Lost: Season 5, Episode 7

The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham (25 Feb. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 2,214 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

John Locke, now alive again and back on the island after the second plane crash, flashes back to his return to civilization, where he is brought in by Charles Widmore and asked to convince the Oceanic 6 to return to the island.

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Title: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham (25 Feb 2009)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Desmond Hume (credit only)
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Daniel Faraday (credit only)
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James 'Sawyer' Ford (credit only)
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Jin Kwon (credit only)
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Sun Kwon (credit only)
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Miles Straume (credit only)
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Juliet Burke (credit only)
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Storyline

In the aftermath of Alija Flight 316 crashing on the island, John Locke inexplicably appears, back from the dead, and tries to bring the survivors together, two of whom include the shady Ilana (who was with Sayid on the flight) as well as a fellow man, named Caesar, who try to make sense of what is going on. Locke flashes back to the time months earlier when he moved the island and was transported to the deserts of North Africa, and was found by Charles Widmore who asked Locke to convince the Oceanic 6 to return to the island. Written by Anonymous

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25 February 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Widmore gives Locke a phone and tells him if he needs to get in touch he just has to ring 23 - one of the hatch numbers. See more »

Goofs

Ilana tells John Locke, "There used to be three [boats], but the pilot [Frank Lapidus] and some woman [Sun Kwon] took one." This doesn't happen until Lost: Namaste. (See Trivia.) See more »

Quotes

John Locke: [to Cesar] I think I might know how I came to be here.
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Crazy Credits

The Producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the people of Hawaii and their Aloha spirit. See more »

Connections

References Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) See more »

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Main Title
(uncredited)
Written by J.J. Abrams
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User Reviews

A great episode, even if much of it was showing us what we already knew
25 February 2009 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

This is a tough one to wrap my head around. On one hand I found that the episode was disappointing in that it seemed rushed and a few of the scenes (notably Locke's meetings with Sayid and Walt, especially the latter) could have been handled far better. These scenes weren't necessarily particularly bad in any way, they just could have been executed with more aplomb. I wouldn't worry about this scene being the 'closure' for Walt, I've read something which suggests otherwise but if it really is then it would be somewhat disappointing. Good thing it's probably not.

I think that with the massive hype for this episode within the online "Lost" community some level of disappointment was guaranteed. Still, none of it was actually poor at all. The story was satisfying, the writing for the characters exceptionally strong (I actually don't think Kate's ever been written better than during her scene with Locke), and all in all I think the fact that this episode was not the best of the season as many expected (in my humble estimation last week's episode "316" and especially episode 5 "This Place is Death" have this easily beat) is down to not every scene being as good as it could have potentially been, as well as the fact that we already knew 90% of what would happen. The Ben/Locke scene was not entirely unpredictable, and I honestly guessed the outcome as soon as Ben knocked on the door.

"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" had some surprises in store. They ranged from major (Widmore's appearance) to minor (learning Helen's fate), but for the most part the episode was just filling in the blanks. It was literally the bare minimum that the Jeremy Bentham story could've been. He got off the island, spoke to the Oceanic 6, wrote his suicide note, and got killed. The episode wasn't as excellent as "316" as far as the writing goes, even if it did have a better overall story. I found this episode disappointing when compared to many previous Locke episodes, where it should have been a towering, crowning achievement.

Yet my criticism isn't really criticism, and I feel silly for saying what I'm saying. Had this been any other episode, had I not known anything about it before sitting down to watch it, I would have liked it the same (a hell of a lot) but wouldn't have been disappointed. That's the danger of expectations and hype, I suppose. The episode was very well-written by Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. However, there was one thing about the episode which simply did not disappoint: the scene with Ben and Locke. This episode's success hinged on that scene. The success of Locke's story hinged on that scene. Personally, I thought they absolutely 100% nailed it. The scene could not have been better, and I think it rivals the ending of "Walkabout" in terms of just how emotional and heartbreaking it was. Genuinely tough to watch, but what a brilliant scene in every regard.

Ultimately I think that despite some disappointing story points and writing, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" was yet another great episode. The main reason it succeeded is because the writers stayed true to the characters throughout. There was not a second of this which they didn't sell me on, in spite of how preposterous much of it was. In particular I think Jack, Ben, and (obviously) Locke were written superbly in this episode.


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