Thursday, November 15, 2007

Archive Post: S3E20 - "The Man Behind the Curtain"

Episode: The Man Behind the Curtain

Character: Ben

Hi everyone! I really hope you all watched last night’s episode of LOST… because, HOLY CRAP, it was great! Let’s get into some discussion points….

Benjamin Workman: The opening scene was wonderful, with two big reveals—Ben was NOT born on the island, and was instead born 32 miles outside of Portland; and his father is the infamous Roger “Workman” that we met earlier this season hanging out in the Dharma VW-Bug. I considered that he wasn’t born on the island before, but the thought of Roger being his dad never crossed my mind.

Who is Jacob…. If anyone? I’m sure the one big question on everyone’s mind after last night’s episode is, “Does Jacob exist?” We saw Ben lead Locke into a shack where Ben introduced him to Jacob… sorta. It was really just an “empty” chair. We see Ben appearing to have a conversation with the chair, as he believes that Jacob is sitting in it. Locke thought (just as all of the viewers did) that Ben was just cuckoo! So Jacob is a figment of Ben’s imagination? Not so fast! Not only do we hear Jacob whisper “Help me” to Locke, but during the freaky twilight-zone scene where the walls are shaking and things are being tossed around, Ben gets thrown up against a wall and the camera pans to the seat where we see Jacob.

So who is Jacob? Here’s my bit-of-a-reach theory. If you haven’t already, click on that link in the above paragraph to see the photo of Jacob. After close examination, it looks an awful lot like Locke (plus hair). Just look at the facial features. So my theory is that Locke is thought of as a sort of prophecy. Think of Jacob as a Jesus-like figure to the Others. He did exist at one point and Ben has some “special” ability that lets him see (and hear) him, which is why Ben has been promoted to a leadership position among the others. And the others believe that Locke is the second coming, but Ben doesn’t. So he brought Locke there so that he could prove that he’s not who they thought he was. (Remember last week, Richard even pointed out to Locke that Ben was trying to make a fool of him in front of everyone, to prove that he wasn’t who they thought).

....and now my wife’s theory….

Being nearly 8 months pregnant, my wife is convinced that our unborn child has stolen all of her brain cells, causing her to have some… for lack of a better word….dumb moments. But something kicked into overdrive last night and she had a lot of theories on Lost (I even offered for her to write the recap today because she was on a roll, but she declined and asked that I just make sure to include this one in my recap). She suggested that Jacob is a split-personality of Ben. So Ben ultimately believes that Jacob exists, but to everyone else, it is just Ben. (I want to reference a movie that did this same thing, but it’s the twist at the end… so I don’t want to say the name of the movie in order to avoid spoiling it for you. But if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know what I’m talking about.) Then again, this theory still doesn’t explain how we saw him in the chair…. Unless they were showing you what Ben saw. Haha.

This is a matter that I’d love to hear other theories on. So if you’ve thought of anything that you want to share, please send me feedback. I’d really love to hear what you’ve got to say.

Jacob’s Boundaries: Outside of Jacob’s shack, Locke notices a stream of “sand”, which he picks up and smells. My initial thought was that it was gunpowder… that maybe Rousseau was looking to set off that dynamite and possibly blow up Jacob’s shack. But after I saw that Jacob appeared to be some sort of spirit, I started thinking that it was some sort of boundary for the supernatural. You know how they say that if your house is haunted, you should put a path of salt around your house to keep the ghosts out (or something like that)? Perhaps this line of “crazy-sand” surrounds Jacob’s shack and prevents him from leaving it. This could be compared to the sonic fence that the smoke monster can’t get past….which of course brings us to the third option with Jacob, which is…. is he the smoke monster?

Best Birthday Present Ever! Before heading off to introduce Locke to Jacob, Alex swings by and gives Locke a gun. Then before leaving, she turns to Ben and wishes him a Happy Birthday. This brings up some interesting ideas. The ultimate question is…. is Alex on Ben’s side? She could’ve given Locke the gun because she knew that Ben would try to kill him, so she wanted him to be able to protect himself. On the other hand, perhaps the gun actually was a birthday present for Ben. It gave him access to the gun without drawing any suspicion. And I’m not 100% sure, I don’t think Ben had his own gun. If I remember correctly, he stole the gun from Locke that’s what he used when…….

NNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! ....he shot Locke. I can’t believe he shot Locke! Holy crap, he shot Locke! (Calm down, Andrew) Okay, so I’m sure a lot of people are asking, “Is Locke dead?”. Being completely spoiler-free, I can’t say for sure, but I’m gonna say there’s a 95% chance that he is still alive and will be fine. I can’t imagine them killing off such a vital character. Then again, it’s Lost, so what the hell. I always imagine Locke as a character that plays a huge part in the overall story…. And if he dies with 3 seasons left, that just wouldn’t make sense. I just hope we find out by the end of this season (only two episodes left!).

Foreshadowing at its Finest: There was talk in Ben’s flashback about a volcano erupting on the island. I couldn’t help but notice how prominent this conversation was and how much it seemed like the writers were throwing that in our face like, “THERE’S A VOLCANO! IT ERRUPTED BOFORE! REMEMBER THIS BECAUSE IT WILL ERRUPT AGAIN!” So just keep that in the back of your mind. And if you forget, it’s no big deal, ‘cause when it does erupt again, I’ll remind you.

The Everlasting Eyeliner: In one of Ben’s flashbacks from his childhood, he sneaks out of the barracks and past the sonic fence, only to run into an Other….but wait…. Isn’t that…. It couldn’t be…. Is that…. Richard? But he looks the same…. And Ben is just a boy. That had to be at least 25 years ago. So how does Richard (and his eyeliner) not age over 25 years? The only apparent difference between present-Richard and flashback-Richard is that his hair is different lengths. It is impossible that this was just a lack of effort on the make-up team. The only logical conclusions that I can think of is…. either the Others don’t age, or it was Richard’s dad. And if the Others don’t age, then where (and when) did they come from? Maybe they were survivors of the Black Rock? Maybe this is where that four-toed statue comes into play.

Jack and Juliet: This week, we learned Jack and Juliet’s secret. Apparently, after taking Sun to the Staff (medical station), she came back and informed Jack of the Others’ plan to attack. So why didn’t Jack tell anyone? He explains that he didn’t yet come up with a plan. Uh…. Dumbass…. If you told other people, they could HELP YOU come up with a plan. Duh! I swear, Jack has seriously lost some brain cells since he left Othersville (hey….maybe Jack is pregnant!) So now that everyone knows, it’s time to band together and come up with a strategy to defeat the others.

Ben = Locke / Losties + Others = War: Anyone else notice the extreme parallels that existed between Ben and Locke? They both belonged to a group that was at war with the others. Before the others attacked, they both tried joining the others. Before either could join, they killed their fathers. And now that the war is about to begin between the Others and the Losties, it’ll be interesting to see where Locke’s loyalties are. And will the Losties win the war? If so, does that mean that they get to live in those cool houses? My biggest fear is that they will win the war and kill off all of the others, meaning that now, nobody on the island will know where they are or have any answers to the islands mysteries, including what the hell that smoke monster is.

Next on Lost: Next week’s episode is called “Greatest Hits” and will be Charlie-centric. The week after that will be the highly-anticipated two-hour season finale, titled “Through the Looking Glass” and will be Jack-centric. It looks like we’ve got a war on our hands and I’m eager to find out how many casualties there will be. But more importantly, WHO? I fear that we’ll be losing some of our good friends by the end of the season.

Next season…. And the next season…. And the next season: Just as a quick note, ABC announced this week that they’ve come to an agreement with the Lost producers to make two more seasons worth of episodes….. but air them across three seasons. It sounds dumb, I know… but it could work. The plan is to have three more seasons of Lost, each with only 16 episodes and run them from February to May in 2008, 2009, and 2010. So no repeats is a good thing…. But waiting 8 months between seasons… OUCH! At first, I was kinda pissed about the shorter seasons, but they’ve assured the fans that it will be faster-paced and will not have any “filler” episodes. And as long as they stick to their promise, I’ll be okay. And just to give you a little perspective, this spring had 16 episodes… so just imagine that the 6 episodes in the fall never happened, and that’s what it’ll be like.

That just about does it for me. If you have any thoughts or theories that you want to share, I’d love to hear ‘em. Otherwise, I’ll talk to you all next week!

Namaste, dudes. (the hippie version, courtesy of this week’s episode)


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