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Lost: Dr. Linus

Spoiler Alert !

Another episode ended 2 nights ago. And I was laughing gleefully when I saw the last few moments of this week’s episode. Of course Dr Linus had zero action (physically) compared to last week’s Sundown – but it had plenty of thematic and emotional and story-building action, which left me saying Wow ! again. As the title suggests, this was a Ben episode. But we  have learned that titles can be misleading (Remember last week’s Sundown ?).

I don’t know which world I enjoyed watching more – the island world in which Ben is a fallen leader and now at the mercy of Ilana for his life or the Sideways world in which he is a humble school teacher who cares deeply for his students. I am biased towards the island, since I love “the beach” and all scenes that are portrayed there. Season 1 is still my favorite season, so I always gravitate to anything that reminds me of the castaways’ initial struggles to survive on the island. There was one common thing between the two Bens – both were lured by the forces of evil to do something, well evil, for a position of power. While island Ben was lured by the “evil incarnate” Smokey to kill Ilana and join his gang at the Hydra station so that he could assume the responsibility of Island Leader again, Sideways Ben was lured by the prospect of having a position of power in his otherwise petty existence as a history teacher by blackmailing Principal Reynolds. In both cases he had to do something “evil” – be it killing Ilana or killing Alex’s career. And to my joy he redeemed himself in both worlds ! The scene in the Principal’s office when he comes to drop off a sign-up sheet was mesmerizing. As Ben entered the office I was afraid that he had acted like Ben and given up Alex for his own gain (as he had done in the island world). But to my surprise Alex came and raved about the awesome Letter of Recommendation that the principal had written for her, followed by the entrance of Principal Reynolds. Yes he was still the principal. As Ben left the office I was struck by the portrayal of a familiar character in a way I had never expected. Seeing Ben walk away from the office was an immense emotional experience, since we are so used to watching the character as a lying manipulative power-hungry man. That scene made me feel that all was right in the world again. But then that has been the theme in the Sideways World – each character we have seen so far (except Sayid) has made things right in the Sideways world. Locke is not angry and has accepted his crippled life and even has the love and support of his fiance Helen, Jack let go of his father issues and bonded with his son and now Ben chose the right path instead of the path he chose in the island world. But even on the island, Ben chose the good gang instead of the evil one lead by Smokey. This episode was in extreme contrast to the previous one – last week I felt hopeless for the Island and everything looked dark and ominous. This week though was all about warm feelings and things going right for some time.

Then there was Richard Alpert. The man lost his faith in Jacob and called Jacob’s touch a curse. But out of nowhere Jack became a believer ! Maybe he realized while looking out at the ocean that he was meant for something bigger. Whatever fueled his faith, he got rewarded for it and even got proof of it. The spark on the dynamite wire died off telling them that they had more work to do on the island. And so they set off to “where it all started”. Yeah !

The reunion at the beach was one of my favorite scenes in Lost. It felt very Old School. Remember how they had such reunions when we hadn’t been introduced to Jacob and the MIB ? When the only threats they had were from not finding boar, or from the Others, or Sawyer hiding the damn guns ! Good Times ! Anyway, so while everyone was happy for a while reuniting, someone was watching them from the water. For a moment I thought it was Smokey watching while traveling to the other island, but then the camera revealed a submarine and my eyes grew wide. Then there was a face, a familiar face…Charles Widmore ! He was back to the island ! I know some people believe him to be on the evil side of things as far as the island goes, but I somehow have the feeling that he is instead on the good side. I never got an evil vibe from his character. And I also feel that he is needed to set things straight on the Island again.

Last week it was Smokey recruiting members for his gang. This week we saw our very own good gang uniting. What will next week bring ?

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