Another contribution by Ricky L. Escoto – consultant and “LOST” expert extraordinaire:
“The Economist” – 02/14/08
So let’s just tackle the white elephant in the room right off the bat because I just cannot contain myself any longer: Sayid’s a hired assassin working for Ben? WTF? I totally did not see that one coming (oh and by the way, apparently Sayid is another one of the “Oceanic 6”)! Holy s**t! I find this particularly intriguing given Sayid’s own statement in just this very episode: “The day I trust Ben is they day I’ve sold my soul.” Irony! Another ironic observance is that while on the Island in this episode, Sayid is using diplomacy (with Locke re: Charlotte), he is calm, reasonable and wanting to handle things without blood shed. He is also making a point to honor a dead woman’s body (Naomi). Off the Island in the future, he becomes a cold, calculated and pragmatic assassin – for Ben, no less. I do so love the irony on this show, I mean it’s in such abundance! In addition to the irony though, I think that there’s a lot of “returning to his roots” going on with Sayid in this flash forward; remember, as Jack reminds us in this episode, Sayid was a torturer for the Iraqi Republican Guard prior to his beginning the events that lead up to his arrival on the Island. He’s used to being a “hired gun” for someone else’s cause. So perhaps it’s not so unfathomable that he could be coerced by Ben (who let’s face it, could probably talk an Eskimo into buying an air conditioner) into traveling around the world and killing off his enemies. So it would appear, by his own words, that Sayid has now sold his soul to Ben. However, it would appear as though he still has some heart and humanity with him as he is able to fall in love with Elsa in Berlin, whose employer he is supposed to be finding and killing, and when Ben is fixing his bullet wound later at the veterinary clinic, Sayid expresses reluctance in killing yet another person for Ben as he tries to give Sayid another name. Ben asks him, “Do you remember what happened the last time you followed your heart?” and reminds Sayid that the work they are doing “protects your friends.” So his soul may be “gone” but his heart and humanity would appear intact as he not only reluctantly goes about his business for Ben but does so in order to protect “his friends,” whom we can only assume are his fellow castaways, many of which were evidently left behind on the Island. This would be in correlation with my theory that Michael is Ben’s spy on the boat. Clearly, Ben (well, through his Others) was able to convince Michael to betray the other castaways and kill Libby and Ana Lucia in order to free Ben and then again to lure Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley into the Others’ capture in order to save Walt and get off the Island. It would not surprise me further to believe that Ben could have convinced Michael to intercept the boat and be his spy on it in order to “save his friends,” whom he has now betrayed twice. I must admit, it makes for great television and all but I am sorely disappointed that Ben is still alive “post-Island”. I was really hoping that he would get what he has coming to hm in the form of a bullet to the brain at the conclusion of all of this but it doesn’t look like it. Oh well. Also, I would just like to point out a continuity issue probably due to some bad editing but when Sayid kills “Mr. Avellino” on the golf course he never puts his gun away and yet it’s just all of the sudden gone! Trust me, I re-watched that snippet several times and he never puts the gun away nor does he leave it behind and yet it magically disappears as he walks off the green.
So Sayid is the fourth person from the plane crash to officially (or at least publicly) get off the Island. We know now that Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid are among the infamous “Oceanic 6,” which individuals are apparently well known around the globe (or at least the story of their return is). And yes, I did say that Kate is among them because if any of you saw the preview for the next episode during the credits, they elude to what must be a flash forward of the Oceanic 6’s arrival back to the “real world” and Kate’s face is clearly shown among several photographers and press. So four down and two to go; we may possibly find out who they are in this next episode. If we continue with my current theory that Michael is Ben’s spy on the boat and ends up being one of the Oceanic 6 (beautiful irony after betraying all of his friends over and over again) then he is number 5 and I can only assume Walt will be number 6 (don’t you think Walt would bring Vincent with him? If so, perhaps that should be the “Oceanic 7,” unless they aren’t counting the dog). I am not forgetting the possibility that the “Oceanic 6” are not the only ones on the Island who may return home, just the only ones from the plane (at least that the world knows about). Sayid was not the only one to get on the helicopter with Frank at the end in order to go to the boat looking for answers; Desmond went with him. It is possible that Desmond too gets off the Island, possibly even Juliet (although something tells me she doesn’t make it back to the “real world,” especially in light of Jack’s complete breakdown at some point in his future off the Island. I just feel like if Juliet were off the Island, she’d be with him somehow). Sawyer is another possible “6” member as he and Kate have grown closer (and apparently sleep together again in Ben’s bedroom, as shown in next week’s preview). We have all alleged the possibility that Sawyer is the “he” to whom Kate refers to when telling Jack that “he will be wondering where I am,” in Jack’s flash forward from last season’s finale, “Through The Looking Glass”. We know Kate and Jack don’t end up together, that’s probably why.
Another possibility is that Ben is the “he” to whom Kate is referring. If Ben is able to secure Sayid’s services, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that he has Kate under his thumb as well. It could be that Ben does not have Jack in his employ and Kate could be in trouble or something for associating with Jack off the Island. It could be possible that there was a split among the “6” much like there was among the castaways on the Island between Jack and Locke. Perhaps in the series of events that will transpire between now and the flash forwards he have been privy to (which we do not know when in the future they occur) something happens that requires the people on the Island to choose between Ben and Jack (or Ben and nothing) and that decision leads to the “6” as well and continues off – Island. It is also entirely possible that on some level, all of the “6” have become “Others” and are working for Ben as his people “in the real world,” continuing his “mission” off the Island (a la Richard). I know it may now sound like I’m grasping at straws but another thought I had is that if we follow this and correlate it with Sayid’s reluctance of heart, perhaps at some point, Sayid reneges on this deal and decides he just can’t kill anymore. For this Ben may have him killed and he could be the one in that casket at the funeral only Jack attended. For his betrayal, Kate could be pissed off at him and that could have prompted her “why would I go to the funeral, Jack?” response in Jack’s flash forward from last season. That’s just a random thought, I know. I don’t know who could have died, the news of which would spark Jack’s suicide attempt but I’m still trying to hold on to my “Michael storyline” that he ends up being the spy on the boat, getting off the Island and then dying at a funeral that no one attends, including the castaways because they are all still mad at him for his betrayal.
So who are the people that Ben is having Sayid go around and kill? Clearly Elsa and Naomi worked for the same people (since they shared that bracelet). Well, that might not be as clear so much as an assumption but they did make a point of showing us both bracelets on both women. So Elsa and her employer probably work for the same company (maybe Elsa’s employer is Matthew Abbadon?) that employed Naomi and sent the boat to the Island. The same company that I had suggested was either part of the Others at one point and broke off from them; or is the Hanso Foundation seeking revenge on Ben and the Others; or is this elusive Maxwell Group, which we know that Penny Widmore’s father has ties to. Whatever this company is, they are Ben’s enemies and stand in the way of whatever his plot to take over the world is. Oh and at what point did Ben become a veterinarian? I mean, I realize that was a cover but since when does Ben know how to stitch up a bullet wound? I don’t know, that just perturbed me for some reason in spite of the timing of it with the awesome revelation that almost made me shit my pants (even though I was repeatedly exclaiming, “OMG, it’s Ben! OMG, it’s Ben!” over and over again throughout the whole scene prior to the revelation).
So on the Island, Jack discovers a photo of Desmond and Penny among Naomi’s things and tells Juliet, Kate and Sayid about it. He asks Juliet to go back to the beach and bring Desmond back to the helicopter with her since he assumes that the boat people are there for Desmond. Remember, Hurley, Charlie, Desmond and Sayid kept Naomi a secret from Jack for like a couple days and so he never knew about the photograph that she had with her. Sayid decides to “honor” the body of Naomi and put her to rest, finally closing her eyes (OMG, that was driving me crazy for the last two episodes) and pulling the blanket over her face. He discovers the bracelet, identical to the one he later sees on Elsa’s wrist, and notices an inscription “N., I’ll always be with you, R.G.”. Who is “R.G.”? Boyfriend? Lover? I found a couple of really ridiculous theories on Lostpedia hinting that it could be “Regina” from the boat and Naomi is a lesbian, or that “R.G” were the initials of the dead boy that Miles went and communicated with in his flashback and he could have been dating Naomi, which I also find ridiculous. So we’ll just have to wait and see on that one. Obviously, it is someone in her company because the initials are engraved on her “company bracelet”. Anyway, this prompts Sayid to demand he be taken to the boat and he uses Miles’ insistence that they go “rescue” Charlotte as collateral. He tells Frank that he will go and get Charlotte from Locke if he will promise to take him to the boat, to which Frank agrees. Sayid takes Kate and Miles with him to track down Locke and his “team”. Let’s not forget the great conversation that takes place between Jack and Kate here. After Sayid tells Jack that he is too “violent” (more irony) to take on this mission, Kate consoles him and tells him that now he knows how she feels. He jokes that maybe he should wait 20 minutes and go anyway and then tells Kate to go with Sayid. He says that he’s not worried about anything happening to her because Sawyer won’t let Locke hurt her, which prompts a realization on both their parts that this is a “complicated” situation between the three of them (or if you count Juliet, it’s a “Love Quadrangle”) and Kate sets off with Sayid and Miles, who Sayid is all to happy to have along. I was skeptical at first but when we find out that Sayid has cunningly “traded” Miles for Charlotte in order to fulfill his end of he and Frank’s agreement, I laughed.
Sayid, Kate and Miles arrive at the barracks to find them seemingly deserted and they find Hurley abandoned, tied up in a closet (very reminiscent of when the Others abandoned the barracks and took Locke with them leaving Juliet behind). Hurley tells them that he tried to protect Charlotte from Locke so they left him behind and he doesn’t know where they went but for stopping at Ben’s house first. Hurley even had me fooled. He was the perfect patsy. Who could possibly accuse or suspect Hurley of deception? Well apparently not Sayid either because when he, Kate and Miles explore Ben’s house they are ambushed by “Team Locke” but not before a very cool discovery by Sayid.
While rummaging through the house looking for clues (and finding a copy of the Holy Quran on Ben’s bookshelf) he sees that the bookshelf in the living room has been moved. Sayid moves it and discovers that there is a secret room filled with nice suits and clothes. Sayid finds a stash of currency from around the world (a really cool note here, apparently, among Ben’s foreign banknotes is an original Series E £20 note issued by the Bank of England, withdrawn in 2001. The design incorporates the face of Michael Faraday, whom you may remember from last week’s email is the English physicist for whom our character “Daniel Faraday” is named after and who made many discoveries regarding electromagnetism) and several passports. Sayid opens one of the passports revealing Ben’s photo with an alias, “Dean Moriarty” (by the way, any of you who are as much a fan of mysteries as I am will recognize the name “Moriarty” as Sherlock Holmes’ arch-nemesis – one of the greatest and earliest literary “super-villains” of all time). So this is Ben’s secret room. What the hell has he been using all of those passports for? How often does Ben get off the Island? What is he doing off the Island when “outside”? I am now more than ever excited to find out who the hell Ben really is and what the hell he and the Others are up to. What is their goal, their purpose?
After Sayid is held captive with Ben in the same game room that Kate was held captive in (the last time she and Sayid were abducted trying to infiltrate the barracks and save Jack) with Ben, no less. Locke comes in and chats with him. Sayid is able to convince Locke to hand over Charlotte (in exchange for Miles) because he does not trust the boat people either and if he brings Charlotte back, he has made an agreement to obtain passage to the boat itself, where he will be able to infiltrate the boat people and ascertain who they are, why they’re here and what they want. Sayid returns to the helicopter with Charlotte, sans Kate and Miles, just after Juliet has arrived with Desmond. Desmond confronts Frank about the picture of he and Penny that Naomi had. Frank denies knowing anything about it or Penny. Desmond demands that Frank take him on the helicopter to the boat, which he consents to. So Sayid throws Naomi on the helicopter and he and Desmond join Frank for a trip back to the boat but not before Daniel warns Frank to make sure he stays on the same bearing that they came in on, not deviating at all.
This warning by Daniel is presumably prompted by the unsettling discovery he made during his little “experiment” earlier on the Island. He sets up a beacon on a tripod and asks Frank for the satellite phone. Frank asks him why and Daniel responds that he wants to call Regina on the boat. Frank reluctantly hands the phone over but is insistent that if “Minkowski” picks up that Daniel hang up immediately, however. Why? Why does Frank not want Daniel to speak with Minkowski? Interesting… Anyway, Daniel asks Regina to find the signal from his beacon and send a rocket to it, which she does and counts out the number of kilometers until it’s arrival but when it “lands” on her radar at the target, Daniel cannot see it anywhere, which he finds very odd. Daniel is confused for awhile, but when the missile finally arrives, he becomes intrigued. He compares the times on the missile and the tripod to see that they are different by 31 minutes. When Daniel calls Regina again, she is confused at the result – claiming that it was “weird”. Daniel becomes very concerned, stating that this “goes beyond weird”. But a difference of 31 minutes would still not account for Walt’s aging or anything else that’s been alleged. Regina’s equipment told her that the missile arrived, 31 minutes before it actually arrived. It suggests that the island is somehow at a point 31 minutes behind the real world in the time-line. The subjective experience of time on or off the island is a totally different thing. I can only assume that the Island’s special electromagnetic properties somehow disrupt the normal properties of time in its vicinity as it relates to the rest of the world – or at least how time is calculated. A simple difference of 31 minutes could not be constant, for one thing, the voice calls are in real time, and for a second thing, time running at a different pace would result in a different period of lag at all times, instead of a constant 31 minutes. At best, the Island causes a disruption of everything going on on the Island as it relates to the outside world. Regina’s equipment said the rocket had arrived but the Island’s electromagnetism kept Regina’s equipment confused. That’s what I’m going with, that the Island just screws everything up and that’s what Daniel is there to discover and learn about it.
Okay that’s my spiel for this week; I think I hit everything important and fun. I just want to reiterate that I think this was by far the most exciting episode for me. I loved it!