Good grief, of all the plot developments in this rock 'em-sock 'em "Lost" seg, the one most affecting to this viewer was the brief scene between Sawyer and Kate when he pours his heart out to her, in his own way, appropriately enough for a Valentine's night airing.
It comes down quickly a little more than halfway through "The Economist," written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and helmed by Jack Bender (the John Ford of "Lost" directors), when Sawyer traps Kate in Ben's old house in the Others' compound and points out to her that it has most of the trappings of civilization, like a roof and electricity. Sawyer confesses that he didn't chose Team Jack because he doesn't feel he's got anything to rush home to. And considering that she's on the run from at least one count of homicide, Sawyer presses Kate on why she's so eager to high-tail it back to the States. Kate's so mad about the situation, she can't process it all.
"How long do you think we could play house," she asks him, sitting on the edge of a bed. "Why don't we find out?" he replies, with his trademark sneer-grimace that indicates he's being as sincere as he can be. It's nice work from Evangeline Lilly and Josh Holloway.
Most chilling moment of this seg comes shortly before the Sawyer-Kate encounter when Hurley, having been found in tied up in a closet in the compound asks the arrogant interloper Miles point-blank if he and his team have come to kill the Oceanic 815 castaways.
"Not yet," Miles (pictured right) says with a creepy sidelong glance and without a pause. He doesn't come across as fearsome in this episode at all except for in this fleeting shot.
There's far too much plot movement in this seg to recount it all, so let's hit the highlights. The episode is built around a generous portion of Sayid -- a flash-forward with him looking very handsome as he runs around Berlin with a Bond girl-ish looking woman who of course turns out to be a spy (played by Thekla Reuten).
Sayid (pictured above) is now (and again) a hit man, and so is she. He seduces her, tries to find out information about "the economist" she claims to work for; she seduces him and wings him with a bullet, he shoots back to kill, and we find out he's been working for ... Ben?!? Oh, it's all very confusing, but it's good-confusing. Naveen Andrews was good when he started "Lost" and he's only gotten better. A touch of gray in his beard really suits Sayid in the flash-forward scenes.
Sayid opens the seg looking as if he's praying for Naomi, who's still laid out on the stretcher but darn if she doesn't look like she's gonna jump up and start yelling at any moment. He makes a deal with pilot Frank that if he fetches Charlotte from the clutches of Locke's group, Frank will make sure he's on the first helicopter flight off of the island.
There's a fair amount of Hurley in the seg too. He appears to break with Locke over the latter's decision to take the anthropologist Charlotte hostage. ("Not what I signed up for," Hurley tells Locke.) But something changes his mind and Hurley allows himself to become bound-and-gagged bait for Locke to lure Sayid, Kate and Miles into the Others compound that Locke's group presumably has taken over.
"Sorry dude," he tells Sayid as Locke corners the trio.
I'm growing fond of the wiry, jittery scientist Daniel Faraday (pictured at right flanked by anthropologist Charlotte, and Juliet) played by Jeremy Davies. His contribution this week is to conduct some kind of payload thrust experiment with "the ship" (whatever that may be) projecting a time clock device that freaks him out by as it appears to lose about six minutes from the time it is sent to the time it arrives. "It is far more than weird," Faraday says, still with the skinny tie hanging loosely around his neck.
Back at Ben's house, Sayid finds a secret room behind a bookcase before he's overtaken by Locke and Sawyer. In the room is a desk filled with money from around the world and passports. At least one belongs to Ben -- we can see by the picture. He's just finding this stuff when Kate calls for help. When Sayid comes face to face with Locke, he seems to know more than we do about the mysterious rescuers.
"Certainly they're not here to rescue us," he says, then adding "Give me Charlotte...or a war is coming that we'll both be powerless to stop."
After Sayid fishes the picture of Desmond (pictured right with Frank) and Penelope out of Naomi's pockets, Juliet treks down to the beach to bring Desmond back to the helicopter area to see if he can shed any light on the mystery of Naomi. Des is none too happy when he meets Dan and Frank, and he's even more upset when it seems by their actions that they know something about Penelope's involvement even as they deny any knowledge of her.
When Sayid makes it back with Charlotte in tow, he tells Jack that Kate decided to stay with Sawyer, and he doesn't bust Hurley for tricking them either. The second-to-last scene of Sayid lifting off in the helicopter is fantastic. You can see Sayid's unease at being back in the air (his last flight didn't work out too well) and his concern about not really knowing much about the motivations of his traveling companions.
I was so eager to see this episode I watched it like a civilian -- live, with commercials and everything. My pals at ABC Studios are telling me to pay strict attention to episodes 4 and 5 and to report back. No problem. Now that we're three episodes in, can't wait for the first sign of returnee thesp Harold Perrineu, aka Michael.