LOST RECAP: Old Friends and Older Enemies

Thursday, February 26 by

Locke, back on the mainland, three years later (hint: where the Oceanic Six are, dumbass), finds himself soon face to face not with Ben or Eloise Hawking but Charles Widmore, who soon introduces him to his old friend Abaddon, who will help him convince his friends to go back with him, and by help he means “chauffeur.”  Locke goes to meet several of the Oceanic Six, and some others too, including one teenager who has an older but very familiar face.  Check it out in another jaw-dropping Lost, after the jump.

Episode 7: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham
Full Episode Online: Official ABC Site


A not-so-distant memory

We open with a shot of Caesar, the man Jack gave a nervous look to in the airport before they all boarded 316.  He’s sneaking into a room looking for we don’t know what, when he’s interrupted by Ilana, the federal agent who had been escorting Sayid, claiming they found a man who appeared in the water.  She leads him out of the room and takes him to the Lost beach to show him the man – and it turns out it’s Locke!!!  Great opening, and already it’s revealing what many thought to be true – the introduction of the two characters in the airport was not accidental, and it’s looking like they’ll have some pretty strong roles in the future.  The next day, on the beach, a thoughtful Locke gazes out at the waves and the second island visible not too far offshore.  He’s greeted by the federal agent, Ilana, walking up to him, offering him some food. He asks her if she has the passenger list, and she tells him he’ll have to talk to Caesar.  After a second, Ilana tells them that nobody remembers him being on the plane – to which he confesses that he doesn’t remember either, though he does remember a lot of other stuff.  When she presses him for further information, he says that he believes the suit he’s wearing was what they were gonna bury him in, and that he remembers dying.

Time Travel to Tunisia
After flashing back a few days, we see Locke jerking the wheel, and after he’s asked Christian who his son is, he wakes up in the midst of the Tunisian desert, barfing up from nausea, his leg still broken, but nonetheless relieved he’s made it.  He sees a camera not far off observing him, and notices wires leading from it to some kind of base in some foothills not too far away.  He can’t really move, so he calls for help, and when nobody responds, he’s forced to lie there until the night brings the frigid cold of the desert, and he’s left trembling and shaking.  A car comes by, filled with people speaking some Middle Eastern language and dressed in turbans and robes, and they hoist John into their truck, chattering excitedly, driving off into the night.  They bring him to a hospital and the doctor urgently gives him some pills to swallow, shouting out something in a foreign language to characters off-screen.  He gives John a small wooden log to bite, so he can “operate” on the leg – meaning twist it so it sickeningly crunches back into place.  Locke passes out from the pain, but not before he sees Matthew Abaddon staring at him from behind a curtain nearby.

“There’s a war coming.”

Later that night, he’s awoken by someone sitting next to his bed, telling him to wake up, informing him he’s had a compound fracture.  “It’s nice to see you again, John,” the man says, and Locke looks at him, confused, “Do I know you?”  The man tells him he met him when he was 17, and all these years later, he’s the exact same.  Locke asks him who he is, and he says, “Charles Widmore.”  Apparently he knew Locke would be there in the desert because it was the exit.   He was exiled by Ben after having lived on the island for three decades.  Widmore tells him he has to bring the ones he left behind back, and that if he’s not on the island when the war coming to there happens, the wrong side is going to win.  Though who exactly is “the wrong side” is fully open for debate.  Let’s not forget Widmore has shown himself, in the past, to be no less ruthless and conniving than Ben.  Maybe he’s just leading Locke along to get him “on his side” for the coming war?  Oh yeah, and what is this coming war thing?  Does everybody who was ever on the series and lived need to come back before that happens?  Anyways, let’s move on.

Abaddon’s back!

By this time we’ve found that Locke was shot forward three years, which will mean we’ll probably get to see in this episode the events that spurned  Jack’s cry to Kate that they had to go back to the island, back in Season 3.  Locke’s looking at his passport – Widmore’s given it to him, along with a folder that gives him the whereabouts of the Oceanic 6, because he’s “deeply invested with the island.”  “How do I know you’re not the one who’s lying?”  Locke asks.  “I haven’t tried to kill you,” Widmore shrugs.  “The island needs you, John,” Widmore says.  “It has for a long time.”  “What makes you think I’m so special?”  John asks.  Widmore leans forward.  “Because you are.”  A car pulls up, then, and Locke blurts out that Richard Alpert told him he had to die to bring the people back to the island, but Widmore assures him he’s not going to let that happen.  He introduces him to Matthew Abaddon, who pulls out a friendly old reminder – a wheelchair.  Locke stares at it, angrily.  The drive off, and Abaddon tells him that he can help him find anybody he needs to, but Locke politely requests that he not talk to him.  They drive on to the airport and take the next flight to Santo Domingo.

The first visit
A bunch of people are roofing a house, including Sayid, for a humanitarian organization called “Build our World.”  Locke surprises Sayid, and, unsurprisingly, Sayid refuses Locke’s offer to go back to the island.  He asks John who’s manipulating him, and Locke insists that it’s coming from him, nobody else.  Sayid says that the only truth he knows is that he spent the best nine months of his life off the island with the woman he loved, even though she was murdered in the end.  Locke apologizes, and Sayid asks him pointedly what the real reason he’s going back is.  Locke tells him where to meet him if he changes his mind, and Sayid says that he won’t, but if Locke does, he’s welcome to “come back here and so some real good.”

Blast from the past
In New York, we find out that Locke is on the trail of one Helen Norwood.  They’re in front of a school while he and Abaddon are talking, and out pops Walt, among the rush of deliriously-happy-that-school’s-out-for-the-day kids that are pouring out the door!!  Locke waves to him, and Walt doesn’t look surprised at all, but happy, and he walks over to him, greeting him, smiling.  Locke comments on the fact that Walt doesn’t seem flustered by his sudden inexplicable appearance, and Walt says that he’s been having dreams of Locke, back on the island, dressed in a suit, hunted by people who wanted to kill him.  “Good thing they’re just dreams,” Locke says, somewhat ruefully.  He asks Walt if he’s been doing okay, and Walt says that yes, he has, and then he asks Locke about Michael, his dad.  Locke says the last thing he heard about Michael was he was on a freighter near the island.  Then they part ways, and Abaddon points out that they need everybody to come back, but Locke says he only needs to convince one, and it’ll go from there.  From afar, we see a pissed off Ben eye the two hungrily.

Crazy Talk
Next up on his list is Hurley at his institution , who immediately assumes that he’s seeing some sort of vision of Locke, who assures him that he’s alive.  Hurley asks an attendant nearby if he’s talking to a dude in a wheelchair, to which she responds, “Yep.”  Hurley freaks out, and when he notices Abaddon waiting by the car for Locke, he warns him against him, but when Locke tries to tell him it’s okay, Hurley covers his ears with his hands and walks away, shouting out that he doesn’t want to talk to him anymore.  He’s escorted off by another attendant.  When Locke goes back to the car, he finally asks Abaddon what he does for Widmore – and he points out that there’s no way Locke forgot that he used to work as an orderly at the hospital where John was in treatment before the island, and it was because of him that Locke was on that plane.  “I help people get to where they need to go,” is his infuriatingly simple answer.

Locke’s Lost Love
Next up: Kate.  Her answer: No.  And she doesn’t let John explain it any further, instead asking him if he’s ever been in love, and how she realized his whole attachment to the island was because he never loved anybody.  Locke denies this – saying he loved a woman named Helen a long time ago, but it didn’t work out, because he was angry and obsessed.  She points out sarcastically that he’s come a long way, and he doesn’t respond, just looks at the ground.  He comes out of the house, and asks Abaddon if he found Helen Norwood.  He says that he hasn’t, but Locke points out that he found Sayid in the middle of nowhere, why shouldn’t he be able to find Helen?  With a sad look, Abaddon takes him to a graveyard, where he tells him she died of a brain aneurysm.  Locke contemplates that they could have been together, and Abaddon points out that her path led her here, just as John’s is leading him back to the island.  He also points out that Richard told him he was going to die, so is that a choice, or inevitable?  “Do you think I wanna die?”  John asks.  They get back into the car, and as Abaddon is loading stuff into the trunk, the back windshield is sprayed with droplets of blood, and soon the window gives out too.  John climbs into the front seat and guns the engine, zooming off before he veers into an intersection and comes into a head-on collision with a couple other cars, knocking him crimson bloodily-unconscious.

Jack doesn’t believe
He wakes up in the hospital and sees the next person on his list, sitting right next to him: Jack.  When the good doctor asks Locke what he’s doing there, Locke responds that they need to go back, to which Jack shakes his head sadly and looks at the floor.  Locke insists it’s his destiny, and that it wasn’t just another car accident, because someone had tried to kill him just seconds before.  “What if you’re just a lonely man that crashed on the island?”  Jack asks.  “What if you’re not special, John?”  John doesn’t answer, and looks away, his face unreadable.  He lets Jack get up and walk almost all the way to the door before he says, “Your father says hello.”  Jack pauses on his way out the door.  “What?”  Locke tells him that it couldn’t have been Sayid’s or Hurley’s, and so it had to be Jack, and the man said his name was Christian.  “My father is dead.  You leave me alone, and you leave the rest of them alone, John,” Jack spits, heading out the door and slamming it behind him.

Ben’s Big Bad Secret

Locke pens the note to Jack, “I wish you had believed” – and its dramatic impact is instantly elevated from where it was in the last episode – the best kinds of twists give you that, and Lost is chock full of ‘em.  Locke then gets up out of his chair and moves furniture around while hobbling about the room on his crutches, until he can set up a length of electrical cord around the beams in the ceiling.  Eerie music accompanies his every action, as he literally rips ceiling tiles out, climbing up on the table and resolutely placing the cord around his sweaty neck.  Hesitating at the last second, he ploughs ahead, stepping to the edge of the table and taking a deep breath before he hears a knock on the door – Ben crashes in a second later, desperately imploring Locke not to jump.  Locke demands to know how he found him, and what he wants from him.  “I’m trying to protect you,” Ben says.  Locke points at Ben and says, “You shot him.  You killed Abaddon.”  Ben admits to it, and says that Widmore used Locke so he could get back to the island – he never had Locke’s best interests at heart, and Abaddon would have killed him eventually; in fact, Widmore was the whole reason Ben moved the island in the first place.  “Let me help you, John, do you realize how important you are?”  Ben asks.  “I’m a failure, I couldn’t get a single one of them to come back with me,” Locke says.  “How am I supposed to lead anyone?”  Ben tells him that Jack bought a ticket, which gives Locke pause – Ben points out that if he got Jack, he can get the rest of them.  “John, you can’t die.  You’ve got too much work to do.  We’ve gotta get you back to that island so you can do it.”  He pulls a chair up next to the table and climbs up, offering his hand.  Locke gets down and weeps right there, and they start to talk again, and Ben says that they need to go get Sun, to which Locke responds that Jin made him promise to show the wedding ring to Sun as proof to her of Jin’s death.  “Jin is alive?”  Ben asks, shocked, that old devious look coming into his eye.  “Well, a promise is a promise,” he says, happily taking the ring out of Locke’s hands.  Locke says they need to find the woman who can help them get back to the island – Eloise Hawking.  Ben instantly stops moving, and when Locke asks if he knows her, he says quietly, “Yes, I know her, Jack.”  Then, in one swift movement, he grabs the electrical cord and whips it around Locke’s neck, wrestling him to the ground and tightening it up until Locke stops jerking around, his eyes going blank.  Wow!  So Ben killed Locke!  That throws his entire reasoning for going back to the island into question – and why it mattered that Locke knew who Eloise was remains to still be seen.  Anyways, we see Ben cleaning up the room later, having set up the whole thing to make it look like Locke killed himself – as seen in an extremely ominous shadow of Locke, standing straight up on the table, unmoving, his shadow painted dead black onto the wall.  After finishing, Ben snatches up Jin’s ring and surveys the room one last time.  Before he’s gone, he says, sighing, looking almost repentant, “I’ll miss you, John.  I really will.”

Murderer

Back on the island, Locke goes in to see Caesar looking over a folder with the Dharma Initiative’s symbol on it.  He tells Caesar that he’s been on the island a hundred days, and that’s how he knows so much about it.  When asked how long ago it was that he was on the island, Locke responds that the timing would just confuse him.  Then Caesar tells him about how he and several other passengers noticed some of the other people on the plane disappear in mid-flight right after the bright light.  Locke nods, and says that he thinks he knows how he got back on the island, but he needs to find his friend first.  He asks for the passenger manifest, and Caesar responds that the pilot took it when he ran off, and he also happens to mention that there were some people injured in the crash too.  When he takes Locke to the room full of injured, who should be lying among them but Locke’s dear old nemesis Ben.  Locke stares at Ben’s body, revelation flooding through his eyes, and when asked if he knows who he is, Locke nods.  “That’s the man who killed me.”

Review

Exactly as expected, this Lost one ups last week’s season-topper in virtually every possible way, taking a story that we pretty much thought we knew everything about (after all, we know the end result), and infusing it with a whole bunch of goodies, enough to make Lost fans salivate all over their keyboards and couches.  Obviously, we have the huge reveal – that Ben killed Locke, and now we know that he wasn’t necessarily meant to come back to the island (in fact, didn’t he say that he could never come back?), because he didn’t disappear in the flash of light.  Locke being picked up by Widmore right away was a neat surprise too, and it answers a long-standing question, fully and finally: Ben and Widmore have some kind of dispute over the island, and Widmore has been trying to get back all these years after Ben kicked him off.  Does that mean Ben is the overall bad guy?  It’s fully possible, but not in any way knowable, considering how devious Widmore himself can get sometimes.  So that means Locke has righted the time that the island is in, and no more time jumps, right?  Good, at least it wasn’t a gimmick that they kept up too long or pushed too far.  What will be fun next week is seeing what the islanders have been up to, as they’ve been absent for the past two episodes, and sparks will definitely fly when Sawyer and Kate meet for the first time, although haven’t only a few days passed for the islanders while the off-landers have aged three years?  We’ll get to see if they mention that too.  This show keeps getting better and better.

-Thomas Anderson
aka Movie Buzz Review Dude.  Check out his movie/media/pop culture blog here.

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