Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin's Undone: LOST, Episode 5.07 ("The Life & Death of Jeremy Bentham")

Wow. That is about all I can muster and repeat.

Here are my initials thoughts and questions about tonight's new episode.


It appears as if the plane landed in one piece on the island....the question is, which island? Caesar & co. are on the smaller Hydra island, and Jack & co. are on the main island.

The plane also seems to have landed rather smoothly/safely. Was it somehow 'placed' there during the event window?

Hurley, Jack, Kate, Sayid and Sun 'disappeared' during the flash on the flight while other passengers remained and crashed on the island in the plane. Were they all 'placed' relatively uninjured on the island during the first crash too (815)?


Sadly, Locke has had very bad luck with regard to cars...
  • Mom Emily was run down while 6 months pregnant with him; he was born prematurely
  • Locke was hit by a car when he encountered his mom in a parking lot years later
  • He was in a car accident in LA after Abaddon was shot
There have been numerous other Losties with car crash experiences as well:
  • Michael was hit by a car in NY before flight 815; he was badly injured but lived
  • Michael tried to kill himself by crashing his car in the future; same outcome
  • Jack witnessed a car crash on the bridge before attempting suicide; everyone lived
  • Kate and her doctor ex were in a car accident while escaping authorities; she was fine, he died
  • Kate and the Marshall crashed in the rain when she saw a black horse on the road; she escaped, he was knocked out
  • Kate crashed the farmer's truck when the Marshall caught up with them; she escaped, he was injured
  • Claire and her mom were in an accident; she was injured, mom wound up in a coma
  • Before being taken to the island, Locke's dad Anthony Cooper was in a car accident
  • Hurley crashed his car after being chased by the police in LA; he was fine
  • Shannon's dad crashed into Jack's future wife Sarah; he died, Jack miraculously repaired her back
  • Juliet's ex-husband was hit by a bus; he died

Who did they belong to?

In the future/past, when Sawyer & co. take the canoes and shoot at the people who are following them...will we find out that it was Lapidus and Sun? Does one of them get wounded by a Juliet shot?


By now, most of you know that I have a particular interest in Jeremy Bentham (his FB page and blog are still live, FYI). Last summer at Comic-Con, I had the opportunity to pose a question to Damon & Carlton about the selection of that name, and asked if they chose it because of the real philosopher Bentham's creation of the Panopticon. Here is their response:

"The panopticon is obviously, among other things, why we selected that name."
I've always considered the island to be a prison of sorts, and am fascinated by the idea that they are being watched and observed without their knowledge or permission. It certainly seems to be a more feasible concept with the current direction of the show than it was just a few months ago.


There has to be more than one island exit location. How else do you explain how quickly both Alpert and Big Tom traveled to and fro? That submarine was not a very fast mode of transportation, no matter WHEN and where the island was in relation to the real world.


I have to say that I've always believed that Ben could really be one of the good guys. Until tonight, I was almost convinced. I'm not sure why I ever thought that way; we have not seem much evidence of good will from that man. Now I have a sinking feeling that not only did Ben go after and possibly kill Penny...he is responsible for the deaths of others' loved ones, like Nadia and Helen (I don't believe her cause of death for one second; come on, she's "where she's supposed to be."). Did he have Juliet's sister taken care of too?

Did Ben 'change the rules' by killing Locke?

Was he waiting to kill him after finding out whether or not he knew about Hawking?

Ben had to know that Locke wouldn't stay dead, that the island determines when he can die based upon the work he did on its behalf.

When the hell will the island be done with Ben and let him die? Hopefully we'll see Smokey or Jacob punish or torture him for his egregious actions at some point.

Did Ben place the obit for Bentham, or did Widmore?

Was he lying when he told Locke that whomever turns the Frozen Donkey Wheel can never return to the island?

If he was genuinely surprised to find out that Jin is alive, is that an indication that he no longer has anyone on the island feeding him information?

Upon his return to the island on 316, how is his relationship with Richard Alpert?


Even though he is 'special,' he does not heal as quickly off-island.


Obviously he and Illana know each other. Did Widmore hire them to return to the island with Ben and the O5 (minus Aaron)? There is also mistrust between them...

He and Illana know who Locke is; when he gave his name, they gave each other the infamous Lost Look with Island Eyes of Special Secrets.

He went specifically looking for the drawer of Dharma maps; he's either been there before or was well instructed. Given that he found the Imaginary, Real & Space Time diagram, he is also familiar with the island's time shifts, but is pretending to be out of the loop when talking with Locke.

Is there any significance to the relationship between this new Caesar and Frank Lapidus, and Julius Caesar and Marcus Lepidus? If I'm not mistaken, Lepidus was one of Caesar's closest allies and second in command...


How did he know exactly WHEN Locke was going to turn the Frozen Donkey Wheel and exit the island via Tunisia? Does Future Faraday inform them?

Have his video cameras been installed long - did they capture Ben's previous arrival too?

In addition to financially backing Faraday, did Widmore also fund Charlotte's research too? Is that why she knew to look in Tunisia for the Dharma polar bear collar at the archaeological dig site? He is "deeply invested in the future of the island" after all...

We meet him at 17 years old on the island, when he was a soldier under Richard Alpert. Was he being groomed to become the leader of the island at that time? At what point did he assume that position? Was it with or without Alpert's approval/assistance?

If he was indeed exiled from the island, was that at the behest of Jacob or Alpert?

Did he exit via Tunisia as well?

Is he the one who is paying for and continuing the Dharma food drops? Not that we've seen any in a while.

At this point in time (in Tunisia), does Widmore know where Penny is or if Ben did indeed go after her as promised before returning to the island?


Locke reanimated upon arrival on the island; it appears that Jack's dad did the same after 815 crashed there.


We haven't seen Sun - did she go with Lapidus? If so, why? Did he know that Jack & co. landed on the other that where they were headed?

He'd studied the flight 815 manifest when he was hired by Abaddon to pilot the chopper to the island. Did he then instinctively grab the 316 manifest after talking to Jack and realizing that he was going back to the island?


Are we sure that she really died? It seemed like her tombstone was in the same cemetary where she and Locke attended Anthony Cooper's funeral...only, he wasn't dead.


I'm not sure if this is a continuity/production error or not, but prior to tonight, the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute on the show was located in Los Angeles; not in the actual city of Santa Rosa (which is an hour and a half north of San Francisco). When Jack went to see Hurley there, he didn't fly. It is not very relevant but of course I noticed it.

Is his drawing of Egypt going to come into play? Even though Jorge Garcia has repeatedly said that his first drawing of the igloo (last season) was entirely his idea, I still contend that it relates to Penny's team who found the electromagnetic anomaly while stationed in a frozen region.

In addition, geographically...Egypt and Tunisia are only separated by one country (Libya). Could it be that Egpyt is another island exit portal? And could the ancient 4 toed statue be related?


Does she remind anyone else of a kinder, gentler Ana Lucia?
She's also (allegedly) in law enforcement, and kind of resembles Ana's mom Teresa Cortez...a sister perhaps?


What the heck is his role in all of this?


So if he was responsible for helping Widmore get people where they need to be, and made sure that Locke was on flight 815...did he and Widmore work with Hawking to determine the coordinates and event window that was occurring that day? Or Faraday?

Who is she, is she working with Caesar and Illana, or is she the new version of a red shirt with a name that we'll never know?


After Ben and the others kidnapped him on the island, they asked Michael if he'd ever appeared where he wasn't supposed to. So was he actually traveling/transporting back to the island during his 'dreams' about Locke, without realizing it? Does he remember appearing to Locke after Ben had shot him, advising him to get up because he had work to do? Was that a 'dream' as well?

Does he return to the island? Could he have somehow been on flight 316?

If he does return, when and how will he find out about his father's death?

  • In the pilot episode after the crash, Locke enjoyed an island orange. In this one, it was a mango.
  • Upon arriving in Tunisia after turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel, Ben had an injured arm and Locke had an injured leg.
[insert huge Nerd Alert sign here]
  • Locke as Obi-Wan Kenobi with his blanket head covering, sacrificing himself so that others will survive. Ben as Darth Vadar, killing Locke/Kenobi and turning him into a spirit of sorts (and a more powerful 'force'); another or future Jacob?
I have SO much more, but I must get some sleep. Thanks again for stopping by and reading - I always appreciate your time and comments!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

LOST Tour in Oahu, Part 2

Hello, and welcome to part 2 of our Lost Tour on Oahu! Here are a few more photos that mirror where scenes from Lost were filmed.

Locke, before getting shot by Ethan in "Because You Left"

The real roots

Desmond saves Claire's migratory bird in "Par Avion"

The slippery slope

Young Eko's village in "The 23rd Psalm"

And the actual smoke stack

Flight 815 tires on the beach after the crash

The tires in the prop junkyard

In addition, we were able to visit the fenced-in space where the fuselage and related pieces and props are stored.

The giant fuselage itself was covered up, but Yemi's burned plane sits in front of it.

I believe that the last time all of this was placed back on the crash beach was to recreate parts of the pilot in your favorite Nikki & Paolo episode, "Expose."

We walked a few miles to the Diamond Head Cove Health Bar in Waikiki last week, just because it was Vincent's owner's place. The dog wasn't there, but I did see this on the fuselage beach...

Here are a few shots of the main beach where the Losties (used to) camp and live.

And more from the camp, which is stored up off of the beach when they're not filming.

Although there are many mountain ranges which serve as stunning backdrops to many scenes, I only captured one.

Last but not least, I think that many of my new Lost friends on Facebook from last summer's alternate reality game failure will appreciate this particular photo...Hans remains quite close to the set.

Thank you again for your comments and following along! It was an incredible day and beautiful way to immerse yourself into the Lost world.

Stay tuned for a Lost contest based on filming locations and previous episodes! For prizes, I purchased a few extra Got Lost? tees from the Kos Tour, and they're packaged quite nicely into small paper versions of the tour Hummer!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Believe in LOST, Episode 5.06 - "316"

I wish you believed in life, believed in fate.
- Aimee Mann, (Believed You Were) Lucky

Better late than never! Below are my initial notes about last night's new episode. It was easily one of my favorites from this season. The powers that be have seriously upped the ante and are providing some of the most compelling, mind-boggling television I've ever had the pleasure of watching and experiencing.


The concept of recreating the circumstances from Oceanic flight 815 is brilliant. I love how they had Sayid in custody (like Kate), Locke in the coffin (like Christian), Hurley reading a graphic novel (like he was before 815), Lapidus piloting the flight (as he was supposed to with 815), etc.

Will there be actual wreckage, or were those fated passengers somehow just safely transported from inside the plane down to the island?

Given Hawking's research and revelations about event windows opening up to provide routes back to the island, isn't it more than likely that the passengers of Flight 815 were specifically chosen to take that flight and wind up on the island the first time around?

Is there an actual connection between Ajira and Oceanic airlines?

JOHN 3:16

Admittedly, I am not very religious so I had to look this up. Most you are probably familiar with John 3:16 in the Bible:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

There are myriad ways to interpret that as it relates to Lost and this episode. Let's start with the obvious; John is Locke, and his letter expressed regret that Jack never believed in him.

Ben's tale about Thomas the doubting Apostle would be Jack in this case. In addition, in the Bible quote above...'him' could be Locke, Jacob or even the island. I'm sure I'm missing other elements from both Ben's story and the biblical reference of the episode title, so feel free to enlighten me.


Lamp Post is an anagram for Map Plots. Coincidence?

That there is a Lamp Lighter in the book The Little Prince was not lost on me either.

Is Charles Widmore funding Hawking's work in that station, like he was for Faraday's research?

Are there other off island Dharma stations? Were they also built over pockets of electromagnetic energy? If the people who built it were only interested in the island, what purpose would other stations serve back in the real world? Let's not forget about the faith healer in Australia where Bernard took Rose to heal her cancer...there was electromagnetic activity beneath his place at Ayers Rock.

We know that the Orchid and Swan stations had serious levels of energy brewing beneath them, and that the Tempest contained lethal gases. Were there also pockets of various elements beneath the rest of the hatches on the island?

Penny Widmore knew to look for an electromagnetic anomaly to find the location of the island. Was she aware of or assisted by anyone? Clearly her father did not want her to reunite with Desmond, and Hawking warned Desmond that Penny wasn't his future, so that leaves...Faraday. Perhaps he visited/informed her in the past or before leaving for the island with the Freighter Four.

I've posed this question before...with all of the new technology, why is the Lamp Post equipped with archaic computers from an earlier era? Is that the only way to compute the event windows with the pendulum?


It is ironic and kind of surprising that so many struggled to have children on the island, and yet two of the O6 abandon their kids to return there. Yes, I realize that Aaron is not Kate's son. It's all about context right now.


It is NOT a coincidence that Charlie Pace's father was a butcher...named Simon. Ben's friend Jill was storing Locke in the coffin in Los Angeles.


Where did Bug Eyes disappear to right before flight 316...flashed and/or crashed?

He went to see an "old friend" to tie up a loose end. Did he return battered because:
  • He shifted back in time to the island when the Losties first captured him in the net, or when Jack beat him up before leaving the change the rules himself
  • He went after Penny Widmore, as promised (because Charles Widmore changed the rules and killed his daughter Alex)...and Daddy W intervened
  • He arranged for Sayid to be arrested and placed under custody to somehow be escorted onto Ajira flight 316, in order to replicate Kate's situation on Flight 815
On the flight, Ben was reading Ulysses...which, among other things, directly relates to his pursuit of Penny Widmore. The book invokes Homer's Odyssey and the character Penelope, who:
  • Has one son
  • Waited a very long time for her husband to reappear
  • Fought off 108 potential suitors

Are there ramifications for Locke's island leadership or was he allowed to die off island because:

a) he didn't actually kill his father as a sacrifice, as instructed
b) he didn't turn the frozen donkey wheel the first time, as instructed?

So the island lets him die temporarily, for the cause.

Who places the obit after his death, and why? Was it to notify/warn the O6?

I also really love that Locke will literally walk a mile in Christian's shoes upon his return to the island. The real question is, will Locke take on a similar role...advising the island's inhabitants as Jacob's mouthpiece?

I was just thinking about this last night, when my friend and fellow Lost fan Doug emailed the photos to it a consistency error that Bentham now has facial hair in the coffin, or does it signify his journey back to life upon island re-entry/re-animation? I will be addressing Locke's life and death as Bentham in a separate blog before next week's episode...

Anyone else hoping that Jack would discover that Locke has 4 toes when he put Christian's shoes on him?


If he and Eloise are still in contact (which is likely because he gave Desmond her whereabouts) after all these years, isn't it likely that he's aware of Flight 316? And if so, why isn't he trying to get back to the island that way? Could that mysterious new passenger be working for him? Was Widmore somehow able to successfully plant a spy among that flight, someone he knew would survive the 'crash?'

Was his race around the world really a ruse and attempt to find the island?

Has he funded other modes of transportation that have tried to get there, in addition to the freighter (Henry Gale's hot air balloon, Rousseau's scientist crew, etc.)?


Dead or not, will she appear and ask about Aaron now that the group is back?


We don't know how old he is, so could he have been the one who figured out that the island was moving and how to predict where?


The island isn't done with Desmond yet. Is that because, according to Faraday, he is "uniquely and miraculously special?" What does Desmond have to do before the island is done with him, and does that mean Desmond will meet his end upon completion of said tasks? Does the island require baby Charlie there to replace him?

Given that Desmond is special, and that the island is very interested in such individuals [see: Walt] is starting to look like Libby (as evil twin or cuckoo for cocoa puffs Elizabeth) was working on behalf of the island or Widmore; she's the one who gave Desmond her deceased husband's boat to get there, conveniently when he needed one for Widmore's race.


Why is it that SHE knows about his death and also has Locke's alleged suicide note?

How long after she left the island at an unknown age (if in fact she is Ellie) did she become involved with the Lamp Post?


Was Lapidus hired by Ajira with that future flight in mind? Were 'they' aware that it would be an Ajira flight that would take the Losties back to the island?

Does he return to the island too, or is he just piloting the plane with fewer passengers?

Did he shave and give up the booze like Jack, in order to get this gig?


I assume that Ghost Charlie told him about the Ajira Flight, because Hurley appeared to have Charlie's guitar with him. If Hurley was instructed to bring everything in the world that meant something to him when he went back to the island, it makes sense that he'd bring his buddy's guitar. I have a feeling that the only reason Hurley agreed to go back was because he promised Charlie he'd look after Claire.

Why couldn't Hurley swim all of a sudden, upon landing back on the island? I realize that he was supposed to be scared, but I kept thinking about the time he ran and jumped into the ocean without a problem.


Why was he surprised to hear that Locke had killed himself? I thought it said as much in Bentham's obit (something about hanging from a beam).

The painting in his apartment reminded me of Ben and the Others' creepy cult island funeral wear.


Will he be upset or relieved to find out that Sun did not bring Ji Yeon back with her?

He appeared in the Dharma van alone, armed and not under supervision...what would make Jin work for them, at least temporarily? How long had he been stuck in that era? How did he explain how he got to the island? Was he brainwashed, a la Karl in Room 23?

I know he lowered his gun when Hurley said his name, but are we sure that he recognized Hurley, Jack and Kate? In theory, he should. However, he may have lowered the weapon in a surprise reaction to them knowing his name.

His Dharma jumpsuit may have a new logo which we have not seen...


Given that she made a deal at her trial to stay in the state as part of her is doubtful that she alerted the authorities to her pending trip by handing Aaron over to Child Protective Services. So, possible (or ridiculous) arrangements she made for Aaron may have included:
  • Claire's mom
  • Cassidy (Sawyer's baby mama to Clementine; she bonded w/her over a con before the first crash)
  • Her mom
She's seemingly miserable about giving up Aaron to return to the island, but shouldn't she be a tad exciting about reuniting with Sawyer? Perhaps she never actually followed through with the favor he'd asked her (presumably about his daughter Clementine), and is dreading telling him that news.

When she said "why hold onto something that makes you sad?" was she referring to Sawyer, Jack or Aaron?

So much for the old 'live together, die alone' mantra. Her curt response that being "on the same plane doesn't make us together" was cold. In my opinion, Kate Austen continues to be one of the most emotionally stunted and damaged female characters on the small screen in recent memory.


I seem to ask this every week, but...what exactly is his role in all of this? Does he work for Oceanic as he's claimed, or Widmore, Ajira, etc.?

RAY (Jack's grandfather)

He packed a suitcase and said "one of these times, I'm actually gonna get away. They won't ever find me either." That struck me for two reasons. First, because it could have been his bag of personal items for a one-way ticket back to the island. And second, because Ben always said that no one will ever find the island (even though we've seen that to be incorrect). Are we headed for a three generation reunion of Shephards on the island?


Back in Season 2 (in 'Orientation'), Locke's girlfriend Helen said the following to him:
"You don't know what's going to happen. None of us do. That's why it's called a leap of faith."
Last night (in '316'), Hawking said the following to Jack:
"Start asking yourself whether or not you believe it's going to work. That's why it's called a leap of faith."

I realize that they were using a fake newspaper clipping for Bentham's obit, but it did mention that he had a son and I have to believe that it is significant that they chose to include that fact.

I believe that Helen got pregnant before breaking up with Locke, and that their son will join Clementine Ford, Charlie Hume, Ji Yeon Kwan, Aaron Littleton and Walt Lloyd as the sixth member of the Lost Offspring Club; Kids Exceptional (LOCKE) to return to the island in the future.

Phew, and wow. What an episode! I can't wait to watch 316 again this weekend; don't be surprised to see further thoughts posted before next week.

I say it every time, but in all sincerity...thank you very much for taking the time to stop by and read my frequently off-kilter stream of consciousness about Lost. It gives me great joy to be able to share and engage with fellow fans.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Programming Note: Blog Delay for "316"

Please forgive me - I am unable to post thoughts & theories about tonight's phenomenal new episode for reasons relating to travel (ironically), but will do so tomorrow evening instead. The second half of our Lost Tour recap is also on the way.

Thank you for your patience!

- Jo