Lost recaps: Season 6, Episode 5
‘Sundown,’ Or: Things We’ve Learned From Television

Published March 3, 2010 on

So I've been playing this online fantasy card game, Elements. It is, as you might expect, a Magic-type game arranged around elements. After a few days, I've gathered a pretty good deck. It's based around Aether, which is all immortal and ethereal and stuff. I can beat just about every element except Death. 'Cause, see, Death? It always wins in the end. The only thing to do is employ some of its tricks against it, and hope yours hold out longer than its.

Which brings us to Lost.

Island Timeline

Previously on the island, Sayid was almost dead. Then he was dead. Then he wasn't dead, but might be "infected". Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Kate and Jin took off on various quests, leaving Sayid to stalk around the temple and Miles to provide one scene of exposition per episode.

So Sayid stalks his way right into Dogen's office/bonsai nursery and demands some answers -- like, what was up with that machine? Dogen -- and, by the way, throughout this recap, assume that when he's in his little enclave, he's staring at that baseball -- placidly explains that for every man, there's a scale; this machine told them that Sayid's is tipping the wrong way; and that it would be best if Sayid were dead. "You think you know me, but you don't," Sayid insists. "I'm a good man" -- and somehow thinks this will be proven by attacking Dogen. So they fight. Kicks are kicked; punches are thrown; pots are smashed; carts are overturned. And still they keep fighting. Seriously, it's pretty epic. Dogen's about to stab Sayid with a convenient implement when he sees The Baseball roll off the desk. Instead of killing Sayid, he tells him to leave, permanently. So Sayid stalks outside and tells Exposition Miles that he's leaving, because he's apparently better off dead, and Exposition Miles exposits that, wow, that's weird, since they tried to save your life, failed, and then you weren't dead anymore, which kinda freaked them out. Sayid's all, "What you talkin' 'bout, Exposition Boy?" Miles lays it out: "Whatever brought you back, it wasn't them."

NotLocke has promised Claire she'll get her son back if she does what NotLocke says, so she crosses the ash barrier, strolls into the courtyard and informs Dogen that "he" wants to have a little chat outside. Dogen points out that if he goes outside, NotLocke will kill him, so Claire suggests he send someone NotLocke won't kill. Suddenly, Dogen's appreciating Sayid a whole lot more. 'Cause, see, now that Jacob is gone, the entity that looks like Locke is free, and wants to destroy everything on the island. Dogen hands Sayid a very pretty short sword and tells him that when he sees someone who he knows is dead, he should make with the chest-stab before the stabee speaks. Sayid's all, "What you talkin' 'bout, guy who keeps trying to kill me?" But what else is he going to do, play tic-tac-toe? So he goes out and does it. Possibly because NotLocke got a "Hello, Sayid," out first, but probably not, NotLocke just pulls the sword out of his chest and mournfully says, "Now why'd you go and do that?" Sayid, paraphrased: "WTF?" After explaining that Dogen clearly sent Sayid out to get killed, NotLocke offers a deal: Sayid goes in and delivers a message, and he'll be granted with whatever he wanted in the world, even though she's dead. Having recently been dead himself, Sayid apparently thinks this is a good trade. He stalks into the courtyard, takes a prominent position, and announces that the man in the jungle wanted everyone there to know that Jacob is dead, so none of them have to stay; the guy's leaving the island, and if you want to get out of here, you should join him by sundown. As Miles is tuckered out from his exhausting schedule this episode, Cindy does the asking about what will happen if they stay. "You'll die," Sayid says, ominously.

On his way to meet with NotLocke, Sayid has his obligatory expository paths-crossing with Kate, but there was so much expositing to do that he referred her to Exposition Miles. (Yes, he has more than one scene in this episode. I know!) Miles correctly nails the situation: Sawyer sent her away, so she's back. His news is that Claire's back, too. Oh, she's a weird mess, but she's a hot weird mess. So now Kate wants to see her. She searches the temple grounds until she's accosted by Dogen's assistant who looks like John Lennon, who takes Kate to the hole where they're holding Claire and gives her two minutes. Kate peers into the hole, and there's Claire: Filthy, ratty hair, rocking back and forth singing to herself -- basically, every cue that signals dangerous insanity in TV shorthand. Well, Kate evidently didn't watch enough television back on the mainland, because she succeeds in getting Claire's attention. Claire cries that "they" took her son from her. Oh, no, Kate says; I took him. And because it's All! About! Kate, she goes on to explain how she took Aaron when they couldn't find Claire, and she took him home and raised him, and how he's great, and she's here to rescue Claire, and soon Aaron and Claire can be together -- not noticing or caring that under that smile, Claire is about one clause away from shimmying her way up the sides of the hole and strangling Kate. Claire just gives a cryptic warning that "He's coming, and they can't stop him".

There's much scurrying around in the temple courtyard, as almost everyone prepares to get the hell out of there, and Dogen's Lennonesque assistant tries to convince them to stay. Like that's gonna happen, with Jacob dead. Sayid finds Dogen fondling his baseball next to the mikvah (not a euphamism) and confronts Dogen about his repeated efforts to have someone else kill Sayid. Dogen goes on this ramble about how back in the day, he was a businessman who killed his son in a drunk driving accident on the way home from baseball practice. In the hospital, Jacob offered to save the son's life if Dogen came to the island, took over the temple and never saw his son again. Like that answers the question. Dogen asks Sayid if he's going to stay or go. "I'd like to stay," says Sayid -- and tackles Dogen, pushes him into the pool, and holds him under until he lets go of the baseball (which, obviously, means he's dead). Lennonish runs in and despairs: "He was the only think keeping it out! Idiot! You let it in!" Sayid calmly knocks him into the pool with a smirky, "I know".

Kate meets MIles in the dark courtyard as Smokey approaches. The few people left run. Kate insists on going back for Claire, and Miles kinda shrugs and runs off in the opposite direction.

So, Smokey's on his Smokey rampage. You know how this goes: Black smoke; inexplicable fires; lots of smashy-smashy of people and structures. Miles ducks into a tunnel and shuts the door, like that's going to keep Smokey out. Even with all his weight against the door, he can't stop it from being burst open by... Ilana, closely trailed by Lapides, Sun and Ben. While Ilana's barking orders, Ben scurries off to find Sayid. He finds Sayid at the mikvah, standing over a body, holding a dripping knife. Ben explains that he knows a way out. "There's still time," Ben cajoles. "Not for me," Sayid says, looking straight at Ben. And, OK, you know how on Buffy, when someone's eyes went black, you knew that a bunch of no good was going to happen? Sayid's eyes don't go black here, but they might as well. Ben, wisely, bolts.

Kate finds Claire and throws her a ladder. Claire thinks she'll be safer in the pit. And somehow Kate ends up inside the pit, hanging onto the rim as Smokey passes over. So, yes: Safer. Ilana searches for the secret tunnel while Miles exposits to Sun that Jin is alive and around somewhere. Their little party ducks into and closes the secret tunnel just in time for Smokey to rush by.

In the courtyard, there's the usual post-Smokey carnage: Bodies and small things on fire. (One of them looks an awful lot like a cross. Coincidence, red herring or Really Symbolic?) Sayid walks out, followed by Claire and Kate. Kate picks up a gun from dead guy. Outside the temple, NotLocke and the temple people are waiting. NotLocke and Claire exchange nods. When NotLocke turns and walks into the jungle, Sayid and Claire purposefully follow him, as does everyone else. Including Kate. She doesn't seem too sure about this whole deal, but what else is she going to do, stay and possibly get caught up in Smokey's next tantrum? Sorry.

Other Timeline

In this version of reality, Sayid was still an Iraqi torturer. Howver, he apparently never tortured Nadia, because she's now married to his brother. Sayid is a respectable traveling translator. Nadia and his brother have a house, two kids who adore their uncle, and a dry cleaning business. Well. Turns out Sayid's brother borrowed money from the wrong people (because, you know, why borrow it from a bank?), and even though he's paid it back, they want more. He asks Sayid to go, y'know, talk to the money-lenders, but Sayid refuses: "I'm not that man anymore". Then Sayid's brother gets "mugged," putting him in the hospital with a punctured lung. Nadia begs Sayid not to do whatever his brother asked him to do, and, because he's still toooootally in love with her, he doesn't. He admits as much later, when she asks her about that picture of her that Sayid carries around, but Sayid says he can't be with her because he doesn't deserve her, hence the pushing her towards his brother. Because this is television, lest we forget; and on television, that is a perfectly acceptable arrangement. Um, guys in real life? Don't try that crap. Women are perfectly capable of deciding whether or not you're good enough for us. It all comes out in the end, anyway, and everyone ends up miserable. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway. Wouldn't you know it? A couple of goons entreat Sayid to come with him, and they take him to a restaurant kitchen to speak with the money-lender: Keamy. You know, head mercenary guy from the island? Yeah, him. He's a little nicer here, but only insasmuch as he offers Sayid some eggs. There's some talk about money and the dangerous world, and something prompts Sayid to tackle one of the henchmen. Keamy shoots at him but gets the other guy; Sayid grabs the other guy's gun and shoots the other other guy; Keamy quickly finds it in his heart to call the debt even; and Sayid shoots him anyway. And then Sayid hears a muffled banging and tracks it to the walk-in freezer. Because all TV walk-in freezers double as places to stash people, Sayid walks in to find a man bound to a chair with tape over his mouth. He removes the tape, and the man starts talking. Sayid can't understand what he's saying, though. Because the man is Jin. They fight. They fight. They fight and fight and fight. Fight, fight, fight; fight, fight fight. The Sayid and Dogen shooooooooowww!!!

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