Lost

Season 3 Episode 20

The Man Behind the Curtain

6
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 09, 2007 on ABC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (139)

9.6
out of 10
Average
1,764 votes
  • FINALLY!!! After 29 episodes of watching Michael Emerson ignite our televison screens, his character, Ben Linus got his first ever flashback episode! And it is awesome!

    10
    Since his introduction in Season 2's "One of Them", the character of Benjamin Linus [a.k.a Bug-Eyed Bastard] had been crying out for his own episode, and here in Season 3 that moment came. And it didn't disappoint. In fact, it was one of the best episodes of not only Season 3 but the entire series. The episode seemed to ignite the excitement and freshness of the series once felt way back in Season 1. The reason for this could be attributed to one thing: Jacob. Since Season 2, about the same time that Ben was introduced to audiences, another mysterious character was introduced but only in dialogue and never by name. He was referred to as he", "him", "a magnificent man" and an "unforgiving man" and someone who it appears reigns over all the other Others, even Ben. In early season 3 there is a passing reference to someone named "Jacob" and that his List didn't include Jack Shepherd, who was kidnapped by Ben's people. As the season progressed his name kept popping up but with no idea of who or what this person was. Until now!
    The scene when Ben and Locke visit Jacob's cabin is one of the best moments of the series and, interestingly, the first notable moment since Season 2's "Lockdown" where viewers felt the need to rewind, pause, zoom and screen-cap what was going on, if only to reveal who Jacob was. Not everyone picked him out on first viewing but after Ben is thrown against the wall the camera pans back across and for a split second we see a dark figure in the rocking chair, that before was empty. I, myself, haven't studied the figure hard enough to venture a guess as to who that figure might be, that is if it is someone we are already familiar with, Christian Shepherd, for example, or even Locke himself. Jacob's words were "Help me!". If the figure in the chair was in fact Locke then in some way what he said would make some kind of sense. Locke was being warned by himself sitting in the chair of Ben's attempt to murder him. As Locke lies in the Mass Grave later he says to Ben "Help Me!", which Ben, understandably misinterprits as being a plea for help to get him out of the grave. Maybe Jacob was offering a warning to Locke by somehow taking on the form or voice of Locke. That made me wonder whether Jacob is merely the manifestation of the Smoke Monster. We knew that Yemi and a host of other island manifestations were manifested by the Monster. So the Monster [aka Jacob] could have taken on the form of Christian Shepherd or Locke at that precise moment when Locke is about to leave in utter disbelief. Ben warns Locke before they enter that Jacob hates technology, which would make sense also if Jacob is the Monster. The monster hates the sonar security fence, therefore hating a form of technology. The scene in the cabin is one of the scariest moments the show has had, and we haven't had many scary moments for a long time. Ben's flashback is brilliant and reveals a ton of information regarding the DHARMA initiative, the Hostiles and the Purge. It also explains why Ben is obsessed with fertility experiments on the island, as his own Mother died whilst giving birth to him. Of course Emily Linus didn't give birth or die on the island, as Ben had claimed, so the reasons why pregnant women die here is still up for debate. One of the interesting things that is brought up in the flashback is the appearance of Richard Alpert in the jungle when Ben is young. This means that Richard does not age or ages really well, giving viewers another taste of the island's powers. It can heal, manifest whatever you want to appear on it [the Magic Box] and slow down the ageing process. Aside from longer hair, Richard Alpert doesn't appear a day younger than how we see him now. It was revealed that the original "Others" of the island, referred to by DHARMA as the "Hostiles" or the "Natives" were the original inhabitants of the island before the DI scientists even arrived. Could these Hostiles arrived on the island in the Black Rock? Could make sense? Maybe they arrived without intending, just like our Losties and learnt to survive on the island, while being affected by its magical powers.
    This episode also proves that no stone is left unturned. The DHARMA van and "Skeletor" from "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" earlier this season is revisited and we realise that the skeletal remains of "Roger Workman" wasn't just a random DHARMA janitor but the father of Benjamin Linus himself! Amazing loose end tie-up, which proves that even the least vital piece of information introduced in the show at first glance suddenly becomes so vital!
    We now know that DHARMA and the Others are NOT one and the same. It struck me a week after watching this episode that the two tribes brought up the theme of Science vs Faith. DHARMA represented the Science and the Hostiles represented the faith aspect and were probably more invested in the spiritual and metaphysical properties of the island rather than the technological and more science-based properties that DHARMA specialised in. That said, if John Locke and Jack Shepherd existed during these flashback events then Jack would be on the side of DHARMA and Locke on the side of the Hostiles. It is already apparent that Alpert has formed some kind of understanding of Locke. Maybe he, like alot of the Others, want to see a change in the heirarchy and the leadership of the island and therefore see the potential for Locke to come forward carrying Ben's old crown. Ben isn't happy with this new development, as much as he may respect Locke. He can't take the fact that someone, an outsider, may succeed Ben on the Others throne and that is purely the reason why Ben shot Locke, leaving him for dead in the DHARMA mass grave. The fact that Locke heard Jacob was enough motivation for Ben also. For only the leaders of Otherland can hear or see him!
    Ben senses he is losing his grip on his people and he isn't the only one. In a nice parallel Jack too seemed to be losing his leadership grip on the Losties, the issue of trust reaching a head. Jack may have resolved his leadership blip for now and if Locke does die then Ben has resolved his. But can Locke really be left to die? Of course this would be answered by season's end. Ben mentioned that he hopes Jacob will help John, presumably by healing him, just like he presumably healed Locke of his initial paralysis.
    Another nice parallel drawn this time between the flashback and the current island events was The Purge. This season has been slowly building to a war between the Others and the Losties and, therefore, by seeing the Purge of the DHARMA Scientists by the Hostiles in the 1970's, we perfectly set up the promise of a second Purge. But who will win this time? Will the Hostiles take control over the Losties once and for all or does Jack have "what it takes". As long as the ghost of Christian Shepherd doesn't appear to him on the island feeding him doubts we will be okay.
    One thing I noticed that I don't think anyone else has picked up on was regarding the powdery substance that Locke found near the Jacob's Cabin. When Locke picks up some in his fingers and smells it I couldn't help thinking that it was familiar somehow and then it dawned on me. In Season 2's "?" when Eko and Locke find the Beechcraft Locke smells the substance again, declaring it to be salt. Maybe it is the malting skin of the Smoke Monster. Don't forget that the Monster lurked near the Beechcraft later when it killed Eko. Or maybe it was ash still resting from the island's volcano? Or maybe the Smoke Monster is the result of whatever happened to the volcano. Maybe when the volcano erupted it released `ole smokey?! This is my longest review for a very long time and has made me realise what was missing from previous episodes. Sure the quality, since "Enter 77" has been consistently good but this and the last episode has brought back what I loved about the series in Season 1 and the space to allow for deeper introspection and analysis into the metaphysical properties of the island, which were sadly absent through much of the rest of the season. With more to talk and theorise about now, a welcome return to the more spiritual and metaphysical mysteries of the island, gathering anticipation of a second island Purge and the promise of rescue for our Losties the momentum of the series is at an all time high.
  • A peek behind the curtain reveals some of the biggest and best moments of the series

    10
    To say that we've been looking forward to seeing Ben's flashback and finally getting "some frigging answers" would be an understatement to the nth degree.. But unlike the flashbacks we got of Juliet, which have pretty much told us everything we need to know about her, 'The Man Behind the Curtain' seems to be more out of the Season 1 school, giving bits and pieces but not filling us in on the whole. And while we will eventually get more of the blanks filled in (but not til Season 5), once again are major word of mouth is Ben himself. And we all know that he's a liar.

    Locke has called the bluff he made in the previous episode, and brought back his father's body to the camp. You can tell Ben really didn't think he was capable of it in his attitude. And until now, it's only seemed like Ben's grip has been loosening, now we see actual cracks. Mikhail shows up--- and Ben appears as surprised as anyone to see he's still alive--- and warns them about the woman who Desmond's group fished out of the trees. Considering what he tells them, it does raise the question how Mikhail knows all this--- Naomi was unconscious, and God knows nobody at the beach would've told him. We'll let this go for now. In any case when Locke sees Mikhail, he takes right up where the sonar fence left off, beating him to a pulp. Ben yells for Tom and Richard to do something, but they just watch. Looks like the mighty are about to fall. Even Alex--- who has good reason to loathe her father--- goes out of her way to make sure that Locke is armed before swishing him a disdainful 'Happy Birthday."

    So, after nearly a whole season of waiting, Ben finally takes Locke to see Jacob-- the mysterious man that the Others (Ben in particular) have been using as the man behind everything. It's a considerable trek, and its worth noting some of the landmarks. As they walk through the jungle night, they pass a very large line of ash which Ben goes to great trouble to step over. In mythology, a circle of ash is used to keep demons away. It's significance here is hard to figure---- Ben may think that he's keeping others out with it, but it's just as likely that the Others have been using it to keep him sealed inside --- whoever 'him' is. Also, where did the ash come from? We hear mention of a volcano in this episode, but it has never been talked of again-- either in the real world or the flashbacks.

    Finally, they come to an isolated cabin.. As they approached, we hear a faint scream, but no one does anything. Ben gives Locke one last warning that Jacob's not going to be happy to see them. This doesn't frighten Locke, so they go in. They turn off their flashlights, and Ben lights a lantern. Inside, there are jars with fluid, and a portrait of a dog (though he isn't playing poker). Then Ben talks to--- an empty chair. He insists that Jacob is in it (it's a brilliant piece of acting by Michael Emerson) and carries on a long conversation. Locke naturally thinks (like the audience is supposed to) that Ben has gone over the high side, and that all of his planning has been part of a graduated insanity. So Locke starts to leave. And then we hear "Help me." And in a moment that caused people across the country to paused their Tivo's, we see--- someone. Then Locke shines the flashlight on him, and the cabin goes crazy. Branches begin shaking, the jars with fluid go flying across the room, the kerosene lamp all but explodes. Locke is terrified, even though Ben seems perfectly calm (though I'm damn sure this isn't what he expected.) and stumbles out of the cabin. Ben emerges and simply says "That's Jacob."

    By now, the rabid viewer of Lost has seen so much of that cabin that we probably know it inside and out, but we still don't know for sure--- was that really Jacob in that chair? No matter how many times I watch, it looks like an older version of Locke. And if it really was Jacob, why did he cry out 'Help me"? Did he sense that Locke was someone special or was he trying to find a way to shout out to what was keeping him prisoner? We still haven't gotten answers on this (the creators have to address it in Season 6, or they're not doing their jobs) but there's a very good possibility that Ben or Locke (probably both) were being deceived.

    If all this episode delivered was the scene in the cabin, it would be worth the wait. But Ben's flashback is one of the most shocking we've ever had. Ben has had a difficult life. Born two months premature, his early appearance led to his mother's death, and his father's endless contempt for the son who killed him. Ben also lied about being born on the island (he even says so here); rather he came with his father as part of the Dharma Initiative. His father had great ambitions, and was royally pissed when he learned he was just going to be a work man. The only people Ben seemed close to was a girl named Annie and the man who brought them to the island, Horace Goodspeed. Annie seems to be the only person in the world who really loved him (she gave him a birthday present that he is still holding on to nearly thirty years later) and its clear from the way that he watched her before that the feeling was mutual. Which is why it's been very puzzling that we still have no idea what happened to here even now (another question the producers better answer) Horace is more interesting. He doesn't interact with Ben much, but he clearly treats him with more kindness that Roger Linus ever does.

    Then Ben, like certain members of Oceanic 815 will, starts seeing dead people. In this case, he sees his mother. But unlike the others, who try to ignore it, Ben desperately wants to escape the hell he's in. So patiently he finds a way to turn off the sonic fence and runs into the jungle--- where he meets Richard. Richard's hair is bushier than it is in the present, but otherwise he looks exactly the same as he does now. Up until now, we've assumed that Ben was the leader; now it seems Richard has been monitoring him, and seems to consider him 'special', like he'll consider Locke several decades later. He tells Ben he can join them, but he'll have to be very patient. We won't learn for a little while longer what that patience will mean, maybe because it hasn't happened yet. (Confused? You ain't seen nothing yet.) The last flashback takes place in the early 90's. Ben has grown up, and is still a work man. He takes his father to a section of the island near the Pearl station (in the van that Hurley would later discover and bring back) We've seen Ben be ruthless before, but I define you not to be chilled to the bone when he cold-blooded gases his father. Simultaneously, the Dharma purge has taken place, and when Richard asks Ben if they want to move his father's body, Ben just tells him to leave it there. Now we get why they were so big on having him kill his father. He also seems to feel compassion towards Horace (he closes his eyes as if he regretted it) but he has no problem with them throwing all the bodies into a mass grave. God help us, he is a monster.

    But his most brutal trick is yet to come. After the actions in the cabin, Locke tells Ben that he intends to expose him as a fraud to all the others. Ben repays him by taking him to that same mass grave where the Dharma Initiative have been rotting for nearly fifteen years. Locke knows something is coming but reacts to late, and Ben shoots him. But rather than leave him for dead he demands to know what Jacob said to him. (Which either implies he'd never heard Jacob talk before or what happened in the cabin was news to him.) He appears surprised when he hears Jacob's words, but rather than finish Locke off, he leaves him for dead Ben knows about the healing properties of this island, and he never does anything without a reason. So why didn't he finish him off then and there? Maybe like everyone else, he knows Locke is special, and that this is one more test. Maybe he's trying to regroup on what Mikhail told him. Whatever the reason, their story is not even close to being over.

    'The Man Behind the Curtain' is arguably the high point of the season. It reveals Michael Emerson to be one of the premier actors of the shows (he received the first of three consecutive Emmy nods for this episode) and actually gave us a sympathetic portrait of Ben. What happened in the Dharma Initiative shaped him, but there was far more than what we saw in this episode to help turn him into the... person he is today. He may be a monster, but compared to some of what we've seen on this show, he didn't get there alone, and everything he does he does for a reason. But then he is a liar. Isn't he?
    My score:10
  • A Ben-centric episode.

    10
    Let me just start out by saying that as a whole, I absolutely loved this episode. I've been very intrigued by the character Ben ever since they introduced him on the show, so I'm so glad that the writers finally did a Ben-centric episode. It was great getting to see flashbacks of Ben's life and the early days of the Dharma Initiative. I was extremely shocked when Jack told the rest of the plane crash survivors that Juliet had already admitted to him that Ben had ordered to spy on all of the plane crash survivors. That was definitely very surprising. In closing, I thought that this was a very well written, well acted and well made episode of Lost from everyone involve in the making of it, and I can't wait to watch the rest of my Lost: Season Three DVD set so I can find out how the season ends.
  • Oh my Jacob!

    10
    The Brig earned a 10/10. So this one earns a 11/10.

    Honestly... this changed everything. This episode changed the way we look at Lost. Not just the entire plot, but certain characters too.

    This episode is the true gamechanger.

    The third 10/10 of the season, and it's very well earned.

    A Ben flashback. Can you believe it? a BEN!!! flashback. How long have we waited for this? Well, since season 2 episode 14. And it finally happens. And it doesn't let us down.

    Every single thing about this episode rocked. Starting with the flashbacks: seeing Dharma active. Seeing how Ben had daddy issues. Seeing how little Ben was a quiet, insecure boy. Seeing how he joined the "Others". Seeing the PURGE! Seeing Richard in the same condition as 20 years later..... and so much more. Still, the most shocking moment for me had to be Ben killing his father as a part of the purge. You know, last episode, Locke had his father killed, but even though Locke's father was probably worse than Ben's, he still couldn't do it himself. Ben? Without thinking twice. The island portion... oh my god, where do I start? I think this episode helped alot in making Ben a little easier to relate to. The fact that Alex hates him, the fact that his people are no longer listening to him as much as they used to, and the fact that John Locke is commanding him makes him a little more human.

    Even the biggest bosses answer to someone. Since 3x6 we've heard many references to a mysterious man called Jacob. And oh boy. OH BOY. We meet Jacob. Or do we?

    According to Ben, only the chosen ones can interact with Jacob. We can't see Jacob. Locke can't see him.... but at the very last moment he hears someone saying... "Help me."

    Jacob? Yes. For a brief moment, we get to see Jacob, the island's god too. A man sitting in a chair with a huge beard who doesn't like technology. Sitting in a creepy cabin sourrounded by ash. If anything, this was the most horroristic scene of Lost so far. And the bravest one too. An invisible man? How far can the writers go? Evidently, very far. But there's no doubt in me that all this is planned. So I enjoyed this for what it is. And even after the Jacob scene, it wasn'T over.

    I guess Ben shooting Locke was one of the most unexcepted things to happen in the episode(right after the reveal of Jacob) . And it makes sense. Ben's final test for Locke was wether he can interact with Jacob or not. He could. So Ben's position is in danger.... and logically, he shoots Locke. But why not finish him once and for all? Why just leave him bleed out?

    Is it possible that Ben also wants to test the island / Jacob? If Locke comes to life, then he know that Locke is indeed who the island wants in Ben's place. But if he doesn't.... he's not.

    Overall, an incredible episode. The plot is completetly changed. As for character development, there was plenty, even though not as much as usual. But it's okay. Ben is an epic character, so it's understandable that the writers are taking their time with him. I thought his relationship as a kid with Annie was interesting, and it just makes me wonder what happened to her... One of the very best episodes of the show.
  • omg

    10
    Locke returns to the Others and Ben begrudgingly takes Locke to meet the Others' mysterious leader Jacob. Locke is unable to see Jacob, but can hear him, with Ben shooting him because of this. The survivors' mistrust of Jack peaks when Juliet is exposed as a mole, however Juliet in turn reveals that has been working with Jack against the Others. Flashbacks show when Ben first came to the island as a boy as part of the Dharma Initiative. Ben conspires with the Others, at least one of whom does not age in the next thirty years, and kills most of Dharma. Many questions were answered in this episode and it is my favourite of the third season, I really liked the part with Jacob.
  • one of my favourite.

    10
    Locke breaks away from the Others in an attempt to persuade Sawyer to kill Locke's father, who is actually the original "Sawyer," who caused the death of Sawyer's parents. Naomi says that Oceanic Flight 815 was found and that there were no survivors. Finnaly we got to see Sawyer meet the real Sawyer (Anthony Cooper ,Lockes Dad) and what a clash it was Sawyer back to his old self and Anthony being a total mess, I always new Locke and Sawyer had a connection right from the start of the series. This is a great episode of lost with many memeroble momments.
  • Ben....

    10
    This episode revealed so many things yet gave us so many things which aren't uncovered. Locke comes back to the camp with his father's body on his back. Then Locke demands to see the man Ben claims to be the one who knows everything about the island....Jacob. Ben says it's complicated and does not want to take Locke to Jacob but Locke demands and even beats Mikhail to prove how much he wants his meeting with Jacob. So ben sets off with Locke to see Jacob. When they are there the weirdest things happen like Ben talks to an empty chair and the room starts going crazy like the glass breaking and ropes flying about. When Locke and Ben leave Jacob or whatever that was Ben tells Locke he wants to show him something. The thing was a big ditch with dead bodies inside. Ben shoots Locke and asks him what Jacob says to him. Ben has flashbacks of when he first came to the island and how he escaped the dharma initiative and made friends with the inhabitants. After years from Ben coming to the island he kills everyone in the Dharma initative with a single can of poisonous gas and the inhabitants take over. Wow I was blown away after seeing all of this. All these burnng questions I have, all these strange things happening, Oh wow I loved this episode. Also in this episode the tape of Juliet reporting to Ben about Sun's situation is heard by everyone but Juliet and Jack expalin to everyone that they both knew what they have to do which left me left me with a big...HUH ?! Loved this episode. It's the one episode of the season everyone waits for. Favorite part of the episode : The encounter with Jacob ! which by the way freaked me out. Favorite character from this episode : Has to be Locke !!! What my friends think : Friend number 1 : Brilliant . 2 : Fantastic. 3 : A little slow but still great. Loved this episode myself !! Great stuff !!. What I think should improve : More screentime for Claire and more cute Araon appearances :)
  • Wow!

    10
    Ben has flashbacks to when he was born and his mother died. He and his father, Roger, go to the island to work for Dharma. Roger is a terrible father, so Ben makes a pact with the "hostiles" and kills the Dharma people.

    Locke comes back and wants to know everything about the island. Ben tells him that there is a man above him in rank named Jacob. Locke wants to see Jacob, but Ben is afraid. Locke finally convinces him to go. They arrive at a shack with nothing much in it. Ben starts talking to an empty chair that Ben claims to be Jacob. Locke says that it's a joke and attempts to leave. He then hears a voice different from Ben that says, "Help me." Chaos errupts when Locke points his flashlight. Ben takes him to the grave where the Dharma people lay and then shoots Locke and leaves him for dead. Sawyer is back and tells Sayid about Locke and the tape. Sayid and Sawyer reveal it to Kate, who trusts Jack. They all have a meeting with everyone about Juliet and the tape. When questioned, Juliet reveals Ben's reply about coming to take the pregnant women and that she told Jack about it.

    This episode was great! The Jacob thing was really weird. I don't really know what to think about him. The part with Ben as a boy on his birthday was sad when Roger was telling him how he killed his mom and stuff. I really felt sorry for Ben at that point. This episode was so crazy and awesome! Although I already know Locke's fate, I hope he doesn't die. This episode gets a 10 out of 10 from me!
  • Oh My God!

    10
    Locke returns to the Others and Ben begrudgingly takes Locke to meet the Others' mysterious leader Jacob. Locke is unable to see Jacob, but can hear him, with Ben shooting him because of this. The survivors' mistrust of Jack peaks when Juliet is exposed as a mole, however Juliet in turn reveals that has been working with Jack against the Others. Flashbacks show when Ben first came to the island as a boy as part of the Dharma Initiative. Ben conspires with the Others, at least one of whom does not age in the next thirty years, and kills most of Dharma. Many questions were answered in this episode and it is my favourite of the third season, I really liked the part with Jacob.
  • Best episode of season three. I was just beggining to get tired when this episode woke me back up.

    10
    I wish every viewer that got annoyed and tuned out saw this episode as it revealed some answers about how the DHARMA corporation went away(they died). Then in true LOST style another mystery to look forward to solving is born, Jacob who appears to be a ghost of some sort gets angry and talks to Locke for a second but then gets angry from Locke's flashlight so that was my favourite scene. Looking forward to that mystery being sloved no matter how long it takes. Jack Shepard shows how much of a "I think I'm god" jerk he is. Jack Shepard should just stop trying to think that he can say anything and no one can question him, I used to like his character more in season one.
  • that was so good!

    10
    who ever has decided to quit "lost" must be utterly mad. right now it's providing some of the best episodes ever and "the man behind the curtain" is one of them. finding out about ben's past was really moving in some parts. i felt very sorry for him for most of his flashback but when the betrayal was revealed what ever few sympathy had been left for him vanished completely. sure, he didn't have a nice childhood and youth but that's not too much of a good reason to turn into a ruthless killer (i actually was still quite surprised about it, i hadn't expected him to be a murderer after all). i can check off the question about what has happened to the people from dharma from my absolutelymustknowlist now (there actually was an answer given for once). i'm really looking forward to find out more about the "hostiles", where they came from and why (judging from richard's appearance) they don't seem to age. the absolut stunner was the trip to jacob though. this was so very creepy and i still don't know what it is i've seen. which brings me to the very end of this episode ... omg, i didn't see that coming! even though i don't like locke too much, i don't think he's dead, that would be too much of an inglorious ending i wouldn't even wish for him.

    what happened back at the beach was quite interesting as well. juliet seems to have switched sides for good but jack doesn't seem to have realized that his fellow "losties" don't need him to decide for them and he felt like a foreign body more than ever.
  • After watching this episode, who can honestly say Lost isn't the best show on TV?

    10
    WOW, what more can I even say besides the fact that this episode totally kicked a$$!!! In fact, this episode was so good it might've just made the 3rd season my favorite season, replacing Season 1. These last few episodes have just been killer: One of Us, Catch-22, The Brig, and now this!! Well, let's just get a couple things straight:

    1. Damon and Carlton DO keep their promises. Does anyone even remember the mini-season now?

    2. Let us laugh in the face of all those losers who didn't have the faith to continue with LOST. Man, are they missing out!!

    Ben Flashbacks!- This episode was great in delivering an awesome Ben-flashback while at the same time wrapping up the history of the DHARMA Intitiative. Sure, there's still a lot of inovation for new stories dealing with the "Purge" and Dharma's reign on the island, but could they really have summarized the DHARMA story any better? I think we now, for the most part, understand exactly how the DI lived on the island. Now all we need to learn is what the hell they we're doing exactly.

    Jacob? Is that You?- We also got a glimpse at what appeared to be an empty chair. No wait, that's not an empty chair! That's er...Jacob? Unless you were lucky enough to catch the milisecond glimpse of Jacob, you're probably deep into your own theories by now about what exactly IS Jacob. And that's great. LOST has always been about encouraging fan-theories and conspiracies. I'm so glad that we've gotten out of Fall 2006 because you know if they had shown this back then, it would have been no theories and all complaints. Once again, isn't it great that this show has come back to its former glory?

    Locke and Ben- Locke and Ben have always had an interesting chemistry and this episode was no different. The best part was, I think that Locke proved himself to the Others as being a person who might just be more of a leader than Ben. I think that Ben noticing this and the fact that even Jacob acknowledged Locke, led him to the conclusion that Locke very well might someday challenge Ben's rule over the Others. So realizing this, Ben does the unthinkable, and well...I don't have to say it.

    Let's just put it this way..

    When Locke gets back up, he's gonna have a little bug to squash.
  • Jacob...who the hell are you?

    10
    The most fantastic episode since Man from Tallahassee. Ben's flashback is insightful to DHARMA, he joins every other Lostie on the Daddy Trouble list, and more importantly we learn what happened during the Purge and that the others (minus Ben) were originally the Hostiles. In real time, Ben takes Locke to go see Jacob. I won't lie, I was up out of my seat once again. During the whole Jacob scene I was dying with anticipation as to whether we'd see him or not, and for a brief second...we did. I've heard rumors that Jacob is Locke in another timeline , or that Ben is skitzo, or even that Jacob is not real, because they are all in a mental home. My opinion is that Jacob is the overseer of the island, and he is being held by Ben (hence the ash circle we saw). When he asks Locke for help, he wants Locke to rescue him from Ben's captivity. Also, John Locke is not dead. Or at least I really really really hope not.
  • This was the best!

    10
    Oh my God! This episode and The Brig were the best obes of the seasont so far! We learned so much about ben,ljacob,the island. I cant believe it. And so much good stuff is going on the beach with the woman. Are they dead? Is there a ship coming? Can they be rescued? Is Locke dead? We will see!
    Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!Rock on Lost!

    Only three more!
  • great episode

    10
    John Locke leaves the shipwreck and heads back to the camp of the others. Sawyer goes back to the camp of the survivors and he speaks Sayid. Sawyer tells him about the recording on the tape recorder that he brought with him. This episode is a Ben episode, we get to learn the history of Ben right from his birth up to the point where he grows up in the island. So much happens there and we get to learn about it for the very first time. It's a really interesting episode, this episode shows all kinds of stuff happening at once. It's really good.
  • Was this the best episode ever?

    10
    Wow.
    Never has an episode of Lost ever has me falling asleep thinking about it, waking up thinking about it and then spending most of my day thinking about it.
    There were so many things that made the epsiode great.
    *First Jacob who I didn't nortice the first time but when I slowed it down as tehy told me to do on he website I did a girly little "ahh" noise as I saw him. And the voice saying "help me".
    *I also comppletely didn't recognise Richard in his "younger" form which wasn't much younger and just a little hairyer.
    *I'm glad that the Tricia Tanaka storyline of teh car has finally been given some relevance.
    *I was really shocked at the ending of Locke being shot and then when he said to Locke "what did he say" and Locke said "help me". I really hope that Locke isn't dead. Generally on tv shows if there is any doubt that a person is maybe dead or not, generally it is not, and hopefully "the island" might save him. But then again, Paolo & Nikki, Shannon. Oh and that reminds me, while were on the subject on death...
    *I was glad that Patchys resurection was explained, even if it was crap. I don't see why people like him so much, i don't see anything great about him, lets hope he's on eof the "five" which I'll talk about later.
    *Ben's mum, that was quite sad and more proof that all of these people like Dave, Jacks Dad, Yemi & Kate's horse aren't there by accident.
    *The opening sequence. I wish that I hadn't known that it was Ben's flashback week because otherwise I wouldn't have guessed what it was. However when they fell out of the forest and into Portland and we realized that Ben had lied about where he was born that was really good.
    *Sun hearing the tape of Juliet talking about her. That was good to see the camps reaction.

    I honestly cant stop thinking about this and so I've got to put it somewhere in my favpiurite episode list. I'm going to make one and then add it in.

    1.Flashes Before Your Eyes
    2.Deus Ex Machines
    3.Dave
    4.Two For The Road
    5.Live Together Die Alone
    6.The Other 48 Days
    7.Exodus
    8.Expose
    9.Numbers
    10.Catch 22
    11.Maternity Leave
    12.Walkabout

    Wow, you would not believe how long that took me
    So that's
    Series 1: 4
    Series 2: 5
    Series 3: 3
    I thought i prefured series 1, oh well, i suppose Pilot would be 13.
    So I recon this episode would go

    1.Flashes Before Your Eyes 3
    2.Deus Ex Machines 1
    3.**The Man Behind The Curtain** 3
    4.Dave 2
    5.Two For The Road 2
    6.Live Together Die Alone 2
    7.The Other 48 Days 2
    8.Exodus 1
    9.Expose 2
    10.Numbers 1
    11.Catch 22 3
    12.Maternity Leave 2
    13.Walkabout 1
    14.Pilot 1

    That episode was brilliant and one of the best ever.

    So the "five". Five people are going to die, we already have 1.Anthony Cooper
    So could it be 2.Locke
    I hope it's not. I recon if Locke dies it will be in the "final showdown". His character does seem to have run it's course as his flashbacks have answered just about every question.
    I'm sure that the producers promised something big with Rose & Bernard this series, i could be wrong but I'm going to say
    3. & 4. Rose & Bernard
    And number 5. hmmm. I think Charlie is too obvious. Maybe Naomi, even though I like her.

    Anyway two episodes left. Who will live who will die, actually i haven't considered any others dieing? hmmm
    Will Penny find Des or will naomi's radio not work.
    Will Juliet betray Jack or stick by him?
    Will I shut up now... alright

    Brilliant epsiode!
    LOST RULES!
  • Simply Amazing.

    10
    This episode in one word, ROCKED!

    We finally get to learn a bit more about Ben and his life on the island. Not only that but the mysterious Jacob is revealed, but who the hell is he. Invisible and unable to be heard by bassicly everyone? Then we hear him say help me? Then we finally end with one of the cliffhangers that makes LOST great as Locke takes one to chest. After seeing this episode I got so exited for the next one Greatest Hits and then the finale. It had a rough start but after episode 10 LOST found it's way again.
  • ben-centric!

    10
    I've been waiting for a Ben centric episode since his first appearance in season two, and finally we get one! This episode reveals a lot about the island's history. From the Dharma initiative, the island's original inhabitants, "The Purge", and the mysterious Jacob. We learn about Ben's upbringing, how he came to the island, and his role in "The Purge". Another thing we find out is that the van that Hurley found back in the "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" episode is the same van that Ben killed his father, Roger, in. Also, Ben's mother, Emily, died shortly after giving birth to him.
  • I'm dying to see that finale!

    10
    He can't be dead, can he? Seriously, if they kill off John Locke, that's not possible! What's Lost without or favorite ex-cripple? I really hope he's not dead. That would be a bad ending to an interesting storyline.
    John was just uncovering more and more of the Others' secrets. Take the meeting with Jacob. What the heck was that all about? Does he exist and if yes, then what's the mystery? Why can't he be seen? Why does he need saviour? I don't get it. Even though we're getting more answers with every episode, I end up being more confused and.. well... pretty much LOST :)

    Also, we find out that Juliet told Jack the truth. When she said it wasn't time to tell anyone in the previous episode I didn't think that she was referring to that. But it's nice to see that she's not evil after all.

    What's with Ben's flashbacks? Weren't they really the creepiest we've ever seen? Gosh, he killed everyone... and how come that guy still looks like 20 years ago? WOW, I'm dying to find out their secret. And I keep asking myself how Ben became sort of their leader when he wasn't even one of the original inhabitants of the island? And what's with them anyway? How did they land on that island? Why did they kill all the Dharma members? Crazy guys...
  • A Few More Answer To Add To The Book.

    10
    Excellent Episode! Finally We Got To Meet The Infamous Jacob! Although It Was Only a Glimpse Of a Shadowed Outline, We Got To Learn His Personality. He Turned Evil On Locke & Ben Because Locke Turned On His Torch (Flashlight)! Hopefully We Get More Answer On Him Soon. And Locke Was Stupid Enough To Get Himself Put In That Pitt. And Yes I Am Keeping My Fingers Crossed For "Jacob" To Help Him. Back To The Original Beach Now And Jack Is Starting To Come Back Into His Usual Ways, Although He Does Have Some Anger Towards The Rest Of The Losties Not Trusting Him. Who Could Blame Him Though? Hopefully Mor Answers Next Episode! Great Episode, I Loved It! 10 Out Of 10!
  • Amazing!!! wow what an episode

    10
    so much in one episode it explains a lot about Ben and his past history and how he got on the island. Jack proves he is still capable of being the leader and he gains part of the trust he lost when he spent a week with the others at there camp.

    We also learn about the hostiles that were there before the others and how Ben played a huge part in elimanating one side this could be imporatnt in the showdown between the others and the crash survivors.
    Major shock at the end when one of the major survivors is killed
  • The Leader revealed.

    10
    It seems ten is my new favorite number. I could not help but give this episode the highest score, it is certainly one of the best Lost episodes. Locke is by far my favorite character, so I may be a bit biased. The dramatic end I will not even speak of, it is so horrid.
    Powerful and powerless, scary and afraid, invisible and seen; the infamous Jacob is revealed. This was a creepy scene, which only Ben could pull off. It leaves so many questions about the Others and their Leader. I wish that John had simply thrown Ben out the door and talked to Jacob himself, but what can you do. The surprise of the episode was Richard. This was a much better introduction of a character than Nikki and Paulo. Truly out of the blue. I’m so intrigued by him now, more so than the mysterious Jacob. His back-story has to be amazing, not to mention how he got from the hostile to the man who recruited Juliet.
    Through a young Ben, we finally watch the purge, lead it seems, by Richard. Glad as I am to get some insight into Dharma, the Hostiles and the purge, it feels as though there are more questions now than ever. Could it truly be that Ben was able to manipulate so many events on the island? What is his hold on Jacob? Where did Richard and the Hostiles come from? All the unanswered questions have me hyped for the finale.
  • Episode was like a little fly firstly we thought catch it amazed thinking to catch it and when we make a sudden move our hands are empty but fly is still wandering around our hand...

    10
    Episode was like a little fly firstly we thought catch it amazed thinking to catch it and when we make a sudden move our hands are empty but fly is still wandering around our hand. And this episode mysteries are like these fly. Like all masterpiece Lost episodes it begins with the "What the heck is going on expression" and then it suprise us. And it gives us some mystery during episode and solve them in it such as unseen Jacob is it real or Ben fools us. And the best part of the episode is the end it solves episodes own mysteries and make such a big shock us.No doubt that It was a masterpiece of lost
  • Is it possible that...

    10
    that annie (young ben's friend)is Rousseau? only at the end of the episode Ben says something like "i was one of who realised that dharma were in the wrong" to locke, and we do know that ben is Alex's dad and Rousseau is her mom! also Rousseau talked about the purge before and explained they all went crazy so she killed them 16 years ago? or were there 2 purges?

    The other weird thing is Kate tells her husband to be (Nathon Fillion) that her name is Annie (maybe its just a popular name?!?)

    Finally did anyone notice that the dharma people are taking the medicine in ben's flashback at the beggining? weird because thats what desmond and claire have took in past episodes but nobody else (charlie might have because he said he tested it when he gave it to claire)
  • Cant believe i have 2 wait another week...

    10
    A great installment again!
    The whole Dharma/Hostiles backstory is excellent, and im sure Season 4 will be be based on the island and its powers in connection with its original inhabitants "the hostiles".

    Things really are getting interesting...
    Questions:

    *Is John Locke dead (lets hope not)...but Ben did say he was taking Locke back another way, maybe the way where anyone who dies behind it lives as an immortal?

    *What happened to Annie? (im sure this question will continue to float around until resolved)

    *Is their a connection between Vincent and the photo in Jacobs pad?

    *Is Ben just totally stir crazy!!!???

    *How did Sawyer get the tape?
  • The day Ben killed his father.

    10
    As Naomi shares her secrets with Sayid, Ben shares his secrets with us through a flashback of yet another bad father, this time his own. It’s hard to express how blunt this “bad parent” trend seems to run on Lost, however, in this case it’s actually comprehendible for handyman Roger to resent his employers so much that he actually raises a son to destroy them. Problem is: his employers are the very Dharma Initiative.

    Being a father himself most of Ben’s actions are nowhere near as comprehendible; he does seem to consider Locke as a kindred which is why he provides him with the weapon to destroy his father - much like Ben did with his own back when he came to age – and feels very disappointed when Locke fails to complete such a simple task as his baptism of fire and yet we wonder: Does he expect Alex to do that herself? Has he been rising her knowing that one day she might? Does he fear that day or actually looks forward to it as the next step for his daughter to reach a level of ‘enlightement’ and ‘control’ he appears to believe the murder of her grandfather gave to him?

    It’s such a contradiction for a father as concerned as Ben is to exploit such a tragedy as Rousseau’s in order for him to raise the child that may actually take his life but that’s exactly where this show is heading: an inevitable point where the child takes the life of the father in order to take his/her rightful place in the world.
  • For everybody how didnt see it.After Ben is kicked in the wall for a second you can see Jacob.hes an old man with a beard.If you want to see it ust check the net.

    10
    For everybody how didnt see it.After Ben is kicked in the wall for a second you can see Jacob.hes an old man with a beard.If you want to see it ust check the net.
    Im sure that Lost as a exact translation in myhtology and history(especially of greece).Desmun and Penelope,Odyseus and Penelope,the smoke monster- Cerberus,Jacob- hades,the island- the gateway to hell.The hostiles- the keepers of hell. Plus im beginning to like this season again.Theres much Mysttery.I especially liked the last shocker,Locke is dead.Dont get me wrong oi like Locke but a shocker is allways good.I now am posing many questions about masquara man.he was young in bens flashback.How the hell didnt he age a bit.
  • Dharma/Ben-centric episode!An EXCELLENT episode!

    10
    OMG!This was one of the best episodes of lost ever! It is brilliant! I can describe this episode as creepy and scary!It was so interesting and had lots of amazing moments!
    Ben's flashback was incredible!How could his dead mother appear??Was she the black-smoke?I really can't understand!
    Also how Richard appeard older than Ben??! In his flashback we see that Ben killed his father in the blue dharma van that Hurley found in the jungle on the episode "Tricia tanaca is dead".The skeleton in the van was Ben's father, Roger! Also we learn that Ben betrayed Dharma people, and the other group of people who were on the island killed all the Dharma members ..!
    One of the best moments/scenes of this episode (and gennerally on lost) was when John and Ben visited Jacob....!OMG!What was that???Jacob is a spirit/ghost??!It was a shocking moment when he appeard for a second in his chair..!!!Oh, and he was so angry..!
    At the end of this brilliant episode something unforeseen happened...!Ben shot Lock and throwed him in the Dharma grave!Perhaps Locke is dead!Unbelievable!
    Rate it with 10/10 !!!!!!!!Come on!This episode deserves higher score!It is unfair!
    LOST 4 EVER
  • ?

    10
    this is exactly the reason why i watch lost!!!
    another great episode, actually this might be my new favourite, but haven´t really decided yet...
    anyways, exciting to see the island 30-40 years ago, i hope we see more of it fx. the time ben spend with the others before he became their "leader". i would also like to see more of him, when he was "undercover"...
    it was also kind of fun too see who roger actually was...
    the dramatic ending just showed how great an episode this was... of course locke survives, but what is he going to do to ben now?
  • Never, ever, in a million years would I imagine a show would kill off such a one of a kind, PIVOTAL piece of the game, mysterious and knowledgable character such as Locke... but low and behold, the writers have shocked us again.

    10
    And if that's not enough, they gave us a screen shot of Jacob! At first I was suspicious--was Ben just dragging him out to an empty house to meet his other invisible split personality? Was it just another trick to get Locke more invested in Ben's MO?--but no! Holy mother, I know for a fact that whatever revelation is to come in the season finale regarding Jacob (we know there will be, common!) -- it's going to creep creep creeeeep me out like I'd never believed it could. Then when I do get what just happend, wala! Goosbumps x4,815,162,342.
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