Apr 9, 2009

Dead is Dead

I don't know if season 5 has spoiled me or I've come to over-hype any episode centered around Benjamin Linus, but I didn't love "Dead is Dead." I know, I know, it was full of mystery and intrigue, a whole heck of a lot of the islands mysteries were touched upon and some awesome new questions were raised, but I felt some it was cheesy and over the top.

With that out of the way, where do I start with an episode that contained so much craziness?

Something's Up with Locke
With all the Ben/Widmore stuff going on in this episode, I'd like to first talk about John Locke. Ben looked genuinely freaked out that he was alive, even though that's what he thought would happen. Now Locke has all sorts of information on the island and knows exactly where to take Ben to be judged.

I'd hate it if it turns out to be true, but Locke may be Smokey. Just the way he was acting and the stuff that he knows ... this isn't the John Locke that we've grown to love. This version reminds me a lot of one Christian Sheppard. We have yet to learn what Christian is exactly (island manifestation? ghost? Smokey? Jacob?), but whatever he is, I think Locke has joined his club.

Throughout the episode, anytime Ben would go to summon the monster or when we thought the monster was about to appear, Locke was nowhere to be found. While Ben went to summon him, Locke was off in the jungle. What was he doing in there anyway?

I can't wait to see how Locke is going to help Sun to get to Jin, as Christian told her. Will he have to turn the donkey wheel again? Will he find a way to get the 815ers to present day on the island? Will this be the big adventure that season 6 revolves around?

Who you calling boy?
Ben and Widmore's relationship got off to a rocky start when Richard saved him without consulting Widmore. Richard said that Jacob wanted it done, but in the past we learned from Ben that Jacob doesn't talk to Richard. Was that a lie or is there someone else who can speak to Jacob?

From that point on, it seemed to just get worse. Widmore sent Ben and little Ethan to kill Danielle on the beach. This has to take place around 1988/89, so it's pre DHARAMA purge. Interesting that Ethan is with the Hostiles at this time. Instead of killing Danielle, they learned that she had a baby, and we see when Ben stole Alex from her.

When Ben arrives back at the Other's camp, Widmore isn't pleased with Ben not killing Danielle and bringing Alex back to the camp. Ben raises Alex, and this seems to be a point of disagreement between Ben and Charles for a long time.

Later, we learn that Widmore was being banished for deeds such as leaving the island so often and having a child (Penny) with an outsider. Widmore was acting selfishly, and Ben tells him that he'll do anything to protect the island. Both claim to have been doing the will of the island and working toward protecting it, but they disagree on whether the island wanted Alex dead or not.

We know that Alex is eventually killed while Ben was working to protect the island. But who should we believe? Was Ben really sacrificing to protect the island or did the island really want her dead? Since its Widmore's men who kill her, it's hard to tell if the island wanted her dead or if it was Widmore, as Ben said when Widmore was banished.

My Alex
Back to the scene where Ben clumsily stole Alex from Danielle. For a group that supposed to be stealth, Ben's entrance into Danielle tent didn't seem so ninja like. He wasn't aware that Alex was even there and improvised in taking the baby. He told Danielle that whenever she heard whispers in the jungle to run the other way. Is he insinuating that the Others are the source of the whispers?

Judgment Day
Now that Ben has returned to the island, he must be judged by the smoke monster. He said that the Others don't even have a word for it. This led to some awesome scenes underneath the temple where we saw more hieroglyphics and the ancient civilization aspects of the island.

First Ben tried to summon the monster to the barracks by flushing a toilet? pulling the drain? Anyway, the monster doesn't come so they have to go to it. Locke leads them to the temple wall. We learn that the wall was constructed to keep people out and the temple is a half a mile inside. Locke told Ben that they weren't going inside, but rather underneath it (to Smokey's lair?).

Before they go in, Ben tells Sun that if she ever see Desmond again to tell him he's sorry. Once inside, Ben falls through the floor and while Locke goes to find something to pull him up (how convenient that Locke disappears once again before Smokey appears). Ben encounters the hieroglyphics that show Anubis and what we can assume is the smoke monster. Remember most fans speculated that the four-toed statue was Anibis.

Then the monster comes out of the vent and judges Ben for Alex death. As the monster circles Ben, we see scenes of Alex and Ben's life (similar to the scenes of Eko's life, but these were much clearer. After showing her death, the monster leaves back through the vents. This scene also came across as cheesy and over the top to me. Don't get me wrong, I love the smoke monster as much as the next guy, but if this stuff was happening in season 1, I think there would be a lot less Lost fans around.

If the judgment wasn't crazy enough, Alex then appears and Ben apologizes for her death. She becomes aggressive and pins him against the wall and tells him to follow John Locke. If he tries to kill him again, she will hunt him down and kill him. So it looks like the monster forgives him but now he must follow Locke. I wonder if the new, all-knowing Locke is aware of this or will Ben still be able to manipulate John into getting what he wants.

Our Mutual Friend
Back to that apology to Desmond. As fans had guessed, Ben's unfinished business before Flight 316 was to take out Widmore's daughter Penny. Ben calls up Widmore and lets him know exactly what he's about to do, but his plan gets spoiled first when little Charlie Pace comes out of the cabin (Ben always had a soft spot for kids) and then when it looks like he changed his mind, Desmond starts laying into him with lefts and rights and turns Ben's face into ground beef.

Great scene and as much of this episode did, it filled in one of the major blanks on the show. Before we move on though, didn't Ben shoot Desmond? He shot at him and hit the grocery bag. Are we to assume that the bullet missed Desmond's body or can Desmon
d not be shot (just like Michael couldn't die when the island still needed him)?

The Shadow of the Statue

In an episode filled with craziness, why not add a little more nuts to present island time. When Frank gets back to the Hydra island, one of the castaways warns him that Illana and a few others have weapons. When Frank walks up to her, Illana asks, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Come again? Wha? Frank has no idea how to answer, so she knocks him out with the back of the gun.

I think it's safe to assume the statue is the four-toed statue, so it looks like we'll get to see it again or at least its shadow. Also, this group is the likely one that shot at Sawyer and company when they were flashing through time in "The Little Prince." Remember, they had found and Ajira water bottle and took one of the outriggers to paddle to the Orchid. While they were paddling, another outrigger chased and shot at them. Juliette appeared to have hit one of the mystery people, so one of Illana's men may have been shot.

Earlier in "Dead is Dead," Illana and a few others were moving a huge crate. She said it was necessary supplies, when Ben asked her if they needed help moving it. In the infamous words of Brad Pitt, "What's in the box?" It will definitely be interesting to see what this group is up to and why they suddenly changed their personalities. I wonder if the "sickness" got them. It reminded me of the way Danielle group started acting after their encounter with Smokey.

Other tidbits
I guess Caesar won't turn out to be as important as fans thought. Is he really dead though? If he turns out to be an important character, then there's no way he is.

It looks like we can rule out the alternative time-line theory. Since the barracks were in such disarray with Sun and Frank arrived there, many fans thought the future had been altered, but Ben didn't seem surprised at anything at the barracks. It looks like that's just the damage from Keamy and his men's encounter with Smokey.

When little Ben woke up, he didn't remember being shot. Later, when older Ben saw the 1977 picture of the 815ers in DHARMA he was surprised or acted surprised to see them there. Fans are left to wonder how much of Ben's memory has been erased.

In such an intense episode, I laughed a few times at the awesome wigs that Ben and Widmore were sporting in the flashbacks.

Next on Lost: Some Like it Hoth

*Photos from GetLostPodcastMedia.com & lost-media.com

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