Summary and Spoilers
If I had to choose a Lost cast member to ‘share a jail cell with’, my clear choice would be Sayid (Naveen Andrews). Almost every line he delivers in that quiet, powerful accent brings more to the script than is already there. And so I enjoyed this mostly Sayid-centric episode.
We learn more about Sayid’s past in this episode. As a child, he was willing to kill a dinner chicken at his father’s request, while his more sensitive brother was not. This earned praise from his father. Was this what led him to a life as a torturer? When he was on the island, he tortured Sawyer for information, then regretted it later. But when he left the island and his wife was killed, Ben pinned the blame on Widmore’s men, and Sayid trusted Ben – and became an assassin.
There’s no doubt that Sayid despises and distrusts Ben. Ironically, it is Ben as a boy who gravitates to Sayid in his cell, brings him sandwiches and a book to read, and, eventually, helps him escape. (This isn’t ironic for young Ben, who has no idea of the hardship he will cause for Sayid and his island-mates). Ben wants to leave Dharma and join the Hostiles, and he make Sayid promise to do that in exchange for freedom. Sayid seems to know that Ben will save him; he passes earlier on Sawyer’s offer to let him escape. Sayid is due to be executed, and at the time, his refusal to allow Sawyer to release him seems like a death wish. This is when he says that he now knows his purpose. Is it to die like Locke? Not exactly.
A flaming bus crashes into the barracks. The diversion (staged by young Ben, we would assume) allows him to sneak into the jail and free Sayid. As soon as they reach the jungle, they encounter Jin. Sayid knocks Jin out, then Ben receives his reward for allowing Sayid to escape: Sayid shoots and (we assume) kills him.
Speaking of Sawyer…James jumps back and forth between being concerned solely with maintaining his reputation in Dharma. Anything he is going to do to help Sayid will fit within those constraints. His plan is to have Sayid say he is a defector. This is a bad plan, and it’s lucky Sayid did not go along with it. It wouldn’t take long for this story to be exposed as a lie, especially if Richard were to return to the Dharma compound. Sawyer, to his credit, is ready to allow Sayid to escape when Dharma votes to execute Sayid. As mentioned before, Sayid turns down this offer (for reasons we learn later).
Jack, Kate, and Hurley have little to do in this episode. Kate has started working at the garage, despite having no knowledge of engines. Hurley is the one who tells Kate that Sawyer and Juliet are living together; Jack hid that fact.
Now that Sayid has killed young Ben, what will happen to the ailing Ben’s body in the present timeline? Will it cease to exist?
Will Ben’s death change the course of history? When he reached maturity, Ben orchestrated the mass murder of the Dharma people. What will happen to Dharma now? Will there still be a war with the Hostiles, and will the Hostiles win again in this timeline?
Sayid: I killed all those people for you, and now you’re just walking away?
Ben: You didn’t kill them me, Sayid. You’re the one that asked for their names. There’s no one else in Widmore’s organization that we need to go after.
Sawyer: Hit me in the face.
Sawyer: Go on, you owe me one anyway. So make it a good one. I want you to take these keys out of my pocket and let yourself out. Guard outside is Phil. He's a dimwit. So I reckon you can get his gun before he even realizes you're out. Just promise me you won't shoot him.
Ben: Sayid: And that’s why you’re here. You actually came all this way to suggest I kill this man [who is parked outside Hugo’s mental institution].
Ben: You don’t want to?
Sayid: What makes you think I want to?
Ben: Because, Sayid…to put it simply, you’re capable of things most other men aren’t. Every choice you’ve made in your life, whether it was to murder or to torture – it hasn’t really been a choice at all, has it? It’s in your nature; it’s what you are! You’re a killer, Sayid!
Sayid: I’m not what you think I am. I don’t like killing.
Ben: Well, then, I apologize. I was mistaken about you.
Juliet: It's over isn't it?
Sawyer: What's over?
Juliet: This. Us. Playing House. All of it.
Sayid: Where to now?
Ben: Nowhere. You're done.
Sayid: What do you mean, I'm done?
Ben: We're done. Andropov was the last one. You've taken care of everyone who posed a threat to your friends. It's been a pleasure working with you, Sayid.
Sawyer: How are you doing?
Sayid: A 12-year old Ben Linus brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I'm doing?
"Four years ago I ran away into the jungle and Richard found me. I said I wanted to leave, that I wanted to join you. So I've been patient. And if you're patient too, I think I can help you."
- Young Ben (to Sayid)
Sayid: Are you a professional?
Ilana: A professional what? You think I'm a prostitute. I'm not a professional anything. I just thought you looked sad. I like sad men.
Sayid: I'm sorry to hear that.
Sawyer: You got yourself a choice, Chief. Either you cooperate and join the party in Dharmaville or you're on your own.
Sayid: Then I guess I'm on my own.
Roger: What I can't figure out is how the hell you got caught. You Hostiles are supposed to be the kings of the jungle. How dumb are you that you got captured by these idiots.
Sayid: And yet you're the one who mops up after them.
Horace: I just spoke to the prisoner. We have a problem.
Sawyer: Why, what did he say?
Horace: Nothing. Which is what worries me. We need to find out why he violated the truce. Why the hell he would come into our territory. I'm just going to have to have Oldham do his thing on him.
Sawyer: That psychopath? No way.
Sayid: [looking at Oldham] Who is that man?
Sawyer: He's our you.
Oldham: Why were you in handcuffs when we found you?
Sayid: Because...because I am a bad man.
Sayid: You were right about me.
Young Ben: What?
Sayid: I am a killer.