I just bought the episode on iTunes, and while I'm waiting for it to download I thought I might as well write about how genius and creatively inspiring Michael Emerson is.
And the iTunes ratings validate me. This episode has a way higher popularity then any of the other episodes this season. Anyone keeping up on the tweets about it will realize how many people were touched by Michael Emerson's performance. There were many people saying how they didn't ever expect to like or feel sorry for Ben, but that Michael Emerson pulled it off.
His speech with Ilana at the end was stunning. I was on the treadmill at the gym watching, and I had to keep myself from crying so I wouldn't freak anybody out. "Because he's the only one that'll have me." Brilliant.
It seems like Ben always has the best lines. It's probably the combination of Ben being such a brilliantly written character, as well as Michael Emerson's genius portrayal. "If your talking about time travelling bunnies, then yes." "How many times do I have to tell you, John. I always have a plan." "Oh, so after all these years you've decided to stop ignoring me." And thats just the beginning. And what about all the non-verbal brilliance? Sharing a candybar with Hurley. Seeing his daughter shot in front of his face. I could go on. In fact, I will.
Ben is such an intriguing character because we have seen him do all these horrible things, but we have moments where we realize that at his core he is a desperate, lonely, devoted, good man. That makes us like him. To add to that, Michael Emerson's portrayal is incredibly vulnerable, poignant and honest. This creates the best character on Lost, perhaps on television as a whole, and most definitely deserves an Emmy. Or 12.
If you are a Lostie and familiar with Michael Emerson's genius, learn everything you can from him. If not, you're missing out. I'm sorry this is a less analytical, more gushy post, but thats what I've got right now. And we wanna create things people will gush over anyway, right?
And by the way...if any of you see Ben, tell him I'll have him.