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October 10, 2015

Lost: He's Our You

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 26th 2009 12:31AM

Naveen Andrews as Sayid on 'Lost.'
(S05E10) "A twelve-year-old Ben Linus brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I'm doing?" - Sayid

Hands down, no doubt about it - best episode of the season. "He's Our You" was much more of a traditional Lost episode, in the sense that we had regular ol' flashbacks. There's been a lot of questions about Sayid (we haven't seen too much of him this season), and this was probably the most sensible way to do it - lay out his current predicament while flashing to all the moments that got him there. Who likes sandwiches?

For the most part, all of Sayid's flashbacks were fairly straightforward. No punches pulled. Everything made sense and filled in the holes that I think, for the most part, most fans had sort of filled in on their own anyway. Seeing young Sayid kill a chicken without flinching came as no shock, but it did add fuel to the overarching theme - Sayid is a killer. Period.

I was slightly disappointed with the way things ended between Ben and Sayid circa 2007. Ben really was just using Sayid to pick off Widmore's men one by one (big surprise, I know), and his nonchalant "You're done" was classic Linus. What was surprising? Sayid didn't see it coming. He looked as if he were going to cry when he asked "What do I do now?" But when he added up all of Ben's past actions - the purge, his resulting tenure as leader, enlisting Sayid as a hitman - it all became much clearer. Sayid's atonement as a Habitat for Humanity gopher suddenly made much more sense. Too bad Ben showed up and pulled the wool over Sayid's eyes again. Locke was murdered! Hurley's in trouble! It got Sayid back to LA, though, and that was the goal all along.

The burning question - why was Sayid on flight 316 - was a bit of a letdown, too. But again, it made perfect sense, and for that, I'm satisfied. Ilana was nothing more that a bounty hunter, sent to track down Sayid by the family of the guy (Peter Avellino) Sayid killed on the golf course in "The Economist." Obviously, Ben set it all up. Sayid is a pro. There's no way he would have left a clue that could link him to the murder. Ben was the only one who knew. Plus, Ben made sure Ilana took him on flight 316, too. More lies, more deception. Once he saw everyone, Sayid's favor (can we take the next plane?) was hilarious, though.

On the island, things got very interesting. I've been wondering all along if a unifying reason for the O6 returning would ever be revealed, and it's looking more and more like they're all going to have individual paths to follow. We now know Sayid's. Meeting young Ben Linus. Deceiving young Ben Linus. Shooting young Ben Linus.

Apparently, Mr. Jarrah missed Professor Faraday's Island 101 lesson.

OK, so obviously young Ben will not die. But Sayid did shoot him and since "whatever happened, happened," that was the exact moment that Ben learned Sayid was, in fact, a killer. It lends a lot more weight to Ben's future actions in orchestrating Nadia's death (you know he did). Not only was he doing it to recruit a man who eats, sleeps, and breathes murder, but on some level it had to be revenge, as well. You shot me, so I killed your wife.

What's going to be interesting is to see how this affects young Ben's view of the hostiles. As far as he knows, Sayid is one of Richard's men. Obviously, the purge is still years away and there's time for Ben's views to change again, but I wonder if we may be seeing a pro-DHARMA Ben Linus for at least a little while anyway.

A few more thoughts...

  • Is Kate really so dense that she didn't realize Sawyer and Juliet were an item? I'm guessing that whatever Sawyer whispered in Kate's ear has something to do with that. Kate didn't come right out and say it, but it seems clear that she came back for James and whatever he told her three years ago is still giving her hope.
  • William Sanderson was Oldham! He'll always be E.B. Farnum to me. Anyway, Oldham's drugs were pretty effective, huh? Sayid's whole "I'm from the future" rant was arguably one of the best scenes in the series to date. The looks on Radzinsky and Horace's faces were sheer terror as Sayid started prattling on about things they hadn't even finished yet (like the Swan).
  • Anyone else notice that Sayid was drinking McCutcheon scotch? A favorite of Desmond, Charlie, and Charles Widmore. $120 for a glass though? Damn.
  • If you're curious, the book Ben gave to Sayid was A Separate Reality by Carlos Casteneda. According to Wikipedia, it's "an allegedly non-fictional book written by anthropologist/author Carlos Castaneda in 1971 concerning the events that took place during an apprenticeship he claimed to have served with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, Don Juan Matus, between 1968 and 1971." Hmm. Sounds sort of similar to Ben's future and the "relationship" he has with Jacob.
  • I can't wait to see Juliet go bonkers when Kate inevitably makes a play for Sawyer. Those two have fought before don't forget.

Here's the official description for next week's installment:

"Whatever Happened, Happened" - Kate goes to extreme measures to save Ben's life when Jack refuses to help. Meanwhile, Kate begins to tell the truth about the lie in order to protect Aaron, on "Lost," WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on ABC.

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sayidisdevil: That's the most simplistic, asinine, longest run-on, grammitally deformed single sentence I've ever read. It frightens me that you probably love to vote, although you're so self-contradictory I can't even tell if you're a right-wing nutjob or a left-wing wacko.

Sometimes you do things you don't want to do because you it's for the greater good (i.e. the means to a just end) and/or because it's your duty. Soldiers kill in cold blood. They do it because it's their duty, not because they necessarily "want to" (although in a war a properly motivated soldier will want to kill the enemy at some point, but that doesn't mean they want to kill another human being - humanity has to be put aside to conduct war). Are you saying Allied forces storming the beaches at Normandy, shooting Germans intentionally and with the cold-blooded desire to kill (not personal self-defense) were "evil"? I hope you don't.

Sayid knows first-hand that Ben Linus is an evil guy, although like I've said they have yet to give us sufficient reason for Sayid to be working for Ben and then suddenly hate him. Sayid is not a serial killer nor a sadist. He didn't get off on killing young Ben, but he believed, based on the information he had, that it was the right thing to do. And Sayid may very well have been correct in trying. As for torturing people, Sayid hated himself for the torture he did in Iraq, and the only way he could be convinced to torture Sawyer earlier on in the show was to get vital, life-saving information they thought Sawyer had. Of course, killing the people who killed his wife, purely out of revenge, is not necessarily "moral" but it's still done out of duty and as a means to a justifiable end. I'm not saying Sayid has not done anything wrong. He has. But it's not so simple.

And then you contradict everything you said before by saying Sayid should be tortured and killed for what he's done - eye for an eye. Amazing.

Would you do the torturing and killing of Sayid? Who should?

April 03 2009 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok, coming in a little late here but two points no one has yet brought up...

(1) For a hippy-like establishment in the '70s I haven't heard any language of the time by the Dharmas such as "groovy" or any influence of disco which was big by '77. I'd like to see a little more authenticism applied, and

(2) isn't anyone else surprised that this group of Dharmas would vote on killing Sayid, as a hostile ?! WTH is that about ?! It's like these people are used to passing capital judgment decisions on a regular basis! These are supposed to be highly intelligent, civilized people and yet - even in the presence of a mother with infant child - they're voting without much dissenting debate at all to kill Sayid. Seems very obtuse to me, kind of like the writers are being lazy and pandering. Seriously, kill a hostile when he's only been suspected as a clumsy spy?

And I'm not even going to go into detail about the problems with the sudden, snap decision of Sayid to shoot young Ben in the heart...

March 29 2009 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GerryofNorVA's comment

"isn't anyone else surprised that this group of Dharmas would vote on killing Sayid, as a hostile ?!"

From what we've seen previously, the implication is that the Dharma people and the Others have a very tenuous truce that's followed after a period of violent conflict. (In the episode "The Man Behind the Curtain" we actually heard gunfire and explosions in the background as they got into one of their skirmishes, and that was at least four years prior to the events of this episode.) So, the idea of blood being shed by both sides likely isn't all that new.

What we've also seen is that responses to violations of the truce also tend to be violent. In the episode "LaFleur", the Others didn't seem to hesitate with the notion of killing Dharma folk who had crossed outside the agreed upon borders.

The decision on killing Sayid wasn't immediate. They held him for what appeared to be around two days and gave him more than one opportunity to tell his story and make a case for them to show him leniency over the infraction of the truce. Not only did Sayid refuse to volunteer any information or in any way ally himself with them, when interrogated under drugs (past all the future talk) he confessed knowledge about "The Swan" (something that if he relayed to the Others might have been a new source of conflict) and said that they were all going to die (something which could be seen as a threat).

March 29 2009 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There was plenty of opportunity for Sawyer or Jin to orient Sayid. Yes, they were never alone, but it ain't hard to mention a year. Plus, Sayid is not dumb and he knows the Dharma timeline.

March 28 2009 at 2:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

thanks flight 815, but take a step back...how did he know the kid was "a 12 year old Ben Linus"

thats still quite a leap...

March 28 2009 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scooter's comment

"At what point does Sayid figure out that its 1977?"

- Visits from a young Ben Linus. Not sure if we saw all of the visits he made to Sayid, but if not he may have given more information to Sayid than we'd seen (and it would have been quite a coincidence for two people named Ben Linus to end on the same island).

- Seeing the model for "The Swan" Dharma station, and the talk about plans to build it.

- The Dharma crew and their operations (buildings, vehicles, etc.) up and running, seemingly as if nothing ever happened to them. (They believed him to be a "hostile", so they apparentlly weren't the Others.)

- Seeing "The Flame" station looking fine and fully operational, when he himself had seen it detonated back in season three.

I don't know if he specifically pinpointed the date as 1977, but arguably from the above he could have put two and two together and figure himself to be some time in the past.

March 29 2009 at 3:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think maybe sayid could see himself in ben(same father situation) and felt sorry for him. he also knew they would both become killers, and with one shot he could maybe change both their destineys

March 27 2009 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

first time poster, but here goes:

there is one thing bothering me. At what point does Sayid figure out that its 1977? I dont remember seeing a conversation between him and ANYONE alerting him to the year. I which case, how would he know that the kid is actually Ben Linus and not some kid named Ben? One of the things I admire about Lost is the creators ability to tell such a large story, and fill in most of the holes. This, to me, is a pretty large hole.

Am I missing something?

March 26 2009 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scooter's comment

Sayid knew it was 1977 according to his quote:
A twelve-year-old Ben Linus brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I'm doing?" - Sayid

March 27 2009 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony Collett

Maybe it's the fact that I started watching the show last September, and saw all the episodes in a row to catch up before this season, but this is about the only mystery that I know the answer. That whisper was Sawyer telling Kate about his daughter and asking her to check on her. Remember that episode where Sawyer was in prison, found out he had a daughter and acted like he didn't care? At the end when he got the reward money for helping the prison officials catch the guy they were after Sawyer asked that money be put in an account for his daughter, but not tell her who the money came from. Also explains why Kate didn't tell Jack what errand she was running for Sawyer.

March 26 2009 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They were on the list. I figured it out.

March 26 2009 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate to burst your bubble people but young Ben said 'I really hate it here'. Believe me, I watched that scene about ten times and with subtitles. They clearly say - 'I really hate it here'.

March 26 2009 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cress d

What if the bullet that found its way into young Ben missed a lot of "stuff" up front and wound up near his back, say, maybe near his spine? He gets brought back into camp, but none of the doctors DHARMA has are skilled enough to operate to remove the bullet. In steps Jack and/or Juliet. Jack operated on Ben to remove the tumor from his spine in season 3, and maybe Juliet convinces him here to save Ben again. Jacks' cover is blown, as questions surround how someone with his low aptitude(according to Dr. Candle last episode) could do this. And maybe this explains why Ben gets a tumor on his spine 30 years later. Just a theory....

March 26 2009 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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