All right. Let’s get started.
We were probably given about as much of Rousseau’s story as we’re ever likely to get. Not a complete rundown but we did get to see how the highlights played out. So, let’s use Rousseau’s original dialogue from previous seasons and examine if it stacks up.
DANIELLE: “This is where it all began – where my team got infected – where Montand lost his arm.”
For all the ways in which you may have imagined how Montand lost his arm, I doubt any of us envisioned it quite like this:
Good old Smokey, making an immediate attack more rapidly than the attack on the pilot in the Pilot episode. Similarly, like poor Nadine, the Black Smoke cast the body of the pilot (Seth Norris, pilot-name fact fans!) up into a tree. Once again we have to wonder by what criteria the Black Smoke determines who it attacks and who, like Montand, it tries to drag down a hole.
Montand seemed to be left alone the moment he was down the hole, and his calm request for help was at odds with a man who had just had his arm ripped out. Something was definitely up there – possibly an instant ‘possession’ that would later consume the rest of the science team, barring Rousseau who, in a quirk of fate, Jin prevented from going down the hole.
The likes of Robert appeared to have reached a conclusion that the Black Smoke guarded The Temple. Was this the Temple the Black Smoke was guarding? The same Temple we heard The Others trekked to back in Season 3?
By the hieroglyphics – similar to the glyphs we saw outside the door Ben went through during the The Shape Of Things To Come when he summoned the Black Smoke – there’s more evidence of an older civilisation, and Smokey appears linked to it; a relic that survives despite the civilisation having perished? Mind, from hearing Robert suggest the Black Smoke is a security system for The Temple, 16 years later Rousseau has formed slightly broader terms.
KATE: “What was that thing?”
DANIELLE: “It’s a security system.”
JACK: “Security system? What does that mean?”
DANIELLE: “It’s purpose is that of any security system – to protect something.”
KATE: “Protect what?”
DANIELLE: “The Island.”
Regarding the infamous ‘sickness’ we aren’t given much illumination – though Robert’s actions do suggest he wasn’t entirely in his right mind. He managed to convince Rousseau that he cared for her and their child, but the moment she lowered her gun he took a shot at her. We already knew, since that moment with Sayid back in Season One when history repeated itself, Rousseau had already disabled the firing pin.
DANIELLE: “The firing pin has been removed. Robert didn’t notice it was missing, either, when I shot him.”
SAYID: “But you loved him.”
DANIELLE: “He was sick.”
I am of the inclination that something – Black Smoke, perhaps, or whatever it is guarding – took a hold of Robert’s mind as it did the rest of the science team that went down the hole. How? Why? What? Don’t know.
Interestingly, during this moment with Rousseau and Robert on the beach, there was a plume of black smoke similar to the one we saw in Season One, the one that Rousseau claimed to be a signal. “The Others are coming”.
DANIELLE: “Our ship went aground on this island 16 years ago. . . At that time I was already 7 months pregnant. I delivered the infant myself. The baby and I were together for only 1 week when I saw black smoke – a pillar of black smoke 5 kilometres inland.”
She could have been lying, of course – at the time she was after kidnapping Aaron! – but the dialogue here doesn’t quite scan. Danielle is pregnant when the plume of smoke can be seen. Yet sixteen years is a long time to get chronology distorted in memory. It’s easily done. There’s no real indication that Rousseau lied and so hers is a rather sad story; sixteen years in the wilderness begun by losing her daughter and then losing her life shortly after finding Alex again.
DANIELLE: “It’s a music box. . . It was a gift from my love for our anniversary. . . This was such a comfort to me in the first few years here.”
Heartbreaking stuff. And for fans of the blossoming love between Faraday and Charlotte, this episode held more heartbreak as the ever-increasing time jumps frazzled Charlotte’s brain to a bloody-mush.
Charlotte’s story of encountering Faraday previously (probably a grief-stricken Faraday that’s going to emerge following his loss) means it’s probably not the last we’re going to see of her. If the Island has now stopped moving, and we’ve already seen Faraday meeting Pierre Chang at The Orchid, this anecdote lends credence to the notion that Faraday, Sawyer and the rest will become stuck in the 1970s. Perhaps that last turn of the donkey wheel jumped them through time, one last time, and locked them there.
(Aside: Back in Season 3, the episode The Man Behind The Curtain, there was a Dharma Initiative classroom scene and, during an attack by ‘the hostiles’, there was a brief shot of a red-haired girl.
Charlotte? Well, she did say that she grew up within Dharma, but this girl doesn't have the bright blue glassy eyes Charlotte has. . . Might be something. Might be a dead end ginger hair coincidence. Just thought I would put it out there. Aside over.)
Anyway, from here. . .
. . . to a resounding thumping land here. . .
Ow. That’s gotta sting. And the last person of any use turns up – Christian Shephard – who apparently can’t help you stand on account of him being dead, whatever Island time zone it is.
Christian insinuated that Locke messed up by not moving the Island himself. Christian could have been more specific – surely a being like him could have popped up to tell Ben not to turn the wheel, or inform Locke he needed to do it; he managed to visit Michael to needlessly tell him he could “go now” after all! This makes me think that Christian is playing Locke. Proof that Christian’s accusation against Locke is flimsy has surely been seen – Locke meeting Alpert in the past, for example, already happened and could only happen because Ben turned the wheel!
By the way, there’s a minor amount of fuss being generated by Christian’s footwear. When we first saw him, and on other occasions since, he had bright white shoes on.
In this episode we could clearly see he did not have those white shoes on.
You’ll either be the type of person that goes nuts about this, or you’ll think it’s utterly retarded to even mention it. Personally, I think Christian wore the white shoes and suit combination in the coffin, spending more time on the Island has attuned his clothing accordingly.
It’s a pretty dumb theory, I know, but Lost does love its black and white connotations so don't be too quick to write it off. Speaking of dumb, needing the Oceanic 6 back on the Island to save it apparently doesn't necessarily mean all of them all at once! Ben rocked up to Ms. Eloise Hawking’s – or “Dan’s mum’s” – place with just two of the Oceanic 6. Speaking of which, this light outside the church. . .
. . . is the meaning of this Dharma logo we were introduced to before Season 5 began all those weeks ago. . .
We don’t have an official name for this Dharma Station yet.
So how come only a couple of the Oceanic 6 are enough to get started? And if Locke has turned the donkey wheel then why do the likes of Jin still need saving? Well if, like I have posited, they are stuck in the past then they still need to get back to their own time. And maybe the Oceanic 6 need to get back to the Island, in the past no less, to fulfil their part of Island history.
Christ. Anyone need a MacCutcheon’s?
What about Ben and his reveal that, whilst Locke had not been to see him he had gone to see Locke? Nice to see Ben hasn’t lost his touch with mistruths and half-lies no matter how much he may claim to have worked hard on behalf of the Oceanic 6. For what it’s worth, I believe him. To paraphrase Hurley’s mother, I didn’t understand what Ben was saying but I believed him. Given that we know Locke – a.k.a. Jeremy Bentham – was probably murdered then I can’t help but wonder if Ben was the man who killed him. If he did I’m sure it was for the best!
In a nice touch, the end of the episode also brought Desmond back into the thick of things, in an eye-opening meeting with Dan’s mother, who he has already bumped into.
Character-dialogue-interaction fact fans, this was the first time Desmond and Ben have spoken to each other. Both Ben’s and Hawking’s reaction betrayed the truth that they didn’t expect Des to show up – the rogue element in the mix. I don’t think Desmond is going to like what Eloise Hawking has to say about Dan, about the Island, and about how getting everyone back is going to help – but I think, like it or not, he’s going back with the rest and his return may be key.
Faraday noted that Desmond will serve as his Constant in times of need. If the memory that Faraday inserted into Desmond serves to return him to the Island, perhaps that’s the resolution being sought. The same way Desmond visited Penny and told her he would call her, years later, and she needed to answer – Desmond’s return might just be his way of answering Faraday’s call and this principle is playing out again under slightly different conditions. History does have a habit of repeating itself on Lost after all. . .
ELOISE HAWKING: “All right. Let’s get started.”