“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?