Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thoughts on the Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham...

Best. Episode. Since. Walkabout.

The sight of Ben yanking that electrical cord around Locke's neck was stunning, a dramatic punch to the solar plexus. I was prepared for Locke's suicide, but not his murder. The impact rivaled the moment at the end of Walkabout when we finally realize why Locke is wiggling his gold-tipped toes in wonder after the crash of Oceanic 815. For me, those two scenes will forever define the show -- the emotional yin and yang of Lost.

Ben nearly had me fooled. I missed lots of warning signs in retrospect. One was Zombie Christian's news that Locke was supposed to turn the Wheel. Another was Ms. Hawking's comment that Ben probably lied when he denied knowing about the Lamp Post station. Then there was Ben's callous attitude about what would happen to other passengers on Ajira 316, which mirrored his total disregard for those killed on Widmore's freighter.

What did set my Lost sense tingling was the recent reference to Expose. In posts like the Cancer Man's Con, I've compared Ben to Mr. LaShade, a supposed good guy who turns out the be the Cobra, the main villain on Expose. When David Reyes plopped down with his salami and caviar sandwich to watch an episode of the fictional show-within-a-show, it dawned on me that Ben's good behavior might just be a scam to regain control of the Island.

Something I utterly failed to anticipate was Charles Widmore's strong connection to the Island. I always pegged him as a mere investor in Dharma who coveted the Island for its advanced technology and natural resources. I dismissed suggestions by some of you that Charles might once have led the Others himself. But Widmore's accusation that Ben usurped his leadership has sent my Whackadoo Wheel spinning of its axis with crazy ideas like these:

Whackadoo Idea 4: Becoming Jacob. My speculations typically assume that Jacob was someone who died in the Island's past and now haunts the place. But Charles Widmore's comments about being heavily invested in the Island's future got me thinking. What if Jacob is actually a pivotal future figure whose identity has yet to be determined? Perhaps the "chosen one" is the person most likely to become -- or even be reincarnated as -- the Island's patriarch.

Such a scenario would explain why there are so many plausible speculations that Jacob is someone we've met -- e.g., Jack, Locke, Widmore, etc. It would also explain why Horace Goodspeed was building Jacob's cabin during Locke's dream encounter in the woods. Widmore may have funded Dharma in hopes of reclaiming his future status as Jacob from Ben. Come to think of it, maybe Ben's cancer was a sign that Jacob's identity had shifted to someone else.

Whackadoo Idea 8:
Snakes vs. Spiders. Widmore said that war was coming and warned that the "wrong" side might win. This seems to imply Lost is a simple Manichaean conflict between good and evil. Like many of you, however, I remain skeptical of the battle lines as they appear. For all its references to classical and modern literature, Lost is thoroughly postmodern. I expect its conflict to transcend simple oppositions like good vs. evil.

I still believe that Charlie Widmore's war resembles the temporal "Change War" in The Big Time. As we discussed in my Jughead recap, Fritz Leiber's sci-fi classic revolves around a conflict between two time-traveling factions -- the Snakes and the Spiders -- to control the future. I suspect there are similarly two factions on Lost, each fighting to effectuate its preferred version of events, albeit constrained by the law of course correction.

The closest I see Lost getting to good vs. evil is a conflict between order and chaos. As in the Dark Tower series, the battle may pit those walking the "beam" of fate against others seeking to "break" that beam. Perhaps the Spiders are working to break the Valenzetti Equation (e.g., via the "Spider" Protocol) while the Snakes seek to prevent changes to the "picture on the box" by effectuating the Valenzetti (hence Ms. Hawking's Ouroboros brooch).

Whackadoo Idea 15: Reverse Reincarnation. Ben has been rolling around in a van with an anagram for "reincarnation" on the side. Many, myself included, assumed this referred to Locke's impending reincarnation on the Island. Technically, however, Locke was resurrected, not reincarnated. Nor can we just attribute it to the writers' misunderstanding -- they used the term correctly when Locke talked about his foster sister being reincarnated as a dog back in S1.

That has me wondering if the reincarnation reference was actually to the van's driver (i.e., Ben) not its cargo. Of course, reincarnation typically entails people dying then being reborn at some future date. But what if Ben has somehow managed to reverse reincarnate himself backwards in time? Indeed, given his extensive foreknowledge of events, I sometimes wonder if he's an agent in the Change War who was sent into the past to disrupt the course of fate.

If you really want to follow me down the whackadoo well, consider the possibility that Ben is actually a turncoat who started out working for the Spiders but now ostensibly serves the Snakes. I say "ostensibly" because I'm with those who say Ben's secret agenda has always been to create a timeline in which Emily Linus and Annie still live. All of this would explain why Zombie Christian and Ms. Hawking don't seem to trust Ben fully despite his service of their ends.

Whackadoo Idea 16: Hydra International Airport. Speaking of Ben's foreknowledge, I suspect he's been planning for his return to the Island since before he left. We know that Ajira 316 landed on Hydra Island, where the Others were building a runway. The purpose of this runway was never specified(Juliet joked it was for the aliens) but I'm guessing Ben had it built knowing he might one day need to return via a plane crash -- without the Island's protection.

I'll bet Ben has been hearing from Richard for quite a while how Locke would eventually become leader of the Others. This didn't sit well with Ben, who has been scheming just as long to prevent Locke from taking control. When Ethan reported shooting someone claiming to be his leader, Ben knew that time was short. His contingency plan included securing a number of fake identities and starting construction of the runway on Hydra Island.

Whackadoo Idea 23: Loop, Dude, Loop. I was curious if we would see what happened to the rest of the passengers from Ajira 316. One popular speculation is that time is looping on Lost. I believe that history is indeed recurring on the Island, but not in the sense of a temporal causality loop. Rather, as the crash of Ajira 316 suggests, the same basic cycle of events is repeating itself with different participants. The players change, but the game remains the same.

Seeing the survivors of Ajira 316, it was hard not to think back to the crash of Oceanic 815. The sense of deja vu was reinforced by several shots of Locke gazing into the ocean, pondering the miracle of the Island, just like he did after the first crash. Some of this was obviously for dramatic effect, but I'll be watching closely to see what other parallels emerge. There's just too much evidence that loops are important to Lost. Like Hurley says, "loop, dude, loop."

Whackadoo Idea 42: A Promise Is a Promise. That was Ben's reply when he learned about Locke's promise to Jin. And really, no quote sums up the Benjamin Linus credo better than that. The man is all about living up to the letter, but not necessarily the spirit of promises, rules, etc.. Not suprisingly, therefore, Ben unapologetically circumvented the terms of Locke's pact by telling Sun himself that Jin was still alive.

Ben's murder of Locke reflects this credo, too, but with an interesting twist. Our own neaux speculates below that Ben knew the Island would be in serious trouble if Locke committed suicide. I'm not prepared to ascribe noble motives to Ben, who may simply have acted out of a self interested desire to return to the Island. Still, I can't help thinking of how Richard "saved" Locke by giving him the means to manipulate Sawyer into killing Anthony Cooper.

Whackadoo Idea 108: The End of Abaddon? Matthew Abaddon may (or may not) be dead but I'm confident we haven't seen the last of him. I'm still waiting for a Charles Widmore flashback in which Abaddon, looking the same age he does now, visits the freshly banished Widmore following his turn of the Donkey Wheel...

As always, you're welcome to post anonymously, but please identify yourself somehow, so I can distinguish between anonymous posters. Thanks!


JLes said...

Looking forward to some theories on "who's on what side" in this upcoming war. This episode has further confused me about who is "good" and "bad".

If Ben and Widmore are on different sides (they are, aren't they?) then how come both of them seem to be in cahoots with both Eloise Hawking and Richard Alpert? How come they both have people following the O6, and how come they BOTH want them all to return to the island? Since we learned that if Locke doesn't get back, the "wrong" side will win, are Ben and Widmore both on the "right" side?


machramm said...

Good episode, but not the best this season so far.

My favorite line was when Jack said to Locke, "You being brought to my hospital isn't fate. It's probability."

The line highlights the continuing struggle of science vs. faith mirrored by Jack and Locke, respectively.

I would like to suggest that maybe the 815 plane crashing on the island had more to do with probabilities (i.e. many circumstances aligning) than fate. This is supported by the effective "recreation" of the circumstances of the original flight with the Ajira flight to achieve similar results.

Maybe "fate" is just the result of a maximized probability.

80sPro said...

I've been feeling it for awhile now, but now am fairly certain --- BEN IS THE BAD GUY.

Reason: He did not go back to the Island in the time of the Dharma initiative (early 70's?). He was on the Island in modern time.

We know the Ajira plane crashed in modern time because when the "Lefties" flashed into the time with the kayaks, the camp was older and windblown and rain damaged (and looked abandoned). So we know that those folk, as well as Locke and Ben, are there 'today'. So Ben wasn't "allowed" to return to the time that the O5 (in absence of Aaron) did.

Makes me wonder if Christian wasn't TRYING to get to a different time himself when he was "dead" and on Oceanic 815. It could be that he was attempting an earlier - or later - appearance on the Island...He's "in on it" somehow, and I think on the side of Widmore.

Ben's killing of Locke was not because he was doing what he had to do --- he enjoyed it too much. And Abandon....poor poor guy!

So my suspicions are solidified and I now steadfastly proclaim: BEN IS EVIL.

80sPro said...

Abaddon. Oops.

Man, interesting name our friend Matthew has....

The Baker said...

The big question for me is when did Ben trick Widmore into leaving the island? Widmore must have stayed longer than I thought. And that means Ms. Hawking somehow and for some reason left the island.

Anonymous said...

I thought I saw Sayid with Locke in the present time.

The big question is who took the other boat and left with Frank. Could widmore have been that person?

neaux said...

Locke, Jack and Hurley have all attempted suicide and were stopped.

I'm still thinking Ben knew he had to kill Locke, and that if Locke committed suicide, the island would REALLY be in peril.

I'm thinking the writers are reall forcing us to believe that BEN is the bad guy, only to pull the rug out from under us at the end of the season. I think Ben really is protecting the island.

JLes said...

I agree with neaux. I think Ben being "evil" is too spoon-fed.

Plus....We have NO IDEA what Charles Widmore is really capable of. We know that he snaps necks without hesitation as a teenager, he's amassed a gigantic corporate conglomerate likely at the behest of many others, and we know that his own DAUGHTER isn't all that fond of him. The "holes" in his backstory, for all we know, are downright sinister.

And, I'm sorry, anyone that won't drink Whiskey with Desmond is evil in my book.

"We're the good guys, John" - Ben

James said...

I've read so much lately, I don't think this is an original idea, but I think Widmore and Eloise hooked up tent-style and Mrs. Widmore ne Ms. Hawking got knocked up with either Penny or Daniel and left the island so as not to die. Ben may have tricked the Widmore family into leaving with the threat of in-labor death.

Also, I switched on the repeat of 316 last night for a few moments. The enchanced episode noted when Ben had to "keep a promise to an old friend" that he promised Widmore he would kill Penny. Seems odd they would spell this out for us, are they mis-directing us or did Ben really off Penny (I hope not, but that would get Desmond back...). This makes me think also that I really miss pop-up video!

klf said...

I don't have much to add on this episode per se, but I'm growing a little weary of the continuing parade of unreliable narrators: Ben, Widmore, Hawking, Faraday, Dharma/Chang, Christian Shephard, etc. Any detail they provide, while generally provocative, is entirely suspect. And this show's emphasis on the 'long con' theme makes it even more difficult to take their revelations at face value.

If this show ever plans on detailing the truth, through whom would they be able to effectively do it? Who's reliable and in a likely position to learn/know these details -- to impart them to the audience? Richard Alpert comes to mind as they've made him come off as genuine, although we're still not clear on who or what he is, so his motives are unclear.

Another alternative is Hurley. The producers made it a point to show how invested he is in the truth this season. The fact that he was seeing the shack in S4 would seem to suggest he could possibly learn some details, but from who? Jacob or Christian which leads us back to where we started.

I'm done venting now. ;-) It'll be interesting to see how the producers handle this going forward.

80sPro said...

Amazing klf -

Just this morning I said the ONLY character that can be believed in any way, shape or form, is Hurley.

But I notice too that they've been careful to not paint Alpert in too broad a stroke....could be you're on to something there.

And okay. Maybe it isn't Ben. Maybe it IS Widmore. Or maybe, just maybe, it's both of them....

Anonymous said...

LantzDogg here....

One of my favorite episodes in a long time. Really great stuff. A couple of observations and theories (but certainly no spoilers). This was the first episode I watched with a notepad in my hand…so here goes:

I noted that the cover of the Life Magazine was April 19, 1954 and had the title “The Awesome Fireball” Given the date, and the fact that we know that Jughead (the bomb, not the Archie comic book character) was on the island around that timeframe, and I am wondering if The Awesome Fireball has something to do with Jughead going “boom.” If that is the case, and given the ripple effect of the space time conundrum, where (when in time space) would that explosion take place?

Personally, I am starting to believe that Benjamin Linus is in fact one of the “good guys” and I don’t think his grizzly murder of Jeremy Bentham/John Locke was as nefarious as it seemed.
Some thoughts (no spoiler, since I did not reference or read anything Lost related in putting together my thoughts).

The Island is in fact the battleground of a holy war between good and evil, and the Losties are in fact “the good.” We know of the biblical reference to John 3:16 in last week’s episode, and this week I noted a few things that aligned with my theory:

Interesting that Locke was found “in the water” after the plane crash. As if he was baptized by the island and reborn (literally).

Locke finds Sayid in Santo Domingo. He finds Kate in Santa Monica. He finds Hurley in Santa Clara. And Jack…well he is working at St. Sebastian’s. Santa/Santo, as we know boys and girls, is Spanish for Saint. Walt was found at a school, and I did not see any reference to ST./Santo/Santa...and thus, he did not return with the Losties. "he has suffered enough" (paraphrase)

Ben killed Locke because he knew that John’s soul would not “travel” if John had killed himself. Many religions have a belief that suicide is the MOST serious of sins. By killing John, Ben ensures that his soul remains in tact. Ben, having committed numerous sins already in his life, knows he cannot repent. Or, in fact, Ben perhaps is soulless. “I know what you are boy.” (Widmore to Ben last season).

Is Matthew Abadon the personification of the Ferryman of the River Stix? He tells Bentham that his job is to help people get to where they need to go. Charon the Ferryman (greek mythology) carried the souls of the newly deceased from the land of the living, across the river stix, to the land of the dead. (is the island the land of the “dead”?) We see Abadon when he is trying to get Locke and Hurley, circuitiously, to the Island.

Other thoughts:
Widmore says he successfully defended the island for almost 30 years. If he were there in 1954, +30, well, that would put him leaving the island just before The Purge, or at least during peak Dharma time.

If John served as Christian as flight 316 replicated flight 815; and John was in fact dead, and is in fact alive…does that mean the Christian is in fact alive as well?

Ben was not involved in the killing of Nadia, rather that he used her death as a way to manipulate Sayid. This episode, Sayid states that he spent the best 9 months of his life with Nadia as husband and wife. But if the Oceanic Six were not supposed to leave the island in the first place, then could Nadia’s death merely be a course correction? Clearly, a happy Sayid would never return to the island.

The notes found in the dharma station at the beginning show references to “real space time” “imaginary space time” and include a diagram eerily similar to that found in the Swan when the countdown got close to Zero. I am wondering, given the references to space time if Faraday wrote those notes; and if Faraday was in fact stationed in the Swan before, and if in fact Faraday is Radzinsky (who pushed the button before Kelvin, and before Desmond). Kelvin says Radzinsky shot himself….putting a “hole” in my theory.

I am still convinced that Farady is Jacob, but also, that he has been several “other” people as he has gone back and forth to the island.


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

I think perhaps 'good' and 'evil' are too generic to have Ben and Charles labeled as such, but after seeing Ben strangle John (after talking him out of killing himself) I can't help but feel that Ben is loosing what little humanity he has left.

Also, is it me or was his decision finalized by Locke's revelation of his awareness of Hawking? It seemed to me an otherwise pointless homicide if not, as there appears be no motive beyond information, information that Ben didn't have but now possesses.

A couple of other points:

- Hurley sees Dead People

I only just thought about this, but what if Hurley is able to transpire tangible Universes and communicate with the people parallel to his own Universe in a place he is currently occupying, or rather space he is currently occupying. What I mean is when he talks to people, the reason no one else can see them is because they are not in their time-line/Universe, however Hurley can.

- John and Ben

So we now know that the Oceanic six vanished from sight during the plane crash, a la temporal distortion. I wonder why John and Ben didn't? I was under the illusion that people associated with the island would all succumb to the time-traveling when in proximity to it? Or has the fact that Locke died rendered his participation in the jumping inert?

Gareth said...

Interesting points LantzDogg, very interesting. But honestly, can we really see this show going down the biblical road?

Alex said...

I still believe that Ben is "one of the good guys" but based on what has been said by Richard, Ben, and the others. The Island picks it's leader...

So perhaps it picked Charles Widmore, then it picked Ben, it also picked Richard, then John Locke was picked... so either Ben knew that by killing Locke he would gain control over the island with the instructions conveyed by Christian Sheppard or he was not allowing Locke to commit a sin and stay pure because he is more important than he knows...

LOVE how in season 3 Kate and Sawyer were using the shovels and such to make a "runway" as their were told... I thought that was complete BS but I guess the new crash proved it wrong...

Hackett said...

Anyone else keep wanting Saïd Taghmaoui's Caesar to say "my main man" like he did in Three Kings? According to what Walt dreamt, I suspect Locke initially becomes the leader of the new-newbies and Caesar somehow turns them against Locke.
Definitely agree with the "Locke needed to die but not by suicide" defense for Ben. He certainly did not seem to relish the act and seemed genuinely sad when saying that he'd miss Locke.

80sPro said...

I can see what you're all saying about the Locke needed to be dead but not of his own hand thing. I can. BUT, didn't it seem that Ben sort of enjoyed it too much?

And Lantz (I love how you keep promising no spoilers - that makes me laugh), I really do feel that Christian is alive. And I am wondering about his involvement. I think unbeknownst to Jackie-Boy, the Shepherd's have a long association. There is not enough time left in the series to introduce characters for a "drive by". Grampy will be back. And Christian is alive - dead people don't change clothes.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

WTF? I hate when Blogger loses comments, ah well.

Wondering about Ben's killing Locke. Remember how Tom told Michael the Island wouldn't let him die yet? Both Richard and Christian told Locke he "had to die," not commit suicide. I'm thinking Ben knew the suicide wouldn't go right, and for whatever reason--Ben being good guy or bad guy--he killed Locke.

At the end of last week's episode, Ben leaves Jack to go towards the front of the plane. My thoughts on that (which make little sense) and the time displacement (Hydra/present day) is that Sun was near the new guy, Sayid handcuffd to the new woman, Ben was likely needing to be in proximity to Frank to avoid being with the O6. That was a probability thing, as much as Ben knowing anything. Could he have known half the O6 would land in the 70s and that there couldn't be two Bens?

Frank cut out with Sun. She knew Jin was alive, Frank felt guilty about not even trying to save Jin from the freighter.

There was an actual 1954 hydrogen bomb explosion in the South Pacific, I can't recall the bomb's name, but in the event something went wrong, the back-up bomb was code-named Jughead. On LOST, I'll assume they switched the order of the bombs.

Ellie left the Island to have Farady. This helps explain why there are not two Faradays on Island during the 70s. Re: Widmore leaving, I'm wondering if that was the Incident in 1985?6? on the blast door map. Did Ben (or Richard or even Jacob) trick Widmore into turning the wheel? Tends to reason that Widmore stayed well into the 80s (well, maybe) if only because Penny has to be in her twenties, not thirties.

Curious about this war shaping up. Over what, exactly. Time travel. The possibility of immortality? Good vs. evil, certainly, but what would make the evil greedy over, or make the good become evil?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

In the comment I wrote that was lost, I did open it by saying good comments by all. That still holds.

mary said...

Ok here is my complaint. I am sick and tired of no one REALLY talking. John tells them they have to go back to the Island, but not WHY. "people are dying!" for all john knows...they are still dying.

Ben vs Widmore. I'm not entirely sure Ben is bad. Like former posters it seems too easy. Though last night I lost faith and was 100% he was pure evil. (then again my Lost friend forced her ideas on me while I had drunk almost an entire bottle of wine)

I'm not liking the new people either. It seems like more conflict that in the end might waste time, but who knows I could be wrong. I've put them in the waste of an episode of Nicki and Pablo. Though maybe they will be more like Keamy and make me worry.

All in all not one of my fav of this season. I seem to be in the minority.

JLes said...

Wayne.... I'm having a hard time with Widmore's timeline too, but I think you might be incorrect about Penny's age.

If Widmore had Penny after the 30 years he was the leader, that would mean that she was born in 1984, and that she's 25. That would have also meant that 1994 Army-guy Desmond was on the phone with a 10 year old Penny...not likely.

I think Penny is closer to 40 years old. I think Widmore must have sent Eloise off the island to have both Daniel and Penny (BAM....THEY'RE TWINS...why not?) at some point during the time that he ruled... or they were both born on the island, left, and went back in time to the 'real world' to the 1970s.

But, Penny is not in her twenties.

Capcom said...

Great comments!

Heheh, I got my Lazarus! :-D And I too was wondering if CS was actually alive again like Locke.

I hear ya KLF. Interesting about the Saints too Anonymous.

I also am not thrilled with the "new guys", almost in a Nikki and Paolo way, but I guess I'd better give them a chance.

And why Ben was able to kill Locke is not clear to me either, if Locke was so necessary to saving the island. I guess the island needed him dead. So was Ben afraid that Locke's suicide wouldn't be complete and he'd survive, so Ben had to make sure that he was really most sincerely dead? My head hurts thinking about it.

Will said...

Why did Widmore think Locke's mother naming him John Locke, was done as a "joke"? Was Widmore privvy to Locke's mother's thinking -- was it because Richard Alpert was at the maternity ward? My head is starting to hurt -- feels like slurpee brain freeze.

John Locke was the philospher who thought man's nature was essentially good (as opposed to Thomas Hobbes, who thought man's nature was essentially corrupt).

Remember, Locke was born out of wedlock and his mom had a boyfriend (weren't they in high school) whom the mother (Locke's grandmother) disapproved of.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

JLes, you're right. The Constant. 1995. Wasn't thinking there. If Penny and Faraday are twins, I'm curious as how they have different last names, if Dan was "raised by another," well, why does isn't he Dan Hawking? All minor clutter, but it doesn't help.

Capcom, I think the reasons on whether Ben is good or evil lies in why he killed Locke. I believe Locke would simply NOT be able to commit suicide, even if it meant a stranger walking into the room to stop him. So if Ben killed Locke knowing this, that he needed to be killed, then that make him good, or as good as he gets. But if he turned and left and Locke then committed suicide, he'd be a bad guy. One can argue that Ben snapped upon hearing that Locke knew about Hawking, but I see the subtext in whether the Island would let John kill himself. (I know your thoughts on Lazarus, but I don't see the Island acting in Biblical ways, if that makes sense).

Re: the new guys. As with Faraday and Miles, they might be what the present day guys need, as they knew to look for any notes on Hydra. I never noticed much about Nikki/Paolo myself, I knew it was the demographic that watched for Kate/Jack/Sawyer seeing them as poor replacements (or so the focus groups indicated before the two were killed off). At least, with the new two, they seem to be there as the freighter people were, only working for Ben. Nikki and Paolo were eye candy. (And by now it seems as if everyone is kinda sick of Kate, hell, let Jack and Sawyer hook up).

Mary, I'm with you on lack of explanations, and it never reflects that things are readily explained off-camera for time considerations. But even on Island, it seemed as if everyone kept something from someone else (Kate going to the Staff w/o telling at least Jack, as an example). But more than that, and "Exit 77" is a good choice, Mikhael shoots Bea Klugh and no one checks her body, even going close to it? Locke, soaking wet, walks away from the dock and the sub supposedly blows up, but nobody looks? Why was Locke wet unless he moved the sub and swam back to shore (or something like that)?

Thanks again, JLes, and more good comments. No slights, but I'd rather read your comments (and Big's) than most any other site.

Aaron said...

I think you guys are right to suspect that Ben killed Locke in order to help him, in essence. Perhaps he also knew he could do a better job of getting the Oceanic 6 to go back, since he's a master manipulator. I think once he heard the Eloise Hawking's name, he knew he would no longer need Locke to get the 6 back to the Island, since Locke had divulged the key to doing it.

Jeff Jensen said the new plane crash-landed on the Hydra island, which looked right, given the view of the big island in the distance from the beach, but I was confused by the two outriggers. I thought they were on the main island, judging from when Sawyer and the gang grabbed one. Or are there more than one set?

I doubt Jughead ever exploded. It seems to me that protecting the Island from a nuke was the beginning of the Widmore group's three-decade stint of protecting the Island. If he's to be believed, it would seem like Widmore's expulsion coincided with the Purge. Ben was pushing for the Purge and perhaps with Jacob's help got rid of Widmore to facilitate it.

Where does Alvar Hanso fit into all this? If it was his island, why did he allow the military to try to explode a nuke there? Is Hanso ever going to figure into this story, or is he relegated to Lost Experience-ville at this point?

Capcom said...

Actually, I didn't understand why the island allowed Locke to be killed by Ben if Locke still had important work to do. Or, why Abaddon was able to be killed as well. But if that's the way it had to be done according to TPTB, I can't say that I understand what the heck is going on now at all. Can't die...has to die...oy. :-o

Yeah, I don't think that the island is acting biblical, I just thought that it might be a hint from TPTB last week during Ben's odd speechy-preachy answer to Jack.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Capcom, I was refering to the suicide angle when I mention the Bible, I should have mentioned that by Polish Roman Catholic views, they really take suicide harshly, and not throw a blanket over each church.

Aaron: Sawyer, etc, flashed forward further in time than when the Ajira plane crashed. It did look as if a few people were putting items into one of the outriggers last night.

Big, while "Walkabout" was great, I think "Cabin Fever" matches last night's episode. And what a GREAT title, we did get Benthem from beginning to end.

Aaron said...

Wayne: So what you're saying then is the new plane people made an excursion to the big island at some point in the near future, at which point Sawyer et al came upon the outriggers and grabbed one of them? That makes sense.

Aaron said...

Wayne: So what you're saying then is the new plane people made an excursion to the big island at some point in the near future, at which point Sawyer et al came upon the outriggers and grabbed one of them? That makes sense.

Christie said...

Wayne/Aaron - I like the idea that the new plane people took the boats to the main island. Once it was confirmed that last night's episode definitely landed near the Hydra station the continuity bothered me. During the time jumping they always were on the same land they were standing on just a different time. It bothered me. So I guess then we can assume that Locke forms a party with at least some which take the 2 remaining boats to the mainland to find the Losties/others. (which of course they won't find yet since they appear to be in different times)

I know it seems to easy to think that Ben is evil but I've always subscribed to the idea that he might actually believe he is "good" but the murders and pain he has caused others just can't justify him to be a good guy. I still can't trust Widmore either but part of me wants him to be on the good side. I really hope this show at some really delves into the lives of the Others so we can understand how they came to this Island and realized they need to protect it. I can't wait to see where they go to tie this show up but I hope they are able to maintain consistency from earlier years with all the time jumping.
Great comments everyone. Always love to hear what Big and the rest of you have to say. This blog is a constant for me as much as watching the show every week (pun intended) :)

Anonymous said...

At this point I think neither Ben or Widmore is a "good" guy. They're both greedy to keep/take the power of the ring - sorry the island. (I'm beginning to see the island like the ring in LOTR, it drives people crazy with power if they are in control of it and those who had it will do anything to get it back.) I think the 815ers are just innocents caught in the crossfire.

Ernie said...

I'm not so sure Widmore is to be believed either. It would surprise me if he was willingly thrust into the leadership role by Richard. I mean, look at the cocky, brash Widmore we met in 1954. Why would Richard take a backseat to him?

Perhaps Richard assisted Benry in overthrowing Widmore.

Capcom said...

You know Ernie, that puts Richard in a very enviable and safe (and funny) position. In his niche, he seems to have the option of helping choose and oust the island commander-du-jour. He helps put in power whomever is desirable and special enough to be in charge at that point in time, and then when they get out of control (which so far as we know they all seem to do) he gets to help kick them out and find the next in line. Pretty nice gig. :-D

Capcom said...

P.S. Haha Big, the very first time that we saw Locke wiggle his toes on the beach I thought, "Hey, Locke wears Gold-Toe socks! Product placment!"


Christie said...

Here's something else I've been thinking about. What if Ben never really could speak to Jacob but was able to somehow convince everyone he did? I think back to when Locke and Ben were in the cabin the first time. Ben is talking to the empty chair but as Locke is leaving he is the one who hears Jacob. Ben asks him later what he heard and it seemed like he really didn't know. Almost like Ben knows Jacob is there but really doesn't communicate in the ways the Others think he does. A main hole in that theory though is that Richard sees Ben when he's 10 and I don't know if we can believe Ben was evil or smart enough at that age to cook up a future plan. (unless of course he figured out how to time travel and make Richard think he too was special). Just a random thought I wanted to put out there.

petter said...

Ben Linus - Saint Peter

Stacy said...

I read a lot and don't really comment, but have one tiny thought:
Ben said he couldn't return to the island after turning the wheel. He passed leadership to Locke. Ben then landed on smaller Hydra island instead of the main island.
Locke also turned the wheel, and although he's brought back to life, he is also sent to the Hydra island.
Maybe the island simply will not allow them to get any closer.
Perhaps that's how Ben got rid of Widmore - created a reason for him to have to turn the wheel and be ejected?
I haven't thought it all through, but it seems as logical as anything so far...

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

@Stacy, check the blast door map markings. There was some kind of incident in 1985 or 1986. This could coincide with Widmore leaving. One of the things I'd like to see is a day in the life of Radzinsky, the guy who manned the Swan with Inman.

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

Wayne - I'll take a look! I'd like to see what happened with Radzinsky too.
As many others have said, I question Widmore's statement that he was on the island for 30(ish?) yrs. Even if he was part of the incident in '85/86, it would line up with his age in 1954, but would put him far too late to have fathered Penny. The only two things I can call into question: does time move that much differently on vs. off the island? Could Penny be an adoptive daughter to Widmore as Alex was to Ben?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

@Stacy, JLes corrected me on Penny's age ("The Constant" occurring in 1995, so doh on my part), but before the time travel business, I wondered about if time passes differently, but that came from seeing Alpert not aging much. Re: Radzinsky, more like seeing the stuff he saw when he saw it, why the crossed out station, why he disregarded the Orchid as a botanical station. Inman said he had a photographic memory, why didn't he see FourToes or the Pala Ferry? Maybe this will come to light, as well as the aging thing.

Rambling Thoughts of Poohbear said...

It's Landa. Decided to finally post under my acount. Good episode. Still processing a lot of stuff. Some really good comments here, as usual. Even though my faith was shaken for a little bit, still leaning on the side of Ben being good. Widmore is not to be trusted. Have a hard time beleiving that he was a leader @ 17; too ruthless. Also think Penny knows more than leading on. That's it for now, going back and think on it some more ...

Emilie said...

my thoughts on Ben killing John rather than letting him do it himself have a simpler explanation. I'm convinced that some people may be reading too far into this. My speculation is simply that Ben needed John alive to convince the 6 to go back to the island. However, John then told Ben about Jim being alive and his promise not to tell Sun, and in turn, Ben realized that it would never be a possibility that John would try to get Sun to go back. Knowing John had the wedding ring, Ben realized that he would be able to persuade Sun to come back by showing it to her (as we have already seen him do) but since John seemed set on his word, Ben needed John dead so he could freely go to Sun. I don't think there is any more to it than Ben's realization that John had his mind made up that he wouldn't show Sun the ring. I think Ben knew that whatever John's purpose is could be served after he died- he simply didn't want him to just yet until he realized about the ring.

James said...

Big: I like the idea of Ben projecting himself back in time to "know' all of these events. Very Kitty Pryde in X-Men's "Days of Future Past." That would also be a great episode title for the next season...

80sPro said...

Christie - I often wondered if Ben was making up some of his own power too. Seems whenever in a real place to do something major and powerful, he makes someone else "push the button" - case in point, Jack operating on his back. You might be on to something there with him not really "hearing" Jacob.

Emilie: Interesting.....I think Darlton want us to read more into things - often it's been a lot simpler than we've theorized to smithereens. Will I stop postulating because of this possibility? No, nevah!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Emilie & 80sPro: True in both cases. In rewatching the episode, you can see that Locke having Jin's wedding ring changes everything, but, as noted, there are several levels of reason (to speculate on) in various characters' scenes together.

Bigmouth: glad to see the bullet points. As noted above, its easy to overanalyze, and I think that's been the case with who Jacob is, yours is a new one. Interesting take that the battle is over chaos and order, maybe the chaos would involve what Faraday insists to be the case, that you can't change the past, yet it is starting to look as if Ben is going to try and do just that. That line of thinking, Widmore would be the original chaos guy, presumably changing time to become rich through the stock market, etc. Ben could still be an agent of order, taking care of the O6, etc., but even Ms. Hawking knows he's starting to think in his own interests.

Gareth said...

I came across this quote some years ago(forgive me but I haven't been able to track down the source):

"On the last day in History the ultimate computation will simulate the Universe and resurrect the dead!"

Having re-discovered the quote it got me thinking, so I began (and still am) looking into certain religious and ethic views, in particular ones that reference God as a Machine. Many people (in certain circles) believe that at some point during this century A.I will outstrip humanity, there are also several sites which speculate that man and machine will merge, wiping disease and death from the World - making resurrection and realistic possibility.

Ultimately all this got me thinking about Lost, and the Island, and Richard. Two of the most mysterious elements of the show for me, are indeed Richard and the Island. I remember people speculating that Richard was a super human, or some form of Alien - but after reading these articles I find myself willing to accept the possibility that Richard could be a highly evolved Human, perhaps from the Future, perhaps not that is safe-guarding the Island. Time-lines and temporal distortions aside, is the Island really a bit-size chunk of Heaven? I've no idea, but I do think though - seeing as Richard has not aged - that it is in some form or another, a relic of greater things.

I wonder, I wonder then... Is Locke really so special, is Locke God-like? Or is he indeed just a steward for the Island, or consequently is he the salvation Humanity has waited for?

neaux said...

wow! I get mentioned in a post.. thanks!

I can't wait to be proven utterly wrong by the writers!

Jason said...

Is it possible that Ben only choked Locke to the point of unconsciousness, injected the spider venom, and kept him on it until before the crash? This would be a good way to get Locke ultimately committed, making him think the island resurrected him.

For some reason I can't shake the feeling that there was a reason for those spiders other than it being a cool way to kill those characters.

machramm said...

@Jason...Now that's thinking outside the box. Good memory Jason.

ellipsis said...

hmm... maybe paulo and nikki had some sort of use after all XD

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Through emails I had told both Big and CapCom my thoughts on the Medusa spider. As with those who now say that having Jin's ring was the way to get Sun to come along, I had said the equivalent of making a post on Locke being paralyzed, not dead, because the way to get Jack to spiral out of control would be if he saw Locke's dead body. Jack, who wanted to save everyone. The idea might still work, certainly we've seen something mentioned for a reason, and the Medusa spiders certainly fit the bill. Last week's episode really tore me away from that line of thought. Last June, it was like, yea, Ben the trickster. This far into the season, its hard to buy the Locke in a coma thing. But you never know, which is the total beauty of LOST.

machramm said...

I just re-watched the last few minutes of the episode and heard something interesting.

When Locke came into the room where the new guy was reading the Hydra file Locke told him he had been on "THIS island" for over 100 days. To my recollection, Locke has never been on the Hydra island before and even if he has it was not for 100 days.

Did anyone else catch this? I'm thinking it is just a coninuity error, but I wanted to bring it up anyway to get some other folks' thoughts. Seems like a silly slip-up.

Anonymous said...

From zetts:

machramm, that's a great point!!! If they landed on the Hydra, and Locke had never been to the Hydra, what's he talking about?

Maybe he doesn't realize he's on the Hydra, or maybe he's talking about 'the island' in the sense of that locale as a whole.

Another thing - were we all supposed to realize they were on the Hydra?

My biggest question for this episode is WHY did only some of the O6 go back in time on the island, and the other 06 + Ben + Lipidus land on the Hydra? If it's true that Sayid is on the island in the 70's, and Sun is on the Hydra, why didn't Sun go back in time as well?