Sunday, February 16, 2014

LOST Rewatch: The Long Con

With a name like this, you know the episode is about our friend Sawyer--or as Locke now knows of him as James Ford (which is his actual name, as John discovered from Hurley's airplane manifest.

And there are many other discoveries being, um . . . discovered on the Island in this episode. And most of those discoveries are internal ones, as people test their knowledge of each other.

Jack and Locke are still trapped in their never-ending struggle to one-up each other every single day. This time they are testing each other over who controls the combination to the Swan Station's gun safe--which now holds all the crash survivors guns, plus the Virgin Mary heroin statues and all of the airplane's collected medicine. Both Jack and Locke know the combination and they agree to only open the door in each others presence. (How long will this truce last? Well, a typical television episode is about 48 minutes long, so . . . )

Also, Kate and Jack are testing their romantic attraction to one another--something that has been off and on again throughout the 50+ days since the crash. Lately, though, things have been a bit rocky. Kate ignored Jack's commands in "The Hunting Party" and followed him, Locke, and Sawyer during the hunt for Michael. And her kidnapped presence became a key bargaining chip when the beardo Other captain drew his line in the "sand" telling the Lostaways to keep out. Also, Jack heard a delirious and feverish Sawyer declare his love for Kate when he was recovering from the gunshot wound under Jack's care. So, Jack has a tender heart and a bruised ego.

Speaking of bruised egos, outcasts Sawyer and Charlie are also suffering from them due to recent events. Sawyer is mad that during his absence on the raft, his medicine stash was taken by the rest of the group. And Charlie is mad that Claire and Locke don't trust him anymore and that he is seen as a baby-stealing, potentially heroin-taking nut job. (And, well, they may be right to fear that out of him, as much as I do like Charlie.)

In the Flashback, we learn that Sawyer was running another long con on some woman named Cassidy. And he tried the "breaking-open suitcase" trick that we've seen him do in previous episodes. But Cassidy immediately sees the move for what it is. And she propositions Sawyer to let her in on the action, becoming his con assistant. So, Sawyer and Cassidy work together on items, big and small. But eventually, they begin a big con that gets Sawyer mixed up with some other dudes and Sawyer has to leave her to protect her. And, given what we see . . . he seems to have loved her--at least a bit.

So, what happens in the end? After all of the questioning of each other between all of our Lostaways and after the having of all of their personalities tested? . . . The last thing that you would expect.

Sun gets attacked while working in her garden. A bag is slapped over her head and she is dragged into the jungle. She fights off her mysterious attacker and escapes, but this event throws the Beach into turmoil as they search for the person responsible.

And in the confusion that occurs around Sun's attack, we find out a few things. When Jack goes back to the Swan Station to get some guns and prepare to fight back . . . whoops . . . the guns are all gone--along with the medicine!

It turns out that Sawyer decided to pull a fast one on everyone and take the confusion of the attack to take control of all of the guns and the medicine.

A triumphant but angry Sawyer bloviates to the entire Lostaway Beach--"You took my stuff while I was off trying to save you on the raft, getting shot! But now, I'm back and I'm taking back what is mine. There's a new sheriff in town! And you better get used to it."
And in the final moments, we learn that Charlie was Sawyer's accomplice--trying to attack Sun (at least a bit) to cause the diversion that allowed Sawyer to pull off his plan. Charlie wasn't really trying to hurt Sun, but he did want to help Sawyer because Charlie wanted to humiliate Locke--who beat him up during the last episode.

So, Charlie's slide to the Dark Side seems to be progressing quickly. But next time on LOST--why does Sawyer work so hard to make everyone hate him?

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