The Lost Blog

Key Points from "Solitary"

Season 1, Episode 9
Episode Air Date: 11/17/04

Point 1
Sayid We had a lot of Sayid developments this week. The major points came in two segments: the now-obligatory tragic backstory and the far-more-interesting present day.

We'll begin with the present-day material ...

Sayid's map expedition/pity tour leads him into the clutches of a mysterious island stranger. The stranger finds Sayid unconscious (he gets caught in a hunting trap) and takes him back to her secret jungle lair. Yes, the stranger is a woman.

Sayid wakes up and discovers he's been strapped to a makeshift bed that sits within a disheveled hut. His captor scurries about in the darkness and responds to Sayid's introductory questions with shock treatment (on Sayid, not on herself). Oddly, the shock treatment only acts as a momentary conversation deterrent. Shortly thereafter, Sayid and his captor begin trading intimate personal information (yeah, it's weird). Here's what we learn about the Mysterious Stranger:

  • The captor's full name is Danielle Rousseau (philosopher allusion!)
  • Danielle is the woman who sent the 16-year-old French distress signal.
  • 16 years ago she was part of a science expedition. The expedition's boat ran afoul of instrument malfunctions and a nasty storm, which conspired to crash the vessel into our mysterious tropical island.
  • She has access to at least two forms of power: car batteries (used to shock Sayid) and a larger power line (which Sayid discovered early in the episode). How she acquired these power supplies remains unknown.
  • She also has a supply of sedatives, old needles and hunting rifles.
  • She hears "whispers" in the jungle. She gets a real crazy look when she talks about them, too. Sayid hears the same whispers at the end of the episode, but his facial response contains more fear than craziness. That's why we like him.
  • It appears Danielle has had absolutely no human contact for 16 years. Because of this, she's desperate to keep Sayid around, even if it means pointing rifles at his chest and shocking him with car batteries. Sayid isn't too keen on this development.

  • In a roundabout way Danielle tells Sayid that the island may hold some sort of pathogen. She claims that her fellow shipwreck survivors were all infected.

  • For the second time in the series, there's an off-hand reference to the "black rock." Danielle mentioned the rock in her original distress signal and she brings it up again during one of this episode's "crazy spells." Sayid pushes her to elaborate on this black rock business, but when Danielle has that nutty look in her eyes, there's just no getting through to her. Ultimately, we learn nothing about the black rock, but now that it's popped up twice it does raise a few questions: Is this black rock linked to the pathogen? Where the hell is this thing? What will Locke do when he finds it (you know he's going to be the one to find it)?
  • Unsubstantiated Side Theory: If we apply the Manifestation of Fear hypothesis that's been floating about, there's a very good chance that Danielle's pathogen originated in her very own head. This little factoid makes the next revelation all the more interesting ...
  • ... because Danielle pulled a Kevorkian and offed her companions. The deceased included her husband, Robert. The dead may have also included her son, Alex, but Danielle never admits to killing him and she appears to think he's still bounding around the island. If a mysterious teenager suddenly appears in future episode, we'll know for sure.
  • Danielle eventually lets Sayid wander off. But before departing, she implores Sayid to watch his companions closely. She doesn't explain why, but it likely has something to do with that pathogen nonsense.
  • One last Danielle bit. When Sayid first sees Danielle's face, he seems to recognize her. This isn't pursued at all in the rest of the episode, but it could be that Danielle is the one who clocked Sayid with the shovel and maybe, just maybe, he caught a glimpse of her before the hammer fell. Yeah, it's a stretch.
Okay, so that's the present day stuff. During all of this island turmoil, Sayid also takes time to flash back to his days in Iraq's Republican Guard. These flashback sequences rank as the least revelatory of all the ones we've seen thus far. Nonetheless, here are the high points:
  • Sayid's torturing skills and his dedication to authority had put him on the military fast track.
  • But then he meets a girl. Well, he re-meets a girl. Her name is Nadia and she's been hauled into an Iraqi prison as a suspect in a bombing. Under normal circumstances Sayid would cram a few bamboo reeds under her finger nails and be done with it, but the woman knows Sayid from childhood. This complicates matters because both remember that they used to dig each other in a pre-pubescent kinda way.
  • During a month of captivity, Sayid develops a relationship with Nadia. He does his best to pump her for information (no really, that's what he does -- I wasn't going for a coy sex reference there), but she refuses to rat out her anti-establishment colleagues.
  • Sayid's superiors grow tired of Nadia's reticence, so they order her execution. And wouldn't you know it, Sayid is the lucky guy who gets to finish the job. Cue tragic music ...
  • But as we all know, Sayid is a wiley sort and executing Nadia doesn't jive with his agenda. He throws together an escape plan, but just as it's about to come together, Sayid's superior officer stumbles in. Sayid -- ever the quick thinker -- shoots the officer in the chest and then shoots himself in the leg. He forces Nadia to take his gun so he'll have an alibi ("Saddam, it went like this: That crazy chick stole my gun, then shot my commanding officer and then she had the unmitigated gall to shoot me in the leg. Seriously. That's exactly how it happened. Don't bother checking.")

  • Nadia escapes.

  • Seven years later, Sayid still carries a picture of Nadia and wonders if she survived. The picture appears to be his prized possession, but back in the present day he accidentally leaves it in Danielle's hut. Whoops.
So that's that on the Sayid front.
Point 2
Sawyer Recovery time on this island is stunning. Last week, Charlie showed absolutely no ill effects from his painful detox. Now, this week, Sawyer rebounds from torture in record time.

And the recovery doesn't end with physical wounds. Psychological scars are disappearing as well. Consider this: in last week's episode, Sayid and Jack bound Sawyer to a tree, hit him, smacked him, stuck reeds under his fingernails, threatened to pluck his eyeballs from their sockets, and then finished it all off by burying a sharp knife in one of Sawyer's arteries. In the real world, this is considered grounds for a grudge. But not here. This week, the episode opens with snarky banter between Sawyer and Jack -- and this banter occurs while Jack tends to Sawyer's fast-healing knife wound. If there's animosity between these two, it doesn't run deep.

But there's more. Remember how Sawyer alienated the entire group by withholding Shannon's asthma medicine? Granted, he never actually had the medicine, but he still acted like a righteous asshole who deserved mass hatred. Well, in this episode Sawyer manages to regain the group's good graces by proposing a fun little side wager during a golf tournament (see below for more on the golf development). The group stages a moment of faux disdain, then quickly welcomes Sawyer back into the tribe. "That asthma thing? Water under the bridge! Welcome back you sneaky son of a bitch!"

Point 3
Hurley Hurley determines that everyone in camp needs to just chill the hell out. To further the chilling, he organizes the First Annual Mysterious Island Golf Open. This is facilitated by his discovery of a set of golf clubs -- it's like it was meant to happen.

The golf stuff sounds silly, but it actually provides some much-needed forward progress. The weekly flashback sequences have detracted from the present-day interaction between characters. With the golf sequence, the castaways are finally forced to deal with each other.

And so Hurley, Jack, Michael and Charlie break away from the island's tedium to smack balls around the island's lush hills. Eventually, additional castaways crowd the gallery and the show successfully stages its first Happy Communal Moment. Even better, this moment includes no musical montages.

Point 4
Locke

Walt
Wicked things seem to be afoot between Locke and Walt. In the first couple episodes we witnessed the beginning of an uncomfortable relationship between these two (Locke's backgammon sermon was the high point) and in this episode the creepiness returns in two key moments:
  1. Early in the episode, Walt sneaks away from his sleeping father to ask Locke if he can join him on a nocturnal boar hunt. Before Locke can respond, Michael bolts awake and tells Walt to get back to bed. Walt's hunting expedition is thwarted.
  2. At the end of the episode, Michael is too caught up in making par to notice that Walt wanders away from the golf course. Walt's wandering takes him to an open field where Locke is honing his knife-throwing skills. Walt asks Locke to teach him his nifty knife tricks. Locke is at first apprehensive, but he then silently presents a knife to Walt. The tutelage begins.
Point 5
Island Random Castaway Sighting 1: Jack has some brief interaction with a castaway named Sullivan. The guy doesn't serve much purpose beyond sporting a nasty rash, which Jack believes is caused by stress. This rash stuff will probably be forgotten by next episode, but here's something to chew on: What if rashes are an early symptom from Danielle's pathogen? It would be very easy to introduce an island plague through an unimportant -- yet recognizable -- side character. Hmm.

Random Castaway Sighting 2: "Ethan" joins Locke on a midnight hunting expedition. He shows an uncanny ability to discover rodent tracks. Beyond that, he's useless.

That's it for now. Be sure to drop by our "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.

Next Episode:
"Raised by Another" -- Nightmares cause Claire's pregnancy to take an unfortunate turn. Airs: Wednesday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m., ABC.


Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.


Why does the cable of exposed wires?

#1. Posted by: michael at May 30, 2007 9:38 AM

##### Spoilers - Don't read this unless you are up-to-date with LOST ####

I wonder how Rousseau knew her daughter's name was Alex, or what I mean is...why would they take her and let the baby keep the same name?? Wouldn't Ben have changed the name, or possibly never have known the baby's name?? Just something to think of since the paternity of the baby has always been in question.

#2. Posted by: meg...aka...Cindy's scarf at April 1, 2008 12:48 PM