Thursday, March 4, 2010

'Lost' Untangled Takes on 'Bad Man' Sayid & Why I Want More Ben Linus

*Warning, spoilers ahead from recent episode of Lost.*

Sure, he was a torturer for the Republican Guard during the first Gulf War, but aside from that little nasty detail, don't you kind of feel badly for Sayid Jarrah, the poor, heartsick, menancingly lethal Sayid? I do, despite his violent past. The latest Lost installment, "Sundown," focused on Sayid's struggles with coming to terms with that Republican Guard past where, under duress, he was forced to do some very bad things and therefore believed himself to be inherently evil.

In this episode, we got a glimpse of his uncrashed life in which Oceanic 815 landed safely at LAX. In this sideways flash, Sayid brought flowers to the love of his life, Nadia, only Nadia was married to his brother who'd gotten himself into trouble with the mob over some shady business loan. In order to protect his brother, Nadia (who has feelings for Sayid but he doesn't believe he's deserving of her affections) and his niece and nephew, Sayid took out the mob loan guys, whose leader was the evil freighter guy Martin Keamy from the island in the post-crash world who killed Ben's daughter Alex when Ben wouldn't surrender himself. So do Sayid's actions in this sideways flash, shooting the mob guys, make Sayid evil at heart, given that it was in defense and protection of loved ones? I'm not sure.

But what's clear as a bell is that the post-crash/post-Jughead Sayid -- who teamed up with undead Locke/not-Locke because Mr. Smoky promised Sayid that he'd get a chance to see Nadia again (she'd been killed in this version of Sayid's life) -- has decided to go all out bad, drowning the annoying Dogen (yes!) and then killing his scooby of a translator in the murky waters of that ridiculously fake-looking temple.

In both versions of Sayid's life, he's still dealing with that "I am a bad man," feeling and can't escape violence which seems to follow him wherever he goes.

On another matter: I've been attempting to be more positive and lighthearted about Lost since my tirade following the Locke-centered episode a few weeks ago, but please allow me this gripe: They are UNDER-USING Ben, much to my consternation. I care more about Ben than I do about Claire or Dogen or the irritating Other Others or Miles. Ben has been developed into such an amazing character that I've been waiting (im)patiently for him to get more air time. Instead, after being tricked by Smoky Locke into killing Jacob in last season's finale, Ben has been reduced to standing around, looking bug-eyed and confused, almost paralyzed by the fact that he's been rendered irrelevant by Smoky Locke.

In fact, I was considering starting a Twitter campaign -- using the hashtag #morebenlinus -- to lobby for more Ben, not that it would actually change the episodes that have already been written and shot, but at least it'll make me feel better. Then I saw the ABC preview for the next episode which features, wouldn't you know it, sideways flashing/uncrashed Ben as a high school teacher talking about Napoleon losing his power in exile on an island. This little glimpse made me smile:

If next week's episode is anything like I hope it will be, based on this little snippet, I'll be one happy gal next week.

In the meantime, enjoy the always snarky Lost Untangled video which sarcastically dissects "Sundown:'"

Thoughts on Sayid the Bad Man? On whether we need more Ben Linus?

1 comment:

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