Flash-sideways Timeline (2004)
Ben is teaching his European history class about an Island where everything became clear: Elba, where Napoleon faced his greatest test, his loss of power. At the end of the class Principal Reynolds requires that Ben supervise detention all week. Ben explains that his after-school History Club needs him, but Reynolds says the class is really about Ben, not the students. He thanks Linus and leaves. Ben remarks to himself that "It's 'Dr. Linus.'"
In the teachers' lounge, the science teacher, Dr. Leslie Arzt, is complaining about a formaldehyde stain and his outdated lab equipment. Ben makes an impassioned statement about the importance of learning and "taking care of the kids," and that the head is merely an administrator not a teacher. Ben says he refuses to give up his principles. Substitute teacher John Locke overhears and says that maybe Ben should be the principal because it sounds like Ben cares about the school. When Ben asks who would listen to him, Locke waves and says, "I'm listening."
At home Ben is microwaving a frozen turkey dinner for his father, Roger. Roger asks how was work and Ben reflects that with his qualifications he is babysitting burnouts in detention, and sometimes feels that he is a bigger loser than they. He adds that maybe he is more a loser when he's at home. All the while he has been changing his father's oxygen bottle. His father says he wished for better for Ben and that is why he signed up with DHARMA Initiative and went to the Island. He says "Imagine how our lives would have been if we'd stayed... Who knows what you would have become?"
The doorbell rings and Ben greets Alex Rousseau who has come to ask where Ben was for History Club. She is disappointed to find out about the change in plans especially because she was hoping Ben would tutor her for a test. Ben offers to help her the next morning in the library. Their relationship is a warm student-teacher one.
In the library Ben is giving Alex a verbal test about the East India Trading Company. When she can't answer a question she becomes frustrated and then describes the importance of her succeeding given her mother's sacrifices. Ben is reassuring and says that as she is one of the brightest students he has ever had he doesn't worry about her future at all.
When he offers to write a reference Alex lets slip that "that pervert" Principal Reynolds is writing a letter of recommendation. When he promises not to tell anyone Alex tells him that the Principal and the school nurse were having a relationship on school grounds.
Ben goes to Dr Arzt's lab and asks if it would be possible to access faculty emails, namely Nurse Kondracki's. Arzt gets it out of Ben that he believes the nurse and Principal Reynolds are having an inappropriate relationship on campus. Arzt recognizes that Ben is going after the "big job" and agrees to help for a better parking spot and new lab equipment.
Ben goes to Principal Reynolds' office. He gives the Principal three months worth of his correspondence by email with the nurse. He makes a threat to show the evidence to the School Board and the Principal's wife and says he wants the Principal's job, for Reynolds to resign and to recommend Dr Linus as the replacement. Reynolds counters by showing Ben a request from Alexandra Rousseau for a letter of recommendation. He threatens to "torch" Alex and her future if Ben proceeds with his threat. He wonders if his job, his power is that important to Ben.
Another day Ben is alone in the Principal's Office. Alex comes in to thank Reynolds for the incredible letter of recommendation he gave her. Ben is magnanimous, saying he had nothing to do with the letter. Reynolds arrives and Ben affirms that they have the History Club back as the Principal has found someone else to cover for detention. Outside the office Arzt is disappointed to find he won't be getting his desired parking space; Ben offers him his. Ben watches with satisfaction as Alex leaves the office.
Original Timeline (2007)
At the Black Rock
Hurley is dreaming of cheese curds when Jack wakes him saying they can make the Temple by nightfall. Hurley wants to have breakfast but Jack is keen to get going. Again Hurley suggests they should take their time. They reach a point where Hurley suggests a short cut but Jack wants to go the way they originally came. Richard Alpert appears saying they are both wrong and points a different direction. Jack asks where Richard came from and Richard says that they wouldn't believe him if he told them. Jack says to try him but Richard says "Not yet" and leads them off. Hurley, having never met Richard before, asks Jack if he trusts him. Jack says to Hurley "at least he's not stalling" and follows Richard.
Richard leads them through the jungle and Hurley asks him how it is possible that Richard looks the same as he did 30 years ago;having apparently heard of Richard and his eternal youth. Richard says it is not easy to explain but that Jacob gave him a gift. They arrive at the Black Rock and Richard admits he lied about going to the Temple because everyone at the Temple is dead. He says he not sure what happened but that he just came from there and there were no survivors. He says he doesn't know about their friends and that maybe they made it out alive. Jack asks Hurley whether he knew about this because he acted as if he didn't want to go back to the temple. Hurley says that Jacob had "hinted" at it. Richard is surprised and says that whatever Jacob said, not to believe him.
Richard heads for the wreck saying "There's something I need to do". Jack asks what it is and Richard says "Die".
Inside the hull Richard touches some chains and tells Jack (who has found and lit a kerosene lamp) that this is the first time he has come back to the ship in all the long time he has been on the Island. Richard opens a box of dynamite sticks and fuse wire. Hurley tells Richard it is unsafe and the dynamite is unstable. Hurley wants to leave because Richard had said that he wants to kill himself, but Richard responds by saying that he can't kill himself even though he wants to. He demonstrates this by throwing a stick which fails to go off onto a barrel. He explains that is why he wants Hurley or Jack to do it for him.
Jack engages with Richard who explains that Jacob touched him and although this is considered a gift it is actually a curse. Jack asks him why he wants to die. Richard explains that he has devoted his life in the service of a man who claimed to have a plan, that everything was happening for a reason and that he would share the plan when the time was right. Jacob is now dead so he has realized that his entire life has no purpose. He asks Jack to light the stick of dynamite for him pointing out that he made the fuse long enough to give Jack time to get out. Hurley wants reassurance that Jack is not actually considering helping Richard. Jack calmly replies that if Richard wants to die there is nothing he can do to stop him. Jack immediately lights the fuse and sits down with Richard saying "Now, lets talk." Hurley is uncomfortable and wants to go but Jack is calm and says he has to talk to Richard and that it would be alright and that Hurley should go. Hurley finally leaves in haste.
Richard encourages Jack to go with Hurley but Jack is clear that he should not; smiling tensely he says he doesn't think either of them is going to die. He explains to Richard that he has come from the lighthouse where his name was etched on a dial and a mirror held an image of the house he grew up in. He says it is Jacob's lighthouse and that Jacob wanted Jack to know he'd been watching him since he was a kid. Jack said although he didn't know why, he was prepared to bet that if Jacob had gone to all that trouble, and had brought him to the island, it was for a reason and the reason was not to blow up sitting there with Richard. Richard points out the risk but Jack is clear that he is not wrong.
As the fuse burns to the last inch Jack closes his eyes in something like calm as a sweating and increasingly fearful Richard watches the flame. The fuse splutters out at the last instant. Despite his confidence Jack shows huge relief before offering to try another stick. Richard says no, but that as Jack seems to have all the answers, now what? Jack says they should go back to where they started.
At the Beach Camp
After leaving the ruined Temple at sunset, Ben is frantically running through the Jungle. He falls and sees a column of torches moving through the darkness adjacent to him. He scrambles up and rushes over. It is Ilana, Sun, Miles and Frank. Ilana immediately asks Ben where Jarrah is. Ben tells her breathlessly that considering he just killed Dogen and the interpreter he doesn't think Sayid will be joining them. Ilana demands to know if Ben is sure. Ben replies, "Since I saw him standing over the dead bodies with a bloody knife in his hand, I'm pretty sure." Sun protests to Ilana that she said they would be safe at the Temple. Ilana replies that that is what she was told. Ben suggests they go to the Beach as they will have the water at their backs and it is familiar territory. He asks if anyone has a better suggestion. Ilana agrees to his suggestion and Sun leads the way.
They head for the beach. Miles falls back to ask Ben what "that thing" back there was. Ben says it was what killed his friends back at the statue. Ilana adds, "And Jacob, right, he killed Jacob too?" Ben, caught out, stammers, "Yeah, of course, and Jacob too". Ilana picks up on the inappropriate "of course" and she checks on Miles, especially that he can communicate with the dead. Miles explains he can only pick up "how someone died, pick up their last thoughts before they check out". She gives Miles the pouch she carries which contains Jacob's ashes and, glaring at Ben, says, "So tell me Miles, how did he die?"
Miles kneels, communes, rises and says "Linus killed him". Ben instantly makes denials, but awkwardly, with nothing like his usual confidence and believability. Miles sarcastically retorts that "he was standing over the body with a bloody knife, so I'm pretty sure." Ilana turns to Ben in quiet fury and says that Jacob was the closest thing she ever had to a father. She then turns and leads them all away. Ben is stunned.
The small party arrive at daylight at the ruins of the Beach Camp. Ilana issues instructions about food, shelter and starting a fire and then sets to work fashioning something with cable. Ben follows her around, launching into a defense of his innocence which consists of attacking Miles' reliability by claiming Miles tried to blackmail him once. Once again, Ben's attempts at deception come across as unconvincing, with elements of desperation. Ilana coolly ignores him. Rattled, he trails off.
While she works, Sun approaches Ilana asking how long they are to stay there and explaining she needs to find her husband. Ilana explains if anyone wants to find Sun's husband it is her. Sun questions this and Ilana says it is because Jin's last name is Kwon and she doesn't know who she is "supposed to protect, you [Sun], him [Jin], or both of you". Sun asks what she means and Ilana says they are candidates to replace Jacob. She states when the replacement is chosen, they will find out what the vocation entails. Sun asks how many candidates there are, to which Ilana replies grimly, "There are only six left."
Ben enters the tent once used by Sawyer and begins to search it. Frank asks for help gathering firewood when Ben is 'finished in the library'. Ben says he's looking for something useful. Ben finds a copy of 'Booty Babes' and 'Benjamin Disraeli: Justice Is Truth in Action'. He muses, "The things people bring on a trip." There is also a copy of Chaim Potok's 'The Chosen' and a bottle of Oceanic water. He remarks to Frank he remembers the plane breaking in half like it was yesterday and Frank comments Ben sounds nostalgic, to which Ben replies he supposes he is. Frank says he was supposed to pilot the flight but had slept in. He wonders how different his life would have been. Ben quips wryly, "How different would it have been"? and points out regardless, the Island still got Frank in the end.
Ilana suddenly appears, aiming her rifle at Ben and barks "Walk". She marches him at gunpoint to the crash victims cemetery and attaches him to a nearby tree by the ankle with her restraining irons, hands him a 'shovel' and demands he dig his own grave. Ben slowly starts to dig with Ilana guarding him at a distance.
Later Miles arrives with some green beans and banana for Ben. Ben refuses the food saying in the circumstances he's not really hungry. Ben reminds Miles of once asking for 3.2 million dollars and somewhat desperately avows if Miles still wants it, Ben has a vast network of people and resources who can provide Miles with the money if Ben can get off the Island. Miles caustically says he could just as well get the $8 million in diamonds buried with the bodies in this very cemetery. His voice shaking with emotion, Ben accusingly retorts that he can't believe Miles is going to stand by and watch as Ben is killed for murdering a man who didn't even care whether he was killed. Miles sternly tells Ben he is wrong about this. He informs Ben that Jacob did care, saying that "right up until the second the knife went through his heart Jacob was hoping he was wrong about you". He adds, "I guess he was right". Ben is stunned. Miles is then directed to leave by Ilana.
It's late. Ben is still digging his grave and near to completing the job. Smokey arrives as Locke and nonchalantly greets Ben. He lightly asks what Ben is doing and why. Ben bitterly says he's digging his own grave, because Locke talked him into killing Jacob and Ilana, Jacob's former bodyguard, is now going to kill him. Locke says he doesn't want Ben to die, and in fact he had returned to the Statue to find him. He says he is gathering a group to "leave this place for good". Knowing well Ben's obsession with power, he dangles a carrot, suggesting he can't think of a better person to be in charge of the Island when he and his group departs than Ben himself. Ben calls attention to his restrained state. Locke points at Ben's foot iron, which falls open. Locke invites Ben to come to the Hydra Station. Ben protests Ilana will come after him, but Locke tells Ben he has left a rifle for him 200 yards into the jungle and that if he runs now he can get there and get a jump on Ilana.
Ben looks over at Ilana, standing at a small distance but well within view. Their eyes meet; Ilana stares back, and from her perspective we see that only Ben is in view. She could not have seen Locke. Ben runs.
Ilana dashes after him. Ben reaches the rifle planted by Lock and turns on a surprised Ilana who is forced to drop her weapon. After a long moment of high emotion, Ilana asks what Ben is waiting for. Ben says he knows what Ilana is feeling because he watched his daughter Alex die in front of him. Visibly grieved and ashamed he says when he had a chance to save her life he chose the Island and he did this in the name of Jacob. Ben says he sacrificed everything for Jacob, and "He didn't even care." Ben says when he stabbed Jacob he was angry, confused and terrified he was about to lose the only thing that had ever mattered to him - his power, but the thing that really mattered was already gone. He brokenly confesses himself as being sorry for killing Jacob and tells Ilana he does not expect her forgiveness because he can never forgive himself.
Ben has lowered his rifle. Ilana, with tears in her eyes, asks hoarsely what he wants. Ben asks to be allowed to leave. She asks, "Where will you go"? Ben replies, "To Locke." Ilana murmurs, "Why?" Eyes wide with despair and sorrow, Ben tearfully whispers, "Because he is the only one who will have me."
Ilana's eyes are deep with pain but she murmurs, "I'll have you," picks up her rifle and turns for the Beach. Ben stares after her for a second, his face transformed by amazement. He then stumbles after her.
Ben and Ilana arrive back at Beach Camp where a late afternoon haze hangs in the air. When Sun sees Ben still holding his rifle Ben gently sets the rifle down and offers to help Sun. She tentatively asks he help with the tarp and Ben willingly starts to adjust it over the shelter. Frank adds wood to the fire. Miles examines a large diamond. Ilana, emotionally drained, sits holding her pouch of Jacob's ashes. Hurley, Richard and Jack appear, walking through the soft light on the beach towards the small group at the Beach Camp, where it all began. Sun's face explodes into joy as she runs happily to greet the group, hugging Hurley and Jack tightly. Jack makes a point of moving to look at Ben who stands aside from the group, alone. Richard is also apart from the group.
The calm water is disturbed by the surfacing of a submarine periscope. The periscope views the group on the Beach. When viewing the group on the beach, the periscope is pointed at the starboard (right) side of the submarine, at almost a 90° angle. Thus the submarine is traveling parallel to the beach. The watch officer in the sub below reports there are people on the beach and asks whether they should stop. Charles Widmore, examining his Laptop says "No. Proceed as planned".