So do you like Resurrected Locke as much as I do?
The season’s 12th episode, titled “Dead is Dead” was yet another tale of role reversal … this time between John Locke and Ben Linus. We ended last week with Ben waking up to find a living Locke — the man he killed (which he says was all part of the plan). Locke then questions Ben’s suprise, to which he replies: “It’s one thing to believe it will happen, it’s another to see it.” (paraphrased).
I would imagine Jesus’ followers felt the same way … following a man who told them he would appear to them, yet being shocked when it happened. But that’s about as religious as I’ll get here, for now.
Ben tells Locke he broke the rules in killing him and that he’s come back to the island to be judged. Skeptical of Ben (or perhaps knowing more than him), Locke tells Ben he’s going to accompany him. He even leads the way.
I’m not sure if Locke is truly all-knowing right now, but he sure the hell is convincing.
So the first “What the hell?” moment — Ben shooting Caesar (one of the new islanders) in the chest with a sawed-off shotgun. “Consider that my apology,” he tells Locke, who earlier said that’s all he wanted for Ben killing him. Seems even when he’s seeking redemption, he doesn’t mind taking a few lives along the way.
Back to the new Locke. He’s no longer the wide-eyed, determined-to-find-his-purpose soldier that he’s been in the first four and a half seasons. That looks to be Ben now (notice, Locke is now the clean-cut leader with dirt-smudged Ben the follower … much the opposite when Ben lured Locke to the Dharma grave before shooting him in the gut). They find Sun and Lupidus in Ben’s former Dharma home, where Sun shows Ben the photo of 1977 Dharma with Jack, Kate and Hurley in the picture. Ben acts surprised — meaning somewhere between young Ben getting shot and his return to the Dharma camp, the three leave Dharma (most likely with Sawyer, Juliet and Miles as well). Next week’s episode, “Some Like It Hoth,” a Star Wars reference to the ice planet, features Miles-centric flashbacks.
Locke leads Sun and Ben to the Temple, and eventually, Ben discovers a room full of Egyptian hieroglyhics and an altar containing the image of the god Anubis, who according to Entertainment Weekly’s Lost writer, is an underworld deity who serves as a shepherd to lost souls and the adjudicator of a truthful heart. It’s there where the Smoke Monster appears, and in a scene I found to be cheesy — but my wife Jennifer likened to the tornado scene in Wizard of Oz (remember, Ben used the name Henry Gale, a Wiz reference, when discovered by the Oceanic survivors in Season 2) — Ben sees the events that led to his “daughter’s” death. Instead of leaving the island last season, he challenged the men who sought him to make their move … which they did, shooting his daughter Alex point blank in the back of the head.
Now, the flashbacks for this episode show how Ben got Alex … he (wearing a bad hairpiece) and a young Ethan were sent by Charles Widmore to kill the young French woman, Rousseau. When Ben saw the child, he couldn’t bring himself to murder one person, much less two … so he spared Rousseau and took the child. It makes a little more sense now that when Rousseau and Ben finally met last year, she didn’t kill him immediately.
In a later flashback, set in 1992, Ben and The Others, now living at the Dharma camp, exile Widmore for leaving the island and having a daughter with an outsider.
CRAZY THEORY ALERT: I’ll bet Widmore also had a son … with a woman named Eloise … and a child named Daniel …. thus making Faraday and Desmond’s relationship all the more “destined,” since that’d make them brothers-in-law. Just a thought.
The whole point of the flashbacks this week was to show that Ben spared his daughter’s life because he felt that’s what the island wanted. When that led to his decision not to leave (thus, having his daughter executed right in front of him), it made the island angry. Ben was supposed to leave then. He didn’t. Therefore, he had to endure the pain of watching her die again.
And perhaps even more painful for him, an alive-looking Alex appeared before him after the monster encounter and tore him a new one — telling him she knew of his plan to kill Locke again and telling him that if he does so, she would come back and destroy him, pretty much.
I have to believe this has made Ben finally give in. He couldn’t kill Rousseau at the beginning of the episode. He couldn’t kill Penny (despite his swearing to Widmore that he would) at the boat docks, which led to his getting whipped by Desmond … now we know why he boarded the plane bloody and bruised … and now, he has to give up his “power” to Locke. We’ve officially seen the de-evilizing of Ben Linus.
Will it last? Is there more evil left?
I suppose we have about 20-plus episodes left in this show to find out.
• When Lupidus returns to the beach, he’s held at gunpoint by Illana (is she really a bounty hunter, or did she use Sayid to get back to the island?) and asked, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” … when Lupidus cannot answer, he’s knocked out and tied up. So the question is … are some of the passengers of this flight in on something much bigger? When Ben tells Widmore he’s going back to the island, did Widmore set it up to have passengers on that plane?
• Is Locke real?
As Ben tells Sun … “dead is dead” … and when he tells Sun he’s waiting for something awful to emerge from those woods, it’s Locke. Is he more like Christian Shepherd, or is he truly flesh and blood alive? I hope he’s alive … I like living Locke better than dead Locke.