Lost recaps: Season 6, Episode 15
‘What They Died For,’ Or: Have I got a Job for You. Or: Holding On, Letting Go

Published May 19, 2010 on

Previously: A lot of stuff happened. If you don't know what all that stuff is, you'd better start watching those DVDs. Most immediately previously, Sun, Jin and Sayid died, and you totally cried.

It's the morning after the night before on the beach. Flotsam from the sub washes up on the shore while Jack stitches up Kate. (And we all know that this is a reflection of Kate stitchng Jack up during the pilot, so let's not dwell.) Kate's still in shock about Sun and Jin, mostly because this leaves their daughter an orphan. They agree: NotLocke's going down. And, as Jack points out, if NotLocke wants Desmond dead, the making sure that they get to him first is a good place to start.

It's the morning after several episodes before in the jungle. Ben, Miles and Richard approach the old barracks. Ben and Miles are bickering. Richard wants to cut to the explosive chase: How much C-4 is there, and is Ben sure it's still there? Enough to destroy the plane, and yes. Exposition Miles snarks about Ben putting the explosives in a cookie jar, to which Ben replies: "Don't be ridiculous. It's in a secret room behind my book case." And for delivering that line with a perfectly straight face, I hereby nominate Michael Emerson for every Emmy ever. As they approach Ben's old house, Miles starts getting some serious dead people signals. Richard explains that it's Alex. I'm sure she has a lot to say, but this episode's already running long.

They duck into the closet so Ben can retrieve the C-4 from a safe. Then they hear a noise out in the house. It's Zoe, followed closely by Widmore. Widmore shoos Zoe off to get their equipment from their outrigger, then scoffs at Richard for being so far behind on the whole "blow up the plane" idea. How did Widmore manage to get back onto the island? He was invited by Jacob, who convinced Widmore of the error of his ways and told him he was needed for the purpose. So, here he is. And then Zoe notifies Widmore that NotLocke's on his way.

There is a general scurrying. Widmore ushers Zoe into the secret room, but Ben declines, on the notion that NotLocke is going to want to have a throwdown with him eventually, and he'd rather get it over with. Miles is all, yeah, um, hi, I'm leaving. Ben sends him off with a radio. Richard joins Ben outside; he figures that all NotLocke really wants is for Richard to join him, so he may be able to buy everyone else some time.

Ben and Richard go outside. With little ceremony, Smokey zooms in, tackles Richard and flings him somewhere far offscreen. If Richard really can't die, then he's going to be seriously banged-up for the finale. Ben calmly waits for NotLocke, who says that he needs Ben to kill some people for him. If Ben does, he can have the Island all to himself. Ben ponders for about half a second before pointing NotLocke to the closet where Widmore and Zoe are hiding.

In the not-so-secret closet, NotLocke and Widmore face off. Widmore tells Zoe not to talk to NotLocke, so NotLocke slashes her throat, because if she's not going to talk, then what's the point to her existence? (And this is where my future essay on "Lost" and gender issues really starts gathering steam in the back of my brain. I know it's not one of the many points of the show, but when you think about it, the whole thing's one big Bechdtel Test fail.) NotLocke lays it out to Widmore: If Widmore doesn't tell NotLocke what he wants to know, NotLocke will kill Penny. If Widmore does, he won't. Widmore easily admits that he brought Desmond back to the Island because of his reisistance to electromagnetism, as a measure of last resort. He won't say any more in front of Ben, so NotLocke asks Widmore to whisper the rest to him. Which he does. And then Ben shoots him: "He doesn't get to save his daughter." NotLocke shrugs that he already found out what he needed to know, so no harm done. "Good," Ben says, flatly. "Did you say there were some other people for me to kill?"

Meawhile, on presumably the same day, Jack and Sawyer lead the walk 'n' talk on the way to find Desmond. Sawyer feels responsible for killing everyone on the sub; Jack continues to put the blame on NotLocke. Somewhere behind them, Hurley sees the adolescent Jacob. While Kate walks on, the apparition demands the ashes that Hurley took from Ilana's stuff. Hurley's curious as to why the kid wants him, but the kid just takes the bag and runs off. Hurley follows the kid as best he can and finds Jacob among clearly artificial flowers by a campfire. Hurley asks whether Jacob saw a kid run by with his ashes. "My ashes are right there in that fire," Jacob says, placidly. "When it burns out you'll never see me again." And: "Tell your friends, we're very close to the end, Hugo." Across the interwebs, hundreds of Lost recappers thank Jacob for giving them this week's recap title.

Kate, Sawyer and Jack catch up with Hurley and Jacob. Jacob greets the others, and Hurley's surprised that they can all see each other. Hey, kids, let's play Riddles by the Fire! To their questions, Jacob answers that, yes, he wrote those names on the wall. So is that why they're dead? Yeah, sorry. But he wants them to know that Sun, Jin and Sayid didn't die for nothing. And if they have a collective seat, Jacob will tell thme why he chos all of them. Oh, also? By the time the fire goes out, one of them is going to have to start protecting the Island.

Hurley wants to know why Jacob brought them to the Island. Jacob replies that it's because of a mistake he made a long time ago; and, now, that mistake might kill them and everyone they care about. That mistake? That would be Smokey. Jacob says he made Smokey that way, and Smokey's been trying to kill him ever since. (Only he doesn't call him Smokey. But your recapper needs to call it something.)

Sawyer, playing the part of the wicked child in this foodless seder, snits about being punished for Jacob's mistakes, maintaining that he was doing just fine beore he got dragged to the Island. The group collectively stifles a psychic laugh. Jacob points out that they weren't; they were all flawed and alone, like him. "I chose you because you needed this place as much as it needed you."

Kate asks why her name was crossed off. Jacob replies that it's because she became a mother, but it's just a line of chalk in a cave. The job's hers if she wants it.

Jack inquires as to what the job is. It's pretty straightforward: There's a light at the center of the Island. The new hire will make sure that it never goes out. Contrary to what NotLocke says, there is something to protect it from. And if they don't kill Smokey, then he's going to try to kill them.

In answer to Hurley's query about the applicant selection procedure, Jacob simply says that he's going to give them all what he was never given: A choice. And if none of them chooses it? "Then this ends very badly." After about half a second of contemplation, Jack announces that he'll do it: "That's why I'm here. This is what I'm supposed to do." Jacob confirms Jack's decision. Jacob and Jack head over to a stream or something, while Sawyer, Kate and Hurley watch from by the fire. Sawyer makes a weak crack about Jack's God complex, but he seems to know how stupid he sounds before Kate hushes him. Hurley's just glad he didn't take the job. Dude, I know the feeling.

Jacob tells Jack that near where he first woke up on the Island, there's a ridge, and past it is the light he needs to protect. Jack never saw anything beyond the ridge, but Jacob assures him that he'll be able to get there. At Jacob's request, Jack hands him a cup, which Jacob ritually fills with water from a stream. Before drinking, Jack asks how long he'll have to do the job. "As long as you can," Jacob responds. Finding this agreeable, Jack chugs the water. And though we don't see what he sees, it's clear that he's now seeing things differently. "Now you're like me," Jacob solemnly intones, and both figuratively and literally passes Jack the torch.

NotLocke and Ben trek to the well to find Desmond gone. NotLocke says that Widmore told him that Desmond was a failsafe, Jacob's last resort in case NotLocke managed to kill all the candidates, to make sure that NotLocke never leaves this place. But now, NotLocke has a new plan: He's going to find Desmond, and Desmond's going to help him destroy the Island.

That Sideways Timeline

Desmond's on a mission. We don't quite know what the mission is, but he's definitely on it. While eating breakfast with Claire and David (who wants to make sure that Jack doesn't act all weird when he sees David's mother at his big concert tonight), Desmond calls Jack, posing as an Oceanic employee who says they found his cargo. Also, Jack has one of those weird scratches on his neck again.

Next up: Locke and Ben. Sitting in his car, Desmond watches Locke wheel across the parking lot. Ben recognizes Desmond as the man who ran Locke over. Desmond gets out and calmly starts beating up Ben. "I will not let you hurt Mr. Locke again," Ben insists. "I'm not here to hurt him," Desmond says between punches. "I'm here to help him let go." Ben's confusion is interrupted by a flash of getting beaten up by Desmond in another timeline.

Locke finds Ben getting stitched up in the nurse's office. Locke's all for calling the police, but Ben dissuades him: The man had told him that he wasn't trying to hurt Locke; he was trying to help him let go -- "and for some reason, I believe him." This all clearly means something to Locke.

Alex runs into the injured Dr. Linus, declares him unfit to drive, and points out her mother's car. Her mother -- who is, of course, Danielle Rousseau -- is happy to meet the famed Dr. Linus, and agrees with Alex that he should come over for dinner. "We insist, even if we have to kidnap you."

After dinner at the Rousseau residence, Danielle explains that Alex's father died when she was 2, which is probably why she's so attached to Ben: With the interest he's taken in her, he's the closest thing Alex to a father that Alex has ever had. Ben gets all misty, though he lamely blames it on the onions. "I'll put in less next time," Danielle says. And though we don't know the exact context, we know there will be a next time.

Locke goes to see Jack and runs down the list of coincidences that seem to connect them. (I don't know why he's so surprised that Jack turned out to be his doctor; there can't be that many spinal surgeons on staff at the only hospital in all of Los Angeles.) The man who showed up at the school today said that he was there to help Locke let go, and that's exactly what Jack said to Locke the last time they saw each other. So maybe all of this happened for a reason. Anyway, Locke's ready to get out of the chair.

Desmond turns himself in at the police station (where Sawyer's declining MIles' invitation to that night's concert at the museum, what with the possibility of running into Charlotte). Sawyer puts Desmond in a holding cell with Sayid and next to Kate. Desmond is very, very happy to see them. Sawyer returns to send them all off to the county lockup. He seems to consider Kate's pleas to let her go, but soon enough, they're all in the transport van. Desmond announces that it's time to leave, that the driver knows where to stop, and that when that happens, the others are going to have to give him their trust. Kate and Sayid are very in.

So the van stops, the door opens, and it's -- Ana Lucia. They're on a dock, I think. Ana Lucia uncuffs them as Hurley drives up with the bribe money. He recognizes Ana Lucia, but she doesn't recognize Hurley. Desmond and Hurley quickly work out that Sayid will go with Hurley, and Kate will go with Desmond in Hurley's Camaro. (Ana Lucia? "She's not ready yet.") Kate's all, "Wha?" Desmond hands her a black dress and announces that they're going to a concert.

Well. This should be good. Whatever happens in the finale, at least we'll have some fine music -- played, doubtless, by David, Daniel and Charlie; observed by everyone who was on the original flight, plus David's mother -- who I think we're all assuming is Juliet.

Four days. Start reviewing.

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