Namaste, y'all! Wednesday's episode of Lost continues the story of what happened to those remaining on the island, ping-ponging between the moment when Locke left the island and the moments leading up to the arrival of Ajira Airways Flight 316. We learn what happened when Locke turned the frozen donkey wheel, what the Dharma Initiative was like in the 1970s and what the heck LaFleur is.
We briefly recap the disappearing wishing well situation, with Sawyer still hanging on to the rope that ends in solid earth after the flash.
So when are we now? "I'd say way before [the well was built]," snarks Miles, and they all look up to see an ancient-looking, gargantuan statue off in the distance. It has longish hair, pointy ears and a brush cut on top. It's wearing a toga. We're meant to believe that this is what the four-toed statue fragment comes from, but it begs the question: Does Jin remember seeing it before?
As John turns the donkey wheel, there's a new kind of flash, sending Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Jin and Daniel into painful-looking convulsions. When it's over, Miles says, "That one was different; that was more like an earthquake." Now the well is back, but it's filled-in. They observe that their flash headaches are gone, and their noses are no longer bleeding. "I think it's over," Juliet says. "I think John did it." So now what? "Now we wait for him to come back," Sawyer says, "as long as it takes."
From this point, I'm going to do something crazy, and tell you everything that happened "three years earlier" first and then "three years later" and see if it works. For sure, there are clever adjacencies between the two stories and it's interesting how and when we are doled out the few revelations of this episode, but I'm going to sacrifice that insight for the ability to look at and evaluate complete narratives. Forgive me!
"THREE YEARS EARLIER"
After the big flash, they find Daniel, who is basically distraught... and alone. "Where's Red?" asks Sawyer. "She's gone. She's dead. There was another flash and she was gone," he cries. Her body just disappeared because dead people don't flash apparently. Daniel reports that wherever we are now, whenever we are now, we're here for good. Sawyer wants to head back to the beach, and although Miles bitches about how much aimless jungle hiking they're doing — "who put him in charge?" he asks -- Juliet backs him up. It's all for naught though, as the ever-present gunshots ring out, and they come upon an ominous quartet: a dead guy in a jumpsuit, two feral-looking dudes with guns and a shrieky lady with a hood over her head.
"We don't get involved, right?" Miles asks Daniel. "Whatever happened, happened," Daniel responds weakly, and after last week's lesson in unreliable narrators, I'm thinking: Hya, right! Why should we believe him? Sawyer is with me. "Thanks again, Plato, I'm going over there," he barks. In short order, Sawyer and Juliet waste the dudes with guns and rescue the damsel in distress. "It's OK, you're safe, it's over," Sawyer says. (What's over?) For a second, as he reaches for the hood, the mind reels with all the possibilities for who this lady-Dharmette could be.
We know it isn't Kate because that's what the promo teased last week. But could it be... Sun, Charlotte, Danielle, Mrs. Hawking, Harper, Shannon, Ana Lucia, Libby??? No, it's Amy, who, at this point in this episode, we've already met "three years later" (see below). Sawyer lies to Amy that their ship wrecked on the way to Tahiti. Amy says, because of "the truce," they have to bury the bodies and bring the Dharma dude back home with them, because he's Paul, her husband.
Along the way, Daniel almost walks through those weird sonic pylons that remind me of a Pink Floyd album cover, but Juliet stops him, and asks Amy to turn them off. She crouches by the control box at the base and then, at Sawyer's prompting, walks through them first. Phew. No bleeding from the ears! But when the Lostaways try, they collapse in twisted seizures. We see Amy remove her covert earplugs with a slight Other-ish smirk.
Sawyer wakes up with another headache, and our old ghostly friend Horace Goodspeed is there, and he wants some answers. Sawyer introduces himself as James LeFleur ("call me Jim," he says), and confirms his friends' story that he was the captain of the boat. He inserts some mythology into his lie, and says they were searching for the Black Rock. Horace thanks "LaFleur" for helping Amy, but says he can't stay on the island since he isn't a member of the Dharma Initiative. "There's a submarine that leaves the island in the morning, and you're going to be on it," he says. Sawyer says he needs to locate his missing crew members (and how!), but Horace isn't having any of it.
Juliet reveals to Jin, Daniel and Miles that she's having a strange moment because she lived in New Otherton for more than three years. "That was my house over there," she indicates. She exposits the history of the Others vs. the Hostiles and The Purge and how she ended up there in the first place.
Daniel is having a moment of his own. "Record's spinning again; we're just on the wrong song," he reports. His deep thoughts are interrupted by a cute redheaded girl who walks by with her British-accented mother. It's Charlotte as a little girl! She waves significantly, and you can only imagine that Daniel is wrestling with whether he's going to approach her or not, if he can actually change her doomed future. (Also: Where's little Ben?) Sawyer joins them, and explains that his name is LaFleur now. "It's Creole; I improvised," he says.
Then, the perimeter lights snap on and an alarm sounds. Jimmy Barrett (you'll meet him properly below) shepherds the Lostaways inside, and, predictably, Richard emerges from the jungle. Uh-oh. We learn that in addition to Richard's apparent discovery of the Fountain of Youth, he can also walk through the sonic fence undisturbed. Horace learns that he's there because two of his men are missing, and he believes that Dharma has broken their truce.
This sends Horace into a panic. "Call the Arrow, tell them we're at Condition 1, take the heavy ordnance, and make sure the fence is at maximum," he says, which is a lot of stuff I don't really understand. Sawyer suggests that maybe he can talk to Richard, which he does. He reminds him of his meeting with Locke two decades ago, and asks if he buried Jughead. Once Richard realizes that Sawyer & Co. are not members of the Dharma Initiative, and that he killed the two men in self-defense (sort of), he makes a deal with Sawyer.
In order to give Richard's people justice, Amy agrees to give up Paul's body (for what exactly -- eye for an eye?), but not before removing a wooden necklace from his neck in the shape of an ankh. Interestingly, Wikipedia tells me that an ankh symbolizes "eternal life," so maybe Paul ain't so dead after all. As a reward for helping out Dharma, Horace says Sawyer & Co. can stay for two weeks, and look for the rest of his crew.
Juliet points out that maybe Locke has already saved them since the flashes have stopped. As a result, she drops her own Jughead: She wants to leave on the submarine the next day. Sawyer tries to convince her otherwise, and she agrees to stay for the two weeks, but then she's still going to try her chances for an off-island life. "You do realize that it's 1974, whatever you think you're going back to, doesn't exist yet," he argues. When she persists in her desire to leave, he tries another tactic. "What about me? Are you really going to leave me with the Mad Scientist and Mr. I-Talk-to-Dead-People? Jin is a nice guy, but he isn't exactly the best conversationalist," he pleads.
"All right, two weeks," she says, and we laugh heartily because we know what's coming next.
"THREE YEARS LATER"
We're dancing to Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Candida" (thanks, Shazam!) inside a hatch with some dude named Jerry and his old lady, Rosie, whoever they are. Until... "Are you kidding me? I'm gone 10 minutes and you're having a hootenanny," says Bill (Patrick Fischler), who you might remember from his brilliant guest spot as the loudmouth actor Jimmy Barrett on Mad Men. "What's going to happen? The polar bears are going to figure out a way out of their cages?" teases Jerry. Well, no, but Horace might be drunk out in the jungle blowing up trees with dynamite.
"We've gotta wake LaFleur," Bill says. Meanwhile, back in New Otherton, it's 3 am and the boys have to rouse their boss, LaFleur (aka Sawyer!), who is sporting a shorter haircut, eyeglasses and a spiffy Dharma jumpsuit. "LaFleur" picks up "Enos" (aka Miles!) in that famous Dharma van, and they're off to save Horace from his demons. Once they subdue the overserved Horace, "Jim" (also aka Sawyer) brings him back to his wife, Amy -- yes, that Amy -- who is totally pregs and a little distraught. Amy explains that they had a fight about Paul, and then promptly goes into labor.
The baby's breach, so Amy is going to need a Caesarean, and the internist on hand isn't going to be any help for that. A quick-thinking Sawyer/LaFleur rushes off to find Juliet, whose Dharma job is as some sort of mechanic, which is funny. "We had an agreement," Juliet says, which we're meant to assume is something about keeping their real identities secret. Also, Juliet was kind of the baby doctor of death, so I'm guessing if she had a chance to be rid of it, she would. But she agrees to help Amy with her difficult delivery.
Outside the infirmary, Sawyer and Jin chat about what he's been doing, searching Grids 1-3 without any sign of "their people." Juliet emerges, and everyone's OK. It's a boy! Any theories about who that baby grows up to be? There's a growing movement that this child's birth is weighted with significance, and that perhaps the baby is actually Sawyer himself, which would explain why his nose was bleeding during the flashes. But there's no explanation forthcoming, and for now I invite you to pose your theories in the comments section below.
We see LaFleur picking a flower, on his way to a romantic dinner with... Juliet! "Something smells good," he says, as a sunny portrait of New Otherton domesticity emerges. "You were amazing today," he says to her. "Thank you for believing in me," she coos. And then they make out! And exchange I love yous! Which is our cue to deal with the Kate situation tout suite. Shall we?
Once Horace wakes up from his drunken slumber, he learns that he's the father of a new baby boy. LaFleur asks about the argument, which was about Horace finding Paul's ankh necklace. Horace tells him that Amy still isn't over Paul, and asks poignantly: Is three years really long enough to get over someone? LaFleur begins to tell him about the woman that he has gotten over in three years, but he sketches it in broad strokes. "Is three years long enough to get over someone?" he repeats. "Absolutely." Asked and answered. Just like that.
We cut to the next morning where Sawyer and Juliet are in bed together. The phone rings, and we know who it is! But Sawyer doesn't tell Juliet about the absolutely insane phone call he just received, and instead leaves abruptly to meet Jin in the north valley, where he's waiting with Hurley, Jack and Kate! They're baaack!
What did you think? Did "LaFleur" fill in enough gaps for you? Who do you think Amy's baby is? Where are Ben, Lapidus and Sun? And in your dreams, doesn't the Dharma Initiative seem like it might be kind of fun, like a semester abroad — but with guns and secret vendettas? Post your theories and comments below.
TWO WEEKS FROM TONIGHT!
They're baaack! "I've got to find a way to bring them back in," Sawyer says! Jin pulls a gun on Sayid!
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