Getting Lost: Sundown

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

Wrong again, John, wrong again… How do you mean, exactly?

Well, for one, you predicted this week’s episode would be about Sun/Jin. Yeah, I was wrong about that, and I knew it ahead of time. I still think my reasoning made sense, though.

And you said Dogen would survive. Yeah, well, er, whoops. I did say that I didn’t think Locke 2.0 or Claire would kill him, so I was right on that one. Who knew that Sayid, the resurrected Iraqi torturer who had “a darkness growing in him,” would end up siding with Locke 2.0? Who could have seen that one coming?

And you thought Locke 2.0 wasn’t necessarily the Bad Guy, and now he’s slaughtering people by the dozens again. Look, I made some mistakes, OK? Chill out, nobody’s perfect.

But are you at least prepared to acknowledge that Locke 2.0 is evil? Well, I’d like to know his endgame. I’m obviously against needless slaughter and mass murder, but if these people are somehow standing in the way of a noble goal, then I can see his reasoning. Notice, for example, how Sayid’s message included, “Jacob’s dead; you’re all free,” as if Jacob were enslaving them. And when Cindy and others were leaving the Temple, they didn’t look all that devastated, as if they were leaving one master for another.

Jeez, stop defending him. He killed pretty much everyone at the Temple! Not true. Sayid killed Dogen and Lennon, and a few other people got away.

Sayid only killed those guys because Locke 2.0 promised him “anything in the whole world.” Sounds awfully Satanic to meIt was awfully Satanic. It was also eerily reminiscent of Ben’s “magic box” from Season Three’s “The Man From Tallahassee.” Jacob and now the Man in Black are both fond of these kind of open-ended, unrealistic promises. This, of course, is precisely the kind of manipulation that makes Locke 2.0 so contemplative of Jacob, since it gets people to do things—like, say, kill some poor Japanese guy—without understanding why. Still, it makes more sense for Sayid to give into this kind of temptation than many of the other characters.

Defend that claim. Well, Sayid has always been somewhat contemptuous of Island mythology. Unlike Locke, he doesn’t have any sort of respect or reverence for the Island. Unlike Jack, he’s not constantly enmeshed in the Island’s struggles by virtue of being “responsible” for everyone of the survivors. Of all the Oceanic Six, Sayid’s was probably the only one whose life was made unquestionably better by returning from the Island. As he told Locke (the real one) in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” the time he spent with Nadia after returning was the best time of his life. In that same meeting with Locke, he also quite clearly understands that being involved in the Island’s struggles necessarily means being manipulated, asking, “So who is manipulating you, John?” It makes, sense, then, that Sayid would care more about doing something with the promise of getting to see Nadia again than for the sake of either Jacob or the Man in Black.

So I guess you don’t think this is a new Sayid, inhabited the way Locke is? I just don’t think it needs to be. All of Sayid’s actions since waking up again at the end of “LA X” are consistent with the old Sayid—a reluctant killer who generally does what the situation calls on him to do. He’s a hired assassin, and a damn good one, as the alternate timeline story showed.

How do you think this alternate timeline story holds up? Sayid stories have actually generally had a little more variety than some of the other characters’ stories—partially due to the fact that, since the first season, no season has had more than one Sayid story, meaning there’s been less opportunity for repetition. At the same time, this episode felt like worn territory, especially coming on the heels of a Jack episode on the heals of a Locke episode. By the end of last night’s episode, I couldn’t help but feel as if the story was a little tired: We get it—these characters have major inferiority issues. But the episode did have some good Sayid-as-a-badass moments, from his fight with Dogen to his overpowering of Keamy’s squad in LA.

Any other observations? Claire kind of let the whole Kate-taking-Aaron thing go this week, despite her anger at that possibility last week. That’s probably just because it’s hard to focus on your rage while a smoke monster is tearing through your Temple and killing everyone it sees. Something tells me that situation has not been completely resolved.

Also, when Lennon told him that killing Dogen meant that he had “let [Locke 2.0] in,” Sayid responded by saying, “I know.” I would chalk this up to Sayid simply knowing that the smoke monster was heading in after him, but perhaps that means Sayid has been completely filled in on Locke 2.0’s plan, and is completely on board, along with Claire and Sawyer.

Finally, how the hell did Ilana, Lapidus, Sun, and Ben get into the Temple without the Smoke Monster noticing? You’d have to assume that he would have killed him if he knew they were there, right? Or maybe he can’t kill them? Either way, it was nice to get a brief Lapidus/Miles reunion.

Predictions for next week? According to the previews for next week, somebody important “meets his demise,” but I wonder if that actually means someone will die. If it does, then fuck ABC for giving it away a week early. If not, though, then Lost has got to pick up the pace—I had assumed there would be a lot more death in this season than there has been. In any event, I would bet that next week involves a lot of running and hiding on the part of Ilana, et. al. Ultimately, I think they end up finding Jack and Hurley at the Lighthouse, but I don’t think that happens until the end of the episode.

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