Sledgeweb's Lost ... Stuff Forum

Episode Discussion (Spoiler Free) => Season 4 => Episode 4x03 => Topic started by: Gmonkey on February 16, 2008, 12:06:37 AM

Title: The Truth
Post by: Gmonkey on February 16, 2008, 12:06:37 AM
Hi everyone.

After ep3 the economist i was left wondering - whose side should we be on?? is ben really a goodie? should locke be listening to the island? are the freighters really that bad?. It has become more than apparent to me that things are not as they seem at all, and because we don't know the truth behind everybody's past present and future, we can make very false judgments on characters. Who should we really be trusting???
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LouE68 on February 16, 2008, 12:13:18 AM
We don't know, too much speculation...it could be becasue of the purge, that would a logical assumtion I think...but, we don't know what type or how many emenies Ben and his group have made, we don't know how many allies they have...there could be more than one group trying to get to the island...the truth is out there...
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LostAndSeek on February 16, 2008, 12:15:10 AM
It's beginning to look like there are at least two very powerful forces battling each other. One is the Boaties and their allies, which I think includes whatever is left of Dharma. And on the other side we have, well, the Others. In the middle we have the Losties who, for the most part, were trying hard to make better people out of themselves while on the island and seem to lose their way once they leave.

There is no group who is purely good or purely bad, just shades of gray. Ben and the Others are responsible for Dharmacaust so they remain a very dark gray for me until I hear a very good explanation. Locke is getting darker too. Sorry, but I need a better explanation for stabbing a woman he's never met before in the back than "Tall Walt told me to".

This is a hot topic in some existing threads, GMonk, so don't be too surprised if the mods move it, but it's a topic we'll be returning to for as long as Lost is on the air.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LouE68 on February 16, 2008, 12:26:37 AM
...and there there are the spoilers which seem to indicate something else, for why the boaties are there... :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: dragonflyk on February 16, 2008, 12:45:59 AM
...and there there are the spoilers which seem to indicate something else, for why the boaties are there... :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X

could you point me to these spoilers? ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LouE68 on February 16, 2008, 12:55:02 AM
General Spoiler Talk, i posted a segment I read from another website...
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Blackrock Bob on February 16, 2008, 01:22:03 AM
I have to go with Jack. Not Ben, not Locke, Not Widmore/Hanso/Dharma/Paik....

Jack is the key. He looses his way, but no matter how much he cries and screws up, thens turn out ok.
I'm sure that the Island is the force of good, and everyone else is misusing it.
Hurley felt like he should have went with Jack, and I agree with him.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: jumbotron on February 16, 2008, 03:43:28 AM
Jacks an idiot with a one track mind can't see the big picture.  Locke's a fool who believes everything he see's.  Ben's a two faced mass murdering liar.  I aint going with any of these guys!  Until last night I would have said Sayid in a heartbeat... now?????
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: goober on February 16, 2008, 03:06:06 PM
I'm with DESMOND  :o :o :o

Bottom's Up mate!  8) :P
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: thebeann on February 16, 2008, 04:51:28 PM
I still think that Ben really believes that he is 'the good guy' and that whatever he is doing, he is doing for the greater good. He and his people are protecting the world from something on the island, or vice versa. I think we will find out in the end that Ben is right and bad things happen when the real world clashes with the island.

I think it's difficult to pick sides because they keep changing. But I believe we have seen that many Losties are already gravitating to the "Ben" side and I tend to put my money there too.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: laklost on February 16, 2008, 04:55:59 PM
If it's not just a question of who is right and who is wrong, my money is still with the characters you CARE about.  I want the best for Kate, Jack, Claire, Sun and Jin, Hurley.  Everyone has their own list. I think it's a question of what kind of choices they are making - not whether they turn out well or not, but are they "living together" or "dying alone."

The island is the most important element.  I used to think someONE was the main character - now, I firmly believe that the island is not just a catalyst - it is the hero.

And yes, I HAVE taken my meds today!  :D
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: E.S.B. on February 16, 2008, 07:23:11 PM
Laklost, you are dead on again.  It's about the characters - they make bad choices, they make mistakes, they lose their way.  In the end, we hope that the Island leads them down the right path.  Even when they do bad things they regret or bad stuff happens to them -- even when Jack is close-minded and Locke is nutty and Sawyer kills Tom when he didn't have to, etc etc -- we still root for them.

I still think we can add Sawyer, Sayid and maybe even Locke to the list of characters we care about.   ;)
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LostGirlDeb on February 16, 2008, 07:52:26 PM
I still think that Ben really believes that he is 'the good guy' and that whatever he is doing, he is doing for the greater good. He and his people are protecting the world from something on the island, or vice versa. I think we will find out in the end that Ben is right and bad things happen when the real world clashes with the island.

I think it's difficult to pick sides because they keep changing. But I believe we have seen that many Losties are already gravitating to the "Ben" side and I tend to put my money there too.
I agree!
I got yelled at for saying that way back when.... :-\
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: thebeann on February 16, 2008, 08:09:17 PM
Lost-Girl, maybe we both are crazy! I just don't think Ben is inherently a bad person. And...uh-oh....am I going to say this out loud? He's kind of sexy.

There. I said it.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LostGirlDeb on February 16, 2008, 08:27:43 PM
LOL, I wouldn't go that far ...... :D
But..I always thought why do we label these guys the "bad guys"?
We don't know enough about them, and we (the Losties) have invaded their land
Anyway..I'm with you on this and boy will some people be surprised when it is revealed that we are right LOL   ;)

(wow I actually think I'm a Lostie now? :-\)
 
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: thebeann on February 17, 2008, 10:13:43 AM
Well...I THINK one could argue that Ben is a kind of bad guy because of the Purge. Even if Dharma was doing something 'bad' or something that would be dangerous to the real world, why kill everyone? I can't believe that EVERYONE in Dharma was part of the master scheme. It will be interesting how they justify that...but I"m sure they will!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: PrincessLeia on February 17, 2008, 04:35:11 PM
Lost-Girl, maybe we both are crazy! I just don't think Ben is inherently a bad person. And...uh-oh....am I going to say this out loud? He's kind of sexy.

There. I said it.
His power & intellect are sexy, but it stops there. for me. :D

If it's not just a question of who is right and who is wrong, my money is still with the characters you CARE about.  I want the best for Kate, Jack, Claire, Sun and Jin, Hurley.  Everyone has their own list. I think it's a question of what kind of choices they are making - not whether they turn out well or not, but are they "living together" or "dying alone."

The island is the most important element.  I used to think someONE was the main character - now, I firmly believe that the island is not just a catalyst - it is the hero.

And yes, I HAVE taken my meds today!  :D
TPTB stated in the S1 dvd bonus features that they were writing the story as if the Island itself were a character, so I don't think you're too far off base, Lakie!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: nomteticus on February 17, 2008, 09:26:31 PM
Last season's finale first got me wondering whether "the others" are really that bad, but most of all, whether the losties are really that good.

Fact: The Others didn't kill ONE lostie.
Fact: The Losties  massacred the Others (beginning with Ethan and ending with the unnecessary EXECUTION of mr. Friendly who was in fact rather friendly), not to mention the way they TORTURED Ben (and still do - random beatings, leash etc.). I mean he may not be a saint, but he like all people has the right to dignity

I mean, sure, they kidnapped the kids and held the losties prisoners, but they neither tortured or seriously injured them. They had lots of chances to kill them, but they didn't.

I'm guessing the writers needed to eliminate them from the show, but the way I see it, there is a hell of a lot of bad karma floating above the losties camp.

Not to mention them killing each other (Michael, Anna Lucia) or Jack's "I'm going to kill him" said twice (refering to Ben and then Locke). And now Said gets his hands dirty.

Look at it this way: all the losties care about is their own interest (getting home mostly), and they will kill whoever it takes to do it. At least the others might of had an unselfish reason for doing what they did (yes, even the purge). We don't know that for sure, but it's possible.

"Knowing" them from day one, I too sympathize withe the losties, but it's obvious that the blood is on their hands.

In fact, it's all about POWER. The others had the upper hand in the beginning, but now the losties do, and they're beggining to act like the others did, taking prisoners (the boat crew, anyone?) and giving orders. Power truly corrupts, and I foresee that more blood will be shed this season, and the losties will be the killers.

P.S. Mikhail did kill Charlie, but he wasn't really an other
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: KateReallyLovesJack on February 18, 2008, 12:32:46 AM
I have believed from the moment he first said it, that they are indeed the good guys.

Relatively of course!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LostAndSeek on February 18, 2008, 05:04:44 PM
Well.... let's not forget Dharmacaust... And they tortured Steve (Scott?) to death when the Losties wouldn't give up Claire... And Goodwin snapped Nathan's neck to deflect suspicion from himself... And it sure looked like they were going to kill Claire after she gave birth.... All this before the Losties started fighting back.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: laklost on February 18, 2008, 05:09:12 PM
If Ben isn't the real villian, the clues the writers are sending us are WAAAY off.  He is a classic villian, a mind-twisting, emotion-manipulating evil genius. 
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: thebeann on February 18, 2008, 05:53:06 PM
If Ben isn't the real villian, the clues the writers are sending us are WAAAY off.  He is a classic villian, a mind-twisting, emotion-manipulating evil genius. 

I think he's a true villan...but part of what makes the show so intriguing is that maybe we can understand why the villans do what they do (in some way, their actions are justified). And, similarly, the 'good guys' aren't always noble - they do bad things for the right reasons, or sometimes for not-so-right reasons.

So who really ARE the good guys? Sawyer is on the 'good' team but he has killed several people in cold blood. So has Kate. Jack would have if his gun had bullets. And here we have Ben...who orchestrated The Purge...and yet on some level we believe that his actions might be justified.

LOVE IT!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Lost-N-Detroit on February 18, 2008, 06:18:15 PM
If Ben isn't the real villian, the clues the writers are sending us are WAAAY off.  He is a classic villian, a mind-twisting, emotion-manipulating evil genius. 

I think he's a true villan...but part of what makes the show so intriguing is that maybe we can understand why the villans do what they do (in some way, their actions are justified). And, similarly, the 'good guys' aren't always noble - they do bad things for the right reasons, or sometimes for not-so-right reasons.

So who really ARE the good guys? Sawyer is on the 'good' team but he has killed several people in cold blood. So has Kate. Jack would have if his gun had bullets. And here we have Ben...who orchestrated The Purge...and yet on some level we believe that his actions might be justified.

LOVE IT!

Very well put
If we look at Eko he seemed rightious, villian, and rightious again. When killed by smokie he said, " I had to do what I had to do to survive." Seemingly similar to "Sawyer" who stated to Kate," I'm doing what I always do, survive."

I do think the considered evil ones are actually good guys.

Sometimes you have to kill thousands to save a few.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Lion of Atreides on February 18, 2008, 06:43:02 PM
It is so very Existential to hold two conflicting ideas at the same time. Or be both good & evil at the same time.  Isn't that what you would expect, from the predictions of the theory that the main characters are here to find resolution?  They would dance back & forth around the point of perfect moderation in all things, until they came into alignment, possibly with their true selves.  However, as Darwin would say, the environment is never static, and so one's ideal stance today will surely have to evolve tomorrow if one is to survive.

I'd also be careful about labelling someone 'evil' to begin with.  Look how Saddam was conflated right up there with Hitler, when in truth he was no worse than any other tinpot dictator trying to maintain order of his country, and considered an ally by prior US presidents/administrations. The label 'good' is also to be used carefully. Most would say Mother Theresa was good, but not the following:

http://www.fitz-claridge.com/Articles/MotherTeresa.html

Would we label Thoreau good, and Machiavelli bad?  Not if you had to live in a world domminated by Luddites. Remember what Fox Mulder got when he wished for world peace.

It does become difficult, tho, if morals are not deterministically set.  It forces us to dig deep to evaluate motives, means, effectiveness and outcomes.  But if you're TPTB, then at least it's great fodder for the best written show on TV today.

Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: PrincessLeia on February 18, 2008, 07:40:38 PM
& this theme has been present from the very start.

"Two sides. One is light, one is dark."
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: laklost on February 18, 2008, 09:45:07 PM
It is so very Existential to hold two conflicting ideas at the same time. Or be both good & evil at the same time.  Isn't that what you would expect, from the predictions of the theory that the main characters are here to find resolution?  They would dance back & forth around the point of perfect moderation in all things, until they came into alignment, possibly with their true selves.  However, as Darwin would say, the environment is never static, and so one's ideal stance today will surely have to evolve tomorrow if one is to survive.

I'd also be careful about labelling someone 'evil' to begin with.  Look how Saddam was conflated right up there with Hitler, when in truth he was no worse than any other tinpot dictator trying to maintain order of his country, and considered an ally by prior US presidents/administrations. The label 'good' is also to be used carefully. Most would say Mother Theresa was good, but not the following:

http://www.fitz-claridge.com/Articles/MotherTeresa.html

Would we label Thoreau good, and Machiavelli bad?  Not if you had to live in a world domminated by Luddites. Remember what Fox Mulder got when he wished for world peace.

It does become difficult, tho, if morals are not deterministically set.  It forces us to dig deep to evaluate motives, means, effectiveness and outcomes.  But if you're TPTB, then at least it's great fodder for the best written show on TV today.



Yeah, but wouldn't you agree that even if you're doing that at some point you are going to make a judgment call about goodness and badness?  I mean we can call it effectiveness, but isn't that only through a pragmatic lens (which we have to admit most of life can't be forced through).  Outcomes are still going to be judged according to some measure of right-ness, whether we call it inherent or not.  Ben is a bad, evil person because he has used people for his own means despite their needs or desires.  What he has done are different than mistakes.  He has had to make moral calls.  He might be sympathetic to us, we might feel empathy for his dilemmas, but good people don't kill their fathers and cohorts in cold blood.

Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: E.S.B. on February 18, 2008, 09:48:22 PM
He might be sympathetic to us, we might feel empathy for his dilemmas, but good people don't kill their fathers and cohorts in cold blood.



Nor do they instruct someone to kidnap a man's son off a raft and throw a grenade onto it.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Lion of Atreides on February 18, 2008, 10:57:39 PM
I forsee that we will learn that both The Purge and the controlled moves against the Losties were done in extremis, yet for a purpose.  Perhaps Dharma was close to changing the Valenzetti equation such that they were days from destroying the Earth, which may just justify the actions Ben has taken.   Against the forces arrayed against him both on and off the island, he had better use the Sun Tzu playbook, and not the one from Mr. Roger's neighborhood. 

Need I point out that our beloved Kate murdered her stepfather.  Justified, if he had sexually abused her for years?  And that young Ben was emotionally brutalized, blamed by his father for killing his mother from the womb.  Which makes his patricide more understandable.  As for tossing a grenade on the raft, even if the intention was to take out Sawyer & Michael, not just destroy the raft, Walt seems like a high value target, i.e. a threat.  Better to not have his father moving hell & high water to get him back.

As both Ben & Sayid have said, a war is coming.  Ben likely knew this the moment the plane crashed 100days ago.  He probably knew it at the time of the purge.  Just as the US Military & top Administration officials must daily do a cold, cost-benefit estimate of 'collateral damage', Ben is in the same position.  Might I also point out that there have been no million-protester rallies in this country against the use of torture in the pursuit of 'national security'.  The Geneva Convention has been legally dismissed, even.  I don't know whether TPTB are making a statement about our own ends justifying the means, but they seem to be demonstrating it for us rather well.

So no, to evaluate Ben in terms of goodness & badness misses the point.  He has suspended those bourgeois notions for the duration of the war, created his own TAZ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Lamborn_Wilson).  Obviously, future Sayid (who when in Ben's house had fingered a copy of Kings of Love) has come to believe so, too (tho not without some regress). 
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: E.S.B. on February 18, 2008, 11:21:35 PM
I think one of the major themes of this show is that the lines between good and bad are very fuzzy.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: laklost on February 19, 2008, 12:46:43 AM
I think one of the major themes of the show is that every single person is justified in their own actions -- but every action has consequences.  Mr. Rogers doesn't call what's right and wrong.  Even an army, if it marches without some sense of nobility of purpose, is no better than a gang of mercenaries or slaves.  Which we all agree are not the same as honorable soldiers.

The theme of redemption on Lost is not to be taken lightly.  That's where it constantly keeps flexing its moral muscle.  People aren't ever getting off the hook on the show because they say, "I did it my way."  They are off the hook when they are forgiven by an outside mediatary.  One of the greatest moments in the history of Sayid Jarrah was when he admitted to the Iraqi woman that he had tortured her - and that what he had done, be it pragmatic, went against his own conscience and was therefore wrong - and she told him that she forgave him.  Sayid's redemption now will not be in him coming to a point of saying, "Well, we were all just fighting a bigger battle than we realized and what I did needed to be done."  It will be in him recognizing his wrong doing and being forgiven.  There's a reason the first episode of this show was called "Tabula Rasa."  "Everyone gets a chance to start new" - not "Everyone is making moral judgments in a larger context that will be explained away later."
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Maxor127 on February 19, 2008, 11:03:21 AM
I've always thought there was some truth behind his claim that he's one of the good guys too.  In fact, I'd be disappointed if him and the Others are the baddest of the bad we're going to see on this show.  Now Abaddon, he seems like a bad guy.

I think the writers are purposely messing around with us with the whole follow Locke/follow Jack thing.  I know I personally would've sided with Locke, and I probably still do.  But, Hurley's comment in his flashforward about how he should've gone with Jack to begin with makes me worried that Locke does something really dumb (again) and something bad is going to happen to them.  But then we know at least Hurley and Jack want to go back and feel like it was a mistake to leave.  Jack himself is a huge wreck and seems to indicate that they (the Oceanic 6) all made a huge mistake.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Ladybug on February 19, 2008, 11:18:40 AM
I still think that Ben really believes that he is 'the good guy' and that whatever he is doing, he is doing for the greater good. He and his people are protecting the world from something on the island, or vice versa. I think we will find out in the end that Ben is right and bad things happen when the real world clashes with the island.

I think it's difficult to pick sides because they keep changing. But I believe we have seen that many Losties are already gravitating to the "Ben" side and I tend to put my money there too.
I agree!
I got yelled at for saying that way back when.... :-\
i agree too!  i think ben THINKS he's good (and is in his own mind).
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: lostfan777 on February 19, 2008, 12:14:49 PM
I have changed my mind over time about Ben.  At first I thought he was evil, an antichrist even, but now I see him as doing what he feels must be done for the greater good.  My only problem has been that I don't know why he has been lying to the Others time and again.  At first I thought the Others' goals were righteous and Ben was secretly working against them by imprisoning Jacob and keeping the Others in the dark while pushing his own agenda, but I no longer believe that 100%. 

Maybe he is truly trying to save the world, but he is flawed and knows that he is not the one to lead the Others, not the One they have been waiting for.  I don't think Locke is the One either.  He is trying too hard to be the spiritual leader and if 'the island' wanted him to be in charge, he would be.  Maybe when future Jack sobers up and figures out how to 'get baaaaaack', he will step up and fill the void.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Lion of Atreides on February 19, 2008, 04:51:24 PM
The theme of redemption on Lost is not to be taken lightly.  That's where it constantly keeps flexing its moral muscle.  People aren't ever getting off the hook on the show because they say, "I did it my way."  They are off the hook when they are forgiven by an outside mediatary. 

 - not "Everyone is making moral judgments in a larger context that will be explained away later."

I don't disagree that redemption is a crucial theme.  But deciding what constitutes redemptions is fraught with our Roshomon-esque to agree when redemption has been achieved.  I mention in another thread that Kate seems to have beat her fugitive wrap upon returning to the US as an Oceanic 6.  If she achieves society's forgiveness for her actions as a fugitive, it aint over yet.  Her next challenge will be to accept a 'normal life'.  Which she may fail utterly.  So, redemption can by as fuzzy as the distinction between good & evil.

There's also the whole individual vs. the group theme.  The philosopher John Locke spoke about the social contract we must agree to in order to live in society.  Without fail we must give up individual liberty to do so.  And submit to the needs of the group.  But how to organize the group, and who is to do it? Ben has accepted the mantle of leadership, and he's had lots of time to get proficient at it. As opposed to Jack's leadership abilities, still letting his emotions control his actions (i.e. pulling the trigger on Locke).

So while there may have been a suggestion of a pure tabula rasa upon reaching the island, perhaps that was a false, or merely temporary, impression.  The individual inevitably can not escape the pull of the tribe. Except, perhaps, Rousseau these last 16 years...

Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LouE68 on February 20, 2008, 11:57:06 PM
The theme of redemption on Lost is not to be taken lightly.  That's where it constantly keeps flexing its moral muscle.  People aren't ever getting off the hook on the show because they say, "I did it my way."  They are off the hook when they are forgiven by an outside mediatary. 

 - not "Everyone is making moral judgments in a larger context that will be explained away later."

I don't disagree that redemption is a crucial theme.  But deciding what constitutes redemptions is fraught with our Roshomon-esque to agree when redemption has been achieved.  I mention in another thread that Kate seems to have beat her fugitive wrap upon returning to the US as an Oceanic 6.  If she achieves society's forgiveness for her actions as a fugitive, it aint over yet.  Her next challenge will be to accept a 'normal life'.  Which she may fail utterly.  So, redemption can by as fuzzy as the distinction between good & evil.

There's also the whole individual vs. the group theme.  The philosopher John Locke spoke about the social contract we must agree to in order to live in society.  Without fail we must give up individual liberty to do so.  And submit to the needs of the group.  But how to organize the group, and who is to do it? Ben has accepted the mantle of leadership, and he's had lots of time to get proficient at it. As opposed to Jack's leadership abilities, still letting his emotions control his actions (i.e. pulling the trigger on Locke).

So while there may have been a suggestion of a pure tabula rasa upon reaching the island, perhaps that was a false, or merely temporary, impression.  The individual inevitably can not escape the pull of the tribe. Except, perhaps, Rousseau these last 16 years...



a quote from Mat Fox:
 "I think the idea of hero or good guy, bad guy is sort of an antiquated notion in a lot of respects. I think it's more interesting to accept the complexity of all of us and hope that he makes heroic choices in very difficult circumstances."
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: laklost on February 20, 2008, 11:59:33 PM
The theme of redemption on Lost is not to be taken lightly.  That's where it constantly keeps flexing its moral muscle.  People aren't ever getting off the hook on the show because they say, "I did it my way."  They are off the hook when they are forgiven by an outside mediatary. 

 - not "Everyone is making moral judgments in a larger context that will be explained away later."

I don't disagree that redemption is a crucial theme.  But deciding what constitutes redemptions is fraught with our Roshomon-esque to agree when redemption has been achieved.  I mention in another thread that Kate seems to have beat her fugitive wrap upon returning to the US as an Oceanic 6.  If she achieves society's forgiveness for her actions as a fugitive, it aint over yet.  Her next challenge will be to accept a 'normal life'.  Which she may fail utterly.  So, redemption can by as fuzzy as the distinction between good & evil.

There's also the whole individual vs. the group theme.  The philosopher John Locke spoke about the social contract we must agree to in order to live in society.  Without fail we must give up individual liberty to do so.  And submit to the needs of the group.  But how to organize the group, and who is to do it? Ben has accepted the mantle of leadership, and he's had lots of time to get proficient at it. As opposed to Jack's leadership abilities, still letting his emotions control his actions (i.e. pulling the trigger on Locke).

So while there may have been a suggestion of a pure tabula rasa upon reaching the island, perhaps that was a false, or merely temporary, impression.  The individual inevitably can not escape the pull of the tribe. Except, perhaps, Rousseau these last 16 years...



a quote from Mat Fox:
 "I think the idea of hero or good guy, bad guy is sort of an antiquated notion in a lot of respects. I think it's more interesting to accept the complexity of all of us and hope that he makes heroic choices in very difficult circumstances."


Holy mackerel, that was a good one, Cowboy!  Exactly.  Heroic choices on a personal, relational, societal, national, worldwide level. 
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: T Mack on February 21, 2008, 02:24:56 PM
I've always thought there was some truth behind his claim that he's one of the good guys too.  In fact, I'd be disappointed if him and the Others are the baddest of the bad we're going to see on this show.
Ben is bad, but only out of context.  He will be shown to have good intentions but doing really bad things to make sure those intentions are realized.  For Ben, the end justifies the means, and he will do anything to make sure the end game is realized in his favor.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Lion of Atreides on February 21, 2008, 03:53:18 PM
I must admit I've been mulling over my Ben, and something he did disturbs me.  Not disturbing in terms of bad or evil, but in the sense that it showed him possibly losing control.  And whatever he does or doesn't do, Ben is all about steadfastness of purpose. The event in question was his command to the raiding party when he accelerated his timetable: kidnap the women and kill all the men.  Was that a cost-benefit decision, like those often seen in the Old Testament? Or was it an emotional over-reaction akin to Jack pulling the trigger on Locke? If the raiding party had been successful, then his future hitman Sayid would've been unavailable to take the job.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: lostfan777 on February 21, 2008, 04:07:53 PM
I must admit I've been mulling over my Ben, and something he did disturbs me.  Not disturbing in terms of bad or evil, but in the sense that it showed him possibly losing control.  And whatever he does or doesn't do, Ben is all about steadfastness of purpose. The event in question was his command to the raiding party when he accelerated his timetable: kidnap the women and kill all the men.  Was that a cost-benefit decision, like those often seen in the Old Testament? Or was it an emotional over-reaction akin to Jack pulling the trigger on Locke? If the raiding party had been successful, then his future hitman Sayid would've been unavailable to take the job.

Remember that he had just discovered that Juliet told them about the Looking Glass.  He had to assume that she may have confessed to why she was really there with jack (she did).  The Losties may have known they were coming (they did).  His order was that if Juliet did not mark the tents of the pregnant women as she was sent to do, the raiders should take all the women and if anyone gets in the way, kill them.  Desperate?  Yeah.  Disturbing?  Yeah.

I'm with you, I was a little disturbed by this one because I've been thinking that Ben has a higher purpose and alot of what he has done will end up being for the ultimate benefit of many.  But killing a bunch of people to further their fertility experiments?  There would have to be a better way.  I'm starting to doubt my own theories because if they are truly working for a 'higher power', why can't the Others just tell the Losties (who up until now, haven't exactly been able to run and tell anyone, anyway) and try to enlist them in their cause?

Maybe the answer is simple, it just wasn't in the script!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Lion of Atreides on February 21, 2008, 04:54:20 PM
This may be a commentary on leadership.  When you let your emotions get the best of you, you tend to make bad choices (Jack pulling trigger on Locke).  When information becomes thin, and key variables start going beyond your control, you also make bad choices (Ben using the shotgun approach, saying to kill them all).  Unlike with past operations (going undercover as Henry Gale, sending in Juliet to join the Losties) the guided-missile approach was not longer on the table, so Ben had to start dropping the dumb-bombs out the B-52 doors.

I tend to think there is more to Ben's motivation than just fertility experiments.  Now, knowing that the Boaties are out there, security of the island has become paramount.  As to why he just didn't assimilate the Losties, perhaps it's like an immigration debate: absorbing up to a certain percentage (Cindy, the kids) is doable.  But past a certain point, you lose control of the levels of power, as your identity and purpose begin to shift. 

Another way to look at it, from the recent discussion of pirate utopias, is that the Others have developed their own temporary autonomous zone, where the rules and mores are vastly different. Why, Locke had to kill his father to be accepted.  Ben surely realizes that most of the Losties just aint capable of changing that much to join their group.  And perhaps brainwashing is of limited use (can't have everyone being a sheeplike automaton).

Finally, perhaps Ben is making a tough call to protect the limited resources of the island.  Maybe he knows the food drops have come to an end.  To avoid a Malthusian crash preceded by hungry, attacking Losties, he must lower the island population now to prevent calamity.  I think we'll find out this week that there are indeed violent elements on the boat capable of wiping out everyone on the island (don't forget the gas mask cache that Daniel tried to explain away, poorly). 
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: lostfan777 on February 21, 2008, 08:17:57 PM
This may be a commentary on leadership.  When you let your emotions get the best of you, you tend to make bad choices (Jack pulling trigger on Locke).  When information becomes thin, and key variables start going beyond your control, you also make bad choices (Ben using the shotgun approach, saying to kill them all).  Unlike with past operations (going undercover as Henry Gale, sending in Juliet to join the Losties) the guided-missile approach was not longer on the table, so Ben had to start dropping the dumb-bombs out the B-52 doors.

I tend to think there is more to Ben's motivation than just fertility experiments.  Now, knowing that the Boaties are out there, security of the island has become paramount.  As to why he just didn't assimilate the Losties, perhaps it's like an immigration debate: absorbing up to a certain percentage (Cindy, the kids) is doable.  But past a certain point, you lose control of the levels of power, as your identity and purpose begin to shift. 

Another way to look at it, from the recent discussion of pirate utopias, is that the Others have developed their own temporary autonomous zone, where the rules and mores are vastly different. Why, Locke had to kill his father to be accepted.  Ben surely realizes that most of the Losties just aint capable of changing that much to join their group.  And perhaps brainwashing is of limited use (can't have everyone being a sheeplike automaton).

Finally, perhaps Ben is making a tough call to protect the limited resources of the island.  Maybe he knows the food drops have come to an end.  To avoid a Malthusian crash preceded by hungry, attacking Losties, he must lower the island population now to prevent calamity.  I think we'll find out this week that there are indeed violent elements on the boat capable of wiping out everyone on the island (don't forget the gas mask cache that Daniel tried to explain away, poorly). 

I've been kinda rootin' for Ben for awhile now :o so I'll agree with your ideas because they help out my total theory (fingers crossed).  Thanks!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: laklost on February 22, 2008, 12:03:39 AM
Good luck with Ben, guys.  The only reason Ben has been so steadfast is because his megalomania is fed by his control of the island's powers and resources.  If we find out he has something to his emotional life besides the doll he got from Annie and the rush he gets from manipulating people, then I'll agree he is serving a higher purpose.  He's serving his purposes and hiding behind the island.  When Jacob is free, Ben will not be.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Lion of Atreides on February 22, 2008, 06:36:28 AM
We need all the luck we can get!  For what are the odds that, in the end, TPTB will choose the manipulative SOB as the island's true sweetheart over a fan favorite, like Jack or Locke?  Perhaps we're just suckers for long shots. I just hope Michael Emerson sticks around the show for as long as possible.  He's a joy to watch, much like Brad Dourif in Aliens: Resurrection.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: lostfan777 on February 22, 2008, 10:58:35 AM
We need all the luck we can get!  For what are the odds that, in the end, TPTB will choose the manipulative SOB as the island's true sweetheart over a fan favorite, like Jack or Locke?  Perhaps we're just suckers for long shots. I just hope Michael Emerson sticks around the show for as long as possible.  He's a joy to watch, much like Brad Dourif in Aliens: Resurrection.

Why can't we have BOTH Ben and Jack as heroes in the end, or at least until almost the end.  I think ultimately Ben will get killed (he's pissed off too many powerful people), maybe he's in the coffin, who knows?  I see Jack taking the reigns before it's over.  We already know he wants to go baaaack.  He'll get there eventually.  I think Locke will come to a point where he has to sacrifice himself for the island.  And that kid Aaron, he's going to be important to more people than Kate and Jack.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Walkabout on February 22, 2008, 12:03:51 PM
Just a couple of randomly strung together thoughts about "The Truth". Theologically speaking, in reference to Character symbolism, I believe Jack is the Island's Savior. Afterall he is the son of Christian Sheppard and oddly enough Jack Sheppard is a healer of people. He has also been the "Lostie Flock's" sheppard(bad pun intended) albeit reluctantly at first.Naomi even jested he was playing Moses and things said in jest often carry some level of truth.  Ben is the caretaker of the Island and he is fighting for it's survival while searching for it's true savior. He hoped Locke would be "The One" but it appears he is not. You can see it in Ben's eyes and hear it in his carefully selected words when he is engaged with Jack. He needs Jack to leave for his "forty days and forty nights" to experience his trials and tribulations and return to island and strike down the Island's enemies delivering it salvation. Or it could be my percocets talking.
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: LostAndSeek on February 22, 2008, 05:09:29 PM
Lostfan, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if both Jack and Locke are heroes at the very end. Nor would I be surprised if Locke has to sacrifice himself. I'd be a little more surprised if Jack dies at the end, but not too much more.

Welcome Walkabout!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: laklost on February 24, 2008, 06:58:41 PM
Just a couple of randomly strung together thoughts about "The Truth". Theologically speaking, in reference to Character symbolism, I believe Jack is the Island's Savior. Afterall he is the son of Christian Sheppard and oddly enough Jack Sheppard is a healer of people. He has also been the "Lostie Flock's" sheppard(bad pun intended) albeit reluctantly at first.Naomi even jested he was playing Moses and things said in jest often carry some level of truth.  Ben is the caretaker of the Island and he is fighting for it's survival while searching for it's true savior. He hoped Locke would be "The One" but it appears he is not. You can see it in Ben's eyes and hear it in his carefully selected words when he is engaged with Jack. He needs Jack to leave for his "forty days and forty nights" to experience his trials and tribulations and return to island and strike down the Island's enemies delivering it salvation. Or it could be my percocets talking.

Wowza!  Let the percocets talk --- I love the idea of Jack being sent away for 40 days and nights.  Excellent!  Welcome, Walkabout.  And how great is your name?!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: lostfan777 on February 25, 2008, 11:07:09 AM
Just a couple of randomly strung together thoughts about "The Truth". Theologically speaking, in reference to Character symbolism, I believe Jack is the Island's Savior. Afterall he is the son of Christian Sheppard and oddly enough Jack Sheppard is a healer of people. He has also been the "Lostie Flock's" sheppard(bad pun intended) albeit reluctantly at first.Naomi even jested he was playing Moses and things said in jest often carry some level of truth.  Ben is the caretaker of the Island and he is fighting for it's survival while searching for it's true savior. He hoped Locke would be "The One" but it appears he is not. You can see it in Ben's eyes and hear it in his carefully selected words when he is engaged with Jack. He needs Jack to leave for his "forty days and forty nights" to experience his trials and tribulations and return to island and strike down the Island's enemies delivering it salvation. Or it could be my percocets talking.

Wowza!  Let the percocets talk --- I love the idea of Jack being sent away for 40 days and nights.  Excellent!  Welcome, Walkabout.  And how great is your name?!

I'm a fan of the biblical explanations, so I love this, except that I'm not sure how much Ben is looking forward to someone coming along and taking the reins from him.  I agree, though, that he surely seems to be imploring Jack to see his way, and dismissing Locke as too weak.

Also love your name, makes we want to put on the old hiking boots and head out!
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Walkabout on February 25, 2008, 02:33:36 PM
Just a couple of randomly strung together thoughts about "The Truth". Theologically speaking, in reference to Character symbolism, I believe Jack is the Island's Savior. Afterall he is the son of Christian Sheppard and oddly enough Jack Sheppard is a healer of people. He has also been the "Lostie Flock's" sheppard(bad pun intended) albeit reluctantly at first.Naomi even jested he was playing Moses and things said in jest often carry some level of truth.  Ben is the caretaker of the Island and he is fighting for it's survival while searching for it's true savior. He hoped Locke would be "The One" but it appears he is not. You can see it in Ben's eyes and hear it in his carefully selected words when he is engaged with Jack. He needs Jack to leave for his "forty days and forty nights" to experience his trials and tribulations and return to island and strike down the Island's enemies delivering it salvation. Or it could be my percocets talking.

Wowza!  Let the percocets talk --- I love the idea of Jack being sent away for 40 days and nights.  Excellent!  Welcome, Walkabout.  And how great is your name?!

I'm a fan of the biblical explanations, so I love this, except that I'm not sure how much Ben is looking forward to someone coming along and taking the reins from him.  I agree, though, that he surely seems to be imploring Jack to see his way, and dismissing Locke as too weak.

Also love your name, makes we want to put on the old hiking boots and head out!
Remember John The Baptist did baptize Jesus. Ben is "JTBesque" but with a sharper edge. Ben's, like JTB, direction come from another ie... Jacob who is only concerned about The Island's salvation along with it's inhabitants. 
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: PrincessLeia on February 25, 2008, 03:11:29 PM
I see Ben as more like the Pharisees.  They thought they had the corner on God till the real Messiah came along, so they killed Him.  BUT He conquered death. :)
Title: Re: The Truth
Post by: Walkabout on February 25, 2008, 03:39:19 PM
I see Ben as more like the Pharisees.  They thought they had the corner on God till the real Messiah came along, so they killed Him.  BUT He conquered death. :)
That is very strong and I missed it completely. I will say though the Pharisees were not looking for the Messiah. Ben is actively looking for The One. Who will Judas be?