"Lost" Season Six, Episode Five: "Sundown" Review

3/03/2010 Posted by Admin

"Lost" Season Six, Episode Five: "Sundown" Review

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

We're a third of the way through the final season of "Lost" and with "Sundown," the writers have brought us both a startlingly powerful end to the first act of the season and a suspenseful look at what's to come. This is not only the best episode of the series focusing on Sayid--this is one of the best episodes of the series, period.

Spoilers herein.

Whereas the previous episodes this season have followed multiple plots, this one is truly focused on Sayid. The character has had some rough spurts throughout the series, but he's remained one of the most psychologically interesting of the bunch and he's one of the best characters around to convey the show's themes on morality. The former torturer has always struggled to be a good man, and recent events have certainly made the question seem a lot more urgent.

Last we saw Sayid he had been diagnosed by Dogen to be "infected." A darkness was growing in him and it wouldn't stop, so he would be better off dead. Here Sayid and Dogen finally come head to head, and after a brief toussle, the two come to an agreement--Dogen won't kill Sayid if he leaves the temple and never returns.

But things don't quite work out that way. Claire arrives with a message from the good old Locke-guised Man in Black. It's a simple proposition--now that Jacob is dead, everyone must leave the temple by sundown and join Flocke, or they can stay and be killed. Many take off immediately, but Dogen sees an opportunity and takes it. He gives Sayid his own proposition--go into the jungle, find Flocke, and kill him. He tells Sayid that if anything will prove that he's a good man, this will.

The flash-sideways this week are probably the best so far this season (except perhaps "LA X"). Sayid, returning from Sydney (on a business trip in this timeline), goes to see Nadia, who is here married to Sayid's brother Omar (who I don't recall seeing in the regular timeline, so this is something entirely new). Sayid is still very much in love with Nadia, just as he was before, but he's chosen to let her go so that he can forget the things he did as a torturer for the Iraqi Republican Guard.

Sayid finds himself pulled back into his more violent ways, however, when his brother tells him he's got some outstanding debts with some thugs and needs Sayid to take care of it for him. This leads to one of the more intense moments of the episode, where Sayid comes face-to-face with none other than season four's primary antagonist Martin Keamy, who in this timeline is less of a soldier and more of an outright mafioso.

Back in the regular timeline, we also get a brief moment between Claire and Kate, who has returned to the temple after being shunned by Sawyer in "What Kate Does." We previously saw Claire claim that she'd kill Kate if she had really taken Aaron off the island--Kate makes the mistake of admitting it. Claire's dialogue here is truly chilling, and Emilie De Ravin continues to impress with her twisted take on the character.

All of this leads to sundown and one of the most twisted and brilliant final 10 minutes to any episode of the show, where we're finally shown the true urgency to who's side each character is on, Flocke's or Jacob's, and multiple groups attempt to escape the temple as everyone's favorite smoke monster wreaks havoc on the ones who've stayed behind. It's a real triumph in direction, and I don't think I've seen a more outright cinematic sequence on Lost that wasn't in the pilot or one of the finales.

So, "Sundown" is a success both as a character-oriented and action-oriented episode of the show. Sayid has long been a conflicted character, and his role in the series is finally becoming clear. This wasn't only a fine episode for Sayid, however--Dogen, one of the better supporting characters in the past few seasons, gets his own chance to shine, and Hiroyuki Sanada gives a spectacular performance here, making Dogen much more than just another enigmatic mythology character and strengthening the idea that "Lost" is so much more than just a show about weird things happening. There's such a strong balance between action and character writing in this episode.

With this episode over, it's clear the Temple arc of the season is finished and a whole new storm is brewing. Basically, it seems to be coming down to this--which side will each character choose?

Grade: A

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  1. Edward29 said...

    That was a great episode.

    Sayid appears to have given up being good.
    He tried to be good, selfless, giving and lost the woman he loved. Now he made a selfish deal with the devil to back what he want.
    Sawyer wasn't with Flocke during all this. I wonder what he was doing the attack.
    Sun and Jin just missed each other during the chaos and appear to be on opposite sides of the war.
    Who will go A-Wall first Jin or Sun.