Follow along! The episode guide for “The Brig” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 161-169.
(I just finished watching the episode, so I figured I'd just go ahead and post tonight after all!) Aside from the finale, this episode is still THE highlight of season 3 for me. The first Ben flashback is as brilliant and full of shock as the early flashbacks of the main characters in season 1, and watching it again in light of season 5 is even better.
Fun things I noticed:
• At the time this first aired I thought it was funny that Ben’s mother was being played by Michael Emerson’s real-life wife. Now I just find it strange that Arlene from True Blood has somehow made it from Bon Temps to the island… and where did her red hair go? ;)
• Horace’s Dharma wig looks better here than it does in season 5.
• Sun sticks up for Jack in front of everyone, and yet in DOC, she immediately suspects him of foul play when he asks her normal ob/gyn questions about her baby.
• Jack’s comment, “Because I hadn’t decided what to do about it yet” still irks me. Especially since you’d think by now he would understand someone like Sayid is smart, strong, and reliable, and could be a good advisor to discuss it with.
• In my Finding Lost book, I mention that I like Horace and say, “Here’s hoping he’ll make a return engagement in a future Ben flashback.” Heehee!! OR… how about we just take everyone back to where HE is?!
Things that have new meaning:
• Ben says, “I am one of the last that was,” and reiterates that he was born on the island. I suggested in one of my earlier rewatch posts that maybe to Ben, he WAS born on the island through his rebirth at the Temple. Despite coming clean to Locke at the end and admitting he wasn’t, in fact, born on the island, he still says with some conviction that he WAS born on the island, and I keep wondering if this line will take on greater meaning after we’ve season 6, and, presumably, what happened at the Temple.
• We were discussing back in season 2 the possibility of Locke already being the Man in Black – I mentioned in one post that maybe Locke died when he fell out of the window, and when Jacob touched him, he actually put the Man in Black in him at that moment, so when Locke opened his eyes and looked around, bewildered, it wasn’t John Locke anymore, but the Man in Black instead. So when Jacob said, “I’m sorry this happened to you” he wasn’t addressing Locke anymore, but his longtime frenemy. That, of course, was me just throwing out some food for thought (if that turns out to be the case, I think I’d be deeply disappointed because part of the reason I love Lost is because of Locke’s journey). But, for fun, let’s imagine that he IS the Man in Black in this episode… you could see why he insists on being taken to Jacob, and why he beats Mikhail to a pulp. (That said, I don’t think he’s the Man in Black… and will say why below.)
• Horace was present at Ben’s birth; Richard was present shortly after Locke’s. That means Ben was visited by Dharma; Locke was visited by an ancient Other. That makes Locke more authentic already!
• Annie is still one of the biggest unsolved mysteries. I REALLY hope this isn’t a storyline that’s dropped, and instead we find out in season 6 what happened to her. Could her death/disappearance be what contributed to Ben’s coldness?
• I think I asked this at the time, but I wonder if that volcano that Olivia mentions could have some significance later? Was the volcanic eruption important to the story of Jacob or Richard? (And I asked this in the book, but where is Olivia Goodspeed when Sawyer et al are at Dharma? Ben arrives there around the same time Sawyer does, so you’d think Sawyer would have seen her at some point. We all assumed at the time that she was Horace’s wife – is that true? Could she have been his sister?
• Ben’s mom says, “It’s not time yet, Benjamin.” The important word there being “time,” but… time for what? What TIME is correct? Is she a manifestation of Smokey? She doesn’t really follow the protocol of the other visions on the island – Eko saw both Yemi and Ana Lucia, and they both died on the island. Christian’s dead body is also on the island, but we’ve seen him walking about a lot now. Emily died off the island. Perhaps it doesn’t matter where they died, but just that they are dead and mean something to the person seeing them.
• Jacob hates technology, and yet he took a plane off the island to see everyone? Was he really there or was he a vision of some kind?
• Now we know Ben never saw Jacob, and was making that scene up the entire time. In retrospect, it makes sense, since on the one hand his hand is shaking just talking about Jacob, and then he talks back to him like Jacob’s some petulant child, which isn’t exactly reverent. Notice the shock on Ben’s face when he’s thrown backwards, like up to that point he was just assuming this was all smoke and mirrors and the “island being the island” and then he’s shot backwards across the room. D’oh.
• In “The Incident,” the Shadow Seekers come across Jacob’s cabin and look through it, and Ilana declares that Jacob hasn’t been in this cabin for a long time, and “someone else has been using it.” Perhaps we’re to assume she means Christian, but I think she means the Man in Black. I believe the man we see in this scene ever-so-briefly is NOT Jacob, but in fact is the Man in Black. He tells Locke to help him, and he’s been trapped somehow on the island or in that cabin. He pushes Ben away because he sees Ben as some insignificant bug, and it’s Locke he’s after. It’s as if he’s given up on Eko being his possible target, and now he’s decided maybe Locke’s the vulnerable one who could die at some point and he could inhabit his body. And by instilling fear in Ben in this scene, he sets up the series of events that will happen where Ben will kill Locke and bring his body back.
• The Purge was essentially death by nosebleed, just like the time jumps caused nosebleeds in everyone. And notice a few episodes ago, Claire’s nose started bleeding.
• Richard Alpert’s strange hair and dress is the only inconsistency in this episode, and I’m thinking that’s pretty much all it is. The writers already decided he’d be immortal (hence his whole NOT AGING thing) but they didn’t think that maybe his hair would always be just so, and that he’d always be wearing that blue top with the sleeves rolled up. When he strolls into the camp in “LaFleur” in season 5, everyone knows him, and he’s the guy talking to Horace. His hair is short, his shirt is nice, and he’s not wearing rags. So I think the only way to deal with that is just to chalk it up to the writers not having fully fleshed out the complete Alpert idea yet.