Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lost, Season 3, Episode 20, “The Man Behind The Curtain” (5/9/07)

Interesting show title, eh? “The Man Behind The Curtain” has of course become a reference to the “Wizard of Oz” in which there was no wizard, just a man behind a curtain running the show and using the wizard as a deception. Being the smart Losties that you are, you of course remember that the “Wizard of Oz” became part of the Lost-lore when Ben was first found, but was known only as Henry Gale at the time, and of course, we all know who Henry Gale was. (Okay, if you don’t or if you’re a bit newer to this email wrap-up, Henry Gale was the name of Dorothy’s Uncle in the “Wizard of Oz”, and he was from Minnesota, which is where “Ben/Henry”, or Benry, claimed to be from also.)

Benjamin Linus: TOFKAHG (The Other Formerly Known as Henry Gale). By this point, it should come as no surprise that another Lost character has a father-issue, this time that character is Ben. Ben, born 32 miles outside of Portland, Oregon in the woods while his parents were camping, grows up to hate his father. His father, Roger Linus, has always blamed Ben for the death of his mother, and this has led Ben to hate his father. Coming to the Dharma Island when he’s around 11 or 12 with his father to work. While being checked in, it looked like Ms Klugh was one of the people doing the processing. After years on the island and dealing with his father’s scorn, Ben leaves the Dharma Group, and sides with the island’s native culture. At this point it seems that Ben became a mole for the hostiles since he helped them with the overthrow (which occurred at 4pm). Helping them to overthrow the Dharma Initiative, Ben becomes a leader of the “Others”. Even in the “here and now” on the island, Ben tries to be in charge, but his authority is being challenged on the front lines by Locke (totally calling Ben out when he announces to everyone that Ben is taking Locke to see Jacob), and on the back lines by Richard Alpert. Ben’s hope to keep control is to take Locke to see Jacob, and after that interesting visit, shoots Locke near the mass grave of the Dharma Initiative workers that Ben help kill years earlier. But not before telling Locke about how the Dharma Initiative talked about peace but couldn’t even co-exist with the island’s natural inhabitants, and so one of the groups had to be purged. So, the purge was the slaughter of the Dharma Initiative workers, and Ben was a part of that. His focus on the fertility issue most likely comes from his birthing history. Interesting to note that Ben was born when his mother was 7 months pregnant, and she ended up dying. The women on the island who become pregnant while there die at 7 months. This can’t be coincidental. Ben is a control freak, and that control is being challenged by Locke, so Locke had to be disposed. Ben will become more dangerous. It is bizarre to think that Ben could be the last living member of the Dharma Initiative…. Also, the parallel of Ben killing his father, and many years later asking Locke to kill his father was intriguing.

Locke: He continues to challenge Ben’s authority, none more so than when he tells Mikhail and the rest of the Others that Ben is taking him to see Jacob. When the camp goes silent, Ben has to try to regain control of the situation, a control that is short-lived when Locke kicks the crap out of Mikhail, and demands to see Jacob. The scene in Jacob’s cabin was bizarre. Locke now lies on the mass Dharma grave after Ben shoots him. Will he die? I can’t see it happening, the island will heal him, Jacob will save him….somehow he’ll come out of this. The Locke-story is not complete.

Jacob: Did you see him ever-so-briefly during the cabin-chaos? Who is Jacob? There is one mention of a Jacob in the Lost mythology: Jacob Vanderfeld was listed as a member of the Dharma board on the long-ago website. Is this the Jacob that’s in the cabin? Is Jacob stuck in time, somehow, allowing him to be here and there simultaneously? Or was his (assuming it was Jacob) call to Locke of “Help Me” a true call that he’s stuck and needs help? What does this say about the experiments that were/are being conducted? The chaos in the cabin did not start until after Locke put on his flashlight. Don’t know if that means anything.

Dharma Initiative: Well, it’s kind of bummer to find out that the Dharma Initiative started as a peaceful hippie-like commune working for the “betterment of mankind and the advancement of peace”. I really wanted them to be an evil company looking for world domination. Instead, they end up being the pre-Ben and Jerry, even having their own line of beer and peanut butter.

Kate Austin: There’s a guy on the internet who claims to have made the connection that the “Annie” girl in this episode, the one who befriended Ben when he first arrived on the island (“Namamste! The Dharma Initiative”) is in fact Kate as a child. (Thanks for the tip, Sar!!) If this is the case, how did Kate get off the island to begin with, and does she remember Ben or is Ben the one who remembers her and is keeping it a quiet about their previous relationship? My feeling is this in reference to this internet-chat: the producers of Lost have done an amazing job with this whole story/myth, from the TV show, to the websites to the book tie-ins (The Bad Twin) that this could be a show-planted web story. If not, then this will create some very interesting storylines down the road. The parallel of Ben taking care of his alcoholic father then later killing him is reminiscent of Kate and her stepfather’s situation.

Richard Alpert: Richard worked for Mittelos, which is an anagram: Lost Time. Richard also appears to have been one of the ‘hostiles’ that was outside the Dharma Initiative, and befriended Ben as a boy. And the Richard on the island “today” looks exactly the same as the one from years ago! Is this the same guy? How did he not appear to age? Well, for one, one of Dharma’s experiments was a Life Extension Program…maybe Richard has been studying this and applying it. Ben did say, after all, that Richard probably forgot what it was like to celebrate a birthday. If Life Extension is possible, this could be why Richard was poo-pooing Ben’s fascination with fertility issues.

Jack Sheppard: Well, as I speculated a couple of weeks ago, Jack finally has to bring to the Losties that he and Juliette have been working together to undermine the Others. They tell the Losties that they know of the plan to kidnap Sun and the other pregnant women, so when Sawyer plays the recorded message that Juliette left for Ben, the truth comes out. We’ll have to see how that plan plays out.

Mikhail: Mikhail’s news to Ben that the Losties had found a parachutist (Naomi), Ben realizes that too much is going on without his knowledge. Despite Mikhail’s insistence that they go to get her immediately, Ben instead continues on to take Locke to see Jacob. Of course, it helped that Locke beat the hell out of Mikhail, asserting his demands on Ben. Mikhail seems to cling to Ben a lot...wonder if Mikhail could've also been a mole in the Dharma clan from the Others along with Ben?

1. It turns out that the videos starring Dr Marvin Candle originally did start as training videos. However, in the second tape they found of Candle, then going by the last name Wickman, mentioned something about “an incident”. Was the “incident” the killing of the Dharma Initiative people that was led by Ben and Richard Alpert?
2. The island, according to Marvin Candle, has ‘properties that exist nowhere elso on Earth”. So, the properties of the island have been known for a long time. Could this island be Atlantis?
3. The issue of time is big on the island, and it appears that the island has been caught in some kind of time rip, or time warp, or time something-or-other.
4. Ben saw visions of his Mom, Emily, a couple of times as a teenager: could this have been the SMonster in the form of his Mom?
5. When Ben and his father arrived on the island and were looking up at the mountains, it really looked like the forest had overgrown a castle or a palace or something. There appeared to be columns or towers that had become overgrown with vines and trees.
6. Roger Linus being the guy in the blue VW van that Hurley found….creepy. But funny to hear “Shambala” by Three Dog Night again being the song in the 8-track player. That song came out in 1973, so it seems that it was around that time that Ben and the hostiles took over the Dharma Initiative and killed the members of that study team. (Remember that “Shambala” is a song about a mythical kingdom that’s hidden in the Himalaya’s and where cooperation and kindness abound, where there’s joy and good fortune and your psychological burdens are lifted.
7. What was the powder circle that was around Jacob’s cabin? Was it there to keep something out? Or something in?
8. If not Jacob Vanderfeld, could the mysterious Jacob be Christian Sheppard, Jack’s dad?
9. When young Ben deactivated the sonic pylon fence, he entered code 54439.
10. During the flashbacks, we could hear the voices in the jungle again. Where are these voices coming from? Whose voices are they?
11. We now know for sure that when Dharma arrived, there were inhabitants already on the island (the Others. Was the SMonster there already too? Or did that come later, as a creation of Dharma…
12. And why after all of this time since the Others took over has Dharma continued to drop food? Unless Ben has continued the façade of Dharma being there and in control. But that couldn’t be possible if they keep mentioning “the incident”. Unless there’s another “incident”…

Comments? Ideas? I’m waiting to hear from you…….

Until next week, Namasté…

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