Monday, April 06, 2009

LOST: Sayid

The drawings in this post are from the most recent Sayid-centric episode, "He's Our You".

Sayid sure is a dashing fellow. Not to continue to dwell on the good looks of certain male cast members, but I think of Naveen Andrews as one of Saddam's enforcers in the same way I think of Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist: It's nice to imagine that people in that line of work could be so photogenic, but I kind of doubt it.

Sayid is in many ways more evolved than many of his fellow survivors. Unlike Kate, Jack, Locke and Sawyer, Sayid is perfectly capable of getting out of bed in the morning and putting on his socks without suffering a crisis of identity. Unfortunately this leads him to get sidelined a bit by the writers because he offers less dramatic potential. He's generally a can-do, helpful fellow to have around. He doesn't add complication to the plot by making ten baffling, self-sabotaging decisions before breakfast.

Sayid's identity problem revolves around one thing: the fact that this sensitive, cultured, and compassionate person happens to be a brutal thug by trade. He's understandably uncomfortable with the fact that he used to torture and kill people for a living. It's not a deeply-held neurosis, it's more like a sizeable black mark on his employment history. Or so it seemed. This episode's function, character-wise, was to show that Sayid has struggled all his life with the question of whether he's a lover or a killer.

Appropriate to this season when many of the characters are learning giant, soul-searing things about themselves, this episode gets to the heart of the question he is asking about himself: Is he a brutal thug by circumstance or by nature. Ben maintains that killing is Sayid's nature, however much he pretends to shun it. This could be Ben saying whatever's convenient to get Sayid to do what he wants. But I think that the Others are very much concerned with the acknowledgement and integration of the shadow parts of the personality.

In terms of acting, I was struck by the "war face" that Sayid wears when he's carrying out an execution. His eyes get several degrees colder as he does what he's best at, and he seems to show no remorse. I tried to capture that chilling look in these last two sketches, but I seem to have failed because everybody who looks at it thinks it looks like he's Jesus, or he's stoned, or both.

Next up: Kate. Mahalo at ya boy!


Caroljenks said...

WOW! Your work is fantastic!!!
I love 'Lost' and came across your blog after spotting a drawing of Lock when Goggling! I could spend hours here!
Carol x (South Wales-UK)

Anonymous said...

What is really goofy about Sayid (which means "truth") is that he is obviously Indian, not Iraqi.