Season 4 Episode 3

The Economist

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 14, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,335 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Locke's hostage may be the key to getting off the Island, so Sayid and Kate go in search of their fellow castaway in an attempt to negotiate a peaceful deal.

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  • Apparently, Sayid sold his soul.

    After finishing this episode, most of us Lost fans definitely did think "What an amazing episode". But the truth is that, if the last 3 minutes were cut, we would've thought: "What a bad episode".

    I'm not really a fan of rating episodes high just because they have a good ending but this is one of the few episodes where I feel I can do that.

    First of all, the island portion of this episode was rather weak. Not so much dull, but predictable and quite honestly, nothing exciting. Season 4's island portion has started very strong with TBOTE, then fell a bit with CD, and now continues falling with "The Economist".

    Sayid, Miles and Kate trekking to Locke's camp to get Charlotte wasn't too exciting to start with. And the idea of it wasn't too great either - at this point the last thing one would want to see is a trek on the island. The two scenes I enjoyed were Hurley acting as if he was betrayed by Locke(nicely played!) and Ben interacting with Sayid. Those were great, and really boosted the rating. But the rest?

    Dan's experiement which proved that there's a time anomaly on the island would've been brilliant if it wasn't for the really awkward writing. Jack and Frank simply IGNORING Dan and what he just proved(while they were standing next to him) was very very unrealistic. Sawyer managed to get Kate to stay with him - not a good scene either. Very forced, I really felt no chemistry between them like I usually do.

    The last set of island scenes were good though, Sayid leaving on the chopper with Desmond and Frank. Great music and fantastic directing.

    Now as for the flashforwards: they were very decent. Opened with a nice surprise: Sayid is off the island and he kills a man - then turns out he is a hitman working for someone - then the Alias / James Bond-esque romance ( hook up with the enemy ), then the great twist that the "enemy" was aware of it all along, and then the mindblowing reveal who Sayid is working for.

    It was a nice spy story told in only about 15 minutes. Surely, it's not something incredibly revolutionary, but the fact that Sayid is back to his roots was very nice to watch.

    Oh, and the reveal; Sayid is working for Ben! He is off the island too! And obviously is NOT part of the Oceanic Six. Out of all the scenes / moments so far this season, this has been the most important thus far and easily this is the scene that created the most theories amongst the fans. An excellent twist that really shocked me; I was literally frozen for a few minutes after finishing the episode.

    Overall, the flashforward's greatness and the amazing twist made me appreciate this episode alot more. The island plot rates a weak-ish 7/10, but the rest is a solid 9.5/10.

    Averaging that we get a nice 8.3. Above average episode.moreless
  • Another member of the six revealed, and a doozy of a fadeout

    And today we learn member number four of the Oceanic 6--- Sayid. And we also see that fate doesn't seem to have been much kinder for him than Jack or Hurley.

    Sayid is about the only character who's come to an epiphany about himself and not died. This goes to one of the larger theories about the island being purgatory, considering that when a character comes to a realization about themselves, they die very soon after. It was true of Shannon, Ana Lucia, and Charlie, and to a certain extent Eko. Sayid has come to the realization that he is a torturer, and as much as he wants to leave that part of his life behind him, the island has not let him. Because these skills have come in useful in the mentality of this land, he hasn't been able to give it up--- witness 'Henry Gale'. The one thing that stops him from being a cold-blooded killer is the fact that he is very passionate, and loves deeply and completely, usually to the detriment of himself..

    In 'The Economist' we see that even though he will make it off the island, he will not be able to shed his killer mentality. Just like before, he's become a cold-blooded assassin, only unlike his time in the Republican Guard or on the island, we don't know why he's killing. He has no problem going after Elsa in the biggest part of his flashforward, but he doesn't seem to notice that she's conning him right back. The second she begins talking about love, he gets all doe-eyed again, and for his trouble he nearly gets killed. The scene in which he shoots Elsa sums up his dual nature about as well as anything else we've seen on the show --- he recovers from the sudden attack, distracts her and shoots her twice. Then he walks over to her, holds her, and closes her eyes. His heart keeps getting in his way.

    We learn a couple of more secrets while we're on the island. Frank tells Sayid he will fly him back if he rescues Charlotte from Locke's people. Sayid once again takes charge, and brings Miles and Kate back with him to the barracks. He then points out that none of these freighter folk seem particularly attached to each other, or interested in helping the people on the island. But he runs up against a stone wall when Miles refuses to give answers

    What they don't know is Locke's leadership is a lot shakier than he'd let on. He is unable to find the cabin, and get instructions, and though he tries to shrug it off, it's clear that he's shaken by it. He manages to regroup in order to pull off a mini-con of his own, this time using Hurley, the one castaway who seems unable to tell a lie. But it turns out even Hurley is capable of lying when it comes to preserving his own interests. And speaking of self-interest, Kate seems more than willing to go back to the bunkers in order to protect her. She has a long conversation with Sawyer, in which he finally reminds her that the only thing she has to look forward to on the mainland is a long prison term (Turns out she doesn't, but then James doesn't have the flashforwards.) It's an interesting reversal--- Sawyer, who made the biggest effort to leave during season 1, now has no interest in doing so, and Kate is going on even though supposedly she has nothing to look forward to bur a life in an orange jumpsuit.

    This episode also provided a couple of bigger shocks in relating to time. Daniel--- who seems a little more together, but still hyper active-- runs an experiment in which he tries to get a payload to their destination. The payload does make its target, but when it does show up, it's half an hour behind the real island. Is the island somehow held in some kind of time warp? This would seem a real possibility. After all, Miles had a picture of Ben that he shouldn't have been able to get if he never left the island. And now it seems that, just like Richard, he's been leaving the island at will for years, and there's a very real possibility that he's time-traveling to do it. Does this have something to do with the electromagnetic energy we know pervades the island? We're going to start getting some pretty big hints that this is more than possible.

    Of course, the biggest shock of all comes in the episodes final minutes. Sayid returns with Charlotte, having traded her for Miles. Locke seems more than willing to make a deal when he thought Sayid was acting in the island best interest rather than leaving. Kate decides to stay behind for reasons of her own (we'll find them out in the next episode) And even though Sayid kind of cheating, Frank is more than willing to leave Miles behind--- clearly he can't stand the man's sniping either. He agrees to take Desmond as well, even though he tells him point blank that he's never met Penelope. As they take off, there's the kind of soaring music that would seem to indicate that Sayid has left it all behind. But then he goes to a vet's to get his bullet wounded treat--- and we meet his boss, Ben. Even though he clearly says that "the day I start trusting him is the day I sell my soul", one may remember that maybe Sayid has been battered enough by life to feel that he no longer has a soul to sell. Now there's another list, and he's more than willing to serve Ben. He says he doing it to protect his friends, which is doubly ironic considering how determined Ben was to keep them down on the island. Ben is still a master manipulator, whether tied up in a game room, or talking casually about the death of the woman who Sayid loved, even if that love was fraudulent on both sides. It seems that Sayid, like Jack and Hurley, can not leave the island behind.

    Any episode that features Naveen Andrews in the lead is always encouraging, because he seems to be the one shrouded in darkness. He is more than up the task in this episode. Ken Leung continues to demonstrate his general snarkiness when dealing with, well, everybody (after he degrades Hurley, he responds by saying : "Great. They sent us another Sawyer." And there are some very intriguing possibilities raises by this episode, yet this episode doesn't seem quite as engaging when its away from Sayid. We do, however, get the sense that even though he's tied up, Ben is still somehow calling the shots, but this doesn't surprise us either. It's also hard to understand why Daniel and Charlotte seem so determined to stay behind, but we won't figure that out for awhile. We seem to be moving forward when the chopper takes off, but soon we're going to find out that this island makes it hard for anybody to come and go. We're about to get a real idea of what that means.

    My score: 8.5moreless
  • The FF Stole the HighLights of this episode.

    Plot Details/Objective -» Even with so few episodes for this season that will air, is funny that the writers continue to build the Island plot delaying the best material for later. The attack that the Island will suffer will only happens in episodes 7-9. This means that until there, the tension will be low, which some themes there were left incomplete in season 3, like Sun affair, more of Juliet past etc. This time was about buying time doing a exchange. Only Sayid Flash Forward´s bring news and some are shocking.

    What I Like/Disliked -» Sayid Flash Forward´s Scenes. Didn´t liked the Island scenes, not all, but they dragged and tried to buy time, when they could just take off.


    Presentation -» (9/10). Shocking, will catch you by surprise.

    Complication Phase -»(5/10). This time was more weaker, was all about a exchange, so there is no a spectacular complication, just a conversation and a Exchange occurs. Sayid mission in the Flash Forward´s seemed to be a simple one.

    Climax -»(7/10). Strong, but just because of the climax provided by the Sayid flash Forward´s.

    Cliffhanger/Ending -» (10/10). Sayid Flash Forward´s guaranteed a shocking ending, with a Hint too.

    Flash-forward's -» (10/10). What made this episode interesting was Sayid Flash Forward´s, since the event of the Island wasn´t enough. There are 3 Surprises/shocks that will change your mind and make you love this.

    Time and Scenes Management -» (6/10). The event in the Island is weak, only little interesting, but still, is weaker. So, I notice many scenes there just to slow the episode. There was a scene on the Flash Forward´s that was not necessary too.

    Dialogues -» (7/10). Good enough to entertain you.

    Action /Adventure -» (5/10). Don´t Expect anything good and spectacular, very simple.

    Drama/Emotions -» (6/10). If there was any type of that, only Sawyer and Kate reunion, which is old. Sayid and is girlfriend love emotions was nice to see, but nothing very sad here.

    Suspense/Tension -» (6/10). Didn´t Notice where it was, but Sayid gunshot simple fight was not that bad.

    Mystery/Curiosity/Doubts/Hints -» (7/10). Sayid Flash Forward´s did the job. The Island event not.

    Surprise/Twists /Thoughts Changer -» (10/10). Sayid Flash Forward´s can trick you, almost guaranteed.

    Lost continues to buy time, but this time you can notice more than ever. It is normal, since the best material is saved for later, when the rescue plot will reach is climax. Also, the writers are relying in the Flash forward´s that is why that they guarantee that you will be shocked with some 2 or 3 scenes.moreless
  • Season 4 delivers its first major shock at the very end. Unfortunately the rest of the episode doesn't compliment it.

    "The Economist" was one of those episodes where when the credits rolled I thought that I should give this a higher rating. Was this because of the shock ending? Yes. And what a shock ending it was, easily in my Top 10 Shock Endings (Yes, I have a Top 10, how sad!). But, on reflection, after, I wasn't that impressed. I found it a little slow and uneventful, especially on island, and for a Sayid episode, I found this to be surprising. His last two were "One of Them" and "Enter 77", which were highlights of their season. This felt a little flat, especially after the thrill ride that was "Confirmed Dead". The problem with that episode was that there was too much going on and this episode falters because there's not enough. Alot of the island action is watching our characters moving from one location to another. The best part of the island story was Faraday's experiment, which was the big hot topic of the episode, second to the flashforward. This scene confirmed that there is a time delay on the island, as apoosed to off it. Watching Sayid and Desmond leave on the helicopter provided some good island scenery, the like of which we hadn't previously seen and gave a chance for Michael Giacchino to show off his beautiful score.

    Other than that there wasn't much to report. People are moving into position for the next development and so in that respect this episode is largely transitional. There are not many episodes where the off-island plot thread is better than the on-island plot thread, but in this case "The Economist" is one of those. The flashforward was full of shocks, and made the island story seem largely uneccesary, that it would have been no sin to have the whole episode off island. Shock one was when Sayid plays Golf with a guy, who his shoots after losing a wager with. Not only do we learn that Sayid is one of the Oceanic Six, but that he is a professional assassin of sorts. As the flashforwards continue we realise that Sayid is being ordered to complete an exterminating mission to those that may have had ties with the Freighter folk. In "The Beginning of the End" Hurley was fearful of Matthew Abaddon in the mental institution. It seems that he could be one of the men on Sayid's list of names that he has to kill. But who is ordering Sayid to do this dirty work. None other than our favourite "Other" Benjamin Linus!

    The reveal is superbly done and is perhaps the least thing you'd expect, especially considering the two character's previous history. I mean, after all, Sayid was the first one to confront him and lay a hand on him. People wonder what could have possessed Sayid to work for Ben, but you could also wonder why on earth would Ben take Sayid under his wing, considering his hatred of him. It seems obvious that the freighter people were trouble and caused some tragic deaths to some of the survivors on the island, prevented some from leaving and made everyone that did get rescued feeling miserable and guilty. It is this guilt and remorse that has now taken hold of three of three of the Oceanic Six, Jack, Hurley and Sayid. Of those three, we still don't know if Sayid wants to or believes that he will return to the island but his murderous efforts maybe an attempt on providing some kind of opening to go back and rescue whoever got left behind. That is assuming that Sayid hadn't turned into a bad guy. Anything's possible now!!! Kate is the only one who, at this time, has turned a blind eye to the island's calling. Looking ahead to future episodes, this, on reflection, would seem initially surprising, as Sawyer, her loose island lover didn't make it off with her. Had the two had a major lover's tiff? Well, in the following episode that would turn out to be true but there may be more to why Kate is content to stay on the mainland, as we will discover. If I were to base my enjoyment of this episode on the flashforwards this episode would reach at least a 9, but the island story was hugely disappointing and it is Sayid's weakest episode since The Greater Good. Netheless, it was nowhere near a disaster and it steup some interesting developments for the future.moreless
  • A Sayid-centric episode.

    First off, let me start off by saying that I didn't like this episode as much as I usually enjoy Lost which is mainly because Sayid has never been one of my most favorite characters on Lost. This episode was definitely still extremely exciting though. I can't believe that Sayid is one of the Oceanic 6! I was really shocked by that. Another thing that I didn't really like about this episode was just Locke in general. He has always annoyed me a lot, and he has never been a character that I like very much either. In the end, I decided to give this episode the score of nine for revealing Sayid as one of the Oceanic 6 even though I didn't really love this episode that much.moreless
Armando Pucci

Armando Pucci

Mr. Avellino

Guest Star

Thekla Reuten

Thekla Reuten


Guest Star

Jeff Fahey

Jeff Fahey

Frank Lapidus

Recurring Role

Marsha Thomason

Marsha Thomason

Naomi Dorrit

Recurring Role

Mira Furlan

Mira Furlan

Danielle Rousseau

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (21)

    • Goof: Dan asks Frank for his phone, which he gives to Dan, so he can contact the Kahana. However, in the previous episode, it was shown that Frank's phone had been damaged when they landed on the island.

    • The timers from the devices used by Daniel are off by approximately 31 minutes and 18 seconds (1878 seconds or 31.3 minutes).

    • In the café where Sayid and Elsa first meet, an advertisement for beer displays 1516 Rein which are two of The Numbers.

    • Despite what is depicted in this episode; there are no yellow stripes on sidewalks in Germany.

    • This is the first time the 3rd episode of a season wasn't centered around Locke.

    • Elsa said she'd meet Sayid for their date (the first one) at 8 pm. 8 is one of "The Numbers".

    • Island events take place on Wednesday, 22 December 2004 which is day 92.

    • Sayid finds a New Zealand passport in Ben's drawer which is a diplomatic passport. Standard issue New Zealand passports are royal blue, while the one shown in the episode was red.

    • This is the second episode where we see a birds eye view of the island, after the season 3 premiere "A Tale of Two Cities."

    • Elsa is wearing a silver bracelet similar to the one that Naomi had on.

    • One of Ben's passports is from Brazil. It is probably the same one used in the exposé for Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro character), because the passport has the same spelling errors: Brazil with a Z instead of an S; Passport (instead of Passaporte); Republica (instead of República).

    • This episode marks the third time that we see Sayid get shot. He was shot by Mikhail in "Enter 77", and he shot himself in a flashback in "Solitary."

    • We find out Ben has a drawer full of various currencies from around the world yet he clearly hasn't been to England in a while. The twenty pound note shown is from the "D" series of banknotes featuring a portrait of Michael Faraday.
      This note was withdrawn from use in February 2001, almost four years before this episode is set and was replaced by a new design featuring Edward Elgar. It has since been replaced again.

    • The fade-out sound at the end of this episode is not the usual one.

    • When Sayid is walking towards Naomi's body, it can be seen that her eyes are already shut.

    • Numbers: The tail number of the helicopter is N 8 42 M.

    • The difference between the two clocks was 31 minutes.

    • In the scene where Naomi's body is laying on the stretcher, at the point where Sayid goes to close Naomi's eyes, watch very closely and you will see Naomi shut her eyes faster than Sayid's fingers move.

    • Elsa, Sayid's girlfriend in his flash forward, had several similarities with his girlfriend earlier in the series, Shannon: She is tall, fair, with light hair and she ends up shot in the abdomen, just like Shannon.

    • When the missile arrives on the island, Daniel grabs a device. The device says 03:16:23. 3+16+23=42. 3+1+6+2+3=15. 15, 16, 23 and 42 are some of "The Numbers." Also the time on a 24Hr clock would be 15:16:23, another number.

    • Sayid is shown to play golf left-handed. However he has previously been shown to shoot a rifle right-handed. Thus, he may be ambidextrous.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Sayid: (to Elsa) His name is on a list. His employers. The man you're working for is not an economist!

    • Frank: (To Sayid) You bring Charlotte back safe, and I will take you off this island.

    • Elsa: (talking on phone about Sayid) Why should I keep him alive? (listening) I'll bring him to you. I'll meet you at the safe house.

    • Sayid: Gun's a last resort, Kate.
      Kate: You give Locke that same speech?

    • Jack: You should go with them, Kate.
      Kate: Are you serious?
      Jack: Yeah.
      Kate: What, don't you trust Sayid?
      Jack: I don't trust Locke.
      Kate: So what's preventing him from doing to me what he did to Naomi?
      Jack: Sawyer won't let him.

    • Kate: Kinda sucks, huh?
      Jack: What's that?
      Kate: Being told not to come along. Now you know what it feels like to be me.
      Jack: Does that mean I should wait twenty minutes and go anyway?
      Kate: Touché.

    • Hurley: I'm just trying to come up with some kinda compromise.
      Locke: We're beyond compromise. And right now, Hugo, I'm making the decisions. Is that gonna be a problem for you?

    • Sawyer: Yeah, and Red here was wearing a vest. Which means her posse's gonna come expecting themselves a gun fight.
      Hurley: If all they want is her, why don't we just let her go? I mean, I thought we were just gonna go hide. Why do we need to take prisoners?
      Locke: We're keeping her because she's gonna be valuable.
      Hurley: How's she gonna be valuable?
      Charlotte: He means as a hostage, Love.
      Hurley: Nuh uh, no, that's not what I signed up for.
      Locke: What did you sign up for, Hugo?
      Hurley: Look, I'm just saying that if we let her go, they'll look at it as a sign of good faith.
      Locke: They'll look at it as an act of foolishness, which is what it would be.

    • Sawyer: What's in this cabin that's so important anyway?
      Ben: John's looking for somebody to tell him what to do next.

    • Sawyer: You ready to give us the name, Gizmo?
      Locke: He's not going to tell you who the spy is on their boat, James.
      Sawyer: Yeah, why not?
      Locke: Because that's the only thing keeping him alive.
      Sawyer: Well here's an idea: why don't we take a gun, point it to his big toe and send that little piggy to the market. ... And if he still doesn't want to tell us, move on to the roast beef. Why don't we do that?
      Locke: Because then we'd have to carry him.

    • Sayid: I'm not going to hurt you Hurley.
      Hurley: Yeah, I saw you snap that guy's neck with that breakdancing thing you do with your legs. I think I'll hang back here.

    • Sayid: You're not the best candidate for this kind of mission.
      Jack: What kind of mission is that?
      Sayid: I'm going to make Locke give me Charlotte. And I'm going to do it without any bloodshed.
      Jack: As opposed to the way I'd do it.
      Sayid: Last time you encountered him; you put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. ... That's not good diplomacy.

    • Miles: In case you zoned out while you were tweezing your goatee, one of these yahoos took Charlotte prisoner.
      Sayid: I can bring her back. Safely. And if I do, will you take me to the ship?
      Frank: Absolutely. You bring Charlotte back safe, and I will get you off this island.

    • Jack: You don't trust me, I don't trust you.
      Miles: You're supposed to be dead. But am I asking a million questions? No. We both have the same problem, this Locke guy.
      Kate: Even if Locke has your friend, you can't just waltz in there and grab her. They're armed.
      Miles: Well how bout that? So are we! So why don't we move out?
      Sayid: You're not going anywhere.

    • Ben: I have another name for you.
      Sayid: But they know I'm after them now.
      Ben: Good.

    • Frank: What happened to Miles?
      Sayid: I traded him.
      Frank: Traded him?
      Sayid: I promised you Charlotte. Here she is.
      Frank: You cheated.
      Sayid: Did I?
      Frank: Yes, you did. Lucky for you, that guy's nothing but a pain in my ass.

    • Sayid: Naomi, were you close to her?
      Miles: Nope. Met her on the boat.
      Sayid: You don't seem particularly affected by her death.
      Miles: Sure I'm affected. She was hot and I dug her accent.
      Kate: Nice.

    • Kate: So what, I'm your prisoner?
      Sawyer: If that sort of thing turns you on.

    • Sawyer: Look around us, Freckles. We've got roofs over our heads, electricity, showers, beds...
      Kate: How long, Sawyer? How long do you think we can play house?
      Sawyer: Why don't we find out?

    • Miles: (to Hurley) How about you stop babbling and just tell us what happened to them? Where are they?

    • (To Locke about Ben)
      Sayid: Forgive me, but the day I start trusting him is the day I would've sold my soul.

    • Frank: This guy Sayid, where's he from?
      Jack: Iraq.
      Frank: Iraq? So he's just gonna go and work everything out? What was he, a diplomat?
      Jack: No... No, he was a torturer.

    • Miles: Where the hell did they go, Tubby?
      Hurley: Oh... awesome, the ship sent us another Sawyer.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Featured Music:
      "If You Stayed Over" by Bonobo
      (Sayid's love scene with Elsa)

    • This is a flash-forward episode.

    • Although they are credited, Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Harold Perrineau (Michael) and Yunjin Kim (Sun) don't appear.

    • International Air Dates:

      Belgium: September 8, 2008 on VT4
      United Kingdom: February 17, 2008 on Sky One
      Ireland: February 18, 2008 on RTE Two
      Australia:9:30pm February 21st,2008 on CHANNEL 7
      Israel: Febuary 19th, 2008 on XtraHOT.
      Sweden: February 27, 2008 on TV4
      Norway: March 12, 2008 on TVNorge
      Latin America: March 17, 2008 on AXN.
      The Netherlands: March 30, 2008 on Net 5
      Finland: March 27, 2008 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic: April 20, 2008 on AXN
      Denmark: February 22, 2008 on Kanal 5
      Italy: August 4, 2008 on Rai 2
      Macedonia: November 1, 2008 on A1
      Germany: January 26, 2009 on Pro7

    • A Sayid-centric episode.


    • Back To The Future
      The scene when Daniel holds the two digital clocks side by side is reminiscent of the first film in the Back To The Future trilogy, when Doc Brown performs his "one-minute experience" with his dog, Einstein. The dog is sent to the future and, one minute later, Doc is seen on screen comparing side by side a stopwatch that time-traveled and one that stayed put.

    • Casablanca Elsa may be a reference to Ilsa Lund, the tragic female lead in the 1942 film "Casablanca", a movie that centers around political intrigue, clandestine love affairs and a café.

    • The passport Sayid finds in Ben's hidden drawer is a fake Swiss passport holding the name Dean Moriarty. The birthday is given as 03 March 1962. Born in Zurich. Valid from 02 April 2003 to 01 April 2013. Issued in Berne.

      Dean Moriarty is the character name of real-life person Neal Cassady (1926-1968, an icon of the beat generation) and appears in the novel "On the road" written by American writer Jack Kerouac in 1951. Moriarty is also the name of Sherlock Holmes' arch-nemesis, often considered literature's first super-villain.

    • Sawyer: (To Ben) Ready to give us a name, Gizmo?

      Gizmo was the name of the friendly little gremlin in the movie "Gremlins".

    • Episode Title:

      The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by "The Economist Newspaper Ltd" and edited in London.