Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lost: “The Man Behind the Curtain” – airdate 05/09/07

Losties. Sawyer returns to the beach and plays the recorder for Sayid. They stomp off to get some answers out of Juliet. Nosy Kate wants to know what’s going on. She just gets more and more annoying. The group gathers and Sayid expresses his distrust of Jack. When Sun vouches for Juliet, they play the recording for the group. Jack and Juliet walk up and Juliet tells Sawyer to flip the tape over: it’s Ben’s message to her, saying that the Others will attack the Losties to get the pregnant women. Juliet says that she told Jack what Ben was “making [her] do” the night she and Sun confirmed Sun’s pregnancy. Sayid wants to know why Jack didn’t let the rest of them in on it. Jack says he hadn’t decided what to do yet, but now “it’s time to catch up.”

Ben and Locke. Flashback: Emily and Roger are hiking out in the forest, and Emily goes into labor prematurely, giving birth to a baby boy. She is weak and bleeding, so Roger scoops them up and runs through the woods, coming out onto a rural highway. A car pulls over to help – it’s Eugene Toombs from season 1 of the X-Files! Eek! – and Emily dies in Roger’s arms after naming the baby Ben. A-ha #1: Ben was not born on the Island. Present day: Ben is puttering around in his tent. He’s feeling nostalgic because it’s his birthday; when Richard stops by, Ben asks “You do remember birthdays, don’t you?” Richard wants to know if Ben wants him to take the recorder with Juliet’s new instructions back to the hiding place. Oops. Ben thought he’d already taken it. They hear a commotion outside; it’s Locke, toting his dead father. Why don’t you start at the beginning, Ben? says Locke.

Over drinks, Ben says that he is not the leader of the Others – Jacob is. Locke pffts that Ben is a liar and insists that Ben take him to meet Jacob. But no one meets Jacob but me, says Ben. Flashback: Boy-Ben arrives at the Island with his father via the submarine. Eugene Toombs has given Roger a job with the Dharma Initiative; there’s a mellow 1970s communal vibe to it all. They go through Processing to get their housing and work assignments; Ben’s dad is pissed that he’s to be a janitor: Roger, Work Man, is what his jumpsuit says. A-ha #2: he’s the guy from Hurley’s van! Present: Mikhail arrives at the Others’ camp and Ben dryly notes that he’d heard Mikhail was dead. The Russian reports on the Losties’ new friend Naomi, which gets everyone in a tizzy. Ben says they’ll deal with the pilot when they raid the Losties’ camp in a day or so; Mikhail wants to go get her now; when Ben starts to waver, Locke beats the crap out of Mikhail. So, we’ll just go see Jacob now then, concedes Ben, causing more consternation among the Others. Alex brings Locke a gun, saying he’ll need it if he’s going to meet Jacob.

Flashback: A siren goes off at the Dharma Initiative compound. The Dharma folks grab their guns as they are being attacked by the Hostiles, the native inhabitants of the Island. That night, Boy-Ben sees his dead mother looking in his window at him. He goes into the jungle after her a couple days later, and comes into a clearing where that freaky whispering starts up. Startled, he looks up as Richard comes up to him. Grown-up Richard, looking exactly the same as present-day Richard, except with a bad haircut. Boy-Ben explains about seeing his dead mom and wants to leave the Initiative to live with Richard and his band of merry men. Richard tells him to be patient. Present: Ben and Locke come to a stone house and Ben tells Locke to shut off his flashlight as Jacob doesn’t care for technology. They light a lamp and go inside, where Ben starts talking to an empty chair, insisting that Jacob is sitting there. Locke, and the entire viewing audience, thinks Ben is a stark raving lunatic. As he turns to go, a low creaky voice says “Help me.” He turns on his flashlight to see what tricks Ben is playing and the room goes nuts, furniture flying around. Ben and Locke escape; Ben says, that was Jacob.

Flashback: Ben, now an adult, is a Work Man like his dad. I guess he’s been really patient, like about 20+ years’ worth. They load up the van to make a supply run. Once out in the jungle, Ben tells his father that he’s done putting up with him, checks the time, dons a gas mask and gasses his father. When he returns to the compound, all the Initiative members are dead too, including Eugene Toombs. Richard (back to his pretty-boy short haircut) and his raggedy band show up, wearing gas masks. “Do you want us to retrieve [your dad’s] body?” asks Richard. Ben says to just leave him out there. Present: Ben takes Locke to a giant pit full of the Initiative members’ decomposed corpses. “This is where I came from,” says Ben. He speechifies that the Dharma people couldn’t manage to coexist with the Island’s original inhabitants and once he realized that, he decided to position himself with the winning team. “That makes me smarter than you, John,” Ben says, and, grabbing Alex’s gun, shoots Locke in the chest, knocking him into the corpse-pit. Locke, bewildered, asks why. “Because Jacob spoke to you, John. What did say to you?” Ben demands. When Locke tells him what Jacob said, Ben gets bit agitated and sneers, well, I hope he helps you now, and tromps away. Wow, Ben sure is possessive about being Jacob’s chosen one.

Cool! What the heck is Richard? How old is he if he can’t remember his own birthday? And how does he keep his eyeliner intact in such a humid environment? I totally didn’t see that coming – I figured him for a flunky. Also, the Island (Jacob?) has healed Locke several times before so shooting him in the gut and leaving him in a pile of dead bodies – not necessarily fatal in this place. Ben must be hoping that the Island has Locke in disfavor now and won’t heal him. We’ll see. I’m not counting Locke out yet, although internet rumor is that there will be five dead characters by the season finale.

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