Trans 2010-03-10: “Dr. Linus” (Episode 6-07)


“Ben deals with the consequences of an uncovered lie.” Instead of our regular blog post, this week we posted a “Shortwave Transmission” initial reactions podcast, as Ryan will soon be off the island. We include some calls from the LOSTLine, as well as the latest track from The Others LOST Band. We’re hoping “You All Everybody” can keep the conversation going on the blog. What did you think of “Dr. Linus”? We’d love your comments below!

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276 Responses to Trans 2010-03-10: “Dr. Linus” (Episode 6-07)

  1. DharmaBoy says:

    I have one central question. Why was Jacob looking for a candidate. He is an eternal being and does not want to leave the Island. He can also operate when he is dead.. So why does he need a replacement ?

    I did not understand why Ben gave up blackmailing the Principal just for a recommendation for Alex. He could have become the Principal and written the recommendation himself. Also, the Principal did not have much of a choice at that point. He really did not have any bargaining chip. I think they wanted to turnover his character very fast. Ben is a complicated character, and it is unlike him to give up so easily.. My 2 cents..

  2. John says:


    But did Widmore know that he would be going back dead? MIB needs him back as a corpse. There is no reason to try to convince him to go back if you only need his body. Just kill him.

    Which raises the question: why did Ben feel compelled to kill him?

  3. Laura D. says:

    I don’t know if anyone else has said this (I’ve only read about 50 or so of the messages so far), but didn’t that choice of Ben’s with the principal seem like a false one? Once Alex was safely on her way to Yale, couldn’t he have pulled the same stunt?

  4. cat says:

    Connie, I think we must have gone to the same high school in Oregon!!!!

    I think Smokey knows who the candidates are. They are written on the ceiling in his cave. I still think that given the whole Lapidus plot line that he is important and that there was a reason Smokey killed the pilot but guess this will be revealed at a later date…..

  5. Yemeni says:

    @Steven in Bathurst – Amen to that!!! Best post I’ve seen in a long time. I hope Darlton reads it because you’ve managed to perfectly articulate how the vast majority of devoted Lost fans feel.

  6. Danielle in Pa says:

    Rewatching the episode and I think Ben’s lesson on Napolean is actually referencing Widmore. Widmore was exiled from the Island and lost his power. Without the power he had on the Island, he might as well be dead. Which is why he spends the rest of his life trying to get back. I’m trying to remember exactly the exchange he had with Ben regarding Alex, he wanted her killed. Could Widmore have been trying to go over Jacob’s head and dictate events to how he saw fit? Perhaps he was already on MIB’s side, hungry for more power. Rousseau’s name was on the wall as a candidate- could it have been Alex and Widmore wanted Ben to eliminate her? What do you think?

  7. docjkm says:

    @Steven in Bathurst – We all have bought into the mythos of the story, as it has been supported by fine writing, characters, and production. To say the mythos has been, at times, extremely problematic is understatement of the first order. Despite, we have been exuberantly patient, for the same reasons noted above. So now, in the final season, we would expect that patience to be rewarded, to benefit from some ‘sense’ of what we are seeing. I agree. Yet I would also point to the mysteries as the motivation forward. Without those mysteries our momentum as viewers would suffer. I am on record as hoping the mysteries are not all answered, but I do want some ‘logical’ framework for fitting things together. I trust that groundwork IS being laid, though it might not be readily apparent. I certainly hope so. After Others, polar bears, purple electromagnetic pulses, Christian Shepards, Dharma stations, mini H-bombs, unanesthetized spinal surgery, magic box fathers, unaging consiglieres, Jacob, MIB, 108 minute data entry, and … time…travel…, well that’s some logic to come into play. Can’t wait.

  8. docjkm says:

    Mentioned C Shepard, but forgot his SHOES!

  9. Another Colorado Fan says:

    Many have said they think the flash sideways (2007) will prove to be a direct extension of the on-island (2004) events-i.e. the two timelines will merge and the 2007 events will prove to be the mostly-happy (?) ending for the Losties. For this to be true, it seems that TIME-TRAVEL will have to be invoked again in the 2004 timeline (perhaps someone turns the FDW again). The time-traveler(s) would have to jump to a point in time that allows for several 2007 flash-sideways events to happen.
    Early in season 6, a backwards time-jump would not have had to happen for timeline merging to occur, since the 2004 Losties still had three years to somehow prevent the 815 crash that is yet to happen in 2007. As season 6 unfolds, differences from season 1-5 pre-crash events/characters start to show up in the flash-sideways. Many of these make it difficult to reconcile with the on-island 2004 timeline, without theorizing a backwards time-jump.
    For example, since Dogen and his son are alive in 2007, it would seem that a time-jump backward is needed to a time before Sayid kills him. (As well as something happening after the jump that will prevent Dogen and his son’s death, and still preventing the 815 crash).
    In “Dr. Linus” we find another example of the need for backward time travel to enable merging of the timelines. In 2007, Ben and Roger Linus say they had joined DI, but then left. Something needs to have happened back in Dharma times to have allowed this. It probably needs to happen before Ben adopts Alex and before the purge, or he would be remembering all those on-island events in 2007 (doesn’t seem that he does).
    So far, I think the above examples point to a “final conflict” that occurs in early Dharma times involving our 2004 cast of characters, that resolves the MIB vs Jacob conflict, sinks the island, and then allows all of the flash-sideways events to flow from there on.
    Of course, if the two timelines are not meant to merge by the writers, then as Rosanne Rosanadana used to say, “Never Mind”…

  10. Another Colorado Fan says:

    Another data point for my “timeline-merging-requires-time-travel” theory. The finale must also happen before Alex can remember anything about being on the island (or is born), but after the Linus’ join Dharma.

  11. Marilyn says:

    Thanks Jen & Ryan great podcast & agreed great episode.

    Someone above mentioned the we don’t know when the FS happened; yes we do, it’s been confirmed that the plane landed at LAX on 9/22/04. The date on Claires ultrasound was dated 10/22/04 but was confirmed by Gregg Nations (and Damon & Carlton as a faulty ultrasound mahine lol, they confirmed the flight as landing on the same date the original 815 crashed on the island).

    Last night as the show aired I suspected when Ilana said “6 candidates, there’s only 6 left” this would be a topic on conversation today and yes it has been. We have: Ford,Reyes,Shephard,Austen,Kwon….given what Ben told her about Ilana killing Dogen she knows Jarrah is no longer in play, 108 Wallace is scratched out as is Straume,Littlleton etc etc. Locke is not an option, they buried Locke, she’s counting him so the 6th candidate is indeed open for discussion, there are 6 names not crossed off the Lighthouse Wheel & 1 of them is Jarrah. Given the dialogue from last night since Ilana does not know which Kwon to protect she intends to protect she’s planning to protect both Jin & Sun, it’s likely that’s why shes saying “only 6 left”. However for all we know like Ryan & Jen said the Kwon could be JiYeon.

    I wanted to address something regarding Jack when he said “lets go back to where we started”. He did just that…and not just by going to the beach camp where it started; the writers took us all back to where it all started…to season 1 with a slomo and background music of everyone meeting each other, back to the beginning. Yes, the players may have changed but the theme was the same, so IMHO Jack did go back to where it all started. He meant the beach, that’s where it all started.

    Lastly excellent writing by Eddie & Adam followed by the amazing acting of Michael Emerson et als. I know you Jen were waiting for this episode with Atherton, knew you were going to love it (as I watched 5 hours before you on the east coast 🙂

  12. Rich in Cleveland says:

    I’m tardy so I guess I’ll be posting from “detention.” All the poignant and mythos-advancing moments have been treated, so I’ll hit some of the inconspicuous details that I think point the way to tsunami of revelation about to come.

    First, I’m surprised the word “detention” itself hasn’t generated more buzz. It’s a clear synonym for the idea of purgatory or the prison that Sawyer & Flocke so desperately want to escape. In fact, nearly every detail of Ben’s flash sideways was meant as a comment on the hierarchy and hard choices found on the island, especially his thankless service to “the principal” or prime mover. “There’s been a schedule shift” hints at the designed dislocation of time, a decision made above his pay grade.

    “Taking care of the kids–that’s what’s important.” There’s no denying Ben has been the ruthless, scheming leader who lost his way, but it can’t be overlooked that the core of his mission has always been his service to the greater good. In particular, Ben has been the patron saint of children. He saved Alex from Widmore, insisted on restoring fertility, kept a collage of children for whom he had some unexplained affection, etc. Alex is the light of his life, but this care extends beyond even her.

    It’s fitting that the show brings up Napoleon as an analogy for Ben, an emperor in name only. We tend to think of Napoleon as a dictator and conqueror, but initially he was seen as the great hope for enlightenment. He offered to create a meritocracy in place of primogeniture. He championed arts and sciences, sponsoring the first serious study of the pyramids and egyptology for example. Only later, after he had been corrupted by power, did he become associated with tyranny.

    But here is the miniscule detail I really want to focus on: Arzt’s comment about his students lack of understanding of the difference between a genus and a species. This subtly hints again at the process of dehumanizationhappening to those who are claimed, changed, or infected. They look like us, they sound like us, but they are not us. They are of our genus perhaps, but no longer our species!

    Doc & Carol, Jacob loves you.

    Defend the island.

  13. Rich in Cleveland says:

    Jack holding that lantern aloft reminded me very much of Christian.

  14. EricFromOhio says:

    @Carol from Boston : Jesus doesn’t accept people that have done bad things? Exactly the opposite….all he asks is that you accept him as your savior and ask for forgiveness for those sins. If he only accepted those without sin…he would be walking alone.

  15. C Dresden says:

    I love your PCast for Years now…thanks for your work and interest.

    There are apparently now 6 ‘Candidates’ to replace Jacob. Apparently all the other Candidates are at tbhis juncture bumped-off. Okay, fine. That’s cool…there is now a minor running mystery as to who the 6 are.

    I’m writing to say I think Walt is going to be re-introduced at one point as one of these 6. There has been tons of hints & allusions that Walt is somehow super-gifted…prior to his dropping off the radar for good…

    If the hallowed writers are all they’re cracked up to be, we are going to see Walt reappear all-grown-up in the next few weeks. If not, the writers are overpaid, and are missing an obvious opportunity to blow our minds.

  16. MLE in Colorado says:

    Thanks @Rich in Cleveland. I always appreciate your insight…when I watch and start thinking of the layers upon layers of symbolism, relation, and even the irony- I often wonder how much did the writers plan and how much is by accident – but they love that we are finding these comparisons-even when they may not have been intentional (or maybe they all are?). I agree that in the episode there are many clues to what we are seeing and have seen play out on the Island. But admittedly- I did not think of detention or the genus and species comment as anything…but that is why I love this blog- because it makes you see things in a different way. Thanks again.

  17. KC Bob says:

    Forgive me if someone else has already posted something similar but it occurred to me that Richard told Locke he was going to have to leave the island and die to get the others to return, a few seasons back.

    Tonight he said that once Jacob touches you, you cannot die by your own hand.

    Therefore, Locke’s suicide attempt would have ended in failure, the same way that Micheal Dawson’s did….and the Oceanic 6 would not have returned.

    Is it possible that Ben had to be the one to kill Locke to get them to return? And it was all part of a bigger plan? Perhaps the same is true with Jacob’s death, too.

  18. Yann From France says:

    Daniel Rousseau used to be part of a science team, now she seems to be a waitress or something… looks like my future life alright!
    I said Purgatory last week and what do we see this episode? The flashsideways response to the principal is not even tell before Illana claimed it because… otherwise we would have known that he went with the wrong team!
    The mirror between the two timeline (funny since how “mirrors” are important in the sideways) is made clearer than ever.
    But I was wondering… if we don’t have have flashbacks anymore and with the “answer rate” we are getting right now. With most of the Others gone, how are we going to find out about the Whispers? And why they appear anytime someone appears (Christian, Walt, the Other Woman). Why the Dharma Initiative’s Swan video was edited out of the “you can communicate” part? What about the Pearl? (The title of the episode introducing it was “?” I guess it was supposed to be clear…). Dharma drop food with Widmore stuff??? Eyeglass and fake beard in the Arrow.
    Ok I stop there but my point is: What about season2? Come on! Not of it was supposed to make sense, it was a season we were not supposed to care about? Well it was the season that got me hooked! I tried to make sens to all the egyptian and greek mythologies influence.
    And now, ok, we get full episode on how the character redeem them self or don’t. They are truly great and that the end of the episode I usually say “nothing come near to that on television lately”. But I am starting to think that season 2 was a “X-Files” moment with questions that would never get any closure. If you want to watch the show you should watch season1, season4, some episodes of season5 and you would have no problem with season6 the way it is going.
    To end on a high note: Doctor Linus… remove the glasses! No wonder no one take you seriously (well… nobody took him seriously on Island but at least he was scary because of his eyes not because of his glasses)
    ps: the pregnancy problem was due to the purge as said in an interview by D&C…

  19. Cian says:

    This really has nothing to do with LOST mythology and such, and I hope you get a kick out of this, Ryan, but I like how there were actually 2 actors from the movie Real Genius in this episode. Along with William Atherton we had John Gries. 🙂

  20. Bonita in Atlanta says:

    RE: Ben’s decision to help Alex over becoming the Prinicipal

    Many have thought he could have handled it so that he got the job and the girl (so to speak). But I believe the way it unfolded was perfect. It was typical Ben – focusing on the power and forgetting the little things that matter (like those he cares about). His redemption came from finally realizing the little things matter.

    @ Dharmaboy -the outgoing principal could have done Alex’s career damage before he left that Ben would not be able to undo

  21. Kait says:

    @ Jerry–nice explanation/observation of the opposites theme. It looks really interesting the way you displayed the connections!

    This reminded me of the principle of invertendo in spirituality and math. That when one chases after something too much, it automatically becomes it’s opposite. So if one chases after pleasure, it becomes pain and vice versa- neverending. I guess this would also be the Yin Yang concept. The wise person pays attention to neither and tries to just be happy under all circumstances. There are a lot of math references in the past few seasons so here is another one for the pile:

    INVERTENDO: Ratio is the numerical relationship between two quantities of the same kind. The first quantity is called the antecedent and the second quantity is called the consequent. By performing simple operations on ratios, we get compounded ratio, duplicate ratio, triplicate ratio, sub-duplicate ratio … I’m really bad at math so if someone else wants to elucidate that would be fun!

    It seems to me that Hurley is the only character that has been happy under all circumstances. I just rewatched Left Behind from season 3, and noticed that Hurley was acting weirdly like Jacob in that episode. He “tricks” Sawyer into a different behavioral pattern much like Jacob “tricked” Jack into coming to the lighthouse to realize that he has purpose. It wasn’t so much manipulative as it was just creating circumstances that would enable growth. Left Behind also had a Ben/Juliet parallel- both being displaced from a group. The connections in Dr. Linus to past episodes were pretty neat!

  22. Zhami says:

    @Danielle in Pa: Good point (that the Dr. Linus lesson on Napoleon was act actually (or also) a description of Widmore (versus Ben).

    @Rich in Cleveland: Great point about “detention” being the thematic element to focus on. Yes, it does seem that MIB is in some sort of demi-god detention.

    @DharmaBoy: Great question (why would Jacob need a replacement?). My hunch is that he needs a replacement for both himself and MIB.

    @Steven in Bathurst: Excellent excellent point (we don’t really know how to think of all the events we witness without some clearer context). I have decided this season to go low on theorizing and just take the ride. But you are right: I have become emotionless (sure, lots of folks died at the temple — but should I feel that they got their comeuppance, or were martyrs. Do I rot for Jacob (I have grave suspicions that he isn’t at all good) or MIB (might it be necessary to use terrible force and tactics to reign in a heinous enemy). I want to cheer for one side or another, but given the ongoing reversals, I can’t select sides because I’m afraid I’ll be wrong, and I am invested in siding with the “right” side. Although in this I think I expose a fundamental premise of Lost: we just can’t know. All along everyones character arc (characters on the show, and each of us in real life) must make choices from limited information and pre-biased contexts.All sides in every battle are righteous, and each side always has its God on its side.

    ☛ Hey, all you Jacob-is-good folks out there, help me understand this: that for all the apparent lying, scheming, killing, and other horrendous things that Ben Linus has done, he has done them in the service of, and even at the direction of, Jacob. Wow. Jacob’s objective must be crucially important to the redress of the universe, and ethically impeccable.

    Human beings can be enlisted in the service of nearly any objective, if one situates the objective properly. Hitler did not coerce a nation, but enthused them. The Crusaders set out to reclaim something that wasn’t originally theirs. Today, I hear Americans talk about “taking our oil.” The European explorers and imperialists took on a “white man’s burden” that no indigenous peoples asked them to. We watch Avatar and root for the Na’vi, yet we consume resources with rapacious appetite without thought. The point is: service to a cause can seem proper and right and necessary from within the context of that cause, but wrong or even evil from a different perspective.

    So here’s my biggest concern: it would make me happy (from my philosophical context) if the Lost writing team *never* explains which side was “right” or “good.” I think it would be awesome if they revealed more of the context of this game or war, but refrained from contextualizing as good/bad right/wrong light/evil. However, if they do this, won’t they disappoint the majority of viewers, who want clear cut divisions so they can feel “right” for being on the “right” side?

  23. Kyle from Pittsburgh says:

    Here are some interesting thoughts. Sorry if these seem disjointed. They’re not really theories, just observations.

    The MiB’s impersonation ability seems to be contingent on people being dead _when they arrive_ on the island. Christian Shepherd, Yemi, and Locke were dead when they arrived. We haven’t seen him take the form of anyone who died after coming to the island, that is, no zombie Nikki and Paulo.

    So in order to get to Jacob, MiB would have to impersonate a candidate, and to be able to do that, he would have to get the candidate to leave the island, die, and then have the corpse return to the island. So the MiB’s plan really would take a lot of time and effort. He couldn’t have just killed Locke at any time and taken his form.

    There’s also been a running theme of substitutes and replacements throughout the show. The only way to escape your fate or destiny is to imprison someone else.

    If children who are conceived on-island cause their mothers to die in childbirth, then the only viable way of replacing someone or maintaining the on-island population is recruiting people from off-island.

    The Swan station seems to be a microcosm of what’s happening on the island. Kelvin and Radzinsky both wanted to be free, but they also wanted to save the world. Radzinsky ultimately killed himself to escape, but Kelvin knew that the job was too important to stop doing it. The Dharma Initiative promised him a replacement, but that relief never arrived, so in order to escape, Kelvin would have to recruit a replacement. Desmond fit the description nicely.

    So wouldn’t it be interesting if, in order to be free, the Losties would have to recruit replacements for themselves. Maybe they could find a replacement in the sideways world?

  24. Robert B says:

    Wanted to touch on two things. The first being that Flocke told Sawyer that the island didn’t need protection, yet he turned around and told Ben that he needs Ben to take care of the island. So for those who say Flocke doesn’t manipulate and is speaking the truth while Jacob does the opposite may need to rethink that. Second is in the podcast it was pointed out the fact Miles mentioned that Jacob didn’t want to die and was hoping he was wrong about Ben. I don’t take this to mean that Jacob wasn’t expecting to die or wasn’t prepared to die. I see this as similar to Jesus Christ. Where Jesus knew that he was destined to die but asked God to take that cup away, but that he was prepared and ready to die . I see it as Jacob didn’t want to have to die, but that if Ben chose that option that Jacob was prepared for it and was ready to move forward from there by having Hurley who he can talk to and Illana who was ready to move his plan forward.

  25. Robert B says:

    Forgot to mention something else, in regard to Miles once again stating what his ability is. There are a lot of people who watched earlier seasons who left Lost and is now back for the final season. So I believe these expositions aren’t for us Lost devotees, but for those who had left and have come back. So they can have a better understanding of the things that are transpiring now. They cant explain everything to them but they can explain some things. By the way, there are people on other podcasts who still don’t understand how things work so there are some devotees who are a little bit slower than normal and need remiders on how things work.

  26. Yann From France says:

    Took me sometime to read it all and made lots of notes, I will try to address them all:
    @Steven: Yes indeed one of the best post I have seen in a while, my last post was about the same issue I have but you put it quite more clearly!
    @April: I think you got the rules… You can’t commit suicide. You can’t kill a candidate (hence the conversation between Widmore and Ben and the “rules” or how Jack jammed his gun when he pulled the trigger on Locke (that was great), or how it was a fake bomb Michael brought to the ship because Ben could not have killed him (since he knew he would not be able to suicide, he knew he was a candidate))… But you also point out the contradiction: how did Ben killed John then? Well you know what, the writers address that thing: It was the loophole! (the one from the hanging you could even add) and if he killed a candidate then it meant he could kill Jacob… and thus maybe he is the only one that could kill MIB?
    @Yemeni: The small boy told MIB that he can’t kill him (Sawyer/the candidate) so MIB could not have killed the pilot if it had been Franck. MIB killed Eko when he could not use him (not candidate) but dragged Locke alive in season1. He did not killed Ben because he was the Loophole and used him to killed Jacob.
    #Widmore: Widmore is banished from the Island by Ben (power greedy). Tried to get back but couldn’t. Was in touch with Hawkin who was in charge of the Lamppost (through monk friends) and due to the info she had from Faraday’s journal (where he knew the future but lost memory so he put lots of info there): some losties would get away before the Island moved in time. She told him they would have to wait and bring everyone back or “God helps us all”. So Widmore did his part, sending John and Sun to LA. Hawkin was in contact with Ben (since he killed John and had the info) to get everyone to go back to the Island. Mission accomplish. Now Hawkin and Widmore meet in front of the hospital and she is sad that they had to sacrifice their son. Now that everything is back on course Widmore can go back to the Island… and that is what we are seeing now. Maybe he knew about the war through Faraday’s machine and will use this knowledge to help reboot the world so that his son won’t have to die and save this “doom numbers” world by making a new one… we will see.
    #whataretheflashsideways: If we look back at season1 (as asked by the writers) the flashback allowed us to see how their second life on Island was changing from their previous life. And indeed we are totally getting that this year. We are seeing a third iteration of their life and this time they succeed in redeem completely or they get stuck in their old ways. It is quite like what Desmond experienced… 3different lives (first, after swan explosion (flash before my eyes) and now his “on plane” life…)
    And what is redemption? Well… Live together (with family, friends, lovers…) or die alone (with your little selfish things that MIB promised you)
    Glad that Ben refused what he wanted the most before he realised what is truly important “power over the Island”.
    Sorry if it is a long post, but I hope I gave you some new ideas for discution! 😀

  27. Laura D. says:

    I just got this email from my daughter:

    “an anagram of the principal’s name “Donald Lawrence Reynolds” is “A cloned world nearly ends”

  28. Kaneohe_Jack says:

    @Zhami I agree that Lost is like a carefully woven tapestry. The writing has been great and it’s been an incredible ride. What other show would ever make us think of “Bokonism”?

    This episode underscores the “redemption” theme of the show – Ben allows Alex to die on the island and finds redemption in the flash sideways. I just remembered something yesterday. In season 1, when Jin, Sawyer, Michael, & Walt are sailing their boat, Sawyer is singing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”. More evidence that the show runners had a plan from the beginning as they claim…

  29. Coolpeace says:

    Last night, after rewatching the episode and a few others from past season, I had written the best explanations and found the meaning of all that we wanted answered but as I was about to post it “ticka ticka tic…’ the internet Smokey gobbled it up.

    So, let me just jump in and address some of the posts, which are fantastic.

    @ Steven in Bathurst: I completely understand your point and feel that the replies of both docjkm and Zhami mirror my feelings. If we are given the side to root for then there will be no longer any need for debate … and I feel that this great vitural conversation within the fandom is at the heart of the show.

    I can also add here that the uncomfortableness (is that even a word?) that we are feeling of not being given a side to root for, is due in large part to our (the audience) expectations of ALWAYS being handed the good guy, hero, villan by the storytellers. Lost writers are breaking the mole here by giving us heros but then taking them back, giving us villans and then redeeming them. The writers are keeping us of balance – to keep us debating.

    @ Kyle from Pittsburgh : nice thought on the Swan being a microcosm of the Island. Proof they new where they were heading or what the Island was from the begining??

    @ Zhami : Loved your thoughts, certainly the idea of perception and point of view are central to Lost.

    About Jacob being the good guy … and having Ben do bad things in his name. I rewatched season 5 “Dead is Dead” I think everyone should go back to this episode.

    That epi starts off with Charles Widmore riding a horse into the hostile’s camp and confronting Richard about putting Ben in the Temple waters. He tells Richard : Is it true? What have you done? When Richard tells him that Ben would have died, Charles replies ..’Then you should have let him die.’ Richard follows with : ‘The Island chooses who the Island chooses” and finally : ‘Jacob wanted it done.”

    Really?? Was there an intervention from Jacob between the time Kate and Sawyer brought the boy to Richard and after Richard entered the temple with Ben? Or was it Richard’s way to make Charles back off?

    Also in that episode we see an older Ben with young Ethan in tow on a mission which Charles sent them on to “exterminate Danielle”. Ben goes in with his gun and just when he would do the act Alex starts crying (game changer for Ben). He takes Alex, tell Rousseau if she wants her child to live then she must never intervene and interestely he tells her “Every time you hear whispers you run the other way.”

    Food for thought: this scene is mirrored in the epi with Ben wanting to kill Penny but is interrupted by Charlie coming out from the bottom cabin. Which gives time to Desmond toknock the living daylights out of him.

    Food for thought: the mechanical sounds (ticka ticka tick) announces Smokey’s arrival … do the whispers announce the hostiles (Other’s) arrival??

    Back to the episode, Ben defies Charles’ orders directly and when he returns to camp with Alex. Charles is pissed off… He tells Ben that every decision he has taken is in the “…best interest of the Island.” Then Ben asks : “Is killing this baby what Jacob wants? then, You do it.”

    Food for thought: Is Jacob pulling the strings? and has qestionable morality or is MIB pulling off the longest con in humanity? Is Widmore in MIB’s camp here and always was? After all we know that he was waiting for Locke to “land” in the Sahara desert where he tells Locke the famous line … if you don’t get back to the Island the wrong side wins.

    ps: I’ll have to go back and check but : Widmore gives Locke a passport in the name of Jeremy Bentham and when asked why that name – Widmore says “its an inside joke” – sounds like MIB to me.

    Finally, Dead is Dead ends with the banishment of Charles off the Island – Ben sees him off and they have an interesting exchange. Charles broke the rules, has had a daughter with an outsider. Charles tells Ben in regards to Alex … ‘if the Island wants her dead, she’ll be dead.”

    Food for thought : I was surprised by that line about Alex, because of course we now know that she in fact is dead. And so is Rousseau. So, was she and Danielle suppose to die like Charles wanted it done? Did Jacob truly wanted them dead?

    Do you only die if the Island wishes it and has less to do with Jacob’s touch. We also had hints about the Island not being done with people… as in Michael, Desmond etc.

    Is the Island Jacob? Of course, Michael was ‘visited’ by Christian just prior to his demise and the explosion on the freighter. If Christian = MIB then it would be consistant with MIB’s words to Jacob’s followers … ie: “you are free now – you don’t have to stay any more” or words to that effect.

    MIB’s wish is to get everyone off the Island by any means … so that he can sink it to the bottom of the sea and end it once and for all?

    So, who is good and who is bad — Heck if I know !!

  30. Yann From France says:

    Juliet did not die due of the atomic bomb bashing… that would have been suicide! She dies after from the fall.
    Crackpot theory time: I have to admit that my lost post made me realise that one of our earlier theory might be true: Whispers are dead people talking…
    It seems that being a Candidate allows you to see dead people: Hurley does all the time (and is the best candidate), but Jack saw his father off Island (and that could not have been MIB and Hurley told him that Charlie knew about that (hfc?)), Michael saw Libby (whispers included if I remember well) when he tried to use the bomb…
    Maybe the ghost of Christian (always coming with whispers) talked to Locke and that is why he could not help him with the frozen wheel.
    Ghost of the past are watching over our losties.

  31. Sandi in AZ says:

    Are we to believe that everyone Jacob touched cannot die. Then will Dogen rise up out of the pool? We have not seen that Jacob touched him, but for all that was said about his reason for being on the Island you would think it happened.

  32. Coolpeace says:

    @ all :

    I didn’t realize I had posted such a long one – cheez and I have even touched on this week’s episode. Also, kindly forgive me, I notices a few typos. Also, my first paragraph was written with tongue planted firmly in cheek 🙂

  33. Stephen from NH says:

    I think I’ve figured out the alternate timeline storylines. They are actually cunningly disguised pilot episodes for potential Lost spinoffs! (A la “After Mash”)
    For example:
    “Aaron Has Two Mommies”
    “The Courtship of David Shepard’s Father”
    “Locke and Linus’s Skool Daze”

  34. Yann From France says:

    @Coolpeace: We have seen that the “healing” temple power came from Jacob. So if Ben was healed I guess it meant that Jacob choosed him. Doesn’t that make sense? So Ben was chosen by the Island/Jacob wanted it done.
    The “if the Island wants someone dead” makes sence in regard to the fact that Candidate are not supposed to be killed by other Candidate. Daniel Rousseau (she is the one who was brought to the Island… her daughter was born there) was killed but I guess not by Keamy (a candidate) but one of his man. If Ben had a Jacob’s list with Rousseau’s name on it that’s why he might have thought strange that Widmore man could kill a candidate.
    Hence the “you changed the rules”! And maybe since the list are made with last names they are not suppose to have kid outside the Island, hence the other rule.
    All that would also explain why Mikhail was not killed by Locke when he was sent through the sonic fence and I guess he did not die from the grenade explosion (that would have been suicide) but drown afterward.
    Just remembering that Mikhail has been recruted with an add saying: “do you want to save the world”… By protecting the Island which (I guess) is a ball and chain for MIB.
    If MIB was the one talking to Michael it would mean it reached the freighter which was outside the Island “radius” meaning that MIB COULD escape. That would not make sense with what we are seeing now.

  35. Chelsea says:

    This is my first time posting, although I’ve been listening to the podcast for several seasons. Great discussion on here!

    @Yann From France – I agree that Ben was also chosen by Jacob when he was healed as a boy. As Richard said “He will always be one of us.”

    @Rich in Cleveland – Nice catch on the detention theme! I didn’t notice that, and it’s very fitting.

    I actually think Charles Widmore is the “Napoleon” being referred to in this episode – he was stripped of his power by Ben and exiled from the Island, and now all he wants is to get back.

    Or another reading is that the smoke monster was exiled TO the Island like Napoleon, and all he wants is to get off and go home to wherever he came from.

  36. ShannyMac3T0 says:

    We are defiantly seeing that the people who chose Jacob’s side are experiencing their happily ever afters and the ones that chose MIB are getting their wishes but not exactly how they wanted them to be.

    With that said, I totally need Locke to get his true happy ever after and be able to walk or dance at his wedding and for Jack fix him.

  37. Mimi says:

    Hurley does have the best lines, but my favorite was, “If you change your mind, I’ll be like a mile away.”

  38. corivee says:

    Re: What’s up with Jacob’s “gifts”
    My thought is, Richard tells Jack and Hurley that when Jacob touches you, he gives you a gift. We saw Jacob very distinctly touching all the candidates, but I think their gifts are not all the same gift. Richard’s gift is immortality, Hurley’s gift is seeing dead people, Jack’s gift is the power to bring people back to life (Charlie, Rose…), Sawyer’s gift is seeing through people’s lies (He knew Flocke was not John Locke, and way back in season One, he knew Sun could speak English before Michael or anyone found out. Sawyer has had this gift since Jacob touched him as a boy and this has helped his con man career), so what about Kate and Sayeed and Locke. What are their gifts?

    Re: Podcast comment about HIgh Schools with outdoor hallways.
    I would say pretty common in LA because of the warm climate. I don’t know first hand but I remember watching 90210 and they had the outdoor school too so it works.

    Re: Believability of Locke as a substitute teacher
    This was brought up here a couple episodes ago, someone said it was unlikely he could get this temp job… Untrue. I know first hand that at least where I have lived, all that is required to be a substitute teacher is any 4 year degree. I did it in South Carolina and FL, no teaching degree or experience required.

    and lastly,
    I just want to say that when Hurley woke up in that field of flowers , it reminded me of the Wizard of Oz poppy fields scene. Did anyone else think this?

  39. Russell in Raleigh says:

    Didn’t Jacob visit Hurley right before the AJIRA flight? Wasn’t Hurley seeing dead people before that?

  40. Yann From France says:

    @corivee: Kate can escape from everything (including the cages).
    Sayid is an unstoppable killer (when he fought Dogan he lost the fight, when he went their to kill him he succeeded quit easily)
    Locke… can predict rain? (lame but I always wonder how he did that)

    And so Walt could bring birds to him… which meant he was just “special” like the other Candidate but what we fought was something big was just a premise from what all the other Candidate can do! (I love how Jack reanimation always work… I don’t know how many we have seen but he does that a lot through the seasons)

  41. Yann From France says:

    And Desmond is special because the time/space rules don’t apply to him…
    Waw! We were watching Heroes all of this time without realizing it!!!
    That would shade a new light on the joke from Comicon (and we have seen how all of it has been relevant this year!)

  42. Dave WR says:

    I love that your ‘quick’ podcasts are over an hour long! (Not complaining at all)

    At first I didn’t think this was a great episode but after listening to you guys and thinking about it I really am coming to appreciate the ‘what they choose on the island directly effects their lives in the otherverse’.

    I’m thinking that Flocke told Sayid he would have Nadia again but it turns out to be true BUT she will hate him for what he did and probably end up estranged or dead. Doesn’t look good for Sayid.

  43. Marilyn says:

    First, I was supposed to repost this late last night so apologies if any of this has been repeated. Also, sorry for the length, I got carried away 🙂

    Thanks Jen & Ryan great podcast & agreed great episode. I too picked up on many of the things both of you did. There were plenty of things in the dialogue in this episode to get answers even if the answers aren’t what some are looking for. Oh and for Sun … yes please give this woman more lines other than “have you seen Jin” “is Jin alive” “can you help me find Jin” etc. Ashame to see her reduced to this. I’d rather hear Wallllllt.

    I am not on the “Jacob is good” bandwagon. As someone who believed since The Incident that Smokey=MIB=Flocke=Christian etc, I doubted Jacob’s “good” since watching Nadia get killed before Sayids eyes last season. I don’t find “good” in a man who tells a man you have a choice, leave your child & never see him again and I’ll let him let live, or stay and he’ll die. Any parent will say either choice is cruel. If he was “good” and had the power to save the child, he would have done so saying they both would have to go the Island IMO. We still have a lot to learn about Jacob & the real MIB, perhaps we’ll have an episode that will explain their beginnings.

    Someone above mentioned that we don’t know when the FS happened; yes we do, it’s been confirmed that the plane indeed landed at LAX on 9/22/04. The date on Claire’s ultrasound was dated 10/22/04 but was confirmed by Gregg Nations (and Damon & Carlton as a faulty ultrasound machine lol, they confirmed the flight as landing on the same date the original 815 crashed on the island).

    Last night as the show aired I suspected when Ilana said “6 candidates, there’s only 6 left” this would be a topic of conversation today and yes it has been. We have: Ford, Reyes, Shephard, Austen, Kwon….given what Ben told Ilana about Sayid killing Dogen she knows Jarrah is no longer in play, 108 Wallace is scratched out as is Straume, Littlleton etc. Locke is not an option, they buried Locke, she’s not counting him so the 6th candidate is indeed open for discussion, there are 6 names not crossed off the Lighthouse Wheel & one of them is Jarrah. Given the dialogue from last night since Ilana does not know which Kwon to protect she intends to protect both Jin & Sun, it’s likely that’s why shes saying “only 6 left” but it’s possible that we have a mystery candidate. However for all we know like Ryan & Jen said the Kwon could be JiYeon but Ilana doesn’t know that. There has been some discussion about Lapidus being the 6th candidate but I’ll refer to the conversation between Bram & Ilana in the The Incident where Frank is not identified as a candidate, but as Ilana says “it doesn’t mean he’s not important”.

    I wanted to address something regarding Jack when he said “let’s go back to where we started”. IMO he did just that…and not just by going to the beach camp where it started; the writers took us all back to where it all started…to season 1 with the old slo-mo and background closing music of everyone meeting each other, back to the beginning. Yes, the players may have changed, the teams have been drawn, but the theme was the same, so IMHO Jack took us all back to where it all started the beach where 815 crashed so I believe he meant it literally when he made that statement, for him & for us the viewer (and how nice it was to go back to the season 1 feeling if not for a minute). I thought it was very well done. Now we can safely say Richard came to the Island on the Blackrock, likely chained as a prisoner & he wasn’t chained metaphorically as so many had originally thought. This was a great way to introduce what should be a Richard centric episode in the near future.

    Lastly excellent writing by Eddie & Adam followed by the amazing acting of Michael Emerson et als. I know you Jen were waiting for this episode with Atherton, knew you were going to love it (as I watched 5 hours before you on the east coast

  44. MissH in Oslo says:

    I apologise if someone already mentioned this, but here’s one of the things from this episode I can’t get my head around: Richard doesn’t time travel because he was touched by Jacob. But Jack and the other candidates were touched by Jacob too, and yet they still time travelled. Anyone got any idea why?

    Great podcast, by the way.

  45. SOKO says:

    I don’t want to believe that the cool calculating manipulative mastermind that was Ben Linus, is having his amazing character undone in this sappy whiney way. He’s got to have some more classic Ben up his sleeve. I’m looking for him to pull one more manipulation or reveal one last long con whether for the good side or the bad side. Maybe up against Widmore. But I can’t see him whimpering out in this silly tearjerker. He was the Lex Luthor to the Losties Justice League.

    Re: Believability of Locke as a substitute teacher
    Locke is teaching in California, not S Carolina or Florida.
    The only way these nonsensical school happenings can take place is if … maybe… it is a private school funded by Hurley that had a board that can appoint whoever they want. It’s really hard to get bad teachers out and You have to have certain specific credentials in order to be and administrator. You don’t get the job by some guy suggesting that you’d be swell at it. Ben didn’t seem interested in the job so he may not have taken the administrative classes, Masters or no Masters. But at a private or magnet school his education may hold up without worrying about School district rules.

    Ben lived on the island most of his life. There wasn’t anyone there that he could have gotten to join his little group ? “Hey come with us Fred. We know a way out of the temple” But instead it’s like ” I’m only looking for the stars of the show. you inconsistent group of extras are of no concern to me. here comes the smoke monster… goodbye!”

    Again I love the drama of the show… but a little reality would help a whole lot.

  46. Lynn says:

    Two things:
    1. I’m worried about Hurley. He’s wearing a red shirt. I hope it isn’t bad news for him.

    2. Way back when Ben first got off the island and went to visit Widmore in his bedroom (in “The Shape of Things to Come” Season 4), both Ben and Widmore were half in shadow and half in the light. However, Ben was wearing black clothes and Widmore was wearing white pajamas. So is Widmore actually on the side of Jacob and Ben on the side of the Man in Black?

  47. Noelle M. says:

    I haven’t read everyone’s comments yet. I loved all of the parallels of Dr. Linus to the Ben on the island. I especially loved the part where Locke, the substitute, tells Dr. Linus that he should be the principal because he cares for the kids more than the current principal. This sounds like a parallel to the island as well. I can imagine Ben feeling that he cared more for the ‘others’ and the island than widmore.
    We know Widmore was banned from the island for having a relationship with an outsider, which was deemed inappropriate. MAYBE Ben on the island used a similar plan to getting Widmore exiled as he was trying to do to the principal. Maybe Ben was the one that exploited Widmore so that BEN would be the next leader because he ‘cared more’ for the island. This would be the same as the plot of Dr. Linus going for the principals job by exploiting his ‘inappropriate’ relationship with the nurse.

    Also if Jacob touches someone and it is a gift in which they can not die, can someone still kill them? I might need to rewatch, but it would explain why Jin did NOT die on the freighter. Yet Locke died at the hands of someone else…. hmmmm

  48. Rich in Cleveland says:

    Even the Devil can quote scripture. In fact, he’s exceptionally good at it. Likewise, even the most noble service can become corrupted. The “administration” doesn’t force anybody to thrust that knife through another’s heart, but it does give you the freedom to do so if you choose to stray from right thought, as Buddha called it. And everything that happens ultimately becomes progress anyway. You keep coming back until you learn, learn, learn.

  49. Carol from Boston says:

    @yann- can you give me the link for the Carlton and Damon interview re: the pregnancy problems and the purge? Thanks!!

  50. Carol from Boston says:

    I have a lot of comments to catch up on, but I wanted to say that I really enjoy reading all the comments and thinking about different theories. I really enjoy this board and one of the things I will miss most when the show is over is sharing the episodes with all of you.

    Because of this board I have noticed many things in the episodes I wouldn’t have found by myself.

    Finally thank you to Jen and Ryan for the wonderful podcasts and for providing a place for us to debate and help each other.

    I am starting to feel sentimental knowing that we only have a couple more months till the end.

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