At the very beginning of this season, a Dharma worker asked, regarding time travel, "What, like going back in time to kill Hitler?" Well, it seems Sayid had a similar idea in this focused, flash-backed filled, and super-dramatic episode.
Right away, we got a big return to flashbacks, with our first ever childhood flashback for Sayid. If it seemed a bit familiar, that's cause it was nearly identical to Eko's: one brother can't kill when directed, so the other brother does it for him. Sure, Sayid was out to please his demanding father, not a child-recruiting army, but the message was the same: they're killers.
Other flashbacks were more recent, answering two big questions: what caused Ben and Sayid's falling out, and why did Sayid get on the plane. The first answer was...disappointing. While I get Sayid being mad at Ben for taking away his life's purpose and calling him a killer, I'm not sure that was enough for Sayid to so fully lose his trust in Ben. It's not like he found out the hit list was a sham (though it still could be). Ben ending the arrangement with no explanation is perfectly in character though.
As for the second, there was an answer but not a definitive one. He got on the plane because Ilana made him. Yeah, we got that already. But as for her story about being a bounty hunter for the guy he killed on the golf course? I'm not buying it. She seems sketchy, and not just because her accent is constantly in flux and she looks like Ana-Lucia. On the other hand, welcome back McCutcheon scotch. Maybe Sayid would get along with Widmore better than he thinks.
Back on the island, Jack/Kate/Hurley started adjusting to island life. Dr. Arzt compared Lost to high school back in season 1. This week expanded on that point by putting the "cool kids" in a cafeteria. Not only that, but they were gossiping about Sawyer and Juliet while Kate was all like "OMG, I like totally don't like him anymore. As if." By the point Juliet passive-agressively told Kate she wasn't telling her to stay away, it was Gossip Girl: Island Edition.
Back to Sayid, who found out that "our you" preferred drug-laced sugar cubes to fingernail-based torture in his interrogations. In general, Sayid may be one of the most humorless and least comical characters on the show. Which made it all the more hilarious to see him high as a kite, listing off Dharma stations and declaring,"I'm from the future!" in a hippie happy voice. That bit of comic relief was well-needed for the darkness that was coming.
While sober, Sayid was making a new-old friend, Harry Potter lookalike Little Ben. They bonded over sandwiches, bad dads, and a desire to escape. It was all very cute. Until Sayid shot him, right through the chest. Now, this is all sorts of problematic, and not just because Sayid killed a kid. The problem is that Sayid would have never returned to the island were it not for Ben, creating a time paradox. According to MIA (I picture him as a hermit in a cave with a long beard scribbling equations on the cave walls) Faraday, that just can't happen.
Which is why I'm not too worried about the young Gryffindor. The island wouldn't let Ben kill Locke, and it wouldn't let Michael or Jack kill themselves. What makes us think it would allow a world-destroying paradox involving the death of one of its most important citizens? No, Ben's definitely got to live.
But even if he does live, this seems a pretty drastic change in Ben's personal history. Either he knew the whole time with Sayid that his pet assassin once turned the gun on his master, or Ben's about to have a rude awakening. No matter what, this seems a grave break to the rules Faraday once believed in. Which means plenty of more drama in the coming episodes, as a seasons and a half of Sawyer and Juliet "playing house" wouldn't really be Lost.