"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 notices a familiar face when talking to his commanding officer.

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 same woman, who turns out to be Nadia. His group believes she 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 to what will happen to her.


Nadia refuses Sayid's pleas to give up her associates.

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."

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. Sayid goes to her cell and gives her a bag to put over 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.

On the Island[]

Sayid's trip[]

Day 12

Sayid Nadia beach

Sayid sitting on the beach and reminiscing about Nadia.

Further along the coastline than any other survivor has ever been, Sayid sits looking at his photograph of Nadia. He notices something out of the corner of his eye, and moving closer discovers 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.

Sayid finds cable

Sayid finds a partially buried cable.

The cable he follows soon leads underground, and 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.

At the beach[]

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, saying Sayid is a trained soldier who is able to look after himself.

Sayid's trip[]


Sayid being interrogated by Danielle.

Later, Sayid 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.

The Caves[]

1x09 jack

Hurley tells Jack that everyone needs to relax if they're going to be able to cope with living on the Island.

Jack treats Sullivan for a rash, dubbing him a hypochondriac. Hurley thinks that everyone is too tense and they need something to help them unwind.

Locke returns to the caves with Ethan, another survivor, after hunting for food. They found a variety of luggage items during their scout, and Hurley offers to look through them for anything useful. The commotion wakes up Walt, who asks 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.

Sayid's trip[]

Sayid pleads that he doesn't know who Alex is, and explains about the plane 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."

Day 13

The next morning, Sayid looks around to realize that he is in some sort of dugout tent. He 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.

The Caves[]

Michael and Jack make plans to split the drinking water to make a shower facility; their discussion is interrupted by Charlie, who takes them to see Hurley.

1x09 hurley

Hurley reveals his golf course.

Hurley has built a golf course in order to help everyone to have some fun in their life on the Island.

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.

1x09 rousseau

Danielle Rousseau explains about how she came to the Island.

Sayid regains consciousness, and Rousseau apologizes for using the sedative. She moved him so he could fix the music box. He agrees to work on it, in exchange for her name. Danielle tells Sayid about how her science team experienced malfunctions during a storm in the Pacific. Her ship was breached and crashed, and her team made camp on the Island "temporarily." After two months, something occurred, causing Rousseau to make the distress signal which stated that "it had killed them all." Danielle explains that "the Others were the carriers," and that though she had never met them, they whisper in the jungle. Sayid doesn't believe her.

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 she needs him and 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," says 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, he makes his escape.


Sayid walking through the jungle.

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.

Jack and Michael 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.

News spreads of the golf course, and many are surprised to hear the serious doctor is amongst the players. Sawyer jokes to Kate about it and passes up the opportunity of accompanying her to the course.

Kate and Jack mildly flirt as they talk about how the golf course is making everyone feel safe. Walt arrives, noting that Michael had left him at the caves alone. Michael offers to let Walt have a go, but when it is his turn, he disregards his son.

1x09 kate jack

Kate and Jack chat on the golf course.

Jack prepares to capitalize on Charlie’s failure and win the game, as the other survivors begin to bet commodities on the outcome. Sawyer arrives, offering some bounty of his own, causing everyone to be on edge. The group begins to accept him, however, meeting his bets.

Sayid's trip[]

As Sayid treks back through the jungle, the wind shifts, the sound of the Monster is briefly heard, and he begins to hear whispers.


  • During the scene where Jack treats Sullivan for his rash, Shannon can be heard in the background saying "Eww, get him out of there. He's drinking our water." This dialogue is from a deleted scene of this episode where Shannon comes across Vincent drinking from the main water supply. Shannon yells at Walt for letting the dog drink from the water and is then confronted by Michael for yelling at his son. Hurley tells Shannon that dogs mouths are in fact cleaner than humans. Shannon, defeated, storms off.
  • The name "The Others" is first used in this episode by Rousseau.
  • This was the first episode in which we hear whispering in the jungle. (Whispers)
  • Danielle asks Sayid where Alex is when he is semi-conscious. She speaks at least six different languages:
  • English: "Where is Alex?"
  • German: "Wo ist Alex?"
  • Spanish: "¿Dónde está Alex?"
  • Italian: "Dov'è Alex?"
  • French: "Où est Alex?"
  • Russian: "Где Алекс?"
  • A common misconception was that Alex was male until Danielle referenced her as "she" in the season 1 finale, "Exodus, Part 1". This was due to her previously being referred to as "he" by Sayid on three occasions in this episode. However it wasn't a blooper because Danielle only ever referred to her as "my child" at the end of the episode and never confirmed or denied Sayid's assumption. The Lost Chronicles: The Official Companion Book also incorrectly stated Alex to be male because of this. In certain dubbed and/or subtitled versions of the episode in others languages this was also stated.
  • The name of the company that makes the Chinese-lettering shirt Boone frequently wears can be read on his sleeve in this episode. It is from the Eighty Four Skate shop, a store of the Blue Hawaii Surf company, located in Honolulu. Their website can be found here: http://eightyfourskate.blogspot.com
  • On the back of the Nadia's picture is written "If we cannot make to see each other in this life, We can see each other in another life" in Arabic.
  • When Rousseau asks Sayid about Nadia, he tells her Nadia is dead. It is revealed later, in "The Greater Good", that Nadia is alive in Los Angeles and this is why Sayid was going there.
    • This is possibly Sayid's way of changing the subject of the conversation, or to elicit sympathy from her in order to alleviate his torture, predicting that she would have lost somebody close to her as well.
  • The mystery of the Cable won't be solved until Season 3's penultimate episode "Greatest Hits".
  • Sayid's rank is a Mulazim awwal (1st lieutenant) at the episode beginning. He is promoted to a Rai'd (Major) after Nadia has been confined for months.
  • This episode is rated TV-14-V.

Production notes[]

Cut material[]


Rousseau dances.

  • The argument at the caves ("people yelling at each other over nothing," as Hurley called it) originally formed a full scene. The cave survivors would have been eating, Locke cooking a boar and serving meat on airplane trays, when Shannon arrived for water and saw Vincent drinking from the spring. Michael and Hurley would have defended Vincent, who would have started bathing in the spring, to Shannon's horror.[1] This would have explained Michael's later plan to build showers and isolate the drinking water, a scene that was to have developed a closer connection between Michael and Jack.[2]
  • Sun would have prepared aloe for Sullivan, continuing her role as Jack's assistant.[1]
  • Sayid, not Omar, would have joked that Omar should enjoy his superior position before Sayid overtook him.[3] In her first interrogation, Nadia would have responded to the accusation of treachery by calling Saddam Hussein a traitor and scolding Sayid for serving him.[4]
  • As stated in the script, Danielle was to have worn a stretched sweater that left one shoulder bare.[5] Two of her scenes with Sayid would have formed a longer scene, joined by additional material: Sayid would have mentioned fighting in the first Gulf War, which Danielle had not heard of, and when he claimed Nadia was dead, Danielle would have kissed him on the lips.[6] She would have called her music box a gift Robert had bought her in Singapore for their anniversary, and when Sayid fixed it, she would have danced.[7][8]
  • Hurley's monologue about the camp's stress would have mentioned Sayid's absence and their lack of a plan to escape the Island.[1] When he unveiled the golf course, Charlie would have responded enthusiastically and high-fived him.[9]
  • Sayid would have asked if "that thing in the jungle" killed her team, and Danielle would have expressed ignorance about its existence.[10] When she later expressed hope that the sounds outside were a polar bear, she would have clarified that she planned to eat it.[11] Sayid's scene leaving the hut was longer. He would first have exited the hut, conspicuously leaving behind Nadia's photos before stopping, reconsidering and returning - to retrieve Danielle's map, not the photos.[12]
  • Before Kate called herself an outcast when inviting Sawyer to golf, Sawyer would have called her one. Their conversation would have covered Sawyer's attempts to attract hate, referencing Kate's discovery in the previous episode.[13]


Main article: Musical score
Main article: Musical themes

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. Sayid's motif also appears for the first time. Michael Giacchino also uses a frantic, new melody in the strings several times in this episode during scenes involving Rousseau.


Recurring themes[]

  • Rousseau's distress signal had been on a loop for 16 years. (The Numbers)
  • Rousseau headed outside after hearing roars. She commented that the sound could be one of the bears. (Animals)
  • Nadia was a prisoner of Sayid's in Iraq, and Sayid was a prisoner of Rousseau's on the Island. (Imprisonment)
  • The survivors played golf. (Games)
  • Sayid left the group out of guilt for what he did to Sawyer. (Isolation)
  • Sayid shoots himself and risks his life to help Nadia escape. (Redemption)
  • Nadia wrote on the back of her photo about seeing Sayid in the next life, if not in this one. (Resurrection)
  • Rousseau speaks of her child, who is called Alex. (Children)

Cultural references[]

Literary techniques[]

  • Nadia's note says "You will see me in the next life, if not in this one." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • The survivors are not alone on the Island. (Plot twist)
  • The mysterious cable later plays a major part in "Greatest Hits". (Foreshadowing)
  • Rousseau asks Sayid where Alex is. (Foreshadowing)
  • Rousseau holds Sayid prisoner and tortures him, just as Sayid did to Nadia, as well as Sawyer in the previous episode ("Confidence Man"). (Juxtaposition)  (Irony)
  • Sayid helped Nadia to escape by killing Omar and injuring himself; on the Island, he repaired Rousseau's music box, even if he was in great danger. (Juxtaposition)
  • In the past, Sayid does not run away with Nadia, and holds on to her memory for many years, while withdrawing emotionally from everyone else. Now, on the Island, he realizes that he needs to work with the other Survivors to escape. (Juxtaposition)
  • The scene on the golf course is symbolic of Michael's poor parenting skills. When he hears about the tournament, Michael leaves Walt at the beach. He later asks Walt if he wants to try, but Walt feels guilty that others are waiting to have a turn. When Hurley tells Michael it is his turn, instead of offering his try to Walt, he accepts it, leaving Walt to walk back to the beach alone again. (Symbolism)
  • Rousseau's music box symbolizes Danielle's isolation. The box was initially broken, but having human contact with Sayid allows Rousseau and the box to be repaired. This comparison is supported by the fact that the box stops playing immediately after Sayid asks if he can go, ending the human contact. (Symbolism)
  • As the episode ends, we can hear the first whispers. (Cliffhanger)
  • Hurley comments that "rich idiots" go to tropical island's to play golf. It would later be revealed that Hurley had won the lottery. (Irony)
  • Michael advises Walt to find ways to entertain himself, and later gets mad at Hurley for doing exactly that with the golf course. (Irony)  (Juxtaposition)

Storyline analysis[]

  • Sayid walks the shore and maps the Island to understand the survivors' surroundings. (A-Missions)
  • Sayid's and Nadia's childhood relationship is revived. (Relationships)
  • Sayid shoots his commanding officer and frees Nadia. (Crimes)
  • Hurley gets an idea for the benefit of the survivors' mindsets - fun. He then takes charge of constructing the golf course on his own, without Jack's permission or knowledge. He then presents it in a way that shows he is in charge for the moment, and Jack, Charlie and Michael submit to his reasoning of the importance of fun. (Leadership)

Episode connections[]

Episode references[]

  • Sayid tells Rousseau about the Oceanic Flight 815 crash. ("Pilot, Part 1")
  • Sayid says he left the beach camp because of "something he did." ("Confidence Man")

Episode allusions[]

  • Sayid again looks at Nadia's photograph. ("Walkabout")

External links[]