The Invisible Man

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Leave it to Lost to answer some of the big questions about the island with a Ben flashback, but replace those questions with even bigger ones. Yes, Virginia, here there be spoilers.

We learn that contrary to what Ben's been telling everyone, he wasn't born on the island. Like seemingly everyone else who got marooned there, he had some serious issues with his parents. Loved the explanation for the VW bus and the skeleton (and beer!) inside it (and the fact that the writers thought ahead and gave us the bus episode in the first place to make this flashback more resonant). We didn't really find out more about what the Dharma Initiative was up to, and we know conclusively that Ben's group are the so-called Hostiles, but we have no idea who the Hostiles are and why they're, er, hostile. And how exactly was Nestor Carbonell seemingly unaged between the time he first met Ben and today? Or can we just chalk that up to not being able to make the actor more youthful?

The big question, of course, is what's the deal with Jacob? He clearly wasn't a figment of Ben's imagination. Locke heard him, and he definitely moved. But Ben didn't hear what he said to Locke, so he's not just invisible. I feel like we've crossed over into Heroes.

Ben is clearly threatened by Locke. Leadership of his little group seems to be dictated by the level of communion one has with the island. Locke's brand new to the group, and yet nobody interfered with his pummeling of Mikhail. They deferred to him. Ben is clearly not happy with the idea of losing control. Did his daughter know Locke was in danger from Ben? Is that why she gave him the gun?

We've seen a lot of ghosts on the island: Jack's dad, Kate's horse(?), Eko's brother, Ben's mom. Is Ben right about the "magic box"-- does the island provide people with the things they most desire?

Questions, questions, questions. But last night's episode cooked, and proved once again that the show's at its most interesting when it fills in the holes.

5 Comments

He's not always invisible either! They showed Jacob for a split second last night during the tantrum. Ben got pushed back to the wall and when the camera panned back to the chair, there was a silhouette of a man sitting in the chair. I had to rewind and slow-mo to confirm that I wasn't just seeing things.

As for the hostile with the impeccable eyeliner, I'm saying he hasn't aged since Ben was a kid. I mean, is that hard to believe what with ghosts, black smoke monsters, and invisible leaders?

I had chalked it up to bad/lazy makeup (how awful was young-adult-Ben's wig?) but Lostpedia seems to think it's an important fact that Richard did not age. Ben asks him "you do remember birthdays, don't you?" which does seem significant in retrospect.

The other discrepancy that's either significant or a continuity error is that Ben's birthday is Dec 22, but it certainly didn't look like December in Oregon when he was born. My theory is that he changed his birthday to be the day he arrived on the island, which might explain why his father kept forgetting the date.

About Jacob, check out this post. For a split second, there is a human figure in the cabin. He looks vaguely like Pickett, but apparently the producers have said many times that Jacob is not someone we've seen before. I was totally expecting Ben to turn around after entering the cabin and say "John, Jacob is YOU" in a Manchurian Candidate kind of thing. That would help explain why no one stopped him from beating up Mikhail but I'm kind of glad they didn't go that way. But Jacob being an invisible advisor made me think of Carnivale. I wonder if that was an intentional reference? (Clancy Brown was in both shows!) The bad-guy-kills-his-parent thing totally felt like Heroes, but that was probably more clearly coincidental. (Greg Grunberg was in both shows!)

The previous ghosts seemed to be manifestations of the smoke monster, especially Yemi. But that doesn't explain how Ben's mom showed up inside the protective pylons.

She didn't-- she was outside the pylons. That's why she told Ben to stop, otherwise he'd have been killed.

Speaking of Mikhail, the explanation for his survival was so extremely lame that it makes me think it was a lie. Not sure what else it could be, though. Twins? Clone? The Magic of the Island?

She also showed up by his window, where the tree limb was knocking against it.

Clearly Mikhail 2 is actually Candace, using her illusion power on behalf of Linderman. But what does Linderman want with the Others?

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