Thursday, February 26, 2009

Driving Mister Lockey










CleanedUpBen stops by to see John. ("Avon calling!") Ben helps John with his necktie. Widmore gets an A in bedside manner. Caesar and Ilana get more answers from John in one hour than Ben gave the Losties in 4 seasons. TallWalt gets even taller. JackBeard cries...again. Lapidus successfully lands the plane in the jungle AND then joins the island crew team - suck on that, Sully.

Lost 5x07: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

I'm not sure why, but I felt underwhelmed by this episode. In a show where we see Widmore gain Locke's trust, Abaddon's return and Ben pull some moves that are even crazier than we've come to expect from Ben, I still came away feeling a little disappointed. Perhaps the expectations were too high for an ep written by Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof.

On the island:

The “condolences guy” (Caesar) from 316 opens the episode. He’s rifling through an office, looking for something. He finds a shotgun, and conceals it in his pack. The female officer (Ilana) who was handcuffed to Sayid on the plane interrupts him and they walk out to the beach where they find – camera pans around for a dramatic reveal from behind – John Locke. (It’s their signature reveal method, but it’s tired. Or maybe I’m just tired…?)

Lapidus successfully landed on the second island near the Hydra station. I guess the runway that Juliet said they were building several seasons ago worked. Though it seemed like the plane was in the middle of the jungle, so I'm not sure when this is supposed to be. Clearly not the same time that Jack, Kate and Hurley seem to be in though.













Geek alert: Caesar is flipping through a Life magazine from April 1954 with the cover headline: Color Pictures of Hydrogen Test. This is from the same year as the photo on the dossier Hawking gave Jack, and I'd be willing to bet a foreshadowing of the fact that Jughead, the H-bomb on the island, will need to be used at some point in time. Also, anyone else notice the picture of the Creature from the Black Lagoon as he was flipping through? Not sure what it means. Maybe nothing since there was also a vintage Hanes underwear ad in there as well. ;)

John is risen. Which would have been a tad more shocking if we hadn’t seen it in the previews for the episode… or we didn’t call it when we saw him in the coffin…

Locke asks about the outrigger canoes and it turns out that the pilot and some woman (Sun, perhaps, to go look for Jin?) took one of three that were there. (I guess we know who was shooting at the other canoe in the earlier episode.) Locke tells Ilana that he remembers dying.

Tunisia:

John’s eyes open after the donkey wheel push and he’s in the desert, with his bone protruding still. Cameras line the area and John calls for help. Night falls, and a truck zooms up and whisks him to a crude hospital. He bites down on a bit and they re-set his leg. Watching the procedure? Matthew Abaddon.

Geek alert flashback: In case you'd forgotten, his name is fraught with meaning. Matthew, in Hebrew, means gift from God. And also from Hebrew, Abaddon means Hell or destruction. Put together, it's as if his name means gift from the god of hell.

When he wakes, he gets a little sweet bedside manner from none other than Charles Widmore. This was a shock. But he seems like a genuinely good man. He sent a specialist to deal with John’s leg, hooked him up with a chauffeur (Abaddon), given him a world cell phone and a special number in case he needs a booty call to reach him (23, of course), a Canadian passport with the name Jeremy Bentham and given him access to whatever he needs to complete the mission of getting the O6 back to the island. Widmore explains that he knew to find John there because that spot was the “exit”.

Geek alert: If you want to dive deeper into this, check out the theory on vile vorticies. Perhaps you have to go in order from one to the other. So from the island to Tunisia...

Widmore seems genuinely amazed that Locke appears not to have aged and that it was only 4 days in Locke’s timeline since they’d met 3 decades earlier on the island.

Widmore tells John there’s a war coming. He then tells him he’s supposed to lead and plays into Locke’s need to be important.

“What makes you think I’m so special?”

“Because you are.”

Abaddon takes him to the airport and Locke tells him he doesn’t want to talk. Asked where he needs to go, Locke says Santo Domingo.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic:

Sayid is building homes for “Build Our World”. Locke tries to convince him to go back to the island. Sayid is not convinced and tells him to come back to the DR if he wants to make a real difference.

Fail #1.

New York City:

A somewhat convincing intersection on what’s supposed to be the Upper West Side. (I’ve seen worse, anyway.) John and Abaddon are across from a private school, Fieldcroft. The students leave the building, and out walks Tall Walt! He sees Locke and walks over to speak with him, with an even deeper voice than when he visited John in the mass grave on the island. (When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange.) He’s been having dreams about Locke, he says. He asks about his dad and John lies and says last he’d heard, he was on a freighter. Well, I guess that wasn’t a total lie. That was the last place he was alive. Locke doesn’t even ask him about going to the island.

Fail #2.

Locke and Abaddon drive off, and we see an even more ominous than usual Ben spying from another corner.

Santa Rosa, CA:

Locke visits Hurley at the hospital. Hurley seems unimpressed to see him there, but he just thinks he’s talking to a ghost. The staff tells him he is in fact talking to a guy in a wheelchair and he freaks out. Locke tells him they need to go back to the island and Hurley freaks out and is escorted back into the hospital.

Geek alert: Hurley was painting a picture of the Sphinx in Egypt. Not sure what this means, but I'm sure we'll see.





Fail #3.

Then we get an even more labored explanation than last week’s Doubting Thomas one. Abaddon says John has to remember him. From the hospital. Where John was. When he was paralyzed. And he was the orderly. Who told him to go on the walkabout. That got John to Australia. That got him to the island. (Seriously? Is there anyone watching the show in season 5 who didn’t recall who Abaddon was and needed that? Maybe we should be tallying the show’s failures, not John’s…)

Los Angeles:

Locke visits Kate. Kate says no.

Fail #4.

Locke demands to know what Abaddon found out about Helen Norwood. He claims he was unable, but John suddenly grows a pair and forces him to reveal that he does know where she is…

Santa Monica, CA:

Helen is six feet under. Abaddon explains that she died of a brain aneurism.

Geek alert: She died on 4/8/06. 4…8…





Fail #5.

As they are getting back into the car, Abaddon is shot. John somehow with a broken leg manages to climb into the front seat and peel out of the cemetery. His car is hit twice and he wakes up in the hospital.

Bearded Jack is sitting bedside this time. He demands to know why Locke is there. Locke says it’s fate. Jack dismisses it as probability. Locke tells him they need to go back to the island and Jack flies into another difficult-to-explain rage, tears fall and he says no.

Locke tells Jack that Christian says hello. Jack doesn’t believe him. He leaves John.

Fail #6.

Westerfield Hotel, Los Angeles:

Having failed again, John decides he’s not special, he can’t get back, and is going to end it. He uses an electrical cord to make a noose and is just about to jump off the table when there’s a knock at the door.

It’s Ben!

Ben is there and tells John not to do it. He is special. Paraphrasing, it went something like this: ‘Don’t believe Widmore. I’ve been protecting you. Yes, I shot Abaddon, but it was to save you. You are supposed to lead, John. ‘ Ben kneels in front of John who is about to die in close to a cruicifixion pose (more religious imagery). Ben tells him that Jack just bought a ticket to Sydney – he was seemingly successful after all. And John changes his mind.

He helps John down. Ben says they’ll talk to Sun next and that he has Jin’s ring. Ben seems genuinely shocked that Jin is still alive. John reveals that he knows who can help, a woman named Eloise Hawking. Ben’s demeanor changes. He grabs the cord and uses it to choke John to death.

And Ben’s role as a miserable, double-crossing bastard is reprised.

Ben makes the death look like a suicide, cleans up and leaves. Oh, luckily, Jin’s ring just HAPPENED to be sitting right on the nightstand. Pretty convenient.

Back on the island:

John is speaking with Caesar again and he brings him to see the injured from the plane. Among the injured is none other than Ben Linus. He tells Caesar that Ben was the man who killed him.

Questions:

  • Was Ben injured because the island knew he wasn’t supposed to be back?
  • Except for New York, why was every other stop on John's itinerary one with a religious name? Santo Domingo, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Santa Monica. (Props to Phil on this call.)


So I'm sure I was in the minority feeling a little disappointed by this one. Help me out. What did you love about it? What did I miss that would have endeared me more to the ep? Comment below!

4 comments:

Katie said...

I was a little underwhelmed too. But I feel like this episode and last episode are stepping stones to get us to where we need to be in the story.

I'm also so confused about the bad guy. Ben and Whidmore are both self-obsessed bad guys. And when Ben is watching John and Abbadon in NY he looks like he's right out of the Omen and is in that Damien stance when he first realizes he's evil.

Joe B said...

I miss 90% of the subtle stuff anyway, so I thought the episode was fine. I thought it was kind of funny that Locke struck out so many times. And I was shocked that the plane actually crashed landed on the island (in the future). I thought the bright light only grabbed the O6'ers and kept flying. Obviously, that didn't happen, and they didn't all make it back to the same time. Is Widmore, perhaps, not the bad guy after all? I liked getting a little more insight to him. Either he is a bad guy, or Ben is...who do you believe??

Sean said...

Perhaps they're both bad guys working in their own self-interests. Not sure. But Widmore knew here to find Hawking and she didn't seem overly concerned that Ben was there. So I guess we should question her motives as well...?

robowojo said...

I'm having a hard time remembering for sure, but were there only 2 canoes on the beach when the left-behinders found them? If so, Lapidus and whoever had already left with one, and the Ajira survivors were no longer on the beach, and anyone could have grabbed the last canoe to chase them down and open fire.