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Lost: Sayid Jarrah

January 6, 2009

(Indulge me. As we near the Season 5 premiere of Lost, I’m going to run through the current crop of main characters. There are spoilers.)

Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) is the Rambo of the Lost castaways. He’s a former Iraqi soldier who became a torturer and interrogator (under the guidance of the mysterious Calvin Inman, who may have been CIA, may have been Dharma, but was definitely Clancy Brown). After the first Gulf war, he ended up living in France under an assumed name, but was recognized by a former victim. He eventually ended up in Australia, working for the CIA to infiltrate a terror cell in return for finding his long-lost love, Nadia. Over the course of Lost‘s first four seasons, we saw Sayid taking on a secondary leadership role on the island, using his technical skills and military training to help the castaways.

Highlights:

  • Discovering the French woman’s hideout in Season 1 …
  • Falling in love with Shannon, who had famously reported him to Sydney airport security …
  • Losing Shannon to Anna Lucia’s bullet …
  • Killing that Other with his feet while his hands were tied behind his back at the end of Season 3 …
  • His super-jungle-fighter routine at the end of Season 4 …
  • His new role as Ben’s assassin (and his slick tuxedo look) …

Problems:

  • What’s with the little tank tops? Did he find an unlimited supply in a suitcase?
  • Why does every woman he falls for end up dying violently?
  • Why, if getting back to Nadia is his primary goal, does he get down with Shannon in the first place?
  • Why does his accent sound not even remotely Iraqi?
  • For that matter, why was Naveen Andrews even cast in this role? He is a fine actor, and plays the part well, but he is very, very clearly not an Arab.
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