Update: 20th March For those that have been asking/emailing here is the link to Robz888 FlashForward Recap.
After last week's moving reunion of Jack, Hurley, Sun, Miles, Frank, Ben and Richard on the beach, "Recon" began with its own reunion. A little awkward, wasn't it?
That's because Flocke's group is a hodge podge of dispirited Others, Smoke Monsters, the possessed, the insane, and some deeply confused main characters. And yet, Flocke quickly goes to work making reassurances, keeping the peace, and gathering intelligence.
I liked this episode quite a bit - maybe not as much as "Dr. Linus" or "Sundown", but there was plenty going on all over the place, and that was nice. In addition to learning about Sawyer's life in the ATL, I was extremely happy to revisit the Ajira situation. We also received at least one extremely crucial insight into the Man in Black. Needless to say, I'm a little surprised to see the episode so far down in the polls. Then again, I liked "Expose", so what do I know?
Before I get to my recap, I just wanted to make a quick plug. ABC's "FlashForward" will be returning this Thursday, and I will be writing recaps after each episode just like I do for Lost. My recaps will be posted over on the FlashForward section of the Spoiler TV main site (scroll up, scroll over to Spoiler TV, click more shows, click ABC, find FlashForward). I encourage Lost fans to give the show a try - with Lost ending, we have to stake out some new territory, you know?
Anyway, I'd love to have many of you join me for FlashForward each week. But for now, on to "Recon". I'm going to cover all of the ATL first.
In any case, Sawyer is a cop in the ATL. He doesn't go by Sawyer - it seems he always stuck with James Ford in this reality - but he's still sleeping with rich, beautiful women, and in a way, he's still conning them, but now it's on behalf of local law enforcement! After he does the whole "you weren't exactly supposed to see that" routine, the woman pulls a gun on him. But all James Ford has to do is say the magic word "LaFleur", and his fellow officers bust in - among them, his partner, Miles.
We've actually seen Mr. Ford working with police before. There were his Dharma days as Head of Security, of course. But, also, remember his flashback in Every Man for Himself? That situation was somewhat similar to this one - he was conning on behalf of the police. This time, of course, he IS the police. The woman remarks that he is a lousy con man, but man is she wrong. Though Lost has offered up no shortage of con men, Sawyer is without a doubt the best, as Flocke points out later in the episode.
Back at the station, Miles informs Sawyer that he's going on a date with a "friend of mine - works with my dad at the museum." I actually missed this upon my first viewing, but it's pretty key. It would make sense for Pierre Chang and Charlotte to work together at a museum. We know based on what Roger told us in "Dr. Linus" that in the ATL, the Dharma Initiative and the island still existed at some point. If Roger and Ben were there, most of the rest of the Dharma crowd probably was, too. Chang was probably friends with Charlotte's parents, and it would make sense for them to work together, and for Miles to know her (them both being Dharma babies and all).
This of course means that Miles was indeed born on the island in the ATL. Since we've never discovered how exactly Miles gained his power, my best guess is that it's the result of some funky island electromagnetism. Since he wasn't actually on the island for very long in the MTL, maybe whatever caused his powers happened very near his birth, or was even passed onto him at birth or conception from one or both of his parents being exposed to electromagnetism. This leads me to believe that Miles will still talk to dead people in this reality.
On the other hand, the ATL seems to be where our characters have second chances and can free themselves of the crippling burdens they bore in their other lives. Thematically, it might make more sense for Miles not to have his powers here.
It's great that James and Miles work together in the ATL. Their bond was one of the last to develop over the course of Lost, but it's really a terrific one. I'm glad that these Dharma pals are destined to be buddies.
One more word on Miles - he mentions that he has a girlfriend. Want to guess who? Since it basically has to be someone we know, there are only a couple good guesses. It can't be Kate, Claire or Sun, Shannon is still in Australia, if Libby shows up she'll be with Hurley, Danielle is too old, Alex too young, Juliet will end up with Sawyer (getting coffee) if she appears at all, and we know it's not Charlotte. You know who that leaves?
Come on, that makes sense! She's an LA cop, her bad attitude can match Miles... they'd be perfect for each other. I'm not spoiled or anything, this is just a guess. But really, who else could it be? (Second best option - Juliet's sister, Rachel Carlson, as a way of introducing Sawyer to Juliet in the ATL).
The fact that he never wrote the letter might mean that Jacob never existed in this reality (or died much earlier). It was, after all, Jacob who pushed him to finish it after his uncle warned him not to. Jacob pushed James down the path of obsessive vengeance, of becoming a con man rather than a law man. Are we seeing a world without Jacob? A world where our characters are free to live their own lives without this meddlesome entity and his damned island? I must say, Jacob isn't exactly looking like the good guy at this point (I actually don't think Jacob or the Man in Black are all good or all bad, but I'll discuss that in the Flocke section).
The fact that Anthony Cooper is still responsible for the deaths of Sawyer's parents in the ATL raises some interesting questions, because it appears inconsistent with other information we have on Anthony Cooper. John Locke seemed to be on good terms with his father in "The Substitute" - he had a picture of them together on his desk and Helen mentioned that Cooper was invited to the wedding.
Maybe Cooper is still a bad guy and he's just conning John because he hasn't gotten his kidney yet, or something, but it seems to me like Helen would figure that out. She's pretty smart, and she has no problem following people around when she doesn't trust them. I have a feeling that if Cooper is okay in Helen's book, he should be okay in all of our books.
My honest guess - and that's all this is - is that Cooper did cause Mr. Ford to kill Mrs. Ford, but he later came to feel bad about it/his con man ways. I'm also going to bet that Sawyer meets him, finds him to be apologetic, and forgives him. Wouldn't that be a fitting way for ATL Saywer to find redemption?
Alas, after the love-making, she accidentally stumbles across the Sawyer file in his sock drawer. This is enough to trigger season 1 Sawyer, and she's quickly ejected from the apartment. When Sawyer wants a second chance later on, she tells him, "You blew it." It looks like there won't be any red-headed, nick-name giving toddlers in John Locke's substitute kindergarten class anytime soon. I wonder if the museum will be opening a new physics wing, bringing in a potential love interest for Charlotte in the form of a familiar fling named Daniel Faraday?
James also happens across another familiar face - Charlie's brother, Liam, who's come to the states to bail Charlie out of LAPD lockup. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Charlie, though I'm not sure which character's ATL flashes could cover it. Maybe Miles is getting his own side-flashes episode? Jin/Sun and Hurley are really the only other characters left who will get side-flash episodes for sure. Who knows, maybe Lost will do some doubling up.
Eventually, James reveals to Miles his plan to find and kill Anthony Cooper, but before they can discuss it in much length, yet another familiar face slams into their car. James soon corners the fugitive Kate Austen. I don't know where this is going to go - will James help her or arrest her? What will be the outcome of the ATL for Kate?
I was really expecting Juliet to show up in Sawyer's alternate life, but maybe they're saving that for the finale. I have little doubt that they'll end up together in the ATL, but this episode marked the first time in at least two seasons where I actually thought Kate and Sawyer might end up together in the MTL. How's that for the love-triange people: Sawyer and Juliet in one reality AND Kate and Sawyer in the other! That would be slightly absurd.
Nor does he try to hide the truth. Well, okay, he does a little bit - he doesn't tell everybody that he IS the Smoke Monster - but he does tell them that the Temple folk are dead. He expresses concern that this troubles young Zach, and he promises to take care of all of them. This reminded me very much of the way John, especially in early seasons, was often a source of calmness and comfort to the other crash survivors.
Flocke, however, is a much more effective leader than John Locke, because he knows when to be soft and he knows when to punch people in the face. After Sawyer raises his voice, Flocke privately scolds him and then says, "I forgive you." This struck me as something a very powerful, important person would do. Flocke is kind of like a mob boss, isn't he? He offers his protection to some people, he wipes out others.
Still, Flocke uses reason to appeal for support. He explains to Sawyer that he only killed the people at the Temple because they illogically cling to false beliefs. If they would only allow Flocke to leave the island, he would have no quarrel with them. But it's kill or be killed, "and I don't want to be killed," Flocke explains.
Do we believe him, at this point? I myself have gone back and forth. After "The Substitute" I wrote extensively on the parallels between Flocke and Walter, the villain of Stephen King's books, noting Walter's use of rationality while simultaneously being full of deceit and evil. But last week, I changed my tune and discussed the notion that Jacob and MIB are not good and evil, they are merely personifications of faith vs. science and destiny vs. free will, previously identified by Jack vs. John. Now Jack is a man of faith and destiny, and John is dead, his body inhabited by a seemingly logical, free will-supporting entity.
My point is that Lost is really, really humanizing Flocke. If it still wants to turn him into the main villain, it better start soon. And Jacob is going to have a lot of explaining to do before anyone (viewers or characters) puts much trust in him.
Anyway, Sawyer is given a mission to infiltrate the Ajira survivors on Hydra Island and prepare for takeoff in the crashed plane. He grabs a paddle, hops in a canoe, and makes his way to the little island where the Others once held him prisoner.
By the way, I'm now fairly certain that we will soon have an answer to the mysterious "other Others" who shot at Sawyer, John, Juliet, Miles Daniel and Charlotte during their canoe trip to the Orchid in "The Little Prince." These unknown assailants will probably turn out to be from Flocke's group or Widmore's team.
Later, as Kate attempts a frustratingly difficult conversation with Zombie Sayid, Claire tackles her and attempts to stab her as Sayid watches, doing nothing. But Flocke comes to the rescue and even hits Claire in the face. Eventually, he apologizes to Kate and confesses to confusing Claire with his "the Others have your baby" nonsense. He was only trying to give her a sense of purpose. "Have you ever had an enemy?" he asks. "Someone that you needed to hate? Very powerful, isn't?" We know of course that Flocke's hatred for Jacob may very well have been his motivation for many of his actions. Perhaps it was the thing that kept him going when he was a prisoner for possibly years or decades or centuries.
We soon learn that Jacob may not be the only person whom the Man in Black hated. In what was undoubtedly the biggest reveal of the episode, Flocke tells Kate that he had a mother who was crazy. The craziest thing, though, is the way he tells it - with extreme hesitation/uncertainty. He struggled to form his sentences, and could only say that his mother was crazy, it caused him "growing pains", and things could have been different. I can draw 3 different conclusions.
1) He struggles to tell the story because he's making it up on the spot. So far there have been several cases where we're not sure whether he's telling somebody the truth or simply what they'd like to hear. This might have simply been an on-the-spot attempt to recruit Kate. Even so, I don't like this explanation, because Flocke seems fairly bright. He may have been trying to recruit Kate, but I'd expect him to rehearse his story first.
2) He struggles to tell the story because it's true, and it's painful for him. This is highly plausible. If you believe the Jacob and Esau Biblical connection, there should be a mother named Rebekah. Rebekah preferred Jacob whereas the father, Isaac, preferred Esau. But thanks to the machinations of Jacob and Rebekah, Esau was cheated out of his inheritance. If MIB is supposed to be Esau, he might very well think his mother was crazy. This could also account for a host of other things, including the inability of women to survive childbirth on the island. Perhaps Esau took revenge against all mothers in his domain by initiating such a curse (by toppling the Statue of Tawaret, maybe?)
3) He struggles to tell the story because he's reaching into his subconscious and stealing it from John. John, after all, had a crazy mother who made his life difficult. While I think the parallel exists regardless, Flocke seemed to be taking on more and more of John's better traits this episode. I still hold the view that the real John might be buried in his subconscious somewhere, available to be mined for information and mannerisms. How else could Flocke know what John was thinking when he died?
In any case, Flocke seems to be implying to Kate that she may have to raise Aaron after all, which could be exactly what Kate wants most. Flocke is quite the wish granter.
Kate and Claire make up by the end of the episode, with Claire giving Kate a hug. I wonder how long this peace will last. Claire seems too unbalanced to continue to feel warmly toward Kate for very long.
For the record, I think Flocke zipped over to the Hydra Station and killed them all. He discussed doing so in the Incident, and I just don't know who else could have done it if it wasn't Widmore. And it doesn't really seem like Widmore. Also, if you look at the screenshots, none of them appear to be shot, but they might have been bludgeoned to death, which is Smokey's thing.
After catching a pretend Ajira passenger in her lie (She wasn't on the plane! No surprise there), Sawyer is captured by Widmore's people and brought to the sub. No offense, but Widmore's people this time around are pretty nerdy. They didn't seem nearly as threatening as the Keamys and Omars of the world.
Anyway, I couldn't help but wonder why Widmore was still in the sub. I think it's possible that he can't set foot on the island yet. Perhaps he needs MIB contained in order to do that, or something (his team is setting up a sonic fence-like border). Also, what do you think is in the locked compartment on the sub? Yeah, I'm rooting for it to be Desmond, but doesn't some sort of explosive seem more likely, given the history of things that Widmore brings to the island? But if it were Desmond, that would be awesome.
I was curious how much Sawyer and Widmore would know about each other. I don't think Sawyer realizes he met Widmore in the 50s, but he knows this man sent the freighter to the island to kill everybody. Widmore, for his part, seems to know Sawyer. I wonder if they both know they lived on the same island for three years in the 1970s?
In any case, Sawyer makes Widmore a deal - he'll tell Flocke that Hyrda Island is safe and Flocke will walk right into Widmore's trap. Widmore can then kill Flocke. This really threw me for a loop, as I fully expected Widmore to be on the Man in Black's team. Why, then, was he helping John in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"? Did he sincerely believe in John's quest to bring the Oceanic 6 back to the island? Is he working for Jacob?
I'm starting to think that Widmore might have his own agenda. But the fact that he seems interested in trapping and killing Flocke might make him part of Jacob's team. If Jacob really isn't the good guy, though - which is increasingly what I believe - Widmore might make more sense as an ally of his. Still, I assume that Jacob at least tacitly approved Widmore's exile from the island after the Purge, unless Ben and/or Richard did that all on their own. You never can tell with Jacob.
But you know what? They might still have been working together. Sure, Sawyer seems like Lost's greatest con man, but Flocke might be better. What if he is working with Widmore, and this whole reconnaissance mission was only Flocke's test to see if Sawyer was loyal to him? This could be why Widmore almost seemed to be expecting Sawyer. Flocke could have told him - after murdering the Ajira folk - that he was going to send Sawyer over. "Tell him you want to kill me," Flocke may have said, "and see how he reacts." The pylons could have been part of the con to convince Sawyer of false enmity between MIB and Widmore.
Also, think about "Dr. Linus". Remember when Flocke told Ben to head to the Hydra Station? Well, he told his group that they might not leave their present camp for a couple days, whereas he told Ben to ditch (and kill) Ilana and head for the Hydra right then and now. If Ben had shot Ilana and made his way to the Hydra, he would have fallen right into Charles Widmore's clutches. Since I'm guessing that killing Ben might still be Widmore's top priority, Flocke may have agreed to deliver Ben to him in exchange for help.
I could be totally off here - maybe Charles represents a third side or even higher authority (that crazy mother of Flocke's, even) or maybe he's just with Jacob after all.
Either way, Sawyer tells Kate (who, by the way, shared a seemingly genuine make up hug with Claire earlier in the episode) that he's not loyal to anybody ("Anybody but you, beautiful," he basically said). and just wants to get off the island. While Widmore and Flocke fight it out, he's ditching them and commandeering the sub. All I have to say is, he better get to it before Flocke. If the Man in Black continues channeling his subconscious John Locke, that sub is going to get blown up faster than you can say "You're not supposed to leave."
No major cliffhanger this week, which is fine. Not every episode has to have some surprising character appear on a submarine at the end. I was missing our friends at the Beach Camp, though, and will be excited to hopefully return to them next week.
Thanks for reading! Until next week,
- Robby "Robz888"