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Lost Episode 12: "Dead Is Dead"

Lost Episode 12: "Dead Is Dead"

"I've found sometimes that friends can be significantly more dangerous than enemies, John."

Wise words from Ben, whose episode this week made me rather sad, to be honest. It's nice to have some blanks from the past filled in — though the fillings always come with more holes being drilled, more questions to mull over. I do like that this episode of Lost also gives us a closer look at some of the mythological aspects of the island. What do you make of it all? Happy to see Smokey again? To discuss "Dead Is Dead,"


  • Oooh, young Charles Widmore is pretty handsome (not unlike Russell Crowe, in my opinion). He comes galloping in on horseback and is not happy about Richard bringing Ben to their temple. Richard claims Jacob wanted it this way and "the island chooses who the island chooses, you know that."
  • Widmore assures Ben, "You're among friends, we'll take care of you." Aaaaaand see above quote from Ben re: friends being more dangerous than enemies.
  • In present-day island time, Ben has come back to be judged by Smokey ("We don't even have a word for it, but I believe you call it 'the Monster'").
  • Sidenote: It's funny to go from watching Lost to seeing Michael's (Harold Perrineau) face in the Unusuals promos.
  • What is in that crate that Ilana and her buddies are messing with?
  • In a flashback, Ben goes to kill Rousseau, but instead spares her and takes baby Alex, warning Rousseau, "If you want your child to live, every time you hear whispers you run the other way." Charles wants the baby dead, but Ben says that if killing her is what Jacob wants, "then here she is. You do it." Obviously, nobody kills the baby Alex and she grows up with Ben as her "dad."
  • Ben explains to Locke that he killed Locke "because it was in the best interests of the island." Locke says he just wanted an apology, but anyway, he decides to help Ben "be judged." So they set off for the main island, and when Cesar tries to stop them, Ben takes out Cesar's gun and shoots him! Best line of the night: "Consider that my apology."
  • They go to Ben's old house so he can summon the monster, and there they encounter Sun and Lapidus. Sun presents the old Dharma photo with Jin, Kate, Hurley, etc. all lined up. Ben claims to not know that these Losties were in the Dharma Initiative but Ben's . . . kind of a liar.
  • Aww, Lapidus is so protective of Sun. "For God's sake, watch your back." Later, though, it's Lapidus who needs saving as Ilana hits him and demands to know "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" She orders someone to tie up Lapidus — he's going with them.
  • Ben summons the monster by . . . draining some mucky water? Huh.
  • In a flashback we see Widmore being banished from the island and saying ominous, foreshadowy things about Ben being banished from the island someday, and that if the island wants Alex dead, she'll be dead, and Ben will realize that he "cannot fight the inevitable." Ben points out that Widmore broke the rules — he had a daughter "with an outsider." But who??
  • Sun suspects that Ben knew the island would bring Locke back to life but Ben solemnly denies this. "Dead is dead. You don't get to come back from that, not even here. So the fact that John Locke is walking around this island? Scares the living hell out of me."
  • In the docks flashback, we see what many folks predicted several episodes ago: Ben tried to kill Penny. As tense as this scene is, I laughed out loud when Ben says to Widmore over the phone, "I'm looking at Our Mutual Friend right now. . . . It's the name of the boat Penny's on." Ben points the gun at Penny, but little Charlie comes out and then — yay, Desmond to the rescue!
  • I love that now Ben is following Locke, unsure of the answers. Locke, triumphant and satisfied: "Well, now you know what it was like to be me." Locke says they're not going into the temple, they're going under it. When they get there, Ben tells Sun that if she ever gets off the island to tell Desmond he's sorry.
  • What do you think of this whole moment under the temple? Ben falls into a lower chamber with walls covered in hieroglyphs. Smoke(y) starts to seep from a grate and envelopes Ben and he sees images of Alex from when he saved her as an infant to when he denies Alex means anything to him and she's shot. Gently, the smoke retreats and Alex appears to tell Ben to listen to everything Locke says and to follow him. Ben promises and Alex disappears. I'm not sure I liked this seeing-images-in-Smokey part of the episode.
  • Ben looks up at Locke, stricken. "It let me live."

Photos copyright 2009 ABC, Inc.

iheartstyle iheartstyle 8 years
I loved it when Desmond beat up Ben!!!!
mstrauss mstrauss 8 years
I find it nice that Ben has so much sympathy for children and won't kill them, or their mothers. In the "now" 70's, Ben was saved because he "was just a child" and I wonder if his sympathy is drawn from that.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
I loved this episode only because I love watching Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson perform, especially together, and am so fascinated by their characters. The dynamic between them is always so interesting, particularly now that the tables have turned (Locke seems more in control now whereas Ben was before). And Ben keeps my mind busy because you have to wonder about every single thing he says and whether it's true. Now that I think about it, not much actually happened in this episode, but I could watch Ben and Locke just talk and walk around a bit in a one room for an entire episode and love it, haha. I felt a little iffy about the video images inside the smoke monster as well. And the thing with flushing the water to summon the smoke monster, what was that about? It was like he flushed an ancient toilet. Which is kinda funny, but the moment was so built up and dramatic. As usual, so much to think about. But they are starting to answer some questions, at least. Not that I am complaining about the mysteries; Lost wouldn't be Lost without them.
nessa17 nessa17 8 years
I thought this episode was alright and felt a little sorry for Ben but was glad when Desmind beat him up. I missed seeing Sawyer, Kate and all the others, it felt like something was missing from the episode.
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
That line Locke says to the effect of "I'm sure the monster will understand," straight up KILLED me.
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
Overall I loved the episode. But I pretty much love any episode with Locke in it. I think the whole smokey/Alex slideshow was totally hokey and could have done without it. But yay for alive Penny and yay for 3.2 seconds of Des being on screen.
sillyho sillyho 8 years
geeksugar - I didn't think of that. That explains why Eko said he has done nothing wrong, and was then killed. kaks11 - Yes sawyer does look good. My fav character by far. Unfortunately josh is getting older and isnt looking as good as he did before in season 1. Anyone think smokie lives in the sewer? Ben flushes the toilet to get its attention. And later it comes out of a manhole to judge ben.
Tech Tech 8 years
Oh, and maybe everyone realized this already, but maybe the smoke monster finds the worst thing in your life that you ever did, and measures your remorse. Then it decides to kill you based on whether you feel it or not. Meaning Eko didn't feel remorse...?
Tech Tech 8 years
I agree that it felt like a disappointing filler episode. They kept laying these scenes on us like they were groundbreaking, but it was a lot of stuff we already knew, like when they played the Lost-scary music to "My name is Charles Widmore." No doy! Also, anyone on Lost who is ever shot in the chest or stomach never dies apparently.
kaks11 kaks11 8 years
I agree about the cheesiness of the flashbacks in the swirling smoke monster. I was sort of embaressed b/c I was watching it w/someone who hasn't seen much this season & i didn't think last night was that exciting of an episode. I got so nervous when the Penny scene was on. Do we think that's the end of that - wasn't the last thing they showed bloody Ben underwater? Why would he want Desmond to know that he's sorry if he didn't actually do anything? I still love that their kids name is Charlie... it makes me want to re-watch that episode. Sillyho- your picture makes me happy. I missed seeing Sawyer/LeFleur last night. He looks HOT in your pic!
emalove emalove 8 years
I wasn't really feeling this episode...definitely the worst one of the season for me. I hated the part when the smoke monster came out and Alex appeared...lame. I WAS glad to discover that Penny is alive and well...that part at least was good. Other than that, seemed like a bunch of filler to me. At least next week's episode looks good!! I'm excited for that one. Sillyho--I think Alex said "I know you want to kill John AGAIN".
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
I thought this episode was one of the best of the season. What other show can do Distubingly Hillarious? Seriously, holding a "normal" conversation with the person who killed you, or the look on Sun's face when she saw Locke for the first time, of the dynamic between Ben and Ceasar. Of the fact that anyone Ben/Charles think they are really running anything...when we all know it's Richards show to run! Oh and the best part of the show... Ben: "Because what's about to come of that Jungle I can't control" * out of the jungle walks John*
syako syako 8 years
On a side note, how drop dead gorgeous is Alex! Wow.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I thought the showing-dead-people thing was lame when Buffy did it, and it was lame last night, too. Blah!
syako syako 8 years
I agree it was on the cheese side BUT I totally caught the Wizard of Oz-ness of it. It was very tornado scene. I actually really liked this episode. That stupid sappy crap is so boring. I love the fun stuff!
raieven raieven 8 years
I think Ecko's "judgement" was1,000 x's better. Has their budget been reduced?
JCP0240 JCP0240 8 years
I too thought the smoke swirling around Ben was cheesey looking. So happy that Ben has a soft spot for children and didn't kill Penny. I too was confused w/ the draining of the water that brings out the smoke monster. I was excited that we got to see Ben's international man of mystery closet though!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I just read this "Ben's house was in the same state it was in the last time he was inside, when the mercenaries attacked -- including the Risk game Locke, Sawyer and Hurley were playing left out on the table. " I thought that was pretty interesting. Also, I love all the egyptian stuff popping up. Like Anubis and the smoke monster carved on the wall. LOVE IT. The god of the afterlife on the island where no one is ever really dead :-) I think the island must've at one time been near egypt. I still think the statue we saw was Taweret, the egyptian goddess of motherhood. Also, I just read this "Ben's house was in the same state it was in the last time he was inside, when the mercenaries attacked -- including the Risk game Locke, Sawyer and Hurley were playing left out on the table. " So whatever time they're in (current time I guess) no ones been back to the barracks to try to clean up and live there
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
fireyelectra — That's a really cool thought about the Wizard of Oz tie-in. I never considered that, but it makes the scene a heckuva lot cooler. My initial reaction was similar to some of the other commenters, that the smoke showing these old images was a little on the cheesy side.
Jelly888 Jelly888 8 years
I agree that Cesar can't be dead. Also, I know someone pointed out before that Horace's wife was wearing that Egyptian symbol necklace in a previous episode. And now it looks like it wasn't a coincidence because of the Egyptiany hieroglyphics in the Monster cave.
sillyho sillyho 8 years
BTW what was the point of killing Cesar? He was on 3 episodes, barely. No significant flashbacks with him in it, no backstory. I have a feeling he isn't really dead.
Jelly888 Jelly888 8 years
Next weeks episode looks good too...Miles is a very interesting character.
Jelly888 Jelly888 8 years
sillyho - I think she said John Locke. So I think Locke is dead and never came back to life. He would be like Christian is. That could explain why he is so calm and in control. I am also starting to think that Richard is Jacob. Maybe Richard's body was there a long time ago and Jocob uses it to do things, like talk to people. That could explain why he never ages. And do you think that Ilana was talking about the statue with four toes? I was shocked that he shot Cesar! But glad that Penny is still alive. I knew that was why Ben was beat up! That's what I like about Lost. I was also yelling out "Oh Ben, back to your old ways".
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 8 years
Nicely done, Jess! You little smarty pants. I didn't make the connection about the water and the smoke. :medal: I thought this episode was sort of lame. All along, the producers have said in their podcasts that everything on the island can be explained scientifically. I just don't see how the smoke monster can be. Also, the special effects in that scene sucked. I felt like it was a total filler episode.
fireyelectra fireyelectra 8 years
Really, Buzz? You weren't into the Smokey showing Ben his sins part of the episode? I thought that the smoke swirling around him and flashing images at him was a nice recapitulation of the Wizard of Oz influences in Ben's life because it really reminded me of the things Dorothy sees in the tornado when she heads off to Oz. It just really made sense to me for it to be done that way, since, you know Ben used to be Henry Gale and allegedly came to the island the way the Wizard left Oz, in a hot air balloon. I thought it was pretty stellar.
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