Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost Episode 6.8: "Recon"

This was basically one of those filler episodes. Or, more accurately, a story-building episode. Seems pretty clear that they are setting us up for things that will pay off later. I get that episodes like this are necessary, but I'd put it somewhere above the Kate episode of this season if I was ranking my faves so far. Because some of what happened in this episode was definitely NOT necessary. But a okay episode of Lost is better than the best episode of any other show, so I'm okay with that.

I'm starting writing this super late, thanks to a late night at work, so we'll see how far I get. WARNING: It is not proofed. There will be run-ons and half-thoughts.

Let's start with the Flash-sideways stuff, off-island, which begins with:

JAMES FORD, GIGOLO COP: Is it standard for undercover cops to sleep with their target's wife? And, I'm pretty unsure of the cop's overall plan here. Was the plan that he would give her a briefcase to take to her husband with a camera in it? I'm no stake-out scientist, but couldn't they have found an easier way, more effective ways to get cameras in that guy's home? Send in someone posed as a cleaning lady or something? I dunno. Anyway, apparently Miles was listening in the whole time, which is creepy. And their code word was Sawyer old standby: "LaFleur". This is a huge opportunity for ABC to do a spin-off series of Sawyer and Miles doing car chases around LA as detectives. CODENAME: LAFLEUR? MILES & FORD? THE REDNECK FILES? Hmm. Needs work.

CALLING ANTHONY COOPER: So, next we see Detective James Ford at his desk, busy calling Anthony Coopers, trying to find the guy who conned his parents and destroyed his family. It's interesting to note that in this time line, Anthony Cooper is still a bad guy. But in the Locke flash sideways, he seemed to be playing the role of Locke's dad in a more healthy way. Does that mean that Locke doesn't know his dad is a con man? Or in this time line, did Cooper USED to be a con man but then had a change of heart and went straight? It will be interesting to learn what Anthony's story is in this reality. Interestingly, Miles sees through Sawyer's lies when he tries to cover up what he was doing on the phone. The woman in the opening scene also saw through Sawyer's lies. So, in this time line, is Sawyer a bad liar? Everyone seems to be able to call his bluff. Interesting.

CHARLOTTE AND SAWYER = CHARYER? SAWLOTTE? Clearly it wasn't meant to be. Not only because they were an absolutely terrible couple, but also because their names don't make any cool and easy mash-up name. Also, Charlotte should be with Daniel, the coolest nerd ever. I thought Charlotte was kind of a nerd, too. Here, she's playing kind of a different character. I didn't like this twist, it seemed like a different show – in a bad way. Also, is she up to something? When she looks for a T-shirt in Sawyer's dresser, it looked like to me she knew she would find something in there. Is she working for someone, or just really bad at recognizing a drawer full of pants when she sees one? Anyway, Sawyer kicks her out for finding his top secret revenge trapper-keeper. They're leaving us hanging in this one, I think. I still believe whatever decision folks make on the island determines their ability to remain at peace off-island, somehow. And the jury's still out on Sawyer. Is he at peace yet? Does he stay on the Man in Black's side? I'm guessing no, he'll ditch the man in black on the island and do the right thing at the last minute, and then he'll deal with his revenge bitterness in a healthy way later on in the flash sideways. I also predict he'll find Juliet in the flash sideways. Or will he end up with...

KATE ON THE RUN: Sawyer confesses to Miles sitting in their car that he's on a revenge mission, and that he wants to kill Anthony Cooper. Miles says he would have tried to talk him out of it, so I'm wondering if stays a good guy on the island. I hope so. A car crashes into them suddenly, and Kate pops out in a hoodie. And Sawyer catches her. Will they fall in love again. More importantly, is there ANY female in the cast that Sawyer won't end up sleeping with? Ana Lucia, Kate, Juliet, Charlotte... ? Who's next?

OH YEAH, THE LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE SCENE: I have no idea what to make of this little house on the prairie scene. It was very surreal. But, as my wife pointed out, it somehow was a very appropriate show for Sawyer to be watching. Very realistic in an odd way. I'm sure the dialogue of the show was significant, but I'm not sure HOW significant. It was referring to life after death, and obviously Sawyer was thinking about his parents. But was there more to the dialogue than that? Lostpedia claims that Sawyer mentions watching Little House as a child in the episode "Tricia Tanaka is Dead", so enjoy that delightful nugget of continuity.

Meanwhile, back on the island:

JIN HAS THE RIGHT IDEA: He wants to ditch the camp and head into the woods on his conveniently sized oar-crutch. He says he knows that Locke is not Locke, so I guess he took Claire at her word when she said as much. Locke and the straggling Others come back to the camp, and creepy evil Locke pretends to be a kind leader, and promises the kids he'll look after them. He also says that everyone at the temple was "killed by the black smoke." I thought Cindy and the Others knew HE was the black smoke, if they didn't know that, why were they afraid to let him in the temple? Confusing. Meanwhile, in a few short scenes, Claire does a bunch of creepy things including hold Kate's hand for no reason and check on her precious tom servo squirrel-baby.

"I'M THE SMOKE THING" Says Locke, and at this point It's hard to tell if the writers are trying to make sure we all get that. But I guess Sawyer didn't know that. Seems like he would be less likely Smokey after realizing he is the monster. I mean, the monster killed Eko. And If the monster wanted to get off the island, then why did he kill the original pilot of flight 815? Maybe to keep him from calling for help? Anyway, Smokey sends Sawyer on a mission to check on the other island. He SAYS for a recon, but I think he knows somewhat what's happening over there. Or at the very least, he knows about the dead bodies over there. Oddly he says "Some of the passengers want to do us harm." Is he thinking about Ilana and Bram? Because he already saw them. Maybe he thought there were more of them left near the plane. This episode was REALLY confusing on the bad guy front. There was never quite enough info to figure out who was really bad and who was really good. One more confusing thing... Smokey says he wants to fly the plane off the island. Um, really? My wife asked, is he going to drink a Sprite on the flight? Seems like a weird way for a magical smoke creature to travel. Why doesn't he just turn into a cloud of smoke and float over the water back home? I don't think he's really meaning to take the plane. I think he's just trying to get Sawyer to help him with Widmore, I think he knew exactly what Sawyer was going to do, con-wise.

SAWYER FINDS KATE'S DRESS: And remembers the time they totally made out in some cages. I was under the impression she put her dress back on afterwards, not sure why it's just sitting around in the cage.

KNIFE FIGHT! Kate sits down next to a VERY disturbed Sayid and starts to realize that she's joined the wrong camp. Claire jumping on her with a knife doesn't help. Locke violently breaks up the fight, but not before Kate picks up the gun by the barrel, apparently planning to use it as a club to defend herself. Pretty intense. Locke slaps Claire up a bit, and generally freaks me out because he's a weird and creepy dude.

THE MYSTERIOUS TRAIL TO A MYSTERIOUS PILE OF DEAD BODIES: I think that header would be a great title for a book. Or at least to a chapter in a book. What's up with the pile of bodies? And the trail? The trail was perfectly made. I guess there are a few options with this pile of bodies. Option one: Smokey killed them, then pushed their bodies over there. Option two: Smokey killed them, but Widmore's people dragged their bodies away from the plane. Option three: Widmore's people killed them. Option Four: Ilana and Bram killed them before heading off to take Locke's body to the statue. I don't want the last option to be true, I think Ilana is the good guy, but if you remember in the episode "Dead is Dead" last season, Ilana and Bram pointed a gun at Frank on the beach and asked him the secret question "Who lies in the shadow of the statue". Apparently they were taking charge of the camp with guns. My guess is that it was either Widmore or Smokey. I kind of want Widmore to be a bad guy, because the freighter folk he sent were so bad that I think he kind of has to be.

EVIL TINA FEY IS NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS: Again, good book title there. Sawyer finds a creepy lady near the bodies, and she weaves a pretty believable tale (for some reason) about what happened to the survivors. I guess her plan was to sneak into the enemy camp and count the number of guns they had? Or just get Sawyer to give her the gun count and then she would run away? I dunno. Either way, Sawyer doesn't believe her, and just like Sawyer did in the opening flash-sideways scene, she gives a whistle and her rather doughy goons pop out of the woods. Sawyer asks to be taken to their leader.

KATE HIDES IN THE TREES: I thought the setting for this scene of Kate crying was an interesting choice. She's sitting in the same kind of trees that the Losties used to run into in order to hide from the smoke monster. I think she and Juliet sat there once while the monster "scanned" them. What was that all about? Anyway, Locke comes over and tells Kate that he lied about the Others having Aaron in order to give her something to hate, to keep her going. I think this is insightful, if he is evil incarnate or Satan, it makes sense that he would think of hate a necessary tool to keep you going in life. Smokey then tells Kate he wants to show her where Sawyer went. Which leads to the most interesting info we got all episode, in my opinion:

SMOKEY HAS MOMMY ISSUES: So, sitting on the edge of the island, Smokey tries to win Kate over by sharing a little about himself. He says he knows what Kate's going through, because his mother was crazy. She lived a long time ago, and was a disturbed woman who caused him to have growing pains of his own, and prevented him to be able to work through all of his problems. He even says, wistfully, "had things been different..." Then he points out that now Aaron has a crazy mother, too. This is all super confusing, but there's lots of crazy possibilities here. First off, is Smokey actually Aaron? That's one possibility. After all, Claire was told that it was very important that SHE raise Aaron. And yet, she didn't. Did the loss of his mother, and then the loss of Kate as a second mother cause Aaron to get bitter? And then he grows up, goes back in time way to an eariler time on the island and somehow (and I have no idea how) becomes the smoke monster? When he slaps Claire, is he slapping his own mom? Or, is he someone else altogether? Or, is he pretending to be Locke to Kate, referring to Locke's actual mother, who went off the deep end, and had manic disorders? Very interesting.

WHAT'S IN THE ROOM? Ah, another 'what's in the box' mystery from Lost. They work every time. What did Widmore bring to the island? A weapon? Prisoners? A bomb? Guess we'll find out soon enough. I still can't believe the show is ending.

SIDE NOTE: Was one of the sub guys Michael Chiklis? Even Sawyer's kind of looking at him like, hey, are you that guy from The Shield?

WIDMORE THE GOOD OR BAD GUY: I really was hoping Widmore would claim allegiance to one side or the other in the conversation he had with Sawyer. Right now, he appears to be against Smokey. And we know he was against Ben, when Ben was leader of the Others. Is he loyal to Jacob, and Ben had him thrown off the island? Or is he only in it for himself, trying to capture the island for his own uses? I wish I knew. Instead, we have to guess. Sawyer makes a deal with him to get everyone off the island, but we soon learn his real plan is just to get Kate off the island with him. Unless he's lying to Kate. Man, it's a little hard sometimes to watch a show where you cant believe ANYTHING that ANYONE says.

CLAIRE'S CREEPY CONDOLENCES: Kate comes back from her chat with Locke, and Claire breaks down and says she's sorry, crying in Kate's arms. But she does it in a creepy way. According to Dogen, Claire is infected, and she did axe a guy in the chest, so I don't think this is a legitimate turning over a new leaf from Claire. I think she's just scared and confused, but still basically full of evilness on the inside. Just like Sayid seemed to be somewhat aware of his own not-okayness, I think Claire has some realization of that as well. Either that or Smokey threatened her if she didn't make up with Kate, because I think Smokey wants Kate on his side.

A QUICK SMOKEY THEORY: I had this theory last week, and forgot to post it. It could turn out to be just a wacky idea, or it could turn out to be true. (And it doesn't work if Smokey turns out to actually be Aaron.) Remember that bleeding blond kid that Smokey chased through the woods? I think that's Smokey's son. Remember how Smokey told Sawyer he was once a man, who lost someone he loved? And remember how Smokey told Sayid he could give him back someone he loved? We've seen a lot of dead people "brought back" by the island, and when they appear they're almost always brought back in a creepy Pet Semetary kind of way. I think that Locke is not the first evil person on the island. Just like Jacob, I think people in his role find other people, or "candidates" to replace them. I think Smokey is trying to find a replacement for himself, so he can leave the island. And I think the way he was tricked into staying on the island and taking on the evil role was with the promise of getting back someone he loved from the dead. I think he lost his son, and the evil person before him offered him his son back in exchange for being the evil entity on the island. But, when his son came back to life, it was in the creepy Christian Shepard kind of way. I think Christian Shepard and every other dead person we've seen is actually the Island itself, a third force in the war between good and evil. And I think Smokey realized that his son was really this other entity, and that he had been tricked into staying on the island. That's why when the island appeared as his son again, he chased it down, and it spoke to him about the rules of the game. Anyway, that's all confusing, and I may just be chasing rabbits, but it seems like a plausible theory.

SPEAKING OF RABBITS: Kate is cooking "Rabbit, I think" (which is one of the grossest possible things to say when someone asks you what you're cooking) and Sawyer walks up to her and starts calling her "Freckles" again. Guess all it took was finding Kate's shabby old post-lovemaking dress in a cage to erase Juliet from Sawyer's mind. He then says that he's planning for both of them to escape in the sub, and Kate's only concern is not "What about everybody else, including Claire" but instead is "Can you fly a plane?" Sawyer responds by saying they're going to take the sub, which is not really a solution unless one of them knows how to drive a sub. I actually think I'd rather take my chances flying a plane with no experience before I'd submerge a sub with no experience. At least there's a steering wheel on planes. Who knows what they have on a sub.

That's all for this week. Anything that I missed? I know Charlie's brother made an appearance in the flash-sideways. Anything else interesting?

Here's what I saw in the preview for next week's Richard-centric episode (which will be awesome, I'm sure): Richard stands up around the fire that Jack's losties are gathered around and says "want to know a secret, something I've known a long time?" Um, yes. I hope he doesn't get hit by a flaming helicopter right after saying that. He then follows that up by gesturing around him and saying "All this is not what you think it is." Which better not mean that this whole show has taken place inside a snow globe or something. Then they show a bunch of clips of Richard from past episodes, including his controversial non-purple shirt long hair phase. Then clips from next week, of him walking through an overgrown jungle and near some ruins or some headstones. Then Sun holds somebody's hand. Then my DVR cut off early, for some reason. Anybody remember anything cool after that?


Zach said...

I am with you, Sir. This episode was a stall and a little disappointing. Joy and I had the same theory about Christian Shepard being the Island - which when you think about it - it is confusing. Another side? My neighbor made a comment that the show feels like Afghanistan - tons of sides fighting with different motivations and sometimes they work together to defeat a common enemy, and sometimes not. Or like when Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow joined forces to fight their gone-evil master. I digress.

Our most compelling thought of this episode has to do with Esau. Jacob and Esau had a mother named Rebekah. After Jacob bought Esau's birthright for a bowl of stew, Rebekah then helped Jacob steal Esau's blessing from their old-and-eyes-don't-work-so-good father, Isaac. I bet from Esau's perspective his mother's actions were kind of mean/crazy/horrible and a host of other things - causing some mother issues. Just thought that was interesting - that mom played a crucial role in the outcome. But then again, if crazy mom's made us turn into smoke monsters on islands, I'd be on the next Ajira flight to "Guam."

One last observation - we aren't getting much out of the flash sideways. Just another glimpse of pretty much the exact same characters in another setting. The last 2 episodes have really just felt like two tellings of the same 22 minutes. Ben made a selfless decision? Good for him! Sawyer is trying to track down the man who caused his parent's death? Whaddaya know! Kate sucks? Wow! Miles is Awesome? He sure is!

To me, the only huge revelations we have received in the flash sideways were the existence of David Shepard and the fact that Ben and his dad did live on an Island with the Dharma initiative at some point. I could be forgetting some, but my main point is the flash sideway don't seem to be bringing much. Where are you Desmond? I hope not in Widmore's sub locker. Did I mention that Kate sucks?

That sub looks tiny.

Ethan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ethan said...

Right after that the island comes to life as a giant turtle and eats Locke. Which is good except he is the black smoke so he just comes right back out and says "see it's progress!"

Andrea said...

I didn't hate this episode, but I definitely thought the ending was lame-O. Seriously, a Sawyer/Kate cliffhanger? Gag me with a conveniently pre-soaked torch. I am interested in the Widmore thing and mad at myself for forgetting all about him when the newbie showed up. I definitely thought sideways-sawyer was a lousy liar so I guess that's something. I Have also thought about the Esau thing and how this story could tie in to that. I do like your idea of the 3rd entity, but I don't know if I want it to BE the island...

Can't WAIT for the Richard episode! He has always been one of my favorite characters.

stirman said...

I thought the episode was "meh".

Is Sawyer infected with the evil now? That last shot seemed to suggest it.

Amy said...

Wes, you mentioned Smokey killing the original pilot and that being stupid if he wanted to get off the island but, at that point, Jacob was still alive and Smokey, apparently, was stuck until Jacob was killed. He also needed a "body" to use to walk around in (or what have you).

Don't know what I think about the Aaron theory, but the Island theory is very plausible to me -- good thinking! I am way confused this week and pretty darn unsatisfied. I panic when an episode is not chock-full of answers this late in the game. Geeeeeez.