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The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham Analysis

Just some thoughts I had about the latest episode of Lost. Feel free to comment and critique, agree or prove wrong. Some part were written last night during a second viewing, some written today so sorry if it seems cobbled together!

What appears to be just a flashback episode for Locke, actually turns out to reveal quite a bit of information about the island and what’s happening in the past/present.

We start with Cesar and Anna NEWcia Ilana going through what appears to be an abandoned Dharma station (with Rousseau’s maps?). Looks like this time around the writers aren’t going to spend a whole season getting plane survivors into their first Dharma station. Cesar and Ilana have a conversation about a man who wasn’t on the plane wearing a suit. This man turns out to be none other than ‘ a re-incarnated John Locke (confirmed)!

Not a real big surprise there, but speaking of planes how about this one? Ajira 316 looks a whole lot better off than Oceanic 815 (maybe that’s why everyone was so calm!). If only Lapidus had piloted Oceanic 815, we probably could have finished this story in 2 seasons! Lapidus’ great piloting skills aside, last I checked, it’s always easier for a pilot to land a plane when you have a runway to land on. Hmmm, I seem to remember a runway being built all the way back in Season 3 on a smaller adjacent island with The Hydra Dharma Station. And I do believe The Hydra station could be our abandoned station in question.

Locke talks to Ilana about the ‘last thing I remember is dying’ as he eats what appears to be the best mango he has ever tasted (confirmed). Ilana tells Locke (or someone, can’t remember) that the pilot and a woman have taken one of the conveniently placed boats. So Lapidus and possibly Sun (?) take one of the 3 boats to the main island. This is the same boat the on island losties find and take with them before they get shot at. My guess is that another group from the Hydra island take a boat to the main island, and this is who we see shooting at Sawyer and friends.

On to Locke’s flashback

Imagine as a young boy (say 17), you meet someone who you have a curious conversation with. This conversation causes you to remember that person vividly. Then 50 ‘ 60 years later you meet this same person who appears to look exactly the same! Sound familiar? What if he told you that to him, only 4 days have passed!

Widmore was obviously waiting for Locke’s return, and is aware of the island’s exit point in Tunisia (confirmed). After helping Locke recover from his injuries they have what I think is a very important conversation that ends with ‘

” ‘ when I was 17, and now all these years later, here we are John, you look exactly the same”

I think Locke could be saying the exact same thing about a certain Richard Alpert, no?

After this we have some filler. I’m not going to go in depth with Bentham meeting the O6 as we knew it already happened, we just haven’t seen it yet. There are some important items that happen in between Widmore/Locke conversation and Ben/Locke conversation that I will point out ‘

– Widmore and Abbadon working together (confirmed). I was happy to see Abbadon make a return but his death seemed too quick on what could have been an integral off island character.

– Widmore gives Locke Jeremy Bentham identity. First time someone mentioned Philosopher’s names. It’s a known fact that a lot of the Losties are named after famous Philosopher’s. As far as I know, this is the first time this had come up in conversation on the show.

– Widmore mentions a war. Not too sure what to make of this yet (probably Ben vs. Widmore), but I still don’t trust Widmore.

– “Godspeed” ‘ Widmore to Locke. We know Widmore had his hand in the Dharma Initiative, and Horace Godspeed has obviously played a huge role so far on and off the island. Peculiar choice of words to see someone off.

– WAAAALLLLLTTTTTTTTT! Good to see Walt make a return appearance, although I don’t think we’ll be seeing too much (if any) more of him.

– Lumberjack’s returns (confirmed).

So we move on to the Ben/Locke meeting at the end of the episode.

So why did Ben kill Locke? Why didn’t he just let Locke kill himself? I’ll do my best to explain.

This whole scene in the hotel room was very strange from the beginning. Ben seemed oddly genuine when he first encountered Locke, convincing him not to commit suicide. And I think he was genuine in saving Locke’s life (they are both on the same side, more on this later) – until he hears a couple of familiar names. He seemed to make a total 180 when he heard that Jin was still alive. His tone of voice changed, and it was pretty obvious at this point what was going to happen to Locke. Maybe Ben was just surprised to hear that Jin was still alive, but I think this was his turning point. You can almost hear Ben plotting something in his tone of voice. Something changed for him when he found out about Jin being alive. Ben knows Sun had a meeting with Widmore (I think it was the season 4 finale and Ben is watching all the O6 etc). Ben also knows Sun is trying to kill him. But with the news of Jin alive, he has an out. But there’s one problem. Locke is going to tell Sun that Jin is dead and offer the ring as proof. So a thought pops into Ben’s head. Maybe Sun needs to hear this news from someone else. Maybe Sun needs to hear the truth. Then Ben hears another familiar name. Locke mentions Eloise Hawking. This was the tip of the iceberg.

Ben realized that if Locke (alive) was able to group the O6 back with Ms Hawking and make it to the island it would end up basically being under Widmore’s supervision. The O6 would trust Locke before they would trust Ben. This is coupled with the fact that Locke is easily persuaded and right now Locke’s talking with Widmore and soon to be Hawking. We know Ms Hawking and Widmore were on the island together, and they are also linked off the island in that Widmore was funding Daniel Faraday’s research (at this point it’s safe to assume Widmore and Hawking have the same agenda or our on the same ‘side’ i.e. science). We know Sun is already on Widmore’s side and trying to kill Ben. And let’s not forget that Ben wants to return to the island. With Locke alive and leading the way for the O6 to return, this leaves Ben on the outs with the return group. Ben knows it’s inevitable that the O6 are going to return to the island, it’s just a matter of how. So what does he do? New plan, kill Locke. He kills Locke and takes his place in orchestrating the plan to return to the island. And this helps him accomplish 2 things.

– Ben returns to the island. As we see in the closing scene of this episode, Ben was successful in doing this.

– Ben has kept Widmore out of the plan for the time being. Although Hawking is still involved, the only one Widmore had made contact with was Locke and Sun. Locke’s now dead and Ben, thanks to Locke, has persuaded Sun via Jin. Ah ‘ full circle.

Now a little bit about the Science vs Faith and the upcoming war (this is not really episode related just pasting some thoughts I had last night) ‘

* * *

Widmore/Hawking (Scientific Side)

– This is the side that was on the island and wants to use the island for research and conduct scientific experiments on it. They are probably the founders of the DI, and in Richards eyes are destroying the island.

Richard/Ben (Faith Side)

– We don’t know were Richard came from but we know he is on faith’s side and loves the island for what it is, ‘magical’. He convinces Ben to exterminate the DI and ultimately join him. We know Ben is on faiths side because he helped exterminate the DI and the whole Jacob thing.

So Widmore and Hawking were first on the island with Richard and everything was hunky dory. Then strange things started happening on the island. Hawking saw someone from 50 years in the future. Widmore meets John Locke as does Richard. Widmore and Hawking (scientific) want to start conducting experiments on the island. Richard (faith) just wants to protect the island. At some point these group members have a falling out. Widmore/Hawking are banished from the island but after finding the island again (with Dr Candles help) found the DI. Richard is furious and finds a young man who appears to be on the faith side in the DI (Ben). With his help from the inside they stop the DI. Then a plane crashs on the island, new threat. Locke (faith) is recruited to the faith side by Ben and Richard. Jack (science) inadvertently helps Widmore’s freighter people find the island via technology. Widmore’s freighter people attempt to capture Ben and take back the island for science but are stopped by Ben and Richard with Locke’s help. Back off the island Widmore tries to persuade Locke to his side (science) and in turn recruit the O6. Ben partially stops this by killing Locke and cutting off Widmore from the plan.

What’s funny is that we have 2 sides at war, but we don’t necessarily have a good side and a bad side. Each side has hurt the other in some way, but they are doing so because of their beliefs. It’s all about perspective. Whichever side you lean towards will determine which side is good and which side is evil for you.

* * *

Back to the episode ‘

So now we have the issue of being back on the island. Cesar mentions a flash and a big man disappearing. Hurley, Jack and Kate are for sure back in Dharma time. Locke, Ben, Cesar, IIana and the new losties are on the Hydra Island in the present time (runway built, abandoned Dharma station, etc). Lapidus and a woman are returning to the island via convenience raft #1. That still leaves us with the matter of Sun and Sayid. One clue as to when they are is with Sayid and IIana. Sayid was with IIana on the plane, and she didn’t mention anything about disappearing people, so there is a chance that Sun and Sayid did not travel back with the other 3. Also the fact that Lapidus is with “a woman”. But neither of those are really hard evidence so I’d say it’s still up in the air.

If the O6 are in split times, I’m not too sure how the writers will justify this, but I do have a feeling of how they might all meet up. Jack, Hurley Kate, Jin, Sawyer, Daniel, Miles and Juliet are in Dharma times. The rest are in the present day. It’s irrelevant where Sun and Sayid are, what does matter is that those in the past will have to meet up with those in the present at some point.

Well ‘

In the episode confirmed dead (early season 4, the episode we are introduced to Faraday, Miles, Charlotte, Lapidus), Charlotte has a flashback scene (roughly 2003-2004 I’d say) in which she finds the remains of a Dharma collar wearing polar bear (looks like it could have been decaying for what, 30 years?). We have a group of people on the island in the 70s partying like its 1999 with the DI. If the timeline remains true, Dharma will begin experimenting with a certain polar bear / donkey wheel combination. Fast forward 30 some years to a desert in Tunisia.

Maybe a polar bear turns a donkey wheel sometime in the 1970s and bring our lovable losties back to the present?

Ah full circle.

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Walkabout

16 thoughts on “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham Analysis

  1. A few things to say about the hella long recap you wrote.

    – Definately Hydra station they are in

    – You say that a second boat of people were shooting at Sawyer and Juliet and co. I agree. They first go to the big island, look around. Either find what they are looking for or not, they see only one boat left, take it and see Sawyer and co. ahead and start shooting. Do they notice that there are more than 2 people so they shoot? Or do they not trust Frank and Sun, who it is obvious is with Frank, and are trying to actually shoot them? Since Frank and Sun are not on either boat, wouldn’t that make them on the main island already?

    – The Godspeed line intrigues me as well. All the “older” characters: Whidmore, Eloise, Chang, seem to use lines with “God” in them.

    – I diasgree that we have seen the end of Walt. He was explained as special TOO much for me to think that we can leave him on the basis of “i’ve been having dreams of you” which seem to be the opening scene of the episode.

    – My hole in your reasoning for Ben killing Locke: If he did not go there with the intention of killing Locke, then why does he have all of this “destroy-evidence” equipment with him. Are you suggesting that he just carries that stuff with him, should he have to unexpectedly kill someone?
    – I do agree that the information Locke gave Ben made him kill Locke, but I think Ben put on a “No Locke, don’t kill yourself, you’re too important” act, intending to kill him the whole time, because Locke couldn’t commit suicide to fulfill the rules as Abbadon hinted that his death was fate and not choice. And once Ben got the information, he murdered Locke, fulfilling the rules, while being able to advance to Eloise and Sun.

  2. I don’t think that Ben had been planning to kill Locke all along.

    – One, he didn’t really get any information from Locke other than that Jin was still alive. I’m not sure what that would have meant to Ben. He also heard the name Eloise Hawking but here’s the thing, the name was all he heard! If he doesn’t need more information about Eloise then he must already know who and where she is. If he already knows who she is then he already knows that Locke must see her about returning to the island.

    – Second, he didn’t exactly have a professional grade crime scene cleanup kit. He had some rubber gloves, some all-purpose cleaner and paper towels. He could have just stepped out to get that after he killed John… Locke wasn’t going anywhere anyway.

    I have a theory about this but it might be a bit out there. Ben always has a plan, right? At least it always seems like he has a plan. What if he’s been told things in the past about the future and he remembers them at convenient times? We’ve seen that at least once when Desmond suddenly remembered his conversation with Daniel years earlier at the Swan Station. Locke is supposed to die. I think that Ben is sincere when he talks Locke down off the table but at some point he realizes that he wasn’t supposed to do that so he kills him to make things right.

    I don’t know, it’s just an idea… but if Ben killed Locke because he’d gotten all the information he needed from him then the scene was sloppily written…

  3. Cap, I do think Ben carries those things around. He is such a weasily little bastard that those are the things that I expect him to carry around. I agree he talked Locke down because he needed to get as much info from him as possible before he died. I think Ben will be completely astonished when he finds Locke alive on the island. I also agree that Walt is not done. I think Sun and Lipidus are the ones on the boat and that is why Sawyers group finds the Ajira water bottle. I am not sure who was shooting at them though. But that just means that more people jumped on boats and followed them to the main island, we will probably see in an upcoming episode. Probably Locke with some of the new losties, and then later Ben with some of the new losties.

  4. – I hope you are right about Walt, it was just the scene felt like they were trying to tie up loose ends. I hope he does make more appearances, as he was too important of a character in season 1/2. Also, how come Walt told Hurley that Jeremy Bentham came to see him (Season 4 Finale) when Locke never told him he was under the name Jeremy Bentham?

    – In watching the scene with Ben and Locke it seems like Ben is genuine at the beginning, but as soon as Locke mentions Jin, Ben noticeably changes his tone and demeanor. Also, if he was planning on killing Locke all along, why not just use a gun like he always uses (after he gets the information)? The way he strangled him with the extension chord seemed to scream “improvising” on his original plan. Plus he seemed very distraught as he was doing it/once it was over and even says “I’ll miss you John” afterwards. But you do bring up a good point about the tools, why does Ben have them with him? I’ll have to watch it again, but did he enter the room initially with them? If not they could be out in his vehicle, which if thats the case, I could see him having them in there at all times.

  5. LostHead – we know one of the boats was Frank and Sun, so one other boat of people left. (I think there were only 2 boats).

    highbrow – I think Locke said Eloise Hawking in Los Angeles, she’s easy to find. I may be wrong though.

  6. Briefly mentioned in original post was how could the O6 be split. Ben and Locke are the two notable that should be in this group, but are in the “present timeline with the new crash survivors.” Remember, Ben and Locke are the two that turned the donkey wheel. In both cases this pushed everyone into the past, with the person turning the wheel being moved to present timeline in Tunisia.

    Which just led me to think … anyone think the turning of the wheel caused the plane crash ala Desmond?

  7. Highbrow maybe he wasn’t counting on the fact that Locke knew Eloise. I think Ben is threatened by Locke and when he heard that Locke knows Eloise he became scared that Locke can get back to the island. I think Ben doesn’t want that because he wants to lead unimpeded.

  8. – Well, we don’t really know who left the crash site in the boat. Could have been Sun but as one of the O5 I would have expected her to vanish in the flash. Nobody said anything about a pretty asian lady with vengence in her eyes…

    – “Eloise Hawking” or “Eloise Hawking in Los Angeles”… neither is really enough without other knowlege of the woman. I find it hard to believe that Ben doesn’t already know who she is. He should have known already that Locke was going to see her… at least that Locke was going to have to go to the Lamp Post Station which I’m sure Ben knew about. That would have led him to Eloise. I think the Others had been using the Lamp Post whenever they travelled back and forth…

  9. Everyone is saying Ben changed his mind when Jin’s name was mentioned. Sure he reacted, but I believe he was just thinking of how he could use that information to his advantage especially with regard to Sun. I don’t believe he intended to kill Locke until Hawking’s name was mentioned.

    Also, Ben may end up fighting on the side of Faith and 90% or more of Ben’s actions could be explained as commitment to a higher goal, but I believe you forget “YOU’RE MINE!!” and deliberately letting Goodwin be killed, and the muder of everyone on the freighter because he was angry over his daughter. Ben is at best narcissistic and selfish and at worse an evil bastard. Much of Ben’s behavior has been for the sole purpose of benefitting Ben so casting him as having any side other than himself is foolish in my opinion. The jury is still out on Whidmore, but he definitely comes across as more true believer than Ben.

  10. To be fair, the freighter was sent for the sole purpose of locating the island and capturing Ben, killing anyone who got in their way. And didn’t the mercenaries already make the move to plan B which was going to be torching the whole island or something to that effect? Either way it’s not like Widmore’s freighter people were any better people than Ben (although not all of the freighters had cruel intentions). It’s all a matter of perspective.

    I do agree that YOU’RE MINE and most of Ben’s other actions are out of selfishness but I think Widmore is just as selfish as Ben, which is why there is a war between the 2 sides. If neither side was selfish they would be living on the island together in harmony singing and dancing to the likes of Geronimo Jackson =)

  11. Heh, funny. I saw you post a couple comments on here earlier, and checked to see if you had any theories. Saw there wasnt any and figured you were getting itchy.
    Whole lot of stuff I agree with, and few I dont that Im rethinking right now.
    Well done as usual, glad to see a post from you here.

  12. Sorry about the 1st comment, thought I clicked on another members post.
    But all the rest of the stuff was meant for you, nice job. Sorry, mind a little fried from this episode.

  13. Not sure if that’s directed at me but if it is, no problem on the duplicate, I’m sure some of things I said are duplicates of theories that have already been posted here. This season I’ve been writing down notes after a second viewing of each episode and it seems to help sort things out (or try to anyway. I’ll probably be posting them here to get some feedback, along with other theories.

  14. I have written this on other posts today but wish to remind you. The PILOT and a woman PASSENGER left with the first dugout canoe. Lapidus and Sun are not mentioned by name.

    Do not forget that this is Lost and the writers always try to catch us by surprise. The people who took the canoe could be the co-pilot and another female passenger from the tail (business class) section. It would be just like them to put that element in there and then start next week’s episode with Sun and Sayid waking up on a beach on another part of the island.

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