Episode Review: LOST: "What They Died For" (Season 6, Episode 16)

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Tonight, it all starts to draw to a close. All the players are in place, and we know just about all we're going to know about some things. We'll probably never know who built the statue and why it only has four toes. How and why the Dharma Initiative found the island... again, probably not something that they'll tell us.

But tonight, we learn some important things, most importantly 'What They Died For'.

Recap

2004 Timeline

- Jack wakes with a familiar cut on his neck. He is due to go to a concert of his son's that evening. Claire joins them for breakfast as he gets a call that Christian's coffin has arrived. Except it's not Oceanic calling, it's Desmond.

Locke's first day back, and Desmond's behind the wheel. Dr. Linus spots him and confronts him. Mind you, he's completely outclassed and gets the snot beaten out of him. While he is getting beaten, he receives flashes…. of Desmond beating the snot out of him, but the lighting is different and Desmond's hair is wilder. Ben hits the asphalt, trying to process all this distasteful violence across two dimensions.

As Ben gets patched up, Locke visits him. He tells John that Desmond said that he didn't mean to hurt him, but to help him 'let go'. Locke seems to take this to heart.

Desmond turns himself in for the hit and run and the assault to Detective (Sawyer) Ford. They throw him in the holding cells, where he encounters Kate and Sayid. Something makes me think he'd planned that….

Alex and her Mother, Danielle, give Ben a ride home and feed him dinner. Danielle says that since Alex's father died when she was young, Dr. Linus has been the closest thing to a father she's had. Sparks kinda fly between Rousseau and Ben.

Locke goes to visit Jack at his office. Locke puts a lot of the coincidences together, and wants to be fixed now.

Back in city lockup, Kate, Sayid and Desmond all get shipped to county lockup. Desmond makes them all promise to do him a favor when he sets them free. The van stops, the door opens and Ana Lucia (!!!) sets them loose. Hurley shows up with Ana Lucia's payoff and they go in designated ways.

2007 Timeline

- Jack sews up Kate's bullet wound from a couple of eps back. She tells him that Jin and Sun have a daughter. For orphaning Ji Yeon, Smokey McLocke must die!

(S'M'Locke Must Die! Where's James Blish when you need him? Oh. Yeah. That's right…)

Anyway, back to Sawyer and Hurley who are watching flotsam come ashore. No bodies yet. Jack tells the others that it's time to hit the road and rescue Desmond, who's in a well. Unless Lassie showed up.

Ben, Richard and Miles are after a supply of C-4 that Ben's hidden in his cookie jar. Just kidding. It's in his closet. As they get close to his house, Miles gets the ol' dead people creepazoid thing going. It's Alex, his 'daughter'. Richard buried her after her death. They go in the closet that Ben used to summon the monster… except now he realizes it was the other way around. They gather large blocks of C-4 to blow the plane to hell. Zoey and Widmore pop up to discuss the theological implications of a plane being sent to hell. Or not.

Jacob had visited Widmore to show him the error of his ways. He tells Ben that the plane is already rigged to go ba-da-boom, so the big C-4 march isn't necessary. Zoe, on the way to hide their boat spots McLocke on the way in. They all try various means of escape and/ or hiding. Richard tries talk… that doesn't go so well. McLocke sits down to talk to Ben… he wants some people dead. Funny thing that, he has the people Smokey wants dead hiding in his closet. Smokey slits Zoe's throat, and asks Widmore why he's there: To bring Desmond and his special abilities to the island as a measure of Last Resort. Ben feels compelled to shoot him before he gets the whole explanation out. He then asks if there are other people to kill.

Sometimes this whole 'redemption' thing doesn't work out.

While in the woods, Hurley spots the 'young Jacob', who demands the ashes that Hurley grabbed from Ilana. He runs away with them, and encounters Jacob. The ashes are in a campfire. When the fire burns out, Jacob is gone…. so Hurley needs to gather everyone.

When everyone is gathered, Kate wonders why everyone had to die. Jacob (who is visible to everyone, much to Hurley's surprise) says that by the time the fire burns out, they will know everything they need to know about protecting the island, which is good, because one of them is going to have to start doing it.

Jacob brought them to the island because he made a mistake. He's responsible for creating 'The Monster'. He needed someone to replace him, so he brought them all to the island. Sawyer resents this, he thinks he was doing fine on the outside. Jacob disagrees. He brought them all there because they were, like him, alone and flawed…. dare I say: LOST????

There is a light in the center of the island that needs protecting, the remaining candidates must choose of their own free will who will be the new protector. Jack steps forward. Jacob consecrates some water and Jack drinks it. Jacob declares that Jack is now like him, as the other former candidates look on from a distance.

On the hunt, McLocke and Ben find Desmond missing. (Lassie???) Based on what Widmore told him, Locke is going to use Desmond to destroy the island.

Analysis

Tonight, some satisfying answers.
Jacob disqualified Kate because she became a mother- but Jacob says that there's no magic to the writings in the cave. It's just chalk on a wall. Jacob obviously considers her finding a purpose in raising Aaron to be something that may be as important as protecting the island.

We also have a better idea of who and what Smokey is: He's some sort of manifestation created when Jacob threw his twin into the light. Now I digress….

When Jacob threw his brother down the hole, he stole his free will. The resulting manifestation had Blackie's personality and memories, but not his actual life. Jacob is absolutely correct when he takes responsibility for this mess, as Blackie became more of a force of nature than human. As a force of nature, though, he can't be reasoned with (as Richard figured out), he just IS. There may be chaos, anger and death, but there's no free will, no humanity. Ironically, he brought the Losties to the island against their will, but has allowed them free will while on the island.

Back to tonight's revelations- Smokey likes human form so he can feel the ground beneath his feet. Does he really feel the ground, or does he just remember it?

Sawyer feels responsible for the deaths on the sub… Jack correctly places the blame on Smokey, who placed the bomb on the sub. I don't think Sawyer buys it, though… I look for him to die Sunday.

Ben doesn't take long to turn back to the dark side, or does he? He's only killing "them what needs killin'…" Widmore had Ben's daughter killed, which Ben was reminded of rather graphically by Miles. He may not be irredeemable at this point, as Widmore had it coming.

And is Richard actually dead? So quickly and ignominiously?

And what about the answer to the question- why did they die? They died to protect the light of the island, and they died to protect the world from Smokey.

SUNDAY NIGHT- The End

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