Cesar tries to prevent Locke from taking the boat, Ben whips out a sawn-off shotgun and shoots Cesar in the chest as an apology to John for strangling him.
Now, I don't know if Cesar is dead as we have seen recently that getting shot in the chest is not a problem. Was he going to be an influential character or just cannon-fodder? Who knows! The untrustworthy journey between Locke and Ben is put into question again as Locke says to Ben that he is not going to back to be judged for breaking the rules but for being responsible for Alex's death. Something that seems to be true. But in order to be judged, we need a Judge and the duo arrive back at the barracks to summon the smoke-monster. During this we have caught up with Frank and Sun, remember them? This bit had two main parts to consider. We saw earlier (and heard Richard say last week) that Ben would not remember how he got hurt and had to be healed by the island. We were faced with the question a while back if Ben would remember the survivors who lived with the Dharma Initiative in 1977 which was answered this week by Ben seeing the old photo and saying he didn't know they were back there. Is he lying? I believe so for a reason that is yet to be explained as it involves someone's death in 1977 he doesn't want people to know that he knows. We'll see, just my theory at this point.
The other main factor of the small reunion is that Ben tells Sun 'dead is dead' and that the island has never resurrected someone before, but we see him freeze at the mention of Christian's name. Ben knew that Christian had died and was brought to the island in flight 815 and it seems now can travel through smoke, appear in places and essentially live on even though he is dead. Does this mean that Locke will become the same? I mean, Ben clearly says 'Yes, the island can heal people, but dead is dead'. So what state of living is John Locke really in at the moment? Judgement time approaches! Locke takes Ben (Sun tags along) to the Temple to see the smoke-monster as John now has this overall knowledge of the island (evidence he has been changed?), but to my surprise, hat we have seen before is not the Temple but a wall surrounding it. Nevermind, they go under it anyway. Our final flashback ties up a question for us that we have long been waiting for. Did Ben kill Penny before he went back to the island? The tension was building but he couldn't go through with it when he sees Penny's child (forgot they named him Charlie!) and we find out the answer to another question; who gave Ben the beating? Ah yes, I think now every cast member has punched Benjamin Linus at some point in the show and Desmond certainly lands a few heavy punches into Ben's eye before throwing him into the water. Phew, before the flashback when Ben asks Sun to find Desmond and say he's sorry, I thought maybe for the worst, but it seems it was just an apology for shooting him in the shoulder.
I believe Ben when he says he is sorry about Alex's death and admits being responsible for it. That is why he couldn't kill Penny. He was pointing his anger in the wrong direction towards Widmore when truly it was because of Ben and now he had to come to terms with it and by falling through a hole in the ground of the Temple, he will face it. The smoke shows him all that happened to see if he was sorry for Alex and it decides that he is and lets him live. Though he is not getting off lightly. The smoke (or something else) takes the form of Alex and warns him that if he tries to kill Locke again or does not follow his orders, the island will not be as forgiving as this time. It is extreme punishment for Ben knowing that he is no longer the leader and just like Charles his possession of power is passed to another. Our good friend John Locke. Well, I'll leave you there for now but think about this three-way war that is on the horizon and who will be on who's side?
See y'all on the island next week....