Lost Round Table: “Recon”

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The sixth and final season of Lost continues and so does Tor.com’s weekly round table discussion with bloggers Theresa DeLucci, Rajan Khanna, and Bridget McGovern. Spoilers (and many Lost-related links) after the fold as I wonder what kind of woman could resist a contrite Sawyer on her doorstep offering a sad sunflower and a six-pack?

Rajan: So, Sawyer. Looking back on the series, I never expected to like him as much as I do now. He’s one of my favorite characters, and far more complex than I anticipated back in Season One. Even disillusioned, get-me-off-this-island, Earth-1 Sawyer is nuanced—he wants off, but he wants to protect his friends. And he’s playing both sides against the middle. What I enjoyed about Sawyer’s latest gambit is that he’s telling everyone the truth. And it seems to be working to his favor. Because they’re all caught up in their own agendas. We’ve been seeing people end up on either Jacob or Smocke’s side, but Sawyer is on his own side.

Still—more questions—what was in that locked room on the sub? I take it we’ll find out soon. What is Widmore really after? Sawyer says it’s Locke, but Widmore has only seemed to ever want the island. Maybe he wants to kill Smocke so he can take it?

As for Earth-2 Sawyer (or James Ford, I should say), I loved that he was a cop. I loved that Miles was his partner. The only thing better than Sawyer and Miles together is Hurley and Miles together. I loved the way they played that opening scene with him—so similar to the con we saw him work before, but so different.

And Charlotte? Wow. I didn’t recognize her at first. I thought it was a nice little callback, especially with the connection to Miles. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I hope that’s because he’s going to end up with Juliet. I hope to hell he doesn’t end up with Kate.

But we only have 8 episodes left (insert sad emoticon here) and I wonder where they’re going with this Earth-2 timeline. Sawyer meets up with Kate, but when will they have time to work through this? We still have Jin and Sayid left hanging, now Sawyer and Kate, not to mention everyone else. Will there be resolution? I almost feel like at this point this Earth-2 timeline is setting up another show entirely—next season on ABC, Lost 2: Electric Boogaloo. Actually in both Earths, it seems like the time remaining is so short and there’s a lot to get through. And next week is a Richard episode, so I expect there won’t be an Earth-2 thread.

But, there’s a bright spot—next week is not just a Richard episode, it’s the Richard episode. We get to find out all about him, his background, etc. And hopefully many of the secrets of the island. I can’t wait.

Theresa: I can’t believe there are only eight episodes left. And there’s still so much going on. I’m with you, Raj. Sawyer grew on me over the seasons, too, and I love that for as much as he’s changed as a character, he’s still always looking out for himself. And he’s still terribly lonely inside, no matter which reality he’s in. This is the kind of nuance that’s been missing from Sayid’s path to redemption. And Sawyer’s really, really clever. Although, I think even the dumbest person on the Island could tell that Zoe was way too nosy for a run-of-the-mill castaway. On that note, I’d put my money on leaving by submarine over grounded 747. With almost all of the redshirts dead, how can they even clear a working runway on the Island? In under eight episodes, no less. Is piloting the Ajira flight off the Island the sole reason Lapidus is still alive? I’m actually starting to really feel that there’s too little time left for Lost to reveal more about the underused characters.

But at least Miles is getting some love. I loved, loved, loved Miles as Sawyer’s cop partner. Miles just plain rules. I have no interest in seeing more Kate/Sawyer shipping in any reality though.

I’m still finding Smocke a bit too supernatural for my tastes on this show. He’s veering dangerously close to the angels in Battlestar Galactica, like it doesn’t fit with the overall established logic of Lost. He’s a dead man! He’s a smoke monster! He’s evil incarnate! It just leaves me kind of cold. But I’m willing to push that nitpicky feeling aside and just enjoy the reactions he gets from the other characters. Maybe I’ll feel differently about Smocke when we see Richard’s episode. I’m hoping he’s got some interesting revelations about Smocke and Jacob to share. Even just knowing that the next episode is about Richard made me impatient while I watched “Recon.”

Bridget: I’m also excited for a Richard episode—as much as I liked the whole “Miles and Jim: Snarky Detectives” plot, I can’t get enough of the slowly-unfolding Island mythology and Team Smocke. Spooky Sayid is totally entertaining, though he had to settle for the silver in the Creepy Olympics since Claire really raised the bar with her crazy skull-baby/handholding/knife attack routine. I’m actually fascinated by Smocke’s storyline so far, even when it smacks of the supernatural. First of all, his smackdown of Claire and odd formal apology to Kate was kind of hilarious: “Inappropriate!” Bad Claire! There’s just something inherently funny about a killer Smoke Monster-as-uptight disciplinarian, breaking up catfights and having weird heart-to-hearts on the beach. Terry O’Quinn is so brilliant.

I’ve been racking my brain trying to connect Smocke’s description of his “crazy” mother to some obvious pre-existing mythology, but so far nothing quite works. For now, I’ll just note that Locke also had a pretty wacko mom—Emily Locke is a standout even in Lost’s ever-expanding cavalcade of bad parents (male and female). I wonder if the connection is significant.

I can’t say I was happy to see Charlotte—what’s the point of walking the straight and narrow if your reward is a tarted-up Stoltzface digging through your sock drawer at 3 a.m.?! Poor Faraday, wherever he is. On the other hand, as Raj says, this episode was rife with callbacks and parallels. There were the familiar books on Sawyer’s dresser (Watership Down, A Wrinkle in Time, Walker Percy’s Lancelot), Charlie’s brother Liam at the police station, the mention of Miles’s dad (So Pierre Chang made it off the Island?), and the continual enigma of Anthony Cooper (a.k.a. Locke’s dad). Cooper’s dubious past calls into question the seemingly happy father/son relationship presented in “The Substitute.” And now Kate’s resurfaced (slamming into Miles and Ford at the same intersection where Nadia was killed, as a friend pointed out).

As the connections pile up, halfway through the season, what are we to make of these sideways flashes? I’ve read a lot of different opinions about which one constitutes the “real” or “primary” reality (as in, maybe Earth-2 happened first, and somehow everything on the Island represents a deviation from that world). In spite of all the speculation, no one has really come up with a unifying theory yet—which is fine by me, since I’m enjoying the ride. If Lost doesn’t deliver, maybe we can do a Little House re-watch. Michael Landon has all the answers…

A few Lost links of interest:

The weirdest of the bunch… “Mmm, cake.” What does it mean?!?! If the cake is a lie…

Michael Emerson on Jimmy Kimmel’s “Secrets of Lost

Lost in Sunday comics form.

5 Ideas for a Lost theme park

101 fabulous Lost T-shirts

And something for your little dog, too!

Theresa DeLucci is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Chizine. She’s eagerly awaiting the return of True Blood. Well not so much the whole show, but at least Alexander Skarsgård in a tank top

Rajan Khanna is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop and his fiction has appeared in Shimmer Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn with his two cats, Chloe and Muppet.

Bridget McGovern is a lit nerd, a film geek, and a complete pop culture junkie. She enjoys David Bowie, roller coasters, and Steve McQueen in Bullitt more than anyone probably should.


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