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Thursday, February 26, 2009

TV Watch, Lost: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

A thumbs up here, this was upwards to one of my favorite episodes if not for any other reason than being another well handled Locke piece. It didn't really show us a lot new or at least not much that we couldn't have somehow ascertained - with the obvious exception of the events regarding Locke's death, and some of the new background information on Widmore.

Let's talk Widmore for a moment. We've had pretty good indications thus far that he is a pretty bad guy - but we might need to keep a record sheet here for both him and Ben to keep things clear. He sent mercenaries to capture Ben to the island, and there was the strong suggestion there to kill nearly everyone else but Ben as well. And those guys were certainly not Boy Scouts, but they also didn't simply go into the island guns blazing.

Ben, on the other hand, clearly has blood on his hands.

We know Widmore is something of a son of a bitch, and Penny has more than a few daddy issues to show for it, but has Widmore ever really lied to the Losties? Is it possible Widmore is a good guy with bad PR and Ben the inverse of that?

And naturally the key question in my mind is why Ben would kill Locke after hearing that Locke knew who Ms. Hawking was. Was it to protect the Lamppost? Or did Ben think that this somehow meant that Locke was in Widmore's camp? Being leader of the Others certainly seems to have some odd retirement plans, either way.

Now we have two sets of Losties, one in the past with Jin around the Lagoon and Locke in the future who seems to possibly be at the Hydra station, but I couldn't tell if that was confirmed last night.

Guessing things will still turn out to be Locke vs. Jack in the end, too. Maybe sooner rather than later.


sterno said...

My sense is that neither Ben nor Widmore can qualify as good or bad. They are both motivated by largely selfish reasons and want control of the island. They have no qualms with manipulating, killing, etc, to get what they want.

Ben's relationship with Locke is one of the more fascinating of the show. Locke is one of the most easily manipulated people on the show and Ben is one of the best at manipulating. But then every so often Locke gets that strong sense of his purpose and does his own thing for a little while. Ben is somebody trying to control destiny where as Locke is somebody stumbling towards it, hoping that maybe for a moment he'll have some idea of where he's going.

Really curious to see what Locke does now that he knows Ben killed him. Will he just be okay with being part of his path, or will he get medieval on Ben. Getting medieval has routinely eluded Locke though.

Josh said...

My guess is that they're both bad and the island is trying to get Locke to clean house a bit.

But yeah, I doubt he'll go all combat knife on them.

Couple huge questions I forgot to mention in the post:

Is Locke dead like Christian Shepherd is dead?

How is it Ben could kill Locke but not Widmore?

sterno said...

Or... is Christian Shepard alive like Locke's alive? :)

Oh and as for the Ben/Locke/Widmore murder bit I think I just figured it out. Time travel. Remember that Faraday said you can't change the past. Perhaps Ben is actually from much further into the future. He can't kill Widmore because the flow of time prevents it. Of course by that logic, Locke is also from the future?

Josh said...

Right, we have no evidence that Christian is merely ethereal, course that turns into a long line of questions about Ana, Kate's horse, etc.

The time travel is pretty well supported (almost surprisingly so) as a rationale - maybe Ben has seen Widmore past that other point, so he knows trying to kill would be futile.

That raises another, hopefully not overly nitpicky fanboy question - wouldn't Ben realize the same with Locke?

Or does this mean Ben has never seen a post-murdered Locke? Or when he does, does he assume he's an apparition too?

sterno said...

Well a couple thoughts on the Ben/Locke time travel bit.

1) He has FAILED to kill Locke twice now, suggesting that the time line issue is in effect and Ben doesn't realize it. Thought after killing him with certainty this time, Ben might clue in.

2) It may ultimately be in the second murder that Locke dies whether Ben interferes or not. So killing him at that situation may have been part of the natural flow of time anyhow.

It will be very interesting to see how Ben reacts to Locke's return. Will he be surprised or will he be expecting it. If he was expecting it, it definitely puts a different spin on him murdering Locke in the first place.

Josh said...

I suppose it is a kind of straightforward - Ben's just never seen another future Locke.

Ronald said...

I think the simplest explanation is the best:

Ben needed information from Locke which is why he stopped him from killing himself. (It's kinda hard to get information from a guy in the the process of killing himself).

Once Ben had all of the information that he needed he somehow knew that Locke had to be killed to get back to the Island. Since it's highly unlikely a person would attempt to kill themselves after already trying Ben did it for him.

I think Locke will be annoyed at Ben for killing him but will accept that was his path and so Locke won't kill Ben. I'll be pissed if he's at least not midly annoyed at Ben though....

Josh said...

I think that's fairly straightforward. Ben knew Locke had to die, but wanted information that Widmore had given him first. The scene comes off as protective, but it might be Ben being Ben.