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Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 04/ 9/2009

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'Dead is Dead'

By Liz Kelly
Lost

In which Jen Chaney and I evaluate last night's enigma-packed episode, knowing everything is going to be just peachy, because the dead guy says there's a reason. And although the dead guy didn't say anything about online chats, we like to think he'd want you to join us at 3 p.m. ET for the "Lost" Hour. In the meantime, the live girls ask that you visit "Lost" Central.


He sees dead people: Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) faces the smoke monster's judgment. (Courtesy GetLostPodcast.com)

Jen: We knew that tonight's episode would focus on Ben's attempt to atone for his sins, so I was prepared to do my Jen Chaney Gloating Dance, since I presumed we would finally learn that Ben really had acted for the greater good. (That dance by the way? Very similar to The Running Man.) But that wasn't quite what we learned.

Locke told Ben early on in the episode that "If everything you have done has been in the best interest of the island, then I am sure the monster will understand." And it would seem that the monster did since it indeed let Ben live. But Smokey also unleashed a super-ticked-off Alex on Ben, who throttled him into agreeing to do whatever Locke said. The takeaway, for me, was that Ben has been acting out of loyalty to the island, which is why Smokey set him free. But he has misinterpreted how much power he has, so the island want to put the kibosh on his mind games, Locke jealousy and pretty much all the other behavior we have come to know as Ben Linus-y. Can Ben do that? And what do we think, did Smokey let him off easy?

Liz: I had a similar, albeit slightly different interpretation. You're right in thinking Ben was acting out of loyalty to the island, but how honest was that loyalty? Did he really think he let Alex go to her death for the greater good or because he wanted to out-play Charles Widmore one more time?

Which could take our conversation in two different directions: 1. Back to the idea that this is a game (which was slightly reinforced by the dust-covered Risk game sitting on the table in Ben's abandoned home) or, 2. Ben Linus believes -- or believed -- he was the island; that he started conflating his own instincts and impulses with Jacob's?

Much more after the jump...

Liz: One quick aside -- we talked a bit over the past few weeks about the wrecked Othersville, wondering why the disheveled in-processing building was still set up for the Dharmas. We wondered if perhaps the past had changed the future and the purge had never happened. But finding Alex's room intact kind of kills that theory.

Jen: Yeah, I thought about that, too. I still find it odd that Sun and Lapidus initially found Christian in what was clearly a destroyed Dharma camp. I have to think that was meaningful, but maybe not for the reasons we assumed.

But now back to Ben and his bizarre behavior, already in progress. I think I agree with the second idea you posited: That Ben started to mix up his sense of self with the island. Let's think about this for a minute. He probably believes the island gave him special powers because it did indeed bring him back to life.

As we saw in the scene where he snatched baby Alex and let Rousseau live, even BWB -- that's Ben With Bangs, a younger version -- believed that he had to abide by the island's "rules" and that Widmore should not flout them. As time went on, Ben seemed to see himself as a gatekeeper for those rules. His "island religion," if you will, clouded his view. Call me nutty, but I think this happens to real-life world leaders all the time.

Liz: That's crazy talk, you. Speaking of Ben with Bangs, he was totally working the Duran Duran "New Moon on Monday" look with that scarf draped loosely around his neck.

Jen: That makes sense since later on in the episode, he did indeed light his torch and wave it.

Liz: Yes. Tonight's episode was one big love letter to Duran Duran. I believe I saw a John Taylor-shaped hieroglyph in that Smokey-chamber.

But, here's the thing about the island's rules -- it would seem everyone was flouting them. Richard did it when he saved Ben, Ben did it when he saved Alex and Widmore, well, we're just told he did. Maybe what the island -- who is increasingly being described as sentient -- actually wants is to play each character's ego and paranoia against the others.

Jen: Interesting. The words Widmore chose when he was arguing with Ben With Bangs about baby Alex: "Every decision I have made has been about protecting this island." Those words would pretty much come out of Ben's mouth verbatim later on. So yes, it would seem that power corrupts. And that history keeps repeating itself again and again. So how does the cycle ever stop? Is John Locke the answer?

Liz: Or will Locke, too, fall prey to the island's megalomania? This segues nicely into something else I wanted to mention: It's starting to feel like every time we hear an absolute statement on this show, it turns out to be a lie. Or if not a lie, at least 99.9 percent wrong. For instance, Faraday with his hard and fast rules about time travel.

Jen: Oh man, Ben was engaged in a major Lie-O-Rama tonight. I mean, the dude usually fibs. But tonight he may have reached a pinnacle of untruth-iness.

Liz: So when he said, "Dead is dead, you don't get to come back from that, not even here," why should we believe him any more than when he was lying to poor, doomed Caesar about Locke?

Jen: Right. And more importantly why should we believe that he doesn't remember Hurley, Kate, Jack, etc. from the Dharma Initiative, especially since a few minutes later he seemed to remember being brought to the Temple and "healed" by the island?

But let's briefly talk about poor, stupid, naive Caesar if only so both of us can make the same joke about Ben. Ready?

Liz: On three.

One...

Jen: Two...

Liz: Three!

Jen and Liz: Et tu, Benjamin Linus?

Jen: Oh, man. Brutus humor is so the best.

But seriously, I do have one non-ides-of-March related point here: When Ben suggested to Caesar that Locke may not have been on the plane and that maybe he's crazy and who knows what he's really up to... he was totally playing the Ethan card. That hearkened straight back to all the concern the Losties had in season one about Ethan not being on the manifest. Again, mistrust never goes out of style and will always be repeated. And Ben L.? He'll always stoke those flames.

Liz: Most definitely. Another reflected storyline from seasons past. This might be a good point to mention a few other interesting reflections.

It would be obvious even to young master Charlie aboard "Our Mutual Friend" that John Locke and Ben Linus have essentially traded places. Locke's got hand. He's the man with the plan. He almost seemed, at moments during tonight's show, to know what was going to happen next -- for instance, when Ben noticed the light coming from Alex's room John wasn't surprised and he was watching poor, clueless Ben stumble blindly into his destiny. And Ben was clearly jealous, as you mentioned above, of John's knowledge -- again reminding us that Locke is perhaps the real McCoy and Ben only a pretender to the throne. So to speak.

The other parallel brings us back to the two daughters -- Penny and Alex. We've talked in the past about why Ben wanted to kill Penny (to avenge Alex), but tonight that was turned on its head and we found out why Ben didn't kill Penny after all: Because she was a mother, because young Charlie reminded him of himself and he didn't perhaps want another child to grow up, like him, without his mother's love. (Though, completely blowing that out of the water is the fact that Ben was willing to separate baby Alex from her mother when he could've just told Rousseau to hide in the jungle with her baby. Maybe he just likes kids.)

Jen: Well, maybe he took Alex -- and this brings us to another parallel, this time with Kate's storyline -- because he feared that if he left her there, someone would come back and kill her. But that aside, I wondered if in the moment when he saw young Charlie, he suddenly remembered being shot by Sayid. That is, assuming he ever forgot, as Alpert contended he would. He certainly seemed to realize he would be subjecting the child to something potentially damaging and decided not to inflict that on the boy. And that's a common theme throughout the show, too. In fact, Charlie Hume may as well have been young James Ford, who heard his mother get shot and his dad kill himself.

All that said, I'm still not convinced something didn't happen to Penny. Ben made sure to tell Sun to apologize to Desmond, which made me wonder if something else didn't occur after Desmond beat the living snot out of him. Probably not. Ben looked pretty, um, destroyed. I don't know, I still have a seed of doubt there.

Since we're talking about Des and Pen, let's acknowledge the shout-out to "Our Mutual Friend," a novel by Charles Dickens that Desmond planned to be the last one he ever reads. The use of that name again made me wonder if "Our Mutual Friend" marks some kind of final place for Desmond, too.

Liz: I think Penny's alive. My gut tells me Ben was apologizing for even trying, but I too didn't feel like we have seen everything we were meant to see on the dock. And, yes, I'm sure Charles Dickens, wherever he is, raised his cup of brandy and had a good chuckle over that nod.

Speaking of code, Jen... What lies in the shadow of the statue?

Jen: Funny, I have a similar question for you: What did one snowman say to the other snowman? That question from crazed Ilana was very much like the question Desmond asked Locke when he showed up in the Hatch back in season two.

Liz: I had a thought: After knocking Frank down when he failed the statue test, Ilana asks one of her cohorts to get the others and tell them it's time. You don't suppose it's possible that all the other passengers on the flight -- the people we saw back in coach -- could possibly be on team Ilana, do you?

Jen: I suppose anything is possible. All of that also made me wonder if Ilana knows other inhabitants of the island. We did suspect she might be working for Widmore, no?

Liz: I keep thinking back to Michael Emerson's warning to keep Egypt in mind and, well, she could pass for Egyptian. I'll just say this about Ilana: I don't think it would be outside the realm of possibility for her to somehow be tied to those hieroglyphs.

Jen: Fair enough. Now let's discuss the mechanics of Smokey. So Ben admitted that he only knows how to summon the monster. Which, apparently, he did by pulling a stopper out of some ancient bathtub. What's the significance of that? I'm not really sure, other than it looked like a drain straight into the underworld. But maybe our readers can chime in with theories on this one.

Meanwhile, Locke says, "Hey, nimrod, I know how to go find Smokey myself." Which is not unlike Locke's insistence on going to visit Jacob back in season three's "The Man Behind the Curtain," despite Ben's assertion that Jacob is someone who summons people, as opposed to inviting in unannounced guests. Apparently Locke isn't much for summoning.

Liz: When Ben, John and Sun arrive at Smokey's lair, Ben says it is a wall that "we" built to keep people away from their temple, which is a half-mile away yet. So Ben is asking us to believe that he and the Others built that decrepit-looking wall covered with ancient symbols?

Jen: Or he sees himself as aligned with the natives. Which is why he uses that "we." As in, my people.

My bigger question is: How did Locke know where to find Smokey? Was that something Christian told him? I don't remember Locke learning this information, unless he totally cheated by stealing the teacher's edition of the Island Textbook.

Liz: I suppose if we go with Ben's assertion that "dead is dead," that may put John in the exclusive company of Christian Shephard, Yemi, Alex and (possibly) Claire: Walking undead guides to the island. In which case, one is apparently gifted with omniscience.

Jen: Good point. Yeah, they hand out omniscience pretty liberally to the dead in this joint.

Anyway, the big reveal was: We finally saw where Smokey comes from! And it's a vent!

Liz: You were hoping for Aladdin's lamp? That whole Ben inside Smokey scene reminded me of something, but I couldn't put my finger on it until we chatted after the show. It was obviously a nice send-up of Dorothy Gale's time spent inside the tornado on her way to Oz. (You can see the original here, starting around second 3:05. Apologies for the Pink Floyd soundtrack, but that's a whole different story.)

Jen: Exactly. I also thought of the scene in "Oz" where Dorothy stares into the Wicked Witch's crystal ball and sees an image of Aunt Em weeping. Both are legitimate references and a nice way to bring us back to the notion of Ben as a Gale, as in Henry.

Frankly, though, I was expecting to see a longer Ben-is-Bad Montage. Ben's sins really focused on Alex and Widmore. Smokey didn't see fit to remind Ben of, say, killing Keamy and forcing the freighter to blow up. Or strangling Locke because he didn't have time to convince him to commit suicide. You know, other things I kinda thought he would need to atone for.

Liz: Right -- Ben has a lot on his plate. But I'm wondering if Alex death isn't as much Ben's fault as we, or he, believe. Here's why: When Ben says his goodbye to Widmore before he's put on the sub, Widmore intimated that Alex was meant to die as a baby and that Ben had defied him -- and by extension the island. Ben says, no, you (Widmore) wanted her dead, not the island. But what if Ben is wrong? What if the island did intend for Alex to die as an infant? Her eventual death at Keamy's hands would have merely been course correction, right?

Jen: That's a very good point. And Ben is the one who would have been breaking the rules by taking the feud off the island to kill Penny in revenge.

Hmmm... does that mean the island also intended Rousseau to die? That got course corrected, too.

On another note, I don't know if this counts as a spoiler or not since I am totally making this up. But I keep thinking we're going to come back to that statue sometime between now and season's end, and we'll see it from the front so we can clearly view its face. And its face is going to resemble someone we know. Maybe ... John Locke?

Liz: I do think we'll see more of the statue before the season is out. We've been fed too many hieroglyphs this season to be left hanging with nary a solid link to Carthage or Thebes.

Jen: Or our old friend Anubis. Just to recap, he is an ancient God of the Dead. And he appeared in the hieroglyphs above the Smokey vent.

Many readers also remarked that the back of the statue resembles Anubis in some way. In the image Ben saw last night before Smokey showed up, Anubis seemed to be communing with a creature who looked a lot like a smoke monster.

Liz: Or summoning it.

Jen: Exactly. Are Anubis and Jacob related in some way? I don't know, I'm just tossing it out there. That imagery seems significant, though. And perhaps as more than just a signifier that the island dates back to the time of the pharaohs.

Liz: I'm glad you asked that because I was going to toss this out: Are "the island" and "Jacob" interchangeable terms? Again, just throwing this out there.

Jen: Interesting. Before we sign off, I have two more thoughts I want to mention, not necessarily related directly to tonight's episode.

First left-over thought: I believe that Horace orchestrated the whole situation with Lil Ben freeing Sayid from jail, or at least had a hand in it. Upon further review of recent episodes, I noted that Ben said he was bringing sandwiches to Sayid because Horace told him to. And that Horace's lie about how the fire started seemed designed to keep Ben completely out of the picture. (Which might explain why he was so irritated when Dr. Jack Shephard, Workman, started poking holes in the explanation.) Remember, Horace brought the kid and dad Roger to the island. I think the guy knows more about how Ben fits into the whole picture, and perhaps even wanted Kate and Sawyer to give him to the Hostiles.

Second left-over thought: So Amy successfully got pregnant and delivered on the island. We all talked about what might have caused women to start dying during pregnancy. I wonder if that was Ben's rebirth. After he died and came back, suddenly every mother's story mirrored that of his own mother's: They all died before seeing their children. Just a theory that rattled around in my head. And now, this week's poll:

Liz: Cast your votes and we'll regroup at 3 p.m. ET for the "Lost" Hour chat. And, just for fun, feel free to nominate candidates in the comments section for pithiest possible answer to the question "What lies in the shadow of the statue?"

---

Next Week on "Lost": "Some Like It Hoth" - Suspicions about a possible breach intensify after Ben is taken from the infirmary, and a reluctant Miles is forced to work with Hurley when he's asked to deliver an important package to a top Dharma official.

By Liz Kelly  | April 9, 2009; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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Comments


OK - so something that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is young Ethan. He was born to Dharma, but was shown to be hanging out with Other Ben. So what happened there?

Posted by: AmberGale | April 9, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I can't believe you missed it.

Whether Ben defied the Island or not in saving baby Alex is beside the point.

The point is -- Ben did a morally GOOD thing. And Widmore wanted him to do an EVIL thing. This tends to indicate that Ben really is one of the "good guys," notwithstanding his desire for revenge, which perhaps is the only thing he wanted to do for himself, rather than for the Island. And even that he decided not to do, again as a morally good thing when he saw little Charlie.

Ben = good/light
Widmore = evil/dark

Posted by: ooyah32 | April 9, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, I thought next weeks episode was titled, "Some like it HOFF"

Maybe that's what lies in the shadow of the statue: Hoff's career.

Posted by: Osteph | April 9, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Also re: Ethan, Ben and Ethan took Alex before the purge happened. So Ethan and Ben were already working with the Others before the Purge.

Posted by: wojoko | April 9, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

And Ben clearly has a thing about babies.

Saving Alex, saving Charlie, trying to save babies from dying on the Island before they were born.

And he clearly has a thing about mothers.

Saving Danielle, saving Penny, trying to save pregnant moms from dying on the Island.

Both of which indicate, again, that perhaps Ben is "good" after all.

Posted by: ooyah32 | April 9, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks as usual. I wouldn't say Ben was forgiven or found innocent so much as he was paroled. His knowledge is valuable to Locke, so he's been assigned to help him. That's not the same as being vindicated.

Loyalty to the Island does not equal right, whatever the monster thinks. Ben is only judged for Alex's death, since that's all he feels guilt for. He should be judged for his many other crimes - like murdering Cesar.

I think you're both still confusing the buildings down by the docks with the actual Dharma settlement with houses.

Jen, he probably truly doesn't remember the new arrivals you named (Jack, Hurley, Kate - also Sayid) since Richard's and Ben's words have implied the recent past, at least, has been wiped. But he'd still almost have to know Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, and Miles, who've been there three years.

The not recognizing Locke thing was stupid. Ben and Cesar were both in first class. Why would they expect to recognize every passenger from coach, even with 78 empty seats? Cesar should have called Ben an idiot.

Jen's theories: Don't we assume it's the electromagnetic incident rather than Ben being cured that changes pregnancy on the Island? It's hard to see a coonection between a 12 year-old boy being healed and women subsequently being unable to carry to term. And if Horace did manipulate Ben into offering Sayid sandwiches, it's an awfully big coincidence that H happened to choose the one kid who's dying to join the Hostiles. The old assumption that Ben lied to get to Sayid still seems much more likely.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 9, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Nominee: Have a great day! (Ben)

Posted by: atl24 | April 9, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"My bigger question is: How did Locke know where to find Smokey?"

Wasn't Locke there during the time shift when rousseau's people were going crazy? If I recall correctly, some of them were dragged into that hole at the base of the statue by Smokey.

I figured that was how he knew...

Posted by: memphis1 | April 9, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Actually, my favorite quote was Locke's "Actually, I was just hoping for an apology."

Posted by: fft5305 | April 9, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I think there will be another jump in time and Ben's shock about the O6 being in the DI is genuine, he has no memory of them, because they dissapear before Ben is returned by the Others to the barracks.

Smokey sees into your heart. Ben wasn't judged for all his deeds, he was only judged for the deed he was confilcted or guilty over. He was repentent and prepared to die for his crime (killing Alex) and was spared. Mistereko was also judged not for all his crimes but for the guilt he felt by causing Ami's death. He was unrepentent at the end. He claimed to regret nothing and was thus killed. So Smokey seems to have two roles, to rid the Island of those who do not belong there (the 815 pilot, the marines, the french crew) and to judge those with guilty hearts.

Posted by: L8yF8 | April 9, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Amberwojoko --

I think last night indicated that the Purge took place earlier than we thought. If Danielle and company had landed on the Island (1987) during Dharma-time, they would have run into the Dharma people. And she would not have been able to change the Dharma radio distress call (16 years before the crash - 1988). And Danielle certain would have been included in the Purge (she could run, but she could not hide - the Hostiles would find her if they wanted to).

Moreover, Ben was clearly living in the Hostile camp, not merely visiting, and such an absence from Dharmaville would have been noticed if Dharma were still around.

Almost certainly Danielle came after the Purge, but before the Hostiles moved to Dharmaville, and the Alexnapping with Ethan (1987-88) took place after the Purge. Indeed, it is likely that Ethan (born 1977) was taken during the Purge.

And given Alex's age swinging in Dharmaville, now New Otherton, it looks like Widmore was banished in the early 1990s.

Posted by: ooyah32 | April 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

My favorite moment of last night's episode was Desmond kicking the crap out of Ben. That was awesome, and he's had it coming for a LOOOOONG time.

BUT - Did Ben shoot Desmond or was the bullet blocked by the bag of groceries (or whatever he was carrying) OR did he actually get shot and was able to manipulate the situation some other way, due to his "special" skills?

Posted by: allison777 | April 9, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Great analysis ladies!
One thing not mentioned: No matter how many times Ben gets socked in the face, it never gets old. It's like a carousel ride that everyone seems to jump in on. Sayid, Jack, Rousseau, and now Desmond got in on the fun.

Posted by: WilsonWelch | April 9, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I didn't notice before, until I looked at the picture of the statue linked here, but does the statue look vaguely feminine? The shape of the torso and the rear end don't quite look manly.

As far as Linus/Widmore good/evil debate, I think they both feel like they are ultimately doing the right thing. They just are willing to use any means to achieve that end. Widmore tends toward brute force, while Linus (not having the finances and resources that Widmore has) tends to use manipulation. They both are basically evil (I think), but think they are good. Road to Hell, and all that...

Posted by: fft5305 | April 9, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

When Ben was in the judgement of the smoke monster, it seemed to me that he was seeing moments that he felt guilty about. We didn't see all the other horrible things he did in his life because he didn't feel any remorse about that. But Alex, he did feel guilty. So I see the smoke monster as a sort of mirror to what someone feels guilty about and then that person is judged.

I like the idea that from Ben, from Charles, and who knows before then, that the cycle of leaders who work for the island but let their own arrogance/self-righteousness/whatever get in the way and doom their ability to lead. But I think Locke will break that cycle. He's been obnoxious and self-righteous in the past, but I think he has enough self-doubt to see himself as imperfect. Whereas Charles and Ben seem to want to speak on behalf of the island (and control what messages get out to others), Locke from the beginning has made efforts to let the island speak for itself, to let others get the same info he has (example, Season 2 letting whoever wanted to watch the old Dharma films do so, and when confronted by Charlies about the secret hatch, Locke responded "what do you want to know?"). We'll see if that holds up over time, but I can see a series finale where Locke breaks the cycle of whatever is happening on (or to) the island.

And I still don't think Faraday is wrong. Particular details can change, but it still seems to me that time has a way of evetually self-correcting. I think Faraday is still on target and will remain so.

Posted by: Dr_Bob | April 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"Frankly, though, I was expecting to see a longer Ben-is-Bad Montage. Ben's sins really focused on Alex and Widmore. Smokey didn't see fit to remind Ben of, say, killing Keamy and forcing the freighter to blow up. Or strangling Locke because he didn't have time to convince him to commit suicide. You know, other things I kinda thought he would need to atone for."

I think it was only showing him the things that he actually felt guilty for, not all of the bad things he's done (most of which he probably thinks were entirely justifiable). It felt more like Smokey was torturing him by bringing up his most painful memories, the actions that he actually regrets, and showing Keamy's death, for instance, wouldn't really do the trick.

Posted by: moonwatcher13 | April 9, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I think it's the Island / monster that's evil and selfish and needs its commeupance. All it cares about are crimes against the Island. Most of the evil stuff we've seen people like Ben and Charles doing has been fine from Smoky's POV, because murdering mere humans, including children and babies, to protect precious real estate is great.

For the record, I don't believe the writers feel the same way the Island does.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 9, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Wasn't Locke there during the time shift when rousseau's people were going crazy? If I recall correctly, some of them were dragged into that hole at the base of the statue by Smokey."

It was Jin who was there, not Locke.

"I think last night indicated that the Purge took place earlier than we thought. ..."

I definitely agree with that. According to Lostpedia, the Purge took place in 1992, but it says the only evidence of that is that the Horace-ghost said he'd been dead for twelve years. Could just be a little number mistake, because everything else points to the Purge happening before Rousseau arrived.

Posted by: moonwatcher13 | April 9, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

This episode really moved my island. Is it just me, or was Widmore once hot? Wow. We learn how Ben "acquires" Alex, that he doesn't kill Penny (good decision by Lindelor), that he wants to apologize to Desmond for shooting him, that Ben had to kill Locke because he didn't have time to talk him into suicide, that Penny is not the love child of Widmore and Ellie Hawking (unless Hawking was off-island at the time of conception), that old smokey does not mete out Old Testament-type punishment on Ben. We learned a lot but the episode raised new questions to be answered: who does Illana work for (requiring the correct response to her question, "what lies in the shadow of the statue" to be part of her group), why did Caesar have to die and why from Ben's hands instead of Illana's (in a power struggle, for example), and why didn't Ben bring up the elephant in the room with Sun (why she clocked him with an oar).

Great episode.

Posted by: scandibaby | April 9, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

My latest theory:
The island/smokey kills people only when they have finished helping John Locke obtain his goal. They’re “sacrifices the island demands” so that John will attain whatever position the island has in store for him.
For example:
Boone – helped Locke find the hatch and the plane
Eko – started to build the church that John wound up using as a sweat lodge, also influential with the button and getting John to the Pearl station.
Michael – indirectly helped Ben get Locke to the Orchid, where he was supposed to turn the wheel. Once Ben and Locke got there, Christian appeared and told Michael he could go.
Of course there are other people who died, but I tend to think that they didn’t have any relation to getting Locke to where he needed to go.
I don’t think John was meant to blow the hatch. The island did what it could to keep him from doing so. Arzt blew up when handling the dynamite they needed. Smokey tried to pull John down a hole on their way back from the Black Rock. The island sent Eko to try to convince John to continue to push the button, but when he failed, the island punished him for it by killing him.
Ben still has a purpose in supporting and helping Locke, which is why the monster let him live, but issued the Alex smack down.
The island hasn’t let Jin die, because Jin needs to be the draw for Sun, and Christian told Sun that Locke is going to help her find Jin. Locke’s duty to Sun makes her the guide to get Locke to where he needs to be, even though he’s taking her to Jin. A little convoluted, I know, but it’s just a theory.
I don’t really think there is a building near the docks where people were welcomed. I think the processing center was down in Dharmaville. Our new Lostie Dharma Recruits seemed to walk right out of the processing center into the Luau, where they saw Sayid being brought in by Sawyer. Could be wrong, but that’s my impression. Also, I believe the game of Risk was there from when Hurley, Sawyer, Claire and company occupied New Otherton. I seem to remember a line about “Australia being the key…..to Risk.” I think it was being played between Sawyer and Hurley. More to come…

Posted by: eet7e | April 9, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Best quote: Ben - "Consider that my apology"

Posted by: bct103 | April 9, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

On the Purge, I don't see how seeing Ben and Ethan with the Hostiles indicates this is post-purge. We have to assume that Ben interacts with the Hostiles (as a secret member of them after all) some between his 1977 cure and the purge.

scandibaby, to know Ben is to want to deck him with something heavy. Even Ben knows this, so no curiosity on his part as to why Sun did it!

Posted by: UniqueID | April 9, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, Ben's house was in a lot worse shape the last time he was in it. Window smashed, bookcases and other furniture piled against all openings. Last night it just looked a little bit looted.

All of Dharmaville looked pretty much intact, actually.

So, is it another production mistake or did the freighter assault crew never happen? It had to, 'cause Alex was killed, but where was the damage?

Argh.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 9, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

My favorite quote: Ben to the resurrected Locke - "It's one thing to believe it, but it's something else to actually see it!" (Remember Ben's doubting Thomas conversation with Jack? This was a timely comment with Easter coming.)

Posted by: WednesdaysChild | April 9, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Continued:

I do believe that Ilana is already connected to the island, and probably even Richard Alpert, which brings me to my next theory: John is a reincarnation of Anubis. Abaddon was the guardian of the underworld who helped people get to where they needed to go. When Locke was back to the future (ha!), Abaddon served Locke, giving him whatever he needed, including advice. I’m convinced that the statue is of Anubis and that Richard Alpert (RA) is from Egyptian times, a colleague of Anubis. The Others are the protectors of the civilization, keeping the Island safe until the return of Locke/Anubis.
As far as Ben being good or bad, jury’s still out for me. My heart did lift when he spared Rousseau and Alex. But dropped when he killed Cesar. Then lifted again when he spared Penny because of Charlie (I think something in the bag stopped the bullet from killing Des, btw). I’m going to say this next thing, then turn around and poke holes in it, so bear with me. I think Ben’s compassion for children comes from the fact that he had a rotten childhood and wants to make sure no other children have to go through what he went through. The holes: if he was changed and wouldn’t remember anything, would he remember his rotten childhood? The holes in the holes: he obviously remembered something because he told Charles he didn’t want to go back. Gaaaah, I’m confusing myself. I need to stop before I get a nosebleed. I do see some parallels between Ben and Sawyer. They are willing to do bad and underhanded things, but stop short when they find out a child is involved. Again, they don’t want the child to have to go through what they went through.
I don’t think Widmore changed the rules when Keamy shot Alex. It was his intention all along, mission accomplished. Course correction, IMO.
Loved the Penny scene for many reasons. Her acting was great when telling her son to get back inside. She was panicked, but tried to keep it together so that Charlie wasn’t worried or alarmed. I also loved how Desmond beat up Ben, and the scene where he dumps Ben in the water and the blood flows out of his nose (I love colors in water, my favorite is to dump milk in a pot of water and to watch the clouds disperse). I don’t think we’ll see a whole lot more to the scene, except for how Des survived the squib, I mean shot, and what happened after he dumped Ben. My guess: Penny calls up Daddy and reams him out. Also loved how they referenced her during Charles’ departure from the island “You had a child with someone off island.” Meaning, Penny isn’t Eloise’s daughter so that could make her Daniels half-sister at most.
Anyway, better do some work while I still have a job. Can’t wait for the chat!

Posted by: eet7e | April 9, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Locke knows where the 'monster' is because he was almost dragged down into its chamber in the first season.

Posted by: lesatwork | April 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

And pithy answer for "what lies in the shadow of the statue?"... The Shadow do.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, "Consider that my apology" should be another contender for best line.

Posted by: Dr_Bob | April 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Great discussion ladies. Has anyone touched on the fact yet that Richard Alpert looks very ancient Egyptian? He does have that permanant eye liner.

Posted by: mglball | April 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with atl24 for best line of the night: "have a nice day" - Ben. I think he is creepier when he is being nice than when he is being creepy.

Posted by: skitch00 | April 9, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Dharmaville looks run down for one simple reason. There was no one on the island between 2004 and 2007 to do the upkeep. Everyone who was on the island in 2004 got time warped to 1977. Therefore, no person was on the island until aljira air crashed there in 2007.

Posted by: skitch00 | April 9, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Ben just can't stop himself from lying. Even (if he really is) when he's come back to atone for his sins, he just keeps telling pointless lies. "Gee Caesar, that John guy must be nuts. How could I have killed him if he's alive," however, instead if just coming clean later, I'm gonna shoot you. To John: "I totally KNEW you'd come back to life when we got here." To Sun: "I have NO IDEA how John came back to life. I've never seen anything like it." Maybe, we'll see how they had a point in future eps, but it just seemed like he was telling these pointless lies because he couldn't help himself.

Posted by: talleyl | April 9, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, great theory Jen about the women dying in childbirth. It has a "Forbidden Planet" type feel to it, i.e., monsters from Ben's id.

Re: Horace covering for Ben, well, I just realized something last night: the Dharma Initiative built their town over one of the ancient structures, the door to the well in Ben's house, which appears to be above ground level. It looks like that pre-existed the house. Which means the house was built around it, to hide it. And is that Horace's house? That would indicate that Horace and other DI leaders know more about Smokey and the Island than the recent recruits.

Posted by: charodon | April 9, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

skitch, of course there were people on the Island. The Others still lived there, and why wouldn't they move back to their barracks after the freighter people were dead? They came out of the temple to rescue Ben.

Well, Locke did bring up the choice to move into the Dharma barracks, said it didn't seem like it's what the Island would want. And Ben mentioned to Locke when they first went to see Jacob that Jacob doesn't like technology. So that might be why the Others didn't move back in.

But, there was a lot to view of the barracks, and it didn't look like a place that had been hit my heavy machine gun fire and RPGs.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 9, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

i'm curious about the time-line too... I think Ben's hair was meant to look younger when he encountered rouseauu and took alex.

Definitly different hair from the episode where the purge takes place...

So, does he go back and forth between dharma and the others.... i don't see Dharma letting him back in their camp after being gone for several years...

Rousseau was supposed to land on the island in 1988

do we think penny leaves desmond for putting her and charlie in danger?

Posted by: tjkass | April 9, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

On Ben sparing Danielle and Alex: looks like the only way to save them was to kidnap Alex, so she can be held hostage to make Danielle behave. Good and humane act on Ben's part, though it does depend on Danielle acting rationally, which is a flaw.

On sparing Penny: well, maybe. Seeing Charlie did make him hesitate. We may never know what he would have done if Des hadn't then jumped him. Very possibly it was just momentary remorse and Ben would have killed her anyway to hurt Charles.

What is the concensus of opinion on Ben's contrasting claims regarding Locke's resurrection? Was he lying to Sun, or to Locke? Or given that he was less than 100% frank with each, what's closer to the truth, that he thought Locke would resurrect, or no? I'm leaning toward his telling Locke the truth, mainly because why else would he insist on bringing a body to the Island?

Posted by: UniqueID | April 9, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Ben's comment when Keamy kills Alex is "He changed the rules." I.e. Widmore changed the rules, which Ben says to him at the end of "The Shape of Things to Come." Not "broke" the rules, changed them. Changed them how? This episode didn't give us any answers. But it seems that Ben was under the impression that Alex wouldn't/couldn't die. There was every indication in that episode that he purposefully sent her into harm's way, so that Karl and Danielle would get killed.

Posted by: charodon | April 9, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I heart Des and Pen.

I thought the Smokey sequence came very close to Jumping the Shark territory.

Posted by: chunche | April 9, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

talley, it's hard to argue with you about Ben's love of lying. However, I think his lies regarding Cesar had a point. He lied to Cesar about Locke to make C suspicious. Then he used that suspicion to make C think Locke was trying to force Ben to go with him. And when C defended Ben, Ben killed him. Then he used the whole episode to prove to Locke that he's got his back and that now they're even.

On telling Sun and Locke different stories, I agree that was stupid and pointless. Regardless of what the truth is, why not tell Sun the same thing he told Locke? Doing otherwise risks them comparing notes. And there's no apparent downside to admitting to Sun, Yeah, I figured John would live again, that's why I brought him here. Maybe they'll resolve this apparent lack of motivation in the future.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 9, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I'm inclined to believe that Keamy shooting Alex equates to Widmore "changing the rules." Is Widmore really so all-powerful that he can exercise pinpoint control over an unstable, roided-up merc thousands of miles away? And Keamy was certainly unstable; the freighter subplot gave us lots of hints that some sort of sickness (Frenchy's Disease?) was infecting the crew (c.f. Australian stunt-lady actress jumping off the boat wrapped in chains / the captain yelling at Keamy, saying basically "you are not thinking straight because some strange inexplicable and probably island-related illness has taken hold of you").

Anyway, my short version is this: maybe every time Ben says "he changed the rules" he's really saying "damn, I shouldn't have kept right on bluffing when Thick McLargeHuge over there had a gun to my daughter's noggin." And I do buy that he deeply regrets how that whole thing turned out, if not the other deaths that he caused.

Posted by: Johnny_Zen | April 9, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Regardless of what the truth is, why not tell Sun the same thing he told Locke? Doing otherwise risks them comparing notes."

On Lost? Never.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 9, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Ben's lies are not pointless.

He told Locke he didn't mean to for-real kill him, because, he wants Locke to trust him. It comes in handy for him when he can make people trust him.

He told Sun that Locke's resurrection is unprecedented and scares the crap out of him because he wants Sun thinking "what kind of scary Pet-Cemetary-undead type of creature is this John Locke", so that if he needs her to choose trusting Ben vs. Locke, she's got some inclination to lean towards trusting Ben.

Ben is not so much a pathological liar, he just doesn't bother to distinguish between truth and lie. He tells people whatever story will best serve his purposes of manipulation.

Posted by: emfzlx | April 9, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Des was shot in the right shoulder, which he was holding the bag. He gave Ben the beating using his left arm.

Posted by: pcvhawley | April 9, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

No one else seems to espouse this theory ... but I question whether Ben really came back for judgment, as he claimed. He seemed pretty unrepentant for a man actively seeking judgment (e.g. killing Cesar on his way). I think he came back to the island for the mere reason that he still wanted to be in control, though he sensed that his time was up, that it's now Locke's time. (Maybe Locke was meant to lead all the while Ben was leading? If only Richard had brought John when he met him as a child.) Anyway, I think Ben got trapped with his I'm-seeking-judgment excuse. Locke seemed to be calling his bluff, smugly escorting him straight to the source. Then Ben said "I'll take it from here," and Locke was going to let him go on alone, at which point Ben fell through the floor, to directly face the monster, rather than making a run for it. Having come so close, he couldn't avoid judgment. And Alex read into his heart -- up to then, Ben still intended to kill Locke and retake control of the island. But I do think Ben may have truly changed as a result. I think he was surprised to have survived judgment, and perhaps realizes his lease on life is subject to his ceding control to Locke, once and for all. What say you?

Posted by: DCnative8 | April 9, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Good call, memphis1! I wondered why Locke would choose to go under the Temple wall and that explains it.

I thought parts of "Dead is Dead" were rather silly. Ben goes all Indiana Jones. Smokey lives either under a grate or at the bottom of drain. (And did the Secret Passage in Ben's closet exist when the DI lived in the Barracks?)

Ben's guilt over Alex's death as the driving force for his return to the Island and his seeking judgment from the Monster also seemed odd. Since when does Ben have remorse for his actions or become pious and want to make restitution? Seemed out of character to me.

Oh! Definitely saw the homage to Oz in the Smokey judging Ben sequence. And apparently Locke clicked the heels of his shoes together three times while he had them off, although I missed that.

Posted by: CafeBeouf | April 9, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

NotForYou1: You are right, as usual, about Dharmaville. Unless we don't know what time it is (Island Time) when the Aljira flight crashes? The Dharmaville that Sun and Frank found (and that Ben and Locke are now in as well) does not look like it did when there were book clubs and baked ham and Juliet was trying to save pregnant women. Did the Others move into the barracks or did they leave it to ruin after the Dharmites were purged (or in some other way) went away??

Was it me or did Ben look really surprised at the condition of the dock? And the condition of the barracks? And I really thought he seemed surprised when he said that was his house and the light was on in Alex's old room.

SOMETHING has changed, but the timeline is also trying to course-correct?

We now know that 1.) Widmore was exiled by the Others and that 2.) the Others were able to use the Dharma sub to exile him. So if they were using the Dharma sub and the Dharma food drops never stopped, are they also moved into the barracks? And if they moved into the barracks at the same time Widmore was exiled, then why do the barracks look abandoned "now" even though the barracks have been through Keamey's para-military weapons assault? For that matter why is the sub dock intact when we all saw Locke blow it up??

Otherwise, this episode was fantastic and reminds me why I love Locke. Locke has looked into the eye of the island when he stood his ground in front of smokey. But we have no idea what he saw or what was revealed to him. Best keep that in mind. Locke IS Jacob!!

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

UniqueID and emfzix,

I appreciate what you're saying about there possibly being reasons for Ben's many lies. Maybe, the underlying problem is his delusion that ANYONE that's been around him for any time at all will ever trust him, no matter what wacky manipulations he tries to throw at them. It certainly seemed to me that Locke was taking everything Ben said with a HUGE grain of salt: "Oh you don't know how to summon Smokey? Well, lucky for you, I know right where he is." And Sun just seemed to look at him, like he was an ant or some kind of virus. Or maybe I'm projecting my reactions onto them. If they do believe or trust anything he says, they are some of the most gullible characters ever to be written!

Posted by: talleyl | April 9, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I think I was expecting more from this episode. Normally the Ben-centric ones are awesome! I am not certain we got that many answers and I found myself missing the cast that are currently in the 1970's. Ben and Locke are interesting and their scenes together are good, but we've seen them being coy with each other so many times. I did like the smokey scenes though and that Des is alive, at least for the moment.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | April 9, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

--For that matter why is the sub dock intact when we all saw Locke blow it up??--

oohh, I totally forgotten about that.

Posted by: emfzlx | April 9, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

""Regardless of what the truth is, why not tell Sun the same thing he told Locke? Doing otherwise risks them comparing notes."

On Lost? Never.

Posted by: NotForYou1"

True that. Like Jack and Sawyer having a little p---ing match at Sawyer and Juliet's instead of filling each other in on the last three years.

Related: I also appreciated how Locke slapped Ben down for his own former cryptic answers - "Now you knw what it was like to be ME" without including other people such as Sun in that category. Typical Lost character - it's all about John Locke having been frustrated and having had answers withheld from him. That a friend of his who's in the same position and is in agony to know eher her husband is is standing five feet away still doesn't get her included.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 9, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

DCnative,

I certainly espouse the theory that Ben has other reasons for coming back to the island ("Even (if he really is) when he's come back to atone for his sins" by which I meant, maybe that's not really why he's come back, although reading it now I see it's not that clear). Frankly, if Ben said the sky was blue, I'd get my eyes checked.

Posted by: talleyl | April 9, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I loved Ben's floppy hair. It looked good on Michael Emerson. I also noticed how much he was squinty-eyed when conversing with Widmore, so different from his usual wide-eyed look.

I stand by that Locke is the Key (HA!)

I had thought that resurrected Locke was a manifestation of Smokey, and I'm still not convinced that he isn't. I definitely think that Smokey had a HUGE part in why Locke is no longer worm food.

OH! And what was with Ben's "If you hear whispers, run the other direction?" Kind of makes me think that the whispers are just the Others.

Posted by: eet7e | April 9, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

talley, I certainly agree with you about honesty. Once you get a reputation as a liar it's very hard to shake it off - and justifiably so. It's been very frustrating the past three eyars watching everyone constantly paying attention to Ben's lies no matter how many times they were burned before. I think real world people would simply walk away and/or order him to STFU when he started his latest story. And after a point, you don't even care if someone's telling the truth this one time. You figure even if he is, he's still only doing so to gain something.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 9, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Apologies if this has been addressed before, but why is doing what's in the best interest of the island equated with being good? It seems like that's how Ben's goodness is evaluated. If he does the things he's doing in the service of the island, then, at the very least, his intentions are good. As far as I can tell, the island seems more self interested than altruistic. A lot of people have suffered because of the island's whims (plane crashes, ship wrecks, mass executions, not to mention the psychological trauma of simply knowing it exists).

Posted by: roosterSD | April 9, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The photo that Ben folds & puts in his pocket looks like a happy family photo of him, Rousseau and Alex. I need to see a screenshot of that.

Posted by: mat00 | April 9, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or was Charles Widmore once hot?
Posted by: scandibaby | April 9, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Agree, scandibaby. He was definitely hot when he visited young recently shot Ben in the round tent. Unfortunately he did not age well.

eet7e, I'm with you on some of your theories. However, I think Illana is in league with Widmore. She said as much to Said because she was after him for one of his Ben orchestrated assasinations. Widmore knew the O6 were going to try to get back on the island. He somehow knew they were all going to be on that flight to Guam. What better way to get his agents on the island than to put them on that flight too? They even brought a big silver box of guns. I think they will be part of the "war" that is coming. Too bad Cesar wasn't in on it. And too bad Hurley couldn't have bought all of his seats earlier. You know they could have saved a lot of trouble if they just chartered a flight.

Posted by: hodie | April 9, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

mat00: No it was a photo of just Ben and a teen (or tween) Alex.

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the 'Ben is good' theory. He shows some flashes of humanity in his younger days but, seriously folks, he's killed dozens of people. Then some people say he's doing bad things for a good cause, the island. Why are we assuming doing things for the island is good? Obviously it's some mystical place, but what if Widmore and Ben are just selfishly fighting for control of the island and whatever powers it has? Ben = at least 90% evil. He may have a soft spot for Alex and ham, but other than that he's pure evil. Not every character has to be conflicted like Sawyer or Jack or Kate.

Posted by: GoPens | April 9, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"For that matter why is the sub dock intact when we all saw Locke blow it up??"

Ohhhhh yeah. Damn.

OK, we know that the house Ben, Locke, Sun, and Frank were in was Ben's old house and that Alex had a room there. And we saw Ben pushing Alex on the swings and Alpert talking to them before Widmore got kicked off the Island. So we know that the Others *did* move in there on that time-line.

As for the damn dock... Who the hell knows what that's supposed to suggest. But this is where my Thursday Lost Headache starts.

There was way too much to process in last nights ep. Must go watch it again before chat time.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 9, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't know that Ben has killed "dozens of people." A few now and then, yes, but dozens?

The fact that the Hostiles/Others are in Dharmaville when Widmore is banished seems to indicate that, when the Purge happened, Widmore was in charge and that Widmore is the one who ordered the Purge, not Ben, as was previously thought.

Ben did kill dad, and tried to kill Locke a few times, and he killed Abaddon and Keamy (both of whom worked for Widmore), and maybe a few others, but it has really been Widmore who is the bad guy, who has more blood on his hands, and who thinks that the Island is his property.

Posted by: ooyah32 | April 9, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The revelations about Widmore are also really intriguing - he basically got kicked off the island because he fell head over heels with some girl. I imagine this story will show up in a future episode and will have strong parallels to the Des-Penny relationship, and I'm looking forward to it.

The fact that Ben was "redeemed" makes me wonder if he's about to get it. But I agree that it wasn't REALLY redemption, since we all know he's done all sorts of (presumably) nasty stuff that he just doesn't feel guilty about. Also, I remember the producers saying that the Henry Gale/Ben character wasn't supposed to stick around this long, but Michael Emerson was so good, they decided to write him into more episodes. Meaning the Ben character is not essential to the core plot, and may be expendable. Second, they've been giving Michael Emerson some juicy scripts and letting him do interviews with Liz, which is the same thing they did with Charlie right before he kicked it.

Posted by: allison777 | April 9, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The last time we saw the full statue was right after the time flash sending the Lostees way back in time, with Miles pointing out it must be way back in time as they looked at the statue. They were standing near the well which lead down to the donkey wheel. The donkey wheel is probably "what lies in the shadow of the statue".

But how does Illana know about it? Either she read something in Ben's office or she knew all along. For now I'll assume she read about it and many other things in Ben's office but she does have egyptian features. Also, the shotgun Cesar took was under Ben's desk. So like Ben to keep a shotgun under the desk.

And Widmore may have ordered Ben to kill Rousseau, without telling him she had a baby, in order to make smokey mad at Ben if Ben killed both Rousseau and the baby. Widmore may have seen Ben as an up and coming rival and so ordered him to kill Rousseau and hoped he would also kill the baby thus angering Jacob and getting kicked off the island. But the island kicked off Widmore years later, possibly for the purge which may have killed children, since they were putting Widmore on the sub, meaning the Others now had the sub and Dharmaville. Killing/saving children is a central theme in this show, with the Others kidnapping the Lostee children to "protect" them, Ben takes Alex, etc. Widmore does not have this protective instinct for children and so is forceably removed from the island, presumably by Jacob.

Oh, and smokey living under the temple under a picture of a snake and a canine-looking god. Sure looks like Anibus or Set or Ammit. Anibus judges souls but Ammit devours souls of those judged to not be worthy. Smokey seems to be more like Ammit. In any event, I hope people are now considering the egyptian gods are on this island. I like Land Shark beer by the way. ;-D

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 9, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"On sparing Penny: well, maybe. Seeing Charlie did make him hesitate. We may never know what he would have done if Des hadn't then jumped him. Very possibly it was just momentary remorse and Ben would have killed her anyway to hurt Charles."
Posted by: UniqueID

It seemed pretty clear to me Ben was lowering his gun and looking as though he was giving up killing Penny when Des jumped him. Great scene.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Widmore on a horse scene -- Was it me, or did that look like some other time period, like the Middle Ages, or they had been invaded by Mongols who'd set up their yurts? And was that the horse that Kate had seen way back in Season 1?

"He changed the rules." Ben may have thought that if Alex were to die, then Widmore himself had to kill her. With Widmore in exile, that could explain Ben's confidence in dealing with Keamy when he put a gun to Alex's head. Hence, Widmore changed the rules.

Locke: Innocence lost? Sure seems that way. Locke had a perpetual sly, cheshire cat grin throughout the episode. Now resurrected, has he lost his innocence from being the gullible, needy, man of faith?

Hey, and didn't Locke change the rules too? He was told he couldn't join the others until he killed his father. Locke carried the body back to Dharmaville, but it was Sawyer who did the deed.

Posted by: doobrah | April 9, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Word up, hodie. Ilana could be in league with Widmore, but what's saying that she didn't first meet him on the island in the beforetime? :)

And yes, Widmore was pretty cute. I adored teenage Widmore. Thirty-something Widmore was more rugged and toupee wearing Widmore was Alan Dale, a cute older man. I did think the whole riding in on a horse thing was pretty hokey. Also, when Old Widmore told Locke that Ben had tricked him off the island, I'm thinking that it was mostly orchestrated by Richard, the tension between them in '54 and '77 was palpable.

Posted by: eet7e | April 9, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Why would Locke need to be omniscience to know where smokey lives? Wasn't he trying to prevent someone from getting dragged into that hole when he was bouncing around the timeline a few episodes ago? or was that someone else?

Posted by: racimperman | April 9, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying Widmore isn't an evil dude either, but that doesn't make Ben good. He almost killed Penny before Desmond destroyed him (best part of last night's episode). I don't think he wasn't going to kill Penny when he saw her son, it just made him hesitate then Desmond molly-wopped him. Ben still = at least 90% evil.

Posted by: GoPens | April 9, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

For my money, the key word for last night’s episode and for this season is “metamorphosis.” Like other posters today, I do NOT believe Ben originally came back to the island to seek forgiveness. Showing his hubris, Ben came back to the island to defy its “rules” and become leader once again. But a change occurred in Ben in “Dead Is Dead.” It’s first seen when Ben admits to Locke that Ben is guilty for the death of his daughter (and not Widmore or Keamey). But the big change is when Smokey shows him Alex (alive or in a vision – I’m not getting into that debate!) and Ben agrees he will follow Locke (whom I’m sure Ben previously intended to kill). It’s because of this metamorphosis in Ben that Smokey allows Ben to live. In fact, since Dickens’ “Our Mutual Friend” figures into this episode, I thought Ben’s encounter with the spirits (Smokey & Alex) was similar to Scrooge’s in another famous Dickens tale, and that Ben’s transformation was just as drastic as ol’ Ebenezer’s.

Locke also is changed. Kudos to Terry O’Quinn for being able to switch-up and play the “new” Locke so well. Heretofore his Locke has been tentative and lacking confidence (despite being a man of superior intelligence and skills). But in “Dead Is Dead” Locke has the calm and confidence and definitive vision one wants in a true leader. Although, as noted, Ben is full of lies (particularly in the first 45 minutes of the episode), I believe Ben truly is “scared” of this new Locke. There is a metamorphosis in roles. This new Locke is now a step ahead of Ben, instead of vice versa.

Also, Jack has changed. He now believes in the island. Kate has changed. She’s no longer the selfish woman on the run looking out only for herself, but she is living for a bigger reason: Aaron and Claire. And Sawyer admits he has changed and “grown up” in his three years with Dharma.

Call it atonement, redemption, seeking forgiveness through humility, repentance, whatever – Smokey allows Ben to live because Ben has changed to be what the island wants him to be instead of following his own selfish motives. And the basic story of all of the other key characters w/ flashbacks lately has also centered upon metamorphosis.

Posted by: MrMerkin | April 9, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"OH! And what was with Ben's "If you hear whispers, run the other direction?" Kind of makes me think that the whispers are just the Others."
Posted by: eet7e

I think, after seeing that Rousseau had a baby, that Ben not only decided to not kill either but save both. The whisperers are the Others, which Ben was warning Rousseau to avoid. Remember, Ben lost his mother and was raised without her. It seems to be his one soft spot, children and mothers, oh, and the island, whatever that means.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 9, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The change of look and attitude in Ben was clear -- he had changed his mind and decided NOT to kill Penny. Of course, Desmond didn't know that when he attacked.

But if Ben wanted Penny dead, she would be dead.

Posted by: ooyah32 | April 9, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

If it's clear to some that Ben was definitely not going to kill Penny, but it's clear to others that he definitely still was, then all that's clear is that we'll never know. Desmond took the decision out of his hands. Possibly even Ben, maybe even the writers don't know for sure what would have happened if Des hadn't stepped in just then. It's just a meaningless hypothetical.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 9, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You know, one of my favorite things about this show is how they keep playing with what we think we know. Ben's bad -- no, wait, he's good -- no, no, he's bad again. No matter what they show us, there are always periods of time that we don't see, which lets them go back later and flip around what we thought happened into something completely different.

I thought last night was interesting because it seemed to be the first Ben sighting that showed some real humanity and vulnerability (well, post-BabyBen, that is). Every time we see him, he is always working an angle, playing for some end-game that we have to wait 6 episodes to figure out. But last night, we see an actual soft spot: even Ben draws the line at killing babies. Which puts him one step to the good over Whidmore.

And yet, he's still not "good" -- he's still lying about why he's there (atonement my a**), lying about why he killed Jonn to either John or Sun, lying about why John's there to Carlos, inducing Carlos to draw the gun so he could shoot him to gain John's trust so that he could later kill John, etc. etc. etc. Will be interesting to see if Alex's appearance -- and threat -- is enough to scare him straight. Somehow, I don't think so. And if it is, then he'll be offed (some giving-self-to-save-John sacrifice that will be his real atonement).

Posted by: laura33 | April 9, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I was interested in the scene where Locke works on convincing Sun that he's the same old John Locke, despite being formerly dead and all. I am not sure that Locke is still Locke.

Re: Ben, he seemed utterly crushed by Smokey's verdict. "It let me live." But what he really seemed to be saying is that everything he's been living for (leading the island) has been utterly crushed. He may be alive, but he's not in charge anymore.

I suspect that the island (which I now think of as a conscious, purpose driven entity) uses people for its own purposes, and casts them aside once someone else comes along that better serves its purposes. It seems that people become enchanted by the powers on the island, and fool themselves into thinking that they can harness that power and lead into perpetuity. Hence the rise (and fall) of Widmore and the rise (and fall) of Linus.

I think Richard Alpert is the "real" leader or guardian of the island. He just watches while others overplay their hands and fall from grace.

Not sure I loved the smokey-atone-for-your-sins scene. It started to feel like "The Mummy."

Poor Sun, having to rely on the undead to lead her through 'the underworld' to get back to Jin. Also, poor Lapidus, for landing under the thumb of another Widmore lackey.

Posted by: NW_Washington | April 9, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

How do we know Ben didn't "die" and was reanimated. In past episodes when flashbacks have covered a long swath of the character's history instead of focusing on a single event, hasn't that character died? My theory is that the war that Charles Widmore predicted is coming soon. Illana and the rest of the crew seem to come well armed for a fight. My guess it is the Dharma initiative(Frank got a riddle just like Desmond, when he didnt answer he was judged an hostile) coming to retake the Island. This may also explain why Sayid was taken, They would need someone with expertise in the island and military training. It makes me wonder if Eloise is aligned with Dharma or some other group interested in the island. Who else could have known that being on that flight would get back to the island, I don't think Widmore knew.
The Island needs Ben to help in the fight, but not the old manipulative Ben, but a good Ben.

I agree something was left out of the scene with Desmond and Penny. I don't (hope) think Penny is dead but how did Ben get his arm in a sling and he looked pretty dry when he made that phone call.

Did you notice that Ben looked truly surprised after he crashed through the floor and found a room that he had no clue about. Maybe Ben doesn't know as much about the island as he pretends.

Posted by: adam_peritz | April 9, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

There's no way Ben is going to keep his promise to Alex/Smokey and not try to kill Locke again. It's in his nature to go his own way and yield to no one or anything, and it looks like it will be the death of him this time.

Posted by: CafeBeouf | April 9, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The Ben, Penny, Des, Charlie scene is over folks. I don't care what "look" someone had during that scene, it was in this week's episode for one reason: to tie-up the "unfinished business" Ben mentioned when they were chatting with spookey old Ellie Hawking. He was gonna kill Penny to avenge Alex and damage Widmore. HOWEVER, Pen basically tells Ben she hates her father, plus she had saved Des and the O6, let's not forget, PLUS she now has a kid. Ben pauses to reconsider this shift in his expectations and Des takes that opportunity to beat the snot out of him -- as everyone else who gets the chance does. They throw in some extra blood for good measure so we recall how beat-up Ben was when he boarded the Aljira plane. It's over. When he says "Tell Desmond I'm sorry" that is exactly what he was referring to. He didn't kill go Penny later. Ok?

Question for MrMerkin: You don't think Alex appeared to Ben the same way Yemi appeared to Eko? It took me right back to Yemi appearing to Eko (but we ALL KNEW that was NOT really the sweet, kindly priest Yemi) right before Smokey judged Eko, found him lacking, and killed him dead-like-Marley. I think Smokey can manifest as a loved one whenever Smokey needs to make a point.

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

a68. You're absolutely correct. The Penny/Des/Ben scene is done. It ties up all loose ends. The "Tell Des I'm sorry line" was just for that purpose; tell him I'm sorry for shooting him, for threatening to shoot Penny, and for, probably, causing psychological trama to little Charlie for the rest of his life.

Time now to focus on Illana's, and her crews, purpose on the island. I suspect we are going to see her, and some of her crew, in one of the long boats shooting at the time-traveling losties coming up in an episode soon.

Posted by: dojemc | April 9, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

One thing I like about this most recent Ben beatdown is that it sets up the potential Des-Penny-Widmore reunion. Thanks for saving my daughter, brutha. Have some McCutcheon.

Posted by: Johnny_Zen | April 9, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Oooohh, I bet you are right dojemc! illana and her Seth Rogen henchman will be the shooters from the other longboat!! They certainly brought the guns for it. And none of the other speculation has made sense to me so far about who those shooters were.

My guess is that Illana is sent from Widmore. I don't really care if she looks Egyptian. And oddly I don't really care about this good vs. bad debate. Nobody is ever all good or all bad. Isn't that what the first three seasons were trying to tell us? Every character had a background story where he/she did both noble and despicable things, well okay, Hurley is pretty much always a good guy. But the "war to come" may have nothing at all to do with good vs. bad. Sometimes it comes down to power vs. power. Control vs. control. Motivations vs. motivations. If we try to define Ben as good or bad, that is putting him in a box that does not allow us to be open-minded viewers -- and I think you'll find it limits what we might expect him to do next.

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the Desmond scene was also meant to let us know (in case we didn't already) to expect Des back on the island in the future. (or whenever). I think the bullet-proof bag of groceries was the same as the gun Michael tried to kill himself with jamming; Des can't die because the island's not done with him yet (as Mrs. Hawking has already mentioned).

Posted by: emfzlx | April 9, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Something interesting that hasn't been commented on yet, Ben's reaction to being spared from Smokey's wrath.

When he told Locke "it let me live", Ben did NOT seem grateful, instead, he acted as if this was now a burden.

Now, whether it's a burden to still be alive, or to be taking orders from anyone else, I have no idea.

Posted by: kingcranky | April 9, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Here’s a thought – what if Locke is the Smoke monster?

Evidence: (1) Ben sets up Sun for the appearance of the monster from the forest … and then Locke steps out from the trees. Was Ben really wrong? (2) Locke suddenly knows a lot for stuff he shouldn’t know (the temple, the cave below the wall where the monster lives, etc.) (3) Locke conveniently disappears during Ben’s confrontation with the monster – perhaps he can’t be in two places at once?

Remember the fake brother of Mr. Echo? Perhaps something similar is happening here.

Posted by: progressivePragmatic | April 9, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Following up on something someone else mentioned - Richard Alpert is clearly the real leader of the Others. I wouldn't be surprised if his feet have an unusual number of toes.

Note how he glanced at some of his confederates (also elder Others?) when Ben stands up to Whidmore about Alex. It looks to me like he's deciding that Ben has more promise than Whidmore as a leader - perhaps because of his compassion? I'm pretty certain Richard chooses "leaders" to test them with an illusion of authority. What he's hoping to find, though, is not clear.

Posted by: progressivePragmatic | April 9, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

If someone is always on the lookout for a new leader, then he is not the leader. Richard is something, but he is not the leader of the Others. If this was Shakespeare, Richard would be the Chorus. He has no soul, he has no story. Just my $.02

bevjims1, was that you on the Lost Hour Chat as Seattle, Annubis central with the comment about Hoth also being an Egyptian River God? If so, I am confused about references to Smokey as Osiris or Annubis. Are they both the God of the underworld??

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

In one of the early seasons wasn't it revealed that the Others had a list of which OC815 survivors to take and those to leave behind? Has this ever been explained? Could this have something to do with the Others having a prior knowledge that the main Losties would eventually experience time travel and visit them in the past? Thus, they didn't 'capture' these time traveling Losties for fear someone would let it slip that they'd be seeing them in the past. Is Ben in love with Juliet because he remembers her from his childhood? I'm still going with the assumption that - no matter how non-linear it is to follow - no one can change time except for Desmond. But it ain't easy...

Posted by: Skeeterrific | April 9, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I think when OC815 interrupted the "Carrie" book club meeting, Ben told Goodwin to search for the tail section and Ethan to go to the beach -- and I thought he said, "I need lists."

But truly, we don't know what happened to the passengers who were kidnapped by the Others. We saw one of them at the Hydra station, she was the woman with short reddish hair that Anna Lucia was upset about losing, right?

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Best Line:
"What's about to come out of that jungle I can't control."
>Enter John Locke.

Posted by: skinsfan6465 | April 9, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I think her name was Cindy and she had been a stewardess on OC815. If I remember correctly, she avoided eye contact when she saw Jack, Kate, and Sawyer at the Hydra station.

But I could be wrong.

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

And since I seem to be on a time warp of my own, back to previous seasons... Why did Smokey kill Captain Norris? What could Matt Parkman have done to deserve the same fate as Mr. Eko the Drug Warlord, and Keamy the psychotic mercenary??

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

The Smokey scene did not come close to jumping the shark, the shark was jumped and cleared by a mile. Completely hokey.

Ben with bangs looked like Hitler without the mustache.

Evangeline Lily was not in this episode but word has it she it still HOT.. :-)

Posted by: sommer11 | April 9, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"bevjims1, was that you on the Lost Hour Chat as Seattle, Annubis central with the comment about Hoth also being an Egyptian River God? If so, I am confused about references to Smokey as Osiris or Annubis. Are they both the God of the underworld??"
Posted by: a68comeback

Nope, it wasn't me. The Egyptian religion is very complex. Lots of gods, gods in charge of other gods, gods that capture and imprison other gods, gods that are related by blood, gods that play tricks on people toward an end. Just think of the Odessey as Odesseus is sent all over world by various gods who are working against each other.

Oriris is the king of the underworld, the top god if you will in the underworld. Anubis is his son. Here is a little text from Wikipedia that I hope helps illustrate the complex nature of Osiris and his relatives and the games they play (reminds me of real housewives of NY):

"Anubis was the son of Osiris, the god of the underworld, and Nephthys, Set's sister and wife. Nephthys and Isis tricked Osiris one night. Nephthys never liked Seth(Set), but she had always felt an attraction towards Osiris. Since Nephthys and Isis were twins,they were able to trick Osiris into sleeping with Nephthys one night instead of Isis.As a result, Anubis was born.Nephthys was very angry since Set killed Osiris so she left him and assisted Isis, Osiris's wife and Nephthys ran away with her son, Anubis.

Still, its easier to understand than Lost!

As for Hoth, I've never heard of that god but there is an important god named T'hoth. He is the god of wisdom, writing, magic, the moon and has a hand in the underworld helping weigh souls. T'hoth is basically a nice god who brings enlightenment. T'hoth was depicted as having the head of an ibis (thin necked bird and narrow beak. If Hoth means T'hoth, then we'll be deep into egyptian mythology next week.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 9, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Evangeline Lily was not in this episode but word has it she it still HOT.. :-)
Posted by: sommer11

Yes, now that she's taking regular showers...

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 9, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I have ever thought Ben was good, he freaks me out intensely. I couldn't even watch the Alex stealing part - there's nothing "good" about taking a tiny baby from it's mother. He is bad 100% period.

Posted by: verhext | April 9, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think I have ever thought Ben was good, he freaks me out intensely. I couldn't even watch the Alex stealing part - there's nothing "good" about taking a tiny baby from it's mother. He is bad 100% period."
Posted by: verhext

Desperate times call for desperate measures. IF Ben is a good guy, and that's a big IF, I'm guessing he decided he could not kill the mother since she had a baby (the baby would die) and she was a mother (Ben's soft spot) so he takes the baby since Rousseau cannot care for it properly in the jungle and/or some other Other will try to kill it. So he takes it to become the baby's protector. He then warns Rousseau about the whisperers and when she hears them to run. That was a warning that will help her avoid the Others in the future and could save her life which it evidently did. So IF Ben is good he did two good things that both appeared very bad.

But why couldn't Rousseau become an Other? Must be that purity thing the Others talk about. But they took in Ben and he's not pure and they took in the stewardess Cindy (maybe she's pure, who knows). Remember that when Charles told Richard that Ben could not join the Others Richard said that Jacob said it was okay. That was a lie since Richard never had time to consult with Jacob after taking Ben from Kate and into the temple. Richard does not fear Jacob like everyone else but everyone else does not fear Richard but does fear Jacob. A tangled web.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 9, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

emfzlx is correct. Desmond is OK because the island isn't done with him. Yet.

Posted by: moncheechee | April 9, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

The sense I got from the Alex-napping scene was that Ben and Ethan were the new kids in the gang and the boss had sent them out for initiation.

Ethan was the one that just didn't care and Ben was the guy with the reservations. I mean, why's he gonna wait until he's in the door to cock his gun? If he was actually going to follow the orders in the first place, he would have sprayed the room when he first kicked in her flap. Then he finds Alex, which gives him an excuse not to kill Danielle.

And think back to his explanation of The Purge. He told Hurley that it wasn't his idea to kill Dharma. I think he was happy about his dad, but when he got to the barracks, he did take the time to close Horace's (buggy) eyes. Gotta figure he felt some remorse at that point. Or maybe just that Horace was working in secret with the Others. Which I'm leaning towards.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 10, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to look at Richard Alpert's role. He looks to me like a "priest" - someone who communicates with the powers of the island. It's quite common for religious leaders to be involved in choosing/anointing leaders.

On the other hand, can anybody give some background on Ra?

Posted by: leaf29 | April 10, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

bevjims1 got me thinking. . .The name Horace (Horus) is linked to Egyptian Gods. Horus was also a son of Isis and Osiris. He had a great battle with his brother Seth(Set)which ended in Horus having his eye torn out by Seth. Thoth came along and healed the eye. The Ancient Egyptians used the Eye of Horus to describe fractions as well as a symbol for the moon. Isis helped to protect Horus - so maybe the statue could be Isis? It's a stretch, I guess, but it got me thinking. One more thing I read - The book of Thoth contained 2 spells: 1 to understand beasts and birds in the area; 2 to bring the dead to life. Do the writers mean to have so many connections to Egyptians, or are they just trying to throw us off track? :)

Posted by: dixie_kiwi | April 10, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

I think that Ben is right and Charles Widmore wrong concerning Alex. When Ben says good bye to Charles by the submarine, Charles tells Ben that Alex would be the cause of his downfall, as the island meant her to die. Ben tells Charles that he's wrong. I don't know how Ben came to know this, but the island clearly did not want Danielle and Alex to die. Please remember when Jin came to the beach where the French group was camping, just in time to see the final argument between Danielle and her husband (2 other French crew were shown already dead). At some point Danielle's husband convinces Danielle that he is "himself" and loves her and Danielle lowers her gun. Danielle's husband immediately tries to kill her but the gun fails (much in the same way as when Michael tries to kill himself or when Mr. Keamy repeatedly tried to kill Michael on the boat). I take Robert's failure at killing Danielle as a sign that the island was protecting Danielle and/or (by extension) Alex.

It seems then that Widmore's "changing" or "breaking" the rules has to do with him being responsible for the deaths of Danielle and Alex. Interestingly Mr. Keamy was directly involved in both deaths. Why the island abandoned Danielle and Alex I don't know, but apparently the island changed its mind and managed the events to test Ben's loyalty (strength) or humanity (weakness). Ben opted for loyalty (or self-interest, I don't know), but paid an impossibly high price. The island rewarded him last night by leasing him more time.

I would also like to remind everyone that the Ocenic 6 plus Desmond and Frank Lapidas cannot die until they are "done" with whatever they have to do. I say this because we saw them crash with the helicopter on the sea, I it seems really impossible that anybody would survive the crash that we saw on the show. The same seems to apply to Sawyer, who jumped from considerable height from an helicopter in motion; it doesn't seems realistic for him to survive such fall. We should also recall that many, myself included, thought that he had been shoot by one of the "others" when trying to rescue Amy.

Finally, like a few others in this discussion, I believe that the island and whomever represents it (Jacob, the monster, etc.) are ultimately evil, or, perhaps, indifferent; and the humans that try to please it (Widmore, Ben, Locke) seem doomed to loose their humanity.

Posted by: for33 | April 10, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

"Early on, Ben really was trying to abide by the island. He had blind faith in it. But as he got older and asserted more power, he started to confuse his own wants and needs with what the island was telling him."
Liz or Jen from the Lost Hour

I haven't had a chance to read the comments to the analysis yet, but I wanted to respond to this while it was fresh in my head. This statement is exactly what I think has been happening on the island over years and years--with Ben, with Widmore, with whoever led the Others before them. I believe the island is looking for the right person to "Help me." But the problem is what Jen/Liz stated above: a good helper candidate is found, but over time that helper ends up developing a a warped sense of what helping really means, and end up really hurting. Thus, the island must identify a new helper to usurp the old, hoping that the new guy will finally come to understand the REAL way to help.

I think Ben, Widmore, the Others all believe they understand the island and its needs, and believe they are protecting it. But all of them are wrong, and so none of what any of them tell us about what needs to happen is correct.

Right now, John is the new Helper candidate. It remains to be seen whether he will be the one to finally discover the true nature and need of the island.

Stock up on little glass bottles of Coke early: you will all owe me! :-)

Posted by: PQSully | April 10, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I miss Eko. He was the polar opposite of Locke though. Building a church on the island was definitely asking to die.

Desmond is the coolest and his boat will dock at the island soon enough.

Is a Penny how important babies are to Widmore?

How many more days away and far away is Faraday? I like him too.

There ain't no good guy. There ain't no bad guy. There's only you and me and we just disagree.... Sorry.

Posted by: longterm | April 10, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about the scene with Illana and the guys working to get the big silver box open. When they do guns come out. It looks like they came prepared and are probably working for Widmore, preparing for the war Widmore mentioned to Locke. I also think Illana brought Sayid to the island because Widmore wanted him to shoot lil'Ben, which it turns out only brought him to the Others. And Illana knows what she is looking for by asking what lies in the shadow of the statue. Well, she knows where it is but maybe not what it is. I'm convinced its the donkey wheel which she can use to move the island so Widmore can find it.

Widmore told Ben he had been trying to get back to the island for years and could not, and scoffed when Ben said he was returning. That phone call may have given Widmore time to get his people together and get onto the same plane, capture Sayid, etc.

I'm also thinking Lapedis is going to become more important. When smokey came to the cockpit of Oceanic 815 after the crash it found the pilot and then killed him. Lapedis should have been the pilot on that flight but missed it at the last minute. Smokey may have been looking for Lapedis and when it found someone else killed him. I think the island wants Lapedis there but don't know why. Maybe he too is a child of the island. I also think Sun is Marvin Candle's baby since she did not return to 1977 because she is already there as is Ben. Lapidis may be there as well.

I'm giving up my "Ethan is a god" idea. He's obviously lil'Ethan, Horice's son, and must have taken a different last name after the purge. Ethan may have taken part in the purge. Its been pointed out that Ben only killed his father. When he got back to Dharmaville the purge had already happened. It must have been done by other people in Dharmaville. A coup, and Ethan was either a child and taken, as the Others usually do, or was part of the plot. Ethan seemed eager to kill Danielle and I agree with others who say Ben seems to be the only one who has a conscience when it comes to killing children.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 10, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Based on the comment by "seldom truthful Ben" about the temple's walls, I wonder if the temple was built with the purpose that "the monster" is always kept inside. Over the years, time and events on the island created the fracture on the temple's side, from which "the monster" could get out.

On second thought, this seems unlikely, as we've seen the monster pushing Locke into a different cave on the ground in one of the last episodes on season 1, and was released when Jack through some dynamite into the depths.

Posted by: for33 | April 10, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Richard call Wydmore his "son"?

Posted by: rrobinson21 | April 10, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

bevjims1: You forgot to add, "Gods feeding crackers to other gods..." at the start of your Osiris/Anubis explanation. Seriously, thanks again for yet another clarification. And I love that you referenced the Real Housewives of NY. That is totally my guilty pleasure right now. I know it is too low-brow for YOU, but...

leaf29: I like your take on Richard Alpert as a priest... you are right that they often choose and annoint new leaders. For more information on the Egyptian god Ra, this is something I asked bevjims1 a couple of weeks ago. Bevjims1 seems to be our resident Egyptologist -- and keeper of the LOST=Ancient Egypt mythology conspiracy theories. Although I will warn bevjims1 to stay frosty... you may have some competition from dixie-kiwi.

PQSully: I really like your "Help me" analysis. Best I've heard so far for that one. It's been bothering me since it happened. Help Jacob with WHAT?? I like your answer. Have fun with little Charlie "Die Worm" Widmore this weekend!

P.S. Rousseau could never have joined the Others because she is unhinged. Who would pick the ADD nose-picker for the dodgeball team? I do hope we find out someday what that "sickness" was that she was convinced took everyone she knew. Was it a real illness?

Posted by: a68comeback | April 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

ooyah32 wrote"I think last night indicated that the Purge took place earlier than we thought. If Danielle and company had landed on the Island (1987) during Dharma-time, they would have run into the Dharma people."

I'm not sure if that may be completely true. remember Kevin Inman was recruited by Dharma to work in the swan with Radzinsky after the first Gulf war. It may be that timelines on the island are changing. It also could be that Inman was tranported back in tim when he traveled to the island. Another possibility is that Radzinsky was allowed to survive the purge because someone needed to keep pushing the button. However, he may not have been allowed to travel outside the swan, except to get supplies. It may be that the others recruited Inman not Dharma to help Radzinsky.

This has nothing to do with the episode, but do we know anything about Desmond's parents? It seems we know something about the parents of most of the major character, except Richard Alpert, Miles, Charles Widmore, and Frank Lapidus. Is it significant we do not know Desmond's parents.

Posted by: adam_peritz | April 10, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

'You forgot to add, "Gods feeding crackers to other gods..." at the start of your Osiris/Anubis explanation.'
Posted by: a68comeback

Gods don't eat crackers but underworld gods, some of them anyway, eat souls. But I don't see any feeding going on in the mural. I see Anubis on the right with a palm outstretched toward the sig-sag thing that is probably smokey. Anubis lead the dead through the afterlife. Anubis was a good guy who helped you after you died to manage getting you through this process. I think the mural is simply a depiction of Anubis, being your guide, introducing you to smokey. Now smokey could be a couple of gods but he seems very close in description to Apep, which is a god of evil and causes many problems like earthquakes, droughts, etc. Apep is the enemy of Ra since Ra is the sun god and Apep is evil and avoids the light. Now the statue looks most like Taweret, the goddess of mothers and fertility and its destruction may be why women cannot give birth. Taweret is also the deamon wife of Apep.

Now, since theories are a dime a dozen here's one to think about. Anubis lead souls through the afterlife, weighing the souls and ushering the dead along through the afterlife to be judged. Ben said he came back to be judged and who ushered him along, taking him to the temple to be judged by smokey? Locke, the reincarnation of Anubis though he may not be aware of it. And this is why Alex tells her father to do whatever Locke says because Locke is now the god Anubis, a well liked god.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 10, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Just realized something. We had a discussion back when Des decided to go find Eloise in LA whether he sailed there or took a flight. I agrued that sailing there would take a long time, but considering Ben found them on their boat at a dock in LA sort of proves they sailed. So it must have been many weeks to a month after Des set sail from London before everyone met at the lamppost in LA.

God question about Desmond's parents. I'm sure they will turn out to be significant. As for Miles, the previews seem to indicate he uses his ability to speak to the dead next week so we may learn more about him.

And one last thing then its back to work. We can blame the 1977 losties for allowing Ben not only to be shot but also for his ending up in the temple and losing his innocence. But we can also blame them for Ethan being born since Sawyer/Juliet saved Amy from the Others who killed her husband and were possibly ready to kill her. Could it be that the event that sent the lostees into 1977 caused all the evil problems on the island? And will the island course correct in 2007? Stay tuned.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 10, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"PQSully: Have fun with little Charlie "Die Worm" Widmore this weekend!"

Can I just tell you how much we have been laughing about this? It makes our little Charlie pup seem somewhat sinister, albeit adorable and fuzzy.

Posted by: PQSully | April 10, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Leaf29 and a68, I too like the idea about Richard Alpert being either a priest for the island, or it's recruiter in chief. I actually am starting to think that RA is the key to a full understanding of the island. Think about it, he is the only one that we know in the show who never ages. I really thought that Widmore was going to be shown to be a member of, or even the Captain of, the Black Rock but I now don't think that will happen. He clearly ages while on the island from 1954. Thus, he couldn't have been on the Black Rock; he would be long dead before 1954. Ben ages while living on the island. Those three people are the only constants we have for a point of reference. Well, I suppose that we also have Ellie (Who I think is Ms. Hawkings). We didn't see her in the show this week on the island. Where was she? Clearly, though, she ages from the 1954 nuke era on the island to the present day. At some point I suspect we are going to see why she left the island. This is long and rambling for which I'm sorry. I guess I'm trying to say I think the only evidence we see of the existance of an Egyptian "God" is in the form of Richard Alpert; the smoke monster maybe; the island itself; and references to a Jacob who/whatever that might be. I think maybe it is Richard's duty to constantly be looking for the next protector of the island. That must now be John Locke. Why, I have no clue. I don't think he was a God in some past life though. Why there is always a large gang of others on the island with whomever the leader is, I also don't know. I have seen no evidence that any of them are immortal like RA appears to be. Perhaps they are merely folks who end up on the island (like Black Rock; Danielle's group; DI; 06; Desmond; and now Ajira). The island chooses those who will stay to help the chosen one but they all eventually age and die off so others have to be brought in. Again, just ramblings here.

Posted by: dojemc | April 10, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, bevjims, I was the one who speculated that he sailed. We were never shown how long the time period was between his conversation with Widmore and his showing up in LA.

Posted by: dojemc | April 10, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Can I just tell you how much we have been laughing about this? It makes our little Charlie pup seem somewhat sinister, albeit adorable and fuzzy.
Posted by: PQSully

Anubis was given the head of a jackel because jackels were always seen at night in graveyards. Also, dogs were buried with their masters because you wanted your dog with you in the afterlife. Its probably no coincidence Charlie appeared in your home during season 5 of Lost with all the Anubis egyptian mythology appearing.

And consider that "dog" is an anagram for "god" (a palindrome too!). So pray to (not for) little Charlie and don't worry about that worm. I'm sure Charlie was just practicing, ushering that worm into the afterlife like a good god ... er, dog. Maybe when he grows up you can call him Anubis. Just don't sleep near any vents and stay out of the basement.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 10, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Stop bevjims! You are scaring PQ and louie -- and making my sides ache! I have GOT to see this puppy. Wait until he does something else that is naughty and then send us his pic PQ, please!!!

Posted by: a68comeback | April 10, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

What lies in the shadow of the statue?

Very Sphinx-like riddle. Egypt, Greece. And The Sphinx would get pissed off (too) if you got it wrong.
I'm still not convinced it's all about ancient gods here, partly because if it is I will be seriously totally lost.

Because if someone asked me "what lies in the shadow of the statue?" I would probably answer,
"The sound of one hand clapping" and get bonked.

Sullys: What's been bothering me all week is this: is Charlie named after Big Banned Charles Widmore or is he named after the Cool Cute Musician Charlie? Either way, give him a litte "Ruff Ruff" from me.


Posted by: camis | April 10, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Sullys: What's been bothering me all week is this: is Charlie named after Big Banned Charles Widmore or is he named after the Cool Cute Musician Charlie? Either way, give him a litte "Ruff Ruff" from me. "
Posted by: camis

NEVER after Widmore, despite the scary anagram "Die Worm" (for our worm-killing puppy)! And not 100% after "You-all everybody!" Charlie, but he was a bit of an influence, as we still miss Charlie and often speak of him in loving Australian accents like Claire's ("Chaaaallie").

"And consider that "dog" is an anagram for "god" (a palindrome too!). So pray to (not for) little Charlie and don't worry about that worm."
Posted by: bevjims1

Snort! I think Charlie would second this motion enthusiastically.

Posted by: PQSully | April 10, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

In light of all the Egyptian imagery from this weeks show and the growing opinion that there are Eqyptian gods afoot, I am reiterating my opinion that there are in fact NOT Eqyptian gods afoot, and that long ago as it bounced around the world, the island simply picked up some Eqyptians the same way it picked up the Losties, the Black Rock, etc., and that those Eqyptians simply interpreted the island's phenomena in the context of their already existing religion. Otherwise, why wouldn't the Others still be openly worshipping Eqyptian gods?

There! One whole post without mentioning the pupp---oh. oops.

Posted by: PQSully | April 10, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I felt like "what lies in the shadow of the statue" was some sort of code that they are using to determine whether or not someone was one of the ajira survivors or possibly and I use the term loosely here... or an other....

since Lupidis couldn't answer, he got whacked over the head...

i think that the ajira group led by Illana may have been paid a visit by a group of 'others' after Ben and Locke, left....

i feel like i have a pretty good handle on what is going on in 1954,1977,1992,2004 in lost time, but I have no idea whats going or can harldy guess what is going on in 2007... What are some of Locke's ideas ? Does he want to go to the orchid station again? Or does he need to go find Richard Alpert again? Refresh my memory, Christian Shephard told him he had to move the island right? Then Richard Alpert told him he had to die...

Posted by: tjkass | April 10, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I felt like "what lies in the shadow of the statue" was some sort of code that they are using to determine whether or not someone was one of the ajira survivors or possibly and I use the term loosely here... or an other....
since Lupidis couldn't answer, he got whacked over the head...
psted by tjkass

You mean code like "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" And Frank took his beating like Dan Rather?

Posted by: a68comeback | April 10, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"Otherwise, why wouldn't the Others still be openly worshipping Eqyptian gods?"
Posted by: PQSully

They worship something as evidenced when Juliet had the "ceremony" where they branded her. Didn't Eloise lead that ceremony? But why would gods or the dead worship anyway? But we do know that when an Other is killed they want the body. That is very Egyptian since preserving the body is important and must be done quickly. And so the body of the guy Sawyer and Juliet shot could not remain buried, and so Richard asked where he was buried so they could retrieve him.

Also, Apep (possibly smokey) and Ra (RA)were enemies. Maybe there was a war and Ra toppled the statue of Taweret angering Apep (Taweret's husband). Taweret was the goddess of fertility and now the Others can't have children while it seems the Dharma folk could. Also, Paul had an ankh which is the egyptian symbol of the afterlife and fertility. Why would Dharma be worshiping Egyptian gods? Maybe Dharma are the people who worship Taweret and the Others, who protect Ra, tore down the statue.

tjkass, I like the idea of the code. I'm not convinced but it is something to keep in mind. It looks like the war for the island Widmore spoke of is just beginning. And it will be a war against Widmore and Locke, not Widmore and Ben, who is now just a helper of Locke.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 10, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

How does Charles Widmore know about the exit in Tunisia if he took the boat off the island in hand-cuffs?

Has anyone addressed this yet?

Posted by: tjkass | April 10, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Ben made quite a point of reminding Kate that Aaron was NOT REALLY her daughter. That was an important thing to him. But he always refers to Alex as HIS daughter, even though she is not really his daughter. Seems like this would matter, at some point, in the story.

What's with everyone telling each other they "have their back" all of a sudden? It's all over the place. Another metamorphosis (a proces MrMerkin has pointed out)? Like now they are looking out for others instead of just themselves? Altruism in the air? Really?

Not that I trust Ben about that yet... although I think he has been seriously shaken but all the things that are occurring, and will be affected in a way that will feel negative to him but may end up being very good for him.

Locke seems unreal now. I like him, but think he might be dead, a dead guide of some kind.

Posted by: camis | April 10, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Bevjims, did you mean to say "a war between Widmore and Locke", not a "war against Widmore and Locke". If the former, I think you will be correct though I think it's broader than that. I think it will be a war between Widmore's folks who are looking to help Widmore "find" the island so he can get back and those folks who will oppose that. The question is why can't Widmore get back to (find?) the island while Ben obviously could, and did. It must be that turning the "donkey wheel" doesn't prevent you from getting back to the island. It must be because Widmore was "banished". Remember, Widmore, Ben, Tom, Richard Alpert and maybe other "Others" have been able to come and go from the island apparently at will (via the sub perhaps, among other modes of transportation). It must be the banishment that Widmore is trying to overcome. I would think we will see what led to his banishment and how the banishment was imposed. And I think we'll find out that Jacob had a hand in the banishing.

Good question above as to how Widmore could have learned about the wormhole to Tunisia if he didn't turn the donkey wheel. I suspect it's either a writing error or just due to Widmore having the resources to find it on his own or in conjunction with help from Ms. Hawking and her LA device.

Posted by: dojemc | April 10, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Bevjims, did you mean to say "a war between Widmore and Locke", not a "war against Widmore and Locke".
Posted by: dojemc

Yes, sorry about the grammer. And I agree its due to the banishment. We know there are people off-island who help those on the island and helped Ben get back to the island. Since Widmore was banished they would not help him. Remember, Widmore was lead onto the sub under armed guard, so his banishment was ordered, maybe by Jacob but I think it was RA.

As for Locke, I agree he is dead. He's just in the beginnings of the afterlife. According to the book of the dead, after you die you walk through the underworld being tested, etc. I think Locke and Christian are in that state of being and the island is the underworld.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 11, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

tjkass: I agree that "What lies beneath...." is a code question to separate out the people who "belong" from the people who don't "belong." Belong to WHAT is then the question, but whatever group it is, Ilana is a biggy.

I'll also be interested to see if Ilana KNOWS the answer to the question or if she WANTS to know the answer. Either way, that question is still a code, used to keep out the.. Unwanted. btw, do WE know the answer?

Posted by: camis | April 11, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll also be interested to see if Ilana KNOWS the answer to the question or if she WANTS to know the answer. Either way, that question is still a code, used to keep out the.. Unwanted. btw, do WE know the answer?
Posted by: camis

I think if it was a serious question the answer is the donkey wheel, which is not far from the statue considering Miles pointed it out after the flash that happened while they were near the well.

If it was a signal to see if Lapedis was one of them, then he obviously is not one of them.

I think it was a signal and not a question.
Illana is marshaling her troops after getting the arms box open. The war is about to begin.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 11, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Apologies to those whose couldn't care less, but for those who are interested (and if the Post allows), here is Charlie "Die Worm" Sully: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u83Q7nCJ8qU

Posted by: PQSully | April 13, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"here is Charlie "Die Worm" Sully"
Posted by: PQSully

It looks like young Charles is chewing on an ankh. Careful, that's sometimes used as a fertility symbol.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 13, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't see Yemi and Alex as walking undead guides, I see them as hallucinations from Smokey. Can't speak for Christian or Claire (or the nosebleed crew).

Posted by: HardyW | April 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks as usual. I wouldn't say Ben was forgiven or found innocent so much as he was paroled. His knowledge is valuable to Locke, so he's been assigned to help him. That's not the same as being vindicated."

Good point. Question is, what will his next words to Locke be after 'he let me live' will it be 'so how can I help you?' or 'so everything's back to the way it was!'

Posted by: HardyW | April 13, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Good point. Question is, what will his next words to Locke be after 'he let me live' will it be 'so how can I help you?' or 'so everything's back to the way it was!'"
Posted by: HardyW

Agreed. That will be telling. Its evident that smokey knows things or can read your mind, so its not like Ben should be able to not follow the instructions and get away with it. But I'm also wondering whether this has shaken him enough to actually help Locke or manipulate him. We will see. Ben seemed genuinely amazed smokey let him live. I think we'll see Ben doing as Alex told him to but he'll do it his way unless Locke says to do it another way. Old habits are hard to break.

And I don't think Claire is a walking dead or in anyway dead. She was not killed if I remember correctly. She just disappeared after Christian appeared to her, leaving Aaron. But she obviously knows enough about the island and its mysteries to not even care for her own child. I find this really strange. I mean, what would make a mom abandon her child and care less? Maybe someone who knows the future?

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 13, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Sullys: OMG Charlie is seriously adorable. I love the reflection video especially, hope you keep posting.

HardyW: Do you think Locke is a dead guide? I agree about Alex being a manifestation of the smoke monster.
Maybe there are no dead/undead guides, but if there are I think Locke is the best candidate.

Also agree that Ben, despite his recent scares, is likely to fall back into his old ways. It's his nature.

Posted by: camis | April 13, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if there's some kind of royalty/bloodline thing going on, Widmore wanted children born on the island dead so his own children/bloodline could become eligible for kingdom/queendom. No real details to flesh it out, just based on the 'Alex was a threat' thing at the end of the chat (which I only just now read). Maybe means big things in store for Pen/Charlie. Maybe Widmore doesn't like Des 'cause he sees him as poor choice for father to heir to island... Of course, Widmore as rich guy might have seen Des as poor father to heir of fortune...

Posted by: HardyW | April 13, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

camis said "Sullys: OMG Charlie is seriously adorable. I love the reflection video especially, hope you keep posting."

Um, didn't you mean to say "Charlie is seriously terrifying?" You heard the growling!

Posted by: PQSully | April 14, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

What is Smokey? We and Ben have talked as though Smokey is passing judgment on people, and allowing them to live or die. BUT there is evidence that Smokey merely reflects our own judgments back upon ourselves. For example, Eko's "judgment" is meted by Smokey/his brother, and basically consists of Eko saying that he recognizes the bad that he has done, realizes he would not change any of his actions, and accepts punishment as just. HE chooses, HE judges himself. Likewise, Ben: he sees in Smokey only the things he feels guilty about (what happened with Alex), ultimately feels remorse, and his life is spared. BUT he is forced to acknowledge that he was planning further skullduggery, and that to follow through would be to perpetuate the evil he's done that resulted in Alex's death.

I think it's telling that Smokey manifests itself only as individuals in the experience--in fact, the experience being judged?--of the person being "judged."

See? It's not all about Charlie "Die Worm." Only mostly.

Posted by: PQSully | April 14, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Just had a flash. I'll thank the puppy because I was thinking of lil'Charlie when the flash happened.
[Warning, possible spoiler ahead but considering I don't know what a spoiler is since I don't really know the future of this show, I'm assuming any predictions are spoilers, so be warned, a new theory/prediction follows]

Widmore is banished. He had a child off island. How could he get off island? Dharma's sub. How could he have used Dharma's sub? With Dharma's help.

Here's the idea: Dharma comes to the island during the hippie heydays to set up a commune (as was typical back then), a utopian society. But Dharma brings something other visitors never did, a way off the island, the sub. Widmore contacts Horace and explains that he is willing to trade information about the island and help exploit it if Horace will allow him to travel off island. Horace agrees and Dharma is transformed from a hippie commune to an armed group trying to exploit the island at Widmore's direction. Dharma brings in Dr. Candle to exploit the donkey wheel and time travel. Dharma stations are built, people recruited, defenses abd security like the sonic fence which will keep the Others and smokey out are built as Widmore instructs.

Then the Others discover Widmore's deception. Maybe its Alex, which would explain Widmore having her killed later. The Others plan and execute the purge, capture Widmore and banish him (why they don't kill him I don't understand). When Ben tells Widmore as he is being led to the sub to be banished (post purge) that Widmore had a child off island, Ben was pointing out the breadth of his treason, not a single act of breaking some rule.

Now that the Others are in control of Dharma's assets they start using the time travel tools to learn the future, prepare for events, and use the sub to start putting Others out in the world and set up a system of support. They then begin altering the future for the better with the universe self correcting. Widmore tries to get back to the island but the island is now hidden thanks to Dharma technology. Widmore organizes the Lostees to crash on the island which leads to many Others being killed even though the Lostees are innocent of Widmore's plot. Widmore follows up with the freighter to secure the island. Ben, in both cases, with foreknowledge of the future thanks to Dharma technology, thwarts Widmore's plans. Now Widmore has sent Illana and a team to again try to retake the island. Now its up to Locke to protect the island with a little help from Ben, who is allowed to live by smokey since Ben knows the future, something Locke will find useful.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 14, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Totally off topic, but thanks for posting your Charlie videos PQSully! He is adorable... in a sinister kind of way. I noticed how he was eyeballin' the video camera as if to say, "I'm chewing the hair off my misbehaving toy. Don't test me or you will be next." Is he a beagle, harrier, or fox hound? Has he found his voice yet? Have fun with that!

bevjims: Great insight re Widmore + Dharma = off island. Do you think he continued to be responsible for the Dharma food drops? I'm going to say probably not, since he was spending so many resources trying to find his way back to the island. So at what point do you think the Dharma resources turned over to Ben? All along I was thinking Ben had used Dharma resources to compile his info (files) on everyone...?

Posted by: a68comeback | April 14, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"Do you think he continued to be responsible for the Dharma food drops? I'm going to say probably not, since he was spending so many resources trying to find his way back to the island. So at what point do you think the Dharma resources turned over to Ben? All along I was thinking Ben had used Dharma resources to compile his info (files) on everyone...?"
Posted by: a68comeback

[possible spoilers ahead]

Yea the food drops have me baffled. Widmore probably did not do it or he would have come himself as you say, but he also could have been supplying the Lostees. The Others did not have the airplanes to drop food to the Lostees. I'm guessing the food drops were by Ben and they have a continual source of food drops from off-island to maintain them and Ben had one dropped to the Lostees maybe when he realized they were not knowingly working for Widmore.

I think after the purge people do just what people do when a regular coup happens. They decide to work for the new regime or they flee. I think some survived the purge by Ben picking them out (Ethan) and others who were part of the plot were killed (Horace). Once the Others gained the sub they could go off-island and arrange for food drops to continue, hire lawyers to work for them, start industries like Mettelos(sp?), etc.

Now, one thing has been bothering me. Amy's husband Paul was killed by the Others and Sawyer/Juliet saved Amy by killing the Others who had killed Paul and seemingly were threatening her. But now I'm wondering if that is what happened. Paul may have been working with Horace and Widmore and been out to meet Widmore when the Others found him and shot him. But why bring your wife outside the sonic fence, it makes no sense. Or he was shot by Amy who found him meeting Widmore and considered him a traitor and the two Others heard the shot and came to the scene. Or it was Amy meeting with the Others/Widmore and Paul followed her and was shot. I mean, who goes outside the sonic fence to have a picnic when Others and smoke monsters are around? Either way I think Amy is not telling the truth about what happened. A picnic indeed... The fact that her son Ethan ends up with the Others leads me to believe she may be working with Horace and Widmore. Also, she married Horace after Paul's death. Horace and Amy I think are working with Widmore in 1977 if not earlier.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 14, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Okay, the Others cannot have babies. Amy is pregnant. I can envision a scenario where the Others were trying to get Amy and Paul to join them. Something goes awry and violence breaks out at the "picnic site" between Paul and the Others who were sent to get them. But I am not really sure I am ready to assume Horace is already an Other. Or working with the Others.

Re: Ethan... We know the Others kidnap kids, so they could grab Ethan at any point before the purge. Or he could be an impressionable 10-yr old and follow Ben -- who he would be looking up to as the only rebel-teen among the boring Dharma workaholic moms and dads.

You are right that coups are never neat and tidy. There would have been fall-out and the appropriation of continued services. But food drops in 2004 still have me baffled.

Posted by: a68comeback | April 14, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"But I am not really sure I am ready to assume Horace is already an Other. Or working with the Others."
Posted by: a68comeback

The clincher for me is that Ben ended up living in Horace's house and it has the secret door. I don't think Ben found a cave next to the house and cut a door. I think Horace found the cave and built the house next to its entrance to keep it secret, or built the tunnel. In other words, Horace had to know what was there since the house was built by Dharma/Horace.

"Re: Ethan... We know the Others kidnap kids, so they could grab Ethan at any point before the purge."

I agree. Its just one more thing pointing to Amy.

"But food drops in 2004 still have me baffled."

Yes, me too. I mean, if it was regular food or K-rashions that would be one thing, but its Dharma food. The only thing that makes sense is a large part of Dharma is working with Richard and the Others. Maybe the purge was really a Dharma civil war with part of Dharma and the Ben-Others winning and the Widmore-Others and their supporters in Dharma (Horace, maybe Amy, etc, losing). So the Dharma shipments keep coming and what is left of Dharma is now protecting the island with the Others.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 14, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering why Dharma beer hasn't hit my local beer&wine shop. That would be a hoot at a party! But I did find a site where you can print off Dharma beer labels to stick (gotta use adhesive paper) on your own beer:

http://www.labelfeeds.com/media/IndieHQ/BeerOutlinedType.pdf

Now I just have to find adhesive paper for my printer. Oh I think I may be taking this show way to seriously. No nosebleeds anymore though :-)

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 14, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Sullys: Yes, upon second viewing of video I can see that Charlie is very very frightening. something something lightning. But don't worry, I've got your back.

Posted by: camis | April 14, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

OK, I don't know how this'll look when I type it out, but I'm going for it...

At the end of "Dead is Dead" angry ghost Alex tells Ben he is going to be John's biznitch. Ben agrees, Alex is gone. The next shot is Locke tossing down the vine.

I'm guessing that Locke is now a Smokey ghost like Christian and that the two of them will never be on screen together. Well, Locke or any of the other Smokey manifestations.

I'm also going to guess that someone will find Locke's body still in his coffin.

And for my last prediction... During the season finale there will be a shot of Locke morphing into Christian.

And I don't know about any of these "shark jumping" complaints. I mean, there was Smoke Monster and polar bear action in the first couple of episodes. The idea that very weird things would happen on this show was never a secret.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 15, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Michael Emerson (Ben Linus) is scheduled to be on the Jimmy Fallon show Thursday night (which actually airs early Friday a.m.).

Posted by: MrMerkin | April 15, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree with NotForYou1. The only way LOST can jump the shark is if the island or someone on it actually jumps a tank of sharks on water-skis while wearing a leather jacket. Otherwise, anything is fair game on this show. They could have a Justin Timberlake cameo where he appears as a ghost in the Orchid Station and this show would be shark-free.

Posted by: a68comeback | April 15, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that Locke is now a Smokey ghost like Christian ." - NotForYou1

WOW. I love this theory. It just Feels Right. And I think you've come up with the best term yet for these in-between characters - Smokey Ghosts. May I use it?

And I agree with you and 68 that "jumping the shark" would be both mundane and impossible on Lost. The island wouldn't allow it.


Posted by: camis | April 15, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Bevjims,

Very nice well-thought out theory, even if it came from a flash. When the flash hit you, where in time did you end up : - )

Anyway, the one problem I have with the theory right now is the direction that Ben gave to Ethan and (forgot name of second other) when the Losties plane broke up over the island to prepare a list of all survivors who were on the plane. Ben clearly knew that key Losties would be on the plane. This was either because of time traveling on his part or because he found out about it from the Losties and the others between 1977 and the time of the plane crash in 2004. Thus, we've seen evidence that Ben knew about the crash in advance. We haven't seen evidence, have we, that Widmore knew about the crash in advance though he did have at least the 1954 run-in with the Losties. Do we know that he was aware at any time before he was banished that the Losties were from 2004? My point is that up to this time we've seen no evidence that Widmore had anything to do with orchestrating the Losties ending up on the island in 2004.

I also think that Dharma ended up on the island to investigate it, not as part of a hippie commune. Or at least the top eschelon of Dharma sent the DI folks there as cover for a, perhaps, smaller in-the-know group to investigate the island. Now what we may find out, and this is where your theory has some legs, is that Widmore, perhaps because of an ability to time travel, may be the person behind Mittelos and Dharma entirely. He left the island, set up Mittleos and Dharma to come investigate the island to help him in perhaps taking over the island. The other others found about his plot, destroyed DI, and banished him. In the end, I think I'm agreeing with you. Only difference is I think Widmore left the island to recruit DI, rather than converting it once they got to the island.

Posted by: dojemc | April 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

camis, feel free to use "Smokey Ghost."

Actually, I think I'll be a Smokey Ghost for Halloween. I'll just keep telling people that's what I am until someone gets it.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 15, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Great Halloween idea. Keep us posted on that ok?
who knows, maybe you're neighbors w/ someone here who will get it immediately. how weird would that be??

and your costume would be.... a blank smile?

Posted by: camis | April 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"I'm also going to guess that someone will find Locke's body still in his coffin."
Posted by NotForYou1

Didn't Jack find his father's coffin after the crash and it was empty? The ancient egyptian religion was big on the body resurrecting into the afterlife after it died. That's why preserving it was so important. So I'm guessing that Locke is "alive", not a ghost, but the island is the location of the afterlife so Locke and Christian can live there in the flesh.

"In the end, I think I'm agreeing with you. Only difference is I think Widmore left the island to recruit DI, rather than converting it once they got to the island."
Posted by dojemc

How did Widmore leave in the first place? Without DI he had no way off, except maybe via the donkey wheel but you'd think someone would have noticed. I'm sticking with the DI starting as described in the orientation films, a social experiment. Widmore however used the initial DI to go off-island and start the time travel experiments via Dr. Candle and maybe Faraday. So we both agree Widmore helped build DI into what it was around the time of the purge. The question is when did Widmore get involved. You think at the beginning and I think after it landed on the island.

Anyone know where Faraday is by the way? Maybe he's in London with Widmore in 1974 building the lamppost so they can start air drops of supplies.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 15, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Another flash... Widmore has a british accent. The Black Rock was a British ship. Widmore must be a decendent since on an island he would have grown up speaking the language of his parents with the accent. But British ships rarely carried women so who could his mother have been? RA however has an American accent. Interesting.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 15, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"My point is that up to this time we've seen no evidence that Widmore had anything to do with orchestrating the Losties ending up on the island in 2004."
Posted by dojemc

We have Mr. Abaddon telling Locke, while in a wheelchair recouperating from his fall out of the window, to take a walkabout. As Abaddon said while driving Locke around to recuit the Lostees to go back, he gets people to where they need to be. So Widmore seems to have gotten Locke on flight 815. I'll have to review other Lostees to see how they got on the flight. Its been over 4 years so I'll use Lostpedia :-)

And consider that just as Locke had to die to get the Ajira flight back to the island, so maybe Christian had to die to get the Lostees there.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 15, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

How our Lostees got onto flight 815, in brief:

Locke - suggested he go to Australia by Abaddon (Widmore's man).
Jack - To pick up his father's body and bring it back to the US.
Sawyer - deported by Australian government.
Kate - by the police who were transporting her back to the US.
Sayid - given a ticket by the CIA after working for them.
Jin/Sun - On a job for Mr. Paik delivering Rolex watches.
Claire - given a ticket by a psychic (Malkin) who insisted she be on that flight and earlier insisted she must raise her child herself.

So as to who is behind getting the Lostees to the island, Widmore or Ben or someone else, it looks like a mixed bag of Widmore (Locke), Christian (Jack), Malkin (Claire), Mr. Paik (Jin/Sun), and various governments (Sayid, Kate and Sawyer).

But what I find the most interesting is Hurley. He went to Australia to find out about the numbers. His father suggested he not go. He reaches a literal dead end when he finds the guy who might have the answers committed suicide over the numbers. When trying to get onto flight 815 he met multiple obsticles, as though something was trying to keep him off the flight, and he saw the numbers many times in many places as he raced toward the gate. He overcomes the obsticles and just makes the flight. Why does everyone else have a normal time getting onto the flight, or is forced onto the flight, but Hurley it seems has fate trying to keep him off the flight. There's something special about Hurley...

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 15, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Great catch about Abbadon working for Widmore and getting Locke to Australia. But does that have to result in Locke being on the specific flight coming back? Seems to be a mixed bag. It could be, as Hurley said while playing Risk (didn't he?), that Australia is the key. And as a fan of Risk, I always try to get Australia early in the game because it can be defended from one location only.

Posted by: dojemc | April 15, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I rarely played Risk. I played Diplomacy, a game that required strategy and alliances to win. I agree its a mixed bag. I don't think we know enough yet, but a war seems to be happening and its between Widmore and Ben/Others. My question is how Dharma figures into it, not whether they figure into it, but how.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 15, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

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