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The Doctor Is In: The Latest Internet Lost Theories

This episode provided further proof of something we already knew: Michael Emerson is a genius. This week's Ben-centric episode gave us a new direction for his character (both on- and off-island), quite possibly setting him on a road to redemption. While, for once, the episode didn't present dozens of new questions, it did shed new light on a number of concerns we already had (also, where is Sawyer?). As usual, we pulled out some cheese curds and turned to our favorite recappers — and our commenters — to see what to make of "Dr. Linus."

• Jace argues that killing Jacob is what set Ben on this path to redemption and wonders if Jacob sacrificed himself to get Ben onto this new path. Also, given Team Jacob's new beachside home, he thinks that they're the group in the canoe we saw shooting at time-traveling Sawyer and Co. in season five, and that we'll see this interaction shortly. Plus: Is Widmore the Wallace listed at 108 on the lighthouse? [Televisionary]

• Ben and Roger's conversation about choosing to leave the island has huge implications for the two timelines. In the original one, the duo didn't hop on the sub during the Swan Incident evacuation. If they did make this choice in the X-timeline, this means that the point at which the shared history between the two timelines split is sometime before 1977. So when did the island sink? Doc Jensen also wonders if, in the original timeline, it was Ben's fault that no one could have a successful pregnancy. He was strangely fixated on solving the issue, but as Richard told Locke back in the day, ''Ben has been wasting our time with novelties like fertility problems. We're looking for someone to remind us that we're here for more important reasons.'' Bonus: He thinks the knife Dogen gave Sayid to stab Flocke with was poisoned. [Totally Lost/EW]

WaPo's bloggers noticed the biggest change of all in the Sideways timeline: fewer daddy issues (Jack bonding with this son, Locke being BFF with his dad, and, obviously, Ben and Roger). They also wonder about Jacob's touch — it kept both Richard and Jack from being able to kill themselves, but it's only Richard that hasn't aged; remember, Jacob touched Kate and Sawyer as children. Does he pick and choose the extent of the effects of his touch? [Celebritology/WaPo]

• This blogger reminds us that this isn't the first time we've seen someone thwarted in a suicide attempt — Jack couldn't jump off the bridge in the season-three finale, and Locke couldn't hang himself (and, of course, Michael). Vozzek also doesn't buy the principal's counter-ploy. Couldn't Ben have just made Alex's recommendation a condition of his blackmail? Of course, that Ben didn't think of that could be proof that this isn't the diabolical, scheming Linus we've come to know and love. [Things I Noticed/Dark UFO]

• Tom and Lorenzo have a crazy idea: What if the Locke we're seeing in the Sideways timeline is actually Smokey? He seemed to be pushing Ben's buttons pretty hard considering they only recently met. And if Sideways-Locke is Smokey, does that mean the climax of the season will take place in Los Angeles, as our Sideways-Losties slowly realize what's going on? Meanwhile, is on-island Smokey planning to leave the island using the Ajira plane? [Tom and Lorenzo]

• Who is Ilana, really? Have we maybe seen her before? After all, when Jacob visited her in that hospital, her whole face was covered in bandages. Perhaps she looks completely different now. [Film Fodder]

• Was it part of Jacob's plan that Richard needed to still be alive 200 years after his arrival on the island to be there for whatever is about to go down? Possibly. Jacob certainly has shown a skill for advance planning before, like when he had the Others build a runway three years before Ajira 316 crashed on Hydra Island. Bonus question: Do you think Lapidus really overslept for the original Oceanic 815 flight? This writer doesn't. [It Happened Last Night]

• Ben and Roger may have a better relationship now, but could Papa Linus still have been a drunk when he was younger? Considering the state of his health, it certainly seems like that's a possibility. [TV Squad]

• Did Ben ever really want power for power's sake? Looking back on all we know now, it seems like Ben mostly just wanted to be a part of things, and being in charge and giving up everything for the island — including the only thing he ever truly loved — was the only way he thought he could assure his participation. Taking his history (no pun intended) into account, Ben's development in "Dr. Linus" echoed what might be the main point of the show, and what Jacob's trying to push home: that no matter what's happened in the past, we always have a choice to change. [Watcher/Chicago Tribune]

• This blogger thinks that, based on what we now know about Jacob's touch, that bloody little boy we saw a few weeks ago was there to tell us that Locke can't kill anyone Jacob touched, either (which is why he tried to have Ben kill Ilana). Speaking of Ben, keep in mind that he's now been touched by Jacob, too. [Magic Lamp]

• While Flocke certainly isn't very trustworthy, Jacob doesn't seem to be such a great guy, either. As Richard voiced, his touch seems to be more like a curse than a gift, especially when you look at the lives of our main characters. Not being able to age or die isn't so great when that power comes with things like an endless burden of guilt, morality issues, and being fated to come to a place where dozens of people you care about die. Jacob may not be evil, but he's certainly no angel. [TV Guide]

• It looks like Charles Widmore is the person that Jacob wanted to safely come to the island, so can we assume he's on Team Jacob? What (or whom) does he have on that submarine, anyway? Though, if he is on Jacob's side, why didn't he stop and pick up anyone from the beach? Could he be on his own mission? [Mistaking Coincidence for Fate]

• Commenter like_shootin_fish_in_a_barrel points out that the whooshing noises in between Sideways flashes are becoming more connected.

Sboobydoo thinks that this episode is proof the events in the two timelines are happening simultaneously, and that choices made in one are influencing decisions in the other. This commenter also doesn't think Jack is quite at Man of Faith status yet, since he shut his eyes when the fuse got close to the dynamite.

TadAllagash, like many of you, wonders who else is on that submarine. Could it be Desmond and Penny?

lylebot thinks that Jack, despite whatever he believed would happen, may have wanted that dynamite to blow up. We saw the season-three finale where he tried to commit suicide three years ago, but in island time, that event was probably only two weeks ago.

Photo: Mario Perez/ABC