Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the final season of Lost, was how Michael Emerson‘s character, Benjamin Linus, was kicked aside and relegated to the background. Since his introduction as Henry Gale in what?, season 2?, Emerson’s portrayal of Linus was often the best acting work on television.
He crafted a reptilian character, so focused on his own preservation and survival, that things like ethics and morals went right out the door. Often times, it was fascinating to feel our shifting alliances from being repulsed by his actions, to feeling overwhelming sympathy and remorse for his character.
And that was all due to Michael Emerson, who floundered as an actor until his mid-forties until small breaks on Broadway came his way. And yet, it would still be another decade until he landed in the seminal role of Benjamin Linus.
So here’s to preservation and to remembering that everyone has to start somewhere, with this 1992 video starring Michael Emerson in a prison training video. Even in this video it was clear you don’t fuck with Benjamin Linus. Though why this video doesn’t end with Linus saying, “I’m going to kill you” is beyond me.
Random tidbit: Emerson is married to the actress who plays Arlene on HBO’s TrueBlood. I would love to see Emerson play a vampire or sniveling town character on that show.