Dr. Linus" talked about Ben's demise. Instead we were treated to rebirth of one on of the greatest (and most decorated) characters on the show. For me this episode was one of, if not, the best episode of the season so far. So let's cue up the principal's emails and see what we can find.
1. The biggest reveal of the evening was that the Dharma Initiative existed in the flash sideways time line. Roger Linus talks about how different things could have been if they stayed on the Island. Roger arrived in 1973 with an eight year old Ben Linus and in this "flash sideways" they didn't stay on groovy Island paradise. Did they leave after "The Incident" in 1977? What happened to make them leave? How does this relate to our favorite castaways? Yeah, this one is a real head spinner
2. In a clever twist or a sick joke, in the flash sideways Benjamin Linus was keeping his father alive with oxygen gas. Hardcore LOST fans will know that in the Island timline killed his Dad with poison gas.
3. One interesting twist here is the reveal that Jacob is the closest thing that Llana has ever had to a father. What exactly is the connection between the two of them? In the season 5 finale, Jacob appears to her when she is bedridden and they both already know each other. I believe there is a connection between Jacob, Richard, and Llana. Remember Llana and Richard both speak perfect Latin and know the answer to Jacob's questions (What Lies in the Shadow Of the Statue). Dare I say Llana and Richard are related?
4. When the episode opens Dr. Linus is dropping knowledge on his pupils. Good ol Benny complete with his highly academic sweater vest was explaining about the Island of Elba. A place where Napoleon faced his "greatest test," which was his loss of power. This concept relates to Ben, Widmore, Jack, Jacob, Man in Black, and the fate of Damon and Carlton after the show ends.
5. Ben's speech to Llana in the jungle about his grief about letting Alex die only enhanced the flash sideways story. For a character as layered at the legendary Benjamin Linus, seeing him make the right choice, even in a parallel universe to selflessly help Alex was incredibly rewarding.
6. While I'm glad that Widmore finally showed up, his arrival felt like a cheap coda to a brilliant episode. Widmore has spoken about a "war for the island" and considering that there are clearly two sides now, I believe Widmore has known this moment was coming, probably for a long time. I can't wait to see what side he takes. On one hand he encouraged Locke to return to the Island, which would mean he knew about a loophole and would be with team Smoke Monster. On the other hand he encouraged Locke to bring the Oceanic six back to the Island, which would put him on the latter.
6. The slow motion beach reunions get me every time, that's all.
***Next week I will be on the Island and will not be able to write The LOST Compass. My good friend and fellow candidate DJ Steve from the legendary Lifting Fog Blog will be taking over in my absence.