Time for some reconnaissance on “Recon”.

If you don’t want to be spoiled about the latest episode of Lost, please don’t read this post. You’ve been warned. (SPOILERS AHEAD)

I’m not sure what I thought of this episode, so I’m hoping this post will help sort it out for me. I like Sawyer-centric episodes, and the story was good in this episode. Unfortunately, I see some flaws with it.

We start off with Sawyer looking after Jin. Sawyer has always been loyal to those that were with him in the Dharma Initiative. Jin wants to escape, but Sawyer tells him that he’s sided with Locke (Man In Black) because he can get him off the island. He also says he won’t leave the island unless they have Sun with them. Like Man In Black is making deals with people, Sawyer is making deals as well.

In the flash-sideways timeline, it’s 8:42 (of course) and Sawyer appears to be doing the same con from the first season one Sawyer-centric episode. Same Sawyer? No, the viewer is conned. Sawyer is a cop in this timeline. Perfect. I thought that was great, as well as Miles being his partner.

Back in the present, Man In Black’s following are at Claire’s campsite. They want to know what happened to those that stayed behind at the Temple. Man In Black tells them the “black smoke” killed them. Man In Black is pulling his own con on those he made deals with and his allegedly trying to protect.

Sawyer and Kate talk and she asks him, “So you’re with Locke (Man In Black) now”? Sawyer says, “I ain’t with anybody, Kate”. This runs counter to the opening scene where Sawyer told Jin he was with Locke (Man In Black). Sawyer is mimicking Man In Black by telling people certain things so he can retain the advantage.

Flash-sideways timeline, we see Sawyer (Det. James Ford) calling up various Anthony Coopers. He’s trying to track down the con man that caused his dad to kill his mom and then kill himself. Miles comes onto the scene and picks up on Sawyer’s cues that he isn’t being forthright with him. Miles asks him if he’s lying to him, and Sawyer responds, “Why the hell would I lie?” An answer that doesn’t provide an answer. Sawyer continuing to keep people at bay, even those that want to help him.

An interesting tidbit from this conversation was Miles saying Sawyer’s date works with his father. So, Dr. Pierre Chang is alive in this timeline. (Or, he could be talking about an adopted father.) This is interesting because Dr. Chang was present when the bomb detonated at the end of season five. How did he survive? Wouldn’t that have affected him, and Miles, deeply? It would seem as if Miles had a normal upbringing in this timeline.

In the present, we see Man In Black leading his followers through the jungle. Sawyer gets upset when he finds out they aren’t leaving right away. The two of them converse, and Man In Black reveals that he is the smoke monster. He tells Sawyer that he killed the people that stayed behind because they didn’t take his offer to leave peacefully. And then this:

MAN IN BLACK: They’re convinced they’re protecting the island from me, when in fact all I want is to leave. So it’s either kill, or be killed. And I don’t want to be killed.

Man In Black doesn’t want to die. You would think he’d never have to worry about death if he wouldn’t have set in motion the chain of events that killed Jacob. Why does he want to leave? He says he wants to be free, but what does that mean?

Man In Black says Sawyer is the best liar he ever met. How many people has he met? Then he says they’ll get on the plane and never look back. Why would Man In Black need a plane to leave? I don’t think he does. I think he’s stringing along Sawyer for whatever his ultimate endgame is. He can transform into smoke and travel that way, he doesn’t need a plane.

In the flash-sideways timeline, Sawyer meets up with Charlotte for their date. She asks him why he wanted to be a cop, and he says he got to a point where he was going to be either a criminal or a cop. He chose cop. So, the butterfly effect of the island sinking set him on this path.

Back at Sawyer’s place, would Sawyer really hide that binder of files on Anthony Cooper in his dresser under t-shirts? It seemed too convenient for it to be there, for him to forget that it was there, and that Charlotte would find it. I’ll play along, though. Sawyer snaps, and kicks Charlotte out for seeing the article about his dad killing his mom and then himself. Why? Is it shame? Survival instinct? Keeping someone at a distance so they don’t hurt you?

Present day, Sawyer is on Hydra Island doing recon for Man In Black. He comes across the cages that Kate and him were kept in during the first part of season three. He sees a dress that Kate wore in one of the cages. He picks it up and looks at it fondly. Wasn’t Sawyer broken and despondent over Juliet’s death? It hasn’t been that long since it occurred, yet he’s all of a sudden feeling a yearning for Kate again? Lame. (Not as bad as Sayid falling for Shannon, though, in season two.)

Back to Kate, who is trying to converse with Sayid. It goes nowhere and Sayid seems to be a zombie, knowing he is like the living dead. Claire comes from nowhere and tackles Kate, wrestles with her, and then pulls a knife on her. Once again, convenience with the plot because if Claire wanted to kill Kate she could have done it easily from behind. Man In Black intercedes and prevents Claire from killing Kate. Convenient, but once again I’ll play along.

Flash-sideways, Miles confronts Sawyer about lying to him. “We’re suppose to trust each other”, is what Miles says. That’s a con man’s game, though. Get the other to trust you while you make it appear you trust them. Unknowingly, Sawyer conned Miles. Their partnership apparently ends, and Sawyer looks at himself in a mirror. Another nod to Alice In Wonderland? Who knows, but he did punch his reflection. He hates what he’s become, a con man.

In the present, Sawyer finds the Ajira plane and an alleged survivor. Interesting line said:

ZOE: Thank God.
SAWYER: Trust me, God’s got nothing to do with it.

I wonder if this is true with the overall Lost narrative as well. Anyway, Sawyer picks up on Zoe’s cues that she isn’t a survivor. However, in mirroring the beginning of the episode, but on the receiving end of things this time, Sawyer is caught in a sting.

Man In Black and Kate have an interesting conversation. It’s intriguing that Man In Black would apologize to Kate, but I think he isn’t sincere. It’s all a ruse. Man In Black is at his best when he can separate someone from the group and talk to them individually. He schemes and manipulates with his words, while appearing to care and listen. He also provides answers to Kate’s question about Sawyer. He is always providing answers to those he is trying to win over to his side. He doesn’t provide the full truth, but enough to keep people following him. He’s continuing to con.

Man In Black then tells Kate that he is not a “dead man”. He then begins to empathize with Kate by telling a story of his own mother. He says that his mother was crazy, a disturbed woman. Because of that, he says he had some “growing pains” and “problems” he was still sorting out.

MAN IN BLACK: Problems that could’ve been avoided had things been different.

He says this and makes the connection that Aaron now has a crazy mother in Claire. Here’s the two things I’m wondering. First, like everyone else throughout the show’s history, if this story is true then Man In Black also has issues with his parents. Second, in the Bible, Rebecca was the mother of Jacob and Esau. Rebecca and Jacob conspired against Esau to steal his birthright. It would be understandable for Esau to have spite toward his mom.

Sawyer is taken in the sub. He conveniently notices that something is locked away, and he’s told it’s none of his business what is locked away. Whatever it is, it probably has to do with Man In Black since Widmore brought in the sonar fences. We’re left to believe that Widmore knows of a way to kill Man In Black, and Sawyer will apparently deliver Man In Black to Widmore. Sawyer is making a deal, and he is conning someone again for his own gain.

Sawyer returns to Man In Black and gives him the lowdown on Widmore. It appears that Man In Black and Widmore have a history. Sawyer mentions the locker that’s locked up, and the sonar fences. He then tries to con Man In Black with a story of how he’s setting up Widmore so they can attack him. Sawyer reveals his plan to Kate, later, saying the fight between Widmore and Man In Black will be a diversion so he can get on the sub, with Kate, and leave the island.

In the end, though, the problem I have with this episode is Sawyer (apparently) being able to con Man In Black. Sawyer was conned by Ben in season three. Ben was easily conned by Man In Black last season. Man In Black is suppose to be evil incarnate. He has deceived everyone for years. He seems to have a good read on what is going on at the moment. I have a hard time believing Man In Black would fall for Sawyer’s con. That hasn’t explicitly happened, but it’s setting up that way.

Sawyer is conning everyone, and at what point has he conned himself? He’s playing every side against each other for his own endgame.  And, for a man that was shattered over the death of Juliet, he is being nice with Kate. They are kindred spirits, but I hope nothing else happens on that front.

Quick hitters…

  • Has Sawyer forgotten about trying to get Jin and Sun off the island by the end of the episode?
  • What side is Widmore on? I would think he is on his own side.
  • I liked how “LaFleur” was the word that alarmed the police in the sting operation.
  • Sawyer’s black onyx bracelet in the flash-sideways timeline. Is it a reference to evil since Sawyer seems bent on executing his own brand of justice despite being a cop? (Probably not.)
  • We haven’t seen Charlie since the season six premiere, but we did see his brother, Liam Pace, in this episode. Before, he lived in Australia, does he know live in Los Angeles as well?
  • For some reason, it seemed apropos that Sawyer would be watching Little House on the Prairie and getting insight about life and death.
  • By the end of the episode, it seemed Claire was returning to normal. If so, what was the point of her craziness the first few episodes of the season?
  • Sawyer does seem willing to come to grips with his vengeance when he talks to Miles at the end of the episode.
  • How quickly Dogen and Lennon are forgotten. What was the point of the Temple?
  • One of the guys in the submarine looked like Det. Vic Mackey from The Shield.
  • The episode didn’t have me elaborating on any big theories with the show.

At the end of the episode, in the flash-sideways timeline, Sawyer caught a fugitive Kate. Sayid is apparently with Jin still. Ben is with Arzt and Locke. And Jack? Everyone else? Remains to be seen.

So, who is Sawyer? Who’s he really conning? Does he even know?

This episode reverts back to season six’s mirroring of season one. (Episode eight of season one was a Sawyer-centric episode.) Next week promises to be good, with a Richard-centric episode. You’d think it would be a flashback episode, but who knows? Next week’s episode is titled “Ab Aeterno”, which is Latin for “since the beginning of time”.

It’s late. I need sleep. Thanks for reading!

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