'Lost' - 'Recon' Recap
by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 17th 2010 4:41AM
(S06E08) Mr. Ford was back at the center of 'Lost' for this week's installment. The flash-sideways started us off in familiar territory before veering sharply into the unexpected. Pieces and characters are starting to come together a little more in the beta-verse, with lots of interesting potential.
Back in the alpha-verse, we spent the entire episode with MiB-Locke and his motley crew of temple survivors. That meant Kate got to spend some quality time with Claire and the new and subdued Sayid. All in all, it was one of the most uncomfortable scenes I've ever seen on the show. Imagine being surrounded by familiar faces and yet none of them are who they are; it was like some horrible mirror universe sequence.
Sawyer wasn't there for Kate's awkward moment, because he was off on some secret mission for MiB-Locke. A mission that raised even more questions, while setting the stage for what will likely be the ultimate conflict for the season.
Methinks our friend Sawyer may be in a bit over his head with this one. If he truly thinks he can just waltz away with a submarine while Widmore and MiB-Locke fight it out, he's underestimating the both of them. Or perhaps overestimating himself and Kate. It was interesting that even though Sayid and Claire are there, Sawyer is only interested in escaping with Kate. He hasn't even had time to realize that Sayid isn't ... right.
How harrowing was that scene when Claire attacked Kate, and Sayid sat by doing nothing. Both Naveen Andrews (Sayid) and Emilie de Ravin (Claire) turned in top-notch performances this week. Particularly, de Ravin, who was perhaps even more creepy when she broke down in tears hugging Kate. This is still the same woman who vanished on the island only to reappear later with Christian Shepherd in the cabin. What the hell happened to her? How much of the old Claire is still in there.
I imagine it's a lot of fun for Andrews, de Ravin and Terry O'Quinn (Locke) to get the chance to play these entirely different characters this season. Rarely does a television series actor get to stretch beyond one well-established personality.
Sawyer's trip to Hydra Island had me guessing. I'll admit to being a little naive, and fully buying Zoe's story about being the last survivor. I should have remembered Ethan's subterfuge from the first season. Luckily, a lifelong con-man like Sawyer isn't so easily tricked. I'm guessing that means the other survivors of the second plane were killed by MiB-Locke as the Smoke Monster? He didn't seem surprised they were dead, which begs the question of what he expected Sawyer to find over there. Did he suspect Widmore was there?
It looks like Widmore's people were going to send Zoe to the main island for the same reason Sawyer was sent to Hydra: recon. Instead, Sawyer got to make his offer to bring MiB-Locke right to Widmore's doorstep. He told Widmore he'd tell MiB-Locke that Hydra Island was empty of life. He then told Locke what he'd told Widmore, thinking that a fight between the two forces was the best thing. That would mean that MiB-Locke would have to completely lure Widmore and his goons out of the sub. And unless Sawyer or Kate know how to work a submarine, they'd have to commandeer its crew as well.
For the revelation of Sawyer's plan to be the big dramatic ending scene of the episode, I was a little disappointed. A half-baked scheme is your climax? You can do better than that. End it on that creepy hug Claire gave Kate.
Anthony Cooper still "killed" James Ford's parents. Only beta-Sawyer isn't Sawyer at all. Instead of taking on the name of the con-man who led to his parents' deaths, James joined the police force and rose to the ranks of Detective, partnering with beta-Miles, of all people. I wonder if beta-Miles can talk to dead people the way alpha-Miles can?
In 'The Substitute,' when Locke and Helen discussed eloping, she suggested that they would have to invite Locke's father. This inferred that Locke and his father, Anthony Cooper, were on good terms. Now alpha-Locke met Helen after his father had conned him a few times, and now we have confirmation that beta-Cooper conned the Fords as well. Was Helen referring to Cooper as Locke's father, or some other figure? Maybe he's made amends for his wicked ways and become a better person. It's certainly an interesting dangling thread, that I suspect we'll get back to.
Events in this flash-sideways occurred two days after Ford returned from Australia. As such, I suspect Kate was fleeing the hospital when she slammed into Ford's car, leading to yet another encounter with familiar faces.
But before we could get to that, Miles set him up with Charlotte, of all the familiar faces. Apparently, our James Ford is a lonely, lonely boy, despite getting to sleep around -- and I do mean that sexually -- on the job. It was when Charlotte stumbled across Ford's "Sawyer" folder, tracking his efforts to find the man who conned his parents, that Ford lost his mind and the half-crazed Sawyer we've come to know and love made an appearance.
It was smart writing to have Charlotte reject him completely and totally when he tried to puppy-dog-eye his way back into her arms by way of an apology; that's something Kate's never been able to do. It established beta-Charlotte as a very strong person in her own right, which fits very well with the intensely alpha personality she displayed in her alpha's brief time on the island. Rebecca Mader was spot-on with her performance, reminding us once again how many great characters we've lost along the way. The island is practically barren now.
We were also treated to a quick peek at Charlie's brother, trying to track down where he might have gone off to after his arrest on Oceanic 815 in 'LA X.'
This was a very solid building episode for both the alpha-verse and the beta-verse, while offering a James Ford who definitely made better choices in his life, even while consumed with the same driving rage that alpha-Sawyer had. I'd like to believe that all the beta-verse storylines are going to connect in some grand 'Lost'-mosaic way that we can only scarcely imagine now, and then somehow connect with the alpha-verse in a way that blows my mind so much I'm eating through a tube in my stomach for the rest of my days.
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