Friday, April 10, 2009

Thoughts on Lost - Dead is Dead

WHEW...this episode was quite a change from the "lighter" episodes we have seen the last few weeks, huh? Better just get to it...

- Maybe it was Charles' idea for everybody to walk around in ancient clothes and live in tents...he seems to really embrace this whole "jolly ole England" vibe. As TWoP said, he looks like Prince Valiant.

- Again, I did Charles end up in charge when Richard is still there? Especially since it appears that Richard is communicating with Jacob while Charles is not?

- The actor playing Young Ben is doing a nice job with this part...I thought you could actually see a change in his demeanor now that he has been healed by the Island and "lost his innocence."

- Ben wakes up to find Locke staring at that all Locke has been doing since he found Ben in the infirmary? Just waiting by his side so that he can be the first thing that Ben sees? That may sound weird, but you know what? I probably would have done the exact same thing, now that I think about it.

- OK, let's stop here and try to sift through the different stories/lies that Ben tells in this episode, rather than try to address each one as they come up:

  • He tells Locke that he KNEW that he would be alive when they got to the Island. In fact, he says that the reason he killed him was because he knew that it was the only way to get everybody back to the Island, and that once they got here everything would be OK.

  • Later, he tells Sun that he has no idea how Locke is still walking around, and it in fact scares him to death.

I think, as usual with Ben, the answer lies somewhere in between...he DID think that Locke's death would be what convinced everybody to come back, but he did NOT think that Locke would be alive when they got here. This is at least partially confirmed when we learn later (via Smokey Alex) that Ben is planning on killing him again.

Also....the whole "Locke has to die in order to convince everyone to come back to the Island" thing. That's not really what happened, is it? Kate came back for Claire/Aaron. Sun came back for Jin. Sayid came back by force. We're not sure why Hurley came back yet. Frank came back by happenstance (best we can figure). The only one who is coming back because of Locke's death is Jack. Maybe Ben thought that if he could get Jack, he could get everybody, but that turned out not to be the case, either...everybody has their own reasons for coming, and none of them have to do with Jack.

So what ARE Ben's motivations? Stay tuned..

- Is it just me or is Ben even creepier when he is trying to be nice?

- What is in that crate that Ilana seems so intent on?

- Wow, Ben finally found somebody who is easier to manipulate than Locke. He has Caesar on a string within 5 seconds of meeting him.

- Man, Ethan was just ALWAYS a creepy dude, wasn't he? He is practically begging Ben for the opportunity to go kill Danielle. Wonder how many ants he has fried with a microscope in his life?

- Love all of the backstory fill-in that we are getting with Danielle this season. This was something the producers promised, and I didn't know if they were going to be able to do it since A) Danielle is dead; and B) The original actress who plays her didn't want to live in Hawaii anymore and has gone back home to France.

This is, of course, the scene she described way back in season one when she had Sayid captive, and it also explains why she is so skittish about The Whispers.

By the way...a little more info given here about The Whispers, too...apparently they ARE somehow tied to The Others. Still doesn't explain why they often appear backwards, though.

- LOVE Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson's scenes together. And they win the line of the night:

LOCKE: Well, Ben, I was hoping that you and I could talk about the elephant in the room.
BEN: (Long pause) I assume you're referring to the fact that I killed you.

- Not going to go too far into this scene, since I already talked about the gist of it. But I did want to point out what a great job that Emerson did making Ben look UNCOMFORTABLE this week. Watch him in this scene with Locke, when he is trying to convince him of why he killed him...he looks TWITCHY. Very nervous. Not at all the eerily calm Ben we are used to seeing. Things have begun to spin out of control for him, and that is not a place that Ben is used to being.

- Even those words that usually work magic on Locke, "in the best interests of the Island", are not enough this time. Locke is now calling the shots. Awesome.

- I really didn't understand the point in Ben blowing away Caesar. I don't think Caesar was necessarily going to kill John there, do you? I think he was going to threaten him with the gun, for sure, but I don't get where Ben can claim to have "saved Locke's life." Maybe he is just desperately looking for some way to have John indebted to him?

- Another GREAT exchange between Locke and Ben on the dock...O'Quinn and Emerson just rock my socks. Some highlights:

BEN: That would be Sun and Lapidus. I showed 'em where the boats were, and Sun thanked me by smashing me on the head with a paddle.

LOCKE: You just make friends everywhere you go, don't ya?

LOCKE: No sense in me dying twice, right?

- And while I'm at it, O'Quinn also is doing a great job with the "new" Locke. Dying has done wonders for him. I think that the fact that the Island brought him back to life confirms to him for good that he does have a purpose, he IS special. His confidence and assertiveness show that he now is totally convinced of that. Which means that if things start going downhill for him again, it's going to get UGLY.

- Locke and Ben spend this whole episode slowly switching places. We see another step in that direction with Locke calling Ben out on what he REALLY is being judged for. Ben seemed surprised and a little frightened that Locke was able to figure that out so easily.

- Man, they keep jerking me around on the whole Ben vs. Widmore thing. Every time I think I have figured out who the "good guy" is they throw something else at me. This time it was the whole "Widmore calls Alex "It" and wants to kill her" while "Ben has a soft spot for babies...and wears bad hairpieces" scene. How can you root for Widmore after that?

- I know I sound like a broken record...but add this to the list of Ben/Locke exchanges that I loved:

LOCKE: Well, your people were living in the jungle. And then after you murdered the DHARMA folk, you relocated here. I just wondered if it was your idea.
BEN: Do you disapprove, John?
LOCKE: It just doesn't seem like something the Island would want.
BEN: You don't have the first idea what this Island wants.
LOCKE: Are you sure about that?

As this episode went on, every conversation they had just kept turning the wheel of power more and more, with Locke moving to the top and Ben moving to the bottom.

- Does Ben know who Christian is? He didn't seem to recognize the name when Lapidus mentioned it. Interesting...

- Loved everything to do with Smokey tonight, including the "summoning". Just spooky and weird, which is what I would hope and expect it to be. What is that water? Has it just collected on the surface over the years? Is it what "forms" Smokey? I wouldn't think so, since Ben just stuck his hand right in it.

- So now we know why Charles was banished. Pretty ironic, isn't it, considering that we know that Ben is later going back and forth from the Island as well?

Also, Ben mentioned that Charles had a daughter with an "Outsider. " We can safely assume that this is Penny, I would think, but I wonder if Outsider refers to someone off-Island or just someone who is not an "Other." A member of the D.I., maybe?

And also, maybe it's somehow WIDMORE'S fault that babies can't be conceived and born here on the Island, since he fooled around and got an Outsider preggers? And maybe that's one reason why Ben hates him so much?

- Runner up for Line of the Night:

LOCKE: Last time we didn't have to wait this long.
BEN: It's not a train, John. It doesn't run on a schedule.

- LOVED the look on Ben's face when Locke told him that he knows where Smokey is. Awesome, awesome.

- I FREAKED when Ben shot Desmond. FREAKED when he pointed the gun at Penny.

- And then I cracked myself up when Ben started his speech with "Hello, Penelope. My name is Benjamin Linus" and I fell all over myself finishing it with "You killed my father. die." I am such a dork.

- We get further confirmation of Ben's soft spot for kids...he can't pull the trigger once he sees Wee Charlie.

- That must be some SERIOUS adrenaline Des has going on right now, considering he just took a bullet in the shoulder. Still able to hold Ben down with one arm and pummel him with the other. Of course, we all know Ben...he's a liar, not a fighter.

- A minor problem I had with the writing this week was Ben's whole "Tell Desmond I'm sorry" scene with Sun. That was obviously thrown in there just to make us think that he killed Penny. I don't think he would be that broken up about just shooting Des in the shoulder, do you? He just unloaded a shotgun into somebody's chest like, 5 minutes ago.

- What lies in the shadow of the statue? Umm...what? And...WHAT IS IN THAT CRATE? Oh, this is going to be good, I can just feel it...

- It was right about here that I started thinking that Ben might actually die. Like I said last week, Ben was not part of the original story, he was only added as a major character because Emerson Rules All. So they could conceivably kill him off at this point and still tell the original story they wanted to tell. It was just all shaping up too well...we filled in a good bit of his backstory with Alex, we see that at the last minute he couldn't kill Penny, he comes to terms with his own culpability in the death of Alex. He could have died here and it would have made perfect sense from a storytelling perspective. So I was nervous when he entered that temple.

- Here is a screen shot of what was over Smokey's Hole:

Looks like the Statue and Smokey have met before, huh?

- I'm not going to rag too hard on the special effects, but the scene with Ben in the Smoke Shroud while various scenes played out in front of him looked like a "Made for Sci-Fi channel" movie. Not good. I appreciated the concept, just not the execution.

- The scene where Alex gets shot gets to me EVERY time I see it. Keamy's death could not possibly be slow or painful enough for me.

- BEN: Ohh, Alex. I'm so, so sorry. It was all my fault.
ALEX: I know.

Yep...that was the moment I thought Ben was a goner.

Oh, all know that "Alex" was Smokey, right? Just like when he appeared as "Yemi" to Eko right before he died. Which was ANOTHER reason I though Ben was toast.

- So...the Island DID want Alex dead? Otherwise, why would he be allowed to live?

Or...maybe his punishment isn't death. It's that he has to live with Locke as his superior and obey every order he gives.

I think Ben would rather have died.


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