While You're Waiting for Moments That Never Come
"Lost: LaFleur" (S5/E8) Recap / Daniel Carlson
Lost Recaps | March 9, 2009 | Comments ()
(N.B.: There’s no new episode of “Lost” this week. The series returns with originals on March 18, meaning the next recap will run two weeks from today on Monday, March 23.)
“LaFleur” was a good episode. It’s hard to follow the kind of universe-shattering twist at the end of “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” where Ben Linus strangled John Locke like a coldhearted bastard, but still, “LaFleur” had some great moments. It (finally) followed through and the pairing of Sawyer and Juliet, which has been inevitable since the Kahana blew up, leaving them stranded and drinking on the beach; it firmly set the time period for some of the castaways and showed just how long Sawyer and company actually lived on Hell Island; and, last but in no way at all least — four-toed statue! Come on, that’s just awesome.
The episode opens with footage recycled from the end of “This Place Is Death,” with Sawyer firmly gripping the rope that used to feed into the well and now ends in the flat ground. Sawyer panics and starts digging at the dirt, but Juliet stops him and says that Locke — who disappeared underground in the time flash — is on his own now, and that whenever the castaways are, it’s clearly before the well was built. “I’d say way before,” says Miles, looking into the distance. (This is the beginning of the new footage, evidenced by the shift in lighting, hair, etc.) He points, slack-jawed, into the distance, and the rest of the group looks to see something fantastic: Down by the water is a giant, Egyptian-looking statue facing out to sea. This really pretty much has to be the back of the four-toed statue that Sayid, Jin, and Sun saw when they were sailing around the island in “Live Together, Die Alone,” the Season Two finale. It’s tough to identify what Egyptian god the statue might be — or even if that’s accurate — from the back and from this distance, but it’s still a great little moment that reinforces the long history of the island and its various inhabitants. Meanwhile, down below, Locke gets to his foot and turns the Wheel, and Sawyer and crew suffer their final time flash. It’s bigger and more painful than all the others, sending everyone to the ground; Miles is clutching his head in genuine anguish as he says, “That one was different. That was more like an earthquake.” Sawyer looks up to see the well has returned, and he bolts toward it without thinking, grabbing the rope and swinging over. But he lands right away on the dirt once more: The well has been filled in with stones and earth. Juliet stops for a moment before announcing, “My headache is gone.” Miles realizes he’s feeling better, too, and that his nose has stopped bleeding. Everyone starts to piece together what this means, but Juliet’s the first one to say it: “I think it’s over. I think John did it.” Jin asks what they do now, and Sawyer says they’re gonna wait for Locke to come back. “For how long?” Juliet asks him. I crossed my fingers and prayed that Sawyer would fire back with a great TV drama cliché that would fit the situation, and damned if he didn’t step right up and do just that. “As long as it takes,” he says.
But the amazing moment is the title card that appears reading “Three Years Later.” Sawyer’s group was skating around through time haphazardly for a while there, raising the possibility that they might wind up reconnecting with the Oceanic Six (or part of them) after not more than what they could consider a few days. (After all, it was only four days for Locke from the time he spoke to Richard and met a young Charles Widmore to the time he appeared in the Tunisian desert.) But it’s amazing to realize that those left behind would have to spend just as much time learning to survive in a new world as those that escaped. It’s a nice symmetry. So: Three years down the road, a man puts some tape on a reel-to-reel and fires up “Candida” as the camera pulls back to reveal the setting to be a typical-looking DHARMA bunker complete with banks of monitors and lights. A girl named Rosie, with awesomely feathered hair and a Geronimo Jackson shirt, is dancing with a man named Jerry — who is no longer wheelchair-bound! — in a DHARMA jumpsuit. They only get a few bars into the song when Jerry’s coworker, Phil, busts in and pissily asks what the hell Jerry is up to. (He’s probably upset because he just had that creepy dream again.) In one of those typically overdone bits of dialogue that can pop up on “Lost,” Phil accuses Jerry of having a hootenanny, and in return Jerry tells Phil not to be such a bummer and to try one of Rosie’s brownies. I’m kind of surprised Jerry didn’t say, “Dude this is 1977, we’re supposed to be relaxed in regards to work, recreational drugs, and the song stylings of Tony Orlando. You’re all Luke, and I’m trying to be Han.” I get it, guys. (Also, the 1974/1977 time periods won’t really lock in until Sawyer mentions the year at the end of the episode, but it’s just a lot simpler to use them up front here.) Jerry tells Phil to stop harshing his mellow, since it’s not like “the polar bears are gonna figure a way out of their cages.” Phil says the point is that they’ll be in trouble if LaFleur finds out what they’re up to, and while they get into an argument over the merits of screwing around behind their boss’ back, Rosie looks to the monitor bank and sees a guy stumbling around. Jerry and Phil rush over and zoom one of the cameras in to discover that the figure is none other than Horace, the guy who witnessed Ben’s birth, welcomed Ben and his father to the island, and will be killed in the purge of 1992. On this night, though, Horace is stumbling around a field, three sheets to the wind, and packing dynamite. He’s blowing up trees like it’s Bastogne, which understandably upsets Phil and Jerry, who shows Rosie to the door and tells her to keep quiet about being there. “We’ve got to get LaFleur,” Phil says, even though he’s clearly not wild about the idea. Neither is Jerry, who says that waking up LaFleur at 3 a.m. is a bad idea. Horace blows up another tree, and the two men cave and take off running through the Barracks, stopping at a house but suddenly reluctant to knock on the door. Phil eventually knocks a few times, and the porch light comes on as a man’s voice growls “What?” from inside. Phil says there’s a situation “out at the pylons” — Horace’s demolition experiments were pretty close to the sonic fence — and the door swings open as the voice asks, “What kind of situation?” The Southern drawl is instantly recognizable, but the episode still takes its time with the reveal. The two men recap what’s happening with Horace as the camera pulls back to show that LaFleur is indeed Sawyer. Sawyer turns from the men, utters this week’s “Son of a bitch,” and grabs a DHARMA jumpsuit that identifies him as head of security from a nearby chair, zipping it up as he heads off with the men. It’s a great moment not just because of what happens — Sawyer’s being in DHARMA isn’t that shocking considering that we’ve seen Jin in uniform as well, and know that Faraday works at the Wheel excavation site — but because it raises all sorts of interesting questions as to why and how this has happened.
Cut to Sawyer in the DHARMA van, honking the horn as Miles bounds out of his own house in his own jumpsuit. Sawyer, who’s clean shaven and wearing wire-frame glasses, refers to Miles as “Enos” as he gets in, and asks him if he’s got his “zapper.” Miles says he does, but wants to know why they need it. Sawyer says their “fearless leader” is out wasted and blowing up trees, and adds that he and Miles will be keeping their mission on the down low since Horace is known not to drink. They arrive and find Horace passed out not far from the burning remains of a small tree, and Sawyer tells Miles to put out the fire while Sawyer takes the drunk home. Miles wants to know why their duties can’t be reversed, and Sawyer responds, “You wanna tell Amy where we found him?” Miles’ nonresponse is all the response Sawyer needs, and they work to lift Horace. Back at the Barracks, Sawyer knocks on a door and a woman, Amy, answers. Seeing Horace passed out and slung over Sawyer’s shoulder, she says, “Oh my God. Is he okay?” Sawyer says, “You tell me,” and then carries Horace inside and places him on the sofa. Amy, who’s very pregnant, asks what happened, and Sawyer tells her the truth, that Horace was out by the Flame blowing up trees. Amy admits she and Horace had a fight, but says it’s a “personal” matter and doesn’t want to get into it. Sawyer says there’s no way to keep a lid on what happened, and that Horace’s antics will be on the “coconut telegraph” by morning. It’s good to see that time in the service of DHARMA hasn’t dampened Sawyer’s wit. Amy says she and Horace had been fighting about Paul, and Sawyer gives her a knowing look before asking her to go on. But before she can, she clutches her belly in pain and cries out, pitching forward into Sawyer’s arms. “The baby!” she shouts. “It’s coming!” Sawyer manages to get her in a chair, muttering “Oh, hell.”
Three years earlier, in 1974, Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, and Jin make their way back to the path where they left Faraday and Charlotte. Charlotte’s gone, and Faraday is sitting talking to himself like a crazy person, muttering on a loop, “I’m not ever gonna tell her. Don’t tell her. I won’t.” Juliet softly approaches him and asks what happened to Charlotte, and he says she’s gone. “She’s dead. There was another flash, and she was just gone.” He adds, “She moved on, and we stayed.” I don’t think this is quite the right way to look at it, since Charlotte was now dead and unable to make the time flash with the rest, meaning that she stayed back in the time of the giant statue while everyone else got shot forward to the Nixon era. But given Faraday’s grief, it’s understandable he’d be squishy on the quantum mechanics of it all. Juliet is honestly moved by Faraday’s situation. Sawyer speaks up and asks if the time shifting is over, and Faraday says, “Wherever we are now — whenever we are now — we’re here for good.” Faraday then lapses back into his repeated moans and mumbles about how he’s “not gonna do it,” and Juliet lets him sit there while she and the group try to form a plan. Sawyer suggests heading back to the beach, since he reasons that’s where Locke will look for them when he returns. Miles douches out and says they’re just gonna get attacked again, plus all their stuff is gone so why bother. Juliet backs up Sawyer and says the beach is a good idea, but Miles has some more douchiness to unload, and he complains that they’re just going to get bored at the beach and want to head back to the Orchid, then back to the beach all over again. “It’s the only two plans you people have,” he says, declining to offer his own plan or in any way help out. Sawyer snaps back that the plan is to head to the beach, and build new stuff if they have to, and if Miles doesn’t like it he can have fun foraging on his own. Sawyer walks away, and Miles turns to Juliet and says, “Who put him in charge?” But they all decide to move out for the beach. Miles leads the way, idly tossing a stick, while Jin and Faraday follow and Sawyer and Juliet bring up the rear. Sawyer thanks Juliet for backing him up, and she tells him she thinks heading to the beach is actually pretty stupid, but there was nothing else to do. Sawyer says he’s open to suggestions, and they’re both grinning a little, and really it’s just a matter of time before they give in to their urges, but before they can keep trying to flirt, gunshots ring out not far away. The group stops walking, and Juliet and Sawyer both raise their rifles in the direction of the shots and wait. The group cuts off through the jungle and find themselves hiding on the edge of a clearing where two men who look vaguely Otherish are closing in a woman begging for her life. There’s a fourth body on the ground, not moving. The men put a hood over the woman’s head and push her to her knees, which is never ever a good sign. Juliet asks who the men might be, but Miles says he doesn’t care, since they don’t even know what year it is. He turns to Faraday, still in a fugue of grief, and says, “We don’t get involved, right? That’s what you said.” Faraday shrugs like this whole thing is Chinatown, saying it doesn’t matter what they do because whatever happened, happened. Sawyer says, “Yeah, thanks anyway, Plato,” and announces he’s going to intervene. He tells Juliet to cover him and quickly moves in on the armed men, and when he gets close enough he raises his weapon and orders them to drop theirs. One guy turns and fires at Sawyer but is immediately felled by a bullet in the heart. Sawyer looks down to see that he’s not hurt — miraculously — and looks behind him to see that Juliet was the one who shot the guy. Sawyer brings his rifle back up and kills the other man, and he and Juliet close in on the scene. They make eye contact and give that little nod people give when killing for each other. They collect the dead men’s guns, and Sawyer goes to the woman and takes the hood off, telling her she’s safe now. The woman turns out to be Amy, still three years away from giving birth and calling Sawyer “LaFleur,” but she doesn’t exactly look comforted by Sawyer’s presence. “Who are you?” she asks a little nervously, and Sawyer looks at Juliet with the kind of wide-eyed, what-did-I-do look that would totally tip his hand in real life.
A few moments later, Amy is awkwardly doing the splits next to the dead guy, Paul. Faraday looks on and is probably projecting all kinds of personal horrors onto the scene. Juliet points out to Sawyer that guy is wearing a DHARMA jumpsuit, which places their time in the 1970s-1980s. Sawyer asks if the other guys were Other guys, but Juliet says it’s before her time, so she wouldn’t know. Jin takes a walkie-talkie off one of the bodies and pitches it to Sawyer, and as he fires it up, Juliet says it’s time to go. Sawyer goes over to Amy and tells her they need to get moving, and she asks again who he is. Sawyer actually pauses a moment (with a horrible poker face) before saying quickly, “Our ship wrecked here on the way to Tahiti, but that ain’t important right now.” He tells her that whoever’s on the other end of the walkie will definitely want to know what happened to the two guys who are now dead, and that won’t be a fun meeting. Amy, fully processing what’s happening, gets to her feet and begins to insist that they bury the dead men, and she grows more agitated when she mentions “the truce,” repeating that they need to bury the dead Others and bring Paul “back home.” She begs Sawyer for his help and begins to weep again. Jin steps forward and volunteers to carry Paul, and Sawyer says they have to move fast if they want to bury the bad guys and get Amy’s friend. Amy corrects him, saying, “He wasn’t my friend. He was my husband.” It’s not long before they’ve done what they needed to do and are marching through the jungle, with Jin carrying Paul over his shoulders like he’s a pack mule. Dude is amazingly strong. Sawyer, walking with Miles and Juliet, says that there will be a lot of questions when they get wherever they’re going, and that he needs to be the one doing the talking. Miles is douchily uncertain that Sawyer can really persuade the DHARMA people that they were in a boat wreck, but Sawyer growls back, “I’m a professional. I used to lie for a living.” Maybe so, dude, but I think you’re weakening. You used to be a lot smoother at lying, even on the island. You better up your game. Just then, Juliet shouts out, “Daniel, stop!” Faraday and the rest halt in their tracks as they look up to see the row of pylons marking the sonic fence. Amy, the smug asshat, is standing there looking cartoonishly innocent as Juliet strides up and says, “Turn it off.” Amy replies, “Turn what off?” Damn DHARMA people. Juliet doesn’t want to totally blow her cover, but she gestures to the pylons and says, “Whatever that is. It looks like some sort of sonic fence or something.” Amy asks again where their ship was going, but Sawyer basically tells her to can the act and trust them since they just saved her life and helped bury the evidence. Amy reluctantly agrees and walks over to a control pad on one of the pylons. She presses a series of buttons and then opens the hatch to pull something out. Sawyer whispers to Juliet that he was supposed to be the one doing the talking — which dude, let a lady lead once in a while — and she responds that Fardaay would’ve fried his brain if he’d kept going. “His brain’s already fried,” Sawyer replies, perhaps not quite getting the distinction between the sorrow of losing a love and the nervous system damage done by technology designed to ward off the smoke monster. Amy turns back to the group and says the fence is off. “You first,” Sawyer says. Amy hesitates but walks across the invisible barrier and isn’t harmed, and she stops a few paces in, turns to the others, and tells them it’s fine. Sawyer motions his group to move forward, and actually begins to say something about how they should all do a better job of trusting each other before he and everyone else in the group are sent to their knees by the sonic fence. They writhe in pain before passing out, and Amy takes a pair of plugs from her ears.
In 1977, Amy is screaming like she’s gonna get a prize for most terrifying childbirth sequence in primetime. She’s on a bed in the infirmary while Sawyer paces a few feet away. A doctor is checking her out and says she’s going to be fine and that she should “try and relax.” The doctor walks over to Sawyer and asks where Horace is, and if he knows his wife is in labor. Sawyer says that Horace is “unavailable.” The doctor tells him that Amy’s baby is breech and that a C-section is needed. Sawyer, not unreasonably, tells the doctor to just go ahead and do it already and not solicit opinions. The doctor replies that he’s an internist, not an obstetrician, and besides, the women there always deliver on the mainland anyway. Amy was apparently supposed to board the sub a few days from now and have the baby there, but the kid is two weeks early. The doctor says he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to deliver the baby safely, which is all Sawyer needs to hear. He takes off running, cutting through the woods to arrive at a DHARMA mechanic shop. (Those guys had everything!) It’s morning by now. Asking a mechanic where “she” is, Sawyer is directed to the blue van one bay over, where he finds Juliet doing body work underneath. This pretty much confirms that Juliet is winning the battle between her and Kate for who would be a better mate for Sawyer. A friend of mine online remarked that Kate is some kind of siren for these guys, to which I replied, “Well, of course. She’s batshit insane, has loyalty issues, daddy issues, just seven tons of baggage, fucks blindly, leaves willingly, and never makes you feel good for very long. That’s like a magnet.” And another friend, after seeing this episode, tweeted: “Juliet knows about shooting mofos in the chest, being a doc, Latin, trucks, the kitchen, the bedroom. Also, had sex with Angelina.” He’s admittedly covering a lot of ground, but I have to agree with his overall premise. Juliet always seemed more down to earth, and the fact that she can blend in with a persona as a mechanic just proves it. Jack should’ve never left his cage. So anyway: Juliet — whose fake name on her DHARMA jumpsuit is, well, Juliet — asks Sawyer what’s up, and he says that Amy’s in labor. Juliet, surprised, stands up as Sawyer tells her that Amy’s in trouble and needs a Caesarean. Juliet lowers her voice and pushes Sawyer close to the van, saying, “We had an agreement.” Sawyer says screw the agreement, the doctor they have has never done a C-section, but Sawyer’s guessing Juliet’s done plenty. Juliet, working through her own demons, reminds Sawyer that every time she’s tried to help a woman give birth on the island, it hasn’t worked. Sawyer says, “Well, maybe whatever made that happen hasn’t happened yet.” He pleads for Juliet’s help, and Juliet tosses her glove at his chest as she stalks off.
Over at the infirmary, Juliet is sitting next to Amy, and she asks the doctor if he tried some kind of procedure that could be real or made up, who knows. The doc says he didn’t, and Juliet says it’s too late now anyway, asking for a scalpel, sutures, and an epidural. The doctor asks again where Horace is, and Sawyer says he’s speaking on behalf of Horace and that Juliet will deliver the baby. The doctor attempts to protest again, but Amy speaks up and says, “I want her to do it.” The doc walks off all pissed. Sawyer leans in to Juliet and says, “Listen, you’re gonna do great. I know you are.” This is as close as he can get to a “Clear eyes, full hearts” pep talk, and it actually kind of works. He walks away as Juliet grabs a stethoscope and turns her attention back to Amy. Some time later, Sawyer is pacing on the porch outside the infirmary when Jin comes up, asking if everything’s okay, adding that he heard Amy went into labor. Three years on the island have totally upped Jin’s English-speaking skills, too; he’s fluent and at ease, which has been a long time coming. Daniel Dae Kim grew up in Pennsylvania, for crying out loud, and anyone who’s ever heard him on “Angel” or other shows knows that it’s been weird to have to listen to him bark phrases like “Fire big bad” for five seasons now. Sawyer says Juliet’s in there right now trying to help Amy, and the news is a surprise for Jin. Sawyer admits that he “pulled her out of retirement.” The men sit as Sawyer asks if Jin’s had any luck. He replies that they finished grid 1-3-3 that day, but there’s no sign of their people. Sawyer sits back with a sigh and says they’ll move on to grid 1-3-4. Jin asks how long they’re supposed to keep looking, and Sawyer replies — everyone say it with me — “As long as it takes.” You can tell they’re both weary, too. Just then Juliet emerges from the infirmary, wiping away a tear. Sawyer asks what happened, and Juliet is still in shock when she says, “It’s a boy.” Mother and son are just fine, too. Sawyer grins like a goofball and misses a perfect opportunity to sweep Juliet up in a congratulatory kiss. So who is Amy’s son? Is this the last baby to be born on the island before whatever plague sweeps in that makes childbirth impossible?
Back in 1974, Sawyer wakes up from his unwanted nap. He’s on a couch in the rec room in the Barracks, and Horace is standing next to him, leaning against the pool table. “How’s your head?” he asks. “It hurts,” Sawyer replies. Sawyer asks where the rest of his friends are, and Horace assures him their fine, then thanks him for helping out Amy. Sawyer isn’t exactly pumped about being knocked out, and Horace explains that they’ve got “certain defense protocols” they use to deal with the “hostile indigenous people” on the island. Horace then drops the chat and asks who the hell Sawyer is, and this is where Sawyer really puts on the old con man hat, dusty though it may be. He introduces himself as James LaFleur, and actually stalls Horace’s line of questioning by asking again where his friends are. Horace says he was told by the others to talk to Sawyer, who was supposed to be their boat captain. Sawyer stands up and keeps spinning his story, though he doesn’t make a ton of eye contact. (Would it have been too much to ask for Sawyer to be an amazing liar right away? Why the sudden “act”?) Sawyer says he and his crew wrecked when they got caught in a storm, and he gets smoother as he tells Horace he was running a salvage vessel searching for the wreck of the Black Rock, an old slave ship running out of Portsmouth, England. Sawyer asks if Horace has heard of the ship, but Horace responds that he hasn’t. Sawyer says he and his friends were looking for the rest of their missing crew when they came across Amy. Horace, having heard enough for now, tells Sawyer that if the missing crew is found, they’ll be sent right along after Sawyer and his friends, who are going to be placed on the submarine the next morning and ferried to Tahiti, where they can find their way home. Horace walks away, considering the matter closed, but Sawyer stops him and asks if saving Amy earns him a week or two to look for the rest of his crew. Horace denies the request, saying the only people permitted on the compound are members of the DHARMA Initiative, adding that Sawyer is “not DHARMA material.” With that, he walks away.
Outside, Juliet, Jin, Miles, and Faraday are sitting around a patio table, watching DHARMA folks walk by as they discuss the situation at hand. “We’re screwed,” Miles says. “He’s probably trying to explain time travel by now.” Juliet says Sawyer can handle himself, then points out to the others that she used to live in a nearby house for more than three years. Miles thinks she was in DHARMA, but Juliet tells him that the Others killed of DHARMA and took over the Barracks, then brought Juliet to the island a long time after that. “Well, welcome home,” he says. Jin asks Faraday if they’re really done with the time flashes, and Faraday gets even moodier as he tells Jin that the flashes have stopped. He says the record has started spinning again, they’re just on the wrong song now. Faraday sees a little redheaded girl run past, and she turns and waves as she scampers alongside a woman who says, “Come on, love,” in a British accent. “Charlotte,” Faraday whispers. Is this Charlotte? In the episode “Confirmed Dead,” Ben told Locke that Charlotte was born in 1979, and this little girl looks to be 5ish in 1974. So was he 10 years off? Then again, Ben’s bio also said Charlotte was born in Essex, England, and Charlotte admitted she grew up on the island, so she might also have been born there, thus making his info slightly circumspect. Additionally, the island apparently needs to be approached on certain vectors to avoid major time shifts, and experiments Faraday conducted last season showed a lag between the time people or things left the Kahana and when they arrived on the island; their doctor, for instance, washed ashore with his throat cut before he was even killed on the boat. So is it possible that Charlotte is the little redheaded girl and that she skipped forward in time a little when she left the island? Or is Faraday just sad and grasping at straws? Before he can figure it out, Horace approaches with Sawyer and tells them someone will be along in a minute to show them to their quarters, after which he takes off again. Sawyer fills in the group on Horace’s plan to put them on the sub the next morning, which Miles things is a good idea. Just then the alarm begins to sound, though, and floodlights come on as people start running around like crazy, looking for shelter. Phil rushed up, carrying a rifle, and orders Sawyer and his group to head inside. They follow him into one of the houses, where there’s a woman just standing in the kitchen, holding a rifle, looking like this is the most normal way to kill an evening. Phil tells the woman, Heather, to keep an eye on the new people, and then he takes off running outside. The alarm fades and stops as Sawyer and Juliet move to the window and see a man with a torch approaching from out of the jungle. The man stops, drives the torch into the ground like a marker, and walks forward into the light in the middle of the houses: It is, of course, Richard Alpert. Juliet looks like she both feared and expected this. Sawyer, out of indults or nicknames for the moment, just says, “Uh-oh.”
Horace opens his door to see Richard standing in the courtyard like Michael Myers. They exchange forced pleasantries, and Horace says he would have turned the fence off if he’d known Richard wanted to swing by. Richard grins and says, “That fence may keep other things out, but not us.” Richard goes on to say that the only thing that does keep the Others out is the truce, which Horace’s people have now broken. Horace plays dumb — bad idea, man — and Richard asks where his two men are. Back at the house, Miles looks out the window to see Richard and Horace getting into a heated argument that requires a lot of hand gestures. He turns to the others and says that the submarine is sounding better and better, but Sawyer says, “Hold your horses, Bonzai, no one’s getting on a sub.” Nice one, Sawyer; the judges also would have accepted “Short-Round.” Horace enters with Phil and asks Sawyer how well he buried the bodies, to which Sawyer replies, “That depends on how hard he looks.” Horace didn’t want to hear that, so he turns to Phil and tells him to call the Arrow and inform them they’re at Condition One, and that he should take the heavy ordnance and set the sonic fence to maximum. Guy is prepping for a battle. Sawyer steps in and asks to talk to Horace’s “buddy out there with the eyeliner” (two for two, man), but Horace says that they’ve got a truce in place Sawyer doesn’t understand. Sawyer says he’s the one responsible for the dead men anyway, so he brushes past Horace and heads out to meet Richard. Juliet stops him at the door and asks if he knows what he’s doing. “Not yet,” he says, “but I’ll figure something out.” Sawyer is Han.
Out in the courtyard, Sawyer strolls up to Richard with the confidence of a man who knows he knows more than his opponent. “Hello, Richard,” he says, and when Richard asks if they know each other, Sawyer owns up to killing the two Others, explaining that he acted in self-defense. Sawyer also says that he’s not a member of the compound’s inhabitants, which naturally makes Richard ask just who Sawyer is if he’s not with DHARMA. Then Sawyer sits on the bench next to Richard and blows the dude’s mind. “Did you bury the bomb?” he asks. “The hydrogen bomb with ‘Jughead’ written on the side. Did you bury it?” Richard is stunned, speechless, at the way Sawyer drops the details on him, and Sawyer goes on to say he knows that 20 years ago, “some bald fella limped into your camp” and claimed to be Richard’s chosen leader before disappearing. Richard is uneasy and on his guard here, which is great because he’s so rarely put against the ropes. Sawyer says that man was John Locke, and Sawyer is awaiting his return. Richard is convinced that Sawyer isn’t a part of DHARMA, but he maintains that his people will need “some kind of justice” for the two men Sawyer killed.
Shortly thereafter, Horace and Sawyer head to Amy’s house, where she’s sitting next to Paul, who’s been placed on the bed. She asks if Richard is gone, and Horace says he’s still there, and that they’ve told him where his two men are buried. Amy’s upset, but it gets worse when Horace tells her that Sawyer worked out a way to maintain a truce with the Others, but it means giving them Paul’s body. Amy starts to panic a little and cry, but Horace bends down and comforts her, calling her “Ames” and telling her that they’ve been friends for a long time, and that what happens is totally up to her. “If you don’t wanna give him to them,” he tells her, “then we will suffer the consequences.” But he says it with an air of determination, volunteering his people’s strength instead of blaming Amy for whatever war might occur. She looks back at her husband’s body and says quietly that the Others can have him because Paul would’ve wanted the DHARMA people to stay safe. She asks for a moment with the body, and Horace turns away as Amy reaches over and removes a wooden ankh from a string around Paul’s neck. (Does it mean anything that the giant statue was also holding an ankh?) And with that, she turns to leave. Sawyer says he’s sorry as she walks by, and she looks at him but doesn’t reply. Sawyer asks if Horace needs help with the body, but he says he can manage. Sawyer is about to leave when Horace stops him and says that the sub leaving tomorrow will be back in two weeks, and that until then Sawyer and his friends can stay and look for the rest of their crew. Sawyer nods and thanks him before leaving.
Juliet is sitting down on the pier next to the sub when Sawyer walks up, saying he bought them two weeks, and that with luck Locke might be back by then. Juliet says that Locke was leaving to save them, though, and that’s apparently what’s happened: No more time flashes, bloody noses, etc. She tells Sawyer that she came to the island on the same sub she’s sitting next to, and that after three years of trying to leave the island, she’s finally got her chance. Sawyer is wrecked by the announcement, and tries to reason with her by reminding her it’s 1974 — he must’ve picked this up somewhere — and that whatever Juliet would want to go home to isn’t around yet. She says that’s not reason enough not to go. Sawyer switches to humor and says she can’t just leave him there with “the mad scientist and Mr. I Speak To Dead People,” adding that Jin is a nice guy but “not exactly the greatest conversationalist.” Juliet’s laughing a little at this point, and her mind is pretty much made up. Sawyer asks who’s gonna get his back if she’s gone, and they have a few heavy glances as he tells her to give him two weeks before deciding to leave. She gives in and agrees.
Back to 1977: Sawyer is strolling through the Barracks one afternoon when he sees some flowers in a planter. He stops and picks a big ol’ purdy yellow one, gives it a sniff, and carries it off. Cut to a house, where a bouquet of flowers sits next to a nice dinner being served with DHARMA merlot. Sawyer walks in and says the food smells good; from the kitchen, Juliet returns the greeting. Sawyer walks in as she moves some food to the sink, and he holds up the flower for her. “You were amazing today,” he tells her, referring (I hope) to the way she delivered Amy’s baby, from which there was apparently no fallout or curiosity over how a mechanic knows obstetrics. They hug tightly and then kiss before saying “I love you” and getting right back into it. No telling how long it took them to get together, but it’s clear they’ve been that way for a while now. And can I just say: Finally.
Later that night — I guess? — Sawyer is sitting next to Horace and reading when the man finally comes out of his drunken stupor. There’s a cute role reversal from three years earlier as Sawyer asks, “How’s your head?” and Horace replies, “It hurts.” Next time, Horace should take three extra-strength Excedrin and three Tums as soon as he gets home, before sleeping, then again when he wakes up. Trust me. Sawyer takes off his glasses as he says he’s got good news and bad news for Horace: He’s a father, but he missed the birth. Horace is stunned at the discovery that he has a son, and Sawyer switches to therapist mode to try and figure out why Horace was out on a bender. Horace says he and Amy got into a fight, and he pulls Paul’s ankh from his pocket. He’d found it in Amy’s sock drawer and lost it. Sawyer can’t quite believe that’s why they were fighting, but Horace says, “It’s only been three years, Jim. Is that really long enough to get over someone?” Sawyer gets all frowny as the relevance comes crashing down on him. He tells Horace that he used to love a woman and even had a chance to be with her, but he didn’t act on it. He says he used to lie in bed wondering if he’d ever get over her, and now he can barely remember her face. Sawyer (maybe even unknowingly) echoes his line from the loss he felt after seeing Kate again in the jungle during the time flashes: “She’s just gone, and she ain’t ever coming back.” He tells Horace that three years is absolutely enough time to get over someone, and though it’s good to hear Sawyer say this, you know it’s gonna bite him on the ass pretty soon.
The next morning, Sawyer and Juliet are in bed when the phone rings, waking them. Sawyer answers the phone with a growl, but his face turns to panic when he listens to the caller. He says, “No, don’t bring them in, just meet me in the north valley.” He looks dazed, and you just know what’s coming. He hangs up the phone and dresses quickly as Juliet asks who called. Sawyer says it was Jin, but he doesn’t tell her why Jin called, only that he has to go. Not long after, Sawyer is driving a blue DHARMA Jeep across an empty field when he stops to meet an approaching DHARMA van. He stands there as Hurley and Jack get out of the van, and nobody says anything; they just let the weight of the three years hang there for a beat. Sawyer takes off his glasses as, inevitably, Kate steps into view, and they just stare at each other. She smiles a little, but Sawyer can’t speak. They just live in that moment.
And that’s the episode. Overall, it did a good job bridging the gap between the survivors’ final time shift and the moment they begin to meet up with the Oceanic Six again, and it’s interesting to see that both groups of people were forced to live under a cover story for three years to survive. The episode also raised a lot of interesting questions, like just what the hell is up with the giant creepy statue? What’s the big deal about Paul’s necklace, or is that just another red herring? How come Amy’s delivery worked out, and when do women lose the ability to give birth on the island? Also, just who is her son? Also, where are the rest of the Oceanic survivors? I’m not talking about Jack, Kate, and Hurley; I’m talking about Rose and Bernard, last seen running with nameless extras into the jungle after the flaming arrow attack on the beach. They should’ve kept jumping with every flash; what happened to them? Also, the 1977 plotline has the potential to get really wacky, not even counting whatever kind of terrifying advice Faraday might be giving the young maybe-Charlotte. Ben and his father got to the island sometime in the 1970s. Have Sawyer and the rest met the little guy and been avoiding him, or are they going to eventually meet him? Or will they somehow make it back to the present before little Ben arrives? Locke, Ben, and the rest of the Ajira 316 passengers are still in the future, crashed on Hydra Island after the DHARMA Initiative had been purged; what will they do next? Was the flash that raptured the Oceanic Six back to the island visible to the DHARMA Initiative? Also, how soupy and crazy will the Sawyer-Kate-Jack triangle get? Sawyer had acted like he’d moved on, but he also didn’t tell Juliet where he was going when he went to meet Kate and the rest. He seems to be in love with Kate, but maybe he just settled like Tyrol did. Whatever happens, it’s going to be good.
Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.