The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Sawyer’s Turn at Redemption

with 8 comments

Dear Moth Chase friends,

Kathryn is away this week, so I’ll be covering Lost by myself.  Please do chime in with your comments so I’ve got someone to chat with!  I always tend to enjoy Sawyer centered episodes, and this one really did it for me, pairing him with Miles (another favourite!) in the real world as the boys in blue of the LAPD.  Our LA story began with a familiar scene: Sawyer playing an old money-in-the-suitcase con after bedding an attractive lady.  And I got to thinking I was perhaps tired of this old routine, when we encountered another narrative of real world redemption. It seems as with Ben and Jack and Kate and Sayid, James too faced a pivotal moment in life and this time chose the right path – we know in his previous life, he chose the life of being a criminal…apparently in this one, he chose the path of upholding the law.  But as with our other characters, just as the immoral path contained hints of goodness, so too the moral path contains hints of the bad and once again, Sawyer is plagued by Sawyer and the need to avenge his parents’ deaths.

The truly great part of this episode, though, was the return of Charlotte – and as a blind date set-up by Miles for James.  The two hit it off superbly until she inadvertently gets caught rummaging through his drawers, he kicks her out, and she refuses to forgive him.  This episode was littered with throwbacks for old fans, though, as in the process of this break-up, we also got to see Sawyer’s copy of Watership Down from season 1, a glimpse of Charlie’s brother in the LAPD precinct…hopefully a foreshadowing of old Charlie’s own return some time soon, the code word for police rescue being LaFleur, James’ fake name from his time with the Dharma crew, and James looking mournfully at Kate’s old dress in the Dharma cages, left there after the two had knocked boots.  And of course the episode closed with Sawyer catching a runaway Kate, grinning as he recognized her from her escape – aided by him – in the airport the week prior.

What the narrative in the real world reminded us, in a way that was crucial for what happens on the island, is that Sawyer is an excellent liar and perfectly capable of charming his way into whatever he needs, even if that means pitting folks to whom he seems loyal against each other.  And so after Tina Fey lookalike Zoe captures him at the Ajira crash site (and if we continue to follow the idea that names matter in this show – then surely Zoe, the Greek word for life, is an indication that this spectacled brunette will show up again), James promises to deliver Flocke to Widmore in exchange for safe passage off the island for him and his friends.  At the same time, he tells the truth to Flocke, not out of loyalty, but out of the desire to create a diversion as Widmore and Flocke battle it out.  The plan, then, is that Sawyer and Kate will get away on the sub.

I guess we can imagine Sawyer will be loyal to Kate, but I’m actually more intrigued by the fact that the only other figure he’s really bonded with on this island is Miles…and I wonder how that connects to their relationship in the real world?  Of course, they had their time together in Dharmaville, but there seems to be some sort of a bond there that goes further than that – and I think we’re going to see more on this front.

We should also note that Widmore is prepping for Locke’s coming and seems to know how to set up the barriers across which the smoke monster can’t travel.  I am very very curious to see what the connection, then, between Widmore and Smokie is!

Besides the Widmore narrative, we also had some development in the Kate/Claire story, although nothing beyond what we all probably expected.  Claire flips out and tries to kill Kate only to ask forgiveness later…and my expectation is that she’ll flip out again at some point.  But why didn’t Sayid step in to help?

And what was particularly interesting to me was the parallel Locke drew between his own upbringing with a crazy mother and the crazy mother Aaron is about to inherit.  I’ve long wondered what Aaron’s return will look like and how he will become important in the grand scheme of things.  And we’ve commented on this blog before about the Moses imagery surrounding Flocke – in the Old Testament, Moses and Aaron are brothers whose co-labour leads to the liberation of the Israelites from captivity in Egypt.  The resonance of this bond is only enforced by Locke’s childhood stories and we should remember the bond that Locke and Aaron formed early in Aaron’s life.  Where this story is going, I don’t know, but I do think that the writers have been planning it for a long time!

Ok, so how have I missed the play on words with “the Locke Monster” before?!  Lots of commentators on this show, ourselves included, have noted the significance of all things Scottish symbolically and for driving plots along – Desmond, of course, is Scottish, as is the fake whiskey, McCutcheon, to mention a couple.  And now we’ve got a playful reference to the Loch Ness monster…a creature for whom we have no solid proof of existence, but which guides the stuff of legend and folklore the world over.

So, I can hardly contain my excitement that next week’s episode will be about Richard – finally, after much hinting at his backstory, we’re going to get it…and I can’t wait!!


Written by themothchase

March 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Lost

Tagged with , , , , ,

8 Responses

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  1. Sayid isn’t Sayid anymore – he’s a zombie. That’s why he didn’t help. That or he’s a Smokie slave and Smokie wanted to look like he saved the day to get on Kate’s good side.


    March 17, 2010 at 8:54 am

    • Ah, see – you demonstrate that there are a number of options why…I’d add to them that he’s feeling so guilty he’s sort of paralyzed by the whole trauma of what he’s been through. I’m still not convinced he’s moved over to the evil side – Dogan only said that the good/evil balance in Sayid’s heart had tipped the wrong way, but for all Dogan wanted Sayid to do, the wrong way isn’t necessarily the immoral way. For all the clues we’ve got, I don’t think we definitively know yet what Sayid is!


      March 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

  2. A couple of things:

    1) What about the whole crazy mother narrative by Flocke! WTW! That’s going to be interesting.

    2) What’s behind the locked door in the sub? My guess is Desmond. Widmore needed someone with whom the island was “not done with” to get him to the island and I’m guessing he grabbed his son in law since he bailed on the Ajira flight.

    Thunder Jones

    March 17, 2010 at 9:53 am

  3. Also, I wouldn’t be so sure about Zoe. Names seem to have reverse consequences from time to time on LOST

    John Locke was an empiricist, not a man of faith
    Bentham’s Auto-Icon showed everyone he was dead

    Zoe might meet Smokey…

    Thunder Jones

    March 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm

  4. I have to say, I’m really intrigued by Flocke. I know he’s supposed to be evil — but he is so damn reasonable. And even though he’s killing folks, he’s pretty darned likable. I feel like there’s consensus that he’s “the dark side” but I feel like he’s capturing my empathy more and more with each episode. His discussion of his crazy mother, and his explanation of “kill or be killed” were both examples of this last night. And the fact that Widmore may want to kill him gives me pause, too, since I’ve always believed that Widmore is an evil guy.


    March 17, 2010 at 7:50 pm

  5. The thing I’ve noticed about Flocke is that his scripts are very important to him. If someone interrupts him, he gets pissed. When Sayid was sent to kill him, he was told not to let him talk. I’m not sure what that means, I hope it isn’t as silly as him being the father of lies or somesuch, but it does seem that his reasonableness and charisma are key to what makes him so dangerous an opponent for Jacob.

    Thunder Jones

    March 18, 2010 at 10:50 am

    • Very interesting observation! Also interesting that Jacob is set up as someone who doesn’t give an explanation for much — someone who doesn’t talk enough.


      March 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm

  6. Can someone help me out with this episode? and maybe them all so far in this season… For me the alternate life off the island was to be played out as if, this is how things would have turned out had the plane not crashed…. that was up untill this episode were sawyer and miles were partners ‘before’ the plane crashed therefore they would have known each other when miles appeared on the island….? maybe it’l make sense later, or maybe am just trying to connect something together that doesnt even fit?


    March 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm

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