Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lost “Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” Locke Resurrects

The episode of Lost (ABC) “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” seems to answer some questions about John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), while raising even more. But this is typical for this series, which so far this season is doing a good job of roping in viewers so they come back for more.

My only annoyance with the show – and with ABC – is that they can’t seem to get the story told in one hour, completely screwing up any opportunity to DVR the show if you’re like me and already DVR two shows (Law & Order, CSI NY) at 10:00 PM. But more on that gripe later.

In case you didn’t know, Jeremy Bentham is the name given to John Locke by Charles Widmore (Alan Dale) when Locke returns to the mainland from the Island. Locke has a leg injury from when he fell into the well on the Island. Jack’s father tells him to turn the big wheel in order to get off the island and back to civilization, and that he will also die. He adds to say hello to his son. Locke then finds himself in the middle of nowhere in Tunisia, but there is a camera trained on him. Hours later, while Locke lay there injured, a truck approaches, several men come out and pick up Locke and throws him in the back of the pickup. He is taken to a makeshift hospital where he is treated and he passes out. When he comes to, Charles Widmore is at his beside. He tells Locke they had met years before when Widmore was 17 – on the Island of all places. Despite the fact Widmore has aged considerably, to Locke, it only seems like days since he first met him. Yet Locke looks the same to Widmore. Widmore says he was leader on the Island until Ben exiled him. Locke tells Widmore he chose to leave, and Widmore realizes Locke wants to bring everyone back – and those that have returned have been back for three years. Widmore will help Locke to get everyone to return, because if they don’t get back, there will be a huge war – and the wrong people will win. He later gives Locke the name and identity of Jeremy Bentham, and says he has been monitoring those that returned from the Island. He gives Locke his driver Matthew (Lance Reddick) to take him wherever he needs to go.

Locke finds Sayid (Naveen Andrews) in Santo Domingo, helping to build a home in a village. Sayid had found someone he loved, who was recently murdered, but he is happy doing his work there, and won’t leave. Later, in New York, Locke really wants to find someone named Helen Norwood, and he asks Matthew to find her. He then tracks down Walt (Malcolm David Kelley), and sees him leaving school. Walt spots Locke and walks over, and they talk. Walt seems happy, and asks Locke about his father, and Locke tells him he is on a ship near the Island. Walt says he has been dreaming about Locke, but he is happy, so Locke decides to just let him continue to be happy. But someone else is watching from afar – Ben (Michael Emerson).

Locke heads to Santa Rosa, and visits Hurley (Jorge Garcia), who at first, thinks he is seeing an apparition of a dead Locke. But when he realized Locke is alive, and he spots Matthew, Hurley becomes concerned, he’s seen Matthew before. Hurley becomes very agitated and says he won’t go back, running back to the psychiatric hospital.

Locke meets with Kate (Evangeline Lilly) in Los Angeles. She tells him she won’t return, saying he didn’t return because he had no one to love. He mentioned Helen, and said things just didn’t work out. He said he was angry and obsessed at the same time. Afterwards, when Locke asks Matthew if he found Helen, Matthew takes him to her grave; she had died from a brain aneurysm in 2006. As they are leaving the cemetery, while Matthew is putting Locke’s wheelchair in the trunk, he is shot, and Locke fights his way into the drivers seat and takes off, leaving Matthew’s body to drop to the ground. In his attempt to flee the shooter, he gets into a car accident and ends up in the hospital – Jack’s hospital. Jack (Matthew Fox) is upset to see Locke, and is not receptive to Locke’s plea for him to return to the island. As Jack moves to leave, Locke tells him that his father asked him to say hello. Jack responds that his father died in Australia three years ago. Jack told Locke to leave him and the other returnees alone.

Later, in a hotel room, Locke is writing a note to Jack, saying he wished he believed him. As he prepares to hang himself, Locke hears a knock on the door, and Ben breaks in, pleading for Locke not to do it. He manages to coax Locke down, but there is something a little to creepy about it. Ben admits he killed Matthew and has been following the returnees and is trying to protect him. Those creepy feelings are validated when Locke begins to spill too much information – Jin is still alive, and that a woman named Eloise can help them – and Ben takes the same cord that Locke was going to use to hang himself and he strangles Locke, killing him. He later cleans up any evidence he was there, and tells Locke he will miss him.

But this is all a bit of a flashback, a memory. Locke is now back alive on the Island, seemingly resurrected after the second plane crash that returned everyone, plus a few others, to the Island. Locke - his last memory was of dying - tells someone named Cesar (Saïd Taghmaoui), who is looking at Dharma files, that he is not sure how he got back. Cesar tells Locke that Hurley and several other passengers disappeared after a flash of light appeared on the plane right before the crash. Locke asks for the passenger list, and Cesar tells Locke that the pilot took it. Cesar then takes Locke to a room full of injured passengers that were hurt during the crash, Locke sees Ben laying there, and tells Cesar that Ben is the man that killed him.

So now we know what – or who – killed Locke. That question has been answered. But now, we are left with an even bigger mystery: why is Ben helping them all get back to the Island, when this is apparently what Widmore, who seems to be his enemy, wants as well? Who is lying here? Do they both want everyone back for different reasons? How does their presence on the Island prevent a war? Clearly Ben and Widmore have long-standing issues – what caused the rift and why are the people on the Island key in playing the whole thing out? Did Ben simply kill Locke because Locke’s destiny was to die anyway, but Ben needed the information from him before Locke met his fate, so Ben could carry it out the return? Is Ben the one not to be trusted – or is Widmore – or both? And why was Locke’s death a requirement of their return? What was odd is that it didn’t seem that anyone Locke encountered had any questions of exactly how Locke came back from the Island. Wouldn’t that be the first question they would ask? All good questions that I am sure will be answered…but when?

Now, back to my gripe about ABC and their run-overs past the 10:00 time. This week it was not a problem for me, because only CSI NY was a new episode and Law & Order was a rerun, so my DVR was only recording one program, so I could continue to watch Lost. But on those days where both of those shows at 10:00 are new and I record both, I have to go to another room and watch the remainder of the show on another television. If for some reason can’t stay up to watch all of Lost (my husband and I are very early risers), I have to program the DVR manually and I have to cut off the recording at 9:59, missing the last few minutes, which I have to catch on line. It is a very very cumbersome and tiresome process. I wish ABC would stop doing it, in fact, I wish ALL the shows would stop doing it. Everyone is aware that they are playing this game to screw up people’s DVR programming, and hoping to keep more eyes watching their show live and their ads. For me, I am now making note of the ads that ABC is running at the last break before the end of the show, and I am crossing those people off my list of companies to buy from. And, if they run a promo ad for another show on their own network, that show is immediately crossed off my list of things to watch. Now really ABC, didn’t you run enough ads of your new show “Castle” to save some time so you can finish Lost on time? This is an annoying practice that the networks need to stop.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, this episode was one of the best ones I've seen since perhaps "The Constant" which was Desmond-centric. This one was made even better by the wonderful Terry O'Quinn. He says so much with just a sigh, a look.

My boys have always been Ben Fans. Not anymore. They finally saw that it's all about him. He wants everyone back at the Island so he can be rid of them all. He thinks he got rid of John, but we saw how that worked out.

One of the things that I enjoy about this show is how it answers questions presented episodes ago. Ben telling Jack last week that his mom taught him to read. But we know that his mom died in child birth. Could Elenor be the surrogate mom who "raised" him? Once Ben heard from Desmond that Daniel told him to find Elenor that twinge of jealousy that made Ben cringe a bit. I think that Elle (the girl who held a gun to Daniel in the episode "Jughead" grew up to be Elenor---Daniel's mom. And Daniel's dad? Why might it be Charles Widmore?

This show just rocks my world.