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Who's the bad guy on Lost - Ben Linus or Charles Widmore?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 4th 2009 5:06PM
Charle WidmoreWe won't find the answer to this question on tonight's episode of Lost, but I've been wondering: who is the real bad guy in the Lost power struggle, Ben Linus or Charles Widmore?

On one hand, Ben has done so many evil things that it's hard to see him as a good guy, and killing John Locke last week was probably the ultimate proof that Ben-haters have to name him as the bad guy. But he has also helped the islanders at several points (though we still haven't found out if he's doing that for his own reasons), and is it possible that he killed Locke himself because Locke has to die but can't kill himself for some reason? It's going to be interesting to see Ben wake up from his nap on that bed and see Locke alive again (or will he be surprised)?

And then we have Charles Widmore. We've seen the young Charles Widmore snap the neck of a coworker and kill him and he sent the military guys to the island to kill everyone, and he "broke the rules" by killing Ben's daughter. On the other hand, he gave Desmond the name Eloise Hawking and told Desmond to hide Penny from Ben.

It's funny, but I'm more interested in who the bad guy is in this scenario than I am learning all of the island's secrets. It's the most compelling story on the show right now for me.

Who's the bad guy on Lost?
Ben Linus219 (14.2%)
Charles Widmore247 (16.0%)
They're both evil - everyone else is caught in the middle of their war1077 (69.8%)

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izikavazo

I just finished my post about Ben on my blog, check it out here: http://ncjl.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/good-vs-evil-ben-linus/
- izi

March 12 2009 at 1:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JT

Neither one is good they are both evil, men who are corrupted by power - THE ISLAND. Its about how power corrupts men.

March 10 2009 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Holtzinger

My take on Ben is that once he knew John's final step in the plan to return to the Island (Eloise) he killed John in hopes he could regain his position as leader of the Island once they all returned.

March 06 2009 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
j0phus

@ joebrooks:
I have been calling for the return of Libby for 2 or 3 seasons. They need to bring her back, because that is just too huge of a loose end. Plus, I love her just as much as Juliet (possibly more that juliet isn't playing evil anymore).

@ this entire post:
This show is not about black and white, everything exists in a shade of grey. There are an infinite number of possibilities for these two characters.

I'm actually kind of tired of Ben (although the actor is amazing) and Locke. The spotlight has been on them for far too long. I want to learn more about Richard, Widmore, and Desmond. This is just my personal preference for the story line, not a prediction or anything.

If the writers and producers happen to troll the blog comments on lost: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING LIBBY BACK!

March 05 2009 at 5:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Maybe it's the island that's evil, though I hate to ascribe morality to non-living things, it is a TV show, and the island has been shown time and again to take affirmative action. It prevented Michael from being killed (until he did certain things), it is "not yet finished" with Desmond. So, in a sense, the island has a mind, and thus motives/morality of its own.

Maybe Richard Alpert or Jacob (whoever Jacob is, if not Alpert himself) is evil. I don't think so, though. I think Alpert is the island in human form, or "the mouth of the island" a la "the mouth of sauron" in LOTR. Something akin to that.

I do not think either Widmore or Ben has good intentions. One may be willing to cause, or accept, more collateral damage in winning his "war" against the other and acheiving his goal of total island control. That may be the only difference.

The other thing is what they want to do with the island. They both want it, but for what end? What did Ben "do" with the island when he was there? Seems he didn't really use it for anything all that profound (especially when he could have used it for time travel, energy pockets, etc).

March 05 2009 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oz

Ben and Widmore were both rejected by the island, i believe. Ben helped the Oceanic 6 get back because that was his best bet of getting back on the island. Widmore helped Locke and Desmond because he was trying to find out the island's new location.

You could say they are both evil because they will do anything to take control of the island, for apparently personal reasons, and not for some higher purpose.

March 05 2009 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Moncur

I think Ben and Charles are like the Vorlons and the Shadows on Babylon 5 - they both have their own motives, and the Island and everyone else are caught in the middle, and the only way for Jack & co. to ultimately succeed will be to defeat BOTH of them.

March 04 2009 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael Moncur's comment
Scott

Anyone who ties "Lost", today's greatest novel for television, with "Babylon 5", last decade's greatest novel for television and a pioneer in telling a series-long planned story, gets my respect. Nice job, Mr. Moncur. (And you're probably right about the Shadows/Vorlons comparison, although I always thought the Vorlons were just a little less evil than the Shadows. Maybe it was their appearance :-)

March 04 2009 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
izikavazo

After last weeks episode these kind of questions are inavoidable. I wrote a similar thing on my blog. I haven't got around to writing about Ben yet, I just focussed on Widmore.
http://ncjl.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/good-vs-evil-charles-widmore/
- izi

March 04 2009 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gill

Both.


/show

March 04 2009 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Gill's comment
Jax Maxton

If the island is ultimately good, then Ben is the good guy. The reason is that everything he does he at least "claims" is in service to the island. Yeah, killing Locke looks bad, but ultimately Locke was SUPPOSED to die to get his friends back to the island.

March 04 2009 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jax Maxton's comment
Porchland

Every season, Lost has pulled back the curtain to show things that we did not know were going on during the previous season. It is entirely possible that Ben and Widmore are following their own courses to protect the island from someone we have not met yet or have met and don't yet know enough about.

Ben and Widmore could disagree violently about how to defend the island, even if that's what they're both trying to do.

March 04 2009 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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