Previously on Lost: Sayid turned evil and helped Flocke destroy the Temple, Kate may or may not have been recruited, Miles was rescued by the Ajira people, Jack and Hurley were chilling at the lighthouse and altverse Ben met altverse Locke in the teacher’s lounge.
In altverse land, Ben Linus, European history teacher, educates his kids about the importance of the island of Elba and how being exiled wasn’t the worst thing for Napoleon, it was the lack of power.
In case the subtext isn’t obvious enough, Dr. Linus complains during lunch about how awful the principal is. Substitute teacher John Locke suggests that Ben should be the principal. It’s obvious he cares more about the kids, so he should take over for the person currently in charge. At this point, the subtext is so loud I’m starting to go deaf.
That night Ben whines about his pathetic life to his dad, Roger, who has regrets of his own. He’s sorry he ever left the Island and the DHARMA Initiative. So at least we know the Island and DHARMA existed. Then Alex (yes, that Alex, Ben’s adopted Island daughter) shows up because she’s a student in Ben’s history club at school. That couldn’t make less sense.
At a tutoring session, Alex tells Ben about seeing the principal and the school nurse doing it in the hearing test room. He takes this information to Dr. Arzt for help in overthrowing the principal.
When Ben confronts Principal Reynolds, his response is that if Ben blackmails him, the principal will write a bad recommendation for Alexandra Rousseau and ruin her chances of getting into Yale. Will Ben sacrifice Alex’s future? If you somehow forgot how this ended last time, don’t worry, the real Island Ben refreshes your memory about Alex’s last stand.
Unfortunately, in altverse, Ben is a good guy and he protects Alex, accepting his pathetic role as a history teacher. Following Locke’s acceptance of mediocrity, I’m growing frustrated with the lameness of these altverse characters. If the point is to show us how the Island made everyone a more interesting person, we get it, so please stop before we have to watch another watered-down character wuss out.
Hurley, Jack and Richard
Hurley and Jack head back to the Temple (with Hurley trying to stall the whole way) when they bump into Richard Alpert. Where did he come from? “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” he says. Dude, they’ve faced time travel, a smoke monster and a lighthouse mirror that showed Jack’s childhood home. I suspect they’ll believe anything at this point.
The three walk together and Jack and Hurley shout out various theories about Richard’s youthfulness. Time traveler, cyborg and vampire are all ruled out because Jacob gave Richard “a gift.” They arrive at the Black Rock, and after dismissing Jacob as a liar, Richard goes in to die.
Sadly, he can’t kill himself because of Jacob’s touch, but Jack could light the fuse on the unstable Black Rock dynamite and kill him. Richard complains that Jacob promised he was a part of his important plan but never found out what it was, so his entire life had no meaning.
Jack lights the fuse, but stays behind. It seems that ever since the real Locke died, Jack has become the crazy man of the show, because he’s so convinced that the Island wants to keep him alive that he thinks the fuse will not explode the dynamite with him sitting right there. Jack’s game of chicken with TNT is successful, which now makes Jack the de facto leader.
For the rest of this exciting episode of Lost, click “Next.”
Photos from “Dr. Linus”
How Well Do You Know Ben Linus?
Ben’s Best Moments
(Image courtesy of ABC)