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Lost: Confidence Man

Jack: "It doesn't have to be this way."
Sawyer: "Yeah, it does."

Better than last week's. And that's not a reflection on Charlie versus Sawyer, because I'm starting to like Charlie – and bleeding soul or no bleeding soul, Sawyer still creeps me out.

I had a feeling right from the start that Sawyer didn't have the inhalers. I could also sense that he was a better person than he appeared. But I had no idea how heavy his past would turn out to be. What a terrible trauma, losing his parents in such a tragic way, and what tremendous survivor's guilt, taking on the persona of the one who caused their deaths. Obvious question: Why did he let – no, invite –  Jack and Sayid to torture him? Obvious answer: Sawyer felt like he deserved it. He's a suicidal man who wants someone else to kill him. This is not a stable individual.

He's a long way from being a nice guy, too. If he were a nice guy, I could feel sorry for him. But Sawyer is the kind of guy who maneuvers and manipulates his way through life, and tragedy is no excuse. I didn't like the way he manipulated Kate into kissing him. I really didn't like the way he made sure Kate saw him naked (although she countered well with that thing about him being cold). I didn't want Kate to fall for his line of sympathetic bull, and I was concerned about the possibility that Sawyer's letter really got to her.

During the scene where Sayid was torturing Sawyer, and Jack was watching, looking very upset and conflicted, Dan said he thought that Jack wouldn't be able to stand it and would stop Sayid. But Jack didn't – at least not for awhile – and that surprised me. Jack would do a lot for the sake of his patients, but I think it's more than that. I think the veneer of civilization is wearing off, even for Jack.

Sayid's reaction to the torture was even more interesting, if that's possible. Sayid may be capable of torture, but he doesn't like that part of himself; nearly killing Sawyer got to him. Time for an Island tour. I don't think Sayid just wanted a chance for introspection; of all the survivors, he's the one who is most driven to figure out where they are, and why.

Interesting that food doesn't seem to be an issue yet, what with the boar, the fish, and the bananas. This might be another clue that we're not dealing with a normal place; I expect that feeding 46 people on a small Pacific island with no handy supermarkets would be problematic in real life. They also addressed the fact that Hurley was not getting thinner.

Character bits:

No eye opening scene for Sawyer.

Sawyer never calls anyone by their proper name. Very interesting that we learned in this episode that Sawyer's name is not Sawyer. But we still don't know what it is. Is this a sly reference to the ultimate trickster Tom Sawyer, just as Locke's name is a sly reference to the philosopher?

We still don't know why Sawyer was on the plane. He left his seed money with the couple he was scamming, so perhaps he was running from the guy who loaned it to him. There was also a discrepancy with the money; Sawyer showed the couple $140,000, but his friend loaned him $160,000. Was that deliberate?

Emilie deRavin was back in the cast, still very pregnant, and still on the beach. I thought one of the reasons Jack moved to the caves was to more easily take care of his possible patients, and isn't she patient numero uno?

Sun was still keeping her mouth shut, and she and Michael continued to exchange meaningful glances. It's good that Sun found a natural solution to Shannon's asthma, because hey, who knows how long they're going to be there? Eternity? Inhalers will run dry pretty quickly, but eucalyptus is forever.

Boone is still a huge question mark. He was once again caught doing something that could be interpreted as bad (going through Sawyer's possessions), but he again had a good excuse. But why didn't Boone tell Sawyer what he was doing? I suppose we'll eventually get the backstory on Boone and Shannon that will undoubtedly reveal new and intriguing depths to their characters.

We have been getting only glimpses of Sayid's backstory (five years in the Republican Guard, and he was a communications officer, which includes torture?), but nothing definitive as yet. If we're going to continue getting a backstory every week, can Sayid be next, please?

Bits and pieces:

— It's been two weeks. And there are still 46 survivors. Officially, anyway. I'm pretty sure there are other people on the Island we haven't seen yet.

— We still don't know who knocked Sayid out in the previous episode. I don't think it was Sawyer. Locke didn't answer Sayid's question. Was it Locke?

— Jack's shoulder was still hurting, but Charlie seemed to have already finished going through withdrawal, to the point of creating a fake peanut butter fantasy for Claire. That was a quick recovery for Charlie.

— And speaking of peanut butter, was the empty jar supposed to symbolize optimism, perhaps? Completely full, instead of completely empty? And did Claire consider the bet lost, and move to Cave Town?

— The plane wreckage is starting to look like sculpture.

— Oahu is a pretty big island. Sayid will be walking for awhile.

— The final song was religious, of the "you'll never walk alone" variety. I really do hope that when we get to the end, the whole series doesn't turn out to be a religious allegory.


Sawyer: "I don't know what kind of commie sharefest you're running over in Cave Town, but down here, possession's nine-tenths."

Kate: "You can play games all you want, but I know there's a human being in there somewhere." Dammit, she likes him.

Hurley is still getting the best lines. "Wow, man. That was awesome. I mean, that was like a... Jedi moment."

Sawyer: "No, don't stop now. I think my sinuses are clearing."
Jack: "What the hell is wrong with you?"

Sawyer: "Baby, I am tied to a tree in the jungle of mystery. I just got tortured by a damn spinal surgeon and a genuine Iraqi. Of course I'm serious."

Three out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Unlike you, Billie, I really like Sawyer and this episode got to me. I did not see the twist with the letter coming and was moved when the story came out.

    The triangle seems to be in full play now, with Kate literally putting herself between Jack and Sawyer time and again. And, she's not always on Jack's side.

    There was quite a bit of romance. Michael and Sun are generating quite a bit of electricity. Charlie and Claire are cute as hell together. I wouldn't mind seeing more of that.

    And, again I am probably looking for something where there isn't, but Shannon seems to be gathering admirers of her own. Sayid seemed dead set on helping her and, I have to say, as much as I love my brother and as close as I am to him, I have never held his hand in quite that way or looked at him with googly eyes. That relationship is odd!

    Great call on the names! I missed the Tom Sawyer reference completely, but that can't be a coincidence.

  2. Sawyer showed the couple $140,000, but his friend loaned him $160,000. Was that deliberate?

    I think so: Sawyer was scamming his partner, which almost seems like asking to be punished, too.

  3. Rewatch Comment: Continuing on the small touches that this show is great with that ChrisB mentioned in his comment from last episode. The show already snuck in a little foreshadowing of Sawyer’s humanity in House of the Rising Sun. He’s the one (with Sayid) who intervenes when Jin attacks Michael. But where Sayid goes after and subdues Jin the aggressor, it’s Sawyer that pulls Michael from under the water to the shore and make sure he’s breathing. It’s subtle, in the background, but paves the way for what we see from Sawyer here (calling off the con when he realizes there is a kid involved). It was so clear the writers of this show deeply knew their characters from day one.

    Also, the Charlie/Claire meet cute over peanut butter plays really well all these years later. Charlie’s affection seems genuine and the chemistry is really good between them.

    Also, my son’s favorite/least favorite characters so far: Favorites: Mr. Locke and Charlie. Least favorite: Kate and Boone (ha - you and everyone that watched this show when it first came out).


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