Previously on LOST: Dr. Linus

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Previously on LOST is a weekly column recapping and analyzing each episode from the final season of Lost. (Warning: May contain spoilers!)

True to its title, “Dr. Linus” offered up a heavy dose of Ben. Michael Emerson has brought a lot to the show since his introduction in season two. He may have been introduced as air-ballooner Henry Gale, but the character has grown into one of the most notorious villains in television history. This episode focused on showing the character in a different light.

The flash sideways found us back at Lostie High, and featured Ben in the middle of a power play blackmail attempt. I enjoyed this part of the episode mostly due to William Atherton guest-starring as the principal of the school. LOST has always brought in great character actors to fill in new roles from week to week, and this episode was no exception.

Another key scene was Ben serving as a caretaker to his father. Not only did this feature some of the best aging makeup I’ve ever seen but it also informed us that in the flash sideways storylines the island still played a role in some of the character lives. In the case of Ben and his father, they decided to leave the island in the alternate timeline. It’s still up for debate if this was pre or post-bomb detonation, or if it’s even the same island, but it definitely adds a bit more to the puzzle.

In my mind, the most relevant scene in “Dr. Linus” was Jack and Richard’s faceoff in The Black Rock. It signified a huge change for Jack’s character. He’s FINALLY acknowledging that the island and Jacob represent something bigger than he can comprehend, and there are forces he can’t control at work. This appears to be the beginning of Jack becoming a “Man of Faith”. It certainly seems to be paving the way to a final battle between groups headed by Locke and Jack. While Locke isn’t quite himself, the likeness of his character representing science/reason/lack of faith certainly bears significance.

The episode also confirmed one thing that most viewers suspected: the “candidates” are indeed potential replacements for Jacob. Ilana also stated that there are six candidates remaining that she has been instructed to protect. Now, depending on what information she has (ex. Sayid and Claire being infected) there could be several permutations to fill these six spots.

The bigger part of the island storyline was Ilana’s team discovering that Ben did in fact kill Jacob. While sentenced to digging his own grave, Ben manages to escape and turn the tables on Ilana only to express his reasons for killing Jacob and earn her forgiveness. Ben’s emotional speech seems to be what most people really liked about the episode. For me, Ben’s feeling of betrayal and his motivations for killing Jacob were pretty clear when he did the deed, and while it was a fitting emotional cap to the episode, it didn’t tell me much more about Ben, other than the fact that he regretted it.

Finally, we had another beach reunion, complete with slow motion, no dialogue and cheesy soft piano. I was already rolling my eyes, dreading it was the end of the episode, but thankfully there was one bombshell coming. Somebody grab a bottle of MacCutcheon, Widmore is back, rocking a submarine no less. Widmore’s arrival brings with it the possibility of other characters returning. Personally, I would love to see Desmond march off that sub… his absence this season has been pretty disappointing.

When I saw Mario Van Peebles’ name as the director for “Dr. Linus” I got excited, I thought I’d be seeing a fresh take on LOST. Ultimately, MVP stood the course and the result was another ‘good but not great’ episode.

Discussion Topics

  • Who are the six candidates? (My guess: Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Kate, Sun, Lapidus.)
  • Who else is on the sub?
  • Will Ben find redemption on the island?

SCORE: 3 stars



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  • RaphNL

    This episode is what Lost is all about; a character story with some nice nuggets of mythology. It felt very season 1/2-esque.
    I don’t think the reunion scenes are cheesy. I think if most shows did the same every time then it would probably fail but Lost always pulls it off.

  • Don’t mean to burst your bubble of fun but the 6 candidates were confirmed within the show. It correlates to the numbers MIL and Jacob’s wheel showed us.

    4 John Locke
    8 Hurley Reyes
    15 James Ford
    16 Sayid Jarrah
    23 Jack Shepherd
    42 Kwon (either Jin or Sun)

    Also you don’t seem to love any episode. Never 4 stars.

  • Slix

    It stands to reason that Ilanna knows that Locke is no longer a candidate, having toted his body around and all. So she almost had to be talking about someone else in the “6 remaining”. This and the fact that Jacob had said to put the lighthouse to “108” might indicate an incomplete list to the viewers. Did Flocke ever say for certain that there were 6 (5 after Locke’s name was crossed off) or did he just read the names he saw? It could be that Jin and Sun are both candidates. Lot’s of possibilties, which is what makes it fun. Love the Bencentric episodes. Unfortunately, we are now due for a Kate/Jack episode, sigh.

  • Ben

    It could also be that Jin and Sun’s child is the candidate. Especially since they haven’t brought up the possibility yet.

  • RaphNL

    Lapidus must be one of those six because last season she said Lapidus might be one of the candidates, and now she knows there’s exactly 6. Sayid and Locke are probably not considered as candidates anymore.

  • Ranger Tom

    ..and remember how big of a deal Walt was? When (if) is that going to come back around?