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Ben lives to manipulate another day!

Ben lives to manipulate another day!

I had to tinker with the name of this weeks Lost episode because dead is really not dead when it comes to Lost, at least in the case of Locke.  And possibly Christian Shepherd.  And maybe Claire.  And who knows who else?  But most importantly, Ben is not dead.  I was rather nervous the whole episode, though I didn’t expect Old Smokey to kill my favorite little psychopath you can never be 100% sure when it comes to Lost.  Thankfully, Ben lives to manipulate another day!  Yay for me!  And for the viewer, because as usual Michael Emerson rocked the entire episode.  Probably not yay for some other people on the island.

My Ben did many things that were awesome in this episode, my favorite of which was him killing Caesar.  At least I’m guessing he’s dead.  And what was beautiful was the way he set him up, and also set up the viewers.  First he made nice with him and painted Locke as some kind of raving psycho who was probably already on the island and infiltrated their gang (bringing old Ethan to mind!).  So I thought, okay, Ben’s going to pretend to take Locke with him and then let Caesar detain or kill him.  Excellent.  Only, no, because when Caesar was getting ready to stop Locke, Ben used his own gun to shoot him.  I loved how he expected Locke to thank him too, or at least accept that as his apology.  See, I killed you once and saved you once!  Even stevens!  He cracks me up.

Also, he had a couple of fantastic lines this episode in his interaction with Locke.  “I assume you’re referring to the fact that I killed you?”  “You had critical information that would have died with you and once you’d given it to me…well, I just didn’t have time to talk you back into hanging yourself.  I took a shortcut.”  HA!  I was dying over that little paragraph.  Only Ben could make taking a man’s life sound like the logical, rational thing to do.

Of interest to note, this scene also laid the groundwork for the shift in power that was revealed at the end of the episode, Ben to Locke.  Locke comes in to find Ben rifling through his desk looking for a picture of him and Alex and he walks over and takes Ben’s seat behind the desk and kicks back, the picture of the authoritative bossman.  I don’t know how to feel about this new John Locke.  My residual dislike hangs over him but if he continues to be confident and not naive I may remember why I liked him the first season.  Though I admit I will miss him being Ben’s bitch boy, though I suspect Ben may still one up him someday!

Locke also knew the real reason that Ben wanted to be judged was for killing Alex, not for leaving the island.  Turned out that was quite true and I loved the flashbacks they used to set this up.  First he was supposed to kill Rousseau but refused to do because she had a baby.  He took the baby and let her live as long as she continued to be insane.  Then, he fought with Widmore over letting the baby live and he got to raise Alex.  When she was about 8 years old he left her playing on the swings while he went to see Widmore off the island.  He got banished, ostensibly for leaving the island a ton of times and fathering Penny with an “outsider”.  So that diminishes the Penny is Ellie’s daughter argument.  I still think Widmore will be Daniel’s father, if we ever see him again.

Anyway, flash to the future and we find out how Ben got so beat up before getting on the plane.  Like many of us suspected, Ben went after Penny, first shooting Desmond and then getting ready to shoot her.  But little Charlie saved the day much as his namesake did, appearing and causing Ben to decide not to kill Penny because she is a mother.  He has a softspot for kids and their mothers, seeing as he never got to know his.  Nice consistent character trait and the one softer side of Ben that seems to exist. Of course Widmore does probably think she’s dead, since Ben taunted him and hung up before seeing the kid and sparing Penny.  Make no mistake, he wasn’t going to kill her, even without Desmond coming in and pummeling him and leaving him dead in the water.

Ben and Locke happened upon his cabin and ran into Frank and Sun, who were waiting for Locke to lead them to the past.  Or to Jin really.  Of course they were stunned when Ben told them Locke was alive and to look out the window.  Ben seemed to be surprised that the rest of the Losties were 30 years in the past with the Dharma crew, so either thanks to the bullet wound he really doesn’t remember or that past doesn’t exist for him.  Or he’s lying because he’s Ben.  Alright by me.

Another sign of the passing of the torch, when Ben thought the monster was appearing he told Sun that she might want to go inside because he had no control over what was coming.  And what came out of the jungle?  John Locke.  This just after his telling Sun that dead is dead and the fact that John Locke is walking around the island scares the hell out of him.  Then he quizzes John on how he knows where they’re going to find the monster and John says, “You don’t like it, do you?  Blindly following someone in the hopes that they’ll lead you to whatever it is you’re looking for.”  Ben tells him he doesn’t and John says, “Well now you know what it was like to be me.”  Tables officially turned.  Locke is Ben and Ben is Locke.  Ben will be a better Locke than Locke was but will Locke be a better Ben than Ben?  I find that hard to believe. hehe  Depends on your viewpoint I guess, I’m sure he’ll be a more honest and less deadly Ben.  I just happen to prefer the original!

We did get to see old John for a second this episode, running off to get a rope to save Ben after he fell down into the monster’s lair.  Said lair had a bunch of hieroglyphics on the wall including a picture of the smoke monster approaching some kind of wolf/human creature.  Hmmm.  No clue.  Anyway, Smokey seeped out of the holes in some altar and completely surrounded Ben, extinguishing his fire and enveloping him in smoke.  Then it gave him flashes of his raising Alex and letting her die.  The smoke vanished and Ben’s torch re-ignited and Ben was stunned to be still standing, but all of a sudden there was Alex.  I admit it, I got scared as hell she was going to kill him then and there.  Ben was so happy to see her and he told her how sorry he was and admitted it was all his fault.  She slammed him against the wall and told him she knew he was planning to kill John and that if he touched him she would hunt him down and destroy him.  He has to listen and follow every word John says.  Changing of the guard now 100% official.  If Ben kills Locke, the island will kill him.  Time will tell if I’m willing to have this happen.  You all know my fondness for Ben is pretty much unequalled with anyone else on the island.

In the only non-Ben related news, Ilana and a couple of other men have seized control with some guns over on the other island.  When Frank went to confront her she asked him, “What lies in the shadow of that statue?”  When he didn’t know the answer she knocked him out and told the men to bring him along.  Clearly Ilana is not just a bounty hunter.  I truly hope someone gives her the Caesar treatment because I don’t like her.  Best guess is she’s one of Widmore’s people.  I don’t know if we’ll get the answer next week cause we’re back in the 70’s and it’s a Miles episode.

So that was it, the second huge power shift on the island.  Sawyer over Jack and Locke over Ben.  It’ll be really interesting to see how both situations play out, because I do believe Jack might be just as important to the island as Locke is.  Having Christian running around seems to indicate something, though I know not what.  I also don’t think Alex’s warning necessarily predicates Ben not pulling a final act of treachery against Locke, although I imagine he’ll play nice for awhile.  I really can’t wait to see how it all turns out.  I’m sad that the end is near but I’m thrilled that the writing and acting continues to be top notch.  This show is truly a treat and episodes like this really drive that home.  I’m thrilled that Penny and Desmond are still alive and together and I’m thrilled that Ben lives to mess with people another day.  Til next week, Namaste Lost!

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Daniel & his mother? Inquiring minds want to know!  From ABC.com

Daniel & his mother? Inquiring minds want to know! From ABC.com

Oh, the hubris!  Last week in my first Lost blog I dared write that I understood what was going on.  I fooled myself into believing that I’d be able to follow this whole time travel thing; that I got it!  Ha!  Brag and you shall be smacked down.  Damon and Carlton probably did it on purpose.  Give them a little understanding in the first two episodes of the year and then hit them with the hard stuff.  Alright, fine, I will attempt to rise to the challenge then!

Since this is my first year blogging Lost, none of you have experienced the Desmond effect with me.  I love Des, I really do, but every time he is featured in an episode they are by far the most confusing and confounding for me.  I usually exit them with a headache and a WTF? face.   I’m like Sawyer, scowling at everything in sight because I just don’t understand.  So I don’t know why I was surprised knowing that this was a Des episode that I got Lost almost immediately.  Lost, such an apt name!   Throw Daniel into the mix and you’re just asking for a migraine to form.  I like him as well but he’s the other time travel dude and I had a hard time with his flashback episode as well.  I guess I better get used to it since this season is all about time travel, huh?

Anyway, we started off with Desmond frantically looking for a doctor.  He found one and we came upon pregnant Penny in labor.  She gave birth to a baby boy, Charlie.  Say it with me now, Awwww!!!  He named him after our dearly departed Lostie.  I get the feeling we’ll be seeing him again this year, probably trying to convince Hurley to return to the island, or not to return.  We shall see!  Anyway, flash ahead to real time Des who is determined to go to Oxford to find Daniel’s mom and help the islanders.  Penny is most displeased but resigned to it.  Des goes to Oxford and there’s no record of Daniel or his mother having taught there.  He investigates and finds Daniel’s rat maze and chalk board all covered up and sees a picture of Daniel and some blond woman looking like a happy couple.  A janitor comes in and gives Desmond some info about them covering up Daniel’s involvement at the school based upon what he’d done to the blond woman.

Desmond goes to see about her and finds her in some kind of vegetative state.  Her sister tells Des that Daniel caused it and that he’d just run off to America instead of staying to deal with it.  Apparently sis does wake up now and then and claims that she’s been somewhere else in time.  AHA!  She must have traveled with Daniel through time and gotten the headache/bloody nose that we see in Charlotte now and it eventually fried her brain.  Lovely.  Poor Daniel, doomed to love women who can’t handle time travel.  Oops, I wandered.  Desmond learns that Charles Widmore is fitting the bill for the woman, because Daniel was researching for him when it happened.  This sets Des off and he goes to confront Charles and demands to know where Faraday’s mom is.  Charles gets snippy with him but does give him the address.  He implores that Desmond NOT take Penny to the island, to leave it all alone.  Des returns to Penny and tells her Daniel’s mom is in LA but claims he’s not going to go after her.  Penny knows her man and tells him they’ll all go, he won’t be able to put it aside for long.  Off they head to LA and the Oceanic 6!!!  Reunions, you gotta love em!

As for our boy Daniel, he’s busy in the year 1954, saving Charlotte from stepping on a landmine and then checking out a hydrogen bomb.  Confusing at all?   Well in their latest flash, they went to 1954 and were captured by Richard’s men.  Daniel ascertained that there was a bomb on the island; ostensibly because of some radiation burns on one of the soldiers but more likely because he was on the island and part of the people who put the bomb there.  Or he saw them do it.  (A moment to pause and enjoy that I used the words ascertained and ostensibly in the same sentence, Lost makes me so cerebral, HAHA).  Anyway, he convinces Richard to let him take a look at the bomb because he’ll know how to help them.  Richard agrees but only after Daniel reveals that he loves Charlotte; he just blurts it out in front of her and Miles and random British chick, who I am thinking might actually be his mother.  I think her name is Ellie.  Charlotte’s eyes pop wide at the revelation but she doesn’t say anything.

Ellie takes Daniel to the bomb and he tries to get her talking but she’s not so big on the communication.  We come upon some tower holding a bomb.  Daniel climbs up and sees a leak; he gets down and tells her that they need concrete to bury the bomb.  She wants him to disarm it like he said he would and he tells her burying it will work.  She wonders how he could know that and he tells her he just came from 50 years later and the island is still there so obviously the bomb won’t blow.  She is rather disbelieving of this claim; I wonder why?  She’s pretty much ready to shoot Daniel despite the fact that shooting him around a leaky H-bomb would not be the wisest course of action; but Sawyer shows up and tells her to drop the gun.  Juliet recommends everybody drop their guns.   That’s as far as we get there before a flash takes the Losties away, no more British peeps with guns.

I did love when Daniel had a moment alone (tho Miles the annoyance was there!) with Charlotte and she told him he didn’t have to lie about loving her to convince Richard to let him deal with the bomb.  It was the perfect out for Daniel right there but instead of taking it, he said that he does indeed love her.  Before she could really absorb that one he was off to look at the bomb.   When they reunited they didn’t have the chance to talk about it at all before Charlotte got another bloody nose and collapsed.

Prior to that, Locke has wandered in to chat with Richard and show him the compass he gave him.  He tells Richard that Jacob sent him, which I believe is a lie; but whatever.   The mention of Jacob gives Richard pause and Locke informs him that he, Locke, is his leader.  Richard laughs about that one and says that leaders are chosen at a very young age.  Locke tells him to come visit him in 2 years when he’s born.  HA!  And of course we know he does visit when Locke’s about 10 or so thanks to a flashback from a year or two ago.  Locke demands that Richard tell him how he gets off the island because he has to save it.  Richard is not big on giving out this info and before Locke can convince him he must; zap!  Locke’s with the rest of the Losties in some unknown time.

Ooops, I forgot to highlight one very important thing in that Locke visit with Richard.  The army guy that got away from Sawyer and Juliet and Locke; the one Locke could have shot but refused to because he was one of “his people” was a guy bearing the name tag Jones.  But when he was threatening to kill Locke, Richard called him Widmore!  And Locke looked at him and said, “Charles Widmore” and Widmore said something along the lines of “What’s it to you?” and Locke smiled.  So, we have Charles on the island probably 20 some years before Ben shows up.  Interesting to see what kind of interaction those two are going to have to make them sworn enemies, isn’t it?  My friend, Tripp, thinks maybe Ben’s girlfriend Annie will be Widmore’s daughter, which is a possibility; tho I think maybe she’s Widmore’s wife or mother of a certain blond chick.  The timing may be wrong there, but with all this time jumping who can say?

So that was the episode, and I guess maybe it wasn’t as confusing as I thought it was but still it messed with my head.  We had more questions arise than answers this week I think.   I look forward to next week, seeing my Ben and Sayid and co again.  I want to know how they’re going to get back and how they’re going to convince Hurley to go.  I want to know if Charlotte is going to go insane like the blond girl or if Daniel can find a way to save her.  I want to know how Ben and Charles become enemies.  I want to know what Richard’s deal is, why he never ages.  I want to know a lot more things than that but this blog is long enough as it is.  I love this show, but it sure drives me nuts.  No more Des heavy eps for a few weeks I hope, I can’t handle too many in a row!

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Any episodes with shirtless Sawyer are awesome!

Any episodes with shirtless Sawyer are awesome!

It’s baaaaaaack!  That’s right, friends, Lost has returned to our screens to both delight and confuse us all.  Or maybe that’s just me, I’m not sure.  Anybody get the feeling this season is gonna mess with the mind more than any other season thus far?  Time travel’s gonna be a bitch to deal with but it’s also gonna be a lot of fun I think.  As we saw last night, the most random of people can show up when we least expect it!  I’m going to write this after only one viewing; I thought about attempting a re watch but I woke up with the beginning of a headache and I feel a re watch would push me right over the edge into full blown pain.  So, let’s discuss before I give myself one anyway.

Let’s talk about the time travel element because some interesting things were revealed last night.  It seems that now that Ben moved the island, the Losties are traveling in time within the island at random intervals.  The island itself is presumably not moving, but the people on it are.  Not all the people, however, for it seems Richard and the Others are unaffected by this particular phenomenon.  Why is that?  No clue but it seems pretty clear since Richard informed Locke that the next time he saw him he wouldn’t know him.  If Richard was moving on the same plane, he would.

Our Losties are fortunate to have Daniel along for the ride because he gets the whole time/space continuum concept (which our beloved Sawyer is having quite the struggle with of course!) and he understands what is happening to them.  Interestingly, it was also revealed that Daniel himself is a time traveler, he showed up in the beginning of the show back in the 70’s when Dr. Marvin Candle was getting ready to film the Orchid Station video and when it was discovered that the station had some kind of tie to time travel.  We saw the return of the famous nose bleeds for one of the guys within the station and for Charlotte.  I’m quite concerned that this does not bode well for the British girl, but maybe Daniel will be able to save her.  Daniel was also able to mess with the time/space continuum in a way because he was able to get a message to Desmond to go see his mother at Oxford.  Des woke up in current time and told Penny he had a memory and he had to hightail it to Oxford.  I’m guessing Daniel’s mother is the white haired lady we saw Ben talking to at the end of the episode who also showed up in a Desmond time travel episode explaining to him why he shouldn’t propose to Penny at that time.  Maybe Daniel comes by his time traveling naturally?

Off island, we began our quest to reunite the Oceanic 6 and dead Locke (we’ll discuss him later).  Jack’s fallen in rather quickly with Ben, not a surprise since Jack wants to return to the island so badly.  My Ben is up to his usual mysterious ways and not telling us a lot, but he’s determined to get back to the island and he needs the 6 to do it quite clearly.  In other pairs news, Sayid broke Hurley out of the nut house and they went to Sayid’s place wherein Sayid had to awesomely kill a few guys.  Of course poor Hurley is accused of it but it ties in well later so no complaints here.  Loved when Sayid killed that guy via the knives in the dishwasher!

Kate, meanwhile, is on the run with Aaron after some lawyers showed up at her door demanding a blood test for her and Aaron.  Who’s behind this move?  It’s gotta be Ben or Widmore right?  I can see Ben doing it to drive her to come with him back to the island…he’s where my money lies for now.  She is gonna be the toughest sell of all of them.  She got a call from Sun just as she was thinking about calling Jack and those two met up.  Sun may have changed the most of everybody now.  She’s some emotionless hardass who wants nothing more than to kill Ben at this time, to the point that she’s willing to team up with Widmore to do it.  I actually got nervous when she reminded Kate how it was her who didn’t go and get Jin on the freighter, but she told her she understood that she’d done what she needed to do.  I don’t know if I believe that, it feels like Sun might hold on to that one for awhile.

Hurley just had me laughing this whole episode.  From his I love Shi Tsu tshirt (I’m sorry but a guy Hurley’s size cannot just find a shirt that fits him at the local gas station) to his throwing the hot pocket at Ben when he showed up in his kitchen, he just made me grin.  It was cool to see Ana Lucia show up as the cop that pulled him over (had me fooled til I could see it was a girl walking up the window) and to have her throw that “Libby says hi” line at him.  Poor Hurley.  He seems to think that the reason all this is happening is because they lied about the island.  I don’t think it’s anything as simplistic as that but I can understand a believer like Hurley buying into that theory.  I was glad to see both his parents actually help him (thought for sure Dad would dick him over again) and that his mom believed him even though she didn’t understand his story.  The thing that most interested me was that Ben was telling Hurley exactly what he wanted to hear, that lying is what was causing all the trouble and he wouldn’t have to lie any more and they could return to the island and all would be well again.  You could see in Hurley’s face that he wanted to believe him but he remembered Sayid’s warning not to trust Ben and instead ran out of the house to turn himself in for killing those 4 people, or 3 people, or however many they said he killed.  That was cute, he can’t remotely lie well can he?

Ben then informed white haired lady that there was an issue with getting Hurley and she told him they only have 70 hours to get together and get to the island.  Anybody else excited to see how Ben goes about getting Hurley out of prison?  I feel it will be a lot of fun!  He’s got dead Locke stashed in some meat locker cause they have to take him back to do, he of course being the integral part of this whole thing.  Richard told Locke he would have to die to save the island, which apparently has happened.  I figure the island will save him even though I’m quite content with dead Locke.  I did like Locke showing up to save Sawyer and Juliet from those British? guys that had grabbed them.  It’ll be interesting to see what goes on between then and Locke’s dying for the island.

Little things I enjoyed, the return of Ethan who shot Locke.  Richard’s commentary that what goes around comes around was hilarious.  Seeing Eko’s drug plane crash!  It brought me memories of my favorite tailie who I so miss, couldn’t they have given me a flashback?  The death of FROGURT!!! Seriously, who was that guy?  Neil?  I hate when they suddenly bring forth random survivors that none of us like, but this guy?  He would not have lived for over 100 days on the island with Sawyer, I’m sorry.  Sawyer would have killed him long before a flaming arrow did.  Still, it was great because I was begging for his death and then a flaming arrow shot out of the sky.  Thanks Others or Hostiles or whomever was behind that one.

Things I really enjoyed:  Shirtless Sawyer…more please.  Another reason to hate Frogurt was that he had the shirt that Sawyer put on.  Die Frogurt, Die!

So, I’m hoping with the whole time travel thing that we’ll see Rousseau again, she was killed before I was ready to be done with her.  Surely they can pop across her somewhere in the past right?

Well I think I hit all the highlights I wanted to discuss, I’m sure I forgot some stuff, it was a packed couple of hours.  And even though it was kinda weird, I sort of came out of it feeling like I understood what was happening.  That’s not my usual reaction to Lost and certainly not to time travel but I did feel like this show answered more questions than it brought forth.  Time will tell of course.  I already can’t wait to see what next week has in store.  I’ll be back with you then!

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