"Dead Is Dead" is the twelfth episode of Season 5 of Lost and the ninety-eighth produced hour of the series as a whole. Ben, Locke, and Sun travel to the Temple so that Ben can be judged by the Monster. In flashbacks, the origins of Ben and Widmore's troubled relationship are revealed. The episode was originally broadcast on April 8, 2009.
"Dead Is Dead", among all episodes of Lost, attracted the smallest audience during its original airing.
Previously on Lost
- Sayid shoots young Ben. ("He's Our You")
- Kate and Sawyer take the injured young Ben to Richard, who tells them that Ben will always be "one of us". ("Whatever Happened, Happened")
- Keamy orders Ben to surrender himself, or Alex will be killed. Ben claims that Alex is of no value to him, so she's shot dead. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
- Lapidus tells Sun that the mercenary team was sent to the Island to get Ben, who asks how it turned out. Sun then knocks Ben out with an oar. ("Namaste")
- Locke tells Caesar that Ben is the man who killed him. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
Charles Widmore talks to Benjamin Linus for the first time.
Charles Widmore arrives at the Others' camp on horseback. After a short exchange with Richard Alpert, he enters a tent in which young Ben, still recovering from his gunshot wound from Sayid, is staying. As they chat, it becomes clear that Ben does not recall how he was injured. Widmore tells Ben that they will send him back to live with the DHARMA Initiative soon, but assures Ben that he can still be one of the Others.
Ben and Ethan spy on Rousseau's camp.
Ben and a young Ethan Rom stand outside a camp, watching a tent. Ethan attempts to convince Ben to let him take charge, but Ben tells Ethan to be quiet and enters the camp alone. Inside the tent is a sleeping Danielle Rousseau. Ben lifts his gun to kill her, but her baby awakens and begins crying, and Ben knocks over Rousseau's music box. ♪ Rousseau questions Ben about what he is doing there, and assumes that he is a carrier for the infection. Ben takes the baby in his arms, firing a shot into the sand and telling Rousseau not to move. ♪ He tells her that the child will be safe with them, and that she should consider herself lucky to be left alive. He then tells her that every time she hears whispers, she is to run the other way. Ben leaves the tent and the beach with the baby and Ethan.
Ben brings a baby Alex to the Others camp.
Upon Ben's return to camp, he is angrily confronted by an aging Charles Widmore, who demands to know why Ben is holding a baby. Ben is angered that Widmore had not informed him of the baby prior to his accepting this mission. Ben says Rousseau poses no threat to them. Widmore demands that Ben kill the baby, claiming it to be the will of Jacob. Ben refuses, and instead proposes that if it were indeed the will of the Island, Widmore should be able to do it instead. Scoffing, Widmore turns his back and leaves Ben holding the baby. ♪
1992 or later
Widmore is exiled by Ben.
At the Barracks, Ben is pushing a young Alex on a swing set when he is approached by Richard. Richard informs Ben that the submarine is about to leave, but that Ben does not need to see its passengers off if he does not want to. Ben feels he needs to, however, and goes to the dock, where Widmore is in restraints and being led by armed guards to the submarine. Ben speaks to Widmore, who feels Ben has come to "gloat" about his victory in having Widmore exiled. Widmore has been exiled for "breaking the rules": namely, for regularly leaving the Island, and for having a family off the Island (specifically, a "daughter with an outsider"). Widmore scornfully tells Ben that he will have to one day choose between Alex and the Island. He is then led to the submarine and exiled.
Ben aims at Penny.
After leaving Jack and the others in LA, Ben is walking along a marina and calls Charles Widmore, informing him that he is going to kill Widmore's daughter, Penny, who is also at the marina. As he approaches to do so, he is met by an arriving Desmond, unloading groceries from a car. When he asks Ben what he is doing there, Ben shoots Desmond once in the chest, causing him to fall to the ground. Ben then continues on to the boat, where he holds Penny at gunpoint, telling her that her father killed his daughter. Penny maintains that she has no relationship with her father. As Ben prepares to shoot her he sees Penny and Desmond's son, Charlie. Ben then lowers his gun, but is tackled and severely beaten by Desmond, who then uses both arms to lift and throw him off the dock and into the water.
On the Island (2007)
Ben looks for a picture in his old Hydra office.
Ben awakens to find Locke sitting over him. Ben exhibits surprise that Locke is alive, but tells Locke that he expected his resurrection. He also tells Locke that he broke the rules and has to face the consequences, which will result in being judged by the Monster. Ben then travels out to the beach, where several survivors, including Bram and Ilana, are trying to transport a crate filled with what they call necessary supplies. Ben speaks to Caesar about Locke, telling him that he doesn't believe that Locke was on the plane. Ben feigns ignorance when Caesar informs him that Locke believes that Ben killed him, saying that Locke is insane and dangerous. Caesar tells Ben that he "has his back," and shows him the shotgun he had taken from Ben's office earlier. Later at the Hydra office, Ben browses the desk for something. When he finds a picture of himself and Alex, he opens the frame and puts the photo into his pocket, just when Locke enters the room. Locke demands to talk with Ben about the fact that he killed him. Ben replies that it was the only way to bring him back, as well as the rest of them and that he had vital information. Locke then said to him that he wanted an apology, but goes on and offers his help to Ben facing the Monster.
Ben aims at Caesar.
Ben and Locke prepare to travel to the outriggers, intending to take one of them to the main island in order for Ben to be "judged" by the Monster. Suddenly, Caesar and three other survivors appear, and confront the two. Caesar asserts his position as the leader, and forbids the two to use the outriggers to go anywhere. Locke refuses to listen, and Caesar attempts to draw his shotgun, but it isn't there. Ben reveals that he has it, and blasts an unarmed Caesar in the chest. He then tells the three remaining survivors to go away. Ben gives John the shotgun and tells him to consider it as an apology for murdering him, as John has earlier demanded. They then set sail for the main island in the boat.
Ben finds Frank and Sun in Alex's room.
Upon arrival, they rest for a moment at the dock. ♪ As Locke puts on Christian Shepherd's shoes before stepping on the Island, he tells Ben that he believes Ben is only seeking forgiveness for the death of Alex. Ben does not confirm or deny this. They travel on to the Barracks, where they see a silhouetted shadow pacing in the window of Alex's old room. Upon investigation, Ben finds that it is Sun. Frank is also in the house, and they tell Ben that a man named Christian told them to wait there for John Locke, who they discover is standing just outside. Sun shows Ben the photo of the DHARMA recruits of 1977, and expresses surprise that Ben doesn't know that their friends were in the DHARMA Initiative.
Ben summons the Monster.
Frank warns Sun about listening to a dead man and a murderer, but Sun asserts she would follow them if there's a chance Jin would still be alive. Ben retreats to the secret room hidden in his closet behind the bookcase, where he drains a pool of muddy water in an attempt to summon the Monster. He says aloud, almost as an afterthought to the hole, "I'll be outside." He then goes outside to wait with Sun. Sun says that probably Jack lied about John's death to convince them to return to the Island, but Ben reveals to her that Locke was dead and that he had no idea Locke would be resurrected; he had never seen the Island perform such a miracle. Frank leaves to return to the Hydra island after failing to convince Sun to come with him.
Ben, Locke and Sun reach the Temple.
The Monster doesn't appear, and Locke tells Ben that they need to go to find it. Ben claims that he does not know where the Monster lives, but Locke tells him that he does. Ben and Sun follow Locke to the Temple walls. ♪ Locke then reveals that they are going to be entering through a hole in the earth. They do so, though Sun remains outside. Before Ben enters, he tells Sun that, if she might leave the Island, she should find Desmond and tell him that he is sorry. When Sun asks for what, Ben tells her that Desmond will understand.
Ilana and Bram threaten Frank.
Meanwhile, Frank arrives back at Hydra Island in the outrigger. He is soon approached by Jed, who warns him that Ilana and a few other survivors have weapons. Frank, cautious, walks into camp, where he is suddenly held at gunpoint by Ilana and Bram. Ilana asks Frank, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" When Frank is unable to answer, she knocks him out with the butt of her gun, and tells Bram to get everyone else, tell them "it's time," and to tie Frank up, as he's coming with them.
Once underground, Locke and Ben light torches. Ben tells Locke that he believes that Locke's reasoning was right, and that he is seeking penance for Alex's death. Soon afterward, the ground underneath Ben gives way and he falls into another level of the Temple. Locke tells Ben that he will go get something to help Ben back up, and leaves, ignoring Ben's commands not to.
Ben is surrounded by the Monster.
Ben then journeys on, looking at columns covered in hieroglyphs, pausing to observe a stone panel covered in Egyptian-style carvings, which depicts the Monster and a jackal-headed figure (possibly the Egyptian deity Anubis) facing each other. Below the carving is a stone grate angled upwards. Ben hears the trademark noises of the Monster, and witnesses it rise out of the grate in front of him. The Monster surrounds Ben, swirling about him.
Ben is confronted by an apparition of his daughter.
He is faced with memories of Alex and Widmore, including Alex's death at the hands of Martin Keamy. After showing these visions to Ben, the Monster abates, followed by the appearance moments later of an apparition in the form of Alex. Ben apologizes to Alex, admitting fault in everything, which she acknowledges. She then pins him up against a nearby column, informing Ben that she is aware of his plan to kill Locke again, and demanding his firm dedication to follow Locke's leadership, or she will "destroy" him. Ben promises, and Alex disappears. Locke calls Ben back to the hole and lowers a vine in order to pull him up. Ben reveals that the Monster has let him live. ♪
- Ben's house was in the same state it was in the last time he was inside, when the mercenaries attacked—including the Risk game Locke, Sawyer and Hurley were playing, left out on the table.
- Apart from Lost: Via Domus, this is the first time we see the Monster in an underground/confined area.
- This episode is rated TV-14-LV.
- Matthew Fox (Jack), Jorge Garcia (Hurley) and Evangeline Lilly (Kate) are only seen in the DHARMA recruitment photo taken in "Namaste".
- Only four main cast members - Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Michael Emerson (Ben), Yunjin Kim (Sun), and Terry O'Quinn (Locke) - appear with speaking lines in this episode, the fewest of any episode up until "Across the Sea" which featured no main characters in new footage.
- The only actors to appear in both this and the previous episode are Michael Emerson (Ben), Terry O'Quinn (Locke) and Nestor Carbonell (Richard).
- For the third time in the series, only 2 of the original 14 main cast members appear, Yunjin Kim (Sun) and Terry O'Quinn (Locke). The other instances were "The Constant", with only Naveen Andrews (Sayid) and Matthew Fox (Jack) appearing and "Jughead" in which only Terry O'Quinn (Locke) and Josh Holloway (Sawyer) appear.
- Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) returns after being missing for 5 episodes. His prolonged absence is fourth to Daniel Dae Kim's second longest character drought, with 6 in Season 3, tied with Harold Perrineau in Season 4. And Perrineau has also missed more consecutive episodes in a season while still remaining a regular, when he went missing for 7 episodes in Season 2.
- Cusick would later go missing for another extended period of time in Season 6. Cusick, however, referred to himself as a guest star during that season.
- David S. Lee is not credited in the ABC press release for his role as middle-aged Charles Widmore.
- Saïd Taghmaoui (Caesar), who was at one point meant to be a main cast member this season, makes his final appearance in this episode, when his character is killed.
- Although a guest star, Sterling Beaumon (Young Ben) is the only actor to appear in each of the last 4 episodes.
- The actor portraying teenage Ethan is not credited in the press release.
- A deleted scene from "I Do" is shown during the scene in which Ben is judged by the Monster. The scene involved Alex getting into an argument with Ben over Karl and resulted in Alex saying "I hate your guts," which is shown during this episode.
- The beginning of this episode is a flashback that picks up where the real-time events in 1977 left off in the previous episode.
- With 8.56 million viewers, this was the lowest-rated episode of Lost on ABC. The episode had 14.91 million fewer viewers than "Man of Science, Man of Faith", the highest-rated episode. (Ratings)
- The marina used to film the scene where Ben shoots Desmond was also used as the backdrop for Desmond's photograph in "Flashes Before Your Eyes".
Bloopers and continuity errors
- As Locke, Sun and Ben approach the temple, the black plastic pot holding a tree is clearly visible in the middle of the shot (this is just after Ben says "It's the wall around our Temple")
- A different take is used for the beginning of the first scene between Ben and Locke to what was used at the end of the previous episode, "Whatever Happened, Happened".
- When Ben falls through the floor in the temple, it's clearly not Michael Emerson and the face of the stuntman is visible.
- When Ben drains the murky water to summon the Smoke Monster, his hand changes position in between shots from up by his face, to down by his leg.
- On the dock, Locke puts on his left sock and ties his shoe, but then in the next cut shot, he's putting his left sock on again.
- When Caesar confronts Locke about the boats, Locke has a small black mark on the left side of his shirt. In the next shot it disappears before returning in the following shot and disappearing again in the next.
- Charles Widmore is shown to have been exiled sometime after the Purge, circa 1992, as he is leaving by the DI sub; however, previously both he and Miles have stated that Widmore's been looking for the Island for about 20 years.
- When Desmond punches Ben for the first time Ben's face has sustained a lot more injury than possible by one punch. He has a slight cut from from falling on the dock but in the next shot his nose is bleeding and he has multiple cuts and bruises on his face.
|Animals • Black and white • Character connections • Children • Coincidence • Death • Deceptions and cons • Dreams • Economics • Electromagnetism • Eyes • Fate versus free will • Games • Good and bad people • Imprisonment • Isolation • Leadership • Life and death • Literary works • Mirrors • Missing body parts • Nicknames • The Numbers • Pairings • Parapsychology • Parent issues • Pregnancies • Psychology • Rain • Redemption • Relationships • Religion • Revenge • Salvation • Secrets|
- Ben tells Widmore that he doesn't like his dad. (Parent issues)
- Before waking up, Ben seems to be dreaming. (Dreams)
- When Ben awakens, he opens his eyes. (Eyes)
- The Risk game Sawyer and Hurley were playing is still on the table. (Games)
- Ben shoots Caesar and kills him. (Death)
- Ben decides not to kill Rousseau after discovering she had a baby. (Children)
- Ben kidnaps Alex as a baby, and then raises her as his own. (Children)
- Seeing Charlie Hume causes Ben to hesitate about shooting Penny. (Children)
- Widmore claims that one day Ben will have to choose between his daughter, Alex, and the Island. (Fate versus free will)
- Widmore also claims that if the Island wanted to kill Alex, it would. (Fate versus free will)
- Penelope mentions that she has no relationship with her father. (Parent issues)
- Ben lies to Caesar about not knowing Locke and about Locke not being on the plane. (Deceptions and cons)
- Charles Widmore rides a horse into the Others camp. (Animals)
- Widmore is banished from the Island in part because he had a daughter with an outsider. (Children)
- Ben initially blames Charles Widmore for his daughter's death but ultimately accepts the blame himself. (Parent issues)
- Ben's cell phone is black and white. (Black and white)
- The crate has "AA823" written on its side. (The Numbers)
- Ben walks to face the judgment of the Smoke Monster and falls through the floor on his eighth step after leaving Locke behind. (The Numbers)
- According to Ben, his mission on the Island is to find the Monster in order to be judged. (Redemption)
- The apparition of Alex tells Ben that she knows about his plan to murder Locke once again. (Deceptions and cons)
- Caesar calls both Ben and Locke "my friend." (Nicknames)
- Frank is taken prisoner by Ilana and her group. (Imprisonment)
| Cultural references|
(direct references only)
|Art • Automobiles • Games • History • Literary works • Movies and TV • Music • Philosophy • Religion and ideologies • Science|
There is a carved image under the Temple of the monster and what appears to be an Anubis-like figure.
- Hieroglyphs: Inside the temple, numerous Egyptian hieroglyphs are seen, the representation of Anubis with what is possibly the Monster being prominently featured. (Religion and Ideologies)
- In reference to this image: standing or sitting with one arm down at the side, the other loosely held out, palm (thumb) up, means to summon or invoke. [source needed]
- Our Mutual Friend: Desmond and Penny named their sailboat after the literary work. (Literary works)
- Flowers for Algernon, Roots and Uncle Tom's Cabin: These books are in the bookcase in front of the entrance to the secret tunnel in Ben's house. (Literary works)
- Caravan of Dreams by Idries Shah and Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury are also seen on Ben's book shelf. (Literary works)
- Elephant in the room: Locke uses this phrase when he wants to talk with Ben about his murder. The phrase is an English idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed. The first-known use of the phrase was in The New York Times on June 20, 1959. (Literary works)
- I Ching: As the guards escort Widmore onto the sub, trapezoidal trigrams, similar to symbols seen in this cosmological work, are visible on the backs of their bulletproof vests. In the I Ching, this symbol means "water". A similar symbol, but for "wind," can be seen on the boarding pass for Ajira Airways. (Religion and ideologies)
- A Game of Thrones: "Dead is dead" is a phrase spoken in the prologue of the first novel, A Game of Thrones, in the fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire written by George R.R. Martin. (Literary works)
|Comparative: Irony • Juxtaposition • Foreshadowing Plotting: Cliffhanger • Plot twist Stock characters: Archetype • Redshirt • Unseen character|
Story: Flashbacks • Flash-forwards • Flash sideways • Framing device • Regularly spoken phrases • Symbolism • Unreliable narrator
- Ilana and Bram capture Frank; his fate is left unknown. (Cliffhanger)
- Ben doesn't shoot Rousseau when he sees her child, Alex. He later doesn't shoot Penny when he sees her child, Charlie. (Juxtaposition)
- Ben plans to go to the main Island to find the Smoke Monster, unaware that it is actually with him, in the form of Locke. Later, expecting the monster's arrival, he tells Sun to go inside, saying he lacks control over what will come out of the jungle. Locke emerges. (Irony)
- Ben attempts to convince Caesar that Locke was not on the plane and is an Island native; in the past, he attempted to convince Locke that he was not an Island inhabitant. (Irony) (Juxtaposition)
- The pillars and walls in the Monster's lair are covered in many hieroglyphs. (Symbolism)
- Caesar is shot with the same sawed-off shotgun he found. (Irony)
- When Sun asks how Locke plans to find Jin, he says "I have some ideas." Ben said this same phrase when Jack asked how he planned to find the Island. (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Desmond is shot by Ben but manage to beat him and protect Penny. We don't know if Desmond's been hit and how badly. (Cliffhanger)
|A-Missions • Crimes • Economics • Leadership • O-Missions • Relationships • F-Missions • Rivalries • S-Missions|
- Ben challenges Widmore's instruction to kill Danielle and Alex. (Rivalries) (Leadership) (O-Missions)
- Ben shoots Caesar. (Crimes)
- Ben shoots Desmond and holds Penny at gunpoint. (Crimes)
- Alex tells Ben to abandon his attempt at murdering John and to strictly follow his orders. (Rivalries) (Leadership)
- Ben tells Sun that he has no control over what is going to come out of the jungle, right before Locke emerges. (Leadership)
- Ilana takes a leadership position in the Ajira camp. (Leadership)
- Ben tells Rousseau that if she hears the whispers, she should turn around and run the other way. ("Solitary")
- A quote from Alex is heard questioning her father about the mercenary team. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
- When Ben enters his house at the Barracks, the Risk board game is seen still lying on the table from when Locke, Hurley and Sawyer were playing three years earlier. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
- Ben steals Alex from a woman he believed to be insane, just as he claimed. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
- Ben tells Penny he needs to kill her because her father killed Alex. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
- Ben is revealed to believe he was the one responsible for Alex's death despite his claim to the contrary. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
- Ben sees an image of Alex and Keamy. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
- Ben enters the door in his hidden room in order to summon the Monster. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
- Ben's injuries prior to boarding Ajira Flight 316 are explained. ("316")
- Charles Widmore is shown being exiled. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
- Ceasar still has the shot gun he found. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
- Locke and Ben discuss Locke's death. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
- Ben refers to Sun hitting him over the head with an oar. ("Namaste")
- Richard and Charles discuss Ben being healed within the Temple. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")
- Images of Alex and Ben's past form within the smoke monster, just as when it confronted Eko. ("The 23rd Psalm")
- Desmond and Penny's yacht is named Our Mutual Friend. Desmond wanted this book to be the last one he read before he dies. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")
- Ben is shown drinking from an Ajira water bottle; another is later shown on the crate Ilana and Bram are tending to. ("The Little Prince")
- Ben, Locke and Sun find the Temple wall. ("This Place Is Death") ("Whatever Happened, Happened")
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Dead Is Dead/Theories
- Where did Locke go when he left the Barracks?
- What is the significance of the carving beneath the Temple?
- How did the Man in Black cross the water to get to Hydra Island?