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Well, it’s been over a month and 5 episodes since doing an update on a Lost episode, despite fancy plans to the contrary; this episode, though, sent me straight to the keyboard. Major spoilers for the episode follow.

First, a quick note on the now always-shifting flashback structure of the show; it appears we are now going to go off-island in the flashbacks to fill in the stories of the Oceanic 6 members who were on the plane. Tonight filled in the gaps in Sayid’s story, focusing on his character as a born killer, including his first killing as a child (of a chicken). We see the conclusion of his assassinations of Widmore’s people under Ben’s guidance and Ben’s visit to him in the Dominican Republic encouraging him to come to LA and kill the people watching Hurley. This was somewhat interesting, as it’s one of the few times we’ve seen Ben lie and we know it, as he tells Sayid that Widmore’s people murdered Locke, while we know it was Ben. Perhaps this was one of Ben’s motives for killing Locke, to try to encourage the O6 back to the island? We then finally see how and why Sayid was on the plane; the woman with him was a bounty hunter, delivering him to her employers who want revenge for one of his assassinations (the guy on the golf course we saw last season). Presumably the next couple episodes will fill in the gaps on Kate, Hurley and Sun.

In the past few weeks, it has seemed firmly established that those 815ers that are in the past can not affect the future. Faraday stated it directly several times. Then Sawyer saved the life of the chick from 24, Juliet saved her baby, and we discover that the baby is presumably the same Ethan whom Charlie would gun down in Season 1, meaning they were always destined to save his and his mother’s life. Time is a fixed loop; the 2004 we saw in seasons 1 through 4 always included the actions of 815ers in the past.

Now, tonight, they throw a complete sucker punch at us. In another example of the symmetrical structure the series seems to be heading toward, instead of Ben locked in a cage while Sayid brings the food and does the torturing as in Season 2, the creepy kid-Ben is bringing a caged Sayid sandwiches before we’re introduced to the Dharma Initiative’s torturer (the “he’s our you” of the title, when Sayid asks Sawyer who he is). Larry, of Larry, Darryl and Darryl fame, uses drugs instead of sharp objects to extract information, and Sayid coughs up predictably unbelieved remarks about how he’s from the future.

After the DI decides on execution for Sayid, Sawyer tries to spring him but Sayid doesn’t want to go, and insists he now understands why he’s on the island. Shortly after, a DI-brand VW van hurtles through the complex on fire, crashing into a building. As the whole complex scrambles to quench the flames, the young Ben – whom it appears is the one who set the fire – uses the distraction to spring Sayid, who agrees to go with him instantly. Jin comes upon them, but Sayid knocks him unconscious and steals his gun when he tries to contact Sawyer. Then, shockingly, he turns to kid-Ben, tells him (referring to their conversation in the off-island flashback) that Ben was correct, he is a born killer, and then proceeds to pop a cap in the kid’s chest before stumbling off into the jungle.

Now, kid-Ben looked awful dead. If he is, that means everything the show has so painstakingly set up as its concept of space-time is out the window. I wouldn’t entirely put this kind of subterfuge past the writers, a complete red herring. Our two principal sources of this assumption come from Faraday – who is currently oddly AWOL – and the birth of Ethan. It could certainly be a different kid named Ethan, and maybe Faraday was wrong. Maybe they can rewrite the history of Season 1.

More likely, I think, that Ben survives the gunshot, despite looking awful dead when he hit the ground. It would certainly not be the first time a character on Lost survived a bad-looking gunshot, especially on the Island, and especially if given person is revered by the Island (as Ben likely was already, at that point). If this is what happened, that means that when Ben visited Sayid in the Dominican Republic and told him he was a killer, he was aware that shortly in Sayid’s future he was going to try to kill him as a child.

Sayid and Ben are proving to have an incredibly complex history together, especially if he survives this gunshot as a kid. I certainly hope he does, because the unconventional (but scientifically viable) concept of time the show’s established allows it to use it as a plot device while avoiding the messy Back to the Future-like paradoxes and timeline messes that shows like Heroes too often get embroiled in.

However it turns out, though, I will once again be holding my breath for a week, desperate to see where this heads next. This season has truly been a rollercoaster – shocking, fast, but always on a smooth, predestined track towards its conclusion a mere 24 episodes hence.

Been low-key on the gaming recently, though I picked up The Lost and the Damned GTA4 expansion, and I’m rather impressed so far. Been hitting up classic XBLA arcade games for gamerscore challenges as well, and finally knocked off a bunch of easily gained GoW2 multiplayer achievements. Other than that, just been playing a round or two of golf in TW09 to keep my streak up.

Keeping up with my usual TV shows. New addition, Dollhouse, is still jury-out. Late-night marathoned Arrested Development and Firefly again recently; moved on to my first watch-through of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since 2004. With Lisa, have been marathoning How I Met Your Mother in between new epis of current shows. Lisa loves it, I’m more on the fence, the laugh track and sitcom staples just grate on me at times, and I’m not much a fan of Ted, the main character. Still really enjoying it for the hearty helping of NPH goodness.

Light videogame playing and lack of movie watching mostly chalked up to reading a lot lately, Stanza on iPhone stuff. Got a widget that shows my more recent forays, no need to list them all here.

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