“Give me a moment, because I like to cry for joy. It’s so delicious, John dear, to cry for joy.” Charles Dickens “Our Mutual Friend”
Super-Duper Brief Recap
Season 5 Episode 12 “Dead Is Dead”– Ben tries to mix with the Beach-y survivors. They aren’t into him. Later, he taunts and bullies John about the sudden appearance of his copious Island-knowledge. John remains undaunted. He physically and metaphorically sits in Ben’s chair. Sun is flummoxed by John’s
un-dead-ness. Frank regrets getting sober. Especially after Ilana hits him in the face with her gun.
First Things First
One at a time, people. One at a time… together we will figure this out…
I have a confession to make: I am not a theorist at heart. This thing…this LOST obsession I’ve developed, began as a character study. I liked the inter-connectedness. I liked the notion that this life is not made for planning and knowing, rather for belief in experience. Plus, I have a really good memory and it was fun to be able to connect a phrase or mirror image from S4 to something seemingly inane and from S1. Does that ‘qualify’ me to talk about LOST on a website dedicated to theories and themes? Maybe. While I am always open and excited to draw conclusions, it is the people behind the stories that excite me. Their journeys somehow serve to validate this winding path that we travel in the name of ‘existence.’
So, while I have loved S5 for its answers, I have furtively missed the heart-pounding, hard-core ROOTING for a character that I so often felt during earlier seasons. But this night, ahhh, this night I felt redeemed. This night my heart raced and I cheered and mentally danced (okay, I physically danced a bit as well) through this adventure on the Island. LOST was back. And so was I…
“Come, my friend! Make his sacrifice an act of honor! Come now.” Azeem “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves“
Angry Charles Widmore (who had exceptionally great hair as a young man) channels Robin of Locksley and gallops into camp to take Richard to task re: saving Young-Ben. Though according to Richard, he does NOT answer to Charles, he does allay his anger by claiming that Jacob hath sent this order. This is a lie.
Charles is momentarily placated and approaches the Recovery Tent for a chat with “Boy.”
Ben wants only to be ‘one of them.’ And also to never see his daddy again. Apparently, Cowboys are not the only ones with these issues.
Flash-forward to continuance of John and Ben’s 2007 on-Island reunion…
John sits, shadowed in the darkness and Ben is bathed in light. Ben is filled with hope. John is in control. This is fun…
I have no more of what they call character, my dear, than a canary-bird, but I know I am trustworthy.” Charles Dickens “Our Mutual Friend”
Ben tries to get friendly with the other survivors, on the beach. It’s awkward.
Ben senses he’s not exactly ‘in’ with the ‘in-crowd’ anyway, so he decides to make a tactical switch and climb in bed with Caesar. In a fun ‘mirror- convo,’ Caesar asks Ben what he makes of John (who is, per usual, staring lovingly into the ocean.)
This reminds me a heck of a lot of that S1 scene from “Hearts and Minds” where Charlie and Jack discuss the merits of trusting Locke.
However, as often happens in the mirror, things get all reversed-like. When asked by Jack if he trusted Locke, Charlie replied, “Trust him? No offense, mate, but if there’s one person on this island I would put my absolute faith in to save us all it would be John Locke.” Ben decides to try a different response and posit the notion that John may be a ‘native’ and is ‘possibly insane.’ Caesar seems unaware that Ben is mostly insane and takes him on his word. Good times.
Next, just to prove how un-insane Ben is, we witness Ben (with floppy, Leo-DiCaprio-circa-Titanic-hair) and a boy (who I’ll just bet is ‘Younger-Ethan’) kidnapping Alex. Totally the sane move…
Still, it should be noted that he did spare her mothers life and warn her to ‘run from the whispers’, much to the chagrin of ‘not-as-hot-as-he-used-to-be’ Widmore, so there must be redemption in there somewhere…
“And after all that we’ve been through, I will make it up to you…” Chicago
John is super-comfortable in his surroundings. This being ‘reborn’ thing, clearly agrees with him. He suddenly wants to ‘talk it out,’ ‘identify’ and ‘work through it.’ Ben takes this to mean he should explain that pesky ‘why-I-murdered-you’ situation, which was awesome, but all John really wanted was an apology. Ben decides that killing Caesar is better than a regular ol’ I’m sorry,’ and he does just that. Et tu, Brute.
“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you” Christian Morgenstern
Maybe it’s that ever-vexing ‘taking responsibility for your actions’ part of the program, but Benny looks way less than ecstatic to be ‘home’.
He spits some nonsense about having to be ‘judged’ for breaking the rules and returning to the Island. John calls bull-shit and tells Ben that he is more likely going to be judged based on the blood of his daughter, which is all over his hands.
You say tomato, I say tomaeto…
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation.” Paulo Coelho
Ben moves forward, ready to face his Fate…he walks tall towards the big ‘Alex-confrontation.’
Ghost-of-Alex is not actually home but Frank and Sun are…
They are waiting for John Locke (per Christian). According to Frank, they haven’t been holding their breath in anticipation of his arrival, but if they HAD been, it would’ve been totally okay because John’s right outside (he waves.)
Frank is incredulous re: John and his web of truth on how they might find Jin. He suddenly misses getting sloshed in the Bahamas and decides to try that again. He’s out. Sun’s still in. Meanwhile, Ben goes into the closet and gets to work. That’s not what it sounds like…
Is Smokey a Hair Clog?
Seriously, it kinda sounds like it.
After Ben un-locks the Smoke-ster, he and Sun debate the merits of John’s ex-deadness. Ben claims ‘Dead Is Dead’ and John is an anomaly. Apparently, he ‘cannot control what comes out of those woods.’
Enter John. Hitchcock would be proud. This shit was “frame for emotion, dialogue means nothing, surprise and twist, and MacGuffin” all rolled into one.
Or is it….
When Someone Who Avoids Theory Development, Develops a Theory…
Okay, so as I’ve mentioned, I’m a ‘noticer.’ I’d rather not attempt to predict where this juggernaut is headed. That having been said, the moment John claims he has ‘ideas’ about how Smokey can be found; I mentally begin my touchdown dance.
In this moment, I am wholly convinced that JOHN IS SMOKEY.
I am gasping for breath and trying to explain my idea to LOST-junkies scattered about my living room… I rant about how Smokey took on Harper’s form when she encountered Juliet in the jungle in the S4’s “The Other Woman” and it took on the form of Adebisi’s Eko’s brother Yemi, as well. What if John really IS dead and is not (as he claims) the ‘same as he’s always been?’ What if John is SMOKE!?
This would explain everything…all that jibber jabber and belief in ‘Fate and Destiny’ suddenly makes sense if John IS fate. How twisted would it be if the ‘Preacher of Island-Destiny’ himself, ultimately determined the fate of everyone…
Then my high crashes… fast. I’ve been down this road. We all have.
I am a pawn. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to. I am thinking precisely what the men behind the curtain want me to think.
Moments ago, I thought I’d been Queened, and now I realize I’m headed directly for capture.
“I have never been quit of you since I first saw you. Oh, that was a wretched day for me!” C. Dickens
Girls with money are cool.
For example, say you are a poor Scotsman who intends to read the only Dickens novel you haven’t read, sometime before you die. As if by magic, the fates align and suddenly your dream girl (along with her inheritance) fall in your lap; does it not make sense that you would opt to buy a large boat and Christen it “Our Mutual Friend,” in honor of the afore mentioned novel and then live out your days in ironic bliss as you consider all the parallels between the lessons of this story and your own story?
Makes sense to me…
Ben rings Chucky Widmore to reiterate his ‘you killed my daughter, so I’m killing yours’ plan. Ben reaches for his gun to carry out said plan butis uncerimoniously interrupted by Desmond, who has this gnarly-timing thing down to a science. Des is suddenly collateral damage in the guerre de Ben/ Widmore. Ever focused on the task at hand, Ben remains unshaken and turns his attention back to Penny…
Like a Bird, Like a …
Desmond carries his groceries in bags made of Kevlar. Thank Goodness!
Desmond suddenly possesses super-human strength and lumps Ben up, something awful.
Well, that explains the sling…
The Shadow of the Huh?
Ilana wastes no time appointing herself leader of the not-so-free world, and poor Lapidus is really at a loss when she and her teamsters start with the ‘riddle-me-this’ shit…
He has no idea what lies in the shadow of the statue and like any honest and fair leader might, Ilana deems this reason to introduce Frank’s head to the butt of her gun.
“You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it” French Proverb
Evaporate. John. Smoke. Smoke thyself, I say!
I am fully willing John to smoke-ify himself… I so want my theory to be right.
Alas, it is not to be. John leaves in search of some rope to save Ben (who’s just fallen through the floor), and what to my wondering eyes should appear…oh yes.
Inside the smoke, Ben revisits his past.
He appears to feel actual pain.
I suddenly hear the voice of my Kindergarten teacher warning us ‘not to look directly at the eclipse…’
The Smoke clears and Alex emerges looking a shade less innocent than I remembered her…
Ben cries in this uber-creepy, somewhat disturbing manner and claims responsibility for everything.
Alex isn’t having it, and throws Ben up against the wall then forces him to vow to follow John. He does.
Just Asking/ Saying…
*Ben sees Charles off, and reminds him that he was being banished because of choices HE made. Choices like creating a child (Penny, we assume) with a (gasp) outsider…
*I love when Charles calls Ben “BOY.” His tone is so utterly disparaging…
It’s kind of hot…
* John claims that there is “No sense in me dying twice”
Could the reason why there would be no ‘sense’ in John dying twice be because he is still dead (whatever the hell that means…)
* Locke throws Ben the rope and asks what happened. Ben replies that ‘it let him live.’
Oddly, he does not mention his recently avowed devotion to John as his Worshipful leader.