By Mike Frey and johnnysweeptheleg
Last night’s episode, “Dead Is Dead,” presented us with the most frightening phenomenon we’ve seen yet on Lost — Ben Linus with emo bangs. A note for the show’s producers: combing Michael Emerson’s hair forward does not make us forget the fact that he is 55 years old. We’ve already seen three actors portray Charles Widmore. What would have been the harm in hiring someone to bridge the gap between frail young Ben and creepy old Ben? There are plenty of twentysomething actors out there.
Anyway, the other big news is that, contrary to what you might have read, johnnysweeptheleg will continue to cowrite these Lost posts, at least through the end of this season. So, without further ado …
johnnysweeptheleg’s Lost in a Moment:
Boy, throw some classy clothes on Locke, and suddenly he thinks he’s running the joint. I’m not sure if Ben’s more surprised to awake to the image of Locke alive or just finally not wearing that damn dirty white t-shirt.
Of course, Ben claims he knew Locke would come back to life and he’s just surprised to actually see it. And why should we doubt, Ben? After all, everyone else on the island seems to be checkers players, while Ben is clearly a chess player. Ben is back on the island for one thing, and one thing only. To be judged. For a fraction of the moment, I held out hopes that Stallone would show up in his Judge Dredd costume and scream, “I didn’t break the law! I am the law!”
Locke 2.0 is leery of Ben’s stories, though. Point blank, he confronts Ben for murdering him. If he was already going to commit suicide, then why not just let him proceed? Ben tells Locke critical information would’ve died with him had he committed suicide. Once he got the information, there wasn’t enough time to re-convince him to hang himself. In a twisted way, it’s hard to argue with that logic.
Ben tells Locke he’s back on the island to be judged by the Monster. No, not Charlize Theron. Smokey, The Smoke Monster. This is a show Locke wants a ticket to, so he and Ben are about to lift a boat to the mainland. But Caesar has been drinking the Leader Juice, and says nobody’s going anywhere. Before anyone can warn Caesar to beware the ides of March, Ben pulls a sawed-off from his fanny pack and shoots him dead in the sand. Ben turns to Locke and tells him, “Consider that my apology.” Wow. Actions really do speak louder than words. Get it? Because, y’know, he shot him and it made a really loud noise … ugh, fine.
Anyway, Locke 2.0 isn’t about to let Ben think he’s pulling one over him. He calls bulldookie, and tells Ben he isn’t here to be judged for leaving the island. Ben’s here to be judged for killing his daughter, Alex.
Speaking of, the story behind Ben’s not-so-legal adoption is finally revealed when a twentysomething Ben and a Tween Ethan happen upon Rousseau’s tent. Ben has been ordered to kill Danielle, but upon seeing the baby, he instead takes the child and tells Danielle to run in the opposite direction any time she hears the whispers. Or if she hears anything from Rick Astley playing on the radio.
This pisses off Widmore. For one, he loves him some Rick Astley, preferably “Together Forever” more so than “Never Gonna Give You Up.” But secondly, because he claims the island wanted both Danielle and her baby dead. And for that, Ben has disobeyed the island. Twentysomething Ben is still with some conscience, though, and says he isn’t going to do it. If that’s what the island wants, and not just Widmore, then he can do it himself. Oh snap! Ben called his bluff, and Widmore walks away.
But not only do we finally see the origins of the babysnatching, we also get to see Widmore get voted off the island. Alpert crashes Ben’s father-daughter morning to tell him Widmore’s being taken to the sub. Ben realizes this is his last opportunity to Talk to Chuck while on the island, before Jeff Probst snuffs his fire. In cuffs and under a bulletproof vest, Widmore stands before Ben. Ben tells him he had this coming. Leaving the island all the time. Knocking up an off-island woman. Who does Widmore think he is, Shawn Kemp?Something tells me Chucky’s being banished for a little more than just that, though. After all, doesn’t Ben start to come and go from the island all the time, too? Widmore warns him that one day, Ben will be in his very same shoes and will be banished as well, if he’s wrong about the island not wanting Alex dead.
Back to the future, Ben and Locke are at the dark and desolate Dharma camp, which looks like Camp Crystal Lake after Jason has wreaked havoc on all of the counselors. Ben needs to summon Smokey from his barracks. But a light goes on in Alex’s room, and Ben sees that somebody’s been eating his porridge. It’s Frank and Sun (which sounds like the name of a family carpentry business), still obsessing over the Class of ’77 Dharma Yearbook. They show it to Ben, who claims to have no recollection of that and wonders where they got it. They tell him a fella named Christian was there and told them if they ever wanted to see Jin again, that they’d have to wait for Locke. By now, Ben is perfecting his WTF look.
Locke enters in typical creepy guy fashion and acts like the father that Ben never gassed, reminding him to clean his room and repent to Smokey. And so Ben goes off to his man cave, reaches into the water, and courtesy flushes it, telling Smokey he’ll be outside waiting. But Smokey is late. Ben says he only knows how to summon it, he doesn’t know where it lives. Further angering him, Locke says not to worry, he knows where Smokey resides. While walking, Ben figures out where Locke is taking him and says he knows the Temple is where he was healed as a child. Wait, I thought Ben wouldn’t have any memory of that after drinking Guyliner’s Kool Aid. Locke tells Ben he isn’t completely correct. They’re going beneath the Temple. This appears to scare a few more gray hairs onto Ben’s head, and he turns to Sun telling her to make sure Desmond knows he’s sorry, should she ever get the chance to see Des again.
So why is he sorry? It has to do with why Ben was so beaten up upon arrival for the Ajira flight. On his way to the docks, Ben calls Charles to gloat that he’s going back to the island for Dharma Survivor All Stars and Widmore isn’t. But first, he has to kill Widmore’s daughter. But Desmond surprises Ben by showing up with an armful of groceries. Ben, a strict vegan, sees that Desmond’s grocery bag contains one too many bottles of milk, and shoots him. As he moves on, he apologizes to Penny and tells her she’s just caught up in the middle of a feud between he and her father. But little Charlie appears, and Ben still seems to have a little bit of the conscience he showed as an angsty twentysomething, and doesn’t shoot. Desmond, saved by his diet, tackles Ben and pummels him for what feels like the ninetieth time in Ben’s history on the show.
Now we’re back on the island, and Ben is repenting to Smokey, who makes Ben revisit all of the pivotal Alex moments in his life. Truly appearing sorry, Ben thinks the ceremony is over, when Alex reappears … or at least, a manifestation of Alex. Ben apologizes and takes blame for everything, which Alex agrees with and throws him up against the wall. She tells him she knows he’s already planning to kill Locke again, and that he isn’t allowed to do this, and must begin listening to and following Locke’s lead. Even though he’s back on the island, it appears he’s still banished.
How will Richard Alpert save Ben’s life, and why will it cost Ben his innocence? We’re still not sure about the former, but working for Charles Widmore certainly takes care of the latter.
Assuming that baby Ethan is Ethan Rom, how does he end up with the Others? Peer pressure. That Ben Linus is a bad influence.
If Charles Widmore led the Others for 30 years, does that mean Penny was born on the island? It would appear that she was not, which is, in part, why Ben banished Widmore from the island.
Who will be fighting in this war that is supposedly coming? Our money is on Ilana and her crew.
Will Locke avenge his own death once Ben wakes up? Of course not. What’s a little murder between friends?
New Questions To Be Asked
“What lies in the shadow of the statue?”
How do Ilana and her crew know about the statue — and who sent them to the island?
What’s in the silver crate?
Who is Penny’s “outsider” mom?
Photo credit: ABC/FLORIAN SCHNEIDER