Welcome back to the "Lost" blog, our unending -- and thus far unsuccessful attempt -- to understand one of television's most bizarre shows. Keep in mind that everything written here is my opinion, and also, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.
(All times are, as always, CDT)
UPDATE: For other thoughts on the show, check out TBL and Dr. Jensen. Dr. Jensen, as always, is way, way deeper than am I.
8:01: Richard Alpert, of course, took Ben in to see Jacob. "The Island chooses who the Island chooses." Another reference to fate. Is this tall gent supposed to be Charles Widmore?
8:02: Bear in mind: last week when Richard took him, it meant his memory would be wiped, and he would "never be the same."
Bingo on the Widmore, by the way.
8:03: Recall that when Keamey killed Ben's daughter, Ben said, "He broke the rules."
8:04: "I believe you call it the Monster."
(Break, with the weird music to open the episode)
(Random break note: do I stick around to watch "The Unusuals?" Maybe.)
8:08: Wait ... they're letting Ben just walk around?
8:09: Ben plants the first seeds to turn the new plane-crash survivors against Locke. Clearly, Ben's afraid of Locke for whatever reason.
8:10: Fantastic symmetry -- recall that Ethan was the "survivor" who wasn't actually on the original plane from Season 1.
8:11: I don't speak French, so I'm not sure what's happening in this scene. But I'll take a guess: Ben kidnapped Rousseau's daughter, and gave her the advice she'd heed for the rest of her life.
8:12: Note the similarities here between Ben's office and Charles' office.
8:13: Speaking of "The Elephant In the Room," has anyone ever addressed where the other survivors of the Island are? Where are Desmond, Aeron and Michael? Is the Island really so easily duped?
8:15: Apparently, for the new survivors, the role of Jack is being played by an Hispanic homosexual.
8:16: Another person gets unexpectedly shot for no particular reason. I did NOT see that coming!
8:20: A frightening thought: did someone know these guys were coming back? There was a runway for the plane and the boats were available.
8:21: Theory passed along by kurtbranch.com: the Monster only kills people who don't "belong" on the Island, and lets everyone else go. The pilot who died in Season 1 was supposed to be Frank Lapidus; Mr. Eko was supposed to be his brother; and so forth.
8:22: Flash back to young Ben arguing with younger Charles. Aha! That's the daughter Charles eventually had killed! "Is killing this baby what Jacob wants?"
8:24: Locke and Ben arguing over what the Island wants. Also, Ben is clearly terrified of whatever that shadow is. Or does he already know?
8:26: So in one world, a group of people alive in 2004 are now in 1977, and in another, dead people are coming back to life. This show makes perfect sense.
8:32: As expected, Lapidus is the one who points out the insanity of the situation, and then flees quickly.
Worth asking: what HAPPENED to the rest of the Others? Did they leave? Die off? The Oceanic 6 have only been gone three years. So what happened to them?
8:34: Apparently, at some point, Ben looked an awful lot like the Beaver. Charles Widmore leaving in handcuffs? Really? Another mention of "the rules," this time from Ben. Also note that this is taking place after the DHARMA Purge.
8:35: Charles makes mention of "the inevitable," another nod towards the conflict between fate and choice.
8:37: One never really knows whether Ben is being honest, does he?
Ben makes mention of "something I can't control," about to come out of the jungle, and Locke walks out on cue. Nice.
8:43: If Locke is "the same man I've always been," is that good or bad? Remember, he's the same guy who threw a knife into the back of someone he didn't know back in Season 3.
8:44: So we're right about Ben getting his scratches and scars from attempting to kill Penny.
Flashing forward, it's obvious Ben is terrified of John. And I don't blame him.
8:45: It's the temple, dude!
8:46: A lie. Ben had no part in building the wall. It was there a long time before he ever was.
8:48: Now it all comes full circle. Ben couldn't kill Rousseau because of her baby. And he couldn't hurt Penny for the same reason. Well, that and the fact that he shot Desmond in the groceries, instead of his heart.
8:54: Mmmmmmm ... not sure what's going on here.
8:55: Ben is now lamenting his choice. But was it a choice, or did the Island want her dead? These things are painful.
8:56: What's the relationship between Ben's fall through the concrete and Locke falling to the bottom of the well? At least Ben doesn't have a bone sticking out of his arm.
8:57: Egyptian-looking symbols make a little bit of sense here, given what we know about Richard Alpert and his possibly being some kind of a god.
8:58: Is it possible there's some kind of peyote in the smoke Monster?
8:59: Another ghost, this time the ghost of Alex, Ben's adopted daughter.
9:00: Can you lie to a ghost? Particularly when it's the ghost of your dead daughter, whose death you may or may not have caused?
9:01: In a way, it makes perfect sense for Ben to stay alive. Somehow, that's worse for him than dying.
(End of episode)