Thursday, April 9, 2009

LOST Dead is Dead, first thoughts

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but in my defense, I am on vacation and out of the country to boot.  Also, this is my third attempt at this post.  I actually wrote my first attempt right after watching the episode despite operating on less then 4 hours of sleep in over 40 hours.  Somehow I lost the post instead of posting it.  I put it down to operator error.  I was wrong.  The Interwebs screwed me again after my second attempt at writing it this morning.  By the time I lost the post this time, it was time for me to head to the baseball game.  I made the executive decision to push the post back to tonight after Jersey Boys (which was fan-freakin-tastic by the way).  This time I am writing it as a Microsoft Word document and will use the magic of cut and paste, so every time that the interwebs screw up, I’ll be able to just cut and paste it again.  I’ll win in the end, I guarantee you that.

So, let’s get onto the episode.

I like that there were things in this episode that hinted at some of the big mysteries we are still waiting for full answers on.  While full and complete answers might not have occurred, there were definitely some clues.

LISTS

“Jacob wanted it done.  The Island chooses who the Island chooses.  You know that.”
-Richard Alpert

We’ve seen through the episodes (at least since season 2) that the Others have certain requirements for people that they want to join them.  Often those people have been identified by being on Lists.  So, who makes those lists?  The people sent to spy on intruders (such as Goodwin and Ethan did to our LOSTies), the leader of the Others (be it Benry, Widmore, or the Ageless Wonder, aka Richard Alpert), or is it Jacob?  For instance, who decided that young Ethan was supposed to join the Others and be spared the Purge?  Richard hints to Widmore that it is because of Jacob that he saved Young Ben.  Of course we saw the fact that Sawyer and Kate brought Young Ben to him and there wasn’t really time for Jacob to tell Alpert to save him.  Now, it is of course possible that Alpert and Jacob had talked of Young Ben after Richard first met him in the jungle a few years earlier, and it was understood that he was to become one of them, but what if Young Ben was never supposed to become Benry and was never meant to be the leader of the Others?  What if it was supposed to be Locke all along?

THE WHISPERS

When Benry and Young Ethan go to kill Rousseau and fail (I haven’t had a chance to read what anyone else has said about this episode yet, but I have to assume that many people have pointed out that Rousseau should have known Benry upon capturing him, she should have recognized him as the person who stole Alex from her) Benry tells her to avoid them and, “Every time you hear whispers, you run the other way.”  We’ve recognized that many times the Whispers occur, the Others aren’t far behind, but it is nice to hear one of the Others themselves (and Benry no less) admit that there is a connection between the Whispers and the Others.

SMOKEY

We’ve been told by the creators of the show that every time Smokey appears in the show, we’ll learn something new about him.  This time we actually saw from whence it comes.  Much was made of its home being full of those Egyptian-like hieroglyphics and a very interesting drawing right over the holes that Smokey emerged from featuring an Egyptian-like god treating with Smokey himself.  How long has this thing been around?  I also found interesting that despite the fact that Smokey came so promptly when Benry called last season, it showed no inclination of coming this time.  “Not a train, John, it doesn’t run on a schedule.” Benry tells Locke.  Speaking of Benry summoning Smokey, I have to wonder whether that connection was built by Dharma or added by the Others once they moved in.

THE STATUE
Speaking of the Egyptian-like connection to Smokey, we got a reminder that there is another Egyptian-ish mystery to be solved, the Statue.  The other flight 316 survivors appear to know a little something of the Statue because they ask their cult-like creepy question, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”  How do they know to ask that, especially since currently, the statue isn’t throwing much of a shadow as it is only four toes?
 
There were also a few things in this episode that hearkened back to moments in past episodes.

First, when Benry tells John he must be judged because he “Broke the rules” it is very reminiscent of what Benry accused Widmore of when Keamy killed Alex.  And that moment was very important to this episode as it was.  What the episode did through this rule breaking connection was tie Benry and Widmore together.  Ultimately neither of them was meant to be the leader of the Others.  Both of them made decisions that were for personal reasons rather then for what the Island deserved.

The other person that this episode tied Benry to, however, surprised me at first.  Having written this post multiple times however (making the “first thoughts” part of the title a bit of a misnomer) I’ve discovered that the connection could be seen as an opposite side of the same coin type of connection.  When Smokey Alex physically confronts Benry it is very reminiscent of when Smokey Yemi attacks Eko.  Both Eko and Benry are attacked by loved ones.  Loved ones that they feel guilt for the deaths of.  Loved ones who lost their lives because of the actions of Eko and Benry.  But why would the show make a connection of Benry and Eko?   

Benry is evil and often for selfish reasons.  Eko did evil things, but he did them trying to make the right decisions.  Benry started as an innocent who became evil as he grew.  Eko was introduced to us as a child who made a decision to kill, but adult Eko was a priest of moral certitude when he arrived on the Island.  But then I realized that Eko and Benry weren’t being connected in this way because they are the same, but because they are like two sides of the same coin (see, I told you), because there are subtle differences as well in this connection, opposites in fact.  While Yemi attacked Eko before the Smoke Monster judged him, Alex attacked Benry after.  And Smokey ultimately killed Eko, but it let Benry live.  If you cared enough to go back a few years on the blog and find the post I wrote after the third season episode when Eko died, I said that I felt like the Smoke Monster killing Eko was not a punishment, but was a reward.  Eko had learned everything that the Island had to teach him and therefore the Island released him from his responsibility, perhaps to find some happiness with the real Yemi in some afterlife.  If this is the case, then the Smoke Monster not killing Benry is not a case of having found Benry innocent, but instead condemning him to work harder for the Island by doing whatever Locke wanted for a change.

There were a few other things I found interesting about this episode as well…

1. Our LOSTies won’t be staying with Dharma much longer.

The fact that Benry was legitimately surprised (it seemed to me) to find out from Sun that they were stuck in 1977 means that they won’t be there any longer when he gets back.  His treatment in the Temple took care of him remembering before being shot, but there is nothing to stop him from remembering them after he got back so logically they can’t be there anymore.

2. We’re setting up for another one of the other 316ers to get shot.

(And I never expected Caesar to go like that, I’m not gonna lie).  I really hope it isn’t Frank.  As they load their boat with guns, we can fairly safely assume that it is these survivors who get into the firefight with Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Faraday, and CS Lewis before they time skip into the storm that would bring Rousseau to the Island.  And if you remember, before they skip away, one of the members of that other boat (holding the 316ers) gets shot by our heroes.

3.  Charlie saves the day

I loved that Charlie Pace’s namesake (You All Everybody! Sorry, just had to throw that in there) saved his mom from certain destruction at the hands of Benry.  But it begs the question, especially since it happened twice in this episode, why kids keep Benry from doing any killing.  He normally shows no fear in killing elsewhere, but didn’t kill Rousseau when he saw Alex and didn’t kill Penny when he saw little Charlie.  Why the hell are kids Benry Gale’s Kryptonite?

4.  “It’s one thing to believe it, John.  It’s another thing to see it.”

I really like this quote.  It brings to mind one of the main themes of the show, the dichotomy between the Man of Science and the Man of Faith.  Of course, there is no guarantee that Benry means this when he says it, since he later tells Sun that he had no idea whatsoever that Locke could come back to life on the Island, telling her, “Dead is dead” (providing us the name of the episode) “even here.”  But even if he lied when he told John that he believed the Island would bring him back to life, there is truth in his statement.  It’s one thing to say or even act as you believe something, but it is completely different when your faith is rewarded.

5.  Dead Locke seems different then Dead Christian

If you watched the mobisodes a couple of years ago, you have seen the first appearance of Dead Christian and it is before Dr. Jack has even opened his eyes.  He sends Vincent to wake up his son as his son “has a lot of work to do”.  Christian acts from the moment that he is out of that coffin in season one very different from how he acted before he died.  There doesn’t seem to be much difference in Locke.  The only possible difference being that he is finally as connected to the Island as he always professed that he was.  I’m not sure what this means, but it is definitely something that I will be keeping an eye on these next few episodes.

Until Next Time, thank you for your patience in waiting for this post.  I probably won’t get to make too many replies to any of your comments for the next couple of days as I plan to make the most of the rest of the time I have here in Beautiful Toronto, but I will as soon as I get back to Texas.  Namaste!

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