Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ben Linus is one misinterpreted guy

As LOST draws to its conclusion tomorrow (which by the time I post this will be today), I feel the time has come to defend the most constantly misunderstood character in the series: Benjamin Linus.

Okay, I will admit, Ben has made it difficult at times for me to defend him as blindly as I do. So, he happened to kill every member of the Dharma Initiative and his father? What's wrong with that? Okay, maybe he crossed a line with killing Locke and Jacob as well but still....

In all honesty, I used to think of Locke as the most tragic figure in this piece, however, now, I think that Ben Linus may be up there as well. This man has sacrificed everything- including his own daughter in servitude of the island and didn't receive a damn thing for it. His power has been robbed from him- however, I think Alex's death has left him broken. There is no power to grab anymore, he has nothing to live for now that his daughter is dead.

I know the last episode featured Ben seemingly teaming up with Flocke (or Smoke Monster or MIB- or whatever you want to refer to the killer pillar of smoke as). Do I think that Ben has went over to the dark side?

As Ben once told Locke, "I always have a plan." And I think that Ben is too complex and conniving of a character to just give up. After all, after that heart-felt moment with Ilana, Ben does seem sincere in his quest for redemption. Now, him giving up Widmore was understandable.

Why? Ummm...Widmore was the one who was responsible for sending in the mercenaries (or Martin Keamy to be specific) who inevitably murdered his daughter. Yes, Ben had a hand in it with his bluff- but he knows that. Widmore never suffered for that crime he brought upon Ben. Personally speaking, I'm with Ben on that death.

I think what Ben is setting Flocke up for is the long con. Think about it- how delicious would it be for Ben to deceive and manipulate MIB just like Ben did so many times to the real John Locke? I think it would be very appropriate and perfect symmetry in many ways.

My greatest wish is for my belief in Ben as the true guardian of the island to be vindicated. It would be great to see Ben commit the selfless act to sacrifice his own life to protect the island and the surviving inhabitants of the island. Since he is a man with nothing to live for- he is capable of this heroic feat. I think Ben Linus is worth redemption. Yes, he has done many horrible things, but there is some level of morality in Ben. There is a code that he lives by. He won't harm an innocent child (and Widmore claims he saw Jacob?! The man who ordered Ben to kill Alex and Rosseau?). Ben is caught between wanting to do the right thing and wanting to survive. But, I know Ben will redeem himself.

However, there is a great chance that by the end of the finale, I could be incredibly wrong. And then, I will feel so stupid.

I hope though that good things happen for alt-verse Ben. He gets the family he always wanted (with Alex and Rosseau) and the man deserves some semblance of a happy ending.

After all, he was shot in the past as a child by Sayid. No one has liked this kid since the beginning!


Jimtron said...

Well, now that we've seen it, (LOST SPOILERS AHEAD) we know that Ben was conning the man in black. His true loyalties lay with the island, and with Miles & Richard. Shooting Widmore was both an act of vengeance and a way to thwart the MIB.

In the end, he gets what he always wanted; he is Jacob's right-hand man. A happy ending in real life. True, he's not ready to move on into the true afterlife, but then maybe he deserves some time with his daughter.

The Sultan of Sarcasm said...

I must say, I am pleased with the ending and Ben's redemption. I feel slightly vindicated.

I think my favorite scene in the episode was the scene between Ben and Locke- when Ben apologized to Locke, and Locke forgave him speaks volumes about both men. And any scene with Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson together will be magical.