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Danielle Rousseau: Misc



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Danielle Rousseau
Danielle Rousseau
Portrayed by
Melissa Farman (1988-89)
First seen
Last seen
Appeared in
Mentioned in
Episode count
Centric episode(s)

Danielle Rousseau
Also known as
Date of birth
Date of death
In Australia...
On the plane...
On the island... part of a scientific expedition which crashed there
Family members
Alexandra - Daughter
Robert - Lover

S1 - S2 - S3 - MP - S4 - S5 - S6

Danielle Rousseau was a woman of French origin that arrived on the Island with a science team in 1988, 7 months pregnant with her daughter Alex. It was during this time that her team rescued Jin, who, as a result of the Island's move, was traveling through time. Shortly after Danielle gave birth, her daughter was taken away by Ben. After 16 years of living in isolation, she met and eventually joined the Flight 815 survivors and reunited with her daughter. On 27 December 2004, while she, Alex, and Karl were traveling to the Temple, they were ambushed by Keamy and his mercenary team. Both Rousseau and Karl were shot dead. Her body was found by Miles as he, Sawyer and Claire were going back to the beach.


On the Island

A young Danielle speaks to Jin. ("The Little Prince")
was a member of a six-person science expedition operating in the Pacific along with her lover Robert. The two were very much in love, and Rousseau carried in her possession a music box he had once given to her. At this point in time, Danielle was seven months pregnant.

The ship was three days out of Tahiti when it picked up a transmission during the night. It was a voice repeating the Numbers and they changed course to investigate. The instruments malfunctioned, and a storm with strange sounds occurred. On the night of November 17, the ship slammed into rocks and ran aground - the hull breached beyond repair. As the crew headed to shore in an emergency raft, they saw a man floating on some debris in the water. They pulled the man into their raft and headed to shore where they made a shelter. There is some evidence from Rousseau's map to suggest that the camp was actually the second camp made on the Island with the first being closer to the point where the ship ran aground. ("The Little Prince")

The next day, the team set out to search for the transmission source, with Jin in tow. Not long after, Nadine was killed in a sudden attack by the Monster, which latched onto Montand and attempted to pull him into a hole in the ground under the ruins of the Temple. Jin and the others grabbed onto his arm to pull him out, but the smoke pulled with such force that his arm was ripped from its socket and Montand disappeared into the hole.
Danielle holds Robert at gunpoint. ("This Place Is Death")
Immediately, his voice began emanating from the depths, causing Robert, Brennan and Lacombe to enter in search of him. Jin's last act before jumping to another time was to stop Danielle from following, reminding her of her pregnancy. ("This Place Is Death") Two months later, Danielle had shot her colleagues Brennan and Lacombe, who apparently emerged from the hole "changed" in some way. Jin reemerged from the white light to witness her shoot Robert in a standoff, after Robert realized too late that she had removed the firing pin in his rifle. ("Solitary") She recognized Jin from her first day on the Island; from her point of view he simply "disappeared" in front of her.
Danielle watches Ben kidnap Alex. ("Dead Is Dead")
She took aim at him, pursuing him into the jungle, believing he too was infected, and an "Other". Jin was saved by another flash that took him to an unknown time period. ("This Place Is Death")

By 1989, Alex was born and living in a tent on a beach with her mother. However, Benjamin Linus, under orders from Charles Widmore, arrived one night to kill Danielle. He raised his gun, but stopped upon seeing her daughter. Ben instead took the baby with him, deciding to spare Danielle's life, and told her that if she ever heard the whispers, she should run the other way. ("Dead Is Dead")

Rousseau's account

Rousseau's later story, some 16 years on, is sketchy as to exact details; understandably given the extreme trauma that occurred and the length of time she subsequently spent alone. According to her, on the way back from the Black Rock, there was an as yet unexplained encounter. Danielle mysteriously says "It was them. They were the carriers. The Others." She believes that the other members of the team contracted the sickness from the Others. She later claimed that at least up to the time she had met Sayid, she had never seen one of the Others but only heard them as whispers in the jungle. Because of this, there is no way to know if what she calls the Others are the same as the people who DHARMA referred to as The Hostiles. She also may have believed Jin to be one of the Others. Given that he seemed to appear briefly and disappear again in front of her without any explanation, perhaps she later began to question if he had ever existed at all.

After returning to the shelter, some of the team continued to search for the meaning of the numbers while they waited for rescue. This is likely the partial source for what is known as Rousseau's map. But then she says the sickness came. She says the sickness took them one after the other. She eventually killed Robert (who she claimed was sick) by removing the firing pin from his gun, then engaging him in a confrontation where she shot him dead.

Rousseau explained her motivations for killing the other members of the team as follows: "I had no choice. They were already lost. What would have happened if we were rescued? I couldn't let that happen. I won't."

She claims that after her team was all dead, she went back to the radio tower and changed the transmission. Three days later, she gave birth. The message left at the radio tower is not totally consistent with her story. The radio tower message suggests that another person (Brennan) was alive and had taken some keys. She also says that "it [or he] killed them all" and that "it [or he] was outside her location when she was recording her message." The message could refer to the Monster, as she seemed to believe it was responsible for making her team sick.

Rousseau claims that three days later she delivered her baby alone, which she named Alexandra. She says that she was together with the baby for a week before she saw a pillar of black smoke about five kilometers inland and on that night, her child was taken from her. She says the baby was taken by the Others but she also has said that she had never seen one of them at that time and only knew them as whispers.

Rousseau continued living on the Island for over 16 years, before meeting Sayid after he was caught in a trap. At some point during their stay on the island, either Rousseau or other members of the French team attempted to map parts of the island. Rousseau is familiar with the "Monster" but calls it the security system, because that is what Robert called it, after he experienced time underneath the Temple. ("This Place Is Death") ("Exodus, Part 2")

Danielle claims that she has survived so long because of her policy of avoiding dangerous encounters with the various inhabitants of the island. ("Enter 77")

Her story is inconsistent not only with what actually happened, but also that she had to have been on the island prior to the Purge. The DHARMA Initiative was active on the island until December 19, 1992, the day which the Purge occurred. This means that Danielle cohabited the island with the DHARMA Initiative for about 4 years. Also unexplained is how she survived the toxic gas attack that struck the island when The Others destroyed DHARMA, nor how she could have tampered with the DHARMA radio tower while they where still using it for the transmission of the numbers.


Days 12-44 (Season 1)

Danielle pursues Sayid through the jungle after he escapes. ("Solitary")

Following the cable from the beach, Sayid stumbled into a snare trap set by Danielle, who subsequently takes him hostage. Initially suspecting he is an Other, Rousseau brings Sayid back to her camp. She ties him up and asks "Where is Alex!" in a variety of languages. When he denies knowing anything about this, she uses electricity to torture him.

After some time, Danielle begins to talk to Sayid, and tells him a number of things about her time on the Island. For instance, she tells him that the distress signal broadcasts from the radio tower, and that it is under the control of the Others (a strange thing to know, considering she also says she has never actually seen "them" only heard their whispers but another time says her team encountered them right before they became ill). When Sayid offers to repair her broken music box, Rousseau sedates him and moves him to a chair. After fixing the box, much to Rousseau's delight, animal noises can be heard from outside Rousseau's self-made bunker. As she goes to investigate, Sayid steals her maps and notes about the Island and escapes her capture. ("Solitary")

Danielle claims that dynamite is at the Black Rock. ("Exodus, Part 1")

Back at the camp, Rousseau's notes attract Hurley's attention. He notices that written on them are the Numbers, and he treks into the jungle with the rest of the group who are after the batteries Rousseau has. Meeting up with each other, Rousseau agrees with Hurley's idea that the Numbers are cursed, as they are what brought her to the Island in the first place. Hurley then gives her a big hug. ("Numbers")

Also around this time, Danielle finds Claire delirious in the jungle. As Claire shouts for "Ethan," Rousseau realizes it is the Others, and pleads for Claire to be quiet. A struggle then begins and Claire badly scratches Danielle's arms. Knocking her unconscious, Danielle carries her back near the main survivors' camp, leaving her where she rightly believes she'll be easily found. ("Maternity Leave")

Rousseau later went to the Losties main camp, warning them about the pillar of black smoke and told them that it meant that Aaron would be kidnapped by the others. She then led a number of the survivors to the Black Rock in the hope they could use the dynamite within it to blow open the Hatch and hide inside. ("Exodus, Part 1")

Rousseau then returned to the beach camp, and kidnapped Aaron. She then headed across the Island. Both Charlie and Sayid find her, and she admits she thought she might be able to exchange Aaron for Alex, after hearing the whispers say they wanted "the boy" (though they in fact meant Walt all along). ("Exodus, Part 2")

Days 58-59 (Season 2)

Rousseau and Kate outside the Staff. ("Maternity Leave")

Rousseau then disappeared for a while without meeting the survivors, and her actions between the forty-fourth day and the fifty-eighth day are unknown, however it's assumed she roamed the jungle searching for a new camp and checking her traps. On the fifty-eighth day, she contacted the survivors again after she caught an Other in one of these traps, Benjamin Linus (aka Henry Gale). She warned Sayid that Henry was one of them, and that he would lie for a long time. When Henry tried to escape, Danielle shot him in the back with a crossbow, and left him in Sayid's charge but not without warning him that this man will constantly lie. ("One of Them")

Only a couple of days later, Rousseau is sought out once more, this time by Claire, who is beginning to remember what happened to her while she was kidnapped. Believing Rousseau knows more than she actually does about the events, she tells Rousseau to take her back to "that place". Danielle believes she means the location where she found her, and takes her back there, along with Kate. Claire then manages to find the Staff station, where she had been held, and the three go inside. Neither Claire nor Danielle find what they were searching for, and Danielle is upset that she is still no closer to ever seeing her daughter. As Claire realized what actually happened, and how Danielle had actually saved her life, she reveals that the female Other who also helped her was probably the Alex Danielle lost 16 years ago. Danielle thanks Claire for telling her this, and returns to her home in the jungle. ("Maternity Leave")

Days 76-91 (Season 3)

Danielle sees Alex for the first time in 16 years. ("The Man from Tallahassee")

Later, Kate goes looking for her, seeking her help in finding the Others' camp. When Rousseau asked why she should help, Kate mentioned how her escape from the Hydra was assisted by Alex, who Kate is sure is Rousseau's daughter. ("Tricia Tanaka Is Dead")

Danielle, along with Kate, Sayid and Locke, venture out into the jungle to locate the Others' camp. During their journey, they encounter Mikhail Bakunin and the Flame station, which Danielle has never seen before. Whilst Kate, Sayid and Locke decide to investigate, Danielle refuses to go along, stating that she has kept alive for sixteen years by avoiding such situations. She waits by a nearby stream until they have finished their search. When they return with Bakunin as a prisoner, she presses them to kill him because she doesn't trust him. Sayid refuses to do so, however. ("Enter 77")

Danielle continues to travel with the group, and at a rest stop by a stream, Kate asks Danielle why she isn't concerned with any details regarding her daughter. Danielle tells Kate that her daughter will not recognize her and that she may not even like what her daughter has become. Later, Danielle continues being wary of Bakunin, telling the others that whatever he says "will be a lie." En route to the barracks, Danielle discovers a series of metallic posts and alerts the others. After managing to scale the sonic security fence, Danielle and the others arrive at the outskirts of the barracks ("Par Avion")

Danielle is reunited with her daughter after sixteen years. ("Through the Looking Glass")

After witnessing Jack playing football with Tom, she abandons the group without saying anything, but she remains hidden in the vicinity of the barracks. Later she silently witnesses Alex taking Locke to the submarine but Alex doesn't see her. She then disappears and is nowhere to be seen when the Barracks are evacuated or when Juliet, Jack, Kate and Sayid leave the Barracks. ("The Man from Tallahassee") ("Left Behind")

Eight or nine days later, she briefly reappeared, entering the Black Rock while Locke was forcing a confrontation between Sawyer and Anthony Cooper in the ship's brig. Danielle stated that she was there for some dynamite, then took a crate and left, seemingly unconcerned with Locke's activities. ("The Brig")

The dynamite was for Jack, who had come to her for help after learning of the Others' plan to take the pregnant women. She helped him and the castaways to set up three booby-trapped tents, which they would detonate from afar when the Others went in. However, Danielle determined that they didn't have enough wire. They started to strip more from the plane wreckage, but the plan had to be scrapped when Karl arrived to warn that the Others would be coming sooner than expected. It was decided that three men - Sayid, Bernard and Jin - would stay behind to detonate the explosives by shooting them. Meanwhile, Danielle would lead Jack and the rest to the radio tower and disable her distress signal, which would allow Naomi to contact her ship with the satellite phone and bring rescue to the island. ("Greatest Hits")

Danielle led the group up to the radio tower, and on the way met her daughter, Alex. She communicated with her for the first time, and Alex herself seemed curious about her. The two tied Ben up together, and headed on to the radio tower. Danielle stated earlier to Jack that she would help them find rescue, but would not be leaving herself. The Island is the only place she knows, and is her home. ("Through the Looking Glass")

Days 91-98 (Season 4)

Danielle guards a beaten Ben. ("The Beginning of the End")

Worried for Alex's safety, Ben asked Danielle to take her far away, so that whatever was coming to the island wouldn't harm her. Danielle punched Ben in the face when he referred to Alex as his "daughter" and ignored his plea. Later, when Naomi managed to escape into the jungle, Jack asked Danielle to help him track her down. Danielle followed a trail of blood that Naomi had left behind, only to realize that Naomi had tricked her, and that the blood stains were a dummy-trail to throw off any trackers.

When the camp was forced to take sides over whom to follow—Jack or Locke—Danielle chose to join Locke's side. ("The Beginning of the End")

Danielle, along with the rest of Locke's group, encountered Charlotte Lewis, a member of freighters who had just parachuted onto the island. Ben tried to kill her, and in response Locke threatened to kill Ben. Danielle tried to shield a protestant Alex from her adoptive father's impending death, but Locke spared his life anyway. ("Confirmed Dead")

Danielle continued to aid Locke in his efforts to remain on the island, including helping him capture Sayid. While taking Sayid to a holding room, she told him that holding him captive in the rec room was nothing personal. Claire said she also saw her taking Ben into Locke's basement at the Barracks. ("The Economist") ("Eggtown")

Danielle, Alex and Karl come under attack. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")

Rousseau was present at Locke's meeting where, after Ben's release, he implored Alex, along with Danielle and Karl, to flee the Barracks and head for the Temple, as he was certain Alex will be killed if they remain. Danielle seemed somewhat suspicious of Ben's plan, but after some thought, agreed with Ben's assessment. She assured Alex they had to go. While traveling to the "sanctuary," they took a break. Rousseau began to suspect someone was approaching just before Karl was shot. Danielle told Alex, who was crying over Karl's body, that they needed to run, and that he was "gone." They prepared to flee after the count of three, but as soon as Danielle stood up, she was shot in the side and she fell to the ground. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")


Danielle is discovered by Miles in her shallow grave. ("Something Nice Back Home")

After Rousseau and Karl were both shot, the mercenaries who attacked them lead Alex back to the Barracks, in the hope of using her to lure Ben out of hiding. While Keamy stood with a gun pointed at Alex, communicating with Ben via walkie as he watched through a window, Alex told her father, "They're serious, they killed Karl and my mother." In a bid to save his daughter's life, Ben attempted to prove to Keamy that Alex meant nothing to him. He recalled the story of how she isn't his daughter, and how he "stole her as a baby from an insane woman." Nonetheless, Keamy shot Alex, killing her. ("The Shape of Things to Come")

Rousseau's fate, however, remained unknown until Sawyer, Claire and Miles were trekking back from the Barracks to the beach camp and they passed the clearing where Rousseau and Karl were shot. Miles began hearing screams and echoes and mysteriously asked who Danielle and Karl were. He then proceeded to dig two holes in the ground, revealing Karl and Danielle's dead bodies buried in their shallow graves. ("Something Nice Back Home")

Rousseau's French

The older Rousseau as played by Croatian actress Mira Furlan speaks with a strange French accent, and at times speaks French poorly. For instance, she mispronounced le territoire foncé (Dark Territory). The word foncé includes acute accent and the é is pronounced [e], but Rousseau pronounced the word as if the é were silent. A native French speaker would never make such an error.

Territoire foncé is also an inaccurate translation of "dark territory"; the French equivalent would instead be territoire sombre (a phrasing used in the French-dubbed version of the show). Foncé means "dark" only when referring to a color tone (e.g., bleu foncé = dark blue), and never refers to the figurative meaning of the word. This is not a confusion a native-speaker, and especially a trained scientist like Rousseau, would make.

The voice heard on the distress signal is that of a native French speaker and is not Mira Furlan's. However, since the characters who heard both the radio transmission and Rousseau (Sayid, Sawyer, Shannon and Hurley) didn't seem to be intrigued by this detail, it may be considered irrelevant. The voice on the transmission appeared on the show long before Furlan actually appeared, so it was likely a production error. It is however fair to assume that her voice would have changed somewhat in the 16 years since the transmission was recorded.

The Season 5 episode "The Little Prince" introduced Melissa Farman portraying a young Rousseau who spoke with a flawless French accent.

If some viewers find Rousseau's French irksome, consider the possibility that after sixteen years alone on the island without (or avoiding) human contact, Rousseau's grammar (or even pronunciation of some words) might have diminished.


Additional casting

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
More details...
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Danielle Rousseau/Theories
  • How did she survive the Purge?
  • Why did she claim to have never seen the Others when they abducted Alex?
  • Why did the Others let her distress transition play for 16 years, although they were in control of the radio tower?

This article uses material from the "Danielle Rousseau" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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