Wowie-kazowie! Gotta love a big, bad Ben-centric episode. Michael Emerson is such a great actor. He definitely showed a range of acting chops in last night’s episode, from creepy to SOB to awkward to downright soft-hearted. Ben is proving to be a complex, contradictory character. He’s a cold-blooded killer, easily blasting poor Caesar into tomorrow, who has a soft spot for moms and kids. Maybe it’s because his own mother died giving birth to him.
The episode was called “Dead Is Dead,” which was Ben’s explanation to Sun about what an anomaly John Locke was for now seeming to be alive. The born-again Locke firmly is in power on the island, much to control-freak Ben’s chagrin. The episode flashed through time so much that we actually were grateful (yes, I said grateful) for the commercials, so we could catch our breath. There was a lot to take in, a lot to ponder. Along with many funny comments by the #1 son. Here’s the recap:
In the past, Charles Widmore, then leader of the Others, is mad at the ageless Richard Alpert for saving young Ben Linus’ life. Richard pulls out the old “Jacob wanted it done” chestnut.
The #1 son asked, “Is Jacob the island?” Will we ever know?
Widmore goes to young Ben’s bed to chat him up. “You should be dead, Benjamin. But this island, it saved your life.” Looks like the tables will be turned when it’s Locke’s turn to be “saved” by the island in the future.
After Ben awkwardly tries to act nice with then-alive Caesar, we flash back to Ben in his 20s with such an awful hairpiece that, as the #1 son notes, he looks like Hitler without a mustache. Widmore has given Ben a task: To kill Danielle Rousseau, the only scientist left alive from those who washed ashore. Ben brandishes a pistol . . . and a baby cries. It’s baby Alex! That stops Ben in his tracks. He steals Alex and warns Rousseau to always run in the opposite direction when she hears whispers. Ah, yes, the murderous whispers!
Back to the present: Locke and Ben talk about why Ben killed Locke, but all John is interested in is an apology. When Ben shoots Caesar, he says, “Consider that my apology.” Ben, a handwritten note would have been so much kinder. Locke and Ben row to the main island. “Home sweet home,” says Ben. Ben tells Locke that he’s returned to the island to be judged by the smoke monster. Locke tells him that he’s really back to be judged for Alex’s death at the hands of Keamy, one of Widmore’s operatives.
Ben returns to the Others’ camp with the baby. Of course, Widmore is ticked off that Ben didn’t kill Rousseau or Alex. He’s such a grouch!
Back to the future: Ben and Locke run into Sun and Frank Lapidus, who are in Alex’s room in Ben’s house in desolate New Otherton. Lapidus leaves to return to the other survivors and the downed plane, while Sun goes with Ben and Locke to find Smokey.
But first back to the past! An older Widmore is being escorted off the island to be whisked away via sub. Ben told him that he’s being banished, because he broke the rules—he kept leaving the island, and he fathered a child (no doubt Penny) with an outsider. Widmore, of course, is ticked off; no news flash there.
Widmore to Ben: “I’ll be seeing you, boy.”
And now the off-island future: Ben is calling Widmore via cell phone from a dock to let him know he’s about to pay Widmore back for having Alex killed. Yes, we see Penny on her and Desmond’s boat. We go back to Locke, Sun, and Ben in the past as they approach the temple where Smokey lives. An aside: They’re showing a temple on the first night of Passover. How appropriate!
Ben: “Sun, if you ever get off this island, find Desmond Hume and tell him I’m sorry.”
It was at that point I started hyperventilating a little. Did that SOB actually kill Penny? I don’t want Desmond’s true love, his constant, little Charlie’s mom to die! I was fixin’ to be sooo mad.
Ben shoots Desmond right in the old grocery bag!
Then we flash back, and Ben shoots Desmond, who, fortunately, is holding a bag of groceries in front of him. Groceries that obviously include that bullet-stopping carton of milk. He then takes aim at Penny.
Ben: “Your father is a terrible human being.”
Ah, Ben, ever hear of the pot calling the kettle black? Your résumé ain’t exactly spotless.
Ben is about to shoot Penny, but he hesitates when little Charlie appears. That soft-hearted moment costs him, as Desmond jumps on him, beats the snot out of him, and tosses him into the water. Ben is a bloody mess, as he so often has been. That explains why he looked so bad on the flight back to the island.
Back to Ben and Locke in the temple. Ben admits to Locke that he was right, that he has returned to be judged for Alex’s death. Alone in the smoke chamber, Ben is surrounded by Smokey as pictures of Ben’s past with Alex intermingle with what the #1 son is sure is a cumulus cloud. Ben gets to hear himself say those awful, chilling words when Keamy had a gun to Alex’s head: “She’s not my daughter. She means nothing to me. So if you want to kill her, go ahead.” That look on Alex’s face when she’s “betrayed” by her father (who really thinks Widmore wouldn’t have Alex killed; he thought Keamy was bluffing); it’s heartbreaking.
Ghost Alex appears to Ben.
And then . . . heeeeerrrreee’s, Alex! Yes, Ghost Alex appears to rough up dear, old dad. She tells him she knows he plans to really kill Locke and that he’s to follow every order Locke utters. The ultimate horrible consequence for someone who lives to be in control.
When Ben gets out of the chamber, Locke asks, “What happened?”
Ben, seeming incredulous: “It let me live.”
Yes, Ben gets to live to be a follower. Chilling stuff, my friends.
It’s not unusual
After “Lost,” we watched the premiere of “The Unusuals,” a crime thriller where all the NYPD officers have secrets. One of those cops is Harold Perrineau, who played Michael on “Lost.” It’s nice to see him in a different role. Amber Tamblyn, one of my favorite young actresses, also is part of the cast.
We enjoyed the show. The #1 son especially liked that we were watching the first-ever episode; we had to catch up with two seasons of “Lost” on dvd once we got hooked. We’re actually ahead of the game for a change!