Let me say this, just once, to get it out of the way.
Ben’s back story. Finally.
The camp “catching up”.
The end of Dharma.
Ok, so that was twice. Can you blame me?
This week opens with a woman in labour. She’s having trouble and her husband is panic stricken, but he holds it together long enough to deliver the baby, right there amongst the trees. Once the baby comes, he picks up his wife and child and runs in search of help.
I’ll admit I was a little surprised when he stumbled out of the forest onto the roadside 32 miles out of Portland. I really did think he was on the island.
A car finally pulls over and offers help, but it’s too late. Ben’s Mother dies in her husband’s arms.
Richard opens Ben’s tent to find him holding a wooden doll. He asks him about it.
“It’s a birthday present. Mine just happens to be today. You do remember birthdays, don’t you, Richard?”
Ignoring the rather pointed remark, Richard asks if Ben wants him to take the recorded instructions Ben has prepared for Juliette to the medical station. Ben is furious that it hadn’t already been taken and storms out of his tent in search of his recorder. His train of thought is interrupted as Locke walks into the camp carrying his Father’s body.
“You said that if I killed my Father, you’d tell me everything I wanted to know about the island. So why don’t you start at the beginning?”
In a scene very reminiscent of one that played out between Locke and his father, Ben pours two glasses of liquor and hands one to Locke. Unlike the previous situation, Locke ignores the proffered drink until Ben is forced to put it down beside him. Ben tells Locke that the leader of the group is someone named Jacob, but since Ben is the only one who sees and talks to this “Jacob”, Locke figures that Ben is really “The man behind the curtain” and that Jacob doesn’t exist at all.
“And what might you base that theory on, John.”
“Because if you were telling the truth, your hand wouldn’t be shaking.”
A very young Ben comes to the island with his Father, part of the Dharma Initiative, putting the lie to Ben’s assertion that he was born on the island. They are welcomed by the man, Goodspeed, who helped Ben’s Father the day his Mother died. Goodspeed has helped Roger Linus out with a job in the Initiative.
WELCOME TO NAMBLA ISLAND, I SEE YOU PACK SMALL.
At an orientation, the new Initiative recruits are shown a video that details the function of the sonic fences, which are there to protect the community from the indigenous wildlife. The video also mentions that the island has properties that exist nowhere else on earth and that part of the Initiative’s mission is to study those properties “for the betterment of mankind and advancement of world peace.”
Ben sees people being inoculated with a familiar looking injector gun and is handed an Apollo bar by a little girl who introduces herself as “Annie”.
His Father finds out that his new job is that of “Workman” and isn’t happy about it. He makes a scene and storms off with his new coverall.
OH WORK-MAN, I THOUGHT HE WAS JUST A JEWISH ROGER WORKMAN
Sawyer corrals Sayid and gives him the news about Locke. He has more information for the Iraqi as well. On tape.
Mikhail comes running into the Others’ camp, yelling for Ben. We learn that his miraculous recovery is due to the fact that the pylons weren’t set to a lethal level. He learns that Locke is now part of the group. Ignoring that little revelation for the moment, Mikhail tells Ben about the woman who has parachuted onto the island, with a radio transmitter and a ship somewhere nearby. Ben tells him of their plans to raid the survivors’ camp in two days time, but Mikhail thinks that they have to act immediately.
Locke puts Ben in an awkward situation by speaking up just then.
“Ben’s not going anywhere with you.”
“He and I are going to see Jacob.”
Ben always took second to Steve when it came to the annual
Dharma eye poppin’ festival in June.
When Ben tries to delay their “excursion”, Locke demonstrates just how well he understands the group dynamic by beating Mikhail senseless while the crowd watches passively. Apparently, they respect strength and action and he demonstrates both in abundance.
“So, when do we leave?”
As Locke and Ben fill their canteens for the journey, Alex approaches and hands Locke a 9mm.
“I hear you’re going to go see Jacob. You’re going to need this.”
She shares an odd look with her Father and then almost as an afterthought, she wishes him a happy birthday.
(*Um…ok, we’ll come back to this at the end…’cuz…um…if what I think just happened, happened…um…*)
Young Ben is learning about volcanoes and eruptions when his school room is rocked by an explosion. The teacher herds the students into a corner and picks up a rifle. Ben watches, mesmerized as the Dharma group arms itself against “The Hostiles”.
That night, Ben lies awake in bed, petting his pet rabbit as his Father and Goodspeed talk about what happened earlier in the day. Ben’s Dad isn’t happy about being stuck on an island where he’s going to get shot at. As he turns to go back to bed before his Father catches him eavesdropping, young Ben is startled to see a blonde woman at his window.
Back in the camp, Sayid and Sawyer are looking for Juliette. Kate tells them that Juliette left with Jack just after she told them about Naomi. Sawyer wonders who Naomi is, but his question is ignored. Kate suggests that perhaps it’s time for Sayid to tell everyone about the newest arrival on the island. As he storms off in search of Jack and Juliette, Sayid instructs Sawyer to play the tape for Kate.
As they prepare to set out, Ben explains to Locke that “Jacob” is very real and he’s not going to be happy that he and Locke are dropping in unexpectedly.
“This is not a man you go and see. This is a man who summons you.”
“Well, I guess there’s a first time for everything.”
On young Ben’s birthday, Annie gives him a gift. It’s two wooden dolls, a boy and a girl. She’s giving him the girl and keeping the boy since the dolls represent the two of them. Now they never have to be apart.
If I really need to make the joke. . . then I am disappointed with all of you.
His Father is passed out on their couch and when Ben tries to take his boots off to make him more comfortable, he wakes up and notices the present on the table.
“Sorry I forgot. Kinda hard to celebrate on the day you killed your Mom.”
Father of the Year, this guy.
Devasted by his Father’s cruelty, Ben runs out into the night, as far as the deadly sonic fence.
On the other side, he sees his Mother.
“It’s not time yet, Benjamin.”
He screams for her as she walks back into the jungle.
A much older Ben leads Locke through the jungle. They come to an odd line of dirt that runs out of sight in both directions. Ben makes a point of stepping across it without touching it. Locke is curious and picks up a pinch of it. Impatiently, Ben calls for Locke to follow him. John makes a point of also stepping over the odd line, and the two men continue on.
(*Sandy line sidenote: Practitioners of spellcraft believe that a circle of salt or sand can be drawn around an entity to contain it. The “entity” could be a person, spirit or even a demon, but the concept is the same. Another possibility could be a sort of “dead zone” between “here” and “there”. In many myths, there is a line of “nothingness” between the land of the living and the land of the dead. Or maybe there’s a psychotic landscaper loose on the island.*)
Back at the beach, the group is having another town meeting. That’s twice in one season. Actually, that’s twice in three seasons, but who’s counting.
The group is mightily concerned to find out that the world thinks that they’re dead, but Sayid wants them to focus on the fact that the group may be in danger because of Jack’s extended stay at Casa de Others and his Other gal pal, Juliette.
When Sun begins to defend Juliette to the group, Sawyer plays the tape. Everyone seems a little taken aback, except Jack and Juliette who walk up to the group just then. Juliette asks Sawyer to flip the tape and play the other side.
“You want to burn me at the stake? Here I am. But first, turn the tape over and press play.”
On the other side of the tape is Ben’s voice, detailing the Others’ plan to take Sun and giving instructions for Juliette to identify any of the Other women that the Others might want to take.
Turns out that Juliette told Jack all about what was going on and he only kept it to himself until he decided what to do with the information.
“I think we’ve got some catching up to do.”
Young Ben uses a code to disable the sonic fence, testing his handywork by sending his pet rabbit through ahead of him. When the great, great, great grandfather of #8 doesn’t bleed from its long furry ears, he heads out into the jungle.
In the jungle, Ben hears more whispers and then is confronted by one of “Them”.
HO LY SHIT
I JUST FIGURED OUT WHERE THEY ARE!!!
THE ISLAND. . LOST. . ALL OF IT. . .
THEY ARE ON ….
The secret hiding place of THE TICK’S BATMANUEL!
When Ben explains about his dead Mother appearing to him, Richard doesn’t seem all that surprised. When Ben begs to be allowed to join “The Hostiles” because he hates the Initiative compound so much, Richard has a surprising answer for him.
“If that’s what you want, I want you to think about that. But, you’re going to have to be very, very patient.”
Ben is nothing if not patient.
Locke and Ben reach a small cabin that seems to be rotting into the jungle. Ben suggests that Locke turn his flashlight off, since Jacob feels much the same as Locke does about technology. In the light of a lantern, Ben asks Locke if he’s really certain he wants to go through with this. His silence is his only answer.
Ben announces that they’re there and opens the door.
Ben introduces Locke to a highbacked wooden chair. Locke isn’t amused.
Ben seems awfully sincere in his conviction that Jacob is sitting in the empty chair. So much so that Locke questions Ben’s sanity.
“I’m sorry you feel that way, John. And I’m sorry that you’re too limited to see.”
Locke turns to leave and a third voice speaks.
Locke turns back to Ben to ask what he said, but Ben claims to have said nothing.
Locke turns on his flashlight to show Ben that the cabin is empty and all hell breaks loose.
The cabin erupts in chaos, objects flying around the room, the lamp knocked off the table, setting the place alight, and in the weird light of the flame, Locke sees a third figure suddenly visible where only a chair had been.
Tell me that silhouette isn’t Locke with hair. Sure looks like it to me.
Walking through the jungle in the daylight, Ben asks Locke what he heard Jacob say in the cabin last night.
“He didn’t say anything to me. You did.”
When Locke points out that they’re not returning the way that they came, Ben tells him that he has something he wants to show him. He admits that some of the things he’s told Locke weren’t true. Particularly the part about him being born on the island.
“Then where did you come from?”
“That’s what I want to show you.”
An older Ben helps his Father load one of the microbuses with beer and supplies destined for the Pearl Station. Since it’s his birthday, in order to make up for forgetting that it’s Ben’s birthday, his Father suggests that when they’re done with their run, they spend some “father and son” time together.
As they stop the van for a drink, Ben asks his Father a question. He wants to know if his Dad really blames him for his Mother’s death.
“You know, I’ve missed her too. Maybe as much as you have. But the difference is, that for as long as I can remember, I’ve had to put up with you. And doing that required a tremendous amount of patience. Goodbye, Dad.”
With that, he puts on a gas mask and pops a canister of gas that kills his Father in a few seconds.
Back at the Dharma Initiative compound, Ben’s Father has plenty of company. It seems that with his help, the “Hostiles” have managed to kill every last member of the Initiative. Richard is the first to check his watch and remove his mask. He asks if Ben wants them to retrieve his Father’s body, but Ben wants them to leave him where Hurley can find him and turn him into a couple of tasty prop comedy moments.
The “Hostiles” begin gathering up the bodies. They throw them in an open pit. That’s what Ben wants Locke to see. The corpses of the Initiative that Ben betrayed.
“These are my people. The Dharma Initiative. They came here seeking harmony. They couldn’t even co-exist with the island’s original inhabitants. When it became clear that one side had to go, one side had to be purged, I did what I had to do. I was one of the people that was smart enough to make sure that I didn’t end up in that ditch. Which makes me considerably smarter than you, John.”
Half a second later, Locke has joined the corpses in the pit.
So who other than me gasped then
followed that gasp up with a series of “holy shits” right about here?
(*Remember my sidenote after Alex gave Locke the gun and then wishing Ben “Happy Birthday”? Considering that Locke goes for his knife, not his gun, I’m left wondering if perhaps Alex made sure that Locke had the gun, knowing that her Dad was sneaky enough to lift it from Locke’s waistband while he had him distracted and use it to solve his Locke problem while out of sight and earshot of his group.*)
Ben wants to know what Locke heard Jacob say.
“He said: ‘Help me.’”
“Well, I certainly hope he helps you, John.”