Whew...Yeah...I'm stalling. I don't even know where to begin with this one. But I know all of you don't want to just keep reading all of this filler! Kinda like no one wants to watch Aaron get baptized while Charlie has crazy dreams of Claire as the Virgin Mary! (get it??? Because it was a filler episode? Man, I'm so funny sometimes!) Anyways...Here we go!
"The Man Behind the Curtain" As Locke reminded us, it is a reference to the Wizard of Oz. Locke accuses Ben of being the Man Behind the Curtain, pulling all the levers and running the show. Of course, this ties in nicely to the fact that Ben pretended to be Henry Gale for half of season 2 (another character from the Wizard of Oz). This episode was all about Ben. The flashbacks focus on where he came from, and partially what inspired him to become the man he is now. And it might just reveal that he isn't the person running the daily operations of THE OTHERS (yeah, I'm not referring to Jacob here either). Speaking of Jacob, the episode also focuses more on learning about the mysterious Jacob mentioned maybe 2 or 3 times previously this season. For now, it seems we should believe that JACOB is the mysterious Man behind the curtain. And he will remain behind that curtain for the time being! And, of course, learning their lesson from episode's past...we didn't totally abandon our survivors in this episode. We see some small plot developments around everyone's suspicions of Jack and Juliet and FINALLY some heroic leadership from Mr. Shepard! And that's the easy part of the blog, so we'll start there!
"I think we got some catching up to do"
Well said Jack! Some important plot progressions from our Survivor's side of the island this week:
- There is more of the "Don't Tell Jack" theme going on. Jack has fled the camp with Juliet after Kate unveiled the Parachutist information.
- Sayid tells the whole camp about Naomi, who seems completely healed now (as Mikhail said she would be in 1.5 days). Everyone is up-in-arms about the world thinking they're dead. But there are more important issues at stake.
- Juliet's message is played for the camp. Loved when Sawyer and Kate made awkward eye contact when the part came on about "I'll have Austin's Sample soon." Amazing how much can be said with such a quick look!
- When Jack and Juliet return, we hear other side of the tape. Ben's response to Juliet's message. Juliet says that she went right to Jack about her "assignment" from Ben after Sun's ultrasound and the "I hate you" confession. I'm just curious to know how Juliet knew that Ben left a response for her. Jack and Juliet weren't informed that Locke brought Sawyer the recorder. Maybe we're just supposed to accept this one and not really look into it! Anyway, why has Jack been so quiet and secretive lately? Duh people! He was formulating a plan! And now he has one! Finally! I really would like another Live Together Die Alone speech next week! I'm tired of hitting the button on my Jack Action Figure to relive the glory days before Jack became the ultimate Whiner! (oh come on...I didn't buy it! It was a gift! yeah...maybe that's not any better!)
- Ben's message? In 2 days, 3 Teams of Others will come to extract Sun. He asked Juliet to mark the tents of any other pregnant women. Ahhh....perhaps marking the tents will be part of Jack's plan for an ambush! It's gonna be a showdown for the ages! And it conveniently is scheduled to occur right around the season finale! Weird how that works isn't it?
The History of Ben
Speaking of weird, time to talk about Ben! Although, his flashbacks weren't TOO weird, they just raise a lot more questions and STILL leave a lot to be explored with the fall of the DHARMA Initiative. But we also got some goodies in there! Mainly, as stated before, we follow the path of how Ben went from innocent child to the manipulative evil Ben we know today!
- So, did anyone else think we were on the island witnessing the birth of Ben? Yeah...even when the producers mentioned in a podcast that we shouldn't necessarily believe Ben was telling the truth about his birthplace, I still fell for it! But no, Ben was born on a hiking trip 32 miles outside Portland (a locale becoming more and more important with each episode!)
- Ben's mother Emily dies as a result of childbirth. She was 7 months pregnant. This seems to tie all of Ben's determination to save expecting mothers on the island very nicely. It provides us all sympathy for the tragic reminder Ben receives on each of his birthdays that he caused his mother's death. Ben's father, Roger, reminds him of this in his drunken stupors.
- We are introduced to Horace Goodspeed. Look into the names if you will and provide your theories on the significance in the comments! All I can think about is Stanley Goodspeed from The Rock! Horace was on the side of the road the day of Emily's death. It is yet to be seen if his significance goes further than just the link to how Roger and Ben end up on Fantasy Island.
- Yes for some 12ish years later (based on how old Ben appears), Horace was a part of the DHARMA Initiaitve and a bit of a hippie at that! He recruited Roger to be a part of experimentation taking place on the island. They arrive via the infamous DHARMA Sub (so we think once again...we once again still don't see them actually arriving!) But instead of working on experimentation, Roger becomes a WORK MAN. Ahhhh...ring a bell? Yep, remember that FILLER episode this season where Hurley found the DHARMA Van and the dead "Roger Workman" inside? Guess it isn't a filler episode anymore! Them genius writers, I'm telling you!
- We have a new Marvin Candle video to analyze (the Korean DHARMA video guy!) He welcomes everyone to the DHARMA Initiative. Discusses how the barracks are surrounded by a high frequency Sonar Fence to protect from the diverse "Wildlife." Hmm Smoke Monster or the "Hostiles?" He explains how every morning a new code will be provided if anyone wants to risk going beyond the fence. "There are properties on this island that exist nowhere else on this earth. Our Mission is to study these properties for the betterment of mankind and advancement of world peace" Betterment of mankind eh? Perhaps to start mankind all over again? Ben touches on the "world peace/harmony" aspect in the present time and how the DHARMA Initiative couldn't even co-exist with The Others. So...really nothing revealed in this additional DHARMA Video...just more to chew on!
- Ben gets a friend! Yes, he meets Annie and she offers the ultimate sign of friendship in the Apollo Candy Bar. Lots of adventure happen with Annie in these flashbacks, but the most important being the exchanging of Ben/Annie Dolls on Ben's Birthday. Something Ben holds sacred even in the present day. I wonder if Annie was part of the Purge. And when Annie suggested with the dolls that Ben and Annie would never be apart, I wonder if this holds more significance. Was she leaving? Or was this justification for Ben years later come Purge time? There's obviously room for more Ben flashbacks. Or at least...maybe some RICHARD flashbacks where we could learn more about Ben? I guess all I'm saying there is that if anyone is going to be offed in the season finale, Ben is still on the table as a possibility! But I hope not. That creepy dude is awesome!
- During Ben's education at the DHARMA Daycare (came up with that myself, you like?), we learn that the Island is actually volcanic and that there had been an eruption a long time ago. Hmmm I'm guessing this was an important tidbit for episodes to come!
- Then there is the attack of the Hostiles, as DHARMA people always call the Others. (Even Desmond said it in season 2!) Lots of explosions and a lock-down in the classroom. But the biggest thing to come out of all of this was Roger recapping the story and saying they were driving back from the PLANE prior to the explosion. Hmmm....this must be a plane we have not heard about or seen before since it pre-dates both Flight 815 and the Nigerian Plane.
- And of course we must mention Ben seeing visions of his dead mother and the whispering he hears. Of course when he sees her beyond the fence...and Emily saying "It's not time yet Benjamen" we're supposed to look at the Purgatory themes and the Gates to Heaven. But on a surface level, it would seem it is not time for Ben to make his departure from the DHARMA Initiative just yet.
- Young Ben DOES in fact make an excursion outside of the fence one day. Gets the daily code "54439" (numbers fanatics...work your magic!), the de-powering of the Fence makes the infamous Star Wars Tractor Beam deactivation sound that we so know and love (you know..on the Death Star! Come on, I'm not THAT big of a dork for making the connection!). Ben sends a white bunny through the fence. Ahh we learn of Ben's fascination with causing terror for cute little bunnies! Of course...he didn't paint an 8 on the back of any bunnies at this point in his life!
- More whispering is heard and then enter Long haired hippie Richard. Huh? He's on the island already? He was an Original Inhabitant of the island? And how on earth does he look like he's the same age while Ben is only 12? I could've sworn Present Day Ben was the same age as Richard, if not older. Now, I'm sure Richard is supposed to look younger with the wavy hair...and it's just because it's the same actor playing him that he looks older....but still...how much older than Ben could he really be in the present day? Anyway...Richard looks VERY intrigued that Ben sees visions of his Mother and Hears her talking to him. But he asks Ben to be patient. Kinda like Emily said "it isn't time yet." From those 2 exchanges, it would seem that the Smoke Monster/Visions CAN be tied to the OTHERS and they are manipulating Ben. Or it could be seen as Richard seeing hope in Ben for being able to experience some of the Island's powers. And they have plans for Ben to be their leader one day.
- Years later...we see an older Ben (it would seem still a bit younger than present day Ben but not TOO much younger) working as a WORK MAN right along with Roger. They take the Van out on Ben's Birthday to the Pearl Station and then to Mesa (never heard this before, have we?) Lots of exchanges of how Roger ruined Ben's life for him and then BAM....GAS City! At 4:00 sharp, Ben kills his father and leaves him to rot in the Van at Mesa. How the Van is turned over when Hurley found it? Yet to be seen. But what IS seen now is that 2 times Richard has convinced outcasts to kill their fathers to become ONE OF THEM. As Present Day Ben says...he CHOSE his allegiance when it was necessary.
- Why do I say Richard convinced him? Because when we return to the Barracks the entire DHARMA community has been Gassed and killed. Yes...Mikhail telling us of the PURGE was accurate. And we finally saw it first hand!
- Question to part with from this section: Was Kelvin working for DHARMA at this point? It would seem he would have to be. But he wasn't there for the purge. He was pushing the button. Maybe this also confirms Ben did NOT know about the Swan hatch until he was brought there by Sayid.
The Hunt for Jacob
Yes, this is the storyline that has all of our heads spinning once again. As if we didn't have enough on our plates with Time Travel. Now we have imaginary friends to deal with! Anyway, Locke's back with dead Daddy and wants some answers! So do we John, So do we! Here's what went down.
- It's Ben's Birthday again which he seems adamant about reminding to Richard. As if maybe Richard promised Ben he'd never forget his Birthday some time ago. Perhaps a promise that he made in order to persuade Ben to help with the Purge? Ben still has his Annie Doll with him to this day too. I just have a feeling this scene will hold more significance with future flashbacks.
- Ben realizes the recording is missing, thinking Richard brought it to the Medical Hatch. Does he catch on that Locke gave it to the survivor camp? We're not meant to think so. I'm going to say no for now.
- Ben has a sit down with Locke once he returns. Pours some whiskey, which seems to be a recurring theme on the show these days. He tells Locke that he really doesn't have all of the answers. But DOES say he's not the leader and tells us about Jacob. How Jacob only speaks to Ben and everyone believes that Ben does speak to Jacob. Locke has his suspicions right away. Keep in mind...the OTHERS seem to be getting tired of Ben's quest for fertility on the island. It just seems that Ben took charge of the OTHERS after a key occasion where he encountered Jacob for the first time (maybe seeing his Dead mother ties into this somehow...where the others view Ben has having a gift?) And since no one else has communicated with Jacob, THE OTHERS were willing to follow Ben and whatever Ben wanted to do. And it seems Ben used his manipulation skills to convince everyone that Jacob WANTS them to pursue the fertility on the island issue. Maybe even convince everyone that Jacob exists? I'm getting ahead of myself. And I'm definitely just theorizing by the facts given.
- Mikhail shows up and explains why he's still alive (as promised, in a sentence). The Pylons were not set to a lethal level. And just like that he lives. He explains to THE OTHERS about Naomi. Clearly, Naomi is not with The Others, as this comes as a shock to everyone. Of course Locke tells the entire Camp that Ben is taking him to see Jacob. The whole camp is taken aback. And notice how no one does a thing when Locke starts to beat the crap out of Mikhail. This seemed to show their loyalty behind Locke over Ben, which was the point Locke was trying to prove. Everyone is fed up...and if Locke is the CHOSEN ONE, or whatever....why shouldn't HE be able to go see Jacob? Again...just my take on it all. So, against Ben's wishes (so we think), he must bring Locke to Jacob.
- Alex gives Locke a gun for the Jacob encounter. What is THIS all about? Has Alex met Jacob? Or just heard stories?
- Ben suggests Jacob will not appreciate the intrusion. He summons people and is not someone you just go and see. Could be more of Ben's fear and attempts at manipulation. He seems to have his own agenda, and other people coming in contact with Jacob would ruin his hold on people.
- So was that a river of ASH that Ben and Locke came in contact with? Perhaps from the Volcanic Eruption? Does this hold significance to Jacob's location? Why did Ben look so scared to cross the Ash? I have no answers, just observing!
- And then there is the Jacob encounter. This is probably where the LOST fans are divided in Half. They arrive at an old creepy house in the middle of the jungle. Ben mentions Jacob is like Locke when it comes to use of Technology on the island and requests Locke to turn off flashlight. After Ben does the ol "There's No Turning back once door is open" saying...we enter the house. We see a Portrait of a Dog (a creepy dog!), Jars of weird colored fluid, and of course Ben talking to his Invisible friend!
- I was with Locke.....Ben is a loon! He somehow was keeping his hold over the others by lying to them! Locke says some awful words to Ben that he may learn to regret. He walks away and then hears in a creepy low voice "HELP ME." He turns the flashlight on...and all hell breaks loose! The house shakes.....jars fall over, the chair rocks....windows break....lantern lights the inside on fire. Ben yells at the chair and gets pushed against the wall.....and then....IT HAPPENS.....we see a brief glimpse of a Man sitting in the chair!
- Okay...so we need to break this stuff down right? First of all...did anyone see that shadow on the chair when the house started to shake? Some suggest this was ol' Smokey appearing again. It kinda just looks like an accidental shadow to me. Plus, it wasn't accompanied by the trademark Smoke Monster Sound.
- Then there's the quick glimpse of JACOB. The hair is a bit deceiving, but look at the shape of the face and forehead. Doesn't that look a bit like John Locke? I was mulling around a theory in my head yesterday that perhaps Locke is unknowingly Jacob prior to seeing the episode. So, this might be me just seeing things. I also mulled around the possibility that it could be Christian Shepard (whom we never actually saw die...just saw his body...but now that they found the bodies of the Flight 815 passengers...it made me start considering that again). But who really knows. We can guess about this all day....but it will be revealed to us in time who Jacob is. And if Hurley's foreshadowing in Expose' is correct, it will be in season 4! But this kinda confirms it won't be Lando/Billy Dee Williams!
- So then there's the ol "HELP ME" thing. Ben seemed very surprised at Locke saying he heard something. And the fact that LOCKE heard "Help Me" could say it all. Ben clearly didn't hear Jacob say it. Maybe he's never heard Jacob at all? And can he really see him? Or was he really hoping that bringing Locke there would shed some light on the situation? Again...we can all theorize...but we just need to let this one play out. But why "Help Me" Is it Help free me from Ben? Help me because I'm invisible? Help Me Help You? Help! I need somebody? not just anybody? Yeah....I have no idea. I'm still trying to figure out why he was invisible!
- Locke still was trying to figure out exactly what he saw, claiming it was all a big show to Ben. (He clearly saw Jacob! They showed his eyes fixated on it!) Ben reveals that he DID lie about being born on the island and then shows Locke the DHARMA Grave. Ben is persistent in finding out what Jacob said to Locke...and then he SHOOTS Locke! WOA!!! Why did he do it? "BECAUSE YOU HEARD HIM!" Hmmm....is that because he doesn't want Locke telling The Others what he heard? Would seem so, wouldn't it? Perhaps Jacob will help Locke? Locke does have incredible healing powers. But we've never seen anyone recover from Bullets. Can they really kill John Locke after he heard such an important Message? I say no....of course...unless Jacob IS Locke and there are 2 Locke's from 2 different times on the island. That's a bit crazy, though isn't it? I'm sticking with SOMEHOW Locke will survive this and become more determined than ever to SAVE the island...OTHERS and Survivors alike.
Hope I didn't lose anyone in that rambling. Every detail of the episode seemed so important! I didn't want to leave anything out! Very interested to hear everyone else's thoughts on the crazy episode. Liked/Disliked? Theories? Bring em' on! We can figure it out together! Wait...we still have more to discuss!
3 Seasons of 16 Left
In case you've been living under a rock...or I dunno...actually doing work, you probably have heard that LOST producers have worked with ABC to confirm an End Date for LOST! Took me awhile to get on board but we have 3 Seasons left of 16 episodes each. For now each season will run from February to May and the show will end in 2010! If you're having a hard time getting on board, maybe you want to read the entertainment weekly interview with Damon and Carlton (producers). I thought it was fantastic! Careful on Page 3...they reveal a few tidbits of season 3. One of them being that we'll meet Jacob in the episode that just passed. They also compare Jacob to the Emperor in the Star Wars saga....and how we didn't even meet the guy until Return of the Jedi, but he was always mentioned leading up to that. They claim Jacob is just as important to LOST as the Emperor is to Star Wars. But their rationalization of the final 3 seasons was what captivated me. If you think about it....they had a 5 season plan. Each season being 24 episodes (so that would be 48 episode). So now....we have 3 seasons of 16, which is also 48 episodes. They said 24 episodes a season is too tough for them and leads to some of those bizarre episodes we've had where really nothing happens. 3 sets of 16 is better to work with and also gives them more time to put some thought into how they unveil the mythology to us! But we can all be assured that the answers are coming and they already started this season! We're more than halfway done! I'm excited and totally onboard!
Finally, I'd like to end this blog by welcoming all of the newcomers who discovered the blog last week! Thanks for checking it out! Please keep on coming back and sharing your thoughts. And share with your friends! Hell, share with people you don't even know! I was really excited to see the Comments section taking off! This was always meant to be an interactive discussion with other fans of the show!
Well my fellow Losties, 2 more blogs for the season and I'm sure the episodes are going to be fantastic! I'll see you next week to discuss!