This week: Benry deals with the changing of the rules
in "The Shape Of Things To Come".
LOST, Episode 4.09
The Shape Of Things To Come
I. The Benry Identity
A. When he jumped in the ol’ Dharma Port-A-Bear machine and beamed himself off
the Island, he either missed his connecting teleport or he has a poor grasp of
the climate in the Sahara region.
B. The two horseback marauders who found Ben were probably Libyan or some other
make or model of North African (aka not terrorists), but his Steven Segal-esque
dismissal of the two made it pretty clear that his powers can be harnessed for
good. Clearly, Ben is the Ultimate Weapon - just drop him behind enemy lines
with the Wayback Machine and he’ll either fight his way back out or
passive-aggressively coerce them to turn on each other with half-truths and full
lies. Maybe when the show ends they can segue into a series of movies with Ben
going all John Rambo on everybody’s ass.
C. He’s awfully cavalier about his identity in the middle of all this Widmore
intrigue. Throwing the name out there for anyone to hear (unless he’s posing as
Kerouac characters) and not being terribly secretive. Maybe it’s because of
confidence in his ability to outwit or otherwise disarm his foes, but you’d at
least like to see some effort put into keeping himself secret. If there’s that
much money and resources being thrown into the mission to find him on the
Island, you’d think all eyes would be on him once he stepped on land that could
be found on a map. At least get a haircut or something.
D. Ok, Ben’s not gonna kill Widmore, but is Widmore not gonna kill Ben?
Apparently Ben stole everything from him, including his Island, and it would
seem to be that the easiest way to reclaim all that property is to eliminate the
nuisance that is standing in your way. There’s no security guard anywhere?
There’s no handgun by the bed next to the scotch? Don’t all rich men sleep with
II. Team Locke Under Siege
A. Ben’s got a basement with at least one giant, heavy metal door. He’s got a
secret compartment behind his bookshelf that leads to a fortified room, which of
course gives way to another secret compartment. So when you’ve got mercenaries
surrounding you and it’s absolutely critical that you survive the attack, it
seems only natural that you set up camp IN THE DEN. Apparently a futon pushed up
against the front door is more secure than the impenetrable metal that is
sitting around everywhere else.
B. How many private rooms does the man need, by the way? He lives alone! He’s
got a wine cellar/mini-prison, a “special place” where he keeps his suits and
passports, and now he’s got the BenCave, the secret lair for those who feel
their secret lair isn’t secret enough. The guy seems desperate for some “alone
time.” Just pull the blinds, dude.
C. All that practice shooting clay pigeons off the side of the boat, and Keamy
and his boys couldn’t hit the broad side of a Sawyer when it counted. Sure, you
can take out the random new folks - all of who got more face time getting shot
than ever had before - with one shot each, but when it comes to taking out the
6-foot-plus handgun-toting Southerner, they couldn’t do so much as graze him.
The guy practically did cartwheels across the middle of a yard and then spent a
couple of minutes kicking through the ashe of Casa De Claire without a problem.
Was it his blinding speed? Were they entranced by his perpetual
long-hair-and-stubble Danielle Steele cover model look? Did Keamy realize that
they might be long-lost brothers?
D. Previously, the “toughest person on the island” debate jumped back and forth
between Locke and Sayid, with Sawyer as an occasional darkhorse. Well, Claire
just came from four lengths back and smoked the competition, because no one will
ever hold a candle to what she’s done. First, she endures a natural childbirth
in the middle of the jungle (with Kate as her primary care physician, so that
probably made it 10 times more difficult, as Kate does in any situation). Now,
her entire house gets blown up and she manages to a) not explode; b) not get
crushed by the house collapsing around her; and c) end up on her back with less
scratches than she’d pick up from a particularly brisk run through the jungle.
She took a rocket to the living room and all that happens is she “got her bell
rung”?! And she’s back on her feet 20 minutes later?! And we’re supposed to
believe that she dies and Kate takes Aaron?! At some point, there needs to be a
Claire vs. Mikhail Battle To The Almost-Death. It would take at least three
E. Sawyer wants to carry Claire into the house, and Locke and Ben are ready to
let them die, not willing to compromise Ben’s Fortress of Relative Solitude.
Seconds later, Miles gets the door opened for him like they’re having a dinner
party. Why didn’t he have to crawl through the shattered window?
F. What purpose did Ben’s attempted ruse with Keamy serve? Don’t tell him that
Alex isn’t your daughter and think it’s going to save her - the fact that she IS
your daughter was the only thing keeping her alive! He and his crew killed three
villagers within five seconds of reaching the camp. He’d already killed Karl and
Rousseau before that. And your pithy back-and-forth “I know what kind of man you
are” exchange demonstrates pretty clearly that you know what kind of man he is,
so how does convincing him that Alex is an innocent bystander change anything?
He’s done nothing BUT kill innocent bystanders since making landfall! You pretty
much invited him to kill the girl, and all he accomplished was making her feel
like a bastard child for her final fifteen seconds of life.
G. I can’t go for the idea that Sawyer suddenly decides he’s had enough crazy.
You signed up for that shit when you went with Team Locke instead of Team
Shepard. You’ve lived with Locke and had enough mental chess games with Ben over
the course of the season to know what you were in for, so to flip out once they
name-drop Jacob seems like an overreaction.
H. Kinda creepy for Sawyer to project all his longing for companionship onto
Hurley after Kate split. Granted, they were new roommates and spent the nights
playing board games and watching Xanadu, but he suddenly seemed awful possessive
of a guy whose real name he’s used about ten times tops.
III. The Trouble With Doctors...And Beaches...And Bernardses...
A. Ok, it’s not possible for anyone on the Island to be aware of Jack’s whole
self-medicating deal, but where the hell was perpetual hand-wringer Juliet
during this business? Usually she’s good for one condescending conversation that
makes the other person realize they’re making a mistake, but she really dropped
the ball this time.
B. If we can’t even see the boat on the horizon, how long does the doc’s body
have to be floating before it reaches the shore? Long enough that we shouldn’t
be able to tell it’s the doctor, I reckon.
C. If Sayid ever returns to the beach, he’s going to realize that he’s in for
trouble when he sees that Faraday has taken over his role as Island MacGuyver.
Also, it’s nice to see that pretty much every electronics issue on the Island
can be rectified by taping some wires to that one putter.
D. Bernard finally doing something useful might rank as one of the most epic
moments in the history of this series. They tried to redeem the man a couple of
times already - the SOS sign, the discussion about karma, putting a gun in his
hand, etc. But finally, finally, he actually contributes to the cause. Of
course, there’s the whole matter of “why in the world would they allow ‘Nards to
be around for an important discussion,” but that’s a different story.
E. Speaking of Nards’ contribution, chalk up the error to Professor Faraday on
that one. Sure, we can make a telegraph out of some paperclips and a coconut,
but it never dawned on you that the guy who suggested making the telegraph might
know Morse code? It’s not like it’s binary language or the fancy math and
equations you scribble in your journal, DF. It’s just dots and dashes, any idiot
could learn it - case in point.