What a freaking awesome episode. But you can't just end it after the most awesome scene ever! I mean, yeah, I kind of saw it coming -- that Sayid is trying to change fate all by himself, that his very purpose for returning to the island in such incredible fashion was to change the world that would be created, but... I never thought they'd actually do that. Wow. I don't want to give any spoilers before the jump in case anyone hasn't watched it yet, but let's just say, I'm very pleased the show went back to a character-specific episode after jumping around in time so much. I'm not even mad that we're still in the '70s anymore.
So this was a Sayid episode. We got Sayid flashbacks of his murder of a Russian dude who was the last on Ben's list of Widmore's people who Ben convinced Sayid could potentially cause harm to his friends back on the island (that's why Sayid was "working for" Ben, in Sayid's mind; it's still unclear who these men really were and why Ben wanted them killed, or why Sayid would trust Ben under any circumstances, but... in case you haven't noticed, this show doesn't reveal a lot of answers, ever). We also got Sayid way-back flashbacks of his childhood in Tikrit, when he killed a chicken as a small boy because his older brother was afraid to. And we got to see how Sayid was arrested -- by a bounty hunter, not a government official, who seduced him at a bar and then cuffed him at gunpoint to take him to Guam to answer for the murder of the man on the golf course that was his first kill for Ben, some time earlier. Of course, the plane going to Guam just so happened to be the one that the other Oceanic Six passengers were boarding to get back to the Island, but Sayid is unable to convince his captor to let him go and the rest, as they say, is history. Or fate. Because history seems to be changing.
Back on the Island, Sawyer shows he's about as successful running the show as Jack always was and comes up with no plan to free Sayid from the Dharma prison, even though he's head of security. We get a little Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Juliet love quadrangle action, but the focus remains on Sayid -- and his visitor at the end of last episode, 12-year-old Benjamin Linus. Ben ran away from his father into the jungle and met Richard of the Others (known as the "Hostiles" back in the '70s) in an episode we saw previously, but apparently Richard did not take him in and Ben plans to use Sayid to help him escape and join his "people" (the hostiles). Ben may be a sniveling wimp as a 12-year-old, but he's already conniving.
Dharma takes Sayid to Oldman to get him to talk -- "He's our you," according to Sawyer, a great line, but it turns out that Oldman is simply Larry from Larry, Darryl, and Darrell on Newhart and not all that intimidating. He does have a magical truth serum that he puts on a sugar cube to get Sayid to spill the beans about being from the future and having crashed on the island twice and -- of most importance to them -- his knowledge about all of the Dharma stations. Sayid also mentions that they're all going to die in a genocide, but they think he's gone crazy and ignore that part, while focusing on his knowledge of the stations and assuming he's a spy. He's sentenced to death with only one objection, Sawyer, who eventually accedes and then sneaks into the prison to let him escape. Sayid has had a moment of revelation, though, and realizes his purpose for returning to the island. All is clear for him now. Sawyer, as confused as ever, leaves him to his fate.
In the meantime, Ben (off camera) lights a VW Bus on fire and crashes it into a house full of people (homocidal tendencies also starting young) and then, with everyone preoccupied, including Sayid's guard Phil, he sneaks into Sayid's cage and offers him release, as long as Sayid takes him to his people. Sayid assents, because it is his fate, and for a split second the show wants you to think that maybe he wants to help Ben escape to the Others, because otherwise all the events that happened in the future (his past) won't happen again and therefore, he won't be able to get back to the present, but then the T-1000 followed him back through the electrical portal in a DeLorean and I realized I needed to stop trying to make sense of any of this time travel crap because IT NEVER MAKES SENSE!
But anyway, the show flashes back to the plane (the second one) that's about to crash and shows Sayid's reaction as a beaten-up Ben (we still don't know who beat him up, right?) boards the plane and he tells his confessor that Ben's a genocidal maniac who let his own daughter die to spare his life. That's when I realized what Sayid was talking about when he was talking about fate -- and how he wanted to change history, and NOT allow it to happen. And so we find ourselves in the jungle with Sayid and a 12-year-old Ben, and after Jin conveniently shows up to get knocked out and have his gun stolen, Sayid turns to the kid and says "You were right about me." (I am a killer). Ben can only say "What?" before he's shot in the chest and falls to the ground, clearly dead (even though I saw the kid actor moving). And probably for the first time in history, the audience cheered after the brutal murder of a pre-teen. It was fucking awesome.
And then the show ended. What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next week: More Kate/Jack/Sawyer/Juliet quadrangle, with a little Hurley thrown in for fun! I'm not even going to begin to figure out what all this means for the future of Ben and the future of our Lostaways.