Love him or hate him, John Locke’s character gets one’s mind buzzing about the meaning and mythology of Lost like few others. Last week’s episode, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” raised questions not only about Locke’s destiny, but also the power struggle between Ben and Widmore, the nature of the approaching conflict, and — yet again — what Jack’s beard can tell us. To prep you for tonight’s installation, entitled “LaFleur,” we scoured the web for the best theories we could find on these issues and more.
• The most helpful insight in Doc Jensen’s six-page analysis concerns the name game: Given that the philosophers John Locke and Jeremy Bentham were ideological opposites, Widmore must have been playing a joke and showing disdain for Locke, or crafting a more accurate identity for Locke, one that Locke will fully adopt in the coming “war.” [EW]
• Don’t think that we’ve seen the last of Locke’s adventures in L.A.: About a month elapsed between when he was in the car accident and ended up in the coffin. Just look at Jack’s beard, which went from heavy stubble to Joaquin Phoenix proportions. [Long Live Locke]
• Widmore may be right about there being a war coming, but it won’t be a matter of good versus evil. It’s going to be a postmodern conflict — a “Change War” — that transcends simple notions of opposing sides. Whether the war is to determine who gains control of the Island or Jacob’s true identity remains to be seen, there is already evidence that Ben is acting more in his own interest than that of the Island. [EYE M SICK]
• Misled by the show’s recent religious overtones, a lot of people have argued that Ben killed Locke because the Island would not accept someone who had committed suicide. But what if Ben killed him because he’d been informed that Locke should not, under any circumstances, meet Eloise Hawking? That would explain her name triggering the murder. It would also suggest that Ben did not predict Locke’s resurrection on the Island. Plus, it makes that whole “I’ll miss you, John” line more moving. [Magic Lamp]
• Though other scenarios are possible, it’s most likely that Ben and Widmore are both evil, selfish, egomaniacal, and so on. They may seem reverential of prophecies and espouse a whole lot of mythology, but in the end they’re just power-hungry jerks using everyone they can as pawns in their battle. [Buddy TV]
• It’s clear that the Oceanic 6, who vanished from last week’s plane before it landed, are situated in the seventies, during the height of the DHARMA Initiative’s occupation. But the rest of the passengers, including Locke, ended up on the auxiliary Hydra Island in the present or possibly even the future. Can two neighboring islands be moving through time independent of each other? [TV Guide]
• Who knows how or why Ben showed up just as Locke was about to hang himself. It’s possible he was there to protect the chosen leader of the Island. But perhaps — when he learned that Jin was alive and that Eloise Hawking could get them back there — Ben saw a chance to regain control of the Island, then snapped into action, strangling Locke so that he wouldn’t interfere. [Film Fodder]
• Widmore may have said he didn’t want Locke to die, but his employee Abaddon (“I get people where they need to go”) effectively brought Locke to the pit of despair that led to his attempted suicide. And don’t say that Widmore didn’t know that was going to happen. [DocArzt]
• Lapidus and “some woman” took one of the boats out on the water shortly after landing. Could it have been Sun, who is desperate to find Jin? [TV Squad]
• And now, a final word on the issue of Ben’s intentions:
Don’t fall into the trap — don’t think for one minute that the mention of Ms. Hawking’s name suddenly ‘changed Ben’s mind’ or gave him stranglerrific ideas. Ben didn’t just happen to have a spray-bottle of bleach and some green latex gloves on him, nor did he stop at the 24-hr Quickmart to pick them up afterward. You can bet your ass that everything he does is coldly calculated, and Ben already had that stuff when he showed up.