*Editor's Note: I took some time to celebrate my birthday this week (it was Wednesday!), but I'm back. I keep saying my birthday celebration kicked off with "Dr. Linus" and will end with the episode in two weeks. (Trust me, it's a great one!). Alas, I'm just going to skip this month's DL update. Sorry!
For a long time, I dispised Benjamin Linus. The Season 4 episode "The Shape of Things to Come" made me sympathize with him as he watched his daughter be killed. Finally, the Season 4 Finale made me feel deeply sorry for him. I thought stepping aside to let Locke be the leader of The Others was his redemption. Alas, when he murdered Locke is Season 5, I hated him again. But I think the redpmption of Benjamin Linus, a man who for so long was evil and corrupt with power, began his road to redemption when he gave Locke's eulogy. His redemption is continuing, and was at the forefront in both the flashsideways and On-Island timeline.
In the flashsideways, Ben is a pretty sad person. He lives with his ailing father, and ironically, "gasses" him to keep him alive. They seem to have a loving relationship, which is very different from the on-Island storyline. But Ben is unhappy. Roger comments that he wonder what Ben's life would have been like if they stayed on the Island and had not left the Dharma Initiative. So, this opens up am entirely different bag of possibilites. Why did they leave? Why is the Island underwater? So many questions, as per usual!
At the beginning of the episode, Ben talks of Elba, where Napoleon had to live without his power. I'm theorizing that this refers to the Man in Black, who is forced to live on the Island without his dark powers. If he were to leave the Island, to borrow a line from Doc Brown, "the consequences could be disastorous!!".
Ben teaches at Arzt's school- didn't see that one coming! Ben and Arzt are fed up with Principal Reynolds who runs the school. Reynolds does not buy important essentials to acedemic success, and does not respect the teachers there. Locke convinces Ben to change the school and even throws his support behind him.
Alex Roussaeu (!) comes to Ben asking for help studying for her AP Exam. She really needs a letter of recommendation to Harvard, which Reynolds "the pervert" is writing for her. Upon further inquiry, Ben learns that while Alex was in the nurse's office, she herd Reynolds and the nurse having sex in the room next to her. Ben sees this as his chance to get Reynold's job, and teams up with Arzt to get blackmail him.
When Ben approaches Reynolds and threatens him, Reynolds threatens to not write a letter for Alex. Ben must now choose what to do. And unlike on the Island, Ben made a huge sacrifice for his "daughter". Going even further, Ben offers Arzt his parking spot for helping him.
On Island, things don't look good for Ben. Ilana found out that he killed Jacob, and is outraged, for Jacob "was the closest thing [she] ever had to a father". Once back at the beach, Frank, Miles, and Sun begin restoring their camp. But Ilana goes in search of restraints. She chains Ben, and forces him to dig his own grave as Ilana guards him.
Jack and Hurley begin walking back from the Lighthouse when they encounter Richard Alpert. Jack wants to go back to the Temple, and Richard says he'll bring them. But instead, they head to ther Black Rock, where Richard tells them he hasn't been back there in a long time. So I'm guessing Richard is not from Anicent Egypt, and did indeed come on the Black Rock. Richard tells the duo that he went to the Temple, and everyone there was killed in an attack. Hurley admits Jacob "hinted" at this, but Richard angrily replies to not believe him.
Inside the Black Rock, Richard searched for dynamite and explains to Jack that he was touched by Jacob and given a gift, which is actually a curse. Therefore, he does not age. All the work he has done for Jacob now seems pointless and a total waste of time. Richard explains he cannot kill himself, but Jack can, and he wants Jack to. Jack lights the stick of dynamite, but Jack tells him that neither one of them is supposed to die. Jack realizes that if Jacob was watching him, then there must be a good reason why he (and Richard) were brought to the Island. The dynamite does not go off.
Back in the cemetary, Miles vistits Ben and tells him Jacob hopes he was wrong about him before he was murdered. And guess what? Jacob did care that he was going to be killed. Later, Flocke appears to Ben and encourages to come with him and his followers to the Hydra Island. Once he leaves, Ben will be in charge, and his power will be restored. He points to a gun, and says he should kill Ilana, because Ilana won't hesistate to kill him.
Ben grabs the gun and runs, with Ilana is hot pursuit. Ilana is force to drop her gun, and Ben explains his actions. He explains how much he had sacrificed for Jacob, but the deity didn't even care. When he killed Jacob, he was worried about losing his power, but is now very sorry he killed Jacob. He doesn't expect forgiveness from Ilana, because Ben can't even forgive himself. He plans to go with Flocke, because he's the only one that will have him. To this, Ilana replies, "I'll have you". IMO, this was one of the most powerful lines of the season.
Ben and Ilana go back to the beach, and Ben offers Sun assistance with her tent. Just then, Jack, Hurley, and Richard come back to the beach camp, and everyone reunites in a beautiful montage. There is a definate difference between Team Jacob and Team MiB. Once again, we are given a light scene for Jacob, as opposed to a dark scene for MiB.
And who's watching this reunion? Charles Widmore, via a submarine coming to the Island.
Top 3 Questions I Want Answered:
1). How di Widmore get to the Island?
2). What's Richard's backstory?
3). How/when will Jack react to seeing Flocke?