LOST Theories - DarkUFO

Ben's Long Con by Lolost

This is not a “theory about everything,” just one small slice at it pertains to Ben.

Three related quotes:
“How many times do I have to tell you, John, I always have a plan.”
A long con: Make the other person think that what you want them to do is their idea.
“Why don’t you believe me?” “Because you’re speaking.”

Basic theory: Ben knew that he was supposed to kill Jacob. He’s set it up so that MIB thought that it was his idea. Ben kills Locke so he can bring back a dead body for MIB to inhabit. He knew that would happen; Jacob did too. He also knows (as does Llana) that MIB would be locked in Locke’s form. All part of the plan.

Premise: Jacob is two steps ahead of MIB, always has been. Jacob knew that he was going to die – more than that, Jacob knows that he needs to die. No idea why, but Jacob knows. He sought Illana’s help, and basically told her as much by asking her to protect the six candidates. Ben is lying when he says that he never talked to or saw Jacob. It’s part of the con. He’s disappointed that he won’t be able to be the leader on the island anymore (since destiny is fickle), but he still goes along with whatever Jacob wants in order to protect the island.

Supporting ideas:
Before Keamy kills Alex, Ben kept saying to Locke that it was very important that he stay alive during “what’s coming.” Ben needed Locke alive so he could travel off-island and die, per the long con.

Ben goes with Hurley and Locke to the cabin. Ben knows MIB (as Christian) is in there. (On reflection, isn’t it odd that Ben wouldn’t want to go into the cabin with Locke?) During the walk, Ben talks about his destiny, realizing that getting cancer and seeing his daughter die were “meant to happen.”

When told that they have to move the island, Ben makes sure that it’s he who does the moving and not Locke.

He told Locke that if he moves the island, he won’t be allowed to come back. That’s a lie. When we saw Ben move the island, it wasn’t the first time. He’d been off-island many times after turning the wheel. He had checked into that hotel previously as a preferred guest – and my guess is that he’s done so in years long past (based on the clerk’s reaction) through time-traveling; this is the hotel near the FDW drop-off point. He told Locke that he wouldn’t be able to come back to the island as part of the con. Ben knows that MIB will take over Locke’s memories when he comes back.

MIB wants Locke to move the island, not Ben. Ben took it upon himself to move it. He knew exactly where to go, what to do. He’d done it before. He lied to Locke and said that he couldn’t come back if he moved the island – as a way to convince Locke not to do it himself first, and to make Locke believe that he would have to make a sacrifice to never come back to the island if he ever moved it himself.

Ben had to go off-island first, so that he’d be there to bring back the others who had decided to leave. He knew that Jacob needs these candidates on the island, and in the same time. He knew Locke wouldn’t be able to convince them to go back, so he’s needed off-island as part of Jacob’s plan, in order to bring them back. Locke’s not a manipulator; in trying to convince them to come back, he tries to use reason, and they all think that he’s insane. Ben is the master manipulator. Actually, all of the island’s leaders (Ben, Eloise, Widmore) are expert manipulators.

Once Locke said they needed to go to LA to find Eloise Hawking (as told to Locke by Christian before he turned the FDW), Ben killed him. As part of Ben’s plan, he knew that he’d have to kill Locke at some point – but why then? He didn’t want to risk Locke going to see Eloise on his own. It was part of Ben’s “assignment” to bring them all to her so that they could get on that flight, and they needed a proxy for Christian. Ben may have toyed with Locke a little longer, to see if he could help him convince the others that they had to go back, but once he said that he knew about Eloise, Ben nipped that in the bud.

Once dead, Ben mentions to Jill how important it is that she keeps Locke's body safe in the meat locker or everything that they're trying to do would be for nothing.

If it took two seconds for Sawyer to realize that dead Locke was not really Locke, Ben had to have realized this the minute that he woke up after the Ajira flight crashed and saw Locke staring at him. Ben knew he’d have to kill Jacob, but it had to look like Flocke’s idea...and in future conversations, Ben lets MIB believe that it is his idea.

At the end of Dr. Linus, Ben is questioning the meaning of his long con (just as Sawyer almost backed out of his long con on Cassidy but then went ahead with it anyway). I think some part of this is sincere, but that most of it is still a con. He needed to convince Llana that he was redeemed, otherwise she would have killed him. He did this by bringing up something that means a lot to her – Jacob’s death – and manipulated her into keeping him alive (similar to his con of Locke before he was released from the basement that led Ben to say the line, “See you guys at dinner.”).

Ben is “in on it,” just like Eloise and Widmore seem to be. He’s part of the con against MIB, on Jacob’s side, and he’ll have a huge part in the resolution of the war.

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