"Solitary" is the ninth episode of Season 1 of Lost. Trekking around the Island, Sayid finds himself the prisoner of a mysterious woman who apparently lives on the Island. Elsewhere, Hurley builds a golf course to try to help the survivors unwind after their traumatic ordeal. Flashbacks in this episode focus around Sayid's choice between his career and his childhood love, Nadia.
Sayid tortures a man into admitting the truth about helping Shiite rebels in a terrorist attack. His superiors are so impressed by the way in which he works that they transfer him to the Intelligence division, much to Sayid’s delight. As his commanding officer and close friend talks with him, he notices a young woman being brought into the detention facility, and seems to recognize her.
Sayid is later ordered to torture the very same woman, whom his group believed was involved in a bombing plot. As Sayid introduces himself, Nadia remembers him from her childhood. The two talk about their past, and how Nadia became a traitor to her nation. Nadia refuses to cooperate, showing her wounds from past interrogations. She tells Sayid to do his work, completely indifferent about what will happen to her.
Sayid visits Nadia in her cell weeks later, giving her food. He wants her to talk without hurting her, giving her the opportunity to implicate others in order to save herself. Nadia says that cooperating would mean their visits would be cut short, and when Sayid says that their interactions weren't a game, she replies "yet you keep playing it ... pretending to be something I know you're not," as Sayid continues in his role as a torturer.
Sayid’s commanding officer tells him that Nadia is to be executed. After over a month of interrogation, she still hasn't talked, and an example has to be made. He goes to her cell, giving her a bag to put on her head.
Later, however, as he leads her out, he reveals that he has set up an escape route for her. Nadia pleads him to join her, but desertion will mean the death of his family. She quickly writes a message on a photograph of herself, but they are interrupted by Sayid's friend. To save his love, Sayid is forced to shoot him as he shouts for the guards, and then shoots himself in the leg to avoid suspicion. As Nadia runs, Sayid looks at the message written in Arabic on the back of the photo.
At the main beach camp, Jack changes Sawyer’s bandages amongst a barrage of insults. The con man comments about Kate being interested in him, prompting Jack to leave. He goes to Kate, who worries about Sayid who has been gone for over two days. Jack reassures her that Sayid is a trained soldier, who is able to look after himself.
Locke returns to the caves with Ethan, another survivor, after hunting for food. They have found a variety of luggage items during their scout, and Hurley offers to look through them for anything useful. The commotion wakes up Walt, asking Locke if he can hunt. Michael overhears, and orders Walt back to bed, just as Hurley discovers something in the bags which puts a smile on his face.
At the caves, Michael and Jack plan splitting the drinking water to make a shower facility, but their discussion is interrupted by Charlie, who takes them to see Hurley. Hurley has built a golf course, in order to help everyone to have some fun in their life on the Island. Jack and Michael decide to give in to Hurley’s infectious enthusiasm, playing a round of golf. The survivor Jack previously treated arrives, forgetting all about his ailments with the prospect of playing the sport.
On the beach, news spreads of the golf course, and many are surprised to hear that the serious doctor is amongst the players. Sawyer jokes to Kate about it, and passes up the opportunity of accompanying her.
Jack prepares to capitalize on Charlie’s failure and to win the game, as the other survivors begin to bet commodities. Sawyer arrives, offering some bounty of his own, causing everyone to be on edge. However, the group begins to accept him, meeting his bets. Meanwhile, in the jungle, Locke is practicing throwing knives, realizing that Walt is watching him. Walt asks to be taught how to do that, and Locke obliges.
Further along the coastline than any other survivor has ever been, Sayid sits looking at his photograph of Nadia. However, he notices something out of the corner of his eye, and moving closer discovers that it is some kind of electrical cable. One end leads into the ocean, the other into the jungle. He decides to follow it into the jungle.
The cable that Sayid follows soon leads underground, but near it are a set of traps. Dodging the first one, Sayid is caught off-guard by another, which pulls him upside down by a rope. Trapped for hours, Sayid prays for help, but it is not until night that he hears some kind of response in the jungle. He is cut down by an unknown figure, and faints. Later, he begins to come round to hear a voice asking "where is Alex?" in a variety of different languages. The stranger who had cut him down is revealed as a woman, and she shocks Sayid with electric current, ordering him to reveal what he knows about Alex.
Sayid pleads that he doesn't know who Alex is, and explains about the crash. When he comments about the distress signal he picked up, and how it was 16 years old, the French woman stops, asking if it has really been that long. However, she still believes Sayid to be lying, saying she "knows what he is." The next morning, Sayid looks around to realize that he is in some sort of dugout tent, and sees a jacket with the name "Rousseau" on it, the French woman’s name. She talks about her distress signal, and how "they" now control it. She found his name on the envelope he carries with Nadia’s photo inside. She refuses to believe his story, asking why if there were so many, he would leave everyone for isolation. He says it is because of something he did, and when asked about Nadia, he says that she is dead. Rousseau believes him.
Rousseau shows Sayid a music box, a symbol of love and comfort to her from her love, Robert. However, the box has been broken for many years. Sayid says that he might be able to fix it if his hands are freed, but Rousseau seems to ignore him, sanding a rusted syringe. She then injects him.
To Danielle’s delight, Sayid manages to fix the music box, but as soon as he asks if he may go the music stops. She tells him that she needs him, and that he is not safe. Just then, a roaring sound is heard outside. She heads out after it, despite Sayid’s warning that it might be the Monster. "There’s no such thing as monsters," adds Rousseau as she leaves. Sayid manages to break free from his chains, and after grabbing a gun as well as copies of maps and diagrams, makes his escape.
Sayid and Rousseau cross paths as Sayid is trying to escape. They point their guns at each other, and Sayid pulls the trigger. To his surprise, however, he finds that the firing pin has been removed. Danielle says that Robert never noticed it either, before she shot and killed him. Sayid can't believe that she would shoot someone she loved, but Rousseau claims, "he was sick," just like the rest of her group. She could not afford to let whatever hurt them escape the Island if rescue would come, and so seemingly killed everyone close to her. She tells Sayid that she can't let him leave; after years of solitude she doesn't want to be alone. Sayid decides to tell Rousseau what was written on the back of the photograph of Nadia, "you will find me in the next life, if not in this one". He knows what it was like to hold on to someone, but the more he held on, the more he isolated himself. He believes that the only way off the Island is with his friends' help, and so he needs to return to them. He asks if she wants to join him, but Danielle declines. Before she leaves, she advises Sayid to watch his people very closely. Sayid shouts after her, "who was Alex?" She answers that Alex was her child.
|Recurring themes in Lost|
|Black and white • Car accidents • Character connections • Deceptions and cons • Dreams • Eyes • Fate versus free will • Good and bad people • Imprisonment • Isolation • Life and death • Missing body parts • Nicknames • The Numbers • Parent issues • Pregnancies • Rain • Rebirth • Redemption • Relationships • Revenge • Sacrifice • Secrets • Time|
|Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
|Art • Books • Cars • Games • Movies and TV • Music • Philosophy • Religion and ideologies • Science|
|Literary techniques in Lost|
|Comparative: Irony • Juxtaposition • Foreshadowing Plotting: Cliffhanger • Plot twist Stock Characters: Archetype • Redshirt • Unseen character
Story: Flashbacks • Flash-forwards • Flash-sideways • Regularly spoken phrases • Symbolism • Unreliable narrator
|Storyline analysis in Lost|
|A-Missions • Crimes • Economics • Leadership • O-Missions • Relationships • F-Missions • Rivalries|
At the start of this episode, Sayid's theme is heard for the first time with several of the notes slightly altered. The theme crops up numerous times throughout the episode, though none of these statements were on the season 1 soundtrack. (Another statement can be heard as "A New Trade" on the season 2 soundtrack, however.) Michael Giacchino also uses a frantic, new melody in the strings several times in this episode during scenes involving Rousseau, but this was not used in later episodes.