Special guest star(s)
"Confirmed Dead" is the second episode of Season 4 of Lost and the seventy-fourth produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on February 7, 2008. The survivors begin to question the intentions of their supposed rescuers when four strangers arrive on the Island.
The episode begins with two ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) probing the ocean floor. The vantage point first is of "ROV 01" and switches to that of "ROV 02", with a dialogue between two technicians, one named Ron and the other unnamed, which takes place via a com device, over the images. The ROV display does not specify the boat or research team it is operated by, just the depth, signal strength, gauges for the battery, fuel, and resolution. The operators claim that the sonar is picking up something and the operator of ROV 02 says he is heading on a bearing of "about 137, from the coordinates we pulled off of our guy's map." He also goes on to say that his magnetometer (which he mispronounces as "magnemometer") is picking up a lot of anomalies and suggests he needs to re-calibrate. The ROV suddenly comes across the wreckage of an Oceanic Airlines plane and the operator declares it is Flight 815. The wreckage viewed by the ROV shows the entire plane, broken into three (connected) pieces.
A news report showing footage of the submerged plane explains that the remains of Flight 815 have been found by the Christiane I in the Sunda Trench, which is located off of the coast of Bali. The reporter says "Oceanic Flight 815 did, in fact, crash at sea," but says the discovery does not offer any sense of closure. All of the passengers are "confirmed dead." The screen pulls out to reveal that Daniel Faraday is watching the news report in Essex, Massachusetts. As he weeps while learning the news, his caretaker asks him why he is upset. He replies that he does not know.
Miles arrives at Mrs. Gardner's house.
In Inglewood, California, a man drives up to a house while listening to a radio report about Flight 815. The reporter says that the plane is accounted for, a salvage mission is unlikely, and that "authorities are confirming all three hundred and twenty-four passengers dead."
The man gets a briefcase out of his trunk and goes to the door. He introduces himself to Mrs. Gardner as Miles Straume, and she welcomes him in. "Which room is it?" Miles asks. She points upstairs. He opens his briefcase and assembles a strange device from pieces within, and says "no matter what happens or what you hear, don't come upstairs." He then says he's charging $200 instead of the original $100, explaining the increase is because he found out that her grandson was murdered. She reluctantly agrees.
Miles, invoking the spirit of Mrs. Gardner's grandson
He goes upstairs to her grandson's room, sets his machine on the table, and turns it on. Sitting on the bed, he begins to speak to the empty room. He tells whomever he believes is there that he isn't doing his grandma any good by staying; he is causing her pain. Miles adds that he wants to tell Mrs. Gardener that the listener has left but that he can only do so if told where "it" is. Suddenly a noise attracts his attention to the bookcase. Moving it he discovers a bundle of cash and small yellow bag of powder concealed in an air vent. Miles keeps the cash, but replaces the powder in the vent, then tells the listener "you can go now". As he goes downstairs, the photos that we saw on the wall when he went upstairs have changed, as have their frames. Miles tells Mrs. Gardner it worked and that “he's at peace now." After refunding some of Mrs. Gardener's fee, saying that "it wasn't as tricky as I thought," he departs.
In Medenine, Tunisia, a red-headed woman picks up a French language Tunisian newspaper that says that Flight 815 has been recovered. Her friend asks, "How many different languages do you have to read it in to believe it?" She quips, "How many different languages are there?" They bribe their way into an excavation site in the middle of the desert where they find the bones of a polar bear. Her associate wonders if it is some kind of dinosaur, but Charlotte says the bones are a few million years newer than that. Her associate then questions its authenticity, claiming that it must be a hoax. Charlotte, instead of studying the polar bear goes digging around it and quickly finds a collar that has a Hydra sign on it, associating the dead bear with the DHARMA Initiative. She smiles looking at it.
Frank, on the phone with the hotline
In Eleuthera, Bahamas, Frank Lapidus is watching television coverage of the discovery of Flight 815, which shows bodies in the undersea wreckage. When one body is identified as Seth Norris, the pilot of the flight, Frank calls the Oceanic hotline that has been set up for families of the victims and demands to speak to a supervisor. He asserts that the man shown cannot be Seth Norris, because Seth Norris always wore his wedding ring, and the corpse had no ring. When the man on the other end of the line argues with him, Frank insists that he knew Seth well, and the body was not his. He then reveals that he was originally supposed to be the pilot of Flight 815.
Naomi with Matthew Abaddon
The final flashback is of Naomi talking to Matthew Abaddon regarding their mission. The location for this flashback is not given. She emphasizes the level of danger in the Island Operation. She thinks Abaddon has chosen the wrong people for this mission as they lack military or field experience. She says it would be a disaster without protection. "You are their protection," Abaddon says. Naomi replies that it's a "high risk, covert operation in unstable territory, especially with four untrained operatives." She then describes the team one by one, calling Daniel a head case, Miles a ghost buster, Charlotte an anthropologist and Frank a drunk. Abaddon assures her that Frank is a competent pilot and that all of the team members were chosen for specific reasons. Naomi questions what to do if she finds survivors of Flight 815 but Abaddon is adamant that there were no survivors.
On the Island
Daniel Faraday and three other people are on a helicopter which is struggling to stay in the air. Miles Straume pushes a scared Faraday out of the chopper. Faraday then activates his parachute, to ensure landing safely. When Faraday lands, he is still scared and disoriented. He hears people approaching. Dan quickly readies a handgun which he hides in his back just as Jack and Kate arrive. They meet and Dan asks for the phone. Daniel calls George, who asks what happened, as the chopper's communications had gone dead. Daniel says he doesn't know; in the electrical storm, everything went dead and he jumped out. He then says he's speaking with some of the survivors. After George asks if he's on speaker, Daniel excuses himself. Kate tells Jack not to worry. "Are you sure?" Jack says, nodding his head toward the gun that is exposed. Daniel returns, telling them that the ship has no communication with anyone else. He doesn't know where the rest of his team is but they all have GPS units which allow their sat-phones to track them. His sat-phone was in his pack, which he claims he lost. Jack hands him Naomi's.
Juliet and Sayid form a plan
Over at the beach, Sayid asks Juliet why, based on her experience with and knowledge of the Others, Ben would say the people from the freighter intend to harm them. Juliet says there is no way to tell if Ben is lying, and suggests that Sayid and herself should arm up.
Soon Naomi's phone begins picking up Miles' location. Daniel, Jack and Kate head towards the signal. They find a metal box. Kate asks if that's from his chopper. Daniel stutters about them dropping it to reduce weight. Jack finds gas masks and red bags with biohazard symbols in the box. When asking Daniel what the masks are for, Daniel looks nervously around and says he wasn't the one in charge of packing. Jack confronts him on why he has a gun and Daniel reveals that saving them is not their primary objective. They ultimately find Miles, apparently unconscious on a rocky outcropping by the shore. Jack approaches and removes Miles' helmet in order to examine him. Miles immediately reacts and pulls a gun on Jack. He asks Kate where is "the woman she killed!" Miles then informs them that Naomi asking after her sister was a distress code to indicate when someone in their group was under duress. Kate informs Miles that Naomi was killed by Locke, a rogue member of their group. Miles insists that they take him to Naomi's body, asserting that he'll know whether they're telling the truth or not.
Miles, chanting over Naomi
When they take Miles to Naomi's body, he chants quietly over her. He informs Faraday that Jack and Kate are telling the truth. Just then they receive a signal from Charlotte's GPS. Miles orders everyone to follow him. Jack insists that Miles and Faraday put away their guns. When Miles resists, Jack says that his own people are waiting in the jungle with rifles trained at their heads. Miles doubts this, and two shots ring out as Juliet and Sayid come into the clearing, pointing guns at Faraday and Miles. Jack collects their guns and they head off to find Charlotte.
Locke shows Sawyer where the bullet exited his body
As Locke's group continues their trek, Sawyer realizes that they aren't moving in the direction of the Barracks. Locke explains that they have to take a detour to a cabin. Hurley tells Locke that the cabin is in a different direction. Locke and Ben both seem surprised to hear Hurley talk about the cabin, which prompts Hurley to awkwardly say he was referring to the plane's cabin. Locke explains to Sawyer that Walt has been guiding him, and told him he had "work to do" and that he had to "stop Naomi from bringing the rest of her people." Locke also tells Sawyer that Walt saved his life after Ben shot him. Locke proves to a doubtful Sawyer that he was shot by showing him his wound, saying that he probably would have died if he still had a kidney where the bullet went through.
Charlotte hanging over a river
Later on, Ben tells Alex he needs to talk to her. When Karl hears this he stands in his way. Sawyer takes Ben away from Karl, and Ben asks him why he didn't go with Kate, in Jack's group. Sawyer remains cool and doesn't oblige, but Ben goes on to tell him he wouldn't stand a chance with Kate if she were to get back home, because off the Island, he is nothing in comparison to Jack. Sawyer gets upset and beats Ben, and then suggests they should kill him. Locke explains to him they need Ben alive because he has information about the Island. Sawyer reminds him that Ben is dangerous, and leaves Ben with him.
Vincent, with Charlotte's GPS
Meanwhile, Charlotte wakes up, hanging upside-down in her parachute harness; the chute had gotten caught in a tree overhanging a small river. She frees herself and plunges into the water. She looks around and seems ecstatic to be on the Island. Locke and his group cross paths with her landing site. Later on, Charlotte expresses her amazement to find the survivors alive. She asks them questions about their survival, and they exhibit various levels of trepidation and hostility. She explains that she has a transponder and the rest of her team will find them soon.
Frank, loading the flare gun
As Jack and the Others search for Charlotte, Sayid questions Miles about why the four of them are there. Sayid takes Miles' sat phone and tries to use it to call the freighter but instead he sees Charlotte's signal. It's moving quickly towards them. The group runs toward the signal but when it comes close they find that Charlotte's GPS has been tied around Vincent's neck. Jack realizes that Locke has Charlotte.
Frank Lapidus pulls himself out of some bushes. He climbs up a hill and sees a cow watching him. He tries to stand up but his legs fail him. When he pulls out his sat phone he discovers that it is broken so he takes a flare gun from a pocket and fires a flare.
Charlotte is shocked by Ben's knowledge
Charlotte sees the flare and declares her intention to go towards it. Locke tells her that he doesn't want her to do that, but Charlotte insists. Claire points out that the person that shot the flare might be hurt, and Locke reminds the group that Charlotte and her team didn't come to the Island to rescue them. While they argue, Ben takes Karl's gun and shoots Charlotte twice in the chest; she goes down. Sawyer attacks Ben and beats him. When Locke goes to check on Charlotte he finds she is still alive -- she is wearing a bulletproof vest under her jacket.
Back at the location the flare was fired, Jack's group wakes Frank up. Daniel and Miles try to get his attention but he seems dazed. They ask where the helicopter has crashed. Frank informs them that the helicopter
was struck by lightning, but he managed to land it. They find the intact helicopter nearby. Sayid inspects the helicopter and informs Jack that there is no serious damage. Jack asks Miles why they are really here. Miles agrees to divulge this information if Jack gives him the phone; he agrees. Miles tries to call Minkowski
, but is informed by a woman
that he is not able to answer the phone at this time. As Dan and Kate carry Naomi's body to the helicopter, Miles stops them, cold-heartedly saying "that's not Naomi, it's just meat." Frank promises Dan he will take Naomi's body "on the next flight," because the helicopter is low on fuel and should not be carrying any unnecessary weight.
Meanwhile, Juliet is treating Frank's head wound. When he asks her for her name, he immediately realizes that she wasn't on the plane; he has apparently memorized the entire Flight manifest
. He calls Miles over and informs him that Juliet was not on the plane, and calls her "a native." Miles becomes aggressive and asks Juliet where "he" is. When Jack steps between them, Miles pulls out a picture of Ben standing by an unknown woman on a computer (indicating that Ben has left the Island at least once during his adult life), stating that they have come to the Island to find him.
"Because I have a man on their boat"
Meanwhile, Locke takes Sawyer's gun - intending to kill Ben despite the protests of Alex and Claire. Ben pleads for his life, claiming that he has information that Locke needs. Locke demands to know what the Monster is, but Ben claims that he does not know. He then starts blurting out information about Charlotte - her full name, family and educational information, which she does not deny. He also names the other members of her team, and states that they were sent to the Island in search of him. When asked about the source of the information, Ben claims to have a man on their boat.
- The Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 Hotline Number 1-888-548-0034 is seen on Frank's television. Calling this number results in an automated message, not a human operator as seen on the show.
- This is the third episode to have flashbacks centering around guest stars, featuring Frank and Naomi, and the first episode to feature flashbacks of characters that are main characters and guest star characters. It also features the first flashback from a dead character's perspective. Furthermore, it could be argued that the introduction of the episode constitutes a flashback of an unnamed and unseen character - the controllers of the deep-sea diving robots.
- The helicopter's marking, N842M, if interpreted as the registration number, would make it registered in the USA.
- N842M is a Bell UH-1 Iroquois, a.k.a Huey.
- N842M is owned by Garlick Helicopter Corporation in Hamilton, Montana. This helicopter is most likely on lease to the production company. (FAA Registration Information)
- Charlotte was born on July 2, 1979. Amelia Earhart was pronounced missing on July 2, 1937; exactly 42 years earlier.
- The executive producers have said, in the March 19th audio podcast, that having Charlotte's birthday in 1979 was a mistake. It can be assumed that Michael just reported inaccurate information on Charlotte to Ben.
- While Miles kneels over Naomi's dead body, whispers can be heard. When the audio on the scene has been reversed, slowed down slightly, and cleaned up, the phrase "You gotta see it through" can be heard.
- This episode is the only one thus far where Miles communicates with someone without their body being nearby.
- Desmond, Jin, Michael, and Sun do not appear in this episode.
- Actors from Tunisia did a looping/voice over session for this episode. DarkUFO
- In his interviews prior to the season 4 premiere, Lance Reddick consistently referred to his character as "a recruiter", as seen in this episode.
- It was not until the enhanced second broadcast on ABC that the identity of the woman in Faraday's flashback was made clear: she is his caretaker.
- When Miles heads up the stairs to have his discussion with the ghost, the pictures on the wall can be seen in wooden frames. When Miles comes back down the stairs, the frames of the pictures have changed to (synthetic) brass. Additionally the picture the camera centers on is bigger in the second scene. It also appears that the photos, not only the frames, surrounding the focal point photo have also changed. Most notably the photo to the left of the focal point photo - in one it shows a young man entering a car; in the other scene, it appears to be something completely different. Among fans it is debated if this changing of the frames and picture is significant, or is simply a 2nd unit/set dressing or continuity error.
- A Lost: On Location for this episode is available on the Season 4 DVD.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- In the beginning of this episode, after Daniel lands on the island Jack says "Hey!", when in the previous episode Jack said nothing, and Daniel started to speak as he landed.
- When Locke is showing Sawyer his gunshot wounds, Doug is seen to the right of Ben, and in the next shot he is to his left.
- Daniel calls Jack and Kate "good people." (Good and bad people)
- There are several references to the Numbers:
- It is revealed that the people from the freighter are not on a search and rescue mission as Naomi had originally stated. (Deceptions and cons)
- Sawyer calls Ben "Yoda" and John Locke "Johnny". (Nicknames)
- Sawyer calls Walt "Taller Ghost Walt." (Nicknames)
- Frank sees a bull on the Island. (Animals)
- Locke is enjoying the rain during a stop. (Rain)
- We learn about a previous connection between Naomi and Abaddon. (Character connections)
- Before the helicopter crashes, Charlotte complains that she cannot find her vest. Miles gives her his, effectively saving her life, as without it she would have probably died from Ben's gunshot. (Fate versus free will)
- Sawyer is prevented from killing Ben by Locke, who comments about killing him in front of his daughter. This seems to remind Sawyer of his childhood, where he witnessed his parents' deaths. (Parent issues)
- Dan is from Essex, Massachusetts. Charlotte is from Essex, England. (Coincidences)
- Locke explains he survived being shot because he no longer has a kidney in the spot where he was shot. (Missing body parts)
- Miles calls Jack "Handsome." (Nicknames)
- Staples Lewis: The name Charlotte Staples Lewis is a reference to Clive Staples Lewis (commonly referred to as C.S. Lewis), author of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Great Divorce. (Literary works)
- Faraday: Michael Faraday was an English chemist and physicist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism. From Wikipedia: "He established that magnetism could affect rays of light and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena." In this episode, Daniel Faraday comments on abnormalities in the light rays on the Island and defines himself as a physicist. (Science)
- Lapidus: The name Lapidus may be a reference to the movie Sleeper, in which one character says, "No one touches my brain - they may drop it, then I would talk like Mr. Lapidus, who got hit by lightning." (Movies and TV)
- Apocalypse Now: Sawyer calls Locke "Colonel Kurtz", after Marlon Brando's character in this 1979 movie. In the movie (but not in the original book Heart of Darkness), Colonel Kurtz is a great man who leads his followers out into the jungle where he subsequently goes insane. The reference is also to Locke's baldness (Brando was shaved bald in the film). (Nicknames) (Movies and TV)
- Star Wars: (Movies and TV)
- Sawyer calls Ben "Yoda."
- Daniel tells Kate and Jack, "I'm here to rescue you," exactly like what Luke says to Leia in Star Wars.
- Battle Royale: These words can be seen in the room in which Miles "works." This could be a reference to the Japanese novel and movie by this name, in which high school students are taken to an isolated island and forced to fight to the death as a part of what is called "The Program." (Literary works)
- Battle Royale is also a chapter of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.
- Ghostbusters: Naomi calls Miles a ghostbuster. (Movies and TV)
- Lord of the Rings: Locke says Ben has no power except his voice. Gandalf made the same observation about Saruman after he removed him from power. (Literary works)
- The Prisoner: The helicopter is a symbolic homage to the tv show The Prisoner. In The Prisoner, Number 6's first attempt at escape from The Village is in a helicopter that has landed on the beach. The helicopter is a link to an outside world. (Movies and TV)
- Essex: Daniel Faraday's flashback takes place in Essex, Massachusetts. Ben reveals that Charlotte Lewis was born in Essex, England. Essex is also a reference to a famous Whaling ship that was launched off the coast of Nantucket in 1819. The mission of the ship was to hunt sperm whales in the South Pacific. The ship sank and the crew ended up on an uninhabited island in the Pitcairn chain, where they fed on birds, fruits and vegetation, as well as water from a local freshwater spring, before resorting to cannibalism. The surviving members of the crew were rescued on Day 93. The story is the inspiration for Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." (Literary works)
- The Turn of the Screw: Miles is a character in Henry James's The Turn of the Screw who communicates with a dead person who appears throughout the story. In this episode, Miles is shown to communicate with the dead.
- Faraday takes a long pause before recalling his name when asked. This foreshadows some type of memory loss as revealed in "Eggtown", when he can't remember the playing cards, and later in "The Variable" when it is revealed Daniel hoped to regain his memory by visiting the Island. (Foreshadowing)
- Ben's life was saved by Charlotte, through her acknowledgement that his information about her is correct. He was saved by the woman he tried to kill. (Irony)
- Locke muses that Ben's bullet would have killed him if he had a second kidney, because it would have pierced the kidney. That means that, in effect, his father who tried to kill him eventually saved his life. (Irony)
- Naomi is instructed by Matthew Abaddon to get the team in and out safely and to make sure no one gets killed. Naomi, who according to her, is the only one with training, and who doubted the abilities of the other team members, ends up dead. (Irony)
- Miles states that Naomi's words "tell my sister I love her," was a code for danger since he reveals Naomi didn't have a sister, and uses the example holding a gun "so right now, Jack would say, tell my sister that I love her." Jack actually does have a sister, Claire. (Irony)
- We finally get to see some of the circumstances in which the passengers of Oceanic flight 815 were all confirmed dead, and how the wreckage was found in deep waters. But we also saw the plane fall on the Island with many survivors. (Plot twist)
- The miniature plane in the water tank is shown just as Frank Lapidus learns that the wreckage of Oceanic 815 was found in the Sunda Trench. (Juxtaposition)
- In the beginning of the episode, Hurley warns Locke that if he stays out in the rain, he could be struck by lightning. Later on, we learn the helicopter was hit by lightning, causing the instability and the landing. (Foreshadowing)
- Locke tells Sawyer that they need Ben because he has information they need and because, other than his mouth, he's harmless. Later, Ben manages to shoot Charlotte and then gives them the information about the Freighties. (Foreshadowing)
- Locke admits that Sawyer was right to be wary of Ben after Ben shoots Charlotte. When Sawyer offers to "take care of it," Locke says "No, it's my mess. I'll clean it up." (Regularly Spoken Phrases)
- This episode marks the return of the Flashback method of storytelling in Season 4, and all the flashbacks take place after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. (Flashback)
- Locke tells Sawyer how terrible it would be to execute Ben in front of Alex. However, in "The Shape of Things to Come", it is Alex who is executed in front of Ben. (Irony) (Foreshadowing)
- Sayid wonders why Miles isn't surprised that there are survivors of Flight 815, when in the following scene Charlotte states that she "can't believe you're alive". (Juxtaposition) (Irony)
Find 815 references
Several references to the alternate reality game Find 815 occur in this episode.
- Find 815 ended with an ROV discovery of Flight 815 on the ocean floor.
- While there are no dates mentioned in Find 815, the wreckage is discovered on Sam and Sonya's 8 year anniversary. Sam references the anniversary in his first video journal (filmed after Oceanic called off the search) as being "in a couple of months." This would likely put the discovery in early December.
- The salvage boat that made the discovery in Find 815, the Christiane I, is mentioned in the news report.
- The location of the discovery, the Sunda Trench, is also mentioned in the news report.
- The telephone number that Frank Lapidus calls was given as a clue in Chapter 1 of Find 815.
- One of the Find 815 clues for Season 4 was "Tunisian Newspaper".
- Daniel Faraday, Miles Straume, Charlotte Lewis, and Frank Lapidus were all clue words in Find 815.
- Locke once again correctly predicts the weather. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues").
- Charlie called Hurley “Colonel-bloody-Kurtz” in "Numbers".
- A poster for the fictional band Dirt Spigot can be seen in the room Miles works in. This is the band that the director of the Butties Diapers commercial wanted to hire instead of Drive Shaft. ("Fire + Water")
- Frank encounters a cow with a bell atop the ridge. ("Enter 77")
- Although not for the same reasons, Charlotte's reaction to being alive after her fall from the tree into the water mirrors Charlie's reaction after swimming into the Looking Glass. ("Greatest Hits")
- After his arrival, Daniel tells Jack: "I'm here to rescue you." Jack heard these same words from Charlie, when they got trapped in the caves. ("The Moth")
- Locke explains to Sawyer that he only survived being shot by Ben because of his missing kidney. ("Deus Ex Machina")
- Do not answer the questions here.
- Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Confirmed Dead/Theories
- Why is Charlotte unconvinced that Flight 815 has been discovered?
- How old are the remains of the polar bear?
- Why did Seth Norris replace Frank as Flight 815's pilot?
- When and where was the photo of Ben taken?
- ABC Medianet Press Release Bundle (01/18/08): PDF