Lost : Season 6, Episode 7 : The Redemption of Benjamin Linus

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For those of us who have followed the labyrinthine ABC series Lost over the course its’ 6 seasons, the tagline “The Answers Are Coming” that preceded the current run could not have been fulfilled quickly enough. 

We have ended up a far way from where we started. Initially, I was massively interested just by the situation of Lost, the meeting of a diverse group of people of different cultures, ages and experiences. The sheer ambition of it, the expense, making what effectively amounts to a short film each week, just showed so much balls. It Lost (excuse the pun) quite a few followers along the way as people became frustrated with its’ ever-increasing number of backstories, subplots, and surreal plot twists, which provoked more questions than were answered with each single episode. I stuck with it, and now I am particularly glad that I did. 

The makers of lost, JJ Abrams and his cohorts, insist that they knew what they were doing all along, and it was always intended to be what it is now. Some kind of supernatural, time-travelling tale, a brutal fight to the death to be a super human king (or queen) of the island, now that, in this the series, mythical, mysterious figure of Jacob has been violently murdered by his long time acolyte, Ben Linus.

There has always been something incredibly fragile, sensitive, and delicate about Ben Linus, in the way he looks, that has always been at odds with his capricious, deceitful and treacherous behaviour throughout the series. He makes me think of another baddie in another series altogether, Heroes, where Zachary Quinto’s mass murdering anti-hero Sylar always leaves you feeling he may have a good heart, despite his violent actions.

When Sylar was redeemed just a few weeks ago in the season finale of the recent Heroes series, it was done in a perfunctory manner, to quickly tie together various strands of the plot, and hurriedly rush the current run to it’s conclusion. I believe Sylar had good in him, but the way it came out, I just didn’t believe it, it was too saccharine, too easy the way he suddenly said he was a good guy out to help get the bad guys.

But in this episode, which shows another Ben in the parallel universe that the Lost gang have somehow ended up in, we see the gentle, kind, caring man he could have been, were it not for the terrible things that had been done to him as a child. We see the Ben we know confess to Jacob’s murder (albeit at gunpoint), revealing his anger at Jacob, and his realisation, too late, that after years of fighting tooth and nail to protect the island, he chose it over the life of his own daughter, and that was the wrong choice. For once, I believed him when he spoke.

Plenty of other stuff happened, this week in Episode 7. We saw the completion of the transformation of Jack, from a cynical man of science and medicine, unsure of himself and his worth, into a man of faith, taking up the space left by the original man of faith, Locke.

For a series that’s often been more frustrating than rewarding during its’ time, the days that pass between the current episodes can’t come fast enough. 

 

1 Comment

  1. Gerard McGarry

    I’m a couple of episodes behind on Lost, but I’ve only started watching the series this year. I caught the tail end of the last season and decided to start watching it for the finale.

    I think for me, there’s a steep learning curve working out who the characters are and what roles they’ve played. Still, I’ll confess to having been sucked in by the strange mix of supernatural and action/thriller elements in each story. The parallel lives thing that’s going on at the moment is bending my mind in a big way!

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