Ben Lives to Scheme Another Day


Had LOST followed last week’s fantastic “Sundown” with an ep centric to any other character than Ben, I think I would have been disappointed. “Sundown,” one of the series’ darkest installments to date, was a hard act to follow, and while in comparison to previous Ben episodes “Dr. Linus” was only okay, he is such an engaging character and Michael Emerson such a tremendous actor that I was thankfully pleased. While I’m not part of the “REVEAL ALL THE ANSWERS OR I WILL HATE YOUR SHOW FOREVER” crowd, I have to note that little happened in the way of plot last night. I’d also like to point out that chronologically, only one and half days have passed since Juliet detonated Jughead and sent everyone back to 2007, and thus, only a mere week since the Oceanic Six boarded Ajira Flight 316. “Dr. Linus” gave us a lot of teases, most of which I have already spoiled because I am such a great LOST seer. Did I not call Richard coming from the Black Rock? I know it’s not conclusive yet, but they couldn’t possibly have hinted at it any harder. And did I not predict that Widmore was the individual Jacob wanted to come to the Island, the “Wallace” marked down at number 108 on the lighthouse dial? Just wanted to point out how awesome I am before moving on.

“Dr. Linus” was at its heart, a character-driven episode and it was a damn fine one at that. While the flash-sideways was interesting, it wasn’t as compelling as what was happening on Island, especially the last five minutes when Ben apologized for his sins and was accepted as one the Good Guys by Ilana. As my friend Jacob pointed out (not the god-like keeper of the Island, a real person), never before had we as an audience empathized with Ben to such a degree. I’ve felt for him before- he had a shitty childhood, got shot by a crazy, time-traveling Iraqi, is funny-looking and watched his daughter die in front of him. But learning that his central issue was one nearly everyone can relate to- a desire to belong, to be a part of a society and be accepted- was truly touching.

Now for some theorizing:

Widmore

While I correctly predicted Widmore’s return to the Island, I’m not exactly sure what his angle is. I feel he is now one of the good guys and will be working with the pro-Jacob group. But he showed up in a submarine filled with military-type dudes and neglected to announce his arrival to Jack, Ilana and co. What his “plan” is I don’t know, but I imagine it will be equal parts sinister and for the greater good. Widmore’s obviously not a nice guy, but he once served Jacob and I doubt he’s there to provide “Evil Incarnate” with submarine support.

Jacob’s Touch

So yeah, all signs are pointing to Richard being a Black Rock prisoner. But what’s this about Jacob’s touch being a “gift,” presumably the gift of eternal life? Does this apply to everyone Jacob touches? If so, it would mean Jack, Hurley, Kate, Sayid, Jin & Sun will stop aging at some point and live forever provided they don’t seek suicide via unstable dynamite. What about Ben? He was touched by Jacob after stabbing him, does that count? Is it a literal touch, or is it a special kind of touch (I know, that sounds dirty) that Jacob only gives to people every once in a while? It’s all very ambiguous, and knowing LOST it will never be fully explained. If it is, I’d venture to guess we’ll get an answer in March 23rd’s Richard-flashback episode “Ab Aeterno,” which means “eternal life” in Latin.

While it wasn’t the focus of the episode, the scene between Richard and Jack in the Black Rock was excellent, and I’m loving the new Jack. I get the impression that he doesn’t quite believe the idea that he’s special and has a purpose and all that, but since he survived a plane crash, appendicitis, helicopter crash and hydrogen bomb detonation, he must feel a little invincible. And he obviously doesn’t care about his own well-being anymore, so he’s got just a little bit of the crazy in him.

The Island’s Role in the Flash-Sideways

The scene between Ben and a cancer-stricken Roger was so quick I almost didn’t catch the big tidbit of info we learned about the flash-sideways version of the Island. It put to rest my idea that the Island had been underwater for a very long time- it seems to have only been sunk since the 70s. However, the scene did seem to hint at my idea that it wasn’t Jughead that destroyed the Island, as both Ben and Roger were still alive, while in the other universe they were still on Island at the time of the Incident. It seems the Incident may never have happened, at least not in the way we’ve seen it, and Roger & Ben either left the Island after or before the event. Either way, it seems Sayid never shot Ben, which makes sense considering the fact that Oceanic 815 landed safe and sound in the alternate reality. If it never crashed on the Island, then our heroes never would have travelled back in time and detonated Jughead, Ben never would have been shot, etc., etc. Something else must have sunk the Island, and that something may turn out to be the biggest mystery of the season.

Hydra Island

Just something to ponder: why exactly does Smokey want to go to Hydra Island? Do the means for his escape lie there, or is he just trying to get off the main Island, perhaps so he can blow it up/gas it and kill anything left there? Also, don’t forget that last season, Smokey hinted to Richard that he wanted all of the other survivors of Ajira Flight 316 dead. That’s something I doubt Sawyer or Kate will be down for, so I wonder how long their time with the Man in Black will last. Sayid & Claire, though… well… they’re frakkin’ crazy.

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~ by TheHil on March 10, 2010.

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