Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lost 5x8: "LaFleur"

I found last night's episode of Lost particularly delicious because it was heavy on the Sawyer. But it was also an interesting experiment in several ways: a deviation from the show's recently action-y, time travel-y, format in which everyone is completely miserable and suffers from intermittent nose bleeds.

Brief recap: The episode begins with Locke disappearing into the well. There's a flash and a glimpse of a huge statue that some viewers think closely resembles Horus. That, coupled with the hieroglypics that would pop up back in the old button-pushing days, and Richard's apparent agelessness, makes me wonder if there's some kind of Egyptian mythology at work here.

There's one final flash, and our intrepid time travellers realize that that was the last one: Locke has succeeded. And where did the flash take them to? Why, the time of delightful muttonchop sideburns, giant collars, and groovy records: the 70s!

With Jack and Locke gone, Sawyer can finally run shit. He ably insinuates his crew in with the Dharma Initiative and even negotiates a difficult truce-breaking situation with Other Leader Richard, AKA Guyliner, AKA possibly the Egyptian god Ra. (My dumb theory.) Three years go by, in which Sawyer becomes Jim LaFleur, head of Dharma Security, all-around nice guy, and extremely schmoopy for Juliet, with whom he now lives. They seem like a really functional, happy couple, which means that as soon as they're reunited with the Oceanic 6 (which begins to happen at the episode's very end) Kate "Life Ruiner" Austen will promptly ruin their lives.

What intrigued me most about this episode was what it reveals about a philosophy that seems highlighted often on Lost: the power that comes with the possession of information; namely, the possession of MORE information than the other guy. Having hopped, skipped, and jumped through time, Sawyer & Co. have been privy to myriad aspects of the island's history that, to the folks comfortably settled in a linear time frame, they couldn't POSSIBLY know without some kind of amazing god-like abilities. Sawyer blows Richard's mind when he mentions the bomb they buried and Locke's appearance 20 years before, and by doing so diverts the Others and the Dharma Initiative from an all-out battle. It was a neat role reversal to see the Losties fucking with the Others' heads, instead of vice versa. And it also brings up interesting questions about where the Others got all their information that they used to torment the Losties with frequently throughout seasons 1-3.

Another nice touch: Sawyer names himself LaFleur, and the flower he gives Juliet after she successfully delivers a Dharma woman's baby seems emblematic of key personality changes: would he ever think to demonstrate respect and congratulations for something Kate did? No, they would just gripe at each other and be in a stupid love triangle with Jack. I don't think I will enjoy her return.

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