Even if every other scene in last night's episode consisted of Kate, Sawyer and Jack staring at each other and sighing, it still would have been an awesome episode because PENNY IS ALIVE, Y'ALL! Not only that, but Desmond is the MAN. Was that not the most satisfying beatdown you've ever seen in your life? Of course it forces the question as to how Desmond could deliver said beatdown after being shot in the chest, but Mrs. Hawkings told him that the island wasn't finished with him yet and we all know that if the island has plans for you, ain't nothing out there that can kill you.
In typical Lost fashion, this was an episode that appeared to answer a lot of questions, when in reality, it raised more new questions than answered old ones. Still, it was a deeply satisfying episode because we saw a scared, penitent Ben dealing with a confident, bemused Locke and that role reversal was a delicious thing to see.
Let's run down what we now know and what we now DON'T know.
We now know: that Ben, for all his faults, has a weak spot for mothers. We kinda knew this already, since it's been shown that the death of his own mother affected him deeply and his need to protect the pregnant women on the island bordered on mania (what with the "kidnapping and forcibly injecting them with drugs" bit and all) but last night's episode deepened that trait and gave us a more sympathetic Ben than we've ever seen before. He couldn't kill Penny once he saw that she had a child and he couldn't kill Rousseau for the exact same reason.
We don't know: Why Rousseau didn't seem to recognize Ben when she captured him and turned him over to Sayid in Season 2. Bitch was pretty crazy at that point but there's no way she didn't recognize the man who stole her child.
We now know: That the whispers are definitely The Others, since Ben told Danielle to run away whenever she heard them, the strong implication being that it meant his people were close by.
We don't know: How is it that Ben was hanging out in the Others' camp and even going on missions for them (with Ethan tagging along) while living in the DHARMA compound at the same time?
We now know: The whys and hows of Charles Widmore's banishment from the island. He fathered a child with a non-Other, which means Penny's mother isn't Eloise Hawkings, as many people had theorized.
We don't know: Why and how (not to mention when) Eloise herself left the island. She was mentioned in last week's episode as being one of the leaders of the Others (by Richard). That was 1977. Alex was born in 1988 and she looked to be about 5 at the time of Charles' banishment, putting that at around 1993 (which makes some sense because the purge took place in 1992). So, some time between 1977 and 1993, Eloise left the island, either forcibly or by choice.
We now know: That smokey lives in the basement of the temple and predates the DHARMA Initiative by a couple millennia, since the hieroglyphs we briefly saw depicted Anubis conversing with it, which means that, yes, the statue that we saw several episodes back was almost certainly Anubis. And speaking of that statue...
We don't know: WHO THE HELL IS ILANA AND WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING? "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Ooh! Ooh! Pick us! We know! The well that leads down to the donkey wheel! Clearly, there's a lot more to her than we know, since she apparently brought a stockpile of guns on to the plane and she has some cohorts among the passengers. We originally thought she worked for Widmore, but consider this: Ben called Widmore from the docks mere hours before boarding the plane and told him he was heading back to the island. Widmore waved him off, saying it was impossible to get back to the island. If Widmore believed that, then he couldn't have been the person who arranged for Ilana and her backup dancers to be on the plane, right? Maybe they're working for Eloise?
We now know: That the island definitely considers Locke to be the man in charge, since it took the form of Alex just to tell Ben to back the fuck off Locke and do whatever it is he says. Yes, that was the island/Smokey speaking and not Alex's ghost. Remember when Smokey killed Eko and took the form of his brother just before it killed him? Same thing here.
We don't know: Just what the hell it is Locke is supposed to do to reunite with the rest of the Losties. We assume he's probably going to head back the Orchid and the donkey wheel, since that's the only time-jumping apparatus on the island. Since it looks like Ilana and her crew are heading in that direction as well, expect to see a showdown at the Orchid soon. Hey! Does that mean it was Ilana shooting at Sawyer and Juliet and the rest of them during that canoe chase back when the island was skipping through time?
We now know: That the show doesn't spend nearly as much money on makeup and special effects as it should, since Ben's flashback wig looked ridiculous as did the confrontation with Smokey under the Temple.
We don't know: Why they couldn't just cast a younger actor to play flashback Ben, especially since the guy who played 40-year-old Widmore (in the scene where he met L'il Ben for the first time) looked almost exactly like the older Widmore.
Okay, we're sure we've missed plenty of things, so feel free to point them out.
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