Sayid back in 1970s Dharma-town has caused problems for Sawyer, who doesn't want to kill Sayid. But his Dharma colleagues do, and Sawyer therefore tries to spring Sayid - who refuses -
But that's not the really perilous part, which arises when we and Sayid fully realize the reason that he's back in this time and place. Boy Ben sets Dharma on fire, a distraction to allow Ben to free Sayid, in return for Sayid's agreement to take Ben to the Hostiles (Ben thinks Sayid is one of them). Sayid agrees. Why would he do that, after refusing Sawyer's offer?
We can see the answer coming, like a slowly, inexorably moving Mack truck though time. Sayid is going to kill young Ben - to nip all of this insanity and horror in the bud. Except, Sayid apparently doesn't know, realize, or care that, if he kills young Ben, then Sayid could not be there to kill Ben in the first place, since Sayid is there with gun in hand as a result of what Ben as an adult did to Sayid and everyone else.
In other words, Sayid's killing Ben would pitch Lost into a paradox of enormous proportions, that would change the life stories of just about everyone we know on the show.
Choice 1: At the instant of young Ben's death, most of the people we know - Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, etc - change into Jack2, Kate2, Sawyer2, Juliet2, etc. In this time-altered world, Dharma is not destroyed by Ben. Oceanic 815 might crash, but the survivors will be dealing with Dharma, not The Others. Juliet might be brought to the island, but not due to Ben ...
It's an intriguing possibility, but Choice 2 is far simpler and easier to comprehend: Young Ben is not killed.
Tonight, however, we see Sayid shoot young Ben at point blank range.
We'll find out more next week, but I'm guessing the impossible won't be allowed to happen on Lost - young Ben will survive the wound... (either by normal medical means, or, who knows, maybe via some kind of resurrection like Locke)...
One more thing about time travel: Did Oldham, the Dharma torturer, remind you a little of Faraday - an older version of Faraday? Nah, couldn't be...
PS added March 26, 2009: It occurs to me that, if anyone dies as a result of Sayid's shooting of Ben, it could be Sayid. He's lost the love of his life, and has nothing left to live for. He's struggled all of his life to control his killing, and he gave into it when he shot Ben. Sayid might take his own life. Or, Dharma will go ballistic if they catch Sayid after shooting Ben - they have no idea what Ben has in store for Dharma. Even Sawyer won't be able to protect him.
5-min podcast review of Lost 5.10
More Lost - see : The Richard-Locke Compass Time Travel Loop ...
and Lost Returns in 5 Dimensions and 5.3: The Loops, The Bomb ... 5.4: A Saving Skip Back in Time ... 5.5 Two Time Loops and Mind Benders ... 5.6 A Lot of Questions ... 5.7 Bentham and Ben ... 5.8 True Love Ways ... 5.9 Two Times and a Baby ... 5.11 Clockwork Perfect Time Travel
The Plot to Save Socrates
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