Feb 26, 2009

The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Let me just start by saying once again that season 5 rocks! I loved, loved, loved "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham." I did see some blogs that didn't share my love and thought that all of Locke's visits with 815 survivors were boring and uneventful, but I have to disagree.

After years of wondering who's in the coffin and then finding out it was Locke, this is the episode that delivered on our questions about what happened to John Locke, aka Jeremy Bentham. What's not to love?

Flight 316...he's alive
The episode starts off with the new Nikki and Paulo, Illana & Caesar, exploring what turns out to be the Hydra Station. We learn that Illana is concerned because they found a man who wasn't on the plane. Flashback to season 1 when the 815 survivors learned that Ethan wasn't on the plane. But its not one of the Others trying to infultrate their group this time, its just John Locke, looking very Obi Wan Kenobi like with an Ajira Airlines blanket wrapped around him.

But wait, lets analyze this scene a little more. As they walk to the beach, they past an airplane that has crashed (or landed? Remember Lapidus doesn't crash and there was a runway built on the other island way back in season 3.). Then they get to a beach camp with the rest of the survivors. Question answered: the entire Flight 316 does make it to the island, well technically, the Hydra island. So what year is it? Based on the Hydra station being there and later seeing the outriggers, we can conclude that this is sometime in the future from 2004, most likely present day for us (ie 2009ish).

They made a point to show the outrigger canoes too. Remember a few episodes ago when Sawyer and company found the two canoes and ended up being shot at (perhaps by Cesear, who found a shotgun in the Hydra Station). We also learn that there were originally three canoes, but the pilot (Frank) and another woman (probably Sun) took off with it, along with the flight roster.

Locke doesn't beat around the bush with Illana. He figures out how he got on the plane and tells her he remembers dying. We saw a shot of Christian Sheppard's shoes on the beach, tying in last week's "316" episode, showing us that Locke has risen.

The Exit Point
After Locke turned the frozen donkey wheel, he was deposited in Tunisia, just like when Ben turned it last season. We learn that Charles Widmore is monitoring that spot in the desert with cameras, and Locke is picked up and brought in for medical treatment. Widmore had cameras set up there because its the exit point, but he wasn't monitoring that spot in 2005, when Ben appeared in the desert in "The Shape of Things to Come." So when did Widmore learn that that area was the exit point and when did he set up the cameras?

Who are the good guys?
There is so much information given in Widmore's conversation with Locke that its hard to disgest is all. Firstly, Widmore remembers Locke from meeting him in 1954 and notes that he hasn't aged any. Locke tells him that its only been four days for him since that meeting. Widmore isn't surprised, as he knows of the time travel elements on the island.

Widmore continues delving out the information, and we learn that the Others protected the island for three decades, Widmore was their leader (not called the Others though, his people), and Ben exiled him. From the conversation, it seems like Widmore was forced to turn the wheel as well. Does his exile have something to do with the incident involving DHARMA, and is that the reason he has to turn the wheel?

When he said that he was the leader of the Others, my first thought went to when Ben first met Richard Alpert in "The Man Behind the Curtain." Was Widmore the leader then? Richard basically helps Ben with the purge of DHARMA, so did he go behind Widmore's back to do this? When we first see Widmore in 1954, Richard looks to be the leader, so why would he give way to the cocky Widmore and follow his lead? Did the Others break off into two fractions or is Widmore simply feeding Locke a few lines of B.S.?

Its hard to figure out who to believe out of Ben and Widmore. At some points both look to be on the good side and then at other times, they look to be working solely for themselves and not for the good of the island. Everything that Widmore says in this episode make him look to be on the good side. And from what we know about Ben, his actions don't always go along with him saying that the Others and him are the good guys.

Widmore has been watching the Oceanic 6 and wants to help John to get back to the island. But this seems to be Ben's motives as well. He claims to have been protecting the Oceanic 6 from Widmore this whole time. Widmore says that there's a war coming, but right now its hard to tell what side to root for.

We have to go back
Widmore is the one who gave Locke the alias Jeremy Bentham, which he finds humor in selecting that name. He sets him up with Mattew Abbadon, who we know Locke recognizes as the man who urged him to go on the walkabout. We learn that Abbadon works for Widmore by helping people get where they belong.

From this we can conclude that Widmore was a key in getting Locke onto Flight 815 in the first place by planting the seed that he needed to go to Australia. But how did he know that once he got to Australia, he wouldn't be allowed on the walkabout and would take 815 back to L.A. or was that his work as well?

This also points to Widmore being involved in the crash, but as we know (or think we know), Desmond was the major reason 815 crashed on the island. It is likely that Widmore has knowledge of the future, and he and Abbadon assist in getting people into the situations that they know take place in the future.

Locke and Abbadon set off to visit the Oceanic 6 and convince them to go back:
  • Sayid: Locke visits Sayid first in the Dominican Republic, where Sayid is working for a "Build Our World" organization. Sayid tells tells Locke about what happened to him off the island with Nadia and isn't convinced to go back.
  • Walt: Locke next visits Walt in New York, but he doesn't try to convince him to go back. He is basically checking up on him to make sure he's going OK. He tells Abbadon that Walt's been through enough. Locke updates Walt that the last thing he heard about his dad was that he was on a freighter near the island, but as we know, that freighter blew up with Michael along with it. The other interesting thing we can take away from his visit with Walt (besides Ben spying on them) is that Walt's been dreaming about Locke. Walt's special, so his dreams are likely visions of the future. In the dream Locke is on the island in a suit, and he is surrounded by people who want to hurt him. Is he talking about the 316 survivors or another group? We shall see.
  • Hurley: Locke's visit with Hurley was funny because Hurley has been visited by so many of his dead friends that he thinks Locke is dead too. When he finds out Locke is really there, he freaks out and doesn't want to go back either.
  • Kate: Kate's visit was weird for me. She talked to him about being in love (was she talking about Sawyer or maybe Jack?), but didn't want to go back either.
  • Jack: Locke doesn't get to go visit Jack, but as destiny would have it, he is taken to Jack's hospital. Jack is still skeptical of everything Locke believes and tries to convince Locke that he's not important, none of them are. Locke uses his final bit on ammo on Jack and mentions his father. Locke figured out that Christian was his dad and tells Jack about him being on the island. Jack says his father died three years ago in Sydney and leaves. But as we learn later, this was the bit of information that started pushing Jack back to the island. Later that night he buys a ticket to Sydney (as we learned in "Through the Looking Glass," Jack had been taking flights hoping that they would crash). Locke had convince Jack, but he didn't know it yet.
  • Sun: Locke keeps his promise to Jin and doesn't visit Sun. Unfortunately, he let Ben know that Jin was alive, allowing Ben to use this information to get Sun to go back.
Bad Bad Benroy Brown
Back to the discussion of good and evil. The past few seasons have focused on the battle between Ben and Widmore, but we aren't really sure who to believe and who to root for. We've been led to believe that Ben truely was one of the good guys, who just used evil methods to get what the island/he wanted, but his actions lately have leaned more toward his personal motives and not what's in the best interest of the island.

In "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham," he killed Abbadon, who seemed genuinely working to help Locke. Then after talking Locke out of killing himself, he gets more information out of Locke about Sun & Jin and getting back to the island by way of Eloise Hawking and then he kills Locke anyway. He cleans up his mess and makes it look like Locke committed suicide.

Now Ben, armed with all the information he needs, sets off to reunite the Oceanic 6 and get them to go back. Once again, Ben has stepped into a role that the island/Jacob/Christian had told Locke to do. First moving the island and now getting the O6 to go back.

So who, if anyone, is a good guy in this war? The only character that seems to be acting on the island's behalf is Locke himself. I don't think we can believe everything Widmore said about protecting the island, especially from what we've seen of the younger version of himself. Why would they willingly elect him as their leader? We already know we can't believe everything Ben says, as most of it is lies.

The episode ended with Locke talking to Cesear and providing the new survivor with more information on the island. He told him about DHARMA and how he had lived on the island for more than 100 days. We then learn that there are some injured people from the flight, including Mr. Benjamin Linus, who Locke tells Cesear is the man who killed me.

A few questions to end this episode: What will be the consequences of Ben returning to the island? How will Jacob or Christian react now that Ben has come back? Has anyone ever made it back after turning the wheel before? How were there so many people injured if the plane landed or was it really a crash? How will Cesear and the group react to all the information Locke tells them about his life & death and his previous time on the island?

Other Tidbits
Who are Illana & Caesar? How will their backstories be fleshed out? Are they involved in any way with Widmore or DHARMA? Why was Illana taking Sayid to Guam?

Hurley was drawing a picture of the Sphinx. How does this tie into the island or the mythology of Lost?

We learned that it was indeed Locke who wrote the note to Jack. Some fans had speculated that Ben wrote the note.

I thought we'd get to see a reunion for Locke and Helen, but as with most things in Locke's life, it wasn't meant to be. This guy has had it rough. No wonder he wants to stay on the island.

Cesear provided a little insight into what happened on the flight with Hurley, Jack and Kate. He saw the bright light and saw Hurley disappear. This is consistent with what we've seen happen to the rest of the group when they time jumped, but why just Hurley, Jack and Kate? Why/how did they end up in DHARMA times on the island while the rest of the flight ended up in the present?

Next on Lost: "LaFleur"

*Photos from GetLostPodcastMedia.com

1 comment:

Jared said...

I'm really starting to think there are three factions in this whole "war". Ben, Widmore, and the island.

Both of them see that the island has picked Locke (I can't see why else Ben would go so crazy after first saving John. But once he says he knows about Ms. Hawking, the writing's on the wall for Ben).

I think both are trying to influence Locke, but that ultimately there's a 3rd player (Jacob?) in the mix who is really orchestrating what's going on.

Either way, this season just gets better and better!