Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LOST Recap and Discussion: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

I feel like every week's episode is my new favorite episode of the season, but Locke-centric episodes always deliver! Tonight's episode was awesome!!! Does anyone ever feel like watching LOST is a bit like scratching a mosquito bite? There's some relief but just more itchiness...or curiosity!!

Anyway, spoilers and speculation follow!
The episode opens with the man we met last week (expressing condolences to Jack on Locke's passing) entering a darkened room and rifling through some papers and looking around. We know this man was on Ajira flight 316 but at present, we don't necessarily know where he is. A woman enters, who was also on 316 and asks him if he's found anything. He answers in the negative, but she suspiciously asks what he put in his bag. He hands over a flashlight. (in typical LOST fashion, he does not relinquish his gun!)

"We found someone. A man" She announces. A man standing in the water, wearing a suit. Caesar wants to know if he was "one of the ones who disappeared." No, she says, he wasn't on the plane. They walk by the plane heading to the campfire. We see a man sitting at the fire in a cloak (recalling Obi-wan some have said, but he seemed so hunched over, I was thinking more like Yoda) "Hello" Caesar says. "What's your name?" And bam ladies and gents, John Locke pulls back his cloak and reveals himself. (I read on Dark UFO that this was the original opening scene for the season but they changed it. Interesting, huh?)

Daytime now, and new chick tries to get some information from Locke. (and he tries to get some info from her) He doesn't have much to say but does offer that he suspects he was in a suit for burial. "You asked me what I remember," he says, "I remember dying." Now, if it was me on this island, having just seen a bunch of people disappear and my pilot run off with a woman and one of the only boats (what woman????) and then I discovered a man standing in the water wearing a suit who no one remembers from the plane and he tells me that he remembers dying...well I wouldn't just walk away. But apparently new girl is suffering from "don't really need to know any answers about the craziness I find myself in" syndrome and she does just that.

Locke flashes back. He's in Tunisia still in pain and no one is around. Soon, some men come for him, they snatch him up with no regard to his injuries and take him away. The doctors quickly take care of him with a truly cringe worthy scene as they work on Locke's leg. Locke glimpses Matthew Abaddon. When Locke wakes up lo and behold it's Charles Widmore!! They reminisce a bit about that day Locke walked into the camp back on the island. Widmore explains he was exiled from the island by Ben. "Just as you were" he says. Oh I chose to get off that rock, Locke says. I know you're lying, Widmore says, here's everything you need to know about the Oceanic 6. Why are you helping me? Locke wants to know. Because there's a war coming, Widmore replies. Locke heads off with Widmore's info and friend Abaddon.

Locke goes to see Sayid first. Sayid is building houses in the Dominican Republic and seems more at peace than we've seen him in awhile. He refuses to go back to the island, and suggests Locke only wants to go back because he has nowhere else to go.

Locke then goes to see Walt. They have a nice little chat. Walt still has some prophetic dreams about Locke. Locke doesn't mention Walt going back to the island, but they part on friendly terms. Then Abaddon says..I thought you had to get them all back? Locke responds, "If I can get one, I'll get them all."

Locke goes to see Hurley next, who naturally thinks he's dead. Locke convinces him he's real and urges him to come back to the island. Hurley adds to the.."there's no reason to go back" He then shares the paranoia of Abaddon. "He's evil." Hurley says and he runs away.

Locke is a bit shaken by this encounter, I think, so he asks Abaddon, just what exactly do you do for Widmore? Abaddon and Locke reminisce now about how Abaddon told Locke to go on the walk-about and then he gives the answer, "I help people get to where they need to get to."

Locke goes to see Kate, who is very strange and accuses him of never loving anyone. Why? Because she's bitter to have lost Sawyer or because she's in love with Jack? So Locke shares that he did in fact love someone once, not that this conversation makes any sense. I really don't like Kate in this scene. I think she's rather cruel.

At this point, Abaddon takes Locke to Helen's grave and reiterates the LOST theme..."you can't change destiny" And they start talking about Locke's death again. Suddenly there's a shot! Abaddon has been killed! Locke takes off and crashes. Is he dead? No! He gets to talk to a very tormented Jack in hospital. Guess what? Jack doesn't want to go back to the island either!

Locke has lost all hope. He pens the suicide note we saw last week. He gets ready to commit suicide, but then good old Ben comes along. With a great amount of persuasion and gentleness, Ben convinces Locke that they can get everyone back to the island. He suggests starting with Sun. I can't, Locke explains, I promised Jin I wouldn't. "Jin's alive?" Ben says with sincere surprise. A promise is a promise, Ben agrees. We'll get them all together, Ben assures Locke, don't know what we'll do after that. Oh, I do! Locke says. We'll find Eloise Hawking! Oh really, Ben says? Don't need you anymore! And he kills Locke.

Locke doesn't stay dead as we know, and back on the island he goes to Caesar to get some questions answered. Through their conversation, he comes to realize the Oceanic 6 are back on the island. There are some injured people, though, Caesar adds. He leads Locke to the sickroom, where Locke lays eyes on Ben, the man who killed him.

I was captivated throughout the episode, it was so satisfying to see more of Widmore, and catch glimpses of what happened while Locke was off the island. I think the war is what we're building up to and I'm interested to see how all that plays out. Despite Locke's low point (near suicide) I found him to be much more sympathetic than I have in awhile as he worked to bring the O6 back to the island. The pacing was excellent and the story balanced, apart from the minor problem of no one calling him Jeremy Bentham and Caesar and Ilana's relatively easy acceptance of all the strangeness.

For Discussion:

  • It seems the Ajira flight landed on the smaller island.
  • I was hoping Ben was dead, but it seems he's in the preview for next week.
  • Why did Ben kill Locke instead of allowing him to kill suicide? Did he think was killing him for good? Or was he playing a known role in the greater scheme of things?
  • Do the preview makers really think all I care about is seeing Sawyer and Kate reunite?
  • Who's good? Widmore or Ben?
  • Who was the woman who ran off with Lapidus? Sun?

Tell me everything you think!!! And visit the LOST Books Challenge Blog for more recaps.


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Random thoughts ...

The woman who left with Lapidus … could it have been Sun? Do we know if Lapidus “disappeared” from the plane or if he crashed in it?

Another case of not asking the obvious questions is when Locke refuses to ask Abaddon why he was visiting Hurley – where did Hurley “need to go”?

I posted more over at the LOST blog but these are just what I thought of while reading your post. Great episode IMO!

Chrisbookarama said...

That was some crazy stuff last night. (Did anyone else think it was weird that he would buy an extension cord instead of rope?)

Anyway- Does John have a sign on him that says: Please kill me Ben Linus. How many times does a guy have to shoot him before he gets it that he is not a friend?! Not that I'd trust Widmore either. Both are playing him for their own gain.

It was weird how the chick and Caesar didn't seem fazed by anything. Who are they really? And why is Caesar boss of everything?

Are the O6 in Dharma time? Is that why they 'disappeared'? Why isn't John with them? Where did the pontoons come from? Remember also there were only 2 when the time travelling group stole one. So, that hasn't happened yet, right? And why did Lapidus take off and with who?

Can't wait until next week (and not for Kate and Sawyer either).

Anonymous said...

My first words after watching this episode were "Holy mindf@#k, Batman!"

While it drives me crazy not knowing whether Ben is good or bad and trying to figure out what Widmore's motivations are, I love the ambiguity and that the writers are able to keep us guessing. This was definitely the best episode of the season so far, in my opinion.

Locke's suicide scene was so well-acted. I couldn't get past how real it seemed. I think Ben killed him because he had already talked him out of suicide, then he found out there was more information to be had (re: Eloise Hawking), and once he had it, he was done with John. Plus, someone had to die to act as a proxy for Christian on the return flight (316), and we all know that John makes the most sense for that.

Re: previews: I really couldn't care less about the whole Kate/Sawyer thing. Give me a real teaser, people!

And as much as I feel conflicted about Ben, I don't want to see him die. He's such a great villain---or, a really misunderstood character---and I think the show would be lacking without him.

This episode definitely delivered on the promise it made in last week's preview, but in classic LOST fashion, none of the answers were what I expected them to be. Awesome!

Deborah said...

i wonder if they made Helen die b/c Katy Segal didn't want to return to the show?

i'm scared of Ben. For a small man, he sure is evil. Any sympathy i had for him last season, in regards to Alex, just went out the window.

Rather obvious statement made by Abbadon about Walt: "He's gotten big." obviously we can see that and i'm glad they brought him back. i wish he had asked about vincent though. will walt have to go back to the island? will he be the one exception?

if people in the past can remember what happened (widmore meeting locke on the island), does that mean Ellie knew about about Farrady and then gave birth to him? blalhhh talk about weiiiiiiiiird!

Deborah said...

oh and one more, why does Locke keep thinking Ben is right AFTER Christian with a message from Jacob told him he was wrong for listening to ben? If he believe that Jacob is the one with answers shouldn't he be doing whatever Jacob tells him to do? and not Ben?

it's funny how Locke gets frustrated with others for not listening to him but gives in too easily himself

cool mum said...

hahaha i too was a little insulted by the preview suggesting i only cared about the kate and sawyer reunion! i'm not a sawyer fan. it was indeed a great episode. and didn't that mango look delicious?

S. Krishna said...

Totally agree about the Kate/Sawyer thing - I don't really care about them!

This really was a surprisingly great episode.

Jena said...

I was so mad! The Seattle ABC (which we get here in my town in BC) cut out the last five minutes (and gave us more commercials instead)! Grrrrrrr! The last part I saw was Locke being strangled by Ben. And I don't think either Widmore or Ben is a good guy. I think they both have their own selfish motives.

Jenny Girl said...

Another fantastic post Amy. Just like these episodes every week. I agree with your Kate and Sawyer perspective, and I really wish the girl would make up her mind.
I didn't think about Sun w/Lapidus...good catch. Battle of good vs evil reminds of Stephen King's the Stand.

Amy said...

Chris..I was wondering who made Caesar boss, too, but he could be like Jack taking on the role himself! You're so right about how easily Locke is manipulated by Ben!

Heather...why does no one ask questions on this show!

Rebecca..I don't really want Ben to die either, but there would be some strange sweetness to it if he was truly not meant to go back to the island and died b/c he tried.

Deborah...I felt bad for Alex, but not Ben. Especially if he killed Penny. I'm going to need some major justification if he turns into a Snape.

cool mum...really? You don't like Sawyer at all? Who's your fave?

Swapna...I'm so over Sawyer and Kate! are probably right. both evil. That really sucks about your tv cutting out!

Jenny Girl...if it was Sun with Lapidus I wonder what time zones everyone is in!

Jen Robinson said...

It struck me that maybe Helen isn't really dead. All we really know is that Widmore wanted Locke to go back to the island - Helen could have been a distraction. How hard would it have been to fake a gravestone.

My mantra in watching LOST: question everything.

I thought this was a great episode, too. And I'm curious about Caesar and Ilana. New characters don't tend to have the longest lifespans on this show, but I think Caesar in particular shows promise as a character. We'll see...

cool mum said...

I really enjoy Hurley and Locke. I thought Ana Lucia was a cool chick. And I do like the Kate and Jack combination of course, so every time Sawyer says "Freckles" it makes my skin crawl. ha

Amy said...

Jen..questioning everything is probably a good mantra! I really hope they don't kill off Caesar right away.

Cool mum...ah, you're a Jate fan. :) I think you're the first person who I've heard say they liked Ana Lucia!

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