Thursday, November 19, 2009

4.03 The Economist

Follow along! The episode guide for “The Economist” is in Finding Lost — Season 4, pp. 35-43.

Here’s where we see Sayid sell his soul, as he puts it, to Ben Linus by becoming his hitman. This episode takes on an entire new meaning for me after having seen season 5’s “He’s Our You”; knowing that Sayid will shoot Ben as a kid makes me wonder if Ben remembers him doing it, and that the slow disintegration of Sayid’s soul is Ben’s punishment for it.

Fun things I noticed:
• Frank says that Dan does this sort of experimenting on the boat all the time; do we ever actually see Dan on the boat before their arrival? We see Naomi, Frank, and Miles, but I don’t believe we ever flash back to Dan or Charlotte being on there.
• I never thought of this before, but Sayid must speak German; the writers have said the only time they’ll include subtitles is when the other person in the scene understands the language (that’s why they show the subtitles when Sun and Jin are talking together, because they understand each other, but when just one of them is speaking to Hurley or someone who doesn’t speak Korean, there aren’t any subtitles). So because they show us what Elsa is saying, Sayid must understand her.

Things that have new meaning:
• Seeing the abandoned houses in season 4 makes me wonder whose house it will become in season 5, circa 1977. The house where they find Hurley appears to be Juliet’s house from S3. But since they all look so much alike, I could be completely wrong on that.
• Watching the seasons so close to one another makes me see the scene of Rousseau holding the gun to Sayid differently; it’s strange to see her doing that when in seasons 1 and 2 he was the only person she trusted from that camp, and he earned that trust. Now she’s betraying his.
• Kate: How long do you think we could play house? Sawyer: Why don’t we find out? Me: You WILL find out, but it’ll be with Juliet.
• Sayid insists on bringing Naomi home, but now I see that as somewhat sad, since her corpse will simply be blown up in a few days.
• Ben says “Need I remind you of the last time you thought with your heart instead of your gun?” Sayid says that’s when he recruited him. But Ben recruited him when he killed that man – with a gun – as revenge for Nadia’s death. Wasn’t he thinking with his gun then? And it’s interesting that in 1977 he’ll think with his head and gun when shooting Ben… NOT with his heart. It’s almost like Ben is trying to turn him into the very person who COULD shoot him as a child, as if he needs Sayid to instigate everything that was going to happen to bring him to the Temple. Hm… I never really thought of it that way. Could Ben be turning Sayid into a monster because he NEEDS him to shoot him in 1977 so he’ll end up at the Temple and become one of the Others?


Marebabe said...

This episode began and ended with two of the biggest surprises of the entire series so far. Eyebrows shot up and jaws dropped all over the world when Sayid calmly shot Mr. Avellino. And then again, when we saw Ben in the final scene in the animal hospital. It’s times like these when I am so very, very glad to not have been spoiled in advance of an episode.

One thing, though. Why was Mr. Avellino immediately afraid of Sayid when he learned who he was? They’ve never made that clear, and I’m afraid that it will remain a mystery forever. Unless they somehow find the time to address it in S6. There’s a limit to how many story threads they’ll be able to tie up in the few episodes remaining. Some details will unfortunately be too insignificant to explore to everyone’s satisfaction.

I’m always happy for Naveen Andrews whenever Sayid gets to clean up and dress nicely. I’ve read interviews with Naveen where he has said he gets tired of Sayid’s usual tank top. He is into stylish clothes, and has always enjoyed dressing well.

celandinehaleth said...

OMG! Ben always has a plan, but turning Sayid into a monster so he can get shot is horrible and yet fascinating. I must mull that idea over for awhile.

Am I crazy or did Sayid notice the braclet on Elsa's arm which looks like Naomi's. He didn't read the inscription, but who the heck is R.G.???? Do we have any idea yet?

Susan said...

Nikki I am hoping that Ben recognized Sayid when he first saw him in 2004. I think it makes the story so much more interesting.

Marebabe, I'm guessing that Mr. Avellino, by way of whoever he works for (Widmore? Ben?) knows the names of the Oceanic 6, and that they are somehow connected with whoever his enemy is.

Funny how Hurley has such a problem with telling a lie to keep his island friends safe in season 5, but he has no problem lying to them here when it's not a matter of safety. And Kate and Sayid have never treated Hurley poorly.

There's a big contrast in Locke's leadership in season 3 v. season 4. In season 3 he invites people to join him on his missions, saying he's doing things differently from what Jack did. But in season 4 he becomes a dictator, even threatening people with harm if they don't do what he says.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm...Sayid cleans up nicely. Black leather definitely suits him. (Not that he isn't super hot in his wife-beater and tor-cha scrunchie, mind you.)

Are we to imagine that Sayid's impetus for taking care of Naomi's corpse (closing the eyes, covering her face, making them take her home) was out of kindess? Clearly his goal was to search her, since he found the photo of Des & Penneh in her bag. Nice cover, Sayid.

Where did Ben get medical experience? If he's had it all along, it seems odd that he acted so shocked when Jack told him how urgently his tumor needed excising (as in, "yesterday").

Pamalamb said...

Wow Nikki what a fascinating thought: Ben was turning Sayid into a killing machine to make sure that he would be able to shot the child Ben in 1977, so that he would be taken to the temple for healing and things would unfold the way they did. That never occured to me, but it is a fascinating thought. As awful as it is, it really does make sense (in a strange Ben Linus kind of way).

@ Susan: I agree with you -It does make things more interesting to think that Ben knew the losties who had been with him in Dharma in the 70's when he saw them again in 2004. Many people felt that because Richard said Ben would have no memory of the events, that ment he never remembered the time traveling losties. I hope that isn't true - the idea that he remembered them from that time in his childhood makes the Ben character and what happened between him and the losties even more interesting.

@Celandinehaleth: I was wondering the same thing about those silver bracelets. Who else has one? What to they mean? Who is R.G.? I wonder if they will bring the bracelets up again in season 6...So many questions, so little time...sigh.

@Susan: I agree that Locke has acted really crazy and is becoming more and more dictatorial. But notice how he still tries to smooth things over with Sayid. He tries to explain why he used the trickery and pulled guns on them. It's like he is still trying to be friends and make people like him. I think on one hand John has this crazy obsession about the Island, but on the other he is still just this lonely guy who really just wants to be liked and accepted and have friends.

The Question Mark said...

Having Ben & Richard know about the time-travel and remember everything would be amazing from a story-telling standpoint, especially considering all of the moments "Benry" spent locked up in the Hatch with a fuming Sayid. And someone on the Island not only remembers the past, but also knows the future for some reason: remember, somebody had to order the Others to start building that runway for the Ajira plane. Who could have possibly known of that beforehand, though? Someone time-traveling from the future?

Oh! What if R.G. is Sirius Black's estranged brother, who was in league with Voldemort befo...oh, wait, never mind.

Joan Crawford said...

Yes, I agree with all of you - Sayid should be naked for the whole of season 6.

So it is written - so it is done!

Austin Gorton said...

Could Ben be turning Sayid into a monster because he NEEDS him to shoot him in 1977 so he’ll end up at the Temple and become one of the Others?

This idea is why I REALLY hope Adult Ben remembers Sayid shooting him. Having memory of it makes so many of Ben's actions all the cooler in retrospect.

@The Question Mark Oh! What if R.G. is Sirius Black's estranged brother, who was in league with Voldemort befo...oh, wait, never mind.

LMAO! Every time there's discussion of initials, that's always what I think of first.

Seriously thought, I seem to recall the producers saying sometime during season 4 that the RG bracelet was not a big deal, and would not be addressed in the future. Apparently it was just an attempt to link Naomi and Elsa thematically.

JW said...

This episode has a strange subtitle mixup. Sayid clearly says, "You're not the best candidate for this" to Jack, but the subtitle says, "You know the best candidate for this." I'm not sure what the subtitle people were smoking.

Also, I'm lazy so I don't initially set up my DVD to play subtitles; I start the episode and then hit a button to enact the subtitles. This worked perfectly well the first three seasons. For the fourth season, however, the Lost DVD people did a reversal, putting the Spanish subtitles as option number one and English subtitles as option number two. So I keep seeing the beginning with spanish subtitles before swearing and making the correction.

spanish subtitle

tiasabita said...

I agree with Marebabe and Joan Crawford that Sayid sure cleans up nice and should wear less clothing from here on.

The first go-around I recognized Ben's voice immediately at the vet's office and thought there was no way but was speechless when I saw his face. The feeling is still the same. Love Nikki's theory that maybe this was all a part of Ben's plan to make Sayid able to shoot Ben as a child, thus sending him to the Temple, etc. All of it has to be part of someone's master plan either from previous experience or knowledge of the future!

Hurley - Awesome, the ship sent us another Sawyer!

Sayid golfs left-handed and has quite a nice swing.

Every time they plan to go on a trek or some adventure they are always leaving 'in 10 minutes'.

When John brought the iced tea into the 'holding' room he only poured himself some tea. That is not being a very good host. And his glass was half full, then full, then half full again!

Why did Sayid grab the ice after he dropped the cell phone in the trash in Berlin?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Sayid's victim/would-be killer is named Elsa...a name which, according to a couple of "name meanings" websites I checked actually means "Truth". Ironic, considering she's lying to Sayid from the moment she mets him.

crazyinlost said...

@Marebabe, studiorose, Joan Crawford, tiasabita, and anyone else who wants to chime in, yes, Sayid looks GOOD in real cloths, but I started liking him in his, how did studiorose put it, "wife beater" attire! But I must say, I don't care for the straightened hair look. I am partial to curly hair, especially the kind that starts to ringlet as it gets longer, and I think the straightend look makes him look too slick.

@Susan-"There's a big contrast in Locke's leadership in season 3 v. season 4...But in season 4 he becomes a dictator, even threatening people with harm if they don't do what he says."
I wholeheartedly agree. Especially like in (I think) the next episode he kicks Kate out of New Otherton. I think his new found popularity has gone a bit to his big bald head!

Boy, Ben sure looks awful all of a sudden.

In Daniel's payload experiment, the rocket gets to the island Later than expected. But when the Losties are waiting for the 'copter to get back to the freighter, They are late (it happens first on the island), the same with the freighter Dr. getting killed, they see it on the island First, not on the freigher. These seem inconsistent with the payload experiment.

Sayid- "The day I start trusting him, (Ben) is the day I would've sold my soul." Why, Sayid, why didn't you heed your own words!

Else's features remind me of Nadia's, only pale and blonde.

JW said...

Every time they plan to go on a trek or some adventure they are always leaving 'in 10 minutes'.

Ha! I never noticed this!

Rebecca T. said...

@The Question Mark & Teebore: Oh! What if R.G. is Sirius Black's estranged brother, who was in league with Voldemort befo...oh, wait, never mind.

hee hee. Oh yes... :D

@tiasabita: Hurley - Awesome, the ship sent us another Sawyer!

Yes, a great line. :D I also love when he says to Sayid: "I saw you snap that guy's neck with that break dancing thing you do with your legs, dude."$

I absolutely love the look on Frank's face when Jack says Sayid was a torturer.

You know, Nikki, I was surprised not to see the Desmond with the shirt open, coming over the hill shot for this episode. I immediately thought, oh look, one of Nikki's favorite Desmond shots. But then I thought, of course, any Desmond shot is a favorite, right? ;)

Sagacious Penguin said...

Does it bother anyone else that chances are we'll never know who exactly "The Economist" is? Thanks to 5.10 "He's Our You," we can assume he's one of Widmore's employees, which might be enough info in the end, but then why title the whole episode after him? It really led to an aura of false importance. I wonder if the Russian Sayid kill's in the first flash of 5.10 could be the Economist. After all, Ben said they were done killing folks...

But you've got to wonder if these really are Widmore employees in the first place. I mean if Widmore killed Nadia in a Jacob-prevented attempt to kill Sayid... why didn't he try again? He certainly knew where all the O6 were when Locke came calling. Was he really a threat to them? He seemed like he wanted them to go back to the island as much as Ben... So why were would there be a bunch of folks in his organization trying to harm he O6? And why would Ben need them taken out? THIS part of it at least had better get answered ;)

Jazzygirl said...

OMG I've been so behind for the past couple of weeks. Just caught up to this one today. *sigh* And I have the same questions as you all do. I think at this point we need to accept that the smaller questions won't be answered and be willing to trade them for the bigger ones. I can live with the fact that Sayid is killing Widmore's people, like the economist. Hopefully I can get totally caught up this weekend since the next few are some of my favs!
I have to say that this re-watch really has made the time go by fast and as we plow into S4 I am realizing just how close we are to S6! :)

RosieP said...

Ben did not turn Sayid into a monster. Sayid has displayed this potential years before he even met Ben. And I can say the same for many other characters.

Marebabe said...

@tiasabita and JW: In my most recent rewatch, I noticed all over again how treks are usually scheduled to leave “in 10 minutes”. My theory is that this is code for “If you hafta go, go now.”