Hello my dear friends -
Let's just get the elephant in the room out of the way right now, shall we?
Yes, I'm really, really, REALLY upset that Locke appears to be dead. If you were concerned for my mental stability and overall well-being after watching Locke's health failing rapidly in the Skeleton Pit, you were right to be worried. It would not be a stretch to say that I was completely nauseous and did not sleep at all that night. I also felt so sad, so hopeless, so utterly depressed about everything, that my addiction to spoilers kicked back in with the force of all of the pent-up curiosity I've had since I stopped looking at "in-the-know" sites about a year ago, and I found myself opening up multiple browsers and racing through all of the spoilers like a speed-reader on crack just to get any little glimmer of hope that my main man was not gone for good.
But that reassurance was not found, and I post this write-up nearly a week later still feeling as sorrowful as I did that night.
I will talk later about the evidence for and against him actually being/remaining dead, but for now, just know that I was as in shock as I'm assuming everyone else was upon seeing Benry shoot my man and having the episode end with what appeared to be a last gasp of breath by Locke. While I assured everyone at the end of the last write-up that the final three episodes were going to be crazy, I didn't know any specifics about "The Man Behind the Curtain" except that it was going to be Benry's flashback, show the Dharma Initiative's time on the Island, and also show The Purge. So I was completely blind-sided by the final scene. In fact, I had guessed early on in the episode that Locke was going to end up killing Benry and become the new leader of The Others?!?!
While it is hard for me to not keep typing on and on about my distraught state, if I don't stop now I will never get to anything else. While on the night of May 9th I seriously questioned if I would continue doing these posts, I promise you that I will at least finish out this season before making a final decision. Enough of you posted comments in response to my "panic post" the night the episode aired to make me feel that there may be a chance yet for Locke to still Live Long.
As I naively settled into my recliner Wednesday night, not knowing what horrible events were about to unfold on-screen or what pain was about to befall me, a dark spot on the ceiling caught my eye.
I looked up, and it was yet ANOTHER gigantic centipede! I yelled to my husband to go deal with it since I had to confront my fear of bugs the prior week right before watching Lost, as covered in the previous write-up.
"Holy crap, that is huuuuuugggeeee!" he warily remarked.
"Damn straight it is, that's exactly what the one I killed last week looked like, so get to it, I don't want it to fall on my head!!!"
Once the viewing area was clear of all things creepy-crawly, we focused on Baby Benry.
A CURIOUS BEGINNING
Raise your hand if you thought Benry's birth took place in the jungle on the Island until his dad ran out to the highway? (my hand is raised)
I actually still wasn't convinced that Benry wasn't born on the Island until he himself admitted it to Locke at the end of the episode. I was quite positive that his father had jumped through some wormhole or some wrinkle in space and emerged near Portland after delivering Baby Benry in the jungle of the Island. Seriously, what in the heck were they doing out there with her seven months pregnant?!?! It still seems shady to me.
Anyway, as fate would have it, two major members of the Dharma Initiative just so happened to help the family after Benry's mom's death by offering Roger a job on the Island. Some people wonder if this was a set-up somehow (which I think would be hard to pull off). I think the more likely explanation was that the Dharma members in the car saw some likely candidates for work on the Island.
A few things to note about these early scenes:
1) It did appear that they arrived on the Island via submarine, and it actually looked like the exact same submarine we've seen recently.
2) Some people wondered if the fact that Benry's mom died in childbirth is the reason Benry is so obsessed with the fertility problem on the Island now.
3) Or even further along that same idea... some people wonder if Benry's life has had some sort of "imprint" on the Island, and if the REASON why women die during pregnancy is because his mother did.
4) Benry's mom's name was Emily, which is the name of Dorothy's aunt ("Auntie Em") in the Wizard of Oz - yet another connection to that story.
5) In Benry and his father's apartment on the island, we ever so briefly saw the same painting of the woman and the hamster that we saw recently in Benry's apartment in the barracks. This leads people to believe the woman in the painting is Benry's mom, and it certainly does look like her. Why there is a hamster and/or a levitating potted plant, however, is still beyond me.
6) We got this information from the Dharma orientation video that was playing when they checked in:
DR. MARVIN CANDLE: Welcome to the Island. For your own comfort and safety, we ask that you stay within the confines of your new living quarters. Our Barracks are surrounded by a high frequency sonar fence, to protect us from the Island's abundant and diverse wildlife. You are now a member of the DHARMA Initiative... Every morning you will be given a new code which will allow you to cross outside the fence... there are properties on this Island that exist nowhere else on Earth. Our mission, is to study these properties for the betterment of mankind and advancement of world peace. Most of you will be working on the main (inaudible), should you be assigned... (inaudible)...."We know that Dharma was about studying the Island's properties and/or creating some peaceful society, and so the change in focus to kids and pregnant women may be more of Benry's doing in later years. I don't think the Hostiles care as much as Benry does about the pregnancy problem because Bushy-Eyebrows-Long-Eyelashes Guy (who I'm just going to give in and call Richard from here on out) specifically said to Locke that the group was eager to get back to studying the bigger mysteries of the Island.
Which leads to the question - WHY is Benry the leader of the group in the present day? Why isn't Richard, if he was there before Benry in the first place? More on this topic a bit later.
7) People were getting injection shots as part of the check-in routine on the Island. Does that mean there really is a "sickness"? We still haven't seen evidence of that outside Rousseau mentioning that that's what infected all of her team.
IT'S A HARD-KNOCK LIFE FOR THEM!
Benry's first love, Annie, seemed like a pretty cool little chick. She's making him toys, saving his butt during Hostile raids, not minding the fact that he barely ever talks, and was quite cute to boot.
The main theory about Annie is that since she was conspicuously NOT shown after The Purge, she may have been in on the whole thing with Benry, meaning that he convinced her to switch sides like he did. They eventually ended up getting married and she got pregnant and... died. In fact, she may have been the first person to die on the Island because of that problem - making that another reason why Benry could be so obsessed with finding a way to save pregnant women.
Some strange people on the boards are convinced that Annie grew up to be Rousseau. ?!?! Sorry, but I can't explain a theory if it has no logical basis!
Obviously Annie is still on Benry's mind, as he was shown near the beginning of the episode looking at the doll she made for him. As you will read in the podcast debrief section, what happened to her will most likely be explained in a future season.
I STILL SEE DEAD PEOPLE
I am quite positive that there came a time, very recently, that the writers all sat around in a room together and said, "You know what? Screw it - we're never going to be able to "explain" half of this stuff, so let's just go completely over the top with the science fiction crap and at least we know the nerdiest of the nerds will still watch!!!" And that was what they did. Zombie people, the whispers in the jungle, people who don't age, near-death wounds healing, Polter-Jacob... NONE of this is ever going to have a "rational explanation." So if you seriously need that in order to watch a TV show which is meant to be pure entertainment, then I suggest you stop watching now. Because from the the buzz I've been hearing about the rest of the season, it's only going to get wackier.
Having said all that, I personally was happy to see Benry chasing his dead mother and hearing the whispers, and I'm glad that they confirmed that the sonic fence was to keep some of the Island's wildlife (Smokey) out. To me, that means that all of the strange paranormal phenomena on the Island is totally separate from The Others. For a while there I was thinking that the Others were behind the whispers and Smokey, at the very least.
[Patchy sprints into the Others' camp]
PATCHY: Where is Ben!!! Where is he!!!
[Benry steps out of his tent]
BENRY: I thought you were dead.
PATCHY: I'm fortunate the pylons were not set to a lethal level.
[Locke exits the tent, too]
PATCHY: What is he doing here?
BENRY: It's all right.
PATCHY: He's the one who tried to kill me!
BENRY: He's with us now. Where have you been, Mikhail?
PATCHY: I encountered several of his people in the jungle. They had an injured woman with them. Apparently she had just parachuted onto the Island.
PATCHY: Her helo crashed into water. She says her ship is approximately 130 clicks to the West of us. She has a radio telephone.
BENRY: Where is she now?
PATCHY: I assume they have taken her back to their camp.
BENRY: We'll be visiting their camp day after tomorrow, we'll take care of it then.
How'd you like that one-second explanation for how Patchy "came back to life?" At least they did show young Benry turning off the fence and re-showed us that it does indeed seem to have a range of strength settings that the sound waves could be turned to.
But more important than that was the fact that: 1) Patchy didn't mention that Naomi said she was "not alone," which is what we know Naomi told him in a language only he understood when he was helping to save her, and 2) he and Benry both seemed genuinely alarmed by the fact that she made it onto the Island and supposedly had a rescue boat nearby.
All of this has led me to believe that she is NOT an Other, and perhaps she assumed Patchy was someone he was not when she told him she wasn't alone... or perhaps she was truly trying to tell him that someone else needed help. Which still doesn't make sense, because why would she tell him that and not the Lostaways now that they've proven they mean her no harm? AND since she was specifically sent for Desmond?
So while I still can't be sure what Naomi is truly up to, I do surmise that the Others may be thinking that her ability to get onto the Island and have a ship waiting nearby may be a direct result of "when the sky turned purple" because of Desmond's fail-safe key. Remember that to our knowledge, the Others don't actually know what happened to turn the sky purple and cut off their communications. There is a chance that they never knew about the fail-safe key because it was an old Dharma station, and they mostly just stuck to their barracks. Either way, they do not want anyone else finding out about the Island, so it sounds like they intend to stop Naomi's mission.
THE SMOKING GUN
[Both Ben and Locke turn to see Alex]
ALEX: I hear you're gonna go see Jacob. You're gonna need this.
[She holds out a gun for Locke. Ben looks on with a look of surprise]
LOCKE: [Taking the gun] Thanks.
[Alex turns to leave, but then looks back at Ben]
ALEX: [Coldly] Happy birthday, Dad.
When I emerged from my Sadness Stupor after the episode ended and was racking my brain trying to think of reasons why Locke wouldn't really be dead, the fact that they specifically showed Alex giving him a gun brought a faint glimmer of hope to my heavy heart.
Why would they make a point of Locke being given a gun if he didn't end up using it? There is a great debate on the boards about whether or not Benry took that gun from Locke and used it against him, or if he had one of his own. If it is the former, then Alex could've filled it with hard rubber bullets or something that would still hurt like hell and cause bleeding but that weren't actual bullets. Locke is definitely bleeding at the end and seems to be having trouble breathing, so I didn't think this theory made a ton of sense. While I do think Benry could've stolen that gun, I don't think that it was filled with anything other than real bullets. In fact, I'm pretty sure they showed Locke checking that it was loaded before setting off into the jungle.
Perhaps Alex thought that Jacob was violent and truly didn't want any harm to befall Locke. If no one else had ever seen Jacob, they would have no reason to believe that a bullet couldn't actually kill him because he is only a spirit-thingy. Her giving Locke a gun would also serve to build tension and anticipation for the viewing audience about how much of a bad-ass Jacob was going to be.
Or... maybe Alex figured that Benry would turn on Locke? Maybe despite the fact that Benry's her father, she wants Locke to be their new leader just like the rest of the group seems to? Remember that no one appeared to care when Locke beat the crap out of Patchy, and Richard also hinted that there was dissension among the ranks.
None of those reasons really seem right to me, still. Does anyone else have any ideas as to why they would include this scene?
I GOTTA GET ME SOME OF THE FACE CREAM HE'S USING!
When young Benry deactivates the sonic fence and wanders into the jungle looking for his Zombie Mom, he encounters none other than Richard Alpert. I almost peed my pants when Richard appeared all of a sudden - I was NOT expecting that one?!?!
Now, EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has posted on this topic across every single message board I have read has commented on the fact that while we saw Benry grow from a boy into a man (and we also saw his father age), Richard did not appear to age at all. There are two things that could be going on here: 1) The Hostiles do not age, or 2) The make-up and wardrobe people on the show thought that by giving Richard long hair in the flashbacks, it would make him look decades "younger" and that we would all just accept that. The transcript that I referenced to write this post does state: "Ben hears the whispers, and then turns to see a younger Richard Alpert standing right by him."
Say whhaaaaa???? If they really meant to make Richard look younger, then the person responsible for his make-up needs to be fired, because they failed miserably.
I think it *has* to be explanation number one - that the Hostiles don't age. I mean, presently on the Island, wouldn't you all agree that Richard appears to be younger than Benry? So if they wanted to be extra clear about the fact that Richard was aging along with Benry, they should've had Benry encounter a Little Boy Richard during his first foray into the woods.
Another reason why I think Richard clearly does not age is this conspicuous statement that Benry made to him when he entered Benry's tent and found Benry staring at the wooden doll:
"It's a birthday present. Mine just happens to be today. You do remember birthdays, don't you, Richard?"
The fact that Richard isn't aging just opened a whole can of worms. The most obvious question is WHY is he not aging... but in addition to that, why was he dressed in a weird vest and what did he have attached to his hip (it looked more like a leather flashlight case than a gun)? Why did he not seem to be fazed when Benry told him that he was seeing his dead mother running around in the jungle?
Also, was Richard barefoot? I couldn't tell. People are dying to know if he only has four toes! And... was he actually a native to the Island? We can't be sure of that. Many people commented that he seemed to be dressed in a very "old" way, and guess that perhaps he had originally come to the Island on the Black Rock. And quite frankly, Dharma apparently doesn't know much about the Hostiles, either:
[At night, Horace talks with Roger in his house at the Barracks. Benry listens from the next room]
HORACE: Hey man, I heard you ran into a little trouble.
ROGER: We're driving back from the Flame and we hear this huge explosion. Next thing I know, there's a siren wailing, and we're driving to the middle of a shoot-out.
HORACE: Look, we're having some skirmishes with the natives.
ROGER: What do you mean, natives?
HORACE: Well, we're not exactly sure who they are.
I would've guessed that if Richard was truly a native to the Island, then that is why he doesn't age. The Island obviously has a whole ton of "special qualities," so add "the ultimate Botox treatment" to the list! But if Richard had really always been on the Island, why is he now allowed to go back and forth from the real world to "recruit" new people on behalf of the Others? And if his original group, the Hostiles, had always been on the Island, where in the heck did they get the deadly toxin gas that killed all of the Dharma members in The Purge? And why hasn't Richard ever seen or talked to Jacob, who clearly didn't seem to ever be affiliated with Dharma? And finally, as I mentioned earlier in the post, if Richard has always been on the Island and he was the one to "recruit" Benry over to the Hostiles' side, why isn't Richard the de facto leader? Oh, I thought of one more - does the same power that prevents him from aging also contribute to his extra bushy eyebrows and ridiculously long eyelashes?!?! I knew they were other-worldy!!! Obviously, there is much more to his story. I want a Richard flashback!!!
So we finally saw The Purge. Eerily similar to the Others gassing Kate and Jack, the Hostiles took out nearly all of the Dharma Initiative in an orchestrated raid, while Benry was off killing his father the same way in the VW. Bad to the bone!
The mystery of "Roger Work Man" has been solved, but as far as The Purge goes, we don't have any more insight as to WHY the Hostiles wanted Dharma gone. There seem to have been skirmishes that kept happening over the years, but what exactly the two groups were fighting about remains unclear. And why they waited at least a decade after Benry's first encounter with Richard to strike is also a mystery.
Near the end of the episode, Benry comments to Locke that he was "one of the people smart enough" to ensure that he didn't get killed during The Purge. As I mentioned in the section about Annie, many people think that Annie, and perhaps even Patchy, were included in the group that switched sides.
Here is a post that sums up the evidence for Patchy originally being a Dharma member:
"My name is Mikhail Bakunin, and I am the last surviving member of the Dharma Initiative." This is what he told Sayid, Kate, and Locke when they first came upon him at The Flame hatch. But there may have been a bit of truth to his lie... Why does Mikhail wear a Dharma Initiative suit? He was even wearing one when Locke spied on him from the Pearl. I have heard a theory that the Others are keeping up a front on the Island - trying to make it look like the Dharma Initiative is still active to the outside world. Why? Maybe just for the supply drops. I'm not sure, but it does seem like the only way they had to contact the outside world was through the Flame Station. Part of Mikhail's job was to appear to the outside world as a member of the Dharma Initiative (to whoever still is watching). That's why he still wears the suit. And that's why he has this story. But I think he really was a member of the Dharma Initiative, just as Ben was, and was also spared in The Purge. Mikhail is not a native to the Island, otherwise he probably wouldn't have a Russian accent. So the story that Mikhail gave the Losties wasn't just made up on the spot, it was a story he has been living at the Flame Station every day since he arrived on the Island."
This may be why none of the other Others came to his defense when Locke beat the crap out of him. If Patchy and Ben were two of the only Purge survivors and the rest of the Others were all originally "the Hostiles," (except for the random 815ers like Cindy and the kids that were also with the group) then no one may feel the need to come to Patchy's aid. The only thing that doesn't really make sense about this theory to me is the fact that Patchy said he'd been on the Island for 11 years, and it seems like The Purge was longer ago than that. But I am not confident about THAT, either!
One final comment about The Purge... all we saw were Dharma members being gassed. But how come one of the skulls in the Skeleton Pit had a gunshot in the forehead area?
OK, before I move on to the biggest "Say whhhhaaaaa?" moment of the night, let us briefly visit the Lostaways on the beach...
THE SMACK-DOWN THAT WASN'T
I was VERY disappointed in the anti-climactic confrontation between The Two J's and the rest of the Lostaways. Weren't your hopes raised really high when Sawyer and Sayid teamed up to figure out how to handle "the situation?" I kept thinking, "FINALLY!!!!" And when Juliet told Sawyer to play the other side of the tape, I thought it was going to be something to prove her innocence or justify what she'd been up to - but it really just dug a deeper hole for her and Jack to explain themselves out of, in my mind. Which is why the complete and utter LACK of reaction from the Lostaways over what I considered to be an absolute outrage was very frustrating:
JULIET: [To Sun] The night I saw your baby on the ultrasound, I told Jack what they were making me do.
SAYID: Why didn't you tell us?
JACK: Because I hadn't decided what to do about it yet.
JACK: I think we've got some catching up to do.
Now, here's how that scene SHOULD have played out:
JULIET: [To Sun] The night I saw your baby on the ultrasound, I told Jack what they were making me do.
SAYID: Why didn't you tell us?
JACK: Because I hadn't decided what to do about it yet.
JACK: Yeah, that's right, YET. *I* make all the decisions about everyone else's well-being, hasn't that become obvious yet? Clearly none of you idiots would still be alive if it wasn't for me and my Mad Doctor skillzzzzz. And now you're just all jealous because Blondie here is hangin' with me! That's right! ALL the chicks dig me! You can fix radios all you want, Sayid, but you'll never be the leader of our group OR the chick magnet that I am!
[Jin, Hurley, Charlie, Sayid and Sawyer all glance at each other, and then quickly turn to pummel the arrogant smirk off of Jack's face. Hell, even Bernard shows up out of nowhere and gets in a few good kicks]
Sawyer: I declare Sayid the new leader.
Sayid: No, no, I'm blushing...
All Lostaways: Sayid for President! Sayid for President!!!
[End credits (in my world, the Locke-getting-shot scene wouldn't have happened)]
Since my scene didn't really happen, all I have to say is that Jack better have a DAMN good explanation for his silence about the planned raid.
And now, without further ado...
HE'S A REAL NOWHERE MAN
Benry and Locke FINALLY make it to Jacob's pad. Here I was thinking that it was going to be some tricked-out high-tech Charlie & The Chocolate Factory-type of room, and Benry was going to open the door and we'd see all of these modern computers and video cameras and maybe even Oompa Loompas, and Jacob was going to be this genius guy who was literally the puppet-master of everything happening on the Island. But instead it was just a crappy old shack?!?! I thought, "Are they supposed to be tying this broken-down shed to the earlier hillbilly theme from Season Two? What's going on here?"
Things only got stranger... before they even entered the cabin, they encountered a ring of what appeared to be some sort of ashy substance. Then Benry noted that Jacob doesn't like any sort of technology (just like Locke, apparently), so Locke had better put away his flashlight. The last time I thought of a flashlight as "technology" was... umm, well... never. But we understood Benry's point later, as it was not until Locke turned on the light while within the cabin that all hell broke loose.
But before we get to that, seriously, after the initial scenes in the cabin, how many of you thought that Benry was just a loon? When he was talking to no one in the chair? I definitely did. I thought, "Awwww, crap, he's just psychotic talking to an imaginary friend that he had ever since he came to the Island or something dumb like that." I was upset because I honestly felt that it was rude for the writers to make Benry's character go out like that. There was nothing to make him seem insane up until this point... in fact, I think he was proven to be quite shrewd and intelligent.
I know that many of you have already seen this, but in case you haven't, here are the infamous "11 frames of Jacob" that were pretty much only visible if you slo-mo'd the show. Here is one of the still-shots:
And here is "the eye" that flashed briefly near the end of the cabin scene (but not directly after they showed the glimpse of Jacob):
There is A LOT to cover from the Jacob-Geist scene, so let's start from the top:
- The ashy substance - My personal belief is that there are actual ashes (of what, I don't know) in a ring around Jacob's cabin, and they act as some sort of spiritual barrier to either prevent him from getting out, and/or prevent certain others (perhaps the Island natives) from getting in. Since neither Benry nor Locke were natives of the Island, they could cross the barrier. People also think it could be volcanic ash, as a volcano was specifically referenced in Benry's classroom flashback. Another idea I saw mentioned was that perhaps the ashes were symbolic - kind of like "a phoenix rising from the ashes." If Jacob is some sort of spirit-creature that was once dead but brought back to life, perhaps that would fit.
- Inside the cabin - There was a painting of a dog that could not be seen clearly (though most people think it looked like a wolf hound), jars that seemed to be filled with red clear-ish liquid, and of course straw on the floor that ended up catching on fire. I have no idea what to make of ANY of those things, and they weren't really mentioned on the boards, either.
- Jacob - Ummmm, what IS Jacob? Is he a real person who throws on and off an Invisibility Cloak? Is he some sort of spirit? Is he Smokey? Was it just a very, very elaborate set-up by Benry? If Jacob is a real person - then WHO is he - is he someone we've never seen before, or is he perhaps someone we already know, who, because of either a parallel universe or time travel, is referred to as "Jacob" later in life? Most people on the boards seem to think that the person in the chair looks like Locke with a wig on (I agree). If Locke IS Jacob, then supposedly the reason why Locke couldn't see him is because when two parallel universes intersect, one person cannot see another instance of himself (I just report what I read!!! I don't personally claim to know the rules of parallel universes!!!).
Other possibilities for who Jacob might be that I've seen mentioned are: Jack, Sayid, Desmond, Alvar Hanso (financial backer of Dharma), Magnus Hanso (Alvar's great-grandfather who is believed to be the captain of the Black Rock and is supposedly buried on the Island (stated on Hatch Map)), or Gerald Degroot (founder of Dharma). I do NOT think Jacob is Jack or Sayid, so I'm just not even going to discuss those ideas further. There's a slim possibility that Jacob could be Desmond because of the time travel theory and because the eye shown seems to match up perfectly, but that still doesn't seem to make sense to me overall. Desmond's story is about him getting back to Penny, not about becoming a freakish spirit controlling Benry. Alvar Hanso's eye does seem to match, and from The Lost Experience (interactive game that ran last summer), we know that he hasn't been seen for a few years. But that still doesn't make much sense to me. Magnus Hanso makes more sense, because Jacob seemed to be dressed in raggedy clothes like a captain of the Black Rock may have been back in the day, and someone from the 1800s would definitely be afraid of technology. Additionally, on the hatch map, it indicated that Magnus Hanso had been buried on the Island, so maybe Benry found a way to bring him back to life... or maybe the Island preserved him in some sort of spirit-form.
So it's very obvious that we're not going to know exactly what or who Jacob is just yet. But what about his role on the Island? What is he trying to do?
- Jacob is/was dead or is currently a spirit and is attempting to be 'reborn' or 're-embodied' via babies conceived on-island. That is why the mother's bodies are rejecting the pregnancies and they did. Only Ben knows this.
- Jacob is a prisoner of Ben's and has been and is being used for experimental purposes. His "help me" statement is because he just wants to be set free or die.
- Jacob is an other-worldy creature who used to control events on the Island, and Benry would help him carry out his commands. However, Benry eventually started controlling everyone on the Island and had them only concentrate on what HE cared about (like the pregnancy issue), so now Jacob is mad and is looking for a new leader (Locke).
- Jacob is "the spirit of the Island" and only those with "special" powers or those who have a commune with the Island can see or hear him. Benry USED to have this and was therefore the only person who dealt with Jacob. But Benry started becoming selfish and Jacob then punished him with the tumor/cancer. Locke is now the new person on the Island with the greatest connection to it (his paralysis disappeared), and so he was able to hear Jacob and it's only a matter of time before he'll be able to see him, too (if he isn't dead).
- The eye - If the eye that was shown in that sequence was really meant to be Jacob's, then I think it rules out Locke being Jacob. His eyes don't match at all. I personally think that the eye shown does not necessarily have to be Benry's, Locke's, or Jacob's, even though they were the only three in the room. To me it looks most like Desmond's or Alvar Hanso's (see link above). So perhaps Desmond saw a flash of this encounter (from elsewhere on the Island) and it was his eye we saw? I mean, the nose in that eye picture does not really fit the profile of Jacob at all, so that's why I didn't think the eye belonged to Jacob.
The final three questions we need to ponder about Polter-Jacob are:
1) Why has Benry been the only person to talk to and see Jacob up until this point? Did anyone else ever even try?
2) If not, why exactly do the other Others believe Benry that Jacob exists?
3) How has Benry been "summoned" by Jacob in the past?
OH NO HE DIDN'T!!!
[Locke stands over a mass open grave full of skeletons, some still wearing their DHARMA jumpsuits]
BENRY: This is where I came from, John. These are my people. The DHARMA Initiative. They came here seeking harmony, but they couldn't even co-exist with the Island's original inhabitants. And when it became clear that one side had to go. One side had to be purged. I did what I had to do. I was one of the people that was smart enough to make sure that I didn't end up in that ditch, which makes me considerably smarter than you, John.
[John turns to strike but Benry shoots him. Locke falls into the ditch]
BENRY: What did Jacob say to you?
LOCKE: Why did you do this?
BENRY: Because you heard him. Now I need to know what he said.
LOCKE: Help me
BENRY: John, I'm not going to ask you again. What did he say to you?
LOCKE: He said... help me.
[Benry looks troubled, and flinches for a moment]
BENRY: Well I certainly hope he helps you, John.
[Benry leaves Locke lying in the ditch]
I hate re-living the pain!!!
So WHY did Benry do this? There seems to be agreement across the boards on this one: Benry is now truly threatened by Locke because not only did Locke hear Jacob (and Benry clearly didn't), but Jacob asked Locke for help. This leads me to believe that Benry has fallen out of favor and knows it. Perhaps Benry has been holding Jacob there against his will, and the fact that Locke actually heard Jacob means that Locke has the power to overthrow Benry.
I'm not certain why Benry did what he did. But I am certain that it means something that Locke was able to hear Jacob.
Which leads us to...
LONG LIVE LOCKE?
First off, I truly thank all of you who posted comments, emailed me, called me, and/or visited me to ensure I was OK after last week's shocking ending. Yes, yes, I *know* that there is a war going on and there's starving people in third-world countries and tons of horrible things are going on all over the place, and I honestly do realize that this is just a TV show (although you wouldn't know it from reading this site). But everyone has their "thing," and this show is my thing. It is what I look forward to each week, it is my one hour where I can completely forget about all of the things mentioned above, The Man, my condo's myriad of issues, evil centipedes and crappy weather and all of the other stuff that worries or bothers me and just escape. And let's face it, even for those of you who are on the opposite end of the spectrum from me and can't stand Locke, you have to admit that the show wouldn't be the same without him. So I just felt a hollow spot in my heart that night and I don't apologize for it!
The unfortunate part about this section is that I can't write everything I know because some of it is spoilerish. So you're just going to have to trust me when I say that DESPITE everything I'm about to write that is in favor of Locke still being alive, there IS A REASON I remain worried about his fate.
Reasons why Locke will not die
1) He is the best character on the show, duh! If you were to read the boards after the episode aired, you would see that I am NOT alone in that sentiment. People were freaking out.
2) I still don't think he blew up the submarine, and the producers even questioned on a podcast a few weeks ago: "why was he soaking wet when he came back from the sub?"
3) We don't know why he was cured from his paralysis on the Island.
4) We don't know why he specifically was able to hear Jacob.
5) Some people have pointed out that it looks like he was shot in his kidney, and it could conveniently be the kidney that he gave away (oh, the irony!), so therefore it's not a life-threatening wound.
6) They have made a point of showing how quickly everyone recuperates on the Island. Locke should be springing out of that pit in no time.
7) If they were going to have Locke die, he would go out much more dramatically than that, and it would BE CLEAR that he is dead.
Reasons why Locke could be dead (this includes him actually being shown dead in the remaining two episodes rather than just gasping for breath and looking like he was dying at this end of this latest episode)
1) All of the things mentioned above could eventually be explained without him still having to be alive, via the flashback technique.
2) They basically wrapped up his entire life before the Island in flashbacks... we know how he got paralyzed, his father is now dead... what else is there to say about his past? Nothing.
3) Shots of Locke lying in the ditch show the bullet hole and blood much higher on his chest, casting doubt upon the "he got shot in his missing kidney" theory. And for those of you who have read interviews with cast members hinting at the missing kidney, let me just remind you that they are cast members of a show that has been known to put out fake reports of people selling their homes in Hawaii and/or starting on new TV series (to insinuate that they will be killed off of Lost) just to throw fans off track. This is a show that intentionally and deliberately circulates fake spoilers. Do not underestimate the lengths those involved in the show will go to in order to keep some things secret!
4) Locke was pretty much the only threat to Benry, so Benry had a reason to kill him or ensure that he does die.
5) Unless Rousseau happens to be tramping along in the jungle and comes across the Skeleton Pit and saves Locke (a scenario suggested by my colleague PS, which would be awesome), there doesn't seem to be anyone around to help him. I honestly don't think Jacob can escape the ash circle.
6) There is one thing I read that is still making me nervous. And until the finale airs, I'm not going to stop worrying. But until the finale airs, I'm not telling you what it is, either!
Here's what *I'm* going to do... I'm going to start the process of accepting that he is gone and then if he's not, it will be a happy surprise. At least I'll always have my Locke action figure.
NEED... TYLENOL... NOW
As we are getting more and more insight into the history of the Island, and since we have finally gotten a glimpse of Jacob, there have been a few all-encompassing theories circulating that have attempted to answer ALL or MOST of the questions raised on the show to date.
Thanks to CG for sending this extremely extensive quantum physics theory:
Quantum Physics theory
And a shout-out to FC for pointing out this also very thorough and complex theory that focuses on the Dharma experiments and the magnetic forces on the Island:
A theory that covers just about everything
OFFICIAL PODCAST DEBRIEF
Before the usual discussion with the two executive producers, there was an interview with Darth Hoodie/Merry the Hobbit/Kate's boyfriend in real life (Dominic Monaghan). Note that the first question below was asked to him at the BEGINNING of the season, not recently. He probably had no idea at that point in time that his character's fate would become a focal point of the show.
Q. What do you think about the possibility of your character dying?
A. I don't mind, really, I don't mind. It's not something that I think about. I love the show, I love Hawaii, I love the relationships I made here. If my character died, those relationships wouldn't change. My career and my life has been about the relationships I formed. I hope I'm not defined by this character, I don't think I am. This is a piece of my career, and a great one. But I hope that ten years from now, it's not still like, "You're Charlie!" You always want to try different facets. With the Rings, it was about fantasy and I was this sweet, whimsical childlike guy. I think Lost complemented that very well because it was a contemporary guy, dark, moody sarcastic, broken character. Next, I need to think about playing someone who isn't like Charlie, where do I go from here?
Q. Many of the cast ask you for "new music" advice. What are you listening to right now?
A. I really like Imogen Heap right now [e: good choice!], that's really fun... and the new Keane album, even though they get a lot of flak in the press for being girly-boys. But they still make good music, so I don't understand that. Ray LaMontagne. Iron & Wine. Radiohead is standard. Anyone who doesn't like Radiohead doesn't like music. Thom Yorke's new album. Corinne Bailey Rae. I'm always looking for new stuff.
Now on to producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof:
This is the penultimate podcast. We're going to do one next week, the finale will air, and then we're going on vacation. We're just going to let the finale play and we're sure YOU will tell us what you think about it, we don't need to tell you what to think about it.
But as you heard, we have announced the end date for the show. It was really important to the two of us that we didn't end the show after it was no longer relevant. We wanted to provide a certain measure of confidence for the fans, we love the "J.K. Rowling model." If you haven't heard, we have 48 more episodes left. We thought about the story we had left to tell, and not only is 48 a good number for the total episodes left, but structurally, telling it over three seasons of 16 episodes each worked well. BUT, you should know, in a separate deal that we reached, we're only doing 35 more podcasts. We just didn't think there were as many podcasts left in us as there are episodes. [e: they were joking]
Last night, we watched the finale for the first time from start to finish. We just finished filming it on Monday, we're cutting it a little close. We're really pleased and we hope you like it. The robots in it aren't as convincing as we would've liked, but we think they're OK. [e: once again, joking]
Now let's do some re-hashing of 'The Man Behind the Curtain.' It obviously involved a very significant advancement of the show's mythology. Now, we don't just have Ben... we have made manifest of this character named Jacob. Some people said it was Locke in a wig. Some people say it was Christian Shephard [e: Jack's dad] with a bad hair job. Wow. Some people didn't see anything at all. Some people saw a strange eye and were wondering what that was all about.
It's all a matter of interpretation, isn't it? We wrote this scene with an idea in mind, and then it gets to the editing room and we wonder "Are we showing too much, are we not showing enough?"... we were definitely intentionally creating a 'Tivo moment,' and it appears we achieved that. And while I'm sure this will frustrate you, it would be premature to say anything else about Jacob at this point. It will spoil upcoming stories. We will say that Jacob is more of a question for Season 4 than the rest of this season. The rest of this season is about the confrontation between the two camps .
So we learned that Ben was lying in that he wasn't really born on the Island. We learned a lot about him, but we left out some major story beads [e: Can you say, more Benry flashbacks in the future?] We saw the Dharma Initiative on the Island, and saw that The Others basically wiped out the Dharma Initiative except for a few of them, as Ben alluded to at the end.
DL: I think we're ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room here [e: I wrote the very beginning of this post BEFORE listening to this podcast!] - I mean, John Locke took a bullet in the gut - what happened to Locke? Is he dead?
CC: Well, he didn't look dead when the show went off.
DL: Is he dead NOW?
CC: If I were a betting man, I would bet that John is not dead.
DL: Well, I'll bet you $5 that he is.
CC: You are on.
[e: How dare they make jokes about the fate of Locke!?!? This is a serious matter!]
DL: WHY did Ben shoot Locke, Carlton?
CC: Ben took Locke out to Jacob as sort of a litmus test, to see if he was really special or not. He wanted to see if he could actually see or hear Jacob. When Locke DID hear Jacob, that kind of freaked Ben out, it threatened him, so he took him to the pit and he shot him. Because he doesn't want his leadership of The Others challenged by Locke.
Fan Question and Answers
Q. In "Walt's comic book from Season One, the Green Lantern, the superheroes capture an alien who they think is a threat, but he is not. The alien is held for 15 years, and ends up getting cancer from the radiation from all the experiments they're doing on him. If *I* were that alien, I would say: "Help me!" ... So, is Jacob an alien or some type of non-human intelligence that is being held and used for human purposes?
A. He is not an alien. Other than that I can't say anything.
Q. Please tell me that we will see more of The Purge! That seemed way too quick and unfulfilling to be the war between Dharma and the Hostiles! How did Dr. Marvin Candle lose his arm? Where were Kelvin and his old hatch partner, Radzinski? Was this supposed to wrap up that storyline or was it only a taste of things to come?
A. That was just a taste of things to come. We did see a good number of Dharma people get killed, so that WAS the one fell swoop... but there were allusions when Ben was a kid to many skirmishes. We will see how Dr. Candle lost his hand. And we WILL see how Montan lost his arm. Season 4 is going to be all about missing limbs. I would really like to see a Rousseau flashback. Maybe we should write one. Anyway, there's definitely more to learn about the history of the Dharma Initiative.
Q. Is Jacob being confined by Ben? I noticed a line on the floor in the cabin and the same powdery substance was on the chair. Was this substance made to confine him?
A. It could be that. Or it could be some of the ash from the volcano that they showed in the class.
Q. What's up with Annie, by the way? Did she die in The Purge?
A. I think that's a chapter of Ben's story that we still need to see.
Q. What the heck is that Dharma shark and where has it been since we last saw it? Does it have a name? Is it related to where Michael and Walt are? Did it eat them? If you can't answer that, then let me know about Jacob... why the invisibility? Please don't say he's a character from Heroes! Maybe he's a phantom? Maybe he's a prisoner of Ben's and is hidden in that shanty?
A. Wow, I'm much more comfortable talking about the shark. As we learned, the Hydra was a station that was routinely flooded so that they could do experiments on sharks and dolphins and whatnot. The shark will be back. And, as we will exclusively reveal here on this podcast, it does have a name. It's name is Jim. No, it's Ezra. Ezra James Sharkington. You will see Ezra James Sharkington and his Dharma-laden flashback next season. Oh my god, we have officially jumped the shark! Do you know how much everyone loved the episode where we learned how Jack got his tattoos? Well, imagine the reaction to learning how the shark got HIS Dharma tattoo! And what if he also got it from Bai Ling?!!?! The shark was like, "I will bite your face if you do not give me a Dharma tattoo!" I'm just saying, we've done wackier things on this show. [e: they were laughing uncontrollably during this one]
Q. What's with this ongoing theme with the bad fathers and everyone wanting their dad to love them? Jack, Hurley, Locke, etc., and now Ben?? Is everything OK with you guys at home? If disappointments can't be mended with being a part of a hit TV series, I don't think anything will solve them.
A. Our lives are so miserable. You know, there's no easy answer to that question. If anyone out there actually has an awesome relationship with their father, please write and let us know. Share and let us live vicariously.
WISE WORDS FROM THE BOARDS
- Does anyone really think he's dead? I mean, you can't kill John Locke, you can only make him angry. Or is that Chuck Norris? I forget.
- They won't kill Locke. They won't kill Locke. They won't kill Locke. Right? RIGHT?!?!?
- How I know Locke is not dead: Simply because we are asking if he is dead or not.
- Did anyone notice Ben's mother was dressed like Alice in Wonderland? And of course the white rabbit. Lot of symbolism there.
- What was up with LOST WITCH PROJECT? I was waiting for an extreme close up of Ben or Locke crying and talking directly into the camera...
- I loved that Jin doesn't know enough English to learn he was sterile before the crash.
- WTF? If they kill off John Locke, I guess we can assume Sayid is going too. Because if you want a show to last three years, of course you go after the fan favorites...
- The natives didn't strike me as savages, so I'd like to know what the Dharma people did to warrant such an extreme measure from the natives as the only recourse left to settle their differences.
- Dharma certainly put its feet up on the Island's coffee table. Consider the disruption of building those hatches -- the Swan was a bomb shelter-like fortress! And the sonic fence! I bet the Dharma folks really upset the balance of the Island, at least in the Hostiles' eyes, and the Hostiles' anger built up to the point of rage.
- The Purge may have been Ben's idea. He is an opportunist, and seeing the anger of the Hostiles, he capitalized on it and then used the Purge to gain leadership status. His "special gift" (which impressed Richard) must have helped. The mystery for me is whether Richard knew Jacob existed, and then Ben showed he could contact Jacob, or whether Ben "discovered" Jacob.
- Ben already seemed to have a position of authority by the time of the Purge - Richard asked him what to do about Roger's body. And the fact that the Purge occurred on Ben's birthday suggests perhaps he was at least involved in the planning.
- Richard seemed impressed when young Ben reported seeing his Mother - was that the sign that he was special, and should be their leader?
- Ben: abusing bunnies and shoving them in bags since childhood.
- I’m not sure why they made a point to say that Ben was quiet as a kid. I’m not even sure if he spoke a word during “young Ben’s” flashbacks. But then before he kills his dad, his dad says “you’re usually chatty Cathy in the mornings.” Why the change, and why did they feel the need to point this stuff out?
- So Eyeliner Guy has been on the island for decades and hasn't ever aged? And used to dress like a pirate on shore leave? (Which totally explains the eyeliner!)
- I'm actually curious as to what Ben learned between his "awkward kid stage" and "megalomaniac adult stage."
- So Vincent ate Ben's dad's arm. Excellent. I hope he doesn't get sick from residual nerve gas in the tissue. Of course, if he does, we may finally get our Vincent flashback.
- Did anyone else notice that for a wily bad - ss, Locke turned his back on Ben a shocking number of times before he actually got shot? You are on a death march / paranormal nature walk with a sworn enemy - keep him in front of you at all times! And don't get between him and the OPEN MASS GRAVE!!!! Has he never seen Goodfellas, any of the Godfather's or Casino? These are basic principles that could save your life....
- Jacob kind of looks like Kris Kristofferson to me. Maybe he'll heal the hurt feelings between the Lostaways and the Others with a song or two.
- I was thinking thinking he looks like Lebowski. This aggression will not stand, man.
TWO TO GO
Some new information on the recap episode and the finale below.
5/16 - Greatest Hits (previously called 'The Truth About Lying')
5/17 - Lost: The Answers (previously this was thought to air on finale night). This will be at 10:15 PM EST and run for 45 minutes. It is a recap of the show to date, and covers which major questions have been answered and which still remain. It features the executive producers who do the podcasts.
5/23 - Through the Looking Glass - TWO-HOUR SEASON FINALE. Note that the show will begin one hour earlier than usual - 9 PM EST.
TOO MUCH ANTICIPATION!!!!!
I'm going to make a call right now - and no, I did NOT read any spoilers whatsoever about this topic. I don't think Charlie is going to die. I think they're trying to fake us out. I think that Desmond will LET whatever he foresees that leads to Charlie's death actually happen this time, but something/one will intervene and Charlie will be saved. We shall see tomorrow...