Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review - Lost Season 6 Episode 6 Sundown

Wow. So much happened in the last 5 minutes, the rest of the episode almost seems irrelevant, and it was brilliant. Lost is always topping itself, and with an episode as good as "Sundown," I couldn't care if there were zero answers or a hundred answers.

The duality of this season allowed this explore Sayid in both the flash-sideways and on the island, simultaneously showing the darkness inside of Sayid and the impossibility of redemption in both situations which were pointedly different from each other. Naveen Andrews again showed off his acting skills, and really did a great job on all fronts. I've been tepid with this whole concept thus far, but with the exploration of Jack last week and Sayid this week, I'm warming to the idea even if there is no indication whatsoever if there is some connection. The writers can take certain themes, and enhance them by showing them from two angles which can dramatically improve the episode. Instead of one story on the island which is also part of the bigger story, the flash-sideways story doesn't have the pretense of the big picture, but the themes are identical. I still want to see a real connection, but if this is all we're going to get for the next couple episodes, I'll live.

Sayid confronts Dogen, and learns that the shock machine measures good and evil. In Sayid's case, it tipped towards evil. Dogen attacks Sayid, and they have a lengthy fight ending with Dogen telling Sayid to leave after a rather awkward shot of a baseball falling on the ground. Claire arrives, telling Dogen to go outside to meet Flocke. It's obviously a trap, so Dogen has a task for Sayid. He is to find the person who is supposed to be dead, and stab a knife into him. Sayid does so, stabbing Flocke squarely in the chest, but nothing happens. Somehow, Flocke doesn't even get hurt from a knife while Jacob dies. I keep thinking Jacob is still alive, because he died so easily and didn't put up a struggle. It makes no sense that he wouldn't have any defenses.

Flocke's seductive powers draw Sayid in. First, he tells Sayid that Dogen knew the knife would do nothing, and Flocke would kill Sayid, thus completing what he and Jack couldn't do. Sayid still doesn't care, but Flocke ups the ante. He offers to bring back to only thing Sayid ever cared about: Nadia. This begins Sayid's journey to the dark side. Out of selfishness, he is willing to sacrifice anyone to get her back. At this point, Sayid doesn't even care if Flocke can do it or not. It's not like he has anything better to do.

Sayid returns to the Temple, and dutifully carries out the dastardly deed. First he warns everyone to leave before sundown of be killed, and then he kills Dogen and Lennon. Before this, we learn the deal with Dogen. He used to pick up his son from baseball practice every week, and got into a car crash after drinking too much. Jacob offered to save his son as long as Dogen went to the island and never came back. It's very similar to what Flocke offered Sayid. Bring back a love one in exchange for subservience.

What I don't get is how the infection plays into this. Does the infection bring out Sayid's evil, or does it make him evil? Was Claire evil? Is Sayid acting on his own accord?

Dogen was like the last barrier to the Temple, and Smokey floods in, killing Others left and right. It seems like the end of the Others in the Temple. I'm hoping Dogen will come back, because Hiroyuki Sanada portrays his character so well, and because it feels like his story is unfinished. Sayid comes out, and finds Flocke with a bunch of followers. They look like Others, but where did they come from?

Ilana, Sun, and Lapidus come in and with Miles, hide in a hidden thing in the wall which Ilana discovered by pushing on the shapes on the wall. Who the hell is Ilana? How does she know everything?

Kate learns that Claire is there, and forces Lennon to bring her to Claire.. He tells Claire that she raised Aaron, and Claire is immensely confused. Once she understands, I'm sure she'll go into psycho killer mode. When Smokey comes, Kate rushes to Claire who is very calm. After the assault, Kate gets out and finds all the dead bodies.

Jack and Hurley are still off in the jungle or at the lighthouse, but their absence was noted several times. Would they have made a difference if they were at the Temple? Maybe there's a Captain Planet thing with the candidates.

In the flash-sideways, Sayid comes back from his trip, and opens the door to find Nadia. That's about right with the various discrepancies, but there's an even bigger change. Nadia is married to Sayid's brother, Omar, not Sayid. They share those forlorn looks, and you know they're meant to be together. Sayid even carries Nadya's photo with him. Omar is in trouble with loan sharks, and asks Sayid to use his Republican Guard interrogator skills to solve the problem. Sayid insists he cannot. That part of his life is over, and he can't go back there. Even after Omar ends up in the hospital (the one where Jack works), Sayid doesn't swear vengeance. He goes about his business as usual. Nadya talks to him, and asks why he pushed her towards Omar.

His answer pretty much sums up his character. He's been trying to wash his hands of all the terrible things he's done, but even still, he doesn't deserve her. His bad deeds in the past aren't the only thing he tries to wash away. Sayid's instinct towards evil and violence is ingrained in him as are the memories of what he's done. He doesn't deserve Nadia, because he knows there is part of him, deep inside, that can erupt terribly. Self-reflection by Sayid is so sad, because the burden he puts on himself is not irrational and can't be solved through normal means. He does have those violent tendencies he can't shed.

A few guys show up, and tell Sayid to get in a car. He is brought to a restaurant (why do bad guys always have one?), where he meets none other than Martin Keamy. They start talking, and Sayid reaches a breaking point. He takes out everyone including Keamy, who dies much easier this time around. A noise is coming from somewhere, and Sayid opens the door to find Jin(!) with duct tape on his mouth and stuck to a chair. Last time we saw Jin, he had a boatload of cash. So which side is he on?

Although Sayid's motivation on the island and real world was different, it all goes back to Sayid and his inescapable past. He can't give up on his past. Whatever he may try to do, he goes back to his days in the Republican Guard. His past continues to haunt him on the island and in 2007. When pushed to do something and given the proper reason, he turns to violence.

Looking ahead, Flocke will probably have more difficulty getting another victory as easily. Sayid was compliant with the reward dangling out there. Sawyer doesn't care about anything, but you have to wonder why Flocke doesn't offer to bring back Juliet. He may or may not be able to bring back Nadia, but Sayid bit anyways. With Sayid's betrayal, everyone will be seen with suspicion, so the Others won't make the same mistake.

I was surprised by all the things that were happening. I definitely didn't expect Flocke to take action so quickly and demolish the Temple resistance so fast. Flocke has his followers, Sayid, Claire, Sawyer, and Jin, who probably won't go crazy and start killing people unless Flocke offers to bring Sun back.There was plenty of action with the extended fight scene between Dogen and Sayid and Sayid with Keamy's men. The writers poured on the dark, and created an underhandedly chilling episode.

Score: 9.3/10
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