See, now this is what I’m talking about, people. I know the last few weeks have divided the Lost fanbase, setting us up against each other not unlike the Dharma Initiative and the Hostiles. And boy, things did get hostile there for a while. But the show found its footing this week with “LaFleur,” literally and figuratively. With the time-jumping apparently in the past, the show settled into the particular groove on the narrative record from which everything else will now play out.
4) In Short
“This gives flower power a whole new meaning.”
8 ) Right After Locke Turned the Donkey Wheel
We catch up with Sawyer and company right where we left them: with Sawyer holding a rope that now sticks helplessly out of the ground. Juliet tries to stop him, noting they are now before the Orchid or the well was built. Way before, apparently, as the four gaze off into the distance and see the fully formed statue standing majestically in the distance. And man, that statue got itself a badonkadonk! (More on the statue in Mythology below.)
Before they can explore, one final flash occurs, which rips through their heads something fierce. But then, to their surprise, they all feel fine. Juliet theorizes that John’s plan worked, and they won’t be time trippin’ any more. Sawyer tries to leap into the well after Locke, but it’s sealed up tight. What now? Sawyer says they wait. How long? As long as it takes, people. Famous last words, those.
They soon come across Daniel, who is by himself. Juliet walks over to him as he mutters under his breath, “I’m not gonna do it. I’m not gonna tell her.” Daniel then proceeds to break Juliet’s heart and every Lost fan’s heart in the process by simply saying, “She’s moved on.” Jeremy Davies KILLS THIS SCENE. In his grief, he confirms Juliet’s theory that the time traveling part of the show is over. “Whenever we are now, we’re here for good,” he tells them.
With nothing else to do, Sawyer proposes heading back to the beach, theorizing it’s where Locke will start looking upon returning to the Island. Miles thinks this is a dumb plan, but Juliet backs Sawyer up. He appreciates her support, but she tells him she only did so to avoid the inevitable 45-minute argument that would have ensued. These two have insane chemistry, something we all saw dating back to the Season 3 finale. Boy, I hope The Pantsless Wonder doesn’t show up and ruin this by episode’s end.
Nearby shots stop everyone in their tracks. In the nearby distance, they spy two Others putting a bag over a woman’s head. A man’s body is seen on the ground. She’s apologizing about their picnic as one of the Others puts a bag over her head. Miles looks to Daniel for guidance in interfering; Daniel numbly replies, “Whatever happened, happened.” Sawyer’s not into Faraday’s theories anymore, and heads over to the scene. He orders them to drop their guns. As one wheels around quickly, Juliet takes him out. She’s the Han Solo to that Other’s Greedo. Suck on THAT, George Lucas. Sawyer immediately takes out the other Other and moves in to rescue the woman.
Hey, it’s Michelle from 24! Nice to see you again. (Ironic that she’s moved from a show with the non-stop, relentless nature of time as one of its signature narrative devices to this time-skipping odyssey. Aaaaaanyways…) Turns on the man with her was her husband, Paul. His Dharma jumpsuit dates the era of the Island between Woodstock and Live Aid, were one to measure time between massive rock concerts. Um, not that I do. Jin finds a walkie on an Other, which prompts Sawyer into action. He wants to leave, but Amy won’t: she says they have to bury the bodies, pronto. She talks about the “truce” being broken, which scares her to the core. (Apparently, “no freakin’ picnics” was part of the truce.) So, it’s off to bury the bodies and carry Paul’s corpse back to the Barracks.
While walking back, Sawyer tells everyone to let him do the talking once back in the Barracks. While explaining his plan, Juliet shouts out to Daniel: the poor guy nearly walked mindlessly into the sonic fence. Juliet’s knowledge of the fence sets off Amy’s Spidey Sense, and she’s no longer convinced they crashed on route from Tahiti like Sawyer said earlier. She apparently turns off the fence, but in fact sets its phasers to stun while secretly inserting earplugs. Apparently, they teach you that in CTU. I mean, the DI.
Sawyer wakes up in the DI rec room, with Horace standing over him. Looks like Mr. Goodspeed has a few questions for the mystery man. Sawyer gives his name as Jim LaFleur, repeating his boat story while filling in a few choice details about the slave ship sitting a few miles inland on that very Island. Goodspeed informs Sawyer that he and his friends will leave the Island the next morning via submarine back to Tahiti. Why? Because “LaFleur” is clearly not Dharma Initiative material, and only DI material can stay in the compound.
Outside, Miles hilariously says, “We’re screwed…he’s probably trying to explain time travel by now!” Juliet looks in wonder at her former home. As the camera pans slowly around the table, Juliet explains the Purge to Miles. Daniel doesn’t participate in the discussion, too distraught to contribute. “The record is spinning again; and we’re just not on the song we wanna be on.” Right then, who should walk past but a young Charlotte Staples Lewis, waving to the man who will soon scare the bejesus out of her before all is said and done. Daniel’s heart expands and then damn near bursts.
Horace brings Sawyer back to the group. Miles mocks Sawyer’s pseudonym, naturally, as Sawyer informs them of their imminent departure. Just then, alarms sound throughout the compound. A DI member brings Sawyer and company into his bungalow, where his shotgun-bearing wife gives them a silent greeting. As they peer out the window, they see Richard Alpert plant a torch in the ground and walk purposefully towards them. Oh baby, it’s on, not unlike an early 80’s arcade game antagonist.
Horace comes out to greet Richard. I guess Horace is the de facto DI leader at this point. No DeGroots? Really? Anyways, Horace calmly notes that he wishes he’d known Richard was coming, or he would have turned off the fence. Bah, sayeth Richard: that fence might keep out “other things” (like smoke monsters and telemarketers), but not the Others. What keeps them out? The “no freakin’ picnics” truce. Looks like Sawyer and company dug some pretty shallow graves out by the picnic site, and Richard is there for revenge.
Horace comes in, and orders the DI employee to contact the Arrow and set conditions to “Whup All Hostiles Good.” Sawyer intervenes, asking to speak with Richard himself. What follows is a FANTASTIC scene in which Sawyer blows Richard’s mind with his knowledge of Jughead, John Locke, and a host of things no Dharma Initiative worker could possibly know. Ergo, the DI/Hostile truce? Still on, as a DI member didn’t actually kill an Other.
But Richard still wants his pound of flesh. Turns out, he gets approximately 180 pounds of flesh in the form of Paul’s corpse. As Horace starts to take the body, Amy removes a necklace from Paul’s neck. On the necklace? An ankh cross. (More on the significance of this cross in relation to the four-toed statue below.) As he leaves, Goodspeed grants Sawyer and his friends two weeks on the Island until they have to leave, so they might continue to look for their friends.
Sawyer delivers the “good news” to Juliet, who is chilly to the information. She wants off that Island, and she wants off now, gazing at the sub she once saw destroyed by Locke. As for Locke…well, the flashes have stopped; hasn’t Locke already saved them? Sawyer then delivers some of his best lines ever on the show: “Well, what about me? You’re really gonna leave me here with The Mad Scientist and I Speak to Dead People? And Jin, who’s a helluva nice guy but not exactly the greatest conversationalist. Who’s gonna get my back? C’mon … just give me two weeks, that’s all I’m asking.” That’s it, sign me up for the Juliet/Sawyer train. I yield. And have even more reason to loathe the impending reintroduction of the love quadrangle.
15) Three Years After Locke Turned the Donkey Wheel
It’s party time in an unknown station, as an unfamiliar girl and Steve Zahn’s stunt double boogie on down. Another man comes in with a Dharma jumpsuit bearing what looks like a sheriff’s star on the front. OK, until I figure out what this station is, I’m calling it the Mayberry. The Mayberry has video monitors like the Pearl and Hydra, and they monitor all activity via surveillance cameras strewn throughout The Barracks and other Dharma facilities.
A girl in a Geronimo Jackson t-shirt spies something on one of the screens: a man staggering towards the sonic fence. A close-up reveals everyone’s favorite mathematician, Horace Goodspeed! Dude’s drunk and hurling dynamite at trees. Like you do. The men freak, and discuss bringing “LaFleur” into the situation. After a tense standoff, they head to his bungalow. And who is LaFleur? Sawyer, naturally. He’s tired, exhausted, but on the upside, it looks like he’s had access to some Dharma conditioner. Angered by the news of Horace’s state, he grabs his own Dharma jumpsuit (with similar star logo) and heads out.
Along the way, he picks up Miles. Hey, the gang’s all here! Sawyer refers to Horace as their “fearless leader,” and informs Miles to keep their mission on the down low. They take him back to Amy, his wife. She’s shocked to see Horace in such a state, and we see that she’s very, very pregnant. Turns out she and Horace had a fight earlier than night about her former husband, Paul, which led to his bender. Before we can learn more, Amy goes into major labor.
Amy’s in a lot of pain down in the infirmary. Yet again, I’m grateful I will never, ever have to give birth. The doctor in charge is an internist, not an obstetrician: he informs Sawyer that it’s standard DI protocol to send the women back to the mainland for all childbirths via sub. Hmmmmmm. Turns out Amy’s two weeks early with a baby in breach, something beyond the internist’s skill. Sawyer runs out towards the Dharma…car shop? From under a van pops Juliet. Her job title? “Motor Pool.” The logo’s a wrench. Heh.
Sawyer begs Juliet to help Amy out. Juliet’s terrified, noting that she doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to successfully birthing children on the Island. Sawyer eventually convinces her to do so. The internist thinks this is crazy, but Juliet’s all, “I GOT your crazy!” Eventually, her medical knowledge impresses Amy enough to let her go through with the procedure. Sawyer gives Juliet one last pep talk and leaves.
Outside the infirmary, Jin reports back to the DI’s Head of Security, Jimmy The Rose. Jin’s English is pretty strong at this point, and he informs Sawyer that in their daily sweep, they still came up empty. Looks like the Mayberry’s a front for daily searches for the Oceanic 6 and company. Juliet emerges, crying with joy: it’s a healthy baby boy. Sawyer grins possibly the dorkiest grin he’s ever grinned.
While walking home after the successful birth, Sawyer picks up a flower from a Barracks garden. He brings it home to find dinner already made. Who’s made it? Juliet, naturally. They’re in lurve. And livin’ in sin. And to top it off, she’s not burning cookies but whipping up five-star meals! Things are looking up all over the place. I really hope Kate doesn’t show up soon.
Later on, Sawyer wakes up an extremely hung over Goodspeed. He gives Horace the good and bad news: he’s a daddy, but he missed it. Why did Horace get so drunk? Because he found Paul’s necklace in Amy’s sock drawer earlier that day. It’s only been three years, he tells Sawyer: can you fall out of love with someone in so short a time? Aaaaaand the Dharma anvil goes CLANG. Sawyer asserts that you can get over someone. After all, he used to love someone, but can barely remember her face now. In related news, Sawyer is a lying liar that lies.
The next morning, Sawyer/Juliet spoonage is interrupted by a call from Jin. Shocked by the news, he heads to the North Valley without telling Juliet where he’s going. Once there, he sees Hurley, Jack, and finally, Kate. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go kick a kitten.
In a season teeming with mythological sexiness, this one did NOT disappoint. On with the main themes.
The Others and The DI had a truce! Sounds a whole lot like the one made in “The Hunting Party” between Tom and Jack. Interesting, as in the 1950’s Richard’s offer was essentially “leave” to the U.S. military who lived there. Maybe the initial members of the DI convinced Richard they were harmless hippies and cut them in on a percentage of DI mac and cheese. Hard to say right now. What is clear? The Others are the superior force on the Island, and everyone knows it.
The statue once stood proud and tall! My wife instantly shouted, “Anubis!” I instantly shouted, “Bootylicious!” So you can guess which one of us in the brains in the operation. But having seen Anubis, and comparing it to what we saw tonight, I think she’s onto something. And notice what he’s holding in his left hand? Looks an awful lot like what Paul wore around his neck, no?
The Island’s a place where miracles happen…the miracle of reincarnation! The god Anubis represented the afterlife, with the ankh the Egyptian character for “eternal life.” Sounds a lot like the issues that Lost is currently dealing with during this season, between Richard’s agelessness, Locke’s resurrection, and the mysterious underground temple that may or may not deal with the mummification associated with Anubis.
The Dharma Initiative had a security team! Think of those in the Arrow like the Jack Bauers of the DI, while those bearing the sheriff logo are more like the Paul Blart, Mall Cops of the DI. Gotta love how snobbish the DI were: they gave Sawyer and company menial jobs that the intelligentsia didn’t want to perform. Then again, I’m sure the boys down in the Dharma Depot enjoyed staring at Juliet’s…um, rear bumper all day long.
23) The Moment
I loved every second of the Juliet/Sawyer scene by the submarine. In fact, freakin’ gold star to Josh Holloway in general. This season belongs to him and Jeremy Davies so far.
42) Random Thoughts
- For the life if me, I can’t figure out Horace Goodspeed’s love life. Last time I checked, he was married to schoolteacher Olivia. I suppose Amy’s gotta big ol’ DEATH sign hanging over her head, which will lead him into Olivia’s arms in Portland at some point in his future. I just hope he waits at least three years before moving on.
- Notice who we DIDN’T see three years later in New Otherton? Given that we saw him inside the Orchid in the season’s first episode, I’m assuming he’s still around. However, by the time Sawyer’s cohabiting with Juliet, Charlotte’s more than likely gone. I look forward to seeing where he’s stationed. Probably the hydra, as Caesar founds his notes there last week. Knowing the DI, though, they probably have the world’s top scientific minds making beer runs to the Pearl. (My brother’s insta-thought: Daniel’s about to go down a dark, dark road. Me likey. Think Doctor Manhattan crossed with Crispin Glover.)
108) In Summary
Bloody brilliant, that’s the summary. By focusing exclusively on Those Left Behind, the show achieved a narrative focus that has been lacking this season. Even “Bentham,” with its Locke-centric storyline, didn’t feel as focused as this week’s outing. The Dharma Initiative is such an intrinsic part of the story of Lost, and yet so little is known. Putting our characters into the thick of things is a master stroke and justifies the somewhat wobbly road the show took to get there.
Now, that might sound like a harsh statement, but what this show’s attempting, narratively speaking, is damn near impossible and damn sure unprecedented. No one expected smooth sailing for the entire trip; the road through the first half of the season was always going to have the bumps that those flying Ajira 316 experienced. But man, it looks like the show might stick the landing after all, insane degree of difficulty be damned.
What did you think of this Dharma-based episode? Did you buy the Sawyer/Juliet pairing? Is putting these characters inside the Dharma Initiative a masterstroke of the show’s “jumping the shark” moment? Leave your thoughts below! And make sure you bookmark Zap2It’s Guide to Lost, as we’ll be hosting a live chat there next Wednesday night to discuss this crazy season!