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Burning Down the House – 5.10 “He’s Our You”

By Fishbiscuit,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 32

We’re all familiar with the grandfather of all unanswerable questions: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This episode asked a different question: Which came first, the chicken

or the chicken sandwich?

Little Sayid Jarrah suavely killed his first victim

about thirty years before little Ben Linus offered it back up to him, all diced and seasoned and neatly cut into triangles. So which came first? Did Sayid break Ben’s heart before or after Ben stole Sayid’s soul?

The collateral damage of Sayid and Ben’s odd coupledom ran the gamut from Avellino

to Andropov,

with god knows how many others in between. Together they were a very efficient Murder, Inc.

Ben made Sayid think he wanted to kill the people that Ben wanted killed and then he recruited Sayid to return to the Future Past where Sayid’s revenge could damage Ben in such a way that he’d grow up to be the kind of man who would make Sayid want to kill the people that Ben needed killed.

It’s a match made in Heaven. Or in Hell.

In the opening scene, we learned that Sayid had the skill of the kill from an early age. Not that he got any thrill from killing. He did it to save his big, soft brother from their Bad Iraqi Dad. Even at eight, Sayid killed with a gentle soul. It was a job. And let’s freaking face it, if you grow up on a farm, and you eat chickens for dinner, then chicken killing is not exactly optional. It doesn’t mean Sayid was a born psychopath because he was a farmboy who choked chickens. It meant he was a useful member of his society.

Sayid’s Bad Dad insisted on murder as a rite of manhood. Ben’s Bad Drunk Dad, on the other hand, demonstrated exactly why his son’s rite of manhood was all about murdering him.

We saw that even in mindless utopias like Dharmalala, fathers were free to brutalize their kids. After all the years of being stranded in Authoritarian Hell, Ben was ready to bust loose. The Purple Iraqi who fell from the sky was Ben’s ticket out. Young Ben started finding uses for Sayid the very first day he met him.

On this turn around the time loop, however, Sayid was immediately hip to Ben’s true nature. On the great karmic dharma wheel of birth and death, Sayid was having a moment of clarity. An epiphany. He recognized right away that this battered child was the same partner he’d been dancing across the globe with the past three years.

Sayid saw his chance to stick out his foot and bring that dharma wheel grinding to a screeching halt. He found himself face to face with one of time travel’s most classic dilemmas: If you could travel back in time and kill Hitler as a child, would you do it? Should you do it?

“Kill the nits and there will be no lice!” – Oliver Cromwell

On the one hand, if killing little Adolf could have saved the lives of millions, then it seems like a no brainer. Of course you should kill him. It would be immoral not to! On the other hand, you would be killing an innocent person who would never be able to grow up and commit the crimes for which you just punished him with death. Paradox, clean up in Episode Ten!

Normally it’s inconceivable to think of murdering a child. But Ben was not an ordinary child. He was reading way above his grade level, for one thing. We see that Ben’s addiction to long, impossible books began at an early age.

At age 12, he had already digested Carlos Casteneda’s “A Separate Reality” – just a little light reading about hallucinogenic enlightenment among the Yaqui Indians. Or maybe little Ben hadn’t actually read the book. Maybe he just found it lying around the Dharma community center reading room. The Dharmites seemed to be fans of the mind tripping drugs.

They even had a shaman who lived a holy life among his prayer flags, cooking up batches of acid in his teepee.

They had elevated their biggest stoner to druid status.

This is probably as good a good place as any to step out and ask a question about this Dharma subplot. I’m sorry to say this, but it reeks of The Dull. Who takes a magnificent Hawaiian backdrop and writes a story set in dark interiors, in Sears Roebucks living rooms and surveillance monitoring stations? And while we’re at it, what genius came up with the idea for those jumpsuits? An entire season of island fashion inspired by kibbutzniks.

Seriously, what were they thinking?

I get that there’s some secret mission that the Dharma is working on, something that all the lowly proles don’t ever get to know about. I get that this whole bodysnatched clan is remote controlled from the DeGroot’s University of Michigan stomping grounds in Ann Arbor, as Radzinsky obnoxiously reminded them.

But god, they are boring! Their little Stepford Town is filled with people who came to a paradise island so they could sit in the dark spying on each other.

And the only alternative to this kind of tv show

is this kind:

They have elevated tiny hands Horace to be their exalted Grand Poobah.

They think with one mind.

Like the friendly neighbors in Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, the Dharma-bots calmly agreed to send an innocent man to his death. Even though they thought Sayid was insane, they were very eager to kill him dead. Even sweet little Mother of Ethan joined in the demonic groupthink.

It didn’t matter that he had done them no harm. They were keeping a clean campsite by killing the crazy man before he had a chance to become a spy. They were just being friendly neighbors and citizens. I mean, it’s not like they had any free choice in the matter.

“Thoughtcrime does not entail death. Thoughtcrime IS death.” – George Orwell, 1984

The dark dystopic underbelly of Dharmalala is starting to lurch into view. In some ways, the world inside the sonic fence reminded me of the people who lived inside M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, in an uneasy Truce with the Monster that lurked outside the ring of yellow trees.

Sawyer knows that there is something rotten in Dharma. Still, he likes the prestige he has in this insular community of paranoids. He’s been enjoying being among them but not of them, but after all this time, the lines have started to blur for our boy. He speaks of “my people” a little too territorially. Who are his “people” these days? Does he know?

Sawyer has been going to the Dharma potluck dinners and the penny socials and the cookouts for three long blissfully stupid years. Is he one of them now? Is he loyal to Them or to Us? And which is which exactly?

“All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.”– George Orwell, Animal Farm

It seems to be the nature of human beings to separate the world into Us and Them.The Dharma are Us. The Hostiles are Them. As Ben once explained, “The DHARMA Initiative. They came here seeking harmony, but they couldn’t even coexist with the Island’s original inhabitants.” But why? What makes the Hostiles so different? What makes them so dangerous to Dharma?

Sawyer’s initial encounter with the Hostile leader Richard was a smashing success, and Richard at least knows that Jim LaFleur is not what he presents himself as. Yet Sawyer has since chosen to enable the Dharma in their bitter standoff with the indigenous people they exiled within their own homeland. Sawyer has made some serious moral compromises in the past three years. He’s not going to be able to just think himself free of all the consequences. Fresh off last weeks SmackJack high, Sawyer this week had to deal with the hubris hangover. He had thunk and thunk until he had a perfect plan to ensure Sayid’s safety, but the only thing he didn’t think about was what if Sayid didn’t want to be saved?

He was faced with a version of the classic Trolley Problem. Let’s customize it to make it into a Flaming Runaway VW Bus Problem.

If a flaming runaway VW bus were headed towards a house with five people sleeping in it, and you could somehow divert the bus to crash into a house with only ONE sleeping person in it, would you do it?

The hypothetical can be made more difficult. What if the five people you might save were all strangers, but the one person you might kill was your beloved old friend?

To make it even harder, what if you had to personally drive the bus yourself into the house and see the person inside it die?

This is the kind of problem Sawyer was faced with in this episode. To save one and endanger many, or to let one die while protecting some who weren’t worthy of his loyalty. Ultimately, he came through for Sayid, as we knew he would, but I hope he’s got some books on classical ethics to read. I don’t think this is the last time he’s going to be faced with this kind of dilemma.

Rip Van Sawyer is slowly waking up from his long nap among the lotus eaters. His gallant speech to Juliet about nothing changing didn’t even sound like he was fooling himself. If nothing else, Juliet is a smart chick. She can’t be sleeping well knowing that Kate and Sawyer are back in one another’s magnetic orbit. Doesn’t look like Kate is dealing with it all that well either.

Like Jack and Kate before them, Sawyer and Juliet are being shaken out of their complacency by the big bad wolf of time travel. Sayid may have looked like the villain in this piece, but I think instead Sayid was only trying to be the Brave Little Trimtab. Unaccepting of time’s merciless rigidity, Sayid is the one who is forcing the big ship to turn, and all of them will be dragged along the course Sayid has chosen.

The episode, as is typical of this season, was filled with other parallels and echos. Desmond’s drink of choice, MacCutcheon whiskey,

turns up in Sayid’s hands, right before he is snookered into handcuffs by another beautiful woman.

Ben’s dark hood echoed another troubled boy’s favorite outfit.

Reflections showed up in the weekly word game. The words over this Moscow doorway, when reflected in a mirror and translated from the Cyrillic alphabet, read as Oldham Pharmaceuticals.

A clevah! shoutout to this episode’s very own Oldham the Pharmaceutist.

Like Eko,

Sayid killed out of love and loyalty to a brother.

Ben followed in the future footsteps of another gifted child, Walt, by setting a fire as a distraction to control the clueless grownups.

Of course the most dramatic parallel was this one, a revisitation of Torture Among the Banyans.

This scene was an obvious throwback to one of Lost’s all time great scenes.

But this torture scene, sadly, paled in comparison. It’s not just that it lacked the obvious hotness factor.

It also lacked…uh, torture. Horace’s bit of intimidation with the rose cutters was kind of scary at first,

but looked immeasurably lame when compared to Sayid’s weapons of intimate destruction.

And where Sayid’s methods were designed to inflict maximum agony,

Dharma torture looked like it was kind of fun.

Having watched them torture Sayid with sugar cube LSD, you have to wonder how they planned to kill him. Tickle him to death?

Sayid ended up tied to a tree just like Sawyer, bound by his own self loathing, obstinately refusing to cooperate in his own rescue. And like Sawyer, who finally confessed that he didn’t have the inhalers, Sayid ended up telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Of course no one believed him. In the Land of Lies, Truth looks like an imposter. The Dharma had no way of knowing the truth that they had already been infiltrated by a whole host of spies, emissaries from the future who were going to do their level best to completely smash their little utopian eggshell. Sayid from the future, knowing exactly who Ben from the Past will grow up to be, shoots a hole in the fabric of time. Or at least into the fabric of Ben’s sweatshirt. What ripples will echo into time because of this one rock being thrown through the looking glass?

If the story follows true to the Lawz laid down in episode one of season five, then Whatever Happened, Happened. Logically that means Ben is not dead. Simply put, it’s impossible. We already saw that he grew up and became the man who sent Sayid on his murder spree. The murder spree that caused Sayid’s soul to curdle. The curdled soul that caused Sayid to shoot the little boy who only wanted to be his friend. The betrayal that caused the little boy to grow into the man who sent Sayid on his murder spree.

“The only difference between a human being and a stone rolling down a hill is that the human being thinks he is in control of his own destiny.” – Spinoza

It’s not fair to blame Sayid entirely for Ben’s nature, of course, any more than Ben can be made responsible for Sayid’s choice to kill. After all, Ben sent the burning bus sailing into a houseful of people before Sayid had the chance to betray him. Even if Sayid had chosen the alternate course, and tried to be a benevolent Big Brother to the little deviant, odds are Ben wouldn’t have grown up straight and good. In the Nature vs. Nurture showdown, it’s not clear which of these men was born a killer. A case could be made that both had gentle souls that were gradually murdered by the thousand tragic cuts of their sad, blighted lives. Perhaps we are being asked to only understand them both and judge neither. Sayid wore purple throughout this episode, the color of repentance, the liturgical color of Lent. He was sincerely seeking redemption when he chose to murder Ben. He was embracing the ethos of Faith. He had found his purpose. In his own way, he thought he was choosing to save the world. It’s not his fault that, in this story, the concept of individual choice is nothing but a big unfunny joke.

“We have to believe in free will. We have no choice.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

This is a concept we Lost fans should all be familiar with. We know next week we have to watch more fun and games on the Dharma Kibbutz. We know that whatever happened will happen again. We know they won’t tell us what actually happened until it happens a couple of dozen times. And then we’ll get to see that it happened only because it always happened! And yet we’ll be chomping at the bit to see it happen. You see? It’s true. There is no such thing as free will. We are in fact all fools enslaved by time and space.

It’s time we all just accepted it.

  • dtruth

    The best recapper in the Lost recapping business maintains her crown. Great recap and as always, funny to boot.

    One little thing though, you did not opine on what for some mysterious reason has turned a certain section of the Lost fanbase into Dharma architects. The 2nd Porch scene. Whose door was Jim La Fleur knocking on? Kate, very clearly. He was going to see Kate.

    However, we have CGIs, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations and God knows what else, to prove that he actually was not going to Kate’s house and possibly Jacks. I do not have the time nor technical know-how to digitally present my opposition but I have been asking all our architects, why did he not ask for/of Jack and as I saw another poster ask, a fire broke out and Kate shut the door with Jack inside and ran out to help? Kate always goes back. For Jack, Vincent, Boar, Cockroach. She would have gone back.

    Then ofcourse Jack comes from a different direction. They say it is because he set the fire. (possible) So, this Jack is an illusionist. He released Sayid, set the fire and still managed to make it in time to be inside the house when Sawyer knocked then poofed to a different direction and appeared through that end. The things Matthew Fox can do. It must be Loreal because he’s worth it.

    What is more worrying is why it has generated such debate. It would have been good to get your no doubt sarcastic input.

    • Yonko

      With all due respect, your comment triggered me into re-watching the episode, and now I have some ideas and questions.

      1. What if Sawyer was actually going to Jack’s place as a last resort to ask for his help to save Sayid? It would then make sense that Kate closed the door (she closed it way before the car ran by) so Sawyer wouldn’t dare come in and find out that Jack wasn’t there (I doubt Jack would’ve set the VW on fire without letting Kate know). Yes, I think Jack pulled the trick himself (with or without Lil’ Ben’s help). Kate didn’t go back for Jack because she knew he wasn’t there.
      2. When did exactly Jack release Sayid? Lil’ Ben released him, didn’t he?
      3. I don’t get why would Jack be an illusionist…

      • Zoriah

        1. Sawyer looked like he was walking back to his house, then looked over his shoulder to the left where Kate’s house was (which is nearby to his). Remember Jack’s in the totally opposite direction, a ways across the compound (as per Namaste, and in this episode when Jack ran towards the blaze).

        2. Yes, exactly. Jack knows squat about where security is housed, where Sayid is being kept, what’s happening to Sayid, what’s planned for Sayid etc. Canon shows that little Ben was the one visiting him, and was the one who broke him out. There was no sign Jack had a hand in the planning, timing, or execution of any part of the escape. Are we to suppose Jack was in collusion with little Ben (who did most of the grunt work) when we have been given no reason to believe he’s even met him yet? What was Kate’s mission? To wait to distract Sawyer from the diversion Jack was supposedly implementing? But Sawyer is the one who changed his mind and went to see her. Is she supposed to be psychic?

        Sorry, but it doesn’t make any sense. Why have Jack be an unseen part of the rescue mission (the day after he’s landed back on the island and has no clue about Dharma, how it operates and what to expect, mind) in which little Ben appears to be the sole orchestrator on screen, only to have Jack’s (and Kate’s apparently) role be completely off screen. Why not construct some equally whacky theory that has Hurley filling the Dharma bus with a flambed baked Alaska to help make it more combustible too. Why not add him into the scenario while we’re at it? He looked shifting eating those waffles. We don’t know where he was shacking up. Dun dun dun. HE was behind the door.

      • The official ABC recap confirms it was Ben alone who affected Sayid’s break out:

        “WHOOSH back to the security station where young Ben uses the flaming bus and fire as a diversion to break Sayid out. He has his dad’s janitorial keys, and he uses them to unlock Sayid’s cell. They escape into the jungle, but near a dirt road they are stopped by Jin.”

  • dtruth

    Forgot to add that I am 100% behind being bored with the Dharma and wondering whose idea it was to have us stuck there this far into the season when shooting on a location like Hawaii in the darn penultimate season of the show. Just like I am bored with Josh Holloway fully clothed and clean shaven and being kept away from his mojo(Evie a.k.a Kate)

    Just watched the banana scene between Sawyer and Kate from season 2. Honestly! Those 2 can set heat up the northpole in a millisecond with just a glance. Just being wasted on this darn DI sub plot. When there is sand, blue water, trees, jungle, hatches and whatever else we need.

  • dolce

    Didn’t read this yet, just wanted to say YAY! Finally the Fishbiscuit review! Now to read.

  • Beena

    Fishbiscuit, you really nailed it in your particular selection of photos to go with your review! Really nailed it! 🙂

  • sabrina

    I have a thought about Ben “dying”. He has told people several times that he was “born on the island” and we always assume he is lying like he always does. What if he was actually sort of telling the truth about this because he was “re-born” or resurrected as it were after being shot. Perhaps a near-death experience.

    • dolce

      ooooo! Like.

  • Leah

    Wow! I am a new fan of this blog after LOST-vivor shut down. Love it!!! and the quotes are stellar. Funny stuff, and very shrewd. Thanks!

  • Henry Holland

    It doesn’t mean Sayid was a born psychopath because he was a farmboy who choked chickens

    [Beavis voice] Heh heh heh heh heh heh Fishbiscuit wrote “choked chickens” heh heh heh heh heh heh [/Beavis voice]

    Give me the DHARMA stuff any day over glossy picture-postcard shots of impossibly good looking people with flawless hair and make-up, despite the horrific crash they’ve been in, standing around like extras in a video for the Hawai’i tourism office (see: most of Claire’s screen time). My only gripe is that we should have been seeing this 1970’s stuff in season one, not starting in season 5.

    Prediction: Since Ann Arbor = The DeGroots, they’re the ones that ordered The Purge, they’re “their leaders” that Ben referred to.

    Love the Ben > Hitler and Ben > Charlie graphics. As usual, everything the dreary Oceanic people touches turns to crap, way to go Sayid, you loser.

    • “My only gripe is that we should have been seeing this 1970’s stuff in season one, not starting in season 5.”

      I’m curious, why?

      • Henry Holland

        Mainly because of continuity and realism issues, such as the whole Charlotte age fiasco. Sure, there’s always been continuity errors and simple leaps of faith, for example, Ben: given the actor playing Young Ben doesn’t look much older than 13 or 14, that means Ben roughly was born in 1964 or 1965 (even though the Volkswagon Horace and Olivia were driving was a 1966 or 67 model). Michael Emerson is fantastic but there’s no way he looks 40 as Others Ben. That kind of thing.

        It’s ultimately not a big deal, but hey, there’s a sub-section of the fandom that cares about that stuff and TPTB make a big deal out of when stuff is made, when events are happening on TV’s in the background etc., so we should ding ’em when they get it wrong.

        • Henry Holland

          I read the above again and it left out my main reason: it’s because so much of the stuff in this season has felt second hand, like, we already know how it’s going to play out–there’s no shock or surprise about Young Ben being shot because we know he lives. If this was season 1 or 2 and we hadn’t seen him as an adult, there’d be real tension and something at stake. As it is, it’s just a nice way to go to *Boom* LOST > Bad Robot!

          Of course, that’s the show how I want it to be, not how it is, so…..

          • Ambivalentman

            I get your point about there being no shock in young Ben being shot, yet I felt it was surprising in that it creates moral consequences we will need answered. From a writing standpoint, dramatic irony is often its own payoff, and the writers of LOST are going to make this payoff.

            Also, I disagree with your idea that the 1970s stuff should have been placed in season one. If so, there would have been no emotional investment in our castaways. The plane crash would have lost its ultimate dramatic flavor — very anticlimatic.

            If I could suggest one thing to the writers for revision, I would have liked to have seen one of the castaways discovers the Dharma group photo with Hurley, Jack and Kate back in seasons 3 or 4.

          • Ambivalentman sort of makes the point I was going to make. Putting the 1970’s Dharma storyline first makes this a completely different show. Where does the plane crash happen in the timeline, season 1 or no? Do we know that it is crashing in 2004 or no? Also if we start with the Dharma stuff discovering the Swan, the Arrow, the Pearl, the Flame and the blast door map become totally pointless reveals as we already have known about them. Also remember when Ana Lucia found a knife belonging to the US Army in the episode where she kills Goodwin? There would be no “What?” kind of moment if we already knew that in 1954 the US Army attempted some kind of weapons testing on the island and actually left a few megatons worth of presents for everyone to enjoy. If you’re griping about the predictability of certain reveals I feel starting the show in the 70’s would only amplify that problem.

            I understand your – not anger, but disappointment perhaps – about the Charlotte gaffe this year. While there isn’t anything wrong in demanding the show follow correctly its own plot I think as fans we have to understand that these guys and girls making the show are human and are therefore subject to the numerous flaws inherent. Carlton Cuse said that he and Damon felt the Charlotte thing fell under the category of “Acceptable goofs” and I have to be honest it’s not really something that’s kept me up at night. Before this season I was talking to my uncle about how going forward we’re probably going to have to forgive the writers on occasion for oversights to varying to degrees (Charlotte’s story being the biggest one right now) and I still think that’s true. What some fans hold as important (Libby’s story being a great example) may simply not be a part of the overall story they’re trying to tell. Should it be their goal to answer every question? Yes, absolutely. But I don’t think that’s exactly a realistic possibility. It remains to be seen what percentage of the show’s mysteries are going to be revealed outright and what percentage are going to be half answered or not answered at all. Damon often talks about the Star Wars “mitochlorion” (sp?)thing and I feel that we’re going to have to put up with a few mysteries that aren’t revealed because the answer would rob the mystery of its magic. Frustrating, I know.

            If the show had a more linear story telling motif I’m certain there would be fewer continuity issues but then it would be a different show and most likely not the one we’ve all come to know and love. Would it be as good? Maybe but maybe not, that’s not really a question anyone can answer with any degree of certainty.

          • Zonker

            If they rigidly stick to the “whatever happened, happened” rule, then yes, we’ll be locked in to a predestined, plot-driven rut until we catch back up to the present day. But I’m still thinking the fate vs. free will angle will continue to be in play. And what makes me think so is the very unlikelihood of that Dharma photo of Kate, Jack, Hurley just lying around Dharmaville un-noticed, un-remarked upon for the first 4 seasons. If the writers wanted to cover up a continuity error (because in Seasons 1-4 they simply hadn’t thought of this plotline), then they could have had Christian rummage through some old files to produce the photo. Instead, picking it off the freakin wall in plain sight is clearly meant to leave the door open to the debate about divergent timelines.

  • dolce

    Awesome FB!

  • asdf13

    “Ben made Sayid think he wanted to kill the people that Ben wanted killed and then he recruited Sayid to return to the Future Past where Sayid’s revenge could damage Ben in such a way that he’d grow up to be the kind of man who would make Sayid want to kill the people that Ben needed killed.”

    I think you’re 100% wrong on this. Ben didn’t want Sayid to go into the past to attempt murder on 12 year old Ben. Sayid had always attempted murder on 12 yo Ben. Ben used Sayid to kill because that is what Sayid is, a killer. If Sayid could kill a 12 yo boy, Sayid is the perfect man to do Ben’s bidding in the future.

    The producers spoke of this in the podcast. If you go back in time to kill Hitler and you fail, you could of created Hitler in the first place. So actually trying to kill him turns him into the thing you tried to prevent…

  • “You see? It’s true. There is no such thing as free will. We are in fact all fools enslaved by time and space.”

    best LOST-recap-quote ever! Thanks a lot!

  • Zoriah

    Great recap as always Fish. I didn’t even catch the Oldham pharmaceuticals easter egg.

    Loved the parallels with Confidence Man and Sawyer and Sayid being in different positions. And thanks for the reminder of Walt firing the raft, since some people seemed to think Ben’s actions proved he was going to grow up to be a devil.

    Personally I felt the episode touched upon the nature vs nurture argument, and the Hitler paradox really well without taking any strong stance, just letting the audience muse on it instead.

    The Dharma fashion catwalk gave me a good giggle. I am right behind you there, can’t stand the jumpsuits. I’ve definitely had enough of this society that pretends to be all harmony and warm fuzzy outwardly, but underneath there’s all this fear and paranoia and distrust of anything that doesn’t conform. There are secrets that they seem to want to protect at all costs.

    Sawyer did his best, he was truly between a rock and a hard place, trying three times to help Sayid in a way that would minimize the danger and risk to everyone else he was protecting. But in the end, Sayid had his own will and his own plans.

    I do think Sayid has now helped create the monster who grows up to become Ben Linus, machiavellian mastermind.

    I feel as though Sawyer grew too comfortable and complacent in his Dharma life with Juliet. He is going to have to wake up to the fact that it was still all based on a lie, and eventually that ‘reality’ is going to crumble and possibly turn them into suspects if he doesn’t formulate an exit strategy too. He had 15 years to plan for the Purge, but the arrival of his old comrades have suddenly shifted the timetable in terms of shit hitting fan outcomes.

  • Zonker

    “There is no such thing as free will. We are in fact all fools enslaved by time and space. It’s time we all just accepted it.”

    That’s certainly the ethos of Season 5, and previously, going back to Ms. Hawkings’ first appearance in Flashes Before Your Eyes and last year’s The Constant. And it was first posed in the Man of Science / Man of Faith duality between Jack & Locke. We’re no doubt going to see additional permutations of this in the next few episodes, as Sayid the torturer tortures himself with the knowledge that he created what he had tried to destroy. “Destiny is a bitch.”

    But no way is that the final word. Lindelof is a Star Wars fanatic after all. Sure, he’s got that Alan Moore tragically flawed heroes overlay, but deep down inside, he’s all about channelling Luke Skywalker. I’m betting that’s going to be the series payoff in Season 6: one of the Losties is going to finally break the arc of time so carefully– and ultimately futilely– welded in place by Hawking, Jacob, Christian, Faraday, Widmore, etc.

    In the end, my money’s still on free will.

    • Uh, Star Wars, Luke is seen by the Emperor as a threat to him – and he was!!! Although Vader/Anakin killed the Emperor, it was because Luke was there to influence his father/Vader/Anakin – so there was not free will. It was forseen that Luke would destroy the Emperor and – depending on how you look at it, according to Obi Wan – in a way, he did.

      • Zonker

        I just mean that I doubt the premise of the entire 6 seasons of Lost will be you can’t change your destiny, and fate is a fickle bitch. That kind of radical fatalism doesn’t strike me as where Lindelof and Cuse are at. There will be a big heroic breakout moment where free will is vindicated.

  • As Always, great recap FB

    Did anyone else think of the little boy from Flatliners when Little Ben was hooded?
    Flatliners happens to be a movie about , death,resurrection and repentance hmmmm

    just a thought

  • Pat

    I think Ben has no idea that Sayid shot him when he was a child. As with what happened with Desmond, he did not realize Faraday visited him outside the hatch until we saw it happen in the past on the show. I think that Ben will only realize that Sayid shot him now that it has actually happened in the past. It is as if that memory is being placed into everyone’s past, yet it does not affect the outcome of everything that happens after it. If Ben knew that Sayid was going to shoot him then he would not have tried to get him on Ajira.

    • Zonker

      There’s a problem with that whole Desmond recovered memory thing. So Daniel goes back in time and meets Desmond at the Swan station, in say 2003 local time. So “after” that event, Desmond now has a memory of the meeting, but that memory only becomes accessible to him in 2008. Why 2008? The events of 2003 and 2008 are only connected because they were shown to us as outside observers as consecutive events occuring in the same episode. But from Desmond’s point of view, something happened in 2003, he forgot about it in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (never mind his Oxford meeting with Faraday in “The Constant”), and only remembered it again in 2008? What was the trigger for this memory arriving to him in 2008 (other than the plot required it)?

      • Zonker

        And by extension, it will be very lame if the adult Ben only now remembers being shot as a child. Why would that memory happen to arrive to the adult Ben only now, as of the episode “Whatever Happened, Happened,” rather than in 2004 when he was a prisoner in the Hatch, or 2007, when he is stitching up Sayid at the vet’s office, or later, in 2050 when he will be on his death-bed? Does Ben know he is on a weekly TV show, with pieces of his past revealed to him in bite-sized chunks every Wednesday night? 😉

  • Erikire

    I hope the writers don’t kill Sayid in this season finale; it would be a lame choice…

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