As it is finals week, I have treated this week's blog post much as I have treated the rest of my responsibilities: I've put it off until the last minute.
That being said, I knew the second I saw this was a Ben Linus episode that it was going to be a good one, and oh my god I was right. I am a little bit slanted here, because Ben is my favorite character, but I think even those on the opposite side of the fence (I mean, does anyone really live over there? Is there such a thing as a Ben hater?) would have to agree, this episode was great.
I agree with you Pearl, about Ben Linus being one of the greatest villains in television history. For awhile when Heroes and Lost were running parallel to each other, I used to question who was more evil, Sylar or Ben; there's no question. Where Sylar may kill people just for sheer joy or for something to do, I still feel like Ben could manipulate circles around him, ability to slice people's heads open with his finger or not.
I will start my post this week with a funny anecdote I wrote down while watching the episode last Tuesday.
"Haha! Ben just got detention!"
I really, really liked the extreme parallels in this episode. Instead just giving us a series of TeeHee moments, this week we really got an actual replaying of decisions in Ben's life, and got to see how he'd react on his own accord, without the Island telling him what to do. I thought that was amazing, and finally felt like the LAX timeline was more than just an extended weirdly situated epilogue.
Another note from my viewing of the episode:
"Arzt! I hope he dies of something really fast."
I was sorely disappointed when he didn't die of something really fast. I guess you can't have everything. And yeah man, I totally called that one. Just call me Season 3 Desmond, predicting the future. :)
Speaking of people not dying, Hydra I was right there with you on Richard's failed suicide reminding me of Michael. Michael couldn't die because he hadn't done everything he was meant to do yet; Richard feels he has no purpose now that the person he's dedicated his life to is gone, but if the Michael parallel is correct, then it means Richard hasn't run his course yet and is still needed, which is interesting.
I think one of my favorite parts of the LAX timeline this week was when Ben is talking to his father and they actually mention the Island. It freaked me out for a second, because I instantly thought "WHAT, no, the Island doesn't exist anymore! They changed the - oh. Yeah. You would have been there temporarily." It was just strange to hear them refer to the island; and the first time it had happened in that timeline since it began.
One little thing I noticed while watching the episode was the idea of needing a new candidate to step up in order to leave the Island… effectively trapping the current person there until they find a replacement - this reminds me exactly of the setup at the hatch, with the button. The person pushing the button is literally trapped there until someone new comes to take over, and cannot leave until then, as someone needs to be pushing the button.
Much like the Michael-Richard parallel I just discussed, I have to wonder if these are intentional or if we're reading too far into things. If they are all intentional… man… this is a smart show.
Bring it on, Recon! (I can't believe we're already on the 8th episode)
PS. Cheese curds!