Lost

Season 3 Episode 20

The Man Behind the Curtain

7
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 09, 2007 on ABC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (139)

9.6
out of 10
Average
1,766 votes
  • not that great answers, and not a good direction.

    6.0
    i dont know why everyone is happy with the answers, we did got allot of answers about ben, but what about the main questions that we have, who are the others? what are they doing/motives? we still know nothing at all about that. but i got use to it that we will know it only in the end.
    the episode was ok, but the invisible man was silly to my and really over the top, i guess im probably one of the few that still hopes for a rational (atlest for the most part) explanation to all of it, oh well.
  • I don't know... I expected more from this episode. Answered some questions, ended not quite like I thought.

    7.0
    Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that bad. We learn about Dharma and the Hostiles and the Purge. I'm glad to learn about those things. But the whole Jacob thing just came off as .... weird. I just figured Ben was crazy. Was it him to talked to John or does the island itself talk to 'special' people.

    Whatever the answer is, 'Lost' sure is taking it friggin sweet time answering them. The preview for next week does look better. So I hope it wont be such a big a disappointment. Which is why I gave this episode a so-so rating. I just expected more.
  • Moving further and further away from "logical" non sci-fiyish explanations

    7.8
    This episode was descent, however, wha has certainly dissapointed me was that as of this episode, lost can not be explained without sci-fi stuff. The first two sesons pushed the limits of logical explanations, but still coul dbe explained without using science fiction. Now, it is all gone. The never-aging Richard, the invisible Jacob. I am certain that for some people this episode was a turning point in the direction to stop watching the show, just like the Flashes Before Your Eyes episode. Overall, if you are open to science fiction explanations of Lost events and mysteries, it is a great episode, but if you hoped for some normal stuff, this is the end.
  • Another great episode, although the flashback story felt a bit incomplete.

    8.0
    Obviously, this episode has been anticipated for a long time. Ben's arrival in the middle of season two kick started the season and he has since become a valuable part of the ensemble. With his various manipulations and mind games, it can be almost impossible to determine when he is honest and when he is playing another game. So, as his character sees his role in The Others in jeopardy, it makes sense to explain how he became the leader. It seems like these flashbacks were originally going to be for the finale, which would fit past season themes, but the news of a definitive end date could've made them switch things around, still holding a major card for the finale. As a result, there are a lot of blanks to be filled, but that seems to promise that there will be plenty of Ben in the future.

    It's not a big surprise to learn that Ben wasn't born on the island (even if there was no way he could remember his birth), but his words could be reinterpreted. Being "born" on the island doesn't necessarily mean a natural birth like Aaron's, but a spiritual one like being "born again". His alliance with The Hostiles made him into the man he is, even if he's holding residual resentment towards his abusive father.

    Like nearly every character, Ben's dad has issues with his father. The death of his mother after giving birth to Ben hung over his head so much that his father wouldn't let him have even a good birthday without bringing up that fact in the least sensitive manner possible. This explains Ben's behavior in "The Brig" when Locke was faced with his own abusive father and Ben tried to convince him to do it, as well as Ben's obsession with fertility. It also wouldn't be hard to believe, with what was revealed in "One of Us", that Ben could somehow manifest a situation where all pregnant women died. The island has done similar things before to other characters, particularly Walt. Perhaps the fertility solution will only be solved when Ben dies or resolves his issues.

    Juliet served to show us how The Others would bring in someone to join them. It turns out Ben was brought in similarly, but his active choice showed his "commitment". It's still unclear what it is like for someone born into the Others, or if any of them apply to that term. Richard would be the closest as he is the only prominent Other seen as part of the Hostiles, but not much is known about his history. Time has been explored before, but this episode introduces a whole new element with Richard's history. He has not aged since he first met Ben in the 70s, yet Ben has grown up. There have been hints that The Others, at least those who devote themselves to their beliefs, may have some ability to control time and space (see the reversed audio from Room 23). Ben remarking about remembering birthdays could be read as Richard being so old he has lost count of his real age. Ben's aging, as well as his illness, could be major hints to his lack of ability to truly lead The Others.

    Ben's mother (who oddly enough was played by Michael Emerson's real life wife) appearing before him and leading him to the sonic fence could be chronologically the earliest occurrence of The Monster. This vision intrigued Richard and is likely what got him to become the eventual leader. It's not hard to believe that The Others would wait for a Chosen one and no one had such an experience. However, we've seen The Monster manifest itself as many people or things to other characters, so eventually The Others would have such encounters. With Locke's miraculous recovery, it places him on top as potential successors because he is the "real deal". Since Ben became the leader after assimilating, it wouldn't be hard to believe that Locke could do the same.

    Unlike last season, this episode is the first true look at how Dharma operated on the island. The open mindedness of hippie scientists is shown with Horace, but hints are dropped throughout of more nefarious undertakings, such as the shoot out Roger finds himself in while on a routine delivery. There is still some meat in the Dharma story.

    While described as natives, The Others during the purge had access to tools and weapons that couldn't be made on the island. The gas canister lacked the always prominent Dharma logo, so it could be implied that The Others didn't steal it for their plan. Perhaps Mittelos existed and had prior access to the island, but quickly clashed with Dharma over their inhabitation.

    It's been presumed that the pair working in The Swan, possibly Radsinksy and/or Kelvin, were unaffected by the Purge, as their post demands isolation and Ben may have not known about it. Considering how little was mentioned about other Dharma stations in "Live Together, Die Alone", not to mention Kelvin and Desmond's behavior, it's reasonable to conclude that as correct. As far as they knew, no one was coming to take their place, and Kelvin got lucky when Desmond washed ashore, and could be trusted as an outsider. How they found out their associates died is another question, but that could point to Kelvin and/or Radsinsky being Others like Mikhail, who still adorned the Dharma gear.

    While Ben felt that humiliating Locke in the previous episode would be enough to get him off the track of joining The Others, he underestimated how desperate Locke wanted to commune with the island, as we saw within that episode. Knowing he has the upper hand, Locke underwrites everything Ben says, especially when he can yell it to everyone in the camp. Payback is sweet for Locke, who comes to believe none of what Ben says is real and that Ben is this episode's eponymous character.

    Although Ben's grip as leader may be tenuous, Jacob is very real. The scene at the cabin was a trip. Initially, Ben appears crazy to have an impassioned dialogue with an empty chair, but there are more than tricks in the shack. The brief glimpse of Jacob, both through video and high definition pictures, has been posted throughout the internet, so it's easy to analyze. The forehead resembles Locke, but a close up of an eye during the chaos resembled Desmond. The idea of someone we already know being Jacob is hardly new, but this shot adds some credence to various theories.

    The ash line, as well as the small pile on the chair in the shack, is another discussable subject. Some believe it's an inert version of The Monster. However, it seems more likely that it would be something used to keep Jacob contained. His request for help to Locke could suggest that Ben is holding him prisoner because his power prevents him from crossing a line of ash.

    Why Jacob reached out to Locke is a major question. Did he mean help as in assistance, like taking over as the human element of the Others or to uncover some element of the island? Did he mean the popular interpretation, that he was in dire need of assistance and Locke was the only person to help him. As more is revealed about Jacob, this should become clear.

    With Jacob contacting Locke without Ben knowing, Ben goes to extremes to stay a leader. By shooting Locke and leaving him in the mass grave (some of whom appear to have been shot as well), he hopes to keep his position and ensure Locke dies before anyone will be able to find him. Of course, considering his wound was in his abdomen (perhaps near where his kidney used to be), the island's healing properties as well as Locke's importance, there is no chance it'll be the last of him.

    While "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" appeared to be a filler episode, it actually gave us a hint of what would happen in this episode. The episode confirms that Ben's father drove the Dharma van Hurley found. Answering that question added some darkness to the upbeat Hurley episode. Initial thoughts made Roger sympathetic, a possible victim of an "incident". However, this episode changes that by showing us how horrible he was to his son.

    Back on the main beach, things grow tense as Sawyer returns with the evidence incriminating Juliet. It gets worse when Naomi and her news that they are presumed dead becomes common knowledge. While they are powerless against informing people that they are alive, the believed confirmation of Juliet's treachery threatens to tear the castaways apart. This certainly warrants the question of why Jack wouldn't be open to telling his trusted friends this information in hopes that they would collaborate on a plan. It comes off as unusual.

    The biggest problem with this episode is its incompleteness. In Ben's flashbacks, he goes from being a preteen to an adult with little explanation for the interim years. Perhaps this episode was meant to be a two hour episode, with additional flashbacks detailing his assimilation and perhaps offering insights to other incidents on the island (like Rousseau's expedition and the abduction of Alex). This type of jump is similar to Jesus in The Bible, who is seen as a newborn, a preteen and an adult similarly. It also ties into previous moments, such as seeing Ben tied up in a Christ-like pose when he was in The Swan last season. Why they would go for Christ metaphors for Ben is unclear and slightly odd (especially considering the father-son relationship), but may make sense or be discredited after we see more from him.

    Annie is another loose end that stopped more than ended. It's not clear whether she was among the purge, as Ben would likely stop to remember her as he did with Horace. One popular theory I like is that Annie is Danielle (Annie could be a short form). There seemed to be some hint of history when they've interacted in the past. It also helps that Michael Emerson and Mira Furlan share the same birthday, only a year apart.

    As the season wraps up, major conflicts come to a head. This episode had plenty of surprises, as well as some questions answered in the process. While Ben's flashbacks felt incomplete, the result on his character in the present was still compelling. The stakes are ratcheted high with Naomi becoming known to both camps and with the planned invasion of the beach imminent. This kind of payoff is what we've been waiting for, and the build up has been superb.
  • Ben is exposed. Or is he? Jacob is discovered. Or is he? Locke is back. For how long?

    8.0
    As much as I liked to find out about the Dharma stuff and Ben's background, there was a lot of things that made me feel like they were writing on the fly. I love Locke and I hate how he is always falling for everything, despite how astute he seems. I am getting annoyed by how unaware Locke, Kate and Sawyer are. Only Sayid looks to have any clue. Further, I loved it when I thought Ben was just nuts, but then they could not be happy with the psychological angle. The writers had to add another element (i.e. an invisible man). Don't forget the un-aging man. As I have said before, why do you need monsters, invisible men and esp? You have a hidden island with all kinds of mysterious elements due to the Dharma people, with all kinds of angles between the survivors personalities, dangerous "others" and personal struggles from the past. It seems to be overkill and not "contained fantasy." I know most will disagree, but I would have loved for Jacob to be all in Ben's head. I am expecting Locke to survive. It is bad enough Eko was killed off so quickly and without furthering the story.
  • Overall, this was a strong episode with a number of implications for the overall mythology and the rest of the third season.

    8.0
    If one looks at the entire series as one massive story arc (or set of arcs thereof), then the classic storytelling progression applies. The end of this season brings the series to about 60% completion. This puts this material firmly in the complication phase, when initial mysteries are resolved, unlocking deeper and more important mysteries in the process. This episode is a perfect example of this process.

    A number of things are revealed in this episode, though much of the information comes through the filter of a devious and clever mind. It’s hard to know where the truth ends and the deception begins. And it’s not just a matter of deceiving others; Ben seems to be equally adept at deceiving himself. However, in this case, the new information fits with existing revelations, so some conclusions can be made.

    If his memories are accurate, several matters are clarified. Ben was not born on the island, at least not in the literal sense. The circumstances of his birth explain his extreme interest in fertility issues. The resulting relationship with his father (Roger from “Tricia Tanaka is Dead”, which is a nice bit of continuity) left him searching for a purpose in the world. That desire came during his time with the Dharma Initiative, which is how he came to be on the island.

    This is all straightforward, but considering that this is “Lost”, it’s just the beginning. Two things were already present on the island at the time of the Dharma Initiative: the Others, who are confirmed as the original inhabitants of the island, and whatever force manifests the hopes and fears of the inhabitants of the island (seemingly related to the “monster”).

    The Others were then termed the “hostiles”, and their nature is still mysterious as ever. For one thing, they seem to have a rather diverse racial and ethnic profile for inhabitants of a South Pacific island, which supports the idea that the Others were drawn to the island and then absorbed over time into the existing population.

    More importantly, the evidence seems to suggest that the Others have extended life spans. Richard looks the same now as he did decades earlier, and Ben notes that Richard may not even remember what it’s like to have a birthday. Keeping in mind the Life Extension experiments by the Hanso Foundation, and that aspect of the interest in the island makes sense. It also explains why Richard would consider fertility issues to be a “novelty”; functionally immortal people aren’t quite so concerned about adding to the population, especially when they can just bring new people to the island on their own terms.

    This brings up an interesting question: if the Others are so attuned to the island that they are this long-lived, why would they allow Ben to serve as their leader? There must be something specific about Ben that led them to this decision, and looking back at the series to date, there are some interesting possibilities. Not only that, but Ben’s interest in Locke may be explained in the process.

    Ben sees his mother on the island, despite the fact that he’s dead, and he hears the same kind of whispers and voices associated with the Others since the very beginning. Richard seems genuinely shocked that Ben saw his dead mother, and that implies that he was seen as special and valued. To become one of the Others, he waits for the right moment to affect the downfall and purge of the Dharma Initiative, complete with the murder of his own father.

    This is an interesting parallel with Locke. Ben considered Locke’s relationship to the island to be special, and in order for Locke to be trusted, he needed to overcome his issues by killing his father. Ben is essentially asking for Locke to do as he once did, and perhaps Ben even sees Locke as someone following in his footsteps. Whether he sees that as a blessing or a threat is hard to determine.

    Part of what makes Ben special is his ability to interact with Jacob. Jacob has been referenced as the true leader of the Others, the one pulling the strings, yet Ben is the only one who appears to take direction from him. This episode sheds some light on Jacob, and it is one of the most bizarre and intriguing twists in quite some time. For an extended period, it even seems as if Ben is psychotic.

    The truth is far more complex, and may revive one of the more popular theories from the first season. That theory posed the possibility that the island is controlled, to some degree, by a non-corporeal intelligence, and that the Others’ desire for children is related in some way to this entity. The entity was often linked to the “monster”, especially in later episodes when survivors would see people who were dead or unable to be on the island in any logical manner.

    Some of those who study parapsychology raise the possibility that ghosts are consciousnesses that are intact and operating on different frequency. Interaction with these entities is made possible in areas with unusual electromagnetic properties, according to the conjecture. If this is the case, wouldn’t the island be one of the most likely places for such interaction? It might also explain why technology is problematic when dealing with Jacob, and why his location is marked and specific.

    The question of Jacob’s origin would still be on the table. Even if Jacob is some kind of non-corporeal intelligence existing out of phase with normal perception, how did he get that way? And how does that relate to the appearances of the dead on the island? If the Others do have extended lifetimes, as it seems they do, one possibility is that those living on the island eventually transition into this other form of existence.

    If that’s the case, then one might wonder how many of the Others have transitioned. Could they be the source of the whispers in certain parts of the island? Unseen individuals who are still alive in some sense, but now longer operating on the same “plane”? Taken further, could the “monster” be an expression or extension of this phenomenon? After all, the philosophy of the Others (a harsh and lethal demand for personal growth and redemption) is strikingly similar to the apparent motivation of the “monster”.

    Whatever the case, Ben seems genuinely threatened by Locke’s demand to see Jacob and his apparent communication with him. Add that to the clear challenge to Ben’s control over the Others, something Ben has always seen as tenuous, and Ben has every reason to shoot Locke. Of course, Ben conveniently shoots Locke in a non-lethal location. Locke could still die, of course, but there’s just as much reason to think that Locke will survive. He’d just be out of commission long enough for Ben to execute his plan against the JackLocke tribe.

    Back on the beach, the anticipated showdown between Jack and Juliet and just about everyone else finally takes place, but it’s not much to speak of, since the Ben/Locke plot dominates. In short, it’s confirmed that Jack and Juliet are working together to stage a defense against the Others’ incursion, but they’ve been keeping those plans to themselves. The rest of the leadership (Sawyer, Sayid, and Desmond) is not pleased, especially since Jack seems to think his decision is the only one that matters. This is likely to erupt into a major conflict through the end of the season.
  • A very good episode.

    8.7
    A very good episode, but my problem is that there's even more mistery and even less answers. I'm a little angry with Jack, too, it's his fault that people in the camp don't trust him, Jack should have trusted them and tell them everything, he should have known that the truth would eventually be revealed. That would have been the wise thing to do, but this way it was more exciting. The writers do that a lot, my problem is when they use too many unwise, illogical decisions to make the story interesting. That invisible man, wow, that was something, can't wait to find out more about him. How do you think Locke would resurrect? We know now that Mikhail didn't resurrect, but he didn't die in the first place, but now I guess anything is possible.
  • Wow

    9.0
    Whilst filling the void until the new season of Lost starts, i came across this classic on DVD and felt compelled to review it:

    'The Man Behind The Curtain', contains so many clues, hints, answers and mysteries, it was practically bursting at the seems. From mass murders to mysterious visits in the night, a new orientation video and an oddly un-aging Richard Alpert, this Ben-centric episode had it all. Ben takes Locke to see Jacob; a mysterious being who Ben claims to take orders from, the dramatic confrontation to follow as well as what happens after turns Locke the skeptic into a true believer. Ben's early life is also shown and despite what he claims (several times) he wasn't born on the island.

    For those who are curious of Ben's early life this episode is like the promise land as we're given almost a blow - by - blow description of Ben's life before he became the one we know and er, love today. These flashbacks may seem slow but are vital in piecing together what we know about Ben and for the lost fanatic, this is more important than entertainment.

    Having this episode centered around Ben and Locke was genius as they're the most intereting and well - acted characters on the show, their scenes light up. The performances of Michael Emerson and Terry O'Cuinn are great as usual. This episode is basically a continuous build - up to the dramatic confrontation with Jacob and it does not disappoint! I recommend not watching it in the dark however, you've been warned. That scene leaves us with more questions than we've had surrounding any previous character but the fact the Jacob is real is concrete. The Man behind the Curtain is a feast for any Lost fan; acting, writing, directing and information - wise it is at it's best and from beginning to end, it has us involved.
  • What just happened?

    9.0
    Locke goes on a trek with Ben in order to see Jacob the leader of the others. Flashbacks revel how the charater of Benjimin Linus evolved. One of the greatest cliffhangers in Lost's history. Who coulden't love it? (Bonus: It's Ben's Birthday)

    This episode was as frustruating as it was good. The episode said that it would tell us who Jacob was and all it did was raise more questions. But I guess this is Lost. Oh, and don't forget Ben's Birthday either. Because bad things happen when you forget...

    Overall a great episiode that left me beggin for more .
  • Great episode!Didn't watch one like this in a looong time

    9.0
    Very good episode! I really like the flashbacks about Ben it was time to know a little more about his story.We find out that he become the person he is now because of the hate he accumulated for so many years against his father among other things.We also find out how he became an Other and kill all members of the Dharma iniciative and the part Richard plays in his life. We find out why Jack was protecting Juliette so much. And poor John but he had it coming ,he was going all over bossing around, it was obvious that Ben wasn't going to allow this.We don't know if he is dead or what but it looks like it ,because there is not much storyline left for him. I certainly don't want to but we will just have to wait. What about Jacob?Is he real?Is he another one of Ben's inventions?I think that an invisible man is too much for the show ,we have our hands full already with the monster and the shadow. Can't wait for Greatest Hits!!
  • John Locke gets told about Jacob, the tue leader of the Others and people in the camp want to hear what Juliet and Jack have to say.

    9.0
    An 'Informative' episode. I liked the flashback of Ben's youth and the parallels with John Locke. Both have a bad relationship with their father but whereas Ben actually kills his father (perhaps why he chose this task for John), John had to get Sawyer to do the dirty deed for him.
    Does this mean anything, does it signify that John is 'better' than Ben?

    I felt the revelation about Jacob was slightly disappointing and had expected a bit more. The revelation about how the Dharma Initiative ended and the Others gained the upper hand, on the other hand, was intruiging.

    Juliet and Jack don't appear to be guilty, as much as I dislike the Juliet character, and I've said it before, I do feel that she is sincere in some ways, especially when it comes to pregnant women. She did not have to tell Sawyer to play the other side of the tape, yet she did. But does this mean she can be fully trusted??
  • If you don't like this episode, you might as well stop watching Lost. It had it all: the mystery, the twists, the shock moments, etc

    9.0
    wow wow wow! What a great episode
    - I think you could say that Ben is pretty much evil ;) -> not only did he let it happen that all his people get exterminated, he also shoots my favourite chrachter! (although I am relatively sure that John will come out of that pit alive ;))
    -So, the Others are some kind of ueberhumans, who do not age. No wonder Richard isn't interested in the birth problem
    -> The question is, how many "real others" are there. except Richard. In that context: Ben said to Richard “You do remember what birthdays are?” very interesting - The Jacob-scene was my favourite of the episode, as Ben stood beside the empty chair. I just thought “Wow, Ben will turn out as a psychopath who made everything up.” - > till Locke also heard Jacob.
    -> the question is now, why is Ben the only one, who can see him? apparently, he doesn't want anyone else to see him. Does he maybe hold him captive somehow?
    - So why did he shoot Locke? Doesn't he want anyone else being "special" on the island or did he not want the others to know that Dharma is long gone?
    - During the O-Town scene, as the Others appeared, I remembered S2 where Jin and Eko saw the Others. They looked exactly the same. So, were those just the "fake Others" or are the "real Others" still around?
    - Finally we hear the whispers again, I think it's safe to say that they're connected to the Others
    - Was Annie murdered along with the others during the Purge? I don't think that Ben would have made that sacrifice
    - About the second plot: Where to hell were Juliet & Jack? definitely not with the Others (I think) The story of Jack was also somehow implausible. He didn't tell them because he hasn't decided what to do yet. lol?

    To sum up: even if you're a more critical Lost-Fan, you've gotta admit, this one was "THE BOMB"! 9/10 ;-)
  • Two sides

    9.0
    In one of the very first episodes of lost, lock is sitting on the beach, when asked about backgammon he explains to Walt "two sides, one dark one light".

    Both Ben and Locke seem to have some sort of connection with the island, both are seen as inadequate, unwanted by there fathers and ultimately both fathers die,as ben explained, leaving everything behind, typical of faith wither it be religion or faith in once self, sacrifice.

    There seems to be a slight difference, in that, Ben has the ability to kill his father, and inadvertently it seems, kill everyone around him with gas in a nazi fashion, the line "this is were I come from" and a hole in the ground with dead people seemed very hell like, reminiscent of genocide in rwanda.

    Locke on the other hand, in a previous flashback, says he forgives his father (later to change it seems) it seems his world, in comparison to bens in which everyone around him is destroyed is the other side of the cion, locke's life is destroyed, , but seems unable to physically kill his father with what seems almost ghandi like. (but hey he still dies)

    The scene in which Ben is telling Locke to let go, taunting him to kill him, seems very reminiscent of darth vader and Luke Skywalker in return of the jedi.

    Or, that of Lucifer temping Jesus. "Satan tried to get Jesus to sin, but failed. Satan will tempt us, but we can overcome him", Vocabulary: Tempt: to deceive or lure someone into doing wrong

    Locke seems more violent now, I hope he doesn't become a bad guy and remains like Locke from the first season.

    When Locke was refering to two sides, is this what he ment?
    I doubt this is the end for Locke, and would hope not, to me, he is the content, the stuff that little 13 year old girls with crush's on Sawyer or Jack hate, but people who watch for content, like, one of the best telivision characters in years, when Both Ben and Locke intertwine in an episode, lost is elavated ten fold.

    Excellent episode, closes doors, and opens many more, a prime example of a reason to continue watching lost.
  • We finally get some answers about the connection between the Others and DHARMA!

    9.0
    So it turns out that the Others aren't connected with Dharma, but were in fact the reason the project came to an end. Ben's flashback is interesting too, although I think it would have made an excellent season finale to show his flashback then. It didn't really tie into the episode here.

    I found the encounter with Jacob to be exciting if not completely unusual. One step forward, two steps back.

    And Locke gets shot. There is no telling what will become of this. Whatever it is though, I hope the writers can make it interesting and believeable.
  • At last, a very! good episode.

    9.0
    Let me tell you a little story:
    I stopped watching lost after episode #7, I decided that this season is nothing but a huge filler. A week ago a friend of mind decided to tell me what happened in this season so far and he said the Hurley lose a foot! Yeah, he said that they had to cut his foot. So, I had to see it. I watched each and every episode and guess what, Hurley's foot is safe and sound. But! my disbelieve in this season changed, I really enjoyed the last few episodes especially this one, episode #20. I know that the scene where Ben talks to an empty chair is ridicules (I think that he himself almost started laughing), but damn, it was a good episode. At last some we see some interesting and significant stuff happening. I have to admit, I am looking forward the next episode.
  • Ben reluctantly opens up to Locke about the island and it's history. Sawyer and Sayid inform everyone about Naomi as well as the truth behind Juliet. However Jack may have already beaten them to the punch.

    9.0
    A very excellent episode that continues the recent trend of great episodes. Locke drags Coopers body back to the Others and demands Ben start talking. Mikhail returns and informs them about Naomim at the 815ers camp and how she arrived here. He also questions why Ben is answering to Locke until Locke physically silences him while the Others watch. Ben agrees to take Locke to see Jacob. Back at the 815ers camp Sawyer and Sayid inform everyone about Naomi. They also play the tape of Juliet reporting back to Ben exposing her as a mole. However Juliet informs them to flip it over and play the other side which is Ben's intructions to Juliet and laying out his plan for the invasion of their camp. Jack tells them he didn't tell them cause he didn't know what to do yet. He says they all have some catching up to do. This was interesting as each side clearly didn't trust the other for their own reasons. Meanwhile we got some interesting insights into the island's history through Ben's flashbacks. We see he wasn't really born on the island, his father Roger (from Hurley's episode involving the van) was brought there and was a janitor who used the van in his job. We see how Ben snuck off into the jungle and met one of the hostiles and planted the seeds for later in life when the purge occured to rid the island of the Dharma Initiative and for the island's original inhabitors to reclaim what is theirs. Ben even gases his own father as part of this purge. Ben and Locke arrive at Jacob's only it would appear that Ben is an insane fraud who is talking to an empty chair Locke doesn't buy it and turns to leave when everything shakes and he hears a voice utter "help me". Ben tries to ask Locke what Jacob said to him but Locke brushes it off. Ben confesses that he has lied and brings Locke to a giant whole where the Dharma people are buried and in probably one of the most shocking and out of nowhere endings Ben tells Locke he was one of the smart people who made sure he didn't end up in that whole and when he finishes saying he's smarter than Locke he shoots him. A very thrilling episode with an ending that left me breathles.
  • Is this what you want? so be it.

    9.2
    The man behind the curtain is a true example of what LOST is all about, and i might add how happy I am, because the show that I once thought was becoming boring proved me wrong again. In this episode we see another side of John Locke, and what side hum? Got past all his secrets now we see him as a strong, persuasive, violent and powerfull character. Since last episode we´ve been seeing him like this, when he manipulated Sawyer to kill his father.. and now the fact that he got Ben into his will to know more about the island secrets and "meeting" Jacob by placing him (Ben) in a delicated position if front of all the others.. well I must say, way to go John. About punching Mikail.. Baby, why the hostility?? ^^
    What is/Who is Jacob?? Ben´s imaginary friend? Someone that only special people can see? What is it with him and flash lights? Well, I´m just too curious to know more about him, and i don´t think that the producers will turn us down when they reveal it.. even if he is a product of Ben´s imagination. I think it´s clear now that we´ve seen his flashback: Ben HAS pshycological issues. I certanly want to know what happened in the conversation he had with Richard. And how his mother showed up like that. Fun fact? Even after he got rid of his father, his birthday isn´t a big deal.. for no one, even his "daughter". Now, let´s ride to the beach. Not a surprise: Jack HAS a Plan! I knew it! \o/ He wouldn´t betray his island fellows like that, he wouldm´t do it AT ALL. Sayid, what a shame.. i´m disliking him more and more now. Questions:

    Where is Ben´s sweetheart now?? Am I the only one who thinks Locke won´t die?? Oo Since the island has this cure power, and John is some kind of special boy there, i don´t think so.

    How dead people appears there? Or is it some optical illusion? PS: It´s a FACT, Richard uses eyeliner for many years now. Go figure... Ps:
    My first review, please be nice. I don´t know if i´ll do it ever again.
    Btw, english is NOT my mother language so be pacient with the mistakes.
  • Jacob?

    9.2
    That pretty much sums up this episode. Theories are going to be flying around after the alarming meeting of Locke and Jacob. The moment you see him, the ash, Locke hearing him and the whole "is he really there?" thing. Not to mention an unexpected end which would have been far more talked about if not for Jacob. I doubt the end will have any long term consequences for Locke, he's still got so much to offer the show being the most "special" on the island and all. The series fianle is coming up, and with the last couple of episdoes it really has been set up to be possibly the best of the three.
  • Revised!!!

    9.3
    Objective - » Lost maybe 60% completed right now. Mysteries started in Season 1 and 2 with the flashbacks were all revealed, if not, we are at 95% in terms of flashbacks. The mysteries about the others is in 50% at most, since in this Episode is time to Know Jacob, or at least, what Ben want to Show Locke. The mysteries in the Island like the Black Smoke monster or the Rules in the Island are in 30% maybe. The writers trying to tie this all and it seems that the next season things will be more revealing. Was time to put Ben as the Main Character and share his past with the Audience. The two setups already done in the last episodes, pay off in terms of Ben, since the events in the beach need more time to grow.

    Flashbacks -» The beginning, I really don´t Know why was this necessary, maybe to tell this story better, but it seems to be about doing a strong presentation, resulting to alert the audience that Ben will have his flashback in this episode. The moment that Ben was Born, the complication Phase was already done. So we see some scenes during his Childhood, a clever and convenient move by the writers, to allow the secrets that Ben Know, to remain in his pockets. So this only allow us to see what we already Know. Not that I don´t appreciate this move since there a lot of confirmations/information's: Ben was saved by his dead mother (which we already had an idea what could this be and the meaning), Ben didn´t born in the Island, The other or hostiles were there before DI. The climax of his drama was when his father had a nice talk with him, demonstrating that he thinks that Ben is guilt for his mother dead. This lead to a stunning revelation about Richard. The ending only show what Ben is capable off and show too what happened with the Dharma Initiative.

    Locke/Ben Event on The Island -» The beginning was strong, because Locke completed is mission, was time to Know the truth that he and us want to Know. Since the Complication phase was already set, was time to complicate things a little. What Locke did to Mikhail was nice. All the way we have Locke and Ben interaction, nothing that make this a top level interaction, but was not bad also. The climax, the moment of true was really strange, because Jacob is everything that you could not expect. The ending is shocking. The only thing really very well done is the fact that are people that actually thought that Jacob was there and there are people that thought that Ben is playing with Locke, but didn´t like the fact that Locke supposed ears Jacob.

    Sub Plot in The Beach -» The set of the complication phase was already done in the last two episodes, so this was more about trusting Juliet and initiate another complication. With the tape, Juliet has a lot to explain or not.

    Overall:

    1 - Plot Holes: Gold. Didn´t Notice.

    2 - Time and Scenes Management: Bronze. Only if you are a super fan if you didn´t notice how slow this episode tried to be. Not bad, since the revelation can be mind blowing and can make you think that this was worth watching.

    3 - Surprises/Twist/Shocks/Cliffhangers: Gold. Jacob and Richard, well, really surprising. The twist about Juliet was nice. The end is shocking for many and many fans out there.

    4 - Action: Wasn´t necessary.

    5 - Funny: None.

    6 - Drama: Bronze. One Scene in Ben´s Flashbacks.

    7 - Tension/Fear: Bronze. Maybe when you want to see Jacob.

    8 - Excitement Level (curiosity/Mystery/Doubt/Revelations: Gold. You want to see Jacob? Want to Know what will happen to Juliet? Curious about Ben Flashbacks?

    When I originally written this review, I thought that the episode didn´t deserve more than 8. Now that I saw all season 3 episodes again, and compared with other Lost season 3 episodes, I have no doubt that this episode was crucial, the information that Ben´s Flashbacks delivered was that type of only a 9 episode can deliver. Where Ben was born? The others really were there before the DI? Why Ben put a difficult Test like that to Locke (killing his own father)? How the Dharma Initiative leave the Island or what happened to them? And both Richard and Ben´s mother appearance deliver another intriguing questions. So, I think that a episode sometimes have one, two or 3 scenes that make the episode worth watching. This 1-5 scenes, is what we will remember and there is no doubt that this episode at least deserve a 9 because of the surprises and information's inside it?

    Reflection -» There are things confirmed. The Others, Hostiles named by the Dharma Initiative, really were there before Dharma. Other thing is Richard apparent Immortality, this may explain why is impatient about Ben obsession with fatality, since immortal don´t want more population, mainly because they can bring more people.

    Ben obsession is now explained, thought the circumstances of how he born and his relationship with his father. Which can explain why he tell Locke to kill his own father, so then Locke could be prepared and follow his footsteps. Ben saw his dead mother in the Island and that make him special?
  • A little insight to who Ben is.

    9.3
    At first i really did not like the idea of having an episode based around Ben. For the fact the he was not a survivor of the crash and because he is the so called leader of the others. Putting my first reaction aside the episode was really good but I did not like the ending. I was happy that we got a little insight to who the Darma Initiative is and why they are no longer on the island. I can not believe that Ben's father blamed him for his mother death and the Ben killed his father. I hope that Locke is not dead.
  • In this episode, Locke convinces ben to show him where Jacbo is, and Ben takes him to what appears to be an empty house, but then Locke hears a voice, and ben kills locke because of it. Back at the camp, Juliet's secret is revealed.

    9.3
    A great episode, but we didn't find out as much as i thought we would.

    I'm sure i'm not the only person hating Ben right now, but i don't think that locke is going to die. Remember how fast the island healed him when they crashed and his legs healed? a bullet wound should be nothing. But still, the encounter with Jacob was pretty weird. If you watch that scene in slow motion you can see a person in the chair. It's really awesome.

    Overall, it was a very good episode. I can't wait until next week.

    P.S.

    I hope Ben dies. I hate him now lol
  • Five steps about this episode that make U think forward about Lost.

    9.3
    1) Ben told John (The Brig) about the Others think he is "Special". For this, John had to kill his own father.
    2) Ben push John but he just can´t kill. Ben enjoy that because he´s supposed to be the "Special" and he really kill his father.
    3) John, for Ben´s surprise, came back with his father´s body.
    4) Ben want to test John to see if he can see/hear anything from Jacob because only a "Special" could do.
    5) John hear Jacob and that made Ben angry about it because he might loosing his power in front the Others and try to Kill John to see if Jacob will help him (like, maybe, he helped Ben sometimes).
  • Invisible men, patricide, and Eugene Tooms

    9.3
    So Ben had a rough childhood...does that give him the right to kill off his father and a whole group of his, for lack of a better term, co-workers (including the man who once played Eugene Tooms on the X-Files)? I guess we'll have to wait and see. This is one of those eps that, for me, didn't really stand on its own, but I accept it because it's obviously made to help set up the big finale. It was nice to see some of Ben's backstory, but I am sure there is a lot more to come. Who are the Hostiles? Why did it take twenty or thirty some-odd years before they were ready to kill the Dharma workers? Why did it look like at least one of the Hostiles just never seems to age?

    Don't even get me started on the Invisible Jacob. WTF? I REALLY want to know how they're going to explain this one. And if they really do kill off John Locke now that he's grown his cohones back, I'll be very upset. That said, I can't wait to see Charlie's death next week? Is that bad?
  • We finally learn got to learn more about Ben's past life and in it was plain excitment!

    9.4
    Following from last weeks episode 'The Brig' John brought his dead father back to Ben's camp with the body on his back, but Ben refuses to take John to Jacob so John knocks Mikhal out and then they go together to see the mysterious Jacob. The flashbacks of Ben were very revealing in a way to help you understand the island in those days as well as Ben. He has a father who always forgot about his birthday, well not seriously forgetting but just didn't bother to get him anything. His mother dying seemed to have a bad influence on Ben and his fathers friendship. As he grew older he left the Dharma Initiative to be a hostle. Better choice seeing as though the Dharma sucks! Nameste Thank you and goooooooooooooood luck!! The part where Ben killed off his dad and the the Dharma initiative inhabitants was a little sad but Be must've done it for his reasons. Back to Ben and John, Alex gives Locke a gun incase of Jacob. Ben take him to Jacob, warning him not have flashing lights on or else...?!
    Ben and John walk inside Jacob's house and Ben starts talking to a chair, at first I'm thinking WHAT the hell is he doing? Is there really a Jacob is the question: "HELP ME". That is what John heard out of Jacob or was it someone else?
    Ben shoots Locke because Locke heard Jacob. Ben you silly man, why did you kill Locke? Traitor. But unfortunetly for the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, the tape recorder wasn't enough to eliminate and destroy Juliet from being with the survivors. Is she still one of them or has she changed? But this episode was incredible, absloutely stunning, it's a shame that John got killed off if he is dead, what a shame.
    But awesome overall!
  • Not the best Lost episode ever, but certainly exciting, and definitely worthy of some respects.

    9.4
    This episode seems to stand out among other episodes of Lost. Of course it had a lot of classic Lost traits -the flashbacks, the "daddy issues", unpredictability, and plenty of mystery- but it seemed to have an entirely unique feel to it.

    For example, our little introduction to Jacob. I'll admit when Ben walks into the cabin and starts talking to an empty chair, I can't help but think, 'Oh man, this is gonna be a bad imitation of "The Emperor's New Clothes"*, and Locke's either going to play along because he wants to be "special" or Ben is going to tell Locke that he ISN'T special 'cause he can't see Jacob.'

    I'm glad that, apparently, at least on some level Jacob isn't nonexistant.

    It took a more morbid turn when the Dharma camp was terminated (including Ben's daddy) but we already knew that Ben was one creepy dude, and that the "hostiles" are...well, "hostile", so...not all that shocking.

    It may have just been me, but I WAS shocked when Ben shot Locke. Maybe I just wasn't speculating on what was gonna happen -I prefer not to assume much with Lost- but it did throw me.

    Of course we all know that Locke can't die, or at least that he won't, because Terry O'Quinn is casted for the next several episodes.

    Overall, a very good episode. I sort of liked Little Ben (Haha...Gentle Ben comes to mind xD) before he became all...you know...murderer.
    And I do wonder what happened to Annie. *"The Emperor's New Clothes" is that old story where the Emperor hires some guys to make his clothes, and they claim to use thread that can only be seen by honest folks, so everybody plays along because nobody wants to be seen as a liar, although in reality the guys are just scamming everyone.
  • lost proves it's worth once again :)

    9.5
    very interesting episode....
    found out the truth about the purge and who the real dharma people where..loche heard jacob speak and SAW him (in slowmo you can see him and it he resembles loche a little bit)....

    do the hostiles age?
    richard looks the same age as he was when ben was a child although ben has most certainly aged since then...

    loche couldnt have died as he is meant to be having some sort of showdown with jack in the series finale....

    if they had communication with the outside world how come they didnt realise everyone had died and still where helping the hostiles.....dr marvin candle obviously doesn't like the hostiles though :P

    who knows? not me....

    any ideas on why all of flight 815's passengers where apparently found dead and/or who naomi is?
  • Ben, the man who ended the Dharma Initiative.

    9.5
    Wow!
    Wanna know why in my opinion this episode isn't perfect or doesn't rise to be the best in the series so far? Because we see Jacob. I mean, we could be left arguing between ourselves if Ben is crazy or not, groups of discussion would be formed and more and more we would be be left hopeless with the doubt. But they showed him and even Locke saw him, but he probably was too afraid to admit it... Anyway, without the ambiguity in the storyline, the episode still gets to be great but it loses several points in my opinion.

    The flashbacks of Ben's arrival on the Island were excelent, to the gut and very important in terms of character development. Seriously, the man was responsible for the "Purge" all by himself. Of course, the flashbacks left us with new questions, as "why Richard doesn't get old?" or "where the hostiles did come from if they weren't related to the Dharma Initiative?". All together, Ben obviously was elected by Richard as a special person since he got to see his dead mother and probably was thought to be in communion with the Island the same way most of the Others think Locke is.

    Back to real time events, we get only two scenes in the beach camp. Naomi is revealed to everybody and Juliet is brought to the stake. But wait, Jack says he knew everything and was deciding what to do to the best of everyone. And not only that. The scene comes to its climax as Jack states there's a lot of catching up to be made. (Read: "wait for next chapter.")

    In Othercamp, Locke arrives bringing awe to everyone and leaving Ben very afraid of the consequences this will bring to his leadership. Ben promises to take him to Jacob, but Mikhail arrives telling everyone of Naomi. And as Locke fights with Mikhail, Ben realises he's in political disadvantage with his own people. Not to lose face even more, Ben is forced to take Locke to Jacob, but wait! There's no one there, or there is? Hehe!

    To leave things "even" between them, Ben takes Locke to the ditch where the Dharma Initiative people were buried and shoots him there, saying he's doing so because Locke was able to hear Jacob. If Locke will live, I bet only in the season finale we'll discover, though.

    All in all, excelent episode as I said before. Major twists, revelations and questions popping up almost every second. Who or what is Jacob? And why his house is circled by a powder track? Protecting from outside or something that hinders him from geting out? And why he asks Locke for help?

    Man, my brain is cooking with questions and theories!

    STAY TUNED! Impossible to do otherwise to me!
  • Happy Birthday Ben

    9.5
    The name of the episode must be "Happy Birthday Ben": )Wowww, everybody hates but nobody can kill him. I really want to know what is Ben's secret. I dont know this Jacob thing (I dont know what is it and I dont like to read the spoilers because of that if someone know something dont tell me please) give us the answers. And Locke? My poor Locke stay gravelly there and wait his death? I dont think so. I think "the Island" will help him, like before. But then my why question come again. Why Locke? Why not to Charlie??? And I think such of this question make our heads confused again and again
  • Many things are clearer now.

    9.5
    After this episode Ben lost all his “evilness” in my eyes. He was shown like a very mysterious and powerful person till now. He seemed to be the right leader of “the Other’s”. But after revealing his past we see him as angry and unhappy man who is very much afraid to lose his position in the small society of “Other’s”. He has nobody in his life who loves him (that’s clear for me!) and only one thing what makes him to feel his life is worth something – is being accepted as a leader in this community. The life on the island is so important for him that he even is lying about where he was born. He always says: I was born on this island! That means – I’m special, nobody else is like me, I have all rights to be a leader! I don’t know what about Jacob, is he real or not, but I wasn’t surprised if it would be a great mystification of Ben. Nobody else can see either speak to Jacob, only him, Ben. But now the same (really mysterious!) person – Richard who introduced Ben to “Other’s” community and I think he was who let Ben stay a leader now is changing his mind. He starts to protect John Lock for this position. I think he won’t let Lock to die. We will see his reasons in the future. Richard (and maybe we will see more similar characters in future episodes) seems to me the real “man behind the curtain”. He not only lives very long time and not only has a lot in common with this island but he is involved in “our” world too. And maybe there are a lot “islanders” who are living, working, gathering information and controlling life in the world? I don’t have an idea are “the islanders” humans, aliens or some kind of robots but I’m pretty sure that they are very important and we will see more about them in future seasons. Anyway, if I’m wrong the show is great! I only hope to receive all answers 
  • Add another Lostie to the death pool

    9.5
    "The Man Behind the Curtain" is obviously referring to the man we've all gotten to know enough to hate and love, Benjamin Linus. This is it folks, we finally got a Ben-centric episode, telling us the story of his life before the island, and on the island. This episode answers a whole lot of questions and will be greatly appreciated by all Lost fanatics out there.

    The Flashback:

    One thing we all thought we knew about our favorite other was that he was born on the island. In his flashback, we figure out that he was never born on the island, but was brought there. Ben's mother was apparently only 7 months pregnant when she conceived Ben. Ben's parents went hiking and that's when little Ben decided, "Get me out of here!" Ben's mother died, but her final words we're, "Name him, Benjamin." Little did she know that right then and there, she just gave birth to a television villain! The man who helped Ben's parents was one of the leaders of the DHARMA initiative. Ben's father landed a job with the DHARMA initiative and was brought to the island.

    On the island, the members of the DHARMA initiative have been running tests, and remember Ben's dad? Well, he hoped to be a scientist, but his jumpsuit said "Workman," can't argue with that can you? He didn't take it too well though, ever since he found out he couldn't work as a scientist and had to clean up after the DHARMA people, he has never been happy. Ben on the other hand has been going to school and had a little crush on a girl named, Annie. Yup, our little villain was struck by cupid way before he was struck with that spinal tumor. Anyway, so he had to live with his miserable dad who downed, I'm guessing, half a dozen beers every single day. During one of Ben's birthdays, he totally forgot about it. He was reminded when he saw the gift that Annie gave Ben, and I love this line so much that I will share it with you! He told Ben, "It's kinda' hard to celebrate on the day you killed your mother." Yup, someone just won best dad of the year award! Ben was obviously upset and ran into the jungle. When he was near the fence, you know the fence where Mikhail supposedly died in? He didn't past the fence, but he did see someone on the other side. It was mommy dearest! I've heard of extravagant birthday presents, but that was extravagant to a whole new level! It's kinda' like when Jack saw his father, and when Eko saw his brother. Anyway, that's the end of Ben's childhood.

    The fun doesn't end there though; this second paragraph will be the cherry on the sundae! During the second half of the flashbacks, we see Ben as a teenager. Again, the setting is on the island, and it is his birthday again. His dad continues downing beers, and he reminds his father that it is his birthday. His dad shows what little sympathy he has to offer and tells Ben, that after he runs some errands they can go to a cliff side together. And that's where the next part of the flashback took us. Ben and his father had the whole conversation. Ben's father said he'd try to remember Ben's birthday the next year as much as he could. Ben asked his father if he really blamed Ben for his mother's death. Oh yeah, there was this part where Ben put on this funny mask and then well... he killed one of the DHARMA people! And that was the end of the civilization of the DHARMA people. I also forgot to mention that Ben made a deal with the hostiles, now more popularly known as the others. He killed his whole civilization, so that he could join the others. Anyone would be satisfied with the amount of answers they gave out right there.

    The Island:

    Locke follows the trail the others left behind and brought back his father's body. He made a couple of demands, but one of his first demands was to know who the leader was. Ben then told him it was a man named Jacob. This guy seemed really scary the way everyone reacted to him. Anyway, so Locke and Ben go on a little camping trip to go visit Jacob. Locke gets furious when he suspects Ben is making a whole joke out of the situation, and then the house where Jacob supposedly lives goes crazy. Locke and Ben then go back to the camp, but take another route. Ben shows Locke a hole full of the bodies that Ben killed in his flashback, yup, a whole pit of DHARMA people corpse. I won’t fail to mention that one of them is shot and falls into the whole. I'll leave that mystery to you.

    Kate tells Sawyer about Naomi, and Sawyer decides to tell the whole camp about her. Sawyer also doesn't forget to mention the tape Locke gave him from the previous episode. Juliet and Jack come back and Juliet tells Sawyer to flip the tape and press play. We then hear Ben sharing his plans about kidnapping Sun. Jack then announces that Juliet has told him about this, but wasn't sure what to do yet. And they end they end the island with Jack saying that they need some catching up to do. Well that was obviously strange. Juliet's situation is very intriguing; you really can't tell which side she's on.
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