A most excellent episode. I do like how there was a sharp difference between Ben with power in the past and Ben without it in the present. I had the half expectation that he would have killed Penny due to the "tell Desmond I'm sorry" bit he passed on to Sun.
My belief is that the Island 'borrows' people to be it's spokesperson and/or voice. Sometimes that voice is nothing but that and ...well... Ben was judged. It kind of bites being on the leadership structure for the Others.