Last Night on LOST: Dead is Dead

After the speedbump of “He’s Our You,” Lost seems to be back on track for a stunning finish to the season. Last week’s episode, “Whatever Happened, Happened” explained just how sweet and innocent Little Ben turned into dastardly ne’erdowell Big Ben. This week’s episode filled in a few more blanks in the crossword puzzle that is Mr. Linus’s past. And now, if you’re ready, I’d like to go below the fold for a little bit of spoilerrific discussion on that episode, which you will recall was entitled “Dead is Dead.”

The Continuing Adventure of Widmore vs. Linus

It begins with a man on a horse—the same horse Kate sees in the jungle thirty years later?—and with a confrontation promised by last week’s cliffhanger. In “Whatever Happened, Happened,” Random Other Dude #672 told Richard Alpert that, by bringing little Benjamin Linus into the Temple, Richard was inviting a battle with Charles Widmore. And here, here in the first sixty seconds of the next episode, we get that fight. Richard smooths everything over fast enough with his mention of Jacob—when the hell do we get to meet that guy, by the way?—but the viewer has to be aware that Widmore’s disgust at what’s gone down has only been temporarily buried and not permanently done away with.

The rest of this episode, in fact, is, in one way or another, all about the rivalry that builds up between Widmore and Linus. Even the 2007 scenes seem to be tied into it. Ask yourself this: What is in that crate that Ilana and her cronies are trying to move? And more importantly than the question of what lies in the shadow of the statue is the question of why Ilana and her people are asking that question. I’d say it’s because Ilana and some of the other survivors of 316 were hired by Widmore. They didn’t know each other or that they were all working for the same guy prior to the plane crash, but they have all been instructed to ask this question to identify their fellow team members once they get to wherever they are going. That’s my theory. What do you think?

The war that’s coming is going to be between the survivors of two plane crashes, in my estimation: the 815ers and the 316ers.

Ben and Ethan

It’s nice to see the final bit of Rousseau’s backstory that we needed to see—the kidnapping of Alex—but even nicer just to see Ben and a young Ethan working together. Everything about this episode added weight to the backstory of the show by filling in blanks that, while they didn’t necessarily need to be filled in, were very satisfying to see no longer blank. Does that make sense?

“Consider that my apology.”

My favorite moment of the episode has to be the moment where Cesar takes one in the chest. Man, I was so pumped on so many levels when I saw that happen because A) I hated the character, and was glad to see that he wouldn’t be taking up any more of our time; and B) I loved that the producers and writers had the guts to be, like, “Yep, we’re just going to shoot dead one of the supporting characters right now because, well, that’s exactly what Ben would do in this situation” instead of pussyfooting around it and having the dude get knocked out by the butt of the gun or something. This moment, for me, proves that the writers and producers are loyal to the story above all else. If somebody needs to die from here on out, that person is going to die.

Downsides

The only problem with this episode is in its middle section. The second act feels a bit like stalling in parts. But, while watching it, I didn’t mind all that much. I liked the stuff we got between John and Sun, between Ben and Sun. Each little bit illuminated some dark little corner of the story that I don’t think I even realized even needed illuminating. But the problem was that what we, as audience members, were all waiting for, were the flashbacks, and the final confrontation. Everything else was just gravy or window dressing, depending on which cliché you prefer.

Desmond!

It was great to see Desmond back, and great to see that he can take a bullet better than Cesar can. It was also good to see that Ben really does have a shred of humanity left within him. He was hellbent on killing Penny because of what Widmore did to Alex, but, when he saw little Charlie, he couldn’t bring himself to continue the vicious cycle.

Desmond’s reaction felt pitch-perfect to me, as well. I’m glad that Des didn’t kill him, because I don’t think that’s something Des would do. But I did love the final touch of rolling the bloody bastard into the drink. That made for a powerful final shot.

What happened to Des and Penny and Charlie, though? Have we seen the last of them? That’ll be interesting to watch.

The Cerberus Vents

Seeing the inside of the temple wall and seeing where Smokey comes from was what I was waiting for in this episode. How about you? And, when you saw it, what did you think? I thought it was pretty darned awesome. I loved that, within the confines of the temple walls, where its prey really had nowhere else to go, Smokey took its time and was more mist than monster.

I also loved that we got to see Ghost Alex threaten to beat the shit out of her still-living father. Did anyone else get the sense, though, that Ben was crying not because he was afraid of Ghost Alex, but because he was upset at himself for lying to her again? I got the sense that he said what the ghost/monster wanted to hear, but that he already knew that he would not make good on his word, that he already knew he was going to try and kill Locke again? I’m not sure about this theory, but it’s definitely been floating around my brain.

“It let me live.”

Did you get the sense, with his final words of the episode, that Ben was actually hoping to be given Smokey’s death penalty? And did you get the sense, based on the hieroglyphics on the temple walls, that there was some age-old battle going on between Ra, the Sun god (aka Richard Alpert) and the monster?

What did you think of the episode? Leave your comments below.