Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost, "Recon": The middleman

A review of tonight's "Lost" - with special guest commentary from Ken Tremendous - coming up just as soon as I say the magic word...
"Who's Sawyer?" -Miles
I've been spending a lot of space these last few weeks trying to develop a working theory about what the flash-sideways mean, and I'm going to do that again here in a bit. But the thing is, when an episode is as entertaining in both realities as "Recon" was - and, really, as "Lost" has been for the last several weeks - my urge to question, analyze and theorize takes a decided backseat to my desire to relax and enjoy.

It's helped that we're on a streak of three episodes showcasing characters and actors I like, and those of you who haven't wanted to see Jack paralyzed by a spider bite and buried alive since at least season three tell me that "Lighthouse" wasn't as bad as I insisted it was at the time. But leaving that episode and my allegedly irrational hatred of Jack aside, this recent batch, and "The Substitute," and "LA X" have all managed to give us interesting alternate glimpses of the characters we know, while at the same time slowly but surely moving the island saga along.

We can debate whether or not the flash-sideways scenes matter, in that we're spending an awful lot of time on versions of the characters that, so far, have no obvious connection to the ones we've been invested in for the last 5+ years. And certainly I've felt a little frustrated at times. But I have to admit that there are moments - and there were a lot of them in "Recon" - where those scenes are just so much fun that I can wait a little longer for an explanation about the deeper meaning of it all.

There was some joking on Twitter after the episode aired that the flash-sideways are threatening to turn the show into "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase." The difference being, I would actually watch a Ben Linus version of "Yo, Teach!" And I would absolutely watch a buddy cop show about Miles Straume and James Ford(*).

(*) Has enough time passed that the "Cop and a Half" title could be recycled? "Wunza straight arrow! And wunza former con man trying to stay on the straight and narrow! They are... Cop and a Half!"

The opening scene in the flash sideways turned the comparable moment from season one's "Confidence Man" neatly on its head, and the idea of Sawyer as a cop, in a universe where Jacob apparently didn't influence him, isn't that far-fetched. (Miles is actually more of a stretch, though if we're sticking with my epilogue-in-advance theory - and I'm not sure that I am, as we'll get to shortly - it works, in that he and Sawyer had plenty of experience maintaining law and order in the Dharma Initiative, and seemed to enjoy doing it.)

Seeing alt-James Ford try to use his powers of charm and persuasion for good instead of evil (and what is an undercover cop, after all, if not a confidence man?) was a nice spin on the character, and worked nicely in parallel to the island story. On the mainland, Sawyer's gone from the dark to the light side. On the island, he's given up trying to figure out which side is which, and is content to simply play the two sides in front of him against each other, while he helps the only side he really cares about (his friends) get off the island with him. We had all assumed (or hoped) that Sawyer was running a con on Smokey when they hooked up in "The Substitute," and it was nice to be proven right. I just hope his powers of persuasion - as Smokey puts it, "You're the best liar I've ever met" - are strong enough to fake out both a vengeful billionaire and an immortal, shape-shifting, telekinetic smoke monster. Because if not... he's gonna have some 'splaining to do.

Now, as to the theorizing: part of the epilogue-in-advance theory came from the notion that characters' fates in the other timeline seem to be more or less happy depending on whether they sided with Jacob (more) or Smokey (less). But Locke's doesn't really fit that, since he never got the chance to decide at all, what with being dead. And while the James Ford we see tonight seems mostly healthier than the one we know (he has an obsession, but he also has a job he likes, a partner who has his back, and it doesn't appear that he killed Frank Duckett in Australia), the Sawyer on the island is still functioning as an independent operator, not interested in any faction of the war that's building. Maybe at a later date he'll throw in with Jacob, but right now he's just a fly in the ointment.

So then I started to think on an e-mail exchange I had last week with Mike Schur, co-creator of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" (currently the best sitcom on TV, and one you better be watching if you aren't already, and not just because of this mustache), and also well known on the interwebs as Ken Tremendous from the seminal sports blog Fire Joe Morgan. Mike found my epilogue theory intriguing, but rather than ask to subscribe to my newsletter, he offered his own alternative. Here, reprinted with his permission, are a couple of excerpts summing up the idea:
I think the alt-present scenes are an attempt to show what each character's true nature is, absent any situation where the island draws them more towards either Smokey or Jacob. This didn't occur to me until last night, but it felt like they were saying: Ben is an intellectual guy, searching for meaning in his life, frustrated by powerlessness, and thus capable of Machiavellian manipulations. But inherently, when push comes to shove, he is decent. Which is why in the island-reality he chose, at that crucial moment, to steer away from Smokey and back to Jacob. Sayid, on the other hand, has something inherently violent and evil in him, which is why in the alt-present he killed those guys, and on the island gave himself over to Smokey. Jack is deeply conflicted about his father and has it in him to be angry and conflicted, but in the alt-present he is inherently interested in being a good father himself and breaking the cycle of emotional abuse, so in the island-reality he's on Team Jacob, and so forth.


I think they are "influencing" what is happening on the island only inasmuch as they show us what these people truly are, in the truest existential sense -- their actual natures are at play in the alt-futures, and those "teetering-between-good-and-evil" natures, I guess you could say, are what Jacob "saw," somehow, and they are what led him to determine that they are "candidates." That moment where Smokey picked up the white rock off the scale and tossed it out the door is more fuel for this theory -- they pick people who are perfectly balanced between "bad" and "good" and bring them to the island as a sort of laboratory to determine which of those forces wins out in the end. So the events that are occurring in the island-present -- the Lost version of "The Stand," where sides are being drawn -- are the "result" (though not really, obviously, in the causal sense) of the alt-futures, wherein we are seeing that left to their own devices, each of these people tilts slightly to one side of the good/evil equation.
Now, that very much seems to fit with what we've seen in past flash-sideways like Sayid's, and like the one from tonight. If Jacob doesn't come to see young James at the funeral, maybe the kid doesn't teeter over the precipice and become a full-on bad guy, and maybe it turns out that his true nature - as we saw in his LaFleur period, and at other points on and off the island - is as someone who'd like to be a hero in better circumstances.

The big hole in Mike's theory, from where I sit, is that he doesn't provide a reason for why this other reality exists. Lindelof and Cuse have said the flash-sideways aren't just an excuse for a What-If? style of storytelling, nor should they be at this late date. We're in the final season, and if something has no real bearing on the story we've been watching for seasons one through five, then it has no business being on the screen. And I think the producers are smart enough to know that, even as I continue to think they made a mistake in trying to maintain an air of mystery around what these stories mean.

But when the sideways stories are grounded by actors like Michael Emerson last week, or Josh Holloway this week, and told with the kind of pathos and humor and, yes, confidence that "Lost" achieves at its best, then my patience lasts a little longer.

Some other thoughts on "Recon":

• This is now the second flash-sideways to climax with the episode's central character having a surprising run-in with another character who hasn't shown up in this timeline for a few weeks. I don't know if there's going to be enough time to double back to showing how either Jin wound up in Keamy's freezer or what Kate's running from, but her appearance did remind me that in "LA X," Sawyer saw her handcuffs (and, therefore, knew she was a fugitive on the loose) and didn't try to stop her. So maybe this Ford's not quite the good guy I'd like him to be.

• Speaking of Kate, while I complain about Evangeline Lilly a lot, I thought she was very good in her island scenes in this one. Kate only came back to this stupid island for the sake of her son, and the hope of reuniting Aaron with his biological mommy. And since she gave her boy away and got on the Ajira flight, she's had to travel through time, get shot at by the Dharma Initiative, nearly die in whatever happened when Jughead went off, discover that Sawyer has fallen deeply in love with Juliet (and is now too consumed with grief to really be into the whole Freckles phenomenon), been taken captive by The Others again, menaced by the Smoke Monster, fallen into the company of a man she believes to be dead... and for what? To find out that Claire has completely lost her mind, and wants to kill Kate for doing the right thing by Aaron for the past three years? I know that would mess me up, and Lilly very neatly captured Kate's pain and frustration (and maternal guilt) at realizing just how badly she miscalculated the whole trip.

• I In the whole "who's the good guy?" debate, this episode went out of its way to show Smokey telling the truth at every turn. Of course, he doesn't always tell the whole truth - as when he responds to Cindy's question about the other Temple people by saying, "The black smoke killed them" - but if he's omitting things, none of what he actually says contradicts things we know to be true about the island.

• And Smokey's apparent honesty, in turn, makes me wonder about the story he told Kate about his crazy mother. Aside from being pleasantly surprised to meet a "Lost" character with mommy issues rather than daddy issues, I'm wondering exactly who this mother could be. Given all the time travel issues floating around the show, is there a chance his crazy mom might actually be Claire - that the Man in Black is somehow Aaron unstuck in time, immortal, and made of black smoke? I would hope not - after people began wondering if Desmond and Penny's son Charlie might somehow grow up to be Charlie Pace, I began wincing at the amount of liberties that time travel gives to rampant speculation - but I have to admit the thought did cross my mind.

• Speaking of Charlie, his brother Liam turns up at the precinct to try to bail him out after the drug mess in "LA X," and Liam's not the only familiar face from seasons past to cameo in sideways world. Of course Miles would be friends with Charlotte in either reality, particularly since we know from "Dr. Linus" that the island did exist in the '70s, and that therefore Miles' and Charlotte's mothers might know each other in this timeline, too. Charlotte and Sawyer weren't incredibly close in the real timeline, but she was part of his small time-traveling band in the first half of last season, and like many a woman on the show (or in the audience), she couldn't resist the charms of James Ford with his shirt off.

• Couple of familiar faces from TV, but new to the show, in Sheila Kelley (from "LA Law," and also from her marriage to Richard Schiff) as Zoe, and Fred Koehler (from "Kate & Allie" as a kid, and many things as a grown-up) as one of Widmore's soldiers.

• Widmore's dismissive "How little you actually know" comment to Sawyer about the origin of the freighter makes me question a lot of his previous protestations of goodness. We know he sent the damn freighter, so unless Keamy and company were somehow working under some secret higher authority, most of season four's bloodshed is Widmore's fault. And if he's building a barrier to repel Smokey, does that add more fuel to the Smoke-as-good-guy fire?

• Lots of little Sawyer easter eggs in the LA X scenes. Ford's code word is LaFleur, he has a copy of "Watership Down" on his dresser (though the book was originall Boone's in the real timeline, Sawyer stole it) and still watches "Little House on the Prairie." (And the scene they chose, of Charles Ingalls reassuring Laura about death, and saying you hold memories of your lost loved ones until you see them again, has me wondering if it's going to foreshadow some kind of Sawyer sacrifice so he can get back with Juliet.)

• Alt-James has a list, just like Jacob.

• At this point, they're just taunting me with outrigger scenes, aren't they? Though at the rate characters will have to go back and forth to Alcatraz to keep the Widmore story going, maybe we will get closure on the shootout, after all.

• Other than the need for padlocks (to keep people out? or to keep the contents in?), do we really have any clues as to who or what is behind the special door on the sub?

What did everybody else think?


JL said...

he "AR" Isn't just what would have happened had they not been to the Island. It's what would have happened had Jacob not touched each one of them.

As Jacob touched them their life went astray. Jacob touching them was a turning point. In the AR their lives are the same up to the point where they meet Jacob. This is why Locke is still in a wheel chair but his life is better after the accident. This is why Sawyer became a cop as a mode of revenge rather than becoming a con man(Jacob touched him and gave him the pen to finish his letter, had Jacob not interfered the letter would not have been finished). Sayid was intervened at the street which is when his girl got ran over by the bus. By Jacob not interfering she is still alive but Sayid was already a killer at that point. The "AR" she is still alive but with Sayid's brother.

... I'm convinced that in the AR Sawyer never wrote that letter to his fathers killer.

incogneetus69 said...

Im really losing what everyones motivation is in any given time. Can Widmore kill Locke, why does he want to? How is he not a bad guy since he had so many innocent people killed?

MPH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I thought this was the weakest episode of the season. Nothing at all was explained, except for us learning that Smokey has mommy issues. 8 episodes left and we are still getting filler. Sigh. I honestly started laughing at the supposedly dramatic closing line, "We ain't takin' the plane....we're takin' the SUBMARINE!' Oooohhhh!

Bix said...

Alan, I'm surprised that you didn't mention the pile of recently dead people on Hydra Island. Sawyer said they were Aijira 316 survivors, but in previous episodes it didn't look like there were close to that many people on the plane, and he wouldn't know that. Until this episode, we were given no indication that there was on the flight other than the Oceanic 5/6ths, Ben, Jacob's bodyguards (including Ilana and Bram), the flight attendants (who we haven't seen since the flight), Caesar, and a lot less extras than there were people in the pile. So who are the dead people?

Bix said...

Oh, and not counting the unnamed bodyguards, Lostpedia counts 8 Aijira survivors not accounted for. It looked like there were a lot more in the pile. Anyone have a screenshot?

Steve said...

But John Locke would have been dead if not for Jacob's touch, and he certainly wasn't pushed out the window by Anthony Cooper in the AR (he was set to invite him to his wedding).

Nor would Jack suddenly gain a 15-year-old son if Jacob didn't give him an Apollo bar at the hospital.

And Hurley already believed he was "cursed" when Jacob touched him in the back of the cab (that sounds sleazier than it was).

So I'm not sure how the AR could be the result of Jacob not touching them.

Scott said...

I promise I'll stop being a killjoy after this post. I don't like where this season is going. I was not a fan of this episode, and I've been against the alt-timelines from nearly the get go. I hope that they pay off, but I don't think they will in any way that will make me look back and say it was all worth it. I mean it could, but it doesn't look promising. It feels like a bunch of wasted time. We have like 8 episodes left and we're going to go through nearly everyone's alt-timeline. Maybe the writers had a certain plan for the island material, and it wasn't enough for 16 or however many episodes, so they made up some other story line to pass the time while they stretched out the story.

Oh, and I'd be stunned if Desmond wasn't locked in the room.

D. Bones said...

In a show piled high with absurdity, the thing about this episode that bothered me most was that the LAPD is apparently OK with an officer sleeping with a suspect while under surveilance. Um...really?

Michaelangelo McCullar said...

Purely speculation, but maybe James didn't try and stop Kate because doing so would have meant he would have had to admit he went to Australia and not Santa Barbara.

Anonymous said...

How is Sawyer running a con on Smokey? Hasn't he been completely honest with him?


Dave F said...

When Smokey said his mother was crazy, I immediately wondered if he was Grendel and she was the mother from Beowulf. I don't think they would do this on the show, but I thought it was interesting that was where my mind went to.

Yellowdog said...

Four things stood out to me.

1. I'm sick of Kate running from the police yet again. Enough already.

2. Charlotte seemed out of place.

3. Quit adding more characters. War and Peace didn't have this many characters. The series is almost over!! Just go with who you have at this point!!

4. Was Sawyer wearing a wig? His hair was awful.

All in all, it was a good episode because it had Sawyer and Locke, and it didn't have Jack. But there seems no sense of urgency. Like every other episode this season it didn't seem like an episode in a final season of a highly mythological series. Every episode should be like a finale at this point. There's no breathless expectation.

Katie Fiorino said...

Smokey had a crazy mother. Locke's mother was a diagnosed schizophrenic, making her technically "crazy". I don't know if that means anything, but its interesting to me.

Tyler said...


that theory seems to work, HOWEVER, how would Hurley's life be any different if your theory was right? Hurley was touched by Jacob AFTER he escaped the island, AFTER he was the unluckiest man alive. It doesn't make sense.

Victor said...

I'm buying some shares of your "epilogue in advance" stock, with an extra caveat thrown in. From a closure and storytelling standpoint, the epilogue in advance will be a surprise for most viewers (at least those not reading your blog), so it will work great as a final episode reveal. "What happened after? We already know!"

That said, I still think the alt-timeline is going to have a direct impact on the overall story. There's going to be some sort of coming together of both realities at a crucial point in the story. You know there's going to be some sort of ultimate alt-timeline gathering of all the people that have been on the show. There have been enough hints of a deja-vu type of fuzzy memories that at some point, the floodgates are going to open up for everyone. (and maybe Desmond is the key, as Jack's the one who is mostly getting hints of his other life, and he was the only one to have a close encounter with Desmond that we know of).

I still have a theory that all of these alt-Losties are the they of "They're coming!" I think they'll come back on a boat or something, drawn there like Devil's Tower from Close Encounters, and there will be some sort of choice everyone has to make. Those touched by Jacob versus those not touched by Jacob to see what these people would ultimately choose. Sort of a nature vs nurture standoff. And all of it orchestrated by Jacob.

But as you said, I'm enjoying the ride more than deeply analyzing each episode. Like, I know there's a connection between Widmore and Jacob&Smokey, but I don't exactly remember and not sure I have the energy to look it up. They'll tell me what I need to know when they address it. But if it was Jacob that led the Others and Jacob who allowed Ben to take over leadership, then what beef does Widmore have with Smokey?

And finally, I think we now know what Lindelof and Cuse were talking about when they said that ABC might very well want to continue the stories of these characters. "Lost High" would have been fun, as would the new "Hawaii Five-O" starring Sawyer and Miles. Oh well...

Matter-Eater Lad said...

One thought on the side-verse: We know from last week that Dharma happened there, and that Ben Linus and his father were at one point on the island. Now we know that Pierre Chang is alive in the side-verse, working with Charlotte, and is directly or indirectly trying to get Sawyer and Charlotte together (and one imagines that the field work Charlotte refers to could easily involve the bones and collars of Dharma polar bears and the like). That, and the run-ins that began last week and continued this week, suggest to me that maybe we're going to see whether or not these people (the whole cast, not just Sawyer and Charlotte and Miles) can get away from each other or if they're "meant" to get together by some force or for some reason.

Sam Hobart said...

"It feels like a bunch of wasted time. We have like 8 episodes left and we're going to go through nearly everyone's alt-timeline. Maybe the writers had a certain plan for the island material, and it wasn't enough for 16 or however many episodes, so they made up some other story line to pass the time while they stretched out the story."

This seems the be the main complaint about this season and I think that Alan's right in that providing the reason up front for the flash sideways scenes probably would have alleviated a lot of these issues.

But considering they got an extra hour added to the finale I doubt Cuse and Lindelof are vamping. Outside of the headlong sprint that the second half of season 5 turned into, this is what the show has always been. There's a lot of grading on a curve because this is the final season but if we were getting answers at half this pace early in season 3 for example I don't think that season would have gotten nearly the bad rap that it did. Maybe I'm wrong to feel this way but I have to think that the reveal behind the flash sideways will be worth the wait.

On the other hand, couldn't agree more with the last statement:
"Oh, and I'd be stunned if Desmond wasn't locked in the room."

Brendan McCarthy said...

Dave F said...
When Smokey said his mother was crazy, I immediately wondered if he was Grendel and she was the mother from Beowulf. I don't think they would do this on the show, but I thought it was interesting that was where my mind went to.

See, I immediately thought (and by immediately, I mean went to wikipedia to brush up on the subject first) that she might be Rebecca, Jacob and Esau's mother, who was a little nutso.

JL said...

posted this in another forum but posting here as well as I enjoy Lost theories

Bomb was set off in 1977... Kate was born in 74 thus the Island destroyed prior to Jacob visiting Kate(she was older than 3 when Jacob visited). The timelines work out too well. Jacob prevented the store owner from calling her mom and told her not to steal anymore before touching her. Perhaps the store owner calling Kates mom would have been the difference in how her life turned out some way?

Next we know that Jacob visited Sawyer during his parents funeral while he was writing a letter to Sawyer. Jacob is the one who gave him the pen to write the letter! In the AR Jacob never showed... Sawyer never wrote that letter. Jacob is the reason why Sawyers life was different in the AR.

Next is Sayid. Sayid was crossing the street with his woman. Jacob calls to him and his woman gets ran over by a bus while Sayid is distracted. Had Jacob not showed Sayid would have likely saved her life. Jacob interferes, Sayids woman dies and Sayids life takes a turn for the worse. In the AR she doesn't die.. but somehow ends up with his brother.

When Jacob visits Illana He is wearing gloves and purposely doesn't touch her!

Jacob visits Locke and touches him after the fall. This is why in the AR Locke is still in a wheel chair. Jacob didn't interfere until after his accident so his life would be the same. I can't figure out how Jacob simply telling Locke "everything will be ok" would actually make a difference in how things play out

We don't know the AR story of Sun/Jin yet

Jacob visits Jack and touches him when he hands him the candy bar. We know this was during his residency so it was early enough that the time difference makes sense in regards to the one known difference we have seen in Jacks life... his son. They purposly didn't show who Jacks babies mama was but it definitely wasn't Sarah as his son is too old. It is likely that Jacobs interference made it so that Jack didn't meet the mother of his existing son and later met Sarah (in 2001). Another prediction: Jacks babies mama will be revealed as Gabrielle ... Regardless Jack met his babies mama sometime in the early 90's given Davids age. So the plane not crashing again wouldn't have affected Jacks life in this way as the key difference is several years prior to the plane crashing.

We don't see a pre-flight visit to Hurley from Jacob... we only see a visit after they originally left the Island where Jacob tells him he needs to go back to the Island. The only key clue here is Jacobs emphasis on "I'm definitely NOT dead"..

When MIB/LOCKE is in the cave with Jacob and Ben asks if they have met before Locke says "In a matter of speaking" ... I'm wondering if Jacob didn't originally interfere in his(MIB) life off the Island at some point and that's what he is referring to?? That statement "in a matter of speaking" is a definite clue.

The plane not crashing wasn't early enough in their lives to make such a difference... Sawyer didn't become a cop after the plane trip/non crash. Jack had a son well before the plane trip. I'm telling you... the AR is how there lives would be without the interference of Jacob, NOT because the plane didn't crash!

Jeff said...

I'm guessing that whatever was locked away in the sub was a person, and my money's on Desmond. I have no idea why that would happen, I just can't figure out what else would be locked up. Unless it's some sort of Smokey killing device..

J.J. said...

My spidey sense says Desmond is behind the locked door in the sub.

The list of potentially important people who aren't already on the island somewhere just isn't a very long one. Desmond and Walt are pretty much the only ones I could think of. Or Faraday's mom, maybe, but even she doesn't seem interesting enough for them to leave bread crumbs about what's behind the locked door while they build up to that reveal.

Anonymous said...

Good episode. I like that MIB-Locke's mother was crazy and thus we see that reflection in mothers on the island. Not really sure why but it's there.

I also enjoyed Kate until the end of the episode where it felt like they just threw her character back into man-triangle situation.

My take on the alt-scenes is nothing, just enjoy them or don't.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought but does the alt-storyline also provide the producers with an opportunity to develop a Lost-spinoff?

WM said...

more than anything, this episode made me realize how much I am going to miss watching Josh Holloway on my TV next season.

Lester Freamon said...

My theory on the flashsideways is that they're not what would have happened had Jughead gone off; they're what would have happened if the gang had never gone back in time in the first place. The Island sank not because of Jughead, but because of The Incident. The point of divergence couldn't have been the bomb, because Roger, Ben, and Pierre Chang were all on the island when it went off, and would have been killed.

Also, I noticed a continuity error, I think. Kate wouldn't have left her dress in the polar bear cage. She wore it off Hydra Island and back to camp IIRC.

boa said...

This episode was fine until Sheila Kelley/Zoe showed up. Then my head pretty much exploded. Enough, already, Lost. We can barely keep track of what's going on with the already sprawling cast. Adding more characters now infuriated me.

But I did like seeing more of Holloway, especially as he's regained some of his original swagger. The way he delivered "take me to your leader" was classic Sawyer.

FilmFan said...

Another familiar TV face: Jodi Lyn O'Keefe (Gretchen from Prison Break) as Sawyer's lady friend in the opening scene.

Steve said...

Ken Tremendous strikes again. I had a hard time with the alt-time lines for a while, but I'm buying Schur's explanation... it makes sense to me.

So the "LA X" time line may as well be the LA X-istential time line. It's about their true natures independent of Jacob's force, and I think we will see these true natures come out fully in the characters' island time line by the end of the series.

In a way, it's not a "what if?" Rather, it serves the same function as the flashback device used in the first half of the series. It gives meaning/motivation/context to the characters. As such, maybe it exists in a parallel universe, or maybe it doesn't exist at all. But that's okay, because I don't think it's meant to be an epilogue in advance.

As soon as I saw the first scene with Miles, I instantly thought that they should make a buddy cop movie. It would be fantastic.

Terry O'Quinn was fantastic this episode. I was never a fan of Locke as I thought he was too self-important and as such, I never gave O'Quinn his do. But this season has been his masterpiece. He plays MIB perfectly.

And Holloway has done a tremendous job with Sawyer as well. Sawyer was always the shrewdest 815'er and he would probably make for a solid Wyatt Earp-styled lawman.

Steve said...

Oh, and my first thought about Locke's mother was that maybe she was Taweret... but again, I have always been fascinated with the mythology.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Sawyer younger when his parents died in the plane-crash timestream? If so, that would be another difference for him in the alternate one, though I'm not sure what if anything that means.

Krista said...

Michaelangelo: smart idea!

I am having a hard time thinking of Smokey as good. His conversation with Kate seemed like another con; win Kate over to his side by the suggestion that she should be the one to protect Aaron (not crazy mommy Claire). Perhaps Smokey does have a crazy mommy, but I think he told Kate about her less from a good place and more from a manipulative one.

While I do not have a solid explanation for the AR, I do not think it relates to "what happens in the absence of Jacob's touch". I keep thinking back to Jacob's conversations with the Man In Black. Jacob says, "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress." I am not sure what the AR is, but I do not think that people are better off because Jacob never touched them.

I look forward to next week's episode. Though I enjoyed tonight's episode and love Sawyer, I still felt a little let down.

Milaxx said...

@Bix, There weren't any other people on the plane because Hugo bought all the other seats because he knew what was going to happen. So other than a few airline staff there shouldn't have been bodies. So:
1)Did the bomb change that.

2)If not, where did those bodies come from?

noelfiser said...

Frankly, my least favorite episode of the season. I like Sawyer but this felt to cliche and predictable. Unlike last week where I really wasn't sure what Ben would in either timeline until he did it, Sawyer was an open book.

I feel an affinity to your epilogue idea, as I've been thinking along similar lines for some time now. What if the sideways timeline is either (A) the world that was offered to Smocke's Losties (e.g., Sayid gets to see Nadia again, as promised, but it turns out it's not the "best 9 months of my life" he had with her in the real timeline; or (B) it's (as I think you're aiming at) what happened with Jacob out of the picture. But it's not how it might've been; it's how it ends when the experiment is over and Jacob removes his "touch" from their lives and they get to live them free from that external influence.

Unfortunately, I find neither scenario very compelling as a series finale denouement. But I'm sure the writers will suprise me. :)

Bix said...


That was my point. It's either a weird continuity error or a hint of a new plot development, like your suggestion that the bomb somehow changed this timeline.

tribalism said...

Like Sawyer and Juliet, I never foresaw a James-Charolette coupling. In both cases, I wouldn’t picture either romances being believable if I didn’t see it for myself. It appears that Josh Holloway can create instant chemistry with whoever is paired up with. This must be why Kate is usually only tolerable when she’s with Sawyer.
Speaking of great Sawyer pairings, I was delighted to see him and Miles partnering up for some more security-related detail in this episode. One of the things that was touched upon, but not thoroughly developed in season five, was the friendship that emerged between these two guys over their three years together in Dharmaville. You’d think that Jin, given the same period of time with the Dharmaville sheriff, would be referring to him as James—not Sawyer—at the beginning of the episode. Even Locke and Kate called him James throughout the series run, so I don’t think it would be weird for another character to do so either.
If anyone is interested, you can find more of my thoughts about this episode on my blog where I go into detail about the probable point in time in which James Ford chose cop over criminal and whether this means Sawyer can ever find peace within himself. Click my username for the link.

Lester Freamon said...

Another weird thing I noticed: the Smoke Monster was apparently imitating Locke the whole three years he was alone with Claire on the island. But if that's the case, why did he need Locke's body to be brought back to the Island? Or why not kill and impersonate him a lot sooner?

xyz said...

What's with all the heavily implied Kate-Claire homo-eroticism? They did the same in 'What Kate Does' and are doing it again in this episode. Are the writers trying to tell us something or is this something that's not intended and is just showing up as a result of how the actors are playing the part?

Unknown said...

Okay, now it's a tossup between last week and this week as my favorite episodes. Man, I do want to see Sawyer and Miles as cops, even more than Lost High. Love the alternate career choice, even if I'm also thinking, "Uh, cops can boink suspects? And where'd that code word come from? That ain't random."

Sawyer/Charlotte had a surprising lot of chemistry for about five minutes. Go figure. Also go figure: James Ford needs to be set up on dates by Miles? Alt universe, inDEED.

I kept rooting for Detective Ford to finally fess up to Miles about his binder, and he did, so yay there.

Back on actual island plot, this reminded me of Burn Notice. I love how flat out honest Sawyer was with EVERYONE. Heh. "Let them fight it out, I'm stealing the sub and we're getting outta here." If we go with Alan's theme, Sawyer's life isn't suck because he's not truly Team Smokey.

Oh Kate, Oh Claire. Oh, I kept wondering if Claire had a knife on her in the last scene.

Smokey sure can seem surprisingly honest and reasonable. Go figure. And yeah, whose crazy mom again? And will we find out ever?

Bix said...


Where'd you get that idea? Claire knows he's not Locke and seems to know he's the monster.

noelfiser said...

Addendum: Maybe it's just me, but when Sawyer *assumed* that Widmore was out to kill Smokey, it rang a little hollow to me. It seemed that both Widmore and Smocke's reactions were a bit hesitant and puzzled. Maybe that should be chalked up to Sawyer's great conning abilities, but it seemed to me at the time that neither baddie really thinks that Widmore is here to kill Smocke. Just a hunch...

fran said...

"But there seems no sense of urgency. Like every other episode this season it didn't seem like an episode in a final season of a highly mythological series. Every episode should be like a finale at this point. There's no breathless expectation."
Yellowdog, well said.

Unknown said...

I fall into the camp thinking that this was arguably the worst episode so far this year. Doesn't mean there weren't some highlights to it. Josh Holloway does anguished soul fairly well by now, in whatever timeline. I also enjoyed that it wasn't just Widmore coming alone. That said, I understand the frustration with new cast. They already don't do justice enough for certain core members, like Jack.

That said ... what did this episode do? It was a setup episode, through and through, but it was a predictable episode that didn't advance anything. Certainly, they are allowed those during the course of a season, and in saying I didn't like the episode, it didn't mean I didn't enjoy the hour.

It certainly, though, didn't provide us with, say, the relationship building in Lighthouse, the revelations in Lighthouse, the sheer ... for lack of a better word, fun, of Dr. Linus. It did turn Sawyer's alt-reality character around, which was an interesting twist.

While I don't believe in the epilogue theory, I actually think the epilogue theory might hold for this more than one would think. It might suggest that Sawyer, who certainly showed disgust in seeing the dead bodies on Hydra Island, eventually joins the forces of good and helps our hero Jack out.

Btw, with so much focus on deciding who is on what side, I want to suggest that

a) The idea of Smokey being good is almost unlikely. He might not be bad, but too much has been set up in this season alone to suggest that he is good.

b) That Widmore might not be on Team Smokey or Team Jacob. He might simply be his own man, who was banished off the island (likely by Ben), and wanting power in his own right.

I have to say, an episode without Jack, Ilana and the good guys sort of makes the show ... stall a bit. The one interesting thing today, from a story perspective, was Jin showing that he isn't with Team Smokey. I wonder if Jin ends up being the protected Kwon.

Anonymous said...

One thing that hasn't been covered that bugged the sh*t out of me is Kate not asking Sayid why he just sat there while Claire tried to cut her throat.

Omagus said...

D.Bones: In a show piled high with absurdity, the thing about this episode that bothered me most was that the LAPD is apparently OK with an officer sleeping with a suspect while under surveilance. Um...really?

While I enjoyed the episode, this is the biggest issue I had with it. It rang incredibly false. I get that it was supposed to echo both "Confidence Man" and "The Long Con" but it lost that sense once it was revealed that Sawyer was a cop. I couldn't help but think about the episode of The Wire where McNulty is in the same situation and catches all kinds of grief for it, even three seasons later.

Some posters are expressing frustration that there does not seem to be enough forward momentum as we head toward the finale. I get that and can understand it but I wonder (hopefully this is not considered a spoiler) if things might move into high gear once we get Richard Alpert's back story. That is the one variable that we have left and I can see it shifting the focus of the remaining island story.

Unknown said...

Just a joke but I think the purpose of the flash sideways is ABC showing the viewing audience little "pilot" for each of their ideas for a Lost spin off. For one "pilot" you have Teachers with Locke and Ben and the other you have a cop drama with Sawyer and Miles. Maybe we can have one with Sayid, like a Burn Notice for torturers.

pws said...

@Bix and MyFawny --

I'd rewatch the episodes that take place on the plane from last season again. There's a whole group of other people on the plane that are sitting in the 2nd section and are shown at the airport terminal waiting for their flight. Hurley also refers to when he's visibly upset there are other people on the flight since he attempted to buy up the plane's tickets. Since the Losties, Cesar and Ilana were in the first section (and since the focus is mostly on them) I can see why it'd be easy to forget there were other folks on the plane. But there aren't any continuity issues that I can see :).

Fan of lost podcasts said...

McNulty caught flak for, um, finishing. Then again it was on a prostitution ring which is not the same thing. Lost is not The Wire.

On the issue of believability, I'm going to put words in Carmon's mouth and say that there's a smoke monster that manifests as a guy who died and was paralyzed but then started walking again. A freaking smoke monster! Makes me forget the police protocol problems.

Anonymous said...

can't even begin to articulate my thoughts right now... still busy cleaning up the puddles of drool


Victor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Do NOT talk of next week's previews!!!

Victor said...

And tonight, while watching LAPD (Lost Alumni Police Department), I was struck by the thought that maybe this is a dig at everyone who complains about Lost's sci-fi leanings. "You morons only want to watch cop shows, or medical dramas, or school dramas? Well here you go."

Dano said...

Anybody think there was any significance to Smokey wanting to extend his hand to Kate when he wanted to take her to see Hydra Island?

Does Smokey have a "touch" just like Jacob does? Didn't he have to offer a hand to Sawyer a few episodes ago when the ladder broke on the way to the cave?

Whoever/whatever Widmore has behind that door must be the Smoke Monster's kryptonite. Why else would he feel like showing up to the island with a few lightly armed followers and a sonic fence was enough to beat Smokey?

Is Sawyer really that different in the parallel universe? He's a cop but he still wants to kill Cooper...he doesn't want to bring him to justice in any other way.

Omagus said...

Fan of Lost podcasts: On the issue of believability, I'm going to put words in Carmon's mouth and say that there's a smoke monster that manifests as a guy who died and was paralyzed but then started walking again. A freaking smoke monster! Makes me forget the police protocol problems.

Heh. Touche. Very good point.

cingers said...

Smokey's plan to get Ben to kill Jacob included fooling Ben into thinking he was Locke resurrected.

Hatfield said...

I loved it. Maybe they didn't answer much, but we hadn't seen Sawyer for three whole episodes, and that's about four too many for me.

So Sawyer/James Ford has now had sex with characters played by Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Mitchell, Kim Dickens, Rebecca Mader and Jodi Lynn O'Keefe. The producers must really like him.

For everyone thinking it's Desmond in the locked room (and you just know Alan's gonna call that episode review "It's Billy Pilgrim in a box!"), don't forget that the last time we saw Desmond interact with Widmore, Widmore was adamant that Desmond take Penny back to wherever they'd been hiding, and he referenced some long-brewing conflict that had nothing to do with him. I know Widmore's not to be trusted, but he seemed pretty sincere. Of course, maybe things changed once Ben failed to kill Penny and ended up back on the island.

But assuming my doubts are correct, why couldn't it be Walt? When Locke was attempting to get the band back together, Walt seemed to be on the list Widmore gave him, but after visiting him Locke decided the kid had been through enough. Maybe Widmore knows why Walt is special and thinks he can use that to defeat Smokey.

Man, I'm gonnna miss all this conjecture in 9 weeks...

Rabble Rouser said...

"To find out that Claire has completely lost her mind, and wants to kill Kate for doing the right thing by Aaron for the past three years?"

Umm, I don't call that doing the right thing by Aaron for 3 years. I call that baby snatching and delusional thoughts. If Kate wanted to do the "right thing" by Aaron she would have taken him STRAIGHT to Claire's family the day she got back. I am currently re-watching Season 4 and I am reminded of how utterly creepy Kate is around Aaron and claiming him as "MY SON!" The only reason Kate is back on the island is because of her own guilt and the fact that she is a perpetual runner and needed a new adventure, being a mom is borrrriiinngg, right Kate?

I wish Claire would have just put her money where her mouth was ended Kate.

Rich Cain said...

I don't think Smokey and Jacob are equals; one good one evil; because if that were so, wouldn't Smokey be able to leave and return to the island as he pleased?

Maybe Smokey is some kind of prisoner and Jacob is/was the guard. But that indicate which is good or evil.

Is it possible that Widmore is some sort of master of the island and Jacob, by manipulating the people on the island, was able to somehow hide the island from Widmore? Jacob at one time answered to Widmore but at some point went rogue.

Once a con man, always a con man. In alt-world Sawyer is a cop but he is not a cop because he wants to protect and serve. He wants the resources at a cop's disposal so he can search for the real Sawyer. Something tells me he is playing a long con, a very long con, on the LAPD.

If the flash-sidways are supposed to conjoin with the current time island stories and somehow reveal the moral center of our characters, then I believe that we are being shown that James/Sawyer is only looking out for himself. As much as we love him and as much as we find him interesting, he really is the most nihilistic person here. In the end, he'll be forced to make another choice and he will undoubtedly disappoint Kate and the audience by choosing what's most expedient for himself.

As for the other people, I don't know.....

Drifter said...

I don't quite get the "Cop And A Half" reference. Are you inferring Miles is like a child or somehow half a man? Why?

BTW - Best ep of the season so far. Lots of fun, but still no answers. The flash sideways are enjoyable but still hard to care about. Also seeing Miles and Sawyer as popo is a bit heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

Rabble Rouser - How would Kate have taken Aaron to Claire's family? As far as Claire knew, the last time she saw her mother, the woman was in a coma that nobody expected her to recover from.

I found this episode thoroughly entertaining. Loved the partnership between James and Miles. Also love the fact that Sawyer had to choose to put aside the Cooper baggage in both realities before he could move on.

Also loved him getting advice from Pa Ingalls on Little House - one of many little shout-outs to past seasons. Like Pa said, we have memories of those who died, but life is for loving and laughing. Time to leave Juliet behind and get on with life again, James.

Enjoyed all the bits we saw of other characters. Unstable and dangerous Claire; passive and creepy Sayid; and deceptively sympathetic Smocke. And now Widmore is in the mix. Eek!

So glad that Sawyer is trying to play both ends against the middle and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that his plan works. Loved the shout-out to Sawyer and Kate in the cages... they went through so much together. I'm glad he's teamed up with Kate again because that girl seemed so lost and alone there with all the crazies. And what fun that they met up in the Alt! It was also a relief to get a break from Jack... bonus!


Alden said...

This was the first time in years that Kate has actually effected me, and Lilly is a huge reason why. Her watching Locke abuse Claire and her shakenness for the entire episode after was the first time Kate's background as the daughter of an abused woman really struck me. It also really convinced me that Smokey doesn't know much about the backgrounds of those following him, because he might've predicted, or at least understood, her reaction to his treatment of Claire. Because he didn't, he at first spent a lot of time apologising for Claire, and only late in the episode did he even see what had actually effected her. Lilly did a fantastic job showing the rush of fear and hatred she felt every time after that she interacted with Locke, and her inability to trust him.

Can an actor, six seasons into a show, finally show some chops? Perhaps once their character develops a little depth.

Unknown said...

You have a newsletter? What about a rock that keeps tigers away?

Tyroc said...

Alan talks about James maybe sacrificing himself at the end to get Juliette back. What if he does -- like by agreeing to the reset of reality that we're seeing (the epilogue maybe) but unfortunately for him in that reality while Juliette i alive, she's not with James.

Instead in the alt. reality, Juliette is... the mother of Jack's baby!

They could have met in med school after all.

Just my guess.

Anonymous said...

Am I seeing stuff, or was that Vern Schillingers son among the Widmore crew?

Tyroc said...

Oh, and man does Charlotte clean up nice!

BF said...

Smokey's Mom = Cleopatra? It'd explain the Egyptian motif.

BF said...

Also, why was Vic Mackey in the sub?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't quite get the "Cop And A Half" reference. Are you inferring Miles is like a child or somehow half a man?

No, I mean that Miles is a real policeman through and through ("Cop"), and Sawyer is always teetering on the edge of going bad ("Half").

Anonymous said...

If Smokey just wants to leave the island, and Widmore wants to control it, why should they be at odds?

I liked the episode, but a lot of it felt like over the top fan service. The "without Jacob's influence everything is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT" trope is starting to feel hackneyed.

Lizbeth said...

"Miles & LeFleur" -- finally a procedural drama I'd actually watch!

Can't say I was happy to see Charlotte back...she was my least favorite Lost character ever. I actually cheered when she died.

BTW: I thought I read somewhere that Terry O'Quinn was pitching a TV show for him and Emerson to star in...maybe Emerson was just joking about that...but I think it would be awesome.

Also, did anyone else think that Sawyer was going to get assigned a new partner -- Anna Lucia??

Palo Koziol said...

No one seems to touch on the theory that the island is a Prison, that Smokey is the Prisoner, and that Jacob is his Guardian. The candidates are candidates for the job of Guardian; Widmore is a disciple of the Guardians, and after learning Smokey could escape constructed means to keep him imprisoned on the island.

Just think the harm that Smokey could cause on the mainland. Something out of a post-apocalyptic movie (a city of dead killed by smokey on a year long rampage) an uncontrollable rage for a hunger not being fed.

JOHN said...


In the original timeline, Sawyer's parents died when he was 8 years old, in 1976. He was born 1968.

In the alttimeline, they died when he was 9 years old.

Jacob touched Sawyer in 1976, in the funeral .He was the only one touched bedore 1977.

To think about....

JOHN said...

Sorry, i mean before 1977.

jamfan said...

Last week, there was some fan theorizing that Locke in the alt-verse -- substitute-teaching, wheelchair-bound, Helen-marrying Locke -- actually IS some form of Smokey, using his manipulation of Dr. Linus into trying to take over the principal job as evidence of that theory. Well, along those lines, I thought it was interesting to learn that in alt-verse, Anthony Cooper is still a very bad guy, the con man who ruined James's parents -- and we know that alt-verse Locke has a very good relationship with his father.

Toeknee said...

I agree with Alan in that I thought this was a very entertaining episode, one of the best this season. I still don’t fully understand the usual complaints that the plot doesn’t advance/questions don’t get answered/this is a filler or set-up episode. I suppose they could just have an episode featuring a roundtable discussion between the Losties, Flocke, Ben, Richard and Widmore, and they could just come right out and answer all of the questions, but where’s the fun in that? I’m sure at this point, if D&C give us too many answers it would make some if not all of the remaining episodes irrelevant.

Having said that, I did find it frustrating that yet again one of the Losties makes a big show of demanding answers, but doesn’t follow through. Sawyer asks for an explanation as to why they have to camp out for a couple days – Flocke says lets discuss this in private – then they discuss something completely different. It’s fine with me that D&C can’t answer all of the questions. And it’s fine that Flocke wanted to send Sawyer to Hydra Island for some “recon”. But why did the set-up for that scene have to be Sawyer supposedly demanding answers one minute and not caring about the answers the next? This is similar to the Jack-Richard scene last week, and the Jack-Dogen scenes earlier this year, and countless Locke-Ben scenes in seasons 3, 4, and 5. I’m a little tired of these fake-outs.

JOHN said...

Sawyer used '' La Fleur'' as the code word...does it indicates he's been on the island in the alttimeline??

Smizzle said...

I feel very differently about the alt-scenes. I get seriously frustrated every time they cut away and flash sideways. When Sawyer climbed down into the sub and then they side-flashed, I gave a "Come On!".

Alt-scenes are just a distraction from the meat of the show. I understand they will have some bigger meaning that may add a layer of depth to the meat we enjoy, but they present a serious problem - I don't enjoy the viewing experience when they give me 10 minute increments of the show I want to watch, interspersed with 10 minute increments of a show I've never seen (that happens to have little callouts to the show I like).

In the past, Lost has confused me, thrilled me, frustrated me, scared me, angered me, uplifted me, and saddened me. But all of feelings were accompanied with the joy of just watching this show. This method of storytelling is tipping that balance in the wrong direction.

It makes it much worse that they follow each episode with a "There's only 8 episodes left until the finale!" Then get rid of the freaking Sawyer-Charlotte date night! I didn't need to see that!

It's like they're writing alt-scenes for the actors to let them show off some off-island acting chops, in order to help them get work once this is over.

Tell me the truth folks.... Isn't it getting to the point that it won't matter what the significance of the alt-scenes are? I can't think of a reveal that would make this worth it. We have a million things we want to know and (even if we don't need answers) we have an on-island plot that's exceptionally compelling to us devotees with characters we know like they're our best friends. But they're giving us a total of 20min of the show we love each week. It's getting to the point where I almost feel stupid for getting soooo excited each week for just 20 minutes of what I'm excited for.


Anonymous said...

What bothered me the most about this episode was the poorly done airplane prop, something that has bothered me since episode 316 in season 5. For example when Sawyer was standing next to the jet engine, it should've been huge, large enough for him to stand inside with room to spare.

The Ajira flight was from LA to Guam at a distance of over 6000 miles. The jet that Sawyer was walking around was 737 sized. Wikipedia says it was a 737-300 which has a max range of 2,400 miles.

While in the pilot episode they used a L1011 widebody as a prop to simulate a modern 777, an aircraft actually capable of making it from Sydney to LAX. It just seems like they are getting lazy.

dickey simpkins said...

It was a fun episode, but things aren't going well when the 1 minute trailer for Treme held my attention more than Lost's final season.

Les Savy Ferd said...

very weak episode IMO. I dunno, last week when Jack proved that those touched by jacob were seemingly invincible, it took a lot of the steam out of things. I never really felt James was in any kind of danger since he's a candidate.

I didn't find Sawyer's off island adventures very interesting, unlike just about everyone else (Sayid, Ben and yes, even Jack's was more intriguing).

Worst episode since this season's Kate debacle. On the heels of a Ben episode that was underachieving as well. Get on with it already.

BF said...

those touched by jacob were seemingly invincible

Not Original Recipe Locke!

Anonymous said...

Why would Widmore and the Locke-ness Monster be at odds?

It's Jacob and Ben Linus vs Locke-ness and Widmore, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

How would Kate have taken Aaron to Claire's family? As far as Claire knew, the last time she saw her mother, the woman was in a coma that nobody expected her to recover from.

No, Kate knew since Christian Shepard's funeral that Claire's mother was alive and well and that Claire was Jack's sister.

I don't know why you are still debating whether Smokey is a good guy, Alan. He lied to Claire for 3 years about her baby which contributed, if not caused, her insanity. Having her focus on the Other's not only gave her a "purpose" as Smokey said, but made her a murderer. That is not the actions of a good guy. I'm not saying that Jacob is necessarily good, but I don't know how you can come up with any other conclusion than Smokey is a liar and not a good guy. Just because Smokey tells people he tells only the truth doesn't mean he does, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here read "Chew"? (http://chewcomic.blogspot.com/)

I would pay big money to see Holloway and Leung as the cop buddies in a TV or movie version of that comic book.

Shaun32 said...

One thing about the end bugged me..

So Sawyer can't pilot a plane, fair enough, but when did he learn to pilot a submarine???

Mike K said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

A moment:

Smokey says, "I know you have lots and lots of questions, and I'm going to make myself available to answer every single one of them.."

And my boys and I went, "Yaayyy!"

Then he said, "But first...."

And we all groaned. Same as always.

Consensus from our house in rural Maine: one of the best episodes of the season-- satisfying, funny--all the pieces in play now, and lotsa Josh Holloway showing his chops. And dimples. Loved the flybys of Charlotte and Liam.


Unknown said...

I swear i'll watch my words after this posting up.

So, lost's lasts episodes have showed us a bunch of new realities of our already met's characters.
The only thing I can't agree with Allan and JL (the first poster) is that the AR ain't about been not touched by Jacob, and its easy ti be found once you look at Jack's History..
He's had his appendice taken in the island as he was touched by jacob, but in the AR it was taken off as he were in the school around 7 or 8 years old.
I presume I ain't losing it, but it doesnt make anysense.
If it was for real, they would get their lives back from the moment they were touched or about that time.
But everyone's life have been changed for a very long time.
For example, Hurley, he was touched by jacob only after been jailed, so how the fuck he was any luckier than he used to be?

Another thoughts of Epilogue-in-advance:

- I still havent find out who is that blood-handed boy who walks through the jungle saying: watch the rules!

- I think the AR is really an epilogue-in-advance, being what would might have been after their choices. (Smokey or Jacob sides, and I still havent found which side is the good one).

- Why wouldn't kate has any meaning as she got back to the island? I think the producers are just a bit smarter not to make such a mistake.

- Is there any meaning about not to telling us upfront that there were some another guys at ajira air plane? why wouldnt they hide such a thing?

- Who are those dead guys?

- Is there anything else to be told about the guy whos locked on the under-door at the sub? Of course it's DESMOND.!

if you guys just get any answer, just tell me:


LDP said...

Where Desmond at, String?

Joseph Thomson said...

One thing that seems to be confusing people all about the internet is that this week's episode is the half way point of the season. It's not. This season has 18 episodes over 16 broadcasts. The first and last episodes are doubles, so episode 9 is the midway point. So we're still not quite over the hump yet. :)

Joseph Thomson said...

'What bothered me the most about this episode was the poorly done airplane prop'.. etc.

If that's really the worst thing that's bothering you, this must be shaping up to be a pretty good season for you, eh? =P

Interesting to read though!

Anonymous said...

No way that Ajira plane is getting back off the ground. A couple of dozen people might be able to turn it around if it was sitting on a tarmac, but sitting in sand? No way.

Joe said...

"Go look for a t-shirt in the drawer where I keep my most precious secret in the world. ...and no t-shirts."

Loren said...


Next is Sayid. Sayid was crossing the street with his woman. Jacob calls to him and his woman gets ran over by a bus while Sayid is distracted. Had Jacob not showed Sayid would have likely saved her life. Jacob interferes, Sayids woman dies and Sayids life takes a turn for the worse. In the AR she doesn't die.. but somehow ends up with his brother.

Except Jacob intervened in Sayid's life in 2005, AFTER he'd returned from the Island. She was still alive in 2004, and not married to Sayid's brother.

In other words, AR-Sayid's life is drastically different well before Jacob touched him.

Liz said...

noelfiser said...
"Addendum: Maybe it's just me, but when Sawyer *assumed* that Widmore was out to kill Smokey, it rang a little hollow to me. It seemed that both Widmore and Smocke's reactions were a bit hesitant and puzzled. Maybe that should be chalked up to Sawyer's great conning abilities, but it seemed to me at the time that neither baddie really thinks that Widmore is here to kill Smocke. Just a hunch..."

I agree. I could have sworn I saw something flicker in Widmore's eyes as Sawyer laid out his plan. I can't tell which side Widmore is on. But he clearly knows more than Sawyer about what's going on.

Also, Charlotte & Sawyer gettin' busy made me want to vomit! She is one of my least favorite characters ever. And certainly not Josh Holloway worthy! Eww. So glad he blew it with her. I still think he'll cross paths with Juliet at some point and go for that cup of coffee...

Speaking of Juliet.. I also think that she is Jack's baby momma. She's gotta be!

I just new Claire was going to try to stab Kate when she was hugging her at the end..

P.S. Love the comment about Sawyer's t-shirt drawer with no t-shirts. ;) hehe

Andrew said...

I never totally liked her character in her original incarnation, but man, did Charlotte look SMOKING in this episode.

Also, Ford's other woman last night, Jodi Lynn O'Keefe, played Nash Bridges's daughter for Cuse and Lindelof back in the day, no? So... when does Don Johnson show up? Cheech has already been on Lost, so its only a matter of time, right?

Sandman said...

So does anyone else think Locke was setting Ben up to get captured by Widmore's people when he said last week, "Come to the Hydra Station. That's where we'll be." ?? It's clear Locke's flock isn't leaving the main island for a while.

If so, lucky for Ben that Ilana let him stick around.

Dan Jameson said...

Wait, Claire did try to stab Kate when they hugged? Did I black out and miss that? I thought the scene cut when they were still hugging???

Daniel said...

When the folks at Annheuser Busch greenlight a Bud Light commercial that goofs your show it should be a wake up call that its beginning to collapse under it's own weight. And your hatred of Jack is not irrational. Just expand your circle of hatred to include a few others and you'll be in the zone.

Jim said...

And Smokey's apparent honesty, in turn, makes me wonder about the story he told Kate about his crazy mother. Aside from being pleasantly surprised to meet a "Lost" character with mommy issues rather than daddy issues, I'm wondering exactly who this mother could be.

Doesn't Occam's Razor suggest Fake Locke is simply referring to Real Locke's mother, played by Swoosie Kurtz in "Deus Ex Machina"? We've seen before there is some interplay between the Smoke Monster and Locke's real memories?

Schmoker said...

Unless Jacob touched people prior to the touches we have been shown, they alt-world isn't just what things would have been like sans Jacob's creepy touching fetish. It's what the world would have been like if 815 never crashed, because that eliminates the castaways going back in time and doing all sorts of stuff to alter the timeline from at least 1954 onward. I do believe that Jacob's touch may have influenced Sawyer to finish the letter, which then may be the totem he needed to fuel the rage that turned him into a criminal, but there are numerous other life changes that are happening independently of Jacob's fingering people, such as Jack's child, Hurley being the luckiest man on earth, John surviving whatever accident crippled him, etc.

So, it's the lack of time traveling that has had the biggest impact on the alt-world. Why and how the island sunk, I have no idea, but that it did sink meant that 815 never crashed, thus no one ever went back in time, thus we get an alt-world that is dramatically different going waaaaay back before Jacob started practicing finger painting on people.

I also do not buy that Sayid is ultimately evil at heart. Yes, he tortured, but that alone, as we have seen with Ben, does not make him evil at heart. And other than his Republican Guard background, Sayid has spent the entire series as one of the most decent men on Craphole Island. He didn't go evil until dying and becoming "infected," whatever the hell that means.

I still think there is a lot we are all missing. Maybe in the end, we will find out that we already had enough to put it all together, but I'm betting not. Because no theory I've heard so far--including my own--can account for anything close to everything, and they all having gaping holes that can be used to pull them apart like so much taffy.

I do, however, love that the show is starting to really wink at the fact that it is a show, a la The Dark Tower. Saywer's "It's about time," line before the bump was as much a nod to the audience's desire to find out where the hell he has been the past three-four episodes as it was a line relating to anything happening in that scene. Ditto for all the books that keep popping up every episode now, which I think are as much meant to comment on Lost being a story being told by someone in our world, just like all those books in The Dark Tower were meant to imply that everyone's life in one world is just a tale being spun by someone in another world.

I'll be interested to see if they will push that conceit as far as Stephen King did in the Dark Tower, which is still more of an influence on this show than all the other literary references they have made put together.

Liz said...

No, she didn't try to stab her, I just thought she would!

katie said...

Joe -- my thoughts exactly. and then he was SHOCKED that she found the secret. lazy writing. I don't hate the flash-sideways and I guess I believe they serve a purpose, but they do seem full of lazy writing, shortcuts, and excuses to set up fun alt-pairings of characters we miss seeing together (miles & sawyer from dharma time, ben & alex, etc) or that we hadn't thought about (ben & artz, sawyer & charlotte).

I noticed that they reminded us how much of conning involves telling the truth and not lying in sawyer's conversations w/ widmore and smokey-lock. I think this relates to the overall story in that smokey-locke really does seem to tell a version of the truth at all times (maybe he has to? there are a lot of rules and loopholes surrounding him), but that doesn't mean he has good intentions. honesty doesn't always equal good. and I think after watching him kill half the people in the temple I definitely agree that while jacob may not be good, smokey is definitely not good.

PMcmil5450 said...

For those who say that an episode is a filler, or doesn't advance the story...how do you know? It is the creative team/show runners' story to tell. We can't possibly know what does or doesn't matter. At this stage, I have to believe that everything matters, in some way large or small, and I am willing to let the team tell the story that is theirs to tell...and just go along for the ride :-)

Andrew said...

I'm finding two running things about this season very frustrating:

1. That we don't know what the stakes are in the alternate timeline. I find the explanation that this is what would happen if not for the influence of Jacob and the Island, per Ken Tremendous and JL. I still suspect that the Island characters and the alternate reality characters are going to end up at similar places, even if they get there in different ways, because that's who the characters fundamentally are. At this point, if the AR stories play out to be the epilogue-in-advance, wouldn't they effectively erase the events of the entire series? If so, why not just say, "it was all Walt's dream?"

More than anything, not knowing what the stakes are in this alternate timeline (whereas it was clear why we were seeing flashbacks or forwards), ultimately hurts the storytelling. Instead of being able to enjoy these stories for what they are, we're spending a lot of time trying to figure out what they are and if they ultimately mean anything.

2. Half of the main cast disappears for episodes at a time. We haven't had much time with Sawyer since "The Substitute," and this episode doesn't involve Ben at all. This has been a feature of Lost's storytelling since at least Season 3, when we spent too many episodes with Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet and Ben on Hydra island and very little time with Hurley, Sayid, Charlie, Desmond, et al back on Craphole Island proper. And it's a result of the fundamental narrative characteristic of the show: Lost has always, with a few exceptions, focused on a single character each week. The time that other shows would spend on B-plots is used to serve the flash stories. Because we don't yet quite know what the stakes are in the alternate universe, this might be hurting the show's momentum from week to week. Aside from the obvious reality that it would be woefully inefficient to assemble half the cast and send the crew to a different location for a couple of minutes of a C-story, it might be nice to not completely ignore the pieces of the game that are out of view.

Anonymous said...

We know he sent the damn freighter, so unless Keamy and company were somehow working under some secret higher authority, most of season four's bloodshed is Widmore's fault.

I have to say, the relationship between Widmore and Keamy and co. never made a lot of sense to me (and even less so after the Widmore-related revelations of Season 5). Why would Widmore authorize them to "torch the Island"? I was willing to go with it at the time partially because Season 4 was strike-shortened, but if it turns out that all was not as it seemed, I will be happily surprised.

dez said...

I still can't believe Tina Fey was on the island, and that she was a badass working for Widmore.

Anonymous said...

What was LIZ LEMON doing on that island?

Was waiting for her to spot the big island and say "Oh, nerds! I want to go to there!"

Dave B said...

Ha ha ha! I caught the Tina Fey resemblance, too.

Loved this episode. The reveal of Sawyer as cop had me in hysterics. It was nice to see Charlotte again.

Liz said...

Oh and also.. Remember when Sawyer surprised Juliet with a sunflower in Dharma-ville? That seems to be his thing. I'll take one! ;)

Hatfield said...

Someone mentioned that Smokey was trying to send Ben right to Widmore, which is interesting, but at the time he did that Widmore had yet to arrive. Perhaps Smokey knew he would be there, but perhaps not.

JTM said...

Jennifer Finney Boylan: I hear you. I feel your pain. I just threw my hands up in the air when yet again they give us the "here's the answer key... but first, let's take a meandering walk through the jungle for 8 more episodes."

Shawn32: I thought the exact same thing. Like, wow, a plane sure is hard to fly, so let's take a submarine. Did I miss the flashback when Sawyer went to submarine school?

This show is like an abusive relationship - they just keep torturing me and I just keep taking it. The only reason I'm hanging in there is because there are only 8 eps left, at which point I will dump and forget this show like a bad boyfriend.

Lizbeth said...

Smokey says, "I know you have lots and lots of questions, and I'm going to make myself available to answer every single one of them.."

And my boys and I went, "Yaayyy!"

Jennifer, your poor boys. Flocke didn't fool me. I immediately finished his sentence, "but now is not the time."

I love Lost but am getting a little tired of the "big tease." I don't even care about the answers anymore. Give me enough Miles and LeFleur (preferably shirtless) and I'm completely satisfied.

Oh, and a little more Ben and some Desmond sightings wouldn't hurt either.

Ransom said...

I think Schmoker is on to something. If Flight 815 never crashed, then everything that happened in the previous five seasons never happened, including the time travel. Thus, no one alerted Richard in the 1950s that Locke was the chosen one (and thus, Richard never visited Young Locke). Further, Eloise Hawking never received Daniel Farraday's notebook, meaning that Eloise and Widmore did not have access to a series of future events in order to act accordingly. That means that Eloise is unaware of Desmond and his importance to the timeline. Remember when Eloise remarked that for the first time, in a long time, she didn't know what was going to happen next? In the alt-timeline, she never knows what is going to happen next. So, the ripple effect goes well before 1977, the setting off of Jughead and the first time that Jacob touches a purported candidate. BUT HOW ABOUT THIS: (If they never went back in time, then Farraday never instructed them how to properly dispose of Jughead, meaning that it might have been set off well before 1977, which would explain the sinking of the island even before 1977).

Penny's Boat said...

Are we done with biblical theories? Surprised no one has mentioned this exchange?

Zoe Lemon: Thank God.
Sawyer: Trust me. God's got nothing to do with it.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

@Ransom: If Jughead goes off before 1977 (in a no-time-traveling 815ers timeline), it would have to do so late enough for Ben and his dad to have moved there, spent some time there, and then left.

JT said...

Desmond is behind that locked door. Widmore knows that Desmond is special and he is using him for his own gain.

I still think that Sawyer and Juliet will meet in the sideways flashes and hookup, hence he last words about getting coffee. she knew it worked because at that moment, she was aware she was alive in both timelines.

Robin said...

Smizzle - very valid. I made this complaint on another board I read, regarding the exact same moment (Sawyer on the sub).

The alt-universe is starting to bug me like the flashbacks were towards the end of S2 and into S3. Yes, yes, I'm sure they have a point, but geesh, I want to see what's happening on the island more than I want to see Sawyer on a date.

Scott J. said...

Jim said...

Doesn't Occam's Razor suggest Fake Locke is simply referring to Real Locke's mother, played by Swoosie Kurtz in "Deus Ex Machina"? We've seen before there is some interplay between the Smoke Monster and Locke's real memories?

He said it was a long time ago, before he looked like he does now.

I do wonder what other parallels there are between Real Locke and Smokey, though. Locke had to get Sawyer to kill his dad for him. Similar to Smokey using Ben to kill Jacob. Maybe Jacob was Smokey's dad?

Anonymous said...

There are many men that like seeing Josh Holloway with his shirt off. Just thought I'd let you know there are gay men that read you as well.

Joseph said...

I'm enjoying this season and the flash-sideways; like Alan, I have had to learn (as far back as season 3) to just enjoy watching the actors/characters because if I start to think about what everything means, if it is consistent with what has happened before, etc I am afraid I will either lose my mind, throw something at my TV, and/or stop watching.

I like Mike's theories, but don't know that they hold up. First of all, Ben has been at the "when push comes to shove" point several times and has chosen murder every time prior to this most recent one (his father, the rest of Dharma, Locke, Jacob) so I don't know that you could say he (at least the "island he") is inherently decent or good.

Also I think Sawyer didn't arrest Kate because then he would have had to explain why he was at LAX when he was supposed to be in Palm Springs.

Lepidoptera said...

After so many bad TV portrayals of the LAPD, I thought it was really swell to get to see their gentler side: 1. Sawyer letting a shackled, cuffed Kate happily flee from federal agents at LAX. 2. The entire force allowing Sawyer to have sex with the suspect before completing the bust. 3. Allowing Sawyer to use the LAPD desk phone to call every person in the continental US named Anthony Cooper. (Seems like the prudent thing to do if looking to commit murder in your spare time.)

I also LOVED the huge GOTCHA at the end. "We're not taking the plane, Freckles. We're taking the submarine!"

You know, because planes have so much tricky gadgetry, and require a whole lot of training to be able to operate. Not like bikes, mopeds, or nuclear subs. LeFleur!!!!!!!!!

Hatfield said...

Ok, Lepidoptera, not that your bitterness about the show doesn't lead to very entertaining comments, but if you get so upset at it, why are you still watching? Is it because after putting this much time in you feel you have to ride it out (kinda like a bad 24 season)?

hilker said...

And other than his Republican Guard background, Sayid has spent the entire series as one of the most decent men on Craphole Island.

Was that before or after he tortured Sawyer over a misplaced asthma inhaler and remorselessly assassinated dozens of people on Ben's orders?

Andrew said...

It's plausible in the 3 years he was in the Dharma Iniative and came to be the head of security, it's certainly plausible that LaFleur had to learn how to operate the DI's submarine. And since Widmore amazingly* has the exact same model of sub, why wouldn't Sawyer be able to transfer some basic submariner training to be able to get away on Widmore's sub?

*not so amazing, given that Lost still has a TV-sized budget.

Kathryn said...

Just to throw my findings onto the ever-growing pile of possibly meaningless Lost literary references:

The copy of Watership Down on James Ford's nightstand was stacked on top of a copy of A Wrinkle in Time and a book called Lancelot by Walker Percy. I think Wrinkle in Time has some fairly obvious connections with the types of themes and stories Lost has been working with, but also might have some correlation with the free will vs. predestination theories about the show.

I've never heard of Lancelot, but wikipedia helpfully outlines the plot, which is about a lawyer who murders his wife after discovering he's not the father of one of their children. James Ford must really like reading books that eerily echo his life story.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @liz and @noelfisher: Widmore is not there to kill Smokey. That idea was planted in our heads purposefully via the conversations, but the actors' eyes intentionally give the secret away for those who are paying careful attention. That was just too quick of an assumption on Sawyer's part, and the fact that neither Smokey or Widmore debated it tells me we're being thrown off track.

An anon poster above said: "Why would Widmore and the Locke-ness Monster be at odds? It's Jacob and Ben Linus vs Locke-ness and Widmore, isn't it?" That's my thinking, too. We know from previous seasons that Ben and Widmore are on opposing sides. Ben is, and has always been, on the side of Jacob (unless someone can counter that?).

So therefore Widmore is either on Smokey's side, or on the island to accomplish a purpose that is independent of Smokey. Since I think Jacob and Smokey are the big players and everyone has to be on one side or another (at least for now, as some Losties--especially Sawyer--may choose to reject both), then Widmore and Smokey aren't out to destroy one another. I think it's more likely that they're co-conspirators, or willing to use one another to accomplish their own purposes.

BTW, Alan, I don't think I've commented here before (although I may have in a previous season). Just want to say thanks for your recaps. They're always the first thing I read after watching Lost.


James said...

i really thought this was 1 of the worst episodes in Lost history, i like Josh Holloway and Sawyer 1-4, but the last season and a half hes been a terrible character. predictable island scenes, rehashed "Confidence Man" scenes=mess and poorly executed episode

robgillies85 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

No talking about the content of upcoming episodes, guys.

Chijip said...

When Charlotte was "looking for a tee shirt" it looked to me like she was searching with real purpose so I thought at the time that she was looking for something specific (maybe something Miles had told her to look for. But they didn't address it so i guess I was wrong. Did anyone else think it looked suspicious the way she was tearing through the drawer?

Lepidoptera said...

Hatfield, yes your 24 analogy is spot-on. I still maintain that the first 3 seasons of Jack Bauer were great TV, but I have moved on. I also loved the first season of Lost, and from the get-go, the creators had the moxie to tease us that this is a master plan behind all of this craziness. So, I have hung on. Past seasons have made me (like Claire) intermittently crazy. But this season is, in my humble opinion, a train wreck, and the sideways timeline, has been a terrible contrast to the great early story-telling of the show. I call this the Mad Lib timeline, because I think one writer at a time was given 5 Mad Lib categories:
1. A Lost Character
2. A Profession
3. A Taboo Sexual Situation
4. A Random Thing To Do
5. A Criminal Act
6. Another Lost Character

1. SAYID (character) is now a CONTRACTOR (profession) who dangerously COVETS HIS BROTHER'S WIFE (sexual taboo). After a series of things related to this, he EATS EGGS (random thing to do) before he COMMITS MURDER (criminal act) and then in a crazy twist, he finds JIN (other character.)

2. BEN LINUS (character) is now a HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER (profession) who learns about COED VOYEURISM (sexual taboo). After a series of things related to this, he MAKES A TV DINNER (random thing to do) before he THREATENS BLACKMAIL (criminal act), and then in a crazy twist, he saves ALEX (other character).

3. SAWYER (character) is now a COP (profession) who HAS SEX WITH A MARRIED WOMAN/CRIMINAL, and UNPROTECTED SEX WITH AN ARCHAELOGIST (twofer on the sex acts). After a series of things relating to this, he WATCHES HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN and BUYS A SIX PACK OF MICKEYS (twofer on random things) before he PLOTS MURDER (criminal act), and then is sideswiped by KATE (other character).

If you've lost your way, color by numbers, I guess.

Bix said...

I'm not sure what to think of Charlotte going through the drawer since they seemed to go out of their way to show that she hadn't found a T-shirt yet. Her reaction to the picture of the Ford family looked more like "Aww, James was an adorable little boy" than anything.

Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hatfield said...

Dennis, I sense a deletion in your future.

Lepidoptera, HAHA. I am almost the opposite of you as far as satisfaction with the show goes, but that was great. Thanks for realizing I was just curious.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Since you asked, Dennis, previews are a no-no: see the commenting rules.

Kenrick said...

i have nothing to add... other than... mmm... cake http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hILqMGb2u2w

Alan Sepinwall said...

Very well-done, Lepidoptera. The archaeologist line still has me laughing. One correction, though: you mixed up your Michael Landon shows. It was Little House on the Prairie, not Highway to Heaven.

robgillies85 said...

Personally I think the alternate reality is going to tie in more significantly than just a game of 'spot the difference'/'what if?'. Juliet told Sawyer, (via Miles), that "it worked", in 'LA X', possibly suggesting she has somehow reconnected/converged with her alt-timeline self. Also the producers have previously suggested that approximately a third of the way through the season everything will converge onto one timeline and be straight story-telling from then onwards.

P.S. Anyone else getting annoyed at the lack of a name for flocke/smocke/smokey/the locke-ness monster/un-locke? I'm guessing this is significant, possibly he's a character we're actually already semi-familiar with.... maybe Aaron? Or Walt? Or maybe he's the captain of the black rock, hence "it's good to see you out of those chains richard"...?

Unknown said...

I figured the reason Sawyer would suggest the sub as opposed to the Plane is due to the fact that the sub has a captain while Lapidus is nowhere to be found. Although, I'm not really sure why they felt the need to add the exageratted music.

Unknown said...

Alternate theory on the sub lock up, it's not Desmond it's Aaron. Aaron is still a special character to the island. Having an armed guard outside the door squashes the theory a little bit though.

Mike said...

Is it wrong to secretly hope that the final episode of Lost mirrors every season finale of Survivor with the "trail of remembrance"?

I totally see Jack/Kate/Sawyer walk along the beach into the jungle stopping in memory of their forgotten friends at familiar places, with Sawyer saying the obligatory quip, Jack trying to say something meaningful and Kaye saying something completely useless.

Hatfield said...

Maybe the guard is so no one goes in, not because they're worried someone will escape.

One quibble with the mad libs: almost no one has protected sex on TV--it's just not cool.

Jim said...

Has America ever met a brunette with glasses (in the past 3-5 years) whom it didn't immediately compare to Tina Fey?

Miss Constance said...

First, thank you for the recap, Alan. If I may call you that.

Everyone has written some great insights here, especially Schmocker and Ransom.

Here are some of my questions and hypothetical answers regarding this episode:

Are Widmore and Smockey on the same side? All eyes point to yes, but why is he building the sonar fence?

Is Claire really repentant for trying to kill Kate and just confused? Or is it part of her and Smockey's larger end game? And if she is just confused, does that mean she's different from Sayid? Did she not die in the house explosion, like I and others have surmised? Or is she different because she took the vaccinations when she was pregnant with Aaron?

And most importantly, who is Miles' girlfriend? Someone we know, like Libby? Ana Lucia? Naomi? Any other Lostie? Can he still communicate with the dead? Wouldn't his last name be Chang in the sideflash?

Thanks for your time!

Mick said...

Does Smokey have a "touch" thing happening too? He hasn't touched Kate yet (in the crying scene, she refused to take his hand in assistance to get up) I think he touched both Sayid and Claire (maybe others too, I'll have to watch again.) No one has brought this up, so I just thought I'd chime in since I thought they made a point about Kate not accepting Locke's hand.

Dano said...


I was wondering the same thing. I believe he did extend a hand to Sawyer when the ladder broke on their way to the cave and I believe Sawyer took it. I was thinking he probably didn't need to touch Sayid and Claire since they were infected/claimed already.

Sam Hobart said...

"One quibble with the mad libs: almost no one has protected sex on TV--it's just not cool."

That's because when they try to it turns out their best friend has stolen the condom.

Anonymous said...

Don't know why folks are concerned about Sawyer piloting the sub (although that'd be another great spinoff - Captain James Ford in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea!).

Sawyer would obviously just hold the real captain at gunpoint, as he's done before.

Schmoker said...

I would think either Sawyer got some sub training during his Dharma Haze Days, or he is planning on taking the sub captain hostage. Either way, I'll just wait until they cross that bridge before I worry about burning it.

I, too, wondered about how repentant Claire actually was. It was the strangest thing in the episode. If she's "infected," whatever the hell that means, then is it really that easy to begin to come out of it? Or did Smocke lay a beat down on her, either physical or metaphysical? Or is it all part of Smocke's plan to lure in Kate?

I did notice that as Smocke was comforting the two children, Claire took Kate's hand. At first blush it appeared a childlike reflex on Claire's part. But her eyes stayed dead the whole time, and then she released Kate's hand and walked away like zombie when Smocke was done. Seemed like she was mirroring Smocke there, trying to offer some false comfort and kindness to Kate while Smocke was doing the same to the two kids---only Claire isn't as smooth or polished as Smocke, so it ultimately rang false to me, and I think to Kate, too.

So, was the hug out in the woods simply more of that same game? Because it just seems weird to me that Claire could reach that point that quickly after three years under Smockey's control, when clearly Sayid is batshite crazy after just a day and night of dealing with "infection." He never moved a muscle or batted an eyelid when Claire went for Kate with the knife, and THAT is not Sayid, my friends. Call him a heart of darkness all you want, but that ain't Sayid. That is Zombie Sayid, and something has been done to him, taken from him, whatever, but to look at him since he rose from the dead as being the same guy we have watched all these years would be a mistake.

I also thought Sawyer jumped too quickly to Widmore killing Smocke. Seemed a bit weak, but there were those sonic fences they were erecting, so there was definitely good reason to think that. I was, however, a little ticked at the writers (which I rarely ever get) for writing that scene in such a way that the most skeptical character on the show never even tried to get any answers out of Widmore. That is what Sawyer does best--listen to people and gauge their truthfulness--so it seems very unlikely he would have just started squawking without hearing Widmore out first.

Can't be too upset, though, because the occasional lapse aside, the show has been fan-frakking-tastic for six straight years. About the best show of any kind I've ever watched. I have nothing about which to complain, and they could make the whole thing a dream in Tommy Westphal's head at this point if they want to. They paid off my loyalty years ago, moving me to laughter and tears more times than I can possibly remember, so they can do whatever the hell they please now.

Anonymous said...

So what is the current thinking?

Smokey can or cannot cross the water?
Smocke can or cannot cross the water and then turn into Smokey?

Is the New Otherton-type Hydra Sonic Barriers to keep out Ol' Smoke or to trap him?

V said...

Trivial, but Los Angeles's airport is simply known as LAX, not LA-space-X.

Unknown said...

"Trivial, but Los Angeles's airport is simply known as LAX, not LA-space-X."

"LA X" is referring to the title of the season premiere, not the airport.

Drifter said...

I was thinking... the immediate aftermath of the Incident's Jughead explosion (beginning of season 6) are way too similar to the immediate aftermath of the Swan implosion (beginning of season 3) . Both are cases where human beings were exposed to massive amounts of electromagnetism. Particularly in regards to Juliet and Desmond, who were at ground zero to something that should not have been survivable. Others in nearby proximity - Locke & Eko in the Hatch, and Jack, Kate, et al in the Incident - miraculously awoke in the jungle finding themselves temporarily mute or deaf.

Desmond at ground zero in the Hatch implosion awoke in the past when he was painting his flat with Penny Widmore. His consciousness became unanchored in time as he consciously relived his past with deja vu cases (seeing Charlie or heard "815" or saw that soccer match, etc). He began to remember events that had not happened yet (Locke's speech, Charlie's many deaths, etc.) until his mind deteriorated in The Constant until he was able to anchor his thoughts on a constant across his life - Penny. Hence Faraday's proclamation that Desmond is "special" and "the rules don't apply to him." And by rules, my guess is he meant the 1 way directional understanding of time that the rest of us humans have.

Juliet however had suffered mortal wounds in her fall prior to the Jughead detonation. Post Jughead explosion we saw her consciousness apparently drift nonsensically, and Miles' post mortem reading of her thoughts revealed her last thoughts to be her telling Sawyer that Faraday/Jack's Jughead plan worked.

I don't think these flash sideways are an epilogue in advance. If you think of us humans as radios tuned permanently to a specific frequency aka here in the present, Desmond is special in that he can (involuntarily) change his frequency to have a past tense sense of the future or a present tense sense of the past. Maybe he can even glimpse parallel realities such as where Charlie dies by an arrow in one, by drowning in another, by lightning in another, etc. The flash sideways is one such alternate reality. And I'd bet Desmond and Juliet are the keys to understanding it.

Anonymous said...

Random thoughts lying in bed last night:

In the flash sideways story, Jack and Locke meet. What if Jack ends up repairing Locke's back in this AR. Will this help answer, perhaps, in some way how the Island gave back Locke's legs?

Am I wrong to assume that Smokey can only take the form of someone who died off island (and maybe only a person who's corpse was returned to the Island). Besides Locke and probably Christian Shepherd, has Smokey appeared as anyone else?

Desmond on flight 815 in the AR and probably locked away on the sub. Is Desmond the big wild card to everything?

Why is my gut and not my head telling me that Jack and Sawyer are going to end up being the new Jacob and MIB. Crappy ending, but I can see Sawyer looking for a loophole to kill Jack 200 years from now.

Chijip said...


The monster also appeared as Eko's brother whose body was brought to the island in the heroin plane crash, so that fits in with your theory

Anonymous said...

And Yemmi, Mr. Eko's brother too! (refering to Smokey taking a form)

Anonymous said...


You beat me to the punch as I was uploading that :)

Anonymous said...

And Alex!!!

Anonymous said...

Scratch Alex. She died on the island.

kevin J said...

Widmor has to be evil – he brought mercenaries to kill everyone on the island, last season during the flashes a young Widmor and his Latin speaking buddies captured Juliet and Sawyer and he was about to cut off her arm with a machete right as the island flashed. He wanted Alex killed and he was also a total b*stard to Desmond which just isn't nice.

The sideways flashes almost seem like a type of karmic alt timeline for the Losties. That being said, even though Sayid has chosen MIB's side, since he has a sideways life with Nadia in it and he's not a professional assassin it makes me think that in the end he sides with Jacob.

I'm not sure what the writers were going for but I couldn't imagine Ford and Miles as street-tough city cops, they seemed more like cops from the 80's, sort of like Simon & Simon or Magnum.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Sawyer gets killed off in dramatic fashion - providing his character a worthy ending.

I see Sawyer, the character, as almost a blatant ripoff of Han Solo - both wise cracking loners who claim to owe allegiance to no one. There is an interview with Harrison Ford in which he discuss Han Solo and how he lobbied George Lucas to kill of Han Solo during the making of Star Wars. His argument was that Han Solo deserved to go out in a blaze of glory and that he should get the opportunity to make a great sacrifice for his friends.

I see Sawyer going out the same way - one last chance to be finally be the hero and save his friends.

Chrissy said...

While I like the alt-universe-as-character's-essential-nature theory thematically, I don't think it quite makes sense. These people are clearly still under the influence of something. Dogen and Alex living in L.A., Arzt, Locke and Ben all working at the same school, James Ford's code word being "LaFleur" - this isn't just regular life. I guess I'm in the minority in that I actually enjoy most of the sideways stories and don't find them to be a drag on the show (what problems I do have with this season are almost exclusively to do with on-island pacing).

I want to vote for Libby as the mother of Jack's child. She was also in med school (and, unlike Juliet, she's actually from the Los Angeles area). She's also the right age to have a son David's age - Juliet may be as well - her age is a bit of a mystery to me, particularly considering that weird flashback to her as a child in a completely modern house wearing clothes I think I saw on sale last summer at the Gap.

Chrissy said...

Also, Libby's husband in the regular universe was named David. I'm not claiming any direct connection between that and Jack's son's name, but it's the kind of coincidence Lost likes.

Anonymous said...

Lepidoptera - These AR segments would only look random or pointless if you don't remember past episodes.

3)Sawyer watching Little House on the Prairie (not Highway to Heaven)wasn't random. Sawyer once told Kate he watched Little House when he was absent from school for two months and the family's TV only got one channel. Although he'd never admit it, Sawyer was drawn to the show because it represented the kind of happy, stable family life he never had. His whole life in the AR revolved around the trauma caused by the way his family lived and died.

What's taboo about two single adults having concensual sex, and how can you tell they had "unprotected" sex?

2) Ben serving dinner to his father (and changing his oxygen tank) was not random. It showed the care and concern he had for his father, in sharp contrast to the Ben who hated his father enough to kill him (with a tank of gas) in another life.

How was Alex involved with "coed vouyerism"? She accidentally discovered the principal having sex - I don't think she hung around to watch. The whole point of that was to give Ben something to use for blackmail purposes.

1) Sayid didn't eat the eggs, Keamy did. This showed that AR Keamy was still a total psychopath, the kind who could offer to cook eggs for you one minute and kill you the next.

Sayid's scenes with Nadia in the AR are about more than his sexual longing for her. These scenes show that Sayid will always be thwarted in his attemps to be with her, just as he seems to be condemned to a life of violence. It appears there are no happy endings for Sayid.

I know your comments were meant to be funny, but it's not fair to confuse shallow interpretation by the viewer with shallow writing.

Hatfield said...

@most recent Anonymous: Oh, you're no fun anymore!

What's this about Widmore chopping off Juliet's arm? I don't remember that. I do remember Sawyer and Juliet capturing teenage/early 20s Widmore in 1954, but there was no threatened arm-chopping that was cut off (heh) by a flash. Did he threaten to do it before Locke showed up?

Dano said...


I think the deal is that Smokey can show up as anyone who has a corpse on the island and hasn't been buried. I don't know how other visions, Hurley's friend Dave, Kate's horse, figure into it. Are they Smokey also? The other observation is that Christian and Walt both appeared to people on the island. The show recently went out of it's way again to explain that Christian's body has never been recovered. It's simply gone...both in this world and the parallel one. Then there is Walt who has shown up to several people and who never died at all. I suspect they may not be Smokey.

As Hatfield recently pointed out to me Jack put white shoes on Christian's body in Sydney. He put a black pair of Christian's shoes on Locke before the second crash. I can't wait til they explain what Christian's all about.

Dano said...

The other thing is that with the appearance of that boy a few episodes ago we know that someone/something else can cause apparitions to appear to Smokey.

I think Drifter's got the right idea about what happened to Juliet. I don't think the bomb went off. I think the Incident just ran its course making Juliet like Desmond.

Toeknee said...

To Hatfield, re: Widmore chopping off Juliet’s arm….

The young Widmore actually threatened to chop off both of her hands. He said something about the first one not being negotiable, and threatened to chop off the second one if they (Sawyer & Juliet) didn’t tell him what he wanted to know. Then Locke showed up to save the day.

Paul Outlaw said...

Instead of being able to enjoy these stories for what they are, we're spending a lot of time trying to figure out what they are and if they ultimately mean anything.

Only if "we" are so inclined. Some of "us" are just enjoying the ride.

By the way: Isn't there a theory floating around about the significance of the names Charlotte Lewis and Charles Widmore?

Anonymous said...

I'll be suprised if the whole Walt storyline and the different early sightings of him will ever be explained. I was under the impression that they had to write him off because the actor was growing just too fast to be explained in the short lost timeline.

BF said...


And Kate's horse!

Which reminds me, other than the Outrigger shootout, nothing remains more unexplored than the talking eagle from the Season 2 finale.

Nevada Smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


I forgot all about the talking eagle. Refresh me. Did everyone hear it talk, or was it only Hurley who heard it call his name?

As far as the black horse....I'd like to have an explanation but with only half a season left, I'll be shocked if they explain that one. Although never seen, if the Dharma once had polar bears (I guess the bears swam over from hydra island) I guess they could have had black horses around although how they swam the two miles is still a mystery.

I'll reconcile the horse, regardless that it seemed broken in, as just another wild animal like chickens and rabbits we've seen.

Alan, I think the time has come for you to start a new thread where everyone can write what we'd like to see answered. There were so many fun irreconcilable events throughout the run I think it will help refresh everyone.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, once again: NO TALKING ABOUT THE CONTENT OF UPCOMING EPISODES in any way, shape or form. Period.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, I think the time has come for you to start a new thread where everyone can write what we'd like to see answered.

I did that back in January.

Anonymous said...

Alan, You talked about who should have been cast in the "Rockford" remake on the Podcast and I think you missed the obvious choice. Josh Holloway. He would make a great wisecracking PI.

Unknown said...

Not a bad episode with a lot of fun little things (like Liam showing up) and a nice set up for the inevitabel clash. Just some thoughts on it:

* I just wonder why Widmore, a billionaire with a sub (a lot of people in Lost seem to have one!), can only get such a meagre bunch of mercenaries? This new lot looks like a bunch of office drones who're off to a paintball match. Can't he afford any real killers like Keamy anymore?

* The pile of bodies seemed to correspond with the number of Ajira survivors, but I thought that Flocke's flock was much bigger when they left the temple. In this episode it seems like it's just the candidates + Claire, Cindy, the kids and some pensioners.

* Is Sawyer planning on taking the whole sub crew hostage? Don't really see how else he'll be able to pilot it.

* And he's a real romantic too: who needs roses and choclates if you can get a sunflower and a six-pack of beers? ;)

DJ Doena said...


has anyone considered the idea that this might be very well a "Babylon 5"-ish setup where in the end both superior beings are neither truly good nor truly evil but instead simply superior annoyances?

Anonymous said...

After going back to Alan's January post and reading the questions people wanted answers to, it's pretty amazing how much has already been answered and how many new questions there are.

Anonymous said...

DJ Doena: Yes, people have been mentioning Babylon 5 (and the Shadows and Vorlons) in regards to Jacob/"Locke" for weeks now, almost every episode review in the past 2 months has at least one comment mentioning that.

Alan: No theories here about Jin being in the freezer beyond what others have said after Sayid's episode, but I'd assume Kate was simply trying to evade police, since a police cruiser with its lights and sirens on was chasing her when she slammed into the undercover car with Miles and James in it.

Also, re: James helping Kate out back in the airport earlier in the season, he helped her not because he's bad or good, but because he tends to think with his penis.

Say what you want about Jack, but he tends to consult his brain first and foremost (heart and penis be damned), which is more than can be said for Sawyer.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Smokey and Whitmore being on the same side, there are two problems with that theory: Why the anti-Smokey fence, and why did Smokey attack Whitmore's men from the ship after they killed Alex?

Personally, the scene I'm most interested in seeing is when Claire and Jack finally see each other again.

noelfiser said...

One further observation on rewatching:

A) Sawyer sees Jin in the tent, says "I'm with Locke" (because he can get them off the island).

B) Kate asks Sawyer straight up (5 minutes later), "So you're with Locke now?" Answer: "I ain't with anybody, Kate."

C) Final scene of show, Sawyer tells *Kate* his "real" plan, to double-cross Smokey and Widmore. That is, he is in fact consistent with B.

So my question really is: does he feel the need to "play" Jin by keeping his real intentions close to the vest (particularly while among the Smokies), and he can only trust Kate because he knows she can see through his cons most of the time? Or is he playing Kate? I know the latter isn't as likely, given his one-time feelings for her, but it's interesting to note.

Or it could just be writing to reiterate the important character trait, i.e. the con--one that most of us know but any latecomers might not? As well as maybe being expositive writing, reestablishing Sawyer in Locke's camp through direct dialogue...

Anonymous said...

Could just be that Sawyer thinks Kate can lie convincingly and Jin can't.

Anonymous said...

Now, for all of you griping about Sawyer planning to take the sub albeit not knowing how to operate one: Hasn't it occured to you he might not be planning to operate it himself?

After all, it wouldn't be the first sub to be hijacked in Lost now, would it? And while Sawyer probably doesn't know the Ajira flight's pilot is still alive he can safely assume that some core crew will remain on the sub during the final battle, because as many here have pointed out: it's a submarine, a super-complicated system; not everybody on it will be gun-toting mercenaries, there needs to be someone who can operate it. Geez.

But I'll give you this: The 737 made me yell at my TV, too

Mayn Man said...

Alan, about Sawyer letting Kate go in LAX and not arresting her, I think the reason why he didn't arrest her was because he wasn't supposed to be there. HE travelled to Australia under the pretense that he was going somehwere else.

Henry said...

Two things that occurred to me while watching the episode again:

1. Well, this was more of a thought: Did Jacob touch Claire at any time? Maybe he was channeling himself through Richard Malkin and the psychic reading that was done in "Raised By Another."

2. Anyone else notice that Miles described Charlotte as "working with (his) dad at the museum"? Did everyone associated with the Dharma Initiative just move to LA? What's Horace doing? Or Radzinsky?

I'd love to see a Hurley episode at this point. How'd he get so successful in the Sideways world?

Anonymous said...

Smizzle said: "I don't enjoy the viewing experience when they give me 10 minute increments of the show I want to watch, interspersed with 10 minute increments of a show I've never seen (that happens to have little callouts to the show I like)" Quoted for the truth.