BEN ON THE ISLAND

Ben waxes nostalgic over the day flight 815 broke apart and completely changed his life. Among Sawyer's old stash, one of the things Ben finds is The Chosen, a book that is very heavy on themes involving baseball, fathers and sons, taking over an important position, and Judaism - just like LOST with its patriarchal names, references to the Abraham-sacrificing-Isaac story, and many references to baseball.

One more question solved: why did Ilana gather up Jacob's ashes? Well, at least one reason was to let Miles have a go at 'em. And sure enough, this is what forces Ben to come clean with truth. Jacob was the closest thing she ever had to a father (we still need to see more of their backstory), prompting one of the episode's best lines from Miles to Ben: "Uh-oh!"

Ilana forces Ben to dig his own grave, sending Ben back into pouting mode. He digs slowly and petulantly (which is understandable, I suppose). He turns his nose up at a "last meal" of green beans and bananas. He tries to bribe Miles with his "fast network of people and resources." And he whines that he's being punished for killing a guy that didn't even care about being killed. Miles sets him right about this. Oh no, he cared. "Right up until the dagger entered his heart, he was hoping he was wrong about you." Don't have to be a genius theologian to see the Judas-and-Jesus parallels here. Just because a Christ figure lets himself be killed doesn't mean he didn't care; it probably just indicates a higher purpose, despite a hope to let this cup pass. Jesus was betrayed by a follower, a friend. He knew what Judas would do, and that it needed to be done, but perhaps also hoped he was wrong. Ben regrets his choice, just as we are led to believe Judas regretted his. Both were deceieved, twisting their minds. But what Judas never got is another chance. Ben finds that when he finds Ilana willing to "have him." You don't have to go to the dark side, Ben. They're not the only ones who will have you. This was one of the most moving scenes of the season for me (and them holding guns on each other in the jungle flashed me back to Sayid and Danielle doing the same in Season One, but from that point after, they were friends). And I think Ilana's choice to show mercy and forgiveness is going to be the key to much.

Flocke's group is hanging out on Hydra Island. Why there? Are there still some 316 survivors hanging out over there? I wonder how he is planning to leave the island? Or why leaving the island requires MIB to have followers? Doesn't that seem a little strange? "I'm gathering a group to leave the island," he tells Ben. We can only assume that these followers are somehow a requirement for him to be able to leave, but why? How? What will he do with them once he leaves? We also learn that Flocke wishes no such thing as Ben's death, and that he even recommends him to be in charge of the island after they leave. Is this a joke? Letting Ben be a solitary king of a rock that has no magic to it (as he has already told Sawyer), especially if there are no people surviving on it? Ben gets to be his own little Emperor-in-Name-Only ruler of a zero population island? Or does Flocke have some sort of obligation to where, even if he is set free, he still must make sure the island is set up with a new Jacob of some sort?

Sun wants to know why Ilana wants to find Jin. This leads to us being told that there is still confusion on which Kwon is a candidate: Sun, Jin, or both of them. We are also told that there are "only 6 [candidates] left." Who would they be? This feels like back when we were trying to guess who was and wasn't part of the Oceanic Six, and it was somewhat tricky because we weren't sure whether or not to count Aaron. Here, we assume the six are Hurley, Jack, and Sun in the current camp, Sawyer, Sayid and Jin in the other camp. Locke was a candidate but he is dead. But... he was one of the original six names. So how can there still be six? Especially when Ilana told us she wasn't sure which Kwon is a candidate? Shouldn't the correct answer be, "5 candidates left, possibly, I suppose, 6, depending on you and Jin?" Because if there were 6 originally (as corresponding to each of the six numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42), there should be 5 now...