We continue with our round-table discussions of Lost. This week, we’re joined by Bridget McGovern and Theresa DeLucci. As always, spoilers abound, so stay away from this post if you haven’t watched the latest episode of Lost, “He’s Our You.”
Thresa: Oh, Sayid. Is there any hotter killer on television? 2007 Sayid has the best hair, even better than Jin’s shaggy 70’s cut. And even Sayid’s foreplay is badass. If he can get back to the present, I hope Sayid has a new love interest in Ilana. Anyway, I said it before, but if anyone has the balls to kill adorable Lil’ Ben, it’s Sayid. I’m glad they went that route. What will happen to the future? Where’s Desmond and Faraday when you need them?
I enjoyed the flashbacks… to the future. (Yeah, it’s still weird saying that.) However, this episode felt like it was missing some weight for me. I was really looking forward to seeing Sayid’s meeting with Oldham. And that’s before we saw it was the fantastic William Sanderson, the fourth Deadwood alum to appear on Lost to date. (Others may remember him as J.F. Sebastian in Blade Runner. The truly disturbed will remember him from one of the most offensive exploitation movies ever, Fight For Your Life.) But the scene fell way flat for me. I was hoping to see something a bit more cat-and-mouse, a psychological compare-and-contrast between the two torturers. Instead, we get Naveen Andrews doing a poor job of acting high. Which is somewhat surprising given his past, public trouble with narcotics. A truth serum? Really? Lame. I much preferred the scenes between the Iraqi and Lafleur, who is still trying to keep his hold on his new responsibilities. I think the old Sawyer would never have cared about giving Horace his unanimous vote to kill Sayid.
But I think one of my favorite moments of the night was Hurley telling Kate that it was obvious Sawyer and Juliet were together, “you know, like you guys used to live together.” Ha! I still feel like some confrontation is brewing with this love quadrangle, but, for this week, we were spared. Juliet is so level-headed. I like her a lot. Kate’s all pout.
Bridget: Yeah, this was interesting, but problematic. There seemed to be a weird divide in this episode; on one hand, there’s the awareness of the ever-increasing absurdities piling up thanks to the overlapping of past, present, and future, generally presented in a more or less playful or humorous way. On the other, there also seemed to be a more serious undercurrent involving the darker aspects of human nature: the possibility of Sayid being a natural born killer, but also the “good,” mellow people of the Dharma Initiative’s willingness (even eagerness) to kill to preserve their status quo. The fact that Amy Goodspeed, “the new mom,” is the one who speaks out most strongly in favor of executing Sayid strongly seems to suggest that homicidal tendencies aren’t quite as rare, unusual, or specialized as Ben suggests during his little speech over at Habitat for Humanity headquarters. There were parts of this episode which seemed to be channeling the spirit of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery;” I thought it was a little heavy-handed, to be honest—especially with the addition of the all-too-familiar Bad Daddy issues—but the final moments of the episode more than made up for the clunkiness.
The zany time-travel wackiness, on the other hand, was absolutely brilliant. The fact that Lost manages to remain playful, and never takes itself too seriously, is one of the show’s greatest strengths, and Sayid’s deadpan “A twelve year old Ben Linus brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I feel?” was a perfect example of why this show continues to be absolutely brilliant. Young Ben himself strikes a perfect balance between creepy and heartbreaking (another reason why the climax of the show was so incredibly effective)… I have no idea what it means that he was reading Carlos Castaneda, but it seems somehow perfect. So, what happens now? Does the Island actually allow Ben to die, or are we in for a magical mystery tour through fate, destiny and general weirdness? If young Ben dies, does it wipe out his actions in the future entirely? And yeah!!! Who knew that William Sanderson was going to show up in a teepee at the edge of the Dharma compound, torturing people to the dulcet tones of Billie Holliday? I agree that it fell a little flat, but it did remind me of how much I miss Deadwood. Sigh. I am, as ever, confused but weirdly elated…and I could use a glass of McCutcheon.