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Lost S5E12: Dead is Dead

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Even if every other scene in last night's episode consisted of Kate, Sawyer and Jack staring at each other and sighing, it still would have been an awesome episode because PENNY IS ALIVE, Y'ALL! Not only that, but Desmond is the MAN. Was that not the most satisfying beatdown you've ever seen in your life? Of course it forces the question as to how Desmond could deliver said beatdown after being shot in the chest, but Mrs. Hawkings told him that the island wasn't finished with him yet and we all know that if the island has plans for you, ain't nothing out there that can kill you.

In typical Lost fashion, this was an episode that appeared to answer a lot of questions, when in reality, it raised more new questions than answered old ones. Still, it was a deeply satisfying episode because we saw a scared, penitent Ben dealing with a confident, bemused Locke and that role reversal was a delicious thing to see.

Let's run down what we now know and what we now DON'T know.

We now know:
that Ben, for all his faults, has a weak spot for mothers. We kinda knew this already, since it's been shown that the death of his own mother affected him deeply and his need to protect the pregnant women on the island bordered on mania (what with the "kidnapping and forcibly injecting them with drugs" bit and all) but last night's episode deepened that trait and gave us a more sympathetic Ben than we've ever seen before. He couldn't kill Penny once he saw that she had a child and he couldn't kill Rousseau for the exact same reason.

We don't know: Why Rousseau didn't seem to recognize Ben when she captured him and turned him over to Sayid in Season 2. Bitch was pretty crazy at that point but there's no way she didn't recognize the man who stole her child.

We now know: That the whispers are definitely The Others, since Ben told Danielle to run away whenever she heard them, the strong implication being that it meant his people were close by.

We don't know: How is it that Ben was hanging out in the Others' camp and even going on missions for them (with Ethan tagging along) while living in the DHARMA compound at the same time?

We now know: The whys and hows of Charles Widmore's banishment from the island. He fathered a child with a non-Other, which means Penny's mother isn't Eloise Hawkings, as many people had theorized.

We don't know: Why and how (not to mention when) Eloise herself left the island. She was mentioned in last week's episode as being one of the leaders of the Others (by Richard). That was 1977. Alex was born in 1988 and she looked to be about 5 at the time of Charles' banishment, putting that at around 1993 (which makes some sense because the purge took place in 1992). So, some time between 1977 and 1993, Eloise left the island, either forcibly or by choice.

We now know: That smokey lives in the basement of the temple and predates the DHARMA Initiative by a couple millennia, since the hieroglyphs we briefly saw depicted Anubis conversing with it, which means that, yes, the statue that we saw several episodes back was almost certainly Anubis. And speaking of that statue...

We don't know: WHO THE HELL IS ILANA AND WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING? "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Ooh! Ooh! Pick us! We know! The well that leads down to the donkey wheel! Clearly, there's a lot more to her than we know, since she apparently brought a stockpile of guns on to the plane and she has some cohorts among the passengers. We originally thought she worked for Widmore, but consider this: Ben called Widmore from the docks mere hours before boarding the plane and told him he was heading back to the island. Widmore waved him off, saying it was impossible to get back to the island. If Widmore believed that, then he couldn't have been the person who arranged for Ilana and her backup dancers to be on the plane, right? Maybe they're working for Eloise?

We now know: That the island definitely considers Locke to be the man in charge, since it took the form of Alex just to tell Ben to back the fuck off Locke and do whatever it is he says. Yes, that was the island/Smokey speaking and not Alex's ghost. Remember when Smokey killed Eko and took the form of his brother just before it killed him? Same thing here.

We don't know: Just what the hell it is Locke is supposed to do to reunite with the rest of the Losties. We assume he's probably going to head back the Orchid and the donkey wheel, since that's the only time-jumping apparatus on the island. Since it looks like Ilana and her crew are heading in that direction as well, expect to see a showdown at the Orchid soon. Hey! Does that mean it was Ilana shooting at Sawyer and Juliet and the rest of them during that canoe chase back when the island was skipping through time?

We now know: That the show doesn't spend nearly as much money on makeup and special effects as it should, since Ben's flashback wig looked ridiculous as did the confrontation with Smokey under the Temple.

We don't know: Why they couldn't just cast a younger actor to play flashback Ben, especially since the guy who played 40-year-old Widmore (in the scene where he met L'il Ben for the first time) looked almost exactly like the older Widmore.

Okay, we're sure we've missed plenty of things, so feel free to point them out.


[Photos: Lostpedia]


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51 comments:

Sort of unrelated: a few seasons back Kate was nursing a recently shot Sawyer when he said in his sleep/awoke to say "Why did you kill me?" At the time, we didn't get it, but now... Maybe Kate will kill Sawyer soon and the island won't let him go??? Maybe Sawyer is special, too?
Also, we don't know why Rousseau didn't recognize Ben, but also why she didn't recognize Jin. Pretty major events for her to forget...


Hugo for President

"Widmore waved him off, saying it was impossible to get back to the island. If Widmore believed that, then he couldn't have been the person who arranged for Ilana and her backup dancers to be on the plane, right? Maybe they're working for Eloise?"

Not necessarily. Widmore doesn't think Ben can get back to the island. The O5 are supposed to go back, and she was with Sayid.


When Ben and Locke were talking, one of them (Locke?) said something about Ben killing him a second time.That would actually be the 3rd. Ben shot Locke and left him for dead in that pit of Dharma skeletons a few seasons back.


Did Desmond really get shot? It seemed that the bag of whatever he was carrying was hit, but I don't know if he actually took a bullet.

The previous victims of the smoke monster - were they not penitent? Is that what it takes to be spared? Mr. Eko said he was not sorry for what he had done, that he did what he had to do to survive. Zap! No more Mr. Eko. I miss him.


Ouizee said...

Sort of unrelated: a few seasons back Kate was nursing a recently shot Sawyer when he said in his sleep/awoke to say "Why did you kill me?" At the time, we didn't get it, but now... Maybe Kate will kill Sawyer soon and the island won't let him go???


Naah. That was just Sawyer being "possessed" by Kate's father.


In addition to Hugo for President's point, it's also worth noting that Sun has been collaborating with Widmore. Perhaps after the meeting in the church, Sun called Widmore and told him what flight she would be on and to get his people on it too?


I don't even watch LOST (too complicated for my ADD birdbrain)

But I had to laugh at the barrage of We don't knows


Hey TLo!

About one of your don't knows:
We don't know: Why Rousseau didn't seem to recognize Ben when she captured him and turned him over to Sayid in Season 2. Bitch was pretty crazy at that point but there's no way she didn't recognize the man who stole her child.

The reason behind is when Ben's character was initially written it wasn't meant to stay this long. In fact it was suppose to last just for 3 episodes arc at the end of which Ben was suppose to escape. Producers and fans loved what they saw in Michael Emerson's Ben and later this breakout character became the leader of Others! So there you have it! Not always even the awesome writers of Lost can fill all the loopholes!

Here is the source to confirm Ben's character's development history:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Linus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakout_character


Amanda in Austin

Thanks, boys. Lovely recap, as always. I used to visit a different blog for my Lost fix, but now I only read TLo. Very satisfying.

I loved your phrase "Ilana and her backup dancers." LOL!

Maybe Danielle didn't exactly recognize Ben when she captured him and took him to Locke, Sayid, et al, but she knew he was an Other, and she knew he would lie to them. Go figure why she didn't know he stole her baby.


It's true. The original "Ben" was supposed to be Richard Alpert, but they loved Michael Emerson and made him the man antagonist.

When Ben told danielle to run away from the whispers, I thought of the smoke monster, not the others.

And as far as Ilana. I think your theory about Eloise could be spot on. I think Eloise is some sort of spy or double agent. I don't think her motives are pure and she could be working for Widmore or she could have her own agenda.

I'm thinking the latter, but has somehow maintained a cordial relationship with the others on the island, but for some reason no longer lives there.

She knows something or wants something from the island.


Amanda in Austin

Forgot to mention: I LOVE that the badass John Locke is back in action. It was so nice to see him swaggering around, confident and in charge. You go, John.

So, if "dead is dead," does that mean we won't see more of Cesar? It seemed like they were building him into a signficant player. It was kind of shocking to see Ben blow him away like that.


Thanks! I love how you post your recaps so quickly... Now I'm always excited the day after Lost to come to your website for some funny and insightful ideas :)


yeah, I was surprised the killed off cesar. Perhaps they decided the audience really didn't like his character. Ilana is far more interesting and hopefully the decided to focus on her as the new character.

They really don't need to introduce that many new characters. There are enough intriguing ones currently. It doesn't seem like caesar has anything to do with the island so get rid of him.

Ilana was hired by Widmore or an ally of Widmore, so she's definitely a piece of the puzzle. But I have a feeling she'll get offed like Abadon, who I was genuinely sorry to see get killed since he was a such a mysterious character.


I don't believe "Ilana and her backup dancers" have ever been there before, I saw it more as they had just developed the sickness like Rousseau's crew had almost immediately upon reaching the island.

The bedside talk with Ben, I couldn't get over just how HOT Locke looked with that bemused smirk on his face. His comment to Ben about how their places had switched was awesome!

So I'm thinking, did Widmore marry rich, or did he develop his entire empire AFTER he was banished at around age 40? What could possibly have been valid reasons for him leaving the island so often?

We also seem to be getting a scorecard for who is THE bad guy, Ben or Charles, ex. Charles would let children die, but no matter how bad Ben is he won't allow that.

Great episode and next week gets to be Miles-centered, cool!


great recap as always,I was thinking, could Ilana be Naomi's sister? Did we ever find out who that was or if it was significant to know?, I can't remember. I think you're right, there will be a major smackdown at the Orchid. I still wonder if Sun, Ben, Locke are somewhere in the future, and maybe they turn the wheel to try to get back where they were and find everyone and that's when we will see the new crash survivors chase Juliette, Sawyer, etc. We know that Ilana and her backup dancers :) have guns now, so they've got to be the ones chasing them in the canoe, and the beach camp is deserted, dharma is deserted, so maybe Sun, Ben, Locke, etc are in the future and they have to go back to correct things? Christian Shepard did tell them they had a long way to go.
Also, Penny's mom has to be someone significant that we've maybe seen already, who the frick that is I have no idea...


I thought this episode was one of the best of the season. What other show can do Distubingly Hillarious? Seriously, holding a "normal" conversation with the person who killed you, or the look on Sun's face when she saw Locke for the first time, of the dynamic between Ben and Ceasar. Of the fact that anyone Ben/Charles think they are really running anything...when we all know it's Richards show to run! Oh and the best part of the show...

Ben: "Because what's about to come of that Jungle I can't control" * out of the jungle walks John*


Ilana (Ha it really is my name!)

I have another we don't know for you guys...

We don't know: WHERE THE HECK ROSE AND BERNARD ARE AND WTF HAPPENED TO THEM!!

This is annoying me now...they can't just forget about them!!


Hugo for President

Val said "I think you're right, there will be a major smackdown at the Orchid."

Definitely. Remember Walt told John that in his dream he saw John surrounded by people who were trying to kill him.

I also about cried at Ben's psychotic Inigo Montoya impersonation. "Hello. My name is Benjamin Linus. Your father killed my daughter. Prepare to die."


"WHO THE HELL IS ILANA AND WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING?"

I'm not sure, but she went from an American Accent to something new this episode I'm going to say she may even Pre-Date "the Others" it that's possible?


A Couple of things:

1. I don't think Desmond was hit in the chest. It looked to me like his groceries took the bullet.

2. Much like the French scientists decades earlier, Ilana and her heavies were "infected" by Smokey before whatshisname, the pilot returned.


I suspect the reason they didn't cast a younger actor to play Younger Ben is because they wanted Michael Emerson in control of that role. They've had Michael as Ben's actor in all scenes except for when Ben is actually a child. And that's because NO ONE can play Ben except Michael Emerson. NO ONE.


It was great to see my man Locke back and ready to take over. Yeach baby! At first I thought Smokey was too soft on Ben, but then I realized it's a far worse hell for him to play second fiddle than to die.


Yup, I think Ilana and her "backup dancers" (nice one, love it!) are "sick" a la Russeau's team. I'm excited for the Miles centered episode, but WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO FARADAY? He was becoming a favorite! A Richard-centered episode is probably too much to ask for, but I can still hope.


I thought that Ilana and her backup dancers got the island sickness too with their "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" But can the smoke monster go to the other island?

It could be a code and our pilot friend could be in serious trouble.


OK, please don't flame me for this but ... I thought the fromage factor in this ep. was perilously high. For the first time in ages, I felt like I more or less understood what was going on, but could not get over Ben in that terrible wig (as if plopping some fake hair on his 50-year-old head was supposed to make us believe he was 25). And the smoke monster scene with the dead daughter reappearing had my eyes rolling. I sincerely hope I'm wrong on this, but could "Lost" be on the verge of jumping the shark?

But as to Val's question about Ilana possibly being Naomi's sister, I can see that. Didn't Naomi say something about her sister before she died?


Leah said...
But as to Val's question about Ilana possibly being Naomi's sister, I can see that. Didn't Naomi say something about her sister before she died?


I had to look Naomi up after this discussion (ah, the blessings of a forgetful brain). One of those Lost Wikis said that the "tell my sister I love her" (or whatever) final message was a code message to alert the crew that she did not die of natural causes. So, maybe there's a sister, or maybe not.


Wow, I'd assumed that it was Alan Dale portraying Widmore in the flashbcks! I don't know how they dug up someone who looked so much like him. I completely agree about the special effects in House of Smokey. Why they couldn't just have vague images and audio I have no idea. It would have looked so much better, and it wouldn't have cost some ridiculous amount either. Other than that (and those ridiculous hairpieces they forced on poor Michael Emerson), this was pretty much a perfect episode. Is it wrong that I feel great joy whenever Ben gets the stuffing knocked out of him? First Jack in TTLG, then Sun in "Namaste", and now Desmond. Squee! I still think TPID is the best episode of the season, but this one sure gave it a run for its money.


Unfortunately the Rousseau not recognizing Ben when she captured him is just an error. Im pretty sure the script changed in the middle and they couldnt fix that contradiction. I agree they are obviously spending much less money and they dont care about a lot of details.


I want Ben and Locke to make road movies together.


I want some Jack-on-Sawyer fan fiction.


Eloise was there in the fifties, before John was born, as we saw when the island was skipping through time. She could have left before 77, couldn't she?


Locke looked much younger to me in this episode. anyone else?


Great recap, as usual. What I want to know is why Richard Alpert hasn't aged, but Ben, Widmore, and Mrs. Hawking have.


Scimommy,

I believe Richard is truly an OTHER, part of the ancient line. The other ones (as opposed to OTHERS) were assimilated into the group so they still age in their own time. That's only my two cents though.


Do you think there's any meaning to the fact that Penny's child was named Charlie?


Amanda in Austin

To dbb: Yes, I think Penny and Desmond named their son after Charlie Pace, from the island.


This whole episode, I was like, now that's why I love this show! Great recap of a practically perfect, very satisfying ep.

More than made up for last week's snoozefest.


Oh, and I have to agree with Sara -- as distracting as Ben-in-a-wig was, it would have been far more distracting, I think, to have someone else play Ben in key scenes. Only Michael Emerson can truly capture Ben's creepily fascinating essence.

As much as I love the other characters, nothing makes me happier than a Ben-and-Locke-centric episode. Emerson and O'Quinn are true masters.


TLo:
We now know: That the whispers are definitely The Others, since Ben told Danielle to run away whenever she heard them, the strong implication being that it meant his people were close by.
...
Hmmm, I don't know. I'm still sticking to my theory that the whispers have something to do with the time travel angle. Remember when Sawyer, Hurley, Locke and I think Faraday were walking through the jungle and they heard talking and Sawyer looked through the bushes and saw Kate delivering Claire's baby in the past? If time overlaps like that, I think that the whispers may be people (maybe even themselves in another time period) walking around, talking and not realizing that there is an overlap in time and their voices carry in the form of whispers.

Also, I think maybe Ben warned Rousseau to run from the whispers because you're not supposed to run into yourself during another time period. Maybe that's part of what put her over the edge later on...she sees herself in the future (or the past). Ben knows that, so he was trying to help her by warning her to run from the whispers.

Just another crazy theory in a sea of LOST theories. :)


To me it's quite obvious why Desmond took a shot to the chest and "rose from the dead". I bet you a million he was wearing a bullet proof vest.


This is something I've been thinking since "Here's Our You":
SAYID NEEDS TO MARRY ILANA.
She's perfect for him. Hot, foreign, kicked him in the face on the first date, had him in handcuffs by the second. And now she's taking people out on the island like no one's business. Love. Marriage. Babies. NOW.


Just rewatched the episode, and boy, do I feel dumb. I thought you were referring to the guy who played Widmore when Ben delivered Alex, who was in fact Alan Dale. And here I was, amazed at the fact that they managed to find a carbon copy of him, down to the voice! The other guy looked a lot like him, as well, so still good casting, just not quite as good as I thought, I guess. D'oh!


I think making sweeping "we know" statements is a dangerous thing to do with this show.

I agree with other posters that this:
We now know: That the whispers are definitely The Others, since Ben told Danielle to run away whenever she heard them, the strong implication being that it meant his people were close by.
isn't a definate thing. Ben is giving her information that whispers are something to escape from but that doesn't mean that they are the Others.

Also this:
We don't know: How is it that Ben was hanging out in the Others' camp and even going on missions for them (with Ethan tagging along) while living in the DHARMA compound at the same time?
has me confused. when Ben got healed from his gunshot wound he became an Other and was one from that point forward so I don't understand why it seems strange for them to be with him or going on missions for them as he was one of them.

And lastly this:
We now know: That smokey lives in the basement of the temple and predates the DHARMA Initiative by a couple millennia, since the hieroglyphs we briefly saw depicted Anubis conversing with it, which means that, yes, the statue that we saw several episodes back was almost certainly Anubis. And speaking of that statue...
I agree that smokey lives in the basement but I don't think it is safe to assume that the basement is a couple millennia old. It appears to be but that don't mean it is.


Anonymous said...

Also this:
We don't know: How is it that Ben was hanging out in the Others' camp and even going on missions for them (with Ethan tagging along) while living in the DHARMA compound at the same time?
has me confused. when Ben got healed from his gunshot wound he became an Other and was one from that point forward so I don't understand why it seems strange for them to be with him or going on missions for them as he was one of them.


Ben continued to live and work as a member of the DHARMA initiative up until the purge, which happened a few years after Alex was born.


I wonder if they used Michael Emerson to play Ben because of this scene where Ben (again played by ME) killed his father in the van, right before the big purge.

If the times were roughly similar, they wouldn't have wanted to get a new actor to play Ben now...


The more I think about it, I really think Richard Alpert is a huge piece in the puzzle.

Shouldn't we be more disturbed by the fact that this guy never ages? Is he from the Black Rock? Is he even human? Is he related to Jacob?

I don't have a big theory to explain everything, but the smoke monster I agree must be at least 2000 years old because of all the heiroglyphs and the anubis statue .

In this episode we see a heiroglyph of the smoke monster meeting Anubis. This clearly ties the smoke monster to Egyptian mythology.

We also know that the smoke monster judges people. Similarly, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Anubis is shown weighing the hearts to determine worthiness to entering the realm of the dead.

So either the smoke monster is anubis, or perhaps Osirus. The island is a gateway to the underworld. I don't believe the losties are dead, but this island is the source of Egyptian mythology. This explain Charlotte's "This place is death" and I also think that was the name of the episode.

Since the island can potentially go anywhere, I also believe the Carthaginians stumbled up on the island at the height of their power a couple hundred years BC. The mediterranean could be the island's original location and would explain why the exit location is in Tunisia, where the city of Carthage was. This also explains Charlotte's Hannibal reference. The Egyptians must have known about this place too since it inspired their mythology and all those heiroglyphs on the temple.

I also think the island is the fabled Atlantis. An advanced civilization sinking into the ocean? I bet that's when the island moved to the south pacific where it didn't move for 2000 years, until Ben moved it.

It doesn't explain everything, but I think that's the mythology behind the island. There's obviously a bunch of science that goes along with it such as the magnetic fields, the time travel stuff.

This theory doesn't explain all the Lost mysteries, but I think it explains what the island is and the history of the island.


Winninghamster

I don't think Ilana & the Ilanettes are infected like Rousseau's team, since they seemed to get infected by climbing down into that creepy hole where Smokey lives.


Is it totally crazy to think that maybe there is a lone Dharma Initiative person out there who wants the island back, and that's who sent Ilana and her buddies to the island? It definitely seems like Ilana is affiliated with a third party -- ie. neither Ben nor Widmore. We know from that creepy meeting with Horace a few episodes back that the leadership of Dharma was in Ann Arbor, so presumably the entire DI wasn't taken out by the Purge. And in one of the early seasons there was a DI food drop near the hatch, so there is at least some activity still going on.


About the whispers-- if you play the whpspers with audio software you can make them audible. lostpedia.wika.com has translations of them, and they almost certainly have something to do with the dead.


Lost bewilders and fascinates me. I watched the first season and then have only dipped my toe in the water from time to time. Love reading the TLO blog and intelligent posters. I find myself agreeing with Anonymous, April 11, 11:50 am. It's a fabulous explanation for some of the mysteries.


I am wondering of Ilana was paid by Sun. The only way to go back was to get them all back and he wouldn't go voluntarily.





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