Cinematically Correct Has Been Diagnosed By Dr. Linus, Results Show Smitten
Sorry about the delay in getting this up this week. It’s my first week at a new job so things have been hectic.
If you are a fan of trying to figure out who the bodies are in the caves, who Flocke really is, is Jacob good or bad, etc…last night’s “Lost” was not for you. Last night was all about character and emotion. Think about it, what really happened that advanced any Island mythology or was all sci-fi-ishly tricked up? Not a whole bunch. However, last night did, I believe, conclude the biggest successful flip from heavy to face in fictional history.
Ben Linus is a good guy.
Think about that. Ben Linus is now good. There’s no debating it at this point. His New Past showed his true colors, but the Ben we’ve come to know and love and/or despise showed those colors long ago. Sure, Ben has done some sleazy things like kidnapping, murder by proxy, hardcore manipulation, among others. But, if Flocke is right about one thing, there isn’t a better person to watch the Island than Ben Linus.
Ben teaching kids about Napoleon and his loss of power…that was probably random. Good God, is that an obvious alert or what? Sure, Ben is fairly short and power hungry, but that’s not the obvious alert. Napoleon was in charge of a tiny island called Elba, which was a tiny piece of nothing. Is our Island just like Elba? Not quite, but I think it just provides more credence to my belief that the Island is in fact a jail for the Man In Black/Smokey/Flocke. Jacob and his candidates are the people chosen to guard the world from him. I’ve said it a ton, so I won’t completely rehash it here.
There were quite a few shocking things that happened in Ben’s New Past. First and foremost is the appearance of EPA Agent Peck as the principal at the high school Ben teaches. There is no confirmation if that man still has no dick. Not surprisingly, he is a jerk to feeble Dr. Linus. It seems like the only people that are nice to Ben in the New Past are Leslie Artz (love seeing him) and the new substitute, John Locke. I wonder if there was something to Locke pushing Ben to want to be principal? Hmm…it sure seemed very Island-John Locke of him, didn’t it?
Second shocker? Ben’s dad, Uncle Rico, is still alive and sort-of kicking. This time around, Ben is caring for him and it seems Roger Linus is Superdad. If you didn’t see the irony in Ben hooking his dad up to an oxygen canister, well, you haven’t been watching “Lost” or paying close enough attention.
Third shocker? Alex is one of Ben’s students? Let’s not even begin to get into the logistics of this actually happening. Does this mean Rousseau never landed on the Island? Was Alex on the Island, then left at some point? I don’t know and can’t even begin to theorize how it could happen.
Turns out, Alex saw Peck and the school nurse doing the horizontal mambo, which she in turn blabs to Ben. As the episode was unwinding, I knew that Ben’s desire for power, even in the New Past, was still somewhat evident. There was no doubt that what Ben did with this new info about Principal Peck was going to be key to his survival on the Island.
Ben decides to blackmail Peck and wants him to resign, but recommend Dr. Linus to take his spot. Turns out, Peck has an ace up his sleeve. If Ben goes through with his blackmail, Peck will torch Alex in her attempts to get into a fancy, shmancy private college. Without a doubt, if Ben went through with it, I knew that he was dead on the Island. For certain.
Thank goodness Ben had second thoughts. He rescinded his blackmail attempt, Alex got a raving recommendation, and Dr. Artz got Ben’s parking spot. If this episode didn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy about Ben Linus, well, check for a pulse because you are heartless. Or you just hate Ben since he has been known to kidnap people. Whatever your opinion of Ben may be, there’s no doubt that his character has undergone a tremendous transformation.
So, why does the New Past make complete sense with what happened on Island? For starters, Ben finally was ratted out as the person that actually killed Jacob. I get the feeling that Ilana knew about “the rules” and deduced that Ben probably did the actual deed. Before I go any further into Ben, there were a few things surrounding Jack, Hurley, and the surprising situation of Richard Alpert.
So Alpert wants to die huh? That kind of makes you think about the curse of immortality. At some point, you would have to feel like there is nothing else for you to do. Now that Richard’s boss is dead, he is feeling a bit hollow. I’m sure that it would make it worse if you spent however many years waiting for an answer from that boss, who now will never give it to you. That’s way more frustrating than HR knowing your boss is going to can you before you do.
After bumping into Jack and Hurley, Richard takes them to the Black Rock. People have long thought that Richard originally came to the Island on that ship and this confirmed it. The surprise is Richard’s aforementioned wish to die. It appears that, just like Michael, Richard is unable to pull the trigger himself. So, in his effort to find a loophole, Richard asks Jack to light up some dynamite and he’s just going to sit there and let himself blow up.
Then…we welcomed in the brand spanking new, faith believer, Jack Shepherd. When Jack plopped down and told Richard about his newfound belief that the Island won’t let him die either, Jack has shown that Ben isn’t the only person changing what we’ve known about him. This season has been a welcome change for Jack since not believing in destiny and/or fate at this point would be pretty ridiculous.
How great was Miles in this episode? He finally got to really let loose on the sarcasm, unfortunately, most of it was aimed at Ben Linus. While he was digging his own grave no less! It was very clever to have Ben offer Miles the cash that Miles once tried to squeeze out of Ben, all the while Ben in the New Past is working his own blackmail scheme. That type of thing may not be a big deal to you, but I really think it’s some great writing on display.
Flocke shows up and lets Ben loose from the ball and chain Ilyana slapped on him. Once again, Flocke wants someone to kill someone else. He sets Ben up with a rifle and tells Ben to come to the Hydra Island to join his team. At this point, I’m still fairly worried whether Ben is really going to make it to next week’s show.
Ben takes off, Ilana chases him, and Ben finds the rifle Flocke left for him and sure enough, he gets the drop on her. Then, Michael Emerson delivers another performance that will guarantee he sees another Emmy nomination. Ben’s tale of the loss of his daughter is heartfelt, touching, and incredibly sad. This should be the turning point for everyone and their feelings on Ben Linus.
If that wasn’t the moment, this line should seal the deal: “Because he is the only one that will have me.”
Even after Ilana accepts Ben’s apology and turns to leave, I was still worried. I feared that Flocke or Smokey would appear and whisk Ben away. When Jack, Hurley, and Richard appeared on the beach, Ben stood by awkwardly and watched friends say hello. He seemed out of place and a bit unsure of himself, like he didn’t know what to do or what was going on. In short, Ben Linus is now a Lostie.
Oh, I guess we know who is coming huh? It looks like Charles Widmore found the Island again. Here’s hoping my favorite Scotsman with strange nosebleeds is on board.