Recap: 'Lost' 6.08 - 'Recon' moves pieces into place
As an important part of the overall mythology in this final season of "Lost," episode 6.08 was well-constructed by writers Jim Galasso & Elizabeth Sarnoff, and it certainly laid out certain information in a way that sets a number of things into motion for the next few episodes. But there's still something about it as a stand-alone epsiode that seems disappointing. Slight, even, and when there are only eight episodes after this before the finale, then it's no time for "slight."
The featured player in this week's flash-sideways TIMELINE A segments is Sawyer, although he's not Sawyer in this version of reality. Instead, he's James Ford, Los Angeles cop with a dark secret and a partner named Miles. The notion of Ken Leung and Josh Holloway teamed up in a buddy cop show is just plain great, and I highly advise ABC to get busy on the spin-off right away, regardless of how the series ends. The introduction to undercover officer Sawyer is pretty canny, a spin on what we've learned about him over the years. He starts the episode in bed with a woman, and he starts to run a con on her. It's the familiar pigeon drop we've seen him do before, and the problem is that she recognizes the move as well. She draws a gun on him and tells him she knows he's a con artist since her husband is as well, and she knows the moves. He tells her that he's actually a cop, and that she's walked into a trap designed to catch her husband. It's a fun game for viewers for a few minutes, because as AlternaLocke observes later in the episode, "You're the best liar I've ever seen." James could be a cop. It could be a way to get out of trouble. It could be another layer of scam. For a few minutes, there are some rich possibilities in play.
This version of James is looking for the con man who led to his father killing his mother, then himself, leaving James alone at the age of nine. Instead of becoming a con man just like the guy, though, he became a cop, and since he day he left the academy, he's been using his law enforcement skills and connections to build a file on the mysterious "Sawyer." Determined to find him. And it's his big secret, the thing that keeps him alone in the world. He holds even his partner at arm's length, refusing to involve him at all in his personal vendetta. Much of the episode is dedicated to Miles trying to break through the barrier of secrecy that James keeps around himself at all times.
I guess my biggest problem with the James-is-a-cop material (which is to say, a small detail that bothered me, but hardly something that ruined the episode) is that it feels a little familiar. The best things about the TIMELINE A material is the way it weaves in the fates of so many characters in this alternative life. Aside from Sawyer and Miles, there's a great Kate moment that I assume has to be continued in a future episode, and there's a good chunk of material with Charlotte that I wasn't expecting, but which gave Holloway a chance to play a normal, charming, decent guy, and in that one moment, I see real potential for who he could be after "Lost." I think for some people, this is going to remain the biggest moment of their careers, but for Holloway, there's a lot of options out there for the future. He's gotten better and better over the years the show's been on the air. His search for Sawyer was pretty easy shorthand for "brooding," and it didn't pay off enough for it to have been the focus of an episode like this.
In TIMELINE B, though, Sawyer's on a roll, and I thought this was actually some of the strongest stuff we've seen from him in a while. He's pressed into service by AlternaLocke, sent over to Hydra Island to scout and see what, if anything, is waiting for them there and to check on the condition of the plane that was left there when Frank and Sun's group landed. And AlternaLocke is right to be worried, since Sawyer walks right into an ambush led by Sheila Kelly, who appears to be part of Charles Widmore's group onboard the sub. What's really interesting about AlternaLocke's observation about how Sawyer's such a great liar is the way he manipulates his way through the episode almost entirely by telling the absolute truth. He's not really lying in any of his major conversations on the Island this week, and it's a whole different type of manipulation, this frankness of his. By the end of the episode, he's moved Widmore and AlternLocke into position for a major showdown on the smaller island, and the only person who seems to be part of his real plans, at the heart of everything else he says this week, is Kate. There's a quiet moment as he walks around the long-abandoned Hydra Station early in the episode, when he finds that dress they had Kate in, and it underlines the intense longing that Sawyer obviously still has for Kate. I don't spend much time or energy worrying about who's going to "end up with" who on the show, but I do think the way Sawyer has changed over the years in his attitude towards needing or even wanting other people is one of the great things the writers have done, and I have no idea how planned it was... only that it works.
Claire and Kate shared several intense moments over the course of the episode, including one where Claire goes crazy and tries to kill Kate. It's AlternaLocke who pulls her off, slapping her to break her out of her rage. AlternaLocke really does seem to be determined to treat these people he's accumulated well. For all the talk about him being "purest evil," that's not how he comes across in this episode. He tells people the truth, talks to them like adults, confesses a complicated relationship with his "crazy mother" that defines much of his behavior. He takes responsibility for lying to Claire, for filling her with the ideas that poisoned her against Kate. He seems rattled by the consequences of his own actions in the episode, and the idea that the Smoke Monster can still be insecure and nervous and unsure of itself... that's intriguing.
Beyond that, there's not much to the episode. After last week's Ben Linus episode and before next week's Richard Alpert episode (teased in a truly awesome teaser trailer at the end of this week), maybe anything would have seemed like an anti-climax. Even so, the way the Widmore war is building and Sawyer's got a plan to get out intact with Kate in tow.
Can't get enough of Motion/Captured? Don't miss a post with daily HitFix Blog Alerts. Sign up now.
Don't miss out. Add Motion/Captured to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience by clicking here.
Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.
1958 | Drama | NRSummary: The Hellcats are an all-female gang bent on bucking authority and terrorizing the schools by doing things like having a bad attitude toward their teachers and parents. When Joyce, a new student, moves into the neighborhood, she draws the attention of The Hellcats. Desperate for acceptance and unh...Director: Edward Bernds
Cast: Yvonne Fedderson, Brett Halsey, Jana Lund, Susanne Sidney
1995 | Adventure | GSummary: History comes gloriously to life in Disney's epic animated tale about love and adventure in the New World. Pocahontas is a Native American woman whose father has arranged for her to marry her village's best warrior. But a vision tells her change is coming, and soon she comes face to face with it ...Director: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg
Cast: Irene Bedard, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers, John Kassir
2009 | Drama | NRSummary: Everything changes for 15 year old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.Director: Andrea Arnold
Cast: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Rebecca Griffiths
1994 | Comedy | RSummary: Denis Leary is at his acerbic best as a burglar whose simple Christmas Eve robbery gets complicated when he takes a pair of hostages -- who happen to be a couple who won’t stop arguing.Director: Ted Demme
Cast: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey
2005 | Comedy | PGSummary: The story of Little Red Riding Hood (Anne Hathaway) is rebuilt from the ground up in this hip-hop influenced animated vision that re-examines every character in the old tale.Director: Cory Edwards
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton
2012 | Animation | PGSummary: Tad is a celebrity archeologist and adventurer just like his hero Max Mordon... in his dreams! In reality, Tad is a Chicago construction worker. One day, however, he is mistaken for a real Professor and takes his place on a flight to Peru in search of the Lost City of Paititi. Professor Lavrof an...Director: Enrique Gato
Cast: Fiona Glascott, Lewis Macleod, Kerry Shale, Óscar Barberán
1994 | Comedy | RSummary: Convenience and video store clerks Dante and Randal are sharp-witted, potty-mouthed and bored out of their minds. So in between needling customers, the counter jockeys play hockey on the roof, visit a funeral home and deal with their love lives.Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith
2014 | Drama | TV-14Summary: In the Ramapo Mountains, a sheriff must keep order in both a small town and the Ramapo Lenape Nation community nearby.Director: Aaron Guzikowski
Cast: Martin Henderson, Jason Momoa, Julianne Nicholson
1986 | Family | GSummary: In Victorian London, England, a little mouse girl's toymaker father is abducted by a peg-legged bat. She enlists the aid of Basil of Baker Street, the rodent world's answer to Sherlock Holmes. The case expands as Basil uncovers the crime's link to a plot against the Crown itself.Director: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, David Michener, John Musker
Cast: Barrie Ingham, Val Bettin, Vincent Price, Susanne Pollatschek
Let Streaming Genie help you.