''Lost'': Never Ben Kissed

Penelope's dad: Devil or scapegoat?
Ben continued to get under Locke's skin by needling him anew about his shaky leadership, which this week got tested in the unlikely form of Claire, who asked if she could have a go at interrogating MIA Miles. (Is he still gumming that grenade or what? I want to know already!) The Claire moment was another example of this episode's forcing things; the scene seemed to have been written just to give the actress something to do. (And I know this is an overdue, off-topic complaint, but I have to clear my conscience and say this: In retrospect, I think the show owed Claire one or two Charlie-grieving scenes. Anyway, I digress.) Locke got challenged once again, and Ben tried to work it once again, saying, ''Have they started the revolution yet?'' (How does this man know so much about what Locke is going through? Intuition? Psychic powers? Or just previous experience of being a disliked leader of faithless, impatient people?) But Locke managed to turn the tables on Ben by revealing he knew about the deal Miles presented him. This prompted Ben to play his supposed trump card: his claim (supported with surveillance videotape and dossiers) that they are united by a common enemy, alleged freighter master Widmore, who Ben says is desperate to find the Island so he can ruthlessly exploit it. Here's my question for you: Do you believe this? (I do.) And are you with me that Michael is going to be revealed as Ben's spy, or do you think we're being set up for a twist there? (Personally, I'm not completely sure.)

The (ugh) kiss
I liked everything that led up to it. I liked how Juliet pulled this frustrating episode together with her final speech to Jack. In the end, this was really a story about Ben and the lengths he will go to protect himself and the Island from his enemies. And the bad news for Juliet is that those extreme lengths might include manipulating her any way Ben sees fit, even leveraging her feelings for Jack, because after all, in Ben's mind, she belongs to him. If only Juliet had walked away after this speech, everything would have been okay. But no: Jack had to kiss her. Part of me can believe it: Juliet represents exactly the kind of Girl That Needs Rescuing that totally gets Doc Messiah hot — and ultimately leaves him burned. Look, I can buy the Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle; this dynamic makes sense to me. But adding a fourth party — even in the form of Juliet, a character I like very much — just doesn't work for me. I just don't think Jack would complicate his life with that kind of thing — not right now. It also seems to me that the last thing Juliet needs is more man trouble. Hasn't she learned anything from her backstory? Doesn't she know it never ends well for ''the other woman''?

It's time I turned this space over to you. Am I being too hard on the episode? What have I missed? And what are your Widmore theories?

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Originally posted Mar 06, 2008

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