Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lost 6.7: A Better Ben in Both Realities.

Sayid was an irreducible assassin in both realities last week, in Lost 6.6.   Tonight's 6.7 - the most touching, even beautiful episode of this final season so far - brings us Ben a better man in both LA and island alternate realities.   It's a delicately constructed story, with the most haunting parallels in the characters and story lines in the two worlds we've seen so far, and the most explicit explanation of how the alternate LA reality came to spring out of the primordial island reality which generated both the LA and current island realities we now see unfolding on our screens.

First, the better LA 815-didn't-crash reality focuses on Ben as a teacher - whom we met a few episodes ago when LA Locke comes to teach as a substitute in the same high school.   Ben is taking care of his ailing father - who tells us that he and Ben left the island and the Dharma project years earlier.  So here we have the first direct history of how at least one alternate LA character not on Flight 815 came to be in LA and not on the island.

Joining Ben as an inexplicably intersection character in the same LA school is Dr. Arzst - a science teacher, of course - and the real surprise, Alex Rousseau as his student.   She will be the catalyst of this story.

Ben has ambition to be principal of the school, just as Ben on the island has been ever driven by ambition.  Locke goads him on (just as Locke on the island will appeal to Ben's worst instincts, see below), and Alex puts him on a path from which Ben can blackmail the principal into resigning.   Dr. Arzst is supportive.   But the principal tells Ben that if he is forced to resign, his recommendation letter for Alex will go into oblivion with him.   Alex wants to go to Yale, and a rec from this principal, a Yale alumnus, would be strong indeed.

Ben decides - not to force the principal from office, for Alex's sake.  So unlike Ben on the island, who gambled with his daughter's life to keep his power and lost - both Alex and his power in the end - this better Ben in better LA does the right thing for his student Alex.

But this fine episode has even more of this in store for us.   Ben on the island, still tortured by the loss of Alex, is forced by Ilana to dig his own grave.  She hates Ben for killing Jacob.  Faux, evil Locke, however,  frees him, and points Ben to an escape route and a rifle -  Locke wants Ben to kill Ilana and join his team.  Ilana indeed ends up on the wrong side of this gun, but rather than kill her, Ben tells her his wrenching story.

Ilana accepts Ben - she tells him he can stay with her and the good guys, doesn't need to join Locke's bad posse.   And in a powerful last scene on the beach, Ben is with Sun, Ilana, Miles, Hurley, Jack, and Richard (whom we learned was given eternal life by Jacob).   Ben asks Sun if he can help her construct a shelter.  He's a good guy now, on the island, too, at last.   He's found his better nature - his LA nature -  maybe his truer nature, what he would have been if the island hadn't intervened in his life.

This is our island team of good guys, who will face Locke, Sayid, and likely Claire.    Kate and Sawyer still need to find a team - I can't see them joining with Locke, but you never know - and there are characters off-shore with likely not the greatest intentions for who knows which side of the battle.

And the countdown to the ending continues.

5-min podcast review of Lost

See also  Lost Season Six Double Premiere ... Three Questions Arising from the Lost Season Six Premiere: Linkage Between Two Realities,  Dead Bodies Inhabited, Who/What Survived H-Blast? ... Lost 6.3:  Kate and Claire, Tenacious Details, and Dr. Arzt's Arse at the Airport ... Lost 6.4:  Better LA, Wilder Island, Some Partial Answers at Last ... Lost 6.5: Jack's Family and Prester John's Speculum ... Lost 6.6: Sayid the Assassin in Both Realities

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 ... 5.11 Clockwork Perfect Time Travel ... 5.12: Ben v. Charles, and Locke' Slave ... 5.13: Lost Meets Star Wars and the Sixth Sense ... The Problem with Baby Aaron and the Return of the Oceanic Six ... 5.14: Eloise, Daniel, and Obsession Trumping Paradox ... 5.15: Moral Compasses in Motion ... Lost Season 5 Finale: Jacob and Locke

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