So, I was surprised to see that no one picked up the slack in my absence. Having fallen asleep about 15 minutes in on Thursday night, I’ve since watched the episode twice, and let me say that I thought it to be an outstanding episode. So much Ben. Let’s have at it:
1. “I can’t believe you let him have Australia. Australia’s the key to the whole game.” That was Hurley to Sawyer over their game of Risk. And while that may not be what Hurley said verbatim, you get the idea. The quote is telling for two reasons: 1) Australia’s an island, and last time I checked there’s another island in the Lost storyline, yes? and 2) Australia has been a pretty big component of the show. After all, Oceanic 815 was en route to Los Angeles from Australia. We saw Jack’s dad take a trip to Australia. Claire is from Australia. Now, is it safe to say that Jack and Claire possibly discovering their shared lineage is, in fact, the “key to the whole game”? In other words, something went down in Australia that’s pertinent to the history of the entire story.
2. Kate: “Do you have a prescription for that?” Jack: “Yeah, I wrote it myself.” Nice little nod to the season 3 finale, when Jack is trying to fill a prescription he wrote for himself. Oh, you wacky writers.
3. Smokey. Okay, the fact that Ben is apparently able to summon the black smoke monster is fucking nuts. We have to assume, right, that’s what happened, seeing as how he entered his secret chamber (what about those hieroglyphics on the door? Similar to the ones in the hatch when the timer expired?), emerged covered in what looked like soot, and then told those folks they’d have to run like hell seems like a good indication.
4. The Parka. Not only was it insane that Ben “awoke” in the Sahara, and even stranger that he was wearing a parka, and perhaps even odder that he had a cut/gash on his right arm, but did anyone else notice that when he first opened his eyes, what appeared to be a cloud of smoke — like a breath of cold air — blew from his mouth? Now, because of that cold air and the parka, should we assume that he was in a cold place right up until that moment, perhaps harkening back to the season 2 finale with the two Portuguese guys on the boat? And by the way, how about Ben dispensing of those two dudes on horseback?
5. Ben in Tunisia. I could swear that we saw the bones of a certain polar bear in Tunisia, yes?
6. Dean Moriarty. Ben checks into the hotel under the Dean “On the Road” Moriarty pseudonym. What’s more, he informs the woman behind the counter that he’s been there before and he’s a preferred guest. Even crazier, though, is the fact that he needs to confirm the year (2005). Yeah, I’d say it’s safe to say that time travel is an element.
7. Sayid for hire. We now know how Ben managed to recruit Sayid as a hired gun. Fine turn by the writers to call back to that episode and explain Ben and Sayid’s off-island relationship. The smile on Ben’s face when walking away from Sayid suggested that Ben was either: A) psyched that he now found a hired gun to do his dirty work; or B) achieved his predetermined goal of recruiting Sayid. What I’m saying is, do you think Ben was more or less setting Sayid up from the outset to come on board, or did it just so happen to work out that way? Obviously, the way things go on this show it seems nothing happens by chance.
8. Oh, Faraday, you liar. When I first watched the episode, I thought it was ridiculous that Jack just so happened to ask Bernard if he had a minute, which we then discover he must have used to ask if Bernard knew Morse Code. And, sure enough, he did. On second viewing, I now understand the reason Jack suspected as much is because right before Jack asks, the group is speaking to Faraday to see if he got the transmitter to work, and Bernard asks, “Is there any way to use it like a telegraph?” Ah, thinks Jack, Bernard must know Morse Code, right? Fine. But guess what, genius? Faraday and Charlotte were both standing there, as well, and wouldn’t they have also assumed Bernard knew Morse Code? Bad job, writers.
9. The Doctor. Okay, here’s a good one. Is the Doctor really dead on the beach and alive on the island? That is, is the ship merely behind the island in terms of time, which is why the earlier incarnation of the doctor is, in fact, fine on the boat, while the later version is washed up on the island? It would make sense, after all, seeing as how we know the boat is searching for the island, and if the island is, in fact, constantly moving, we can sort of assume that it’s moving in the future (in this case) and what’s happening on the boat simply hasn’t caught up to what’s happening on the island. My brain hurts.
10. Ben and Charles. Aw, how cute. They’re old pals. Okay, so Widmore’s drinking that McCutcheon scotch which we’ve seen a couple times already. Also, when Ben stated earlier that “He changed the rules” (after Alex was executed, which was also fucking crazy), we can read that in one of two ways, I think. One, that Ben is referencing that his current time and Widmore’s current time are more or less existing simultaneously, and they have a pre-struck agreement not to harm each other’s family; or, Two, that because Ben knows the future because of his ability to travel through time, there was no possible way for Alex to die at that point, as it wasn’t in the leaves for her. Now, though, because she was killed, Ben realizes that something has occurred to disable that theory. Additionally, if everything course corrects and Ben knows that wasn’t supposed to happen, then where do we go from here? I mean, she’s dead. You don’t undo that, right? Or do you? Somebody find Christian Shepard.
I know there was plenty of other shit, but that’s it for me.
Until next time, have at it, you vultures!