Tag Archives: Doc Arzt

Benjamin Linus is My New TV Boyfriend! – A Recap of Lost’s “Mr. Linus”

Just look at that come hither stare . . .  Who knew history teachers could be so sexy?

WARNING: This recap might not be particularly snarky.  After all, I am in love (with Benjamin Linus!).  And one of the side effects of falling in love is a complete loss of one’s sense of humor . . .

Who would have thought that the most uplifting, feel-good, episode of the entire Lost series, thus far, would belong to a character that will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best television villians of all time?  For all those women out there (myself included) who have always dreamed of roping in and taming a bad boy, this episode was the ultimate fantasy come true.  If Michael Emerson does not win an Emmy for his performance in “Mr. Linus,” the entire Academy of Television Arts and Sciences deserves to suffer the wrath of Smokey!

And when it comes to the Emmys, Smokey does NOT mess around!

But in order to truly understand the full extent of Benjamin Linus’s current redemption, both in flash-sideways world, and in real time, we should probably go back and revisit the single worst moment in the character’s entire life: the death of his adoptive daughter, Alex Rousseau.

At the time, Benjamin Linus and his band of Others were living at the island Barracks.  Things were going peachy for Ben, until his nemesis, Charles Widmore, sent over his head minion, Army Drill Sergeant from Hell, Martin Keamy, to ensure Ben’s surrender and departure from the island.  By way of collateral, Keamy kidnapped Ben’s adoptive teenage daughter Alex, and brought her to Ben’s house with a gun to her head.  Keamy told Ben to either surrender immediately or watch his daughter die.  Ben thought Keamy was bluffing, and stayed put.  He wasn’t.

A Principal Without Principles . . .

Back in flash-sideways world, Ben and his father left the island, presumably before all the sh*t hit the fan down there.  Now Ben is a reluctant European History teacher at a high school, desperately seeking more excitement from his humdrum life.  In his opening scene, Ben teaches his students about Napoleon’s exhile to Elba, an obvious metaphor for Ben’s own meteoric rise and fall as “The Chosen” One on Lost island.  

I love when Lost gets all “literary” on us.  You can bet that this episode’s shout out to the above-referenced book (apparently the castaways on-Island library offers both this tome and porn), will send hard core Losties racing to their nearest bookstores in search of clues . . .

“Elba was where Napoleon faced his greatest test.  Exhile wasn’t the worst of his fate.  It was the truly devastating loss of power.  Sure, they allowed him to keep the title of emperor.  But without his power, everything was meaningless.  He might as well have been dead,”  Dr. Linus tellingly, instructs.

Flash Sideways Ben’s only joy comes from being able to run the school’s History Club, and tutor its student members, especially Alex Rousseau (who, in this timeline, is a precocious teen with aspirations to attend Yale).  That is until the school principal cancels the club, citing “budget cuts.”  (Really?  How “expensive” is some lame club where all students do is get together and talk about history?)

When Ben vents his frustrations to his colleagues, former Flight 815er Doc Arzt and new “Substitute” John Locke, the latter suggests that Ben take on the principal position for himself.    The opportunity to do this arises, when Alex admits to Ben that she saw the Principal engaged in illicit activity with one of the school nurses.  With Doc Arzt’s help, Ben hacks into the Principal’s computer and finds e-mails implicating the Principal in the aforementioned naughty conduct. 

Ben confronts the Principal with aims to blackmail him and usurp his position.  However, the Principal warns Ben that, if he does this, the former will take revenge on Alex (just as Keamy did — on a significantly smaller scale, of course) by single-handedly ruining the young girl’s chances of attending the principal’s alma mater, Yale.  This time, Ben chooses Alex.  As a result, he doesn’t get to be principal . . . but at least he gets his History Club back?

And thus, our Flash-Sideways World Ben has redeemed himself.  Something Flash-Sideways Sayid was unable to do last week . . .

Ben and Team Jacob, BFF (Best Friends Forever For Now)

If last week’s Lost episode focused on Smokey and his dastardly team of crazies, this week’s episode spotlighted the above-referenced opposing team, led by Ilana, the Candidate Bodyguard.

“And Iiiiiiiiii, eeeee iiiii, will always love Jacccob!” 

(Yeah, I’m not really a fan of Ilana’s, so far.  The character is a bit like the above song, only one-note, and a highly annoying one at that.)

When Miles “I Communicate with Dead People” (or, in this case, Dead Ash) Straum conveniently leaks to Ilana that Ben killed her “father figure” Jacob, she gets a little pissed off at our boy.  So pissed off, in fact, that she chains his leg to a stake and forces him to dig his own grave.

Speaking of death wishes, Richard Alpert, he of the guy liner and the never-aging face . . .

finds himself exhausted, from a life of serving Jacob, and always looking so damn pretty day in and day out.  His solution, therefore,  is to off himself, a la Bill Murrary in Groundhog Day.

Yeah, it didn’t work for him either . . .

Apparently, one of the rules of Lost island, is that, if you are Jacob’s candidate, you can’t end your own life.  Someone else has to do it for you.  I guess this would explain why former candidate Michael Dawson couldn’t shoot himself in the episode “Meet Kevin Johnson” but was able to die later when the submarine he was on exploded. 

Richard Alpert must have watched “Meet Kevin Johnson,” because he commandeers Jack and Hurley to light his ass on fire with a stick of dynamite.  Hurley bails on the plan, but Jack stays and sets the dynamite aflame.  Jack tells Richard that both of them are meant to be on this island . . . alive.  Therefore, he is certain that the stick of dynamite will not explode.  He is right . . .

Meet Jack Shephard – Man of Science  Man of Faith

While Jack and Richard are busy NOT blowing themselves to smithereens, Smokey is visiting Ben, offering him a means to escape Ilana’s clutches and join the Darkside.

Smokey tries to entice Ben, by offering him the opportunity to govern the island once again.  After all, just like Napoleon, Island Ben has always been a man driven by power.  Ben takes Locke’s advice and makes a break for it.  But he soon finds himself at a standoff with a Ilana. 

Instead of shooting her, as old Ben would likely have done without so much of a thought, a tearful Ben explains to Ilana how his anger over sacrificing his daughter to serve Jacob and the island, ultimately, caused him to kill Jacob, an action he deeply regrets.

When Ilana asks Ben why he has chosen Team Smokey, Ben admits that Smokey is “the only one who will have him.” 

The line is one of the most endearing of the evening, as it paints Ben as an outsider – one who, deep down, just wants to have friends.   Ilana must have agreed with me, because, instead of simply letting Ben go, she replies, “I’ll have you.” 

(Don’t you be taking Ben from me, Ilana!  He’s MINE now!  All MINE!)

At the episode’s conclusion, Jack, Hurley, and Richard, reunite with Ilana, Sun, Lapidus, Miles, and, of course, Ben.   And thus, Team Jacob is born.

Team Jacob is definitely the underdog in this matchup.  After all, there are no supernatural powers in this group (not aging is cool and all, but it doesn’t really help you in a fight, unless your opponent is one of the Golden Girls . . )

Yet, my money is still on Team Jacob.  I think they will be the Cinderella story of the season.  How about you?

Oh, and I almost forgot, in the last few seconds of the episode, something EVIL made its way through the ocean toward the Losties . . .

No, not that.  It was just Charles Widmore in a submarine.  Still, pretty scary, no?

Well, that’s all she wrote, Lost fans.  What did you think?  Are you ready to start the Michael Emerson Emmy campaign with me?  Is your money also on Team Jacob for winning the Lost ultimate showdown?  Do you think Charles Widmore will fight for Team Smokey, or does he have his own agenda to accomplish on Lost island?

Only time (travel) will tell . . .

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Lost and Zombies – A Recap of “What Kate Does”

You know how when you were a little kid, and you were absolutely certain you were going to have a snow day, so you stayed up late and skimped on your homework in anticipation of the big event?  Well, unfortunately, I am no longer a student.  And, as for a snow day, it could be the Apocalypse, and they still wouldn’t close my office.  Yet, I have decided to embrace my inner naughty girl and stay up late to type up this Lost recap. 

So here goes . . .

Kate in Flash-Sideways Land

“Curiouser and curioser .  . .”

When we last left Kate, back in alt-2004, she had just landed safely at LAX, given U.S. Marshal Edward Mars the slip, and hijacked a taxi that contained within it a very pregnant Claire.  In the episode’s opening scene, Kate holds the taxi driver at gunpoint and directs him out of the airport.  (By the way, I loved the random Midnight Cowboy reference inserted into this scene by the infamous dead-in-another- timeline Lostie, Doctor Arzt.  “Hey, I’m walking here!”   – Classic!)

Soon after the trio makes a getaway, the cowardly taxi driver jumps out of the cab and heads for the hills, leaving Claire to fend for herself.  (Even in Alt World, chivalry is apparently dead.)  Kate then forces Claire to give up her purse, and kicks her out of the cab. 

(Bad Kate!  Claire is so taking down your medallion number.  You will NEVER drive a cab in this town again!) 

Next, Kate heads to a car repair shop and pays the auto mechanic $200 to remove her handcuffs.  I’m not exactly sure where she got the money, seeing as most people don’t exactly carry cash on the way to the slammer.  Plus, Runaway Claire seemed pretty poor, so I doubt this money was hers.  However, I digress . . .

Later, as Kate is digging through Claire’s purse, she finds a stuffed whale, some baby paraphenalia, and a polaroid of the pregnant Claire, which presumably Claire planned to give to her adoptive parents so that her son would one day know his biological mother.  Struck with feelings of guilt (or deja vu), Kate drives the cab back to the bus stop where Claire is waiting.  Once there, Kate learns that Claire was supposed to be picked up at the airport by her son’s soon-to-be adoptive parents, but they never showed. 

Kate offers to give Claire a ride.  Genius Claire then agrees to get back in the taxi cab with the lunatic escape prisoner who held her at gunpoint and stole her purse.  Only on television will such acts of “bravery” NOT  leave you with a bullet lodged in your skull.

“Way to go, smarty pants!”

When Kate and Claire arrive at the home of the prospective adoptees, a nervous Claire asks Kate to go into the house with her.  Kate reluctantly agrees, and the two knock on the door.  A disheveled woman, eyes puffy from tears, explains that her husband has just left her and that she cannot raise a baby on her own.  Claire responds by going into labor right on this woman’s porch.  That’ll teach you to call first, before canceling your baby adoption plans!”

The most helpful convict ever, Kate drives Claire to the hospital and checks in with her, using an assumed name.  In ICU, Claire is cared for by none other than . . .  DR.  CREEPY MC-OTHER, ETHAN ROM!

There’s nothing McDreamy about this guy . . .

Dr. Creepy McOther tells Claire that she is far enough along to give birth.  However, if she doesn’t want to do that just yet, Creepy McOther can shoot her up with a lot of drugs and somehow postpone the birth.  If you recall, Creepy McOther kidnapped Claire on the island and shot her up with drugs there too.  In her second “super smart” move of the evening, Claire chooses the drugs . . . again.

NOOOOOOOO!  DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As if to protest her AWFUL decision, the baby heart monitor starts going haywire.  “Is Aaron going to be OK?”  Claire inquires frantically.

Instantly, both she and Kate flinch, as if recalling that, in alternate timeline, Claire’s child is actually named Aaron.  This is clearly a weird situation.  After all, in this timeline, Claire would have no reason to name her baby, as she planned on giving it up for adoption as soon as it was born.  Spooky! 

Eventually the monitors calm down.  Soon after, a couple of federal agents come looking for Kate, who is hiding nearby.  Claire covers for Kate, and the obviously-not-too-bright agents take their leave without asking too many questions.  Apparently, the agents and Claire share an IQ.

Kate thanks Claire for her generosity (or stupidity, depending on how you see it).  She then tells Claire that she should keep the baby.  Claire responds by offering Kate her credit card to be used during the remainder of her time on the run.  Quite a good team, these two.  In fact, they remind me of another female duo I used to know and love . . .

And we all know how that ended . . .

Jagged Little Pill

Back in the present day island world, Sayid has just come back from the dead, and Miles and Hurley have a few questions for him.    Miles wonders if Sayid saw the infamous white light.  Unfortunately, Sayid only remembers being shot and nothing more.  “You aren’t a zombie are you?”  Hurley inquires.

“No, I’m not a zombie,” Sayid answers straight-faced.

“OK.  We’ll be in the food court,” replies Hurley, before he and Miles exit stage left.

Could I just say, that these two have the best television bromance since Boston Legal’s Alan Shore and Denny Crane.  If they had their own show, I would totally watch.

Hugo “Hurley” Reyes and Miles Straume star in “We See Dead People.”  Coming Soon . . .

Mysterious Other-Others, Lennon and Dogen, also have some questions for the undead Sayid.  Unfortunately, they are interrupted in their interrogation, when a very angry Sawyer holds them and their minions at gunpoint.  Turns out our hot and tormented friend wants to blow this popsicle stand . . . and fast.  Knowing that Sawyer means business, Lennon and Dogen let him go, but then send two of their cronies out into the jungle to retrieve him.  To protect Sawyer and ensure his safety, Kate and Jin offer to go with these two men.

Kate gives the Others the slip and soon finds Sawyer at the Dharma cabin where he and Juliet played house with eachother in the past.  A heartbroken Sawyer confides in Kate that he feels responsible for Juliet’s death, since she wanted to leave the island and he hadn’t let her.  Had she left the island when she wanted to do so, she may have lived.  He then pulls out a ring and tells Kate that he had planned to ask Juliet to marry him.  Sawyer tosses the ring into the river, while a conflicted and still lovestruck Kate looks on in anguish . . .

Back at the temple, Lennon and Dogen take former torturer Sayid and . . . torture him, by prodding him with a burning hot poker and submitting him to some weird electroshock-type therapy.  “Why did you do this to me?” Sayid inquires.

“It was a test.  You passed,” explains Lennon.

After, Sayid leaves, however, Lennon and Dogen make it very clear that Sayid has, in fact,  failed the “test.”  Lennon then tells Jack that Sayid is “infected.”  He asks that Jack give Sayid a large silver pill to “save him.” 

A distrustful Jack asks Lennon what is in the pill, but answers are not forthcoming.  When Jack confronts Sayid about all this, Sayid agrees to take the pill if Jack thinks he should, because Sayid trusts Jack.

Still uncertain as to the right path, Jack confronts Dogen once again.  In a bold and impulsive act that is decidedly un-Jack, the Good Doc takes the pill himself.  A frantic Dogen heimlichs the pill out of Jack’s mouth instantly, and quickly explains that it contains poison.  “Why do you want to kill Sayid?”  Jack asks incredulously.

According to Lennon and Dogen, Sayid has a sickness, and once it enters his heart, the old Sayid will be completely “lost.”  When Jack asks how they know this, Lennon replies, “Because the same thing happened to . . .”

(Now at this point, I expected Lennon to say “Ben.”  After all, when Kate and Sawyer brought the young Ben to the temple to be healed from his bullet wound, Richard Alpert explained that once healed, he would “lose all innocence.”  So, it would make sense for Lennon to use Ben’s name.  But instead he says . . . )

 . . . “your sister.”

CLAIRE???????

Remember a few seasons back when Claire was rescued from a massive explosion at the Dharma compound with nothing but a splitting headache?  She then abandoned her baby in the middle of the night, and was never seen or heard from again, until an eerily calm, almost ghostlike, version of her appeared to Locke in Jacob’s cabin.  Suddenly, everything started to make sense . .

AHA!

In the final scene, the Other minions find and recapture Jin in the jungle.  Chip-On-His-Shoulder Minion looks as if he is about to shoot poor Jin, when shots ring out.  Both Other minions instantly fall down dead.  Jin looks up, confused, as an emotionless, gun-wielding, Claire steps out into view . . .

So what did you think?  Are Sayid and Claire really zombies?  Are the Losties ever going to get off the island in the present day?  Would you watch a buddy crime investigation show staring Miles and Hurley?

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