Last week I mused, "We now realize part of the reason why Ben is the way he is," in reference to Roger, Ben's no-count daddy. I retract that statement, with apologies to Roger, especially for stating, "He sucks and got what was coming to him in the purge." Dang, that was harsh of me.
The crux of 'Whatever Happened, Happened" is that we now know why Ben is the way he is. The irony of it is so delicious I can barely type these words without dancing around my living room. Ben essentially becomes the man we all love to hate...because of Jack. Jin. Sayid. Kate. Juliet. And Sawyer.
I could stop right there and say, "End of story," but what fun would that be? Especially when we get to see this woman again:
Jumping right into Kate's flashback here (because the opening scenes were boring--Jin rescues Ben Junior, Horace bores his people with a bunch of lame safety talk, and Kate meets Roger...yada-yada-yada...), I confess zero surprise at seeing our gal Cass on the other side of that door. In a manner of seconds the viewer learns (a) Kate's theme music is always provided by Patsy Cline, (b) the people in young Aaron's life are seriously in love with Perry Como's "Catch a Falling Star," and (c) what Saywer whispered to Kate before his heroic helicopter leap.
Cassidy then proves she has a clue, and also earns my respect by naming Kate's game before Kate herself even realizes the facade is falling. Witness:
*Cassidy instantly knows Kate is lying--about the money, about Aaron, and about Sawyer.
*She shamelessly calls Kate out, all but saying, "Girl, the jig is up." The Eagles sang it best, "You can't hide your lying eyes, and your smile is a thin disguise..." Now this should be Kate's theme song. Why has no one else been bold enough to wag a finger at Kate's numerous falsehoods? (With the exception of the U.S. Marshall, may he rest in peace.) Rock on, Cassidy.
Back in present time...er, present as in 1977 of course, the Head of Security springs into action, dutifully checking the Dharma perimeter monitors, dismissing Kate, and dispatching Miles to place Jack, Kate and Hurley on house arrest. What a man, what a leader...yes, our Sawyer has become a productive member of society. Granted, it's Dharma's society, but still.
Juliet commences with her attempts at saving Ben's life, and we are treated to yet another gory surgery, Lost-style. (Remember the days of the Marshall and his protruding shrapnel? Boone's almost-amputation? Jack's appendectomy?)
Look at all that blood! Panicking, Juliet tells Saywer she needs a surgeon to assist her in the OR, which is code for, "Go get Jack!" Upon Saywer's summonsing of his services, Jack intones, "Dude, I'm a janitor now, so unless it's a stopped-up toilet, don't be asking me to get my hands dirty." Jack's actual response,"Then he dies," is so Ben-like in its delivery, I almost expected Dr. Shephard to bellow a hearty, "Bwahahahaha!" Or at least go all bug-eyed.
We viewers are then treated to what I hereby procclaim to be the best scenes of Season 5 thus far. Oscar and Felix's time-travel bantering was my favorite part of last night's episode of The Odd Couple.
OK, so it was really Hurley and Miles but seriously...they were The Odd Couple. And Hurley was the audience's proxy, voicing his (and ours!) confusion at all this time travel stuff. Is it similar to Back to the Future? (Did we love Hurley checking his hand to determine if he's in the beginning stages of a slow fade? We did.) Is Daniel Faraday with Doc Brown and the Delorean? And when will we hear the strains of "Johnny B. Goode," or "Earth Angel?"
When Hurley attempts to understand Miles' explanation of time travel, lamenting, "That was confusing," know that the writers of Lost just gave the audience one big wink. The conversation between these two could be a verbatim recap of what Lost fans have debated for the past couple of years. Thank you, writers and producers of Lost, for acknowledging a very confused fanbase. This was sheer brilliance:
Miles (after Hurley has asked why Adult Ben didn't recognize Flight 815er Sayid as the man who shot him as a child): "Huh...hadn't thought of that."
Hurley (arms smugly crossed): "Huh!"
Meanwhile Kate morphs into a pensive do-gooder, gently giving Jack a smackdown for his refusal to help save Young Ben. (Uh, Hippocratic Oath, anyone?) Jack, who minutes earlier was channeling evil Big Ben, now embraces his inner John Locke, telling Kate he's been getting in the island's way.
Kate: "I don't like the new you."
Jack: "You didn't like the old me, Kate."
You know The Good Shephard wanted to give Kate two snaps and a head shake, then twirl on his heals and sashay out of the room, leaving her looking like this:
Kate 8.0, the upgraded model, continues in her random acts of selflessness, donating her blood for Wee Ben's survival. This means Ben has Kate's blood in his veins. OK, that's just creepy, y'all. We also learn, via her conversation with Roger, that Ben's daddy is really just a meanie pants when he's drunk. Roger really does care for his son. Kate also denies having any children. Whoops, her true colors are showing again. (Y'all knew I was gonna go there.)
I also want to point out the oblique comment Roger makes regarding "LeFleur": "Bastard doesn't ask any questions he doesn't know the answers to." It's said in passing (regarding Sawyer's inquiry into the whereabouts of Roger's set of janitor keys), but I'm staking claims we were meant to notice Roger's little appraisal of Sawyer. For the record. Plus, I enjoy any appraisal of Sawyer. Sigh.
Juliet, looking like the Angel of Mercy, with the little halo-effect braids atop her head, tells Kate that Ben is going to die. Oh, but The Others can help him! The other Others, that is. (Yeah, Juliet used to be an Other. Then she rallied with the Oceanic 815ers. Now she's a Dharma Gal. So this makes Richard and his people the other Others. Got that? Good.)
Embroiling themselves in more island subterfuge, Kate and Juliet agree to get Ben to the Others. Kate, proving that she is not only a hero, but also well aware of Juliet's relationship with Sawyer, regards Juliet and the life she's built in Dharmaville over the past three years. Had she allowed Juliet to sneak off with her and Pale Ben, Kate knows "Sawyer would kill me!" Wow...has Kate found a clue about reality in just the two days since her return to the island?
Flash forward to the scene in the grocery store, of Kate losing Aaron. Kudos to Evangeline Lily! She did an amazing job conveying the feeling of despair a mother experiences when her child seems to disappear in a manner of seconds. (You mothers will agree with me--we've all been there.)
The sole purpose of this scene was to set up Kate's reasoning for returning to the island. I won't rehash the conversation between Kate and Claire's mother, Carole, because I'm certain we all ascertained weeks ago that Aaron was handed over to his grandmother before Kate boarded the flight to "Guam." Kate's farewell to little Aaron was heartbreaking, and I found myself actually feeling remorse for Miss Austen, for the very first time. This must have been the day Kate 8.0 was uploaded. Cough-cough.
Back on the island, at the Zap-To-It fence, Kate witnesses Sawyer on his trusty steed (or VW van, whatever), presumably galloping to halt her from absconding with the wounded Ben. When he refers to her as "Freckles," my heart dropped. I'm not trying to make Lost into a version of Days of Our Lives (as my brother-in-law refers to all the "relationship stuff" on the show), but I am wholeheartedly against any loving feelings between these two. They've lost that loving feeling. It's gone. Whoa-oh-oh-ohhhh.
Juliet has convinced Sawyer it is wrong to let a kid die, even if that kid would eventually grow into the Ben we all know and love/hate, and this is why Sawyer is there to help. Sawyer tells Kate, "I'm doing it for her." Her=Juliet. Me=Happy! The look on Kate's face when she realizes Sawyer really does love Juliet is utterly priceless. I almost felt badly for her. Almost. But not quite.
Back in Dharmaville, Juliet goes gangbusters on an April Fresh Jack. When he first stepped from that shower I had a Dallas flashback: "Dude, if this becomes a Bobby Ewing/it was all a dream scenario, I will shoot my television!"
Alas, it's not Bobby Ewing. Merely a gratuitous, almost-naked scene of Matthew Fox, for which I say "thank you" to Lost's powers-that-be. Yep.
For the second time today Jack is on the other end of a verbal smackdown, this one delivered by Juliet. Furious at Jack for being unwilling to help with Ben's surgery, Juliet tells Dr. Shephard that they (the left behinders) didn't need saving, and that he "better figure out why" he came back to the island. Are we all in agreement that Jack has relinquished every ounce of the leadership status he once maintained with this group of people? Here's to hoping that having Kate and Juliet up in his face will convince our doctor to grow a pair and get with the program. While keeping out of Sawyer's way. Ahem.
Back to The Saving Of Ben, 1977 Edition: After a bit of light conversation ("Dangit, I ain't fit to be your boyfriend or Clementine's daddy, but hey--in the past 3 years I've grown up, Kate!"), some gamey-looking Hostiles capture Kate, Sawyer, and a fading fast Ben. The Head of Security has no fear, however..."Take us to Richard!" he commands.
Richard saunters from the jungle, effectively answering the question we've pondered since season 2...how/why did Ben change sides, from being with the Dharma Initiative to being one with Jacob? The answer? Oh, Kate and Sawyer handed Ben over to Richard, that's how. Easy-peasy, all wrapped up nicely, no? Of course not.
Before Sawyer gives Ben to Richard, He Of The Heavily-lined Eyes states the conditions of Ben's tranfser:
1. "If I take him, he's not ever gonna be the same again." Check.
2. "He'll forget this ever happened." Good. Check.
3. "His innocence will be gone." Um...wait, what?
4. "He will always be one of us." Gotcha. Check.
I waited for either Sawyer or Kate to ask what Richard meant by Ben's "innocence" being gone. Did Richard have plans to leave Ben in a community shower and just wait for him to drop the soap? Ew. Clearly, Kate and Sawyer were not concerned...they were all, "Take the kid--peace out, homeslice!" And in that moment, I believe both Kate and Sawyer realize the enormity of the situation.
Let me break down the enormity for you:
*Sayid shoots Kiddie Ben.
*Jin brings wounded Kiddie Ben to Juliet.
*Juliet attempts to save Kiddie Ben.
*Jack refuses to assist Juliet in her efforts to save Kiddie Ben.
*Kate sides with Juliet, goes off on Jack, shares her own blood with Kiddie Ben, and becomes an ambulance driver (VW van, whatever). (She's quite the heroine.)
*Sawyer trudges through the jungle carrying Kiddie Ben, eventually handing the child over to He of the Heavily-lined Eyes.
*The equation is as follows:
Sayid+Jin+Juliet+Jack+Kate+Sawyer=Why Kiddie Ben Becomes Benjamin Linus, The Man, The Myth, and The Legend. Way to go, Oceanic 815 survivors (and Juliet)...good job!
"Hello, Ben. Welcome to the land of the living."
Are you kidding me? Fantastic ending! Ben is in shock while Locke is as calm, confident, and smug as we've ever seen him. Man, I love me some John Locke. Man, I love this show.
Questions for sussing:
*What happens in The Temple to change Ben into the man we all love to hate?
*Do you believe Kate really returned to the island to look for Claire, as she told Carole? Or is this just my wishful thinking?
*What will Sayid be doing when we next see him?
*Where in the heck-ola are Bernard and Rose?
Oh my...so much to discuss. And...GO!