|Sayid begs for his life in Paris. From Wikia|
One of Lost's most important recurring themes is guilt and redemption. Sawyer, Kate, Eko, Ana-Lucia, Michael - they all had a big storyline surround their quest for forgiveness for the things they'd done. But in the show as a whole, there is none so thorough a quest as that of Sayid Jarrah - a man whose crimes under the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein make him a particularly sensitive figure in a show made during the US' post-911 paranoia. While his story has been addressed many times on the show already (and would be ruined a bit in the next few seasons,) it still has enough emotional mileage to make this centric episode absolutely brilliant. Combine that with a new DHARMA station and an amazing villain, and you have Lost at its absolute finest.
Following a bearing that he found on Eko's Prayer Stick, Locke leads Kate, Sayid and Rousseau in what he hopes is the direction of The Others' base. Sayid discovered a building in their path occupied by the same one-eyed man he and Locke saw in The Cost of Living, and together they incapacitate. The man is Mikail Bakunin, who claims to be the last member of the Dharma Initiative, left after The Others killed them all in a great Purge. Sayid soon realises that Mikail is an Other - and a dangerous one, at that. He finds a map which will lead them to the Baracks, The Others' base - meanwhile, Locke plays a chess game and inadvertantly sets off a timed explosion, rendering The Flame and all of its communications equipment useless. In an amusing sideplot, Hurley bests Sawyer at Ping-pong and prevents him from using any of his trademark nicknames for a week.
In Sayid's flashback, we saw him working under another name in Paris a few years after the end of the Gulf War. He is approached by another restaurant owner who offers him twice the salary, before eventually revealing that his wife was one of Sayid's victims. Sayid continually denies torturing the man's wife, until she comes to him alone and tells him a story of how she saved a cat from being attacked on the streets. Sayid admits everything, and the man's wife lets him go, telling him that she is not willing to sink to his level of cruelty. Even though I don't feel like the episode covered any new ground for Sayid's arc, I did like the way the storyline was handled and Naveen Andrews played the storyline with the appropriate raw emotion that it deserved.
|"In Soviet Russia..." Hehe. Like I'd actually make a Soviet|
Russia joke. Suckers.
Long story short, Enter 77 was a fantastic episode full of mythos, character development and a badass russian guy who is seriously channelling Rasputin. After my initial misgivings about the season's first arc and the transition into the season proper, I'm relieved to see that the season has gained its full momentum. Of course, most early-season Sayid episodes are great without having to try very hard, but it was the fact that this came after two episodes of varying quality that made the episode's conciseness hit with full force. It is a signal, perhaps, that this season is going to become more consistant.
NEXT WEEK: We reach Lost's half-way mark, with Par Avion.