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. Skip, Portland Oregon says:

    Losties and Others seem to have company on the beach. Did the Alvar Hanso organization finally show up?

  2. MRPEMSTAR says:

    The next generation ODD COUPLE? We hear the TV announcer:

    “On November 13, Benjamin Linus removed himself from his place of
    residence, via donkey wheel. That request came from Jacob.

    Deep down, he knew Jacob was right, but he also knew that someday, he
    would return to the Island.

    With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his personal bitch
    and whipping boy, John Locke. Sometime earlier (or later… or
    simultaneously, or in a flashback — who the hell can keep up),
    Locke’s girlfriend Peggy Bundy had thrown him out, requesting that he
    never return.

    Can two slightly insane, Smokey-zombified leaders of a tribe of
    Egyptian ancient weirdos share an apartment without killing each other
    and making it look like suicide, and/or driving each other crazy?”

    (In the background, we hear the theme song from “the odd couple”)

    ~ THE Pemstar Initiative ~

  3. MRPEMSTAR says:

    Creepy photo from “dead is dead” Temple

    http://www.docarzt.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/5x12_anubis_smokey-copy.jpg

    There seems to be strong evidence that Smokey is Ammit, the devourer,
    who may also be associated with Tawaret. The hieroglyph shows Smokey
    emerging from water, and it was water that was used to summon the
    monster.

    “The most famous scene from the Duat is the Weighing of the Heart, in
    which the dead were judged by Anubis, using a feather, representing
    Ma’at, the goddess of Truth. Souls which were weighted down by sin
    were eaten by Ammit. It is not known, however, whether a sinner’s
    heart is heavier or lighter than the feather, only that to be accepted
    into Aaru the heart must weigh the same.”
    http://www.crystalinks.com/sirius.html

    “In Egyptian mythology, Ammit…was the personification of divine
    retribution for all the wrongs one had committed in life. She dwelt in
    the Hall of Ma’at, who was the personification of the concept of
    truth, balance, and order. In the Ancient Egyptian underworld (known
    as Duat) hearts of the dead were weighed by Anubis against a feather
    from Ma’at’s headdress. The hearts of those who were heavy with
    wrongdoing failed the test were given to Ammit for her to devour.
    Those whose souls were devoured were not permitted to enter Aaru,
    having to be restless forever—effectively dying a second time. If the
    heart was lighter than a feather then the soul was judged by the god
    of the underworld, Osiris…

    Her role is reflected in her name, which means Devourer or, more
    accurately, and less euphemistically, Bone Eater, and her titles such
    as Devourer of the dead, Devourer of millions (Am-heh in Egyptian),
    Eater of hearts, and Greatness of Death. In some traditions, Ammit was
    said to stand by a lake of fire, into which the unworthy hearts were
    cast, rather than eating them…

    Although Ammit is seen as a swallowing entity, its order is neutral
    and strictly serves at the whim of the other deities to take souls
    that have sinned against the gods and consign them into oblivion…

    Some experts have linked Ammit with the goddess Taweret, who has a
    similar physical appearance and, as a companion of Bes, also protected
    others from evil. Other authors have noted that Ammit’s lioness
    characteristics, and the lake of fire, may be pointers to a connection
    with the goddess Sekhmet.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammit

    ~ THE Pemstar Initiative ~

  4. The Joe "Formerly of Hawaii" says:

    I thought the judgement of the smoke monster was weak, considering all that Ben has done up to this point in time. Mr. Eko was killed even though he was penatent for what he did for his brother and tried to walk a just path.

    Ben should have been judged just as harshly.

  5. cat says:

    Here is my thought on the judgement. The island was always supposed to have killed Rousseau and Alex. Ben just postponed it. Remember when Alex and Rousseau were shot? Remember how Miles found them completely burried very quickly and we all wondered how that happened because we were pretty sure that Kemmy didn’t stick around to do it. Well I think that the island buries it’s own if they are supposed to go. It also ties into the pact between the others and Darma on burying the dead. I believe that Smokey forgave Ben, not for the killing, because that was always the island’s wish, but admiting that it was him, not Widmore who caused Alex’s death. He repented and apologized to Desmond for blaming the wrong person.

  6. SOKO says:

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

    Ha! Since the only characters with real world reactions are Hurley and Miles… I’ve been dying for one of them to mention the fact they’re in 77 the year that Star Wars came out. Hurley already referenced Back to the Future so I was guessing that he would be the one to go there. polar bears should be kept cool.

  7. SOKO says:

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

    Ha! Since the only characters with real world reactions are Hurley and Miles… I’ve been dying for one of them to mention the fact they’re in 77 the year that Star Wars came out. Hurley already referenced Back to the Future so I was guessing that he would be the one to go there. polar bears should be kept cool.

  8. MrZ says:

    Last season, I wrote an analysis of Ben’s behavior and actions, defending him for the good guy I saw him (juxtaposed to Widmore). I feel vindicated by this episode! All of Ben’s actions (although mischeivous and manipulative) were made according to what the island wanted.

    Secondly, Widmore wanted Alex killed. What’s not to believe that baby Alex’s death by Ben was a mistake? What if time was correcting itself from when she was a baby to when she was a teenager? Her death, like Charlie’s, was a sacrifice for the island.

    Finally, this was one of the top five episodes of the season. Keep up the good work, Ryan and Jen.

    -Z

    PS: Does anybody else think that Locke somehow is in commune with the smoke monster? He’s coincidentally never there when the smoke monster appears in this episode.

  9. LReene says:

    Hello all LOST fans!
    Long time reader but new poster here.

    The question has been raised a few times on here regarding who Penny’s mother might be. I have a thought……….

    Has anyone else noticed the uncanny resemblance between Penny, and Claire’s mother, Mrs. Littleton? Possibly it’s just my imagination, but to me the two of them look an AWFUL lot alike. Could Mrs. Littleton also be Penny’s mom? It would definitely create another “LOST connection”.

    Just my 2 penny’s worth 🙂

  10. James says:

    There are so many interesting observations on here that I cannot respond to all of them, but will instead respond to Ryan’s initial summary.

    As an avid fan of the podcast, I am aware of two salient facts (among others):

    You are crazy about the Ben character.
    You are not so crazy about the Kate character.

    More or less. And other nuances as well. As a long time listener, I recall you loved the Sun/Jin episodes of years past much more than I did. You also had issues with Locke’s characterizaton when he became the passive number pusher of Season 2.

    Therefore, it is not surprising that you would hail this episode as the greatest episode of Season Five. We return to Wise Locke, and have a wealth of Ben story to gnash our teeth on. And a bunch of mythology to boot.

    So my comment is this: if this is the best episode, what does that say about Season 5 thus far? Because I have to agree with the precious few comments on this blog that are calling out Lost on it’s curious season.

    Ryan, you mentioned that it is a “puzzle” to track where the canoes are. That says it all. Because I was thinking the same thing. But when you say your head is hurting as you reconcile where Dead Locke is with Time Skipping Lock, I wonder if you aren’t agreeing with me.

    You just can’t say it.

    Yes, you can all argue that the purge happened at this time, and the timeline is okay, and onward on to morning as we clean up the mess through speculation…

    But I guess I am not thinking these writers are Gods or anything, and that their past mistakes make me more willing to see their show as “man made.”

    I recall how Michael (remember him) devolved into the most frustrating cardboard character with one line: “Where’s Walt?” You know, he would waltz onto our television and just… be… looking… for Walt.

    But as I watch last night, I was baffled by Ben’s whole “I killed you Locke because it was the only way…” monologue. You know, as Ben goes on to a completely expositional rant on why it had to happen, complete with all the caveats that the audience or message boards might bring up later.

    I feel that a lot this season. Like they are telling things to us instead of it unfolding dramatically.

    And find myself just not getting it. I really want to get it. You know, why dead people can exist. I do. And I am willing to watch to the bitter end to find out.

    But now the writers are actually writing into the dialogue the paradoxes and frustrations that the audience is thinking. So Locke says lines like “If you knew it would work, then why are you surprised?

    Because we are thinking the same thing. Just like that time travel conversation from last week.

    Anyway, why is Ben so smart and cool, confessing he came to get judged, and then the very next moment, he is this ignorant, feeble guy, scared at Locke’s existence, reluctanct to face the monster and get judged. He’s just all over the place. And, as another poster mentioned, why now?

    Some comments:

    I have to agree the video playback in the monster smoke was distracting.
    The whole character arc of Sun in this season is lame.
    The Widmore/Rousseau/Alex baby thing is very rushed.

    The jury is out on Season 5 so far, but I will tell you one thing. This season is making last season very, very lame. Faraday, Charlotte, the PILOT… I would expect a wee bit more sense from that whole Freighter direction by now.

    Okay, but this season is about Dharma. I get it. But then how come we don’t get any meat from that world either?

    There is something so rushed, unemotional, and contrived about everything from the moment time travel was introduced.

    Someone back me up on this.

    Let me consolidate what went wrong with Lost with an analogy.

    You know how in a car navigation system, or in google maps, you can choose how much ZOOM you can have on your location. You can get the detail right there at your house, or you can pull back and see the neighborhood, or the city.

    I think Lost used to be very much zoomed in in their narrative. We would get an emotional Desmond story. then maybe a Ben story. And each story would tell the greater story of Lost. The island, the mythology.

    But now, Lost has zoomed out a bit. It has so many characters, timelines, civilizations, etc. that it is lightly touching each one in order to make its deadline of finishing the series.

    It’s like we are going to a buffet and we can only have one bit of every meal. So instead of a steak dinner. You get one bite of steak, then one bite of chicken, then one carrot.

    I’m hungry. I need a meal. I need an emotional story. I need something more.

  11. Adam in Missouri says:

    Of all the posts here John Fischer is making a very compelling argument here.
    According to Horace in John’s dream in the episode “Cabin Fever” he said he has Been dead 12 years. Late 2004 subtract 12 years would make the exact purge date December 19, 1992 @ 4:00 p.m. (Ben’s Birthday). Danielle came to the island with her research team in 1988. She was seven months pregnant upon arriving. the baby would not have even been taken in 1988 late or early 1989. So she could have been 4-5yo in 1992-1993. Here is where it gets weird. Widmore claims he was the leader of the others for 30 years, then he claims he has been looking for the island for 20 years. IF he became the leader in 1954 (which he really didn’t seem like leader material in ’54) that would put us at 1984 and then 20 years looking for the island would put us at 2004 (our target date). That would put his departure from the island a good 8 years before what we have now seen and a good 4 years before Danielle even arrives on the island. There also would have to be some way to travel off island other than the sub between 1954
    and when Dharma arrived. Maybe a military ship leftover from the “Jughead crew”
    once they were all killed in 1954? Those people had to arrive on some boat and it had to go somewhere. I also think Widmore may have used the Orchid station to travel to and from the island [not the wheel] in exchange for giving certain information about the island to Pierre Chang. How else would he know where the exit point is if he never went through the process? Plus he tells John that Ben tricked him into turning the wheel and leaving although we clearly see Ben put Widmore on a sub.

    Theory #1: The only thing I can think of is that the island has always been out of sync with time (right now it appears to be about 18 hours or so) out of sync with the rest of the world, so maybe “the incident” causes this time gap to be much greater, meaning on-island it is 1992, but off-island maybe it is only 1984 (giving Widmore the 20 years he claims to have been looking for the island.

    Theory #2: Maybe Widmore’s mind jumped back in time when he was taken off-island much like Desmond’s in “The Constant” and he jumped to a time when he was off-island his constant “Elouise” held him back in the 1980’s because that was his purpose. I am leaning toward Ellie being Charles’ on-island wife with hes son Daniel. She leaves the island and takes Daniel with her upon finding out Charles was having an off-island relationship (and another child). This is why Charles cannot just ask for her help in getting back to the island, she wants nothing to do with him.

  12. Dave says:

    How come Charles is banished for having a child with someone of island, but Tom/Mr Friendly can have his male concubine in NYC in the Michael flashback we saw? It seemed as though the Others were enabled to freely go back and forth…

  13. Dave says:

    I also liked bad, bad, Desmond Hume, baddest man in the whole damn room. He WHALED on Ben.

  14. Naga says:

    Why does everybody think that Charles Widmore actually left the island on the sub? I have a feeling that he came back to the island (he knew how to go back and forth) but then Ben tricked him into turning the wheel and he went back in time to 1984 and has been looking for the island for 20 years since then. makes sense?

  15. chawan_cut says:

    young ben
    young ethan
    young widmore
    young rousseau
    young alex

    same Richard.

  16. greenberry says:

    I relate to what you are saying, James — many posters are concerned with the technical stuff like dates and symbols, but I also yearn for more depth and clarity (a more “zoomed-in meal”) in the current storylines — it IS all very rushed

    The show still always keeps my interest — love the scenes between spiritually-minded Locke and snarky, know-it-all, bluffing Ben — and also love the scenes with Kate and Sawyer — their onscreen chemistry is undeniable — seems that all the Desmond-centric episodes are the ones that further the story the most — looking forward to the next one — or maybe now it will all be about Locke and Jacob and ??

    It is fun watching things unfold and seeing the story and characters through to their conclusions — we will all miss this show like crazy when it’s done!!!

  17. DocJKM says:

    @ SOKO-

    “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.” -Amen. Disconcerting and disconnecting to those of us needing some help with suspension of belief. Don’t get me wrong, I love this damn show, and yes, John Locke is God.

    A question I will throw out there – If LOST is not about time travel, as Darleton claim, then what IS the role of time travel in the fabric of the narrative?? I agree with a previous post that time travel, and the way it has been handled (see above) has fuzzied the focus of the show, while not adding to it in any way I can see. If TT is a ‘mechanism’ only, then what are we to surmise about the purpose of employing it??

    A good many posts here concern the time line, and possible errors on the part of the writers. While this is food for thought… why bother? So much excellent writing has occurred that I am truly confounded by this TT issue. And if we do follow the analogy of a GPS zoomed in or out, then lets zoom out and see what time travel does. Or doesn’t.

    Then zoom in, and puzzle the egyptian toilet for calling ol’ smokey??

    Zoom in and puzzle Jacko’s grandad giving him Daddy’s (CS) shoes, which Ben insists be placed on Locke’s (God’s) corpse, which we then get to see prominently featured this week being taken on and off. Some shoes. Important? Certainly more than Rose and Bernard, given the comparative airtime.

    March on Lostites. I cannot help but believe it’s worth it, and more fun than anything on TV now or then.

  18. MLE in Colorado says:

    @Bonita in Atlanta: I can’t believe I missed the fact that it looked like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz when the smoke was circling Ben! 🙂

    @Jennifer: I had forgotten that Mr. Friendly had a “love interest” off the island! But I don’t think Ben ever left the Island and I wonder if the “Leader” is not supposed to leave..so we saw Richard and Ethan and Mr. Friendly…but did Ben ever leave until now? It is very possible I am forgetting that since there is so much to remember!

    @Mike From Washington DC Says: “@Connie in Alaska
    My guess is that Ben would apologize to Desmond for shooting him…right?” Mike- I think his apology is for something far worse than a non fatal gunshot wound. I mean this is the guy who kills people in cold blood like Ceasar- he ain’t sayin’ sorry for “almost killing” someone…its something worse.

    @Ryan no. 3: I had forgotten he told Alex to meet him at the temple…you are right- she was waiting right where she was supposed to be.

    @Rich in Cleveland: You said
    “Here’s my rough approximation of the dates:
    Incident 79-80
    Purge 84
    Rousseau 88
    Exile 90”

    But Widmore’s exile has to be more than 2 years after Rousseau because Baby Alex is big girl Alex when he is sent away (on the swing she looks like 5 ish?) and so that is even less time- 1993 to 815 crash in 2003 is only 10 years. (OK I later see John cleared this up..)

    @ everyone who keeps wondering why Widmore can’t get back after going back and forth so many times- it seems obvious that they “moved” the Island so he can’t find it. Just like they moved it at the end of season 4 to loose Widmore.

    @Alex in MD – I agree with you that I think Ilana may be with DI. Her password puzzle was similar to “what did one snowman say to the other?” and that was a DI thing created for the Swan Station to make sure they knew that the new guy who showed up with with the Dharma Initiative. I agree with you- they could be back for their vengeance…or to reclaim the Island.

    Ok- I read all the comments…my favorite? “The Odd Couple” by MRPEMSTAR Thanks for the laugh! (great show BTW…)

  19. Adam in Missouri says:

    The only thing is the wheel jumped Ben ahead in time not back and not 8 years either. I also don’t see the urgency there would be for Ben to meet Charles as he arrives back on the island on the dock. Ben would have taken his time and met with Charles after he let him sit in a cell somewhere for a while. Plus Richard tells Ben the sub is about to LEAVE and that he [Ben] doesn’t have to see Widmore off. Ben goes and says he is there to say goodbye. Also Charles says that one day Ben will be standing where he is, being banished from the island. Lastly they are walking toward the sub.

  20. Joe says:

    “LOST” is a serial. A serial is a single story broken into episodes [Dallas, Twin Peaks]. This is distinctly different from a series which though it contains the same characters throughout, each episode is a different story [Friends, Seinfeld].

    To judge singular episodes of the serial “LOST” is like judging a single chapter of a novel. This judgment is flawed and incomplete… So I want to ask all of these quick to judge fans to step back and finish the entire novel before judging a single chapter! We all enjoy this show because of the deep mythology and the character development. We all enjoy the teases from the writers and each of us enjoys theorizing and guessing about the possible outcomes. But those viewers who wish to throw their love it hate it, incomplete opinions around might want to wait until the show is done and the DVDs are released…

    Ryan and Jen – I enjoy your podcast and I appreciate your hard work and open mind towards the ups and downs that the writers and producers take us through. After all this show would not be so enjoyable if all of its’ faithful viewers didn’t experience the full range of human emotions.

    P.S. Did anyone notice that Desmond doesn’t appear to be shot when he falls to the ground. It appears that the bullet knocked him off his feet but didn’t break his skin!

  21. Jen says:

    James–

    We GET IT. You don’t like this season. Neither of us have said this is our favorite episode of the season yet. We haven’t said anything at all. It was far from my favorite, quite frankly.

    If you’re not into the show, that’s awesome. “Chuck” is really good. I hear “Fringe” is getting interesting. But we like “Lost”. We like talking about it. We like discussing the things about it that made us think. Maybe let us enjoy it a little, if you don’t.

  22. HAM in MO says:

    Just some observations/questions:

    Lock took off Christian Shepard’s dress shoes off before taking the outrigger with Ben to the main island. It’s kind of odd that he is still wearing the shoes while hiking through the jungle.

    I liked Smokey’s little grate/doggie door. Convient.

    Whad D.I. member lived in Ben’s house before the purge?

    Ben takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. Ben is one of my fav characters and even though he has done very evil things in the past, I believe that his redemption time has come at last. He will redeem himself by helping John help the island/Jacob and fight off Ilana and crew.

    Lapidus needs to get with the program. Why would he go back to the plane to try and radio someone, when he KNOWS that no one would find the island anyway.

  23. Marshall says:

    It seems like not very many people are talking about if Ilana is part of the ground for a new attempt to reclaim the Island by the Dharma Initiative. We all know how they love their secret-spy codes. “What did one snowman say to the other snowman?” Especially with the Comic-Con video from the summer. Fantastic episode.

  24. Marshall says:

    It seems like not very many people are talking about if Ilana is part of the ground crew for a new attempt to reclaim the Island by the Dharma Initiative. We all know how they love their secret-spy codes. “What did one snowman say to the other snowman?” Especially with the Comic-Con video from the summer. Fantastic episode.

  25. TMoney says:

    It’s been bothering me for a while but I finally figured out who young Ben reminds me of? That’s right ladies and gents it’s none other than Miley Cyrus.

  26. Hector from Mexico says:

    Great comments from everyone (this time I almost read all of them) I love all the new theories. Not my favorite episode as some people say as well. I think it was kinda rushes, specially the parts of Ben taking Alex and Widmore being banished from the Island.

    @HAM in MO’s question: Whad D.I. member lived in Ben’s house before the purge? Had not thought of that, but seems like a very good question. My guess would be Dr. Chang/Halliwax/Candle, as we’ve seen he’s got some knowledge about the island and the stations.

    Anyway, I’ll be expecting to listen to the next podcast, thanks Ryan and Jen for your great effort and most of all, interesting ideas.

  27. I was waiting for the pfffttt.

    Is James the Ben to R & J’s Widmore and Ellie?

  28. paintergirl1 says:

    Possible spoiler warning. If you don’t like knowing the title of the next episode, don’t read on.

    @Carol

    Hoth is also a norse god. I got this quote from dictionary.com.

    “(Norse mythology) a blind god; misled by Loki, he kills his brother Balder by throwing a shaft of mistletoe.”

  29. Carol says:

    Apparently you can’t be a leader of the “others” unless you have an intial that matches Jacob’s name. John, Alpert, Charles, “others” Ben, what do they spell JACOB! lol Maybe Jacob is an “organization” like the Mafia, ha!
    Other “Jacob people”

    J=Jack, Juliet, Jin, John, James, Sayid Jaraah
    A=Aaron, Alex, Kate Austin, Richard Alpert
    C=Charles Widmore, Christian, Claire, Charlie (little and big) Clementine,
    O= Others
    B=Ben, Bernard

  30. Metasteve says:

    Locke’s wave to Sun from outside Ben’s house… ultra CLASSIC!

  31. James says:

    I read the episode summary wrong! Sorry Jen! It actually did say not one of the strongest episodes. I missed the “not.”

  32. Russell from California says:

    @ everyone who felt like this episode fell flat: i completely agree. the past three episodes (except for sayid shooting young ben) have been really slow-paced and pretty weak, in my opinion. i blame 316. this was my least favorite episode of the season as i have stated. before that episode, flashbacks went back before the current timeline and illuminated character.

    but with 316, i felt cheated immediately. they intentionally skipped crucial parts to get the 06 back to the island, which now they have to go back and fill in the blanks. the only thing is we’ve had so much time to theorize what happened in those skipped moments, that they become anti-climactic.

    what really happened in this past episode? the only interesting thing was Illana and Co. becoming “active” as Ryan put it. i know the writers have an end date and everything now but it shouldn’t feel obvious that they’re just filling out a answer sheet checklist:

    show ben take alex: check
    show widmore get banished: check
    show under temple: check

    i do have high expectations for the finale, but these episodes post-break have been pretty dry.

  33. Tom from Boston, MA says:

    Hey guys love all the comments . Does anyone think that the reason Ben turned the donkey wheel is because “the island ” wanted Alex dead , and Widmore told him it would be this way .
    “(When the island wants her dead you will be here right where I am exiled.)”
    Just food for thought.

  34. April says:

    I have it all figured out! The reason that Widmore has been searching for the island for 20 years, when he has not been off the island 20 years (according to island time), is because he went back in time, either before he left the island (somebody turned the wheel), or intransit between the island and the rest of the world. There is obviously NOT a submarine transporting people on and off the island… it’s some kind of time travel, and you never know what year it will be when you arrive.

    Also, I don’t think Penny told Ben that Widmore was not her father… she was trying to tell him that she and her father have no relationship… that they are estranged.

  35. mcliam says:

    i definitely think Ilanna is working for HANSO. We have yet to meet or hear from anyone from HANSO yet have known about them since season 2. We know Widmore paid a large sum of money for Hanso’s dead relative’s journal, the question is why? I think the war Widmore mentioned is between the Island and Hanso, with Jacob being either estranged from Hanso and joining the Island, or he’s a prisoner of the island. I can imagine a scenario where Illana is told by a time traveler where she needs to go, who she needs to take with her (Sayid), and what to expect (crate). What lies in the shadow of the Statue? Ben, perhaps?

  36. mcliam says:

    Maybe it was even Sayid who visits Ilana.

  37. HeyKir in NYC says:

    @MRPEMSTAR
    LOVED the Odd Couple reference!! Genius!! lol

  38. Sk8Betty in WV says:

    I love this show, I love reading this blog and all the comments, and I love, Love, LOVE the podcast!!! Woot woot! This is my very first comment, so be kind. lol

    =============================
    MRPEMSTAR Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    “The hieroglyph shows Smokey emerging from water, and it was water that was used to summon the monster.”
    =============================

    No, I think Smokie is emerging from the holy stone (get it, holy stone = stone full of holes) in the hieroglyph.

    Other things I think I see in the hieroglyph are:
    A wheel just above the holy stone thingy.
    An eye (Eye of Horace, perhaps) just above the wheel.
    In the lower center I see a snake, or perhaps that represents water.
    Above the snake/water I see another eye.
    On the lower right, I see a path leading to a building.
    On the upper right I see a key.

    Any other thoughts on the hieroglyph? Thanks.

  39. Jennifer says:

    James,

    You are SO RIGHT! And, so much more eloquent about it than I. I 100% agree with your every word. Thank you for saying EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking!

  40. chris says:

    if star wars came out in 77 you know hurley will take the sub to go see it.
    maybe that what happen to daniel faraday he had to be the first in line for star wars.

  41. LTM says:

    LReene suggested Claire’s mom might be Penny’s mom. I like the idea of another connection to Jack (Claire, Christian, plus he met Desmond in the stadium, plus he met his wife when she was in an accident with Shannon’s dad (did I get that right?)). I’m not keeping as close track of connections as everyone else on this board, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  42. dkc says:

    Did any one else feel that the images seen in the smoke monster were a handled a little to heavy handed? I much prefer how the images in the smoke monster appeared to Ecko.

  43. LostNTonic says:

    Carol, I like the way you think!!! With the J.A.C.O.B theories (nice)!

  44. Ilias says:

    Hi guys,

    It has been a couple weeks< i just did not have the time to write as I was on the road for two weeks. Kept up with your podcasts though. Fun stuff as always.

    A belated Happy Anniversary!

    Although I personally do not agree with James, I have friends who feel the same way about the show. It somehow feels unsatisfying to them, not enough answers and confusing. I will make sure that they watch the show though :).

    There has been much said above about this episode, so I do not have much to add. I love Locke and Ben, together with Sawyer they are my fav characters. This episode though felt very different, somehow unsatisfying. I am not sure if that was intended. John seems especially weird but then again coming back from the dead probably gives you the right to be this weird. I on the other hand for some reason do not believe that John is actually alive, at least not in the way we are. It seems that the island for some reason, somehow lets people appear alive. The list includes Yemi, Christian, Horace and possible others. In the past we (the fans) have thought that these people are connected somehow with Smokey, especially the former two. Well, John knew where Smokey was because he is Smokey, because he is dead. He insinuated that he know more about the island than Ben. The title says it as well “Dead is dead”. Ben was also in disbelief when he talked to Sun about John. Although he is not to always be believed, it seemed genuine to me.

    Different interesting points:
    – Did I hear it right, Ethan was volunteering to kill Rousseau? He was so young and vicious!
    – Where did Locke go when Ben went into his dungeon?
    – We actually saw Keammy shoot Alex in this episode.
    – Alex looks really good. There was a moment there when I thought that she was going to turn into a monster or something, such a sinister look
    – What’s up with Ilana and is that her crew? Did they know each other before they got on the plane? Is this another Widmore posse?
    – I loved that look that John had when just before Ben shot Ceasar.
    – Mean and tricky Ben playing Ceasar, a classic.
    – The time line seems a little confusing to me, it somehow does not add up. It is all a little off and I believe that it is not an accident.
    – Locke was the first to actually stare into Smokey back in S1 (or was it S2?). He was awed and quite taken by the experience. Was that because Smokey is actually him? (It does make my head hurt).
    – Ben seemed to know Christian.

    You guys rock as always….

    Ilias

  45. christy in TX says:

    @ Ilias, some good points regarding Locke + Smokey. Makes me wonder if Smokey is a culmination of dead souls that “judge” the living. Ben said they have no word for it, but perhaps the limitless energy is from the “life” leaving the bodies of the dead, and forming into one mass of energy and can take the form of… Smokey?
    Usually when Losties have unexplainable ‘visions’ they are of dead people, with the exception of Walt, so maybe the dead people who’s energy is on the island can manifest themselves to send a message to the living. Even Ben saw his dead mother on the island as a child, which led him to his first known meeting with Richard.
    Those writer’s still have plenty of ‘splaining to do! Too much to think over.
    @Chris – Faraday is surely in line for Star Wars… good one!

  46. CINDYnCAPS says:

    As much as I LOVE LOST, I felt as if ABC had dosed me with purple microdot after Dead is Dead. Well, I guess it is the 70’s. I guess after 3 1/2 years of mysteries and questions (we got a few answers last year) this year my head is exploding from all the answers. I’ve had to go online to learn I am not alone in my inability to comprehend all this. Usually I make it through the entire hour without calling one of my LOST buddies to talk LOST, but this week I was calling during commercials. When Ben and Widmore were aging 3 times between each commerical, my brain was melting. Are they going to take 2011 to explain Time Travel to dummies like me? Please Cuse, Lindeloff, all you other writers: I’m too old for any more of this microdot stuff. I need my sleep!! Let’s limit LOST to talking about it at work all day and a few hours after work!

  47. I personally don’t think all the 316ers are activated agents. I can definitely see Ilana being a plant though. Instead I think the Ajiranians have rallied around the same old island dynamic of us vs. them. Perhaps rightly so after the new others, set apart by a special knowledge these castaways can’t fathom, gunned down Cesar in cold blood. I’m convinced that one of the variables in the Valenzetti equation relates to this almost instinctive proclivity for division in human beings.

  48. MRPEMSTAR says:

    This little game played by Ben and Widmore really get’s old, doesn’t it?

    Let’s look at some of the moves in this chess game.

    Ben’s critical moves:

    Ben leaves the island and has Sayid help him to kill some of Widmore’s
    (pieces). [weakens Widmore’s defense]

    Ben kills Locke [CHECK!]

    Ben kills Keamy’s mercenaries [CHECK!]

    Ben tried to “strengthen” Walt to use, but didn’t work. [weakens Ben’s defense]

    Ben causes “the purge” [weakens widmore’s defense]

    Widmore’s critical moves:

    Widmore used Desmond’s love for Penny to get him to “the swan” to turn the key to bring down 815. [weakens Ben’s defense]

    Helps Locke to get back to the island [CHECK!]

    Widmore’s people capturing Sayid and sending him back in time to kill Ben
    as a kid [CHECK!]

    Keamy killing Alex [CHECK!]

    Widmore funds DHARMA building weapons to battle Ben [weakens Ben’s defense] (what do you think he was doing “off the island”?)

    Imploding of the Swan gave both players a move to “expose the island” so

    Widmore could send Keamy but also brought penny to save the O6’rs

    Jughead (move to be played soon)

    Any other moves I have forgotten?

    ~ THE Pemstar Initiative ~

  49. Season five has been such a strong season. This episode was in my top five! ! This episode, especially, gave me what I like:
    1. I find such satisfaction in seeing the pieces come together. So many long awaited pay-offs happen this episode. I was so happy.
    2. I love that it stars the acting juggernauts of the show, Michael Emerson, and Terry O’Quin and they are thrown together with a somewhat common goal. I haven’t been this excited for a buddy team since Locke/Echo.
    3. I love the direction both, Locke and been are going as characters. I’ve been waiting to see the strong in-tune-with-the-island Locke since season 1.

    ps.
    I Can’t wait to hear your show. It’s the best, most organized, and compelling of all the lost podcasts. You two are great! Thank you so much for your hard work!

  50. You know, Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” is structured as an elaborate, richly symbolic chess game. Alice progresses over the board of English history until she is redeemed into a queen to challenge the red or drak queen. Just in case you think Lost might borrow some of its structure from this well known influence.

    @Pemstar. You can see the silhouette of such a game, but they really need more explicit dramatization to drive this home. Maybe that will come through Ilana.

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