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Lost: S5E10: He's Our You

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Expect this to be a fairly short post because, except for the last 90 seconds, almost nothing happened in last night's episode. To be blunt, we thought it was the weakest episode of the season so far.

One thing we did kind of like about the episode is that it marked a return to the season 1 through 3 narrative technique (and one for which the show is known) of focusing on one character and using flashbacks to both comment on the current actions of that character and to fill in some background on them. We suspect, since there are so many dangling plot elements regarding how and why the O6 got on Ajira 316, we're going to be seeing more of these as the season winds down. That's fine by us. We're dying to know what Kate did with Aaron or whether or not Sun met with Widmore before boarding the plane or what the hell happened to Desmond and Penny. The problem is, Sayid's flashbacks revealed almost nothing we didn't already know or strongly suspect.

The first flashback, to his childhood in Iraq, strongly echoed (no pun intended) Mr. Eko's backstory. Sayid killed so his brother (?) wouldn't have to. Nicely done and it set up the theme of the episode: that Sayid is, at his heart, a killer. Of course, we knew this already because the only character who racked up a higher body count during the course of the show is Ben himself. We've lost count of the number of people Sayid has killed both on and off the island so a scene spelling out that he's a killer seemed a little superfluous to us. It's like having a flashback for Jack showing he's a doctor or for Kate showing she's an annoying, self-centered, cock-teasing pain in the ass (oh come on, we had to work that in somewhere).

It seemed as if this episode was going to explain how and why Ben and Sayid had their falling out. We always suspected that Sayid must have discovered that Ben had his wife killed or at the very least that he had been lying to Sayid all along about the people he was ordering him to kill. Well, there were no answers here at all. Ben and Sayid parted ways because...well, they just did, is all. Why that resulted in Sayid telling Hurley to always do the opposite of whatever Ben tells him, we don't know. And we kinda wonder if we're ever going to know because it seemed as if the writers thought they were filling in all the blanks, as if they've written the final chapter on the Ben/Sayid alliance.

Not that the episode was completely without merit. We'll get to the "shocking" ending in a bit, but what stood out to us was how certain scenes echoed older, somewhat iconic scenes from earlier in the series. To go along with the Eko echo, we had a scene in a bar with Sayid and Ilana that was eerily similar to the scene where Jack and Ana Lucia first met in the airport (doubly so because the actress looks so much like Michelle Rodriguez that it's a little distracting) and we had Sayid tied to a tree, ostensibly being tortured (even if they just dosed him with some acid on a sugarcube, how very '70s) while Sawyer looked on, which of course strongly echoes the scene in season 1 when it was Sawyer tied to the tree while Sayid tortured him. All very clever callbacks which make us wonder if it's just about the writers being clever or if there's something else going on that actually causes these echoes to happen.

Which reminds us, part of the reason we're getting a little antsy with the whole "back to the '70s" subplot is because ever since the time shifting stopped there's been almost no magic or mystery. It's all very plodding and we only have so much interest in seeing Horace or Radzinsky in the flesh and we've REALLY lost interest in the whole love quadrangle going on between Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Juliet. Just love the one you're with, bitches, and save yourselves a shit ton of trouble. More of Locke staring off into the distance and saying something cryptic and less meaningful glances and long pauses between pretty people with extravagant problems, please.

Hey, remember when we said this was going to be a short post? Ha. Fooled ya.

We felt bad for Sawyer as everything he built up for himself over the last three years started to unravel in front of his eyes and despite his chest-puffery of last episode, he doesn't seem to have the skills to fix the situation. On the other hand, the growing annoyance of Sawyer (and to a lesser extent, Juliet) with the arrival of the other 815ers struck us as a little misguided. They DID come back to save your asses, y'know. It's not their fault that you all decided to play house in DHARMAville.

As for that ending...was it really a shock? It seemed to us that the whole episode was leading to that point anyway. Sure, it's a shock to see a 12 year old get shot point blank by an adult on network television but does anyone really believe that Sayid managed to kill l'il Ben? Before we say something we'll regret later (because you never can tell what the hell these writers are going to do next), we admit we can toy with the idea that somehow Sayid managed to change the past or create an alternate timeline, but we seriously doubt it. L'il Ben will get miraculously healed by the island and/or the two secret doctors hanging out in DHARMAville will be forced to come out of the closet and save his life.

Of course, it didn't escape our notice that l'il Ben slipped Sayid a copy of Carlos Castaneda's A Separate Reality when he was in that cell and you just KNOW the writers gleefully wrote that little Easter egg in just to fuck with the fans' heads.

No, more important than a possible time paradox is the fate of Sayid now. His actions were alarming not because he shot a kid, but because he seemed resigned to his fate as a killer in such a way as to make us think that HE thinks he's at the end of the road. We can guarantee that before this is all over, at least one major character will be dead, but we're really hoping not to see any major deaths for a while. Save that for the series finale, writers. Please?

[Photos: ABC.com]


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23 comments:

Another intriguing parallel?
Ben tells Locke he has to kill his father in order to be a leader for the Others… Sawyer kills Locke’s dad (a.k.a., the original Sawyer) for Locke.
Random Iraqi father tells his son he needs to kill the chicken in order to be a man… Sayid kills the chicken, becomes a “real man” and then goes on to kill Ben
(I do not take credit for this one)


This is why Sayid needed access to the full experience of what happened to Losties who remained on the island-- so he would've known that shooting little Ben in the chest wouldn't nearly do the job. If you're going to kill the kid, cut his friggin' head off.


You say weak, I say vintage. As one who has watched the entire series from week to week, I recognize "He's Our You" as classic Lost storytelling. For an entire hour, the pace is painfully slow, and then in the last few minutes all hell breaks loose. This is why most people lost interest, but as a die-hard fan, it's an episode that is illustrative of what makes this show great.


I understand your complaints, but I actually thought this was one of the strongest episodes of the season so far. Sure, the mystery and magic are great, but it's nice to see this circus of a show slow down and focus on pure human drama (and not just the dopey love dodecagon). In fat, that's been one of my very few problems with this seaon so far--too much plot and not enough of the characters they spent four seasons developing. So I thought this was a nice change of pace, with just enough mindfuckery thrown in at the end.


The blurb for next week's episode says something like "kate risks her life to save Ben's" Is it too much to hope that she's toast and Ben lives on? Lord, she annoys me to no end. Sawyer and Juliet are so pretty together. Back off, witch woman!


I wonder if the bullet now seemingly inside of young Ben has something to do with the tumor Jack removes from his spine in Ben's adulthood.....

I don't see Ben as dead. Jin will wake soon to find him, drive him back in, and someone will save him... maybe even Jack!

P.S. Lil Ben is just as creeptastic as old guy Ben. Good job, casting crew :-/


No way Ben is dead. the writers have explicitly stated that they are not doing a Back to the Future type time travel where you can change the past.

You can change minor events that don't matter in the grand scheme, but killing Ben changes everything.

Also, the writers probably won't kill off Ben for real, if ever, until the series finale.

I am just not impressed with the writers because there's been so much buildup about not being able to change the past, that I don't know why we are supposed to be shocked that little Ben is shot. We just know they are going to bring him back to life next week.

Did anyone really believe Locke was permanently dead?


I think they did explain why Sayid told Hurley to do the opposite of what Ben says. In the scene where Ben dismisses Sayid, to me it seemed that Sayid had figured out that Ben had been using him as his own personal assassin all this time and that the killings had nothing at all to do with the people back on the island.


Yea, good old Mr. Eko. He was the only one that I felt had a back story compelling enough to make him do the things he did.
The others, feh. Sayid's dad made him kill a chicken, my granny killed more chickens than I can count (as far as I know she never killed anybody), Jack's dad is an alcoholic, who's isn't? Get over your damn self.
I'm sure Sayid didn't shoot little Ben fatally. My guess is that the betrayal Ben feels from Sayid shooting him rather than taking him to the Others, is the final straw that causes Ben to be come a deranged psychotic killer with delusions of grandeur.


The others, feh. Sayid's dad made him kill a chicken, my granny killed more chickens than I can count (as far as I know she never killed anybody)

Yeah, I had to laugh out loud at that. So does that mean the children of farmers are destined to grow up to be torturers and killers? The whole "I am destined to be a killer" thing with Sayid is nonsense. He learned to torture and kill, which means he's capable of it. That doesn't mean that he's somehow destined to do it for the rest of his life and has no control over it. Please.

I think it was just a plot device to justify the fact that he was willing to kill Ben as a kid. Guess what? I'm pretty sure Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sun, or Jin would've been willing to do exactly the same thing.


The child actor who played Ben is so good. He got the creeptastic Ben vibe down! I thought it was a definite throw back to the old character style episodes, and I loved it, and want more more more!


oh, and wasn't the torture guy one of the Darryls from Newhart?


oh, and wasn't the torture guy one of the Darryls from Newhart?

Yep, which was pretty creepy after seeing him on Deadwood, and then (by chance) I happened to see him in Blade Runner last night.....I love William Sanderson, but I think he's haunting me.

Hope he's a recurring character, though.


I don't think he was a Darryl, I'm pretty sure that was Larry.


I think the similarities between the Eko childhood flashback and that of Sayid's are to drawn attention to the unapolgetic, dark nature of both men. For Eko, in the end he was given a chance to ask forgiveness and instead he embraced his evildoings "I didn't ask for this life. . ." Sayid too is unapologetic. For me, that was the shock over shooting lil Ben. I didn't expect to see Sayid embrace the dark side so fully. He seems like he was really trying to be the good guy, but at this point, I say he is not redeemable and the island will punish him just like it punished Eko. If a major character is to die, put Sayid at the top of the list.

-sdb


I love William Sanderson too! He was also in another fave of mine: Coal Miner's Daughter.


Note to Elise: now that I think of it, Kate killed her father too. Definitely something to the ill-fated father relationships. Does anyone know what Damon and Carlton's relationship with their dads is like? Hmmmmmmm. Maybe we already know.....


Did you guys know that Jorge Garcia (Hurley) has a blog? It's at http://dispatchesfromtheisland.blogspot.com/


FACE FACE FACE BEAUTY FACE....Opps wrong post...

Anywho, I don't think Ben is dead because he exisit in the Anjira crash future. What I do think the shooting of lil'ben does is "out" the O6'ers. I have a feeling that Jack will have to come out of that doctors closet to help been once again!


If Danielle didn't recognize Jin because she hadn't met him in the past yet when she met him in the future. How is that different from Harry Potter Ben? How can Harry Potter Ben remember Sayid if he hadn't met him yet in the future? Seems like the same parallel, yet Danielle doesn't recognize Jin, but Ben recognizes Sayid??? This show makes me crazy, and I can't believe what an absolute tool Sawyer is!! What is so great about Dharmaville that he wouldn't save Sayid? It's like he's inconvienced about them all coming back, doesn't really fit in how they portrayed how far he'd come.
I'm with you both on the comments you made, we need Locke, Faraday, or Desmond, this Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Jillian thing is a snore, and I've watched this since day 1


Yeah that was Larry who has a brother named Darryl and his other brother Darryl :) hahahah

BTW
I'm not sure why people are giving Sawyer such a hard time about wanting to protect himself in Dharmaville.... you do know he has been there for 3 years and was with the O6 crew for only 100 days and truly only liked Kate and Hurley. So it makes sense that he is protecting what is "his"


I was yelling at my TV "Don't leave Sayid! Shoot him in the head! Make sure he is dead!" Then I remembered we were dealing w/ a troubled 12 year old and I felt a little bad.


VAL said***"How is that different from Harry Potter Ben? How can Harry Potter Ben remember Sayid if he hadn't met him yet in the future? Seems like the same parallel, yet Danielle doesn't recognize Jin, but Ben recognizes Sayid???"***

I don't think Ben recognized Sayid. Ben just believed Sayid to be an Other and since we already knew he wanted to join the Others, little Ben was helping Sayid to get want Ben wants in the end. Just like Big Ben does to Sayid as an adult.Ben makes Sayid believe he is helping him protect his family when really Ben is manipulating Sayid to kill those that Ben needs out of the way. His motivation is ALWAYS to get want Ben wants. Period. Sayid figures this out and tries to end Ben before he can begin killing people. Sayid is not "embracing his dark side" like some think, he's trying to save people by sacraficing one that he KNOWS will become trully evil.
Also, I don't think the writers were trying to impart that Sayid was a killer because his dad made him kill a chicken. His dad wanted his BROTHER to kill the chicken, Sayid simply and calmly did it for him. I think this was supposed to show that Sayid's nature has always been the same, even as a little kid. He does what needs to be done. Period.
I REALLY hope they don't kill off Sayid. Can you tell he's my favorite? Ever since he broke that dudes neck with his bare nekkid thighs and his hands tied behind his back...





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