Brian's One Word Review: Intense.
Holy crap - although there were some slow parts to this episode, the last five minutes were maybe as intense a scene as we've ever seen on Lost. Smokey rolling through the Temple, mercilessly killing anyone and everyone that gets in his way, our Survivors fleeing in terror, becoming separated, and Sayid seemingly losing his soul once and for all - it all added up to a scene where my heart was pounding by the time it was over... and gave us a glimpse at how intense these final episodes of Lost could be.
So what did we learn?
Poor Sayid. Apparently he was dead for a whopping two hours in "LA X" before coming back to life, plenty of time for him to become claimed by Anti-Jacob, I suppose (remember, the Others were always adamant on burying their people right away to prevent this from happening). If it weren't for Locke, Sayid would be the most tragic character on Lost - a torturer who spent the rest of his life trying to atone for his sins, but could never forgive himself. There was some nice, heavy symbolism between the conversations between Dogen and Sayid - talking about the balance between "good" and "evil". It was almost as if Dogen initially "read" Sayid to be evil based on his past, and Sayid tried to convince him that he was actually good - even though he had a sketchy past.
But in the end, it looks like the darkness finally claimed Sayid.
His cold-blooded killing of Dogen and Lennon was something more than someone getting his revenge on the people who attempted to indirectly kill him twice - it was brutal, calculated, and Sayid was sporting a new little crazy in his eyes, like he was enjoying every moment of it.
PS - I can't lie, I can't help but feel happy to be rid of Dogen and Lennon. They represented unnecessary new characters to withhold secrets from our Survivors.
Likewise, the Off-Island action featured the same balance between good and evil for Sayid. He confided in Nadia that he loved her, but didn't deserve her because of all the terrible things he had done in his life, terrible things he had not yet atoned for. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't escape his past, and found himself killing Keamy and Co... and stumbling across Jin.
Off-Island. In other news, look for the new popular explanation for the Off-Island action to be "Anti-Jacob giving the Survivors exactly what they wanted in their hearts". He told Sayid that he could give him whatever he wished, even if his wish seemed impossible - to be together with his dead wife, Nadia.
Well, take a look at what we've seen in the Off-Island action. Does it represent exactly what our Survivors wanted, in perhaps a "deal with the devil" sort of twist, where it's technically what you thought you wanted - but might not be exactly right?
Sayid - gets to hang with Nadia... but is still a killer... and his brother is married to her.
Dogen - gets to be with his son... but living in Los Angeles.
Jack - is a good father, the kind his father never was... but is divorced / not married.
Locke - finds love... but is still paralyzed, and not doing anything "great" with his life.
Kate - helped Claire and Aaron by taking them to the hospital... but is a fugitive.
Claire - is with Aaron, but now perhaps stranded in Los Angeles, away from her family?
Sun and Jin - are together, but seemingly in the same "bad marriage" that we saw in Season One?
I have to admit, I'm kinda a fan of this twist. It's similar to what I was thinking last week - where the Survivors get to "choose their fate", but instead of making this deal with Jacob - it might be with Anti-Jacob... and there might be little twists and unexpected results from getting their wishes granted. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Sides. There are definitely some well-defined sides forming on the Island. Thanks to the Others apparently being mindless lemmings who will follow whatever "godlike" being on the Island is in control, a number have gone to SmokeLocke's side where he promised to take them off the Island with him. Does this mean that they were somewhat "prisoners" on the Island, while under the reign of Jacob? And what's up with Jacob making such strange deals with people? I'll cure your son, Dogen - but only if you stay on this Island forever. It reminded me of the deal that Jacob allegedly made with Juliet (through Ben) - to cure her sister of cancer, but she was never allowed to leave the Island.
What's the lesser of two evils? Killing all sorts of people or keeping people like slaves as part of a crazy bargaining process? Is making a deal with either Jacob or Anti-Jacob the equivalent of making a deal with the devil?
So in one corner, we have SmokeLocke, Sawyer, Claire, Sayid, a handful of Others, and potentially Kate and Jin - who may just be along for the ride.
In the other corner, we have Ilana, Miles, Frank, Sun, and potentially Ben, Hurley, and Jack.
Advantage? I vote the side that kills people and wants to leave the Island.
I'm sure I'm probably missing a ton, but that's all that comes to mind right now. How about this, instead of doing a normal analysis this week, you post questions in the Comments, and I'll answer them - that way I can clean up some of the outstanding stuff I missed in past weeks, and take care of this episode at the same time.
Sound like a deal?