Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"Dead is Dead' Instant Reactions!

Brian's Four Word Review That Is Also a Dave Matthews Band Song: So Much to Say

Good God. There was a TON of information to download from that episode, which was easily one of the best so far this season. You have to admit, in those last few moments of the episode, when Alex appeared, you were thinking "holy God this is going to be just like when Yemi appeared to Eko right before he was killed!", weren't you? I know I was. This episode probably had me on the edge of my seat more than any episode thus far this season - it seemed like huge revelations were always just ahead... and in the end, we did get quite a bit of tantalizing new details to analyze...

  • Young Adult Widmore on a horse! Initially, his arrival made it seem like he was from another group of Others on the Island (which would indicate there was some type of formal "split" among the Others), but when we saw him a few years later (boy did he not age well!) they were all buddies around the same campfire - so it seems like there was never an official split. But there was clearly a disconnect between Widmore's views and Alpert's views...
  • Maybe Alpert is just a softy and couldn't bear to see innocent Young Ben die, but it seems as though he was also doing it as a way to spite Widmore and artificially create a new "chosen one" from Jacob... when it reality, Jacob couldn't care less about Benjamin Linus. Suddenly, it all makes sense. For the rest of Ben's life, he's able to play this "Jacob told me to do this" card and no one can question it. This is a very clever move on Ben's part, as it allows him to move into a position of power - but explains why he can't actually see / hear Jacob, why the Others seemed to fall out of favor with the Island, and why Ben was so freaked out when Locke actually seemed to have this connection with Jacob that he'd been faking all along. I guess Alpert got what he wanted, since it resulted with Widmore getting kicked off the Island - but it's also clear that Ben was being "used" in this role, and Locke is the true "future leader" of the Others.
  • Apparently, Charles Widmore really did lead a dual-life, spending time both on-Island (leading the Others) and off-Island (founding Widmore Industries, having an off-Island wife and Penny), which allowed Ben and Alpert to reason that he wasn't dedicated enough to the Island to deserve being leader. He was banished, and once gone, spent 20 years trying to find the Island unsuccessfully...
  • This seems to eliminate the possibility that Widmore and Ellie are married / the parents of Penny. Perhaps Ellie was leading a similar dual-life as Widmore. She married someone and birthed Faraday, while Widmore married someone else who birthed Penny. This means that Penny was probably not born on the Island, knows nothing about it, and just thinks her dad was a terrible parent for always being off on "business trips" when she was a kid.
  • Penny lives! Thank God for Lil' Charlie, making Ben take pause and have mercy... just like he did to CFL back in the day. It turns out that Desmond was the one who got shot (in one of the biggest "Oh no!" moments yet on Lost) but thankfully it didn't kill him, allowing him to beat the crap out of Ben. Although Ben told Sun to apologize to Desmond - it's not for killing him or any of his family... but simply for shooting him. That's easily forgiveable, right?
  • But it didn't seem like Caesar was so lucky. I totally forgot to include him on Deathwatch 2009... mostly because I didn't care about his character one way or the other. Rest in peace, "friend". I guess you were just another throwaway character after all...
  • On the other hand, Ilana is dirty after all, along with a number of other members of Ajira 316. They are part of some super secret group who uses the code phrase of "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" to identify fellow members. This means that although they were all on the flight together, they didn't actually know each other, which speaks to just how secret this super secret society is! I'm also now guessing the forthcoming "battle for the Island" is going to be the Shadow Statue Group vs. the Others and our Survivors! My first thought when I heard "statue" was the giant one that stood on the Island in ancient times... which again makes me think that the Shadow Statue Group are decendents / time travelers from the Island long long ago - maybe even pre-Others?
  • Ben told CFL, "If you want to live, anytime you hear whispers run in the other direction." Is this the writers way of explaining how CFL allegedly avoided the Others for 15 years on the Island, claiming she had never seen the Others, only heard their whispers? By running away and hiding from them whenever she heard the whispers? Seems like a pretty lame explanation, and doesn't explain not ever coming across the Barracks or any Dharma Stations, but I guess it'll suffice.
  • Apparently the reason Ben stopped Locke from killing himself was because he had critical information (about Ms. Hawking). But he then killed Locke because he didn't have time to talk Locke into killing himself again. Again, pretty flimsy excuse, but I guess that's all we're going to get.
  • It turns out that Widmore is the cold-hearted one who blindly did what was best for the Island, while Benjamin is the one who has a heart in the matter. Widmore wanted Alex dead, Ben saved her! I was trying to think if Ben saving Alex resulted in anything negative happening on the Island, but couldn't come up with anything - since in the end, Smokey just cleaned up the potential mess that started when the Freighters took Alex as a hostage.
  • Sun and Frank were indeed at the Barracks a few weeks back, not the Processing Center. This means it's the Barracks that are all boarded up and derelict looking... which kinda makes sense since the last time we saw them the Freighters were attacking and our Survivors were boarding up windows and things in self-defense... again, seems like it has holes, but I think that's the explanation we're getting


I told you there was so much to say. Open up my head and let me out. Little baby!


urbanlvr said...

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! I did have a Yemi moment when Alex showed up. I guess Ben got to live because he was truly sorry about what he did & admitted it, but Echo wasn't sorry, so he died. I think Ben really will TRY to follow Locke, but that can only last for so long. Ben doesn't seem like a natural born follower...

Becca said...

I guess when it rains it floods on Lost... seems like we weren't getting much new info for a while... but then this episodes came along. All I can say is wow... it was pretty cool. I liked the talk about the "elephant in the room" when Ben said he didn't want to talk Locke back into killing himself. ;)

Anonymous said...

Ceasar was a chode...I'm glad he got Doc Holliday'd...I'm also happy that Ben is now Locke's bitch. The only thing that sucks about this episode is all the LOST nerds over analyzing the barracks and their dilapidation. I still feel WHH.

Stephen said...

I, like Brian, can't think of any reason that Alex staying alive would have been detrimental. But my take on Ben going to be judged was, in my opinion, something more than just being judged over letting his daughter die. It was Ben's way of finding out if Widmore really was telling the truth when he said Ben was supposed to kill CFL and the daughter. Widmore said "She will die if the island wanted her dead." or something to that effect. He was seeing if his compassion in the first place was against what the island wanted first of all. The first time we've seen Ben truly question his leadership on the island.

Psycho Billy Cadillac said...

Ben was saved b/c Alex WAS supposed to be sacrificed...Nice episode tonight...Did not feel like it was full of fluff at all! Enjoyed your blog too...I'll be back..

bill said...

I think Ben lived b/c his questionable morals and knowledge of the island will be critical to winning the upcoming war.

timcourtois said...

Why didn't Smokey come when Ben summoned him/it this time?

Ben didn't say to CFL, "if you want to live, avoid the whispers". He said, "If you want your DAUGHTER to live, avoid the whispers." I think there's more information hidden in that line.

Continuity errors abound! Widmore's been "looking for the island for 20 years", but didn't get banished till Alex was 5 & swinging on a swingset in the post-Purge Dharma barracks. That's 1993, and Widmore's only been looking for 13-15 years.

24 year old Ben (yeah right) in 1989 kidnapping Alex looks exactly like Adolf Hitler.

So from 1989-1992, Ben was playing double-agent, & toting little baby Alex along with him wherever he went? Weird.

timcourtois said...

Methinks that Ilana and her crew were sent by Widmore. He's rallying his troops.

Joyce Saenz Harris said...

Wow, this was one of those eps that I just could not believe it ended when it did -- I was so hooked on every single second of it that it seemed to pass in no time.

Yes, I think that Smokey judged Ben in a manifestation as Alex, just as Mr. Eko was "judged" by Smokey appearing as his brother Yemi.

And whoa, what's up with Ilana and her crew?! They must have been sent separately by Widmore -- maybe in league with Eloise Hawking? Who else would have known to get them (and Sayid) on Ajira 316?

Not sure if that's the last we'll see of Caesar -- was not expecting him to get shot! -- but Ilana seems to be in full charge of their "Shadow of the Statue" crew now. (That line must be an Others code password, like "What did one snowman say to the other smowman?" was for Dharma at the Swan.)

I think Frank is gonna wish he had stayed on the main island with Sun and Locke. But I'd bet anything now that it was Ilana and her crew firing at the Losties from the other outrigger at the beginning of this season, when they were between time-flashes. I am guessing that this is Widmore's new group of "mercenaries" who are out to wrest the Island from Ben once and for all. But does that mean taking it from Richard and the remaining Others, as well? Can Widmore expect John Locke to side with him against Richard Alpert and "his" people?

I am so, so happy to know Penny and Charlie are OK, and I was cheering on Desmond as he beat up Ben!

And it was interesting to see how Charles' "other" life off the Island -- including having Penny with an off-Island woman -- led to Ben getting him banished. Where was Eloise during these later on-Island scenes with Charles? Was she already gone? Still there? Where was Daniel? Was he a child on the Island?

One last thought: Why did Ben not mention anything about the Barracks being deserted? And why was his house the same, even though the rest of the compound made it seem that Dharma had not been gone that long?

As the the preview of next week, that looks like a good one too. And it looks to be Miles-centric! And he's working with Dr. Pierre Chang! DADDY!

Salvar said...

I'm not sure if I like that Ben lived through this episode. It kind of seemed to me that they kept him on just because he's a fan favorite. It looked like a typical "character dies" episode--his remaining mysteries are mostly cleared up, he goes through penance, and faces off with his past. I was really shocked when Alex appeared, but after he promised to follow Locke ('Why keep him around, even as a follower?' is another question I have), I half-expected Alex/Smokey to say "You're lying right now!" and totally murder him.

That's going with the assumption that the ghosts are actually Smokey, by the way, but I'm slightly less convinced of that after this episode. Maybe they just didn't want to make it obvious, but Smokey went away before Alex appeared. And it's easy to say that a nanobot cloud could take on any appearance, but that's probably not even what Smokey is--we don't know what he is! What if the ghosts were something else?

Hobbes said...

Great Instant Reaction Brian!

Wow with a phrase like "Shadow of the Statue" that just gets the crazy lost theories mojo going.
Is this a clue to who the war is with. Perhaps next season will lead to another time skip (maybe with just John) to ancient times where we see the split between Alpert's Others vs the Shadow of the Statue Others. Does that tie into Brian's Cowboys/Indians theory?

Loved the Egyptian lower temple scene. Was this an unknown chamber even to any of the Others who had been to the temple before?

Cerberus’ Egyptian correspondent is Anubis, the dog who guarded the tombs and conducted the souls to the underworld.

jack said...

Good episode but a bit dis-jointed. Also, I found Terry Quinn's and Mike Emerson's performance to be different and disengaged.

More to follow.....

Rafael said...

But the episode's title isn't because anybody died, but because John Locke IS dead... That's what the frase 'Dead is Dead' was used for in the episode, right?

Matthew said...

What I took away from this episode was: If you flush the toilet and talk to it, a giant smoke monster comes and judges you! Hey man, I was just using the bathroom! Everybody poops!

nickflight said...

What a good episode!!

One thing that didn't sit quite right with me was Frankie-baby just walking off casually through the creepy barracks to row back the other island alone and join back with the Ajira lot... I'd be taking my chances with Ben and Locke!!

Sam said...

"I have some ideas." Wasn't that line which Locke laid on Sun the exact same line Ben told Jack in the funeral home? I have no idea what this means, but I find it curious.

jack said...

Nickflight - i thought the same thing. Frank leaving, in pitch darkness, to walk thru the woods and row back to the other survivors was implausible. But I guess I've come to give ever increasing poetic license to LOST writers given the complexity of all the story lines, etc.

Anonymous said...


That may have been the least funny thing that anyone has ever written anywhere ... ever

randomrebutle said...

I'm surprised no one has really gotten into the Egyptian angles the show is taking. I just finished Neil Gaiman's American Gods so i've been doing a lot of cultural/religious research to learn more about the characters. Anubis especially. What did the etchings of Anubis with the smoke mean? Hobbes gave you a little insight but i think this link ( explains more once you take bits from each Tier of the Egyptian Ages. Anubis' role changes a few times as thier culture progressed. I think JJ and Co took bits and pieces for the smoke...Maybe they are one in the same being since clearly the smoke is a being...or perhaps a god?

I also haven't heard anyone theorize that the Ajira crew, may be infected/influenced by the smoke...this doesn't explain the weapons crate, but didn't they all seem to shift personalities? Hmm...

jack said...

Wow...the most confusing piece of diaglogue was when Ben manipulated and even corrupted Ceasar originality to keep an eye on Locke. In a following scene however, he ends up fataly shooting the guy. Does this make sense to anyone? Also, Locke took Ben killing the guy in a pretty light-hearted way. Finally, if Ben is being "judged" by Smokey, wouldn't killing people...especially unnecessarily, be reason to attone also?

Daniel said...

the island doesn't care about most people. Maybe it cared about Alex, hence Smokey's quick reprisal against Keamey, but maybe it just cares that Ben cared about Alex and not about Caeser and the countless other deaths he caused.

Kacie said...

So... are you saying Jacob is essentially a made-up character by Alpert... who uses the character to usurp Widmore's power?

I don't think I buy that - there's gotta be another story behind Jacob

jack said...

really can't wait to learn more about Smokey and its' relationship to Ben but remember hearing from c&l on a podcast that this will likely be revealed sometime next season.

Lizzy said...

So, with the whole "Dead is Dead" title, do we think that John is really alive now? Or is he in some similar ghost like state as Christian Shepherd?

Christine said...

I think that Ben's excuse for killing Locke was just a quick cover, I doubt he EVER expected to see Locke ALIVE. Like usual, he was just lying.

My thought on Widmore sending Ben to kill CFL & baby was perhaps to shame him with the island, the same way Ben tried to have Locke kill his own father - both thinking that the island would disapprove and the newbie wouldn't be a threat to their power. And in both cases it didn't work.

On a side note, I LOVED Locke this week - TOO FUNNY :D

Bobarobes said...

Love the blog and this is my first comment so far but here's my two cents.

I think when Ben was "judged" by the island it found him unworthy and to Ben the fate of being a follower to anyone (especially Locke)is worse than the release of death.

Also I wonder why the others wouldn't have taken Widmore down to be "judged" by smokey before booting him off the island?

pete said...

I agree with Christine about Ben's excuse for killing Locke. When he saw Locke sitting in front of him Ben was actually shocked, and covered it by claiming he knew the island would bring him back to life. What he said to Sun about "dead is dead" and you don't come back from that is more along the lines of what he truly believed. He had no reason to lie to Sun, she was under the impression it was Jack who lied to them about Locke being dead. If Ben was tellin gLocke the truth he could have told Sun the same thing, "I know he was dead because I made it happen so that we could convince everyone to come back here. I knew the island would bring him back because it's what the island wanted."

Why doesn't Locke wonder why Sun is on the island? You'd think he might say something like, he's surprised to see her since he didn't recruit her to come back. And then he might mention that Jin didn't want her to come back.

VictorC said...

Amazing episode.

I too was thinking that Ben's true feelings about Locke were revealed to Sun, but if that's the case he must have lied about him being the only person being brought back alive, surely he must know of Christian Shephard. I'd be surprised if he doesn't.

Steve said...

Yes Brian! lots of info, but some flimsy stuff as well.
Casting the actors for older Ben and Widmore as younger people was unconvincing. When Widmore jumped from the horse, I just didn't think I was watching lost.
But horses on the island? Unless they were stolen from Dharma, there needs to be some explaining..and I'm sure there will be.

Apparently Ben DID forget that Sayid shot him, and in my opinion, the story would be a lot deeper if he DID remember.
There were much better ways to do this. I really hope they had a reason for taking this approach.
Though Ben did say he didn't remember Sawyer, Hurley, Kate and Jack in Dharma, he may have been lying.
Too much of a coincidence that these are the same people who were on the exchange list at the end of season 2.
Or maybe I'm getting overconfident in the writers abilities.

A couple things... First.. they focused on Ben grabbing an Ajira bottle, which could suggest that the bottle found
in the 'future' may have been Ben's.

I also think that with Guns and the "Statue" people, we now know who was shooting at the time skipper, and who Juliet probably shot.
These people have to be with Widmore. He's sent people with Guns before, hey he shot one without blinking... and Ben seemed as shocked at the Gun as he did at Locke being alive.

And that's where I disagree with Brian... Ben's explenation to Locke was a lie, the story to Sun was true. Smokey/Alex even told him that they know he was plotting to kill him again.
Which is interesting. The island still has a use for Ben, as a follower of Locke. This leads me to believe that the 'island' is favoring Locke.
Locke sure has a lot of knowledge all of a sudden. But what confuses me is that Widmore told Locke that he needed him alive, that a war was coming and that Locke
being on the island was a big part of it. If he's against the 'island', is the island really 'good'?

Also, did anyone notice that 'god' that was in the wall painting in the temple interacting with Smokey? Looks a lot like anubius to me... is that the statue?

The CFL story was a bit weak, but not as bad as the Ben 'forgetting' mentioned above.

And we now have seen some holes in the writing of this show... so I'm not paying too close of attention to the statue from behind, or anything like that.
I still feel that there was a kind of cheap element to the temple, and the way that ben summoned smokey was kind of lame. Really? Why would Dharma build a house with
a secret door to the smokey summoning puddle.

That's it more now...

pete said...

yeah, one thing that I just don't understand is how there's a secret passage to summon the monster inside a Dharma house. Did they not see it there when they built the place?

Steve said...

OK, I think the purge happened pre-1988, or CFL would have been found by them.. or visa versa. It's likely they didn't move into the barracks immediately, i think men had already taken over by the time we see him pushing Alex on the swing. They didn't move in immediately.

But the timing on Widmore is off.. unless he is ourside of the bounds of time. If Alex was born in 1988.. she looks about 5.. then widmore was exiled in 1993, or 1992 at best. Assuming it's 2008(I think it's 2007..but... we'll go with 2008) he's been off the island for 15-16 years, not 20. The only way he has been off 20 years is if he was sent back in time to the outside world, or if he had left the island immedately after the alex incident.

I need to think about next weeks title 'some like it hoth'. First thought is 'star wars' but Hoth is COLD, so maybe there are polar bears? OK, I'm half asleep! G'night!

Steve said...

Locke just 'knows' stuff now. How did he know about the temple? When he was resurrected, he's just aware. He's not saying anything about sun because he's.. for lack of a better saying 'in touch' with the island. He's operating on a different plane, and just see's sun there for what it's value is the island, he's stopped asking questions long ago. Shoot, he's even asking about being dead?
I loved it how he had command over Ben..turning the tables on him. Yet there is no way to explain his demeanor other than being in tune with the island.

And I really am going to bed now.

Steve said...

OK.. back for one more thing.. remember that Radinsky and what's his face in the Swan.. who drew that map on the blast door.

That whole blast door thing doesn't make sense.. the Blast door had a question to the 'flame', but being radinsky stinking worked there, he would have known all about it. Why would he have had to guess about this stuff? What about the disease comments and the cure being worse than the disease? What about his mention of Cerberus, which indicated that Smokey might have originally been a dharma thing.

I'm starting to think that the show is not as well planned out as I thought. I'm not sure they've known exacly what Smokey was. All the actions of smokey in the past, well.. now the only one that's making sense is Yemi. I'm losing a bit of confidence in the writers closing things off so well. But I'm holding hope.

OK.. last message. promise.

Anonymous said...

The processing center is at the barracks. It's just a building we've never seen before.