Previously on LOST: Recon


Previously on LOST is a weekly column recapping and analyzing each episode from the final season of Lost. (Warning: May contain spoilers!)

The thing that has always separated LOST from shows like CSI, Law & Order and other network staples is that you never know exactly what you’re going to get from an episode. The show takes bold steps experimenting with narrative structure and introducing higher concept plot devices. I’ve recently started watching House, and every episode follows the same basic formula. House treats patient, treatment fails, House treats again, treatment fails, house treats clinic patient that sheds light on his current diagnostic dilemma, House saves the day. I’m not saying a show adhering to this type blueprint is a bad thing, as it yields generally palatable results. So far this season on LOST, the structure of each episode tends to be following a ‘paint-by-numbers’ approach.

Off island: take the focus character of the episode and place him or her in a situation that is contradictory to the character’s path we’ve seen in previous flashbacks. Sprinkle in as many serendipitous meetings with other Losties as possible.

On island: focus on one of the splintered factions of characters, progress them where they need to be for the series climax, through manipulations of Jacob or the Man in Black. These episodes have been watchable but I’m really starting to hope for something more as the show comes to a close. I find myself craving a change up that other seasons have thrown in like “The Constant” or “The Other 48 Days”.

“Recon” is the result of applying this pattern to Sawyer. In the flash sideways, James Ford is a police officer, a far cry from the con man we’re used to, but still driven by claiming revenge over the man who stole his childhood. The story didn’t go very far, but it managed to keep my interest mostly due to the chemistry between Sawyer and Miles. I did find that flash ended abruptly when Sawyer caught Kate, but I suspect this will be addressed further in future episodes.

On the island, Sawyer was sent to investigate Hydra Island where he discovered a team of new arrivals led by Charles Widmore. It appears that they are preparing defenses against the smoke monster, but their motivations still aren’t clear. What was clear is that there is something of great significance locked up on Widmore’s submarine. Odds on favourites would be Penny and/or Desmond, but time will tell. Sawyer managed to work both sides in what he hopes will lead to a diversion so that he and Kate can get off the island for good.

We also caught a glimpse of Flocke doing some damage control with his followers, including laying the smack down on a hysterical Claire, after the tension between her and Kate came to a head. While diffusing the situation we learned that the smoke monster had a “crazy mother” himself. It’s not trivial who or what the mother of a smoke monster could be, but I have a feeling that answer will follow naturally once the true nature of the Jacob and the Man in Black are revealed.

The thing that excited me the most about this episode was next week’s teaser. In all fairness to the writers, they’ve been working with characters that have been examined pretty meticulously throughout the course of the series and there’s not a lot left to learn about them. Next week boasts to tell the story of Richard Alpert, a character that is still shrouded in mystery. This could be the shot of adrenaline that brings some new life back into the show for the home stretch.

Discussion Questions

  • What’s locked up in the submarine?
  • Is Widmore aligned with Jacob or MiB or is he out to claim the island for his own?
  • What’s up with Sayid?
  • Did anyone else find the “We’re taking the Sub” line at the end incredibly over dramatized and completely anticlimactic?

SCORE: 2.5 stars

  • AJ

    I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling a bit let down with this season. It took awhile to convert me to a LOST follower to begin with, but now that I finally caught up with the previous seasons I can’t help but think that this parallel universe angle is the lamest shtick yet. That being said, I won’t bet against the show delivering a great series finale in the last few episodes.

    I am personally holding out hope for an epic Mortal Kombat style finale with Flocke vs parallel Locke duking it out with dead Locke used as a back-drop.

  • RaphNL

    Underrated episode. Next week the big episode, could either be awesome or a real disappointment after all the buildup of Richard/MIB/Jacob.

  • Ben

    I think that, so far, the episodes have been doing a bit of tidying up prior to all hell breaking loose basically. They’re basically just getting all their ducks in a row; something that actually should have been done in a 2nd to last season but they decided to do shorter seasons.

  • Ben

    Also, since we’re getting Richard next week, I got to thinking, what if his “immortality” is really just an extended version of Michael not being able to kill himself? Seems like it would make sense for that to be the case. Of course, Michael didn’t get a full explanation or an extended period where anyone would have noticed something like him not aging.

  • bus

    I would definitely watch a cop drama with Miles and Sawyer…SPIN OFF!