Dr. Linus Review of LOST episode 7
March 12, 2010

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Dr. Linus Review of LOST episode 7

RUNNING BLINDLY

The episode opens with Ben running through the jungle in the dark away from the temple where a very spooky Sayid has told him he’s beyond saving. Ben falls on his face and then finds Ilana, Frank, Miles and Sun. When Ilana asks about the whereabouts of Sayid, Ben informs her that Sayid probably won’t be joining them giving that he has just murdered Dogen and his interpretator (or as I liked to call him, “hippie”).

Sun questions Ilana saying that she told them they would be safe at the temple, Ilana answers her by saying that’s what she was told. Ben suggests they go back to the beach where Locke is buried and the others agree.

Detention

In Sideways LA, Ben is conducting a history class he writes the word “ELBA” on the board and begins to discuss Napoleon. His discussion, if you listen closely, is very descriptive of our friend Ben. “ELBA is where Napoleon faces his greatest test, because exile wasn’t the worst of his fate. What was truly devastating to him was the loss of his power. Sure, they allowed him to keep the title of Emperor, but without any power, it was meaningless. He might just as well have been dead.” The bell rings and the class is over.

There is a man standing by the door who Ben acknowledges as Principal Reynolds. He looks like he has terminal hemorrhoids. What a happy chap! Principal hemorrhoid tells Ben to walk with him. Ben follows behind like a meek bunny. They discuss a shift in schedule as they walk outside. Principal Reynolds informs Ben that due to budgetary restraints and events above his pay grade some of the staff will have to pull double duty. What a demeaning asshole our principal is. He’s the kind of guy you hope kids put mothballs into his car’s gas tank and jimmie the trunk and fill with cow manure. Ben will be tasked with supervising detention for the week. When Ben challenges that he runs an after school history club Principal hemorrhoid indicates that due to the low number of students attending the history club he sees detention as being more important. As he walks off Principal hemorrhoid thanks Ben in a most condescending way and refers to him as Linus. Ben quietly refers to himself as Doctor Linus

In the faculty room the amazing exploding Leslie Arzt is complaining at a stain on his shirt caused by an incompetent student spilling formaldehyde on him. He complains at the lack of lab aprons and the fact that his lab equipment is some fifty years outdated. Ben and Leslie Arzt begin discussing the poor job the Principal is doing, Locke sitting at another table tells Ben that maybe he should be the Principal, due to the fact he cares about his job, and maybe it is time for a change. Ben says that no one would listen to him, Locke raises his hand and says that he’s listening.

Like A Father To Me

Back on the island Sun, Frank, Miles, Ilana and Ben are moving through the jungle, Miles asks what exactly the smoke monster was, Ben replies saying that it is the same thing which killed Ilana’s friends back at the statue. Ilana steps in and questions whether it also killed Jacob, Ben nods and says it did. Ilana then turns to Miles and asks him to communicate with the pouch containing Jacob’s ashes and tell her how Jacob died. Ben looks like he just did a doodoo in his underwear. Miles gets on his knees and listens, then stands up and says “Linus killed him.”

Ben’s eyes almost pop out of his head and he says this a lie but Miles insists and Ilana approaches Ben and says that Jacob was the closest thing she had to a father, she turns and walks away and the rest follow.

The next morning they arrive at the beach camp and the shelters are in bad shape, Ilana goes off to look for tools and work on the shelters, she encourages others to look for firewood and food. Ben approaches her and asks if there is anything he can do. When she doesn’t answer Ben accuses Miles of lying and refers to the time Miles tried to black mail him. She walks away and Frank walks by and says, “You make friends easy, don’t you?” Poor Ben. He’s the pariah of the group.

Ben, Roger & Alex
Back in Sideways LA, Ben is at home and has prepared a healthy, organic meal microwave meal for his ill looking father, and tells Roger he is trying to keep him healthy. Roger tells him he may be a little late for that, and they begin to discuss Ben’s day at work.

Ben refers to the misuse of his doctorate in history and complains that he has been assigned detention duty. Roger tells Ben that this is not the life he wanted for his son, and tells Ben that the reason he signed them both up for the Dharma Initiative was so Ben was around smart people and that their lives would be so much different now if they’d have stayed. Ben throughout the conversation is maintaining the tubes on the tank of Rogers machine, he turns on the oxygen again and Roger thanks him.

The doorbell rings and Ben answers it to find Alex Rousseau. She questions why he had to cancel history club and he apologizes and says the club is cancelled this week due to him covering elsewhere, Alex says that she has an AP test on Friday and was counting on the tutoring, they make arrangements to meet in the school library the following morning before school begins. Alex thanks Ben and calls him the best before leaving.

Candidates

On the island Sun approaches Ilana to ask how long they are going to stay at the beach and indicates she is keen to find her husband. Ilana says thay she too is very keen to find Jin and explains that she is unsure which of them is a candidate and therefore which of them she needs to protect, or whether she needs to protect both of them. Sun questions why they need protection and Ilana informs her they’re candidates to replace Jacob. Sun looks surprised and asks what replacing him would entail Ilana says that “If you’re the one selected, I imagine you’ll find out.” Sun asks how many candidates there are and Ilana says there are only six candidates remaining. Nobody says how many there were to start with.

Way To The Temple

Hurley is on the ground sleeping and mumbling “cheese curds,” when Jack wakes him up and says they should begin to make there way back to the Temple. Hurley, in typical Hurley fashion, tries to stall Jack remembering what Jacob told him about the bad incident which was to happen at the temple, but Jack insists they leave now. Hurley tries to trick Jack into taking a short cut which will bring them away from the temple. Suddenly, Richard steps out and informs them they’re both wrong and to follow him, Jack asks where he came from and Richard replies saying that Jack wouldn’t believe him if he told him. Richard begins walking away and Jack and Hurley follow. Let’s see… Polar bears, smoke monsters, time travel, seeing dead people. I think they would believe you, Richard.

Dig

Back on the beach, Ben is rifling through a shelter, maybe Sawyers, looking through magazines when Frank approaches and asks him for help collecting firewood, Frank refers to Ben as nostalgic when Ben thinks back to the plane splitting in half and crashing on the island, Frank informs Ben that he was supposed to be the pilot on Oceanic 815. When Ben questions why he didn’t pilot the plane Frank tells him that he overslept. Ben says that the island still got him in the end. Frank chuckles and walks away. Ben is kind of smiling and thinking he’s starting to fit in when Ilana puts her rifle to Ben’s neck and walks him up to the graves to a make shift shovel. She ties a cable around his foot and a tree points the rifle at him and tells him to pick up the shovel and start digging a grave, when Ben asks who the grave is for, she tells him that it is for him because he murdered Jacob.

Horizontal Mamba

In sideways LA, Ben is tutoring Alex in the school library when Alex begins to become stressed about the exam and refers to the upcoming test as her entire life is balancing on it. Doctor Ben says she is being a bit dramatic, she answers back that her mum (presumably Danielle Rousseau) is working two shifts to just pay the rent and could no way afford tuition costs at Yale College. Where is that deadbeat husband of Danielle’s?

Ben tells her that she is one of the brightest students he has ever had and if it helps he will write a letter of recommendation, Alex stops him mid-sentence saying that she needs a recommendation from someone who attended Yale and that the only person in the school is that pervert, Principal Reynolds aka: principal hemorrhoid. Ben pushes her to explain her comments calling Principal Reynolds a pervert and asks if he has ever been untoward to Alex, she appears grossed out by this and says no but explains that when she was in nurses office one day she saw and heard Principal Reynolds and the school nurse doing the nasty on school grounds. She makes Ben promise to keep this a secret and Ben agrees. But… The timid, nice Doctor Ben has that island Ben look on his face…

In Sideways LA, Ben is conducting a history class he writes the word “ELBA” on the board and begins to discuss Napoleon. His discussion, if you listen closely, is very descriptive of our friend Ben. “ELBA is where Napoleon faces his greatest test, because exile wasn’t the worst of his fate. What was truly devastating to him was the loss of his power. Sure, they allowed him to keep the title of Emperor, but without any power, it was meaningless. He might just as well have been dead.” The bell rings and the class is over.

There is a man standing by the door who Ben acknowledges as Principal Reynolds. He looks like he has terminal hemorrhoids. What a happy chap! Principal hemorrhoid tells Ben to walk with him. Ben follows behind like a meek bunny. They discuss a shift in schedule as they walk outside. Principal Reynolds informs Ben that due to budgetary restraints and events above his pay grade some of the staff will have to pull double duty. What a demeaning asshole our principal is. He’s the kind of guy you hope kids put mothballs into his car’s gas tank and jimmie the trunk and fill with cow manure. Ben will be tasked with supervising detention for the week. When Ben challenges that he runs an after school history club Principal hemorrhoid indicates that due to the low number of students attending the history club he sees detention as being more important. As he walks off Principal hemorrhoid thanks Ben in a most condescending way and refers to him as Linus. Ben quietly refers to himself as Doctor Linus

In the faculty room the amazing exploding Leslie Arzt is complaining at a stain on his shirt caused by an incompetent student spilling formaldehyde on him. He complains at the lack of lab aprons and the fact that his lab equipment is some fifty years outdated. Ben and Leslie Arzt begin discussing the poor job the Principal is doing, Locke sitting at another table tells Ben that maybe he should be the Principal, due to the fact he cares about his job, and maybe it is time for a change. Ben says that no one would listen to him, Locke raises his hand and says that he’s listening.

Jacob Cared
On the island Miles brings Ben some food and refers to his lacklustre attempts to dig. Ben retorts he’s not really all that motivated and attempts to convince Miles to cut him free and he will find a way for Miles to get the 3.2 million dollars he tried to bribe him for in the past. Miles refuses and says he doesn’t need to considering that Paulo and Nikki who were buried alive have $8 million in diamonds on top of them. Ben cannot believe Miles won’t help him considering Ilana is going to kill him, Ben says, “Ilana is going to murder me for killing Jacob, a man who didn’t even care about being killed.”

“No, he cared,” Miles continues, “right up until the second the knife went through his heart, he was hoping he was wrong about you, I guess he wasn’t. Miles walks away and Ilana shoots the ground next to Ben and tells him to dig.

Black Rock

Hurley still following Richard asks Richard if he is time travelling because he looks the same now as he did thirty years ago. Richard says no, Hurley then asks if Richard is like the terminator, or a Cyborg, an exasoerated Richard says no and explains that Jacob gave him a gift. But, it’s not a gift, it’s a curse.

Jack asks Richard what he knows about Jacob and Richard replies saying that he knows Jacob is dead. They walk into a clearing and see the Black Rock, Richard explains he lied about going back to the temple and that he had just come from that way and everyone there is dead. He tells them he doesn’t know what happened and explains that he didn’t see Sayid or Kate and they might have made it out alive.

Hurley tells Jack that Jacob hinted to him that something bad was going to happen, Richard becomes interested and tells Hurley that whatever Jacob said to him that Hurley should not believe. Richard says he is going inside the Black Rock to die.

Artz Wants Aprons

Artz is working in his classroom when Ben persuades him to hack into the school nurses email account to look for inappropriate emails between Nurse Kondracki and Principal Reynolds. Ben tells him of the relationship between them and that he is looking for emails to use as leverage to get the Principal job.
Arzt agrees to help in exchange for a better car park spot and lab aprons and modern equipment, Ben agrees. Arzt says that the sweater vest Ben wears fooled him and that Ben is a real killer. Ben gives him a surprised look.

Time To Die

On the island in the Black Rock Richard goes inside and studies the chains, Jack asks him if he has been here before and Richard says he has but in his whole time on the island this is the first time he has returned. Hurley joins them as Richard opens a box of dynamite, he tells Jack he is unable to kill himself and asks Jack to light the fuse for him and that the fuse is long enough for Jack and Hurley to escape. He throws down one stick of dynamite to display that it will not blow up.

Jack asks him why he wants to die and Richard replies, “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 he’d share it with me and now that man’s gone. So, why do i want to die? I just found out my entire life had no purpose.”

Hurley pleads with Jack to not do it but Jack lights the fuse on the lantern and then sits across from Richard, he tells Hurley to leave and he’ll follow him out. Hurley sees the flame get closer to the dynamite and runs off saying if Jack changes his mind he’ll be like a mile away.

Richard tells Jack to leave before he dies, Jack chuckles and says that neither of them are going to die, and explains that he has been to the lighthouse and seen the mirror reflection of his house. He realizes that Jacob got Hurley to take Jack to the lighthouse so Jack could see that Jacob has been watching him since he was a child, and based on that he’s willing to bet that if Jacob went to all that trouble, that the island won’t allow for him to be blown up now.

The flame gets to the end of the fuse and fizzles out, Jack laughs and offers Richard another stick of dynamite while Richard stares at the fuse in disbelief. Richard says that since Jack seems to have all the answers what should they do next. Jack says they should go back to where they started.

Smoke and Mirrors
As Ben continues to dig he hears the sound of the smoke monster and Locke appears and asks Ben why he is digging his own grave. Ben answers by saying that due to Locke talking him into killing Jacob; Ilana is going to kill him, so now Locke has what he wants.

Locke answers saying that he doesn’t want Ben to die, in fact when he leaves this island he wants Ben to take charge of things. He motions his hand and Ben looks down and is free of the cable, Man in Locke tells Ben to travel two hundred yards inland where he will find a rifle leaning against a tree, this should allow him to get the drop on Ilana, then to travel to the Hydra station where he will be waiting for Ben. He tells him not to hesitate because Ilana won’t.

Ben takes a look at Ilana before throwing the shovel and running, Ilana gives chase.

Machiavellian Maneuvers

In Sideways LA, Ben confronts the Principal armed with thirty or so incriminating emails about the Pricipal’s relationship and sexual activities on school premises. He demands that Principal Reynold’s resigns and that he recommends Ben for the job, and since the Principal is held in such high esteem by the school board it shouldn’t be a problem.

Principal hemorrhoid mulls over the proposal and then counters that Ben has two options, either the Principal will resign and write a letter to Yale College which would torch Alex Rousseau’s career, or he will not resign and write a good recommendation letter. He asks Ben is the power of the Principal job that important to him.

I’ll Have You

On the island Ben find the rifle and points it at Ilana and demands she drop her gun. Ilana drops the gun and asks Ben what he is waiting for. Ben says he wishes to explain his actions, and that he saw his own daughter Alex die in front of him and that he had a chance to save her but chose the island over her, all in the name of Jacob.
He says that Jacob didn’t care, and admits that he did stab Jacob, but he was so angry and confused and he was terrified of losing the only thing that had ever mattered to him. But he now realizes that the thing that matters to him was already gone and that he is sorry for killing Jacob, and he doesn’t expect forgiveness because he cannot forgive himself.

He asks her to let him leave to join Locke as he is the only one that will take him, Ilana tells Ben that she’ll still have him and pick her gun up and walks away. Ben thinks for a moment, and then follows her.

Back in sideways LA, Ben, dressed much nicer than usual walks into the principals office. He looks at the name plate on the front of the desk and smirks when Alex comes by to thank Principal Reynold for writing such an outstanding recommendation to Yale for her, Ben refuses to accept any plaudits and as the hemorrhoid returns Ben says he’ll see Alex at history club, and says that they have their old slot back after Principal Reynolds found someone to cover for detention. He leaves the office and Arzt approaches him asking if he successfully outed the Principal, Ben says no and offers Arzt his parking space when Arzt complains. Ben smiles watching Alex leave the Principal’s office looking completely happy.

Upscope

On the island Ben follows Ilana back to the beach, he begins helping Sun with her shelter. Frank carries firewood and puts in on the fire as Miles looks at a diamond in his hand. Ilana is sat alone, crying. They see Hurley, Richard and Jack, and they greet each other and exchange hugs.

Out at sea, a periscope pops out of the water and observes the goings on at the beach camp, and we see Charles Widmore inside a submarine, a man says to him that there are people on the beach and asks if they should stop. Charles says no, and tells him to proceed as planned.

LOST

For the first time, I thought that the sideways segments tied in concisely with the island segments. I always enjoy the episodes where Michael Emerson is the “star.” The episode seemed to go in a complete 360 and leave us not much different from where we started, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ben is broken. He’s not the same man he once was. That seemed to be the point of this episode. He’s not a doormat. But he’s not interested in power anymore. The only thing he ever cared about is gone and it just dawned on him that he had been deceiving himself since the moment she died. Ben realizes what his lust for power has done and has changed. Call it his path to redemption. The old Ben that you speak of seems to have faded away to minority at this point. I’m a bit disappointed about that too. But it’s to be expected after all of the trama he has gone through in such a brief time period….

I know lots of people don’t like the sideways / parallel story. But I think it’s interesting and what if it is really the end of the story? What if somehow the MIB is defeated in the end and the island is destroyed and sinks to the bottom of the ocean and this parallel story is how all of our Losties actually go on after that? Are we seeing the end of Lost all season long and we don’t quite know it yet?

I was a bit less flippant than I normally am in my synopsis. Maybe it was the episode that toned me down. I dunno…

So what were your thoughts on this episode? Ben has a much improved relationship with his father off the island, and has Ben now redeemed himself and can he be considered to be a good guy now? What are the consequences of him not joining Man in Locke? How did Charles find the island? Was Richard a slave on the Black Rock? Let me know your thoughts.

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Glenn Moss
Born in 1952 (you do the math), making me one of the proverbial "old farts" involved in toys, comic books, and other juvenile activities that everyone said I should have outgrown decades ago. Fortunately, my wife of 36 years is an understanding soul. A firm believer in the philosophy of Groucho Marx, George Carlin, Robin Williams and Chris Rock. Am now indoctrinating my grandchildren to carry on so that when I finally fade away there will be another generation of odd neighbors who seemed nice and kept to themselves.
Read other articles by Glenn Moss.

 

 

 

2 Comments »

  • Shellhead says:

    I also enjoyed this episode quite a bit. I have no idea how the flash sideways are going to fit into the grand scheme of things, but your “they are the actual ending” idea may have some merit. Still doesn’t account for Charlie being on the plane, though.

    I do hope the sideways stuff doesn’t carry on throughout the entire season. We only have 9 episdoes left until the finale afterall.

    Now that Widmore is on the scene, things should be going south quickly.

    So far, so good. Only one stinker thus far (the Kate episode, if you were curious). Season’s delivering pretty well.

    • Glenn Moss Glenn2000 says:

      Thanks for the comments!

      I’m probably way off base, but I started thinking about it and considering how “out of the box” the whole 6 years have been I thought maybe it could just be. I think we’ll see more of Charlie before the end. I don’t know how or why, but I think most of the “dead” Losties will be alive in the sideways universe. I just wish Mr. Eko would make another appearance!

      I agree that the Kate episode was a dog. Not only disjointed, but parts of it simply didn’t make sense (no cops looking for the cab, the bizarre hospital sequence).

      Am really looking forward to the Sun & Jin episode!

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