The promo for last night's episode promised that there "WILL. BE. ANSWERS." But actually, there are just a bunch more questions, like "the rules" of who can kill whom, and whether Sayid is good, evil or just sad and confused.
Up to this point, season 6 had been mirroring season 1, so last night's episode—titled "Sundown"—led many to believe it would be Sun-centric, as was the sixth episode of season 1, "House of the Rising Sun." But "Sundown" was actually a Sayid-centric ep, and the smoke and mirrors trick played on fans is quite fitting, seeing as how season 6 is shaping up to be all about, well, Smokey and mirrors (the latter in terms of personal reflection, as well as the sideways timeline being a Through the Looking Glass version of the original timeline). It turns out that "Sundown" mirrored the season 1 ep "Solitary," and a little wink regarding that was provided last night as Miles played solitaire.
In "Solitary," we learned about Sayid's past as a torturer for the Republican Guard, and we also learned about his relationship with and love for Nadia, and how he would do anything for her. In last night's sideways timeline, we saw that Sayid still pines for Nadia, and is still willing to do anything for her, but that she is married to his brother Omer.
Is anyone else not all that captivated or invested in the Nadia/Sayid love story? I mean, in the original timeline, he crashed on the Island on his way to be reunited with his long-lost love, but then after a few weeks of being being a castaway, he fell in love with Shannon and started having romantic picnics and tent sex with her. Incidentally, both women died in his arms. More on that in a second.
In the opening scene, Sayid busted in on Dogen and demanded answers. Dogen gave him some half-assed explanation about good and evil.
However, I like that he explained that there is a balance of the two forces within each person. This supports my theory that all of the stuff about white and black and good and evil and Jacob and MIB aren't really about choosing sides, but about striking a balance between them.
And then Dogen and Sayid beat the crap out of each other. Dogen was just about to kill Sayid when he noticed his baseball fall to ground, and changed his mind, telling Sayid to leave and never return. It reminded him of the last time he dropped the ball, so to speak, by killing his son in a drunk driving accident. He didn't want the guilt of being responsible for another person's death. After all, the death of his son is what essentially turned him into somewhat of a prisoner on the Island. We learned that Jacob approached Dogen in the hospital and told him that if he came to the Island (serving as some kind of protector?) his son could live. I felt like he didn't put up much of a fight when Sayid killed him. Just like the ball he had been so attached to, Dogen decided to just let go.
Interestingly, Dogen's story of how he came to be trapped on the Island is very similar to someone else's: Juliet. She was recruited by Richard Alpert (and perhaps indirectly by Jacob?) to come to the Island and help (or essentially protect) the pregnant women who were dying. Juliet's sister Rachel was dying of cancer, but she was promised that Jacob would cure Rachel's cancer and keep her alive, as long as Juliet remained on the Island.
So anyway, in the sideways timeline, Sayid's life isn't really that much better, unlike that of Jack, Locke, and Hurley that we've seen. He's still dealing with the guilt of having been a torturer, has to live with the idea that his creepy brother is fucking the woman he loves, and is still being called upon to murder. Speaking of which, hey, look who's back!
But not for long, because Sayid kills him. Then he finds Jin tied up in a freezer. Weird.
I'm wondering if the fact that Sayid's sideways story is more like a nightmare than a dream indicates that he never became "enlightened" in the original timeline. It sort of supports my theory that the Losties (in the original timeline) are experiencing the death cycles of Bardo before being reincarnated into the sideways story. I think that this could perhaps be a clue that Sayid never really "saw the light" in the original timeline, and instead turned to darkness. So maybe zombie Sayid is bad. It's all about karma, which is kinda like a boomerang, you know, like the one that broke Nadia's vase.
Did you notice how fruity Sayid was in that scene? Back at the temple, after killing Dogen and the barefooted hippie, he was also kinda queer, but not in a gay kind of way. Even Ben was weirded out.
But let's take a step back to the whole Nadia/Shannon thing. Sayid is sent out to the jungle by Dogen to supposedly kill Mocke, who Dogen describes as "evil incarnate." The similarities between this and the Temptation of Christ—in which Jesus goes out into the desert after he is baptized and is tempted (or tested) by the devil—are apparent. (Also, Milton's Paradise Regained—a follow up to Paradise Lost—is about the Temptation of Christ. Both poems seem to have a lot of significance to the story of Lost.) What's also apparent is that killing Mocke seems to be an impossibility. There wasn't even any blood on that knife.
And then Mocke makes his pitch to Sayid, tempting him with "everything he ever wanted."
Sayid says that the only thing he ever wanted "died in [his] arms." This could refer to either Nadia or Shannon. So…WTF? My guess is that the "only thing" Sayid ever wanted was to love and be loved. And for him, Nadia and Shannon are interchangeable. So he fails the test of temptation, and takes Mocke's bait. But where Sayid really failed is by not heeding the words of Whitney Houston: You can find the greatest love of all inside of yourself. You have to love yourself. And he just can't because of the self-loathing he's holding onto from his past. I'm thinking that whereas Sayid failed to love himself, Jack—who, at this point, knows he's a broken man, and is determined to stop fixing other shit and just fix himself—might actually see the light. Additionally, Kate's sideways life isn't too great either. And we saw at the end of the episode that she joins up with Mocke's group as a result of not being able to let go of her guilt over separating Aaron and Claire.
Speaking of Sclairey:
Kate is horrible at talking to people. If I was approaching the mother of the kid I took, I wouldn't be all, "I took him!" I'd be all, "I saved him! Thank me, bitch! You wandered off into the jungle and left him for dead. He's back in L.A. watching cartoons or nature shows or some shit with your mother, who, BTW, is not in a coma anymore, so step off, and be happy." But instead, she only made things more confusing for Sclairey, whom Dogen had already described as "a confused girl."
Lastly, we have the secret room that Sun, Ilana, Miles, and Frank are hiding out in. The room was accessed when Ilana pushed a rock engraved with a Shen ring.
It symbolizes eternity or protection. Even though it's Egyptian, it also looks an awful lot like the Greek omega symbol. Jesus was said to be the alpha and the omega, or the beginning and the end. Seeing as how Lost's symbolism and mysticism is a melting pot of so many different religions and cultures, I don't think that it's too far of a stretch to make that connection.
Also interesting was the other hieroglyph that Ilana focused on:
Represented here are a folded cloth, a placenta, an owl, a Sekhem scepter, and a woman. Using Wikipedia—which I realize may not be all that accurate—it translates into something roughly along the lines of "Health of the young with the power of women." Could this foreshadow something about the fertility issues on the Island?
Lastly, you should read up on Horus—the god of war and protection, born by immaculate conception and often compared to Jesus Christ—who is often depicted with the Shen ring. Horus' battle with Set was so homoerotic. I'm not even kidding. It literally involves battling with their semen. For real. Additionally, the goddess Nekhbet is also usually associated with the Shen ring. The most interesting thing about her? She was a white vulture, which the Egyptians believed to be an all-female species, reproducing via parthenogenesis. Also, she was big into adoption.