Summary and Spoilers
Ben avoids the Smoke Monster and rejoins Ilana’s torch-wielding crew as they rush through the jungle. He suggests that they return to the beach camp where the original survivors lived. Ilana agrees, and off they flee.
Ilana has had a suspicion – she’s always had this suspicion – that maybe Ben lied about how Jacob died – that Jacob was not killed by Unlocke’s smoke. Now Ilana has the means to find out the truth. She hands Miles a little bag of Jacob’s remaining ashes-to-ashes, and demands he tell her how Jacob died. Miles kneels, concentrates, and then does the apolitical thing: simply says that Ben killed Jacob. What does Ilana do? Well, on the one hand, we think she might smite down Ben. But on the other hand, we know we are probably not going to lose Ben Linus at this point in the season. So she doesn’t, although obviously she’s not happy to be marching with the murderer of someone she says was her father figure.
It’s daytime now, and Ilana’s gang has finished their walk on the beach. Ilana starts building shelters and tasks the others to get food. Ben is being ignored. Sun wants to go in search of Jin, but Ilana tells her she also wants to find Jin. There’s a little exposition here as Ilana explains that she is protecting the final six candidates to replace Jacob.
Jack is in a hurry to return to the temple. Hurley knows something bad is going down there, so he is trying to delay. Richard appears out of nowhere, points toward the direction of the temple, and disappears.
Ben decides to annoy someone else by confronting Frank with the irony that, even though he overslept and did not pilot Oceanic 815, he still ended up on the island. Ilana doesn’t like his irony either, so she points a gun at his neck. Her expert efficiency skills can’t be denied when she ankle chains Ben to a tree and tells him to start digging his own grave. Dutifully, Ben proceeds, until he is tired and has a Hollywood-style professionally-produced sweat stain on the back of his shirt. He isn’t actually rushing to finish, although nearby gunshots from Ilana may motivate him. He turns down Miles’ offer of food; who wants a last meal served on a banana leaf?
Actually, Richard did not completely disappear. Jack and Hurley follow him, but instead of leading them to the temple, Richard brings them to the Black Rock, the ancient sailing ship high on the mountain. Richard has come there to die, but not before telling them that they should not trust anything Jacob says. By the way, Richard also reveals that his phenomenon of non-botox-related non-ageing was a gift from Jacob. Richard wants to kill himself, but says he cannot. He asks Jack and Hurley to do it for him by lighting a long fuse that leads to a stick of dynamite. Hurley says no, but Jack not only agrees and lights it up, but then stays with Richard as the fuse burns down. You see, Jack, once the world’s greatest disbeliever of all things mystical and unexplainable, has made a great leap of faith and now believes that after what he has seen at the lighthouse that someone or something will not let him die here for no reason. And yes, the fuse burns out just before it reaches the stick.
Ben has almost completed his grave when he hears the sound of the Smoke Monster. Suddenly, Unlocke appears, explaining that he doesn’t want Ben to die. Rather, he sees Ben as the perfect leader for the island after Unlocke and his group leave. Unlocke is true to his name: he unlocks Ben’s ankle restraint and tells him there is a rifle leaning against a tree 200 meters into the jungle. Unlocke leaves, as does Ben, with Ilana in close pursuit. Ben gets the rifle and gets Ilana to drop hers, then explains to her, painfully, why he killed Jacob – because he let Alex die. Ilana hears Ben’s story and accepts him back into the group.
As afternoon lengthens, Jack, Hurley and Richard arrive at camp. There are hugs all around (except for Ben and Richard).
Intriguingly, this group on the beach is being viewed by a passing submarine, inside of which is Charles Widmore.
Ben’s Alternative Universe:
Ben is high-school teaching about Napoleon, and a different island called Elba. He’s an inspired teacher who obviously loves what he does, and that’s why he’s disappointed when his after school history club is usurped by his new assignment: to supervise detention all week. He also butts heads with another, fully cynical teacher: old Island member Arzt! Nearby, another teacher in the lounge encourages Ben to become the principal: it’s Unlocke! What’s going on? We’ve basically got the whole island crew in this teacher’s lounge now. We could have done the Lost show in this teacher’s lounge and saved lots of money on all those Hawaii location shots.
At home, Ben prepares an organic meal for his ailing, live-in dad. Ben grouches about his day while his dad breathes with the help of oxygen. Alex shows up at the door, young and radiant. She’s a member of that history club. Ben, the dedicated teacher, agrees to tutor her in the library early the following morning. Hey, everyone from the island is in different roles! This is just like that Deep Space Nine episode where everyone worked in a newspaper office! That next morning Ben patiently tutors Alex and calms her. He even consoles her when she tells him that she accidentally caught Principal Reynolds doing the nurse.
Ben asks Arzt to hack into the nurse’s email account, and in doing so, tells him why, thereby revealing Alex’s secret and in some way violating her trust. Using the email evidence of the affair, Ben confronts Principal Reynolds and tries to force his resignation. Reynolds counterpunches by threatening to ruin Alex’s chances to get into Yale, etc. Ben backs down and Alex gets her letter of recommendation and her slot back in the history club. The only loser is Arzt, who’ll never get his shaded parking space.
I like the way Matthew Fox crosses his eyes slightly when he is really angry about something. It makes Jack look like he is about to go absolutely psycho, maybe even leave the show.
Ilana: Where’s Jurrah?
Ben: I’m fine. Thank you.
Ilana: Where is he!
Ben: Considering that he just killed Dogen, I don’t think he’s gonna be joining us.
Sun: Who’s Dogen?
Miles: The guy is charge of the temple.
Ben: Sayid killed the interpreter too.
Ilana: Are you sure?
Ben: He was standing over their dead bodies holding a bloody dagger, so, yeah, I’m pretty sure.
Miles: Linus killed him.
Ben: What? That’s not true!
Ilana: Are you sure?
Ben: Well, he was standing over Jacob’s dead body with a bloody dagger, so, yeah, I’m pretty sure.
Ilana: Thank you. Jacob was the closest thing I ever had to a father.
Miles: [to Ben] Oh, oh!
Miles: Not exactly tearing it up on the digging front are you?
Ben: I’m not in a big hurry.
"Right up until the second the knife went through his heart, he was hoping he was wrong about you. I guess he wasn’t."
- Miles to Ben (regarding the murder of Jacob)
Richard: There’s something I need to do.
Jack: To do what?
Ilana: Where will you go?
Ben: To Locke.
Ben: Because he’s the only one that’ll have me.
Ilana: I’ll have you.