LOST 5.07 "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"

I’ve asked my brother Jordan back to help me dissect LOST episode 5.07, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”.

But before we get to that, a quick programming note. There will be no new LOST next Wednesday (March 11) or on April 22nd. So much for a continuous season. Oh well, 2 weeks is better than 2 months.

As always, Jordan’s thoughts are in bold.


LOST 5.07

so, does the Locke/Ben scene rank in your top 5 moments of the show? I thought it was amazing, though I dont know if it cracks my top 5 of all time. I still love the opening of Season 2 (Des in hatch), Sayid confronting Ben about digging up Henry Gale’s wallet, Jack telling Kate they need to go back in our first flash forward, and the intensity of the Hatch explosion episode. Maybe that was #5.

whew, it was an intense scene for sure. I don’t know if i’d be able to put together a top five moments list, but this would probably be pretty close if not in the top five. I definitely didn’t think ben was going to kill him, even though i knew Locke was going to die even after he changed his mind about hanging himself.


– based on the hydra logo on Caesar’s folder and John Locke looking off the beach at a big island, I guess those who did not flash off of Ajira 316 landed on the runway that Kate and Sawyer were building on the small island in Season 3. Makes you wonder if Lapidus landed there on his own will or if someone (ben) forced him to?

It also makes you wonder how they knew to build the runway. Perhaps someone on the island now will flash back in time and tell them to make sure they build a runway. Maybe because they will need an intact plane at some point? as far as lapidus goes, maybe there is more to him than we think. he didn’t seem too upset when he realized that he was flying a plane with the Oceanic 6 minus aaron. Maybe he is still working for widmore, or maybe he is now working for ben.

– Caesar is hiding things from Ilana. I take that to mean they are not working together. Feels like she is working for Ben and he for Widmore, doesn’t it?

hmm, interesting theory. it is odd that they managed to get on the section of the plane with the O5. Maybe they aren’t just innocent survivors.

Yeah, plus he was looking for something in Ben’s office when he found the gun.

– So Lapidus is off in a canoe with a woman. I’m guessing it is Sun. I bet as soon as they landed she wanted to go find Jin, and Lapidus being a good guy wouldn’t let her go alone.

Or Lapidus felt the guilt of not bringing the chopper back down to pick up jin. sounds about right to me. was Sun the one firing the rifle at Juliet/Sawyer?

Yeah, it could have been. Whoever was shooting the gun hit the paddle, which might have been an attempt to stop the canoe. Maybe she thought Jin was on it?

– In the hydra station there was a 1954 LIFE magazine and a picture/copy of Faraday’s notebook scribbles. Does this give us any clue to where we are in time? Seems like Jack/kate/Hugo are in the 70s with Dharma Jin, but they flashed out of the plane. That would make me think that those on the hydra island are NOT in the same time period. more on this later…

Yeah i think that those that crashed on the hydra island are in the present, relative to off-island time.


– that was an emmy worthy episode, wasn’t it? I thought it was great.

Pretty good, since season one i’ve thought that Terry O’Quinn was the best actor on the show, that is until Michael Emerson joined the cast. It was a pretty sad episode, with Sayid, Kate, and Jack all making Locke feel insignificant and silly. Makes you wonder if he would have killed himself even without Richard telling him he had to die.

– i won’t even try to understand why he is alive now. reincarnation. resurrection. time travel (are they pre-2008?) i have no idea. and neither does he, it seems.

Well, we’ve seen dead bodies walk and talk on the island before (e.g. Yemi, Christian, Presumably Claire, Emily Linus) but this time it feels different. It feels like Locke is actually alive again, and not just some apparition or a vessel for the island. The island is pretty powerful, i guess we just assume it brought him back to life until we hear otherwise.

Yeah, and maybe them showing Locke eating a mango on the beach in this episode was a way to confirm that he’s alive again. Remember, he ate an orange on the beach in similar fashion at the beginning of the series.


– so freaky watching Locke-Walt from across the street. Michael emerson should offer his services as a scarer. For $500 he’ll show up at your party and just stand in the corner and scare the living spit out of anyone who watches LOST. i mean, how much crap would you fill your pants with if you saw someone out of the corner of your eye, and then realized it was Ben Linus staring at you?

Yeah there’s no way i would run over and ask for an autograph. He has definitely perfected that menacing stare. I used to think the scariest thing to see out of the corner of your eye was Frank from Donnie Darko, but Ben Linus might have usurped him.

– Big question: Why did he save Locke, only to kill him. I see 3 possible reasons:

1 – the news that Jin was alive changed things.
2 – the news that Locke was told by Christian that Hawking would help them get back changed things.
3 – Locke could not die by suicide, so Ben had to stop that, and then kill him.

Yeah number 3 is kind of what im hoping for. Its the only explanation that doesn’t make me angry with Ben. If you really think about the things that Ben has done on the show, its hard to think of times that he acted out of selfishness. Except for maybe when he shot Locke, back then it looked like Ben was mad that Locke was going to replace him so he tried to kill him. But maybe he was just testing to see if the Island would let him die. Ben seems to only care about the island and doesn’t think about other things when making decisions.

– also, do you think he’s really hurt or faking it in that infirmary unit?

Definitely hurt. I think its got something to do with the island not wanting him anymore. It gave him a cancerous tumor not too long ago, then after he is supposedly banished but shows up on the island again, he gets severely hurt.


– I want to believe that everything he says is true. Yet it seems he and Ben have the same endgame, and for both it seems selfish. Are you leaning towards he and Ben being good and evil? Or do you think he and Ben are the evil, and the island (or Hawkings) is the good?

Wow, that was kind of complicated. Why do you want to believe everything widmore says? do you feel some connection to him? i want desperately to believe that ben is good, and ben rarely acts selfishly. widmore has come off as selfish, and as a jerk in basically every scene he’s ever been in, except in this last episode. They both are claiming to want the same thing. It is very tricky indeed, who to believe. Ben seems to be working with Hawking, but we know that Hawking and Widmore were both part of the Hostiles/Others at one point. Widmore and Ben also apparently have some established rules for their relationship. There is still so much to learn and so little time to explain it to us.

Yeah, I don’t know why I want to believe Widmore is the good guy. Interesting though, that your inclination is to want to believe Ben.

– he said he was 17 in 1954. that means he is now 71. He also said he was on the island 30 years. That would make it seem likely that Penny was born on the island, right?

Well, maybe he was on the island 30 years but he sent Penny’s mother off the island to give birth. Unless they weren’t having maternity problems on the island yet. Then it is likely that Penny was born there. Is Hawkings penny’s mother making her and faraday related? now im getting ahead of myself. Also, i might be just splitting hairs here but i think widmore said that his people protected the island for 3 decades. I don’t think he actually said that he lived on the island for 30 years. But like i said im probably over analyzing.


– wasn’t she the one who gave the note to Jack last episode? How did she get it? Would Ben have checked Locke’s pockets and then given it to her so she could give it to Jack? i think that’s likely. Cant picture her snooping around John’s dead body and finding it.

Yeah i forgot who gave it to him, but i think your right. I think it was her and that seems like a likely explanation.

– She comes across as a very neutral character in that Ben seems to defer to her and Widmore knows where she is. As though she is not a part of the game they are playing. Will be interesting to see why that is as we learn more about her.

Yeah she seems like she only cares about the future of the world and how it pertains to the island. I thought it was interesting that she was unaware of whether or not Ben knew about the Lamppost station, but she was aware of his less than honest reputation.


– so Tunisia is the exit. some parallels to when Ben and Locke exit there, years apart. Widmore’s tunisians couldnt handle Ben when he popped up, but there was a camera when Locke came out and Locke was a bit incapacitated.

I don’t think the Bedoins that Ben killed were working for widmore. it seems like they were very surprised to find someone out there with no footprints leading to him. And they also just seemed like a couple random nomads out for a ride. Widmore’s lackeys showed up in a pickup truck and knew exactly where Locke would be. and the camera, i think widmore probably got tricked by Ben into turning the wheel at some point and thats how he knew it was the exit. But how come he didn’t have the camera set up when Ben appeared? maybe he did and we didn’t see it. It did take a while for them to show up in the truck to get Locke. And Ben made a pretty quick getaway, maybe widmore’s boys were on their way but Ben skedaddled before they showed up.

– I read this the other day and liked it alot. What if the bear cage that sawyer was trapped in during Season 3 was connected to the Donkey Wheel in this way. What if the bears were being trained in that cage (remember the reward system) to know how to turn the wheel? Who better to turn a large frozen donkey wheel than a polar bear. And that would also explain why the Polar Bear remains were found in Tunisia, right?

Yeah, you’re just putting these pieces together now?

yeah, you know…I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.


– I got chills when Widmore told Locke there was a War coming. Sounds to me like that is Season 6. After all, what great story doesn’t end in an epic war? Just makes you wonder who will do the fighting and when it time it will happen.

Yeah you had just mentioned last week that we didn’t know what Season 6 was going to look like, and the very next episode we get the first line of dialogue setting up for it. I can’t imagine what this ‘war’ will look like. I don’t foresee it being full of tanks and fighter jets, but i bet it will blow us away nonetheless.

– as far as the endgame of the show, I’ve been thinking more about this. If the LOSTIES are stuck in different time periods, will it be about reuniting them in time? Or will the end be about them escaping some kind of time loop where someone sacrifices their life to free the others from never crashing on the island or something like that? …or…is the scope of the show even bigger. Like, is this about the end of the world or the ultimate battle of good and evil or something? Maybe the reference to Adam and Eve in Season 1 means that the island is Eden, where the world began, and that it could be the scene of armageddon as well.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Calm down, your getting me all excited. I definitely don’t think they will change the fact that oceanic 815 crashed on the island. In fact, i think that they are going to show us a series of events that depicts the survivors of 815 indirectly or directly causing the crash. Think about the time-loops that they have already showed us. This one is the best example so far. Richard thinks that Locke is special because Locke went back in time and told him to visit him being born proving that he actually traveled in time. Richard then recruits Locke to the island from an early age and finally he finds his way onto the island where Richard has to now convince Locke that he is special so that Locke can go back in time and convince Richard that he is special. Not sure if i worded that right, and even if i did its confusing.

Some other ones, Faraday goes back in time and tells his mother that he is time traveling. His mother presumably devotes her life to time travel, and this influences her son to also obsess with time travel until he is able to figure it out and go back in time and tell his mother about it before she is even interested in it. So if Faraday didn’t go back in time, he would never have been interested in time travel because his mother never would have been. Also, it appears that Hurley might have been the one who recorded the numbers at the radio tower, which were overheard by Hurley’s friend at the mental institution. Then Hurley hears them from his friend which starts the chain of events that leads Hurley to the island so that he can record the numbers at the radio tower. Aghhh! The only way that these events can be possible (as if there is a way) is if they always happened. Which is why Faraday always says you can’t change the past, or the future for that matter. Its already happened, which brings us to one of the main philosophical meanings behind LOST. Fate vs Free Will

Is it Free Will if all the events have already happened? Even if Locke thought he was exercising free will when he stormed into the others camp in 1954 demanding to talk to Richard, he had to do it because if he didn’t he wouldn’t have ended up on the island so that he could go back in time to 1954 in the first place. Are you still following me? Im not sure if im following myself at this point.


– Now that we’ve seen a middle-aged Locke in 1954 and 2008, it got me wondering, is that why Richard always looks so young? Is he from way in the future and is time jumping back or something?

At first you think that Richard doesn’t age. Now with all this time traveling going on you start to think, he does age, its just that he is time traveling all the time. But after thinking that for a while im back on the ‘he doesn’t age’ band wagon. Remember when Ben said “You do remember birthdays, don’t you Richard?”. Also, in Jughead Juliet says that Richard has “Always been here” and that he is “old”. It seems like Richard is existing on a linear timeline. In 1954 he doesn’t seem to have any knowledge of time travel, or of knowing Locke in the future. and when he gives Locke the compass, he is aware that he won’t recognize Locke in the past. I don’t know if i have any other reasons backing me up, but you just wait and see.

– Were Walt’s dreams about Locke just dreams, or is he time jumping somehow too?

I don’t think he is time jumping, i think they were just a dream. But i think that if Walt just has a dream, it is probably more important than Sawyer’s dreams, or Bernard’s dreams. Walt is clearly special and has the ability to “appear in a place he wasn’t supposed to be” according to Mrs. Klugh. So theres probably something to his dream. I thought it was dumb that Locke brushed off Walt’s dream as just a dream, maybe Locke forgot how special Walt is, it has been a while since they were throwing knives at trees together. Walt also seemed pretty uninterested in Locke. He thought he was the man when they were on the island, and this time Michael isn’t around to yell at Walt for hanging out with him. Also Locke has information about Walt’s missing father, you would think Walt would have wanted to talk to him a little longer.

– There seems to be some continuity issue with Jack’s story to Kate at the end of Season 3 and with what Ben told Locke. Jack told Kate he had been using his golden Oceanic ticket to fly in planes on friday nights for a while. On the one flight (which was presumably his 20th or 50th) he read Locke’s obituary. But Ben told Locke that upon leaving Locke in the hospital (with news that Christian had said hello) Jack bought his first plane ticket. Story inconsistency? Or is Ben just lying again?

Hmm, i don’t see the inconsistency.

A – Locke tells Jack about his dad, Jack starts to use his golden ticket to fly around

B – Ben kills Locke

C – Jack doesn’t end up on island so once a week he continues to fly around

D – Jack reads obituary on flight

E – Jack goes to Kate and tells her about it all

maybe im missing something? seems like it fits to me though. Jack even has the beginning of a beard when Locke tells him about his dad, then a few flights later Jacks beard is very thick. If there is an inconsistency and i missed it, i would just chalk it up to Ben lying to coax Locke down from suicide.

Well, in my mind it seemed like A and B happened a day apart or so. And you’d think that B and D would have to be within a week or so. And I dont remember the episode specifically, but I dont think D and E were more than a few days apart. So by my math, it seems that there couldnt have been more than 2 or 3 weeks between A and E, when Locke and Jack talked in the hospital and when Jack told Kate he had been using the golden ticket for months. That’s why it seemed inconsistent. But the more I think about it, the more I think Ben was just lying to get John down. At that point Jack was probaly flying already, and he always had that golden ticket. He never needed to buy one.

– Finally, from what Abbadon told Locke, it is clear now that he purposed to have him go on the walkabout and be on Flight 815. He helped people get to where they needed to be. As if, the future was known, and he took steps to ensure it happened. I dont know what is going to happen in the future of the show, but it’s beginning to seem like Oceanic Flight 815 was pulled into this game, maybe by Widmore, as a way to save the island (or world). I could try to make more sense of this, but I’ll just leave it at that. I guess my point is that Flight 815 wasnt crashed on purpose – we know it crashed by accident when Desmond didnt hit the button. But that because of time travel, people knew it was going to crash. Widmore did, because he had Abbadon push Locke to the walkabout. Heck, maybe Ben did too. He seemed pretty casual when that plane blew up in the sky during the book club meeting. He walked out and calmly said “There may be survivors” and then sent Goodwin and Ethan to infiltrate the camp (if I remember correctly). Not sure whe this means big picture, but its a new way to think of the crash of 815 for me.

Yeah, and even before we knew about Abbadon, we saw Ms. Hawkings making sure that Desmond ended up on the island. Maybe Widmore’s “Race around the world” was just a trap to get Desmond to the island to push the button. Its back to the fate vs free will. Maybe it was an accident that Desmond caused the plane to crash, but the conditions that made it possible were very deliberate. Widmore and Hawkings knew that if Desmond were on the island and Locke and company were on the plane that Desmond would bring the plane down so they set it up to make sure it happened. Its like if you knew this guy and erica knew this girl and you know that they would be perfect for each other. You can’t force them into a relationship, but you can get them in the same room.

I just have one additional comment. The thought came to me while watching last weeks episode. What if the very first episode of Lost was all about Cesar and Ajira flight 316. Think of how creepy it would be. The plane only has a few passengers in his section, the plane crashes on an island but a few of the people disappear from the flight. Then theres this creepy guy that was in a coffin on the plane, now he is alive and claiming that he used to live on the island. The show could be just as good from this point of view. We would be seeing flashbacks of Locke on the island the first time and all the additional island flashbacks that we are getting this season. Just goes to show you how incredibly talented the Lost writers are.

Wow, you just sparked a fascinating thought in my head…but I think I’ll let it brew for a while before I put it out there.