Friday, March 26, 2010

Lost 6.08: "Recon"

“Well, I guess I got to a point in my life where I was either going to become a criminal or a cop, so I chose cop.”

-Detective James Ford

Opinion seems to be mixed on “Recon,” but I most definitely liked it. I thought this episode’s sideways-verse story was even more compelling than most, and I’m generally a fan of the sideways-verse. I liked the sideways verse story even more than usual this time around because it completely turned expectations on their head and had some of the more fun random character connections of the season. The on-Island story was interesting as well, although more for the future possibilities than what actually happened in this episode. I also like to see that Sawyer and Kate are mending their relationship, be it platonic or romantic in the future. Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly just have too much chemistry together for the show’s producers not to take at least a little advantage of it.

I thought Sawyer’s sideways-verse introduction in this episode was especially fantastic. He’s in a low-rent motel room with a woman, and it seems like he’s up to his usual con man tricks. He uses his favorite con, the Pigeon Drop. He’s got a meeting in a few minutes, and in his haste, drops his suitcase and it “falls” open, revealing money. Unlike the other times we’ve seen Saywer use this trick, though, his mark doesn’t fall for it. She points a gun at him, saying that she can recognize a classic con since her husband is a con man. Sawyer warns her that at his word, the room will be crawling with cops, but she doesn’t believe him.

When the situation starts to look a bit more dire, Sawyer says the magic word, “LaFleur,” and the cops do indeed come streaming in. First, I loved that “LaFleur” was the code word- it was a fun nod to one of the series’ better episodes and James Ford at his best in the timeline we already know well. The second thing that was really cool about this part of the scene was that one of those cops that broke into the room was Miles. He’s Sawyer’s partner at the LAPD. Yep, Sawyer’s a cop in the sideways-verse!

Not only is Sawyer a cop with Miles as his partner, but Miles has set Sawyer up on a blind date with none other than the late (in the original timeline) Charlotte Staples Lewis. Although I still think Sawyer has more chemistry with Kate, the two hit it off surprisingly well. Sawyer is impressed by Charlotte’s Indiana Jones-like persona, and they bond over some dirty talk about a whip. Next thing you know, they’re post-coital in Sawyer’s apartment. Sawyer offers to get Charlotte a glass of water, and Charlotte takes the opportunity (under the guise of asking for a t-shirt), so rummage through the top drawer of Sawyer’s dresser. In it, she finds an old family photo and a folder labeled “SAWYER.” Sawyer is enraged when he sees’ Charlotte snooping, and he throws her out at 3 AM. Kind of a douche move, even if Charlotte shouldn’t have been snooping.

The next day at work, Miles confronts Sawyer and throws him up against a locker. Sawyer thinks it’s because of Charlotte, but Miles is angry about something else. He ran Sawyer’s credit cards and figured out that Sawyer had been in Australia the previous week, not Palm Springs like he had been telling everyone. Miles is angry that Sawyer keeps lying to him, and he dumps Sawyer as a partner when Sawyer continues to refuse to tell the truth. Sawyer spends the evening brooding while watching “Little House on the Prairie.” It’s funny to see that some things absolutely stay the same in both universes! After his classic TV-induced wake-up call, Saywer first goes to Charlotte’s apartment to apologize, carrying a sunflower much like the one he gave original universe Juliette. Charlotte doesn’t accept the apology.

By the next day, Sawyer has figured out who he really needs to talk to- Miles. He pulls up in front of the police station when Miles gets off work, and Miles only slightly begrudgingly hops in the car. Then Sawyer tells him the whole truth, about how Original Sawyer (aka Anthony Cooper) is responsible for his parents’ deaths, and how Sawyer went to Australia because he had a lead on where Cooper might be. The reason he hesitated to tell Miles the whole story is because if he ever finds Anthony Cooper, he’s going to kill him.

The end of Sawyer and Miles’ heart-to-heart is interrupted with a thud as another car careens into Sawyer’s car, followed by police. Sawyer is pretty pissed, so he joins in the hunt for the fugitive who is now on foot. He pins the fugitive up against a wall, and as he pulls down the hood of her sweatshirt, he sees that it’s none other than Kate. Which was a pretty obvious twist. He lets out his trademark “Son of a bitch,” presumably because he realized he helped this woman escape from the airport a few days ago. I just may have cheered at this point.

On the Island, we find out that Sawyer was watching over passed out Jin at Claire’s den while Locke was raining destruction down upon the Temple. When Jin comes to, he wants to leave before Locke comes back. Sawyer says he’s with Locke now, but he gives his word that if Sun is on the Island, they won’t leave without her. Even in a very low place following the death of Juliet, Sawyer still looks out for his friends.

Soon enough, Locke returns with his newly formed ex-Other posse. Sawyer is pretty shocked to see Kate among them. Kate is equally shocked to learn that Sawyer is “with Locke” (although Sawyer claims he isn’t “with” anybody), especially after Locke admits to killing everyone at the Temple who didn’t join him. Before the two have much time to catch up, Locke’s got a mission for Sawyer. He wants Sawyer to go over to Hydra Island and do recon on any remaining survivors from the Ajira crash.

When Sawyer first gets to Hydra Island, it certainly doesn’t look like there are any survivors. More like a massive pile of dead bodies, which, now that I think about it, is kind of reminiscent of the aftermath of the Purge. What does that say about the Others, who claimed to be doing the work of Jacob? While Sawyer is surveying the damage, he sees movement out of the corner of his eye. It’s a woman named Zoe, who claims to be the last survivor of Ajira 316. Much like Sawyer’s mark in the sideways-verse, Sawyer himself can certainly recognize a con, and he figures out pretty quickly that Zoe isn’t who she says she is. I love his exasperated, jaded “Take me to your leader” when Zoe gives the signal and her crew pops out of the bushes and points their rifles at Sawyer.

Sawyer is led to a submarine docked on the other side of Hydra Island where he meets none other than Charles Widmore. I think what I’m most confused about at this point is where Widmore’s loyalties lie and the same for Ben when he was leader of the Others. They seem to be enemies, but I don’t get the sense that they’re necessarily on opposite sides of the Jacob/Men in Black battle going on above their pay grade. I’m curious to see how that’s all going to shake out. Sawyer gets out of the sub alive by telling Widmore that he’ll lead Locke and company straight to Widmore in exchange for Widmore letting Sawyer and anyone traveling in his boat go unharmed.

Kate is facing her own trials back on the main Island. Claire is still enraged that Kate has had Aaron all this time, and she attacks Kate with a knife. Kate is only saved by Locke’s quick intervention. He brutally throws Claire to the side and hits her. It’s a shocking, savage scene. Kate is crushed by this, since Aaron and Claire’s well-being is why she came back to this crazy Island in the first place. Claire later apologizes to Kate, but it’s hard to tell if it’s sincere, and if it is sincere, how long it will last. Locke tries to use the situation to his advantage, warning Kate that he had a crazy mother, and how Aaron has a crazy mother. I’m not quite sure how keeping Aaron and Claire apart fits into Locke’s nefarious plans, but it must somehow. It really felt like Locke was seriously encouraging Kate to take Aaron back.

When he makes it back to the Island, Sawyer reveals to Locke the truth of what he found, and he spins it in a way that makes it sound like they can turn the upcoming battle to Locke’s advantage. Sawyer later reveals to Kate, however, that he’s trying to play both sides against the middle. While Widmore and Locke are fighting it out, Sawyer wants he and Kate to escape. In what might possibly be one of the show’s weakest “fade to black” moments ever, Sawyer tells Kate that they won’t be using the Ajira plane to escape, they’ll be using the sub.

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