LOST Thoughts, “Dead is Dead”

I finished last night’s LOST episode, “Dead is Dead” (04/09/09).  I won’t post a recap/summary (unless necessary for a point I am trying to make) or any theories because there are enough blogs and websites dedicated to those topics, but here are some of my questions and observations from last night’s episode:

1. First of all, I was plagued throughout season 4 in noticing that Penny (played by Sonya Walger) bears a striking resemblance to some other celebrity, but could not figure out who. It was not until early in season 5 that I put my finger on it: John Travolta. I don’t know if  it is the eyes, cheekbones, similar femine demeanor, or what, but every time Penny is on screen, I can only image her exclaiming “Sandy! in a British accent.  I brought this observation up to some friends recently and even produced pictures of each actor, but I was dismissed as crazy.

Until today.  My wife received this email from a co-worker who was involved in that conversation: “Ok, I can kind of see the Penny – John Travolta thing.”  It is a small statement of pseudo-agreement, but a huge victory for my celebrity matching self-esteem.

2. Ben is certainly becoming more and more intriguing to me as we slowly discover his soft, compassionate side — particularly his mercy towards mothers with children. In last night’s episode, present-day Ben says to Jin, “Find Desmond Hulme and tell him I am sorry…he’ll know why.” This statement is then followed by a flashback of Ben walking on a dock to kill Penny, and I was disgusted by his savage disgustingness.  Then, he is redeemed as we see that he reacts to Widmore’s daughter (and grandson) the same way he reacted to his ‘own’ daughter 20 years earlier — and that earlier move had terrible implications on Ben and Charles’ relationship. I wonder if this consistency and mercy from Ben will resolve some of the animosity between the two (assuming his phone call with Charles just moments earlier did not do irreparable damage already).

Either way, I find myself conflicted: is Ben a decent human being worthy of sympathy and compassion, or is he a manipulative monster who should be loathed and condemned? Or both?  Just another example of brilliant writing from LOST’s crew.

3. I am very interested in seeing how Ben’s orders/threat from Alex the Smoke Monster (A the SM) to loyally follow Locke will unfold.  He seemed genuinely shocked and in awe at the end of the episode, when Locke reappeared with the vine.  His orders/threat from A the SM seem to have been set up by a statement from Locke earlier in the episode. I don’t remember the exact quote, but Locke, responding to a barrage of questions from Ben about where they were going, says something to the effect of, “It’s not easy to blindly follow someone on the basis of a leap of faith without knowing answers, is it?”  Thanks to A the SM, it seems that blindly following someone (Locke) on the basis of a leap of faith is exactly what Ben must do from this point forward.

Questions from “LaFleur” that have been answered:

1. Horace and Amy’s son is Ethan. Ethan appears as a baby in one of the subsequent episodes, and as an adolescent in “Dead is Dead.” This raises a new question: Is Ethan more significant to the overall story of the island than we currently know, or, as my wife suggests, is he merely included in episodes to serve a reference for the time period of events so that viewers don’t get too confused.

Those are just a few thoughts / observations I have after watching last night’s episode, “Dead is Dead.”  Please feel free to comment, respond, share your own thoughts or questions, or otherwise let me know you enjoy reading mine!


  1. Ethan has been in Lost since Season 1. He was the guy that took Claire away for her ‘treatment’. He’s just one of the ‘Others’, and seems to be the one that goes out on missions.

  2. Indeed, and he was also Ben’s surgeon prior to his death during Season 1. My question, though, is why are they making a point of showing him in various settings and at various points in his life? There as his birth, then last night he accompanies Ben as an adolescent, and earlier in season 5, Locke & Co. time travel to the crash of Emi’s plane and encounter Ethan at the crash site. Is Ethan’s appearance just a reference point for viewers to keep track of time, or is he going to do something amazingly pertinent in between accompanying Ben to steal Alex and being dispatched to the 815 crash site?

  3. I think it makes a lot of sense that Ben would have a soft spot for mothers and children, given he never had a mother himself. Ben did have a pretty sad existence until he went to live with the Hostiles – so is he really to blame for being such a creep? I guess the real question is: would he have shot Penny if her son hadn’t come out of the boat?

    P.S. I think Penny is very pretty.

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