EL LINUS struck this week, giving us an hour of the weasel and his nasal voice. I’ve always found Ben to be a tremendous douchebag, and I mean that in a loving way. There has never been anything he wasn’t willing to do in the name of himself, and you have to appreciate that in a guy. Be it letting his daughter get shot, or owning Locke in a seedy hotel room, the dude plays for keeps. He’s a a shitbag you respect because of how far he will go to maintain his tenuous grip on power.
The interesting wrinkle that this week’s episode addressed is what happens to Benjamin Linus when he realizes that he’s been duped, ain’t had no power, and has been a rube for the past twenty or so years? The immediate answer is simple: he stabbed the shit out of Jacob, before his dumb ass was rolled into a fire. But I suppose I’m talking more about the emotional effects.
On the Island, Ben is totally busted as the dude who jabbed Jacob in the belly-guts with a knife. Miles rats him out after doing the creepy twitching thing with Jacob’s ashes and this severely pisses off Ilana. And not in the good way, because I know you’re thinking it may be enjoyable to get spanked by such an authoritative and sultry woman. No sir, she has a gun. So then she’s like, hey, Linus, dig your own grave while we go and eat mangoes and shit. TTYL, d00d.
What a busch league move by Ilana. Hasn’t she been watching this show at all? You leave Ben Linus alone for anything more than nine seconds and he’s going to get out of the situation somehow. He has a remarkable ability to escape certain doom. So while she’s letting him dig his own grave, y himself, with some bamboo shoot or something, good ole Smokey rolls up and chats up Linus.
The biggest revelation this week on LOST was something that no one seems to want to talk about. Smokey is a fucking Jedi! Did you see that shit? He unshackled Benjamin with nothing more than a cute little wink and a hand gesture. Isn’t anyone else amazed by this? I am. I mean, I knew LOST was awesome, but I had no idea that we were dealing with wielders of The Force! Good god damn.
So Smokey and Ben have a heart to heart. It’s all very touching but all I could think about is how Ilana, while she was eating her mango, had no idea that Smokey had approached. I mean, for the past six seasons, every time he went anywhere, Smokey roared and you could hear him from three miles away. Well, if she’s dumb enough to let him be, she may be deaf enough to not hear a rampaging pillar of black smoke. Smokey frees Ben’s ass and once again Ben flees and Ilana is like, “Oh fuck, maybe I should be watching the sociopath and not eating a mango” and chases after him.
The two of them talk, and they get into one of the overriding themes of the show, which is a person’s sense of purpose. Ben has been feeling legitimately ass-crushed since he thought that Jacob had been playing him for a fool. And when he found out he had been betrayed and his entire sense of duty was but a charade, he freaked the fuck out. All of the power he assumed he had, all of his existence was tied up in what he thought was his position as the leader of the Others. When this was dismissed, he wile’d out. Like, woah.
Benjamin isn’t the only one being a self-pitying asshole ever since they learned they weren’t a Unique Snowflake. My boyfriend, the inestimably gorgeous and immortal Richard Alpert, is afflicted with the same sense of Emotitis.
Emotitis is a disease that is fatal to one’s dignity and leaves them without any sense of pride. Where your self-respect once was, you find a puddle of wallowing and lack of self-worth. Many of those suffering from this disease also still use MySpace-esque pictures in their Facebook profile, post status updates that read things like “Gee whiz I can’t ever catch a break :-/” or “UGH today is the WORST”, and they use self-hate as a way to attract members of the sex they wish to copulate with.
So yeah, Dicky Alps is seriously suffering from that.
Ricardo dupes Hurley and Jack the Sexpot to follow him to the Blackrock, where we’re given confirmation of what we already knew: the dude can’t die. Everyone who Jacob touches receives a “Gift”, which explains Dick’s predicament, but is vague enough to create another thousand questions. Like, is everyone immortal? Or what are their gifts? Can Jack shoot lasers out of his asshole? And since he can’t die, he wants Jack to light the fuse of the dynamite he wishes to go kabloom with. What a shitty way to die, right? I mean, couldn’t Richard have found like, a bottle of pills somewhere and had Jack dump them down his throat? Jesus, explosion?
Richard is seeking obliteration because he as well as Ben feels betrayed by Jacob. Much like Linus claims, Dicky was told by Jacob that he was part of some enormous plan, and now that Deity-Dude-Guy has been stabbed and rendered ashes, he assumes that it was all a lie.
What a fool! How can you possible begin to conceive of God’s…I mean Jacob’s plan! You self-absorbed fuck!
Jack’s drinking the Destiny Kool Aid though, and he agrees to light the stick of dynamite. After staring out at the ocean and humming that Kings of Leon song from the Grey’s Anatomy commercials, he’s come to accept his totally-specialness in the grand schemes of everything. It’s just like in the Matrix when Cipher is like IF HE IS SPECIAL CAN HE TOTALLY DIE TRINITY?!, Jack knows he’s all Neo shit and the fuse won’t go off. And look at that, he’s fucking right.
Jack’s got some grand role to play in everything, and it seems by displaying that, he cures Dicky of his Fall Out Boy-Blues, though I assume Alpert will continue to wear eyeliner. Can’t win all the battles.
And here’s the thing. While Richard may have directly communicated with Jacob, we know for a fact that Benjamin never did. So why is the guy so butthurt? For all his intimations that Jacob lied to him, and he was betrayed by Jacob, the dude is full of shit. Benjamin was never appointed leader of the Others, he was never addressed by Jacob, he stole that shit. Just like I thought he was going to in LA X this week.
In case you’re a mouth breather and missed it, the school in LA X is a metaphor for the Island. Did I just blow your mind? Jesus fucking Christ, I hope not. And through LA X this week, we watch as Benjamin Linus once again begins his manipulation of situations to claim a post that wasn’t awarded to him. Yes, you see, in case you missed it the principal is an analog for Charles Widmore. The plot in the alternate dimension this week takes us through the alterna-Linus as he begins to weasel and scheme and manipulate his way to the top.
I really didn’t know where they were going to go with Linus in LA X, but I was betting on the side of him continuing to be a villain. It seemed fitting that they would have him continuing to sacrifice his daughter in the name of power. I mean, I’m not a cynic, but for the past three-plus seasons I’ve seen Benjamin Linus throw away every chance at redemption. I was genuinely surprised when he decided that he would rather have Alex receive a sterling recommendation as opposed to have him sitting on yet another throne that didn’t belong to him.
I’m a sentimentalist, so it felt good.
You see, in the main reality, Linus never belonged as the leader of the Others. He was never chosen by Jacob. Just because he supplanted Widmore through treachery and deceit didn’t mean that the position was for him. Sure, you can politically backstab your way to running a high school, but I don’t think you can supplant someone through bullshit, when that person has been handpicked by a Deity.* So for all the QQing he did about his betrayal at the hands of Jacob, that’s what you get for taking the cookie that wasn’t yours! Fucker!
(*Assuming Widmore was. Big assumption, I know.)
Linus rejoins the Justice League Oceanic when Ilana is all “I will have you”, and two of my friends who watched the episode with me rolled their eyes so hard they almost tore their optical nerves out. Meanwhile, because I was on my period, I was teary eyed and yelling at the screen “Oh Benjamin! I will have you too! Sweet prince of darkness!” And if LA X is reflection of consequences, perhaps it is this moment where he finally decides that hanging out with the Island’s equivalent of Darkseid isn’t the best idea that seals a decent fate for him in the other world.
The episode ends with my boy Widmore rolling back up onto shore in a fucking submarine. It’s only taken him like twenty years to find the Island again, but he looks pretty pissed about everything. His arrival saved the last moments of the episode, because I was going to lose my mind if they ended the episode with one of this horrible, dreary, melodramatic moments that feature teary music and slow motion shots of pensive character members. Naw son! We got fucking UV goggle vision and submarines!
Shit. Is. Going. Down!
I almost hope they were aware of how lame ass the slow-motion+sappy-music endings were from the first couple of seasons, and this was them spoofing on it. Widemore is fucking back! He’s pissed off and English as fuck! He’s English, right? The dude had the Island taken from him, and now clearly he’s there to do battle with Smokey with his submarine that transforms into a mech. Obviously. It’s on!