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Triangulation – 1.06, 1.07 and 1.08 “House of the Rising Sun”, “The Moth”, “Confidence Man”

By Fishbiscuit,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 40

“All stolen kisses require an accomplice.” – Anon.

In the very early days of Lost, romance promised to be its most unsurprising element. Not since the glory days of Dawson’s Creek had a central couple been shoved in the audience’s face with less finesse. After a mere week Island time, Jack and Kate’s schmoopfest was well underway. Already there were scenes like this where Jack and Kate giggle over his manly tattoos

… while Kate appears to be doing something entirely unnecessary, if not wildly inappropriate, down below Jack’s waistband. (What is she doing down there, btw?) The writers really beat us over the head with the obvious stick here. Never mind the smoking carnage or the terrifying noises in the mysterious jungle. These two were flirting like a couple of college kids on a camping trip. And just in case anyone didn’t get it, they had Charlie helpfully announce, like subtitles, that what we were watching was … uh, “verbal copulation”.

I ask you, in the history of romance writing, has there ever been a clunkier line than that? Does too much verbal copulation lead to a whole bunch of little baby verbs?

Why the rush job with Jack and Kate? That question was irking me the whole time I was rewatching House of the Rising Sun and The Moth. Didn’t these talented writers realize that there is no such thing as a prefab love story, that romance has to be a slow brew, that they had to tease and charm and woo the audience before we’d slowly start to crave some consummation?

Duh. Of course they did.

The minute Kate strolled down the beach in Confidence Man hauling a load of bulging bananas towards a naked, dripping wet Sawyer, the reason for the earlier rush job was clear.

Lost was not going to force feed us just one predictable love story. They were going to give us a Choice!

And that has made all the difference.

Choice is the idea that hooks these three episodes together.

In House of the Rising Sun, Sun must choose between fleeing or staying with Jin, the husband she has fallen out of love with.

At the same time, the survivors must choose between the wet, buggy womb of the shadowy caves or the macabre ruins on the sunlit beach.

Charlie must choose between making the rest of his life’s choices stoned or straight.

Jack must choose between just beating the shit out of Sawyer

or torturing him to within an inch of his life.

Meanwhile Kate, who must have done something good at some time in her godforsaken life, has to choose between just kissing sweaty, bloody Sawyer

… or kissing him like this.

…uh, excuse me if I go off on a few tangents this time around … but did Kate really have a choice here? When Kate chose to hold the kiss, to open her mouth and melt into it completely, was that Free Will at work there? Can we be sure?

We had been introduced in the very first episode, in bold block letters, to the idea of Fate. But Fate and Free Will don’t make a fair fight. Fate is absolute. Either it exists or it doesn’t. If it exists, it is unstoppable, irreversible, inescapable. Free Will, at best, is hit or miss. There are definitely limits to what Free Will can do for us. We don’t get to choose our parents, for example.

Or where we are born.

We don’t get to choose to be born man or woman, rich or poor, big brother or small.

And even when we do make a choice in life, it’s not as if we get to choose which consequences we’d prefer.

Just ask all the people who chose to get on Flight 815.

Fate – or Destiny, John Locke’s guiding star – is a concept where the future is as fixed and immutable as the past. Because the future can not be changed, it is the future, in essence, that creates the past, forcing the past to be whatever the future needs it to be in order to make Destiny happen as it must. This is a concept that works with what we’ve seen on Lost, where past, present and future are not fixed points in time, but are always interacting and intersecting. Watching these episodes with the full foreknowledge that we lacked then, we can see Destiny’s fingerprints everywhere in the story now, with the unchangeable future switching back to shape and inform the past.

The House of the Rising Sun is the episode that marks the one and only appearance of Lost’s famous cave couple, nicknamed (by Locke) Adam and Eve. Darlton hinted in a March 2008 interview that the discovery of Adam and Eve was the first sign that time travel would one day flash into our story.

“And it was sort of those conversations which obviously happened way back in season one when Locke and Boone found the hatch that were the early precursors of time travel. I will say, though, that the first significant event in the show where we were thinking in the back of our minds that this is going to require a story telling element that isn’t traditional narrative, is the discovery of Adam and Eve in the caves.”

“I don’t want to be Eve.” – Kate Austen
Time, as many suspected, was an element of the story that was always intended to come into play, and Adam and Eve were the first sign we had of that. Maybe that’s the reason why, in the same episode where they made their big cameo, there was this huge beatdown from Jin to Michael

…over a timepiece.

The first time I watched this episode, to be honest, I had NO idea what Jin was freaking out about. But on a rewatch it all makes complete sense. The fight was all over THE watch, the one that would knit together the stories of Michael and Jin. The watch that Jin had been transporting to L.A. for Mr. Paik, the watch that Michael had found on the beach and started to wear….that was the same watch that Jin later returned to Michael as a tribute for building the raft, the same watch that Michael later pawned for the gun that wouldn’t let him kill himself

… until he came back to the Island and helped Sun escape so that Jin’s spermtacular miracle baby could be born safe and sound back at home. The watch connects the future to the present. And all this despite the fact that, as Michael said, “Time don’t mean nothing on a damn island!”

Of course, time means everything on this damn Island. Charlie and Liam were seen horsing around in a churchyard that reminded me…

… of the place where Daniel and Desmond first tried to bend the time space continuum.

And if you think that wasn’t meant to be a clue, then how do you explain the scarves?

Come on. Tell me that’s just a coincidence!

It’s hard to know which clues were planted in the first season because they would become important later, and which ones became important later just because they were introduced in the first season. For example, was Liam’s T shirt a clue that animal headed Egyptian gods were going to show up at some pivotal future moment,

or did the writers decide to go with the Egyptian god motif because they remembered when Liam wore that cool shirt?

At the end of Confidence Man, there is a poignant song about reaching for Mother Mary, as the camera watches Sawyer,

who we later learned was the son of a murdered mother…named Mary.

Did they mean us to make that connection? Maybe not, since it was kind of an easy one to fudge. But maybe this was the connection they were going for?

Charlie steps out of confession (after being lectured by the priest within about the value of choice) and walks past a statue of the Virgin Mary, which wouldn’t exactly be unusual, except that a Virgin Mary is never just a Virgin Mary on Lost, especially for Charlie.

We didn’t have any reason to notice the Virgin Mary when we watched this episode in 2004. It’s only on the rewatch that we even realize Mary was there all along. She is not, however, the only religious icon in the game. Adam and Eve, the cave skeletons, became one of the favorite guessing games of truly fanatical Lost fans. It has to be the fanatics who argue about Adam and Eve’s identity, because I’m thinking 99% of the normal people who watch Lost have no memory of them at all. But they could be important! In January 2007, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse gave an interview where they said

“When all is said and done, people are going to point to the skeletons and say, ”That is proof that from the very beginning, they always knew that they were going to do this.”

After reading something like that, it’s impossible not to try and guess who they might be. The most common guess on Adam and Eve’s identity is the obvious one. Jack and Kate, naturally.

They found the skeletons, and Kate was the only one who saw that Jack swiped Adam’s nifty black and white stones.

So the quickie answer on this one is that the bones belong to Jack and Kate. Someday those two crazy kids will crawl up on shelves on opposite sides of this cave, die and then rot for half a century until the whole loop spins around again and Jack rediscovers the black and white stones he once put into his own pocket. For fans of time loops, not to mention all the fans of necro-romance, this conclusion is a no-brainer. The stones are the giveaway. It all comes down to who has the right kind of stones.

The thing is we haven’t seen Jack’s stones ever again since that one scene. We don’t know where he put them, or if he even kept them. We know that Locke was a big fan of black and white stones. And Juliet had a couple in her Zen rock garden.

But I’m not seeing either one of those as likely suspects. In the Jan. ’07 EW interview, Darlton promised that an anagram in the upcoming Feb. 7, 2007 episode would give a clue to the identity of Adam and Eve. That episode, Not in Portland, had a scene where a woman’s voice is heard repeating “only fools are enslaved by time and space.” And believe it or not, there are people out there who have managed to de-anagram this phrase to uncover this gem: “Bones of Nadlers may lay deep in lost cave.”

By George, I think they’ve got it! It’s become a popular guess recently, especially since we last saw Bernard and Rose living in 1977 about to have an atom bomb go off in their vicinity. Did they crawl into the cave with their skin melting off from the bomb’s after effects and were never able to crawl out again? Maybe Bernard had those stones because they’d been playing Locke’s left behind backgammon game during all those long days in paradise. Or maybe the stones are just a metaphor. The stones are black and white, which fits nicely with Bernard and Rose,

who are … well, pink and brown.

But, you know, that’s close.

Now Adam and Eve are not famous just for being the first man and woman in the Biblical world. They were also the makers of the First Choice. Because they chose to eat the apple from the tree of knowledge, they were driven from eternal paradise into this shitty world we all live in, where we have to work and suffer and bear children in pain. God may have given Free Will to Adam and Eve but the moral of their story is that no one in their right mind should ever try to actually use it.

It’s very hard to figure out what the message is exactly regarding Fate and Free Will on Lost. I get the feeling fans don’t want this to be a story about Fate, like the only acceptable message should be that spunky little Free Will turns out to be the underdog that triumphs Rocky-style over the big bad fickle finger of Fate. But I’m not convinced that fans will get their wish on this. Of course, it would help if the writers weren’t so muted and misleading about the message.

In Season Five’s “The Incident”, Jacob definitely wants Hurley to get on that plane. But he makes it seem like it all makes him no nevermind. He says “All you have to do is get on that plane. It’s your choice, Hugo. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”

And then he leaves Hurley with a magical Charlie Guitar. What kind of choice is that? Of course, Hurley is going to jump on the plane with the Charlie Guitar, so he can fall out of the sky and land on the Island of Mystery,

just like Charlie’s magical guitar did the first time.

Once the guitar was presented to Hurley he really didn’t have any choice because, being Hurley, an all-knowing stranger leaving him a Charlie Guitar in a taxi pretty much sealed the deal. He behaved the only way Hurley possibly could.

Let’s concede, for sake of argument, that our choices are what determines our destiny. Free will at work, right? But what determines how we will choose? Our personal identity. And our circumstances. But we don’t get to choose either one of those, do we? What does determine our circumstances and our identity? Could that be something we can call Fate?

In these three episodes, the identities of three characters were revealed to us – Sawyer, Charlie and Sun.

Sun appears as a bird in a gilded prison. We are given a glancing overview of her story with Jin, their sweet, furtive romance that blooms into wedded bliss but then quickly dissolves into angry suspicion and resentment. In the years since, layers and layers have been added on to the spare bones of the Kwon story. Now we see the puppy.

Later we’ll see how Jin takes the puppy as a bribe from his terrified shakedown victim. We see the telltale signs of Jin’s bloody brutality.

Later we’ll see that Jin only has to do that job because Sun sold his soul to her father to save him from the shame of knowing his mother was a whore. We see Sun longing to run away from her marriage. Later we’ll learn about all the things she so badly needs to flee. But all we really learn about Sun in this first look at her is that she is not who she pretends to be. The circumstances of her life have made her a graceful mistress of deception.

There are revelations about Sun. She speaks English but pretends not to. She knows the science of herbs and healing.

These are all nice decorative brushstrokes to her characterization, but the years have shown that they mean little to her story. Despite the ornamentation added to her character, in the end Sun remains merely the woman who chose to marry Jin and then chose to stay with him and then chose to return to the Island so she could be with him again. In these early episodes, the reason behind her choice is clear. She is the purebred product of a strict culture where honor is everything, and no matter how frustrated she is with who Jin has become, she doesn’t hate him enough to expose him to the loss of honor he’d suffer if she left him. Honor binds Sun to Jin, and choice is almost an irrelevance.

*

Sun and Jin remind me of the dancers in Rousseau’s broken down music box, forever joined, twirling towards their Destiny together.

Jacob’s visit only confirmed this for us – that their value to the Island is as a couple. Their individual identities matter very little, and the Destiny we are concerned with is the one they create through their choices to be together . Sun’s destiny is Jin, and Jin’s destiny is Sun, and if that ends up meaning something bigger to the story, I have to admit, I can’t figure out what it will ever be.

But I would like to see it.

Charlie’s Identity starts with being born the younger, shorter, far less doable brother. He is a religious boy,

a fact that amuses his brother, who christens him The Rock God. That’s the right button to push for Charlie. That’s the identity he wishes he could choose, that he would choose, if he had any choice in the matter.

But he doesn’t. Charlie’s an addict, a lifestyle choice where Free Will can only be described as a cruel joke. Trying to grab a fix, he’s punished with a plague of bees.

And it’s all downhill from there.

He makes excellent boar bait. And he becomes a rock god alright…when he orders the rocks to cave in and bury Jack alive inside the cave.

On top of all that, Locke decides the time is right for Charlie to be given a teachable moment.

Rather than just let his scag run out, as it inevitably will, Locke encourages Charlie to escape it of his own free choice. Because choosing will make him strong, like the moth who has to fight his way out of his cocoon. It was an odd turn for Locke to take, from being the high priest of Destiny to suddenly preaching about the glories of Free Will. Did he really believe in what he was saying, or did he just want Charlie to believe it? Would it make things easier for Charlie if he thought he chose his Fate, rather than thinking he got steamrolled by the Destiny Express?

Either way, Locke’s lesson takes hold. The dutiful Catholic remembers that all he ever wanted to be was useful, a humble servant to a higher power. He plays the hero, and watches others get covered in glory instead.

And that will happen to him again, when his greatest sacrifice barely merits a tear from his “friends” in Season Four.

That is Charlie’s Destiny, to be a permanent second fiddle, never the flashy butterfly, always the utilitarian moth. All his choices have only brought him back around to the place he’s been ever since he was born as Liam’s uncool baby brother.

Sawyer, on the other hand, is all flash.

At least on the glittering surface. Which is all we had seen of him before his fantastic coming out episode, Confidence Man. If the revelation of Locke’s cured paralysis was the moment that hooked my brain on Lost, this episode, with its revelation of the shattered child inside the redneck asshole, was the one that stole my heart.

Like everyone else, I had totally bought into the mask of Sawyer.

It made perfect sense that this arrogant, sexist douchebag would have seduced a woman and ruined a family just so he could make off with a few bucks. When he made Kate read the letter aloud, describing the pain that evil Sawyer had inflicted on the innocent child letter writer, I think most of the audience just took it at face value. It sounded exactly like the kind of thing this worthless slimeball probably would have done.

But there was a hitch to it all. Sawyer wasn’t just a bad guy, he was apparently a total masochist.

He wanted to be punished. He let Jack beat him without fighting back, and when he thought he was going to stop, he pretty much begged Jack to hit him again.

He was a tortured soul long before the actual torture started.

Rather than just tell Jack he didn’t have the medicine, Sawyer submitted to bloodcurdling torture. How sick was Sawyer to let this happen to himself? We may have been lulled into thinking Sawyer was just the pretty boy sideshow, but halfway through this episode, I think everyone had to sit up and take a second look at this dude. He was one seriously disturbed individual. The torture scene in Confidence Man was primal, unforgettable. And it marked the entrance of Josh Holloway as a player in this cast, someone who was going to bring a hell of a lot more to this story than just another pretty face.

There is no character on Lost that is more human than Sawyer. This year it seemed a lot of the audience took a shine to Sawyer, parts of the audience that had never felt the power of Teh Soya before. I think it took fanboys so long to “get” Sawyer because they missed all the cues. He wasn’t a mysterious vessel of the Island’s power, like Locke, or the obvious alpha dude with the white rabbit daddy, like Jack. He’s us. He speaks for the audience and he makes us feel for him. As many have only noticed for the first time this year, Sawyer is the heart of Lost. But it’s not like this should be considered news.

We watched the defenses and disguises of the slick con man stripped away. We saw a man deeply shamed and corrosive with self loathing, someone who appeared to be longing, as his crime partner described it, for the blissful relief of sweet death.

But we didn’t learn right away the reason for his shame. The evil bad thing we thought he had done was instead an evil bad thing that had been done to him. In one of Lost’s greatest shock endings, we realized we’d been the pigeon in a most cleverly constructed con job. We were going to have to care about this guy whether we wanted to or not, because we had seen his heart and his soul laid bare in front of us, in scene after scene in this great episode.

He started as a walking metaphor, part of that black and white distraction the writers were waving in front of us at the beginning of the series. He was the bad one. It looked like Jack was All That Is Good. Jack ran the hero’s gamut in these episodes. He directed his own shoulder relocation.

He got hugged by the worshipful young girl.

He healed Sayid’s head bump.

He tenderly cradled Boone’s face and dressed his pretty wounds.

He talked Shannon off of an air deficit ledge and bought her some breathing room.

He smacked Sawyer around like a peanut bag. With the dislocated shoulder, obviously.

He was pretty much a god by this point in the story.

Sawyer was just there as a foil, the fulfillment of a fanboy’s fantasy, where the sexy bad boy gets put in his place every episode, to keep shining up the gleam on the hero’s halo. In this episode, that fantasy got popped. Damon Lindelof’s commentary on the Season One dvd set shows how deeply he’d worked these characters out.

?
The lines of Calvinist morality began to blur really fast. I mean, if the bad guy isn’t so bad, and the good guy isn’t so good, then what was the point of those friggin black and white stones? Those stones they kept waving in our face were the first sleight of hand in this magic show.

Maybe they had a different trick up their sleeve: Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel.

Abel was All That Is Good. But he got killed. By Cain. Who went on to have lots of kids, who multiplied and begat through the eons to become….the human race. I almost wonder if Adam and Eve weren’t another mislead, pointing us not to some tricky dicky puzzle answer, but to this drama of brothers instead.

This ancient fable has been nuanced into something totally different in modern interpretations of it. In the movie version of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, All-Good Abel is portrayed as a self righteous tightass, while Cain is

….James Dean. Le Bad Boy Originale. (I hope you’re seeing where this is headed.)

Now, aside from being a Commie hater who wouldn’t share, Sawyer really hadn’t been such a bad boy in the days leading up to the torture. He gave up the laptop battery when asked, for just the price of a “Please”. He climbed the tree and set off the signal rocket, even after Kate ditched him. Truth is he was always a pretty civic minded citizen. Sure, he’d taken a page from Ayn Rand’s guidebooks and done the hard work of stealing all the natural resources for his own personal profit, but it don’t seem right to judge a guy for something as all American as that.

Especially if we’re not going to judge a guy for enabling something as reprehensible as this.

When this episode aired, stories of the torture at Abu Ghraib Prison were still surfacing in the American media. The US had opened its own tropical torture chamber at Guantanamo Bay, but the American public had conditioned itself, almost overnight, to accept that torture in the hands of the righteous was somehow magically transformed from something evil to something good. On the TV show 24, torture was almost a feel good thing for audiences. It was entertaining and everybody enjoyed it!

So maybe it’s not a surprise that fans greeted Lost’s big torture scene as apathetically as they have, even though it was a perfect miniature of the whole moral quandary. We watched as unfounded suspicions were allowed to breed

and violence was encouraged.

Extraordinary rendition of the subject.

The abdication of all moral authority.

And finally the act of inflicting unbearable pain on another human being in order to get them to tell you what you want to hear,

whether they can give you the answers you want or not.

Personally I think that the ethical issues of having a doctor assist in torture, of an innocent man no less, are rather profound. Certainly they were topical at the time Confidence Man aired. However, it’s rarely discussed. It’s accepted that both Jack and Sayid tortured Sawyer, yet somehow only Sayid had anything to repent. Apparently the Sayid part of the torture was spiritually devastating, but the Jack part was just a stress reaction from the overworked doc.

Not even human torture could dent Jack’s halo. At least not in Season One.

By now we’re years removed from the facile interpretations of Season One. We know that this isn’t a story about the great White Jack and the nasty Black Sawyer. We accept that Lost’s moral universe is permanently gray. But what is the importance of the rivalry between Sawyer and Jack? How meaningful was Sawyer’s line in The Moth that “we ain’t that different”?

By now we’ve seen Sawyer become a hero a couple of times over, and we’ve seen Jack hit a couple of bottoms on the rocky road to his destiny. They’re not exactly changing places on the moral seesaw.

They’re hanging in a kind of balance.

I tried to see what other symbolic clues might have been buried in these episodes about Free Will and the value of making choices. As always, eyes were important.

Sun got the one eye opener of The House of the Rising Sun and Charlie got the slightly less typical two eye opener. When Charlie visited clean and sober Liam in Australia, the brothers were seeing the world through opposite colored glasses.

Drug addicted Charlie was still in the dark, but Liam’s vision had been made clear.

There was a minor Bug theme in the first two episodes, but I don’t think we can make anything of it.

Bees did appear in Egyptian tombs, and were known as the “tears of Ra”, but I think that’s a stretch. In Christian allegory a queen bee sometimes represents our old friend the Virgin Mary. And, at the risk of drifting into apophenia, it could be suggested that the bees were a reminder that when Adam and Eve did the bad deed, one of their many, many punishments was to have to inhabit a world where among their many afflictions, obnoxious itchy, stinging bugs would eat them alive for the rest of their lives.

But one of the cleverest, and subtlest, clues in this series of episodes was the number Three.

Charlie confesses to three sins of the flesh.

Locke gives Charlie three chances to quit his drugs.

Each of the three episodes features a major song: Willie Nelson’s “Are You Sure” plays over the separation scene at the end of House of the Rising Sun, The Blind Boys of Alabama’s “I Shall Not Walk Alone” plays over the closing montage of Confidence Man and of course in The Moth, we heard the Rock God’s one hit wonder, that immortal, unsingable classic “You All Everybody”.

You all, everybody

Acting like you’re stupid people

Wearing your ‘spensive clothes
You all, everybody – Drive Shaft
(Just in case you needed a memory refresh.)

There are three Star Wars shoutouts:

In The House of the Rising Sun, Han Sawyer repeats Han Solo’s line from the cantina scene, “well, that’s the real trick, isn’t it?”

In The Moth, Charlie Not-Quite-Skywalker repeats the line from A New Hope when he comes to save Princess Jack, “I’m here to rescue you.”.

And in Confidence Man, Hurley fluffs up one of Jack’s many heroic mini-feats by calling it a “Jedi moment”.

And then there’s the whole business that starts in House of the Rising Sun and runs all the way through the reason Sayid wants to torture Sawyer in Confidence Man – the failure to triangulate the signal.

This was the kind of Sayid McGyver moment that abounded in the first season. I certainly never analyzed what the hell he was doing. I just figured it made sense to whoever understands that kind of thing. But it turns out it doesn’t actually take three signal points to do what Sayid was trying to do here. It takes two.

Angles are measured from points A and B, to determine the distance d to the target. There’s no third measuring point. But, hey, come on. It’s not as if this show is being written by rocket scientists.

Seriously, I’m pretty sure someone on the writing staff realized they were using the wrong terminology for what Sayid was trying to do, but they chose to write it like that anyway. There was a reason Sayid’s project needed to have Three signal points. Three is a common literary device in Western literature – three wishes, three witches, three Gods in the Trinity. But why was Three so important in this story, at this time?

Duh. It’s because Triangulation is how you make a Triangle!

And no matter how much the romance hating nerds in the audience may grumble in the nerd corners of the Lost fandom, the Triangle is a story point as big and as baffling and as much a fixture in this story as is the Smoke Monster or the Temple or the big broken foot. You don’t go to all the trouble these writers did just to set up an irrelevant diversion. The problem is that we still don’t have any idea what importance the triangle could be serving. Even now, after we’ve watched the triangle become the basis for the most contrived finale plot twist in Lost’s illustrious history, the question begs an answer. Why did they do this to us?

Maybe the clues were there back then and we missed them, along with all that Three stuff. Maybe we have to go take another look at Adam and Eve’s tale of woe.

In Genesis when Adam and Eve were driven out of paradise, they realized for the first time that they were naked, and it was not a pretty sight.

Genesis 3: 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked;

But the thing is, you see, before The Fall, when Adam and Eve were still in the Garden of Eden, before they’d screwed the whole thing up, they weren’t ashamed to be naked at all. Until Eve ate the forbidden fruit, sex was a good thing!

Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

From the beginning, Sawyer and Kate’s story had an entirely different tone from Jack and Kate’s. Where Jack and Kate’s story was more like a tv dinner than a tv romance, Sawyer and Kate was a recipe that started from scratch. Theirs was the classic romantic setup – they couldn’t stand each other. He was a crude, lewd redneck and she wouldn’t give him the time of day.

(Pay no attention to all those penis shaped bananas.)

Jack and Kate were portrayed as longing for one another, when they’d known each other a few days.

We saw him mooning over her mugshot.

We watched Kate dig for Jack like her husband of 20 years was buried beneath the rocks.

We watched them sit shyly at the fireside like an overgrown Kevin and Winnie.

But the one thing we never watched was them getting to know one another. We were just told to accept that they met a few days ago and they just love each other now, mkay?

With Sawyer and Kate all the exploration and discovery happened right in front of us. Kate wanted to know more about Sawyer. What book was he reading? She finds out Sawyer’s reading a book …

… About Bunnies! And not the white rabbit kind either. We all know what bunnies like to do!

Sex was always a part of Sawyer and Kate’s story. Jack and Kate were so chaste that Jack couldn’t admit to checking out Kate’s ass even when she was practically begging him to.

And even though he totally was.

But Sawyer was direct with Kate. He told her flat out what he wanted. He wanted a kiss.

And he wasn’t kidding. He wanted it so bad he’d damn near die to get it.

Kate’s discoveries about Sawyer are paced throughout the episode.

First she encounters him naked. Completely exposed to her. And she doesn’t look away.

Later, she tries to get him to confess to stealing the inhalers. She’s convinced herself she understands him. But she insults him when he asks for the kiss, thinking it’s a joke, and finds out more about him than she had ever bargained for.

There is intimacy in the angry way Sawyer forces his life story into her hand.

Intimacy in the way she reads his own childish scrawl out loud to him.

And there is intimacy in their kiss some hours later.

No one on the Island is more lost than Sawyer is at the moment Kate finally kneels to kiss him. It’s a beautifully shot scene – Lost’s first, and still greatest, kiss. The jungle sounds add to the bizarre sultriness of the circumstances. Just as they are about to kiss, a jungle bird calls out, and it’s almost like the way a saxophone wails at sexy moments in movies. It’s shocking when Sawyer pushes his tongue into her mouth, so carnal.

But it’s even more shocking when instead of pulling back horrified and wiping her mouth off, Kate pauses and then dives in for as much as she can get.

Why does she do that? It’s not like they’re drunk in the backseat of a car. She’s soul kissing the creep who won’t give up the asthma medicine, even though he is tied to a tree in the jungle of mystery getting tortured by a gen-u-wine Eye-raqi. It’s not what you’d call ideal circumstances for a make out session. So why does Kate kiss Sawyer like that?

Will this most-rewound-scene in-Lost-history mean anything in the future of the story? We don’t know, but we do know that this is the kiss that woke the sleeping frog, or whatever the fairy tale metaphor would be – the kiss that woke Sawyer out of his spiralling spell and put him back on the road to being human again. And it was Kate who woke him.

She got the truth out of him, in more ways than she’d ever expected.

When the kiss is over, and Sawyer survives the stabbing he takes next (this episode also marked the beginning of one of Lost’s most hallowed traditions – Sawyer getting the shit beat out of him), Kate doesn’t hate him. In fact, after realizing that he is so fucked up that he just let himself get tortured over something he didn’t have, Kate spent time working out more clues about him, discovering all by herself his deepest, darkest secret.

At first Sawyer confesses to Kate, opens up. He’s honest and vulnerable.

You can almost see the little boy in him, the one who saw his parents’ brains blown out right before his eyes. Then something terrible happens. He sees that Kate feels sorry for him.

Her pity enrages him. He shuts her out again, as quickly as he let her in.

As much as Kate has learned about Sawyer, and it seems like quite a lot at this point, she has barely touched the surface.

The bond they feel as an instinct in this episode won’t be processed by either of them for a long time. It’s a slow brew we’ll get to enjoy throughout the first and second season, because the pacing of Sawyer and Kate’s story is done magnificently in these first years.

Sawyer and Kate shared another connection at this point in the story. We saw how John Locke was later inhabited by an alien persona. But Sawyer and Kate had him beat. Long before the story started, they were both old pros at being someone else. Interchangeable identities were nothing new to them.

And talking about interchangeable identities, remember Scott and Steve? They’re essential Lost trivia for the true fanatic. This was it – their moment of glory!

Which was Scott and which was Steve? I know some of you out there probably know the answer to that question, but really, does it matter? We can choose whichever we want and it makes no difference at all. Nonetheless, as the survivors adapted, choices continued to be made. Some chose to make the best of a bad situation.

Sun chose to stand up to Jin and finally wear some comfortable clothes.

Sayid chose to take responsibility for his heinous acts, because unlike Jack, he understood that the torture hadn’t been Sawyer’s choice. It had been theirs.

This was the moment that won over the audience to Sayid, I think. Long before we knew anything much about him, we respected him. He was a little bit evil, but at least he had integrity.

Sawyer chose not to burn his letter.

It might have made a difference if he’d burned it, but then again, probably not. The letter that Jacob made him write couldn’t be destroyed with a cigarette lighter. Just the fact that Sawyer was considering burning it was a sign of hope. But the letter still had work to do. The 2009 finale returned to this letter, and its significance has since soared much.

This letter wasn’t just the device being used to work out Sawyer’s redemptive arc; it was the source of Sawyer’s whole vicious circle, the Fateful unchosen act that had landed him, like all the others, on this Island of ever deepening Mystery. The Island where his nemesis would suddenly appear before him, brought there by … a wishing box. Sawyer made a lot of bad choices to twist his life into the mess he was in, but knowing all that we do now, it’s hard to see how Free Will was anything more than a peripheral player in his story.

So that battle continues, and in my opinion it’s a toss up where the writers plan to come out on it. Are our characters all puppets being driven uncontrollably, uncomprehendingly, down a path that’s been fated and determined for them from the start? Or will this be a quixotic victory for that scrappy and unpredictable little underdog, Free Will, to tumble Fate on its ass and create its own freely chosen outcome?

I’m not putting up any bets on this one.

From TVFrenzy:

  • Jamie

    Great essay. Id forgotten a lot about these early episodes. I guess now would be the best time to watch them all over again.

    Agreed that Sawyer has been the heart of the show for a long time. And wow I didnt remember how clunky and obnoxious Jack and Kate were written right in the beginning. But its all coming back to me now. Verbally copulating, psh. I still dont totally understand the triangle on this show but I do think Sawyer and Kate have the far better story and are probably the ones being set up for a second go ’round this season. No idea what Jack and Kates story will turn out to be, but Im with you in hoping they arent the skeletons in the cave. If Jack dies in the end hell probably die alone.

    Interesting catch on the Mary statue.

  • Jack

    Great essay, but still… Jack rules, he’s the tortured soul of the show. Sawyer’s great too, because its Lost, and pretty much all characters are so deep and real. Anyways, Jack and Kate for me have been the ones that are so deeply in love, but are so conflicted, that they make it all interesting. Best couples: 1. Des and Penny 2. Jack and Kate 3. Sawyer and Juliet 🙁

  • Mack

    Your observations are always insightful and highly enjoyable. Keep them coming, brotha.

    • SeeYouOnMadMen,Phil

      She’s a sista, dude!

  • Casey

    Love the Doctor Who shout out!

    Love your recaps too. Very perceptive.

  • Casey

    Oh yeah, and the black and white stones. It matters not whether Adam and Eve are Jack and Kate. What matters is how the stones got in the possession of Adam and Eve. We’ve been clued in that there is a time travel element to this Adam and Eve thing, so the general idea is that some couple will end up in the past with the stones. What I want to know is how the stones got back in time with them.

    Okay, if it’s Jack and Kate we can just say that when they went back in time, the stones went with them. As you pointed out, we haven’t seen the stones again. I find it hard to believe Jack put those in his pocket, kept them there for 100 something days, left the Island for 3 years, came back to the Island toting dead Locke and, “Oh, by the way, I’d better take those two rocks with me that I found 3 years ago. Otherwise the time loop fails and everyone dies.”

    Basically, how do the stones get back to the Island and go back in time and end up in Adam and Eve’s possession? And how does this fit a reboot? A Jack that landed safely at LAX would not have ever found the stones.

    Of course this all hinges on the idea that the stones will go back in time with whoever becomes Adam and Eve. I guess a simpler explanation would be that Adam and Eve, whoever they may be, found the stones in the past, died, Jack finds them and then goes about his business, never bringing them up again. Of course, this is LOST and that would be way to simple. And kind of anticlimactic.

  • spinflip

    You need at least 2 points to triangulate a signal, but you could also take more, why not? Especially with the improvised and probably very imprecise equipment.

  • Ambivalentman

    I absolutely loved your take on the first episodes of LOST, fishbiscuit. Very insightful, even if I can’t agree with everything you have to say. Your take on Jack and Kate is troubling for me. I agree their romance was fast, but it was also a relationship of convenience, too. Both of them needed something/someone to latch onto to give their lives some sort of meaning. Jack is lonely and without direction. Kate wants so badly to be grounded, but can’t trust enough to settle into a relationship. Besides, when people are in crisis situations, they often do make attachments. Look at Charlie and Claire for example, or Sayid and Shannon.

    Two different types of relationships exist in this love triangle, which makes it an effective storytelling device. Jack and Kate are a relationship that exudes comfort and desperation. Sawyer and Kate are a relationship teeming with passion and loyalty. Neither are bad. It reminds me of “Casablanca,” with Kate playing the role of Ilsa, Jack playing Victor Laslo, and Sawyer playing Rick. Ilsa wanted to be with Rick, but she chose Victor because she knew she needed to stand by her man during his pivotal time.

    In the end, Kate will choose Jack, but she will want Sawyer.

    • Corey

      Man would that be depressing. I have a huge crush on Kate and I’d hate to see her in a stand by your man scenario. Ihave a feeling not all these characters are going to get happy endings anyway, so at least one pairing in the triangle should get a happy one. I think she does love both of them but I’ve watched a lot of TV in my days (probably too much) and if I had to guess I’d say Sawyer is the one who gets the girl. They got that big love scene and then were separated and both tried to make it work with other people but failed because of each other, Jack flipping out over Kate doing favors for Sawyer, Juliet flipping out over Sawyer calling Kate Freckles and looking at her. In my experience the couple that starts out together and then divides usually gets back together in the end. But with Lost, who the hell knows.

      I will say that I dont want to see Kate and Jack doing a love scene together. I like Matthew Fox and I dont mind their scenes together but that’s just something I can’t picture. It seems wrong somehow. If theres going to be more sex on this show I think itll be Kate and Sawyer or no one.

      • Zoriah

        My problem with this take is that it makes Kate nothing more than an ego prop in Jack’s great destiny story. You say the relationship exudes comfort and desperation. Comfort for whom? Over the seasons it’s been shown again and again that Kate gets very little out of their arrangement. He judges her, treats her like crap, expects her to back his every decision and give him rallying support when he’s suffering from his insecurities. Whenever she steps out of line or pops his illusory image of her being solely devoted to him he wigs out and turns into a nasty sob. I agree with the desperation though. And I personally think Kate’s finally outgrown him and had her blinkers taken away after many seasons of blind hero worship. Someone said this before and I agree, that Jack seems to be looking more for a personal trainer/coach, than an equal romantic partner.

        The idea that Kate needs to be the loyal good little woman and stand by (and behind) Jack seems awfully chauvinistic and outdated in this day and age.

        I’m hoping that Kate can lend support to Jack as a close friend when he needs it while still being able to claim what her heart truly wants, which IMO is Sawyer.

        I’d like to see Kate process the lessons the island has given her about commitment, true sacrifice and reconciling outward appearances with true inner character. Her story seems to have been about finding balance, learning to not run from her fears and insecurities and from herself. This chick is flawed, dark, and not really cut out to be the meek doctor’s wife in middle class suburbia.

        Let’s hope the show allows her to continue to develop her own agency and independence within the larger storylines while allowing her to finally confirm the romantic choice she made back in season 3.

        Still, if your ending pans out Ambivalentman, I agree that Sawyer’s Rick. And that’s where the true love story lies.

    • Ament

      We all remember Kate after Jack brought Juliet back to the beach. She messed around with Sawyer because she was hurt by Jack. It was clear at that point she cared and lusted over Sawyer but it is actually Jack that she hurts for.

      Kate’s episode with the cop fiance defines her relationship with Jack and Sawyer. Except instead of the choice in love interests it was between settling down and staying on the run which happens to be complete opposite choices as with Jack and Sawyer. When she was on the phone with the Marshall, you can tell she wanted to settle down (Jack) but the Marshall knew that would never happen and she would always run (Sawyer). Picture and ending to Kate’s character where after years of being on the run, which is what is always portraited to us, she finally settles (Jack). Now that would make Adam and Eve more symbolic, especially with her quote “I don’t want to be Eve” meaning I don’t want to settle down, but eventually does.

      • Jenna

        That is a total misinterpretation of the episode “I Do.” Kate’s running away in the flashback from her husband Kevin was specifically contrasted to her STAYING in her cage, choosing not to run, committing to Sawyer on the island and staying by his side. She got literally married in her flashback, but still couldn’t commit. She got symbolically married on the island, making love to Sawyer in an episode the writers pimped the hell out of, and DID stay with him even though she knew both their lives were in danger. It’s not that difficult of a parallel. She was conventionally happy and had reasons to stay in Miami, but she didn’t. She was in danger and had reasons to run on the island, but she didn’t.

        From Carlton Cuse in the DVD commentary for that episode –

        “In the meantime, the parallel on the island is, she and, you know, you have Kate and Sawyer, who are these two characters who are obviously really, there’s this incredible thing happening between them, and yet both of them I think are afraid of, you know, this sort of intimacy and kind of connection, and they’re drawn to and also sort of afraid of the feelings that they have between each other at the same time.”

        “It was great, I mean, you think about it, you know, in a show in a television show to basically go 55 hours before two characters who are in love with each other actually finally consummate and make love. It’s really amazing. And I think it was just as a starting point of the relationship really kind of deepening it and existing in a different level. It was really a great scene.”

        He also said this in an interview –

        “I think that Kate is going to really be an interesting character this year because she is going to finally make a romantic choice and a commitment. This is a character who has been very afraid of commitment.”

        I find it very strange that you would try to define Kate’s relationships with Jack and Sawyer as being about running or staying put. So far, the only scenes where we’ve actually seen her stay all night in a man’s arms both happened with Sawyer. It was implied she must have done the same with Jack off-island, but we never saw it, so forgive me if I don’t think it’s all that important in the grand scheme of things. Real romantic couples have their intimate moments shown to the audience.

        How come those who expect Jack and Kate to end up together always have such bizarre interpretations of storylines that weren’t all that hard to understand in the first place? This misreading of “I Do” is a case in point.

        • Ament

          Maybe my opinion wasn’t to detailed and it may make things a bit difficult to explain regarding Kate’s flashbacks, and yes i’m sure I am reading a little too deep into it, but it makes sense at least to me.

          The characteristics that I take from somebody that “settles down” is grounded, secure, doesn’t take risks, a planner, and confident in their choices which is why I suggested that settling would represent Jack because those are a few characterisitics I see in him. Now a person who doesn’t want to settle might be wild, impulsive, carefree, and takes risks which are a few characteristics I see in Sawyer. It’s really not that bizarre.

          Now to dive into it a little further this past season I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to notice that her feelings for either one of them weren’t as strong or clear as in the past. Why do I think this? Easy the characterisitics that she may have fell in love with in both Jack and Sawyer were…kind of reversed. “The Incedent” makes this clear when Jack became the impulsive one, no real plan, and didn’t want to settle, where Sawyer was the content one in Dharmaville and didn’t want change, became grounded, and who wanted to settle. Kate gives Jack the same “who are you” look she gives Sawyer when Jack explains how he wants to continue Daniel’s plan and reset everything while Sawyer wants to leave the island and settle on the mainland with Juliet.

          Hopefully it makes more sense.

  • MoniquE

    I have to agree with Fishbiscuit, ambivalenman. I think what you’re describing might be what they were trying to do, but it was an epic fail, and I think she put her finger on exactly why. Jack and Kate were done in such a fake way. They never made any believable basis why they would turn to each other, especially Jack to Kate. They rushed it, and there wasn’t even any reason to do it. Also, if Kate ends up with Jack the way Ilsa ended up with Laszlo, that is too sad to even think about. I always hated that ending.

    Great recap again, Fish. I am getting addicted to these things. I think it really is helping me to reprocess Season one again, and I think it’s the perfect time to do that.

  • SaintFocker

    Once again an incredible recap, Fishbiscuit. While I don’t agree with everything you put across you still have the most entertaining recaps and insights, and their the only ones I’m actually following during this recap extravaganza all the sites seem to be having. Keep up the awesome work! Look forward to the coming posts…

  • Zoriah

    Thanks Fish for another insightful and enjoyable recap. I am a huge fan of Confidence Man. I think it was an awesome character study. Not just of Sawyer, but also of Jack, Sayid and Locke. Locke’s manipulation of Sayid was masterful, what a magnificent bastard (I was one of the ones arguing it was Locke all along back then, and I recall the debate being rather heated). The cracks in Jack’s ‘great upstanding guy’ veneer were appearing more and more. And Sayid was looking for a scapegoat for having been brutalized himself.

    Sawyer choosing to allow himself to be that scapegoat…it was intense.

    I always thought it was amazing that Kate stayed so stubborn, really needed to figure this guy out. I loved that she alone realized that he was hiding the tragic truth from her of his story. This guy was drenched so deep in self-loathing they could have made a cologne from it.

    The kiss was sizzling and remains one of the most memorable on TV for the past decade for me. I remember thinking this was such a raw, emotionally powerful moment, Sawyer’s face there — anguished, longing for some kind of connection. And in the end they both had formed one, whether they bargained for it or not.

    The House of the Rising Sun was interesting, I loved gaining more insight into Sun, and her marriage with Jin. Of course, we wouldn’t know until much later how Sun herself was responsible for much of what lead to the problems in their marriage.

    Gotta love the way the writers continually stripped down our first impressions and assumptions and made us re-evaluate our perspectives. It’s what made and STILL MAKES Lost such a compelling show imo.

    The Moth was probably the weakest episode for me of the bunch, but then again I am not a huge fan of Charlie’s back stories. I do think it was bitterly ironic now, looking back, that he was the unsung hero then and always would be.

    I loved that the writers threw in that line about how Sawyer and Jack weren’t all that different when it comes down to it. It was rather prophetic in terms of Jack showing his much darker, more douchey side over the seasons, and Sawyer showing that he not only had a heart and could care about people other than himself but could become a real bonafide hero when the need called for it. Great character evolution on both sides, IMO and it was awesome to hear Damon’s talk about the writers’ intentions there in the DVD commentary clip you linked to.

  • NicoSpitsJive

    Very well-planned essay; thoroughly enjoyed it… until it became a love letter to Sawyer-&-Kate 😉

    While I love that such an expansive story as LOST can be used as a tool for divining personalities of its fans (srsly, pretty cool!), I’m a little miffed when an argument is made for any one character being inherently good or evil (typically Jack and Sawyer). The entire story and cast of characters are full of depth and are tortured, each filled with black and white light, if you will. I really think that’s the whole point; and a point that can be applicable to real life. We always make ourselves the heroes (even subconsciously) and our opponents are villains to some degree — so it only makes sense that the characters we can most see ourselves in are the characters we view the most good in.

    I feel as though the writers are focusing on both choice and destiny with the potential season 6 opener illustration of both timelines (with and without the effects of Jughead) will probably be the emphasis on this topic. Maybe we’re never supposed to know. Maybe it isn’t the knowing that matters. I mean, it’s always been a show that we’ve collectively felt very involved in (very easy to relate to), but if the producers/writers opt for either choice OR destiny as an ultimate answer they could easily alienate about a large portion of their viewers. Who knows what will happen? I don’t think this is a question that can be answered. It shouldn’t really be a question.

    I just know two things; 1.) awesome essay, Fishbiscuit, and 2.) I can’t wait for season 6.

    xoxo

  • DM

    With all this boring relationship talk, I’m just kind of curious if any of you paid attention to the episode in season five that dealt with the whole triangle crap.

    If you’re looking for a model of comparison, I’d turn to “Fathers and Sons” by Ivan Turgenev. I’d also take a second to remember that Kate didn’t return to the Island for Jack or Sawyer. And Sawyer is pretty clear about how he feels about his past with Kate (it can also serve as a commentary about television romance and audience fantasy).

    Not surprised the review again takes a very myopic view of one character (Jack) only to build another (Sawyer– I won’t disagree about anything written about Sawyer; he is a fantastic character. Obviously FB believes he should end up with her, so she has paid close attention to his development.)

    • Zoriah

      It may be boring to some, but it’s an integral part of the show. Character evolution, and the development of character relationships through the inherent conflict and drama is as important to the show as the mythology. Don’t take my word for it, take that of the creators and writers who constantly say that the mythology and island setting is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

      I agree that Kate came back to the island for Aaron and Claire’s sake. I don’t think anyone here is arguing otherwise.

      This is a first season rewatch, not a run down of what happened in season five, I think I’d cut the Fish some slack.

      But since I happen to agree with her take, I’ll answer you.

      I disagree with you that the triangle is resolved. The writers have already said that Kate will choose and end up with one man at the end and the triangle will continue to the end. There isn’t a triangle if Sawyer is not a viable candidate. And considering the events of season 5, the wealth of build up of the previous four seasons, the fact that Sawyer never took his chance with Kate and thus their relationship never had a chance to be resolved (consult Sawyer’s lines to Horace in La Fleur), the fact that Juliet ended their relationship and Sawyer went along with erasing it before she died indicates to me that he is a viable candidate to return to his previous love. The first woman that he (“Mr self-loathing, brash conman, every man for himself” Sawyer) totally fell in love with.

      Sawyer admitted they probably wouldn’t have worked out back then, he wasn’t good boyfriend material then. And Kate points out he sure seems to be good material now. Interesting no? Now that Juliet dumped him and wanted to set off a bomb because she couldn’t bear to lose him to Kate knowing he still loved her, and then fell down a hole blew up and DIED hmmm, it looks like he and Kate are in a perfect position to finally be on the same page.

      They’ve both matured away from each other and had a decent shot at a different relationships which ultimately failed partly because of the other absent lover’s influence. I think the show did a good job of showing that despite his loyalty and commitment to Juliet, Sawyer’s romantic feelings for Kate were still strong enough that Juliet took note and ended it after a mere 3-4 days of the O4 being back. She saw the writing on the wall, and realised the truth of what her divorcing parents had once told her:

      “Just because two people love each other, doesn’t mean they’re meant to be together.”

      The same applies to Jack and Kate’s abortive attempts to build a life together off island.

      Fate, (or the island) on the other hand seems to keep throwing Sawyer and Kate together. Their past connections. Diane. Cassidy and Clementine. The only two touched by Jacob as children. Sawyer saying he is finally over Kate because she’s gone. Then WHAM she’s back. Kate being thrown on the sub just as Sawyer and Juliet were about to depart. If I didn’t know any better, it would seem to me that the island is a Skater. *wink*

      Perhaps we should be looking at a model like Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

      • DM

        This will be quick:
        Think about the time span of season five– for the Island crew, their story was three years. For the O6, their story was no more than a week.

        I don’t think you’re going to see kind of space necessary to tell a story in which Kate and Sawyer are together. How will Juliet’s (possible) death affect Sawyer? I think it would be extremely cheap and emotionally abortive to have the two jump into each others’ arms.

        This also ignores stubbornness we saw between Jack and Kate in the latter portion of the season (and Sawyer’s advice that Jack just go out there and get Kate back); Kate telling Jack that not everything about the past few years was bad.

        About relationship stuff being boring: I don’t care so much for the shipping. I have nothing invested in the triangle. I’m more interested in how Jack’s issues keep him from being happy (which is an interesting struggle– duty versus pleasure), Sawyer’s maturity and possible destruction, Kate’s developing selflessness, etc. And just because one finally choses does mean mean actually having that very thing. Romance will hang over these characters, but I can’t see anything but tragedy.

        FB’s rewatch reviews have drawn information from every season. I don’t think I’m out of line by mentioning season five. And as I said, the only woman good enough for Sawyer is Fishbiscuit.

        • Jenna

          I think you’re ignoring the deliberate parallels between Jack/Kate and Sawyer/Juliet. Both were romantic relationships that were more implied than shown to the audience. They were each suggested by a few scenes, but not developed in detail. (And I’m only referring to Kate and Jack’s romantic relationship, not their overall relationship – because I think that has always been developed but just isn’t meant to be sexual/passionate.) Both happened over a three-year stretch of time that we fast-forwarded through as viewers. Both ultimately ended because of the Kate/Sawyer relationship (Jack couldn’t handle Kate doing favors for Sawyer and not telling him what they were, Juliet couldn’t handle Sawyer calling Kate Freckles or just generally being around her.) Kate told Jack on the plane “Just because we’re on the same plane, it doesn’t make us together.” Juliet told Sawyer, “Just because two people love each other doesn’t mean they’re meant to be together.”

          I think those parallels are huge. Kate and Sawyer are the two whose relationship has always been romantic and sexual, developed step by step from the very beginning. Saying the writers don’t have “time” to get them back together is silly, IMO, because this is only part of the quadrangle they’ve EVER devoted serious time to. They themselves said they worried Season 5 would feel like a filler season, so to assume the Sawyer/Juliet relationship will keep Kate and Sawyer from ever getting back together, as the storyline seems to have been hinting at for a long time, doesn’t make much sense. We don’t even know what kind of time frame we’ll be dealing with next season.

          Why else would Cuse and Lindelof have talked so much about Kate and Sawyer in the recap special before the finale aired? They mentioned twice that Sawyer’s jumping from the helicopter broke Kate’s heart and she took Aaron to heal it, that Sawyer seeing Kate deliver Aaron in the jungle was a huge emotional moment, that when the two are reunited “that chemistry just locks in for both of them,” and that this throws a huge wrench in the mechanism for Juliet and Sawyer, that Kate and Sawyer have the “emotional fireworks” that S/J don’t have, etc. Why say all that stuff about a relationship that has been given closure? Why not hype Jack/Kate if that’s where they’re going, instead of saying not ONE SINGLE WORD about them?

          • MoniquE

            You’re 100% right there Jenna. It’s funny to me how the same people who analyze the show in terms of clues and patterns seem to think the romances are a whole separate thing that’s just about the psychology, mainly of the men involved. They are the ones who aren’t seeing the show as an organic whole, yet they’re the ones mocking a writer like Fish who is doing just that. The clues to the triangle are being built into the system the same way all the other clues are, but a lot of people just don’t want to see it. Not sure why, because I for one think it’s going to be an awesome payoff for everyone.

          • Ament

            With everything shown so far it boils down to Kate’s decision. After Jack seen the two of them in the cage he made up his mind in making that deal with Ben to get off the island. Sawyer jumped off the helicopter with the intent in never seeing her again. They both tried to make that decision for her which just made her feelings stronger for both of them, and she went back for both of them. If Kate doesn’t choose then it will again be one of the guys making the decision through a possible heroic act leading to a death. It’s just my specualtion, but how else does this triangle end leaving people satisfied…a hand shake between men? Kill off the remaining lead female character and have the two men dwell in misery?

  • MoniquE

    I liked how FB tweaked the fanboy geek types a little more in this review. I wish she’d done it more. One thing that was great about Season One was that all kinds of people watched it. It had more than twice the audience of Season Five. People used to watch it for the human element because it was such a great part of the show. That’s one of the best things about season one.

    DM finds sexuality and romance boring, and of course he feels the need to take a few shots at FB personally. It’s so typical. Jack’s story is about how his issues keep him from being happy? Oh poor baby! Can anyone believe this whole mysteriious story would just be about one self indulgent rich guy who deserves happiness, while other people die and are tortured and suffer all kinds of things all around him? That’s not only a myopic viewpoint, but one of the most depressing I’ve ever read. That’s what everyone wants to see. The whiny rich kid get some extra presents while everyone around him suffers horribly. Jack still hasn’t suffered any loss or pain on this show equal to what almost everyone else has.

    Since the nerd herd has drowned out almost every other perspective than their own, I can see why DM thinks this review is myopic. It doesn’t fit the mold that fanboys have decided lost has to be analyzed with. FB insists on looking at the show her own way. Imagine an original show like this being analyzed in an original way.

    • Sharktaco

      you seem to follow around DM just like he follows around fishbiscuit, monique.

      • DM

        She’s crushing, hard, dude.

        • MoniquE

          Dream on, fanboy.

          • DM

            Aren’t you a fangirl? Or is there some special fan quality for those of you who pretend to be in the margins?

  • DM

    Monique, it’s because it is myopic. I appreciate the deep analysis of Sawyer in this review. I don’t not appreciate that it comes with intentional blinders.

    “Can anyone believe this whole mysteriious story would just be about one self indulgent rich guy who deserves happiness, while other people die and are tortured and suffer all kinds of things all around him?” Yes, I can believe this, because that’s Jack’s story: a self-indulged rich white man plays hero and leads thirty-something people to death. I don’t think it’s fair to say “this person suffered more” or “this person has a better story because s/he was not privileged.” If I’m not mistaken, just about every character’s story is about “his issues keep[ing] him from being happy.”

    Kate kills her step-father because she thinks she knows what is best.
    Sawyer is driven by the death of his parents.
    Locke struggles with alienation (and a crappy father).
    Jack is a crappy leader who wants redemption for all the suffering he caused– whether it be his father’s suffering or the deaths of O815 survivors who trusted him (Jack’s redemption story did not begin until after he was rescued).
    Michael struggles with being a father.

    I don’t think duty or obligation is a personal issue. The regret to successfully complete one’s duty is a personal issue.

    I don’t find romance and sexuality boring. I find the surface level discussion of romance and sexuality boring.

    And I still don’t think the final season will give Kate and Sawyer a fair shot at a mature relationship. There’s also a huge divide between what the audience thinks Kate should have, what Kate wants, and what Kate should have (that s5 episode does a great job of quickly discussing this). These things are not interchangable as the same thing. Who knows what we will see? I have no expectations.

    • MoniquE

      DM, do you ever stop and realize what a boring perspective you have on this show? Just because it’s a regurgitation of all the fanboy online conventional wisdom doesn’t make it accurate. Groupthink got George W. Bush reelected to a second term. It shouldn’t be confused with an accurate interpretation of the data.

      I can understand why the geeks think it makes sense that no one has suffered more than anyone else. They identify so naturally with Jack, even if its subconsciously, that they can’t tell the difference between people who are killed or have a child stolen or lose loved ones in horrifying ways and a spoiled whiney doctor who constantly makes mistakes and never suffers any consequences other than self pity. But just try to step out of the bubble once in awhile. I think Fish’s perspective only seems myopic to you because you’re so unfamiliar with anyone who doesn’t parrot the exact same myopic perspective you personally are comfortable with. You don’t see m the type that’s capable of thinking outside the box, but give it a try.

    • MoniquE

      Forgot to add – what’s the fixation on “mature” relationships with the conventional wisdom crowd? What great romance on film or tv has ever been remotely mature? Not everyone wants to watch Ozzie and Harriet do the dishes (or Sawyer and Juliet cook pasta). Real romance fans want something that sizzles and burns. I don’t think someone who describes themselves, as you did, as bored by romance, is the one to judge what romance should be.

      It’s so funny how people say there’s no time to reunite Sawyer and Kate on a show where islands can disappear into thin air and people can leap randomly between different timelines. Use some imagination. I hope the writers aren’t as stuck in the mud and boring as the nerd herd that dominates online discussion.

      • DM

        Monique, I think you’re making a lot of boring claims about who I might be that really don’t match to reality. I don’t think I need to make any kind of defense, because, like most romance, I understand you’ve created a person in your head rather than seeing the person in front of you. That’s how it is, and there’s nothing more to say about it. I will say I’m not really concerned with what’ “outside the box” concerning LOST when so much of what is being addressed isn’t even relevant to the story. There’s a difference between the gaming of possibility and analyzing what has actually transpired. The two can combined to make estimates of the future, but I haven’t been in the habit of addressing that in any of these posts. And to be honest, I believe I have kept myself from doing so just to retain a bit of naivety to the twists and turns we will experience in the final episode. I don’t want to guess the end. I want them to unfold on me.

        There’s not a fixation with “mature relationships”– especially on television– nor in real life since so few people actually experience anything of the sort.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “real romance.” If you’re talking about dysfunctional relationships built on sex or some aspect of attraction (physical or otherwise), cool, I get it. Whether one has a relationship like this or one finds value in this kind of relationship for the enjoyment of voyeurism or transference isn’t something that interests me (at least concerning fans). If you’re bored during the few months before Season Six, you should read “Swann’s Way” by Marcel Proust (if you haven’t already.) You will see an interesting treatment of romance and love triangles and the perspective one gains with distance. Then you might want to think about how some of the ideas from the book could be used to read the romances on LOST. I still think “Fathers and Sons” by Ivan Turgenev also fits this as well.

        Then I’d also find a dictionary and look up the word “myopic.”

        • DM

          by “final episode,” I meant “final season.” And I also made something past tense that I should have, but who cares. I didn’t edit.

        • MoniquE

          like most romance, I understand you’ve created a person in your head rather than seeing the person in front of you. That’s how it is, and there’s nothing more to say about it.

          So. You’ve never met me, but “that’s how it is and there’s nothing more to say” about your amateur psychoanalysis of me. How does that trick work for you at parties, dude?

          And I hesitate to correct someone so erudite, but your first sentence there makes no grammatical sense. The subject of the final clause is “you” (meaning me) and you’re comparing it to “romance”. I trust your major isn’t English.

          Proust’s “Swanns Way”? Oh my. Honey, you DO need some fresh air.

          • DM

            It will make sense if you spend some time with Lacan.

  • spacebender

    Thank you, Fishbiscuit, for your lovingly crafted masterpiece rich with choice visuals and interconnected themes, events, and people. Due to various pressures in my own life I have been somewhat speechless, but it seems better to toss something in late rather than never. Although my heart hurts for Jack, I largely concur with your description of the relational dynamics between him and Kate and Sawyer.

    For several seasons I have longed to see a redemptive arc — any beginning of healing for Jack’s profoundly crippled (angry, avoidant, reactive) soul, but unfortunately it has not been furthered by his relationships thus far, neither with Kate nor Juliet, because every time he gets to a crucial junction, it seems he just he opts out — walks away, detaches, rages, possesses, sulks, medicates — anything to avoid facing the pain of his life. Along with and perhaps because of this, the effect of relationship with Kate doesn’t seem to bring out the best in him; his physical heroism is not accompanied by a willingness to assess where he has been and walk a different path. His intentions (fixing and rescuing) are (ostensibly) noble but his unresolved “issues” warp his actions and distort his outcomes.

    In contrast Sawyer, in a very imperfect yet genuine way, allows himself to be reached, to be transformed — even amid his flawed choices and even by all the crazy-scary-outrageous stuff that happens on the mysterious Island. Along with and perhaps because of this, the effect of relationship with each of these two women (themselves very imperfect and responding to the significantly unresolved content of their own lives) seems to have a profound effect of bringing out his greatest virtues. He is the anti-hero who was not diminished by suffering, but instead made whole — reborn. As a leader, his actions seem more an outcome of a desire to serve rather than to control. Jin and other characters have undergone a comparable process.

    But so far redemption of the heart has eluded Jack, for whom suffering has diminished him in ways terribly painful to watch over these past 5 seasons, to the point where he himself has become something of a cautionary tale, an example of “what not to do” or become. Even his newfound “purpose” (altering the timeline) feels more like the manic controlling flipside to passive detachment. Perhaps I am missing something, but it seems he is still being blown about as much as ever by the winds of his reactive condition. There is no peace inside of him; his choices are still hooked into (thus permeated by) the troubled subterranean roots of his unresolved “issues”.

    Ultimately it’s painful because most of us (at least I believe most) want so much more for him. No matter how repulsed at some of his choices, we still care greatly about what happens to this hero who has been relentlessly deconstructed, systematically broken down without renewal. We long for a redemption that touches and heals the roots of all the losses and rejections that have so mercilessly driven him to the brink –a reconstructive process that so far has been elusive as the White Rabbit in Season 1.

    And, confident in the as-yet unrevealed trajectory mapped by Lost’s exceptional writers, for this we need only wait for Season 6.

  • Rosie

    Oh great! Now that Juliet is dead, it’s time to renew the crap of “Who Will Kate Choose”?

    Who cares? Why on earth should anyone care whom a screwed up murderess/kidnapper like Kate Austen will choose as her mate? If Lindenhof and Cuse had any decency, Kate Austen would die a gruesome death before Jack or Sawyer get stuck with her. She isn’t worthy of either of them. And the fact that a fuck up like Kate is the show’s main leading lady isn’t helping matters.

  • DRush76

    [Why the rush job with Jack and Kate? That question was irking me the whole time I was rewatching House of the Rising Sun and The Moth. Didn’t these talented writers realize that there is no such thing as a prefab love story, that romance has to be a slow brew, that they had to tease and charm and woo the audience before we’d slowly start to crave some consummation?]

    Kate and Jack’s romance has never really been a rush job. It just seemed like that on the surface. I had come to a realization, last season, that it was inevitable it would be those two. Not because they were hooked up from the beginning. I realized this because despite being tagged as a “couple” from the beginning, they went through a lot of bullshit over the past five seasons. Kate had to stop idealizing Jack and trying to please him. Jack had to let go of her. It took them five to six seasons to do this. Yes, they still love each other. But . . . not in that stupid and immature way they did, in the previous seasons.

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  • rosie1843

    What an annoying article. Talk about blatant Kate/Sawyer propaganda.