Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lost Episode 6.6: "Sundown"

In tonight's episode, the Lost writers really let their Stephen King influences show. Much more stressful than last week's light fantasy romp through the jungle, this one really had a claustrophobic sense about it, getting darker and darker as it approached its "sundown" ultimatum. Really well done, and pretty shocking. All in all, I would say it was NOT an episode of Two & a Half Men. Let's get into the details. This time I'm going to split it up and discuss the flash-sideways and the on-island stuff separately. Let's start with Uncle Sayid.


SAYID'S YOUR UNCLE: Well, the big twist here was that Nadia married Sayid's brother, Omer. I guess the one who couldn't kill a chicken turned out to be a lady killer instead. Nadia and Sayid are clearly in love and Omer clearly has no redeeming qualities, so Sayid's nieces and nephews feel their only option is to go through Sayid's luggage and pull out his well-worn picture of Nadia in front of everyone. Awkward! (Here I have to pause a moment to make sure everyone out there learns the only word I've ever invented. Seriously, I'm pushing to make this an actual word. Here's the deal. When you're referring to brothers and sisters, you say "siblings." But when you're referring to nieces and nephews, you have to say "neices and nephews." Well, that's an oversight, my friends, that you no longer have to worry yourself about. Introducing the word "nieblings". Even now, my spell checker is trying to tell me that's not a word. But it is. At least it should be. Start saying it. You'll wonder how you ever lived without it.)

USE CAUTION WHEN WAKING SAYID: Omer wakes Sayid, and surprisingly it's not to tell him to stop hiding pictures of his wife in his luggage. Apparently, Omer's borrowed money from some bad people. He tries to convince Sayid to YET AGAIN use his torturing power for evil. Man, people are always trying to corrupt that "gift." (Is torturing REALLY a skill? I think I could probably figure it out without any formal training.) Sayid turns down this suggestion by saying he's "not that man anymore." At first, I assumed this was because he had found peace in this flash-sideways life. After all, Locke and Jack seemed to be on their way to finding peace. However, before the end of the flash-sideways we see him go back to his unforgiving, gun-shooting self. So, instead of being a new Sayid, is he really the same Sayid? This parallels what happens on-island when Sayid tries to tell Dogen he's really a "good man" but ends up turning evil. So, let me try out a theory on you, based on this. I think we're going to see that whoever sides with Smokey on the island is going to stay troubled in the flash-sideways reality, but those that side with Jacob on the island will have peaceful, happy endings in their flash-forward. What do you think?

"I DON'T DESERVE YOU" After Omer gets hospitalized by thugs, Sayid does what Nadia asks and goes to her house and babysits his nieblings. Nadia lets us know that she really loved Sayid all along but questions why he pushed Omer towards her instead. Perhaps in this reality Sayid is more concerned about the ethical ramifications of one dating someone they tortured in a war. He claims "I can't be with you, because I don't deserve you." If this scene really does take place AFTER the events we're seeing on island (as myself and many others have theorized), than maybe Sayid really CAN'T be with Nadia because on the island he chose to let the evil side of himself win by joining up with Smokey?

KEAMY THE CHEF: Ok, this is where it might get a little confusing. Sayid's brother's name is Omer. But the familiar looking thug who picks Sayid up outside of Nadia's house is named Omar. With an "a". This guy is the same Omar who came to the island to help Keamy do his evil deeds in Season 4. I spotted him right away but for some reason was still really surprised to see Keamy a few minutes later. (By the way, kind of awkward for Sayid to sleep at Nadia's house while Omer is in the hospital. I'm assuming that if he doesn't deserve her, though, than he sleeps on the couch.) So, Omer takes Sayid to a restaurant, which I'm pretty sure is the same restaurant where Naomi took Miles to speak to a dead body in the episode "Some Like it Hoth." I always assumed that restaurant was owned by Widmore. Is it the same here? Does that mean that Keamy, even in this timeline, works for Widmore? That would explain why Jin was also locked up here (great twist, by the way), because he was delivering something for Mr. Paik, and we've learned in the past that Paik and Widmore definitely know each other. Maybe Jin was stealing money from Mr. Paik and Widmore's guys are taking care of it? Anyway, Sayid shoots them all, but not before Keamy relishes in evil and fried eggs. That Keamy actor is either really good at playing an evil guy, or he should actually be arrested because he really is evil. Hard to tell. I do have to say that Sayid was kicking a lot of butt this episode, both as a good(ish) guy and a bad guy.

Ok, that's it for the flash-sideways, now on to the


SAYID SAMURAI SHOWDOWN: This was a cool scene but pretty much your typical Iraqi Republican Guard vs. a Samurai Baseball Fan in an Egyptian/Aztec Temple Fight Scene. It had all the elements you expect from such a staging: logs to the head, bonsai trees thrown in anger, a baseball falling to the ground with oddly-muted foley. Pretty exciting, though, nonetheless. But before all those shenanigans, we got more info from Dogen about Jacob and his nemesis, The Dude That Refuses to Be Mentioned By Name. Or, rather, we learn more about the nature of man. Apparently "for every man there is a scale: one side good, one side evil." Is the island a place where people go to get rid of the evil side that everyone has within them? They can follow Jacob and be delivered from it or follow Smokey and surrender themselves to its evil pull. One theory out there (vocalized often from Jack on the Jay and Jack Podcast) is that Jacob and Smokey are two sides of the same person. The ultimate and physical expression of the two sides – light and dark – within us all. I'm not sure I buy into this theory but it does seem possible, especially after this episode and Dogen's speech about the scales. It would explain, at the very least, why they haven't given us Smokey's name yet. What was up with Dogen's baseball falling to the floor? I'm assuming it was a reminder that he is not allowed to kill anyone, or maybe just doesn't want to kill anyone after accidentally taking his own son's life in an accident. Did Jacob push the ball off the table, causing the weird sound effects? Or did it just fall and the sound was just for dramatic purposes, showing its significance?

CLAIRE SENT BY "YOU KNOW WHO": Creepy Claire goes into the temple and tells them to send someone out to speak with Johnny No Name. Smokey really played this whole Temple invasion like a chess game, sending in a pawn (Claire) in exchange for a knight (Sayid), which he sent back in later to take out the King (Dogen) and the Queen (Lennon). (Here I should point out that I have no idea how to play chess. Just go with me and pretend that last example made sense.)

DOGEN'S DAGGER: Dogen selects Sayid to be the one to go out to meet Locke, and hands him a dagger with the instructions to kill Locke before he has a chance to speak. (Maybe Smokey's name is actually Saruman. What? Lord of the Rings reference? Yep. Cause it rules.) Dogen tells Sayid that Smokey has been trapped for years and wants to kill every living thing on the island. How many years has Smokey been trapped? And if he was trapped, how was he killing folks left and right, all over the island throughout the years Lost's been on? Confusing.

KATE FAIL: As Sayid leaves the temple, he spots Kate on the way out. Did you think he was going to stab her? I did. But I guess she's not someone he knew was dead. Still, it looked bad for Kate for a second there. And we're definitely in that show-ending zone where anyone could die. Speaking of Kate, she sure didn't try to look for Claire very hard. I didn't even see her peak behind a solitary leaf. She just filled her canteen at the barracks and walked directly back to the temple. Nice mission-questing, Kate. At least she's welcomed back with Miles' excellent zinger: "Sawyer sent you packing, huh?"

STAB FAIL: Sayid stops to drink some water and Smokey shows up. Here I feel it is important to note that Sayid failed. He paused on Smokey's arrival. There was a clear second there where he could have stabbed Locke without thinking. But instead Locke said "Hello, Sayid" and, as Dogen predicted, it was all over. Could Sayid have killed Locke if he didn't let him speak? Did the speaking activate something in Sayid? Or was it really just Dogen hoping that Smokey would dispose of his messy Sayid problem? Either way, it was too late and Smokey had the chance to start using his evil powers of persuasion to pull Sayid to the dark side. The last place we left this scene, Smokey was insinuating that he could bring Nadia back for Sayid. After we cut away, did Sayid fully give his soul over to "evil incarnate"? Because after this point, the Sayid we know and love sure seems to be fully gone. And I think Smokey gave him more complete instructions on what to do next. Specifically, take out Dogen.

SAYID THE MESSENGER: Sayid marches back into the Temple and proclaims loudly to everyone that because Jacob's gone, they're free. Cindy looks doubtful. But if they don't choose to follow Smokey, then they will be killed by midnight. I think Smokey was completely bluffing at this point. I don't think he was allowed in the temple. (Speaking of which, if he wasn't allowed in the temple, why was he allowed underneath it in This Place is Death?) Apparently, Dogen's life somehow protected the temple. I guess maybe because Jacob blessed him specifically to that effect when he approached him off island? Reluctantly, Cindy and the two kids nobody cares about decide to join many of the Others who leave the temple to put themselves under Smokey's "protection." Probably a bad move.

IT PUTS THE AARON INTO THE BASKET: Meanwhile inside the temple, Kate finds Claire at the bottom of the Silence of the Lambs Hole. She basically brags on and on about how great a mother she was. Claire seems legitimately surprised to hear that Kate took Aaron off-island, so I guess she believed Jin's cover-up at the end of last episode. But it seems Claire should realize at this point that, yes, Jin was lying to her, but so was Smokey. Smokey had been telling her for three years that the Others had Aaron when clearly they didn't. But, she didn't seem to mind when she saw Locke at the end of the episode so maybe that's just one of the perks of being crazy as a rabid squirrel.

SAYID RETURNS THE DAGGER: Sayid finds Dogen in the temple and surprisingly waits until his long depressing monologue about his estranged son is over before drowning him. Dogen's story was interesting, though. Am I understanding it right? It sounded to me like Dogen accidentally crashed his car after picking his son up drunk. Then, Jacob came to the hospital and offered to bring his son back from the dead in exchange for coming to the island to help him. I have to say, I don't think this is the same offer that Smokey made Sayid. I think Smokey is offering Sayid some kind of evil Pet Semetary option that involves selling your soul to bring a zombie monster replica of the person you love back into the world. I think what Jacob is offering is what we saw in the flash-sideways. Dogen had a son who was alive and well, playing the piano at David's recital. I think Jacob's plan is to somehow get all of these people back in the timeline they SHOULD be in, which is the one we're viewing in the flash-sideways. Jack's probably the one that's going to do that, somehow. Maybe that's the task he's got to complete for Jacob after he finishes crying off the side of a cliff. After Dogen's tale, things get shocking really fast as Sayid kills off both Dogen and Lennon in a sudden burst of violence. I was not SUPER sad to see these characters go. I was more sad to see Sayid go off the deep end. Though he did do it with gusto, so you gotta applaud that. We learn from Lennon that Dogen's death means Smokey can enter the temple. Sayid grins and says he already knew that. Does every actor on this show have a hideous evil grin they've been working on? Seems like it.

MILES IS NOT DEAD YET: The most stressful moment of the episode? Thinking that Miles was going to get killed by the Smoke Monster. I'm so glad he didn't. It turns out it was just the weirdest rescue squad ever. But I was glad to see them, even their spunky sidekick Ben. I like Ilana, but I feel sorry for her. On Lost, typically a character only gets one costume for the entire season, and hers sucks. It looks like she works at a pool hall:

BEN BACKS AWAY SLOWLY: Ben goes to find Sayid, but finds his old buddy grinning over some corpses and backs cowardly away. I get that Ben can be a coward, but what happened to the Ben from that episode The Shape of Things to Come that had ninja skills and a skull-thumping stick? Ben says "There's still time" and creepy smilin' Sayid says "Not for me." It looks to me like Ben did not catch up with everyone else, but he says to Sayid that he knows a way out, so I'm guessing he's going to follow close behind Ilana and the Others in their secret Scooby Doo path.

MASS TEMPLE EXODUS: So Frank, Miles, Ben, Ilana and Sun head out the back of the temple to safety. Meanwhile, Kate jumps in the Silence of the Lambs hole to avoid the smoke monster. For a second it looked like there was a person screaming in the smoke as it passed by. Was that a victim or a part of the smoke monster consciousness or something? Eventually the smoke monster passes and Claire and Sayid walk like drones across the battlefield back to the exit to meet up with Locke, giving him the evil 'sup nod. What was the creepy song that was playing during their exit? I'm pretty sure it was Claire's voice singing the same song she was singing at the bottom of the hole earlier in the episode, but I couldn't make it out either time. Was it the song she always sung to Aaron in past episodes? That would be my guess. Shockingly, Kate decides to follow Claire and Sayid out of the temple. I can only assume at this point she doesn't know Sayid is bad, and she's still hoping to "save" Claire. In fact, she doesn't really know that Locke is evil, does she? It will be interesting to see where that group goes next in order to get off the island. If that's really Locke's plan. One other thing I noticed: Sun is on Jacob's side and Jin is with Smokey. I'm guessing that he's an unwilling member of the Smokey team, kind of like Kate, so maybe they'll escape together and meet back with the others. Will Sawyer desert Smokey and go with them?

That's it for this week. Here's what I saw in the preview for next Tuesday's episode. (Caution, if you did not watch it there are some more spoilerish spoilers than usual):

Locke lifts his eyebrows. Kate looks shocked. Ben says to Jack (I think) "I can't believe you're just gonna stand by and watch this happen." Sayid looks mean. Ilana is at the beach near a funeral site holding a gun. Over a shot of Ben, the announcer says: "The man who brought death to so many people is going to face his own demise." Um, spoiler alert? Why don't they just start with: "We want you to watch next week's episode so bad, we're going to tell you how it ends." I hope it does not end that way. Ben needs to be around until the finale, for sure. Next, Ben digs some hole or a grave. Is Ben trying to bury all the Others that died in the Temple? Or is he finally giving the Dharma folks a proper burial? Interesting. Ben looks out of a grave he's digging and hears Smokey's ticka-ticka sound. Ben says: "Forgive me." Close up of Miles opening his eyes. The announcer says: "There are only ten more episodes until the incredible season finale." Smokey POV cam shot. Sawyer running. Ilana running. Hurly running. Sawyer looking. Jack looking. Ben, Sun, and Miles looking around at night with torches. Ben looks up from the ground, where he's apparently fallen down. He looks terrified.

Next week's episode is called "Mr. Linus."


Davis said...

Again, no one bothers to mention to Claire that Aaron is now safely with Claire's mother. Wouldn't that perhaps be a calming, sanity-returning thought? Oh well.

And, did we ever hear Lennon actually be referred to as Lennon? Or is his name just Lennon because of how he looks?

Erin said...

I know, Davis!! Why, oh why doesn't Kate tell Claire say that he's with Claire's mom??

Andrea said...

Yay! Recap! I like how the second time you said nieblings it was totally integrated. OK so the episode. LOVED it. No really. I thought a lot of the things that you said and noticed how Sayid's flash was different than the others so far because he turned dark in both. Interesting. I also heard the screams when smokey went over the hole. I wondered if it was all the screams from anyone he has ever terrorized/killed? Like trapped in there with him?

IN the clip from next week, I don't know why but when Ben was digging I immediately thought he was digging up real Locke's body. I don't know why but I hope even now he knows something and decides to use it. I agree that he absolutely can not die until the last ep. It just wouldn't be the same!

Angela said...

Okay, so I can't say I didn't see it coming. But then again, I think I've been in denial. Still, this episode was incredibly painful for me to watch. Was it me, or did Sayid closely resemble a Scooby Doo villain at the very end? I've always loved his complexity: the gentle, soft-spoken torturer. So seeing him go all bad felt a little bit flat and one-dimensional to me.

I loved the Sayid/Dogon showdown in the beginning. Great fight scene.

If they kill Ben off next week, I'll be doubly pissed. He's my other favorite character.

So, yeah maybe he shouldn't kill people, but was Sayid shooting Keamy and his henchmen really a bad thing? I mean, I for one, was thankful that I didn't have to look at Keamy's teeth any longer. It seemed like more of a mercy killing to me.

Angela said...

It Puts the Aaron in the Basket...I thought the same thing.

Oh, and I also thought that Sayid was going to stab Kate. Wishful thinking, huh?

Angela said...

Okay, last from me, I promise. You didn't mention the passing of Dr. Jack in the ER. What's up with that?

Erin said...

Okay: I know whatcha mean, Ange. I also miss Sayid's complexity, which is so realistic. However, I think Sayid is now not just Sayid, if you know what I'm saying. Here's my theory:
Sayid is bitter about the loss of his wife, Claire is bitter about the loss of Aaron and Sawyer is bitter about the loss of juliet - will these characters (I think the answer for Claire and Sayid is yes) allow their bitterness to affect their moral compass and turn them totally evil? Then we have Jack who is also bitter, but will he rise above it and save the island?

I think Ben is going to be a redeeming figure in the end and fight for the good of the island. This could be wishful thinking because I love him, but I think we saw some repentance as he seemed sincere at John Locke's funeral.

I love Richard, Ben and Jacob - my very favorite characters - so I hope they are all given a glorious conclusion.

Wes W. said...

As far as Claire's mom goes, I definitely thought she should have mentioned that, but one interesting thing to note: The last time Claire saw her mom, her mom was in a coma from a car accident. In fact, we don't know when she awoke from that coma. We just know it must of happened sometime between 2004 and 2007 when Oceanic Six returned to the island.

Wes W. said...

So, I guess I'm saying I'm not sure Claire would have believed Kate.

Anonymous said...

if sawyer, claire, and sayid all go bad then that's too predictable and not really giving the bad guys a fair shake at redemption. they were the bad guys to start with. i mean, claire is the unwed teenage mother, sayid is the toturer/killer, and sawyer is the heartless conman. they were bad to start with! and then the good one are jack the genius doctor, hurley the lovable funny fat man, and sun the beautiful woman with repressed inner strength. they were already pretty much good. if none of these characters switches sides in the end then it's not about getting second chances and practicing your free will. it's about being stuck with what you got and there not being a dang thing you can do about it even after paying your dues by going completely bonkers on a goofy island with a bunch of other crazed nuts. annoying!
to solve this problem they can make just make sawyer wind up being good.


Angela said...

Coult! I'm totally with you, and thought the exact same thing! It's starting to feel a little too fatalistic for my liking. I always end up sympathizingwith the sad sap because if they can't be redeemed, or "saved", then who in the sorry lot of us can? I always root for the underdogs for that reason. It's entirely rooted in selfishness. If they can be redeemed then it works out better for me too. :)

Wes W. said...

Good point, Coulter, hadn't thought about it that way. I was thinking their switch to evilness was more about them being unable to get over loss (of Nadia, of Aaron) and giving way to bitterness and desperate solutions, making pacts with evil people in order to change fate. Kind of like how Michael went off the deep end to save his son, killing Libby and Ana Lucia to do so. Now Sayid is killing to get Nadia back, Claire is killing to get Aaron back. I didn't think of it in terms of them always being bad or good. In fact, Claire seemed like a good person to me, just having a hard time. Sayid, too, really. After all, he put his life at risk by letting Nadia go free. I don't think the Lost writers will be content to say "bad is bad" and "good is good". I think it's just people's emotions are being manipulated to the dark side as they're caught in this larger struggle of good vs. evil on a grand scale.

I dunno.

Amy said...

Oh, how I love this blog. Oh how I love this show. I am crushed that Sayid is evil, but Ben Linus still rules the planet. I think the "loss theory" has much merit!!

Meredith said...

Kevin Durand (Keany) is just a really brilliant character actor.