Season 5 Episode 5

This Place is Death

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 11, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
985 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Locke takes on the burden to stop the island's increasingly violent shifts through time. Meanwhile, Ben hits a roadblock in his attempt to reunite the Oceanic 6 and bring them back to the island.

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  • An episode that lives up to its name

    We're getting some big time revelations in this episode, as well as a fulfillment of a pledge the writers made way back in Season 2. We were promised a flashback that would tell us the history of Rousseau, how she got to the island, and what happened while we there. They kept putting it off, and after Rousseau was killed in Season 4, it seemed it would never happen. Thank you, leaping through time island for keeping your promise.

    The first fifteen minutes of 'This Place is Death' essentially tell us the story of Danielle Rousseau, as seen through the eyes of Jin. Because of the language barrier (and the fact that Jin and Sun had probably the least contact with the woman while she was alive) , he can't tell her what's about to happen. Instead, he has to witness a lot of the horrors play out. Rousseau, who is the youngest member of a six-person French team of explorers, have gotten shipwrecked on the island. They begin to explore, searching for the radio tower, which is broadcasting the numbers. (It's now likely that they were being relayed from the Swan station, via the antenna.) They move into the jungle to search of the source of the numbers. Then her team is attacked by the monster (This is something of an inconsistency, but considering that Danielle changed the story in 'Numbers' from what it was in 'Solitary', we'll give the writers that discrepancy.) The monster kills Nadine, the other woman almost identical to the way it killed the captain in the Pilot, and then attempts to attack Montand, near a temple. Montand loses his arm, and is pulled away into a recess. When he begins to cry for help, the others go in after him, but Jin stops Danielle. At this point, the island shifts again (and now we know that it's happening to the survivors; Rousseau is right next to Jin, and nothing happens to her) and Jin is alone. We soon find out that it's about a month later, and that Danielle has now formed a camp on the beach, has killed Brennan and Lacombe, the other two team members (their bodies are on the ground) and is arguing with Robert, her lover, and the baby's father. Robert is frantically trying to convince her to lower the gun, and the instant she does, he fires--- but because she's removed the firing pin (like she said in Solitary) nothing happens, and she kills him. I'm pretty sure this drove her over the edge (though sixteen years of solitary living at the loss of Alex didn't help), and that's probably the reason she doesn't recognize Jin when she came across him in 2004. (Maybe she thought he was an illusion of the monster.)

    Jin then is reunited with the other survivors, who really are stunned to see him (he must also be overjoyed that someone else who speaks Korean is still on the island, though his English is even better than it was in Season 4), but things are getting worse. The flashes are starting to happen even closer together, and Charlotte's condition begin to completely degenerate. Furthermore, now Sawyer and Juliet are starting to suffer nosebleeds. Whatever this is, it's getting worse, and right now, Locke seems to have the only valid idea--- return to the Orchid.

    Before they get there, though, Charlotte collapses, and begins to ramble incoherently. She does, however, manage to get one clear message out to Daniel, and it's a killer--- she lived on this island before, as part of the Dharma Initiative, and when she was a girl her mother and she left the island, never to see her father again. Since then, she has spent all her life searching for the island (which explains some of her behavior when she returned) The kicker is before she left, a crazy man told her to never come back--- and she now thinks that man was Daniel. It seems insane, but given what we saw in the teaser of the Season 5 premiere, we can no longer say that it's impossible. Is that how Daniel will join the Dharma Initiative? And then, in a last bit of incoherence, Charlotte dies, and Daniel is broken. We don't see much of Dan until the second half of Season 5, but it's clear that this has broken him somehow. Even though he defines the rules that "you can't change the future" he will spend the rest of his life trying to prove otherwise. Unfortunately, the cost will be even more devastating than he knows

    Eventually, the rest of the survivors make it back to where the Orchid was. Jin implores Locke not to bring Sun back to the island--- he's seen enough to know that it might kill her--- and is willing to risk never seeing his wife and child again to ensure their safety. Locke intends to keep his promise, and he is an honest man. So he is lowered into an old well (which we will see again) Before he goes, Juliet says, if this works "thank you." This is the first time anybody on the island has ever expressed gratitude to Locke on a course of action (and there's significance that it's Juliet, not anyone else who's been with him every step of the way) and the look on his face speaks volume. This is significant, because none of them will see Locke again.

    Unfortunately, before he can get to the bottom, there's one more flash, the well disappears, and Locke plummets to the ground, shattering his right shinbone. There he is greeted once again by 'Christian', who says he's there to help him the rest of the way, and then just stands there, giving instructions that he must gather all his friends and bring them back. Poor Locke. All his life, off and on the island, people have been using him. Now, as he listens to the idea that he may have to die in order to get everyone back to the island, he doesn't realize he's being used again. He thinks he has to bring everyone back to stop the flashes when all he has to do is push the (not) Frozen Donkey Wheel, and get it back on its axis. All he's done is seal his own fate.

    We may not yet know Locke is being used, but we're pretty sure that Ben has been using Jack, and by extension the Oceanic 6, so that he can get back to the island. The problem is the other members are adamantly opposed to just this manipulation. When Kate hears that Ben's behind her current horror, she doesn't hesitate a second before taking Aaron and leaving him behind. Sayid, if anything, reacts even faster, and tells Jack and Ben that if he sees either of them again, it won't be pleasant for either of them. (He's not kidding.) And when Sun first appears to Ben, her gun is cocked and she has every intention on killing the man she thinks killed her husband. (I'm still not sure how she learned Ben was responsible for blowing up the freighter. It would be more logical to blame Widmore) But once again, with a gun in his face, Ben manages to turn the tables, and tell her that Jin is alive, and that he has proof. The proof is Jin's wedding ring. Ironically, the evidence that Jin wanted to make sure would keep Sun from ever come back is the very thing that brings her back into the fold. He also tells both of them that he's done everything to make sure that they stayed safe, which is interesting, considering that I'm pretty sure that Sayid was the one who did all of the heavy lifting.

    He leads them to a church where they encounter another familiar face--- Desmond. Though it's hard to say, it's pretty obvious Ben's surprised to see him, and he is definitely blindsided when Desmond tells him he's here to see Faraday's mother. Thing is, we have met her before, and so has Desmond--- she's Eloise Hawking. (Apparently, Daniel named his pet rat after her. If that doesn't warm the cockles of your heart..) What's more surprising is that even though she clearly told Ben that he has to bring all of them back, even though there are only two of them there, she just shrugs and says "Close enough. Why? We know she has knowledge of the past. Does she really think that even though she said all of them, Jack's the only one she needs. We'll get a clearer idea of some of what she knows over the rest of the season, but right now, it seems the writers never quite got a clear idea how to handle her.

    'This Place is Death' is a pretty accurate description of what the island is-- not only for Charlotte and the rest of Rousseau's team, but probably for everybody. It may not be purgatory, but for almost everyone else, it's a form of Hell. Even Locke who think it's salvation will eventually realize that for all it's healing powers, the island takes far more than it gives. We just don't know what we're going to see yet.

    My score: 8.8moreless
  • Wow, what was that?: That was a super fantastic episode!!!

    This episode was mind blowingly exciting. Well the last half hour was. The first half hour felt like a filler but it really got much better towards the end. :)

    Finally we're got SOME answers. I thought we weren't going to get them again this week but thank god we did. The Locke and Christian scene was simply amazing. He's sacrificing his life. But he has to be alive somehow later on. They can't completely kill him off. The island will probably cure him once they go back. Can't wait!!!

    Ending scene was worth watching the entire episode. The look on Desmond was face when he saw Ms. Hawking - unforgettable.

    The preview for next week looks breath-taking. Finally that long awaited Jate kiss! ;)

    I'm giving it a 9.5 out of 10 because of Charlotte's death. WTF? She can't really be dead right? I will diee, NOO!!!! :(moreless
  • Is it just me or does this show just keeps on getting better and better. I mean seriously. its like soo exciting and just gets you pumped to watch next weeks with all these amazing cliff hangers. If you compare LOST right now from the old seasons, theremoreless

    is no comparison. It feels like a completely different show!! I liked how we got to see the smoke monster once again and it was just sweet as hell when we got to see that french dudes arm get ripped off. Something about that smoke monster guarding the temple. I just dont understand that thing. I remember it from the very first episode ive always been curious. well anyways. wow so many flashes it was ridiculous. and seriously whats up with that Christian guy. is he dead? whats he doing there I dont get him at all. His Michaels dad thats alll I know of but what does he have to do with the Island like how does he know all this stuff. And also the Girl who Faraday was is love with. before she died she says that everyone shouldnt return to the island. okay? thats weird. i still dont get whats the point in them returning like whys it so important. I thought Ben was this big deal but until I heard Christian saying oh why do you listen to him.

    well anyways great episode. pumped for next week.moreless
  • wow wow wee wow what a splendid episode!

    wow! where do i begin? First off, im starting to sympathize ben because no one trust him or thinks hes ever done a good deed in his life. Second of all, poor Faraday. He lost the woman he loved. Third off, im so glad to see christian back because i think he is an amazing actor and i really enjoy his on screen presence. Another thing, i really enjoy desmonds entire storyline of him looking in on the past of faraday. So far i believe this season of lost has been amazing and i can only see it getting better!moreless
  • One of the best episodes of the show.

    There's nothing I could say about this episode that's even remotely negative.

    Everything was perfect. We had everything. Jin wandering around, learning Rousseau's past, new info on the smoker monster, awesome directing, Charlotte dying, Locke leaving the island, etc...

    It's just so perfect I've trouble reviewing the episode, since I'm still shaking from excitement. Lost season Five is on it's way being the best season of the show yet, which given how awesome the past seasons been is a huge achievement.

    "This Place is Death" delivers on every aspect:

    emotional drama,




    And now, ladies and gentlemen, sit back, because one thing is for sure: the coming episodes will be EVEN better.moreless
Melissa Farman

Melissa Farman

Danielle Rousseau

Guest Star

Guillaume Dabinpons

Guillaume Dabinpons

Robert Rousseau

Guest Star

Marc Menard

Marc Menard


Guest Star

Fionnula Flanagan

Fionnula Flanagan

Eloise Hawking

Recurring Role

John Terry

John Terry

Dr. Christian Shephard

Recurring Role

William Blanchette

William Blanchette


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • On the side of the van Ben is driving, it says "Canton-Rainer Carpet Cleaning." Canton-Rainier is an anagram of "Reincarnation."

    • This is the first episode of the entire series in which Ben and Desmond speak to each other.

    • At the end of the previous episode, Danielle says "I'm Danielle, Danielle Rousseau". In the "previously on LOST" recap, she says "I am Danielle, Danielle Rousseau". This was obviously an unused take.

    • Jin says he knows how to find his camp from the radio tower. However, Jin was one of the five survivors who did not go to the radio tower with Jack in "Through the Looking Glass", staying behind at the beach to shoot the dynamite traps.

    • At the end of "The Little Prince," Sun picks up her weapon and gets out of the car; in this episode she stops to talk to Ji-Yeon on the phone first.

    • Daniel's lab rat Eloise shares his mother's name, Eloise Hawking.

    • In the opening scene Ben delivers the line "because he's not your son, Kate" after Sun steps out of the car. In "The Little Prince", this line was delivered before Sun stepped out of the car.

    • Danielle shoots Robert, turns and spots Jin. Attempting to shoot Jin, she draws back the bolt of the rifle to extract the spent casing and load a fresh round. She then fired several rounds in quick succession. Much too quick to reload the non-automatic weapon.

    • Danielle gives the date of arriving on the island as November 15th 1988. In "Pilot, Part 2", Sayid says the message Danielle left had been playing for 16 years and 5 months as of the day following the crash of flight 815 (September 23rd 2004). Furthermore in "Through the Looking Glass" we also find out that Danielle had left the message at the radio tower 3 days before Alex was born which would have been 2 months after Danielle first arrived on the island. Therefore the message had been playing for approximately 15 years and 7 months.

    • Jin's English has gotten so much better in this episode to the extent that he is able to communicate pretty clearly with others on the Island. Yet it has only been a couple of months since he could hardly speak any English at all and the events he is involved in here take place within a matter of hours or mere days since the boat blew up and he was found floating on the ocean unconscious by Rousseau's team.

    • In this episode, Locke falls and breaks his right leg. This is the same leg he keeps injuring on the Island. Previous injuries include having the hatch door crash down on it and being shot in it.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Charlotte: (to Jin) Don't let them bring her back. No matter what. Don't let them bring her back. This place is death.

    • Danielle: Did you hear that?
      Robert: What is that?
      Jin: Monster.

    • Sawyer: Sure you don't want us to lower you down?
      Locke: Where would be the fun in that.

    • Ben: No, Sun. Jin's still alive, and I can prove it.

    • Rousseau: Who are you hoping to find?
      Jin: My wife.

    • Christian: You came to see me in the cabin. You asked me how to save the island and I told you, you had to move it. I said that you had to move it, John.
      Locke: Well, Ben said he knew how to do it and he told me I had to stay here and lead his people.
      Christian: Since when did listening to him get you anywhere worth a damn?

    • Sawyer: You're going down there?
      Locke: Uh huh.
      Sawyer: What exactly are you hoping to find?
      Locke: A way off the island.
      Sawyer: Expecting a subway?

    • Charlotte: When I was little, living here, there was this man, crazy man, and he really scared me. And he told me that I had to leave the island and never ever come back. He told me that if I came back, I would die.
      Daniel: Charlotte, I don't understand.
      Charlotte: Daniel, I think that man was you.

    • Juliet: Thank God. What are the odds we were to end up in the same time as this thing.
      (There is a flash and the ruins disappear.)
      Sawyer: You just had to say something.

    • Sawyer: (to Daniel) Flashes are getting closer together. Maybe when your nose starts bleeding, you'll realize we gotta get out of Dodge, now.

    • Daniel: So, you speak any other languages?
      Charlotte: Just Klingon.

    • Ben: Sayid. Where are you going?
      Sayid: I don't want any part of this. And if I see you or him again, (pointing at Jack), it'll be extremely unpleasant for all of us.

    • Jin: Bring Sun back? Why you bring her back?
      Locke: Because she never should have left.

    • Ben Linus: If you want to shoot me then shoot me! But let's get on with it!

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      United Kingdom: February 15, 2009 on Sky One
      Norway: March 11, 2009 on TVNorge
      Australia: March 11, 2009 on Network 7
      New Zealand: March 18 2009 on TV2
      Denmark: March 27, 2009 on Kanal 5
      Finland: April 2, 2009 on Nelonen
      Sweden: April 14, 2009 on TV4
      Czech Republic: May 4, 2009 on AXN
      Spain: May 21, 2009 on FOX

    • A Sun and Jin-centric episode.

    • Although credited, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) does not appear.


    • Gunsmoke: Sawyer says "we gotta get out of Dodge now". This a reference to Dodge City, Kansas, which was a favourite location for westerns in the early to mid 20th century. The phrase was made famous by the TV show 'Gunsmoke' (1950-1975), in which villains were often commanded to "get the hell out of Dodge." In the 1960s and 70s the phrase has been adopted in popular vocabulary, meaning 'to leave a dangerous situation'.

    • American McGee's Alice: The idea of Charlotte spending her childhood on the island and be later told that it was all dreamed up is reminiscent of the plot of American McGee's Alice, in which a suicidal Alice Liddell in her late teens is locked away in a mental asylum where her memories of Wonderland are considered delusions of self-hatred and guilt. Both Charlotte and Alice are threatened with death if they should ever dare to revisit the innocent magic place of their childhood.

    • Carthage: Charlotte remarks that she knows more about Carthage than Hannibal. Hannibal was a war general from Carthage from around 200 BC. He is considered to be one of the greatest military commanders and tacticians through out all of history. Carthage was located in what is modern-day Tunisia, where Charlotte was doing field work before being recruited to the Kahana's mission.

    • Daniel: So, do you speak any other languages?
      Charlotte: Only Klingon.

      Klingon is the name of a language (and alien race) from the Star Trek franchise. Lost executive producer J.J. Abrams is the director, and a producer, of the latest film in the series, on which Lost executive producer and showrunner Damon Lindelof also serves as a producer.