LOST in Translation: Smoke and Mirrors

Season 6, Episode 6
“Sundown”

written by Paul Zbyszewski & Graham Roland
directed by Bobby Roth

Okay. Take a deep breath. Are you still with me? Alright then, let me be perfectly clear. I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings between us. The final ten minutes of last night’s episode of LOST was the absolute crowning achievement of the series thus far. Those ten minutes, beautifully acted by each and every member of the cast, reached into my chest and ripped my heart out… and somewhere — out there — the Man in Black is chewing on it with a devilish glint in his eye and a charismatic smile that’s hiding something — something big — and that mystery, and many others, are on the cusp of being answered.

I am the echo of your past

“Where were you, Uncle Sayid?”
~ Sayid’s nephew, son of Omar and Nadia

No, I’m not going to spend much time on the flash-sideways. As I’ve stated in the past, while there are some interesting things going on it is still too soon to see where these divergent tales are taking us and what their importance is. Yes, I get the thematic similarities. It’s been the same no matter what narrative device the creators have used… the two stories are mirrored reflections of one another, complimenting each other as much by their similarities as their differences.

Sideways Sayid gave up the love of his life, pawning her off to his brother, because he felt unworthy of her due to all the bad and terrible things he did during the war. This man, who wants nothing but peace and forgiveness, is destined to have neither and is drawn back to asskickery when his brother’s family is put into jeopardy by Omar’s dealings with loan shark Martin Keamy.

Kind of fun… and then you end up with a trussed up Jin to boot, mirroring his “captivity” back in the the Shadow Realm. Poor Jin (do I type that every week?). The dude is always getting shackled… the Losties handcuffed him to some fuselage wreckage, the Tailies had him tied up after the raft incident, then he got snared by Claire-sseau’s bear trap… Makes me wonder where else ol’ boy likes to get tied up? Sun, you naughty little vixen.

But enough about the Elseworld… let’s get to the meat of this sandwich.

Shadows of another day

“I think it would be best if you were dead.”
~Dogen to Sayid

You can tell we’re drawing close to the end of the season because things back on the Island are moving fast and furious. Answers? Not too many, but there was plenty to draw from and the picture is more like a reflection in a fogged up mirror that’s slowly revealing what’s hidden behind the condensation.

Sayid is banished after a knock down drag out with Samurai Jack, that is until Feral Claire shows up at the Temple with an ultimatum from the Locke-ness Monster — Dogen must come to Flocke outside the Temple — but when he refuses, knowing that Smokey would kill him, Claire suggests he send someone that UnLocke won’t kill. Two guesses who’s at the top of Dogen’s list.

Armed with a magical dagger, Sayid is sent out on his Quest for Redemption, to prove to Dogen that there is still good inside him, that he is not being consumed by the Man in Black’s dark infection…

Aching with the dead of the night

“You stabbed me in the chest without even saying hello.”
~The Locke-ness Monster to Sayid

My oh my, but Sayid’s confrontation with Locke was epic, wasn’t it? First he had to conveniently run into Kate and send her on her way back to the Temple (we must maneuver all our pawns into position), but once he stumbles upon Randall Flagg, er I mean Smocke, well things got amped up to eleven, as they say.

Dogen warned that Sayid must kill the beast before he has a chance to speak, but speak he did and thus the magic dagger strike into the monster’s heart was futile at best.

That’s when Terry O’Quinn got to work his magic. Damn he’s good, imbuing Flocke with a knowing wisdom and devilish charisma. The Locke-ness Monster knows what buttons to push. He played the “they already tried to kill you once” card and now they’re doing it again. He assured Sayid that Dogen knew that the Iraqi would fail to kill the beast, that it was a suicide mission and he’d been played.

Then he made the offer that Sayid could not refuse.

Question is, can these promises be fulfilled by Flocke? He told Claire that he’d reunite her with Aaron… told Sun that she’d be reunited with Jin… and now he’s promised Sayid that he and his beloved Nadia, struck dead on a Los Angeles street, could be together again.

If true, is this the secret of the Island? Is this the nature of “the magic box”? Whatever you wish can come true? Is that how Sayid’s cat and Kate’s horse showed up? Is it the secret behind the existence of the before last week unseen Lighthouse?

And now I’m wondering, is this the explanation for the flash-sideways…???

Regardless of whether it is true or not, Sayid is Flocke’s… hook, line, and sinker. The Man in Black has another recruit, and this one is an ass kicking machine.

Inside this silent well of sorrow

“The man outside, I take it he offered you a similar bargain?”
~Dogen to Sayid


Damn, talk about a fast and furious climax to the episode. As I began this dissection of “Sundown” I stated that the final ten minutes were the finest in the show’s history. I was blown away, completely and utterly.

Sayid delivered a message to those in the Temple. Flocke was coming and anyone still in the Temple at sundown were going to pay dearly, but Sayid had a more important mission. For the Locke-ness Monster to enter the Temple, Dogen had to die. Another rule? Perhaps. But first we learned something very important concerning our ill-fated Samurai.

Before Sayid introduced him to the after-life, Dogen explained how he came into Jacob’s service, of how his son was killed in a drunk-driving accident and Dogen was at fault. Jacob saved the boy in exchange for Dogen assuming the mantle of Temple Master. The price? He could never see his son again.

Makes one wonder if Jacob somehow maneuvered events to insure Dogen Jr’s imperilment. Not like he hasn’t strummed that tune before.

My hat’s off to Naveen Andrews because he sold it, brothers and sisters. He must have went to the Terry O’Quinn School of Acting because he sent shivers down my spine with just a look. Dogen called Flocke “evil incarnate”? Well, Naveen looked the part and did it all with his eyes and a little smirk.

Damn it, but I was squirming in my seat.

And then, enter the Monster. Smokey’s rampage was everything one could hope for, and as Miles and Kate became separated and the Temple guards were dropping like flies, I felt like I was staring into the very heart of the Apocalypse… and it was beautiful.

In the end, Miles escapes with Ben (who had previously tried to secure Sayid, only to be stricken with horror at the sight of what he had become), Sun, Lapidus, and Ilana (who showed up in the middle of chaos)… but what about Kate? Damn it Freckles, you picked a bad time to stop running.

Kate went to find Claire who had been thrown into a Silence of the Lambs pit, sans lotion and basket, where she was wallowing in her all-kinds-of-crazy and singing Catch a Falling Star. In the aftermath of Flocke’s destruction, as the tune Claire was singing played us out, we find Freckles cast into the Locke-ness Monster’s net. And boy, does she not seem happy about that one bit.

At least she’ll have Sawyer for company soon enough.

An outstanding episode and one I’ll be revisiting in the days to come.

Stay tuned.

Next week on LOST

And now we have a Ben-centric episode to look forward to. Michael Emerson, much like Terry O’Quinn, always brings his A-Game, so expect “Dr. Linus” to be truly outstanding. I can hardly wait.

And special brownie points offered to anyone who can tell me from whence this week’s LOST in Translation headers come from…

***

***

Coming in August of 2010.
DESCENDANT
by Bob Freeman
Belfire Press

Hell is empty and all the Devils are here…

***

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