Thursday, April 9, 2009

LOST: Dead is Dead

The world ridicules a passion which it seldom feels; its scenes, and its interests, distract the mind, deprave the taste, corrupt the heart, and love cannot exist in a heart that has lost the meek dignity of innocence.
-Ann Radcliffe

Weird to see Charles Whidmore on the island, and once again they turn the tables and make Ben seem like the 'good guy' over Charles. The one thing that seems to bring out Ben's human compassion is children. Poor nutty Danielle! Interesting warning to her- 'if you want your child to live, every time you hear whispers, run the other way.' So Charles was banished because he was trying to live in both worlds and betrayed the island by not being single-mindedly dedicated to it? I was hoping for a little bit of a bigger showdown/betrayal to have caused the riff between Charles and Ben, but I guess they just had clashing personalities from the beginning. I wonder why Richard isn't the leader of the Others. He is always telling everyone, 'its what Jacob wants' and things like that and they believe him without question. He's like their shaman who is the most in tune with the island and Jacob, but there is always a separate leader chosen. Is it because the leaders always end up corrupted?

I am diggin' confident, in charge Locke- Terry O'Quinn was so great in this episode! I love his little wave to Sun when Ben tells them to look outside. Also, it clears up why Jack being alive-again is different than what Christian is. Christian (and the other spectres we have seen) really are just embodiments of Jacob/Smokey/The Island. He/It takes dead bodies like Christian's and Amy's first husband so that he can project in human form? He certainly favors Christian as his host body of choice. John, though, really is alive again. John the Beloved? Its nice to see Ben scared/humbled, though its hard to trust. Nice little role reversal with John and Ben. I'm glad that Ben was asking him how the knowing works- I love it when the writers throw something into the show that we have all been wondering about ourselves ;) Love the whole Temple scene- very Indiana Jones. Whoa, Smokey, way to get manipulative and personal there, showing Ben his guilt and taking the form of Alex to get your point across. Is Charlie to be protected because he is the offspring of a former Other or because he is Desmond's and Desmond is important to the island with his wild card status? Its going to be an interesting twist to now see Ben as John's second hand man. Wonder how long that will last ;) We already saw the classic Ben in the beginning playing both sides and manipulating Caesar until he felt he was in the clear.

Time Travel memories: so Ben really didn't remember them all in Dharma? Even if it just happened for the first time, shouldn't he have those memories now Like Desmond did with? Is it just his subconscious remembering Juliette and being obsessed with her and remembering that Kate and Sawyer helped so he put them on the 'good' list but not Jack? If not, I wonder if its because our Losties are going back to the future pretty soon so little Ben never got to know them. Although, he should still recognize the ones who were there for three years. Hmmm. Rousseau didn't remember Sayid because he hadn't been in her past on the island originally - if she were alive still she may suddenly have those memories. Ben didn't remember Sayid killing him because it hadn't happened yet. The wild card will always be Desmond- it would seem that the same rule applied for him when he woke up with memories of Daniel after Dan told him to go and find his mom. Sigh. Just when I thought it was starting to make sense.

The whole thing with Ben living with Dharma but being one of the Others ... its making me think more about Amy. We know that her son Ethan ends up an Other taking orders from Ben. Could that have been a young Ethan with Ben in the flashback when he took Alex? I think there is more to Amy anyway- it was very odd circumstances when they found her in the field with the bag over her head and her first husband was killed. She has an I-could-hop-on-the-crazy-train-at-any-moment-and-murder-you-all vibe about her. (Still loved you as Michelle on 24!) Is she one of the Others living among Dharma like Ben? Or does Ethan get taken like Alex? That would be ironic since he later steals Claire to get Aaron.

If Caesar is really dead then I am a tad surprised. I thought he would have a bigger part to play than just being the new Jack (self-proclaimed leader) for a few episodes. Although, there is a certain irony with that, because when the show first began the intention was to have the Jack character die pretty soon and have the Kate character step up as the leader, but then people fell in love with boyscout Jack and broken Kate and they went another way with it. This time the Jack character ate it early. (Maybe). I'm excited to find out what the deal is with Ilana- 'What lies in the shadow of the statue?' A test to see if Frank was one of them? If she didn't already know who her other Others/partners or whatever they are were, then that suggests she is some kind of Other new recruit as opposed to someone who has been on the island before. What is her mission?

Thinking a bit more about Richard in the jungle when Kate and Sawyer bring him little Ben to heal: ''His innocence will be gone. He will always be one of us. You still want me to take him?'' Interesting that he made it their decision. It makes me think of how they all convinced Locke that he had to sacrifice himself and how the Others wanted Locke to kill his father (though he got Sawyer to do that). The island can torture and influence you, but in the end it seems to need people to voluntarily offer themselves to its ... service, for lack of a better term. In little Ben's case, he couldn't speak for himself at that moment and so Richard had Sawyer and Kate speak for him. What will the repercussions be on them for making that decision? Did they bind themselves to him? Well, they were on Ben's 'good' list, for one thing. Interesting. The loss of innocence makes me think that they took Ben in and sliced his daemon away from him. (For those of you who have read Philip Pullman's, His Dark Materials books ;)

Yay! Penny and Des and little Charlie are all intact! Those were some well deserved punches that Desmond got in. Charles Whidmore vs Desmond. I have been pondering this relationship more as theories abound out that Desmond is the key to fixing the time conundrum because he is a wild card and isn't affected by Fate the same way as everyone else. Now that we know that Ellie and Charles are connected, I am wondering about the way Charles treated Desmond from the beginning. Back then it just seemed like he was a protective father and a hoighty toighty, snobbish jerk. Did he truly not like Desmond or was the whole thing a ploy to get him to enter the sailing race to prove himself so that he would end up on the island and show him the way back? When Des was in the monastery the monk there had a picture of Ellie on his desk, and Penny was sent on a delivery or something to the monastery and that is how they met. Was Charles using Penny as a pawn the entire time to get what he wanted from Des? Could they have really foreseen the love that would happen between Penny and Des? Or, did they fall in love first and then Charles and Ellie decided to use that to their advantage? I still wonder how in the dark Penny was about everything her father. Not that I suspect Penny of wrong intentions towards Des at all, but she must know some things. I mean, without her fathers help she was able to track Des down, but then that may have been Charles' intentions as well. I do think that the last time Des went and spoke with Charles, when he told him where to find Ellie, Charles was being sincere. I think Charles, whatever his original intentions, really didn't anticipate how much Penny and Des would mean to one another and really did miss and want to protect his daughter. Charles seemed broken down and even seemed to respect Des- did he always respect Des but was manipulating him for the good of the island or has he changed because of all that has happened? There are some holes in this story that I am really anxious to get filled in. I'm glad that they cleared up the question Penny's mother though- she is/was an 'outsider,' not an Other (so not Ellie- when does Ellie get banished?)

Other thoughts:

FUN FACT! There was a 1993 film flop entitled Dead Is Dead, the plot of which, according to, goes like this: ''While Eric Shepherd tries to find answers to his brother's death, he is partially dismembered by an unknown creature. A young woman finds Eric and gives him a miracle drug called Doxital that grows back his severed limb and saves his life. A chain of haunting events follows Eric on his quest for the truth.''

Ben might be getting a download of knowledge about the Island and his future, thus making a mess of his free will, and likened this damning mind expansion to Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. But maybe I shouldn't have been so Biblical or so negative. Adam & Eve story about the fall from grace and loss of innocence vis à vis the eating of forbidden fruit and the consequent advance in knowledge and understanding, is only one variation of this myth. Many cultures have a similar story, most of which include one additional detail: Death. If you read the Sumerian/Babylonian Story of Queen Inanna and the Enuma Elish, you will see that Inanna, in her journey to become queen, must first attain a full understanding of life — and to do that, she must first understand death. She proceeds on a journey to the underworld where she encounters her counterpart and loses her innocence, i.e., she dies, at which point she reemerges in the world of the living as ''enlightened'' and ready to take her throne.... I would posit that Richard must kill Ben and resurrect him — forever altered, enlightened, but tainted. Much like Persephone [from Greek mythology] after eating from the pomegranate or Izanaki [from Japanese mythology] after eating the fruit of the underworld. The Egyptian Book of the Dead- 'Chapters 1-16: The deceased enters the tomb, descends to the underworld, and the body regains its powers of movement and speech.... Chapters 17-63: Explanation of the mythic origin of the gods and places, the deceased are made to live again so that they may arise, reborn, with the morning sun.' Oh, and Chapter 125? 'The Declaration of Innocence!' Reborn with the morning sun?' The Egyptian sun god was Ra, and Richard Alpert's initials are RA....

Ben's Dharma house is seemingly built upon an existing temple tunnel. That is a curious thought since it was Dharma who built the houses. Interesting, right? Did Goodspeed and his Dharma crew know of the temple?

Ben to Locke: My God! You’re alive!Doubting Thomas to Jesus: My Lord and God! You’re alive!Ben to Locke: It’s one thing to believe it, John, and another thing to see it.Jesus to Doubting Thomas: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.Ben stalks Danielle in order to kill her and is stopped at the moment of truth by the sight of Alex.Ben stalks Penny in order to kill her and is stopped at the moment of truth by the sight of Charlie.Is the thought of a mother being taken away from a child the only way to stop Ben? Is it his Achilles heel?

So if you are responsible for the death of a family member, that family member is manifested by the Smoke Monster and either kills you or gives you marching orders?Eko was responsible for his brother Yemi’s death, Yemi was conjured up by the Smoke Monster, Eko wouldn’t ask for forgiveness and was killed.Ben was responsible for his daughter Alex’s death, she appeared to him via Smokey, he was repentant and “it let me live.”
"What's about to come out of that jungle is a thing I can't control." and out walks John Locke. That says a lot about the heirarchy of John and Ben according to the island, I think.

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