Lost (2004–2010)
8 user 4 critic

The Man Behind the Curtain 

As Ben takes Locke to see Jacob and reveal the island's secrets, Ben's background on the island is exposed--as well as what happened to the Dharma Initiative.


Bobby Roth


Jeffrey Lieber (created by), J.J. Abrams (created by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Naveen Andrews ... Sayid Jarrah
Henry Ian Cusick ... Desmond Hume
Emilie de Ravin ... Claire Littleton
Michael Emerson ... Benjamin 'Ben' Linus
Matthew Fox ... Dr. Jack Shephard
Jorge Garcia ... Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes
Josh Holloway ... James 'Sawyer' Ford
Daniel Dae Kim ... Jin-Soo Kwon
Yunjin Kim ... Sun-Hwa Kwon
Evangeline Lilly ... Katherine 'Kate' Austen
Elizabeth Mitchell ... Dr. Juliet Burke
Dominic Monaghan ... Charlie Pace
Terry O'Quinn ... John Locke
Nestor Carbonell ... Richard Alpert
Andrew Divoff ... Mikhail Bakunin


On the day of his birthday, Ben recalls important parts of his life: when he was born, his mother Emily, pregnant of seven months, was hiking with his father, Roger, dying after the delivery in the woods nearby Portland, Oregon. Years later when he was a boy, Ben's unemployed father moved to the island with him accepting a job offer, but becoming a frustrated man with a simple position of janitor in the ultra-secret project 'Dharma'. His drunkard father blamed him for the death of his mother. But because of the island's mysterious power, the young Ben had visions of his Dharma teacher, Olivia, and decided to leave the compound, meeting the so-called 'Hostiles'. Years later, the grown-up Ben kills his dysfunctional father with poison gas while he leads the 'Hostiles' in an all-out attack against the village, killing the entire staff of Dharma Initiative, and Ben becomes their leader. In the present, Locke brings the dead body of his father, and meets Ben and The Others at their new ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 May 2007 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

O'ahu, Hawaii, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The part of Jacob had not been cast at the time of his appearance in "The Man Behind the Curtain." He was played by a crew member and the voice was that of producer Carlton Cuse. See more »


In one of Ben's flashbacks to his childhood, his father drinks DHARMA Initiative beer. The cans have wide mouth openings - but this type of can wasn't first manufactured until much more recently. See more »

Crazy Credits

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


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


End Title
Written by Michael Giacchino
Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony
See more »

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User Reviews

Pay attention to the man behind the curtain
23 May 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Lost' was in its prime, it was must-watch television. Remember first watching it, found it remarkably easy to get into, was hooked from the start and was on Season 3 by the end of one week. The general consensus is that the final season is a disappointment and cannot disagree.

Alongside "Not in Portland", "Flashes Before Your Eyes", "Enter 77", "The Man from Tallahassee", "One of Us" and "The Brig", "The Man Behind the Curtain" for me is one of the best Season 3 episodes up to this point of the season. Also feel that it is one of the best of Season 3 in general, one of the best episodes of 'Lost' up to this point and among the best of the show in general. Every aspect of "The Man Behind the Curtain" is brilliant and with all the trademarks for a 'Lost' classic.

The episode has pretty much everything that 'Lost' is all about. It's taut and thought-provoking, also providing some answers and surprises, with an edge-of-your-seat tension and a lot of emotion.

On top of all that, it advances characters, shows plot progression rather than repeating itself or being filler and there is some nice foreshadowing and a few shocking revelations. Ben's story is enthralling, with a superb mix of edge-of-your-seat tension and emotional impact. There is plenty of tension, fun and emotion everywhere else in the episode, the betrayal of Juliet and the events centred around it being the most intriguing.

Can't fault the performances, particularly from Michael Emerson, showing why he was one of the best and most consistent actors on 'Lost', and Sterling Beaumon as an intensely moving young Ben.

Nor the stylishness and atmosphere of the visuals, nor the effective use of music, taut writing and the tightly controlled direction (one of the best of the season and perhaps of the show).

In summary, brilliant and classic 'Lost'. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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