Monday, May 11, 2009

S5Ep15 - Follow the Leader

Hello my dear friends –

What's nice about flashback-free, heavy-on-the-action episodes like “Follow the Leader” is that they’re a blast to watch, yet easy to dissect. Which is especially good news for me, since – as those of you connected to me on Facebook and/or Twitter know – the lower level of my condo flooded with nasty sewer water two hours before the show came on last Wednesday, and I've been dealing with the cleanup ever since. I'm pretty sure Smokey had something to do with it.

Rather than focusing on any one character, the penultimate episode of Season Five spent all of its time on the Island, switching back and forth between the events of 1977 and those of the present day (by Lost’s calendar). I’m going to cover the scenes set in the past first, then the Locke-driven segments, and then end by slightly amending the Finale Theories I included in my last post.


The hour began just like “The Variable” ended, with Faraday getting shot in the back by his dear old mum. This time, we saw it from Jack and Kate’s perspective out in the jungle. After Kate convinced her ex that charging the Hostiles’ camp in a blind rage was not a good idea, they tried to make a run for it. Unfortunately, Jack soon experienced the Charles Widmore version of a “drive-by,” and was knocked to the ground when his skull became closely acquainted with the butt of a rifle.

After bringing the spoils of his hunt back to camp, Widmore’s dreams of toying with his prisoners were dashed when Eloise informed him that Jack and Kate were not from the Dharma Initiative, despite their snazzy jumpsuits. She ordered her lackeys to take the captives to her tent. And while Jack and Kate waited for Eloise to arrive, things got reeaaaallly interesting.

Why? Because Kate asked The Mad Doctor what he hoped to accomplish by following Faraday’s plan, and his response was something along the lines of, “Erase the last three years – which, by the way, includes meeting you.” He argued that “enough" of that time was out-and-out misery. Kate – rightfully offended -- was like, “You can live your life over and over and over until the end of time, but you will never have anyone as good as me ever again – bastard!”

But honestly, though, I don’t think that Kate’s incredulity stemmed only from thinking about the brief time she was romantically involved with Jack off of the Island. Let’s not forget that for the better part of those three years, she was Aaron’s mom, and she’s now smart enough to realize that that experience was perhaps the most positive thing in her life – one that she didn’t want any part in annihilating. Then, of course, there was also the flash of fear in her eyes when Jack mentioned the possibility of Flight 815 landing in LA as it was "supposed" to in September 2004. Being hauled off to jail by the smug marshal isn’t exactly a scenario that Kate would want to transpire.

And so, the two were at an impasse.

Now, you all know that I don’t give a flying Hot Pocket about the love quadrangle, but I have to say that things are not looking good for anyone out there who’s still hoping for “Jate” to prevail. From Kate’s point of view, why would she ever want to be with a man who just said that he’d like to erase all memory of her? To erase from existence every experience they had together? If any Jaters would like to flame me, all I ask is that you at least include an answer to that question along with your rant.


Jack and Kate’s little scuffle came to an end when Eloise arrived and Jack had to try to tell her what was going on. “Your son… he took off his tie. A tie that had special protective powers. Removing it was an accident -- an accident I think we can undo.”

Because Hawking remembered capturing Dan – with his tie on – in 1954, she was sold. Her own handwriting in Dan’s journal didn’t hurt, either.

Now it was just a matter of informing Charles of her plans to head out into the jungle with Richard and the two strangers who had just been caught spying on the Hostiles’ camp. Charles not-so-subtly placed a protective hand on Eloise’s stomach, and whispered something about her “condition” as he urged her in hushed tones to reconsider. The general consensus is that Hawking is pregnant with Daniel in 1977 (unlike what I guessed in my last post -- that he was most likely already born). That would mean that Faraday was eighteen or nineteen years old when he was a professor in 1996… which is I suppose is plausible since we learned in “The Variable” that he was the youngest doctorate to graduate from Oxford. I never really thought that he was five or six years younger than Charlotte, though… but whatever.

Quite frankly, I’m not really interested in sweating the details of these sorts of timelines anymore. But I should probably mention that the only other guesses for who Eloise could be pregnant with are: a) Penny (though most people don’t think that’s the case, as Ben indicated that having a child with “an outsider” was cause for Widmore’s banishment over a decade later, and Eloise is not an outsider), or b) some other character that is yet to be revealed or that we may have already met.

Pregnant or not, Eloise was hellbent on following her future son’s journal instructions. So the foursome made their way to the “pond entrance” of the chamber where Jughead had been stowed away. But that was as far as Kate was willing to go. She probably had time to think about her exchange with Jack while they traipsed through the bush, and she realized that she had to bring in reinforcements to try and stop him. She took about three steps before a shot rang out. (How many of you thought she’d been hit? I did.) And then another. He of the Black Tank Top to the rescue! The funny thing is that although I’d seen Sayid in the previews for this episode, I was completely surprised when he popped out from behind a tree, gun blazing. Needless to say, I was happy that he’s now reunited with a few of his old peeps.

OK, so maybe Sayid's just back with one of the 815ers. There was really no convincing Kate to stay, especially after she heard that Sayid was disappointed Little Ben had survived. This time, Eloise and Richard were just like, “Ah, what the hell,” when Ms. Austen stomped back toward Dharmaville.


First off, let me just say that I would’ve definitely been a goner had my life depended on swimming through the underground tunnel that led to Jughead’s chamber. So kudos to Richard, Eloise, Jack and Sayid for having the lung capacity to get the job done. But are we really supposed to believe that they’re now somewhere directly underneath the Barracks? The tunnel was long… but it wasn’t that long. Maybe they’ve just crossed over to the outer-boundaries of Dharma’s land or something.

Regardless, I guess all that really matters is that Jughead was where Hawking said it would be. It wasn’t technically "buried" as Daniel had instructed in 1954, though. On that note, it’s a complete mystery as to how the bomb got to its present location in the first place.

JACK: You wanna tell me how we're gonna get a bomb out of here?
RICHARD: The same way we brought it in.
JACK: I assume you don't mean through the pool.
RICHARD: It's a 12-foot long, 40,000-pound hydrogen bomb. No, not through the pool.

I’m assuming that the finale will reveal how Jughead was transported to its current location, but in the meantime my guess is that Smokey had something to do with it. We already know how he likes those underground chambers.

Before we revisit what the rest of the 1977ers were up to in this episode, let me share my conflicted thoughts on Ms. Eloise Hawking. From everything we’ve seen of her gray-haired version, we can deduce that she believes that the past cannot be changed – or that it would be disastrous to try to do so. She was upset when she thought Des might veer from his predetermined path when she met him in the antiques store in “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” And she knew she was sending her son to death – by her own hand – when she encouraged him to take Widmore up on his job offer, but she still went through with telling him to go.

However, the forty-year-old version of Ellie clearly believed that there was a way to change the past. She was desperate to turn back time in order to save her son – desperate enough to help Jack attempt to detonate Jughead.

So why the drastic change in Ellie’s beliefs over the next thirty years of her life? Perhaps she came to learn that the universe would course-correct no matter what she did. We got the sense from “Flashes Before Your Eyes” that she’d experienced some part of a time loop over and over and over again. She had not only seen Desmond enter the antique store before, but had also witnessed the man in the red shoes be crushed by scaffolding, or killed in some other way, countless times. (How else would she know he was going to die?) Similarly, she learned the hard way that despite all of her attempts to change the past, she always ended up killing her son. And – more importantly – she realized that doing so was necessary for the greater good. Daniel had to die in order for the "right" chain of events to unfold. The frustrating part is that we Lost fans still don't know exactly what was or wasn't supposed to happen.

On a related note, everyone who hollered at me for being too tough on Ms. Hawking in my last write-up can rest assured that my feelings have softened a bit now that I’ve seen her remorse over her actions at the camp in 1977. You all know that I’ve always suspected some sort of time loop is in effect on the show, and I can’t imagine how it would feel to be a character like Eloise who may actually be fully conscious of that loop and have to experience an awful event like murdering her child – or seeing him die in some other fashion -- time and time again.

Alright, let’s head over to the Barracks, where the action was even more disturbing.


Not surprisingly, Radzinsky finally snapped and -- in his heightened state of agitation -- was able to usurp control from wimpy Horace. Yet all he could think to do was attempt to beat Sawyer into submission in order to learn what Kate did with Little Ben. Then, of course, Phil stepped in with an idea of his own about how to loosen LaFleur’s lips.

Here is one prediction I’m willing to bet on: Phil will die. Oh, yes. He will die. Not only will he die… his death will be epic.

We’ve seen Sawyer get the beat-down from multiple characters over the years, but until this episode, when Random Hostile (named “Erik” in the transcript) manhandled Kate and Phil slapped Juliet, I don’t believe we’ve ever seen such intentional violence against any of the female Losties. Sayid already blew Erik away, so now it’s only a matter of time before Snarky Phil meets his maker. Will it happen in the finale? I would think so… the interrogation scene is fresh in our minds, which would make watching Sawyer get revenge all the better. Waiting eight months for a Sawyer/Phil showdown once the series returns in early 2010 wouldn't be nearly as satisfying.



While things were escalating at the barracks, Dr. Chang spied Hurley shuffling off into the jungle to join Jin and Miles. The three men were trying to decide what to do when Chang popped out of the brush and demanded to know whether or not Faraday had been telling the truth about being from the future. I have to say that this scene -- with Hurley’s ridiculous responses to the scientist’s questions – might just be my favorite funny scene in the entire series. It’s at least in the top five. I just died when Hurley relented, “All right, dude, we're from the future. Sorry.” Classic.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a “moment” between Miles and his father once it was out in the open that they were related, but then again, Chang had to worry about getting Lara and Baby Miles the heck out of dodge. So he ran back to the Barracks and thankfully interrupted Radzinsky’s Sawyer-bashing. In return for a map to the Hostile’s camp, Radzinsky agreed to let Sawyer and Juliet leave the Island.

From the woods, Miles saw Chang force his wife (with Baby Miles in tow) onto the submarine – and being a you-know-what about it in the process. I’m glad that they showed the light bulb go off in Miles’ head as he realized what all of us had already figured for some time: “It's the only way he could get her to leave.”


Next, the Jin/Miles/Hurley trio watched as Sawyer and Juliet also boarded the sub. Hurley figured that Sawyer must have a plan and that he would surely never choose to abandon the rest of them, but I’m thinking that – based on Sawyer’s giddiness about the prospect of buying Microsoft stock and betting on the ’78 Cowboys – he had finally made peace with leaving the Island, and everyone else on it, behind.

Once in the vessel, he and Juliet shared a great moment as they mentally prepared for their new life together back in the “real world.” But – OF COURSE – no sooner had those two re-declared their love for each other than who should show up, but Kate. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who groaned out loud when she climbed down the ladder.

Since we saw the sub begin its journey, I really have no idea what’s going to happen with Kate, Sawyer and Juliet in the finale. Jack’s actions are surely going to affect all of the time-travelers; I maintain that whatever he does – or fails to do – with Jughead will be what sends them back to their rightful year. So I can’t believe that the sub’s going to get too far away from the Island before Kate talks Sawyer into finding a way to break free and return to help their friends. If I were her, I would say something like this: “Jack wants to completely erase the last three years of all of our lives. And if what he does works, the two of you will have never met and you’ll have no memory of your time together. James, you’ll be successfully deported from Sydney to LA, while Juliet will continue to be held captive on the Island by Ben. Are you guys willing to risk Jack succeeding?”

I think we all know what their answer will be.

The scene has certainly been set for some major drama to go down in 1977 during the finale. But it’s not like everyone was singing "Kumbaya" on the Island thirty years later, either...


The present-day action kicked off with Ageless Richard, who was working on one of those ship-in-a-bottle thingies. The assumption most people are making is that this must mean there’s a connection between Richard and The Black Rock (the similar looking ship that’s now resting in the middle of the jungle), whereas others just interpreted this scene as another reinforcement that Richard has a lot of time during which he can undertake such complicated hobbies.

Even though I know the mini-ship that Richard was building doesn’t look exactly like The Black Rock, I do think this scene was meant to remind us of that slave ship, as its history definitely has to be explained before the series is over.

Richard doesn’t get much further on his project, however, as he is interrupted by The Return of John Locke. Locke sure knows how to make an entrance, doesn’t he? Much like he carried his dead-father-in-a-body-bag in "The Brig," he marched up the beach with a boar slung over his shoulders when he finally returned to "his people." Only this time, he was no longer desperately seeking their approval – he knew he was their leader, and he was there to take charge.

Ben and Sun were hanging back a bit, and Ben shared with Sun that Richard’s role could be likened to an “adviser.” Interesting. Between that bit of information and some of the things that transpired later between Locke and Richard, I’m starting to get the impression that the Ageless One might not be as all-knowing or powerful as some of us had previously assumed.

All Sun cared about, though, was that Richard had been on the Island in the ‘70s. Richard confirmed that he remembered Kate and Jack from that time because he watched them die. However, he didn’t say anything about also making a deal with Kate in 2004 -- the deal that allowed her and others to leave the Island in return for saving Ben from Keamy’s men. So what's up with that? Is this proof that Whatever Happened Might Not Have Happened?

I’m going to address this in my amended finale theories section at the end of this post. For now, let’s continue on with the present-day Island scenes.


Locke got right down to business and began ordering Richard around. They immediately set off (with Ben, per Locke’s request) to help Other Locke with his gunshot wound. As Richard and Ben seemed seriously surprised to see Other Locke stumble into view, I can only assume that they really didn’t understand what had been happening to a subset of the Losties after Ben turned the FDW.

And since it was Locke who instructed Richard to tell Other Locke that he was going to have to die in order to be able to bring all of his people back, two things have been cleared up (kind of):

1) Richard wasn’t getting information from Jacob, or the Island, or anyone else when helping Other Locke. I had previously assumed that Richard had some special knowledge about what was going on with the time-travelers, and knew that the Island would not allow Locke to return after turning the FDW… unless he was dead. Now it seems that we have another "compass situation." Locke and Richard have been passing the compass back and forth over time, so it’s hard to know where the object originated. Similarly, it’s no longer clear if Locke even had to die in order to return to the Island. He just made Richard tell him that because it’s what had always happened.

2) Like Eloise, Ben might be conscious of the possible time loop. Part of me thinks that Ben killed Locke out of hatred and jealousy, and only brought him on Ajira 316 because he knew the ruse of “the Island needs everyone to come back” was the only way to convince Jack to return. In this scenario, Ben never actually thought that Locke would be resurrected, and so all of his shock at seeing his old nemesis alive again is real.

But there’s another part of me that is convinced that Ben has seen all of this play out before. He killed Locke because he knew he had to… because of the conversation he would come to witness between Locke and Richard in the future where Locke states that he must die. Yes, this is confusing, but I believe that if a character knows that they’re in the time loop, they can retain information from both past and future events in that loop. As there is clearly something that both Ben and Eloise are trying to prevent and/or ensure will happen in this loop, they have to be extremely careful about how they go about influencing other characters, and they have to be thoughtful about their own actions as well.


After they’d finished with the little “errand” of saving Other Locke, Richard, Locke and Ben returned to the Others’ camp. Aside from a group that was over at The Temple, Richard indicated that all of Locke’s new people were with them there at the beach. Hearing this, Locke called everyone over and made a big speech about how he was annoyed that they’d been taking orders from the likes of Jacob without ever seeing him. He then proceeded to invite the group with him to go pay a visit to the mysterious cabin-dweller.

This did not please Richard.

RICHARD: I'm starting to think John Locke is gonna be trouble.
BEN: Why do you think I tried to kill him?

So perhaps now is the appropriate time to address a question I’ve been getting a lot ever since “Follow the Leader” aired. Do I, Erika, the one who named her site Long Live Locke, like the “new” Locke? This may surprise you, but the answer is no. I’m not sure if I’m just freaked out because the more confident he acts, the more I’m convinced that he may be a zombie or Smokey, or if I just simply prefer the Locke who was in love with the Island and believed in destiny but wasn’t so into being “the leader.” All I can hope at this point is that his newfound confidence doesn’t end in disaster.

There’s good reason to worry. Despite what he said to Sun, Locke admitted to Ben that he had no interest in reuniting with the rest of the 815ers. His sole focus is killing Jacob. ?!?! I think Ben’s face at the end of the episode pretty much summed up the audience’s reaction: “Saaaay whhhaaaat?”

Since I’m willing to give Locke the benefit of the doubt, I can only assume that the writers were trying to trick us into believing that destroying Jacob would be “bad,” whereas it might actually be what Jacob needs. Let’s not forget that Jacob asked Locke to “help” him in “The Man Behind the Curtain.” Now that the Island seems to be whispering things in Locke’s ear, maybe The Bald One knows that this is what must be done in order to not only enable Jacob (whoever he is/was) to rest in peace, but also to ensure that the "right" side wins in the war that Widmore believes is coming to the Island. Remember, at the same time Locke is leading his peeps to confront Jacob, Ilana and Bram have taken Lapidus and the other 316ers captive and seem to be gearing up for a fight.

I have one more thought about all of this Jacob stuff, but if you don’t want to know the episode title of the finale, please skip ahead to the next bold-titled section.

Are you episode-title-avoiders gone? Good. For the rest of you, the two-hour season-ender is called “The Incident,” and of course everyone’s been assuming that it refers to the event that necessitates the building of the Countdown Timer o’ Doom at the Swan – the event that releases a ton of energy that Faraday was going to try to counteract by detonating the hydrogen bomb. Whatever Jack does may either prevent this incident… or cause it. However, now that we know Locke’s plans, what if The Killing of Jacob is actually “the incident?” I mean, obviously something’s going to happen back in 1977, too, but a lot of times the episode titles have double meanings, and so I’m pretty sure that if Locke is successful in his attempt to do away with the never-before-seen order-giver, that’s going to have some serious consequences, too.


I’m not going to paste in the three finale theories I discussed in my last post, but if you want a refresher before continuing on, you can find them here. Below I’m simply going to tweak them a bit based on things we learned in “Follow the Leader.”

1) Desmond is The Variable

As this theory is based on Desmond making the “wrong” choice at some point during his time on the Island, not much that happened in this latest episode affects it. If only Desmond can change things, then we’ll most likely see Jack fail to set off Jughead and counteract the energy release at the Swan. So it will appear that Whatever Happened, Happened… but next season we’ll see that Des can in fact set things straight. That will involve him having to return to the Island and perhaps choose a side in “the war.” So when Richard said that he watched the Losties die in 1977, that's only because it looked like they were wiped out during the energy release at the Swan, when in reality they simply disappeared as they were transported thirty years into the future.

2) Free Will Wins

Jack is successful in detonating Jughead and preventing the energy release at the Hatch site. However, that has some unintended consequences. The good (?) news is that for the versions of the 815ers that are children in 1977, they will either never get on flight 815 in September 2004, or if they do, the plane will not be brought down by Desmond failing to push the button, because the Swan will never be built in the first place. However, the bad news is that the time-traveling 815ers who are on the Island as adults in 1977 are all going to be killed by the Jughead explosion. So Richard wasn’t lying when he said that he saw them die.

Admit it – that would be a pretty crazy cliffhanger if we saw almost all of the main characters die, right? Sure, in our guts we’d be like, “There’s no way they’re going to stay dead”… but it would still be pretty shocking, especially to the millions of “normal” fans who don’t read Lost blogs or message boards and who haven’t thought about all of this stuff that much. It would definitely ensure that everyone tunes back in for the final season next winter.

However, what does that mean for Season Six? Does it mean that the Island’s version of 2008 that Ben, Locke and Sun are experiencing is one in which the Swan was never built? Is the reason (albeit another "compass-like," circular, confusing reason) why Jack, Kate, Sayid and Hurley didn't end up in 2008 with Sun when Ajira 316 landed because they were already dead in the Island's new timeline? (I really have no idea how that could be explained on the show, but I thought I would throw it out as an idea.)

There would surely be some sort of violent fan uprising if the majority of the main characters remained dead during the bulk of the final season, so I can only assume that Locke, Ben, Hawking, Desmond or Widmore would do something to turn back the clock once again. There's even a crazy theory making the rounds that all of the Losties' dead bodies from the 1977 Jughead blast are what's in Ilana and Bram's crate, and that they'll somehow be brought back to life once the crate is opened. To the people perpetuating that theory, I can only say... have another drink!

3) Destiny Wins

This theory doesn't change very much, except that it needs to account for Richard saying that he saw the 815ers die in 1977. I'll chalk his comment up to the Losties disappearing in front of Richard's eyes during a blast and he interpreted it as them getting blown to pieces and dying.

I will make one more finale prediction, and this is the one I’m standing behind more than all of the other predictions I’ve made this season: I’m completely wrong about what will happen in the finale, and the three theories above will be shot to hell by 7:15 PM CST on Wednesday, May 13th.


[Locke walks into the Others' beach camp carrying a boar carcass across his shoulders.]
LOCKE: I brought dinner.

LOCKE: [Shouting to Ben, who’s sitting on the beach] Ben, I'd appreciate it if you'd join us.
BEN: [Shouting back] What, John, don't you trust me here with my former people? Afraid I'll stage a coup?
LOCKE: I'm not afraid of anything you can do anymore, Ben.
BEN: Well, in that case, I'd LOVE to come.

DR. CHANG: Your friend Faraday said that you were from the future. I need to know if he was telling the truth.
HURLEY: Dude, that's ridiculous.
DR. CHANG: What year were you born? What year?
HURLEY: Uh... 1931?
DR. CHANG: You're 46?
HURLEY: Yeah. Yes, I am.
DR. CHANG: So you fought in the Korean War?
HURLEY: [Pauses] There's no such thing.
DR. CHANG: Who's the President of the United States?
HURLEY: All right, dude, we're from the future. Sorry.

SAWYER: We'll buy Microsoft.
JULIET: Excuse me?
SAWYER: Then we'll bet the Cowboys in the '78 Super Bowl. We're gonna be rich.

JACK: I didn't think you'd come.
SAYID: Well, if this works, you might just save us all. And if it doesn't? At least you'll put us out of our misery.

LOCKE: I'm not interested in being reunited with my people.
BEN: What do you mean? You told Sun--
LOCKE: I know what I told her, but that's not why we're going to Jacob.
BEN: Then why are we going to Jacob?
LOCKE: So I can kill him.


- There is going to be an hour-long recap episode entitled "Lost: A Journey Through Time" preceding the finale and beginning at 8 PM EST. The two-hour finale will air at 9 PM EST.

- I'll be participating in a Day of The Finale live chat with Ryan from Zap2It's Guide to Lost. Those of you who tuned in for our last chat know how much fun it was, so I hope you can join us this time around as well. Here's the link -- be there or be square! It's currently planned for 2 - 5 PM EST on Wednesday. This is a perfect opportunity to goof off at work... and also a great chance for those overseas to join in on the fun.

- Reader Mike P was lucky enough to attend an early screening of "Follow the Leader"... presented at Ohio State University by none other than executive producer Carlton Cuse. Mike P passed along some non-spoilery information from that night's Q&A session, so despite the fact that I'm a little peeved at Carlton for hanging around the campus of my alma mater's sworn enemy, I figured other LLL readers might be interested in what was discussed. I've paraphrased Mike's notes below:

Q. What happened to Rose and Bernard?
A. They did not just disappear, we will see them again.

Q. Aside from deciding to make Michael Emerson a permanent member of the cast [I talked about how Emerson was initially only contracted for three episodes a few write-ups ago], are there any other Alternate Versions of Lost stories you can share?
A. One character we'd planned to do more with was Eko, but the actor playing him really did not like living in Hawaii at all and wanted to leave.

Q. Any plans for the Zombie Season? [This is something often joked about in the Official Podcasts.]
A. We've thought about what we could do... maybe something as a Season Six DVD extra, but there are no firm plans.

Q. When will the polar bears be explained?
A. I thought they were fully explained - Dharma was testing how the Island affects "aggression and stuff" with them, after the Purge they escaped the cells, swam over from Hydra Island, bred and made more polar bears, "and then Sawyer shot one." The end.

Q. But what about the one Charlotte found in Tunisia?
A. Oh, yeah, well, hmmm... I dunno. Maybe it wandered too close when someone turned the donkey wheel?

Q. Why did you decide to base the Dharma Initiative in Ann Arbor/the University of Michigan? [For those of you who aren't into sports, the college at which this talk took place, Ohio State, is bitter rivals with U of M.]
A. We needed "a good Midwestern state" and there was an active peace and love and anti-war scene at U of M, and they had good archival footage they could use.

Q. Where are your favorite and least favorite episodes?
A. Favorites: "The Constant" and the Season 5 finale. Least favorite: "Well, this one time we did an entire episode where Jack laid around on a beach, flew a kite, and got tattoos. That's when we figured out maybe we don't need to know absolutely everything about these characters' back stories... We make fun of that episode a lot internally." [The episode is "Stranger in a Strange Land" -- or -- "The One with Bai Ling."]

[I'm going to make the answer to this one invisible in case you consider it a spoiler... highlight it if you'd like to know.]
Q. What about Vincent?
A. "I promise, even if we kill of every single person that's ever been on the show and destroy the Island, Vincent will survive Lost." [e says: Yay!]

Thanks again for sharing this with us, Mike P! Take note, world: Wolverines and Buckeyes CAN get along.

OK, everybody... have a WONDERFUL time watching the last two hours of Season Five – I have no doubt that they will be fantastic.

See you on the other side,
- e


Erika (aka "e") said...

Here are the songs used in this post:

“Easy Come, Easy Go” by George Strait

“Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake

“Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team

“I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” by The Gap Band

“Can’t Keep it a Secret” by The Donnas

“Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House

“No Pressure Over Cappuccino” by Alanis Morissette

“Love is All Around Us” by Wet Wet Wet

“Purple Rain” by Prince

“God Put a Smile Upon Your Face” by Coldplay

Thanks for reading!

- e

synchrobrarian said...

Osiris is in Illana's box

Roland said...

I think that Sawyer and Kate will be off-loaded at the LG while the rest of the Women and Children drink their Kool-aid and get whooshed to their destinations (including Lara to Encino and Charlotte's Mum to England).

Anonymous said...

Just wanted t be the first to thank you E for your hard work on this episode and all of the others. I am looking forward to "The Incident" and the chat before hand.
Go Bucks!!

Roland said...

Re: How Jughead got/gets moved around - It's in a cart with railway-type wheels. My best guess is the the tunnels include rails and that there's a wide-mouth exit/entrance somewhere dry.

The Blast-door map shows various tunnel entrances to various Hatches blocked off. I'm thinking that the threat of Jughead blowing up is why these tunnels get blocked off. The fact that the Swan and the Staff have blast doors suggests (to me) that Jughead will not explode during the Incident, but that the threat of it exploding at some future point (possibly, say S6) remains

Roland said...

I believe that the casual "Hater" cruelty of Charles Widmore gets "handed down" to his "Loyalist" colleagues like Danny, Colleen, Mikhail, Greta, Bonnie, Ryan, Jason, Ethan and Tom - all of whom are now dead, thanks to the machinations of Good Guy Ben.

Alex Catarino said...

Great recap... as always!
Lost is funnier and more interesting after I read your work.

I agree with you and, "somehow", you will be completely wrong about the finale, because you make sense and that doesn't work that way. It makes sense AFTER the facts are presented and not BEFORE.

LouieLou said...

Great post as always. Thanks e. Anyone else see the ACE of Cakes episode this past Saturday where they went to "the island" and made the cake celebrating the one hundredth episode of Lost? Good watch.

Nussy said...

Could the box Illana has be the "Magic Box". You know, the box that Ben pulled Locke's dad out of? It could also fit the crazy theory that the 77'ers will pop out of it.

Roland said...

The Island told Locke where to find the Temple, where to find Family Richard's Beach Camp, and where/when to find the Beechcraft. The question (for me) is which Aspect of The Island is whispering to St John?

The Good Aspect of The Island seems to care about healing our Losties, whereas the Evil Aspect of The Island is willing to rip a man's arm off and possess his buddies to the point where one of them is willing to murder an innocent pregnant woman.

Remember the beer that Frank was drinking on the Searcher? Jekyll Island. Remember the constant references to Craziness and Insanity that we're always getting? I think the Island itself is Schizophrenic - at war with itself.

Let us hope that St John is serving the Light Side of the War

Cheryl from Lakeview said...

e, sorry to hear about your basement - mine has flooded several times, but without the benefit of raw sewage. You have my sympathies. That said....

1. Ever since Richard took young Ben to the Temple, saying he would never be the same, "Pet Sematary" (Stephen King) has been in my head. I was convinced that after Ellie killed Daniel, they would bring him to the Temple to be resurrected as Jacob. Who knows - it may still happen. But when Richard said to Locke (again, returned from the dead) that he seemed different, I was all "AH-HA!" I'm just saying - the showrunners love their Stephen King.

2. Ellie's pregnancy - it's possible that she may be pregnant with twins. She's 40 in this episode, and older women have a higher chance of multiples. I think perhaps that Penny and Daniel are twins, each raised by a different parent. I don't know if that is significant, other than the "Bad Twin" literary reference. In fact, given that reference, it's surprising we haven't seen any twins. Hmmmmmm....

Roland said...

A small point about the (2008) Beechcraft scene we all saw in 515.

In 501, when John approaches the plane and looks inside, we see Yemi's corpse. Skeletal, to be sure, but still there. And yet, in 2004, after Eko found the corpse, he cremated it and returned a few weeks later (still in 2004) and found the corpse missing.

So ... how could it be cremated and/or missing in 2004 but "present" in 2008?

Roland said...

It may be that Richard did see all the 815ers die in 1977. Their deaths may be among "The death of Every Single Living Person" as predicted by Ben during his Jack encounter en route to the RT.

Roland said...

One argument in favour of St John serving the Good Aspect of The Island is that I think Jacob is Evil.

Mikhail referred to him as a Magnificent Man and also told John, Sayid and Kate that they weren’t on Jacob’s List because they were Flawed. Obviously Mikhail was on Jacob’s List along with Bea and presumably a number of other Others.

Danny said that Jack wasn’t on Jacob’s List, which implies that he himself (and his Hater wife Colleen) were.

So ... it seems to me that Jacob is a Bad Guy Hater and deserves to be Imprisoned. If Ben and/or Richard are his Jailers, then they are by implication Good Guys

My thoughts on Jacob’s Colleague/mouthpiece “Christian”:

A Parent who would perpetually undermine the self-confidence of his son, a Husband who would constantly cheat on his Wife, a Doctor who would advocate the murder of a comatose patient and a Spirit that would casually tell a Self-Sacrificing Hero that he “can go now” is an Evil Being. Had Christian succeeded in killing Carole, Kate could not have handed Aaron over to her and hopped onto Ajira 316.

Note also that "Christian" seems disdainful and/or opposed to Ben. So .. if Ben's a Good Guy, then Christian isn't.

Melissa said...

AAAAhhhhhh! How would dying in 1977 prevent them from boarding 815 in 2004, which they already did?!?! Even if there is a time loop, which I think there isn't. Perhaps you should listen to Miles explain it to Hurley one more time. Or Daniel explain it to Jack. Again. Or Jack explain it to Ellie. Again.

drallabg said...

Great Stuff! Can hardly wait til' Wednesday.......Then big Hiatus...darn

Erika (aka "e") said...

Melissa - At the end of my post last week I wrote this:

"Absolutely nothing that happens is going to "erase" the original Flight 815 crash for the characters we've come to know and love."

This is what I believe.

However, I still post other ideas that are out there. None of us know what is going to happen on this show until the final episode of the series airs...

- e

Robert Klotz said...

If nobody else has put forth the theory that Jacob is a hoax and Locke intends to rip down the curtain revealing Ben and Richard's sham wizard, let me be the first here to do so.

There is no Jacob. Or he's already dead and has been so for a long time, like the dead pig head Simon finds in Lord of the Flies.

Gustavo Fernández Walker said...

Most of the time, the confusion of timelines is based on the idea that 1977 comes before 2004. It's ok to assume that, IF you consider a one-way-only timeline. Since LOST has already shown that some kind of time travel is actually possible (whatever the explanation may be) time should be seen as a two-way highway: point A comes before point B if you travel in one direction, but it would be the other way around if you are facing the other way. So I guess time is actually a one-way road in which some people are driving both ways, so there's only one thing that can happen: a major collision. We perceive the side effects of this clash when objects go passed around in time: Locke/Richard's compass and Eloise/Daniel's journal, for instance. I agree with reader JackLord, anyway: most of these things should make sense AFTER the full facts appear before our eyes, and not before. And, of course, it's always a pleasure reading your blog, Erika!

Kia said...

Hey e,

Soooo sorry about your basement!

I was cheering when Kate hopped down into the sub! She is annoying, but I don't like Juliet and Sawyer together, so it was fun. Am I the only one who is surprised by the fact that Juliet is just OVER getting back to her sister and nephew just because she hooked up with Sawyer?

I also really like the theory that the scene last week with Daniel playing the piano occurred shortly after his mother shot his grown-up version. I love this idea, and it puts Daniel at a more appropriate age. But as you said.... we won't know till we know!

Sally said...

you and your post are always INCREDIBLE Erika but this one was your BEST RECAP EVER i think.and thank you very much for that Q&A with Carlton at the end!!!!!!

P.S.BTW why don't you like love quadrangle so much????i find it so much amusing and unlike you i didn't groan out loud when i saw Kate.i LOLed and was very,very happy...
until the incident.....:D

Abu Ayyoub said...

Hey E,
Thanks for the blog, nice to read it through.
I have to say I started knowing and reading your blog after the story with Smolesuik, before that I was only watching his videos! Well, at the end it was almost the same (sorry, it's a bad joke).
I just wanted to bring a point here, it really disturbs me reading it here and there: if free wills prevails, then you cannot have 2 versions of the same persons. So that means that if the Mad Doctor (I love that name!) is successful, the losties are just going to disappear and get back to their lives... And not they will have an adult version of themselves having a life, and a baby version of themselves having another life.
As a muslim, I just want to say that I believe both in free will AND destiny: means, you are free to do what you want, and your decisions are yours, but God knows what decision you will ultimately take, so that at the end everything is already written... I just apply the same theory for Lost, the losties are free to do whatever they want, and like Daniel said they can die right here because it's their present, but whatever they do in 1977 will not change anything... rather cause the things to be the way they are, like Sayid trying to kill Ben and ending up "pushing" him on the Others' side...
So, Whatever happened, happened!

Beatlesfan said...

Why would Ellie and Richard help Jack in any way to detonate Jughead? Even if it worked and everything changed meaning that Desmond never forgets to input the numbers and the 815er plane lands in LA, every lostie that died will still be alive but for Ellie and Richard and everyone else not associated with the plane, they would all die in the Hydrogen bomb explosion????? So why would Ellie and Richard help Jack???

pejafor3 said...

You killing me and you helping me at the same time!!!!

Your comments again make my day!


I`m living that every day!
You just have to throw in...
word FAT! Especially at Kate comment!

synchrobrarian said...

Jac(ob) in the Box

Jack said...

What about the children we saw walking single file in the jungle many seasons ago?

When with the Other's "obsession" with the children be explained?

Do you think that Christian has something to do with the island? Is he alive like John Locke became alive when crashing?

Roland said...

Before going along with Jack/Daniel's Jughead Plan, Eloise is in shock at the thought that she’s just killed her Future Son. Only Daniel’s death could have achieved this result - and IMO, Daniel knew this to be true and therefore Chose death to enable Events to unfold as foreseen by him/the DI. His death placed his (completed) Journal into Ellie’s hands and The Journal (like Gray’s Almanac in BTTF) permitted/will permit Ellie to know The Future all the way up to early 2008. And yet, Somebody (possibly Jacob) sent 2004 Daniel to 1954 via the FDW. Somebody is in control of who goes where and when. That Entity is not Richard or Ben or Charles or Ellie.

yaacov said...

Great recap! I think we have to take the "I saw them die" with a grain of salt since Darlton have repeatedly indicated that Jack is the main character. Despite what may happen with the rest, I would infer that he (and thus they) all have to stay alive.

Roland said...

Aside from the long-standing cruelty in his nature on display from the moment we met him, I think that Charles Widmore hates the DI so much because they humiliated him and his people.
His Family had exterminated Team Jughead in 1954 (when CW was not yet in charge), but couldn’t repel the better-equipped and more numerous DI - which arrived in the early 70's (when CW possibly was in charge) and forced a humiliating Truce on Family Richard/Charles/Ellie, which CW has been itching to erase ever since.

I’m thinking that there’s a connection between Team Jughead and the DI, especially based on the evidence that the Island DI seemed to have a strong Military component ... lots of weapons, a military-style submarine ... even the name of Dharmaville - “The Barracks” - is Military. Before sending in their Science Team, the DI probably sent their Military Team in first - to “pacify” the Hostiles (another Military term).
Note that Alvar Hanso made his fortune in the Arms business. He could easily have been involved with Team Jughead, long before his involvement with the DeGroots. The “Top Secret EYES ONLY” photo of the Island dated 9/23/54 on display in the Lamp Post supports this connection.

sarah t said...

Another great one, thanks!

Grasiento said...

Congrats E, great recap!
I've got a little question... I've also posted it in your recap on Darkufo but maybe this is the better place...

In "The man behind the curtain" John is shoot by Ben and left to die in the mass grave. While he is going to kill himself, a "taller" Walt appears and tells him to live 'cause he's got work to do. Is it possible that, in the 6th season, Walt goes back to the island? And that is John himself that tells Walt to help him in the grave like he has done with Richard in "Follow the leader"?
I know that it's hard to be explained in the story because Walt has to move in time but...

Roland said...

Three final thoughts for today:

When I first saw the Polar Bear dragging Eko deeper into his cave, my first thought was that he was following orders and trying to bring a (living) Eko (as opposed to an "Active Kill") to Family Ben via a tunnel connection to the bear cave. Maybe the bear cave is the "dry" level access to the Tunnels.

Second final thought for the day:
Why did Seasons 1 - 4 feature so much rain and S5 features hardly any? Aside from the rain during Jack's visit to Carole, the rain (on JL only)after the Island "blooped" and the rain following the Ajira canoe race, I can't recall anything but sunshine on or off the island - in 1954, 2000BC, 1974, 2004, late 2007 or early 2008.

If this means anything, the only way it makes any sense to me is that The Island is (and always has been) controlling the weather - or our perception of it.

Final final thought:
In 515, Sayid asks: "So you're telling me you're going to erase the last three years of our lives?"

Erasure: “Tabula Rasa” (back in S1), means “Clean Slate” - a fresh start.
Ben erased the Red Sox tape to record the Widmore Assault.
Eloise at the Lamp-Post black-board erased (poorly) a symbol and then re-wrote that same symbol, slightly altered, in its place.
Jack’s blackboard cleanup sort of did the job, but what had been “erased” was still somewhat visible.

For me, the implication is that Full and/or Partial Erasure of Memory and of Events is possible in the LOST Universe. Starting over, “do-overs” and the Deja Vu of half-erased memories (like Rose Knowing that Bernard was alive - go Erika!) and the Room 23 reference to “Everything Changes” ... all of this points to History being re-written.
Despite Daniel’s (formerly) staunch insistence that WHH, I believe he was right that “we can change things”, but that he was wrong about when this might be possible.

Despite hints that History has already been re-written in minor ways (no Annie, no Olivia), I think that The Incident has to happen more-or-less as it did and our Losties have to return to 2008 (possibly surrounded by the Changes they have already enabled), finally knowing enough about Time and the nature and capabilities of The Enemy (and of themselves) to evolve into the Super-heroes they’ll need to be to win the Season 6 War.

Katie Kat said...

I'm actually glad that you don't like the new Locke (oddly enough). I don't think we are meant to like him because we don't trust him... none of us knows what he's up to or which side he's really on. He has to prove himself to us one way or the other. Until then, I'll stick with Old Locke as one of my faves!

Great recap - can't wait for tomorrow nite!

Bill said...

One thing that everyone might already be thinking, but no one is really mentioning is the possibility that in Jack's desperate effort to stop the future, he actually does the exact opposite. Perhaps it wasn't drilling that released the Swan Energy, but a massive Hydrogen Bomb.

I also think that the Map Sawyer draws for Radzinsky might become the basis for the Dark light Hatch map.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why if Jack blows up the bomb they will forget what happened over the last 3 years. What has happened has happened. Even if they stop the plan from crashing they still experienced all of these. We've already seen them remember what happened through the time warps so why all of a sudden will they be strangers. Jack might change the future again but the past has happened.

Also how do they plan on detonating a 25 year old bomb? With a hammer? I'm sorry but I'd have no clue how to set off a bomb.

Lydia said...

One small note, Jacob didn't say "save me" he said "help me". Small difference.

Melissa said...

Thanks for the response, e. I apologize for being so quick to judge. I've just had a few too many people ask me to explain how daniel could be on the freighter if he got shot in 1977. It's made me a little crazy. I enjoy reading your write ups.

Anonymous said...

Hey e, fellow Wolverine here! Wolverines and Buckeyes can get along? BLASPHEMY!! (at my house, you'd have to sleep in the garage) Hey, are you wondering, as I am, WHERE exactly they dock the sub in Ann Arbor? It's not like it's a coastal city, it's not even on a great lake. Do you think the Huron River is deep enough for a sub? I don't, but maybe it was in the '70s. And where is the dock? Gallup Park maybe? Love your blog!
Anne UM '89 Go Blue!

neoloki said...


Been reading your blog for sometime. I really like your idea that the incident is referring to Locke killing Jacob. Follows very well with Darlton slight-of-hand.

Also, great comments Roland. Plus, love the name. Big fan of DT!

Anonymous said...

I don't think the sub docks in AA. Didn't they say before that it docked in Tahiti or something and they had to make their way from there?

But it would be awesome if there was sub chillin in the Huron!

Unknown said...


(1) Jughead will be moved by summoning Smokey to move it.

(2) To whomever said that maybe Ilana's box is the "magic box" Ben told Locke about. That wasn't a literal box. It was a metaphor. Ben was trying to explain the phenomenon in terms Locke could understand. It's not an actual box.

"I'd say I hope that box is big enough to imagine yourself up a new submarine."

Gotta love that quote !

synchrobrarian said...

i think the chamber in the orchid IS a magic mystery box

Unknown said...

"Also how do they plan on detonating a 25 year old bomb? With a hammer? I'm sorry but I'd have no clue how to set off a bomb."

Good thing Sayid magically showed up. I'm sure Sayid and his Jerry Curl learned how to work with hydrogen bombs while on the receiving end of Saddam's No Rebublican Guard Officer Left Behind initiative.

Anonymous said...

new reader!! love your blog!!
3 short questions:
1) Aren't Ben, Locke, Sun, etc. in 2007, not 2008? I may have missed something...

2) Why do you think that Sun was placed in 2007(8) with Ben and Sayid was placed in 1977 with Widmore when they both were working for opposite sides during the 3 years that they were off the island??

3) Do you think that the island will "flashy thing" (Men In Black reference intended) Kate, Sawyer, and Juliet back to the island if the incident happens while they are close enough to the island??

Ernie said...

Darlton talked about the compass in this week's podcast. They said it was the top question they're getting this season. They likened it to what came first, the chicken or the egg.

Anonymous said...

You weren't the only one who groaned out loud when Kate climbed down the ladder into the sub...

Anonymous said...

I wondered why Jack and Sayid didn't ask Richard about the room they swan to. I would have been interested in what it was and how old.

Can't wait until Wednesday night!!

Bonnie in Alaska

Anonymous said...

"If nobody else has put forth the theory that Jacob is a hoax and Locke intends to rip down the curtain revealing Ben and Richard's sham wizard, let me be the first here to do so."
This is what I believe also. I think Locke means "I'm about to kill the idea of Jacob."
AND, I believe the reason the name Jacob has been tossed around is because Locke proclaimed it in 1954.
(Why Richard bought into it, I don't know. Perhaps because John disappeared right in front of him. Perhaps all strange island happenings from that point on were deemed "Jacob."
And perhaps the "list" was actually from Ben, and had to do with plane manifests AND his knowledge of the 1977 Losties.)

And, I agree with your theory that they will only disappear, perhaps due to a breach in the "space time continuum (sp?)" brought on by either the bomb, or something Locke does, or that fact that both things happen at once.

My head hurts! LOL

Thanks for all your hard work - Sarah M. in MI

Roland said...


Thanks for your kind words. My aim is to add original thought to our collective efforts to understand the glory of this show.

Sorry, but I don't understand the reference to "DT"

Roland is just my, um, first name.

Unknown said...

If Desmond is the variable, is Richard Alpert the Constant? Since he's in absolutely every and any time period we have seen so far? Is it possible that he is the island's constant?

Anonymous said...

E, I don't believe the Incident is Jacob related. Dr. Candle-Haliwax-Wickmund-Chang probably has no idea who Jacob is and wouldn't be referring to him in his video.

badwobot said...

I have really enjoyed your posts. Can I just say that I can't wait for Wednesday night, but I totally dread Thursday morning!
Is there an ARG planned?
Damn the hiatus!

Good luck with your condo!

Anonymous said...

Two more thoughts:
Re: Richard building the boat...I took it to be like the Greek gods busy doing their own things, and having to take time to meddle/assist in human affairs. The problems of the Losties are not his main purpose in life.
Re: Locke - I think the reason he is different is because he now has a purpose (and I think he has said as much.)

Sarah M. in MI

UnLawyer said...

Great and spot on as usual, Erika. I'm at the other end of the state that was hit by storms. Many southern Illinois LOST fans are still without electricity! (My wife included, but I live in Metro East, so this must be her Destiny.)

The substandard laugh-out-loud-bad CGI sub was something I could have done without. "Dive Dive!" "But captain, shouldn't we wait until we're in deeper water?" Oh well, it was kind of cool to see the interior, and watching Kate get handcuffed to Juliette (who was in a peasant blouse, no less) was worth the price of admission.

I thought Kate was very petty. Jack's talking about re-setting the cosmic clock and she's all like, "sniff, but what about what WE had together, I mean when I wasn't playing hide the fish biscuit in the polar bear cage with Sawyer?" It's not like this was a romance for the ages to begin with. Kate disappointed me.

And Ellie is just a fine-looking woman no matter what age she is, isn't she? 19-year-old Ellie and 40-year-old Ellie is a toss-up. I'm glad you're softening up on her a bit. I fully subscribe to the time-loop theory. How many times do you think she tried to save the man in the red shoes before she learned that lesson?

I'm with you on not liking New Locke. He was so vulnerable in his will to believe in Something Greater. Hard to identify with the smug know-it-all that is now inhabiting Locke's form. I do enjoy the way the tables are turned on Ben, though. But the inscrutable grinning is getting old fast. Sigh.

Richard is really not digging Locke's Toto-with-the-curtain act. I'm looking forward to that showdown.

Coldplay two weeks in a row. Yes.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had any thoughts on the fact that we had an episode titled "The Constant" and another titled "The Variable." A lot of people seem to think that Desmond is the variable, but I'm not sure. Desmond was Faraday's constant. That makes me think that Faraday is the variable. It would make sense to me that one person could have two titles that are so distinctly opposite of each other. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

why oh why hasn't anyone connected the failsafe key with Jughead? Has someone suggested that, but I just missed it.

Think about it.

Dharma somehow gets the bomb and learns that it can cancel the energy out that they just unleashed, but they decide to build the hatch bunker with the computer controlled relief valve and keep Jughead as a last ditch resort because of the possible consequences.

Anyone? Anyone?

When Desmond turned the failsafe key, didn't the energy get cancelled out (like Daniel predicted)? Didn't something unusual happen (the blinding white light and noise and the island becoming visible)?

- Craig

Anonymous said...

I don't know why anyone who is a fan of Sawyer or Juliet would want them to escape. That means they'd be off the show. :/ With only one season left, I doubt the writers would waste time on them living it up in 1977.

I also can't fathom why people think Suliet is so good for both characters. Both have been completely gutted, there's little to nothing left of their stories or personalities that made them so interesting in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Hi e, great recap!

When Richard said, "I watched them all die." I thought perhaps he was referring to Dharma in general, and also thought he might have been referring to the purge. Was it said only in the context of the 1977 timeline - then it would have been another event.


Anonymous said...

Here is my understanding of the time travel situation:

Two versions of the 815ers exist in 1977. Their baby selves and their time travelling selves.

If they blow up the hydrogen bomb in 1977, all of the island's inhabitants (assuming the explosion is big enough), including the time travelling 815ers, will die. Therefore little ben will not grow up to do anything, whidmore will not make it off the island and will not exist in the future, abadon will not encourage john to go on his walkabout, the freighter will not be chartered, penny will not be born, the swan will not be built, and desmond will never even make it to the island, let alone forget to push the button to crash 815. Therefore, the baby 815ers will grow up in their normal lives, board 815, not crash, and they will go on with their lives with no memory of the events that transpire on the island in 1977.

If the bomb is detonated, it will be as if the events that we have "witnessed" from 2004 to present never occur. The present that includes Locke and Sun in 2007 will cease to exist and it will be replaced by a future without the island and without those who would have perished in a 1977 hydrogen bomb explosion such as Ben, Widmore, etc.

Unless of course the hydrogen bomb explodes but does not kill everyone. One would have to assume that people off the island (maybe military) would have detected a hydrogen bomb explosion in 1977 and people would be then drawn to the island. They would be forced to where radioactive suits (like the previous guy who was pushing the button was and Desmond in flashbacks), because of the presence of the h-bomb fallout... maybe the Others (and Ben and Widmore and Ellouise) survive because they're hidden in the temple or something.

I feel like the potential storylines get even more complex if they actually do detonate the h-bomb. So, I guess my point is, I don't think they detonate the h-bomb.