Wednesday, December 30, 2009

5.07 The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Follow along! The episode guide for “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 99-115.

You know, I was just thinking the other day that S4 had its standout episodes – “The Constant” and “The Shape of Things to Come” (and of course the finale) were real game-changers for the show. In a great season, these episodes stood out. But in S5, the entire season was outstanding, and I couldn’t really pull out any that particularly blew my socks off, probably because every episode did. Entertainment Weekly recently named this episode one of the best hours of television in 2009, and maybe if I had to choose one, this might be it. It’s filled with inconsistencies, many of which I point out in my book (Locke dies here but his body isn’t seen by Jack for another month, yet it didn’t decompose… I’m hoping that’ll be explained and it’s not actually an inconsistency; Hurley’s mental institution is CALLED Santa Rosa, but it’s not IN Santa Rosa; Locke never says the things to Jack that Jack will later tell Ben he said; Locke never insists on being called Jeremy Bentham, etc.) But even with all of these inconsistencies, the scene of Locke standing on that table with the cord around his neck gets to me every time, especially now on the heels of our rewatch. We’ve watched in just a few short months the entirety of a man’s life, and for him to stand there after everything he’s been through and say, “I’m a failure” breaks my heart every time. I think it’s a crime that Terry O’Quinn wasn’t nominated for the Emmy for this scene alone. He is so brilliant.

Fun things I noticed:
• Ilana tells Locke that Lapidus and Sun took off in the middle of the night… but they didn’t. We’ll later see them leave in broad daylight.
• Widmore is as awesome a liar as Ben is; he tells Locke that for three decades they protected the island “peacefully” and yet we know they slaughtered the soldiers in 1954, and their truce with the DI in the 70s wasn’t exactly “peaceful.”
• I love Kate, I really, really do, but GOD she’s so self-important and annoying in the scene with John Locke. It’s the only time in the entire series where I really don’t like her at all.
• The scene of John in the cemetery. At that moment, I thought to myself that more than anything, I want that to be a lie. I want Helen to be alive, I want the real John Locke to somehow resurrect, and I want them to be reunited.
• In my book I have photos I got from this guy who lived in the apartment building adjacent to the intersection where they staged the big car crash with Locke, and he sat in his window and took pics of them doing the scene. Could you IMAGINE looking out your window and seeing that?
• OK, not just Terry O’Quinn deserves an Emmy for this episode, but Matthew Fox (again). His acting in the scene where he comes face-to-face with Locke once again is BRILLIANT. He’s clearly high, hanging on by a thread, on the verge of a nervous breakdown yet desperately trying to hold it together. What a scene.

Things that have new meaning:
• The writers have said the Oceanic 6 were off the island in January 2005, and were gone for 3 years. But when Sun and Lapidus and Ben landed on the island, they’re apparently in 2007, according to the same writers. Does that mean they actually time-travelled backwards, too (which would make sense, since we’ll later see they land in the day even though it’s nighttime in the sky) or was it just a rough estimate of 3 years, when in fact it was actually close to three years and was actually November 2007 or something when they decided to return?
• From this point on, we have to watch John Locke on the island as the Man in Black, which is such a strange thing to do.
• Take a look at the scene where Ben pleads with Locke to come down. Locke is holding his hands out to his sides, and Ben is on his knees in front of him. Locke is set up as a Christ figure, one who must die to save our sins....


Marebabe said...

This episode is a study in human suffering. The rough handling and brutal setting of John’s broken leg are as hard for me to watch as any cinematic torture scenes. And Terry O’Quinn’s portrayal of a man in the depths of despair as he was preparing to kill himself was heartbreaking and terrible. Words fail.

Widmore: “I was afraid Benjamin might fool you into leaving the Island, as he did with me.” This statement seems to imply that Widmore was tricked into turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel, not knowing that he would end up in the desert of Tunisia, unable to return to the Island. But Charles Widmore was escorted onto the submarine at the Pala Ferry dock, wasn’t he? Did I miss something important? Or is Widmore simply lying to John? Actually, now that I think about it, that seems to be the likely explanation. This episode is full of characters contradicting each other. With so many conflicting testimonies, it would take the Wisdom of Solomon to get to the bottom of it. We’re just going to have to wait more or less patiently for them to tell us who is lying and who is telling the truth.

And I LOVE that Hurley is fine with the idea of talking to “Ghost Locke”, but freaks out when he finds out Locke is real and alive. Only on Lost!

FireRay3 said...

Ha. One theory says that the 316 crashing is Flash 16! Flight 316 crashed in Jan 2008. 4 guys were sent to 1977, some guys were sent to 2007. We may see when the incient is over, everybody will be send back to 2008.

Fred said...

@Marebabe: Cool, you hit on it with Widmore. He does lie, or at least dissemble the truth. Unless we get to see how Ben tricks Widmore into leaving the island, we have to make the assumption he left becuase of his flandering ways off island. Thus he did not, as seemed to be implied, turn the frozen wheel and eject himself off island to Tunisia.

Locke says towards the end of the episode he has an idea of how he got there. Ceasar tells him about the flash of light and then Hurley disappearing. Does this mean this is another version of Locke, from another time? Somehow he would have had to incorporate the memories of the sadly fated Locke. (I know, most people think this second Locke is actually Jacob's Nemesis, MiB. It very well might be, but I am also going on the assumption the writers know how to throw curve balls to strike us out as far as guessing future events on the show).

It was heartbreaking to see Locke's decline into despair and eventual suicidal feelings. At the beginning of his journey, he is like the knights of old setting out on a quest with his squire (Abaddon) to "get him to where he needs to be." Meeting Sayid, Locke (and we) learn that Sayid's task was getting rid of people who played no role (Widmore's empire certainly did not collapse from Sayid's actions, but I think they may have been people associated with Dharma, or simply innocents Ben sent Sayid after--afterall this is the man who said about the other passangers, "Who cares."). He then meets with Walt who warns him of a prophetic dream (so far the dream never has come true, unless the people surrounding Locke are Ben and Abaddon and Widmore and Ms. Hawking). Meeting Hurley, Locke is warned against Abaddon as an evil being. It may seem odd, as Locke does not seem to be accomplishing anything, but by his visits he is providing information to anyone watching (did Ben learn about where Sayid was from seeing where Locke went, or did he always know where Sayid was?).

Finally, meeting Kate, Locke is shown that he has not really grown, as he is still obssessive. It is an ironic comment given we have seen Locke's character development on the island. For all the character development during the past seasons (including Locke's comment to Sawyer about needing the pain to grow), Locke essentially remains the same. And because of that he can be used or conned by others. With the loss of Abaddon, Locke comes to the end of his journey--it is just a short spiral downwards, taking Jack's description of him as an old man wanting to be special to heart. When Ben approaches Locke standing on the table, even Locke's gesture of the raised hand signifies a religious figure. It's Ben who reinstills hope in Locke, and then kills him. But why? I don't believe it is the information about Ms. Hawking (I suspect Ben all along knew where Ms Hawking was), but Ben really lighted up when Locke told him Jin was alive. Is Jin somehow special, in a way Locke wasn't? Only the last few episodes will tell.

I wonder about Ceasar? Is he part of the Dharma Initiative, or an attempt to restructure it? Will he appear again? Or is he really dead?

Hah, my word verification for posting is "others". Coincidence? Fate?

Batcabbage said...

You're right, Nik, it's a crime that Terry O'Quinn wasn't recognised for this season. This episode just reinforced for me that he's my favourite character and actor on the show.

Nik: I love Kate, I really, really do, but GOD she’s so self-important and annoying in the scene with John Locke.

I've never mentioned this here, but I've had an almost irrational (actually, very likely irrational) hatred of Kate since season 3, and the way she spoke to Locke in this episode just reinforced it.

I liked the little meeting with Walt, even though it didn't seem to add anything to the story other than backing up what Walt said to Hurley last season at Santa Rosa.

When Abbadon says "I get people where they need to be" was another 'squee!' moment for me. For anyone that hasn't yet, pick up Nikki's season 5 book (hey, you've all already bought it, right? Of course you have!) and read the write up of 'Y: The Last Man'. Then read 'Y: The Last Man'. There's a direct parallel between Mathew and one of the main characters in 'Y'. I can't recommend it enough.

So what was Ben's motivation to kill Locke after saving him from taking his own life? This is some serious speculation here, but as far as I can tell, Ben fully intended for Locke to live until Locke mentioned Eloise. Then he does a little 'Now I'm EVIL BEN!' expression and kills Locke. What was going on in Ben's mind right then? Did he think, as I now suspect, 'Hey! Why didn't I think of Eloise? She's a freaky smart lady, she could get us back to the Island, and if I kill Locke, I can be leader of the Others again! What a good idea, now for a little spot of murder"? Did Ben just not know where she was, and once John said where she was, did Ben not need him anymore? And by killing Locke, was Ben being an agent of MIB, performing the murder that would allow him to utilise the loophole and kill Jacob by proxy? Has Ben been an unwitting agent of MIB all this time, and that's why he was never able to see Jacob?

Susan said...

Nikki: I like your idea of John and Helen getting together. That's the kind of ending I'd like to see for John.

Marebabe: ROFL at Hurley and Ghost Locke v. Real Locke.

An actual moment of honesty from Ben: "I'll miss you, John. I really will." There's no one present to hear him, so is it the truth?

Fred said...

@Susan: Since there is talk of an alternate reality in Season 6, I suspect that will give all of us viewers the chance to see Locke and Helen together, at least until her aneurysm takes her life. As Abaddon said, she would follow her path, but as Locke replied, at least he would have been with her.

Also I agree with you, Ben is probably speaking the truth about Locke when he closes the door on him. He really will miss Locke. But why? Did he feel a kinship with Locke? Perhaps.

Red said...

I'm glad you mentioned the scene between Jack and Locke in this episode. I think it contains some of the best acting Matthew Fox has ever done on the show, and Terry O'Quinn is as always great.

This episode feels like a eulogy for Locke in retrospect, since we know now that he will not come back to life and that he died there in that crummy hotel room by Ben's hand. What a tragic end to a tragic life.

I really wonder if Ben actually expected John to return from the dead or if he was just lying, though I can't imagine what he'd gain from "pretending" at that moment.

Anonymous said...

Ben needed Locke to get back to the island. He knew how to leave, but not how to get back. He knew the island (or the MIB? Jacob?) had sent Locke to gather everyone and return, so it was important that Locke stay alive, as it was the only way Ben could get back. But when Locke revealed the name and location of the woman who was going to facilitate their return, Ben suddenly didn't need Locke anymore. Rather than ask to tag along and risk being rejected (because they really didn't need him and obviously at least Hurley and Sayid had a problem with him going along), Ben removed all doubt by killing Locke and using the information that only Locke had, up to that point, to lead the others to Eloise.

SonshineMusic said...

I freakin' love this episode just for the scene between Locke and Ben. They are both beyond brilliant actors.

@Nikki:The scene of John in the cemetery. At that moment, I thought to myself that more than anything, I want that to be a lie. I want Helen to be alive, I want the real John Locke to somehow resurrect, and I want them to be reunited.

I KNOW!!! I totally could see Widmore setting up a fake grave, too.

More and more I am becoming of the opinion that Ben is not and never has been for either side, but has been played by both in advancing their goals.

That shot of Locke in the water reminded me of the way Jack first saw his father, in a suit standing in the water.

Did Ilana know that this wasn't really Locke. She exchanges some serious looks with Caesar. If she knew, then why wait for the reveal? Were they waiting to see how things would play out? Or did they not know what was in the container? (I am finding it shocking how many details from the finale I am forgetting.)

Here's another random thought I had - Is Abaddon like an opposite of Richard? One working for Jacob and one for MiB? Or one working for free will and one for destiny? If so, then did he really die? Or might he return in S6? If so and he DID die, then does that mean RICHARD could die?! (horrors!)

I had been contemplating that and I instinctively put Richard on the free will/Jacob side and Abaddon on the fate/MiB side. But if they ARE opposites, then it could be the other way around. Alpert orchestrating events in Locke's life (the test, the compass) so everything happens the way it was meant to be while Abaddon lets Locke decide where he wants to go and how he wants to get there.

Lost is really messing with my head. A man came into the bookstore where I work today and was nearly a dead ringer for Anthony Cooper. Freaked Me Out. I was glad he didn't ask me for any help.

Verification: Messi - 1 Mess, 2 Messi

Azá said...

Yaay! I'm finally back up to date with you guys - really sorry to have missed all the fun, however, I have been watching the eps and pretty much in the same structure as set out in the schedule, but just fell behind a fair bit!

Nikki, I did send you a few emails, but you did not respond :( :( :( ???

Anyhow, we can certainly see why JJ Abrahams uses a few actors in his shows, TOQ definately showing us why.

It is very difficult to see who to believe; Widmore or Linus. Linus's reputation stinks of lies, so one would be more inclined to believe Widmore. But apart from killing Locke, Ben does seem to have the Island's true best interests at heart as he was (at the temple) born there, where as Widmore came with the military. Sidenote: I'm really keen to see if we will ever learn how Widmore became so rich after he was banished!?

The ceiling structure that Locke hangs from is almost crufix-like as well as Nikki pointing out that he also stands like it.

Now we know Tunisia is the exist point. Nikki: you mentioned that Linus's exit didn't seem to have camera's, but horseback men straight on the scene. You think within these 3 years Widmore only just learned of this?

Finally, another great scene of Lost; Locke and Linus. But that's now two of our most favourite ever scenes and Emerson is in them both. Strange how is such a great asset to the show now after only initially intending to be a guest star for a few eps!

Don said...

This is the ultimate episode for the theme of “Things That Have New Meaning”.

There's been a lot of cons on Lost, but the Man in Black taking over Locke's body is the longest
con we’ve seen yet on Lost (of course we may find out the whole series is a long con).

Terry O’Quinn is masterful at giving a whole new confidence and sense of purpose to Not Locke, and the contrast with his increasingly despondent Jeremy Bentham off-island character makes you realize something is different with this Locke. But he gives enough characteristics of the real John Locke that you're led to believe he's just the same man but with a new purpose.

Knowing who this figure really is now, you can look through this episode and realize that everything he was saying to Cesar and Ilana is all part of his master plan to convince people he’s the body from the plane and to start on his “loophole” journey to kill Jacob. You can also go back further to Christian in the cave telling the real Locke what he has to do, and realize that Christian was also probably the Man in Black, setting up Locke for his death. And of course Not-Locke telling Richard later in the season to tell Locke that he has to die is another move that prepares Locke for accepting his own death that Not-Locke needs to happen, so that he can take his body, to kill Jacob. Who could ever have imagined back in the first few seasons, that the storylines and answers to the mysteries would become so incredibly complex and compelling.

All the revelations in The Incident put a whole new twist to this episode and make it the best episode of the season, I think.. and even with all these things we know now, we still don’t know why Ben suddenly decided Locke had to die when Locke mentioned Mrs. Hawking. Another example of masterful writing and directing: answering questions while creating new ones, all worked into a heartbreaking scene that builds toward a sad suicide to the show’s strongest character, and suddenly turns instead into his murder.

Coming right after "316", these two are such "gotta see what happens next" shows, but then you head down yet another different path with "Lafleur". Amazing for a show to have so many compelling yet different story lines even if they all tie together later.

Nikki Stafford said...

There's just so much to say about this episode. I haven't jumped in too often on the comments for the rewatch (simply because time hasn't allowed it, and frankly you guys are doing a magnificent job without any input required from me) but I love all of these speculations and just had to join in!!

Marebabe: You are so on the money with Hurley being more at ease with dead Locke than alive Locke. As I said at the time, I wonder if, from Locke's perspective, that was even more depressing for him. Walt greets him with open arms. Kate and Jack greet him with contempt. Sayid isn't much different, basically telling him he doesn't need him and to go away. And Hurley says, "So... you must be dead." and there's no sadness. What if Claire had appeared to him? He would have looked up and gotten truly upset that she was dead, and mourned her. But for Locke it's like, "Oh. Boohoo. Anyway, back to my drawing." From Locke's perspective, that's got to be a downer, but he certainly doesn't seem to react to it much.

Fred: I'm glad you brought up Walt's dream, because I meant to and forgot. It's one of the things that still needs to be played out in S6. He's on a beach, in a suit, surrounded by people who want to hurt him. We've left Locke on a beach, in a suit, surrounded by people who are staring at him with shock. The other version of Locke has just gone into the statue and managed to carry out Jacob's "murder." When the people find out that happened, they'll be angry and will want to hurt him. So all of those feelings will be conflated into Walt's dream, which could have been telling of various things that would happen, but pulling them into one character instead of spread out over the two Lockes, if that makes any sense.

Or, the "they're coming" comment that Jacob made could be an insinuation that the bomb is going to somehow bring the universes together.

Can you tell I cannot WAIT for S6 to begin?!

Nikki Stafford said...

Sonshine: My husband walked into the room during the Ben/Locke scene, and he said, "So... I still don't understand why Ben won't let him kill himself and instead kills him by his own hand?" At first I said, "No, that's already been answered" and then it occurred to me, it's been answered by BEN.

Which means it hasn't been answered. ;)

So there are many theories:
1. If, like Christ, Locke will rise again, then he must be killed, like Christ was on the cross, and it can't be by his own hand. Part of me thinks it's this, and that Ben always planned to carry things out like this, wondering if Locke really will resurrect. When he tells that Doubting Thomas story, think of Ben in the role of the Doubting Thomas, and when he sees Locke sitting over him in the next episode saying, "Welcome back to the land of the living" the look on his face is pure shock, as if he's just been shown the stigmata the way Thomas was.

2. He needed the information that Locke had about Jin and Eloise. Either because he needed to know how much Locke knew about Eloise, or because he didn't actually know about her and she was the part of the puzzle he was missing. Then he killed him.

I would think those are the two leading theories right now.

And when he says, "I'm gonna miss you, John," I agree with everyone saying that sounded sincere. Why will he miss him? The same way any person misses a worthy opponent: Locke kept the "game" interesting for Ben, and now that he's gone it'll be a little less exciting for him. Perhaps he already knows that IF Locke resurrects, he'll be someone else. But then again, the way he asks if Locke and Jacob somehow already know each other would suggest he doesn't realize he's the Man in Black.

Nikki Stafford said...

Aza: Sorry! I did get your email, but I've gotten tons of emails and was away from my computer either because I was away with family get-togethers or sick. But I'm so glad you're back with us!

I agree about Abrams reusing actors. My husband just finished watching Millennium, a show I should probably watch, too, but I remember when it first aired I was SO creeped out by it in the beginning I decided not to watch it. He watched the first season, and then it started jumping around on the schedule and he couldn't keep up, so last year I bought him all of the seasons on DVD and he just watched them. It was weird every time I'd walk in and he was watching it to see Terry O'Quinn. Then Abrams brought him on board as Kendall on Alias (and another show I'm watching now -- and will blog about very soon -- is Fringe, and when Agent Harris was brought on I commented on Kendall-like he was) but he truly found O'Quinn's strength in Locke. What an extraordinary actor he is. It's one of the reasons why I had ZERO desire to see The Stepfather when it was out this year: if you've ever seen the original with O'Quinn, no one can compare to that performance.

Susan said...

Nikki, great theory on the "I'll miss you John" comment. I never thought of that before.

re Walt's dream: I'm wondering if we already saw it in Dead Is Dead (I think it's that episode). Ben, Sun, and John are at the canoes, surrounded by Caesar and 2-3 others, who are trying to stop them. If Walt could see Ben in the dream, he probably lumped him in with Caesar's group.

Fred said...

@Nikki: Concerning Abrams using Terry O'Quinn repeatedly; most directors use one or two actors to bring their visions to life over a series of films. We can think of Ingmar Bergman using Max von Sydow or Bibi Andersson or finally Liv Ullmann; or Fellinni using Marcello Mastroianni; or Luis Bunel using Fernando Rey repeatedly. We could even say Spielberg has found a main actor in Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford. So I think a similar dynamic occurs between Abrams and O'Quinn, which is to the good--and I couldn't imagine anyone else playing Locke.

Fred said...

@Susan: We've been led to believe Walt's dream is a foreshadowing. But is it? Maybe it was just a dream, and it will never come true. That at the Season end we see Locke dead, indicates Walt's dream is in error--Locke was never in danger of people surrounding him; he was in danger from a single individual (Ben). As for the other Locke on the island, if he is in danger by people surrounding him, then Walt can't tell his true from false Locke. (Of course, Walt may have seen an alternate reality). But given this, it sure makes Walt's dream seem very unreliable--as viewers, we try to fit Walt's dream into the larger tapestry of LOST, and like a lot of things this may lead us astray.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Matthew Fox. It's sort of amazing what they asked him to do from "Through the Looking Glass" through the end of S5: take him from this confident guy who's going to lead his people off the Island, but who's going to become a depressive alcoholic and then become confident about going back to the Island even though he doesn't know why. And then to show how he got from A to Z with just a few of the points in between while ricocheting between playing him at point A throughout season 4 to point Z throughout season 5. Thanks to Matthew Fox's performance, I totally believe that Jack made that transition over the three years he was off the Island, even though we really only saw a few small scenes from that time.

Ambivalentman said...

Like many of you, I found the conversations in this episode to be inconsistent with what we learned other ways (i.e. Why are they all calling him Bentham? etc.)

This leads me to believe that we didn't see each of the conversations in their entirety. I think there are missing details we may see later. For example, how do we know Jack didn't go back to see Locke a second time? Something to consider...

As for Ben's choice to kill you think maybe he made a deal with MiB at some point? Seems unlikely, but...?

JS said...

The performances in this episode are so powerful. Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson, and Matthew Fox are all amazing.

I have always been a lukewarm fan of Kate’s character, and I would say this is the pinnacle of her self centered and self righteous – ness.

I always interpreted Walt’s dream as of the scene when fake Locke is standing on the beach in a suit, or, also, of when he is dumped out of the crate by the shadow seekers (as Nikki coined them) but perhaps it does mean more.

Maybe I am giving Ben too much credit, (which, let’s face it, isn’t hard to do) but I think that the killing doesn’t mean so much to him because he MAY know something about the whole do-over and figures this is a war, and if they were meant to be dead they will be, and if not, then the next time around they’ll be OK. Or, maybe he is just a cold bastard. OK, I guess he is.

Anyone else notice 1 - the other person who calls people my friend besides Cesar is MiB (which we’ll see in the epic opening scene of the finale)? 2 – The top of Locke’s eye scar is gone????

@batcabbage – I agree with where you are going re: Ben being an unwitting agent of MiB. Unless Jacob is ahead of the game and knows MiB’s plan and also needs JL to come back … I haven’t worked it all out yet, but could be.

@sonshinemusic – I’ve just watched the finale twice. I think Ilana thinks something is up, and goes looking for Locke in the cargo hold and finds him in his casket. By the time they get the body, JL has already gone to the other’s camp.

I love this episode.

JS said...

I also agree with the theory that Ben wants to be the leader when he gets back to the island and now that he knows how to get back, he can get rid of Locke.

crazyinlost said...

And...It's John! dududun

If the donkey wheel is suppose to be so hard to turn they need a polar bear to turn it, than why can Ben and John turn it so easily?

That leg bone sticking out-creeps me out every time!

When Whidmore mentions to John about the war coming, does he realize/know that John needs to be/will be inhabited by MIB? Who's on which side?

Did John really need the wheelchair to get to the car? Seems like Abbaddon could've pulled the car closer. Or was it just symbolic for John?

So wierd to hear Sayid speak Spanish!

Abbaddon-"I help people get to where they need to get to"...hmm

Wow, Kate really jabs it to John, doesn't she!

Who shot (JR) Matthew Abbaddon?
Oh, it was Ben.

So, did Ben go to see Locke with the intention of killing him right there? Or did he just take advantage of an opportunity. Plus, wouldn't the fact the whole place was wiped clean of ANY prints have been a dead (no pun intended) give away that there was foul play involved? Or is this just another thing we're not suppose to notice?

AchingHope said...

@Fred: Ben really lighted up when Locke told him Jin was alive. Is Jin somehow special, in a way Locke wasn't?

I was thinking this same thing! I was thinking about Jin, and trying to figure out why he's on the island, when I was watching the episode where he is time jumping with the French people. If it weren't for Jin Danielle would have gone down into the hole, and Alex might not have been born. Later Jin is the one that takes Ben to Dharmaville where he can then be taken to the Others and etc.

I really do think Jin is super important in some way, but I have no idea how. Or why. Or when?

The Question Mark said...

@ Nikki: funny you mentioned Locke being in a Christ pose when about to commit suicide. I have been playing a lot of the game "Assassin's Creed 2" (which I cannot reccommend enough, and the pic you chose for this episode's recap page reminds me of one of the several Rennaissance Italian paintings that appear in that video game. I think it'd be cool to see someone make a Rennaissance-style painting of that scene.

I don't think she's dead. We know Widmore went to enormous lengths to stage a fake 815 crash; faking one woman's death would be a petty chore for him. Notice how dodgy Abbadon was about her, as if he knew all along where she was and just did not know what to say to Locke (John even calls him out on it). I think that maybe after Locke first mentioned Helen, Abbadon spoke to Widmore, who immediately set to work creating a fake tombstone.
After all, if Locke had been reunited with Helen, I'm sure he would have started having doubts about all of this Island business, which would've been bad for Widmore.

Marebabe said...

@JS: No, I did NOT notice the change in John's eye scar! Just toss this question - What does that mean? - onto the heap of Lost questions that remain to be answered in S6.

@crazyinlost: I had the same thought when Ben wiped off the fingerprints in the hotel room. I guess he figured that tipping off the police that there had been foul play was not as bad as having his prints found in the room. The lesser of two evils, as it were. And I think that the whole fingerprint thing points to the fact that Ben didn't go to John's hotel room intending to kill him. If that had been his plan from the start, I think he would've worn gloves. But he was caught off guard and had to improvise, acting on the spur of the moment.

@Question Mark: I agree that faking a grave stone in a cemetary would be child's play for a man with the nerve and resources to stage the flight 815 wreckage at the bottom of the ocean. I'm hopeful that Helen is alive. Can John and Helen somehow meet again? I'll borrow from Charles Widmore his favorite (I'm assuming) mantra: "Nothing's impossible!"

Susan said...

Maybe John's death was so obviously a suicide that no one bothered to take fingerprints?

AchingHope I like your idea that Jin has some importance. I did not like Jin at first, he was just some antisocial gangster that bullied his wife. But I have grown to like him more and more.

Anonymous said...

The whole suicide scenario is pretty dodgy, actually. One would think a forensics team could tell the difference between someone whose neck was quickly snapped leaping off a table and one who was manually strangled. The ligature marks (not that we were shown any) would be different, for one thing.

How did weak lil' Ben manage to sring up Locke afterwards? Locke outweighs Ben by at least 50 lbs and "dead weight" is a different matter altogether.

And that suicide note? It would have been placed in an evidence locker until it was determined whether there was foul play. As well, the cops would have made a concerted effort to find out who "Jack Shephard" was, whether to determine next of kin or find themselves a suspect. So how did Eloise get ahold of the note?

SonshineMusic said...

@StudioRose: How did weak lil' Ben manage to sring up Locke afterwards?

Ahhh, but you forget the super strength of the Others ;)

Verification: IScesse - when I stop doing something (old English)

crazyinlost said...

This is totally off topic, but it's so cute (IMO) I just had to share it. My daughter is watching Lost for the first time, and she just finished s3 last night. She was watching "Man Behind the Curtain", and she says to me, "Ben keeps saying he was born on the island, but his flashback shows that he wasn't." So I asked her, "So,what does that tell you about Ben?" She thinks for a moment and says, "He's a lying lier face!" So then I watched "Thru the Looking Glass" with her, which I have been dying for her to get to, and going crazy not to tell her anything about, since Charlie is her favorite character. But then she asks again, "Why did Juliet tell the Losties the Looking Glass was flooded if it wasn't?" And again I said, "Well, who told her that?" And she says, "Ben...the LYING LIER FACE!" Nuff said.
So when she finally figures out Charlie's REALLY going to die this time, she loses it, just sobbing, "NO, he can't die! They CAN'T kill Charlie!" and I'm sobbing next to her, saying, "But he sacrificed himself to save the others-the greatest form of love." It was quite a moment. She got alot of eps watched over the Christmas break, and I just got the first 2 discs of s4 for her to go thru before school starts back up this Monday. S4's short, so hopefully she'll be very close to caught up by Feb.

MonkeyFace said...

this blog has the best comments. so insightful. i really love all the theories & speculation. =) i love the comments as much as the blog, and that's saying a lot!

Marebabe said...

I've just gone through the latest comments here, and what a ripping good read! Some highlights for me:

@studiorose: You pointed out some interesting things about suicide and evidence and forensics that needed to be pointed out. And Sonshine, good call on Ben having the super strength of the Others! We've seen it many times before.

@crazyinlost: I LURVE the story of you sharing Lost with your daughter. If you don't mind my asking, how old is she? And I know that you weren't talking specifically about "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham", but your story didn't seem off-topic at ALL to me.

crazyinlost said...

@Marebabe-My daughter is 15, and I'm having so much fun watching her first reactions, it's almost as fun as when I first saw the eps. She just got done with "Eggtown", and I was watching for her reaction to Kate having Aaron, she's like "Whhat!!! What'd she (Claire) DO?" And all I can say is "Just wait, keep watching! I told her I have to watch "The Constant" with her, since it is my all time favorite ep! Can't wait to see her response to that!

Marebabe said...

@crazyinlost: I've got this great big smile on my face, and fresh endorphins are boosting my in-general feel-goodness, all because of picturing you and your daughter bonding over Lost! And I realize that, in the years to come, long after the story of Lost has been completely told, we may be able to recapture some of the fresh thrills of it by sharing the unfolding of the saga with someone who has never seen it before. That's what I want to do!

paleoblues said...

Why wasn't Locke cold at the Frozen Donkey Wheel? He was only in a tee? How did he and Ben move it with bare hands? Anyone who has tried to push a stuck car in winter with bare hands knows what I mean. Does a flag pole ring a bell?

I may have missed something, but why did Locke leave Jin's ring on the night stand?

Didn't Walt save Lock from committing suicide when he was in the pit? Wouldn't he acknowledge it when they meet or do they both realize it and not feel it necessary to mention?

The first thing Widmore does when Locke wakes up is give him a glass of water. I've noticed since the very beginning of Season 1 that every time somebody is hurt or injured the first thing someone does is get them some water.

When Widmore and Locke are talking, children are playing soccer and Abaddon drives up. I flashed on Eko and Yemi playing as the militiamen drove up.
I miss Mr Eko.

Marebabe said...

@paleoblues: Excellent point about Locke's conversation with Walt. I think they would most definitely at least mention it, unless A) one or both of them feels shy about discussing it, or B) one or both of them don't remember it because of not being the REAL Locke or Walt that day at the Dharma mass grave. Could that really be the case? What am I talking about? I'm so confused, and I love it. ;)

Actually, I think the reason their New York meeting was so brief was that the writers had a LOT of story to pack into this episode, and they had to keep things moving along. So, a lot of stuff got skipped over, cut for time, and otherwise abbreviated.

crazyinlost said...

@paleoblues-"Why wasn't Locke cold at the Frozen Donkey wheel? He was only in a tee? How did he and Ben move it with bare hands?"
IMO, I believe John was in schock, I know I would be, after falling and getting that awful compound fracture. He was in too much pain to notice he should be cold.

word verif-berestos-male version of beresta (which is a real word, look it up on wiki!)

Sawyer815 said...

Um, hello there guys, my name is Daniel and im relatively new to this...err.. blogging, commenting scene, so please forgive me if this doesnt quite come out the way i want it to. I live in New Zealand and as such don't always get to participate in these sorts of discussions. i just want to say that Nikki, i log on to this site nearly every day to read your reviews and thoughts on the episodes, because you are garunteed to notice things that i have not, and i love it. i love reading the comments left by the regulars such as marebare, because they always make me think outside the magic box (lol). i havent quite been on the same schedule with the rewatch as the rest of you, but im doing my best to catch up, im just starting season 5, which is IMO the best season so far. I too agree that Terry O'Quinn and Matthew Fox should be commended for their performances in this particular episode, and i love that there are people out there such as your fine selves who see it too. (i dont have alot of friends who appreciate lost the way i (we) do. I know im a late entry into the game, but would love to take part with you all in the last stages, leading up to season 6. erm.. sorry guess this is a little long winded lol. I laughed like a maniac when Hurley realised Locke was real, it brought back the moment of the infamous hot pocket for me. The scene where Locke is on that table, after throwing away the cellphone Widmore gave him, makes me so sad... i dont even know how to put it into words. i really hoped that Ben really was there to help him. You guys mention the scene of Abbadon taking Locke to see Helen's grave, I really think that was the beginning point of Locke's downward spiral to suicide, and i agree that it was probably set up, as if John had been able to see Helen again, he would not have persued the mission any longer. When Locke meets jack again, and he has the beginnings of the infamous beard, i laughed at first, and then, to my horror, i felt so very, very, sad for John. Jack is the one person who Locke tried to convince of the magic of the island, he even met his father! and to have this man blow him off like he was just a madman? that takes the cake. I really felt his pain in that scene. Thankyou for letting me post this comment.

SonshineMusic said...

Welcome Daniel! This really is a fantastic site to hang out on and discuss all things Lost.

You definitely need to join us during S6 on Nikki's regular blog as we dissect the episodes after they air. SO much fun (and we are all long-winded here, so you'll fit right in :P)

tiasabita said...

I'm almost caught up to your viewing schedule and starting to catch up with your book, Nikki. I just have to say right now that my new fav term is from your review of 'Little Prince' - 'squeefest of epic porportion!' Thank you for that! Love it!

Marebabe said...

@Sawyer815: I agree with Sonshine, you're gonna fit right in here! Your mention of New Zealand reminded me of a question I've had for a long time, since I know some of the regular posters here live in Australia. (Hi, Batcabbage and Batkitty!) WHEN do you actually get to see new episodes, in relation to the US? Is it roughly the same time, or a day or two earlier or later? (Hard to imagine earlier.) Really, if your wait was even 12 hours, I would have enormous sympathy for you. That would be hard to endure. Actually, I just now had a thought - Does ABC make them available to view online almost immediately? That would be cool, so that anyone anywhere in the world with access to the Internet could see the new episodes right away.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sawyer815 here, ive had to post as Anonymous, because, for some reason, my password is not being accepted, and ive been trying to post for the last half hour... if anyone has this same problem...can you let me know please? thankyou.

Thanks SonshineMusic & Marebabe for welcoming me, takes the edge off being a blog virgin lol. in regard to the airing of new episodes here, im not entirely sure of the exact timing involved, but we tend to get episodes a few weeks, or about a month after their original airing date in the states, and unfortunately i only have a dial up connection so that kinda hinders my ability to download or watch eps online. i cheated with season 3, as a cousin of mine was able to burn me some dvds before the season finished, but as the quality wasn't all that great, and im a sucker for special features (ie. commentaries) i bought the official dvds anyway. just a quick comment about the episode, ive seen some mention of the time discrepency of Jack seeing Locke, and then again seeing him dead about a month later, with no decomposition having occurred. is it possible that Locke was in the hospital for a longer period of time to recover from his injuries? or am i trying to rationalise an obvious plothole?

paleoblues said...

@Marebabe: Thanks for the heads up on the YouTube videos. Hitler's was my fav. As a guitarist of almost 50 years that one struck a special chord with me.

Marebabe said...

@Sawyer815: My deepest sympathies. Really, I mean it! I can only think of one solution off the top of my head, but you'll have to act fast, because we've only got a month left till S6 starts. Sign up to be an exchange student in the US or Canada, so you'll be able to see new episodes the first time they air. Not practical? That's the best I could do on short notice. I'm so very, very, very sorry, dude!

Marebabe said...

@paleoblues: Was that a riot, or what? So glad you enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Sawyer815 here,

@ Marebabe, lol at being an exchange student. yea the tv schedules over here are beyond lame, and i have to do my best not to stumble across spoilers online. maybe i should take a pair of my dads shoes, give them to some creepy dead or (non dead) bald guy, find a heroin junky and a fair sized spanish man and jump on a plane to come join you all

crazyinlost said...

@Marebabe-are we suppose to get Lost on-line immediately here in the U.S.? 'Cause that hasn't been my experience. I had to watch the entirety (sp?) of s5 on line last year, since I have dishnet, and it took them 6mos to negotiate with our local ABC provider! But anyway, I was never able to access the new eps until mid-afternoon the day after they aired.

@Sawyer815-" is it possible that Locke was in the hospital for a longer period of time to recover from his injuries? or am i trying to rationalise an obvious plothole?"
Yes! I was totally thinking the same thing. Also, I would like to welcome you to the fold! Have fun!

Marebabe said...

@Sawyer815: You should get right on that. Time's a-wastin'! ;)

@crazyinlost: Sorry, I don't have the lowdown on all that TV-online stuff, because so far, I've never had to use it. It was always in a corner of my mind, that if our power went out because of a storm or something, I could see it the next day on or Hulu, I don't know, one of those online places. But I never had to go to Plan B. To date, I've gotten to see every Lost episode as it aired, or very soon afterward, on tape. Yes, it's true! I still use VHS tape to record stuff I want to see again. (Hangs her head in shame.) Actually, it's mostly because our VCR still works. It hasn't broken yet.

SonshineMusic said...

@Sawyer815: maybe i should take a pair of my dads shoes, give them to some creepy dead or (non dead) bald guy, find a heroin junky and a fair sized spanish man and jump on a plane to come join you all

HAHAHAHAH! That's so insane it just might work! But, you might end up in the 70's where Lost doesn't exist yet. Then you could pull a Hurley and submit the idea to JJ Abrams and become rich and powerful. hmmmmmm... better wait until after it ends then, because otherwise they'll ask, okay what happened after the hydrogen bomb detonated and you won't have an answer. :P

Verification: READO - line in a song designed to interest kids in books. "There is something that's fun to do and READO is its name-o. R-E-A-D-O, R-E-A-D-O, R-E-A-D-O and READO is its name-o!"

Marebabe said...

@Sonshine: You just scored major comedy points for your screenplay idea, AND for the Reado song! :)

Batcabbage said...

@Marebabe: lol, hello from myself and Batkitty! And welcome Sawyer815. As for when we get new episodes in Australia, last season I think the new eps were two weeks behind the US, which as you know, is completely unacceptable. They caught up to just one week behind after the brief interlude, but it still wasn't good enough. Free to air tv stations in Australia are the worst. It's nothing but DIY/reality douches trying to be famous/people-who-really-shouldn't-sing idol. Oh, and there seems to be a run on lately of amateur cooking shows. It's the worst. I remember in season 4, Lost was shown weeks behind the US and starting at 11:30pm. So Batkitty and I get our Lost fix about an hour after it airs in the US by... other means. :)

Marebabe said...

@Batcabbage: This is fascinating, because prior to today, I'd never heard anyone say an unkind word about Australia. American friends of ours would vacation to Australia and come back saying how much they love it, and the people are friendly, and they miss it as soon as they leave, etc. But the TV situation does sound bad. I'm so glad you've figured out a way to get your Lost fix sooner rather than later, wink, wink. ;)

Batcabbage said...

@Marebabe: Hey, now, don't get me wrong, Australia is all kinds of awesome. It's just the free to air tv stations who have an aversion to decent scripted programming that suck. Everything else about Australia is great. Except for the Drop Bears. Beware the Drop Bears! They'll eat the face right off ya... while you're still ALIVE! AND FACELESS!

crazyinlost said...


word verif-hantecto-the meter used to find people with the name 'Han', i.e. Han Solo, Alvar Hanso, etc.

Batcabbage said...

@crazyinlost: It's true! Drop bears. A menace, they be! Dangerous, says I! (I don't know how to do fancy interwebs-ing, so just copy and paste this link. I also don't know why I lapsed into pirate speak just there.) Ladies and gentlemen, beware the drop bear!

Marebabe said...

@Batcabbage: Thanks for the warning, mate! I'll keep my eyes open. I was unfamiliar with the dreaded Drop Bear, and before I watched the YouTube documentary you recommended (most excellent, by the way), I wondered if perhaps you were referring to the cute and cuddly koala. Their reputation is that of fat, adorable teddy bears who hang about stoned on eucalyptus leaves all the time. And that's mostly true. But many years ago I was channel-surfing one day and came across a nature documentary on koalas, and I got to see a display of agression from these snarling beasts that would give a lot of people nightmares. Two male koalas were engaged in mortal combat, both of them clinging and biting, and each trying his best to end the life of his opponent. And in mid-assault, they tumbled out of their tree, a straight drop of probably 15-20 feet, and kept right on fighting, not letting go, never missing a beat. They cut the scene before the victor killed his rival, but needless to say, the extreme violence of that video footage made a lasting impression on me. Who'd-a thought koalas could be so vicious!

crazyinlost said...

@Batcabbage-oh I get it (I think). It's a bit like our 'Jackalope' of legend. But thanks for the youtube connection, though the first one to pop up I was thinking "it's the Lost island polar bear! That's the drop bear?"
But I did come across one that explained that you need to eat lots of vegimite, since it is a natural repelent of the drop bear once it starts leeching out of your skin, and that's why tourists get attacked since they don't like vegimite!

word verif-factiour...I got nothing. I'm spent after all the 'drop bear' bantor!

JS said...

@batcabbage - We've been reading the Bill Bryson book on Australia and apparently you have more deadly sea creatures/ plants/ reptiles/ insects/ land animals than anywhere else in the world, however measured - per capita, per sq mile, total volume, sheer variety. But he has not mentioned the dropbear. a FAIL for bryson.

tiasabita said...

Oh please let John's story have a happy ending! I couldn't bear to learn that he's been a pawn for both sides, that they preach his greatness when in fact he's a gullible nobody, wanting so badly to be accepted and special that he buys all their crap.

Yes, Marebabe, I cringed and looked thru my fingers during John's torture scene! Could they not have given a little time for those pills to work? (I'm assuming they were some type of painkiller.)

At my job we have to enter the serial numbers of equipment we use into the computer. Today one machine's number was '2815163' - I was smiling and laughing, all on the inside! The numbers are everywhere!! I later had some downtime and started thinking about 'Jeremy Bentham' which I had just watched 12 hours earlier....

OK, am I even close to understanding what I've been reading in your theories/comments? Here goes....Widmore knows the way back to the island is thru John reuniting the O6 and unless he knows of another way back, he knows about Eloise's pendulum and he and Eloise must be in contact. So Ben supposedly doesn't know about Eloise and the pendulum. He sees Locke with Abaddon, knows Widmore has gotten hold of Locke, and he kills Abaddon. He goes to Locke's hotel room and kills him after accidentally getting all this juicy info about Eloise, Jin and what has to happen to get back to the island. He then starts the process of manipulating the O6 which took a month or two. Widmore had to have known Ben killed Abaddon so why didn't he try to stop Ben from meeting with Locke? Did Ben just make Widmore's job of reassembling the O6 easier? Did he know the O6 would be more likely to come together out of mutual hatred for Ben? Eloise seemed cordial enough to Ben, seemed to be trying to help him but was she really helping Widmore? Are Widmore and Ben working together to get everyone back to the the island? Do I sound like a rambling idiot?! Don't answer that!

crazyinlost said...

@tiasabita-I think Ben and Chuckie are two sides of the same coin. They are against each other, but both know they need the O6 back on the island in order to see this 'war' to the end, and if they end up helping each other to this end, so be it.

As for Eloise, I still haven't figured out which side she's on. She obviously is bitter against Chuckie (as seen in The Variable when she slaps him). Unless she has her own agenda, which is probabally the most likely answer.

And actually, I followed your ramblings quite easily, but I have ADD, so who knows!

Blam said...

I love that photo on Pg. 100 of FL5, Nikki. (You sad, bookless lot will have to hope someone can find it on the Web somewhere.)
Some thoughts on the episode before reading through all the comments so that I can nominally feel caught up before tonight...
This episode is a reminder of how the more one enjoys something and the closer to "perfect" it is in so many respects the more glaring and frustrating its imperfections.
O'Quinn is great here, never moreso than in that silent shot of a defeated Locke about to hang himself. He and we deserve better than to have so much discussion of the episode necessarily centered on plot or production gaffes like the bad obit prop; apparent timeline inconsistencies among Jack's beard growth, his visit with Locke, his airplane travels, Locke's scars, and the suicide/murder; and the paranoid usage of the Jeremy Bentham alias in past episodes followed by the inexplicably total lack of same here. There's very little excuse for this kind of thing, especially in a series where it's not just impossible-to-satisfy die-hard viewers obsessing over trivial details; the producers invite dissection and discussion of this show to an almost unprecedented degree, offering clues and setups that unlike Easter eggs — to horribly extend the metaphor — aren't just empty chocolate calories but part of the actual meal being served.
Verification word: unifall — One way to dismount from a unicycle or unicorn.

Blam said...

Nikki: From this point on, we have to watch John Locke on the island as the Man in Black, which is such a strange thing to do.
And at no point does that seem stranger than on the beach in this episode, where Terry O'Quinn is so (no pun intended) locked into his role as John Locke, describing his death matter-of-factly to the other survivors yet with an undercurrent of palpable emotion to those of us watching at home — who thought (the first time around) that we were seeing more of O'Quinn's fiercely committed portrayal of Locke marveling at how the Island has once again taken a broken man of shattered faith and literally lifted him up again with purpose.
Verification word: micess — Archaic feminine plural of mouse.