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Lost 5.12: Dead is Dead

Can I just say that Benjamin Linus is the creepiest, scariest, most conniving enigma of a character that has ever been on television? I do not think I believed one word that dripped from his lips last night. In fact, it might just be my sleep-deprived state, but I don’t even know if I trusted his flashbacks!

You know I don’t like spoilers. I don’t even watch previews. So, I was surprised that this was such a heavy Lost-mythology and Other-history episode. But even with a Ben-flashback, the reappearance of Charles Widmore, Smokey, the Temple, John Locke’s new omniciense, I still feel like I don’t know a thing! I’m lost and lovin’ it!

So, let’s get to it. I’m just not really sure where to start…how about with Ben’s flashbacks?

Young Ben. 1977.
We see the Other’s camp in all it’s rough-neck glory…tents, campfires and a youngish Charles Widmore riding on a horse. He hops off the horse and begins to verbally attack Richard Alpert. (Who at this time isn’t exactly a BR model, but still, he looks decidedly more showered than the curly haired Widmore.) Widmore is of course, ticked that Richard brought Ben into their camp. Richard’s unflappable reply is, “Jacob wanted it done.” This seals it for Widmore and he goes immediately to Ben’s side. Widmore is actually kind to Ben and explains that regardless of where Ben is, he will be “one of us”.

Young Adult Ben. late 80’s.
Ben and teenage Ethan (who is also now an Other…hmmmm…) are staking out Rousseaus’s tent. Ben tears into her tent gun blazing. She assumes he’s the one that infected her friends. Ben is distracted by the baby crying. He picks up baby Alex and tells Rousseau, “If you hear the whispers, run the other way.” (So, the Others ARE whispering!) Then he leaves with Alex.

Ben, Ethan and baby Alex return to the Others’ camp. Widmore looks up from the campfire and asks, “So? Did you do it?” Ben explains that there was a complication—and shows him Alex. Widmore explodes and says, “You were supposed to exterminate that woman!” He then tells Ben to kill the baby. Ben turns Alex on Widmore and says, “You do it.” Widmore walks away.

A Little Older Ben. mid 90’s.
Ben is pushing Alex in a swing at the Dharma compound aka Otherton. (So, Ben was a daddy at the time of the Purge? Who was taking care of Alex?) Richard approaches Ben and says, “He’s leaving on the submarine now.” Ben walks to the dock to see two guards taking Widmore to the sub. They have a red hot conversation comfirming what we already knew/guessed about Widmore…

Ben: You broke the rules. You had a baby with an outsider. You left The Island too often and used it for personal gain.
Widmore: Just wait till you’re standing in this spot, BOY. And oh yeah, The Island wants your daughter, too.

(I hope you’ve noticed by now that I am NOT doing any exact quotes today. Sorry…)

Creepy Ben. Present day, Pre-Ajira Flight.
Ben is walking along a marina and in typical cool-and-dastardly fashion he calls Widmore to let him know that he’s about to kill Penny. Ben spies her boat but Desmond intervenes (who by the way was lookin’ like a lion with all that hair!)…but Ben shoots him. BUT a bag of groceries save his life. And just as Ben is about to fill Penny full of lead, little Charlie enters. This gives Ben just enough pause to let Des come around and knock the living daylights out of Ben. Just before throwing him in the ocean to be fish food. (And I just happen to love this scene!)

Now, let’s get to the REAL present day on The Island…

Ben wakes up to see Locke staring at him. He is noticably shocked. So noticably that Locke notices. Ben utters CrazyBenLie#1, “I knew it!” (Translation: I knew that if I offed you, you’d just be resurrected like Jesus.) Locke, of course, doesn’t believe him and asks why Ben looks so shocked. Ben says, “Well, believeing it is one thing. But seeing it is another!” (Which is a complete shout out to his whole Doubting Thomas speech from 316.)

Ben then tells Locke that he has to get back to The Island so he can be judged by Smokey. Well, he says “they” don’t have a name for it but that Locke calls it “the Monster”. But I like Smokey.

Soon they are in Ben’s old office at the Hydra station. (Which is freaky.) Ben is looting around for an old picture of him and Alex. Then Locke enters and asks to talk about the “elephant in the room”. Ben spouts the actual truth (I think) and tells Locke he knew that Locke’s death was the only way to get the Oceanic Six back…but he needed some pertinent information first. So, he got the info and did the deed himself. How noble. Locke tells Ben that he’s decided to help him get to Smokey and be judged. Another noble sentiment.

Now, for some reason they decide to have a little respite on the beach. Locke is taking in the view while Ben gets to know his new Lostie friends. His first stop is king-of-the-island-dr-jack-wannabe, Caesar. Ben proceeds to tell Caesar CrazyBenLie #2 that John is insane and “what are we going to do about it?” Caesar pats his gun knowingly.

I hope you’re following this mundaneness because now Ben and Locke are clearing off the outriggers (WHY ARE THOSE THERE?) when Caesar and Random-New-Lostie 1 & 2 appear. Ceasar tells them he’s in charge and they can’t leave. Locke tells him something that I can’t remember because Ben pulls out CAESAR’S GUN and SHOOTS CAESAR IN THE CHEST.


They finally get to Otherton and Ben says he’s going to summon Smokey from his house. Ahem. As they approach, they see a light on inside Alex’s old room. Ben steps into his old house and who’s inside? Sun and Lapidus, of course. Who did you expect?

He is visibly freaked and even more freaked when Sun shows him the picture of our Oceanic Three in Dharma garb. (So, he *doesn’t* remember them! Or was that CrazyBenLie#3?) But his freakness escalates when Sun tells him that a man named Christian told them to wait here until Locke arrived. Sun is confused because she knew Locke was dead.

At this point Ben equally freaks out Sun and Lapidus when he tells them to look outside and see a very much alive John Locke.

Locke finally joins the new crew and as they are discussing what to do, Lapidus turns all wimpy and decides to walk out on Sun. He apparently can’t hang with the previous-dead-man and the known-murderer but can leave an unarmed woman with them. After Lapidus leaves Locke urges Ben to continue with his Smokey quest.

Ben reluctanly heads down his secret bat-cave. He pushes through the heiroglyphics door, scoots down a spooky tunnel and comes to a….mud puddle. He reluctantly puts his hand in the mud puddle and voila! Pulls a plug. Once the water empties out he speaks into the hole and says, “I’ll be outside.” (REALLY. THAT’S HOW YOU CALL THE SMOKE MONSTER?)

He steps outside to see Sun sitting on the porch and Locke missing. Sun is concerned that maybe Jack was lying and Locke was never dead. Ben clarifies that Locke was indeed dead. Sun questions him about knowing that Locke would be resurrected. And here is CrazyBenLie#4, “Sun, I had no idea what would happen. And seeing Locke walk around The Island alive? Scares the living hell out of me.”

(This is also where Ben utters the title for our episode. He declares the according to The Island “dead is dead”. Now how can that be? If that’s true, then Locke is equal to Jacob=Christian=Claire=Eko’s brother=Boone. I just don’t think so. I think he is alive.)

Soon, Locke emerges from The Island asking about Smokey. Ben isn’t too sure where “he” is so, Locke declares he does know where Smokey lives. The three of them trek into the jungle and find the ruins we saw Richard enter last week. The same ruins that Jin witnessed Rousseu’s people WILLINGLLY enter.

Locke and Ben leave Sun in the jungle alone while they enter the bowels of the Temple. (Which by the way, Ben says the ruins is really a wall they built AROUND the temple to keep away outsiders. Temple for whom? for what?) They begin to walk and suddenly Ben falls through a hole. Locke runs to find something to get him out.

But here, Ben meets his judge and jury. He finds a…what looks to me like…a catacomb filled with heiroglypics. And the central picture? Our four toed statue, Anubis speaking to (or feeding? petting? prompting?) the smoke monster! When Ben takes in the whole scene he notices a…uhm, for lack of a better word, grate below the picture. A grate that just happens to be Smokey’s front door. The Smoke Monster pours out and surrounds Ben. Ben sees glimpses of his life…his life as a father to Alex. He is shaken and obviously pained at seeing scenes of his daughter. But then, as quickly as it came, the Smoke Monster is gone. And Ben is alive.


Just then Alex is behind him. Not dead Alex. Alex. Alex. Alive and really really strong. Because she throws Ben up against the wall and says, “I know you’re already planning on killing him. If you do, I will hunt you down and destroy you. You must obey everything that comes out of John Locke’s mouth. Got it?!” Ben nods feebly. And then she’s gone.


Ben makes his way back to Locke and the hole. Then utters probably the first truth he’s ever uttered in his life, “It let me live.”


oh, and one more freaky scene I forgot to mention…

Lapidus shows up on the mini-Island and is greeted by Random-New-Lostie #1 who says, “Ilana and the others have taken over!” Lapidus then sees Ilana and Random-New-Lostie #2 toting guns they retrived out of a giant silver box from the plane. She says to him, “What lies beneath the shadow of the statue?” Lapidus looks at her incredulously. This was not the answer she was looking for and BAM he gets hit in the head. Nice.

Totally Random Theory
Ben LIED. I know, that’s shocking right? Well, what if…just what if all those flashbacks we saw were from BEN’S PERSPECTIVE? They were so pro-Ben and anti-Widmore. Which is opposite of what we saw in the life and times of Jeremey Benthem where Widmore was the loving protective father. And so against general Lost-lore…I mean, come on…soft Ben? loving Ben? So, what if, Ben was focusing all his energy into remembering those pivotal scenes as we saw them—and not as they really happened? Then when Smokey grabbed him, Smokey was just replaying what was in Ben’s head…even though they were lies! Maybe Smokey is just a killing machine based on people’s thoughts. Maybe he’s not the GOD of The Island, more of the BOUNCER. And maybe a la Snape and Voldemort, Ben tricked Smokey. I know, it’s totally inprobable. But I just didn’t feel like I could trust ANYTHING I saw with Ben.

Stuff to Talk About

1. Parallelism. First of all the scene with Rousseau and Ben was almost identical to Penny and Ben. Secondly, when Widmore was leaving The Island, his response was, “Everything I did was in the best interest of The Island.”Meaning, you may not like it but it’s because you didn’t know what was best.” How many times has Ben said that to Locke? And I *think* we may hear John utter the same phrase, too. Is Ben heading Widmore’s way? Is Locke heading Ben’s? (Say it isn’t so!)

2. Ilana. What is up with Ilana? Is she an Other? I thought she might be because of how Ben spoke to her on the beach, “OK, have a nice day.” Or maybe she’s a Widmore follower? Maybe Mrs. Hawking and Widmore are still hooked up and told Ilana to get on that flight, too?

3. The Hair. Dear Wig Department of Lost: GET SOME NEW WIGS. Seriously, Ben’s hair was freaking me out. And that was after being terrified of Widmore’s locks.

4. Ben’s Innocence. If we take this episode at face value it makes me have big questions about Richard’s line from last week about Ben’s innocense. This episode shows a softer more “normal” side of Ben. What is the innocence that Smokey took from him originally then?  (But hey, this supports my random theory above. If Ben has no innocence, maybe he COULD trick Smokey.)

5. The Others. Where is Richard? Where are The Others? If they are connected to Smokey, to the Temple, to The Island then WHERE ARE THEY? And what *is* their connection to The Island? It freaked me out when Ben said “we” built this wall around “our temple” to keep “outsiders” away. How weird.

6. I missed Sawyer.

I loved that episode. I love to despise Ben. I loved every single solitary word that came out of Locke’s mouth. He was hilarious. And his eyebrow lifts? They rival Sawyer’s stares and Juliet’s facial expressions anyday!

So, what say you? Talk to me! I’ll try to respond in the comments…

(come visit me at or tweet me @oohamanda)

11 thoughts on “Lost 5.12: Dead is Dead”

  1. Pingback: » Losties & Non-Losties.

  2. I think Ben was lying the ENTIRE time. He is the master manipulator and always will be. It will be interesting to see if he follows Alex’s words.

    Re: Ilana, on other posts, is being said to be a Widmore plant and the “shadow” question was a code to be able to identify other moles. Hmmm?

    And Frank? I’m disappointed in him. He left Sun alone with a previously dead dude and a lying self-centered maniac.

    Loved Des’s smackdown of Ben!! Woohoo!!!

    I love the judgment scene. But was it enough to make Ben change his ways?

  3. Ah! So much I still don’t understand!

    I really don’t know why Smokey let Ben live. I mean, does he still have a purpose somehow?

    One thought I had while reading your recap. Alex. Did the Island really want her dead? When the two that were with Danielle went down under the temple, they came out wanting to kill Danielle. Was it because the island wanted Danielle dead, or Alex? Did Smokey let Ben live because the Island wanted her dead in the first place so her dying at the fault of Ben was ok?

    Also, just thought of this…Who did Widmore have a child with, what outsider? Do Penny and Daniel have different moms? I assume Daniel is the offspring of Ellie/Eloise and Widmore…and Ellie wasn’t an outsider. And why would Widmore constantly leave the island?

  4. I think smokey let Ben live because the Locke will need his help, and the Island is helping Locke.

  5. The fact that Ben hasn’t won an Emmy yet (or even been nominated) is a travesty.

    We have yet to have a flashback that wasn’t true. This being Lost, they could trick us at some point. But for the moment, I am taking them at face value.

    I am so glad Penny is still live (for now anyway. I hope it lasts).

    I really thought we’d end with Ben and Smokey finally coming face to face, so I was surprised we saw more.

    And I had another important comment to make, but I can’t think of it off hand. If I remember, I’ll be back.

  6. I agree, Ben “is the creepiest, scariest, most conniving enigma of a character that has ever been on television.” Ugh. And yet, I am mesmerized.

    I did believe that Ben’s flashbacks were true, but from his perspective, so you may have something there when you say they may not be exactly how they really happened.

    I don’t remember Ben being dripping wet when he made his phone call to Jack (from the marina) telling him he’d be late to the meeting. But he obviously called shortly after his encounter with Des. Love him, BTW, and his lion mane of hair! And Ben did seem sorry for all of that when he told Sun and the entrance of Smokey’s lair. But a lot of people have remorse when they are convince they are going to die. I believed it, but am not sure it’s going to change him any in the long run.

    I assumed that it was Smokey himself doing the whispers, but maybe you are right and the whispers are the Others summoning Smokey. He’s been described as the security system of the Island, but at the same time he seems to be able to make judgement calls too.

    I am wondering if Alex really wasn’t Alex, but an image of her that Smokey used to communicate with Ben. i.e. we know Christian is dead, but his image is used to talk to the people that would believe him (Jack, Claire, even Sun). Eko would have believed/listened to the image of his brother. Boone’s sister would have believed/listened Walt’s image because Walt gave her Vincent to take care of. And that is the state of being that Locke is in.

    Don’t you think it’s possible that Widmore’s baby with the outsider was Penny? Though, I am not sure how Farraday and Eloise figure into that equation. Except that I am sure that Eloise/Ellie is Farraday’s mother.

    I, too, have wondered why/how the outriggers are always available. Did Ben travel back in time to make sure they were there?

    And where ARE the Others during present day Locke/Ben scenes? Didn’t Ben tell them to go to the temple like he instructed Alex and Danielle? So, where were the Others when Ben and Locke arrived? I would worry that Sun would be captured by them. Her story gets put on the back burner too often.

    How is Locke chosen to be the leader of the Others when he isn’t an Other? Unless being dead/undead qualifies a person to be an Other. Ben was initiated by Richard taking him to the temple. I am wondering if something similar didn’t happen to Locke and we just don’t know it yet. Unless Widmore’s baby with an outsider is Locke and the whole other back story with the Kidney Guy was a red herring. We only have Locke’s mother’s word that Kidney Guy was Locke’s dad. And he was extremely cold to Locke, could he really be his dad and be so awful to Locke?

    I think Locke is moving toward a Ben role, but with a better sense of morals. And I think we are seeing a Ben that is broken down and slowly coming to terms with the fact that he’s not so in charge anymore.

    I was disappointed in Lupidis’ actions. Thought that he was abandoning Sun, but Sun was pretty determined to do whatever she wanted regardless of Lapidis.

    The wigs were awful. But there is only so much you can do with a wig — and to rely solely on a wig to show an earlier time is tricky at best. Felt like the scenes were thrown together.

    I guess I’ve run out of things to say. Finally. :) Except this: I am so confused. And I love it.

  7. I totally didn’t make the connection of ethan being an other, thanks for the tidbit. i too have been wondering where the others are. also, isn’t it kind of strange that the house just happened to be built connecting with the smoke monster “pager” especially when the dharma people had a fence to protect themselves from it?

  8. What a good episode. I personally love Ben. I don’t think Ben’s flashback’s were a lie or from his point of view. I think that they were meant to show that with Alex, he truly loved her as his daughter and was a different person with her. It kinda showed when he was laughing pushing her on the swing and then he completely changed when he was approched & had to go face Widmore. I think they were trying to make her death seem more tragic to him by showing he loved her. I also belive that the island wanted her dead and that’s why smokey “forgave” him.

  9. Interesting theory about Ben lying the whole time. They say pathological liars are their own strongest believers, which is why it is so easy for them to convince others. I can totally see that about Ben.

    Penny and Desmond’s happy ending was one of my favorite things about last season; I am glad they haven’t spoiled it (yet).

    Oh, the wigs. The wigs on LOST have always been awful. I had hoped that when Alias ended JJ Abrams would send the wig person over to LOST, but no such luck.

    Psst, Mark…Michael Emerson was nominated for an Emmy this past year. He lost to Zeljko Ivanek from Damages, whose portrayal of Ray Fiske was one of the most stunning television performances I’ve ever seen. So no shame there; maybe next year.

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