Just in case my incessant blog plugging isn’t annoying yet, I’m posting my initial thoughts to the latest episodes of Lost (and other shows) on my blog, immediately after the episode concludes.
We now know 2/3 of the Oceanic Six, with Sayid being revealed as number four. This particular flash forward episode followed a different formula from what we’ve previously seen with Jack and Hurley. While the latter two have become haunted with the decisions they’ve made and obsessed with returning to the island – to the extent that they can no longer function in their day-to-day lives – Sayid, despite having seemingly sold his soul, seems well adjusted to the return home, more so than any of the other returnees (from what we’ve seen). What is also interesting is that, thus far, he seems to be the one person not fixated with returning to the island. At the same time, due to his association with Ben, he’s the one most closely linked to it.
We also learned that in the future Ben is off of the island – and, as I’m sure everybody already realizes, he is NOT one of the Oceanic Six, having not been on the flight to begin with – and is using Sayid as his personal assassin. There are two questions to be asked: Who are these people that Sayid is killing off, and what is he protecting his friends from? As a follow up question, are the “friends” that Ben refers to the other members of the Oceanic Six, or are they the ones that were left behind? I had initially assumed the former, but am now leaning towards the latter. Based on Hurley and Jack’s secrecy and obsession over returning to the island, it’s clear that something disastrous occurred related to the rescue. While Hurley and Jack are determined to go back to seemingly right those wrongs, Sayid’s hits may be his way of saving them.
Regarding that final scene, when Sayid was being attended to by a shadowy figure, I thought it would be revealed as Ben, Christian Shephard, or Matthew Abbadon. For what it’s worth, I don’t believe that Christian Shephard is Jacob, and I’m not convinced that he’s suddenly alive, either (or alive in the future, for that matter). And I commend the writers for not having the veterinary office filled with rabbits, Ben’s pet of choice.
Last week I theorized that the rescuers are after Ben because he’s the only surviving member of the Dharma Initiative, and they want to get their hands on the Initiative’s time travel research. That now seems to holds a bit more weight following Daniel’s experiment, when the rocket sent from the freight did not arrive when it should have and ultimately exposed a 31-minute discrepancy. And you just KNEW something would happen to interrupt the scene, so that Daniel couldn’t explain what had happened (Desmond, that’s your cue to enter).
I’ve read two related theories regarding Ben, one is that he can travel through time and the other is that there are multiple Bens. While I don’t think these ideas are impossible, I’m not sold on them either. I know that I had previously predicted that Dharma is experimenting with time travel (which can be supported by the possibly pre-historic Dharma polar bear and Desmond’s trippy seer side effect after blowing up the Dharma hatch), but there haven’t necessarily been any indications or hints that Ben in particular can travel through time.
Concerning the possibility that there are multiple Bens, I must again cite the lack of evidence or hints to support this speculation. If there are multiple Bens, why would The Others have gone to such lengths to arrange a hostage exchange when Ben was held prisoner in the hatch? And why would The Others have exerted equally strenuous efforts to manipulate Jack into performing Ben’s life saving spinal surgery? Yes, there were numerous passports hidden in Ben’s house, but all that proves is that he has multiple aliases (why he didn’t choose one of those identities instead of “Henry Gale,” which ultimately resulted in him getting caught in a lie, I will never know), which makes sense since we already know that The Others regularly traveled to and from the island.
How ironic is it that Sayid, a former military torturer, wants to handle things diplomatically, while worrying that Jack, a renown surgeon who has saved countless lives, will turn to violence and take matters into his own hands? If nothing else, that odd dichotomy framed the actions of present day and future Sayid. On the island, Sayid is deeply affected by the death of a woman he barely knew, especially after he discovers that she’s leaving a loved one behind. In the future, he’s willing to use a woman that he had fallen in love with, which is a dark contrast to his affinity for romance (See: Nadia, Shannon). In the present day, he wants to negotiate without resorting to violence. In the future, he’s a hired assassin willing to murder in cold blood.
At the same time, during both timelines we see a different side of Sayid rear its head. Despite his desire to peacefully bargain with Locke, there is something mysterious and sinister about what he’s willing to give up in order to get what he wants. And while he may be Ben’s hired gun, he still grows to deeply care for his assignment, and is seconds away from coming clean. As such, he’s profoundly saddened about having to kill her.
Things are starting to get strained over on Locke’s team, with Hurley in particular starting to oppose some of Locke’s methods (particularly keeping people hostage and using ploys to trap their supposed friends). I still feel like Locke will be revealed as one of the Oceanic Six, because from a storyline standpoint, it’s the best possible option. Along with that, it would add some intrigue as to how three people from Jack’s team, and two people from Locke’s team get off the island.
Once again, Sawyer acts as the voice of the viewers, asking the questions and bringing up the points that the audience is wondering. Last week, he asked Locke why he would keep Ben – the man had shot him and left him to die in a ditch – alive, instead of killing him right off the bat. This past week, he reminded Kate that she’s a wanted murderer, so there’s likely not going to be a parade held in her honor when she returns home.
With that said, I’m not entirely convinced that Kate simply decided to stick with team Locke. Sure, she may be jonesing for some Sawyer love, and his words of warning may have hit her hard, but I’m skeptical for the sole fact that we didn’t see the scene in which she tells Sayid that she’s staying. There was just too much mystery surrounding the deal Sayid made with Locke, leading me to believe that she was part of the hostage exchange as well. In the long run, holding Kate captive gives Locke a lot more leverage than if he just had Miles. And despite their mutual jealousy issues, I truly believe that Kate is supremely loyal to Jack, and would not have just abandoned his side like that.
Speaking of which, the taken aback look on Kate’s face when Jack asked Juliet, and not her, to get fetch Desmond was priceless. Like I said last week, in the end, the center of Lost is the bond between Jack and Kate, and I was excited to see that relationship take center stage this season. I’m going to be really disappointed if Kate spends an extended amount of time this season with Sawyer, as it’s something we’ve already seen. After all, the brief flirtatious scene between Jack and Kate, just before he tells her to go with Sayid, was a really cute, sweet moment.
It is interesting, though, how virtually every non-caged sexual encounter between Kate and Sawyer can be traced back to Kate jealously viewing a moment between Jack and Juliet. Back at the beach, she jumped Sawyer after seeing Jack and Juliet have dinner together. And here, she (allegedly) chose to play house with Sawyer after Juliet had seemingly taken over as Jack’s sidekick. I know a lot of people were peeved that Ross and Rachel ended up together in the Friends finale, but this series needs to end with these two shacking up.
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