Brian's One Word Review: Setup.
To all those who read this week's episode preview, I apologize. Unfortunately, that episode played out exactly as I predicted (for the most part), so while it was an enjoyable episode, there wasn't anything too surprising in it... until the final two minutes. Here's what we confirmed:
- Sawyer indeed told Kate to go visit Cassidy and take care of Clementine.
- Kate indeed had a secret friendship with Cassidy in her three years off-Island, which contributed to the end of her engagement with Jack.
- Kate indeed left Aaron with his Carol Littleton, his grandmother.
- Jack indeed refused to operate on Young Ben, leaving only Juliet to do her best.
- Kate indeed had to take drastic measures to save Ben... taking him to the Others.
And that's where it got really interesting. I proposed the potential of having the Others save Young Ben, but determined that if they had some magic power to save lives, they would have used those powers to save their fellow Others over the years when shot by our Survivors (see: Ethan and Tom) - but according to Alpert, they do have the ability to save people - at least "outsiders" - but it comes at a cost...
"If I take him, he's not ever going to be the same again. What I mean is that he'll forget this ever happened and his innocence will be gone. He will always be one of us."
For one, this explains why there wasn't any awkward interaction between Sayid and Ben in prior seasons - apparently Ben doesn't remember any of this! Talk about an easy way out of dealing with an apparent storyline inconsistency from three years ago! More intriguing is that somehow this process "transforms" him into an Other. Does this mean that all the Others are some kind of reincarnated race of people given a "second chance" on the Island in return for becoming a devout follower of the Island? Remember how we saw Ben born in the woods outside Portland, Oregon - yet he claims he was born on the Island? Maybe he means "reborn". Very intriguing.
The other interesting part of this scene? When Alpert proposes taking Young Ben, another Other tells him "You shouldn't do this without asking Ellie. If Charles finds out..."
To which Alpert responds with "I don't answer to either of them."
Looks like we got our confirmation that Charles Widmore indeed is the leader of the Others in 1977, Ellie is indeed some type of "second in command" / lover / assistant to the regional manager for him / Widmore is off-Island and Ellie is his representative on-Island... and it confirms that Alpert doesn't think he needs to answer to them. Is the "rift" among the Others already starting?
...and that's about it for the episode. Pretty uneventful for a Damon and Carlton penned episode, but it looks to simply be a setup for next week's mind-blowing, season-defining episode (let the overhyping begin!). For those who didn't watch the episode preview, sucks to be you - but here's why we should all be very excited...
- After four weeks away, it looks to be a Ben and Locke-centric affair!
- It showed hints of Ben flashbacks on-Island (with CFL!) and off-Island (at the marina with Desmond and Penny waiving a gun!)
- Per Ben: "I broke the rules John. I came back to the Island to be judged."
- Ben and Locke entering some type of "temple" on the Island that looked pretty similar to the one that Alpert carried Young Ben into at the end of this week's episode.
- Per Ben: "What's about to come out of that jungle is something I can't control." Did someone say SMOKEY?!?!
So it looks like we're due for a whole lot of answers and new questions next week - and potentially will receive Ben's turn at the "fill in all the holes in your backstory" theme we've seen over the past two weeks... and I have to admit, that should be far more interesting than Sayid or Kate!
But I digress. Let's save the discussions about next week for next week. For now, let's try to find stuff to discuss from this week's episode. For starters, let's discuss how fantastic all the scenes involving Hurley and Miles were. They referenced Back to the Future, which seems to prove that Damon and Carlton read this Blog, right? I also felt like they were living through the hundreds of conversations that people have had about "whatever happened, happened" works on the Bog, which made me smile. Hopefully everyone is all straightened out now :)