This week: "Dead is Dead" (the phrase, not the episode) might be the biggest sack of shit they've ever tried to feed us. They may as well have called this one "No Seriously, Walt Is Old Because Time Travel" or "Jack Is A Reasonable Man" or "Different Haircut = Different Ages!!!".
John Locke: ...then I'm sure the monster will understand.
LOST, Season 5, Episode 12
Dead Is Dead
I. Ben Sans Innocence Means Less Sandwiches And Longing, More Attempted Murder
A. Well naturally, because Widmore is bald in the present/future/what-the-fuck-ever, he MUST have long, flowing locks in the past/present/see above. But when do we get a flashback episode for that hair? He goes from short-cropped Jude Law fanatic to I-just-saw-a-Russell-Crowe-movie-and-I-want-to-be-free! to cruising for ladies at Palm Springs. We need to fill in the blanks!
B. I think I was right about "losing innocence" being Alpert Of The Undead's only explanation for puberty (seeing as how his probably came 5,000 years ago). Sure, Li'l Ben came out of the Temple looking like his normal dweeb self, but apparently it didn't take long for him to hit a growth spurt and start looking about 35. Oh, I know he's younger because he had an emo-swoop haircut and he wore a scarf, and all precocious "teenagers" look like that. But either the smoke monster jump-started his journey into adulthood or Richard took him into the temple and beat the living shit out of him with the Ugly Stick (distant mystical cousin of Eko's Jesus Stick).
C. I say Chuckie Dubs deserved to be usurped as Island leader if he's sending New Wave Ben and pre-teen Ethan (I'm sorry, Ubiquitethan) to do the murdering. Yeah, it's just some teenage lunatic, but if your Island intel told you enough to know that she shot and killed three other adult males, maybe you should buckle down a bit if you really want her out of the way.
D. By the way, Danielle, where's the pillar of black smoke they supposedly burned when they came to steal your baby? It's nighttime and the "kid" with the gun just made a snap judgement.
E. Also, I think Ben was totally right to get Widmore thrown off the Island. I mean, with that brillo-pad hair (once again, new hair = passage of times!), it's pretty obvious that he was taking the sub out every morning to host a morning show with Kathy Lee Gifford, and that burns a lot of gas.
F. I'm noticing that Ben's not much of a closer. He can't kill Rousseau or Alex when he had every opportunity, He didn't know it at the time, but he didn't put Locke away back in Los Angeles. Then he fails to keep Desmond down long enough to finish Penny, and despite a years-long pledge to kill her, seemed completely unprepared to deal with her Scottish military vet husband who spent years waiting to reunite with her because she's the only thing important in his life. So maybe we're finding out that Ben is evil in theory but not always in practice.
II. The (Island) People's Court With Judge Smokey McGee
A. See, I hear you saying that the reason you're staring at my resurrected ass is because a) you knew this would happen, which you say all of the time and b) you are openly willing to face the consequences of your actions, which you say never of the time. But what it sounds like to me is "shoot me in the face before I try to doublecross you for personal gain." Luckily for you, I am Jesus and Jesus was apparently a giant sucker. Feel free to walk amongst the impressionable strangers who are struggling to cope with a massive life event and might be susceptible to the power of suggestion, as there's simply no way you will attempt to move against me for the 79th consecutive time.
B. Your people have lived on the Island for years and you don't have a word for the smoke monster? The original Oceanic people were there for one night and were able to sift through that dense creative process and settle on "monster". And if you want to get technical since you all speak Latin (or rather, you speak Latin when you want to seem complicated in front of regular people), they have words for both "smoke" and "monster". Or the historians among you might want to go with "the lightning-cloud thingy with the Kabuki mask" or something with a little more brevity. You live in the jungle and (since you left Risk back at the barracks), have no available forms of recreation besides picking the rocks and twigs out of your bare feet, planning to backstab each other, guessing how old Richard is and naming random shit. I'd be naming trees, rocks and other Others after a week.
C. I think Locke is doing this walking-undead thing wrong. "I'm the same man I've always been." THAT'S THE PROBLEM, JOHN. Hasn't he learned anything from Jesus, Superman, the Phoenix or Neil Patrick Harris? You are supposed to die and come back better. If I find out John Locke 2.0 is the exact same model, with no psychic powers or laser eyes or aggregated cynicism from a (past) lifetime of trusting people, then why would I pay for the upgrade? The only special features I get with this new Locke are Jack's dad's shoes.
D. Why does Lapidus call Ben a murderer before he/Sun even knows that Ben killed Locke? We've covered Ben's lack of killer instinct when it comes to the moment of truth, so unless Frank has intimate knowledge of the gassing of Roger Linus, which deaths is he pinning on Ben?
E. Don't get me wrong, I am glad we're maximizing our "Ben crawls through caverns" time, but I guess I'm finding out that some things are best left up to the imagination. When he moves three secret walls and disappears into the dark to summon the smoke monster, I wanted to assume something really spooky/cool happened. If I knew from the get-go that he unclogged a drain and then talked to a hole in the ground, it definitely would have lost something. Also, sure it's an mysterious underground chamber, Ben, but you live in a house now. Get a plunger. Carve hieroglyphics on it, if that makes you feel better.
F. It's not bad seeing Sun as a hapless member of the posse (as opposed to making selfish decisions that are destructive to the overall cause, which she does nearly every other time), but it's a good thing nobody filled her in on exactly what they were doing. If they said, "Oh, we're walking for half a day to The Temple Of Implied But Selectively Enforced Doom so Ben can take a trip down memory lane because that giant thing that killed the pilot and Eko is really just an ancient Egyptian holodeck," she would have been all, "none of those words were 'Jin', so fuck this shit, I'm out."