First the time travel. The conversation between Hurley and Miles, early in the episode, covered the same ground I outlined in my review of 5.10 here last week. Young Ben's in critical condition. If he dies, that will change everything - Hurley, Jack, Kate, and none of our survivors from the first plane crash, now back on the island in 1977, would likely be there. Hurley is right, in this scenario, to look at his fingers and make sure he's not disappearing. But Miles (taking up the role of Faraday), correctly replies that since Miles and Hurley are in fact having this conversation in Dharma-ville in 1977, Ben had to have lived. Someway, somehow, he'll survive. Hurley then correctly asks Miles, so how come older Ben, having survived Sayid's gunshot, didn't recognize Sayid when they first ran into each in 2004 (or in when our Losties first ran into Ben).
Miles had no answer. I realized that Ben would have to recover with no memory of being shot - no memory of what led up to it - no memory of Sayid. Certainly patients who are seriously wounded as was Ben could have amnesia of events surrounding the inflicting of the injury.
Richard, who will bring Ben back to health, says Ben will have no memory of what had happened - he'll be changed forever. This not only provides a perfect resolution of Ben's being shot, but explains Ben's special connection to the island in the bargain. And Jack's not wanting to operate on Ben rings plausible and meaningful.
As was the case with the Desmond "constant" episode last year, this was about as perfect a time travel story as ever I've seen on television.
Meanwhile, we were given a fine, believable explanation of why Kate left Aaron - which has been a gaping question mark since she left him to go back to the island. The answer is that Kate realized she was taking care of Aaron as much for herself as for Aaron, who belonged with his grandmother. Put in the mix that Kate feels she has to go back to the island to find Claire, and it all starts to make sense. (It's still unclear, though, if Claire is alive - I was leaning towards no - but after tonight, I'm not really sure.)
Lost continues to fire on all cylinders in what is becoming my favorite season.
5-min podcast review of Lost 5.11
More Lost - see : The Richard-Locke Compass Time Travel Loop ...
and Lost Returns in 5 Dimensions and 5.3: The Loops, The Bomb ... 5.4: A Saving Skip Back in Time ... 5.5 Two Time Loops and Mind Benders ... 5.6 A Lot of Questions ... 5.7 Bentham and Ben ... 5.8 True Love Ways ... 5.9 Two Times and a Baby ... 5.10: The Impossible Cannot Happen
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