''Lost'': St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Petty Cash Drawer I'm betting that the scene you'll be talking about the most on the message boards — besides the Ben flash-forward reveal — is the nifty moment when Sayid discovered Ben's secret stash of passports, foreign currency, and suits. Clearly, Ben does a lot of traveling for work. (Remember, the Others do have that off-Island company, Mittelos Biosciences; presumably, Ben is the boss.) Long ago, I wondered if the Others had an airstrip on the Island, so I wouldn't be surprised to discover Ben has a corporate jet, too — plus a hangar full of old Oceanic airplane parts. You know, leftovers from the false evidence that the Others planted in the Sunda Trench. (Just a theory.) Now, if you're going to go all crazy on me and claim that the multiple passports and husky-voiced Flash-Forward Ben are evidence that there multiple Bens in the world thanks to alternate universe/wormhole theory, I'm in! (FYI: The name on the Ben passport Sayid examined looked to be Dean Moriarty — a character from Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Moriarty is also the name of Sherlock Holmes' nemesis. Just so you know.)

Deficit Spending Another scene I bet you'll be going nutty over was the one where Daniel Faraday did his rocket experiment, which concluded with his admittedly ''beyond weird'' discovery of an apparent 31-minute time differential between freighter reality and Island reality, where time seems to pass more slowly. What does this mean? I don't know — but I immediately went to barnesandnoble.com and purchased Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time so you guys can borrow it, read it, and then summarize it for me while I eat grapes and watch Big Brother. Seriously, I'm crunching theories, but it takes time for me to do quantum physics. It takes me mere seconds, however, to do some cheap biblical analysis! Did you see the numbers on Daniel's clocks? One said 3:16, while the other said 2:45. As it happens, Daniel 2:45 is the culmination of the story in which exiled Daniel earned an exalted place in King Nebuchadnezzar's court by interpreting a dream concerning the future of Babylon and how ''the fourth kingdom will be a divided kingdom.'' Hey — that sounds like the fourth season of Lost! Meanwhile, Daniel 3:16 is part of the famous story of how Daniel's friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown in the fiery furnace but were saved by God. How might that apply to Lost? Well, thematically, the story deals with three men who refused to abandon their spiritual beliefs and bow down before a false idol — a story that stands in stark contrast to Sayid's flash-forward arc.

The Sell-Out In the opening scenes of ''The Economist,'' we were given two quick, quiet moments that re-established two very important things about Sayid. First, we saw him praying. Sayid, if you recall, is a spiritual man, a Muslim. Second, we saw him tenderly shut dead Naomi's eyes and examine her bracelet, inscribed with ''N., I'll be with you always, R.C.'' Sayid, recall, is a romantic (see: Nadia; Shannon), and I bet that his desire that Naomi be sent home for a proper burial appealed to his religious convictions and sentimentality. Yet in his flash-forward future, Sayid ain't exactly living according to those ideals. In fact, like James Bond, his license-to-kill existence makes a mockery of the sanctity of life and love. Sayid remains sufficiently decent in the future that when it was finally time to move against the Economist, he came clean with Elsa, as he had genuinely fallen for her. But then she pulled a Casino Royale on him: It turned out she was an undercover lover, too, seducing him in hopes of smoking out Ben's identity. Elsa was Sayid's mirror twin, and to make sure we got it, Sayid smashed a mirror reflection of his Lady From Shanghai doppelgänger before popping some caps into her.

After Sayid stumbled into Ben's safe house/vet office for some first aid, his boss mocked him for his weakness. Then Ben dropped this intriguing tidbit: ''Need I remind you what happened the last time you thought with your heart instead of your gun.'' Sayid's response was even more mysterious: ''You used that girl to recruit me into killing for you.'' But Ben the master manipulator hit him where it hurts the most: the bottom line. ''Do you want to protect your friends or not?'' Sayid looked like a man over a barrel. What did he say about Ben earlier in the episode? ''The day I start trusting him is the day I sell my soul.''

Welcome to Hell, Sayid. Now get that game face on — there's work to be done.

That's what I got. How about you? Do you have a theory about the identity of the Economist? Who is the ''R.C.'' on Naomi's bracelet? (Regina the freighter chick?) Who are these names on Ben's assassination list? Scribble away!

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Originally posted Feb 15, 2008
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