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'Lost' (S5): 'LaFleur' plan?

Doc Jensen finds parallels between tonight’s episode — a big one for Sawyer — and James Joyce’s ”Ulysses.” Plus: Why on earth would Ben save Locke — and then kill him?, a new No Prize! contest, and the return of ”Totally Lost”

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Lost, Josh Holloway
Mario Perez/ABC

WARNING: HERE THERE BE TEASERS!
Today’s Totally Lost (the video is embedded at the end of this column) includes four teases about tonight’s Lost, the official halfway point of season 5 (going fast, isn’t it?), delivered with a huge wallop of senseless violence in our patented titillation-sans-spoilers fashion. For example: Michelle Dessler. Yes, that’s a tease. You’re saying, ”But…what does that even mean?!” And I say, ”See! You have been intrigued and nonspoiled!” It’s just like the sign on the wall says: Doc Jensen: Serving provocative piles of nothing since 2006.

BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK — AND MAYBE THE SEASON: WHY DID BEN STOP JOHN LOCKE FROM KILLING HIMSELF — THEN TURN AROUND AND MURDER HIM SECONDS LATER?
Theory No. 1: It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Ben had no idea how to get back to the Island until Locke let slip that Ms. Hawking knew the way. Quick-thinking Ben immediately saw an opportunity to bargain with Ms. Hawking: He would offer to do what Locke could not — motivate the Oceanic 6 to return to the Island — if she’d deal him in on the return trip, too. In this scenario, Ben may or may not have known that Locke would be revived. Regardless, it didn’t really matter to him. There are other possibilities behind Ben’s bloody flip-flop as well. But first!

DOC JENSEN’S ”NO PRIZE” WINNER!
Last week, I asked you to identify the source of the following literary reference: ”Up. Out.” As it turns out, there are two correct answers. The one most of you guessed was Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. Kudos to Jim Doyle of Washington, D.C., for getting that answer to me first. Ironically, though, Charlie was not on my mind when I cited the ”Up. Out.” So congrats to Chris of Falls Church, Va., who submitted the answer I had in mind: Neil Gaiman’s classic comic saga Sandman, and specifically the ”Brief Lives” story line, in which Dream goes on a global search for his MIA sibling, Destruction. A new ”No Prize” contest awaits…somewhere in this column.

Ben’s bloody flip-flop: Theory No. 2: Information control. When Ben realized Locke was aware of Ms. Hawking, he couldn’t let them meet, lest she reveal things to Locke that Ben didn’t want him to know. Hence, he had to kill him — knowing, perhaps, that the Island was going to revive him anyway.

REVIEW: ”THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JEREMY BENTHAM”
Courtesy of ABC’s Lost Untangled series

Ben’s bloody flip-flop: Theory No. 3: Simple. The Island doesn’t like suicide.

NEXT PAGE: Tonight’s episode: ”LaFleur”