After a series of crazy-twisty-"whoa!" episodes of Lost, this week's "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" is practically straightforward. The majority of the episode is spent with Locke traveling around trying to convince everyone to go back to the island, and when things don't go so well with that plan, Locke takes matters into his own hands. I remember feeling like the final two parts of the season finale last year ("There's No Place Like Home") were super great — but also raised a ton of questions, some of which were satisfyingly answered in this episode.
What did you think? Are you anxious to get back to the island and see what the heck's going on there? If you caught this week's episode and care to chat about it,
- That guy from the airport (who said he was sorry Jack's friend died) is named Caesar and he knows the woman who kept Sayid in custody, Ilana. (Where the heck is Sayid, anyway?) But they're not quite so friendly that Caesar would tell Ilana he's taking a gun (after looking through a room which includes the April 19, 1954 issue of Life magazine with the main story "Color Pictures of the Hydrogen Test").
- It's crazy that Locke ends up with these people while Hurley, Kate and Jack end up near each other. Also, the pilot (Frank Lapidus) ended up with "some woman" (Sun?) and took one of those boats on the beach.
- We go back to when John moved the wheel and he finds himself in Tunisia. He's taken to a medical clinic of some sort and his injured leg is set (and aaaah that scene made me wince). It turns out that desert Tunisia place is "the exit," according to Charles Widmore, who appears at Locke's bedside, marveling, "I met you when I was 17. Now all these years later, here we are. You look exactly the same."
- Widmore explains some stuff to Locke: He was the leader of the Others for more than three decades before he was exiled by Ben. Now Widmore wants to help Locke get himself and the others back to the island "because there's a war coming, John, and if you're not back on the island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win."
- So, Widmore gives Locke the new name Jeremy Bentham, named after a British philosopher. ("Your parents had a sense of humor when they named you, why can't I?" Haha, oh Widmore. You card.) The real Jeremy Bentham was a proponent of utilitarianism (says Wiki), and I find this quote of his particularly interesting: "Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think." The chain of causes and effects are fastened to their throne. . ."
- Widmore struggles to get Locke to trust him over Ben ("I haven't tried to kill you. Can you say the same for him?") and begins the first in a series of discussions over whether or not Locke is "special." He says the island needs Locke.
- So Locke, back in the dreaded wheelchair again, starts to travel around with Matthew Abaddon, Widmore's trusty agent, to try and collect the other Losties. They go to Santo Domingo where Sayid claims he was manipulated into thinking that he was protecting everyone on the island, and he gently suggests that Locke wants to go back to the island because he has nowhere else to go.
- Locke and Abaddon find Walt, who has dreamt about him. In his dream, he sees Locke in a suit, surrounded by people who want to hurt him. Locke really just wanted to make sure Walt was OK? That's nice. He lets him know, "Last I heard your dad was on a freighter near the island."
- In Santa Rosa, Locke goes to visit Hurley who, in a moment of great comic relief, thinks Locke is dead. He freaks out when he spots Abaddon though ("That dude is far from OK!"). Then in L.A., a weary Kate says she thinks Locke is desperate to be on the island because he didn't love somebody. Locke says he did love someone but it didn't work out. "I was angry. I was obsessed." Kate doesn't skip a beat with her response: "And look how far you've come." Ouch!
- This is when Abaddon reveals to Locke what he does, reminding him that he encouraged Locke to go on the walkabout which led to Locke getting onto the island in the first place. "I help people get to where they need to get to, John. That's what I do for Mr. Widmore."
- Locke visits the grave of his former love, Helen Norwood, who Abaddon says died of a brain aneurysm. Abaddon reinforces the whole destiny thing: "No matter what you do your path leads back to the island." And then I jumped a mile at Abaddon getting shot! In a relatively calm episode, it's nice that there are some super crazy moments like this thrown in.
- Locke speeds away, gets into a car accident and ends up in Jack's hospital — where Jack is having none of Locke's destiny mumbo-jumbo. With a touch of cruelty, Jack says, "Maybe you're just a lonely old man that crashed on an island" before getting up to leave. Locke stops him by saying he's seen Jack's dad, Christian (ha: "He didn't look dead to me!")
- Man. After everyone telling Locke he's just a pathetic, lonely old man who never knew love, I started to feel a little depressed.
- Locke writes his one-line note to Jack and goes about the business of committing suicide when Ben shows up just in the nick of time. He explains that "Charles Widmore is the reason I moved the island!" Ben says he wanted to keep Widmore away so Locke could lead, and again tries to convince Locke that he's important. Poor Locke feels like a failure, but Ben tries to convince him otherwise: "John, you can't die. You've got too much work to do. We've got to get you back to that island so that you can do it."
- This scene seemed vaguely biblical to me with Locke standing on the table, about to die, and Ben kneeling below him (before he unties the rope). Locke starts to weep, which breaks my heart just a little bit.
- Somehow I suspected that Ben would end up killing Locke in that scene, but the strangulation — brutal! I couldn't actually watch it all the way. Does that make me a wuss? Ben then makes it look like Locke did it himself and leaves saying, "I'll miss you, John. I really will."
- Back on the island, Locke chats with Caesar before going to the room with all the people who got hurt — including Ben, sleeping like a baby. "He's the man who killed me."
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