Lost Season 6 Episode 8: Recon
It seems like everyone got their sentimental bone tickled last season when Sawyer became Jim and settled down in ’70s DHARMAville to play house with Juliet. But truth be told, we think it was high time we all got reminded that Sawyer has his dark side and when he’s being true to himself, you can’t ever predict what he’s going to do or who he’s telling the truth to. The title of the episode was Recon and that cleverly referred both to the recon mission Smokey sent him on as well as the return of the con man he always was.
We fear this might be one of our shorter Lost entries in a while because, as entertaining as this episode was, it was a little light on revelations and plot movement. Claire said she wanted to kill Kate. Claire attempts to kill Kate. Widmore is just off the island in a sub. Sawyer talks with Widmore in his sub. Jin wants to find Sun. Sayid is completely fucked up. Smokey is Smokey. If it sounds like we’re complaining, we’re not. Not really. Seeing Sawyer’s B-timeline story was entertaining enough, and like seemingly everyone else who watched last night we had the spontaneous reaction of desperately wanting to see a Ford & Straume, L.A. Detectives spinoff on the ABC Fall lineup next season. But after the initial “He’s a COP?” shock wore off, it was a standard B-timeline story.
The writers took a pretty big risk this season. They’re banking on the fact that, for good or for ill, any audience members that have stuck through it this long are not going to walk away now, no matter what crap they pull, so long as they promise to wrap it up in the end. Which isn’t to say the B-timelines are crap; it’s just that it’s asking a lot of the audience and once the initial conceit was established – things are different somehow! – the B-timeline flash sideways become slightly less interesting with each week. Mainly because it’s forcing the characters to return to the secrets and issues they all had at the start of the series: Kate is on the run, Jack has daddy issues, Sawyer is obsessed with the man responsible for his parents’ death, Charlie is an addict, Locke is in a wheelchair. We’ve seen all this. In fact, we’ve seen all these characters deal with this stuff and essentially get over it.
This sounds like we’re experiencing a loss of faith. We’re not. In fact, we’ve been saying all along to people that we trust the writers. No matter the outcome, we still believe it will be a satisfying ending and make as much sense as it can. We have no doubt that all this B timeline stuff will pay off and pay off big, but week after week of “things are different somehow!” and the bloom is off that particular rose.
Which, again, sounds like we didn’t like the episode. Of course we did. Even if Sawyer doesn’t necessarily push our buttons the way he pushes the buttons of so many lady viewers, he’s still one of the sharpest, funniest, most compelling characters to watch on the show and any episode that centers on him will not fail to entertain. We’ve been preparing ourselves for some mighty big deaths to come before this is all over and just about the only character left alive whose death would really upset us is Sawyer.
* As we said, we liked the return to Sawyer, the ultimate liar. We spent the episode not really knowing whose side he’s on and to be honest, we still don’t know. In the beginning of the episode, he said to Jin, “I’m with Locke.” Later in the episode, he said to Kate, “I ain’t with nobody.” And even later in the episode, he revealed to Kate that he’s playing both sides against each other and he’s looking to get all the survivors off the island. It’s that last part that has us wondering. When the time really comes, will we see the lovable heroic Jim or the son of a bitch Sawyer? Is he really looking out for anyone but himself? And speaking of trust issues…
* Does anyone really believe that tearful apology from Claire after trying to slit Kate’s neck? It’s interesting to note that Smokey, who spent the last 3 years lying to Claire about the fate of her baby, blurted out pretty much the exact truth of what really happened after he pulled her off Kate. Later he told Kate why he lied to Claire about the fate of her baby and damn if that smooth-talker didn’t make it almost sound like it made sense. “She needed something to hate.” Okay, then!
* Because yeah, we’re having a harder and harder time trusting anything Smokey says with each passing week. That story he told to Kate about his “very disturbed mother” was certainly interesting, wasn’t it? It had a mythical ring to it, which ties into all the mythical evidence already on the island, especially the statue of Taweret. Could Smokey and Jacob be brothers? Even if everything he’s been saying is the truth, the most compelling evidence of his nastiness is just how fucked up both Claire and Sayid are. These are not people in good places. These people are dark and disturbed.
* In other island news, we called it: Smokey wants the Ajira plane. Frank Lapidus suddenly just got a lot more integral to the story and he doesn’t even know it yet. A nice touch: seeing the Hydra cages again. A nicer touch: Kate’s dress, which Ben made her wear to have breakfast with him and which she wore the night she and Sawyer first had dirty island sex.
* Speaking of Ajira…who or what killed the Ajira survivors? Widmore said he didn’t, but then again, Widmore also said he didn’t put that fake plane wreck on the bottom of the ocean either. Just what IS Widmore’s game anyway? “It’s sad, really. How little you actually know.” Okay, then. We’re all ears, Charles. Everybody’s breaking off into factions and we’re still wondering just what the factions are for. Who’s fighting on what side? What are the sides? Smokey vs. Jacob? Smokey vs. Widmore? Where do the wild cards like Ilana and even Ben fit into all this?
* It makes sense, really. Sawyer’s had the island’s hot brunette and the island’s hot blonde, of course the universe would give him the chance to have the island’s hot redhead. It’s destiny. And wow, Charlotte looks amazing when she’s not hemorrhaging to death through her nose. We missed her wry bitchiness. Oh, and she works with Miles’ dad “at the museum.” Cute. Which leads us to…
* With Kate’s hilarious Kate-like arrival on the scene in Sawyer’s flash sideways – seriously, that girl can’t enter or exit a room without setting it on fire – we’re beginning to see how the various threads of the B-timeline have the potential of coming together. We saw Charlie’s brother Liam in the police station, the last time we saw Sayid, he was in a lot of potential trouble with the law, as was Jin. We’re wondering if Sawyer the cop might be the linchpin to bringing a lot of the 815ers together. But wait a minute. If Sawyer’s a cop, why did he basically help Kate escape from custody in the airport? He saw those cuffs. What reasons did he have for letting her go? Or does he know her somehow in a way we haven’t been shown yet? Which reminds us…
* Is the Anthony Cooper Sawyer’s hunting in the B-timeline still Locke’s father? Because there you go; that’s how Sawyer hooks up with Locke, who is hooked up with Hurley and Rose. The only connection we can’t make so far is Jack. How do Jack and Sawyer meet in the B-timeline? Well…there’s the question of just who Jack’s ex-wife and mother of his child is. And we have yet to find out the meaning of Juliet’s final words about going dutch on some coffee. Since Sawyer fucked it up irreparably with Charlotte (not even the old “sunflower and 6 pack” trick worked on her), maybe we’ll see Sawyer going on a date with Juliet. It could happen.
* B-timeline Easter eggs: Sawyer has his mirror moment, and then smashes it. Watership Down, which he was reading in the first season on the beach. Little House on the Prairie, which he admitted to Kate he used to watch.
* Outriggers make us cringe. When Sawyer hopped in one to paddle off to Hydra Island, we said “Please don’t die from Juliet’s time-traveling bullet, Sawyer!” We have a feeling we’re going to be saying a variation of that every time we see one.
*Insert things you can’t believe we missed here.