Mario Perez/ABC
March 03, 2010 12:00 AM

Shortly before Tuesday’s Lost, executive producer Carlton Cuse Tweeted, “What happens when the sun goes down?” Perhaps the more appropriate question would’ve been, “What doesn’t?” “Sundown” was both a meditative portrait of Sayid’s heart of darkness and a rip-roaring thrill ride — especially those pulse-pounding, Smokey final minutes — and surely ranks as one of season 6’s best yet, don’t you think? A special tip of the hat must go to Naveen Andrews, who managed to turn in an alternately heartbreaking and chilling lead performance (and take care of business in some major fight scenes), even though he was battling a hardcore case of the flu.

The Big Twists: In the Sideways, Sayid reunited with true love Nadia — but she was married to his sketchy brother Omar. Why wasn’t he playing Dad to her two kids instead of uncle? “The last 12 years I’ve been trying to wash my hands of all the horrible things I’ve done,” said the former Iraqi torturer. “I can’t be with you because I don’t deserve you.”

On the island, Sayid initially tried to be noble as well. “I’m a good man,” he insisted to Dogen. And even after the Temple titan nearly killed him (again!), Sayid still did as he was instructed and plunged a dagger into Locke Monster’s heart. But despite the Smokey One’s earlier declaration that he was a man, he didn’t die — or even bleed. (What’s up with that?) Instead, he made Sayid an offer he couldn’t refuse — the opportunity to be with Nadia again — and before you can say “bye-bye, redemption,” Sayid drowned Dogen in the Temple’s murky spring and slashed sidekick Lennon’s throat. Guess Jacob no longer has Sayid’s number!

Meanwhile, Smokey killed the Others who refused to cross over to the dark side, Miles told a relieved Sun that Jin was still alive, and Kate finally succeeded in finding Claire. She even told the crazy jungle mama that she took Aaron and had been raising him. So not the best idea.

Requiem For a Hiro: Those fans frustrated by the introduction of the new Temple peeps at the start of the season won’t likely mourn the passing of Dogen and Lennon. (Though, seriously, how cold was it that Sayid offed Dogen right after he revealed that he’d nearly killed his baseball-playing son in a drunk-driving accident? Jacob saved his life in exchange for Dogen’s relocation to the island.) Still, producers stand by their decision to create the Temple master role for Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai). “Hiro’s a huge movie star in Japan and it was kind of a fulfillment of a dream that we were able to get him,” Cuse says. “He has a certain power and screen magnetism, and that character wouldn’t have worked for us in the first six episodes without those dynamics.”

Mirror, Mirror: Like Jack, Kate and Locke before him, Sideways Sayid experienced a pointed moment of reflection when his mirror image was shown in the window of Nadia’s front door.

The Sideways Crosses: Sporting blue scrubs, Jack passed Sayid and Nadia in the hospital hallway after Omar was brutally mugged by money-collecting thugs. The leader of said thugs? Martin Keamy, the season-4 freighter baddie, seen here as a deceptively cheery egg-maker. On the island, Sayid stabbed, but did not kill, Keamy; in these Sideways, it seemed he got to finish the job. A moment later, he found a beaten Jin, who ranted in Korean after Sayid ripped the tape from his mouth. Wonder how Jin got outta that customs jam?

Behind the Scenes: Andrews was a powerful presence onscreen but, during the episode’s early-November shoot, he was clearly hurting. “I’m delirious,” a sick Andrews admitted to PEOPLE during a break in filming “Sundown’s” closing, follow-the-Locke Monster scene. Adding to the actor’s misery: Uncharacteristically cool Hawaiian temps and driving rain that had costars Evangeline Lilly and Emilie de Ravin hiding under raincoats and warming their hands against hot cups of tea. (Ultimately, the downpour — and the perilously muddy jungle paths — would force production to shut down early for the night.) Still, nothing could dampen Terry O’Quinn’s spirits. When jokingly asked if he was gonna miss the unpredictable island weather, he smiled and said with sincerity, “I am. I’m gonna miss every bit of this.”

What a Tease: Spoiler alert! Prepare to be schooled by European-history teacher Ben (Michael Emerson) in next week’s “Dr. Linus.” Daughter Alex will make a Sideways appearance, while on-island Ben will take a beating. True, that’s a rather common Lost occurrence — but this one comes from somebody grieving a very personal loss. –Shawna Malcom

Tell us: Were you a fan of the episode? What did you think of Sayid’s dark twist?Mario Perez/ABC

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