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Lost: The Man Behind the Curtain

Locke: "Why did you do this?"
Ben: "Because you heard him."

Answers! And of course, more questions. I went to bed right after this episode and actually dreamed about it all night. I think my subconscious was still trying to figure it out. My subconscious failed miserably.

So Ben was the child of a Dharma Initiative member. He allied with the Hostiles and committed the mass murder of the Initiative members, as well as patricide. (Which explained his insistence that Locke kill Cooper.) Ben was literally born a murderer, according to his insensitive father. Being constantly reminded that he caused the death of his mother certainly couldn't have helped.

Ben's childhood friend Annie created a pair of wooden dolls to represent the two of them, and Ben was still carrying around hers. What if Ben and Annie were married and she died in childbirth? That would explain Ben's obsession with the Island's fertility problems.

The two biggest questions for me were:

1. Who or what is Jacob? His cottage felt like something out of a fairy tale. There was a shadowy glimpse of Jacob after Locke turned on the flashlight. (Did that cause it? Was that why Jacob hated technology?) Ben has been using Jacob to control the Hostiles, somehow, like the smoke and mirrors in The Wizard of Oz. Is Jacob one of the "ghosts" on the Island, like Christian, Yemi, and Ben's mother Emily?

2. What is going on with Richard? It's possible that young Ben initially encountered Richard's father, but I don't think so because they don't do sloppy drama. Richard either looks like he did thirty some years ago (adding fuel to the immortality theory), or there is more than one of him. Are people who are born on the Island immortal? Is that why Ben keeps saying he was born on the Island, because he wishes he had been?

Are the Hostiles cloning themselves because they can't have kids? I can't believe I didn't think of that before, with all the hints about twins we've had.

Meanwhile back at the beach, Juliet already told Jack about the attack, so she's probably on the side of the angels after all. And Jack thinks it's FINALLY TIME to share information. This is so overdue that I feel like smacking them upside the head.

Locke simply can't be dead, because I just started liking him again. Of course, he just resolved his biggest issue – Daddy – so then again, maybe he is. Maybe Terry O'Quinn is tired of living in Hawaii. How's his driving record?

Character bits:

Ben was born in the woods, thirty-two miles from Portland, and not on the Island. Why is Portland important? Like Florida?

Nearly every scene in this episode took place on one of Ben's birthdays. At least four of them by my count, starting with his birth.

Like nearly everyone else on the Island, Ben had daddy issues. Ben's father, Roger Linus, was the skeleton that Hurley found in the hippie van in "Tricia Tanaka is Dead."

Young Ben had a pet rabbit that he didn't hesitate to use as a test subject. A connection with Captain Bunnykiller. And that reminded me of Roger Work Man's rabbits' foot, which must have been Ben's rabbit. Circular.

Alex gave Locke a gun. Was she anticipating what Ben would do? If so, Locke didn't listen to her.

Bits and pieces:

— There was a live volcano on the Island? I have a bad feeling about this, Obi-Wan. Season finale?

— Did Ben kill Locke because he felt his leadership was threatened? The Others were starting to like Locke, after all.

— Why was Ben a "work man" like his father, Roger, when he was clever enough to do something more challenging? Caste system? No job openings? Or was Ben just being patient until he could stage his coup?

— Horace Godspeed aka Horace Mathematician said that the Dharma Initiative didn't know where the Hostiles came from. This season was "Others" season. Is next season about the Hostiles?

— If all of the Dharma people on the Island are dead (except Ben), then why are there still food drops?

— Ben as a child reminded me of a geeky, powerless Harry Potter. Good performance by the little boy who played Ben. Not an easy role to play.

— The combination to the pylons is 54439. They're not lethal, after all, so Mikhail probably didn't rise from the dead. Unless Mikhail was lying. Which he does fluently and frequently.

— What did Locke notice about the dirt?

— What was in those dark jars in Jacob's cottage?

— Ben: "You do remember birthdays, don't you, Richard?" That was an odd thing to say. Unless, of course, Richard is a clone.

— The earlier Richard asked young Ben if he was lost. I've noticed that someone talks about being lost in nearly every episode. A little in-joke, I think.

Really interesting. Three out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. And, we're back! How absolutely lovely. Flashbacks that mean something, some answers given, some questions asked, great character moments. Yippee!!

    Another awful father, but wow did those flashbacks explain some, at least, of why Ben is the way he is. One of the things I've admired about Michael Emerson's portrayal is the calm. He never raises his voice; he never invades personal space. Yet underneath it all is a cauldron of emotion that comes out like it did at the end of this one. Brilliantly acted.

    I'm convinced that Jacob exists. If he didn't, why would Ben get so upset about the fact that Locke heard him? I think Ben has spent years being special, being the only one that can communicate with the man behind the curtain. All of a sudden, here's a rival, a man cured of paralysis that can actually interact with the big guy. No wonder Ben is a bit put out.

    Something tells me a volcano is coming into play at some point. We had the mention of it in the schoolroom and it looked like ash that Locke was examining. Now, there's a metaphor, especially for these two men.

  2. Just wanted to say that I've been loving your reviews. I stink at this analysis stuff. I did notice, though, that the ashes made a circle around Jacob's house. Hmm.

    I'm watching the series for the first time, and your reviews are very clarifying, Billie. I'm also enjoying your comments, Chris. :)


  3. Thanks so much, Libby. Is Libby your actual handle or are you making a Lost joke? :)

  4. Thanks, Libby. We can experience the show together!

  5. Haha, Libby's my actual name, Billie. :)
    And it's so nice to have someone to do that with, Chris! I feel like I'm the only one that hasn't seen it.


  6. What a wonderful episode! Sterling Beaumon, who plays young Ben, is perfect for the role--a difficult role to play, as Chris noted above.

    As for the crazy cabin stuff: it makes sense by Season Six. Right? Gosh, it's remarkable what I can't say in this comment. But, okay, vague and confusing spoiler space:

    The invisible man in the cabin was not who he appeared to be, yes?

    Ugh, is that too spoilery? I can't tell anymore.

  7. {"Ben was literally born a murderer, according to his insensitive father."}

    His father was a jackass and another idiot who tends to blame the infant child for the pregnant mother's death after giving birth.


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