Poor Dogen. And I was just getting to really like him.
This week's episode of LOST, "Sundown", was a hoot. When it had finished, I felt like I had just watched The Empire Strikes Back
. Sayid's status on team Dark Side was firmly cemented and, with Dogen's death, Smokey crushed his enemies, saw them driven before him, and heard the lamentations of the Other's women. Life was good for him.
Before being drowned by Sayid, Dogen explained that inside everyone was a scale with a good side and an evil side. For our erstwhile torturer, the scale had tipped towards evil and there was no going back. Is it possible to adjust those internal scales? Dogen's plan of poison first, ask questions later seems to indicate that, if the pans can be loaded with white stone goodness at all, there are still some for whom it is impossible to balance that beam. But our Nipponese herbalist was constrained by a rule not unlike that which even Esau must obey as he was unable to dispatch Sayid himself and so fell prey to a technicality along with his annoying sidekick, Lennon. ("You can't kill Smokey with, you know, fractions, man. What are you going to stab him with – one-quarter, three-eighths?") At least we got to see him give Sayid a good ass-kicking before he joined the choir invisible.
And what was it about Dogen that his demise allowed Smokey to finally penetrate the friendly confines of the temple?
Whether Dogen's termination with extreme prejudice means his tenure on LOST is over or not remains to be seen. But this episode made Sayid the most tragic figure of the whole show. That kind, gentle wooer of Shannon is dead. Whatever good there may have been in him, he just couldn't quite get over the hump and redeem himself. He is fated to kill regardless of the timeline the writers place him in.
Speaking of which, the flash-sideways was oddly devoid of timeline creep, unless it was something that I missed. I don't recall Sayid flashing a look of recognition upon discovering Jin sitting there bound to a chair in the walk-in. And wasn't it good to see Kevin Durand back as Keamy? He does the ruthless slimebag as well as anyone.
But the best part of "Sundown" was the end. With the temple siege over, Flocke smiled over his new-found minions. Reading that copy of The Prince
that washed ashore back in the day paid off as the principle of better to be feared than loved seems to have come in handy. Despite the new minions and his two apprentices, Claire and Sayid, Flocke's facial expressions betrayed some ambivalence when he saw Kate amongst the unwashed masses. She might end up being the spanner in the works.