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What They Died For
Season 6
Episode 16
Air Date May 18, 2010
Writer(s) Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Elizabeth Sarnoff
Director Paul Edwards
Flash-Sideways Jack, Desmond, Ben, Sawyer

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Prev: Across the Sea
Next: The End

"What They Died For" is the 16th episode of Season 6 and 119th episode overall. The episode aired on May 18, 2010 in the United States. All the remaining Candidates meet with Jacob to discuss the future of the Island. In the alternate timeline, the characters continue to be drawn toward one another, and grow more aware of their connections.


Alternate Timeline - 2004Edit

In the flash sideways timeline, Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) eats breakfast with his newly discovered half-sister, Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin) and his son, David Shephard (Dylan Minnette), where they discuss David's upcoming concert that night. While eating, Jack receives a phone call apparently from Oceanic Airlines, stating to have found Jack's cargo that had been lost on flight 815: Christian Shephard's coffin. Jack hangs up the phone, but it is revealed to have been Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick) who had faked the phone call.

Desmond is later found waiting in his car outside the high school where John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) and Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) work. Ben jumps in front of the car and threatens to call the police. Desmond exits the car and begins to beat Ben, telling him that he wasn't trying to hurt Locke, but trying to get him to "let go". While Ben is being beaten, he has flashes of Desmond beating him in the original universe, as seen in the episode "Dead is Dead".

Ben later meets Locke in the infirmary and conveys what was said between him and Desmond. After Locke hears this, he goes to see Jack in his office at the hospital. Locke tells him about them being on the same flight, Locke then being in a car accident and being brought to him of all doctors, and then about hearing Ben convey a message from Desmond that contained something Jack had said to Locke (getting him to "let go"), just as he had left the hospital from his injury. Locke states that he believes this is fate, and that it is his destiny for Jack to fix his wheelchair bound disability. Meanwhile, Ben meets Alex (Tania Raymonde) in the car park, who offers him a drive home with her mother Danielle Rousseau (Mira Furlan) because of his injured arm from Desmond's attack. She invites him to their home for a meal, and he accepts. Rousseau tells Ben that since Alex's father died, he has been the closest that she has had to a father.

Meanwhile, Desmond goes to the police station where James "Sawyer" Ford (Josh Holloway) and Miles Straume (Ken Leung) are employees, and Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly) and Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) are being held as prisoners. Desmond confesses to running over Locke and beating up Ben, and Sawyer puts him in the same cell as Sayid, neighboring Kate's cell. A van arrives to transport Desmond, Kate, and Sayid, and they enter together.

The van, however, pulls over, and Ana Lucia Cortez opens the door and lets them out, demanding the money promised for setting them free. Desmond says it will be here soon, as Ana Lucia sets the three of them free, and a Hummer is seen pulling up to them.Hugo "Hurley" Reyes exits with the money, giving it to Ana Lucia. Desmond then instructs Sayid to ride with Hurley and tells Kate to ride with himself. Desmond hands Kate a dress and tells her they are going to a concert.

Original Timeline - 2007Edit

Following the events of "The Candidate", Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sawyer wash up on a shore, having survived the submarine explosion. While Jack is patching Kate's bullet wound received from one of the Widmore "others", Kate goes on to grieve for the loss of Sun and Jin Kwon in the submarine, realizing that Jin had never been able to see his daughter, Ji Yeon, before he died. Jack then informs the group that they must find Desmond, reasoning that since the Man in Black (Terry O'Quinn) wanted Desmond dead, they would need him in the events to follow.

On their way to the well where Desmond was last seen, a younger Jacob (Kenton Duty) confronts Hurley alone, demanding the ashes of his adult body. Hurley willingly gives them, but younger Jacob runs away with them without answering any of Hurley's questions. Hurley chases him through the jungle to a campfire, where he now finds the adult Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) waiting for him. Jacob instructs him to bring the others, telling Hurley that once the campfire burns out, they will never be able to see Jacob again.

Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sawyer make it to the campfire, where Jacob (who they can all see for the first time) tells them that they were brought to the island to take his place as protector of the island, and they were chosen above others because they were like him. They, throughout their lives, had nothing to cling to, and felt alone in the world, so he brought them here because they needed to fill that empty hole with the island. Jacob explains that the light, the "heart" of the island (seen in the episode "Across the Sea"), needs to be protected from the Man in Black. He then tells them that one of them needs to choose who will be the next guardian. Jack steps forward, stating that it was why he was brought there. Jacob then gives Jack a cup of water, and Jack takes the drink, accepting his responsibility. Jacob then tells Jack that he is now like him.

Meanwhile, Ben, Miles, and Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) are heading to the destroyed houses the Others and The Dharma Initiative had once used. Ben enters the secret room where he was previously seen summoning the smoke monster, where he kept a stack of C4 that he was going to use to destroy the airplane that the Man in Black was trying to leave the island in. Before they can leave, Charles Widmore (Alan Dale) and Zoë (Sheila Kelley) are found in the house. Ben threatens to kill Widmore, who then claims that if he is killed, all hope will be lost.

Zoë is then sent to keep an eye out for The Man in Black. She sees him rowing to the island, and immediately returns to Widmore. Widmore and Zoë decide to hide in Ben's secret closet, while Ben and Richard decide to attempt to talk to the Man in Black. Miles runs off into the woods away from the events. Almost immediately after Richard goes out of the house to look for The Man in Black, he, in his black smoke form, charges into Richard and sends him flying off screen. The Man in Black then reappears as Locke to talk to Ben, telling Ben he had more people to kill and wanted to know where Widmore was. Ben reveals Widmore's location.

The Man in Black begins to interrogate Widmore and Zoe, but then slits Zoë's throat when Widmore tells her not to say anything, explaining that she was useless if she couldn't talk. He then gets Widmore to tell him why he is here by offering to spare the life of his daughter once he leaves the island. Widmore initially refuses to speak until Ben leaves the room but The Man in Black convinces him to whisper the information to him. While Widmore is whispering into The Man in Black's ear, Ben shoots Widmore several times, killing him and coldly stating that "he doesn't get to save his daughter". The Man in Black claims that he had gotten the information he wanted regardless, and leaves with Ben.

The two arrive at the well where Desmond should have been, but it is empty and a rope is leading out of it. The Man in Black states that he was glad he had escaped. He reveals what Widmore told him: Desmond is a "failsafe" that is keeping him stuck to the island permanently now. When Ben asks why this is a good thing, the Man in Black explains that Desmond's unique resistance to electromagnetism is going to help him destroy the island.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Now you are like me.
- Jacob
No! He doesn't get to save his daughter.
-Ben, referring to Charles Widmore
It's just a line of chalk in a cave. The job's still yours if you want it.
-Jacob, to Kate
It's Doctor Linus, actually.

If you need us, we'll be running through the jungle.

- Miles

We're very close to the end, Hugo.
- Jacob

Background InformationEdit

  • Ana-Lucia is seen for the first time since the episode "The Lie".
  • Danielle Rousseau is seen for the first time since the episode "Meet Kevin Johnson".
  • In the alternate timeline Jack and Locke seem to have retaken their old mantles of "A Man of Science" and "A Man of Faith", although this time their goals are the same.
  • Another major character appears to have died, but without certainty, as no body is shown. (Like Frank from the episode "The Candidate")
  • Ben seems to have given up on his redemption (a major theme of his this season), having murdered Charles Widmore. His true motives, however, remain unknown. It may be self-preservation or a trap for the Man in Black.
  • The cuts on Ben's face in the alternate timeline are mildly reminiscient of the cuts on his face from Season 2 when he was posing as Henry Gale.
  • A Candidate's name being crossed out is not a final disqualification. (Unless the candidate is dead).

Dramatis PersonaeEdit

Guest StarringEdit


Timeline DifferencesEdit