For the past six years, Sayid has been one of my favorite characters on “Lost” — a tortured soul with a brutal past looking for new life, love and redemption.
It’s just never really worked out for him, though.
So his “sideways story arc” was perhaps the most intriguing of all so far in this week’s episode, “Sundown.” On the island, Sayid’s just been killed, brought back to life (by whom or what, we don’t know), was almost killed again (once by pill, the other by ninja) and was given a chance at redemption by killing the “Man in Black” … Locke.
In the “sideways” version of Sayid, he’s still a “recovering torturer” from the Iraqi army, but he seems to have really turned his life around. He gave up on Nadia because he didn’t deserve her, allowing his brother to marry her instead. But he still loves her, and he’ll do anything for her an her children.
Though when he learns that his brother is in deep because of a debt to Sideways Keamy (the man Sayid
killed beat up in the Season 4 ender), he’s asked by his brother to take care of it.
The guy just can’t catch a break. Torturer and assassin in one life, good guy in the other. Both asked to take a life … if Sayid kills Locke, he becomes a good person. If Sideways Sayid kills Keamy (who had his brother mugged and nearly killed), he reverts to his evil ways.
White rock, black rock.
On the island
There were two on-island stories this week, that of Sayid’s quest to find out what Dogen meant by him being evil, and Kate’s quest to find Claire and tell her Aaron is safe.
After a very kick-ass fight between Sayid and Dogen, Sayid is asked to leave the Temple and never come back. This doesn’t happen, of course, when it’s learned that Locke is approaching (thanks to Claire’s appearance). Dogen tells Sayid Locke is “evil incarnate” and tells him to take a special dagger and stab him in the heart before he has a chance to say anything. It’s Sayid’s chance to prove he’s a “good person.”
Sayid accepts, of course, and when he hears the rustling of leaves and the “chatter,” he sees Locke approach. It’s important, of course, to realize Locke gets in a “Hey Sayid” before the stabbing. Why he had to stab him before words were spoken, I don’t know. Maybe there’s something Biblical to it, or maybe they’ll explain it down the road.
In any case, the stabbing doesn’t work, and Locke goes into “recruiting” mode and tells Sayid he can have anything (anyone) he wants if he follows him. Locke’s Army becomes one stronger (with Sawyer, Claire and a group of Others having already joined).
Sayid returns to the Temple to tell the Others that Locke is coming, and tells them that if they stay, they die. Some leave … others don’t.
We then get a great scene at the pool where Dogen tells Sayid of how he came to the island … recruited by Jacob after having nearly killed his son in a traffic accident where he was drunk. Then this happens, according to lostpedia:
In the hospital, Dogen says he was approached by a man he had never met, Jacob, who offered him a bargain: Dogen’s son could be saved, but only if Dogen would come to the Island to work for him and never see the boy again. Sayid sympathetically reflects that Jacob drives a hard bargain and Dogen wonders whether the man outside offered a similar bargain to Sayid. Then, noticing the sundown has come, he asks Sayid whether he will stay in the Temple or leave. Sayid replies that he would like to stay but suddenly tackles Dogen into the pool, holding him down until he drowns. Lennon rushes in berating Sayid, saying that Dogen was the only thing keeping “him” out. Sayid says “I know”, and swiftly slits Lennon’s throat with the dagger, throwing his body into the pool. The Smoke Monster then, invades the Temple easily overwhelming the resisting Temple Others remaining in the Temple, killing everyone in its path and causing havoc.
I copied and pasted it because it’s the most succinct way of retelling perhaps one of the coolest, unpredictable scenes in Lost history.
It’s followed by a creepy scene where Sayid leads Claire and Kate out of the Temple to Locke, who’s surrounded by new followers. It’s raining, and “Catch a Falling Star, Put it in Your Pocket” is sung in the background.
Sayid and Claire are mostly emotionless, Locke looks pleased and Kate is in WTF mode having realized she followed the wrong crowd out of the Temple.
Of course, she had a WTF face ever since meeting with Claire, who’s nuts now … throwing her for a loop since saving Claire was her whole reason for leaving Aaron and coming back to the island.
So Island Sayid looks to have joined the dark side … as does Sideways Sayid when he’s politely kidnapped by Keamy’s men and brought to him for “negotiations.”
We don’t get the fight we got at the Orchid Station in Season 4 .. instead, we get a swift move where Sayid takes out a guard, uses him as a shield, takes his gun and shoots Keamy’s other bodyguard before pointing the gun at Keamy. He turns coward, of course, and tells Sayid the debt is forgiven, but Sayid shoots him anyway.
Just like that.
He then hears a noise from the freezer and discovers Sidways Jin (good name for a beverage), who we learned was trying to smuggle thousands of dollars into the U.S. back in the Season 6 premiere. The airport confiscated the money, and Jin was beaten up and put in a freezer (we’ll learn the backstory in a few weeks).
I’m sure everybody noticed, also, that Jack made a brief cameo in the hospital when Sayid learned of his brother’s mugging.
• Before the season began, Lost released the above promo photo of the characters in a “Last Supper” pose, with Locke as the Christ figure. If you notice, the “teams” (Locke’s and Jacob’s) are lining up exactly the same as they’re lined up in the photo. Sayid, Sawyer and Kate (reluctantly?) are to Locke’s right (our left … but his “righthand men”) and Jack and Hurley (who’ve followed Jacob so far) are to his left. If this “trend” continues, this means Illana and Richard will somehow join Locke’s merry men … while Jin, Sun and Ben (really?) will be followers of Jacob.
• I suppose I’m about to give up hope on Sayid ever finding redemption, though I still have hope. I mean, he is one of the “candidates,” and Lost isn’t going to leave us hanging, is it?
• So far in every sideway arc, the characters have been forced to do something out of the ordinary … or different from the life they’d been living.
* Kate is forced to care for pregnant Claire instead of escaping and leaving L.A. because she’s not the criminal she’s made out to be
* Locke is forced to take a job (substitute teacher) he isn’t excited about because he realizes his limitations and that he isn’t the man he wants to be
* Jack tracks down his son and watches him perform piano … then talks to him heart-to-heart because he realizes he isn’t the father he wants to be (the opposite of his own dad)
* Sayid kills Keamy because he realizes he isn’t the innocent soul he longs to be.
• I still don’t know where the Sideways arc is leading, but the producers have said it’s very important to the show’s ending (and not just a “what if the plane didn’t crash).
• The Man in Black asks Sayid “What if you could?” in response to an impossible hope. It mirrors what Desmond asked Jack in regard to fixing Sarah’s spine. (season 2)
• Claire is singing Catch a Falling Star, which she asked the Stewarts to do for her baby; the mobile in the nursery played the melody; and Kate sang to Aaron while she was raising him.
• When Dogen explains “the scale” to Sayid, he holds up his hands. One to represent “good,” and the other to represent “evil.” Dogen is wearing a black glove on his evil hand, while his good hand remains white.
Next week’s episode is called “Dr. Linus” … a Ben one. Eek.