LOST: Do the Ben’s Justify the Means?


Up until last night’s episode, this TV Addict was willing to buy into much of the justification for Sayid’s actions. Be it the countless tortures or endless killings, one could definitely argue that Sayid was either a victim of circumstance, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. That said, there is a fine line between knocking off numbers one through five on Ben’s mysterious “hit list” and shooting a seemingly innocent twelve year old boy at point blank range.

Think about it for a moment. Outside of HBO, Showtime and FX, where series’ built around utterly dysfunctional and morally bankrupt characters are pretty much par for the course, just how rare is it to see a once beloved and respected character like Sayid “murder” a defenseless child? Even if said child will eventually grow up to be the complex and devious villain we’ve very much grown to love to hate.

Will you ever look at Sayid the same way again? Has the “murder” of young Linus changed everything? Or, is Sayid once again a victim of circumstance and simply a pawn in future Ben Linus’ ultimate endgame? Post away with your theories.

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  • That was his purpose. Someone had to do it. But you know that won’t change anything since Ben is already in an alternate reality (hence the book called A Separate Reality) and Sayid will have to live with the pain of killing a child in vain.

  • Jacob

    You know, obviously killing a child in any capacity is absolutely inconceivable, even little anti-Christ’s like Ben.

    However, once you’ve seen someone kill one person, seeing them kill someone else doesn’t really change your opinion of them. They’re still a killer. Sayid is still Sayid.

    I’m with it.

  • Dave ID, Jacob,

    I assume we’re all in agreement that the island’s mysterious healing powers will ensure young Ben will survive.

  • neil

    i agree my opinion of Sayid has not changed AT ALL.

    he is still one of my favorite characters after Sawyer & Desmond of course.

    but what he did last night by shooting young Ben… well it was understandable, he thought that’s what he was meant to do.

    plus we ALL KNOW young ben cant die… i mean how could you kill the main antagonist?! but who knows…

  • Linda B.

    I forget, where is adult Ben? Is there any way adult Ben could have warned little Ben about Sayid BEFORE he shot him? My guess is that little Ben will get up when Sayid leaves and maybe adult Ben will come out and say “See, I told you he couldn’t be trusted.” Then little Ben will be seen taking some protective covering off. Just an idea.

  • Tarn

    I was shocked by it, but Naveen Andrews sold me on Sayid’s utter anguish after the fact at what he felt he had to do, his ‘purpose’.
    Sayid is a deeply troubled character. I haven’t lost sympathy for him.

  • paketep

    It was obvious since the beginning of the episode that Sayid was going to shoot Ben.

    It is obvious that Ben will rise again.

    I still look at Sayid the same. What I really didn’t like was Sawyer’s act. Especially taking into account that their days before the Others wipe out the Dharma guys are numbered. And I’m starting to really really dislike Kate. And even Jack. Hope they start doing something, ANYTHING, soon.

  • Linda B.

    Now see, I didn’t see that ending coming, and I don’t think i see Sayid any differently. Granted he did kill a 12 year old boy, but I think Sayid is so distraught with all that has occurred on the island, he thought the best way out was to kill what he thought started it all.

  • Jacob

    You know I watched it again and while it’s probably just a case of the actor not being able to hold his breath for long you can actually see Ben still breathing on the ground as Sayid walks away.

    And Jin is still there…

  • Jordi

    Young Ben is alive and well. OK, not well, but definitely alive. Remember Faraday’s words? “You can’t change the past”.

    So it doesn’t matter what Sayid did: Ben will live. 100% sure.

  • Elizabeth

    I don’t entirely agree with the “ends justifies the means” theory, but I’m ok with what Sayid did. I mean, given the opportunity, wouldn’t we all be tempted to go back in time and kill Hitler, even if he was a defenseless child?

    Hypothetically speaking, if Sayid hadn’t known that the kid was Ben, and killed him anyway, that would have CLEARLY been morally wrong and unjustified.

  • Linda B., adult Ben is in 2007 (maybe 2008) with Locke, Sun, Lapidus, Caesar, the chick who captured Sayid, and the rest of the people that crashed on Ajira 316. He could not help young Ben in 1977 (or at least it’s not immediately obvious how he could).

    I don’t think it’s morally right that Sayid killed young Ben, but it was completely understandable and expected. He wasn’t initiated into 1977 the way Jack, Kate, and Hurley were. Without knowing what Faraday told the others, Sayid is going to think he can change the future. I wasn’t surprised at all when he did what he did.

    If Ben dies in 1977, that would either: (1) reset the timeline, (2) be a paradox, or (3) require the writers to introduce a totally new concept of time travel. I think the easier & more logical course is to have Ben survive, either by luck, extreme medical intervention, or being healed by the island.

  • Elliot

    i had a feeling most of the episode sayid would try to off young ben. wasn’t surprised at all. and it doesn’t change anything. ben isn’t dead. as someone else pointed out, “whatever happened, happened” and doesn’t change the timeline.

  • Ace

    Ok, I completely agree that under normal circumstances killing a 12 year old child is not good but a couple of things do justify this:
    1. You can’t honestly tell me if someone gave you a time machine and said you can go back and kill Hitler, but you can only do it when he is 12 that you wouldnt’ be like…”ok, give me the gun.” Sure you would have to live with it and you are still a killer, but you saved millions of people. This is that on a smaller scale.
    2. I swear that Ben spoke of his father in the past tense to Sayid when he was breaking him out. He said something like “my father WAS a horrible person.” Which pretty much makes me believe that Ben is already a killer (even if his father beat him, still a killer).

    The only thing that suprised me was that one of the other people didn’t do it earlier. They could have easily snuck him into the woods and then everyone woudl have believed that he ran away from his father.

  • EKI

    I don’t think Ben is dead, I mean, how many times has the Island saved some people when it wasn’t their time to die, yet? Locke, Michael, etc…

    What intrigues me is that Ben actually met Sayid, Sawyer and company when he was a kid, and he doesn’t forget easily. So what did he thought when he re-met them? What did he thought when Sayid tortured him in the hatch? What does grown-up Ben really know about what is going to happen to the losties in the 70’s?