So in my Revisited column, I mentioned how Christian alerted Sun and Frank that Locke (who we now know is the Smoke Monster) was going to help them reunite with their friends. The two Ajira crash landing survivors looked outside to see Locke standing there. I was attempting to use this example as a means of proving that Christian may not be the Smoke Monster.
Well, over on my blog long-time reader and frequent contributor Kyle correctly pointed out that this is not exactly how the scene played out. Christian told them to wait in the cabin for somebody who would help them. A little later Ben arrived, who brought their attention to the Locke Ness Monster.
So, basically, we’re no closer to cracking this mystery than we were a couple of weeks ago.
Anyway, I keep intending to write this every week, but I always forget, but I absolutely love the new remix of the classic “swoosh” sound that segues the cuts between each reality (flashback/forward in the past, flash sideways now). There’s an extra bounce or two to it, almost as if to symbolizes how completely deranged the line between these two realities have become.
So typically speaking, Kate episodes are viewed as duds, Locke episodes are lauded as spectacular, and Sayid-centric episodes can be hit or miss. According to most fans, anyway. While I don’t dislike Sayid, I’ve never actually been a huge fan of his character. It seems like every finale I’m suggesting he dies. But I must say, I found this episode exhilarating. There were no less than three times that I expected to see the “LOST” title appear as it does at the end of each episode, only to discover that there was still 20 minutes left. And it just kept getting better and better.
First and foremost, was I the only one who was devastated by Dogen’s death? I had really started to enjoy his character once he began regularly speaking English. I was especially fond of the unspoken, mutual respect between him and Jack. Despite all of the misleading truths, blatant lies, and arguable manipulations, at the end of the episode these two could just sit down together and understand what the other was going through. It made both of them more likeable. And after all the Losties have gone through, it was a bit surreal seeing Jack cozying up to a high-ranking Other. This actually reminded me of a point I wanted to make in my Revisited column, which is that certain characters seem to be intimately tied together no matter what the universe. In both the Island world and the Sideways reality, pairs like Claire and Kate, Jack and Dogen, and Ben and Locke are brought together.
As a final note on Dogen: I found the tragic story behind the baseball genuinely touching. And I was further moved by the information he had not given us. Quite simply, that his actions essentially led to his son’s death, but that he was given a great gift and his son’s life was saved. In return, he promised never to take another life. Hence why he attempted to get Jack and later the Locke Ness Monster to kill Sayid, and why he halted from doing the deed himself when he saw the baseball drop. That was my interpretation, anyway.
But man, did Sayid look twisted once his intentions became clear. I honestly thought we were going to see a new understanding between Dogen and Sayid, where the former would come to realize that the latter was right, that there was goodness inside of him. But instead he drowned him, quite suddenly. Then he coldly and coolly stepped out of the water – the very pool he was “resurrected” and he told Lennon, in a rather inhumane tone, he was aware of his actions and the dangers that would consequently occur. Then he turned around and slashed Lennon’s throat.
From there, we heard the familiar sounds of the Smoke Monster – before we knew he was a billow of dark smoke – similar to what we heard in the pilot episode. And then we saw one of the most kick ass massacres this series has ever shown us. And I really wasn’t sure who would survive. And the understated reunion between those who remained on the Ajira flight and those that traveled back to the 70’s was wonderful. I do have to wonder, though: In the midst of all of this, where were Jin and Sawyer? Weren’t they with Claire and the Locke Ness Monster, respectively?
A final note on Island Sayid: how awesome was that fight scene between Dogen and Sayid? That was easily the best battle we’ve seen on this show, even surpassing the great Sayid/Keamy skirmish of Season 4. And hey! Keamy showed up in the flash sideways as well. Except he wasn’t going to reclaim his throne, as he basically talked tough, made some eggs, and got shot.
Okay, so my thoughts on the flash sideways aren’t going to be quite as verbose, but I actually really did enjoy it. Much like the other sideways realities we’ve seen thus far, the basic gist of each person’s lives is the same, but only with an interesting and unexpected twist. With Sayid, he’s still in love with Nadia, but she’s married to his brother. And much like his island counterpart, sideways Sayid was being pressured by somebody else into reverting to his violent ways. And in both scenarios, he submitted to their will. He DID kill the loan sharks, he did try to kill the Locke Ness Monster, and he did allow said monster into the Temple so that he could kill everybody else. And don’t think I forgot about Jin’s cameo appearance in Sayid’s story (or Jack’s!), I just don’t have any theories quite yet. What do you think?
That’s not to say the episode was flawless. Was I the only one a bit disappointed by Sayid and Miles’ reaction to seeing Claire? I frequently defend certain instances of indifference by bringing up the insane things they’ve experienced. But after not seeing Claire for three years – and not even knowing if she’s alive or dead, and being fully aware that she abandoned her son under very peculiar circumstances – I expected something a bit more spectacular. I mean, this is somebody they’re supposed to care about.
There was one other interaction I was a bit unsatisfied with, and that was the one between Sayid and Ben. This was the first time these two characters came together since we discovered that Sayid shot a young Ben back in 1977. Sure, we were led to believe that “whatever happened, happened” and that Ben (rather conveniently) had the occurrence wiped from his memory – but neither of those theories had really been tested yet. Would there be a sense of familiarity? Were new memories uploaded?
Of course, keeping the interaction so brief and urgent was possibly/likely a deliberate move on the part of the writers, in which case I anxiously await to see what’s going to happen next.
Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.