LOST 6×16 “What They Died For”

May 19, 2010 · Print This Article

It has really started now.  LOST is really ending.  We are well on our way and by this time Sunday night it will be done.  The tone of this penultimate episode had a totally different feel to it.  Either the music or the camera work or both produced a whole new feel to this episode.  The end of LOST will be distinct.  I will think of nothing else until Sunday.


There is no time left, and things are finally happening on the island that reflects that.  Characters are being unceremoniously killed off.  MIB/Flocke is actually stating what he wants and is going to do.  Jack is Jacob’s replacement.  Ben has given in to complete evil.  There is not even time for a glass of lemonade anymore.


  • The look of fear in Richard’s eyes when the call of the smoke monster rang out
  • The look of anguish on Sawyer’s face when he accepted he caused Sun, Jin and Sayid’s deaths
  • The compassion Jack showed by insisting it was MIB/Flocke’s fault their friends were dead
  • Alex’s gravesite scene
  • The explanation for why MIB/Flocke is not just smoking around all the time
  • Perhaps a final LOST campfire scene, always loved the look of them
  • Jack manning up
  • Hurley’s honesty that he was glad it was not him
  • Jacob’s reasoning for Kate being or not being a candidate still, funny
  • Hurley has a badass classic Camero
  • Desmond’s whimsical and methodical plan unfolding in the flash-sideways
  • The very purposeful direction of every reveal in the episode


  • Widmore so unceremoniously killed
  • Richard to unceremoniously killed
  • Ben going over to MIB/Flocke’s side so quickly and completely

I guess Miles must have let Desmond out of the well because I saw no one else having any time to do it.  Unless Sayid did it right after he was supposed to kill him.

Dirty Tina Fey just got dropped, I can imagine there were some cheers somewhere at that occurrence.

What snapped in Ben so that he just blindly is willing to do whatever MIB/Flocke wants him to do?  First he said Ben could have the island once he leaves.  However, by the end of the ep MIB/Flocke said he was going to destroy the island.  Why would Ben then continue to help MIB/Flocke?

What weapons can Jack, now the same as Jacob, wield to protect the heart of the island against MIB/Flocke?

The writers did a very good job of not merely making this penultimate episode a setup episode for the series finale.  Enough concrete answers were given, enough happened on island and in the flash-sideways to make this a very satisfying episode on its own.

And now after six years we have but the final act left.  Truly, it will be the last great genre event for me in the foreseeable future if not forever.  They ended one-by-one in the past decade, Star Wars, then Harry Potter, and now the last remnants of my fandom will flame out when I presume the LOST title booms onto the screen at 11:30pm Sunday.  I am ready.

UPDATE:  I really liked seeing Rousseau again.  Great scene with her and Alex.  I even liked seeing Anna Lucia again.  Bring them all back!


11 Responses to “LOST 6×16 “What They Died For””

  1. on May 19th, 2010 7:57 AM

    Can’t ask for much more in the penultimate episode. I gave it fives stars just because they could not have executed any better for that episode. Good pacing. Lots of answers. Fun in the sideways universe. Tina Fey getting taken out…

    To list what I liked:
    -Ben walking the line between good and evil on both sides of the side flashes. I still think Ben has one more betrayal of Locke up his sleeve.
    -Miles choosing survival
    -The last campfire
    -Sawyer and Jack
    -Jack and Locke in the side flash. It seems the concert is the big moment for the finale but could Jack saving Locke also have something to do with it?
    -Jack and son responding to pregnant Claire. Made me laugh.
    -Desmond’s plan
    -Hurley’s Camero
    -“Oh, Hey Anna Lucia”
    -Ben and Rosseau . Actually, I have to give her credit. She was kind of foxy. Er, in an older woman sort of way
    -Alex too in an “I’m sure the actress is older than the character” sort of way
    -Richard getting what he wanted… sort of
    -“He doesn’t get to save his daughter” was really chilling.
    -“You were all like me”

    Things I didn’t like:
    -Richard (maybe?), Lepidus (unless he’s not dead), Widmore all dying before the end
    -I thought (still kind of hope) that Sawyer was going to be the one. I guess it had to be Jack but…
    -No Jin and Sun even in the flash sideways.

    Biggest question:
    What is the purpose of the concert in sideways land?

    The concert is definitely going to have the following characters:
    Widmore, Penny, Desmond, Faraday, Eloise, Jack, Desmond, Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Dr. Chang, Charlotte, Jack’s ex-wife (Juliet??), Charlie
    It will probably have:
    Sayid, Hurley, Libby, Dogen, Claire
    It could logically have:
    Sun/Jin, Locke, Ben, Boone

    What is the point of all these people being together? Should Jacob or the Monster kill them all?


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Ah yeah, forgot that Richard did want to die. I would say he’s dead for good.

    It will indeed no doubt be one helluva concert!

    So here is something, if the ash is part of Jacob’s body, and Ben was pretty much actually meeting up with MIB the whole time, not Jacob, and what we thought was Jacob’s cabin was surrounded by ash, how could it be MIB since it seems he cannot get past the ash? Or was there a slight break in the ash?

    Yeah, Ben went hardcore with the he doesn’t get to save his daughter line. As full of malice as a statement can get.


  2. on May 20th, 2010 2:18 AM

    Pretty much a 5 star episode in my mind, except for 2 things that bothered me.

    First thing: Um, Ben killed Widmore. Uhh, I thought this was against the rules? And no explanation of why Ben could suddenly break them. Did I miss something?

    Second was Locke saying he would destroy the island after kind of promising it to Ben.

    However these two points weren’t enough to mar its 5 star status for me.

    High points, and there were many
    -Rousseau finally making an appearance, and being hot! Don’t need to dance around it Jei! Just say it like it is! (Alex too is damn hot, though I’ve always thought so.)

    -Locke finally being a total badass. Really, what took so long?? Seems a bit weird that he didn’t kill people before, or was waiting for them to kill each other in some weird episode filling way, but there doesn’t seem to be any restraint on him now. Took Richard out without even saying ‘hi’. Speaking of Richard, it was weird to give him a whole ep. before when he gets killed so ruthlessly and unceremoniously.

    -Jack finally manning up and becoming a character I like. FINALLY! I hated Jack for so long, maybe all through seasons 2-4, but Jack is the ‘one’, and the role suits him.

    -All the acting from Ben in this ep. Amazing character really. Not sure if I like him becoming evil again, but maybe, like someone mentioned above, he’s got something up his sleeve.

    -Sawyer quietly grieving, not going off on some self pitying rage as you’d expect him to after realizing that he killed Sun and Jin.

    -The end of the mannish chick with glasses, though she had a good death scene, even Richard didn’t get that much screen time!

    -The end of Widmore! I never liked him, (I blame him for Alex like Ben does) but even up until the last moment I was wondering if they were going to have some cheesy way for him to escape his doom. Glad that Lost didn’t wimp out on that though.

    -Miles escaping with his life yet again!! haha.

    I’m with you Jei in that I was kind of hoping Sawyer would be the ‘one’, as that would be a great twist ending for the show, all of us thinking it will be Jack. How about this? Jack gets killed by Flocke in the finale but manages to make Sawyer the one before dying?

    Still wondering how many more are going to die though in the finale. So we have: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Miles, Ben, and Desmond still alive (Richard and Frank are both dead I’m sure, not enough time left for Lost to give them comeback scenes I think) There might be a few other random minor characters around, but they’re not important and I doubt they’ll make a final appearance.

    The only characters we haven’t seen now are Eco, Shannon and Juliet. Will they show up?

    I’m predicting at least a few more deaths before the end, probably Sawyer and maybe even Kate. Miles might make it the whole way a la Wedge in Star Wars, but I doubt it. Ben also, I predict will fall, but not after sacrificing himself somehow. The only character I just can’t see dying is Hurley, he’s just to big, soft and pure to kill.

    See you all one last time this Sunday!


    Jason Collin Reply:

    I was thinking sometime after watching the ep that well, there it is, Jack will be left alone on the island with everyone else returning to the mainland, MIB will be defeated, wow what a neat and tidy ending. Then I was like, umm, I do not think LOST will end so neat and tidy.

    So I bet the odds are that if Jack does remain in the Jacob role, there will be significant Van-damage between now and then. Jacob still hasn’t said how MIB can be killed/stopped, we only know the island can contain him.

    This also just made me think of the symmetry with Desmond/Kelvin being in the hatch all that time keeping the island safe, but always waiting for their own replacement. They wanted to not be in their job forever. Maybe the show will end with Jack alone on the island with MIB/Flocke as he begins his own first recruiting of his replacement, i.e. the show ends with Jack on the beach eyeing a plane going down.

    I have a feeling we won’t see Ecco again. Shannon and Juliet, well Juliet definitely as I am sure she will be Jack’s estranged/ex wife.

    Think about it though Can, if the writers wanted to end the show with maximum emotional punch, the death of Hurley would be the hardest for any fan to take. The writers have not really ever put Hurley in the sacrifice role before, he is often protected by the other characters, save for a few times he got badass and saved them (i.e. driving the van to the beach in the s2 or s3 finale was it?).

    It still could be Desmond maybe too ending up as Jacob’s full-time replacement, but my feeling is making Jack the replacement and then having him perform that ritual virtually the next day on someone else, I cannot see that happening. So either MIB is destroyed and the island can be left alone, or Jack stays in his role with the others staying with him because as candidates they cannot be killed.

    Unless, now that Jack has taken on Jacob’s powers, is the candidate status the others enjoy revoked and thus they are able to be killed by MIB? That would be very intriguing? Like MIB shows up and Sawyer says, go to hell fool, I know you can’t kill us, and MIB says, oh really? Smokes out and takes out Sawyer, then the hunt is on for the rest of them with Jack scrambling to protect them.

    I believe the scientific term to describe Rousseau’s hotness in the ep is “cougar.” Alex used to be horse faced and awkward, but now she is looking like a brunette exotic semi-goddess type.

    Hmmm, maybe Hurley is going to die. Am starting to feel it. That is the event that gives Jack the strength to be able to take out MIB.


    Jei Reply:

    Yes, Cougar is right.

    And Miles as Wedge is a great idea. Betcha Hurley says it too.


  3. on May 20th, 2010 10:10 AM

    Great episode, 5 stars. Many of the great scenes have already been commented on above, so it’s hard to add anything. Thoughts:

    – Did anyone mention how cool Desmond was? Gotta love him playing the Jacob/manipulator role, shuffling his pieces into position for the big concert. Love his manner as he goes about it, casual, self-amused, supremely confident.

    – It didn’t even occur to me that Ben was going over to the dark side. What would be the point? He already accepted redemption at the hands of Ilyana. He already turned down Locke’s offer to go to Hydra island. To then have all that important character arc stuff just turned off and backslide to wanting power again would be ridiculous. His character reached a peak with the understanding that it was his lust for power that got Alex killed. He blames his lust for power for her death. No way he’d just become that guy again.

    So the only way I interpreted his actions was as triage. He knew Widmore was gonna get killed, so used his death to inveigle himself into Locke’s confidence. He knows Locke will believe he (Ben) wants the island, and wants Widmore dead, because Locke believes the worst of everyone. So he is playing Locke.

    Think about it- what he says after shooting Widmore- ‘he doesn’t get to save his daughter’. That is a staged line, for Locke’s benefit. He only did it in a- the hopes that Widmore would not help Locke and b- it would deepen him into Locke’s confidence.

    If he’d really wanted Penny dead, as that line seems to suggest, he’d have done it when he had the chance back at the jetty.

    The same with Widmore. It seems there is no hard law stopping him from killing Widmore, so he ‘could’ have done it way back when he was in Widmore’s office. He just chose not to, it would seem out of respect for a law of the Others.

    No, Ben is trying to set Locke up, no doubt in my mind.

    – The line about ‘I thought I was summoning the monster, but he was summoning me’, I think is not meant to be taken directly. Ben said before that he never saw Jacob, never even thought he saw Jacob. I don’t think he was lying then. So he never saw Jacob, or anybody pretending to be Jacob. All he meant by the ‘summon me’ thing was that in the long run, MIB was setting him up to be Jacob’s assassin. No more than that. Also, that the one time he did summon the smoke monster, his daughter ended up dead and that was the final bit of manipulation that MIB used to get Ben to follow LOcke and kill JAcob.

    (In the under-temple, smoke monster appeared as Alex and ordered him to follow Locke, playing off his guilt at her death. A manipulation, started with the the summonsing pool)

    – Desmond says he’s only trying to help Locke ‘let go’. Is this really about letting go of his guilt over his dead father, or is it actually about letting go of his too-firm grip on this single reality? Everything Desmond is doing seems to be aimed at getting the Losties to remember their alt-lives. He’s clearly succeeded with Hurley, who seems to know everything from the island (including Ana Lucia). Now he’s working on Locke, get him to let his consciousness go.

    What does this remind us of?

    ‘Only fools are enslaved by time and space’

    Desmond is trying to un-enslave them, get them able to operate across dimensions. Presumably because then they can better fight MIB. In that it seems wheelchair Locke is bound to play a significant role.

    – Makes me happy to see Jack and his son getting along.

    – Also makes me happy to see Jack stepping up to the plate to be the protector.

    – Seems like MIB/Locke will succeed in destroying the island, since in the sideways flashes we saw the island sunk (with no trace of magic light) at the bottom of the ocean. He will somehow succeed, perhaps even with Desmond doing his fail-safe bit again and neutralizing the light, but in the process MIB will escape.

    Then the baton will be passed to the sideways people, and the truly big showdown will happen in the concert hall. No clear idea of how that will happen, but will probably involve lots of flash-backing and forwardsing, perhaps showing us pivotal moments from throughout the show but from a different angle, to make us realize there was a plan all along.

    Those flashbacks and forwards will crescendo, perhaps even with MIB’s mom getting involved, and for one blissful moment he’ll get to see and experience the outside world.

    Then he’ll die, the time strands will suck themselves back into continuity, and we may well be left with the shot of Jack on the beach looking out to the ocean, just as we can all imagine. Perhaps off-camera we hear a woman’s voice, maybe Kate, and we get to feel good that in that reality he’s not truly alone.

    Hmm. Can’t wait for the finale. Have to agree with Jason though that there is no other genre event foreseeable to compare with LOST. I’m sure one will come, but there’s nothing even close yet.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    No way do I believe Ben’s wicked line, “he doesn’t get to save his daughter” was staged at all. He may or may not have gone to the dark side with MIB/Flocke, but for sure he meant those words 100% and has long held malice toward Widmore for breaking the rules and going after family.

    Desmond getting Locke to let go could be two fold, or maybe one fold. I think he definitely is trying to get Locke to remember the past like Hurley and Libby did (with their kiss), so maybe fixing his legs in surgery is the catalyst that will help Locke remember (so two fold), but it would have to be quick as I do not think there is much time before the concert!

    It is sad, isn’t it? No more genre events? Seems more and more unlikely one will just come out of the woodwork either. Things are not setup for that anymore. They can be seen coming and analyzed to death too far in advance. I guess maybe the sequel to the Dark Knight could be the next big genre event, but that is unpredictable. TV shows are of course highly predictable, seasons come and go on a schedule. We knew there were going to be 7 HP books, we knew three movies each for SW prequels and LOTR movies.

    Basically, it is about having a rabid fanbase and what is going to be the next thing? Maybe it’s over. I’d like to see Harry of AICN write an article on this topic, or maybe rather Hercules as Harry does not care much for TV I think.


    MJG Reply:

    I’m not as pessimistic about the future of big fan events, in fact I’ve no doubt there’ll be more. Twilight is one, though just not for our demographic. LOST came into being in a matter of weeks- so totally came out of the woodwork. Possibly the coming Avengers movie- combo-ing all the Marvel comic heroes from Hulk, Iron Man, etc…

    As to whether there is the setup for it or not, I think there’s more set up for it than ever. Ideas may get carefully scrutinized more closely before being greenlit, but you’d have a hard time arguing there are fewer ideas around today.

    Something will come to the top, and soon. One thought is- perhaps there’s only room for one big event at any one time. The current one is LOST. The fanbase will find something else to latch onto after it’s done.


  4. on May 23rd, 2010 5:40 AM

    I just want to say on the eve of the finale (for me at least, since I’m watching Monday night in Tokyo) that one of the most exciting things has been to come to Jason’s site and read everyone’s responses.

    Whatever comes next, I will miss this particular interaction, especially since it’s hard to see a lot of you guys because of our schedules/locations etc.

    Anyway — whether the ending is 5 stars or 2, I’ve enjoyed the run so here’s to a satisfying conclusion and to seeing you on the other side.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Meant to make my comment below a reply to you Jei . . . .


  5. on May 23rd, 2010 10:55 AM

    Great comment Jei. A lot of things will end tonight, as you pointed out, the last time for us to all come together and discuss things. With us being physically and otherwise apart at least we had a weekly check in from late winter to late spring, but that will abruptly end this week. Will we find a new way to stay in touch? Who knows. Maybe a movie club or something.

    Just read an article on LOST in my local paper, the St. Petersburg Times, and it did an excellent job of reviewing the show as a whole, describing why we loved it, and putting it in its place in television/entertainment history.

    Regarding the latter, it basically said, as we have also, that LOST is the last of its kind. In its wake many shows tried to use time travel and science fiction in their plots, but they all have fallen to the wayside. LOST showed that after The X-Files and Buffy that there was still demand for serialized, if not series long at least season long mysteries. Now a show like LOST can no longer be supported as people are not willing to invest the time it takes. Hence the illness that is the current prime time TV lineup.

    A six year long story? Unfortunately, I really do not think we will see it again on network television. Certainly at least not on the scale of LOST, with its budget and network support. Maybe something underground. Maybe something on HBO, but six years?

    What will we have to look forward to after tonight? It will be the first time in the genre fan’s life nothing major to look forward to, at least for me.

    That said, I could not be more stoked for the finale of LOST tonight. That article has gotten me into the mindset. The writer also mentioned how important “choice” will come into play, as the show has always been about choice, and we saw how large it was just last episode, with Jacob giving the core characters something he was never given, a choice to take on his role or not.

    No doubt choice will play a huge role in the finale.

    So I wonder, whose choice will it all ultimately come down to? It was already Locke’s choice to not push the button that caused the first real on island disaster at the end of season 2. Followed immediately by Desmond’s choice to turn on the failsafe. Jack’s choice to leave the island. Jack’s choice to return to the island. Ben’s choice to kill Jacob.

    I see the ultimate decision that will govern the fate of all coming down to either Jack, Desmond or Ben. Ben will be to kill the smoke monster. Jack perhaps has already made his just by taking Jacob’s role. Desmond’s choice may mean never seeing Penny again but by being the failsafe he’ll save her and everyone else in the process. Getting all emotional just thinking about the possibilities.

    I am going into this as the last great genre event of my life.

    I played the LOST numbers in last night’s lottery, not a single one came up!


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