Wednesday, March 10, 2010

(29) - They Called Me Dr. Linus

Two words regarding last night's episode: EM, ME. Michael Emerson, welcome to your second Emmy (also in the cards, Emmy for Best Writing. Not sure who the writers were). Excellently portraying not one, but two Benjamin Linuses, Michael Emerson last night showed why Ben Linus has been if not my favorite character, in my top two since he came on the show. Last night's episode was rich with with mostly half-answers (kinda sorta answering questions we've wanted answered, but not totally). First let's recap my predictions and such.

  • Why are all the Candidates male?
    • Hmm. Maybe they're not all male. Illana wasn't sure if Candidate Kwon was Jin or Sun, so she was tasked to protect both. She also said there were six Candidates left. Locke is dead though. Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, Jack and Kwon. She's probably counting both Kwon's as one Candidate, but just an interesting thought: Is there another Candidate? Kate? Or is she still counting Locke?
  • Richard was on the Black Rock
    • Well we finally got this answer. He was, and by the way he was holding and staring at those chains, he was a slave. Why Jacob gave him his gift we don't know yet. But I'm holding firm to the thought that somehow Richard showed Evil Incarnate man can be Good and not Evil.
  • Jack is Jacob's #1 Candidate
    • See below for some thoughts
Now, let's dissect "Dr. Linus"

1. Ben has always been one of my favorite characters not only because of how well Michael Emerson plays him, but because of how Ben is so rich with all of this mystery. I think last night we may have gotten the last of that mystery. Ben has always been multiple steps ahead of everyone, but in the last season and a half we've seen him level off with the rest of the characters. He's been touting since season two that he's one of the good guys, but we've seen him do some bad things (see: killing Locke, choosing the Island over Alex...). Were they a means to an end? Is he really good? Well last night Ben bared his soul to Ilana. Even though it wasn't his choice, he realized he had to come clean. If not only to clear his conscience, but in order to survive. And that's what Ben is about, or half of what he is about. Survival (the other half being Power/Relevance).

Ben was given a choice last night by LockeMonster. He's now the fifth person on the Island to be given a choice by LockeMonster (Claire, Richard, Sawyer, Sayid being the other four). His choice: run 200 yards inland, find the gun propped there, kill Ilana before she killed him, join LockeMonster at the Hydra Station, rule the Island when LM and everyone else leaves. And for 200 yards or so, it looked like Ben decided that's what he wanted to do. He wanted to survive, and we know he loves his power. But instead, Ben came clean to Ilana. Ben renounced evil (this will probably cost him in the near future). Explained to her why he had killed Jacob, the closest thing she had ever had to a father. He was angry and upset that after all of his devotion to serving him, the only thing he truly cared about was taken away from him. He chose the Island over Alex and it cost him dearly, more than he probably realized. So flash back to season four, when Keamy killed Alex, what's Ben's reaction: "He changed the rules." Now in that episode at the end, we get the showdown between Ben and Charles Widmore with Ben explaining to him that he is going to kill Penelope after what "he" had done to Alex. But now I'm not so sure the "he" Ben was referring to was Widmore. Ben could have meant that "Jacob changed the rules." After all of his frustration with Jacob he stabbed him, after which, Ben is amazed that Jacob just let it happen. He could not understand it. Then Miles tells him last night, that right up until the second Ben stabbed him, Jacob was hoping he was wrong about him. He was hoping that Ben could change. And that's when it clicked:  Ben decided I'm going to change. I am a good guy. Fuck this LockeMonster (even though he said he was going to follow him, I doubt he was). Was he expecting Ilana to forgive him? Definitely not, considering his expression when she said, "I'll have you" and walked back to the beach. He gets back to the beach and immediately offers help to Sun. Ben has changed his ways. He has always wanted to belong, and now he does.

Ben's sideways world proved what happened in the end of the episode with Island Ben: that Ben could change. Ben had a choice: he could blackmail the principal and take his job and power and at the same time kill Alex's hope of getting into Yale, or he could let that power go and help Alex get into Yale. Island Ben, without question, would have sacrificed Alex for the betterment of the school (we saw this happen literally, when he chose the Island over Alex). But Sideways Ben, he does not sacrifice Alex. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he did. So he gave up the power he could have potentially gained in order to see his favorite student excel in life. What does Island Ben do? Give up the power he could potentially have in order to belong.

2. Abandon all hope ye who enter the Black Rock! Richard wants to die. Unfortunately he can't kill himself. So he tricks Jack and Hurley to tag along to the Black Rock telling them they're going back to the Temple. Once inside the Black Rock, Richard tells Jack and Hurley that for as long as he had been on the Island he had never once come back to visit the ship that brought him here. Richard probably gave up about 300 years of his life in servitude to Jacob with the hope that at one point Jacob would fill him in on the master plan. Unfortunately, Jacob died before he got the chance to share any information with Richard. After Richard's run-in with LockeMonster when he was informed about Candidates, Richard believed that he had wasted his life, that this was all for nothing. He needed Jack to light that fuse so he could finally die and be at peace. So Jack lit that fuse and then showed Richard just how far he had come. Old Island Jack would never have believed enought that the fuse would go out before the dynamite blew up. New Island Jack truly believes he is here for a reason. Jacob had been watching him since he had been a kid, he was brought here for something specific. He doesn't know what, but just like Michael, the Island will not let him die. This act of faith shows Richard that he did not waste his life, that it was not all for nothing. It reaffirmed his faith in Jacob, even though minutes before he told Hurley to not believe a word that man says. He was just venting, upset that Jacob had died without giving any answers. But now he is back on the path thanks to Dr. Jack, the #1 Candidate. Jack has faith now, he's changed. He believes.

3. Let's go back to where it all began. The Beach. That's where Ilana's camp heads after the Temple Massacre. That's where Jack decides he's going after the Black Rock. Sun hasn't seen Hurley and Jack in three years and they all have a great slow motion hug. And then there's Ben. Everyone just sort of stares at him, not quite sure what to expect. Ben's ready to be part of the group. Jack's ready to believe. Ilana will protect the Candidates at all cost. This is shaping up to be sweet.

4. Quick final thoughts
  • "They're coming." Who's coming? Well, we saw last night at the end Widmore has finally found the Island! How? No idea, but he's here. Does he want to exploit the Island like Ben believes? Doubtful. Does he want to live forever? Possibly. New Evil Incarnate? Hmmmm.... :-) 
  • Ilana tells Sun that the six Candidates left are there to replace Jacob, ruins the other theory that they were there to replace Evil Incarnate
  • How is LockeMonster able to leave the Island and travel to the smaller island with the Hydra station. There's lots of water inbetween the two islands. Am I missing something?
  • Where the fuck is Sawyer? On vacation?
  • Random: Why was the pilot of Oceanic flight 815 killed by LockeMonster in the pilot episode? Does this make any sense?
  • Has Ben been thinking he's serving Jacob when really all along he's been serving Evil Incarnate?
    • I only ask this because Sideways Ben was urged on by Sideways Locke to rise up and take down evil. Was Sidways Locke really LockeMonster? I highly doubt that. But maybe everything Island Ben has been doing was a Long Con set up by LockeMonster to press the right buttons inside Ben so when the time came he would stab Jacob and not change his mind like he did with Ilana.
5. Predictions!
  • Ben renouncing evil will bite him in the ass. LockeMonster is going to take that as a slight and just like he told Claire he always does what he promises, he'll kill Ben by the end of the series because he does not like being rejected (same with Richard, LM really wanted Richard to join him and told Richard that he didn't want to hurt him but he would).
  • Widmore will be the new Evil Incarnate. He wants to live forever, and this is how it will happen. I'm guessing this is the root of the conflict between Jacob and Evil Incarnate. This is why he wanted to kill Jacob so badly. He tricked him into becoming Evil Incarnate. And now he wants to return home. And in the process will destroy the universe!
Ok I'm out. Seriously, where is Sawyer?

1 comment:

Mr. Artz said...

I guess Sawyer's with LockeMonster & Company. Probably filling Kate in on his master plan.

As for why the smoke monster killed the pilot in the pilot- maybe he was angry it wasn't Lapidus? Not my idea, saw it somewhere, but it makes as good sense as any other theory.