Given that we’re having to do without our weekly fix of Lost today, I thought instead we’d take a look at one of the big debates about Lost in general and that is, just who is the real bad guy?
There are of course two main candidates for who is THE baddie on Lost – Charles Widmore or Benjamin Linus – and for me, I think we’re being led astray by Widmore’s apparent menace.
I don’t know if you felt the same, or remember even, but when Lost first began, John Locke was portrayed as a very mysterious and menacing character, but look how that turned out! Even in the original promo images, he looked like he was a ‘no good’ character… remember when he stared at Walt with the orange in his mouth? See how creepy he looks in these pictures…
Yes ok, Charles sent a boatload of people to capture Ben and they were apparently told to kill everyone else on the island… but as far as I can tell, that’s Charles’s only crime. Yes I know it’s a big one but when you take a look at everything Ben’s done, it seems like Charles’s crimes are much less significant!
Plus, he didn’t necessarily know that all the Oceanic survivors were on the island so it could be that he ordered the deaths of Ben’s people to stop them from whatever it is we’ve yet to discover they’re doing to or with the island.
And yes, Alex – Ben’s daughter – was killed by Keamy who was sent by Widmore but the order to kill her didn’t, as far as we know, come directly from Widmore; it was an on-the-spot decision by Keamy in my opinion.
So here’s the evidence as to why I think it’ll turn out Ben’s the really baddie…
Benjamin Linus, known as Ben, is a long, long-time resident of the Island and a former leader of the Others. He came to the Island as a motherless child – she died giving birth to him – brought by his father Roger who worked for the Dharma Initiative. After being educated on the Island, Ben worked for Dharma but at some point, he allied himself with the Hostiles.
After the destruction of the Initiative on the Island in ‘The Purge’, which Ben himself was an instigator of, he became the leader of the now dominant Hostiles known to the Oceanic Six as the Others.
He also killed his father Roger – who he hated – by opening a canister of deadly gas and making his dad breathe it in. It was around this time that Ben somehow forced Widmore off the island too.
When Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on the island, the survivors went head-to-head with Ben and the Others on several occasions and often came off worst.
Ben appears to be able to summon the Smoke Monster and – though apparently afraid of him – he carries out Jacob’s orders, one such order being to ‘move’ the island to ‘protect’ it from Charles Widmore who apparently was close to finding it.
Once Ben had moved the island, he himself went back to the ‘real world’ where he enlisted the help of Sayid in his war against Charles Widmore whose daughter Penny, Ben had vowed to kill in revenge for the death of his own sort-of-adopted daughter Alex.
So let’s take a look at Ben’s other wrongdoings…
He brought Juliet to the island under false pretences and then kept her there and made sure the man she fell in love with – Goodwin – ended up very dead by sending him on a very dangerous mission.
Early on in the show, Ben was captured by Sayid et al and lied about his identity calling himself Henry Gale. It turned out of course that the real Henry Gale was dead and buried on the island. While captive, he tried to strangle Ana Lucia but Locke saved her.
He ordered the kidnapping of Walt and later Kate, Jack and Sawyer. He wanted Jack to operate on his tumour and needed Kate and Sawyer as ‘insurance’ against Jack deliberately killing him during the op.
He swore that if he didn’t survive, his people would murder Kate and Sawyer. And while held in a cage, Ben personally beat Sawyer to a pulp in revenge for Sawyer’s plan to escape via electrocuting whoever next came to his cage… that someone was Ben.
Ben then watched from one of the Hydra’s rooms as Matthew stuck a needle into Sawyer’s chest. When Sawyer regained consciousness, Ben showed him a caged rabbit with the number 8 on its back. Ben then shook the cage violently which frightened the rabbit and Sawyer watched as it went limp.
Ben told Sawyer that the rabbit had a pacemaker, and that now Sawyer did, too. He gave him a watch that would begin beeping when Sawyer’s heart rate exceeded 125 bpm. If it went above 140 bpm, Ben told him, his heart would explode. Ben then told him the same fate would befall Kate if Sawyer revealed to her or anyone else what the Others had done to him.
He later admitted this was all a lie and intended to make Sawyer cooperate. At the same time that Ben had Kate and Sawyer in cages, he also ordered Alex’s boyfriend Karl to be imprisoned which made her hatred of her ‘father’ even deeper.
Ben also arranged the kidnap and murder of John Locke’s dad in order to keep John in line. And in another episode, Ben tried to convince Locke to kill Jack in order to prevent him calling the boat who the Oceanic survivors believed were there to rescue them, but Rousseau silenced him by elbowing him in the face and Jack made the call.
Around the same time, he ordered Richard and Pryce to raid the survivors’ camp, telling them to kidnap all of the women and kill all of the men who got in their way. When Richard questioned this course of action, Ben said he was following Jacob’s orders.
He also later ordered that Charlie be killed but that was thwarted and he later similarly failed to murder Charlotte too when he shot her but she survived.
He had his men threaten to shoot Jin if he didn’t give them the info Ben wanted at the time. However, Bernard spilled the beans so Jin wouldn’t be killed.
And let’s not forget he shot John in the episode, The Man Behind The Curtain and left him for dead in a pit.
He also put Michael on the freighter and ordered him to blow it up because Charles Widmore had sent it and had ordered that his people kill everyone on the island, but as I mentioned earlier, Widmore may not have known that anyone but Ben’s followers were on the island at the time.
After he’d moved the island and woke up in a desert, Ben killed the Bedouins who turned up and later, he recruited Sayid to do his dirty work for him by telling him he knew who’d killed Sayid’s wife Nadia and why.
So Sayid continued to work for Ben as a hitman to eliminate a number of persons from a ‘list’, including Mr. Avellino and an “economist”.
While on assignment for Ben to kill the “economist”, Sayid ended up killing a woman called Elsa in self-defense. After Sayid showed remorse for killing Elsa, Ben suggested that the people Sayid was being sent to kill were not good people and that Sayid’s “friends” would be in danger if these people were left alive.
Ben then told Sayid that he had another name for him. When Sayid responded that “they” now knew he was looking for them, Ben simply responded, “Good.” We don’t know yet why or how it came to be that Sayid stopped working for, and trusting, Ben.
Recently, Ben had Matthew Abaddon killed and then killed John Locke by strangling him.
Soooooooooooo compared to Charles’s activities so far, Ben’s looking a far more likely candidate for being the bad guy.
Some might argue that Widmore’s daughter Penny hates him because he kept her and Des apart, but maybe she’s a spoilt little rich girl and maybe Widmore believed Des wasn’t good enough for her. Not good I know but hardly in the same league as Ben’s crimes!
So what do you reckon? Is Ben the baddie or is it Charles? Let us know in the comments box!