[UPDATED – My main man OB1 (aka Sean) has come through with a shot of the statue. I’ve added it below).
You know what? We needed a breather. And that’s what last night’s Sawyer-centric episode delivered. A chance for us to slow down a bit and get our bearings straight. And in the end, it offered up more evidence that Sawyer is the heart of this show. I’ve been saying it all along. This guy is the Han Solo of the piece. His rough, rugged exterior hides a heart 3 sizes too big.
In year’s past, there used to be a slower episode where the plot ground to a halt and we were served up some throwaway flashback. Things have changed. With few hours left to go in this tale, even these sweet little sojourns offer up compelling information. So, while Sawyer and company may be canoodling with the hippy dippy Dharma brigade, additional substance is being layered into the narrative. I’ll get to that below.
But I did want to use this opening refrain to tip my cap to last night’s episode. The pace slowed and I was grateful for it. Like I said – this show benefits from those episodes where we can sit in one place and get our bearings straight. And watch characters develop. That’s what elevates the greatest shows.
With that said, on with the show. Let’s get Lost.
1. I’ll pull a Lost and start with this title card. “Three Years Earlier”. Flash to me finding an awesome website devoted to capturing the HD feed of each Lost episode and then parsing out massive photo galleries of the show, providing me with the screen caps needed to illustrate my observations. The best part – the pics are up the morning after – often before I’ve raised my sleepy head. And they’ve never disappointed, capturing every crucial plot point and giving me just the images I need to tell my take on the tale.
2. “Three Years Later” … All good things must come to an end. No, the site hasn’t folded shop but this morning I was absolutely ripped when I found they had their usual gallery up, bright and early, but apparently missed the first 3 minutes of the show meaning the extensive gallery was missing the one crucial shot I needed for today’s post. The f’n statue!!! Hell, three years ago, they offered up a nice shot of that ‘blink and you missed it’ four-toed statue foot. Last night, we got a nice, lingering glance of the statue’s back… and there’s no photographic proof. Arghhhhhh. Oh well, I can’t begrudge the site runners as they’ve hooked me up exponentially over the years but this one did sting a little. So, I’ll have to go on memory.
3. Miles did a good job of introducing the reveal. “I’d say we’re way back” and then Sawyer’s camp did their best wide-eyed Spielbergian gape at something off screen and we spotted the back of that massive statue which called to mind, the Greek Colossus of Rhodes. There was some sort of ceremonial headdress on top and the hands were outstretched with what appeared to be an ankh (important later). And then BAM – they were out of there. Still, for three years people have cried for a follow-up to that lone sighting of the foot by Sayid (as he was adrift in Desmond’s sailboat on the Season 2 finale) and now we got it. Next time, let’s go full frontal.
4. My last thought on the statue – I think it is proof positive that the island was home to an ancient civilization and the ankh coupled with the hieroglyphics that we’ve seen in the first hatch, on the temple and in Ben’s basement point to Egyptian origin. But – last I checked – most Egyptians have 5 toes on each foot. Now, I don’t want to play the alien card too heavily here (I don’t think this is that kind of show) but a lot of alien mythology has ties to ancient civilizations with the pyramids of Egyptian and Mayan culture being linked to celestial beings. I don’t think aliens have anything to do with DHARMA but perhaps they had something to do with the ancient history of this island. Perhaps?!?!? I mean, besides The Simpsons, who else sports 4 digits on each appendage.
5. That early Daniel scene gave us some additional intel on how this time travel works. Apparently the dead don’t move on as Daniel flashed but Charlotte’s body stayed behind (or returned to the present?). Whatever happened, Daniel was shaken enough by Charlotte’s final words that he was the creepy guy who came to her as a child and warned her to leave the island. I think that memory foreshadows this season’s end game. We know that Sawyer and company are alive and well in the heyday of DHARMA so what if they are on the verge of the Purge – which the events of this episode seem to hint at. My guess is the remainder of the season will lead to the reunited Oceanic Six stuck in a quandary – how to get back to the present and should they warn the DHARMA Initiative of their impending annihilation and thus truly change future events? I’m gonna’ bet big money that the final episode of this season centers on that moral dilemma. Any takers?
6. The title ‘LaFleur’ held duel meaning. First, it’s Sawyer’s latest con – a true long con if ever there was one – stretching three years and potentially longer assuming the reunited Jack Pack doesn’t screw it up. Sawyer improvises quickly and calls himself James LaFleur, “a Creole thing”. LaFleur is also French for flower, which symbolizes the reveal later in the episode. More on that in a minute.
7. All of these shenanigans are necessitated by Sawyer’s intervention in the jungle when he comes across Michelle Dessler held at gunpoint by some rogue agents (woops, wrong show). Anyway, Sawyer busts a cap in one guy and takes the heat for Juliet’s transgressions and as payment for his brave actions, almost gets his brain fried by the sonic fence. More on that fence in a moment, too.
8. I’m always amused by Sawyer’s nicknames for people. He had the perfect one for the wishy-washy Daniel whose new theory on intervening with past events is “What happened. Happened.” – “Thanks Plato.” Ha Ha
9. That rumble in the jungle ends up being a pivotal plot point. For one, it gets LaFleur and his flunkies in good with DHARMA security chief Horace Goodspeed. Now, here’s the history on Horace. He and a different chick were present for Ben’s birth. In that episode, they came across Ben’s Dad just after Ben was born and his mother lay dying (back on the mainland – somewhere ‘Outside Portland’) and helped them out. Goodspeed then got Ben’s Dad a job with DHARMA and his Dad became Roger Workman – that skeleton that Hurley found behind the wheel of the Little Miss DHARMA van from two seasons ago. We then learned that Ben’s Dad was killed by Ben as part of the purge as was Horace. So, Horace got them to the island and Ben repaid the favor by allying with The Others and kick-starting The Purge.
10. Speaking of Horace, he’s played by Doug Hutchinson in a great, against-type performance. Hutchinson is an interesting character actor who usually slides into slimy, evil roles – most notably as Eugene Tooms on The X-Files as well as the cowardly prison guard in The Green Mile (he’s the one that gets a mouthful of “bugs” from John Coffey). Anyway, he’s almost always the bad guy so its nice to see him play this casual hippy geek.
11. So, in this episode, we learn that Sawyer negotiates a 2 week furlough to find their friends which eventually morphs into a 3 year tour. With all the pinballing back and forth three years it’s easy to let this fact gloss over – but I started thinking about it this morning and that fact is staggering. 3 YEARS!!! Up until time went topsy-turvy, the castaways had been on the island about 100 days since the original crash. Sure, the show’s been on for 5 years now , but in the narrative, it’s only been 100 days. And now, Sawyer and company are stranded back in 1974 and stay there for 3 YEARS!!! That’s a huge amount of time – long enough to really forget their old lives and come to terms with their predicament. By that point, they have to be thinking that this is how their life will play out.
12. And correct me if I’m wrong but when the episode ends – and the year on the island is now 1977 – we are aware of the whereabouts of Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Jin, Miles, Juliet and Hurley. But we do not see Daniel Faraday – who we know was with them. Does something happen to Daniel at some point along those 3 years – perhaps something to turn him into that “scary man” that confronts a young Charlotte?
13. Also, it’s safe to assume that when we saw Locke and company last week, they are not in the island’s past. Not 1974. Not 1977 either. Otherwise, Sawyer would have encountered him at some point during those three years he has now lived on the island.
14. Therefore, I think we have two groups of people in two separate times. The group I listed above is now in 1977. Locke, Ben and the rest of the Ajira Airlines passengers are on the second island in 2008.
15. Back to the fence – which got a shout out from Richard Alpert when he strolled in for tea and sympathy. Alpert said “That fence might be strong enough to keep out most things but not me.” I think “most things” was an allusion to Smokey as we’ve already seen it repel the “creature”. And, of course, in this very episode, a low dose was all it took to knock Sawyer on his ass. But Richard just strolled on through. How? The dude is immortal! First, we know he doesn’t seem to age. And he rocks the guyliner like nobody’s business. But there is the recurring image of the ankh in this episode that really tips their hand. The ankh is an Egyptian symbol which means ‘Eternal Life’. So, we have an island watched over by a massive statue holding ‘Eternal Life’ aloft and then we have the ageless stranger Richard Alpert strolling through brain-melting fences with nary a headache. Alpert is immortal and this island is the proverbial ‘Fountain of Youth’ or some approximation of it.
16. I told you that bomb was going to go off. Well, actually, I think the explosion is still ahead of us – but it’s mere presence helped James LaFleur negotiate with Richard Alpert – a guy who has lived long enough to willingly accept a time traveler or two when he meets one.
17. I’ve had some people ask me why Richard demanded the body of Paul. I think it is as simple as he needs to show his people that he corrected the injustice in order to keep that uneasy truce. Based upon the way those drones scrambled three years later when they spied Horace blowing up trees beyond the fence, I wonder if this is the beginning of that end.
18. While I wrote that, I just flashed to the ankh that Paul was wearing. Obviously he wasn’t immortal but could that mean that he was an Other who had come over to the other side – DHARMA. A Romeo & Juliet kinda’ thing. Maybe that’s why those guys killed him.
19. Finally – I’m getting back to James LaFleur and his loving relationship with Juliet. I like it. Like I said, I really like Sawyer and I dig Juliet. And a lot can happen in 3 years. I really hope that Freckles’ reintroduction doesn’t spoil things. She’s a sourpuss most of the time and I’d like to see Sawyer find happiness. If you want character development, his has seen the most improvement from Season 1 to now.
20. As for Juliet, that was a great piece of acting when she gave the news that she successfully delivered the baby. It seems as if this time period may be the beginning of the island’s fertility problems as Horace mentioned that women actually give birth off island. If you recall, by the time Juliet was drafted, women weren’t making it through their third trimester. So, whatever causes this apparently worsened over the years.
21. And we ended on that reunion. Like I said – let Kate keep Jack and they can go off an mope and mack in the corner. I’m officially on board with SawJul. Jamesiet? Julyer? I’ll get back to you on that one.
That’s enough for now. Let me know what you guys have.
See you in two weeks for Episode 5.9 – ‘Namaste’.