The episode begins with Ben Linus running through the jungle. He catches up with Ilana and the others who had escaped the temple, and they head to the beach. Ilana gives Miles the ashes of Jacob’s body and asks how he died. Miles says that Linus killed him. Ilana tells Ben that Jacob was the closest thing she ever had to a father. Ben tries to convince her that psychics like Miles are unreliable. Ben happens across a copy of Chaim Potok’s The Chosen. Then Ilana gets Ben to dig a grave for himself. Miles and Ben talk, and Miles tells him that right up until the moment the knife went through Jacob’s heart, Jacob hoped he was wrong about him. Smokey comes back amd sets Ben free, and tells him to come to the Hydra station. He says that Ben can be in charge of the island after he leaves. He tells him where there is a gun, and Ben runs. He reaches the gun and makes Ilana drop her gun. Ben explains to Ilana that he sacrificed everything, including his daughter, for the island and for Jacob, and he didn’t even care. He said he was afraid of losing his power, and he says that he does not expect Ilana to forgive him, because he cannot forgive himself. He says he’ll go to Locke, because he’s the only one who will have him. Ilana says, “I’ll have you” and walks away, leaving him stunned. He follows her back to the beach.
Richard takes Jack and Hurley to the Black Rock. He tells them that his not aging is a gift from Jacob. Richard then says there is something he needs to do: die. Inside, Richard says that this is the first time he has come back there in all the time he has been on the island. Richard says that he can’t kill himself, and so he wants them to do it for him. He says that being touched by Jacob is supposed to be a gift, but it is a curse. He says that Jacob said that he was there for a purpose, and so now his life has no purpose, and that is why he wants to die. Jack lights the dynamite, and then says, “Now, let’s talk.” Jack has realized that he was brought to the island by Jacob and Jacob wanted him to see the image in the lighthouse, and that he had been watching him. The dynamite fuse burns out instead of exploding. Richard asks what now, and Jack proposes going back to where they started. And so Jack, Hurley and Richard go to the beach and meet up with Miles, Sun, Lapidus, Ilana, and Ben. In the final moments we see that Widmore has reached the island via submarine.In the afterlife, Ben teaches about Napoleon losing his power on the island of Elba. He is told by the principal to cover detention instead of history club. He discusses matters with Artz, who teaches science. Locke suggests that Ben should be the principal. At home, we see that Ben is caring for his elderly father. It is poignant to see him change his father’s oxygen canister, given his gassing of him in the other timeline. His father talks about having gone to the island with the Dharma Initiative and wonders whether their lives would have been better if they had stayed. Then the doorbell rings and it is Alex, who wondered about the fact that history club didn’t meet. The AP exam is coming up and she wanted the extra tutoring, and so they make arrangements to meet in the library they next morning. Ben learns from her that the principal and the nurse had sex at the school, and she had overheard them. Ben then goes to Artz and tells him about Principal Reynolds, and asks for his help to access the nurse’s e-mail account. Ben then blackmails Principal Reynolds into resigning, and recommending him as his replacement. Reynolds threatens to give Alexandra Rousseau a negative letter of recommendation to Yale. Ben chooses her letter over his power. Knowing this is an afterlife while rewatching makes it poignant, as both stories depict a path of redemption for Ben. And Ilana’s extending of forgiveness and acceptance to a man who, in essence, murdered her god is incredibly powerful, and plays a role in Ben’s transformation.