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March 11, 2010

Lost Recap Season 6 Episode 7 'Dr. Linus' by Jeff Bond

I've been writing LOST episode recap blogs on my own for years now. Posting them everywhere from my large email friend-base to Myspace, to Lost board websites, to Facebook, to the blog site's of other friendly 'Losties'. This season I am honored to be posting the remaining recaps EXCLUSIVELY for Cultural Compulsive Disorder!!! Join me there each week for my futile Lost TV show ramblings, but tune in daily, no....hourly, for an endless array of movie, TV, music, comic book, fashion, and general geek-dom that Mr. Mike D provides. Take a moment
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Let's get involved here, peoples!!! So here... we... go!!!

I'm back up in it, baby! What a great episode. A whole lot of my favorite characters directed by a whole lot of Mario Van Peebles. THE Mario Van Peebles? You know it! Get ready for some New Jack style....and some New Ben, and New Richard style while we're at it.

In Universe-X, Ben Linus-X lectures in front of his classroom about the Island....of 'Elba', the island on which Napoleon was banished after his loss of power. Napoleon's life was 'meaningless without power' and he might 'as well have been dead'. According to Dr. Linus.

Ben-X wraps up class and is approached by Principal Reynolds (formerly the douche bag villain from the film Ghostbusters') about sidetracking his History Club and taking over detention duty to Ben-X's dismay. Back at the teacher's lounge during lunch break, Arzt-X has formaldehyde on him much like there was once Arzt on some of our favorite passengers after his dynamite accident near 'Black Rock'. Ben-X doesn't think much of Reynolds' use of his power. He says Reynolds doesn't get that it's all about 'taking care of the kids' (School is about the kids in Universe-X, perhaps some of you are right and this is a nod to the island really being about 'taking care of the kids' in Universe 1.0) Locke-X is there, still substituting. He suggests a change in 'administration'. Ben-X should take the lead. Locke-X would follow him. In this universe as well, eh?

Switching to the home of Ben-X, evening time. Ben-X prepares frozen turkey TV dinner for his aging and ailing dad Roger (Workman) 'Uncle Rico' Linus(-X). Roger-X breathes with the aide of pure oxygen which Ben-X administers. Ironically, in the flip side Universe 1.0, you'll recall, Ben was the one who administered the poison gas which killed his father and the rest of the remaining DHARMA initiative members during it's 'purge'. Roger-X sits and listens to Ben-X's career frustrations and wonders, aloud, what life would be like for Ben-X had they never left the island, and the DHARMA Initiative!

Doorbell rings. It's ALex-X! In this universe sh'se apparently only Ben-X student and not his adopted daughter. She was worried about her teacher after he didn't hold his usual afterschool History Club, that she is a member of, but Ben-X fills her in on the new activity change. Ben-X than suggests she get her history tutoring, personally, from him at 7am the next morning. Slight hint of creepyness.The next morn we're treated to their tutoring session covering 'East India Trading Company' (Isn't it 'Dutch East India Trading Co.?', history buffs??)trading practices which Alex-X is having trouble with. She doesn't know how she's going to get into Yale at this rate even with her mom (presumably Danielle Roussieu-X) working 2 jobs. (I thought of this Danielle working two jobs while the other Danielle was a little loopy, a little bi-polar, working 2 jobs in her head) Ben-X offers to send a letter of recommendation to Yale for her because he considers her one of his brightest students, but she informs him she'll need a recommendation from someone who once ATTENDED Yale and that she's already asked Principal Reynolds to do it for her.

She indicates that he's a bit of a 'pervert' though and, after another moment of creepiness between these two, we learn that the principal was having an affair with the school nurse, Ms Kondracky. She heard them 'doing it' in the office near the nurse's office one day. Later Ben-X approaches Arzt-X in his lab in order to recruit his computer nerd skills to help hack into the nurse's email account to see if there was any dirt he could dig up on the school's principal. Arzt-X agrees to help if he can get a better parking space out of it once Ben-X makes his play for power, and some new Lab equipment. Arzt-X is tickled about the mission and calls Ben-X a 'real killer' (nudge nudge) for his cunning behavior.

We see Ben-X in Principal Reynold's office. He approaches him about 30 inappropriate emails he's collected and attempts to blackmail him for his resignation....and to forward Ben-X's rise to power. Backed into a corner, Reynold's issues a proposition of his own. He was in the middle of considering Alex-X's Yale recommendation, and declares that if Ben-X chooses a rise to power over young Rouisseu-X's future he will not send that recommendation. This choice is obvious to most to be reminiscent of Ben's choice on the island in which he allowed Keemy to kill Alex rather than turn himself over and relinquish his power and control on the island. The ball is left in Ben-X's court.

Next scene we see a slightly better dressed Ben-X futzing around in
Reynold's office alone, giving the impression (to me at least) that
this may now be HIS office and that he has made his power play at the risk of ruining Alex-X's future. Enter Alex-X who's there to thank
Reynolds for the glowing recommendation which she inserts Ben-X must have had a hand in. Behind her bursts Reynolds who is still Principal, and is annoyed at HIS full office. It appears as though they reached an agreement on the matter and Ben-X is off of detention duty and History Club is back on! More importantly Alex-X's future is more
secure. Ben-X has made a decision the likes of which Universe 1.0's Ben has never been able to come to. The decision to put the lives of others ahead of his own bid for power. Outside the office Arzt-X is upset at the change of plans but is happy to take Ben-X's old parking spot in lieu of the one he set his sights on.

Universe 1.0 Ben Linus is on the run away from the temple, where Smoke Monster/Locke has just caught wreck on everyone that didn't take heed. Out of breath, he stumbles onto the the cluster of Ajira 316 passengers that escaped through the temple's Omega (?) symbol door. (Ilana, Frank Lapidus, Sun, Miles) Ilana asks Ben where (Sayid) Jarrah was and Ben is confident he's playing for the other team after killing
Dogen & his boyfriend. "He was standing over their bodies holding a bloody yes, I'm sure" he insists to Ilana. With that, Ben suggests to the new group leader, Ilana, that they head to the old beach camp to set up team operations. Miles asks where the rest of the good guys are and Ben informs him that, from what he saw, Smoke Monster killed them all. '....And Jacob', Ilana adds, doubtingly inquiring again. Ben corrects himself but it's now clear to Ilana that Ben is covering up that HE knows more than he alluding to about Jacob's death. From her hip she pulls out the small sack of Jacob's ashes and passes them to Miles and insists he try and communicate with Jacob's remains to get to the bottom of things. Miles fondles Jacob's sack (hollar at my gays!) and submits: 'LINUS' killed him!' This is probably a fact that would have taken 2 seasons to come to anyone else's attention on the show normally. You can tell we're full speed ahead these days. Ilana asks Miles to be sure and he adds 'He was standing over his body with a bloody dagger, so yes, I'm sure!' Ilana announces, choked up, that Jacob was the closest thing she ever had to a father which makes
me think that Ilana's been around in Universe 1.0 a lot longer than we may have thought. Just a hunch. With that the team presses onward toward the beach.

Upon arrival at the overturned beach camp, our team splits up a little, rummaging through the remains and distancing themselves slightly from the murderous Ben. Last week Ben, you recall, announced his hand in murdering John Locke as well. A lot for them to digest these murders are. Ilana, specifically, seems to be on more of a mission, collecting random leftover scraps and supplies. Ben insists Miles can't be trusted, reminding us that Miles once tried to blackmail him for millions. Sun approaches Ilana and insists they find Jin. Ilana stresses she wants to find Jin as badly as Sun does because one or both of the Kwons are 'Candidates' to replace Jacob and that she must protect them. She tells her that the 'candidate' will find out what they are chosen for once they are chosen. Whew! That answers everything, thanks Ilana. She also reveals to Sun that their are only 6 candidates left! We know this, I think.

Frank and Ben find themselves in each other's paths and Frank reveals to him that he was originally scheduled to pilot flight 815 and wonders aloud how different his life might have been had he not overslept that fateful day. (That statement reminds me a little of Uncle Rico in Universe-X wondering how his life would have been different had they stayed on the island) 'The island still GOT you in the end," Ben retorts. (Maybe this is an indication that the island will still get the Universe-X cast in the end as well!) Ilana is done collecting supplies and is now up in Ben's grill with her rifle. Ben's forced to the site of the passenger graveyard and shackled (shackles, people!) to a palm tree and ordered to dig his own grave'. Fitting. Amidst his digging, Miles appears and offers Ben some grub....bananas and green beans, tasty! Ben's lost his appetite.Thinking quickly, Ben tries to bribe Miles again with the 3.2 million dollars he had offered him. (double the amount Charles Widmore's was paying him if my memory serves me) Miles isn't interested. Nikki and Paolo are buried just a few feet from them, Miles points out.....buried with $8 million in diamonds! Apparently using his 'dead whisperer' skills to reach out to seasons 3's newcomers and THE most hated new characters on Lost ever.

Ben implores Miles, Ilana will kill him for murdering Jacob. Jacob, a man that didn't even care about BEING killed. Miles objects. 'Oh, HE cared,' Miles offers, 'Right up until the second the knife went into his heart he was hoping that he was wrong about (Ben). I guess he wasn't!' he adds. Is this the FIRST time we see Miles accurately describing all the events surrounding a death we were presenting for? I guess it's unquestionable, now, that Miles CAN contact the dead. I always had doubts...about everything on this show, really. Ilana wants more digging....less yapping. Ben continues his grave preparation. The neatest most perfect rectangular grave digging I've ever seen. (Not that I've witnessed much grave digging in my lifespan) Ben hears rumblings in the wind and trees and suddenly Smoke Monster/Locke is before him. Relax, he's just visiting. (tee hee).
Smoke Monster/Locke is much less vengeful than his counterpart. He doesn't want Ben to die. He even flew back to the statue foot to find Ben and recruit him after dealing with Richard and Sawyer. Smoke Monster/Locke informs Ben that he and his team are leaving and that Ben is a candidate of his to take over Jacob's position of island protecting. A trick or punishment of sorts for sure, because, you'll recall, Smoke Monster/Locke has already stated that he believes the island doesn't need protecting or guarding. (or so that's what he wanted Sawyer to believe a few episodes ago) Either way, he informs Ben that his troops are at the Hydra Station on Island 2 (YES! I miss that place. Aquariums, zoos... fish biscuits!) and that Ben should join them there. Ben is mysteriously unshackled. Smoke Monster/Locke informs Ben that there is a rifle against a tree 200 yards inland. He can make a run for it and overtake Ilana if he doesn't hesitate. Ben
gets to steppin'. Ilana follows, fast and furious.

Ben reaches the rifle and spins around drenched and creepy (reminds me of a wet Kermit the frog a little in this Emmy award winning Kermit the frog that is.) Ben just wants to explain himself to Ilana. The rifle finally gives him a forum. He knows what she's feeling. He watched Alex die at the hands of Widmore's men but it was ultimately Ben's fault. A change of tune for Ben who has been blaming Charles Widmore all this time for her death and for changing the 'rules'. It was Ben's choice. Alex or his power. (sounds familiar). He 'chose the island' in the 'name of Jacob' (that old Catholic blind faith belief system again). Ben apologizes for Jacob's death, sincerely, but in truth he will never forgive himself for his death even if Ilana will. He wants Ilana just to let him team Locke, the only one that will have. 'I'll have you' Ilana says in a statement that gave this guy a bit of a chubby (pointing to myself with a Kool-Aid smile) Sexy!

Without hesitation, Ben's blind faith has kicked back in. He ultimately just seems to be wanted by Jacob and his people. I, however, was sold yet again by team Locke.....until of course Ilana went whispering with sexual undertones. Whew...aight. Now we find ourselves where things REALLY matter. (To me anyways) We're wicked away to the land of Oz. In the poppy field, asleep with the Cowardly Lion (who is dreaming of cheese curds of all things.....fat kid!) and the Tin Man who is deciding which direction to go to find the Wizard of Oz. 'Ofcourse, some people go both ways' says the Scarecrow. Wait a minute wrong story. Richard insists Oz (the 'Temple') is in this direction and Jack and Hurley follow. Hurley asks if Richard is time travelling. Nope. Is he a cyborg like Terminator? Unh uh. Vampire? Don't think so. Any of which would have been fine with me. I love when Hurley or Miles gets to asking the important questions. They always seem to be rattling off Lost fan message board questions. I think we're all secretly writing for this show. Richard reveals that he has been 'touched by Jacob (Hey, Now!) Once your touched by Jacob you get a gift. (Sounds like an uncle of mine)

They aren't going to the temple. Richard has lead them,instead, to 'Black Rock'. I love that pirate ship! Jack wants to know what Richie knows about Jacob. Richie knows at least one thing...Jacob is dead. So do we asshole! Tell us something new, player! So is everyone at the temple. Hurley concurs that's why he's been stalling on the road back there. Jacob told Hurley this would happen. Richie is surprised, and seemingly annoyed, that Hurley can speak to Jacob. He advises them not to listen to Jacob. Richard is done with these two....he's going to go 'die'. Hey don't hate, it's just something he 'needs to do'. He seemingly means something he needs to do for himself, but is there any other implications here. Is he SUPPOSED to kill himself?

Inside the ship, Richard examines the boat's shackles. HIS shackles. He confirms to Jack that he's been on the boat before but this is the first time he's been on it since he reached the island. See, we do GET this show sometimes. You all knew Richard was a slave on that ship. What a tale that's going to be. I think we're going to get a pirate adventure tale episode before this is all over, .....words!

Richard gets up and starts fondling some Arzt dynamite rather carelessly. Hurley is worried. He reminds Jack what happened the last time they were messing around with dynamite. It was raining bits of Arzt. Richie reassures them they'll be fine. He can't kill himself. A result of Jacob's gift touch. He wants Jack to kill him. If Jack lights the dynamite, than Richard can die. Richard is feeling like Ben has, like Locke has, and most recently like Jack has....that Jacob has been manipulating his whole life for his master plan. That his whole life has been a bit of a sham guided by his blind faith. (I'm growing weary of these religious undertones. I like when show's creators stretch the story in one direction, say religion, and than it snaps back all the way in the opposite direction, let's say sci-fi time travel or Egyptian demagoguery...perhaps some superhero type stuff Let's get to snapping, eh guys?!

Jack is all for it. He tells Hurley to leave and lights the dynamite. Now Jack wants answers again. Now? NOW, DOUCHE BAG?? How about before you light the fuse that's going to take 5 seconds to burn through? Great, 5 seconds of answers for us! After what has gone down in the lighthouse, Jack is confident that his life has been way too manipulated to end over a stick of dynamite 'Russian Roulette' style. Jack gets no answers because he used up our 'answer time' talking about himself, egocentric bastard. He closes his eyes and mumbles to himself as the fuse reaches it final burning seconds. This completely reminded me of Dr. Shepherd coaching Jack on how to count to 3 and get the job done during his first spinal surgery.The dynamite fuse fizzles out and Jack is proven RIGHT for what is probably the first time in the show's history.
In a moment of extra-cool, Jack insists they light another dynamite stick just to be sure. Fuck yeah, dick bag!! Is THIS finally the Jack we were waiting to step up to the plate? I dunno, he's struck out before. Let's give him another episode to be sure.

Back to the beach. In the perfect moment that makes Lost what it is, and mirroring last week's 'slow-motion of evil' ending, 'Camp Candy-date' is alive with teamwork and rebuilding. Ben helps Sun with her tarp. Frank builds a campfire. Miles counts his diamonds. Diamonds?? That bastard...haha. Jack, Hurley and Richard join their friends to Sun's delight and a general feeling of comradery. Even Ben and Jack exchange a look that makes me look forward to seeing that new 'duo of good' exchange ideas. But all is not well, an foreboding camera pan to the ocean reveals they are being watched by a periscope which appears from the abyss. A submarine is fastly approaching. 'There are people on the island should we stop?' says a the sub's crew member. 'No, proceed as planned!' commands CHARLES WIDMORE. Fuck yeah! Is it next week yet?

Things I'm Pondering:
  • This weeks sound effects between jumps were all plane whooshes. No mystery here. Ben is on Team Jacob!
  • Roger 'Uncle Rico' Linus referencing his stay on the island and work with the DHARMA Initiative is one of our first indications that the island was once above water in Ben-X's lifetime at least. When and why did the father and son leave? When and why did the island sink?
  • Is Arzt-X going to bite the bullet anytime soon? Every time he's on screen I cringe waiting for him to blow up unexpectedly. Now he's got me waiting for a tree to fall on his car with him inside in the new parking space he's gotten from Ben-X. Or maybe the irony in Universe-X is that he dodges death regularly?
  • Whom exactly are the 6 'Candidates' Ilana insists are left. Kwon, Jack, Hurley? Whom else? Which ones are already Lost?
  • Aside form his minor crew members, is Widmore alone on the sub? Damn, it would warm my heart if Desmond was on there with him. The indications there would be insane!
  • Is Jacob's touch a gift or a curse? Just what is the gift he bestows? Immortality? Complete immortality or just on the island? Does this immortality extend to everyone that he touches or does each candidate receive a different gift? Is this why Richard and Jack seem immortal? Why Hurly can speak with the dead? Professor X can get out of his wheelchair! Why Miles can access the memories of the recently departed. If so, what can Sawyer do? Grow adamantium claws? Shoot lasers from his eyes? What are the 'Wonder Twins' Zan and Jana...err um Sun and Jin's powers? Is Jacob transferring his super powers one by one to each candidate ultimately creating a best island super-candidate ever?
........Am I going Bat-ty? Of course, but than again my super power is the 'Uncanny' ability to remain LOST.

- JB


  1. Trying to figure out some alternate meanings to the episode title 'Dr. Linus'.

    -He has his doctorate in European history
    -We've witnessed Ben Linus in a 'doctored' timeline
    -Ben has needed a 'doctor' many times on the island (i.e. when he was shot, when he had a tumor, etc.)
    -Ben's personality was 'doctored' when he was brought to the temple...'...but eh won;t be the same again.'
    -Ben was attempting to remedy the situation on the island in present time between he Ilana and Jacob.

    Any of that work?

  2. Not sure if you picked up on this, but it should be noted that every episode this season in the flash sideways has had some kind of mirror moment or reflection. Ben's reflection in the microwave, Jack looks in a mirror at LA X and Lighthouse and notices something off. Kate looks in mirror and decides to go back to help Claire. Locke is in bathroom, reflection in mirror and calls Jack Shephard's office. Sayid looks in reflection of Nadia's front door. Keep an eye out for it.

  3. What can i say Jeff.. I feel like this season i'm just enjoying the ride... can't glean anything out of these episodes!

    but i did have a thought.. if universe 1.0 and X are happening at the same time, are events in X somehow affecting 1.0? Did Ben want to "redeem" himself in 1.0 by confessing to Ilana because he helped Alex in X? or vice versa? (what? .. i don't know..)

    So the 6 candidates... Jack, Hurley, Sun ?, Jin?, Lapidius ?, Kate?? Is Miles even a candidate? did anyone see his name on any list? and have we really ruled out Sawyer? We haven't seen him in a couple of weeks... what the hell is he doing and where?

    i think it would be totally awesome too if Desmond was on the ship with Widmore! let's hope for that this week! And will we ever see Walt again?

    And i too am over the religious references already.. i enjoyed it way more when they were throwing other things in the mix as you mention above.. and did anyone notice them all bathed in light at the end in the beach? i was feeling Team Locke's exit way better, in the dark, jungle, torches, slow motion... that's what i'm talking about!

    that's it for me.. i'm telling you, this season got me feeling like season 1 all over again.. i'm just like WTF!

    and great recap by the way!

  4. found this don't know how accurate this is or how anyone even found all these numbers, but it's a list of other candidates.

  5. i did not notice that about the mirrors! But now that you mention it, Sawyer did punch his mirror immage in universe-x this past week! Good catch!

  6. Francie says: "...if universe 1.0 and X are happening at the same time, are events in X somehow affecting 1.0? Did Ben want to "redeem" himself in 1.0 by confessing to Ilana because he helped Alex in X? or vice versa?"

    I'm witchu Francie. I too am starting to think there's more to these 'flash sideways' them we've been giving them credit for. I totally think it's possible that the actions of our candidates in one Universe may be affecting those in the other. They can't be TOTALLY disconnected from each other can they be?

    Francie says "So the 6 candidates... Jack, Hurley, Sun ?, Jin?, Lapidius ?, Kate?? Is Miles even a candidate? did anyone see his name on any list? and have we really ruled out Sawyer? We haven't seen him in a couple of weeks... what the hell is he doing and where?"

    Francie I think the list may be as follows....
    -'Kwon'(one or the other or both..or their child)

    I'm sure Ilana is just speaking about the 6 she new of before the latest issues. So 'Locke' is off the list but Kate is on. In her head Sayid and Sawyer probably still count even though they may have been seduced by the dark side.

    Final Cut Jay's link above to the candidates corroborates most of this(Thanks Jay!)...they seem to still have Locke listed though...but surely he's off the candidate list now!?

    Thanks for reading and responding guys. You are all truly insightful!