I would like to take this opportunity to say that it is damn shame that James “Sawyer” “LaFleur” Ford has not a centric episode since “Every Man for Himself” in season 3. For those keeping score, that episode aired on October 25, 2006. Over two calendar years ago.
I’d say it was a fine return to form for our favorite island con-artist and another solid episode for what it turning out to be an exemplary fifth season.
Last night, we were toggled between two different points in DHARMA island history 1974 and 1977, and we found out what Sawyer, Juliet and the crew have been up to while the Oceanic Six were back in the real world becoming celebrities. But before that, we got about the most awe-inspiring single shot of Lost this season:
Statue of Limitations
We picked up the action with Locke falling down the Orchid well, and Sawyer left holding the rope. We soon discovered that the clan had travelled back in time. Waaaaaay back in time. A simpler time, really, when the well wasn’t there and the four-toed statue was whole again. For about three glorious seconds, we saw that huge monstrosity in its full glory…from behind. I guess we can’t be too greedy. It certainly added to the Egyptian overtones on the show. We’ve seen hieroglyphics on the hatch counter, Ben’s secret door, the frozen wheel chamber and the Monster’s temple. I’m not great on my Egyptian mythology, but upon further review, it looks like some incarnation of Anubis, the god associated with death and mummification. In the statue’s right hand you see what looks like the ring of an ankh, an Egyptian token meaning “eternal life” most images of Anubis see him holding an ankh and a staff. Actually, it looks as though it may be holding an ankh in each hand (Hint: it wasn’t the ankh’s only appearance in last night’s outing). Now, I still don’t know what the island/Egypt connection is, but the evidence for its existence sure seems to be growing. Alas, we will not learn more about it for some time as we flashed (for the last time?) to 1974.
Of course, it took no time at all for the gang to get roped into some kooky adventure. A woman named Amy was trying to have a nice quiet picnic with her husband Paul before being interrupted by the Hostiles. Luckily, Sawyer and Juliet were within earshot of them and shuffled them off the mortal coil. Amy seemed grateful, but worried that a truce had been broken. As the gang accompanied Amy back to the Barracks, she ran the old earplug/sonar fence con on them, despite Juliet’s best attempt at subterfuge. This scene was especially intriguing considering what we had already seen earlier in the night.
Where’d you come from? You look pregnant…
In a brilliant little pre-title cliffhanger, we learned that Sawyer had assumed the role of LaFleur, head of DHARMA security. He was awakened in the middle of the night to resolve the crisis of Horace Goodspeed randomly setting off dynamite near the fence. A conversation between “LaFleur” and a now pregnant Amy revealed that she and Horace were married, but had an argument that night about Paul, the dead guy from the picnic, who was Amy’s first first husband. Amy then promptly went into labor.
It was then that the toggling began. We learned exactly how Sawyer became LaFleur and how the Losties endeared themselves to the DI. Horace was none-too-happy that these non-DHARMA material folks were crashing their island hippie party, but Sawyer slipped back into his old con routine, claiming that they had shipwrecked on their way to Tahiti, and were searching for the rest of their crew.
Juliet, Sawyer, Daniel, Miles and Jin were waiting for their fearless leader at a picnic bench and in one of the more interestingly shot scenes of the season, wherein the camera whirled around the players like the diner scene from Reservoir Dogs, decided they would roll with whatever story Sawyer cooked up. Daniel then caught site of a very familiar little red-haired girl.
It wasn’t before long that Ageless Alpert came a-knockin’ wanting some answers about the skirmish that took place earlier. This was undoubtedly my favorite scene of the night. It was great to see someone like Sawyer exert so much knowledge over someone like Alpert. The redneck con-man waxed poetic about Locke, the Jughead and other things that undoubtedly impressed Richard. I love the idea of the Losties becoming “the Others” in a sense. In that moment, Sawyer had all the power, all the knowledge. Great great stuff. Also, this bit of business put Sawyer and his clan into Hora¹ce’s good graces.
The other thing I loved about last night was the fact that while the Oceanic Six were off the island trying to keep their island identities underwraps, those left behind were on the island trying to keep their real world identities under wraps. Sawyer, Jin and Miles were put on security detail, with Jin tasked with scanning different grids to check on the whereabouts of their lost friends. Meanwhile, Juliet was assigned to the role of “hottest mechanic in the history of mechanics.”
In 1977, Sawyer et. al seemed extremely concerned with the fact that Amy’s baby boy be delivered safely. He was, much to Juliet’s joy. That was another great moment. Juliet had gotten so used to watching pregnant woman after pregnant woman die in her care on the island that you couldn’t help but feel anything but happiness for her when mom and baby both finally made it through a delivery.
It’s pretty clear this baby is somebody important. We know from “Cabin Fever” that Horace was building a cabin for he and the Mrs. Could it be that Amy just gave birth to the cabin’s current ghostly inhabitant, Jacob?
And how about that scene on the dock between Sawyer and Juliet. the bond between those two has flourished under considerably extreme circumstances. The season has peppered with just little moments of them becoming more familiar and more comfortable with each other. In that moment, Sawyer let that gruff exterior go and said, in so many words, that he really needs Juliet there. She makes him happy. She would stay for two weeks. Apparently two weeks turned into three long years…
…It turns out three years is a long time. Sawyer and Juliet, whom I predicted would hook up long ago, aren’t just hooking up. Those two are in love. Bigtime. And a great bit between Sawyer and a hungover Horace let us know that while Amy may still be holding onto Paul’s ankh (see, told you.), three years is definitely enough time to forge new romances. It turns out Sawyer can’t even remember what Kate looks like.
A return to form.
Just when you get over someone…They just come storming right back into your life. Jin phoned Sawyer, having just found their friends splashing around the lagoon, and a great little coda ensued, wherein the deep undercover conman finally saw his friends again, waiting as he said, “as long as it takes.” No words were spoken, and they really didn’t have to be. It was the perfect manner in which to end an episode like this: with an emotional high, satisfactory high point. It is wise to end this hour this way because all conventional wisdom would tell us that things are about to get really really wild.
A few other things I really liked:
Miles’ frank criticisim of the Losties’ plans, walking back and forth between the beach and the Orchid, deciding which one they like better.
I just really dug Sawyer and Juliet. Did anyone else disagree with me? He seemed happier with her than he ever was with Kate.
Jin’s English finally approaching normalcy. Dude is concocting full sentences!
Who is that damn baby? Am I right about it being Jacob? Someone else? How do you feel about Sawyer and Co’s newfound role on the island? How are they going to explain their friends randomly showing up fromt he future? Can you believe we’re essentially halfway through this amazing season? No episode next week, So I’ll see you back her in two weeks!