Thursday, February 26, 2009

LOST: The Life & Death of Jeremy Bentham

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.
-Sir Francis Bacon

Okay, so I am afraid that I may be rambling even more than usual in this one ;)

Locke: I love the theme that LOST has presented that we create our own specialness (yep, specialness) through belief and action. We discovered this season that Locke's 'specialness' on the island was really a self-fulfilling prophesy situation with him talking to Richard and telling Richard to find him when he is born. It doesn't mean he really isn't special, it just means that he maybe wasn't important in a preordained/island choosing him kind of a way like I/he had thought. He has embraced the calling and made it his own and because of his passion and dedication to the island he is now an important player. It always comes back to faith in this show. His faith in his 'mission,' whatever he thinks it is in any given season, has gotten on my nerves sometimes, but I am finding it endearing so far this season. It was a heartbreaking moment as Locke was preparing to kill himself. (And beautiful acting by Terry O'Quin). I think Sayid hit the nail on the head when he asked John, 'Why do you really need to go back, is it just because you have nowhere else to go?' (Seems entirely possible that Helen was actually killed to make sure Locke had nothing). Poor man- I'm glad, for his sake, that his death really did end up the catalyst for Jack to take back-to-island action and that he really can still hold on to his faith now that he is resurrected on the island. He really is a good man. Also, I was a little disappointed but it was also kind of funny and ironic that the name 'Jeremy Bentham,' was nothing more than a humorously chosen name for Locke to use off the island since he was supposed to be dead.

Whidmore vs Ben: Well Whidmore is certainly turning out to be even more connected and important than we knew before. Finding out that Abaddon works for him puts a different perspective on some of the previous episodes that he showed up in, like making sure Locke was in Australia to be on the plane, meaning that Whidmore new the crash was going to happen and was helping it along. So is Whidmore still in good graces and in communication with Richard to know these things he just isn't allowed to be on the island? They are really doing a great job with this back and forthing with the two of them- is Ben the actual villain? Is Whidmore? They are both morally grey characters and there is no such thing as LOST as a 'good guy' or a 'bad guy' since everyone has baggage and everyone has different intentions and reasons and perspectives of situations. We know that they are both hot-headed and prone to violence, though Whidmore seems to be more sane than Ben. Its still interesting to try to figure out who is telling the truth and who is lying when they talk about each other though. Its also interesting that they were sort of working together though not in physical proximity of each other through Eloise. They both want the island found and saved, so despite being enemies they don't mind sharing a connection (and therefore information) to accomplish it. Also, since Ben has cameras in Tunisia, he would have known when Ben showed up off the island. They are odd frienemies. I find myself wanting Whidmore to be a good guy in all of this. In any case, I don't think there is any such thing as a happy ending for Ben - even if he gets what he wants its just not in his wiring to stay content and live a regular life, on or off the island. Even if it turns out his intentions are relatively good/selfless in this situation, he is just the kind of personality that, if he had never ended up with the Island as a goal and he and his dad had lived a normal life, he would have ended up a serial killer or something. I am still baffled about Ben's freak out in the car with Jack and Sun when he said they have know idea what he has done for him and he seemed so sincere.

The death of Jeremy Bentham: Maybe Whidmore and Ben have both been away from the island too long to respect the wisdom of Richard/Christian/The Island as they should since they both seemed to want to keep Locke alive (at first). Cold-blooded Ben - did he kill him because he got the information he needed (Jin's ring and Eloise's location and knowledge) or because Eloise Hawking means its too close to Whidmore and that just pissed him off? We know that for all of Ben's calculating ways he does have a murderously short fuse when he gets angry. Didn't seem like he had quite a good enough reason in this instance though, not like his daughter getting killed or something. I guess he just needed to be the one who was the Savior in bringing everyone back even though he couldn't have done it without Locke, Jack, Eloise, even Whidmore, and others. He does like the glory and he is a control freak. At this point I do think that Ben murdering Locke was NOT premeditated and was a spur of the moment decision. awkward knowing that he had to bring Locke back to the island and would have to eventually explain himself (assuming that Ben knew that Locke would be Alive Again on the island.) Still, even though Ben talked Locke down, perhaps because he didn't expect to get the information he needed so quickly, Locke was still in an extremely fragile state and I think Ben could have easily gotten him to get back up there and kill himself instead of doing it himself and faking the suicide. I think that maybe just shows Ben's violent streak and that he enjoys the power of it. PS, super creepy shadow of Locke on the wall as Ben was posing the suicide scene. Very Hitchcockian.

On the Island: So did Caesar and Ilana know each other before the flight and the crash and why is Caesar automatically the leader? What did you find in that room you were rooting through Caesar and what hatch was that, and why do you look so at home? At first I thought it was Daniel's office at Oxford since we know someone was interested in it before Desmond, but nope! You're on the island and it was a post-new-crash scene. Ilana said the canoes were there already but that one was taken by the captain and a woman. My first guess for the woman was Sun, since she is on a mission to find Jin and would easily be able to get Frank to help since he probably feels guilty about leaving Jin behind. (Caesar and Ilana's camp doesn't seem to have been attacked yet like it had been when Saywer and Juliette and them flashed there and took the other is the time frame working and who attacks their camp?) The only problem with the possibility of the woman being Sun is that The 6 seem to have vanished and were safely placed on the island while everyone else in the plane crashed like they are special guests- the island was aware of them and brought them safely home. Were the 6 flashed to a different 'time' than everyone else? Can the island be at two times at once? Are The 6 on the actual island while the other crash survivors are on that other island where Jack/Kate/Sawyer were held captive? If that's the case, then it wasn't Sun, so who? Some surprising person that was on the plane that we didn't see like Eloise or Penny? Stretching, but you never know with LOST. Also, why didn't Locke vanish with them? Since he has turned the wheel and been dead does he fall into some other kind of category now, like Ben? Its obviously not about having been on the island before, cause Frank didn't vanish either- the 6 are like the prodigal children returning.

Resurrected Locke- with him, unlike with Christian, he really does seem like he's just Alive Again. He isn't all one with the island and acting like a spectre, its just like he never died. It does make me wonder more about Christian and his post-death connection to the island, besides having kids and a grandson that end up important. How exactly did he die in Australia? Wasn't it assumed that it was a vague, drinking-related situation? Hmmmm. I used to think that the circumstances around Christian dying were all about Jack and making sure that Jack was on the flight and that Christian being a spectre on the island was just sort of an island side effect and not really important to the plot, but with this recreation of the original flight and everything it has me second-guessing the details of the first flight. How much of the little details of what happens is all a predestined fate and the power of the island pulling it all together?

Other favorite/intense/thought-provoking moments:

Hurley assuming Locke is dead

Popping Locke's knee back in- oh my ouch!

Whidmore says a war is coming! Its certainly not going to be an obvious good-vs-evil LOTR kind of situation- who will be on what side?

Favorite line was Locke in the car to Abaddon, 'please don't talk to me.'

Walt! Dreams about Locke. Nice to see Walt is alright. Is that it for him? I think it is- that was a closure moment.

It was a very surprising conversation he had with Kate. I expected it to be a fight because of her reaction to Jack about going to the funeral in the first flash-forward episode we saw. Instead they were both very zen and spoke of love. It even almost seemed out of character for Kate to have been thinking about Locke - she tends to be, not selfish, but self involved and I never think of her sitting and thinking about Locke and wondering why he loves the island and deciding its because he's never loved anybody. Curious.

I'd be interested to read a theory or a description of how the island time travel is the reason for or is connected to the islands healing and immortal powers.

I'd also very much like to know how much of his 'loose end' Ben tied up as far as Penny is concerned.

Other Thoughts and Ideas:

Ilana and Caesar appear to be working for separate sides in this apparent “war”. It would appear that they may not know of one another's affiliations. Thus, Caesar hides the gun from her. However, he seemed very interested in those maps. Was that Mikhail's hangout that they were in? My guess would be that Caesar is in Widmore's camp. Ilana, is in Ben's camp, thus she brought Sayid back on the plane.Interesting that the other plane did in fact crash. And by crash, it looks like the plane was lightly dropped. One has to wonder if the Losties in Dharma camp will become The Others to this new batch of castaways. Perhaps everything will play out just as it did for the original crash, but with a different group of people..
Many of our theories that Widmore had his throne stolen are apparently correct. Widmore seems less manipulative than Ben when he makes his case. In fact, he is surprisingly sincere. The more and more he tells his tale, the more it seems like he had a defined purpose for being a jerk to Desmond. I do find it odd that when Desmond most needed the man's help, he got it (for example: getting Penny's address and being given the whereabouts of Ms Hawking).It is clear that Ben wants everyone back on that island for his own good, with no interference. The O6 can't know too much as far as Ben is concerned. He probably hired the goons running after Sayid and Hurley too.
Quite a bit of Biblical symbolism packed into one scene:Locke the Savior trying to kill himself like Judas the Betrayer, with a cord hanging from a ceiling constructed around a giant cross, and Ben at his feet, tempting him by saying there’s another way out besides death, the exact same enticement the devil used to tempt Jesus in the wilderness.
John on a beach looking longingly at what looks like OUR ISLAND. Sun and Lipidius took off in a boat to get to the right island. Jack, Kate and Hurley flashed through the Window to the right island. Everyone else crashed on a nearby island including ohn, Ben, Cesar, Ilana. I think John maybe suspects someting, but he's not saying anything.

Ben killed Locke, not to intentionally eliminate him, but because he needed a dead body in a coffin to get back to the island. I think now that they are on the island, Locke better watch his back because Ben doesn't need him anymore, and he wants to be the leader.

In the Lamp Post, Eloise was dressed identically to the Mary statue in her office: she had on a flowing blue dress with long sleeves that made it look like a robe over a white undergarment. At first I thought they were going for professorial (or even choir robe), but then it hit me: Mary. In a few shots in that scene, Eloise is shown with the Mary statue just over her shoulder (just like the stained glass hovered above Ben’s head in the pew). Eloise = The Great Mother
If Walt is like Desmond, it isn't dream he keeps having, but actual memories. He like Desmond, has already seen this happening. Maybe someone is helping him to try to make things right.

There has been a lot of catholicy stuff in this show so here me out. I think Ben was actually helping Locke out. Think about it. He could have just let Locke hang himself, and the result would have been the same. But instead, he sacrificed himself to kill Locke rather than letting Locke commit suicide. Maybe if Locke had killed himself, he wouldn’t have been worthy to lead the inhabitance of the island. I also really like the idea from one of the posts that Richard is dead. That would explain why the dude never ages, and why Ben once said, “you do remember birthdays, don’t you Richard”.

the ajira plane lands on the smaller island, hence caesar checking out the building with the hydra dharma logo on the folder...remember in season 3 when sawyer and kate are working breaking rocks with the others, he asks juliet what they're building...she answers, "a runway"what if that's what they landed the plane on, although maybe it wasn't finished because it looks like the plane stops in the trees, but that what ben did before the plane lit up last week, went to talk to lapidus to show him a place he could land the plane...

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