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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost – The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

You think you know someone, then they choke you to death with a rope you had planned on using to kill yourself. Sigh. Oh well. All’s well that ends well, right? These probably weren’t the first thoughts that crossed John Locke’s mind when he came back to life on the island, but they might be pretty close. It’s no surprise that the death and resurrection of the character would be so satisfying. After all, Terry O’Quinn’s performance throughout the series has always been on point. The difference between Locke as he is presented as a desperate old man to the Oceanic 6, then comparing that to the cool customer he is once he returns to the island is a display of how masterfully O’Quinn can portray the character.

The journey of Locke to persuade the Oceanic 6 to return and the subsequent resurrection on the island was both a heartwarming and heartbreaking one. Much like the scene this season where Sawyer (Josh Holloway) sees Kate (Evangeline Lilly) again on the island (How’s that for alliteration?), we were offered a glimpse into the more vulnerable side of Locke, even getting a little bit of insight into the one love that he lost. But did he really lose Helen Norwood? Maybe it’s just a case of trying to anticipate one twist before the next, but that gravestone we saw looked mighty ordinary. Could Helen still be alive?

The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham helped definitely draw the line between Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) and Charles Widmore (Alan Dale). What is brilliant about said division is that we genuinely have no idea whose side we or the islanders should choose. The coldblooded twist of Ben to manipulate Locke in order to get information about Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Eloise Hawking (Fionnula Flanagan) was not only downright evil, but it led to one of the best endings the show has offered in a while.

Is there anything that comes out of Benjamin’s mouth that we can trust? He told Locke last season that whoever moved the island couldn’t return. So why is he back? Was that not part of the plan? If so, then why does he tell Locke that he is going to miss him? Let’s go ahead and set the record straight. Benjamin Linus is one of the greatest and most complex characters we’ve ever seen on television.

The fifth season of Lost has efficiently tied up a great amount of loose ends, but the question is where are we headed now? Will Ben be able to convince Locke that the ends justified the means in terms of his death? What happened to Aaron? (William Blanchette) We’re not sure, but we are certain that Lost is hitting its stride. Wherever Lost takes us, we will follow.

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