Island Reality; Jungle: Ben runs from Ilana and straight to the gun Faucke left lying in wait for him. When he grabs it, he and his newest captor face off. Ilana appears more than willing to die, but Ben's in charge now, and he just wants someone, anyone, to listen. He orders Ilana to drop her gun and insists that she hear him out.
When he says he knows what Ilana is feeling, she contends that he has no idea, but Ben doesn't let that stop him. "I watched my daughter, Alex, die in front of me. And it was my fault. I had a chance to save her, but I chose the island -- over her -- all in the name of Jacob. I sacrificed everything for him. And he didn't even care. Yeah, I stabbed him, I was so angry...confused. I was terrified that I was about to lose the only thing that had ever mattered to me -- my power. But the thing that really mattered -- was already gone. I'm sorry that I killed Jacob, I am, and I do not expect you to forgive me, because I can never forgive myself."
Ilana asks, "Then what do you want?"
Ben says, "Just -- let me leave." Ilana wants to know where he'll go. Ben cries, "To Locke. [...] Because he's the only one that will have me." Ilana's face crumbles, but she never sheds a tear. "I'll have you." She picks up her weapon and walks off, through the jungle and back to the beach, leaving Ben standing there free, and fully armed. This isn't just redemption, babies. It's restoration. Ben stumbles off after Ilana, as we cut to commercial.
L.A. Reality; School: Ben, dressed in shades of grey, enters Principal Reynolds' office and fondles his nameplate. And I have to tell you -- when I watched -- even the first time -- I never thought for a second that Ben sold out Alex's future for his own present (again), and so I missed the gravitas this scene held for those who refrained from making up their minds ahead of time. I just knew Ben wasn't trading Alex in for glory, ever again, even though this version of Ben can't know what happened on Craphole. Alex knocks on the door and lets herself in. She's there to thank Principal Reynolds for his fantastic recommendation, and can't help but wonder if Ben had something to do with it. He swears he did not. Surely, he lies again.