LOST went old school in this Sayid-centric episode: He’s Our You.
In a ‘real’ flashback to Sayid’s childhood in Tikrit, we see Sayid’s strict father, and Sayid’s first (?) murder, albeit a chicken. In 1977, we see young 12 year old Ben, and his abusive father. While I don’t have much sympathy for Sayid, it’s very hard not to feel sorry for 12 year old Ben, and it would seem that Sayid couldn’t help but to have sympathy, or rather empathy for him, too. Ben’s sad taped-up glasses alone should have sparked some kind of feeling in that cold killer’s heart of his. However, it proved only to spur Sayid on to shoot Ben in ’77 – maybe he believes that Ben can’t escape his fate because of his upbringing by an abusive alcoholic father. Or …
Nature vs. Nurture
Ben shapes Sayid as he does because he wants him to shoot him in 1977. Ben tells Sayid, “You’re a killer, it’s in your nature”. Part of truth? Part of Ben’s manipulation? I doubt everyone all Sayid’s hit list were truly a threat to the people they left behind on the Island, maybe not even associated with Charles Widmore. Ben is running his long con on Sayid, shaping and nurturing him into the killer he needs to be in order to pull the trigger on a twelve year old. Why?
Ben’s End Game
He always seems one step ahead of the game. Does he know his death, or his injury as a twelve year old will cause serious ripples in time and repercussions for the future? What will this mean for our Losties? Maybe Ben wanted to be shot in 1977 to join the ranks of the miraculously healed, courtesy of The Island, a resurrection, even better. This could be an initiation rite he has to go through, along with killing his own father, to join the Others. Or, he wants Sayid to shoot him so the act will help shape his own personality and evil genius mind.
Who is truly free? Ben tells Sayid he is free after he’s completed his hit list. He certainly doesn’t look like he feels that way. Does he shoot the ’77 Ben to gain freedom?
Oldham’s (the torturer) tepee reminds me of Locke’s sweat lodge, when he takes hallucinogens to true to communicate with the Island.
McKutcheon whiskey that Sayid drinks in the bar is the same brand Widmore prefers, that he refuses to Desmond because he’s not good enough for his daughter.
Young Ben bringing Sayid food while he’s being kept prisoner brings us back to season 2, in the Swan station, when Ben is being held prisoner, and interrogated by Sayid.
Ben can’t have died in 1977. My brain won’t allow it. Unless there are multiple timelines occurring at once … and I just don’t want to try to work that one out. But Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Daniel, and Jin living amongst the DI for three years MUST have changed the future. Every little thing they did would have had consequences and changed things. Why aren’t things going crazy? Is the Island immune to some sort of space time continuum disaster?
Whatever Happened, Happened
We discover that Ben meets Richard Alpert in 1973, so he was already with the DI when Sawyer and company infiltrate. Through a conversation with Sayid, we know that Sawyer and company were aware of little Ben’s presence. Maybe as their leader, Sawyer called the shots, keeping to blending in, not doing anything about it. I think he bought what Dan was selling – you can’t change the past. Whatever happened, happened. Which, by the way, is the title of next week’s episode.
The Fun Stuff
In the Dharmateria, we get a look at Hurley’s jumpsuit and logo – a very cool chef’s hat and knife and fork underneath. Kinda neat because Jorge Garcia also has a cooking interest in his ‘real life’. Check out his blog post about making crepes.
3 great lines:
Hurley, on Juliet and Sawyer to Kate: “Thought it was kinda obvious. Who couldn’t see that coming?”
Sawyer: “Three years and no burning buses, ya’ll are back for one day…”
Sayid, answering Sawyer: “A twelve year old Ben Linus just brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I’m doing?”
Ben’s fashion was awesome in this episode. Pimp hat. Linen suit.
A Smack of Ham
Maybe I was hungry. Maybe I’ve been watching too much LOST extra stuff (at EW they do funny videos previewing teasers, starring a tiny pig), but this episode had a smack of ham. The torturer’s name is Oldham. Juliet burns her bacon. Hurley encourages Jack and Kate to “try the dipping sauces, they really bring out the ham.”