Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Let's get LOST! (Episode 6:8 Recon)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
Don't say you weren't warned. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!

I think I'm going to be able to sneak this post in right before tonight's episode! Dear readers and fellow losties, don't interpret my lack of posting as a reflection of how much I did or didn't like this episode. In fact, I liked it a lot. I feel like there's been a nice symmetry to this season, compared to the first season. The writers are following the same pattern of focusing each episode on a different survivor, only in the first season they were showing the person's backstory and in this season they are showing us their possible, alternate future. Part of me wants to talk about each show and dissect it to pieces, while another melancholy part of me wants to just be quiet and savor the few moments we have left in the LOST universe, being entertained by this one-of-a-kind storyline. We won't have much time to chat before tonight's episode (5 hours and counting, at the writing of this post) but here are my favorite moments from the Sawyer episode. (By the way, be sure to read all the way through to the end if you like mythology. I have some little tidbits to share.)

I thought this was the most shocking moment of the night:
Sawyer: "I'm a cop."

How appropriate in the alternate universe that, as Sawyer put it, he got to the point in his life where he was either going to become a criminal or a cop, and he chose cop. It was initially shocking to see the man we know as the con-man acting on the right side of the law, but it makes perfect sense.

I've always had a hard time forgiving Sawyer for the nasty things he did when they were first on the island (season 1). The conning, the double-crossing, the selfishness, the monopolizing of supplies, the hurtful name calling: I really hated him. He was a manipulative bully, out for no one but himself. And even though they've done a nice job with his character arc and he has become the reluctant hero, has broken down his walls and learned to love, etc. I still have a hard time liking his character. I guess I'm holding an imaginary grudge against an imaginary character, huh? That's funny. But, I think I could like the sideways-universe Sawyer. He uses his skills for good instead of wrong (although he was still a colossal jerk to Charlotte).

Sawyer hasn't ever had one of the moments, like the one Ben had last week (or am I just being forgetful and not remembering it?). But has he had a gradual redemption over time? Was his life as security with Dharma, and loving Juliet, his redemptive moment? What do you think? (Hmmm... when he "went straight" while with Dharma, he became head of security, just like a cop. And Miles worked for him then too. Ah, parallels!)

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:
Claire finds Kate and makes a heartfelt and teary apology for attacking her.
Tied with
Sawyer returning to the bear cages and seeing Kate's dress.

Poor Claire. I feel really bad for her. She lost her baby, went crazy, was stuck in solitude on a creepy island for three years, and is being lied to and manipulated by the Source of All Evil. I really pittied her in that moment, where she apologized to Kate and broke down in tears. I think Emilie de Ravlin did a great acting job in this scene, showing Claire struggling to break through the crazy.

I've never been totally engaged by the Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a little romantic relationship stuff thrown into the mix. I cried like a baby when Juliet died, when Sun and Jin broke thru their problems and restored their marriage, when Rose and Bernard were reunited, etc. I'm just saying that I don't hang on every twist and turn of the on-again off-again thing between Skate or Jate or whatever people call that triangle. But I must say, I was a little nostalgic and sad, seeing Sawyer at the bear cages. Not for the same reasons he was sad, about his lost love with Kate, but I was nostalgic for the days of the show when we didn't know quite who Dharma/The Others were, Jack was in a shark room, Sawyer and Kate were in the bear cages, and everything was tense and dark, and Ben was in his element, manipulating all three of them. This show has had some amazing writing, and even more amazing acting, over the last several seasons. Sigh. I'm gonna miss this show.

And finally, here's the funny moment of the night:
Sawyer to Charlotte: "So you're kinda like a female Indiana Jones?"
Tied with
Sawyer watching "Little House on the Prairie" (Although this was more touching and sad, than funny. Definitely a nice way to show insight into his character's psyche and emotional state.)

A few more random thoughts - I loved seeing Liam Pace at the LAPD station, to bail out Charlie after he got arrested for drugs on the plane, but what was Liam doing in LA? In the original timeline, didn't Charlie fly to Australia to try and convince Liam to get Driveshaft back together? If Liam was in LA, does that mean Driveshaft never broke up? I know it doesn't matter to the greater scheme of things, but inquiring minds want to know. Also, did you catch that Charlotte works for Miles' father at a museum? I love how all their lives are intersecting, whether they are on the island or not. It's clever to see how the writers do it.

And I'm sure none of you were surprised that Sawyer is playing both sides of the field, and is conning both Smokey and Widmore, to his own gain. He's always looked out for number one. An interesting sidenote (something I read on Lostpedia, so I can't take credit for it.) Is that the episode was called "Recon", which has one obvious definition, when Smokey sends Sawyer on a reconnaisance mission to Alcatraz, but it could also mean to re-con, to con again. Cool, huh?

And now, I will warn you, I'm going to get my mythology-geekiness on, and share some stuff with you. If you are not interested in any kind of fairy tales or mythology, then you can probably stop reading here and just leave me a comment about the other stuff. :-)

We know the statue that Jacob resides in is of Taweret, the hippopotumus goddess. In Egyptian mythology, Taweret was the goddess of fertility and childbirth. But she was seen, in a greater sense, as a protector of life. People would put little statues of her above the doorframe of their house. She was described as one who protected against evil by restraining it. When asked "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Richard replied, "He who will save us all." So that describes the Taweret/Jacob camp.

During this episode, Smokey told us that his mother went crazy. If we're assuming that both he and Jacob are not human, and that the writers are using Egyptian myth as a touchpoint for their story, then I wonder if Jacob's mother was Sakhmet. Sakhmet (lion/cat goddess) was a fierce hunter and goddess of destruction and wrath. She went on a killing rampage to destroy all humans and was so wild with bloodlust the other gods, even the head god, Ra, couldn't stop her. They finally turned the Nile to beer, then dyed it red so it would look like blood. Thinking it was blood, she drank it, passed out, and that's how they finally stopped her. Nice, huh?

As I said, I love storytelling, fairy tales, mythology and the like, so these little tidbits make my heart happy. But I've been thinking about the ending of the show. Do I want every question answered? No. Leave a little mystery. I don't mind that. Do I want the big questions answered? Yes, of course. I want a satisfying ending. But here's my new question - do I want them to do a full-blown mythological, smokey monster flying around while Jacob shoots beams of light from his hands, knock-down fantasy drag-out extravaganza? Nah. And I don't think the writers will do that. They've had a judicious hand when it comes to the wild stuff - for example time travel was done with just a purple light in the sky and weird noises, the magic of the temple was represented with just a pool of water. What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know! (Unless, of course, you're already watching tonight's episode of LOST! I'm VERY excited to see Richard's backstory. He's always been a favorite character of mine.)


Laurie B said...

Thank you so much for the mythology background. I took a little of it in high school but no Egyptian.

I still think the voices we hear from time to time are the voices of the gods as they watch the events playout from wherever they are.

I have to say though, I'm still not sure Jacob is the good guy.

Ron said...

I've noticed a couple things about this whole good/bad thing. Have you ever noticed how not-Locke is brutally honest about everything. But, Jacob never really let you know what was going on. Just a thought...

D.L. White said...

Oooo...I like your theory about the voices! I wonder if that's a mystery that will just remain mysterious, or if they will explain it?

About the whole Jacob v. Smokey, and the who is good, who is evil argument... I think this show has made us paranoid... we thought Kate was good then we found out she was a criminal and had killed people. We thought Sawyer was bad, but it turns out he's a good guy and a big softy on the inside. The writers have played around with our perceptions to the point that I think we're reluctant to trust them, when they present a new "good" person or "bad" person.

Early on, Ben said, "We're the good guys, Jack." and that line has been hotly debated in my house ever since. His actions certainly weren't good, so how could he be a good guy?

Another problem I see, is that throughout the show, the writers have been playing around with the gray area of good vs. evil by taking a situational morality approach (whatever is right for you to do at the time is good or right for you, even if others see the action as evil). Otherwise known as relativisim. Now, as the show draws to a close and they want to draw definitive lines for good and evil... it complicates things and contradicts what they've done earlier (a little bit).

I'll be interested to see how they rectify all this (if at all).