Sayid, Locke, and Kate find a new Dharma station that houses a mysterious man claiming to be the last living member of the Dharma Initiative.
|Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Stephen Williams
Sometime after the Gulf War, Sayid lived in Paris under the name Najeev, claiming to be Syrian. He was hired as a chef by a man named Sami, who recognized Sayid as a fellow Iraqi. Sayid agreed though initially suspicious, and his misgivings proved true: Sami had no interest in employing Sayid. He wanted revenge for his wife Amira, also an Iraqi national, who knew Sayid as her torturer many years ago. Though Sayid continually denied that he’d ever tortured or even met Amira, he was kept captive by the couple in the kitchen of their restaurant for days while they Sami him again and again to admit to his crime or die. When Amira made an emotional appeal to him, asking to be shown the respect that she deserves as someone who suffered so terribly at his hands, Sayid finally admitted that he remembered her, and he was her torturer after all. He begged her forgiveness, and she gave it, promising to have her husband release him because she didn’t want to be the kind of person that Sayid was — someone who hurt people.
Jin finds a ping-pong table out in the jungle while searching for food, and Hurley oversees a project to put it back together, assuming it’s the table from the Swan station, blown out into the jungle when the station imploded. Sawyer finds Paulo with a magazine that was his before he was taken by the Others, and again complains about everyone poaching his stash while he was gone. When he locates a ping-pong ball for them to use with the table, he proposes that the survivors’ best player plays him for his stash. Sun suggests that if Sawyer loses, he can no longer call anyone by any of his trademark nicknames for a week. To Sawyer’s surprise, Hurley is the survivors’ best candidate for the job, and he trounces Sawyer with ease. Later, Hurley gives Sawyer back some of his magazines anyway as a peace offering, and says that he knows Sawyer’s worried about Kate but she’ll be fine. Sawyer’s bad attitude remains intact, though he’s unable to pop off a new nickname for Hurley to vent his frustrations, because he lost the game.
Kate, Sayid, Locke, and Danielle head north on a bearing of 305, on Locke’s orders, looking for the home of the Others. Sayid doesn’t believe in Locke’s scripture-inspired heading, but he soon stumbles across a cow and follows it to a farmhouse with other animals and a familiar looking man with a patch over one eye — the same man he and several others saw watching them on a monitor in the Pearl station — who’s now wearing a Dharma jumpsuit. Sayid brings his team to the outskirts of the building, and they note a large satellite dish on top of the place, which Sayid says is big enough to send a signal thousands of miles away if it’s working. He asks Danielle if this is the radio tower she sent her distress call from, but she says no. Sayid hands over his rifle to Kate, suggesting that if he approaches the building unarmed that he won’t be seen as a threat. Danielle leaves to wait for everyone to finish their business here, explaining that she’s survived on the island for sixteen years by avoiding the Others.
When Sayid approaches the building with his hands up, the man with the eye patch shoots him in the shoulder, shouting that Sayid has violated “the truce” by crossing a line, and that he was given permission to stay on this land. Sayid identifies himself, and the man seems to believe him, but when he exits the building, Kate and Locke run forward with their own guns drawn and order him to stand down. While Locke volunteers to go inside the building first to make sure it’s safe, the man tells Kate and Sayid that his name is Mikhail Bakunin, “the last living member of the Dharma Initiative.”
Mikhail helps Kate carry Sayid inside, and he dresses Sayid’s wound. He tells them his story: that he was born in Kiev, joined the Soviet army, but decommissioned after the Cold War. He signed up with the Dharma Initiative and came to the island eleven years ago, after replying to a newspaper advertisement that read, “Would you like to save the world?” He describes Dharma as “very secretive, very rich, and very smart.” He was assigned to this Dharma station, which is called the Flame. He tells Sayid that the purpose of the Flame was to allow Dharma to communicate with the outside world. Sayid asks what happened to the Dharma Initiative, and Mikhail reveals that they initiated a war against the Others — whom he calls “the Hostiles” — and were subsequently all killed in a single attack called “the Purge.” Mikhail says he survived the Purge by not participating in the war, and was offered a truce by the Others. They told him to imagine a line extending around the valley in which the Flame resides, and that as long as he didn’t cross it, he’d be left alone. Kate asks why they weren’t interested in the station’s satellite dish, but Mikhail says it hasn’t worked for years. Sayid asks who the Others really are, and Mikhail says he doesn’t know, but he knows that they were on the island a very long time before the Dharma Initiative was.
In a back room of the Flame, Locke comes across a computer similar to the one that was in the Swan. Mikhail had just been using it, playing a game of computer chess, and Locke finds himself unable to resist the challenge of a good game.
Mikhail leaves to get everyone something to drink, and comes across Locke, telling him that he’s wasting his time trying to defeat the chess game. Mikhail had been trying to beat it for ten years. While he heads to the kitchen, Sayid quietly says to Kate that his lie detection skills are telling him that Mikhail is lying — he’s not a member of the Dharma Initiative. He’s one of the Others, and Sayid is certain, because of things he’s noticed about the station, that Mikhail is not living here alone.
When Mikhail returns, Sayid tries pumping him for more information, asking about the cable he found running into the ocean. Mikhail explains that there are many such cables, having been placed by the Dharma Initiative, and they send power all over the island. One of them extends into the ocean because there’s a beacon down there that sends underwater pings to guide in the submarine that was used by Dharma to bring recruits to the island. Sayid talks about his being routed on the sailboat by the same sub, and then brags to Mikhail about killing one of the Others during the scuffle. Mikhail ends the charade and attacks the both of them, but they overpower him and tie him up.
Sayid explains that whoever else is here at the Flame, they were likely sent by the Others because the communications array has failed thanks to the electromagnetic pulse sent out when the Swan station was destroyed. Sayid uncovers a door to a sublevel in the floor under a rug, and he and Kate climb down inside. They’re surprised to discover that the entire station is wired with C4. Further investigation turns up a large set of Dharma handbooks — one of which is conspicuously labeled “Dharma Initiative Food Drop Protocol” — and becomes interested in the Dharma Operations Manual.
Locke abandons his watch over Mikhail to continue his chess game, though he can still see Mikhail’s bound, unconscious form from the computer. He’s thrilled when he wins the chess game, but then shocked when the game’s screen is replaced by the recorded face of the Dharma Initiative’s Dr. Marvin Candle, who says that “manual override” has been achieved. His message says, “For palette drop, Enter 24. For station uplink, enter 32. For mainland communication, enter 38.” Locke immediately tries the “mainland communication” option, but Candle’s recording pops up again and informs him that the satellite dish is broken and all communications are down. He offers another option: “sonar access,” using code 56. Locke enters this code and is given the same message, that sonar is inoperable. The recording says that if there’s been an incursion upon the Flame station by the Hostiles, Locke should enter 77. He’s about to do so when Mikhail appears behind him with a knife, having escaped from his bindings, and orders him to stop what he’s doing.
When Kate discovers a stash of Dharma jumpsuits in the Flame’s sublevel, she’s attacked by the person they suspected was hiding down there, and it turns out to be Bea Klugh (the woman who made the Others’ deal that allowed Ben to escape and Michael and Walt to escape the island), whom Kate remembers from the Pala Ferry. She overpowers Kate but Sayid comes to the rescue. Sayid tries to question her, but she refuses to speak. When they take her up top, they find Locke being held at gunpoint by Mikhail, and he suggests a trade: Bea for Locke. Locke tells Sayid not to release Bea, believing that if Mikhail was going to kill him he already would have, but Sayid argues. While everyone is shouting Bea and Mikhail have a conversation in Russian, arguing over something, until Bea tells him in English to “just do it!” He follows her instructions, shooting her on the spot. The survivors retake control of the facility, during which Locke goes back to the computer room. Outside, Sayid questions Mikhail again, asking if anything Mikhail told him about the Dharma Initiative was true. Mikhail says that he himself was never a member of Dharma, but everything else he said was true. The war between Dharma and the Others that ended with the Purge really happened, he insists. Danielle rejoins them, and Sayid tells her they now have a means of finding the Others’ home. Mikhail swears that nothing Sayid could do to him would make him lead them to his people, but Sayid counters that he wasn’t speaking of Mikhail. He whips out a page from the Dharma Operations Manual that he found, a map with familiar locations on it like the Flame. Another prominent location on the map is something called the Barracks, which is comprised of houses and dormitories, and has running water and electricity. Sayid knows this is where the Others must be. Mikhail promises to kill Sayid at his first opportunity, and Danielle suggests that there’s no reason to keep Mikhail alive, but Sayid refuses. When Locke and Kate return from a supply run inside the Flame, Locke tells Mikhail he knows why Mikhail didn’t want him to beat the chess game — because it would activate the manual override and give him the ability to destroy the station. Just as he says this, the Flame promptly explodes behind them. Sayid is angry that Locke destroyed their one chance to communicate with the outside world, but orders that they leave at once, because the explosion will have attracted the attention of the Others.
- The Flame station, the hub of the Dharma Initiative’s communications with the outside world.
Question: What station did the survivors in the Pearl catch a glimpse of in the video monitor? [3.05]
- The man with the eye patch is Mikhail Bakunin, and he is one of the Others.
Question: Who was the man with the patch over one eye? [3.05]
- According to Mikhail, the submarine originally belonged to the Dharma Initiative, and was used to carry bring to the island.
Question: Where did the Others get a submarine? [3.04]
- The Others still use the Flame, a Dharma station that allows contact with the outside world.
Question: Tom mentioned to Ben that “coms have been down since the sky turned purple.” What kind of communications technology do the Others possess? [3.04]
- There is some kind of underwater “beacon” that’s connected to the Dharma power grid, but this beacon is not the source of the grid.
Question: What is the underwater source of power that the cable is connected to? [1.09]
- All of the Dharma stations receive electricity from the same power grid, which probably uses the island’s geothermal activity as its power source.
Question: Is this underwater power source also providing electricity to Danielle’s radio S.O.S. call? [1.09]
- Since we’ve never been given an explanation for this off-hand remark (and we probably never will at this point), I’m going to guess that it could have been a description of Hurley’s amazing ping-pong skills.
Question: Why is Hurley “known as something of a warrior back home”? [1.11]
- What happened during the Purge when the Others wiped out the Dharma Initiative?
- Why did the Others wipe out the Dharma Initiative? Mikhail said it was because Dharma instigated a war with the Others, but was he telling the truth?
“Enter 77″ is the fourth Sayid-centric episode of the series.
This episode is important for laying the groundwork for many things about the Dharma Initiative’s relationship with the Others that we would see play out much later, most notably the Truce, the Purge, and the fact that Dharma coined the term “the Hostiles.”
I love it when we get episodes where Sayid is The Man — aka, the guy who no one can outfox or outmaneuver. He was two steps ahead of everyone in this episode, and those moments rocked.