First, the good news: this episode finally picked up Sawyer’s storyline. Taking care of Jin, paddling to Hydra island, making deals with Widmore and Smokey…dude was busy in this episode.
Now, the bad: this episode paled in comparison to last week’s “Dr. Linus”. It’s understandable…I mean every episode can’t be “The Constant”. But with an Alpert-centric episode on deck next week, I imagine we’ll be getting plenty of answers to the show’s ancient mythology. Expect to see the Black Rock, Jacob, the Man in Black, and perhaps some insight into their centuries-old struggle. Quick question: does Alpert have a Sideways story?
I love what Sawyer is doing here — basically hedging his bets with both Smokey and Widmore. Let them fight it out and when the smoke clears (pun intended), I’ll already have a deal in place with whoever wins. The only thing he’s not considering is this: what if Widmore and Smokey are playing on the same team? What if his little excursion to the Island was basically a test of Sawyer’s loyalty, a test that he failed by trying to broker deals with both sides? Seems unlikely, given that Widmore’s team is setting up pylons. But I still have a feeling this con job is gonna fall flat. “God’s got nothing to do with it.” This tells us where Sawyer’s frame of mind is right now. He’s not playing on anybody’s team; he’s only concerned with survival. In Sideways-ville, Sawyer’s a cop and a lady killer. Clearly Sawyer is still chasing after Anthony Cooper, even though he’s on the right side of the law in this reality. The Charlotte story didn’t really do much for me, but it was nice to see another cast mate from yester-season, I guess. At least we got Sawyer and Kate in place in the Sideways world.
Back on the Island, how crazy is Claire? Let’s count the ways. 1) Her crazy cowhead baby gets the upclose treatment; that thing is just creepy. 2) Then she grabs Kate’s hand during Locke’s “the smoke monster killed them” speech, which was either an expression of her latent insecurity or a rouse, because…3) she tries to slit Kate’s throat back at camp. And while we’re talking crazy, what about Sayid’s willingness to watch Kate die? I was holding out hope that maybe he could be redeemed, but I’m not so sure anymore.
I couldn’t help but notice how paternal Locke seemed in this episode. When Zack and Emma (the kids) are demonstrably upset at the news that the Smoke Monster decimated the Temple, Locke stoops down and promises to take care of them. He yanks Claire off of Kate and tells her how “inappropriate” she’s acting and basically sends her to time out. And he even scolds Sawyer for interrupting (with a finger wag, I might add), a speech that I give multiple times a day to our three kids. Of course, Locke also acts pretty “unpaternal” here, too — slapping Claire in the face would be Exhibit A, I guess. But if you notice, Locke slaps Claire when she mentions Aaron in her hysterical rant. I keep waiting for Aaron’s significance to be explained. (And by the way, where is that creepy kid that Locke chased through the jungle a couple weeks ago?)
We’re still left to wonder about MIB’s ultimate motivation at this point. Clearly he wants off the Island. But he’s also not above a little deception to get what he wants. And that makes it tricky; we don’t know when he’s lying and when he’s telling the truth. Did he know Widmore’s team had already arrived on Hydra island when he sent Sawyer on his recon mission? If Jacob knew that someone was coming to the Island, was Smokey privy to the same information? And was Smokey being truthful when he dropped that little line to Sawyer about not wanting to die? And what about the “crazy Mom” convo with Kate? Is Smokey more human than we think? Or less? There are those who argue that here, 150 hours or so into this great drama and with only 8 or 10 new hours of show left, we still don’t definitively know which side is good and which side is evil. That’s at least moderately frustrating, I suppose, but it’s also part of the thrill of discovery with a show like LOST.
Smokey still fascinates me, though. He’s proving to be a pretty complex character. He tells Kate that his mother was crazy and that her craziness caused him some issues that he’s still working out, issues that could’ve been avoided. What’s the point of this little therapy session? Is Smokey telling the truth? Or just trying to make Kate more sympathetic to his mission? My friend pointed out that Locke’s mother was crazy, too (she actually spent time in the same mental institution as Hurley) and it’s possible that Smokey is simply “remembering” these moments from Locke’s past. But I don’t think so. I think Smokey has been telling the truth most of the time. I could be wrong, but that’s my guess.
- “People aren’t really gone when they die.” That line from Little House is loaded with significance for this final season of LOST.
- The magic word was “LaFleur”!
- Charlie’s brother was in the police station looking for his brother. Will we see Charlie again? Or is he too busy FlashForwarding?
- Widmore seemed to be expecting Sawyer’s visit. How did he know? And what’s locked behind that door?