Lost: Dr. Linus

First off, let me say that I love the Ben Linus charcter more than almost any other character in the Lost pantheon (save perhaps Locke). Michael Emerson is a great actor and, prison guard instructional videos notwithstanding, I think Ben is his finest role.

So an entire episode devoted to Dr. Linus is a real treat. Here are my main questions and takeaways:

Questions:

  • Which Kwon is which?
  • Per a few weeks ago & repeated here, your candidates:

    4 – Locke
    8 – Hugo
    15 – Sawyer
    16 – Sayid
    23 – Jack
    42 – Jin and/or Sun

    Locke is a wash since he’s dead, Jin isn’t looking so good now that he’s with the Temple/Not Locke team and Sayer is AWOL; Sayid is Zombie Sayid so I doubt it’s him either. That leaves Hugo, Jack & Sun.

    Or, like Not Locke said, maybe Ben will be put in charge. Or maybe Widmore?

    Of those two only Ben is candidate (117 on the Lighthouse dial) but he’s been crossed out.

    So is the Kwon a reference to Jin, Sun, neither (their child, maybe?) or both?

  • Are there really sides anymore?
  • I’ve mentioned it here before – my naive thought that Jacob & Not Locke represent New Testament God & Old Testament God respectively – and this (old by now) ABC Promotional Poster with the Last Supper theme doesn’t help matters much, though it does feature Not Locke as Christ. Not too big of a deal if you accept a triune Christian deity, but not quite in keeping with my hypothesis either.

    In misremembering the poster I had initially thought that the characters had aligned themselves by sides that somehow matched the two camps we now have, but that’s not true at all (at least not yet). At the very least the three still-viable candidates (if you believe the numbers) are on Not Locke’s left/our right and also includes Ben (117). To Not Locke’s right we’ve got Jacob’s right hand, Richard Alpert, plus Sawyer (15) and Kate (51).

    Best sequence of the whole episode was Not Locke freeing Ben, Ilana giving chase, Ben confessing his sins and Ilana forgiving him. Did Not Locke know/want that to happen or was he counting on Ben to fire his weapon? Are Jacob and Not Locke really so separate or are they somehow forever intertwined. Will it matter what “team” folks have chosen OR how they chose their actions (free will)?

  • Did Jacob summon Widmore?
  • And just where in the world are Desmond & Penelope and do they matter in the story? Will they appear again in either reality?

    108 on the lighthouse dial was “Wallace” which means “Welsh”. Widmore could be using a psuedonym but his accent never struck me as Welsh. Maybe a Scottish connection back to Desmond or MacCutcheon?

    I’m shooting blanks.

Takeaways:

  • Alpert, Arzt & The Black Rock
  • I called it a few episodes back (and maybe longer ago than that, I haven’t searched the archives) that Richard Alpert was a passenger in some capacity on The Black Rock. Still no explanations from him (other than Jacob’s touch being the catalyst for his youth). I want to know about the guyliner more than anything else.

    I also think it’s great that the episode featuring a Black Rock storyline (and dynamite) also brings back Doc Arzt who memorably blew himself up with that unstable explosive. [Smaller points for Miles knowing about Nikki, Paolo & the diamonds though, as Jenn pointed out to me, neither of us could remember how, exactly, he might know that. Did he ever feel their graves? Were their dossiers among the reading materials when Miles first came to the island in search of Ben?]

    Lastly, did anyone else draw the conclusion that The Black Rock had something to do with tea, given Dr. Linus’ tutoring session covering the East India Corporation? Lostpedia says The Black Rock was headed to Siam and not India when it was lost, but I’m not expert on the tea trade.

  • Redemption & Forgiveness
  • Maybe I’m going to reveal my own struggles and problems with organized (actually any) religion, but I find comfort in the fact that maybe Ben had his priorities out of whack regarding what he thought Jacob/The Island wanted. His statement to Lapidus that “The island got you in the end” might be a bit of foreshadowing, at least I read it that way. Even though he was there all along, manipulating and being manipulated by the forces at play, it “got” him in the end via Ilana’s forgiveness and phrase “I’ll have you”.

    Now this is where I part ways with Christianity (and maybe the show). Ben is certainly shown as being someone whom, it could be argued, isn’t worthy of forgiveness. One of the tenets of both of the Protestant religions I’ve semi-practiced in my lifetime is that we human beings are not worthy of God’s love or forgiveness but that it is, quite literally, divine to forgive. Or maybe I’m reading it wrong. Maybe Ben is worthy because of the confession. I don’t know. Religion makes my head hurt, but Ben not getting killed is better for the story and the themes of the show.

    Now I don’t know if I’d have spared Ben’s life, but I do believe his sincerity about the guilt of his actions regarding Alex. It was nice to see that in the Flash Sideways, Ben chooses her well-being over his own and maybe, just maybe, attains some of what he was looking for in the process. He gets what he ultimately wants – History club, no detention, respect, Alex’s admission to Yale – without all that blind pursuit of power stuff.

    Bonus points for the Napoleon allegory (is Ben really short?) and an Island/Elba connection. Good on ya!

  • Jack as the viewers’ stand-in
  • While I always like Locke’s character, I had to admire Jack’s search for the truth, the facts, the science and the reason of The Island. Even now that Jack is the new Locke (willing to trust the process [a little bit, anyhow], leading folks back to The Island, following Hurley/Jacob) I also dig that he remains committed to finding out the whys and what-fors.

    If we can’t have The Island version of Locke, having Jack (and Jack’s transformation) and still-paralyzed Locke of the past, works just fine for me.

    Now if I could only strangle those damn promo editors. Enough with promises and the hype of the post-show spots! Just give us the damn footage without the text/chyrons! I care not for your pithy promises! Give me more Jack and ANSWERS! (I can’t believe I’ve become *that* fan, but there’s only so much time left).

Until next week!

2 thoughts on “Lost: Dr. Linus

  1. @Russ, that’s a good crowd for a Tuesday night.

    I’ve tried ignoring the promos but I just can’t. I know to many people at work who make them to be silent.

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