Smile Politely

I guess that’s why they call it a sacrifice …

This was an episode that must be watched again, a connector or “glue” episode as we’ve come to know them. There is lots to discuss, so let’s dig in.


On the island, through rapidly accelerating time skips, Locke and the “Left Behinders” stumble their way to the Orchid and find that before the Dharma Initiative existed there was another way to reach the wheel: a well. Locke lowers himself towards his goal of saving the island and simultaneously taking on the burden of stopping the island’s increasingly violent shifts through time.

In LA, Ben hits a roadblock in his attempt to reunite the Oceanic 6 (O6) and bring them back to the island. Sun decides not to murder Ben, who once again offers the perfect manipulation by proving Jin is still living and handing her his wedding ring.

I know some of us are ready to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island as soon as possible, but I think we’re seeing some good writing here. If the O6 all of sudden happily went along with Ben (even with fearless leader Jack in tow), I’m not buying it. Ben’s exploitation hit its climax when he yanked the van over to the side of the road and forcefully complained about the lack of gratitude from Jack, Sun, and co. for trying to protect them.


18 November 1988

Rousseau’s crew is immediately welcomed to the island by the Smoke Monster. As described by Danielle in Season One’s Exodus Pt 1., Montand loses his arm thus beginning a series of unfortunate events for her crew ending with …

Later (Two Months?) in 1988

Danielle shooting her boyfriend Robert before he shoots her. Robert was “sick” and it appears she had no choice, which might answer one of the questions from last week: Did Danielle recognize Jin when she first met the castaways in Season 1? The answer could very well be: Does it matter? For Rousseau, “Reappearing” Jin was one more scary, inexplicable thing in a scary, inexplicable situation that was about to become a way of life.

Multiple Times/Rapid Shifts

Charlotte dies. John Locke gets a sincere “Thank You” from Juliet (great scene) before climbing down the well rope, and Faraday reminds us that ‘’Bringing back the people (O6) who left the island to stop these temporal shifts, that’s where we leave science behind.” … Just in case you were wondering.


I’ve already written about the O6 above, but a helpful timeline tip: the Left Behinders vanished in January 2005. That was the same month and date that the Oceanic 6 left the Island. Since then, more than three years have passed for the Oceanic 6 (should be around early 2008) — but only a couple days (maybe more, maybe less) have elapsed for the Left Behinders, in terms of time spent time traveling.


1. Thinking more about the “time on a string” theory. Simply, this means that some kind of omniscient and self-aware agency — God; Fate; some undiscovered regulatory force — finds a way to sort things out when paradoxes or inconsistencies are created by time travel. This is not merely a writers’ contrivance; this is actually rooted in some kind of theory. It is called ‘’The Principle of Self-Consistency,” and it was promoted by two scientists, Igor Novikov and one David Lewis. (Yes, as we learned last season, that also happens to be the name of Dead Charlotte’s Dharma Dad, more below.) In 1991, in a journal called Classical and Quantum Gravity, Novikov and Andrei Lossev wrote a paper about time travel called (you’ll like this), ‘’The Jinn of the Time Machine: Non-Trivial Self Consistent Solutions.” The purpose of the paper was to describe various solutions to paradoxical problems created by time travel. So … do some digging and post!


1. That was Hurley’s voice reciting The Numbers on the transmission Danielle’s crew was following. Listen again!

2. Locke letting Ben turn the frozen donkey wheel was not what was supposed to happen.

3. Charlotte is dead: In her final wild-eyed, pale-faced moments, her mind became unmoored and began to toggle between past and present. ‘’Oh turn it up, I love Geronimo Jackson,” she cooed, referring to Lost’s faux hippy-era folk group. And she gave up some secrets. Yes, she had been born on the Island. Her mom and dad were members of The Dharma Initiative. But Dad (David Lewis) went crazy and Mom got spooked. She packed up Charlotte (‘’Why isn’t Daddy coming with us?” Charlotte murmured during her throes, perhaps flashing on the moment) and took her to London and told her that the Island was just a childhood fantasy, a land of make-believe, like the Narnia concocted by Charlotte’s literary namesake (CS Lewis). And then this bombshell: ‘’Leave the Island and never come back,” said a scary man from her Island youth — a bogeyman with more than a passing resemblance to her would-be boyfriend, Daniel Faraday. ‘’I’m not supposed to have chocolate before dinner,” (anyone remember Turkish Delights?) she blurted, her mind suddenly elsewhere. And then she was gone for good.

4. The Smoke Monster: It resides in the bowels of an old temple — or should we say the Temple, a much-talked-about-but-never-seen Island landmark (remember Ben sent his Others there near the end of Season 4). Robert, before he is shot by Rousseau, refers to Smokey as the Temple’s ‘’security system,” which, if you recall, is how Danielle characterized the Monster way back in Season 1.


1. If Ben isn’t being manipulative to save the island and is truly only interested in himself, then what is Ben’s motivation for moving the Island instead of John? Might this be the reason the wheel was off its axis? What other implications exist? Did Ben know that Jacob/Christian/The Island would disapprove?

2. What happened to Rousseau’s science team when they followed Smokey down the hole? I can’t wait to know more about “The Sickness.”

3. What are the Temple’s origins and how does the Temple provide sanctuary?

4. Daniel spoke with Charlotte as a child? And he was scary? I hope we get to see this flashback.

Post away!

[Note: In this column, many weeks I borrow from other LOST sites, primarily Doc Jensen and I’ll try to put as much of myself in these as I can, but EW gets to screen the episodes in advance and I certainly don’t … so … much love to the Doc, we couldn’t dig in quite the same without you.]

More Articles