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murdered locke, blackmailed jack, made sayid a killing machine, shot desmond, terrorised innocent plane crash survivors, authorised mass murder... this ain't looking good

– This episode was a good one, but not quite as great as I was expecting it to be. I’m glad we saw more of the smoke monster, although graphically it’s gone back to looking as terrible as it did in the first season. (Its sound effects have always more than make up for that, however).

– Lost is sometimes excellent and sometimes awful at handling characters at different points in history. On the one hand, the casting for different actors is always top-notch: 10-year old Ben looks exactly like the kind of kid 40-year old Ben would have been, and 40-year old Widmore looked exactly like a young 70-year old Widmore. When using the same actor, however, the crew always seem compelled to use a bunch of terrible wigs and/or haircuts. Ben’s hair in the scene where he was banishing Widmore was ludicrous.

– “I never pictured you leading your people from behind a desk – it seems rather corporate,” Locke says, as he SITS DOWN BEHIND THE DESK.

– What was up with Ben being a fully-fledged Other? He was supposed to be their inside man in the DHARMA Initiative right up until the Purge. Instead he seems to be hanging in their camp and raising a kid 24/7. Ethan was too, pre-Purge. I can maybe buy Ben going back and forth between the two camps, but no way would a 12-year old kid have been able to. (Also, shouldn’t Danielle have recognised “Henry Gale” as the man who took her daughter?)

– Saying “tell Desmond I’m sorry,” was a cheap shot, but fairly well-done. I’m pretty happy with how Ben’s attempted revenge turned out (and “Our Mutual Friend” was a nice touch), though I hope this isn’t the last we see of Desmond. My first thought was that Ben killed Penelope, and Desmond therefore returned to the island to seek revenge; my next best guess is that Faraday goes through the frozen wheel, lands in the present and finds Desmond, convincing him to return for… some reason or another.

– So Caesar’s dead, which is a shame because he was shaping up to a be a decent character. I like anybody who shows even a shred of resourcefulness/curiosity on this fucking island. Ilana + co would appear to be going insane, presumably from “the sickness.” Either that or they’re agents of Widmore. I’m a lot more interested in the island in the present, and the fate of the 316ers, than I am in the island in the past and the 815ers. I wonder what’s in that big metal crate?

– When Ben said his final line of the episode, he seemed to be absolutely miserable: “It let me live.” I don’t think he was “spared” at all; I think that being forced to abdicate the throne in favour of Locke is, for him, worse than death.

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