Wednesday, March 10, 2010

6:7 Dr. Linus

Oh, how I love Benjamin Linus episodes! They are the best of the best.

Flashsideways Connections

-This was the first flashsideways of a character who is not an 815 survivor, and who has not been visited by Jacob.

-Dr. Linus teaches his history class about Napoleon's exile, and his loss of power. By the end of the episode it becomes clear that the Napoleon in our story is Charles Widmore, who Ben himself forced into exile. Elba Island is also a parallel to the Island, like the famous palindrome says: "Able was I ere I saw Elba." The Island is the controlling force in all of their lives.

-Ben as the sponsor of his school's History Club cracked me up, because I was one of those HC nerds in high school. (Although at my school it was the largest club, mostly due to the awesome Victorian Ball we hosted every year, which got better attendance than prom.)

-I loved seeing Dr. Linus have lunch with Leslie Arzt (why is it so funny when a guy is named Leslie??) and got a good laugh out of Arzt complaining about having something on his shirt. HA!

-Ben's strategy when he blackmails Principal Reynolds seemed familiar to me, and it took me a while but I finally figured out why.  On the Island, Ben blackmailed Charles Widmore for having an off-Island affair in order to take over his position, and eventually exiled him. In retaliation, Widmore had Alex killed. In this mirror image, Ben is unwilling to sacrifice Alex's well being - not even her life this time, just her college education! - to gain power for himself.  Despite Arzt's comment that "You really had me fooled with that sweater vest - you're a killer!", this is a very different Ben than the one we've known. He's not a killer. He really does have his students' best interest at heart. What caused this difference? The defining moment of Ben's life on the Island is being shot by Sayid and brought back to life by the Others, which Richard said would change him for the rest of his life. Since that didn't happen in this timeline, we get to see who Ben really is at heart.

-Along the same lines, Ben has a good relationship with his dad - instead of giving him poisonous gas, he's giving him oxygen and frozen dinners. And here's a big one: Roger Linus says that they "should have stayed on that Island."  Which leads me nicely into....

Revelations 

-I know it's not happening as quickly as a lot of us would like, but we really are getting answers! I think we can assume the big ones will come at the very end of the season, and although I get just as impatient as the next fan, I can't imagine it working any other way.

-For me the big one of this episode was that the flashsideways timeline appears to have nothing to do with Jack and the other survivors detonating the bomb. But the Island WAS around when Ben was a child (i.e. it wasn't underwater yet.) So what was the defining moment that made this version of time happen differently than the one we've already seen? What caused the Island to be underwater at the moment 815 flew above it?

-Richard confirms that he came to the Island on the Black Rock, and that Jacob gave him the gift of longevity when he touched him. He also confirms that he's not young from time traveling, and he's not a cyborg or a vampire (thanks for asking the tough questions, Hurley!)

-Ben learns that Jacob really did know who he was, and was hoping he would choose the good side. This definitely affects Ben's decision to follow Ilana rather than Locke at the end (and parallels Ben choosing to protect Alex rather than himself in the flashsideways.)

-Ilana reiterates that the candidates are supposed to be the ones to replace Jacob. Now that we've heard it from both her and Locke, I'm more inclined to believe it. I think it's interesting that Ilana calls the candidates by their last names, just as they appear on the cave wall and in the lighthouse.

Questions

-This is one of my favorite theories floating around: Are Jacob and the smoke monster the same person? There are a lot of things that point to them being two sides of the same coin. I haven't thought it through yet, but I like it.

-Another theory comes from what Ben said to Lapidus when Lapidus tells him that he was supposed to be the pilot of 815 but overslept. Ben says, "The Island still got you in the end, didn't it." Maybe the flashsideway is what happens if the Island DIDN'T get them in the end.

-Richard says that Jacob touched him, and gave him a "gift" that actually turned out to be a curse. We've seen Jacob touch many characters, so what gift/curse did he give each of them? Is it as simple as not being able to kill yourself until he is done with you, à la season 4 Jack and Michael? Or is there something else involved? 

-Where is James? How is he playing into Locke's plan?

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

-Locke telling Dr. Linus "Maybe you should be the principal."
 
-Miles finding Nikki and Paulo's diamonds. I didn't expect those two to be referenced at all, but I' so glad they were. Hilarious!

-Jack saying about Richard "If he wants to die we're not going to do anything to stop him." Because that is sooooo not a Jack thing to say! He has changed more than any other character (except maybe Locke, but that doesn't count because Locke isn't really Locke anymore.)

-Ben finds The Chosen by Chaim Potok in Sawyer's stash (right next to "Booty Babes"; Sawyer's taste is nothing if not eclectic!) I haven't thought yet about how it ties into LOST, but it is an awesome book.

-The scene where Jack and Richard watch the fuse burn down to the dynamite was SO well down. Pure suspense.

-WIDMORE!

Not So Awesome

-I was really, really hoping for a lot more information on Richard - how the Black Rock got to the middle of the Island, whether he was a slave on the ship, how he first encountered Jacob. It was so disappointing that he just blew past all the questions Hurley and Jack asked him without revealing much of anything. I'm going to hold out hope that the answers will come in a future Richard-centric episode.

-I am beyond ready for a Sun and Jin reunion. And for Sawyer to come back. Maybe next week.

2 comments:

Holly said...

I miss Sawyer!

I loved Ben's comment " Because he's the only one who will have me" It was so emotional! Talk about a side of Ben( Island Ben) that we havn't seen before. Maybe this will be a huge turning point for him. I love his character!

I also love seeing " others" becoming part of the Lostie group. Remember how creepy there were in the beginning, now they are all on the same side.

I want Desmond! Seriously I am hoping that now that Widmore is back, that will see some Desi sometime soon.

My whole thing with the bomb and the island is: If the bomb went off in 1977, then that means 815 landed in LA. If it Landed in LA and never went to the island... then how could they have detonated the bomb... if they were never there? See I hate the whole time travel thing, but does that make sense??

Chelsea said...

YES, Holly that makes complete sense! That's one reason I think the flashsideways timeline we're seeing exists independent of the bomb detonating.

I hope we see Desmond again soon too!

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