By Joe Dyton
Overall, I really enjoyed Tuesday night’s episode. I was excited when I saw it was going to be Ben-centric. I love the Ben character and Michael Emerson is such a talented actor. What I liked most about the show was much like last week’s Sayid-focused episode, we see in Ben’s flash-sideways that his destiny is more or less the same. He’s always going to be looking for a way to gain control whether it’s of a mysterious island or a high school. I thought his lecture on Napoleon in the beginning of the episode about how he still had his title but no power was a brilliant parallel to Ben’s recent turn of events on the island.
A few other highlights/questions…
*I found it interesting that Alex was still a part of Ben’s life in his flash-sideways. Does that mean Danielle is still alive and kicking? Alex mentioned her mom worked two jobs to pay the rent, I’m assuming that’s Danielle. I also liked that Ben choose to help Alex rather than gain power, unlike the decision he made on the island that led to her death.
*To me, one of the most interesting developments from last night came from the flash-sideways scene with Ben and his Dad. Up until now, none of the characters have had any knowledge and/or experience of the island in their flash-sideways. Or at least they hadn’t mentioned it (even Ethan in Kate’s episode). So, I was shocked when Ben’s dad mentioned the Dharma Initiative and wondered what their life would have been like if they’d never left. I wonder how/when/why they left the island.
*We’re getting very few answers each week, but at least we know what some of the 815 are candidates for. I can’t imagine any of them wanting to replace Jacob though; I’m sure they’d sooner just all get off of the island. It would make the most sense for Ben to do be Jacob’s successor, but I can’t imagine he’s in the running since he killed Jacob and all.
*I loved that Locke gave Ben guidance about leadership in the island timeline, but even more so in his flash-sideways. I also found it comical that the teacher, Arzt, returned in the same episode as Ben’s partner-in-crime in the flash-sideways scenes that Hurley mentioned he blew himself up with dynamite. I also enjoyed when Arzt told Ben he was a “real killer.”
*Speaking of the dynamite, I knew it wouldn’t explode (there’s no way the writers are killing of Jack yet), but it was still pretty intense.
*I also enjoy anytime the two-most unpopular characters in the show’s history, Nikki and Paulo, are mentioned. I can’t believe Miles dug up their graves for the diamonds. Or, maybe I can.
*I was a little surprised the Ilana let Ben live, even if his explanation for killing Jacob was pretty heartfelt. It kind of made the whole Ben digging his own grave thing a waste of time, despite how ironic it was.
*I thought the ending was great; Charles Widmore returning to the island via submarine. I was concerned that the writers had forgotten about him.
Overall, I thought this was the best episode since the season premiere, “LA X”. I decided rather than get frustrated by the lack of answers we get each week, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride. The answers will come when they come. My only criticism with last night has less to do with the episode and more to do with this season’s set-up. With the different camps and everyone scattered; it’s very easy to forget what’s going on with certain characters. I feel like I haven’t seen Sawyer in about three weeks. I had to rack my brain to remember he was last seen in the woods with “Locke”. Hopefully last night’s reunion scene is the start of the cast coming together.
Joe Dyton is a marketing copywriter in Washington, DC. He is a former assistant editor for The Dealmakers real estate magazine in Hamilton, NJ and a former sports writer and copy editor for The Trentonian in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dyton99.