- The Economist (Lost)
Infobox Television episode
Title = The Economist
Series = Lost
Caption = Sayid in bed with Elsa
Season = 4
Episode = 3
Zoë Bell Jeff Fahey Mira Furlan Armando Pucci Thekla Reuten Marsha Thomason
Edward Kitsis Adam Horowitz
Airdate = February 14,
Production = 403
Episode list = "Lost" (season 4)
List of "Lost" episodes
"The Economist" is the third episode of the
American Broadcasting Company's fourth season of the serial drama television series "Lost" and seventy-second episode overall. It was aired on February 14, 2008on ABC in the United States and on CTV in Canada."ABC Medianet", (January 25, 2008) " [http://www.abcmedianet.com/primeschedule/ABCGRIDSJAN28FEB24.xls Weekly Primetime Program Schedule] ." Retrieved on January 25, 2008.] The episode was written by co-executive producers Edward Kitsisand Adam Horowitzand directed by executive producer Jack Bender. ["ABC Medianet", (January 28, 2008) " [http://www.abcmedianet.com/DNR/2008/doc/dnr012808.doc Sayid and Kate Go in Search of Locke to Negotiate a Peaceful Deal When They Discover that His Hostage May Be the Key to Getting Off the Island] ". Retrieved on January 28, 2008.] In the episode's narrative, Sayid Jarrah( Naveen Andrews) and Kate Austen( Evangeline Lilly) negotiate for John Locke's ( Terry O'Quinn) hostage Charlotte Lewis ( Rebecca Mader), while physicist and "Kahana" crew member Daniel Faraday(Jeremy Davies) discovers that time on the island runs at an offset from the rest of the world. Another storyline follows Sayid working as an assassin after being rescued from the island.
"The Economist" was watched by 14 million American viewers and received positive reactions from critics.
Jack Shephard(Matthew Fox) and Miles Straume( Ken Leung) argue about what to do about leader of the Others, Ben Linus( Michael Emerson), and Miles's colleague Charlotte, both sought after by Miles and his colleagues and taken prisoner by Locke. Sayid pays his respects to Naomi Dorrit, and takes her bracelet. He then offers to retrieve Charlotte without bloodshed, in return gaining a helicopterflight to the freighter anchored offshore. He takes along Miles and Kate. Sayid asks Jack not to come with them as he might be unpredictable around Locke.
While Sayid is gone, Daniel asks Regina (
Zoë Bell), a colleague on the freighter to shoot a projectileonto the island. Regina does so, but the projectile does not arrive for thirty minutes. When it lands, Daniel extracts a clock from the payload and finds that the two times, that running on the island and that running outside, are not synchronized. The survivors led by Locke arrive at the location of Jacob's cabin, but find the area deserted. Locke changes his course to the barracks, and uses Hugo "Hurley" Reyes( Jorge Garcia) to ambush Sayid, Kate and Miles. Kate is watched by James "Sawyer" Ford( Josh Holloway), and they discuss their reasons for wanting or not wanting to go home. Kate, realizing that she would be arrested for her crimes upon rescue, defects to Locke's group. Sayid negotiates with Locke to exchange Charlotte with Miles, in order to get access to the boat. Locke tells him that wouldn't be necessary as Ben has a spy on that freighter, to which Sayid responds that he would rather sell his soul than trust Ben. At the helicopter, Desmond Hume( Henry Ian Cusick) confronts pilot Frank Lapidus( Jeff Fahey) about the picture Naomi had of him and his ex-fiancé Penelope Widmore( Sonya Walger). Frank denies any knowledge of her, but Desmond nevertheless demands a place on a helicopter. At the same time, Sayid returns, with only Charlotte. While Frank accuses Sayid of being dishonest, he considered Miles a "pain in the ass", and agrees to fly him offshore.
The episode's flashforwards are centered on Sayid, who had since become one of the
Oceanic Six. He is hired as an assassin, and courts a German woman, Elsa ( Thekla Reuten), in order to get closer to her employer (the eponymous "economist"). After several dates, Sayid turns on Elsa, who reveals herself to be a counter-spy by unexpectedly shooting Sayid in the shoulder. Sayid is able to shoot and kill Elsa. As the episode ends, Sayid is treated for his wound by Ben, who gives him another assignment. Sayid is now wary since they now know that he's after them, to which Ben replies, "Good".
The story of Sayid's future was influenced by
spy fiction—in particular, the writing eventually "gravitated" towards a story much like the Jason Bournefranchise. The story was justified by Sayid's status as part of the " Oceanic Six", as his celebrity status would provide the perfect cover for his clandestine activities.cite podcast
url = http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/index?pn=podcast
title = Lost: "The Economist"
website = ABC.com
host = Cuse, Carlton; Lindelof, Damon
accessdate = 2008-03-06] The episode was written in Autumn 2007.
An important scene in the episode regarded Faraday's experiment and the resulting time differential. The scene set up a prominent theme of "time-travel" for later episodes.cite web|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20179125_2,00.html|title='Lost': Mind-Blowing Scoop From Its Producers|first=Jeff|last=Jensen|publisher=
Entertainment Weekly|accessdate=2008-03-06] In the episode's respective podcast, "Lost" 's show runners Carlton Cuseand Damon Lindeloffurther discussed the time differential as part of an already existing theme regarding transport between the island and the rest of the world. In particular, the theme was alluded to the "Orchid video", a Dharma Initiativevideo that premiered at the 2007 Comic-Con. [cite web|url=http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/show/CTVShows/20080220/lost_bears_080220/20080220/|title=The Problem With Polar Bears|publisher=CTV|first=Tyrone|last=Warner|date= 2008-02-20|accessdate=2008-03-09]
However, some scenes in the episode gained unintentional significance. The
Boston Red Soxwon the World Series for the second time in three years after the episode was written, which prompted the question "Is it possible Lapidus is actually from 2008?" due to his annoyed reply. Likewise, the only reason that Elsa and Naomi had similar bracelets was that it would serve as an "emotional touchstone" for Sayid. After the episode, the producers received several emails about both issues.
Andrews enjoyed his role in "The Economist". He appreciated that, unlike the third season, he was able to "push the story forward", which he thought was "infinitely more interesting and rewarding." The premise "threw [him] for a loop", and he was pleased on how complex the episode was. [cite web|url=http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cult/a89120/naveen-andrews-lost.html|first=Neil|last=Wilkes|date=
2008-02-12|accessdate=2008-03-09|publisher= Digital Spy|title=Naveen Andrews (Lost)] [cite web|url=http://www.tvguide.com/news/lost-naveen-andrews/080131-01|title=Naveen Andrews Teases Lost's Return: Sayid Will Surprise You!|first=Matt|last=Mitovich|date= 2008-01-31|accessdate=2008-03-09|publisher= TV Guide]
"The Economist" was seen by 13.76 million American viewers, making "Lost" the fourth most watched program of the week. ["ABC Medianet", (February 20, 2008) " [http://abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=022008_06 Weekly Program Rankings] ". Retrieved on February 20, 2008.] The episode received a Nielsen Rating of 5.8/15 in the key adults 18–49 demographic. ["ABC Medianet", (February 20, 2008) " [http://abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=022008_05 Weekly Primetime Ratings Report] ". Retrieved on February 21, 2008.] In the United Kingdom, "Lost" brought in 1.2 million viewers. [Holmwood, Leigh, (February 18, 2008) " [http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/feb/18/tvratings.television "Kingdom" Reigns Over "The Last Enemy"] ", "
The Guardian". Retrieved on March 15, 2008.]
The first four episodes of the fourth season were watched beforehand by "
TV Guide", who called them "worth the wait" and "emotionally satisfying". "TV Guide" also stated that they "provide gaspworthy plot twists that should whip fans into a theory-spinning tizzy." The piece on the episode summarized several plot points in the episode, for example, the conversation between Jack and Frank about the 2004 World Series. [" TV Guide", (January 22, 2008) " [http://bp1.blogger.com/_RrObyQ3XzcY/R5ZxbaPc9YI/AAAAAAAARkA/w5XVBrAlm3E/s1600-h/darkufoLost+3005.jpgBack to the Future] ". Retrieved on January 22, 2008.] Sarah Vasques of eFluxMedia thought the scene where Daniel discovers the time discrepancy the most mind-blowing scene of the episode. [cite web|url=http://www.efluxmedia.com/news_Lost_The_Economist_In_Sayids_Mysterious_Future_14090.html|title=Lost: The Economist In Sayid's Mysterious Future|first=Sarah|last=Vasques|date= 2008-02-16|accessdate=2008-02-17|publisher=eFluxMedia] Entertainment Weeklycommented that "for the second straight year, Cupidwas kicked in the nuts", as the episode " Flashes Before Your Eyes" also aired on St. Valentine's Day. Also discussed in the review was possible Biblical allegory to the Book of Daniel. [cite web|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20178348,00.html?iid=top25-20080215-Lost+recap%3A+Sayid's+fate|title="Lost": St. Valentine's Day Massacre|first=Jeff|last=Jensen|date= 2008-02-15|accessdate=2008-02-17|publisher=Entertainment Weekly] However, Mark Madley of The National Postthought that this episode, along with the previous two, gave away too much plot detail, and compared the off-island storyline to "that awful Stallone/Banderas movie "Assassins". [cite web|url=http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/theampersand/archive/2008/02/15/157686.aspx|title=Lost: The Economist, season four episode three recap|first=Mark|last=Madley|publisher=The National Post|work=The Ampersand|date= 2008-02-14|accessdate=2008-02-17] Don Williams of BuddyTVthought that the scene where Sayid disposes of his cellphone after calling Ben "like an episode of "Alias", and finished his recap by saying "consider my mind blown again". [cite web|url=http://www.buddytv.com/articles/lost/lost-episode-43-the-economist-16682.aspx|title=Lost: Episode 4.3 "The Economist" Live Thoughts|publisher=BuddyTV|date= 2008-02-14|accessdate=2008-02-17|first=Don|last=Williams] MaryAnn Johanson of Film.com called the episode "mind-blowing", and theorized that Sayid had been working for Ben before the crash, and that the crash of Oceanic 815 was deliberate. [cite web|url=http://www.film.com/tv/story/lostistryingtomakeushatesayidbutitwontwork/13982602/18458420|title=Lost is Trying to Make us Hate Sayid, But it Won't Work|publisher=Film.com|first=MaryAnn|last=Johanson|date= 2008-02-15|accessdate=2008-02-17] Chris Carabott of IGNstated that, in the episode "Sayid Jarrah is a badass who could give Jack Bauer, James Bond, and Jason Bourneall a run for their money", and praised "Lost"'s nature for being able to have "a lighthearted episode featuring Hurley [one week] and the next can be an action spy thriller starring Sayid." He praised the episode for being a perfect example of serialized television, and thought that Elsa's double cross to be "very reminiscent of Vesper Lyndand her true employer in "Casino Royale". Overall, he rated the episode 8.6 out of 10. [cite web|url=http://tv.ign.com/articles/852/852545p1.html?RSSwhen2008-02-15_100200&RSSid=852545|title=The Economist Review|work=IGN TV|publisher=IGN|first=Chris|last=Carabott|date= 2008-02-15|accessdate=2008-02-21]
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