Of the four episodes we’ve had so far this year, this one was the weakest. It’s not that it was necessarily bad, but it was just when Claire said, “Oh, you should try being a Mom sometime” I figured somehow Aaron would be the mysterious son that was referred to in the flash-forwards. Guessing this a good half an hour or so before the storyline got to the revelation kind of took a bit of the wind out of the sails on this one.
It’s a contrast to last week when I figured out about two minutes before the story let on that Ben was the one pulling Sayid’s strings. In that case, I didn’t guess so far in advance that it ruined my enjoying seeing how the mystery unfolded for the rest of the story or feel like there should be giant signs jumping up shouting “foreshadowing!” every time it was mentioned. And that’s kind of how things felt here with the revelation that Kate took Aaron.
Even to the point that when we had moments of nearly-nekkid Kate, which I usually enjoy, I found myself getting a bit annoyed. I felt as if I wanted to move past these points and get back to the things that are really interesting taking place on the show.
The biggest being–just who is Benjamin Linus. Interesting that Locke should take Ben a novel by Philip K Dick. If you’ve read any of PKD’s work, you know a lot of it has to do with questions of identity and paranoia. Which pretty much sums up a lot of what’s going on around Ben these days. I’ve not read Valis, but I’m intrigued now to pick up a copy and give it a read. To see what, if any insights we can gain into the show and Ben.
So, it appears Ben is the head honcho of something. What it is, we’re not exactly sure yet, but he apparently can create multiple passports and has access to large amounts of money. Is whatever he’s in charge of a group whose interests run counter to the Penny’s group? And why is that group so hellbent on finding Ben? Has he committed some kind of crimes? Or is it something else that while not criminal may have dealt a big setback to the other group? And who exactly is the guy on the other end giving the orders? Is it somehow related to Jacob? Is that why Ben has Jacob locke up in a shed? Is that why Ben taunts Locke when he goes looking for Jacob? If Jacob is freed by Locke, will this lead to the battle that Ben is part of in the flash-forwards?
Meanwhile, he still continues to pull strings. He pulls Miles string, he pulls Kate’s strings and he pulls Locke’s strings. It’s interesting to watch the leadership styles of Locke and Jack start to go awry. After opposing each other for so long and being in such a power struggle, I begin to wonder if the two needed each other to effectively lead. Each has strengths that cover the others weaknesses as it were. Cracks are starting to show in both leadership styles from Locke’s becoming an overbearing dictator type (almost Ben-like) to Jack’s inability to inspire much confidence in the troops. Sun’s question about Kate going over to Locke’s side was very telling.
There are also some other interesting questions–why haven’t Desmond, Sayid and the others reached the boat? What is the time effect that surrounds the island?
Meanwhile, in the future, questions continue to come up. We know four of the six Oceanic Six, though the story they tell is that eight survived. Who are the other two that they said made it off the plane but died on the island? And did the world buy that they starved for several weeks when Hurley returned? Why are they such celebrities? I am sure many of you know the other two of the six not yet revealed, but if you do, don’t tell me. And if Desmond makes it off the island, does he count? Or are there seven people who successfully left the island? (And what about Michael, who left the island with Walt? Does he count? Does Walt?)
Also, it’s interesting that as we saw in the flashbacks, the lives of the people on the plane are still intertwined. Jack has shown up in three of the four we’ve seen so far. Did he broker some kind of deal? Did he get the others of the six to accept it? If so, what was the deal? And is he showing up to make sure everyone stays on the same page storywise? Was that part of his desire to help Kate by lying on the stand? Yes, he loves her, but is part of it to cover his own rear for the lies he’s told? And is the consequence of that and those lies what catches up to him later and makes him desparate to get back to the island?
A lot of questions, not a lot of answers. But then again, this is Lost.