I fell so in love with Miles and Hurley's argument about the Time Warp rules (and so disturbed by Richard's comment that Ben would "lose his innocence") that I failed to digest that Richard (also) told Kate and Sawyer that Ben would forget everything. So I spent days thinking the Time Warp argument was just the writers just having fun, and missed the implicit confirmation that Daniel's (and Miles') theory: "Whatever happened, happened," is actually correct. Since it is, even though I find Jack's lack of concern rather appalling, I can't help but wonder if he isn't right. Maybe Sawyer, Kate, Juliet and all the people from the 2000s should have just stepped the heck off and let the island heal Ben. Of course, maybe if Jack told them how the island healed Locke of his paralysis, they would have been more inclined. If the island healed Ben, maybe Roger would have atoned for his abuse of the boy and Ben never would have convinced the Others to wipe out the entire Dharma Initiative. But who knows on this crazy show? At any rate, I need to thank my friends Sunil and T for gently clue-sticking me. Before I close, I want to share with you my current favorite Ben-related midrash, from a reader.
The day before this episode aired (so right after I was freaking out about how could Sayid "kill" Ben in the past if he exists in the future) reader Stefan wrote:
First rule is: what happened, happened. Based on that notion, Sayid did shoot Ben, in the spine. Ben does not die from this, but is probably saved (reluctantly) by Jack. Something goes wrong with the operation, or just the damage that is left creates scar tissue that becomes a tumor that Jack then needs to fix 30 years from then (i.e. now). I looked at a screen shot of the X-ray from season 3 and it looks like a circle or hole in one of the vertebra. I'm not a doctor so I don't know for sure.
Don't blame Stefan for the Jack speculation, as I said, he wrote before this episode aired. But it's pretty nice midrash, all the same. Unless or until I see this contradicted on screen, I'm going to keep this theory, pet it, and name it George. Thanks, Stefan.