‘Lost’ Episode 2: Ben Affect


If last week’s season premiere of “Lost” was at once ebullient and heartbreaking, tonight’s follow-up was blunt and unsettling. We met four new characters, none of them the least bit soothing. Well, except maybe Frank (Jeff Fahey), a good ol’ salt-of-the-earth drunkard who nonetheless can pilot with the best of ’em.

FaheyBut Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies), though nice enough, is a stammering bundle of nerves. Miles Strom (Ken Leung, coming off that memorable guest appearance last year on “The Sopranos”) has anger issues. And Charlotte Lewis (Rebecca Mader) doesn’t exactly win our trust.

Considering how many new questions were raised, we should take note of what we saw in the teaser: the bulk of the Oceanic 815 aircraft is underwater, south of Bali. Or, it will be – because that revelation comes in the series of flash-forwards that kick off segments of the episode. (Or for the alternate explanation, see the update at the bottom of this post.)

But that’s tomorrow’s news.  Tonight, in watching the episode, which is focused on trying to piece together why the four in the helicopter were coming to the island (“Rescuing you and your people, can’t really say that’s our primary objective,” Dan says), the overall experience is like a dream going in a direction you can’t control and can’t be much of anything but apprehensive about.

Add on to that the lingering presence of the King of Unease, one Benjamin Linus.  Locke’s splinter faction is dragging him along, and Sawyer is all too aware of how problematic that is. “It’s only a matter of time before he gets us, Johnny,” Sawyer says. “And I bet he’s already figured out how he’s gonna do it.”

Eventually, it all comes together.  In what has to be an old school “Lost” flashback (although time-travel questions are dogging my thoughts – or is that just my own paranoia?), it’s confirmed that Matthew Abaddon (Lance Reddick), mysterious visitor to institutionalized Hugo last week, had commissioned an ambivalent Naomi (Marsha Thomason) to go to the island. “This is a high-risk, covert op in unstable territory,” she says. “It’s dodgy enough
without having to babysit a head case, a ghostbuster, an anthropologist
and a drunk.” That covert op, we finally learn, is to get Ben.

And Ben knows it.  In fact, Ben, per usual I suppose, knows everything.  Knows about their mission, knows about their backgrounds.  Knows about their boat, and knows to have a man on it.  And this knowledge is enough to spare him from cold-blooded execution by Locke for the time being, although the one thing perhaps we don’t know is if Ben is the problem, why is saving him the solution?  Not that I generally advocate firing squads.

Those of you who know my biases won’t be surprised that an episode more plot-driven than character-driven isn’t going to be a “Lost” classic in my book. But tonight kept me sufficiently on the edge of my seat – the whole shebang carried the affect (with an a) of Ben – and with that groundwork laid, I’m eager to see where things go.

Highlights: Sawyer, after learning that Locke got instructions from Tall Walt: “You didn’t ask any follow-up questions?” And, Jack being bummed that Kate didn’t pick up on his wink.

Why does (or how could) Charlotte wait until broad daylight to cut herself down from the tree?

Truths I’m willing to wait to find out, that you’re probably on your way to figuring out:
Who gets firsties on the helicopter? What is “it” that Miles finds hidden away upstairs with the bag o’ cash at Grandma’s house in Inglewood? Why are polar bears not just on the island, but in Mednine, Tunisia? What kept Frank from piloting 815? And just how good a weatherman can Locke become?

– Jon Weisman

Update: I watched this episode twice, and both times I thought that the introductions to the helicopter team were all flash-forwards, except in the case of Naomi.  But now I’m reading other pieces on the Internet and reflecting, and seeing that people are treating them all as flashbacks … and that the scene of 815 underwater was something concocted at the time of the crash, as opposed to something that hasn’t happened to the remains of the craft yet. Is that the definitive reading? Maybe it makes more sense, but can we count on it?   

Update 2: Colleague Brian Cochrane has more in his post on the episode, “Excuse me, but is that my Dharma Beer you’re drinking?”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 22

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. I like it very much. Have very interesting content to read out. Thanks dude

  2. Yeah that was a great blog and i really appreciate your blog and you have a great statement.

  3. This blog was really an awesome site Lots of stuff in this site !

  4. I like the services that amazingly surprised me that this kind of work should be done in the proper way and also thanks for the information you shared!

  5. Nice post dude ,… keep the good work going by continue blogging new and entertaining posts.

  6. This is one of the best blogs I have ever read. I m absolutely excited to get to read such a well blog. I would love to read more of your blogs. Thanks dude

  7. diet sehat says:

    This articles helps me more . Thanks for your sharing,I will pay more attentions to your blog. See you next time

  8. dr susan says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. Your post really has a good information for me

  9. batik online says:

    It is very useful for me. Thank you so much for sharing. Keep your great post.

  10. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  11. Thank you, great stuff as usual.jtdj

  12. sharma6789 says:

    You could book one set of hotel Accommodationin Bali for half your holiday and another for the other half and move during your trip or you could Book just one night of Hotel Accommodation Bali.http://www.bali-accommodation.co

  13. so good! I LOVE YOU ! YOUR POST IS GREAT,thx

  14. ibleedbloo says:

    Anything is possible. I am hoping for something a bit more plausible than an alternate reality. I really don’t know what I am hoping for but I think something more real or scientific would be the best payoff.

  15. Jon says:

    Maybe it’s just an alternate reality. It seems plausible to me that there might be a parallel universe thing going on with Lost, and the merger of those two worlds would explain things like Charlie’s appearance last week. Just a thought.
    Worlds colliding … again!

  16. ibleedbloo says:

    I immediately considered the “flashes” flash backs simply because near the end of season 3, when Naomi parachutes on to the island, she is surprised to see the Losties because 815 was found in the ocean with all of the bodies inside.
    Considering some of them as flash forwards is really screwing with my head right now.

  17. Linkmeister says:

    Are the writers branching off into other science homages now? Dan Faraday, the physicist, is undoubtedly named after Michael Faraday, physicist and discoverer of magnetic fields in the 19th century.

  18. Bob Timmermann says:

    The wreckage of the plane was found in a place that’s way off course for a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.

  19. Jon says:

    Brian – about the notion of “others,” I thought more than once about how Jack, Sayid et al must have been perceived as threats by the helicopter people.

  20. Jon says:

    I thought it was more that they had an emotional connection to 815 based on their experience of having gone to the island. But I’m preparing myself for the likelihood that my theory is at best just a wild stab.

  21. Brian Cochrane says:

    Jon — I think you touch on something that’s becoming characteristic of this season: the familiarity between our main Losties and the rapport they’ve built over time. They banter back and forth like they have bonded over some weird stuff. I love that Jack, Kate and Juliet are now to the level of visual shorthand and winks. It’s great that Sawyer freely speaks what must be on the minds of his group (and the audience). All that helps to further hone the “us vs. them” framework of the show, and it reminds us that everything’s a matter of perspective. “Others” can be any outside group, depending on your perspective. If the four newbies turn out to be from the Dharma Initiative, they are very likely to be seen as the new “others” rather than rightful claimants to the island.
    As for the flashback vs. flash-forward device in tonight’s episode, I was reading them all as flashbacks. And apparently Lostpedia.com picked up on a visual cue in Frank’s early scenes that features a “2004 Map and Activities Brochure” atop his TV.
    To me, they essentially felt “flash-backy,” but I can see how that question is going to have to be part of any examination of future episodes. Once you know that’s part of the show’s repertoire, you have to examine everything in that light.

  22. Bob Timmermann says:

    I thought the opening sequence was a flash forward, but as the episode went on, it made more sense for them to be flashbacks. In each case, the new character seemed to have some sort of emotional connection to Oceanic 815 and that’s why they got picked for the mission.
    But it’s a weird group.

More TV News from Variety