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Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' space traveler

Posted on: April 25, 2008 11:45 am
Edited on: April 25, 2008 4:28 pm

After its month-and-change long hiatus, Lost came back with a vengeance Thursday night. Let's discuss.

We start with the game of Risk, the game of world domination -- and Hugo's accurate, yet ironic statement that Australia (hey, that's where this all began!) is the key to the whole game. A game in which, as Ben reminds us over and over, "the rules have now changed."

And from that moment we see Hugo, Sawyer and Locke playing that oh-so-fun game, we're taken on a wild, globe-trotting ride inside the game of Lost. We see the bloodshed, the grief, the alcoholism and manipulation that results in the battle between Others ruler Ben and drunky British tycoon Chaz Widmore. Like Steven Seagal, Ben is out for justice.

We learn that Ben is a Jumper, a Quantum Leaper, a Stargater. Somebody, who through his mysterious closet portal, can get places -- and times -- very quickly.

We first see Ben in Tunisia, puking, hurting and sporting a Dharma winter coat. He's been to Tunisia before, which begs the question -- how long has he been time traveling? And what sort of reputation does he exactly have at that hotel? And where did he just come from, what with that heavy coat? Siberia possibly? Where Risk playing Sawyer and Locke are rolling the die on in the opening sequence?

He eventually makes his way to future, Oceanic-6 Sayid, who's in Tikrit, Iraq mourning the loss of his wife, Naomi. We see the genesis of how these two dark characters join -- the loss of women can be such a bonding force.

We also see Ben in London, paying a visit to Widmore. The two engage in a pleasant debate over who really killed Ben's daughter and the merits of whose Island it really is.

We also learn that Iraq is really "nice this time of the year." Classic deadpan Ben humor.

OK, so we're still not sure what to make of 2005 Ben. He's clearly on an out-for-justice mission to avenge his adopted daughter's death and screw Widmore to high hell. We learn he can jump around the world, has never really been out of control of any situation on the Island (how 'bout that piano-seat shotgun?) and that there's some sort of game being played with the Island the focal point.

As for on-island developments: Ben's daughter is dead, Jack has appendicitis, Claire can really take a RPG blast well, the freighter is not a rescue ship, Farrady is a liar, an alleged dead doctor floats to shore and most interesting -- Ben controls the black smoke.

I'm open to any ideas about this phenomenon. It seems like a sort of Raiders of the Lost Ark meets The Abyss mercenary-killing creature -- but it apparently doesn't kill merc leader Keamy. 

An impressive amount of stuff for one episode, titled The Shape of Things to Come.

But I'm a bit saddened to learn about this time-traveling angle. I dig the concept as much as the next TV nerd, but, depending on how they logic this one out, it seems like some serious suspension of disbelief will be required going forward. As is the case with any time-traveling experiment.

Your thoughts on the episode? What does Ben really mean with "you changes the rules of the game,"  is the Island some sort of time traveling Hartsfield-ian hub, and what about that washed up corpse?

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Since: Feb 21, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2008 11:32 pm

Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' space traveler

Its not so much a time travel thing as far as your discussing if Im reading correctly. Ben went down into the basement to get the Smoke monster. The island does deal with time travel after we saw the marker come in late that was shot from the ship. This is possible in physics, very hard to write out in a post but if given the right amount of charge and magnetisim and a whole lot of other things falling in line it is possible for time travel and making some(an island for example) be invisible. I think the Temple has a big deal with the time travel aspect though and when they get there it should explain more. Same with Jacob. Ben obviously has some very good connections and abilities since he can track down Widmore and the killer of Sayid's wife. For any more guestions the best website is and dont take my word for everything since I havent been there yet for last nights episode but those are all just my thoughts.

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2008 4:33 pm

Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' space traveler

I never watched Quantum Leap,

Scott Bakula's only finest work.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2008 4:27 pm

Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' time traveler

Good call. You may be right, this may just be space traveling. I'm by no means an expert on this and I never watched Quantum Leap, so I'm open to revisions on this.

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2008 4:11 pm

Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' time traveler

Cool analysis Eric, but why do you think Ben traveled to the future?

I never saw it that way last nite. I think you're right about him being able to travel places, but why couldn't he have traveled to Tunisia literally in 2005?

I guess looking back that it is possible, but I don't think it requires Ben time traveling to explain him being in 2005.

Time traveling is definitely a possibility after seeing Desmond becoming unstuck in time, but I don't think we've seen someone be able to travel through time on their own accord and I hope it stays that way, as time traveling makes everything a tad bit too ridiculous.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2008 2:56 pm

Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' time traveler

Every question you raise, particularly:

How can Sawyer drink the warm and several year old beer from that van without puking? :)

has gone through my mind. The show asks its viewers to stick through a lot of mucky times in the hopes we'll get a "wow, that's how they did it" type answer sooner or later.

I re-watched Season 1 during the hiatus and if you haven't caught it, please do. It's the best so far.

Any idea what's up with the dead freighter doctors?

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2008 1:59 pm

Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' time traveler

depending on how they logic this one out, it seems like some serious suspension of disbelief will be required going forward. As is the case with any time-traveling experiment.

I have watched the show for the last couple years, I did miss the whole first season though.  I agree with the above statement but I have never really felt like the show is very "real".  How many times have you seen a black smoke cloud kill people?  How can a helicopter leave an island for a short flight yet take days to get to the boat it is traveling to?  How can people who take the helicopter flight start bouncing through time?  What about the babys that are not able to live if they are born on the island for some reason?  How about a character that regularly sees visions of another characters death and it continue to come true (Desmond seeing Charlie die)?  How can an old beat up van that has been sitting parked for many years run so effectively?  How can Sawyer drink the warm and several year old beer from that van without puking? :) How can a paralyzed guy suddenly have the ability to walk once landing on the island?

These are just a few of the unbelievable events that have happened on Lost. That it why it is easy to become critical of it. I myself find the show very entertaining but not very believable.

Good blog. Thanks.

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