Thursday, April 1, 2021

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season 2, episode 14, One of Them

On-island Events: Ana Lucia leads Sayid to Rousseau, who has returned to the survivors' camp looking for Sayid. She leads them deep into the jungle where a man has been caught in one of Rousseau's net traps. Sayid frees the man, who says he's Henry Gale from Minnesota but when the man tries to flee, Rousseau shoots him with an arrow, injuring him.  "He's one of them," she warns. 

Sayid brings Henry to the hatch, where Locke is sleeping. Henry explains he crash-landed onto the island on an air balloon and that his wife, who was with him, got sick and died. Jack arrives at the hatch and is angry that Sayid and Locke have allowed the man to suffer. While Jack tends to Henry's injury, Sayid suggests Locke change the combination to the weapons room in the hatch, suggesting Jack will not approve of Sayid's methods in obtaining information from Henry. When the men move Henry into the armory, Sayid locks Locke and Jack out.

Sayid questions Henry, who asks Sayid details about himself. Sayid replies only, "My name is Sayid Jarrah and I am a torturer." Henry reveals details about his air balloon, his wife, and his occupation, but Sayid is unsatisfied and becomes upset in remembering Shannon's death. While Sayid beats Henry inside the armory, Jack and Locke fight over pushing the button, which needs immediate attention. Jack prevents Locke from going to the computer and forces him to open the armory door, where he pulls Sayid away from Henry. Locke rushes to the computer and enters the numbers partially as the countdown clock reaches zero. Locke stands frozen as the clock's cells suddenly switch from zeroes to black and red hieroglyphics but enters the complete series quickly, sending the count back to 108. 

Flashbacks: While in the Republican Army in Iraq, Sayid and others are surprised by American troops as they shred and destroy documents. The American officer in command asks for Sayid's help in locating a  missing pilot. Sayid is then made to interrogate his own commanding officer, who refuses to cooperate and encourages Sayid to kill the American soldiers.

Later another American informs Sayid that Tariq, his commanding officer, was responsible for an attack using sarin gas on Sayid's old village where many women and children were killed. The man asks for Sayid's help in retrieving the American pilot, suggesting he can show him methods that will bring results. Sayid eventually tortures Tariq to get the information he seeks, but reveals that the man had been executed.

As Sayid is driven back to be released, the American commander looks at a picture of his daughter, which turns out to be a young Kate Austen. The man who ordered Sayid to interrogate implies that although he will remain in Iraq under Saddam, he may need these recently-acquired torturing skills again someday. Sayid emphatically states he will never torture again.

Greater Meaning: The connection between Sayid and soldier Austen is the second such connection between a member of Kate's family and one of the survivors on the island (the first being Diane Janssen who served Sawyer in a diner in The Long Con). What is going on with these connections, and will they affect Sayid and Sawyer down the road? 

We know that Sayid indeed uses his torturing skills for further war incidences as well as on the island, but bigger than the skills themselves seems to be Sayid's guilt over using them. He insisted he would never torture anyone again, but does. He offers his torturing skills when Sawyer appears to have hidden Shannon's inhaler (back in Confidence Man) but then has intense feelings of regret after having done so. Jack intervened before Sayid was able to seriously injure Henry; what would have happened had he not done that? Sayid has become an important member of the survivors since his early days, a respected leader, strategist, and man of action. Will his guilt over his role as a torturer doom him? 

Further Questions

1. What were those hieroglyphics on the clock countdown?

2. Will Sayid continue to torture people?

3. Was Rousseau setting Sayid up?

4. Is Henry who he claims to be? 

5. Is there a situation where Sayid's torturing skills will come in handy?