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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lost 6x08: Recon

Last week's "Dr. Linus" was a tough act to follow and, unfortunately, "Recon" seems to come up a bit short, more akin to the weaker "What Kate Does" than the finer episodes of the season. For perhaps the first time this season, the events of the flash sideways were more compelling than the story on the island. As with last season, when he was Dharma's sheriff, it's fun to see Sawyer use his prodigious talent for lies and deceptions for good. He and Miles, Lost's two greatest snarks, have always made a good team and it was enjoyable to see them as partners back in LA. The appearance by Charlotte was fun, albeit perfunctory, and she's never looked better.

If the flash sideways are the epilogue to the island events, as a popular theory suggest, then Sawyer's story in this episode neither strengthens nor weakens that theory. On the one hand, his life seems better in the sideways reality: he's a cop, not a criminal, and by episode's end, he's made the kind of character-changing decision (that he doesn't want to end up alone) that always seems to elude the characters on the island, a good sign that the flash sideways might be a "reward" for Sawyer (and, for all you Skaters out there, it's worth mentioning that after deciding he doesn't want to be alone and getting spurned by Sideways Charlotte, who does Sawyer run into but a certain freckled fugitive?). But on the other hand, Sawyer is still possessed with rage and a desire for vengeance over what Anthony Cooper did to his parents. From a season one perspective, this was the driving force in Sawyer's life, and his inability to get past it the flash sideways may suggest that Sawyer will continue down the wrong path on the island and be punished in his sideways life. So in the end, much like Island Sawyer went back and forth between working with FLocke and working against him, the Sideways portion of this episode does little to clarify that reality's overall purpose in the grand scheme of things.  

On the island, the two major happenings involved the return of Charles Widmore, teased at the end of last episode, and the hint of a backstory for Smokey. FLocke's conversation with Kate about crazy mothers seemed to imply that Smokey was recalling his own memories and not just Locke's (though, of course, Locke had a crazy mother too). Sawyer's recon of Hydra Island established that Widmore has setup (a heavily armed) camp, seemingly in opposition to FLocke. Widmore's true motives have become as murky as Smokey: Ben has always painted him as the villain of the piece, yet here he is, opposing the creature currently serving as that villain. Is Widmore really, like Ben, part of team Jacob? Or is this a case of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend?" Or is Widmore a true third faction, a wild card siding with neither Jacob nor Smokey, pursuing his own agenda towards island dominance?

Stuff Worth Mentioning
The "con" that Sideways Sawyer was pulling at the beginning was the same one we saw him pull legitimately (and successfully) in his first flashback.

The alarm clock read 8:42

I liked that Cop Sawyer's code word was LaFleur. 

Sideways Sawyer (most likely because he's a cop) got closer to Anthony Cooper than Island Sawyer had by that point; Island Sawyer didn't even know the name "Anthony Cooper" when he crashed on the island.

Sideways Miles' dad (Dr. Chang, presumably) worked with Charlotte. Despite the presence of his dad in his life in this reality, Sideways Miles' last name is still Straume.

While FLocke seemed surprisingly direct with Kate and Sawyer at times, he remained less than truthful when talking to his, um, flock, failing to mention that while the black smoke killed everyone at the temple, he's also that black smoke.

I do have to say, though, that I quite like how FLocke is polite and (seemingly) forthcoming, all the while being, you know, a mass-murdering monster. He kinda reminds me of the Mayor from Buffy in that regard. 

The books on Sawyer's dresser included  Watership Down, which he was seen reading in the first season.

That was Liam, Charlie's brother, at the police station, looking for him.

Mirror, mirror: Sideways Sawyer smashed a mirror, Jack smashed the lighthouse mirrors.

I liked the little stubby sonic towers. Also, the rifles Widmore's people were carrying were more or less the same style as the ones Ilana and the Shadow Seekers carried. Probably just a case of the show using the same props; for all of Widmore's vague allegiances, it seems unlikely he's secretly in cahoots with the Shadow Seekers, considering they tried to actively recruit Miles away from Widmore. 

I really hope they're not pulling a "Widmore's been the good guy along!" switcheroo on us. Basically, his hiring of Keamy (who we've seen to be an ass no matter what reality he's in) is a means that no end can justify in my mind, even if Widmore tries to argue that the point of the freighter mission was to get Ben off the island so that Smokey couldn't use him to kill Jacob. Bottom line: good guys don't employ child-killing mercenaries.  

Sideways Sawyer was watching Little House on the Prairie, obviously. At one point (season two-ish, I think) he told Kate about how when he was a kid he was stuck at home with mono and all that was on TV was Little House.

Sideways Sawyer brought a sunflower to Charlotte just like Island Sawyer did to Juliet last season. This one was less well-received though...  

We got another patented Lost car crash towards the end there.

Sideways Kate was wearing a hoodie, just like Darth Charlie when he was revealed as Sawyer's accomplice in the "steal the guns" long con of season two's "Long Con" (the downside to Kate bumping into Sawyer: it probably means we're not done with Kate-centric episodes yet).

More rabbits: FLocke's flock was eating it for dinner.

Kate asks Sawyer who's going to fly the Ajira plane, even if they are able to get aboard it. Sawyer responds that they aren't taking the plane, they're taking the sub. Fine then, who's going to pilot the sub? 

A rant about returning characters: while I certainly don't mind seeing actors that have left the show return, thus far most of those returns have amounted to appearances in the flashsideways. This makes the flashsideways feel more like the initial flashbacks, with characters crossing the paths of other characters, ignorant of the connections they share, and that's all good. But when the producers announced that departed characters were coming back to the show, the implication (or, at least, my assumption) seemed to be that perhaps their returns would be in the service of answering some of the questions that still remain. Halfway through the season, it now seems that's not the case. As it stands, I have the sinking suspicion that, for example, Libby will come back, not to answer any of the numerous questions surrounding her but just to wave at Hurley in a flashsideways. 

Questions Answered 
 Not really any question answered in this one, but I can just say I'm getting real sick of the scenes involving a character who knows stuff and a character who doesn't, in which the first character tells the other one how little he knows, but then fails to enlighten the ignorant character, and the ignorant character fails to question the knowledgeable one? It was cute earlier in the show's run, when we knew no one was going to answer anything, but now that we're at a point near the end where answers HAVE to be coming, every one of these scenes seems like more and more of a tease..."maybe THIS time the knowledgeable character will explain something...No? Well, it's gotta happen soon. Maybe THIS time?"

It's particularly annoying considering the writers seem to be sticking such a scene into every episode lately. I'm trying very hard not to judge each episode this season by how many questions it answered, and it's easier to do that in a stellar episode like "The Substitute" or "Dr. Linus", but right now, all I'm thinking is QUIT TEASING US ALREADY!

Questions Asked 
When FLocke talks about having a crazy mom, how much of that is Smokey, and how much is Locke? Does Smokey have a mom? Was he human before he became a sentient cloud of smoke capable of taking the forms of dead people?

FLocke says he doesn't want to die; can he die (Dogen's sword to the chest didn't do much)? If so, why haven't Jacob/the Others tried to do so already?

Was FLocke sincere when he told Kate the only reason he told Claire the Others had Aaron was to give her something concrete to hate in order to keep her going?

Seriously, what's the deal with Widmore? Is he a good guy or bad guy? He seems to be against FLocke (what with the pylons and the deal with Sawyer) so does that make him a good guy? But Widmore insisted Locke go back to the island, and that resulted in FLocke, plus Ben hates Widmore and Ben is on Team Jacob, so does that make Widmore a bad guy? In which case, is FLocke really the good guy? But then, Jack, who's ostensibly the hero of the show, is on Team Jacob, and Jacob is opposed to FLocke, so FLocke must be the bad guy. So maybe Widmore's is his own side, allied with neither Jacob nor Smokey, and he's focusing on FLocke now before going after Jack, Ben etc?

Was Widmore the person to whom Jacob was referring when he said in "Lighthouse" that someone was coming to the island? If so, that could mean Jacob wants Widmore on the island, which could mean that Widmore is a good guy. Unless Jacob just wants him there because he knows he's important to the endgame, regardless of what side he's on.

Was Widmore still on the sub because, even though he's found the island again, he's still banished and can't physically come back to it yet? 

So who's in the locked room on Widmore's sub? Desmond? Penny? Eloise? Another pile of explosives? Desmond? Can you tell I'm desperate for Desmond to come back?

Who killed the rest of the Ajira passengers? FLocke or Widmore? 

Is Claire truly over Kate taking Aaron?

What happened to Sideways Kate between slamming into Sideways Sawyer and palling around with Sideways Claire?

Next Week: Ab Aeterno
Which, I assume, is Latin for "about damn time" considering it's the title of the Richard episode  for which we've been waiting. Hopefully the ABC promos aren't dicking us around again, and Richard will actually tell us his backstory, and not just tell us we that can't imagine what his backstory is, or something like that.


  1. Anne pointed out to me, regarding the sub, that perhaps sawyer knows how to drive it because he had 3 years in Dharmaville with time to kill.

    Also, Kate is the worst effing criminal in the history of the world. Here's a tip for you, freckles, don't crash your effing car into another and you might avoid capture again.

  2. That's as good an answer as any. He was high enough in the Dharma ranks that maybe he got sub training.

    That said, I'd still think it would take a crew of some sort to run it, but I'm no subologist.

    Kate really is a terrible, terrible criminal, isn't she? That marshal must be a complete moron for not capturing her sooner.

  3. Agreed. I'm not for a "Widmore was a good guy the whole time. Gotcha!" sort of ending. Getting super-psyched about a theory with this show can be dangerous, because it may be disappointing when the show doesn't follow through. But I'd like to see the show tie up with something more creative than a (possibly) non-explicable switcheroo.

    I also agree that we are ready for Richard's story—hopefully we get it next week.

    Oh, and LOL re: Jack is on" Team Jacob." Ha!

  4. I hear ya: back around the end of season three, my brother and I were sure, SURE that Jacob would eventually be revealed as Jack from the future manipulating events to "fix" history in some way.

    I was so attached to the theory (partly because of the evidence we cited, partly because I'm just a sucker for that kind of story, partly because I was desperate for Jack to do SOMETHING cool, already) that when Jacob was revealed to just be some dude we'd never met before, I was initially disappointed.

    I got over it quickly, obviously, but yeah, this show does have a way of surprising us such that we sometimes miss the forest for the trees (or something...)

    Which makes me feel like a "Widmore was the GOOD GUY! OMG!" revelation won't happen, simply because it seems too easy/obvious at this point.

    Honestly, if they go that way, it'll bug not just because I don't want Widmore to be the good guy, but because it seems like these creators should be better than that.

    Jack is on" Team Jacob." Ha!

    Well, what with all the emo Jears and all, he probably is a pretty big Twilight fan, or would be, if he ever lands in a time/place/reality in which they exist. :)

  5. If FLocke hd a crazy mother and Aaron has a crazy mother, maybe Aaron will somehow become the replacement for FLocke in the same way that one of the 6 will replace Jacob. That's what i was thinking when FLocke was talking to Kate. Also because Aaron was initially billed as some sort of anti-christ. Seems like become the yang to Jacob's Yin would fit that profile.

  6. I was never a big fan of Miles and now...I'm still not. He DID act like more of a "partner" than a partner. And that was kind of irritating because really, dudes don't care if other dudes are lying to them, at least not to the point of running their credit card. Bah!

    You're right though, it was not the best episode and did very little to further the plot other than Flocke's mini peak and Widmore being there.

    If they're going to have Flocke's flock in a whole episode, I want to see tons of crazy Claire and Sayid watching like a freak and then killing tons of people.

    When Flocke said to Sawyer that he was the best liar he's known, I was wondering if Flocke knew/knows that Sawyer's really just out for his own interests.

    And if there's going to be another Kate story I'm gonna punch someone.

    With Sawyer saying we're going to take the sub, why would you take a sub when you can take a plane? Wouldn't a plane be easier?? Auto-pilot?? And you could see where you are in a plane and not, you know run into rocks...underwater.

    That was my five-cents...which was worth more like two.

  7. @Anne: Maybe FLocke IS Aaron (oh no, after my Jacob=Future Jack theory, I'm not getting invested in another "So-and-so is so-and-so from the FUTURE" theory...).

    Aaron definitely did seem fairly mythologically significant in the first season, but maybe that's just because we had little else to attach significance. I wouldn't mind if he came back into the narrative somehow, though.

    @Palindrome: dudes don't care if other dudes are lying to them

    Dudes care, Hannah, dudes care.

    I want to see tons of crazy Claire and Sayid watching like a freak and then killing tons of people.

    Ha! Yeah, that'd be awesome. I feel sad for Sayid, but his whole "meh" approach to Claire trying to kill Kate was pretty hilarious.

    I was wondering if Flocke knew/knows that Sawyer's really just out for his own interests.

    I also wonder if he was just trying to make Sawyer feel good. I mean, FLocke knows Ben, and I'd argue that for all his cons, Ben is a MUCH better liar than Sawyer.

  8. No. They don't. According to The Man, emotions are located in the ovaries.

    You're right, Ben is a much better liar. I mean, remember Henry Gale! I still get chills when I watch those episodes. Good times.

    Anne- I love your theory but no way they'd do anything that cool and they would have to deal with bring him to the island and that would take at least 3 more seasons of Kate running around accomplishing NOTHING! GAWD, I hate Kate.

  9. @"Hannah": I also thought it was interesting that Miles was so emotionally invested in Sawyer's extra-curriculur activities. Checking credit card records? What's stranger to me is that Sawyer -- who freaks out when Charlotte touches his secret blue folder -- says nothing to Miles about that sort of privacy invasion.

    Nonetheless, it's LOST, right? It's meant to be hokey, pulp fun.

    @Teebore: I don't think the writers will give us another "Kate" episode. I think we'll get more of these stories through the flash-sideways' of other characters.

    I really enjoyed this episode, though. Although, I do agree, Teebore, that the conversations between those characters WITH information and those WITHOUT it are beginning to get annoying. Especially in light of some Carlton Cuse said a couple months back when he and Lindelof were working on script. Apparently, he said they realized during a conversation between two characters that they didn't have to hold back answers anymore as they found themselves showing the restraint of previous seasons.

    I guess he wasn't referring to THIS episode.

  10. @Ambivalentman: I don't think the writers will give us another "Kate" episode. I think we'll get more of these stories through the flash-sideways' of other characters.

    I hope you're right.

    I guess he wasn't referring to THIS episode.

    Ha! Yeah, or the one before it, or the one before that...

    I remember reading that comment from Cuse as well. Apparently we just haven't hit that episode yet, which seems kinda odd, but they seem to know what they're doing.

  11. A lot of good points, Teebore, especially about the frustration over lack of answers... It feels like Lucy snatching away the football sometimes, that whole dance to the precipice of revelation. Sorry for not making it over here sooner (again) but ooh should we have lots to talk about after tomorrow night!

  12. Teebore: ... [B]ack around the end of season three, my brother and I were sure, SURE that Jacob would eventually be revealed as Jack from the future manipulating events to "fix" history in some way.
    In part that's just a natural hazard of theorizing during an ongoing saga — which is not only human nature, but part of the fun, and indeed encouraged by the creators — but despite some aspects of the mythology getting dispatched with surprising haste (e.g., Hatch go boom) there may be validity to complaints about so many major mysteries being left outstanding perhaps a little too long. The creators have run the risk since early on of the enigmas and the endgame not living up to viewers' imaginations.

  13. Palindrome: And that was kind of irritating because really, dudes don't care if other dudes are lying to them, at least not to the point of running their credit card. Bah!
    Well, in cop shows they do (real-world beat/detective partners, also, I'd wager), but maybe only dudes watch those. 8^)

  14. Teebore: I feel sad for Sayid, but his whole "meh" approach to Claire trying to kill Kate was pretty hilarious.
    Yeah... Best show of indifference on Lost since Jack said, "I'm making sandwiches."

  15. @Blam- only if they were doing something to jeopordize the job, who cares what your partner is doing after hours. I asked other dudes in a poll of course. : )

  16. No worries Blam; better late than never!

    It feels like Lucy snatching away the football sometimes, that whole dance to the precipice of revelation.

    Well said. It does feel like. And like I said, I really don't want to judge this season on a "how many questions does it answer" basis, because once it's over with, that becomes a moot point.

    But it would be a lot easier to do that if, when not answering questions, they'd stop reminding us that THEY could be, now, but aren't. :)

    Best show of indifference on Lost since Jack said, "I'm making sandwiches."

    Ha! Too true.


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