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Terry O'Quinn, Lost

ABC/FLORIAN SCHNEIDER

Well, well, well...tonight's episode of Lost certainly had a body count. In addition to some thrilling flashpresents, a visit from a beloved season-one original character and whirlwind tour of the Oceanic Six homesteads, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" also launched the midseason arc: Who are the 316ers, and what will their presence mean for the Losties and for the Island natives? (For the record: All Lost episodes that feature a 747's bleached bones are guaranteed winners.)

Read on to find out what we learned and what's to come for "Jeremy" and his friends...

WHAT WE LEARNED

Locke's Murder: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Ben killed Locke with kindness. OK, technically he killed him with a TV cable, but big picture, I think Ben put down Locke as a favor of sorts, because he either didn't think Locke had the balls to do it or because he doubted Locke's suicide technique--for one thing, that shabby ceiling did not look sturdy enough to hold a grown man's weight. True, Ben took a couple of souvenirs (Jin's wedding ring and the info about Mrs. Hawking), which doesn't speak very well for his possible innocence, but his post-mortem declaration ("I'll miss you John") was unnecessary and therefore likely sincere. Long story short, Ben Linus killing John Locke wasn't just knight takes bishop, it was was part of a larger strategy. Agree? Disagree? Post in the comments.

The New Kids: Did Caesar (Saïd Taghmaoui) and Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson) know each other from before? Or are they merely an odd couple thrown together by circumstance (a late-model Jate or Eko-Lucia)? At this point, especially with Cesear's nosing around through the Dharma documents, I truly hope at least one of the pair is a spy, because speaking just for myself, I don't have any room left in my cold dead heart for hapless castaways. We've all experienced the "baffled innocents in the wilderness" arc twice now, first through the Losties and then with the tailies' other 48 days, and it's simply too grueling an experience to suffer through again without the promise of added value. As such, I'm clinging to Walt's dreams and his report that the 316ers "wanted to hurt you, John." That sounds promising, as far as mythological significance goes...

The First Others: We learned that the original Others, whom Ben gassed to death in his great Purge, were Team Widmore. Widmore also confided that wascally wabbit Ben tricked him into leaving the Island. Wow. Widmore could be lying, but in the hands of Alan Dale you could practically feel the lingering sting of Widmore's humiliation. Can't wait to see that flashback...

Orders of Battle: There is a chain of command in each of the armies facing off in this war, and for those of you mocking up a Widmore-vs.-Linus org chart on your office whiteboard, Matthew Abbadon (Fringe's Lance Reddick) was a soldier for the latter. Hurley thought Abbadon was evil, Locke thought Abbadon was tolerable, and Ben thought Abbadon was a disposable enemy combatant. After getting to know him better, where do you stand? Post in the comments.

Whatchoutalkin' 'Bout Kate? Kate thinks Locke wanted to stay on the Island because...he didn't love anyone? That declaration leads to the following question for those of us who follow Kate's exhausting love life: Whom does she love? Jack, Sawyer, Aaron or all of the above, and how did her love for that guy or guys make her want to leave the Island? The ABC promo suggests we might get some clarity on that issue next week, but it can't come too soon.

Daddy Dearest: Um, if John Locke came back to life on the Island, does that mean Jack and Claire's dad Christian Shepherd (John Terry) was similarly resurrected, back when Oceanic 815 crashed on Sept. 22, 2004? The mind boggles...

Wheelie: Does anyone understand the significance of Locke being the most broken-legged guy ever? Over and over again he reverts to a state of crippled incapacity, but what does that mean

The Missing Canoe: The pilot and a female made off with one of the dugout canoes, so that's got to be...Frank and Sun? Or Frank and someone else?

Sad: Poor Walt doesn't know his dad's dead. In retrospect, they had an emotionally asymmetric relationship and not enough time together. Walt's blaise attitude about his missing dad is tragic and authentic. (Speaking of Walt, we'll be talking to Malcolm David Kelley tomorrow so if you have Q's for the Island's favorite son, email tvdiva@eonline.com and we'll try to get you answers!)

Brisk: Compliments to the Lost team for making these season-five episodes positively fly by. Lost is as convoluted and dense as any other show on TV, but it's positively whipping through story, and that's a good thing.

NOTABLE QUOTES

"That's the exit." --Charles Widmore

"WAAAAAAALT!" --For old time's sake

"Am I talking to a guy in a wheelchair?" --Hurley

"He's the man who killed me." --John Locke about Ben Linus

WHAT'S TO COME

Jin and Sun Will Reunite and It Will Feel So Good? But I'm now hearing that it won't be until at least the end of the current season. Wah! Originally, I had heard the plan was for the reunion to take place earlier than that, but alas, we're gonna have to wait for the warm fuzzies when Ji-Yeon's Mommy and Daddy reunite.