TANSTAAFL. In the last episode of Lost, we see again that the gifts of Jacob and the MIB come with a price to pay, most of the time it is a very high price. So it proves once again, that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, you get what you pay for and in the end, you pay for what you get. Ben and Richard both sounded off with their own tales of what they had gone through in the service of Jacob. Ben escaped certain death with the help of Not Locke and had the chance to confess to Ilana why he murdered Jacob. Ben’s cathartic confession was the second most powerful moment in the Lost series, right behind the final moments of Sawyer and Juliet in The Incident, Part 2.
Ben explained the sadness, hate and confusion that he carried since watching his daughter, Alex, die right in front of him. Ben admitted to letting his daughter, “the only thing that really mattered,” die at the hands of Martin Keamy. He let Alex die to save the island, to save Jacob, and since then, he spiraled downward into despair and self-loathing. Ben is one of my favorite characters on Lost and Michael Emerson, the man that plays Ben, is probably on the best and scariest actors on TV. And this scene proves it beyond doubt.
Warning: I am about to get Old Testament on your asses again. The wonders of a Catholic education never cease.
Both Ben’s and Richard’s stories reminded me of the trials of Job. Job was considered a pious man who had everything in life; money, power, family, etc. God and Satan made a bet, Satan believed that Job was only pious because he had everything he could want, God believed that Job would still be pious even if he lost everything. So God allowed Satan to destroy Job’s entire life, take away his money, possessions, business, power, and kill off his entire family. In the story, Job, while extremely distraught, never once cursed God.
This story seems very similar to what happens to Ben and Richard. They are both given great gifts by Jacob. Ben was given power and Alex. Richard was also given power and extremely long life. But both were subjected to extreme hardship in their service to Jacob, both had to witness their entire lives come crashing down around them and the loss of everything that they held dear. Both men were asked do some pretty awful things, kidnapping, extortion, and genocide for what they were given. Ben even had to kill his father and adopted daughter. Both were resentful, unlike Job, and cursed Jacob for what he had done, Richard in word alone, Ben in words and deeds. In the end (at least what we know so far) both men repented and came back to the fold.
Ben’s repentance in the Island-verse mirrored the decision he made in the LA-verse. He was given the chance to have power but also destroy Alex’s chances for getting into Yale. Ben rejected the chance and seemed to be at peace when he saw the smile on Alex’s face when she told him of the excellent recommendation letter she received from Principal Reynolds. (I was floored when I got to see William Atherton, AKA Professor Jerry Hathaway, AKA Walter “Dickless” Peck, AKA Richard Thornberg, show up. He was a perfect choice to play Principal Reynolds.)
It was also interesting to see Jack’s transformation from a “man of science” to become more of a “man of faith.” But it took Jack’s “seeing” to lead to his “believing.” The plan that Jacob discussed with Hurley outside of the lighthouse seems to be working.
The sides have now been drawn. Last week, we saw MIB gather his army, and in the end of Dr. Linus, we saw Jacob’s team unite at the beach. I think Claire and Sayid are lost to Not Locke for good, but I think Sawyer and Kate are wild cards. I guess we only have 9 more episodes to find out.
So ends my sermon, go now in peace. Praise be to Lost. (But come back, please!)