Keamy and his men attack the Barracks and demand that Ben turn himself over, and the results of their standoff change Ben’s world forever.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan & Drew Goddard
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashforward

Sometime in the future, Ben woke up wearing a winter parka — which had a Dharma logo and the name “Halliwax” embroidered on it — freezing cold, yet laying flat on his back in the Tunisian desert. He was completely alone and seemed to have somehow just arrived there, and he was sporting a deep gash on his arm. A pair of Bedouins found him, riding on horseback and threatened him, but he handily took both of them out thanks to his retractable night stick. He took their weapons and one of their horses and rode off to Tozeur, Tunisia.

In Tozeur, Ben checked in at a hotel, where he told the desk clerk that this was not his first time in Tunisia, “but it’s been a while.” He was already registered at the hotel as a preferred guest under the pseudonym Dean Moriarty, and he had a passport to prove it. When he asked, the clerk told him that the date was October 25, 2005. But on his way to his room, he spotted a television in the lobby that showed Sayid — famous now thanks to his status as one of the Oceanic 6 — who was being hounded by reporters after his wife had died. Ben seemed to sense an opportunity in what he saw.

Ben traveled to Tikrit, Iraq where he witnessed the funeral for Sayid’s wife: Nadia. When he made contact with Sayid, he told him that he used Desmond’s old boat, the Elizabeth, to leave the island (which had to have been a lie, given his sudden appearance in Tunisia), and that he’d come to Iraq to find a man he believed to be responsible for Nadia’s death — a man he claimed worked for Charles Widmore. Nadia was killed by a hit-and-run in Los Angeles, and Ben said that this man working for Widmore was the driver that ran Nadia down. Sayid was convinced, and with Ben’s help, he found the man and killed him. But when Ben tried to part ways, Sayid stopped him and asked who else worked for Widmore, who else they might track down for revenge. Though Ben tried to talk him out of going down this path, secretly he was manipulating Sayid the whole time, getting him to act as his personal assassin.

Ben next went to London, where he made a surprise visit to Charles Widmore’s home, where he learned that Widmore had been having nightmares lately. The animosity and history between them was thick with hate, with the main topic of discussion being Alex’s murder. Each man blamed the other for her death, but Ben made a promise that he would kill Widmore’s daughter, Penelope, in retaliation for Alex. He again accused Widmore of having “changed the rules” by killing Alex. Widmore said that Ben would never find Penny, but he asserted that the island belonged to him, and always had, and it would be again. He also accused Ben of stealing everything he had from him. Ben said that Widmore would never find the island, so now a race was on between them, to see who could find what they were after first.

Now

Kate notices that Jack is favoring his let side, and he explains that he’s fighting a “stomach bug.” They hear Bernard calling for help and run out the doctor from the freighter has washed ashore, dead with his throat slit. Daniel and Charlotte recognize him and explain who he is. Jack is suspicious at his throat being sliced open, but Daniel and Charlotte say they know nothing about it. Juliet asks if Dan’s had any luck repairing the satellite phone, and he says that at best he might be able to get it to transmit Morse Code. But Jack is still suspicious, and takes Bernard aside to ask him a favor.

Later that night, Daniel attempts to contact the boat with his makeshift Morse Code device, and tells everyone he’s asking about the doctor. A reply comes that Dan translates to mean that Desmond and Sayid are fine, and are returning the next day on the helicopter. But Daniel is lying, and Bernard busts him; it turns out, Bernard knows Morse Code. He explains that the message actually said that they didn’t know what Daniel was talking about, because the doctor was still alive on the boat. Jack is outraged, and he grabs Daniel and asks if the freighter was ever planning to rescue the survivors at all. Daniel admits that rescue was never part of their mission. As Jack reacts to this, the pain he’s feeling in his abdomen intensifies and he nearly keels over.

As expected, Alex is captured by Keamy and his men, who take her and head straight for the Barracks. When they reach the sonic fence, they have Alex turn it off, but instead she triggers a silent alarm.

At Locke’s house, Locke, Sawyer, and Hurley are playing a board game when the phone suddenly rings. Locke answers and hears a recorded voice say “Code 14J.” He hurries to Ben’s house and tells him what he heard, and Ben is immediately alarmed. Ben grabs a shotgun, hands it to Sawyer, says they need to return to Locke’s house and get ready, because Widmore’s people are here, and an attack is imminent.

When Locke, Ben, and Sawyer reach Ben’s old house to fortify it against the attack, Sawyer detours to go get Claire — who’s been taking a nap while Hurley watches Aaron. But Ben insists that Locke stay close to him, because he’s too important to the island to lose. Widmore’s people won’t risk hurting Ben, so staying close to him is Locke’s best chance for survival. He later explains that the two of them are eventually going to need to go to Jacob together to get Jacob’s help. Outside, before Sawyer can reach Claire, the attack begins, and three survivors are cut down right in front of him from distant gunshots. He makes a mad dash for Claire’s house, but a rocket launcher is fired against it and it explodes before Sawyer can reach it.

Moments later, Sawyer runs into Clare’s destroyed house and finds her buried under some rubble, but she’s alive. He takes her back to Ben’s house, where Hurley breaks out a window so they can get in. Miles is the next to arrive, and they let him in. He’s carrying a walkie-talkie that he’s been instructed by their attackers to give to Ben. But Ben refuses to take walkie and talk to Keamy, until Miles reveals that Keamy has a hostage: Alex. He finally takes the radio and is instructed by Keamy to look out his window. There, he sees Keamy standing alone with the radio to his mouth. When Ben refuses to come out peacefully, Alex is brought out and knelt before Keamy. Keamy holds a gun to her head and warns Ben to come out now or she’s dead. But still Ben refuses. Keamy gives the walkie to Alex, who tells him that Karl and Danielle are dead. She begs him to save her, but Ben tells her he’s got everything under control and that she’ll be fine. Keamy starts a countdown from ten; Ben tries to convince Keamy that Alex isn’t really his daughter, explaining that he “stole her as a baby from an insane woman.” He again refuses to leave the house, but this time Keamy fires his gun, and Alex collapses to the ground, dead. As Keamy walks away, Ben is left in abject shock, unable to believe what’s just happened. “He changed the rules,” he mutters to himself, and suddenly marches across the house to his hidden room full of travel supplies, where he uncovers another hidden door, this one ancient and covered in hieroglyphs.

A few minutes pass, during which Claire wakes up and reports that she’s okay. Ben emerges from his secret room, covered in dirt, and tells everyone that when he gives the signal in a few moments, they’re all to run from the house and get as far away from Keamy and his men as possible. The ground begins to shake and everyone looks outside, where night has fallen. The smoke monster thunders into the Barracks moving like a freight train, Ben gives the signal, and everyone runs outside. Just beyond the tree line, the jungle is in chaos, with the smoke monster writhing about everywhere, attacking Keamy’s men. The survivors quickly realize that Ben somehow summoned the monster, and they flee the Barracks in fear. Ben tells them to head for the creek and he’ll catch up after he says goodbye to Alex. He kneels over her body and weeps for her in genuine grief.

Ben follows through and meets everyone at the creek. Locke offers condolences over Alex, but then points out that Ben lied a few days ago when he said he didn’t know what the smoke monster was. Ben counters that when they get to the cabin, Locke can ask Jacob to explain it. Sawyer declares that he’s had enough of all this mystic stuff and that he’s taking Claire and Aaron back to the beach. Miles goes as well, and Hurley tries to, but he can’t because Ben and Locke need his help to find the cabin, since Hurley was the last one to see it. Sawyer swears to kill Locke if Hurley gets hurt, but then leaves with his friends, while Locke, Ben, and Hurley head off in search of the cabin.

  • Sayid tried to numb his pain over losing his wife Nadia by killing those he held responsible for her death.
    Question: How did Sayid end up working as an assassin in the future? [4.03]
  • Ben cleverly manipulated Sayid’s grief and rage, convincing Sayid that it was his own idea to join up with Ben in his war against Charles Widmore.
    Question: How did Sayid end up working for Ben in the future? [4.03]
  • Nadia’s death.
    Question: What was the incident that Ben used to recruit Sayid into killing for him? [4.03]
  • Based on what we learned in this episode, the Economist who’s “not really an economist” that Elsa worked for is Charles Widmore.
    Question: Who is the Economist that Elsa worked for? [4.05]
  • The people on Ben’s list would appear to be people who work for Ben’s archenemy, Charles Widmore.
    Question: Why does Ben have a list of people he’s having Sayid kill in the off-island future? [4.03]
  • Ben implied that Widmore’s war against him had spread to the Oceanic 6 and everyone they knew and loved.
    Question: How will killing the people on Ben’s list protect Sayid’s friends (presumably meaning the rest of the Oceanic 6)? [4.03]

  • Why did the freighter’s doctor wash up on the island, dead?
  • How is the freighter’s doctor still alive on the boat if he’s washed up dead on the island?
  • How did Ben reach Tunisia — and why was he so cold when he woke up there?
  • When was Ben last in Tunisia? Under what circumstances? Did he travel there the same way that he did this time?
  • Why didn’t Ben know the date when he arrived in Tunisia?
  • Why would Charles Widmore have Nadia killed? Why would he want her dead?
  • What was behind the ancient door hidden beneath Ben’s house?
  • Why was the door covered in hieroglyphs?
  • What did Ben mean when he said that Widmore “changed the rules”? What rules?
  • What did Ben do behind the door to summon the smoke monster?
  • Why does Ben have such a bitter rivalry with Widmore? What’s their history?
  • Why has Widmore been having nightmares?
  • Why can’t Ben and Widmore kill each other?
  • What did Ben take that was once Widmore’s? The island?

What a wild, unpredictable ride of an episode this was. Ben got to be an action hero, Ben and Widmore shared a game-changing scene together, and we got our one and only appearance by the smoke monster — and it was a doozy. The ep was so huge, it could have been a season finale.