The Secrets of Benjamin Linus

Posted on April 26, 2008

Photo of (Warning: Spoilers ahead for <I>Lost</I> fans who haven't seen this week's episode!) 
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Benjamin Linus from LostKristin of Watch With Kristin at E! has a fantastic interview with Michael Emerson who plays the complex and utterly fascinating Benjamin Linus on Lost. After Thursday's mind-blowing episode (in which we see Ben in a whole new light, including kicking some serious butt in the desert and being secret agent man in Iraq) the entire show landscape has shifted. The ultimate battle between Charles Widmore and Benjamin Linus for control of the island is on.
Jumping to the end of episode then, Charles Widmore says, I didn't kill your daughter, you did. How much does Ben feel culpable in her death?

Ben is a guy who doesn't take things lightly, and I think he has a long memory. When Charles Widmore says that it's Ben's fault -- that's a kind of sophistry on his part. He's suggesting that everything Ben has ever done has led up to this moment, the idea that who we are makes us guilty across the board. But Ben's not having that explanation.

I think Ben knows that his daughter died for a very particular reason, and that Charles Widmore is the guilty one. Whatever is going on between Ben and Charles Widmore, the ante just got raised about tenfold.

*****

Do you almost feel like after that conversation with Charles we suddenly learned that Ben is the hero of the show, even though we didn't know he existed for the first season or two?

It feels like some kind of shift along those lines is happening, doesn't it? Because each season, it's like the lens of the show steps back a notch and shows the playing field of the show to be a larger one that we had thought at first. I think this battle between Charles Widmore and Benjamin Linus, whatever it is, whatever the stakes are, whatever the game is, I think that's now big. That's a big, important thing.

And I think, I don't know if it's just from familiarity or instinct, but I think we like Ben Linus better than we like Charles Widmore. I think Charles Widmore is a more wicked man.

He's right about that. We do like Ben Linus more than Charles Widmore. In fact, Ben has been growing on us all season, because of Michael Emerson's amazing performance. Charles Widmore is totally evil -- think of how mean he was to Desmond. And we can't believe Widmore had Ben's daughter killed; clearly Widmore and Ben had some kind of "family is off limits" agreement in their war over the island. It's all starting to make sense why Sayid went to work for Ben. We really wouldn't want to be someone on Ben's or Sayid's hit list, that's for sure.

Now we know that many of you think Ben is totally evil and ruthless, but really his mission to save the world is so important that he has to be ruthless. At least that's how we feel about it this week.


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