Wednesday, March 18, 2009

5.7 The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Summary and Spoilers

The passengers on flight 316 are now stranded on the island, and their leader, Caesar, is wondering who is the well-dressed bald guy who nobody remembers seeing on the plane. It’s John Locke, fresh out of his coffin and locking very much alive. He has little memory of how he got there.


John Locke spins the Donkey Wheel and pops out at the entrance slash exit point in the desert of Tunisia. All he has is the hope that someone is on the other side of the video camera that is trained on his position, because he cannot move – he lies prone in the desert. A number of hours later, he is dumped in the back of a pickup truck by Arabs, and transported to a simple hospital, where he is painfully patched together. When he comes to, Charles Widmore is at his bedside. He was at the other end of the camera, watching for John to be booted off the island, and he takes credit for bringing in a specialist to re-patch his leg. Widmore’s story is that he was banished from the island by Ben – he doesn’t say why. He also says that John is special and is meant to bring everyone back and be the new leader of the Others. John is skeptical, but accepts Widmore’s offer of help. Widmore provides transportation and a driver/companion in Matthew Abaddon, and John begins his quest to convince everyone to return.

He starts with Sayid, who is building houses for the poor in Santo Domingo, but Sayid thinks John is being manipulated, and has no interest in returning to the island.

Next, he visits Walt, who is all grown up. John isn’t there to convince Walt to go back, just to say hello. Ben is seen lurking nearby, watching and unseen.

Kate has no interest in returning to the island, and Hurley takes one look at Abaddon and runs away.

John also asks Abaddon to find the love of his life, Helen; they visit here grave, as she died of a brain aneurysm.

Their next step is interrupted when Abaddon is shot numerous times. John drives away in a panic and crashes the car. He wakes up in a hospital with Jack at his bedside. This is Jack’s bearded phase, and he isn’t open to ideas about going back to the island, either, until Locke mentions meeting Jack’s father, Christian. Jack seems affected by this by still uninterested.

Depressed, John retreats to a grimy hotel room, writes a short note to Jack (which we saw in the episode 316), and prepares to hang himself. A knock at the door stops him temporarily. It is Ben, there to convince him that he should not off himself. Ben says John has much more work to do. When John says that he hasn’t been able to convince anyone, Ben cheers him up by telling him that Jack bought a ticket to Sydney. Ben also tells John that he is special and that he is meant to lead the Others. Ben talks John down. During their subsequent talk, John tells Ben that he will not speak to Sun because Jin told him not to bring her back. Strangely, when John mentions that he needs to speak to Eloise Hawking because she can get them back to the island, Ben strangles him, then makes it look like a suicide.

Back in the present, John speaks to Caesar and admits to have spent 100 days on the island. John asks for a passenger list, but Caesar says the pilot took it when he left with a female passenger and one of the outriggers. Together, they tour the people who were hurt in the crash. One of them is Ben, and John identifies him as "…the man who killed me."


Who is the bad guy: you make the call!

Is it Widmore, who sent in a team to assassinate Ben, and who seemed to want to reveal the location of the island? Or is it Ben, who murdered John; who will use the information about Jin to lure Sun back to the island against Jin’s wishes; who deceived Sayid?

We know that Ben Linus and Charles Widmore have been feuding for a long time; they have admitted as much. But why? Why did Ben kick Charles off the island? Is it a simple power struggle, or is there good and bad, right and wrong?

Why does Ben go through all the trouble of talking John out of committing suicide, only to strangle him when John mentions Eloise Hawking? This makes no sense, and the events that follow do not shed any light on it. As we know, Ben then proceeds to assemble the castaways and take them all back anyway, which is what John was going to do. It seems that Linus, Locke, and Widmore all have the same objective – so why are they fighting and killing each other?

Memorable Moments

  • The look of disgust John makes when Abaddon readies a wheelchair for him

Quotable Quotes

Locke: Why would you help me?
Widmore: Because there's a war coming, John. And if you're not back on the island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win.

Ilana: Nobody remembers you being on the plane
Locke: Well, I don't remember being on it either.
Ilana: What do you remember?
Locke: I remember a lot.
Ilana: Like why you're dressed up so nice?
Locke: No, but I can guess.
Ilana: Please. Guess.
Locke: I think this suit is what they were gonna bury me in.
Ilana: Sorry?
Locke: You asked what I remembered. I remember dying.

Caesar: (about Ben) You know him?
Locke: Yeah. He's the man who killed me.

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