We start the episode meeting a middle-aged Charles Widmore. Charles confronts Richard about the fact that he brought Ben Linus to the Temple (not Temple Beth Israel, mind you). Richard replies that the island chooses who it chooses.
Widmore then goes to speak to Ben. It is obvious that Ben has memories from before he was brought into the Temple. He talks about how he doesn't want to go back to his father. However - it is clear that he is not the same little kid. Widmore instructs him that just because he goes and lives among 'them', doesn't mean he can't be one of 'us'.
Then we cut to Ben waking up and seeing Locke, seemingly shocked. He seems genuinely surprised, though as we know - nothing with Ben is genuine. He claims to have known it all along. Ben reveals that his morivation for going back to the main island was to be judged for what he had done (breaking the rules by coming back out of exile). Later, we see Ben telling Locke that he killed him once he had revealed necessary information. He had to then kill him to ensure that the Oceanic 6 would all come back, in the best interest of the island. Locke will now help Ben be judged, by Smokey. Just a note on Ben and Locke...although Ben killed Caesar (see below), it definitely seems like Ben and Locke have switched roles. Locke is more dominant, Ben more submissive.
Ben then offers to help Ilana and the tall guy (whose name I can't remember) move their crate. They turn down his offer, but when asked what's in it, they say - just some stuff we've got to get moved. What the heck do they need to move? There's definitely much more here...just don't know what it is.
We cut back to Ben and Ethan going to kill Danielle and her baby. Ben lets her live, and takes the baby...could this be a sign of morality in Ben? It is obviously an indication that Ben is willing to disobey orders. He tells her that everytime she hears whispers, she'd better run the other way. So - now we know that the whispers are indicative of the 'Others/hostiles' being around.
Back to the present...and Ben pulls Caesar's own gun on him and kills him. Wow. No negotiation, no remorse. Love Linus. What a great juxtaposition then, that the next scene is Ben fighting Widmore for the right to raise Alex.
A key moment is then revealed (maybe) when Sun shows Linus the photo of the Oceanic 6 in the Dharma Initiative photo from 1977. Locke claims not to have known that they were in the DI. If true, this throws the whole show for a loop, and gets into all kind of science jargon about alternate timelines, and destinies...i.e. headaches (Elad, just for you: I hate the department of temporal investigations!). If he's lying, then...who knows?
Ben heads down through the Temple through a secret door in his house. More hieroglyphs. He then appears to release a valve or vent = see last episode's write-up.
Ben then goes to see off Charles Widmore, who is being exiled. It is reveale that Charles is being exiled because he broke the rules, left the island, and had a child with an 'outsider' woman (obviously, the child is Penny). They then debate as to whether it was Widmore or the island who wanted Alex dead. Widmore says that one day he will have to come face to face with the fact that Alex will have to die, or he will be banished. It was partially a self-fulfilling prophecy, as we know, since it was Widmore who sent the commando team (inlcuding Keamy) to come and take Ben. When they couldn't, Keamy shot and killed Alex.
Ben reveals to Sun that dead is dead - "and the fact that John Locke is walking around this island - scares the living hell out of me." So - Locke lied earlier to John. What is the deal with Locke?
Locke tells Ben that he knows how to summon Smokey. How the heck does he know how to do this? This is kinda like Locke was reborn as a knew upgraded version, much how in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the wizard Gandalf the Grey is killed, and then reborn as an upgraded 2.0 version of himself as Gandalf the White. Is this Locke the White? How does he know that they need to go beneath the Temple and not into it?
Ben tells Sun to apologize for him to Desmond Hume if she ever sees him...is this what I have been predicting and dreading for so long? Does Linus kill Penny in order to exact revenge on her father, Charles Widmore?????? Ben hesitates when he sees Charlie, just long enough for Desmond to give him (yet another) good pummeling. New Lost drinking game - everytime Ben gets hit in the face, you drink a shot.
When Frank goes to confront Ilana and the others as to why they've got guns and are now 'in charge', Ilana asks him "what lies in the shadow of the statue?" He doesn't know, and they knock him out. Ilana says to the tall guy - get everyone else, we're going, and he's coming with us. Ok...so - what did she mean with "what lies in the shadow of the statue?" Lies as in 'is located' or lies as in 'doesn't tell the truth'? I.e. in the presence of the statue (whatever the heck that represents), what bears false witness? Obviously, we have Ben Linus, but he's more of a who rather than a what. Little confused here.
Lastly - we have Ben getting judged - by Smokey and an apparition of Alex! He is allowed to live, but he has to follow everything Locke says. This just goes to show how connected Locke is with the island. Interesting note - when Locke is shown all of the images from his past by Smokey - I would surmise that this is what we are seeing when we see the flashbacks/forwards. In other words - since episode 1, we have just accepted the flashbacks/forwards as an element of the show, and not tried to figure out what they really are...they are an examination by Smokey of what the individual does in the past or future that relates to their present circumstance.