Monday, May 14, 2007

Black Rock: The Man Behind The Curtain

Black Rock LOST Podcast: Season 3 episode 20 of ABC’s hit TV show, LOST. Dan and I explore this Ben centric episode which featured Jacob, the DHARMA initiative and the 'hostiles'.

The Man Behind the Curtain

The show notes, including the complete 'whispers' transcript, are in the comments where you can leave feedback about the show or join us over at Sledgeweb forums for great discussions.

1 comment:

Curt said...

4. (C)Central Theme - Yin & Yang? New Kid, New Friends

It was at first difficult to come up with a theme for this episode--but I increasingly suspect it was something like 'yin and yang'. I get the feeling that this one was about the classic battle between good versus evil... the white pieces versus the black pieces on a board game and maybe even the idea of joining sides or a lack of balance. I'm wondering whether Ben is holding Jacob hostage and siding with the 'dark side' and the smoke monster (Cerberus?) -- thusly throwing off the balance of good and bad toward bad.

5. (C) 'A' Story: Locke and Ben

Is Loche being tested? by whom?
Could it be Richard? I'm not sure why Richard is now helping Locke to seemingly overthrow Ben after having helped Ben to rid the Island of the DHARMA Initiative. My theory is that maybe Richard and the others were the original inhabitants of the Island (the hostiles) and used Ben as a way to get an 'in' past the sonic fence to overthrow the DHARMA Initiative and all these years later, Richard doesn't trust or like Ben as leader and decided to trust in Locke to help them remove Ben but only after proving himself a worthy and ruthless leader? Might have some mytholgical trappings there or something.

Mikael pointed out that Naomi's helicopter had crashed 130 kilometers to the west of their location--are they going to try to retrieve it? Ben called for Tom and Richard to help stop John from beating up on Mikael--but they didn't move a muscle... is it because Mikael might really be from the original DHARMA group turned traitor like Ben... and since they're turning on Ben, they don't mind watching John beat up on him? Is this a clue?

Oddly, Ben takes a moment to close the eyes of one of the dead (Horace?). Someone he liked? Might again confirm the idea that he would kill even the people he liked to prove himself to Richard. Is Richard part of the evil side?

Ben said, "These are my people: The DHARMA Initiative. They came here seeking harmony but they couldn't even coexist with the island's original inhabitants. When it became clear that one side had to go.. one side had to be purged, I did what I had to do. I was one of the people that was smart enough to make sure that I didn't end up in that ditch." He speaks about 'sides'. This again bolsters the theory of a good and evil side and that the DHARMA Initiative were good but had conflicts with the bad and Ben chose to join the bad side to purge the good off the island. Could the island be a mythical or legendary prison island holding back the evil that would eventually bring about the end of the world? (Referencing the Sri Lanka video) Could the Hanso Foundation, through technology, have discovered this island and provided the means to travel on and off the island--which may have closed up now that the Swan hatch had impoded? I'm wondering whether the evil side has embraced technology as a means to their ends--maybe another reason why Jacob seemed to have an aversion to technology.

6. (C) 'A' Story: Ben's backstory

The tragic death of Ben's mother caused by his birth left Ben's father (Roger, workman) bitterly reminded of the loss of his love with each of Ben's birthdays. Roger repeatedly sears guilt onto Ben for the death and for being stuck on the island working to support Ben and neglects to celebrate any love for his living son. This seems to illustrate the damaged psyche behind Ben and why Ben appears to take immense delight in using people and playing with psychology. In the scene where Ben kills his father, Roger had only managed to blurt out an exasperated 'I don't know' to the question when Ben asks him if he really blames Ben for his mother's death. Roger clearly blames Ben for his mother's death.

We learn who Roger-workman is, how he came to be 'workman' and why he was found in a Volkswagen Microbus full of beer (headed to the Pearl station).

This whole B story seems to illustrate the yin-yang thing again: How everyone has the potential to become good or bad. Roger seems to be a genuinely decent guy that became cruel and unloving after the death of his wife. Ben seemed like a clean slate of a decent child who, with internalized and repeated abuse by his father, became cruel and unloving as well. And what ever happened to Annie? The girl that seemed to take a liking to him from the moment she met him and offered an Apollo bar at the orientation. I can't help but have the sneaking suspicion that Ben might have turned so cold that maybe he killed her to prove himself to Richard just as Ben tried to have Locke prove himself to Richard and the others by killing his father.

1 Your hope is here (12 sec)
2. there ain’t no turning around (12.2 sec)
3. sounds like “turn to that screen” (12.3 sec)
4. Don’t forget him (13 sec)
5. Is anyone awake (15 sec)
6. We should take him (16 sec)
Little Ben: Mom (20 sec)

Right channel
1. What’s happening
2. If we go over there we might be able to see him but I don’t know (12 sec) man’s voice
3. Did you hear about him (13 sec)
4. Is anyone on (15 sec) girl’s voice

1. sounds like “disobeys you” (11 sec)
2. because the moment’s bad/rare (13 sec) girl’s voice
3. that’s what I mean (14 sec) girl’s voice
4. It’s heavy (15 sec)
5. don’t worry (16 sec)
6. sounds like “I looked through them (16.2 sec)


Center (these are the hardest to hear...very faint)
full scene audio
1. Talk to him (11.10)
2. Tell him that you're his mother (12.1)
3. Tell him to be patient (14.9) this mp3 also has # 4 on it...
4. That'll just make it worse (16.29)
{Ben: Mom?} (20.1)
{Mom Vision: Ben Don't!} (27)
{Ben: Mom...} (33)
Mom Vision: { It's not time yet, Benjamin.} (34.5)

Front Right
full scene audio
1. What's happening (11.19)
2. If we can go over there we might be able to see it, but I don't know (11.75)
3. help us come through the fence (13.7)
4. we're sending one, don't argue ( 15.3)

Front Left
full scene audio
1. (..tell you) I'm glad you decided to see me/ to send me/to send him (10)
2. Because I love him (12.6)
3. That's right, that's what I mean/That's right, that's what I need (13.15)
4. ____ (15.1)
5. Don't worry about it (15.5)
6. You're the one ....(16.3)

7. (C) 'B' Story: Sawyer/Sayid/Kate/Jack/Juliet

The raid's a-comin'.. hide all your wimmin!

Don't you people want to get rescued?

It seems to me that maybe there's a twist there and that Jack and Juliet are trying to find a way to trick Ben into getting them off the island and have been outed into having to get everyone 'caught up' on the plans.

8. (C) In-depth discussion of the scene in Jacob's cabin

Clearly the most talked about segment of the show! -C
Just as clearly, the most significant--including the lead-up (beating up Mikael...imposing on Ben...the ash circle which Ben didn't seem to like John fiddling around with.. got antsy and keeps pushing for John to hurry on). Seems to me almost like the way some superstitions use salt to contain spirits. Could Jacob be a spirit or maybe even a mythological creature like a diety, demon or angel or something? -D

Ben put the lantern back after it was broken and had started a fire? -C
Did Ben put out the fire and pick it back up to calmy put it back? It wasn't lit when he put it back up. -D

"Help me!"
Help you? Help you what? Help me out of this prison? Help me get out from Ben's control? Help me paint this decrepit cabin? What does this cryptic message mean? And why was Ben so miffed to hear that that's what John had heard from Jacob? It seemed as if Ben thought Jacob was ungrateful in asking Locke for help.

Why did the flashlight freak out Jacob? Why did he attack Ben? -C
Ben pointed out that Jacob felt about Technology as John Locke did--which is to suggest that they both didn't like technology, as John had once pointed out that Ben was cheating with all the electricity and other technology they were using at the village. Additionally, the attack only started after John was about to repeat to Ben what he'd heard Jacob say--probably to prevent John from relaying the message.

Lostpedia points this out in their Trivia for this episode:
A long-haired, slightly bearded man is shown in the hut when the objects start to move for a split moment in the chair where Jacob was supposed to be. A frame (or short period of frames) also shows an eye that is neither Ben's nor Locke's.