Thoughts On ‘Lost’ Episode 8 “Recon”

In this Sawyer-heavy episode called “Recon”, we get back to the mirroring of season one of “Lost.” Back in the first season, we learned about Sawyer’s con man ways in “Confidence Man.” In that episode’s Sawyer flashback, we see him pull off his patented stealing money from a woman and her dumb husband con, only to have him back out when he sees that they have a kid. It’s the same con that Anthony Cooper (Locke’s dad) pulled on Sawyer’s mom only to have his dad kill his mom and himself because of it. This week’s title kind of has a double meaning or so it would appear. Recon, short for reconnaissance is the mission Smocke gives Sawyer to go over to Hydra island and find out if any of the passengers from Ajira are still alive. But to me, the producers are also telling us re-con. A con man rebooted or in this case sideways.

And that’s where we start. James (no longer Sawyer in this sideways world) is once again pulling off his old scam. Except this time the woman is on to him or is she? She’s not. The scam is a fake and James is actually a cop. His partner in crime serving and protecting non-other than the sixth sense man himself, Miles. It seems the sideways world has taken two former scam artists and made them into law-abiding police officers. I really enjoyed that this episode gave us another character’s sideways storyline without having to focus directly on them. Yes, the naysayers can complain about it being too coincidental, but this is “Lost” are characters are always going to be connected no matter what universe they are in.

So, what do we know about this version of James Ford?

1. He only goes by James, not Sawyer. Meaning, he chose a different path. He decided to be a cop instead of a con man.

2. He’s still looking for Anthony Cooper, apparently the man who seduced his mother and stole their family’s money leading to murder-suicide. We see detective Ford making random phone calls trying to find him. However, it’s tough to say if it’s actually the same man because in Locke’s flash sideways, it seemed like his dear old dad might be good since Locke and Helen were going to invite him to the wedding.

3. He still wants to kill the con man who destroyed his life.

4. He’s not having any problem getting the ladies. He scores with the conned wife and a blast from the past. Charlotte looking alive and lovely in our land of the askew. The pair hook up in a one night stand, but Charlotte enrages James when he finds her rifling through his sock drawer and looking at his file on Sawyer, the con man he wants to kill. Was it just me or did Charlotte look like she knew what she was looking for in that drawer? But why? What could she want with that information? Also a side note…seeing her with James made me feel bad for poor scientist Daniel who was in love with Charlotte in the other life. Maybe he’ll get it on with Juliet in a future episode for sideways revenge.

5. Mr. Ford still has a fondness for the word “LaFleur.” It’s the safe word for the cops to barge in on his gun-toting mistress.

Eventually, Sawyer reveals to Miles that he secretly went to Australia to find and kill Anthony Cooper. Then the car they are in gets rammed by an out-of-control driver. That driver bolts for it and guess who our suspect is…Kate! Who judging by Sawyer’s “Son of Bitch” comment, he remembers from the airport elevator days earlier.

And before we move on-island. Another daddy issue solved, did you hear Miles tell Sawyer you’re going on a date with a friend of mine she works “with my dad at the museum.” Miles’ dad (Dr. Pierre Chang) is off-island and working with Charlotte. Wonder if both lived on the island in this time line and possibly know that both were involved in the dharma initiative at one time?

Now to Smocke’s recon mission. Once they reach camp with “wigged” out Claire, Kate and injured Jin, Smocke tells the others who went with him because they did not want to get killed about what happened to the people that stayed. They were killed. Smocke bends the truth and tells them it was the black smoke. Well, yes…but that was you! Smocke eventually confesses to Sawyer that he is the black smoke and it’s “kill or be killed and I don’t want to be killed.” May I say that the producers/writers are doing a fantastic job of playing Smocke and Jacob as ambiguously evil. Both seem to have evil qualities, but both seem to help at times too. Smocke killing anyone who gets in his way, smacking loony Claire in the face, while Jacob’s touch of Sawyer brought him to the island and made him choose to be a con man instead of a cop.

Smocke sends Sawyer to find the others left behind by the Ajira flight. But instead of passengers, Sawyer finds a bunch of smelly dead corpses and one woman begging for help. Ugly Tina Fey’s story immediately seems suspect and indeed it is. When Sawyer pulls a gun, she calls out her heavily armed baby-faced buddies. Widmore is on Hydra island and he brought the youngest people he could find to take back the island.

Foot note: Sawyer also reminisced at the cages from season three for a bit and spotted Kate’s old sun dirty sun dress. “Oh, maybe I do love Kate still since Juliet’s dead. I’m so duping Widmore and Smocke to rescue her from this island. Idiots.”

Kate is talking to Sayid, who is in full comatose mode, when Claire attacks her with a knife to the throat. Luckily, Smocke is near by and hurls Claire off of Kate. Then smacks Claire and tells her that was completely inappropriate. Well maybe, but you did lie to her and tell her the Others took Aaron, just so she would do your dirty work. Hhhmmm…negative points for Smocke on this one. And minus ten points for Sayid, who just sat there and watched this happen. Later, Claire gives Kate a hug and says she is sorry. Has Claire turned a corner back to the good side ala Darth Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi? Jury’s still out.

Our Hydra island friends take Sawyer to Widmore. There, they make a deal that Sawyer will bring Smocke over and they can kill him. But, Sawyer is playing both sides and tells Smocke exactly what he told Widmore. In reality, Sawyer plans to turn on both, let them go mono e mono in an all out winner takes the mystical island battle royale while he slips away on the sub with Kate.

It’s getting late so some other quick observations…

1. Smocke tells Kate his mother was crazy and that made him have a tough life with many obstacles, “things that could have been avoided had things been different.” Now, Claire is crazy and Aaron may face the same challenges. So who is Smocke really? He was once a man, we know that. But, is Smocke not only trying to get off the island, but change time as well. Could this be leading to the intertwining of time lines? I also wonder if the candidates aren’t for Jacob’s job, but Smokie’s. What if Jacob touched Smokie long ago and changed his life, just to bring him to the island to protect it, just as he had with Jack, Kate, Sawyer and the rest of the candidates. Is one of them the next smoke monster? I know I’m tired, but that’s making a whole lot of sense right now.

2. We saw Charlie’s brother Liam at the police station asking about his brother arrested on drug charges. In our regular world, Liam was clean and living in Australia. And that’s why Charlie went to Australia to find his brother and get Driveshaft back together. So, why was Liam in LA?

3. More mirrors and mirror smashing! Sawyer lets fly against a mirror just as Jack did to the Lighthouse mirrors. Plus, in almost every episode this season our Losties have stared into a mirror during their sideways stints. Through the looking glass indeed!

4. Books in Sawyer’s bedroom “Watership Down” which he took from Boone’s bags in season one’s “Confidence Man” and “Lancelot.”

5. “Little House” dropping some sage-like advice “life’s all about laughing and loving each other and knowing that people aren’t really gone when they die.”

6. What’s hidden in Widmore’s locked submarine door? Desmond? A weapon to kill Smokie? Talk about a MacGuffin.

7. And finally…kudos to Charlotte for not giving Sawyer a second chance when he shows up at her door with a sunflower and an 8 pack of beer. James have you not heard of wine or roses? Dumb ass.

Will the sideways world intertwine with the current time line? And where in the world was Juliet in this episode?

Until next weekend “Lost” fans…

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Lost and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Thoughts On ‘Lost’ Episode 8 “Recon””

  1. janice says:

    great recap—love the idea that Smokie was once touched by jacob…I’m pretty tired right now too and that’s making a lot of sense..haha I also like the Miles/Charlotte connection it makes more sense now that she would be his dad’s co-worker not Juliet…can’t wait for next week when Richard is unraveled!!!

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