“Let me take you to the dining hall, young Benjamin, where the Sorting Hat will tell you what house you’re in.”
We don’t usually do this, but before we recap last night’s episode we want to be verrrry sure you’ve already seen it. Because otherwise this recap would be quite the spoiler. So if you haven’t, go watch it now. We’ll wait.
[43 minutes pass]
I know! Holy Moses!
Let’s get down to business:
- While not part of the actual episode, we have been invited back to Dusty & Lauren’s exclusive “Lost” dinner club. The teriyaki chicken (featuring Lauren’s homemade sauce) is superb, as is the delectable asparagus and the light, playful Pinot Grigio. Five stars.
- Sayid grew up killing chickens, which in Iraq makes you a Man.
- Post-island Sayid kills a Russian dude, which is his last assignment as Ben’s killer.*
- Apparently displeased with the long term prospects of a career as a professional assassin, Sayid decides to build homes in the Dominican Republic. (We last saw him there when Locke came to persuade him to return to the island.)
- Back on the island in 1977, Sawyer tries to figure out how he can spring Sayid and still save face with his newfound Dharma friends.
- Erin remarks that Sawyer has “a noble chin,” whatever that means.
- Harry Potter Little Ben continues to bring Sayid sandwiches in the clink. That is, until his father finds out, at which point much berating and bad fathering ensues.
- Erin wonders aloud whether young Benjamin Linus would be a Ravenclaw or Slytherin. Totally Slytherin.
- Sawyer, running out of options, tases Sayid (and appears to do so awfully close to the crotch, at least from where we were sitting). Sawyer, Horace, and Radzinsky take Sayid to…
- …Ben’s ninth-grade science teacher, Mr. Olsen!
- No, actually it’s Larry from “Newhart.” Except now everyone calls him Oldham and outsources their torture/interrogation needs to him. (The episode’s title comes from Sawyer’s answer when Sayid asks who Oldham is.)
- Drugged Sayid spills it, saying he’s from the future and correctly naming all the Dharma stations, including The Swan which in 1977 is still a geodesic model on Radzinsky’s desk. Sayid also implicates Sawyer although no one makes the connection.
- Jury duty for Sayid v. Dharma convenes in the Goodspeed living room. Despite his best efforts, Sawyer cannot convince anyone to spare Sayid. And at one point Radzinsky threatens to “call Ann Arbor” if the vote doesn’t go his way. Ann Arbor, Michigan? Or maybe a person named Ann Arbor? Cryptic little moment there.
- Back in 2007, Sayid’s poor choice in women continues when he seduces a bounty hunter named Ilana. Plus she made him buy her a $125 glass of scotch first. Cold!
- Ilana, who says she’s employed by the family of the man whom Sayid shot on a golf course (in last season’s “The Economist”), tells him she must take him to Guam.
- They book the first flight out of L.A., which happens to be Ajira Airways 316.
- In 1977, Sawyer finds an oddly serene Sayid in his cell. Sawyer tells Sayid to punch him in the face and escape. Sayid declines, saying he’s discovered his purpose.
- A wigged-out Sawyer finds Kate to ask what Sayid was talking about and why the Oceanic 6 came back. Kate says coyfully that she knows why she came back. Before this moment can play out any further,
- A flaming VW van rolls into Dharmaville causing mass chaos.
- Young Ben seizes this moment to free Sayid, who is standing in his cell waiting.
- Ben and Sayid flee until Jin spots them from his van. He gets a report on his walkie that Sayid has escaped. Before he will let him go he tells Sayid he just has to clear it with Sawyer.
- At which point Sayid takes Jin down and then takes his gun.
- At which point he shoots Ben. (In his notes, Ben recorded this as, SAYID SHOOTS BEN!!!!)
So where does this leave us? With only more questions.
What does this mean for 2007 Ben? What does this mean for Ben, period? This definitively kills Faraday’s “Whatever Happened, Happened” theory, because in the prior 1977 Ben could not have died. Right? This seems so obvious to us that now we’re worried it will be proven wrong.
Given what we revealed in our last post, which is that in two weeks Ben will have his showdown with Smokey, we know that Ben is not dead and gone as a character. He has become one of the greatest villain/heroes in TV history. HE CAN’T JUST BE DEAD.
Much as we want that to be true, it also takes away from last night’s dramatic ending. Think back to season 2, when Michael shot Ana Lucia and then Libby. That was shocking, and we knew that was for good. (Mostly. Aside from some Hurley hallucinations.) But now that so many dead characters have reappeared as 1) resurrected [Locke, Christian Shephard?], 2) still dead [Charlie, Christian Shephard?], and 3) psyche! dead [Jin at the beginning of this season, Christian Shephard?], dead is not quite dead anymore. Like we said, we really don’t want Ben to be dead for good. We’ve resorted to all caps to express this. But the stakes are different with all this fluidity in the show’s — shall we say– elastic life-death continuum.
Here’s hoping you can explain far better than we can what this all means. And once again, thank you, Dusty & Lauren, for the hospitality.
* = Wordplay! Double meaning! This is the kind of “Lost” analysis only Voreblog delivers.