Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Lost: 5.12 “Dead Is Dead”

“I’ll be seeing, you, boy.”

Memo to the writers of Lost:
You know that scene in this week’s episode where Ben is walking towards Penny and Desmond is suddenly behind him and Ben turns and shoots? And how awesome that probably looked on paper, imagining fans all worried about Desmond but concerned about what might happen to Penny? Yeah?

Do it again and I will personally come to Hawaii and burn down your set. THAT is a promise.

I have never had any reason to keep a defibrillator in our house until now. Holy frakkin’ frak.

OK, so aside from THAT scene (my heart STILL hasn’t slowed down from that), this episode was positively epic. Huge. The last 10 minutes, I was literally sitting on the edge of my couch, my hands tightly clasped over my mouth, my eyes like saucers. My husband glanced over at me at one point and started laughing. Hater.

I think I’ll only be able to BEGIN to touch on the things that happened in this episode, but here goes...

Those Crazy Egyptians
So in season 2, the countdown clock rolled over when it got to 0 and we saw Egyptian hieroglyphs, throwing fans into a tizzy. It took less than 24 hours before one of them figured it out by finding the particular grouping in a textbook of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Then Ben went to summon Old Smokey in “The Shape of Things to Come” and he pushed open a door covered in them. Just before turning the wheel, there were more. In this episode, he steps back from the door and I could just hear the fans who have been translating the hieroglyphs either squealing with delight or moaning at all the work they had ahead of them. And then he dropped through the floor and landed in a room covered in them.

But the biggest moment was when he stood in front of the Egyptian drawing of Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian God of the Dead, summoning Smokey. I had suggested in an earlier post that perhaps that big statue is Anubis (but its ears are a little short to really be him) but here he is now. In one episode in season 3 (I think it’s “Left Behind”) Juliet rushes through the sonic fence and then Smokey hits it, and as he comes at it he looks like Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hell in Greek mythology. Now we see he’s connected to Anubis. Anubis was the god of mummification, and rather than being some harbinger of death, which he is not, he was the one who protected the dead. We were discussing last week on the boards the idea that the Others are very caught up in keeping their dead bodies (they ask for Paul’s body... Christian’s body disappears and then he’s walking around... they ask Locke to bring his father’s body to them... Locke is now back from the dead... Amy makes a comment that they need to bury the bodies deeply in the ground). Perhaps they’re bringing them here for Anubis to protect them... or bring them back from the dead. Anubis is often portrayed holding an ankh, which Paul is wearing and Amy takes (and Horace freaks out that she’s kept this token of his).

Ben: Good Guy, or Pure Evil?
I’ve maintained for some time that I think Widmore’s the bad guy, Ben is the good one (good being relative to what has been done to him to turn him into who he is). I believed he killed Locke only to get him to the island... I’d hoped that he killed him because suicide was a sin that wouldn’t enable him to get to the island, but unfortunately it looks like he kept him alive only to pump him for information. The scene where he grabs Alex as a baby made my husband say, “There is NO WAY there is anything good about Ben Linus” but if his orders had been to exterminate both of them, he saved the baby, knowing that Rousseau would have to go underground to stay alive and wouldn’t be able to keep a crying baby quiet, and he gave her the advice about walking the other way when she heard whispers. And just as he saved Alex from Widmore’s clutches, he comes to kill Penny, thinking it will make him feel better, but he hesitates when he sees the little boy. That makes him the good guy, right? Right? Anyone?

“He changed the rules.”
Maybe I’m off-base on this one, but I screamed when Ben and Widmore had their showdown on the dock (not least because I thought those two were electric on screen in “The Shape of Things to Come,” and I’ve been dying for another scene with Emerson and Dale). Ben appears to be in charge now (it’s post-Purge, seeing as Alex is about 8 and the Others are living in New Otherton) and while Charles is hissing that if the island wants Alex dead, she’ll be dead, Ben is countering that he simply broke the rules. Therefore, he believes Widmore is wrong, the island never wanted Alex dead, and rules are rules. You do not go off the island and start a family, you stay on the island.

Now fast-forward to “The Shape of Things to Come,” and Alex is dead. Ben’s first words are, “He changed the rules.” On the dock, he insisted that Widmore broke the rules. We’ve been trying to figure out ever since what Ben meant in that death scene. Could it have been a reference to this one? Maybe it’s showing us that in that scene, Ben is thinking, “How could this happen to me? It was WIDMORE who broke the rules, NOT me, so why is my daughter dead? How could the island really have wanted her dead, when I’ve followed the rules and he broke them?” But why say he CHANGED the rules, not broke the rules? I’m thinking he is really saying that the island didn’t want Alex dead, so Widmore simply sent a vigilante to the island to make it happen. He changed the rules in forcing a death and not letting the island decide who lives and who dies. Rather than Smokey bringing the judgement forth, Widmore did it, thereby changing the rules.

Highlights:
• Watching Ben lie about Locke to Caesar, when we KNOW for one of the first times that he’s totally lying. It’s awesome to watch him in action.
• Locke: “Well, Ben, I was hoping that you and I could talk about the elephant in the room.” Ben, flatly: “I assume that you’re referring to the fact that I killed you.” Locke: “Yeah.” HAHAHAHAHAHA!!
• Locke after Ben tells him Sun hit him with a paddle and someone else hurt his arm: “You just make friends wherever you go, don’t you?”
• Ben telling Sun to look outside, and the little casual wave that Locke gives her.
• Lapidus, after Locke says there’s a reason for his return: “As long as the dead guy says there’s a reason then I guess everything’s going to be just peachy.”
• Ben’s dramatic, “What’s about to come out of that jungle is something I can’t control,” followed by John emerging from the bushes. HA!
• Ben re: Smokey: “It’s not a train, John, it doesn’t run on a schedule.”
• Desmond beating the snot (literally) out of Ben. YEEEAAAHHHH!!!!
• Locke asking Ben if he’s all right after he falls through the floor, and Ben croaking, “Never better.”
• The emergence of Smokey and what it does to Ben. That scene was glorious.

Did You Notice?:
• Was anyone surprised that the man on the horse in the beginning was Widmore? The moment I saw him marching through the tents looking furious, I immediately assumed it was him. Man, they found a young actor who really looks like Alan Dale!
• Ben jerks awake and Locke is sitting there, as if Ben was dreaming of the first time he met Widmore.
• Locke is sitting by Ben’s bedside, just as Widmore was sitting by him when Ben was a child, and Widmore was sitting by Locke when he first returned from the island.
• Um... 23-year-old Ben is a dead ringer for Pee-Wee Herman. And I love you, Michael Emerson, but I really don’t buy you as 23. (Of course, I’m only going by Sayid saying that Ben was 12 in 1977, and Alex was born in 1988. But Ethan looks about 14, so he could be 25. I don’t buy him as 25, either.)
• This one’s for batcabbage: BKV!! WOOT!!!!
• I couldn’t make out most of the books on the bookshelf that Ben is standing in front of as Sun and Lapidus talk to Locke, but I could definitely see Roots there. Considering this episode was getting back to Ben’s and the island’s roots, it’s a very fitting book to have sitting there. (I think Uncle Tom’s Cabin was there, too. Maybe Alex was into African-American writers.)
• I was very sad when Lapidus left Sun and Co. I just don’t care that much about the other people who’d been on the plane, and I love Frank.
• I was FREAKING with anticipation at finally seeing how Ben was going to summon Smokey. And then... it was like he let the water out of a greasy sink or a plugged toilet. What the hell? Now the next time I’m plunging the toilet I’m going to be worried the damn smoke monster’s going to appear.
• As Ben is talking to Widmore and approaching Penny’s boat, he walks by another boat called “Savage.” Then when we cut back to Widmore, he passes a newsstand, and there’s a horse-riding magazine featured on the stand. Cut back to Ben, who walks by another boat called Stella Mare (or it could be Stellar Mare; there’s a rope between the words).
• Ben has always been related back to the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” He says his name is Henry Gale (the name of Dorothy’s uncle). The episode of his first flashback is “The Man Behind the Curtain.” And in this episode, as he stands in the middle of Smokey, it’s like Dorothy being caught up in the cyclone and looking out of her window to see the images of people and things flying by.
• Just like Yemi turned on Eko, Alex turns on Ben. Smokey might have let Ben live, but he will live with the pain of knowing he killed Alex now.

Hurley’s numbers:
If Sayid was right, then Ben was 23 when he took Alex. The big metal crate that Ilana keeps trying to move has the number AA823 on the side of it.

So Many Questions...
• So what happened to switch the roles between Widmore and Alpert? In 1954, Alpert is the leader and Widmore his underling. Why is Widmore in charge now?
• Was Widmore ever a disciple of the island the way Ben and Locke are? He questions Alpert and even when Alpert says Jacob wanted it this way, he still looks sceptical and says, “Of course,” unconvincingly.
• Now that Locke is undead, does he know more than he’s letting on? I loved how he said to Ben, “Hm, that’s your house, isn’t it?” and when Ben said it’s Alex’s room, he said, “Well, I suppose you should get over there and check it out” in a matter of fact way, as if he knew all along it would be Sun.
• Ben acts like he didn’t know the survivors were in the DI, even though he would have gone back to the DI and would have seen them. Is he lying?
• What was Ben’s capacity in the DI after he went to the Others? We see him in a Dharma suit killing his father as if he’d never left the DI, and that’s in the Great Purge of ’92. But he grabs Alex in 1988. Were the Others raising her when he was in the DI? How was he switching back and forth between grubby Other and clean-shaven DI Workman without the DI catching on?
• I also found it a little disappointing that Widmore wasn’t ejected from the island, but left on a sub. So why can’t he find the island? It’s not like it moved or anything. How did Ben know how to turn the FDW? I assumed he’d heard someone else had done it. Maybe it’s passed down through legend or something.
• Ben tells Sun that “dead is dead” and you don’t get to come back from that, not even on the island. He says he’s never seen anything like this before. So what does he think Christian is? Has he seen Christian or has Christian only appeared to John?
• Again, does John know about the Temple because he’s undead? He didn’t know where it was or what it was before he left the island.
• Was Desmond hit by the bullet? WAS HE?!
• Desmond beats the hell out of Ben and then throws him in the water. How did Ben come out again? Did he just let himself sink and then slink out of the water somewhere else? I doubt Desmond would have let him go that easily, but then again, Desmond might have jumped on the boat and sailed away as quickly as he could at that point.
• What the hell is up with Ilana and her peeps? Have they gone through what Rousseau’s people did? What did Ilana mean by “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” Was it a riddle, like ‘what did one snowman say to the other snowman,’ or an legitimate question?
• What did she mean when she said it’s time, and they’re going now. Going where?

Next week: You know how we've been talking about the fact Miles' potential has been wasted? Well... looks like next week there will FINALLY be a purpose for a ghost whisperer on the island. Halle-frickin-lujah.



UPDATE: I just posted my DocArzt column here.

167 comments:

Brian Douglas said...

I don't think Richard's position has changed over the years. He always had some authority with the group, but is never the head guy. First there was some unknown person or persons, then Widmore, then Ben. Maybe he's more like a high priest or something.

We never saw how Ellie/Elloise left the island. Maybe she did the donkey wheel thing. Maybe that's why Widmore can't find the island.

Anonymous said...

"What the hell is up with Ilana and her peeps?"

My guess is Ilana and her peeps must have been hired by Whitmore in another attempt to either get Ben or retake the island. The "shadow" question must be the passcode to see whether someone is part of Widmore's team or not.

Whitmore had her "arrest" Sayid (rather than the family of the guy Sayid killed). Whitmore knew Eloise (he gave her address to Desmond) and must have known the destination of flight 316 (or was tailing one of the O6).

The crate contains the weapons and whatever else they will need to retake the island.

Benny said...

This was a great episode and definitely answered some questions. Is till felt there were a few blanks in the flashbacks scenes, but it just opens the door for other perspectives.

There is something inherently good about Ben and, despite the fact that I find that he is a liar and his deceptive tactics often have negative results, I can't help but see that his purpose is not one of dark thoughts and genuinely wants the best. Despite being a genius at what he does, he is lost in the chaos and his plan almost always appear as instinct reaction.

The interesting about Ben though is how he is folowing in some of Widmore's footsteps. Just as he leaves, Charles claims that everything he has done was for the island. This is how Ben defends a lot of his actions (Locke too). Ben becomes leader of the others after Charles leaves. This is perhaps the same way Charles became leader, after someone else left. In both the Charles and Ben cases, Richard begins to drift from their leaderships. With Charles, he saves Ben's life with no regards for what Charles might think. With Ben, he goes behind his back to help Locke find a way to kill his father. In these two instances, he has helped the 'future' leader at the expense of the incumbent.

Ben and the DI: one could believe that Ben only returned with the DI after they had left (if they do that is). There is more to the story than just this. If we are to believe the purge is in 1992 and the kidnapping of Alex in 1988, then Ben was hanging out with the Natives on occasions while still in the DI. He could have spent some time with them after his visit to the Temple. Just thinking on paper.

Since the island is in perpetual movement and surrounded by some form of protection/bubble, it stands to believe it is hard to find without the proper instruments. Instruments he may not have access to anymore. But Charles should still have contacts... there's more to the Widmore backstory.


One of my highlights was:
-Ben: "I just didn't have time to talk you back into killing yourself."


And it seems Ilana may know more than she let on. There is definitely something about her circumstances that is still questionable.

edgeshat said...

Hi Nikki,

Great recap, this episode was all sorts of awesome!

I agree it was a little disappointing knowing that Ben was just using Locke to get info before killing him. But maybe it was the Island's way of preventing Locke from killing himself, but having Ben interfere. Going back to the Bentham episode it seemed like Ben didn't know what to do off Island until Locke mentioned Eloise Hawking.

I think Locke being "undead" might explain why he knew where the Temple was. I kept thinking he'd turn into Smokey. I think now the appearances of dead people and the monster are related, but they aren't the same thing. Maybe the monster is protecting the dead and judging the living.

It didn't dawn on me how Ben could be raising Alex and still work for the DI. Maybe Richard or Ethan helped him when he was away.

I thought it was established that the Island was constantly moving. It may not appear to move from the perspective of the people on the Island, but off the Island it moves. That's how the DI found it, by predicting where it would be in the future. Not to mention that Ben then blocked communication using the Looking Glass. Maybe once Ben took over they used the Sub less frequently as to not draw attention. Or there's another way off the Island we don't know about yet.

thomwade said...

Interesting to notice that unlike Richard, Widmore aged between 1954 and the 1980's.

Ben mentioned they needed devices in the sub to locate the island, so I am not sure why he would be able to find it more easily just because they took him by sub. :)

"There is something inherently good about Ben and, despite the fact that I find that he is a liar and his deceptive tactics often have negative results, I can't help but see that his purpose is not one of dark thoughts and genuinely wants the best. Despite being a genius at what he does, he is lost in the chaos and his plan almost always appear as instinct reaction."

I am certain that the only thing he ever truly loved was Alex. The look on his face when he was watching the smoke went from joy filled to guilt wracked tears all to sincerely. And I think he knows he cannot fake out that thing.

But that is part of why I think Ben is one of the greatest characters on modern television.

Deborah said...

I agreemon the highlight of Ben telling Cesar that Locke was deranged. What a snake! Also lovedLocke trelling Ben he is "sure the monster will understand."

Blam said...

Nikki: I haven't even read the recap yet, but just posted a reply to the time-travel thread following up on the last episode. (Your new post wasn't up when I started.) It seems to be continuing respectfully -- despite your understandable fear of embers turning into flames 8^) -- and I wonder if you'd rather we continue talking about that there or move the discussion into replies here.

Gary said...

Hey everyone!

Another great episode and another great review Nikki! Like you, I thought this was an epic episode filled with a lot of things we had suspected and some things that we had not.

The confrontation between Ben and Desmond was good to finally see but I'm wondering if Des was actually hit by that bullet.

Regarding the hieroglypics: Do Ben, Richard and the "others" know how to read the hieroglyphics? Juliet mentioned knowing latin was part of being an other. Did that include knowledge of other "dead" languages?

I still think the "rules" that Ben has referred to had to do with the vendetta between him and widmore. Maybe the rule was that family would not be harmed.

I think in this episode it is made perfectly clear to Ben that Locke is the man that Jacob and the smokey wants. If Ben wants to live he'll have to bow to Locke or face smokey and the ghost of Alex!

" I was FREAKING with anticipation at finally seeing how Ben was going to summon Smokey. And then... it was like he let the water out of a greasy sink or a plugged toilet. What the hell? Now the next time I’m plunging the toilet I’m going to be worried the damn smoke monster’s going to appear."
I agree Nikki, That scene did seem kind of cheesy. I was expecting Ben to chant some incantations or something! Maybe that was smokey's bath water! Smokey lives in the island's plumbing.

" Ben acts like he didn’t know the survivors were in the DI, even though he would have gone back to the DI and would have seen them. Is he lying? "

Present day Ben must be unaware that the island has been moving in time. The arrival of the survivors in the 70's has created a different timeline of events for young Ben.

Can someone tell me what that small box was that Ben had hidden in the motel room where him and Jack was staying?

Blam said...

I loved all the mythology we got.

Once again, though, the effects work on Smokey was quite underwhelming. Didn't it seem much lighter underground, too? (If it hadn't always looked dark -- at least as far as I remember -- you could surmise that it started out whiter until it became burdened by the souls as it judged them, turning black when the verdict was death or nearly as serious.)

We now have more evidence that Smokey is an agent of the Island and that Jacob is practically synonymous with it. I didn't get to write down Richard's first line of dialogue to Charles as he held young Ben, but it was something like "Jacob will decide." Then he said, per my scribbled note, "The Island chooses who the Island chooses. You know that."

My favorite line: "Well, I just didn't have time to talk you back into killing yourself, John." It's consummate Ben, because (A) he says something so morbid with such exasperation and (2) you just know that he could have talked Locke into it given a slightly longer deadline.

Nikki: I have never had any reason to keep a defibrillator in our house until now. Holy frakkin’ frak.

I was just processing that Desmond couldn't be dead since Ben told Sun to give him Ben's apologies if she ever saw him... when little Charlie appeared and I said "Oh, no" out loud.

Nikki: Um... 23-year-old Ben is a dead ringer for Pee-Wee Herman. And I love you, Michael Emerson, but I really don’t buy you as 23.

True on both counts, but I thought they did an excellent job with the younger Charles Widmore, with the long dark hair; he looked astoundingly like the established older actor whose name escapes me. On the other hand, I'd never have picked out that kid as Ethan, although faces really can change over the years so I won't grouse like I did with Younger Rousseau.

Nikki: Juliet rushes through the sonic fence and then Smokey hits it, and as he comes at it he looks like Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hell in Greek mythology.

I was wondering before the episode aired, Does part of Smokey always have to touch the ground? 'Cause otherwise he could billow over the top of the sonic-fence posts just like the gang clambered over it using a tree way back when. That would make him more like Antaeus than Cerberus, just to geek out on Greek myth; that was the guy Herakles fought who gained strength from touching the Earth.

Something that hit me at the end of the previous episode, in a scene repeated this week, but didn't get discussed even in the time-travel thread yet: We saw Ben wake up in 2007 with Locke there right after Richard carried Ben into the temple in 1977. And I thought it very possible that Ben was just that moment remembering what had transpired, similarly to Desmond remembering Daniel visiting him in the Hatch in 200x, if indeed the past had been changed. Now it seems like less time has passed for the 2007 folks since the plane crashed than however many days have elapsed back in 1977 since Jack et al. showed up, but maybe not, and if not you could draw an equivalence with how the changed past gets remembered in the present by the character's internal clocks. This didn't hold true for Desmond, as we discussed, since Daniel talked to him within a day or so after the raft crew was rescued, and Desmond only remembered it three years later on the boat with Penny. I still think that something might be there, however.

For all we got this episode in terms of mythology, we had much kept from us. We didn't see inside the temple, just underneath it. We still don't know exactly what Smokey is; how people communicate with the Island or intuit its needs; or whether Locke has mystic Island knowledge and, whether or not he does, why he acts more like a regular guy than wise sage Christian. We don't know how much Ben was lying about, even up to whether he knew or felt for sure Locke would be resurrected, although it was cool to see him practice his deception with that other castaway when we had full knowledge he was doing so. Most pertinent to this episode, we don't know why Richard seems to be an advisor or, really, regent to the leader of the Others / Hostiles / Natives and Adopted Natives but not hold the position of leader himself. And if I'm not mistaken we haven't seen anyone besides Richard not age, but of those who have aged we know that Ben was born off the Island and Charles very likely was since we saw him with the English unit pre-Dharma and he seems to have off-Island desires.

Once again I find myself saying much more than I thought I had to say, largely due to our host's thought-provoking writeups. Thanks, Nikki, and Happy Passover to everyone observing!

Blam said...

I can't believe I didn't chime in on one of the most galling unanswered questions. How the frakitty frak frak frak was Ben insinuated back into the Dharma camp, especially if he snuck back to the Others regularly to help raise Alex before the Purge?

Gary: The confrontation between Ben and Desmond was good to finally see but I'm wondering if Des was actually hit by that bullet.

Maybe we'll find out that something in the basket he was carrying stopped the bullet and he was just knocked down by the impact (yes, that old trick). Wouldn't it be poetic if it was the one sentimental thing of Penny's father's that she kept?

Brian D.: I don't think Richard's position has changed over the years. He always had some authority with the group, but is never the head guy.

I agree. What I wonder is if it's written in the Others' bylaws -- that is, decreed by the Island somehow -- that an outsider must be their leader. Richard appears to Ben, he tests young Locke (after meeting older Locke, we now know), and he clearly goes around Ben to provids counsel and information (Sawyer's folder) to Locke. Does he always keep his options open? Is the Island talking to him constantly? Does he only seek out new leaders when the latest mortal one ultimately proves weak or wayward and disappointing?

When we saw Ben in the shipyard and Charlie appeared, I started suspecting again that he becomes Charles Widmore -- even though we've now heard that Charles had a family off-Island, suggesting Penny his biological daughter and thus leaving us with a truly weird conundrum.

Ali Bags said...

I also watched the episode alternating between an open mouth and a hand clasped over it.

I was surprised to see Caesar shot - I thought he was going to play a more important role (and he wasn't even wearing a red shirt, was he?) This is why I find it a struggle to believe that Ben is good when he goes around shooting people willy nilly (Desmond for frak's sake!)- but then again it's great to have a character who is so morally ambiguous.

I also liked the scene when Locke points out the role reversal bewteen him and Ben - it reminded me of Sawyer's smack-down of Jack. There's a lot of role reversal going on this season.

I cannot wait for the next episode - been waiting for a Miles centric ep for so long.

batcabbage said...

This one’s for batcabbage: BKV!! WOOT!!!!

LOL! Thanks Nik. Yeah, I had a squee moment when I saw Brian was a writer on this ep (I screamed with joy at the tv and scared my girlfriend). And it shows, too. A great episode, and damn if it wasn't filled with awesome BKV dialogue. I'd bet anything he was responsible for most, if not all, of Ben's lines. The man is a genius. My fave Ben line was right after he blasted Cesar and said "Consider that my apology." Awesome.

I've been thinking about the goodness/pure evilness of Ben, and right up until the end of this episode I'd been thinking that his psyche is just another example of the whole good vs evil theme throughout the entire series. That Ben in and of himself is the representation of this struggle: a man who is capable of terribe things in order to benefit, to borrow from 'Hot Fuzz', the greater good, IE the greater good of the Island. But then Alex (or zombie Alex, rather) says "I even know you're planning on killing John Locke. Again." It's this that made me think that Ben leans to the evil side, because surely he's seen that John has obviously been chosen to do for the Island whatever it is he'll have to do, and yet, he was going to kill him to serve his own ends, presumably for revenge on Locke for deposing him as leader of the Others. I don't know, I'm just ranting now. Still, it's interesting. :)

Another thing that made this episode for me: the return of the focus (sort of) on John Locke. He's always been my favourite character, and Terry O'Quinn is just brilliant. When Ben says to John that he wants to go and be judged, the look on Locke's face was just priceless. I loved it. Let's hope there's more Locke-centric episodes to come in the near future.

And I, for one, am glad that Cesar got shot (I won't say killed, because... well, you know), because every time he spoke all I could hear him saying was 'What is the deal with Michael Jackson, my man?'

And what the hell is up with Ilana? Anyone think there's a nuke in that box? And when she said 'Get everyone else. Tell them we're going." or something to that effect, did she mean everyone else on the plane, or everyone else in their little group of... well, whatever they are?

Oh, yeah, and I immediately thought of you, Nik, screaming obscenities at the tv when Desmond was shot. How dare they do that to your Desmond??!! :)

And please, PLEASE let there be a taun-taun in 'Some Like It Hoth'!!!

R.S said...

.................

I'm really struggling to write anything. That episode was huuuge.

Actually I don't think there's a lot that can be puzzled over and conclusions drawn. Lots of answers were given but the new puzzle pieces we were given won't be figured out until we are given more.

I'm glad Ali before me mentioned it because now one else mentioned Caesar being shot (and I'd put money on it - killed). I gasped out loud. It wasn't the Desmond moment but close.

If Caesar is indeed dead, that's brilliant. Because he was being built up as this underlying menace and then bam dead. Go Ben.

I was seriously freaked by Ilana. If I had to guess, Ben dealt his hand first by shooting Caesar so Ilana feels that since Ben has revealed his agenda, there is no point Ilana hiding hers. That is she and a few other passengers (not Caesar) are Widmore operatives and once Ben stopped playing innocent plane crash survivor they thought they'd stop playing too.

This coming from the person who at the time of the Sayid episode was certain Ilana had no ties to either Ben or Widmore and was truly working for the Avellino family.

I can't really say much that hasn't already been covered. My actual favourite moment of the episode was the guy riding into Othersville camp on horse back, as soon as I saw him I knew it was middle aged Widmore - brilliant casting. All the Widmore stuff surprisingly was my favourite stuff in the episode. Him being banished, him as leader ordering the execution of Rosseau etc.

I'd guess that Widmore was the chosen one for a while (hence Alpert relinquishing power to him) until Ben came along just like Ben was the chosen one for a while until Locke showed up. Widmore so obviously became drunk on power and broke more than a few rules that it then became apparent he wasn't worthy.

I suppose there is more to come on this later. I'd love to see a Widmore-centric episode. This is so not important in the scheme of things but I'd love to find out just how he became so wealthy and powerful off the Island. He only had 20 years.

Wait. He was already filthy rich in the mid 90's when Penny meet Desmond and he wasn't banished until after the purge so he must of began his business dealings on his frequent sabbaticals off the Island. Still I find it very interesting and would love to see these events transpire.

This brings me to an important point that hasn't been mentioned, Penny's mother we now know is an outsider. So she's not Eloise or anyone important like that. And Penny obviously wasn't born on the Island as we may have been thinking.

One last thing about Widmore - it's my estimate that he's never had contact with Jacob. He may of faked it to prove him as leader but that's about it. If you are to be a person of authority on the Island Jacob must speak to you (ie Locke, Ben and Alpert).

Alpert totally lied though when he said Jacob wanted young Ben healed. And Widmore played along.

I did not catch at all that Ben stole Alex around '88 so he was supposed to be raising her when he was still D.I. That could create a few problems.

It does seem due to Ben's boyhood visit to the temple he does not remember being shot (which we knew would occur as of last episode) but he also does not remember that the losties we also D.I. I think by the time Ben does rejoin the D.I after his rebirth the losties will be exposed and be no longer apart of Dharma, LeFleur and all :(

Hmm... so Ethan as a teen is already an Other, interesting. I wonder how that happens. Explains why he survived the purge.


The scene where Locke takes a seat behind Ben's desk is very telling - I'm in charge now! Hilarious.

As soon as Ben stepped foot on the dock (which we already knew was the cause of his injuries)I thought what if it's Desmond we should be worried about and not Penny and then blam Desmond gets shot. Nooooooo. Ok he's ok. I do think he was actually shot but was ok enough (adrenaline/rage) to kick Ben's ass, throw him into the water and them seek medical attention for himself.

I think this episode for the first time tried to make it fairly clear (though baby Alex and baby Charlie as well as his regret about Alex's death)that although Ben will do anything (good or evil) for the Island but is "good" at heart. And Widmore is just plain evil.


Not that I care I always thought Ben was bad, but Widmore was always badder.

After this episode the edge of my seat is totally worn out.

R.S said...

Whoops Batcabbage beat me to the punch and makes a better point them I did in regards to Ben.

I totally forgot Ben intended on killing Locke - again.

I retrospect I don't think this episode depicted Ben as good, but I still think for the first time Ben's been portrayed as being conflicted by doing right by others (good) and serving his own interests (evil).

Nashville Beatle said...

Maybe the best episode of the entire series. This show would not be as great as it is without Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn. What marvelous actors. Emerson will forever be typecast as Ben Linus.

mgkoeln said...

Wow! What a trippy episode - although I couldn't help myself thinking the show was finally jumping the shark for some people once Ben was seeing his very own flashbacks inside Smokey. Seems Smokey is finally heading towards a mystical explanation away from the more techy "security system" approach.

Some interesting detail I found on Lostpedia: The "Risk" game Sawyer and Hurley were playing when Keamy attacked New Otherton last season was still on the table in Ben's cabin. So this contradicts the theory of New Otherton having changed due to some of the time travel events. Although I still can't remeber the "Processing Center" sign from former seasons it might have been there all along.

What's Ethan's story? Did young Ben take him on his (killing) field trips with the Others sneaking out of the DI. Or is his mother Amy a spy of the Others after all?

And finally, I'm a little sad about Ceasar being shot. Yes, it was a brilliant little shock moment - but it was also a great actor being totally underused (assuming he won't come back, that is). (By the way: Where's Libby?)

asiancolossus said...

Hey Nik, back from South America, still have to catch up on 2 weeks of episodes but loved this one (couldn't wait to catch up first!)

Is it just me or did younger Ben have the fakest hairpiece known to man, c'mon people, couldn't you come up with something a little bit less "stuck on"? LOL

I never quite have developed any sort of affection for Caesar and Ilana, like I did with the freighter folk. I think it is because they don't seem to show any compassionate side, I am pretty sure Ilana has something to do with Widmore as well.

I too gasped at the scene with Penny and Ben at the marina. Other than Ben's obvious soft spot for kids, I simply cannot see how he can be good. But Widmore seems like the greater of the two evils. I think there would be some major revolt if Penny was killed off! But somehow I'm sure Nik would comfort Desmond in her own little special way LOL

Will Ben listen to smokey/Alex? It was nice to see Alex again, even if it was an apparition. I somehow think that Ben is arrogant enough to not follow the island's advice and still thwart Locke at every turn. I still don't believe Ben's silly reason for killing Locke. And after trying to kill him twice now, wouldn't Locke be a little bit more "Get the hell away from me Ben, I'm not letting you try to kill me a third time?"...you'd think he'd learn! LOL

The Sun/Jin story is intriguing to me but a bit on the back burner it seems. I get a really bad feeling that all the fans are going to expect a reunion at the end of the season but after everything they've been through together, I have to admit that killing one of them off in the finale would create the ultimate drama (I personally hope not!!!!)

Glad to catch up on posts!

mgkoeln said...

Oh, Nikki, and here's a tiny bit for your next book's nitpicks section:

Ben's clothes aren't wet at all when he calls Jack from the harbour in "316" - but at least he uses a pay phone as his cell phone probably didn't dry as fast as his clothes.

Teebore said...

he still looks skeptical and says, “Of course,” unconvincingly.

This is an example of why I still consider Widmore "bad" and Ben "good" in their little struggle (relatively speaking, of course).

For all the heinous stuff Ben has done, most of does seem to be in tune with what the island wants, or at least BEN believes its what the island wants, suggesting a genuine desire to work the will of the island.

Widmore, on the other hand, in what little on-island interactions we've seen, seems more dismissive of the island's will, as though he's going along with Richard and his Jacob mumbo-jumbo because he has to, not because he truly believes it (which is further illustrated by the revelation that Widmore had an entire life, including Penny, off the island before he was exiled).

Ben, for all his evil, genuinely seems to want what's best for the island, from what we've seen, even if he isn't always 100% clued in to what that is.

Um... 23-year-old Ben is a dead ringer for Pee-Wee Herman.

Ha! You're right. My buddy, on the other hand, said all he needed was a little mustache and he could have been Hitler.

Paticus said...

I have a question that may be sort of off immediate topic- was there ever any explanation of what the dust surrounding Jacob's cabin was? When Ben brings Locke to see Jacob the first time, there is what looks like some sort of ash in a line surrounding the whole cabin, and then jacob asks Locke to "help him"...I always kind of wondered of Jacob was somehow trapped in the cabin ? But by whom ? Anyone with ideas ?

Paticus said...

Another question, this one about last night's episode-If Ilana was working for Widmore, wouldn't she have been told who Ben was, and had some orders as to what to do with him ?

Dave said...

I just skimmed the above but a couple of things:

I got the impression when Ben reached into the "toilet" he turned a key. Maybe I am wrong, but I thought immediately of the failsafe and such.

Second, Ben's judgment was so evocative of Eko's that I wonder if Eko was being judged too. Okay. So, if this is the case, why? I wonder if the Island was considering Eko as a potential replacement, rather than Locke, and judged Eko to be unsuitable for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Nikki -- Great Episode and another Great Review from you! I thought of a couple more questions. Ethan was with Ben and the Others when Ben took the baby Alex. How did baby Ethan born in the DI get invovled with the Others? Could Ilana and her peeps be working for Widmore?

redeem147 said...

When he was shot, I didn't think 'Poor Desmond,' I thought, 'Poor Nikki.'

That casting of a younger Alan Dale was spot on. I looked him up - he's been on Angel! David S. Lee

I thought Ben wasn't so much Pee Wee Herman, as Mystery Men Paul Reubens.

I think Charles is more evil than Ben. I don't think that makes Ben good, but it certainly makes him fascinating.

Ilana's password seems like something the Others would know, so either she's an agent of theirs off Island, or she's working for Widmore.

Not all the gyphs last night were Egyptian. Though the Anubis illustration certainly was.

So, next week they're going to an Ice Planet? Jacob is revealed as George Lucas?

Teebore said...

I wonder if the Island was considering Eko as a potential replacement, rather than Locke, and judged Eko to be unsuitable for some reason.

The assumption I've always been under is that Eko was being judged by Smokey, and found wanting, since he refused to feel guilty for his actions.

I like the idea that it was testing Eko as a possible island leader.

If Locke experienced a similar judgment offscreen (in season one, when he "looked into the eye of the island") and that was the moment the island "declared" him the next leader, then perhaps it tested Eko in the wake of Locke's crisis of faith at the end of the second season. It found Eko wanting, and by that time, Locke was on his way to reclaiming his faith in the island.

joshua said...

Great review for a great, great ep. Gives whole new meaning to the phrase 'holy smoke,' doesn't it?

First things first: Terry O’Quinn was stellar in this episode. And Locke II is cooler than Arthur Frakkin’ Fonzarelli. He had so many great moments, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

So, my impressions are that Charles Widmore was a charismatic (ruthless, authoritative, jealous?) leader who finally got tired of being outvoted by a faceless entity that refused to even speak to him (outsider, unchosen) and eventually dismissed him. I’m with you, Nik -- does that make it official? Is he the bad guy now?

I’m still unsure – how long was Ben living with The Others before going back to the DI, anyway? And if he really didn’t know about the Oceanic Gang being part of the Initiative, then doesn’t that imply that at some point between his delivery to the Temple and his return to his father, they all disappeared? When? And Why? Quick – one of you studious types give us a timeline pdf or something…

It seemed pretty clear to me that it was Sun to whom Ben told the truth, not John, and that he actually had no idea that Locke would resurrect. But the real nail in the coffin for me, so to speak, was that goodbye at the end of ‘The Life & Death of Jeremy Bentham.’ That “I’m really gonna miss you, John.” That was the confession of a murderer. Besides, “It’s in the best interests of the island” is Ben’s stock excuse any time he does something he knows he can’t justify.

That being said, I LOVE the way that our perception of Alex’s kidnapping changes once we learn that Ben was sent with no knowledge of the child, and that in fact he spared both their lives against direct orders from his superior. (I’m not excusing it; I’m just saying…)

OK -- I love Frank Lapidus too, but last night he was a frakkin’ idiot. Let’s break it down: you fly an airplane that’s just coincidentally carrying the vast majority of the exact same group with which you narrowly escaped an island that literally vanished before your very eyes three years prior, and on said flight, that plane just happens to lose power over the exact same island, onto which you crash land, shortly thereafter learning that several of the aforementioned castaways were evidently shot backward through time 30 years, and yet the dead guy brought back to life is the nudge that pushes you into incredulity? What?!?

Locke: “Better get to it, then.” AWESOME!

And again: “Well. Now you know what it was like to be me.” The role reversal is soooo killer, and I can’t wait to see it continue to play out in the aftermath of ZombAlex’s later declarations…

YAY! Penny’s ok! Seriously, I cannot overemphasize how delighted I am by the fact that nothing awful befell Clan Hume, and yet I still got to see a vengeful Scotsman kicking ass. Score! And I truly love the fact that we now have incontrovertible proof that Ben has retained at least some semblance of conscience and morality.

“What lies in the shadow of the statue?” I initially thought the same as you, that perhaps this is the same way it started with Rousseau’s crew -- what she called “The Sickness”. This could also explain why Ol’ Smokey didn’t come for Ben in the barracks when first summoned, if he was otherwise occupied over on the Hydra island, turning more castaways into duplicitous soldiers. But I think it’s more likely that she’s working for Widmore after all, and the “shadow of the statue” bit is just a code phrase to allow disparate members of a team who have never met to identify one another (as I believe Batcabbage suggested already).

And finally, The Monster lets him live. Why? What was the difference between this and, say, Eko?

Remorse. It was remorse.

Barry said...

OK, who else would be willing to pay $10 for a 10-minute pay-per-view of Desmond beating the crap out of Ben? Any takers? Nikki?

SonshineMusic said...

SQUUEEEEEE! I lOVEd this episode. Michael Emerson rocks my world. :D Then put him next to Terry O'Quinn and it's the best ever!

I love your recaps Nikki! It's my favorite thing about Thursday. That and actually being able to discuss Lost with crazy fun people like everyone here :D

I think my biggest gasp moment was when Ben shot Caesar. Ever since the airport we've figured he was important in some way. After my initial gasp, though, my immmediate thought was - why couldn't they have killed off Ilanot Ana Lucia. Because she just annoys me. And now she looks to be important. sigh.
Then my next thought was - maybe Caesar had some major significance that Ben knew about and THAT's why he had to kill him.

I love how this show makes you change your mind about a character fifty times in an episode. Ben is sweet, Ben is a psychopathic liar, Ben has such a soft spot for kids, Ben is insane lol

And I thought the same thing when Ben reached down to summon ole smokey - He's flushing the toilet!

One of my favorite lines was Locke to Ben: "You don't like thie, do you? Having to ask questions you don't know the answer to? Now you know what it was like to be me." Except I was adding and Charlse and Jack and Juliet and Kate and Alex and Sayid....... :D

Nikki Stafford said...

Brian D: I don't think Richard's position has changed over the years. He always had some authority with the group, but is never the head guy.

Good point. I think he's also separate in some way from the group. He's clearly the most native of the natives, he doesn't age, he's always around but never in charge. He acts like an underling with Widmore but something tells me if Widmore were to cross him in some terrible way he could probably bring the wrath of the gods down on his head. I'm fascinated by Richard, and I've often wondered if his flashback -- probably all the way back to Ancient times -- will be one of the final ones of the series.

Speaking of which, how great was it to once again get a good, old-fashioned flashback?

joshua said...

By the way -- isn't the Frozen Donkey Wheel Well in the shadow of the statue? Didn't our view from behind the statue several episodes ago confirm that?

Just another possibility...

Hunter said...

I agree with pretty much everyone else. This episode was fantastic. Lots of jaw dropping moments.

I'm now going to take a whack at who Richard might be....well sort of. I believe that whatever happened to Locke that made him "undead" happened to Richard. Once this happens, you don't age anymore because, well, dead people don't age. The two of them were selected as permanent leaders of the island because they are true believers in the island, unlike Ben and Widmore who break the rules.

Nikki Stafford said...

So here's the thing... my husband watches all the same shows I do. He NEVER reads my blog. Never. Has no idea what I'm writing about this stuff afterwards, and wants to watch Lost on more of a surface level. And yet sometimes he comes up with great insights that I'm missing because I'm digging too deep into the details, and now I'm seeing a lot of his comments reflected in what y'all are saying.

When Ilana said, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" my husband said, "Well, she's obviously with Widmore."

It actually makes a LOT of sense. Widmore knew Hawking was in L.A., and we wondered at the time, if there's a way to get back to the island, why isn't he doing it? But unlike Ben, who does everything firsthand, Widmore sends guinea pigs. Desmond went to the island in 2001. The freighter folk were sent there in 2004. And now he's sending a bunch of new people in 2007. So I'm starting to wonder if Ilana works with him.

Nikki Stafford said...

Oh, and another thought: I, too, caught that Hurley's Risk game was still sitting on the table. When they first walked into the house I said to my husband, "Hey, there's that Risk game!" and I realized the reason New Otherton looks like crap is because the last time anyone was there, Old Smokey blew through it and totally trashed the place. No one's been back for 3 years, so it has obviously fallen into disrepair. But having the game there was a nice touch. :)

Nikki Stafford said...

Gary: Regarding the hieroglypics: Do Ben, Richard and the "others" know how to read the hieroglyphics?

That's an excellent question, and I wondered the same thing. When Ben first ends up in the room with the picture of Anubis, he looks at one of the columns for a longer period of time than the others, and seems to look at it from side to side, like he's reading it.

I'm pretty positive Richard would know how to read it. He probably carved the damn thing. :)

Teebore said...

then doesn’t that imply that at some point between his delivery to the Temple and his return to his father, they all disappeared? When? And Why? Quick – one of you studious types give us a timeline pdf or something…

I got nothing, other than to agree that if Ben truly didn't know the Losties were in the DI (and he seemed genuine in that scene, but with Ben, who knows?) then the Losties MUST leave before Ben is returned to the DI and his dad.

Unfortunately, while the future of the DI is known to us, the audience, the future of the Losties in it is not, so no .pdfs (yet). :)

I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed that Ben didn't know about the Losties in Dharma. Putting aside the questions still remaining regarding his healing-induced memory wipe, he clearly remembered his dad the crappy circumstances of his life with Dharma, so presumably, he still remembers LaFleur and Juliet and Miles and Jin, even if Kate/Jack/Hurley's entrance to (and pending departure from?) Dharma occurred during a time Ben has forgotten. So you'd think Ben realized at some point that Sawyer, Juliet. etc ended up in the past w/Dharma.

I just really like the idea that the whole time Ben was interacting with the Losties in seasons 2-4, he was well aware that many of them would one day end up back in the 70s w/Dharma. And I'm already reeling with disappointment that he doesn't remember Sayid shooting him. That added such a neat dimension to their relationship.

This could also explain why Ol’ Smokey didn’t come for Ben in the barracks when first summoned, if he was otherwise occupied over on the Hydra island, turning more castaways into duplicitous soldiers.

I had the same thought-are we to presume Smokey can cross over the island? I don't think we ever saw him on the Hydra island before, but it seems to be linked to the main island (it travels through time/space with it) so it'd make sense that Smokey could get there somehow.

Nikki Stafford said...

Blam: Maybe we'll find out that something in the basket he was carrying stopped the bullet and he was just knocked down by the impact (yes, that old trick).

It definitely hit a bottle or jar in the bag. You can see glass and liquid explode out of the front of it and there's no bullet hole in Desmond as he flies backwards. (:::sob:::) If it hit him, it's grazed his one side. If it had hit a major organ, I don't think he would have been able to pummel Ben the way he did. But then again, a lot can be done on adrenaline.

And, like I said way back in "316," if it was Desmond who laid that beating on him, it gives him a good reason to follow Ben to the island for revenge.

Nikki Stafford said...

Ali bags: I was surprised to see Caesar shot - I thought he was going to play a more important role (and he wasn't even wearing a red shirt, was he?)

LOL!! I was really surprised, but, to be honest, glad. I didn't like Caesar. There wasn't much to him other than menacing. But he might have been one of the few non-Widmoreites on the plane, if we believe that Ilana and her crew are with Chuck.

Nikki Stafford said...

batcabbage: Another thing that made this episode for me: the return of the focus (sort of) on John Locke. He's always been my favourite character, and Terry O'Quinn is just brilliant. When Ben says to John that he wants to go and be judged, the look on Locke's face was just priceless. I loved it.

Agreed and agreed. The only thing as good as a Widmore/Ben showdown is a Locke/Ben showdown. O'Quinn is amazing, and that look was ABSOLUTELY priceless and made me laugh. It was like, "Judged? You? ... Can I watch?" :)

Nikki Stafford said...

RS: This brings me to an important point that hasn't been mentioned, Penny's mother we now know is an outsider. So she's not Eloise or anyone important like that. And Penny obviously wasn't born on the Island as we may have been thinking.

Yep, another thing I said to my hubby while watching. "Dammit, I guess Penny wasn't born on the island after all." :) I'm thinking Ellie went her own way, to quote Fleetwood Mac, and as someone else on here mentioned, perhaps she turned the FDW.

Nikki Stafford said...

mgkoeln: What's Ethan's story? Did young Ben take him on his (killing) field trips with the Others sneaking out of the DI. Or is his mother Amy a spy of the Others after all?

Excellent point, and I'm thinking while we may not see a flashback of him, we will probably see it play out in the 1977 side of the show. IF he is kidnapped by the Others before the Purge, and Amy and Horace never see him again before they're killed, that would be odd that Ben is in contact with him, knows he's OK, and is going back and forth between the DI and the Others. I wouldn't put it past him, but it's still a little odd. I'm thinking Amy is one of them.

Teebore said...

how great was it to once again get a good, old-fashioned flashback?

It WAS very fun and refreshing. I don't think I'd like a return to that narrative style in every episode, but when they drop in these "traditional" style episodes now and then, they sure are appreciated.

I'm pretty positive Richard would know how to read it. He probably carved the damn thing.

Ha! That's awesome. You're right, he probably did...

Benny said...

@Blam: maybe the monster is a hovering creature. It doesn't have to touch the ground but it can't go high enough to pass over the fence.

As for 1977The flaming van appeared only one day after the morning they arrived. They tried to save Ben the next day. So that would be two/three days. In 2007, there was the night Sun and Frank arrived on the main island, and The night when John and Ben arrived at the barracks. This makes it two/three days as well.

@R.S.: remember that Ben supposedly has 3.2 Mil to hand out. How did HE become so rich? He definitely hasn't left the island!

SonshineMusic said...

Did anyone else think that Ben's "Tell Desmond Hume that I'm sorry" bit to Sun seemed a LOT more ominous than for what we were shown?

I mean, apologizing is just not Ben's thing. He strangles Locke (no apology) and just finished shooting Caesar (after totally setting him up) with no remorse. But, no, it's I'm sorry I was planning on killing Penny and then maybe shot Desmond even though I got beaten to a pulp in the process. For that I'm sorry. !?!?!?!

I hope it's not true, but I really wonder if there is more for him to be sorry for. I would be so mad, but I was actually waiting for the gun to go off and hit Penny or Charlie or something, but then it just fell in the water.

SonshineMusic said...

@ Benny: remember that Ben supposedly has 3.2 Mil to hand out. How did HE become so rich? He definitely hasn't left the island!

But, if Ben hasn't left the island, then why did he need all of those many, many passports and all of that foreign cash in his secret clothes closet?

Benny said...

@SoneShine: the dace is, he DID leave the island. Miles brings up a picture of him off the island (airport was it?).

Anonymous said...

Stella Mare = "Sea Star" -- I doubt the reference is the intertidal invertebrate commonly given the misnomer "Starfish." I would instead refer back to the lyrics for Shannon's song and Claire's song. Always an ocean and the star's. Egypt and the stars of course brings other theories of Atlantis/Egypt to mind though I hope we don't go there...

batcabbage said...

But, if Ben hasn't left the island, then why did he need all of those many, many passports and all of that foreign cash in his secret clothes closet?

Remember that photo that Miles (I think it was Miles) had of Ben in those utterly funky and fabulous 70s clothes when he first demanded of Jack 'Where's Benjamin Linus?! I've always assumed that that photo was taken off island, and I've never doubted that Ben hasn't stayed on the Island the whole time. Yes, Ben says when Widmore is banished 'You've been off island, you've even had a family!' or some approximation of that, but we don't find out the actual reason Charles is banished. And knowing Ben, even if it is against the rules to leave the Island, I'm sure he'd find a way to bend them.

batcabbage said...

Benny beat me. Nice one, old man! :)

Teebore said...

Did anyone else think that Ben's "Tell Desmond Hume that I'm sorry" bit to Sun seemed a LOT more ominous than for what we were shown?

Yeah, I'm tempted to call that a "Bentham" moment, something designed to artificially create drama/suspense in the audience that in retrospect, seems an obvious attempt to do so.

I'm willing to give it a pass for two reasons. One, it was self-contained within the episode, not something said episodes ago that's been tossed around and theorized in the meantime (like the falling out between Ben and Sayid or Kate's sheer destruction in the wake of leaving Aaron, or why everyone referred to Locke as Bentham even though he rarely used that name around them). Two, Ben was on the verge of being judged for his sins; perhaps he figured any last minute acts of contrition, no matter how relatively minor, would be in his best interests.

humanebean said...

Abso-frakkin'-lutely AWESOME! I must have exclaimed "yeah, baby!" at each commercial break. Given the performances, the subtext and the reveals this was perhaps the best episode of the season (the opener was tops, for me, prior to this) and one of the most enjoyable ever.

I feel that Ben is as "good" and as potentially "bad" as any other major character on this show. We've often seen his actions/decisions as "bad" because we didn't share his perspective or sense of responsibility. As we learn more about what makes Ben tick, we can be increasingly ambivalent about his nature. Yes, he's a manipulative, lying, scheming, double-crossing, death-dealing, murderous, power-mad sack of potatoes.

But, we say that like it's a BAD thing. Locke is the new annointed one, it seems, and yet we know that his judgment has often been called into question and that others (such as those who followed him to New Otherton) have died under his leadership. We will see whether such consequences are "inevitable" when one assumes the reins of power on the Island.

And so it goes ... some things that jumped out at me:
1) Gotta love the constant repetition of the phrase "one of us". Changes meaning every time we hear it.

2) What, exactly, was the critical info that would have died with Locke? Mrs. Hawking's presence in L.A.? Or, the fact that Jin was alive? We're led to believe that the former was more significant - but Ben sure did look astonished to hear about Jin.

3) As Ben creeps down the hallway in his house, we see at least one print of a hot-air balloon on his wall. A nod to Benry? Or, a reminder that people of questionable motives have constantly been arriving on the Island ... just as Ilana and her crew are "now"?

4) The painting of the blonde woman with the hamster is prominently lit during the discussion in his living room. And, as we watch Ben enter the secret chamber hidden behind his closet ... this came to me with a start: this house PREDATES Ben - who built it next to/over this secret chamber?

5) Watching Ben drain the Smokey Sink™, I wondered if this was one of the "Cerberus Vents" referred to on the Blast Door Map?

6) What WAS Locke doing in the jungle while Ben was summoning Smokey? Oh - and I loved Ben's line "It's not a train, John. It doesn't run on a schedule". HOOT! Actually, when we saw Smokey summoned the last time, to attack Keamy's Krusaders, he sorta DID look like a train - or a rollercoaster at least.

7) UNDER the Temple?!?! Love the fact that the Temple has layers beneath layers, some of which (at least) it appears Ben has never seen.

8) Penny tells Ben that she and her father "have no relationship whatsoever" - a mirror of what Ben told Keamy before Alex was shot.

9) How frakkin' AMAZING covered in Awesome Sauce was the design of the Temple's lower level?? Seeing the many-holed plate beneath the major heiroglyphics, I was instantly motivated to invent the next arcade game to sweep the nation, "Whack-A-Smokey™". And the pictographs themselves ... Anubis ... Smokey ... an open eye in between them ... an ankh behind Anubis' head, above a snake ... and behind Smokey's head, a half-lidded eye above a circle with a dot in the center. I await explanations!

10) Yes, Ben clearly was shuffling between D.I. and the Hostiles camp for a while before the purge. Ethan's presence there lends support to the notion that Amy was a plant and returned to her roots - or that she defected to the Hostiles with her boy, leaving Horace to face the Purge. This is another recurring theme throughout the show, summed up by the meaning of Jack's tattoos: "He walks among us, but he is not one of us". Ben sends Goodwin and Ethan to infiltrate the Lostaways. Juliet returns to the beach camp with Jack - with instructions to report back to Ben. This sort of thing has a long history on the Island - and I think the events of this episode hint at more that we haven't seen.

MAN was that a great episode! Can't wait to read all the comments in the days to come.

Nikki Stafford said...

asiancolossus: Hey Nik, back from South America, still have to catch up on 2 weeks of episodes but loved this one (couldn't wait to catch up first!)

Good to have you back, and GAH! Weren't you confused? I am always fascinated by people who watch the eps out of order. Please tell us what it's like! :)

Brian Douglas said...

From the Wikipedia article on Anubis:

"Anubis was sometimes associated with...Cerberus in Hades."

Nikki Stafford said...

mgkoeln: Ben's clothes aren't wet at all when he calls Jack from the harbour in "316" - but at least he uses a pay phone as his cell phone probably didn't dry as fast as his clothes.

Good one! I was trying to remember, does Ben make the phone call in the daylight or at night? I keep thinking of the marina at night but maybe he makes the call in the day.

Nikki Stafford said...

paticus: was there ever any explanation of what the dust surrounding Jacob's cabin was?

I think it's still up in the air. We had lots of theories here last season. I think the overriding theory is that a line of ash is used to keep evil spirits out. But in this case, it could be keeping them in. It all depends on who or what Jacob is.

Nikki Stafford said...

Dave: I got the impression when Ben reached into the "toilet" he turned a key. Maybe I am wrong, but I thought immediately of the failsafe and such.

Interesting!! That could definitely connect this with the Swan and Desmond. Or it could have just been a giant wad of toilet paper that had gotten stuck. :-D

Nikki Stafford said...

redeem: When he was shot, I didn't think 'Poor Desmond,' I thought, 'Poor Nikki.'

LOL!!! INDEED. :) It's like when something bad happens to Sayid, I think of you.

That casting of a younger Alan Dale was spot on. I looked him up - he's been on Angel! David S. Lee

Interesting!! It says he was one of the Italians in The Girl in Question. This fascinates me because when he first came riding into the village, all I could think of was Holtz! :)

Nikki Stafford said...

teebore: The assumption I've always been under is that Eko was being judged by Smokey, and found wanting, since he refused to feel guilty for his actions.

I like the idea that it was testing Eko as a possible island leader.


I've always assumed the island was testing Eko as a potential leader in that scene. At the time, way back in season 2, he was the other man of faith on the island (I still love that scene of him and John at the table in the Swan looking at the bible) and where Locke's tests continued, Eko had one chance, caused Smokey to retreat, and then Smokey came back to exact revenge when Eko refused to apologize for his life. Another amazing moment.

Isn't it interesting that the words he says to Yemi that he did the best he could with the life he was given, those words could be plucked out of his mouth and put right into Ben's? Or Locke's? But Ben showed regret, and that's why Smokey let him live. Eko refused to do so.

Teebore said...

this house PREDATES Ben - who built it next to/over this secret chamber?

My wife was wondering the same thing-did Dharma just build a house on top of/next to a secret chamber filled with hieroglyphics and dirty water? That didn't seem odd to them? They never explored it?

I keep thinking of the marina at night but maybe he makes the call in the day.

He makes the call to Jack during the day. Jack gets it at breakfast, the morning of the flight, when Kate leaves.

those words could be plucked out of his mouth and put right into Ben's?Or Locke's?

That is interesting. What does it say about the island that it prizes remorse? Does that connect with Ben's "ends justify the means" approach, that if you do bad things for a good reason, it's okay as long as you feel bad about it? Is that remorse what separates Ben from Widmore, in the same way it separates Ben and Eko?

Those thematic questions are, in terms of importance, I think, up there right alongside the struggle between free will and destiny, and between science and faith.

asiancolossus said...

Hey Nik
Well with the new way Lost is storytelling, not flashback, not flashforward but multiple time frames running concurrently, its like Faraday puts it, a record skipping, so I feel right at home LOL.
As usual, you and your cohorts of experts have my mind spinning with complex theories, most of which my simple brain cannot fathom :)
I am in agreement with many posters on here that Locke and Ben make one of the best Bromance couples out there! Its just electric to see them together.
As for the dust around Jacob's cabin, my theory is that it is some sort of residue ?metallic left behind with time teleportation, call me crazy :)
I do hope we get more of an Ethan backstory as well.

SonshineMusic said...

@ Nikki: does Ben make the phone call in the daylight or at night?

I thought the phone call was made at night, too.
Although I admit the "I'm sorry" could have been a Bentham (lol am now using this term regularly in ref. to Lost) I still think there is more to it. Just rewatched the episode and it doesn't look like Ben's arm is injured by the time he is thrown in the water. Desmond mainly beats his face (:D)

A couple other things:

1. Something that hasn't been brought up recently, but that my sister and I remembered during the conversation between Sun and Ben - Sun approached Widmore about working with him to kill Ben! Even though she put that on hold when she found out Jin was alive, I'm sure that will come into play later.

2. Ben says he was born on the island. Someone here suggested that he was referring to his "rebirth" in the temple. If that is true (and seems more than likely) then his comment that "very few people can say that" takes on even more significance.

3. When Ben is under the temple and the camera pulls back for the shot with him and the torch and the temple wall with the hieroglyphics it was totally an Indiana Jones shot :D lol

4. In reference to Ben saying he had no idea that the Losties were in the DI - My initial reaction was the same reaction I've seen among several people here. Shoot, he doesn't remember them. On the rewatch, though, I thought to myself - Hello, why do we EVER take ANYTHING he says at face value!? Ben lies. All the time. It is extremely possible that he does remember them, but what would he have to gain from saying it? Well within him to simply lie as always.

Favorite episode so far. :D

Teebore said...

it doesn't look like Ben's arm is injured by the time he is thrown in the water.

Maybe I imagined it, but I heard a crunch when Desmond plowed into Ben and he hit the dock. He landed on his side (Desmond sort of rolled him over as he pummeled him), suggesting the crunch was his arm/shoulder getting hurt.

Missing Georgia said...

I loved this episode, but I was disappointed that we didn't see what happened in the Temple when Richard brought took him in at the end of last episode. My thoughts are that sense Ben doesn't remember it, we didn't get to see it as well. I am hoping that they may show this event through Richard's perspective in a Richard-centric episode.

I think the thing that really jumped out to me is Ben's unwillingness to kill a mother. He could have killed Rousseau and still taken the baby, but he didn't. He was set on killing Penny until he discovered Charlie. Maybe the loss of his mother helped him retain some of his innocence or he didn't want to take away that innocence by killing the mother of a child.

humanebean said...

@SonShineMusic: I think you are on to something re: Sun/Widmore. We haven't seen what Sun was up to in the hours before flight 316 took of. I'm betting she contacted Widmore, who then put his crew (Ilana et. al.) on that flight with even more serious hardware than Keamy was carrying. Widmore's grudge against the Island that never seemingly supported HIM the way it has so many 'others' (*snort*) pushes him further than wanting to reclaim it ... perhaps he really does want to destroy it?

joshua said...

"...my impressions are that Charles Widmore was a charismatic (ruthless, authoritative, jealous?) leader who finally got tired of being outvoted by a faceless entity that refused to even speak to him (outsider, unchosen) and eventually dismissed him. I’m with you, Nik -- does that make it official? Is he the bad guy now?"

I know I'm commenting on my own comment here, but the more I think about this, the more the answer depends on whether or not Jacob is the "good" guy. And have we ever actually seen Jacob directly address Ben either? If so, then I don't recall when... What I mean is that the above statement could actually be made about Ben almost identically.We're still a long way from any kind of definitive answer about this, I think.

Nikki Stafford said...

Barry: OK, who else would be willing to pay $10 for a 10-minute pay-per-view of Desmond beating the crap out of Ben? Any takers? Nikki?

Confession time: While writing up part of the blog post, I had my screen paused on Desmond's furious face as he was wailing on Ben. :)

poggy said...

Awesome recap as always, Nikki! I'm in a bit of a rush so I'm dropping by just to offer a minor info/nitpick - "Stella Mare" means "Star Sea" if translated literally from Italian - "starfish" would translate into "stella marina"... It doesn't make a lot of sense like this. But then I thought of "Stella Maris" and that rang a bell, so I wiki'ed (I'm actually not well versed at all in the dead languages! Or religion, for that matter) and I found out that in liturgic Latin, Stella Maris - Star of the sea - is a title associated to the Virgin Mary, due to a mistranslation of the Hebrew name Maryam by St. Jerome. I don't know if it's just a coincidence but it fits pretty well with all the other Virgin Marys we've seen through the years on Lost.

SonshineMusic said...

Oh, and by the way, I would just like to thank batcabbage and Nikki. I have never read a graphic novel, barely even picked one up, but after all the talk of bvk and Y: the Last Man, I picked up the first volume last week. Whipped through the first 3 in two days and the only reason I haven't finished them is because the book store I work at is out of V.4! GRRR. I like. Intriguing story premise. Lost is introducing me to so many new things :D

Nikki Stafford said...

joshua: Great post! But the real nail in the coffin for me, so to speak, was that goodbye at the end of ‘The Life & Death of Jeremy Bentham.’ That “I’m really gonna miss you, John.” That was the confession of a murderer.

Actually, without sounding like a wacky Ben apologist, I don't see it that way. John Locke is clearly very different now in his undead version. He's caustic, confident, and a leader. When Ben says, "I'm really going to miss you, John," he means the old John Locke, the flawed man who always felt like a loser and wanted his life to have meaning. That's how I read that scene.

Nikki Stafford said...

teebore: I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed that Ben didn't know about the Losties in Dharma.

I'm not. Because I think he's lying. He said it the same way he told Caesar he didn't know who Locke was, and the same way he told Jack that he didn't know Locke was dead. If he's NOT lying then yes, I'll be disappointed.

It must be SO hard for the writers to see the reactions to fans, don't you think? They come up with these brilliant ideas and storylines, and then we say, "Wah. I wish they'd done this instead" and they must go, "Huh. THAT would have been a good idea. D'oh." ;) But in this case, I think he's lying, and everything will be fine.

joshua said...

Nik -- I hadn't thought of it like that, but of course, you're absolutely right.

Still, I find that line of ZombAlex's regarding his already planning to kill John again fairly damning, you know?

Nikki Stafford said...

Sonshine: I hope it's not true, but I really wonder if there is more for him to be sorry for. I would be so mad, but I was actually waiting for the gun to go off and hit Penny or Charlie or something, but then it just fell in the water.

Oh my god, I think you're right... what if Ben wasn't quite done? What if he does something to Charlie? Oh no... now I'm all worried!!!!

Nikki Stafford said...

batcabbage: Benny beat me.

The way Desmond beat Ben?!

Benny, PLAY NICE!

Heehee...

asiancolossus said...

Nikki I'm beginning to think you have some kind of Desmond anger fetish. Let's hope you don't start calling your husband Desmond in the heat of the moment, whatever that moment may be *wink*

Teebore said...

It must be SO hard for the writers to see the reactions to fans, don't you think? They come up with these brilliant ideas and storylines, and then we say, "Wah. I wish they'd done this instead" and they must go, "Huh. THAT would have been a good idea. D'oh." ;) But in this case, I think he's lying, and everything will be fine.

I hope you're right about the lying. It would certainly be in character. :)

And definitely agreed on the former.

Nikki Stafford said...

Sonshine: Oh, and by the way, I would just like to thank batcabbage and Nikki. I have never read a graphic novel, barely even picked one up, but after all the talk of bvk and Y: the Last Man, I picked up the first volume last week. Whipped through the first 3 in two days and the only reason I haven't finished them is because the book store I work at is out of V.4! GRRR. I like. Intriguing story premise. Lost is introducing me to so many new things :D

Check it out, batcabbage, we have a convert!!!

I read all 10 volumes in about 2 weeks, emailing batcabbage along the way to rave, rave, cry, and rave. The ending of this series made me cry, laugh, and feel sad in a way I hadn't for a very long time. Much like the way I believe the end of Lost will. Enjoy!!

LoyallyLOST said...

This doesn't really have anything to do with LOST, but I watched the series premiere of The Unusuals, because A)It looked like a good show & B)IT HAD MICHAEL IN IT!
Did anyone notice that they used a couple of the LOST numbers in it? AND, with 'Michael'?! Soooo cool! They used 15 & 42!
Just thought I would throw that out for ya!
Do you think the powers that be on that show did it for all us LOST-obsessed fans? Hmmmmmm.....
Aloha!

Nikki Stafford said...

asiancolossus: Not an anger fetish, just a Desmond one. And honestly, I like him much better happy. My favourite moment is him coming into the clearing with Juliet and seeing the helicopter, with that rifle slung over his shoulder and his shirt... opened... and...

Saza said...

I'm guessing by the time little Ben heals up and heads back to the DI....the Losties are gone and back in their time via "the incident." The incident "damages" the island vibe (no more babies). This forces the others to take action to protect the island from Dr.Chang and crew screwing things up even more by playing with the donkeywheel energy source.

Teebore said...

The ending of this series made me cry, laugh, and feel sad in a way I hadn't for a very long time.

Agreed, 100%.

The last issue of Y is hands down one of the best single issues of a comic I've ever read, and I've read A LOT of comics.

asiancolossus said...

"Meanwhile, shortly after that Desmond episode, Nikki's husband is baffled when she suddenly buys him a rifle for a spontaneous gift" LOL

Nikki Stafford said...

"Meanwhile, shortly after that Desmond episode, Nikki's husband is baffled when she suddenly buys him a rifle for a spontaneous gift" LOL

And a blue shirt with the top three buttons missing. LOL

SonshineMusic said...

@myself: and of course by bvk I actually meant BKV. My fingers got ahead of my brain :)

SonshineMusic said...

@ LoyallyLost: I did watch the premier of The Unusuals. It's a nice change of pace from the intesity of Lost and helped me to decompress a little. And I totally think that the numbers thing was a nod to the fact that it's right after Lost and that many of the people watching it will be checking it out simply because "Michael" is on it.

myselfixion said...

When Ben reaches into the water, he seems like he is turning something to let the water out. The water drains without swirling until the very end it appears that the water starts to swirl clockwise. Is this important?

I hope Vincent shows up soon.....

Nikki Stafford said...

Did anyone else notice the play on words, that if Ben looks like he's plunging a toilet, he's "flushing the John"? HAHA! Get it, John? Locke?

Ha!

he.

*cough*

I'll be over *here* now.

humanebean said...

Alright, young lady. I'm Officer Humorless with the Pun Police. Do you know why I pulled you over today?

Yes, that's right, that was an illegal use of the pun. I'm going to let you off with a warning this time, so let's be careful out there, m'kay?

Nikki Stafford said...

humanebean: I'm sorry, you LOST me.

Teebore said...

Everyone knows puns are the highest form of comedy...

joshua said...

Speaking of which, who was it that referred to Ben as Alex's "Faux Pa" earlier? Awesome.

Nikki Stafford said...

joshua: I actually hate puns, but damn, "Faux Pa" is genius!! :)

SonshineMusic said...

Re: Ben and lying and Nikki, et. al.
"But in this case, I think he's lying, and everything will be fine."

I'm sorry, but you have to love a show where you can say something like "He's lying and everything will be fine" and actually mean that it would be better if he IS lying!

Jesse Perry said...

(I think Uncle Tom’s Cabin was there, too. Maybe Alex was into African-American writers.)

Nit-picky, as I understood what you were saying, but Harriet Beecher Stowe was white.

Nikki Stafford said...

Jesse: Ugh, you're absolutely right. I meant to say "topics," because I know and read that book and studied Stowe. I'm an idiot. I mean "African-American topics." Thank you for the clarification!!

humanebean said...

Nikki: *doh*!

Missing Georgia said...

I had to post to apologize for my grammatical and spelling errors in my previous post. I was typing with a 2 year old under foot.

SonshineMusic said...

This is a minor, tiny little nitpick with this episode and I doubt anyone else would notice it, but I did, because I am insane.

Something was nagging me about Ben's secret closet, but that wasn't what actually made me go looking. I was actually going back to see if I could figure out what other books were on the bookshelf other than Uncle Tom's Cabin and Roots. So I went back to "The Economist" where Sayid discovers the closet. The only book you can see there is the Qu'ran, so it didn't help on that front, but... the clothes rack that hides the second hidden door is not there! It's a suitcase rack!

I know it has no bearing on anything whatsoever :), but I knew something felt off on that scene. Crazy Lost making me go back and look at a closet. Crazy me for caring :)

Robert Kuang said...

The Smoke Monster is definitely shaping up to be the Angel of Death, wing man to Anubis. From what I've heard, The Angel of Death is make of sand and when it forms, it turns black and evetually into soldiers. My Lost column here: http://bit.ly/kfoq9

Missing Georgia said...

I am hopeful for a Richard-centric episode, but I agree with Nikki, that it will probably be next season before we get the back story of Richard. I do think that he is independent of the Leader. He is instrumental in picking the leader, so he has some higher authority.

I also wonder if the scene where he encounters young Ben in the jungle in "Man behind the Curtain" is just a continuity error with his hair. It is the only time that we seem him look like the other "others." Maybe they realized that it made more sense to make him always look the same to make it clear that he is immortal. I think it is made clear that he is immortal in that same episode when Ben ask him " You do remember birthdays, don't you Richard?"

Missing Georgia said...

Also, the theme of the incoming leader challenging the present leader runs throughout the last few season. Last night showed Ben challenging Widmore and Locke challenged Ben in "The Brig." The only time we see Widmore challenge leadership is Richard in "Jughead" when he wonders why they haven't already killed Locke. Does that mean Richard was a leader, if not, who was the leader then? If Richard was ever the leader, then he was not banished, as it has seemed customary.

Missing Georgia said...

Okay, I know that Richard wasn't the "leader" but it didn't look like anyone else was in charge in 1954. I wonder who it was?

SonshineMusic said...

Whoever was the leader at that time must have been gone or was more hands off. In every other instance with Richard it's been made clear that he isn't in charge, even when he's doing something subversive to that leader. There is no one in 1954 who comes running in demanding to know what's going on or asking questions that Richard defers to. It certainly seems like he is in charge there, but we only get one small glimpse. Maybe he had been left in charge while the actual leader was doing something important.

I really wonder if we will see anything further in the past or if it really isn't relavent.

I would so love to see a Richard episode but concur that it will probably come right at the end. Wouldn't it be crazy if the series finale is about Richard and is all flashback/forward/sideways to fill in the last holes of information from his perspective since he's been there through it all!

Benny said...

From DocArzt with regards to the drawing, interesting analysis:

Fabularasa77 says:
April 8, 2009 at 11:55 pm

I’d just like to chime in that the (presumed) Smokie in the picture looks like it isn’t opposed to Anubis, but more taking orders, or waiting on him like a servant. Note that Anubis’ palm is opened and faced up (friendly), and he is sitting down (Not a fighting stance). (Note: I’m only assuming that Anubis is giving orders based on his status as a god, and smokies’ status as…well…smoke-thing. Based solely on depiction, they could be equals)

Benny said...

In the vein of them being equals, one could think of the monster as being superior.

In the context of the episode, anyone thinks that Anubis is being judged, just as Ben was?

Missing Georgia said...

That is certainly an interesting thought, Benny. I like that idea.

SonshineMusic said...

So Richard is Anubis and he was judged and became the leader for a time, but because he is a god he is, of course, immortal. However, a time came when it was time for someone else to step in and so Richard remains in a helping capacity, but allowing other Leaders to make their own mistakes :P lol

Nikki Stafford said...

Sonshine: Don't worry, you're not the only person nitpicking the closet! :) They changed it from The Economist. In my book, I pointed out how it's very different in The Shape of Things to Come, and compared the clothing rack to the suitcase one we'd seen earlier. So I definitely agree with you! :)

Hunter said...

I mentioned this earlier and no one gave me any feedback, so I'm going to post it again and again until someone responds! I will never give up!

Ok, that's not true. I'll probably give up after this. But my theory flows with the current train of though in the thread here...

Does anyone think it's possible that Richard and John are of the same type of entity on the island? By that, I mean that they both died and came back to life on the island. And since they're both "dead," they no longer age because dead people don't age. Both of them were given immoratilty and became quasi-mortal gods of the island since they are the true believers. No one, aside from John and Richard, ever seems to have the island's best interests at heart 100% of the time. Widmore and Benry Gale go along with the island's best interests as long as it suits their purposes. They aren't true island leaders.

Missing Georgia said...

Hunter, I thought your post was interesting. Sorry that I didn't comment on it.Locke and Alpert definitely seem to be true leaders that do not get drunk on power. Ben and Widmore both seemed to get caught up in the trappings of power and do questionable things claiming that they are in the "best interest of the island." I think we will not know much until we see "who" Richard truly is and how the Locke story becomes fully realized. I definitely think Richard is immortal and maybe he is outside of the leadership because he is "dead" or "immortal."

Brian Douglas said...

My pick for leader of the Others pre-Widmore: Ray Shephard.

R.S said...

This is an example of why I still consider Widmore "bad" and Ben "good" in their little struggle (relatively speaking, of course).

For all the heinous stuff Ben has done, most of does seem to be in tune with what the island wants, or at least BEN believes its what the island wants, suggesting a genuine desire to work the will of the island.

Widmore, on the other hand, in what little on-island interactions we've seen, seems more dismissive of the island's will, as though he's going along with Richard and his Jacob mumbo-jumbo because he has to, not because he truly believes it (which is further illustrated by the revelation that Widmore had an entire life, including Penny, off the island before he was exiled).

Ben, for all his evil, genuinely seems to want what's best for the island, from what we've seen, even if he isn't always 100% clued in to what that is.


Thanks for posting that Teebore. It's what I was trying to say but much more concise.

I also agree with Teebore - Ben's arm seemed like it took some impact when he was crash tackled by Desmond.

I won't go into details but whether Desmond was shot or not shot is mentioned in the latest podcast.

I got the definite impression when Ben called Jack on the morning of the Ajira flight all bloodied up he was also quite damp. His hair was definitely wet at the very least.

The Ben's wealth thing - I think Ben has left the Island many times as has Ethan and Richard but I think the difference is that they were all on Island related business, this is how Ben has accumulated his wealth and influence. The difference is Widmore was leaving and living a secret life, pursuing his own agenda and possibly undermining the Island's interests.

A question that could be raised is how did Alpert visit Locke after his birth in '56 (?) before they had access to the sub? How was Widmore getting off the Island etc?

Was it just me or was a focus on Locke's/Christian's dress shoes? Locke was taking them off the go canoeing them seen putting them back on on the dock etc, were they trying to make a point of this?

Speaking of Locke, I don't believe he is undead or a manifestation or anything else. As he said to Sun "I'm the same man I've always been". I think this was included as a means of telling the audience that Locke is the same man we've seen from season 1-4.

And finally I failed to previously mention my excitement of the return of the Lapidus rocking the scruff. Lapidus is back. Some one get him a Hawaiian shirt, stat.

SonshineMusic said...

I think Lost is obsessed with shoes. There's the shoe when Jack first wakes up in the first episode, then Jack having to get special shoes for Locke. Good grief. They're just shoes. (Oh, by the way, I'm just Sonshine's sister. :)

SonshineMusic said...

So sorry that I didn't catch you pointing out the closet, Nikki. I've been reading your books as I rewatch the series with my parents and we hadn't gotten there yet.
Makes me feel better, though, to know I'm not the only obsessed one :) (of course I wouldn't even be here if I didn't know that already)

Speaking of rewatching things. We just saw "The Shape of Things to Come" and in his speech to Sayid Ben says something that is very telling in relation to the whole Ben/Charles dynamic and is very pertinent to "Dead is Dead".

He says that Widmore is "a killer without conscience" but goes on to say Charles is "without a sense of a greater purpose." In other words, Ben may seem like a killer without conscience, just like Charles, but he is doing it with a sense of a greater purpose, i.e. to serve the Island.

And one other thing I thought of - where are the Others in 2008? Why have none of the 316ers encountered them. They had three years after everyone left, they must have regrouped at the temple, but what have they been doing since? I bet that's where Rose and Bernard will come in, to let us know what's up with that group. Also, we have yet to encounter Richard in 2008. You KNOW he's been busy in those three years. Who became the leader while they were waiting for Locke to come back? Or is that what Richard does, fill in when they're temporarily between leaders?

@Hunter: The only problem I had with the theory about Locke being like Richard was Christian. Why does he resurrect? But then....

@Brian Douglas: answered that question :) Totally think that Ray Shepard has some tie to the Island and that would make crazy sense. I always thought there was some significance with Jack going to see his grandfather before returning to the island (other than the obvious shoe issue). That would be crazy, but give more people a connection to the Island.

batcabbage said...

@Sonshine & Nik: HURRAY! A new BKV disciple! :) Excellent, Sonshine, I'm so glad we could put you onto Y. Teebore, you're so right, the last issue of Y is pure genius. Sunshine, check out the rest of BKV's books, they're just as good. Seriously, every time I see that BKV has written an episode I just tingle. When I squee-ed (I'm sure that's how you spell that) when BKV came up as a writer on this week's ep, my girlfriend said to me 'Oh look, it's your boyfriend.' I blushed, and replied 'No, he's way too good for me.' I stand by that statement. :)

ronald said...

Cut back to Ben, who walks by another boat called Stella Mare (or it could be Stellar Mare; there’s a rope between the words).

It's italian. Stella = star and Mare = sea/ocean. It's seastar or ocean star

R.S said...

Just watched the episode for the second time, thought:

- Ilana and 3 friends = people in second canoe shooting at time traveling Sawyer and gang. I wonder which one Juliet tagged.

- Widmore has aged horribly in the 11-12 years between '77 and '88 not only has he gone grey but he lost that great mane. To say the same about Ben would be an understatement. They probably should have got another actor to play Ben in his early twenties for realism but I appreciated the fact they still used Emerson.

Also I don't think Smokey is undead Alex, Yemi, Christian etc. I think it's something greater in regards to the Island. But I'm under no illusion that they are alive. Dead is dead. Locke is the exception.

Blam said...

Dave: I got the impression when Ben reached into the "toilet" he turned a key.

To me it seemed more like pulling up the stopper of a sink or bathtub so that the water drained and Smokey could come out. Maybe the creature can't travel through or over water, which could be a built-in guard against it leaving the Island and a way for its creators to contain it.

Benny: The figuring-out and equating of the elapsed time in 1977 and 2007 is much appreciated.


Humanebean: The painting of the blonde woman with the hamster is prominently lit during the discussion in his living room.

I must confess that I have no recollection of that painting, but I love how absurd it sounds and how matter-of-fact your description is.

Also, I share your curiosity about who built what became Ben's house and whether the corridor to Smokey's underground exit chamber was there before it was his. We could find out soon that it's the Dharma domicile of a familiar character.

Nikki: Sonshine: Don't worry, you're not the only person nitpicking the closet! :) They changed it from The Economist. In my book, I pointed out how it's very different in The Shape of Things to Come, and compared the clothing rack to the suitcase one we'd seen earlier. So I definitely agree with you! :)

Perhaps they're just trying to tell us that Ben has lots of... baggage.

Sonshine: [W]here are the Others in 2008? ... They had three years after everyone left, they must have regrouped at the temple, but what have they been doing since? I bet that's where Rose and Bernard will come in, to let us know what's up with that group. Also, we have yet to encounter Richard in 2008. You KNOW he's been busy in those three years. Who became the leader while they were waiting for Locke to come back?

These are excellent questions that most of us have surely pondered. And they lead me to once again wonder just what the Natives did before they became Ben's Others, before the Dharma Initiative arrived, and especially before whatever outfit young Charles Widmore belonged to. We know that by the time Ben led them and they'd moved into the houses, before the Oceanic flight crashed, they had book groups and an oddly mundane suburban lifestyle, at least on one level. Yet in the flashbacks that we saw to when Ben was revived in the Temple, they seem rustic and perhaps as nomadic as possible on an island, and you really have to wonder what their community was like before or apart from their conflict with visitors from the outside world. Maybe they were just peaceful, self-sustaining agrarian folks, for whom daily life provided all the work and recreation they needed, but they had to have some sense of purpose apart from of conflict with settlers. And before outsiders began to join their ranks that purpose probably wasn't exploring the mysteries of the Island.

Blam said...

Okay. A perennial question that just popped back into my head:

How the hell is (or was) that food drop being made outside the Swan station regularly, and who the hell was really doing it?

humanebean said...

@Blam: *chuckle* Yes, now that I look at it, my comment about the painting in Ben's house does come out of left-field, doesn't it? (my permanent abode) Little touchstones like this one fascinate me and I am constantly on the lookout for more information on any of them. The painting that I refer to is on the wall of Ben's house, depicting a blond woman (most likely of Ben's mother, although it is vaguely Juliet-esque - something that seems very understandable now) seated in a wicker chair and holding ... yes, what appears to be a hamster.

Given Ben's attachment to mothers, blond ladies and furry little creatures, this seems to have some significance - but is probably just an atmospheric prop. You can see a pic of the painting (and it's history of subtle changes ... hmmm) at:
http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Ben%27s_painting

The food drop outside the Swan Station is another issue that I think portends future explanation. After the Purge, Ben and the Others had to be aware that someone (Our Man Radzinsky, for one - and, oh, how I wish he had asthma so that I could call him Rad The Inhaler) was holed up in the Swan, pushing the button and keeping that electromagnetic discharge at bay. So long as it was necessary, they would have wanted those drops to continue to keep those button-pushers fortified.

And yet - how the heck/why the heck would Dharma keep up the drops after they learned that their Island minions had been virtually wiped out by the Hostiles? Did they somehow not learn this? Did Ben finagle a way to continue the charade that the D.I. was alive and well on the Island? Or, more likely, did Ben make arrangements off-Island for these drops to continue?

Considering how the Island is constantly moving, it would seem that Mrs. Hawking and friends would be the only ones who could maneuver a freighter close enough to fly a chopper in (at great electromagnetic risk) regularly to make the drops. We have to see more on this at some point, don't we?

@Benny: I really like your idea that Anubis is in a posture of submission to judgment in the heiroglyphs that we see on the wall under the Temple. With his hand outstretched as he sits cross-legged, rather than standing as we normally see this figure, there does appear to be a invitation extended. It was also interesting to me that Smokey appears to be emanating from an obelisk in the image - and his jagged appearance puts me in mind of the Donkey Wheel, perhaps suggested by the wheel image behind it's head?

Also, Ben says that the Temple is a half-mile beyond the wall .... is the level we see here in fact another chamber, separate from the Temple? Perhaps this is the lair of Smokey ... and the Temple itself is the shrine to Anubis? What DOES lie in the shadow of the statue? The well/Orchid? The Temple itself? Time to put down the Question Mark and slowly back away ...

Hunter said...

While we're bringing up things we still want to know an answer to, I still want to know what the frak Cindy and the children had to go "watch" back in season 3 when Jack was in the skinner cage. That seems like something we should've found out the answer to by now and I'm a bit concerned that we never will. (Kind of like everything about Libby)

And I'm sure this has already been discussed here, but with such a smokey centric epsiode this week, I thought it might be worth posting this clip of him from the pilot...or what might be him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV_WRk8PjeA&feature=related

Look above the plane engine right before it explodes.

Ali Bags said...

@humanebean Also, Ben says that the Temple is a half-mile beyond the wall .

I found that interesting too - what we'd seen in a previous episode when Montand had his arm ripped off wasn't actually the Temple, it was the wall surrounding the Temple - so there is still plenty to reveal (of course - this is Lost)
Was Ben actually under the Temple that is a half mile beyond the wall?
What's in the actual Temple? Richard's secret stash of eyeliner? Lots of pairs of shoes? Hamsters? A Zombie barracks?

humanebean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
humanebean said...

@Hunter: yes, I've wondered about Cindy for quite some time - particularly this little exchange from many folk's Favorite Episode to Hate, "Stranger in a Strange Land":
[Back on the Island, Jack wakes up startled in his cage. The camera reveals about a dozen people standing outside the cage.]
JACK: [frustrated] What?!!!
CINDY: [approaching] Hey, Jack.
JACK: Do I -- do I know you? 815, you were the stewardess.
CINDY: Cindy.
JACK: What are you doing here -- with them? I thought you were taken -- you were -- you were captured.
CINDY: They're not, um -- it's not that simple"

Is Cindy a convert? Or, perhaps like the last-minute replacement pilot for 815, someone who might have known where they would end up?

While we are at it, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the implications of Ben's statement to Jack later the same episode:
" Juliet doesn't care about you, Jack. It doesn't matter what she's done. No matter what you think -- she's one of us."

Hmmmm ... I've often wondered how deep Juliet's ties to the Island run ... she knew about Jacob early on ... has she been to the Temple, too?

@Ali Bags: somewhere behind that wall ... lies an oasis of peace and contentment ... a respite from your Island cares and woes ... replete with umbrella drinks and hammocks in the gentle breezes .... a resort that some call .... TempleDisney.

Benny said...

@Hunter: A lot of people concluded that it was the smoke monster who blew up the engine. But the execs confirmed it was a production error and the black smoke in the scene should have appeared a few seconds later.

A lot of fans who haven't heard the statement still believe that it is the monster.

Missing Georgia said...

R.S. - I had the same thought about the Ilana gang being the ones that were shooting at the Losties during the time jump.

Hunter said...

@Benny- Thanks, I've wondered about that for the longest time. I was 50-50 on whether it was smokey or a production error. The way he flies looks too fast to be smokey, but I couldn't figure out what else it could be.

Anonymous said...

ilana has always presnted herself as part of Widmores team. She was bounty hunter there to take Sayid back for killing one of Widemores buddies. So it seemed more logical that she worked for him.

Widmore could have fiqured out which flight to take once Ben called him and had his people get on.

Killing Cesear was a pretty unexpected move, he had been portrayed as a key leader in the future war. Nice deceptive move by the writers.

Ben is the protector of children, he always take care of them (they were taken first) and tries to enable them to be born on the island.

Richard didn't seem to care for the child birth experiments of Ben's and alluded to John that there are bigger things to do on the island. Part of Ben's obessision with children

Why did Smokey kill the pilot in first epsiode? He wasn't judged and it kept ripping down trees. It was probably more of an illustration of it's power and the writers hadn't quite fiqured out it's bigger purpose at
first.

Ben must have knonw where the temple was, since he sent his people to hide there when the mercinaries from Widmore arrived last season.

DeborahB said...

Nikki -

I'm not convinced Alpert was lying to Widmore when he told him that Jacob wanted Ben to be healed. Maybe the reason Alpert showed up suddenly in the jungle when Sawyer and Kate are with their trusty guides trying to find him is because Jacob told Alpert 'hey, there's some people bringing a kid who's dying. Bring him to the temple and save him.'

Also, why couldn't Ellie be the mother of Penelope? If Ellie left the island years before Widmore, she wouldn't be one of the Others any longer, but she could be the reason Widmore has a desire to leave the island and start a family off the island - because he has already fallen in love with Ellie by the time she leaves. It would explain how he is able to find someone during his trips off the island with which to start a family.

lefty said...

Abandoning time travel for utterly insignificant points:

1. Is it possible to run the other way when you hear the whispers? Aren't they usually all around?

2. Frank tells Sun not to turn her back on Ben. This happens immediately after they both turn their backs to him to see if Ben's teling the truth about Locke's being outside.

In each case, poor writing/directing.

humanebean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
humanebean said...

I'd have to disagree, Lefty. "Run the other way" is a pretty generic statement, even if the whispers were 'all around'. It means "RUN LIKE HELL" to get away from something. Besides, I think that when we see people turning left and right, trying to get a fix on the whispers, they are doing just that - trying to isolate the sound. Either way, 'RUN' seems like *ahem* sound advice.

I think the writers were definitely going for the irony in the other quote. Ben is literally standing behind Sun when Frank tells her to 'watch (her) back'. It's a none-too-subtle way of saying don't trust the guy you recently bonked on the head with an oar. Now, with Ben, that's REDUNDANT and not just ironic, but still ....

SonshineMusic said...

Re: the food drops - I still think that it might be possible that the food drop that landed was something sent earlier that got delayed. Time is all screwed up. Daniel says something about how "sometimes it's hours, sometimes it's years" in relation to time delay concerning the island. I could be completely wrong, but what else is new :)

@ humanebean: "I couldn't help but be intrigued by the implications of Ben's statement to Jack later the same episode:
'Juliet doesn't care about you, Jack. It doesn't matter what she's done. No matter what you think -- she's one of us.'"

I think he was probably saying this just because of his jealousy. Juliet is "his" remember? (that was a creepy scene, when he claims Juliet after showing her Goodwin's body) But we definitely do not know where Juliet's loyalties lie. She has that Mona Lisa smile that always makes you wonder how much she actually knows....

@ Ali Bags: "What's in the actual Temple? Richard's secret stash of eyeliner? Lots of pairs of shoes? Hamsters? A Zombie barracks?"

Ah hahahahahahaha :D

@Anonymous: "Ben is the protector of children, he always take care of them (they were taken first) and tries to enable them to be born on the island.

Richard didn't seem to care for the child birth experiments of Ben's and alluded to John that there are bigger things to do on the island. Part of Ben's obessision with children"

And I would guarantee that this all goes back to his obsession with his mother and the fact that she died giving birth to him and the fact that his father hated him for that.

Hisham said...

Did you guys realize that Walt's dream about John came true? He saw him on the Island wearing a suit and surrounded by people who wanted to hurt him.

Blam said...

What does Lost have to do with Passover? Aside from the whole concept of an exodus from Egypt, which just occurred to me now, what prompted me to pose the rhetorical question is... well...

You've heard of the Ten Plagues, right? At the seder, the Passover dinner at which Jews recount the story of the exodus, ten drops of wine are spilled from a cup to commemorate the plagues. Some versions of the telling, which is read from a booklet called the hagaddah, first have three drops spilled to designate the "signs and wonders" demonstrated by God: (1) Blood, of which we've seen plenty on Lost. (2) Fire, which like blood may have no special significance on the show, but is seen when the raft burns, torches are lit, and flaming arrows are shot, for instance. (3) Pillars of Smoke. I say again, Pillars of Smoke.

I took a look at that clip, by the way, and rather than Smokey or a production error I figured it was parts of the guy who got sucked into the engine getting shot out the back, admittedly at an odd angle.

FWIW, I might as well also share that every time I hear (well, read and hear in my head) "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" my answer is Ben. Ben lies in the shadow of the statue. Ben lies like the bad rug that reminds Nikki of Paul Reubens. Ben lies everywhere. I don't think it's a trick question or that that's the answer, but there you go.

As far as Ilana goes, I never saw Rome but I remember her from New Amsterdam, where she had no acc--- er, she sounded native to the United States. (I also keep forgetting she was Yves Adele Harlow [anagram: Lee Harvey Oswald] on The Lone Gunmen.) IMDB says that she was born in England and "raised in the Far East, Thailand, and Malaysia". So her American accent could've been Acting!, but the indefinable accent she's using on Lost still sounds weird and fake.

Humanebean: You can see a pic of the painting (and it's history of subtle changes ... hmmm) at: http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Ben%27s_painting

I laughed again at this:

▪ Who is the woman in the painting?
▪ Where and when was it painted?
▪ Who painted it?
▪ What is the significance of the red Anthuriums in the portrait?
▪ What is the significance of the hamster?


Now I won't be able to get that last question out of my head for days, and friends will be wondering why I'm laughing at odd moments. Or they won't.

Humanebean: ... Our Man Radzinsky, for one - and, oh, how I wish he had asthma so that I could call him Rad The Inhaler

*grooooooooooooooooooooan*

humanebean said...

@Blam: ah, my work here is done. ; ]

Seriously, can you THINK of a better title for the final episode of LOST than "The Significance of the Hamster"?

Ali Bags said...

Could it be a guinea pig?

Hisham said...

I think it's safe to assume now that Ben only forgot how he got injured. Whatever Richard or Smokey did to him inside the Temple, it didn't "heal" his wound, it "treated" it, stopped the bleading, but it didn't erase his whole life from his memory; but Ben still had to have some time of convalescence. We know that he will eventually go back to the DI bearing the memory of losing his mother as an infant and the abusive treatment he had from his father all the time until he kills him in 1992's Purge. He did say he remembered going to the Temple before, where the Island healed him.

And I think he lied to Sun about not knowing that her friends were in the DI. Even if he didn't know about Jack, Kate and Hurley (which is odd, because that picture was always there in the Barracks), because maybe they left during his absense, he must have known about Sawyer and Juliet at least, because he lived with them for three whole years, and remember when Sayid said that a 12-year-old Benjamin Linus brought him a chicken salad sandwich? Sawyer said, "Nice kid," in a telling way. There must have been some interaction between the two of them at the very least. He must have known Jin as well, which means he lied to Sun about his whereabouts (or whenabouts). But that doesn't explain why he looked astonished to learn that Jin was alive when Locke told him. Maybe he never really met Jin as a child, or they ran in different circles, so he didn't remember him from his childhood.

On a side note, the Others' camp looked very much like the Rohirrim's camp at Dunharrow before heading to war at Minas Tirith. Even the tent where Ben was looked pretty much like Aragorn's.

Ben's line to Danielle about hearing the whispers is confusing. It indicated that the Others are behind the whispers, but we know that they hear, and not produce them, as everyone else. Furthermore, Danielle told Sayid in "Solitary" that she's never seen one of the Others, but heard their whispers. Which is strange. Even a mad woman who has been roaming the Island for 16 years by herself cannot forget the face of the man who stole her child, and that's when she captured him as Henry in season 2, and of course she can't forget she met "one" of them at all. Why did she tell Sayid she didn't?

What's the deal with Ethan? He's 11 and already a cold-blooded murderer. But when did he become one of the Others? Did they take him as a child and he became one of them like Zack and Emma? Or was he coming and going between the Barracks and the Others' village with Ben?

Loved the conversation between Ben and Locke. Locke said it feels "corporate," and sits behind the desk, puts his feet on it and talks like an employer scolding one of his employees in some corporation. Priceless!

I genuinely want to believe that Ben is really scard of Locke and that he never anticipated that he would come back to life (sort of). This could lead to a very interesting plot, if it turns out that Locke, in fact, is evil. Thus the Island is evil, too! This place is death!
But the hole in that theory is what Ben told Jill in "The Lie," that everything they're doing is for nothing if Locke's body rots or something. He must have wanted the body intact for a reason. And what's the deal with the box he was hiding in the motel room? He didn't have it with him anymore when he returned to the Island.

I'm interested in seeing how and when Eloise left the Island. She obviously didn't leave with Charles, which means she wasn't his wife. Maybe she left before he did? Or After? Looking forward to knowing her story.

When Alex says to Ben, "I hate your guts, I wish you were dead," that's actually a deleted scene from season 3.

Caesar: How you feeling, my friend?
Ben: Like someone hit me with an oar. NICE ONE!

Hisham said...

Also, it's weird that Sawyer, Hurley and Locke's game is still in place, when they turned off all the tables in "The Shape of Things to Come" to barricade Ben's door.

Blam said...

I was mulling over Ben's "judgment" by Smokey under the temple. The manifestation of Alex said, ''I know you're already planning to kill [Locke] again'' (exact quote per online sources) -- which struck me as odd.

You don't have to take from that line that Locke can in fact be killed again, but I think the implication is there that, at the very least, Ben thinks it's possible (assuming the manifestation does know his thoughts). And it would have been very easy for the writers, via Ghost Alex, to explicitly correct Ben's assumption or otherwise spell out that Locke can't be killed again: "You know that's not possible," or "Go ahead and see what you get for your trouble."

So all of us who thought that this resurrected Locke was an avatar of sorts, resembling the human John Locke in form for convenience but really some kind of immortal Locke essence, are wrong. And those who thought that this wasn't really Locke at all but an Island manifestation who believed it was Locke are even wronger. I gotta say that having him be Locke in a new body that's better, faster, stronger (or at least ambulatory) yet still mortal makes less sense than having him be some kind of supernatural shell housing Locke's soul. And I grant you the weirdness of talking about what makes sense when we're already talking about resurrection.

NanX said...

Brian Douglas I love your thought of Ray being the leader of the Others before Widmore. He was such a good one time character, much impish, and I so wanted Jack to take his grandfather with him. That would be so cool if Jack was intended to become the new leader of the Others.

I very much enjoyed your recap Nikki -
I seem to be the minority in thinking Ben was telling the truth to Sun about having no idea the 06ers had gone back to 1977 but to me he seemed as surprised as he was to learn Jin was alive.

Something seemed so odd about Widmore's exile though - those rules he broke did not seem a trick. What did seem a trick was Alex. When Smokey turned Danielle's crew, Robert tried to kill Danielle and hence the unborn baby. That implies to me that the island did want Danielle and Alex dead. By taking Alex and handing her to Charles and telling him to kill her, not an it in front of the Others, that seems a trick. Like the beginning of Ben usurping Charles power.

And Unfortunately I hate feeling this, but I agree with the posters who say it strange for Ben to apologize for a failed murder attempt. Ben was wet when he phoned Jack and he was all shook up and he did not have time to pick up Locke. I think when we see what else happened it will be through Desmond's flashbacks.

Why did Ben kill Caesar? Caesar worked for Widmore, Ilana does not - or just my though anyway!

Benny said...

@Hisham: I was also wondering shy the game was still there, but they had to change houses to go see Ben when the phone rang. So this one would not have been disturbed.

Steve said...

Nikki,

I was wondering two things, maybe someone mentioned this too but maybe Widmore is in that metal container. The scene where Ben asks Ilana if they needed any help with the container Ilana's men were standing around it looks like they were getting ready to carry it like a coffin.

Number two is there any significance in showing us Locke taking off his shoes and socks getting on the boat and then putting them back on at the dock? I found it odd because he's been walking around the beach with them on but not on the boat? Is he dead? Is he the part of the smoke monster? When Ben told Sun to go inside because he won't be able to control whatever comes out of the jungle and then Locke walks out. Is he refering to Locke now? Locke knew that the hole in the corner of the temple is where Ben needed to go and when Ben fell through the floor Locke left to go get rope or a vine and didn't return until after Ben's ordeal was over. Is it now a Clark Kent/Superman thing. Where the two won't be seen together?

lostie 815 said...

Is the island Atlandtis?

[which could explain the healingpowers]

cara-chan said...

Hey Nikki? Sistah from Anothah Mothah?? When you do that - you know, go to the set if they pull that again...with Des and his family? I'm coming with you - no, no arguments, I'm there. HOLEY FRAKKIN' FRAKKETEY FRAK indeed...my heart still isn't back in my chest and won't be for awhile.

Ali Bags said...

@Steve I was wondering two things, maybe someone mentioned this too but maybe Widmore is in that metal container. The scene where Ben asks Ilana if they needed any help with the container Ilana's men were standing around it looks like they were getting ready to carry it like a coffin.

I LOVE that idea - so cool yet so hilarious at the same time. I thought it looked like a coffin too and was trying to think whose corpse would be in it, but I never once thought it would be a live Widmore (presumably you think he's in there alive?) HOWEVER - why on earth would he STILL be in there? Surely he would have got out of there as quickly as possible? (I would)

James E. Powell said...

Ben was surprised to hear that jin was alive. Desmond, the game changer, did something that resulted in Jin surviving the explosion.

Benny said...

Some interesting ideas floating around in these posts. Here are a few more notes I took:

Richard's demeanor when he says "The Island chooses who the Island chooses, you know that." makes me think he is not a corporeal manifestation of the island. He's more of a servant of the island.

Charles had a daughter with and OUTSIDER. So Ellie/Eloise is not Penny's mom.

Interesting thought on the Widmore coffin theory, but sadly, I'd say it can't be him in the crate. Here's why I think so: When Ben calls him on the morning of the flight, he's coming out of Widmore Industries and passing a 'Newsagent', which is the British term for newsstand. My guess is that he is in England. Maybe there are newsagent in L.A. but why would the producers work on showing specifically the stand?

How did Locke know about the Temple? Maybe Jin showed it to him?

When he's thrown in the water, Ben has his left arm close by his side and is semi-paddling with only his right. He was likely injured when e was dropped on the quay.

SenexMacdonald said...

&Nikki said:
"I was FREAKING with anticipation at finally seeing how Ben was going to summon Smokey. And then... it was like he let the water out of a greasy sink or a plugged toilet. What the hell?"

Pardon if this has been mentioned already...
Considering the possible age of the whole Temple area, including what is below it, it would not be unusual for things to be moist, especially being in a tropical jungle.

I am thinking that in the rainy season, it could be that the depression located over the mechanism that summons Smokey could be filled with water over time and that major excesses of water would be drained away once it reaches a certain height - but not all the water/moisture. It certainly does not seem to harm whatever operates the mechanism. It appears designed to draw the water away (the drainage) - and I have to admit what a way to hide it from people you do not want finding its' location! - unless you know what it is and how to get to it. Then once the water drains, this allows access to the operating device/summoning device for Smokey.

To me, it looked as if once Ben twisted/turned whatever was under the water that something was then pulled into the hole as the water drained out around it - thus making it difficult to see what was happening. Very Indiana Jones!

Loved it. Did not think toilet at all. But if I had... LOL

SenexMacdonald said...

@Joshua said:
"“What lies in the shadow of the statue?” I initially thought the same as you, that perhaps this is the same way it started with Rousseau’s crew ... But I think it’s more likely that she’s working for Widmore after all ..."

I agree with you on this. Ilana appeared so meek and mild when the plane made it to the island and she 'followed' Caesar's orders at that time. Not what I would expect from the woman who had Sayid in handcuffs on the plane. Before we knew other details, at the least she had to be a police officer - standing in for either/both for the marshall and/or Ana Lucia per Ellie's instructions, even if Ilana did not know it herself. Again not in line with how she appeared once the place landed.

Now, of course, we know that she is a bounty hunter (at least that is what we understand at this point). I am sorry - there is no way someone like that who usually works alone or with a select group of people would ever not be the 'top dog' in a situation like a plane crash. She let it happen to get the lay of the land, see what transpired and to take the time to analyze when to make her move. And Caesar unfortunately stepped into the role of 'top dog' and paid the price for it - opening the door for Ilana.

Widmore knows that the O6 are off the island. He knows Ben is off the island. He knows that there might come a time when the O6 might need to return. He watches Ellie's moves, Ben's moves and all the O6. Waiting until he has to move.

There are only so many flights going over the Pacific in certain flight paths. Widmore just had to by his time, have his group ready to go at a moment's notice and be on that plane. I am sure Widmore was aware of the meeting on the docks. The final piece was nabbing Sayid to guarantee that one of the O6 was in his hands when everything came together.

Now he has weapons, a team, and a target - I am sure they are headed over to the main island and what happens next ... ? Boy, I can not wait to see.

R.S said...

Nanx - I don't agree. I don't think Caesar could have been under the employ of Widmore. Widmore seems to want Locke in his corner, it is my guess that he'd instruct his people to protect Locke, not harm him.

I don't think Widmore could have been on Aijira 316 in any way, but it's a fun theory. If he was in L.A you'd think he'd be frantically looking for his daughter to see if she was o.k.

I just remembered that we were also faked into thinking Desmond was going to die in the season 4 finale helicopter crash, STOP DOING THAT. The thought of Desmond dying, even when it's only for a moment, makes my heart stop.

Ali Bags said...

I just remembered that we were also faked into thinking Desmond was going to die in the season 4 finale helicopter crash, STOP DOING THAT. The thought of Desmond dying, even when it's only for a moment, makes my heart stop.

Lol. This seems to be a favourite tactic of the writers doesn't it? They know how everyone gets about Desmond and they're deliberately messing with our emotions. Evil megalomaniacs! What do you bet that they do it again?

Ali Bags said...

SenexMacdonaldPardon if this has been mentioned already...
Considering the possible age of the whole Temple area, including what is below it, it would not be unusual for things to be moist, especially being in a tropical jungle.


Could it be possible that the temple walls and all those subterranean places are just fake 'ancient' and the temple is something altogether different - I can't help thinking that the true nature of the temple is going to be a HUGE reveal at some point. And i will be very disappointed if it isn't.

Crackedout said...

I'm a little behind here so it's possible someone already touched on this but remember back when Sawyer and company used the raft to ge to the other side of island, my memory is a bit fuzzy so I'm not sure what episode but I'm fairly certain they were heading for the Orchid, and they were being shot at? So I'm guessing the shooters were the survivors of the Ajira plane crash. Maybe someone figured this out awhile ago but it just dawned on me.

Here's something that's bugging me: knowing now what we do about the smoke monster, does it seem a little off that it would yank the pilot out of the plane and kill him back in the pilot episode? I mean I get it as a plot device back then but now it just seems a little weird to me. Anyway, great episode.

Hisham said...

@Benny:
They were playing the game in Ben's house and did go see Ben when the phone rang, and he was playing the piano in a different house (the one Jack was in previously, maybe) but they had to go back again to Ben's house, because it was easier to fortify and had a clearer shot at the treeline. And they did turn over the tables. A nitpick maybe?

But this one I can't get my head around: Did Penny and Desmond sail all the way from London to Los Angeles in the matter of two or three days? Because this is really ridiculous!

Benny said...

@Hisham: hmmm, I didn't remember them going back. In which case I would say it's the only table they didn't flip over, so that it could be featured later to show it's the same house.

And for Desmond and Penny: THANK YOU. That was one of my issues in 316. When everyone was saying that because Ben was at the marina it was Desmond because he had a boat, I hated that since it would take weeks to sail from London to L.A. in a sailboat and I didn't think it was that far in the past from the others when we saw Desmond's episode.

R.S said...

Regarding Smokey killing the Pilot in the erm.... Pilot, yes it's probably a case of the writers having not defined Smokey's purpose on the Island, but I don't think it has to be only that.

40 odd people crashed landed on Smokey's turf. I still see it as some what of a security system for the Island even though we now understand it's purpose a little clearer.

I think Smokey appeared thrashing around in the jungle on the first night post-crash to mark its territory so to speak (as Tom would do the same later on). When Jack, Kate and Charlie ventured into the jungle, Smokey could haven been making an example using the Pilot.

... Besides who's to say the Pilot didn't beat his high school sweetheart and deserved everything he got?

James E. Powell said...

Smokey may have killed the pilot because he was not supposed to be the pilot of 815 (according to Lapidus). It may also have been a way for the writers to demonstrate Smokey's destructive power and hostility toward people.

What puzzles me is why Smokey would be unable to get around a sonic fence or, for that matter, banyan trees. Or why, after some one hides in the banyan trees, Smokey leaves rather than wait around.

Benny said...

@R.S.: because the pilot MARRIED his high school sweetheart.

Moot point. Just kidding really. I get the idea and your point is complete I think. The security system is apt. The monster's purpose is of a system protecting the island.

His judging role is probably in case of extreme abuse or, in this case, breaking the rules.

SonshineMusic said...

Rewatched "There's No Place Like Home" tonight and had a random thought about next week's episode.

It's entitled "Some Like It Hoth" right? and Hoth is an ice planet, right? and where is the only place that we've seen ice on the Island so far? at the FDW! I'm wondering if we'll finally get some sort of explanation/look at that this episode :)

James E. Powell said...

The source for the Hoth in the title of the next episode may not be Star Wars, but Norse mythology. The Norse god Höðr may be referred to as Hoth in English. He is, among other things, a blind god who needs assistance from others to cause any harm. In the main myth quoted in wikipedia (which is my source here), he gets assistance from Loki to kill Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is a shape-shifting trouble maker.



Not that there is a close match, but there is more there that

PlayPause said...

One of the worst episodes ever. So many explanations, but everyting seemed phony, rushed in, and set up in a really ugly way.

Why would Lapidus let everyone down and go (swim? raw?) back to the small island in the middle of the night?

And then Ben flushes the mysterious well (which is luckily located under Dharmaville) and the smoke appears in the Egyptian temple? Then what happened with Eko? What was is judgement?

And I still have no answer about Season 2 : why would Ben spend so much time in trying to convince the losties that he is someone else if his only aim is to have Jack operate on him?

Nikki Stafford said...

Hey guys,
Sorry I disappeared. Crazy busy weekend and I'm leaving for a long trip so there's been a ton of prep. I'm reading your comments and loving a lot of what I see, but haven't had a chance to respond. Just wanted to respond to a couple:

Steve: The idea of Widmore in the box is inspired!! I love it. Now I'm totally hoping he's in there. And it also reminds me of Ben's analogy in season 3, asking Locke has he ever wished for a magic box on the island and anything he wanted would be inside... Locke has boneheadedly asked him a few times if such and such is the magic box, and I love that we actually have a physical box on here now!

Crackedout: I'm a little behind here so it's possible someone already touched on this but remember back when Sawyer and company used the raft to ge to the other side of island, ...So I'm guessing the shooters were the survivors of the Ajira plane crash.
Back in that episode, one of my commentators suggested it could be the other survivors of the plane crash (before we know the O5 were going to be on it) and it's always been my favourite theory. I think you're totally right.

Here's something that's bugging me: knowing now what we do about the smoke monster, does it seem a little off that it would yank the pilot out of the plane and kill him back in the pilot episode?

I see one of two possibilities here: One, the writers hadn't fleshed out what they were going to do with Smokey yet, and so they turned him into an enraged killer, or Two (what the writers will probably use retroactively) is that if Smokey is part of the island and helps the island achieve its goals, it needs Locke to take charge in some capacity. If the pilot lives, he'll generally be the one people turn to in need, and Jack wouldn't have stepped up, which wouldn't have caused Locke to counter him, which meant Locke never would have found his calling, etc. etc.

James: The source for the Hoth in the title of the next episode may not be Star Wars, but Norse mythology.

Eek, I totally thought of the Norse connection when I first heard "Hoth" and not the Star Wars one. Man... I need to hand in my geek credentials and hang my head in shame.

And as for those who disliked this episode and think the show generally has shoddy writing these days, you are absolutely entitled to your opinions and I thank you for having the bravery to come on here and voice it. But I'm curious as to why you continue to watch the show AND seek out Lost blogs to read more? If I hated a show, I'd drop it after hating it for a while (like I have now officially dropped Heroes) and I certainly wouldn't be wasting even more of my time going to forums and comments boards. But maybe you were trying to see if there was any way to convince you to like the episode. I know I've been guilty of that in the past. :)

joshua said...

So, you've finally given up on 'Heroes', huh? I was wondering how long it would take...

This past week's episode of 'Fringe' resulted in my wife & I vowing the same thing about that show. Enough is enough, already. Life's too short for mediocre tv.

Missing Georgia said...

Re: Anubis - I also read that Anubis was also regarded as a patron saint of lost souls and consequently orphans. This got me to thinking about all of the orphans on the island. There are so many people that are orphaned as a result of death of one or both parents or because of family estrangements.

Ben - Mom died in childbirth. Emotionally estranged from father.

Jack - Older, loss of father before crash

Aaron - Disappearance of mother, Claire, and then loss of the only mom he knows, Kate

Sawyer - Parents died in murder/suicide because of Locke's dad

Locke - Given up for adoption. Abandoned by father again after giving up kidney

Alex - Death of bio dad when bio mom shoots him. Kidnapped from Rousseau by Ben. Later becomes estranged from Ben

Kate - Estranged from mother, killed stepfather.

Claire - Raised by mom, orphaned due to her coma and then the subsequent death of bio dad, Christian

Hurley - Raised by mom, dad abandoned the family

Walt - Orphaned due to death of his mother and then the later death of father, Micheal.

Jin - Raised by dad, that probably wasn't his dad. Abandoned by his prostitute mother.

Sun - Estranged from family

Kids from plane crash - Orphaned due to the death of one or both parents in crash.

I know this all probably doesn't mean anything, but there is no intact family folks on this island that I know of and I just thought it was interesting when I read this later perception of Anubis.

Grimalkin said...

Just a comment to elaborate on James' last comment: Höðr, or Hoth, is not necessarily a malevolent god. Yes, he kills Baldr with help from Loki, but from what I've read, Hoth didn't really mean to hurt Baldr. Everything in the world (except the mistletoe arrow which Loki gives Hoth) swore not to hurt Baldr, and the other gods were enjoying themselves by throwing stuff at him, and Hoth just wanted to join in the fun. He had no way of knowing that the makeshift arrow he was given was made of the one substance which could hurt Baldr.
Just a note in case the "Hoth" referenced in next episode's title is indeed the Norse god and not the Star Wars planet. He's not a bad god, but probably isn't a straightforward good god either, as some references place him in Hell. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) Could hold some significance.

Paticus said...

I have one question regarding Ilana and her cohorts working for Widmore(and if it has been answered, i apologize-I don't think it has)- Wouldn't Widmore have warned her about Ben ? And perhaps told her to take him captive ? Or at the very least follow him ?

Quinn said...

Did anyone notice that ben's hair, back when he was on the misson to kill Russo, looked a lot like Hitler's hair. Plus he was usinng a 9mm Luger. Hitler's gun of choice, along with other Nazi's. If the makers of Lost wanted to send a subliminal message, they did a good job.

ben 1 fan said...

@QUINN I agree with your comment it is like the writers re saying ben is a Hitler type persona