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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Dr. Linus" Discussion

[Listen to this episode!] [Subscribe to the MP3 feed via iTunes]

the JoshMeister, Josh "Spivvy" from The Lost Flashbacks, Steve from The Smoke Hatch, and other fellow LOST fans discuss Season 6 Episode 7, "Dr. Linus".

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On the podcast we first discussed some additional items about the previous episode:

Notes about S6E06 "Sundown" from Geronimo Jack's Beard:
  • Script says "something's off" about Sayid's reflection in the opening scene
  • Dogen's book (according to the script, but not clearly seen on the show):
    • Deep River (Wikipedia, Amazon) by Shusaku Endo, a Japanese author (Dogen speaks Japanese)
    • a novel which "traces the journey of four Japanese tourists on a tour to India. Each of these tourists goes to India for different purposes and with different expectations"
      • Many religions are referenced in the book, and likewise many religions have been referenced on LOST
      • Most of the people on Oceanic Flight 815 had traveled to Australia for different purposes (many of them were tourists), and virtually all of the people on the flight were traveling to Los Angeles for different purposes and with different expectations
  • Jack is one of the doctors in the hospital where Sayid's brother Omer went (see this screencap)
Season 6 Episode 7 "Dr. Linus":

2007 on the Island:
  • Ben runs from the temple, catches up with Ilana, Frank Lapidus, Sun, and Miles
  • Ilana gives Miles the bag of ash, and Miles reads Jacob's last thoughts, revealing that Ben was in fact the one who killed Jacob
  • Ilana tells Ben that Jacob was the closest thing she had to a father, and they all walk away from Ben
2004 "flash-sideways":
  • Dr. Ben Linus: "[The island of] Elba is where Napoleon faced his greatest test." (refer to the Wikipedia article on Napoleon Bonaparte)
  • Dr. Leslie Arzt works at the same school as Dr. Linus
  • John Locke the substitute tells Linus that he should become the principal
  • Ben takes care of his father Roger, who lives with him
    • "he seemed to get along with his dad.  up to that time on the island he hated his dad didn't he" -baileybear
    • "i wonder why they left Dharma" -baileybear
    • "this was a HUGE confirmation to me. confirms that the split did occur at the bomb" -Spivvy
      • I don't think it's clear whether this confirms anything or not; technically, the rift should probably have begun in 1974 when the Ajira Flight 316 passengers integrated into The DHARMA Initiative
  • Alex is one of Ben's students in history club
    • Alex was never on the Island in this timeline; in the original timeline Danielle and her team didn't come to the Island until many, many years after the Incident
    • Ilana says to Sun that she doesn't know whether Sun or Jin is the candidate to replace Jacob
    • Ilana says there are only 6 left

      • We can safely assume that the first 5 are Reyes (Hugo, "Hurley"), Shephard (Jack), Austen (could possibly be Kate's father Sam, but it seems much more likely to be Kate), Kwon (Sun or Jin), Ford (James, "Sawyer")... so who's the 6th?
        • Is Ilana still counting Sayid even though he's been turned to the Man in Black's side?  If so, does she think he can be turned back to Jacob's side?
        • Three other names have not yet been crossed out, although we don't know who any of them are, so we can only speculate whether Ilana might be referring to one of them: Haasra (#56), Grimwault (#57) and Kysea (#60) — refer to http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Candidates
          • We don't yet know Ilana's last name.  Could she be a candidate in addition to being a bodyguard for the other candidates?
        • Incidentally, the only names left that don't correspond to the Numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) are Austen (#51) and the three names we've never heard of before
    • Ilana takes Ben at gunpoint and makes him dig his own grave
    • Ben tutors Alex
      • "My mom works two jobs just to pay for rent."  Danielle Rousseau is apparently alive and well
    • Alex reveals (and makes Dr. Linus promise not to reveal) that the principal had inappropriate relations with the nurse at school on campus
    • Ben tries to bribe Miles with $3.2 million, and Miles says that if he wanted to he could dig up Nikki and Paulo's graves and get 8 million dollars' worth of diamonds
      • When Nikki and Paulo were buried, nobody else knew this; Miles must have read their dying thoughts
      • If Ben can get off the Island, why wouldn't he already have done so?  Was he lying about that?  Or could he leave the Island (say, via the donkey wheel) but nevertheless has chosen to stay because he feels obligated to make restitution to the Island for killing Jacob?
    • Miles says that Jacob didn't think Ben would actually kill him until the moment Ben plunged in the knife
    • Richard says of his non-aging that "Jacob gave me a gift."
    • Richard tells Hurley not to believe whatever Jacob told him
    • Richard says "There's something I need to do. Die."
    • After hearing Dr. Linus' plan to take the principal's position through blackmail, Dr. Arzt says "Linus, you're a real killer."  Ben gets an odd look, and then the scene cuts to original-timeline Ben on the Island digging his own grave
      • Ben's strange look seemed reminiscent of the moments Jack has had, and the moment Kate had, where they seemed to be confused or disturbed, almost as if trying to recall something that never happened in their own timeline but did happen in the original timeline
      • On the podcast, Spivvy pointed out that Ben had been shot and taken by The Others to be healed; maybe he was reflecting on those moments
      • This is the first flash-sideways that's centric to someone who has been to the Island in the flash-sideways timeline; Kate, Locke, Jack, and Sayid have never been to the Island in this timeline, but Ben has
    • Richard leads Jack and Hurley to the Black Rock
      • "i still hope they tell us or show us how the ship got in the middle of the island" -baileybear
    • Richard says "this is the first time I've ever come back"
    • Richard says "Jacob touched me" and he can't kill himself, and someone else has to do it for him
    • Dr. Jack readily agrees to euthanize Richard Alpert (so much for Jack's Hippocratic Oath)!
    • As the fuse begins to burn, Jack challenges Richard
      • Jack tells Richard what he saw in the mirrors at the lighthouse and says that Jacob wanted him to see that; this is apparently a new revelation to Richard
      • Jack says he's confident that the dynamite will not explode.  He closes his eyes, smiles, and the fuse fizzles out just in time
      • This was quite a bold risk, much riskier than Jack probably realized.  We know that most of the candidates have already died, and Jack seems to think that he's invincible
        • "Jack seemed to turn into season one Locke" -baileybear
        • Theory: "candidates can't die UNTIL their names are crossed out" -Spivvy
          • However, the Man in Black crossed off John Locke's name after John died
      • So why did the fuse fizzle out?  Did Jacob somehow stop it?  Was it coincidence/fate?
      • "how come dogen could be killed but Richard could not be killed.  Was it only because Jack was sitting with him?" -baileybear
        • "I think Dogen let himself be killed" -jwatari
        • "the situation with Richard, reminds me of the situation with Michael.  The Island wouldn't let him die until he completed a task." -Spivvy
          • Or perhaps Jack is the person who the Island saved because his destiny was not yet fulfilled
    • The Man in Black visits Ben
    • "Once we're gone, someone's going to need to be in charge of the Island"
      • On the podcast, Spivvy commented that it seems like the Man in Black is trying to set up Ben to be "like the next Jacob," except that he would be in league with the MIB
      • Put another way, Ben seems to be a potential replacement ("candidate") for the MIB rather than for Jacob, so the MIB can leave the Island and leave someone in charge who's on his side
        • "a sucker to keep pressing the button, so to speak" -diesel929
      • "Maybe there needs to be new candidates for both sides" -Steve from The Smoke Hatch
        • Here's a chicken and egg theory: perhaps there always was a "Jacob" and a "Man in Black," though perhaps not always by those names, and history keeps repeating itself through new Jacobs and Men in Black.  Or perhaps, at least, both Jacob and the Man in Black feel they need to be replaced so that their legacy and their "game" can continue on the Island.  If so, the MIB seems to be trying to set up Ben as the new MIB, not just to replace him but to become the new him.  This seems to be in the realm of possibility because we already know that Jacob has for a long time intended for one of his candidates to replace him (to become the "new Jacob")
    • Ben's shackles open automatically
      • Apparently, the Man in Black has the power to control inanimate objects with his own mind/will
        • Perhaps this is evidence that Jacob may have had the power to cause the fuse on the dynamite stick to burn out
    • Ben blackmails the principal and demands his job
    • The principal blackmails Ben, saying he won't write Alexandra Rousseau a letter of recommendation to Yale (from which the principal is a graduate) unless Ben drops his blackmail threat
      • Ilana chases Ben through the jungle
      • Ben finds a gun the in the jungle and makes Ilana drop her gun, and explains why he killed Jacob: Ben sacrified everything, most of all his own daughter Alex, to the Island in the name of Jacob, and Ben had essentially blamed Jacob for Alex's death
      • Ilana asks where Ben will go, and he says "to Locke ... because he's the only one who'll have me"
      • Ilana says "I'll have you."  She picks up her gun and walks off, and Ben is stunned, and after staring in disbelief a few moments, slowly begins following Ilana
        • This seems to be somewhat of a redeptive moment for Ben; he could have chosen to become a powerful leader of the Island on the Man in Black's side, but instead he chose to help make restitution for having been tricked by the Man in Black into killing Jacob
          • Unfortunately, redemption often seems to be followed by death on the Island...
      • Ben didn't go ahead with his blackmail plan; it was more important to him for Alex to get her letter of recommendation
        • Why the heck not just play along and wait until after she got her letter and got into Yale, and then blackmail the principal again?
      • Ben comes back to the beach and helps Sun put up the tarp for her shelter
      • Miles dug up the diamonds!
      • Ilana cries (presumably about losing Jacob, and possibly about her acceptance of Ben)
      • Hurley and Jack reunite with Sun and give hugs and shake hands with their friends on the beach, very reminiscent of seasons long past
      • This time instead of Juliet being the odd one out, it's Ben
      • A submarine's periscope comes up out of the water
        • Man in sub: "Sir, there are people on the beach.  Should we stop?"
        • Charles Widmore: "No.  Proceed as planned."
        • "Yes, sir, Mr. Widmore."
        • Charles Widmore is coming back to save the Island!
          • Will Charles and Ben get along?  The submarine crewman's question may imply that Charles intends to destroy whomever he finds on the beach, and we know that Charles and Ben have a history of being at odds with each other
          • Maybe Charles will back whichever side will give him control of the Island again -Spivvy
      Screenshots and Easter Eggs:
      • Book next to Ben on the beach (screenshot):
        • The Chosen by Chaim Potok (Wikipedia, Amazon)
        • a novel "about two teenage Jewish boys who form a friendship, though they come from different worlds"
          • Once again, religion plays a key role in this novel, much like the novel Dogen was reading in the previous episode

          • Kate, Jack, and Sawyer are seen
          • Kate cries
          • Sawyer: "You and me are getting the hell off this Island."

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              Anonymous Ike said...

              Richard Alpert told Jack that he couldn't die, because Jacob had touched him.

              Jack had also touched Jacob, and therefore can't die.

              (But did he remember that...?)

              Thursday, March 11, 2010 9:25:00 AM  
              Blogger Josh Long said...

              Good point, Ike. However, Jacob also touched John Locke after Locke fell from the building, and we know that Jacob's touch didn't make Locke invincible because Ben later strangled him to death.

              Thursday, March 11, 2010 10:02:00 AM  
              Blogger Josh Long said...

              Personally, I think Jacob gives different gifts to different people, as evidenced by the fact that Hurley has the ability to see and speak with dead people. Hurley hasn't always had that ability, and it's hinted in the taxi conversation that Jacob may have given Hurley that gift. Richard was given the gift of not aging, and this led Richard to presume that Jacob must have brought (Fake) Locke back to life. Perhaps Jacob gave Jack some other gift.

              Regarding Hurley having received a gift from Jacob prior to when they met in the cab, Jacob might not necessarily have to touch someone to give them a gift, even though he may sometimes choose to do so. For a moment let's assume again that Jacob is supposed to represent good and the Man in Black is supposed to represent evil. In the Bible, Jesus often touched people when he healed them (e.g. Mark 6:5, Mark 8:23, Luke 13:13, etc.), but on other occasions he healed people or even brought them back from the dead without touching them (e.g. Matthew 8 verses 8 and 13, John 11:43, etc.). Jacob may have touched Richard to give him the gift of not aging, and perhaps Jacob gave the gift of seeing and speaking with dead people to Hurley prior to touching or even meeting him. On the other hand, perhaps Jacob bumped into Hurley at some point in his life, unbeknownst to Hurley and unbeknownst to us since we haven't seen that in a flashback.

              Thursday, March 11, 2010 10:28:00 AM  

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