James LaFleur: Reading is fundamental.
Not a lot of action tonight but plenty of subtext. Let’s go straight to the recap:
- Lapidus, Sun and Ben (but no Locke) emerge from the Ajira 316 crash in the year 2008.
- In 1977, LaFleur/Sawyer has to figure out how to make Jack, Kate and Hurley blend in. Thankfully,
- A submarine of new recruits is coming in two hours.
- When Jin learns that Sun could be on the island, he takes charge, finds Radzinsky in The Flame and slams him against the wall for building a model of The Swan instead of tracking a plane that won’t crash for another 31 years. Erin notes that Jin has a lot of hair now and speaks pretty good English.
- Amy’s baby is Ethan!
- Amy’s baby is Ethan?
- Really? Kind of a letdown.
- Juliet sneaks a peek at the sub manifest so she can jigger Jack, Kate and Hurley onto the list.
- Jin chases down Sayid but must detain him as a “hostile” since Radzinsky is there too.
- Jack, Kate and Hurley, disguised as new recruits, are processed at the Dharma Welcome Center. Everything has the feel of the first day of camp. Pierre Change processes Jack and gives him a uniform with “Workman” sewed on it, telling Jack he has the appropriate skills for janitorial duty.
- Kate’s name is not on the recruit list, and unibrow Phil, who was surely all-time Hall Monitor at Dharma Elementary, gets suspicious.
- Juliet shows up just in time to save Kate. Phil still finds cause to wrinkle his brow.
- Back in 2008, after Sun played T-Ball with Ben’s noggin using an oar, she and Lapidus row to the main island. They are greeted by what sure sounds like the smoke monster, although Sun seems blithely unconcerned ( “Probably just an animal”). They arrive at the Bates Motel — sorry, the Barracks — where Norman Bates — sorry, sorry, Christian Shephard — stands backlit in the doorway and invites them in to show them a picture from the Dharma recruiting class of 77. More on this in a minute.
- Back in 1977, Jack visits Sawyer at his cabin and is surprised to see him shacking up with Juliet.
- What’s the plan? Jack asks.
- I got it under control, Sawyer tells him.
- Funny, Jack says. Looks to me like you’re just reading a book.
- Did you know Churchill read a book every night during the Blitz? Sawyer responds. I’m running shop now while all you did was get a bunch of people killed.
- I got people off the island, Jack says.
- You’re also right back where you started, Sawyer points out.
- Good point, Jack says. I’ll just go home then.
- LaFleur/Sawyer 1, Jack 0.
- Finally, Sayid, imprisoned by Sawyer for the time being, gets a sandwich hand-delivered to him by creepy Little Ben.
We’re guessing we liked this episode more than most people will. Why? Almost every major scene turned the tables on us, none more so than the Jack/Sawyer conversation. Sawyer basically said, Look who’s in charge now, Doc! Jack has no choice but to trust Sawyer, which is pretty emasculating for Mr. Type-A/Man-of-Action. Meanwhile, Juliet rescues Kate but she also stole his man; Jin discovers his duplicitous side by masking his recognition of Sayid and taking him hostage; and Sayid is locked up while Ben is not, a reversal of their first meeting in season two.
The question is, Can we really trust LaFleur/Sawyer? It’s one thing to poke Jack by giving him janitorial duties. But is this just another long con? Is he buying himself time to figure out how he can rescue his friends or merely jettison them so he keeps his quiet Dharma life? Has he really settled down with Juliet or will Kate break up this happy little union?
And what does Sun know? Why is she not that freaked out by Smokey? And what did Widmore tell her back at the airport?
In a post-episode conversation with Doc Smith, he theorized that maybe the 2008 where Sun and Frank meet Christian at a run-down Barracks is not the same 2008 anymore because the castaways have now changed it. This flies in the face of Daniel Faraday’s “Whatever happened, happened” logic, but we jumped off that bandwagon several weeks ago.
Tad’s other theory? Faraday is Jacob. The only reference Faraday got last night was Sawyer saying he was “gone.” We took that to be gone in the mental sense, not the physical. Seems to us like Faraday is the logical choice for Jacob, but we don’t expect that question to be answered — if at all — until at least next season.
Finally, what’s up with Rose & Bernard? Discuss.