WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!
- The bulk of this episode centers on Sayid. On island he stumbles upon a cable emerging from the ocean that leads him into a trap.
- Sayid is captured and tortured by Danielle Rousseau, learning eventually of her shipwreck on the island, and the subsequent deaths of the rest of her team 16 years previously.
- In flashbacks we learn about Sayid’s days as a interrogator for the Republican Guard. One of his victims is childhood friend and later sweetheart who Sayid pretends to interrogate, but in the end releases. Although we do not learn why in this episode he believes that he is responsible for Nadia’s death.
- In other on-Island action Hurley builds a golf course to provide some much needed stress-relief and we meet Ethan for the first time!
This episode s a good reminder of how tense and scary the episodes in the first season were. I remember an edge-of-my-seat feeling as Sayid was captured and tortured by the seemingly insane french woman Rousseau. The tension in this episode is palpaple, but somewhat lost on the re-watch because we know how things will turn out in the end – but for first time watchers this a bit of a nail biter.
Danielle is such a complicated and perhaps under appreciated supporting character. As the first non-815 person that the Losties knowingly encounter, she represents the full-on mystery and danger of the island. She’s be lost on the Island for 16 years having killed her “infected” team mates and is now holed up in a end-of-the-world type bunker protected by tripwires and snares. Rousseau seems to be on the brink of insanity and is a chilling vision of what the Losties may become. On the surface her appearance in this episode raises more questions than answers:
- Why was her distress call never answered?
- What infected her team? Will it infect the Losties?
- Who are the other inhabitants of the Island and why do they whisper in the jungle?
- What is the monster and how has she avoided it for so many years?
As a brief reminder:
- 1988 – arrives on the Island, soon thereafter meets Jin and id prevented by him from following her comrades into the Temple.
- 1988 (2 months later) – Kills her lover Robert and then confronts Jn before he flashes away
- 1988 (shortly after) – sets transmission in radio tower and three days later gives birth to Alex
- 1989 – Ben Linus is sent by Charles Widmore to kill Danielle Rousseau but after seeing baby Alex he is unable to. Instead he kidnaps Alex and warns Rousseau that if she wants her daughter to stay alive she should run the other way whenever she hears whispers n the jungle.
- For the next 16 years she apparently lives alone in the jungle, avoiding Smokey and polar bears (and the Dharma Purge ?somehow?) and running from whispers until she meets Sayid in 2004.
Some of these questions have now been answered, but deeper ones remain:
- What really happened between the Science Team and the Smoke Monster? Smokey killed one of the team soon after they crashed on the Island and apparently killed another after ripping his arm off and dragging him below the temple. However, three more team members went under the temple and emerged alive, saying the monster was actually a security system. After this re-emergence Danielle said they were infected. What happened to them? Why did Smokey kill some and not the others? Or did it? Perhaps Smokey did kill the others and they reappeared in a re-animated form (a la Christian Shephard and John Locke) thus causing Rousseau to be suspicious of them and say they were infected.
- Why in 16 years hadn’t the Monster killed Danielle as well? It seems as though it would have had ample opportunity to do so. Was Danielle just that good at avoiding it or did it choose to not kill her?
- Who wanted Rousseau dead? Widmore said it was “The Island.” Ben disputed this and took Alex as his own daughter. Where was Widmore getting this info? Jacob? The Nemesis? Hmself? Or was he operating on a general principle that all outsiders needed to be killed? Why doesn’t Widmore send someone else to kill her? How come in 16 years she never encounters the Others?
- Do people like Rousseau, Ben, Richard, etc. remember the Losties they met while they were time-flashing? Like Jin. Despite her seeming insanity it seems that Rousseau would remember Jin flashing into those critical moments of her life. Notice that Danielle told Sayid that the Others infected her team, and that she assumed Jin to be an Other during his time flash. I don’t recall Rousseau ever comng in contact with Jin in the 2000s, but we never would have had reason to think about any interacton she had with him. It will be interesting to see if she shows any recognition of him.
Enter Ethan Rom
In a brief but significant scene we meet Ethan Rom for the first time. He appears out of the jungle and first time viewers just assume he’s another one of the Losties. What’s he up to? Boar hunting wth John Locke. Ooooooo . . . how interesting! Actually he arrives with Locke and drops a couple of suitcases they “found” in the jungle at Hurley’s feet. After a brief exchange t s implied that they are going back out to do some more hunting.
Now, we know that Ethan was sent by Ben to look for survivors and make lists. Based on Ben/Richard’s hstory with John Locke, one has to wonder if Ethan is specifically looking for him. It seems likely that at least Richard knows about Locke, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Sayid based on his encounters with them in the 70s. Would Ethan also know about Locke? What did they talk about while they were off “boar hunting”? Ultimately we have no idea if they discuss anything other than boar, but we do now that Ethan is conning the Losties and doing a very good job of it.
JACK: Hurley, you built a golf course?
HURLEY: Rich idiots fly to tropical islands all the time to whack balls around.
MICHAEL: All the stuff we’ve got to deal with, man — this is what you’ve been wasting your time on?
HURLEY: Dudes, listen. Our lives suck. Everyone’s nerves are stretched to the max. I mean, we’re lost on an island, running from boars and monsters — freakin’ polar bears.
MICHAEL: Polar bears?
CHARLIE: You didn’t hear about the polar bear?
This post written while watchng Pokemon with my son.