Last Night on LOST: Namaste

ABC and Apple conspired against me yesterday (Thursday), deciding not to post the previous night’s episode of Lost until long after I had to leave home for the day. And that, my friends, is why this installment of “Last Night on Lost is late. It has nothing to do with my laziness or apathy, nothing at all!

I swear.

Ready to talk about “Namaste”, the ninth episode of season five? Great! Then come below the fold with me and we’ll talk about how I was right, how Ben was wrong, and how The Powers That Be continue to blow our collective minds.

So, it’s 2007

The first episode following a two-week hiatus simply demands a big opening, and the opening of “Namaste” didn’t let this viewer down. Getting to see what an amazing pilot Frank is—that was priceless. I have loved this character almost from the start, and it was great to see him shine again.

Also great: they landed on the runway that Kate and Sawyer were helping to build in season two. What a great callback. It does make me wonder if that means that someone in the Others camp—Ben, maybe?—knew that an Ajira flight was going to need to land in 2007.

Question: Why didn’t Sun disappear with the others? What is her destiny for the rest of this season? I’m sure it’s going to be something interesting. Or, well, I hope it is, at least.

1977

A title card, plus Sawyer’s line to Hurley confirm what we’re dealing with in terms of when everyone is. It’s neat for me that the storyline in the past is happening during the year I was born.

Not so neat: The reunion. Or, well, the fact that we saw part of the reunion last time. Why couldn’t they have saved this reunion moment entirely for this episode and let the ending of last episode rely entirely on the change in Sawyer’s expression as the van pulled up? That would’ve been much better storytelling, I think.

Anyway, I love that the action of the episode, as if it wasn’t already intense, kicks into high gear right after the break. Jin finds out that they didn’t come alone, and goes rushing after his wife. Sawyer rushes back to Dharmaville to grab some spare clothes and has to explain to Juliet what just happened—notice the looks they exchange and James’s comment about “screwing up everything we got here” and you’ll feel at ease that the Juliet-Sawyer relationship isn’t going to be a one-and-done development. And then, we get Radzinsky.

What a mindfuck it was to see the guy who will end up killing himself inside of the Swan station be responsible for building the Swan station. It seems that Radzinsky is going to be a much bigger player than we would’ve guessed before now.

It also seems like the survivors who’ve been integrated for three years have a tremendous amount of sway in the Dharma pecking order. The fact that Jin can throw Radzinsky up against the wall and get away with it—that feels significant to me.

2007

There’s even more Frank awesomeness awaiting us when we flash forward to 2007. I love that he is taking charge here, which seems natural for his character.

It also seems natural for cesar to come forward and be a troublemaker, but that’s because he’s established himself as a dickhead already. I hope somebody shoots him very quickly, him and the girl who was guarding Sayid. I want them gone, and I want them gone now.

But, he does operate as a good plot device here, and I’ll leave him alone for the rest of the article because of that. When he says something about buildings existing on this island they’ve landed on, that’s when Ben realizes when they are, at least roughly. And that propels us forward. Ben takes off, Sun follows him, and Frank follows the both of them.

1977

Back in 1977, we discover that I was right about Amy’s baby being Ethan. How fucked-up is that for Juliet, to discover that she’s just helped deliver the man who will be partially responsible for bringing her to the island and trapping her here?

I love her line in response to Amy’s question about when Jules and James are going to have a baby of their own, by the way. “Timing’s got to be right” injects a subtle bit of humor into an otherwise tense scene and episode.

I also love Sawyer in charge. That’s the big story in this episode, and it sort of washes away the concerns I had at the end of the last episode that the return of the Oceanic Three was going to knock Sawyer out of his leading role too quickly. He’s here to stay, folks. And I think that’s just plain awesome. We needed a change in leadership, and in the sort of alpha male position, and it’s great that Sawyer’s taken up the mantle.

This is most evident in how Kate almost immediately defers to Sawyer when Jack asks her opinion about what to do. She recognizes that she and Jack are no longer the bigwigs here.

And speaking of this whole “times, they are a-changing” theme—what about the mindfuck that’s in store for Sayid when he wanders out of the jungle? He and Jin have long enough to acknowledge each other’s existence, but then Jin has to put on his Dharma facade and treat his good friend as a hostile.

2007

Back in 2007, it’s interesting to see how quickly Ben’s injury has healed, now that he’s back on the island. I guess he hasn’t fallen out of favor completely, has he?

He has, however, managed to lose his touch. He totally underestimated that Supervillain Sun would brain him with that paddle the moment she had the information she needed.

Or, wait… did he actually underestimate her? Maybe he intended for her to go off on her own? That’s an interesting thought.

1977

I love the little bits that Pierre Chang is getting—“Could they be any more disorganized on the other side?”—and I wondered if we were going to see anything, even a minor little twitch, that showed that Jack recognized this guy from the orientation film he watched so reluctantly back in the day.

I also loved that, through this conversation between Chang and Jack, we got another hint of how well Sawyer is doing for himself. LaFleur is apparently a good man who runs a tight operation.

And how about Jack being assigned to janitorial duty? That got me excited on a number of levels. On one level, I’m just happy to see him knocked down a peg. On another level, I’m happy to see that he’ll be interacting with Roger Linus, which should make for some interesting conversation in coming episodes.

The Kate/Juliet moment was fun, but tense, just as it should be. I can’t wait to see Jules tell off Kate next time (the previews suggest this’ll happen). “Stay away from my man, bitch.” Ooooh, it’s going to be so much fun to see Kate knocked down a peg too.

And then there was the Sayid-Sawyer moment. If these two didn’t understand each other, this could have gone all wrong. I still have no idea how Sayid is restraining himself this much, but he didn’t survive everything he’s survived by being stupid. I just hope we get to see our resident Iraqi get to be a badass again before long.

2007

New Otherton is looking pretty grim as Sun and Frank arrive, isn’t it? There are bits of blown-up sub on the dock, and the monster, the monster seems to be still lurking about even three years later.

When Christian comes out… man, I want to know what his deal is! Maybe the answer to what’s up with Christian doesn’t come until next season, but it’s going to drive me nuts if I have to wait that long. I want more info on this man/ghost/zombie.

The photo from 1977 is a great transitional gag. You totally see where this is going, but it’s fun nonetheless. And, of course, you’re also too busy wondering what Christian means when he says they have a long journey ahead of them to really be worried about how cheezy a transition between two time-periods is.

1977

Oh, Hurley… I can’t hate you. “Nama-what?” is one of the best lines of this episode. As much as I didn’t want the Oceanic Three back in Dharmaville this soon, I’m excited to see what kind of hijinx Hurley gets into.

It’s crazy to see how many times Sayid has an opportunity to blow the lie open, and how many times he restrains himself. He’s waiting for something, a sign maybe.

More on that in a moment. But, first…

Did you get the sense that Phil is suspicious of Sawyer and this whole bunch, and is maybe just waiting for the chance to expose it all for the lie that it is? Look at the way he looks at Jack when he asks where LaFleur’s cabin is. That man does not entirely believe the story of these new recruits, and he’s going to be a problem for our Losties going forward.

And, hey, how about that scene between Jack and Sawyer? This was totally what I wanted: Sawyer explaining to Jack in a very civil way why he is 100 times the leader Jack ever was, or ever will be. I loved that he brought up Churchill in such a non-chalant way—“I once heard” instead of “I once read”. Everything about this scene shows us why Sawyer is and has always been smarter than Jack. And I enjoyed every moment of it.

“Cause that’s how I saved your ass today, and that’s how I’m going to save Sayid’s tomorrow” had to be the best line of the episode, even better than Hurley’s “Nama-what?”

And that, of course, brings us to the final scene, which is where we discover what Sayid’s been waiting for. He doesn’t even know he’s been waiting for this moment, but when it arrives, everything suddenly makes sense for Mr. Jarrah.

The moment Ben introduces himself, the conflict of the next few episodes immediately became apparent to me. Sayid is going to try and kill this little shit before he becomes the evil motherfucker that’s been messing with all of them since the day they arrived on the island. But, if Faraday’s right, that everything that’s happenening already happened, then I think all Sayid is really going to accomplish is turning a mostly innocent kid into a cold-blooded, emotionally stunted master-manipulator.

Things just got really, really interesting.