Season 6 Episode 7

Dr. Linus

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 09, 2010 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,062 votes

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Episode Summary

Ben deals with the consequences of an uncovered lie.

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  • Very Inconsistent and Off Script Episode

    1) Let's start with the fact that up until this episode Dr. Ben Linus was known as the leader of the 'Others' and the keeper of the Island from being revealed to the world. This was his job. We all knew him as very cunning, relentless man who was living on the Island in the village surrounded by the electo-magnetic fence, which we all saw at the beginning of season 2 (if i'm not mistaken) when the 'Others' saw the plane divided in 2 pieces and crash, then Ben sent some of his men to infiltrate the survivors. THAT was his life before the crash.

    So, back to our Episode 7, in which we see Ben's life, had the plane never crashed the Island, i would expect to see our Ben in that village working those birth issues that Juliet was brought to solve, or to see whatever daily life he had THERE.

    But what in the name of God is he doing outside the Island, teaching in school?

    2) Let's proceed with why does Alex refer to Ben as Dr. Linus instead of 'father'?

    And why does Alex give such a worm treat to Ben, when we all remember how she hated him in the first seasons, right after the plane crash.

    3) Last, but not least, in our Episode 7, Ben is giving up his dream of becoming a school principal, in favor of some recommendation letter for Alex, when we all know well that he was a self utilitarian person from day 1, and we all remember how he even sacrificed his daughter to save his ass when those mafia guys, sent by Charles Widmore, came to kill him. Now, ok he was sorry for this later and so on.. but that doesn't change the fact that during the entire show Ben had always and consistently took care of his own skin, in the first place.

    4) In addition, when we saw the future lives of our survivors, had the plane never crashed the Island, THOSE characters did stay within the script. Shepard stayed the good old spinal surgeon, Kate stayed the same outlaw we knew earlier, Hurley still that same lottery winner, and the list goes on.. only Ben Linus for some reason had to become some school teacher and so incoherent.


    In my personal conclusion, i find this episode to be very inconsistent with the real history of Ben in this series, and inconsistent with his own character behavior as well.moreless
  • Reminds me of the good old days, with awesome character-focused episodes and cliffhangers that leave you completely blind-sided.

    Remember back in Season 1, when life on Lost was simple? A group of men, women, children and a dog named Vincent crashed on a mysterious island, and they were trying to get off by building a raft and keeping signal fires burning? I'll admit, and I'm sure I won't be the first to admit it, I miss the simple days of Lost, when plot development was sometimes passed over in place of character development. It was nice to learn about these characters for the first time, and as the show continued, I feel as if the whole flashback dynamic stopped working, mostly because it was simply reiterating what we already knew about these characters. The introduction of the flash-forward was cool for awhile, but it became dull after awhile.. I still don't know if it's because I just grew sick of the whole "jumping back and forth to the past or future" schtick or if I just grew sick of hearing the word "flash-forward" from ABC's other serial drama. Either way, earlier Lost episodes benefited from being able to take characters we didn't know much about and using flashbacks to fill in the blank spaces.

    Tonight's episode of Lost, "Dr. Linus," reminded me of how great Lost can be when it takes a step back from the convoluted plot-twists, mythology-heavy scenes and pointless expository dialogue scenes and focuses on character development. You may ask yourself, "How can a show that's been on the air for six years find new ways to develop characters? Don't we already know enough about them?" When it becomes to Benjamin Linus, I don't think there's any characters on television that has such a twisted, confusing and eerie history. I could watch an entire show based simply on his past. He's such a morally ambiguous character, making his choices and decisions that much more interesting; is he doing something out of the good of his heart, or because of the greed in his soul? Fortunately, although people may think they have Ben Linus pegged as the villain, I think tonight's side-flashes and Island-plot helped dispel those rumors; instead, we got an emotional story that hinged completely on Ben and his actions on and off the Island.

    I'm calling it right now: Michael Emerson will be nominated once again for the Best Supporting Actor Emmy, and I'm willing to bet 108 dollars that he'll win it too. As good as Terry O'Quinn is, his character has changed too much for my liking. He's lost that emotion that made him stand-out at the beginning of the show. Ben, however, has consistently delivered one solid scene after the other, and tonight, we got to see him interact with his daughter once more, a story-line ripe with possible moments for Ben to redeem himself in the eyes of fans who see him as nothing more than a snake. However, this wasn't the Island-Alex we got to see; in Ben's side-flash, he's a respected teacher who tutors his student, played by Alex. Some of these side-flashes have been hit or miss, but tonight's was easily one of the best. Also in this side-flash was Ben's power struggle: he wants more than anything to have the principal's job so he can make changes that are more to his liking. He resorts to blackmail, a typical Ben Linus tactic, but what makes this side-flash so excellent is how we see Linus change. Instead of following in the footsteps of previous episodes, we actually see Ben choose love and family over power. I know, the man who actually murdered his own father in order to move up on the totem pole actually passes up an opportunity to be more powerful? Sounds a bit fishy, but that's the beauty of this episode. The writers were able to take a character who's personality has appeared unwavering and completely changed the dynamic of his character. The scene with Ben and Ilana in the woods was heart-breaking, and showed Ben at his most vulnerable. Of course, he could've been lying, and nobody would put it against him (he's a survivor in every sense of the word), but he seemed to be completely genuine in that scene. It was very well-done.

    Besides focusing on Ben, there wasn't too much else going on in the episode except for one short but extremely important scene between Jack and Richard. We learn that Richard is completely terrified by this fake-Locke guy, and as a result, he's going to attempt to kill himself. We learn that Richard is blessed (or cursed) with the gift of immortality, but there's a loophole: while you cannot die by your hand, you can die by somebody else's hand. Therefore, he asks Jack for assistance in dying. However, Richard slips a key piece of information: when Jacob touches you, you're blessed/cursed with the gift of very long life. Jack seems to believe he's been touched by Jacob as well, along with everybody else he's spent time with on the Island, and therefore sits with Richard in front of dynamite that is ten seconds away from exploding, completely believing that it will not explode and that they will not die. For a man who once put a gun to Locke's head and pulled the trigger for his beliefs and the way he ran things, Jack has certainly made quite the change since Season 4. He's become more erratic, paranoid and much more of a man of faith. He's almost like Locke now, without the bald head, knives or father who pushed him from a seven-story building. It'll be interesting to see how Jack evolves from here; he's certainly changed quite a lot since Season 1.

    And it wouldn't be Lost without an ending that leaves you scratching your head, or in the case of "Dr. Linus," screaming at your television for making you wait another week for a resolution. Seeing that Widmore found the island is extremely important, especially since we've had it driven into our head that if Widmore finds the island, things will NOT be good. It'll be interesting to see how much Widmore knows and what he'll do to regain supremacy on the Island.

    It's really a shame that long-time fans of the show are complaining about the writers taking their time in giving us answers. I'm sure we'll get plenty of answers on what exactly is going on in this show, but anybody expecting to be given answers to every question is foolish. Lost has always been a show that's built its reputation around being misleading and misdirecting their audience, and I'm willing to bet that the finale will leave some important questions unanswered. However, the show has never been about answering all of the questions. The showrunners said that Lost was about exploring the involvement of these specific characters with the history of the Island. If we want to see what happened in the past on the Island, it'd have to be a different show; this show focuses on a set of characters we've come to grow and love over six years, and tonight's episode was a perfect example of how great Lost is at making episodes that are both character-driven and well-written.moreless
  • Benjamin Linus in LOST = Robert DeNiro in Gadfather II

    Yep , it's true . Benjamin Linus with 10 sec he can really steal the show . with one emotional face he really can blow up your minds ! . his confrontation scene with Illana was THE BEST scene i ever saw in Lost since " we have to go back Kate , we have to go back " .

    it's a redemption episode for Ben and Richard . and an Amazing scene at the beach when they all together and Hugging each other a Little of joy from season 1 . and i Notice something ! that this season is complex of answering some answers and a character development with Sawyer , Kate , Jack , Ben , Sayid and the others will come . as always an EMMY nominations for Ben , Jack , Locke and Sawyer so far ! . and with all this we have to have a weekly cliff hanger ! amazing show .. 10/10 .moreless
  • Ben digs his own grave; Richard and Jack test their mortality; Locke continues the recruiting process; in flash sideways, Ben makes a power play but freezes up when Alex Rousseau's future is on the line.moreless

    I know I am going to get a ton more "Thumbs Down" than "Thumbs Up" for this review, but... *yawn*. This episode was dull and uninspiring. I'm really sorry, but that's the way I feel about it!

    First of all, top notch acting from Michael Emerson. The scene when he was crying, and told Ilana the Locke was the only one who would accept him, was priceless. Emerson handles himself very well when his character shows vulnerability, which is a nice turn after playing such an evil, manipulative character for the past four years. Also, I am really enjoying Zuleikha Robinson's presence on the show. I can't pinpoint it, but something about that woman is ridiculously appealing.

    Unfortunately, this episode said very little for the storyline. It was basically a Ben redemption story, which slowed down the exciting pace introduced in last week's episode, "Sundown," to a turtle crawl. While I know it was necessary to give Ben some proper character development this season, did we really have to watch a whole hour of nothing BUT that?

    The episode was predictable and weak. Who really thought Richard and Jack would explode? Nobody. Who immediately realized that Ben and Ilana would bond over the memory of Ben's daughter, Alex? Everybody. The only unexpected part of the episode was when Miles acknowledged Nikki and Paulo from Season 3!

    The flash sideways were really dull, as well. Ben's relationship with Alex was very sweet, and his play at the role of principal was entertaining for viewers. In the end, however, the writers could have scrawled, "Ben is not evil in the flash sideways" on a piece of paper, flashed it for about ten seconds, and have told the same story they did in the flash sideway scenes of "Dr. Linus." In "Lighthouse," they showed Jack in a brand new role as a father, in "The Substitute," they showed a Locke who could accept his limitations and embrace his gifts. In "Dr. Linus," they merely showed a Ben who is not evil. There was nothing surprising or interesting about this character study. It was so simple and missed the layers that usually make the character stories of "Lost" so interesting.

    Oh well, I suppose some people out there would give this episode a 10/10. Personally, I am hoping for more interesting character development in the future. Sorry, rabid "Lost" give-reviews-below-9/10-a-Thumbs-Down fans! I guess you should get ready to click, up at the top right of my review! LOLmoreless
  • Without a doubt this was the embodiment of Lost in one single episode, the best episode of the season so far, and hopefully the bar has been raised for the remainder of the season to deliver such brilliance week in week out! ***Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!moreless

    WOW!! that was suspensful, emotional, heartpounding, and simply Vintage Lost. The emotional parts were touching and brought that season 1 feel back to us. Any and every Ben Linus episode has been a 10 so far in my mind, and this one delivers because we see the good Ben both on and off the island, and we can see him repenting and regretting his actions and the way that he always wanted to be. Not the Sinister, devious mastermind that has menaced and at the same time enteratined us so far. I absolutely loved the Miles/Ben scene where Miles simply states the facts that "linus killed him" and then the look on Ben's face.... that was crazy!. Richard Alpert FINALLY gave us a bit of insight on his "gift" given by Jacob, (didn't go as far in depth as i would've liked) but Jack is now beginning to see that he might have some power of his own. He can't kill himself, and doesn't seem to die. So is it true that anyone that jacob touched was 'blessed'/'cursed' in some way? Who are the six remaining candidates??!?

    It was nice seeing Alex and how Dr.Linus handled his ultimatum. Well done Benny!!!

    On the Island it's apparent that Locke or "evil incarnate' is recruiting as much as possible, and the question still lingers ..Where in the heck is SAWYER?!?!?!? Sayid, Claire and the crew are on the wrong team it seems like. Great cliff hanger finale with Widmore!! (where's Eloise Hawking?) !!?!?!?!?!?

    Cannot wait till next week, only 9 weeks left of Lost :( ..enjoy every moment people!!!moreless
Nestor Carbonell

Nestor Carbonell

Richard Alpert (Season 6, recurring previously)

Michael Emerson (I)

Michael Emerson (I)

Benjamin Linus (Seasons 3+, recurring Season 2)

Jeff Fahey

Jeff Fahey

Frank Lapidus (Season 6, recurring in Seasons 4 & 5)

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox

Jack Shephard

Jorge Garcia (I)

Jorge Garcia (I)

Hugo "Hurley" Reyes

Yunjin Kim

Yunjin Kim

Sun Kwon

William Atherton

William Atherton

Principal Don Reynolds

Guest Star

Steve Boatright

Steve Boatright


Guest Star

Alan Dale

Alan Dale

Charles Widmore

Recurring Role

Tania Raymonde

Tania Raymonde


Recurring Role

Daniel Roebuck

Daniel Roebuck

Dr. Leslie Arzt

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • On the wall of Principal Reynolds's office there is a large photograph of what appears to be a scenic shot of the island.

    • The timing of the flash-sideways setting is left unclear by contradictory indicators. Alex's mention of the European History AP test being on Friday places the episode in early May, the only time the test is offered, but her request for a letter of recommendation to Yale places the episode earlier, during college application season, September through February. The year of the flash sideways is similarly in doubt: if flash-sideways Alex was born in the same year as her counterpart, she would be 15 years old in 2004, exceptionally young to be applying to Yale.

    • Jorge Garcia confirmed on his own podcast that he added in Hurley's line where he asks Richard Alpert if he's a "vampire". Garcia wasn't sure if the line would be left in, but to his own surprise, it was.

    • Hurley comments on how Richard hasn't aged in 30 years. Yet he never met Richard in the 70s.

    • When Dr. Arzt and Dr. Linus are speaking, Dr. Arzt's shirt is shown with the top button open in some shots, and closed in other shots.

    • At the scene inside the Black Rock, both Jack and Richard had marked stubble. When they arrived at the beach, both were almost clean shaved.

    • When Ilana is guarding Ben while he's digging the grave, in some shots the rifle is covered in sand and in others it is clean.

    • When Alex and Ben are discussing Alex's history test, a piece of Alex's hair is behind her head in some shots, and over her shoulder in some other shots.

    • This is the first episode to have flash-sideways focused around someone who was not on Flight 815 in either timeline.

  • QUOTES (5)

  • NOTES (4)

    • Though credited, Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), and Evangeline Lilly (Kate) do not appear in this episode.

    • Jon Gries has played Roger Linus as a young man in 1964, a middle-age man in 1973 and 1977, an older middle-aged man in 1992 and an old man in 2004. This is the longest age range the same actor has played a character on the show (40 years) that ages naturally.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: March 9, 2010 on CTV
      United Kingdom: March 12, 2010 on Sky1
      The Netherlands: March 12, 2010 on Net5
      Spain: March 16, 2010 on FOX
      Australia: March 17, 2010 on 7TWO
      Portugal: March 17, 2010 on Fox
      Latin America: March 23, 2010 on Canal AXN
      Finland: April 1, 2010 on Nelonen
      Norway: April 14, 2010 on TVNorge
      Germany: April 28, 2010 on FOX
      Sweden: May 12, 2010 on TV4
      Czech Republic: May 17, 2010 on AXN

    • A Ben-centric episode.


    • Star Wars: The "Man In Black" removes Ben's leg iron with a slight gesture, much like Emperor Palpatine uncuffs Luke Skywalker in "Return of the Jedi".

    • The East India Trading Company: A teaching subject of Alex. It was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China. The Company was granted an English Royal Charter by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600.

    • The Terminator: Hurley asked if Richard was traveling through time or if he was a cyborg, both in regards to how he appeared to not age, referencing the main character in this 1984 American tech-noir action film.