Season 5 Episode 1

Because You Left

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 21, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,117 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Jack and Ben attempt to gather the Oceanic Six for a return to the Island while the survivors left behind begin experiencing strange time shifts.

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  • Nah

    I really was disappointed with this episode, please make next episode better than this one. I feel like we are getting filler episodes. I feel Lost is trying to get to next season, but not make it because it may lose alot of its viewers. Although, I am glad that John Locke finnally may have got off then island and may be able to help the Oceanic 6. I am ready for them to get back to the island so that we can get back to the orginal make up of the show. Please make next episode exciting. Please Please Please.moreless
  • Jack and the other oceanic survivors try to come to grips with whether to go back to the island or not. Meanwhile, John Locke and sfriends on the island experience time shifts.moreless

    This season premeire was an uneventful yet solid opener to a hopefully more exciting season. It was not very exciting and was boring at times. The purpose of this episode to me seemed to be to set up the rest of the season. The first scene of the epsiode was in my opinion the best part of the episode, which showed the Dharma Initiative chinese guy and the finding of the orchid station. That part was both revealing and there was sort of a twist when Daniel Farraday showed up. The rest of the episode was more filler and was uneventful. Basically Jack and Ben just talked about the plan for getting everyone back on the island and preparing for that. The on island events were a little more exciting but still nonetheless did not was not drawn up with the story too well (Where did those random flaming arrows come from?).moreless
  • Not quite sure how we'll get there, but we're on the way back

    It's always hell to try and figure out what the freak is going on in any Lost season premiere. The fact that the case is literally divided now both back in the real world, and on the island doesn't help. And the opening scene even more baffling than usual. We seem to have traveled back to whenever the Dharma Initiative existed (which now appears to be in the mid-1970's at the latest) and see the films of the Dharma stations being made. (It's The Arrow, which we last saw in Season 2. We've now named all six of the stations; do we get a special prize for this hunt?) Then the scientist--- whose name appears to be Pierre Chang--- gets called out to The Orchid where someone tells him that they have just drilled a hole near the Donkey Wheel we saw in the end of Season 4. Chang says this device will be used for time travel, which this muscled boar of a worker seems to laugh off. Except that as Chang is leaving is bumps into Daniel Faraday. Welcome back, boys and girls.

    In the present, the action moves right after the final flashforward in 'There's No Place Like Home'. Jack and Ben are moving Locke's corpse out of the funeral home. Ben seems to be as much in the dark as to what is going on the island as Jack is, and Jack tells him that they have to come back or everyone on the island is going to die. Ben says the last time he saw Locke was when he moved the island, but he pauses before saying, which probably means he's lying. Jack either doesn't know or (more likely) has been pushed to the point of desperation so that he just doesn't care any more. Like Ben, he needs to get back to the island, even if it means dragging everybody else away from their lives.

    All are going through a severe state of flux in this episode. Kate, who had the least reason to go back, gets suddenly pushed when a mysterious lawyer comes to her door, demands a paternity test on her and Aaron. Someone seems to have penetrated the lie she's built up, so Kate does what she does best: she runs. Problem is, now she's traveling with a toddler, and she's about to find out what happens when you run with attachments.

    Sun is cornered in a London airport (so her flashforward took place around the same time as everyone else) by Charles Widmore, who demands to know what she meant by common interests, when he approached here. If Sun was bold before, she's positively brazen now, telling him "to kill Benjamin Linus." Which means she must know Ben is off the island, but since he's been keeping himself hidden for the past two years, it's hard to know how she knows. I wouldn't hold my breath about her going along with this.

    Sayid and Hurley are still together, but we get an even bigger shock--- whatever loyalty he might have had to Ben in the past, is completely gone. Which means that the attack that awaits him when Sayid makes it to the 'safehouse' could come from either Widmore's people or Ben's. Hurley may now have lost touch with reality, but when he says "We should never have left the island," I think that only Jack is going to be the one agreeing with him. Ben's saying this makes things harder is a hell of an understatement.

    But as hard to fathom as what's going in the present, it's borderline normal to what's going on the island. The sky has turned purple, and Sawyer (still shirtless) and Juliet (hung over) find themselves on the beach with Rose and Bernard--- and no camp. It's vanished into thin air. Then we see Daniel emerge on the zodiac raft with a small parcel of survivors (we're down to probably less than a dozen background survivors now) and tells them what the hell's going on. By the way, Daniel suddenly seems a lot more lucid than he did when he first arrived on the island, and that journal he was looking all through season 4 seems to be holding the secrets of the universe. Where did he get this?

    Daniel knows Ben has moved the island, but right now it seems like the castaways are the only ones who are moving. And it's not through space, it's through time. We learn this the hard way because we also go back to the one guy who's always on his own--- Locke. One minute, he's chatting happily with Richard, the next all of the Others are gone. (Begs the question, if everybody on the island is skipping, how come the Others didn't skip too. After all, Juliet is one, and she's moving along with everybody on the beach. Let's let this go for a now before we get a headache.) We soon find when exactly we are--- - the past, around the same time the Beechcraft that was being piloted by heroin traffickers was crashing on the island. Flummoxed as he is, Locke tries to save the passengers--- only to get shot in the leg by a very hostile Ethan. Ethan clearly doesn't buy Locke's story (I guess it's absurd, even for the island) and is about to blow him to hell when the sky flashes again. Suddenly, we're in the future, because the plane is now exactly where it was after Eko died. And Locke is greeted by Richard, who seems even less helpful than he was before. He gets the bullet out of John's leg, and evades Locke's questions by telling him that the next time they meet he won't know him, so Locke is to give Richard a compass, which he hands to him. Asked what the hell he as to do, he says that he has to get everybody who was on the freighter back on to the island. Asked how he's supposed to do this, Richard just tells him. "You're going to have to die." And like that, he's gone.

    On the other side of the island, Sawyer is trying to figure out a way to stop whatever's going to happen. (We know they've traveled to the future, because the hatch is now blown up) Daniel, however, makes it very clear what Pierre Chang was telling the people at the Orchid. There are rules, and whatever happened, happened. You can't change the future from the past. It's hard to believe this by listening to Daniel, but Charlotte and Miles seem to take it as gospel, so we'll let it go. But is Daniel right? The next jump seems to take them back before the hatch was found. Juliet looks around for it, and then uncovers a corner. Has she, in doing so, set up the circumstances so that Locke will discover it in the first place? (She also mentions the purpose of the hatch in a very dismissive tone; did she get the party line it was unimportant?) Sawyer seems determined to get inside the station, and bangs on the door. Daniel pulls him away, and tells him they should go. Then he sees Charlotte's nose bleeding. \The last time a character got a nosebleed they shouldn't was Minnkowski on the freighter, and we remember how much longer after that something really bad happened. Daniel didn't see that, but he sees something in the journal, and it freaks him out enough to start banging on the front door-- at which point Desmond emerges. Daniel then tells Desmond that the rules don't apply to him. Perhaps because they've already met in the past, he thinks he can use Desmond to send him a message--- they need help, and the only person who can give is Daniel's mother. There is a flash--- and Desmond wakes up in bed, next to Penny. He's not sure what's going on either, but it's enough for him to start sailing the ship they're on back to England. Is this how Desmond is going to get pulled back into something he thought he left behind?

    Trying to keep up with Lost can be a bit like flying on to this island, and now it's harder to keep track than ever. We're about to watch actors like Matthew Fox, Terry O'Quinn, and Michael Emerson strut their stuff, Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly go place the haven't yet, and Jeremy Davies and Elizabeth Mitchell goes places we didn't dream they were capable of. The island may be out of sync with the rest of the world (but what else is new) and we still don't know what the hell the teaser meant, but we're definitely going places, and whatever barometers we have are no longer accountable. Things may not be happening "Because You Left", but we're glad to be back.

    My score:9moreless
  • Locke: What is this? Richard: A compass. Locke: What does it do? Richard: It ... points north, John.

    The remaining survivors begin to erratically jump through time after the island is moved. Jack and Ben begin their quest to reunite the Oceanic Six. Hurley and Sayid are ambushed at the safehouse. LOST is back, thank god, I have missed this show. And what a way to bring it back. Fast paced, exciting, confusing but that's what LOST is about you never really know what's going on and that's why I like it. I loved the fact the way we finally seen the Dhama dude, was fun to finally see him. I love the fact Jack and Ben are working together, trying to get the others back to the island. I also love the scenes with Locke and Richard. All in all, LOST is awesome and no matter what happens best television show ever, oh and I can't wait to watch more!moreless
  • YESSSSSS!!!!! YESSSSS!!! YESSSSSS!!! (takes a deep breath) YESSSSS!!!

    Well, it's great to have Lost back. The first thing the viewer will notice is that the show is actually much easier to follow than a past times. There are not as many strong metaphors and there are not as many visible plotholes.

    However, there is still plenty of mystery. The viewer will still ask a lot of questions, and very few of them will get answered. But that's part of the fun of the Lost, as the show is certainly as intriguing as it was last year.

    One thing to note is that if you are not a fan of Jeremy Davies, who plays Daniel Faraday, you may not thoroughly enjoy this season as he is a big player in the first hour and will become an even more significant part as the episodes progress.

    But Ben is still as devious as ever, Sawyer still cracks his Southern style jokes perfectly and Jack is still searching for peace. This was an excellent episode and it's great to have Lost back!moreless
Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin

Dan Norton

Guest Star

Michael Dempsey

Michael Dempsey


Guest Star

L. Scott Caldwell

L. Scott Caldwell

Rose Nadler

Recurring Role

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson

Bernard Nadler

Recurring Role

Nestor Carbonell

Nestor Carbonell

Richard Alpert

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • The face of Pierre Chang's alarm clock, and "Shotgun Willie", the record he puts on, are both black and white.

    • When Locke is separated from the Others, he is left in the jungle with nothing but a knife and his wits, literally the situation he longed for in "Walkabout".

    • Goof: When the alarm clock goes off in the opening scene, the alarm itself isn't actually set. The alarm is set on the left-side of the clock and is set to 12:00.

    • Locke's climb to the Beechcraft is reminiscent of Boone's and Eko's climbs at the same location in episode "Deus Ex Machina".

    • The name of the law firm hired to get blood samples from Kate and Aaron in order to find out if Aaron really is Kate's son, is "Agostini and Norton" - an anagram for "Aaron isn't, don't go in".

    • Numbers:
      -The alarm clock right at the beginning shows 8:15.
      -Juliet tells Daniel that the Swan is a 15-minute walk from the camp.
      -When it was announced on television that Hurley was a fugitive being sought by police, it was broadcast by "Action 8 News".
      -As Sun goes down the escalator at the airport, the woman on the intercom mentions flight 23 to Paris at Gate 15.

    • Kate is never actually served with the court order. "Norton" never hands it to her so she can read it.

    • Sun's passport has many inconsistencies between the recorded information and the machine-readable zone of the passport. SKA is not a valid ISO code, it should have been KOR. Her birthday is encoded as April 4, 1972. Her nationality is encoded as Japanese. Her passport expiry is encoded as May 31, 2006 which would have made it an invalid passport when she was in the airport.

    • Penelope and Desmond are both seen wearing wedding rings in the final scenes, suggesting that they are now married.

    • The compass that Richard gives John is one of the items he shows 6 year old John in the episode "Cabin Fever".

    • This is the first time we have seen Dr. Pierre Chang / Marvin Candle / Mark Wickmund / Edgar Halliwax not in one of the DHARMA station orientation films.

    • Goldie parachuted from the Beechcraft into the trees near the crash site, but we see the plane fly very low and crash quickly, leaving him no time to have done this. This also does not match Locke's Vision in "Deus Ex Machina", where he sees the plane crashing directly down into the trees from the sky.

    • After Desmond wakes up from his dream he goes above deck to pull up the anchor, but actually the chain is going in the reverse direction, lowering the anchor.

    • When Daniel Faraday is on the raft, Neil Frogurt can be seen next to him. Neil Frogurt was never on the raft in the Season 4 finale.

    • This is the third season premiere to open with the playing of a record, and introducing/developing characters and a location/theme central to that season. In Season 2, we see Desmond introduced and what is inside the hatch (ie. the Swan station). In Season 3, we see Juliet and are introduced to the Others' island community. In this opening episode we see Dr. Marvin Candle and the consequences of attempting to drill into the location of the frozen donkey wheel. The skipping record fits nicely with the theme of this episode.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Hurley: So, that dude you popped outside Santa Rosa, who is he?
      Sayid: I don't care. He was armed and he was watching you. That made him an enemy.
      Hurley: You think he was gonna kill me?
      Sayid: I'm not taking any risks after Bentham died.
      Hurley: You mean Locke.
      Sayid: Yes, I mean Locke.
      Hurley: I need a cool code name.

    • Miles: So, what was this thing before you guys blew it up?
      Juliet: A DHARMA station.
      Miles: For what?
      Juliet: There was a man named Desmond living down in it. He was pushing a button every 108 minutes to save the world.
      Miles: Really?
      Juliet: Yeah. Really.

    • Hurley: We never should've left that island!

    • Dan: Time is like a street. Alright, we can move forward on that street, we can move in reverse, but we can not ever create a new street. If we try to do anything different, we will fail every time. Whatever happened, happened.
      Sawyer: How do you know so much about this, Danny Boy?
      Dan: I know about this because I spent my entire adult life studying space-time. I know all this because this journal contains everything I've ever learned about the DHARMA Initiative. This is why I'm here. I know what's happening.

    • Aaron: Where you going, Mommy?
      Kate: We're goin' on vacation, baby.

    • Foreman: We sonar imaged the wall. There's an open chamber about 20 meters in, behind the rock. There's something in there. And the only way to get to it is to lay charges here and here, blast through it...
      Dr. Marvin Candle: Under no circumstances! This station is being built here because of its proximity of what we believe to be an almost limitless energy. And that energy, once we can harness it correctly, it's going to allow us to manipulate time.
      Foreman: Right. OK, so what, we're gonna go back and kill Hitler?
      Dr. Marvin Candle: Don't be absurd. There are rules. Rules that can't be broken.
      Foreman: So what do you want me to do?
      Dr. Marvin Candle: You're gonna do nothing. If you drill even one centimeter further, we risk unleashing that energy. If that were to happen, God help us all.

    • Locke: What is this?
      Richard: A compass.
      Locke: What does it do?
      Richard: It ... points north, John.

    • Miles: Why are we going back to the beach, if there's nothing to go back to?
      Juliet: So stay here.
      Miles: That chick likes me.

    • Sawyer: Yo, open up! It's the ghost of Christmas future!

    • Hugo: (talks to Sayid) You want a fry?
      Sayid: No, thank you.
      Hugo: You know, maybe if you ate more comfort food you wouldn't have to go around shooting people.

    • Penny: You've been off the island for three years now. You're safe, now. It's just a dream.
      Desmond: It wasn't a dream, Penny. It was a memory.

    • Daniel: You can't change the past, James.
      Sawyer: Everybody I care about just blew up on your damn boat. I know what I can't change.

    • Daniel: Desmond didn't know you when he first came out of there. You never met. Which means you can't meet.
      Sawyer: This would all be fascinating, if I was listening to you.

    • Richard: The only way to save the island, John, is to get your people back here. The ones who left.
      Locke: Jack. Kate. The chopper was headed for the boat. The boat...
      Richard: They're fine, John, and they're already home. So you have to convince them to come back.
      Locke: How am I supposed to do that?
      Richard: You're gonna to have to die, John.

    • Locke: How did you know there was a bullet in my leg, Richard?
      Richard: Because you told me there was, John.
      Locke: No. No. No, I didn't.
      Richard: Well, you will.
      Locke: It was Ethan who shot me.
      Richard: Well, what comes around, goes around.
      Locke: When am I?
      Richard: Well, John, that's all relative.

    • Locke: You don't understand. I didn't come on that plane.
      Ethan: Wrong answer.

    • Sawyer: Before what happens again? Why has our camp gone?
      Daniel: Your camp isn't gone. It hasn't been built yet.

    • Jack: Hurley is locked away in a mental institution.
      Ben: Which should make recruiting him considerably easier than the rest of your friends.
      Jack: They're not my friends anymore.
      Ben: Well, that's the spirit.
      Jack: How did we get here? How did all of this happen?
      Ben: It happened because you left, Jack.

    • Foreman: We were cutting through the rock right on your spec. That's when the drill melted.
      Marvin Candle: The drill melted?
      Foreman: Yeah, three meters from the margin line on the plans. We went through six carbon drill bits and the last one just fried. Then my operator starts grabbing his head and freaking out.

    • Marvin Candle: (being recorded) Hello. I'm Dr. Marvin Candle and this is your orientation film for Station 2, The Arrow. Given your specific area of expertise, you should find it no surprise that this station's primary purpose is to develop defensive strategies and gather intelligence on the island's hostile indiginous population.

    • (Sawyer slaps Daniel)
      Charlotte: Oy! What bloody hell do you think you're doing?
      Sawyer: (to Charlotte) Shut it, Ginger or you're getting one too. (to Daniel) Now talk.
      Daniel: The island... Think of the island like a record, spinning on a turntable. Only now, that record is skipping. Whatever Ben Linus did down at the Orchid station...I think it may have...dislodged us.
      Miles: Dislodged us from what?
      Daniel: Time.

  • NOTES (8)

    • The opening scene was originally going to be used after the plane crash in "Namaste".

    • Emilie DeRavin (Claire) was removed from the main credits.

    • First appearance by William Mapother (Ethan) since the season 3 episode "One Of Us".

    • Original International Air Dates:
      United Kingdom: January 25, 2009 on Sky One
      Australia: February 11, 2009 on Network 7
      Norway: February 18, 2009 on TVNorge
      Denmark: March 6, 2009 on Kanal 5
      Latin America: March 9, 2009 on AXN
      Sweden: March 17, 2009 on TV4
      Czech Republic: April 6, 2009 on AXN
      Spain: May 7, 2009 on FOX
      Belgium: August 24, 2009 on VT4

    • Rebecca Mader was credited as a main cast member for this episode, even though she was credited as a guest star in all the press releases.

    • This is the third episode where time skips are featured, the first where the condition is widespread, and the first where the characters move along the island's history instead of their own storyline.

    • This is the first season premiere that hasn't added any new main characters. Each previous season added several new main faces to the cast.

    • Although credited, Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) does not appear, except during a brief flashback, which was old footage.


    • Sawyer: It's the Ghost of Christmas Future!
      This is a reference to the Charles Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol", in which the character Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future, the last of which is chosen by Sawyer as an allusion that he's from the future.

    • Sawyer calls Daniel Faraday "Dilbert" when they're arguing about entering the Swan Station.

      "Dilbert" is a fictional white-collar engineer who is very smart yet socially inept and the main character of an American comic strip written and drawn by Scott Adams.

    • Sawyer calls Charlotte "Ginger". Ginger is one of the characters from "Gilligan's Island".