You may be asking why I didn't blog about last week's episode. The answer? What was there to write about? It was a boring example of filler, with only two items of note. The first point, the survival of Jin, is no surprise since the actor has been listed on the credits as a cast member all season, despite his character's 'death' last year.
The second, the introduction of Rousseau's group, added nothing to the show.
This week, however, for the first time all year I think Lost was back. This Place is Death was a great episode, full of action, plot twists, new mysteries, and some answers.
Let's start off the island. Sun crashes the reunion at the docks and the group scatters. Sun's rather easily convinced of Jin's health by Ben and she and Jack head off with him to see the proof.
Back to them them later. In 1988 one of Rousseau's group is picked off by the Smoke Monster and killed. Soon enough another is captured and dragged into an underground lair near an old temple. The group attempts to save him, but in the process only cause the monster to tear off his arm to take his prey.
Jin stops Danielle from joining the rest of the group on an ill-advised attempt to rescue their comrade, and then 'flashes' forward. He 'returns' a short time later (weeks/months? certainly not longer) and finds that Danielle has killed the members of her party and is facing down her baby's father at gunpoint.
Danielle is convinced he has been changed by the 'sickness', carried and transmitted by the Monster, but her beau dismisses this by saying it isn't a monster but simply a defense system set up to protect the temple. Just when she is convinced he raises his gun to kill her but it jams - her surprise looks too genuine for her to have tampered with it - and she kills him.
This part of the episode felt rushed, almost like the writers needed to answer Questions X and Y about Danielle and used this time travel crap to get it out of the way Barring further sightings of the lass, we are left with the impression Danielle was wrong about the illness. The Monster is almost certainly impersonating one or more of the men, or they've been let in on the island's secrets and switched allegiances. I don't think anything biological is involved.
Jin then manages to rejoin the remaining, pitifully small group of Losties. After a series of quick time flashes Charlotte is stricken down, returning to lucidity to proclaim a few dire prophesies - first and foremost, a warning to Jin not to bring Sun back to the island - and then tells Daniel the truth about her past. She grew up on the island and left with her mother, who ever after claimed it was a child's fantasy. She has spent her life searching for it, and now remembers something else: as a child Daniel himself warned her not to come back, because if she did she would die.
Ok. Well and good and all that, but you do see the problem, right? Charlotte dies and in an effort to prevent it he goes back in time and warns her. Obviously it fails, because the evidence of that failure is right in front of him, from her very mouth. Therefore there is no incentive for Daniel to have ever issued the warning, because he would know from the moment it became necessary that it would fall on deaf ears. Maybe he uttered it in the past out of sheer emotion, because logically there is no reason to speak the words.
Better for them both if he told the Mom to have Charlotte attend art school and avoid the skill set needed for her return; all Daniel's done is ensure her death.
So we get to the Orchid station but it vanishes in a literal flash. Cuing off one of Charlotte's statements John begins to climb down a well nearby. First though he must promise Jin that he will not bring Sun back, and takes his ring as 'proof' of death. As he descends the well a flash brings the group forward or backward in time far enough that the well is no more, and John is believed to have perished, encased in soil.
In truth Christian Shepard/Jacob finds John in a chilly tunnel. He says the cause of the time slips are on John's shoulders. "I said you had to move the island John," he said, referencing the fact that Ben is the one who did the deed. John stammers out an explanation but it is dismissed with a quick jab at Ben. John is instructed to restore the wheel onto its axis and a light engulfs him.
Back in the real world Ben uses Jin's ring to convince Sun that she must return to the island - a brilliant use of the ring to keep the promise and yet get a polar opposite result. Desmond comes out of the shadows and more or less proves what we've guessed for awhile; Eloise Hawking is Daniel Farraday's mother.
And the quest to return to the island begins in earnest . . .