So, I’ve finally got my episode. This was a completely solid episode where the mythology moved forward (more on this in a bit) and the alternate timeline scenes did not feel like dead weight. This is perhaps the first episode of this season that I might rank as one of the best of the series.
At the same time, it’s remarkable to me how much of an outlier this episode. I said that the mythology moved forward, and while it felt that way to me at the time, it really didn’t. At the end of Dr. Linus, we see that Charles Widmore has returned to the island. At the end of “Recon,” we know that Widmore has returned… and he has people with him and a locked cabinet. Of course, sadistically feeding tidbits of information to the audience is vintage LOST, and I think this is speaks well of the episode.
I also felt like half of the reason why this episode works is because of the durability of Sawyer (and the chops of Josh Holloway). It’s worth noting that (on-island, at least) Sawyer has been put through the same kind of soap opera acrobatics that Jack and Kate have, but never crossed over to being annoying (Kate) or irrelevant (Jack). I think this is both because Josh Holloway brings more weight to his character than most of the other actors, and perhaps because Sawyer’s back story is more fleshed out and central to his character (and has continued to be relevant to the character’s on-island actions) than the other Season 1 flashback storylines.
Speaking of Season 1, we got a flashback of our own in this episode. From the Pigeon-Drop con reference in the opener, to James’ sensitivity to his “Sawyer” folder, we got an interesting return to the Sawyer of Season 1. This season, we’ve seen alternate timeline characters with resolved parental issues (Ben Linus, Jack to some extent), but while Miles’ issues with his father have been resolved, the memory of his parents death and the search for Sawyer still haunt James Ford (God, that’s confusing).
LOST continued it’s pattern of fucking with the audience by having secondary characters pop up in unexpected situations. This week, we have: Charlotte in Los Angeles, working with Pierre Chang; Liam, Charlie’s brother; a reference to Anthony Cooper; and a short appearance from Kate. I really enjoyed the alternate timeline scenes, but without knowing their purpose, or how this timeline fits in with the events on the island, I’m not sure why I should care.
- Esau (Locke) says to Sawyer, “You’re the best liar I’ve ever met.” Did Locke’s memory of Ben Linus not survive the transition to smoke monster? Also, I thought that Sawyer’s interactions with Esau and Widmore seemed like what Ben would do in the same situation; namely, never miss an opportunity to lie.
- Once again, Terry O’Quin is in fine form. Plenty of quotable lines, “I’m the smoke monster.;” the whole monologue about his mother.
- I thought that the confrontation between Claire/Kate/Locke was one of the best scenes the show has ever had. Claire brought the crazy, Locke’s shouting and slap reached an emotional pitch that is rarely reached on the show, and Kate played the combination of threatened, hurt and shocked perfectly.
- Sawyer is always fine, but he was especially sexy in this episode, in both timelines. “You got a whip?”