I have to say, after a few lackluster episodes, Lost has regained itself in top form with this week’s episode. No more hour-long character studies about people coping with their inner demons. OK, so this episode was a storyline about someone coping with their inner demons, but this guy’s inner demon was about ripping people’s fingers out with a pair of pliers, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s much more interesting than watching Sawyer con some middle aged hausfrau or Charlie bitch and moan about his heroin addiction. But we also get more clues towards the island mystery, which is what the show has been lacking for a while. And most of all, they continue what I think is the most fascinating part of the new season: the growing rift between the Jack and Locke camps. Not since the “Bo and Luke Duke/Coy and Vance Duke” debate have I seen such tension. Ultimately, however, this show was all about Sayid. And we all know there are only two things that he does well (other than banging aging collagen-filled actresses, that is). Chew bubble gum and torture people. And this week, he was all out of bubble gum. I would like to first take a moment to formally petition the networks to please STOP greedily adding in three more minutes of commercials, forcing your shows to go from 9:00 to 10:03. For those of us blessed with TiVoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, it totally screws up our recording schedules for the 10 oÃ¢â‚¬â„¢clock hour, and we fast forward through the stupid commercials anyway.
But before we get to the recap let’s take a look at whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s brewing on the net.
For those of you like me who canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stand the character of Ana Lucia, her one-note performance and her wooden clenched teeth acting style, you are not alone. You know who else canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stand her? The producers of the show, who want to kill her off because she is such a pain in the ass to work with. The most shocking thing about this article? The picture of her actually makes her look cute.
Also interesting to note that the Hanso foundation website, the source of many tantalizing clues, is now gone, and instead forwards you to a new website, www.4815162342.com . Check it out here. It looks like all it is is the official Lost forums, but knowing this show there may be other hidden things to find.
There is a Lost Wikicity up here. Wiki is an internet term for a kind of online encyclopedia that lets anyone add information to it. Wikipedia is the main site, and shockingly has no entry for TVgasm. Someone better get on that.
TV Guide has the Lost world atlas here.
Well, enough of that, let’s get to the recap.
The show opens in a flashback. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Iraq and Sayid and a group of other Iraqi soldiers are frantically trying to destroy documents by burning them and using their shredder. Good to know a war torn Iraq (is there any other kind of Iraq?) still has room to buy paper shredders. They are soon interrupted by the Army who burst through the door and have everyone drop to the ground. USA! USA! For some strange reason two guys in the back are still shredding documents. When the army guy tells him that if he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop he will fire, Sayid yells at them to stop. This lets the army guys know that he can speak English. They ask him where his commanding officer is. When Sayid says he left hours ago, he gets the business end of a rifle butt because as we all know, the Geneva conventions are quaint.
Later he is picked out of a lineup and brought to a sergeant who needs help with some translating. They also inform us that this is the first U.S.-Iraq war, and not the current one. Since the show is filmed in tropical Hawaii we are also treated to the first of many awkwardly low budget CGI shots of an Iraqi backdrop. Add in the fact that it was an overcast week of shooting in Hawaii and the whole thing doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exactly scream desert. They need SayidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s help in finding an Apache helicopter pilot who went down a few days ago. The only one that can help is SayidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s former commanding officer, Tariq. The same one he just swore left town hours ago. You know, if you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t trust an Iraqi prisoner of war to tell you the truth, who can you trust?
Back on the island in present day we see Sayid washing his face when Ana Lucia comes up to him asking where Jack is. Sayid asks why and Ana Lucia leads him into the jungle to show him that she has been tracking someone. At first glance it looks like it might be an Other. But if it was weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d never have seen them coming, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m gonna say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the French lady. Sayid tells Ana Lucia that he can handle it from here, and because of the whole Ã¢â‚¬Å“you shot the woman I loveÃ¢â‚¬? thing between them, Ana Lucia agrees.
When Sayid confronts the person we see that it is in fact Danielle the crazy, and presumably smelly, French lady (ahh French jokes. Almost as easy as making fun of Belgians). When Sayid asks her what she is doing here, she says she is Ã¢â‚¬Å“looking for you.Ã¢â‚¬? She leads him further into the woods and Sayid says he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t trust her, seeing as sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insane and stole ClaireÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s baby. Danielle just says she has to show him something and in order to get him to go she hands him her rifle.
Back in the flashback Sayid is translating the between the Army captain and the Iraqi commander Tariq. He asks him to tell him where the pilot is. Tariq calls Sayid a disgrace and orders him to grab the man’s gun and kill them all. So that would be a Ã¢â‚¬Å“no.Ã¢â‚¬? The American officer doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like that answer and warns Sayid that if he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help him someone else will take over, and that someone else will not be as nice as he is. Sayid tells him that he canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help him, to which the American officer walks out in disgust.
Back on the beach Sawyer is awakened in the middle of the day because a frog is keeping him up. OK, not the most thought-out of storylines but we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really have 30 minutes of an Iraqi flashback now can we? You know how much money it takes to make Honolulu look like Iraq?
Sawyer goes wandering off into the woods and stumbles upon Hurley, who is eating a 10 pound vat of ranch dressing. Yep, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right, the fat guy who made such a stink about rationing the food is stealing it for himself so he can remain dangerously obese. If I were on that island IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be pissed, because I love ranch dressing. Especially Dharma Initiative ranch dressing. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got quite the tangy bite. Sawyer then makes a deal with him. If he can help him find the tree frog, he wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tell anyone about his delicious 10 pounds of ranch dressing. Goes great with everything from french fries to chicken wings. Hurley even says that the Dharma ranch dressing is safe at room temperature for up to seven years. That has to be the greatest breakthrough in modern science in 50 years. God bless the Hanso Foundation.
Meanwhile, Sayid finally is brought to what it isthat Danielle was talking about. At first I thought it would be a new hatch, but it turns out its just a guy caught up in a net. But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a guy weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never seen before. Danielle thinks it’s one of the Others and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want Sayid to cut him down. The man says his name is Henry Gale and he is from Minnesota. Sayid does in fact cut him down, and once the guy gets out of the net he makes a run for it. Bad idea, because then Danielle shoots him in the back with an arrow. She tells Sayid that she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean to kill him. If she did he would already be dead. He should take him back to her doctor, but remember that he will lie, she says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“For a long time, he will lie.Ã¢â‚¬? And itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s up to Sayid to get him to tell the truth.
Back in the flashback they bring Sayid to the new man in charge of the interrogation. The man is none other than the dreaded Immortal known as the Kurgan, who fought Connor McCloud to the death in Highlander. That movie rocks. He tells Sayid that he respects his loyalty but there is something he should know. His commanding officer Tariq was also in charge of gassing an entire city of men, woman and children. A city in which Sayid had relatives. He even shows him a videotape of the gassing, taped from IraqiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Funniest Home Videos. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You know what sarin gas does. No discrimination. The entire marketplace. Innocent women, children.Ã¢â‚¬? I have to say, living in such a racially charged society as we do, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m glad there are some people and even a few deadly gases out there that donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t discriminate. Discrimination is bad.
The video leaves Sayid shaken and the nameless interrogator tells him that he respects loyalty, but not his unquestioning loyalty. Then Sayid asks him why he should believe him. The man tells him that they liberated his and TariqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s personnel file. Which was really the whole point of the first Gulf War. Sure some people say it was because of oil, or because Saddam invaded Kuwait. But no, it was to liberate millions of personnel files forced to live under horrible conditions. They didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even organize them alphabetically for god’s sake.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tariq will never talk to you,Ã¢â‚¬? Sayid says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re gonna have to make him talk to you.Ã¢â‚¬? The man responds, showing him a wooden toolbox, which IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m guessing isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t full of Cadbury cream eggs. But if anyone ever needed info from me thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all it would take. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d sell out my family for one of them Cadbury cream eggs! Sorry, Cadbury said theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d pay me twenty bucks if I wrote that.
In the hatch Sayid wakes up Locke, who is on number duty. He shows him the stranger with the arrow through his chest and tells him his story . Ã¢â‚¬Å“Minnesota, huh?Ã¢â‚¬? Locke says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the question isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it?Ã¢â‚¬? Sayid responds. He tells them that they will take the arrow out but he has to answer some questions first. Henry tells them that he and his wife crashed on the island while trying to cross the Pacific in a hot air balloon. Is there anyone that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a chance to crash-land on this freaking island? Nigerian drug runners in a tiny 2 prop airplane, now a guy in a hot air balloon? Pretty soon itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be like GilliganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Island and astronauts will be showing up. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wait to see Locke driving his bamboo car. He says that his wife died and they were living in a cave by the beach. Neither Locke nor Sayid believes them, but then Jack shows up, doing his full-on hero bit. Jack starts to treat the guy but Sayid warns him not to untie him.
On the great frog hunt Sawyer is throwing out some fat jokes at HurleyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s expense and calls him Babar, only he pronounces it Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bar-bar.Ã¢â‚¬? Hurley says that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bah-bar.Ã¢â‚¬? Actually, I always thought it was Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ba-bahr.Ã¢â‚¬? Anyways, Hurley then gets mad and lashes out at Sawyer. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Go ahead. Tell everyone the fat guy’s been hiding ranch dressing. The fat guy likes to eat. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m Fat! Fat! Fat! Fat! You think I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know that? These people like me.Ã¢â‚¬? This actually pissed me off. It’s one thing for him to get defensive about someone making fat jokes, but if you were on a desert island and stealing food from everyone else because you selfishly want to stay fat, then I think you should really shut your mouth, and not just to keep food from going in.
Back in the hatch Jack is removing the arrow and dressing the hot air balloon guyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wounds. In the corner Locke and Sayid are talking amongst themselves. Locke says the problem is there is no way they can know that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not telling the truth. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not exactly true,Ã¢â‚¬? Sayid responds. He then tells Locke to change the combination on the armory, so that Jack doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know it. SayidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gonna get his torture on, and he tells Locke that they both know that Jack will Ã¢â‚¬Å“have issuesÃ¢â‚¬? with it. Jack is kind of a pussy. The fact that he shares his name with the greatest bad ass torture expert in the world, Jack Bauer, is just that much more of an insult.
Locke and Sayid both walk up to Jack and tell them that they think they should put him in the armory to be safe. Ã¢â‚¬Å“OK, for now.Ã¢â‚¬? Jack responds, acting as if heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s their elected leader who decides who does what. This is exactly the kind of attitude that made you lose the guns last week, buddy. Once they move the man in, Sayid closes the door and locks everyone out but him and his victim. Jack starts to bang on the door asking him what heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing. Sayid just answers coldly Ã¢â‚¬Å“What must be doneÃ¢â‚¬? and then he ties his hair back which is the international torturer’s symbol for Ã¢â‚¬Å“itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on.Ã¢â‚¬?
Back in the Iraq Flashback Sayid is also about to torture. Only this one is special because heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s losing his torture cherry on Tariq. Tariq thinks heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bluffing at first and even orders him to tie a bag over himself and commit suicide. Then he spits in SayidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give the guy points for originality. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not exactly the way I would handle he situation. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d probably start with a few jokes, then some flattery. You know, whatever I gotta do to keep him from cutting my nuts off.
The next time we see Sayid he is walking out of the torture room and tells the nameless Army man that the pilot was executed and is buried in a field. He then hands him his box o’torture instruments and we see SayidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hands are covered in blood, which IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m assuming isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t his.
Back in the hatch Jack is still acting like a little girl banging on the armory door. He asks Locke if he changed the lock (tee hee). Locke says that he did and Jack asks why. Locke responds by saying Ã¢â‚¬Å“You are raising an army. And why you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ask me to help, well thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your business. But thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only one reason to raise an army Jack, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because we are at war. And like it or not, whatever Sayid has to do behind that door, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a part of it too.Ã¢â‚¬?
In the hatch we see Sayid doing his work. He starts quizzing him on the details if his story. The man says he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand why heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s asking these questions and why he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tell him what his name is. Then Sayid quietly tells him that he was a soldier, and he did things he never thought any man was capable of. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You asked me who I am. My name is Sayid Jarrah, and I am a torturer.Ã¢â‚¬? At this point the man’s ass puckers up so tight you could crack a walnut on it.
Back in the jungle Sawyer and Hurley finally catch the stupid frog theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been chasing. Sawyer starts petting it, and when Hurley suggests that he take the frog somewhere far away. Sawyer responds by crushing the frog in his hand. OK, kinda gross, but Sawyer is the resident bad boy, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what bad boys do. They kill frogs. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m really not sure what the point of this whole frog chasing storyline is, but at least now it’s over.
Outside the hatch Jack is acting like a whiny bitch. Locke tries to explain it but Jack just wants to take his marbles and go home. He goes over to the sink and asks where the pliers are. They are in the armory with Sayid.
Sayid continues to interrogate Henry. He asks him why he was flying in a balloon. Henry says itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because he was rich and it was a dream of his. He asks about his wifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death and what happened. He asks how deep in the ground he buried his wife, and Henry says he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember. Sayid doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe him. He says that if you were burying the love of your life into the ground you would remember everything about it. And then he starts crying. Oooh, Sayid is working out some issues through torture. Hey, whatever works I guess. Henry makes the mistake of asking him if he lost someone, which sets Sayid off. He starts beating him mercilessly.
Outside the armory Jack is still acting like a little bitch and when he hears the screams he starts yelling at Locke to unlock the door. Locke refuses. Then we hear the beeping of the timer. Time is almost up and they have to enter the numbers. Jack then has an idea. He grabs onto Locke and says he won’t let him enter the numbers unless he opens the door. The beeping goes into the louder version meaning they have less than one minute to go. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You would risk everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lives?Ã¢â‚¬? Locke pleads. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think anythingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to happen when we get down to zero. You wanna see whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gonna happen? Let’s just see whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gonna happen.Ã¢â‚¬? Jack says. The beeping is getting louder and louderÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.
Locke finally relents and unlocks the door. Jack rushes in and grabs Sayid and drags him off of Henry. As Sayid looks in as the door is closing he sees Henry staring at him with a calm look in his eye and call me crazy, but from that moment on I am convinvced he is one of the Others. If he was just some rich guy on a balloon who just got tortured by an Iraqi torture expert, there’s no way he would be that calm.
Oh yeah, he’s guilty all right
As Locke rushes over to enter the code he has only a few seconds left and for a brief moment I got really pissed because I thought they would do one of those Ã¢â‚¬Å“he enters it at the last second thus saving us allÃ¢â‚¬? bits that would be a gip. But no. He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it. The timer runs out just as he enters the last number but before he can hit enter. And what happens next is pretty cool. The timer counter starts spinning furiously. We hear giant turbine engines revving up all around them, then the counter turns from numbers to black and red tiles with hieroglyphics on them. Locke then quickly hits enter and the clock finally reverts back to the 108 minutes and everything goes back to normal. What happened? What was that noise? What did the hieroglyphics mean? Fret not dear reader, thousands of nerds everywhere are on the case. For a clearer image of the counter look here.
Jack meanwhile is castigating Sayid for torturing the complete stranger who just happened to land on the mystery island full of evil Others in a hot air balloon. Sayid says that he is lying. He is one of the Others. Jack doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe him and points out that Danielle thought the same of him when she tortured Sayid. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He is one of them. To Rousseau. We’re all others. I guess it’s all relative huh?Ã¢â‚¬? Locke says.
Which dovetails nicely with the final moments of SayidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s flashback. They are leading him in a convoy out into the desert. The Army guy from the beginning asks if he has a wife and kids. Sayid shakes his head no and the man looks down at a picture of his kid in his hand. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a young Kate. So the army guy is KateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father.
As they grab him out of the truck the Kurgan shows up and tells him that it’s over, they are pulling out and not going to Baghdad, so he will most likely go back to work for Saddam. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Guess youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re lucky you have a skill set you can use.Ã¢â‚¬? When Sayid expresses disgust at this the man goes to untie him, and in Iraqi, tells him
Ã¢â‚¬Å“One of these days there will be something you need to know. And nowÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. You know how to get it.Ã¢â‚¬?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I will never do that again.Ã¢â‚¬? Sayid says. The man doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe him, tosses him some cash and they leave.
Back on the beach Sayid is talking to Charlie. He says that there is a man in the hatch. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I beat him badly.Ã¢â‚¬?
Why are you telling me this, Sayid?Ã¢â‚¬? Charlie asks. Sayid tells him that he knows Henry is a liar because he felt no guilt when he beat him, but there is no way he can explain that to Locke and to Jack, because both of them have forgotten.
“Forgotten what?Ã¢â‚¬? Charlie asks.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“That you were strung up by your neck and left for dead. That Claire was taken and kept for days and god knows what was done to her. That these people, these Others, are merciless and can take any one of us whenever they choose. So tell me Charlie. Have you forgotten?Ã¢â‚¬? And then the episode ends.
So what did everyone else think? Anyone out there know how to read hieroglyphics?