Last Night on LOST: He’s Our You
In the middle of a terrible week, a week barren of hope and happiness, there is Wednesday, Lost day. Usually, no matter how bad things have gotten, a new episode of Lost is able to turn things around for me. But that didn’t happen this time around. I’m not sure if that’s because the mountain of sheer horribleness I’ve been climbing this week is simply insurmountable, or if it’s that this week’s episode was sub-par, but let’s see if we can’t figure that out below the fold. You with me?
Let’s start with the bits of Sayid’s backstory that were revealed here, each of which—for me, at least—had a problem.
Problem #1: The scene between Sayid and his brother reminded me too much of the scenes between young Eko and young Yemi. It was a good scene, and it accomplished what it was meant to accomplish, but it felt too recycled to me.
Problem #2: The Russian scene felt very abrupt and kind of forced. If that was all there was to see of the end of Ben and Sayid’s relationship, did we really need to see it at all? Couldn’t one of the other scenes have covered this. The only thing that this scene helps to establish is that Ben has a much greater understanding of who Sayid is than Sayid would have ever expected—thereby foreshadowing the ending—but all of the same dynamics come out in the next scene, so…
Problem #3: The next scene worked fine, but Sayid being visited by Ben might’ve been creepier if we hadn’t just seen them together, if the idea of their association coming to an end had been an off-screen thing. This is the scene we really needed, and maybe even the one we should have started with. Ben’s lines to Sayid are great here. “To put it simply, you’re capable of things others aren’t,” Ben says. “It’s in your nature. It’s what you are. You’re a killer.”
Of course, once you’ve seen the whole episode and you’re rewatching it, this whole scene feels just as forced as the previous one. In fact, it feels like the Foreshadowing Fairy has just showed up with a frying pan, and she’s beating you over the head with it.
Problem #4: Seeing the big “breakup” scene again felt unnecessary, too, like a mid-episode “previously on Lost”.
The stuff with Ilana is a little better, but she still feels like Nikki v. 2.0 to me, and I really wish she’d just die. You see the end of this scene coming a mile away, because we’ve already seen how it ends, and though sometimes—most of the time, actually—Lost is able to pull this off, it doesn’t work here.
That’s what was wrong with this episode, I think. They wanted there to be tension, but everything was so telegraphed that even the best actors in the world couldn’t have made this interesting to watch.
On His Own
Back in the present, the present for our heroes at least, you can tell what Sayid wants to do from the very first scene. And you know what’s going to happen. He’s going to break out and he’s going to try and kill Ben. When Ben says that he can help Sayid, that’s when you sense how it’s going to play out exactly. Ben’s going to help him out and Sayid’s going to shoot him. It couldn’t be plainer if they had a fucking pop-up message shoot up along the bottom of the screen to tell you that was what was coming.
What I don’t get is why Sayid doesn’t accept Sawyer’s offer. He’s an intelligent guy. He must know that, if he is accepted into the bosom of the Dharma Initiative, it’s only going to be a matter of time before he’s able to get the drop on Ben. He’s going to get what he wants either way, so why not take the easy way?
Because the writing in this episode is pure, Grade A shit, that’s why. Sayid should’ve accepted the offer, and the writers have to have known that. They just decided to make him act out of character to serve the purposes of their half-assed plot.
You want another example of how inept the writers were this time around? Ask yourself how Sawyer got that “He’s our you” comment in with all of the other Dharma folks standing right fucking there!!!
Of course, even amidst the pile of horse dung they shoveled into eager faces this week, there were a few good moments. The Sayid-Roger-Ben scene was great. The interrogation scene offered Naveen some great acting moments—his laughter as he tells Oldham, “You used just enough” was scary and sad and wonderful to watch. And the ending was shocking and powerful, I’ll give them that. But, for me, there was just too much wrong with this episode to overlook.
- Horace proves himself to be a capable leader.
- Juliet burns food (bacon, this time) when she is upset.
- Hurley saw it coming.
- The Kate and Juliet scene was a great moment of coolness in the midst of all the shit. I was very glad that we didn’t get a catfight of some sort.
This episode scared me, man. But what scares me even more is that next week’s episode is Kate-centric, and that almost guarantees another shitty episode. Yes, it’ll probably answer for us the question of “What happened to Aaron?” but it’ll probably do it in the least satisfying way possible, and it’ll probably spend way too much time on the fucking love square (I refuse to say quadrangle, which just sounds stupid).
Of course, waiting on the other side of that episode is a Ben-centric, a Daniel-centric, and possibly a Miles-centric. So, all hope is not lost. At least not yet.