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Lost: The Long Con

Sawyer: "You run, I con. Tiger don't change its stripes."

When the series began, a lot of the interpersonal conflict on the Island was caused by Sawyer. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking that having Sawyer so integrated into the gang was adorable, but eliminated a great source of conflict. Guess the writers felt the same way.

When Sun was taken, it so obviously implicated Ana Lucia that I knew it couldn't possibly have been Ana Lucia. But I never suspected Sawyer and Charlie, who appear to have bonded because Sawyer was pissed at Jack and Charlie was pissed at Locke. Would Sawyer have hijacked the guns if Jack hadn't confiscated his stash of painkillers? Is it possible that Sawyer has an incipient drug problem, too? (Wouldn't be a surprise after all the injuries he's had.)

Sawyer appears to be compelled to act badly. Kate said that he wanted people to hate him, and I think she was right — mostly because he hates himself. But Sawyer is often genuinely good, and I just can't believe that it's all a con. I believe Charlie is a good person at heart, too. We all have depths and complexities, good sides and bad sides. Sawyer and Charlie are just emotionally screwed up.

The back story paralleled the Island story this time. Sawyer is a master of misdirection. The jewelry con with the price tags and the band-aid, and the "long con" that Sawyer pulled on Cassidy (and possibly on Gordy as well), were all about disguise and misdirection. I knew Cassidy was the mark as soon as she said she had six hundred grand. I never once believed that Sawyer was being sincere with her, but I think he felt bad about what he did. I hope so, anyway.

In other news, Jack and Locke have again failed to worked together. Jack is just too emotional and headstrong. He went for the guns as soon as Sun was attacked, almost immediately breaking his agreement with Locke. While Locke, as the primary victim of Sawyer's con, ended up looking foolish. I wonder how long Sawyer will retain control of all of the guns? Jack, Locke, and Sayid won't let that situation go on for long.

Character bits:

In yet another bizarre flashback crossover, the waitress in the diner was Kate's mother, Diane.

In the final scenes, Charlie was hooded again.

Hurley tried to cheer up Sayid. I've missed Sayid. More Sayid, please.

It was confirmed that Sawyer lost his wonderful makeshift glasses on the raft.

Locke indeed kept the heroin for its possible therapeutic value, which was what I suspected.

We didn't see Bernard, but we learned he was a dentist. Yet another health care professional, huh? Way over the statistical average, I'm sure.

Since this was a Sawyer episode, we got a virtual plethora of nicknames. Sawyer called Kate "Freckles" and "Sheena," Cassidy "Dimples," Sun "Tokyo Rose," and Locke "Hoss." And he called Jack and Ana Lucia "Jacko" and "Ana Lulu."

Bits and pieces:

— Sawyer mentioned that there were 46 people on the Island. Plus there is Danielle Rousseau and the Others. And is Desmond still wandering around?

— The flashbacks took place in Iowa. At one point, Sawyer told Cassidy to go to the Sage Flower Motel in Sioux City. Plus, there was Kate's mother. Kate is from Iowa.

— Kate and Sawyer were reading Elegant magazine.

— Locke wasn't just alphabetizing the books. He was obviously looking for more secret stashes, like the film clip he got from Eko.

— The book Locke had in his hands was An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. And Hurley found a typed manuscript in one of the suitcases: Bad Twin, by, I think it was Gary Trump. I couldn't make out the publisher or the year. (I need high def.) I'm sure the Bad Twin reference must have something to do with the Others or the Dharma Initiative.

— Duke Ellington, and Glen Miller doing "Moonlight Serenade"? Let's do the time warp again.

— Locke's combination was right 7, left 33, right 18.

— Hurley referred to the Nigerian drug plane as Norwegian. :)


Locke: "You want to break seven Virgin Marys? Be my guest. I'm superstitious."

Hurley: "Hey, man. You gonna put the lime in the coconut and drink em both up?"

Jack: "You mean Steve. Scott's dead."
Sort of a continuing morbid joke. Love it.

Locke: "Why are you telling me this?"
Sawyer: "'Cause it'll piss off Jack."

There were so many wonderful Sawyer lines that they deserved a section of their very own:

"Well, look who had to relocate to the suburbs. Ain't that just like a woman? She keeps the house, you get the cheap-ass apartment."

"Hell, you even made Locke take a swing at you. That's like getting Gandhi to beat his kids."

"Looks like the good folks of Island Town are about to form a posse."

"I can only wrap my mind around one woman at a time."

"You couldn't get away. And you versus Sun, hot oil death match, my money's on you, Sheena." (This one was my favorite.)

"Well, hell, baby, with that kind of money, let's go find an island somewhere and sit on the beach drinking mojitos until we go toes up." A little irony there. Put the lime in the coconut.

"Oh, sure. Sun gets attacked in the jungle, and you figure it's a good time to start the damn Dewey Decimal system."

"One second. I'm this close to the high score on Donkey Kong."

Excellent. Four out of a possible four polar bears,

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


  1. Huge smiles all around. We are back! I loved this one, not only because I am half in love with Sawyer and love to watch him do his thing, but also because it was about one of the characters I care about and the flashbacks actually related to the main story.

    Sawyer is the most complicated person in a plethora of complicated people. On the one hand, we have seen him perform one random act of kindness after another. On the other hand, he is capable of a stunt like this. What I found so interesting is that he manipulated Charlie and managed to con the other three. They have certainly let their guards down. Or, as Sawyer himself said, Jack and Locke are so focused on the other that they never saw him coming. Wow.

    I completely agree with you and with Kate that Sawyer is so filled with self-loathing that he has to see himself as the villain of the piece. I believe he cared about Cassidy and I believe he cares about Kate. His problem is that, if they care about him, it not only alters his world view, he begins to wonder what’s wrong with them.

    Charlie shocked me twice. Once that he would actually hit Sun. That seems completely out of character. The second was that he turned down the heroin. While I am pleased that he did, I assumed that the drugs were the reason he was doing all this. My bad.

    One final small note. Interesting that Sayid and Hurley picked up a Glenn Miller song. He disappeared in an airplane somewhere over the English Channel. No trace of the plane has ever been found.

  2. I fast-forwarded through this one on my rewatch, too. Coming on the heels of "Fire + Water," this episode feels a bit too much like Lost is creating narrative conflict by re-setting both Charlie and Sawyer back to their factory (pilot) settings.

  3. Brilliant episode, and one I had completely forgotten about over the years. Sawyer was my favorite character on original watch and nothing has changed over the years. Despite his complexity and belief he has to punish himself (be bad) for what happened to him as a child, which is shown wonderfully in this episode, the real James Ford can’t help but show himself over time.


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