Season: 4, Episodes: 1, Faction: N/A
A London doorman worked at a building where Charles Widmore resided in the penthouse.
4×09 – The Shape of Things to Come
When Ben visited London after the rescue of the Oceanic 6, he was surprised when Ben claimed to be there to visit a Mr. and Mrs. Kendrick in 4E because it was so late at night. Ben offered to wait while the doorman called the room to verify his visit (though, unseen by the doorman, Ben was holding a telescopic baton to attack him in case he did call), but the doorman let him go with no further questions.
Ben then picked the lock inside the elevator and travelled up to the penthouse where he confronted Charles Widmore over the death of his daughter. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
Related Character Images
“4”E (Apartment Number)
When Ben visited Widmore at his building he was stopped by the Doorman. Ben told him he was expected at apartment 4E.
#4 (John Locke’s Candidate Number)
Each potential candidate for Jacob’s replacement was assigned a number, John Locke was assigned the number 4. Before surrendering to the Mercenaries at the Orchid Station Ben gave Locke his telescopic baton to hold onto. He took back the baton from Locke before he moved the Island and was reincarnated back into the “real world”.
Osiris (John Locke) was the Ancient Egyptian ‘God of the Underworld’
Decoded Season 2 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
Theseus was the mythical founder-king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, both of whom Aethra had slept with in one night. Theseus was a founder-hero, like Perseus, Cadmus, or Hercules, all of whom battled and overcame foes that were identified with an archaic religious and social order. As Hercules was the Dorian hero, Theseus was the Athenian founding hero, considered by them as their own great reformer: his name comes from the same root as θεσμός (“thesmos”), Greek for institution. He was responsible for the synoikismos (“dwelling together”)—the political unification of Attica under Athens, represented emblematically in his journey of labours, subduing highly localized ogres and monstrous beasts. Because he was the unifying king, Theseus built and occupied a palace on the fortress of the Acropolis that may have been similar to the palace that was excavated in Mycenae. Pausanias reports that after the synoikismos, Theseus established a cult of Aphrodite Pandemos (“Aphrodite of all the People”) and Peitho on the southern slope of the Acropolis.
In The Frogs, Aristophanes credited him with inventing many everyday Athenian traditions. If the theory of a Minoan hegemony is correct, he may have been based on Athens’ liberation from this political order rather than on an historical individual.
Plutarch’s vita of Theseus makes use of varying accounts of the death of the Minotaur, Theseus’ escape and the love of Ariadne for Theseus, in order to construct a literalistic biography, a vita. Plutarch’s sources, not all of whose texts have survived independently, included Pherecydes (mid-sixth century BC), Demon (ca 300 BC), Philochorus and Cleidemus (both fourth century BC).
Aegeus, one of the primordial kings of Athens, found a bride, Aethra who was the daughter of king Pittheus at Troezen, a small city southwest of Athens. On their wedding night, Aethra waded through the sea to the island Sphairia that rests close to the coast and lay there with Poseidon (god of the sea and earthquakes). By the understanding of sex in antiquity, the mix of semen gave Theseus a combination of divine as well as mortal characteristics in his nature; such double fathers one father immortal, one mortal, was a familiar feature of Greek heroes. When Aethra became pregnant, Aegeus decided to return to Athens. But before leaving, he buried his sandals and sword under a huge rock and told her that when their son grew up, he should move the rock, if he were hero enough, and take the tokens for himself as evidence of his royal parentage. At Athens, Aegeus was joined by Medea, who had fled Corinth after slaughtering the children she had borne Jason, and had taken up a new consort in Aegeus. Priestess and consort together represented the old order at Athens.
Thus Theseus was raised in the land of his mother. When Theseus grew up and became a brave young man, he moved the rock and recovered his father’s arms. His mother then told him the truth about his father’s identity and that he must take the weapons back to the king and claim his birthright. To get to Athens, Theseus could choose to go by sea (which was the safe way) or by land, following a dangerous path around the Saronic Gulf, where he would encounter a string of six entrances to the Underworld, each guarded by a chthonic enemy. Young, brave and ambitious, Theseus decided to go alone by the land route, and defeated a great many bandits along the way.
The Six Entrances of the Underworld
- At the first site, which was Epidaurus, sacred to Apollo and the healer Asclepius, Theseus turned the tables on the chthonic bandit, the “clubber” Periphetes, who beat his opponents into the Earth, and took from him the stout staff that often identifies Theseus in vase-paintings. At the time, Theseus was called the Mother Dog for many reasons.
- At the Isthmian entrance to the Underworld was a robber named Sinis often called “Pityokamptes” (“he who bends Pinetrees”). He would capture travellers, tie them between two pine trees which were bent down to the ground, and then let the trees go, tearing his victims apart. Theseus killed him by his own method. He then raped Sinis’s daughter, Perigune, fathering the child Melanippus.
- In another deed north of the Isthmus, at a place called Crommyon, he killed an enormous pig, the Crommyonian sow, bred by an old crone named Phaea. Some versions name the sow herself as Phaea. Apollodorus described the Crommyonian sow as an offspring of Typhon and Echidna.
- Near Megara an elderly robber named Sciron forced travellers along the narrow cliff-face pathway to wash his feet. While they knelt, he kicked them off the cliff behind them, where they were eaten by a sea monster (or, in some versions, a giant turtle). Theseus pushed him off the cliff.
- Another of these enemies was Cercyon, king at the holy site of Eleusis, who challenged passers-by to a wrestling match and, when he had beaten them, killed them. Theseus beat Cercyon at wrestling and then killed him instead. In interpretations of the story that follow the formulas of Frazer’s The Golden Bough, Cercyon was a “year-King”, who was required to do an annual battle for his life, for the good of his kingdom, and was succeeded by the victor. Theseus overturned this archaic religious rite by refusing to be sacrificed.
- The last bandit was Procrustes, the Stretcher, who had two beds, one of which he offered to passers-by in the plain of Eleusis. He then made them fit into it, either by stretching them or by cutting off their feet. Since he had two beds of different lengths, no one would fit. Theseus turned the tables on Procrustes, cutting off his legs and decapitating him with his own axe.
Each of these sites was a very sacred place already of great antiquity when the deeds of Theseus were first attested in painted ceramics, which predate the literary texts.
Medea and the Marathonian Bull,
Androgeus and the Pallantides
When Theseus arrived at Athens, he did not reveal his true identity immediately. Aegeus gave him hospitality but was suspicious of the young, powerful stranger’s intentions. Aegeus’s wife Medea recognized Theseus immediately as Aegeus’ son and worried that Theseus would be chosen as heir to Aegeus’ kingdom instead of her son Medus. She tried to arrange to have Theseus killed by asking him to capture the Marathonian Bull, an emblem of Cretan power.
On the way to Marathon, Theseus took shelter from a storm in the hut of an ancient woman named Hecale. She swore to make a sacrifice to Zeus if Theseus were successful in capturing the bull. Theseus did capture the bull, but when he returned to Hecale’s hut, she was dead. In her honor Theseus gave her name to one of the demes of Attica, making its inhabitants in a sense her adopted children.
When Theseus returned victorious to Athens, where he sacrificed the Bull, Medea tried to poison him. At the last second, Aegeus recognized the sandals, shield, and sword, and knocked the poisoned wine cup from Theseus’s hand. Thus father and son were reunited, and Medea, it was said, fled to Asia.
When Theseus had appeared in the town, his reputation had preceded him, having travelled along the notorious coastal road from Troezen and slain some of the most feared bandits there. It was not long before the Pallantides’ hopes of succeeding the apparently childless Aegeus would be lost if they did not get rid of Theseus (the Pallantides were the sons of Pallas and nephews of King Aegeus, who were then living at the royal court in the sanctuary of Delphic Apollo). So they set a trap for him. One band of them would march on the town from one side while another lay in wait near a place called Gargettus in ambush. The plan was that once Theseus, Aegeus and the palace guards had been forced out the front, the other half would surprise them from behind. However, Theseus was not fooled. Informed of the plan by a herald named Leos, he crept out of the city at midnight and surprised the Pallantides. “Theseus then fell suddenly upon the party lying in ambush, and slew them all. Thereupon the party with Pallas dispersed,” Plutarch reported
Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, had several children before the Minotaur. The eldest of these, Androgeus, set sail for Athens to take part in the Pan-Athenian games which were held there every five years. Being strong and skillful, he did very well, winning some events outright. He soon became a crowd favorite, much to the resentment of the Pallantides and they assassinated him, incurring the wrath of Minos.
When King Minos had heard of what befell his son, he ordered the Cretan fleet to set sail for Athens. Minos asked Aegeus for his son’s assassins, and if they were to be handed to him, the town would be spared. However, not knowing who they were, King Aegeus surrendered the whole town to Minos’ mercy. His retribution was that, at the end of every Great Year (seven solar years), the seven most courageous youths and the seven most beautiful maidens were to board a boat and be sent as tribute to Crete, never to be seen again.
In another version, King Minos of Crete had waged war with the Athenians and was successful. He then demanded that, at nine-year intervals, seven Athenian boys and seven Athenian girls were to be sent to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster that lived in the Labyrinth created by Daedalus.
On the third occasion, Theseus volunteered to slay the monster. He took the place of one of the youths and set off with a black sail, promising to his father, Aegeus, that if successful he would return with a white sail. Like the others, Theseus was stripped of his weapons when they sailed. On his arrival in Crete, Ariadne, King Minos’ daughter, fell in love with Theseus and, on the advice of Daedalus, gave him a ball of thread. This was so he could find his way out of the Labyrinth. That night, Ariadne escorted Theseus to the Labyrinth, and Theseus promised that if he returned from the Labyrinth he would take Ariadne with him. As soon as Theseus entered the Labyrinth, he tied one end of the ball of string to the door post and brandished his sword which he had kept hidden from the guards inside his tunic. Theseus followed Daedalus’ instructions given to Ariadne; go forwards, always down and never left or right. Theseus came to the heart of the Labyrinth and also upon the sleeping Minotaur. The beast awoke and a tremendous fight then occurred. Theseus overpowered the Minotaur with his strength and stabbed the beast in the throat with his sword (according to one scholium, Theseus strangled it on Pindar’s Fifth Nemean Ode).
After decapitating the beast, Theseus used the string to escape the Labyrinth and managed to escape with all of the young Athenians and Ariadne as well as her younger sister Phaedra. On the return journey Theseus abandoned Ariadne on the island of Naxos. In other versions of the story, the god Dionysus appeared to Theseus and told him that he had already chosen Ariadne for his bride, and to abandon her on Naxos, a favorite island. Ariadne then cursed Theseus to forget to change the black sail to white. Seeing a black sail, Theseus’ father Aegeus committed suicide by throwing himself into the sea (hence named Aegean). Theseus and the other Athenian youths returned safely. Theseus returned safely back as a king of heroes.