Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dueling Cripples: The Ballad of John and Benry

This was a tough one to figure out. Let's see what we can do with it. We'll start with this-

Ben is in a wheelchair:



And John is not.



But John used to be in a wheelchair, because on the Island of Very Bad Daddies, he is definitely in the running for the boobie prize.



When the plane landed John Locke ( coincidental namesake of the philosophical proponent of the Tabula Rasa or Clean Slate theory of human development) was instantly cured. And instantly in love with this Island that seems to most of the other survivors like the seventh circle of a vile psychological hell. Alone among the survivors Locke is HAPPY to be here.



And strangely enough Ben is happy too that John Locke came wandering into his bedroom with a gun. Ben and John share some kind of bond with this island. Do we know what it is? Of course not! Do the writers? Probably not yet! But they'll think of something eventually, don't worry.

In the meantime, we have The Wishing Box (Fanboys around the globe collectively groan and cream their pants at the implications). When Ben first started talking about his wishing box, he sounded a little nutty. And given Ben's appearance:



...it's not a stretch to think he might have been talking through his pain meds. But it turns out Ben really does have a wishing box. Or a wishing box metaphor. Ok? We don't need to fight about whether it's supposed to be an actual box or just a virtual box. Doesn't matter. Ben can make things appear when he needs them.

Like a spinal surgeon when he grows a tumor on his spine.



Or a daughter to call his own (even though he seems a little bit like he might be a confirmed "bachelor" wink/wink).



or even a nice crazy madman to come and get him out of the tight spot he got himself into with our other featured player....

Dr. Prick, M.D.



See, Ben promised Jack he'd get him a free ride home. Only he didn't really want to keep the promise. And he didn't know how (unfortunately) to just kill Dr. Prick without seeming like he was a bad man. When John Locke appeared, Ben had his answer. Get him to blow up Jack's sweet ride home and let him think it was his own idea. He gently coaxed Locke through the process, helped him retrieve his dynamite and made sure none of the many loaded rifles on the island crossed his path. Locke did what he had to do.



which meant Dr. Prick had to stay and face the fact that he'd abandoned the dear friends he loves so very much:



which should be really fun (or not) to deal with when they all head home to the campfire gang.

Kate especially should have a nice trip home, knowing that the man she just risked her neck for thought so much of her he didn't just abandon her, he let her know it was her own damn fault!



Don't you love him? He's soooooo cute! And he plays the piano! And so smart! He knew Kate & Sayid would be safe as babies based on teh WORD of the guy who....uh, had no intention of ever keeping his word to let Jack escape like a bunny with Juliet. Maybe he should have taken a few more poker lessons back there in Phuket.

Did someone say Surprise Ending?

Turns out the wishing box thing wasn't a joke at all. And it also doesn't work for anyone but Ben. Since John was so helpful to him, he decided to wish for a present for John. Maybe something he could practice exploding things off of - DAD?


An ugly episode all in all. Ben has a very ugly black heart. John Locke has a beautiful face with beautiful eyes:



but his brain is bent in a very ugly way these days. Dr. Prick, as usual, is just ugly, inside and out. Kate being made to feel guilty because Jack wanted to blame her for his own ratfinkedyness was very ugly. Sayid being ignored by the shithead he came to save was sad and ugly.

But there was one beautiful thing in this episode. Really just this. A mother saw her baby after 16 years apart, afraid to step out of the bushes and speak, but just dazzled by the sight of the woman she'd magically become:



It might have been the only honest emotional moment in the whole episode. A good episode, nasty, rotten, twisted. Vintage Lost.

As long as they keep Locke front and center on this show...



It can never be all bad.

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