Benjamin Linus and Sayid Jarrah met in episode 2.14, which translates to episode fourteen of season two. And that is really important now. Doc Jensen of Entertainment Weekly has noted the similarities between season two of the show and the current season five, and I’d be a fool not to give a nod to Doc in this because the opening of the episode immediately reminded me of the span of episodes when Ben (then known as Henry Gale) is a prisoner of the Losties, and Sayid becomes the torturer again. Except, in ‘He’s Our You,” Sayid is the prisoner, and Ben is the kind boy who is bringing him sandwiches. And believe you me, readers, I’m about to delve into the origins of the Ben/Sayid relationship because after the episode ended, the entire relationship between Ben and Sayid took over my mind. But this episode was/is not just about that relationship. And I’ll elaborate on that right now.
The overarching theme of Sayid has always been his past as a torturer, and he’s always been battling that part of him. He is ashamed that such a brutal side of him can exist. After torturing Sawyer in the first season’s episode ‘Confidence Man,’ Sayid leaves the camp because he is ashamed of what he’s done. He tells Kate: ‘What I did today I swore to neverdo again.” But the Island is not like any place in the world. It is place where, literally, John Locke can kill his daddy issues. The Island will put Sayid into situations like the one with Sawyer. And that is paraphrased from the mouths of Lindelof and Cuse. In Sayid’s second episode of season one, he ends up being the reason his friend kills himself.
And then episode fourteen of season two happens. It is titled ‘One Of Them.” Rousseau captured Ben in her net, and brought him to the Losties. Ben claims he is Henry Gale, from Minnesota, and that he crashed his hot air balloon on the Island. Sayid doesn’t believe the story one bit. He introduces himself to Ben as as a torturer. And torture Ben he does. And this is how Ben and Sayid’s relationship begins. The relationship has always been about violence and manipulation. Sayid says it himself in ‘He’s Our Hero.’ Ben, by lying about who he was, manipulated Sayid into torture just as he manipulated him into killing all of those men, and manipulated him to go to Los Angeles because Sayid believed Hurley was in danger. And Ben could very well be the man behind the death of Nadia, and probably is. But Sayid is always trying to change, as he tells Alana in the bar. But when he is handcuffed to the tree, and he’s given the juice of truth (as I like to call it) he describes himself as a bad man. He also describes himself as a killer before he shoots 12 year old Ben in the chest.
But, you know, Sayid is not a bad man. Sayid, in a way, reminds me of Mr. Eko. Eko tells ‘Yemi’ (the smoke monster) that he did not ask for the life he was given, but was given it nonetheless, and did the best he could with what he was given. There’s a bit of nature vs. nurture in this episode. Little Sayid kills the chicken for, I think is his brother, so that the father will love his son. That scene is very much like the scene when the Nigerian gang want little Yemi to kill the old man but Eko kills the man for Yemi, and is brought into the gang. Folks, re-watch ‘The 23rd Psalm.’ It is terrific. And I’m sure Jensen will bring this parallel up in his recap but I wrote it first! Sayid is a good but troubled man. One of my favorite characters.
And to say the least, Sayid is a complex character. Kitsis and Horowitz did a terrific job with the episode. The scenes between Ben and Sayid post-Island were great especially the scene when Ben told Sayid that John Locke was dead. It emphasized that manipulation, and you know it just hit me, that he had to have done the same thing to Nadia.
And then Sayid is being held in prison by Dharma, and he meets little Benny Linus. Ben begins asking about Richard, whether or not Sayid is a hostile, and suggesting that Ben can free Sayid so that Sayid can bring Ben to the Hostiles. I don’t really have to write it because everybody knows this but I’ll write it anyway: Ben is responsible for some bad, bad stuff and Sayid believed he was brought to 1977 to kill Benjamin Linus.
However, I wrote this last week: as Faraday says: whatever happened, happened. No one was able to tell Sayid that. Also, Ms. Hawking said it herself to Desmond: the universe course corrects itself. Ben can’t die, people. Ben CANNOT die. Jin is going to wake up, he will bring Ben to the Barracks which is future New Otherton, and Jack will save Ben’s life for the second time. And I’m going to write a new paragraph about the ending alone before I dive into other thoughts about the episode.
I’ll keep repeating myself: I am not made of stone. I love this show so much. LOST has the ability to get to me in an emotional sense. The final scene of the episode quite affected me, readers. A lot of it had to do with Ben as a 12 year old. We all know what Ben becomes but it is 1977 and Ben is just a kid who is in desperate need of a mother, and stuck with an abusive father who hates him. I was watching ‘The Man Behind The Curtain” on Sunday night so Ben’s backstory was fresh in my mind. There was a real sense of sadness in that final scene. Naveen Andrews knocked it out of the park. Sayid’s reaction after shooting 12 year old Ben was brilliant. I can’t really explain with clarity why the final scene affected me as much as it did but it did. Perhaps it is because everything we know about Sayid came to a crescendo in this scene in the dark of the Island. This episode was extremely well-done. As always, here are some other thoughts:
–Horace Goodspeed is awesome. He’s a good leader. I don’t know why I thought this but I did. When he brought in that tool, I thought he’d torture Sayid but he simply cut the cuffs off of Sayid. Again, I’m a fool for thinking Horace would do something like that but, you know, it happens.
–Oldham’s not as brutal as Sawyer made him out to be. Also, Oldham’s got some good musical taste (Billie Holliday). Not a bad dude that Oldman.
–Jack played the Kate finding out about Sawyer/Juliet pretty well considering he and Kate had sex literally a few days ago. I enjoyed how Hurley told Kate the news.
–Loved the line from Sawyer about a burning Dharma van happening for the first time after Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid returned.
–Speaking of awesome lines, ‘A 12 year old Ben Linus just gave me a sandwich. How do you think I feel?’ is so AWESOME. Sayid’s great.
–I’m not that into the love quadangle to be honest. I was never into the Jack/Kate/Sawyer thing when it began in season one. I like the other relationships on the show like Desmond and Penny. I was a fan of Charlie and Claire. Bernard and Rose are fantastic together. Never got into Hurley/Libby or Sayid/Shannon either.
–Annie better show up before season five ends.
–I wonder why Kate chose to return to the Island. I, of course, hope it has something to do with Claire. I miss Claire. But I dare say we might learn why next week. Hm.
–Once again: whatever happened, happened.
–No Miles this episode. I wonder if we’ll ever get more of Miles’ story. I’m sure we will.
–I’m ready for Desmond’s return, and I’m waiting patiently to catch up with Daniel Faraday.
–Radzinsky needs to settle down.
–I also am eager to see Locke again on Alcatrez Island. The show has alot of ground to cover still before the season concludes May 13.
–That’s about it for ‘He’s Our You.’ Very jazzed for next week’s episode. The season’s really progressing well.
Before the rankings, here’s your chance to win a slightly outdated but entirely free CD. Here’s the question:
Electromagnetism has played a big role in the show. The Swan’s existed because of the unique electromagnetic properties on the Island. After The Incident, numbers were
put into a computer every 108 minutes to defuse energy that built up. Desmond thinks he crashed Oceanic 815 because he was late getting back to Hatch (it was after he accidentally killed Kelvin). So, yes, electromagnetism has been a big part of the series. So, the trivia question is:
In what episode was electromagnetism introduced, or rather, foreshadowed? Here’s a hint: In the same episode, Charlie tells Jack that Locke is the one person he trusts to save everybody on the Island.
The first one to e-mail quadEntertainment@wcupa.edu with the correct answer will win a copy of 2-Pac’s album ‘Pac’s Life.’ Only WCU students are eligible. The prize can be picked up on Tuesdays between 2-4 pm or on Sundays between 10-3.
TO THE RANKINGS!
THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS
Nothing too exciting this week. STEVE has a new number one. I only made one change to my rankings.
AFTER EPISODE 10
6. Jin 7. Juliet 8. Ben 9. Hurley 10. Daniel 11. Frank 12. Sun 13. Miles 14. Richard 15. Kate 16. Widmore
6. Jin 7. Juliet 8. Richard 9. Ben 10. Frank 11. Miles 12. Sun 13. Kate 14. Widmore 15. Daniel 16. Hurley