Lost – ‘LaFleur’ – 5.8

lafleur5

[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.

statue1

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.

lafleur2

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.

lafleur3

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.

lafleur4

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.

lafleur1

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.

lafleur6

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’.

11111

Comments now closed (22)

  • @Ed! Funny today! I lost it with “let’s go full frontal next time” and “Michelle Dessler” and the “Little Miss Dharma Van” and “Richard Alpert when he strolled in for tea and sympathy.” Rolling here! sometimes I’m easily amused! ANd “Rocks the guyliner”! Excellent on Point 19! Absolutely. And Juliet is just amazing! Sawjul all the way. Nice write up.

  • Additionally with Sawyer, I think him meeting with Richard was huge too, it gave him his credit, part of the inner circle so to speak, down with it all and making awesome choices. It really was a great episode for its characters.

  • AAAARRRGGGHH!!! I am down in Fla helping my Dad through a medical problem, and of course they don’t watch Lost, so it took me a couple of minutes to get back to my room and fire up the 12″ samsung ( tube, not a HD in the place) and I MISSED the statue!! I had to keep the volume low, and Jessi and I were texting back and forth, the way we talk through the show at home, as we figured out the timelines. I ended up with Three Years Earlier-the year I met Uncle Ron -Three Years Later- the year I married him…whatever works for you, I guess.
    I had not thought that it would be the two groups in two times, I must ponder on that.
    And maybe the eyeliner is reminiscent of the Egyptian pharoahs…Think the Death Mask of King Tut…

  • Aha!!! I was wondering if that was Michelle Dessler! I kept changing my mind!

  • Guyliner: Two things:
    1. I was thinking the same thing as Aunt Sharon after seeing the statue and suddenly thinking all the ancient stuff and hieroglyphics are Egyptian in origin. The statue pretty clinched it for me and now, what if Richard is a pharaoh?
    2. I think it might be permanent because he sports it in The Dark Knight and why would the mayor of Gotham wear guyliner? Permanent or this guy just likes it now because of his character on Lost. I don’t remember it on him when he was on Suddenly Susan. Damn Must-See TV.

    Two times: I had that feeling last week because we obviously knew Jin was in the past which meant so too were Hurley, Kate and Jack. The Hydra station seemed to be pretty beat up and abandoned and definitely wouldn’t reflect the newness of the past. You have to believe that at some point everyone is reunited… or will they be… hmm… no reason they have to do that, right?

    Faraday: My thought was Charlotte’s body didn’t travel because she was dead. The body is in whatever time they flashed out of and I don’t think it would reset to present day or anything like that. Weird that Daniel’s backpack has been traveling with him even though it isn’t always on his person when they flash. I’d think there has to be physical contact for it to move, like the rope and Sawyer. I suspect that might be a slight error on their part. I thought the same thing about him too when we don’t see him in 77. Wonder if he’s gone Ben Kenobi on them.

    LaFleur: As my FB status last night indicates, I like this kinder, gentler Sawyer rather than constantly pissed off and abrasive guy that landed in 74. I thought they might put he and Juliet together down the road. He’s just too much manwich — that’s an Ed term and not mine — for any woman to resist for long. I also share your hope that the arrival for Freckles doesn’t ruin things. The same can be said for Jack coming back into Juliet’s orbit. I guess we will find out if three years really is long enough. His chats with Horace (upon awaking in the rec room) and Richard were excellent. He is a smooth operator to be sure.

    Random query: Shouldn’t you be referring to them as the Oceanic 5 like I do now? Locke and Frank weren’t part of that group and Aaron is MIA. Meatbag.

    Lastly, I really enjoyed this one a lot. I’d give it five Mooninites.

  • You know what’s so good about this episode. I think I could easily watch an entire series about LaFleur and his DHARMA friends. Something about this put me in a happy place.

  • @Sean – I think that with the direct reference to the guyliner plau all of the Egyptian influence, there is no question that Richard is of ancient Egyptian origin. I like that Pharoah notion. Weren’t the pyramids built as vessels to the afterlife. Still – I think it’s likely just Nester C’s natural look that they were able to integrate into the story and dialogue.

    BTW With all of our main stars stuck back in the 70’s – the likelihood of two of them becoming those skeletons is becoming more plausible.

  • One thing I noticed when Sawyer come up on the “mugging” and shot the others. One of the Others got a good shot off on Saywer and he looked down at himself and then over to Juliet like he was thinking how didn’t I get hit. Did anyone notice that?

    It will be interesting to how Saywer tries to incorporate Jack, Hurly and Kate into Dharma. Also, why wouldn’t he tell Juliet why he was going out in a rush? Jin must have mentioned Kate. You have to think there is going to be some type of love quadrangle with Jack, Juliet, Kate and Sawyer. I do want to see how some detail on how 2 weeks becomes three years.

    As for Daniel, they didn’t show him a lot in the threes later flashes, but remember we did see him at the Orchid with a Dharma jumpsuit on when it was being built. I’m just not sure what year that was? So I would think he was there for a period of time if not the entire time.

    Finally what is up “in two weeks”. I thought we had to wait until January to see the season so we could see them all in a row. None of this in two weeks crap.

  • @Chris – I think he just looked at Juliet because she “got his back” – she shot that guy before he could put a bullet in Sawyer. That became a theme throughout the episode – that she was always there for him.

  • Also – I’m sure we’ll get some fill in the blanks stuff (certainly to see what became of Daniel) but I think that the 2 weeks to 3 years thing is quite easily explained. They never got off the island and they never got back to the present so two weeks eventually became 3 years. But I’m sure at some point we’ll see them getting integrated into the fold.

  • As for the two weeks thing, I think that’s easily explained. The premiere was two hours and the finale is two hours. That’s 4 episodes right there (of their order of 16). They want to get to May for May sweeps so they are taking a week hiatus just so the finale airs during the oh-so important sweeps week. If you can believe it – we’re already at the half way point of the season and then we wait until January once again. All told, there are only 24 episodes remaining in the entire series.

  • I feel like I need to watch this episode again, but it was great!

    I nearly leapt out of my seat when I saw the statue. I was hoping to see more of it, but alas, perhaps it will be one of the island’s un-answered questions.

    Funny, I was recently watching The Dark Knight with a friend, and I mentioned that the dude playing the mayor of Gotham was also on Lost, and he says, “Does he wear as much guyliner as he does here?”

    I definitely see some Egyptian tie-ins, esp. with the eyeliner (though its a long shot), the picture Hurley was painting with watercolor, and now the ankh.

    Three years is a loooong time! Its almost unheard of to do something like that on a tv show, to go from present day and then to say, “and three years later,” but we had to know something like that was coming because they had to explain what the rest did on the island for THREE YEARS while the Jack pack got to go home. Its almost as ballsy as Ronald D. Moore’s decision to have Battlestar Galactica skip ahead a whole year whilst on the Cylon occupied New Caprica!

    -x

  • What is odd is that they chose next week to skip a new episode instead of this week. Last night started March sweeps, so LaFleur didn’t count, but next week’s presumed repeat will. Kind of odd, but the end of last week’s would have been a good two week *cliffhanger* with Jin finding the three. Of course, does it really matter? We know ABC is going to run this thing to the end, sweeps numbers be damned, plus the LOST lead-in didn’t help Life on Mars which finally got the axe earlier this week.

  • Just a little semi-off-topic… I guess all the other Losties have been knocked off – including Bernard and Rose. 3 years is a long time to be wandering the island and hanging on the beach… they must have become Smokey food in that time, if the flaming arrows didn’t get them.

  • We don’t know where Bernard and Rose are. They could have been transported elsewhere or not transported alongside Sawyer and co. Oh well – we don’t need no stinkin’ red shirts anyway.

  • Not that I really care where Bernard and Rose and any other 815ers are, but I would guess that since they moved to the time the flaming arrows with Sawyer and company, that they continued to move in the same time. That said, where have they been for three years? I don’t think they’d silently rid themselves of at least those two since they haven’t been total red shirts. You’d think they’d show a finality if there was one to be shown.

    That said, what if the two of them have been holed up somewhere on their own and they end up being the two skeletons in the cave? Hmmm…

  • Yeah, I agree. If the show ended and they forgot to bring closure to the two of thm, I’m not sure I’d be ranting and raving.

  • ok, let me be a total girl here and say that I LOVE SAWYER! he was always my favorite on the show, and after last night, i think i may want to make my bald husband get a wig and hit the gym so he can be more sawyer-esque 🙂 LOL.

    great episode….i love sawyer (did i say that already?) and juliet together – and i really hope kate doesn’t f-it up! she just did it with jack right before they left….so really, i hope she doesn’t expect to come in and be all lovey dovey w/ sawyer. it does bug me that sawyer didn’t tell juliet where he was going….

    great write up ed!

    question for you though – we saw horace when lock was in the forest at some point, right? was he the one who told locke about the mass grave and the extinction of the DHARMA folks? all i remember is him chopping down trees & my mind can’t get to the exact scene. any help?

  • @Sarah – You are right on the money. Good catch with Horace in the woods. Locke saw Horace in a dream sequence and Horace told him that he was chopping the trees down to build a cabin for his wife and infant son. Then his nose started to bleed. So, that was definitely an omen of things to come.