Another grand slam this week. I was glued. You didn't have to wait long to find out who put the camera up to await John Locke's arrival, and we had some great dialogue between Widmore and Locke. Of course Locke didn't ask all of the questions we may have wanted him to ask, but we got a clearer sense of the stakes this week than we have in the past: "There's a war coming, and if you're not on the island when that happens, the wrong side will win." How true this is remains to be seen, and it sure is conditional for all of the fate and destiny we see on this show, but it sure is interesting.
Do you believe Widmore? I think most of what he said was true. He was a leader of the people on the island. But if his idea of "peaceful defense" is snapping the neck of the colleague who is about to reveal the location of the camp, then this is going to be some awesome war! So no, I don't completely trust Widmore, but I do trust him more than Ben, and I love the reveal that Ben tricked him off the island -- something we have suspected since last season's "The Shape of Things to Come."
Was anyone really surprised the Ben strangled Locke and framed it as a suicide? He finds out what people are invested in, and he exploits it. He just needed to keep Mr. Special alive long enough to get the name of the person who would put him back on the island, and goodbye Johnny, again. Last time Ben tried to kill Locke he later said "I should have known better." WHy? Because he knows Locke has a role to play in the future and that he is already around for it. But Ben is all about changing fate, so he's going to keep testing it. I'm sure he thought he was getting rid of John by killing him like this and hoping that he could just leave him buried in some cemetary in LA. It wasn't until later that he learns that even dead John must go back to the island in order for him to be able to return. Drats, blocked again. The cat and mouse between these guys is awesome.
Do you think Helen is really dead? We have already seen that a gravestone in a cemetary does not a dead Jin make, and wouldn't it make sense for Widmore to stage Helen's death if some stupid notion like "the pursuit of love" were to distract Locke from getting where he needs to go?
Did you notice the "love" theme here? Sayid's "best nine months of his life" with the love of his life. Kate's "you wanted to leave the island because you've never been in love." And Abbaddon's "maybe you could have been together, but that was not your path." Nothing definitive in those themes, of course, but I still think it is forshadowing Ben's motivation -- doing all this nefarious business for the sake of cheating fate and spending more quality time with his beloved Annie. I know he is a liar and all, but I actually believed that bit of remorse when he said farewell to hanging corpse John -- I really will miss you. Regretably he has to do these things, but in hs mind (and his heart) the ends justify the means.
There is still some more off-island backstory to tell (Sayid's capture, Hurley's release, Kate & Aaron, Desmond & Penny, bloody Ben, etc) but it looks like we've tied up most of main the loose ends and are ready to continue the rest of the story on the island.
But I still have a few Widmore-related questions:
Ben clearly didn't know that Hawking was the way back to the island. Does Widmore? If he knows where she is I think that he must. So why doesn't he use her to get back to the island himself?
Richard used to visit off-island. Has he ever looked up Widmore? Are they enemies? Allies?
Anyway, another excellent episode. Can't wait for next week.