Dead is Dead ‘Connections’
While re-watching the episode “Dead is Dead” I noted some connections. Please forgive me in advance for the length, as I included dialogue from the Transcripts to illustrate the point.
When Ben and ‘Fake Locke’ arrive on the dock and proceed to Ben’s former home in ‘Otherville’, so Ben can summon the ‘smoke monster’ and be judged for Alex’ death; as they approach, you see the sign at the Processing Centre dangling and the Children’s Playground and Swings. When Ben enters his former house, he encounters Sun and then Lapidus.
The following conversation transpires: LAPIDUS: What are you doing here? BEN: This used to be my house. I saw a light turned on. What are the two of you doing in here? [Lapidus hands Ben the DHARMA Initiative new recruit group photo from the Processing Center.] SUN: That was taken in 1977. BEN: Are you trying to tell me that your friends were in the DHARMA Initiative? SUN: You don’t know about this? BEN: Of course not. Where did you get this? Who gave this to you? LAPIDUS: We met some crazy old man outside. SUN: He said his name was Christian. He told us to come in here and wait. BEN: Wait for what? SUN: He said if I ever wanted to see my husband again, I had to wait here for John Locke. LAPIDUS: But considering he’s dead, we ain’t holding our breath. BEN: Well, you might want to look outside. [Sun looks out the window and sees John Locke, who waves] We are left to believe that something awfully strange or distinctly different is happening in this scene.
When ‘Fake Locke’ initially finds Ben on Hydra Island, Ben couldn’t have been more shocked and simarily disappointed at the same time to see him alive (relative term). The sheer delight on ‘Fake Locke’s’ face when Ben tells him he came back to ‘the island’ to be judged by the ‘smoke monster’ is reminiscent of a ‘cheshire cat’.
LOCKE: I’ve decided to help you, Ben. BEN: Help me do what? LOCKE: Do what you say you are on your way to do. Be judged. BEN: That’s not something you want to see, John. LOCKE: If everything you’ve done has been in the best interests of the Island… then I’m sure the Monster will understand. Hmm…the best interest of ‘the island’. Has ‘Fake Locke’ just given away his beliefs about Fate vs. Free Will?
The following exchange between Ben and Sun was ‘telling’ and perhaps the writers were also having a good laugh, while providing us with a major clue: [Crackling] BEN: You may want to go inside. SUN: Why? BEN: Because what’s about to come out of that jungle is something I can’t control. [Footsteps approach] and our ‘Fake Locke’ walks right out of the jungle.
LOCKE: Last time we didn’t have to wait this long. BEN: It’s not a train, John. It doesn’t run on a schedule. LOCKE: Well, if it’s not gonna come to us, then… I suppose we’ll have to go to it. BEN: It doesn’t work that way. I only know how to summon it. I don’t know where it actually is. LOCKE: I do. ‘Fake Locke’ then tells Ben that he knows where to find the ‘smoke monster’
What we have witnessed is, a ‘Fake Locke’ who appears to be manipulating a situation with both Ben & Sun. ‘Fake Locke’ has convinced Sun to stay with him, as he says, that he is the only one who can help her find Jin. (You will also recall Christian Shephard telling her the same thing). Hmm….what side is Christian Shephard on?
They proceed to the ‘Temple’ and Ben receives his ‘judgement’ for the death of Alex, and he is instructed to implicity follow Locke’s orders. Sun, Ben & ‘Fake Locke’ then proceed to The Statue when this conversation occurs: LOCKE: You don’t like this, do you? BEN: What? LOCKE: Having to ask questions that you don’t know the answers to, blindly following someone in the hopes that they’ll lead you to whatever it is you’re looking for. BEN: No, John, I don’t like it at all.
What stands out in their exchange is, that the John Locke we all knew and liked was a ‘Man of Faith’, and a man of ‘faith’ follows blindly. Ben, on the other hand has demonstrated himself to be a man who ‘chooses’ his own ‘destiny’. They appear to be in a reversal of roles now.
During one of the earlier ‘flashbacks’ a young Charles Widmore makes a point of telling a young Ben Linus that it was ‘the island’ that saved his life. Some time later when Ben is sent to kill Rousseau; doesn’t and returns to the camp with baby Alex in tow, Charles Widmore is furious. Ben cannot fathom Widmore’s logic and reasoning for wanting an insane woman, and a harmless baby killed and further questions if these are Jacob’s wishes and receives no response.
We eventually get a glimpse of why Charles Widmore appeared to be so callous about that when Ben comes to say farewell before boarding the submarine. This is the last part of their exchange: WIDMORE: And what makes you think you deserve to take what’s mine? BEN: Because I won’t be selfish. Because I’ll sacrifice anything to protect this Island. WIDMORE: You wouldn’t sacrifice Alex. BEN: You’re the one who wanted her dead, Charles, not the Island. WIDMORE: I hope you’re right, Benjamin, because if you aren’t, and it is the Island that wants her dead, she’ll be dead. And one day, you’ll be standing where I’m standing now. You’ll be the one being banished, and then you’ll finally realize that you cannot fight the inevitable. I’ll be seeing you, boy.
Widmore’s statements give some indication of his beliefs which are, that everything is already predetermined when stating that it is what ‘the island’ wants and that ‘choices’ have consequences. To further illustrate where Ben stands, we only need to consider his actions when he goes against Widmore’s orders and saves the life of Rousseau and baby Alex. He demonstrated his own ‘free will’. He does so again, when an almost ‘mirrored’ scenario occurs when he attempts to kill Penelope Widmore. When he sees a young Charlie, and chooses to abandon any further attempt to kill her.
This is Benjamin Linus and he stands on the side of ‘free will’, while Charles Widmore’s words and actions speak about a man who believes that some other power is in control and calling the shots. This is where we learn that Ben, who albeit who has made some poor choices, does not follow blindly, while Charles appears to do exactly the opposite.
I can’t help but be reminded of Jacob’s last words to Ben, before he kills him. Jacob tells Ben that he has a ‘choice’. We know what choice Ben made and wonder if he will be redeemed or punished for this deed. We also know where Jacob, Nemesis, ‘Fake Locke’, Widmore and perhaps even Christain Shephard stand on these issues. However, nothing is really known about Richard, where he stands and who he truly serves. He remains an enigma. We also know little about where ‘the losties’ will eventually end up when it comes to Fate vs. Free Will, with the exception of Jack. Jack used to be a ‘man of science’ but by the end of the S5 finale, he is now speaking as a ‘man of faith’.