So, half way into the final season and where are we? Well, still lost in a massive tangle of individual stories that are quickly running out of time to reach a conclusion. Into episode eight with those threads slowly drawing strands together what will be revealed this week?
We already know the episode is primarily based on Sawyer, who we haven’t caught up with for a couple of episodes. As the episode opens, we still don’t really catch up with him in as much as there is no step back in time to when he was last seen in the cliff cave with Fake Locke. Sawyer is looking after Jin at the camp Claire took Jin to following his injury by bear trap, although it is apparent when Jin wakes up that Sawyer hasn’t been around too long.
Jin tells Sawyer they have to get away before being told bluntly that Sawyer is with Claire and Fake Locke, who at that moment return to the camp with their followers from the Temple massacre including Sayid and Kate.
The customary jump to a flash sideways follows in which we get a first glimpse of Sawyer’s life off the Island. Once a conman always a conman appears to be the phrase that pays as the flash finds Sawyer in the familiar position of dropping a suitcase of cash on the latest squeeze in an attempt to con money out of her. At least that is what it seems, until his would be victim pulls a gun. Again this is not unusual as we have seen Sawyer’s cons go wrong in the past, this time however he tells her that the whole thing is a setup and there are police outside.
Although this really doesn’t sound like the Sawyer we know, at his mention of the word “LaFleur”, which all will remember to be the name Sawyer took on in his time travel to the 1970’s, police do indeed burst into the room and arrest the woman. In another of Lost’s trademark crossings, Policeman Sawyer’s partner in the job turns out to be none other than Miles. It doesn’t stop their either. Miles sets Sawyer up on a date with someone, who turns out to be Charlotte, another face from the past of the Island.
Back at his apartment, Charlotte finds a file containing information on the death of Sawyer’s parents. We already know that Sawyer was able to extract revenge on the man responsible (Locke’s father) on the Island, but in this reality he is still searching for the man who turned him, rather than into a conman, a cop. It is clear that Miles knows very little about the man he works with, and as Sawyer finally comes clean about his past and his intention to find and kill the man who destroyed his family, their chat is disturbed when a car slams into them. Miles and Sawyer give chase as the driver runs off, and on catching her they remove her hood to reveal Kate.
At Fake Locke’s camp, some of the temple survivors begin to question what happened to those left behind at the temple. They are told the Smoke Monster killed the people left there, making it clear that many of those following Fake Locke don’t know that he and the Monster are one and the same. Some interesting truths to come out in the near future. On their way to a new camp, Sawyer demands to know when they are going to leave the Island. Being led to one side by Fake Locke, Sawyer discovers the truth about Fake Locke’s alter ego. He is then given the task of finding Ben, Lapedes and the others, gaining their trust and finding out all he can about the newest people on the island before returning and delivering the information.
In their new camp, Kate discovers that life isn’t what it used to be. She is attacked by Claire, offered no help by a distant Sayid, and is only saved when Fake Locke pulls Claire away and delivers a blow to her that brings Kate to realise that there are no rules any more.
Sawyer makes his way to the second Island, where he finds the cages that he was once held captive in, along with the plane that Lapedes managed to land which brought Jack, Hugo, Kate and the others back to the Island. He also discovers a number of dead bodies and one alive who tells him she is the only one left. Who are these dead people?
Another mystery opens but is soon closed when the survivor tells Sawyer that they were the other passengers on Lapedes’ plane and from her description it is apparent they fell fowl of the Smoke Monster. Things change when Sawyer pulls his gun on her after realising that she is not as innocent as she makes out, but is soon at gunpoint himself as what could be the rest of the flight’s heavily armed passengers appear from the jungle and in usual Sawyer fashion he tell them to take him to their leader.
On the other Island, Fake Locke apologises to Kate for Claire’s behaviour. He also talks to her about how, many years ago in another life, he had a crazy mother. When Kate asks why he is telling her this, he says because Arron, Claire’s baby who Kate took off the Island when they escaped, also has a crazy mother.
A quick flick to Sawyer, and his captors turn out not to be anything to do with the flight, but are instead mercenaries of Charles Widmore. Finding himself on Widmore’s submarine, we finally get to hear more from the man who tried so hard for three seasons to find his way to the Island he was once banished from.
After a very brief introduction, Sawyer tells Widmore that he know who he is, and what he tried to do to them three years earlier, but if he can guarantee the safety of his friends then he will deliver the man pretending to be John Locke to him to do with what he will. Is Sawyer good for his word? Will he really give up Fake Locke? It seems not, as on arriving back at the other island, Sawyer tells Fake Locke about Widmore and his army. Sawyer tells him the deal he made with Widmore, but says he wants to be off the Island and it seems like Fake Locke is best chance he has of getting that.
By a campfire with Kate later that night, Sawyer tells her about Widmore, the plane on the other Island and that he intends to let Widmore and Fake Locke fight between themselves while they will leave on submarine.
Once again, the twists and turns of the series continue apace and although we are now only one episode away from the half way point, there are so many stories to fill screen time that it does seem that the writers have given themselves an impossible task of bringing about their definitive ending. The flash sideways becomes more intricate with every episode as character upon character finds their non-island lives crossing and becoming intertwined while the real question of the flashes was asked in the opening minutes of the season when the Island was seen to be under water.
Still nowhere near an answer to that one, but the urgency to know cranks up a notch with every episode. Likewise, the story on the Island has so many characters to deal with that characters are not seen for whole episodes, only to reappear and immediately make a huge impact on the story. What’s next?
Well along with released information that next week’s episode seems set to finally give an insight into the enigma that is Ageless Richard, who as you will recall was last seen revealing that through the touch of Jacob he could not kill himself even though he wanted to, there have been more episode titles released including the penultimate one called “What They Died For”, which it seems will set up the double episode finale perfectly. Who are the “They” referred to in the title? Is it characters long departed, or is there about to be another bout of deaths in the final episodes. One thing is for certain, by bringing the story to a close the Lost writers have created a final series every bit as intriguing and compelling as the first.