Wednesday, December 2, 2009

4.09 The Shape of Things to Come

Follow along! The episode guide for “The Shape of Things to Come” is in Finding Lost — Season 4, pp. 107-117.

Amazing, amazing episode… this one is up there with “The Constant” as tops for season 4. This is the first time we see the big rivalry between Ben and Widmore, and it’s a signal for the shape of things to come in season 5.

Fun things I noticed:
• Widmore is staying in the penthouse suite, and Tom was staying at the penthouse suite at the Hotel Earle. Something about being on top, I guess…
• Oh that ENDING!!! It never fails to send chills down my spine.

Things that have new meaning:
• In “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” Locke lands in the desert and Widmore has cameras everywhere, and the Bedouin eventually arrive via car. In this one there are no cameras, and yet the Bedouin arrive immediately, on horse. Was the site already being monitored somehow? Why did it take longer for them to arrive for Locke?
• So is Ben lying about Ishmael? Did he really kill Nadia or did Ben just use that image to recruit Sayid?
• I pointed this out in S4, but notice the line when Miles is sitting at the kitchen table and Claire wanders in saying “I’m OK, I’ll live.” Miles glances at her and says, “I wouldn’t be too sure of that.” Is that an indication that he knows she’s not quite alive? What does he mean by that?
• Let’s look at that final scene again:

BEN: Wake up, Charles.
[Charles Widmore pulls on a bedside lamp.]
WIDMORE: I wondered when you were gonna show up. I see you've been getting more sun.
BEN: Iraq is lovely this time of year. When did you start sleeping with a bottle of scotch by the bed?
WIDMORE: When the nightmares started.
[Widmore pulls back the covers and pours himself a glass of MacCutcheon.]
WIDMORE: Have you come here to kill me, Benjamin?
[Widmore sips the whiskey.]
BEN: We both know I can't do that.
WIDMORE: Then why are you here?
BEN: I'm here, Charles, because you murdered my daughter.
WIDMORE: Don't stand there, looking at me with those horrible eyes of yours and lay the blame for the death of that poor girl on me, when we both know very well I didn't murder her at all, Benjamin. You did.
BEN: No, that's not true.
WIDMORE: Yes, Benjamin, it is. You creep into my bedroom in the dead of night--like a rat--and have the audacity to pretend that you're the victim?
[Widmore leans forward.]
WIDMORE: I know who you are, boy. What you are. I know that everything you have you took from me. So... Once again I ask you: Why are you here?
BEN: I'm here, Charles, to tell you that I'm going to kill your daughter. Penelope, is it? And once she's gone... once she's dead... then you'll understand how I feel. And you'll wish you hadn't changed the rules.
[Widmore shifts in his bed.]
WIDMORE: You'll never find her.
[Ben turns to leave.]
WIDMORE: That island's mine, Benjamin. It always was. It will be again.
BEN: (Turning) But you'll never find it.
WIDMORE: Then I suppose the hunt is on for both of us.
BEN: I suppose it is. Sleep tight, Charles.
[Ben leaves, pulling the door shut behind him.]

• There’s just SO much there for S5. Widmore says I know WHAT you are, as if he’s referring to Ben becoming some sort of “thing” after visiting the Temple. He refers to him as “boy” and we think of 40-year-old Widmore visiting young Ben in the tent. He tells Ben that he’s responsible for the death of his own daughter and in “Dead Is Dead,” Ben takes that responsibility. Ben says he’s going to kill Penny and that leads to him confronting her on the dock. SO much of season 5 is sparked by what happens in this scene. Which means this might be the most perfectly titled episode of Lost yet.


Marebabe said...

Well, this was certainly one of the most SURPRISING episodes ever.

Let’s talk about earthquakes for a minute. We’ve seen tremors a.) before the Hostiles attacked when Ben was in science class learning about volcanoes, b.) during the two System Failures, the day Oceanic 815 crashed, and the day the Swan imploded, and c.) in this episode, right before Smokey showed up to deal with Keamy’s troops. Smokey has made several dramatic appearances before without any accompanying earthquake, so why was there one this time? Also, I know it’s a big island, but d’you suppose it’s possible that a tremor could be felt at New Otherton but NOT at the beach camp? Because during the Morse code scene, no one was talking about an earthquake, and all seemed calm. Just wondering.

How did Ben get the penthouse key to Widmore’s place? It seems completely farfetched that Charles would’ve ever actually given a copy to Ben. Could it have come from Eloise? (I’m really reaching here.) The most likely explanation seems to be Ben’s well-connected and resourceful network of butchers, bakers, and key-makers.

The Question Mark said...

@ Marebabe: I was wondering about the keys myself, and I believe you're right. Ben's got so many eyes & ears on the mainland that someone must have produced a key for him.

I noticed somehting kinda cool last week that I'd like to share. Maybe I'm crazy and I've just read WAY too much into it, but I think I've discovered another link between Lost & religion.
I was watching The Prince of Egypt, that cartoon from the 90s (awesome movie, btw) and noticed several new & interesting similarities:

-Moses was separated from his mother as a baby and raised in an environment he did not belong in, just like Aaron. Moses' brother (actually named Aaron & spoken about by Mr. Eko) is featured several times in the movie.

-Jack is very much a Moses figure, constantly trying to lead his people to freedom across harsh environments. Moses carries a staff, which is a common medical symbol that Jack would be all too familiar with.
While trying to lead others to freedom, Moses often comes to blows with Rameses, who hinders him. Jack often comes to blow with Locke, who also hinders him (Rameses & Locke both happen to be bald and incredibly self-conscious).

-God sends several plagues down upon Egypt. One plague involves frogs, and a tree frog certainly plagues Sawyer at one point. Another involves boils on the skin, and Sullivan had a bad rash in Season 1.
The final plague is the Angel of Death, which kills all of the first born sons of Egypt: eerily similar to how children born on the Island continuosly die. To top it all off, in the Prince of Egypt film, the Angel of Death is depicted as a ghostly plume of white smoke that moves on its own accord.

-Finally, seeing as how the film takes place in ancient Egypt, there are several refernces to RA and many statues that bear suspicious resemblance to a certain four-toed monolith...

Just thought these were some fun observations and wnated to see what y'all think of 'em. :)

glf said...

Agree the final scene is awesome and one of Lost’s best.

Yes did Ishmael REALLY kill Nadia? How did Ben get that traffic camera photo?
Why was Ben taking photos of Sayid?

Watching again I think now that ‘the rules’ is just a figure of speech by Ben and not a big mysterious Other Rule and Miles is really saying I wouldn’t be sure we’ll all get out of this alive (and not - you’re dead Claire).

QUESTION - Ben has Locke protect him because he convinces him that once he is captured everyone will be killed. Was this a Ben lie? (I think so now.) I can only remember Widmore saying he wanted to extract Ben.

Marebabe said...

@Question Mark: That's quite a list of similarities between Lost and Prince of Egypt. Very interesting. Will they turn out to have special meaning in the final season of Lost? Stay tuned...

Pamalamb said...

It was so awesome watching this episode, especially the ending, after having watched season 5. I am having such a great time rewatching these episodes -How great is it going to be rewatching after seeing season six?!

I loved the way Charles called Ben boy. It was the same thing he called him when Charles was leaving on the sub after he had been kicked out.

Did anyone else notice how grown up Tania Raymonde (Alex) looked in this episode. In season 3 she still looked and acted so much like a tomboy, but suddenly in season 4 she has grown into a lovely young lady - she even acts more grown up.

@glf: I don't know if Ben was lying or not about everyone being killed, but after Keamy initiated the secondary protocol that is exactly what he was planning.

Susan said...

ROFL at Ben: Oh, so you do speak English.

Another favorite Ben moment -- Locke and Sawyer come in to where Ben is playing piano and ask him about the coded message. Ben reaches in the piano bench and pulls out a gun. This is great for two reasons 1. It's (possibly) the same piano that Jack was playing on, was the gun there at that time? and 2. Ben has had access to that gun ever since John let him out.

John sure doesn't treat his followers well. Most of the Losties refused to go with him, even if they don't always agree with Jack. Only a handful of people trusted him enough to follow him. But what does crazy John do? Threaten his followers with a gun if they don't do what he wants.

Fred said...

Somehow we've always known Ben is where he is supposed to be. At any moment he could have walked out on Locke and company. As we saw when he opened the passage to get the smoke monster. If he had been unguarded in his barrack, then had he wanted to leave he could have. So Ben remaining with Locke and Sawyer and all indicates he is needed to control events. In other words, Ben has had a plan all along.

When Ben lands in Tunisia, he is wearing Halliwax's snow suit. Clearly, the Dharma Initiative knew what was down at the bottom of the ice cave. First, they may have tested it with a polar bear. Second, Halliwax's snow suit indicates they probably were investigating its properties. They decided what it could be used for, and built the pod for time travel.

Also who is Ben working for (obviously Ben has a boss--Eloise?). He says to Locke that Locke is important and he has to survive what is about to happen. Is this to ensure that Locke becomes the pawn of Esau? If that is the case, then Ben had always planned to kill Locke (or at least once he knew Eloise was in town).But it indicates there was always a plan involving using Locke.

Funniest moment--doorbell rings. It's Miles.

When Ben meets Sayid, he lies about how he got off the island. He says he used Desmond's boat, the Elizabeth.

If Keamey is following Widmore's order, and that is to kill everyone on the island once they have Ben, could it be Widmore ordered the Dharma purge? Later, we see Widmore leave the island by submarine. I'm sure the Dharma Initiative did not just lend out the sub for the Others.

Is Widmore's nightmares, flashes of the future? or flashes of the past, like Desmonds?

Pamalamb said...

Oops -- when I said how grown up looking a mature acting Tania Raymonde is in this episode, I ment in the last episode "Meet Kevin Johnson."

@Fred: When you mentioned Ben's lie about leaving the island via The Elizabeth, it made me wonder: Where is The Elizabeth? The last time we saw it the others had taken it away from Sayid, Sun, and Jin at the beginning of season 2.

crazyinlost said...

Great Episode!

Gee, Kate's throwing herself at Jack again!

The opening of the Risk scene. I remember the first time I watched the ep, totally believing they were talking about themselves. And Hurley looks so cute with baby Aaron on his knee!

Ben and his Big S(ch)tick!

What'd I miss? What happen to the beach sat phone??

Okay, so when Sawyer's running towards the house with a hurt Claire, they can't open the door, they have to break a window, but when Miles shows up and rings the door, THEN they can open it? I dont get it.

I think I still would've hit him(Ben).

"Once you let your grief become anger it'll never go away-I speak from experience." Does the grief of losing Annie turn Ben into what he is? This is sort of far out there, but did Widmore have anything to do with Annie's death?

Ben and his little, hidden smirks!

Sawyer doesn't want Kate to be pregnant, but at the same time, he becomes SO protective of Claire/Aaron. I think if he stopped and thought about it, he would do just fine with Kate and a baby.

Marebabe said...

@Susan: Great observations about the gun in the piano bench. (That reminds me of the "The Snake in the Mailbox", that really swell code name Darlton had for the twist ending of the S3 finale.) I love the idea that the gun could've been quietly sitting in the piano bench while Jack was playing his little improv. I, on the other hand, would've probably found the gun, because I'm into reading music, and I often check in the piano bench for something good to play.

@crazyinlost: Love your idea about Ben referring to Annie when he's "speaking from experience". It supports one of my favorite theories, about Ben losing Annie and his grief overwhelming him. And WHAT IF Widmore had something to do with Annie's death? That would indeed be a juicy plot development.

JS said...

Australia is key to the whole game! So we shall see!

I love the Ben music. One of the really good bonus tracks with S4 is footage of a concert given by Michael Giacchio with the Hawaii Orchestra. He is truly an amazing genius. (Also take a look at the conspiracy track on how the crash site was faked and suspicion on the health of the survivors considering they were on an island with no carbs.)

Why do people come out when there is shooting? In CSI someone can get shot by a random bullet, but here they get an invisible force field of protection. I guess the island was keeping Sawyer safe.

Why is the front desk girl so afraid after realizing who Ben is? What else is happening in Lost universe on 10/24/2005? Is there a formula for how far ahead you are pooped out into Tunisia?

The Elizabeth basically disappears from the story after this. Where did they leave that boat?

I have the dialogue from that last scene committed to memory. So many things in S5 are fruit of that conversation. I could watch it a thousand times. So many other things from this episode as well – they finally find out they were never going to be rescued, Jack is sick (no one ever gets sick), but this did not keep him from getting off the island…

I think the rules are still important – it has to be something about changing the past/future, which they have both already lived through. It explains so much. Somehow they (Ben/Widmore/Eloise) failed to get the O6 back last time at the time of the flight to Guam and therefore had to send them back in time to provide the clues on how to do it. But had only gotten to the point in time where they did/did not get them on the plane. After that everything is new. But that’s S5.

Austin Gorton said...

This episode is so aptly titled in light of season five (and, presumably six) it's downright eerie.

It reminds me how much of the final three seasons of Buffy was foreshadowed by "Restless".

Personally, I hope "the rules" end up being some actual set of rules and not just a turn of phrase.

However, my gut tells me Mile's cryptic "don't be so sure" line to Claire is simply an action movie-y, things are going to get worse quip rather than a legit prediction on his part. But I could be wrong.

Widmore killed Annie...Widmore initiated the Purge...these are two theories that have my head buzzing. I must contemplate further.

crazyinlost said...

@JS-"Is there a formula for how far ahead you are pooped out into Tunisia?" hahahahah

JennM said...


I also thought that Mile's line could have just been some action-moviey throw away line. But I have since started wondering if, at this point in the show, anything is throw-away anymore? Especially considering Mile's deep affinity to empathize/communicate(?) with dead.

Rebecca T. said...

@Susan: I too absolutely LOVE that scene where Ben whips the gun out of the piano bench. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.

@Fred: The Miles doorbell ring. Love that one too. They're in the middle of a shoot out and *ding dong*. HA!

@JS: Australia is key to the whole game! So we shall see!

I know! That has always stuck out at me as strange and possibly telling. Especially since Hurley says it and I firmly believe that he is key as well.

Wow, you all caught most of my thoughts. Hmmmmmm...

Love the Daniel line, "When is kind of a relative term." HA HA!

Something in Ben snaps after Alex dies. And that scene of him saying good-bye to her is absolutely heart breaking to me.

I love the shirt Ben is wearing when he goes to see Widmore. That color looks great on him

Random side note. My sister and I looked up the actor who plays Keamey and discovered that he played a Go'auld in one of our other favorite shows, StarGate SG1. So of course we had to find the episode and watch it. He looks so ridiculous in that episode that I cannot take him seriously as Keamey any more :P

Verification word: Culkies - creepy little fairies that live in culverts.

Marebabe said...

@Sonshine: I was intrigued by your mention of Kevin Durand, who plays Keamy. I have most of the seasons of Stargate SG-1 on DVD, so I Googled Kevin Durand and found out he was in 3 SG-1 episodes in the 2000-2001 season. Did you find him in season 5? All I could find in Google was his character's name, Lord Zipacna, not the titles of the 3 episodes he was in. Could you give me a hint?

I remarked about how tall Keamy is over in the comments for "Cabin Fever". Google revealed that he is 6 feet 6 inches tall! Also, in the photos of him in Google, he's smiling and looks like a nice guy. The fact that I was surprised is an indication of how good he is as a character actor!

I'm so envious of the swell verification words some of you seem to always get. Right now I'm looking at "ropyrize" and can't think of a thing, clever or otherwise. I'll keep hoping. :)

Rebecca T. said...

@Marebabe: Kevin Durand was in SG1 Season 3, Episode 15 ("Pretense") which is the one we watched. I missed that he was in two more, but they are season 5, episode 15 ("Summit") and season 5, episode 16 ("Last Stand")

Haha! I find it funny that all of his episode numbers are The Numbers :D

Marebabe said...

@Sonshine: That is amazing about the episode numbers being The Numbers. I'll be checking out those SG-1 episodes in the near future. Thanks all to pieces!

Don said...

Despite how great this episode is in so many ways, which become even better looking back from Season 5, I can't stop wondering "Why is that first guy who gets killed carrying firewood, and what are all The Others doing?"

Going back to Season 3, the Others have seen Locke come in and maybe be their new leader, they have gone back to the Barracks, Ben is a prisoner, then he's not, then he and Locke are working together, Losties are living in houses that they now seem to own., the island is being invaded, etc.

So what are the rest of the Others doing? Are they trying to rescue their leader Ben? Interacting with the new neighbours like Claire and Sawyer? Banding together to fight the Losties or the Freighter Folk? Waiting for instructions from Ben?

No, they are living mundane lives in their little cottages, it's just another quiet day in suburbia, and a guy's calmly walking outdoors carrying firewood. Then once he's dead, others come outdoors wondering what's all the ruckus going on out here? And now they're dead too.

Perhaps the residents of New Otherton are so clueless about what's going on around them that they all deserved to die anyway.

Anyways, fantastic episode but I can't help wondering what the hell is going on with these people which of course leads to The Big Question Michael asked when he was first captured... "Who ARE you people?"

Rebecca T. said...

@Don: Actually, I think by this point all of the Others are at the Temple. I think Ben sent them there near the beginning of the season. So the guy carrying firewood was actually one of the 815 survivors that followed Locke (at least that's what I thought)

Verification: Pansmon - Jamaican word for cooking utensils

Don said...

@Sonshinemusic: I guess I'm not paying close enough attention, you're absolutely right, those people who get killed are 'extra' survivors.

The rest of the Others are at the Temple (I checked on Lostpedia) - thanks for clearing that up.

I think maybe the whole purpose of the Flaming Arrow attack in Season 5 was to finally get these meaningless extras off the show. It had to be getting increasingly difficult to keep them as part of the story, especially as the Losties start getting spread out in different timelines and parts of the island.

Perhaps the arrows were actually being fired by the writing staff of Lost.

crazyinlost said...

@SonshineMusic-yes, I think Kevin Durand is a great character actor, and I thought he was the creepiest when I first saw him on SG1 (as Hapacna, Harakna, Harpaknia, something like that, on the Tolan home world, aka Simon Fraser Univ)
and began my love/hate with the actor. Then I saw him on Dark Angel, where he plays Joshua (Big fella) the human/dog hybrid and really learned to appreciate him.

crazyinlost said...

Zipacna! of course! (I was close). Thanks, marebabe! Loved his cute little mini skirt he wore. (I have a hard time seeing a Go'auld wearing a skirt though!)

crazyinlost said...

mistaica-how an Italian says they've done something wrong.

Blam said...

A belated comment on Alex's death: We don't know exactly how much Ben "believes" in the Island. He's never seen Jacob, but on the other hand he converses with Smokey. He says to "Locke" in S5 that whether or not he believed someone could come back, it's another thing to see it. He knows that funky stuff goes on with healing and perhaps providence — John's legs, Ben's own cancer, a spinal surgeon falling from the sky. Let's say that he's been on the Island and around Richard long enough to believe that the Island (and/or Jacob, but for the purposes of this point, let's say they're essentially the force at work) speaks and coerces in its own way, even if he's not above trying to get around the Island's desires or orders by insinuating himself into the savior position by doing things that were supposed to have been done by Locke. What I'm building up to is that, if he knows what Tom tells Michael off the Island, that it won't let you go until it's done with you, then Alex's death has to hurt that much more; not only is there an initial wave of shock over the shooting itself, and however it might have been against the "rules" he mentions to Widmore, but there may be additional tragedy in knowing that, in the Island's eyes, either Alex's life was nothing special or her death was necessary — that is, either passively or actively, it was cosmically okay. People comfort themselves and others by saying that acts of tragedy are part of God's will or God's plan, to which we are not privy, and I'm not belittling that. Just imagine, though, in a place where apparent miracles are much more routine than in our lives in our day and age, a place where believers see the workings of their God regularly, how much more it may hurt to see a lack of divine intervention. "What about me?" "What about you?"
Verification word: nonan — Toddlers on the loose!

Fred said...

@Blam: read my comment in the thread of Something Nice Back Home episodes 2 & 3, where I consider the possibility Alex's death was part of a plan by Ben, a necessary sacrifice. (I outline some ideas to support this crazy idea).

Some other support comes from the name of the wine, Moriah (the place where Issac nearly sacrificed his son, but for the intervention of God). But on this island, God does not see what is going on, so such a sacrifice would have taken place (as it does with Daniel and Eloise). Interestingly, this is a kind of reversal of the grandfather paradox--instead of X killing his grandfather, X's mother kills X, avoiding the paradox but resulting in an ethical dilemma if X's mother planned the whole killing later in life.

Anyway, as I mention in the other thread, sacrifice of children by parents is a theme in LOST, so why not between Ben and Alex? It happened with Boone and Locke, and Locke calls Boone "son" at one point (not his real son, but a fictive association).

Fred said...

@ Blam: sorry, my comments are in There's No Place Like Home parts 2 & 3.

Azá said...

Great episode title - and correct me if I'm wrong, but this is only one among the episodes this season (and will be S05) where the episode title is not mentioned by one of characters.

Alex's death = I would bet my bottom dollar that Ben did not see that coming and that he would never intend to let her die. The look on his face was absolutely of genuine shock!

We've heard and seen so much about destiny - namely in S05 - but I think there is a little bug plot clue in what he says "she is a pawn". She may just be part of a bigger sacrifice and perhaps she was 'meant' to die as Ben was instructed initially by Widmore, but for Ben, his strategy is different.

Nikki - you mentioned about Widmore saying, "Whay you are". I think you're definately right, something he is now after being 'temple'ised' by Alpert. I'm interested to see what Widmore and Alpert's relationship was like, was it like Ben's?

I've got a theory on the "changing the rules" line. I think it is such a big line to give us and now we are a much more experience/clued up audience, I think it's a huge line that lays down what the show is all about. As Alex was a pawn, it's a chess piece, it's destiny, but destiny that the Island controls.

Widmore changed the rules by killing her externally if you like i.e. not the islands doing. Widmore is on the island as he found it after he couldn't find it (if that makes sense). He was banished and could not find it, he is back, he is not supposed to be back and everything that is happening now is not supposed to be.

The Rush Blog said...

He tells Ben that he’s responsible for the death of his own daughter and in “Dead Is Dead,” Ben takes that responsibility. Ben says he’s going to kill Penny and that leads to him confronting her on the dock.

Keamy was going to kill Danielle anyway. In fact, he had orders from Widmore to kill everyone else on the island, but spare Ben. Widmore was a lot more responsible for Danielle's death than Ben. A lot more.

I have a question. Why did Widmore declare to Ben that the island was his.