Follow along! The episode guide for “One of Them” is in Finding Lost, pp. 256-259.
BENRY!!! Michael Emerson’s first appearance on the show. Oh, how I have waited for this episode!! In seasons 4 and 5, every time Ben Linus is on my screen I’m just on the edge of my seat, waiting for some zinger to come from him. (“I’m a Pisces.”) But here we see him not as the master of oozing sarcasm, but as scared, pathetic Henry Gale From Minnesota… and it’s BRILLIANT to watch. Knowing he’s actually Ben, knowing he’s an Other who’s been tracking them all from the beginning, knowing that he’s lying with every word that he says and enjoying every second of the torture makes these scenes absolutely delicious to watch now. Emerson didn’t really develop this character over four seasons – he’d nailed him from the very beginning, and you can see in the way he holds his mouth or a look on his face or a tiny smirk that passes ever-so-quickly that he’s lying. We know his tells now, but at the time, it wasn’t clear if Sayid was wrong and possibly torturing an innocent man. Instead, he’s torturing the very man who will later bring him to ruin, the man who he’d gone back in time to attempt to kill.
Fun things I noticed:
• You can tell that Iraq is green-screened, but it’s freakin’ impressive nonetheless.
• It’s interesting to see both Sayid and Sawyer connected to Kate through her parents – Sawyer is served dinner by Diane Austen, and Sayid is recruited by Sam Austen.
• I’m seriously amazed at how young Sayid looks just by putting shorter hair on Naveen Andrews. I’m sure I say it all the time, but it’s really believable.
Things that have new meaning:
• So here’s the big question for me, and everyone will have their own opinion on it at this point: Do you think Ben recognized Sayid the moment Sayid approached him in the net? Did he remember him as the man who’d shot him and left him for dead when he was only about 14 or 15 years old? If Miles is right, and 1977 is their present, but Ben’s past, then it means by the time Sayid sees him in the net, he’d already shot Ben 25 years earlier. Does Ben remember that, or when Richard Alpert took him to the Temple, did it wipe that memory from him?
• Sayid is shocked by Rousseau shooting Ben, yet he will eventually do it, too (and, by some timelines, he’s already done it).
• I mention this all the time, but in S5 Ben says, “You’re a killer, Sayid.” One of the reasons he says this is because that’s how Sayid introduced himself to Ben in the very beginning, looking him right in the eye and saying, “I’m a torturer,” as if that’s who he is, what he is, and everything he’ll ever be.
• How much do you LOVE watching Ben turn the tables throughout this scene? Sayid’s constantly coming to the brink, and Ben turns things and says, “Did you lose someone you love?? Tell me about it,” and Sayid, who has a crap detector that’s sharper than most, falls for it and tells Ben everything. It’s amazing to watch.
• When the army door slowly closes and Jack tells Sayid to stop while Sayid’s screaming that Henry’s lying, at the time it seemed like Ben was looking at Sayid in bafflement. But now you can see the knowing, cunning look in his eyes. He’s putting the doubt in their minds, and where’s there’s doubt, there is tension, and Ben THRIVES on tension.
• Who is Kelvin? It’s still one of the big mysteries. He says to Sayid that one day he’ll need to get some information from someone and now he knows how to do it. Is he a time traveler? Is he an innocent member of the DI when he’s in the hatch with Desmond or is he there on purpose, as part of some larger purpose? What does he know?