Thursday, November 5, 2009

3.20 The Man Behind the Curtain

Follow along! The episode guide for “The Brig” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 161-169.

(I just finished watching the episode, so I figured I'd just go ahead and post tonight after all!) Aside from the finale, this episode is still THE highlight of season 3 for me. The first Ben flashback is as brilliant and full of shock as the early flashbacks of the main characters in season 1, and watching it again in light of season 5 is even better.

Fun things I noticed:
• At the time this first aired I thought it was funny that Ben’s mother was being played by Michael Emerson’s real-life wife. Now I just find it strange that Arlene from True Blood has somehow made it from Bon Temps to the island… and where did her red hair go? ;)
• Horace’s Dharma wig looks better here than it does in season 5.
• Sun sticks up for Jack in front of everyone, and yet in DOC, she immediately suspects him of foul play when he asks her normal ob/gyn questions about her baby.
• Jack’s comment, “Because I hadn’t decided what to do about it yet” still irks me. Especially since you’d think by now he would understand someone like Sayid is smart, strong, and reliable, and could be a good advisor to discuss it with.
• In my Finding Lost book, I mention that I like Horace and say, “Here’s hoping he’ll make a return engagement in a future Ben flashback.” Heehee!! OR… how about we just take everyone back to where HE is?!

Things that have new meaning:
• Ben says, “I am one of the last that was,” and reiterates that he was born on the island. I suggested in one of my earlier rewatch posts that maybe to Ben, he WAS born on the island through his rebirth at the Temple. Despite coming clean to Locke at the end and admitting he wasn’t, in fact, born on the island, he still says with some conviction that he WAS born on the island, and I keep wondering if this line will take on greater meaning after we’ve season 6, and, presumably, what happened at the Temple.
• We were discussing back in season 2 the possibility of Locke already being the Man in Black – I mentioned in one post that maybe Locke died when he fell out of the window, and when Jacob touched him, he actually put the Man in Black in him at that moment, so when Locke opened his eyes and looked around, bewildered, it wasn’t John Locke anymore, but the Man in Black instead. So when Jacob said, “I’m sorry this happened to you” he wasn’t addressing Locke anymore, but his longtime frenemy. That, of course, was me just throwing out some food for thought (if that turns out to be the case, I think I’d be deeply disappointed because part of the reason I love Lost is because of Locke’s journey). But, for fun, let’s imagine that he IS the Man in Black in this episode… you could see why he insists on being taken to Jacob, and why he beats Mikhail to a pulp. (That said, I don’t think he’s the Man in Black… and will say why below.)
• Horace was present at Ben’s birth; Richard was present shortly after Locke’s. That means Ben was visited by Dharma; Locke was visited by an ancient Other. That makes Locke more authentic already!
• Annie is still one of the biggest unsolved mysteries. I REALLY hope this isn’t a storyline that’s dropped, and instead we find out in season 6 what happened to her. Could her death/disappearance be what contributed to Ben’s coldness?
• I think I asked this at the time, but I wonder if that volcano that Olivia mentions could have some significance later? Was the volcanic eruption important to the story of Jacob or Richard? (And I asked this in the book, but where is Olivia Goodspeed when Sawyer et al are at Dharma? Ben arrives there around the same time Sawyer does, so you’d think Sawyer would have seen her at some point. We all assumed at the time that she was Horace’s wife – is that true? Could she have been his sister?
• Ben’s mom says, “It’s not time yet, Benjamin.” The important word there being “time,” but… time for what? What TIME is correct? Is she a manifestation of Smokey? She doesn’t really follow the protocol of the other visions on the island – Eko saw both Yemi and Ana Lucia, and they both died on the island. Christian’s dead body is also on the island, but we’ve seen him walking about a lot now. Emily died off the island. Perhaps it doesn’t matter where they died, but just that they are dead and mean something to the person seeing them.
• Jacob hates technology, and yet he took a plane off the island to see everyone? Was he really there or was he a vision of some kind?
• Now we know Ben never saw Jacob, and was making that scene up the entire time. In retrospect, it makes sense, since on the one hand his hand is shaking just talking about Jacob, and then he talks back to him like Jacob’s some petulant child, which isn’t exactly reverent. Notice the shock on Ben’s face when he’s thrown backwards, like up to that point he was just assuming this was all smoke and mirrors and the “island being the island” and then he’s shot backwards across the room. D’oh.
• In “The Incident,” the Shadow Seekers come across Jacob’s cabin and look through it, and Ilana declares that Jacob hasn’t been in this cabin for a long time, and “someone else has been using it.” Perhaps we’re to assume she means Christian, but I think she means the Man in Black. I believe the man we see in this scene ever-so-briefly is NOT Jacob, but in fact is the Man in Black. He tells Locke to help him, and he’s been trapped somehow on the island or in that cabin. He pushes Ben away because he sees Ben as some insignificant bug, and it’s Locke he’s after. It’s as if he’s given up on Eko being his possible target, and now he’s decided maybe Locke’s the vulnerable one who could die at some point and he could inhabit his body. And by instilling fear in Ben in this scene, he sets up the series of events that will happen where Ben will kill Locke and bring his body back.
• The Purge was essentially death by nosebleed, just like the time jumps caused nosebleeds in everyone. And notice a few episodes ago, Claire’s nose started bleeding.
• Richard Alpert’s strange hair and dress is the only inconsistency in this episode, and I’m thinking that’s pretty much all it is. The writers already decided he’d be immortal (hence his whole NOT AGING thing) but they didn’t think that maybe his hair would always be just so, and that he’d always be wearing that blue top with the sleeves rolled up. When he strolls into the camp in “LaFleur” in season 5, everyone knows him, and he’s the guy talking to Horace. His hair is short, his shirt is nice, and he’s not wearing rags. So I think the only way to deal with that is just to chalk it up to the writers not having fully fleshed out the complete Alpert idea yet.

34 comments:

Marebabe said...

OK. Locke was told that HE personally had to kill his father, but he got Sawyer to do it. Later, when he was told to move the Island, Ben did that for him. I wonder about the consequences of these diversions from what he was instructed to do. How different would things have been if Locke had personally performed these two momentous tasks?

When Ben was a kid in Dharma school, why was there a small earthquake when the Hostiles attacked the Barracks?

I really, really wonder where Annie was on the day of The Purge. And I’ve changed from HOPEFUL to CONFIDENT that the Annie mystery will be solved in S6, because in the commentary for this episode, Darlton revealed that we haven’t seen the last of Annie. And the volcano on the Island is also important – “seismic” – but not as important as Annie. Carlton said she is “VERY significant in Ben’s life.” And Damon described her as “Huge”. So they can’t not give us more of Annie’s story. I am so looking forward to that! The theory I like best right now is that Annie is going to die in childbirth, and Ben’s grief will be the crucial element that will affect everyone and everything. Also that the mysterious uterine X-Rays shown to Juliet in “Not In Portland” belonged not to some no-name Other, but to Annie herself.

Red said...

I think Richard's strange appearance is just a disguise like Tom Friendly's beard. It was him just trying the throw Dharma off, I suppose by making them think the Others were all primitive savages.

And that was definitely the Man in Black in the cabin, not Jacob. What's strange is how Ben knew about the cabin in the first place since he had never even seen Jacob, let alone where he lived (which turned out to be the statue). Chances are Jacob lived in that cabin at one time and Ben was told about it, so when Locke demanded to see him Ben took him there knowing it was empty (so he thought) and did his little show. He must have thought that Jacob actually was there after though, since in season 4 he'll (or rather Locke) will try and find the cabin again to move the island.

SonshineMusic said...

Were Roger and Emily going on a picnic? ;)

The whole flashback has SO much more of a bizarre feel to it now that we've spent half a season there.

Did you hear Hurley and Desmond talking about HAGGIS in the background of one of the scenes? HA!

Like how Jack is all, you kept this a secret?!?!?!?! Ummm... have you forgotten about Ben and the guns, etc.?

Is there a whisper transcript for what little Ben hears in the jungle?

When Ben raises his eyebrows his face goes all Grinch-like :D

Ben says that he was ONE of the people smart enough not to end up in the Dharma ditch. So I would think that means that others survived too - Amy? - and I would think he would definitely protect Annie. Okay, so here's my Annie/Ben hypothesis (I am stealing parts of this from comments others have made)

Ben and Annie end up together. Annie becomes pregnant. Annie dies. (perhaps as one of the first pregnant women to die) (maybe even the first as some sort of "test" or "punishment" to Ben for not doing something?) Ben becomes obsessed with fertility and trying to help the pregnant women. Ben steals Alex from Rousseau shortly after Annie dies, taking Alex as some sort of surrogate daughter for the one he should have had with Annie.

I don't quite know what I think of it myself and I'm not sure if the timeline works out, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Marebabe said...

@Sonshine: You had me going there for a second with your picnic question. But then I remembered that they mentioned they were just out for a hike. That would've been too awful if it had been another Death Picnic.

I like your Annie/Ben/Alex theory. The bits of information we still need are the years of certain events. I don't recall the supposed year when Ben stole baby Alex, and of course, we'll have to wait for S6 to find out the year of all the Ben & Annie stuff. But it's coming. I'm sure of it.

The Question Mark said...

@ Nikki: I HEART Horace, too! Doug Hutchison is a great actor, and he's awesoem in "The Green Mile", one of my all-time favourite movies.
The whole thoery about Annie getting pregnant/being the owner of that aging uterus Richard shows Juliet makes perfect sense. It would certainly explain the creepy lengths Ben went to to keep Karl from impregnating Alex.

Knowing how the writers of Lost work, I have a theory that the episode where we FINALLY learn the purpose, origins, and endgame of the Others, will be an episode that revolves around Zack and Emma. Basically, seeing the truth through THEIR eyes.

@Red: Richard being in disguise is a PERFECT theory! Remember, he wasn't sure about Ben yet. He told little Ben that he had to be very, very patient, meaning Ben would not be able to join the Others for several years. If Richard had shown up several years later looking normal, Ben would've been curious as to why he appeared and immortal, and perhaps Richard didn't want to reveal that secret just yet to someone he didn't fully trust. So he made himself appear different to Ben in order to fool him, perhaps...
Kinda like a certain someone pretending to be Henry Gale until he could get what he wanted...

Pamalamb said...

This is one of my favorite episodes - our first glimpse at the Dharma Initiative was great and really worth the wait and it answered so many questions.

@Sonshine: I think your theory about Ben and Anne is correct. The way he is looking at the carved doll on the morning of the purge - something tragic must have happened to her. And his obsession with the fertility problems and his raising Alex as his daughter suggest that he lost a wife and child.

Lately I've been thinking that the statue was destroyed because of the incident and ever since then island women have been dying during their pregnancy

@Red: I agree that Richard was purposely dressing in rags as a disguise. I think the others always dress in rags when they are traveling through the jungle away from where they live and work. That would explain other times we've seen them dressed that way - like when Eko and Jin saw a group of others while they were hiding and when Ben and Juliet were in the Pearl station discussing kidnapping Jack, Kate, and Sawyer.

crazyinlost said...

And the "Wizard of Oz" comes full circle!

@SonshineMusic-Were Roger and Emily going on a picnic? ;)
Love it, absolutely love it!

Ben's eyes were BUGGING OUT of his head when he saw John walk into th camp!

I was hoping the whisky was McCuteon again, but alas, it was just good ol' Dharma label.

Ben gets so insulted whenever someone calls him a liar...imagine that.

When I saw Roger "WorkMan" getting his work all I could think of was "Namaste" where Jack gets his "workman" uniform!

@Marebabe-thanks for the update from the top that we will be seeing more of Annie in S6. And I loved your idea of the x-rays being Annies-her dying must have been the breaking point for Ben.

I love how the others just stand around (or sit and drink coffee) while John beats crap out of Mikhail. Have we ever seen John beat anyone else up? Can't remember.

Ben just can't figure out why everyone seems so against him! At least he got a half-hearted "Happy birthday Dad" from Alex.

I've got a few more, but this is really long already. I'll give someone else a chance.

crazyinlost said...

@Fred-Horace built the cabin for "me and the missus'" as he told John in a vision. Seems Horace and Ben were friends, since we see Ben close H's eyes after the purge, and look really sad. So, yes, I'm sure Ben had knowledge of the cabin.

crazyinlost said...

sorry, I meant @RED-oops!

Gillian Whitfield said...

Even though we know now that Ben was lying about seeing Jacob, the scene in the cabin still creeps me out.

HHHWHAT (as Ben would say) is the deal with Richard's hair? In the flashback, his hair is long. But every other time, he's had short hair.

I LOVE this episode. Ben is one of my favourite characters. The only characters that come first are Sawyer and Daniel.

A.G.Wooding said...

Nikki - Are you suggesting the man in black was after Eko first. Did the man in black need Eko to confess his sins and feel bad for them so he could inhabit him but when Eko didn't he got mad and killed him. Maybe he thought Eko out of everyone would be most likely to repent his sins, being a priest but didn't expect Eko's answer.

I'm sure I read that the reason Olivia wasn't in season 5 was because Samantha Mathis didn't want to come back. If that's true then the writers are REALLY lucky they didn't call her Horace's wife or it would have screwed up the whole Ethan scenarior a lot.

I really hope Sterling Beaumon returns for season six, he is amazing as young Ben (maybe only surpassed by the girl who played Kate in the season 5 finale. When the store owner grabbed her arm and she gave that sigh I gasped because of how much she resembled Evangeline Lilly).

Did Jacob use a plane to get to the survivors? We know he rode in a taxi but it hasn't been confirmed how he got to all of these places. Although if the person in the cabin is the man in black, it would make more sense that he didnt like technology. Perhaps Richard anticipated Ben might visit and told him about the technology without telling him it wasn't Jacob he was visiting.

A.G.Wooding said...

Just another thought, do you think Richard knew that Jacob didn't live in the cabin anymore and that the man in black was using it. If he went to the statue in the season 5 finale straight away it would suggest he knew where Jacob was all along but why would he risk Ben going to the cabin if he knew what was inside. Unless he thought there would be no1

Maybe he knew Jacob had left it but not that the man in black had entered, so he just thought Ben's trip would be a waste and not the possible disaster that caused the man in black to escape.

I really want that ash answered aswell. Hmmmm

JS said...

As Ben says in The looking Glass, this is the beginning of the end. REally loved this episode, the momentum is building for not only the season finale, but for the next three seasons.

I posted this theory earlier in the re-watch. I don't think Ben was ever talking to or getting messages from Jacob. Anything that came from Jacob came through Richard. Ben was directed by MiB all along. The Temple belongs to MiB, and RA has known that all along as well.

* Technology - MiB, not Jacob, hates technology. MiB wasn't happy about people coming to the island because they bring chaos. Jacob saw it as progress. If Jacob believes in progress, he would believe in technology, and we know he uses technology - he took a plane, he rode in a taxi, he used a candy machine, it could be argued the loom is a kind of early technology....

* Cabin - Jacob left the cabin long ago. The voice, the eye, all MiB. The ash around the cabin was from Jacob’s fire inside the statue (the one he got kicked into by MiB) and meant to keep him in the cabin. Once the ash was broken, MiB was able to do his work. I am not sure when exactly that is, but we can agree that the way MiB inhabits Locke is different than the way he inhabited Christian, Yemi, etc.

*The real “Leader” - Ben lost his faith in the island long ago, and has been faking everything all along. He is a liar, he can do that. MiB was looking for someone, and it served his purposes to have Ben as the "leader" until he could find the right one. Eko was the first candidate, because he had blind faith, but not backing down to the smoke monster meant he wasn't as pliable as MiB had hoped. Dead. JL was more pliable, and the next choice. They were both contenders - they both had difficult lives that would lead them to want to believe in something - but Eko was preferred when JL started to lose faith. JL’s faith became stronger every time he was able to walk again (kinda biblical).

There is no evidence that anyone besides RA ever spoke to Jacob. The lists were Ben's, not Jacob's. The big mystery is what did RA know when, and how does he play in the meta story. MiB had his plan to kill Jacob, but I can buy that Jacob understood what he was doing, inserted himself into people’s lives to bring them to (and back to) the island, so that when he was killed, “they” would come.

That’s my theory. What do you think? Hopefully, S6 will reveal all. Mostly.

SonshineMusic said...

@JS: The lists were Ben's, not Jacob's.

I would agree with you up to a point. I've brought this up a couple of times because I'm continuing to puzzle over it in my own head. I would say that Ben definitely put together some/most of the lists we hear about. However, that doesn't explain why Pickett and Mikhail both reference a difference between Ben's lists and Jacob's lists. Maybe Richard brought them lists and Ben adjusted them? But why would that be common knowledge, especially if Ben wanted everyone to think that he was special and the leader?

Marebabe said...

@JS: I thought your theory was a ripping good read! I especially like the technology and cabin parts. Regarding the circle of ash, WHAT IF some of the ash was from Jacob's cremated body, from the time that Ben stabbed him and kicked him into the fire? With time travel, I think that's a possibility. Because I've always thought that plain old ash is a pretty weak barrier. Mix a little Jacob-Magic into it, and then you've really got something! Maybe Richard was the one who actually laid down the ring of ash. Good golly, when we get on a roll theorizing, there's no stopping us!

Nikki Stafford said...

Red: I think when they first filmed this, that was exactly the intent: that Richard was creeping through the jungle in his rags the same way Tom and the Others did in S2, to freak people out and make them think they're something they're not. BUT... after the Purge, Richard walks into Dharmaville and he's still wearing the rags. If he was the liaison between the DI and the Hostiles at that point -- as we saw in LaFleur, when he walked directly into their camp and confronted Horace with no wig, no rags -- then who is he dressing up to trick? The DI already know they're out there, and they know Richard is a well dressed man. He's well-dressed in S5 whenever he's hanging around, and he's not pretending to be anything he's not. While Eloise and Charles Widmore are wearing rags, he's in his blue dress shirt and nice pants. This is the only episode where Richard will be in rags, and it's inconsistent. The DI presumably always knew about the Hostiles, so he wouldn't have been tricking anyone with that get-up.

But when this episode aired, absolutely, your theory was the one they were insinuating. :)

JS said...

@SonshineMusic - good point, though I think we still don't know why Jacob want's people, but we have an idea why Ben/MiB wants people. We'd have to take a closer look at the difference between the lists. And RA may or may not cover for Ben re: lists. Still an open question for me.

@Marebabe - I think the ash in Jacob's "place" may be other times he died, Aslan-like. It wouldn't necessarily be in a time loop, but perhaps previous incarnations. But time loop could work too. I think magical ash is the only thing that could keep MiB in the cabin, whether from Jacob or that mysterious volcano imbued with Jacob powers.

@Nikki - I agree - we never see Richard with the others when they are in their get ups, and the timing for him is inconsistent to try to pull it off. But it is still strange that he pretty much wears the same thing for 50 years. Perhaps the dress shirt is also ageless :).

Susan said...

Nikki re why didn't Jack consult Sayid about his plan, well, last time Jack listened to Sayid Jack ended up being ambushed by the Others. So maybe he's not too sure about Sayid's judgement anymore.

re Horace -- ROFL at bringing everyone back to Horace's time. He's one of my favorite background characters so I was glad to see him in season 5. (Though I did lose some respect for him when he allowed Radsinsky to walk all over him.)

Teebore said...

So I think the only way to deal with that is just to chalk it up to the writers not having fully fleshed out the complete Alpert idea yet.

No, that's entirely too well-reasoned and straightforward! I refuse to accept it. :)

Fred said...

@Marebabe: small earthquake at the school. I wondered about that too. Here's 2 ideas. (1) it has to do with the Swan being built, maybe the explosion from Jack and co. led to the Hostiles invading the barracks. Against this idea is the evacuation of children and such from the island before. So why would there be all these kids in school. So (2) maybe its the smoke monster breaching the barrier--lots of explosions like when the moke monster rips up trees. But then why need the rifles? Oh,and speaking of Annie being huge to the story, here's a thought: maybe Adam and Eve are Ben and Annie? Anyone want to run with that? But I also like Sonshine Music's idea that Ben loses Annie in child birth. It makes a lot of sense, too.

@Red: one thing I noticed is when Locke says he wants to go see Jacob and Ben baulks, Locke says he'll go ask someone else, like Richard. Ben immediately says he'll take Locke. Why was that? Would it have shown up Ben not knowing about Jacob,as we later learn? Or might Richard have taken Locke to the foot on the beach, not the cabin? The other noticable thing is "Jacob" doesn't like technology--but that's the Esau character, not Jacob. Jacob seems quite happy to use cabs, candy machines, and I suppose fly on airplanes to get around, as we see in Season 5. But Ben says, Jacob doesn't like technology, like you John. A telling remark, considering Locke is replaced by Esau disguised as Locke. Ah, see JS has talked about this too.

Ben's mum appearing, is that the smoke monster? It seemed important to Richard to hear Ben saw his dead mother appear. Clearly it may indicate a person with a strong mind can "create" the image of his desire in a material form--shades of Lem's Solaris (the island is the magic box) What the Others want is an expression of abilities (remember Walt) or even a gesture (perhaps killing your father, as Ben does).

Roger is pissed about being a work man. He asks Horace to pay him another $30,000. Yikes, in 1970s $30,000 was really good pay. You'd have to at least triple that to get it in today's dollars.

@JS: thing to notice is fire seems associated with MIB. We see it in the cabin, but it appears elsewhere, and often associated with Locke. I'm not yet sure what is associated with Jacob. Fish?? Then that would associate Jin with Jacob, or even Sun. I think the distinction between Jacob and MIB is also between hunters and agriculturalists. This would place Locke closer to MIB, and Sun closer to Jacob.

@Nikki: I think the writers really didn't have a handle yet on how to handle Richard. Maybe he was supposed to be this sort of backwoods hostile. But when he became more prominent they jsut kept him well-dressed. But he seems to flash between these two dress codes, almost like he is 2 separate people. This was also made a point of with Christian Shephard, his shoes appear black when he talks to Locke in the well, otherwise he always wore white runners. I got to admit, thee two are mysterious dudes that need more explanation. I still think Richard is a Golem. Likely I'm wrong.

The Question Mark said...

@ Nikki: I think the only person Richard was trying to trick by dressing in rags was young Ben. he may have heard that ben as special, the same way he heard about Locke (although HOW is anyone's guess).
Also, if we're assuming Ben lost a lot of his memories after being taken to the Temple, then perhaps this scene takes place AFTER that.

Ali Bags said...

I agree with JS about technology - Exactly who was it who said Jacob hates technology? Was it Ben? because in that case it MUST be true ;-)
And I agree with Nikki about it probably being the Man in Black who was in the cabin and not Jacob, so it is him who hates technology.

Ali Bags said...

@TheQuestionMark

"Also, if we're assuming Ben lost a lot of his memories after being taken to the Temple, then perhaps this scene takes place AFTER that."

Good one!

Don said...

Amazing how new perspective changes everything. When this episode first aired, I thiought it was the best episode yet, and to me it felt like we finally were learning something about the Dharma initiative (as well as Ben of course). Now, after Season 5, re-watching this episode doesn't seem so much like revealing about Dharma as it does about Ben and the Others.

And The Brig, which when I first watched it, was only interesting to me in the Anthony Cooper killing, but watching now, Locke's motives and strategies, and determination to join the strangely nomadic Others is what sticks out to me.

It's amazing that after 5 years, we still know so little about the Others. In Season 5, after 3 years of living with Juliet, I figured we'd learn something about them through Sawyer, but Nope - we're still clueless.

The way the creators have been able to tell so much of the story while keeping this part of it all still a mystery is amazing. On Zap2It.com in their Lost section, they've had articles about the The Others all week. It makes for interesting reading during this Lost Re-Watch of Season 3 that is all about them.

After 2 more years with so much back story, we're more confused than ever. As Michael said.. "Who ARE you people?"

Stan said...

If Locke indeed becomes the embodyment of Esau, or MiB, the beginning of that transformation may have begun in the cabin in this episode when MiB said to Locke "Help me." Season 6 may reveal a meeting between the two shortly after this scene, possibly while Locke is lying in the death pit after being shot by Ben. MiB, maybe through Walt (but not in his body) may have escaped from the cabin and approached Locke and convinced him that the use of his body will be the ultimate "right thing" that Locke can do for the world (depending on the theory of saving the world espoused by Mrs. Hawking). I better stop before I turn myself inside out here! Anyone want to add to this theory?

celandinehaleth said...

It is becoming very difficult for me to post and make any sense! You all have so many well thought out ideas that my head is swimming. I’ll just comment on a couple of things.

@crazyinlost: Well yes, Locke has beaten someone up before, he wailed on Charlie!


My theory on the “Others/Hostiles” was picked up while watching one of those enhanced repeats in Season 4 or 5. In it Daemon or Carlton mentions when the Others are meeting with Locke as their potential leader, that they are the “indigenous” residents of the island. My theory is that something happened 100 or more years ago which caused many of them to become “immortal”. Once they were much less sophisticated, but after learning from a series of castaways, they have adapted to the modern world. When all the time travel was going on, I think the survivors encountered the Others/Hostiles in different incarnations, hence the use of flaming arrows to protect themselves. They may pick up castaways from time to time, probably based on Jacob’s lists, but the core group now surviving is as old as or older than Jacob and his counterpart.

I hope that makes a little sense.

SonshineMusic said...

@ The Question Mark, et. al.: if we're assuming Ben lost a lot of his memories after being taken to the Temple,

I have to say that after watching this episode I hit myself in the head for all the discussion that has occurred over Ben being "born" on the Island. Duh! I though to myself, It's just another one of his lies.

So, although he does go into the temple and go through the change there, my perspective is that the temple experience was separate and Ben simply uses the line about being born on the Island to give himself a leg up as leader. jmo.

crazyinlost said...

@calandinehaleth-YES! I forgot all about Charlie! Thanks.

@Marebabe-Alex was born '88/'89, so she would've been an infant no later than eary part of '90.

@SoneshineMusic-Ben "Some of the things I've told you are simply not true" Ha, and again, Ha! Guess that explains why he said he was born on the island.

@Js, and Fred (NOT Red this time)- I agree with you about Christian appearing to different people differently. Always in suit and white tennis shoes for Jack, in casual attire for John. It must mean something...It HAS to!

Fred said...

@Don: what you are expressing about the writers giving us so many seasons and not telling us so much is so true of LOST. One of the most frustrating things (and at the same time intriguing things) about the show is how information can alter with new information. Scenes we thought complete, are shown again with a tail end added which completely changes our earlier impressions. At the same time, editing is masterful, as in The Brig. It's not just two stories edited to overlap one another, but it forms part of the story telling method--it really is like a puzzle (thanks Desmond) where we get snippets of film interspersed and have to wait for missing pieces (much like the Swan hatch film).

As you so rightly point out Don: "It's amazing that after 5 years, we still know so little about the Others. In Season 5, after 3 years of living with Juliet, I figured we'd learn something about them through Sawyer, but Nope - we're still clueless. The way the creators have been able to tell so much of the story while keeping this part of it all still a mystery is amazing." I mean we'd have to redit the entire series to get a continuous linear tale. Meanwhile for 5 seasons we've done nothing but work backwards in time (from 2004 to 1977), and now we're anticipating going back to the 19th century to see the Black Rock. I mean are these writers hyped on Faulkner and Marquez?

Jenn said...

@SonshineMusic and @Marebabe:
Maybe Roger and Emily were just going on a hike, but they brought along some sandwiches in case they got hungry later. Perhaps it was an evil death picnic after all, albeit a lesser-planned one:) LOL

Marebabe said...

@Jenn: True that. It's just SAD, isn't it? But the grim and morbid part of me is LOL. I'm not sure what to do with these mixed feelings. :]

crazyinlost said...

I just rewatched this episode last night AGAIN (it was on TV) and i noticed Ben is wearing the same pj's as in Par Avion!

Aw, Annie is so cute! But Ben and his bunnies-a little bit creepy!

Red said...

@Fred: one thing I noticed is when Locke says he wants to go see Jacob and Ben baulks, Locke says he'll go ask someone else, like Richard. Ben immediately says he'll take Locke. Why was that?

Very good point. It was likely because Ben didn't want Locke, or anyone else for that matter, to know that he'd never seen Jacob. If we're to assume that Richard is the only one who speaks directly with Jacob then there could be a possible inconsistency between what we see here and what we see in Season 5.

In "Through the Looking Glass" when Ben returns to the Other camp after shooting John and leaving him for dead he tells Richard "Jacob wants it to happen now", in reference to their attack on the Losties. That doesn't add up, unless Richard is not aware that Ben has never seen Jacob, which seems unlikely if he is the only one who converses with him. It makes it appear as if a) Ben does have a relationship with Jacob and b) Richard thinks he does. Neither of these appear true following "The Incident". I hope this is addressed in the "Looking Glass" rewatch.

notuo said...

Yesterday I noticed just before minute 14. The scene is the school and the kids are hidden. There is a glimpse. I saw and hear sawer running out the school.

Anyone can confirm this?