The episode begins with Sayid as a boy in Iraq, killing a chicken when his brother cannot. Then it moves to Ben in the time of the Dharma initiative, bringing Sayid a sandwich and a book. Ben asks Sayid if Richard sent him. He says that Richard told him to be patient, and he says that if Sayid is patient, he thinks he can help him.
Then we see Sayid as one of the Oceanic Six, working for Ben and killing a man in Moscow. Ben tells Sayid that he is done, that he has killed everyone who was a threat to his friends, and so he should now go live his life. Later Ben finds Sayid working for a charity, and suggests that he likes killing, that it is in his nature. We also see Sayid after he left the pier. Then he meets Ilana in a bar, who asks about his ordering an expensive McCutcheon’s scotch. He asks if she is a professional. She says she is not a professional anything, and that she likes sad men. He says that he is between jobs, having left the only thing he was ever good at, hut he is trying to change. She says that when you are good at something, there are always people who tempt you to stay the same. But later, she pulls a gun on him and says she was hired by a man that he killed, to bring him to Guam.
Sawyer and Juliette talk about what the implications of their friends arriving. Sawyer tries to persuade Sayid to say he wants to defect and join the Dharma Initiative, but he is unwilling to. Sayid gets to see Roger Linus’s abusive treatment of his son Ben. Later, he is taken to Oldham, who is the Dharma Initiative’s equivalent of Sayid, although he uses drugs rather than brute physical pain to extract information. Sayid tells the truth, but it makes little sense to them. Later the Dharma folks take a vote about what to do with Sayid. They decide to kill him. Sawyer tries to release him before they do so. But Sayid won’t leave, saying that he now knows what he is back on the island to do. Then Sawyer goes to Kate and asks her why they came back. She says she doesn’t know about anyone else, but she knows why she came back. Before she can say more, a flaming Volkswagen minivan crashes into a house. It is a distraction created by Ben so that he can release Sayid. Ben’s glasses are taped back together, having been broken by his father. Sayid says that his father was a hard man too, and that he is there to take Ben to his people. They run into the jungle. Sayid says “You were right about me, I am a killer,” and then shoots Ben and runs off.
The juxtaposition of Ben, the “sweet kid,” and Sayid also as a child, is poignant, and the ending cliffhanger leaves one to really ponder the time travel questions that the story takes more seriously than some other science fiction stories. Can one change the past? Is one destined to cause that which one tries to prevent? This smaller story sets the stage well for the later attempt to change the future in a more dramatic manner.