Season 4 Episode 9

The Shape of Things to Come

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 24, 2008 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • Goof: The desk clerk in Tunisia was wearing Hijab (cover of the head that Muslim women wear). However, the Hijab is illegal in Tunisia.

    • Goof: When Ben appears in the desert for the first time, he appears laid on his back on hard cracked ground. In the next shot, however, he is shown raising himself up off a completely sandy surface.

    • Goof: In the opening scene on the beach, Jack opens a suitcase and looks inside. On his left forearm, a red and blue tattoo is clearly visible going down beyond his elbow. One cut later the tattoo is not there anymore.

    • After translation, one of the Bedouin points out how Ben does not have a trail. The other replies, "Where did this [guy] come from? Down from the sky?".

    • Ben appears in a desert of Tunisia, the same country where Charlotte went to an excavation site in the middle of the desert and found the bones of a polar bear with a DHARMA Hydra collar in "Confirmed Dead".

    • Numbers:
      -While playing "Risk", Sawyer rolls a 15.
      -The warning code for the fence was 1623.
      -When Keamy is counting down from 10, he stops at 8.
      -Ben says he is going to see Mr. and Mrs. Kendrick in 4E.
      -When Locke picks up the phone in Ben's house,the code that he listen that warns them of Keamy's arrival at the barracks is 14J. J is the 9th letter of the alphabet so 14+9=23.

    • Dean Moriarty and Kevin Johnson (Ben and Michael's aliases) share the same passport number: HNS012153.

    • Island events take place on December 27, 2004. It's day 97 for the survivors.

    • As Ben enters Widmore's building, he leaves a door open. However, when he enters the lift, we can see at the back that both doors are shut.

    • When Ben is watching the TV in the hotel and Sayid's name shows up in Arabic at the bottom of the screen, it's clear that the Arabic is written wrong and that his last name is misspelled.

      Arabic letters are supposed to be connected together, while on the screen each letter is on it's own. The first 3 characters (starting from the right not left) is Sayid's first name they should all be connected as one, the last 4 characters are his last name and they should say Jarrah but instead say Jara. The 5th and 6th characters should be swapped around and the last character is the wrong form of the Arabic letter "H".

      Also the second line under his name makes no sense at all.

    • Ben appears in the Tunisian desert wearing a DHARMA parka with the name Halliwax on it. This was the name used by orientation film host Marvin Candle/Mark Wickmund in the Orchid Station orientation film, originally shown at Comic-con 2007. The film features Halliwax referring to the station's secret and dangerous nature, as he holds one bunny labeled 15; another appears behind him, causing him to panic. Something else drops from above, as the Dr. warns not to let the two touch.

    • Charles Widmore has a bottle of MacCutcheon by the bed. This is the same scotch Widmore had told Desmond was too good for him to drink and the same that Charlie and Hurley use to get Desmond drunk in "Flashes Before Your Eyes".

    • In the desert when Ben killed the 2 men, the AK-47 he used was clearly in the "safe" position. He would've needed to move it up into the "fire" position to actually use the weapon.

    • While playing Risk, Hurley says "Australia's the key to the whole game." Flight Oceanic 815 departed from Sydney, Australia.

    • In Charles Widmore's room, next to his bed, we can see the painting of the "Black Rock", which he bought on episode 4.05 - The Constant.

    • The piece Ben is playing on the piano right before the phone call is Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C# minor". Op. 3 No. 2

    • This episode flashes forward to October 24th, 2005. 13 months after Oceanic 815 crashed on the island.

  • Quotes

    • Sawyer: I think your chopper buddies ran that way, if you wanna catch up
      Miles: I think I'm gonna stay with you guys for now.

    • Jack: (angry) Were you ever gonna take us off this island?
      Faraday: No. No.

    • Widmore: (talking to Ben) Don't stand there looking at me with those horrible eyes of yours.

    • Ben: (in shock after Alex is murdered) He changed the rules.

    • Widmore: (talking to Ben) I know who you are...what you are. I know that everything you have you took from me.

    • Widmore: I wondered when you were going to show up. I see you've been getting more sun.
      Ben: Iraq is lovely this time of year. When did you start sleeping with a bottle of scotch by the bed?
      Widmore: When the nightmares started. (sits up and pours drink) Have you come here to kill me Benjamin?
      Ben: We both know I can't do that. ...
      Widmore: (to Ben) You creep into my bedroom in the dead of night like a rat, and have the audacity to pretend that you're the victim. I know who you are boy... what you are. I know everything you have you took from me. So once again I ask you; why are you here?

    • Ben: It's very important that you survive what's about to happen here John, so I need you to stay close to me.
      Locke: And why would I do that?
      Ben: Because the people that are coming won't risk hurting me. You want to live? I'm your best chance.

    • Bernard: He's lying. What the message said was, "What are you talking about? The doctor is fine."
      Faraday: (Discomfited) You know Morse code.

    • Sawyer: Hold up. If we're hunkerin' down, I gotta grab Frenchie and the kids.

    • Ben: How long did you guys debate amongst yourselves whether or not to ask me why the phone rang?
      Locke: Five minutes.
      Ben: Well, so much for our head start.

    • Hurley: We're all gonna die.
      Sawyer: Calm down, Chicken Little. The sky ain't falling just yet.
      Hurley: This is exactly what he wants-to fight amongst ourselves. You're making a big mistake, dude.
      Locke: It's his to make, Hugo. Let's get on with it.
      Sawyer: Right. ...I'm attackin' Siberia.
      (A loaded board game of Risk sits on the table)

    • Hurley: Can't believe you're just giving him Australia. Australia's the key to the whole game.

    • Jack: I just got a... a stomach bug.
      Kate: You should eat some crackers. Crackers always make me feel better.

    • Kate: You got a prescription for that?
      Jack: Yeah. I wrote it myself.

    • Ben: I'd like to present a counter proposal.
      Keamy: I'm listening...
      Ben: You and your friends turn around, walk back to your helicopter, you fly away and forget you ever heard of this island.
      Keamy: (talking to Alex) Tell your daddy good-bye.
      Alex: (whimpering) Dad, they're serious. They killed Karl and my mother.
      Ben: Alex I have this under control everything's going to be okay
      Alex: Please daddy, please, please.
      Keamy: You have ten seconds, Ben.
      Ben: Okay listen-
      Keamy: Nine...
      Ben: She's not my daughter...
      Keamy: Eight...
      Ben: I stole her as a baby from an insane woman. She's a pawn, nothing more. She means nothing to me. I'm not coming out of this house. So if you want to kill her, go ahead and do it-

    • Charles Widmore: Why are you here?
      Ben Linus: I'm here, Charles, to tell you that I'm going to kill your daughter. (Charles Widmore stares at him) Penelope, is it? And when she's gone, when she is dead, then you'll understand how I feel, and you'd wished you hadn't changed the rules.

    • Ben: (to Sayid after Sayid killed the man Ben was following) Once you let your grief become anger it will never go away.

    • Keamy: Alright, Mr. Linus, these are my terms. You're gonna step out the front door, put your hands above your head, and you're gonna walk straight to me. Once I have you in my custody then I promise you that no one else in that house will be harmed.
      Ben: You and I both know that once you have me there's nothing to stop you from killing everbody else on this island.
      Keamy: What kind of guy do you think I am?
      Ben: Martin Christopher Keamy, former first seargent, United States Marine Corps. Served with distinction from 1996 to 2001, but since then, you've worked with a number of mercenary organizations, specifically in Uganda. So I know exactly what kind of man you are, Mr. Keamy, and we can dispense with the formalities.
      Keamy: Okay, Ben. You got it. (whistles)
      (alex is brought out)

      Keamy: Get down. (alex gets down on her knees) Get your ass out here right now or i'm gonna kill your daughter.

    • Ben: Türkçe biliyor musunuz?

    • Sawyer: (Talking about Hurley) You harm so much as one hair on his curly head, I'll KILL you.
      Locke: Fair enough.

    • Sawyer: Let me guess..14J isn't the code for the pizza boy?

    • Sawyer: You alright sweetheart?
      Claire: Yeah. A little wobbly, but I'll live.
      Miles: Well, I wouldn't be too sure about that.

  • Notes

    • This episode was nominated for a 2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.

    • If you watch ABC's second promo for this episode, in the very beginning there is a scene where Ben loads a rifle and says "Welcome to the war". In the actual episode, if you follow carefuly, at 14:00, when Locke says "I don't even know where the cabin is.", Ben picks up a rifle and responds "I know, but Hurley does." and then loads the rifle in exactly the same way. It would seem that the "Welcome to the war" line was cut from the final production.

    • International Air Dates:
      Belgium: September 29, 2008 on VT4
      Norway: April 30, 2008 on TVNorge
      Denmark: May 2, 2008 on Kanal 5
      Finland: May 8, 2008 on Nelonen
      Australia: May 8, 2008 on the Seven Network
      The Netherlands: May 11, 2008 on Net 5
      Latin America: June 2, 2008 on AXN
      Spain: June 23, 2008 on FOX TV
      Italy: August 25, 2008 on Rai 2
      Czech Republic: September 7, 2008 on AXN
      Hungary: September 7, 2008 on AXN
      Germany: March 9, 2009 on Pro7

    • The final scene between Ben and Charles Widmore was actually shot in London, England. Normally, they dress up Hawaii or use special effects to make it look like another country, but in this case Alan Dale (Widmore) couldn't fly out to Hawaii because of a London show he was doing.

    • This is the first time Lost has returned from a break without a recap episode.

    • This was the first episode written after the 100 day writers strike.

    • Although credited, Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) and Harold Perrineau (Michael) didn't appear. Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Rebecca Mader (Charlotte), Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) and Marc Vann (Dr. Ray) appeared, but had no lines.

    • A Ben-centric episode

  • Allusions

    • Sawyer: (While Sawyer, Hurley and Locke play RISK) Hold on Chicken Little the sky isn't falling yet!

      He is referring to classic fable "The Sky is Falling" which is better known as "Chicken Little" that tells the story of a little chicken that believes the sky is falling when an acorn falls on his head.

    • Benjamin is talking Turkish while trying to make a communication with the men with camels in Sahara Desert.

    • The name of the man Ben says killed Nadia was Ishmael, a reference to Moby Dick.

    • Dean Moriarty: When Ben checks into the Tunisian hotel he uses this alias.

      Dean Moriarty is the name of the free-wheeling, free spirited friend of Jack Kerouac's narrator, Sal Paradise, in Kerouac's classic novel On the Road. The character is a based on the author's real-life friend Neal Cassady.

    • Ben (talking to desk clerk): I'm actually a preferred guest, it should be under Dean Moriarty.

      Dean Moriarty is one of the protagonists in Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road. Dean Moriarty is based on the Beat generation writer Neal Cassady.

    • The Shape of Things to Come is a book written by H.G. Wells.