Trans 2009-03-02: “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”


This episode of “The Transmission” takes a look at the seventh episode of Season 5, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.” We recap the story in eight minutes, then spend some time discussing it in greater depth. Then, we turn it over to You All Everybody, our brilliant listeners and readers. Then, in the Forward Cabin, we review what we know about “La Fleur” and talk about the last week of filming on The Island.

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  • 0:00:41 Introduction
  • 0:01:12 “LOST” in 8 Minutes
  • 0:08:34 Discussion
  • 0:26:24 You All Everybody
  • 1:07:13 The Forward Cabin
  • 1:11:01 Closing

Got a comment about something mentioned in this podcast, or about the podcast itself? Have at it below. Otherwise, we encourage you to continue the larger listener discussion about “316” on the previous post.

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35 Responses to Trans 2009-03-02: “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”

  1. Knives Monroe says:

    Wait, now that I think about it…Why the heck did Ben move the island?

    It doesn’t make sense now. Why did he lie to Locke, why?


  2. Aaron says:

    Anyone else having trouble with the AAC version through iTunes?

  3. Jackanory says:

    Yeah itunes isn’t liking it for me either.

  4. Stan says:

    iTunes download failed for me too.

  5. Same here….

    I get an error message stating that the file type isn’t supported by iTunes… Maybe a naming extension problem?

  6. Stefani in snowed in Mass says:

    was able to listen on the hawaiiup site – but it also failed on itunes.

  7. Jackanory says:

    Hey I copied the URL that is given up top :

    I then opened my iTunes, clicked the Advance tab then Open Audio Stream and pasted the above URL in. It then plays the podcast via iTunes which gives you the time elapsed whilst listening to the podcast. Kinda helped when i accidentally restarted it as it was easy to get right back to the same place, however still not able to copy it on to my Ipod. 🙁

  8. coffeedog says:

    One question comes to my mind with regards to this last episode.

    Last season we see Jack all drugged up w/a beard, he goes to see Locke at the funeral home.

    This past episode, Jack sees Locke in the hospital, he is all cleaned up, this is before Ben kills Locke.

    The time line for these events isn’t making sense

  9. paintergirl1 says:

    I think we’re making an assumption that the meeting between Jack and Locke at the hospital directly precedes Locke’s suicide attempt. It takes a while for one of those casts to come off. It could have been weeks or even months after Jack and Locke meet. There could even have been more meetings between Locke and the O6 that occurred in this time.

    I admit it’s a bit of a stretch, but I’m just trying to give the writers the benefit of the doubt.

  10. Jay from Canada says:

    Yeah, the iTunes download is working for me either.

  11. Melonpool says:

    I keep thinking about the Narnia books ever since the introduction of the Lamp Post Dharma station. In “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the prophesy in the books basically said that when the two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve returned to Narnia, the reign of the White Witch would come to an end.

    How would this relate to watch? What if the two sons of Islanders (Walt and Aaron) and two daughters of Eve (Clementine and Ji Yeon) have to return to the island? Or, possibly instead of Clementine or Walt, Charlie Hume has to?

    It seems weird to me that pretty much the only people not set to return to the island are all children, especially when the the lamp post is clearly a Narnia reference.

  12. Ryan says:

    There was definitely something wrong with the file on the “Enhanced” feed. I’ve re-encoded, re-uploaded, and re-pinged the feed. Please do an update on the podcast and grab the new file, or let me know if you still have problems. Thanks!

  13. Sebase says:

    Works like a charm now Ryan, thanks for the hard work!

    I wonder why everyone think Ji Yeon somehow needs to get back to the island. We haven’t seen anything that points in that direction, as far as I know.

  14. Steve says:

    > Knives Monroe Says:
    > Wait, now that I think about it…Why the heck did Ben move the island?
    > It doesn’t make sense now. Why did he lie to Locke, why?
    > Why?

    Ben needed to get off the island to exact vengeance on Charles Widmore for killing Alex because Ben’s a sociopath.

  15. Tim says:

    I can’t get it off itunes. Can someone email it to me? I tried to get it here at work, but the firewall is blocking me from getting it directly off this page with the link provided. Thanks everyone!

  16. Knives Monroe says:

    To Steve:

    Absolutely, you’re right. I forgot. Alex dying was a real factor that I had over looked and under-thought.

    I like what one person said on the Podcast, and that’s that Locke, NOT bringing Walt could have been a ‘unpredictable’ event that Ms Hawking/Faraday said.

    And I just thought of this, the HYDRA ISLAND is in the PRESENT TIME!?!?! is this a fact? So the HYDRA Island is in the present time, and the other island is in the 70’s? How did people conclude this really. I’m normally not this LOST, but I guess I missed something?

  17. Stefani who just finished shoveling! says:

    Thanks for fixing the itunes. Now I can finish listening to your podcast!

  18. Ben’s killing of Locke is supposed to have great shock value, but we are well aware by now that he will go to any length to achieve the ends that he believes makes him one of the good guys. This act changes nothing until we see the merit of Ben’s motives. It would be an audacious trick to try and redeem him from the absolute depths of darkness. As other posters have pointed out, however, in Locke’s passion play, Ben is clearly set up as the agent that thwarts divine duty, tempting Locke down from his “cross.”

    I have a different take on the importance of the way Locke dies as touched on in the podcast. Ben clearly needs information about Mrs. Hawking from Locke as I feel he is no longer on speaking terms with Jacob. So he has to buy time to extract this knowledge. At the same time, Ben always understands the absolute necessity of Locke’s death in order for the O6 to return. He just wants this to happen on his terms (as would Widmore I suspect.)

    So what might be of ultimate importance is the nature of the death Locke suffers. In order for it to truly qualify as sacrifice, a gift to God, it might have to be of a voluntary nature. Ben thwarts this. It hasn’t been touched on for awhile, but we should recall the great emphasis placed on free will by Ben’s band of others. It comes straight out of the book of laws I think.

    I’m not convinced that Ben wants to “replace” Locke as stated in the podcast, but rather hopes to exploit Locke’s abilities (as does Widmore) to reorder the world in accordance with his own vision. I think only Locke, once he has undergone his trials and mastered himself, can employ the magic box in a way that can achieve the miraculous and transform the world.

    Finally, I would not necessarily describe the dichotomy of Ben vs. Widmore in terms of good vs. evil. Widmore represents the forces of fate and order–he’s the elder brother, the rightful heir, while Ben subscribes to a code based on free will, he throws off his assigned caste of “work man” to ascend to heights beyond his station. What is good or right will ultimately depend on which side you personally come down on.

    Defend the island.

  19. christy in TX says:

    Just some randoms to chew on:
    1. We know that at some point Locke will meet Richard Apert again and mention to him the date and location of the bullet-removal he will need to perform on Locke. As far as we know the exchange of this piece of information has yet to occur. It is reasonable to assume that this information will occur in a future point from the O6 re-crash, at which point Locke will likely ALSO convey that he was killed before returning to the island with the O6 (in the re-crash.) That being said, I think the fact that RA told Locke that he will need to die to bring the O6 back is more of a statement of fact based on the events that occurred leading up to the re-crash more than a statement of requiring self-sacrifice for redemption to the island. I know at the time RA told Locke this when he was removing the bullet we all thought that was the WAY to bring them back, but I think it’s fair to now add the possibility that this is just the way things played out and cannot be changed due to the “string” time theory. (I hope that made sense to y’all, it’s hard for me to explain things without using my hand gestures!)

    2. I think Ben killed Locke due to the information he provided about Jin, not Miss Hawking. He is such a talented actor and when it’s revealed to Ben that Jin is alive, he physically reacts to this information. I bet he was not expecting to hear that, and thinks he now will have a way without using brute force to get Sun on the plane because he has the carrot he needs to lure her to the possibility of a reunion with Jin.

    3. Does Ben know that the island is leaping in time? If so, he may be attempting to get back for the sole reason of trying to protect Alex from Keamy. He may try to get there and actually cause the time to jump again so he can place her at the temple or in Richard’s care or some other type of security to prevent her from being killed by Keamy.

    4. I don’t know if I believe that the newbies are in a different time on Hydra the the O6 re-crashers are on the main island, either. The Hydra station may not be abandoned, but just closed for the weekend, it could be a time when the DI have other priorities and are just not spending a lot of time at that station. Or the timeline could be some time after the purge but long enough ago that the infrastructure is not worn down yet (the van, buildings, etc)

    5. I have a question about the timeline of the purge and Widmore’s supposed exile from the island due to Ben. I am guessing that Penny is at least late 20’s as she met Desmond, spent time with him, then was engaged, then 4 years looking for him (right? or am I off on this) and Ben was old wnough to be a “Workman” on the island, probably 10 years or more after arriving with his father as a 10 year old. If the purge occurred 12 years before the 815 crash, as Horace stated, that would have been 1992, making the time that Ben came to power perhaps the late 80’s? That is, assuming he led the others while still working for DI in order to aid in the plan to do the Purge, if that was the time that Widmore left, how could he have had time to begin his multi-million dollar empire and father Penny AFTER his exile? Penny would have had to have been conceived and born in the late 70’s/early 80’s, right? Maybe my thinking is off on this one, too. Anyone have any thoughts on how long ago Widmore left the island?
    Love the show! This whole community makes it that much better – Thanks R&J!

  20. Cofeedog:

    In answer to your and Jen’s comments about Jack’s beard and a convoluted time line:

    1. Jack doesn’t have a beard or start taking pills until he sees his father in the hospital lobby.
    2. We know that Jack starts taking plane rides right after Locke visits him.
    3. Most men can get a beard to go from small and trimmed and very shaggy within about a month.

    What does all of this mean? It means that Jack’s encounter with Locke takes place shortly after his encounter with Christian. He’s a little strung out but not over the top yet. We also know that the conversation with Ben about Christian pushes Jack over the top of “pill hill” and sets him spiraling. I’d be willing to guess that’s when Jack stops taking care of himself and the beard grows. That means that the time line between that and the season 3 finale can be as short as three or four weeks. I’m guessing therefore that Jack has only taken 3 or 4 plane rides.

    The time line seems pretty straight forward to me. Any holes in what I said?

    R&J, keep up the good work. You’ve got the most professional podcast I’ve heard. Hope you’re feeling better!

  21. bluedog1121 says:

    I just finished listening to the show, and wanted to comment on something one of the callers said.

    I really like the idea of Jin teaching Charlotte Korean. (The thought had briefly crossed my mind at This Place Is Death.) But then I’m thinking, why wouldn’t Charlotte remember Jin right away back in S4? They’ve definitely had some very close interaction.

    I can buy that Danielle doesn’t remember Jin, as she’s had severe trauma and didn’t really interact with Jin in an up-close-and-personal way when she was involved with the 815ers. But if Charlotte, as a girl, struck up a friendship with Jin, and they both helped to teach each other their native language, surely she would remember her friend? I guess it depends on how old Charlotte was when she left the island.

    The time travel stuff is not my strong suit, so I would love to get anyone else’s thoughts on this!

  22. Connie in Alaska says:

    I am in the middle of listening to the podcast, but want to comment before I forget.

    I, too, think the shot of Locke’s four toes is a great catch and I totally missed it (besides the fact that our TV reception leaves much to be desired and we are too cheap for cable). There is a way for the ancient four-toed statue to be Locke without it being actually Locke’s foot.

    The culture of the Others may have propehcies and predictions of a future leader/messiah who will have four toes. Statues and images of this future person could have existed, without really knowing exactly who he is, for as long as the prophecies have existed. It is also possible that some Others with the ability to see or travel to the future have seen Locke in visions and the statue is a description of these. When put together with the ancient temple, heiroglyphs and other mysteries of the Island, it does make some sense.

  23. bobo says:

    the 4 toes on lock are on his right foot. the statue is a left foot

  24. Connie in Alaska says:

    bobo-yeah, you are right. I looked at some screencaps on DarkUFO’s site and it is his right foot, plus it is very possible his pinkie toe was tucked inside the cast. Just goes to show you how we in the Lost Fandom Universe are honed in on every detail. Kinda sad actually ;O)

  25. soko says:

    We have to keep in mind the information that people DO NOT have. The people on the island have no idea what happened on the freighter. They have no idea that anyone made it back home. The O6 have no idea what happened to the island or the people on it ( it vanished ). Walt has no idea what happened to his friend Hurley and the others since he and his dad went away on that little boat.
    Having said that, the reactions of the O6 to Locke and Locke’s reactions to them were so dry bland unemotional and unrealistic… disturbingly so. Kate’s visit would go something like
    ” Oh my God… How are you? how did you get off of the island? Where is everyone else? … A wheel? …Time traveling? Did you guys find Claire? Is Sawyer OK? Where were you for three years? O my goodness I can’t stop crying! It’s amazing to see you. I mean, I know we’ve had our differences but holy sh..! we survived crazy soldiers a magic island that vanishes in time and a smoke monster… did you find out about that thing?
    well anyway, We have a bond! You want something to eat? I, I gotta call Jack. Why are you in a wheelchair? I’m sorry I’m talking so much, I’m just freaking out ! ”
    Everyone reacted as if Locke had been nothing more than an old co-worker at a box making company that they had not seen for a week.

    Where did Walt have to go that he couldn’t hang out with a guy that he knew from the island where, he was kidnapped, and his dog was now living, and where he was part of a hostage exchange, and no one could escape?
    Maybe people that understand human emotion and normal conversation need to get in on the non-techie/mythological dialogue.

  26. chavando says:

    An enjoyable LOST episode though it’s hard seeing Locke weak and vulnerable since he’s my favorite character. I also think this episode was a bit rushed. Maybe it would have been better to have seen what Locke did off-island in 2 episodes. It didn’t seem like Locke put too much effort to convince any of the O6. Seeing Walt was nice, though, especially now that he doesn’t scream in every scene he’s in.
    I’m a new listener; love the podcast.

  27. Ron St.Amant says:

    Ryan and Jen-

    Love the podcast! I started listening recently and have been devouring the archives…my wife and I will even occasionally listen during dinner, and enjoy lively theorizing.

    After watching The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham, I had an epiphany.

    I keep thinking that Locke and Ben are brothers, with the same mother “Emily”…this isn’t an original thought as others have articulated it before. However, I think they might represent the twin brothers Jacob and Esau (which would fit with the idea that Locke is Jacob).

    Esau was jealous of Jacob because he was the favorite of God. He was the chosen one and eventually received the birthright from Isaac that Esau always believed was his own. The birthright in this case is the leadership of the island. Esau tries to kill Jacob on several occasions (Ben shoots Locke and strangles him) but never succeeds in doing so. He then builds a small army to make war on Jacob, but is thwarted in that effort as well. (Could this be the war Widmore mentions?)

    They eventually make peace to bury their father.

    Jacob of course famously wrestles with angel, and when he refuses to give in, he is given a new name. (Locke is given a new name as well.)

    Thanks and keep up the great work.
    Toronto, Canada

  28. Spalz says:

    Anyone ever think back to Michael? When he wanted to kill himself the island wouldnt let him. He tried a few times and a few ways and the island never let that happen. What if the same would have been true for Locke? Would the island not let him kill himself if he did jump off that table in the hotel room? I’m thinking that Ben knew that he would have been unsuccessful in the attempt, and he stepped up and took the responsibility and killed him. That would make sense.
    With all the twists that keep coming, I think we’re going to find out that Ben’s really a good guy, and he does what he has to do for the good of the island.

  29. kk says:

    Just some random stuff:
    I still have no idea who is good and who is bad but I think it is clear that Ben knows that Locke is not “dead” even though he strangled him. I base this on the conversation that Ben and Jack had in an earlier episode where Jack says something like “he’s really dead isn’t he” and Ben gives Jack that smirk which says to me that Ben knows perfectly well that Locke isn’t going to stay dead.
    A lot has been made about Walt not returning to the island. Is it possible that Ben is able to return to the island as Walt’s proxy. Ben and Walt both lost their mother’s young and their father’s were with them on the island. No one may have planned this (including Ben) but it would make sense.
    The Locke under the hood thing was very reminiscent of Anakin Skywalker circa Ep 3 to me.
    I did not read all the comments before posting so sorry if I’m repeating ideas.
    Great podcast-great comments!

  30. yosemite chris says:

    is the island done with locke,locke’s died, when we see micheal the island would not let him die,because it needed the island must not need locke any more, or can you die by some one else’s hand.

    everyone thinks hurley was the proxy for charlie on the plane i think it was
    jack recovering drug user,family died or family left him, kinda like charlie brother.
    where did locke get all his cleaning supplies WALMART, that where you get
    all you killing suicide needs, they might of had a sale on ext. card and
    409! ha ha
    everyone want to know who jacob is you are jacob ,we are jacob,maybe john lennon is jacob.hope we find out some day
    everyone is wondering how walt knew about locke name since he never metion his new name to him,or gave him any info. WALT say’s he been having dreams,so he got the info from the dream,or maybe he saw the newpaper just like jack.were they dreams or was he seeing the furture.
    CHRIS form yosemite ,ca

  31. Bomir from MTL says:

    A few things still bug me
    Lets assume that Widmore has been off the Island for some time.
    He has funded Faraday’s research.
    He knows who and where Eloise is.
    He obviouly know of the Lamp Post.
    He seems to be connected in some way to the DI
    But he knew Richard Alpert and was part of the Hostiles.
    He has sent a freighter in the vicinity of the Island.
    Why the hell does he need Locke to do this job of returning to the Island ? especially in current times (2007-08) which doesnt seem a whole lot helpful.
    Rich as he has become (Ben has no money problem either) there has got to be a reason why he is not going back…

    Now we have a bunch of Losties coming from the future who wind up in Dharma time (while the Hostiles including Alpert and Widmore are around).
    The Losties obviously know of the well.
    Do the Hostiles know about the well ?
    The Losties must have had discussions with the Dharma people and suggested that the Orchid be built.
    Why else would the DI build the Orchid, if not for being hinted of the special powers of this location ?

    For some reason, Ben has gained all this knowledge of everything concerning the DI
    I can hardly believe that Ben had been in the know of the secrets of the DI when the Purge occured.
    Somehow he knew how to get from and back to the Island, either by submarine or by the secret vault behind the library.

    Could it be that he became knowledgeable of all this at the Hydra after getting better from his injuries during the crash landing of A0316 ?
    So I guess Ben will take care of Ceasar … or manipulate him (which is what he does best)
    And that would mean that the Ben that we saw at the Purge is actually Ben from the future ?
    This going in circle isnt it ?

    Then back to the theory brought last week
    What if we look back at the S1 episodes with the view that O0815 was actually arranged to be happening to people who had to be on that plane ?
    What if what is happening in the future is dictating what is happening in the past ?
    Crazy huh ?

  32. Gil Maker says:

    One thought that people are forgetting. As the show moves forward, Locke becomes the self-pitying person he was before getting to the island. He was in a wheel chair before the island and ends up in a wheel chair at the end. I think that this shows that Locke must return to the island to live a life worth living.

  33. Mary Ann says:

    If I was a woman in that Ajira crash, I’d take off on an outrigger with Frank Lapidus too.

  34. Listening to this episode of the podcast right now. You mentioned Ben killing John so that John wouldn’t have his hands dirty. Doesn’t that fit with John having Sawyer kill his Dad.

  35. MattH says:

    I was wondering if the reason that Ben and John didn’t flash away with the other Losties is because the island doesn’t or can’t have them back. In Ben’s case the reasn is failry obvious – if you turn the donkey wheel you can’t go back – however, I was wondering if the reason that John didn’tgo with the other losties was because he was killed rather than killing himself – and thus not sacrificing himself for the island. The imagery used during the scene where Ben is trying to talk John was very biblical and it got me thinking, what if Jesus had been talked out of dying on the cross: it would certainly have had a big impact on the salvation of hummaity.

    Anyway it was just a thought.

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