Sawyer tells lots of different stories to different people in last night's Lost, but really the only thing he wants to share is delicious, wholesome pain. And we discover that mommy issues are the new daddy issues. Spoilers below.
So, first the quick summary. In last night's episode, Island Sawyer does some recon for Smokey on the island where the Ajira plane landed, and meets Charles Widmore. He makes deals with both Smokey and Widmore, but really he just wants to set them up to kill each other while he steals Widmore's submarine. Meanwhile, the L.A. version of Sawyer is a cop, and Miles is his partner. He's still searching for Anthony Cooper, the con-man who caused his parents' death, and he manages to screw up a date with the lovely Charlotte because she snoops through his things. But that's okay (?) because he meets Fugitive Kate.
So... does Sawyer really want to get off the island? That's what he keeps saying, but I'm not buying it. Sawyer's got no place to go and nobody to see. What he does have is a world of pain, and it seems like he's ready to share some of that pain with everybody else.
I think last night's episode might have been the first where it was unequivocally clear that the main character was worse off having returned to L.A. in one piece. I mean, L.A. Locke was still disabled, but he seemed at peace and he still had Helen. L.A. Jack has a son and some closure on his daddy issues. L.A. Kate seemed to be enjoying her fugitive life. But L.A. Sawyer? He just seems tormented by the issues his island counterpart got over years ago. The only progress he makes in this episode is opening up to his partner, Miles, about his situation. (And then meeting Kate, which could be considered progress, I suppose.)
So we see the juxtaposition of two different versions of Sawyer in pain: The L.A. Sawyer is still dealing with the long-buried pain of his parents' death, and still acting out while he tries to find the man who caused it. The island Sawyer, meanwhile, is grappling with fresh pain over the death of Juliet, and it's making him a lot more reckless and destructive.
But at least L.A. Sawyer is able to tell the truth in the end, to Miles. Island Sawyer doesn't really tell the truth to anybody. Look at his communications in this episode.
Sawyer's levels of trust:
He tells Widmore and Smokey the absolute truth — but twists it to manipulate them. He makes a handshake agreement with Widmore, but only after they've both agreed they can't trust each other. And he tells Smokey "I gave you my word."
Meanwhile, he tells Jin that he's with Locke - which isn't strictly true - but he says "I give you my word" that if Sun is on the island, they won't leave without her. (There's some wiggle room there, since Sawyer can always say later that he couldn't find Sun, so she's probably not on the island.) Does Sawyer's word to Jin mean more than his word to Smokey, after all the years they spent working together at the Dharma Initiative?
It's only to Kate that Sawyer comes closest to admitting the truth: That he's not with anybody, and that he's just playing Widmore and Smokey against each other. But he still claims he wants to get off "this rock." Is he telling the truth?
Smokey, the great manipulator:
Meanwhile, Smokey is carefully telling different versions of his story to different people — he tells his big group of followers that "the black smoke killed" the rest of the Temple Others. And he carefully leaves out just enough details to make it sound like he tried to protect everyone from the smoke monster, but they wouldn't listen to him.
To Sawyer, Smokey admits that he's the smoke monster, and claims that "They're convinced that they're protecting the island from me, when all I want to do is leave. So it's either kill or be killed." (Which is probably a lie, since the Temple Others had no means of killing Smokey, as we've already seen. And Smokey's been here a long, long time, and nobody's killed him yet.)
And then of course there's that weird moment where he opens up to Kate and admits he lied to Claire about what happened to Aaron — because hatred would give her something to focus on. And then he tells Kate about his crazy mother, and how he's still working through the issues she gave him, untold years later. Aaron, too, will have a crazy mother, he tells Kate. WTF?
So let's talk about Claire. At the start of the episode, when Locke's Others return to Claire's crappy camp and Locke gives a heart-warming speech, we see Claire holding hands with Kate. Aww.
But then Claire goes all apeshit on Kate and tries to kill, only to be tossed around and smacked in the face by Smokey. Ouch.
And then Claire comes and apologizes to Kate, saying she understood that Kate was just trying to be nice by stealing her baby. Aww again?
Is this really over, so easily? (Given the limited number of episodes remaining, I'm wondering if the answer is yes, after a fashion. The "crazy mother" thing won't go away, obviously.) But the fact that Claire was being all hand-grabby with Kate before trying to kill her seems like a clear signal not to trust any of her overtures of niceness.
Crazy Mother! It should have been the name of Charlie's band, instead of Driveshaft.
So is Sayid just dead inside, thanks to the taint of Smokey's black influence? Or is he racked with guilt over killing Dogen and Lennon? Or a little of both? In either case, he makes no move whatsoever to stop Claire trying to kill Kate. And when he says that he believes Locke, he doesn't seem to have much conviction about it.
Will we actually find out how much of Sayid's blankness is metaphysical and how much is psychological?
Other random stuff:
The Ajira Airways plane seems to be in remarkably good shape, considering:
And this week's book is Watership Down, which I read as a kid, and which is all about a group of rabbits trying to find a new home after the destruction of their warren. How does it relate to Lost? Maybe Locke's Others are the rabbits of Cowslip's Warren, who are complacent and being bred for slaughter by humans, and Widmore's group is the rabbits of Efrafa, which is a tyrannical military dictatorship?
Also, notice the brief cameo by Liam, Charlie's brother, who's apparently in L.A. looking for his bandmate/bro. Liam did not look like a junkie, so I guess going cold turkey worked out fine in this universe as well. Although did Liam just come here from Australia to look for Charlie? Did Charlie go to Australia for some other reason than to find Liam?
It's funny that the episode begins with Sawyer having a signal ("LaFleur," no less) to summon his cop friends.
And it ends with Zoe having a signal (just a whistle) for her friends to get the drop on Sawyer.
Although what was the woman being arrested for in the beginning? Excessive sassiness? Pulling a gun on an undercover cop whom she thought was a con-man? Having an evil husband? It seems a bit random, to be honest.
Oh, and Widmore says Sawyer doesn't know much about the real story behind the Freighter and his various machinations. Was there some other purpose to the Freighter besides getting revenge on Ben?