The latest from our "Lost" junkie, Luci Chavez...
Emmy-winner Michael Emerson does an exceptional job playing the character of Ben Linus. To the extent, I possess an undying hatred of the character.
Or do I?
Characters continue to choose sides for the final showdown. Nine episodes left before the two-hour series finale.
Ben's running through the jungle at night looking as nerdy as we've ever seen him. Thank God, the people with torches are Frank, Ilana, Sun and Miles. Ben updates them on who's alive and who did the killing at the temple and suggests they hasten to the beach where it's safe.
Ben, the Los Angeles Unified School District hack, is teaching about the island of Elba, where Napoleon was exiled after his loss of power. "He might has well have been dead" without his power, Dr. Linus says. (How appropriate.) Principal Reynolds drops detention duty on Linus. Feeling emasculated, Ben's talking to The Science Teacher (TST), the guy who blew himself up. They grouse about budget cuts. (Totally relevant TV, don't you know?) Ben, a.k.a. Pollyanna, says he'll never give up on his students. "Maybe you should be the principal," says Locke eating his lunch nearby. "Maybe it's time for a change." Linus and Locke had a little moment. Awww.
Back in the jungle, Ilana forces Miles, the ghost whisperer, to hold a bag of Jacob's ashes so he might reveal what Jacob was thinking when he died. Ben's going, so why do we need to know that? (Yeah, right. You killed him, hoser!) Miles drops the bomb. "Linus killed him." Ben demurs. (You were holding the bloody dagger, you dolt. You think Miles didn't see that on the playback?) Ilana is scarily calm about the news, especially after saying Jacob was like her daddy. What? Wait. You're not going to go after Ben?
It's daytime on the island and the kiddies arrive back at the beach, which is looking toe up from the flo' up. Ben tries to kiss Ilana's ass, badmouthing Miles.
Back in L.A., Ben microwaves a meal for his punk dad. Remember that guy? He was a jerk. We'll, he's on oxygen. Ben's taking stock and says, "Look at [my ungrateful students]. I can't help but think, maybe I'm more of a loser than any of them." Linus Dad, in a very tender kind of exchange, says this isn't what he wanted for Ben. He wanted more and that's why they went to the island with the Dharma Initiative. "Imagine how different your life would have been had we stayed."
(WOW. That's interesting. Ben's life always included the island. I can't see how they all don't end up on the island regardless of whether the plane crashed or not. The two realities will merge?)
The doorbell rings and it's Alex. (Tears. When Keamy killed her in season 4, oh man, that was awful. That's the thing for which I will never forgive Ben. He allowed it!) Alex, who's living with her mom (Rousseau is alive!) needs help on the AP test. Ben offers his help. "You're the best, Dr. Linus." Aww. So sweet. They had a moment.
On the island, Sun's back to making random comments about finding Jin. (Come on. That bit has dragged on long enough. This is all Yunjin Kim has to do these days. What the heck? Sun and Jin are some of the best characters on the island. So disrespectful.) Ilana is looking for Jin, too. She's supposed to protect a "Kwon" and isn't sure if it's Sun or Jin. Why? "Because you're candidates." Candidates? "To replace Jacob." (I'm thinking Sun is more candidate material than Jin. If only for her pedigree and newly embraced badassness.)
On another part of the island, Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is lying down and here comes Dr. Feelgood. Jack (Matthew Fox) wants to go but Hurley wants breakfast first. "Are you coming or not?" (Oh, thank you, Lord. Jack is back to being in charge.) Hurley says OK, let's take this shortcut. Jack's like, no way. We're going this way. Then Richard Alpert shows up out of the blue. He leads them the way Jack was going. Hurley says, "Do you trust that guy?" Foxy responds, "At least he's not stalling." (Oh man, did you see that look Hurley just gave Jack. Hurley just got SALTY on Jack! Love it.)
On the beach, Ben is going through Sawyer's tent library. (The Chosen! Chaim Potok. Incredible novel. Incredible.) Frank tells Ben that he was supposed to be flying Oceanic 815. (Of course! Why didn't I think of that?) "I overslept. Imagine how different life would be if my alarm had gone off?" Ben replies, "The island still got you in the end." (I think the island gets all of them in the end.) Finally, Ilana puts the gun to Ben's head. Ben tries to negotiate. Ilana chains his leg to a tree and tells him to start digging his own grave. (How very barbaric of you, Ilana. That accent ain't fooling anyone, girl.)
At L.A. Unified, Ben and Alex are studying. Alex is stressed. Without a good score, she can't go to college. She has no money. She wants to go to Harvard or Yale or some place like that. But needs a letter of rec from an alumnus. The only once she knows is that pervert Principal Reynolds. Ben's like, what? Pervert? What has he done to you? Nothing, Alex says, except I caught him and the school nurse doing the boom chicka wah wah in the nurse's office. "Gross, huh." Totally. Ben promises not to say anything but you can see the wheels turning in his head. Pouvez vous dire, 'blackmail fodder?'
On the island, Ben is digging SLOOOWLY. Miles comes by with some food. Ben makes his move. "You remember when you asked me for $3.2 million? Do you still want it? I can get you off the island." Miles is unimpressed. All he has to do is dig up Nicki and Paolo, who were buried with $8 million in diamonds." (Yo, did we know that? No, the ghost whisperer knew that. And a Nicki and Paolo reference? Sweet!) "Jacob was hoping he was wrong about you, right up to the end," Miles says. "Guess he wasn't."
Foxy, the Never Aging One and Hurley are walking. Hugo wants to know why Alpert never gets old. "Is it a Terminator thing? Are you a Cyborg? A vampire." (Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Hugo, stop! Please! My stomach hurts.) Richard says Jacob gave him the gift of not aging. They arrive somewhere but not at the temple. Is it the Black Rock? But why not the temple? "Because everyone there is dead." WTH? Maybe Kate and Sayid made it out. Or maybe not. Foxy is tearing up. Richard tells them not to trust whatever they think Jacob said to them and stalks off. Hey, man, where are you going? "To die." (I think I need the pop-up video version of this episode.)
At L.A. Unified. Ben tries to convince TST to hack into the school email for evidence of whatever about the nurse and the principal. TST says sure but I want a good parking spot and new lab equipment, telling Ben, "You had me fooled with that sweater vest. Guess you're a real killer." Oh, you don't know the half of it, Sparky.
At the Black Rock, Richard says this is the first time he's been back here since ... wait, a second. So he's as old as the ship? Richard is going straight for the dynamite like he knows where it is. "I can't kill myself. Which is why I want you to do it for me." Richard talks about how Jacob gave him the gift when he touched him. "When Jacob touches you, you think it's a gift. But it isn't." (The looks on Foxy and Hugo's faces right now? Priceless.)
But why kill yourself? "I devoted life longer than you know in service to man who told me everything happens for a reason, a plan that I was part of. Now that man is gone. Why do I want to do? Because I just found out my entire life had no purpose. If I light these sticks, they won't kill me. But they will if you do." Foxy is like, all right and he lights them. And doesn't immediately run as fast as his former college football wide receiver stems will carry him. "Now, let's talk." Come on, Foxy. Don't mess around. No, no, no, no, no. GET OUT!
The fuse is getting shorter. Richard is worried. Jack says, "I don't think either one of us is doing to die." (Because you've been touched by Jacob. Does this mean Foxy has to live forever, too? All my Christmases at once. Yeah, boy!) Jack talks about what he learned at the lighthouse. Why would Jacob be tracking me since my childhood. He went to a lot of trouble so we're not going to blow up now. Yep, he's right. The fuse burns out before the dynamite can ignite. Jack's doing that laughing/crying thing. "Want to try another stick? ... You have answers. Let's go back to where we started." Where? The beach?
Meanwhile, back at the beach, Ben's almost finished with his grave when he hears noises. Smoke monster. Hey, Black Locke. Black Locke tells Ben he doesn't want him to die and is gathering folks to leave the island for good. "But once I'm gone, I need someone to be in charge." Ben falls for it after Black Locke unlocks the chain with a flick of his wrist. "Come to the other island. Don't hesitate. (Ilana) won't." Ben bolts. He's down with the bad guys.
Back at L.A. Unified. Ben tires to blackmail the principal with what he knows, telling Reynolds to resign. Reynolds counters saying he'll mess up Alex's future 10 ways to Sunday if Ben goes through with it. Linus was just out-Linused. That's so sad.
Back in the jungle, Linus is running and looking like an idiot. He finds a gun just lying there. Will he shoot Ilana? Does he have the nerve? Uh, no. Instead he tries to explain why he took Jacob out. "I know what you're feeling. I watched Alex die. It was my fault. I had a chance to save her but i chose the island over her. All in the name of Jacob. I sacrificed everything for him. And he didn't care. I stabbed him because I was so angry and confused. I was terrified. I was about to lose the only thing that ever mattered to me. But thing that really mattered was already gone. I'm sorry I killed Jacob. Don't expect you to forgive me because I can never forgive myself."
Ilana asks what he wants. "Let me leave." Where to? "To Locke." Why? "Because he's the only one that'll have me." That's pathetic. I was just about ready to believe him until he played the martyr card. Ilana said she'd have him and walks away. Aww. They had a moment.
Back at L.A. Unified, Ben drops off the detention sheet in the principal's office. Alex comes in, saying she was there to thank the principal for writing such a great letter of rec. She thinks Dr. Linus had something to do with it. He denies it, saying she's a great student. Outside, TST asks if Ben went through with it. No, but he saved Alex. That's all that really counts. Another dose of redemption for the island gang.
In the jungle, Ben follows Ilana back to the beach. Ben puts down his gun and offers to help Sun with her shelter. (Come on! They're Snapifying him.) Frank builds a fire. Miles has found the diamonds. Ilana mourns Jacob. And guess who's walking up the beach? Foxy, Hugo and Richard. Everyone hugs. Everyone meets Ilana.
Ben stands off by himself and ... cut to the water ... and cue the submarine. And there he is, folks. Daddy Widmore. Told you!