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LOST Thoughts – S5 E12

April 9, 2009

Here are my thoughts on the twelfth episode of Lost (season five), “Dead is Dead”:

  1. This episode was great, if for no other reason than for the sheer quantity of Ben failure.  It certainly was satisfying seeing Locke repeatedly overdose Ben on his own medicine at every turn.  I haven’t seen Ben that frustrated since he tried to woo Juliet with his meek Leon Phelps impression.  (Apparently, Dharma-brand Courvoisier doesn’t quite cut it.)
  2. The flashback to when twenty-something Ben and his boy wonder sidekick, young Ethan, invade Rousseau’s tent on an assassination mission ordered by middle-aged Widmore reveals two of Ben’s greatest weaknesses: young children and hairstyling.  It’s as if Ben asked a senile barber with macular degeneration, “Gimme the ‘Flock of Seagulls,’ Gramps!”
  3. As for young children being one of Ben’s weaknesses, they apparently render him unable to kill in their presence.  Both Rousseau and Penny were spared due to their offspring being in the same frame.  As a result, Ben angered Widmore and Widmore’s future son-in-law, Desmond, but for completely different reasons…and with completely different results.  Widmore just stormed off to his tent in a huff, but Desmond laid a beating on Ben the likes of which he hasn’t suffered since he was “Henry Gale.”
  4. Ben also failed when he attempted to summon The Smoke Monster by doing some Roto-Rooting down in the basement.  Then, after Locke had to tell him where they needed to go to find The Smoke Monster, Ben tried to reassert his island knowledge superiority by telling Locke and Sun he’d take it from here and head into the temple.  That is, until Locke kicked Ben in the nuts yet again by pointing out to him that The Smoke Monster would only be found by taking a trip down into the giant gopher hole that Dharma greenskeeper Carl Spackler had enlarged via squirrel-shaped plastic explosives.
  5. Once Ben does finally manage to coax The Smoke Monster out from what looks like King Tut’s sewer grate, instead of facing stern judgement, he ends up getting treated to nothing more than a poorly Photoshopped slideshow.
  6. After the smokiest PowerPoint presentation this side of a quarterly Philip Morris meeting, Ben is rewarded by being reunited with his long-dead faux daughter Alex…who promptly kicks his ass, calls out his secret plan to re-re-re-kill Locke, and politely suggests he reconsider following through on that plan.
  7. Going back to bad hair for a moment, what was the deal with that hairstyle on thirty-something Widmore?  It looked like some sort of grotesque hybrid of Hurley and a flapper.
  8. Aside from bad hair, another issue regarding Ben and Widmore is quite troubling.  Why has Widmore been portrayed by several different age-appropriate actors all the way up through when he reaches middle age, but Ben is played by the same fifty-something guy dating all the way back to when he was 18?
  9. Can somebody please clarify Alpert’s position on The Others’ org chart?  Is he CEO?  He claims he doesn’t answer to Widmore or Ben, but he also defers to their leadership.  He also makes it clear that Jacob calls the shots.  Putting it in the context of a football team, it’s kind of like Jacob is the owner, Alpert is the GM and the head coach is first Widmore, then later Ben.  Would that make Ethan their Defensive Coordinator?  It’s all so confusing!
  10. Speaking of confusing, how about Ilana cryptically asking Lapidus “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”  She might as well have been asking Dan Rather, “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” or Dustin Hoffman, “Is it safe?”
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