Lost: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

I’ll get right to it:

Why did Ben kill John Locke?

This is the question that was in my head when I fell asleep last night, and it popped right into my head this morning. Here are my top five theories.

1. As DearDR pointed out, Ben didn’t kill Locke until Locke mentioned Eloise Hawking. Maybe Ben doesn’t want Locke to meet Eloise (again); maybe Ben doesn’t want Locke to find out about the Lamp-post. To prevent those things, he kills Locke.

2. Maybe Ben doesn’t want to take to risk of being the one in the coffin. Let’s say Ben knows that the O6 have to recreate, as closely as possible, conditions of Flight 815, and he doesn’t want to play the part of Christian Shepherd proxy. He knows the idea is that the Island will resurrect whomever is in the coffin, but his faith… well, it’s weak.

3. Ben knows that suicide will void the pact that Locke has with the Island. So he talks him off the ledge (so to speak) and murders him. Additionally, in this theory, Ben goes on to make it look like a suicide as part of a plan to persuade (read: guilt) Jack into coming back to the Island — and getting everyone else together to come back, too.

4. Ben and Locke are vying for leadership of the Island and leadership of the Others. We hear others over and over again tell Locke how special he is (Widmore, Abaddon, Ben himself) — although they don’t say why. “You just are,” Widmore says. No one, aside from the vision of Ben’s mother, tells him how special he is. He’s sick of hearing about how Locke is some great savior, and decides to test the theory himself by killing Locke.

5. Ben is a batshit crazy mo-fo, and he just wants to kill Locke. Ben’s got his own plan, his own agenda, and Locke alive is going to eff it up. So he kills him, and figures it may come in useful to make it look like a suicide.

What do you think? Why did Ben kill Locke?

Also: I think it was Sayid who killed Abaddon (do you know what Abaddon means, by the way? Check this out. I think if characters on Lost knew this, they wouldn’t go riding around in a car with him. Brilliant actor, BTW.) and tried to kill Locke. I know, Ben said he did, but did you notice the way his eyes cut to the right when he says it? And what’s my motto? All together now: Ben’s a liar!

Great to see Walt. Why didn’t Locke ask him to go back to the Island? Where is Michael? (Aside from on another show at ABC.)

I heart Hurley. I loved how he was totally casual talking to Locke when he thought he was dead, but as soon as he figures out Locke was alive, he freaks. And then freaks even more when he sees Abaddon.

So much more, but I’m out of time for now. If you want a real mind-bender from Doc Jensen at EW, read his comparison/contrast of John Locke and Jeremy Bentham (the 17th-century philosopher and the 18th-century ethicist, respectively). I want his job: Watch Lost, come up with bunches of cock-a-mamie theories, meet everyone associated with the show, and write about all of it.

3 thoughts on “Lost: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

  1. I found this episode very dull. I mean, dull for LOST, so it was still pretty exciting.

    My thoughts went directly to #3.

    Thanks for the wikipedia link about Abaddon! Good stuff.

  2. Two other theories I have heard:

    From Lyrique Tragedy (on Plurk): Locke had to be murdered because Christian Shepherd was murdered.

    According to Lostpedia, though, Christian died of a massive heart attack due to his excessive alcohol intake. I don’t know that the writers would hide the fact that Christian had been murdered until now.

    From a former co-worker: Eloise Hawking has not met Locke yet, and so she thinks that Ben is still the “man in charge” on the Island, and she has to get him back there. Ben murders Locke to keep her from learning otherwise.

    Also, people have said that Ben didn’t know how to get back to the Island until Locke dropped Hawking’s name. So once he had that info, he didn’t need Locke any more.

    Okay, done again.


  3. @allison: I’m telling you, read Doc Jensen. He’s the shizznit.

    I loved this episode because it was just totally straightforward. Until Ben goes and strangles Locke of course. That was a big ole mind&*^$, in the true Lost tradition.


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