Let me warn you before we start, this post is probably going to be a disappointment. Why? Well, let’s just say it might go down in history as the shortest episode preview post in modern Blog history. It’s not because it’s Valentine’s Day this week, or that I’m busy getting married / buying a house, or anything like that – it’s simply because there is very little to garner from any of the usual preview places this week (you’ll see what I mean shortly).
Are those crafty Lost writers on to me? Is this all part of a massive scheme to stop me from figuring out the great mysteries of Lost ahead of time? Or are they simply trying to put a stop to the hundreds of thousands of dollars I’m making off their creative juices this week? Stop putting the Blog out of business, damn you!
Okay, with that disclaimer out of the way, I’m sure you’re all very excited to read on, so let’s get down to our very brief business.
Episode Title: “The Economist”
Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: You’ve got me.
I did my usual due diligence in researching the title – seeing if it could describe any characters or situations on the show, checking Google for references to TV / music / movie / books, and asking strangers on the street what their ideas were – but it all just kept pointing back to the same two simple things.
The dictionary definition of an economist (which is an expert in the field of economics - the branch of social science that deals with the production and distribution and consumption of goods and services and their management).
The newspaper “The Economist” (which is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by "The Economist Newspaper Ltd" and edited in London. It has been in continuous publication since James Wilson established it in September 1843. As of summer 2007, its average circulation tops 1.2 million copies a week, about half of which are sold in North America. Consequently it is often seen as a transatlantic (as opposed to solely British) news source.)
Neither of those really screams out anything remotely related to this week’s Sayid-centric episode, do they?
So what are we left with? Well, first of all I guess we should discuss the panther-sized cat that ABC let out of the bag with this week’s episode preview, promising the viewer that “the next member of the Oceanic Six will be revealed.” Since the only way to truly “reveal” that someone is a member of the Oceanic Six is to show them off the Island, and since this week is a Sayid-centric affair, it’s pretty clear what we’re looking at this week…
This makes Sayid the fourth of six members of the ultra-exclusive Oceanic Six club, along with Hurley, Jack, and Kate. He probably knows the secret handshake and everything. I have to admit, this is one of the last characters I would have guessed to make it off the Island. Claire, Sun, and Jin seemed like overly obvious choices for the final three members… which I guess is why it couldn’t have been them. This is Lost we’re talking about, after all.
To me, Sayid just seemed like the kind of guy who would die a noble death helping others escape off the Island – and he’s always around guns and explosions and stuff like that due to his military expertise. But based on this most recent Sayid development, it’s looking more likely that Claire (and Aaron) stick around to fulfill their Season One Island prophecy (the next generation of Others?) and DO NOT become members of the “Oceanic Six”. I still refuse to budge on my Sun and Jin prediction though. If you think about it, Sun still absolutely has to make it off the Island or else she dies. That seems like a lock. On the other side, Jin has to go with Sun or else he will be incapable of communicating with anyone else on the show, rendering his character to someone who can do stuff and stand in the background, but never have another line of real dialogue (not good for storytelling purposes). They are a joint package, rounding out the Oceanic Six.
So, my newest predicted Oceanic Six stand as follows:
It’s a motley crew for sure (and quite International, which might explain how the “Oceanic Six” become such a worldwide phenomenon), but it is made up of a nice representation of the “core characters” from the original thirteen. It’s funny – when you say “Oceanic Six” it feels like that would leave a LOT of characters left behind – but there really aren’t too many left from the core group of Season One. In fact, the only ones remaining would be:
(…and maybe Michael / Walt. I’m still not sure how to handle or classify them, since their storyline is so up in the air right now. For all we know they have already gone back to the “real world”, changed their identities to cover up any connection to Oceanic Flight 815, and moved on with their lives – or become spies for Ben on the Freighter – or become Dharma Shark food.)
The bad news is that this also means that the characters most at risk of dying on the Island would be one of these three characters, or non-Oceanic characters like Juliet / Desmond / Alex / Karl / CFL. Since you have to assume that someone will have to die in this upcoming “battle for the Island”, I’d start worrying if you’re a fan of any of these characters. Actually, if I had to start a death watch now, Desmond and Sawyer would both (sadly) be at the top of the list.
But we digress. Back to the “The Economist”. Did I almost make you forget that I totally glossed over the episode title with all my Oceanic Six talk?
Based on my very boring and non-Lost sounding research above, here’s the only thing I can come up with: either this is one of those “throwaway” sort of titles, like “Enter 77” that will be mentioned in passing, relating to a very specific thing in the episode (maybe Sayid meets with an “Economist” in his flashforward?)… or it is being used in a very broad and general sense to describe the very rational Sayid.
Economists deal with the distribution and consumption of goods – and managing the process. Out of all the Survivors, Sayid seems the most level headed one, the one most capable of managing the process of working with the Freightors and getting as many people off the Island as possible given the situation. Although we don’t have any real consumer goods for Sayid to distribute, we do have some less tangible “goods” on the Island like “seats on the helicopter off the Island” (high demand, low supply), “killing Locke and capturing / killing Ben” (high demand, low supply), and “figuring out the secrets of the Island” (high demand, low supply). Perhaps Sayid is the one who organizes the barter of these three goods – agreeing to bring Ben to the Freightors in return for escape off the Island, who in turn will give up Island secrets to the Freightors in return for them not killing them, etc.
It’s probably the biggest stretch I’ve ever made in the history of deeper meaning guess, but that’s the best I can do. Moving on…
ABC Description: Locke's hostage may be the key to getting off the island, so Sayid and Kate go in search of their fellow castaway in an attempt to negotiate a peaceful deal. Guest starring are Ken Leung as Miles, Jeremy Davies as Daniel Faraday, Rebecca Mader as Charlotte, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Mira Furlan as Danielle Rousseau, Marsha Thomason as Naomi, Armando Pucci as Italian man and Thekla Reuten as Elsa.
Episode Breakdown. Another week, another one sentence episode description – at least it’s a compound sentence with a comma this time!
Hostage. Surprisingly, this one sentence is pretty loaded. For example, Locke actually has two “hostages” that one could argue are the key to getting off the Island – Ben and Charlotte. On the one hand, I’m sure the other Freightors would want to make rescuing Charlotte a top priority before they do anything else – look at how their instinct upon crashing was to find each other. But on the other hand, they’ve already revealed that finding Ben is tied to their overall “mission” on the Island in the first place.
The second portion of the sentence sheds some light on the “mission” of the episode – sending Sayid and Kate (and Miles) to find Locke (who has told them he was going to the Barracks) to try and organize a peaceful deal. How do I know all of this? From two screen shots in the episode preview.
First, we see a gun-toting Sayid snooping around a very barren looking Barracks. Keep in mind that Sayid probably still has the map leading to the Barracks that he swiped from the Flame, so he’s a logical person to lead the team there.
Then, we see Miles having less than friendly banter with Hurley, which means that he must go along with Kate and Sayid, and the two groups actually do meet up.
But then what?
See, that’s the thing about this episode. Remember the pre-season “chill-inducing preview” that showed all sorts of awesome scenes for this season of Lost? Well, we pretty much burned through all of them last week – leaving us with not much left for this week. The other weird thing is that this week’s episode preview contained a whole lot of clips from earlier episodes – not this week.
Something about that makes me very excited for this week’s episode. Maybe the good folks at ABC decided that since they spoiled the “Oceanic Six” part of the episode, they might as well make the rest of it a surprise for us. The other thing that
Something tells me that a lot of stuff goes down this week. After all, we also have this picture of the helicopter actually taking off – which would seemingly indicate that the mission was not only a success – but that Sayid / Kate / Miles make it to the Barracks and back in one week! Now I know what the Lost writers were talking about when they said things were going to move fast this season. Remember seasons of yore when it would take three episodes for characters to go from the beach to the Barracks? No more!
I’m sure it’s not as simple as that. I’m sure that there will be some substantial roadblocks this week, and in the end Team Island (with Locke and Ben still very much a part of it) still acting independently towards their own goals, while Team Freightor slowly works towards accomplishing their mysterious mission, with Team Rescue somewhat caught in the middle, just wanting to get off the Island and let the other two teams fight. But still – there’s a large potential for a lot of storyline progression on-Island this week.
Flashes. We’ve already established that this week should feature Sayid Flashforwards, but what will those flashforwards entail? Well, a quick scan of the guest stars this week reveals the four Freightors (plus Naomi – which means she’s getting a guest star credit for laying on the ground and playing dead), CFL ( who is due for a better storyline than just standing around in the background and occasionally hitting Ben), and an “Italian Man” and “Elsa” (pictured below).
It’s clear that these two will be featured in Sayid’s future – which may mean he moves to Italy (he’s quite the world traveler, since he’s already been seen living in Iraq and Paris). Hey, one of them might even be an Economist! But the more interesting thing is the lack of one particular guest star – Nadia.
Nadia. Now is as good of time as any to mention the mystery of Nadia. We’ve seen her buying a house with Locke and being saved by a mugger thanks to Charlie – and we know that she was working as a lab technician in Los Angeles just before Flight 815 crashed. However, if you recall Season One’s “Solitary”, Sayid very clearly tells CFL that Nadia is dead because of him.
I would think that if Sayid really does make it back to the real world, one of the first things he would do is to find Nadia and pretend that he never hooked up with Shannon on the Island – but the lack of her inclusion in this episode may indicate that this isn’t the case. On the other hand, maybe he came back and was messed up Jack-style, which drove her away – so we could be in store for a flashforward that takes place a good deal of time after rescue from the Island.
I’m out. I feel like I cheated you out of a full preview post this week, so feel free to pose any outstanding questions you might have in the comments section or message board over the next two days and I’ll try to answer them to make it up to you.