Ladies and Gentlemen, JOHN LOCKE IS BACK! Before season 5 even started, I'd read somewhere that there was going to be an episode called "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham." Since then I've been in anticipation mode, waiting for this episode. And I'm glad to say that it exceeded my expectations.
Life Saved. Life Taken.
Before Locke is able to jump off the table and hang himself, Ben bursts into the room and stops him. Locke then told Ben about Eloise Hawking, and without hesitation, Ben wrapped a cable around Locke's throat and strangled him to death. I can't help but relate this back to when Ben took Locke to Jacob's cabin. Locke heard Jacob say "Help me," and when Ben found out, he shot Locke and left him for dead. Ben obviously feels threatened by Locke. I just cannot wait to see the look on Ben's face when he wakes up on the island, only to be staring face-to-face with a very-much-alive John Locke. Because after Ben killed Locke, he made it clear that he didn't ever expect to seem him alive again.
The Life and Death of Matthew Abaddon
One thing's for sure-- Matthew Abaddon will be missed. His job was to get people where they needed to be. He told Locke to go on the Walkabout, which caused him to be on Flight 815... but don't forget that he also is the one that hired Faraday, Charlotte, Miles, and Frank Lapidus. I wonder if HE is the one that knew where they needed to be, or if he was being instructed by Widmore. He certainly gave off the vibe that he knew something. I wonder if he's connected to Claire's psychic in any way, since he was solely responsible for Claire being on the plane as well.
The Life OR Death of Helen Norwood?
I think one of my favorite things in this episode was this little light of hope within Locke where he just wanted to find Helen. He puts all of his faith and energy into the island because he's got nothing else in his life. So before finally dedicating himself 100% to the island, he reaches out to Abaddon to find Helen. Had she not been DEAD, I have a feeling Locke might have been able to give up on the island (not that I would've wanted him to). But this makes me think that her tombstone was fabricated to ensure that Locke chose the island. But if she IS dead, I woudln't be surprised if Locke started seeing visions of her on the island.
During his recruiting process, Locke met up with Walt. And after talking to Walt about Michael, Locke made the decision that Walt has already been through enough and didn't need to go back. But I can't help but wonder if this is going to come back to bite him in the ass down the line. I mean, was it really Locke's decision to make in the first place? And why didn't Ben try to get Walt back? I really hope we're not done with Walt's storyline. It was built up SO MUCH in seasons one and two. They can't just ignore it! I have a feeling we'll know within the next couple episodes whether or not the island needs Walt back. Maybe he is Hurley's constant?
Eloise... Ms Hawking, if You're Nasty
I didn't want to just brush past Locke's comment about Eloise, because Ben seemed quite surprised by it. Did he know who Eloise was? More importantly, who the hell is she working for? She appears to be working with Ben to get everyone back to the island... but isn't she a friend of Widmore's? Perhaps her role is more of a mediator. She can say, "Look, Ben, I know that you're just in it for yourself... and Widmore, I know you don't really care about the island, and your only interest lies in getting revenge on Ben... but regardless, we've just got to get these people back to the island so that it won't self-destruct."
...which brings me to....
Ben vs. Widmore
Over the past few days, the number one question I keep getting from people is-- Who's good and who's bad? Ben or Widmore? My question back to them is, "What constitutes 'good' or 'bad'?" There isn't really a clear line between the two. Let's focus on each of them and what their objectives are.
Widmore: While we don't know how he got to the island, we do know that he was living there with Richard and the Others during 1954 (when he was 17). He also claims that he was the leader of the Others for 3 decades. At that point, he is tricked by Ben into turning the wheel, which causes him to be banished from the island. Keep in mind too that Ben didn't join the Others until after the purge in 1992.
Side note: If Widmore was on the island between 1954 and 1992, does that mean that Penny was born on the island?
Anyway... Widmore has since claimed that the island belongs to him (and always has). He even sent a team of mercenaries to the island in order to capture Ben and bring him off the island. The main question here is, was Widmore's plan to destroy the island?
Ben: Where do I begin? Benjamin Linus was brought to the island with his father after he joined the DHARMA Initiative. After seeing his dead mother walking around in the jungle, young Ben snuck outside of the barracks, where he ran into Richard Alpert.
[skip about 15 years?]
Ben killed his father as a part of the purge in 1992. At this point, he joined Richard and the Others. I assume this is about the time that he became their leader as well. Over the next 9 years, the Others took over some of the properties of the DHARMA Initiative (the submarine, the barracks, etc.). And due to a serious fertility issue, Ben recruited Juliet to the island. Over the next 3 years, she was unsuccesful in solving the problem. And then Ben got a tumor. Enter, Jack Shephard... and you know the rest.
Comparison: I think the most important thing to note here is that Ben and Widmore come from opposite teams. Ben was originally a member of the DHARMA Initiative. Widmore was originally an Other. Maybe this is where their "beef" begins. How would it work if you were in a gang, and someone from the rival gang joined YOUR gang as your leader? You can only imagine the tension. While BOTH gangs are considered "Bad" by the outside world, they both are "Good" to themselves.
That being said, I think that in LOST, the audience will have to universally side with one of them. We're constantly being shown that Ben cannot be trusted. So, what a great twist it would be to learn that Ben is a "good guy". Plus, Widmore is just another one of those big CEO-types we've all been hearing about in the news.
I'll leave it up to you guys, as this Ben vs. Widmore is going to be my poll this week.