This was ostensibly a Locke episode, or at least one that caught us up on his last week on the island, but it was Josh Holloway’s James “Sawyer” Ford that lent it its power. It was absolutely key to learn that some Others think Locke is a saviour of some sort, that Ben may or may not support that idea, and that Richard Alpert is so up to something. But for all the clues and information churned out in “The Brig,” the one-on-one confrontation within is what sticks with me most.
There were obnoxiously unsubtle Biblical references tonight, from Sawyer’s bloodied, bare feet to Locke’s bearing of his father’s cross on his back. And of course Sawyer’s mother’s name was Mary. Locke’s hand wound healed fast (which Jen found reminiscent of “The Lost Boys”), and Ben suggests that his proximity is restoring his health. The fact that Ben brought the camp to the base of a pillar or shrine to sacrifice Anthony Cooper (in front of an audience, no less) was immensely creepy. Alpert implied that Ben’s relatively recent focus on fertility is a mere trifle, that there are bigger things in play. I’m certain he’s right.
There was also a lot of talk about death, of course. Anthony Cooper quite reasonably concluded he was in hell — perhaps the only explanation for coming face to face with your “dead” son mere moments after a major car crash. (It’s a good thing his crash was in Florida and not L.A., otherwise hardcore conspiracy theorists would simply explode.) Naomi fills in a few more blanks on the supposed fate of 815, including a watery grave four miles down and a fuselage full of bodies. I suspect the purgatory theory, the oldest “LOST” theory on the books, will get another round of attention… but I personally feel that the writers are specifically (and for the umpteenth time) debunking the purgatory theory by explicitly addressing it. They’ve done the same for “it’s all Hurley’s imagination” and “time travel,” but I suspect some will never give up on those theories, either.
Once again, Sayid gives us one of the most satisfying conversations of the season by merely sitting down and asking straightforward questions. I loved his reaction to Naomi telling him that Desmond, and not 815, was the target of her search. The details of her arrival — the freighter, the helicopter crash, the fancy phone — are good. Almost too good. I, for one, don’t fault Sayid for being skeptical.
Meanwhile, it’s official, no one trusts Jack, bringing us to the brink of the leadership crisis hinted at early in Season 3.
Still, it’s hard to decide just who to strangle first. Sayid, for spilling the beans to Kate, despite having the most mistrust of anyone. Kate, for running to Jack exactly 0.8 seconds after Sayid told her not to. Or Jack, for being in cahoots with Juliet. It turns out they’ve got a shared secret, one that’s relevant to possible rescue and may redeem Juliet, but given the information anyone has it’s preposterous he’d insist Juliet can be told anything.
And now that Sawyer has Juliet’s recorded message to Ben, things will likely get uncomfortable to her, and perhaps even Sun, next week.
Notes and Notions:
- What did Ben mean by saying, twice, that it was Locke who brought Anthony Cooper to the island? How so? Anthony Cooper’s story of the crash and drugs and needle have Richard Alpert’s fingerprints all over it, but how could that have been set into motion by John Locke?
- Jen’s still unclear on why the Others were so interested in Anthony Cooper’s demise. Did it matter whether Locke did it or is a Sawyer strangulation just as good? Both Ben and Alpert (who may or may not be on Ben’s side) imply that Locke needed to be free of him, but Alpert gave Locke the tool to get the job done without getting blood on his hands. Given how the island seems to look upon killers, this little switcheroo may turn out to be significant.
- Because this wasn’t a Sawyer flashback, it was probably a challenge to demonstrate how conflicted he was over confronting and killing Anthony Cooper. Yet, we felt it, right down to the guilt-ridden puke in the bushes (which Michael also did after offing Ana-Lucia and Libby). The question is, what’s next for Sawyer? We’ve come to expect that once someone’s “issue” is resolved, they’re not long for the island.
- Like Alpert, Rosseau similarly resurfaces suddenly and is up to no good. There are many, many things a crazy lady can do with dynamite. I loved that Locke warned her, “Be careful, it’s unstable.”
- “The Brig” discussions at TheFuselage.com, Lost-Forum.com, and Pop Candy