Lost 3.20: "The Man Behind the Curtain"

Thread rules:

Locke killed his dad, or more correctly, he arranged for Sawyer to kill his dad. James Ford, that is, since both he and dad use that name as an alias. And now that Locke has completed his task, he’s off to see the wizard. Will he find out who the man behind the curtain is? I think we have to assume that the writers are referring to Jacob (or possibly Charles Widmore?). This should be a bang-up episode, as all indications point to the backstory being about…

Ben, aka Henry Gale (yet another Wizard of Oz reference).

From the preview on Lostpedia for this episode:

The Man Behind the Curtain Ben begrudgingly begins to introduce Locke to the secrets of the island, beginning with the mysterious Jacob. Meanwhile, Juliet’s secret goes public.

Some useful Café Society links are given below:

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The Official Lost Jargon Thread

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Here are some interesting external links:

The Lost Report: A very well written summary of the most current episode often containing interesting insights. I don’t think you’ll find spoilers.

The Tail Section: Excellent site for still frame photos of key scenes, along with some good analysis. But… beware of spoilers!

Sledgeweb’s Lost… Stuff: Pretty good site, but again beware of spoilers. I use it mainly for the Timeline section, which is an incredibly detailed breakdown of “how long since…?” for almost anything you can think of (pre- and post-plane crash).

Door Map from Episode 2.17. A nicely cleaned up version of the diagram Locke saw while pinned under the lockdown doors. No spoilers.

Lostpedia: The wikipedia of Lost information. Quite a comprehensive site, but beware of spoilers!

ThEmIsFiTiShErE: The Misfit offers his whacky commentary on “Lost”. Is he a nut-case or a clever insider? Careful, though, possible spoilers.

You are probably right about the meaning of the title, but I really hope it’s going to turn out that “Jacob” is nothing, a figurehead or even a nonexistent “person” like Big Brother, and that Ben - the man behind the curtain - is in charge after all.

Could very well be. Ben could be like the fortune teller guy-- the man behind the curtain who made everyone think there was a real Wizard, when if fact there wasn’t one. So if Ben sets himself as the intermediary between “Jacob” and the rest of The Others, then he really is just some guy standing behind a curtain pulling levers.

I like that hypothesis. I say we run with it!

I think that is Ben really is in charge he didn’t make it all up. There was a Jacob at one time but once he died or was killed Ben took over.

Just pulling that out of my ass.

I agree John Mace. Ben is definitely a force to be reckoned with and by convincing his “followers” if you will, that there is someone even more powerful than him he can easily maintain control over them. He (Ben) is the liason between the people and this “godlike” figure. He’s like a Jim Jones or David Koresh. Who, amongst the Others, would really want to destroy him when he is their only link to this all-powerful Jacob? No one that we have seen, except Juliet. If there is no Jacob, she may be the one Other that is aware of this or strongly suspects the deception. I think she is more like the Losties than the Others and the only reason she follows his orders is that she still has hope that he can get her off the island.

That’s all for my garbled barnyard hypothesis.

I don’t think Ben is Jacob. Mikhail and Tom both referred to Jacob as a distinct being, and Mikhail, specifically, seems to have met him - “a magnificent man.” Unless they are part of an inner circle conspiracy with Ben to hide the truth from the rest of the Others (which is, I suppose, possible), Jacob is not Ben.

Not that “Ben is Jacob,” per se, more like: imagine there was a Jacob, a great man and in the end, a good man. And he built this society to accomplish… something… and came to be revered and loved. And people like Mikhail and Tom met him, and revered him like all the others. And there was a little man named Ben, who had been around a long time. Where Jacob was decent and magnificient, Ben was small and physically frail; where Jacob was straightforward, Ben was devious. Ben became Jacob’s second, his trusted friend, because if Ben wants you to think you’re his friend, you will think you’re his friend. Little by little, Ben set up layers of separation between Jacob and the other Others - “it’s better if they think you’re very busy, it will enhance your reputation,” Ben tells Jacob, while decreasing the frequency with which people got to see Jacob in person.

But Ben is also working in the other direction, whispering in Jacob’s ear, making Jacob believe things that aren’t true. Gradually, Jacob removes himself from day-to-day affairs, his commands and desires filtered through his trusted lieutenant Ben. And suddenly, although Jacob thinks he’s in charge and the Others think Jacob’s in charge and Ben will tell anyone who asks that Jacob’s in charge… Ben’s in charge. He’s the man behind the curtain.

That’s my theory, and I’m stickin’ to it.

I think it’s significant that when you spell Jacob backwards you get bocaJ.

OK, I got nuthin’

I’m somewhat surprised no one has mentioned the obvious biblical reference in the names: Benjamin was Jacob’s youngest son in Genesis. On his deathbed, Jacob made the following rather grim pronouncement on Benjamin:

“Benjamin is a ravening wolf, in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he snatches a share of the spoil.” (Genesis 49:27)

Nothing in the Genesis story indicated a problem with Benjamin (for example, he did not participate in his brothers’ plot to sell Joseph into slavery, and twice proved his loyalty to Joseph), so this verse has led to some interesting speculation over the years…

There are so many biblical references it’s hard to keep track of them all. But there’s also a huge Wizard of Oz parallel going on right now. Dorothy went to Oz seeking a way home, but was told she wasn’t worthy and had to prove herself by bringing back the broomstick of the WWotW. Locke was told he wasn’t worthy to join The Others until he proved himself by killing his father, and now he’s bringing the body back as proof. Perhaps he will be shown “Jacob” and realize that it’s actually Ben. Of course, it could be that Jacob is…

…Vincent!! :eek:

“And now, John… I’m going to show you Jacob.”
Ben pulls back curtain
Locke stares at a computer terminal
Computer voice synthesizer: “Hello, Mr. Locke. I… am… Jacob. Would you, like… to play, a game? How about… a nice ga-me of Tic Tac Toe?”

Could be Ben’s twin–Jacob was a twin, after all. I don’t think there’s anything else to suggest that, I’m just sayin. . . I also briefly thought he’d be like the Kuato in Total Recall, but you’d think Jack and the medical Others would know.


“Ben, I need to talk to Jacob about something.”

Ben leaves room, changes his shirt, and comes back in.

“Hey Jacob, I wanted to tell you…nevermind, it’s complicated. I need to talk to Ben.”

‘Jacob’ leaves room, puts old shirt back on.

“Hey Ben…”

It’ll be like the SNL Menendez Brothers skit.


Well, he knows things.

I’ve been craving additional information about Hanso, the deGroots, the Dharma stuff and how it all apparently went wrong or got taken over at some point, if my assumption is correct.
Really hoping for some payoff tonight.

Could Jacob be:

[spoiler]Father deGroot? Not sure of their first names now? Maybe it was Jacob?

Ben Might be his son?[/spoiler]

Allright you sunzabitches, I’m operating on Pacific time. Therefore, it is imperative that nobody post for the next three hours.


Heh – Locke is espousing this theory right away.

And Ben wasn’t born on the island – according to the flashback. It was 30-something miles outside of Portland.

who’s the man now, ben? hmm?

Go Locke! Nice ploy – “Ben’s taking me to see Jacob!” for everybody else to hear.

Locke’s suddenly feeling assertive.