Next: “Dead Is Dead” (Episode 5×12)

In terms of character drama, tight writing, memorable performances, and the general art of quality television, “Dead Is Dead” was not the strongest episode of Season 5. But who are we kidding, this was a Ben episode with the smoke monster. With a token mention of the whispers, even. For the mystery and mythology of “LOST,” this week’s episode was a feast. It filled in a few blanks: we see how Alex was taken, we see the exile of Widmore, we see why Ben preempted a suicide with murder, and we see what went down at the dock. And it definitely laid the groundwork for the future: the “smoke monster” is the ultimate judge (and can conjure corporeal people) and it wants Locke to succeed, but Ilana has been “activated,” or something, and something big is afoot.

Doing things in service of the island, and what the island wants, were definitely the themes of the day. Was Alex supposed to live or die? Ben’s sparing Danielle and taking Alex seemed to be the right and compassionate thing (the same compassion that gave him pause on the dock, long enough to let Desmond get the jump on him). Yet if Alex was supposed to live, and Ben caused her death, you’d think the smoke monster would have judged Ben more harshly. Given that Charles Widmore, at his exile, calls Alex’s survival into question, I like the idea that perhaps Alex was always fated to die on the island. Hence Ben only prolonged the inevitable before she reached the end of her path.

But then again, if Alex was fated to die, why does Ben say her death broke “the rules”? And that Widmore was the one who broke them? After all, one of the personal epiphanies Ben apparently has in this episode was that he, not Widmore, killed Alex.

Speaking of “rules,” apparently Widmore’s leaving the island regularly and fathering a child with an outsider is grounds for exile. Who’s the “outsider”? If “Ellie” is Eloise Hawking, she’s an insider, and the mother of Daniel Faraday. So the child is Penny, and the outsider is… someone else. Have we met Penny’s mother somewhere, and just don’t know it?

I like that we see more hints that Ben’s reign as leader of the Others was not all that great, in the island’s eyes. Way back in Season 3, Alpert tells Locke that many of the Others are frustrated with Ben for getting distracted from their greater purpose. Tonight, we hear more of the same. Locke smirks at Ben for leading his people from behind a desk. And Locke also lectures Ben for moving the Others from the jungle to the cozy domestic comforts of Othersville, something the island wouldn’t like. Basically he got distracted by the trappings of “modern life,” and lost touch with the “native” way.

Ben’s knack for lying while sounding completely earnest is deliciously confounding. When he’s seeding Caesar’s mind with doubt about Locke, you’re cursing him, yet at the same time cheering for him for being so good at being bad. The question is, was he surprised to see Locke alive again or not? Jen and I think he was genuinely shocked, and for now we’ll believe him when he tells Sun that “dead is dead,” and that seeing Locke resurrected truly does scare him.

Is future Ben really surprised to see the photo of Jack, Kate, and Hurley in the Dharma Initiative? We haven’t seen young Ben interact with them, but the only way he’d truly not know they were there is if he doesn’t get returned to the Dharma Initiative until after our friends have left. I wouldn’t think the Others would hold onto Ben so long, so that would suggest something happens soon to break up the “Class of 1977.”

It was good to see the return of Confident Locke. I’m somewhat with Ben, though, in questioning how quickly he came to know everything and be so sure of himself. I guess coming back from the dead can do that. But Locke has waffled so many times between resolute and unsure. Is Ben truly going to follow him now? Or, more to the point, could we stomach seeing Ben rattling Locke to his core one more time?

So what lies ahead for Locke? “Reuniting Sun and Jin” would seem to be the next thing on his to-do list. Is that task one of the things that Ghost Alex had in mind when she told Ben to follow Locke’s every word? Or is there a bigger job ahead? I like the idea that, somehow, reuniting Sun and Jin is actually more important than anyone can imagine, that whatever it entails is entwined with Locke’s greater destiny. I just haven’t figured out how.

And obviously Ilana and friends and their mysterious crate will stand between Locke and Ben and Frank and Sun and whatever they have to do.

Notes and Notions:

  • Who is Ilana and company working for? Widmore seems the most likely guess, even though he told Ben there was no way back on the very day Ajira 316 left Los Angeles. If her coded question references “the statue” we’ve seen, it would have to be someone with a deep understanding of the island’s history. Someone who set them up with whatever’s in the crate to do something big.
  • No question the island’s most ancient artifacts are Egyptian in influence, if not origin. The hieroglyphic representation of the smoke monster visiting Anubis was a nice touch. Does this confirm “the statue” was Anubis?
  • We definitely didn’t expect to see Ben shooting Caesar so suddenly. They can’t really be done with him, can they? Jen thinks they are, just to defy our expectations.
  • What’s up with Ilana’s henchmen? Two new guys suddenly get face time and lines? Somehow their introduction seemed more jarring than all the new faces in the Dharma Initiative we saw in the 1970s.
  • The way Ben hesitated upon seeing Charlie on the boat reminded Jen of how Sawyer reacted when he suddenly realized there was a child involved when he was pulling the very first con we’re shown in Season 1. The preservation of young innocents is definitely a theme we’re revisiting, ever since children were taken from the 815 survivors in Season 2.
  • Kudos to the production team for attempting to have a single actor portray the same character across several decades… but Ben’s mid-30s wig tonight was among the worst we’ve seen in a show that’s suffered from a lot of bad wigs (see Jack, Kate, Sun, Boone…).
  • Ben was sent to kill Danielle, but didn’t when he noticed baby Alex. But why take baby Alex? He asks Danielle if she wants her child to live, so I guess he knew things outside the world of the Others weren’t a safe place for an infant. And I guess the whispers were one manifestation of that threat.
  • Keeping track of how many canoes there are and where they end up is becoming a fun puzzle game. Three canoes were hidden on Alcatraz. Frank and Sun take one, Ben and Locke take another. Then Frank returns. That’s two canoes on Alcatraz. We know two canoes end up at the old beach camp on the main island eventually… so how do they get there? Frank makes a break for it, Ilana and friends follow, then chase him around in the jungle long enough for the time jumping team to steal one and get shot at? And keep in mind, that time jumping team includes a Locke, but not the resurrected Locke of Ajira 316. My head hurts.

What did you think? Please comment below, e-mail us at lost@hawaiiup.com, or call the LostLine at (808) 356-0127 by noon on Friday, April 10.

176 Responses to “Next: “Dead Is Dead” (Episode 5×12)”

  1. Lydia from Massachusetts says:

    So, does anyone think Charles Widmore is inside the metal cargo container?

  2. Lydia from Massachusetts says:

    I should explain my thinking: 1) It’s a pretty big box. 2) Ilana says something like “We’re all here now” or something like that. 3) Charles could not have bought a ticket on the plane without being recognized by someone (Ben) and that would have taken away the element of surprise. The “shadow of the statue” code seems more native/other-like than Dharamesque to me. Maybe Eliose Hawking is inside the box too?

  3. cat says:

    Wow. Amazing episode. Not sure what it all means but it was so worth it to have Des and Penny survive. I’m a bit concerned about why Ben says to apologize to Des. Not sure if he is referring to the attempt on Penny’s life or something else relative to Des.

    So I think we called Anubis right on the statue. So now we have Anubis feeding smokey something. As long as it isn’t Vincent, I’m good but what does that mean. This island is the island of the dead. Anubis guards it and smokey has the ability to make the dead appear. Hum. more to come on that.

    Alana has to work for Widmore. We had previously deduced that it had to be Ben or Widmore because they would have been the only ones who knew Sayid killed on the golfcourse. But what is in the box? Is that the magic box? Has smokey made her “sick” when we weren’t watching? Seemed to be a major transformation of personality – much like the frenchies.

    Can’t wait for more!

  4. John Fischer says:

    Did the writers really screw up Lost’s timeline with “Dead is Dead?”

    We know the following dates:

    Alex was kidnapped in early 1989.

    The Purge happens on December 19, 1992.

    Sometime post purge when Alex looks to be 3-5 years old, Ben exiles Charles Widmore by means of the sub, claiming that he broke the rules by having a child with an off islander during one of his trips off the island.

    Widmore begins to fund Daniel’s research in 1994 according to Desmond in “Jughead”.

    During the 1994-1996 time period Desmond joins the convent, meets Penny and in 1996 asks Charles for permission to marry her. Penny has to be in her early to mid 20’s, so she had to have been born in the mid to late 1970’s.

    So, here are the questions:

    How was Widmore leaving and returning to the island pre-purge, back in the 1970’s? The Others didn’t have the sub until December 1992. We know that Richard has left the island several times, as early as the 1950’s. How are they doing it?

    If Charles is not exiled until sometime after 1992, how was he able to build his huge empire “Widmore Industries” in just the few years before Desmond first meets him in 1996? That’s only 3-4 years to go from a scruffy island other to a rich multi-millionaire.

    If Charles didn’t leave the island until at least 1993, how could he have been looking for the island for 20 years as said by Miles in 2004 and by Charles himself in 2007?

    Ben exiles Charles after 2002 because he had a child with on off islander. Assuming that they mean Penny, she has to be at least a late teenager by that point. How did the Others not know this before?

    It just seems that until “Dead is Dead” we were being lead to believe that Charles was exiled sometime around 1984 (20 years before 2004). That would at least have given him time to build his empire. Did the writers screw up their own timeline by having the exile not take place until sometime after December 1992 considered what we know about Desmond’s first meeting with him in 1996?

  5. John Fischer says:

    I should add, if Charles was able to come and go from the island long before the Others had the sub, why doesn’t he just return after he is exiled by whatever means he had to return to the island prior to the Others having the sub?

  6. Bryan says:

    @John Fischer

    They made references to Widmore leaving the island repeatedly, which is WHY he was exiled. He could have easily been building his empire all that time.

    @ Nate in Ohio
    It could be Ben had snuck his way back into Dharmaville and was living among them. There are a couple references to that in this episode, one of which by Richard.

    I loved this episode. It might be my favorite this season.

  7. Carol says:

    How do we know the others didn’t have a sub from the military that landed there with Jughead? Who said Dharma’s sub was the only sub?

  8. cat says:

    John Fisher, I think the “I have been searching for the island for 20 years) is a problem given the dates you identified above. I have to believe it is a “Charlotte error”. I suspect we are seeing more of these as they are moving so fast. Good question for Darleton podcast.

    There seem to be other ways to get off the island besides the donkey wheel and the sub. How did Mr. Friendly get off for the interaction with Michael? I suspect that we just don’t know what they are yet.

  9. Bill says:

    I could hardly pay attention to the rest of the episode — wondering what Ben pulling the plug on a pool of dirty water had to do with anything. This LOST program really messes with my mind sometimes.

    Note to Frank: grow your beard back.

    The “shadow of the statue”… could that refer to the area around the Orchid Station/and water well portal?

    Aren’t we wondering why Sun, who was a bona fide Oceanic 6, wasn’t included in the “rapture” to 1977 with Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid. My guess is she’s been tainted with Widmore influence.

    My wife says Desmond was saved by having a canned ham for Easter in the grocery bag. That was a great scene when Ben glided underwater with spurting blood from his mouth. Great temple set. Great lighting & camera work on this episode.

    Don’t you think Richard Alpert lied to middle-age Widmore about it being Jacob’s decision to save young Ben?

    Great having a break from Jack and Kate and all that emotional violin music.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Honestly, my office gossip is more compelling and thought-provoking than last night’s episode.

    Have the outstanding writers abandoned the show? I’m left this morning feeling like a new group of writers received a one-line description for each character in the episode (Ben = lies. a lot.) or one line for each scene that needs to take place (Dock = Ben threatens Penny’s life. Desmond punches Ben.)

    Ben, this episode, was slapped together by writers who seemingly don’t know our character. They made him out to be more like a compulsive liar – lying for the sake of lying, rather than the Ben we know, which is a Ben that delivers truths, lies, and manipulations in such a manner, and with such restraint, that we’re unsure whether or not to believe him and uncertain about his true character or intentions.

    And, Widmore banished from the island because he had sex with an outsider, or was it that he fathered a child with an outsider? Either way, there has to be a reason a little more compelling than that, doesn’t there? Seems awfully trivial. The Others regularly left the island: Ben, Mr. Friendly, Richard. Hell, Mr. Friendly had an off-island relationship of his own! So if the variable is a child spawned with an outsider, shouldn’t that information have been delivered with a bit more seriousness and drama. Instead, it was offhandedly mentioned.

    The Smokey slash Wizard of Oz tornado scene was repulsively cheesy.

    This episode, in my opinion exemplifies my feelings on Season 5 in its entirety. Lackluster writing and white-paper, bullet-point delivery of important information makes the season ho-hum and obvious rather than mysterious, mythical, and intelligent. I’m beginning to think this season is worse than Season Two; I can name only four episodes this time around that remind me of traditional, mysterious LOST. The rest of the season = nighty-night, yawn.

  11. Glenn - Just curious says:

    “What lies in the shadow of the statue?“ – I agree with everyone else that Ilana works for Widmore, especially if she was sent to get Sayid for killing one of Widmore’s people.

    OK, but what does lie in the shadow of the statue? Although the answer is probably some code word, we know what actually lies in its shadow…it’s the Orchid, or rather the Well. Remember during the time traveling and Miles looks up to spot it while Lafleur (Sawyer/James) is left holding the rope. My theory is that the location of the wheel is known either by myth or fact to its proximity to the statue. If the statue is a location marker, or a guardian of sorts, then that’s probably why someone(s) removes or destroys the statue to hide its location and the secret it hides.

  12. What an episode! I have tons of thoughts, but want to focus on just one. John Locke. People have said they are glad he’s back to season 1 form, but I think this is a totally different Locke than we’ve seen. He has a swagger, a condescending tone, a look that he now “knows” the secrets. And why not? He’s just beaten death! He’s been resurrected by the island and maybe now is privy to all that the island is. He’s calling Ben’s bluffs, which Ben openly admits to. He knows where the temple is and how to get in. Apparently he knows how to get Sun and Jin back together (which I totally agree with you Ryan that I would love to see this reunion be something crucial to the story)

    And then Alex! Alex demanding that Ben follow Locke; that he is more or less the chosen one and deserves to be obeyed. Did anyone else think Jesus at this point? The most famous resurrection, he appeared to multiple people in the following days and was followed by thousands, and ultimately changed the world. Not sure what the writers are implying now, but the Biblical theme at this stage is too obvious not to pick up on.

    @Connie in Alaska
    My guess is that Ben would apologize to Desmond for shooting him…right?

  13. Kevin says:

    It seems a little convenient that Smokie appears just as Locke disappears. I’m not saying that Locke is now a manifestation of the Smoke Monster, I’m not sure, but it does seem more than a little peculiar.

  14. EdFromDC says:

    Obviously, Ben has a soft spot for children, as was demonstrated by his actions in young Rousseau’s tent and his hesitance to shoot Penny in front of young Charlie. He assumes responsibility for Alex.

    This might explain why the Others had such an interest in children after Ben took over (kidnapping the 815 children, “We give them a better life”). Neither Alpert nor Island Widmore appeared interested in Alex, apart from surprise that Ben brought her back.

    Then I thought to the conversation between Alpert and Locke in Season 3, when Alpert gives him the file on Sawyer so Locke can convince him to kill Cooper. In that conversation, Richard expresses dismay at the direction the Others are taking, mentions that Ben is keeping them occupied “with novelties like fertility issues,” and that Locke could remind everyone of the more important reasons they are there.

    Perhaps Alpert became disillusioned with Ben’s leadership, just as Ben became disillusioned with Widmore’s, and that’s the end of it. But perhaps it speaks to a larger truth – that Ben corrupted the Others’ purpose, and that is why he fell out of favour with the island.

  15. Ryan No. 3 says:

    Totally a fan-service episode, but a goodie nonetheless. I was half-expecting to see Tim Curry’s Pennywise the clown to come crawling out of Smoky’s drain.

    This episode furthers the notion that people born on the island are doomed or not allowed to live. Could this be part of “the rules” of the island? This could explain Claire’s ethereal warning to Kate not to bring back Aaron, the fate of Ethan, numerous pregnancy test failures by Juliet, and Sun’s insistence for Ji-Yeon to be born off-island.

    I think Ben interpreted “the rules” incorrectly, or at least tried to bend them; could it be that Alex’s death was inevitable? Ben eventually blames himself for it, which could mean that he regrets not taking her off-island which may have saved her from her fate.

    I liked the reference to Season Four’s “Meet Kevin Johnson,” when Ben tells Alex and Karl to go to the last safe place on the island, the Temple- not surprised to see her spirit waiting for him there like he asked.

    All in all, a good “answers” episode, one that surely could have used a 2-hour treatment to give the details for which we yearn but satisfies just enough to keep us speculating anyway. Looking forward to the next podcast.

  16. TVSciFi says:

    Actually, according to Lostipedia, Charles says “I’ve been searching for the island for almost 20 years.”

  17. John Fischer says:

    TVSciFi,

    – Actually, according to Lostipedia, Charles says “I’ve been searching for the island for almost 20 years.” –

    Exactly. The math doesn’t add up. Nor does it make sense that if Widmore had been going back and forth from the island to the mainland for years prior to his exile, he had to know where the island was, wouldn’t he? How was he going back and forth prior to his banishment?

  18. Bill says:

    Note to John Fisher. It’s my guess that the sub is the accepted means for inter-island travel, but it’s a hoax. There is a top secret portal. They used it to transport Juliette from “Port”land. Ben uses it. RA uses it. Tom Friendly used it. Eathan used it. Chang/Candle/Waxguy may use it.

    That was crap about having to drug Juliette while traveling on the sub to the island. They have a secret passage somewhere. And if they don’t, they should.

  19. Toby says:

    What a fantastic episode… I’m a sucker for the mythology-rich stories. Even in the heat of mythology, though, we get some great character development: the parallels between Ben being sent to kill Danielle and his planned murder of Penny, both thwarted by the unexpected presence of a child, was ingenious. This type of writing is ultimately what makes me LOVE this show.

    And I think we actually gained a huge amount of insight into Ben’s real character in the temple scene with the vision of Alex. We continually wonder whether Ben is good or evil, and this episode showed us that he is innately good (as we see in his honest care of innocent children) but with one fatal flaw: selfishness. He will do the right thing right up until he is called upon to sacrifice himself; then he will make the wrong decision. He did so when Keamy had Alex at gunpoint (choosing his own life over hers) and I think we’ll see it happen again.

    In fact, I’m placing my bet on this playing a part in the series finale next year! Alex told Ben to follow Locke’s every command, or else she would destroy him. I predict that he WILL follow Locke for the rest of this season and all of next, even though he will do some things that seem evil but in time we see that it was in Locke’s (or the Island’s) best interest. However, in the climax of the series finale, our heroes will be in a situation where the well-being of them, the island, and possibly the world is hanging in the balance, and Ben will threaten to do something in his own self-interest that mucks everything up. Locke will order him aside, but Ben will disobey (probably somehow shooting someone in the chest in the process). As Ben attempts to complete his nefarious plan, he’ll turn and see Alex, and Ben will meet his demise in a scene paralleling Mr. Eko’s death at the hands of Smokey, allowing our heroes to save the day.

    In this way, Ben reminds me of another J.J. Abrams villian, Arvin Sloane, who had the same air about him: we were never sure if he was truly good or evil until the last scene, where his selfishness became his undoing.

    Is it next Wednesday yet?

  20. Toby says:

    Regarding Widmore’s remark about searching for the island for 20 years, could it be that, as Bill mentioned, the way which people come and go from the island is on the magical side of things, and Widmore was trying to “find” the island in a more conventional way for the last 20 years? It might be that he was trying to find it from the outside world even while he was in charge on the island… perhaps as a means of bringing his child (Penny) and her mother to the island?

  21. Broadcloak says:

    Something is getting stuck as ‘not quite finished’ regarding the smoke monster reveal. If judge/executioner is its only function, then I think the writers are missing something. The island seems able to do amazing things with ghosts and course correcting to avoid deaths… why does it need a smoke monster?
    I think that Ben’s judgement and sentence are not finished with smokey. Alex reaction was a huge surprise to me, and happened after smokey was gone… so I’m still thinking there’s more to this.

  22. OJ says:

    Doesn’t anyone think Illana is acting the way she is now is becasue she and the other guys got infected by the temple, the the french team when they went into the temple. The temple that happens to lay in the shadows of the statue.

  23. Broadcloak says:

    By ‘missing something’ I should have said ‘missing a big opportunity’.

    And I’ll also be disappointed if they ultimately end it like Battlestar Galactica, where religious themes finally overtook science themes as the ultimate resolution.

  24. Jen C says:

    I’m having trouble figuring out who Ilana works for…
    If she works for Widmore, then he wanted her to bring Sayid to the island so that he could shoot little Ben. But we saw how that turned out last night… because Sayid shot him, RA brought him into the temple and eventually Ben usurps Charles. He can’t want that to happen again can he?
    So maybe she does work for Ben… Ben knows that he has to be shot as a child in order to be taken in by the others and be in his current position of power so he needs Sayid to shoot him.
    But if she doesn’t work for him, does he know who she is? Does he know what’s in that crate? He certainly didn’t seem that concerned with it or it’s contents – is that because he already knows what’s in it because he put it on the plane for Ilana?

  25. ZoneCity says:

    Ethan joins the Hostiles before the purge. The purge occurs when Ben is in charge and clearly Ethan is with the Others before that event. So, I wonder when Ethan and his mother flip sides. I’m thinking that Ethan’s mom is a mole from the very start.

  26. @ John Fischer

    How did you arrive at the precise date for the purge?

    Ben was an operating member of the others at the point at which he kidnaps Alex. But Ben had to overcome his father as part of the purge before he really left the DI and joined the others. So, wouldn’t that mean the purge happened prior to 1988?

    Here’s my rough approximation of the dates:
    Incident 79-80
    Purge 84
    Rousseau 88
    Exile 90

    Widmore couldn’t have been banished until after the Rousseau events based on last night’s episode, so the “searching for the island for almost 20 years” doesn’t quite add up. Searching from 1989 to 2007 is the most generous we can be. 1990 to 2004 seems more likely.

    I think we can see that the scene in which Ben returns with Alex is the opening maneuver in his play for leadership of the others. Ben places Charles in a no-win situation and publicly humiliates him. I would say that exile could have quickly ensued except that I think Widmore undergoes further physical changes before the exile indicating the passage of some time.

    Widmore must have been leaving the island throughout his tenure to build his empire and father Penny. The means of transport is a very good question though.

    Here’s another connundrum: Wasn’t Widmore exiled via the FDW? That was the impression I got when he staked out the exit point in Tunisia waiting for Locke.

  27. @Zone

    I don’t believe the purge happened while Ben was in charge. At one point, he claimed that someone else was responsible for that decision.

  28. paintergirl1 says:

    @ Rich in Cleveland – I agree. I don’t see how Ben could be in charge of the others while still maintaining a facade with the DI.

    I think there is no mystery about why Ben would apologize to Desmond. He did shoot the man and attempt to kill his wife in front of his son. He seemed quite shaken and emotional during his conversation with Jack just after this scene.

  29. VagabondWahine from The Island says:

    I think the answer to what lies at the foot of the statue is is the “smoke monster.” Ben says the others don’t have a name for it/him. Reminds me of Israelites (sons of Biblical Jacob) who never said or wrote the name of God. Carlton and Damon have said that the island is not purgatory but they also said the show wasn’t about time travel. Perhaps they are parsing word … this episode and many others make me believe we are in some place between life and death whether they want to call it limbo, purgatory or just Abraham’s bosom (hades). Just gets more interesting as they reveal more of the answers to the secrets but yet more puzzling as we head for the final solution of season 6.

  30. Bomir from MTL says:

    Why has it suddenly become so important for Ben
    to be judged ?
    Why does he needs this validation by the smoke monster at this very moment, i.e. back after a 3-year leave ?
    I just dont get it.
    Has he really been so obsessed with Alex’s death ?

    Why was it so important to have dead Locke (love the way this sounds, like some dsort of jam) in a coffin on that plane going back ?
    If he thought it was an important component of the going-back recipe, he certainly didnt show he expected a resurrection

    Locke has this sort of invulnerability sentiment, like been-there-done-that type of demeanor.
    Where has this enlightment come from ?
    But how can he know about the way under the temple, but doesnt know about the secret vault in Ben’s house ?
    Why does Ben need to go to the Temple, when he could simply be waiting for Smokey to show up ?

    Lets not forget that Penny said she was not Widmore’s daughter
    Was she adopted or abducted like Alex ?

    Are Ilanna’s gang still after Ben ?
    She had him injured at the Hydra
    So she is obviously not after Ben
    If she had been hired by Widmore, she would have been after Ben…
    So who is she ? On her own ? Or part of a third party ?
    It seems this is not the first time we allude to the involvement of third party…

    Lets not forget Sayid
    What happened to him after he left in the jungle ?
    Was he captured or killed by the Hostiles ?

  31. cat says:

    Glenn, I’m thinking jughead could be at the base of the statue, the big box is full of guns and that Widmore has sent Ilana start the “war”. Since jughead is the most powerful weapon on the island and Widmore knows where it is burried, the war and exploding of jughead could be the incident that ends the season and somehow reunites all of our losties.

    Bill…you got me thinking….maybe that weird portal in Ben’s house is a way out?

  32. John Fischer says:

    Rich:

    In island time 2004 the now dead Horace told Locke in “Cabin Fever” that he had been decaying and dead 12 years. That corresponds to the 1992 date for the purge.

  33. christy in TX says:

    @Zone and @Rich
    I agree with Rich, the purge was while Widmore is in charge, because he leaves AFTER the OTHERS move into Dharmaville, when we see Ben pushing a young Alex on the swingset. So Widmore likely ordered the purge.
    For all we know, Widmore may have sent Ben to kill his own dad to prove he COULD one day be a potential leader, in order to distract him and get him out of the way so that the Purge could be accomplished, knowing Ben has a soft spot and may try to prevent the purge or at least spare some of the younger Dharma victims.
    As I recall, Ben looks a little surprised coming back to Dharmaville after the purge and then closes Horace’s eyes.
    Also, hard to tell if Ben was really surprised by the photo of the 1977 Dharma recruits.
    Regarding Alex/Smokey/Whatever: My recollection is that when Keamy killed Alex, Ben called Smokey, then vanished for a little while himself. When he caught up with Locke, he is asked where he went, and he told Locke something like “I had to say goodbye to my daughter” I wonder if she was buried or if he took her to the temple, or if he did the funeral pyre thing a la Colleen Pickett?
    I’ve mentioned before the curious ways dead bodies are dealt with by the Others when Richard asks for Paul’s body… The purge victims and Bens dad are left exposed, Colleen Picket was on a funeral pyre set out in the water, but Henry Gale and the 1950’s US soldiers (all non-Others) were buried in the ground.

    I can’t imagine Ben be willing or able to still attempt to kill Penny after he fell in the water so badly injured, but you know how this show is, I guess it is still possible. Hopefully Desmond set out to sea and left.
    I don’t know how Widmore could know which flight to place Ilana and Sayid on if Ben only told him the day of the flight he was going back to the island. If he did know in advance from, say, Mrs. Hawking, you would think any potential employees of his would know the name Benjamin Linus and know what he looked like.
    I am in the camp that loved this episode. I guess it can be anti-climatic to just have your hunches confirmed, but still, that is what telling a story involves, so I am just excited there is a show with such exciting things to speculate upon.
    Ryan and Jen, you guys are awesome!

  34. John Fischer says:

    Rich in Cleveland:

    We know Danielle arrived in 1988. When we saw Alex on the swing right before Richard was exiled, she was at least 4, more likely 5 or 6 years old. That definitely puts the exile somewhere around 1993 or 1994.

    When Ben kidnapped Alex he returned her to the rustic Others village. That was early 1989. By 1993 the Others have moved into the Dharma Village. The purge must have occurred sometime in between. The 2002 date makes sense in that regard.

  35. meg says:

    Do you think that Sun was separated from the other Oceanic 6 because she killed one of the Others, named Colleen, back in season 3? Colleen told her that “she is not the enemy, but if you shoot me that is what we will become”. Just a thought. I don’t know if that works, though. Sayid did kill one with that awesome neck-snapping leg move. Maybe the Island was too impressed to be mad.

    Ben shot Desmond and had been planning to murder Penny before little Charlie caused him to lose his nerve. He has plenty to apologize for. I don’t think that Penny is dead or that much more happens with that scene. Desmond beat the complete crap out of Ben, I don’t see how Ben could do much more damage at that point. Plus the gun was lost in the water and I don’t think Ben could do anything to Desmond in a fist fight :o). I think Ben just floated away with his tail between his legs and made that phone call to Jack.

    Did it seem like Ben recognized the name Christian when Sun was telling them about him? I’m dying to know how much Ben knows about the Shephard family.

    From the way Ben was looking at Locke at the end of the episode, it seems like he may finally be willing to follow him, at least for now. It was the look of a true believer. It reminded me of the Doubting Thomas story he told Jack in “316”. “We’re all convinced sooner or later”. Let’s hope his homicidal tendencies (especially towards John) have been curbed for the time being.

  36. Alex in MD says:

    The timeline wasn’t screwed up by the writers…maybe.

    Remember that the first thing Ben did when he got to the hotel after turning the donkey wheel was to ask what year it was. We know that the island doesn’t have a set timeline, so a trip to or from the island can result in a surprising arrival/departure time. Who is to say that Widmore left the island in 1992 and didn’t end up in Ann Arbor in 1977? It could be anything.

  37. OJ says:

    Bomir from MTL:

    Ben wanted to be judged by smokie to find out if Alex was originally suppose to die or not when he stole the baby. Smokey didn’t care that Ben had let Alex die becuase she was originally suppose to die back when Ben first stole her. As Widmore told Ben, the Island will later decide Alexs fate, and we know thati f the Island doesn’t want you dead it will keep you alie, but since the Island let alex die she was alwats suppose to die. But wanted confirmation that there was nothing he could have done to prevent Alex from dieing at some point.

  38. Briand says:

    Penny lives! Best news of the night. I think the well is in the shadow. I wonder who will fight the final war. My gut tells me it’s not Ben vs Charles. The Egyptian theme takes it back millennia. There is another layer to this that they’ve got to reveal soon, probably at the finale. Can’t wait!

  39. meg says:

    @Eva in Estonia

    Your post made me laugh out loud. When I was watching Ben summon Smokey I was like, “So Smokey is summoned by the flushing of an ancient Egyptian toilet?”. A little bit disappointing, but funny.

  40. Alex in MD says:

    Thoughts on Ilana:

    It is not a certainty that she works for Widmore OR the Others. There is still a player that has not been represented in “the coming war”. There is still the remains of the Dharma Initiative…and the Hanso Corporation that funded the DI. (I’m not sure if that is canon or just part of the outside sources…help me out, Losties).

    The men that Sayid killed that Ben identified have only been identified as working for Widmore by Ben. And we know how well things work out when you trust Benjamin Linus. And if they didn’t work for Widmore, then they worked for someone else. And we know that Ilana is tied to whomever the very wealthy men on Sayid’s list worked for. And based on the password question about the shadow of the statue, it would appear that whatever group she is affiliated with knows much more about the island than even she is letting on.

    That is assuming that she wasn’t using the 816’ers return trip as a way to find the island for a whole OTHER group that hasn’t even been introduced yet. (I hope not, though…it seems too late in the series to add a new player…too much Deus Ex Machina for my tastes)

    I think I just got a nose bleed.

  41. SOKO says:

    BEN REMEMBERS!! HE REMEMBERS!!
    Lil’ Ben said that he didn’t want to go back to the DI
    he wanted to stay with the others/hostiles … so he remembers !
    He doesn’t know why he is alive or how

    I think that the voices in smokey without the ” last time on Lost” smoke flashbacks were enough…
    the smoke monster records events from the same POV as the Lost TV camera crew… it just looked silly

    I keep bringing up real people reactions not being written into the script. No one is happy or freaked out to see anyone after all they go through. No one has a burst of confused questioning that would happen when you crashland on a magic island twice, time travel, or return from the dead… just a slightly surprised look a handshake and a hello. sick of it.
    “Hi mr. Locke… how’s my dad?” I miss normal people talking. Hurley comes the closest but he’s written way too goofy at times. We should still be getting normal people reacting to extraordinary events.

  42. Agus from Argentina says:

    I GOT THIS FROM THE INTERNE

    The Egyptians believed that in order to have everlasting life after death, you need a sound Ka and Ba. The Ka is the name for the soul, the immaterial spirit or personality of a person or god. The Ba is the shell or physical body left behind. Ancient Egyptians believed that an individual needs both of these to remain intact (hence their elaborate embalming rituals) and pure in order to have a chance at living in paradise after this realm. The Ka is also known as a person’s “Double,” that travels into the spirit realm during dreams or out-of-body experiences, either into the Underworld/Duat or into Heaven. Not only do a person’s Ka and Ba have to be preserved in order to enter the divine realm, but they must be in perfect balance with Maat, as weighed by Anubis and Thoth in Tuat to reach heaven. Where is Tuat, one might ask? The Book of the Dead places this realm on the dark side of the moon (Blavatsky & Judge 2).

    Instead of seeing death as an end to life, the ancient Egyptians saw it as the beginning of a dangerous journey (Wikipedia 3). That is why they had texts such as The Book of the Dead (known to ancient Egyptians as The Book of Coming Forth by Day) to guide the dying with magical formulae intended to justify a person’s deeds (negative confessions) and teach them how to avoid complications during this important voyage.

    In order to reach the realm of the gods, the Egyptians believed a person must first travel through the Underworld, where their heart is weighed on a scale by Anubis (son of Osiris and Nepthys) and Thoth (Kinnaer 2). All of a person’s good and bad deeds would be considered. If a person had committed an excess amount of bad deeds, a monster known as “Eater of the Dead,” or Ammit, with the head of a crocodile, would eat the hearts weighed down with sin.

    Craaaaaaaaaazy theory coming up: What if the island is the egyptian underworld or judgement place, where Anubis wheights and judges every person for his acts and decides to either redeem or condemn them. I know that the writers said that the island wasn’t a purgatory but who knows, there’s a lot of evidence pointing at this. Smokey will play the part of Ammit (come on, he does a weird crocodile sound)

    There’s also an egyptian myth which says that in order to be revived, Osiris’s body parts (he was torn into pieces by Set) must be reunited…what if the crate that Ilana was carrying has like a part of
    it..dunno lol.

    love the podcast!!

    here’s the link to the site where i took all the info http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Fall04/Hilton/underworld.htm

  43. LostNTonic says:

    I’m thinking shoes.

    In particular Locke’s shoes. Which of course are actually Christian’s shoes.

    It’s what my attention kept zooming in on last night.

    If you watch the Locke scenes in the first half of the episode from last night you see the shoes predominantly in a couple scenes and I’m wondering what the message is.

    In one scene Locke has the shoes propped up on the desk while he confronts Ben about killing him (the elephant in the room). We also see Locke putting the shoes back on, if I remember correctly I think it’s when he gets out of the boat on the dock? We also see him stopping to tie them. I think the airtime the shoes get last night is somehow there to remind us of something.

    But what?

    Maybe I’m just being silly!

  44. ZoneCity says:

    Charles Widmore married into the Hanso Family and charmed his way into the family fortune. That’s the connection between Widmore and DHARMA initiative.

  45. chris says:

    question question more question’s

    what’s in the metal box -locke’s coffen, guns

    what was with the big toilet,that ben flushed to find smokey.

    lots of locke taking his shoe on and off ,what’s up with that.

    how much memory did smokey take from ben,because he did remember the 06 + gang in dharma times.

  46. @ John Fischer
    I see what you mean. Either the Horace date of 12 years is wrong or the Widmore comment of 20 years isn’t even close. The others could have sustained the rustic lifestyle for a while after the purge so I’m not sure we can pinpoint time based on that. It is very difficult to see the proper chronology of events error-free. Maybe they’ll go with the whole “how you perceive time on the island is not absolute time…” explanation. Am I wrong in thinking that if Ben is an active member of the others, then that point in time must be AFTER the purge? If not, the purge is prior to 88.

    @Eva & Meg
    The ancient toilet flush was amusing, but it did get me thinking a bit about the use of water pressure. The pressure covering the vent(s) could keep Smokey contained. I want to tie this to the rain. A geyser of expelled water that accompany’s smokey’s presence? I watched an episode of Robinson Crusoe on NBC in which hydraulic water presssure was designed into some ancient ruins found on his island that allowed stones to be moved and chambers opened that no normal amount of manpower could achieve.

    @ Lostntonic
    Are the shoes important or the fact that Locke’s going barefoot? He’s going back to the roots, old-school others’ style, and communing with the island.

    @Agus
    Are you thinking about the statue quote as a possible reference to the vessel of the body? It merits some more thought.

    I want to talk about “the elephant in the room” too, but I’m out of time.

  47. alonso says:

    we will see widmore vs ben by the season ends, on island

  48. Mark from Harding says:

    Hello Ryan and Jen.

    Great episode!

    First of all, we cannot believe everything Charles Widmore says any more than we can believe Ben and all he has to say. I find it hard to believe that if he knew where to send the freighter to, he had a good idea where the island was. Charles could have come back on the freighter if he wanted to. I would say the freighter folk were there just to extract Ben. Thus opening the way for Charles to return after the dust settled. Why come back, though? Apparently everyone ages except for Richard, so it can’t be for eternal life. Also, does Charles think that the others and Richard are just going to welcome him back with open arms?

    Plus, great casting with David S. Lee as Charles’ younger self. It was spot on! Loved HIS wig though!

  49. Pamela says:

    It looked as though when Charles Widmore was in charge of the Others, Alpert was the one who communicated with Jacob. But when Ben was in charge Ben was the one who communicated with Jacob. Why the difference?

    Why is it that all of the people who the island chooses as special are male? Ben, Locke, Charles, Christian, Walt. The only woman who gets any attention from the island is Rose, whose cancer is cured. That’s nice for her but it’s not like being chosen to be a leader. And how is Rose different from most of the other women? She’s too old to have children. Coincidence? I think not.

    “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” It sounds as though Ilana knew that there were other people on the plane who also work for whoever she is working for. But she didn’t know who they were or even how many of them there were. That’s a strange way to run things. I agree with the poster above who said that Ilana might be the return of the D.I. to the island. But how did they know what flight to get on? A traitor in Ben’s camp? Jill the butcher perhaps?

    I loved this episode.

  50. Carol says:

    Next week’s episode it called “some like it hoth” what does a Star Wars planet have to do with Lost?

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