washingtonpost.com
The 'Lost' Hour: Season 5 - 'The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham'

Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
washingtonpost.com Staff
Thursday, February 26, 2009 3:00 PM

Has "Lost" got you a mite confused and ready to hurl at the next mention of smoke monsters? Or do you have the fate of the Oceanic 6 and the Jack-Kate-Sawyer-Juliet love square all figured out? Who got Scooby Dooed this week? Are you a new viewer, adrift on an unfamiliar isle or an old hand ready to bare knuckle some quantum physics? In either case, we're here for you and armed with more mediocre puns and pop culture references than a hunky con man can shake a stick at.

Post.com "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney will attempt to get to the bottom of these matters every Friday. Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006.

Read the analysis of last night's episode, then the discussion transcript below.

When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com.

For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com's Lost Central.

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Liz Kelly: Afternoon and thanks for joining us. A few quick agenda items:

-- I'd like to apologize for conflating the Others/Dharma in this morning's analysis. Of course it was the Dharma folk that Ben killed when he was a wee boy. Not the Others.

-- Thank you to everyone who helpfully pointed out that Cesar & co. were probably in the Hydra station, located on the other island -- the one where Jack, Kate and Sawyer were held in season three. And, in fact where Kate and Sawyer were forced to build a runway that may have been intended for the landing of the plane that brought the O6 back to the island. Thanks to reader shiplore for linking to the

screengrab of said runway

.

-- Another thank you goes out to reader Jeff Peters for snapping

this lovely pic

of Othersville (aka YMCA Camp Erdman) while visiting Oahu this week. We like that you think of us when you're on vacation.

-- Finally, something that -- if true -- could give us a big honking insight into the remainder of this season and next. Our friends at zap2it.com are

reporting

that Evangeline Lilly has been auditioning for roles on shows set to launch this fall and telling casting directors that she will indeed be available. What the? Did she get a DUI while we weren't looking? Will she be killed off or only written out? Or is this some kind of contractual bargaining ploy to force herself into a higher tax bracket? We'll definitely be keeping a close eye on this story. I can't imagine "Lost's" producers would be too happy about this leak -- if true, that is.

Jen Chaney: I want to echo Liz's apology, particularly about the Hydra station. I totally should have caught that as well. We had talked about the runway in this here chat a few weeks ago, so all of that totally jibes.

I was feeling a little off my game this week, but I promise to screw my head back on straight in time for next week's show. Heck, hopefully in time for this chat.

Since Liz is throwing up (ahem) all kinds of links and screengrabs, I offer

this one

, which I sent to Liz last night at 1 in the morning, based on her complaints about onscreen barfing.

It actually looks kind of like a spit-up wormhole, doesn't it?

On with the chat!

Liz Kelly: And thanks to a chatter in last hour's Celebritology Live chat, we have an Evangeline Lilly update. Her rep is denying that she's been auditioning.

Okay, let's get started...

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dre7861: This episode was also the first time were the time line confused the heck out of me. For example take Sayid. I believe that Sayid said last night that Nadia had been murdered -3 or 6] months ago - a relatively short span of time. So here's the timeline as we know it: Nadia murdered, Ben recruits Sayid at Nadia's funeral, Sayid kills guy on golf course, Sayid spends time with Elsa in order to kill her boss, Elsa shoots Sayid, Ben mends Sayid and gives him another assignment, Sayid is in Santa Domingo building houses for humanity, Sayid appears at the Santa Rosa Mental Institute and kills a guy staking out the place, Sayid springs Hurley from the mental institute, Sayid kills a LOT of people, Sayid spurns Ben/Jack's request and disappears, Sayid is in handcuffs being extradited to Guam! Guam??? OK there's mystery and then there's muddle. That my friends is muddle!

Jen Chaney: Well, that doesn't sound very muddled to me. In fact, your timeline -- based on my memory, which clearly has been foggier than usual this week -- sounds correct. The problem is there are some gaps in there because some information has not been shared with us.

Most critically? What happened between Ben mending Sayid and Sayid turning into Jimmy Carter, House Builder. And secondly, what happened between the time Sayid told Ben and Jack to stay away from him and Sayid's apparent arrest/extradition to Guam. I presume we'll find out this information eventually.

Liz Kelly: And who is Ilana really -- my guess is she isn't really a federal marshall.

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LA:

My husband pointed out that this is the third week in a row that I have exclaimed, "I -bleeping] love this show!" after the final scene. I know this one was a little draggy but my hat is off to the writers for keeping me up until 10pm on a school night once a week!

So, last night when Locke was talking to Widmore, I had a moment when I think I figured it all out. I keep trying to type it out but it apparently only makes sense in my head. Something about them all having to be on the island in the present/future because they've all been there in the past and affected the present/future by their presence there in the past only more detailed than that. Trying to make sense of the time travel makes my eyeballs spin round in opposite directions but I totally know what I mean.

My issues with last night's episode: Why did we even have to revisit Walt? And did he somehow lose his ability to act after he left the island? That and the Sayid visit were the lamest, imo. Also, and this has been my issue with Locke from the beginning, WHY is he so damn gullible?! That man is more easily manipulated than Gumby! Maybe Jack is right and he's not all that special. (Can't believe I'm agreeing with formerly hot Dr. Shephard.) Also also, I'm confused about the timeline of last night's episode. Can someone clarify? How long do we think it was from the time Locke landed in Tunisia to the time he dies? And finally, more shirtless Sawyer next week please!

Jen Chaney: I know how you feel. So many things make perfect sense in my head, then I say them out loud and it's like "Wha...?"

Re: your many questions. I agree with you that the Walt scene seemed a little pointless. To Liz's point, as made in the blog post this morning, this was a tying-up-loose-ends episode. So Locke needed to try to convince Walt since he is the only other 815 passenger on the mainland. But he had a change of heart, clearly, and decided he didn't want to put the boy through that. I guess the writers needed to telegraph that information, it just wasn't a hugely compelling scene.

Re: Locke's Gumby-like ability to be bent this way and that -- he wants to believe he is a leader. Badly. Remember, as a child this Alpert guy showed up and told he might be special, then Lil' Locke (you know, the Muppet Baby version) didn't choose the compass and let Alpert down. So the guy has been haunted by inadequacy his whole life.

At first I didn't understand why Locke didn't make a more impressive effort to convince the O6 to return. I mean, couldn't he have busted out a "If the glove don't fit, you must go back to the island" defense, or someting? But I now realize the problem is this: Off the island, Locke is a failure. Was before, still was when he got back after turning the wheel. He is only an inspiring leader when he's on the island.

And last question, about Tunisia to death. That was definitely unclear. But given all the traveling Locke had to do, my guess would be a couple of weeks at least.

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Baltimore, MD: What's with the timeline? When we met "future Jack," he'd been doing those transantlantic flights for a while, right? Wasn't there some comment in that episode that he had been scheduling these weekly flights for months? And didn't he have the giganto scruffy beard? I got the impression that Locke had visited maybe 6 months ago, which triggered months of torment and plane rides. Then when we re-met him, he saw Locke's obit on the plane, which caused him to break down and sent his bushy-bearded self to the bridge.

But from last night's storyline, it looks like Locke died shortly after visiting the barely-bearded Jack. Which means Jack went from mostly normal to disheveled lunatic in, like, two days, and just took that one plane ride that Ben told him about, and saw the obit when he returned. Unless Locke hid the body for months and then published the announcement when he thought Jack was, umm, "ripe"? Or the producers are misleading us to think Locke despondent in the hotel room was actually months after he met Jack -- but that doesn't jibe with Locke being Jack's trigger or the funeral timing, since Ben told Locke that Jack had only just scheduled the first plane flight.

I guess I gotta go with the "Ben holding on to the body until it served his purpose." Which, you know, just really puts him up there in the humanitarian of the year balloting.

Jen Chaney: Well, Ben was already winning in a big way in that category, wasn't he?

Several of you are asking this question, and it's a valid one. I need to watch last night's episode again but we may be assuming here that Locke tries to kill himself right after he talks to Jack. First of all, he was in the hospital. Let's assume Locke had to stay there for at least a day or two.

Then let's assume Locke's body is not found right away. He was in a semi-seedy hotel after all and pretty much no one would be looking for him. I think your guess that maybe the body wasn't found right away -- either by coincidence or Ben's manipulation -- is probably right. Would it not have been found for a month? Yeah, that's a little sketchy.

I believe Jacks says that he has been taking those flights every Friday night, which suggests he did it for at least a few weeks. My question is what's the deal with the obit Jack read on the plane? It said Jeremy Bentham was from New York. And we know from Locke's passport last night that his ID said he was Canadian (I think)? So maybe some of these details are writing gaffes, I don't know...

Liz Kelly: Okay, Jack sees Locke in the hospital.

He (Jack) books a flight to Australia and back.

Soon after Locke is brutally murdered by that madman and his funeral details are published in the paper.

Jack goes to the funeral home and encounters Ben there.

Within 70 hours they are on Ajira Airways and back on the island.

Okay, now that I have laid it all out it does seem like there wasn't much time there for Jack to have been taking tons of unsuccessful flights and bugging Kate. Unless he'd already been flying and bugging Kate when John showed up and just didn't feel like sharing.

Or, as producer Paul suggests -- the timeline somehow changed based on events back on the island.

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Ilana and Cesar: I sure hope they don't turn into the new Nikki and Paolo.

Liz Kelly: I don't think they will. They aren't making any "Golly, what's this hatch thing?" remarks. They seem to have some kind of agenda -- we just don't know what it is yet.

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Why would I go to HIS funeral?: Can you help me out with something? At the end of Season 3, the first time we leap forward, Jack asks Kate "Are you going to his funeral?" referring to the press clip on Jeremy Bentham. She gets all huffy (a.k.a., Kate-like) and asks why she would go to his funeral. Why was she so mad at him? Because he had asked her to go back to the island (as we learned last night). It's possible I'm forgetting something from Season 4...

Jen Chaney: Maybe she was really mad at Jack for asking? Like, move on, buddy, and be a father to Aaron.

I mean, Locke elected to stay on the island. Somehow he left -- which, by the way, was one of the more confusing parts of last night's episode. Not one of the people John visited said, "Hey, man. How'd you get back?" Anyway, he elected to stay, then he wanted everyone else to go back, too. Jack clearly thought it was best for them all to leave and lie about it. Maybe Kate was really just fed up with Jack's wishy-washiness and his drug issues and general not being there for her.

Which, come to think of it, the more I describe the angrier it makes me...

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Ben was NOT a Wee Boy: when he helped kill of the remaining Dharma folk. He was a man! Remeber the scene in the van with Uncle Rico? Ben was most definitely not a boy. As GOB Bluth would say, "Come on!"

Liz Kelly: As GOB Bluth would also say KA-KAW KA-KAW KA-KAW.

You're right, though. Ben was an adult at that point.

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Lost in Ohio: So Liz, what do you think of Ben now? Is he still good?

Liz Kelly: I believe I started backing off the "Ben is good" team last week. And, to be fair, the only reason I crossed over is because I was bewitched via telephone while interviewing the persuasive Michael Emerson.

I'm a flip-flopper. A waffler. But there's just no way that a guy who could dispatch John so methodically then continue to spin his web is a good guy.

My friend Amy in New York -- who is a published author and therefore v. smart -- thinks that Ms. Hawking (who is probably young Ellie from the island) is actually Widmore's sister and therefore they are working together. And that Locke's mention of needing to find her sent Ben over the edge. He realized his own irrelevence and killed John to attempt to regain it.

I'm not so sure, but I do think Ms. Hawking is definitely not on the Ben Linus team.

Jen Chaney: Yes, but doesn't Hawking join his team -- or at least convince him she has -- to bring all the O6ers to her weird, mystical, "Davinci Code"-esque lair?

And come on, don't say you were bewitched. Emerson flat-out told you that he thinks Ben is doing something for the greater good and that he thinks that because the writers have given him that impression. Those are hard facts, dang it!

Let me repeat: I don't think the things Ben does are good. In no way, shape or form. But I believe his ends may be for a higher purpose, that he is more in the right than Widmore. I could be very wrong, but I refuse to waffle from this position. Until, you know, it's obvious that I'm full of crap.

Liz Kelly: So you're saying the ends justify the means?

Jen Chaney: I'm saying they do in Ben's mind. Which doesn't make him a good guy. But I am saying that we may come to understand he isn't all bad because there were factors that motivated him that would lead to positive outcome.

Is this making sense? And are we still talking about this for the 8 bazillionth time?

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Lansing, MI: Ok, guys, I love your work. But. . . what's up with only posting two questions in 20 mintues? I assume you would be able to see some of the questions throughout the day.

And, why doesn't the analysis go up until after 10 a.m.? I need my information fast!

Jen Chaney: We're firing out the answers as fast as we can. We may even stay a little longer today, if that helps.

As for the analysis, Liz and I write it late Wed. night and our editor looks at it in the a.m. Problem is this: Our jobs aren't only abut "Lost," so there are other things we have to do, too. (Would be nice if they were, but you know, we have to live in reality.)

We are glad you are so eager to chew on our analyses and will do the very best we can to get them up as quickly as possible.

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Alexandria, Va.: What's with Ilana and Cesar being sure that John wasn't on the plane? Do you look at all the other passengers when you fly? There were plenty of folks back in coach when the plane took off. They were up front in first class. Seems too contrived to me.

Liz Kelly: I was assuming they were including the eyewitness reports of the people in coach -- some of whom are still alive and wandering the beach with them. Ilana said "No one remembers seeing him," not just "I don't remember seeing him."

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Leesburg, Va: There's no chance that Ben is "Secretly Good" -- that charade has ended, Jen.

You can keep lying to yourself if you want, but he made it very clear last night. I honestly think that Ben thinks that he's doing these things for the greater good of the island. But, any situation that doesn't end up with Ben back on the Island being the leader, he disregards. He killed Locke after extracting the info about Mrs. Hawking from him, he piggybacked on the O6s return back thinking he was going to get back to the island, too. He got visibly upset when Jack was told secrets he wasn't told...

Ben's losing it because reality is conflicting with his delusions of grandeur. It's going to be FASCINATING to see how he reacts to the fact that the island essentially didn't want him back.

Also, did anyone think it was weird that in the photo that Widmore had of Sayid, he was in the exact same position, with the house in the exact same state of building-ness?

Jen Chaney: I'm sticking by my theory, if only to be consistent. I may be wrong, and that's totally cool if I am.

I am not sure he killed Locke simply because he had extracted the Hawking info. If he wanted info, it seems like Ben would have tried to get more at that point: Where in L.A. is she? What else do you know?

Watch that scene again, as I did right before the chat. It seemed to me that Ben was surprised, perhaps, that Locke knew about Hawking. But that he wasn't caught all that off guard by the information. Maybe it's just me.

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Portland, Ore.: So who the heck brought in the canoes?

Liz Kelly: Good question.

One commenter in the blog this morning theorized that the canoe that chased Sawyer and Juliet a couple of shows back was actually populated by Cesar and Ilana and crew since we know Cesar has a gun.

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Geekmaster: It recently occurred to me that another serialized drama with a loyal following began airing about the same time as "Lost" and shares many parallels. Like "Lost," this show is steeped in internal mythology and revolves around core themes such as survival, conflict, ever-present threatening forces, the role of fate or destiny, ever-shifting factions and loyalties, the blurring of "good" and "bad," and the ramifications of the choices we make. And, like "Lost," this show is in the process of winding up for an "all-will-be-revealed" grand finale played out over its last episodes.

This leads me to wonder whether the creators of this show have been in cahoots with the creators of "Lost" all along, and whether they have really been the same show all along, but simply told from two different angles. If so, then . . .

The "coming war" over the Island -- and the world -- is to be fought against Richard Alpert and the Others, who are actually Cylons. These Cylons have been guarding the Island not for the sake of humanity, but to preserve it for themselves once humanity has been destroyed. The "Adam and Eve" skeletons in the cave will turn out to be the remains of Adama and President Rosalind. Starbuck was caught in one of the Island's time-jump flashes, which zapped her to the past and caused her to fatally crash, explaining why she saw her own corpse when she came to Earth with the Galactica crew. Ben and Baltar wrestle for control over Locke (after Baltar defeats Faraday in a "small clever guy with long hair and beard" contest), but they both overlook Desmond, who uses his own "specialness" to forge an alliance with Lee Adama to repel the Cylon takeover ("frack me, brutha!").

At the height of the pivotal battle at the top of the Orchid Station that represents humanity's last stand, the Doctor appears in the TARDIS, revealing that he is "Jacob" -- he inadvertantly started the whole time travel thing during a stop at Torchwood, not realizing that the rift in Cardiff was connected to an island on the other side of the world. He executes a crazy plan that he explains in rapid-fire scientific-sounding goobledygook to a young, wide-eyed female companion, and everything reverts to exactly where it was in September 2004 before Flight 815 went off course. The flight lands safely in Los Angeles, and all disembark with no memory of what happened, but with a strange feeling that they know each other closely.

But the Red Sox still win the World Series.

Liz Kelly: You lost me at "Cylons..." Sorry Battlestar boy.

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Timelines: It's bad "Lost Logic" to assume that just because the suicide scene was after the Locke & Jack scene that they happened close in time. That's "Lost is messing with you tricks 101."

Locke had a compound fracture, which takes a while to heal. He was still in a wheelchair and being driven around when he got in the car accident (which likely re-aggrivated his injury). By the time he's killing himself, he's in a walking cast and able to support his weight without crutches.

It's likely that several weeks have passed between those two incidents.

Also, note the quality of Hotel/Motel he was in at the end. Widmore gave him a boatload of money, the quality of hotel suggests that it's been a while and he's spent most/all of it.

Jen Chaney: Good points all. Thanks.

Liz Kelly: Yes, but he also still had some pretty raw wounds on his head -- wounds that I assumed were from that car accident.

And Locke was staying at that hotel from the beginning. When he visited Sayid -- the first of the O6 he attempted to persuade -- he gave him the name of that hotel in L.A. Maybe he just felt more comfortable holed up in a noir-ish, seedy den of iniquity.

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Maryland: What is the relevancy of Helen Norwood? I feel like Locke brought her up enough for me to have to wonder why. Thoughts?

Jen Chaney: This is going back a bit (season two, I think?), but Helen and John were supposed to get married. And the fact that he wouldn't cut off relations with his con artist father drove them apart. Locke never got over the loss.

When Kate made her point about Locke never having loved anyone, it motivated him to track her down. One of the sadder things about her death, which happened in 2007: If Locke somehow had left the island with the O6, he might have had some time with her before she passed.

Also, as Abaddon pointed out when they visited the cemetery, Locke can't change what happened. Would have happened anyway. And that reinforced the notion in John's mind that he had to die.

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Dead Man Walking: The problem with the theory that Locke was dead and undiscovered in the hotel for a month is that his body would have been naa-aaa-sty when it was discovered. Unless Ben set the room temperature to 25 degrees (a bit suspicious for a suicide, unless Locke killed himself because he was freezing), that body would have been rot when they discovered it. Ain't no island powerful enough to fight maggots.

washingtonpost.com: Also, did Ben break the door to get in? That wouldn't help with the whole cover-up.

Jen Chaney: That is true. And he seemed to have been embalmed in decent shape. Another weird point, which editor Nancy raised: How did Jack get the shoes on Locke's feet? Granted, the funeral home would have removed the cast. But would he have been still been swollen in that area?

Or is the answer to this question, what's the difference, really?

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Bowie, Md.: I've been thinking for a while this season Widmore could be a "good" guy, but cast much like Snape in the Harry Potter books, cast as a bad guy but turns out good. Last night's ep has raised this suspicion even more. What do you think?

Liz Kelly: I hear ya, Bowie. I'm sure Jen will use this as another opportunity to paint me as a fair-weather friend, but I'm thinking at this point that Widmore's body count is much lower than Ben's -- and he seemed pretty sympathetic when talking to Ben in the Tunisian hospital. So did Abaddon, right before that psychopath killed him.

Jen Chaney: Oh, like body count proves anything. I killed 15 people this morning alone. I'm still a very, very nice person.

(P.S. That was a joke. I did not kill anyone. Please do not arrest me.)

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Washington, DC: When news of Jeremy Bentham's death first got to Kate (I think this was last season or the season before it), she refused to go to the funeral and said something like "Why would I go to his funeral after what he did to us?" If we have seen everything that Locke did to Kate after leaving the island (i.e., merely asking Kate to go back), is that really cause for refusing to go to the funeral? Am I missing something or do we just not know the whole story yet?

Thanks!

Liz Kelly: Hmm, could she be referring to his killing of Naomi, his splitting off from Jack and his semi-despotic short rein back at the Others' camp?

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Cincinnati: Am I missing something? Why do we think they're on Hydra Island? I think they're on the main island because, several episodes ago when they were flashing through time, Sawyer and Juliet and co. found those very Ajira boats on the beach. Right?

To dre7861-- I think you got the order of Sayid's events spot on, but you misinterpreted the "9 months" comment he made to Locke. Nine months is how long he was married to her, not how long AGO he was married to her.

And p.s. It's seriously time for MORE Walt, but FEWER Walt cameos. He's an interesting character, dangit, but his scenes have been pointless lately.

Liz Kelly: Because there's a Hydra logo on the folder Cesar was investigating and because of Locke's view from the beach of the island. Which could certainly still be part of the main island if he was looking across a vast bay, but add that to the Hydra logo and it's pretty convincing to me.

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Leesburg, Va.: "I'm sticking by my theory, if only to be consistent."

For what it's worth, I respect your commitment to consistency...

...despite the fact that you're totally, completely, obviously wrong. :)

Liz Kelly: I respect it, too, as I make haste to distance myself...

Jen Chaney: We'll just see who's laughing when all this is over.

It'll be me ... mainly because I will have gone insane by then.

Hey, here's a little teaser from today's LindeCuse podcast on ABC.com: We will find out what happened to Aaron in this season's 11th episode. Title: "What Happened Happened."

Just sharing...

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Centreville, Va.: Watched this scene 5x on the tivo last night.... please confirm I'm not crazy....

Around the 22min mark Locke is in the car with Abandon for the first time and is being asked where he is going to go. The car stops to slow as some herders and sheep are crossing the road (I could have sworn those herders were Ben and/or Assassin Sayid, but oh well).

The sheep are coming from the right side of the street (in relation to the SUV), the same side of the street as the 2 signs...one is blue and one is bigger and yellowish. The blue one is directly in front of the yellow one. The sheep are in the middle of the street heading away from the signs on the right hand side.

Locke makes his decision to go to Santo Domingo and the car starts to move again, camera pans out the sheep are now moving further RIGHT back over top of where the signs are. (Further, the blue sign looks like it is 5 feet further to the right now and is no longer in front of the bigger sign. The car wasn't moving when we see the signs the first time so its not like it could be a big depth perception thing. I don't think).

Anyway, I'm SURE about the sheep and refuse to believe it's accidental.

My thoughts: Everyone tied to the island had their fate tied to John's decision on who to visit (first?). When John said Santo Domingo the universe re-calibrated (if you will) and this re-calibration made the sheep/herders go the way they came.

Liz Kelly: My head hurts.

Liz Kelly: In a good way.

Jen Chaney: I could go on endlessly about the biblical meaning in those shepherds tending to their flocks. But I won't. Because you have officially blown my mind.

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New York, NY: Any thoughts on Abaddon's car sporting a New York license plate design which was discontinued in 2001?

Jen Chaney: Um, you know too much about the history of New York license plate design?

(Hee hee. Just kidding ... mostly.)

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Exile from Main Street: Widmore knows where the island is, or at least how to find it - he sent a freighter there. But yet he has never returned. Why is that? Widmore's statement to John that he was exiled from the Island suggests more than just the "If you move the island, you can't come back" claim that Ben threw at Locke - which seems to be wrong in itself because Ben and John moved the island and Ben and John have come back.

Liz Kelly: But the rules have changed, as per Ben's observation when Alex died.

We don't know yet if Ben will suffer adversely for returning and, as for Locke, well he's dead man walking -- so perhaps the rules don't apply to him at all.

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Silver Spring, MD: I just assume they were lying about Helen. She's still alive - Abaddon was just keeping John's eye on the prize.

Liz Kelly: Many folks are writing in with this observation and it sounds solid to me. Helen would only have distracted Ben and made him, possibly, want to live -- which seems to not have been the desired outcome.

Jen Chaney: Yes, this is entirely possible.

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Bridgeport, Conn.: How did Walt know John name is Jeremy Bentham? They didnt even talk about his fake name yesterday... but last season when Walt visits Hurley he says he got a visit from "Jeremy Bentham."

Liz Kelly: He must have somehow learned that Locke was using an alias after the fact. Perhaps Ben, who was lurking in the distance, filled him in? Or Abadddon circled back and gave him Locke's contact info in case he wanted to return to the island after all.

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hodie, md: hey Jen, to answer your question about swollen legs and casts...Generally there is no swelling after a cast is removed. Usually they look strangly skinny. The cast acts as a compression stocking so it is not strange that Jack was able to fit the shoes on John's feet other than what a coincidence they wore the same size shoe.

Jen Chaney: Our editor will be relieved to know this. I've never broken anything so I had no idea how swollen they would be.

(Watch, someone will kneecap me because of my Ben-Works-for-the-Greater-Good Theory right after this chat ends...)

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Arlington, Va.: Two questions to ponder:

1)Why did Ben get sent off the island in his present time, but Locke got sent 3 years later? Did Locke pull the donkey wheel at a time shift of 3 years later on the island?

2)Is Locke the only Oceanic survivor with the least time lived? Looks like the O6 have lived 3 years longer, and the ones stuck with Dharma have lived some period of time longer. Is that why Locke is not dead on the island, he has unfulfilled life to catch up?

Jen Chaney: Wait, who said Ben got sent off in the present? I didn't think he was in the present -- as in the present when he pushed the wheel -- at all.

As to No. 2 -- that's a great question. So this is in keeping with the DVR Theory of time, that it keeps going in the live feed. But Locke is still rewound, but when he catched up to live feed -- no more Locke? It's possible.

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Locke wasn't embalmed: Locke couldn't have been embalmed, could he have? I mean, he was resurrected on the island, so could he still have been embalmed and had that happen? I don't think that Christian Shepard was either, was he?

Jen Chaney: You're thinking a little too literally. In real life? Of course not. But in "Lost" world, why not?

He looked pretty embalmed-esque to me. And he couldn't have been, um, "fresh" for all the days that he was hanging out in that funeral home and in the back of Ben's van, right? Should I ask the Fisher family for more clarity?

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L8yF8: If Widmore is working with Eloise and she knows how to return to the island, then why didn't he?

Liz Kelly: My guess is that much as he claims Locke needs to be on the island for the coming war, he needs to be off the island for the time being. Or, as the "rules" suggest -- he can't return. At least not yet.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, one thing that confuses me a bit is Ben's assertion that he moved the island so Widmore wouldn't know how to get there. As someone else pointed out last week, it doesn't seem all that hard. If he knows where Hawking is and they know when these "windows" open up, it seems like Widmore could easily get back there.

I definitely need some clarity on that one.

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Montreal: I feel like the most critical revelation in last nights episode was the realization that Abbaddon worked for Widmore, which means that it was Widmore steering Locke towards the island in the first place.

Here is the question, did Widmore know all along that he met Locke when he was 17? That event should have just happened, and then affected the future, but if Widmore was steering Locke towards the island years before then this really did happen in the past? I'm confused...

Liz Kelly: That does seem to be an inconsistency in how the writers have been reconciling the time travel to characters' memories. If, as you point out, Widmore only got that memory after Locke had flashed into Alpert's camp when Widmore was a 17-year-old foot soldier, then in reality -- he would have only had that memory post-crash, not pre-crash.

Jen Chaney: What she said.

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Liz, is your nose bleeding?: You've referred to Locke as Ben twice now. Is there something you're trying to tell us, or has the island gone to your brain?

Liz Kelly: I apologize -- I am clearly having an off day. I blame producer Paul.

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Alexandria, Va.: I'm inclined to think there's no real difference between Ben and Widmore. They both were leader of the Others. They both are exiled. They both claim to be protecting the O6. The both told Locke how important he is and how he really doesn't have to die (yes, the fact that Ben killed him kind of blunts this point) even though Alpert and Christian both claimed he does. They are both adamant that the O6 must go back to the island, and both claim it is for some greater good. I'm getting a "meet the old boss, same as the new boss" vibe. If only they didn't hate each other, they might as well be working together.

Jen Chaney: Yes, I think I implied something similar in our post this morning.

They are clearly adversaries, though, otherwise Ben wouldn't be threatening to kill Penny. Unless they weren't working at cross-purposes until the moment Alex was killed, which clearly Ben did not expect. Hmmm....

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Cambridge, Mass.: The thought that Widmore might be a good guy crossed my mind last night too, but then I got to remembering how nasty he has been to Desmond and I purged the idea from my mind. I think his disrespect for Des demonstrates his true character. In addition, his 17-year-old self on the island seemed more sinister than cool.

Jen Chaney: Look, I don't think Ben or Widmore would ever, say, work for some knockoff of Habitat for Humanity. Only awesome killers do that.

Which raises a valid point: Sayid's body count has got to be close to if not greater than Ben's. Does that make him evil? Of course it doesn't, because he almost won "Lost" Madness!

Liz Kelly: But, Jen, many of Sayid's kills were at the behest of Ben!

Jen Chaney: Yes, but he still committed the acts.

Maybe Ben is working at the behest of someone else, too. Like ... Jacob?

Liz Kelly: Sayid was manipulated into working for Ben, but I do see your point.

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Washington, D.C.: RE: Centreville's observation of the sheep. I've been thinking about how this show has a lot of references to Chaos Theory, AKA the Butterfly Effect. A quick Google search shows that other LOST fans have also noticed this as well. It would make complete sense with the sheep moving in whatever direction based on Locke's decision!

Liz Kelly: So you're saying we should watch that Ashton Kutcher movie?

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Yeah, one thing that confuses me a bit is Ben's assertion that he moved the island so Widmore wouldn't know how to get there. : well, Ben IS known to be a truth-teller at all times...

Jen Chaney: Geez, you all re-FUSE to cut me a break today, don't you?

Ben very well may be lying. But Widmore has expressed a desire to go back to the island, but has not. Why the heck not, if he knows where Hawking and her Chamber of Secrets is?

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Warren, NJ: What confirms the time period of the Ajira Airliners on the Island? Did you see the screen shots of the Life Magazine that guy flips through?

Jen Chaney: I saw them but could not make out the date on them. Given the font, I am guessing the '60s, but that's just a guess?

The date on the magazines does not necessarily tell us when the Ajira airplane is, though. My sense was that it was later than that. LindeCuse has suggested we will know the answer to that question after next week's episode.

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Huntington, NY: Last night's episode aired on Ash Wednesday? Any Christian mythology/religous symbolism we should have picked up on other than the obvious resurrection of John Locke?

Liz Kelly: I'm thinking that's plenty right there. Complete with the pre-strangulation scene of Ben kneeling before Locke in the hotel room.

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Christian: How does Christian Shephard fit in with all this? He returned to life when he reached the island like Locke has now done. Does that mean Christian also has a past connection with the island?

Jen Chaney: Well, it implies the island had work for Christian to do there. And part of that work was to get Locke to the donkey wheel, while refusing to help the poor guy to his feet.

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Atlanta: Did any of you see the "Secrets of Lost" on the Jimmy Kimmel show last night? It was hilarious. It had Michael Emerson (Ben) and Jin (Sorry don't know the actors name). Anyway the small skit goes like this:

Ben: I'm Michael Emerson and I play the infamous character...

Jin: Ben Linus.

Ben: Say that name slower

Jin: Ben Lying to Us (Looks at Ben Shocked)

Ben then pulls out a gun and shoots Jin.

Liz Kelly: Ooh - if we can find the clip online we'll append it to the transcript.

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Speaking, OF: Lost Madness...will we be playing again this year?

Jen Chaney: Not exactly. But there will be something interesting for you to interact with, assuming Liz and I can get it together. And we certainly are committed to trying.

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Uniontown, OH: To Warren, NJ:

The Life magazine is dated April 19, 1954 and has the headline "Hydrogen Test" by the explosion on the cover. I see a connection to Jughead!

Jen Chaney: Ah, thank you for the date! Absolitely connection to Jughead.

Also, I stand corrected on Locke's passport. It did list his place of birth as New York, so the obit does make sense.

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Liz Kelly: Okay, that's it for today's show. I promise to get my head screwed on straight before next week's episode. See you then.

Jen Chaney: Yes, thanks for everything, including the non-stop abuse about my Benjamin Linus theories.

See you next week, after an episode that marks the return of our man Sawyer.

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