Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost Episode Review 6.08: "Recon"


"Well, I guess I got to a point in my life where I had to choose between being a criminal or a cop. I chose cop."



(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).

Didn't this episode feel like a big tease?

It started off soooooooo promising. After last week's Smokey-less episode, I was looking forward to a heaping, steaming portion of Flocke, filled with juicy reveals and surprises. We got the first part, not so much the next.

There were a lot of good scenes here: The Alt twist of Sawyer being a cop was entertaining, as were all the Alt cameos: Miles, Charlotte and Liam. The mass grave on Hydra Island was chilling (though not unexpected). Widmore's crew erecting sonic pylons was neat to see too. And the best scene of the whole episode, Infected Claire going all Fatal Attraction on Kate, was everything I had hoped for and more.

But the second half of the episode was filled with predictability. Of course Zoe was working for Widmore. Of course Sawyer is playing Smokey and Widmore against each other. Of course Alt Kate was going to show up in Alt Sawyer's final flash. And, of course, Sawyer's going to take the sub. The ending was by far the weakest of this season, and I think that led to a great deal of the let down here for me.

But "Recon" did provide us with a few tasty morsels to digest.

Five Questions:

1) What's Widmore's motivation for coming back?

Widmore told Sawyer, "It's amazing how little you actually know." Well, then tell us something, Charles! That scene was so uneventful - maybe the writers were all hungover and just decided to phone it in that day.

But Charles, to me, is exactly like Ben; two sides of the same coin, if you will. During the pop-up repeat of "Dr. Linus" that aired before, when Charles appeared at the end the caption read something along the lines of:

"This is Charles Widmore, a man who will stop at nothing to possess the Island."

This was essentially the crux of the Ben-Charles war. They both wanted the position of power with the Others. Ben won, but Charles never gave up trying to get it back. Now obviously from the pylons (and Sawyer, I suppose), he knows that Smokey's going to be a problem. But I'm really starting to think that he really doesn't care what Smokey does as long as he doesn't interfere with him getting "his Island" back. If Smokey gets in his way, he'll deal with him. But I wouldn't be surprised that if Smokey and Charles ever have a face-to-face chat, Smokey would tell Charles he can have the Island so long as he lets him go free and Charles would smile and personally escort him away.

Eliminating Smokey, to me, seems incidental to Charles real motivation: Getting his Island back. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the reason Charles "helped" Locke when he landed in Tunisia is because he knew all this would end with Jacob being killed and Smokey trying to escape. That way, once all the chaos was over and Smokey was gone, he'd have the Island all to himself once more.

2) What's Widmore got in the locked room?

Now this was the most intriguing bit of the episode, considering how interested Sawyer seemed in a nondescript locked door. Now one could speculate whether Charles was hiding someone - say, Eloise or Desmond - rather than something, but why would you padlock someone in from the outside? No, to me it definitely seemed to be a storage locker of some sort, filled with something Widmore didn't want Sawyer to relate to Smokey. Here's my theory: Widmore has a Smoke Trap in there. Something along the lines of one of the ghost traps from Ghostbusters, but one specifically created to trap and contain Smokey.

We saw from Sayid's attempt that doing physical harm to Flocke really doesn't do a whole lot of good, so all those guns Widmore's crew has are pretty useless. In addition, the sonic fence is a defensive measure, not an offensive one, so I'm not really sure Charles even knows how to kill Smokey. But I'm guessing Smokey, despite his protestations this episode, isn't scared of death; I think what really keeps Smokey up at night is the thought of being trapped again. So Widmore devised a way - imagine, say, a portable sonic sphere of sound - that can encase Smokey and hold him. Once he's trapped, Charles can then either negotiate with him - i.e. "leave me and the Island alone or you'll stay in there forever" - or, perhaps, take him to and dump him in some Other-y Island containment system for permanent storage - "the light is green, the trap is clean."

But, who knows, maybe Eloise is really in there. She is feisty after all. ;)

3) Was Smokey talking about his mom, or Locke's mom. If it's the former, who is she?

The conversation Smokey had with Kate on the beach was the most interesting of the episode. Something along the lines of:
"My mother was crazy. I had some growing pains, problems that could have been avoided. Now Aaron has a crazy mother too."
It could have just as easily been the real John Locke saying those lines. And since Smokey has all of Locke's memories, perhaps the writers were trying to indicate that the longer Smokey stays in Locke's body, the more he becomes like Locke. After all, didn't Smokey already use the "Don't tell me what I can't do" line? If Smokey by inhabiting Locke's body also gains his weaknesses, that adds an interesting new wrinkle to the show's endgame. After all, Locke, at least the Locke in this universe, is a pretty pathetic, gullible guy, something someone like, say, Ben could easily exploit.

But let's say that Smokey was really talking about his own mother. Who could she be? If it's Egyptian dieties we're talking about here, I'd have to guess Isis. Really one of the only possible choices out there. But I kinda like the Smokey-becoming-Locke idea better.

4) Is Infected Claire going to try to get all stabby with Kate again?

When Claire hugged Kate and broke down, I was so bummed. Didn't that scene seem to ameliorate the intensity of her previous attack?

But what I'm really hoping here is that Smokey said something to Claire along the lines of:
"I need her right now, Claire. Let me get what I need, and when I'm done with her you can stab her 'til your heart's content... and eat her kidneys."
BTW, the creepiest part of Claire's knifing scene was Sayid sitting by and vacantly watching her do it. Creeeeeeepy.

5) Is Smokey really planning on escaping in the plane?

Honestly, I find this idea kind of lame. I was hoping Smokey was going to use something along the lines of the Donkey Wheel to get off the Island, but instead he tells us he needs to use a plane? Really?

But who knows, maybe since he already has a flight attendant in his crew he just wants to escape the Island in style. If that really is the case, however, I'm guessing Smokey's going to need Frank to fly it. And to get Frank, I'm guessing he's going offer to trade Jin to Team Good if they hand him over, an offer Sun would readily accept.

Tidbits:

- Loved the homage to Confidence Man in the beginning of the episode. I initially thought the woman he was in bed with was the same one from that episode, Jessica, but I guess I was wrong. The cop angle was a really well executed head fake. Having Miles as his partner and using "LaFleur" as his signal work were also nice touches.

- Nice seeing Claire's Creepy Aaron Doll again. Anyone else think its lower body is made out of black smoke? If that's the case, it kinda looks like this sketch on the outer Temple wall when Smokey "judged" Ben, don't you think?





- Also nice seeing Zack still had his teddy. I was thinking it was weird seeing the kids be older, but I guess they're supposed to be three years older at this point, given it's 2007.

- Miles asks Sawyer if he "wants to die alone"

- "I am the Smoke Thing" was simply awesome. I would so love to say that to someone sometime. :)

- Anyone else disturbed by the Outback Steakhouse commercial to give a free Bloomin' Onion to each of our troops, considering Men's Health named it one of the worst foods in America? "Thanks for your service, have a heart attack on us." Yeeesh.

- The scenes with Sawyer and Charlotte were great. As soon as he brought up Indiana Jones, I'd knew he'd ask her if she had a whip. :)

- Watership Down was one of the books on Sawyer's dresser and A Wrinkle In Time, one of my all-time favorites was right below it (I even own that edition). And though you can't tell, the third book is Lancelot, according to Lostpedia. I also liked that Sawyer's fridge had nothing but juice and beer, the same beer he took over to Charlotte's place. Classy.

- I was hoping to see a fish biscuit when Sawyer visited the Polar Bear Cages. Instead we got Kate's dress. Disappointing. But was that left there from when Kate and Sawyer had nasty, dirty cage sex three years ago? Yuck.

- I wonder if Widmore's sub is called the Galaga II?

- Nice seeing Liam, Charlie's brother, again. He looks pretty much the same since last we saw him.

- Sawyer's apartment number was 245.

- Sawyer's alarm clock read 8:42

- Anyone know which episode of Little House on the Prairie Sawyer was watching? Kudos to the writers for finding such an excellent scene, which was also an homage to the fact Sawyer once mentioned to Kate he used to like watching "Little House."

- Despite the fact that Alt Kate meeting up with Alt Sawyer was predictable, her car crash made me jump. Interesting too that Sawyer the cop let fugitive Alt Kate go back in the airport. Must have been the freckles.

Summary:

This was a really promising episode that just fizzled out at the end. I loved every scene with Smokey and Infected Claire with the knife was excellent. But the ending was, by far, the weakest of the season. I know this just sets us up for next week's Richard episode, but I think I was hoping for a few more surprises and less predictability. 3/5.

7 comments:

grubstreethack said...

Sawyer and Miles as buddy cops is the most awesome thing ever. The rest of the episode could have been Kate staring pensively into space and I still would have loved it for that opener.

Missie said...

Actually, the biggest question I have has to do with Locke's father. We learned that Alt Sawyer's childhood hasn't changed, and the con man's name is still Sawyer. So did Locke's father change his ways before Locke got to know him? Or is his father still a con man and Locke is unaware? Or is the father Helen refers to not the same man?

I agree that Miles and Sawyer as cop partners was genius.

I also hope that when Kate and Sawyer are about to leave the Island on the sub that Zombie Juliet shows up and convinces Kate to get off. Then she eats her brains.

Hannah said...

Didn't it seem like Charlotte was snooping around for something? It looked like she was looking for something other than a tee shirt. Maybe I'm wrong. Thoughts?

Missie said...

No Hannah, I thought she looked like she was digging hastily through the drawer for something else. I don't think we've seen the last of Charlotte.

Jay said...

Oh, I forgot about that, Miss!

Hmmmm... I'm guessing that Alt Cooper is still the same, but Locke is unaware. He can certainly fake it fairly easily.

Hannah... I may have to watch that scene again. My first impression was that she was just looking for a t-shirt, but I was distracted by 1) the books on the dresser and 2) I was also hoping she'd pull out the grey shirt Sawyer wore in the Pilot episode, the one he was wearing when he shot the polar bear.

Missie said...

I can't say for sure about the third book, but Watership Down and A Wrinkle In Time were one's he read on the Island. Along with my favorite Sawyer book moment- "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." :)

Hannah said...

@Missie--
Thanks. I am glad someone else spotted that too.

@Jay--
If you do re-watch it, it looks a lot like shes digging for more than a shirt. Those sneaky writers. :)