I've decided to go ahead get this blog done right away because if I start school work first, I'll never get to this. In other words, I'm procrastinating.
I was eagerly anticipating this episode, because, let's face it, Ben-centric eps are always best. And good ol' Dr. Linus did not dissappoint. I definitely have a lot to say about this one, so let's get to it!
We start with Dr. Linus teaching his students about Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte being exiled to the island of Elba. Despite having his power stripped, he still held the title Emperor. So many links to this story. Ben exiles Charles Widmore from the island. And in turn, Ben is exiled himself. Though as it turns out - people just can't stay away. We will get to that, of course, later. We then see Ben in the teachers lounge (remember when we were kids and this was such a place of mystery? Anywho...) with Dr. Leslie Arzt aka blew up by a stick of dynamite guy. Didn't take a genius to see that one coming, no? In comes the principal played by William Atherton. He will always be two roles for me: The reporter in Die Hard and the Prof. Hathaway in Real Genius. (Apparently Team Darlton loooved Real Genius, as I will prove later) The principal assigns poor Ben to detention instead of heading his History Club because of budget cutbacks. This leads to a conversation against administrations in school, and then lowly substitute Locke chimes in with that slightly evil grin telling Ben he should try to take over as prinicpal. That Locke - always trying to get Ben to rebel! Then we see Ben goes home where he is still taking care of his dad played by Jon Gries. It does not matter how many roles this man has on tv and movies, he will always, always, be the guy in Val Kilmer's closet in Real Genius. See, they must love it! I wonder where that closet led to? Maybe it was a Dharma station. Turns out, even in this reality, Ben and Dad were on the island with Dharma but for some unexplained reason (at least for now) they left. Dad wonders what Ben would have become. Well, Dad, for starters, he would have killed you! There is a knock at the door and it is ALEX!! Oh Alex, I've missed you and your insanely pretty eyes! Turns out Alex is one of the 5 members of Ben's history club. And apparently his favorite since she seemed ok with knocking on his door at night. He agrees to meet her at the library to help study for her History AP exam. Still a father like figure to her, because it seems Danielle is a single mom. If it is Danielle. She still has the last name Rousseau, so I'm assuming she is. We see them studying about the East India Trading Company. A nod to Black Rock perhaps? Or to the Pirates of the Carribean movies? Either way - owned by Disney. Alex says that the principal is the only staff to have attended Yale (where she wants to go) and needs his recommendation, but she thinks he is a perv because he is having an affair with the school nurse, on school grounds, when Alex was in the room (granted they didn't know, but still! ick!). Ben promises not to tell, but he gets that scheming Ben look in his eye that we have all come to know and fear. Ben goes to Dr. Arzt to help get some incriminating emails, and being the fine upstanding citizen he is, Arzt agrees to help. For a new parking spot and lab equipment when Ben is made prinicpal. But, as usual for Ben, things do not go as planned. He confronts douchey prinicpal, who comes back at Ben with an email from Alex asking for a recommendation. He tells Ben that not only will he not give her one, but he will trash her to Yale if Ben goes through with his plan. Once again, Ben has to choose his plan or Alex. As it turns out this time, he chooses wisely, and backs off the principal. Ben is redeemed. A theme for the sideways realities. And it seems, in the island reality as well... but we will get to that. Side note: Alex's backpack appeared to be covered with patches from different countries. Just a fashion statement, or proof mom was still a traveler in this reality as well?
We catch up with Ilana and the gang outside the Temple. At Ben's suggestion the head back to the beach because it is the most familiar ground. (And it plays well with the 1st season throwbacks!) Ilana asks if Miles can read Jacob's ashes because she notices Ben is sketchy everytime she brings up Jacob's murder. Miles does, and the tells Ilana the truth - Ben killed him. As Miles puts it so succintly, "Uh Oh!!" We get back to the camp and I have to say it is sad to see it all destroyed and worn down like it is. This was home for so many seasons that it is like coming back to an actual home and seeing it destroyed in a fire or hurricane. I need to get out more! Ilana hands out orders to everyone, except Ben who gets the silent treatment. Sun asks Ilana how long they have to stay here because she wants to go find Jin. But it turns out, so does Ilana, because she knows a Kwon is a candidate, she just does know which Kwon. Ilana tells Sun she is a candidate to replace Jacob, but what that entails seems to be a mystery even to her. Or she is just playing coy. Meanwhile, we find Jack and Hurley in the jungle. Hurley is quite obviously stalling Jack from going back to the Temple (at Jacob's orders) but Jack isn't having it. Richard finds him and when they ask where he was, Richard responds with the always annoying "you wouldn't believe me if I told you" remark. Try me, Richard!! And off they go, following Richard, to the Temple, so they think. Back at the Beach, Ben reminices about the crash like it was the good ol' days, and really, wasn't it? When Frank reveals he was supposed to be the pilot, and isn't that crazy, Ben points out he still ended up on the island! Frank gives him a shut up look. Ilana takes Ben to the graveyard, ties him to a tree and tells him to dig his own grave. Miles comes to essentially tease him, and Ben tries to bribe him with that 3.2 million from back in the day. Miles points out that Nikki and Paulo were buried with millions of dollars in diamonds right next to him. Oh Nikki and Paulo! Miles tells him that despite what Ben thought, Jacob was always rooting for him. Poor Ben. Hurley, Richard and Jack reach the Black Rock. They ask why they went here instead of the Temple, and Richard tells them that going back to the Temple is pointless because everyone is dead. But their friends were not amongst the dead, so hope remains for them! (We know they are with UnLocke though, so not sure how much hope!) Richard explains that he doesn't age because Jacob gave him a gift/curse. And now he wants to die. When Hurley mentions that he talks to Jacob still Richard looked a bit freaked out and said not to trust anything he says. Now is that because he is anti-Jacob or because he thinks it is the MIB? Inside the Black Rock, Richard looks at the chains (the ones he was locked in?) and then goes over to the dynamite. He tells them that Jacob said he had a plan for Richard, but now Jacob is dead and there is no plan so Richard feels he has no purpose and wants to die. He can't kill himself, so he wants Jack to do it. Jack, a believer now, agrees. As it turns out, he agrees because he thinks that Jacob or the island or whatever won't let either of them die. Hurley runs, and as Jack talks about the lighthouse mirror and their purpose on the island, the fuse, of course, dies out. Whew. Jack is a ballsy mother#^!%$*!! He tells Richard no it is time to go back to were they started. Back at the beach... UnLocke come to Ben, tells him to run and there will be a gun waiting for him about 200 yards out, and that he can take out Ilana and then join him on the other island at the Hydra station. Ben runs, and Ilana chases, but he doesn't try to kill her. He instead just wants to explain about Alex and feeling hurt by Jacob and being sorry. And then asks to go with UnLocke. When she asks why, he says because UnLocke will have him. And then Ilana (I knew I liked her) says, "I will have you". And so once again, Ben is redeemed. Single tear. They head back to the beach and Ben helps Sun with the tarp, and we see lots of familiar shots- a log being put on the fire, a greedy man in a tent (this time Miles not Sawyer), and then the best familiar shot of all, in slow motion, with that beautiful Academy Award Winner's Michael Giaccino's score, Hurley and Jack (and Richard) coming around the corner to the beach camp. Sun runs and Hurley lifts her into a hug. Lots of hugs, and "how do you do" handshakes. More than single tears from me now. I find a lot of beauty in this recall back to the events of season 1! And poor Ben looking smaller than ever on the side....
Then in the water.... A periscope pops up from a submarine and who is inside but Charles Widmore, of course. Is this who Jacob was expecting?
Ben (in reference to Sayid): He was standing over Dogen and Lennon's bodies with a bloody dagger, so yeah, I'm pretty sure.
(a few minutes later)
Miles (in reference to Ben): He was standing over Jacob's body with a bloody dagger, so yeah, I'm pretty sure.
(Touche, Miles. Touche!)
Frank (to ben): Make friends easy, don't ya?
Ben (to Frank): The island still got you in the end.
Miles: Right up until the second before the knife when through his heart, Jacob was hoping he was wrong about you. Guess he wasn't.
Hurley: Is this like a Terminator thing? Are you a cyborg?
Richard: No. I am not a cyborg.
Dr. Arzt: You had me fooled wit that sweater vest. Linus, you're a real killer.
Jack: Wanna try another stick?
(my favorite of the night!)
So, thoughts?? Ideas?? ANYTHING?! Ok...I've procrastinated enough. :)