Ian Rogers’ Oceanic Update: Jeremy Bentham, this is your life… and death

So, Ben’s just a big fat liar, isn’t he?

Not to mention a murderer.

I have to admit, despite all of the nasty things Ben has done over the course of the show, I was a little surprised to see him pull a move out of CIA and garrote Locke with an extension cord. Not because he isn’t capable, but because he’s gone a long way toward convincing Locke that he’s special and must not die. Then again, Ben also shot Locke and left him for dead in the Dharma mass grave. Then again, he also protected Locke from the freighter mercenaries when they shot up New Otherton.

Okay, I’m still on the fence about Ben, and I have no clue as to his motives for killing Locke. Did Ben go to see him with the intent of killing him? If so, then why talk him out of committing suicide? Wouldn’t Locke be doing his work for him? Or did Ben only decide to kill Locke after he mentioned a certain piece of information — like dropping the name of Eloise Hawking, perhaps? Hmm.

Despite these new questions, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” actually supplied us with a lot of answers. As usual, we have to take some of it, maybe even all of it, with a grain of salt, especially considering the source: Charles Widmore.

After Locke was teleported to the Tunisia Desert, he was scooped up by some men working for Widmore, who, after a nasty leg-setting scene, gave Locke (and us) some information that helped fill in some holes:

• He was seventeen when he met Locke on the island in 1954 (seen in this season’s episode “Jughead”)
• He was the leader of the Others
• He and the Others protected the island — “peacefully,” he mentions, which I took to mean contrary to Ben’s method — for three decades
• He was exiled from the island by Ben

Some fairly juicy info, if it’s true. Locke summed up the thoughts of viewers everywhere when he said, “How do I know you’re not the one who’s lying?” Widmore doesn’t have much to say to that, although he points out that he hasn’t tried to kill Locke, and could he say the same for Ben?

It’s hard not to believe Widmore even though it’s difficult to look at him as the victim he so clearly feels himself to be. I haven’t completely written off Ben just yet, although it’s starting to look like he was never meant to lead the Others, but took the mantle anyway and has been lying to everyone, including his own people, ever since.

Some other things I liked about this episode:

Widmore’s video surveillance of “the exit,” the spot where the Frozen Donkey Wheel spits you out. It me reminded of the New Jersey turnpike in Being John Malkovich.

Locke’s visit (albeit a short one) with Walt, complete with Walt’s description of a dream in which Locke was on a beach surrounded by people who wanted to hurt him (Caesar and Iliana, maybe?).

Locke using Widmore’s resources to track down his lost love Helen (portrayed in earlier flashback by the excellent Katey Segal). It was sad to see what had happened to her. I would have liked to have seen a reunion between her and Locke, maybe even see her going with him to the island. At least they didn’t leave her as a dangling plot thread. I think that would have been worse.

Also, did you notice Locke’s “Jeremy Bentham” passport? Did you notice what country he hails from? Canada, baby.

There have been more than a few references to Canada on “Lost.” Ethan claimed he was from Ontario. The cover story of the two Others in the Looking Glass station was that they were on a mission in Canada. So what is it with the Others and Canada? Is there a pocket of electromagnetic energy in the wilds of the Northwest Territories? Maybe the CN Tower is a secret Dharma station. What would a Canadian Dharma station be called? The Donut? The Toque? The Snowbird? The Leaf?

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