With that said, I didn't hate "Sundown" at all, but I didn't fully love it either. It had its moments, and while I always love me a good smoke monster attack and I'm glad we're moving on from the Temple, this episode felt like another one that is setting up the plot for the future.
Flash Sideways Story
In the original Lost time line, Sayid was a torturer who was in love with Nadia but some force always seemed to keep them apart. First she was on the run after the Gulf War and Sayid never could find her, then once they were together, she was killed. As far as his torturing ways, as much as he tried to put past behind him, he always went back to being that man.
Now we jump to his flash sideways storyline and, check this out, Sayid is a torturer -- having still served in the Gulf War -- and he's in love with Nadia, but can't be with her -- this time because she is married to his brother. He says that he doesn't deserve her because of his past. Sayid tries to distance himself that his evil past, but he is pulled back in when his brother owes a debt to one Martin Keamy.
It was cool seeing Keamy again and is now another person from their previous on-island timeline to show up in the sideways world. This time its someone from the freighter instead of an Other. I guess no matter what timeline, Keamy has to die. But he can cook a mean egg.
What are we to take from Sayid's story? Not much overall has changed for him this go around. While his life is different, he was in Australia on a business trip, he is still the same as a person.
The flash sideways story ended with Sayid finding Jin bound and gagged at the restaurant. My guess is that Jin was delivering Mr. Paik's watch to Keamy, perhaps to bring it to Charles Widmore, and things didn't go as planned. We'll see more on this story later this season.
I guess we got the answer to who would win in a fight out of a former Iraqi torturer and a former banker. If you guessed banker, you knew more about Dogen's surprising backstory than I and you would be correct. My first guess would have been Samari or Ninja but I'll have to settle with banker. It was a great back and forth fight between the two with Dogen ultimately getting the upper hand and instead of killing Sayid, he banned him from the Temple.
Later, Sayid comes back and confronts Dogen over why he didn't just kill him then. So instead of getting a Dogen flashback later this year (remember we are running short on episode time here people), Dogen decides to do what a typical Lost character would never do, he opens up and reveals his past. Turns out Dogen was a banker who had gotten a promotion, after a night of celebrating he was in an accident. He made it but his son did not. Jacob offered to save his son, but Dogen had to go to the island.
I'm curious to learn more about Dogen once he came to the island. Things like how long he was on the island, how he became so ninja like with his fighting skills, how long he's been in charge of the Temple are just a few of the lingering questions that probably aren't important enough to be answered. I'm also curious to know if Ben knew him or at least knew about him.
But Dogen's story may be done as Sayid provides the same treatment the Others gave him and drowns Dogen in the Temple's pool. Lennon also dies by Sayid's hand, but not before he reveals that Dogen was the only one left keeping Man in Black out. So it's not the circle of ash surrounding the Temple that repeals Smokey, it was Dogen himself?
What are you?
After Claire reluctantly entered the Temple, Dogen sends Sayid to talk with Man in Black. He equips him with a dagger that was hidden in Dogen's chamber and warns Sayid that to prove that he is still good, he needs to stab the Man in the chest without letting him speak. I was surprised that Sayid actually did it. He immediately stabbed Man in Black, but didn't get the result he planned. There was no blood, and Man in Black simple pulled the dagger out. How can Man in Black be stopped? He can't be shot and can't be stabbed.
I guess Sayid wasn't fully infected yet, and he was trying to still do good, but Dogen had actually set him up. Just like original Locke couldn't kill his father and he got Sawyer to do it, Dogen was trying to get someone else to kill Sayid. Sayid isn't sure what to think now of the man that Dogen described as "evil incarnate." Man in Black sends Sayid back to deliver a message and that message is that Jacob is dead so the Temple isn't safe anymore. The people there don't have to stay anymore. The causes chaos among the Others as they question what to believe. So has Jacob been trapping people on the island all along? Has he been forcing people to stay there?
Promises Promises Promises
Looks like Man in Black gets what he wants by making promises. The question is, can he keep those promises? A few weeks ago Ilana said that Man in Black was recruiting and now he's recruited a full posse. He's got Claire, Sawyer, Sayid and perhaps Kate and Jin to go along with a large portion of the Temple Others. With Claire, he's promised to reunited her with Aaron. With Sawyer, he's promised answers and to get off the island. For Sayid, it looks like he's promised him Nadia and for the Others they have to go with him to be safe and they can now leave the island. Kate and Jin just seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sundown comes and all the people who want to live are leaving the Temple, everyone else feels the wrath of Smokey. With Dogen now dead, Smokey is able to tear the place up. He kills everyone who stayed behind and wrecks the Temple.
I thought Miles was a goner, but he runs into Frank, Ilana and Sun. Ilana knows what's going on and gets them to safety. How does she know so much? Has she been on the island before? Has she been through this exact scenario before? She has so much information, but it seems like they've just ignored this throughout the season. Surely we'll get more about her and her plan in the near future? Meanwhile, Ben tries to get Sayid to safety, but it's clear that he's now fully infected. Ben seems to know what's happening to him and immediately recognizes that Sayid is changed and backs away.
The episode ends with a spooky slow motion exit from the Temple. Claire and Sayid have evil smirks on their face, and Kate is utterly confused when she sees Locke. So now we have our two groups of good and evil: Ilana, Miles, Frank and Sun (along with Hurley and Jack likely) on Jacob's side and Sayid, Claire, Sawyer, Kate (maybe Jin) and the Others with Man in Black. Kate doesn't realize what she's gotten herself into but there was something odd about the way she was looking at Smoke Monster passing above her and Claire in the pit. Could she be getting the infection too?
Dogen told Sayid that every man has a scale with good and evil on each side and that his scale tipped the wrong way. I wonder if the whole idea of good and evil will depend, as Obi Wan Kenobi put it, on your point of view. Man in Black may feel he is good and Jacob may feel that he is good, while they both turn out to be evil.
In the on island story, where were Sawyer (last seen in the name cave) and Jin (last seen in Claire camp)?
Has anyone else noticed that infected Sayid sounds different than regular Sayid? His accent is different, more like Naveen Andrews real voice. Credit to Alan Sepinwell at What's Alan Watching for pointing this out a few episodes ago. I definitely caught it last night.
Dogen's baseball belonged to his son, who loved to play baseball. Dogen would pick him up from practice every day and on the day of his promotion, they go in an accident. The baseball is both a reminder of his son and the deal he made with Jacob.
Any chance that the pool can heal Dogen and/or Lennon? In last week's "Lighthouse" it looked like Jacob was pouring something into the water. Did he restore the healing power?
While Kate's already in a bad spot with Man in Black's group, you have to wonder what Claire will do to her based on her confessing to having been raising Aaron. She didn't look to happy with this info. Will this also interfere with Man in Black's promise to reunite her with Aaron?
Claire was singing "Catch a Falling Star" while she was in the pit. It was also the song that was played during the slow motion exit of the Temple. You may remember that song as the same one Claire wanted sung to Aaron when she was attempting to give the baby up for adoption. ("Raised by Another")
Claire also had a few bits of curious dialogue that likely will have more meaning in the long run. She told Kate that she's not the one who needs rescuing. Does she mean that Kate needs rescuing? Someone else? The other bit of dialogue was when she told Kate that he's coming and there's nothing you can do to stop him. Does Claire know that Kate is a candidate (#51 on Jacob's dial) and is one who is capable of stopping Man in Black?
Other recaps and analysis on "Sundown":
- Lostpedia "Sundown"
- Doc Jensen initial analysis; Doc Jensen's full recap
- The Watcher
- Zap2It Recap
- Get Lost Podcast Sceencaps & Easter Eggs
- Washington Post Dueling Analysis
- "Sundown" Untangled
- Doc Arzt
- What's Alan Watching?
- LongLiveLocke Recap
- JOpinionated Initial Thoughts/Theories & Responses
- Geronimo Jack's Beard
- Things I Noticed by Vozzek
*Photos from Lost-Media.com and GetLostPodcast