Well- another week of being ‘beat’ over the head by character traits… Wednesday's episode of Lost centered on Sayid, as we learned how he became a killer and how Ilana managed to get him to board Ajira Flight 316. The new Dharma recruits settled into their groovy new lives, but it was not without tension as Kate found out about Juliet and Sawyer, Sawyer tried his best to play double agent and keeping his new drama free life, and Jack and Hurley sampled dipping sauces. It was a bit on the boring side- for me- down to the last few minutes- which I know, in your mind, you’re screaming “LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ENDING” Patience grasshopper- we’ll get there. First let’s start through the relatively slow ‘family’ feel to the first fifty minutes of the show. I’m trying to keep from jumping around too much in this narrative- so we’ll go in an order that makes sense to me- stick with me J Namaste
A KILLER IS BORN AND A CHICKEN DIES
We open on a young Sayid in sunny Tikrit, Iraq, who kills a chicken for his more sensitive brother (he was fat, which is TV shorthand for "sensitive"). I found this act a little creepy but it seems to please Sayid's difficult-to-please father, and a killer is born! Hooray?
BUT WHAT DO I DO NOW?
We're in Russia, where Sayid systematically offs some guy. Once he's done, he reports back to Ben, which places him in the post-island timeline somewhere in the "Economist" era, when Sayid was a globetrotting assassin. But Ben has good news: Andropov was the last guy on the list of members of Widmore's organization who posed a threat to Sayid's friends. Or so Ben says, ha ha. And, uh, so what does that really mean- why were these people threats to the Oceanic 6? And what does Sayid do now, now that the Linus Slaughterhouse has closed up shop? "I suppose you should go live your life; you're free, Sayid," says Ben. Sayid's confusion indicates that the last thing on his mind is building houses in the Dominican Republic.
But that's where Ben finds him next. How did he find him? "I looked," Ben tells Sayid that he thinks that John Locke has been murdered, and since Sayid isn't surprised to hear that John Locke is back in the real world, we can place this after "Jeremy Bentham" in the timeline. Ben, his pants afire, thinks that Sayid is in danger of being murdered by the same mythical killer, and gives as evidence the men who are watching Hugo in the mental institution. (AND TO THIS I SAY…. HA! COME ON! BEN IS USING HIS OWN KILLER INSTINCTS AND KILLING OF LOCKE TO TURN SAYID BACK AGAINST… WIDMORE’S PEOPS?) Ben wants him to start killing people again, because "it's in your nature; it's what you are," he says.
"I'm not what you think I am," Sayid replies, clearly still aching from his boyhood trauma.
DON’T TRUST SINGLE WOMEN AT BARS…
This is presumably when Sayid goes to play buddy cops with Hurley, which ultimately leads him to the Long Beach Marina, where he storms off when he hears Ben's "hey, here's an idea, let's go back to Island" plan.
He drowns his sorrows in a $120 glass of MacCutcheon whisky, coincidentally also the preferred brand of bad dads everywhere, including Anthony Cooper (Locke's father and aka- original sawyer) and Charles Widmore.
Hey, guess who's at the same bar? No, not Norm and Cliff, but a sparkly, dolled-up Ilana, who is ordering a "bloody" rib eye and making her best sexy-eyes at Sayid, who, with his droll manner, immediately assumes that she's a prostitute (sorry, a ‘professional’- now that’s a way to win over a woman… no). No matter. After some chit-chat about trying to change and resisting temptation, yada yada, Sayid and Ilana head back to some hotel room- where they… well you know…
Sayid’s trying to get off Ilana’s serious ‘hooker’ (wait, not hooker- lets just say boots) boots and she round-houses him into submission. At gunpoint, she reveals that she was hired to bring him to Guam (aha!) by the family of Peter Avellino, the man we saw Sayid kill on the golf course in the Seychelles. This might be a little close to home for her- she seemed to get a little more upset than just a bounty hunter.
As they board Ajira Flight 316, Sayid sees his long-lost friends and asks, "Are you sure we're going to Guam?" Why don't you ask Frank Lapidus that question, Sayid? He knows! He tries to convince Ilana to take a different flight, but to no avail.
STAY AWAY FROM MY MAN
"It's over, isn't it? Us, playing house?" Juliet asks, as she looks forlornly through the curtains at the milling-about Oceanic 6- Mainly Kate. Sawyer demurs, but this doesn't change Juliet's mood.
Hurley, who has been hilariously assigned to the Dharma kitchen, is serving breakfast to Jack and Kate. "Be sure to try the dipping sauces; they really bring out the ham," he advises. Ham… Waffles… what is he making? I’m hungry… Heh. He also spills the beans about Jawyer (Julisaw? Fleuriet?) — "they live together now, and not as roommates" — to which Kate has an effortful non-reaction, which Jack notices. I thought that was odd… I mean- it has been three years. And Kate moved on with Jack and she would be married (at least engaged) to him if JACK hadn’t screwed up and started drinking… but now she’s upset because Sawyer moved on???
Later, in the motor pool, Kate and Juliet, aka grease monkeys, talk turkey about flat-four engines and, you know, the man they've both slept with. "I wasn't quite sure how to say it without it sounding like I was telling you to stay away," Juliet says. Kate says it's fine, which we know it totally isn't, because later Sawyer pays her a visit to ask why she came back. "I don't know why everyone else came back; I just know why I did," she replies significantly. Evangeline Lilly (Kate) didn't have a lot of lines in this episode, but she played then with an almost palpable weight on her delicate shoulders. Well done, Evie! I think she did a great acting job as always- but her character is making me a bit uncomfortable… J for Juliet’s sake of-course. Matthew Fox (Jack), meanwhile, might as well have been an extra tonight.
BEN WAS ALWAYS THE LITTLE MUNIPULATER
Back in Dharma jail, a young Benjamin Linus brings Sayid a chicken salad sandwich, and tries to get out whether Sayid is a Hostile sent by Richard Alpert. While Sayid is noncommittal, Ben offers to help him anyway, and a demented friendship is born.
Then comes the questioning. Horace and Radzinsky take a shot at it, but Sayid remains silent. "Ask him about the model," suggests Radzinsky, cryptically. Next Sawyer goes to check on the welfare of his old friend. "A 12-year-old Ben Linus brought me a chicken salad sandwich — how do you think I'm doing?" he says. Sawyer suggests that Sayid fake being a Hostile defector, but he resists that plan. Why? We're not sure. Once Sayid witnesses Ben with his cruel father, Sayid recognizes something in the kid's lonely childhood, and forms an uneasy alliance.
HE’S OUR YOU
But first! LaFleur shows up and Tazes him and carts him off to see Oldham. Who is Oldham? "He's our you," Sawyer mumbles. The eccentric Oldham is found in a tent by the side of the road listening to Billie Holiday. As played by guest star William Sanderson (you remember him as a Darryl on Newhart), Oldham is both folksy and menacing, a character straight out of a Tarantino film, if Q. was a hippie.
They put him in restraints, and give him a sugar cube laced with truth serum- that’s the 70’s way of ‘torture’ I’m guessing…. I’d like that more than Sayid’s torturing! The funniest part of what happens next is that Sayid, totally tripping, actually does tell the whole truth, but since his tale is so fantastical ("I am from the future," he reveals), Oldham thinks he messed up the dosage. "You used exactly enough," Sayid says, and then he sits Indian-style on an old Oriental carpet and sips mushroom tea as an old lady braids his hair with daisies.
Since Operation Truth fails so miserably, Dharma calls a meeting of the Jumpsuit Quorum, who — at Amy's impassioned, new-mother behest — votes to execute Sayid. To cover his tracks, LaFleur votes with the crowd, making it unanimous. And Sawyer- has taken my bad side. What a prick. He will do anything to save his newfound ‘barbie life’
I KNOW WHY I’M HERE
Sawyer hot-foots it over to the lockup to try to fake some sort of breakout scenario to save his friend. A still-woozy Sayid has other plans though. He has a purpose. "Now I know exactly why I'm here," he tells Sawyer, who throws up his hands and searches, fruitlessly, for a cutting nickname.
We see a Dharma van on fire as it careers through Dharmaville and straight into a house. While various Dharma folks — including Kate — attempt to reestablish order, young Ben springs Sayid from the pokey. Sayid notices the kid's broken glasses and says solemnly: "My father was a hard man as well." Ben, who's wearing a very ominous-looking hoodie, has visions of the streets paved with gold in Hostileville, as the pair skip off into the darkness. Sayid tells him that his purpose is to bring Ben to the Hostiles, which raises all sorts of questions about what exactly Sayid's future role will be and what else was laced into that ‘truth serum’.
But just as I'm thinking I’ve figured it out. in my head, they meet up with Jin, who appears to be down with helping Sayid escape. But just as Jin is about to call LaFleur on the radio, Sayid does a quick, assassin-y neck twist on the poor guy, and he falls to the ground. Little Ben is OK with the violence, but little does he know. "You were right about me," Sayid says to the kid Ben. “I am a killer." And with that, he shoots young Ben square in the chest. And... thump!
WHAT?!?!?! IS BEN DEAD? I thought ‘we’ couldn’t change the future- and if Ben would die- then there would be no purge, most likely no ‘incident’, there wouldn’t be a button needing pushed- and desmond wouldn’t have forgotten to push it, and the plane wouldn’t have crashed, and Sayid would have never been a killer to save the Oceanic 6, and Sayid wouldn’t come back and kill Ben- so everything would happen… My head hurts. Theories to be sent later.