LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 5: “Sundown”

4 03 2010

Hey there again everyone!  That was quite an interesting episode, wasn’t it?  I don’t recall an episode of LOST ever ending quite as dismally as that one.  It certainly had that feel like the bad guys won Round 2 (if you consider Jacob’s death Round 1), and are looking like they’re taking control of the situation.  But again, I’m talking about the end before I even get started, aren’t I?  Sorry about that…let’s start from the top.

“Uncle Sayid, what did you bring us from Australia?”

Nadia and Sayid at the dinner table

Interesting little twist to start off Sayid’s flash-sideways.  He’s not in LA to come home, but rather to visit his Nadia…his sister-in-law.  The love of your life married to your brother?  That has to make for an awkward situation.  And sure enough, it’s apparent that the two still have feelings for each other in this timeline, but we’re not privy to just what extent yet.

Dogen and Sayid “discuss” the finer points of good and evil

With Hurley and Jack gone, Sayid decides that it’s time for him to go to the source and get some answers for himself.  He barges into Dogen’s sanctuary and demands an explanation for why he tried to kill him.  And for us, the audience, we get the answer right away…if we pay close enough attention.  Sayid has always been up front about his past, and all of the wrongs he’s done.  He admits as much even as close as last season, at two distinct points: first, when he shoots young Ben, and then again in the finale after he’s shot.  “Nothing can save me,” he said, and I wrote last year that I looked forward to him redeeming himself in the final season.  But this Sayid calls himself “a good man”…something the old Sayid would never say.  This is our first clue that Sayid is indeed slipping into the darkness that Dogen warned he would.  Redemption doesn’t appear to be the path he’s on.

“I’m sorry, I’m not that man anymore.”

Back in the alternate timeline, Sayid’s brother tries to convince him to take care of some business that he’s gotten into with the mob.  But Sayid believes he’s a new man.  He’s changed, and he knows what waits for him down that road.  He’s worked too hard and achieved too much to return to his old form for this…

“You were dead, man…for two hours.”

While we always thought that Sayid had truly died, Miles clearly confirms it here.  But what I find more intriguing is the confirmation that the water in fact did not revive him.  So the question is, what did?  Obviously, the easy answer is Smokey.  But that certainly can’t be a given at this juncture.  I guess what I’m really curious about is why some people are revived, while others aren’t.  Was Sayid targeted by MIB to come back to life so that he could join his army?  Or is there something more at play here?  In any event, I think it’s important not to gloss over the details of Sayid’s resurrection.  Understanding how it happened will likely shed more light on exactly what the rules of this chess match might be.

“He is evil incarnate…I want you to kill him.”

While much of the dialog in the second Dogen/Sayid scene can be looked back on as a method for getting Sayid out of the Temple and into harm’s way, I wonder about just how much truth there is in Dogen’s story.  I’ve spent much of the early part of Season 6 feeling a little unsure of who might be the “good” guys, and who might be the “bad” guys.  However, much of that went out the window in this episode.  In fact, it’s almost as if the writers gave up the ruse and decided to show the true face of both sides.  It’s odd only in the respect that it’s happened so quickly and abruptly.  Regardless, despite Jacob’s unorthodox methods, it’s hard to see him as anything but one of the good guys at this point.

“Whatever you’re thinking of doing…don’t do it.”

Even though her husband has a punctured lung, Nadia implores Sayid not to take action.  She knows just how far he’s come in this alternate timeline, and worries about just how slippery a slope it is for him if he goes down the wrong path.  Amazingly, she convinces him to lay low…at least for now.

“Well, welcome back to the circus.”

Indeed.  Players seem to be coming and going quite a bit here, and none of them seem to really know what they want to do.  Just last episode, Kate made it clear to Hurley that she was not going to go back to the Temple, yet here she is.  In fact, the whole trek to the Temple seems to be one major diversion.  Think about this for a minute: when Jacob first told Hurley about the Temple in the season premiere, he said that it was the only place that could save Sayid, and that the rest of them would be safe there.  Yet just last episode, Jacob’s got Hurley and Jack scrambling for the lighthouse, mostly so that they could escape the Temple to someplace safe.  Huh?  How does that make any sense?  And while I’m on this tangent, let me ask this question: why did Jacob only elect to save Hurley and Jack?  Why not Dogen?  Why not Sayid?  Why not Miles?  I think you can contemplate the answer in one of two ways (assuming you believe that there’s a rational explanation): either Jacob is extremely callous to his people, and really only cares about a select few of them, or he’s got a master plan in progress, one part of which might be to lull Smokey into a false sense of security.  I’m not ready to venture a guess just yet, but I think the situation begs the question to be asked.

Smokey turns the tables on Dogen

Sayid carries out Dogen's request

Not sure if things would have worked out better for Sayid had he stabbed Flocke prior to him saying hello.  But what I do think, is that Smokey is fully prepared to grant Sayid’s wish.  The funny part is that it involves a woman that is no longer among the living.  We certainly have to expect that it’s Smokey’s specialty to bring people back from the dead, as long as they are somehow brought to the island.  He must have been smiling on the inside when he was listening to Sayid’s story.  (I don’t, by the way, think that the carrot he’s dangling in front of Sayid has anything to do with the flash-sideways.  I could certainly be wrong though.)  Of course, the obvious choice here is Nadia, especially when your thought processes are fixated on this episode.   But I wouldn’t be so quick to rule out a visit from zombie Shannon, who also died in Sayid’s arms…especially since we just saw her old inhaler just last week.

“I can’t be with you…because I don’t deserve you.”

Just to hammer the point home, this is the Sayid we know.  The guy who is likeable because he realizes his shortcomings, and his intrinsic nature, and continually strives to rise above it.  Because we’ve all made mistakes, it’s hard not to root for a guy like that.  We all want him to succeed, because we all want to believe that we can rise above our own faults.  Well, hopefully we’ve got someone else to root for after this episode, because this scene might be the last we see of the Sayid we can all root for…

Kate picks a bad time to come clean about Aaron

Claire is not happy to hear what Kate has to say

Thankfully, Claire’s in the pit while Kate delivers the news.  Even then, if looks could kill, Kate wouldn’t still be around.  Kate’s confusion over Claire’s response as she delivered what she thought was good news is fascinating.  In fact, both Evangeline Lilly and Emile de Ravin deserve major kudos for pulling off this scene as well as they did.  Not sure about you, but the tension was palpable for me, and when Claire says, “he’s coming and they can’t stop him!” as Kate was being dragged away…that was some pretty cool stuff.

“I make good eggs!”

Keamy realizes much too late that he messed with the wrong guy

Nifty little inclusion of Keamy here in the flash-sideways, as the leader of the group that’s pinching Sayid’s brother.  I certainly didn’t see that one coming.  And, unfortunately for Keamy and his gang, they didn’t see Sayid coming either.  Just a quick bit of conversation, enough for Sayid to believe that Keamy was in fact responsible for putting his brother in the hospital, and two of them go down within seconds.  And, even as Keamy says he’s ready to let it all go, Sayid admits that he can’t, and puts him down as well.

And here’s where we see the first major fork in the flash-sideways that doesn’t match the others we’ve seen.  So far, in Kate’s, Locke’s, and Jack’s flash-sideways, we’ve seen our LOSTies rise above their situation.  It was almost as if they were fated to make a better life for themselves over time, regardless of whether or not they ever would visit the island.  But not here, not with Sayid.  Sayid reverts back to what he was, even after 12 years of fighting it.  Here, Sayid is, and always will be, a killer.

Pairing that up with what we see on-island this episode, it appears as though Sayid also follows that path in the main timeline.  It seems as though regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the time, Sayid is destined to revert to killing; it’s just a matter of when.  I’d like to think that this is also telling us a little bit about how to interpret the timelines.  Basically, it appears as though the LOSTies that have exhibitied free will, and changed the course of their lives in the alternate timeline, are finding themselves in Jacob’s camp in the main timeline.  And those (or the one so far, Sayid) that are destined to an outcome, are in Smokey’s gang.  It’ll be interesting to see if that logic holds up as more flash-sideways are presented.  I’m also curious to see what that might mean for the ultimate fate for folks like Kate and Jack.  Will they make some type of life-altering decision in the main timeline before it’s over?  Maybe Kate already has?  Regardless, it’s just one more thing to keep an eye on as we watch future episodes.

What's Jin doing here?

One last thing on the alternate time line before I focus on the main timeline for the remainder of the post: what’s up with Jin being locked in the walk-in?  I guess the first thought is that his work for Sun’s dad led him straight to Keamy, and a wrong-way transaction.  But even if that makes sense, I guess that’s another of the few mysteries stemming from the alternate timeline.  (By the way, aren’t we supposed to be getting answers at this point, not actually asking a few new ones?)

“You had the opportunity to do it yourself, why didn’t you?”

Interesting conversation Dogen has with Sayid just before he’s drowned, but it really doesn’t answer the question.  We get to find out how he came to the island, why he loves his baseball so much, and what his motivations are.  But he never explains why he didn’t attempt to kill Sayid when he had the chance.  Of course, the answer is probably related to the “rules” of the game, and the idea that no one is allowed to willingly kill a candidate.  Why *that* is, I think we’ll have to wait for.

Of course, there was no such hesitation on Sayid’s side, as he murders Dogen in a similar fashion to how he was dispatched with.  And, for good measure, he takes out Lennon.  To my surprise, doing this somehow grants Smokey access to the Temple.  I certainly got the impression that Smokey could not advance through the ash line, and that was what was keeping him out.  But he seems to get through here, only because Dogen is dead.  Why does that have anything to do with it?  Is the barrier more a result of the combination of a presence and the ash?  Did someone break the circle off-camera and we just didn’t see it?  I’m not sure of what to make of *how* Smokey got in.

Sayid, given in to the dark side

Regardless, he does get in, and the Temple will never be the same.  Smokey winds through each of the structure’s corridors, taking out anyone and anything unfortunate enough to get in its way.  Somehow, Ilana and crew arrive just in time to see the chaos, and head right back out through the secret passage.  Two things to note here: Ilana clearly knows much more about what’s going on here than anyone else, she’s just not sharing; and unfortunately for Ben, he gets left behind after trying to find out what’s happening with Sayid.  That little detour is beneficial for us though, as we see the last fragment of Sayid’s humanity drift away via a Cheshire cat grin as he contemplates his murderous handiwork.

One last piece of information is shared during the melee: Sun is told that Jin is indeed alive and present in the current timeline.  Unfortunately and unbeknownst to her, he’s playing for the other team.  It’ll be interesting to see how that might play out as we hurtle towards what appears to be an imminent showdown between the two sides.

Some more food for thought: did any of you wonder where Sawyer was during all of this?  I kept thinking that he might have a useful part to play in all of this, but perhaps Smokey has him tracking to a different part of his ultimate plan.

A memorable closing montage

The bad guys win Round 2

But not quite in the fashion we’re used to.  Sayid and Claire walk through the wreckage of the Temple in slow motion, meeting their new leader outside with nods of approval all around.  Kate appears to follow, but with a look of stunned fear.  Now, not only has Smokey managed to kill Jacob, but gotten some of his followers to join his crew, killed some others, and sent the rest packing from their supposed safe haven.  The good guys are homeless, and seemingly rudderless.  The bad guys have won Rounds One and Two, and there doesn’t seem to be much chance for anything to get in the way of whatever Smokey wants to do next.

Post-episode questions

1. Will Sayid’s story really have a bad ending in both timelines?  Does he have any chance for redemption in either?

2. What is Jacob’s plan?  Does he have one?  The ranks on his side appear to be dwindling quickly.

3. Where are Jin and Sawyer through all of this?  Are they executing some other part of Smokey’s plan?

4. What is Ilana trying to accomplish?  She seems to be one step behind Smokey at every turn.

5. What is Smokey’s ultimate plan?  He seems to be “winning”, but what is this all leading to?

Very interesting and entertaining episode in many ways.  I’ve always subscribed to the idea that a great conflict is only as good as the strength of the bad guy.  Well, we certainly established that in this episode.  Now it’s time to see if or how the other side can rally the troops and mount some type of counter-assault.  I hope all of you enjoyed it!  See you again next week!

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2 responses

4 03 2010
D-Day

GREAT recap…

We’re heading to a conclusion here so it would appear that the writers are positionning a classic good v, evil scenario but the cool thing about Lost though is that they typically defy common choices. It appears that Sayid- a beloved but tortured soul has gone bad, a character like Rogen tells us he has gone bad and even twice attempts to kill him. So, somehow Sayid will be saved, right? Nope. He goes bad. Dead is dead. We’ve learned that before. The original Locke is dead. So now is the original Sayid. What about Claire though? We never saw her “die”. Do you have to die to be turned? Sawyer’s fate at this point?

Like the 108 minute button, the turning of the candidates once again show us that the writers are willing to follow through on what we’re watching. Yes, NOT pushing the button resulted in something very bad and YES, dead is dead and if you come back- probably with the help of Smokey, you’re evil. It IS what it appears to be no matter how we’re conditioned to think and hope differently,

As for Jacob and Smokey’s plans- we don’t know yet. Smokey is eagerly trying to gain followers- tempting them, appealing to them, collecting them. He occupied Locke and is now driving Sayid and Claire. He may own Sawyer and apparently will have a shot at Kate. Jacob is still enigmatically commanding select people but without the apparent desperation Smokey has. He’s one step ahead and seems to know when to act and who to save. That desperation of Smokey’s and his anger are important.

It all appears to be boiling down to a battle royale with Jack at its center.

I just can’t believe we’ll see a finale in which ALL of these people are alive. The end of season five seems to offer a perspective into the long term status of things on the island that show we are currently going through a change cycle- a changing of the guard- that has happened before. They have begun to exhaust the old Star Trek device of killing the new guy, ie, Rogen, Lennon, Farraday, and are now left with the main characters who need to take their curtain calls and make exits. We’re teased that Ben takes a bow next week. I believe that Sayid has been turned and has essentially “died” as we knew him and his occupied body will join the old Sayid in the near future. Claire? Dead. Sun and Jin? They’re going to die. I think this will come down to Jack, Sawyer and Kate with her being the last to go somehow- creating a tension between the two heroes- one light, one dark. As for the other timeline, “Everything that Rises Must Converge”.

Conventional thinking would have Jack and Sawyer occupying Jacob and MIB’s spots on that rock as the next plane crashes as the show ends. One thing is certain, I am almost always wrong.

Great recap. I look forward to this blog every week. Thanks!

6 03 2010
hablodepablo

Hey D-Day, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I always appreciate your feedback!

On quick thing to mention about Claire: although we didn’t actually see her die on-screen, we did see Keamy fire an RPG into the house in The Barracks she was in. I don’t think it’s a great stretch to think she died there and has returned as “claimed”.

As far as the final conflict in the show…I would agree that not everyone is going to live. The writers have warned that the ending isn’t going to be happy for every character, and even for those that are on the “winning” side, it may be a bitter-sweet victory.

In terms of who may not make it…I think you’re right that Ben might be the next to go. Although I love his character, things are bigger than him now, and I’m not sure how he fits into the final story of the original 815ers. Unless they somehow get Widmore back into the story, Ben’s arc may be complete. And far as Sun and Jin, I think it’ll be more interesting to see them on opposite sides of the war as opposed to them being killed off. That’s a much stronger dynamic. I hope that’s how it works out.

Finally, I hope that the timelines don’t converge at any point. It’s certainly a possibility, and there have been hints that they may, but I think it cheapens the story somewhat to give the characters an out of that magnitude. I like it more as a “what if”, possibly as a denounement for “happy” endings from the main timeline. But to allow characters to cross over might just be too much. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how Team Darlton’s pulled things off before, so maybe they can make me believe somehow.

Regardless, I’ve enjoyed the season so far, and I’m always greatly excited about each new installment. And to me, that’s what it’s all about.

Thanks again for stopping by! Please continue to share your thoughts in the comments!

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