A review of the past week’s episode of LOST from a frustratedly loyal (and loyally frustrated) fan. 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 guns nearby?
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 episodes.
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.