Holy crap, another week, another new episode of Lost. This time it was a Ben episode, entitled “Dr. Linus.” And the often misleading promos promised us that Ben would face his own mortality, and he did, but he survived the encounter, unlike Corey Haim. Or the dude from Sparklehorse.
And it was interesting episode with Ben on the Island being even more broken down, all the shards of his manipulative sad personality being stripped away. He tries to get over his anger and abandonment issues by assuming roles of power. He wants to be a leader and he wants knowledge, but he never understands why he needs to know these things.
And Sideways Ben… well, it was interesting to see a Sideways flash of someone who wasn’t on either Oceanic flight 815, but I like the reminder that this is the same little Ben that was shot by Sayid and taken to the temple. He’s been changed by Others, but what does that mean in the real world?
Apparently that means an unhappy life of teaching in the public school system and only getting motivation to do something when a guy in a wheelchair at the next table suggests it.
And probably means you’ve left less of a body count in your wake.
The thing I think you have to ponder about the Sideways world is… Well, remember last season when we suddenly went back to the Island with the Ajira flight and there was Locke alive again? And we were invigorated by this new Locke, this man in full control of himself and capabilities? For half a season there we had something of the season ending twist just hanging there in our faces but there was no one way we could tell what was happening. You have to wonder if that’s what the Sideways world is. Is this the world that the Man In Black/Smokey has promised his followers? Is this the epilogue? Because, with the exception of Sayid’s sideways flash so far (arguably), these characters are all doing fine, getting second chances and doing what they should’ve done, perhaps.
I mean, there’s Ben, taking care of his asshole dad (oh, the IRONY as he’s trying to keep his Sideways father alive and instead of poisoning him with gas he’s changing his oxygen tank), and finally getting the opportunity to “choose Alex,” the choice he didn’t make before when Keamy had the gun to her head. And it’s not like he’s not getting to do a little scheming, blackmailing his principal and all. Good times for all. Especially Jeff Goldblum:
But back to the Island. And back to Jack and Richard Alpert and perhaps my favorite moment of the season so far…
We always told you Jack was crazy. Who else would do a bro a favor, lighting the fuse on his stick of dynamite so he can kill himself and then deciding to sit down and have a little chat while it burns. This new Jack is still crazy after all these years, but it feels like he’s finally accepted it. Being a slave to destiny is fucking insane. Might as well do some fun, crazy shit while you’re at it.
“When Jacob touches you, it’s not a gift, it’s a curse,” Richard Alpert tells us cryptically, right after he appears from somewhere, and when asked where that somewhere is, he says, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” I think you’d be amazed what these characters and us would believe/accept after all this time. Though I think I’m getting tired of Hurley as the proxy for the audience’s questions, especially when he makes the audience’s sound so fucking stupid: “Are you a cyborg?”
And Ilana? I respect the seriousness of things, the hopelessness of it all, and how you’ve personally been fucked by destiny – and in that regard, Lost is kind of like the bible: the women get the short end of the stick over and over again, sadly – but having Ben dig his own grave for a few hours? That doesn’t seem like the best use of your time, I would think. But then again, time stops for a little vengeance.
Time will always pause for you to wrap your hands around the big flabby neck of revenge.
And Miles… still annoying, but still a better version of Charlie, right? And now he’s got those Nikki and Paulo diamonds. I neglected to mention in a dorky nitpick last week that Lennon fucked up when he offered Kate two minutes with Claire when it should’ve been three (the Others always offer you three minutes)(but maybe that’s because the situation was a little stressful and two was all they had?), but I’m glad that they didn’t forget Miles and the desired 3.2 million dollars.
And I feel like Miles’ “superpower” is both underused and overused. Sadly, it kind of pales in comparison to Hurley’s being able to talk to ghosts, but I’m fascinated by the fact that Miles’ ability is tactile in nature…
He has to literally touch the dead in some way, which is amazing with the way that this show is now, with everything that these characters have been through, and death just hangs over everything like a cloud. A smoky black cloud, perhaps? As Dr. Arzt said, “You know what gets out formaldehyde? Nothing.”
And Charles Widmore is returning to the Island! Kind of like Napoleon perhaps? Will he have Mrs. Hawking/Desmond/Penny with him? And, just out of curiosity, what if Charles Widmore is his own grandfather? What happens if a future version of you touches you? Oh, the questions!