The Candidate is one of the most devastating episodes LOST has ever offered, yet amidst the shock and horror of the deaths that swiftly followed each other late in the episode, I felt uplifted by Sayid's decision to go out in a literal blaze of sacrificial glory. Here's a reflection on that to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's A Poem on an Underground Wall. (The song itself starts at about 2:30, but if you've never heard Art's colorful introductory anecdote, it's well worth a listen.)
Choice in an Underwater Cell
The timer is running out,
A consequence of Sawyer’s doubt.
There‘s no time now for hesitation.
Sayid knows his friends‘ salvation
Depends upon his actions.
His tragic eyes, lit at last,
Return to Jack before the blast.
He divulges Smokey’s secret:
What it is, and how to seek it
When they return to dry land.
He grabs the bulky bomb and bolts
While others brace for jarring jolts.
So strong, courageous, clever, swift,
He’s experienced such a shift
Since he spoke to Desmond!
And he runs on defiantly,
Declaring his liberty
From his would-be master’s tyranny
In the hope his selfless bravery
Spares his cornered friends.
As far away from them he dashes,
The hall’s engulfed in flame and ashes.
This time he will not be rising,
But deep within the sub there lies
A true hero.
All around him, crashing, screaming, crying.
The captain‘s dead, the Kwons are dying.
Frank has flown his final flight,
But still Sayid has chosen right
By casting off the darkness
To embrace redeeming light.