3.20 "The Man Behind the Curtain"

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Episode Title: The Man Behind the Curtain

Flashback: Ben

Episode Number: Season 3, Episode 20
Air Date: 5/9/07


"'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. Guest starring are M.C. Gainey as Mr. Friendly/Tom, Tania Raymonde as Alex, Andrew Divoff as Mikhail, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Marsha Thomason as Naomi, Sterling Beaumon as young Ben, Jon Gries as Roger Linus, Carrie Preston as Emily, Doug Hutchison as Horace, Samantha Mathis as Olivia and Madeline Carroll as Annie. "The Man Behind the Curtain" was written by Elizabeth Sarnoff & Drew Goddard and directed by Bobby Roth." (ABC Press Release 4/23/07)

OMG Moments:

  • Ben shot John!
  • Ben helped to kill all of the Dharma Initiative people, including his own father!
  • We "see" Jacob. ( If you watch the episode closely enough, you will see right after Ben is pushed back against the wall, the camera pans to the right and we see a very quick glimpse of Jacob)
  • Jack, along with Juliet appears to be working for the good of the survivors

New Clues:

  • With Richard being on the island before Ben, and Ben's mother being there, could this be signs of clones?
    • Ben's vision of his mom is no different than any other 815 survivor's 'visions' when in the jungle, plus, the producers explicitly said there are no clones -- sorry.
  • Did anyone see the sign with "Portland" where Roger ran through the woods? J
    • Yeah, and Ben admitted he wasn't born on the island.
  • Jacob is real and talked to John.


  • Do ghosts exist on the island?
  • Why does Ben want to know what "Jacob" said to Locke so much?
    • Maybe because of his fears that Locke will become the next "other" leader.
  • Whose that brown eye we see right after the scene when we see Jacob?
    • Remember the eyes of Locke and Ben are blue, I must assume it's Jacob's.
  • Has Ben never heard Jacob speak? Is he mad because Locke has heard Jacob and he hasn't?
    • Jacob has never spoken to Ben, and yes, Ben is mad about it.
  • Why doesn't Richard age? And yes that was him in the jungle when Ben was still a boy.
    • Jacob gave him the gift of living forever in the episode "Ab Aeterno."
  • Do the Natives have special qualities, given how special the Island itself is?! Could Ethan also be a Native - he seemed pretty ageless in the flashbacks and he and Richard are the only people who move to and from the Island.
    • Ethan was born on the island as a member of the Dharma Initiative in the 1970s. He does age. Richard's ageless quality was a gift from Jacob. It does not appear that any other Others have these special qualities.
  • Will Jacob "help" John?
  • What was the powder that Ben stepped over and John sniffed?
    • It's a powder that the smoke monster cannot cross. Since the smoke monster and Jacob are enemies, it keeps him safe in his cabin.
  • How did that one canister that Ben opened "purge" the entire island (It didn't)? Or did the "natives" unleash an assault with multiple canisters?
    • I think they used more than one canister, but I could be wrong. Anubis 5/10/07
    • It is quite obvious that with the help of the "natives", the Dharma Initiative was "purged". As you could see, the one can Ben opened, only released the toxins inside the van, therefore making it unrealistic for the toxins to escape the van let alone the entire island. Kyle 5/10/07
  • Was the cassette shown to Juliet in real-time?
  • Why does Jacob need Locke's help?
  • What happened to Ben little girlfriend? Do we see her grown up just before the purge?
  • Will John Locke die in that pit or will the island save/spare him as it did Mikhail?
    • Locke survives because he was shot in the space where his kidney was (the one his dad stole). Mikhail was not "spared," the fence was just not set to a lethal level.
  • Could the Island Natives (those who were there before the Dharma Initiative) be aliens? Is the perimeter "fence" a line between heaven and hell? Does anyone think the Island may be purgatory?
    • Prodcers have said they are alive -- not spirits.
  • Why was Ben so insistent that Locke kill his father?
    • Technically Locke did not kill his father... this may be his saving grace.
      • Ben killed his father - very odd parallel or possibly just a fluke.
    • I think the reason for having Locke kill his father is that Ben knew from his records that his father was Lockes number 1 weakness. It was a way of Ben to keep Locke at bay, at least for awhile. AlexFSU6 9-20-07
  • If Ben set out to kill all the members of the Dharma Initiative why was Kelvin Inman spared?
    • We know Ben monitored all the stations from Pearl.
  • Was Kelvin an Other in the same vein as Mikhail? Was he repairing Desmond's boat for reasons other than the ones he gave?
    • Kelvin was not initially a member of Dharma, as he worked for the government (we saw this in an earlier Sayid episode). It is likely he arrived after the purge.
  • Does Jacob have something to do with the smoke monster, maybe Ben's mom was a version of the smoke monster like Yemi (Ecko's brother) appeared to be?
    • Jacob and the smoke monster are enemies. The appearance of Ben's mom was most likely the smoke monster.
  • Did anyone notice the resemblance that Jacob has to the picture of Alvar Hanso on the hanso foundation website?
  • Jon Gries as Roger Linus. Was Roger "Workman" Ben's brother?
    • Close, but no cigar. Roger was none other than Ben's father. Is the title "The Man Behind the Curtain" a reference to the wizard of Oz? In that case, is it all fake?
      • Good call to WoO reference, you called it almost spot on!)
  • Ben is in some of the flashbacks at the airport (as a bag checker) and yet is also on the island when the plane crashes? Are there two Bens?
    • The "flashback" with Ben as a bag checker is actually a hallucination that Locke had when he was in his sweat lodge. Boone is pushing Locke around the airport and everything he sees is representative of the state of things on the Island. Ben a security guard checking Jack, Kate, and Sawyer because at that point the others have them and they are out of Locke's reach. Ben was never actually in the airport.
  • Is Richard Albert a messenger?
    • Yes, Jacob hires Richard as his messenger in the episode "Ab Aeterno."
  • Is John Locke going to be the next leader of the Others? If so, then how is this going to "help" Jacob?
    • He does become the leader, but briefly. Then he, Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Dan, and Charlotte experience repeated time flashes. To make them stop, Locke leaves the island, where he is then killed by Ben.


Carrie Preston, guest starring as "Emily" is Michael Emerson's real life wife. With news from the official podcast that we're going to find out that Ben has loved someone before.
  • Could this be method casting?
    • She was his mother.


Annie is the younger sister of Ben but was killed in The Purge. (Sorry, she isn't.) Alex is there, but Rousseau isn't. Maybe it is Alex who will use the dynamite (the whole crate!) Ben's flashback? wait wait wait... Ben's claims that he was born on this island. Now we know that it is impossible to give birth on the island. Or Ben's mother was already pregnant when she arrived on the island? Still we know that it is probably impossible to leave the island, but some people outside know about it so they can bring in food and supplies. [NOTE: Ben might have come there as a child (son of a Dharma employee). It's reasonable to claim you've lived somewhere all your life if you've lived there 40 to 45 out of 50 years. And remember what a liar he is.] (Plus, if you watched the episode, you know that Ben was born outside Portland.)

  • How did they clean that picture up like that?
    • I'm assuming Photoshop or something like that, you can do some pretty amazing stuff with those programs. HomerJ
  • It seems obvious to me that Jacob is the man who offered th job to Roger and brought Roger and Ben to the island.
    • The "Help me" voice sounds a lot like Inman
    • Do you mean Goodspeed? Then how do you explain Ben seeing him dead on the bench and closing his eyes? I don't think Jacob is Goodspeed, Pickett or anyone else we've met to this point.

Information On Jacob
Jacob is a man formally known as Jacob Deyer. He was a crewman on board the ship known as Black Rock. This ship was captained by Magnus Hanso. His 1st mate was Alexander Widmore and 2nd mate Clifford Widmore. Jacob Deyer had no authority on board the ship he was just a simple crewman.
There are theories saying that Jacob is Richard Alpert but I believe Richard Alpert is Richard Alpert and Jacob is Jacob Deyer. However Richard appears not to age so what if he is Jacob under a different name for his protection? Well it seems like Jacob can't leave the island, he seems too weak, hence hiding out in his love shack.
-Flyboy Madman

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Enea_ Roger Linus 2 Sep 8 2007, 8:55 AM EDT by Enea_
Thread started: Sep 7 2007, 8:36 PM EDT  Watch
Isnt Roger the dead man Hurley found in the car?
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BenGman Jacob 0 Jul 9 2007, 11:38 AM EDT by BenGman
Thread started: Jul 9 2007, 11:38 AM EDT  Watch
That cleared up picture does look like Pickett, but he's dead. I think Jacob is Locke's brother because in The Brig, Locke's dad implied that he has 2 (or maybe more) smart children.
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donpicoro Jacob is brown eyed 2 Jun 29 2007, 10:39 AM EDT by moopie4815162342
Thread started: Jun 3 2007, 1:28 PM EDT  Watch
Did anyone notice a fullscreen brown eye right after we see Jacob??? (Remember jhon and Ben are blue eyed.)
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