Analysis: 5.7 The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham

Before this episode I had two strong assertions. Namely, as far as the Island was concerned, Benjamin Linus was a good guy and Charles Widmore was a bad guy. After this episode those assertions remain. This may seem strange, in light of Ben’s shocking murder of John Locke, but ultimately it comes down to which of the two you believe. I don’t believe Widmore.

Firstly, Widmore lied to Locke. When he was at Locke’s bedside, having paid for his leg to be reset and setting him up to get the Oceanic 6 back to the Island, Charles Widmore lied.

Widmore: “Because that’s the exit. I was afraid Benjamin might fool you into leaving the Island, like he did with me.”

Widmore already knows Ben has left the Island so wasn’t there to fool anyone! And when Ben popped up in the desert there was no camera – Widmore set it up at the ‘exit point’ afterwards, once he knew Ben was out, after the two had met during The Shape Of Things To Come.

Widmore’s lies cast doubt over his claims of how he used to be leader, upholding a “peaceful” protection of the Island. There may be elements of truth in there. Personally I think Widmore was once leader of The Others, and probably was tricked off the Island by Ben. The peaceful part I have my doubts about. When we met him as a young man on the Island Widmore didn’t strike me as the peaceful type. That part where he snapped the neck of his fellow Other kind of signposted it for me.

He was challenging Alpert’s orders back then, and nothing’s changed – Locke told him that Alpert said he needed to die and Widmore was quick to dismiss the notion. Widmore is power hungry and acts to serve his own ends. Hell, how he can justify sending a Freighter full of explosives and a team of killers to the Island purely to remove Ben is preposterous!

No no, don’t be taken in: Widmore is a bad guy. My interpretation is that when young Ben arrived on the Island (amidst skirmishes with ‘the hostiles’ taking place – so much for “peaceful”!) Alpert took him in. So Ben probably met Widmore, the leader, and realised that he needed to get him out of the way (maybe Jacob told him?) if he was to take charge. Somehow Ben tricked Widmore off the Island, and then Ben was free to potentially order ‘the purge’ and restore the Island to his, and The Others’, domain. That may not read like the actions of a “good person” but, remember, my assertion was that Ben was a good person as far as the Island was concerned. He acts in its best interests.

The question therefore is, if Widmore is lying then why is he doing so? He has his motivations, the same way he had motivations for planting the fake Oceanic in the Sunda Trench (despite some people’s insistence he didn’t do it, I am certain he did).

Locke: “Why would you help me?”

Widmore: “Because there’s a war coming, John. And if you’re not back on the Island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win.”

I believe Widmore masks the truth in a lie. I believe there is a war coming. And I believe Widmore knows Locke is important to how that war turns out. Where I think he is lying is in wanting Locke on his side, back on the Island. Enter Matthew “I help people get to where they need to get to” Abaddon.

If you think about it like Abaddon was purely there to instil in Locke a sense of despair and hopelessness to drive him to suicide then his role makes more sense. Let’s not forget that Abaddon was also responsible for assembling The Freighter team, insisting to Naomi that there were “no survivors” of Oceanic 815 (the insinuation being that, if you find any, they better not survive). Consider how often, for merely ‘a driver’, he points out to Locke he is failing in his attempts to get the Oceanic 6 to come back. One of the first things Abaddon asks is if there is anyone Locke knows, that he cares about, that he wants to look up. Locke confides there was a woman named Helen, and so Abaddon takes him to Helen’s grave. (Conspiracy theorists can debate whether it was a fake grave or otherwise.) It doesn’t exactly cheer Locke up.

If Locke had killed himself, thrust as he was into a state of disbelief, a lack of faith, over the Island and his sense of importance, Widmore would have got what he wanted. Locke may never have returned to be reincarnated. Luckily, ‘good guy’ Ben restored Locke’s faith. He managed to convince him, in a scene that clearly had shades of an apostle at Christ’s feet, of his worth – before he killed him.

You don’t think Ben turned up to Locke’s place with rubber gloves and cleaning fluid by accident, do you? He arrived there intending to kill him, for sure. Yet if he just wanted Locke dead he could have let him hang himself. Instead he had Locke’s belief returned, received information about Hawking (arguably Ben already knew about her), had Jack ready to go back (which would make things a lot easier for him to convince the rest) and even Jin’s wedding ring to get Sun on side (arguably Locke’s promise to not even attempt to get her back added to Ben’s necessity to take Locke out of the picture rapidly). Everything Ben needed he had, and all that remained was, as Alpert said, for Locke to have to die.

The obituary in the newspaper stated death by suicide so Widmore would believe he had been successful, but Ben watched over Locke’s body because he knew Widmore may still wish to take it. And what of Ben’s parting words: “I’ll miss you, John. I really will.” Personally, I believe this was Ben saying goodbye to the old John, because the Locke that was to be reincarnated on the Island was not going to be quite the same man. . .

As far as Locke’s reincarnation goes I put it down to the same phenomena that allowed him to walk the moment he landed on the Island. Note how, during this episode, he was ‘old Locke’; in a wheelchair, dependent, and easily taken in by the schemes of others. On the Island he is his true self – it’s the place where he belongs and is extremely important. The only question is does Locke have vengeance in his heart? After all, the last man that tried to kill him, by shoving him out of a high storey building, didn’t do too well.

Will Locke bear a similar grudge towards the injured Ben? Which brings me to the survivors of Ajira 316. Let’s try and make sense of what happened in this ‘crash’.

Ajira 316 was brought down on the Hydra Island, the smaller Island where Sawyer and Kate were once set to work breaking rocks for a runway! A hell of a pilot like Frank Lapidus may have used this runway in some fashion for a relatively comfortable landing in the trees. Apparently, however, he then skipped off in a canoe with some woman. The most likely candidate for this woman’s identity would be Sun, but then why didn’t she ‘disappear’ with the rest of the O6?

I am of the belief that Ajira 316 crashed in its own time – that the survivors are on the Island in 2007; the Hydra Station office Ceasar was in looked long disused. Jack, Kate and Hurley ended up sometime in the 1970s. I suspect Sayid went there, too (Ilana and Ceasar both talked of how people disappeared, I expect Ilana had Sayid disappear right from out of her custody!). I would have expected Sun to do the same. Maybe she did. Or maybe her going back to the past in the same time as her husband would create problems for the space-time continuum so they have been kept apart. It’s all guesswork until we know more.

Same goes for Ilana and Ceasar. Caesar, in particular, poking around the Dharma Hydra facilities for something, hiding a gun in his bag, certainly arouses suspicion. He’s got prior knowledge and his own agenda. Ilana probably does too. (It’s becoming somewhat tiresome that all new arrivals have secret agendas and links, don’t you think!?) Interestingly, the opening scene – from Ceasar in the office, to him and Ilana walking past the crashed plane, to Locke sitting cloaked on the beach – was originally intended to be the opening of Season Five.

It would have been a heck of a start, but perhaps too big a void of mystery for us to wait to have filled in, so the scene with Faraday and Chang at The Orchid probably worked better for the story we have seen so far, priming us for the time travelling shenanigans coming our way.

Since we have already witnessed Sawyer and Juliet and Faraday go to the beach camp, find Ajira bottles and canoes there, we can be sure that Ceasar and Ilana and some of the others will get in a canoe and go to the main Island. I expect Locke instigated such a move, being the only one of their group who knows of the beach camp. If Frank did indeed leave with Sun then that’s probably where they went to, as well, which would explain the other canoe that was there when Sawyer and the rest arrived.

Still, the two groups – Sawyer & Jack’s gang and the Ajira Group – are separated by around thirty years so it might be quite some time before they ever properly meet! All we know is that one group, in a canoe, gave chase to Sawyer and co, shooting at them as they did – and Juliet shot at, and possibly hit, one of them in return. I am guessing such overt hostility suggests this Ajira Group are in for a tough time. . . Mind, maybe they deserve it.

Walt: “I’ve been having dreams about you. You were on the Island, wearing a suit, and there are people all around you. They wanted to hurt you, John.”

Locke didn’t want Walt back on the Island knowing, if he went, he would learn his father was dead. Better to let him live his life in peace, in the belief that his father was on the Island. Are we to consider that Walt’s dreams are the means by which he has ‘projected’ onto the Island to meet Locke previously? Just one of his many latent ‘special’ abilities? It’s hard to say, and we may never even see Walt again to truly find out. Mind, if there is a war coming then maybe staying off the Island isn’t a bad thing. The only guarantee I think we all have is that, if and when this war starts, whoever is involved, you want to be on John Locke’s side.

He’s back on the Island for his second coming. We can expect big things.

Hurley-Dave Snapshot

Think back to Season 2. Think back to the episode Dave. It’s the one where Hurley is seeing visions of a guy in a bathrobe on the Island that, it turns out, was his imaginary friend Dave in the real world back when he was in the Santa Rosa mental hospital. The reveal of this comes towards the end of the episode, when Hurley is given a photograph that he believed was taken of him and Dave but is really just a picture of him on his own.

There is a theory that the photograph given to Hurley, that is supposed to serve as proof that Dave is a figment of his imagination, may actually be a fake. Gasp! Shock! Horror! Etc.

Before we get into this idea, it should be pointed out that this entire issue is explicably due to continuity errors. For the record, that’s what I believe. And there's proof enough for me presented further on. The point of the photograph is that it proves Dave was not there when Hurley thought he was. In short: Dave is a figment of Hurley's mind.

That being said, let’s look at the discrepancies anyway.

So here’s the moment when the photograph was being taken (which I screen-grabbed from my own DVD so I know it's as close to the 'flash' of the camera as the picture gets taken as you can get). . .

. . . and here’s the actual photograph, once more, that was a snapshot of that moment.

Allowing for the slight change in perspective from the TV camera shot to the actual camera angle, there are numerous errors between what was in the live-action frame and what was captured in the photograph. To wit:

1. The arrangement of the celery on the plate.

2. The placement of the Connect 4 pieces and small cup is not correctly aligned. When the photo was being taken at least one of the Connect 4 pieces was underneath the edge of the plate, whereas in the photograph they are quite some distance away.

3. The person(s) sat behind Dave at the table. Potentially, from the angle the photograph was taken compared with the angle we saw the photograph get taken, the man sitting on our right at the table could have been missed off the picture, but the guy sitting to our left of the table should definitely be visible behind Dave's shoulder. He's not. (Is this guy also a figment of Hurley's imagination!?)
4. For the really pedantic, Hurley's grin isn't as big in the photo and he's not leaning in as much.

Of course, as stated, these are all surely just technical issues from the real world making of the show we call Lost - but if you want to get all conspiratorial then you would have to theorise that the doctor was involved in producing a fake photograph to dupe Hurley into believing he had an imaginary friend, that Dave was indeed a real person and, therefore, his appearance on the Island is laden with even more mystery.

Ah, but wait. We’ve got objective proof of the truth.

We do get another perspective on the whole scene. Libby. Here we see her point of view of the moment when the picture was being taken and here we can clearly see that Dave is not present.

Mind you, from this angle, it doesn't look like there are any Connect 4 pieces on the table. . . And where's the cup!? CONSPIRACY! It's a COVER-UP! Dave was really there all along! NURSE! MORE DRUGS!
Ahem. Well. Anyway. I guess that's the end of that. You can get on with your life now.

Analysis: 5.6 316

This episode was all about giving us information about things that have happened without informing us of how they came to be. Even the structure stayed true to this premise: the episode started with Jack waking in the jungle before finding Hurley and Kate, and then went back to show us how that came to happen. In doing so the episode produced a bunch of other plot ‘black holes’ regarding many of the other characters we have yet to know the truth about.

Having 316 start in such a similar manner to the very first Pilot episode was fitting. The first season was very much concerned with informing us, via flashback, who these people were prior to the crash of Oceanic 815. Now, throughout the next few episodes, I expect we’ll have flashbacks telling us about what the likes of Hurley, Kate, Ben and Sayid were doing, almost like a re-run of Season One’s format, prior to the crash of Ajira 316.

Well, the sort of crash of Ajira 316.

Without any wreckage or impact it’s hard to classify what happened. There shone a similar bright light that accompanies the Island moving in time (something that, on some level, must have happened to the plane) but for here, for now, I think I’ll leave the time travel theorising alone. We’ve had quite a lot of that over the past few weeks and this episode offered a respite from it, so I’m taking a break, too!

Well, except to mention this guy.

I believed the likes of Juliet and Sawyer and Jin would finish up stuck in the 1970s Dharma time on the Island ever since we saw Faraday over at The Orchid at the start of Season 5. Faraday had managed to get himself a Dharma job, and it seems Jin has managed to get himself a Dharma job, too! (His Dharma logo is potentially a star symbol - another new Station?) It all points to them having stopped time jumping (as I’ve previously speculated, this would have occurred when Locke turned the wheel) and getting stuck in the ‘past’. Once they re-group with Jack and co I guess they can try and figure out how to get back to the time they belong in.

(Bizarrely, they’ll have disagreements about whether they belong in 2005 or 2007, depending on whether they’ve been in flashforwards or not!)

So it seems one of the very first Dharma Stations was never on the Island after all. Rather Dharma were studying electromagnetism around the world, finding hotspots and conducting research. Electromagnetic hotspots around the world have been mentioned in Lost before, way back in the Season 2 episode S.O.S., when Bernard took Rose to see a healer to cure her cancer; that guy (Isaac of Uluru, if you must know) spoke of such hotspots, which at least gives the idea some prior grounding in the show.

The Lamp Post Station, then, was apparently designed to find the Island that someone clever worked out wasn’t so easy to locate due to the fact that it was always moving. If we think back to Season 4, when Daniel did his rocket test and found time discrepancies and the dead doctor washed up on the shore dead before he had even been killed, we can figure it’s true that the Island has always been moving, fluctuating within a bandwidth of time, just on a smaller scale than the turning of the donkey wheel provoked.
Not for nothing did the writers have Ms. Hawking say the line: “Oh, stop thinking how ridiculous it is. . .” We’re well through the looking glass and have tumbled deep down the rabbit hole.

The reason why it was necessary for the Oceanic 6 to be together was to try and replicate the same circumstances that were present for the crash of Oceanic 815. This ties into the idea of fate. As Locke once said to Jack, “Each one of us was brought here for a reason.” The reason the crash of Oceanic 815 occurred was because it was meant to happen, to deliver those people to the Island – and the universe could course correct it to happen again so long as enough similar factors were present to force it through.

It’s certainly a leap of logic, a stretch of imagination and a big dose of shifty plotting but it just about holds together in the way Lost manages to hold all aspects of incredulity together – with a heady mixture of science and faith.

Notice how Hurley had brought a guitar on the flight with him – an evident token towards Charlie the same way sticking Christian’s shoes on Dead Locke’s feet were a token. And hey, Christian Shephard white shoe fans finally got their answer about why he had tennis shoes on from the first time we saw him in Season One. (This will probably be a feather in the cap for all those people that like to say the creators of Lost had everything all worked out from the start, too!)

Hurley’s conversion into actually getting on the flight is, of course, one of those black holes I spoke of earlier. I guess we can look forward to a Hurley-centric episode on the Island that will give us a flashback story as to how he got there. You’ve gotta love how that idea feels like a harkening back to the classic days of old Lost! Flashbacks are coming back!

There were also two passengers on the plane given a little bit of focus this episode to insinuate we’ll see more of them. The man is called Caesar. Again, like back in the old days, flashbacks will serve to tell us all about who he is. Similarly so should we learn more about the woman, Ilana, who appears to be escorting Sayid on the plane in handcuffs – which very much makes them similar to the role Kate and Edward Mars fulfilled on Oceanic 815. I am personally taking a guess that the reason Ben was covered in blood was because he had gone and murdered someone and somehow pinned it on Sayid and so managed to get Sayid transported as a prisoner.

I also admit that such a theory does mean the legal system needs to work incredibly quickly so it’s flimsy for sure.

More haunting is the question of what Kate did with Aaron. (Again, Kate on the Island has a mystery crime she doesn’t want to talk about and, again, we’re all going to be asking the question about ‘What Kate Did’! Last time she had murdered her father by blowing him up – I’m pretty sure she didn’t take such drastic steps to get rid of Aaron.)

She could have handed Aaron over to Carole, the grandmother. Or left him with Sun’s mother, who’s already looking after Ji Yeon so another kid’s no bother, right!? Whatever Kate did, it’s a decision that is going to seriously affect her in ways we can only guess at. What the hell is Kate going to say when she eventually runs into Claire? “I had a dream where you told me not to bring the kid back, so I didn’t!” This surely can be her only justification.

Speaking of dead people – which I was when I was discussing Kate’s dead dad just a minute ago, OK – what of John Locke? What will become of him now he has been returned to the Island? Will he literally fill the shoes of the man whose shoes he is wearing and become the new Christian Shephard of the Island? If he does, what does that mean will happen to Christian Shephard? I’m certain we’ll see more of Locke as we know already that the relationship between the living and the dead is strange but not estranged on the Island. What about that line from Ben, when Jack asked him about how he could read on the plane?

Ben: “My mother taught me.”

It was a terrific deadpan joke that made me laugh at first, until I remembered that Ben’s mother died when she was giving birth to Ben. And yet he saw her on the Island years later. . .

Did he see her again after this point? Not just in half-meetings and brief glimpses, but proper conversations? Is the Island able to facilitate such a thing? What I mean is, when Ben said his mother taught him how to read, was he really joking all that much? All that and more lies in wait now the O6, minus Aaron, have returned to the Island.

Oh. One last point. If this guy. . .

. . . doesn’t want to end up like this guy. . .

. . . he better stay away from the Black Smoke. This is old school Lost we’re talking about! Old school Lost is brutal! How brutal? Well, at the start I showed this image of Ben:

Now what if he did indeed go on a murderous rampage and kill someone? Who springs to mind, that’s in the area? A certain Penny Widmore, who he pledged to Charles Widmore that he would kill. So what if he did? What if Ben found Penny whilst Desmond wasn’t there, killed her, and then left? Not only would that be brutal, it would fulfil Ben’s thirst for revenge for what was done to Alex. It would also pave the way for a very angry Desmond to want to return to the Island. The Island does demand sacrifices, and the Island isn’t finished with Desmond yet. . .

The Jin Lives Rant

Hey you, have a look at this a second.

What an amazing death scene, eh? Action. Drama. Tragedy. It’s got it all. It’s probably one of Lost’s finest moments and a heck of a way to kill off one of the main characters.

What’s that, you say? Jin didn’t die?

Get outta here! Don’t be a dick! Course he did! Weren’t you watching?

Huh? What’s that? Take a look at. . .?


I see.

He made it. Jin managed to. . . get off the exploding freighter and. . . drift back to the Island. So, I guess, Jin’s not dead after all? Cause for celebration then?

Like fuck it is. What a crock of shit. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do like Jin and all, but there’s no way he got back to that Island. I don’t care that he once managed to get off an exploding raft. That was OK. We briefly saw him dive off that piece of crap just before it went up. That’s not the case here. Here he was flapping his fucking arms around right on the deck when the thing went ka-boom.

Oh sure, the sequence cut away for a moment to show Michael talking with Christian Shephard, so some might argue that Jin jumped overboard whilst we weren’t looking. You’ll say, Hey AC, don’t be such a fucking know-it-all asshole. You didn’t see what Jin did! You didn’t see him dive off the freighter! You didn’t get to watch Jin right up until the last second so shut your Comet mouth!

‘Tis true. I didn’t get to see the whole thing. But I know someone who did.

That’s not the look of a woman that thinks Jin might have a done quick sprint to the side and high dived into the water before the enormous explosion destroyed everything and dragged The Freighter wreckage to salty depths. That’s not the look of a woman that thinks her husband might have made it. She never took her eyes off what was happening and she saw Jin die, for God’s sake!


And there then followed a grudge that lasted for years where Sun turned against her own father and plotted the murder of Benjamin Linus. She was serious and she was sure. (That she suddenly became convinced she was wrong is down to the writer’s betraying the moment we already witnessed. We can file it under the same bullshit as Faraday’s ludicrous ‘explanation’ that the blast must have thrown Jin clear. Sure it did. That’s what explosions do. They just throw people clear. They don’t turn people into charred fragments in a searing 700 degree fireball – they’re like a stiff wind lifting people away into the air like leaves on a breeze!)

No? Not buying it? Still think Jin could have made it? Fine. Great. He survived the explosion. Terrific. How did he get to the Island?

Now we know that, when the Island disappeared, there was a ‘radius’ that you needed to be inside. For argument’s sake we could therefore give this incident leeway and suggest that the radius was large enough to ‘capture’ Jin – only we’ve got various pieces of evidence that suggest otherwise.

Firstly, The Freighter was not within this radius. We know this because Sawyer and Juliet were on the beach and were looking at the black plume of smoke (that was fucking miles away) of The Freighter. Then the Island moved and, hey presto, the black plume of smoke was gone. Therefore we know for a fact that The Freighter wreckage did not move with the Island and was therefore not in the vicinity of the ‘radius’.

Faraday and his zodiac raft were, mind.

Faraday explained that he was headed towards The Freighter when he saw it blow up. So he turned around and headed back to the Island. Let’s be clear on that. Faraday wasn’t even at The Freighter, and then he turned around and headed back to the Island in a motor boat to get within the disappearance radius of the Island.

Jin might be a fast swimmer. He could have been the fastest swimmer in the world. He’s still not making that kind of distance. I mean, to be fair, even a helicopter didn’t make it!

See, Frank departed The Freighter in the helicopter. And sure, he may have circled around a little bit surveying the wreckage but the whole issue was that they didn’t have much fuel. Frank wasn’t for fucking about – he was heading back to the Island as fast as he could to get to some solid land because the helicopter was airborne on nothing but fumes.

And he didn’t make it!

The Island disappeared and the helicopter didn’t make it to the bright white disappearance radius. Get that: The helicopter didn’t even make it!

Can Jin swim faster than a helicopter? No.

Should Jin have made it to the disappearance radius of the Island? No.

Is this bullshit?


That the Lost creators tried to make us swallow this bullshit by sweetening it all up to make us think it was chocolate cake is perhaps the most reprehensible part of the whole fiasco. Because the revelation that Jin was alive arrived at the same time as we were meeting Young Rousseau and the long-awaited French team! One of the most exciting and eagerly-awaited moments in Lost mythology smacked us about the face to make us forget about the rotten bitter taste of CHEATING and FRAUDULENCE we had been subjected to.

Probably they’ll say that Jin didn’t die because he still has “work to do”, like Michael did. Yeah, well, whatever. That still doesn’t explain how Jin managed to swim like a fucking torpedo to make it to the Island disappearance radius, does it? Just because he’s a fisherman it doesn’t mean he can swim like a shark shout out of a cannon, does it!?

No, it doesn’t.

They break our hearts. . . and then they take it all back.

Next thing you’ll tell me that Charlie’s not really dead.

Oh for fuck’s sake. . .

Analysis: 5.5 This Place Is Death

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.”