"The Lie" is the second television episode of the fifth season of ABC's Lost. The eighty-fifth episode of the show overall, "The Lie" aired on January 21, 2009 on ABC in the United States, being simulcast on A in Canada. It aired immediately after the previous episode, "Because You Left" and a clip-show that recapped the first four seasons. "The Lie" was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who were named executive producers prior to the start of production on season five; and directed by executive producer Jack Bender.
On the island, the remaining survivors are back in the past, attempting to start a fire, when they are attacked by a barrage of flaming arrows. Most of the survivors are able to escape; however, Neil "Frogurt" (Sean Whalen) and a few others are killed, and James "Sawyer" Ford (Josh Holloway) and Juliet Burke (Elizabeth Mitchell) are separated from the group. Lost in the jungle, they are captured by a group of armed military men who demand to know who they are, asserting that the island is theirs. The men are about to cut off Juliet's hand to extract information, when John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) ambushes them, helping Sawyer and Juliet free themselves.
In 2007, following the events of "Because You Left", Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) and Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) part ways, with Ben taking Locke's body to a butcher (Mary Mara) for safe keeping. Ben tells Jack to collect any personal items he really wants and meet up with him in six hours. Meanwhile, Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly) and Aaron Littleton (William Blanchette), her adoptive son, have fled their home to escape lawyers demanding a maternity test. They meet up with Sun-Hwa Kwon (Yunjin Kim) at a hotel, who implies that Kate should take whatever measures are necessary to protect Aaron. Sun forgives Kate for leaving her husband, Jin-Soo Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim), on the freighter when it exploded (as seen in "There's No Place Like Home").
Meanwhile, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia) and Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) are on the run after they are attacked at their safehouse; Hurley drives the unconscious Sayid, who has been hit by two potent drugged darts, to his parents' house. On the way, Hurley hallucinates deceased Oceanic Flight 815 survivor and former police officer Ana Lucia Cortez (Michelle Rodriguez), who gives him advice on how to avoid the real cops. Upon arriving home, Hurley's dad, David (Cheech Marin), covers for them when the police show up and suggests that Hurley take Sayid to the hospital. Hurley refuses, and David ends up taking Sayid to Jack, who is successful in reviving him. At home, Hurley confesses to his mother Carmen (Lillian Hurst) that the Oceanic Six have been lying; she believes him, though doesn't understand his disjointed story. Later, Ben suddenly shows up at the house and tries to convince Hurley to go with him to meet up with the rest of the Oceanic Six, saying they all want the same thing -- to go back to the island. Hurley wavers for a moment, then runs outside and turns himself in to police watching the house, having been advised by Sayid to do the opposite of whatever Ben asks. Later, Ben visits Ms. Hawking (Fionnula Flanagan), who tells him she has found the island and that Ben only has seventy hours to return with the Oceanic Six.
"The Lie" features the first appearance of main cast member Michelle Rodriguez since the second season episode "?". Rodriguez's character, Ana Lucia Cortez, was written to have a one season arc and was subsequently killed off at the end of the second season of Lost.
"Because You Left" and "The Lie" were uploaded to ABC's media website—ABC Medianet—on December 29, 2008 to be viewed by members of the press for advance reviews attached to limited confidentiality agreements. Matt Mitovich of TV Guide stated that "[t]he first hour is the stronger of the two", and that the "showstopper [is] one of Lost's most electric and intense action scenes ever." "The Lie", as well as the previous episode, "Because You Left" was viewed by 11.347 million in the US, and by 1.195 million in the UK. In Australia, the episode was aired separately to "Because You Left" and brought in 516,000 viewers.