Friday, January 8

There's No Place Like Home (S4, eps. 12 & 13)

The Rewatch Column for the Season 4 finale, "There's No Place Like Home" has been moved for your reading pleasure on


  1. I think the show might have flubbed the part where Sun has two people to blame for Jin's death. As we learn in Season 5, Locke never visited Sun because of his promise to Jin. Thats why Ben steals the ring after he murders Locke as well. I have no idea why Sun blames Ben, but I dont think the show will ever explain it appropriately. Everyone who got off the island never knew about the trigger attached to Keamy.

  2. Hey, great column. After watching through the series for the first time over the past few months, it's a great way to make connections with clues that were given early.
    I just wanted to comment on how Widmore's insistence on Ben being kept alive and all of the ambiguous "rules" of their conflict reminded me of the truce between the hostiles and Dharma in season five. This also is reflective of the Jacob/MiB conflict and its apparent rules.
    All three of these conflicts seem to have rules, whether they are clearly spelled out or not to each party. I was always under the assumption that when Ben is upset about Widmore "changing the rules," that it wasn't necessarily because there was a hard and fast line they agreed not to cross. Maybe Ben just assumed that was the line they had an unspoken agreement not to cross. This is one of the few times we see Ben genuinely shocked by an outcome, and it seems to me that his shock comes from his rare misjudgment of the situation.
    In each of these conflicts with their rules of war, specific or ambiguous, each party is actively trying to bend or break those rules, find a way around the rules without the other party catching on. This is most evident in season five with the construction of The Swan.
    It makes me wonder if the rules in the Widmore/Linus conflict and the Jacob/MiB conflict are similarly not rules of science or nature but maybe rules are of their own construct, kept out of a mutual interest or truce.

  3. Another terrific column, Morse!

    Regarding Ben leaving the Island: I always assumed Ben left specifically to kill Penny in retaliation for Alex. I think he figured he could find a way back one way or another and that the important thing was to make Widmore hurt.

    Just finished re-watching season 5...can't wait to read your take on things.

  4. Loved this installment (The column and the episode). I rewatched all of Season 5 on Wednesday with my friends, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it. Thoughts on this episode/column:

    The Season 5 premiere led me to believe that Widmore had a controlling interest in Oceanic, given that he had Sun's name flagged on the Oceanic computers and had her taken back to meet with him. That could explain some of the "huge settlement", because it's also been implied that Widmore is extremely rich.

    Sun blaming Ben for Jin's "death" didn't sit well with me. It's one of the couple S4 finale continuity issues that carries over into S5 and started to annoy me. There's no way she should know about his altercation with Keamy. (Another continuity issue brought up early in S5: Characters like Faraday inexplicably knowing that Ben turned the wheel.)

    I too am curious about what exactly Widmore wanted with Ben. In S5, he says it's because he wanted to clear the path for Locke as the leader, and that didn't seem truthful to me. It's probably not to prevent Jacob's murder, because Bram (One of the Shadow Company/Super Others/Jacob's Quad) tells Miles in S5 that working for Widmore puts him on the wrong side of the conflict/war.

    Locke's gone on about the Oceanic survivors having a specific reason for being brought to the Island, and I can't wait to see what it is. That line has been said over and over again, but (up until the time-traveling), that path hasn't been shown to them.

    On moving the Island: How does Ben know about the wheel, and what it does? Seems from what they've shown that anyone who would know the details of that wouldn't be able to convey it to the Others, because turning the wheel transports them to Tunisia.

    I enjoyed Ben knowing Jack would show up at Hoffs/Drawler, and (outside of his horror film jump) Jack generally not being surprised that he's there.

    As far as I can tell, this is the first cannon reference to a connection between Widmore and Mr. Paik. The Lost Experience brought it up a couple times though.

  5. I've never been entirely clear on what was going on with the secondary protocol and Daniel either, but I just go with the assumption that he knew it hinged around the Orchid station, and that the things that could be done there could have some unpleasant consequences for the people left on the island. From what I remember, Daniel doesn't seem very surprised when the time jump starts, so he was probably hoping he could himself and Charlotte out of there before they started.

    And in regards to Ben's plan - I think the original line was in reference to his plan to get away from the mercenaries, a plan he had set into place with his mirror conversation with The Others. Why he actually turned the wheel is kind of a tough question. Croubieu has an interesting point, I guess it could have just been to go after Penny. But that would seem to put him in an unnecessarily disadvantaged position, when he could have otherwise stayed on the island and do things Widmore style by sending some hitmen after Penny.

    I think it more has to do with Ben's mental state at the time. In the last quarter of season four (after Alex's death), Ben is much more resigned and martyr-ish than he is at any other point during Lost (except maybe the end of season five). His interaction with Locke over these few episodes suggests that he feels both guilty and abandoned, and I think he turns the wheel out guilt and out of an honest belief (at the time, at least) that the Island doesn't particularly like him anymore. It's always hard to tell with Ben, but the "I hope your happy now, Jacob" and the tears seemed pretty genuine, and there would be no particular reason for him to put on an act for an empty chamber.

  6. Great points, Katie. Very astute observations, in my opinion.

  7. Sun did talk to Michael, who told her he was on the boat because of Ben. She already believed Ben to be an evil force who ordered aggressive acts that threatened to take her and her unborn baby. Jin also knew this and it, along with Juliet's urging that the island kills pregnant women, motivated Jin to ensure that Sun (and he) got on that boat. Sun also knew that there was a massive bomb that threatened the boat that Ben had placed a spy on (The boat was Ben's enemy). She knew her husband, Desmond and Michael worked fervently to hold it off but ultimately failed. Seems like it was a pretty natural leap for a grief-stricken woman to attribute this treachery to the man responsible for terrorizing them on the island for the last 108 days.

    As it turns out, she was right.

  8. I think the "Two people are responsible for his death and you are one of them..." lines that Sun gave to her dad in the Season finale was to leave open the question. Who else is she gunning for? Desmond? Jack?

    It was sort of tough enough envisioning and accepting her as a murderous revenge-seeking assassin. At least by targeting Ben, the audience likely found it a little easier to swallow that storyline, before she got on a plane and the whole thing was swept under the rug and she spent the rest of the season making small talk with the same Ben Linus.

  9. Miles,

    I appreciate the connections you draw as to why Sun would blame Ben. I still feel it was weakly portrayed and after a strong Season 4 ending for Sun her Season 5 character was greatly underdeveloped. I file the Sun blaming Ben under the same file as Desmond claiming to have foreseen Claire leave the island on a helicopter as plots points that on re-watch that bug me.

  10. Edward, Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that i think this was obvious. Actually I thought it out for the first time when I read the above and considered how Sun might have blamed Ben. And I really felt disconnected from Sun this season after finding her character to be one of the most compelling and surprising through the course of the show. I'm hoping that she'll have a stronger season to follow that (much like Sawyer had a strong Season 5 after largely sitting on the sidelines through much of Season 4).

    The Sun/Ben discrepancy doesn't bother me as much as the conflicting timeline accounts between Locke's return and everyone else's experience with Jeremy Bentham. For example, he never mentioned that name to Walt, but Walt called him that when he went to go see Hurley at Santa Rosa. Jack started flying on a Friday, right after Locke saw him in the hospital, Locke died, Jack flew for a month more and then saw a death notice (actually Ben must have placed that notice...) and then went to the funeral seemingly a month after Locke died.

    Regarding Claire, my only thought is that at some point she will get on a helicopter and leave. OR.. Maybe Desmond didn't see the future at all. Maybe he was seeing other timelines.

  11. I feel that Locke visited the other Oceanics a few times, but we got a "greatest hits" recap of all of his visits. It would be tremendously pathetic for him to want to kill himself after just breifly meeting with all of those who left the island once. Who takes no for an answer that easily when friends are dying and you think you can save them. I feel his time off the island was longer than the condensed version we saw in the Bentham episode.

  12. Seems that since Hurley's super-rich, he should give some of that cash to Walt and his grandmother. That boy's been through a lot.

    Locke's already acting like the leader of the Others. The way he asks Jack to stat sounds more like a formal invitation, like the Island is his. It's a great scene. If you think about it, Jack and Locke haven't had any real screen time together since Season 2. There's a lot going on here.

    Why doesn't Miles want to leave? He's got over $1 million in his bank account.

    I watched this on Hulu after it first aired (and today), headphones on, and I can hear Sawyer say "I have a daughter off the Island. Find her and tell her I'm sorry." So that business wasn't a mystery for me at all.

    Sayid says Locke's been dead for two days. Did they find him two days ago, or did he actually die two days ago? Either way, it still doesn't jive with the timeline they lay down.

    I wonder how Sun's mother reacted to her takeover of Mr. Paik's company.

    I love how Lost juxtaposes moments of triumph with moments of tragedy. Case in point: Locke finally the leader of the Others, about to get some answers, finally "home." Then he's in a coffin.