Thursday, March 04, 2010

LOST - 6x06 "Sundown" or "How Badass is Sayid? Let's count the bodies."

Oh, tricky Lost writers. You tried to fool us! By simply naming your episode after one of your main characters, everyone in Internet Lost World thought this was going to be a Jin/Sun episode and continue the pattern of copying the episode focus from the first season! You had me, for sure. I was ready to hear some Korean, read subtitles, and get all teary-eyed at the inevitable reunion. Instead, we got a episode focused on Sayid and poses the question we've all been wondering: "How many people can Sayid kill in one episode?" The answer: "Lots!"

First of all, I just want to point out how awesome Sayid is. During last season's finale, Sayid (carrying a nuclear weapon on his back, BTW) was shot by Roger Linus. Things looked pretty grim for our tortured torturer. In fact, as "The Incident" ended and no main characters had met their violent ends, I was very worried that the writers might actually kill Sayid. Now, Sayid hadn't had such a major role in the show since his employment by Ben post Oceanic Six, so it made a little sense that they might write him off the show (and by writing off the show, I mean getting shot in the stomach [see: Ana Lucia, Libby, others]). But thankfully they didn't! And he's been very important this new season so an episode devoted to him makes sense at this time.

Still, the flashsideways story of this episode left me a little cold. Here we have Nadia, Sayid's long lost love since the beginning of the show, married to Sayid's brother and with a couple of kids. Now, I didn't have an issue with Jack having a son last week, yet I find this sudden appearance of characters that did not exist strangely jarring. With Jack's son, David, I understood why the writers chose to pursue that storyline. Here, the appearance of a brother reeked of an excuse to get Sayid to do what he does best: Kill a bunch of people.

On the flip side, the flashsideways story may have been to remind the viewer about Sayid's deep-rooted love for Nadia and how much his life has sucked since she got hit by a car in Season 4. That explains why he so quickly goes with Fake Locke... but I'll get to that. Lemme just say, that despite the appearance and subsequent death of Keamy (awesomeness. hate that guy and his smirk!), I feel like this storyline would have been better if it dealt with AltUniverse Sayid encountering one of the other 815 passengers (Jack or Charlie quickly comes to mind) and having some kind of interesting adventure. But I guess that's coming..

On the Island, interesting stuff abounds! After Jack and Hurley split (way to not leave anyone behind, Shephard!) a confused Sayid confronts Dogen about why he has tried to kill him a couple times now in the span of a few short episodes. Dogen gives him a spiel about Good vs. Evil, scales and balance etc, basically a quick thematic summary of the entire series. And then they engage in the best fight scene ever! Dogen, somehow, wins the fight and has the opportunity to kill Sayid, but stops when his baseball, dislodged during the fight, hits the ground. I'm not exactly sure of the significance of that, but it saved Sayid's life and Dogen banished him.

Meanwhile, Fake Locke convinces Claire to give herself up to the Others in the Temple in order to deliver a message. He wants Dogen to come out to talk to him. When she walked into the courtyard was an awesome moment in the history of Lost. It's too bad there weren't more of the regular Losties around to witness it. Imagine Hurley trying to give her a big bear hug!

Dogen doesn't want to go out to get himself killed, so he sends Sayid instead, with instructions to kill whoever appears "as someone who has recently died" immediately. Sayid, in a bit of Locke-like innocence says "Sure, I'll do that!" He runs into Kate on his way out of Temple and soon enough encounters Locke/The Smoke Monster. As ordered, Sayid attempts to kill him by stabbing him in the chest with a ceremonial-looking dagger that Dogen gave him. Fake Locke removes the dagger from his chest and says, "Now why did you go and do that?"

Fake Locke recruits Sayid to his cause by claiming that he can give him anything he wants, specifically (in Sayid's mind), Nadia, alive again. Does this mean that Fake Locke can somehow tap into other universes where people who have died are still alive? Is that how he uses the bodies of those who have died as vessels in this world? The internet is abuzz with theories about that, connections between the flashsideaways reality and regular reality. It's good fodder for discussion.

Meanwhile, Kate has entered the Temple and Miles tells her that Claire is here! Kate immediately goes to find her in a hole in the ground and tells her about Aaron. Unfortunately, this scene, which had a lot of potential, falls a little flat because of Claire's lack of reaction. Other reviewers online have claimed that she's under the influence of the Smoke Monster and not really herself in this scene, but I'm not so sure.

In another dramatic entrance, Sayid returns to the temple to deliver The Smoke Monster's message. For some reason, all the Temple Others are hanging out outside, including Cindy the flight attendant from Flight 815. He tells them that Jacob is dead and those who want to join him and leave the Island should leave the Temple and join him before sundown or stay here and die. It's an ominous message, delivered with intensity by this new, powerful-willed Sayid. Some of the Others listen and leave, while some (including Dogen) stay.

Once again, Sayid goes to confront Dogen in the Pool Room. Dogen gives some backstory about his son, but it's not enough to pacify Sayid who drowns Dogen in the same pool that Dogen's people drowned Sayid in the season premiere. Dogen's right-hand man, the talented actor John Hawkes, rushes to the scene only to have his throat slit by Sayid.

Apparently, Dogen was keeping the Smoke Monster away so by Sayid killing him, he becomes responsible for all the deaths at the Temple. If you add the gangsters Sayid killed in the AltUniverse plus all these people, you have the answer.

The attack on the Temple finally occurs and it's as bloody and dark as we've come to expect when the shit really hits the fan on Lost. In the middle of the chaos, Ilana and Ben's team show up in an attempt to rescue Jack and Hurley, but all they get is Miles. Ben tries to get Sayid to come away with them but Sayid refuses and Ben walks away slowly wearing a frightened expression.

The last few minutes of this episode is really weird. And I mean that in a strange, not so great, way. There's a lot of slow motion and shots of people giving each other serious stares and it's all very dramatic, but it left me wondering: Who were all those people around Fake Locke? They didn't look like the Others who left the Temple. Actually, they looked like pirates, maybe from the Black Rock, all longhaired and sunburnt. (Which reminds me, Where the heck has Richard been??). Also, Fake Locke gives the "Go Ahead" stare to Claire and Sayid... and then Kate? That doesn't really make sense. If he's been recruiting people to his army, why would he let in this civilian?

I will say, however, that is looking like a showdown between Fake Locke's people and Jack's. This is reminiscent of Season 3, when the survivors of Flight 815 split based on their opinion about the freighter people. That led to some very interesting scenarios and a lot of changing of loyalties (always interesting.) Wild guess: Kate convinces Sawyer (maybe Sayid?) to change sides to Jack's side sometime soon.

So, while I quite enjoyed most of the episode, the last few minutes (including Ilana's sudden appearance) were quite jarring and left me more than a little confused. But that's not necessarily a bad place to be mid-season on Lost. Ten more episodes left...

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