There’s little more to say, except that this was a satisfying episode all around: intra-Dharmite color, sparkly dialogue (“maybe I should have used half a dropper?”), psychedelic torture, only a dash of Kate, plus the most insane ending since they jumped off the island. By now, Sayid has gone through so many guilt/harm loops he’s practically a pretzel, but there was something genuinely awful/wonderful about the climactic act — a killing Sayid intended as redemption, but that may have all sorts of gruesome repercussions.
Tikrit. A child is forced by his hard-ass dad to execute a chicken; when his dead-eyed younger brother does the killin’, he gets all the compliments. Nice work, Mini-Sayid!
Cut to the seventies, as Boy Ben brings Sayid ironic chicken salad, a Castaneda book, and backstory: Ben tried to join the Hostiles. He’s been patient, and if Sayid is patient, too, Boy Ben can help him.
Post-Island. A panicked man tosses groceries, throws a bolt, punches a code — pursued by Michael Jackson–haired assassin Sayid. Post-murder, Sayid joins Ben, who wears an absurd fedora and tells him that Sayid has finished his kill list: mission accomplished! Sayid makes Keane-kid sad eyes.
Back in Sayid’s seventies cell, cold-eyed Horace clips his handcuffs and interrogates him: rebel or spy? He’s got an hour and then Horace’ll take this “to the next level.”
In House of Sawliet, Juliet neglects bacon to gaze sadly out the window at Jack and Kate. She tells Sawyer, “It’s over, isn’t it? This. Us. Playing house. All of it!” Lying-to-himself Sawyer claims he’s got things under control. Then Horace arrives and says he’s gonna sic Oldham (“that psychopath!” says Sawyer) on Sayid — Sawyer insists he’ll handle it.
And he does, rushing into Sayid’s cell to ask how he’s doing. “A 12-year-old Benjamin Linus brought me a chicken-salad sandwich,” says Sayid. “How do you think I’m doing?” “Sweet kid, huh?” replies Sawyer — our favorite exchange so far.
Sayid is all WTF, and Sawyer’s all, “Let’s see how you feel living for three years in the seventies.” He’ll pummel Sayid, then Sayid can fake a confession. But he can’t release him because (a) these people trust him and (b) he’s built a darn good life there, darnit. Sayid won’t play.
Meanwhile, in the high-school cafeteria, Cook Hurley reveals the Love of Sawliet. Kate is quietly something.
A janitor taunts Sayid, who taunts back. Fuck, it’s Ben’s dad. When Boy Ben arrives, he pretends he’s brought his dad a sandwich, but Dad sees through it — and twists his arm and is generally scary and abusive, as Sayid observes.
Flashback to Santa Domingo!
Ben confronts Habitat for Humanity Sayid with the news of Locke’s death — then mixes mini-lies and half-truths into a chicken salad of manipulation to steer Sayid toward more assassination. They debate Sayid’s tendencies: Ben says “killing is his nature”; Sayid argues no, he’s not that guy.
Yikes: Back in the seventies, Sawyer zaps Sayid with electricity, says “Take him to Oldham.”
The Dharma van pulls up at Oldham’s Teepee of Torture, where bluesy music plays from a Victrola. An old guy emerges. “Who’s that man?” asks Sayid. “He’s our you,” says Sawyer.
They handcuff Sayid to a tree, crucifixion style; it’s for his own protection, notes Oldham calmly, force-feeding him acid as a truth serum. Sawyer looks conflicted, because really, this was a terrible plan!
Flashback to the Wharf Showdown!
Ben tells everyone they’re going to the Island; Sayid wants no part. He rushes off to order Scotch at a fancy bar. Sexy Ilana is there, seeking the rib eye, bloody. He asks if she’s a prostitute, but she claims she’s a sadness fetishist. And like Ben, she explores Sayid’s nature: He’s between jobs, at the only thing he was ever good at, but he’s trying to change, he says. Buy her a Scotch and she’ll tell him why she’s such a sultry empath. Man, Sayid is a chump.
Back in the seventies, stoned Sayid addresses his tormentors. His name is Sayid Jarrah, he’s a bad man, he has no people. He arrived on two planes, he’s returned to the Island, just ask Sawyer! — although luckily, Radzinsky’s so obsessed with the Dharma stations he skips right over that crucial reveal. And hilariously, Sayid ticks off every station, including ones they haven’t created yet.
Oh, and they’re all going to die. Sayid knows this because he is from the future. “Maybe I should’ve used half a dropper,” says Oldham. “Oops.” Sayid gives a hearty Castaneda giggle.
Juliet is training Kate to be a mechanic. They discuss Sawyer, and Juliet is admirably upfront(ish), while Kate is weird — and then there’s deeper weirdness when Sawyer frog-marches Sayid right past them, post-torture.
“Since when did we start acting like them? We’re civilized,” complains Sawyer to his Dharmite buddies, creating a time loop back to his own torture plot in season one. Radzinsky supports killing Sayid; Sawyer’s against. Shady Amy votes kill, for the love of Baby Ethan. LaFleur’s the odd man out — and reluctantly votes yay.
Ooh, a super-spooky surfer in a wave. A Red Bull ad, but it seemed like part of the show for a sec. Just us?
Back to Sayid and Ilana, who canoodle and play boot-unzipping games — until she kicks him in the jaw and reveals she’s a bounty hunter, hired by the family of that dude he killed on the golf course. They’re off to Guam!
Seventies. Sawyer offers to help Sayid escape. “Even a new mom wants you dead!” But Sayid drives Sawyer bananas with his perverse, unexplained sense of purpose.
All crazy with the ethical heat, Sawyer bangs on Kate’s door and asks why they all came back. She doesn’t know about everyone else, she just knows why she did — and of course, her sentence is interrupted as a flaming Dharma van crashes into a house. Sawyer skillfully deputizes firefighters, noting to Jack, “For three years, no burning buses; you’re back for one day … !”
Like a kitten Unabomber, a hooded Boy Benjamin rescues Sayid. His dad broke his glasses; he’s weeping. And yes, Sayid will ferry Ben to the Others. That’s why he’s here, he claims.
Ilana marches Sayid to the Ajira gate, where he spots Hurley and Jack. “Can we catch the next plane?” he asks. No dice: and when Ben shows up, he angrily asks if Ilana’s working for him. “Why would I work for somebody like that?” she asks. He replies: “I did.”
Back to the seventies, Sayid and Boy Ben run from Dharmaville, passing a van. It’s Jin, who foolishly calls Sawyer — and gets clocked for his efforts. As Sayid hunches over Jin’s body, Boy Ben gushes over his ninja skills; but Sayid murmurs, “You were right about me. I am a killer.”
And then he shoots Boy Ben right in the heart.
What We Know Now
• How could Sayid kill Boy Ben? Didn’t this just completely violate everything about time travel?
The Wha? Factor
• What the heck is in Ann Arbor, and why are they in charge of Dharma? Is the University of Michigan involved?
• Will Juliet save Ben? Is that why he falls in love with her later on, because she looks exactly like “her,” i.e., she looks exactly like herself?
• And actually, is this why Ben is so screwed up? Because a man he trusted shot him in the heart?