Commercial Interruption: Making up for "Lost" time
Adam: Another week, another bonkers episode of "Lost" to spin our mind grapes and give us mental purple nurples. After a slow start (including a "Previously On" long enough for you to take a bathroom break) which replayed Locke's spinning of the donkey wheel and a couple of time-flashes from "This Place is Death," we were treated to not only one of the best episodes of the season, but a rather rapid ride through multiple plot points. "Hey, the flashes have stopped!" "Oh look, a giant statue! Can anybody see how many toes it has?" "Welcome to Dharma, have you met our new security chief?" "You broke our truce, and whoa-hey, how'd you know about our nuclear bomb?" "Oh, James, you're so dreamy, I just want to cook for you and lounge around naked in bed allllllll day!"
In "LaFleur" we finally caught up with Sawyer, Juliet, Jin and the rest back on the island. The island has stopped zipping through time, but has left the group stranded in the mid-70s (hey, ABC, didn't you just cancel "Life on Mars"?) Through a series of flashbacks/forwards, we see the evolution of Sawyer-as-leader, a long in coming development for the roguish redneck. The veteran conman is able to finagle the Dharma Initiative into letting the gang hang out in jumpsuits, fix minibuses, shave, etc. ... and basically live a normal, settled life (relatively speaking.)
In seasons past, this development might have been stretched for a few weeks before Jack and Kate made their return, but luckily the self-imposed deadline nixed any potential cage-dwelling, and the 06'ers show up right at the end.
Tom, anything in particular jump out at you about last night's ep? Where do you see things going from here? And how dorky does a bespectacled, stubble-less Sawyer look?
Thomas: Man, several things jumped out at me in this episode — one that was alternately frustrating and fixating because I couldn't wrap my brain around the plot moving forward three years while everyone moved BACK physically more than 20. Like, my brain literally couldn't grasp the concept during the first half of the episode. I kept having a running conversation in my head where Sawyer was some guy named LaFleur in the '70s and later assumed a completely separate identity as time travelin' James Ford off-island, returned on the Oceanic flight, and had no recollection of ever being there. It was only until Grease Monkey Juliet rolled out from under the Dharma bus that I realized ... oh crap, they're the same people. It's three years forward in off-island time and Sawyer just latched onto a fake name. This was further confirmed when Jin rolled out with a Dharma jumper with ... wait for it ... the name Jin stitched into it. Don't know why, but I thought that was beyond hilarious.
So enough about my general confusion. This was such a wonderful episode because it didn't really offer up new mysteries — unless you're still obsessed about that statue snapshot — but instead, gave several actors a chance to take a few deep breaths and connect beyond the "when are we? why is my nose bleeding?" chaos thus far. Josh Holloway was amazing. Sawyer has come so far as a redemptive character — even more so than that dead bugger, Charlie Pace — it was pretty awesome to see him take up the head of security role and basically just settle with Juliet. It brought me back to Sawyer's convo with Kate about there being nothing for him off-island via rescue, so he was shacking up in New Otherton because, well, it wasn't so bad to play house. Now he has, and lemme tell you, being with a woman who'll shoot to kill, change your oil, deliver babies AND cook ... yowza. TOTAL package that Miss Juliet.
I have a lot of questions, as you might guess. Where's nerdy kid Ben? Was he around in '74-'77? Does another element of the Dharma-Others broken truce lead to "the war" Charles Widmore seemed so interested in? And how does the eventual Dharma gas purge via Benedict Linus fit in on the new Sawyer-as-Dharma timeline?
Rather than poke and prod around the answers to come, I'd rather focus on two people who really stood out for me: Horace and Alpert. Seemed like they had an actual understanding of each other's place on the island, which was really, really odd. Knowing about the sonic fence, the classroom security drill ... it just seemed like Alpert was not to be messed with on any level. Then they have a face-to-face AND Horace is willing (well, kind of) to let Jimmy LaFleur do some truce talkin'. What a great scene between those two, by the way. It really utilized Sawyer's conman strengths without turning him back into the ugly loner he once was. I also thought Horace and Sawyer's heart-to-heart about "getting over" someone was one of the finest human moments in "Lost" history. It really seemed like they had bonded in three years time. Silly of me to be so drawn to that with all the mystery going on, but to be honest, I'm kinda glad I was sucked into some nice storytelling rather than just wondering what every flash could mean, what Ben has up his sleeve next, etc.
How about you, Adam? Any significance to why Alpert needed the Dharma body beyond just showing it to his people? Heck, who are his people at this point (is Chaz Widmore still on the island?) And does it blow you away that Sawyer and Juliet will now have had three years together side-by-side, and Sawyer and Kate only, what, three months during Seasons 1-4?
Adam: I think the truth behind Alpert is obvious: He is Dr. Frankenstein. He is taking that dead Dharma dude back to his castle to plug a couple diodes in his neck, hook him up to a lightning rod, and ZAP-POW! bring that stiff back to life! How else do you think he keeps a full supply of Others running around? Two words: Re. Animation. It also explains the mysterious resurrections of Christian Shephard and John Locke — Senor Eyeliner is zombifying those sumbitches.
And speaking of dead guy, did you notice what he and the four-toed statue of mystery had in common? Dead guy was wearing a necklace with an ankh pendant, and if you look closely at our large stony friend, he's holding two ankhs, on in each hand. The ankh, by the way, is an Egyptian marking that means "eternal life." Maybe that statue means something after all? Kind of a Statue of Liberty for reincarnation? "Bring us your dead, your expired, your huddled corpses yearning to breathe again..."
My biggest question is indeed, where is young Mr. Linus? If he's not already on-island, they must be saving his introduction for a future episode. Or will this be another case, like Walt, of Kid Actor Syndrome, in which a child actor's annoying tendency to, you know, age, means we'll never see him again. The kid who played Young Ben must have grown a few inches by now, and unless they're willing to replace him, who knows if Sawyer will ever get the chance to kick Young Ben's butt around the compound a few times.
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, firstname.lastname@example.org and Adam Reinhard, email@example.com