Smile Politely

To begin anew… again…

I’m sure there are many different reasons why each of us started watching LOST. Some started watching from the beginning in 2004. For others, like me and my wife, we have our own “I started watching in Season X and then spent the next few weeks watching episodes until 4 a.m. to catch up” story.

There is a certain recipe to the best LOST episodes and they often involve a heartwarming scene like the beach reunion from last night’s “Dr. Linus” — it’s a scene that satisfies the inner desire of “that’s how I was hoping it would be.” In addition, those sun drenched warm fuzzy scenes are often followed by a dark tease or puzzle of something to come. In Season’s past, many of these cliffhangers involved the ubiquitous Ben Linus; last night, after Ben cleared his conscience for the first time in four long seasons, it was his nemesis Charles Widmore who provided the tease. All in all, it was an episode that reminded me why I’ve spent six years with a show about a few people on an island.


In both, 2004 and 2007 Ben forgives himself — utilizing his freewill and finally taking responsibility for his manipulative behavior. Behavior for which he previously believed were unchangeable aspects of his character. If there was a theme to this episode it manifested itself through the admission of multiple characters expressing their feeling of betrayal by Jacob (Ilana, Ben, Richard).


1. Names on the ‘list(s)’ are candidates to replace Jacob.
2. Richard’s anti-aging was a ‘gift’ given by Jacob.
3. When Jacob touches someone, they receive a ‘gift’. From last season’s finale Jacob visits and touches: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley, Locke, Sun/Jin, Ilana).
4. Richard hadn’t been back to the Black Rock since around the time he arrived on the island.
5. Ben and Roger Linus are the first Flash-Sideways (2004) characters to have acknowledged the island. (Supposedly they left before the Island sunk).
6. Ben became the first person this season to turn down a Man In Black offer.


1. What gifts did the listed Losties receive from Jacob? Are they different/individual or identical gifts? This is really interesting.
2. What is at the Hydra Station? Why is Locke gathering his team there?
3. How did Widmore officially find the island? The Black Rock ledger? The Lamp Post?
4. Has Ben truly embraced redemption? If so, would his redemption have been possible without Jacob’s death? (Doc Jensen)


1. Widmore has been involved with the Man In Black since living on the island, hence his interest in off-island Locke. Remember, he gave Locke his cover identity of Jeremy Bentham and provided Locke with the services of Matthew Abaddon, as well as dossiers on the whereabouts and status of the Oceanic Six. This assistance set Locke up for a return-to-island failure and ultimately death via Ben Linus. Once deceased, as a former primary ‘candidate’, Man In Black could then use Locke for his purposes. Discuss.

2. Until last night, it had been safe to assume that both the Island (2007) and Sideways (2004) worlds shared the same history until 1977, which is when the time-traveling castaways detonated Jughead. But the Linus men of the Sideways world blew up that thinking. I took the story to mean that Sideways Roger and Ben left the Island prior to its sinking. But Island Roger and Ben were still on the Island when Juliet banged the bomb. Implication: If the two worlds share a common history, the fork in the road is sometime before 1977. Discuss. (Doc Jensen)

3. Sideways (2004) Locke is actually the Man In Black. Throughout his Others reign, Ben insisted he was hearing the voice of Jacob and heeding his will. He justified everything by putting it all on his Island god. But the time has come to begin wondering how attuned to Jacob that Ben has been — if he’s been attuned to him at all. In our real world, there are those who claim to know God and hear God’s voice in their lives, but they could be wrong. Doesn’t mean there isn’t a God, just that God ain’t talking to them. I suspect Ben is one of those people. ”What about you?” Jacob asked Ben last season. It sounded so dismissive. But Jacob could have also been challenging Ben on his self-deception, or basically saying, ”I’m sorry. Do I know you?” Ben’s either been faking his rapport with Jacob, or (and this is my theory) the supernatural entity that’s been speaking to him all along has been the Man In Black. Ben thought he was serving Jacob the Christ, but he was most likely the victim of a long con perpetrated by the Man In Black false messiah/the Anti-Christ, who was just using Ben in his master plan to escape the Island and live anew as a man in a separate reality, one with no Island and no Jacob to trap him: the Sideways world. Discuss. (Doc Jensen)


1. Seeing the Black Rock again. Sure seemed like the old ship is how Richard arrived in circa 1845.

2. I know everyone didn’t, but I bought the Jack/ Richard dynamite/restore faith scene. Jack spent some time thinking about the images he saw in the Lighthouse, but let’s see where this goes…

3. By the way, loved seeing Martin Keamy in last week’s episode. “I make good eggs…”

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