The 'Lost' Hour: Season 5 -- Episode 12: 'Dead Is Dead'

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
washingtonpost.com Staff
Thursday, April 9, 2009; 3:00 PM

"Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney attempt to get to the bottom of time travel, love quadrangles and all things related to the ABC's cult favorite every Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006. 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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Jen Chaney: Good afternoon, everyone. Questions are already swirling about in the discussion queue like images of Widmore and Alex in Ben's Smokey visions. In fact, Smokey is a major bone (mist?) of contention for many of you.

Some of you say that the Smokey scene was chee-say beyond all reason. Others agree with Liz and I that it was reminscent of "The Wizard of Oz." And still others say this was an Indiana Jones moment. But we'll get to that and more momentarily.

Liz, fresh from the scene at the Celebritology chat, is now joining us live. Over to you, co-blogger.

Liz Kelly: Here I am -- Jen, you should've been in the celeb chat. A bit of late chat Zach Levi worship happening. I, of course, dished about our 20 minute "Lost" chat with him at last year's Comic-Con.

But enough about Zach Levi and his silly "Lost" theorizing, let's talk last night's show.

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DC: So Ben has a soft spot for children. Maybe his saving Alex is the cause of the pregnant women dying.

Liz Kelly: That is an interesting take -- so Alex's survival has prevented other children from being carried to term on island? Hmmm... anything's possible. But I can't help thinking it's something more cellular than that. This is an island with known anomalous electromagnetic fields and a radioactive bomb festering in the ground. Surely that would have an affect on fertility.

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Missed it: Dear Liz and Jen,

I have been watching Lost in my efforts to have cute/flirty things to say to a boy I am hitting on but I missed it last night because of my silly roommate and he and I are doing dinnter TONIGHT in our first pseudo date. (Ok, not really a date, but give a girl some credit for hoping.) Anything deep and insightful I can say so he knows how cool I am? (Yes, I know this is desperate, but he really moves my island.)

Jen Chaney: I went on more pseudo-dates than I can count back in the day, so I feel you. And I want to help you move his island.

For starters, you can watch the episode for free on ABC.com, if you have time to sneak it before tonight.

If not, I would start by asking him what he thought of Ben's confrontation with the Smoke Monster. Then drop in a reference to how clever it was that Desmond's boat made referred back to the book "Our Mutual Friend." And, as the final capper, maybe subtly say how you're really excited to see next week's episode, since the title -- "Some Like It Hoth" -- doubles as a "Star Wars" reference.

If the guy has a heavy geek streak, that last one will cement his love for you.

Liz Kelly: I would also ask him if he happened to notice the logo on the backs of the Other henchmen leading Widmore to the sub. Looked like a blocky pyramid to me, but maybe he's got a killer insight.

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Locke is Smokey: Hi gals, No BTTF references in this week's duel! Am trying to distract myself from the withdrawal pains by marshalling evidence for my theory that the bald dude walking around in Christian Shephard's shoes is not Locke but Smokey. Consider that "Locke" (a) asks only for an apology from Ben, and we know that Smokey likes apologies and gets mad when he doesn't get them (seeya, Eko!), (b) played Clark Kent to Smokey's Superman in the bowels of the Temple, (c) appeared (dramatically!) when we were expecting Smokey (after Ben told Sun he couldn't control what was about to come out of the jungle), (d) inexplicably knows that Smokey lives under the Temple, plus knows the location of the Temple.

Whaddya think?

Jen Chaney: True, no "Back to the Future" this week. But we did keep our finger on the '80s button with those Duran Duran comments. Be sure to tune in next week when we somehow work the Thompson Twins ("Lies, lies, lies, yeah!", "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" and "Small Wonder" into the analysis. Oh, it's going to be something special.

You're not the only one to suggest Locke and Smokey are one and the same. Unless of course you submitted every question and comment that implies that. Either way, I am hesitant to accept this notion, only because Locke has confronted Smokey in the past. And if that confrontation caused a melding of their spirits, if you will, I think he would have been much more knowledgeable about the island's mysteries at an earlier point in the narrative.

But that's me. And Liz may disagree.

Liz Kelly: Though if John is truly dead he could be, as we mentioned in the analysis, an agent of the apparent holy trilogy: Jacob/smokey/the island.

But that is an interesting point about John not being around for the smoke monster event. Maybe instead of being the smoke monster, he did something to actually release it -- like Oz's notorious man behind the curtain?

And Jen, I do disagree -- we will not talk about "Small Wonder" next week because I would get such an acute look of disgust on my face that it would stay that way. Instead, we will draw parallels between the heiroglyphs and the "Gimme a Break" theme song.

Jen Chaney: Sorry, my bad.

And thanks for bringing up the "Gimme a Break" connection. We've all been thinking about that, I know.

(Don't make a Rose/Nell Carter joke here, Chaney. It's just too easy.)

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Faraday: In today's column, you said that Faraday's rule is at least 99.9% wrong. How so? Seems to me the show has been obeying his rule. In fact, the time-travelin' Losties have caused several things which we observed in the first few seasons, most notably Ethan's existence. Other than Desmond, who Faraday agrees is special like that, my money is on Faraday's theory.

Liz Kelly: Sorry. I wasn't clear.

What I meant was that Faraday confidently told Sawyer that we are moving along a line in time and we can't change the future or present by doing something different in the past.

He then disregarded his own belief by contacting Desmond in an attempt (vain though it was) to save Charlotte from the time-jumping sickness.

We've also had Ben and Widmore both tell us absolute statements, like "I can't go back to the island," only to discover that Ben apparently can return.

I guess I should have better expressed myself. Maybe by simply saying "Beware of absolutely statements."

That's all.

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Seattle, WA: Loved it that Desmond survied and gave Ben a good ol' beat down!

If you were Locke and you figured out that Ben has to follow your every order, what would you command Ben to do?

Jen Chaney: Get some new hats. Oh, and learn to cook something besides ham.

Oh, one more! Stop killing people.

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Silver Spring, MD: I think the best quote was "It's not a train, John. It doesn't run on a schedule."

Jen Chaney: Once again, a potpourri of good quote choices.

But the one that made me laugh hardest was Ben's comment after John suggested they address the elephant in the room: "Oh, you're referring to me killing you."

Liz Kelly: Let's check in on the quote contenders we included in the poll. Looks like Ben's leading. Man, I was sure Frank would reign this week.

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Only the penitent man will pass: 3 unrelated questions/comments for you:

1. Is there a screengrab of the hieroglyphic image that Ben sees just before Smokey comes out of the vent? I thought it looked like Anubis (or whoever) was offering the snake (i.e. Smokey, maybe) a cracker. Somehow, Ben's journey into the cave reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where to survive all the booby traps Indy had to be penitent man and kneel. It seems that if Ben was concerned about judgment he would have wanted to show some regret: kneel down, bring an offering, apologize for something. He really did nothing but show up. I don't think Ben was necessarily being judged here, but just being directed-albeit more forcefully than usual-and that maybe he really knows little about how the island actually works and is faking/murdering his way along (as has been suggested elsewhere).

2. Locke's statement to Sun that he's the same man he's always been seemed odd. What does that mean to Sun? For we viewers, he has been a victim and a hero and potentially a leader. For Sun, isn't he some crazy murderous knife-throwing boar-hunting guy who few people really trust? I understand that she's desperately following any hope of finding Jin, but to what extent will she stick with Locke?

3. Do you think it hurts to get shot in the groceries?

Jen Chaney: I will give you three unrelated answers, so unrelated that they may not even relate to your questions.

1. There is indeed a screengrab. Yeah, it kinda does look like a cracker. And over on the left-hand side, I can swear I see the Bat signal.

I see your point on the judgment. Here's something rolling around in my head: We know that Smokey judges on some level. But maybe it isn't about whether the person is really good or bad, but more about whether the island is down with you or not. For example, with Mr. Eko: He clearly had atoned and was on a better path. But Smokey offed him, perhaps because he had served his purpose on the island and, more importantly, because the actor he played him no longer wanted to be on the show.

Anyway, even though Ben needs to bow to Locke, he may still serve a function on the island that is necessary.

2. Between Ben and Locke, Sun trusts Locke. So I think she will stick with him, at least to a point. She really wants to find her husband and Locke is her best option, the lesser of two weirdos.

3. Yes, getting shot in the groceries is painful, but less so when the island isn't done with you and therefore, you can't die.

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Llana "What lies in the shadow of the statue?": Frank "Well, I've never been there, but I know it is a large statue, so if I may venture a guess...a leaky nuclear weapon, a malfunctioning electromagnetic device, a donkey wheel that can bend space and time, a monster who is made of smoke and can make you go insane, and a bunch of crazies with guns who are so out there that I have actually heard them refer to themselves as 'The Others.' Did I hit on anything, or is there some new unspeakable evil in that particular shadow? Either way, you're pretty hot, so lead on."

Liz Kelly: I was hoping they would cut to a shot of Hurley chugging a bottle of Dharma ranch dressing.

Jen Chaney: Or we'd just see Dave in his bathrobe, waving.

"Hey, everybody! 'Memba me?"

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Slightly concerned: with the references to Henry Gale and Smokey reminiscent of the tornado in Wizard of Oz. Oz was a dream that Dorothy had after being hit on the head. We're not headed down that road are we? Especially with the question as to whether this is a game between Ben and Widmore. Are they all pawns on the island. I would really hate that.

Totally not related, but why way back when when Locke went to see Jacob in the cabin did Jacob say "help me?" That has been bugging me.

Jen Chaney: Yes, we are supposed to believe Oz was all a dream. But maybe Oz is really just a place that Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Zeke, etc. can't see because they haven't gone looking at a point when a wormhole could have led them there.

(I'm sorry, all this Oz talk has me imagining a scene where all the Others -- wearing their super raggy clothes -- come inching out from behind some bushes while Ben -- resplendent in a pink poofy gown -- starts singing, "Come out, come out, wherever you are..." Sorry, I'll get back on the subject.)

Anyway, I don't think the resolution of "Lost" will be that it's all some Bob Newhart-style dream. At least I hope not.

Thanks for bringing up the "help me" comment. We haven't discussed this in a while. What do people think about this knowing what we know now about Locke and his relationship to the island? I feel like that phrase is purposely vague, which allows Locke to interpret however he wants to. He may see "Help me" as a call to free Jacob from Ben.

Liz Kelly: Even though Ben was conked on the head by Sun, I don't think his Smokey experience was a dream. And I agree with Jen, Auntie Em was just too square to reach Oz.

I'm kind of sickened, yet fascinated by Jen's description of the Losties emerging from behind bushes and singing the Lollipop song.

I need to get more sleep.

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Reston, VA: Hi Ladies: So, assuming that no one really dies on the island, what do we think about Charlie Pace? Technically he didn't die "on" the island, but he was within the general sphere of it all. Makes me wonder if Hurley wasn't really seeing a hallucination at all, but it was really Charlie. I still miss the little guy.

Jen Chaney: Oh, I miss Charlie, too. But I think some people do really die.

Shannon, Boone, Eko, Libby, Ana Lucia -- I feel pretty comfortable saying they have ceased to be.

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Leesburg, Va.: Two questions:

1) How do you theorize that Desmond was so spritely to give Ben the beat-down after having been shot only moments before?

2) Jen, are you theorizing that Jughead is in the shadow of the statue because a detonation of our little friend might have been what led to the top 90% of the statue going missing? Might that also be The Incident?

Jen Chaney: 1. I don't think Desmond was really shot. Yeah, the bullet hit his groceries but I think there is something to the idea that he can't really be killed yet because of his special powers/island not being done with him/course correction situation.

2. Hmmm ... I don't think I theorized this, but it's possible. I thought the Incident was confined to the Swan Station, but there is a good chance Jughead is involved. I have to think that adorable little nuclear warhead will return again before the season ends.

Liz Kelly: I think Desmond could have been grazed by the bullet and still had the strength to take on Ben. Especially considering he -- rightly -- believed his wife and son to be in mortal danger. He would've ignored his own pain to save them if he could.

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Herndon, Va.: Books on Ben's bookshelf..."ROOTS" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin"...that can't be happenstance. What does that mean?

Liz Kelly: I thought about the same thing and then decided that both books would probably be included on a class syllabus for Alex -- who was high school-aged before things started going off the rails. So maybe there's nothing deeper there than a book report?

Jen Chaney: Thanks for bringing this up. I definitely saw "Roots" but didn't see the second title.

Either way, I have to think that's meaningful. Slavery ... could it be that the Hostiles/Natives are actually slaves of a sort? Maybe to Jacob?

Liz Kelly: I still say it was Alex's homework.

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Course Correction, expanded: I think we've only explored the course correction theory from one angle: You can't save someone who's meant to die, they'll die eventually anyway. But, what about the opposite? You can't kill someone who's meant to live? I think we've discussed this, but haven't really called it out for what it is -- the other side of the CC coin. We've seen examples of this with Michael, Desmond (seemingly should have been shot last night), and Locke.

Jen Chaney: Good point. When we say "the island isn't done with so-and-so," that may just be a fancy way of saying course correction.

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Farragut Square: Regarding the Foot. Did the Others or Losties ever actually travel to the base of the foot statue (or stand in it's shadow?)?

I can't remember any scenes where they took a trip out there.

Liz Kelly: If so, we haven't been privy to the trip. The two instances we've seen so far:

-- Desmond, Sun and Jin sail past the statue on their way to the other side of the island.

-- Sawyer and co. briefly see the back of the statue when careening through time.

Jen Chaney: Standing in the shadow of something just reminds me of the Psalms verse about walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

Once you stand in its shadow, does something significant happen? Do you join the land of the dead?

Liz Kelly: Something does happen -- one cools down slighty as it is a few degrees cooler than standing in the sun.

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Expose: "But I think some people do really die"

But surely Paulo and Nikki are not passed on, no more, ceased to be, expired and gone to meet their maker, stiffs, bereft of life, resting in peace, pushing up the daisies, off the twig, kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible?

Shirley you are not saying that?

Let it not be so!

Jen Chaney: Oh, it's so.

Nikki and Paolo? That is one dead parrot.

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Silver Spring, MD: Speaking of Libby, have we learned yet why she was in the institution with Hurley?

Jen Chaney: No! We should that add that to the list of stuff we need answered before the show ends.

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Ashford, Conn.: Does anyone else think Ben telling Charles the name of Penny and Des's boat will come back to haunt the Hume family? He didn't know anything about where they were before this, after all.

Liz Kelly: I dunno. I think Widmore did have at least a general idea of where they were. After all, he practically sent Des to Ms. Hawking. And I doubt it would have been too difficult to have Desmond tailed out of his office and watched from that point on.

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Kansas City: Why is John considered more alive than Christian? Maybe John's alive, maybe he's not, but whatever he is, I would assume Christian is the same as he went thru the same dead then back to whatever once on the island...right?

washingtonpost.com: Have we seen Christian touch anyone or move anything? Locke definitely is corporeal at least.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, and wind doesn't constantly blow through doors every time Locke shows up. I think we have gotten signs that Locke at least appears to be flesh and bone to everyone else around him, in a way that Christian -- who tends to hang out in the dark and talk about long journeys and weird, esoteric stuff -- does not.

Liz Kelly: Right -- but I do think there may be something there. As Ben said, "Dead is dead."

But I also think that Locke, like Desmond, is one for whom the rules don't all necessarily apply.

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Some like it Hoth??: Hoth is the location of the Rebel Base:

"In the fictional universe of Star Wars, Hoth is the sixth planet of a remote system of the same name. It is a world covered in snow and ice, with numerous moons, and pelted by meteorites from a nearby asteroid belt. Native creatures include the wampa and the tauntaun."

PLEASE tell me Miles isn't going to slice open a dead tauntaun and make Hurley crawl inside to stay warm!

Jen Chaney: No, it will be a dead polar bear.

This does further the notion that Miles and/or Sawyer could be some sort of sarcastic Han Solo figure in the story. Which would be nice.

Liz Kelly: Maybe we'll discover that Jack and Kate are actually brother and sister, thereby freeing Kate to give herself over to her attraction to Sawyer.

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Y, the Last Man: So I did some research and read this graphic novel series for everyone. The idea is that there are electromagnet fields throughout the world that can conduct information that becomes shared evolution. So if a group of monkeys in Asia learn how to use sticks as tools then the same species in Africa will at the same time pick up the skills. In the novels the idea is as soon as cloning is successful, men no longer need to exist for evolutionary reasons and so they just die. What if the fertility issues on the Island have some similar basis? Children after Ethan no longer need to be conceived on the Island so they aren't?

washingtonpost.com: I think the fertility issue predates Brian K. Vaughn's involvement with the show. Not that that rules out the theory though.

Liz Kelly: Wait - so children don't need to be conceived on the island because.... why?

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Blacksburg, Va.: So, Liz -- did this episode do anything to sway you in the direction that Ben is good?

Liz Kelly: Surely you jest.

Jen Chaney: But Liz, you understand where he's coming from more now, right? He was damaged from childhood. Ben never stood a chance in that crazy, mixed-up, donkey-wheel-turning world he lives in!

Liz Kelly: Cry me a river. Who wasn't damaged in childhood?

And it's not the end, it's the means that count and Ben's means include killing poor, defenseless Caesar.

Jen Chaney: Look, I never said Ben was good. I just said his intentions might be.

And I'm still willing to be wrong.

P.S. The death of Caesar is the least of Ben's cold-blooded crimes, if you ask me. Besides, some are suggesting Caesar isn't dead at all.

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NW DC : Have we ever heard anything about Penny's mom in present day? I think I always assumed she was dead, but now I'm not sure if they've ever said that.

Liz Kelly: Good point -- that's one thing we forgot to mention in our analysis. Ben accused Widmore of leaving the island and having a child with an outsider.

Ms. Hawking?

Jen Chaney: Yeah, I don't think we have ever known much about Pen's mom.

I don't think it's Hawking because I am not sure Ben would refer to her as an outsider. I am fairly convinced that Widmore and Hawking have a son -- Faraday -- which would explain why he understands the island so well. So Penny would be his half-sister, much like Claire is Jack's half-sister. Same dad, different mom.

But who is the mom? You got me.

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washingtonpost.com: This being Passover and all, I feel obliged to point out that the Egyptians owned slaves too

washingtonpost.com: This being Passover and all, I feel obliged to point out that the Egyptians owned slaves too

Liz Kelly: Good point, producer Paul. And that would certainly fit in with the Egyptian motif increasingly working its way into the show. Could the hostiles -- or some of them -- be fugitive slaves who escaped their Egyptian masters by accidentally discovering a portal to the island?

Jen Chaney: I have to think it isn't a coincidence that an episode about making a pilgrimage to the Temple aired on the first night of Passover.

Man, I am really hungry for matzoh all of a sudden...

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Boston: No shirtless Sawyer in the last few episodes. What does THAT mean?

Liz Kelly: That he's chilly?

Jen Chaney: LaFleur = Shirts and glasses.

Sawyer = No shirts, all sarcasm.

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Understand more about...: Look at the "Understand More About" directory box on the site right now: Ben Locke Liz Kelly Jen Chaney Auntie Em. That is a great snapshot.

Jen Chaney: Oh, I gotta take a screenshot of that.

What happens when you click on learn more about Ben Linus? Do you immediately get shot, or just get an exceedingly long search return of Internet lies?

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crazy theory heard today: A crazy theory heard today:

Ben's not killing Alex as a baby is what started the "no babies born on the island" domino effect.

Jen Chaney: Okay, but how did it start that effect? Because Ben was supposed to kill Alex and since he didn't, the island got back at him by putting a stop to all infants?

That's not a bad theory.

Liz Kelly: That seems kind of like using a shotgun to kill a fly, tho. Would the island really punish everyone for Ben's transgression?

Jen Chaney: It would if the Island is kind of a jerk.

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Re: WP editor: Christian pick up the 1977 DI picture from the ground.

washingtonpost.com: Ah, good point!

Liz Kelly: Foiled again!

Jen Chaney: Yeah, but he's still all shadowy and weird. Locke is just weird.

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SF, CA: Another reason to love Des -- he does the grocery shopping!

Jen Chaney: And we know from his days in the Hatch that he makes a heck of a smoothie!

Liz Kelly: And he rocks a half-unbuttoned shirt like nobody's business.

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Poor Ben: Has there ever been a character in the history of television who has played such a regular punching bag as our poor Ben Linus? Seriously, from the first time he appeared he been slapped around by every character from Sayid, to Jack, to Kate, to Alex, to Hurley, to Sawyer, to baby Aaron, to . . .

Liz Kelly: That's true. Let's hope Michael Emerson gets hardship pay for that.

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Um we forget we are guessing on some things: Penny was conceived by an outsider right? So either Eloise Hawkings is not Ellie, Eloise is not Penny's mother, or we have just been hoping for that kind of connection and really she is just some hot blonde chick from England.

Jen Chaney: Okay, we definitely need to pump our brakes for a second.

You're right, we have all assumed that Ellie and Eloise are the same. With good reason, but it is an assumption. I was never sure she was Pen's mom, though, and after the outsider comment, I definitely am doubting that more.

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Seattle, Anubis central: Hoth is a river god in the ancient Egyptian pantheon too.

Could we be looking at a water journey, a transition from the Land of the Dead back to the Land of the Living?

Or is this merely what will happen to the Dharma Initiative agents who were on the plane and landed on the other island?

Liz Kelly: Nice catch. It is also an acronym for "Houses of the Holy."

Maybe Jacob is Robert Plant.

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Logo: The logo on the back of the guards uniforms was, I believe, the same logo on the tower of the sub - which was one of the 8 trigrams found in the Chinese book of divination, the I Ching. It was open line - solid line - open, or looks sorta like this

- -

---

- -

(hope the spacing doesn't get messed up on that) It's name is Kan, and it means Water, sometimes called Abysmal, or Gorge.

washingtonpost.com: I think the spacing did get thrown off -- do you mean No. 29 here? I Ching hexagrams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liz Kelly: Right -- same arrangement, but this strikes me as a bit more pyramidal in shape.

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Washington, D.C.: What are your thoughts as to why babies (and subsequently their mothers) die on the island?

Jen Chaney: A few theories floating around:

1. After Ben was taken in and "altered" by Alpert and co., the island mirrored Ben's history. His mother died in childbirth, so every mother on the island died in childbirth.

2. Ben taking Alex as a baby somehow put a stop to the successful conception and delivery of children.

3. The dangerous mix of electromagnetism and nuclear material messed up people's systems, make it impossible for them to carry kids successfully to term.

I am sure there are others I have forgotten...

Liz Kelly: 4. The Dharma beer lowers sperm count. Sad but true.

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Tucson, Ariz.: Got a question about Ben's old house?

It was a Dharma house first, right? Who added the Egyptian basement? Do you think the gang in '77 will stumble upon the special feature of one the Dharma homes?

Liz Kelly: My assumption was that the compound was built on top of the ruins. Which means someone in the Dharma Initiative must have been at least peripherally aware of their significance. Kind of puts a new polish on Amy's husband and his Ankh necklace, eh?

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Rockin' the Paradise: I took Smokey's bathtub to be a reference to Styx (the river, not the band)

Jen Chaney: Oh, that's interesting. Thanks for that.

And may I add that your fixation with "Lost" indicates that you have toooo much (clap! clap!) time on your hands...

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DC: Isn't Ben being denied the role of a leader a fate worse than death for him? He's always talking about how he does everything for the island, but really we know it's only about him.

Jen Chaney: To touch on something Liz and I said in today's blog: I think the truth there is a bit murky.

Early on, Ben really was trying to abide by the island. He had blind faith in it. But as he got older and asserted more power, he started to confuse his own wants and needs with what the island was telling him.

So in Ben's mind, he really has done everything for the island because his notion of what the island wants has gone all screwy.

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Fun Horace fact as it relates to Ceasar: According to these here Internets, Horace was the favorite poet of Ceasar and upon his death, left everything he had to Ceasar. Perhaps Ceasar's inheritance is the island, and he's just trying to claim what's rightfully his?

I got nothing else, though...

Jen Chaney: Well, that's pretty good. Thanks for pointing that out.

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Understand more about: If you click on "Ben" you get more about Liz Kelly. Sorry Jen!

Jen Chaney: Aha! I always KNEW they were in cahoots.

Your "Ben is really evil" routine was all a front, Kelly.

Liz Kelly: Jacob told me to do it!

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Fairfax, VA: Do you think, perhaps, that Widmore wanted Alex killed because as someone born on the island she poses some sore of threat to Widmore's power? Same with Ethan. It seems that Ben sort of took Ethan under his wing at an early age, prepping him to be an "Other" and possibly saving him from the purge.

And Ben tells Juliet (I think it was Juliet) that he was born on the island, which we know is a lie. Perhaps being born on the island makes you special, and Ben wants to think of himself as special.

Liz Kelly: I like this idea.

Jen Chaney: Interesting. I like the idea of Alex being a threat.

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Moved My Island: I don't know if you're familiar with the Egyptian afterlife, the "weighing of the heart" and Ammit the Devourer, but I kept thinking of it during last night's episode and Ben being "judged." His soul ain't lighter than a feather, but I guess it's all relative. I actually felt sorry for him a few times during the episode. The ending had to be rough on him - he might have thought, for a moment, that the island has given him back Alex, only to be told very clearly that Locke's the island's favorite. That's its own form of hell for Ben, perhaps.

Jen Chaney: Well said. And thanks for the Ammit reference. Smokey doesn't look like Ammit, who is some weird crocodile-lion-hippo hybrid. But the role Ammit plays sounds very Smokey-esque.

And I find Ben reprehensible at times and empathetic at times. But more than anything else, fascinating. I mean, how much have we debated that character? Do you think people have similarly deep conversations about the key players on "NCIS"? I don't think so.

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1. After Ben was taken in and "altered" by Alpert and co., the island mirrored Ben's history. His mother died in childbirth, so every mother on the island died in childbirth. : The mothers don't die in child birth, Juliet said it usually happens around the second trimester

Jen Chaney: Fair enough. They're still dying before they can complete the pregnancy.

That's just one of many theories and may be a whole lot of hogwash.

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Not too late--PLEASE!: If Ben changed as radically as Richard said he was going to change, then wouldn't Ben's claims of "being born here on this Island" actually be kinda true?

Jen Chaney: Yes, in a manner of speaking. We have touched on this in the past I think. But Ben also acknowledged that he wasn't technically born on the island. Still, saying he was born there is less of a lie than most things he says.

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Liz Kelly: Thanks for all of the good questions and theories. We'll see you back here next week for a continuation of our '80s-flavored analysis.

Jen Chaney: Until then, please keep lighting your torches and waving them.

And P.S.: just look at the cover of "Seven and the Ragged Tiger," the Duran Duran album that gave us "New Moon on Monday." The art is kind of ... Egyptian-esque, isn't it?

Da-naaaaa!

See you next week.

_______________________

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