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Totally "Lost": Deconstructing "What They Died For"...

May 18, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode

“To tell the truth, to tell it well, all depends upon the liar.”
                                                            “Bulletproof,” The Afghan Whigs

SMOKE SCREEN?
Questions abound and motivations still smoggy as the last episode of “Lost” nears

   “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof said earlier this year that his goal was to have viewers go into the series finale still not knowing exactly what’s going on with the show.
   Mission accomplished.
   “What They Died For” was thrilling, action packed, funny and moving. What it was not was informative in any meaningful way as it was yet another episode that provided many more questions than answers.
   And maybe we’ll be proven wrong about this on Sunday (and we’re ready for that possibility) but we still don’t think we’re being told the whole story about Jacob, MIB, Mother and Smokey and about why the Losties were brought to the island. It just doesn’t feel right. And don’t even get us started on the sideways reality. There has to be some accounting there of how Locke and Ben seem to be in a timeline spanning weeks (we had Locke returning to school this week which had to be a considerable amount of time after he was run over by Desmond, right?) while everyone else is in a timeline spanning only a couple of days.
   But we’ve come too far to turn back and maybe we’ll feel differently after someone smarter than us analyzes this episode.

    Deconstructing Season 6, Episode 16 of the ABC television series “Lost” titled “What They Died For”:

Title tracking
   > A reference to Ghost Jacob finally telling the remaining candidates that he brought them to the island to help him right a wrong and protect the light beneath the island from the Smoke Monster he helped create, saving everyone they care about in the process.

Answers
   Sideways reality
   > David’s mother is going to be at the concert later.
   > Like Desmond, Hurley is now fully conscious of both realities.
   > Sideways Ben and Sideways Danielle made a sideways love connection over some Coq au Vin that had a little too much onion.

   Island timeline
   > Once Jacob’s ashes are done buring, we’ll never see him again.
   > Smokey appeared to kill Richard in a vicious attack. Flocke slashed Zoe’s throat just before Ben shot Widmore.
   > Widmore brought Desmond to the island because of his ability to withstand electromagnetism.
   > Desmond is Jacob’s “failsafe” should all the candidates be killed.
   > Flocke wants to use Desmond to do something he couldn’t do on his own, destroy the island.

Questions
   Sideways reality
   > Why did Jack’s mystery neck wound reappear?
   > When is Christian’s coffin ever going to show up?
   > Why does Desmond need Sideways Locke "to let go?"
   > What did Desmond mean when he said Ana-Lucia wasn’t “ready yet?” (Incidentally, Eloise Widmore said the same thing about Desmond about a day earlier in the sideways timeline.)

   Island timeline
   > How did Ilana know to gather Jacob’s ashes from the first pit?
   > Who told Ben how to summon the Smoke Monster?
   > What did the ghost of Alex say to Miles?
   > Ben’s got an ulterior motive in switching sides, right? Right?
   > That can’t be it for Richard, right? Right?
   > No Frank?
   > Why is there a Teenage Ghost Jacob?
   > Was there a reason that version of Jacob needed to grab the ashes from Hurley?
   > Did Jacob really visit Widmore?
   > Did Widmore really realize the error of his ways?
   > Why does Flocke want to kill Penny?
   > Why did Widmore telling Zoe not to talk to Flocke make her pointless?
   > Why did Flocke wear shoes (shown in closeup) for this trip from Hydra?

Easter Eggs
   Sideways reality
   > The episode began with the iconic eye closeup and this time it was Jack’s.
   > Ben. Pummeled. Again. Sideways.
   > The LAPD officer who agrees to allow Desmond, Sayid and Kate to escape (in exchange for 125 large) is none other than Ana-Lucia Cortez.

   Island timeline
   > Jack sews up Kate on the beach, mirroring a scene in the pilot episode where Kate sewed up Jack’s back wound.

Quotable
   Jack: “I've been wrong before.”
   Jacob: “We're very close to the end Hugo.”
   Bad Ben: “He doesn't get to save his daughter.”
   Jacob: “Come and sit down and I'll tell you what they died for. I'll tell you why I chose them and why I chose you.”
   Jacob: “I didn't pluck any of you out of a happy existence.”
   Flocke: “I like the feel of my feet on the ground. It reminds me I was human.”

Observations, questions and random thoughts:
   > Who’d have thought Miles would make it to the last episode?
   > In case you haven’t heard, the series two-hour pilot will be re-aired by ABC Saturday at 9 p.m.
   > It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in the world that Elizabeth Mitchell will be returning as Juliet for the finale.

 
 

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