Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lost episode recap – “What They Died For” S6E16 (airdate 5/18/10)

I guess it’s a little late now, but you guys would tell me if anything REALLY important happened in the first minute or so that my DVR cuts off, right?

Alternate 2004. Jack, his son and Claire are all pretty relaxed at breakfast after Jack had invited Claire to stay with them. It’s cute but it’s interrupted when Jack gets a call, purportedly from Oceanic, saying they’d found his father’s body. Jack is sad and relieved all at once. The thing is, it’s Alterna-Desmond who called, posing as an Oceanic Airlines employee and clearly up to something.

Island. Jack stitches up Kate’s wound, mirroring when she stitched him up way back in S1. She’s pretty pale – she should die, really, from the blood loss. He doesn’t even take her shirt off to work on the wound, which is bullshit – I’m not even talking gratuitous flesh here, it would have been easier and cleaner with her shirt off. She hardly even flinches at the pain from the sutures, however, because she’s so upset about Sun and Jin. “Locke did this to them,” she grits, “We have to kill him, Jack.” “I know,” agrees Jack grimly.

Down the beach a-ways, Sawyer stares out at the ocean as flotsam washes up. Kate, stitched up and bloodied but still alive, staggers up to him and puts her head on his shoulder. Jack joins them, and Hurley too, and these survivors are all silent for a moment. Then Jack says that they have to go, reminding them that Sayid said that Desmond is in a well somewhere and if Not-Locke wants him dead, then they’re going to need him. Resolutely, they head off into the jungle. I guess Kate’s not going to die quite yet, is she?

Alterna-2004. Desmond watches from his car as a post-hit-and-run Locke wheels himself across the parking lot, students welcoming him back cheerily. Desmond starts the ignition but suddenly Ben is there, pounding on the hood of Desmond’s car and shouting “Here’s the man who ran over Mr. Locke!” Desmond jumps out of the car, punches Ben right in the nose and slams his face down on the hood. “I’m not here to hurt Locke,” he snarls, “I’m here to help him let go. You want to know who I am?” Then he punches Ben a bunch more times until Ben flashes back to the day on the dock when Ben tries to kill Penny and little Charlie and then the two of them fought. Desmond throws Ben to the ground and drives off while Ben lies there, dazed.

Island. In response to Miles’s bitching that this sure doesn’t seem like a shortcut, Ben remarks that he’s lived on the Island a long time – he thinks he knows his way around. “Well,” snaps Miles, “I lived in these parts thirty years before you did – also known as last week – and I don’t know where the hell we are.” Ben: “Then I guess it’s good you’re following me.” Gawd, I love these two guys. Richard wants to know just how much explosives they’re going to have access to at the Dharma compound. Plenty, says Ben - he’s got a bunch of C-4 stashed in the secret room behind his bookcase. As they enter the compound, Miles starts to wig out, I-hear-dead-people style. He’s confused by what he hears until Richard speaks up, saying that it was around here that he buried Alex after Ben left, and that’s what Miles is picking up on. Ben struggles to control his face and thanks Richard for burying his daughter.

They go into Ben’s old house. Miles notes the old stone doorway in the closet (where Ben thought he was summoning the Smoke Monster “when it was really summoning [him]”) and wants to know if that’s the “secreter room.” Ignoring him, Ben opens the safe and reveals a ton of C-4. He asks Richard if they’re looking to cripple the plane or blow it to hell. “Blow it to hell,” says Richard. “Then I guess we’d better take it all,” says Ben. As they start to unload it, there’s a noise from another part of the house and they leave the secret room, guns drawn. It’s Zoë, rummaging around in the kitchen, and her boss Widmore is there too, lurking in the doorway. “Hello,” Benjamin, he says. “May I come in?” Amazingly, Ben is at a loss for words for once.

Apparently the answer is yes, you may come in, since Widmore is helping himself to a glass of water from Ben’s faucet after the break. Widmore tells Zoë to go back to the dock, take the equipment from the outrigger and then sink it. Ben doesn’t want to let her go but Widmore snaps that if Ben shoots him, their best hope for survival will be gone. Zoë goes off to the dock. Widmore asks Richard what they’re doing and Richard ‘fesses up immediately about the C-4, causing Ben to shoot him a dirty look. Widmore rolls his eyes and says that he’s had that damn plane rigged with explosives since the moment he got here; as usual, he’s three steps ahead of ol’ Benjamin.

Ben wants to know how Widmore got back to the Island, and sneers unbelievingly when Widmore says Jacob invited him. Widmore insists, saying that Jacob visited him when Ben’s people destroyed his freighter to give him his new purpose. Ben wants to continue to debate the merits of this when Zoë breaks in over the walkie to report that Not-Locke is here and she can’t get to their equipment. Widmore tells her to run back to the compound as fast as she can. “If you don’t want to die,” Widmore says to Ben, “We need to hide.”

Alterna-2004. The school nurse patches Ben up after his beat down from Desmond. Locke rolls in, asking what happened. Ben, half-embarrassed, half-amused in spite of himself: “I got in a fight.” He tells Locke that he saw and confronted the man who ran Locke down, but while he was getting beaten up, he saw … he stops his story as Locke calls the police on his cell. “You may not want to do that,” says Ben mildly, “since the man said he wasn’t here to hurt you – he was here to help you let go.” Locke stares at Ben, then hangs up the phone. “For some reason I believed him,” says Ben, “Does that mean something to you?”

Meanwhile, at the police station, Desmond would like to see a detective. The desk cop brings Desmond back to meet with Sawyer. Desmond tells him that he was the one who hit Locke in the hit and run last week, plus just today he put some hurt on Ben. Next scene: Sawyer, thanking Desmond for saving the taxpayers some money, puts him in a cell with Sayid is already in there. “Good afternoon,” says Desmond pleasantly. Ooh, and look: Kate is over there in the next cell too!

Island. As they trudge across the Island yet AGAIN on their rescuing Desmond errand, Sawyer brings up Jack’s whole “Locke won’t kill us” theory from the sub; Jack arches an eyebrow and reminds Sawyer that he’s been wrong before. But Sawyer has other things on his mind: “I killed them, didn’t I?” Jack looks him straight in the eye and says “No, [Not-Locke] killed them.” Sawyer doesn’t look convinced. It is at this point that I am absolutely certain that Sawyer will not survive the finale.

Kate and Hurley are lagging behind the boys a little. Hurley notices boy Jacob in the underbrush but doesn’t cop to it when Kate asks him what’s wrong. When she moves on, however, boy Jacob is right there in front of Hurley, his hand out, demanding that Hurley give him Jacob’s ashes. Hurley hands them over and boy Jacob snatches them and disappears. Hurley chases after him but instead comes upon grown-up Jacob, sitting by a campfire in which his ashes are burning. When the fire goes out, Jacob will be gone forever. But for now he tells Hurley to get his friends – they’re very close to the end. No shit: one 2.5 hour finale that I’m already dreading recapping.

Not-Locke walks up the Dharma dock, rifle in hand. He looks at the equipment in the outrigger but just walks past – wonder what’s in there? Zoë bursts in to Ben’s Dharma cottage, saying that they have to go NOW. Widmore tells her that there’s no time and they’ll hide in Ben’s secret room instead. Ben says that he’s not hiding: Not-Locke will eventually find him anyway and it’s time to face the music. Miles, however, is much more pragmatic and says that he’s erring on the side of survival, and if anyone’s looking for him, he’ll be running through the jungle. I hope Miles makes it through this. Ben tells him to wait a moment, then asks for Widmore’s and Zoë’s walkies. They hand them over, then hide behind the bookcase. Ben gives one walkie to Miles – in case he needs him – and then looks at Richard, asking if he cares to join him outside to wait for “the inevitable.” Richard shakes his head, saying he knows this “man” and maybe he can convince Not-Locke that he’ll join him now, and maybe that will save them all from the coming apocalypse. “Good luck with that,” says Miles, not meaning it even a little, and bolts.

Richard goes outside, walking to the center of the compound. Ben follows him out but stays close to his house. They look around the clearing and then the Smoke Monster clarion sounds. The Monster grabs Richard, snatching him away. He cries out and is gone. (If he’s dead, that’s a pretty ignominious departure for poor Richard. Hopefully we’ll see him again for a proper goodbye.) Ben swallows hard and goes to sit on his porch. Moments later, Not-Locke strolls up, leaning his rifle against the porch railing. “Just the man I was looking for,” he says. “Well, you found me,” replies Ben, looking straight ahead. He offers Not-Locke a glass of lemonade; Not-Locke takes out his wicked big knife and conversationally tells Ben that he needs him to kill some people for him. “And why would I do that?” Ben wants to know. Not-Locke: “Because once I leave this Island, you can have it all to yourself.” All right, says Ben, willing to hear more.

Not-Locke: “Whose outrigger is that down at the dock?” Ben: “Charles Widmore’s, I believe.” Not-Locke: “Do you know where I might find him?” Ben: “He’s hiding in my closet.” FM: Ben, you are such a weasel – I will miss you sooo much when you are gone.

Alterna-2004. Alex catches up with Ben after school, horrified to see how badly he’s been beaten. She insists that he shouldn’t be driving and offers to have her mom drive him home. He demurs, but caves in when she points out that he really only has the use of one hand right now. Her mom, of course, is Rousseau, clean and sane and with combed hair. Aw. Alex and her mother invite him to dinner as well, brooking no refusal. After dinner, Rousseau thanks Ben for being so supportive of her daughter, saying that he’s the closest thing to a father Alex has had since her own father died when she was young. Adorably, Ben gets all choked up over this. Aw again.

Island. Ben leads Not-Locke into his cottage. He warns Not-Locke that Zoë is armed, although he guesses that’s not really a problem. Not-Locke tells Ben to wait outside as there’s no reason for him to see what happens next, but Ben says that he actually wants to see it. He opens the door behind the bookcase and steps inside. Completely insincerely, he says, “Sorry, Charles,” and then Not-Locke comes in, smug as anything. Not-Locke says it’s very nice to finally be able to talk without those fences in between them. Then he looks at Zoë, asking who she is. She starts to answer him but Widmore interrupts, saying that she’s not to talk to him.

With one smooth move, Not-Locke slashes her throat with his big ol’ knife. When Widmore sputters at him, he simply says: “You told her not to talk to me and that made her pointless. [paraphrasing] Now, Charles, soon this will all be over … if you don’t tell me what I want to know, the first thing I do when I get off this Island is kill your daughter. So tell me why you came back here and I won’t kill Penny.” Widmore says that he brought Desmond back here as a measure of last resort because of his resistance to the electromagnetisms. Not-Locke wants to know what he means by “last resort” but Widmore refuses to say anything further in front of Ben. Not-Locke suggests that he whisper it to him and when Widmore leans in and starts whispering, Ben shoots him dead, snarling “He doesn’t get to save his daughter.” Not-Locke, cleaning off his knife: “Ben, you never cease to amaze me.” Fortunately for Not-Locke, Widmore had already told him what he needed to know, so no harm done. Ben just shrugs: “You said there were some other people to kill?” Not-Locke smiles evilly.

It’s now nighttime and Hurley has brought Jack, Kate and Sawyer to see Jacob at his campfire. This time, they can all see him. Kate still looks very pale. She asks Jacob if the reason Jin, Sun and Sayid are dead is because Jacob wrote their names on that wall. Jack tries to calm her down and she snaps at him, saying that she wants to know that their friends didn’t die for nothing. Jacob invites them to sit by the fire and says he’ll tell them all why he chose them all, plus he’ll tell them all they need to know about protecting the Island “because by the time this fire burns out, one of you will have to start doing it.”

Alterna-2004. Locke shows up unexpectedly at Jack’s office. He says that the reason he’s here is because Desmond said he was here to help him let go, which is just what Jack told Locke the first time they met. Call it fate, call it coincidence, it doesn’t matter – Locke thinks he’s ready to let go, ready to let Jack fix him so he can get out of this chair.

Island. Jacob says he brought the Losties here because he’s trying to make up for a mistake he made long ago (killing his brother and creating the Smoke Monster) and because of that mistake, everyone may die. Sawyer wants to know why he needs to be punished for Jacob’s mistake – he was doin’ just fine in his old life. Jacob begs to differ, reminding them that each of them had pretty shitty existences before they were brought to the Island. He picked them for their flaws, because they were alone, looking for something they couldn’t find. Kate interrupts: why did her name get crossed off? “Because you became a mother, but it’s just a line of chalk through a name and the job is still yours if you want it.” Ugh: can you imagine wishy-washy Kate as the Island protector?

Jack: “What is the job?” Jacob tells them about the light at the center of the Island that must never go out. Sawyer: “Protect it from what?” Jacob is all, duh, from the Smoke Monster - you have to kill him. Jack wonder is that’s even possible and Jacob replies that he hopes so because the Smoke Monster will certainly try to kill them. Hurley asks whom he’s going to pick for the job. Jacob says that he’s not going to pick – he’s going to let them choose among themselves, something he wasn’t allowed to do for himself. There’s almost a moment of tension when it looks like no one will speak up but Jack quickly volunteers. He’s crying a little (of course). Jacob seems pleased.

After the commercial, Jacob tells Jack how to find the secret light filled tunnel. The other three stay behind, Sawyer snarking that he thought Jack had a god-complex before … “James,” admonishes Kate. Blah blah blah, Latin incantation and Jack drinks water from the creek since the wine bottle is broken. Jack asks how long he’ll have to do this job and Jacob replies, “As long as you can.”

Alterna-2004. Sawyer tells his prisoners that they’re all being shipped off to County. Kate tries to flirt a little to get him to let her go and Sawyer blows her off. Ha! In the van, Desmond announces that it’s time for them all to leave. Sayid rolls his eyes at the crazy guy who turned himself in, but Desmond insists that he’s here to set Sayid and Kate free - but they have to promise to do something for him. Now they both roll their eyes and promise. Then the van stops and the driver - Ana Lucia - lets them out and uncuffs them. A yellow Hummer drives up: it’s Hurley (recognizing Ana Lucia from his reawakening, although she doesn’t recognize him because “she’s not ready yet”). He pays her $125,000 and she drives off, leaving the four of them there. Hurley hands over the keys to his Camaro to Desmond, who drives off with Kate to go to a concert. Hurley and Sayid have another job, apparently, and leave in the Hummer.

Island. Ben asks why Not-Locke bothers walking if he can turn into smoke whenever he wants. Not-Locke says he likes the feeling of the ground beneath his feet as it reminds him he was once human. They come up to the well Not-Locke threw Desmond into but Desmond isn’t there any longer. “Looks like someone helped him out,” says Ben. “No,” says Not-Locke, “Someone helped me out.” According to Widmore, Desmond is the Island’s failsafe – the very last thing that will keep Not-Locke from leaving the Island. “So why are you happy that Desmond isn’t dead like you ordered?” asks Ben. Not-Locke smiles that evil smile and says that he’s going to take Desmond and with him, destroy this damn Island.

Previously on Lost / next time on Lost
It's almost over, my friends.  The last Lost episode recap is going to be brutal, not least because Mr. Mouse and I have houseguests who need to be at the airport at like 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning ... maybe I'll just have to stay up all night.


  1. Just in case you're wondering, you haven't lost me as a reader. I'm just spending a lot more time thinking about LOST than writing about it. I'm in wait mode. I'm curious as to what's going to happen. I'm sure there will be plenty more conversation to come. The finale won't answer all questions.

  2. ...and, you were wondering if anything happened in the first few minutes...

    Remember, this episode is right after the submarine incident. The episode started on Jack's eye as he woke up in bed. When he went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror he had a small bloody gash on his neck. Jack thinks, "where the hell did that come from?!"

    Island timeline physically breaking into the sideways time?

    I want to know what Jack saw/realized after he drank Jacob's enchanted draft. The look on his face...he just found out something that all of us want to know.

  3. Excellent - thanks, Carl. I think the two timelines/realities are totally merging into one, with Desmond's help pushing the alt-Losties into remembering the Island reality. Will be interesting to see how it all comes together ... tonight!