Author Topic: Ben's tumor: The Cause?  (Read 7006 times)

Offline Lion of Atreides

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Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« on: February 17, 2008, 08:04:38 AM »
I think this episode finally offers a plausible explanation why Ben developed his spinal tumor, despite the island's putative healing properties.  Namely, the tumor could have begun to grow during his frequent, and possibly extended, trips off the island. But this raises two new questions:

Why didn't he have the tumor operated on at the Mayo clinic?
   I think someone mentioned on another post, that if you're going to have major surgery, best to have it where you recover by magical powers.  At the Mayo clinic, he might have been in the ICU for weeks recovering.  There would also be the risk that inflammation would leave scarring.  As it turned out, he was soon to be seen traipsing around the island with the mother of his adopted child and 15 of her smelliest friends.

Why didn't the tumor shrink on its own upon his return(s) to the island?
   This is a toughie.  But from John's frequent loss of the ability to walk during his 'crises of faith', it seems the healing isn't total and permanent like Claire's in Heroes.  Rather, it seems the island gave John the equivalent of a 'temporary shunt' around his severed spinal cord, which it can remove at will.  Both Rose and John fear leaving the island, as they feel they would once again become cancerous/parapalegic, respectively.
   Could it be that Jacob removed the 'temporary shunt' protecting Ben from his tumor, because he wanted to replace Ben (his prisoner behind the ash barrier) with John?  Being the powerful being that Jacob is, he was able to nudge John such that he was on Flight 815.  And being the manipulative SOB that Ben is, he was able to nudge Jack such that he, too, was on Flight 815.  Hence, the conflict between Jacob & Ben has birthed the one between our Man of Faith, John, and our Man of Science, Jack.
   

« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 07:24:30 PM by Lion of Atreides »

Offline LostAndSeek

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2008, 09:53:49 AM »
Always interesting ideas, LOA.

Ben being off the island for extended periods might explain his aging too. Richard goes off the island, but perhaps only for very short periods at a time. Hence minimal aging. Just an idea.

I think we have to separate Locke's two cases of regression. I can only think of two.... In the Dharma pit case, he's suffering severe physical trauma, thinks he's going to die.

In the Boone-trek-to-the-plane case, he's had an injury, but physical trauma seemed to have little to do with his problem. (Nor do I much buy into the crisis of faith argument, as he went through much more of a crisis in S2 without losing his bennies.) It was almost as though the Island/Jacob/somebody wanted the plane (or it's nearby hatch) to be found, but also wanted to be sure Locke wasn't the one to climb up to the plane...

I also wonder if proximity has something to do with it. Ben thinks Locke's presence is the reason he (Ben) finally heals quickly from the aftereffects of surgery. And Walt's presence has a similar effect on Locke.


Offline jugdish

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2008, 10:38:53 AM »
Ben just discovered his tumor around 100 days ago. So there was not a lot of time off island to get it fixed. We also do not know how he gets off island. We do know since des turned the key, life has not been the same for the Others. So that might of ended his quick way off the isalnd.

Offline TheGoodPeople

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2008, 04:27:32 PM »
OK this is a bigtime stretch but maybe the tumor was caused by the after effects of the killer purge gas. Ben isn't being healed by the island because he was the cause of so much death. has there been a thread or any discussion of wheather or not the island can act in a conscience manner.

Offline Lion of Atreides

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2008, 07:37:00 PM »
Always interesting ideas, LOA.

Ben being off the island for extended periods might explain his aging too. Richard goes off the island, but perhaps only for very short periods at a time. Hence minimal aging. Just an idea.

Surely it has been remarked before that, concerning the slow progression of aging, that it nonetheless doesn't prevent children and fetuses from developing.  Otherwise, Ben wouldn't have grown up, and the fetuses conceived on the island that all killed their mothers wouldn't have gestated to the point in the pregnancy that would become fatal.  In other words, the anti-aging effect doesn't affect growth, just aging.  So, recent medical breakthroughs in our understanding of the role of telomeres may be tapped someday as an explanation. Oddly tho, telomeres are also implicated in the development of cancer...

I think we have to separate Locke's two cases of regression. I can only think of two.... In the Dharma pit case, he's suffering severe physical trauma, thinks he's going to die.

In the Boone-trek-to-the-plane case, he's had an injury, but physical trauma seemed to have little to do with his problem. (Nor do I much buy into the crisis of faith argument, as he went through much more of a crisis in S2 without losing his bennies.) It was almost as though the Island/Jacob/somebody wanted the plane (or it's nearby hatch) to be found, but also wanted to be sure Locke wasn't the one to climb up to the plane...

Things which the island could accomplish if it could switch on/off a 'temporary shunt'.

I also wonder if proximity has something to do with it. Ben thinks Locke's presence is the reason he (Ben) finally heals quickly from the aftereffects of surgery. And Walt's presence has a similar effect on Locke.

A sort of kirlian energy, or reiki treatment. I like it!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 07:56:41 PM by Lion of Atreides »

Offline WhatThe

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2008, 07:44:59 PM »
Ben just discovered his tumor around 100 days ago. So there was not a lot of time off island to get it fixed. We also do not know how he gets off island. We do know since des turned the key, life has not been the same for the Others. So that might of ended his quick way off the isalnd.
Yeah, and I seem to remember Ben saying that Jack crashed on the island within days of him finding out about his tumor. Which would mean that in Ben's mind, the island "brought" him a spinal surgeon. Ben even said so himself.

Offline Lion of Atreides

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2008, 08:12:50 PM »
Yeah, I now recall the whole Amelia/Juliet Mobisode about the X-ray happening prior to the book club, which met Sept 22, the day of Flight 815's crash.  Surely Ben found out himself just prior, and the Others' grapevine leaked the info quickly and efficiently.  So that would suggest that Ben the manipulative SOB wasn't responsible for engineering it so that a spinal surgeon was on the plane.  If the island was responsible for this action which could save Ben's life, is it possible that Jacob and the island aren't necessarily the same force, and are working at cross-purposes? 

Sayid's comment about everyone having a boss is interesting.  At the bottom of the heap are regular Muggles, clueless to the world about them.  Above the Muggles are enlightened humans such as Ben.  Above Ben are beings like Jacob that have evolved further.  And above Jacob is whatever dynamo that acts as the ultimate source of power for this island.  Perhaps the island and Ben's motives are in sync, and so the island expended the effort to bring Jack here.  Not in sync with the island & Ben, Jacob nonetheless retains some powers, which he used to ensure Locke made it on the plane, to become his surrogate and battle against Ben.  Ergo, the 'Help me!' plea.

Offline laklost

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2008, 08:21:30 PM »
Yeah, I now recall the whole Amelia/Juliet Mobisode about the X-ray happening prior to the book club, which met Sept 22, the day of Flight 815's crash.  Surely Ben found out himself just prior, and the Others' grapevine leaked the info quickly and efficiently.  So that would suggest that Ben the manipulative SOB wasn't responsible for engineering it so that a spinal surgeon was on the plane.  If the island was responsible for this action which could save Ben's life, is it possible that Jacob and the island aren't necessarily the same force, and are working at cross-purposes? 

Sayid's comment about everyone having a boss is interesting.  At the bottom of the heap are regular Muggles, clueless to the world about them.  Above the Muggles are enlightened humans such as Ben.  Above Ben are beings like Jacob that have evolved further.  And above Jacob is whatever dynamo that acts as the ultimate source of power for this island.  Perhaps the island and Ben's motives are in sync, and so the island expended the effort to bring Jack here.  Not in sync with the island & Ben, Jacob nonetheless retains some powers, which he used to ensure Locke made it on the plane, to become his surrogate and battle against Ben.  Ergo, the 'Help me!' plea.

So how does the island and its inherent power win?  Through the release of Jacob or through the destruction of Ben?  Both goals seem to be on the table.  If Jacob is anti-island, then we are cheering for Ben?  I don't believe it.  He is the villain.  We don't need two more seasons worth of episodes to prove that.  This week's was sufficient.

Offline LostAndSeek

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2008, 08:31:39 PM »

Yeah, and I seem to remember Ben saying that Jack crashed on the island within days of him finding out about his tumor. Which would mean that in Ben's mind, the island "brought" him a spinal surgeon. Ben even said so himself.

The day after, actually. And he said something like having a spinal surgeon fall out of the sky was enough to make one believe in God. In retrospect none of this fits very well though. If Ben wants a spinal surgeon he should be able to order one up out of his magic box.

Offline LostAndSeek

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2008, 08:34:13 PM »

Things which the island could accomplish if it could switch on/off a 'temporary shunt'.


Yeah, I wasn't necessarily disagreeing with you, just trying to think it through.

Offline WhatThe

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2008, 08:35:12 PM »
Yeah, I now recall the whole Amelia/Juliet Mobisode about the X-ray happening prior to the book club, which met Sept 22, the day of Flight 815's crash.  Surely Ben found out himself just prior, and the Others' grapevine leaked the info quickly and efficiently.  So that would suggest that Ben the manipulative SOB wasn't responsible for engineering it so that a spinal surgeon was on the plane.  If the island was responsible for this action which could save Ben's life, is it possible that Jacob and the island aren't necessarily the same force, and are working at cross-purposes? 

Sayid's comment about everyone having a boss is interesting.  At the bottom of the heap are regular Muggles, clueless to the world about them.  Above the Muggles are enlightened humans such as Ben.  Above Ben are beings like Jacob that have evolved further.  And above Jacob is whatever dynamo that acts as the ultimate source of power for this island.  Perhaps the island and Ben's motives are in sync, and so the island expended the effort to bring Jack here.  Not in sync with the island & Ben, Jacob nonetheless retains some powers, which he used to ensure Locke made it on the plane, to become his surrogate and battle against Ben.  Ergo, the 'Help me!' plea.
What if the island itself is the "dynamo" and "ultimate source of power" that is above Jacob?...And maybe it needs Jacob in order to survive somehow, like a human battery (thinking Matrix now lol)...and what if the last show of this insane series ends with Locke taking Jacob's place, condemned to sit forever alone in the cabin, keeping the island alive and powerful and forever invisible to the rest of the world? lol :)

Offline footballmom10

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2008, 10:45:11 PM »
I think Ben's tumor is from using the time travel/alternate universe/magic box thing too much.  It would be like getting too many X-rays.  Also, as noted, from his being away from the restorative effects of the island for too long a time. :) :)

Offline Lion of Atreides

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2008, 12:08:58 AM »
...and what if the last show of this insane series (sacre bleu!)ends with Locke taking Jacob's place, condemned to sit forever alone in the cabin, keeping the island alive and powerful and forever invisible to the rest of the world? lol :)

Sounds like The Caretaker in ST: Voyager.  I doubt the writers would go with such an idea that's already been used.

Offline Lion of Atreides

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2008, 12:19:04 AM »
I think Ben's tumor is from using the time travel/alternate universe/magic box thing too much.  It would be like getting too many X-rays.  Also, as noted, from his being away from the restorative effects of the island for too long a time. :) :)

If indeed that is how Ben is getting around, rather than by conventional means.  The passports and the picture Miles has of Ben in what could be an airport suggests conventional means.

I have another theory why he developed the tumor.  Perhaps coming & going to & from the island repeatedly is traumatic on the body.  Every time you return, the island gives a boost to the immune system, which goes into overdrive fixing your broken nerves, fighting off cancer, etc.  Then when you leave, the immune system crashes.  Overdrive, crash, overdrive, crash... Pretty soon it may start to fail regardless of the fact that you've returned to the island again. The same thing happens over time as people age.  The immune system, seen as a system with finite resources, starts to run out of resources.  At that point, mundane infections flare up and the risk of morbidity increases.

Offline PrincessLeia

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Re: Ben's tumor: The Cause?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2008, 02:09:58 AM »

Yeah, and I seem to remember Ben saying that Jack crashed on the island within days of him finding out about his tumor. Which would mean that in Ben's mind, the island "brought" him a spinal surgeon. Ben even said so himself.

The day after, actually. And he said something like having a spinal surgeon fall out of the sky was enough to make one believe in God. In retrospect none of this fits very well though. If Ben wants a spinal surgeon he should be able to order one up out of his magic box.
I've considered this as a possible reason that the plane was 1,000 miles offcourse.