Lost: He's Our You

Sawyer: "How are you doing?"
Sayid: "A twelve-year-old Ben Linus brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I'm doing?"

Son of a gun. They just did the classic time travel question: if you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it? For Sayid, the answer was, well, yes.

Sayid is a fascinating character. There is such darkness in his soul. He sees himself as a bad man (he said so under the truth drugs). He was the one that the Losties depended on to do the rough stuff, like torturing Sawyer for the location of Shannon's inhalers. It's still unclear to me whether or not Sayid enjoys killing. I don't think he does, even though he seemed oddly disappointed when Ben told him he'd finished the job. He may be a killer, but Sayid is always trying to do the right thing. He just killed an abused child, because he believed he was saving a whole lot of people's lives. (Or for revenge.) (Okay, probably both.)

I'm still confused about the time travel crap. Is it even possible for Sayid to kill young Ben? If not, how are they going to get around a bullet hole in the center of Ben's chest? If Sayid actually did kill young Ben, what then? Does history rewind and replay itself? No Dharma massacre? Will Ana Lucia and Libby still be alive? What about all those people Sayid assassinated on Ben's orders? We still don't know the full story about Nadia's death, either. Ben has been responsible for so much carnage that I can't even come up with an estimate. Would the Lost writers be bold enough to do that?

The Oceanic Five wouldn't even be in 1977 if Ben hadn't taken them to Eloise Hawkins. Argh!

The first time through, I kept wanting to shake Sawyer for not trying harder to get Sayid out, no matter what it did to his perfect little Dharma life. The second time I watched the episode, though, I had to concede that Sawyer did try pretty darned hard. Sayid refused to play along because he was waiting for young Ben to get him out. So he could kill him.

Kate nearly told Sawyer why she came back to the Island but was cut off mid-sentence by the flaming VW microbus. Did she go back for Sawyer? Juliet endeared herself to me even more than she already has by stating the obvious to Sawyer. Good for her. She's brilliant, brave, interesting and beautiful as well as good; she shouldn't settle for second best, anyway.

Who knows? Maybe while Sawyer never let on that he was waiting for Kate, Juliet never let on that she was waiting for Jack. That would actually be rather cool.

Character bits:

The flashbacks covered practically all of Sayid's life. Tikrit, Moscow, Santo Domingo, Los Angeles. That was new and fun. Especially Ben and Sayid in Moscow. Ben looked like an international man of intrigue with that hat.

Ben was 12 years old in 1977, so we can all do the math now. And he ran away four years ago, when he was eight. This episode also established that Roger's abuse of Ben was not just verbal. What a prick.

Like nearly everyone else on Lost, Sayid has daddy issues. His father was a "hard man" like Ben's father. I honestly think Sayid felt sympathy for young Ben, watching him being abused. He probably had sympathy for the chicken, too.

Ilana said she worked for the family of the man Sayid killed in the Seychelles. Was she lying? Does Ilana work for Ben or not? She's obviously a good actress or she wouldn't have taken Sayid in. He's not gullible or easy to fool.

Radzinsky is a serious asshole. Totally paranoid, ready to kill anyone. If he hadn't been around, I bet Sawyer could have talked Horace out of killing Sayid.

Radzinsky's first name is Stu. Which probably makes him the S.R. mentioned in "Live Together, Die Alone," the one who moved the ping-pong table.

Sawyer called Horace "H" and Sayid "Chief." No other nicknames to report.



Bits and pieces:

— My favorite scene by far and away was Sayid telling Horace and the others the absolute truth about who he was and where he came from. And laughing. Sayid never laughs. And they didn't believe him; they thought it was an overdose.

— The resident Dharma torturer and psychopath ("he's our you") was called Oldham, played by another Deadwood alum, William Sanderson.

— Dharma Central Command is in Ann Arbor. We knew that already, but I'm mentioning it because it jumped out at me.

— In the flashback where Ilana picked him up, Sayid was drowning his sorrows with MacCutcheon scotch, at $120 a glass.

— The flashback to Sayid, his older brother, the chicken and the cleaver reminded me strongly of Echo and Yemi.

— Where did the flaming VW microbus come from? Was twelve-year-old Ben smart and daring enough to do that? He must have been.



— Young Ben gave Sayid a copy of Carlos Castaneda's A Separate Reality to read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Separate_Reality

Quotes:

Sayid: (to adult Ben) "If I see you again, it will be extremely unpleasant for us both."
No kidding.

Jack: "What happened?"
Sawyer: "Three years, no burning buses. Y'all are back for one day..."
Yes, another vehicle crash. There's usually one per episode.

Sayid: "He's a liar, A manipulator. A man who allowed his own daughter to be murdered to save himself. A monster responsible for nothing short of genocide."
Ilana: "Why would I work for somebody like that?"
Sayid: "I did."

This episode flew right by. Just excellent,

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

21 comments:

Josie K said...

Another great review, Billie. "There is such darkness in his soul"--you just explained to me why I have such a crush on poor Sayid.

The past three Lost episodes have astonished me. I have repeatedly burst out with inarticulate "wha-ahh!" type noises; I think three or four of them happened last night. They scare my cats, and are probably loud enough to scare my neighbors.

(And can I just say: what are the chances that after I muse on the impossibility of killing a child on TV in my Fringe review, Lost goes ahead and does it (maybe)?)

"Don't make me call Ann Arbor" was hilarious.

Bert said...

Ben is alive. Not well, but alive. And if he's not, then the island will save him. We are back in the time when the island still believed in Ben...

The time travel still makes sense within LOST's own ruleset. The question that raises itself now, is what caused what? Did Ben cause Sayid to kill his younger self (as a vengeance act for everything Ben had done to him) or did older Ben put Sayid through so much because he remembers being shot by him and it changed his life and innocence?

Interesting questions... finally, after a few stalling episodes, there's another one that truly made me think.

Jocelyn said...

As for why Sayid seemed disappointed when Ben told him there was no one left to kill, I was curious about that, too. I'm kind of leaning towards Sayid thinking he'd feel better once Widmore's people were dead, since Ben said they killed Nadia, and instead he felt nothing.

Another great review, Billie. I always enjoy them.

Anonymous said...

I can't remember--is the scotch Sayid was drinking the same brand that Widmore drank/taunted Desmond with?

Billie Doux said...

I can't remember--is the scotch Sayid was drinking the same brand that Widmore drank/taunted Desmond with?

Yes, it is.

Felcool said...

This episode was OK...

I think that slowly, they return to the ancient Lost and that's a good thing! But I really don't like the caracters to live separate from each other. I want them to be together! I mean, Sun with Jin for example. I hope that they can come back and the present and re-start a civilization by themselves. I really miss scenes on the beach, with two caracters talking about the events, I miss their home, their real home, and for me, that's the beach.

I just find that the show is going slow for presenting us a fantastic season 6. Well, I really hope so!

Sulacu said...

Ohh, Ben was so creepy when he confronted Sayid where he was building houses, but his doubtless assertion that Sayid is a killer makes a lot of sense now. I would probably think the same thing if I narrowly survived death at the hands of the very same guy when I was twelve. As much as it felt as Ben using a tool at his disposal, I always felt somehow that his duplicity with Sayid was born from some kind of grudge.

And lord, it explains Ben's complete look of Terror the first time he laid eyes on Sayid, back when he was impersonating Henry Gale and was locked up in the Hatch.

Francoise said...

I don't think Sayid killed Ben. I think Sayid is still under the influence of LSD (he did get a rather large dose of it) and is imagining the killing.
Well... that might work except that I read that one of the future episode is called Operating Room 306 (that obviously is for Ben's surgery).
I still like the LSD overdose

Mark Greig said...

So, Ben Linus funds his evil empire by moonlight as a Moscow pimp (nice hat, mate).

Things have really slowed down since everyone returned to the island. Maybe it’s because everyone got whiplash from all the plot threads and time jumping earlier in the season. Hopefully things will start to pick up now that mini Ben’s life is on the line (paging Dr Shepard!).

Mark Greig said...

oops, meant moonlighting.

sloth15 said...

People will do a lot of things to avoid dealing with grief. Some people throw themselves into work, fantasy, or the bottle.

Sayid dealt with his guilt by burying under anger. And with no one left to kill the anger goes away and he finally would have to deal with his grief.

I never took Psych 101, but this sounds pretty simple.
What is not simple is the time travel, so I will ignore it before it gives me another headache.

AND WHERE IS FARADAY???

Josie K said...

Sloth15: hopefully, from your keyboard to God's ears.

(The above comment reflects the rather iffy belief that, in some alternate reality, Damon and Carlton are God.)

Khalid K said...

When Sayid was taking Ilana's boot off, he suddenly slowed down and became cautious. What was it that gave her away?

Khalid K said...

I think Sayid "killed" Ben, because he now believes or even knows for a fact that Ben not Widmore killed his wife Nadia to get him to kill for him.

Henrik said...

To me - this episode was about Sayid being sloppy! In two cases. First - sloppy for not seeing that he was being manipulated and set up by miss hot-girl-in-bar-who-is-way-to-hot-to-be-coming-on-to-strangers-like-that.
Second, for not actually killing young Ben. 'cause I am absolutely convinced that young Ben is not dead. Why? Because Sayid didn't finish him off the way a professional killer would. Two in the chest, one in the head. Sure, Sayid is a good shot and all but still. If your aim is to make sure someone is dead, then make sure that someone is dead. Sayid did not.
So, here we will be presented with the fine paradox of Sayid actually being one of the bigger reasons why Ben turns out to be who he is.
If I'm wrong I'll gladly admit it, I just don't think I am.
So, to me this was a bit to predictable all the way through.

jo said...

I have to agree with Henrik. Although i didn't think Sayid was sloppy i did think it was out of character for him to be taken in by Iliana and captured so easily. To be honest i thought it was strange that he was a) getting drunk, and b) drinking ridiculously expensive scotch. Where did he get the money ? I also thought that he should have been able to escape from the Dharma people just before they drugged him. But thinking back on it he didn't actually want to escape so it makes perfect sense.

I also don't think he killed Ben. Although if the writers do go in that direction i will be very impressed by their bravery. Having said that, as practically every show that i watch that is reviewed on this site brings people back from the dead on a regular basis, i'm not holding my breath.

Jamila said...

I completely agree with you Henrik. In fact, I was REALLY disappointed in this episode, as I could predict everything (well, not Oldham, or Sayid hitting Jin, but the rest).

albie2 said...

Was the Tikrit father Sayid's father too? I'm not sure. The only main character then I can think of who hasn't had daddy issues is Juliet. If that was Sayid's father, the daddy issue is not nearly as well developed as anyone else's except maybe Jin. And the daddy issues are obviously huge in the storyline.

Albie2

Aly said...

"As for why Sayid seemed disappointed when Ben told him there was no one left to kill, I was curious about that, too. I'm kind of leaning towards Sayid thinking he'd feel better once Widmore's people were dead, since Ben said they killed Nadia, and instead he felt nothing. "

I didn't interpret it as dissapointment, but more as a shock and then feeling lost. As in, now he lost his purpose. "What to do now?"

if it matters any, years later :P

ChrisB said...

If Ben is dead, this show has lost what little credibility it has left with me. The one, fundamental rule is that no one can change fate. This would be a huge change and would, in fact, change the entire story arc, not for the better.

I'm feeling sad for Sawyer. He's finally got a life he is happy in and it's all going to disappear quickly. I feel the same way for Juliet.

Speaking of disappearing, where are Sun and Frank, Desmond and Penny, Locke, Rose and Bernard, Faraday? Too few characters, too much silly plot.

celticmarc said...

Never a dull moment, totally absorbed in the viewing. (That could become a "NDM, TAV" effect of this show on me) (wow, I mean whoah)

OH ! That blonde girl behind Sayid in the bar, she looked a LOT like Maggie. The resemblance was uncanny. Pure coincidence, my over working mind or voluntary from the show runners ? She was off focus all the time. (ya, get the DVD out and re check it out LOL)

Ah ! That expensive Scotch !

"He's a dimwit." LOL (Have you seen the TV shows I've mentioned previously Sawyer ?) (oh no, you're still in 77, right) "I'll buy you a rabbit foot: : another interesting element of the Lostian mythology.

(One of my work colleagues is very fond of Castaneda. The writers love to go deep into literature; another reason why to love this show so much)

I remember fondly William Sanderson for...Blade Runner. Oh my, a different kind of Epic.

ChrisB, hang in there (although you've probably seen by now more than me).

(whoah !!!) * Sayid running into the jungle at pitch dark.