My, my, my. The last time Lost’s favorite good ol’ boy had himself a centric episode it was called “Every Man For Himself.” How far he’s come in a mere…two seasons. That’s right. It’s actually been two full seasons plus four episodes since we got ourselves a Sawyer fix, and he’s completely finished his transmogrification from a confidence-tricking Inigo Montoya into one hell of a Dread Pirate LaFleur. Leaping before looking into wells after people he doesn’t even seem to like very much, saving damsels in distress, keeping constant vigil for the other 815ers, pep-talking Juliet into her first successful on-Island delivery, and actually being the “new sheriff in town” he snidely proclaimed himself back in “The Long Con“…James “Don’t Call Me Sawyer” Ford has settled nicely into the role of Big Damn Hero™.
Yes, on this Island you’re brave, daring, handsome, you’re someone…
And you know? Ben would know. Is there any way in Hell that Ben Linus wouldn’t have instantly recognized post-crash Sawyer in 2004 as looking and sounding the spitting image of the DHARMA Initiative’s drawlin’ lawman he must have known in his youth? Didn’t think so. We may not have seen young Ben Linus wandering around on camera, but given what we know of Ben’s chronology (born ~1962, arrived at the Island no more than 12 years old) and “LaFleur’s” (with the DI at least 1974-1977), he has to have been there by the time Sawyer drifted into town and talked his way to the top security gig.
But back to Sawyer’s heroism for a bit here. I really find myself buying this version of Sawyer. His vendetta has been carried out, his sacrifice allowed the O6 to get off the Island, his vigilance ensured that the O6 would find the other time-trapped 815ers when they returned, his quick wits and willingness to tell the truth kept the peace between the Others and DHARMA. He is now acting like more of a leader, I think, than Jack ever did. In fact, there was only one single moment in the whole episode where James acted selfishly, like the Sawyer of old, and that was when he ran out on Juliet without telling her that Jin had found their Oceanic 815 friends returned to the Island…especially Kate. Aaaaaaand we’re back in ‘shipper territory. Blast.
Am I the only one out here who actually thought that the 3-year Sawyer-Juliet pairing during DHARMA days was the single most healthy coupling on this show since Des & Pen finally found one another again, (hopefully) never to let go? Seriously, let Doctor Fix-It and Fickle Freckles have one another. They’re beyond lame and deserve one another and that would finally keep all this ‘shipper crap from getting in the way of all the amazing mythology yet to come for all the worthwhile characters. (Aside: Am I also the only one who thinks Evangeline Lilly looks kind of like a ferret? Just asking…)
OK…breathe, Sonya. I know it won’t happen, but a geeky girl can hope, right?
Well, that’s OK. We were also getting a steady stream of answers and tantalizing half-answers that more than made up for the revenge of the inane lurve quadrangle.
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…
While fellow DocArzt recapper, Fishbiscuit, beat me to the punch, I also noticed that the rope pulled back through time in Sawyer’s hand got left sticking out of the ground in some presumably ancient time after the Lostaways did the time warp again, presumably serving as the cue to its builders to build it. Much like Locke & Alpert’s compass and Faraday’s instrument settings, that rope looks like one more candidate for one common side-effect of time-loops: ontological paradox.
For those of you not wanting to go through a whole Wikipedia article on the subject, ontological paradox is one in which an item or piece of information is eternally circulating through a time loop, and therefore having neither origin nor end. Who made that compass? It gets passed from Locke to Alpert, back to Locke, who in turn hands it back to Alpert. Where did Faraday’s instrument settings come from if Faraday gave them to Desmond who gave them to Faraday’s past self? And where did the well’s rope come from if the original makers of the well used the same rope left them for them from the future, which will always be brought back from the future to be found coming mysteriously up out of the ground? You see my point?
The “grandfather paradox“—aptly named since it’s also the granddaddy of all paradoxes, the one which holds that no time-traveler can take any action which will prevent their time-trip from occurring in the first place—may not be one that can exist in the Lost universe, but the smaller paradoxes of these bits of matter or information seemingly without origin is one I think that Darlton and the other writers are going to have to address now that they’ve introduced several examples of same. And I’m confident they can. Desmond’s exceptional nature, the capabilities of the Island, Walt’s special abilities, oddly-shifting home decor…we’re clearly not in a purely deterministic, Tralfamadorian model of time here. Only mostly so. I’m willing to buy the idea that one or more of these special few could allow the past to be re-written slightly or something to enter our timeline from a “nearby” parallel one.
But in the meantime, poor, poor Dan knows full well that no matter how much he doesn’t want to be time’s bitch, he’s still somehow going to try and fail to convince a young Charlotte that she needs to never, ever come back to the Island. And he’s none too happy about it. His desperate attempt to involve temporal wildcard Desmond Hume didn’t succeed in keeping Charlotte from dying and her body from being swept away from him by the last of the time-skips, and now he’s stuck in “whatever happened happened-land.” Now the question is, can he still find it within himself to perform whatever mission it is that Mama Hawking’s been grooming him for all his life…or to even want to do it?
(By the way, to all you people nattering on about Charlotte being “too young!” to be the scampering redheaded girl we saw this episode because Ben said she was born in 1979…did it ever occur to you that she might have had falsified documents? Again, just asking…)
But now that we have evidence that several of our 815ers were actually part of the DHARMA Initiative (and remember, kids, that means they were always part of the DHARMA Initiative, even if it happened to them subjectively four months after their crash). Doesn’t that also put a whole new spin on a lot of the behavior of the Others toward the 815 survivors during the first four seasons?
Other interlopers (the US Military, the French Team, who knows who else) were wiped out without mercy, but the DI and the 815ers were granted truces and delineated territories (well, until that nasty Purge business, but what’s a few cans of neurotoxin between friends?). High-ranking Others clearly had foreknowledge which guided their dealings with these two groups. In the case of the 815ers at the end of 2004, the effort was at least in part to keep them away from any potential store of information that could reveal foreknowledge to them of their impending time travel follies while still keeping alive all those who had to be kept alive. Could you imagine if they’d found a group shot of Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Hurley, and maybe Sayid, Sun, or Frank in ’70s vintage DI jumpsuits?
Can you imagine the hue and cry among the rank and file Others too young to remember the various visits by time travelers about why they weren’t disposing of any “off-list” crash survivors?
Sooner or later, they’re going to have to show us which Others got what information when, aside from what we’ve already seen of Locke’s and Sawyer’s interactions with Richard and Faraday’s with (presumably) Eloise Hawking. I’m telling you, at the very least, there was foreknowledge of Ajira 316, given that survivors from that plane ended up in the ’70s. But I’m betting foreknowledge goes at least a little further than that, althought probably not too much further. If the foreknowledge doesn’t run out before Season 6 is wrapping up, then I’ve seriously misjudged something in my analysis of the stakes of the “game.”
Turn me to stone, do anything you want with me!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the saucy half-reveal of the four-toed statue’s full-sized glory in what I can only agree were probably ancient times going back some millennia. The Name that Egyptian Deity pool is getting awfully full, to the point where only obvious “not-its” like Bastet or Khonsu are left.
But I personally don’t even think that which God(dess) it is is nearly as important as the fact that it really does seem to be Egyptian. Those really do look like ankhs in its hands, and it does jibe with the Hieroglyphs we’ve seen scattered throughout the show in the Donkey Wheel chamber, the Smokey Summoning Room, and the Temple, among others.
That the “exit” from the Island after turning the wheel is in the middle of the African desert has also justly been connected to the ongoing Ancient Egyptian thread slowly weaving its way through the tapestry of Lost. I just don’t think we have nearly enough information at the moment to make any kind of educated guess as to whether or not the current Others are to greater or lesser degree descendent of the Ancient Egyptians (or may even be one, in Alpert’s case), or whether the Egyptians descended from the Island’s old inhabitants, or vice-versa.
All we know for sure is that some Ancient Egyptian-esque civilization at least was on the Island and built some pretty amazing things.
The telephone is ringing. Is that my mother on the phone?
We also learned for sure that, whatever happened on the Island to stop women who conceived on-Island from being able to deliver safely on-Island, happened between that last known-good birth in 1977 and Juliet’s original arrival in 2001, and it didn’t have a damned thing to do with the statue. (Sorry, folks, but it couldn’t have. That statue was long since rubble and a remaining four-toed foot by 1977.)
The way I see it, this reinforces the popular theory that it was somehow Ben’s fault and likely had to do with a tragedy involving his childhood sweetheart, Annie. If Annie’s not the first Island-slain mother, I’ll eat my hat. In fact, I’ll go out and buy a hat, roast it, put some ketchup and salt on it, and then eat it.
But it also tells us another thing…if the Island was once safe for motherhood, then it could be again. Juliet’s original task on the Island isn’t impossible after all. So, mark my words once again. We haven’t seen the last bit of time travel. Somehow, sone way, Juliet is going to get back to 2005 or later and fix things once and for all.
DHARMA days are here again
And finally, we learned that the five Lostaways who joined DHARMA in “LaFleur,” plus at least three more (Jack, Kate, and Hurley…more if we believe the teaser for 2 weeks from now) are going to be stuck in the late ’70s for at least a little while now that the Island’s record seems to have gotten its groove back thanks to the funktastic J-Locke.
That being the case, be on the lookout for the following:
1. Faraday and Dr. Chang/Candle/Wickmund/Halliwax getting together for a little cross-temporal home videography.
2. Finding out just how Horace and Olivia are related if Horace is gettin’ it on with Amy.
3. Lots and lots of Li’l Ben’s back-story. Will Sawyer or any of the others be tempted by the old “kill Hitler as a kid” idea even if it would never work?
4. Faraday yielding to the inevitable and delivering his Message of Doom™ to the redheaded moppet.
5. Some kind of future-info-download from the Lostaways either directly to the Others or else to DHARMA staff that will find its way into Other hands after the Purge.
6. All Lostaways getting the hell out of Dodge before said Purge…they know it’s coming.
7. All our Lostaways somehow reconnecting in the post-Ajira 316 “present”…but will our DHARMA-bound Lostaways have to do that the slow way?
Tune in in two weeks, true believers!
(PS: Since there’s an off-week and DHARMA’s figuring so prominently, look out for my “How to Make Your Own DHARMA Jumpsuit” post, coming soon!)