It is almost 2am, so my initial thoughts and theories are a rambling mess. I arrived home late tonight and stayed up to watch the new episode on TiVO so I could share first impressions with you. Tomorrow night I will elaborate and expand upon the insanity below, with photos…after sleep, work and caffeine.
If he wasn’t on Flight 815, does he count as one of the Oceanic 6? Absolutely not, in my opinion. I'm not even sure that the real world knows about his existence, or that the Oceanic 6 are aware that he made it off the island.
How did he slip away from the island so frequently without his people noticing (especially Juliet)? Had he not left during the 3 years he held her there? How often did he leave? The number of passports and disguises makes me think that the island is much closer to the ‘real world’ than we are being led to believe, not to mention the pace at which a submarine travels.
Who employed Ben? He went from a shy kid with an alcoholic dad to mini-Hitler, but it seemed that up until that point he was acting on his own. So who is his boss? Who assigned him the missions that would take him off of the island and into various countries under different identities? How does Jacob fit into this?
Why the hell was he wasting his time with fertility issues when he obviously had grander plans? Was that a rouse, a red herring to distract his people from his real mission? Why kill off one group in order to mislead another?
He had to have known about his spinal tumor before Juliet took his x-rays. He was probably diagnosed back in the real world, but he knew that he would be fixed on the island (either because he believed in the island’s healing powers or because he knew a spinal surgeon would fall out of the sky…as planned).
Ben didn’t seem too surprised that Jacob’s cabin had relocated, and Hurley saw it for himself a few episodes ago. If Locke communicated with Jacob, why can’t he find him again?
So Ben’s affinity for the island and all of its magical powers was insincere? He came and went as he pleased, while telling everyone emphatically that he was born there and would never leave. The only other person we know of who came and went with any frequency was Richard Alpert. Was he aware of Ben’s secret spy life, or a part of?
What is the significance of the discrepancy between the time when his rocket was launched and it landed on the island? He is obviously aware of the electromagnetic forces on the island, and the anomalies.
Sayid sure has a type. She and Shannon had very similar physical appearances, and both also died by gunshot wounds shortly after a roll in the sheets with Sayid.
FRANK THE PILOT
Why would he tell Daniel to hang up the phone if Minkowski answered? Last week they were desperately trying to get in touch with him. If they knew the freighter had been compromised, they wouldn’t voluntarily return to it via helicopter.
THE FREIGHTER FOUR
Why would Oceanic Airlines be interested in Ben? Were the Freighter Four employed by Matthew Abbadon to find Ben on the island because of something Ben had done off-island, or because of his Dharma purge? And if so, what the hell does that have to do with Oceanic? Miles has a photo of Ben in normal clothes, in a normal setting, so they are at least aware of his activities in the real world. It's looking more and more like Ben was in cahoots with Oceanic at one point, perhaps even involved with the crash, and then he ventured out on his own...resulting in their search for him.
Where did Locke stash him, and how did he subdue the armed, angry little ghostbuster?
Is Miles looking for Ben because he knows about Jacob? We don’t really know for sure whether Jacob is real or some sort of apparition, and that seems to be just up Miles’ alley. It will be very interesting should Miles encounter the Black Smoke Monster. Although he may already be aware of it and actually know what it is.
Was Naomi’s bracelet, the same kind found on Elsa, the symbol of an evil Oceanic coalition?
What do the initials RG stand for? There is a Regina on the freighter, and we haven’t met her yet. She also seems to have an accent. It could be her sister, but Naomi’s last name is Dorrit. I think that Regina is/was Naomi's girlfriend, she will find out about her death and go after Locke. Get in line.
Why did Naomi have the photo of Penelope and Desmond if Abbadon assigned her to work with the Freighter Four to find Ben? She had an inkling that she’d encounter survivors from Flight 815, but how could she have known that Desmond was on the island as well? Penny didn’t know who Naomi was, so Daddy Widmore must have commissioned Naomi to find Desmond as a separate secret side mission.
“The day I trust him is the day I sell my soul.” That’s what Sayid said about Ben to Locke back on the island. Consider him sold. But at what price? What on earth would Ben have that would convince Sayid to work for him? Nadia.
Did he make a deal with Ben back on the island before rescue?
If Sayid is indeed protecting his friends in the future (as Ben said), is he referring to the rescued ones or those still back on the island?
What incident was Ben referring to when Sayid “thought with his heart instead of his gun” last time? Does it have anything to do with the unknown event that Juliet referred to in Basra?
Kate, Jack and Hurley have all expressed remorse and guilt since being rescued, as illustrated in flash-forwards. Not Sayid. Unless you believe that his tears weren't really for Elsa...
In all other flash-forwards, Jack has visited with other members of the Oceanic 6. If Sayid is off working for Ben, don’t Jack or Kate or Hurley wonder where he is or try to keep in touch with him?
Is the list that Sayid referred to one and same as Jacob’s, or was it Ben’s list of people he was to assassinate?
Are Ben and Sayid slowly finding and killing off those responsible for the crash of Flight 815? Is Matthew Abbadon one of them?
What was Mr. Avellino’s (the man that Sayid killed on the golf course) role in the crash and/or rescue? He certainly became quite pale when Sayid told him who he was.
Did Kate, Jack and Hurley also receive large settlements after they were rescued, or was Sayid referring to the paycheck he was now receiving from/with Ben? Were they all paid large sums for their silence?
Was Sayid or Ben responsible for the death of whoever is in that damn coffin from Jack’s flash-forward?
Charlotte’s full name (Charlotte Staples Lewis) is a nod to CS Lewis, who wrote The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Is Ben’s secret spy room with passports and disguises the wardrobe through which he transports to a different place and time?
BEN’S MAN ON THE BOAT
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that it’s Michael. Ben gave him specific coordinates to follow to direct his boat ‘home,’ but I think that those led him to the freighter. I think that Ben blackmailed Michael; he told him that he had contact with the outside world, and after Michael and Walt returned home, Ben would let the world know what Michael had done (killing Ana Lucia and Libby). So he convinced Michael to do him one last favor before true rescue… someone infiltrate the freighter and relay information back to Ben on the island about the crew.
CRAZY THEORIES FOR THE CRAZY HOUR
Elsa was employed by Jacob, who is now working against Ben off-island. Last season Ben pointed out that Jacob has a strong dislike for current technology, and Elsa was using an antiquated pager instead of a cell phone.
Sayid isn’t the only one working for Ben after rescue. Kate was very hesitant to reconnect with Jack and was not interested in returning to the island. Remember, Kate and Ben had a very difficult conversation in Season 2 on the beach after she was captured, and the details of that chat have yet to be revealed. Ben was certainly aware of her criminal past and tendencies. Perhaps he somehow arranged for her record to be expunged upon rescue in exchange for her services afterward. Also, when Sawyer asked why she would want to leave the island and return to her life as a fugitive, she didn’t respond.
And I'm spent. See you tomorrow.