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Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 05/10/2007

"Lost" Dueling Analyses: The Man Behind the Curtain

By Liz Kelly

Washingtonpost.com movies editrix Jen Chaney and I attempt to make sense of a particularly enigmatic episode. Warning: Spoilers ahead...




Man-child Ben Linus. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Liz: So little Ben Linus, like Walt, was a special kid -- capable of seeing and feeling things that others did not. And that made all the difference in last night's whiplash-inducing episode. Is Jacob real or the manifestation of Ben's unhappy childhood? Why would he say "help me?" Does Richard Alpert not age? Is Locke down for the count? I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. Jen, help us out here.

Jen: Ah, Liz, you have just touched on the detail that led to my little "Lost" epiphany last night. Climb aboard with me now as we travel through my Theory That Explains "Lost." (Sort of.) I believe you are quite right about Richard not aging (told you his eyebrows held secrets). Not only did he not look any older while Ben went from being 11 to 40-something, but Ben said something telling to him at the beginning of the episode: "You remember birthdays, don't you Richard?"

My theory is this: The properties of the island have created a fountain of youth effect, or messed with time to the point that the past becomes irrelevant. At least, that seems to be the case for some special people: Richard, Locke (explains why he is no longer paralyzed) and Rose (cancer -- cured). I believe the people within the Dharma camp are immune to this special property, possibly because the sonar fence that allegedly "keeps out the wildlife" changes the island properties so the Dharma inhabitants remain mortal. (This explains why Ben's dad -- yes, that was Uncle Rico from "Napoleon Dynamite" -- aged, as did Ben.) As for why women are not able to conceive and give birth, I think this is the island's way of maintaining population control. If some or all of the island's natives don't ever die, the island tries to maintain a sense of order by keeping the population relatively stable. Now, why have some people outside of Dharma (Eko, Libby, Ana Lucia, Shannon, Boone) died? That's the part I'm not sure about... unless they're not really dead.

For this reason, I also don't think Locke is dead because I'm not sure that he can die. He also was still breathing when the episode ended, and that leads me to believe there is a window of hope. He's such a fascinating character and I think the show needs him, so I want him to stick around.

Much more after the jump...

Liz: I'm with you on the fountain of youth effect. Not only does Richard Alpert seem to have maintained his youthful good looks (watch out, Sawyer), but Ben doesn't look a day older than he did when he killed his father -- which we have to assume was some time before the Losties arrived on the island.

I also agree that Locke is not dead. I just can't believe that they'd kill off one of the most popular, and pivotal, characters on the show. Even though Eko did say "You're next" to Locke when he himself was dying. Did you catch Ben's assertion that Richard and the Others were the "native inhabitants" of the island? What did you make of that?

Jen: I think Ben perceives them as natives because they were there when he arrived as a boy. But we still don't know whether Richard was born there and is truly native or not. The reference to The Others also raises an interesting issue: Who are The Others at this point? Back in season one, the Losties perceived Anna Lucia and the Tailies as being part of The Others. But they weren't. Then Ben emerged as the leader of The Others, although now we see that Richard, for example, might not really be an Other. (He definitely wants to put an end to Ben's reign, which is why I think he pushed Locke to kill his dad -- remember, Richard gave him Sawyer's file -- and go head to head with Ben.) In the flashback, Richard was outside of Dharma and may have been considered a Hostile. The point being that the enemy is all a matter of perception. Like Juliet's recording, there is always a flip side.

Liz: One more thing -- the Others may be immortal or hold some other secret to life, but there is clearly something they lack -- something that has them stealing babies and young children. Though, that brings up an interesting point -- is their interest in children a new development? If not, then it seems odd that they'd kill off all those Dharma kids.

Jen: Yeah, the stealing babies thing I don't fully understand. I actually think that's a Ben issue, going back to his guilt that he killed his mother by being born. If he believes that any mothers on the island will die, then Ben would naturally want to save their children. Although Walt was born off the island... but his mother had died, so he qualifies as a kid worth saving. Richard did say last week that Ben had become fixated on the fertility issue when there were other, more important things they should be exploring. I think the kidnapping is Ben working through his obvious psychological issues.

Liz: We should keep in mind that Richard can also apparently leave the island -- since he was the one to recruit Juliet. In a way, it seems Ben has lived his life trying to morph into an Other -- to escape his true identity -- and perhaps that's not working out so well for him now. As for the suddenly powerful Locke who last night had all the answers and handily outsmarted Ben at (almost) every turn, I think it's still important that we remember that it was only last week that Locke was portrayed as a conflicted, somewhat cowardly character who tricked Sawyer into doing his dirty work.

Let's talk about Jacob, though. Like everyone else watching, my mind leapt to Norman Bates comparisons -- talk about a send-up -- a dysfunctional son talking to an empty rocking chair. But was it empty? Eleven frames from last night's show posted over at Lost Screencaps and Easter Eggs says it was not.

Looks kind of like Dennis Hopper to me.

Jen: That scene with Jacob actually reminded me a bit of "Twin Peaks." My instinct was to say that Bob is actually the one in the chair... or possibly a dancing dwarf. Actually, I rewound that on my DVR and watched it in slo-mo, not only because I wanted to see who was in the chair but also so I could finally earn my merit badge in geekitude. And the chair definitely wasn't empty. This might sound crazy, but the profile actually looked a little like Locke to me, Locke with longer hair that is. If there is a resemblance, or if Jacob is somehow one of Locke's other selves, then the fact that he said "Help me" -- and that Ben misunderstood Locke's recounting of Jacob's words just before shooting him -- takes on another level of meaning. Then again, it could be Dennis Hopper from "Blue Velvet," just to stick with our David Lynchian theme.

Liz:
As long as it's not Dennis Hopper from the Ameriprise commercials. Because that would just be tacky.

But why "help me?" Assuming for a second that Jacob is his own man, so to speak, is he being kept in that cabin under duress? The line of gray powder around the cabin's perimeter and Ben's treatment of Jacob as his pet possession would support that theory. Another interesting notion that Mr. Liz put forth last night is that maybe Ben can't actually hear Jacob at all, or not anymore, and that's why he killed Locke -- jealousy.


RIP Roger Workman. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Oh, one quick aside -- the fact that the writers handily tied Ben's dad Roger ("Workman") Linus back into that ridiculous Cheech Marin episode from earlier this season totally restores my faith that there is, indeed, a big picture at work here. Nicely done.

Jen: Well, I think Mr. Liz is absolutely right that Ben is jealous of Locke and sees him as a real threat to his power. If Locke took over The Others and truly is immortal, then he could be in charge forever. I'm not sure about Ben not being able to hear him, though. He definitely was testing Locke to see if he could hear Jacob, but I don't know what to make of the rest of it. I will say this -- last night's episode was a tribute to M. Night Shyamalan if ever I have seen one. The opening sequence, where you think Ben's parents are on the island, then realize they're in Oregon somewhere (ironic, since that's where Juliet was allegedly going) was a riff on "The Village." (Sorry if I ruined the ending for some of you people, but trust me, I just saved you a $5 video rental.) And when young Ben -- aka Harry Potter -- saw his mom in the window, that was pure "Sixth Sense." Maybe that's Ben's problem -- he sees dead people.

And yes, total kudos on the "Shambala" tie-in. Shame on me for accusing them of digressing for no good reason. This is slightly off-topic, but I was very pleased to know they have set an end date for the show, as announced earlier this week. I kind of wish they wouldn't stretch it out over three years, but, as you said, it restores my faith that there is a big picture. And I can't wait to see the rest of its details.

Liz: Total riff on "The Village", right down to the six-foot chain link fence. And I think we should consider some lessons from "The Village" as we go forward -- the movie (sorry, spoilers ahead) was built on the premise that a group of people got together to fake a supernatural scam to keep another group of people (namely children) from evolving.

Also, over at the always insightful Doc Jensen camp, Damon Lindelof this week had the following to say about Jacob: "This is a character who is every bit as significant to our universe as the Emperor was to the Star Wars universe. Jacob is a guy who is going to have a very significant ongoing sort of story value in our show." So, for better or for worse, Jacob is here for the final 48 (episodes, that is).

Jen: Oh, excellent point about "The Village." Also in that movie, they called the alleged monsters Those We Do Not Speak Of. Kind of sounds like The Others, doesn't it? Come to think of it, maybe people should rent that movie. Speaking of looking ahead, I don't know if you caught Evangeline Lilly last night on "Jimmy Kimmel." But she was talking about the finale and prefaced her comments by noting that she's not a big TV person and probably wouldn't watch "Lost" at all if she wasn't on it. (Points for honesty). However, she added that when she heard what the big reveal is in this season's finale, it sent chills up her spine.

Liz: Oooh, well, if they can top this week's episode in the next two, bring on the chills.

One interesting theory about Annie (the little girlfriend of young Benry) posted by a commenter on Whitney Matheson's Pop Candy blog is that she's actually Rousseau. She was basically the one Dharma denizen to show him any kindness, so he somehow spirited her out of range of the purge. This could make some sense and explain how Alex could possibly be the child of both Ben and Rousseau, but doesn't account for Rousseau's French accent and mythos as a shipwrecked scientist.

I'm also wishing we had J. Wood around this week to give us some insight into the name "Horace Godspeed" -- Horace coined the term "Carpe Diem," but I'm at sea (no pun intended) on the "Godspeed" part... unless that's another reference to "The Village's" puritanical setting.

Jen: I was wondering about little orphan Annie. An interesting theory, but the lack of Frenchness might be a stopper for me. Horace was a famous poet, I believe. I thought his name was Goodspeed, but it made me think of Godspeed, something you say to someone when you hope God joins them on their journey. In any case, he seems to be a symbol for good, although... is it possible Horace was working for Dharma when he helped Ben's parents? Maybe Dharma was trying to snatch up some motherless children also. I found it amusing that Uncle Rico was ticked about being a janitor when that's clearly all Horace did, too. His uniform when they got there said Maintenance. Unless that has another meaning... uh-oh, I might be on the verge of making my own head hurt.

Liz: Yes, Horace did seem as if he had some kind of pull on the island, though it could've just been that Horace was a guy with a fat trust fund (hence the rockin' red convertible) and a desire to believe in something -- perfect prey for a cult, which clearly the Dharma Initiative was in some respects.

I just peeked at next week's press release and -- FINALLY -- Rose and Bernard are back. In what capacity, I don't know, but it's about time.

Jen: I had heard Rose and Bernard would return. Maybe no one else is excited about that, but I am.

Liz: On that note, let's turn this over to the readers... and don't forget, we'll talk "Lost" in the last 15 minutes of today's Celebritology Live discussion.

Next Week: "Greatest Hits" - While Jack devises a plan to do away with the Others once and for all, Sayid uncovers a flaw in their system that could lead to everyone's rescue. But it requires Charlie to take on a dangerous task that may make Desmond's premonition come true.

By Liz Kelly  | May 10, 2007; 10:38 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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Comments

first!!

Posted by: first | May 10, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Last night's episode was great. I didn't see anything in that chair until I saw the screenshots this morning. I have no idea who it is - I've heard everything from it's Locke, Locke's twin (Jacob Locke), Ben's twin, Jack's dad, and Desmond.

I love how Locke turned the tables a little on Ben, with annoucning of "Ben is taking me to see Jacob!" to the whole camp. Clearly there are some issues within the Others camp.
There wasn't a whole lot going on back at the beach, but I like how there is a dynamic forming b/w Jack/Juliet and the rest of the Losties. I still don't trust Juliet completely. I think she has her own agenda, regardless of who she is wtih.

Posted by: Emily | May 10, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Ben *does* look older than the day he killed his father. Not dramatically so, but his hair was noticeably darker and he seemed to have pancakier (technical term) makeup on in that scene -- thus, at least somewhat younger.

Posted by: Kelly | May 10, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Portland Oregon is some sort of jumping off (or on) point to get to the island. That's where Julliet did go before getting on the submarine. (Anyone notice that the sub ride in for young Benry seemed a lot more pleasant than for Julliet? or at the very least they weren't knocked out for it)

Though after the Darma people were gassed, the Others/Hostiles (Othersiles?) still had that research need, so they reestablished the camp and recruited folks like Julliet.

Posted by: Kim | May 10, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, apparently the island can't cure baldness!

I thought about Annie being Rousseau too then remembered the whole French/ship/scientist thing but that doesn't mean she isn't lying or faking it too. Or maybe she was on that stranded ship & isn't aging like the rest of them.

Another Jacob theory is that maybe it's Jack's dad.

I also wanna see how many toes Richard has. It might explain that giant statue. And sorry, but Nestor "Richard" Carbonel will forever be Batmanuel to me.

Posted by: Bored @ work | May 10, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice that Ben's mother looked a lot like Alice from "Alice in Wonderland" when he saw her on the other side of the barrier? And then he followed his white rabbit into the jungle, which is where he came upon Richard? I know the show likes to make it's "Wizard of Oz" references and I am wondering if they are having fun making "Alice in Wonderland" references as well.

Posted by: Alli | May 10, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Ben did look younger in that flashback (and kudos to the crew on the really subtle makeup job).

Posted by: Joseph J. Finn | May 10, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The ring around Jacob's house...gunpowder? cremated bodeis? Jacob's place on the inside kind of reminded me of Gene Hackman's shack in Young Frankenstein (I thought Jacob was going to offer Locke a "ceegaarr").

Posted by: thin gray line | May 10, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Horace's jumpsuit, I believe, said "Mathematician" not "Maintainance"

Posted by: Ned | May 10, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I also wonder how the Hostiles covered up the deaths? Yeah, yeah mass grave & all that but wouldn't Dharma have known who was on that island & wondered why Tooms wasn't sweeping up & who is the dude w/the eyebrows?

Yet another excellent cross pollination of shows, Tooms from the XFiles!!

Posted by: Bored @ work | May 10, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Anyone toyed with the idea that there were no fertility issues till after the purge and that Annie and Ben were the first two to try and do the baby making thing?

And by some unknown power of the islands Ben knows that if they can "fix" the women dying issue he can go back and save Annie...

But that would probbly just open up a whole new can of worms with the destiny thing and Desmond.

But it would tie in the whole Richard saying that Ben was wasting time on simple things like fertility.

Maybe Adam and Eve are actually Ben and Annie!

Posted by: JK | May 10, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Annie isn't Rousseau. Ben's Hostiles somehow managed to save Annie from the gas. She died trying to have Ben's child. That's why he is so obsessed with fertility on the island.

When he lost his wife and child, he Rousseau's Alex to make up for his loss.

Posted by: Sue | May 10, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I think that Juliet is looking out for Juliet... she's what, a quadruple agent at this point?

Also, do only people who have died off the island appear on the island? (see: Jack's dad, Ben's mom.) Child Ben told The the no-younger-30-years-ago Richard Alpert that he'd seen his mom, even though she was dead; Richard asked him if she'd died off the island, and than accepted it.

Posted by: what a good episode... | May 10, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I think Locke is not acting cowardly for tricking Sawyer into killing his father - he is protecting himself from becoming a murderer. Clearly, the "files" that The Others have on all the Losties define if the people are "good" or "bad." When Locke saw Sawyer's file, and saw he was a murderer - Locke thought Sawyer was "bad." The difference between Locke and Sawyer and Ben is - he has not yet killed another person. Whereas, Ben killed his own father (and clearly, the Dharma Initiative people, maybe more) and Sawyer had killed someone previously as well.

Posted by: Dara | May 10, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Hostiles are and always were the "real" Dharma. Setting up a whole new "initiativ", staffing it, and then wiping the people out when they reach their goal or endpoint of whatever project they are working on at the moment, is all part of the plan.

Posted by: maybe | May 10, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Two things:

1) It seems to me that Locke got a bit too much of the old time religion last week. Meaning, he set himself up as a "false prophet." He seemed to actually believe that he was a kind of Messiah who had special powers and would "save" everyone. He bought into Ben's line of bull about how the others thought he was special. And pride goes before a fall ... I think the fact that he deluded himself into believing he was a savior sealed his fate. (Although I just can't believe he's dead yet.)

2) I know this will sound esoteric, but have you ever heard the notion that kids who are abused or orhpaned believe they are "special"? There's a great book on this called "Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation" by Leonard Shengold that addresses this issue.

The short of it is: children who grow up in abusive and highly dysfunctional environments, or who are oprphaned, to survive create a mythos about themselves that they are "special" and have special gifts, powers, and abilities.

Also, orhpaned and abandoned kids make up vast stories about the parents they never never new, and about the special charachteristics of their "lost" parents.

Sound familiar?

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Two or three things I think about Annie. 1st she is not Rousseau. Second, Ben looks at that little doll with such sadness and longing that she must have died/have left the island in some way, either because she did something to displease the Dharma people and they killed or banished her; or, three: she died in the big Dharma gassing and for whatever reason, Ben did not, or was not able to, save her and now regrets that. But I think if the Dharma people did something to her that might explain why he turned against them so totally that he was willing to participate in mass murder.

Posted by: AZ | May 10, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

1. Ben had to ask Locke what Jacob said to Locke. Why could Ben not hear that statement?

2. I can't exactly remember, but weren't there two bodies, Roger Workman and another, on the bus when Hurley found it?

3. If some of the Others aged, and some didn't, wouldn't that be a huge red flag to those that were aging, assuming some of the "Others" were brought to the island, and some were orginally "Hostiles"?

4. Mikhail and Ben certainly seemed surprised and quite nervous that Naomi dropped in on the island without them knowing, and claimed to be with a boat stationed nearby. Could someone finding the island throw a wrench into whatever Ben's master plan is?

Posted by: S | May 10, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

And now it seems clear that Jacob is not Hurley, but I do think that Hurley is key and has power here in some way ...

I missed season two, so did we ever find out why Hurley was in South Korea (we saw him on the TV there in an early episode). We saw Hurley being interviewed ... anyone?

And what is that thing protruding from Jacob's head?

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What ever happened to the big monster that ate the pilot in the first episode?

Posted by: martha | May 10, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I know this is kind of obvious, which is maybe why no one's mentioned it yet...but maybe the reason Ben looked so upset when Locke hauled his dad's body into the camp, and why that was the test Locke had to pass in the first place is because it parallels Ben's own journey of daddy-killing and assuming power. Ben was further freaked out when Locke was able to hear Jacob, because that was another sign that Lock is going down the same path to power that Ben did.

Posted by: Obvious Parallels | May 10, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Was the name of the boat that brought the settlers to Jamestown. Haven't you been reading newspaper?!

Makes sense in the Dharma was colonizing the island sense.

Posted by: Godspeed | May 10, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

To me, that powder looked like volcanic ash ...

Remember the whole scene in the classroom with the volcano and reference to the volcano that once was active there?

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Are we sure that Ben was born in Portland, Oregon? I thought that at first, but then wondered about Maine, bringing in a whole Stephen King aspect. Where was the license plate on the red convertible from?

Posted by: LostinCharlottesville | May 10, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the dust ring: in that Kate Hudson movie 'Skeleton Key', the voodoo expert told Kate that if you pour a line of dust (brick dust, I think) over the threshhold of a door, anyone who wants to hurt you can't cross over it. So, for example, you could pour a circle of dust and be safe, presumably, within the circle.

Posted by: tamerlane | May 10, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I like the theory that Ben and Annie had a child together and both the child and Annie died during the birth - that plus what happened to his mom would explain his obsession with fertility and also why he looked so sad at his doll - his birthday is not a good memory for him at all.

When Naomi first parachuted in, I thought there was a chance she was not who she says she is - but from the look on everyone's face it seemed as if they were not aware - but even after Pathcy made that declaration - it didn't seem like Ben was in that much of a hurry to address the issue - and then after he left w. Locke, it seemed like it sort of dropped.

I can't wait to see what happens in the next couple episodes when "the raid" happens. I think the season finale is going to be amazing.

Posted by: Katalina | May 10, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Was Annie the older woman at Juliet's trial? The one played by the Mommie Dearest actress?? And I don't remember seeing any kids bodies after the gas hit...di they get a warning and were saved? Was that Ms Klugh at the registration desk assigning out jobs??

Posted by: Walt's brother | May 10, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

And maybe that little doll is Ben's "Rosebud": the symbol of unconditional love that he never had.

Hmm, Ben as empire-builder Charles Foster Kane from "Citizen Kane": what a comparison!

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

God, Ben, you've ruined my life and ate all my steak!

Posted by: Uncle Rico | May 10, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

As I was watching the show, with all that was being revealed, questions answered, new ones posed, I thought to myself, "this is the best episode this season" -- almost as good as the ones with Walt and Michael.

One thing I am disappointed/worried about is how quickly they seemed to wrap up the plot on DHARMA -- I sure hope they come back and fill in all the holes, because (and I can't believe I'm saying this) it was almost TOO much information revealed all at once. Judging by the rest of the season, they could have dragged out Ben's flashbacks over two or three episodes to reveal the history of DHARMA. I sincerely hope that this means the next 52 episodes are going to be JAMMED with red meat -- no filler. I hope.

Changing topics -- Also picked up on the "Psycho" homage. There was even a single, high-pitched scream of violin when Ben first began speaking to the empty rocker. That whole scene gave me the chills.

I really lost a lot of respect for Jack when he said "I hadn't decided what to do yet." It really baffles me how people on this island can shift gears from high-intensity-cloak-and-dagger-lief-or-death drama to making-sand-castles-on-the-beach vacation in a matter of hours.

Posted by: bklyn | May 10, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Ben, you watch me throw this football over that volcano.

Posted by: More Uncle Rico | May 10, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Is there a chance that Mikhail really is a surviving member of the Dharma Initiative? Why else wear the jumpsuit?

Posted by: McPatchy | May 10, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

You know what made this show good? Nearly (if not completely) Charlie-free.

Posted by: Kim | May 10, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Why did Jacob get so upset at the flashlight? Ben told Locke that Jacob doesn't like technology, just like Locke. Is Jacob 1) an ancient spirit, longing for the good old days; 2) a manifestation of the Earth itself, caused by the electromagnetic energy and angry with the people that are slowly destroying the planet; or possibly 3) some form of Locke himself?

Posted by: S | May 10, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

And it might explain why he only will deal with Ben and none of the Others minded Locke beating the tar out of him.

Posted by: McPatchy | May 10, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

In some ways the show reminds me of the musical "Brigadoon".

Posted by: peter | May 10, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

What was all that stuff in glass jars at Jacob's house? At least one of the jars was smashed in disturbance as Locke was leaving the house. Could anyone tell what it was supposed to be?

Also : how in the world do you gas people to death outdoors in the open air? Unless you have planes dropping huge quantities of chemical weapons like at Halabja ... it does not seem feasible that they could have surprised and killed a whole village full of people.

Posted by: Nan | May 10, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered that Alex gave Locke the gun with blanks (don't know about the blood from Locke's stomach), knowing that Ben would use it to shoot Locke?

Posted by: robert | May 10, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else realize that both Locke and Ben have mothers named Emily? (Another tie into The Wizard of Oz...)
Also, I think that Jacob looks like Kris Kristofferson =)

Posted by: Anne | May 10, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh I almost forgot --

The other reason the episode gave the chills so bad: JONESTOWN...

The gassed bodies lying face-down in the middle of a jungle commune. The "Namaste" welcome sign over the road. The air-raid drills with .22 rifles drawn, creating a constant environment of fear of the outside.

CREEPY!

Posted by: bklyn | May 10, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

LostinCharlottesville:

Just posted on www.losteastereggs.blogspot.com is the car Horace and Olivia were driving. There's no license plate on the front. Anyone know whether Oregon or Maine require front plates?

Posted by: Tricia | May 10, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Agree, GREAT episode. The scene in the cabin was truly terrifying. Re: Jack - I haven't liked him since season 2, as he's too smug and thinks much too highly of himself. Episodes without him are so much more enjoyable, and I was happy that it seemed like he was being hoodwinked by Juliet. But now it appears he might be right (again!!) - can't this man be wrong, please? I didn't think I could dislike him anymore than I did, but after telling everyone he "hadn't decided what to do" with the information he'd received, yet demands to know everyone else's secrets, he really irked me to the core. Maybe it's Matthew Fox's acting, but I just can't stand his smug tone that he uses with everything and everyone. I'm hoping that Juliet is pulling a fast one on him, so he'll be humiliated, and Sayid and Sawyer can take over as leaders. I mean, you didn't think Kate and Sun deserved to know that they would be kidnapped in 2 days?!?! Besides that, how did Juliet even know that? She hadn't heard Ben's message yet, as Locke stole it before he could get it back to her.

And judging from those pictures, Jacob is definitely Locke with a hood over his head, not hair.

Posted by: Laney | May 10, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

To build on what someone said about Locke not killing his father due to the bright line divide between "bad" and "good" on the island... Perhaps that is linked to the island's healing/fountain o'youth abilities. That is why Locke is healing and won't die, but Ben's back did not heal. It may even be why Ben can no longer see Jacob but Locke can. More observant people than I can assess this, but it seems plausible. It would also explain why the con artists with the diamonds could be killed...ooh, and maybe even why the mother's from the mass-murdering tribe of "hostiles" die during childbirth but Claire lived.

Posted by: Cimplify, Fairfax VA | May 10, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"In some ways the show reminds me of the musical "Brigadoon".

Posted by: peter | May 10, 2007 12:22 PM"

Minus the bad sets, Irish dancing & Gene Kelly.

Posted by: Bored @ work | May 10, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"The other reason the episode gave the chills so bad: JONESTOWN... The gassed bodies lying face-down in the middle of a jungle commune..."

The people at Jonestown were not gassed. They drank poisoned Kool-Aid, in a mass murder-suicide. We're supposed to believe that these people in the Dharma village were taken by surprised and dropped in their tracks, without even enough warning to take cover, and that some means of delivering that much gas was available to the rag-wearing, forest-dwelling clan that attacked them.

Posted by: Nan | May 10, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Annie died in the purge. The writers/director didn't make a point of showing her dead body (by showing a dead thirtysomething woman near the Ben doll, perhaps, or some other way), and I doubt they would have avoided a moment of such pathos without reason. So much of the episode was about Ben's sadness, loneliness, loss, etc.

Posted by: HJA | May 10, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Jonestown, Jamestown

Ones' a beginning in the search for paradise, one's an ending causd by one man's delusional, paranoid, megalomania.

And that doll at the beginning of the episode looked burnt up, didn't it?

That cabin scene scared me.

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on Jabob being Smokey? Its behavior in the cabin where it tossed Locke around seemed very similar to what happened to Eko.

Posted by: mm | May 10, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

In the Bible, Jacob is the third patriarch of Israel and his son is Benjamin. In the Bible, Benjamin is also born on the side of the road and his mother dies immediately afterwards, but with her last breath she names her child Ben-oni(son of my pain) but his father changes the name to Ben-jamin (son of right..or right hand..or son of the south in some translations).
Benjamin was the founder of one the 12 tribes of Israel.

Posted by: Lisa | May 10, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Could there be any connection between the gassing of the camp and the flashback of Desmond and his partner in the hatch wearing full body suits everytime they went outside?

Also, could the gassing have lingering effects that mess with people's fertility?

Posted by: Lsquared | May 10, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

For a brief moment, I was hoping that Ben was taking Locke to see the van; a "Dude, where's my car?" outtake for the DVD set would have been nice. :)

Posted by: YetAnotherLostFan | May 10, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Seems to be a big assumption that after 20 years or so Annie is still alive and on the island.

Posted by: Kim | May 10, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

One more support for the island healing only applying to non-murderers is that would explain why dying in childbirth wasn't a research focus until after the mass murder of the original Dharmites.

Posted by: Cimplify, Fairfax VA | May 10, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It seems that the Others/former hostiles are searching for some sort of Chosen One. This Chosen One will arrive from off the island and have certain supernatural capabilities which they have come to expect (maybe revealed through some prophecy from the four-toe era). Every time they identify these unique capabilities in a newcomer to the island (young Ben, Walt, Locke), they attempt to evaluate the potential savior. When young Ben confided to Richard that he had conjured his own dead mother, Richard and the gang appointed Ben as their leader. When a man turned up on the island they didn't recognize (Locke's dad), they realized he had been conjured by Locke and determined that he may be a potential Chosen One, so they put their plan in place to evaluate his worthiness to be leader. I would imagine that they did the same to Walt while he was in their captivity, and perhaps they found that he was not a candidate for the job of Chosen One. I think Jacob is one of the first potential Chosen Ones, most likely from the Black Rock. Can't account for his apparent state of limbo, however.

Posted by: Ghitza | May 10, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Re: Jacob. It's killing me that no one else seems to have thought that Ben might actually have telekinetic powers. Remember how the Others were reading Carrie right before the plane crashed and Ben seemed REALLY uncomfortable with the book selection? Doors slamming, fire-starting... all fits into the Carrie mold.
I'm not sure what it means, but did anyone else feel that vibe?

Posted by: scs | May 10, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

MORE DADDY ANGST. Add Ben to the list: Jack, Locke, Sawyer, Kate, Claire, Sun, Jin, Alex, Mr. Eko (well his brother was a 'father'), and Juliette (tries to make babies WITHOUT fathers). Now Ben has father betrayal / abandonment issues, too.

Locke can't die--he has to tell us about what I ALSO think is volcanic ash.

This episode revealed another of Ben's lies: the Others are NOT the good guys. Mass murderers can NEVER be rehabilitated. Unless Dharma was doing something just dreadful, and even then . . .

Posted by: Kelli | May 10, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

SCS - I thought that at first too, that Ben was faking the whole thing with his telekinesis. Definitely reminded me of "Carrie". But then he couldn't hear the voice of "Jacob", and seemed really disturbed that Locke could, even going so far as to kill him because of it (or attempt to, at least).

Posted by: Laney | May 10, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm putting a bit too much effort into this, but I'll share anyway... :)

I took the close up of Jacob from the losteastereggs blog, and put it side by side with a picture of Locke from imdb.com.

Jacob and Locke do look VERY similar, but there's are a few things that seem a little off. Jacob has a bump on the end of his nose that Terry O'Quinn does not appear to share. The mouth also seems different, too; TOQ's mouth seems thinner. However, the pictures of Jacob are quite blurry, so I could be wrong. I think the producers really wanted us to come up with the Jacob=Locke theory, so have deliberately made them look similar, but my theory is that they are not the same person from a different time/space/whatever.

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

As far as Locke being good because he is unable to kill, you are forgetting Mikhail. Granted, he is not dead, but it doesn't expunge the fact that Locke's intent was to kill him.

Posted by: Tricia | May 10, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

check out http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/4442/jacobenhancementnp9.jpg for a screencap of jacob. They enhance the image and remove the hair.

Posted by: Tricia | May 10, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Richard Alpert tells the young Ben that he will have to be patient and wait before he can cross the line to join the "natives" of the island.

So, Ben waits years and years--years he spends alone, without developing meaningful relationships within his community, with the exception of Annie--and then, seemingly without conscience, murders this entire commmunity.

Then, at the end of the episode he apparently kills Locke.

So, Ben's motive is to protect or ensure that his search continues regardless of the cost to others. He'll stop at nothing on his path to find what? His mother? His innocence? His identity?

And, somehow, this is wrapped up or parallels a quest that "others" have as well.

I don't think murder can be excused under any circumstance. Maybe that's what Jacob's anger is about. A god-like figure trapped by the very people that believe in him--because he is at once deified and vilified.

Posted by: Nathan | May 10, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Adding to my father-angst list:
Hurley
Walt

Posted by: Kelli | May 10, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Please let Locke not die! He is my favorite character on the show, and it would be so wrong to lose him. Given the earlier remark that Jacob will be vital, it seems that Locke will have to continue as he clearly has a special connection with Jacob.
Ben's encounters with Jacob seemed somewhat like Moses' encounters with God at Mount Sinai; only Moses could be in the presence of this powerful presence, and only with special shielding; the special precautions around the cabin and no technology seemed somewhat analogous.
The situation presents the critical faith question: when the person given the special access to "God" testifies about the experience, do others believe the testimony, or perceive it as a lie, or a delusion? This faith/reason struggle seems to me to have been Locke's journey throughout the show. He experiences the miracle of healing and for the first time in his life finds a purpose, both through protecting/leading/feeding the Losties, pressing the button, accepting Eko's legacy, and then deciding (maybe) whether he has a special leadership purpose with the Others .
Ben has clearly served as the "tempter" for Locke, casting doubt on the purpose, destiny that Locke is trying to find for himself on the island. At the end of Season Two, Locke appears to lose faith in the button, with disastrous consequences, yet somehow he survives the implosion!
Ben seems to have all the rhetorical skills of Mephistopheles or Milton's Satan -- Ben is such a good liar, and such a good manipulator, as he perceives the particular psychological desire that will motivate the person.
Surely Locke's spiritual journey is not done yet, so I think he has to be back!

As to the other Dharma children; I wonder if Ben had arranged the gassing to have occurred when the children were elsewhere; I wonder if the children we have seen in Seasons 1 & 2 are the vestiges of these children, and perhaps Annie is one of them?

Also, it also appears that many of us are perhaps too questioning of the creators; apparently the body in the bag was Cooper's, and the parachutist really was an outsider. Things may in fact be what they seem?

Posted by: Lindytx | May 10, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I can't quite put my finger on exactly how to connect these two events in the grand scheme of the island, or even if they are relevant, but maybe someone can help out....

1. In last night's episode, we see Ben kill his father. [As an aside, It almost appeared (since we didn't see the other "Hostiles"/Others with gas cans) that the single gas-can Ben released was potent enough to kill every DHARMA person, or person w/o a mask] Obviously, killing his father was only a part of the entire mass-murder situation, but, in order to join the Hostiles in full, and become their leader, did he have to prove himself in this way?
2. Last week's episode, Ben made a huge deal about making Locke kill his father, it almost appeared to be something of an initiation ritual. When he couldn't do it, Locke was deemed unworthy in some way.

Anyway, not sure where I'm trying to go with this, but I'm putting it out there.

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Re: Locke killing his father on his back:

Ben told Locke that he Locke had to kill his father to be from of him. (Of course, that's whta he tried to do ... how's that working for you?)

But Locke killing his father would have been proof just how far he could NOT be free of his father. If you have no anger at someone anymore, then you don't care enough to kill them: you've risen above your anger.

If you kill, you are entrapped by your own anger. That's shown by that heavy load of the dead body on Locke's back ... it's anger you can't be free from. The only way to be free of anger is to rise above it. Ben is still swimming in his rage, and proof of the consequences.

Pushing Locke to kill his father was a way of pulling him into a trap.

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced Ben's keeping the dolls and the sadness he seems to have over them means that he regrets Annie being killed at all. It could be that to Ben, the dolls remind him of his father never remembering his birthday (and bad father figures in general, which seems to be a theme of the show). In other words, they make him sad for the father he feels he never had, who could never remember his birthday, etc.

Posted by: John N. | May 10, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I made the mistake of watching the latest episode of The Sopranos right before Lost. Big mistake. I had the most bizarre dreams and nightmares!

I like the tie in to Alice in Wonderland. This is actually the second time a rabbit has appeared. Alice entered another world when she passed through the looking glass. Nothing there was as it seemed.

I also wonder about how the Dharma genocide was hidden from the outside world since it appears that the Initiative had regular contact.

This show just keeps getting better. Is this the same one we were watching at the end of last year?

Posted by: Brandybuck | May 10, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Re: No dead children.

Could that be because no new children were on the island and those that were grew up?

Posted by: Kim | May 10, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Jen, count me in as one who thinks Jacob is or is some form of Locke. I think Ben, already fearful of Locke's potential overthrow of his leadership, felt threatened once he realized John could "hear" Jacob and that is why he shot him- I don't think John Locke is dead.
Wow this was a great ep- the background on Dharma, Ben, the non-aging, goodlooking Richard, Annie. My observations about last night's show:
-Kate's stupidity, while infuriating, moves the plot along (loved it when Sayid told her "of course you don't know" where Jack is.
-I wonder if Ben was born Portland, ME. instead of Oregon.
-The others don't like Mihkail. There was little response (except from Ben)when he said Locke tried to kill him and no assistance when Locke was punching his
lights out.
-lil Alex Rosseau gave the gun to Locke to fend himself from Ben; not Jacob.

Posted by: plamar1031 | May 10, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

One more supporting argument for the island's healing only affecting non-murderers...Ben only permitted John to return if John had first killed his father, therefore rendering John mortal and killable. So as it stands at the end of the episode, Ben is expecting John to die in the mass grave, but to Ben's surprise he will not because Sawyer killed John's father instead.

Posted by: Cimplify, Fairfax VA | May 10, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I think there's been some talk about what's all that on Jacob's head; a good deal of it looks like plain old hair, but there's a big uneven raggedy patch, maybe, along the side of his head, and is it actually a monkey or a parrot or a bullet wound or something. Well -- this seem like a goofy line of thought, but I was just looking up the Bible stories of Jacob and Esau (had to look it up, I'm not religious), and there's that bit about how the smooth-skinned Jacob managed to swipe his father's blessing, intended for his hairy brother Esau, by covering himself in hairy goatskins and posing as Esau. Then I thought, maybe that'll correspond to some future tension between smooth-headed Locke and his twin, Jacob, who wears a bad toupee, but that seems silly.

Posted by: HJA | May 10, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I may just be being dense here but I was under the impression that Ben could see Jacob - he seemed very surprised when Locke couldn't see him. (Unless of course he was just pretending to see or hear him, but thats another topic.) But if Jacob was actually Locke, or looked like Locke, wouldn't Ben notice that and make the connection?

Posted by: 1234 | May 10, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Ben shaming Locke last week about killing his father was part of the power-struggle. "See," Ben was communicating, "I sacrificed all my ties to be with you, but this man can't, clearly he isn't the One (who will replace me)." Fits in with Ben trying to kill Locke because he can hear Jacob too (before he's "ready" even).

Also, I think the man in the chair is Gene Kelly. All that stuff exploding was part of a dynamic and creative tap routine. AND he died off the island.

Posted by: re: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Kate is rapidly moving up the "LOST characters I want to die" list, she's now right behind Charlie.

Posted by: Kim | May 10, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone out there in the Lost blogosphere have the full audio from the Dharma video that was playing during young Ben's in-processing? It continues playing in the background while other things are going on in the scene. I could hear parts of it - he's talking about the properties of the island, etc., but couldn't make out all of it.

Posted by: Lisa | May 10, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if anyone said this already, but here goes:

Is it possible that "Annie", since we never see her with any parental figures (from what I remember) was some manifestation of Ben's mother??? His mother did appear outside his window, INSIDE the camp, so it's quite possible that the sonic-fence is not actually keeping smokey out. Smokey appears as what people desperately want, so maybe Annie is Ben's mother as a child, and when she gives him the bday gift in spite of his Dad even caring or remembering, maybe it's smokey beginning to build a relationship with Ben who, like Locke, seems to share a rather personal relationship with the island.

Posted by: JoJo | May 10, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Maine requires front plates. I am almost certain it's Oregon. I'm from Maine, and the vegetation didn't look like the Northeast.

Posted by: Sarah | May 10, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Kelli...what is up with every character on this show having father issues? Jack, Locke, Ben, Sawyer, Kate, Claire (Jack's Dad is her Dad!), Sun, Hurley...

Also, I still have questions about Dharma. Where did the guy come from who was the original button-pusher in the hatch before Desmond? Was he one of the original Dharma people or one of the hostiles?

Posted by: LostinDupont | May 10, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

LostinDupont, I was wondering the same thing - maybe if he was in the hatch he was never gassed like the rest of Dharma.

Posted by: ? | May 10, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

McPatchy:

I wondered about Mikhail and the jump suit also. Maybe there were several Dharma-ites who jumped the fence and sided with the Hostiles, and he is one.

He wears the suit because someone on the outside is still supplying the island.Seeing a Dharma-looking-dude on the telly at the communications station was the Other's way of ensuring they would continue to get supplies.

Posted by: LostieLostie | May 10, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The LOST Experience game revealed the fountain of youth effect of the island months ago. Remember the doctor from The LOST Experience, who discovered the equation? When they caught up with him on the island he should have aged 20 years but hadn't.

Posted by: cat4everrr | May 10, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

One issue that is bubbling under the principal story last night was the notion of the "factions" of Others. Cuse and Lindeloff have both said the Other factions would become more apparent over these last few episodes.

The scene between Ben and Richard probably had to do with this internal rift -- Ben told Locke about the tape and the plan, and had to presume that he would inform the losties. Perhaps Ben does not like Richard, and is setting a trap to "purge" the Others in a brawl with the Losties.

It seems that Tom will have some sort of important role to play in the factional struggle and with interactions with the Losties (he seemed to like Jack enough to toss a football around).

Oh, and I thought JAcob looked like Kristofferson, too!

Posted by: LostieLostie | May 10, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey, how come Rousseau and Ben could have a kid on the island, did I miss something there?

Posted by: Donnie | May 10, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Re: "I'm from Maine, and the vegetation didn't look like the Northeast."
They shoot the entire show in Hawaii... even the scenes in Korea are really just downtown Honolulu. Though they try to hide the palm trees, etc, but they definitely don't shoot on location... So you can't put too much stock in the vegetation clue-ing you into the location.

That said, though, I also think Ben was born in Portland, OR, not ME. Unless there's some big twist involved, it really seems random that they would all of a sudden move things to Portland, ME, and be trying to create confusion or a connection there... I think that theory is trying too hard.

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

LostinDupont

The Hatch crew was set off in isolation from everything else, as the good Dr. said in one of those film clips. They may have been missed by the purge, or more likely, the Hostiles knew what the station did, and let the chumps there keep running it.

Posted by: LostieLostie | May 10, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Locke is probably dead. Kristen from E! revealed in a recent interview that he sold his house in Hawaii

Posted by: cat4everrr | May 10, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Mikhail also healed, but he killed (supposedly) Mrs. Klugh. And Kelvin was then man in the hatch before Desmond. Kelvin killed the man who was there before him, and I believe Kelvin even appeared in a flashback (maybe Sayid's?), meaning that he was not a native of the Island.

Posted by: S | May 10, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

so, this is not a fully formed theory, but I am thinking that ben holds some power over jacob. it seems as though jacob is some manifestation of the power of the island. ben is "special" like locke and walt, but still does not fully understand the power of the island. he is only connected enough to somehow wield power over jacob. I think he may not have control over whether he sees or hears jacob. if jacob asked locke to help him, I think that it might be possible that jacob also needs to be rescued from the clutches of the others.

another half theory: dying mothers and the "black box":
since john locke somehow "summoned" his father to the island through this metaphorical black box, does that mean that it is possible for these special people to create happenings on the island? could it be possible that ben's trauma of his mother's death has somehow manifested itself on the island. could ben be causing this occurance through some telekenetic power over which he only maybe has control?

Posted by: 1:30 | May 10, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

When did Mount Saint Helens blow, anyway?

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Donnie:

There is really nothing that says Ben and Rousseau have a daughter together. Rousseau says she was pregnant while on a science mission, boat crashed, etc. She had the baby on island. When the baby, Alex, was a week old she was kidnapped. That's the story anyhow.

Posted by: Tricia | May 10, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Re: S: "Mikhail also healed"

I thought Mikhail made a comment upon his return, in reaction to Ben saying, "I thought you were dead", to the effect of, "Nope, not dead, it was a good thing the fence power was turned down". I took that to mean that Mikhail faked his freakout/death... it may have hurt him and made him foam, etc, but he was exaggerating the injury, and faking the death for the Losties. I may have heard him wrong, he's got a tough accent to decipher sometimes :)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Mts St. Helens erupted in May 1980

Posted by: LostieLostie | May 10, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Re: Rousseau, Alex, Ben:

To further Tricia's explanation... beyond Alex looking a lot like Rousseau and being of the proper age, we really don't have further evidence that it's really Rousseau's daughter at all, right?

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

1:30 et. al.

YES! I think there's something to be said about whether we create our gods or they create us. Or, once we agree that there is a higher power, we try to use that power to our advantage--whether consciously or unconsciously. But the gods fight back.

I know this may disturb some people, but I think it's a brilliant tact for the show to take. It raises all sorts of interesting questions, dilemas, and contradictions.

That's Lost!

Posted by: Nathan | May 10, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Lost at Work:

And they have the same name. However, good point on that. We do all assume (at least I do) that it is the same Alex, but who knows?

Posted by: Tricia | May 10, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

As to non-murderers being immortal on the island, and that is why Richard has not aged: Didn't he murder Juliet's ex-husband by arranging to have him hit by a bus? Does murder only count if it is physically by one's own hands?

Posted by: gigi | May 10, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Just because it's interesting, not because it means anything! Ben's mother was played by Michael Emerson's (actor who portrays Ben) wife.

http://lostpedia.com/wiki/Emily_%28The_Man_Behind_the_Curtain%29

Posted by: Fairfax | May 10, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey All-

1. Here is my thought about Annie: I would not be surprised if we see another flashback of Ben, and find out that Annie dies a youthful death at childbirth with Ben's baby, followed shortly by the Purge, and then Ben steals Danielle's baby and raises Alex as his own to compensate his grief for Annie, the baby, and how he was raised.

2. I think John is dead - Eko said he is next and the writers have been pretty good about limiting the double meanings, and so far, not one has been formally ressurrected. Patchy was a decoy, and the ghosts are yet to be explained. (Ben's mom, Jack's dad, Eko's brother, or Locke's dream for that matter)

3. The year end surprise: My prediction is that Jack turns evil and joins Ben. Remember Locke's dream?

Posted by: dr | May 10, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Mikhail faked his death, I just think it's kind of a Wolverine thing -- nonmortal wounds will heal quickly, but a mortal wound is a mortal wound.

Posted by: S | May 10, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"Remember Locke's dream?" Can you refresh our memories? I don't remember this, but there's a lot I don't remember!

Posted by: Help me, Doc | May 10, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Batmanuel!!!!!

Posted by: Ard | May 10, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Wait, no - what was Locke's dream??

Posted by: Laney | May 10, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

How about the fact that Uncle Rizo was trying to go back in time to recapture stolen youth?

Posted by: Roger Workman | May 10, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we know even half the story about the Dharma initiative.

Doesn't it seem odd that they had such a low bar for accepting applicants to the island? I men Uncle Rizo was no great catch. Pretty much a loser with no interest in what was going on there.

Ah, but maybe the Dharma people were really interested in Ben all along.

Any thoughts?

Posted by: Nathan | May 10, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Locke's Dream: ie. Locke in the hut with juju grease on his chest, hallucinating, where Boone appears and tells him Jack is in trouble.

Posted by: dr | May 10, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the island gives certain people telekinetic and other powers. Ben feels guilty about killing his mother, so the island manifests that guilt by killing all pregnant women. Walt created the polar bear, and Eko's guilt about his brother created the smoke monster.

Posted by: L. in Yonkers | May 10, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

is it possible that jacob or some other power on the island can summon people? do you think that the losties with all of their freaky connections have a connection to the island and were specifically brought there by jacob/some other island power. john locke has thought almost the entire time that he was brought there or that he is there for a reason. I just don't think it can be a coincidence that they all ended up on that plane.

Posted by: jacob have I loved | May 10, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Simple Story Line:
Jacob and Co. exist on the island first.
Jacob does not like technology.
Dharma shows up with high tech, futuristic stuff, but miss the mark whenit comes to saving the world (Bad guys, greedy, selfish, wasteful, )
Jacob and Co. become the hostiles and purge.
Ben is a survivor.
Damon and Carlton are Mark Brunette. :)

Posted by: dr | May 10, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

So the island is some kind of Shangri-La and all is well as long as you stay there, but once you leave . . . like Rip van Winkle aeons have passed and you turn into a pile of dust or something. Yes, maybe.

I thought that the dust around Jacob's cabin was probably from a crematory - and that's why Locke sniffed it - because I thought that was a bone by his foot in the shot of the dust. A crematorium just might tie into Eternal Youth. Have you seen a Chinese horror film entitled "Dumplings" by Fruit Chan? There might be another, er stem cell research, reason the Others snatch children.

I thought last night's episode was very Brave New Worldish myself. Roger Work Man was a Delta Minus if I ever saw one. And I strongly suspect that the Dharma beer was just the "Lost" version of soma.

John Locke is very much John the Savage - neither fitting in to the "old" world or the "modern".

I've never read Huxley's "Island", but I understand it was greatly influenced by the various psychedelics he was taking at the time. I do know that the central notion is of a shipwrecked Westerner who lands on a Buddhist island somewhere around Sumatra and their attemps to construct an East-West culture that blends the best of both. In that story there's apparently a neighboring island where the "insane" neighbors want to steal the natural resources of the Island.

Huxley's Island folk also take magic mushrooms - which would make you see dead people, smoke monsters and who knows what else.

Posted by: Jean | May 10, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I ABSOLUTELY thought that Jacob looked like Kris Kristoferson.

I find it interesting that Ben trusted these "hostiles" or "others" with very little knowledge of who or what they are (so we've seen so far), but yet doens't trust all these new people who have landed on the island. Clearly, he's not one for great gestures of welcoming, but it seems strange that he treats the Losties as others.

The "Hostiles" are always there, looming, and for all we know, terrorizing the DHARMA people (this could be totally wrong, but bare with me); but why must Ben and the Others terrorize the Losties?

Also, with Richard....thinking of timing, if Juliet was recruited by him and she has spent three years on the island, then the event wtih the gassing happened no less than 3 years ago in the timeline of the show.

Just wondering if the old famous number sequence has anythign to do with anything anymore?! The number sequence for the security gate wasn't the same, but they've made such a big deal about the sequence that I'm expecting it to come back big time at some point.

Posted by: EricGewiz | May 10, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

About using poison gas on people in the open air. They had that one worked out in the early 20th century. Remember World War I?

Posted by: thrh | May 10, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The Smoke Monster has always looked more like the Swirling Gray Dirt Monster to me. Could the line of volcanic ash essentially be the stuff that gets swirled into a manifestation of the monster?

Posted by: JJ | May 10, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Not positive, but I think the orientation video that they were showing said that the security code on the gate changed every day and the would get a new number each morning. I wonder why they needed to change it daily? Maybe to keep the hostiles from breaking the code?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I looked at replays of the scene with Jacob as well. It looks to me that there are a couple of things going on. First, when the floor sets ablaze, the way the camera moves looks as though Locke looks at his own self across from the fire. Next, when Ben is pushed against the wall and the camera moves to the chair, the silhoetted figure looks like Ben (look at the hair).

I think Jacob takes on the form of different people. Just a theory...


Posted by: Ray | May 10, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

http://losteastereggs.blogspot.com/2007/05/11-frames-of-jacob.html

The Jacob screen shots have been enhanced a few times.... I still think it looks like Dennis Hopper :)

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I think the black powder/ash around Jacob's house was what we see as Smokie... Jacob is Smokie when he is not taking the form of someone's dead relative. I also think that Ben is somehow causing the deaths at childbirth, sort of a self-fullfilling prophesy/obsession resulting from the guilt trips his father inflicted upon him. Cool episode.

Posted by: Smoke Theory | May 10, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

While Ben didn't care to think much of the grey line on teh ground, I'm glad Locke did. I think that it's a long line of somethign explosive, leading up to Rousseau's dynamite. If Ben didnt' recognize it, I chalk it up to him not caring at the moment, since he was ont eh way to see Jacob.

Posted by: EricGewiz | May 10, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

RE: Theory that Locke is somehow "pure" because he has not killed his father.

Locke DID kill his father...he manipulated someone else into doing it, though. He's NOT "pure" at all.....

Posted by: Pinky | May 10, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"About using poison gas on people in the open air. They had that one worked out in the early 20th century. Remember World War I?"

Of course ... and they used massive industrial means to manufacture it and a full-scale military machine to deliver it. How do you suppose our barefoot invaders managed to do that?

Posted by: Nan | May 10, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

FYI, you can be immortal and yet be killed. It just means you won't die of natural causes, but your life can still be taken from you.

Posted by: Ryan | May 10, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually, chlorine and mustard gas are pretty easy. Besides, the cannister Ben used on his father had the Dharma logo on it.

Posted by: thrh | May 10, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

wow, "Lost At Work", those screen edits are helpful. Definitely not Ben. You know, the video enhancement does look alot like Dennis Hopper :)

Posted by: Ray | May 10, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ben, don't forget to feed Tina!

Posted by: bklyn | May 10, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that most of the people were somewhere inside when the canisters were set off and some ran outside to get fresh air, but it was already too late for them.

Wiki has an interesting page on volcanic ash. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanic_ash It says dust clouds can affect electricity and also interfere with plane engines.

Posted by: Elsie | May 10, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I think it was Portland, OR, which does require front plates, but the landscape looked a lot like areas west of the western suburbs. You could mimic this in Hawaii with careful staging and editing, especially if you're familiar with the Portland area to begin with. (I grew up in PDX and have visited Kauai - the similarities are subtle but there.)

I don't think Ben killed the Dharma people, just his father. The Hostiles killed the Dharma folks when they saw Ben kill his dad. Maybe they rescued the children first; wouldn't be hard if they were in school.

I don't think there's a literal black box that makes things happen, Ben himself said it's a metaphor, perhaps it's just that Ben somehow has connection with the outside world with the power and resources to Make Things Happen. Remember how he had footage of Juliet's sister and her baby? And Richard and Ethan were both off- and on- island. There's an organization that is supporting them, which provides for all the food, as well as new "personnel" if you like. Of course, how they communicate since the communication station was blown up is a mystery to me. Must be the same place where they get batteries for hand-held tape recorders.

I think Mikhail is a left-over Dharma guy; hthe people at the communications station weren't killed, and the Hostiles let them alone as long as they stayed in their own area. Wasn't that implied earlier?

A seed for thought: remember the brainwashing scene: "God loved you as he loved Jacob"

Posted by: knitterterri | May 10, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

About the gassing... this seems to be a method the Others/Hostiles like to use to make a group of people "disappear" like when they gassed Kate before they packed up and left. Remember, Juliet had a gas mask during her last meeting with Ben before the Exodus so maybe they use this sort of tactic frequently (though not always with deadly gasses).

Speaking of Exodus and other Biblical imagery... remember when Juliet told Sawyer to turn over the tape Locke gave him. Ben instructed her to "mark" the tents of any women whom she knew to be pregnant so they would know to take them during the raid.
Just another interesting observation...

Posted by: gassy | May 10, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I have questions:

- When Alpert "accidentally" met Ben in the jungle as a kid, he knew his name already, didn't he? How?

- If you are immortal and have the powers that he's implied to have (reading people's minds, etc.), why do you let a mere mortal like Ben be in charge? It seems like Alpert is doing Ben's bidding, isn't he? If he's been around a while and is older/wiser, seems he'd be the head guy.

Maybe I missed this (no DVR) but I don't think Ben knew anything about the gassing of Dharma, I think the others told Ben how to kill Uncle Rico in such a way that he would be saved from the attack on everyone else, protecting him without divulging their plan. So Ben thinks killing one's father is part of some initiation scheme, but maybe it isn't.

Awesome episode. Hope Locke's not dead! I was going to say I wouldn't put too much faith in Kristen from E! since sometimes the producers will lead her intentionally astray (so she'll tell the fans wrong info) but TOQ's house in Hawaii IS up for sale :-( I did a little investigative work (stalking?) and it is indeed true. This does not look good for our boy Locke...

Posted by: stalker | May 10, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"My guess is that most of the people were somewhere inside when the canisters were set off and some ran outside to get fresh air, but it was already too late for them."

I suppose that's possible, Elsie. Those little Dharma canisters in an enclosed space (like a car) would be plausible. Great clouds of mustard gas -- ridiculous.

So ... any theories about the jars of goop at Jacob's house?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

All these "Jacob looks like Kris Kristofferson" comments make me think of "Millenium", a movie starring Kristofferson where people from the future "save" people about to die in a plane crash by teleporting their bodies somewhere and replacing them on the plane with dead body replicas of those on the plane. Sound like an interesting theory to explain why Naomi thinks Flight 815 was found with no survivors?

Posted by: Dan | May 10, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Re: knitterterri

I think Ben went with his father to kill him personally. He checked his watch to see what time it was before he let out the gas. Did anyone catch the time? And why did he walk back to camp? What happened to the people in the Pearl that were supposed to be getting beer?

Posted by: The Watchman | May 10, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe TOC decided to sell his house when he learned they'll only be shooting 16 episodes next year?

Posted by: Elsie | May 10, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Mt St Helens errupted May 18, 1980 at 8:32 am. I just watched the Pearl Station orientation film again and noticed that the copyright date is 1980. Is there anyone clever with calendars who can figure out if there is a mathematical forumla that equates the date to The Numbers?

Posted by: knitterterri | May 10, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Well looks like my Hurley/Jacob theory is out the window. The last time I let my Dog tell me what she thinks ;-)

First off, GREAT episode...could have been a season ender if they wanted.

Secondly, I'll go back to tell people to carefully watch the tease for next week's episode that airs at the end of this one. In between each sceene change there is one frame of black followed by one frame of white.

This builds on the whole "good v. evil" theme that has been discussed here in the past.

Are the "Others" the black (bad) or is it the "Losties". Entirely depends on which side of the coin/island you're looking from

Posted by: Black Box Finder | May 10, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Ben's watch read 4:00

Posted by: time | May 10, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

If women die before their third trimester, then the baby probably does not survive. Ben may have kidnapped Alex from Rousseau as some kind of proof to his people that he was able to overcome that curse of the island. Maybe Ben and Rousseau are the only people (besides the Losties) who know that Alex is not really his. The kidnapping could have been some kind of proof of his power, but he faked it.

Posted by: lac | May 10, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I just came across a fascinating connection on another blog (http://www.lost4815162342.com/?p=94) that shows how a picture in Ben's place seems to have an image of Locke's former fiancee, Helen (not to be confused with Mt. St. Helens?). That raises the possibility that his ex is one of those time-manipulating "special" people like those who steered desmond to the island.

Posted by: Cimplify, Fairfax VA | May 10, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

GAH! Locke dies instead of Charlie. IF people sort of like a character the writers kill the character off.
I can now tell you the ending:

Charlie wakes up as a Hobbit and has simply dreamed the Lost Episodes - sort of like a Bob Newhart Show-Newhart Show disgusting inside joke. He vows never again to drink the Hobbit mead. He ends up marrying Suzanne Pleshette as a Hobbit!?
Bob Newhart makes a guest appearance as a bumbling Jacob-the Librarian. HA! ( just to ruin it for everybody!? )

Anyway the old saw about the Others ( now the Hostiles! ) never killing anybody is finally dead ( pun! ) Also the Others still seem to be really wimpish as they let Locke beat up the Roo-sky. Perhaps Ben is in charge because he can pull a trigger or a gas cartridge pin.

Anyway we will finally see some military action as the Hostiles assault the Lostie camp to seize the pregnant women and 100 Losties finally get to jump all over the Hostiles! in an ambush!!

Also when will the losties get enough sense to take over the Ryan Homes Communities of the Dharma/Others/Hostiles??
Perhaps after the slam-bang all-out attack and ambush of the season ending finale.

Ben ends up running through the jungle with Sayyid and sawyer hot on his trail!!; after the Hostiles are repulsed and captured wholesale.

Posted by: NoCharlie | May 10, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Ben's watch said 4:00:15 - 4:00:16... numbers, anyone?

Posted by: saffron city | May 10, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Note all the patricide going about (Locke, Ben, Kate, etc.). Alex is the latest example. Ben is probably NOT her real father; but she doesn't know it. Maybe we should all reread Oedipus Rex and Freud's commentaries on it?

Posted by: thrh | May 10, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

What I d_o think is that, speaking of all those time shifts and curves of the island, Jacob is Locke himself on a different time plane (parallel development? who knows).

Posted by: Tatiana | May 10, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Who is the bearded man at the end of this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87iY776hcsA

Posted by: blahblahblah | May 10, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I didn't mean to be so cryptic about Alex. I think she gave Locke the pistol so he would kill Ben, not to protect himself from Jacob.

Posted by: thrh | May 10, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Cimplify:

I'm pretty sure that painting is supposed to be Ben's mom, not Helen.

Posted by: Tricia | May 10, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Thinking ghosts: My SO thinks Jacob is the captain of the old slave ship, or maybe his spirit. I'm just waiting to find out his full name is Jacob Marley (cf. Dickens, "A Christmas Carol") and he's doomed to an eternity on the island for his sins!

Lostpedia references several dreams of Locke's, but I'm not sure what dr is referring to.

Posted by: ULostMe | May 10, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Random speculation:

Clear that Richard is somehow resistant to age -- immortal due to island? Maybe even one of the pirates from the Black Pearl?

Can Ben talk to "Jacob" because he is NOT a "hostile" -- and his ability to see the dead (like his mom) and sort of dead (like Jacob) leads him to be the head of the hostiles? Did he get rid of Micheal because Micheal might also be "special"? Will it come back to bite Ben on the ass that Sawyer actually killed Locke's dad and not Locke?

Clearly hostiles like Richard and Ethan can move on and off the island and people like Juliet can be brought to the island.

Did the hostiles take over Dharma back in the states to cover up the mass murder and keep relatives from asking questions? Is that why food drops continue? Or are they trying to confuse the Losties with the food drops?

Kelvin -- Dharma or Hostile?

Best guess -- Jacob is somehow stuck between worlds. The ring of ashes (human or volcanic) around his hut is protection against the hostiles in some way. Ben & Locke can cross because they are not hostiles. Jacob wants some kind of help because Ben is a nutter who does not want to release him from whatever state he is in because it helps him maintain controll of the Hostiles. Jacob will reach out to Locke/Losties to help escape whatever state he is in.

I'm not at all convinced that Jacob=Locke. More likely, Hanso=Jacob.

Posted by: Teresa | May 10, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to see if Jacob is keeing Ben on the island, like Ben does to so many others (eg Juliet)

Posted by: EricGewiz | May 10, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

OK It's really late and I haven't read anyone's comments, so let me apologize for saying something stupid in advance!

The Hostiles set Ben up to kill his father. Ben set John up to kill his father, and when he didn't he "wasn't the one they thought he was." They're looking for a messiah who kills his father. Will it be Sawyer? Maybe Walt?

Horace's girlfriend looked just like Ben's mother - coincidence?

Loved the ghost story aspect - I'm so tired of the linear storytelling, I like when it goes off on a tangent! Sorry, but I miss the polar bears.

Posted by: I'm Late! | May 10, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

If Ben believes that the tape with the instructions to mark the tents was not taken to Juliet as he intended (Richard did tell him he never got it), why would he take the Others on the raid and look for marked tents? Unless Ben knows/suspects Locke took the tape back to the losties, he would think she didn't get his message. And if he does know the losties have the tape, then he must want to walk the others into an ambush.

Posted by: S | May 10, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

The Godspeed (Jamestown) was also a brigantine.

Posted by: re: Godspeed | May 10, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Blah,Blah,Blah:

The video appears to be a fake (if you read the YouTube comments). Still really cool though!

Posted by: Black Box Finder | May 10, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Maine does require front license plates, but I'm sure they felt they could take a little poetic license (no pun intended) on that one. I like the idea that it could be a Stephen King tie in, although if it were a true King reference, the sign would have read Bangor, but that would totally have thrown off the whole Portland, OR tie in. I think it was Portland Oregon, since that has so much to do with the show already.

Posted by: Re: Tricia | May 10, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Just went back (it's a slow day today at the office) and found the pearl orientation video and the swan orientation video. They are a year apart in copyrights (swan 1980/Pearl 1981). Doesn't that seem a little odd in terms of the program? It seems that they should have been made at the same time. Furthermore in the Swan video they talk about an "accident" that ocured when the button wasn't pushed every 108 min. Could that be what we saw last night from the perspective of the school kids in class?

Posted by: Black Box Finder | May 10, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I would not be surprised if the requirement for a front license plate has been introduced gradually in the various states, so it may be that neither Maine nor Oregon (nor any other) state required front plates in Ben's birth year. I think we're beating this one a bit too much to death.

Posted by: license plates | May 10, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

So on the wild theories side, how about Jacob is a soul that has been imprisoned on the island for some reason, the smoke monster is the guardian, and Ben is working on the fertility problem so that Jacob can possess the body and leave the island?

I couldn't help thinking of the quote from "Big Trouble in Little China",

Jack Burton: So you can go off and rule the universe from beyond the grave...
Lo Pan: Indeed!

Posted by: Anthony | May 10, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Aha, when Ben is telling Locke to turn off his flashlight before visiting Ben, he said "Jacob feels the same way about technology as you do." Which again supports that Jacob may John from a different time line...Yes, I'm watching the show a third time.

Posted by: Cimplify, Fairfax VA | May 10, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Jacob is not Hanso, because if you followed the Lost experience you find through the Norway video that Hanso has been under house arrest for about six years in Norway.

Posted by: roninmodern | May 10, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone think that there is any significance to the bodies of the gassed DHARMA workers not being buried per se, but being thrown in a hole and left uncovered?

1. For practical reasons I would think that covering the bodies would cut down on the stench that (I've heard) decomposing bodies put out... I mean, there must have been 30-40 bodies in there if that's the only DHARMA gravesite, that smell must have permeated the entire island.

2. We've heard the comment several times: "Nothing stays buried on the island." So is there any significance that the bodies were not actually buried?

I just thought it a bit odd that the grave was not closed... why not?

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see that there was one or two other comments on what the hell was that weird looking thing on Jacob's head? For most of the 11 still frames it looks like a monkey but there are one or two shots that it looks like the head of the Emperor from Star Wars. It made me think that Jacob is the smoke monster because we've seen faces floating in the smoke on the Eko episodes. And the evil looking fluid in the mason jars in Jacob's cabin reminded me of Howard Hughes (but maybe that's because I watched "The Aviator" recently). This episode really tripped my head out and it hurts. And to think the season finale is supposed to really turn things around. I am hopelessly -and gladly - Lost!

Posted by: dre7861 | May 10, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

So, did it occur to anyone else that Ben might be killing the pregnant women on the island himself? If he can't have his mother, then no one will have a mother...

Posted by: Boston Fan | May 10, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Am I remembering this wrong, or is Annie the name of Hurley's friend on the island (tailie with Ana Lucia) who he also was apparently in the mental facility with?

Posted by: polyester | May 10, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Boston Fan--whaat a sick and diabolical idea that Ben may be killing the pregnant women himself. I like it!

Posted by: Elsie | May 10, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the (volcanic?) dust and the goop in jars keeps Jacob trapped in that deteriorating shed ... and that somehow Ben has harnessed Jacob's powers for the forces of evil.

And I'll ask again ... can anyone tell me if we ever found out why Hurley was being interviewed on TV in South Korea that we saw in season 1?

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

polyester - Hurley's girlfriend's name was Libby.

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

"I wish you'd quit looking at me like that, Benjamin"

I wish you'd die and shut-up!"

Posted by: Uncle Rico | May 10, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

How long ago did The Hostiles/Others gas DHARMA? 10 yrs ago? earlier? later?

So if the Others began manning the DHARMA stations as some sort of decoy or otherwise so as not to alert DHARMA managment or whatever off the island, what does that say about Desmond and his partner in the Hatch? Desmond has only been on the island for 2-3 years, right? The hatch partner kept leaving Desmond alone in the hatch when he went outside, so possibly the partner was an Other, but never clued Desmond in, but if you're not going to brainwash Desmond to become an Other, why keep him around? If it was just to push the buttom, why leave his partner (sorry, I've totally blanked on the name) in there with him, why not put Desmond in and bring the partner back to the main village (stage his death or something)?

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 10, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Desmond's predecessor was Kelvin Joe Inman. I think they were meant to have teams pushing the button. After all, how long could any person stay awake to push a button every 108 minutes? You couldn't get any decent REM sleep and would go nuts before too long, I'd think. And Kelvin's partner, Radzinsky, did commit suicide. As to their relationship to Dharma or the hostiles, I don't know. But Radzinsky did begin drawing the blast door map, so he wasn't familiar with the entire island or operation, was he?

Posted by: Elsie | May 10, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

You can't brainwash Desmond. He has lived through this existence more times than anyone. He pushed the button because it was his fate to bring the plain down. I think they played up his drama more before we knew he was resigned to that fate.

Posted by: Cimplify, Fairfax VA | May 10, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

SCS, from earlier today -- I think I totally get why Ben doesn't like the book "Carrie" -- it's because the title character from that book had, like Ben, a perfectly awful upbringing, and was "special" -- as we imagine Ben thinks himself to be -- and she nevertheless does not become a sympathetic underdog who makes good, like Harry Potter. Instead, like Ben, she becomes a mass murderer (Ben was perhaps only complicit in mass murder, but still), one who even kills people like . . . the gym teacher, in the case of Carrie? Is that right? Who were not awful to her . . . a large part of the sophistication of "Carrie" is that it is not sentimental in the pop fiction way, suggesting that a person who endures a great deal must necessarily end up being more sensitive and heroic than most, but might in fact end up mean, like Ben. This is not something that Ben especially enjoys hearing. Oh, plus both Ben and Carrie killed a parent, maybe that's enough right there.

Posted by: HJA | May 10, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Let me put out a partial list here:

Locke had a bad father.
Jack had a bad father.
Ben had a bad father.
Kate had a bad father.
Gin had a bad father.
Oh, right, Hurley had a bad father.
And Sawyer?

I acknowledge different degrees of badness, but still . . .

I think the show's creators got some 'splainin' to do.

Posted by: Alan | May 10, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm still confused as to why/how Desmond got on the Island in the first place. I know he has a story about sailing and getting stranded, but knowing how much there is to his character now, I feel like there is something else to his story. Also, why if the Dharma people were wiped out, did the button/hatch etc. have to keep being pushed and occupied. Why was desmond down there if the initiative was essentially over and the hostiles were free to roam. Were the "hostile" now others truly afraid of what might have happened if it wasn't pressed. This doesn't seem to make sense to me.

There is just too much to try and logically rationalize in any linear way, there has to be some ultimate supernatural element to all of this. I still think that everything about the island isn't what it seems. They all could be dead, stuck in some space/time hole or alternate earth. There is no way that all those people really survived a plane crash like the one they were in under normal circumstances.

Posted by: Kevin | May 10, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

And I'll ask again ... can anyone tell me if we ever found out why Hurley was being interviewed on TV in South Korea that we saw in season 1?

Posted by: chicago | May 10, 2007 08:12 PM

I can answer that one

That was the bit we saw either last season or earlier this one, the reporter was interviewing Hurley at the fast food place he was working at when he won the lottery

The reporter was Korean, and at one point, she was hit by a meteor-that's why the interview was run in S. Korea, not because he won the lottery, but because the reporter was Korean and died in such a spectacular way

Posted by: KingCranky | May 10, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Jin did not have a bad father. His father is a fisherman, which is something that would embarass Jin. Jin had a bad mother.

Sun had a father that made Jin beat people up, but does that make him a bad father to Sun growing up?

Posted by: lac | May 11, 2007 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Whitney Matheson's excellent blog is called PopCandy. Send her flowers.

Posted by: Pedro D | May 11, 2007 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Alan: Yes, Daddy issues... bad fathers, absent fathers, patricide... thanks for bringing that up, cause certainly no one else has.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Okay, no-name at 8:13 a.m., I'm stupid on the daddy issues. I admit it.

Am I stupid on this too? Have people already suggested here that the people who killed the Dharma folk are survivors of the old boat found on the island? Perhaps they ran aground on the island when it was much smaller, before volcanic activity enlarged it. And that they are somehow immortal?

I'm a recent participant in this thread and, though I like "Lost," I haven't followed it everywhere. I don't know all the extant theories about who's who and what's what.

But I don't mind being reminded I'm obvious. It's all in good fun.

Posted by: Alan | May 11, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

If the hostiles are immortal and the original crew of the Black Rock, was Miss Klugh a slave on the Black Rock?

Posted by: Faye | May 11, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I think I have it...

Richard is the formal name for Dick.. Richard is Dick Clark! Hence the slow aging process...

Perhaps more seriously.. it's obvious we need a back story on Richard. I found the two interactions between Richard and Ben interesting. When Ben first briefly met Richard, it seemed Richard was trying to impart some knowledge or wisdom to Ben. Yet by the time of the second (revealed) interaction, Ben and Richard were potrayed as on equal ground (or maybe even Richard beneath Ben - i.e. asking Ben what he wanted to do with his father's remains)...

Posted by: Lost Viewer | May 11, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Jin's father is a Prince. He is a humble man who raised a child he could not even be certain was his biological child! Jin keeps him a secret because he has "married up" in the world. There are huge socio-economic class differences between the fisherman and the gang boss. Jin's father was very nice to Sun when she came to find & meet him. And even Sun's father went ahead and allowed her to marry "down". He could have just had Jin rubbed out - but I think he cared enough about his daughter to let her have what she wanted, Jin. So while they may all have parental "issues" - it is not necessarily that their parents are "bad".

Posted by: Jean | May 11, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Two words:

Lazlo Hollyfeld

Posted by: Sixagon | May 11, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Alan, Good point about the slave ship survivors, although seems like there would be more blacks on the island, but maybe they were left in the boat. In the screen shots of Jacob, he's wearing what appear to be 18th century-type clothes, so he may be related to the ship in some way. Maybe that's why so many black characters had to die on this island - hah! Jacob's a racist ghost.
Also - what was the picture on Jacob's wall - a polar bear? A Yeti?

Posted by: Hungover | May 11, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we definitively know who Jin's real father is... for all we know, he killed him in one of his mafia hits and/or he shares a father with another one of the losties. The way things are going, I'm sure his father issue will pop up sooner or later, we're just not that far into the plot progression yet. Ditto with Charlie (who hasn't had a back story in quite a while and must be due for one soon)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"The reporter was Korean, and at one point, she was hit by a meteor-that's why the interview was run in S. Korea, not because he won the lottery, but because the reporter was Korean and died in such a spectacular way."

Tricia Tanaka was not Korean. She was Japanese.

The meteor plus the lottery win would make that story interesting enough to be featured around the world, even if Hurley himself was not in Korea.


Posted by: Nan | May 11, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I for one was incredibly happy to see Locke get the upper hand on Ben. After last week I was convinced that Ben and Richard were working together to trick Locke into making an irreversible mistake, but I guess there was less to this story than it seemed.

In my opinion, if Locke was going to die, Ben would have shot him in the head rather than the gut. Why go for a slow lingering death when they can extract the maximum amount of drama from the situation? If Locke dies slowly over the course of next week's episode, it will be anticlimactic unless it comes with one heck of a reveal (I'm thinking Simon on "Lord of the Flies"). Also, Ben's taunt "I hope Jacob can save you" sounds unintentionally prophetic to me.

I am guessing that Locke will be saved either by the smoke monster (Jacob?) or by Rousseau. To the writers: please please please please don't kill off Locke...

Finally, re the White Rabbit references. Season 1 episode 5 was officially titled "White Rabbit." This is the episode where Jack sees a vision of his dead father, and this vision ultimately leads him to the cave which contains their water source (and the dead bodies of Adam and Eve, but that's another story). These two episodes share a common theme (protagonist chases a vision of his dead parent which leads him to a moment of fate), so the white rabbit references in this week's episode (the dress, the white rabbit) are there to make sure we get the point.

I keep coming back to the white rabbit references in The Matrix, where the rabbit hole is actually a bridge to another level of consciousness which makes the previous level seem like a dream. Kind of like the rabbit hole the Losties went through to get from the real earth to here when the plane crashed. Not to get too deep here, but this is a death metaphor (the idea of waking up in another arena of consciousness and looking back on your past life). Having said that, I do believe that the Losties are all ALIVE...

Steve

Posted by: Steve | May 11, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Tricia Tanaka was not Korean. She was Japanese.

The meteor plus the lottery win would make that story interesting enough to be featured around the world, even if Hurley himself was not in Korea.


D'OH!!

My bad, you're completely correct, and a meteor hitting a reporter would indeed get lots of airplay worldwide, no matter the poor reporter's nationality

Posted by: KingCranky | May 11, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

What if Cooper is such a good con-man that he convinced Locke that he is his father, when in fact, that was also a con. He did say 'you needed a father and I needed a kidney'.
So, Cooper is not really his dad.
Jacob is his real dad.

Posted by: What if... | May 11, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Great episode and thanks Liz for the frame-by-frame of jacob.

A few things:

Every since I learned about the pirate ship on the island I've been waiting for them to show up. Eko's brother's plane is there and his brother showed up. I'm thinking the Others sans Ben and the recruits are those pirates. Richard's clothes did not look modern in any way when he ran into young Benry. They looked much older than he was. A little Pirates of the Carribean me thinks. And now they have a sub to get off the island.

The ring of stuff around Jacob's hut might have been salt. It didn't look like salt but if it was salt, it is used to keep evil at bay. Surrounding Jacob's hut with salt may be a way to keep him in and thus his plea "Help me".

Ben was talking to Jacob but I agree with Locke, Jacob was not talking to Ben. Ben is insane. But Jacob is real. Locke DID hear Jacob while Ben did not. That is why Ben now feels even more threatened by Locke. Locke will live, he has to! But I think this was just a cliff hanger we will not see resolved until next season.

Has anyone wondered why the pirate ship has sooooo much dynamite on board? I think a long time ago they came to the island to destroy what was there, and failed.

Anyone noticed the very commnist nature of Dharma? No individualism, wearing uniforms and drab job titles? Not sure why it was this way, just noticing it. When Dharma began the cold war was raging.

Posted by: Sully | May 11, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

Good points about the Alice in Wonderland references. But remember, Naomi said they went to a specified coordinate given to her by Penny and there was the island. So its at a geographic point on the globe. Also birds migrated to the island. I'm convinced the island is a real place. I'm also convinced the Losties are really alive.

Posted by: Sully | May 11, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"What if Cooper is such a good con-man that he convinced Locke that he is his father, when in fact, that was also a con. He did say 'you needed a father and I needed a kidney'.
So, Cooper is not really his dad.
Jacob is his real dad."

Transplants require some biological matching, such as blood type. This is why relatives make good matches most of the time. Cooper could not have picked just anyone to con a kidney from. It makes sense that he would try to get one from his biological child.

Posted by: lac | May 11, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that if people had been on the island for hundreds of years, then they would not talk like us in 2007. They would use different accents and language.

Something we have not really discussed is Penny and the coordinates. If she has them and sent Naomi to find Desmond, then she is most likely going to be sending someone to find what happened to Naomi. Maybe that is what Naomi meant by "I am not alone," if that is what she really said. Naomi came from a ship nearby, so someone will probably be coming from the ship. Also, there is still left open the possibility that Penny shared those coordinates with other people besides those on the ship.

Posted by: lac | May 11, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked me if next week was the season finale, and while I was looking up the answer I ran across this...(under section 3.3 Season 3)

"According to executive producer Carlton Cuse the season finale will feature a showdown between Jack and Locke."

While I know its off of wikipedia...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_(TV_series)#Season_3
Just wonder if it was an inadvertent slip up by one of the producers before last nights episode had been completely written out.

Posted by: Clan | May 11, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The Hostiles (as opposed to the Others) are elves, abducting mortals into their time-slipped Elfland to perform bizarre experiments on them, just as elves have always done since the days of yore. (And elves are also responsible for UFO abductions. It's all elves, dude.) Must be elves have four-toed feet, too.

Posted by: Elfstone | May 11, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Jacob is the smoke monster. He came to Ben in the form of his mother just as he came to Mr. Ecko in the form of his brother. The real question is, who controls or persuades the smoke monster. Ben make have the power right now but Lock may be on the verge of gaining that power. this may be the reason for Jacob asking Locke to help him as in help him not to be used by Ben. Another main issue is the Others and how they got to the island in the first place.

Posted by: Sampson | May 11, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Clan - from that link you sent, it looks like Penny is going to be in the finale...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Through_the_Looking_Glass_%28Lost%29

Sweet!!

Posted by: Fairfax | May 11, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey all

I posted something about two weeks ago with the Lost threads here

Namely

There are two islands, as we found out when Sawyer, Kate, Ben's kid and her boyfriend escaped from the Others compound

So, what if the rejuvenations of life are on one of the islands, and it's lethal for women to get pregnant on the other?

Which of the two islands is the one that had the giant statue's foot on it, and what does that imply about what's still to come for the last three seasons of the show?

Who else thinks Juliet is playing everyone, Ben, Jack, the whole crews?

Regarding the Smoke creation, we know it can be restrained by the security perimeter, but the mechanical sounds it makes when it's about to appear-the industrial whistle, the chains being pulled-seems to me that someone or something can release it from wherever it resides at, and as the major mystery on the island, I think this will be the real wild-card for the rest of the series

If, as was speculated above, that only those who haven't killed anyone can come back to life-on whichever of the two islands that can happen on-then we might see Hurley's love come back at some point as well, although I'd also LOVE to see Ana Lucia come back also

Also, just what was it that caused the Dharma compound to go into lockdown and alert status when Ben and the other kids were in the classroom, as I don't think it was a volcano erupting, not when the staff is running around with rifles at the ready

Lastly, from just a creative standpoint, at some point, the losties and the others will find a common venture or enemy to team up about, any ideas on what would bring that about?

I'll admit, I didn't think I'd watch this show when it first started, but I'm hooked now-But I want more answers and details about the Smoke Creature

Thanks all for the wonderful imaginations and interesting theories, and to think that watching TV is so often considered a brain-dead activity

Posted by: KingCranky | May 11, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Lac wrote:

It seems to me that if people had been on the island for hundreds of years, then they would not talk like us in 2007. They would use different accents and language.

Just read or read about Francis Bacon's "The New Atlantis". The residents of Bensalem have many wonders, which are scientific, and they work to "discern between divine miracles, works of nature, works of art, and impostures and illusions of all sorts".

The residents of Bensalem have European languages, and the shipwrecked sailors comment:

"But then, that they should have knowledge of the languages, books, affairs, of those that lie such a distance from them, it was a thing we could not tell what to make of; for that it seemed to us a condition and propriety of divine powers and beings, to be hidden and unseen to others, and yet to have others open and as in a light to them."

Posted by: Jean | May 11, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Ana Lucia killed at least two people, so I would not expect her to come back. I do miss Libby. Poor Hurley!

Posted by: lac | May 11, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm having a problem with the timeline of the tape recorder from last week's episode:
Ben had been listening to the report that we saw Juliet record when Locke walks up. Next we see it when Locke gives it to Sawyer. That clearly has to have happened before Richard asks Ben if he wants him to take the recorder with the new instructions to Juliet... the recorder is gone and Ben had assumed Richard had already done it. This was before Locke returned to the camp. (I think). Back at the beach... Sawyer is playing the tape and Juliet instructs him to turn it over. It plays Ben's instructions to mark the tents. Juliet says that as soon as she heard it, she took to the doc. My question is... how could she have heard it? If they were Ben's new instructions (and they did say no more time for testing, identify the tents of all the women she thinks might be pregnant) how could she have heard the tape? Locke took it from Ben, then gave it to Sawyer.

Posted by: witchy | May 14, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

witchy: I don't think that Juliet heard the instructions on the tape that Sawyer played for the Losties. I think that she did, however, know that any instructions left by Ben would be on the reverse side of the tape. She may not have known exactly what instructions would be there, but she know they would exist and by exposing Ben's instructions, she's gaining the Losties respect that she's not exactly loyal to the Others.

Posted by: Lost at Work | May 14, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

As to "people who don't commit murder are still able to be healed by the island", don't forget that shortly before Mikhail got fried by the fence he shot his companion because she ordered him to.

Wouldn't that put him into the group of people who have committed murder or is it different because he was ordered to do it?

I also think that Mikhail wears the Dharma uniform because he's in charge of transmissions with the original Dharma team. His job is to keep them away from the island and to keep the food coming in.

Posted by: Frankie | May 14, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Based on the last episode I'm assuming there are three classes of Others: The hostiles (Richard), the recruits (Juliet & McPatchy), and the original Dharma (Ben). Since Ben and the hostiles killed the Dharma people, presumably all of them, its likely that the recruits do not know this and are simply working, like Juliet, for a cause and/or money.

And assuming the Dharma groups in the real world know the Dharma members on the island were all killed, why does Dharma continue to provide food and resources for the Others? Could it be that the Others are holding Jacob a hostage? Were the Losties, especially Locke, sent to the island to rescue Jacob? Will the recruits join the Losties or the Hostiles? I see Locke breaking up the hostiles from the recruits with the recruits joining the Losties to free Jacob. Mainly because I believe the hostiles are not people as we know them, but ghosts, undead, or something just as non-human.

One other thing. The sonic fence keeps smokey out of the village. That fence was up before Ben and the hostiles killed the Dharma people. But the hostiles, who lived outside the sonic fence, are not threatened by smokey. What I need is a list of hostiles and recruits. Are there any women among the hostiles? Did killing the Dharma people create hostiles? Are they ghosts?

Posted by: Sully | May 14, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Annie can't be Rousseau - remember she was the one who caught Benry in her trap and turned him over to the Losties. If she knew who he was, she never would have done that...

Posted by: J | May 15, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Another query about Hostiles/others: when the hostiles do the "purge" and kill the original Dharma team, and then apparently inhabit the Other residences, why do they still keep the electronic fence in effect? They had been living outside it, apparently with no ill effect, so why would they need the protection?
Or perhaps the fence was only turned back on when the Losties arrived on the island?

Posted by: Lindytx | May 15, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Or the fence was kept on to protect Ben and the future recruits. I agree the hostiles lived outside the fence without smokey gettin them. And assuming the fence also kept the Dharma people in, why did the hostiles act so, well, hostile?

Posted by: Sully | May 15, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Its also worth noting that Ben and company are now living outside the fence and do not seem too worried about smokey. I'm starting to think they move too freely and thus must have some control over smokey in some way.

Posted by: Sully | May 15, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Sampson, I think you're right on about the smoke monster, and I'm curious about whether Jacob is the some monster or just controls it. looking forward to finding out.

As far as the tae goes, there is a simpler explanation. Ben left the message for Juliet BEFORE she recorded her message. She listened to his message, flipped it over, and recorded her reply. Ben listens to her reply and leaves the tape on this side. Is there any evidence to show that Ben's message was left after Juliet's and not before?

Can't wait for tonight's episode...

Steve

Posted by: Steve | May 16, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I think that profile looks a lot like Jamey Sheridan, who played "Randall Flagg" in Stephen King's "The Stand". With so many tiebacks to Stephaen King in this show, it isn't too far fetched. Check it out...

Jacob:
http://bp3.blogger.com/_RrObyQ3XzcY/RkKWtpsh6XI/AAAAAAAAFRE/CHJIyPT10d4/s1600-h/Image13.jpg

Randall Flagg:
http://www.movievillains.com/images/flagg.jpg

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