Monday, March 15, 2010

Lost - "Recon"

The debate rages on. Based on the early returns, the majority of people like my Episode Preview posts. We’ll see how the final results shake down next week, at which point I’ll decide if I’ll:

a. Continue doing them as always. Majority rules! This is a democracy!

b. Take a break from doing them and see what happens. Who cares what the majority thinks? (This is also known as the “Democratic Health Care Bill” option. Zing! Political humor!)

c. Bank on the fact that by the time the final few episodes roll around, they’ll be so devoid of any real information that it won’t matter either way. Let’s be honest, this is the most likely outcome.

You’ll see what I mean below…

Episode Title: “Recon”

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: The word “recon” can mean a number of different things. Let’s check out the disambiguation on Wikipedia:

Recon may refer to:

  • Re-Con, a UK hardcore producer and alias of Mike Di Scala
  • Reconnaissance, a military term for gathering information
  • Genetic recombination units
  • Recon, the short film starring Peter Gabriel, by director Breck Eisner
  • Ghost Recon, a computer game
  • Halo 3: ODST (formerly Halo 3: Recon), a standalone expansion for Halo 3
  • Recon (role-playing game), a role playing game
  • Recon (clothing), the clothing brand of graffiti artist Stash
  • RECON, the River, Estuary and Coastal Observing Network
  • Recon the Montreal Security Conference
  • A unit in the Nintendo Wars series of strategy games
  •, a social networking website for (predominantly fetish-oriented) gay men

The most obvious choice here is “Reconnaissance, a military term for gathering information” (sorry ladies, it’s not going to be the last one). When we last saw Sawyer, he was joining SmokeLocke in his mission to get off the Island with an emphatic “hell yes”. But compared to someone like Sayid or Claire, his reasons for joining SmokeLocke are purely pragmatic. He is done with the Island and wants to leave, even if it means joining up with SmokeLocke to do so. Let’s also keep in mind that although Sawyer knows that SmokeLocke is the walking undead – and definitely different than the Locke he used to know – he doesn’t know that he is “evil incarnate” (allegedly). Once Sawyer begins to interact with other characters and learn more, he could very easily switch sides, even if it means losing his chance to leave the Island. Given the choice between being a hero and saving his friends vs. giving up on them and leaving the Island, I have to think Sawyer will choose the first option.

Think about how far his character has grown since the first season. He’s gone from the “bad guy” of the group to becoming the head of security for Dharma, who had settled in to a nice little normal life with Juliet – conditioning his hair and picking up flowers on his way home from work. It’s a complete 180 for the guy, showing that given the right situation, he could be a law-following sweetheart instead of a hardened Con Man. Had things in his past been different, who knows how different Sawyer’s life could have been.


The point is, Sawyer isn’t totally “claimed” by SmokeLocke like Sayid. He’s not crazy like Claire. He’s a good guy who’s pissed off at the world because his girlfriend died. In my mind, he hasn’t really chosen his side in the final battle because he doesn’t know the players or the consequences yet. This makes him a perfect candidate for SmokeLocke to use for reconnaissance of Team Jacob.

Sawyer could easily stroll onto the beach and be greeted with welcome arms from Team Jacob. They would simply think that he had to storm off and formally mourn Juliet, but was now back in the fold. Secretly, Sawyer could gather information about how much Team Jacob knew and what their next plans were, and then relay that information back to SmokeLocke in return for leaving the Island.

The only problem is, why would SmokeLocke need Sawyer to do this? He could become Smokey, sneakily manifest himself behind a bush on the beach (just like he did with Ben last week), and listen to everything for himself. It’s gotta be more than simply gathering information. There must be some physical task that SmokeLocke needs Sawyer to complete… that may or may not involve Team Jacob at all. Maybe he needs Sawyer to retrieve something from somewhere that is protected by some mystical Island “rule”, keeping SmokeLocke out. Maybe he needs him to secretly sabotage Team Jacob’s efforts. It’s really hard to speculate exactly what sort of recon mission SmokeLocke would send Sawyer on since we don’t know the intentions of either party right now. We know that SmokeLocke is heading to the Hydra Station – but why? On the other hand, Team Jacob doesn’t seem to have any plan other than hanging out at the Beach, where the water is at their back for protection. They need a plan, and fast.

I have to think that we’re within a week or two of finding out these answers. The audience needs to learn what Anti-Jacob is trying to do, and what the repercussions are. The audience needs to learn how Team Jacob can stop him – or attempt to stop him, to build up the intensity of the storyline and give us a timeline to be working against. From a storytelling perspective, we’re getting pretty close to the midpoint of the season, when the story arc hits its apex and then tips – at which point the story begins quickly hurtling towards its eventual conclusion. Figuring out where we’re heading is not only the first step in understanding what SmokeLocke needs Sawyer for, but also for figuring out where the entire season and series are heading.

One more thing – since in my mind Sawyer isn’t totally committed to SmokeLocke at this point, there’s a chance he’ll revert back to his old ways… pretending to assist SmokeLocke initially, all the while actually setting up a “long con” where he turns on him in the end and saves the day (which I totally think is going to happen). If this is the case, the episode title could also be viewed as “Re-Con”, as in, to con again. Like I said, Sawyer has become a vastly different person during his time on the Island. But it might be time for him to return to his old ways – to “con again”, or “recon” SmokeLocke in an effort to save the world.

Guest Stars: Alan Dale as Charles Widmore, Rebecca Mader as Charlotte Lewis, Kimberley Joseph as Cindy, Neil Hopkins as Liam Pace, Sheila Kelley as Zoe, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe as Ava, Fred Koehler as Seamus, Allen Cole as duty sergeant, Mickey Graue as Zack, Kiersten Havelock as Emma, Christopher Johnson as police officer and Michael Green as lawyer.

Guest Star Breakdown: Thankfully, it looks like we’re due for another round of Widmore this week – which will hopefully be longer than the 30 seconds he was onscreen last week… and will hopefully reveal how and why he returned to the Island (for my analysis of this subject, please refer to the “Dr. Linus” Analysis in the next post). Then we’ve got the expected guest stars from Team SmokeLocke (Cindy, Zack, and Emma), some new characters that could either be featured in the Sideways Flash or as members of the group of Others currently following SmokeLocke (Zoe, Ava, and Seamus), and the characters that are almost certainly featured in Sawyer’s Flash Sideways – “duty sergeant”, “police officer”, and “lawyer”.

Which leaves us with the two most surprising guest stars – Charlotte Lewis and Liam Pace.

For those who don’t remember, Liam Pace was Charlie’s older brother and co-founding member of Driveshaft. He’s the one who got Charlie hooked on drugs, tore the band apart, and is currently living in Sydney with his wife and daughter in Reality #1. He doesn’t seem to have a place in a Sawyer-centric episode, and was never on the Island, so it’s safe money that he will appear in a cute cameo in the Flash Sideways action this week… but probably have no major relevance.


Charlotte Lewis is the anthropologist who grew up on the Island and later returned to it with the Freighter. She died during the time flashes of last season, with her death inspiring Faraday to try to find a way to change the past, which lead to the “Incident”. Since she died on the Island, it’s possible that SmokeLocke could “claim” her body… but it would be good and ripe by now. Remember, we don’t really know exactly when she died – only that is was between the time when the Four Toed Statue was built and when the well was built – either way, it was a long time ago. If she was claimed by SmokeLocke, she would have been walking around the Island as his undead warrior for the entire time that our Survivors were in 1977 and for everything that has happened since Oceanic 815 crashed on the Island in 2004… without being seen or interacting with any of our characters.

Possible – but not likely. I’m guessing we’ll find that Charlotte is happily living Off-Island in Reality #2, just like Alex and Ben – which won’t really give us any new clues about the nature of Reality #2, since she would have left pre-Incident anyways, at the request of creepy Faraday in 1977.

In the end, there are three familiar guest stars – but Widmore is the only one worth getting excited about.

Episode Description: Locke tasks Sawyer with a mission.

Episode Breakdown: What kind of mission? Perhaps a “reconnaissance mission”? This might be the most generic episode description yet, although I hold out hope that the episode description for the series finale says something like “The story of Lost is concluded” to really take the prize.

Not much to go on here, and we’ve already covered it in this post. Sawyer is going to do something for SmokeLocke… and he may or may not be secretly working against SmokeLocke in the process.

It’s been a few weeks since we last saw Sawyer, so we’re due for a heavy dose of him this week. Here’s hoping he continues to doubt SmokeLocke, ask questions about what’s going on, and make witty one liners about everyone he encounters.

Other than that, I think that’s all I’ve got for this week. See, I told you it was going to be "Option C" in the end...

Happy Losting!


abby said...

In Lost terminology I have faith in option B - and Brian, the fact that you are still debating whether to preview or not preview, tells me your heart is not in it - stop doing them (and if people are really into previews - have them post their own previews!)

timcourtois said...

Ah... "re-con"/"to con again". Brian is a genius.

Shawn Writes said...

Keep doing the previews.

The re-con thing was pointed out by Carlton in this weeks podcast.

Rahul M. said...

Please keep doing the previews. Those who dont want to read have a choice to not read them.

jeff said...

Brian, you have come this far, we are almost at the end, please don't give up now.

CJ said...

Thank you so much, Brian, for priming the pump for another week of the great flowing river that is LOST (okay, sorry to get carried away on metaphor).

Seriously, though, no matter how short your preview is, you still manage to get me psyched even more for each episode. I hope you'll be able to carry on right through the last episode--it's part of a sacred ritual!

Steve said...


Recon.. to Con again.

Brian, you need to credit this to Darlton. That was straight from the producers lips on the same Podcast that was quoted so heavily in the review.

I'll make no other comments about what they said concerning the canidates. Thing is, they're also masters of misdirection, but with a Sawyer flash sideways, I would say we're going to have a double meaning. Which is also right from the lips of Darlton Cusoff.

Steve said...

Keep doing them previews, and when it's over.. you can preview the zombie season!

noemailformeadows said...

Has Sawyer made up a nickname for Smokey yet? That's what I'm looking forward too.

Sam said...

I also think the re-con might be Sawyer in the sideways world.... conning again. Remember how he warned Hugo on the plane about letting people know he was a lottery winner. But, at the time I thought that was to fool us, and sideways Sawyer was not a conman at all, and actually looking out for Hugo.

I am confused.

Also, maybe Charlotte was the one who helped Widmore get back to the island since she was looking for it all these years (but would she still have been born there? after the jughead exploded?).

Sam said...

I just thought of Jack & Richard's talk over the dynamite in the Black Rock. It reminded me of Michael trying to defuse the bomb on the freighter. Christian appeared and said, "You can go now," or something like that, and then the bomb exploded, and Michael was 'allowed' to die. Before that, Michael couldn't kill himself.

So, Jack wasn't allowed to die (and maybe Richard wasn't either since he was given a 'gift') because his job wasn't done. So, maybe they can only die once their purpose that has been bestowed upon them (by Jacob, I guess) has been realized. Jack basically said so much in that conversation, but I can now see how that relates to past island deaths.

Charlie could die once he warned everyone about 'not Penny's boat.' I believe his name was on the lighthouse wheel, but maybe he was brought not to be a candidate but to help the candidates. So, not everyone on that wheel is a candidate, but they all have a purpose.

Cara said...

I understand that sometimes looking ahead can diffuse a "wow" moment. But to tell the truth, the analysis provided in the previews is good stuff.

It helps us make sense of deeper meanings to titles, and how it all might tie in to the big picture. It also really helps with a slow week, and gives me something to look forward to on a Monday or Tuesday. I think that the descriptions and guest star listings and everything else that the producers give us will probably be shrouded in secrecy for the remainder of the season. But, even when you have little to go on, the episode preview analysis is good stuff. It at leasts opens up your ideas, which may differ from ours, and gives us something to hope for/root against/figure out.

In any case, I hope that they keep coming. I for one think they're great.

The Observer said...

FWIW, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe played the immortal role of Taylor Vaugh in She's All That.

robpatt said...

random comment,
i was just rewatching one of my favorite movies tombstone. Who was playing the town mayor... none other then John Locke. i was doing something else with the movie on and hearing his voice made me freeze. crazy because that movie was from like 10 years ago.

Rebecca said...

I haven't been able to read and/or comment on all of the previews because of the show being on Tuesdays and the posts going up so close to the recaps - so my issue is pretty much the same as yours. When I have the time to read it I do enjoy it though. I wouldn't say it's like a spoiler, just a time crunch right now.

I'm excited to see Sawyer this week and find out what part he may play in the Jacob vs Anti-Jacob showdown. Also, I hope that he has a happy life in the sideways flash. We know that deep down he's a good guy so I'd like to see him with his daughter (if she's still there?) or Juliet (maybe at that coffee shop).

Nijo said...

If Widmore wanted to take over the island and AJ wanted to leave the island, these two would not have a conflict.
I think Widmore is on team Jacob and Jacob was talking about Widmore when he said "they're coming" at the end of last season.