Lost 5.07 "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"

Lost doesn’t usually air two amazing episodes back-to-back. Much less three. Season 5 just keeps getting better.

This week’s ep wasn’t flawless. Locke’s visits to the Oceanic Six were a drag. If nothing consequential happens, we don’t need the flashbacks. I thought for sure at least the surprise visit to Walt would be a thrill, but the characters basically said hi and goodbye.

Luckily, the rest of the ep was stellar, blurring the lines between good and evil even further than before. I’ve been a Ben Linus apologist since Season 3, but now that he’s killed Locke (on the second attempt, no less), I’m not so sure. Are Ben and Widmore both bad? Is that the war we’ve been promised? Both sides of this Machiavellian god-game seem to use the 815 survivors as unwitting soldiers. I’m hoping that somewhere down the line, our favorite heroes (Locke, Jack, Sayid, Desmond, etc.) will team up against the forces that have manipulated them for so long.

“I was their leader.”Now we know why Widmore wants the Island back. It used to be his, before Ben convinced him to turn the wheel and exile himself. Or so Widmore says. If we believe him, the Island needs to pick its leaders better. Between Widmore and Ben, it’s appointed a lot of selfish egomaniacs.

Though this glimpse at Widmore’s past was tantalizing, I want to know more. Surely we haven’t heard the whole story. Is he connected with the Dharma Initiative? Why does he want the Island back so bad? Regardless, he sure looked cool in that desert garb. And speaking of cool-looking…

“Let me help you, Mr. Locke.”Why does Lost always kill my favorite auxiliary characters? Rousseau, Mikhail, and now Abaddon. The man gave me chills. And I was sure he was a future version of Walt. They’re the only two characters who call John “Mr. Locke.” I thought the writers had big plans for Abaddon down the line. I thought he’d be a major player in the endgame, since he exudes such power.

Guess not. At least I can still watch Lance Reddick on Fringe.

One scene did make me cringe: when Abaddon reminds Locke of his visit in the hospital, which convinced Locke to fly to Australia and wind up on 815. Really, writers? We’re smarter than that. We don’t need characters explaining the obvious to each other. You used to trust us back in earlier seasons; don’t start going all exposition on us now.

“I know we can do this, John.”Whoa. This scene threw me for a loop. I’m convinced Ben really was trying to prevent Locke’s suicide. Other fans say he had to instill faith in Locke before he could die, or else the Island wouldn’t resurrect him, but that’s a bit too abstracted for me. I think Ben snapped when Locke mentioned Mrs. Hawking.

Why? Two possibilities. He was just using Locke to get himself back on the Island, and when Locke revealed Hawking knew the way, Ben didn’t need him anymore. Just his body. The second possibility? Jealousy. The last time Ben tried to kill Locke, he was jealous because Jacob revealed himself to John. Hawking is a similarly powerful and hidden figure, so maybe Ben couldn’t stand the thought that the Island keeps giving all this info to Locke.

It’ll be interesting to see how Locke reacts on the Island with Ben in sick-bed. I’d throw him in a polar bear cage. But Locke doesn’t ever seem to learn from his mistakes.

“You’ll have to talk to Caesar.”Who are Caesar and Ilana? They seem to know a bit about the Island. My first assumption was that they work for Widmore, but that seems too easy. Perhaps they represent a third party that we haven’t seen yet, and will be part of the upcoming war.

My mind was blown when I realized the Ajira flight landed intact on Hydra Island’s runway (the one Kate and Sawyer helped build in Season 3). That means we’ve got dozens of potential new characters on the show. Hopefully, no more Nikki’s or Paulo’s.

Even more interestingly, the Ajira survivors (plus Locke, Ben, Frank, and probably Sun), seem to have landed on Hydra Island in the present (thus the long-abandoned Hydra station), whereas the rest of the Oceanic Six were flashed out of the plane and into the 1970’s (thus Jin’s brand-new Dharma van and jumper).

I love it when I can honestly say I have no idea where this show is going. Every season has an arc, and halfway through, we can usually tell what general shape that arc will take. Not this season. All the time- (and space-) travel has made that impossible.

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One thought on “Lost 5.07 "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"

  1. Hmmm yeah, I’m confused. I’m also pissed off that Ben might be a bad guy.And yeah, I really don’t get why they spent so much time showing Locke visiting people.Oh, and I totally needed the reminder about who the creepy guy was. :-\ He was so familiar, but I couldn’t place it.

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