A strong episode, and one focused on a perennial favorite. While Jen has flashback fatigue for some of the original crew, she felt Sawyer’s story genuinely added more to his character. The question is, between the flashback and the island, did we see Sawyer con his way out of prison but get conned by Ben? Or perhaps we’ll later learn he was actually conned twice? And a few minutes are spared for the survivors on the beach, so we can get to know (and dislike?) Paulo better, and get further evidence of Desmond’s premonitions.
Okay, so maybe the fact that Sawyer was conning “Costanza” (I love that!) and was in cahoots with the warden was totally obvious. It was still paced and presented well, gave us another book reference (“Of Mice and Men,” wonderfully referenced again at the end of the episode), and gave us the tantalizing possibility that Sawyer could be a daddy. It would be just so trite and perfect that we simply bask in the reveal that he’s actually got a sense of honor in leaving some money to little Clementine. (Echoed on the island as Ben points out that his weak point is Kate, not self preservation.) But Cassidy’s conned him before, and it seems quite likely she conned him again. There’s definitely more of their story to tell.
On the island, Sawyer surpasses the bears in smarts in coming up with a plan to electrocute his captors, but finds out the hard way they’re being watched. Unlike the prison con, I thought Ben’s pacemaker bunny con was well done. (Given the way critters are exterminated on this show, I was starting to worry that “LOST” would end up on PETA’s hit list.) We get Kate’s utterance that she loves Sawyer… but she quickly recants. So does she, or doesn’t she? Jen doesn’t care, but forced to speculate by her husband, figures that Kate was indeed telling the truth. Me? Well, I’m no fan of Evangeline Lilly’s alleged acting ability, but something about the moment she tells Sawyer she didn’t mean it makes me believe her. Perhaps, indeed, there’s a little Jack love in her skinny little heart.
In fact, to be fair, there were some decent insights into Kate’s character tonight. Well, I thought so, anyway. From her dismay at Sawyer’s glee over Colleen’s injury, to her picking up on Sawyer’s silence and refusal to fight back — saying that his apparent need to lie is scarier than anything she’d expect from the Others.
Remember, Kate was “Born to Run.” What does it say that she didn’t?
Was Juliet’s decision to bring Jack in to save Colleen, ostensibly against Ben and Danny’s wishes, really spontaneous? Or part of a larger plan? Jen thinks it’s all on the level, and certainly the Others couldn’t have expected Colleen to be shot. It certainly adds weight to the sense that Juliet and Ben aren’t on the same page. Still, the spinal tumor X-ray makes it clear to Jack that he’s there to play spinal surgeon. And I got the feeling from Ben’s command to leave Jack to stew with Colleen’s body that he wanted to affect Jack’s psyche somehow. I think they wanted Jack to fail.
We also think that “malfunctioning” intercom is also part of the plot. He’s not overhearing anything they don’t want him to.
Key piece of dialogue tonight? Tom complaining to Ben (in that “hell in a handbasket” way) that the communications link (to the outside world?) has been down since the sky turned purple. Oh, yeah, and the mention of a submarine.
If you’re counting, “Every Man for Himself” marks the second episode out of four where Kate gets naked. “She was kinda orange, too,” Jen notes. It was gratuitous the first time, and now it’s just getting tired. (Fortunately, again, Sawyer defuses the moment, this time with a cold shower.) Anyone want to take bets on whether we’ll see Nekkid Kate a third time before the six-episode “pod” is over?
Speaking of episode titles, the explicit utterance of “Every Man for Himself” was awkward enough. To have Kate attempt to infuse the phrase “Live Together, Die Alone” with some kind of dramatic weight was downright cringeworthy.
Oddly enough, while Charlie’s snarky retorts were a fun touch in the mystical, voodoo Locke episode last week, they came across as flat and callous this week. With only a couple of lines, he was about as unlikable as golfing Paulo was. Seriously, what’s with the “new characters”? I wish they’d just Artz them and move on.
The existence of a second island was, of course, the biggest reveal. If it seemed implausible that the Others little suburban enclave could have gone undetected, a whole offshore land mass going unnoticed seems even more ridiculous. But. It’s clear we still have no idea how big the main island is. Nor do we know, frankly, if it even is an island. We only have some sketchy characters’ word that it is.
A separate island, and the prospect of a second group of Others, definitely creates some huge possibilities for the next two episodes. Yet already I’m dreading having to wait until Feb. 7, 2007 to pick up the story again.
- Love the “Pulp Fiction” call out with the giant needle, including the close up and the countdown.
- So, Juliet is a fertility doctor. Jen pointed out that Jack’s wife Sarah may have been trying to conceive. Perhaps Sarah was a patient? Perhaps Jack was picked for his spinal surgeon skills before ever getting on that plane?
- Jen also noticed one of the Others in the operating room was named Jason. That’s number three, after the guy Ana Lucia shot and the name of one of Kate’s accomplices in the bank robbery.
- Where is the Pala Ferry, or rather, where are the barracks? We heard it referenced in The Pearl orientation tape, but that was on the “main island,” along with the long pier. If you were a DHARMA worker on the main island and had to take a ferry to get home, does that imply the barracks are on another island? Possibly “Alcatraz”? Or was the Others’ quaint valley town the barracks? If so, how does the ferry figure into the daily commute at all?
- Locations: Halawa Prison, the same location used for Desmond’s flashback last season, and Makapu’u Point, the ridge above the Others’ fake camp.