Lost Luggage: ‘Sundown’

If you’re a detail-obsessed Lost viewer like me, one of the more interesting moments in ‘Sundown’ (Lost’s sixth episode of the final season, which is also the end of the season’s first act) happened in the opening minutes, after Sideways Sayid knocked on the door of his Lover-From-Another-World’s front door. Before Nadia opened the door, we saw Sayid quickly look into a reflection through the door’s dark, fractured glass. For something that took approximately five seconds of screen time, a simple reflection helped me put a finger on exactly what went down in ‘Sundown.’ (Besides the sun.)

So far, each character’s LA X-verse tale (Kate, Locke and Jack) has featured an ambiguous stare-down with a mirror. It was fitting that Sayid’s brief encounter with his reflection was through black tints – definite foreshadowing for an episode that saw the Iraqi ex-torturer punch, stab, shoot, drown, and kill almost anyone that got in his way – all before joining the ex-Man In Black, and his posse, as they strolled into the night. You noticed that Sayid’s getup is all black, too, right?

The fractured front door window was also a sign of sorts, signaling the break in symmetry between Season 1’s flashbacks. Instead of a Jin and Sun episode reflecting Season 1’s ‘House of the Rising Sun’, we were confronted with a Sayid episode, which was all the more surprising since the title — ‘Sundown’ — was a total fake-out for some Jin-Sun action. But really, the black glass was a fitting lens to view an episode full of darkness, ending with the Temple being completely annihilated by Smokey in epic fashion.


Sayid, Hitman For Hire

In both the Island-verse and the LA X-verse, ‘Sundown’ called back to Sayid moments that have defined the character since Season 1. He’s a guy that’s willing to do the dirty work — pulling someone’s fingernails out, or busting a cap in a foo’ on a golf course — whether he believes it’s the right thing to do, because he’s following orders, or a bit of both. He’s tortured Sawyer for Jack. He’s killed people for Ben. And he had a steady gig torturing and killing for Saddam Hussein. It’s noteworthy that Sayid’s misguided quest of violence has pretty much always led him to haunting failure, even when he believes he’s doing the right thing. There was a time when he thought the most heroic he could do was shoot a 10-year-old kid.

This episode seemed to show that Sayid was not only stuck in an endless cycle of violence, but it also seemed to show that he has now given up rationalizing his wrath, and he’s learned just to go with the bloody flow. In a single episode he bounced from trying to kill Dogen, to being used by Dogen to try and kill Smokey, to being used by Smokey to kill Dogen – and Lennon – as well as being directly responsible for the deaths of everyone in the Temple. Keeping all the Sayid-death in mind, it made the quick scene with his Ben ultra-ironic, where Sayid let his arch-enemy sulk away.

Both of Sayid’s tales in ‘Sundown’ seemed to be showing that character was beyond redemption and that he was born a killer. Even in the LA X-verse, where he vows he is “not that man anymore” – referring most likely to his days as an Iraqi Republican Guard – he still ends up doing an impression of Viggo Mortensen in ‘A History of Violence’, killing a room of gangsters, and even a pleading Keamy.

For all the murder and violence in the episode, the only death that really bugged me was that of Dogen’s sidekick Lennon. At least Dogen got to reveal his guilt-fueled past and reasons for ending up on The Island before dying. Lennon didn’t really do much since his introduction, and it’s sort of hard to justify the character’s reason for being on The Island in the first place. Here’s hoping that the magic hot tub brings him back to life. (Also, yay for Miles not dying, too. He’s been a background character for almost entirely the last two seasons, and it seems like he’s just biding his time on The Island before he’s killed off. I really dig his sarcastic commentary, so it was good to see him last a little longer.)

Greatest Hits

The individual episodes not only seem to be a compilation of each character’s conflicts over the last five seasons, but it’s also bringing back moments — big and small — from previous seasons. Season Six is sort of like the Charlie-centric episode ‘Greatest Hits’, where he recounts the greatest moments of his life before he swims off to his death. It’s fitting that Lost is helping us subtly remember all the good times we’ve had over the years before it ends in a few months time. In this episode, Keamy’s emergence in the LA X-verse was cool, but that it led to a Keamy versus Sayid situation was cooler — sort of a reboot of their jungle battle in Season 4. Also, Sayid’s brother Omer was established in a flashback last year, but the similarities between the Peaceful Brother and the Killer Brother definitely has shades of Mr. Eko etched into it, too. And finally, while Jin’s captivity not only had a sly ‘Pulp Fiction’ vibe to it (without The Gimp, thank god), it was also a total callback to Jin’s Season 2 moment that was so good they made a toy out of it:

And thus concludes another Lost Luggage column. Much like the baggage that goes missing in transit, you can never really be sure when the column for next week’s episode will appear, but thanks for reading all the same.

About Ryan Ingram

Ryan Ingram is Pop Culture Zoo's resident Canadian. He has never been a member of Alpha Flight, sadly. On Twitter, he's @ryeingram.