NEW YORK (AP) -- Here's Benjamin as a boy. He was gravely injured. Then his life was saved. The island decided to heal him.
No, wait, Ben's a grown-up again. He wakes up to find John Locke at his bedside which is odd, since he had already killed Locke.
"My God! You're alive!" exclaims Ben wondrously. "I knew this would happen."
And all this was in just the first four minutes of Wednesday's episode of "Lost."
Can anybody make heads or tails of ABC's "Lost" anymore?
Not that its epic murkiness makes "Lost" any less addictive at least for the addicted. Wednesday's episode, like most of them, had its jolting moments. (Oh, look, Ben shot Desmond at an L.A. yacht basin. Then Desmond beat up Ben and shoved him, unconscious, into the drink.)
There was lots of circular dialogue that somehow manages to translate into poetry. ("How do you know?" "I just know." "How does that work exactly?" "How does what work?" And so on.)
Time is all over the place. (Here was Ben apparently 15 or 20 years ago. His daughter, since grown to womanhood, is seen as a little girl in a swing, which Ben is pushing. He's also wearing a hairpiece to make sure viewers realize he's younger.)
More than ever, "Lost" demands faith from its audience that, in the fullness of the experience, the truth will reveal itself. In the meantime, well, "Lost" continues to make delayed gratification somehow gratifying.
So you glean what you can from such scenes as the climax to Wednesday's episode: Ben pursues the island's mysterious smoke monster in a temple. He says he's seeking "judgment" from the monster for his sins. The smoke conjures up his dead daughter. She forces Dad to swear allegiance to his enemy John Locke.
"What happened?" Locke asks the rapturous Ben moments later.
"It let me live," he breathlessly replies.
You call that living?!
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