LOST Revisited: Season 5, Episode 10: “He’s Our You” (Mar 26)

I am not actually a scientist, but I’m pretty sure that Sayid ripped a hole in the universe at the end of this episode. Even though you knew he was going to try it, I didn’t think it could actually happen. We have got a long week ahead of us.

But we’ll get to the crazy freaking ending in due time. And we’ll get to the part where one of my absolute favorite character actors joined the Dharma Initiative. (Oh, Lost. You get me.) We’ll start at the beginning where they open with an old-school flashback. In Tikrit, the casting directors score again by finding a little kid who’s plausible as a young Sayid. Anyway, Sayid’s brother can’t bring himself to kill a chicken. Little Sayid steps up and takes matters into his own hands. This is reminiscent of Eko and his brother, only in that scenario, Eko killed a man because his brother couldn’t do it. Once again, events repeat with slight variations.

In 1977, Sayid isn’t eating, but Little Benry keeps bringing him sandwiches. He also brings a copy of Carlos Castaneda’s A Separate Reality. He wrote about his training in shamanism, and his work is generally regarded as fiction, though he claimed it was journalism. Since books are always important here, I’ll do further research over the week and see what we’ve got here. Benry owns up to having met Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert, and that he’s just waiting until he can leave Dharma forever. He then offers to help Sayid escape, and even as a child Benry’s always trying to cut deals.

Another flashback, this time to Sayid’s time as Benry’s hired gun. The guy in Moscow tries to buy him off, but Sayid’s having none of that. He kills the man and meets up with Benry. This episode fills in a lot of details about Sayid’s time as an assassin, as Benry tells him that he’s killed everybody who posed a danger to the Oceanic Six. This is pretty ingenious on Benry’s part – it conveys to Sayid that he’s actually making progress and working for a definite goal. He’s so good at this manipulation thing!

Back in the cell, Horace and Radzinsky come in to see Sayid. Horace cuts his bonds and starts in with the questions. By the way, Radzinsky’s absolute obsession with the idea that Sayid saw the model of the Swan is pretty hilarious. I think the mentions it in every scene he has, and really, what would Sayid even do about that? Build his own Swan Station first? Sayid doesn’t have any answers, so Horace threatens to “take it to the next level”. Little does he know he’s talking to the guy who invented the next level.

At the LaFleur house, Juliet is worried about things, but Sawyer’s sure that he can keep it all under control. This just proves that Juliet is the one who’s been paying attention. Horace come in and reports that he’ll be bringing “Oldham” in. Sawyer clearly doesn’t care for Oldham, so you know he’s going to be unsettling. To head this off, Sawyer heads down to Sayid’s cell to try to work things out. Sayid is surprisingly stubborn here – he’s putting everybody at risk. Well, Sayid is the only one of the Oceanic Six who never had any interest in returning for any reason. Just like Sawyer carved out a nice live for himself in the last three years, Sayid finally got to step away from being a killing machine.

Is it wrong that I laughed really hard when I saw that Hurley is a lunch lady? I loved his line about how the dipping sauces “really bring out the ham”. Hee. Also hilarious is that Kate’s the only person who didn’t figure out that Sawyer and Juliet are together now. It gets better when Hurley rambles on about the concept of people living together, because he really thinks that Kate isn’t getting it.

Hey, it’s Uncle Rico! That’s right, Benry’s dad, the famous Roger Workman, is back. I wonder if he’s met Jack Workman yet. Roger just taunts Sayid, because he’s a jerk who hates his life. Benry arrives with another sandwich, which sends Roger into a rage. This puts Sayid in the uncomfortable position of feeling sorry for Benry. You know, some people kind of deserve a poison gas canister in the face.

In another flashback, Benry travels to Santo Domino, where Sayid is happily building houses. Benry tells him that Locke is dead, probably murdered. How he doesn’t smirk when he says that Locke was probably killed as an act of retribution, I’ll never know. He then suggests that maybe Sayid might want to hit LA and whack the guy who’s staking out Hurley’s mental hospital. Benry really gets at something here – not only is Sayid really good at torturing and killing, but he enjoys it on some level. Sayid denies this, but clearly what Benry said hit home. And let’s face it, Sayid has done some bad things. We’ve seen him just shut that human part of himself off and go to work on somebody. Remember how he tortured Sawyer to get Shannon’s inhaler, back in Season One? Brutality is easy for him.

In 1977, Sawyer gives Sayid another chance, trying to convince him to talk before Horace brings him to Oldham. Once again, Sayid is not going to take the easy way out. With no other options, Sawyer zaps him with a Taser so they can take him away. This was a controversial moment in my viewing group, but it turns out that Tasers were available as early as 1974, so no anachronism there. They take him to a clearing where Oldham is waiting. Now, it looks like Oldham just lives there, rather than in Dharmaville with the rest. (Thanks for the nickname, Sawyer! That got a pretty good laugh.)

Oldham is played by William Sanderson, who is awesome. You might know him from Blade Runner, or as Larry on Newhart. And of course, he played EB Farnum on Deadwood. He’s so creepy, but here’s he’s creepy in a different way than he usually is. He drugs Sayid, to make him a little more… compliant.

This leads us to another flashback that begins with an old scene – Sun has a gun on Benry back in LA. This is where Sayid walks away from the whole thing. But then we get something we haven’t seen before – Sayid’s at the hotel bar and the woman we now know as Ilana is putting the moves on him. He initially assumes she’s a “professional”, which is kind of funny. One way or another, this is ending with Sayid in handcuffs…

Back to the past, Sayid is starting to get loopy from the drugs and starts telling the absolute truth. Of course, the truth sounds crazy, especially the part where he gleefully proclaims that he’s from the future. It’s only when he names all the Dharma stations that they see him as anything other than a crazy guy. And naturally, Radzinsky is freaking out at any mention of the Swan. Guy’s got a one-track mind. There’s a great reaction from Sawyer when Sayid uses his old name. It didn’t take long for them to ruin his whole LaFleur life, did it?

Over in Dharmaville, Kate’s awkwardly working in the motor pool with Juliet. I love that Juliet just lays it out for Kate. It is not even worth her time to have uncomfortable conversations with Kate – she’s with Sawyer now, they’re happy, take your neuroses somewhere else. Once again, Sayid has to do the perp-walk in front of his friends, which has everybody on edge by now.

Horace hosts a meeting of the key Dharma personnel to determine what to do about the Sayid problem. Radzinsky pushes for the death penalty, on the grounds that Sayid looked at his model. Horace seems to agree, but the mood of the room is largely undecided. At one point Horace says they have to “make a decision, or I call Ann Arbor”. This briefly confused be, because I didn’t know why they were bringing my sister into this. But perhaps you recall the Swan orientation film where it’s explained that the Dharma Initiative was established by Gerald and Karen DeGroot, who were grad students at the University of Michigan. So the reference to Ann Arbor would indicate that the DeGroots were active in running Dharma from afar. Man, there’s nothing Dutch people from Michigan can’t do….

It’s Amy who turns the tide, making an impassioned plea to keep everybody safe by killing the prisoner. She’s even pretty when she’s trying to drum up mass support for a man’s death. This wins everybody over, except for Sawyer, of course. He only consents when Horace tells him that he wants the vote to be unanimous. Oh, man. Horace is one of those guys. The decision is actually his, but it’s very important that you say you agree with him.

In the more recent past, Sayid and Ilana are hooking up. Well, up until Ilana kicks him in the throat. Turns out, she’s not a Federal Marshall like I thought – she’s a bounty hunter. Well, if she’s a private contractor, that explains why she was transporting an Iraqi national to Guam. That’s not something a Federal Agent would do. Now, she claims to have been hired by the family of the man that Sayid killed on the golf course last season. But, well, how does his family know who killed him if there weren’t any witnesses? Raise your hand if you think Benry actually hired her. Hey, you over there… I’d really like for this to be unanimous.

Sawyer actually gives Sayid one more chance to escape and salvage everything. This time, he tries to make it look like a fight, and it’s a nice touch that the headbutt hurts Sawyer as much as, or more than, it hurts Sayid. You have to be careful with headbutts. Once again, Sayid refuses to play along. I’m almost as frustrated with him as Sawyer is by this point.

Speaking of frustrating, Sawyer and Kate finally get a minute to talk, and she gets inappropriate almost immediately. “I don’t know why everybody else came back. I know why I did.” Lady, are you missing the part where he’s happy? Luckily, she gets cut off when a flaming bus crashes into Building 15. (One of the numbers!) Is it just me, or would a flaming Volkswagen bus make a sweet tattoo? Sawyer takes control of the situation and puts people to work on the fire situation.

It turns out, that was young Benry’s idea of a diversion. He sneaks in to save Sayid, who plays straight to the poor kid’s issues by telling him that he’s going to bring him to Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert. Well, surely that lie is the worst thing he’ll to do a kid tonight, right?

Final flashback – we’ve seen most of this footage before, but now it’s from Sayid’s perspective. Now we know he was in the dark about the whole thing right up until he saw his friends at the airport. Poor guy knows it’s all over, and watching him get increasingly forlorn right up until Benry gets on the plane is just sad. He directly asks Ilana if she’s working for Benry, but I tend to think that if she is, she doesn’t actually know it. I think she’s just doing her job here. Or what she thinks is her job.

Finally, Sayid and young Benry make their escape. They’re spotted by another bus, and when it pulls over we see that Jin is driving. It seems like he wants to help Sayid, but Sayid goes all judo on him. Jin probably could have helped him, but Sayid was much more interested in getting his hands on a gun. And then, in a legitimately shocking ending, Sayid shoots young Benry right in the chest.

Wow! I mean, how is that possible? People can’t just go changing the past! Sayid broke the space-time continuum right there. I’m not even sure what to do with that just now. Did he really kill young Benry? If so, what kind of dire consequences does all of reality face? I’m still kind of stunned.

OK, you might be able to make a case for Island Magic healing Benry, but I’m pretty sure getting shot in the heart might be a little much to recover from. I mean, if the Island could heal that, there’d be a lot of bullet-ridden Others still walking around. Did Sayid’s actions create a parallel universe where Benry died as a child? Was the Castaneda book a clue? The title A Separate Reality could be a reference to that possibility.

I’m really not sure where to go with this, and I want a new episode as soon as possible. But, let’s just say that somehow Benry survives this and Sayid doesn’t destroy the timeline. If that’s the case, then we’re looking at the possibility that Sayid helped make Benry who he is. I mean, this would mean modern Benry is a guy who got shot in the chest when he was a kid, by a guy he thought he could trust. (And yes, that would mean that when Benry meets Sayid in Season Two, he’s already aware of their history together.)

This is a lot to deal with. I’ll see you next week, provided that reality doesn’t collapse from the temporal paradox. This is a very real possibility.

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