tablet mg

Home > Entertainment, Film / TV, Lost Recap, Review / Recap > LOST Recap: Episode 5.05 – This Place Is Death

LOST Recap: Episode 5.05 – This Place Is Death

January 7th, 2010

More art, courtesy of

Lost: Season Five arrived last week and I’ll be re-watching the season in anticipation of the launch of the sixth and final year of the show. I didn’t spring for the Blu-ray (I don’t have a player) or the Special Season Five Dharma Initiative Orientation Kit box set, so I’m relying solely on standard DVD. I did hear that the Blu-Ray has excellent special features, notably the Lost University Feature.

Lostpedia is the consummate source for all Lost information, but sadly they lack any concise summary. Rather than attempting to summarize episode plots in great detail, I’m going to simply link to Lostpedia’s summary and give my base thoughts, this time on Episode 5-05, This Place Is Death. For other LOST Recaps, visit the dedicated page here.

My thoughts on this one are, sadly, a bit scatter shot.  It’s been a long few weeks at work and I’m trying to get my writer’s hat back on.

“This Place Is Death” is the fifth episode of Season 5 and focuses on Jin and Sun, but an equal character is Danielle Rousseau and the rest of the cast of the scientific vessell “Zoolander.”  Seriously, the abandoned science ship that brought Rousseau and the rest of the French to the island may have been named Bésixdouze, but it could have doubled for a Noxema party boat.  The Paolo and Nicki nature (really, really, really good looking, but unable to turn left) of the crew was mercifully short lived thanks to Smokie and Rousseau’s purging of the “sick.”  Nevertheless, the conflict with Smokie also provided TV’s worst “arm ripped off” moment since Phil Hartman played an Olympic powerlifter on Saturday Night Live (I’ll embed this at the bottom of the post).


But enough of the problems with the episode.  It also rocked.  We’ve seen the travails of Farraday, Locke, Sawyer, Charlotte, Juliet and Miles through time, but now we’re treated to Jin’s experience before rejoining Team Skipping Record.

A blown up version of the art from above.  In the episode, we see Rousseau in the timeframe during which she recorded the message.

That experience is initially shared with the Noxema folk as Jin is present during their initial confrontations with the security system.  A couple of jumps later, and Jin bears witness to Danielle killing off Alex’s father for being sick.  Notably, during this chance meeting in time, we see Danielle scream at Jin that he up and disappeared (providing one answer to what actually happens when a member of Team Skipping Record vanishes).

When Jin rejoins the rest of said team, we begin to delve into the dramatic nature of a marriage again torn apart.  Jin and Sun, separated, run quite counter in what they tell Locke and Ben Linus.  On Island, Jin desperately implores Locke to not bring back Sun if he goes off island.  He does this with Charlotte emphatically adding “This place is death.”  Conversely, Sun is driven to find out what happened to Jin and eventually to return to him.  The wedding band that Jin has handed to Locke to show Sun that he is dead is misappropriated by Ben Linus to be used as proof of life… bait to re-recruit Sun to his side.

On Island, we are also treated to the passing of CS Lewis, the telmarine known as Charlotte Staples Lewis.  Lewis, as a youth growing up on the Island, lived longer there and was more attuned to the effect of the sickness post-time travel.  As her dementia increased, she hopped between memories and time, finally determining that Faraday had come to her as a youth and told her never to return to the Island.  Doc Jensen goes into greater depth than I care to on the namesake connection… as I really thought the CS Lewis thing was mostly to honor the concept of the telmarines that invaded the island [The linked DJ post also goes into great depth on Course Correction in a very geeky way… it’s a good, but confusing read].

We bid adieu to Charlotte from Team Skipping Record.

We also see, for the fourth time, Lock’s loss of his legs.  I’m not really sure of the deeper meaning this time, although an argument can be made that it’s him finally learning to push forward and overcome.  When John was first stripped of his capacity to walk, it was the emasculating experience of both standing up to and at the same time realizing he really does not have a father.  The second time, he was serving as a surrogate parent / mentor figure to Boone as they tried to open the hatch.  That same feeling of weakness and impotence experienced in the facts relating to his father led to a dull numbing of his capacity to walk.  The third time, we saw Lock shot by Ben and unable to move amid the corpses of Dharma Initiative members killed in Ben’s own act of patricide.

This forth time, we see Locke, acting as a true leader of both the Others and the LOSTies, themselves.  His act to stop the record from skipping is tripped up, leading to a brutal fracture and an inability to walk.  He is greeted by Christian Sheppard, who instructs him on what to do.  The advice to not listen to Ben is somewhat of a surprise, contrasted a bit with Sayid’s similar warning to Hurley.  But more importantly, we see Sheppard imploring Locke to get up, take action and move without assistance.  Daddy issues abound.

In the end, we know that Locke has fulfilled his obligations.  He has, as Jeremy Bentham, set the Oceanic Six (sans Aaron) on a course for reunion and a return.  More importantly, he’s confronted his mortality and died in order to bring them back.

Stay tuned for more LOST Recaps.  I promise they’ll be more filled with independent thought and analysis than this one.  For now, as promised, here’s the Phil Hartman classic skit.

Comments are closed.