linus: What I’m doing is helping you, and if you had any idea what I’ve had to do to keep you safe, to keep your friends safe, you’d never stop thanking me.

LOST, Season 5, Episode 5
This Place Is Death

Time travel, she wrote.

I. Get On The Bus

A. Does Sun giving Ji Yeon her own cell phone make her a good mother? You have to give her some credit – she wouldn’t drive around L.A. with HER kid in the backseat looking to murder someone. Aaron’s probably messed up enough already after all the stuff he’s seen/gone through on the Island.

B. How many times will Ben get away with the “[MIND-FUCKING REVEAL OF INFORMATION] pause, swallow [THAT GOES IN THE FACE OF EVERYTHING YOU PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED]” trick? Whatever he’s paying the guy who plays the dramatic music right when he speaks, it’s not enough.

C. Ben didn’t have to lie about it taking 30 minutes to get to the church, but at this point I think he just does it because he can. Is it a compulsive thing, or does he just enjoy rubbing other people’s faces in it? And with such compelling evidence about his repeated fibbing/lying, why do the characters (and the audience) keep believing him? Especially when he keeps playing semantic games like “John didn’t come see me, I went to see him,” why does everyone respond with little more than a “got me again, you scamp!” frown? Sun’s informant wasted a lot of money on that chocolate gun, the least she can do is pistol whip the guy for being smarmy.

D. It’s great to see the pieces of the puzzle fall together, but how does Desmond arrive just in time like that? When he shows up in the middle of the night at the address Widmore gave him and sees a church, does he stop to consider that he might be getting jerked around, or is the immediate instinct to go wandering in the parking lot? I would have watched a whole episode of Desmond trying to find Ms. Hawking before I watched Jack and Sun try their hardest to look reluctant while abiding the Pied Piper’s every wish.

E. So in less than three days (or at least under 70 hours), Ms. Hawking went from “God help us all” if Ben can’t find everyone to “let’s get started” with about half of the crew present. Assuming Desmond might also have to go back according to prophecy or whatevs, they’ve got Angry Sun and Simple Jack (because he’s more or less operating full-retard at this point) and the lamb chop corpse of Locke. No Aaron, no Sayid, no Kate, no Hurley, and only one of the four stands a chance of joining the group as of Ben’s latest masterwork. Did Ms. Hawking just set her standards high?

F. Sun is reaching critical mass for selfish choices on this show. Ben gave her a ring, so at short notice she basically elected to abandon the child who she spoke to roughly 30 minutes (plus traffic) ago. Astounding. Although I suppose her rationale is to go back, get Jin and leave the Island again, disregarding the problems that happen when people leave and really making her out to be an even worse person than previously believed.


II. Locke To The Future, Part IV: Smoke & Mirrors. The Part Of Mirrors Will Be Played By Charlotte’s Brain Dying

A. So Jin needs a crude drawing to understand “radio tower” but he can come back with “Yes, but I must find my camp because maybe helicopter go there.” If you’re keeping score at home, the two hang-ups he has with English are “the” and the proper conjugations of “go.” (Later on, the word “do” seems to give him trouble, too. Seriously, guys, I know you’re busy transcending space and time, but this is like an hour or two of tutoring. You can do it while you walk).

B. If the French are so sexist as to assume Nadine is off “chasing a butterfly” then why is 16-year-old (and pregnant) Danielle calling the shots while all the men make bitchy comments in the native tongue?

C. You can tell the flashes are dying down when Jin travels from 1988 to…about one week later in 1988. And since this is before Sawyer pulled out his brilliant explanation of what’s happening (too bad he can’t draw the time-space continuum in sand, as I understand that’s a tremendous learning tool), Jin probably thought he passed out again. Are we not worried about Jin having a concussion or something after he survived AN EXPLODING BOAT? That can’t mix well with mind-warping time travel.

D. Every episode from now on needs to feature “Complex Mathematical Theorems For ESL Students” with Sawyer as a teacher. Is it any wonder that Jin got confused when he explained time travel? He is literally the least qualified out of ANY of them, with the possible exception of Miles, who is Sawyer but Asian and able to talk to the dead instead of intimidate and con the living.

E. Charlotte studied anthropology so she could find the Island again? That seems sort of like the scenic route, huh? What about cartography? Geography? How about learning to become a pilot? Trying to find where you used to live by studying people (and digging up polar bear skeletons in Tunisia) doesn’t seem efficient. All that needless studying (since she apparently picked up Korean along the way) made her brain soft and squishy to begin with. The Island time shifting played the part of Hulu and finished the job.

F. Now that Daniel’s refusal to follow his own rules about affecting the past has blown up on him (with Charlotte deathbed memory of him warning her in the past never to come back and thus avoid the death he witnessed) is he going to give it up, or will he just keep doing one thing and then saying (well, grimacing, wincing and then saying) something different?

G. For the Lord And Savior of the Island and everything on it, Locke sure can’t seem to do anything right. Although it’s reached a point where Jacob/Christian Shepard/God needs to spell it out for him, because his interpretive skills don’t really extend beyond “stare curiously.”

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