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A recent post on this blog got me thinking. I've been wondering, is John Locke really meant to be the leader of the Others? What if setting up Ben as the main villain is really just a "long con" on the part of the producers? I expanded my idea a bit in a recent email exchange with a friend:
"What if this is all a test of faith for Ben? Consider some of the evidence - Ben got Widmore off the island, and deposed him as "leader". Widmore expects that the same thing happened to John - but it was the Island itself who told John he had to go. And Christian was upset that Locke had sent Ben instead, because Ben is now "banished" from the Island.
Maybe Ben lost his way, lost his faith, and believed John was to be the new (or the true) "leader" so Ben turned the wheel - but we know it was supposed to be John Locke!
So, who is Ben? Ben was born under mysterious circumstances, and would have died like his mother except for the timely intervention of Horace and Olivia Goodspeed (played by Doug Hutchison and Samantha Mathis - big names to play what are so far rather small parts). When he's about 11 the Goodspeeds bring Ben to the Island and he sees the specter of his dead mother outside the fence. Once Ben escapes from the barracks, Richard Alpert notes that this young boy is very special. So special, he is chosen to survive The Purge of DHARMA.
Now, who is John Locke? John is a patsy. In every situation we've ever seen John, he was being played for a fool by someone with something to gain. John's a loser. He always makes the wrong choice (wouldn't forget his dad, so he lost Helen; doubted his faith and destroyed the Swan Hatch; keeps believing his dad, until he's thrown out of a window!) Heck, John already failed the test to be leader in the early 1960's when he chose the knife instead of the Book of Law.
Which one of these guys would you pick as the leader?"
We were also talking about the "good" people and "bad" people dichotomy that seemed so very important in seasons 2&3. My friend contends that Ben is not a "good" person and was not chosen by the Island, so he crashes in Ajira 316. Meanwhile, the "chosen" ones are plucked from the plane and launched through time and space. Since Ben got a tumor and was "banished" from the Island, he must not be a "good" person. It reminded me of the lists so frequently referenced (again in seasons 2&3).
The three survivors of Ajira 316 that we see in the water in the 1970's (Jack, Kate and Hurley) were all on the list given to Michael. But, Tom mentions in season 3 that "Shephard's not even on Jacob's list!" Also, Locke tells Kate she can't come to the Temple with the Others, because she's "not a good person". It would seem that Jack and Kate are not really "good" people after all.
So...were those three actually the ones "rejected" by the island? And are Sayid, Sun, Caesar, Ilana, John Locke, et al the ones who are on the "good list"? The ones who have landed safely on the Island in real time? Including Ben...