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Lost: Judgment day for Ben

Posted on: April 15, 2009 11:04 am
Edited on: April 15, 2009 11:17 am
 

Of all the nefarious things Ben has done -- torturing the castaways, manipulating Locke, manipulating everybody, stealing Alex, blowing up the tanker, shooting Locke, banishing Widmore, killing Widmore's people, killing Locke -- who would have thought that when his time came "to be judged" by the Monster, it would be his A-OK'ing Alex's death that would be his defining blemish?

Like the mother-daughter relationships that defined "Whatever happened, happened" a few weeks back, "Death is death" is driven by Ben's take on children.

Case in points: It's baby Alex that causes the first rift between Ben and Widmore. It's Widmore's daughter, Penelope, who leads to his banishment by Ben. It's Penelope's son, Charlie, who causes Ben to pause on the dock. It's teenage  Alex's death that is central to Ben's judgement and it's Alex again who gives Ben his next set of orders.

And it's those orders -- don't you kill Locke, again; obey Locke -- that has me wondering: Will Ben abide by them?

Speaking of Ben's judgment, let's talk about the Monster. Ben summoned the Monster, apparently, by pulling a drain in the catacombs below his Dharma house. However, the Monster did not appear in the style we're accustomed to. Remember the last time we saw the Monster in action in Dharmaville? The mercenaries got knocked the bleep up.

After summoning the Monster, Ben, Locke and Sun head over to the temple. Rather, the temple's outer wall. What's the outer wall for?

"To keep people like you out," said Ben to Locke and Sun.

But instead of going to the temple, which is about a half mile inside the walls, Locke leads Ben underneath the temple. It's there Ben falls through the floor and next to some grates. Out of the grates comes the Monster. It engulfs Ben, replays some of his greatest hits (all involving Alex) and apparently judges him before receding back into the grates. A relieved Ben is then approached by Alex (looking very Temptation Island -ish) who pins Ben against the wall and issues her pro-Locke orders.

What to make of this?  Here's my theory on this sequence. The Monster is a 2001 -esque Monolith. Just like how the Monolith equipped apes with fire and humans with the ability to become star children, the Monster creates change in those who seek it. It doesn't judge, rather, it morphs those who seek it. Just like the Frenchmen who encountered it inside the temple were forever altered. I also believe it operates under the Eleanor Arroway Theory. As in the scene in Contact when Arroway shoots off to another galaxy and encounters  ... her dad. The Monster communicates by taking the shape of those you know. It enters the subconscious and shapes into a familiar face. In Ben's case, Alex weighed heavily on him, so hence, she became the form the Monster took.

 Clearly we're not talking Occam's Razor here. So why do people die when they get hit with the Monster above the Island's surface? For the same reason some apes beat down others with sticks and bones and Hal went crazy -- keys to evolution, in the wrong hands, can have big-time negative effects on other humans.

Let's get back on track. This was a tremendous episode. Ben episodes usually are. He's such a force of change that whenever we get to fill in the blanks between his actions it's always a treat. We get to see why he was bloodied up on the Ajira flight (although we still don't know how Desmond dodged that bullet or how Ben got fished out of the marina), how he justified killing Locke (he secured the proper info and used the death as a means to getting the Oceanic 6 together), how he became Alex's daddy (stealing her from Rousseau) and how he eventually became leader of the Others (by judging Widmore's off-Island antics).

And with any Ben-isode, there's usually a big dose of Locke. And this nuevo Locke is sort of a prick. He's arrogant, which is usually the last straw before a downfall. Agree or disagree? He also seems to have been uploaded with a superior sense of Island knowledge. Is he Christian Shepherd-esque now?

And what to make of Llana and the Ajira situation? I'll leave it there to talk about last week (I was away for Passover and the Frozen Four) and feel free to speculate on tonight's episode.

 

Category: SPiN
Tags: Lost
 
Comments

Since: Feb 26, 2009
Posted on: April 16, 2009 10:35 am
 

Lost: Judgment day for Ben

I thought Locke was Smokey . Notice after Ben summoned him from the Dharma hut crawlspace . He went to the porch & after some violent tree shaking out came Locke . How did Locke know what Ben would be judged for ? Ben killed a ton of people . He is responsible for a holocaust . It was Locke that led Ben to the temple . Ben had no idea he would be judged below the temple . I find it ironic that Ben had to go underneath his house to summon smokey & was judged underneath the temple .

 

 




Since: Jul 12, 2007
Posted on: April 15, 2009 5:27 pm
 

Lost: Judgment day for Ben

how he justified killing Locke (he secured the proper info and used the death as a means to getting the Oceanic 6 together)

Just because he said it doesn't mean it's true.  Ben is truly a brilliant character.  All along I've had a hunch that he's mostly good, but that he's willing to do things nobody else is to protect and serve the island.  Of course, the writers are brilliant in that they plant seeds of doubt constantly.  Did he kill John for a good reason in his mind or did he do it selfishly?  Perhaps his only judgement was for a situation where he allowed his daughter to be killed (although, I don't believe he thought she would be...when he said "I don't care", he sure didnt' seem sincere).  But, maybe the true judgement was for killing Locke and the form of the process was based on his own internal guilt about his daughter (something that he may not have truly been responsible for).

Which gets into the idea of the monster tapping into a person's thoughts or whatever.  Remember when it killed Mr Eko?  It was doing the same thing with him, but Eko refused to "repent".  Maybe the smoke monster is incapable of actual independent action and simply reads a person's thought, decides if they need to be judged or whether they're a threat to the Island, and then acts accordingly.  Whether Ben sent it to get the commandos or he simply pressed a panic button and the monster took over from there (they were a threat, after all), who knows?

The thing I wonder about the monster, though, is why, if it's there for defense, doesn't it just immediately kill people like the commandoes who pose a threat to the Island?  Does it have to be summoned by a leader?  Did Locke, in fact, summon it to judge Ben? 

I haven't thought through any of this, so poke away.

 

 

 

 




Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: April 15, 2009 4:51 pm
 

Lost: Judgment day for Ben

I would like to think Ben was changed by his experience with the monster and Alex. I would like to think Ben will be Locke's ight hand man from this time on, but this is Ben we are talking about. Sure there are things Ben can do that Locke cant or wont. (ike blasting somebody in the chest with a sawed off at point blank range. Sure they Might make a great team and compliment each other but agian. This Ben were talking about. He is already up to some other diabolicle sceme. DUN DUN DUUUUNNNN


Love it. Here's the thing with Ben...he's being portrayed so well by Emerson that I'm constantly wondering about him. Is he good, is he bad...BUT, I'm with you. I think it's time to go all-in on the Ben the Snake.

 

One other thing I forgot to mention...what did Llana mean by her question to Frank about what lies underneath the statue?




Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2009 1:35 pm
 

Lost: Judgment day for Ben

The Monster communicates by taking the shape of those you know. It enters the subconscious and shapes into a familiar face. In Ben's case, Alex weighed heavily on him, so hence, she became the form the Monster took.

 

So what about the monster taking the shape of Christian Sheppard to communicate with Locke at the wheel. Or Jen and Lippidus in Dharmaville ghostown. They dont know who he is. I think there are two super-natural forces at work on the island. Thers the "monster" that wants to protect the island at all cost and doesnt really give a flip about people. Then there is "Jacob", who seems to be destiny oriented and does seem to care about the people on the island. Good vs evil maybe? Widdmore, Ben, Locke and whoever else are just foot soldiers in this classic fight.

 And this nuevo Locke is sort of a prick. He's arrogant, which is usually the last straw before a downfall. Agree or disagree?

I disagree. I think he is enlightened and purpose driven. Similair to the Locke that first landed on the island. We got used to seeing a broken and desperate Locke. Now he is confident and ready to do what ever the island will have him do. When Locke was leading Ben to the temple walls Ben asked " how do you know these thngs" Locke replied " i dont know, i just do". Locke and the island are becoming one.

I would like to think Ben was changed by his experience with the monster and Alex. I would like to think Ben will be Locke's ight hand man from this time on, but this is Ben we are talking about. Sure there are things Ben can do that Locke cant or wont. (ike blasting somebody in the chest with a sawed off at point blank range. Sure they Might make a great team and compliment each other but agian. This Ben were talking about. He is already up to some other diabolicle sceme. DUN DUN DUUUUNNNN



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