Wednesday's episode of Lost centered on Sayid, as we learned how he became a killer, how he ended up doing the bidding of Benjamin Linus 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 and Juliet squared off over Sawyer, Sawyer tried his best to play double agent and Jack and Hurley sampled dipping sauces.
Namaste, y'all! Thanks to my esteemed colleague Adam Bryant for filling in for me last week while I was in Florida (golf, cocktails, dinner, repeat), and thanks to all of you for being generally very well-behaved in my absence. Let's get to it, shall we? As usual, I've reshuffled the narrative, so bear with me.
IRAQ SO FAR AWAY
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"). This act pleases Sayid's difficult-to-please father, and a killer is born! Hooray?
RIB EYE BLOODY RIB EYE
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. So 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," says Michael Emerson, with his signature creepy delivery. 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. 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.
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 Funhouse 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 Charles Widmore. As you'll see from the aforementioned link, it has lots of other significance in the Lost canon.
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 prostie. No matter. After some chit-chat about trying to change and resisting temptation, yada yada, Sayid and Ilana are getting BIZ-AY.
To be fair to Sayid, Ilana is wearing some serious hooker boots, and as visions of Julia Roberts in a pageboy wig dance through Sayid's head, our mystery lady 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.
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. (Here's a thought: The marshal that escorted Kate on Oceanic 815 died. Mull.)
ALL THE DHARMA LADIES
"It's over, isn't it? Us, playing house?" Juliet asks, as she looks forlornly through the curtains at the milling-about Oceanic 6. 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. 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.
Later, in the motor pool, Kate and Juliet, the sexiest grease monkeys ever, talk turkey about flat-four engines and, you know, the man they've both slept with. "I wasn't quite sure how to [address] 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 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. Matthew Fox, meanwhile, might as well have been an extra tonight.
Back in Dharma jail, a young Harry Potter (er, Benjamin Linus) brings Sayid a chicken salad sandwich, and tries to suss 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 (the kid brought him yet another sandwich, like he runs the Dharma Subway franchise), Sayid recognizes something in the kid's lonely childhood, and forms an uneasy alliance.
But first! LaFleur shows up and Tazes him, bro, 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 Larry, brother to Darryls on Newhart, and more recently as a fun, aw-shucks cop on True Blood), 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. The funniest part of what happens next is that Sayid, totally tripping balls, 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 his 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.
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.
Apparently the Dharma van has not taken any of Oldham's truth serum because its pants are definitely on fire, as it careers through New Otherton and straight into a house. While various dirty hippies — 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.
But just as I'm formulating some sort of "Sayid caused the Purge" theory 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 tween. "I am a killer." And with that, he shoots young Ben square in the chest. And... thump!
So what did you think of "He's Our You"? Are Jin and Ben dead? And what does that mean for our precarious timeline and Faraday's shakier-every-day "rules"? Will Kate wreck Sawyer and Juliet's happy home? And what kind of sauce do you use to "bring out the ham"?
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