You will find me in the next life, if not in this one
I was certainly looking forward to Sayid’s flashback plot and knew it was going to reveal a lot about him. We know that he was a torturer back in Iraq yet we only get to see him interrogate prisoners this time. Ah well, it’s not like we don’t know how good a torturer he is. He seems a pro at the job as we watch him question a prisoner under the eye of his superior. Outside, they talk in a way that suggests that Sayid is trusted by Omar, his commanding officer and he knows what Sayid is capable of. He’s like a pet bull terrier. During this scene, we see a woman walk past in the arms of two soldiers which catches Sayid’s eye. The same woman in the photos Sayid acquired from Claire back in Walkabout of course. We next see the same photo during the next scene just before Sayid enters the room she is in to probably interrogate her. He doesn’t yet know exactly who she is which considering the length of the glance he gave her earlier, he must have only have recognised her as a familiar face. He doesn’t seem surprised when he learns of her identity, Nadia of course. Childhood friends they were and both have taken opposite paths in life. Nadia turning into a traitor against her country. Yet Sayid treats her like any other prisoner, telling her he will have to hurt her if she doesn’t cooperate. Next we learn of an interesting development. Not only are they childhood friends but more than friends at the present time. The last scene suggested that emotions may be flying between them and now we see Sayid feeding Nadia meaning he doesn’t want her to be in jail and be killed. Another contrasting relationship just like Jack and Kate. A soldier and a traitor, a doctor and a criminal. Sayid learns next of Nadia’s fate that she will be killed. Sayid starts to lose control over himself, revealing his emotions and nearly letting his commanding officer think something is up. Losing his professional stance shows Sayid in a new light. He can’t let Nadia be killed but he has to follow orders. He can hatch a good plan in seconds though. He gives in to his emotions and decides to set Nadia free. By shooting his commanding officer and them himself! He must be desperate to save her although he may think she will be simply caught and killed anyway. He thinks she is dead while on the Island so why mess about trying to save her and risking his own life. This is as far as we get and we should assume that his plan works and it is said that Nadia shot Omar and then Sayid. That’s a bad past he’s got there and he knows it.
Something interesting I noted during the episode, unrelated to Sayid, is our first look at Ethan. Not that we should be suspicious of him just yet, but I was thinking that Locke thinks he ‘knows the Island’ but he sure as hell doesn’t know about who lives on the Island. Since he’s always talking about the Island being special etc. it’s funny to see him live around someone who was already on the Island and he not have a clue who they are. Anyway, my personal highlight of the episode was definitely Hurley’s golf course. Yes really! And he’s right, surviving isn’t going to cut it. Surviving in itself is boring and there needs to be some kind of stress relief and Hurley’s found it, much to Jack’s surprise. He tries to keep everyone healthy and safe but they’re still panicking and all Hurley does is build a golf course and everyone’s happy as can be. Of course, Kate comes running to the course to watch and bet against Jack to tease him. Even Sawyer comes over and joins in. After everything that he’s done I’m surprised he thinks a game of golf could help him fit right back in again.
Now for the first major twist in Season 1 which I think deserved much more focus on by sacrificing some of the flashback plot. It’s not like it had much to do with the on-island events either. Anyway Sayid follows the cable into the jungle which was a foolish move if you ask me. However tempting it may be, wandering into the jungle to follow something which you don’t know where it leads to, considering the events that happened in the jungle so far, seems suicide. But what else could Sayid do? Sit on the beach and “map the Island” as he calls it. It would be interesting to know how far Sayid has travelled in the two days he has been gone. Anyway as he follows the cable into the jungle, a mystery we do not find out until Season 3, not even Sayid is experienced enough for the traps dotting the jungle. He did well to spot the tripwire. But the person who set this trap isn’t taking risks. Why not add a pressure pad to make sure not even the sneakiest of people get by. It works! In the night, Sayid’s visit from an unknown figure definitely sets the alarm bells ringing. Who, who, who?! Say hello to the first non-survivor we meet. As Sayid comes around, strapped to a board of some kind, we hear a voice. Now for a bit of trivia for you. If you listen carefully, and I mean really carefully, you will hear five different languages being spoken. If you’re currently thinking “What the hell!” then I’ll give you the transcript that we hear:
(English) “Where is Alex?”
(German) “Wo ist Alex?”
(Spanish) “¿Dónde está Alex?”
(Italian) “Dov’è Alex?”
(French) “Où est Alex?”
That’s right. I always wondered why I thought she said something different every time. Next, Sayid gets to feel the pain that he caused so many others in the past. The woman electrocutes him, the volts surging through his body almost as fast as the adrenaline. Grabbing a second to explain, Sayid tells the woman that he is a survivor of Oceanic flight 815 and he heard a transmission by a French woman etc. But she continues to interrogate him as well as electrocute him more. A contrast to the flashback plot. At last she gives in and shows her face as well as her nationality. She mentions the transmission saying “16 years…has it really been that long”, revealing that it is her that made it, before knocking Sayid out. Now that was a pleasant surprise if ever there was one. What could make you want to watch more and more than finding out that the French woman who made the distress call is alive. As Rousseau finds out more and more about Sayid, she begins to believe that he is not who she thinks he is -“One of them” as she calls him. Now Rousseau opens up to Sayid and we find out how she got to the Island. Here’s the transcript:
DANIELLE: We were part of a science team.
SAYID: A science team armed with rifles? Was Robert on the team?
SAYID: And Alex, was he, too?
DANIELLE: Our vessel was 3 days out of Tahiti when our instruments malfunctioned. It was night, a storm, the sounds. The ship slammed into rocks, ran aground, the hull breached beyond repair. So, we made camp, dug out this temporary shelter. Temporary. Nearly 2 months we survived here, 2 months before…
SAYID: Your distress signal? The message I heard, you said, “It killed them all.”
DANIELLE: We were coming back from the Black Rock. It was them. They were the carriers.
SAYID: Who were the carriers?
DANIELLE: The others.
SAYID: What others? What is the Black Rock? Have you seen other people on this island?
DANIELLE: No, but I hear them. Out there, in the jungle. They whisper. You think I’m insane.
SAYID: I think you’ve been alone for too long.
Now we hear of the Others for the first time. Not that we make anything of them as Danielle tells Sayid she has only heard them, not seen them. Yet as unbelievable it is at this stage, Rousseau is right, there are others on the Island. Sayid reels off the questions we have all asked ourselves many times so I won’t repeat them, but they are still very intriguing questions. At first mention, the Black Rock could be anything. A place sounds like the most sensible suggestion at the time. She has obviously been to the Black Rock before but she fails to mention what it is. Then again she fails to mention a lot to Sayid by ignoring his questions. The mention of others, supposedly meaning other people, sparks an endless stream of questions until Rousseau mentions that she hasn’t actually seen them. Also, what does she mean by carriers? Later on she mentions that several of the team were sick, maybe she means carriers of a disease…? Then again, she doesn’t seem to be talking much sense so making anything of it at this point is pointless. Moving on, as they hear a growling from above, Danielle leaves Sayid in her ‘den’ to check out the noise and Sayid manages to release himself and follow, not before collecting a bunch of papers and a map of what seems to be the Island. However, he forgets to grab the photo of Nadia. He grabs the remaining rifle and follows Danielle. When catching up with her, he decides to make a move to escape by holding her at gunpoint. After a confrontation, Danielle agrees to let him leave and go back to “his people”. Finally, we found out who Alex is. Her child. A disappointing answer to the burning question. I suppose we are meant to think that her child disappeared. As Sayid makes his way back to the camp we are met by an attempt to make Danielle seem less crazy. Believe or not, Sayid hears whispers surrounding him along with the brief sound of the monster. As for the whispers, like usual they are unrepeatable so I’ve also included the transcript for that as well. Maybe Danielle is telling the truth. Maybe she has more to tell.
Male Voice: “Just let him get out of here”
Male Voice: “He’s seen too much already”
Male Voice: “What if he tells?”
Female Voice: “Could just speak to him”
Male Voice: “No”