Friday, April 10, 2009

Further "Dead is Dead" Thoughts

Some of this post came out of a discussion on a GameFaqs message board (you have to be a registered user to read it).

1) Ilana

The more I think about it, the more I think this is a case of Widmore one upping Ben. I bet Charles knew what Ben was up to and sent Ilana (and several others) to make sure they were on Flight 316. He certainly must have known that Ben had Sayid picking off all his people. Probably just told her to latch onto him like glue and make sure they all got on whatever flight Jack Shephard booked.

2) Ben, Eko and Smokey

From the linked discussion above:
Upon what criteria does Smokey judge those it comes into contact with? We only have two real people where we get to see it from beginning to end, and they are starkly different.

EKO: I ask for no forgiveness, Father. For I have not sinned. I have only done what I needed to do to survive.

[Yemi lets his hand fall from the cross and Eko lowers it.]

EKO: A small boy once asked me if I was a bad man. If I could answer him now, I would tell him that... when I was a young boy, I killed a man to save my brother's life. I am not sorry for this. I am proud of this!

[Eko drops to his knees in front of Yemi and spreads his arms out.]

EKO: I did not ask for the life that I was given. But it was given, nonetheless. And with it... I did my best.

As compared to:

BEN: Ohh, Alex. I am so, so sorry. It was all my fault.

There has to be more to it besides remorse and repentance, but that's a nice base. Right after Eko ends his speech Smoke Yemi gets disgusted and kills him shortly afterwards. After Ben, it simply says "I know" and lays the verbal smackdown on him about future trespasses. I mean, Eko wasn't a saint but he was much more of a 'better man' than Ben. Maybe not to the Island though, which may have been a tipping point if we still believe it's the Island's security system.
I think that this actually was a bit of a cop-out by the writers, much the way Ben entering the Temple "erased" his memory. Realistically, there's no way Ben should have lived after being judged by Smokey if his whole life was weighed. But instead Smokey conveniently chose to weigh the one single aspect of Ben's life where he showed a glimmer of humanity: Alex (and his decision to let Penny live). Kinda lame.

Now you could argue that the remorse and repentance factor was the only straw there - and I think that's what the writers are aiming for, but does Ben show any remorse for slaughtering the entire DHARMA initiative? For turning Sayid into a killbot? For blackmailing Jack into doing surgery by threatening to kill Sawyer? And, most importantly, for killing or attempting to kill John Locke three times (I count convincing John not to press the button so he'd get imploded as one)?

Ben can argue that everything he's done has been for the Island - everything, that is, except trying to kill John, which to me was solely because he saw John as a threat to his power and it seems the Monster should have been a LOT more pissed at him for that than he was.

3) Ben, Ethan and DHARMA

Seems like Ben (and Ethan) spent quite a bit of time with the Others while they were still in DHARMA. How did they manage to get away without arousing too much suspicion? Perhaps DHARMA life was a bit too chaotic towards the end to keep track of everyone? I wonder if they had a lot more Other moles in DHARMA aside from Ethan and Ben to help cover for them. Maybe Ben recruited people over the years...

4) Smokey and the Blast Door Map

Just to refresh our memories, here's what the Blast Door Map had to say about Smokey:
Primary nexus of Cerberus related activity

Caduceus station believe to have been abandoned due to AH/MDG incident of 1985...
...or possible catastrophic malfunction of Cerberus System
The DHARMA folk (or at least Kelvin/Radzinsky) called the Monster, Cerberus, after the legendary guardian of the underworld. The map makes it sound like the Monster is a DHARMA security system that "malfunctioned," but we know now that's not true since the Monster certainly seems to an Island native that pre-dates DHARMA.

Now we know DHARMA built the Barracks directly over the place where the Monster was summoned AND built a sonic fence to keep him out. Perhaps they kind of co-opted the Monster to use against the Others, summoning it when the Others attacked them - it wouldn't have entered the Barracks as long as the fence was up. One may ask why it would attack Island natives, but it really doesn't seem to have any great love for anyone aside from Ben or Locke. Maybe it worked for a while, but eventually Ben convinced it to stop and turned it against them entirely. Certainly one of the biggest questions we have left.

5) The Whispers and the Blast Door Map

I also have long thought that these BDM notations were references to the Whispers:
  • High potential for R.V.S. Facility
  • Interference might also prevent location use as listening station/cryptography research/communications analysis facility
With R.V.S. standing for Remote Viewing Station. In other words, DHARMA had a station used to view all around the Island (which they actually had several since The Barracks, The Pearl, The Flame and The Hydra had some security camera viewing stations in them), but that at least one "listening station" had the capability to listen in on and communicate with other areas.

But considering Ben told Danielle to run if she heard the Whispers when he took Alex (which pre-dates the Purge) really suggests that the Whispers are entirely an Others phenomenon and not a DHARMA one. This, to me, means that the likely source of the Whispers is in the Temple.

Remember also that Whispers were heard right before Richard and the Others ambush Keamy's team in "There's No Place Like Home," when Richard and the Others were already supposed to be at the Temple. And this has happened several times where the Others have seemingly appeared out of nowhere right after the Whispers are heard. So maybe the Temple has some sort of teleportation ability that's able of viewing, listening in on, communicating with and teleporting people to any area of the Island? Only thing I can think of at this point.

Lots to think about after this episode. Can't wait to get the scoop on Miles next week. :)


mastaiti said...

Perhaps Smoky had issues with Eko building a church on his island?

Jay said...

No, I don't think so. Seems to me if anything it was the fact that Eko showed no remorse for the things that he did. But I do think that a bit of a double standard was applied to Ben and Eko. :)

Arcticroses said...

I was thinking the same thing about Illana and some of the other passengers. Specifically since they were intent on opening that cargo crate. And she told that guy to "Get everyone else. Tell them it's time", which leads me to think that she packed that cargo crate and brought back up with her for a certain reason. She has a plan.

Capcom said...

Teleportation sounds good to me. I also hope that remote viewing has a part in the whispers too. Say, you do some RVing to seek and locate the person, then you transport to where they are. Smokey could be a RVing vehicle as well maybe.

I like the Ilana/Wid idea too.

What confuses me about Eko is that he truly was remorseful there for a while, until AAA decided to leave the show. Then all of a sudden, making restitution for past sins is out the window and Eko's dead. :-p

Jay said...

That always bothered me too, Capcom, but I think the bottom line with Eko was that, despite all his attempts at redemption during Season 2, in the end when the Monster asked him to "confess" he basically showed no remorse for "the life he was given."

It's a bit of semantics to be sure. :P