Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We're one episode away from the halfway point of the season, and we still have no more information about the flash-sideways. At some point during the season whether it is the next episode or the last, we'll learn why the flash-sideways are significant. On a rewatch, I'm sure everything will make perfect sense, but since the audience is watching new episodes week to week, I'm not convinced the writers are making the right decision. This is the final season and we're expecting something grand and expansive that completely demolishes the flashbacks and flashforwards as legitimate ways of flashes. Instead the flash-sideways works much like the flashbacks did, reflecting on the characters without revealing any new information. In a way, it does retread on what we already know. Despite this, I enjoy the way the writers are using the flash-sideways.
There is a pattern emerging through each episode, but there are thousands of explanations and theories floating around the internet--none definite and none without shortfalls. In a majority of the flash-sideways, the characters are in different places than before and have different relationships. However, they are still unmistakably the same people. Jack is yearning for something he can't have though to a lesser degree, Sayid has those violent tendencies, and Kate is still annoying. From there, the writers use the characters in Los Angeles to mirror the events on the island, showing that it's not the circumstances that determine what happens. This puts the emphasis on the characters, and since the characters are so good for the most part, the flash-sideways work well.
The flash-sideways begins much like the episode "Confidence Man." Sawyer is in bed with a woman, and before leaving for a meeting, loses hold of a suitcase, revealing the money he was about to steal. Again, the differences of the flash-forward are there. The side of the bed they are on is flipped, the woman is brunette, not blonde. After that, everything changes. The woman pulls out a gun, knowing that Sawyer is pulling a scam on her. Sawyer, still the ever so charismatic sweet talker, tells her to put the gun down, because there are police outside. Another part of the scam, right? No! It's Detective James Ford! The police swarm in as Miles comes in and gives him his badge. Back at the police stations, Sawyer makes a call looking for Anthony Cooper AKA original Sawyer AKA Locke's dad. It looks like Sawyer's issues are still intact. Although he's a detective now, Sawyer's dark past and it's outcome remains a crucial part of his being. This is another example of the flash-sideways shuffling jobs, but keeping the core of the character.
Miles has a date for Sawyer, and it's Charlotte! It's nice to know that the Widmore hires are sticking together in the flash-sideways. The problem with reading spoilers is that I already knew Rebecca Mader was coming back tonight, so I probably wasn't as shocked as some people. The date goes very well, and quickly they are in bed together. Afterwards, Charlotte requests for a shirt, and goes digging around in the cabinet. Call me a cynic, but she was poking around a little too much for comfort--much like she was hired to find the island. Charlotte finds a file with news clippings of Sawyer losing his parents, and he kicks her out after seeing her with the file.
Is it me or did Miles in the flash-sideways seem to have a stick up his ass? Ok, James lied about going to Palm Springs. He really went to Australia. Big deal. People are allowed to have secrets, but Miles goes ballistic and says they aren't partners anymore.
After watching bit of Little House on the Prairie, Sawyer learns the lesson of living life without feeling afraid and shows up at Charlotte's apartment with a flower. It's too late; the bridge has been burned and Charlotte closes the door.
Sawyer and Miles sit in a car together. Rather than spilling his soul to Charlotte, Sawyer chooses to reveal everything to Miles (there's already one new SawyerxMiles story on fanfiction.com). Before they go any further, a car slams into them and someone gets out running. It was pretty obvious who it would be, so I wasn't too surprised it was Kate.
Sawyer's flash-sideways was weaker than Ben's and Sayid's though stronger than Kate's. Other than Charlotte coming back and Sawyer and Miles as cops, there's wasn't much else. If wish we could have seen Sawyer do more police work after the initial bust.
On the island, Sawyer is sent by Locke to the Hydra Station to find the people on the plane and learn as much about them. Locke sounded ominously like Ben did when Oceanic Flight 851 crashed. "Recon" largely set up for the impending conflict, so there wasn't too much happening. There seemed to be an abnormally large number of callbacks. At the Hydra, Sawyer finds the dress Kate was wearing when they first did it. I thought that book had been closed, but maybe not.
Sawyer finds the plane, and supplies strewn all other the place. He follows a trail and finds a rotting pile of bodies. They don't look too severely hurt, except for the fact that they are dead. A woman named Zoe comes out of the brush. She seems genuinely scared, and Sawyer goes with her until they reach the beach. Sawyer pulls a gun on her, but in a reversal of what happened in the flash-sideways, several men pop up with guns trained on him. They take him to the docks where the submarine is waiting, passing men erecting those darn sonic fences. Sawyer climbs in, noticng a locked compartment along the way, and meets with Widmore.
Here’s where Sawyer’s conman charm kicks in. He says he will lure Locke to him, so Widmore can snatch him. Under this pretense, Widmore lets him go. Sawyer arrives back on the beach, and his sly, tricky mind has a plan to turn the island upside down. He tells Flocke what he told Widmore. While the advantage is now on Flocke's side, Sawyer doesn't really care. He tells Kate that they'll take the submarine and leave the island. Small problem: how will they pilot the submarine? It's probably easier for a newbie to pilot a submarine than a plane, but it's still impossible without instructions.
Sawyer was the focus of the episode, but what went on between Kate and Locke was far more revealing. Claire attacks Kate after finally comprehending what happened. Flocke pulls Claire away, slapping the sense back into her. Kate is upset the entire episode and cries a lot. I can't blame her since the whole reason why she came back to the island just got ruined. At least she not off running around in the jungle being stupid.
The greatest revelation of the episode came a bit past halfway into the episode. Flocke and Kate are at the beach, and Flocke begins to tell of his origins before he became what he is now. His mother was crazy, and Flocke had "growing pains" and "problems" he continues to work through. You mean the urge to kill people? Locke tells Kate that Aaron has a crazy mother too. He has to be referring to Claire, but what does that have to do with anything? Aaron isn't with Claire right now. And why does Widmore oppose the Smoke Monster? I'm confused as hell.
I wasn't as entranced by the flash-sideways as I was with the previous two episodes. Sawyer is great character to work with, so I was kind of disappointed with the result.The episode was still very solid with great acting by everyone. I think I've resigned myself to not worrying how the flash-sideways relates. It'll make sense in the end, and the stories aren't bad at all.