LOST Notes: Sundown – For Plot Devices, That Is

Rose from the grave? Check. Killed those who wronged me? Check, doing that. Buy shirt with sleeves? Eh, pass.

Sayid Jarrah: I stabbed him in the chest like you told me to. THEN I let him talk to me.

This week: Sayid doesn’t screw around.  Secondary characters, you are on notice!  Main characters, you are all fine, don’t sweat. 

I. Sayidways

A. That is definitely not Sayid’s brother. He doesn’t have an awesome goatee, he doesn’t have that kick-ass perm and more importantly, he didn’t kill a single person during his four-and-a-half minutes of screentime. That’s at least 22 people that could have died, Sayid’s cuckolded brother. No wonder your little brother had to kill that chicken when you were kids, and why he has to love your wife, and why he has to fix your problems.

B. Hey kids, I’m too damn lazy to take a pair of boomerangs out of my backpack to give you, so go dig around in my things to find them – oops, but don’t look at the secret photo of your mother that I keep so I can jer- I mean, stare at longingly during plane rides. I mean, use as a bookmark.

C. So because Sayid is an ex-torturer, he is automatically a personal bodyguard/mob hitman/problem solver for his friends and family? Does PTSD not exist in the sideways-world? “Hey, you’re fucked up, go fuck people up for me.” I hope Sayid’s brother plans on watching The Hurt Locker in five years or so – assuming Jeremy Renner even EXISTS IN THIS WORLD.

D. Oh no, the freighter people are in Los Angeles, too! What is next, crazy Sideways LOST Universe, will Niecy Nash (to whom I commonly refer as “Reno 911’s funniest”) appear on a popular ballroom-dancing-based reality show?!

A Very Breakfast Gangster

E. Keamy falls into the Ben Linus camp of People Who Were Better Off Without The Whole Bomb Thing. He went from a soulless military man to a tired, trying-too-hard mobster. That’s your gimmick? Breakfast? Where’s the little heart monitor on your arm that blows up the whole kitchen once you stop breathing? You kidnap one Jin and all of a sudden you’re in a godfather movie trying to intimidate all the Arabs in the neighborhood, but as soon as one pulls a gun and murders your muscle, you’re all like “hey, don’t pull the hat-trick, you’d ruin my mismatched suit” as if that would convince anyone. That wouldn’t even convince the Island dickhead version of you!

II. Evil Black Smoke Sleeper Cell Sayid

A. Someone sold Doges a false bill of goods on the electroshock machine. “Oh, it’s not a muscle stimulator hooked up to a car battery, it’s a device that reads our internal scale of good and evil.” How’d you tell Sayid was bad, because of his defined abs? Were you watching Jersey Shore?

B. Also, how come no one was allowed to see Dogen’s office until they decided to just walk in unannounced? Is that the same as how Claire and Kate both walked into this top-secret, heavily-guarded Temple despite the warning that people who leave can’t come back? Red Temple Squad security (like a lot of things pertaining to RTS) is all about theory, not practice.

C. I may not understand the timeline correctly (aka, I am a regular LOST viewer), but didn’t they shock and brand Sayid like, yesterday? He couldn’t get a single answer out of them at the time, but one day later Dogen is totally cool explaining the whole process. At Red Temple Squad, the first rule of Torture Tuesdays is you don’t talk about Torture Tuesdays. Wednesday, however, is fine.

With this special, magical knife, you can streamline our cast of characters for the home stretch.

D. Look, when you are trying to describe a “man” to someone – especially someone you are convincing to STAB said man – it’s best to start with a NAME. Ok, you don’t want to humanize the monster, despite his human form and your repeated references to him as a man to begin with. Most importantly, NAMING the freaking guy isn’t just about negating the weird indirect reverence you have for him despite his Public Enemy #1 status, it’s about convenience! How can you have a conversation about a dude without calling him something?! You are going out of your way to be difficult. Well, if you’re not going to name him, then I will. From now on, the Big Bad’s name is Herbert. Ok, we all agree? Great. Let’s proceed.

E. Ok, Sayid, you’re totes evil, but I’m willing to let that slide without killing you via letter opener because I want you to kill Herbert via bigger letter opener. He’s more evil, and bigger evil needs a bigger letter opener. Oh, why would you do it? Because you’re good, right? No, I’m not saying that, you said that. I say you’re evil. So go stab this guy already.

Whoops, knife in your chest. Because shut up.

F. OH MY GOD STAB KATE SHE COULD HAVE DIED DON’T ASK QUESTIONS JUST STAB HER NO ONE WILL BLAME YOU DO IT STAB HER ah shit, you blew it.

G. Sayid gets about 15 seconds of his old perceptive self, seeing through Herbert’s initial sales pitch, but then he falls for the “anything you want, even if it’s gone” line? I know he’s got nothing to live for anymore, a la Sawyer, and that makes him a prime recruit (also key elements of Herbert recruits: long hair – watch out, Hurley), but the guy wasn’t even trying with that crap. It was as transparent as his posturing with Dogen earlier (“No, YOU cross the line of ash!” “No, YOU!”).

H. Ever since we found out that Locke was actually Herbert (a combination Locke, if you will), he would go on about choices and free will and doing/getting what you want. Well all that sounds great until you tell people “choose to leave the Temple and come with me or DIE.” That is a pretty shitty version of free will.

I. The only thing worse than hearing someone ramble on about how well they raised their kid is hearing about how great they raised your kid, am I right, Claire? Then Kate kept posting pictures of Aaron on her Facebook and changing her status to whatever stupid thing he said that she thought is cute, and it’s like, ugh, stop being a douche and also give me back my son.

J. Forget our security measures, the oddly calm, potentially-evil newcomer who dresses in black said we’re gonna die. I’m getting the hell out from behind these fortified walls and mysterious ash circles and out to the wide open jungle, where it is SAFE, as evidenced by how SAFE everyone else has been out in the jungle over the previous several years or more.

K. Now, I KNOW Sayid (even Evil Smirking Sleeper Cell Sayid) was going for the irony when he killed Dogen in the drowning pool (let the bodies hit the floor) that Dogen used to kill him. But doesn’t the fact that he lived to kill Dogen in the drowning pool that Dogen used to kill him negate its effectiveness as a mode of murder? Then again, did he want to drown him or did he just want to make him wake up in two hours, talk like he’s reading stage directions and eventually betray a bunch of people with a creepy smile on his face?

L. Thank you for the obligatory monent of Sun frantically talking about her husband. It had been a few episodes, and as soon as she appeared on screen I found myself asking, “what is Sun LOOKING for, anyway? What are her motivations?”

In loving memory: Dogen's "oh fuck, someone told you that" face.

M. I don’t know about you, but I lost a lot of sleep over the death of these characters we met five episodes ago who ultimately provided little in the way of development for themselves or others. Oh, but Dogen was a banker! And he had a son! Who loved baseball! He also refused straight answers (as is Jacob’s way) and spent most of his onscreen time giving Lostaways the “oh fuck, someone told you that” face. Meanwhile, his BFF Spectacles McGee spent about five minutes as an person of interest until Dogen crossed the language gap, then he became the male version of Flight Attendant Cindy, just showing up to deliver necessary exposition. This season is all about callbacks, so these two must be a callback to Nikki and Paolo.

N. Speaking of Dogen’s baseball-and-apple-pie history, they’re putting Miles on blast re: minority business opportunities. The Japanese guy was a banker. The Korean couple worked for a massive corporation as hitman/heiress. Rose ran a temp company, Ana Lucia was a cop, Sayid (like any ex-solider) has trouble finding steady work and split time between building houses and murdering people. And we all know what all the black people on the island do: they die. So Miles’ self-employed, qualification-less ghost-talking business is not the most impressive career path at the Thanksgiving dinner table. What else does he have to show for himself besides eight kids and divorce papers from Kate Gosselin? He needs to step it up. Although he does seem to be one of the most aware characters right now, probably because his one moment of introspection per episode lasts 30 seconds instead of 42 minutes (plus commercials), but still.

O. Let’s put up a little tribute to Red Temple Squad: Plot Device Division and look back at their greatest hits:
          1. Keepers of the mystical Drowning Pool of Life sponsored by Barq’s Root Beer, which makes Ben and Sayid into murderous douches.
          2. Consistently able to identify the “growing darkness” in people while simultaneously being woefully ill-equipped to manage said growing darkness in all known cases.
          3. Among the last to find out that Jacob, the one thing keeping them safe, is dead.
          4. Take in the remaining five living candidates, then watch all five leave at various intervals.

To sum up, we could have avoided five weeks of Red Temple Squad scenes by having Richard Alpert walk out of the jungle in the season premiere, take Sayid’s body and be like “Ya’ll know he’s gonna be kind of a dick when he comes back, right?” And then he could walk three steps and turn back and say, “Hey, I just realized he shot Ben, who had to lose his innocence to live, and now he got shot and we have to do the same thing to him! Man, this shit is bananas,” and just disappear into the jungle, chuckling to himself.

P. These people (the Lostaways) are a virus. They have carved out a swath of destruction through this Island from the first day they woke up in the jungle. Now, you bring them to the Temple – the big, mysterious home of all answers that has been hinted at since almost the beginning of your journey, where they are safe from the dangerous business going on outside…and they take turns leaving and confronting said dangerous business, ultimately allowing everyone inside to get slaughtered (if they weren’t doing the slaughtering themselves). The Lostaways are mankind’s greatest weapon; just send them across enemy lines and their patented “scorched earth” method of social interaction will end your conflict in no time.

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