LOST: Ben Steals the Show

ben juliet lost

Is anyone else feeling like Juliet was cheated out of her flashback? Because last night’s installment of LOST was all about Ben.

Ben the manipulator, Ben the evil genius, Ben the obsessed crazy Juliet stalker? Ummm… when did Ben turn into a clichéd bad guy straight from the LAW & ORDER: SVU playbook?

Well here’s the thing. I’m not sure he did. As any LOST fan worth his ration of Dahrma Initiative brand cereal knows, anything out of Ben’s mouth should be taken with a grain of salt [Dahrma Initiative brand salt of course]. Which is why I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Ben’s big reveals. Or to be more specific…

The Charles Widmore reveal. As Ben explains to Locke by showing him a video he secretly taped “this is the man whose boat is parked offshore. This is the man that’s been trying to find the island…Charles Widmore wants to exploit this island and he’ll do everything in his power to possess it.” Is anyone else hoping that Widmore’s motivation isn’t the ol’ been-there-done-that power hungry rich guy? I was sort of hoping for something a bit more substantial.

Which brings me to Ben’s slight obsession with Juliet. It too has to be part of some sort of larger plan. After-all, Ben told us himself last night, “I always have a plan”.

But what exactly is his plan? Surely I’m not the only LOST Addict who’s warmed up to the idea that Ben is in fact the show’s hero. The guy who makes the slightly morally ambiguous decisions for the greater good? Or did I just out myself as one of those crazies who love Sylar and writes letters to convicts in prison? [It was one time and it was for a school project. I swear!]

As for Juliet and Jack, I can take it or leave it. Jack and Kate, Jack and Juliet, when did LOST island turn into TEMPTATION Island?

[Cue: Laugh Track]

Thank you, thank you.. I’ll be here all night! But before I go three quick points.

On the subject of the man on the boat. LOSTerminds Damon and Carlton have dragged this mystery out for so long that having Michael on the boat would no longer be shocking, it would be a serious letdown. Thus, my new pick for the jaw-dropping mystery reveal in next week’s final scene is… Walt!

While on the subject of outlandish predictions, is it 100% confirmed that the occupant of the coffin mentioned in last May’s finale] is a woman? Because if not, Juliet seems like a logical choice. Last night she really started to give off that classic tragic hero vibe.

And finally, while Juliet may have been robbed of her flashback, she does get credit for perhaps the funniest line in the history of LOST when she tells Jack that, “it’s not easy being an Other” Who’s making the tshirt?

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  • H

    I don’t think Juliet was robbed so much as this conformed the S4 standard of including more than 1 character in the flashes. We had Hurley and Jack, Kate and Jack, Sayid and Ben, 5 people in episode 2. I think with the end date we’re likely to get info. on more than character in almost every flash from now on.

  • Alison

    Ben is winning me over, as well as winning best line of the night awards week after week… “there weren’t numbers on this, were there?” and “see you guys at dinner”.
    I am not even sure who to align myself with anymore, which I think we’ll even begin to see among the Losties.
    I completely agree that Michael being the man on the boat will be a complete let down. Our LOSTerminds are far too smart/amazing/wise/tricky to give us what we’re expecting. I am anxiously awaiting the answer nonetheless!

  • cam3150

    All I know is, there needs to a special Oscar category devoted to television because an Emmy is not enough for Michael Emerson. Wow. He’s the one who stole the show last night with is incredible range as an actor and the ability to change his entire face, and in so doing, change his entire demeanor, in a split second. The best example last night was when he was showing Juliet Goodwin’s body and screaming at her that she was supposed to be his. Then in the very next breath, his entire expression and every changed as he said, “Take all the time you need” and practically skipped back up the hill.

    Last night had no real OMG moment in it but it was still a solid episode. We’ve been spoiled this season with each episode better than the last so it is a bit of a letdown to have one that, last season, would have been considered spectacular, but really was not so much so compartiviely in season 4.

    I agree, Michael on the boat would almost be a letdown know. You can see it coming from a mile away now. I really hope it’s someone else. But, with the fact that we know the actor who plays him (can’t spell his last name) is returning to the show, it seems like a given that it will be Michael after all. It’s so obvious now, that I’m hoping that’s what was intended….so when it’s revealed to be NOT be him, it will actually be someone we don’t expect.

  • shanna

    I have to say that Ben did steal the show for me last night. My favorite was the part where Juliet came in for dinner and Ben was like “Give me a sec to get this ham out the oven or it will dry out!” So cute. And when he was all jaunty walking around and Sawyer and Hurley were like “WTF!” Those were great moments.

  • The best line definitely was “There wasn’t a number on this, was there?”

  • It hadn’t crossed my mind that Juliet’s flashback was robbed from her. It was fairly informative, and it established her as more of an innocent caught up in the Others’ game rather than someone who wants to help perpetuate the game. We’ve come so far in these last few episodes, it feels like forever since we referred to Ben’s people as Others and thought they were ruthless, ubiquitous jungle savages.

    To me, the Charles Widmore reveal feels too easy. There was no dramatic build up. Ben just hands the info to Locke (and us), and Locke is too eager, as usual, to learn anything new (also like us). I think he may regret letting Ben go.

    And, speaking of Others, who’da thunk our Losties would someday inhabit the camp under Ben’s manipulation, effectively becoming “Others” themselves. I wonder if this is only the 2nd time Ben has swapped flocks.

    Not sure what to make of Ben’s obsession with Juliet. He didn’t come right out and profess love to her, although the 2-person candlelight dinner seemed to lean that way. With such a manipulative, possessive mind as his, “You’re mine,” could mean anything.

    One thing that’s obvious at this point… Ben is a master at observation, intuition, and manipulation. No fact, emotion, facial expression, hazard, or opportunity gets past this guy. He’s probably the kind of guy who can see dozens of moves ahead in chess and read a tableful of tells at poker. If “figurin’ stuff out” were a mutant power, he’d be a comic book superhero or villain, for sure. Maybe that’s why he’s had medical issues and has taken such a physical beating this season, to emphasize that his brain is the center of his power.

    As for the boat person… Probably Michael, despite the fact that we may have figured it out. Maybe that is too obvious. Walt may be the too obvious not-obvious choice. Who else could it be? Isn’t the one-eyed Russian guy still alive? He might be the too obvious choice in the who-cares category.

  • Todd,

    Thanks for the great points. I love your theory on Ben cleansing Camp Other for a new group.

  • shanna

    Todd, I agree that Ben’s brain is definitely the source of his power. It’s funny that everyone’s first instinct is to beat him up but that doesn’t stop his brain from working.

    I agree the Widmore reveal is too easy. I’m not sure if I dout that he’s the Economist (I’d guessed that) but I don’t think he’s out to exploit the island. That’s too simple and would put us on Ben’s side and I (like Rose) am not trying to be on that side.

  • Chris

    The more I think about it, the more the tape strikes me as a bit odd. If one of the Others was there taping this, and if Charles Widmore is such a threat, why not just pull out a gun and take him out then and there? I mean, I definitely think he’s involved in the whole thing, but I’m guessing there’s more to it than meets the eye.

    On a shallow note, Elizabeth Mitchell rising out of the water in that bikini was HOT!

  • Hil

    The whole “exploit the island” thing was just a smoke screen tailored to Locke’s history. Even if it happens to be true, who cares! Who is to say Ben’s motives are any better if not actually worse. Locke is an easy mark. It was all worth it to see Sawyer’s reaction to Ben practically strutting his way across the compound there at the end though.

  • Beesly

    I agree about the reveal of the video. I was really shocked at how basic the conversation was…its a video too, those used to be a huge deal to the survivors but these days new people, charlie dying, new videos just seems to be part of the norm.

    Didnt the “Widmore wants to exploit the island” come across in sort of a Jurassic Park way? I thought so.

    Have a great weekend tv addicts!!!!

    Beesly 🙂

  • madi

    key questions to this and a few other episode

    -obviously ben has some way of getting off the island or has OTHERS going off the island for him, because they taped over the red sox game, a video that was on the island only a few weeks earlier, then somehow the tape of Widmore(penny’s day) was put into that sefe, but who put it there? because nobody but the losties have been living in the barracks and Ben has been locked up by Locke…

    -Why is Charlotte and Dan claiming that they are here because of ben, but they seem to have no interest in getting ben at all. If they wanted Ben, they could easily go find him in the barracks. They are obviously here to do more than get Ben..

    one more comment..

    -Everybody is saying the dont want it to be Michael on the boat because its too predictable.. but i can’t think of any person other than michael that it would be without making LOST way to confusing (as if it isn’t already…) I will not be let down if it does, in fact, turn out to be him because i think that it will be interesting to see his flashbacks as to what he’s been doing all this time!

  • What about Jack’s allegedly-dead yet missing-from-his-coffin father? Could Jack’s dad be the insider on the boat?

  • Todd,

    That would definitely fall in the ‘shocking’ category