"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" is the seventh television episode of the fifth season of ABC's Lost. The ninetieth episode of the show overall, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" aired on February 25, 2009 on ABC in the United States, being simulcast on A in Canada. The episode was written by showrunners and executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Jack Bender.
The episode begins an unknown amount of time after the crash of Ajira Airways Flight 316, which took off from Los Angeles in the previous episode, "316", and has crashed on the small island where the Dharma Initiative Hydra Station is located. One of the crash survivors, Caesar (Saïd Taghmaoui), searches an office in the Hydra Station, finding several documents and a sawed-off shotgun. He is interrupted by Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson), who informs him that a man no one remembers seeing on the plane, has been found: John Locke (Terry O'Quinn). Locke explains to Ilana that the last thing he remembers is dying.
The narrative shifts into an extended flashback of Locke's time off the island, since he left it in "This Place is Death". In late 2007, Locke awakens in a desert in Tunisia, where he is brought to a local hospital and visited by Charles Widmore (Alan Dale). Widmore tells Locke that he led the Others until Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) took over and tricked him into leaving the island. Widmore pledges to help Locke reunite the Oceanic Six—Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox), Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly), Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews), Sun-Hwa Kwon (Yunjin Kim), Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia) and Claire Littleton's (Emilie de Ravin) infant, Aaron—in order to bring them back to the island. Widmore gives Locke a fake identity, Jeremy Bentham, and assigns Matthew Abaddon (Lance Reddick) to assist him.
Sayid, Hurley and Kate all refuse to go back to the island after being visited by Locke. Locke also visits Walt Lloyd (Malcolm David Kelley), but decides not to ask him to return to the island because he has been through enough already. Meanwhile, Kate's conversation with Locke leads him to look for his old girlfriend, Helen Norwood (Katey Sagal), who he discovers has died. While visiting her grave, Abaddon is shot and killed; Locke gets into a car accident after he flees the scene in a panic. He awakens in Jack's hospital, where the two once again argue about the island. Before Jack leaves, Locke tells him that his father, Christian Shephard (John Terry), is alive on the island. This greatly upsets Jack, and he leaves. Locke then goes to a hotel, where he attempts to hang himself. Ben, however, shows up and talks Locke down. He admits to shooting Abaddon, claiming it was to protect him. After learning of Locke's plan to seek advice from Eloise Hawking (Fionnula Flanagan) on how to return to the island, Ben kills Locke, making it look like suicide. He then takes Jin-Soo Kwon's (Daniel Dae Kim) wedding ring, which Jin had entrusted to Locke. The narrative returns to the present on the island, where Locke discovers an unconscious Ben among the injured passengers of Flight 316.
This episode and "316" were written at the same time by executive producers Lindelof and Cuse. "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" was originally meant to be aired first, but the order was switched because they felt it made more sense and was "cooler."