LOST Season Six: Sundown

Let me say it up front: this episode was an adrenaline rush for me. Several classic scenes make this my favorite episode of the season thus far.

No matter the reality, Sayid seems destined to a life of torture, murder and…wearing the same ratty black wife beater. (How about a wardrobe reboot for this guy?) But the one Sayid tortures the most is himself. Despite his heart’s yearning for Nadia, he won’t allow himself to believe that he’s worthy of love. Nadia is married to Sayid’s brother, who uses Sayid’s feelings for her as a ploy for help. It seems that Sayid’s brother has been involved in some shady financial arrangements. He asks Sayid to use his “skills” to help protect him and his family. Sayid initially refuses, but we can all see where this is going. Our Iraqi torturer is like Pacino in “The Godfather, Part III”; no matter how much he tries to get out, they keep pulling him back in.

Those of you longing for a Keamy flash-sideways can finally rest easy. He and his little sidekick guy try to strong arm Sayid. (I love the line, “I make great eggs!”) Keamy was one of the surprises of Season Four — especially when he took Alex’s life — so it’s no surprise that we find him living out his wicked impulses in the sideways world. We could see this coming for miles: Sayid caps the two henchmen before bringing Keamy to justice as well. But the twist came at the end of the sideways-story. Jin is tied up in the freezer. How he got there is a mystery. But it looks as if our characters stories are beginning to converge in the sideways world.

Back on the Island, Sayid barges in to Dogen’s secret reading room / horticulture suite and demands answers. Dogen has a line that I think is very important: “For every man, there is a scale. On one side of the scale there is good; on the other side, evil.” Unfortunately for Sayid, Dogen was also right about his scale: by episode’s end, Sayid has fully given in — I think for the first time — to the darker side of his temperament.

We still should be asking ourselves who or what raised Sayid from the dead. Miles tells Sayid it wasn’t the Temple-dwelling Others; they were just as surprised to see Sayid alive as anybody. Could it have been Jacob? I suppose, but then why would Jacob do such a thing if Sayid would end up “infected”? It’s worth noting here that Jacob can’t even seem to raise himself from the dead. It’s probably more plausible to assume that Smokey is responsible for Sayid’s resurrection. If not him, then maybe it was “The Island”. Regardless, Sayid’s reanimation has now proven disastrous for Team Jacob.

At the Temple, Dogen downloads some significant mythology. For years, MIB has been trapped. But now with Jacob out of the way, he is free and he’s trying to destroy everyone on the Island. In fact, Dogen says Smokey is “evil incarnate”. And all along I thought that title was reserved for Urban Meyer. Go figure.

We learn that Dogen is lying to Sayid: Smokey can’t be killed. But what else is he lying about? Is MIB really intent on killing everyone on the Island? It doesn’t appear that way. He actually lets a good many of the Temple-dwellers to defect, including Sayid and Kate. We’re left again to wonder who the good guys really are in this conflict.

Did anybody else worry that Sayid was going to stab Kate when he saw her? I guess he didn’t because he knew she hadn’t died (since Dogen said MIB would approach as someone who had already died). But I’ll admit, I was worried there for a second. Sayid made a pretty quick decision, though, when he saw FLocke. Did you notice that the dagger had no blood on it when FLocke returned it to Sayid? When Jacob died he was spitting blood all over the place. Why is it that MIB has no “blood”? Is MIB really human? Was he ever human, as he claimed in his conversation with Sawyer a few weeks ago.

The scene between MIB and Locke is one of my favorites of the season, maybe of the series. FLocke tells Sayid to deliver a message for him; in return, FLocke tells him he’ll give him anything he wants. Sayid’s response was heart-wrenching: “The only thing I ever wanted died in my arms. And now I’ll never see it again.” MIB is convincing when his eyes twinkle and he asks, “What if you could?” I don’t know if FLocke can deliver on these kinds of promises, but I can only imagine what fun Terry O’Quinn is having with this character.

The scene between Claire and Kate was epic, too. We find Claire in a pit, humming “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket…”, the same tune Kate used to sing to Aaron. Did you see how quickly Emilie de Ravin turned her performance on a dime when Kate acknowledged that she took Aaron off the Island? Another great performance. I almost got chills with her dementedly evil line: “He’s coming, Kate. He’s coming and they can’t stop him.”

I’ve been wondering why that baseball was so important to Dogen. (I keep looking for a Willie Mays autograph.) But last week’s sideways story tipped us off: it belonged to his son in this iteration of reality. Dogen was responsible for his son’s injuries, but at the 11th hour, Jacob stepped in and offered to save the young man. In return, Dogen would come to the Island to work for Jacob, presumably to protect it from MIB. (How is it that Dogen was the only one keeping Smokey out of the Temple, as Lennon claimed?)

Sayid gives in to his dark impulses and all Hades breaks loose. Smokey comes through and completely obliterates everything and everybody. I really thought Miles was toast until Ilana busted down the door. Did you notice that she asked about Shepherd, Reyes, Ford, and Jarrah? (And she called Ben “Linus”. What’s with all the last names?) Thankfully she knows her way around the Temple of Doom and all of it’s secret hiding places.

Question: Why couldn’t Smokey just bust in the Temple on his own? He tells Claire, “If I could do it myself, I wouldn’t ask you.” Clearly the ash has something to do with it. But then again we never see the ash get “moved” or anything. And then there’s the whole matter of Sayid sending the sundown message — “get out or die!” Perhaps this is where the whole notion of “the rules” fits in. We’ve heard Ben & Widmore discuss the rules; random Island boy reminded Smokey of presumably the same rules a few weeks ago. I guess maybe the rules govern who Smokey can and cannot kill. Maybe if people are given some kind of warning in advance — as Sayid warns the Temple-dwellers — then all bets are off. But maybe the rules dictate that Smokey can’t pull a sneak attack / ambush.

Unless you’re the pilot of 815.

Or Mr. Eko.

Or Nadine.

Or Bram.

Or Keamy’s crew.

Sigh.

Another great moment occurred at the end: the look on Ben’s face when he realized Sayid was “gone” was classic. Any reason to show Michael Emerson’s bugged out eyes works for me.

The closing scene — completely wordless — was incredible. FLocke, surrounded by followers, looking supremely satisfied after purging the Temple, marching off into the jungle to do who knows what.

Interesting little tidbit: Sunny noticed how often the time period of “two hours” occurred in this episode: Sayid was dead for 2 hours before coming back to life. Miles tells Kate that Claire had been back to the Temple 2 hours ago. Sayid tells Nadia he put the kids to bed 2 hours ago. I don’t know what it means, but hat tip to the ol’ wife. Nice job by you.

And where are Sawyer? And Jin? I’m guessing Sawyer stayed back to keep Jin company. Hopefully we’ll get to see some more of him next week.

All in all, I thought this was a great episode. What did you think?

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10 Responses to LOST Season Six: Sundown

  1. Susan Maples says:

    Was this the first episode that Jack was not seen? Probably not, but I can’t remember any.

    How about the look FLocke gave when he saw Kate coming out of the temple. It wasn’t a look of being pleased as it was when he saw Claire and Sayid. Was it perhaps concern or confusion? A question/proposition posed in my Lost group, What if Kate is the ‘secret candidate?’ We don’t see her name on the wall in the cave, but we do see her in the light house. Another reason for his confusion may be that he didn’t see her in the temple (because she was hanging from the ladder in Claire’s pit) so he thought #1 she was dead #2 she was out in the jungle. I don’t know. I’m going to go with the ‘secret candidate’ option.

    Good job, Sunny, on the whole 2 hours thing. I didn’t notice. That is interesting because it is not a common Lost number.

    I just can’t help but think of FLocke as Satan. Giving promises that he may or may not be able to keep. Giving hope for a better life, better possibilities. Making things/situations seem ‘better/fun’ than they are in reality just so he can have followers…? I’m not sold on the writers wanting Jacob and FLocke to me God and Satan, but it most definitely makes me wonder. Good and Evil, yes. And really, Jacob hasn’t really shown any ‘God qualities.’ Only that he wants good and safety for all on the island. Also that he can bring people back from the dead. Other than that, unless I’m forgetting something, I don’t recall any other ‘God’ qualities.

    • Jason says:

      According to Lostpedia, “Matthew Fox (Jack) has no lines” in this episode. I don’t remember him appearing anywhere — except in the “previously on LOST”.

      FLocke looked legitimately surprised when he saw Kate strolling out of the Temple. I wonder if he knows how special she is. We didn’t see her name on the cave (where Jacob supposedly lived — which I think is a lie), but her name is on the lighthouse dial o’ names, as you pointed out. Maybe she is a “secret candidate” like you say.

      FLocke as some kind of Satan-like figure is a possibility. But I can’t help but think that would be a bit too easy, you know? I’d like to know definitely who is good and who is evil here. But I’m not sure we’ll know until the very end, if at all.

  2. Dylan says:

    Didn’t this episode almost have the feel of a season finale, or at least the episode before a season finale? It was one of the most straight up entertaining hours of Lost ever. There was so much going on, so much action, so many surprises, and so much intensity. It looks now that we are definitely building toward the final climactic battle of the show. Flocke has his army and Jacob/Illana have their small band of followers (including Jack, Hurley, and Jin I assume). It makes me think of Widmore’s statement to Locke last season in Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham when he says, “There’s a war coming on the island. And if you’re not there, the wrong side is going to win.” Of course, we’re left to wonder which side Widmore is fighting for. I’m wondering if the first five episodes of this season were set-up episodes, and the rest of the season is going to follow this intense pattern.

    I was a little sad about how strongly Sayid went over to the dark side. For the past six seasons, we have watched him search for redemption, try to become a good person, and always fail. This seemed like the ultimate failure, and the ultimate example of allowing his killer instinct (pun intended) to come out. However, I’m pretty sure that his actions are not from the Sayid we’ve known and loved, but that the infection Dogan spoke of DID go to his heart, and just like Claire, he is a different person. I just hope that there can be some measure of healing and redemption for him and Claire by the end of the show.

    I actually kind of liked Dogan. But now that he’s dead I don’t really understand the point of having him be so prominent in the first 1/3 of the season. Kind of Nikki and Paulo-ish.

    If Urban Myer is MIB then it makes sense that Lane Kiffin is Jacob, because he’s dead to me now.

  3. Dylan says:

    Big question here: how come Ben could stab Jacob and kill him, but Sayid couldn’t kill MIB by stabbing him. I don’t know if I buy that he let Flocke speak and thus it was “too late,” because Jacob spoke a lot more words to Ben before Ben stabbed him. We’ve been thinking that MIB and Jacob are equal opponents, but is MIB stronger?

    • Jason says:

      It could be that MIB is stronger. Or it could be that MIB isn’t really human at all and he never has been, despite what he said to Sawyer.

      But the circumstances of the two scenes you referenced are so parallel: both Jacob and MIB are stabbed by someone who has been deceived into thinking that this was the best course of action. Both murderous acts are committed in free will. But Jacob dies and MIB doesn’t. I’m not sure he’s really human. It seems the only things that can really slow him down are sonic fences and volcano ash.

  4. Jenny says:

    Does anyone else think it is possible that Dogan will be raised from the water as Sayid was? Maybe we have not seen the last of him after all. And I love how all the characters are coming together in the flash sideways. Did anyone notice Jack in the hospital where they brought Sayid’s brother?

  5. Dylan says:

    Sorry for all the comments this time, but Doc Jensen’s column on this week’s episode may be his best ever. He pointed out that Sayid used to pray and follow his faith on his first stint on the island, but how he has neglected his faith and has slowly descended away from any type of redemption. So when he talks about his eternal destination in LAX, and says it “won’t be pleasant,” you could say that he had already descended into a hell that he had made himself. DJ says, “we saw that Sideways Sayid, like his Island Sayid, is hindered by an inability to forgive himself. His view of himself as unworthy of Nadia begged troubling questions. Can he ever become worthy of her? Can he ever be worthy of anyone? When does the fixing stop? When does life as a restored creation begin?”

    I also really enjoyed how at least the past two episodes are related to their numerically corresponding commandments in the Ten Commandments. Last week’s 5th episode/commandment was “honor your father and mother” (Jack seeking redemption from/as a father), and this week’s episode was “You shall not murder” (Sayid seeking redemption from his murderous past). Now this is not from DJ, but from me, what if the following episodes mirrored the following commandments? “You shall not commit adultery” (Sun?) “You shall not steal” (Sawyer?). “You shall not lie” (Ben?). “You shall not covet” (Widmore?).

    Probably not, but just throwing that out there.

  6. lanewidick says:

    If Dogen died in the pool that healed and raised Sayid back to life, wouldn’t, for continuity’s sake, the pool bring him to life as well?

    • Jason says:

      Maybe. Or maybe the pool is intended only to heal your wounds. Remember, the Others seem legitimately surprised by the fact that Sayid has been resurrected. They never expected it to happen. Ben tells Sun in an episode last season that he’s lived on the Island for a long time and seen a lot of crazy things, but that he’s never seen the Island raise someone from the dead (speaking of John Locke / FLocke). If Ben is telling the truth, it would seem that the resurrection of Sayid might be a one-time anomaly. Whatever force raised him from the dead seems to somehow be aligned with Smokey’s purposes.

      Basically, I think Dogen’s story was all but wrapped up when we got his story about his son and the baseball. Although I fully expect to see more of him in the Sideways story.

  7. Dylan says:

    Hey Jason, my favorite sports/culture writer Bill Simmons and my favorite pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman have a brilliant podcast on Lost this week. They start talking about Lost at the 18 minute mark if you want to check it out:

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/player?rd=1#/podcenter/?id=4967775&autoplay=1&callsign=ESPNRADIO

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