We got another chapter in the saga of Ben. This put us in a unique situation where we could catch up with Ben's 2007 ventures as well as flash back to a point that took place not long after we last left Ben in 1977 (which is present day for some of our other Losties!). It all makes sense in the land of LOST these days! This episode is really a tale of redemption for Ben, much like Eko's in those dreaded first 6 episodes of season 3. Time to dive into the details!
1977 - Ben's recovery
We open up tonight's episode with a man on horseback arriving to the Others' camp. I'll spare the suspense. It's Charles Widmore circa 1977! The man is furious with Richard.
- First of all, a HORSE? This is the first horse we've seen on the island since Kate's run-in with the black horse. Speaking of which, what happened to all of those stories where our characters were being haunted by ghosts via animals? Sawyer and the Boar, Kate and the Horse? Hurley and the Hurleybird? (just kidding on the last one)
- Anyway, Charles is mad that Richard brought young Ben into THEIR temple and that Richard should have let Ben die. Ben will later in life talk about how the wall around the temple was built to keep the NON-OTHERS out of it. So what is so special about this Temple? And why aren't they showing us it yet? I'm guessing that will be a season 6 reveal.
- Richard tells Charles he is just a boy and Jacob wanted it done. The Island chooses who the Island chooses. I wonder if this is where Jacob's List comes into play (referenced in season 3. The one Jack isn't on.). Of course, we don't even know if Jacob was ever communicating with Ben, so Ben may have made that list himself.
- Charles seems to accept this logic and goes in to see Ben. We find out for certain that Ben does not remember what happened. But we learn enough to tie events together in Ben's life. He remembers his father and that he wants to be one of the hostiles.
- Charles explains just because he lives with the DHARMA folk doesn't mean that he isn't one of them. This ties up the fact that Ben was still living with the DHARMA crew and working with his father right before the purge in 1992. The funny thing is, before tonight I never questioned the fact that Rousseau had Alex 16 years before 2004 and the Purge happened 12 years before 2004 and the fact that Alex was taken as a child and raised by Ben. I should have been questioning it, but it never really crossed my mind.
Speaking of Alex...
We see an older Ben and a young boy Ethan at Rousseau's camp. Ben was charged with killing Rousseau by Charles Widmore.
Here is what transpired:
- The heartless boy Ethan explains to Ben that he would do it for him. This reminds me of Sayid taking the fall for his older brother with killing the chicken and of course the tales of Eko and Yemi killing a man when told to.
- Ben shuts Ethan up and heads into Rousseau's tent. And unexpectedly baby Alex is there.
- Rousseau does some flipping out in French and accuses Ben of infecting her crew.
- Ben, apparently has a little bit of a heart and actually saves Rousseau. He tells her to never come look for her child and any time she hears whispers, run the other way.
- Hmmm....so where was the black smoke that Rousseau said she saw before they took Alex? Remember in season 1 when she told them there was black smoke and they took her baby? And then we saw the black smoke and they took Walt? (all they wanted was the boy) Unless, we're meant to think that Rousseau saw the black smoke MONSTER which infected her crew and then Ben came and took the baby. I dunno. That's a stretch, but I don't think they will really plan on closing up that loop much more!
- So Ben talks about the whispers. I guess he knows what that is all about? Will we ever find out? Or are we just going to be told that it's the "SOUND OF THE OTHERS" and to just deal with it?
- When Ben brings the baby back to Charles, the current leader of the Others is NOT a happy man. He gave orders for Ben to kill Rousseau, and then he said to kill the baby.
- Charles explains that everything he does is to protect the Island. Sounds familiar, Ben says that years later!
- Ben challenged Charles and asked if that is what Jacob would want. That it's just a child. This seems to be everyone's soft spot the past couple episodes. It's just a child! Ben challenges Charles even further by telling HIM to kill Alex. (technically, eventually he kinda does!) Thus, begins the downfall of Charles's reign on the Island.
- As I stated earlier, all of these events happened BEFORE the purge. Alex couldn't have been more than a few months old at that point which may put us around 1989ish. The purge was in 1992.
- This is clearly AFTER the purge as The OTHERS have taken over the Barracks (DHARMAVILLE). Ben is pushing Alex on the swingset and Richard is there.
- We can probably assume with certainty right now that Charles Widmore ordered the purge as he was still on the island when it happened. Ben said last season that he didn't give the order. It's never safe to assume without seeing though, especially with Ben involved!
- We also find out that Charles DID lie to Locke about how he left the island. He said he was tricked into turning the donkey wheel. But we see him kicked off the Island by Ben via Submarine.
- We learn that Penny was born OFF of the Island. Widmore made regular visits off of the island and had a life there. He had a child, Penny, with an outsider. This apparently is breaking the rules. Yikes, what rules are we talking about NOW?
- Ben claims he will be a better leader than Charles because he will sacrifice anything necessary for the island. But the issue comes up around how he wouldn't kill Alex.
- And the debate continues, did the island want Alex dead or did Charles? Charles states if the Island wants her dead she'll be dead and the roles will be reversed and Ben will be banished just like Charles is now. We see all of this play out in season 4 when Ben leaves the Island after Alex is killed by Keamy. Charles says you can't fight inevitability. Does this play into the Whatever Happened Happened philosophy from a FUTURE perspective? Whatever is meant to happen WILL happen? Is this why Locke is alive on the Island? Because he is supposed to be alive? My mind is just boggled folks!
- In any case, Charles is one ticked off dude. And I would guess ticked off enough 12ish years later to send a freighter to recruit Ben Linus, and perhaps kill his "daughter" in the process! Of course, based on that picture Miles had of Ben last season, it would appear that Ben made regular trips off of the island as well. And what's up with the 3.2 Million dollars? Maybe we'll find out about that soon! Yikes, I'm just rambling on and on aren't I?
Ever since we saw Ben tell Jack he had a promise to keep to an old Friend and then saw him make that bloody phone call to Jack later, we've been wondering what on earth happened to Penny, Desmond and little Charlie. Well, I'm excited to say that the RIGHT thing happened! But the way they tied it all together was pretty awesome.
- Ben makes a call to Charles as he is walking on the dock towards Penny and Desmond's boat. He tells Charles he is going back to the Island. Charles says he has been trying for 20 years and it's impossible. Ben says he will succeed where Charles failed. (Why wouldn't Widmore just go on the freighter WITH his crew if he wanted to go back so badly? Would the Freighter have not found the Island?)
- Ben tells Charles he is going to kill Penny and that he is looking at "Our Mutual Friend" right now. Ahhh good times, Desmond and Penny named the boat after the one Charles Dickens book that Desmond never read. He has been saving it to be the last thing he reads before he dies.
- But even better, Desmond with a bag of groceries in hand sees Ben and asks what he's doing there then BAM....Ben shoots Desmond (well he shoots the bag of groceries)
- Ben goes towards Penny, introduces himself and apologizes for her getting caught up in this. Penny explains she has no ties to her father. And as Ben is getting into explaining how awful Charles Widmore is and is responsible for killing his daughter....little Charlie comes out to the rescue!!! As we have learned earlier Ben cannot bring himself to kill the mother of a child! It's just a child!
- Ben lowers his gun, unable to proceed and BAM BROTHAAAAA...DESMOND comes and beats the living daylights out of Ben then throws him into the water. YEAAAAH!!!! Many of us were hoping that's how it went down and sure enough, it did. But the twist of using Charlie and the fact that Ben actually wasn't going to go through with it, a nice little addition of redemption for Ben's character. Beautifully done LOST WRITERS! Whew, with all the craziness going on in this episode, it was totally worth it for that scene.
- So the big question...what now is motivating Desmond to return to the island? or perhaps their crazy boat they are on will end up shipwrecked on the island, similar to when Desmond arrived the first time? Time will tell. But surely all of that talk about the rules not applying to Desmond and him being uniquely and miraculously special in the season premiere wasn't just for kicks. Maybe he factors in in getting everyone back to the future! Who needs Doc Brown when you have a time traveling SCOTSMAN?!
2007Hydra Island - Ben and Locke catch up
When we last left Ben and Locke last week, Ben was just waking up and Locke had a wonderful smirk on his face welcoming Ben back to the place where miracles happen. And we were all anxious to find out the rest of that conversation. Here's out it went down folks:
- First of all, Locke wakes Ben up. It didn't happen as suddenly as it was suggested in last week's episode that showed Ben waking up as soon as Richard too little Ben into the temple in 1977. I think they added that little line from John to confirm that the 2 events were completely separate.
- So after John's big line, Ben's bug eyes widened to new levels as he pronounced "I knew it!" This kind of falls in line with other things Ben said to Jack off of the island. The doubting Thomas story and Ben's reaction to Jack asking "he is dead, right?" Ben even gave a twist on the doubting Thomas story in saying that it's one thing to believe, but to see it is something else all together. (Thomas didn't believe until he saw Jesus risen from the dead)
- So instead of asking right away why Ben killed him, he asks why Ben was running away to the main island. Ben tells John he was going back to be judged. He "broke the rules" by returning to the island and now needed to be judged by "THE MONSTER." Ben claims The Others never had a name for it. We find out later, that this really isn't the reason Ben wanted to be judged. So then once again, what are these rules that he speaks of? Why was Ben able to come back and Charles wasn't? Is there even such a rule that the island won't let ex-leaders come back? And do these rules have anything to do with the rules of Time Travel that Faraday and Chang talk about? This Jacob guy is one crazy lawmaker!
- Later on we get the scene we were waiting for. Ben is in what we find out to be HIS office. (the same office that Caesar was looking around for supplies a few episodes back). Ben finds a picture of him and Alex and takes it "for sentimental reasons" he says.
- Locke, showing more confidence than ever, makes fun of Ben's office for a bit calling it "too corporate" but then wants to address the elephant in the room. Why on earth did Ben kill him?
- Here's the explanation from our most famous truth teller! It kinda makes sense I guess, in a demented weird sort of way. So it's hard not to believe him. Both Locke and Ben were aware that John had failed to convince the Oceanic 5 (no Aaron) to come back to the island and that the only way to really do it was for him to die. So then why did Ben talk him down from suicide? Locke had critical information that would have died with him and afterwards Ben didn't have time to talk Locke back into hanging himself (That got a good laugh out of me). It was in the best interest of the island. And "IT WORKED!" Everyone is back but they don't know where, Locke is alive. So it sounds like it had nothing to do with suicide vs. murder and trying to replicate whatever happened to Christian Shephard (although, I still think his death was more than a heart attack or a drunken bender).
- Locke humorously told Ben that he was just hoping for an apology. And that he is going to help Ben be judged. Locke does not completely trust Ben, with good reason. He tells Ben "if everything you have done was truly in the best interest of the island, then I'm sure the monster will understand." More to come on this!
"Sic Semper Tyrannis!" - Caesar's destiny
There were some interactions with some of the new island residents from flight 316. Here's what went down.
There were some interactions with some of the new island residents from flight 316. Here's what went down.
- We appear to see a distrusting Ben again who tells Caesar that the old man is crazy and that he doesn't remember him from the plane, doesn't even know him so couldn't possibly have "killed him." He suggests that Locke may be playing them and was already here on the island. During this conversation Ben finds out that Caesar has a gun and was planning to use it.
- When Locke and Ben later plan to take another outrigger to the main island, Caesar has some issues with this since he is "calling the shots" and he wants to know how Locke knows so much about the island. He reaches in his bag for his gun, Ben takes it out of his hiding place and takes Caesar down. RIP Caesar. So much for him playing a larger role on the show. I gotta say, not too disappointed by this one.
- So, keeping tabs on the outriggers, we know 2 of these things end up at the 815ers old camp. And there will be 2 at the dock near the barracks once Locke and Ben take one. And only one outrigger is at Hydra. Doesn't mean much now, but it plays into the end of the episode.
Main Island - Dharmaville aka Othersville
So Ben and Locke arrive at the dock that Sun and Frank parked their outrigger at. Locke puts his shoes back on as the 2 of them catch up on what happened between Sun, Frank and Ben before Locke "came back into the picture" so to speak. A quick recap, Sun knocked Ben out with an oar. And Ben explains that the injury to his arm was from something different (as we learned earlier in the blog, that was courtesy of the Scotsman brothaaaaa!!!)
- Ben explains to John that he finds sometimes friends are more dangerous than enemies. And that he killed Caesar because he had stolen the gun he was planning to use on Locke which set up the classic line "No sense in me dying twice right?"
- Ben and Locke head towards the Barracks to Ben's old house. It's the only place Ben knows where to summon the monster. Locke, seeming to have all the answers this time around on the island, informs Ben that he thinks Ben is lying about his reasoning for wanting to be judged. Ben doesn't care about RULES and leaving the island. He wants to be judged for essentially killing Alex (or letting her be killed to save himself). The look on Ben's face says it all. His old tricks don't seem to be working!
- Note, when they arrive to the Barracks the Processing Center sign is stil hanging off the roof of one of the buildings. So perhaps it wasn't a smoke monster illusion. We do see the windows are boarded up too though. Maybe no one ever went in that building? Kind of hard to believe that in all of the years The Others lived there that no one browsed in there and saw the DHARMA RECRUIT CLASS PHOTOS. Although, Ben seemed thoroughly surprised to see the picture later.
- Locke asks Ben if moving into the Others into the Barracks after the purge was Ben's idea. It doesn't seem like something the island would want. Ben tries to claim more knowledge about the island, but again Locke isn't buying it and just seems to have a better understanding than ever of what is going on. It is worth mentioning in season 3 that Locke explained that the use of technology seems against the Island's wishes and Ben told Locke then that he really didn't know what he was talking about.
- A creepy scene follows with a light on in Ben's old house and someone moving around in Alex's room. Locke tells Ben to check it out. When he goes into the house, we see an unfinished game of RISK still on the table. If you recall in "The Shape of Things to Come" Hurely, Sawyer and Locke were playing Risk right before the Red phone rang and Dharmaville went up in "smoke" (yep, dual meaning between the mercenaries blowing up some buildings and the Smoke Monster saving the day!) I think we see this table here to most certainly prove that no alternate timeline was created by our LOSTIES being in the DHARMA past.
- Ben also finds Sun and Frank in his house. They spare no time in going over the Sun vs. Ben battle. Frank shows Ben the DHARMA picture with Jack, Kate and Hurley in 1977. Ben claims not to know that they were in the DHARMA Initiative or really to know of the existence of the photo. But I'm skeptical. It seems like he is up to his lying ways again.
- Sun and Frank also inform Ben that they ran into a crazy old man named Christian who told them to wait here for John Locke but that they weren't holding their breath since the man is dead. This followed by them looking out the window and Locke politely waiving. Ahhh this crazy show.
- Sun and Frank are in disbelief. Locke explains there must be a good reason for him being alive but doesn't know why or how. Frank think they're all nuts. Leads for some good comedy of trusting a murderer, a dead guy and believing that everyone else is 30 years ago. He pretty much tells Sun he is out of this and planning to head back to the plane to try and radio for help.
- Locke convinces Sun that she will never find her husband if she leaves with Frank. Well, it is the whole reason she abandoned her 3 year old daughter, so she better go with Locke! Locke, again seeming to have a plan which he never had in his 1st Island life, said he has some ideas on how to find Jin. Where is this information coming from?
- Sidenote: Did Lapidus and Locke ever really meet last season? I don't think they did! He had heard the name from Hurley on the life raft when they explained that he moved the island and he knew the name from the manifest since he studied and memorized the whole thing. But I just thought it was interesting that they never met, and that he acted like he knew Locke in this scene. Such is life on a TV show I guess!
- Anyway, before Locke can go forth with his plans, he is forcing Ben to carry through with his mission to be judged.
- Ben opens up his secret door that we saw last season, and we get to follow Ben down into the cave this time around. There is a lantern (just like in the donkey wheel cave) and Ben crawls his way down to a nice puddle of muddy water. He pulls something in the water like a drain, and the water goes down. Ben tells "Smokey" that he'll be outside. So I wonder if there is significance to the WATER? Does that keep Smokey at bay? Is that why the thing never wanders around the beaches? Eh, just me doing some crazy speculating.
- Ben goes outside and sees Sun but no Locke. Locke told Sun he had something to do and Ben was confused on what it possibly could be. So are we Ben!
- Sun is confused to how Locke is alive and is convinced Jack lied. Ben tells Sun that Locke was indeed dead and now is alive. He says he had no idea it would happen even though he told Locke he KNEW it would happen. He has seen the island do miraculous things like heal the sick but never bring someone back from the dead. "DEAD IS DEAD. you don't get to come back from that, not even here" Locke being alive scares the living hell out of him.
- Well it sure seems like Ben feels that way, but why lie to Sun? To cover up that he is the one that killed Locke? So if Dead is Dead, I guess that is trying to confirm to us that everyone else that was dead on the island is truly dead, which includes visions we'll see later in the episode. What does this say about Christian Shephard? The producers have always said that Christian is certifiably dead. And I would say the fact that he shows up in various time periods would support that theory (visiting Locke at the Donkey Wheel). It's just tough delivering your messages via Ben, the lying machine! Especially when he tells a lie while explaining it!
- Locke returns and Smokey never shows up. He tells Ben that they will have to go TO the monster instead of trying to summon it. Ben argues that he doesn't know where it is. Locke bluntly says "I do." Okay, I give up. Where is Locke getting his information from? Is he in communion with the island now that he is risen from the dead? Where did he go when he went into the jungle. Did he go to the cabin? Ben wasn't gone for THAT long.
Main Island - Journey to the Temple
- Before departing to find ol' Smokey, Locke tries to assure Sun that he understands how weird this is with him being alive, but that he's the same John Locke he has always been.
- On the journey, Ben is clearly freaked out and asking Locke question after question. How does Locke know where he is going? How did he get this brain dump of information? Did he suddenly wake up one day and know all the answers to the universe?
- Locke is loving the role reversal and how Ben has to blindly follow Locke just Locke had to follow Ben in hopes he would find what he was looking for.
- Ben realizes where they are going, he tells them it's where they brought him as a boy. It's where the island healed him. The Temple. They arrive at the wall and we are told that the temple is a half mile past the wall which was built to keep the NON-OTHERS out. As I stated before, I'm guessing the temple itself will be a season 6 reveal. But for now, Locke has other plans in mind. They are going under the Temple into into the CAVE where we saw Smokey drag Montand sans arm and the rest of Rousseau's crew.
- Of course, perhaps the temple is the answer to reuniting the crew in the 1977 and 2007 and we just do not know that yet. I guess we'll see.
- Ben is a little freaked out about going into Smokey's residence and tells Sun if she ever leaves the island to tell Desmond he's sorry. (obviously we know what he's sorry for) Of course it makes me wonder if Sun is going to get separated from Locke and Ben after the 2 of them head into the cave. Sure, Ben thought he was marching off to his death and wouldn't get a chance to get his message across himself. But I dunno, just got that feeling. Also, does this mean that Sun and Jin after they are reunited may try to leave the island to be with their child? Time will tell.
- Locke and Ben head into the cave. To Be Continued!
Hydra Island - Frank Returns
- Well, I pointed out earlier that there was only 1 outrigger at Hydra Island. Well the 2nd one returned with Frank and he didn't run into friendly company when he returned.
- Ilana found a stash of guns (maybe in the Hydra closet where Jack grabbed a gun in season 3?) and has taken over the reigns of the motley 316 crew. When Frank goes to see Ilana she points the gun at him and asks the secret question "what did one snowman say to the other?" Just kidding! She said "What lies in the shadow of the statue?"
- Frank had no idea what the answer was and was tied up.
- Ilana tells another guy with a gun to get everyone else and tell them that it's time. I guess she asked EVERYONE the question to see if they were with her? Speaking of with her, who is SHE with? Who recruited her to get Sayid? Was it Ben? Widmore? An unkown party? Is she the leader of the new threat that will face our LOSTIES in this season and the next? Is this the introduction to the WAR that is coming to the Island where Locke needs to be there for the right side to win? (according to lying man Charles Widmore of course)
- Lots of questions, the one thing we probably can confirm is that the 2 outriggers on Hydra and the Ajira water bottle we see are the things that make their way to the 815ers old camp and the same people that chase after at shoot at Locke, Juliet, Sayid, Miles, Dan and Charlotte when they take 1 of the outriggers to the Orchid. Stay tuned for the rest of their story in a future episode.
Main Island - The Cave
- As Locke and Ben head further into the cave with their torches, Ben tells Locke he was right about why he wants to be judged. He let Alex die in order to not leave the island. And now he has to answer for that. He asks Locke to let him go on his way alone.
- As Ben walks on he falls through the floor into yet another room filled with ancient Egyptian lore. Heiroglyphics galore. Clearly, I'm not liscenced to translate this stuff for everyone, but feel free to give it a shot! There are more pictures on Sledgeweb's site linked here.
- Ben makes his way through the room to a wall with a very telling engraved picture on it. It appears to be the Egyptian God Anubis feeding our Smoke Monster a treat. This picture here is a mythological delight. First of all, there was much speculation that the 4 toed statue HAS to be the Egyptian God of the Underworld after we saw the shot of the statue's back. This picture goes a long way in supporting that theory. To help the theory along, there is also an Ankh which is carried by Anubis and also referenced in the same episode we saw the statue ("LaFleur"). There is also a Serpent hanging out with Anubis in the picture for all of you "the island is the Garden of Eden" theorists out there! And on the left side of the picture a WHEEL of some sort maybe? No clue. What does all this mean? You got me. But clearly again, we are being told that this island has strong ancient Egyptian origins or at least strong signs of the island's original inhabitants.
- As Ben stares in fear at the picture, his torch goes out and our pal Smokey comes out of the grates below it and encapsulates Ben.
- When we saw the smoke monster meet Eko for the first time, we saw images from Eko's past throughout the smoke. This time it is taken a step further as we see Ben re-experiencing some pretty bad moments in his life and with Alex including the moment where he lets her die. Ben is clearly torn up be seeing all of this and unlie Eko, seems to be very sorry for what he has done.
- The smoke eventually subsides and Ben's torch all of a sudden lights back up. What is THAT all about?
- But then like Eko was visited by Yemi, Ben is visited by Alex (all seeming to be the Smoke monster taking the form of these people). Ben apologizes to Alex and says that everything was his fault. She goes after him, pushes him against a wall and tells him that she knows he is planning to kill Locke AGAIN. If he so much as touches Locke, she will hunt him down and destroy him. She instructs him to follow his every word and do anything he asks Ben to do. Ben hesitates but then fearfully promises to do this.
- I guess if Smokey can take the form of Yemi and Alex and in both cases be able to interact and have physical contact with people, it's not a stretch to say that Christian Shephard is the same. But why is Christian appearing to more people than just Jack? Michael, Ben, Locke, Hurley, Sun, Frank and even Vincent (the mobisode) have seen Christian. Something tells me he is a bit different. But I still hesitate to say he is reincarnated like Locke.
- Anyway, back to Ben. Alex disappears into thin air. We hear Locke screaming down to Ben . He has some rope and sends it down to Ben. Locke asks what happened? Ben, looking like the fear of God, Jacob or Locke has been put into him responds "It Let me Live"
Nothing really to say except....WHA????? Lots of headscratching to go around in this episode. So Smokey is judging people. Yeah, we kinda got that before with Eko. But is it judging everyone? Did it judge the 815 Pilot? Or did he just kill him because he wasn't supposed to be flying the plane? (Frank was) And another thing, when do we know when we can trust what Ben is saying? Only when we SEE what he is saying is true? (i.e. Ben telling Sun to trust him that Locke died. We saw Ben kill Locke) Or can we now believe Locke knows all and when he suspects Ben of lying, then we know it's a lie? And how does Locke know everything? Where was he for that first day or 2 when Ajira 316 crash landed on Hydra? Could that be helping to explain what is going on? Where did he go when he went into the jungle? Will Young Ben ever see the LOSTIES in 1977 again or will he remain with the Others until they are gone...helping to solidify him not remembering them? But what would that say about the 3 years that Sawyer, Juliet, Miles and Daniel were there? Oh yeah, where IS Daniel? While we're at it, why doesn't Richard age?
The funny thing is, I thought we were more in ANSWER mode these days on LOST. But there are still lots of questions to go around. It should be interesting to see how it is all resolved in. 22 more hours! Overall, the episode was a good time (I know, I always say it) but man was I confused! Please, join in on my confusion and post your thoughts of "Dead is Dead" and what is going on on LOST Island! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings (and I do ramble quite a bit with this show!) and I'll see you next week. NAMASTE!
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Special thanks as always to Sledgeweb for providing awesome screen shots on their site.