In last night’s episode of ABC’s Lost, “Dead is Dead,” we abandoned the story of the Oceanic survivor’s escapades in the Dharma of the past, and focused on Ben’s story where he professed to be on a mission to pay the Smoke Monster a visit to atone for his sins. I say “professed” because I never had the impression that he was sincere about what he was telling John Locke regarding his intensions on the main island.
As Ben and Locke were interacting, I really enjoyed watching how Locke treated Ben. It was like a parent asking a child if they took a cookie when the parent already knows the answer to the question, but is testing the child to see if he’s going to tell the truth or not. Obviously Ben is a huge liar who is very much interested in preserving his own self-interests, so there were many opportunities for Locke to test him like that.
It was interesting to see a little into Ben’s history from the flashbacks in tonight’s episode, which actually make me feel a little more sympathetic towards him and his ability to have compassion on helpless babies and children. This, of course, informed his actions when they showed him confronting Penny Widmore in his effort to take out his revenge on his nemesis Charles Widmore for killing Ben’s daughter. Upon seeing Desmond and Penny’s son, Charlie come on deck of the ship Ben had a change of heart and couldn’t kill Penny like he intended to. But since he had already non-fatally shot Desmond, Desmond proceeded to beat the living snot out of him. Good boy!
Later in the episode we got to see Ben’s final confrontation with the Smoke Monster who showed Ben his history with his daughter Alex and the reasons he sought revenge on Charles Widmore. I’ve heard the producers of the Lost, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, say that each time they show the monster, they want to reveal a little more about it. Well, I’m not sure that I learned anything more about it this time, but it was interesting to see more and to wonder if the manifestation of Alex immediately afterward was a form that the monster was taking or if it was actually a re-embodied Alex who had come back to warn him not to follow through with his intentions to kill John Locke again.
I am believing more and more that the island definitely does have mystical qualities about it and isn’t just some scientific magnetic phenomenon. It’ll be interesting to see how satisfying the final explanations about the island are when all is said and done.
So now we see that Benjamin Linus is fated (or doomed) to play second fiddle to the seemingly well-intentioned John Locke, whom it seems that the island has chosen as its new human leader. So, will Ben go against the wishes of Alex and try to kill Locke and regain his leadership position over the others? I guess only time will tell.