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Lost: One of Them

Danielle: "You talk to him, Sayid. As I recall, that is what you do."

I don't like episodes about torture. And yet, Sayid is my favorite character. Consider the irony.

Yes, Henry Gale was obviously "one of them." Sayid was right that a man who had buried the woman he loved would remember every detail, and it was sad that Sayid was one to know.

But this episode was also about Sayid being "one of them." His own father was an Iraqi hero, but Sayid changed sides and tortured his own superior instead of dying honorably. Why? Was it seeing the film clip about the nerve gas? Was it that he just wanted to live? It was sort of hard to tell. It was established in the end that the Clancy Brown character spoke Arabic, and never really needed a translator. He told Sayid, "One of these days, there will be something you need to know. And now, you know how to get it." Was this supposed to imply that Sayid needed those skills on the Island, and that Fate stepped in to give them to him?


Sayid knew he had a better chance of convincing Locke to let him torture Gale, and that Jack would not allow it. Yes, Jack allowed Sayid to torture Sawyer in season one, but it was because Shannon was Jack's patient and she needed her asthma medication. Here, Henry was Jack's patient. Jack felt that there was no compelling life or death reason to torture Henry. We don't know yet who was right: Sayid or Jack.

When Henry Gale gave his name and said that he had crashed his balloon on the Island, I couldn't help laughing. I mean, come on. The Wizard ended up in Oz in the first place because he crashed his balloon. Dorothy's last name was Gale, and she had an Uncle Henry. Yes, this one supposedly came from Minnesota instead of Kansas, and Henry said later that his wife's name was Jennifer. Why didn't they go all the way and call her Auntie Em?

There have been numerous references to classic children's fantasy literature throughout this series. So far, there have been allusions to Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and The Black Stallion. (Okay, that last one isn't technically fantasy, but it was about a child and a horse marooned alone on a desert island.) And now The Wizard of Oz. What do all of these novels have in common? They were about children who accidentally wound up in a fantasy world where unreal and incredible things happened. The adults tend to be fantasy villains, like Captain Hook, the Red Queen, the Wicked Witch. Zeke sort of fits the bill, doesn't he?

The countdown went to zero for a split second, and black and red Glyphs of Death showed up. There were five characters: undecipherable (sort of in the shape of a pinkie finger), undecipherable, a candle flame or rocket, a bird, and something that looked like a dowsing rod. Scuttlebutt on the internet said these glyphs meant "Die." Fortunately, Locke managed to input Hurley's numbers quickly enough to stave off whatever it was that was going to happen. If anything. Hey, it was freaky enough to make me want to keep typing in those numbers. Why take chances?

In other news, nearly everyone has stopped speaking to Sawyer. (What a surprise.) And we had an interesting parallel. Last season, Sawyer was harassed by a boar. This season, it was a tree frog. (A hog and a frog.) Sawyer doesn't do well with animals. I was grossed out but unsurprised when Sawyer crushed the frog. He wants everyone to hate him, doesn't he?

Character bits:

Sayid was 23 when the U.S. came to Iraq. How old would that make him now? What year is it on the Island?



This flashback occurred before other two Sayid flashbacks, and unlike the others, a lot of the dialogue was in Arabic. And Sayid finally gave his last name: Jarrah. I'm fairly certain that hasn't been mentioned before.

It was good to see Danielle again, even if all she did was bring Sayid to Henry-in-a-net, and shoot Henry with a crossbow.

As soon as I saw American soldiers, I knew Kate's stepfather was going to show up. And he did. It wasn't even ambiguous, since he had a photo of a much younger Kate with him in the helicopter.

Henry's wife's name was Jennifer Murphy, and she was from the University of Minnesota. Henry got rich from selling his mining company; it mined non-metallic minerals.

When he was ten, Hurley had a pet turtle named Stewart.

Sawyer bonded a little with Hurley before literally squashing it along with the frog. Note that Hurley had a stash, and so did Sawyer. So did Charlie, for that matter, and in the end, Sayid was bonding with Charlie. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

Sawyer called Hurley "Rerun," "Barbar," and "Hammo." Sawyer, you're the pig.

Bits and pieces:

— Henry said he and his wife landed four months ago, and that they lived in a cave off the beach on the north shore, two days walk away. He also said that his balloon had a big yellow smiley face. I hope he made that part up.


— Sayid didn't do a professional enough job interrogating Henry. Was it because Shannon's death was too recent, and talking about her unnerved him? Was Henry too smart for him?

— The film that Clancy Brown showed Sayid had the following captions: "Eyes only. Top secret. Property of DIA. Reel 23108-42." Very familiar numbers there. And I think the Arabic number on the door of Tariq's cell was 4.

— Henry said he had an ADF beacon.

— Jack and Locke are eventually going to have to duke it out. Pistols at dawn, perhaps.

— Hurley hid some of the food from the Hatch for himself. So he's not perfect, much like everyone else on the Island. I think I'd pass on that ranch dressing, though. Anything that keeps that long at room temperature has to be full of enough preservatives to embalm a corpse.

— Everyone is always running out of the jungle yelling, "Where's Jack?" See, this is why doctors need pagers. Jack certainly has an interesting practice. How many GPs get called in to remove an arrow?

Quotes:

Hurley: "This is how people get killed in scary movies."
Sawyer: "If it were a scary movie, I'd be with a hot chick. Not you, Barbar."
Hurley: "It's Babar."
Sawyer: "Why don't you shut up, Hammo, or your ranch disorder is gonna be the new lead item on the coconut internet."

Hurley: "Yeah, I'm fat. Fat, fat, fat, fat, fat. You think I don't know that? At least people like me." You tell him, Hurley.

Sawyer: "I hear with a little ranch, they taste just like chicken."

Crossbows, torture, mashed tree frogs, yuk. But this was still the best Sayid backstory episode so far. A solid three out of four polar bears,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

5 comments:

  1. The beginning of this episode reminded me of the end of Das Boot, a movie I recommend everyone see once. It changes one’s perceptive of the world.

    Sayid is suffering and it seemed as though he was using Henry’s face to alleviate some of it. Although I do believe that Henry is an Other, I really thought Sayid was going to resort to those pliers. I’m glad he didn’t.

    Two odd couples this week, both of which I enjoyed watching. The first was Sayid and Charlie, who are in oddly similar situations right now. They have both lost their women and have both been keeping off by themselves, removed from the larger group. It felt to me as though Sayid was recruiting Charlie by reminding him of what has happened to him and to Claire. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the ones who seem the most relaxed about the Others are the ones who have not been directly effected by them.

    The second was Hurley and Sawyer. I loved Hurley standing up to Sawyer and the two of them off on their quest. The noisy frog and the rooting pig seem to turn up when Sawyer is at a low point. This can’t possibly be a coincidence.

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  2. Of course, after seeing that montage several times, some of the punches were obvious. Nonetheless, hard to watch but brilliant performances.

    Poor frog.....

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  3. Also lots of CGI in this one. It almost felt like watching Alias.

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  4. What do all of these novels have in common? They were about children who accidentally wound up in a fantasy world where unreal and incredible things happened.

    Excellent observation.

    I read something recently--I don't remember where, maybe io9?--that describes these stories as "portal fiction." Regular folks, portal, new world. The article claimed that portal fiction has fallen out of favor in the literary world, and I think that's true.

    But Lost is an excellent example of portal fiction. (Without the actual portal.) I love the way that it is sometimes about a bunch of people interacting with each other, but also interacting with the Island, and how that one variable--the Island itself--causes so much discord.

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  5. -- When he was 10, Hurley has a pet turtle named Stewart ... Who ran away. This made me chuckle out loud. Hurley is an absolute gem

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