Through the Jungle to Grandmother's House aka the Beach
Miles reveals that Ben killed Jacob and Ilana is not so happy about it considering Jacob was the closest thing she had to a father. They go back to the beach where Frank tells Ben he was supposed to fly Oceanic 815. Ben notices that the Island still got him so his life wasn't that different. Then Ilana chains Ben to a tree and orders him to start digging his own grave. He tries to manipulate Miles into letting him go by offering him the $3.2 million Miles had asked him for a few season back. Miles laughs it off by reminding him of the $8 million in diamonds in Nikki and Paulo's graves. MIB/un-Locke/Smokey popped by for a visit with Ben while he dug and let him know that he wanted to leave the Island in his care when they left. (Question: If the Island isn't special like MIB/un-Locke/Smokey told Sawyer, why would he need to leave someone in charge when he leaves?) He releases him from the shackles and tells him there's a rifle by a tree and he can get there and kill Ilana before she has a chance to shoot him. He runs, she runs and he gets the gun and orders her to drop hers. They then have themselves a little chat where Ben explains why he killed Jacob (because he had sacrificed his daughter, the most important thing for Jacob and the Island, and Jacob didn't care). Ben says to MIB/un-Locke/Smokey because he's the only one that'll have him. Ilana says she'll have him, and Ben gets forgiveness and some acceptance that he's been craving. *tear* Which was clearly a surprise to him. They go back to the beach and Ben offers to help Sun with her shelter with no agenda or plan for manipulation. So odd for him. Then Jack, Hurley and Richard show up, and everyone is excited to see them, except for Ben who stands on the outside of the circle like a misfit. Maybe the Island is the Island of Misfit Toys. It's all great swooping music as people hug, shake hands and smile at each other. Until we see a scope of a submarine carrying Charles Widmore. Not really a shock since he's been trying to get to the Island in some way since at least Season 3. How he's going to play into all of this dead Jacob and MIB/un-Locke/Smokey drama is going to be interesting.
Oh and Miles did dig up the diamonds.
Through the Jungle to Grandmother's Boat aka the Black Rock
Jack wants to go back to the temple. Hurley is clearly trying to stall and keep Jack from going back. Probably on Jacob's orders. Richard comes popping out and Jack demands to know where he comes from. Richard promises to tell us but not yet (ARGH!) and leads them off into a different direction. They come to the Black Rock and Richard tells them that everyone at the Temple died. Jack did what Jack does and freaked out about what he couldn't change. Hurley admits that he can see and talk to Jacob and Richard tells him not to believe everything Jacob says. Which we could kinda guess from the Lighthouse episode. Then Richard tromps off into the big ship to get some dynamite so he can die. Jack asks him if he'd been there before. Richard remarks, "Yes, in all the time I spent on the Island this is the first time I've been back." Popular theory that Richard came to the Island on the Black Rock as a slave seems to be fairly accurate. Richard has lost faith in Jacob and his purpose in life thinking that everything Jacob said was a lie. But he can't kill himself because he was touched by Jacob and given a gift. (or according to him a curse) (some of our Losties were touched by Jacob. Does that mean they have the same gift from Jacob? Or is it a different gift?) But Jack could light the fuse for him and then he could die. So Jack lights it and instead of getting the eff out of dodge sits down and demands Richard to start talking. Jack shows a surprising amount of faith for a man of science by trusting that he's not going to die even though the dynamite's fuse is burning.
Ben teaches his students about Napoleon and his devastating loss of power when he was exiled to Island Elba. A not so thinly veiled metaphor (or is it allegory? whatevs) for Ben's Island story. Ben laments to Doc Arzt (Hai Arzt!) about the administrative principal not doing what's best for the students. Substitute Locke suggests he become the principal as he clearly cares way more about them and the school than the current guy. Also probably a parallel for how Ben came into Other Power after Charles Widmore.
Ben takes care of his sick Dad and their relationship doesn't appear to be nearly as strained as it was in Island reality. Ben has still been to the Island. His dad reveals that he took him to the Island for a better life. But for some reason they didn't stay. Alex shows up asking for extra history lessons (she is one of his star history students). Did NOT expect to see her there.
In private lessons Alex admits to seeing the principal have sex with the nurse. You could see Ben's wheels turning as he tried to figure out a way to use this against the principal to gain power but also keep his promise to Alex of not telling anyone else.
He confronts the principal who then turns it back on him saying you must choose... your ambition for the power and position of principal or your favorite student Alex and her promising future. Similar to the Island or your daughter choice Keamey gave him in Season 4. Only this time he chose right and put Alex over himself.
What We Learned
1. Widmore is coming to the Island via sub.
2. All Ben wanted was a little love and acceptance. He could have been a nice guy all this time if he had just been shown a little bit of love.