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Awesomeness Incarnate: A Recap of Lost’s “Sundown”

“I see dead people (because I killed them).”

Tonight’s installment of Lost, in my opinion, truly harkened back to the show’s iconic first season.  Back then, the show was less about mythology, time travel, scientific theory, and zombies, and more about castaways.  At its core, early Lost was about PEOPLE, just like you and me (only hotter, less hygenic, and more often shirtless).

Yeah . . . Sawyer wasn’t actually in this episode.  I just felt the need to share this picture with you, because it’s yummy.

During the first season of the series, we watched the Losties battle their inner demons, justify their pasts, and struggle to survive the island elements.  As the series progressed, and its mythology grew more complex, Lost lost some of that simplicity.  “Sundown,” in my opinion, brought it back in a big way.  It was a simple episode.  One that even a non-fan of the show could have understood and enjoyed, which is not to say that it didn’t have its action-packed OMFG moments . . . . 

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

In one of the series’ early flashbacks, a young Sayid cared for and protected his older brother by committing an act of violence (killing a chicken), when his brother could not do so.  In his flash sideways . . . well . . .

In virtually all of the flash-sideways that we have seen thus far, the main character has had the opportunity to experience some form of redemption, righting the wrongs of his or her past in an alternate present.  Sayid’s flash sideways is unique in that it is NOT about redemption . . . at least not entirely. 

Like Locke, following Flight 815’s safe landing, Sayid travels to a suburban neighborhood, and is greeted with a hug at the doorstep by the woman he loves.  Unlike Locke, however, the object of Sayid’s affection belongs to another man, namely his older brother, Omer.

Although Sayid is often away on “business” (i.e. killing and torturing people) it becomes immediately apparent that he is very close with his family.  Sayid is a beloved uncle to his niece and nephew, and a close confidant to his sister-in-law.  Based on the looks Nadia and Sayid give one another across the kitchen table, you can immediatelly tell there is something serious between them.  This fact is not lost on big brother Omer, who eyes the pair with jealous suspicion.  Nor does it escape the notice of Omer’s children, who quickly find a photograph of Nadia packed away in Sayid’s suitcase.

Once alone, Nadia confronts Sayid about why the pair never acted on their obvious mutual affection for one another.  She has opened her heart to him in letters, and he has continually pushed her away.  Sayid stares at Nadia regretfully, recalling all of his past misdeeds, and replies, “I do not deserve you.”

In this way, the Sayid of Flash Sideways World HAS redeemed himself.  Having had to live with the regret of knowing that his murderous lifestyle resulted in Nadia’s untimely death in the “real world,” Sayid is able to prevent her demise in this world.  He does this by remaining apart from her, no matter how much doing so kills him inside.  Sayid seems to be continuing on this redemptive path, when his brother wakes him in the middle of the night begging for his help. 

Omer apparently has bargained the family fortune and is now indebted to some highly unsavory characters.  In no uncertain terms, he asks Sayid to beat the crap out of these people, so that they will leave Omer alone.  Sayid declines, claiming that this part of his life is over.  The next day, Omer is put in the hospital, after having been beat down by the goons to whom he is indebted.  At the hospital, Nadia begs Sayid not to intervene.  She instructs him instead to go home and be with her children.

Surprisingly, Sayid does as he is told.  Unforunately, the goons pick Sayid up outside Omer’s house.  In what was, in my opinion, the only weak point in the episode, the goons, who were led by none other than Charles Widmore’s mercenary, Martin Keamy, from the original Lost  timeline,  bring Sayid to an abandoned restaurant.  Here, they proceed to throw at him every mafia cliche in the book, from the faux polite offers of food, to a dude held hostage in the meat locker (but we will get to him later . . .)

“Get the f&*k outta here!  Posers!”

Paulie Walnuts Martin tries to bully Sayid into forking over the cash his brother owes.  However, Mob Man’s tune quickly changes when Sayid, without a moment’s hesitation, pulls out a gun and shoots his two minions.  Martin, now fearing for his life, tries to reason with Sayid, offering to immediately forgive Omer’s entire debt.  However, Martin’s plea is met with nothing more than a bullet in his chest. 

Poor Sayid, you try to be a nice guy, and, what happens?  You end up committing triple homicide.  It just isn’t fair!

“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in!”

Oh, and did I mention that Sayid found Jin stuck in the restaurant’s meat locker?

Bad to the Bone

Back in real time, Sayid confronts Dogen at the Temple, seeking answers.  Of course, he doesn’t just want answers, he wants the TRUTH!

“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH, SAYID!”

 . . . sorry.  I couldn’t resist.

Dogen explains to Sayid that he had hooked the latter up to a machine calibrated to measure good and evil.  Unfortunately for Sayid, his scale “tipped the wrong way.”  This is why Dogen has been trying to kill Sayid.

Good and evil.  Light and dark.  Dogen’s monologue brought to mind Locke’s infamous backgammon speech from season one.

Having provided Sayid with the requested “answers,” Yoda Dogen then proceeds to attack Sayid.  After performing some crazy Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon– type moves, the spry Dogen pins Sayid to the ground, while holding a knife to his neck. 

Then, oddly enough, a baseball rolls to the ground, and, upon seeing it, Dogen decides to spare Sayid’s life.  (He must really like baseball . . .)

“If you build it, you can LIVE!”

Then, Crazy Claire comes to the Temple and tells Dogen that Nu-Locke (or Man in Black or whatever the heck the cool kids are calling him these days) wants to talk to him.  Dogen refuses to leave the Sanctuary of the Temple, claiming that Nu Locke can kill him out in the jungle.  Claire then suggests that Dogen send someone Nu Locke will not kill.  Dogen sets his sights on the man he just decided not to kill: Sayid.  Claire is then tossed in an underground sort of prison made specially for island loonies just like her .  . .

Just hanging out . . . killing some time . . . among other things.”

Offering Sayid a chance to prove his “goodness,” Dogen gives the former his knife and tells him to kill Nu Locke, who he describes as “evil incarnate.”  (Because nothing says “goodness” like premeditated murder).

“I have been waiting for you Obi Wan.”

Nu-Locke soon appears just outside the Temple.  And, Sayid, who clearly loves a good kill,  immediately stabs him in the chest.  Nu-Locke then surprises Sayid by extracting the sword easily from his stomach, without leaving so much as a pinprick behind.  Instead of teasing Sayid for his clearly crappy mercenary skills, Nu Locke offers Sayid the chance to see his beloved Nadiya once again, if he agrees to deliver a message on Nu-Locke’s behalf, thereby selling his soul to Evil Incarnate, himself.

Here’s the basic gist of the message Sayid delivers to the inhabitants of the Temple: Jacob is dead.  Leave the Temple by Sundown, and join Team Evil Incarnate, or Nu-Locke will kill YOU. 

After delivering the message, Sayid drowns Dogen as punishment for the latter’s failure to warn Sayid about the whole “Nu-Locke can’t die” thing.  Sayid then kills Dogen’s sidekick, Lennon, for . . . ummmm . . . just being Lennon . . . I guess.

“Aufwiedersehen, Lennon and Dogen.  You are OUT!”

Meanwhile, Kate returns to the Temple and finds Crazy Claire in her underground hidey hole singing to herself the iconic and oddly creepy song “Catch a Falling Star,” the same song Kate had sung to baby Aaron while mothering him off the island.  When Crazy Claire explains that she is here to retrieve her baby, whom the Others have kidnapped,  Kate explains to Claire that SHE has been the one taking care of Aaron all of these years . . .  not the Others.

“Hmmm . . . maybe it wasn’t such a good idea . . . telling her that.”

If you recall, last week, Crazy Claire told the currently MIA Jin that if she found out that Kate had, in fact, taken her child, she would KILL Kate . . .   Claire then cryptically informs Kate that “He’s coming and you can’t stop him,” before Kate is dragged away by the Temple guards.

 Losties Ben, Sun, Lapidus, and Ilana, arrive at the Temple, and reunite with Miles, moments before Sundown.  Just in time for all Hell (no pun intended) to break loose.  Ladies and Gentleman, Smokey has entered the building . . .

  . . . can prevent Evil Incarnate fires!

Within moments, the Temple is filled with deadly smoke, and people are running every which way to avoid being disintegrated by it.  It looks like something out of a badly scripted and poorly acted, but big budget, apocalyptic blockbuster.

“Yeah, just like that . . .”

Ilana finds a secret porthole in the Temple and ushers the rest of her Lostie gang to safety.  Ben finds Sayid staring morosely at the darkened waters, and beckons him toward the porthole.  “There is still time,” he pleads.

“Not for me,” replies Sayid.

 Ben, who is nothing if not good at saving his own ass, quickly retreats, leaving Sayid by his now-evil lonesome.  But you know who is not good at saving her own ass?  Kate!  In the midst of all this chaos, Kate actually decides to go back and rescue Crazy Claire, who just doesn’t seem to want saving“You’ll be safer down here,” offers Nutjob, and Kate actually listens!

This is not exactly the kind of gal you want in your foxhole with you.  For starters, the girl hasn’t showered in THREE YEARS!  The smell alone might kill you . . .

Fortunately for Kate, the Smoke monster passes right by Claire and her, leaving them virtually untouched.  Then, just as soon as it began, the Smoke vanishes.  Kate follows Claire out of her hidey hole, surveying the destruction and carnage around her in horror, as she exits the Temple. 

In the last few moments of the episode, Kate watches, awestruck, as Claire and Sayid join Nu Locke and the rest of his new creepy zombie minions out in the darkness of the jungle . . .

Frankly, the episode’s conclusion frightened me . . . a lot!  I need someone to give me ahug.  Where’s Shirtless Sawyer when you need him?

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Lost and Zombies – A Recap of “What Kate Does”

You know how when you were a little kid, and you were absolutely certain you were going to have a snow day, so you stayed up late and skimped on your homework in anticipation of the big event?  Well, unfortunately, I am no longer a student.  And, as for a snow day, it could be the Apocalypse, and they still wouldn’t close my office.  Yet, I have decided to embrace my inner naughty girl and stay up late to type up this Lost recap. 

So here goes . . .

Kate in Flash-Sideways Land

“Curiouser and curioser .  . .”

When we last left Kate, back in alt-2004, she had just landed safely at LAX, given U.S. Marshal Edward Mars the slip, and hijacked a taxi that contained within it a very pregnant Claire.  In the episode’s opening scene, Kate holds the taxi driver at gunpoint and directs him out of the airport.  (By the way, I loved the random Midnight Cowboy reference inserted into this scene by the infamous dead-in-another- timeline Lostie, Doctor Arzt.  “Hey, I’m walking here!”   – Classic!)

Soon after the trio makes a getaway, the cowardly taxi driver jumps out of the cab and heads for the hills, leaving Claire to fend for herself.  (Even in Alt World, chivalry is apparently dead.)  Kate then forces Claire to give up her purse, and kicks her out of the cab. 

(Bad Kate!  Claire is so taking down your medallion number.  You will NEVER drive a cab in this town again!) 

Next, Kate heads to a car repair shop and pays the auto mechanic $200 to remove her handcuffs.  I’m not exactly sure where she got the money, seeing as most people don’t exactly carry cash on the way to the slammer.  Plus, Runaway Claire seemed pretty poor, so I doubt this money was hers.  However, I digress . . .

Later, as Kate is digging through Claire’s purse, she finds a stuffed whale, some baby paraphenalia, and a polaroid of the pregnant Claire, which presumably Claire planned to give to her adoptive parents so that her son would one day know his biological mother.  Struck with feelings of guilt (or deja vu), Kate drives the cab back to the bus stop where Claire is waiting.  Once there, Kate learns that Claire was supposed to be picked up at the airport by her son’s soon-to-be adoptive parents, but they never showed. 

Kate offers to give Claire a ride.  Genius Claire then agrees to get back in the taxi cab with the lunatic escape prisoner who held her at gunpoint and stole her purse.  Only on television will such acts of “bravery” NOT  leave you with a bullet lodged in your skull.

“Way to go, smarty pants!”

When Kate and Claire arrive at the home of the prospective adoptees, a nervous Claire asks Kate to go into the house with her.  Kate reluctantly agrees, and the two knock on the door.  A disheveled woman, eyes puffy from tears, explains that her husband has just left her and that she cannot raise a baby on her own.  Claire responds by going into labor right on this woman’s porch.  That’ll teach you to call first, before canceling your baby adoption plans!”

The most helpful convict ever, Kate drives Claire to the hospital and checks in with her, using an assumed name.  In ICU, Claire is cared for by none other than . . .  DR.  CREEPY MC-OTHER, ETHAN ROM!

There’s nothing McDreamy about this guy . . .

Dr. Creepy McOther tells Claire that she is far enough along to give birth.  However, if she doesn’t want to do that just yet, Creepy McOther can shoot her up with a lot of drugs and somehow postpone the birth.  If you recall, Creepy McOther kidnapped Claire on the island and shot her up with drugs there too.  In her second “super smart” move of the evening, Claire chooses the drugs . . . again.

NOOOOOOOO!  DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As if to protest her AWFUL decision, the baby heart monitor starts going haywire.  “Is Aaron going to be OK?”  Claire inquires frantically.

Instantly, both she and Kate flinch, as if recalling that, in alternate timeline, Claire’s child is actually named Aaron.  This is clearly a weird situation.  After all, in this timeline, Claire would have no reason to name her baby, as she planned on giving it up for adoption as soon as it was born.  Spooky! 

Eventually the monitors calm down.  Soon after, a couple of federal agents come looking for Kate, who is hiding nearby.  Claire covers for Kate, and the obviously-not-too-bright agents take their leave without asking too many questions.  Apparently, the agents and Claire share an IQ.

Kate thanks Claire for her generosity (or stupidity, depending on how you see it).  She then tells Claire that she should keep the baby.  Claire responds by offering Kate her credit card to be used during the remainder of her time on the run.  Quite a good team, these two.  In fact, they remind me of another female duo I used to know and love . . .

And we all know how that ended . . .

Jagged Little Pill

Back in the present day island world, Sayid has just come back from the dead, and Miles and Hurley have a few questions for him.    Miles wonders if Sayid saw the infamous white light.  Unfortunately, Sayid only remembers being shot and nothing more.  “You aren’t a zombie are you?”  Hurley inquires.

“No, I’m not a zombie,” Sayid answers straight-faced.

“OK.  We’ll be in the food court,” replies Hurley, before he and Miles exit stage left.

Could I just say, that these two have the best television bromance since Boston Legal’s Alan Shore and Denny Crane.  If they had their own show, I would totally watch.

Hugo “Hurley” Reyes and Miles Straume star in “We See Dead People.”  Coming Soon . . .

Mysterious Other-Others, Lennon and Dogen, also have some questions for the undead Sayid.  Unfortunately, they are interrupted in their interrogation, when a very angry Sawyer holds them and their minions at gunpoint.  Turns out our hot and tormented friend wants to blow this popsicle stand . . . and fast.  Knowing that Sawyer means business, Lennon and Dogen let him go, but then send two of their cronies out into the jungle to retrieve him.  To protect Sawyer and ensure his safety, Kate and Jin offer to go with these two men.

Kate gives the Others the slip and soon finds Sawyer at the Dharma cabin where he and Juliet played house with eachother in the past.  A heartbroken Sawyer confides in Kate that he feels responsible for Juliet’s death, since she wanted to leave the island and he hadn’t let her.  Had she left the island when she wanted to do so, she may have lived.  He then pulls out a ring and tells Kate that he had planned to ask Juliet to marry him.  Sawyer tosses the ring into the river, while a conflicted and still lovestruck Kate looks on in anguish . . .

Back at the temple, Lennon and Dogen take former torturer Sayid and . . . torture him, by prodding him with a burning hot poker and submitting him to some weird electroshock-type therapy.  “Why did you do this to me?” Sayid inquires.

“It was a test.  You passed,” explains Lennon.

After, Sayid leaves, however, Lennon and Dogen make it very clear that Sayid has, in fact,  failed the “test.”  Lennon then tells Jack that Sayid is “infected.”  He asks that Jack give Sayid a large silver pill to “save him.” 

A distrustful Jack asks Lennon what is in the pill, but answers are not forthcoming.  When Jack confronts Sayid about all this, Sayid agrees to take the pill if Jack thinks he should, because Sayid trusts Jack.

Still uncertain as to the right path, Jack confronts Dogen once again.  In a bold and impulsive act that is decidedly un-Jack, the Good Doc takes the pill himself.  A frantic Dogen heimlichs the pill out of Jack’s mouth instantly, and quickly explains that it contains poison.  “Why do you want to kill Sayid?”  Jack asks incredulously.

According to Lennon and Dogen, Sayid has a sickness, and once it enters his heart, the old Sayid will be completely “lost.”  When Jack asks how they know this, Lennon replies, “Because the same thing happened to . . .”

(Now at this point, I expected Lennon to say “Ben.”  After all, when Kate and Sawyer brought the young Ben to the temple to be healed from his bullet wound, Richard Alpert explained that once healed, he would “lose all innocence.”  So, it would make sense for Lennon to use Ben’s name.  But instead he says . . . )

 . . . “your sister.”

CLAIRE???????

Remember a few seasons back when Claire was rescued from a massive explosion at the Dharma compound with nothing but a splitting headache?  She then abandoned her baby in the middle of the night, and was never seen or heard from again, until an eerily calm, almost ghostlike, version of her appeared to Locke in Jacob’s cabin.  Suddenly, everything started to make sense . .

AHA!

In the final scene, the Other minions find and recapture Jin in the jungle.  Chip-On-His-Shoulder Minion looks as if he is about to shoot poor Jin, when shots ring out.  Both Other minions instantly fall down dead.  Jin looks up, confused, as an emotionless, gun-wielding, Claire steps out into view . . .

So what did you think?  Are Sayid and Claire really zombies?  Are the Losties ever going to get off the island in the present day?  Would you watch a buddy crime investigation show staring Miles and Hurley?

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