I'm a raging Lost fan and I want you to know it! I'm here, I'm a raging nerd, get used to it.
This week's episode finally places the time-traveling theory presented by one Dan Faraday at the forefront: can you change the past or will the universe "course correct" any changes you try to instigate?
The implications surrounding the potential death of the young Ben Linus are too numerous to address in full, but a few beg debate. Especially:
1. If Ben dies, then the 1977-based Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, Jin, Juliet and Miles (and Dan!) should disappear, no? Because if he's dead, he can never turn the frozen donkey wheel in 2004 which sends all of them to the Dharma-tastic 70s in the first place. No Other-leading Ben, no turn o' the wheel, no time travel.
2. If Ben dies, then who is the leader of the Others when Oceanic 815 crashes on the island in 2004? Is it John Locke? Would the island have found a way to get him there sooner because it had "lost" (!) the leader it always intended when Sayid screwed everything up?
3. If Ben dies, then will the old Ben whom John Locke was glaring at in his cot as he declared, "That's the man who killed me," just disappear? He has to, right? No young Ben, no old Ben.
4. If Ben dies, Dharma will certainly declare full-blown war against the Hostiles, which in our new timeline would be much earlier than in the previous one. Dharma has access to all of the resources of Ann Arbor and the Hanso Foundation; certainly, they'd emerge victorious in a premeditated attack against their enemy. Kind of like a reverse purge, if you follow my metaphor.
Of course, none of this matters because we all know young Ben can't die, right? I'm convinced he can't, anyhow. This appears to be setting the stage for another island surgical miracle courtesy of Dr. Shephard (the young one).
Straying off-topic, this marks two consecutive episodes with nary a second of John Locke, and I'm getting impatient! You bring this hardcore mofo BACK TO LIFE FROM THE DEAD and now we have to wait weeks to see him again? Come on, Darlton! Feed the baby birds!
BTW, next week's episode is entitled "Whatever Happened, Happened." I predict Jack saves the young Ben's life, blows their cover and all hell breaks loose.
Juliet is my constant.