LOST Notes, Season 5, Episode 7: The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham

Missed it by THAT much.

A review of the past week’s episode of LOST from a frustratedly loyal (and loyally frustrated) fan. This week: The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham proves that black people are incredibly death-prone in the LOST-verse, and that Jack and Kate are douchebags in the past, the present and now the future. But we already knew that.

John Locke: I promise you, I’m very much alive.
Hugo “Hurley” Reyes: Hey Susie, am I talking to a dude in a wheelchair right now?
Susie: Yup.
Hugo “Hurley” Reyes: Whoa, dude!

LOST, Season 5, Episode 7

The Life And Death OF Jeremy Bentham

I. Locke Has Died, Locke Is Risen, Locke Will Come Again

A. Although the addition of Caesar and Ilana is probably setting the show up for international syndication (PERDIDO?), but their Middle-Eastern-Jack and Hispanic-Kate roles probably mean they won’t be eaten by monsters or blown up by hidden 1950s tripmines anytime soon. Not that I can say the same for the rest of the passengers, who conveniently re-stock the Island’s supply of redshirts just a few weeks after we noticed their supply running low.

B. So if Caesar found maps in the Hydra station, specifically maps from Rousseau and Faraday, we can assume that they crashed in the future/present, right? Maybe? Whereas Jack, Kate and Hurley – three people who were on “Jacob’s List” back at the end of Season 2 – somehow got flashed back to the past and Sayid was nowhere to be found. There’s nothing funny about that except to point and laugh at Sun, the only undead non-Ben returnee who got stuck in the present with the new peeps, a good couple decades away from the husband with whom she must reunite so she can start having another affair (presumably).

C. How about some love for Captain Lapidus for putting an aircraft down on the Island with nary a scratch for the second time? I guess the goatee wasn’t the source of his power as I had previously suspected. Granted, he didn’t have the additional “challenge” of his plane being ripped apart by an electromagnetic pulse, but it’s still worth a little applause. Get that man on 60 Minutes!

D. Considering that she hasn’t fallen out of the sky in half a plane, that she hasn’t seen anyone shredded by a giant cloud of black smoke, that she hasn’t encountered indigenous peoples at their crash site and generally hasn’t gone through too much more than a scary emergency landing halfway to Guam (for all she knows) I think Hispanic-Kate needs to have a much more pronounced reaction to Locke telling her he was previously dead. She hasn’t earned the right to be cynical about crazy-ass shit yet.

E. If Widmore knew the “exit point” well enough to keep a camera trained on it, couldn’t he also have put a mattress down or something? Maybe a little shaded cover or some foliage? I’m not saying you need to build a church or a scientific research station like people did with all the other “pockets of electromagnetic energy” , but spruce up the place if you’re expecting someone, you know?

Like a glove...

F. At first it doesn’t make sense that Charles Widmore, he of not even sharing a drink with pauper Desmond, would suddenly be a benefactor for Locke’s off-island travels, but now I understand: he only works with bald or balding men. Desmond’s flowing mane obviously made him feel inadequate and he needed to be taken out of the picture (or maybe he was just pulling reverse psychology and pushing Des toward the Island just as he’s trying to get Locke back there, but that’s just silly, right? Yeah. Silly). So Chuckie Dubs offers for Locke to join his Order Of The Bald Dudes, where he immediately takes over the mantle of “Least Creepy” (I assume it had previously been a deadlock) and is immediately given an indentured servant as a signing bonus.

G. I’m hoping that one of the mysteries they answer by the end of the show is “why can’t black people die of natural causes?” Every one of them bites it in a very un-noble manner (whereas, say, Charlie is given a hero’s sendoff). Now Abbadon, who has been generally mysterious and creepy in his previous appearances, is made out to be an errand boy, driving Miss Daisy all across the U.S. without so much as a meaningful conversation, getting sassed by Locke, spending nearly every scene being all “no one ever taught me how to smile convincingly and I’m not sure what to do with my arms” in the background, and when he finally says something of value he’s gunned down. Which, while we’re at it, a black man being gunned down in the street in the L.A. area should probably generate more attention, no?

H. So Sayid’s idea of penance for his years of killing (and perhaps his prior years of torturing, though he neglects to mention that) is building strip malls in the middle of the forest/jungle in the Dominican Republic? Is he living the life of a senior citizen two decades early? He does his time in the military, spends a few months “finding himself” (pun!), catches up with the woman he loves, lives happily ever after until she dies, then travels the world and finally settles on charity work to give his life a purpose. The fact that he’s some sort of pacifist now instead of pulling off his crazy Iraq Bauer shit is proof that things are severely messed up.

I. PLEASE do not spare Walt. For all the time spent shaking your fists at the horrible burden of being “special,” why do you all constantly neglect the boy who has been proven special on several occasions in the past? He can conjure polar bears and make birds fly into windows! That’s better than seeing a black horse or your dead father or hearing a rocking chair speak to you. There are probably plenty of situations where random bears or kamikaze birds could come in handy on your way back to the Island. For nothing else, take Walt along for the sake of the other middle school (high school?) sports teams in his district. The psychic kid has to be the best athlete in town, right? There’s a Disney movie happening there and you guys have the power to stop it.

What's that, Six Feet Under producers?  I can't play a convincing dead guy?  I'll show you!  I'll show ALL OF YOU!!!

J. Kate’s dressing-down about love is proof that she is overall a worthless human being off the Island (which is strikingly similar to her place ON the Island, coincidentally). Apparently she has spent all her time since 2005 watching Dr. Phil? If there was one thing this girl needed (besides, perhaps a giant rock dropped on her head…or a mid-sized rock, because she’s tiny and these are tough economic times), it was a faulty psychological vocabulary for when she projected her own relationship shortcomings onto others. I’m all for other characters on the show occasionally being called out on their bullshit, but for a while there it seemed like John Locke was gonna have to choke a bitch. That man loves the Island, cargo pants and fairy tales more than she’s loved either of the two men who spent vacation time in her “Parts Unknown” since the crash. We won’t even touch the kid whom she’ll eventually abandon. The only thing Kate loves is a toy plane her first boyfriend got at the duty-free shop, and I haven’t seen her going around blowing up any submarines for it, so she should watch her mouth.

K. Maybe I don’t watch enough Grey’s Anatomy (or any Grey’s Anatomy), but why should the chief neurosurgeon at a hospital know about ALL the patients who come in, even those who check in under tongue-in-cheek-to-boring-intellectuals pseudonyms for what turned out to be a low-grade car wreck (ie, just a few scratches)? This is the same hospital where Jack would eventually carry an unconscious Middle Eastern man to the emergency room with minimal incident. I have a feeling that intel doesn’t travel very efficiently.

L. M. Ben, what’s the point of doctoring the crime scene to look like a suicide when you already kicked the door down to get inside?

M. I have no sympathy for Locke in his untimely demise. He spends most of his Island time being deliberately vague or secretive about things he’s discovered about the place or its inhabitants, to the detriment or confusion of his fellow castaways. Then he gets into gum-flapping blabbity-mouth mode with Ben and promptly gets shot after sharing the big secret of what Jacob The Rocking Chair told him. So naturally I’d expect him to get a little more secretive or vague after that, like he does when trying to stop them from calling the freighter. But then he completely eschews details about WHY everyone needs to come back to the Island and bats .000 on his quest to bring them back, and once again chooses to open up…to Ben, who promptly tries to kill him a second time. Will he learn his lesson? Does anyone ever learn on this show?

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