From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lost Premiere Part II: Ben Linus/Michael Emerson is still genius

Ok, sorry for the delay, but I am here now to emote with all you Losties about the season 6 premiere. Which was, may I say, FREAKING AMAZING!!!

First of all, the alternate reality thing is genius. It took me a while to get everything straight, and I probably annoyed my friend who I was watching it with half to death, but I think I get it, and its brilliant and fascinating! Its one of those moments of creative genius that make other creative's want to do something similar. Didn't it make you want to write an alternate reality book or something?

What I'm realizing with Lost is this: everyone has their own quirk/reason for participating in something like being a Lost fan. When you read or watch something like this, you become a part of it for a very specific reason, almost waiting for something very specific to happen. For example, I watched Frasier waiting for Niles and Daphne to get together. I'm watching the Office waiting for Holly to come back to Michaels life. And with Lost, I am waiting for Ben to have something good happen in his life.

That's what I think is brilliant about his character. He may be manipulative, dishonest, and a murderer, but its more complex then that. Remember when Sayid shot young Ben and the boy was taken to "the others" who said they could save him, but he would never be the same? And thats only the beginning of the crap that has been thrown at Benjamin Linus. Think of it: his father was a jerk, every girl he has feelings for disappears or outright rejects him, he got cancer when it shouldn't have been possible, his daughter was gunned down in front of him, and he has spent his whole life working loyally as almost a pawn for a man/spirit/thing that has just sort of ignored him. Look at his situation as it stands right now: he has absolutely nothing. Everything has been taken away from him. So what I'm waiting for is for something good to happen to him.

And Michael Emerson portrays this brilliantly. This episode we really saw the confused, desperate, and lonely side of Ben, and those are my favorite moments. It makes you feel like, even though he has done some crappy things in his life, its more situational then anything else, that he really has a good and passionate heart, and that despite the crap he deserves something good to happen to him. I think this is a combination of a brilliantly written complex character, and its genius, stunning portrayal.

Here's my big Lost question right now, and it has to do with the alternate reality thing. We know that in the crash version, Ben is on the island with Sun and a being who looks like John Locke. But where does Ben come in if the plane doesn't crash?

I'll leave you with that. Again, more rambling then clear analysis, but thats kind of all you can do with a show that is basically complexity and excitement. What are your thoughts on this?

Sarah Allen


  1. I love your definition of Ben. He is so complex. More than likely, he would've been an examplary person if had had a chance in life. Here's my question: Remember whenBen was handed over to Richard to be cured of the gun-shot wound and Richard told them that once he'd enter the Temple, he'd never be the same? I wonder whether at the Temple, like Sayid, young Ben died and a spirit embodied him. So Ben is not Ben Linus, but one of the many "game" spirits who are there to playout whatever this game is all about.

  2. Hey! Great comments. Ben is so complex and awesome. And I was thinking about that idea, about how he may just be one of the game players. But the thing about that is, that means he would have been a "spirit person" ever since he was a young boy. He has done some awful things since then, so that sort of makes sense, except then there are moments that kind of show that he is a truly good, real Ben Linus at heart: most especially, the moment when Widmore tells him to kill the woman and baby, but he doesn't and saves them instead. Make sense? What do you think?

  3. Hmmm, interesting. But it could be that he is not totally the person who would've have grown up to be. It could be that the entities can remove some capabilities of making choices, but not all of them. That would explain why he is such a complex character.

    I, like Michael Emerson, believe that Ben is good and that Ben may end up being the catalyst for Smokey to be able to go home (whatever or wherever that may be). I just hope that he will not be the ultimate sacrifice that the island will need.

  4. I completely agree! I think he is still Ben Linus, ultimately, but that all the things that have happened since that moment as a young boy with "the others" has definitely altered him significantly. And yes, probably one reason for his complexity.

    And yes, I think Ben is ultimately good, and hope he does end up benefiting smokey. But as for what happens to him, I hope he ends up off the island with a beautiful girl who he feels passionately for and who loves him back :-)

  5. Or, perhaps, his beloved Alex is with him. But I don't thihnk that Ben's fate is promising. I think he will be sacrificed. As long as the sacrife occurs during the last episodes and the demise is as good as Charlie's was, I can live with that.

  6. Haha :-) Yes, artistically that would be fine with me as well. However, I still love Ben and think he deserves more then being sacrificed. He's basically been sacrificed and used his whole life, hopefully something better will happen. I guess we'll see!


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