Move over Man Behind the Curtain, Dr. Linus is my new second favorite episode of the series. (Behind The Constant, of course. Pretty sure that episode will never be topped.)
So, last week I was talking with my friend Justin about the fact that I felt that the characters in the LA X timeline were basically the same personality wise as they were in the original timeline. Sure, things were different in their lives, but who they were was basically unchanged. They could find changes in themselves in those timelines, but who they are is who they are. Kate runs, but will risk herself to help others in need. Jack has issues with his father and worries about how his childhood has molded who he is now, basically believing that he is unworthy. Speaking of unworthy, and what brought this whole conversation up in the first place, is the fact that Sayid believes that he is basically a flawed person. That while he wants to be good, due to his past he is unable to be good. So, I felt, that when he told Nadia in the LA X timeline that they couldn't be together because he wasn't worthy of her, that was what he truly believed. Justin thought something else was going on at first, but then when I made my argument, he bought it as well.
Then this week happens.
Momentarily I was shaken, because Ben would have made that power play on the Island, Alex's chances at Yale be damned.
In fact, in far more dire circumstances we have seen him make just such a call.
But this time, he didn't. He traded his own power play. and what was probably better for the school over all, in for Alex's future.
So as I thought about the episode
(And let me step back for a moment and tell you how I nearly didn't get to see this episode because I have been so busy these past couple of weeks that my DVR has not gotten the attention it deserves and it happened to fill up last night, meaning while I was in class until 9, whereas LOST comes on at 8, when I got home my DVR informed me that it had not recorded anything that it was supposed to today, LOST included. Luckily, my friend Emily, who was supposed to watch it at my place, had it on her DVR and the night was saved, so major props to Emily for impromptu hosting a LOST night. Thanks!)
and had preliminary discussions with my friends after watching it, I realized that what was happening wasn't a failure of my theory from last week, but was instead more of a vindication of a theory I've had since the season premiere.
We are getting to a point where the bleed through of the timelines is affecting our characters in more ways than just deja vu.
It should have been clear from the point that a cut that Island Jack had was bothering LA X Jack.
It could explain why Sayid shot Krazy Keamy in what appeared to be cold blood. Sure, it could be argued that there was some justification but it could also be argued that he knew what Keamy was capable of, and that the darkness of his Island self was bleeding through to his LA X self.
And it certainly explains Ben, who like Napoleon has lost the one thing that ever really meant anything to him (power) and is being forced to truly deal with his sacrifice of Alex for the Island that never really believed in him in the first place (Miles tells Ben that Jacob hoped until the very end that he was wrong about Ben which means that he never trusted Ben and explains why he never appeared to him, and while that might have been the correct feeling to have in regards to Ben it still means that the Island that Ben sacrificed so much for and truly believed in despite his selfish and power hungry actions didn't really ever believe in him).
Ben has hit rock bottom, and I truly believed him when he made his confession to Ilana. Sure he is the biggest liar on the show (perhaps in the history of television) and as big a con man as Sawyer ever was, but I think for the first time we saw the truth of Ben Linus. He had nothing left to hide behind. His soul was bared. And he is redeemed.
And because his Island self has taken this redemptive step, the bleed through to the other reality allowed him to take it as well, and make a different choice in regards to Alex and the "Island" being played in this reality by the school.
The moment that I believe this connection between the realities was made was in the moment that Artz said to Ben, "You're a real killer." The truth of that statement (a reality away) allowed Ben's subconscious to connect to Island Ben and feel the anguish and pain that resulted from his constant power struggle to the detriment of one of the few people that he ever loved, his "daughter" Alex. It made it literally impossible for him to choose power over Alex in the LA X timeline.
A few other things from this episode, we are gearing up for a Team-Jack vs Team-Locke set up again on Island just like in the past, and once again Team-Jack is gearing up at the Beach while Team-Locke is taking over an old Dharma/Others stronghold.
Speaking of the Beach, something tells me that it is the only safe place left on the Island. When the Locke-less Monster went to invite Ben, it stayed in the grass, off of the Beach. (I'm capitalizing Beach as it pertains strictly to the original LOSTies beach camp, I don't think that it is true of any other beach area on the Island). We've never seen Smokey (in full black smoke regalia) on the Beach throughout the history of the show, I believe that Smokey has no power at the Beach camp. Not sure why, and not sure if this theory is true at all.
We see a new book for the LOST library as Ben goes through Sawyer's tent. It is The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Interestingly, the book is about two young boys and their friendship, one is the son of a Rabbi, expected to one day take his father's place except that he desires to study philosophy, and another who wants to be a Rabbi. With the one boy's desire (against his father's will, very LOSTian) to move into secular studies, and the other boy's desire to study religion, I am reminded of the idea of a Man of Science and a Man of Faith, Jack and Locke originally and perhaps still in the LA X timeline. I still think that these two seemingly opposing ideas must work together in order to accomplish whatever it is that the LOSTies are supposed to accomplish, and the book seems to hint at that as well.
Also, of course, there is the fact that the book is called The Chosen, and we get confirmation this week that what Esau/Locke said in regards to the candidates is true. So some of our LOSTies are literally eligible to be Chosen for this new role. We are also told that there are six possibilities. This is after Ben tells Ilana that Sayid is lost (no pun intended) to them, so I will go ahead and take him off of my list for the moment (as we know that he is actually off the list). Ilana says that there are six possible candidates.
Hurley, Shephard (presumably Jack), Kwan (possibly Sun, possibly Jin), Ford (aka Sawyer), we know for sure, Locke and Sayid can be crossed out. We know from the wheel in the lighthouse that Kate is still a possibility (her name was not crossed off) even though she isn't one of "the numbers". So who is the sixth? (weekly question topic!)
So, Richard doesn't age because he was touched by Jacob. Hmm... so were Jack, Kate, Sun, Jin, Sawyer, Hurley, Locke, and Sayid (although it didn't work out as well for the two of them.) Similarly to when Michael tried repeatedly to kill himself, they are all presumably unable to do so, and we've actually seen Jack fail at it a couple of times on the show, although he was kind of counting on failing at it this time. They can still be killed by others (little o-others), but not by themselves, and apparently won't age either. Interesting.
Also, confirmation of something that I think most of us picked up on from the season premiere, that Richard came to the Island originally in chains on the Black Rock.
I loved some of the little jokes in this episode, the callback to Artz blowing up in the Black Rock scene, but also in the fact that he had a stain on his shirt in the exact spot that in the other timeline he was a stain on Hurley's shirt, and also Miles knowing what happened to Nikki and Paulo, and his digging up the diamonds.
Another possible weekly question from this episode is whether or not Widmore's arrival to the Island is a good thing. After all, Jacob presumably sent Hurley and Jack to help him get to the Island (as well as to get them away from Smokey's attack on the temple). We've seen the redemption of Ben, is the redemption of Widmore to follow?
Until Next Time, thanks for waiting patiently for the post! Should be early next week as it is Spring Break and I can watch LOST at its regularly scheduled time!