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Lost Recap: Tortured Logic

Sorry to go all Lori "Settle!" Gottlieb on you, but must every character have a soul mate? Desmond, Sayid, Jin, Sawyer, Jack — always mooning, mooning, mooning! And look where it leads them, into whining and, in more extreme cases, blood-soaked evil.

Basically, this is the episode about how, no matter what Sayid does, in whatever timeline or tank top, he's going to commit murder for Nadia's sake. It's also the episode when Lost became The Stand, with characters aligning with Good and Evil, Jacob and Smokey, Salon and Slate. So far, Evil's got Claire, Sayid, Sawyer, and, by accident, Kate. Good's got Jack and Hurley. Everyone else runs around like a chicken with its head cut off and Dogen and Lennon are (thank you, Smocke) dead, along with their maudlin backstories. (I've made one up for Lennon. It involves lacrosse and the death of a puppy.)

Look, I know everyone loves Naveen Andrews, who kicks ass and makes dry remarks. The final sequence was undeniably exciting. But this episode also made, to quote Xander Harris, the kind of sense that is not. Why did Keaney's thugs not handcuff Sayid? Why did Sayid follow Dogen's instructions to stab Smocke? Why is Claire okay with Kate tagging along on the March of Evil? Maybe I'm alone, but I'm still having trouble investing in Smokey versus Jacob. I'm eagerly soaking in online theories about anarchy and destiny and so on, but unable to make the leap. Maybe I'm just a confused girl under the influence of an angry man, possibly H. L. Mencken.

And on to the recap:

In the Land of Maybe, Sayid is a good tipper and brings yellow roses, but oh the irony! "Where were you, Uncle Sayid?" cry Nadia's kids. His brother Omar has married his soul mate.

Not that it's much of a competition: Sayid is a globe-trotting translator with romance-novel hair; his brother's a dry cleaner. Nadia bats her eyes. Sayid hasn't returned her letters — but there's a snapshot in his bag. Omar simmers in the background ...

On the Island of Now, Sayid is quizzing Dogen about the torture machine. "For every man there is a scale," intones Dogen ridiculously. Sayid tipped evil, so according to the undiplomatic Dogen, it would be best if he were dead. A bunch of fu breaks out, no particular genus, then some garden equipment fu, but when his baseball falls to the ground, Dogen backs down.

Meanwhile, Smocke prepares Claire to enter the Temple, in exchange for her son. "Are you gonna hurt them?" "Only the ones who won't listen."

LOST LOGO, LET US LOVE YOU.

In Alternavista, Omar wakes Sayid: He's in trouble, man. Loan shark trouble, and he's hoping for some brotherly muscle. "I know what kind of man you are," he tells Sayid, and then for extra guilt, mentions Nadia. But Sayid is not that man.

In Lost Classic, Sayid tells Miles he's been blackballed for being eeevil. Miles gives him the scoop: Sayid wasn't so much sick as, well, dead.

Then Claire appears and informs Dogen that Smocke wishes to see him. There's a laughable mess of dialogue about whether he should go OUT or Smocke should come IN, about Claire going in the hole, about Jack and Hugo being gone, and once again, Dogen changes his mind and asks Sayid to stay. Sayid and I both roll our eyes.

"She's a confused girl under the influence of an angry man," explains Dogen, blah blah, evil incarnate, destroying every living thing on this island. Man, people really love to deputize Sayid to be an assassin. Dogen hands him a knife and tells him to stab Smocke before he speaks. Because the way for Sayid to prove he's "good" is to kill. This works?

Old Spice ad, still funny.

Adorable niece and nephew are sad Sayid is leaving. He drops them at the school bus — then Nadia comes out shrieking, because Omar is in the hospital. Punctured lung. Nadia begs Sayid not to seek violent revenge, 'cause that's his thing.

Kate and Sayid meet. "Are you leaving?" "I am not exactly sure." "What'd I miss?" "Ask Miles."

"Sawyer sent you packing, huh?" says Miles to Kate, amusingly describing Sawyer's MO: He berates you till you back off. Also, he tells her Claire's arrived.

Sayid's in the woods. Leaves flutter. Birds twirl. It's Smocke, there to be knifed! But the stabbing doesn't take. Smocke removes the knife and seems bemused.

Hot Tub Time Machine looks funny, so sue me.

Smocke feels sorry for Sayid, because Dogen sent him to be killed. Shame on him for being talked into it so easily. Sayid asks what Smocke wants, which is to deliver a message, which Claire couldn't do, because it will be more effective coming from Sayid, which makes little sense. In return, he gets everything he wanted: Nadia, but not dead.

Sayid fixes a boomerang as he and Nadia frisson about the kitchen. Why did Sayid push her toward his brother? she groans. Sayid explains that he can't be with her because he doesn't deserve her — he's trying to wash his hands of the horrible things he's done. This is like fanfic written by Nadia! Nadia, he's just not that into you. Also, hello lack of concern over the father of your children.

At the temple, Sayid delivers Smocke's message, which is blunt. Jacob's dead. Smocke's leaving the island at sunset. Wanna come? Join me. Don't wanna? Die.

In one of the Quake hallways, Lennon gets in Kate's face, but she employs Cop Show technique: ask once, then ASK AGAIN LOUDER WITH CHOKE HOLD. Lennon brings her to the Silence of the Lambs pit, where Claire's muttering lullabies like Lucy Barker. Kate happily explains that she raised Aaron, but Claire glowers back. "He's coming and they can't stop him!" she rants as Lennon drags Kate away.

The Temple Others panic.

"One minute you're banished, the next you're telling everyone they're going to die?" "That's the sum of it," says Sayid, deadpan even in the face of plot insanity.

In Maybe This Time, thugs arrive to threaten the children! They take Sayid to a kitchen, where he is offered eggs by an eccentric villain. Oh, I see, it's Keamey, a.k.a. Hot Jerk, from the freighter. Keamey waxes toothy and sociopathic, but folds when Sayid attacks. Keamey offers to forgive the debt, but Sayid sensibly shoots him anyway.

Then Sayid finds pre-English Jin, bound and with duct tape over his mouth.

On the island, Sayid returns the knife to Dogen and asks why he didn't kill him. "I was a businessman once, in Osaka," says Dogen, and spills a bathetic backstory: He killed his son, drunk-driving home from a baseball game. Call me Morales, but I feel nothing. Some dude said he'd save Dogen's son if Dogen went to the island and never saw his son again.

Wait, how does this answer the question "Why didn't you kill me?" Anyway, the miracle-worker was Jacob, who, as Sayid remarks, drives a hard bargain. The man outside offered a similar bargain to Sayid. But it's sundown! Will they stay or go?! Suddenly, Sayid throws Dogen in the pool to drown him. What the ... ? The baseball rises to the surface.

Lennon yells, "Do you realize what you just did? He was the only thing keeping it out!" Sayid kills him, too. "I know."

Put your Lost theories in the comments, and we might include them in our roundup later this week!

Then Ilana and Frank break in, and man, there are a lot of characters.

Kate tries to rescues Claire, surviving only because she's knocked into the pit as Smokey goes by.

Ben tries to rescue Sayid, but he's soaked in blood so deep, to go back would be the same as go o'er, so Sayid lingers, blood dripping from his knife.

Miles tells Sun that Jin is alive.

Ilana steers a gaggle of Losties behind a secret panel.

In a bravura final sequence, Team Smocke gathers in the grotesque bloodied ruins of the temple, to the eerie tune of "Catch a Falling Star and Put It in Your Pocket": Crazy Claire, Bloody Sayid, and Kate (who really wasn't onboard for all this), plus some semi-evil extras. And the Smokey National Army Walks Off Into the Darkness!

What We Know Now:
• You can't kill Smocke with a knife.
• Dogen has trouble making up his mind, but that's over now.
• Both Jacob and Smokey make cruel bargains.

The Wha? Factor:
• What logic is there to Sayid following Dogen's orders, after years as a guilty assassin for Ben — and then killing Boy Ben, a plan that failed badly. Why would he now go knife some dude he's never met, egged on unconvincingly by some guy who just tried to kill him?
• What's Nadia's backstory, since it doesn't seem to include Sayid torturing her?
• Is Jacob good and Smokey bad? Because not letting Dogen see his son isn't exactly saintly.

Put your Lost theories in the comments, and we might include them in our roundup later this week!

Photo: Mario Perez/ABC