Thursday, March 11, 2010

S6Ep7 - Dr. Linus

Hello my dear friends -

My husband returned home from a Bulls game late Tuesday night, took one look at me and said, "What's the matter?" I'm one of those people whose face betrays a good, hard crying session looong after the tears have stopped. "Oh, it's Lost," I replied, feeling kind of silly. "Did something bad happen?" he asked. "No... it was just really, really good," I sniffed, getting all choked up again.

I don't know about you guys, but for me, the best Lost episodes are the ones that feel like a blow to the gut and leave me reaching for the Kleenex. I was doing so very early on this past Tuesday night -- from the moment AlternaLocke waved his hand at Ben and said, "I'm listenin'," to be exact.

So yes, I loved "Dr. Linus." It's either my favorite installment of Season Six so far, or tied with "LAX Part 1," I haven't made up my mind yet. But before we get into this Ben-centric hour, allow me to revisit a Ben-centric question I raised in my last write-up, which many of you were kind enough to answer. I had been wondering what the deal was with the weird case he took from the vent in the hotel room last season, and it seems the consensus is that the case concealed the gun he later used to shoot Desmond at the pier. Ben wouldn't have wanted Jack to come across it, hence its position in the vent. Thanks, everyone! I always love it when I can cross a mystery off of my list.

OK, now onto this week's show. We'll start with the flashes.


Wink-wink shout-outs to the Island and Napoleon kicked things off as Dr. Linus wrapped up a history class. Moments later, he faced the indignity of being assigned to watch over detention sessions for a week by a budget-slashing Principal Reynolds. I was hoping we'd see some sort of John Hughes-inspired Breakfast Club-ish scenes, but thankfully what we got was so much better. Ben sulked back to the teacher's lounge, started a bitch session with Leslie Arzt, and then was surprised to hear the new guy, Locke, chime in with a very logical solution: "Just sounds like you care about this place. And if the man in charge doesn't, then maybe it's time for a change."

Now, I could write for a long time about all of the parallels between the flashes and what we've seen go down on the Island, but since I think they were pretty darn obvious, all I'll say instead is that the main reason I enjoyed this episode so much is because I found it absolutely brilliant that the writers were able to replicate Ben's political struggles on the Island in a high school setting. And I especially loved that it was Locke who planted the seed in Ben's head about making a power play.


Locke's "I'm listenin'" was Kleenex grab moment #1, and realizing that I was staring at Really Old Roger and his son who cared dearly for him was Kleenex grab moment #2. I'm sure you all caught the irony of Ben helping to keep his father comfortable/alive by changing out his oxygen tank, whereas on the Island he killed him with poisonous gas. Even though I was all quivery-lipped during this segment, I didn't miss the huge piece of info that Roger doled out: namely, that they DID go to the Island and had been in Dharma for a bit before leaving.

Since we're 39% done with the season at this point, I'm taking things at face value and interpreting Roger's words to mean that the flash sideways are what many of us thought they were all along -- a depiction of what would've happened had the plan Faraday put in motion WORKED. Now, I still don't think this means that Jughead had to have blown up the Island, especially since we saw the statue and the Barracks pretty much in one piece at the bottom of the ocean in "LAX Part 1." But I do think it means that something the Losties did back then set off a chain of events that ended with everyone having to leave the Island because it sank, and I would guess that that point in time was not much later than 1977. So everything that happened until 1977 was the same as it had always been, and then the timelines split.

I have read all of the reasons why that would mean that the Losties could have never time-traveled in the alternate timeline and whatnot, but I'm siding with all of the countering reasons that prove that Losties did still make their time jumps -- like the fact that in the enhanced version of "What Kate Does" it states that Ethan (as in, Dr. Goodspeed who was taking care of Claire in LA) was born on the Island in 1977. If Sawyer hadn't been on the Island in 1974 to save Shifty Amy (Ethan's mom) from being killed by the Others, there would've been no Ethan. No need to try to convince me otherwise because -- not to sound glib like Matt Lauer -- but I really don't care too much about these arguments. I'm going with what's easiest for millions of Lost fans who do NOT read message boards to be able to swallow, and to me that's a simple branch of events in 1977, caused by Faraday's plan. I'm sticking with this theory until something on the show proves otherwise, in which case I will gladly believe something else!


Then Ben gets a knock on the door and we're all like, "Oh crap, who's THAT?" I was not expecting Alex to be standing there, and for a moment I was confused that she was somehow his daughter in this timeline. But no, she was one of his History Club nerds trying to figure out why he didn't show up for their meeting. Once Ben learned that she was freaking out about her upcoming AP test, he offered to help her study the next morning.

While they were going over materials, Alex let it slip that the school's principal was a pervy perv who did pervy things with the pervy nurse who was not his wife. From that very second I saw the wheels turning in Ben's head, as I'm sure you did, too. But Alex made him promise not to say or do anything, because she needed a letter of recommendation from Reynolds in order to get into Yale. She explained that she had no chance of being accepted otherwise, and mentioned how her mom had to work two jobs to pay their rent and whatnot. Let's just pause for a moment and consider our favorite Crazy French Chick working at, say, an office. Or maybe being a greeter at The Olive Garden. What kind of job could she hold down, really? I want a flash dedicated to that!

But back to Ben. He called upon Arzt to help him out with his blackmail scheme -- who knew Arzt was an expert hacker? I love it. Except that Ben's plan didn't go exactly the way he'd imagined it would. Principal Reynolds one-upped him by threatening to "torch Ms. Rousseau and her future." What was Dr. Linus gonna do?

I'll tell you what I thought he was going to do. I thought he was going to still go through with his threats, usurp the principal's spot and then get his old pal Widmore to ensure Alex was accepted to Yale. All I could think was that if an ultra-snob, high society goddess like Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl couldn't finagle her way into Yale, a rec letter from some random high school principal wasn't gonna cut it for Alex, and so Ben would have to call upon his successful businessman friend from the Island to get the job done. Remember that Ben and Widmore did meet in 1977 after Young Ben had been shot by Sayid and was recuperating after his visit to the Temple, and at that point Widmore had promised Ben that even though he'd have to return to Dharmaville, he could still consider himself an Other. If everyone was forced off of the Island shortly after that point (and survived), I figured Ben and Widmore might have kept in touch. And maybe that still could be the case, but alas, it didn't come into play in this episode.


Things didn't pan out the way I figured they would at all. Ben did the noble thing and put aside his desire for power in order to help secure a brighter future for his favorite student. Arzt wasn't happy about not getting his coveted parking spot next to the maple tree, but was slightly mollified when Ben offered up his spot instead. The final scene of the flash segments showed Ben watching a super-excited Alex leaving the principal's office, giddy about his over-the-top letter for her. And all was well. So in this version of events, I think it's safe to assume that Ben did save Alex. Sniff.

But the sob-fest's not over! On to the Island...


The subset of "good guys" were hauling butt through the jungle, and Ben was able to quickly rejoin Ilana & Co after escaping the Temple. But Ilana smelled a rat and put Miles to work with Jacob's ash, demanding to know how "the closest thing she had to a father" died. (I love how everyone's finally taking advantage of Miles' abilities so late in the game, by the way.) For a second there I thought that Miles was going to protect Ben and then use his newfound knowledge as leverage over him later, but instead he chose to tell the truth. Ben was now in deep doo-doo.

He really had no choice but to continue on with the group, though, and back at the beach camp he made a halfhearted attempt to discredit Miles, but Ilana was having none of it. Good ol' Lapidus was still willing to make small talk with Ben, however, and I really dug their conversation about how the Island "still got Lapidus in the end." I think it's fair to say that in the original timeline, if the Island wants you, it's gonna get you... and -- as we saw later with the Jack/Richard scene -- it's not going to let you go until its business with you is finished. However, in the split-off timeline, characters are making different decisions when the power of the Island (and Jacob... and the Man in Black) isn't there to nudge them one way or the other. Interesting.

But before Ben could become any more nostalgic about the good ol' days of the Oceanic 815 crash, he was chained to a tree and ordered to dig his own grave. To make matters worse, Miles informed him that the last thing Jacob thought before he died was that he hoped he was wrong about Ben. Somebody get this guy some ice cream! He's had a bad, bad day.


On cue, Sun tells Ilana that she needs to find her husband. For once the response Sun received wasn't "WE KNOW ALREADY -- GOOD GOD, WOMAN!!!", but rather, "I need to find him even more than you do, honey." Ilana explained that she had to protect both of the Kwons because she didn't know which of them was meant to be a candidate. Then she went on to tell Sun what a candidate was, and stated that there were six of them left.

So in my mind we've got Jack, Hurley, Sawyer (because Ilana doesn't know he's with Fake Locke) and one of the Kwons. Who are the fifth and sixth? She's probably no longer counting Sayid since she knows he murdered Dogen and Lennon (speaking of those guys, I forgot to mention in my last post that I wouldn't be surprised if they showed up again thanks to whatever it was Jacob was shown pouring into the spring at the beginning of "Lighthouse"). Is she considering Lapidus a candidate since she mentioned as much to Bram last season? Who knows. Hell, I think Vincent's the best candidate at this point. (Speaking of... what happened to HIM and Rose and Bernard after the Jughead incident? Are they still at their Retirement Hut By the Sea?)


Let's break from the beach camp for a moment to check in with Hurley and Jack. They slept by the lighthouse and now Jack's all hyper about getting to the Temple. Since Hurley knows that bad things were headed that-a-way thanks to his chat with Jacob, he's doing everything he can to stall. Eventually they run into Ageless Richard, who tells them he'll help them out -- but he lied! Instead he took them to the Black Rock and we finally got confirmation that this is indeed how he came to the Island, and the "chains" Fake Locke was referring to back at the statue were the ones that held Richard captive on the ship. We also learned (though Richard had alluded to this point before) that it was Jacob's touch that made him immortal. I was really hoping we'd get a Richard-centric episode of some sort in the future, but now I feel like we probably won't because we pretty much know his background. Boo.

Anyway, Richard had had it UP TO HERE with Jacob and his promises, and now that the Island's protector is dead, Richard wants to check out, too. But he explains that he is unable to kill himself, so if Jack could oblige him by lighting a stick of dynamite and sending him the way of Arzt, he'd very much appreciate it.

Hurley wants to check both of these guys into Santa Rosa and decides to get while the gettin's good. Jack, on the other hand, has grown quite cocky since finding out about Jacob's mirror apparatus and is like, "Sure, I'll blow you up!" and lights the fuse. Richard starts panicking when Jack refuses to scram, and that's when the Mad Doctor breaks it down for the Ageless One: Neither of them is going to die because Jacob wouldn't have gone to all of the trouble of making Richard immortal and watching Jack since he was a kid if they were simply meant to go ka-boom. And sure enough, the fuse fizzles out. (There's a sick part of me that thinks it would've been hilarious if the dynamite DID explode, though. Cut to Hurley shaking his head a mile away, staring up at the flames from the Black Rock. "I told you, dudes.")


Back at the beach, Ben was pretty darn close to finishing his grave when he heard the sounds of Smokey and turned to find Fake Locke standing there. Once again, Fake Locke makes a character a selfish deal. "Come with me and you can be the king of the Island." He promised Sawyer a chance to leave, he promised Sayid a reunion with what he loves most, and he promised Claire she'd get Aaron back. The clamp on Ben's ankle magically falls open, and Fake Locke instructs Ben that he best make a run for it and grab the rifle that's a ways out in the clearing.. and when he gets there, to not hesitate in shooting Ilana. He also tells Ben that his plan is to go to the Hydra, which means that we'll soon get to see who it was that the time-traveling Losties shot while they were caught in the huge rainstorm in the outriggers last season. Remember that?

Fake Locke leaves, Ben thinks everything over for a minute and then makes a mad dash for the clearing. Did anyone else laugh when he chucked that didgeridoo-looking bamboo shovel into the air and busted out? I did.

He runs, runs, runs... finds the gun and turns it on Ilana. Now, since we'd been reminded by Richard that Jacob's touch is magical, and since we know that Jacob had on gloves when he visited Ilana in the hospital back in the day, I was pretty sure she was a goner. Instead, Ben told her that he wanted to explain himself, and went on to deliver the mother of all moving speeches. Cue the water works once again. And color me surprised when Ilana's response to Ben's insistence that Fake Locke was the only one who'd have him was, "I'll have you." Superb, superb scene.


I wasn't sure what Ben was going to do, but was relieved when he chose to follow Ilana back to the beach. Moments later, after we see that Miles has indeed dug up some of Nikki and Paulo's diamonds, Jack, Hurley and Richard come 'round the bend in yet another slo-mo sequence that had me in pieces. I don't know what was going on with me Tuesday night, but I was a freakin' mess. Seeing Hurley and Sun, and then Jack and Sun reunite was almost more than I could handle. Lord help me when we get to the BIG Jin/Sun reunion.

I felt badly for both Ben and Richard because they were each standing there with no one to give them a hug. They certainly weren't going to hug each other after what Ben pulled at the statue. It's going to be interesting to see how this random group gets along. Who'd have ever thought the remaining band of Good Guys would consist of Ben, Richard, Miles, Lapidus, Ilana, Hurley, Sun and Jack? Craziness.

Then all of a sudden the camera perspective changed and dammit if the sub's periscope didn't emerge from the ocean. Yep, someone was on his way to the Island, just like Jacob predicted, and the man in question was Widmore. Unless Jacob was talking about somebody else, which is of course entirely possible. Either way, Widmore's almost there, and the fact that our Losties were all shown in tinted red cross-hairs might lead you to believe that the sub crew was planning to blow them all to smithereens or something. I doubt a firefight is going to start, but I also don't think Widmore's up to any good. Let's discuss, shall we?


If Widmore wasn't the person Jacob said was coming to the Island, then my money's on Desmond. But if Widmore was who Jacob had in mind, does that mean Widmore is "good"? All of the evidence points to Widmore NOT being good. Here are some important things to consider:

- First and foremost, Widmore sent the freighter to the Island, was the one who gave Keamy and crew their orders, and therefore is responsible for Alex's death. Throw whatever other evidence you have at me, but I'm going to have a hard time believing that the guy who killed an innocent sixteen-year-old girl simply because she was the daughter of his nemesis could be anything but evil.
- Widmore tried to get Sun to kill Ben.
- Widmore encouraged Alive Locke to get everyone to go back to the Island. Now that we know what we know, we could infer that Widmore was working for the Man in Black and therefore knew the plan to take over Locke's body... or at least knew that all of Jacob's candidates were needed back on the Island in order for the Man in Black to be able to 1) kill Jacob, 2) kill all of his possible replacements, and then 3) do whatever it is he intends to do -- leave, blow up the place, etc.
- We also know that the Man in Black promises people what they want most. Widmore has always wanted to control the Island, and in fact believes he is the rightful leader of the Others. The Man in Black most likely promised him this if he could find a way back to the Island to help him win "the war."
- Widmore hates Desmond. Anyone who hates Desmond is bad. Duh!

OK, so I think Widmore's bad. I didn't always feel this way... I used to believe Ben and Widmore were on the same side (the Island's side) but just went about protecting it in different ways. However, after seeing how angry Widmore was throughout his life courtesy of the time traveling of last season, and because of all the points listed above, I now think he is bad. Maybe he's in the sub in order to help the Man in Black and all of his new followers leave? I mean, how else are they all going to get out of there? (I say this even though I still think the Man in Black's ultimate end game is to destroy the Island and kill everyone on it, including himself.)


I'd like to end by revisiting a concept we talked about in the last post. About how Fake Locke could represent the devil and Jacob might be representing some sort of angel or higher power or maybe even God. Let me repeat that I am positive that the show will never come right out and say this -- it would turn off way too many people. But I think so far they've been able to frame religious and/or spiritual themes in a subtle way that gets people thinking along the lines of "good versus evil"... often represented by "light versus dark."

So we've already discussed reasons why Fake Locke could be a devil-like figure. He's sweet-talking everyone, claiming to be looking out for their best interests... and if they could just help him out with this one little thing, he'll give them what they desire most. We saw it again with his promise to Ben in this episode.

But what else happened in "Dr. Linus?" We had at least four characters talk about their faith. Richard said he wanted to end his life because he'd spent countless decades, maybe even centuries, believing in a man who told him he had an important part to play in a master plan that he was never made privy to. But then that man, Jacob, died and Richard felt like his entire existence was a joke. Jack spoke of the kind of faith that comes with finding out that someone he'd never met had been tracking him his whole life, had brought him -- twice -- to a crazy Island, and that there simply must have been a reason for it. This was a faith that made Jack confident the stick of dynamite he lit would not blow up. Ilana did not speak directly of her faith, but showed it when she continued to be dedicated to protecting the remaining candidates even after she learned Jacob had been killed and all of the odds seemed against her. Further, she is carrying on what she believes would be Jacob's wishes by forgiving Ben --- the very man who murdered her leader -- because she knows he has truly come to see the error of his ways. And finally there's Ben, who admitted that he let his quest for power go to his head and lost sight of what really mattered, and had lost all faith in Jacob and what he represented by the time he came face to face with him in the statue.

Something to chew on.


[Out in the jungle, Hurley is asleep in the grass]

HURLEY: Cheese curds...

BEN: Miles... do you remember once you asked me for 3.2 million dollars? Do you still want it?

MILES: What are you gonna do? You gonna write me a check on this banana leaf?

HURLEY: But... you look the same as you did thirty years ago. How's that possible?

RICHARD: It's not easy to explain.

HURLEY: Is this, like, a Terminator thing? Are you a cyborg?

RICHARD: No, I'm not a cyborg.

HURLEY: Vampire?

HURLEY: Dude you're gonna blow up! (This was my favorite line of the episode... not so much for the line itself, but the way Hurley said it -- it killed me.)

[The fuse almost burns to the end, then goes out]

JACK: Wanna try another stick ?

I dare say The War for the Island is upon us... can't wait to see what happens next!

Until then,
- e

PS - Actually, I'll be posting the March contest at some point this weekend, so... until THEN.

*** AND A FRIENDLY REMINDER: Please don't post comments about future episodes. Some of us would rather not know. Thanks!


Sherylm said...

A great post, e, for a truly awesome episode. And I'm all with you on the evil Widmore - he told youngish Ben to kill Baby Alex and Danièle as a rite of passage into the Others, for Pete's sake...I just hope that Desmond and Penny are not far behind since I feel Desmond has to battle the Widmore cowardice demon.

Your analysis of the faith issue is spot on, too. I really liked the fact that Ilana remained true to what she sees as Jacob's code of honor, in spite of how angry she was. But I must admit that when Unlocke finished his attempt to turn Ben to the truly dark side and Ben started running for the gun, I said (or more like shouted) to my family, "I sure hope Ilana is not going to go the way of Saïd Taghmaoui!"

I have no idea what the off-island time-line is but at this point, I'm happy just to go along for the ride. My son is convinced that the decisions our Losties are making in that off-island time-line are determining what happens next to them on the island.

Billie said...

I'm loving the religious overtones. Jesus appeared to his disciples many times after he died and then ascended into heaven. Will we see Jacob "ascend" somewhere? Is there somewhere greater than the island?

Alissa said...

I love, love, loved this episode as well!

Something I noticed: If Widmore is indeed the person Jacob was trying to summon to the island, that connects his with the name Wallace. I find this intriguing because one of the central protagonists of the Wrinkle in Time series is named Charles Wallace...

Great recap!

Sam said...

E have u considered the theory th these flash sidewys are actually future events of the characters? the ones who sided with jaacob are having the most problematic parts of their lives fixexd..

.jack's daddy issues get worked out with his own son.
ben finally does the correct thing

while the other group gets the short end of the stick ie sayyid gets to have his girl but as a tease etc...

this is what is called the matrix theory. where either jaacob and MIB are manipulating their heads to be thinking this....
and jack as we saw on LAX starts to notice that this is indeed a dreemworld (when he noticed visual diff with his appearance , recognizing des etc...) eventually jack will figure out its all fake (truman show) and he will get th others together and explain it to them and somehow desmond who is "special" will help...
not sure if all that made sense to you .but this is what i think is happening here....

btw what ever happened to Walt?

Eruesso said...

I absolutely loved this episode (broke down with big ol' man tears) and love your site. I've been following your reviews since the Seanie B incident.

What are your thoughts on Jacob and the Man in Black in the alternate timeline? Are they tied to the island, and if so would the island sinking to the bottom of the ocean kill them? Release them? Or maybe something else?

The fifth toe said...

I agree that widmore is "bad". Remember, he also told ben to kill rousseau's baby. That's just wrong. But I'm pretty sure were going to get a Richard-centric episode still. There's more to the black rock we don't know yet. Whispers, anyone? Guyliners of the world unite!

Jeremy said...

Thanks again for another great recap! It's always pleasure to read your insight into the latest episodes!

MsBlueKatt said...

Great, as always. I love your perspective on everything. I have a question for you. I know you are spoiler free, but do you watch the re-run episodes with the pop-ups in them that are shown each week before the new episode? What do you think of them?

Amy said...

I really love reading your posts! I used to watch Seani B's vids until all that went down. Kinda glad it happened or I would have never found out about your blog!

Anonymous said...

Sam, I also think that the sideways world is the 'future' - mainly, I think at the end of the series most (all?) of the characters will die, but since Jacob/the Island interfered with them in this life they'll get a second life (a redo), a life independent of Jacob's interference in which the characters will be 'good' or 'bad' depending on whether or not they were redeemed by the end of the series (Jack is a good dad, Locke knows he can't do everything, Ben doesn't sell Alex down the river). So far we only have Sayid (and Kate, kind of? Though I think things will work out for her in sideways world) on the 'bad''ll be interesting to see what happens to Sawyer and Jin in their sideways world timelines since they seem to be aligned with MIB right now.

This theory doesn't take a bunch of things into consideration (like, will someone actually replace Jacob or will the Island be destroyed? Also, what's up with the Island in sideways world? Is there still weird stuff going on? And why does sideways Jack seem suspicious about something? Blahblahblah, so many questions). Hopefully things will start becoming more apparent soon but I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't until the final episode that we get any sort of clue as to what sideways world is all about.

Awesome recap as always, e. Hurley's delivery of that 'Dude you're gonna blow up' line makes me laugh whenever I think about it. He's so innocent!

Anonymous said...

Another great recap, E. A couple of points:

- I've watched the scene a couple of times and I don't think Jacob is pouring anything into the pool. It looks like he is just holding or playing with a stick in the water. Reminds me of Jesus looking down and drawing in the dirt.

- It was Bram who questioned whether Frank might be a candidate. Ilana didn't answer him so there was no confirmation.

I find it interesting that Jack and Kate seem to be the only Alt people who recognize that something else might have happened. Kate seemed to recognize Jack when she was in the cab and Jack's had several (Desmond, scar, etc.) I can't remember anyone else having an Alt Deja Vu moment.

Finally, we know that there have been many daddy issues in Lost, but not in the Alt timeline. Since I'm not convinced that Jughead caused the Alt world (I think the Alt timeline is about what would happen if Jacob never touched anyone), I think Jacob wanted to become everyone's father figure. Alana's line about Jacob being like a father to her really made me think.


LockeUp said...

I wouldn't sleep so soon on a Richard-centric episode. I have a feeling we'll get one. My faith is still high.

jamesF said...

Thank you for this wonderful recap! I think you're the most down to earth Lost reviewer and you make it really easy for the casual viewer to digest.

I was really hoping we'd get a Richard-centric episode of some sort in the future, but now I feel like we probably won't because we pretty much know his background. Boo.

I don't know your spoiler policy, so all I'm going to say is hold on to that thought and don't despair just yet ;)

Kelly, UK said...

When I watched this episode it struck me that Richard became 'ageless' when Jacob touched him. Does this mean that Jack, Hurley and the other candidates are now 'ageless' too?

DissentingCalm said...

isn't richard a candidate since he was touched, hence him not able to kill himself or why smokie didn't kill him when he had the chance? the little boy could've been reminding smokie, not about one of those from the plane, but that he couldn't kill richard. he could still play a major unexpected role in it all!

Grasiento said...

Congrats E, great review (as always).

I do not agree on your theory on evil Widmore and I explain you why...

- The frighter was sent to the island to "remove" the biggest danger (as we've seen later) for Jacob: Ben. I know that they've killed an innocent girl but I think that the murder is a 50-50 responsibility between Ben and Keamy-Widmore. And he tried to convince Sun for the same reason.
- I think Widmore knew about the candidates: he wanted to bring the Oceanic6 back to allow Jacob to have his chosen people on the island.
- I don't think he hates Des, he was just putting Jacob's interests above all and he knew that Des was necessary to let the candidates to arrive on the island.

Or maybe you're right: he's just a pawn like Ben and is a little less than evil incarnate... :D


Julian said...

I think each side has a wild card. Good guys have Miles and bad guys have Kate. The Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle could cause hiccup, too.

Truly appreciate your recaps.

leuhtam2009 said...

Interesting remark on the possible identitiy of fake Locke and Jacob.

Calling upon conversation between Jacob and man-in-black plus characters' lives in the so-called off-island timeline, I would like to say "light verse darkness" doesn't necessary equal to "good verse evil" in Lost.

I propose that the island may represent one's suffering, misfortune, guilt, disabilities, etc. And Lost is about two different attitudes towards suffering.

In short, if one stayed on Jacob's side, he/she is content, willingly or reluctantly, with his/her condition in the "off-island time-line". They choose to embrace and try to live with their current conditions Faith is important for this group of people. If one stayed on fake-locke’s side, he/she live in denial, try to escape from, attempt to change or rationalise their conditions, try to take things into their own hands.

This is evident in episode 4: Locke was unrealistic. He wanted to have a "man against nature adventure"; He wanted to be an on-site consultant despite his disability. He was obviously delusional, living in denial. Both fake Locke and Locke in shifted timeline say "don't tell me what I can't do." Lost's editing emphaises that both Locke are the same in essence.

In this episode, Ben could have taken things into his own hand, change his current condition by becoming the school principle. But he didn't. I guess that explain why Ben belongs to Jacob's side or at least for the moment. (I hope he'd stay on Jacob side)

Hence, "Light verses darkness" could represent two different attitudes towards suffering, not necessarily good or bad.

P.S. If Sun stayed on Jacob's side till the end, that could well explain why she chose to say "no English" to the custom officer. i.e. accepting Jin, accepting her marriage as it is.

Myriam said...

Great recap, E!
Regarding the cheese curds, I'm not sure if they are excusively Canadian, but here in Quebec/Ontario, they are a very popular type of cheese, that famously goes "squish squish" when you eat them. We French Canadians use it in a dish called poutine (with fries and gravy) and it's delicious! That dish is actually popular pretty much everywhere in Canada, and I wouldn't be surprised if you could find some in your neighbourhood. Try it!
Here's a wiki link:

JetBoy said...

You women and your crying...heh.

Anyhoo, as always my favorite re-capper "e" has done a fantastic job. The only thing I disagree with is that Richard coming to the island on the Black Rock isn't that cut-and-dry. Richard is supposed to be very old, as I stated in a different forum, and I would thing it means older than the mid-1800's, when the Black Rock was sailing to the island.

It seems reasonable to say Richard WAS imprisoned on the ship, but I venture to say he was sent out to recruit someone(s) much like he did with Juliet. And somehow, maybe by mutiny, ended up in the chains.

Just sayin'...seems like at least a possibility.

Nicole said...

This also was by far my favorite episode. I found myself constantly holding my breath hoping that Ben was going to do the right thing. It was beyond fulfilling to see him come full circle. To see Ben choose to make a decision based on openness then to make one based on manipulation. To be his true self, instead of what he wanted to portray.

I think it very important to point out here that what FLocke offered Ben was what he THOUGHT Ben would desire. Not what he knew he would.

He offered him the power of the island and the leadership of that power. But that is not what Ben has ever wanted. In my opinion Ben has always wanted a family. To care for, and be cared for.

Think of it this way. Why would he re-create Dharmaville back at the barracks? Because he does not want to be the leader at the temple - because as Dogen said, he has to be apart from the people he leads.

Katie Kat said...

AWESOME E! I'm so glad you said you were so emotional, because I was too! My hubby said almost the exact thing to me that yours did, and I just said, "No, it's just SO GOOD!" I think we've all been needing an emotional epi from Lost, and this one - mainly because of the SUPERB Mr. Emerson, did the trick. Plus, so much was given to us - it rocked.

My favorite line was Hurley's: "If you need me, I'll be like... a mile away."

I wonder if Ben and Widmore are kind of like Jacob and Anti-Jacob. Flip sides of the same entity, with the Island's best interests at heart.

Also, I think the flash-sideways represent what happens to each Lostie according to which side they pick. Those who have picked Jacob's side tend to be having better "sideways" existences than the ones that go with the MiB, as I see it!

james said...

Do you not know about cheese curds? Living in Chicago, it's a quick trip up I-94, right across the border into Wisconsin, where you will find cheese castles full of different kinds of cheese curds. Just something to keep in mind.

Scott said...

"but since I think they were pretty darn obvious" -- I'm admittedly not the sharpest LOST viewer, but when it went to the first commercial I looked to my wife and said "Even I got those parallels."

And e, the list where you check mysteries off, is that tangible or just in your head? Because if you have that written down somewhere, I’d love to see it. Maybe a quick separate post that is just a list? I know you have A LOT going on right now, so if you don’t have it already saved in Word or something, just forget I asked.

Great recap, as usual.

elizabeth said...

Great recap! So happy to read a recap that doesn't list Sayid as a candidate because to me, he's pretty much chosen his fate and that's NOT to be Jacob's replacement!

I could be totally wrong, but I thought it was Richard who told young Ben he had to rejoin the others, but that he was one of them. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong.

I also agree that Widmore is bad and will team up with MIB - if he wanted to join the Losties, he would've joined them at the beach. I think his "stick to the plan" meant that he's going to the Hydra station...but we shall see!

e said...

Elizabeth -

I had checked the transcript for "Dead is Dead"... it was definitely Widmore who said that to Young Ben:

MAN: Okay, easy. Easy.

YOUNG BEN: Oh! [Groans] [strained voice] I don't want to go back. [Inhales deeply] [Normal voice] I wanna stay. I wanna be one of you.

MAN: Just because you're living with them doesn't mean you can't be one of us. You should be dead, Benjamin. But this Island... it saved your life.

YOUNG BEN: Who are you?

MAN: I'm Charles. Charles Widmore.

Hope that helps!

- e

Tim nice but dim said...

Is there any reason that Ben could not be the last candidate? He has been the only one to resist MIB and he would be a great guardian of the island in Jacob's place.

It seems we could have a microcosm of the Jacob/MIB relationship in the Ben/Widmore relationship. Almost like mortals carrying on the same fights of the immortals.

Anonymous said...

From what I’ve heard from the podcasts, the producers do not want to call the flashsideways an “alternate timeline”, since that would imply that the timeline wouldn’t be real, it would be just a “what if”. So I don’t think this X-timeline represents what would have happened if Faraday’s plan had work, it actually worked just in a different way. This is why Juliet said to Sawyer that “it worked”.

Time actually split and both timelines are real and coexisting at the same time. And I believe this happened because of the concept of self-correction mentioned before in the show in Desmond’s “Flashes” episode. This is how I explain it:

1. Our survivors go back to 1977 and they try to change things, which is something you’re not allowed to do. The “incident” that has been referred to since the beginning of the series, has always been the situation that occurred after the Dharma guys hit the underground energy pocket and everything started to fly around into the hole, and people getting hit by things and dying and all that stuff, no bomb included.

2. When Juliet detonated the bomb then everything changed, but you are not allowed to do that, the universe has rules: Whatever Happened, Happened. Maybe small changes can be self-corrected, but this was too big of a change to be able to self-correct. This would have created a paradox and there would have been no way for the universe to somehow put things back on track.

3. So the solution was to split time, the effects of the bomb detonation were only felt in this new timeline X.

4. The solution also included sending back the survivors to their original timeline, with no signs of any effect caused by the bomb explosion.

5. Maybe the self-correction solution will also include both timelines coming together in the future, but this would have to occur now after 2007 because the events that we have witnessed during past seasons of the show couldn’t be changed either.

Confusing, I know.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the dynamite not blowing up...Jack doesn't realize that Jacob touched him, too. That would mean that Jack couldn't kill himself either, which is why the dynamite he lit couldn't explode.

bill said...

Great write up as usual...frequent reader, first time poster.

What do people think of the theory that Un-Locke is a Djinn?

There is a thread about it on IMDB, and something about it on the MIB Theories Tab on Lostpedia.

The part that peaks my interest is the part of the folklore that God created three beings, Angels, Humans and Djinn. And while Djinn have free will, they are often seen as the antithesis of Angels, with Humans being in the middle.

But the more I look into it, the more things fit...smoke, being trapped, granting wishes, the desert in Tunisia...

Just seeing if anyone thought this theory has legs...

Anonymous said...

e, great recap as usual!

two things...just wondering why you did not include Kate as 1 of the 6 candidates. Jacob did touch her when she was trying to shoplift as a kid. Also, when Arzt said, 'Linus, you're a real killer', for a second it looked like these words really did affect Ben, like a memory was jogged or something.

Love this season so far!

jinn said...

I saw someone else mentioned it, but I've watched the episode twice and I agree.. Jacob did NOT pour anything into the spring but was holding a stick.

Anonymous said...

I hope I'm not seeing this wrong, but Ben has been a follower of Jacob forever. Yet he can summon the smoke monster. How did that happen? Is he friends with Jacob and smokey? Did he have meetings with Smokey? Did Jacob teach him how to summon Smokey? I can't picture Jacob wanting Ben to be buddies with Smokey.

Anonymous said...

I actually think that the 6 candidates Ilana is talking about are the 4 known candidates, plus BOTH Jun and Sun.

Since either Jin or Sun could be the candidate, Ilana is just considering them both as people she must protect, so it is 6 people that she needs to find.

Of course, it is probably just being intentionally vague. Though I liked Vozzek's theroy from a few weeks ago that Kate is a hidden candidate. Sort of a secret weapon.

Raghav said...

Back in season 4, the final episode, when BEN and JACK were having their serious conversation in front of john locke's casket, Ben said that he (LOCKE) had to come too.

Now I might have missed something out there, but as far as I know, it was BEN who killed locke, it was FAKE LOCKE, who convinced RICHARD to go to REAL JOHN LOCKE and tell him to go back to the real world and convince the oceanic 6 to come back. So, in a way, it was JACOB'S NEMESIS who actually convinced real LOCKE to get the oceanic 6 back on the island. But BEN knew nothing about it, because he was already off the island, courtesy of the DONKEY WHEEL, so the whole point of my post is that, WHAT MADE BEN DECIDE THAT REAL JOHN LOCKE MUST COME TO THE ISLAND TOO, WHEN HE JUST DOES'NT NEED TO ?? Ben had got no part in it, so that means that BEN has some knowledge of what might happen to john locke once he's on the island, which surprisingly links him to FAKE LOCKE! I really don't know how its all gonna pan out, let's see though.

And as usual, your post for Dr. Linus was brilliant. loved it.


zin said...

My favorite episode of the season by far. I was getting really dissapointed with this whole season....Michael Emerson never dissapoints!
By the way I think Hurley said "carrot curds."

Anonymous said...

Great re-cap e!

Couple of thoughts...
Did Jacob touch Ben right before he died? Would that change things?

If being touched by Jacob makes you unable to kill yourself (if that's the case for everyone...and I'm not 100% convinced) then it would explain why "fate" would need Ben to kill Locke, rather than him doing it himself. It was all Ben's idea, but who knows???

I just get all gushy when I thing of Ilana saying "I'll have you." WOW.

There have been Emmy deserving performances ALL around this season. [Terry O'Quinn...that man is a GENIUS!!! And Sayid...those are some CRAZY eyes he was making.]

Looking forward to next week!

Sarah M. in MI and her now 8 kids (baby arrived on 01/01/10 -- how's that for some numbers!)

Anne said...

I cannot wait to see Vincent, Rose, and Bernard... Thanks for finally mentionning them, I am always thinking about them in every episode... and what about Des and Penny! CANNOT wait!

And I agree that its MIB (Fake Locke) who convinced Real Locke (via Richard) to convince the Oceanic 6 (Minus Aaron) to come back to the Island...

An the 6 candidates have to be the ones that we saw Jacob touched... Jin AND Sun, Sawyer, Jack, Kate and Hurley... Ben cannot be one because Ilane wanted to kill him.

And yes, I think what Richard said is important... these six cannot killed themselves and can live for a looonnnng time becasue Richard touched them...

Thanks for your dedication E!

whimsymoon said...

As always, wonderful recap and post! You are gifted
at this!
I agree with you about Widmore being on the "dark" side (but I'm going to have a hard time believing that the guy who killed an innocent sixteen-year-old girl simply because she was the daughter of his nemesis could be anything but evil.)

Plus, when Miles was pulled into the van by Bram, Bram told him that working for Widmore would put him on the wrong side.

Raghav brought up an interesting question that has really bugged me since last season. How did Ben know what needed to be done to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island? Did Ellie tell him? Is Ellie in cahoots with Widmore?

I know a lot of people are thinking that the sideways timeline is perhaps the end of the show,
and as much as I have enjoyed the sideways glances, I would be a bit disappointed if it ended with most of them having no memory of the island.
Sort of a Paradise Lost!

Ann said...

It's been a while since I've seen mention of the outstanding music that underscores some of this show's greatest moments. I loved the slo-mo reunion scene in this episode, and the music was a big part of it. Between the original orchestral compositions and great classic tunes,"Lost" has one of the greatest soundtracks ever.

Thanks for yet another great recap!

Anonymous said...

Hi E. Been reading your posts since the beginning! Love them. What side do you think Eloise is one since she was the one that convinced Jack to take Locke's body back to the Island? It doesn't seem that her and Widmore are friendly and when Ben and her were face-to-face they didn't seem friendly either.

LisaC said...

Did anyone else think that Ben was going to pull a HotPocket out of the microwave?

Aunt J-ha said...

Dr. Linus may end up as the best episode ever...for me, anyway. I cried in all the same places Erica, and as I watched...I couldn't even say why. It was just so emotionally stirring. Never has a show gotten so many tears from me & still prompted me to laugh. Miles gets the diamonds? Perfection!

Who would have thought I would have come to care so much about Ben Linus that I felt like I was about to be punched in the gut because they were about to kill him? Even last season, I was sure I would jump up and sing, "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!" at the top of my lungs as I danced in celebration.

I love the way all of our favorite Losties are facing their demons in the flash sideways and actually learning from them. And at the same time, none of them feel like they are succeeding. They don't know they've made such progress. They only know they are trying.

Its beautiful. And Jack is finally a man of Faith. wow. And then Widemore shows up in the sub. I am so hooked.

MBA Day Camp Prof said...

E, love your blog congrats on the book deal.

Building on Raghav (Great question). I think there are more questions surrounding Ben and Widmore. For example, who gave Ben the list of people for Sayid to Kill in the Economist. MIB? Jacob?
Also, who is the Economist?

Who told Ben/Widmore about the "rules" that were discussed during the Ben/Widmore confrontation in Widmore's bedroom.

I'm not convinced that Jacob is Jesus/Light/Good. MIB is evil but that doesn't mean Jacob is good. Jacob could be Randolph Duke in Trading Places... Randolph believed in nuture over nature, a better dude than his brother but in the end he was manipulative/deceitful and the game pieces/candidates (Billy Ray Valentine/Louis Winthrop turned on both brothers).

Some other Ben qusetions...who/ what told him to gas the Dharma folks? Who actually saved Ben? Was it Jacob or MIB?

Who told Ben to get Juilette to trade her freedom to save her sister. Unlke Doggen (and his son) Juliette had no responsiblity for her sister's cancer. Maybe this was a "pure sacrifice" go to the Island so your sister could live. But then to bring her to the Island to try and cure the fertility issue was totally bogus and a cruel/pointless effort (what ever was causing women to lose their babies was not something Juliette could fix). So was this MIB driven or Ben acting alone or did he mis-read Jacob via Richard.

Chris said...

Great recap, especially the stuff about Widmore at the end.

I always assumed the 6 candidates were Sun, Jin, Sawyer, Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sayid, but now you have mentioned Lapidus, I may switch him out for Sayid. Maybe.

Julian said...

e, Are we sure Sun got pregnant on the island? There view of time is distorted. Perhaps her child is the Kwon that is the candidate. Touching them at the same time may have affected the baby to come. If Korean women keep their last names, but dad's and children share the family name.... Just trying to stay a twist ahead of these writers; they're squirrely.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

So does this mean Charles Widmore has had to fake an Ajira plane being discovered on the ocean bed like he did with Oceanic 815? And where are the rest of the Ajira survivors? There seemed to be quite a lot of them but they've vanished!

MRM said...

Fabulous writing ,, Fabulous acting I hope LOST receives its due in awards this year for the writing, acting , etc as it has been a tremendous show and has had an effect on the entire industry.

stupescommaruth said...

this one was my favorite so far too!

I'm with you on Widmore. Anyone who has any sort of voluntary relationship with Martin Keamy has got to be bad. Yuck.

Jack telling Richard "I'm not," (wrong about the dynamite) was my favorite part of all this. Jack = the new man of faith? Brilliant!

ComeOnFeelTheIllinois said...

Sarah brought up an interesting question. I got to thinking about what happened to the other Ajira survivors, and realized that the amount of time that has passed since the crash has only been a few days(though it seems longer to us.) I think the 316ers are probably still on the hydra island and we will see Fake Locke confront these survivors seeing how he told Ben that's where he was headed.

As for Widmore, he would have to be pretty quick to act in order to get a plane full of exhumed corpses into the ocean just days after the crash. However he does have his ways.

Hopefully with Widmore coming back to the island, Desmond will be right behind him to foil is plan.

GeoffUK said...

Well they really are moving up a few gears now! The best episode yet. Michael Emersons acting talent Knows no bounds. Ben is now a small pathetic creature excellently delivered, as the writers cranked up the pathos.

But I want more of Richard, there was one exchange, the best of the episode which could lead to a whole episode on its own!

Jack. Where did you come from?

Richard. You wouldn't believe me if I told you.

Jack. Try me..

Richard. Not if you wanna go to the Temple its this way.

Well its scenes like that which make Lost the best there is. Was Richard refering to where he had just come from or where he had come from 150 odd years ago? And when will he tell Jack/us?

I've often thought that Richard/Jacob/MIB may not actually be ageless but may just be constantly flipping backwards and forwards through time! Especially with Richard just appearing from nowhere.

Unless I have missed something crucial, What do you think?

Keep up the good work and heres to more great acting especially from our favourite "Lockeness Monster"

Bye for now..

Anonymous said...

I'm with Julian...couldn't the Kwon mentioned be Sun/Jin's daughter? What about Aaron being the Wallace mentioned as well? I never cared for the way they were left behind when the others left to go back to the island.

Maybe Claire's mother remarried and gave Aaron her new last name, thus the "Wallace". I don't know but we have to have some explaination on what happens to the kidos!

Great recap, e! What's the latest on the book?

Ed Casper said...

Thanks again for a wonderful post. A big hunk of the fun for me about Lost is reading your recaps/analysis (analyses? analysi?). I love it when you paraphrase someone's speech and attitude by saying "he's/she's all." I am enjoying reading your theories about what the sideways flashes (or whatever they're called). I like to think they result from the success Faraday's plans in 77. Thanks again. LLL FTW!

Anne said...

Did Jacob touched Sayid?

Daniel said...

I was thinking about whether or not Widmore was "good," and I considered your points, but I think there is still a strong possibility that Widmore is "good" (on Jacob's side).
First, if Widmore is the person Jacob was trying to help find the island, that might mean they're on the same side (considering that Jacob did not seem to imply that the person coming to the island was a nemesis). Second, if you think about what happened, Christian (Man in Black) was the one who told Locke to move the island so that Widmore's people could not find the island, which would also imply that Man in Black is not on the same side as Widmore. Third, maybe Widmore wanted to kill Ben because he knew that Ben was going to kill Jacob (because I'm still convinced that Jacob knew Ben was going to kill him). Also, you mentioned that Widmore helped the Losties/candidates get back to the island. I think that's more evidence that he's helping Jacob than an evil plan to get the candidates to go back to the island and be killed. We know that Widmore definitely knew of this war that was coming to the island, and we know that he tried to recruit Locke to be on the "right" team. I guess only time will tell which team that really was.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anne that 6 remaining candidates are Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sun, Jun and Hurley. Why Kate is not 108, but 'Wallace' is, I don't know. However could be that only one of the Kwon's is a candidate - why did Fake Locke not manipulate Sun back at the statue when he had the chance?

Also wonder about Desmond - both Hawking and Widmore (former leaders of the others and presumably in contact with Jacob - flashback time!) have always tried to keep him away from Penny and get him to the island, so is possible he could be the 6th if it's not one of the Kwons, albeit I definitely believe Jacob touched both of them.

Anonymous said...

I've been recently enjoying your recaps of Lost and as a Locke authority, I have a question for you. I am not watching on an HD tv, but it appears to me (especially while watching Recon) that Flocke's eyes sometimes look like they are 2 different colors. With the theories that Flocke is somehow a mixture of MIB and Locke's personalities, it may make sense that one eye is Locke's and the other is MIB. What do you think?

Denny said...

I agree with Nicole, All Ben ever really wanted was some semblance of a family. His repetance of wanting to save Alex is what turned Ilana's heart. Jacob was like a father to her also.
I'm thinking again how this is possible to Ilana. Just how has Jacob been visiting her? And for how long?