Let me get this out of the way first: this episode rocked my brains out. While the past few episodes were really awesome, you can feel they’re just building up to something extravagant: the incident – which “incidently” is the title of the season five finale. This episode was less like that and more like a big, crunchy meal to sink your teeth in.
As per usual in Ben-centric episodes, we got to know a bit more of the creepy man’s sensitive side. He happens to like children – in the normal way. He couldn’t bring himself to shoot Penny when little Charlie was looking, nor could he kill Danielle when he found out she had a baby of her own. We also found out he really, really regrets how things came to pass. A sad state of affairs, it was.
This episode is almost religious in the sense that we returned to the whole “religion versus science” debate that was so predominant in the first two seasons. Apparently, the monster “judges” you, and if you regret your sins then you can live. That’s why Eko died. I’m very happy his death – a very arbitrary and unexpected one – now makes sense.
Let’s return to a scene in Walkabout back in season 1: where Locke looked at the monster (“into the eye of the island”, he would later say). Did Locke get confronted with his past? Did he finally see how silly he was in not being able to let go of his father? Did the island offer him a new perspective and make him into a new, improved man? I think that scene gets more and more significant with every passing “monster-centric” episode.
We found out a bit more about Charles versus Benjamin. It appears Charles was not a very good or nice leader. But then again, that might just be one side of the coin. He did break the rules in that he had an affair with an outsider. But something tells me we’re not seeing the complete picture just yet. We found out something more about the smoke monster, too. Where it lives, for example. The other stuff was basically things we already knew shown in big: the
ashes of the past inside the monster, the judgement… It was very interesting though.
I can’t stop saying how wonderfully done this episode was. I focused on the mythological facts above, but let’s not forget the great evolution and power shift the characters went through – Ben and Locke practically switched sides, and it’s all confirmed by the sentence below.
Ben: You may want to go inside.
Ben: Because what’s about to come out of that jungle is something I can’t control.