Trans: 2009-04-12: “Dead Is Dead”


This episode of “The Transmission” takes a look at the twelfth episode of Season 5, “Dead Is Dead.” We recap the story in eight minutes, then spend some time discussing it in greater depth. Then, we turn it over to You All Everybody, our brilliant listeners and readers. Then, in the Forward Cabin, we share a couple of post-Season 5 filming notes.

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  • 0:00:45 Introduction
  • 0:01:14 “LOST” in 8 Minutes
  • 0:08:52: Sponsored by
  • 0:10:07 Discussion
  • 0:33:06 You All Everybody
  • 1:11:25 The Forward Cabin
  • 1:15:19 Closing

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

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22 Responses to Trans: 2009-04-12: “Dead Is Dead”

  1. Norman in Jersey City says:

    wow, I’ve never been first, so… first!

  2. Norman in Jersey City says:

    thanks also for a great podcast, it’s always a highlight of my week.

  3. Knives Monroe says:

    Wow. Atlantis, I think that is a great theory allright!!!
    Wow, I mean really. The Island as far as were concerned doesn’t have a name, yet…it could be Atlantis. Dang, I really like that theory!!

    Wow, after hearing what Jen had to say about the episode, I started getting real emo about it, then with the callers it reinforced how much I loved this episode!

    Ben rules, he is a sick bastard, and we all know and love him for that, but he does have a heart, as Grinch-Like as it may be, theres something beating there.

    NC had a good point. Either John wasnt John, or LOCKE is back baby!

    I think we will see a Desmond episode that will conclude what happened at the dock, I think theres more that meets the eye with that gunshot!

    Oh s*** never thought about all that time stuff, Fischer. Yikes.

    I think that Smokey keeps our characters LOST, if you find yourself, or have to come to an end maybe thats when our black smoke monster gets ya. Hmm. That makes sense…right?

  4. Todd says:

    I think that people are getting confused over Eko’s death by smokey. Eko refused to ask for forgiveness. He said that he did not ask for the life he was given and that justified his actions.

    In the end I think he was killed because while he may have played the part of a priest, he never truly became a man of faith.

    The difference is that Ben did truly ask for forgiveness. The island knows Ben’s true intentions. Alex’s death was a selfish act. All of Ben’s other acts may be terrible, but they serve the greater good of the island.

    What that says about the ultimate good or evil of the island/smokey…I don’t know.

  5. Eric in Massachusetts says:

    I can’t say I agree with your opinions on episodes. I hated the Kate episode and thought they wasted time on useless flashbacks, and that it was poorly written. And I thought the Ben episode was one of the best this season, if not THE best, and was well written. I don’t see where you’re getting this “fanfic” stuff from. I thought the characters were very consistent.

  6. carmel says:

    hi again ryan and jen, love listening to your 2 sents that often make up 3.2 million dollar actually 😉 listening to ryan’s thought about “how come ben outlives smokey’s judgment?” a wild theory popped in my mind:

    what if the others cannot be killed by the island, as its protectors? smokey promises to haunt ben and destroy him, not kill him. and when ben visits widmore last season he also mentions he cannot kill him. so ben is bluffing about the “it let me live”. he was never in danger. i’m starting to think that’s what juliette’s mark is about, that’s why she now needs to hiode from the monster unlike other others (last season, running away with kate) – marking her makes her judgable.

  7. Jim says:

    In response to the foward cabin section discussing this next episode, it is Phil that gets punched not Miles.

  8. Lisa is Lost says:

    I think the scene on the dock was somewhat consistent with the previous picture of Ben making a phone call to Jack from the phone booth. Ben was wet when he made the call to Jack, which took place after the fight with Desmond. I’ll give you the point that his nose wasn’t messed up enough to match the beating he took, though. Go Des! I don’t want that to be only part of the story, though. I’m afraid a completer flashback might be looming.

  9. Mark says:

    I was just listening to the podcast and have some possible answers about the “timeline” problems…

    1. How did Widmore get off the island to father a child before the purge and access to the submarine?

    Maybe the same way Richard got off the island to visit young Locke. Or the same way Micheal got off (by boat). Or maybe there’s another way off (the magic box?). The question is then, how come he could get back (he went back and forth), but later on could not find the island. Did Ben move the island after he left to hide it from Widmore? (Maybe that’s why Ben knew how do move it.)

    2. How come Widmore says that he’s been searching for the island for 20 years when that doesn’t fit the time-line?

    Maybe this is just exaggeration by Widmore. Either that or he left on a strange course that caused him to leave in the 90’s and arrive in the 80’s. That seems strange, though because then he could have probably gone back to the island or warned himself or something. Anyway Widmore seems facnicated by Locke’s time travel, so I doubt he has experienced it himself.

    3. How did Widmore get rich so quick?

    Maybe he was building his empire off island all along. Or maybe he took over the Hanso fortune by blackmail or some other means. Or mabye he won the lottery? 🙂

  10. brermike says:

    I just wanted to comment on the “Widmore been searching for 20 years” comments. The actual dialog is “nearly 20 years” so I think this gives some leeway on the exact dates. If the purge is in late 1992, he could have been exiled in late 1992. He makes the statement in 2007, which would have been 15 years later, which is nearly 20 years.

    Also, this was already mentioned in a comment above, but I think the main reason Eko was killed was that he refused to repent. Ben specifically sought the monster in order to repent. I think that might be the key here.

    Love the podcast, regardless of our differing opinion on this episode 🙂

  11. paintergirl1 says:

    I think it is possible that Locke is the Smoke Monster. However, I also think a non-smoke monster Locke could know the location of the temple chamber he leads Ben to. Remember, before he turns the FDW, he spends time with Jin who witnessed the entire scene where Montand loses his frickin’ arm.

    I’m sure as the group traveled by foot to the Orchid, Jin would have had plenty of time to share his tale of a mysterious temple chamber. When we see Locke disappear into the jungle while Ben has his conversation with Sun, Locke might have been scoping out how to get to the temple from the barracks.

  12. Mike from MD says:

    Great podcast Ryan and Jen! Personally, I thought this episode was the weakest of the Ben-centric episodes to date (Man Behind the Curtain and Shape of Things to Come being the other two) and one of the weaker ones in season five, though I didn’t dislike it nearly as much as Jen did 🙂

    Anyways, I’ve thought of three different ways Locke could have known, prior to dying, where the smoke monster would be located. paintergirl1 above me took one of my theories; Jin might have told him what he witnessed with Rosseau and company. Of course, Jin’s english was still limited at the time. Second, and I think this is most likely one, during Locke’s second encounter with Smoky in season 1, he was dragged (or would have been, had Jack not intervened) into the exact same hole underneath the the temple (though he didn’t know it was the temple at the time). It wouldn’t have taken too much deductive reasoning for him to guess that was it where it’s source was. The third theory, and this is more of a long shot, is that he noticed on the blast door map in the Swan created by Raczynski and finished by Immelman the things denoted as “CV”, which many have thought had indicated Cerberus Vents; cerberus being another name for the monster, and we now know that it comes out of a vent. Of course, Locke only got a brief look at the map, but he may have had some discussions with Desmond about it to help him fill in the blanks. I dunno, just an “out there” theory. My main point is just that you don’t have to assume that he suddenly possessed knowledge he shouldn’t have after being resurrected.

    Anyways , keep up the great work, and here’s hoping we finally get an answer to the “3.2 million dollar question” in a Miles-centric episode!

  13. Daryl In San Diego says:

    Hey Ryan and Jenn.

    Thanks for the comments on this podcast. I am curious that some are convinced the manifestations of individuals are the “smoke monster” I am not so sure, but time and history may prove this out for the great historians of this series. I am sure they will let me know.

    That said, I thought the writers made it quite clear before Alex appeared to Ben, “Smoky” FULLY retreats back into its lair. I think this is when Jacob chooses to appear; as Yemi, as Christian, as anything corporeal we have seen. There might even be an evolution of sophistication for subsequent manifestations, (but I am not so convinced of that part.) Christian didn’t even speak in his first appearances. Then, there’s Boone’s weird appearance, before Locke. I think you get my drift.

    Anyway, if smoky can throw people around, so can Jacob. Its the understanding of mainlanders that might be more challenging. Yes, the smoke creature is judge; got that, but I think Jacob is the master and executor of the island; and may even turn out to be a deity, if not a demi-god.

    “The Transmission” is my favorite Pod-cast. Keep up the great work!

  14. Michael281 says:

    Jen, I’m totally with you. This episode smelled of pure fan fiction. I think too many people are letting all of the fun facts blind them to how they were presented. Yes, we did get some good information in this episode, but it was given to us in a very clumsy way.

    So here’s another idea about Ben. I’ve heard some theorize that Locke and Jack together need to “run” the island for all to be well again. Widmore and Hawking once ruled together, perhaps in a similar way. Ben ruled alone. Maybe that’s why things went awry?

  15. mcliam says:

    i agree with Todd regarding the Smoke Monster’s judgment. Ben, since coming to the island, has done everything the island has asked, except for one thing – kill Alex, the only event we saw Ben get judged for. It doesn’t matter if Ben kills a bunch of people who might appear to be harmless – if it’s in the best interest of the island, so be it, and it would appear that Alex’s death was in the best interest of the island. Ben is a liar, an evil person, but because he serves the islands interest he is spared. Eko, on the other hand, took the identity of his brother and pretended to be a priest, a holy man, a role he never wanted and only took because of guilt and circumstance. as an adult, he never sacrificed anything. he lied and misled people and was selfish to the point that when he was being judged by Smokey he thought he had done nothing wrong. but perhaps more importantly, eko was insistent on pushing the button even though it would appear that the island wanted the button destroyed. I say this because why else would Ben manipulate Locke in a way to get him to destroy the button. Ben = evil, yet serves the island, spared. Eko = no remorse, went against the islands wishes, dead.

  16. Ilias says:

    Great podcast as always.

    I had to chuckle though when Jen mentioned that Locke looked so handsome. Elizabeth, my wife said exactly the same thing. I believe that this aura around him that freshness was fully intentional though. To me it says that this is the new Locke, the one after the old one died.

    One thing that you guys discussed was the people that complained about the bullet points. I love this show and I believe that in many ways they have entertained and surprised us for a long time. The problem is, Ryan touched upon it, that we have theorized, contemplated and discussed all possible angles, plus on the other side the creators have created such high expectations of the show that it will be hard for them to satisfy a lot of people. Take for example how Ben called the monster. For the past five years we have build our expectations that this is something so important, something so integral and magical to the story. Now what does Ben do to call it? He drained his sewers or something like that. Sure, I understand how could they make it dramatic, how could they outdo our expectations, the ones that they created? It is difficult and it will disappoint many people. But I still believe that it will be rewarding (read on…)

    I believe that by now we have invested to much into this show, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt, they have proved that they can out-smart us. Second, this is a story, we have to see it as a whole. Like a book, (sorry Ryan I am using your example here) some chapters are going to be weaker than others some more fun than others but it is the whole that needs to be judged. I trust the creators to come through….


    Sorry, I was absent for a couple weeks but I kept up with your podcasts. I take you with me or download anywhere I go and this past two weeks you have been all over Spain (Cordoba, Sevilla, Barcelona, etc.) and the UK (Chester, York, London, Marlborough, wonderful town close by Stonehenge) 🙂 with me.

    You guys rock as always……

  17. Connie in Alaska says:

    Two thoughts:

    Widmore and the timeline: It is possible that Widmore had been banished in the late 80’s and captured and brought back to the Island to face judgement in 1993 or later and then thrown off one last time for good. His first banishment could have taken the form of the Hostiles actually throwing him off the Island OR not letting him return after one of his off-Island liasons with his outer-world family. He could have been building his fortune for years or even decades OR his other-world wife may have had money.

    Something I had not considered before is that Widmore and Ellie are brother and sister making Penny and Daniel cousins. I read this theory on Erica Olsen’s blog on DarkUFO and it makes a lot of sense.

  18. Aaron says:

    I keep coming here and talking about my theory that the smoke monster reanimates corpses and something you said in the podcast prompted me to come and write a quick post.

    You said something along the lines of smokey being able to manifest anyone it wants, and that it’s a bit of a downer because it can explain too many things, and can be abused. Well i’m going back to my theory here, the smoke monster can’t manifest as ANYONE, only those that have died on the island (and therefore bodies it has encountered).

    I can only think of two times that someone has appeared who hasn’t died on the island:

    a) Dave, Hugos friend. I’m assuming that entire thing was in his head anyway.

    b) Kates horse. Well, we know from this episode that there was at least one horse alive on the island – rustic widmore was riding it. So it’s just plain logic that the horses may well have died on the island, and are therefore fair game to smokey.

    We witnessed the others send a body out to sea, was this because they didn’t want smokey to be able to reanimate her?

    We know that there have been a lot of buryings on the island – the dead US soldiers, rousseau, the others shot by sawyer and juliet. I keep saying it, but there’s something going on with bodies.

  19. Brandon from Harrisburg says:

    Everything seems to point to the fact that Locke and Smokey are one in the same. Again, there was a never a more telling episode than this one, in which Smokey and Locke are never in the same place at the same time, a la Superman and Clark Kent. After Ben summons Smokey, who should step out of the bushes but Locke? And what about the fact that Locke knows where they’re going and how to get to the temple in order for Ben to be judged? And, finally, wouldn’t it somehow explain Ben’s downright shock at seeing Locke alive? I mean, Locke’s alive because, well, he ISN’T Locke; he’s Smokey.

  20. ChiliDog says:

    For the last several weeks, I have begun to think that the key to this show is going to be something simple, along the lines of a “I see dead people – Sometimes they don’t know they’re dead” revelation.

    The three key components are death/afterlife, eyes/consciousness and parents/children. How they all play together, I don’t know but I think the answer will lie in some combination of the three.

    While we are waiting to get there, I am having trouble wrapping my brain around is the paradox of “we weren’t supposed to leave” with “whatever happened happened.” I just don’t see how the O6 would have arrived in 1977 if they didn’t leave in 2005. If they were always back in 1977, how would they have arrived there if they stayed in 2005? The only possible explanation I can conceive is that they would have gone back in “some way” and that by coming back on flight 316, they have altered not some time paradox, but destiny itself.

    Increasingly every week, I am frustrated with the notion of “what the island wants.” There has to be some being with these wants, an island can’t want, right?

  21. John Fischer says:

    I think that the evidence that Ilana and Bram are part of the new Dharma is the food drop we saw back in season 2. Dharma has never gone away. They assumed that despite the deaths of most of their people, they still had people in the Swan station, i.e. Radzinsky, Kelvin…

  22. Nicole says:

    Hi Ryan and Jen, great podcast as always.! I just wanted to comment on 2 previews I saw recently on Youtube. One was with Ben giving a surmon at a church (off-island I presume, and the other was Locke in a military uniform, very similar to the “First Meeting of Locke and Marvin Candle” video that came out last year or so…any idea what these could be about ( never saw them before)???

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