What started with the Season Three finale, "Through the Looking Glass," (where we saw the beginnings of the Jeremy Bentham mystery) and continued throughout Season Four and the first half of this season, finally came to an end last night as we saw "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" unfold.
What started with the Season Three finale, "Through the Looking Glass," (where we saw the beginnings of the Jeremy Bentham mystery) and continued throughout Season Four and the first half of this season, finally came to an end last night as we saw "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" unfold - Bentham, of course, being the alias that John Locke used when he left the Island. And what an episode it was! Reminiscent of "Meet Kevin Johnson" from last season, last night's episode took us through Locke's journey, from beginning to end, filling in all the holes and questions we had about how he got off the Island, what he did, and how he accepted the "sacrifice" which the Island demanded of him.
After crashing, not on the main Island, but on the smaller "Alcatraz" island, the Ajira Airlines plane and it's survivors had created a makeshift camp around a fire. The episode opened with one of the survivors, Ceasar (played by Saïd Taghmaoui) discovering the Hydra Station somewhere on the island. He appeared to be searching for something, as he dug through cabinets, finding papers about Hydrogen Bomb testing, formulas, and maps of the island which looked remarkably like the one Danielle Rousseau had when she first captured Sayid in Season One. As he flipped through folders and files, Ceasar discovered a sawed-off shotgun taped to the bottom of a desk, and quickly stashed it inside his bag, hiding it from another fellow survivor who had just walked in on him - the woman accompanying a handcuffed-Sayid on the plane, Ilana.
It's at this point that things got interesting.
Ilana told Ceasar that they found someone on the beach, completely unrecognizeable by any of the survivors... A man, dressed in a black suit, standing in the water. As they quickly made their way back to the beach, they found the man, sitting in the sand, covered with a blanket from head to toe, and surrounded by a group of newly minted redshirts (for Smokey/The Others/Widmore to kill later on!) After asking him who he was, the figure slowly removed the blanket covering his head, and declared - "My name is John Locke."
If that wasn't a Jedi moment, I don't know what was.
After the intro, we picked up the next morning, as Locke stood on the beach, staring across the ocean at "his" Island as Ilana walked up. With the rest of the survivors huddled around two canoe's, Ilana (played by Zuleikha Robinson of HBO's Rome fame) told him that the pilot and another woman took a third one in the middle of the night without telling anyone, and took off, presumably for the bigger Island. Locke wondered if she had a list of the passengers on the plane, obviously wondering if his gamble had paid off, and the Oceanic Six had come back with him. Unfortunately, Ilana told him that he'd have to talk to Ceasar. However, she told him that nobody remembered him being on the plane. After a brief questioning by her, Locke fessed up that he could only assume why he was dressed in a suit, but remembered one thing... he remembered dying.
With a return of the classic flashback element this episode, cued by the ominous Michael Giacchino theme, we picked up where we last saw Locke on the Island - turning the giant donkey wheel, and being asked by Christian Shephard to say hello to his son, as he disappeared in the now-traditional flash of light. When Locke awoke, he was in Tunisia, in the exact same place we saw Ben appear at after he moved the Island in "There's No Place Like Home." After throwing up, seemingly the after-effect of teleportation, Locke realized that his leg was in a severely bad shape and he was unable to get up. He screamed for help, seemingly to no avail, until he noticed a camera aimed directly at him from a pole several feet away from him. As night came, and with Locke's condition worsening, a truck drove up and several men with guns hoisted him up and drove off. He was taken to a makeshift hospital, where his broken leg was very crudely treated by the local doctor. Before Locke passed out from the pain, he noticed someone watching over him from the corner of the room - Matthew Abaddon.
When Locke awoke, his mysterious benefactor was sitting beside his bed. It was none other than Charles Widmore, who had been monitoring the spot where Locke was found, which he claimed was the "exit point" from the Island. Widmore, as it turned out, knew all about Locke's mission, and remembered him from their meeting on the Island when Widmore was only seventeen years old. Widmore tells Locke that he had eventually become leader of the Others after their meeting on the Island fifty years ago, and that he protected the Island, peacefully, for more than three decades. However, Widmore reveals that he was tricked into leaving the Island by Ben.. he was exiled, and could no longer return, thus answering our question of why he's been trying to get to the Island for several seasons now.
With the revelation that the Oceanic Six had been back from the Island for three years already, Locke realized that his job would be much more difficult now that they'd all gotten back to their own lives and moved on. However, Widmore told John that he would do whatever was in his power to help him bring the O6 back. However, Locke, still under the assumption that Charles Widmore is the bad guy, questioned why Widmore would want him and the rest of the Oceanic Six back on the Island. With a foreboding tone, Widmore told him that there is a war coming, and that if John and the other Oceanic survivors weren't back on the island, the "wrong side" was going to win.
Later in the day, Widmore re-introduced Matthew Abbadon, and provided John with the locations of all of the Oceanic Six, and enough money to travel comfortably in his journey to round them all up. And Matthew Abbadon, the mysterious figure we've seen for two seasons now, would be his assistant.
The first name on Locke's list was Sayid Jarah. After wasting years of his life as a soldier, and then more time being manipulated by Ben to be a killer after he returned from the Island and his wife Nadia was murdered, Sayid now spent his days in Santo Domingo, building schools for charity, and being productive.. doing "real good," in his own words. Sayid, however, wanted nothing to do with Locke's plan. Feeling sick of being manipulated, he told John that he would not go back, but Locke was more than welcome to join him in Santo Domingo, doing "real good."
Locke had started on his journey 0-for-1.
When next we saw Locke, we appeared to be in New York City. Sitting inside a car parked on the side of the street across from what appeared to be a school - Fieldcroft School, to be precise, Locke told Abbadon, who was in the driver's seat, that there was someone he would like him to look up for him. He told him about Helen Norwood, his old girlfriend, who was living in Los Angeles. As the school bell rang, and kids were dismissed, they got out of the car. It was none other than Walt, much older than last they met, who walked out after dismissal and noticed John sitting in his wheelchair across the street. However, he did not seem very surprised to see Locke, and told him that he had been having dreams about him. In his dreams, Locke was on the island, in a suit, and ther were people around him who wanted to hurt him - very ominous, considering the opening scenes of the episode. Walt asked about his dad, wondering if Locke knew where he was, or if he went back to the Island... however, unable to tell him the truth, Locke tells him that the last he heard, Michael was on a freighter near the Island. Walt didn't seem to believe him, but just shrugged it off.
Walt wondered why Locke was there to see him, and Locke told him he just wanted to make sure he was ok. He wasn't able to bring himself to invite Walt back to the Island, and told Abbadon that he had been through enough. As they got back into the car, arguing about Locke's lack of success thus far, we panned to the far side of the street, in the distance, to see Ben Linus looking on, ominously.
Now 0-for-2, their next destination was Santa Rosa, California, where Hurley was still a patient at the mental hospital.
In traditionally humorous Hurley-fashion, as Locke rolled up to him just outside the hospital in the park area, Hurley believed him to be yet another ghost - "So you didn't make it, huh?" However, after getting confirmation from one of the aides nearby that John was infact very real, Hurley jumped up in surprise. He didn't, however, take Locke's desire to return to the Island as badly as one would expect. Unfortunately, Hurley told Locke that he didn't think it would be possible, as they had all gone back to their lives. Upon seeing Abbadon by the car, Hurley freaked out and told Locke about his previous meeting with Abbadon. Untrustful of Abbadon, Hurley told John that he wouldn't go anywhere with him, and he was taken away by nurses. 0-for-3.
As they got back in the car, Locke received a lecture from Abbadon about his lack of success. Bitter as usual, Locke asked Abbadon what he did for Widmore.. it was at this point that Abbadon opened up. He told him about their previous meetings, when he was an orderly in the hospital after Locke's accident, and was the one who told him to go on the walkabout that put him on the plane that crashed on the Island. Matthew Abbadon, it seems, was someone who helped people "get to where they need to be."
Next up was Los Angeles, the very next scene, in the home of Kate Austen, as Kate flat out told him that her answer was "no". Despite the knowledge that everyone on the Island was going to die unless she went back, Kate said her answer was still no. She told John that she thought about him sometimes, about how desperate he was to stay on the Island, and that she realized it was because he didn't love anybody. So, Locke told her about Helen. He told her it didn't work out, because he was angry and obsessed.
Dealing with yet another failure, and the memory of Helen brought back up, Locke left Kate's house demanding that Abbadon tell him where she is. Despite Abbadon's attempts to deny having found her, he finally succumbs and takes him to her. The next scene, they arrived at a cemetary in Santa Monica. Helen, it seems, passed away in 2006 from a brain aneurism. Locke believed that if he had stayed with her, they would've been together, but the truth is that she would have died regardless. As they debated about fate and destiny, getting back into the car, three shots rang out, and Locke saw Abbadon's bloodied body smear up against the back of the car. He quickly got into the driver's seat, and drove off, saving himself.. however, swerving dangerously down the road resulted in Locke crashing into two cars at an intersection.
When he woke up, he was in a hospital room, and Jack Shephard was sitting next to him. Overjoyed at the odds of being sent to the same hospital that Jack was working at, Locke preached to him about fate and destiny, however, ever-cynical, Jack told him that it was not their destiny to return to the Island, and that John should reconsider the "delusions" that he was special. Jack told him to wonder if he was just a lonely old man who crashed on an island, and walked towards the door. Desperate, Locke finally spoke and told Jack that his father said hello. He told him of his deductions that the man on the Island couldn't have been Hurley or Sayid's father, so it had to be Jack's, and that his name was Christian. Almost in tears, Jack told Locke that his father was dead and that none of them were ever important, before leaving.
And so, completely unsuccessful, Locke returned to his hotel room, and wrote the now infamous letter to Jack. He set up a noose made of an extention cord in his ceiling, and prepared to hang himself with it. Inches away from certain death, he was stopped by a pounding at the door. The door broke open, and who burst through? Why, Benjamin Linus, of course. He told Locke that he had someone watching Sayid and the others, and was notified when Locke turned up. He told him that he was the one who shot Abbadon, because he was working for Widmore, who was "extremely dangerous." Ben talked Locke down from the noose, by telling him that Jack booked a ticket to Sydney - if Locke could get Jack, he would be able to get the rest of them as well. Locke had no idea how important he was, and how much work he still had to do on the Island. Ben tried to reassure Locke by telling him that they could still do this.. that he hadn't even gone to Sun yet. Upon hearing this, Locke told Ben that he promised Jin he wouldn't bring Sun back - this apparently shocked Ben. He either didn't know that Jin was alive, or he pretended to not know. You could see the wheels turning inside Ben's head, formulating some plot or another.
As Ben helped John to his bed, Locke, with his back to Ben told him his next step was going to see a woman in Los Angeles named Eloise Hawking. Ben knew this name - his eyes darted up immediately upon hearing it. After he acknowledged that he did, infact, know Mrs. Hawking, Ben darted towards Locke and wrapped the noose around his neck, holding on throughout all of the struggling, until all the life had been squeezed from John's body. Ben then proceeded to raise Locke up in the noose, and made it seem like a suicide, making sure to wipe down any furniture he may have touched while he was there. After pocketing Jin's wedding ring, and getting his coat, Ben stood by the doorway and said, "I'll miss you John... I really will." And he almost looked sincere. Almost.
And so the flashback ended. We returned to the Island, where Ceasar was flipping through some Hydra station Dharma files as Locke came in to visit him. He tells Ceasar that the symbol on the files represents the Dharma Initiative, who were conducting experiments on the Island at one point, and that he knew this because he spent 108 days on the Island. After questioning Locke's situation, Ceasar told him that he had a mystery of his own.. he recalls the white flash of light on the plane, and Hurley and the others all disappearing. Locke realized that he is more than likely talking about the Oceanic Six, and asked for a passenger list. Unfortunately, the pilot took it when he ran off. Ceasar told Locke that everyone is accounted for, "except for the people that got hurt." So he takes John to their "sick bay" where we saw several people sleeping through their various injuries. Locke noticed a figure sleeping at the far side of the room and walked up to it. When Ceasar asked if Locke knew him, Locke responded... "Yeah. He's the man who killed me."
Holy crap. I believe those were my exact words after this episode ended. I saw some "meh" reactions to the episode on the board, and I couldn't believe anyone would find this episode to be anything short of awesome. From the very beginning, with the cool Locke-reveal on the beach, to his meeting with Widmore.. to the end with Ben, it was an easy 10/10.
Charles Widmore remembered Locke from when he was 17, and he was surprised to see that it's only been four days since they met for Locke.. with all the time he spent on the Island, he didn't know about it's time properties? The meeting between the two was easily one of the coolest fanboyish moments this season for me. It reminded me of how I felt when Penny and Desmond finally reunited at the end of last season.. not that Widmore and Locke should get and have a baby, although that could make for an interesting sitcom spinoff when this is all over.. but it's probably the first time we've ever really seen Widmore open up! Now.. whether or not he was entirely truthful with Locke is up for debate.
But I must admit, after his speech about his history with the Island, I find it much easier to consider that he could be telling the truth and that Ben is the true "bad" guy. Especially after we found out how "Jeremy Bentham" died.
But some regulars from the LOST Thread did bring up good points - there doesn't necessarily have to be a good and bad guy. They could both be varying degrees of bad. Both Ben and Charles want the Island for their own purposes. Both of them consider it "theirs".. and both will go to great lengths to make it so. See: Widmore sending a freighter full of mercenaries to wipe our everyone on the Island, Ben brutally murdering Locke.
And what of Locke? I have to say, I found his reveal to Ceasar at the beginning of the episode very Star Wars-ish. Maybe a little bit of Ben Kenobi mixed in with some Yoda?
So what do you guys think.. does Locke really have a destiny? Is he really special? Important? Or was Jack right.. was he really just a longely old man who crashed on the Island? Is Locke so desperate to be special, that he makes it pathetically easy for people to manipulate him? We know Ben has done it numerous times. I mean, the entire second season practically defined their relationship as one of repetitive manipulations. Is Widmore doing the same thing?
I can't help but wonder if Locke's role isn't more of an Abbadon-esque "get people to where they need to be" type thing. (But more on that in Theories..)
Another thing about Widmore that caught my eye... he said he was 17 when he met Locke. And he said he was the leader of the Others and they "safely protected" the Island for 30 years.
That would make him.. what, 47-48 when he got off the Island, at least?
So.. either he's lying about something, or Penny was born on the Island. Some crazy food for thought there. Perhaps he was able to go on and off the Island, like Richard was.. or perhaps Penny is adopted? Who knows.. but something doesn't quite add up in his story, does it?
And that ending! The ending was nuts. We've come to expect alot from Ben over the years, and there's not much I wouldn't put past him.. but I was genuinely surprised when he killed Locke. He used him for information, and disposed of him without so much as a second thought. Cold as ice. Whatever this war that's coming is, and however it plays out.. Ben is going to cause some serious damage to the other side. We can only hope no more of our LOSTies are caught in the middle.. a hope that I'm sure will fall on deaf ears for the writers.
I'll start off with one of my own that I've been stewing on for a few days now, and it kind of started from all the talk of Locke playing the "Christian Shephard" role on the Ajira flight, and ties in to waht I was talking about earlier about Locke's role as being more of an Abbadon-esque thing.
So here's the deal.. what if Christian Shephard had been on the Island before? What if he was sent on a mission to bring certain people to the Island.. or, more specifically, a certain someone. His own son, Jack, who clearly has a huge role to play at some point on the Island. Jack is special. He's the real deal, unlike Locke, who is just the stooge. I firmly believe this. Jack is destined to lead the Others, just like he was destined to lead the Flight 815 survivors. So. Christian Shephard had to bring his son to the Island.. but, just like with Locke, he had to die in order to do so. And when Flight 815 crashed on the Island, and Christian's body was missing from the coffin, and Jack saw him walking around the Island still in his suit and sneakers.. well, it was because, just like with Locke, Christian was resurrected somehow.
It makes sense if you think about it.. when we first saw him, we assumed he was a ghost, or some sort of figure created by Smokey. But when we saw him last season, he was no longer wearing the suit. He was wearing "island-clothes," for lack of a better term.
But what this would mean for Jack, I don't know. At this point, though.. I'd say the good money is on Jack being the true leader that both Widmore and Ben claim Locke is going to become. And Locke? He's falling for everyone's manipulations, desperately wanting to be special. Nothing ever changes for poor Locke.
We've only got one theory from the LOST Thread this week, and it comes to us from Thunderstorm
"...the comment about how John looks exactly the same after 50 years seemed to be clue to Alpert's agelessness."
So is Richard Alpert like Locke? Is he just bouncing around through the Island's timeline? Or does he just flat out not age? We know early on in LOST, during the original Lost Experience ARG, there was mention of a Life Extension Project by the Hanso Foundation.. could there be something to that on the Island? Something in addition to the crazy time properties? I doubt we'll find out this season, but it's a very good point.
That's all for this week. The column went up later than I expected this week, but there was a lot to take in. Episode 5x08, "LaFleur" is up next week. Expect the column by Friday at the latest.
The LOST Thread Rating: 9.12/10
Ours Favorite LOST episodes, season 3 - current (continued from OldRama):
* 9.3 Through the Looking Glass
* 9.29 There's No Place Like Home, Part 2 - Season 4 finale
* 9.12 The Shape of Things to Come
[b]* 9.12 The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham[/b]
* 9.1 The Constant
* 8.9 The Man Behind the Curtain
* 8.8 This Place Is Death
* 8.84 The Beginning of the End
* 8.803 Confirmed Dead
* 8.80 The Brig
* 8.75 The Man From Tallahasse
* 8.71 One of Us
* 8.66 There's No Place Like Home, Part 1
* 8.65 Cabin Fever
* 8.58 The Economist
* 8.3 Flashes Before Your Eyes
* 8.26 Jughead
* 8.2 Greatest Hits
* 8.13 Eggtown
* 8.06 Further Insructions
* 8.0238 Every Man For Himself
* 8.0232 Enter 77
* 8.0 316
* 7.98 Meet Kevin Johnson
* 7.954 The Little Prince
* 7.95 Left Behind
* 7.93 Par Avion
* 7.87 A Tale of Two Cities
* 7.8 Glass Ballerina
* 7.74 Ji Yeon
* 7.407 Because You Left/The Lie
* 7.704 Tricia Tanaka Is Dead
* 7.703 Expose
* 7.702 I Do
* 7.6 Something Nice Back Home
* 7.4 D.O.C.
* 7.3 Not in Portland
* 7.1 The Other Woman
* 7.0 Catch-22
* 6.9 The Cost of Living
* 6.2 Stranger in a Strange Land