Lost: The Man Behind the Curtain
I'm going to get this story line out of the way first since the real action this week was in the jungle. Thanks to Sawyer, the rest of the 815ers were alerted to Naomi's presence and to Juliet's plans. We also got to hear Ben's response to Juliet's latest report. When Juliet told Sawyer to play the rest of the tape, I was expecting its contents to make her appear more sympathetic, not less. I suppose honesty was her only option at that point.
Juliet was, at least, up front with Jack about her involvement in Ben's kidnapping scheme. Was it just me, or did Jack seem to have a bit of an attitude when he admitted withholding information from everyone? He hadn't "decided what to do about it yet?" Really? I don't see much of a gray area where kidnapping is involved. Sun should be furious. If Sawyer's fake kidnapping merited a slap, Jack should get a lot worse. The beach scenes were mostly a tease that ended with the promise of "catching up." I didn't mind the lack of progress with this story line since the Locke-Ben plot brought so much action and so many answers.
Much like the Others themselves, the Others' flashbacks are great at manipulating emotions. Juliet's flashbacks have made me sympathize with her (at least temporarily), and Ben's past was equally sad (for a while). Ben was born off the island to Emily and Roger Linus. Emily's early labor ended up killing her, a fact that Roger used to hurt Ben throughout his life. He was brought to the island by Horace Goodspeed and Olivia, the young couple that stopped to help Roger when Emily died.
Roger Linus took a job with the DHARMA Initiative and was less than pleased with his position as a Work Man. It was interesting to see DHARMA in its heyday, before The Purge. The group was devoted to a life of peace, yet they fought regularly with the Hostiles, the island's "original inhabitants." Ben's early life on the island wasn't all bad, though. He had a little girlfriend named Annie, the only one who remembered his birthday.
The island also helped Ben to see his dead mother, who happened to be wearing the same outfit as the doll that Annie gave him. These visions of dead relatives always seem to come at a meaningful time (Eko's brother, Jack's father), and Ben's vision was no different. His mother led him past the sonic fence to Richard Alpert. Why did Richard look exactly the same age when Ben was a child? Are the Hostiles older than they look?
Ben's patience paid off when the Hostiles' plan was carried out. By cooperating with the Hostiles he betrayed his entire community, his father, and, presumably, Annie. We can only assume that she was gassed along with the rest of the DHARMA members. Ben showed a small amount of remorse when he saw Horace's body, but was cold-blooded when it came to killing Roger. The old man barely got to taste his beer before Ben gassed him in his VW bus. I guess ABC really does frown on drinking and driving.
On to the main event! To start, I am glad that the Mikhail situation was finally explained. He was never dead; the pylons were not set at a lethal level, plain and simple. Patchy showed up at the Others' camp just in time to get a major butt-whoopin' from John Locke. How many 815ers have beaten up Mikhail at this point? Someone should really keep track. Locke was not in the mood to mess around this week. He demanded answers from Ben, and even accused him of being the island's real puppet master. The "man behind the curtain" scene was one of several scenes that made me fall back in love with Terry O'Quinn's portrayal of Locke.
Eventually, Ben agreed to take Locke to Jacob, but not without warning him that Jacob would be angry. Ben may have lied about being born on the island, but he was right on about that anger. Jacob apparently lives Unabomber-style in a technology-free cabin. From what I could see, the cabin contained a painting of a dog, four jars of red stuff, and one very empty chair. I didn't know what to think when Ben started talking to that empty chair, and neither did Locke.
As Locke was storming out of Jacob's cabin, he heard Jacob utter the words "Help me." I must have watched the next minute a dozen times by now, and I still don't know what I saw. Locke's use of the flashlight caused Jacob to throw some sort of telekinetic tantrum. He broke windows, started fires, and pushed Ben against the wall, all from the comfort of his chair. It looked like he was in his chair the entire time, since Ben leaned over the chair just before he was pushed. And please, someone, tell me you saw that quick flash of a man's silhouette after Ben was knocked against the wall! Who was it? A lot of people believe that Alpert is Jacob, and the silhouette didn't look entirely unlike him.
Locke had to leave Jacob's cabin without answers, but he and Ben made one final stop on their way back to the camp. Ben showed Locke the open grave of all the DHARMA members that he helped the Hostiles kill. He had nothing but contempt for the members' inability to coexist with the Hostiles, and believed that he was smart enough to eliminate anyone who stood in his way. Unfortunately, Locke was given the same brutal treatment. Ben shot Locke in the chest, and left him for dead.
Was Locke's ability to hear Jacob that much of a threat to Ben? It was clear that his position among the Others was unstable due to Locke's presence, especially after Richard and Tom ignored Ben's orders during the Locke-Mikhail fight. Even Alex helped Locke by giving him a gun before he went to see Jacob. Was it the same gun that Ben used to kill him? I lost track of it during the scene in Jacob's cabin. I genuinely don't want Locke to be dead; he's the only worthy opponent that Ben has. Will he be saved, or will he go the way of the DHARMA Initiative?
Emily, Ben's mother, was played by Carrie Preston, Michael Emerson's real-life wife. That's not weird at all.
Roger and Emily were hiking 32 miles outside of Portland, which is where Alpert claimed that Mittelos Bioscience was located. Strange coincidence, eh?
Who takes their seven-months-pregnant wife hiking in the woods, anyway?
Is Ben obsessed with the pregnancy issue because of what happened to his mother?
As Olivia was teaching the DHARMA students about volcanoes, it was revealed that the island's volcano erupted at one point. Is the volcano dormant now? Locke noticed a weird, sandy powder near Jacob's cabin. Does he live near the volcano?
"It's kinda hard to celebrate on the day you killed your Mom." Does Hallmark make that card yet?
It was pretty harsh of Ben to use his pet rabbit to test out the sonic fence. What is it with Ben and white rabbits?
This episode has to get a 7 out of 7. Serious kudos to Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson for their brilliant performances in this episode. I cannot wait for next week's "Greatest Hits."
|1 - Worst||24 (1.1%)|
|7 - Best||1426 (66.0%)|