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‘Lost’ recap: We obsess over ‘The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham’


From the moment the time-travel superhighway spit John Locke out at Exit Tunisia, the Island Savior was on one wild world tour last night.

Not only did he visit all of his pals from 815, including WAAAALLLT!, but Locke got some face time with a few other important figures, too.

Like Charles Widmore, who, as it turns out, is the one who christened Locke with the Jeremy Bentham alias. (Seems like Widmore and Locke’s parents share the same random dead philosopher sense of humor.)

He’s also the one who casually warns Locke of an imminent war on the island, one that’s presumably going to pit Widmore against Ben.

And speaking of that wily Mr. Linus, he’s one step ahead of Widmore when he steps in to do what Locke ultimately couldn’t. If Locke wasn’t going in that coffin by his own hand, well, Ben was happy to do the job himself.

But … (and isn’t there always a ‘but’ on “Lost?”) does that mean that Ben is the “bad guy” in the war scenario?

Sure, we loathe Ben’s actions – and it’s rather disturbing that he doesn’t care who he plows down while executing his grand plan – but it could be for some greater, more noble purpose.

Means to an end, right? Even if the means are horrible, are they justified if the end is something good for mankind, like saving the world?

I’ve no idea if this is the case, of course, but I can’t help but wonder if Ben turns out to be quite as evil as we think.

That said, let’s jump into “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” which began and ended with Locke’s ultimate island resurrection.


A very alive – and nattily attired – John Locke freaked out the 316 survivors because no one remembers seeing him on the plane. Of course not, sillies, he was dead and in the cargo hold!

And yes, Ilana, Caesar and what looks like the rest of the 316 passengers are on the island, too, though apparently the O-Sixers disappeared when the light flashed. So did the plane actually crash? It’s unclear. The agenda of Ilana and Caesar is also unclear: Either they are way smarter than the 815 folk, or they’ve been briefed by someone on where to find a Dharma station.

Because it took the original Losties ages to find the Hatch, yet only a short time after arrival, there’s Caesar going through Dharma documents and stealing hidden guns. Both he and Ilana also seem weirdly unaffected by Locke’s claim to have been on the island for 100 days and was, you know, um, DEAD! (Plus, Walt did say that he dreamed about Locke in a suit, surrounded by people who wanted to hurt him.)

Anyway, now that Locke is back on the island, he’s on a mission to find his friends. But all anyone knows is that the “pilot” (Frank) and “some woman” (Sun?) took one of the outrigger canoes. Could they have been the ones shooting at Sawyer, Juliet and company in “The Little Prince?”


Okay, so the second Locke hits the Tunisian desert, we’re reminded of how Ben ended up in the exact same place when he was exiled from the island. (First thing to do after getting expelled from island paradise? Barf.)

We also now realize why Ben took that baton with him before he turned the donkey wheel – so he’d have a weapon to put the beat-down on those bedoins, a.k.a. Charles Widmore’s goons. Obviously, Ben knew that Widmore had camera surveillance on the “exit” ramp.

Widmore visits Locke in the Tunisian ER (which has a frightening lack of anesthesia) to fill him in on the three-year gap since the O6 came back. John’s understandably skeptical about why he should believe Widmore, as opposed to Ben.

Then Widmore drops the bomb about the coming war, and reveals (or lies?) about how he was once the island leader – except Ben tricked him into leaving the island. Man, that island politics is a killer.

Widmore gives Locke a fake Jeremy Bentham passport, the whereabouts of his fellow castaways and the chauffeur services of Matthew Abaddon.

Locke isn’t too pleased about that last gift, given that he remembers Abaddon as the orderly at the rehab center (where he was recuperating after his con artist daddy threw him out the window). Abaddon was the one who suggested Locke’s Australian walkabout. Which again reminds us that Widmore may have been the one who manipulated certain people into getting on Flight 815.


I can’t say that Locke went to visit the Oceanic Six once he got off-island, because he never ended up seeing Sun (Jin made him promise) and he paid a non-O6 visit to Walt.

First stop on the “Bring Everyone Back” tour was Sayid, who was doing penance for being Ben’s assassin by working for a Habitat for Humanity-type outfit in Santo Domingo. He doesn’t want to return: Big suprise.

Locke didn’t even bring up the subject with Walt in New York, telling Abaddon that “the boy’s been through enough.” Nor could he bring himself to tell Walt that Michael, whom he hadn’t seen in three years, was dead.

Hurley and Kate refuse to go back, too. Hurley, who has become accustomed to seeing dead people, assumes that Locke is a ghost and freaks out at the sight of Abaddon. (He’d once posed as a Oceanic rep in an attempt to get some info out of Hurley.) Kate lamely says that she felt sorry for John because he wanted to stay on the island, until she realized it was because he’d never loved anyone.

That makes Locke want to look up his ex-girlfriend Helen. Abaddon finds out that she died of a brain aneurysm. (Another odd link, considering that’s what eventually happened to Charlotte, whose brain exploded after having a bad reaction to time-travel.)

During a visit to Helen’s grave -POP POP POP! – Abaddon goes splat after being shot down by an unseen gunman. (Ben later confesses to the crime, with the excuse that he was protecting John from Abaddon, who was out to kill him sooner or later.)

Locke hightails it out of the cemetery – and isn’t he spry for a guy in a cast? – and gets into a car accident. Which brings him to the hospital where Jack works.

That’s a convenient place for the “come back to the island” pep talk, which, frankly, Locke sucks at. The best he can come up with to convince Jack is “your dad says hi.” Yep, he figured out – via the brilliant process of elimination – that Christian was Jack’s father.

That leads us to…


Or should we say, Locke’s murder by Benjamin Linus?

All this time I thought Locke was being heroic, hanging himself so he could mimic Christian’s dead body on Flight 316: That way, the plan to get everyone back to the island would work.

But in reality, he was a big whiny baby who was upset that he’d failed to bring the Oceanic 6 around.

Cue a knock on the door and Benjamin Linus. And damn, how does that guy know EVERYTHING? (Again, I answer this by saying: He’s mastered time tripping and is trying to change the future.)

Gullible Locke allows Ben to talk him down from the table, telling him that he’s “special” and that the O-Sixers are coming around. Jack just booked a flight (presumably the first of Drunk, Bearded Jack’s dismal attempts to crash a plane ride back to the island back in Season 3).

Locke sniffles to Ben the crucial information that Jin’s alive (he gave him his wedding ring and made him promise not to talk to Sun) and that Eloise Hawking is the one to help them back to the island.

That’s all Ben needed to know, so TAH-DAH!, he strangles Locke and stages a suicide scene. (It was also way weird to see Ben acting all-“CSI.”)

And do you think Ben was sincere when he said, “I’ll miss you, John” before leaving the room? It wasn’t for anyone else’s benefit, so maybe he was sorry it had to come down to this? Not to mention, he clearly wasn’t too confident in the island’s super-duper healing skills, since he seemed to think he wouldn’t be seeing Locke again.

Which brings us to…


The island worked the way we knew it would, bringing John Locke back to life. As he goes forward with trying to find Jack, Kate, etc., Caesar tells him there are some injured 316 passengers.

And there lies Ben, battered and bloody. It’s clear to Caesar that Locke knows Ol’ Bug Eyes.

Says Locke, “That’s the man who killed me.”

So what’s up, Lost-philes? Do you think Locke will give Ben a taste of Jungle Justice? Whose side are you on in this upcoming war? And will the O6 ever reunite with the rest of the castaways?

Check back here next week when we dissect “LeFleur,” which brings us back to the island’s Dharma days and introduces Reiko Aylesworth as Amy.

Or is it Annie….

(Photos courtesy of ABC)

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2009 at 10:04 am by Heather Salerno. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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