Let’s take a closer look at LOST: Season 6 – Episode 8.

“You and me are getting the hell off this island.”

-Sawyer

 

The quote above is about all the previews for last night’s episode gave us to go on – that and a couple shots of Kate and Sawyer making eyes at each other. Sawyer gave up on the Island and the candidate game when Juliet died, so I have no problem following that arc. Unfortunately, it seems like the writers are going to make sure that Kate is wedged into the experience.

In the beginning, Kate was mysterious and adventurous – since about Season 3, she’s become an awful, fickle, manipulative presence. Every time Jack or Sawyer fall for her crap, I lose respect for the character. I mean, other than the fact that Evangeline Lilly is a very attractive woman, what is it about Kate that drives the boys wild?

This week’s episode description was the simplest of the season – Locke assigns Sawyer a mission. Could it be… a reconnaissance mission? This combined with the previews led me to expect lots of Kate and Sawyer tramping around the Island. At least a Sawyer-centric episode seems like the best time to bring Juliet back in a flash-sideways, right?

2004

 

We start with Sawyer pulling the old pigeon drop again when we find out… he’s a cop! Going after con artists! And Miles is his partner! Last week we had a couple of straight up “What if?” conversations – about how life would have been different for 2004 Ben had he stayed on the Island, or how Frank wound up on the Island even after oversleeping and missing flight 815. In this episode, Sawyer recounts a time where he was going to become either a cop or a criminal – in this reality, he chose cop. In the regular timeline, he alludes to needing money and falling back on con artistry, so this is serious two roads diverged in a yellow wood territory.

The Sawyer in this flash-sideways isn’t much different from the one we know now, but is a contrast to Season 1 Sawyer. He evolved into a more noble character faster in the alternate timeline, but he still carries his dark desire for revenge.

We’ve come to understand that during their time together in the Dharma Initiative, Sawyer and Miles became close, but we haven’t had much of a chance to see it on the Island. It was nice to give that relationship a little more space, even if it was in an alternate reality.

A familiar face crops up as a romantic interest, but not the hoped-for Juliet. I knew that Charlotte (whose back story was a victim of the writer’s strike) would be coming back, but this seems like an odd place to put her. I believe that Miles said that she works with his dad, and if that’s still Dr. Pierre Chang and if he’s still doing the same kind of work, that might lead somewhere, but otherwise there doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason to put her in the episode. Well, unless Elizabeth Mitchell was just too busy.

The 2004 sequence ended not with a bang or a whimper, but with an Ugh. Because look – there’s Kate again! Does he recognize her from the airport? Are we going to get an explanation for why Sawyer-the-police-officer would help her elude the TSA back in the season premiere? Or had the writers not decided Sawyer was a cop yet at that point? Either way, expect the answers to be annoying.

2007

 

Well, the expected Kate and Sawyer jungle adventure never materialized, as faux-Locke sent Sawyer to scope out Hydra Island. The rest of the passengers of Ajira 316 are dead, presumably by the smoke monster’s intangible hands. There’s still life in the old station as Charles Witmore’s submarine crew is setting up camp – including sonic pylons to keep smokey at bay. I was surprised to see Charles again so soon – after the sub appeared at the end of last week’s episode, I figured it would take another couple of weeks for it to resurface again (no pun intended).

Faux-Locke’s story is that his group will use the Ajira plane to get off the Island, which is just painful to think about. I mean, the plane is basically intact and able to take off again because it’s on a runway, right? And the Others (with Kate and Sawyer’s help) were building the runway (as ordered by Ben) way back at the beginning of Season 3. So who told Ben to build the runway? And how did that person know… oh, nevermind – you see where I’m going here.

Sawyer makes a deal with Witmore to get him and his friends off the Island, but reveals his plan to faux-Locke when he returns. In keeping with his antipathy towards the cosmic conflict about to take place on the Island, Sawyer explains to (ugh) Kate that he plans to use the conflict between Witmore and faux-Locke to snag the submarine and get off the Island. It seems like he intends to take at least Kate, Jin, and Sun with him, so Sawyer isn’t simply looking out for himself these days, but it also looks like he’ll be even more resistant than Jack to playing out any role Jacob might have for him.

Beyond that, there was some Kate and Claire business left over from last week that dragged down the episode. Claire’s crazy, Kate’s guilt-ridden, they both cry and eventually hug. Faux-Locke provides some dime-store psychology to explain Claire’s behavior, and everything is okay in the end. I guess I just wasn’t the target audience for the sub-plot.

We now have 3 distinct camps of people on the Island, so more wrinkles are being added even as the countdown is on. Sawyer’s playing for the same stakes he always has – to get off the Island – which is refreshing because we don’t know what anyone else is playing at.

 

Miscellany

  • The writers insist that the show’s conclusion will be anchored more in the characters than the grand conflict that surrounds them. Maybe I’ll have to wait that long to see Jin and Sun together again.
  • A friend of mine floated an interesting theory today – that the flash-sideways reality is where we’ll see what happens when the smoke monster/faux-Locke/the Man in Black/the Nemesis gets off the Island. We disagreed on some of the details, but what if – in the alternate timeline – the Hydrogen Bomb was the loophole that killed Jacob?
  • Since last night was a Sawyer episode, Season 6 is back in sync with Season 1. Since the Sayid episode came when we should have expected a Sun episode, perhaps next week will be a Sun episode (where Season 1 had a Sayid episode). Last week’s Ben episode was in place of a Season 1 Charlie episode. There are nine more characters accounted for in the opening credits that haven’t had their own episode this season (Claire, Desmond, Frank, Hurley, Ilana, Jin, Miles, Richard, and Sun), and eight more episodes until the final. If they consolidate Jin and Sun, and there’s no double-dipping, everyone would get their own feature episode between now and the end of the show. Not only would this spare us from another Jack or Kate episode, but it would also give us the FRANK LAPIDUS EPISODE WE’VE ALWAYS WANTED!
  • There have been lots of jokes about LOST spin-offs, but Miles and Sawyer as partners in the LAPD? I’d watch that.
  • And for no apparent reason(?) Charlie’s brother! Looking more rock star than suburban dad, it should be noted.
  • So… is it just me or is Naveen Andrews overdoing the Sayid-as-zombie bit.
  • Definitive proof that faux-Locke is evil: he stopped Claire from killing Kate.
  • So faux-Locke had a crazy mom once? I’m sure there’s all sorts of classical mythology I should be scrambling for right now.
  • So who or what is in the padlocked door on the submarine? Go crazy with the theories, Internet!
  • Sawyer still watches Little House on the Prairie, even though the TV in his apartment presumably gets more channels than the one his childhood trailer did.
  • Next week we get a Richard episode!!! It will be either the most satisfying episode of the series or the most frustrating.

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Doug Clinton

Douglas Clinton was born in rural Connecticut at the tail end of the disco era. He attended Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where he lettered in two sports and wrote, directed, and performed in several Spanish language films. Following high school, he spent his summers as a postal worker and studied Political Science in the Netherlands. During this time, he also wrote for the insanely popular yet tragically short-lived sketch comedy show Mass Hysteria. His first three plays, The Life and Times of Princess Sophia, The Prophecy of the Shoe, and Princess Tabasco Saves the Universe all debuted in Hardwick, Vermont between 2002 and 2004. After college, he spent three years as a full-time volunteer, for which he was inducted into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. He currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his cats H.I. and Ed(wina).

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