Brian's Three Word Review with Punctuation: Whatever happened, happened?
After a pretty slow first fifty-seven minutes, Lost got way crazy in its final three. I mean, the one fundamental rule we've been using to explain this season has been Faraday's adage of "whatever happened, happened" - which means that Benjamin Linus grows up to lead the Purge, mess with our Survivors, bring them back to the Island, and creep us all out. Doesn't Sayid shooting him totally break that rule? And didn't we all (and by "we all", I mean "I") think this would mean the space-time continuum would tear apart and it would bring about the end of the world... and couldn't only the "special ones" like Faraday or Desmond carry out such actions? GREAT SCOTT!
It would mean all these things... if Ben was really dead. But there's no way that Ben is REALLY dead. Or even if he is, he's coming back to life next episode, a la Locke when Ben shot him (or when he came back to the Island).
Want a reason for why the Others were willing to accept Ben as their leader even though he was an enemy "Dharma"? How about the fact that he survived a deadly gunshot thanks to fate / whatever happened, happened. But they don't know that. All they know is that he's pretty "special"... kinda in the same way that John Locke is special since he foretold his arrival to the Island 50 years before it happened. What if the Others have foolishly picked two incorrect leaders thanks to these wacky time travel adventures of our Survivors?! No wonder they're falling out of favor with the Island, unable to have babies, and Jacob asked for help!
I can guarantee that this is going to be the primary discussion point for this episode. Some will argue that Faraday was wrong and that you can change the past, which will spawn discussions about how they can now save Charlie / Boone / Shannon, prevent the Purge, save the cheerleader, save the world, and all live happily ever after... but just trust me when I say there is no way that this will happen. The Lost writers seems smart enough to know that this is an EXTREMELY slippery slope to start heading down, and have been beating us over the head with the "whatever happened, happened" stuff from the start - to reassure us that they won't go this route.
Again, the discussions are inevitable - but just trust me that you can't change the past.
The other discussion items from the episode are a little less glamorous than the first:
- The book that Young Ben gave Sayid was "Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan" by Carlos Castaneda. It's about a young anthropologist living with a Yaqui Indian's world of "non-ordinary reality" and the difficult and dangerous road a man must travel to become "a man of knowledge", full of hallucinogenic drugs. See the relevancy to this episode?
- Ben seemed to confirm that The Economist = Widmore, even though there are still some logical holes in the episode "The Economist" because of this. However, it does make things a little easier, since we know there are just two "big players" in the battle for the Island - Ben and Widmore - not three, including a mysterious third party that we haven't met yet.
- Is it possible that Dharma started their whole "time travel" kick thanks to Sayid telling them that he was from the future? Is the Swan Station named the Swan Station thanks to Sayid? Fun stuff to think about... except for when it makes your head hurt.
- She could just be a good liar - or unknowing pawn in Ben's schemes - but for now Ilana seems to be an innocent bounty hunter, not a former Other / off-Island henchman for Ben. So it was just fate that Sayid ended up on Ajira 316 (unless Ben paid her off, pretending to be the family for one of Sayid's victims... which would make some sense since Guam and The Seychelles are nowhere near each other).
...and I think that's about it. Like I said, not a whole lot to this episode aside from the final scene. I'm still worried about Sayid's chances for survival on the Island since in one episode, they basically filled in every gap in his storyline, and Sayid seems to think that he just completed "his mission" in returning to the Island in killing Ben. Of course he's wrong, but his character doesn't know that.
Okay - discuss!