This week’s episode of “Lost,” “Whatever Happened, Happened,” was a film about expectations and living up to them. And it all began with little Ben, shot in the chest, face down in the dirt…
Despite our expectations (or rather what the show expected us to expect), Ben isn’t dead. I’m sure few of us are truly surprised, but I must admit I’m a little disappointed my theory that Ben dying will not change the present did not pan out. Jin rushed Ben back to the Dharma barracks…
Where Juliet attempted to stop Ben’s bleeding. Why would she attempt to help the person she so vehemently hated, the boy who would grow up to keep her on the island? She told Sawyer she did so because he is just a boy in the 1970s, and no child deserves to die. Despite her attempts, that is exactly what would happen to Ben if she didn’t receive help from Jack…
But Jack did not fulfill the expectations of Juliet, Sawyer and Kate by rushing in to help save Ben’s life (for a second time). The new Jack, the one who seems satisfied sitting on the sideline as others push the action and save the world, accepts that his attempts to fix things might have been at odds with the Island’s own intentions. However, Kate expressed her distaste with the new Jack, to which Jack replied “You didn’t like the old me, Kate.” Since her former fiance failed to save the day, Kate took matters into her own hands…
And Kate shocked us all by giving her own blood to help the man who once caged and enslaved her. She too shares Juliet’s idea that a kid does not deserve death, no matter what he will grow up to be or do. (Which is an interesting parallel to the old question of “If you could go back in time and prevent Hitler’s birth, would you?” Lost says no, you shouldn’t and you probably can’t anyway.) Kate also surprised audiences with her flirtatious conversations with Ben’s dad…
Roger expressed his attempt to live up to the expectations he thought his wife would have had for him as a father and his remorse at failing to become the father he thought he would be.
Similarly, Miles and Hurley’s conversation presented the audience with something it didn’t expect: an explanation, however confusing and conflicting, to the questions of time travel that audiences have been asking all season. Miles’ answers and Hurley’s attempts to trip him up were interesting and enlightening and all, but the best part of the scene, by far, was Hurley’s reference to “Back to the Future.”
Kate’s story contained other expectations as well. When she lost Aaron at the supermarket — to a woman supposed to look like Claire — Kate told Cassidy she was unsurprised, that she had almost been expecting it since she they had returned. And she did not expect Cassidy’s explanations that Kate took Aaron not because he needed her because she needed him, or that Sawyer jumped out of the plane not to save the others but because he was afraid of returning.
I think everyone generally expected Kate to bring Aaron to Claire’s mom before returning to the island and the show fulfilled viewer’s expectations regarding that.
When Kate brought another little boy, this time Ben, to a temporary guardian — this time Richard Alpert — Richard shed light on another expectation. “Lost” has led viewers to believe that Richard is the leader of the Others, but last night an Other questioned whether Richard should consult Ellie and Charles (a younger Mrs. Hawking and Widmore, if you will) before taking Ben to the temple.
So what does this exception-centered episode mean to viewers? I’d like to posit that “Lost” is telling viewers to set aside our expectations for the show, put the theories to rest and just watch, because we’ll never be able to guess it anyway.
Still reading? Good for you! I don’t care what subliminal messages “Lost” is trying to send us. On with the theories.
Richard said that if he took Ben, the little boy would forget the incident (answering Hurley’s question as to why Ben didn’t recognize Sayid thirty years later!), lose his innocence, and be an Other from then on. Well, I certainly believe that whatever they did worked because a man who can contribute to the genocide of his hometown is certainly devoid of innocence. But what in Ben’s treatment requires all of this? What is the Smoke Monster — yes I’m assuming old Smokey must have healing powers since we know he calls the temple home — going to do to Ben to save him? What will Ben see or do while with the Others that will strip him of his innocence?
I don’t really have any other theories right now. I’m still waiting for “Lost” to give us more!
Also, “the girl we all saw behind Sun”:http://flathatnews.com/blog/54/tube-talk/70313/lost-mystery-girl is no longer in the video online! Did ABC realize a crew person made their way into the shot or did the Lost creators intentionally remove it — a limited-time-only Easter egg?
What expectations did you have for this episode, readers? How about for the next episode, which looks like it will be Ben-centric and _fantastic_. I can’t wait to hear about his “judging.”
See ya in another week, brotha.