First off, what a rascally move by the producers. The first five episodes paralleled the lineup from season 1 exactly, leaving us to all assume this would be a Sun-centric episode, and then with it being named 'Sundown, I was all but certain.
But alas, it was Mr. Jarrah who was featured in both the flash-sideways story and primarily on the island. In fact, Sun and Jin we're only seen for about 5 seconds each.
I'll break this recap into 3 parts: the Sideways, the Island, and Extra Random Info.
Flash Sideways: Sayid
It starts the way we thought Sayid's no-crash story would be. He's got flowers. He's at someone's house. It's Nadia. It's true love at last! .... No, wait ... Nadia is married to Sayid's brother. Ughh come on!
Remember, that's Sayid's same brother from the S5 episode "He's Our You." The brother who was too big of a weenie to kill a chicken, and now he's married to the love of Sayid's life. And poor Sayid seems to be genuinely still in love with her. He's even carrying her picture around with him, which seems to make his brother uncomfortable, but makes Nadia swoon.
The basic premise of Sayid's flash sideways is this: his brother owes money to a bad guy (who we find out is S4 villian Martin Keamy) and Sayid doesn't want to get involved, but has no choice when the bad guys hospitalize Sayid's weenie of a brother. So Sayid goes to see the bad guys, shoots and kills them all in cold blood, and then finds Jin in a freezer.
Jin says in Korean: "Don't Kill me. Please let me live." Sayid says "Who are you?" and Jin says "No English." The only real question from Sayid's utterly worthless flash-sideways is: why is Jin in Keamy's freezer? And even that isn't a big exciting mystery. Sayid's flash-sideways was 100% useless, as was Jack's, and Locke's, and Kate's. Next week looks like Ben's episode, and if it's a worthless Flash Sideways explaining how he became a high school teacher in LA, I wont be thrilled. And then of course we'll have the token appearance with 15 minutes left in the episode. Who will it be? ... maybe Widmore. Or Eyepatch. Or whoever. Unless it's pertanent to the actual Island timeline, I won't be worried about it.
On the Island
There was some real kick-ass stuff going on - finally! - on the island. It began with a long and pretty awesome fight between Sayid and Dogen, which was sparked by Dogen admitting that it would be better if Sayid were dead. I would take offense to that statement too. Dogen somehow wins the fight against Mr. Invincible, but instead of killing him he stares at a baseball and gets distracted. Weird.
Sayid is banished, but before he can leave Flocke sends Claire into the temple with a message for Dogen: "He" wants to see you. Dogen is nobody's fool, so he unbanishes Sayid and employs him to kill Flocke with a dagger. I swear, Dogen is the stupidest guy in the world ... how did he become the leader of the Temple folks with ideas like that? I could have told him that didn't have a chance of working.
Sayid is eager to prove that he is a good person (the battle that's been raging inside of him since he was a boy) so he takes on the task. Meanwhile, Claire is SUPER creepy and is placed in a pit, probably to keep her inept acting skills from being seen by too many people. Kate, who adamantly was NOT headed back to the temple last week, heads back to the temple. She runs into dumb luck by finding Claire there, but like a moron, she can't pick up on the clues that Claire is clearly off her rocker, so Kate basically says "Please kill me, I'm an idiot." It's like the writers know at this point 99% of LOST watchers hate Kate, and want to see her die, so they keep giving us these close calls to get our hopes up. Sadly, it's not going to happen. She'll be with Jack when the series finale comes along, of this much I'm sure.
Sayid finds Flocke, but stabs him in the chest a second too late. Dogen tells Sayid he must stab him before Flocke (who Dogen describes as 'evil incarnate') can open his mouth. Mission not accomplished. Flocke calmly removes the dagger from his chest, and seems almost amused. He then goes on to manipulate Sayid pantsless with Satan-like temptations and questions.
Here's a thought: you know how Dogen talked about the 'darkness' inside of Sayid, and how it couldn't reach his heart or he would be 'claimed' forever? Maybe the darkness (aka Flocke-ness) reached his heart when Flocke spoke to him? Kind of a wobbly theory, but it's better than no connection at all. I'd rather close off two minor questions with this connection than leave little dumb questions looming. The facts are, like it or not, now Sayid is now straight-up evil, and he is Flocke's loyal minion.
(As Aaron Vanderzon said: Sayid and I are no longer friends.)
So Flocke sends Sayid back to the temple with a message: Jacob is dead, and y'all are screwed. They freak out (which I don't understand, because they already knew Jacob was dead) and scatter around while Lenin (who I always want to call Doonesbury) tries to calm them down. But then the cool part happens.
Sayid goes to see Dogen and ask him why he sent him to kill an un-killable guy. Dogen brushes off the question and nostalgically stares at his baseball. He then begins to ramble about his drunk-driving accident which killed his 12 year old baseball-playing son, and Sayid is nice enough to listen to the whole story before he attacks him from behind and drowns him in the dirty pool. Lenin runs up, panicking, and shouts at Sayid "You idiot, Dogen was the only one keeping 'him' out." Sayid promptly slits his throat and says "I know."
Couple thoughts and questions about this. Why was Dogen's life keeping the FlockeMonster out of the temple? Because he was the leader? Because of some sort of Jacob-rules-truce? And is Sayid acting out of free will here, doing what Flocke told him so that he may see Nadia again some day? Or is his concept of free will gone and he is now basically an obedient robot killing-machine? It seems like the later, but I'd hate to see Sayid reduced to that. This episode really made me hate the Monster/Flocke for the first time, which I guess is a good thing since he's the main antagonist.
Moments after Sayid slaughters the two Temple leaders, the Black Smoke Monster invades the Temple and mercilessly kills all Others in his path. The only ones who survive are Kate (of course) and Miles and the Others who heeded Sayid's warning and joined the dark side.
It was cool to see Ilana bust into the scene with Ben and Sun and increasingly-annoying Frank. That chick knows what's going on and saved Miles life in a big way.
Best part of the episode: Ben running back to the pool room where Sayid is sitting, saying there is still time to escape. A sinister Sayid replies "Not for me" and smiles a creeeeepy smile, which causes Ben to pee himself and walk out of the room. I love Michael Emerson.
After Smokie has crushed everyone in his path, he turns back into Locke and struts confidently out of the Temple, flanked by his recruits of evil, Sayid and Claire. Kate is joining the crew too for some stupid reason. Why desn't Flocke just kill her?
Meanwhile Ilana led Frank, Sun, Ben and Miles through the secret exit and is now headed (I presume) to meet up with Jack and Hurley at the lighthouse. Sawyer and Jin are not seen in this episode, but likely hanging out in the jungle waiting for Flocke to return. Thus delaying the Kwon reunion AGAIN. But we will see another stupid Kate-Sawyer reunion, for the 50th time.
I have no idea where the show's going to go from here. The temple is pretty much decimated. The Others are all crushed or have joined Flocke. Ilana seems to be the only hope for Team Jacob, and we don't know anything about her.
What's Flocke's next move? He keeps talking about getting off the island, but Richard and Dogen told us that he wants to "kill everything and everyone on the island." No question anymore that he's evil. Now my question is whether he is suppose to resemble Satan, or whether he actually is Satan.
Who is Jacob bringing to the island? Desmond? Aaron? Widmore? What's Richard doing now?
My prediction is that Mr. Eyeliner's days are numbered. The Rules say that Flocke can't kill him, but now that he has a small army - two of which are crazed killers - I'm guessing Flocke orders Richard's execution just as soon as he can find him.
Who's going to assume leadership of the good-guys crew? Ilana or Jack? That's going to be a power struggle for sure. Jack doesn't like the idea of following orders, even if he has NO idea what's going on and is talking to the lady who somehow knows EVERYTHING.
Next week's episode is called 'Dr. Linus,' so if it's not a Ben-centric episode I don't know anything anymore.
Not a lot of cool secrets in this episode. Pretty plot-driven for once.
The "Catch a Falling Star" song made another appearance, the third time in LOST. Except now it's been sung by psycho Claire.
Sayid tried to kill Flocke with the knife-to-the-chest method, the same way that Ben killed Jacob. It should have worked, because Ben was baptized in the pool of Jacob, just like Sayid was baptized in the pool of the Nemesis. (Thus the 'loophole.') Why didn't it work? Because Flocke spoke to Sayid first? No, because Jacob talked to Ben first. I really don't know. This is possibly a hole in the plot that won't really be explained.
There's a ton of juxtaposition between Sayid's two storylines. Being asked to kill people. Refusing. Doing it anyway. His inner battle between good and evil. Good story-telling technique.
That's pretty much all I got. Not a bad episode, but still not the Season Six epic we've been expecting.
PS - even though I am posting this at 3:55 pm - the timestamp says 10:50 AM. nice.