Confidence Man (S1, ep. 8)
It's Sawyer's turn to get a flashback, and it's a doozy. Sawyer's rationale for becoming the man he was chasing didn't quite make rational sense to me the first time around. It felt too twisty to be emotionally true. But I buy it now, after seeing this episode and remembering (some of) what's to come.
This episode continues the Sawyer-sadness-parade. Watching a man attempt suicide by proxy, with full (if vaguely remembered) awareness of how he got to this point, is not fun. But it is sort of powerful.
-This episode gives us the first instance of SawyerPorn, as he emerges from the water naked in front of Kate. You're no Ursula Andress, pal. Still, the women dig you, so I can't begrudge them their beefcake.
Sawyer: "Hell of a book! It's about bunnies."'
Watership Down, as I'm sure everyone already knows, contains a character named Fiver, who has the ability to see the future in terrifying visions. If you are feeling charitable (and I am) you could suggest that this was a sneaky way for the show to plant the idea of Desmond's future flashes from the beginning. You could also point out the fact that Sawyer is reading it, and that he, Juliet, Miles and Daniel end up much like the rabbits of the book, infiltrating a potentially hostile warren (the Dharma Initiative).
-Great Boone Line #2: "Shannon has asthma...she's been embarrassed about it since she was a kid. Guess breathing's not cool."
-Jackface! makes its first appearance in this episode as Jack confronts Sawyer over the missing medication.
- Everyone thinks that Sawyer has the medicine, and thanks to Locke, who uses what appear to be jedi-mind-tricks, Sayid becomes convinced that Sawyer is also the mystery-person who knocked Sayid out last episode during an attempt at radio communication.
This brings up an interesting point about Locke, and his view of the Island. He's willing to sacrifice an innocent man (at least, innocent of this particular act) to cover up his own crime and ensure they are not rescued. He arms Sayid with a knife. Locke's something of a mystic, and he seems compelled to help people to some sort of peace with themselves (See: Charlie and Jack), but he's also curiously ruthless. I'm wondering if the duality that Jacob and MiB appear to express is similarly expressed in Locke. We have the concern for others and the pattern of assisting them not through direct action, but through subtler assistance, and we have the cold manipulation of others to further his own ends. Then again, it's essentially the case that every character on this show has that same sense of duality as well. Still, it's Locke we see with one white eye and one black further along in the season in that creepy dream sequence.
- Sawyer spends this episode looking for a hurting, and he gets his wish. Jack beats on him in front of the others, again for the medicine, but instead of telling Jack that he doesn't have it (twist!), he asks for more with his sarcasm. We'll find out at some point later on that "Sawyer" was in Australia to find the real Sawyer, tipped off by the T-000 (known in human form as 'Robert Patrick'). But the T-1000 has set 'Sawyer' up, and instead of killing the man that ruined his family, he shoots someone random that owes money to Patrick's character (never trust a machine). His death wish here makes even more sense when we remember that he's carrying all that fresh guilt.
- Peter DeLuise, of 21 Jump Street fame (I'm so old), guests as the husband of the woman Sawyer is sleeping with and conning. I'd like to imagine that Lost takes place in the same universe as that show, and that DeLuise's former teen-detective is almost screwed over by Sawyer.
Great Claire Line #1: "I'm the only Australian who loves peanut butter."
-In movies and on television, you always see people getting beaned over the head with hard objects and being knocked cleanly out. This always bothers me.
-Sayid is an eager torturer. We'll see in the next episode that he's struggled with this for much of his life, and Ben's comment about Sayid in Season 5, and Sayid's eventual agreement with him, seem prescient in reverse, if that makes any sense. He really is at ease with pain and bloodshed. That he is is arguably tragic, but it doesn't make it less true.
-Lost distinguishes itself from much of the television herd by SHOVING A KNIFE THROUGH SAWYER'S ARM. And showing it. Hardcore, Lost.
-As all of this hyper-macho chest beating is going on, we catch glimpses of other castaways, including Sun and Jin. The audience, and Michael, now know that Sun can speak (surprisingly good) English. Jin and the other castaways do not. It says so much about the state of Jin and Sun's marriage that Sun hides her skill and essentially consigns him to Chewbacca status.
-The Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle starts here! I'm sure you're all as thrilled as I am. Allow me to postulate my Obvious Rule of Attraction, fiction edition: The more tragically distant, emotionally scarred, and dark-but-potentially-redeemable you are, the more attractive you are to a woman. Add extra points if you are also (a) a criminal or (b) undead-but-pining-for-a-highschooler.
-The whole 'empty jar standing in for actual peanut butter' thing is enormously cheesy. And it's kind of CharliePorn. Which no one wants to see.
- Sayid breaks off from the group because he's ashamed of his actions - time to become Rousseau-bait.
-And we have yet another music video ending. Oh soaring piano and scratchy white-blues vocals, oh invisible peanut butter and Korean alternative medicine, how you unite us in our strife.