The Overthinking Lost Open Thread: “What They Died For”

Your comments and discussion about the latest episode of Lost: What They Died For.

Ah, the penultimate episode.  Never thought we’d see the day, huh?

In this episode, we saw a lot of Ben and his sweet, puppyish alterna-self.  You may remember that before this season started I had hoped that Mr. Linus would be redeemed and get a big heroic death.  Earlier this season, I kinda-sorta got my wish: our old dastardly friend Ben, it seemed, had turned into a Good Guy.

Then this episode happened.

And, I must say, it was damn nice having Evil Ben back.  I didn’t know how much I missed him until he returned.

Question 1: In the end, which would you prefer to see?  An Evil Ben getting his final comeuppance or a Secretly Good Ben getting his final redemption?

(I know where I stand on this issue.  Let Evil Ben be Evil Ben.)

This week, we also saw a scene I never thought the show would allow us to enjoy.  Jacob actually sat down with his remaining Candidates and told them what The Point of it all was.  He even allowed them to have a brief Q & A session with him!  That’s pretty good for a demi-god.

Question 2: If you could ask Jacob any question, what would you ask, and what do you think his answer would be?  (My first question would be, “All the stuff you told the Losties in this episode… why didn’t you tell them all of this in the first episode?!”  He’d probably give me a dirty look in response.)

Question 3: Any final predictions before the finale?  Speak now or surrender your right to say “I told you so” next Monday morning.

Question 4: What are your greatest hopes and fears for the finale?  (My greatest hope is that Smokey does destroy the Island, allowing him to escape to the Sideways-verse, where he ends up being destroyed by all of the Alt-Losties.  This would allow Ben to be evil in the Island Universe AND get redeemed in the Sideways Universe.  Oh, and then Alt-Ben and Alt-Rousseau totally get married and we get a spin-off sitcom about them, Arzt, Locke, and Alex, and also Hurley and Desmond turn up sometimes as recurring guest stars.  What?  This is a good idea, I promise!)

See you folks on Sunday when EVERYTHING! WILL! END! EXCLAMATION POINT!

11 Comments on “The Overthinking Lost Open Thread: “What They Died For””

  1. Kevin #

    First off: BIG fan of this episode. One of the best this season.

    As for your questions:

    #1. I’m pretty confident that Ben isn’t really evil, but is just playing a long con on Smokey. Somehow at the end, he’ll manage to turn the tables and help bring about Smokey’s defeat. (Speaking of which, isn’t the “long con” pretty much every single character’s M.O. these days?)

    #2. Me: “Jacob, since you’re the one who got to make up the rules… why didn’t you make them just a little bit harder so you couldn’t be killed?”
    J: “Sounds like you want to have my job, since you think it’s so easy!”

    (As to your question: I’m sure Jacob couldn’t tell them what was up because it all has to do with the characters finding themselves, making up for their pasts, coming to terms with who they are, blah blah blah — that, or Darlton had no idea where the story would go)

    #3. I think the finale will be really moving and emotional, but the “consensus” from the nabobs will be that it didn’t answer every single outstanding question, and is thus a failure.

    From a dramatic standpoint: we’ll see the return of every leftover character who hasn’t made a return appearance yet, except for Mr. Eko — never coming back, which saddens me. Desmond will prove pivotal in the denouement, in both the Island and alt-universes. Juliet will return to the sideways as Jack’s ex-wife; she’ll meet Sawyer at the concert and ask him out for coffee. Lapidus will show up somehow in the sideways. Alt-Locke will walk again after Jack’s surgery is successful.

    (Funny that now that I think about it… I expect the sideways resolutions to be utterly predictable, as stated above… but I haven’t the foggiest what will happen on the island. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Jack die and Ben take over as the TRUE replacement for Jacob. We shall see.)

    #4. I hope that Ben does take over after Jack is killed, and that he will live forever as the new island protector. (Think about it: Jacob willingly let himself be killed by him. It was all part of the plan to redeem Ben, and it’s worked.) I hope that Kate forever remains single, because I don’t give a damn WHO she “ends up with.” I hope Hurley escapes the island carnage and gets back home.

    My fears? That some of the more *legitimately* important questions are left unanswered (What’s the real story of the cabin and the circle of ash around it? being my number one). That the ending feels too much like that of RETURN OF THE JEDI, with ghost characters making appearances as everyone stands around looking at the camera at a celebration. And that we will never get a flashback episode for good ol’ Vincent.


  2. Shawn Pitre #

    1) I’ve enjoyed conniving Ben a lot more than team-player Ben. I’d like to see him get what’s coming to him. The good part of me though wants to see him do a switcheroo right at the end and almost-but-not-quite save the day.

    2) I think I’d ask Jacob “Since you could leave the island, why didn’t you go, find a wife, and start a line of protectors passed from generation to generation?”

    3 and 4) I’m going to be out of town when the episode airs, and sadly, I am not going to see it right away. I will watch it when I can. I am looking forward to seeing what answers they do address and what ones they do not have time to fit in. I am deeply curious as to who built the statues. I can assume it was someone related to Jacob’s ‘mother’, as she had to get there somewhere.

    I did not start watching right away, I started at the end of Season 5, and plowed through the episodes in the span of less than a month. I followed along with lostpedia to ‘get’ what was happening show to show, reading up after each episode. It certainly helped mitigate some of the confusion I had. I think once it’s over, I’m going to have to watch it all over again. Mostly to kill time ;P

    Looking forward to the episode analysis, and then the movie/finale when I get to see it ;)


  3. Wordsmith #

    Well, this was quite the episode! Very well executed with some scenes we’d been waiting for (Jack becoming the new Jacob) and some we weren’t (or at least I wasn’t expecting to see Ben go back to his old ways, nor see the Ben/Widmore rivalry come to such a sudden head). But… QUESTIONS!

    1. I’m on the fence – I LOVE wicked, conniving Ben, but a part of me wants to nurture the tiny little good guy inside of him. I must say, I agree with Kevin: through all of Ben’s scenes, I was expecting some kind of hint of Ben playing Flocke, but alas, there were none that I noticed. This could be attributed simply to his desire to get revenge on Widmore, but given his last line about more people to kill… Well, maybe he really has flopped back to his evil self (but the question then is WHY??).

    Regarding his ultimate fate, I want a mixture of both. He’s a bit of a tortured soul, so I’d like to see him go out with some dignity and/or purpose, but he’s committed too much atrocity to go out with a whole gammut of sympathy (no “Life and Death” theme for his offing…).

    2. ME: “Jacob, what did they die for!? You never answered the question!”
    JACOB: *pensive glare*

    I’m sure I’d have many other more philosophical concepts to muse over with our resident Island Master, but I’d have to think long and hard about it first. But that was a legitimate question I came out of tonight’s episode with. Did anyone else hear an answer I didn’t regarding WHAT THEY DIED FOR?

    However, I heartily approved of the campfire scene. At first, I was a little worried that it might be a bit forced (I’m still bitter about the clunky Whispers reveal, and was worried it might be another major case of telling, not showing), but it was surprisingly straightforward and well-balanced.

    3/4. I simply refuse to believe that the flash-sideways is the “epilogue” and the “happy ending.” It seems far too… well, “HAPPILY EVER AFTER.” I’ve contemplated many possibilities – that there have always been multiple timelines running concurrently, but the detonation of Jughead (which was never supposed to happen in the original timeline) fused two timelines together, and the universe has been trying to course-correct itself (the Alts remembering island life, Sun losing her English). But during this episode, as Desmond rallied the troops in the Sideways universe, I began to wonder if the Sideways might actually be flashbacks… As in, the Losties had to give up their happy little lives for the greater good, enter lives of struggle for… some reason. This notion occurred to me literally half an hour ago, so it could be complete nonsense – on that note, what does everybody predict the sideways-world will turn out to be?

    As for my hopes for the finale: I’m hoping that we get some emotional confrontations, meaningful deaths and a generally satisfying conclusion. At this stage, I’m not so sure I even care about answers to the great Island mysteries: I just want to see the stories of our characters brought to suitable end.


  4. James #

    1.Ben is always playing the long con. In the end, Ben will do what’s best for Ben but honestly, I think Ben had been finally convinced that redemption was what’s best for him and is most certainly playing Smokey. Widmore was one last hurrah in the realm of villainy that he had to get out of his system, kinda like that last hamburger you eat before going vegan.

    2.Me: “Is there at least a pseudo-scientific reason behind all this b.s. or am I going to have to write fan fiction trying to explain it?”
    Jacob: “Off my island fanboy.”

    3. Claire is going to do something really fucking stupid during the finale and Lapidus will be our cheesy, miraculous saves-the-day from outta nowhere moment that we’ll all be okay with because he’s Frank-fuckin’-Lapidus.

    4. That at least one of the characters finds some measure of happiness. I’ve been through thick and thin with all of them. I want just one of these guys or gals to have a happy ending. Just one of ’em.


  5. Harold #

    1.I loved the scene where Ben said “Because No one will have me” so i like good ben trying to find redemption.
    2. Jacob, what is the light at the center of the island?
    3. Evil Locke will die, and be replaced by either Sawyer or Kate. Each want off the Island badly, for different reasons and have been willing to walk along on the darkside to achieve their goals. Beginning another cycle with Jack keeping them on the Island. Jack’s baby Mamma is Juliet. I still cant figure out what the SWU is!
    4. Hope, some justice for some of the Losties, like Hugo finding happiness. Fears, a Soprano’s style ending where its ALLLLL up to us to decide EVERYING.


  6. fenzel #

    I really hope that the Smoke Monster escapes the island and goes to New York City. When Jack can’t stop him, Smokey tries to kill everybody at the big peace conference at the United Nations. He takes out President Taylor and is about to kill Dalia Hassan when, all of a sudden, he gets shot dead. When he falls, we see Tony Almeida standing behind him in a prison jumpsuit with Jack’s gun – and an eyepatch!

    Just remember guys, the REAL series finale — with the REAL Jack — is Monday night.






  7. zws #

    Q: so, you need to bring people to the island because Smokie wants to kill you and you need someone to protect the island in case he does kill you, but he can’t harm you by himself, so he would need a third party to kill you, right? then, why don’t you just try to keep people OFF the island, and protect it yourself?
    and, in case you keep bringing people to prove some kind of philosophical point, like, say, the inherent goodness of humankind, if the task of protecting the island is as important as you say it is, isn’t that a bit irresponsible and egocentric?


  8. stabbim #

    @zws –

    Jacob: Yes. Yes, it is a bit irresponsible and egocentric of me. But then, I don’t think that point is lost (heh) on the writers who created me. Surely you’ve noticed that even though many of the other characters in this story afford me near-deity status, I tend to come off as a bratty, passive-aggressive dick a lot of the time? Probably best not to mistake fate for coincidence where that’s concerned. *shrug* Hey, I guess ol’ What’sHisName was right: all people are corruptible. Even me. Hey, can you help with this drawstring?


  9. dock #

    I know it probably wont happen, but if I had my way Locke would get off the island, with Ben making the final deal selling out all of mankind for his deed to the island. The bad guys win. Its a risk, but think of the impact an ending like that would have.

    Q1- I was so happy to see Evil Ben return. He finally beat Widmore once and for all. Even Locke was impressed, which made me laugh out loud and enjoy the moment that much more. I want to see him live and not be redeemed, if that is an option. If he could somehow stay on the island as Lockes representative, like Richard is to Jacob, and still be alive and evil…thatd be pretty sweet.

    Me- Alright seriously, your always blowing off questions and acting coy, but the truth is you were never full expained any of the answers, either, were you? Your only slightly less cluess than the rest of us, but you still dont know the big meaning either, do you?
    Jacob- No.
    Me- No, what? No I’m wrong or no you dont know?
    Jacob- smiles and walks away.
    Me- Son of a bitch.

    Q3- I kinda think its going to be crazier than people expect. Now that Jack is official, having drank from the cup, the other candidates are now no longer needed. When the island doesnt need you anymore….watch out. Final scene- Jack and Locke the only two left on the island, playing backgammon on the beach. Slow pan to the sky.

    Q4- My greatest hope is like yours, Mlawski. I want Locke to get off the island. I want Ben to run the island by himself and get to cradle his precious like the little gollum that he is. I want an absolute victory for Team Locke. Have the hero’s fail and the bad guys win out. Make waves. Greatest fear…I guess the exact opposite. Everyone wins, happy endings all around..thatd be lame.

    And I hope to see alt-vincent.


  10. Gab #

    1) I’m a sap, and I’d like to see him get redeemed. As others have said, I hope he’s doing a long con.

    2) “Do you have any Gray Poupon?” He’d shoot me.

    3&4) There is a big difference between “prediction” and “hope.” The former means I think something has a chance of happening; the latter means I want it to happen. As such, I don’t have enough confidence to really *predict* anything, but I can hope for a sh*t-ton of stuff to happen. I’ll give the first ones I can think of off the top of my head. I want…

    …Miles and Hurley to live.
    …Kate to die, or at least end up alone and miserable.
    …Penny and Des to be together.
    …Sawyer and Ben to both get a metaphorical ride-off-into-the-sunset moment at the end.
    …to not see Micheal again.
    …Smokey to stop using Locke’s form.
    …to know what happen(s/ed) to Rose and Bernard. For certain.
    …Richard to die.

    What I’m afraid of:

    -Kate and Sawyer ending up together.
    -Micheal somehow coming back- and even worse if he ends up being a hero, to boot.
    -Jack, Des, Penny, Hurley, and Miles dying.
    -Richard dying uselessly.


  11. dock #

    It is 10:25 here in Philadelphia, and today is the day that a new Lost episode will air for the last time ever. I am both excited and depressed.


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