Well, this was unusual.
I’m a Sawyer fan. And I’ve made it abundantly clear in these posts that when you strip away all the mystery, mythology and smoke monsters, what truly compels us to follow Lost is the intricate character dynamics. We love some of these people. Loathe others. And we’re dying to see how their lives turn out and how the various threads pull together – especially over the last few, fleeing weeks.
So it’s a complete shocker to me that I found a Sawyer episode completely boring. Now, each season, I always look forward (with tongue firmly in cheek) to the requisite Kate episode – knowing we’ll chase our sour with the sweet. But Sawyer eps usually deliver – mainly because I love the character and it’s always fun to see his latest con. And while this episode helped to lay the frameworks of his newest (and most dire con), I can’t help but feel that the sideways stuff did nothing to develop the off-island storyline. It felt like filler and a time killer and with only 10 episodes left, that feels like the wrong play.
That being said – next week we dive into the Richard Alpert mythos so I’m chalking this up as a slight speed bump.
With that said, let’s get Lost.
1. I’m going to quickly dispense with the off-island shenanigans of Starsky & LaFleur as it should be a quick run through. The big twist here was that when confronted with those proverbial ‘two roads diverged’, Sawyer took the road less traveled (at least by him) and instead of chasing a life of crime, decided to slap on the badge.
2. Aside from the clever callback to one of Sawyer’s past cons (the suitcase of money set as bait for an unsuspecting mark), the off-island stuff did underscore the fact that this sideways universe represents ‘alternate career paths’ – at least for some of our beloved castaways. And I think that’s a cool conceit but not one that necessarily needs 30-minutes of exposition to hammer home.
3. It was cool to see Sawyer and Miles playing buddy cop. The two bonded in their 70’s flashback and I think they have a good chemistry together. If Locke and Ben are pitching a show together in real life – how about green-lighting Sawyer and Miles in an ass-kicking cop yarn? I’d watch that.
4. Once again, we see similarities bleed through from one timeline to the other. In this version, Sawyer is still hunting the con man who caused the murder-suicide of his parents. And it’s still Anthony Cooper. As we learned in Locke’s sideways trip, he’s apparently on good terms with his Dad so it leaves you to wonder if his Dad is still the same Cooper and if so, has that deception not been revealed to him?
5. Also, we know that this Sawyer also went to Oz but the jury is out on whether he was once again duped into murdering the wrong guy.
6. I think my biggest problem with these sideways trips is that they don’t seem to be closing the loops together and with fewer episodes remaining, it’s going to take a masterwork to tie these new binds with all the on-island stuff. I’m holding out faith that there is a master plan behind all of this but it also seems very late in the game to call an audible. We’ll see.
7. And of course, we had two chance encounters. Of course, there was the big set-up with Charlotte Lewis that really didn’t accomplish much aside from sending Sawyer to chase down the sage, fatherly advice of Pa Ingles. And then, there was Charlie’s Liam Gallagher-esque bro, looking to bail his beloved jailbird.
8. So, we return to the island. I thought the title itself was clever as it really holds dual meaning. First – the obvious – he is sent on his covert “recon” mission. Secondly – it tips the cap to Sawyer’s plan “to re-con” or return to the con.
9. Now, I think the MiB-directed recon mission was all a test of Sawyer’s loyalty. I have no doubt that Smokey knows exactly what’s happening on Hydra Island. And I think he wanted to see what Sawyer would do when confronted with another Devil’s offer – knowing full well that Widemore would offer the world if Sawyer could provide safe passage to his ‘promised land’. So, I think it took MiB Locke back a bit, when Sawyer (the greatest liar he’s ever seen) told him the straight truth. The problem is, Sawyer told him the truth of what he told Widemore but he didn’t tell either guy the whole truth and nothing but the truth, hence he’s planting enough doubt to sic them on each other.
10. Which brings us to the fruit of Sawyer’s plan – which his love of Watership Down illustrates. As that classic tale depicts a flight from disaster and strife, Sawyer plans on letting the battle wage, providing him with the necessary distraction to abscond with the sub and hightail it out of there – with Freckles, and I would imagine, the object of his bromance, Miles. It’s a good plan and I can’t wait to see it play out.
11. I thought the little catfight between Claire and Kate was interesting – especially Sayid’s non-reaction. He seemed content to let it all play out and it just underscores how far gone he is.
12. Of course, you get the impression that this is part of MiB Locke’s master plan. As he explained to Kate, he planted the seeds in Claire to give her something to fight against – to give her hate. It’s what the ‘Devil’ does best – pushing the right buttons, promising needful things, to get what he desires.
13. That being said, his little discussion about his origins was interesting. He claims that he once had a crazy Mama, much like Aaron does. We know he’s not Rousseau’s but could this be the continual rebirth on this island? Was MiB’s human being infested long ago, as a child, when he and his mother had been drawn to the island. Or, is it more mythological than that – citing the Egyptian influences on the island? The whole story smacks of classic Greek myth too. Either way, does this hint that Aaron is destined to be the new MiB and that MiB Locke is cultivating the crazy in Claire to bring about his prophecy?
That’s all I’ve got. See you next week for the Episode 6.9, ‘Ab Aeterno’.