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Lost: Dead is Dead

Locke: "If everything you've done has been in the best interest of the Island, then I'm sure the Monster will understand."

Dead is dead. Dead isn't dead. I'm so confused.

In fact, I'm such a hopeless Lost geek that I started getting really excited at the prospect of answers about the Monster, the Temple, the Others. But all we really got were more tantalizing clues. I feel like Charlie Brown with the football.

I've always assumed (yeah, making an ass out of you and me) that there was a real-life albeit science-fiction-like answer for everything happening on the Island. But "Alex" made me wonder if there is a religious answer. (Shades of Battlestar.) What was she? She certainly wasn't Alex. It felt like she was the God of the Temple, Anubis or whatever, speaking through Alex and using her knowledge of Ben to manipulate him. Maybe Christian Shephard isn't Christian Shephard at all, even with the whole "Say hi to my son" bit. Maybe the dead are dead and the Walking Dead are all visits from the God. Ben certainly seemed to believe that dead was dead, which implied that he hasn't seen the Walking Dead running around until now. But he has. He saw his own mother.

It's even more confusing because John Locke appears to be the exception. He's not creepy or murderous like the "infected," and he's not acting like the Walking Dead; he's still his own Locke-like gullible self. Ben has a serious case of Locke envy, so I wasn't surprised Ben was planning to kill Locke again. (Would Locke have just risen a second time?) Locke rose from the dead and has all this miraculous knowledge, and Ben just gets beat up all the time. I'm not sure I can see Ben blindly following Locke's orders, whether the God told him to or not. It'll be interesting to see what happens next, to say the least.

Did Ben institute the Others baby-stealing policy back in 1988? He obviously has one human weakness: he cares about small children. These past few episodes have shown us Ben's human side. A child abused by his father and nearly killed by Sayid. Sent to kill Danielle, but taking her baby instead. (No wonder Danielle hated Ben so much.) Determined to kill Penny, but unable to do it in front of little Charlie. Apologizing to Desmond. And showing true grief and remorse over Alex's death. I bet the baby-stealing policy was instituted by Ben. Richard and younger Charles Widmore certainly didn't seem all that interested in children.

Character bits:

Young Ben remembered his father and his life, so he didn't lose all of his memories. So again, what about Sawyer's group? Especially Juliet, whom Ben supposedly loves?

Ben's experience with the Monster was a lot like Eko's. Eko was a priest. Hmm.

Charles Widmore was making trips out to the real world and kept a family there. That explains Penny's ignorance of the Island and eliminates the possibility that she and Faraday are full siblings. (Could still be half-siblings, though.)

Widmore apparently left the Island for good in what? the early 1990s? We still don't know why Widmore was exiled, do we? Only that it was Ben who caused it.

Poor Caesar. Is he dead?

I knew Ilana was a mole. No surprise there. And I am officially worried about Frank. I hope the newly revealed Others led by Ilana don't hurt him.

When younger adult Ben kidnapped Alex, he was followed around by an adolescent Ethan.



I watched the harbor scene a couple of times, and I don't think Desmond was shot. I think the bullet hit the groceries he was carrying and knocked him down.

Has everyone in the cast beaten Ben up by now? How many have there been? It's like the car crashes, practically every episode. I bet Michael Emerson is sick to death having gore slapped on him in the makeup chair.

Bits and pieces:

— That bas-relief in the final scene showed Anubis (?) touching something that looked like an accordion version of the Smoke Monster. There might be a Wheel in there, too.

— Yes, everyone has a wall of hieroglyphics in the secret closet of their secret closet. Twisting the water until it flushes is how you call the Monster? Why water? Something to do with the Well and Wheel? If the Temple is half a mile away from the Wall we saw, then what was that in the house's secret closet? An Anubis hatch?

— Charles told Ben that the Island wanted Alex dead. I wonder.


— I particularly liked when Ben was warning Sun that something he couldn't control was about to come out of the jungle, and it turned out to be Locke.

— Another masterful acting job by Michael Emerson.

Quotes:

Ben: "I knew it. I knew that this would happen."
Locke: "Then why are you so surprised to see me?"

Ben: (to Danielle) "If you want your child to live, every time you hear whispers, you run the other way." So Ben knows what the whispers are. And we still don't.

Locke: "I was hoping you and I could talk about the elephant in the room."
Ben: "I assume you're referring to the fact that I killed you."

Ilana: "What lies in the shadow of the statue?"
Poor Frank is about to find out. Will we?

I've heard people complaining about this season of Lost being slow. I wonder what show they're watching?

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

17 comments:

  1. I won't miss Cesar. He was already overreaching.

    And I'm not so sure about Ilana being a mole. Perhaps she went by the temple and it changed her. But the temple is the other island, isn't it?.

    Other than that, nice ep.

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  2. Someone on another site suggested that the "Shadow of the statue" question was a code for Ilana & friends to find out who was with them. Agents sent by Widmore, perhaps?

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  3. I do think the pace has slowed down a bit since the time hopping stopped and everyone got back to the island. Still not sure where they’re going with the 70s stuff, though. All the really interesting stuff is happening in the present and we’re barely there these days.

    This was a great episode (Ben centric ones always are) and it was nice to see some role reversal between Locke and Ben, not to mention Locke’s glee at seeing Ben squirm. That said, shame about the wigs. Ouch.

    But did Ben miss Desmond or is our favourite Scot in more danger then we think? The kind of danger only a miracle working mystery island can solve. I’m sure Penny said she knew about the island way back in “The Constant”. Will she take him back so safe his life, is that how they are going to get Des back into the action?

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  4. In the podcast, Darlton confirmed that Desmond was indeed shot.

    That being said, I can't wait to see Hurley taking his turn to beat the everliving crap out of Ben.

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  5. it was nice to get out of the '70s, wasn't it? great episode. The Temple stuff was a big reveal, and it was handled correctly. That scene was when Ben and Locke switch places, symbolically: Ben enters as master of the island and leaves as Locke's disciple. Judas or Paul, that's the question.

    as far as having a religious theme, well, duh! it is a temple. but in egyptology, there is no practical difference between religion, science, and magic. so while it seems convenient, it actually makes sense.

    and i wouldn't worry too much about smokey's comings and goings, though this episode gave him "personality"--Alex's to be exact--he's a plot device, a literal deus ex machina. i doubt we'll ever see a Smokey-centric ep, though that would be interesting.

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  6. Another awesome there, Billie. And in a non-LOST related comment, you should check out the musical Reefer Madness. Knowing how much you love Kristen Bell, I think you'd really enjoy it, hehe.

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  7. Good recap. A complicated episode. I think it really is geared around reversing the Ben/Locke relationship and how that may fail to work out.

    I think we can assume a relation between the smoke monster and the visions experienced by the characters, more as a projection of smokey than a literal embodiment of it (or rather, a projection of the guilt of the people who have a close encounter with it).

    I've enjoyed your reviews for a while. Namaste!

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  8. As Dr Chang said, it was nice to get out of the 70's. I've not been overly fond of those bits, hence I'm one of the people who've been finding this season a little slow. But this episode got me officially on board again. This was my kind of episode. I could watch episodes centred around Ben and John all day!

    PK

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  9. I'm surprised you didn't automatically make the connection between Alex and Smokey Billie. I think Jai is close to the truth.

    My theory is that the smoke monster is able to project/take the form of anyone in order to manipulate people/see how they react. For some reason it seems to use Christian and other dead people often. Either way it's pretty clear that smokey/the walking dead are one and the same.

    Remember back in the The Cost Of Living when Eko got killed? Just before he bumped into Smokey he was confronted by Yemi in a field of red flowers. This vision told him that he wasn't Eko's brother. I think that when Eko told the vision he wasn't sorry for killing people to protect his brother, the smoke monster judged him not fit to live, changed into his smoke form and killed Eko.

    Evidence of its capacity to judge people also comes from scenes where we've seen flashes of Eko's past in the smoke, camera style flashes in Juliet's face (as if it was analysing her) and Walking Dead providing tests/challenges for people.

    In this episode I believe smokey let Ben live since he still had unswerving faith 'The Island/Smokey/Jacob' and just needed to be told not to hurt Locke in order to help fulfill Smokey's goals. I don't know what they are though. Either way it seems to have a plan for Locke. I don't think Locke is one of the walking dead though, just resurrected.

    Oh and for the record I think Smokey is really called Cerberus, due to his nature of having 3 common forms, smoke, people and the white light that Locke saw in season 1 (not completely sure about the light being the last form). Cerberus is mentioned on the Blast Door Map I think.

    Phew! I'm Lost mythologied out. Roll on the next ep to feature smokey.

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  10. This season is definitely picking up! And I love anything with the monster in it!

    And I personally thought it was just KNOWN that Alex, Yemi, backwards talking Walt and the spiders were all the smoke monster. He's like The First but touches stuff.

    I think Christian might be different somehow.. either an appearance of a noncorporeal Jacob or the monster in "helping mode" perhaps.

    I just hope that by the end of the show Walt actually finally doesnt something special already!

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  11. I read a very interesting theory the other day...I believe the site was IGN but i'm not positive. Anyways!
    The theory suggests Egypt is the whole key to explaining the Island. Supposedly all of our favorite Losties (or at least the major players) are representations of ancient Egyptian characters, such as Osiris, Ra, etc. I don't want to say too much and misquote the info so I won't, but it's definitely worth checking out! Great review Billie!

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  12. My favourite part of this episode was Ben's face when Locke accused him of lying. He looked so surprised it made me laugh out loud.

    Like a previous poster, i thought that the shadow of the statue comment was a password. I really don't want another faction added into the mix though. And what was the point of Cesar if they were going to kill him off so quickly ?

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  13. I love this episode. It was just so much fun seeing the role reversals of Locke and Ben. Now it seems Locke has all the answers and Ben is the one in the dark.

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  14. Don't you love it when Ben says he doesn't know where the Monster is - and Locke turns around and says with a knowing look - But "I do."

    This role reversal of a once clueless gullible John Locke is brilliant.

    Its just so funny seeing him toy around with Ben - pushing him around.

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  15. Hum. If Locke is Osiris, does that make Ben Set?

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  16. OK, did I miss something to the contrary.? I thought we knew that Ilana and suspected that Cesar are both working for Widmore. With the second plane crash Widmore finally has some people (and a big box full of guns?) back on the Island.

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  17. Slow ??!!??? Really ???

    I loved your Charlie Brown analogy. I also loved the game of Risk on the table when Ben entered his abandoned house. Continuity is very well done here. Kudos.

    (and also, kudos for the DVD's menus; they're really great)

    "Now, you know what is is to be me."

    I suspect a can of tuna or peas saved Desmond on the pier. And that "poor" Ben took ANOTHER beating. They oughta put his face on pillows in shrinks' offices. Might work. And yes, mister Emerson, I'm a big fan or yours now.

    Anubis, hey....how interesting. The hieroglyphs seemed Egyptian AND from another language...

    *"It let me live."

    NEVER a dull moment. And yes, TAV also.

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