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Lost: Recon

Man in Black: "You are the best liar I've ever met."

I am loving these karmic flash sideways so, so much.

It was lovely to see Sawyer "graduate" from con man, to reluctant hero, to head of security for the Dharma Initiative, to an L.A. cop. Yes, he wasn't a strict law and order type – he let Kate get away at the airport, after all – but he was still Sawyer, and that made sense. And he was still haunted by the same childhood tragedy, but in much better control of his ghosts.

I was confused about his search for Anthony Cooper, though. In "The Substitute," Locke's father was invited to Locke's wedding, and there was a photo of Locke and Cooper in Locke's cubicle at work. Did Cooper repent in the L.A. timeline and go straight? Maybe his kidney hasn't failed yet, and he's keeping Locke on his string in case he needs it. Of course, we still don't know how L.A. Locke ended up in a wheelchair. Still soooooo many plotlines to resolve.

The attention to detail was impressive. L.A. Sawyer was still a reader; Watership Down was on the top of the pile of books on his dresser. (I believe that was the first book we ever saw him read. Was that his copy that went down with 815, then?) Sawyer took Charlotte a single flower, like he did for Juliet. We even saw a lonely, introspective Sawyer watching Little House on the Prairie, which was specifically mentioned as his favorite childhood show many moons ago. The late Michael Landon was talking about people not really being gone when they die, which of course fit right in with the alternate timeline.

As an extra added bonus, there was lots of sex, and lots of Josh Holloway shirtless or in a towel. And on the Island, there was cage visiting and dress-fondling. Imprisonment, torture, hot sex... ah, memories. Sawyer still seems to love Kate; he even wound up with her at the end of the episode – twice. And yet, while he was canoodling with the woman in the opening scene and with Charlotte, I kept feeling like Sawyer was cheating on Juliet. I still want the two of them together in the series finale.

The L.A. timeline included big changes for Miles, who had been something of a con man, too. His friendship with Sawyer was a lot deeper, and Miles was a lot more serious. His father was still alive and Miles knew him; was that what made the difference for him? Did Miles still have his "gift"? If he was raised by Pierre Chang, why did his name plate say "Straume"? Miles said he had a girlfriend, but we didn't see her. Anybody we know?

The Island plot was a nice complement to the L.A. story. I don't know why I was wondering which side Sawyer was really on, when past experience should have told me he always looks out for number one. (And Kate, apparently.) Widmore versus the Man in Black should be interesting. And if Sawyer isn't really an MIB recruit, then he's still a possible candidate for Jacob's job. Right?

At least we now know for sure why Kate went with the Man in Black; she did it for Claire. It was odd to see Kate crying; she never cries. And she even had to hug Claire, getting uncomfortably close to The Hair. Please tell me why absolutely no one has even asked where Aaron is right now?

As the Man in Black was working on recruiting Kate, we finally got an intriguing tidbit about him: his mother was crazy, and he still has "issues." Okay. Maybe that was why he slapped Claire in the face. Coincidentally, the real Locke's mother was crazy, too. They couldn't both be Swoosie Kurtz, could they?

What I missed last week:

— L.A. Ben gave his father life-saving oxygen. In the Island reality, he gassed him to death. Really cool parallel.

— Cheese curds. Really?

What have we learned?

— I was laboring under the mistaken impression that Widmore and Smokey were on the same side. Guess not.

— Being "infected" makes you crazy. I think.

— By now, the fact that Sawyer and Charlotte are in Los Angeles too strains the boundaries of coincidence. The alternate timeline can't be real. We'd better find out what it is by the end of the series. My list of things I absolutely need them to answer seems to be getting longer instead of shorter.

Character bits:

L.A. Sawyer told Charlotte that the Steve McQueen movie, Bullitt, was the reason he became a cop. I think that was a joke. And then he said he just reached the point where he had to decide between becoming a criminal or a cop. That's believable.

No one in L.A. called him Sawyer. Did he never take the name?

Charlotte was much the same (well, except that she wasn't dead), and worked with Miles' father at "the museum."

Sayid, looking confused and possibly sick, would have let Claire kill Kate without lifting a finger to stop it. I hate this.

Cindy and the kids were with the MIB, after all.

Charlie's brother Liam showed up at the front desk to ask about his brother, who was arrested. Will we ever get more about Charlie? Time is running out.

I was sort of hoping we'd see Ana Lucia. It wouldn't be a stretch, since she's an L.A. cop. Of course, L.A. is a big place.

We didn't get our usual quota of nicknames, considering that this was a Sawyer episode, but there were a few. Sawyer called Widmore "Chief" and the Man in Black "the old man." Kate was, as always, "Freckles." Alt-Sawyer called Miles "Sunshine." The code name for the other cops to come in was "LaFleur," which was just adorable. And the woman he had sex with and arrested in the opener called him "Dimples."

Bits and pieces:

— Yet another car crash. Blue car this time. And Kate was driving.

— Alcatraz' official name seems to be "Hydra Island." I think Kate called it "the Island where they had us in cages." I like Alcatraz better. Short and to the point.

— Ajira 316 is already getting overgrown with vines, like the Black Rock. Was all that stuff about 316 a set-up for the candidate rejects to leave in that plane in the series finale? Of course, there's the sub, too. But it would be a lot more poetic if they left the Island in a plane. Maybe that's why Frank is in the cast.

— Who killed the passengers of 316? There's been so much mayhem that I've lost track. Do we know?

— L.A. Sawyer deliberately broke a mirror. It's starting to become a Lost fad. And it's probably this week's Most Obvious Symbolism.

— The alarm clock in the opener was at 8:42. I thought I saw eight beers in Sawyer's fridge, and four frozen dinners in the freezer.

— What's locked up in the sub? If it's not Desmond and/or Penny, I'm not sure I care. Maybe it's Eloise Hawking in suspended animation.


Sawyer: "LaFleur."
About to be arrested woman: "La What?"

Charlotte: "Yes, I'm exactly like Indiana Jones."
Sawyer: "You got a whip?"
Charlotte: "Maybe."

Sawyer: "Is your name even Zoe?"
Zoe: "Is yours Sawyer?"

Sawyer: "Take me to your leader."

Another truly satisfying, character-driven episode. Everything we knew about Sawyer, everything he was capable of becoming, it was all there. Four polar bears,

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


  1. And yet, while he was canoodling with the woman in the opening scene and with Charlotte, I kept feeling like Sawyer was cheating on Juliet. I still want the two of them together in the series finale.

    Same here.

    This is the series ending I'm hoping for:

    James is sitting at an outside café in Tunisia; Juliet walks up, sits next to him and as they go in for a kiss, the show fades out.


    As an extra added bonus, there was lots of sex, and lots of Josh Holloway shirtless or in a towel.

    This episode sold me on his hotness.

    Sideways Charlotte was smokin' hot too!!!


    I was shocked when Chip from KATE AND ALLIE ran out of the bushes with the gun.

    Frederick Koehler was also one of Vern Schillinger's sons on OZ .

    That's at least five actors from OZ:

    Michael was Augustus Hill.
    Mr. Eko was Adebisi.
    Juliet's ex-husband was the Governor on OZ.
    Matthew Abaddon was Desmond Mobay/Det. Johnny Basil.
    Seamus (a.k.a. Chip) was Andrew Schillinger.

    (I think I'm the only who finds that cool.)


    This was another strong episode, but I am starting to get frustrated with both sets of stories: the island and the Sideways World.

    There's nine hours left in the series and I don't think everything is going to be wrapped up satisfactorily.

    I hope that next week's Richard episode answers questions instead of raising more.


    The car accidents on this show are always great. I don't think I've ever seen another show with car accidents that are so realistic, as if you're in the car with them.


    All of the Sideways versions of "our" characters seem so much softer than their island counterparts, except for Kate. There's a hardness about her that I never detected in the island version.


    It was odd to see Kate crying; she never cries. And she even had to hug Claire, getting uncomfortably close to The Hair.

    When Claire held Kate's hand, I thought, "Claire spends 3 years in the woods and now she's a lesbian."


    I still think events in the Sideways World diverge from the moment of the island's destruction and even though we didn't see listening to the dead, Miles should still be a mutant.

    I think the writers left it ambiguous on purpose, which is why we didn't see him (not that I recall, anyway) near andycorpses.

  2. Desmond better be on that sub. We’ve gone way too long without everyone’s favourite Scotsman.

    This was a great episode, there hasn’t been enough Sawyer this season, but at the end of the day it was all set-up and no payoff. Necessary in a narrative sense but frustrating at the same time.

  3. Billie, the MIB and Widmore were unlikely to be allies since MIB as the smoke slaughtered all of Keamy's men in The Shape Of Things To Come - course there was some indication that it was at Ben's behest then. I wonder if we'll find out whether it was.

    Great review, awesome ep!

  4. Billie, in Season 5 I recall Flocke telling Ben that he needed to "deal" with the other passengers on 316 once that they had killed Jacob. I think the SM killed those people. Notice how Flocke did not seem surprised when Sawyer told them they were dead.

  5. not sure if anyone has put this forward.... Whe we see Jacob "touch" the Losties, it is assumed that this lead them on the path to the island. What if his "touch" has lead them on the path where they are in the sideways timeline? This is their test. Did their new path allow them to redeem flaws in their first try at life, changing their destiny & ultimately making that destiny a return to the island?

    BTW BD I love your reviews!!!!

  6. I think we know MiB is evil for sure since he saved Kate's life, thereby inflicting her on the viewers. And Claire apologising to Kate? C'mon.

    This episode felt way too much like a bunch of winks to previous, better episodes stitched together. Still, nice to see Charlotte again. And Miles is always fun.

  7. I loved the episode, and your review, Billie - as always!

    This season is definitely melodically complex, with differing tempo and pacing and emphasis from week to week - I think really helped by the sideways flashes that change the focus and deepen/increase the richness at the same time.

    * Last week Lapidus mentioned he was supposed to pilot the original Oceanic plane but overslept. Wasn't the substitute pilot the first Lostie killed by Smoke? And without pause or any examination (a la Locke, or Mr. Eko) first? Given the plethora of names in caves etc, what if Smoke killed the pilot thinking it was Lapidus and knowing he'd otherwise play a part for Jacob? And Jacob in turn played Smoke with that alarm clock failure? Lapidus would be the only one who could possibly fly out the Losties via the Ajira jet, for example.

    * Note how Smoke manipulates people not with lies but, more effectively, with THE TRUTH -- or select portions he knows will affect them. But he doesn't seem to be on his game lately, and/or is getting a bit cocky, because it wasn't working so well with James, Ben (anymore), or Kate.

    * Love the acting of everyone -especially when they have to show reaction with their eyes, not dialog. Too much of tv is radio with pictures and they tell us what we can already see. Here, it's so often all in the expressions, and you can follow every emotion across their face -- including the crazy emotions! That's fun to watch, no doubt to perform as well.

    * We all got tired of races back and forth across the island and blindly following without information... and so, finally, maybe, have the characters. Crafty of the writers to make us feel what the characters do (in advance!). Just another example of how this show is so emotionally immersive. ...And we do seem to be headed to a place where not blindly following or being a chess piece is part of the answer.

    * I really liked not recognizing Charlie's brother for a moment (WTH?? and then ohhh, yeah!). The continual ability of this show to keep giving us a sense of jamais vu in the middle of well-known territory makes this a helluva fun ride!

  8. All of Jacob's candidates for the island are candidates for the sole perpose of defeating the MIB (and those that he recruits). Jacob knew he would die and that an army (however small) was needed to defeat the MIB. Whomever defeats him in the end will be Jacob's "chosen one". When you look at the plot of Lost from the perspective of good vs evil this makes sense.

  9. So does this mean that Sawyer has been a cop this whole time on the Island? The original plane crashed while taking Sawyer back to LA from Australia, and now back in LA we find out that he is a cop. And if that is the case, how come he didn't recognize Miles as his former partner?

  10. Hi Anonymous,

    Nope--just like with Jack *not* having a son in the timeline we're used to, Sawyer wasn't a cop. In other words "Island Sawyer" has never been a cop. But his parallel-universe alter ego is, which shows that resetting the timeline changed stuff after 1977 and before 1977.

    Because stuff before 1977 changed (Ben and his dad left the island, for instance; Sawyer never wrote his angry letter), some people have argued that it's not the Incident/H-bomb explosion that changed things, but that perhaps Jacob's death in 2007 reset a whole slew of stuff in the past. And remember, too, that the Island is sunk in the parallel universe.

  11. Like all of the LAX timeline episodes i really enjoyed this one. Sawyer as a cop really worked for me and i'm intrigued by the idea of criminal Kate and cop Sawyer (sorry, James)together in some way. The writers are doing really interesting things with the characters this season; the actors must be having a ball. I don't think i even mind that we're still not really getting answers.

  12. 10 more hours for Sawyer to get busy with Sun and the crazy chick Claire. He has been with all the other main females..

  13. Did you see the dreadlock? The *one* dreadlock in the back of The Hair?

    We've gotten a couple of nods this season to the close relationship between Sawyer and Miles, and this episode really cemented that for me. After all, they spent three years working together (whereas Sawyer only spent 108 days with Kate). I like the bromance.

  14. Josie, we must FEAR the dreadlock! 8-} I like your naming of The Hair -- the whole thing is such a birdsnest, which I guess is totally in keeping with Little Baby SquirrelSkull (at fine toy stores everywhere). I keep wondering if, a la The Simpsons halloween special, it'll get a life of its own!

    Poor Claire: so lost, so confused, so crazy for CoccoaPuffs...

  15. ...errr, I mean cuckoo for CocoaPuffs. (NO Saturday Morning Cartoons for ME!)

  16. Billie gets full credit for "The Hair." I think. I'm almost sure it's in one of the recent reviews, but I can't find it right now.

  17. It's in this one. She notes that during the "hug it out" scene that Kate gets uncomfortably close to The Hair. Which had me laughing out loud when I read it.

    Does this mean that Claire is crazier than Danielle was? Because I really don't remember Danielle's hair ever looking as bad as Claire's. Did they change wig makers?

  18. Maybe after the 4th year or so on the Island Rousseau figured out a way to make shampoo out of coconuts. Hey, I bet you can make a comb out of coconut shells as well

  19. You're so right Josie, The Hair is Billie's... D'Oh! Sorry, Billie -- Homer no function beer well without.

    And re: your (Billie's!) observation that Smokey and Widmore are opposing players; while I don't trust Widmore one bit, he's clever as dang. He might still be playing games and people, or strike a deal or double-dang-cross ANYBODY.

    Oh, and a puzzle about this whole puzzle just hit me as the beer kicked in. Michael blew up the freighter sent by Widmore, right? Michael couldn't kill himself, similar to others who have been touched/gifted by Jacob. Michael was finally released from service by Christian, followed by ka-BOOM. Christian was Smokey (wasn't he?). Does Smokey then have power to prevent death, and can reach out off the island? As in appearing to Jack in the hospital at night? And if Smokey blowed up the freighter real good, Smokey is then against Widmore? Or was that actually the hand of Jacob, reaching through the doings of Smokey, Widmore et al?

    Lord, I need a score-card and still can't answer any of it! 8-}

  20. If Sawyer had gotten any hotter, my screen would melt. I feel like you, Billie and others as well, it feels like Saywer's cheating on Juliet, that's why I didn't like it when he got all nostalgic at the cages when holding kate's dress. I won't like it if he ends up with kate. I'm still hoping for Juliet and Sawyer going dutch for a cup of coffee.
    Now back to Flocke, I don't believe he has a magical power in his voice, like it was considered in The Sundown, when poor newly-wackoo Sayid was told not to let MIB talk to him. It's not his voice, but rather his words. He has a way of getting people by offering them what they want, and people (mainly the weak or the recently dead, like Sayid and Claire) will follow him - a natural leader. That's why his mojo isn't working on Kate, Sawyer and Ben. Just a thought...
    Now, what about that talk on the beach with Kate, and the parallel of MIB having a crazy mom (like Locke) and Aaron, and how that has made things turn out the way they did. It's really mind-boggling and makes you wonder if the people who believe Aaron is the new Jacob ( or Jacob from the future) aren't right? Or have the MIB and Locke got so intrinsically connected he was just telling Locke's memories? It might be, for in one episode, MIB said to the little fair-haired boy : Don't tell me what I can't do! Let's not forget that little kid - oh, my head hurts, too much to have in mind and only 8 more hours to go!
    Almost last, I too hope Desmond's in that locked room. Too long without our favorite "Brotha".
    Billie, you rock as usual. A lost episode is never finished before your reviews come up.

  21. And the flash sideways just keep on getting better and better. Sawyer as a cop? Brilliant! But, even better was that Miles was his partner. Those two fit for some reason. The opening scene was a classic. I was smiling at the con, and then just grinning at the twist.

    I know what you mean about Sawyer with Charlotte. That felt just off to me. While I would love to see him with Juliet in the end, there is still a part of me that would prefer Kate with him instead of Jack. They just have all the chemistry.

    I'm really enjoying all the callbacks this season. The scene with the dress at the cages brought back that whole section of the story to me in just a few moments. Beautifully done.

    This episode's flash sideways seemed to end on a bit of a cliffhanger, unlike all the others. Can't wait to see what happens with LAX Sawyer and Kate.

  22. YESSSSSSS!! I've been waiting this entire series for someone to call Sawyer "Dimples"! I can't believe it took them so long. He's the iconic nickname guy and he has those amazing dimp... well, you know. It's obvious! :D

    Re Sawyer/Juliet/Kate: I have lots of thoughts, but because I'm the only one around here currently who doesn't yet know how it all turns out, I'll boil it down to this one thing. I am a woman, but all my life I've had more and closer platonic friendships with boys and men, including some who were former romantic partners, than I have with girls and women. That's how I'm interpreting the caring between Sawyer and Kate. Even with the dress caressing — sometimes certain memories are sweet even when you don't want that person in the same way anymore. I think he definitely loves her, but I don't think he LOVES her. I think she might possibly feel somewhat more for him, but sometimes that happens. Life can be rough.

    And finally, I know there have been small allusions to it here and there, but I'm surprised that I'm not seeing anyone really pointing out the strong parallels between the way the MIB operates and the Bible's description of Satan. He told someone (Kate?? I can't remember now) that if they followed him, he would give them all the knowledge they could ever want. That's PRECISELY what the serpent told Eve in the garden of Eden. And the MIB's whole MO is using the exact thing people want the most to convince them to do his will. That's Satan all over the place. Even what someone in the comments above said, that he operates not by straight-up lying but by telling partial truths, carefully crafted to disguise the lie hiding inside them. That's everything the Bible says about the devil. Lucifer was an angel of light, not of darkness, and he presents himself as beauty and peace and provision and safety right before he slits your metaphorical (or, in the case of the MIB, possibly physical) throat.


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