Monday, March 15, 2010

It's DOCTOR Linus

After nearly every episode, I say to myself, "WOW, that was my favorite episode." And after each, I proclaim my love for whichever character was featured most prominently. I am a fickle and changing girl, because that character changes from week to week. But this past episode brought my love affair with Lost, and indeed my love affair with a particular character, to a whole new level. That character, of course, is Ben Linus.

He is the man we love to hate and hate to love. He has been so deliciously bad, but has revealed soft parts of himself. He is flawed and in some ways broken. As are all of the people inhabiting the Lost world, but there are so many levels to his character. There is a reason Michael Emerson has been nominated for 10 awards for his work on Lost, including last year's Emmy WIN. He. Is. Awesome.

So we all knew that any episode featuring Ben would be nuanced and complicated, because that IS Ben, and "Dr. Linus" did not let us down.

So let's get sussing!

- How much did we love that sideways Ben was teaching his students about Elba? The tiny island where French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled. "It was on this island that everything changed," he says, "that everything finally became clear. But exile was not the worst of his punishment, it was the loss of power." Sound like the man in black to anyone? Or perhaps Ben himself?

- The loving sideways Ben and his father, there is genuine affection between the two. Makes me wonder about Ben's mother. Did she die during childbirth as she did in our familiar Lost world? A tragedy that led to the fractured relationship between father and son, and eventually to patricide. But very importantly, this is where the senior Linus reveals that they had been on the island, but left. Dharma and the island exist in this sideways world! Or at least they did. Do they still?

- Ben and Alex have a special relationship in sideways Lost, too. Contrary to his behavior on the island, sideways Ben abandons his personal ambitions for the sake of Alex. Did anyone have any doubt that he would do the right thing? I didn't. Okay, maybe for a second, but only a second.

- We're finally given a glimpse into Richard's existence. When he leads Jack and Hurley to the marooned ship, Black Rock, he says that after all the years he's been on the island, that was the first time he had been back to it. (Was that ship another era's Oceanic 815? And Richard a passenger?) He confides that he was "touched" by Jacob and given the "gift" of sustained life. However these days he's ready to be done with it, but the island won't let him die whether by his own hand or another's. As Jack so ably proved. Each of the candidates was touched by Jacob. Were they also given this gift?

- Miles. He's such a cool cat. I guffawed when he threw Ben's words right back at him as he tells everyone that Ben was the one that did the dastardly deed: "He was standing over Jacob's dead body with a bloody dagger, so yeah, I'm pretty sure." My favorite quote of the episode was from Miles, as it often is, "Why would I need your money? There are a couple of gimbonis* over there named Paolo and Nicki with $8 million in diamonds on top of them." Not in the teensiest, eensiest bit surprised to see Miles caressing a couple of sparklies after that line.

- The most emotional moment of the show: the showdown between Ben and Ilana. He's a man with nothing left to lose. Marooned on a tiny island. No friends, no power. (Napoleon?) He confesses his role in his daughter's death, because of Jacob. He gave up everything for Jacob. He begs Ilana to just let him leave, that he'll go to the only one that will have him, Locke. When she said "I'll have you," I teared up. Two people, both with their entire lives invested in Jacob, at rock bottom, finding common ground.

- Still a little weepy from the moment in the jungle, we're given the reunion on the beach. Shannon texted me "Michael Giacchino is a genius" and it is in scenes like this one, where his music plays so heavily on our emotions that you become aware of just how true those words are. He IS a genius.

- And of course, we couldn't possibly not mention the submarine that surfaces during this touching moment carrying a scheming Widmore. Theories on his agenda?

Can't wait until tomorrow night!

*I have no idea what this word is or how it is spelled. I have attempted to look it up with no success. However, I just couldn't omit it from the quote because its a fun word. It's also probably some sort of racial slur and offensive to jewel thieves everywhere. Don't shoot the messenger folks.


Lula! said...

I mean...
"He's the only one who will have me..."

That SERIOUSLY almost made me cry. It's also the 2nd time I've felt remorse for Ben. (The 1st was when Alex was shot by Keamy.)

But, like you, Cara, I also loved the reference to Nikki and Paulo. And their diamonds. They are SO gimbonis. Word.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

LOVED but hated that they brought up Nicki and Paolo. I really didn't like their storyline, but it was kind of funny to see Miles with the diamonds.

I think Richard was a prisoner or a slave on the ship. He kept eyeing the shackles.

Good episode. :)

michelle said...

I've always been attracted to Ben in a sick and twisted way...

Remember when Flocke sees Richard and comments that he looks good out of chains? (or something to that effect) And then Richard is seen examining the shackles on the Black Rock. hmmm...

And that scene between Ben and Ilana was AMAZING acting on both their parts. Intense.

I need to go back and watch the last 4 episodes on Hulu before tomorrow!

Shannon said...

"Was that ship another era's Oceanic 815?"

Oooooo... that's brilliant, Cara! I hadn't thought of that!

As I said to you and Lula, I was pretty sure Sideways-Ben would do the right thing regarding Alex... but I totally thought Island-Ben would choose Flocke. I did NOT see Ilana's "I'll have you" coming.

And I teared up at the slo-mo reuinion on the beach. Damn that Michael Giacchino and his orchestrations. All of his Grammys and Emmy and Oscar are so well deserved.

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

I teared up twice in this episode. Of all the episodes of this season this has been the most emotional for me. Darlton did say they would wind back around to season 1 a little this season and the reunion on the beach had me crying good. There is nothing like a good beach reunion is there?

Also, when Ben opens that door and Alex is standing there I was kinds of surprised and happy. Moment #2 of tearing up.

Dooood...who are the SIX candidates. Is she counting Sun and Jin? Is Kate a candidate and we just don't know it?

And Richard!!! Awesome!
Jack "Where did you come from?"
Richard "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
jack "try me."
Richard "not yet."
WTF?! Where did he come from? Not in the grand scheme of things but on the island? Where was he that he just popped out? I'm assuming he was a slave on the Black Rock in the grand scheme. But is there some other secret place on the island he was hangin?

Oh and Lapidus!! Ben "How different would your life had been? The island still got you in the end anyway." Is this a precursor to sidewaysville losties ending up on the island anyway?

Did you all feel bad about Ben digging his own grave? Man. I felt bad but then I was all...karma is some awesome stuff. I knew he wouldn't die. PS. Do you think he was following the smoke monster the whole time and not Jacob? He did say he had never seen Jacob or talked to him...And he summoned the smoke monster alot. I think he thought he followed Jacob but maybe followed 'Ole Smokey without knowing it.

And speaking of good 'Ole Smokey. Man that guy knows just when to show up doesn't he. Prey on the weak, promise them something you probably can't or won't give them and recruit em. Dang I could have used him when I was a manager. I would have had the best staff EVER. Anywho, Ben and Ilana in the "everything I ever did was for Jacob speech". Boy. That was a doozy and Ilana ~ Now that was Grace. If you ever wanted to see Grace in action that was it ~ yessiree. If I could have that much forgiveness in me I would be a better woman that's for sure.

And man oh man...does Jack seem sure of his purpose to anyone else but me? He knows he is there for a reason and I think he stumbled upon just the right person to help him figure it out ~ guyliner himself. I didn't see that partnering coming but I like it!

Now that I've written a book I will quit. I CAN"T wait till tomorrow! SAWYER (and some chick that I will pretend is me).

Rebecca said...

LOVED this episode as well - it is definitely up in my top 5!

The scene with Ilana and Ben - tearing up doesn't even begin to describe it!

Shannon said...

Here's another thing:

What's with everyone in Sideways World staring at their reflections? Jack and Kate in mirrors, Sayid in the glass door at Nadia's house, Ben in the microwave door...

Heather said...

Jenny, great sussing.

Cara, awesome post.

Lost, one of the best episodes ever. I admit to tearing up, too, especially with the Ilana/Ben scene.

Miles cracks me up. I loved the diamond scene.

Have to watch last night's episode today; had a final to finish last night :(

This school stuff is seriously putting a damper on my LOST life.

Michelle said...

Here's my take on the 6 candidates:

We saw on the wall: Jarrah, Reyes, Locke, Shepard and Kwon. Locke gets crossed off, so we're down to 4. I think Kwon is Jin, because Kate Austin wasn't on the wall (no women.)
I think Lapidus is a candidate, cuz like Ben said the island got him anyways.
And I'm wondering if Miles and Ilana are candidates too.

In the Lighthouse I was pausing my tv when Jack was reading the big wheel. I saw Linus (crossed off), Austin (not crossed off), Shepard (not crossed off), Roussea (crossed off) and Jarrah (not crossed off)

Jacob touched Locke and Sayid on their shoulders - shirts - no skin, but everyone else he touched their skin. Does that make a difference?

Something thats been bothering me -Smokey couldn't get into the temple until Dogen was dead, but Flocke took Ben down into the temple (through that hole) to be judged, he also pulled the french team down there when that guy lost his arm and whenever Ben summoned smokey he came from that hole in the temple - so why all of a sudden was the temple a Smokey-No-Zone?

Why did Smokey kill Eko and the pilot of 815 and whomever else when he seems to be showing some restraint with our other Losties?

Well I guess we got Sawyer free episodes the past couple week cause they were building up Sawyers shirtless scenes last night!

Kelly Deneen said...

I loved this episode too! I have to admit that I think Ben is one fugly dude, but I love him as Dr Linus in those cute little glasses.

And I totally teared up when Ilana said she would have him. *sniff* (Of course my friends made crass jokes instead, but my 3 glasses of wine made me a big ol' sap.)

Rhea said...

Great post!! LOVED that episode. And Miles with the diamonds was PERFECT. Great summary!

Melissa said...

I'm a little late and I have nothing of value to add, but I'm still here and loving everyone else's thoughts. I'm just enjoying the show and the workout it gives my brain.