LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 7: “Recon”

18 03 2010

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by!  I’m back with a recap of the Sawyer-centric episode “Recon”.  So, here’s my question of the day: are you happy with the overall trend of the season so far?  I gotta tell you, I thought that “Recon” was fairly pedestrian, especially for a show like LOST.  I know that a bunch of you really liked it, and are wondering what the heck I’m talking about.  But for me, the episode did very little to advance the on-island plot, and the alternate timeline is still a major mystery.  We’ve had a couple of great episodes this season, with “The Substitute” and “Sundown” being fantastic examples of why this show is so good.  But after last night and the earlier “What Kate Does”, I’m really feeling like the season has been hit-or-miss so far.  I’m hopeful for another incredible installment next week, but who knows?  Anyway, I’ll get started with the recap now, but if any of you have commentary on the season’s episode quality so far, I’d love to hear it.

“Recon”

OK, so I have to admit that I stole this from the podcast this week, but isn’t it great when the show’s title has double-meaning?  For those of you who didn’t hear the podcast or gave it much thought, the episode title probably jumped out at you as short-hand for “reconnaissance”, which is what Locke had Sawyer do when he sent him to Hydra Island.  But the double-meaning could be “to con again”, which could be a valid description for what Sawyer ends up doing at the end of the episode.  Regardless, it’s cool to know Team Darlton is still trying to be creative with the titles, even as we approach the end of the series.

“If she’s here, you got my word, we ain’t leavin’ without her.”

Sawyer gives Jin his word

An interesting way to start the episode, with Sawyer helping Jin get over his injury.  OK, so that in itself isn’t strange, but I think Sawyer’s promise to Jin is.  For a guy who’s so desperate to get off the island, why would he commit to something that could potentially hinder his escape plan?  You’d have to think that he wouldn’t lie to Jin, or say what he did just to get him to come along.  It’ll be interesting to see this play out if at some point Sawyer has to choose between a quick escape or going back to make sure Sun can come along.

“Here’s the thing dimples, I can spot a con man”

I'm a cop, not a con man...

Loved this line!  Sawyer finally gets the nickname game turned on him, as the woman in his bed is all over the con game, and doesn’t bite.  But lo and behold, it’s not a true con, it’s a setup.  In the alternate timeline, Sawyer’s a cop!  But what is even more intriguing to me is the fact that Mr. Ford doesn’t give himself the “Sawyer” nickname in this timeline.  He clearly doesn’t write the letter, doesn’t turn into a confidence man, and never takes on the nickname of the man who tricked his parents.  It’s actually one of the more fascinating twists in the alternate timeline, and I’ll get into it a bit more later on.

“The Black Smoke killed them.”

Smokey tries to calm Zach and Emma

For those of you that don’t go back and re-watch the episodes at least 3 times like I do, you might be surprised by one of the events in this scene, and I don’t mean the re-appearance of Cindy, Zach, and Emma.  No, I’m referring to the fact that Claire makes it a point to hold Kate’s hand as Locke talks to the little ones and tries to make them feel safe after leaving the Temple.  She clearly is a very confused human being, as she shifts from one emotion to the next and then all the way back again from the beginning to the end of the episode.  Claire’s clearly not herself, but we knew that already, right?  The question is, is that a permanent condition?  If she died and came back like Sayid, is there any coming back from the state of mind she’s in?  It’ll be interesting to see if Claire and Sayid are forever turned, or if they have any shot whatsoever at redemption before the series ends.

“It’s either kill or be killed…and I don’t wanna be killed.”

Sawyer and Smokey have a little chat

In the first part of the season, there was a little bit of misdirection going on, where it was somewhat unclear as to who might be the “good guys”, and who might be the “bad guys”.  I don’t think there’s much of that going on any more, but there are still some subtle questions that could still put some doubt in your head as to whether or not you want to root for Jacob or for Smokey.  If you take Smokey at face value (and so far we have no reason to think otherwise), then he’s been trapped for a long, long time, and you could almost justify his reactions as it relates to all of the destruction he’s left in his wake.  And now, if he truly believes that he can be killed, especially if he doesn’t get enough people on his side, then perhaps he does have to launch a pre-emptive strike in order to avoid dying.  I guess the questions are whether or not you believe him, and whether or not you’re sympathetic to his plight.  I’d venture to guess that most everyone is in Jacob’s camp right now, but things may not be so clear-cut once we get the full backstory.

Sawyer and Charlotte get it on

I have to admit, I was never a huge fan of Charlotte’s character in the series, and the scenes with her in the flash-sideways only seem to further marginalize her appearance.  In the first scene with she and Sawyer, there seem to be 3 things that the writers want to confirm and reinforce: first, that Sawyer is indeed making a concerted effort to find the original Sawyer con man, and second, that James Ford is indeed not calling himself Sawyer at any point.  Apparently, the decision to become the con man had everything to do with him using that nickname.  Since he never made that choice in this timeline, he never takes the moniker.  Finally, James is taking this whole task on by himself.  He wants absolutely no one to know about his situation, much less help him.  He seems destined to fight this battle alone…

Claire jumps Kate while Sayid watches on

Not sure which was more disturbing in this scene, Claire trying to kill Kate, or Sayid watching on as if it were a friend teeing off at the local golf course.  Amazingly, the one to stop it turns out to be Locke.  It’s a bit of a challenge to try to determine what his motivation is for doing so, but it would seem that it’s due to the fact that he really needs Kate to be playing for the Smoking Club.  It’s probably evident to him that Kate is a candidate, and having a candidate on his side might be crucial as to whether or not he wins the upcoming war.  Of course, this may end up backfiring on him in the long run, as Kate only appears to be there as a result of circumstance.  She may bolt when he least expects it, and she may take some other folks (namely, Jin, Cindy, Zach, and Emma), when she does.  But for now, it appears as though he believes his strength lies in his numbers, especially if one of those numbers is a candidate.

The bodies begin to pile up

Alright, so here’s a scene that’s not overly clear to me.  Are we supposed to assume that all of those bodies are from the Ajira flight?  If so, why were they not buried?  Is Widmore trying to attract Smokey in some way by using this tactic?  Or did Smokey himself do this before he left?  For some reason, I get the feeling that we’re supposed to know what happened here, but nothing that happened previously makes it any easier to understand exactly what went on.

Charlie’s brother comes looking for him

Not a ton to add here, it’s just a nice touch to see that the writers haven’t completely forgotten about Charlie in the alternate timeline.  It’d be nice to learn his ultimate fate in the flash-sideways before it’s all over, and perhaps this brief moment foretells of that possibility.

The con man gets conned…or does he?

To me, there was much ado about nothing in this segment of the show.  Sawyer talks to Zoe, and Locke talks to Kate, but in the former’s case, any or all of it could be a lie, and in the latter’s case, we don’t learn much of anything we didn’t already know.  It was very strange and disappointing to me to watch these scenes hoping to get just a tiny morsel of new info regarding the goings-on of the grand conflict, but nothing.  And as far as the twist, where Zoe’s gang comes out from behind the trees, it wasn’t much of a surprise.  Of course, if it’s not a great surprise to us, then it’s also not a great surprise to Sawyer.  He’s just playing along to see who’s behind all of this…

“I had a mother, just like everyone.  She was a very disturbed woman.”

Intriguing dialog here between Locke and Kate.  We seem to be getting the tiniest of pieces regarding Smokey’s background, and perhaps how he got stuck in this situation to begin with.  I’m interpreting his line of “problems that I’m still trying to work my way through” as an indicator that he holds her at least partially responsible for his predicament.  Clearly there’s not a ton to go on, and the conversation was more about how he was drawing a parallel between himself and Aaron’s possible fate, but I’m sure this conversation will become more relevant at some point in the future.  For now, it’s almost as if Locke is trying to drive a wedge further between Kate and Claire…suggesting that Claire is unfit to be Aaron’s mother.

Life lessons from Little House on the Prairie

Charlotte in an unforgiving mood

Interesting second-to-last flash-sideways scene, perhaps the most interesting of the season so far.  We get some major insight as to just how lost Mr. Ford is in this timeline.  He’s at home, by himself, eating microwavable dinners, and watching what could very well be a taped copy of Little House for inspiration.  And if that’s not enough, he’s fully rebuffed by Charlotte, who pretty much breaks down his situation by accident.  “I don’t know if you’re just lonely, guilty, or completely mad.”  James Ford in this timeline could probably ask himself that same question and not know the answer.  Although he has many years yet to find the Anthony Cooper that has caused him so much pain in his life, you almost get the feeling that he’s destined to never find him.  That this Sawyer…this James Ford…will spend the rest of his life hunting down a man he will never find.  And as a result, he will never find true peace.  He’ll always be alone.

In a strange way, it seems as though the Sawyer we know has also reached this stage, albeit by different means.  He found his Sawyer, and managed to kill him.  He also found love (in Juliet), but lost her.  This Sawyer also seems destined to be alone.  As he said to Kate at the top of the episode, “I ain’t with anybody, Kate”.  Sad but true.  Hopefully for Sawyer, there’s still time for that to change, in either or both timelines.

What’s in the compartment?

Alright, so I don’t have any really good guesses on this, but it’s obvious we were supposed to file this away.  Widmore’s got something pretty special locked up on his sub, and I’m sure we’ll get to see it at just the right moment.  But what could it be?  A special way to kill Smokey?  A way for him to take over the island once and for all?  Perhaps a special gift for Ben?  I’m not sure, but I’d love to read your theories in the comments!

Sawyer makes a deal with the devil

Sawyer makes a deal with Widmore

Or is it Widmore who does that?  I mean really, who do you trust less, Smokey or Widmore?  And on the flip side, if you’re either Widmore or Smokey, do you trust Sawyer to deliver what he says he’s going to?  It’s almost as if both sides will expect that Sawyer’s lying, and true chaos will ensue.  Of course, that’s just what Sawyer’s looking for, as he hopes to use that to his advantage and get off the island for good.

Claire comes full circle…

Claire breaks down and gives Kate a hug

…and I’m not sure that it’s not just an act.  But what’s even creepier is the thought that even if it’s not an act, I’m not sure that it makes it any different.  Claire has completely lost touch with the ability to control her emotions.  It’s almost as if she’s a child in an adult’s body.  One thing seems certain: when you go from holding someone’s hand to trying to murder them to hugging them and apologizing, you have achieved the definition of unpredictable.  Who the heck knows what we’ll see next from Claire…

Well lookie what we have here…

It's Kate! What a surprise!

In the final flash-sideways scene of the episode, Sawyer spills the beans to Miles about his past, and during the discussion has a fugitive fall right into his lap.  Of course, most of you probably guessed it was Kate before she was revealed.  The question is, what should he do now?  Is he going to turn her in?  Will she meet Charlie in prison?  Perhaps most importantly, when will we know anything at all about the relevance of this timeline with respect to the one we’re familiar with?  Not sure about the rest of you, but the alternate timeline has moved from an amusing diversion to a distraction from the main timeline to an annoyance in a very brief period of time.  I have the utmost faith in the writers to make it all meaningful at some point.  But it’s become a frustration to me on multiple levels at this point.  I really hope we get even the smallest of nuggets about it before the finale.  It’d be nice to play a little connect-the-dots with it prior to it being all spelled out for us.

“We’re takin’ the sub”

Nice final scene of the episode, where Sawyer shares his true plan with Kate.  It wasn’t a complete surprise that Sawyer is trying to play both sides against each other, or that he intends to steal the sub to go home.  It is interesting, however, that he’s come back from his all-about-me attitude from earlier in the season, and is now including Kate in his plans.  For those of you highly interested in how the Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle might end, you just got another gem to keep you guessing.

Post-episode questions:

1. What is Widmore’s ultimate plan?  Is he really there to try to kill Smokey?

2. Is there any hope for Claire?  She seems like she’s taken a permanent jump off the deep end.

3. What is Smokey waiting for?  Why not just go to the other island and kill everyone right now before the makeshift pylons can be constructed?

4. Is Sawyer destined to be unhappy in both timelines?  What can he do to change his fate?

5. If Widmore and Smokey end up duking it out, how does Team Ilana fit into the battle?  Whose side do you pick in that type of fight?

That’s all I’ve got for now!  I’m hoping to break down the alternate timeline a bit this weekend and write an entry on it, and I have high hopes for a stellar episode next week.  Richard has always been a favorite of mine since we first saw him, and I can’t wait to get more of his backstory.  But I wonder…will we see flashbacks that tell his story, or will they show us some more flash-sideways, and how he fits into that world?  As always, thanks for stopping by!

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