This was a very cool episode. Although, let me just say that there are people out there on the internet who over think this show. I know, this coming from the guy who writes about every episode. Just go out and check the Lostpedia page, some people just spend way too much time trying to come up with rules and theories...
The episode focuses on everyone's favorite character, Ben. Ilana stops Miles and asks him how Jacob died. Miles says that Jacob was killed by Ben. Ilana then says that Jacob was the closest thing she had to a father. Once they get to the beach, she shackles Ben's ankle down and forces him to dig his own grave.
Ben takes off running and Ilana follows. He reaches the gun and turns to kill her. She drops the gun and instead of killing her, Ben starts talking. He says that he killed Jacob because he was angry about losing Alex. He realizes now that he lost Alex because he could not stand the thought of losing his power. He then says that he just wants to join Locke's group because he is the only one who will have him. Ilana says that she will have him.
Ben decides to join up with Ilana's group on the beach. It was one of those great redeeming moments in Ben's story.
Ben is a frustrated teacher because the principal acts like a jerk about actual education. His prize member of the history club is Alex. She tells him that she heard the principal and nurse having sex. Ben tries to use that to blackmail the principal into resigning so he can become the principal (at the behest of Locke).
The principal says that if Ben does not rescind his blackmail attempt, he will not write a letter of recommendation for Alex to Yale. Ben decides to forgo the power, and instead see Alex get her dream. So, in the alternate universe, Ben may not have Alex as a daughter, but he does the right thing.
The Richard Experience
Hurley and Jack leave the lighthouse in order to get to the temple. Hurley keeps trying to stall Jack. They then run into Richard, who tells them that the temple is the way he is going. He instead takes them to the Black Rock.
He informs them that everyone at the temple is dead, and that he did not see their friends. He then says that he is going inside to die. Once inside Richard tells Jack that he has not been to the ship in a very long time. He seems to know his away around the ship.
Richard takes a stick of dynamite and asks Jack to light it because he cannot kill himself. Jack says okay and lights the fuse, then sits down. Jack explains that he too has been touched by Jacob and that he should not be able to die as well. The fuse then goes out. They then leave together and eventually meet up with Ilana's beach group.
As the show comes to an end we see a sub periscope watching the group on the beach. It turns out to be Charles Widmore and he says to not bother with them and to proceed as planned.
The big thing that people seem to be discussing online is the rules by which a candidate gets power and how they can kill each other, blah blah blah.
I am just happy that they pretty much confirmed the idea that Richard must have been one of the crew members aboard the Black Rock (he also seems regretful about having been a slaver). Jacob gave him a gift. Who cares really what the full extent of the gift was, we now know that Jacob was the reason and not the island, right?
Any episode where I can look down Alex's shirt is pretty much great...