It appears that everyone liked this episode, but not Sundown so much. I had a lot more to say about Sundown. I liked it a bit better than this one. I did like seeing Ben's redemption, though.
The Geronimo Jack's Beard podcast (Jorge Garcia's) was especially good for this episode. Michael Emerson joins Jorge and his girlfriend to talk and read some script. Jorge Garcia talks about how he decided to add vampire to the list of things he guesses Richard is. Some directors are apparently more strict than others about actors' changes to the script. He does his part and has his guest, Michael Emerson, read Alpert's part. That's kind of funny in and of itself. There's more good stuff, too.
Emerson also does the "did principal Reynolds do something to you" line. Great stuff.
Michael talks about acting Ben's part and how many times his script says when he tells yet another lie- 'Ben has never been so earnest' or 'we've never been so touched by him'. Funny stuff. He also commented on how Ben greets everyone- "Hello, Jack", etc. Does he really neeed to do that? Funny.
Also, Alex and Ben have a warm relationship, unlike on the island. Mirror images again? On top of that, he chooses Alex over power when given that choice. Alex tells him the principal and nurse were sleeping together, Ben intends to go for his job by having Arzt get the nurse’s emails, but when Ben confronts Reynolds, Reynolds gives Ben a choice- Reynolds resigns and Ben gets the job, but Alex doesn’t get a good recommendation or Ben doesn’t get the job, but Alex gets a glowing recommendation.
It was awesome that we didn’t know which choice he’d made for a few seconds- he was in the office with his stuff, looks at Reynolds’ nameplate and drops in disgust- I thought he’d got the job. Then Alex tells him about Reynolds’ glowing recommendation. I thought he’d found a way to get both things he wanted in weaselly Ben fashion. Then Reynolds comes in and we find that Reynolds is still the principal.
Also, we have another line said by more than one person. It was said by Richard or Ben that Locke had to die. This time Richard says he has to die.
I will attempt to get all the captions from the enhanced episode. Maybe this is a waste of time. My comments are in italics.
Ben is running from the massacre/ that is taking place at the Temple.
The smoke monster attacked the Temple/ and killed everyone who was still there/ as seen in the previous episode, "Sundown."
This is Sun, Miles, Ilana, and Frank Lapidus/ Ben stayed behind at the Temple to get Sayid
But Sayid chose to side with the Man in Black/ who is the smoke monster/ in the form of John Locke
Ben once described the Temple/ as the last safe place on the island/ for the Others
Ben's teaching the kids about Elba and Napoleon, but appears to be talking about himself...
This is not a flashback or flash forward/ its a flash sideways
It presents what would have happened/ if Oceanic flight 815/ had never crashed on the island/ but instead landed in Los Angeles
In the flash sideways, Ben is a European History teacher
Arzt complaining about formaldehyde on his shirt like Hurley commented on getting Arzt on his shirt. Kind of funny.
This is Dr. Leslie Arzt, a science teacher.
On the island/ Arzt was an Oceanic 815 survivor/ who died in the season 1 finale, "Exodus."
Arzt died near the Black Rock ship/ when he was helping Jack, Kate, and Hurley/ handle unstable dynamite.
The dynamite exploded in Arzt's hands/ and killed him.
Locke suggests Linus be the principal if he cares so much. He and Linus had various discussions in the hatch and as leaders about this concept.
This is John Locke/ a substitute teacher in the flash sideways.
On the island/ Ben was the leader of the Others.
Ben banished the previous leader/ Charles Widmore, because Ben believed/ Widmore didn't care enough about the island/ as seen in the season 5 episode, "Dead is Dead."
Miles is referring to the smoke monster/ which killed Ilana's team/ inside the foot of the statue on the beach.
Ben is lying.
He is the one who killed Jacob as seen/ in the season 5 finale, "The Incident."
Locke manipulated Ben into the murder.
Ben later discovered that Locke is actually the smoke monster.
Miles was born on the island in 1977/ and eventually left the island with his mother.
Miles has had the ability to talk to the dead/ since he was a young boy as seen/ in the season 5 episode, "Some Like It Hoth."
Miles returned to the island in the season 4 episode, "Confirmed Dead."
Miles was part of the team from the freighter/ Charles Widmore hired to capture Ben/ and take over the island.
As seen in the season 5 episode, "The Incident,"/ Ilana was in a Russian hospital/ when Jacob came to her and asked for her help.
Ilana came to the island/ to protect Jacob/ but Ben had already killed him.
Is this an indication that Ilana wasn't with the temple others and just arrived to the island some time after Ben killed Jacob in the season 5 finale? I had assumed she had been there awhile with Jacob being a father figure to her. Maybe the "like a father" events happened off island?
(1st commercial break. )
This is the original beach camp/ where the Oceanic survivors lived for over 100 days.
It has been abandoned for over three years.
This man is Roger Linus, Ben's father.
Nice irony in that Ben is giving father oxygen to live in this flash sideways but gassed him to death in the other time line.
This is a flash sideways difference.
Ben and his father got off the island, but Roger mentions DHARMA as though it was something good, a good opportunity or something. They appear to have left voluntarily and not under terms of coercion, fear of a bomb or hostiles, dissatisfaction, etc. I'd say he did pretty well since he has a doctorate in this timeline- I don't think he did in the other one. But maybe he got the doctorate on the island and this would have led to opportunities his father deems better than Ben's current job where he is obviously not satisfied?
Ben killed his father on the island/ by releasing a canister of poison gas/ as seen in the season 3 episode/ "The Man Behind the Curtain."
When Ben was 11 years old/ his father brought him to the island/ where they lived and worked/ as members of the DHARMA Initiative.
This line below appears when Roger tells Ben "who knows what you would have become." A liar and a killer. That's what! In this timeline, though, he was thinking he'd have become someone great who was able to use his talents.
In the island story, Ben and his father did stay/ and Ben became part of the Others/ and eventually killed most of the members/ of the DHARMA Initiative during the purge.
This is Alexandra Rousseau, Ben's student.
However, she represents/ another flash sideways difference.
On the island, Ben kidnapped Alex as a baby/ from Danielle Rousseau/ and raised Alex as his own daughter.
Alex was shot and killed on the island/ by the leader of Widmore's mercenary team/ as seen in the season 4 episode/ "The Shape of Things to Come."
Sun has been separated from her husband, Jin/ since the freighter explosion/ in the Season 4 Finale/ "There's No Place Like Home."
Sun was rescued/ along with the rest of the Oceanic 6/ but she returned to the island to find Jin.
Jacob was the person in charge of the island.
Jacob made contact with each of the survivors/ at some point in their lives and touched them/ as seen in the Season 5 Finale, "The Incident."
And here we have stated in the dialogue (again?) that the people Ilana keeps asking about (which still could be a bit different or more narrow than the names in the cave and lighthouse wheel) are candidates to replace Jacob. To do what? Ilana says if she's selected, she imagines she'll find out. Does Ilana know? I think so. She doesn't have time for Sun's barrage of questions. It's good to know Ilana is as clueless as we and MIB are- she doesn't know which Kwon is the one to protect either.
There are 6 candidates left, as stated by Ilana.
Jacob's touch seems to have brought them to the island/ and made them candidates for his replacement.
Jack and Hurley are both survivors/ from the crash of Oceanic 815.
They are also candidates to replace Jacob.
Like Miles, Hurley can also talk to the dead/ as seen in the Season 4 Premier/ "The Beginning of the End."
Jacob appeared to Hurley/ told him to leave the Temple/ and to bring Jack with him, as seen/ in this season's episode, "The Lighthouse."
Hurley knows/ that something bad happened at the Temple/ and they shouldn't go back.
This is Richard Alpert/ who worked with Jacob/ as an advisor to the Others.
Why does he keep popping in and out of the jungle like that? Like Locke and Christian.
Jack met Richard in 1977, as seen/ in the season 5 episode, "Follow the Leader."
And to Jack's question, "where did you come from," Richard answers, "you wouldn't believe me." Jack says, "try me," and Richard says, "not yet." Mysterious... If it were simply time travel, they'd all be quite familiar with that, I'd think. A lot of characters have interacted in the past and present with time flashes and such, but sometimes they don't remember seeing the other... The not yet thing is like Jacob and MIB withholding information until "the time is right." Maybe Richard's is more of a safety issue- they are out in the middle of the jungle where people keep running into one another.
Jack does trust Richard because/ in 1977, Richard led Jack to the hydrogen bomb/ which Jack tried to detonate/ at the Swan construction site.
Lapidus calls Sawyer's tent the library, which is kind of funny. Ben comments disapprovingly on what people bring to read on trips upon coming across a nudie magazine. His flash sideways character would also frown on that and choose more intellectual material.
Ben is in Sawyer's tent/ searching through his stash of supplies.
One of the books in Sawyer's stash is The Chosen by Chaim Potok.
The book explores religious faith/ between two boys, their fathers/ and their friendship/ in the chaotic times of 1940's Brooklyn.
Lapidus tells Ben he was supposed to pilot Oceanic 815, but overslept. Ben seems overly upset or disturbed by this... like he knows something more? Lapidus pondered how different life would have been if he'd have crashed Oceanic 815. Ben essentially says it isn't actually too different since the island got him anyway. The fate thing is showing up again.
Some have a theory that Wallace (#108) is Lapidus (like Ford is Sawyer) and that Smoky or Jacob killed the Oceanic pilot thinking it was Lapidus, but I don't think #108 Wallace is going to be all that relevant since he is crossed out on the lighthouse wheel. I think Jacob's saying they needed to help someone find the island, turn it to 108 degrees, was (like Jacob eventually told them) just to get Jack to see himself and other images what was going on up there. I don't think Jacob and Smoky are prone to confusing people or mistaking them for other people for some reason. Wallace is crossed out and I think if we find out who it is, it won't be terribly important, but rather just an answer for us.
I do think that perhaps the Oceanic 6 getting off the island was necessary (or at least an "attempt," since we know that if one way fails to bring someone, they will come by another way if they are meant to) to bring Lapidus to the island since it's his fate to come. It is interesting that Ilana (or someone in her group?) has said he could be a candidate.
Lapidus was the pilot on Ajira flight 316/ which brought the Oceanic 6/ back to the island.
The replacement pilot on Oceanic 815/ survived the crash on the island/ but was killed by the smoke monster/ in the first episode of the series.
Ben is at Ilana's gunpoint. Not an unusual position for Ben, but he usually manipulates his way out of it.
This is the survivors' graveyard/ which is known as Boone Hill.
It is named after Boone Carlyle,/ one of the first survivors to die on the island.
Boone died in the Season 1 episode/ "Do No Harm"/ trying to make a radio call for help/ to rescue the survivors.
Ben is told to dig his own grave with a funky wooden tube/shovel and then we go to commercial.
This next bit needs clean up, but here's most of the rest of it:
Alex's mother is Danielle Rousseau.
On the island, Danielle was shipwrecked/ and lived there for over 16 years.
When Ben stole baby Alex from Danielle,/ he threatened to kill Danielle/ if she came looking for Alex, as seen/ in the Season 5 episode, "Dead is Dead."
Ben still digging...
Ben and Lapidus/ recently buried the body/ of the real John Locke on Boone Hill, as seen/ in this season's episode, The Substitute."
Miles offers Ben green beans, doesn't know why he's digging.
The green beans are left over/ from the DHARMA Initiative food drops/ which frequently descended on the island.
Miles wanted $3.2 million/ to lie to Charles Widmore/ and tell him that Ben was dead/ as seen in the Season 4 episode, "Eggtown."
Ben offers Miles $3.2 million to cut him loose, but Miles declines since he can take Nikki and Paulo's diamonds they were buried with. Ben tells him Ilana's going to kill him for killing Jacob, who he believes didn't care if he was killed or not.
Ben knows he can leave the island/ by turning the wheel at the Orchid station/ and portalling to the Tunisisan desert.
Nikki and Paulo's story was depicted/ in the Season 3 spisode, "Expose."
They stole diamonds from Nikki's employer/ and tried to escape to America/ but Oceanic 815 crashed on the island.
Miles tells him Jacob did care and that his last thoughts were that he hoped he was wrong about Ben.
Before Ben killed Jacob, Ben was told he had a choice.
Jacob told Ben/ he could do what Locke asked/ or he could leave/ and let Jacob and Locke discuss their issues.
Back to Hurley asking what's the deal with Richard not aging, them and Jack walking through the jungle.
Richard has lived on the island/ for a very long time/ and seemingly doesn't age.
This is the Black Rock/ a 19th century slave ship/ that mysteriously shipwrecked/ in the middle of the jungle.
Danielle Rousseau/ brought the survivors here to find dynamite/ that was stored inside/ as seen in the Season 1 episode, Exodus."
Richard tells Jack about the temple massacre.
Sayid and Kate left the temple with Locke/ in the previous episode, "Sundown."
Richard is surprised Hurley spoke to Jacob; tells Hurley whatever he says, don't believe him.
Richard says there's something he needs to do- Jack says what- Richard says die. Nice.
Ben goes to Arzt about hacking the nurse's email and wouldn't initially tell him why. On the island, people would be cool with that (doing morally wrong or shady things because thier leader told them to no questions asked- because of faith in the leader or faith in The Plan?), but, here, Arzt gets mad and walks away. Ben relents and tells him he knows the nurse and principal Reynolds are having an inappropriate relationship on school grounds and Arzt deduces that he's going for Reynolds' job.
On the island, Ben is a master manipulator/ and is always one step ahead of everyone else/ to get what he wants.
Ben said he always has a plan/ in the Season 4 Finale, "There's No Place Like Home."
All Arzt wants is a parking space in return?? And new lab equipment. Ironically, he says to Ben, "you really had me fooled with that sweater vest. You're a real killer!" And the caption writer also appreciates the irony...
On the Island, Ben is indeed a killer.
Ben still digging... quite the perfect rectangular shape. Well done, Ben.
Ben has been responsible for many deaths,/ including the purge of the DHARMA Initiative,/ the deaths of the Oceanic survivors,/ the Others and Jacob.
Back to Black Rock...
Richard is angry/ because Jacob kept him in the dark.
Jacob did not explain to Richard/ his plan for the candidates, as revealed/ in this season's episode, "The Substitute."
Jack walks in, Richard says as long as he's been on the island, this is his first time back to Black Rock. Has Richard been on the island most of his (long) life? Does he want ot stay or is he trapped by the Rules or the Plan or Jaocb or MIB? There are chains hanging in the ship. Are these the chains MIB talked about when he mentioned to Richard he was glad ot see him out of the chains? Was Richard a slave? Was he passenger or crew or stowaway who got caught doing wrong and was put in chains or given the fate of a slave? Where are the slaves? Were they given a gift like Richard? Did they get off the island courtesy of Jacob or MIB? Are they dead and buried from the shipwreck? Richard was an advisor to Ben and the Others and was obviously allowed to go off the island as when meeting young Locke and did we see him when recruiting Juliet ot the island? Was his function mostly off island or on island? I have so many questions about Alpert that I don't even care anymore how the ship wrecked in the middle of the jungle...
Hurley joins Jack and Richard...
This is the same cache of dynamite/ the survivors used/ to protect themselves from the Others/ in the Season 1 Finale, "Exodus."
It is the same dynamite/ which blew up Leslie Arzt.
The jungle heat causes the nitroglycerine/ to seep out of the dynamite/ and make it unstable.
Richard: "I can't kill myself,"
Richard: "Even if I wanted to, and trust me, I do. I can't kill myself. Which is why I want you to do it for me."
In the Season 4 episode, "Meet Kevin Johnson,"/ Mr. Friendly told Michael that the island/ wouldn't let Michael kill himself/ because the island wasn't done with him.
Jack: "What are you talking about?"
Richard: "What I'm talking about, Jack, is that Jacob touched me. And when Jacob touches you, it's considered a gift. Except, it's not a gift at all, it's a curse."
Is the gift different for everybody I wonder, or is the gift that they can't kill themselves or that they defy fate somehow, including not being able ot kill themselves?
This is an odd twist for Jack. He has turned into quite the man of faith where previously he had been the man of science and Locke was the man of faith. Did he come to some realization about what he had to do as Jacob wanted? Or does he just realize that he has something to do but doesn't know what yet? Hurley doesn't quite get it, even though he can see and converse with Jacob; he's pretty panicky about getting out of there away from the dynamite.
Jacob visited Jack and touched him/ after Jack's first solo spinal surgery/ as seen in the Season 5 Finale, "The Incident."
Jack: "Why do you want to die?"
Jacob touched Hurley in a taxi/ after Hurley was released from prison/ and encouraged Hurley/ to return to the island on Ajira flight 316.
Richard: "I devoted my life, longer than you can possibly imagine, in service of a man who told me that everything was happening for a reason. That he had a plan. A plan that I was a part of and when the time was right that he'd share it with me and now that man's gone. So, why do I want die? I just found out my entire life had no purpose. Now, if I light this myself, it won't work, but you can light it for me, Jack. I made the fuse long enough so you'll have time to get out."
Richard is with Hurley on this and doesn't understand the reason for Jack's confidence either. Jack lights the fuse and says dramatically, "let's talk."
Richard: "You should go with him, Jack,"
Jack: "No, Richard, no I shouldn't."
Richard: "You're going to die."
Jack: "Actually, I don't think either one of us is going to die."
Richard: "What makes you think that?"
Jack: "I just came from a lighthouse where my name was etched in wood on a dial that turned a mirror that somehow reflected the image of the house where I grew up. Jacob's lighthouse. He got Hurley to bring me out there because he wanted me to see what was reflected in that mirror. For some reason, he wanted me to know that he had been watching me ever since I was a kid."
Jack: "I have no idea why, but I'm willing to bet you that if Jacob went to that trouble, that if he brought me to the island for a reason, that it's not to blow up sitting here with you right now."
This is a big turn for Jack.
The last time Jack saw Locke alive/ they argued whether of not/ coming ot the island was their destiny.
Richard looks at the flame. "That's a pretty big risk you're taking right now, Jack."
Richard: "What if you're wrong?"
Jack: "I'm not."
Jack has always been a "man of science"/ and has rejeced the idea/ that fate brought them to the island.
The flame fizzles out. Jack: "Want to try another stick?"
Richard: "Alright, Jack, you seem to have all the answers. So now what?"
Jack: "We go back to where we started."
I noticed that creaky, water, nautical sound in the background while they were in Black Rock. Interesting. And Richard is now a believer- in Jack. First Jacob, and Ben and Locke and now Jack! Maybe our mysterious man in eyeliner is not as smart as we thought. He can be swayed pretty easily? Or perhaps he had a weak moment like when Peter denied Christ and Jack and the dynamite has restored his faith in Jacob's big, mysterious plan? Another parallel could be Jaocb's death caused Alpert to doubt like Christ's death no doubt probably cause some to doubt before they saw or heard he was resurrected. Not to read too much into it, though...
Back to Ben and his grave... the tikka tikka noise...
Ben recognizes that sound/ as the sound of the smoke moster.
I remember back when I thought Ben had all the answers with the special fence, ash rings, Jacob's cabin, being able to summon the smoke moster... I guess that did change when he met Smoky in the temple and was shown "Alex" and scenes from his life. He sure looks scared now. Unlocke appears.
This is the smoke monster/ taking the form of John Locke.
Ben strangled and killed the real Locke in LA/ before returning ot the island.
Ben and Jack brought Locke's body/ back to the island/ and Locke was "resurrected"/ as the somke monster in human form.
Unlocke says he doesn't want him to die and he wanted to come get him intead of him getting caught by Ilana, but he was already gone from the statue. Something tells me this is n ot true...but that would make both Jacob and MIB manipulative liars...
Locke's offer is a way of manipulating Ben/ by playing on Ben's desire for power.
The last time Locke manipulated Ben/ Ben ended up killing Jacob/ which set the island/ on a course of death and destruction.
This caption could be a bit spoilery, unless they are totally wrong. I wonder if the people writing this know what the writers intended or if they are guessing. Fans are still undecided if Jacob's death is good or bad. Or if Jacob is good or bad.
Locke tells Ben the plan to go to Hydra- I wonder if Locke's delay is so Ben will reach Widmore before him or so Ben can catch up and they will go over together? Is he anticipating Ben chooosing to go with Ilana or will this throw a wrench in things?
The "other island"/ is just off the coast of the main island/ and the place where the Ajira Flight 316 landed.
I wonder if the Oceanic plane wasn't supposed to crash, but since Lapidus wasn't flying it, the other pilot messed up and couldn't handle it and crashed. On the other hand, the candidates are fated to go to the island... I guess Lapidus had had previous experience by this time with the special conditions wiht the helicopter, Faraday, Miles, Charolotte, and Naomi. He managed to get to the island in the original time line without the help of Oceanic 815 as well.
Gotta love Ben's run. It reminded me of a cartoon the way he threw that log shovel in the air and took off. I believe I would have casually dropped the log and took off running myself. To each his own.
Back to the Ben flash sidways...
He's confronting principal Reynolds with hard evidence- email printouts. He wants Reynolds to resign for the reason of his choice and recommend Ben for his job and he notes that he'll get the job because they respect him (Ben knows there's no reason- he doesn't care about the kids, education, etc as evidenced by this incident.). I noted and appreciated the old Ben coming back for this presentation of the emails to Reynolds- the confidence, superioirty, manipulation, cold delivery and tone. Perfect. This falls apart, though, when Reynolds shows him Alex's request for a recommendation to Yale as teh response to Ben's demand. Foiled again!
Reynolds uses a (previosly) Ben style tactic and stays one step ahead in the blackmail game. Reynolds gives him a choice, much like we've seen Jacob and MIB doing lately. And in a similarity relating to Alex, he had the choice to save her or schoose the island and his power. Reynolds says Ben can have his way, but Alex will get a bad recommendation and not make it into Yale. If Ben doesn't say anything, Alex will go to Yale. Reynolds saying the ball is in his court and he can have what he wants but there will be unpleasant consequences reminds me of Jacob and MIB's manipulations (and possible role of the flash sideways' as possibly the result of these choices- my guess) this season.
Ben is faced with a similar choice/ that he had in the season 4 episode,/ "The Shape of Things to Come."
Ben can choose to think only of himself/ as he did on the island/ which resulted in Alex's death/ at the hands of Widmore's mercenaries.
Or Ben can choose/ to sacrifice his own interests/ and allow Alex to realize her dream.
Back to Ben being chased by Ilana in the jungle...
MIB had told him not to hesitate because she wouldn't (if she were in that position? or is he saying she just wants to kill him in an effort to get Ben to kill her?). He does hesitate and explains he feels like she does. He chose the island over Alex's life in the name of Jacob. He said he sacrificed everything for him and he didn't care. Ilana looks like she could be reconsidering her father figure... Can we believe Ben this time? Ilana says she will have him and seems to forgive him. ??? Is it that easy? Ben has a look of disbelief as well. Is Jacob about forgiveness and MIB about judgment? I don't know. Is MIB really planning to meet up with Ben or does he know Ben will end up with Ilana? I kind of think MIB is counting on Ben to come with him based on Jacob being "right" about Ben. Ben killed Jacob, who wanted to believe he was wrong about Ben (that he had good in him?), but he wasn't. Maybe he was wrong about Ben and choosing Ilana's group is a way to redeem himself in this time line as well.