Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Lost" Wednesday: the sad story of Sayid

This week, I started re-watching the "Lost" saga, beginning with Season 1 (note: there's still time for you to do this also, if you want to join in on the fun — if not, feel free to skip this post & go do something productive with your life).

A number of tragic stories are a part of the series through five seasons. I don't think it's much of a stretch, however, to say that none is more tragic than Sayid Jarrah.

Aside from being a full-fledged killer — the scene where he kills the guy on the golf course — Sayid has very few moments that don't make me sad. Recall that it was Sayid who attempted to lead the group immediately following the plane crash, only he couldn't because too many of the survivors suspected he was responsible for the plane crash (him being Middle-Eastern and all). Then he attempted to locate a distress signal, only someone (Locke, it turns out) hit him in the back of the head and destroyed his equipment. And, of course, he immediately fled the camp after torturing Sawyer, because he swore he wouldn't.
All this happened to him in the first few episodes.

Here, then, is a rundown of Sayid's sad existence since Season 1:
• Knocked out and tortured by Danielle Rousseau for no good reason.
• Hooks up with Shannon, only to come back to camp to find out that, while they were gone, Shannon's brother died.
• Shannon takes a bullet and dies. Instead of a chance to grieve, Sayid is instead knocked out (again), tied to a tree and held prisoner for a little while. Eventually they let him go, and presumably all is forgiven.
• Meets Benjamin Linus, beginning (arguably) the most complicated relationship on the entire series.
• Starts torturing Ben, even though he said he wouldn't.
• Plans a giant diversion to trap the Others and foil Michael's betrayal of them; unfortunately, the plan fails twice and Sun nearly dies. Eventually they all just give up and go back to camp.
• Gets told he's "weak and frightened" by some dude named Mikhail.
• Goes to rescue Jack and Kate, but gets captured and tied up. Again.
• Devises another plan to trap the Others, which works until he gets captured and interrogated, before being saved at the last minute by ... Hurley. Congratulations, dude.
• Captured and held at gunpoint again by Ben and Locke, the former of which calls him "stupid."
• Reaches the freighter off-Island (finally) but gets detained in sick bay. Eventually finds Michael working on the freighter for some damn reason.
• Goes back to the Island to start rescuing people and gets kidnapped by the Others. Again. As an added bonus, his efforts to get people off the Island to the frieghter kind of backfire when the damned boat explodes. Nice.
• Finally escapes from the Island, meets up with long-lost love Nadia (all memories of Shannon apparently matter no longer) ... only to have her get run over by a car.
• Meets back up with Ben Linus after Nadia's funeral; Ben immediately puts him to work as a killing machine. It is unclear whether the whole thing was Ben's doing all along.
• Finally makes something of himself, joining a charity organization ... except the Locke shows up and convinces him to come back to the Island. Eventually Ben shows up to say Locke is dead. Which he is, because Ben killed him. Or something.
• Kills a man watching Hurley, springs him from a mental institution, kills two more people, except he's incapacitated by a dart. Hurley has to save him. Again.
• Gets assaulted again in the hospital by someone posing as an orderly. Kills that guy.
• Attempts to get away again, except he gets drunk at the airport and for whatever reason goes to bed with Ilana, Miss "What-Lies-in-the-Shadow-of-the-Statue" herself. Gets captured and forcibly put back on the plane. To the Island.
• Lands back on the Island in 1977, only instead of finding the rest of the survivors, winds up being captured by himself, mistaken for an Other. Gets captured and interrogated. Again.
• Amazingly becomes the object of wonder for ... young Benjamin Linus, who brings him food and talks with him.
• Gets tortured with something that resembles acid. Tells the DHARMA folk the truth about what he knows of the Island, only they don't believe him because ... well, would you?
• Sprung from jail by young Ben, Sayid pulls a gun from Jin ... and then shoots the young Linus.
• Improbably runs across the team of Jack, Kate and some others, then agrees to help them with their far-fetched plan to blow the Island all to hell. Attempts to sneak through the DHARMA camp, gets recognized, gets shot.
• Has two very sad quotes right before the final battle:
"You can't stop the bleeding."
"Nothing can save me."

• Presumably blown to tiny Mediterranean smithereens when Juliet sets off the hydrogen bomb.

Of all of that, his relationship with Ben Linus is the one I find most fascinating. Did Older Ben recognize Sayid when they first met in Season 2? Is that why he's been going out of his way to make the poor guy miserable, because he remembers him as "that Iraqi who shot me when I was little?" Did Ben kill Sayid's wife? Did Ben cause Shannon to get shot? And why would someone as intelligent as Sayid continually be snookered by Ben's rather simple schemes?

Wherever we start Season 6, I hope something good happens for this poor guy. He's been through enough already.

As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the commentary section.

No comments: