LOST Notes, Season 4, Episode 3: The Economist

 A review of the past week’s episode of LOST from a frustratedly loyal (and loyally frustrated) fan.  This week: Sayid prefers TIME Magazine to The Economist.
LOST, Episode 4.03
The Economist 

I. Sayid And My Perfectly Healthy And Completely Heterosexual Man-Crush 

A. When does one get good at golf after spending a lifetime in the Republican guard?  Had Sayid been logging a lot of hours at Hurley’s makeshift course that we didn’t know about?  If he taught himself how to play just to set this Italian sucker up, you’d think he could have spared the effort.  Take it from Chuckles, Ana Lucia, Sawyer, Michael, Benry, Sawyer again, Benry again and (almost) Jack:  can the bullshit and just shoot ‘em. 

B. Before we get anywhere, I think it’s important to address the truly shocking development in this episode, dealing with the flash-fowards:  he has straight hair now?  Where does a hitman find time to hit the spa?  Did he and Desmond trade conditioning tips? 

C. Thank God he was only getting in with Elsa for work purposes; he could do better.  Maybe the new Ric Flair haircut is cramping his style with the ladies.  I’m not saying Shannon was any prize catch either, but at least she didn’t dress like Anakin Skywalker’s mother. 

D. Seriously, what kind of economist has a personal shopper in a country they visit twice annually?  Is the global economy really doing that well?  I’m paying $75 for a tank of gas and I’m supposed to believe that this guy’s got a woman buying pants for him in every country across Europe?  Way to see through that airtight alibi, Sayid. 

E. Granted, I don’t read the newspaper every day and my world knowledge is lacking, but I would wager to guess that being one of a handful of “survivors” from an internationally infamous plane crash would significantly deter one’s aspirations to be a Jason-Bourne-style secret assassin.  Is Sayid’s cover being upheld by half the people in the world not knowing him as anything more than “the Arab guy”? 

F. Is Benry’s new list any relation to the list he had of the Lostaways?  That is, did it come from Jacob?  Or is it just like a Benry Bucket List, all the lives he wants to ruin before he dies?  Since Elsa was wearing the same kind of bracelet that Naomi had, does that mean that they (Benry and Sayid) are hunting all the folks that used to be hunting Benry?  Is Diet Eko on the list?  Is he the Economist?  If so, now I understand the personal shopper thing; he’s a lanky guy, it must be hard to find suits in the right size. 

G.  Why don’t Elsa and her employer already know who Sayid works for?  If there’s a list of people dying, and those people pretty much have a common goal of some point, shouldn’t it be fairly obvious who’s coming after them?  Benry’s like a passive-aggressive Rambo, the hunted becoming the hunter.  Except with bifocals.   

H. Is there a greater combination of two characters than Benry and Sayid as revenge killers?  Short of a buddy comedy with Sawyer and Hurley, or possibly a crime-fighting cop show with Locke and Desmond, this has to be the absolute peak of two tremendous characters working together.  Then again, I would also enjoy a show with Jack and Kate where they each get punched in the stomach for 60 minutes straight.  That could be a ratings bonanza.   

I. Since Ben was never on the plane, now that he’s off the Island, would he even be considered part of the Oceanic Six, or is he just the local veterinarian who seems a little too into the job?  Working as a pet doctor in Berlin seems like a pretty obscure and complicated cover.  Does anyone besides Sayid even know that he’s off the Island?  Are they killing these folks so they stop looking for the Island?  If so, I think the 30 years or more of never being found were a pretty good indicator of its inconspicuousness. 

II. Jack & The Straight Talk Express, Kate Doing Exactly What She Always Does, And the Perpetually Confusing Rescue Rangers 

A. The Ragin’ Asian seems to have been possessed by the spirit of Chuckles.  H’s ot going around screwing up other peoples’ plans YET, but he’s being a general nuisance who likes to beat a point into the ground when no one wants to listen to him.  It’s only a matter of time before he shoots a critical character in the chest from point-blank range. 

B. Sayid, what was the point of you checking out all the bells and whistles on the chopper last week if you’re just going to ask Captain Ron if the thing flies?  Did you need a second opinion? 

C. I like that they brought Desmond in to shed some light on the rescuers’ mission, and by “shed some light on the rescuers” I mean “shout the same questions that everyone else has shouted, except with a cooler accent.” 

D. Jack’s conversation with Kate might have been a Top 5 Jack Moment (then again, with his track record, it’s more like the Only 5 Jack Moments.  First he deflects Kate’s passive-aggressive “what it’s like to be me” emofit and then he gives her straight talk about Sawyer watching her back.  So he makes a funny joke, speaks frankly and respects the benefit of Sawyer, all in about two minutes.  Um, did the writer actually watch the show before? 

E. All of the plain open fields around the helicopter, and Daniel tries to fire “the payload” less than ten yards away?  I can understand how he’s a little scatterbrained and the consequences of sending a rocket hurtling towards your location might not initially come to mind, but since Captain Ron’s responsibility doesn’t seem to extend beyond “hold the phone,” “stay sober” and “make sure the helicopter works”, you think he would be a little more mindful of the situation.   

F. Last week, the Ragin’ Asian tried to phone home and couldn’t get ahold of Minkowski.  This week, Captain Ron doesn’t want them talking to Minkowski.  Does everyone have their own agenda?  Does George M. not know what they really plan to do on the Island?   

G. If the Island is a half hour off from real time, are Desmond’s visions because his brain got reset to real time?   

H. How did no one have to deal with the giant subsonic fence that surrounds the barracks?  I could see how Team Locke might have walked through it, but wouldn’t they have turned it on after they got through, since it’s the only modicum of security the Island has?  Did we skip the part where Kate, Sayid and Miles climbed the tree over the fence?  And while we’re talking about security, why didn’t anyone have any difficulty with Smokeface? 

I. Kate-haters (Katers) would love this episode – both of the men in her perpetual love triangle slapped her in the face with honesty.   

J. It’s a true testament to Sayid’s negotiating skills that he convinced Locke to trade demure, constantly-flabbergasted Charlotte in favor of abrasive, constantly-jaw-flapping Miles.  It’s astonishing that he could pull that switch off without shoving bamboo under Locke’s fingernails.   

III. Team Locke FTW 

A. I’m totally surprised that you couldn’t find Jacob’s cabin when you wanted to, John.  Really shocking that he might abandon you after you based all your actions on what Ghost Puberty Walt told you.  Come on, man, no kid makes smart decisions at that age!  Even a crazy old man living in a shack in the middle of Fantasy Island knows that.  The dude dropped you in favor of Hurley, who is in between stints in a mental facility.  That’s cold. 

B. In terms of Sayid falling for people he unwittingly trusts, Hurley’s double-cross has to be worse than Elsa’s.  For one thing, Sayid’s not getting ass from Hurley and his mind shouldn’t be clouded.  For another, you should be a lot more skeptical about 300-pound Hurley being bound and gagged.  Who tied him up, Claire?  Team Locke’s got about three people who could tie a knot, and none of those three would want to tie up Hurley, because dammit, he’s Hurley.  Not the dude that gets thrown in a closet.  You’re better than that, Sayid.   

C. Hurley’s dismissal of the Ragin’ Asian as a discount (made in China) version of Sawyer was good, but not nearly as good as the promise of future confrontations between he and the real thing. 

D. If I were to be the already-mysterious leader of the Island inhabitants, as Benry is, and I were to have a supersecret room in my already supersecret house…I think I would use it for more than just extra closet space.  I don’t think your v-neck sweater or your brown slacks need to be kept hidden away, unless you’re worried about landing on the Who’s Hot/Who’s Not list in the latest Others Newsletter.   

E. Who on Team Locke brews iced tea?  Was that part of the big plan that they set in motion to trick Sayid?  “Hurley, you hide in the closet. Sawyer, you keep Kate occupied.  I’ll start boiling some water.”  You know what else you give people when they’re thirsty?  Water.  That’s iced tea without the tea, and with slightly less ice.

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