I’m on a quest to re-watch every episode of Lost, one per day. As I polish off each DVD, I’ll post my thoughts on the episodes contained therein.
“The Long Con”
SYNOPSIS: Jack and Locke agree to both know the armory’s lock combination and to always consult each other when they want to use it. Locke also tells Jack that Sawyer is hoarding pills, and Jack retrieves them despite Sawyer’s threats. Someone attacks Sun as she works in her garden, and Sawyer and Kate find her unconscious. Ana Lucia suggest that the Others have returned, but Sawyer suggests to Kate that maybe Ana herself did it to scare people into joining the army she’s building with Jack, and Kate relays the same accusation to Jack. Then Kate begins to think that Ana did it to get the guns. She sends Sawyer to the Swan to warn Locke, and Sawyer gets Locke to hide the guns. Jack arrives at the Swan to find the armory empty, and Sawyer taunts him with a pill bottle. Jack goes to Locke and accuses him of breaking the agreement, but just then, Sawyer reveals that he now has all the guns and that he’s the “new sheriff in town.” We learn later that he had Charlie attack Sun and later trail Locke to find the hiding spot for the guns. Meanwhile, Hurley gets Sayid to retrofit the Tailies’ radio to pick up transmissions, and they find a broadcast of Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade.” In the flashback, Sawyer is surprised when his mark, Cassidy, not only wises up to his con but asks to learn how to con others. In the end, however she was the mark of a “long con,” and despite his feelings for her, Sawyer steals her $600,000.
THOUGHTS: Whew, what a tangled web of accusations and power plays this episode weaves. Sawyer truly is a master con man and one who seems able to force a checkmate ten moves in advance. Indeed, all the other characters were his pawns, acting exactly as he planned for them to act. And he has an unlikely accomplice in Charlie—or, at least, Charlie seems like an unlikely accomplice until he tells Sawyer his motivation: he wants to see Locke shamed. So Locke’s unexpected (and perhaps unnecessary) brutality in the last episode comes back to haunt him after all. The flashback closely mirrors the Island story in that Cassidy, who seemed too smart for Sawyer’s cons at first, fell right into a much larger, more in-depth trap. It certainly does seem like Sawyer did have feelings for her, but perhaps even his feelings and subsequent confession was just for show. We’ll never know for sure—especially because a con man like him seems to never reveal his tricks.
“One of Them”
SYNOPSIS: Rousseau seeks out Sayid and leads him to an area where she caught a man in a net. She believes the man to be an Other, but the man claims to be Henry Gale, a man from Minnesota who arrived when the balloon carrying him and his wife crashed on the Island. Sayid cuts him down, and the man flees, but Rousseau stops him with an arrow to the shoulder. Sayid takes him to the Swan where Locke is manning the computer, and Jack removes the arrow. But then Locke helps Sayid lock himself into the armory to interrogate the man. The man says his wife died from a fever, but Sayid assumes that he’s lying since he doesn’t know how deep his wife is buried, a detail Sayid says the man would remember if he lost someone he loved. Sayid beats him, and outside, Jack becomes incensed. When the alarm for the button sounds, Jack pins Locke to the wall and says that unless Locke unlocks the door, he won’t let Locke push the button. Locke finally relents and enters the Numbers just as the countdown timer starts flipping to hieroglyphics. Jack stops Sayid, and the man gives Sayid an ambiguous look as Jack closes the armory door. Later, Sayid tells the story to Charlie and says that everyone has forgotten what the Others did to Claire and Charlie. Meanwhile, Hurley helps Sawyer find a noisy tree frog. Hurley volunteers to take it far from the campsite, but Sawyer squishes the little bugger. In the flashback, an American soldier forces Sayid to interrogate his commanding officer during the Gulf War, beginning Sayid’s long history as a torturer.
THOUGHTS: Ben Linus arrives! (Oops, spoiler alert.) And damn, the guy is such a good actor. The look that he gives Sayid when Jack forces an end to the interrogation is so good. The first time I re-watched it, I thought that he smiled. Then when I re-re-watched it, I saw that he didn’t actually smile—the smugness was all in his eyes. The guy is that good. This was a really cool episode all around, though, and certainly one of the best of the season. We get a classic stalemate when Jack makes Locke choose between the interrogation and the computer, and we get another tease of what happens when the timer reaches zero. Not the whole answer, granted, but just enough to satisfy our curiosity for a while while still keeping us intrigued. Plus, Ben chose the wrong time to make up a story about losing a loved one, since Sayid still hasn’t worked through his grief over Shannon’s death, and it explodes out in a great bit of performance by Naveen Andrews. And then Sawyer and Hurley hunting the pesky tree frog? What an inane storyline. But it’s great because it gives us some comedic relief from all the heavy drama going down.
SYNOPSIS: Claire is worried that Aaron has a fever and a rash, so she wants to go see Jack at the Swan. But Locke, not wanting Claire to see the man they have detained there, offers to go instead. While he’s gone, Rousseau shows up and says that the baby is “infected.” Claire suddenly gets flashes of memories from her time with the Others. Jack returns and tells Claire that the fever will pass. Claire asks Libby, a clinical psychologist, to help her regain her memories, and it works: Claire sees herself being treated by Ethan in some medical room. Convinced that the necessary medicine is there, she sets off with Kate to find that room. They take Rousseau with them, since Claire remembers scratching Rousseau when Rousseau tried to take her back to the Others. Claire’s hazy memories lead her to a hatch in the jungle, and opening it, they find that it’s a medical Dharma station named The Staff. The place has been mostly cleared out, but Kate finds tattered garments and fake beards in a locker. Remembering more, Claire realizes that Danielle was actually trying to save her from the Others. She thanks Rousseau and tells her of the girl who helped her and who may be Alex. Despite not finding the medicine, Claire and Kate return to the camp to find that Aaron is on the mend. Meanwhile, Jack and Locke argue about what to do with their prisoner, Eko confesses to murdering the two Others to the prisoner, and the prisoner starts pitting Locke against Jack. In the flashback, we see that Ethan did indeed keep Claire in the Staff, under sedation, and repeatedly injected her pregnant belly with an unknown substance before a teenage girl—presumably Alex—helps Claire escape, claiming that the Others are going to cut the baby out of her that night.
THOUGHTS: Like “The Other 48 Days”, this episode never leaves the island, but the flashback structure is still preserved. Then again, the flashbacks are a bit different in that they take the form of once-blocked memories gradually coming back to Claire. I’ve often wondered if the flashbacks are remembered by the characters at the points in the Island story at which we see them. It seems that way most of the time, but sometimes it doesn’t—sometimes there doesn’t seem to be as much of a correlation between the current Island situation and that particular flashback. And, again like “The Other 48 Days,” this episode fills in gaps in the Island chronology for us. (It seems that whenever we don’t see a character for a while—or for, you know, a whole season—it’s a sure bet that we’ll soon enough see what happened from their point of view. Michael’s storyline is coming up!) Once again, William Mapother makes Ethan hideously creepy in an oddly likable way. (If we didn’t know any better, we might be swayed his charming bedside manner.) And it was kinda fun and bizarre to see Claire so loopy and so accepting of the strangeness around her. But some of the best scenes, unsurprisingly, are those in the armory with Ben—especially the one in which he asks Locke why Jack calls all the shots. Locke tries to play it off but then takes out his fury on the dishes after he locks the door again. No one’s better at getting under someone’s skin than Benjamin Linus.
“The Whole Truth”
SYNOPSIS: Sun is working in her garden when Jin arrives in a rage, worried that Sun will be attacked again. He uproots her plants so that she has no reason to come out there again. Later, Sun begins feeling faint, and she asks Sawyer for a pregnancy test. Sun waits with Kate for the results to come in, and when they do, they confirm that Sun is indeed pregnant. Sawyer finds Jin on the beach and congratulates him on becoming a father, but Jin obviously doesn’t understand. Sun finds Jin in the garden, restoring all the plants. He apologizes to her expresses his loneliness and frustration that he can’t understand anyone on the Island. She tells him the good news, and when he asks how it’s possible with their fertility troubles, she assures him that she’s never been with another man. Jin leaves her alone in the garden—but not before saying “I love you” in English. Meanwhile, Locke has Ana Lucia talk to the prisoner, and she’s able to do what none of the others before her have been able to do—get the man to draw a map to his balloon. She goes with Sayid and Charlie in search of said balloon. While they’re gone, the prisoner tells Locke and Jack that if he were an Other, he would have the other Others ambush the search team and trade them for him—a comment that unsettles both Jack and Locke. In the flashback, Jin and Sun visits a fertility doctor who tells them that scar tissue in Sun’s fallopian tubes make a pregnancy an impossibility. She begins taking English lessons from hotel heir Jae Lee (with whom she went on an arranged date before) and tells him she’s doing so to leave Jin, and it is implied that she and Jae begin an affair. Then the same doctor finds her and tells her that Jin is the one who’s infertile, and that he couldn’t tell the both of them that since it’s a matter of honor.
THOUGHTS: “The Whole Truth,” eh? That title applies to Sun’s storyline, Henry Gale’s, and the flashback. The fertility doctor tells Sun the whole truth belatedly, Ben seems to tell Ana Lucia the whole truth in the form of the map to the balloon, and Sun appears to tell the whole truth to Jin. But, in a nice bit of dramatic irony, we get the sense that Sun isn’t telling Jin the whole truth after all, since it seems like she became involved with Jae Lee. And, as we’ll find out next episode, Ben’s story about Henry Gale is only a half-truth. (I hope no one who cares about spoilers is still reading this series of blogs!) This episode is unique in that the centric characters’ Island storyline isn’t really the focus of the episode. It seems like the verification of Ben’s story is the driving force of the episode and that Sun’s pregnancy is just a subplot. And as for Ben, the scene in which he unsettles Jack and Locke is classic, especially for the last line of the scene (and of the episode): “You guys got any milk?”