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The Greater Good
Season 1
Episode 21
Air Date May 4, 2005
Writer(s) Leonard Dick
Director David Grossman
Flashback Sayid Jarrah

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Prev: Do No Harm
Next: Born to Run

Sayid and Locke venture into the jungle to the fallen Beechcraft. Claire reluctantly gives Charlie possession of the newborn Aaron.


Sayid watches Shannon grieve over Boone's body. He comforts her and asks if there is anything he can do for her, but she shakes her head silently. Meanwhile, Kate goes to find Jack, who has been out in the jungle searching for Locke. She tells him that the group is scared and upset and want him to come back, which he does. The group goes about a burial for Boone. Jack asks if Shannon wants to say something - but she can't. Sayid speaks up on his behalf and says that though he didn't know Boone well, he was a good guy who will be missed and remembered for his courage.

Locke comes into the scene and immediately takes blame for Boone's death. He tells the group that they found a Beechcraft lodged in a tree canopy and that he would've gone up himself, but that his leg was hurt. He also reveals that the plane held a radio which Boone attempted to use before his weight shifted, causing the plane to fall. "It happened because he was trying to help us - he was a hero." But Jack isn't buying it and breaks toward Locke, screaming at him for lying and leaving Boone to die. And all the exhaustion and emotion, on top of the blood transfusion from the last episode, has caught up with Jack, who collapses.

Sayid and Kate help Jack up. They walk with him to a tent, trying to calm him down. But Jack is convinced that Locke is hiding something. Sayid tells Jack that the last thing they need amongst the group right now are accusations and encourages Jack to get some rest. And as Kate leads Jack away, Michael and Hurley approach Sayid to find out what the heck is going on, worried that Jack might do something rash. They remind Sayid that Jack has the key to the Halliburton case which is loaded with guns. Sayid wants nothing to do with the whole thing and asks, "Why come to me?" which leads us into ...

...a FLASHBACK to Sayid, being escorted through the airport and taken to a back room where he is questioned by a member of the CIA and a member of the ASIS. But Sayid doesn't answer their questions, having been well trained in the Republican Guard. The ASIS agent explains that some explosives were stolen from one of their army bases and that the men responsible are part of terrorist cell. They, of course, want the explosives back. Sayid states that he is not a terrorist. The CIA agent explains that he was taken into custody, not because they thought he was a terrorist, but because he knows one of the members of the cell - Essam Tazir, his old roommate at Cairo University. But Sayid is still reluctant and asks why he should care. That's when the CIA agent pulls out a photo of Nadia, the woman he risked his life for. If Sayid wants to know where she is, he's going to have to help them.

Back on the island, Charlie and Sun encourage Claire to get some rest, but Claire is hesitant to hand over her baby - she hasn't even named him yet. Charlie assures her that nobody is going to take the baby - he won't let it happen. She relents and leaves her son in Charlie's care.

Kate sits with Jack as he recovers. Jack is determined to go talk to Locke, but he can hardly stand up. It turns out that Kate crushed up some sleeping pills and put them in his juice. She admits to drugging him in order to force him to rest - which he does, drifting off into a deep sleep.

Locke approaches Shannon with Boone's bag. He tells her he knows what it feels like to lose family and gives a sincere apology. Shannon in turn, goes to Sayid and cashes in on the favor he offered her - "You asked if you could do anything for me? John Locke killed my brother. Will you do something about that?"

At the caves, Walt eyes Locke as he washes Boone's blood from his shirt, clearly afraid of his old friend. Sayid approaches and asks Locke if he'd be willing to take him out to the plane, figuring there may be some useful parts for the raft mission.

We FLASHBACK to Sayid, having accepted the deal, mid-prayer at a mosque. His old friend Essam spots him from a across the room and seeks him out once the prayer is finished. The old friends embrace. Sayid asks about Essam's wife, Zahraa and learns that she died in a bombing attack. Anxious to change the subject, Essam invites Sayid to his house - they have a lot of catching up to do. It's here where Sayid meets two other young Arab men - Yusef and Haddad. But he's distracted when he notices a fire alarm attached to the wall. He takes Haddad's cigarette, holds it to the alarm and nothing happens. Sayid disassembles the alarm to find a bug. Haddad wonders how Sayid knew about the bug. Sayid explains that he was a communications officer for the Republican Guard. Haddad looks Sayid over for a tense beat before deciding that fate brought them together. And with that, Sayid has gained their trust.

Back in the woods, Sayid asks a series of questions of Locke regarding the plane. Locke is smart enough to realize that he's being interrogated - especially after Jack accused him of being a liar. He respects Sayid for trying to find out the truth himself.

On the beach, Charlie tries to comfort the baby, who won't stop crying. Hurley gives his best James Brown impersonation in an attempt to calm the kid, but that doesn't work either.

Sayid and Locke arrive at the Beechcraft, where Locke explains that based on the contents of the Virgin Mary statues, he concluded the pilot and passenger were drug smugglers. When Sayid asks Locke why he lied to Jack, Locke will only say that he made a mistake. And when Locke asks Sayid why he doesn't trust him, Sayid points out the concealed gun Locke has been carrying in his waistband. Locke reveals that he got the gun off the body of one of the smugglers and offers it to Sayid in order to gain his trust. But Sayid points out that all his actions have shown is that he is adaptable. So Locke tries again - this time by offering up an answer to a question that has plagued both Sayid and the audience for weeks—he was the one who clocked Sayid over the head while he was trying to set off a transceiver.

Sayid pulls the gun on Locke, demanding to know why. Locke defends his actions by pointing out that the source of the distress call isn't really a place one would want to lead people. He didn't tell Sayid before because he was so focused on getting off the island, he wasn't seeing things clearly - similar to what's happening with the raft. The chances of rescue are slim. Locke argues that they need to focus their energy on surviving. And it's hard to argue with Locke's logic. Sayid demands to know about the hatch, but Locke says that Boone could have been referring to either the forward or aft hatch of the Beechcraft.

We FLASHBACK to Sayid playing football (soccer) with Essam, who reveals that while he doesn't know where the explosives are or where the attack is planned, he knows there will be a martyr. Sayid stops and looks into his old friends eyes, realizing that Essam is to deliver the explosives. Essam admits that he doesn't think he can do it. Concerned, Sayid meets with the agents and tells them that Essam is in over his head. He feels that he can get Essam to turn himself in. But that doesn't satisfy them. They instruct Sayid to talk Essam into being the martyr so that he will lead them to the explosives. When Sayid refuses, they threaten to pick up Nadia as an enemy combatant living abroad with a terrorist record. They tell Sayid that if he wants any chance of seeing her again, he'll talk Essam into blowing himself up.

Back on the island, Sayid tells Shannon that he believes what happened to Boone was an accident. Shannon doesn't understand why Locke lied, but Sayid assures her that he didn't mean to harm her brother. Not satisfied with the explanation, Shannon walks away from Sayid.

On the beach, Walt's fear of leaving on the raft is apparent as he asks Michael, "What if we die?" Michael tries to be confident when he tells his son that they aren't going to die. But Walt points out the Boone died, leaving Michael without a response. Charlie approaches with the crying baby looking for Sun. He realizes that when Sawyer speaks up, the baby quiets down, so Charlie starts to follow Sawyer around.

Meanwhile, Jack wakes up with Kate by his side. She offers him some soup, which he wisely declines - he wants to be awake. He reaches down for his neck and realizes the key to the Halliburton case is no longer around it. Jack runs out of the tent and immediately points a finger at Locke. Sayid thinks otherwise as we ... ... FLASHBACK to Sayid sitting with Essam, who is seriously having second thoughts and worried about all of the innocent lives that will be lost in the attack. But Sayid does what was asked of him and manipulates his friend into committing to the task. He tells Essam it's for the greater good. He also reminds Essam about Zahraa and shares his own loss. He says that by doing this, they can honor their loved ones who are gone. And Essam buys into it, completely convinced that Haddad was right - they were brought together by fate. He asks Sayid to do the mission with him and Sayid accepts.

Back on the island, Sayid, Kate and Jack run into the jungle, but Jack is weak and stumbles. Kate goes back for him as Sayid presses on. He comes upon Locke, kneeling on the ground, hands in the air. He turns to see Shannon standing a few feet away with one of the guns trained at Locke's head. Shannon screams over the rain, convinced that Locke killed her brother. Sayid can see that she's not thinking rationally and begs her to put the gun down. Instead, she cocks it - and though she has never fired a gun before, she fires off a shot to prove that she capable. Sayid tells Shannon that if she kills Locke, she can never take it back, as we...

FLASHBACK to Sayid as he's pulled into a van with Essam and Haddad, who tell him the time has come. The van pulls into a garage and comes to a stop. Haddad gets out and opens the back of another truck with an office supply store logo on the side to reveal the explosives, covered in plain cardboard boxes. Haddad gives Sayid and Essam two company work shirts, guns and instructions. He tells them they are heroes and wishes them good luck before leaving in the first van. Sayid and Essam climb into the cab of the truck - Sayid in the driver's seat, Essam next to him. Essam begins to pray when Sayid reveals that he's working with the CIA and offers him a ten minute head start before he calls them. Essam is shocked and hurt, unable to believe that his friend set him up; that he used Zahraa; that he said he lost someone too. Sayid tells Essam about Nadia and the deal he made to find her. But Essam pulls a gun on Sayid - his eyes wild, unable to grasp that his friend would do this to him for a woman. And just as we think Essam is about to blow Sayid's head off, he turns the gun on himself, puts it under his chin and pulls the trigger. And the sound of the gunshot smashes us back to... ... the jungle, where Shannon isn't backing down, demanding to know what really happened to her brother, as Jack and Kate arrive at the scene. She tells Locke that she hopes he suffers as much as her brother did before she pulls the trigger. And what happens next happens quickly as Sayid dives on top of Shannon, knocking the gun out of her hand. Locke falls to the ground, blood on his head. Jack stands frozen as Kate runs to Locke's side. For a moment, we think he might be dead, but then he sits up, only grazed and locks eyes with Jack, who never made a move to help him.

On the beach, Sawyer reads from car magazine to keep the baby quiet. Claire approaches, amazed at the effects of Sawyer's voice and amused by his reading glasses. Further down the beach, Kate and Sayid talk. Kate tells Sayid that Shannon will be fine; to just give her some time. But Sayid thinks he made a mistake, and while Kate argues that he had no choice, Sayid responds, "There's always a choice." And off those words we...

... FLASHBACK to Sayid, meeting with his CIA and ASIS contacts. They hand over information on Nadia's whereabouts and an Oceanic plane ticket to Los Angeles. They remind Sayid that though what he did was hard, he saved hundreds of lives. Sayid inquires about Essam's body to learn that with nobody to claim it, he will be cremated. Sayid points out that Muslims are supposed to be buried and offers to claim the body himself. But the ASIS agent points out that he'll be on a flight to LA by the time they wrap up all the paperwork. Sayid refuses to leave Essam and demands they change his flight to the following day, thus putting him on the fateful Oceanic Flight 815.

Back on the island, Locke thanks Sayid for what he did, knowing full well what it cost him. Sayid tells Locke that he did it because he thinks that Locke may be their best hope at surviving on the island - though that doesn't mean he trusts him. To gain that trust, Sayid asks Locke to take him to the hatch. Locke starts to lie again, but Sayid clearly isn't buying it.

Memorable QuotesEdit

"I know when I'm being lied to. There's a plane."

- Sayid

"Okay, I'll tell you something you don't know. The first week after the crash . . . you, Kate and Sawyer went out into the jungle to try and triangulate a signal. You were hit from behind -- knocked unconscious? When you woke up your transceiver and your equipment was destroyed. That was me."

- John Locke

Background InformationEdit

  • As part of a recurring theme, "815" appears on the window of the building Sayid exits.
  • When Sayid first is in Yusef, Haddad, and Essam's room, one of them is playing a computer game and another advises him "not to use the crowbar, it's only good against zombies and not the big guys." This is a reference to the video game series Half-Life.

Dramatis PersonaeEdit

Guest StarringEdit