Is anyone else devastated by Sayid’s Los Angeles-Alternate Reality story line in Tuesday’s episode, “Sundown”? The poor guy loses love-of-his-life Nadia in past/alternate lives, and here, she’s married to his brother. Sayid claims it was his decision—he can’t have her because “he doesn’t deserve her”—but he also “claims” his job is to translate oil contracts in Australia. And Toronto. Where everyone speaks English. Who is he translating for?! Dodgy. Lots of questions left to answer in this all-Sayid episode, starting with…
Mystery #1: Why is Sayid alive? Turns out it wasn’t the temple pool that ultimately brought Sayid back to life. According to Miles, Sayid was dead for two hours before popping back up. So who—or what—reincarnated him? Um, we still don’t know. We do know that he’s “full of darkness,” according to Dogen’s machine that can read good and evil…. I mean, really? I can buy that the island moves through time and there’s a lighthouse mirror for spying on people, but I draw the line at a busted old machine that sniffs out evil. What, is it a bile-odomoter? Sugar-and-spice meter? It’s ridiculous. Anyway…Dogen tries to kill Sayid, stops short because a baseball rolls off a table and reminds him to be good (more on that in a second), and banishes Sayid to the jungle instead, where he runs into the Locke-ness Monster. LNM gives Sayid an offer he can’t refuse—roughly, “Deliver a message for me, and I’ll bring Nadia back from the dead”—which sets up a nail-biter of a final scene where Smokey invades the temple and destroys everyone in his wake. This is the stuff of classic Lost, when each episode seemed to end with a terrifying reveal. Remember the close of season two’s “Two for the Road,” when Michael kills Ana Lucia and Libby without warning? This was right up there.
Mystery #2: Who is Dogen? It’s hard to tell how long Dogen (aka the Japanese guy) has been ruling the island temple, but we do glean some insight at the end of “Sundown”—right before Sayid kills off the character entirely. Dogen tells an incredibly sad story about how he used to be a businessman who occasionally got hammered with colleagues. One night he drank too much and drove home to pick up his son at baseball. There was an accident—he survived, his son did not. Jacob came to Dogen and told him he could save his son, as long as Dogen agreed to leave his family and work for him. Dogen assents and becomes guardian of the temple—and, apparently, the only other person who could keep the Locke-ness Monster at bay. I think it says something about Jacob seeking candidates/Others who are broken…or meek and “poor of spirit” (Locke). He wants them to inherit his island, and keep “evil incarnate” (as Dogen calls it) away. It smells more and more like a Biblical showdown every day, but I know people who say the struggle is pre-Christian. Any ideas?
Mystery #3: Claire vs. Kate. Kate and Claire have their long-awaited reunion, though the circumstances aren’t great. The temple Others are holding Claire captive at the bottom of a hole. In the two minutes Kate’s allowed to talk to Claire, she says this (paraphrased): “Yes Claire, I took your son. And I raised him. And he’s beautiful.” How creepy does she sound?! No wonder Claire wants to kill her! Instead of saying, “Claire, you disappeared for a long time and we didn’t want Aaron to die in the jungle, so we took care of him for a little while,” Kate sets herself up to sound like a kidnapper. It’s a beautiful bit of writing by the Lost team. Can’t wait to see how this plays out.
Final thought: This episode was thrilling and infuriating—all the things I love about Lost. And if there was ever a sure-fire way to get people to tune in next week, it’s to allude to Ben’s impending demise. Who do you think will stay alive over the next few weeks? And will Sun and Jin ever be at the same place at the same time? Sigh.