I liked this episode more than I probably should have. And Jen? She says “LaFleur” is comfortably within her top ten favorite episodes of “LOST” ever. While I wouldn’t go quite that far, obviously “LaFleur” clicked for us — even when it probably shouldn’t. After all, last week’s episode only covered a couple of weeks, chronologically, yet felt both rushed and by-the-numbers. Tonight we get an episode that not only spans three years, but jumps back and forth relentlessly. It played games with our expectations, and it gave us even more new characters. But somehow it worked. It had heart. It had velocity. It had everything from the four-toed statue (sort of) to Jin speaking English. And Sawyer? Why hasn’t this guy been in charge from the beginning?
While we’re largely treated to a Dharma Initiative history lesson, the shadows of the larger arc are always looming. Faraday promising himself that he “won’t tell her” (hoping to prove false his assertion that “whatever happened, happened”) to the fantastic encounter with the mysterious Richard Alpert. Juliet reminds us that her people, her time, were post-Dharma… and that both “The Incident” and “The Purge” lay ahead.
But the character interactions were the best part of “LaFleur.” And Josh Holloway sold every scene. From blowing Richard Alpert’s mind to settling down with Juliet, from selling Horace a tall tale to rising to be the town sheriff, Sawyer shined. I lamented, when we saw Sawyer and Juliet spooning in bed, that we were moments away from Kate showing up and ruining it all. And when Sawyer finally saw Kate step out of Jin’s van, Jen said, “If Sawyer leaves Juliet for Kate now, I’m going to stop watching.”
Well, not really. But it’s surely a testament to the performances of both Josh Holloway and Elizabeth Mitchell (who looks great as a mechanic, by the way) that we needed only that scene on the dock by the sub to believe just how well things worked out for them “three years later.” One episode sold them as a couple. While the “love triangle” (or quadrangle or whatever) will inevitably return, for the moment I’d like to pretend it won’t.
There are more than a few questions raised by “LeFleur,” of course. Why did Alpert want Paul’s body? The Island obviously works some magic with the deceased. Where does the smoke monster fit in? Alpert suggests with some dismay that the sonic fence is an effective deterrent, so perhaps it’s working in concert with the hostiles. Do we know who Horace and Amy’s son is? Jen’s of the opinion we haven’t met him yet, which is less satisfying but opens up more possibilities. I guess, if you believe Daniel, the baby was always meant to be born, but part of me likes the idea that Juliet’s intervention did change something… for better or worse.
Notes and Notions:
- The mention of “The Black Rock” was great, too. Though now I’m wondering where Charles Widmore is by this time. He said his people protected the island for three decades before Ben exiled him. If that period began around when we first met him as a young whippersnapper in the 1950s, he could conceivably still be around in the 1970s. Right?
- Loved the “needle drop” using the reel-to-reel tape player (“Candida” by Tony Orlando & Dawn). How many more music playback devices are left?
- I really enjoyed Miles’ snarkiness this episode, especially as Sawyer had to mostly elevate himself to leading man. His complaint about “the only two plans” (the beach vs. the Orchid) was quite apt.
- The Ankh necklace that Amy saved from Paul was a nice touch of symbolism. Signifying “eternal life,” its Egyptian roots also line up nicely with the motifs suggested by the back of the statue.
- Sawyer was overflowing with nicknames, but Jen’s favorite was “Enos,” which is a “Dukes of Hazzard” reference.
- Jen was also happy to see Kevin Rankin, who plays Herc on one of our other favorite shows, “Friday Night Lights.”
- So Horace and Amy had a baby. But what happened to Olivia, the woman Horace was with when they discovered Ben’s mother in Portland?
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