Lost recaps: Season 6, Episode 6
‘Dr. Linus,’ Or: Faith’s a Bitch

Published March 10, 2010 on

Previously: Jacob's dead; Smokey's recruiting; Ilana's a badass; Kate's clueless.

Island Timeline

Somewhere away from the Temple of Doom, Ben reunites with Ilana, Lapides, Sun and Exposition Miles. Ben reports that Sayid killed Dogen -- he was standing over Dogen with a bloody dagger, so, yeah, Ben's pretty sure about that. As the little party makes their way to the beach, Miles asks expository questions with the plot aim of getting Ben to maintain that, uh, yeah, sure, Smokey totally killed Jacob. Not Ben, nosiree. Ilana wants Miles to do a reading of Jacob's ashy remains. (Well, she wants Miles to communicate with the dead, really, but Miles explains that he can just tell you how someone died and what their last thoughts were, providing he's near their remains. I think that might have been lifted verbatim from one of Charlaine Harris' Harper Connolly novels. Someone get on that.) So Miles does his thing and reports that, indeed, Ben killed Jacob -- he was standing over Jacob's body with a bloody dagger, so, yeah, Miles is pretty sure. "Jacob was the closest thing I ever had to a father," Ilana says quietly. "Uh-oh," Miles comments. He must watch the next-day downloads over in Expositionland.

Ben tries to make himself useful at the beach camp, and when Ilana won't talk to him, he tries to convince her that Miles is lying. She still won't talk to him. She will, however, talk to Sun, who -- as she has in every episode she's been in this season -- wants to find her husband. Ilana replies that she wants to find him, too, because she'd like to know which Kwon she's supposed to be protecting. Sun's all, uh, say what, Lady with Gun who's gathering supplies for something? Ilana tersely explains that at least one of them is a candidate to replace Jacob. There are only six left.

Ben's going through the makeshift camp library (which includes of a copy of Chaim Potok's "The Chosen" and an issue of Booty Babes) when Ilana and her gun escort him to the graveyard. She shackles him to a tree and tells him to dig his own grave. Not having much choice, Ben does so, with little enthusiasm. Miles comes by to offer a last lunch of beans and bananas, and Ben tries to bribe him to let him loose. Miles points out that his offer of $3.2 million isn't much compared to the $8 million in diamonds buried with Nikki and Paolo. Ben snits that Jacob didn't care about being killed. Actually, Miles tells Ben, up until he died, Jacob was hoping he was wrong about Ben. Ouch.

For the plot to advance, Ben has to get released from his bonds. Cue visit from NotLocke! NotLocke wants Ben to be in charge of the island when the big group leaves. Much as he loves him some power, Ben's still a little bitter about that whole "manipulating me into killing Jacob" thing, but gets a lot more forgiving when NotLocke directs him to a rifle by a tree and magically pops Ben's leg shackle. Because there's two things Ben likes: Power, and taking orders. So, unbolted, Ben bolts, pursued by gun-totin' Ilana. She finds herself staring down the barrel of the Rifle of Promised Power. Wow, Ben looks bad, almost like someone who's been questioning the entire belief system that led him to digging his own grave. Since he can't blog about it, he wants to explain himself to Ilana: He knows what she's feeling, because choosing the power Jacob dangled in front of him over Alex led to his daughter's death right before his eyes, and Jacob didn't care. (Whoa! Still with the Daddy issues?) Ben's sorry he killed Jacob, and he doesn't expect Ilana to forgive him, because he can't forgive himself. He just wants to leave, to go to NotLocke, because he's the only one who'll have him. "I'll have you," Ilana says, and turns back to the beach. Looking a little dumbfounded, Ben walks after her and rejoins the group. What's the matter, Linus? Never heard of a redemption arc? 'Cause you're on one. Actually, wait: It's probably better if you haven't heard of one. They rarely end well for the redeemed.

Also struggling with his faith: Richard. He comes across Hurley concocting a bogus shortcut to keep from bringing Jack back to the temple. He appears rather suddenly, looking like something a very large cat dragged in through a mud pit, and leads them in another direction entirely. The little trek gives Hurley chance to do some questioning for the audience: Is Richard a time traveler? No. A cyborg? No. A vampire? "Jacob gave me a gift," Richard says, before Hurley can bring up zombies. "What do you know about Jacob?" Jack asks, alertly. "I know he's dead," Richard replies, grimly.

As it turns out, Richard lied about their destination: He's taken them to the Black Rock, there not being much point to taking them to the temple, what with everyone who didn't stick around lying dead in the courtyard. Jack realizes that this is why Hurley didn't want to go back to the temple. "Jacob kinda sorta hinted at it," Hurley confirms. Richard huffs that he shouldn't believe Jacob; and, also, Richard wants to die. He walks onto the ship, and his spacey gazing at the shackles seems to indicate that he came to the island on the ship and, as NotLocke hinted, in those chains. As Jack and Hurley follow, Richard makes for the dynamite, which gives Hurley bad picking-Arzt-out-of-his-shirt flashbacks. Richard grimly explains that he can't kill himself, because he's been touched by Jacob, so he wants the guys to do it for him. 'Cause, see, he devoted his life in service to a guy who said there was a plan, and now he's up and left without sharing it. Therefore, his life has no purpose, and he wants Jack to kill him by setting the dynamite. Jack gets that crazy-ass gleam in his eye and agrees. Hurley gets himself somewhere far away while Jack lights a long fuse, places the dynamite on a keg, and announces that he and Richard are going to chat. See, Jack is of the opinion that Jacob had Hurley bring him out to the lighthouse so Jack could learn that Jacob had been watching Jack since he was knee-high to a four-toed grasshopper; he's clueless as to why Jacob went through all that trouble, but he's pretty sure it wasn't to die right now. And so, as the tension mounts and the music swells, the fuse fizzles out. Jack, the Man of Faith convert, laughs and offers to try another stick.

With little else to do, Hurley, Jack and Richard return to the beach, where Sun is thrilled to see them. They have a good old-fashioned beach reunion, though Ben and Richard stand a bit apart.

Oh, by the way, turns out Lapides was supposed to be flying 815; he overslept that day. Also, Miles dug up some diamonds. And also? There's a submarine approaching the shore, and Charles Widmore is on it.

That Other Timeline

Meet Dr. Ben Linus. Wait, I guess we did a few weeks ago. Okay, meet him some more. He's a mild-mannered European history teacher who lovingly microwaves dinners for his father, an embittered man attached to an oxygen tank who thinks life would have been different if they'd stayed on the island. (So... I guess this timeline's dad likes Ben a little more than the other timeline's did?) Ben proves that he is not Island Ben when he swaps out an empty oxygen tank for a full oxygen tank, not poison gas.

Teacher Ben is motivated by the few students who pay attention to his lectures about Napoleon on the island of Elba, still entitled but thoroughly disempowered. He oversees something called the History Club, which is apparently not quite as important to Principal Reynolds as having Ben watch over detention after school. Ben gets grumbly about this in the teachers' lounge. Science teacher Arzt is similarly grumbly about the lack of aprons and decent lab equipment. Ben still holds out some hope that Things Can Be Better. Locke, overhearing, thinks Ben should be principal: If the man in charge doesnt care, then perhaps it's time for a power change. And, of course, Locke would totally follow Ben.

At home, Ben has just finished microwaving another dinner when one of his History Club students, one Alexandra Rousseau, arrives on his doorstep. The AP test is coming up, and she was counting on that tutoring. Fondly, he offers to tutor her before school in the morning, which he does. Fondly. Alex breaks down during their review of the East India Trading Company. As she is a teenager, this is not "just a test"; this is her whole future, because she needs a scholarship to go to Yale. What, this timeline doesn't have those seminars where the college counselor shows you how to fill out student loan forms? Guess not: Alex needs a scholarship, and a letter of recommendation from an alum like, say, Principal Reynolds. Who, as she tells Ben (after swearing him to secrecy, natch), is carrying on with the school nurse on school property.

Now, what do we suppose Ben will do with this sensitive information? You got it. He asks Arzt to hack into the nurse's email account, divulging just enough of the situation that Arzt surmises that Ben's going after the principal's job. And Arzt will help him for a good parking spot, aprons and new lab equipment. "You had me fooled with that sweater vest," Arzt tells the mild-mannered Dr. Linus. "You're a real killer." Wait, if Ben was a real killer, wouldn't he have replaced that canister with something other than oxygen? ....Oh, wait. A metaphorical killer. Gotcha.

Ben flounces into the principal's office and presents his evidence. Ben wants Reynolds' job, which he's pretty sure the school board will give him if Reynolds recommends him. Reynolds counters with a threat to torpedo Alex's Yale application. So, what'll it be, Ben: Your power, or Alex's future?

Fortunately for young, off-island Alexandra Rousseau, this Ben is on the same redemption arc as the on-island one. At a contrived Reynolds/Alex/Ben convergence in the principal's office, we learn that Ben didn't go through with the power grab -- but did manage to secure Alex a great recommndation to Yale, as well as get his History Club slot back. So, clearly, he's got enough on Reynolds to see to some of his own interests. Arzt is just pissy about the parking spot. "You can have mine," Ben says offhandedly, as he watches Alex walk away. He watches, of course, fondly.

Next week: Lots of crying and Leonard Cohen. This can't be good.

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