Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lost, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham": Dying for Ben's sins

Spoilers for tonight's "Lost" coming up just as soon as I eat a mango...
"There is no helping me. I'm a failure." -John Locke
I sit here, typing this review, in simple awe of Terry O'Quinn.

Structurally, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" was almost identical to last week's "316": exciting scenes on the island at the beginning and end, sandwiched around a whole lot of real-world material that's all about filling in blanks and getting characters where we know they're destined to go. But where "316" frustrated me with an extremely thin Jack arc at its center, "Jeremy Bentham" was compelling throughout because Lindelof and Cuse have crafted such a memorable character, and because O'Quinn plays him with such soul that I really don't care that I knew almost everything that was going to happen through the mainland sections of the hour.

Even the climax, where Ben interrupts Locke's planned suicide, wasn't that surprising, in that we knew Locke was going to end up dead, and I think most of us assumed (before the news last week that it was a suicide) that Ben had gotten over on poor John one last time. One way or another, that cord was going back around John's neck, and as he told Ben more and more about the details of his mission (Jin's ring, Ms. Hawking's name and role), I knew Ben would be the one holding it. But that knowledge didn't matter, didn't suck away any of the tension, because there was so much pain on O'Quinn's face that I was completely absorbed into the moment.

Cuse and Lindelof like to talk about how they believe the characters are more important to the show than the island mythology, and an episode like this bears that out. We got a few clues about the island -- the Tunisian desert is always where the frozen donkey wheel spits out its movers, Ben tricked Widmore into moving the wheel years before, the island isn't just animating corpses but bringing people (Locke, at least) back to life -- but really, this was just the story of John Locke, lonely zealot, and it was more compelling than the last few episodes leading up to it, even though those featured more action and/or more more mythology.

The Locke we see as Bentham isn't quite the madman he was on the island, but he's also not the bitter loser he was before the crash of Oceanic 815. He's somewhere in between. He's back in the wheelchair, but only as a temporary convenience, and he's still capable of moving without it, even being a man of action, when he has to. He's passionate about trying to get the Oceanic Six (minus Sun, since he kept his promise to Jin) back to the island, but the mania he showed when he was leading Boone to his death or blowing up the Dharma sub has been replaced by a weariness. Away from his beloved island, not really sure how much to trust either Charles Widmore or Matthew Abaddon, and with Richard's warning about his death always present, John is tired, and he's more empathetic than we've seen in a while. He genuinely grieves when he hears of Nadia's death. He takes a detour to see Walt just to make sure the kid's okay. He tells a mistrustful Kate a little about Helen, and he never pushes anyone too hard about coming. He knows his mission is important, but he also genuinely cares for these people, and he's neither crazy nor ruthless enough to try anything more than a passionate argument.

It's just a pleasure to see all the emotions wash over O'Quinn's face in every scene, and also to see how being in his presence makes every other actor raise their game. The scene in Kate's kitchen may have been Evangeline Lily's strongest moment on the series to date, cutting and insightful but still very much in character for Kate. And that central Jack/Locke relationship always brings out the best in Matthew Fox. (It helped that Jack was in a different, more interesting emotional place in this episode than he was in "316.")

The trick of the final season and a half of "Lost" is going to be whether Cuse, Lindelof and the other writers can find a way to move the plot forward and solve all the mysteries while still providing an interesting character hook. The season's first few episodes did that, and so did tonight's. Let's hope they continue to pull off the balancing act.

Now, this episode did raise a lot of questions on the margins, and also hinted at answers for others, so I think the best way to discuss the rest of it is to go straight to the bullet points:

• Okay, so if I have my time travel math right, Jack, Kate and Hurley are back in the '70s with Jin, Dan and company (and, I'm hopimg, Rose, Bernard and Vincent), while the rest of Ajira 316 -- including the resurrected Locke, Ben, Caesar, Ilana, Frank Lapidus and, I'm assuming, Sun -- are on the beach in the present. Frank and a woman (again, likely Sun) took off in one of the outriggers, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see them shooting at Sawyer an episode or two from now.

• I was wrong on three things from last week. Having killed off most of the remaining anonymous Oceanic 815 passengers, I assumed Cuse and Lindelof wouldn't want to replace them with anonymous Ajira 316 passengers, but most of the flight appears to have survived. Also, Locke's note to Jack read "I wish you had believed me," not "I wish you had believed in me." And Locke did tell Jack about meeting Christian, which Jack is in denial about on the surface, but which obviously was the tipping point to get him to the place we saw him in during the "Through the Looking Glass" flash-forwards.

• The island's healing power in action: not only does it bring Locke back to life, but it heals up his leg, which was still broken at the time of his death.

Lostpedia says that the Dharma purge -- which was when Ben officially joined up with The Others -- happened in 1992. And yet Widmore -- who was in the real world long enough to have a daughter and build a business empire -- tells Locke that it was Ben who tricked him into moving the donkey wheel and becoming exiled from the place. So is he telling the truth, and, if so, does that mean he wound up returning to the real world in the past?

• I've given up on trying to guess which of Ben or Widmore is the good guy -- probably because it seems like neither one is. Ben we know to be a ruthless, manipulative, compulsive liar who will play or hurt anyone who gets in his way, and who seems to place his own agenda over even the island he claims to care so much about. (He knows the island wants Locke to be its savior, and he keeps trying to kill Locke.) But Widmore's explanation about Keamy and the freighter full of explosives doesn't hold water, he clearly manipulated Desmond into winding up on the island, and the version we saw in 1954 didn't seem particularly trustworthy.

• It was a nice gesture on Locke's part to not ask Walt to come back, but it's kind of a frustrating one from the writers. The narrative has now caught up with Malcolm David Kelly's growth spurt, so there's no excuse to not bring him back into the action. After all the time they spent in season one on Walt's psychic powers and his own connection to the island, it doesn't seem fair to make that another narrative dead end, and I hope he comes back again before the end of the series.

• The Locke/Walt scene was also kind of awkward because of how little interest Walt showed in finding out more about his dad or the other Oceanic passengers or anything else. I believe (though I haven't watched the season four finale in a while) that his encounter with John takes place before he sees Hurley in the mental hospital, but either way, even estranged from his father, you'd think he'd show more curiosity about either Michael or the other people he was stranded with.

• I have to say that I loved the shot of Locke staring out at the view from the beach. Just gorgeous to look at, and a neat visual encapsulation of how happy this place makes him.

• Have we seen the Dharma facility where Caesar finds the shotgun before? I briefly thought that they might have landed on Alcatraz, but then I recognized the beach and the outriggers, and I know that Sawyer's group was traveling only through time and not space, so what is this place? (UPDATE: Enough people have convincingly argued that the station is the Hydra, from Alcatraz, and that perhaps Lapidus landed the plane on the runway that was being built in season three, that I'm willing to go with that. We still have to account for the other outriggers that wind up on the original Oceanic 815 beach, but I expect that will be explained in short order.)

• Seems like half the places Locke visited in this episode had "Santa" in the name, furthering the New Testament connotations to his mission and the way he has to die and be resurrected to save his flock.

• Well, I guess we don't have to worry anymore about whether Lance Reddick will be available to appear on "Lost" so long as "Fringe" is on the air, do we? I reserve all judgment on Matthew Abaddon's status on the good/bad axis until we learn a whole lot more about Widmore.

What did everybody else think?

142 comments:

EOTW said...

So, the Indian flight did crash on the island.

Caesar was in Ben’s office? Where else could he have been? The medical facility? The hatches don’t look like that, IIRC.

Frank went off with a woman from the plane in a boat. Sun?

Wow. Widmore. F’ck. With that one, short scene, the show is blown wide open. Widmore was the leader of the natives, Ben tricked him into leaving the island, he wants to help Locke in any way he can and there is a war coming. More answers in that few minutes than maybe in any scene in the show’s history. Classic and brilliant.

Is the last of the scenes where John wants to knowhy he is special? I hope that Widmore’s explanation is the one that convinces him. It seems simple enough and it makes all that Locke has gone trhough for the island worth it, I think. Widmore’s generosity in his revealing things to Locke (and by extension, to us fans)
Matthew Abaddon in the shadows in the hospital Locke is in. Clearly working for Widmore, most likely. No surprise there, really. But cool, nonetheless.

It’s interesting but as good as this episode appears to be, judging from the scenes so far with Sayid and Walt, they all feel a bit anticlimactic, since we already know their outcomes. Still great so far, but not the most dramatic way totell the story, but any LOST fan who says they aren’t digging this is full of the bull that is crap.

I think we all knew Helen’s name would come up. Maybe a cameo by Peg Bundy in the works?

RIP Helen. Loved her in S2’

RIP M. Abbadon. Any guesses on who took him out? *cough Ben cough*

Not a bad scene between Locke and Jack, but the problem, again, is that we know Locke has one the whole “destiny argument,” and rather convincingly, so it seems rote for jack to be blabbering on about the sad, old man when we now know Locke is anything but. Still, a good scene for Fox. No one plays the saint like Fox can.

Ben is evil. Period. He might’ve killed Penny last week. We don’t know yet. But this ep changes things from my POV. I think that Widmore and Ben are both possibly varying degrees of evil, maybe with Ben being the worse. Clearly, he isn’t meant to be the leader anymore, because locke is the rightful leader. I still love the character of Ben. Michael Emerson is mesmerizing to watch, but from here on out, he’s on my crap list.

Well, we find Ben back on the island and he clearly didn’t get zapped free and clear with the O6. Not surprising, since he wasn’t one of them. In truth, I got a feeling the island doesn’t WANT Ben back. I know Locke isn’t going to kill him (right away) but one can hope.
Finally: the war to come? Is it widmore v. Ben? Locke v. Ben? Island v. Ben. All that said, I don’t like Ben’s odds at all. He seems to be the low man in all of this. Locke has the support of Widmore (for now, apparently), Richard and Jacob (the island). Ben’s got that brain of his, which is pretty good, admittedly, better than probably everyone else’s. He always seems to know more than everyone else, one step ahead, so to speak.

Jeff H. said...

The magazines Cesar was flipping through made me believe Locke and his crew were sometime mid-century.

groovekiller said...

I think Lapidus landed the flight on the runway on the other island where Sawyer and Kate were imprisoned for awhile...which kind of contradicts my next question of why do you think, Alan, that the Ajira flight folks are not in the same timeframe as Faraday, Jack, etc?

Did I just answer my own question?

Myles said...

I had personally felt as if they weren't in the present day when they were in that bunker: I felt like it was perhaps the same bunker the Tailies ended up in eventually, and that it was just differently occupied. If there was a particular reason you thought it was the present day (my screen was dark, maybe that gun was newer than it looked or that flashlight of particularly strong technology), I'd be curious to hear it so I can go back and edit my own review.

I loved this episode for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is placing Locke at the center, but the episode's supporting players deserve attention as well as O'Quinn. This was sort of like the Lost equivalent of In Treatment, keeping the therapist while changing the patient, and that required each of them to react in character - Kate and Jack's really stood out, and even Hurley, Sayid and Walt got in some moments that contributed to Locke's slow fall into darkness of sorts. It was just some great writing.

And while it's too early to call...this is still likely to be a damn fine Emmy submission for O'Quin..

xyz said...

I though the O6 characters were too mean to Locke, esp Jack and Kate. Kate saying that he had never loved... what a self-centered *****. Kate you got your childhood bf killed and you have the audacity to say that Locke did not love anyone. And Jack calling Locke "a lonely delusional old man". Sayid was probably the only who was somewhat nice to Locke.

I'm pretty sure that we are on the Alcatraz island as the plane was landed (presumably on the runway) and the station was probably 'The Hydra'

jim treacher said...

Ben admitted killing Abbadon.

O'Quinn was better than the script, I thought. For all the moving of chess pieces, I kept thinking, "This should be more emotionally satisfying than it is." It felt somehow rushed. Even after visiting Helen's grave and seeing a man murdered and being in a terrifying car accident and making a half-assed effort at doing what he was there to do, I still didn't buy that Locke gave up. Just because Richard told him he'd have to die?

Well. He got better anyway, no thanks to Ben.

We're pretty much to the status quo now, right? Well, except for half the cast being 30 years in the past, that is.

groovekiller said...

Also, I think Locke was half-empathetic and half not really wanting to push the O6 that hard because he knew it meant his own death.

Also, this episode was supposed to air before 316. That would have meant we would have seen Locke turn the wheel in the previous episode and immediately we would be seeing a completely unknown Caesar, Z. Robinson, a crashed plane that we wouldn't recognize, and Locke back from the dead somehow.

That would have been a Lost-classic WTF moment for sure.

What do you all think, narratively, was airing 316 before this episode better or worse? I think they should have aired 316 second.

Alan, your verdict?

Anonymous said...

Caesar was reading a document with the Dharma Hydra station logo, so I think it's reasonable to assume that the Ajira Airways plane did land on Alcatraz. Probably on the runway they were constructing in Season 3.

Alex said...

I defiantly think they landed on the Hydra Island because the Dharma book Caesar was reading had the Hydra logo on it. Also the room he was in, is very similar to a room in season three where Juliet is tried and branded for helping out Jack.

Jordan said...

WAAAAAAAAAALT!

There was a Dharma folder with the Hydra logo on it, which makes me think they landed on the runway on the other island, but the boats were on the first island, so maybe not.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Fair enough on the Alcatraz point, guys. I suppose Frank and Sun (or whoever) could have taken one of the outriggers over from Hydra to Craphole Island, where Sawyer and company then found and stole it, but that still leaves open the question of where the second outrigger (with the people shooting at Sawyer) came from.

Maybe, since we know boats and such time travel when people are in them, it's the same outrigger from two different points in time?

Chris W said...

Great episode.

My impression was that they landed on Hydra island, thus the shot of the main island with Locke you have in the article makes it seem further away. Also, I think they landed on a time before the Island 6 found the outriggers at the beach camp.

Also, remember in season 3, the Others had a bunch of outriggers on Hydra island.

Anonymous said...

Anyone better than me at anagrams able to decipher what the name of Locke's hotel means?

It was Westerfield Hotel, but two of the "e"s were blacked out.

groovekiller said...

Jordan -

I think the Ajira folks eventually take the boats to the main island where the I6 steal one. I bet it's the Ajira folks shooting at the I6 a few eps back.

Alan Sepinwall said...

And regardless of location, I feel confident that the bulk of the Ajira people are in the present, since the Hydra is abandoned, and since Sawyer finds the outrigger in an abandoned version of the original Oceanic 815 camp.

groovekiller said...

I thought Ileana said there were 3 boats.

One that (I think) Lapidus and Sun stole to go find Jin.

Two that Ajira take from Alcatraz to Craphole Island - one of which Sawyer & co steal.

Anonymous said...

I think its the Hydra. Sawyer found the boats with the rest of the Lostie camp (and his Dharma beer all gone). Tonight was a different beach. Add in the Hydra logo on the papers, and the fact that Locke appears to be looking at a much larger island when he's eating his mango, and I think its safe to say that Frank landed on Alcatraz (probably on Kate's runway). My guess is Locke will lead the Ajira folk to his old beach camp next week.

Jordan said...

If I remember correctly, they took one outrigger and left one on the island at the camp. But why would they camp and move equipment to a second island and live on the beach when they have a full powered compound? Ohrightjohnlocke.

Anonymous said...

With two "e's" missing, one anagram would be:

FRED WITH LOST

No idea what that means.

EOTW said...

One of things I forgot to mention was when Widmore mentioned that Locke's alias was a philospher, which he should like because his parents had a sense of humor, or something to that effect. odd, knowing Locke's parents as we do. they probably had not a clue (obviously not his mother who named him) who the historical John Locke was. Probably a nod to the philosophes who crowd the boards oline about this show.

groovekiller said...

In that shot in the cold open, did it look like the plane landed on a proper runway or just a flat surface?

If Ben & co. were having Sawyer and Kate build a runway, what better place to build it than a place where a plane (the Ajira one) had successfully landed in the "past".

Anonymous said...

look how that myles guy shoehorned in his own review

douchebag

Anonymoose said...

Someone on AVclub came up with Tethered Lowlifes as an anagram for Westerfield Hotel.

FXKLM said...

I was disappointed to see the new batch of socks. And I was especially disappointed that the most prominent of the new socks were a pair of attractive scheming hispanics. I can't help but think of them as the new Nikki and Paolo.

I have to disagree with Alan on giving Walt a bigger role. Malcolm David Kelly got the part five years ago because he was a cute kid. To sustain a major part now, he'd have to have serious acting talent and I haven't seen any evidence of that. Grown up child actors rarely do.

groovekiller said...

Dude...FXKLM...maybe all brown people look "hispanic" to you but the actor playing Caesar is from Arabic descent and the actress playing Ileana is from South Asian descent.

Nicely done on the racial profiling though. Maybe seeing Sayid in Santo Domingo just threw you for a loop.

Jeff H. said...

Ha!

One anagram for Westerfield Hotel is:

Well! Deft theories

Alan Sepinwall said...

And I was especially disappointed that the most prominent of the new socks were a pair of attractive scheming hispanics.

Said Taghmaoui, who plays Caesar, is of Moroccan descent and usually plays Middle Eastern characters, while Zuleikha Robinson, who plays Ilana, is of Burmese, Indian, Iranian, Scottish, and English descent, and has played many, many ethnicities. I don't think either one is playing Hispanic here.

Anonymous said...

the walt thing is pretty ridiculous.

he was built up and made out to be a key character and to just drop him is sad.

groovekiller said...

Alan, I asked this a few posts up but before I go to bed and this comment thread blows up to 200 comments tomorrow AM, if you could lend your thoughts on whether it was a good idea to air 316 first, I'd really like to hear them and would appreciate it.

Sincerely,
GK

Bix said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding based on what we know so far is that the cast is split like this:

In the past ('70s?): Jack, Kate, Hugo, Sawyer, Jin, Juliet, Daniel, Rose, & Bernard

In the present: Locke, Ben, Frank, Caesar, Illana, maybe Sayid (someone at TWoP said he was in the background during a Locke scene looking annoyed), maybe Sun (possibly "the woman" who went on an canoe with Frank; it makes sense that they'd try to get to the main island from the Hydra island and find Jin & co.), and the injured 316 survivors.

------------

Anyway, I'm curious when Ben became aware that Locke would be resurrected since he seemed to know in the "current" O6 timeline but not necessarily when he killed Locke, as he seemed to think Locke was gone.

FXKLM said...

Actually, I was just basing that on the name Caesar. Socks annoy me so I fast forwarded through their scenes. I only mentioned the ethnic angle because I saw it as one of many similarities to Nikki and Paolo. Otherwise, I wouldn't have noticed or cared.

groovekiller said...

Caesar, if I'm not mistaken, was a Roman, FXKLM.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Groovekiller, I'd have to give it some more thought about the episode order. I really doubt "316" would have been more interesting even if the order had been reversed, and I also can't see myself liking this one any more than I already did.

FXKLM said...

Despite the show's recent experimentation with time travel, I think it's safe to say Ceaser doesn't hail from ancient Rome. I heard the name and thought of Cesar Chavez. The ethnic thing was reaching a bit, but I was just trying to pad the list of similarities between our new socks and Nikki and Paolo.

But you have to admit that the opening scene with a couple of socks poking around a Dharma facility and lying to each other was very reminiscent of Nikki and Paolo. And I would have thought the writers would try very hard to avoid doing anything reminiscent of Nikki and Paolo. If mentioning their ethnicity, especially if I was mistaken about their ethnicity, detracted from that point, then I apologize.

Toby O'B said...

Just from "Westerfield" with two of the e's missing I get "Welds Rift". Could be something to do with Locke fixing the Island's jumps through Time?

Pictures have already been posted to the 'Lost' Easter Eggs site and one that caught my eye was from that 1954ish Life Magazine showing the Creature From The Black Lagoon.

I checked it out at the special site for Life pictures on Google and the actress being carried by the Creature is Julie Adams. Ms. Adams appeared in the 'Lost' episode "A Tale Of Two Cities", and at the time I was surprised they got an actress who had a pretty solid career to do such a throwaway part. I wondered if maybe she was being positioned for something more down the road.

Now with this in-joke tie-in, I'm wondering if maybe we'll see her again if we ever get back to the Others......

Anonymous said...

I doubt Frank left with Sun. Wouldn't she (and Sayid too for that matter) have disappeared into the 70's with the O5?

Locke would know that the original Losties camp has an abundance of Dharma food (it was all gone when the I6 took the boat) and maybe will lead the Ajira folks to it.
and maybe Ceasar shoots at the I6 with his new shottie.

So: How can Locke help from 2007 if the O6 and I6 are in the 70's? What's happened to the leaderless Others from 2004-07?

Also, Paolo was Brazilian.

Anonymous said...

BSG seems to be moving in a "both sides much join together" direction, while Lost seems like it may be on a "neither side (Ben or Widmore) deserves to win" path.

How long was Locke strung up there? Long enough for Jack to grow out his beard to what we saw in the first flash-forward?

Andrew said...

but either way, even estranged from his father, you'd think he'd show more curiosity about either Michael or the other people he was stranded with.

That's the one reason I'm convinced that there's still more in store for Walt. Along with the psychic business, it also seems like the writers would at some point want him to find out about his father's death. The fact they've seen fit to give him scenes with Hurley & Locke where they both decline to tell him that Michael's dead seems significant.

So is he telling the truth, and, if so, does that mean he wound up returning to the real world in the past?

If Widmore was 17 in 1954, that makes him 70 in the current day scenes. If he were to have traveled back in time, he's even older than 70, which I find hard to believe.

Alan Sepinwall said...

If Widmore was 17 in 1954, that makes him 70 in the current day scenes. If he were to have traveled back in time, he's even older than 70, which I find hard to believe.

But what if he was still 17 (or not far from it) when Ben tricked him into exiling himself from the island? What if Richard isn't the only Other who doesn't age while under the island's influence?

Cornelius said...

Alright, so I loved the episode, but I have to say....am I the only one who thinks Jack is a total dick?

Let me elaborate.

Jack is told that if gets on this Ajira Airlines flight with the others that the plane will probably crash and return him to the island. However, there are dozens of innocent people on this plane. He doesn't warn them. He doesn't try to stop them. He doesn't say anything. He is going to let this plane crash, and because of him all of these people are going to be stranded on the island with him, at best, or at worst be killed.

Um...am I the only one who things that this is absurdly rude?

I think the writers are going to gloss over this, and I guess I'll just ignore it...but damn, man...what a jerk!

If Hurley is so rich why don't they just rent a damned private jet or something and fly out to those coordinates? Why do you have to take down a plane load of innocent people with you?

The implication as I understood was that to make sure the crash actually happened, they had to duplicate as much as possible the passengers/objects of the Oceanic flight...so presumably if none of the Oceanic 6 were on the Ajira flight it wouldn't have crashed. So Jack and the gang, by their presence, are ensuring this plane will crash. They're essentially saying "We need to get to this island again, sorry if some of you get killed in the plane crash, and sorry but you survivors might have to spend the rest of your lives stranded there and be in constant danger from a wide variety of threats, including a smoke monster."

At least Hurley bought up some of the seats.

I'll say it again: rude!

Anonymous said...

In the words of Ben: "Who cares?"

Studda said...

good episode.i was quite surprised abaddon got blown up.said taghmauoi was awesome as i suspected.

toonsterwu said...

Overall, it was a solid episode. I just don't like the Locke character and the central focus it gets, a feeble minded weakling that is easily manipulated. Say what you want about his "faith", but he gets suckered by everyone. This doesn't mean that I don't like Terry O'Quinn's acting - it's been fine. I'm just in the camp that just doesn't care about a Locke storyline.

In saying this, Locke is clearly key, perhaps only secondary to Jack, as Lost closes up. It's my fervent hope that, in terms of character development, that the death of Jeremy Bentham makes for a stronger John Locke, a man that is more confident and able than the gullible fool that we've previously witnessed. I understand the leap of faith aspect that they are/have been developing, and I understand that Locke was the lonely, isolated individual so he was more apt to make that leap (I did think they did a little overkill this week to stress that point), but I just don't care. I love this show, I do, but if Locke died, so be it.

There's enough for me to care about, from Jack's central storyline revolving around his destiny, to Sun and Jin finding a peace and a love they didn't have from before they came to the island, to Desmond and Penny and the interesting possibilities there, to Kate, who a lot of people dislike, but I want to see her become who she wasn't, a lady that stops running, to Sawyer's slow development into a leader, a person other's look to, to Faraday and how he will try to change the timeline, to his mother, and so forth.

Eh ... I just don't care for John Locke. That said, the episode, in terms of filling in the storyline they've created, was excellent, and it was a better episode than last week, which left everyone's motivations hanging, including Jack's.

Was I the only one that felt like the war Widmore referenced was far wider in scope than what we know? They don't really need to deal with it that much, as this show is about the Lost core, but it feels like the war that's coming is much broader than what we know.

dez said...

I've given up on trying to guess which of Ben or Widmore is the good guy -- probably because it seems like neither one is.

It's the age-old epic battle of Evil vs. EEEE-ville.

I liked the Christ pose Locke had while Ben bent down in front of him, like a disciple, as he begged him not to kill himself. Very appropos.

Maybe, since we know boats and such time travel when people are in them, it's the same outrigger from two different points in time?

They're shooting at themselves? That would be cool.

Michael said...

There are other ways to and from the island. Remember Tom/Mr. Friendly in NYC with Michael? He made it sound like it was an easy access portal.

And Aaron is apparently still not back either, but how do you count a baby that hadn't been born yet?

Chloe said...

For the anagram...
Maybe twelfth soldier?
Brings to mind the twelve disciples, which would definitely work with the religious themes that are aplenty this season.

Scott said...

When Ben threw up upon arriving at the "exit", I believe that was an homage to Watchmen, which Lindelof has praised as one of his favorite books. In Watchmen, whenever Dr. Manhattan teleports anywhere with his girlfriend Laurie, she throws up upon arrival.

Scott said...

Ack! That's Locke throwing up, not Ben, of course.

Anonymous said...

In "Westerfield Hotel" the e's AND the d is blacked out.

it's just

"WESTRFIELHOTL"

Tyroc said...

I think the reason half the group ended up in the past (maybe Sayid too) is that they didn't bring Walt and Aaron with them. So things got unpredictable as Mrs. Hawking said.

Speaking of which, why did the knowledge that Locke was looking for her lead Ben to kill him? Was it that once he had her name Ben himself knew who to look for and manipulate? Does he know her from before? (They were on the island together if she turns out to be the blonde girl who Farraday met.)

Thoughts?

Teev said...

Maybe everyone is in the present and it's just that Jin was in the van during a previous flash and so he got to keep it.

Another possibility - we don't know how long it's been since the new flight landed since we only joined the party when Locke reanimated. They've set up a hospital area, people have gone off to explore, Caesar is the established leader. Maye some jumps have happened. Maybe the new socks don't jump because they weren't there during the original donkey wheel event (that would apply to Ben and sort of to Locke since the he that was there for the event died.) Oh but new sock lady would notice if Sayid was jumping huh since he's her prisoner. Hmmm.

Bruce Reid said...

Cornelius: "I think the writers are going to gloss over [Jack's actions], and I guess I'll just ignore it...but damn, man...what a jerk!"

I thought the lingering shots of the wounded, though leading to the narrative sting of discovering Ben and that great final line (a tip of that hat, maybe, to The Big Red One: "Did I kill the guy that killed me?") was intended as precisely such a condemnation, as was Hugo's brusque treatment of Jack on the plane last episode. One of my favorite things about Jack is that he is pretty much a jerk.

xyz: "I though the O6 characters were too mean to Locke, esp Jack and Kate. Kate saying that he had never loved... what a self-centered *****. Kate you got your childhood bf killed and you have the audacity to say that Locke did not love anyone. And Jack calling Locke "a lonely delusional old man". Sayid was probably the only who was somewhat nice to Locke."

Everybody accused John of their own sins: Kate, callously leaving things behind; Jack, delusions of grandeur; Sayid, failing to notice what was really important in life. Even Hurley is probably half-convinced he (himself) is really dead.

Myles: "And while it's too early to call...this is still likely to be a damn fine Emmy submission for O'Quin.."

O'Quinn might be the best actor on television right now; I thought I'd read that he stopped submitting his name to the Emmys after he'd won, though. Maybe he just skipped a year?

To answer your question, groovekiller, you're dead on about how deliciously baffling this episode would have been in the proper order; but I'm glad they went this way, the sooner to persuade me "316" was a regrettable blip, not signs of things to come.

Question Mark said...

[i]Also, this episode was supposed to air before 316. That would have meant we would have seen Locke turn the wheel in the previous episode and immediately we would be seeing a completely unknown Caesar, Z. Robinson, a crashed plane that we wouldn't recognize, and Locke back from the dead somehow.

That would have been a Lost-classic WTF moment for sure.[/i]

It gets better...according to DarkUFO, the opening scene of this episode was at one point going to be the opening scene of THE ENTIRE SEASON, rather than the Marvin Chang/Faraday scene we actually saw. Talk about raising the WTF quotient. It also leads me to believe that Caesar and Ilena are going to be major characters if Darlton considered opening the season with them.

The Rush Blog said...

The Locke/Walt scene was also kind of awkward because of how little interest Walt showed in finding out more about his dad or the other Oceanic passengers or anything else.

This does not make any sense to me, considering Walt's visit to Hurley in the S4 finale.

The Rush Blog said...

the walt thing is pretty ridiculous.

he was built up and made out to be a key character and to just drop him is sad.


Not only is it sad, but stupid. Another example of LOST wasting the time of an actor.

Katrina said...

Perhaps Malcolm David Kelly didn't want to rejoin the cast full time. As much as I'd have enjoyed seeing him again, it may be a blessing; it's never good when Lost spreads itself too thin among its characters.

RWGibson said...

About the switching of the episode order - I doubt they'd do something like this "just because," but by moving this one back a week, the show in which "Jeremy Bentham" died and John Locke was reborn aired on Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent...

RWG (just sayin' :-)

Nickname unavailable said...

Did it seem like Ben only decided to kill Locke when he learned Jin is alive? It's almost as if Ben is balancing an equation which stipulates that, since Jin isn't filling the role of dead person, someone else has to be put into it. And since Ben knows that Locke will be resurrected...

leoff said...

Let's face it: Walt may be a crucial character, but it's not a compelling one. Such as Michael. I'm sure Walt is going to be back during season 6, but only for a few episodes. Just enough to finish his arch.

Linda said...

I think John had to die but I also think his manner of death was important. "Lost" has had a quasi-religious" tone and in (most) religions suicide is a taboo. As a Jewish woman I know that a suicide can only be buried on the perimeter of a cemetary, exiled from the community. John had to die but not by his own hand. At least Ben had the fortitude to do it, whereas Widmore seems to get other people to do his dirty work.

And Widmore telling John that he (Widmore) was the leader who was peaceably keeping the island safe? What I saw in that earlier timeline was a hot-headed angry younger Widmore who was in a subservient role. Richard Alpert was the leader.

Anonymous said...

Something that maybe some of you who don't live in New York may not know-- the scene in NYC just before Locke sees Walt shows a New York license plate with the Statue of Liberty on it. Those plates are very old, and were replaced years ago (I can't find out how many years ago, just now, but I know it was MANY years ago.) So, what's up with an older Walt, and out-of-date license plates. Who's time traveling? Just the car? Mysteries abound!

Shaun said...

leoff - I'm sorry that you don't find Walt compelling, but I did. They definitely were making it seem like he was going to be an important character, so to see him only show up 3 - 4 time since he left the island is disappointing. The writers totally bungled his character.

Flash said...

I actually was kind of bored in this episode, didn't really get into it until Ben showed up. John seemed disinterested and kind of pathetic in trying to get people to come back. As for the two new characters, we haven't seen them much, ut Caesar seems to have potential, the women not really yet. And do we have to go with having new crash victims again?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Those plates are very old, and were replaced years ago (I can't find out how many years ago, just now, but I know it was MANY years ago.) So, what's up with an older Walt, and out-of-date license plates.

It could be, like the contemporary washer/dryer in the hatch (which was supposed to feature only tech from the late '70s and early '80s), just a mistake by production. Those scenes were, I'm assuming, filmed in Hawaii; maybe the prop master hasn't bothered to get more current fake NY license plates.

Lizbeth said...

I love John Locke-centric episodes. O'Quinn displays so many different emotions with just his eyes. I think they showed Locke's spiral into depression quite nicely. After all, back on the mainland, John is just a weak, wheelchair bound man who sounds delusional. He's got no family, no love, and no island. And he doesn't have a strong enough spirit to fight against those who manipulate him.

The manner in which Locke died was so brutal and yet the resurrected Locke finally seems at peace. Let's hope he finally steps up to be a real leader.

One of my pet peeves it that they keep introducing new characters at the expense of the old, but then again Miles, Faraday, and Lapidus are such great characters and some of my favorites, so I have faith that the new characters will add depth to the show.

As for Walt's return, I think it's simply a matter of the kid doesn't possess strong enough acting skills. And while they could fudge the aging thing at this point as he's been off the island for 3 years, in real life Malcolm has aged 6 years since the beginning of the series and there's a big difference between a 13 and 16 year old. I just find those scenes with him to be too awkward due to the aging problem.

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

For the second week in a row, I'm left feeling restless, although I did like this week better than last. O'Quinn is remarkable to watch, and they gave him lots to do. I think LOST is always better when exploring character than playing with its endless, seemingly random mythology.

But the long "suicide" scene left me puzzled and annoyed. Why go to all the trouble to have Ben save Locke, only to strangle him a minute later, and then make it look like suicide? Did Ben change his mind about saving Locke based on the information he learned from him-- about Jin and Sun, perhaps? It feels like the writers deliberately took us on a long path to travel a short distance.

I loved all the character moments, and yeah, Locke looking out at the horizon was deeply moving.

The question I had last week ("What is the show about now, if they finally have indeed, 'Gone back, Kate!'") is perhaps answered with Widmore's "There's a war coming."

I know it's meant to be clever that we can't tell Widmore or Ben apart now, that both seem equally evil; but it also leaves us unsure what to hope for, or what side to be on.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps Malcolm David Kelly didn't want to rejoin the cast full time."

Wait, wait, wait -- are you suggesting that actors are free and independent beings, who might want or not want to appear on this or any show for greater or lesser periods of time?

Preposterous.

Otto Man said...

I'm not convinced Helen's dead.

Locke kept asking about her and was becoming a pest. Abaddon said he couldn't find her at first -- hard to believe -- and then finally finds a grave. If she'd died, with the same name as before, she would've been easily found.

Seems they dummied up a grave stone to get Locke to shut up about it and focus on the task at hand.

Scott Henderson said...

First of all I wanna say how brilliant Alan Dale is every single time he shows up for Lost. We never get to see him for more than a few minutes, but every time he is menacing, clever and dangerous. Does anyone else think that Widmore might be the only character who really is Ben's equal?

That said, I feel like we are on a path in which Locke is going to have to kill Ben for this circle to be complete. No-one has a closer tie to Benjamin Linus in the show's mythology than John. Before this is all over there is going to be huge amounts of blood spilt.

I also wanted to add that I'm very surprised so many people have jumped onto the assumption that Sun is the woman with Frank. This simply doesn't make sense or appear to have any evidence in support other than the fact she's also a woman. Is the more logical assumption not that Sun was captured by the island with the other O6ers and transplated somewhere on the original island along with Sayid?

I'm so fascinated by the deepening narrative of Locke being someone 'special' or 'important' to the island. We obviously have several Christ references, in his journey as Alan pointed out, in the opening scene where he removes the hood from his head, and very fact that he has been resurrected, and when he was about to hang himself and John got down on one knee as John held the Christ-pose.

Not that I know what any of that means necessarily, but it's interesting nonetheless. I will definitely be reading J Woods blog again in a few days once he posts, I stopped for ages because he was almost going to deep for me, but Lost is making me hungry for more...

Till next week folks.

Yemi's Brother said...

Someone touched on this earlier, but let add:

I am confused by some of the timeline. At the end of season 3 (and in season 4), we saw Jack as a broken man - scruffy beard, abusing meds, listening to Nirvana & the Pixies, etc. While Jack was in this stage, he saw the obit for Jeremy Benthem.

Yet, in last night's episode, Jack seemed more or less under control. I'm confused by how much time is supposed to have elapsed between Jack seeing John in the hospital and Ben killing John. Was it enough time for the dramatic change in Jack to take place?

Anonymous said...

One Comment, One Question ..

Comment: Sad to see any actor from the Wire killed with so little screen time. Lance, you deserved more.

Question: If Ben popped through the wormhole 4 days (island time) prior to Locke going through - then why did Locke come out 3 years later? The approximate island time was sometime before Dharma (lack of well) - so he is not coming out the same time as island time. Is this something that we just accept as random?

EOTW said...

toonsterwu wrote:

I'm just in the camp that just doesn't care about a Locke storyline.

EOTW answers:

there's an actual, real group of fans not into LOST? really? Newsflash: It's ALL about Locke. Better give up now.

EOTW said...

The Rush Blog posts:

the walt thing is pretty ridiculous.

he was built up and made out to be a key character and to just drop him is sad.

Not only is it sad, but stupid. Another example of LOST wasting the time of an actor.

EOTW answers:

I don't think it's a case of thm wasting an actor. He's a kid and he grew too fast to keep playing Walt believably for a long period of time. that's why Walt hasn't been able to be a big part of the show, since they were only on the island for 100 days or so (shot over 4 years or more). the only reason, most likely.

I liked Locke going to see him, maybe to ask him back but deciding against it maybe cause the kid's been trhough enough already.

EOTW said...

Nickname unavailable posts:

Did it seem like Ben only decided to kill Locke when he learned Jin is alive? It's almost as if Ben is balancing an equation which stipulates that, since Jin isn't filling the role of dead person, someone else has to be put into it. And since Ben knows that Locke will be resurrected...

EOTW replies:

I felt he kileld Locke after Locke revealed that Hawking was going to ge them all back to the island, like maybe he didn't know how they'd all get back.

RWGibson said...

I'm confused by how much time is supposed to have elapsed between Jack seeing John in the hospital and Ben killing John.

------------

In the finale two years ago, Jack tells Kate he's taken multiple trips on Oceanic flights on weekends hoping to crash. All of this had to happen after Locke ended up in his hospital, but before Bentham's death.

RWG (I'm guessing a month or so)

EOTW said...

Linda writes:

And Widmore telling John that he (Widmore) was the leader who was peaceably keeping the island safe? What I saw in that earlier timeline was a hot-headed angry younger Widmore who was in a subservient role. Richard Alpert was the leader.

EOTW replies:

Agreed, Linda. Also, to the poster above who asked who was leading the leaderless Others, same thing: Richard is leading them and they're fine. Richard's a native (or the Captain of the Black Rock) and I still feel he's the de facto leader of the island, probably Jacob's closest underling. while the Widmores, Bens and Lockes are more the spiritual leaders of the island.

I can't wait for richard to meet up with Locke after his death. Should be classic.

The Cheese said...

@ Anonymous 9:16 AM

I agree about Lance needing more screen time.

Also, maybe the disparity between Locke and Ben's arrival in Tunisia has to do with the island skipping around different time periods when the they each turned the donkey wheel.

TC said...

I think the fact they alluded to Walt's psychic abilities (the dreams about John) means he'll definitely be back.

Teev said...
Maybe everyone is in the present and it's just that Jin was in the van during a previous flash and so he got to keep it.

Another possibility - we don't know how long it's been since the new flight landed since we only joined the party when Locke reanimated. They've set up a hospital area, people have gone off to explore, Caesar is the established leader. Maye some jumps have happened. Maybe the new socks don't jump because they weren't there during the original donkey wheel event (that would apply to Ben and sort of to Locke since the he that was there for the event died.) ...


I thought John 'fixing' the wheel (Ben knocked it off axis) stopped the time jumps.

-Jennifer Finney Boylan said... Did Ben change his mind about saving Locke based on the information he learned from him-- about Jin and Sun, perhaps?

Ben's reaction to hearing Jin is alive was definitely stronger than I would have expected. I wonder if Jin has a bigger significance to the island that we have yet to learn.

Sandwich of Ham said...

My comment seems to be gone, so apologies if this is a repeat. But this show really highlights why I dislike Locke, the character.

If I were Jack, Kate or Sayid I would really dislike Locke for bringing me back into this for entirely selfish reasons. If it is OK that he doesn't bother Sun, why does he have to bring back any of them?

He killed a rescuer, he blew up the sub, he sabotaged every attempt made to leave the island.

O'Quinn is a great actor though.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, I think Locke was half-empathetic and half not really wanting to push the O6 that hard because he knew it meant his own death.

This, by the way, is an excellent point, and one that Poniewozik goes into at some length on his blog. Locke doesn't want to die, and he once again doubts whether he's really as special as people keep telling him he is, or as special as he so desperately wants to be. His demeanor on Alcatraz suggests he's finally at peace with his specialness -- hard to get a more concrete bit of proof about it than being raised from the dead -- and I look forward to seeing how this incarnation of Locke operates. Hopefully, he's less of a sucker than he used to be.

Liz said...

It's the characters that drew me into this show. There was something really wonderful about season one, in this respect, how we saw their pasts and then the chance for redemption that the island represented. The early episode focusing on John Locke blew my mind in that respect.

As the episodes went along, the mythology and mysteries began to play a bigger and bigger role. I've no complaints about the mysteries; certainly it shows the skill of the writers, and they still manage to leave me in awe. But I'm also the sort of person that has trouble keeping track of all the puzzle pieces we've been given over five years. Okay, I'll admit it, I lose track from week to week. Wait, what's Sayid doing there? Wasn't he in the US? When did this happen again?

I really need some kind of timeline. Can anyone recommend one?

Anyway, my point: it's the characters who keep me sticking with the show, who provide that continuity for me when I am not entirely sure what the heck is going on otherwise. :-)

I think that's what I really enjoyed about the beginning of this season. We did get a lot of linear storytelling, when it came to Sawyer and the other island survivors.

Archie said...

Wow!!! I actually managed to read them all - so, Alan, you can't complain anymore.

Couple of points - I've read the comments and am thoroughly confused about the "when everybody is" - isn't it just possible that everybody just found a stash of Dharma uniforms and just decided to wear those? And that yes, the van is just something they borrowed on a specific jump and it stayed???

I HATE my cable-provider (not saying who - others who have the same one might know) - when I scrolled to schedule a reminder last week (yeah, like I'd ever forget Lost is on 9 pm Wednesdays!!) - it told me "Walt: Malcolm David Kelly, Abbadon: Lance Reddick"!!! GGGGAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!

I especially felt cheated because I noticed that BSG actually tells you guest stars at the end as special mentions - they don't ruin the surprise upfront - Lost people - please try this!!!!!!

Finally - to Alan's point about Lost being less of a sucker - I'm not sure why this character was developed this way - but if you watch the earlier episodes - Locke was amazing!!! The fact that he'd healed made him feel awesome. It was only after Boone died and he started to doubt everything and everyone (hatch, Ben needling him when he was a captive of the Losties about Locke's power struggle with Jack) - all that really undermined his confidence.

I hope that with this latest "that's the guy who killed me" they're resetting the clock (pardon that metaphor in light of the series' time travelling) on his character and personality.

To anyone who says they're not a Locke fan - I stay stop watching now. Locke, Ben and Widmore (with some Alpert and Des/Pen) is what this show is about, with maybe some Walt thrown in. So you're just asking to be bored

mike said...

Add me to the list of those a bit confused as to the intentions of Ben when he met Locke at the hotel -- or at least the sequence of events that led to John's death.

It seemed, to me at least, that Ben actually was trying to save Locke from killing himself, but that his plan changed once he heard about Jin, and more so, Eloise.

What is it for Ben about learning that Jin is alive that would then lead him to kill John -- if I'm reading that scene correctly.

Terry O'Quinn really is great. I even liked him when he'd make occasional appearances on the X-Files.

kmac said...

Anagram for hotel:

FIT WELL OTHERS.

WELL FIT OTHERS.

WELL FITS OTHER.

Funny since that's how Locke got back to the mainland....

Mark Madel said...

Archie said...

Couple of points - I've read the comments and am thoroughly confused about the "when everybody is" - isn't it just possible that everybody just found a stash of Dharma uniforms and just decided to wear those?


It's possible, but them being in the past would account for Faraday lurking around the Orchid in the opener; Faraday telling Charlotte not to come back to the island when she was a child; and possibly Charlotte learning Korean (from Jin).

Dan said...

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't it Widmore's ultimate goal to find the island and get back?

If so, then, assuming Abbadon is working for Widmore (which I think is clear), and Abbadon was the one who influenced Locke to be on Oceanic Flight 815 by going on the Walkabout...then why didn't Widmore just get on the flight???

I can't figure this one out....

Susan said...

"In the finale two years ago, Jack tells Kate he's taken multiple trips on Oceanic flights on weekends hoping to crash. All of this had to happen after Locke ended up in his hospital, but before Bentham's death."

When Ben tells Locke in the hotel room that Jack has booked a flight from L.A. to Sydney, it sounds like it's the first time Jack has done it - Ben is using it as proof that Locke got through to Jack. If that's true, then the timeline doesn't work - Jack had to have time to fly back and forth over several weekends, grow a longer beard, go further into drug use and get fired from the hospital, all before Locke died. I would have really liked some clarification on this, some idea that time had passed between Jack seeing Locke in the hospital and the hotel room scene.

Anonymous said...

"maybe Ceasar shoots at the I6 with his new shottie."

A shotgun, especially sawn-off, isn't exactly the weapon to use at the range between those boats. Rifles (which we've seen plenty of in the hands of many other people besides Caesar this season so far), OTOH...

Jeff H. said...

Susan, I got the impression Ben was deceiving Locke about the reasons for Jack booking the flight in order to coax Locke down.

I watched that scene assuming Jack had been getting on flights before he even talked to Locke. I still do,unless I am forgetting something.

Karl said...

Why does Ben decide to strangle Locke?

Maybe it's hearing about Jin.

Maybe it was hearing about Eloise Hawking.

Anonymous said...

Joining the other voices in praising O'Quinn.

Locke has been my favorite character since "Walkabout" and even when he seemed to be going off the rails, I always had faith in him. I REALLY want him to end up the hero of this story.

Im not a big fan of jack and I despise kate. They bring the action to a screaching halt. kate was so holier than thou in her scene with Locke. What a waste that a complex, growing not to mention hunky guy like James wastes his love on a shallow flake like her.

EOTW said...

Sanwich of Ham posts:

He killed a rescuer, he blew up the sub, he sabotaged every attempt made to leave the island.

EOTW replies:

Actually, IIRC, they weren't rescuers and Widmore said as much in last night's ep. they were there to get Ben, never to rescue the Losties.

reddick didn't need more screen time because all his scenes throughout were quality.

EOTW said...

Kate + Jack = no chemistry, screeching halt to the plot.

Kate + Sawyer = chemistry out the boodah and so right.

Malcolm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Was that license plate not the old version that was phased out by at least 03-04?

If you read the earlier comments, we discussed this.

Brendan McCarthy said...

Some thoughts, questions, etc.:

-Jack's timeline and Bentham's death: I assumed that Locke/Bentham's body wasn't discovered for a while. That hotel looked pretty drab, and my girlfriend seems to remember something about an abandoned building, or one under construction, in Bentham's obituary. Maybe Locke is left hanging for a couple of weeks.

-Ben kills Locke when Ms. Hawking is mentioned, not Jin (correct?) Maybe Ben knew of her, or that someone like her existed, but didn't have all the right information till this point. Or, maybe Ben was told he was special, and discovering Locke was told all the same information sends him into a rage.

The only strange thing about this is the lengths Ben goes to keep Locke's body safe. He convinces Jack they have to steal it, places it in a freezer, then, when cut up and in a panic by the docks, keeps the body his top priority.

Add to this the fact that in this season's premiere Ben alludes to Locke not really being dead (very reminiscent of Charlie saying something like "I am dead, but I'm here, too" to Hurley), you have to wonder if Ben killing Locke wasn't so much a homicide but more like a task Ben has to do in order to save the island. This again leads me to believe Locke is being used as a pawn, now in both mind and body.

Maybe, now that Locke has been resurrected, he'll have the strength to fight back against everybody, and this is the war coming.

-Perhaps I'm being morbid, but how exactly does an embalmed body come back to life? Is it actually alive? That doesn't compute with me.

-Overall I liked this episode but I might have built it up in my mind too much. Seeing Locke in the coffin was one of the creepiest moments on the show. I was kind of hoping that creepiness would appear in last night's episode. Think I need a rewatch minus the expectations I had going in...

Evie Garland said...

I want to echo Cornelius and one of the Mikes in asking, why did they decide to get back to the island via plane crash? The motivation of many of the O6 to go back is to save their friends, but there are plenty of other ways to try to do this besides trusting Ben and Locke (and Faradday's mom) that they all have to go back, then getting in another plane crash. For one, why not go public with the story? The argument that Widmore is evil and who knows WHAT he'd do if people found out doesn't seem so strong that it would lead the O6 to go back to the island with Ben!

Also, I casting my vote for Sayid, Sun, and the Cap'n to have also splashed down somewhere in the 70s.

Finally, good call, Alan, on Walt's ambivalence about what happened to the rest of the Oceananic passengers! I was yelling at the screen.

ZeppJets said...

Hate to crack open the ethnicity thing again- but they did go out of their way to give Saïd Taghmaoui's character a Latino name.... any one else who wouldn't be surprised if he turned out to be Ben's man in Santo Domingo?

Also, how many times is Ben gonna kill Locke before Locke learns?

Anonymous said...

I am with Dan - why doesn't Widmore just go back. If he knows Mrs. Hawking (since he sent Des there) and she knows how to get back, why doesn't he just go. I am sure we are going to find out a compelling reason in the future, but right now it just seems odd.

Jordan said...

I thought the scene with Ben and John was pretty clear. This is atleast the third time this type of thing has happened. The island doesn't want Ben as it's leader anymore, it wants Locke, and Ben keeps trying to take his place. Jacob asks Locke to help him (which Ben can't hear), so Ben shoots Locke. Christian tells Locke to move the island, so Ben takes his place (trying to play island savior) and screws it up. Richard/Christian have told Locke how to save the island, and Ben doesn't want to let Locke die before he finds out how to get back/get people back. I don't remember if Locke tells him he has to die (Ben probably knows) and lets it happen only after finding out what Locke knows.

I think Charles wants to get back, but at the same time accepts that he can't until the island or those in charge accept him.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I liked bets about this episode is that it added depth to a drunken Jack referring to his father as if he were alive in "Through the Looking Glass". At the time it seemed like "mystery" at best and a flub at worst but now we know it was evidence Jack had finally "drank the Kool Aid" and accepted what Locke was telling him.

Charlotte K said...

Who is to say that Widmore wouldn't have killed Locke after he contacted/convinced the O6 to return? A kibosh was put on that plan by Abbadon's death and Locke's giving up. Ben came in and saved Locke because a suicide is an outcast from the "good." I think that "goodness" is important.

But Locke still needed to be dead to go back (I don't know why that is so, but he did). I think Ben was perturbed that John didn't try to convince Sun but would use the opportunity to bribe her with Jin's ring, or perhaps he was surprised to hear Jin still lived in fact and they would be able to use it as an incentive to get her to return. But I didn't understand the shock over Mrs. Hawking. I'll have to watch it again. If Ben and Charles W. were on the island at the same time as rivals, probably Ellie was there. They seem to be old "friends" in the other scenes together and she is willingly helping Ben. Maybe he's wondering if Charles is in cahoots with Ellie at this point.

I have a question. Ben said long ago that whoever moved the island couldn't go back. He is now back (wounded). I wonder if Widmore believes that to be true, though.

I'm also curious about something he said to Jill the Butcher about Gabriel and Jeffrey checking in (I think those were the names). Have we seen Gabriel & Jeffrey, I wonder? What are they up to? Is one of them the guy who shot the darts into Sayid? Were they planning to drug him if need be to get him back to the island?

Stef said...

Surprisingly, I want to agree that the scene between Kate and Locke was one of the best Kate scenes of the series. Terry O'Quinn really does elevate everyone else's work.

Sandwich of Ham said...

Right, they weren't rescuers, but they were presented as such. He stabbed her in the back before she had any chance to explain herself.

Everything with John Locke is about John Locke and no one else. Everything Locke says is for the island he is really doing in an attempt to "Justify John Locke's life" because it has been so crappy.

Sure, he has had some crappy breaks, but there is no reason to drag everyone through the crap with him.

Devin McCullen said...

Locke didn't tell Walt that Michael was dead because Locke didn't know that he was. Yeah, he was presumably on the freighter and it blew up, but so was Jin and he's still around.

Doesn't explain Hurley, though.

Devin McCullen said...

Locke didn't tell Walt that Michael was dead because Locke didn't know that he was. Yeah, he was presumably on the freighter and it blew up, but so was Jin and he's still around.

Doesn't explain Hurley, though.

J.J. said...

I know Abbadon gave the brain aneurysm explanation, but I found myself wondering if Helen died of some rather more unnatural causes than that. Since her grave site ended up being quite functional (in luring Locke and ultimately getting him admitted under Jack's care in his conveniently located hospital).

Or maybe it's just a coincidence that her grave site was smack dab in Jack's hospital's territory. I dunno, maybe that's just where she happened to live (I don't recall the details from those old Locke-Helen flashback stories).

Still, her tombstone said she died in 2006, I think, so the timeline could fit if you wanted to speculate that she could've been included on the hit list Ben had Sayid taking care of.

amitytv said...

To further the time/place discussion: Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, and Sun were the orginal people to leave the island and therefore I believe that when the flash happened on board the plane, they were taken off the plane and put in the same time period as Jin and Sawyer. The rest of the people on board crashed or landed on the strip, including Pilot Frank, Locke, and Ben. A seperate time period, the present. The whole point of Locke returning and bringing everybody back with him was to "fix" the island and save the ones remaining that were stuck in the flash zone. Locke still has to do something to fix the problem because the island is still flashing. I think we will see that in the coming episodes. Based on this, I think some other women went with Frank in the boat, not Sun.

I am pretty sure I am not a fan of Ceasar. He appears to have an agenda here and if he had just crashed onto an island, you would think his actions would be those of a survivor, hunting food, shelter, etc. Instead he seems to be searching for something specific and takes advantage of the discovery of the gun to conceal the weapon from Ileana.

I think we were supposed to think that Ben killed Locke upon learning of Jin. However the information about Eloise was either some sort of angry/jealous trigger for the next event or some sort of code. As in, Richard says to Ben, "If anyone ever says they have to see Eloise, kill them and bring them back to the island in a coffin." Just a thought.

Oh, and EOTW? I certainly HOPE that this story is NOT all about Locke. This story is ripe with intersting characters and to focus the story around Locke would be like to focus an entire classroom of needy kids around one little boy who desperately seeks approval from anyone and bases EVERY decision on the heat of the moment instead of with real wisdom. I think this is more about redemption for ALL of them. Locke included.

J.J. said...

I guess Sun and Sayid didn't travel to the '70s because they weren't supposed to be there.

Locke promised not to convince Sun. That was all Ben's extracurricular shenanigans.

And Sayid seemed to be forced into coming back with the lady who escorted him (doing the perp walk with a jacket slung over his wrists to cover the handcuffs) through airport security.

JamesG said...

Am I the only one who found the relative peacefulness of the Ajira crash survivors puzzling? Just compare their scenes to the pilot episode and first part of season 1. These people have no idea where they are or if they'll ever be rescued, yet they stroll around calmly and eat mangos as if on some tropical weekend getaway. Did a significant amount time pass from the crash or is this sloppy writing?

Anonymous said...

It's kinda interesting that when Jack was putting his dad's shoes on Locke in the previous episode, the cast on Locke's injured leg was gone. Is that normal, or do they usually leave casts on when someone dies?

J.J. said...

By the way, count me in on the group that thinks "316" should have come after this episode.

It would have been much better if we got a startling return to the island by having the episode where we follow Jeremy Bentham. Near the end Locke closes his eyes and dies, and then he opens them up again, and he's back on the island, totally unsure how it all happened. It would have been a much more satisfying, shocking return to the island than "316" where the episode starts with Jack lying in the jungle again.

I liked "316" more than some people seem to, but I would have been utterly glued to it if we got an end-of-the-show shock the week before seeing Locke somehow end up back on the island. And then the Jack episode would have been more satisfying because it would have been giving me some of what I wanted after clamoring for it for a whole week after the awesome Jeremy Bentham episode.

But whatever. I suppose if I knew what I was talking about, I'd be making the big bucks in Hollywood like the people who actually know how to run these sort of shows.

Anonymous said...

Guys, just a warning... don't visit zap2it.com. They have posted what appears to be a GIANT lost spoiler on the front page without any warning. It's a shame how low journalism has fallen, spoiling a major plot just because you can is pathetic.

Archie said...

Mark - I like your comment about the uniforms - it fits nicely with the circular theory of Jin teaching Charlotte Korean so she could someday speak it to help him .... it sounds right ...

I also want to hear more about this theory one of the commentors here had about 316 being aired last week and life-and-death this week to coincide with Ash Wednesday .... that may not be why they swapped episodes (or did they??? Lost is not known for dampening the WTF factor) - but I found it an interesting theory

Anna said...

Two points:

One, I think Helen isn't really dead. I wouldn't put it past Ben to make that up.

Two, Alan, you don't mention Sayid's whereabouts on the island. Any reason?

christy said...

I'm not even going to touch all of these timeline questions. I think I'm OK with how the timeline works so far. But I'm utterly stumped as to what happens now that we have some characters on the island(s) in 2007 and some on the island in Dharma time.

Anyone else think it was weird how the photo Widmore showed Locke in Tunisia showed Sayid in the exact position he's in when Locke reaches him in Santo Domingo?
See a screenshot of the photo:
here
And one of Sayid when Locke arrives:
here
Right?

And, just for fun, here is a screenshot of Reddick/Abbadon looking mad sexy outside of Hurley's rest home. Oh how I love the men of LOST.

Anonymous said...

Terry O'Quinn is the man. How is it possible he keeps getting better and better? I didn't think he could even get better. I didn't know it was even possible considering how good he is already. He just owned that entire episode. I'm also really, really interested in Ceasar and Illana's stories. I like the actor who plays Caesar (I've seen him in other stuff before).

I love Jack & Locke in the hospital. I loved that when Locke tells Jack his dad says hello Jack doesn't accuse him of digging up his background to get his dad's name. He knows Locke wouldn't do that. So that tells me that Jack believes Locke. He has believed him deep down for a while, which is why he has been fighting him because he is a man of science. But that moment changes everything for Jack. It was the tipping point. LOVED IT!

Anonymous said...

I think that the reason Locke was in a place to kill himself because he had A) failed. B) was in the wheelchair again. C) realized without the others he couldn't go back to the island. D) there was nothing off the island worth living for, even Helen was dead. That scene with him and Ben was so great. I went through so many different opinions of Ben in that scene. From touched that he was helping Locke to anger that he killed him. I wanted Ben to die for that, but at the end I realized I'm not ready to let Ben go. His character and acting is just too good!

And how about Terry? He's so good he makes everyone else around him bring their A game.

Bobman said...

Am I the only one who found the relative peacefulness of the Ajira crash survivors puzzling?

Well, first, this crash was far less traumatic (at least based on the wreckage). They came down on an airstrip and near some buildings, indicating civilization (the Losties all came down on a deserted beach, and with flaming wreckage around them). Also, Frank and whoever he was with may have said "don't worry, I know where we are, we'll get us home" or something to that effect.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the runway was there (overgrown at that) indicates it was in the present when the plane landed. Not sure why, but Kate, Jack and Hurley transported back to the 70s. Maybe Sun was innoculated by her father? IDK.

Love that they brought the runway back from season 3. I knew there was a reason for that! Thats to all the set-up and foreshadowing I'm so into this time travel stuff. Heroes could learn a thing or two from Lost. Assuming Heroes isn't cancelled yet.

belinda said...

Very good episode, especially for me, because I was wondering how they were going to fit in Locke in the scheme of things once he was dead. And now, Undead! This would surely be interesting. What I'm wondering is how they'd keep the two groups - Sawyer and Co. and now the O6's - on the island while on seemingly very different time lines (Or, have they rejoined yet? The last we've seen, Sawyer and co. seems to be in the past with all the dharma uniforms; When are Locke and co. in now on the island?)

- Someone mentioned why Ben killed Locke on the mention of the names. I thought it was Ben being Ben. His intention was to make sure Locke dies from the moment he set foot in the room, but he wanted to get Locke to talk a little before dying and see what information he can get - I guess I never thought Ben was saving him at any given point; we are dealing with BEN here. :D

I'm wondering why Locke didn't ask Widmore about Jacob, if Widmore was the leader of the Others at one point.

Anyway. Great episode, and just fantastic acting by O'Quinn. Just seeing the back of his head gave me chills.

Anonymous said...

I hope Walt comes back. And resolves things with his dad. Yes, I know Michael is "dead!" Shame, he was one of my favorites.

Anyway, I'm guessing Widmore will convince Walt to go back. He will want his help and sucker him into thinking his dad is there. Maybe Michael will show up as a "ghost" to help Walt. That would be great.

I bet next year will be the psychic year. LOL.

Otherwise, the Walt stuff will be really upsetting how they dropped that arc after getting us really invested in Season one and two with his abduction.

dez said...

Also, Frank and whoever he was with may have said "don't worry, I know where we are, we'll get us home" or something to that effect.


Or maybe they're all in on it/have their own agendas, like Caesar apparently does. DUN DUN DUN!!!

My Name is Lawerence Edwardson said...

My only complaint about lost is that people don't wear enough striped shirts. I know that sounds like so totally silly but to me shirts without stripes just seem kind of tacky and a little arrogant. Like, what, they're too hip for striped shirts? Seriously. More striped shirts on Lost please.

I thought this episode was fantastic, but I did miss seeing my favorite character: Jin. Locke is my second fave though so like they say, it's alllllll good.

I'm starting to wonder now if Ben is Charles Widmore's real father. I have to go back and watch the episode again with Ben as a kid. I'm thinking this would make sense.

Craig L said...

I do not think that Charles would be Ben's father, but I do look forward to seeing details of their rivalry.

One thing I don't understand is that if Charles is an Other and they are "his people" why did he send a mercenary team to fight against them?

Sean McSight said...

I actually have to agree with this Edwardson cad. No striped shirts? and no this is not a silly question. Look here, they are stylish shirts, and the island would compliment their beauty. Please Cuse and Lindelof, give us some striped shirts.

But other than that, it was a good episode.

Professor Impossible said...

Ben met Richard was he was very young, a teenager. There was a fair amount of time between when Ben met Richard to when he assisted in the Dharma purge. It's plausible he tricked Widmore into leaving the island before the Dharma purge. In fact, that may be how he became the leader of the Others and convinced them to go forward with the purge.

PFJ said...

"I still didn't buy that Locke gave up."

He didn't. He said that if he could convince one, he would convince them all. He knew that his suicide and the note would convince Jack and he was willing to die.

Scott Henderson said...

One, I think Helen isn't really dead. I wouldn't put it past Ben to make that up.

It wasn't Ben who revealed to her that Helen was dead, it was Matthew Abaddon who worked for Widmore.

Anonymous said...

Oof, I don't want to discuss mythology here, just that O'Quinn had one hell of a performance here too, especially when coupled with Emerson's equally great performance.

With that one scene, I still am utterly confused and enthralled with the involvement of Widmore. Who is the real bad guy here?

Anyone else laugh when we cut to Ben whilst Locke was chatting it up with Walt (So hoping for them to play backgammon. Alas)? Just that look of a kid who sees someone he truly despises really got to me.

Anonymous said...

EOTW said...
One of things I forgot to mention was when Widmore mentioned that Locke's alias was a philospher, which he should like because his parents had a sense of humor, or something to that effect. odd, knowing Locke's parents as we do. they probably had not a clue (obviously not his mother who named him) who the historical John Locke was.


I think Widnore was talking/joking about the fictitious Bentham parents naming their son Jeremy, not the Lockes.

Laura said...

Wow, there are a lot of people on here obsessed with this show! And I'm surprised that the lack of striped shirts was joked about before the fact that three of the main characters in tonight's episode were BALD.

Is that significant?

Here's something that I think is: If you do an anagram of the letters in that Westerfield Hotel and you leave out the letters that weren't lit up, you get this --

REST OF THE WILL

I think that could mean many things ... it uses the word "will" which goes along with the death theme here ... it's kind of in Jeremy Bentham's "will" that the O6 go back to the island. Then there's the fact that the phrase "rest of the will" means that someone needs to rest their free will.

If Locke killed himself, isn't he taking part in one of the ultimate arguments in spirituality, especially Christianity? Fate versus free will?

That hotel is where John is fated to die, whether he wants to or not. I think that sign is just clarifying that for us even further.

Also, I think Ben went there with every intention of killing him. He killed Abbadon already, so why not John? Not to mention the fact that he seems to know everything about everything and is willing to risk people's lives on a regular basis just to suit some purpose that we are not aware of yet.

And Ben works with Alpert, right? Is Alpert going rogue on him? I'd love to know how much Ben actually knows about what Alpert wants John to do, but there's no way of knowing that because he's so manipulative about his knowledge and intentions.

As far as how long John stays in that hotel and when he gets buried ... who's to say he even gets embalmed? If Ben has people working in butcher shops and lawyers and assassins and all sorts of other people working for him, then why not also a funeral home? He could have brought the body there whenever he wanted ... maybe he kept it frozen for a while and when Jack reached his lowest point, he decided to put it right where Jack could find him. He does WATCH everyone, doesn't he?

I'd bet John was hanging there for quite some time, anyway, because it goes perfectly with the Christ mythology and people were basically crucifying him for the entire episode anyway.

Maybe it is just me, but did anyone find something odd and menacing about John's shadow on the wall when he's hanging there? The camera cuts to it and there is just something about that angle ... it absolutely reminds me of Jacob, when they show him in his cabin the first time.

Is it possible that John is Jacob? Maybe more Christian mythology ... Jacob is the father and John is the son?

Either way, it sure was a lot like that Star Wars poster where you see young Anakin and his shadow looks just like what he will one day become ... Darth Vader. And the writers on this show are huge Star Wars fans, so I wouldn't put it past them to pull something like that.

As far as another reason for "REST OF THE WILL" ... notice how many times Ben, Locke and others say "the rest of them will come"? Sounds a lot like "rest of the will" to me.

Anyone else have theories on this?

I think Widmore is mostly good, but clearly up to something self-serving ... whereas Ben is more than just self-serving ... he's more of a maniacal mastermind in the Dr. Frankenstein sense. If anything, Ben is at war with the island/nature, the one thing he constantly professes to love above all else.

Anyone wonder how Widmore could possibly KNOW that a war is coming? People can't generally predict wars before they happen ...

Abbadon is a complete mystery. There's certainly something otherworldly about him though. He's almost like a guardian angel.

As far as the characters acting less-than-heroic on this episode, they are merely reverting back to their non-island ways. Island Kate would never talk that way to Locke and Island Jack would never sacrifice other people's lives, unless he considered it ultimately necessary. Island Jack saves people on impulse whereas non-island Jack does it because he is trying to prove something to his dad.

On the island, it's "live together, die alone" but off the island, these people are each locked in their own little worlds, absorbed in their own problems, finding no way to escape them.

I'm still not sure it's really present day when they show up on the island ... why couldn't it be 1954? That Life magazine would have been all yellowed if they were in present day and it looked relatively new to me.

Also, if Locke turned the donkey wheel and that sent the Island 6 back to 1970 (minus Charlotte, of course) and they are staying there, because the wheel is no longer un-sturdy and moving them back and forth through time every few minutes ... then why wouldn't the plane also land in 1970? Why is everyone convinced they aren't in 1970, too? The lack of Dharma jumpsuits? The fact that people vanished on the plane?

Anonymous said...

Who's the "good guy" and "bad guy" between Ben and Widmore depends on your perspective. In so far as you want Locke to be happy, they're both "bad guys," manipulating Locke. A happy Locke ending has him triumphant on the island and both of them get their comeuppance.

Anonymous said...

I was very upset last season when they killed Rousseau. I didn't understand why they'd just seemingly abandon that storyline without resolving the questions raised in the first season and I didn't see how they could bring that back. I was wrong there, obviously. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt with Walt. He'll be back and/or his significance will be explained.

I definitely think Ben's reaction was to Hawking, not Jin. His only excitement with Jin's survival is that he now has his favorite thing: a piece of information he can use to manipulate someone else.

I am not a big Locke fan, but I really liked the episode and as everyone's already stated, great performance by OQuinn. Apathetic to the new characters. I want to like them, but Lost seems to kill of 95% of all new characters so why bother? I do hope something interesting comes out of them.

christy said...

I'm still not sure it's really present day when they show up on the island ... why couldn't it be 1954?

If it were 1954, the Dharma station wouldn't be built yet. Also we saw the outrigger with an Ajira bottle in it during a flash in which the castaways' camp existed. And it looked like the plane landed next to the runway the Others were building in Season 2. It's unlikely it's the 1970s for those reasons plus--wouldn't there be Dharma people in the Dharma station in the 1970s?

PhoneyPhil said...

Just my two cents on why Ben could have murdered Locke.

Isn't it possible that he already was in contact with Mrs. Hawking (Ben seems to be in contact with some kind of network which she could be part of)?

Perhaps she told Ben that Locke would have to die but Ben thought that there had to be an alternative way?

So when Locke mentions that he was going to see Mrs. Hawking, Ben realized that she was right, that it was Locke's destiny to die.

Wah, written down it doesn't seem all that convincing to me anymore...

Melanie said...

Re: the wrongs Locke has committed -- let's not forget that he orchestrated Boone's death.

Anonymous said...

didn't sun suggest in a previous episode, when ben shows her jin's ring, that locke did in fact visit her...i seem to recall her saying something along the lines of "why didn't locke mention this to me when he came to see me?"

dez said...

I don't recall that he orchestrated Boone's death. Seemed like an accident to me.

Anonymous said...

The anagram could be "twister of hell" or "Hell of twister" refering to Locke twisting or turning the wheel

or it could refer to a 'twist' in the plot

prosecutorbill said...

I want to offer a different perspective on the killing of Locke by Ben. I feel that it was not the revelation of Jin but the revelation that Locke knew himself what had to be done with the people once he gathered them up -- that is bring them to Hawking. If Locke already knew exactly what needed to be done, then why would he need Ben? why would ben need to go back to the island?

Right, he wouldn't. And Locke would likely insist that Ben NOT go back, because he was not part of the plan (and because Ben said he could never go back on the island once he turned the wheel). So this presented a predicament for Ben, as he had probably planned that once Locke gathered everyone, he would be the "savior" and bring them to Hawking, and thereby earn his way back onto the island. As Locke already had this information, he was now an obstacle to Ben's plan to get back to the island himself. So he had to die, just like anyone else who has ever been in Ben's way from getting what he wants.

As for the other theories, I don't think its plausible that Ben just snapped from prior memories of Hawking, as he later works hand in hand with her. The thing about Jin and Sun, and killing Locke because he wouldn't bring Sun along and then found out exactly what he needed to do (bring everyone to Hawking) seems like a good theory, but to me doesn't quite fit -- why kill Locke now when he certainly could be convinced (in Ben's mind, since Ben is so confident) to bring back Sun (or ben could do it himself). So we'll see how it pans out.

And Ben doing it to save the island really doesn't fit -- it would be pretty out there to make a distinction between Locke killing himself and Ben killing him as far as the island is concerned, as long as he is dead.

markle@live.ca said...

I know this is way late, but I was doing a search and came to this blog post and the questions in the comments about the meaning of the "Westerfield Hotel". The answer isn't full of Lostie lore, but is interesting nonetheless. Lost executive producer Carlton Cuse was co-creator of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., a fabulous family show that was a mashup of SF, western and comedy which unfortunately only lasted one season, in 1994 (go out and buy, rent, or download it immediately, you won't be disappointed). The show prominently featured something called the "Westerfield Club", and I have no doubt that's where the name for the hotel originated. There are some other connections between Lost and Brisco County Jr., as well; the actors who play Mr. Friendly and Dr. Marvin Candle made appearances (the first as Big Smith, a villain, and the second in a brief appearance as an unnamed aide).