“For every man, there is a scale. On one side of the scale, there is good; on the other side, evil. This machine tells us how the scale is balanced. And yours…tipped the wrong way.”
“Sundown” wasn’t quite the companion piece to season 1’s “House of the Rising Sun” I’d surmised in my recap yesterday, but the mirror-image theme continues. Both Sayids, our infected 1.0 and our X (as I’m now calling the 2.0 storyline) versions, accept and embrace their dark sides.
(That’s assuming these are actually different Sayids, of course, which I doubt but don’t quite have the wherewithal to put the whole theory together yet.) Sayid 1.0 kills Dogen and allows Esau/Smokey/Evil Locke to penetrate the Temple walls and wreak havoc, while Sayid X kills in the name of freeing his brother from debt.
The two storylines differ, however, in terms of intentions. Sayid X kills in the name of helping his brother, while present-day Sayid commits cold-blooded murder in the name of helping a giant pillar of “evil incarnate” smoke. Mirror images, of a sort, but with both well aware of the darkness that lie within themselves. Sayid 1.0 joins the ranks of Esau’s “infected,” killing Dogen and breaking whatever seal of protection the ninja herbalist had on the Temple.
I’m not sure it’s in our best interests to keep talking about the mirror image themes and Sayid’s dastardly deeds while we have a whole mess of Smoke-tastic carnage to discuss. We’re still at the point we can debate whether Jacob is good and Esau is evil or vice versa, but it’d be pretty shocking at this point if our assumptions at this point are flipped and Esau’s the good guy in all this.
With relative ease, Esau was able to undo all the protection and precautions Jacob’s followers had taken, promising Sayid anything in the world he wanted if he joined him. Sounds a lot like selling one’s soul to the devil. Along with Dogen’s description of Esau as “an angry man” trapped for years on the Island and who “wants to destroy every living thing” on it, it’s hard to imagine ole’ Smokezilla as having everyone’s best interests at heart.
If we want to consider the counterpoint, however, we learn the story behind Dogen’s mystical (not quite) baseball. Back in the real world, Dogen was a businessman in Osaka, Japan who celebrated a promotion by getting smashed at a bar before going to pick up his son from baseball practice, as he did each Friday. That didn’t turn out so well for Dogen or his son.
Dogen was then visited by Jacob, who made him a deal: take a new “job” on the Island and save your son. There was a catch, however; Dogen would never see his son again. Sounds kind of like the deal Esau offered Sayid, doesn’t it? Jacob and Esau, two sides of the same coin. While Jacob’s deal didn’t involve murdering anyone (that we know of), perhaps it’s best I don’t continue to make the assumption Esau’s the bad guy in all this. I’m sure he’s just misunderstood, right?
Sarcasm aside, recall Jacob’s meeting with Sayid back in the real world. Jacob distracted Sayid just long enough to allow Nadia to be hit by a car. Not exactly an event I’d tally under the “light” side of things.