3.20 The Man Behind the Curtain (Ben)

Ben and the bunny

“The man behind the curtain” refers to someone who is pulling the strings from behind the scenes. No one really knows that this one person is actually controlling events for many. If you have seen The Wizard of Oz, the wizard was just a man from Kansas. Does the title refer to Ben or is it Jacob?

This was the creepiest show of Lost to date. Ben’s creepy, Richard’s creepy, Dharma’s creepy, Ben’s dead mom walking and talking on the island creepy, Jacob’s shack is creepy, Jacob’s response to Locke and fit of anger – very creepy.

Now on to the recap (some of this may be a bit out of order since it is just my recollection):

Off the island in Portland:
A woman is giving birth in the woods. The baby is little Ben Linus. The mother wants her son to be named Benjamin (similar to the Bible story of Jacob and Rachel). She is carried out of the woods and into the car of a passing couple. She dies. The couple are associated with Dharma and give Mr. Linus a job which he accepts. The job is on the Island and he takes his son Ben with him to join the Dharma Initiative.

On the island:
Ben’s story. Mr. Linus and Ben arrive by submarine to the Island. They get a warm welcome and a Namaste from the group already living there. Mr. Linus is given a job as a workman. His work outfit says Roger Work Man on the outside. (Which shows that he is the dead man that Jin and Hurley found in the VW van in the Hurley episode this season). . There are hostiles on the island that causes the Dharma school kids to duck and cover whenever an alarm sounds. Ben misses his mom and his life in Portland. What’s worse is his Dad blames him (unjustified of course) in the death of his wife But wait she is not “dead”. She appears to Ben while he is in his room. Sometime later it’s Ben’s birthday. His friend Annie gives him a present. It’s a carving of her and Ben. She wants them to be together. Ben thanks her, but says nothing else. At night he returns to his house. His father is there drinking his Dharma beer. He has forgotten Ben’s birthday again. He tries to apologize, but he is not really sorry, as he still blames Ben for all his problems.
This leads Ben to outside where he sees the apparition of her mom. She leads him to the sonic fence. She talks to him and tells him not to cross the fence. She disappears back into the jungle. Later Ben packs his bag. He gets the combination of the fence, turns it off and leaves the area of the barracks. In the jungle he hears the whispers. Then meets Richard (who looks the same as today, but this is twenty years ago). He talks to Ben. Ben tells him about seeing his dead mom. Ben wants to join the hostiles. Richard says that is possible, but he needs to be patient.

Locke’s story. Locke returns his dead father to Ben as promised. Now Ben needs to show Locke the island’s secrets. Ben sits down with him and says basically what do you want to see. Well let’s start with Jacob. Ben’s says that is not possible. Jacob invites people, they do not just show up. Locke calls Ben’s bluff when Patchy shows up. Locke tells the Others that Ben is taking him to Jacob. The Others want this to happen, so Ben has no choice. Jacob sits in the darkMeanwhile Locke beats up Patchy and no one stops him after he tells them about the arrival of Naomi. Locke and Ben start to leave when Alex shows up. She gives Locke and gun and tells him he will need it for his meeting with Jacob. She also wishes her father a happy birthday. They get to Jacob’s place. Surrounding the shack in a long narrow line are some ashes. They go in to the shack, with Ben tell Locke there is no going back after this. The shack is full of objects but no one is there. Ben starts talking to an empty chair like Jacob is sitting there. Locke thinks Ben is crazy, and starts to walk away. When he hears a voice say, Help me! Locke shines his light at the chair and all sorts of objects break including the window. Ben says to Jacob that you have had your fun. We see a quick picture of someone sitting in the chair and facing Ben. Locke leaves not believing what he has seen or heard. Ben tricks him into going with him to another location of an island mystery.
Ben’s story continued. Ben is twenty years older and still living with Dharma. His dad is still a workman. They leave in the van to deliver supplies to the Swan and take lots of beer. Roger Ben’s dad invites him along. Ben asks again if his father really believes that he killed his mother. He says, “what do I know”. Then Ben puts on a gas mask and kills his father with toxic gas. When he returns the entire Dharma village is dead by gas also. The hostiles have killed them all, and saved Ben so he could join with them. When we return to the present, Locke and Ben are at the grave site of the Dharma’s. Ben is jealous that Locke heard Jacob speak. He shoots Locke, causing him to fall into the grave. What did he say, Ben yells. Locke as he is dying, says “Help me”. Is Locke going to die? There is no one to rescue him, he has been shot, which is usually fatal on the Island. Or will his healing powers save him?

At the beach:
Sawyer returns with the tape of Juliet speaking to Ben. He knows about Juliet’s plan to gather samples on the pregnant woman. Jack and Juliet are gone. Sawyer and Sayid tell Kate what they know. Then they tell the rest of the group just as Jack and Julie return. Juliet tells them to listen to the other side of the tape. Ben says the Others are coming to take anyone in a marked tent. Those are the pregnant woman that Juliet has found. Jack was apparantly told this by Juliet, but did not tell the Losties (Jack is a real jerk again). He was waiting for the opportune time which is now. The Losties are planning their ambush of the Others.

Questions and Observations:

  • Is it Portland Oregon or Portland Maine? Juliet went to Oregon (I think) but Steven King writes stories about Portland Maine.
  • Why is there a line of ash (or is gunpowder) around Jacob’s shack. Is Jacob a prisoner there?
  • People who have seen the screen caps say that Jacob (7 frames of film) looks like Locke wearing a hood or fake hair. Is it Locke’s alter ego? Has Locke’s soul trapped itself on the island? Could it also possibly be Ben’s dead father?
  • What happened to Annie? Is she still alive. Did she die in childbirth and is that why Ben is obsessed with fertility on the island? Is it a coincidence that Kate used the name Annie as an alias from Season 1?
  • Is Ben afraid of Jacob or not? Is the shack the “magic box”, so it just created what both Ben and Locke wanted to see?
  • Why is Ben so jealous of Locke as to want to kill him?
  • Is the island a “fountain of youth” for those that live there? Why hasn’t Richard aged in twenty years?
  • What will happen next week? It is a Charlie centric episode? And then the 2 hour season finale.

One Response

  1. Namaste!

    what an episode! I really enjoyed it, it felt like we learned sooo much but then we kinda didn’t, it was nice to see a side of Ben that I guess we didn’t before (quiet as a child but sneaky enough to join the ‘hostiles’). One major question that bugged me, why does Michael (Rizinsky) still refer to ‘the hostiles’ as if he wasn’t one of them when he speaks, when he IS a ‘hostile’? It’s funny that all the stuff he said in Enter 77 was actually true (the purge and killing all the dharma initiative). Also why is Ben their leader (well kind of) when he was one of the dharma initiative, why isn’t Richard the leader? Or one of the other hostiles?

    It’s good to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, well season 6 in 2010, but at least we know!

    Still lovin the podcast, til next time fellas! 🙂

    p.s I hope Locke doesn’t die – he’s one of my favourite characters!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: