Episode Title: "Sundown"
Written By: Paul Zbyszewski & Graham Roland
Story: Sayid (Naveen Andrews) has a bone to pick with Dogen (Hiroyuki Sanada), the temple master that wants Sayid dead. Dogen explains that Sayid, recently resurrected through mysterious means, is now evil. But there is one chance to redeem himself — by plunging a dagger straight into the heart of the entity posing as John Locke (Terry O'Quinn).
Meanwhile, Claire (Emilie de Ravin) comes to the temple to deliver a message from her "friend," one with potentially bloody consequences for Dogen and his followers. And in the sideways reality, Sayid reconnects with Nadia (Andrea Gabriel), but some old enemies stand in the way of his happiness.
Tortured Reality: The differences between the sideways reality and island time continue to grow. In the sideways, Sayid and Nadia aren't long lost lovers, but their love is nonetheless forbidden. In the sideways, Sayid's brother is still very much a part of his life. In the sideways, Martin Keamy (Kevin Durand) is more than a simple mercenary; he's a mobster with a soft spot for eggs. In the sideways, Sayid and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) are united under some incredibly bloody and bizarre circumstances.
But one commonality between both worlds is that Sayid is a man that is, in his mind, unworthy of getting what he wants. And in both worlds, he's ultimately willing to do whatever it takes to claim what he desires, even if it's undeserved.
Evil Incarnate: As much as both Sayid and the audience didn't want to believe Dogen's insistence on the tortured torturer's newfound moral alignment, actions speak louder than words, and Sayid's actions speak for themselves. He buys into Smocke's sales pitch that he can grant Sayid the one thing that he desires most in this world — the resurrection of Nadia, presumably — and as a result, the soldier without a war picks his battle and leads everyone at the temple directly into the smokey clutches of the Monster. Everyone, that is, except for Dogen and Lennon (John Hawkes), who Sayid dispatches himself.
Is there redemption in Sayid's future? After tonight's episode, it certainly doesn't look very likely.
What Happens At Sundown: Several things. For one, Sayid goes bananas and helps Smocke kill all of the stragglers still inside of the temple, seemingly cementing his status as one of the claimed. But let's not ignore Smocke's own handiwork. Over the seasons, we've seen plenty of epic Smoke Monster scenes, but tonight's evisceration of the temple folk may well take the cake. The last several episodes have been all about the set up, but in "Sundown," the pins were knocked down in a ruthless display of violence, effectively ending the temple dwellers' short-lived reign.
It's worth noting that this is the first time we've seen nightfall since Jack (Matthew Fox) and the others returned to the present in "LA X." Entertaining as it was, Sayid's about face was a bit sudden, but perhaps Smocke's powers — particularly over those that he's claimed — are enhanced after sundown. It's certainly a possibility worth paying attention to as the sun continues to rise and fall throughout the season.
Maniacal Mommy: Claire and Kate (Evangeline Lily) are finally reunited, but Aaron's surrogate mother has no idea of the craziness she's in store for. There's no question that Claire has murder in her heart at this very moment, and as this is the final season, I'm more than a little bit nervous about Kate's survival odds, especially considering that she isn't represented by one of the elite numbers.
And how about that creepy rendition of "Catch A Falling Star And Put It In Your Pocket?" Closing the episode on that note strikes a dark tone for the remainder of the season. I don't know about you, but I certainly had chills.
Most Valuable Player: Sayid has had many epic fight sequences in the history of "Lost," but his battle against Dogen in the episode's opening moments might be the very best of them all — and that says a lot considering his takedowns of Mikhail in season three and Keamy in season four. In terms of sheer badassery, "Sundown" and Sayid in particular topped the charts.
Best Quote: "Apparently, I'm evil." — Sayid
The Shape of Things to Come: Next episode looks to focus heavily on Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson), the bug-eyed liar largely absent throughout the season's first few episodes — and if the preview's warning that Ben will "face his demise" holds any truth, that absence may well continue.
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