Posted by: cousinbrandon | March 25, 2009

LOST – Season 5, Episode 10: “He’s Our You”

Hi and hello.  Oh, wait.  That greeting’s already spoken for.  Um, greetings and salutations.  Dang!  Okay, how about this one:  ‘Sup?  Nah, don’t like it.  I’d go with Namaste, but I’d prefer to avoid the confusion, seeing as how it was the title of last week’s episode.  The heck with it.  Let’s just pretend I’m waving at each and every one of you, but in a side-to-side manner rather than a hand opening and closing.  Good?  Good.  So, let me begin by saying that I love the title of last night’s episode, and not because of the episode itself.  The phrase “He’s our you” is so downright disorienting and provocative that I was intrigued before having any sort of clue as to what would actually transpire.  And considering what has been transpiring this season, all sorts of scenarios were introduced with the idea of those three simple words.  But enough about the title (for now).  Let it begin…

1. Tikrit, Iraq.  Based on the locale, we can immediately assume that we’re about to get some Sayid back story, which we do via two brothers, an overbearing father, and a chicken.  Tasked by his father to kill the chicken as part of his responsibilities as a man, the older brother cannot bring himself to do so.  In steps his younger brother, Sayid, who instead of cutting off the chicken’s head snaps its neck.  (Hopefully all of you made the connection to Yemi and Mr. Ecko, seeing as how Mr. Ecko did almost exactly the same thing for his brother when they were children.  To recount, Yemi was ordered to kill a man, and Ecko stepped in, took the gun, and murdered the man so that his brother’s life might be spared.  Symmetry.)  The father emerges from the home to congratulate the older brother, only to be informed that the younger Sayid was the one who killed the chicken.  Sayid is praised by his father, and immediately we understand Sayid’s ability and propensity for murder.  Cut to…

2. Young Ben Linus.  A young Benjamin Linus (YBL) is bringing an incarcerated Sayid another sandwich.  This time, though, he hands him a book, Carlos Castaneda’s A Separate Reality.  Now I don’t want to get too involved with this, but here’s a brief synopsis of the book (from Barnes & Noble), seeing as how no book on LOST is meaningless:  “In 1961 a young anthropologist subjected himself to an extraordinary apprenticeship to bring back a fascinating glimpse of a Yaqui Indian’s world of ‘non-ordinary reality’ and the difficult and dangerous road a man must travel to become ‘a man of knowledge.’ Yet on the brink of that world, challenging to all that we believe, he drew back. Then in 1968, Carlos Castaneda returned to Mexico, to don Juan and his hallucinogenic drugs, and to a world of experience no man from our Western civilization had ever entered before.”  Not only do see glimpses of hallucinogenic drugs (Oldham) and leaving and returning, but also that curious term “man of knowledge,” which seems somehow stuck in the middle of “man of science” and “man of faith.”  Is “knowledge” here a knowledge of fact (science) or a knowledge of personal belief (faith)?  Now it’s been roughly 12 years since I’ve read any of Castaneda’s work, so in doing some research to refresh the memory, I came upon this bit of information pertaining to common themes in his Don Juan series:  “work with lucid dreaming, astral travel, projection of the double.” Nah, none of that seems LOST-related.  Perhaps the bigger question, then, is why has Ben read it twice?  What’s more, I loved Ben asking, “Did Richard send you?”  But enough about YBL (for now).  Let’s get to…

3. Moscow.  A man is frantically trying to escape Sayid’s wrath, going so far as to offer him a large sum of money from his bank.  A merciless and sharply-clad Sayid plugs him.  Cut to Sayid outside meeting with his employer/ally, Ben Linus, who looks Shaft-tastic in his rather smooth hat.  Sayid wants to know who’s next on the hitlist, only Ben informs him that they’re done — that they’ve killed everyone in Widmore’s organization who posed a threat.  A confused Sayid tells Ben that Ben forced him to kill those people.  Yet in typical, brilliant, manipulative fashion, Ben informs Sayid that, no, it was Sayid who asked for the names.  In other words, blood isn’t on the hands of Ben Linus, as it was Sayid who made the decision to kill these people.  In an unbelievably telling moment, a forlorn Sayid asks that question that so many of our characters have been asking for quite some time:  “What do I do now?”  Ben responds by saying, “You’re free, Sayid,” which brilliantly cuts to…

4. Sayid the Inmate.  We again cut back to Sayid, who is biding his time in the cell.  Horace removes the cuffs, but is of course intrigued as to what in the hell he was doing wandering the jungle in cuffs?  He demands answers from Sayid, who still refuses to speak as to who he is and what he was doing in the jungle.  Horace insists that he will give Sayid one hour and then more drastic measures will be taken.  Before this transpired, though, we found Juliet staring from her window at Jack and Kate (more specifically, Kate, I’d imagine).  Sawyer asks a clearly distracted Juliet, “What’s on TV,” to which she replies, “It’s over, isn’t it?”  Nice bit of dialogue, actually, based on the double entendre.  The implication being that not only is the life they’ve now built over based on the return and certain beans-spilling of Jack and company, but that she and Sawyer are over based on the return of Kate.  Sawyer, then, promises to make things right, and goes to Sayid’s cell.  After asking Sayid how he’s doing, Sayid delivers arguably the best line of the episode:  “A 12-year old Ben Linus just brought me a sandwich.  How do you think I’m doing?”  Sawyer delivers a fine head-butt to Sayid, all part of his plan to keep everyone safe and maintain the “good” life he’s made for himself.  Meanwhile…

5. The Mess Hall.  Chef Hurley is delivering waffles to Jack and Kate, who are clad in Dharma outfits and poring over a fine breakfast.  Unlike the roles we’re accustomed to, though, it’s not Jack who’s a bit of a controlling worry-wart, but Kate.  Somehow Jack seems to have accepted his role as a follower rather than a leader at this point, and seems to have no immediate plans to rock the boat.  Hurley, however, manages to create a wee bit of confrontation in revealing to Kate that Sawyer and Juliet are “together together.”  Kate’s clearly shaken by the news, but we don’t have long to dwell on that, thanks to the return of…

6. Roger Workman.  Well, Roger Linus, actually, but I still giggle at the thought of the castaways finding the Dharma van with the Roger Workman jumpsuit way back when.  So there’s Uncle Rico in Sayid’s cell, pushing a mop and taunting him for being caught.  Of course, Sayid, like the rest of the world, manages to get a jab in at Roger, and crushes his spirit like the rest of the DI.  Enter Ben Linus, petrified at the sight of his father, who is chastised not only for bringing the prisoner a sandwich, but for lying to his old man about the true recipient of the sandwich.  Roger not only physically abuses Ben in this scene, but orders him home, where a greater beatdown surely awaits.  It’s fascinating, really, as we the audience here utilize Sayid as a lens by which to watch and judge Ben.  We are witness to the mental and physical abuse young Ben Linus endured as a child and, like Sayid, are suddenly heartbroken.  Knowing what we (and Sayid) know, do we applaud this child abuser for reprimanding this soon-to-be evil man, or do we want nothing more than to take that mop he’s pushing and shove it where the sun don’t shine?  What’s more, do we see Roger’s actions and blame him for not only bringing Ben to the island, but for abusing him and, perhaps, acting as the catalyst for the one day evil mastermind?  Let’s face it, Ben’s not the first character on this show to have daddy issues, yes?  I could provide the entire list, but it’s exhausting.  Just jog your memory a bit; you’ll figure it out.  Flash-forward/flashback (sort of) to…

7. The Dominican Republic.  Sayid is back in the Dominican building houses in a Habitat for Humanity-type organization, the same one we were introduced to in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.”  “Feeling” him over his shoulder, Sayid turns around to find Ben, who informs him that Locke is dead, that he was murdered.  What’s more, he tells Sayid that there is a man outside of Hurley’s mental institution, clearly indicating that they’re on to the O6, and it would be in Sayid’s best interest to murder him before he murdered Sayid and Hurley.  Sayid refuses, but Ben goads him by asking, Don’t you want revenge on the man who murdered Locke, and so forth.  And in a line of dialogue that reminded me of the Locke-centric episode in which he was forced to decide if he was a “hunter” or a “gatherer (I think it was a gatherer),” Ben says:  “It’s in your nature.  It’s what you are.  You’re a killer, Sayid.”  Zing!  This calls into question a couple things.  First, yes, Sayid is a killer.  We’ve seen him kill since he was a child (even if it was only a chicken).  We’ve seen him torture others, and we’ve seen him kill as a pawn of Ben; Second, we’re once again faced with the question of free will.  Was Sayid fated to be a killer, or did he choose to be one?  As he asked earlier, “What do I do now?”  What, indeed, Sayid?  May I introduce you to…

8. Oldham.  Unwilling to talk, Sawyer zaps Sayid, and along with Radzinsky and Horace, Sayid is driven to the teepee of Oldham, who apparently is a bit of an eccentric, as, well, he lives in a teepee “outside” of town, and has large Victrola playing old records outside his digs.  Oldham is summoned (for a moment, incidentally, I was sure it was going to be Faraday), and out steps Larry of Newhart fame, who was portrayed by actor William Sanderson (who was also great on Deadwood, by the way).  Sayid asks Sawyer, “Who is that,” to which Sawyer replies — wait for it — “He’s our you.”  Fantastic!  Sayid the Torturer, meet Oldham the Torturer.  Torturer, Torturer.  Part-hippy, part-Manson, Oldham calmly orders Sayid be restrained to the tree (again, mirroring Sayid restraining Sawyer to the tree back in Season 1).  Sayid is forced to swallow a sugar cube first coated in what must be some sort of hallucinogenic/truth serum.  Clearly drug-infused, Oldham begins with the questioning.  Sayid reveals that he returned to the island on Ajira 316, and that he was originally there on Flight 815.  They don’t believe him, but Sayid tells them to ask Sawyer.  Gulp!  “Who’s Sawyer,” Horace asks, but fortunately for Sawyer (albeit lamely for us), Radzinksly interrupts and insists that it doesn’t matter.  Sayid knows about The Flame and The Swan, the latter of which hasn’t been built yet, thereby ensuring Radzinsky that Sayid is, in fact, a spy.  Sayid tells them he’s from the future, and that they’re all going to die.  Again, how much has been put in motion, and how much is Sayid (and the rest of the O6 and I6) putting into motion?  This leads to…

9. The Meeting.  Sawyer, Horace, Amy, Radzinsky, and a swarm of Dharma nobodies are meeting to discuss the fate of Sayid.  Radzinksy, animate that Sayid is a spy, again insists that they kill him.  Sawyer, the lone voice of reason (which is ironic, since part of him clearly wants Sayid to die, thus preserving the life he’s built there), insists they let him live.  A vote is called for, but not before Radzinksy demands that they put it to a vote or “call Ann Arbor.”  (Now, as a one-time fan of the Michigan Wolverines, I happen to know that the school is located in Ann Arbor, which is located in Michigan, which is home to our old pals the DeGroots.  Does this mean we might actually meet them?  Fingers crossed, friends.)  After an impassioned speech by Amy, in which she insists that they consider the welfare of the children (again, I think the Dharma folk were trying to create some type of genetically-enhanced super army utilizing the children and yet-to-be-born children), the group, including a reluctant Sawyer, votes to kill Sayid.  Sawyer makes an effort to free Sayid, telling Sayid to punch him in the face, steal his keys, and get Phil’s gun.  Sayid, however, refuses, suggesting instead that perhaps it’s his time to die.  Is this Sayid’s way of atoning for his sins, and somehow altering the future by dying in the past, thereby disabling him from killing those people?  If it is, bad move, brother, thanks to our ol’ pal course correction.  Or, is it something else entirely?  (Yes, it is.)  But before punishment can be levied, we find…

10. Sayid and Ilana.  After returning from the Dominican, Sayid encounters a woman in a bar, who he assumes is a “professional.”  She is astounded by the amount of money he’s paying for a single glass of scotch (McCutcheon, folks, drink of LOST characters everywhere).  The two get to talking, and sure enough end up going at it back in a hotel room.  In the process of removing her boots, Sayid is kicked in the face and held at gunpoint, informing him that she was hired by the family of the man he killed on the golf course (See:  “The Economist”) to bring Sayid back to Guam.  But before we see his flight…

11. The Plan.  Sawyer, no longer able to restrain himself, knocks on Kate’s door.  She appears in the doorway and closes the door behind her.  (Does anyone else think Jack was inside, or was it someone else?)  He wants to know why she came back, but before she can answer a flaming Dharma van, sans driver, enters the compound, crashing into one of the homes and setting it on fire.  Sawyer has a great line about Jack and Kate being there one day and look what happens!  The question, then, is who’s responsible for the van?  The hostiles?  Nah, just young Ben Linus getting his scheming feet wet.  Ben, clad in a hooded jacket (ominous, no?), arrives to free Sayid (which, by the way, is the second time Sayid was “freed” by Ben this episode).  He asks Sayid, “Will you take me with you to your people?”  Sayid, completely stoic, responds, “Yes, Ben, I will. That’s why I’m here.”  Again, wonderful bit of dialogue.  Not only do we get to see Sayid exercising “choice” in his proclamation that he’s going to do something, but the tongue-in-cheek statement of “That’s why I’m here.”  Again, there’s something about the notion of purpose and destiny at play, and it’s as if, for even a moment, Sayid has both.  He knows what he’s doing there, unlike, seemingly, everyone else.  But before they can make their escape…

12. The Airport.  Sayid, cuffed and in custody of Ilana, is at the airport.  Upon seeing Hurley, Jack and Kate, he requests that they take another plane.  Ilana, of course, refuses.  Sitting on the plane, Sayid stairs through the crack in the seats at Sun, before a bruised and battered Ben Linus steps on board, casually noticing Sayid before walking on by.  And, once again, a great bit of dialogue ensues.  Sayid asks Ilana if she is working for Ben Linus.  Ilana, quite genuinely, says she is not, wondering why he has asked.  “I did,” replies Sayid.  Now, I’m convinced that Ilana is, in fact, working for Ben Linus, only she doesn’t realize it.  After all, who but Sayid knew that Sayid killed the man on the golf course?  If you recall, no one else was visible in that scene, and since we knew Sayid was then working for Ben, we have to assume that only the two of them knew.  So, whether you know it or not, Ilana, you’re but one more pawn in the Ben Linus game.  And so we cut, finally, to…

13. The Assassination.  Sayid and young Ben Linus are trekking through the jungle, supposedly making their way to the hostiles.  A Dharma van passes, and out steps Jin.  Sayid tries to convince Jin that Sawyer was the one who freed him.  Hesitant, Jin calls it in, only to be knocked out by Sayid.  (And by the way, based on Jin’s background as a gun-for-hire himself, I’m not sure he wouldn’t have seen that coming.  Granted, I guess he might not have suspected Sayid of laying him out, as they were “friends,” after all.)  Ben is amazed by Sayid’s mad skills, and before he can continue to admire Sayid’s work, Sayid shoots Ben in the chest, dropping Ben to the ground.  This, then, is why Sayid was here.  No matter what abuse he endured at the hand of his father, and no matter that he was but a boy, Sayid could not allow this man to live, to go on to control him in the future, to be, directly or not, responsible for so much death.  Okay, wait.  Finally, part two…

14. He Lives.  Sorry, but Ben’s not dead.  Not a chance.  Why?  Because you can’t change the past.  What’s happened, happened.  But we saw Sayid shoot Ben, no?  Sure, we saw him shoot Ben.  But in addition to knowing that we can’t change the past, we also know that people tend not to die on this show unless we actually see them die.  Now, here’s my thought on what’s going to happen.  You ready for this one?  If not, sit your butt down, as it’s a goodie:  Jin placed a call in to Sawyer, which means a Dharma van should be en route.  There are two legitimate doctors on the island, Jack and Juliet.  I am willing to bet that Juliet will save young Ben’s life.  He will be forever grateful to her and fall in love with her.  Nearly 30 years later, Ben will develop a tumor based on a bullet still lodged inside his body.  In order to save his life and put everything else in motion, he’ll need to recruit a doctor from the mainland, someone with the ability to save his life.  How about, say, Jack, who will perform the surgery and save him.  After all, do you remember that Juliet “looks so much like her.”  Initially, I always thought she’d look like his mother.  But what if Juliet looked like, well, Juliet?

Okay, I’m absolutely wiped out.  Do your worst, evil doers.  Or your best.  Whatever.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!

BD

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: