Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lost 5.10: He’s Our You

“Three years, no burning buses. Y’all are back for one day...”

So... Sawyer Knew
For the last couple of weeks we’ve been debating in the comments sections of my other episode blog posts on whether or not Sawyer would know Ben was in the camp. I’ve suggested there’s no way he couldn’t know, others have said maybe he only knows his first name or there are too many people and he’s just never put it together. But I didn’t buy it... and now it looks like he really did know. Why has he never done anything? I’m assuming he’s just genuinely bought into Dan’s assertion that you can’t change the past. He’s accepted Ben is there, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Speaking of Ben...
... in this episode Sayid says Ben is 12 years old, which means he was born in 1965, making him 39 years old when the survivors first meet him. While I’ll grant Michael Emerson a tiny bit of leeway here and say I can accept that, that would mean that Ben in “Man Behind the Curtain” is only 8 years old, since we find out in this episode that the encounter with Alpert happened in 1973. I’m not sure I believe the kid was 8. He looked at least 10 or 12 in that episode, and he looks 14 or 15 here. Maybe Sayid was just throwing out the number in conversation, but didn’t really know how old he was for sure?

The connection between young Ben and young Sayid was really well done in this episode, however. We see Sayid’s father, a cold, hard man, pushing his son to murder in order to prove his masculinity. When Sayid first sees Ben with his father, he realizes his father is also a tyrant, belittling and abusing Ben for his own amusement. At first I thought Sayid would realize his mission is not to kill Ben, but to save him from growing up with this man, maybe thinking he’s the man who turned Ben into the monster Sayid thinks Ben has become. But in the end, Sayid sees that Ben is already beyond saving, just as Sayid was already beyond saving when he killed that chicken. And he kills Ben so Ben will never grow up to be... like Sayid.

Highlights:
• Hurley saying that anyone should have seen the relationship between Juliet and Sawyer.
• “Ask Sawyer.” “Who’s Sawyer?” “Who cares?” Ha! Radzinsky’s entire spaz throughout the interrogation is a highlight of the episode.
• “They just took a vote. Even the new mom wants you dead!”

Did You Notice?:
• This is the first time we see Sayid’s childhood. We’ve only had an enigmatic reference to Sayid’s father being a war hero in Iraq before, and that he was a very hard man. Now we see him, and how he helped turn Sayid into the murderer he is today.
• Sayid stepped in and helped his brother do a dirty deed he was being forced to do against his will, just like Eko had done when he was a child for his brother Yemi.
• Did that chicken deflate? He picks up a really fat chicken, breaks its neck, and it turns into the size of a drumstick.
• Ben hands Sayid a copy of Carlos Castaneda’s “A Separate Reality” (one more book to add to my reading list...) Here’s a quick synopsis from Wikipedia:

A Separate Reality is an allegedly non-fictional book written by anthropologist/author Carlos Castaneda in 1971 concerning the events that took place during an apprenticeship he claimed to have served with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, Don Juan Matus, between 1968 and 1971. The authenticity of the book, along with the rest of Castaneda's series, has been a topic of debate since they were published.
In the book Castaneda continues his description of his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Don Juan, from which he had withdrawn in 1965. As in his previous book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, Castaneda describes the experiences he has with Don Juan while under the influence of the psychotropic plants that Don Juan offered him, peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and a smokable mixture of what Castaneda believed to be, among other plants, dried mushroom of the genus Psilocybe. The main focus of the book centered around Don Juan's attempts at getting Carlos to See, a practice best described as, in Castaneda's own words, "perceiving energy directly as it flows through the universe".
The book contains an introduction, an epilogue and two separate parts. Part One, "The Preliminaries of 'Seeing'", describes his re-initiation into the apprenticeship from which he withdrew in late 1965, and also describes his introduction to another brujo (sorcerer) named Don Genaro. Part Two, "The Task of 'Seeing'", elaborates on the mental processes involved with Seeing, and begins with Castaneda realizing that the plants are a necessary tool to arrive at Seeing.

• Now we have a date for when Ben met Alpert, which is 1973 (he’s in 1977 now, and said he met Richard 4 years earlier).
• The scene where the man is frantically running into the house and down corridors, slamming the doors behind him, is all one cut, with one frantic cameraman running behind him.
• After Quentin Crisp Ben tells Sayid that he’s killed the last person who poses a threat to his friends, he passes through a set of gates that are practically closed, symbolizing the prison-like bars that surround Sayid emotionally. I loved how they segued this one into Sayid sitting in the actual cell.
• Juliet refers to her relationship with Sawyer as “playing house,” which is what Sawyer suggested to Kate that they do in New Otherton last season.
• Sawyer is tender to Juliet only when they’re inside the house. He never touches her or looks at her lovingly in the company of anyone outside of it.
• There were a LOT of ham references in this episode. The torturer is Oldham; Juliet is burning her bacon; Hurley brings breakfast over to Jack and Kate and tells them to try the dipping sauces, because they really bring out the ham.
• In the Dharmateria, there’s a Geronimo Jackson poster on the wall near the kitchen.
• When Ben comes to see Sayid in the Dominican, you can see two saws hanging on the wall behind Sayid. One has a light-coloured handle, the other black. Together they look oddly like the black and white glasses that Sayid fashioned for Sawyer.
• There were a lot of extreme close-ups in this episode. I’d never noticed Michael Emerson’s eyes were so blue. Or Naveen Andrews’ eyes were so brown (though something tells me redeem already knew that...) Or that Doug Hutchison’s (Horace’s) lips were so oddly shaped.
• The song playing in Oldham’s tent was “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” Ella Fitzgerald did probably the best known version of the song, but the version of the song I know of her singing it is much slower and quieter. This version actually sounds more like Billie Holiday to me.
Farnum Oldham steps out of a tent that looked Native American... much like the smoke lodge that Locke creates in “Further Instructions” (I was expecting “Oldham” to be someone we’d already know, like Tom or... Locke.)
• If you look closely, when Oldham emerges from the tent, behind him you can see his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl.
• Sayid is drinking MacCutcheon, the whisky that Widmore deemed too good for Desmond.
• This requires much more than a bullet point, but I’ll just mention it quickly now and perhaps write more about it later... for those who believe that Ben is actually a kind of angel on the island, Ilana comes off as the devil, a snake tempting Sayid only to ensnare him. Notice she’s wearing all black and saying the opposite of what Ben said.
• When Horace says, “Hello there,” to Sayid to bring him out of his stupor, he says it exactly the same way he says it to Locke when Locke is hallucinating and sees him building the cabin in “Cabin Fever.”
• Fool Sayid once, shame on you. Fool Sayid twice, shame on him. In “The Economist,” Elsa tricked him into thinking she just happened to run into him at a cafe, got him stuck in a long con, and boom, pulled a gun on him and said she was working for someone else who wanted to know about his employer. Now Ilana meets him in a bar, gets him stuck in a very short con, pulls a gun on him and says she’s working for someone who wants to bring him back for justice. Sayid, Sayid... when will you learn?!
• Ben is impressed by Sayid’s kung fu skills, but his will be just as impressive some day, if not more so.

Hurley’s numbers:
Ben says he ran away into the jungle 4 years ago. After Sayid shoots the man in the building, he steps out and you can see the address from the inside, which is 32. However, because we see it backwards it looks at first like 23. The house that is hit by the burning Dharma bus is Building 15.

So Many Questions...
• If the costume designers were going to dress Ben like a pimp this episode, why not complete the look with a feather in his hat?
• How did Roger Workman know about Oldham? You’d think that was intel that they wouldn’t have handed down to a janitor.
• Why is everyone so scared of Oldham? He doesn’t seem very scary to me. He puts some truth serum on a sugar cube and asks a bunch of questions... maybe they’ve seen what he does when he doesn’t administer the serum first.
• It looks like Sawyer really WAS planning on staying on the island for good. So what was his plan when it came to avoiding the Purge?
• When Amy tells Horace they have to think about Ethan, was anyone else half-expecting Sawyer to jump in and say, “Oh don’t worry about him... he won’t get shot until 2004. Er...”
• Kate says she knows why she came back... why?
• Did Sayid really kill Ben, or is it just a flesh wound? Why didn’t he unload the rest of the gun into him just to be safe?
• Does Ben have any memory of Sayid doing that to him as a kid (if he DID live), or would he only have a memory of Sayid doing that now (like Desmond only having the memory of Daniel after Daniel actually talked to him in the past)?

Next week:

114 comments:

Lindsay said...

When Sayid shot Ben I jokingly said that since he shot him in the heart that he'll be fine, since he doesn't really have one. Just like when Ben shot Locke in the kidney.

Really cool episode. I can't wait to see how "killing" Ben plays out!

Megan said...

My understanding of the way time works on the island is that Sayid can't kill Ben in the 1970s. Time only passes through each moment once; it's not on a loop. We know that Ben survives to the 21st century, so he can't be killed in 1977.

Benny said...

Despite being good and clearing up a few things, this was unfulfilling in that there is no added mystery (with the obvious exception).

Just like you Nikki, compared to previous episodes, I don't have much to say (for now, first viewing) so I'll just lay it on:

-Sayid breaking the chicken's neck, it started at an early age.
-Juliet burning the bacon. Always burning good food!
-Hurley's comment regarding Juliet and Sawyer.

-The return of the flashback, hopefully it'll stick around for a little while!
-Sayid drinking McCutcheon (now I really want to taste it), did he acquire a preference while on the island? Which brings up the question: who on 815 had a bottle in his suitcase?

-Did you notice that Roger did not have the Swan logo on his uniform!
-Why would Ilana bring Sayid to Guam for the murder of Avelino? Though it does bring closure for those who thought that someone should realize who was playing golf!

Hmmm... I think it's all, I'll come back tomorrow with more after another viewing and more posts!

Thanks Nikki for the book title, had missed it!

Benny said...

Forgot to check the (email follow-up comments)

SonshineMusic said...

My personal highlight for this episode was Sayid saying, "Are you sure we're going to Guam?" "I'm very superstitious about flying."
Though I hadn't realized the continuity errors from the earlier episode.

I wondered if the truth serum was something new. Sawyer looked kind of confused as to what exactly was happening at first and then concerned. I think if he had known that was what was coming he would have found some way to get Sayid out, since truth serum would be a much bigger danger to him and his Dharma life than anything.

I think Ben actually being dead will raise waaaaaayyyy too many problems. You'd practically have to rewrite the whole first four seasons. I don't know. Maybe not, maybe the Island will simply course correct, but I think Ben is far too integral a part in all that has happened on the island for him to be dead now. Besides, I would be reeeeaaaallllly sad if there was no more Michael Emerson. What would a Lost episode be without his smirking face and superior tone and psychopathic ways?

Speaking of which, he totally looked like some old radio or comic book villain with the crooked hat to match his crooked face and his black trench coat. Looked like something out of Dick Tracy. haha

Thanks for the recap as always Nikki! I love coming here!

@ Benny: Did you notice that Roger did not have the Swan logo on his uniform!

The Swan station hasn't been built yet, so that would make sense.

Deborah said...

Holy Crap! What an episode. Did Sayid really shoot Ben?

Deborah said...

Nice to find out why Sayid was headed to Guam. Would have liked to hear Kate's reason for returning though. How many think it was for Sawyer?

TCK said...

I think Ben was the chosen one of that time 70s-80s? much like how Locke is of the 00s, so he heals up like Locke did when he was shot in the kidney.

joshua said...

WHOA! This season rules. I can’t wait to see how the fallout from this one plays.

My initial thoughts:

- Dammit – another book to read! The premise of the Castaneda [Indian shaman offers clarity through hallucinogenic visions] sounds incredibly similar to the circumstances of Sayid’s interrogation, don’t you think? I'm pretty sure that "truth serum" was just good old fashioned LSD. And hooray for William Sanderson as Oldham joining the LOSTiverse! For a guy as recognizable as he is, the makeup here was so good that I wasn’t certain it was him until he spoke.

- The song playing on the phonograph outside Oldham’s tent is definitely Billie Holiday, but what’s the jazz song playing in the bar when Sayid and Ilana meet?

- And speaking of Ilana, I loved the boot, & seeing it completely whip Sayid’s ass!

- I kinda love that Juliet assigned Kate to the motor pool with her; I kinda hate that they set Hurley up in the kitchen.

- Right before the flaming bus shows up, when Sawyer walks reluctantly to another cabin and knocks, did anyone else think he looked surprised to see Kate open the door, like maybe that was Jack’s cabin? Kate even looks back over her shoulder before shutting the door behind her to talk…

- At the end, Ben says of his father, “I really hated him.” Specifically past tense. Do you think events have already diverged from the previous timeline and that Ben had already killed his father before arranging the diversion and freeing Sayid? Do you think he was perhaps inside the flaming van?

Deborah said...

Joshua: yes, I agree that Sawyer thought he was going to Jack's cabin and that Kate was looking over her shoulder before she went outside to check to see if Jack was watching her.

I also noticed that Ben said I really hated him as if he had already killed his dad.

Genevieve said...

Doesn't Sayid's "capture" remind you of Ben's/Henry Gale's capture in season 2? The 815ers lock Benry up and torture him to find out who he is, just like the DI's doing to Sayid.

Blam said...

I'm not a bloodthirsty guy, but I hafta say it was cool to see Sayid shoot Ben.

Partly because Ben is such a manipulative, evil schmuck -- yes, I fall into the camp that thinks he's a bad guy. Partly because of the implications that it has if it does change the timeline, or conversely because of how it will affirm that we're dealing with an inviolate timeline if young Ben survives. Partly because Sayid is finally committing a murder that he truly feels is for the greater interest of humanity, in addition to being payback for the weight on Sayid's soul placed there by the killing he did at Ben's prompting.

My favorite line was Sayid replying to Sawyer: "A 12-year-old Ben Linus brought me a chicken-salad sandwich. How do you think I feel?"

Or at least it was until we heard Ben say this to Sayid: "John Locke is dead. I think he was murdered."

I continue to find it amusing how establishment Sawyer has become as LaFleur. The Dharma Initiative camp has some hippie-commune trappings, sure, but it's still a research outpost with uniformed workers. There's a clear chain of command, and Phil hops when Mr. LaFleur tells him to skedaddle. I wonder how much of Sawyer's desire to maintain that life is due to his simply having a position versus having a position of authority, as well as being able to reinvent himself socially and even morally.

Blam said...

I love your comment about Ben being fine since he doesn't have a heart, Lindsay. Young Ben did have a heart, I think, but it might've been fragile thanks to his dad and gotten broke by Annie.

Nikki: Maybe Sayid was just throwing out the number in conversation, but didn’t really know how old he was for sure?

I get that producing a weekly television show is a massive undertaking, but it shouldn't be that hard for the showrunners and script supervisors to use consistent and believable ages for their characters and cast appropriately. The Mader thing, young Danielle, Ethan, Jack's grandfather, those oversized babies...

Nikki: Sayid sees that Ben is already beyond saving, just as Sayid was already beyond saving when he killed that chicken. And he kills Ben so Ben will never grow up to be... like Sayid.

I don't think that's quite it. Yes, he's saving him from becoming the Ben he knows, but there's also personal payback and the greater good mixed in there. And Sayid is not like Ben; it's true that Ben is, unlike many manipulators, willing to get his own hands dirty if he has to, but Sayid is the solider, or the mercenary with a cause, and Ben is the guy who takes advantage of people like Sayid.

Nikki: He puts some truth serum on a sugar cube and asks a bunch of questions...

I was under the impression that the sugarcube was dosed with homemade lysergic acid, and was surprised when they expected it to act as a truth serum. Then a faint memory arose, and a web search confirmed, that the CIA experimented with LSD for that purpose, although the dosage had to be right and the hallucinatory effects ultimately made it an imperfect option. When Sayid starts talking about the future, Oldham does assume that the dose was too high.

I took the surprise and hesitancy when Kate answered the door to mean that Jack was living there, and that he's who Sawyer went to see, although if Doc and Freckles are shacking up that has ramifications for the romantic rectangle. While it crossed my mind that Roger might have been in the flaming van, it's also possible that Ben was using the past tense either because he was now escaping and would never see his dad again or because he had already hardened his heart to the point that he no longer even felt the hate.

DeborahB said...

It looks like Sawyer really WAS planning on staying on the island for good. So what was his plan when it came to avoiding the Purge?

Nikki - I was wondering about that a couple of weeks ago. Sawyer acknowledged tonight that he knows the Purge is coming, but he also doesn't want his 'good thing going' to be changed. Maybe he figures he'll wing it when the Purge time approaches? Which is part of to the larger question I kept having about Sawyer's leadership skills while watching tonight's ep: last week Sawyer gave Jack the big speech about being a thinker and therefore a better leader, and how he was going to figure out how to handle the Sayid situation, but it became apparent tonight that all that thinkin' didn't lead to much. He visited Sayid only a couple of times over the course of the few days (and not right away) after Sayid was captured, told Sayid to say he was defecting to Dharma from the Hostiles, and when Sayid said no thank you he would rather leave, Sawyer didn't do any further thinking/leading with respect to Sayid's situation until everyone in the Dharma initiative voted to kick Sayid off the island. When they were taking Sayid to Oldham, Sawyer's only action was the upset face, and when Radzinsky was arguing Sayid had to be killed, Sawyer made some objections, but ended up voting with the group. After his big speech to Jack, I expected more of a shift in his behavior. I know Sawyer was voting with the group because he was planning on springing Sayid later, but still, my overall feeling was that he wasn't doing much. I think Jack or Kate, in Sawyer's position, would have kept trying to either change Sayid's mind, or free Sayid, or something! Sawyer did try to free Sayid, but only after it reached the point where the alternative was that Sayid was going to die.

I'm not advocating that Sawyer turn into Jack, but I just thought we would see more strong leadership behavior from Sawyer after his 3 years of self-improvement reading. Instead, his response when Sayid wouldn't go with his plans was more of a 'well it's your funeral.' I think a leader wouldn't have given up so easily, so Sawyer's speech about being a better leader than Jack turns out not to be so true.

R.S said...

I'm going to have to agree with Benny's summary of the episode, good but not great.

-It seems like this mini-arc of is young Ben dead is going to be a waste of time. He can't be dead, you can't change things it's been said over and over again, Sayid just hasn't heard it yet.

- I want info on Miles and Faraday and for that matter Locke who have been missed. Not spend time speculating on the inevitable fact that Ben can't be killed in the past.

He's as dead as the time he shot Locke or Locke was thrown out of an 8 storey window or actually strangled to death. If Ben goes out he's not going out this way.

- Speaking of which I think when it is all said and done and young Ben survives he'll have gone through enough trauma that he won't remember the shooting and who shot him (even so far as the days leading up to the event and therefore won't remember Sayid). It is after all a pretty big deal to be shot square in the chest... well I imagine so.

- The sooner Sayid loses that purple shirt the better lol.

- The writers missed an opportunity for Locke to be referred to as Bentham when Ben informed Sayid of his death. What's with everyone now calling him Locke when his identity should still have been protected?

- I agree with the above suggestions that Sawyer was intending on visiting Jack not Kate.

- Speaking of Sawyer he was the once again the best part of the episode.

- I'm sounding negative but there was good in the episode. Young Ben is a solid actor. Lol at his dad throwing the sandwich. Dude, you're going to have to clean it up.

- Nice call on E.B Farnum.

- Ben in Russia = Toht from Raiders of the Lost Ark

Oh man I was laughing so hard when he turned around, that was cool.

flexible said...

Enjoyed just about a couple of minutes of this episode. Wasn't stong in my view but I do have to agree with Nik regarding "eyes". I have been wondering whether they cast these people on how beautiful their eyes are. Evies green eyes are gorgeous. Josh's blue, EM, et al. I mean, it makes the "eye acting" easy because it does not matter whether there is emotion or not, you are so mesmerised by their eyes that you believe you see all sorts.

@Joshua. That is Kates house and Sawyer knew he was going to Kates house. That is the exact porch where they did their longing/pining scene at the end of Namaste so why would he suddenly think Jack had moved in? Moreover, we saw Jack coming fromn his side of Utopia when the fire was in full flow. Kate looked back and then shut the door because she had just heard Sawyer and Juliet are "playing house" and it was akward. Should she let him in? Or maybe not, having had that talk with Juliet. She just thought, outside is best. Who knows what would have happened had they gone inside with the looks those two have been giving each other. I went into a trance when he marched off to Kates house hoping he would just grab her and we would get some real electricity for the 1st time this season but I snapped out of that dream soon enough to see Bens fingerprints written all over that fire.

R.S said...

I just wanted to add some more positive comments to balance out some of my negativity.

- I like how the supposed Kate vs Juliet thing was handled. Neither was bitchy (not to say it won't devolve in the future)and I'm liking Juliet more than I ever have before.

- I also enjoyed the traditional flashback aspect of it. It filled in the holes in Sayid's past. I particular liked and was surprised that Ilana wasn't in law enforcement but was only posing as some kind of agent to take him to Guam, it all makes perfect sense.

I'm off the go rewatch the first time we see Sayid board the plane.

Ali Bags said...

I hate to crow, but I was right all along about Sawyer knowing Ben was there and he just hadn't mentioned it. It is Lost after all.

I totally thought Sawyer was going to Kate's cabin (I was screaming, 'No! Don't do it!') but his reaction when she opened the door was a bit odd. How 'Lost' that he left it this long to ask one of the Oceanic 4 why they'd come back!

I love the fact that Dharma torture is basically giving someone LSD - So 70s, and So appropriate! Did you notice how that scene was a role reversal of the 'Jungle of Mystery' torture scene between Sayid and Sawyer in season 2 but without the actual violence (except Sayid didn't get to snog Kate)?

Ali Bags said...

Sorry - I meant the 'Jungle fo Mystery' scene in season one.

batcabbage said...

When Sayid picked the gun up off of unconscious Jin I said out loud "Oh wow, Sayid's gonna be in one of those situations like 'If you could go back in time would you shoot Hitler before he-" BANG! "Oh. I guess that's a yes, then."

As far as 'dead' young Ben goes, how many people have we seen in this show 'die' and then show up again later? About 700? Seriously, though, I love this. I hope he is dead, because it would throw everyone's preconceptions about the 'rules' of time on the island out the window. We really have no idea how it works. There's even exceptions to the established rules, as Daniel says when talking to Desmond, who the rules don't apply to. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. Those commenters who've pointed out the similarities to Ben shooting Locke are pretty much on the money, I think, despite how much I'd like it if he really was dead.

I was actually watching Deadwood today, and the last episode I saw was 'E.B. Was Left Out', which is kind of like how I feel about Bill Sanderson's guest star role in tonight's episode. Actually, cameo would be more appropriate. After the buildup to big, scary, torturer Oldham, it was definitely a letdown. I hope E.B. will be back.

garrett said...

What was so great about this episode was a return to the classic flashback. Centering an episode around 1 character and filling in most of the gaps off the island was a good change.

Anonymous said...

Nikki - EB Farnum - YES - I hate when I can't remember where I know an actor from. He has a one-of-a-kind voice.

One thing that kind of bothers me - now that JK&H know that Sayid showed up on the island away from them shouldn't they be telling Sawyer and (especially) Jin that they think Sun and Ben (and maybe Lapidus) are out there somewhere too? Maybe they did this off-screen and that's why Jin is searching on his own.

On an unrelated note I'm very worried about Michael Scott and Jim Halpert now that Stringer Bell is on the scene.

-Tim

batcabbage said...

Something just occurred to me. Sayid's comment: 'No, you gave me just the right amount' or something to that effect while he was giggling off his dial. While I'm typing this it seems like it's pretty obvious (and I wonder why I didn't think it at the time), but was he referring to the right amount needed to see his purpose, as directed by A Separate Reality?

Teebore said...

Wait, he didn't just...yeah, yeah, he did.

And somewhere in the Hydra Station circa 2007, and adult Ben Linus implodes as he's erased from existence. :)

Sayid, Sayid... when will you learn?!

The poor man's just desperate for some lovin'!

...did anyone else think he looked surprised to see Kate open the door, like maybe that was Jack’s cabin?

I also got that vibe, despite Sawyer clearly knowing it was Kate's cabin.

I guess I should say, the vibe I got was that Sawyer was looking for Jack, not Kate. But maybe that's just me.

Did anyone else think the bar that Ilana picked up Sayid at was the same bar at which Jack enjoyed a nightcap (before visiting his grandfather) in "316?"

Mike said...

Some are speculating that Ben doesn't remember Sayid killing him...but I think he DOES remember. What is the last thing Sayid tells Ben before he shoots him? "I am a killer." What does Ben say to Sayid to convince him to liberate Hurley? "You're a killer." I think Ben has remembered him all along!

I also love how this is setting up the Purge. There has been a truce between Dharma and the Hostiles, but no more. Dharma will look at Sayid as the Hostile who broke out of their camp and tried to kill a young kid for no reason. They also know that he had classified information on their stations...and he even TOLD them they were all going to die! The war has started...and it'll end in the Purge. We're watching it all unfold, and our castaways are the reason why.

I love this show.

batcabbage said...

@ Mike: Man, that was one of the best comments I've read on here. It all makes sense! Ben tells Sayid he's a killer, so he shoots him when he's young, completing the circle, but he survives, so he has to tell Sayid when he's older, because it has to happen. Just like the 'Richard-giving-Locke-the-compass-to-give-to-Richard-who-gives-it-to-Locke-to-give-to-Richard' thing. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

So do we think that Ben was really behind Ilana bringing Sayid specifically on that flight to fufill his mission of getting them all back to the island or is it a grand coincidence (from the island?) they all end up there?

-Tim

groovyghosthunter said...

Did young Ben say, "I really hated him" or did he say, "I really hate it here" My spouse and I debated this for a bit and we think it was "I really hate it here" since Ben didn't kill his dad til he was older during the purge.

Yussi said...

What I found interesting was the short scene with Ben, his father and the sandwich. Young Ben is not able to lie to his father. The Ben WE know is a great liar. Maybe the shooting of Ben caused Ben to become the evil person he is.
I'd love that: Sayid trying to kill Ben for being evil and therefore making him the monster he is.

Benny said...

@SoneShine: D'uh! Thanks.

@joshua\Deborah\groovyghosthunter: "I really hate it here", with sound up or close captioning, it's conclusive.

Mike said...

@batcabbage: It IS brilliant, isn't it? That's why I love the show.

@Yussi: You're right. In trying to change history, Sayid is instead making it happen.

Nikki Stafford said...

Hey y'all.

I'm trying to post this as an update (and I think I'll make it my DocArzt column for today) but as usual, the traffic on the site right now is making updates very difficult. So here it is in comment form until I can get it up on the site.

This is me on Thursday morning. I haven't read the comments yet (can't wait!) but I thought about this episode more last night... I was DEAD tired as I was finishing up (so I'm sure there are comments pointing out that I wasn't making any sense, and they'd be absolutely right, I'm sure) and yet I crawled into bed, head hit pillow, and I couldn't even close my eyes. Just laid there thinking about this episode.

And while I threw out the question at the end about whether or not Ben is actually dead, I realize there's no way he's dead. Even if Dan is wrong and you CAN go back and change the past, I think it makes for much, much better storytelling if he's alive. First, Michael Emerson. I can't bear to lose him. Secondly, pretty much everything in the last few years loses its punch if Ben's not a part of it.

But mostly, I think Sayid shoots Ben and tells him that he's a killer, and Sayid's purpose in going back to 1977 becomes NOT putting an end to Ben Linus, but actually turning him into the person he will become. It's not Roger who makes Ben the horrible person, it's Sayid. This could spark Ben's entire existence. I've said often in my books that Ben comes off as knowing what's going to happen, and I speculated that he's jumped around in time on the island and knew what was going to happen in advance because he'd already seen it happen. BUT... maybe he knows what's going to happen because he's going to glean it from the survivors, who will, in one way or another, tell him.

But most importantly, Sayid pulls the trigger on Ben. Ben grows up, Purges the DI (it's the survivors who give him the idea in the first place by telling him he did it), becomes one of the Others, and sits back waiting for them to show up in their plane. When they do, he decides to destroy their lives for what Sayid did to him. That spinal cancer Ben had? Could it have been compounded from the bullet he got from Sayid as a child? Remember the first person "Henry Gale" faces off against in the Armory? None other than Sayid. He sits there and takes the beating, knowing that some day, he'll deliver something SO much worse than what Sayid will dish out.

Ben will orchestrate the survivors getting off the island, he will kill Nadia, turn Sayid into a hitman, take everything away from him, and JUST as Sayid is putting his life back together, he'll get him back on the island. And maybe there, he'll dish out the worst he's got.

I think Sayid mistook his purpose. He's not there to destroy Hitler, he's there to create him.

SonshineMusic said...

@ Mike: I'm not sure I agree that this is setting up the purge, unless Ben really is dead and this is the course correction to make sure the purge still happens. If Sayid is seen as an Other, then why would Ben help the Others if he was just shot by one?

It creates the greater tension for Dharma, but not for the Others (who know Sayid is not one of them) or for Ben

humanebean said...

I was worried that I would be in the minority but I see from some comments that I'm not alone in finding this episode an uneven one. But, MAN did it have its moments!

Nikki - "Quentin Crisp" .... bwahahahahahahaha! *hurt myself* Careful with that sense of humor, woman - you could KILL somebody with that thing!

And so it goes ... some things that jumped out at me:
1) Sometimes the silly little things really float my boat. The chain link fence in Tikrit is composed of thousands of tiny octagons. Yes, I'm watching too closely.

2) I wondered if the title of Castenada's book "An Alternate Reality" was meant to be THE clue that what happens here belongs to just that. Instead, I agree with batcabbage that this foreshadows Sayid's realization of purpose via hallucinogenics.

3) In the background of the Moscow apartment, we see a box with what appears to be a variation on the 8-pointed star/donkey wheel. Again, yes, I'm watching too closely. Obsess much?

4) Bacon & eggs are a wonderful symbol of domesticity in Dharmaville. The scene with Sawyer and Juliet immediately brought to mind "Eggtown" in Season 4.

5) Love the way Sawyer says, "Morning, H" when he answers the door for Horace. "Hi, L. Hello J, how's tricks?" Okay, I'll stop now.

6) As a devotee of "Deadwood", I was thrilled to see E.B.-er, Oldham emerge from the tent. Wish I could have seen his title on the jumpsuit. Clearly, there's more to his story. Teepee? LSD eyedroppers? Billie Holiday 78's? Jungle Boogie! Also, did anyone else notice the rusty lantern hanging outside the teepee? Hmmmmm .....

7) LOL line of the night: "I'm between jobs right now" LOVE to see THAT resume up on Monster.com ... or do you suppose he's using a 'headhunter'? *innocent look*

8) Odd line on the Ajira 316 sequence - Ilana says to Sayid, "Sorry about the handcuffs, but at least we're in business". Whaaa? From her evasive answers to his questions, I can't help but believe that she was actually hired by Widmore (with or without her knowledge) to get Sayid on that plane. Caesar may have gotten there the same way.

9) Ben, even as a teenager, was one resourceful dude. Flaming Dharma van rolling downhill through open areas of compound into Building 15? Check. Keys to the cell (presumably Dad's)? Check. Hooded sweatshirt in unknowing Charlie Pace homage? Checkmate.

10) "You were right about me ... I am a killer". BLAM! (apologies to Mr. Blam) Now THAT'S the way to end an episode! Nice shootin', Tex - dead center on the chest. Even if Jin's presence and the recent arrival of a surgeon on the Island points the way to a life-saving operation soon, this was great to see. What happened, happened ... INDEED.

Bonus: Ben did indeed say "I hate it here" as opposed to "I hated him". We had the same discussion at my house. What did we DO before DVR/TiVo? Was there LIFE back then?

Hutch said...

This season just gets better and better. What are the chances that Ben is still alive and brought back to Darmaville. At the camp the only person with the required surgical skills to save him is the "Workman" Jack.

Decisions, decisions. Follow the Hippocratic oath and save Ben. OR, let him die and save hundreds of lives by preventing the purge.

I know what I would do. It would be to...........

R.S said...

Nikki - while I don't disagree that Sayid in some way or another creates the Ben we love and hate I've seen it mentioned elsewhere and now by you that Ben kills Nadia, how can this be the case?

Nadia was killed during the 10 month period when Ben was time travelling from Frozen Donkey Wheel to Tunisia. When Ben left the island there was no indication that Sayid would even be rescued, so i don't see how Ben could have had a hand in or orchestrated the death of Nadia.

I don't necessarily think it was Widmore either. Whoever it was Ben just seemed to use the death to his advantage, but I don't see how it could be him.

batcabbage said...

Well, I think Hutch may have hit the nail on the head. Jack saves Ben's life for the second time - but for the first time chronologically. Damn, that's awesome.

Chuck Power said...

Just thought that I would toss this out there. The first time that Shannon "died", it was because Boone was dosed with an island drug by Locke and imagined that she died because it was a relief to him. Sayid was dosed by some island drug by Oldham and his current state of mind could certainly be relieved if he were to think that Ben was eliminated as a child. I'm actually hoping that this is not the case because it has already been done but I do think that is a possibility.

Oh yeah, Sawyer definitely thought that Jack was going to answer that door.

humanebean said...

Nikki,

I absolutely agree. For me, the central mystery since Season 2 (which is SAYING something, on this show) has been the raison d'etre of one Mr. Benjamin Linus. How does he know? Why does he do ... ANYthing? The events that we watch play out in these last few episodes are the key to those mysteries.

I've been thinking recently of the journal we've seen Ben writing in at various points. When did he start writing? As a young boy and later teenager, he's exactly the kind of solitary, withdrawn child whose innermost thoughts and plans would find their way into a private journal. (stereotype much? yes, apparently) I think we may yet find Ben recording all these events there, and referring to them later when future situations start the cycle that we've come to know so well by now.

This explains so much for us ... and once again (if true) shows the brilliance of LOST's writers and creators in bringing the storyline full circle, allowing us to marvel at the way later events in the timeline imbue earlier ones with so much more meaning .. and a palpable sense of irony.

For me, the oft-quoted Season 3 tagline, "We have to go BACK", has become the mantra for understanding and enjoying LOST's unique storytelling. Back - to earlier episodes to more fully grasp the meaning of what we saw. Back - to the situations in which crucial mistakes were made and seize the opportunity for redemption. Back - in time, to influence events that set the stage for later ones.

I find myself thinking of the lyrics to CSNY's iconic "Woodstock":

We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden...

and the last chorus:
We are stardust, we are golden
We are caught in the devil's bargain
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden ...

SonshineMusic said...

Ben has his fingers in so many pies I find it hard to believe he didn't have a part in Nadia's death. It all seems a little too coincidental.
I guess he could have been just taking advantage of a situation, but, knowing Ben, I bet he somehow had a hand in it.

Teebore said...

Decisions, decisions. Follow the Hippocratic oath and save Ben. OR, let him die and save hundreds of lives by preventing the purge.

I was just thinking the same thing.

I bet this is the event that blows open Sawyer's whole cover story...a dying Ben is brought back to the DI and there isn't a capable doctor around (like with Amy's delivery) so Jack must decide once again whether or not to operate on Ben, knowing that if he does, he risk his cover, as well as Sawyer's, Juliet's, etc. in the DI.

And of course, he HAS to do it, because he's ALWAYS done it...Ben was alive in 2004 when Jack performed spinal surgery on him because Jack patched him up when he was shot in 1977.

Why did Jack, at least, have to go back to the island? So he could save little Ben's life.

That'd be pretty awesome, huh?

Nikki Stafford said...

OK, I'm back. Unfortunately I have to be out for most of the day, so I'll leave some comments now and return to the discussion later.

I've already posted my DocArzt column, since I won't be able to write it up at lunch like I usually do. It's here:
http://www.docarzt.com/lost/lost-news/what-nikki-noticed-510-hes-our-you/

Lindsay: LOL!! Best comment ever. :)

Megan: I agree. I threw out the question more as something we could ask ourselves, but I think the answer is obvious.

SonShine: I second the love of Emerson. There's no way he's dead. :)

Deborah: Nice to find out why Sayid was headed to Guam. Would have liked to hear Kate's reason for returning though. How many think it was for Sawyer?

My hand is in the air! :)

joshua: Dammit – another book to read!

You took the words right out of my mouth. :/ The premise sounds a lot like Valis. Looks like Ben always liked his psycho spiritual literature.

what’s the jazz song playing in the bar when Sayid and Ilana meet?

I couldn't make that out; I even turned on the captioning, but still couldn't figure it out.

Right before the flaming bus shows up, when Sawyer walks reluctantly to another cabin and knocks, did anyone else think he looked surprised to see Kate open the door, like maybe that was Jack’s cabin?

I actually totally thought that. Or wondered if Jack would emerge behind Kate as a flip scenario of Juliet and Sawyer being in the same house. I was worried when Sawyer went over there, actually, because I thought, "oh no! He's going to get Jack's advice!" and I wanted him to figure out how to handle this on his own. :)

At the end, Ben says of his father, “I really hated him.” Specifically past tense. Do you think events have already diverged from the previous timeline and that Ben had already killed his father before arranging the diversion and freeing Sayid? Do you think he was perhaps inside the flaming van?

I totally noticed that! I can't believe I didn't write it because I said to my husband, "Why the past tense?!" And I couldn't figure out what he meant. Never thought of the flaming van. Maybe you CAN change the past!

Seabiscuit said...

That was the same cabin that Kate was standing out in front of in Namaste, the same one that Jack walked away from when he left Sawyer's house (and also approached from the opposite direction when he came to visit). Unless the Doc has a lousy sense of direction, that's not his house.

Michael said...

Great posts. I am quite sure that Ben will survive, but what if he doesn't? New Otherton in the Namste episode did not look like the one we last saw before the 06 left the island, what, with all of the Dharma logos and photos and all.

Nikki Stafford said...

Blam: I wonder how much of Sawyer's desire to maintain that life is due to his simply having a position versus having a position of authority, as well as being able to reinvent himself socially and even morally.

Absolutely. I loved when Phil scuttled away when he told him to go.

DeborahB: After his big speech to Jack, I expected more of a shift in his behavior. I know Sawyer was voting with the group because he was planning on springing Sayid later, but still, my overall feeling was that he wasn't doing much.

I'm kinda with you there.

I think, again, something we all need to get our heads around -- but it's REALLY difficult -- is that he spent 3 months with the Oceanic survivors, and 3 years with these people. Why would his loyalties still lie with the people who, in effect, left him behind? These people have provided him with a home, a purpose, and respect. I could see him switching his loyalties to them. Sayid stuck bamboo shoots under his fingernails. Tough thing to forget. ;)

And yet when I watch it I'm yelling for Sawyer to do something. I think the challenge for us now is to try to see this all from Sawyer's point of view, which is tough when we've only had one flashback to his time before the other survivors returned.

RS: I think when it is all said and done and young Ben survives he'll have gone through enough trauma that he won't remember the shooting and who shot him

Oh, I think he'll remember. I think this could be one of the things that makes Ben what he becomes.

The writers missed an opportunity for Locke to be referred to as Bentham when Ben informed Sayid of his death. What's with everyone now calling him Locke when his identity should still have been protected?

I TOTALLY agree! I said that out loud, too, that you'd think they'd use this as an opportunity to get some more Benthams in there. I'm starting to think that one episode really IS the only time we'll get that backstory.

Ben in Russia = Toht from Raiders of the Lost Ark

LOLZ!!!

I was actually watching Deadwood today, and the last episode I saw was 'E.B. Was Left Out', which is kind of like how I feel about Bill Sanderson's guest star role in tonight's episode.

I agree. To quote a line from Buffy, "Big overture... little show." I hope we get more of him.

garrett: What was so great about this episode was a return to the classic flashback.

Agreed! I thought of that this morning, too, that we haven't had one of these in ages.

batcabbage: While I'm typing this it seems like it's pretty obvious (and I wonder why I didn't think it at the time), but was he referring to the right amount needed to see his purpose, as directed by A Separate Reality?


Very well could be. Have you read the book?

Erin said...

the ISLAND won't let Ben die........

SonshineMusic said...

@ Deborah, Nikki: Would have liked to hear Kate's reason for returning though. How many think it was for Sawyer?

I don't know. I really am thinking that Kate will not allow herself to love anyone since the death of her childhood sweetheart. I can't see her making the huge decision to leave everything behind just for Sawyer. She just isn't that sacrificial.

But if he's not the reason, then I would really like to know what it is. Maybe it has something to do with Aaron or whatever happened in that time period between leaving the dock and showing up at Jack's an emotional disaster.

Nikki Stafford said...

teebore: Did anyone else think the bar that Ilana picked up Sayid at was the same bar at which Jack enjoyed a nightcap (before visiting his grandfather) in "316?"

I did!! I was wondering if they just used the opposite camera angle, aiming towards the windows with Jack, and towards the back wall for Sayid. Instead of Ilana, Jack had a blonde. Interesting!

Mike: Some are speculating that Ben doesn't remember Sayid killing him...but I think he DOES remember. What is the last thing Sayid tells Ben before he shoots him? "I am a killer." What does Ben say to Sayid to convince him to liberate Hurley? "You're a killer." I think Ben has remembered him all along!

YAY!!! That's exactly what I think. See my DocArzt post for more, but you and I are definitely on the same page for this one. I'm so glad, because I'm scrolling through these comments thinking, "Uh oh... maybe I'm out of my tree." ;)

groovyghosthunter: Did young Ben say, "I really hated him" or did he say, "I really hate it here" My spouse and I debated this for a bit and we think it was "I really hate it here" since Ben didn't kill his dad til he was older during the purge.

Ah, good point. Thanks for checking the closed-captioning, Benny! That solves that. :) I guess good ol' Rogah is not in the van after all.

(By the way, I always have to say the name Roger like "Rog-ah!" like a Brit would. I was working on a book years ago on Muddy Waters and trying to get Eric Clapton to write a foreword for it, and I was working with his manager, Roger Forrester. Every day the phone would ring and this guy would say, "Ello! It's your ol' buddy Rogah!" I've said it like that ever since. :) )

Yussi: The Ben WE know is a great liar. Maybe the shooting of Ben caused Ben to become the evil person he is.

Absolutely my thinking exactly.

humanebean: In the background of the Moscow apartment, we see a box with what appears to be a variation on the 8-pointed star/donkey wheel. Again, yes, I'm watching too closely. Obsess much?

You and me both, my dear. I backed up that scene countless times to look at the boxes, because I could have sworn they had the Oceanic logo on them, but after repeated checks, I no longer think so. But there's definitely some logo on there that's repeated, and I think there's a reason all those boxes were there.

From her evasive answers to his questions, I can't help but believe that she was actually hired by Widmore (with or without her knowledge) to get Sayid on that plane.

Really good point. I'm not sure I believe her story about Avellino.

RS: while I don't disagree that Sayid in some way or another creates the Ben we love and hate I've seen it mentioned elsewhere and now by you that Ben kills Nadia, how can this be the case?

You're right; I keep forgetting that he sort of walked into a moment there. But that said, there ARE Others off the island, as we can see with the video Ben shows of Widmore being recorded getting out of a car with a man being beaten. I still wonder if there's a way he was able to orchestrate it so it would happen at a certain time. How he would know exactly what time period he'd jump to, though... hmm.. not sure how to explain that one. ;)

humanebean: For me, the oft-quoted Season 3 tagline, "We have to go BACK", has become the mantra for understanding and enjoying LOST's unique storytelling. Back - to earlier episodes to more fully grasp the meaning of what we saw. Back - to the situations in which crucial mistakes were made and seize the opportunity for redemption. Back - in time, to influence events that set the stage for later ones.

More than any other episode, last night's episode made me think, "Wow, I cannot WAIT to watch this series again when it's all over, knowing what's going to happen, and piecing it together from the beginning, seeing the seeds they planted early on for us." And when they were having their vote in Horace's living room, I also realized that this season is brilliant because in seasons 3 and 4, we were all saying that we would probably eventually get flashbacks showing us what really happened in the DI. Little did we know HOW we would see those flashbacks, and I love that they're living, breathing flashbacks happening right now, and not just memories. SO awesome.

teebore: Why did Jack, at least, have to go back to the island? So he could save little Ben's life.

Awesome indeed (and kudos to everyone who's brought it up before here in the above comments). I never thought it through to that conclusion, but you're absolutely right.

Sonshine: Maybe it has something to do with Aaron or whatever happened in that time period between leaving the dock and showing up at Jack's an emotional disaster.

Excellent point, and you just changed my mind. I get so caught up in the individual episodes that I forget about the full arc. Absolutely she's there for Aaron. Which is interesting, because Claire is with Christian, who is Jack's father, who is with Sun and Ben... so confusing. But aside from Ben's story all coming together, maybe the Christian/Jacob/Claire thing will be the focus of season 6.

Brian Douglas said...

Maybe Ben is undead. "I know what you are, boy."

batcabbage said...

@Nik: I read the first book, The Teachings of Don Juan. Wasn't exactly my cup of trippy tea, but it was interesting. It was basically (as I remember it now, some years on) how to gain knowledge through ingesting massive amounts of psychotropic and halucinogenic drugs. There was a particularly interesting bit where Carlos frollicked naked with a dog that wasn't there, the embodiment of the god Mescalito (or something, someone please correct me if I'm wrong, it's been a while since I read it). Good read, but I never moved onto the next one. Considering the nature of Casteneda's books, I'm guessing that's what Sayid was talking about.

Benny said...

@Sonshine: And something has had to happen during that period because it was only a few hours. Something happened with Aaron that made her change her mind.

Next week's episode: "Whatever Happened, Happened". Just as Sawyer says to Sayid about Oldham that "He's our you", could someone (Kate) be saying "Whatever happened, happened" to someone else (Jack, Sawyer) regarding whatever happened with Aaron.

The titles have evolved throughout the show and this season, they represent what someone says, or are relevant to what people say.

It COULD be a red herring and whatever happened in the past can be changed. AS for the week after, "Dead Is Dead", who could that be refferring to?

I'm just talking here, don't have any clue or argument to think anything except what we already know!

London said...

There seems to be a lot of confusion about whose house Sawyer went to after his convo with Sayid. If you saw Sawyer's reaction right before heading over, he looked more than frustrated at what he was about to do, indicating to me that he was about break down and ask for Jack's advice over the Sayid situation. That's why he looked pissed, then surprised to actually find Kate answering the door instead of Jack. It's pretty obvious to me that he was upset at the prospect of eating crow after his "speech" to Jack. Why would he be upset at seeing Kate, and why would he march over to see Kate after seeing Sayid? Clearly, he was there to get Jack's help.

Second, Nikki, I wonder if you're overanalyzing the Suliet love "indoors only" interpretation. I just think that most of that kind of affection occurs behind closed doors with most people. Nothing weird about that.

Benny said...

@London: that's what I thought too. The house Jack is coming from when heading towards the fire is identical to the one Sawyer and Kate come from. Though that doesn't mean much since all houses are really similar.

Last week, who's to say that Jack wasn't coming from/going to somewhere other than his house? Also, Sawyer may have gone to the house next to Kate's, because J&K are neighbors? Who really knows, there is not proof, only speculation (so far).

Hutch said...

Just wondering?

Amy is holding baby Ethan. Since we saw a lot of dead bodies in the "purge" how did Ethan survive and become an Other? Also, some posters thought an old version of Ethan's mother was in Juliet's book reading club (the episode when they see the plane break apart.). How did she also survive the "purge"?

Anonymous said...

Amy is holding baby Ethan. Since we saw a lot of dead bodies in the "purge" how did Ethan survive and become an Other? Also, some posters thought an old version of Ethan's mother was in Juliet's book reading club (the episode when they see the plane break apart.). How did she also survive the "purge"?

My theory: Amy is a Hostile spy. Her ex had the ankh and Horace got really upset to find that ankh in her possession. Maybe she and her ex were sent to spy on the DI. Maybe the fight that led to her ex's death was a result of that spying.

Anyway, I think she escapes with baby Ethan because she was a Hostile from the beginning.

I think that the island will course-correct to save young Ben's life and Jack will be the means of correction.

I like the comparison between young Sayid and young Eko. I was thinking the same thing when I saw the flashback, moreso than the comparison between young Sayid/young Ben.

Sayid and Eko both made moves to help and/or shield their siblings.

My big question is: where does Sayid go after shooting young Ben? The Hostile camp? Does he know enough to convince Richard that he's not DI?

ronald said...

The comment during the meeting, " We need to call Ann Arbor" means that there will be a deadly food fight (incident?) between Dharma and the Others at the cafeteria in Michigan.


Amy is an other that has crossed over. She seemed way too nervous during the meeting.

SonshineMusic said...

lol! so they DID say they had to call Ann Arbor?! I thought that's what they said, but then I thought I was hearing things, because I work for Borders, which is based in Ann Arbor!
That's where they get all the books from! lol!

Brian Douglas said...

I'm not sure I understand how Amy can be an Other spy. It's not like Dharma just take in anyone who drops out of the sky into their camp.

Oh wait!

SonshineMusic said...

Last week someone commented that they see Christian as the "Holy Ghost" figure of this whole thing, which I thought was really interesting.

So, I started thinking about it and came up with some further parallels.
Locke is the "Jesus" figure. They made that pretty clear with the filming of "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham". They drew definite parallels, then he died and came back to life again and is always trying to lead people into the truth of the Island.
Jacob is the "God the Father" figure. Unseen, except to a few choice "prophets."
Which brings me to Ben.

Honestly, I think that Ben is the "AntiChrist" figure. He usurps the authority on the Island, or so it seems. He now has died, or nearly died and will most likely be miraculously revived. If the Island (rather than Jack) heals him this could be a key moment that elevates him into such a high status of "Special"ness that he is poised to help with the purge and then take over the Others, even to the point of ousting Widmore.

Benny said...

From Lostpedia, I'll trust their Russian source over mine:
In Moscow when Sayid exits outside mirrored writing "Олдхэм Фармасьютикалс" can be seen above the door which is "Oldham Pharmaceuticals" translated into Russian

joshua said...

Just a heads-up to those who don't already know: the "Geronimo Jackson" song 'Dharma Lady' (actually a reworking of San Diego band The Donkeys' song 'Excelsior Lady' put together just for the show) is available as a free download on iTunes at the moment.

humanebean said...

Forgive me: I posted this comment over on Nikki's 'Doc Arzt' column section... and then realized that I was much more interested in hearing what any of the excellent commentators HERE might have to say in response - so I copied it here as well. [apologies to myself for the plagarism] Here goes:

You know, there's something about this whole "whatever happened, happened" thing that's been bugging me for quite awhile - and it ties in to the overarching mythos of the entire show. Since "Flashes Before Your Eyes", we've all been mulling the concepts of determinism and course-correction as outlined by Mrs. Hawking. Then, this season, Daniel Faraday picks up this baton and again reminds us that "you can't change the past". And yet, just as before with Mama Hawking, as soon as someone repeats this mantra they seem to immediately set about trying to do JUST THAT.

If "whatever happened, happened", then WHY does Desmond need to be urged to go to the Island and push the button? Why does Faraday need to tell Swan Desmond to go to Oxford and find his Mum? Why do the O6 have to be corralled into returning to the Island within "72 hours" ... or God Help Us All? Why does Locke/Bentham have to facilitate this or else "the coming war' will be won by the Wrong People? Hasn't it already HAPPENED?

If Sayid is using his free will to choose to (try to) kill Young Ben Linus, has he ordained that this is what "happened" that set all future Island (and many off-Island) events in motion? Will it prove to have been necessary for Sayid to shoot him so that Jack and Juliet could save his life and thereby rescue the rage that would one day Purge the Dharma Initiative? If it happened already, why does Ben have to visit Sayid in Santo Domingo and call him a killer - pushing him towards a return to the Island and a gunshot that will actualize this self-fulfilling prophecy?

This is the thread that I need untangled for me. This is the nugget of information that I am panning for during each and every episode at this stage. THIS is why I love LOST.

Benny said...

@humanebean: that's a damn good observation. I think Daniel believes it but is just acting as he would otherwise. Perhaps he has some doubts.

But what I find interesting is Hawking's behaviour. One theory I present is this: "Whatever happened, happened... unless you change it!"
This would suggest free will has an impact, but what Hawking is trying to do is push the survivors to create everything as is, otherwise none of it would actually happen!

Since they know from their past that the survivors went back in time and created a chain of event, they must push them, in the present, to act accordingly so as to not disrupt the timeline. Otherwise, God help us all!

That's the whole paradox thing of the show. The future hasn't been written, so free-will dominates. But in the sense that in 1977 when 2008 hasn't been written, it has been hinted at what it should be like (at least parts of it). And some individuals set out to make sure it happens as they perceive it.

It's vague and only a theory!

Zabriina said...

Yay, I managed to watch this week's episode early enough to post a few things I haven't read in the comments yet!

About Kate's/Jack's house. At first I thought only Kate lived there, and Sawyer looked reluctant to go over to see her because he's somehow trying to keep things straight with Juliet. The fact that he hasn't been alone with Kate since she came back could explain the uneasy behavior.
But then, watching a second time, we see Jack and Kate leave the house (or at least the porch) when Juliet lets the bacon burn. Would Jack just pick up Kate before going to work??
Still, i'm not buying Sawyer's face as surprised, he knew very well that was Kate's cabin.

About Amy being a hostile, I totally agree. I think that's why she jumps in when they debate about killing Sayid, she knows he's no Other - if he's no Other and no dharma, he's only good if dead.

Nikki - "Oldham steps out of a tent that looked Native American..."
There are also Tibetan prayer flags in the background when they attach Sayid to the tree.

Missing Georgia said...

Nikki- I had the same feeling of being irritated with Sawyer's loyalty to the DI folks, but then I had to think he was with them for 3 years and only the Losties for 100days, so that makes sense.

Deborah B - I am totally with you on the Sawyer leadership skills. It is pretty easy to sit back and criticize the guy making decisions until you are the guy making the decisions. He was able to pull off the long con because he is a con artist, but not because he was a leader. Sawyer has always been about protecting Sawyer. I know there is anti-Jack sentiment here, but Jack, in my opinion, as always thought of others. He may not have made the right decisions, but his decisions never seemed as selfish as Sawyer's decisions. He doesn't want the Losties to come back and mess up HIS good thing. He never once mentions how their appearance affects the others (Jin, Juliet, Miles and Daniel?).

In regards to Jack blowing their cover by being the mechanic that fixes Ben. Wouldn't Juliet have already blown their cover by being the mechanic that was able to deliver a breech-baby Ethan? I am surprised that nothing has come up with that major event. How did they explain that away?

I knew Ilana was something other than a law enforcement officer. When I re-watched last week's episode, she didn't seemed phased when the plane started rocking and rolling. She looked like she knew what was going to happen, either because she works for Ben or Widmore.

This wasn't my favorite episode, but I did like it. I liked the Sayid centered episode, especially since I just watched "Enter 77" yesterday afternoon. The two episodes fit nicely together.

Nikki- Thanks for the "Darryl and my other brother Darryl reference." That gave me a great belly laugh.

I also could not get my jaw off of the floor after Sayid shot Ben. WOW! I like everyone's theories that Sayid created Ben.

Missing Georgia said...

I also just re-watched the episode about Jack's tatoo origins. It means "he walks among them, but he isn't one of them." Seeing that episode now, makes me think of Christian. I still wonder what that makes Jack.

Sonshine Music - I was the one that thinks Christian is the "holy ghost" of the island that appears to the disciples to give comfort and guidance. I agree that Locke is definitely the Christ figure. Jacob- may be the Father. Ben being the anti-christ is a good assessment, but I still want to believe that he is a good guy in the end. I know that is far-fetched. I just love Michael Emerson. He makes you love and hate Ben at the same time!

SonshineMusic said...

@humanebean: As with so many other aspects of this show, I love the whole struggle of free will vs. fate. It's a whole aspect of philosophy and theology that I have always found fascinating.

Something that I thought about while rewatching season 3 was the fact that Desmond got the flashes about Charlie and used the knowledge to "change" the future, keeping Charlie alive.

However, he kept Charlie alive only so that Charlie could die. The Island (or whatever gave him those flashes) knew that Charlie needed to stay alive so that he could go to the Looking Glass, because only Charlie would be able to figure out the music code to turn off the dampening field.

So, was he "destined" to die? Or could Desmond have found a way to save him once again, just like the other times?

Was Desmond "destined" to end up on the island? Or did he just reaffirm the choices that he made the first time that happened to bring him there?

None of the characters seem able to leave behind who they are. Even when they have chance after chance, they always end up reverting to their original selves. Are they "destined" to be these people? Or do they continually choose to do the things that continually make them these people?

It's an interesting balancing act and I can't wait to see how they play it out.

SonshineMusic said...

@Missing Georgia: I just love Michael Emerson. He makes you love and hate Ben at the same time!

Exactly!!!! Unfortunately, that's why I think he has to be the bad guy. It just wouldn't be near as interesting if he's good :P

Missing Georgia said...

Re: Ben's place in the island theology - He could also be perceived as Archangel Gabriel. He is a messenger of God (jacob) and also seen as the Angel of Death. Lord knows he has presided over a lot of death! Just another thought.

SonshineMusic said...

Re: Ben.

I was thinking Satan at first - you know, the ultimate deceiver who mixes in just enough truth to make you swallow the lie :)

Benny said...

@MG/SM: Widmore as Satan. Temped Jesus during his exile.
Wdimore tempted (convinced?) Jonh Locked during his exile off the island...

flexible said...

I agree that Ben did not die. Ben is currently in DI but we met him as leader of the Others. This is simply how he got to "the others". We will see more in the next episode. I know this season Josh Holloway seems to be giving us variations of the same expression(unfortunately)because I thought he was pretty good with expressions the previous 4 seasons, but it was not surprise at the door. He was frustrated. Sayid had just pissed him off about purpose and what not. He was going home. He looked over at Kates house. Surely you can understand the dilemma of going there or not for Sawyer? Why are we speculating? He went there to ask why they came back? He went to ask for Kates purpose. He explicitly said so. There was no vagueness about it. Do you think he cares what Jacks purpose is? In General, he cares why they all came back but he is not going to be marching off to Jacks house to ask why Jack came back. He was marching to the door angry, Kate opens it and I thought Josh did a pretty good job of showing the initial anger dissipating and the warm look he has when he looks at Kate replacing it. If he was looking for Jack, he would have asked for Jack. They made a point of showing us the view of the house. There was no one in there. Sawyer looked in. Kate looked back. There was an akward second of two of silence should we go in or should we talk here? They decided to talk out there and Sawyer quickly goes "Why did you come back?" Why did you come back, Kate? I can not see where Jack figures in this scene at all. This is the Skate angst we were promised and I am enjoying it. The morning scene was Jack picking Kate for what we saw as breakfast with Hurley. When the fire interrupted Sawyer and Kate, we saw Jack come from the same direction he headed to, at the end of the last repisode. If they wanted us to think they were living together, they would have done a better job of it and we know how LOST loves its ambiguous relationship drama. This was not a moment for speculation because everything was both verbally and physically explicit.

Nikki, Kate came back for Aaron and I watched Claires centric of season 1 yesterday. No one can raise Aaron except Claire if not he becomes dangerous or he is surrounded by danger. Something to that effect. Somone probably makes Kate aware of this, in her coming episode and she has to give Aaron up to go and find Claire. She thought Sawyer was probably dead hence the relieved smile when Hurley said, you are alive, at the reunion scene. Much as the old romantic in me would love to say she came for Sawyer. It's all about Aaron and I am not unhappy with that. There will be time for dimples. In the meantime Juliet a.k.a klingon can keep doing the laundry :) Kate's got bigger issues for now. I want to know who with and where she left Aaron. What got her into that catatonic state in 3.16 where Jack accepted the sexual overtures of a zombie?! Been looking forward to this episode for a long while. Also, I think next week she has the chat with Sawyer about Clementine.

As an aside can I just say too much is being made of "3" years. Sawyer has been living a lie for 3 years. His name is not Jim La Fleur. I don't care whether it is one day or two minutes but whenever you are your real self, warts and all, is always better than when you are living a lie no matter how much that lie becomes a reality, it is still a lie and will eventually fall apart. Trust? They are all untrustworthy. I am still wondering if Sawyer told Juliet about Clementine, this so called 3 year relationship that is based on trust and loyalty. We will see.

Blam said...

Brian D: Maybe Ben is undead. "I know what you are, boy."

I had that thought at first, but it doesn't pan out -- at least based on what I think I know. 8^)

Locke and Christian had to return to the Island to be brought back in corporeal form. It's true that other folks have been seen post-death on the Island, as I exhaustively detailed in a comment on the previous ep, but only briefly as guideposts or cryptic commentariat. Claire is the main wrinkle for me, if she did indeed get blown up in that Dharma house and return undead yet unaware of it until wandering off that night in the forest. You kind-of have to stretch to believe that Ben is killed, taken off the Island, returned, and resurrected by it, all in sufficiently non-suspicious manner that he's able to rejoin the Dharma camp and live there until the Purge, when you'd think that he wouldn't need the gas mask in the van, although if this really did happen that could just have been a Jeremy Bentham moment not to make the viewers suspicious but retroactively unnecessary. The main thing this theory has going for it is that it explains how Ben is able to survive all those beatings and maintain his calm, but that's canceled out by the fact that it seems like all that corporeal messiness and petty human feelings don't really jibe with what we've seen of Christian as Jacob or the Island's avatar. Hopefully soon we'll get some answers on just what they are, possibly through some kind of interaction of Locke and Christian themselves.

Jeff Heimbuch said...

I can't wait for Ben to be playing "Johnny B. Goode" at the "Enchantment Under The Sea" dance, and for his hand to start disappearing. How bad ass is that gonna be?!

Missing Georgia said...

Good one, Jeff. LOL :)

Steve said...

"I'm exactly where I want to be." or "I always have a plan" seem to be Ben's mantra. Ben alrighty knows that "you can't change the past no matter what you do you will always end up with the same result" Ben knows the end game and it's not going to be good. Maybe he's just trying to find a way to fix things to have a better outcome.

Let's just say you knew a certain outcome and it wasn't good. You knew that you might have to have bad things happen or good people might have to be sacrificed in order to try and change things to alter the future wouldn't you try?
Does that make the individual a bad person? Ben could be trying to reach a different outcome no matter what the predetermined destiny is. Desmond tried with Charlie but in the end Charlie still died.

Nikki Stafford said...

Re: where Sawyer was headed. I think he knew he was headed to Kate's house. But I think the writers wanted us to think he was heading to Jack's house, and that's why so many of us were duped. :) Remember, earlier in that same episode when Juliet is peering out the window, she watches both Kate and Jack leave the porch of that house, so it meant it could be anyone's at that point. Every time one of them is shown coming out of a house, the camera is at an odd angle, so it's never easy to sit down and sketch out who is living where (I'm STILL not sure where the heck Jack is supposed to be living... and what were they doing with all these empty houses, anyway?)

So I'm happy for the fans who immediately recognized it was Kate's house and his entire purpose was to go over there to ask her why she came to the island. I think ultimately, that was his purpose. But we were MEANT to believe he was heading to Jack's to ask his advice or turn to him in a way, which is why the music builds to a BA BUM! when Kate is the one who opens the door.

redeem147 said...

I think that Ben isn't dead (Sayid didn't check for a pulse), that Sayid always shot him, and that turning Sayid into his assassin is Ben's revenge.

Now to read the rest of the comments.

And yes, Nikki, I knew his eyes were that brown. In fact, I use a closeup of his eyes as my livejournal Lost icon.

Nikki Stafford said...

And for the record, I actually believe Ben is the good guy. I know I stand a 50% chance of being wrong on this one, but I really believe we're meant to think Widmore is good and Ben is evil, and I very much think it's the other way around. :)

redeem147 said...

It's nice to see people think of William Sanderson as EB Farnum. For so long people only referred to him as 'Larry' (though I did read a comment from a friend musing whether Darryl and Darryl were also on the Island).

You know I loved the episode. :)

redeem147 said...

What if Widmore and Ben are evil?

Merc13 said...

Nikki - I don't think Sayid's expressions in the airport in "316" were as extreme as you described them, but, they probably were different, as was the line he says to Ben on the dock, "I better not see you again," whereas previously it was "I better not see EITHER of you again," referring to Ben and Jack. Lost has done this before, but I think it's a conscious decision on the writers' part, and that it's not an implication of continuity error, but of differences in character's respective memories.

It started in season one, where you could see very distinct, deliberate differences between Sun's and Jin's flashbacks to the time when Jin washes the blood off his hands in the sink. It shows a certain bias in the way each character looks at their past. The difference you perceived probably makes a good deal of sense then. Jack remembers Sayid's glances as being very knowing, because Jack's been dazzled by this idea of a destined purpose, whereas Sayid remembers his own apprehension.

Also, I might be a Lost apologist, but I like the idea of Sayid being such a hopeless romantic that it's like his kryptonite. It's a nice, ironic flaw to mirror his all-too-easy ability to kill in the heat of the moment. And after this episode, I'm much more forgiving of that season 4 scene where Ben "talks" Sayid into killing for him, because it's obvious that Sayid, whether consciously or subconsciously, let himself get talked into it because he wanted bloody satisfaction for Nadia.

The Chapati Kid said...

"If you look closely, when Oldham emerges from the tent, behind him you can see his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl."

Ha ha! I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw him! Gosh, that voice and accent of his is iconic, isn't it?

So now, Jack's going to shed his janitorial garb for some surgical gloves because he'd really like to get frakked in the future.

I have to say, that kid who plays the young Ben: they found a dead (pardon) ringer for Big Ben (yet again). Same blue watery bulgy eyes, and did you notice that his intonation and staccato speech was the same as Big Ben? Even the way his lips closed -- talking about extreme close ups, that was one that really struck me -- I can still see in my mind's eye young Ben's teeth.

But I felt incredible empathy for the character, which is what makes this show brilliant -- at the end of last week, I just thought, if they kill him, it will all end now. And then 50 minutes later, my heart is crushed for Saiyid and Ben. You can tell S. is going to be a broken man after this. Bet he's never ever killed a kid before. Superb writing, superb performances, superb casting. Very cute Junior Jarrah.

I thought this was definitely an old school season 1-like episode.

R.S said...

Good timing Merc13

Nikki said:

There’s an inconsistency with the airport scenes in this episode and the Sayid we saw boarding Flight 316 a few episodes ago. In that episode, Sayid looks very smug as he walks through the airport. He gives knowing glances at the other Oceanic survivors, as if he’d somehow planned to be on that flight and Ilana is the dupe, not him. When Ben walks onto the plane, he just stares at him, again, knowingly. But in this episode he’s freaking out, eyes wide open, genuinely confused and scared, not wanting to go back to the island.

I think this is an unfair criticism. I thought the same thing so it prompted me to go back and watch it.

This is the order of things at the airport in 316:

- Jack at check in sees Kate

- Jack at check in speaks to Caesar

- Jack at security check point is approached by Sun and talk. They both see Sayid looking defiant being escorted past security by Ilana.

- Jack approaches Hurly at the gate, they talk prior to boarding the plane.

- Jack boards the plan, he and Sayid exchange glances, the camera focuses on Sayid he looks anxious.

In He's our you:

- Sayid And Ilana have already passed the security checkpoint

- At the gate Sayid notices Hurley, then Jack as he approaches Hurley.

- This is the first time Sayid sees Jack. Jack already knows Sayid is at the airport, he doesn't notice him at the gate as he is busy talking to Hurley.

- Sayid then notices Kate sitting in the waiting chairs.

- Ilana declines Sayid's request to take the next flight as the board the plane while Jack is still talking with Hurley.

From Sayid's perspective in 'He's Our You' the only contact we are shown is with Ben as he boards the plane. Their reactions are consistent with those shown in '316' only in slow motion and close-up.

So after probably spending too long on this my conclusion is that they nailed it, no inconsistencies.

On to Sawyer visiting Kate's house again I got it wrong.

- Sawyer leaves Sayid after being told Sayid is back for a reason.

- Sawyer is at his own front door.

- Sawyer looks over to Kate's house, he looks back (probably thinking of Juliet's insecurity) becomes annoyed knowing what he must do and huffs off over to talk to Kateto find out why she is back. He even pushes up his sleeves lol.

- Sawyer doesn't have a look of surprise on his face when Kate opens the door he's more like 'I'm cool there is no longer anything between us' though there probably still is.

Onto my previous point about Nadia, I think if they want to make it that Ben had a hand in her death it is possible but still I think it's unlikely. Even though he had people doing his bidding off the Island like I said before when he zapped away from the FDW he didn't even know Sayid had gotten off the Island, been rescued and reunited with Nadia.

Not outside the realm of possibility for the show but unlikely.

If that is the case and Ben is responsible for the death of Nadia and Sayid finds out (and you know he will) adult Ben is a dead man no ifs or buts. And if Ben does go out I don't imagine it will happen like that. It will be huge.

Why can't Widmore and Ben both be bad? The Island could need the help of the Lostaways team to rid it of both scourges with Richard (maybe Locke) and the other Others to never be bothered again. It seems the army started it all and it hasn't let up since.

Brian Douglas said...

I agree with redeem: Ben and Widmore are both bad.

SonshineMusic said...

So, I know that just a little before I said Ben was bad, but I've been rethinking it and taking in other people's comments here.

I think in a lot of ways Ben is sort of beyond the terms "good" or "bad". Kind of like Richard. Or Widmore. Sometimes the things they do could be construed as evil, sometimes as good (though more evil than good come to mind).

It's not until the whole picture is revealed that we will fully understand their roles and I think good and bad will have little ultimate relevance.

Totally unrelated comment. I think this was one of Naveen Andrews greatest episodes. During the torturing scene I said, "Finally, they give him a chance to really act." I've always felt like Sayid was an underestimated character. He gets shunted to the side so often with all the drama between Jack and Sawyer and the insanity of Locke and Ben. It was so nice to see him get some good screen time.

Another random comment... Did anybody else notice that Jack's new haircut makes him look a whole lot like Christian?

Benny said...

With regards to the house Sawyer walks to and ends up seeing Kate.

Now we're not sure whether or not it is Jack's house, but I can prove with evidence it is NOT Kate's house! Furthermore, I can show evidence to 'suggest' it is Jack's.

I've written a short document with screenshots to prove my stance! It is a 3.1 MB pdf file available at the following link (no spam intended):

http://www.sfu.ca/~bstooke/Jack%27s%20house.pdf

My original thought was that he didn't know what to do with Sayid and needed help: he went to Jack who was once a leader Sayid respected, more or less.

Lostie said...

Another Great Epi, But....

I was so disappointed with Sawyer in this epi. He was so weak. He has his old gang back together, he should've started planning in getting them together to take over the DI. Jin should have shot Radzinsky when they found Sayid last week, or this week Sawyer should have brought Jack, Kate, Juliet and Jin with him when they took Sayid to Oldham and over powered them, that would have made lots of Lost fans very happy. Sorry but I feel this war thats coming will be between 3 groups and the survivors will be on their own. Whatcha think?

Ali Bags said...

OMG Benny! That is devotion to the cause. I am very impressed and I admit I was wrong - Sawyer was going to Jack's house.

I bow to you.

Benny said...

Now, let's not confuse devotion with boredom. I just caught one small thing that bothered me and looked into it.

I will admit that all of my argument is based off of one shot in Namaste. It could turn out that for obvious reasons, production decided to change Kate's house to the one next door.

But until we see confirmation of either, I'll stick with my suggestion.

Nikki Stafford said...

Merc13 & RS: You guys are absolutely right. My bad. I remembered the way Sayid smugly walked into the airport with his nose in the air, and he seemed pretty unfazed after that, but you're right, when Jack boards the plane, Sayid sits up and leans over to Ilana to say something, and he looks similarly anxious when Ben walks on. Thanks for clarifying that...

Teebore said...

@Benny: awesome! Seems pretty conclusive to me-at least, as you said, until the producers decide to move things around for one reason or another. ;)

Speaking of the houses, me and my wife have been idly curious since "Namaste" about Dharma's housing policy.

There seems to be many more people than houses, yet many people seem to have their own house. Obviously, w/Saywer being a fairly significant figure on the island, he ranks his own house with Juliet. In "He's Our You" we're fairly sure we saw a group of women come out of one house, suggesting a dorm room/roommate kind of things. So why do Kate and Jack, both new recruits, warrant whole houses all to themselves? To make it easy for them to have secret conversations with Sawyer? :)

Doesn't really add or take away anything from the story, either way. We just thought it was interesting, considering that while Dharmaville has its far share of houses, it seems like there are too many people to give EVERYONE their own house, unless it's much bigger than we've seen so far.

humanebean said...

Bravo, Benny! Well played, sir .... very well played.

May your boredom increase in direct proportion to our enjoyment of its productivity. Slainte!

Missing Georgia said...

Thanks, Benny. I think you should be hired on the show. You could definitely keep the inconsistencies at a minimum or completely absent.

Nikki Stafford said...

Benny, you rock. I'm going to post this on its own (I hope that's OK!)

Benny said...

To everyone who enjoyed it... you're all welcomed. An Nikki, I'd be more than happy to let you post it!

And I should maybe reiterate/reword that it is evidence but not proof.

Stan said...

Getting back to the "big picture," has anyone considered the idea of the US government being behind the whole thing? Since they lost a hydrogen bomb and a large number of troops around 1954 (I forget if they said a battalion but that would be about 200 soldiers), wouldn't the government have a national security interest in finding an island that has disappeared along with their troops and a bomb? Maybe this idea has come up before (I have been reading this website only this season) and there are a lot of details to work out. For example Widmore may for vindictive reasons (personal vendetta against Richard and Ben possibly) have gone to the government and told them that he can help them find the island. Having an island that disappears in time would seem to me to be pretty interesting to CIA and pentagon types. And the government would have even more capability to put a plane full of dead people into the ocean to be found by explorers.

Benny said...

@Teebore: Regarding the houses, I'll just chalk it up to them having roommates but we don't actually see them as they're irrelevant. There were quite some new recruits and perhaps they live together, getting to know the group type setting.



RE: What Ben is, what is his role, what is Widmore's role: Here's an interesting theory (likely wrong but nonetheless interesting). The maniacal Ben we know is the product of a causal loop. That is, Sayid created Ben by shooting him, and in turn that Ben sent Sayid to the island to make sure he shot him. We've discussed this... it's the Creating Hitler paradigm.

Now Ben's purpose in 2008 is to make sure everyone comes back to the island to tie the loop, making sure it happens type of thing. What I believe Widmore's intentions/role/purpose is: to prevent Ben from doing so, restoring to proper/clean time string, if that is possible.

I'll try to maybe write another document but in the meantime, here it is.
1- Widmore in 1954 learns of time traveling (TT) individuals by talking to Richard.
2- In 1973, he hears that Richard has recruited Ben to be one of them.
3- In 1974, after Sawyer and Richard discuss, Widmore learns of the TT being in the 1970 DHARMA.
4- In 1977, or shortly after, Widmore learns that the young Ben has been shot by one of those TT.
5- The angry Ben eventually stages a plan to take over the Hostiles and exile Widmore.
6- Widmore tries, through various methods, to prevent the TT from returning to the island and creating Ben, which would complete the loop.
Ben: He wants to make sure the loop is completed, maybe he knows what could happen to his other-self if it was restored.

Nos. 3 & 4 represent when the loop begins to form. Visually, imagine a string you're holding with both hands and then just create a loop with it.
No. 6/Ben is whether or not one end of the string goes through that loop to create a knot.

Widmore is trying to prevent it. Again, visually, if you DO NOT pass one end into the loop and eventually pull on both ends of the string, it is all clean and retored as a straight string.
Ben is trying to tie it, passing the 2008 end in the loop. Visually, by doing this and pulling on the string, it ultimately creates a knot, solidifying the causal loop in time.

This causal loop is what created the Ben we and Widmore know. This is why Widmore says: "I know WHAT you are boy. And I know that everything you have, you took from me." Ben is only an abnormality in time. And in such, the real Ben would not have become the leader of the Hostiles.



This theory is strongly unlikely, but realy interesting, at least that's what I think.

Sam said...

Amy very well could be a spy -- but has she even seen Sayid yet? If she hasn't seen him, she may just be thinking he's a real hostile and he'll blow her cover. Though, when I watched this episode, I just thought she was reacting with normal post-partum anxiety, mama-bear instinct.

I believe the reason Kate came back was for Aaron and Claire, not for Sawyer. That's the only thing that could have turned her into the zombie who jumped Jack's bones.

Roland said...

If Sayid the Experienced Assassin really did kill Young Ben (it looked like a shot to the heart to me) the implication is that The Ben Entity that murdered Roger Work Man was a Resurrected Non-living Person like “Christian”.

I’ve been speculating for years that Ben may not be human - and the Assassination of Young Ben may offer the proof that this has been true for 4.5 Seasons. It would certainly explain Ben’s apparent ability to teleport - and his apparent ability to read minds. It would also explain CW’s remark, as well as Miles’ that he knows WHAT Ben is.

Anonymous said...

Nikki...I've only recently found your posts on Lost, and I love them! You give me such a laugh! Not only do you make some great points, catch interesting "easter eggs", and provide a thorough re-cap, but your witty commentary is right on the mark. The Ben "pimp" comment, or Oldham's two brothers in the tent. lol! You've become my favorite read every Thurs.!

By the way...I saw a screenshot of young Ben (Lost Untangled),that shows him alive, but on lifesupport type equipment. He'll live, but I think he grows up in real time, remembering who Sayid is. In other words, old Ben knew the surviors all along? He pays Sayid back as an adult by having him go on a killing spree? Oh, geez! I don't know!

Anyway, love your posts! Keep it up!

R.S said...

Uh Oh! That's a bit of a spoiler you've posted there. Probably a bit of a no-no.

*beware of spoilers in the post above mine*

Anonymous said...

Oh, no! I didn't know I was posting a spoiler! I'm so sorry! "Untangled" was aired during "Life on Mars" after the show, and can be found on abc's website, so I thought nothing of it. And honestly, I'm not sure if Ben's alive...that was my theory.

I hope I didn't upset anyone. I really don't think I gave anything away. Again, I apologize!

Benny said...

@Anonymous: I think we can forgive you. I saw it too and I figure others have as well.

Luckily, even if the shot from 'Untangled' is accurate and Ben is on life support, I suppose the plug can be pulled. Ben can still die.

Brian Douglas said...

I'm still waiting for Ben to show the bullet scar on his chest and say if he had a heart, he'd probably be dead. :-)

Hisham said...

I just finished watching the episode (my sister's wedding was yesterday, so I really had no time to watch anything), and I found it quite enjoyable. Here are a few random thoughts, in case you care to read them:

- I'm SURE Ben isn't dead. Simply because the show can't lose Michael Emerson. Young Ben will somehow survive (with Jack's help maybe) and grow up to remember those folk who, 27 years later, fall from the sky. I'm starting to believe that he used Nadia's death to avenge Sayid for what he did to him in the past; he unleashed the killer within him so he could make his life miserable. Of all the Oceanic Six Sayid suffered the most, and that's Ben's payback. Bringing him back to the Island is maybe a setup for the big finale (revenge). Sayid wasn't killing Widmore's associates to keep his friends safe, they didn't need any saving; he killed them because Ben wanted to destroy him.
I'm sure the fans on Arabic message boards are upset at the show now that Sayid's character is beyond redemption. For once the only Arabic character wasn't a terrorist, but a natural born killer isn't that good either.

- I hated the Egyptian actor (Sayed Badreya from Iron Man) who played Sayid's father. He can't even act, and he has the worst Iraqi accent ever!

- Was Sawyer going to Jack's house and was surprised to find Kate there?

- If Ben survives, he now knows that Jin is a friend of Sayid, and maybe Sawyer, too. Notice that Sayid said that Sawyer set him free, and then Jin said he'd need to confirm that and called "LaFleur". What effect does that knowledge have on our guys?

- Sayid's older brother's name is Omar, just like the mercenary on the Kahana.

- William Sanderson from True Blood is creepy as hell!

- My word verification for this comment is "tataten"!

Benny said...

UPDATE

Thanks to everyone who has downloaded ad read my little document on the DHARMA house and to anyone who hass commented and asked questions.

As per some requests, I've written a full academic-type article on the subject addressing ambiguous issues, an updated Dharmaville plan (not the whole compound), my own interpretation of the scene and a short Q&A type section.

Here is the link:

http://www.sfu.ca/~bstooke/DHARMA_house.pdf


Please feel free to email me any further questions or comments with regards to this article at the address provided.

And for anyone who believes me to be a shipper, I have to say my ship has sailed a long time ago... I was a Jack/Sarah shipper (do they have a name? I don't know), so I have no particular interest in this scene whatsoever!

Missing Georgia said...

Benny - I have no ship either and I also was a fan of Jack and Sarah. Thanks for all of the analysis.

M9 EGO said...

I would suggest Ben from 2007 knows that when flight 315 crashes he will not be on the main island becuase the island won;t let him. This is due to the young Ben's presence there. Therefor he winds up Sayid enough that he will kill the young Ben allowing the old Ben to make his way to the main Island. If 'what happens happens'm then regardless of what happens to young Ben old Ben has to be there to do his thing !

M9 EGO said...

Whats confusing is whether time is a staight line or is it a straight line that has been turned into a circle ?...will they all ending up disappearing up there own backsides !......we sit and wait.
(ps: Sawyer was going to see Jack..end of !)

SonshineMusic said...

No spam, I promise, but my sister has once again come up with her spin on what might have/ could be/ maybe happenning by writing a fake follow up episode. She doesn't have a blog, so she lets me post it on mine. Thought you guys might want a laugh :)

Jazzygirl said...

But if young Ben is killed, the older Ben can't exist, right?
This is where the paradoxes with time travel mess me up.
I have to say, there are things about this season that I love, and others that I don't. I haven't been posting much because everyone else says what I'm thinking, or I am just not embracing this season like I normally do. And trust me, I am an OBSESSED fan, so it's disheartening to me. :( This season I think is going to flow better when you can watch it on DVD and go right from one episode to the next.
PS. I also wanted to thank Benny for all this work on the Dharmaville layout. It helped a lot!

Hisham said...

I'm with Jazzygirl about this season having things I love and things I hate, or at least dislike.
I suggest that, if Nikki is to write a preview on the April 22nd special episode, we take the opportunity and discuss the season so far, share the things that have been bugging us, and try to reach a satisfying answer for them. e.g.: If the Oceanic 6 had to go back to the Island, why did Ben allow them to leave on the helicopter in the first place, right before moving the Island, which made it very hard for anybody to find it again? Did he realize he made a mistake by leaving, and allowing them to leave the Island later on? When he killed Keamy, did he expect them to be on the freighter already, and so he meant to kill them?
You get the picture.

I'm not sure which camp I support: The "Whatever happened, happened" Camp, or The "Past/Future can be changed" Camp. Both have their pros and cons.
In the same time, if whatever happened, happened, then what's the point of time travel anyway? It's useless, except for learning purposes.

Juanita's Journal said...

The connection between young Ben and young Sayid was really well done in this episode, however. We see Sayid’s father, a cold, hard man, pushing his son to murder in order to prove his masculinity. When Sayid first sees Ben with his father, he realizes his father is also a tyrant, belittling and abusing Ben for his own amusement. At first I thought Sayid would realize his mission is not to kill Ben, but to save him from growing up with this man, maybe thinking he’s the man who turned Ben into the monster Sayid thinks Ben has become. But in the end, Sayid sees that Ben is already beyond saving, just as Sayid was already beyond saving when he killed that chicken. And he kills Ben so Ben will never grow up to be... like Sayid.


I disagree. I believe Sayid tried to kill Ben in order to avoid a future in which he becomes Ben's personal hit man.