Posted by: cousinbrandon | March 4, 2009

LOST – Season 5, Episode 8: “LaFleur”

I wasn’t able to watch last night’s episode of LOST in my typical, reclusive sense.  Well, not in its entirety, that is.  See, I was once again strapped into my couch, pen and paper in hand, furiously taking notes for the first 20 minutes, when suddenly I heard my daughter calling me from her bedroom.  And because I’m still not on board with the TiVo, I turned off the TV mid-scene, walked upstairs, and sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to the little girl in order to get her back to sleep.  At that point, there seemed no sense in returning to “LaFleur,” as five unseen minutes of LOST is like studying American History and omitting an entire decade.  Fortunately, though, the good people at ABC post the latest episodes rather quickly, and because of that I was able to catch the remaining 40 minutes or so this morning.  And with that, I give you “LaFleur,” beginning with:

1. The Opening.  We pick things up with Locke sacrificing himself to save the others, and his trip down the well (down the rabbit hole, Alice?).  The rope “snaps” due to the flash, and we’re left with Sawyer tugging on a rope connected to nothing but soil.  Two things of note, one incredible, one maybe not so much:  first, and perhaps less notable, was it me or did it appear that Locke was staring at the ceiling of the “cave” after falling, in a shot that looked unfamiliar?  Somehow it seemed reminiscent of him staring at the blast door map.  I kept wondering if he was seeing something I wasn’t.  Second, and ridiculously interesting, was the pull-away shot of Sawyer and company, staring in awe, albeit briefly, at the back of some type of enormous statue.  Holy hell!  Clearly this is the remainder/body of the four-toed statue we were introduced to way back in Season 2.  And even though we didn’t get clarity on what the statue represented, I feel confident of two things:  one, that it was “female” based on the build; and 2, that it was Egyptian in nature, which I will expand upon further.  We have another flash, and even though the well is now there, it’s completely filled in.  Sawyer, who has now assumed the role of leader, apparently, informs the rest of them that they’ll wait “as long as it takes” for Locke and crew to return.  But before we get to all that good Egyptian stuff…

2. The (Second) Opening.  Three years have passed and we’re inside one of the hatches, where an old “stereo system” is flicked on and a “dated” couple, as evidenced by his facial hair and her hair in general, are dancing.  They’re quickly interrupted by Mad Men comic Jimmy Barrett, clad in Dharma gear, who demands that “Jerry” get “Rosie” out of there.  I have to assume they’re in the Pearl station based on all of the monitors.  Immediately thereafter, they spot a drunken Horace Goodspeed blowing up trees with dynamite.  Knowing they have to do something yet terrified to wake “him,” Jerry and Phil quickly make their way to LaFleur’s place, located in Dharma’s Otherville.  After a couple knocks on the door, the door opens, where we meet… 

3. Dharma Head of Security, James “Jim LaFleur” Sawyer.  I totally called it.  A clean-cut Sawyer is not only operating under the pseudonym LeFleur and clad in Dharma gear, but makes mention of their “fearless leader” Goodspeed, who is in charge of the Dharma Initiative.  He wrangles up the drunken Goodspeed and returns him to his wife…

4. Amy.  If memory serves, she was a previously unmentioned character.  The only reference to her might have come in the season 3 episode “The Man Behind the Curtain” featuring Ben’s backstory, when he first came to the island with his father and met Horace at the dock.  Otherwise, she’s a complete mystery.  Fortunately, the writers don’t mind employing the “Three Years Earlier” placard, where we get the chance to meet Amy, who is being accosted by two strangers who hold her at gunpoint and have apparently already killed another man.  (Incidentally, they place a bag over her head, a move we’ve seen several times previously utilized by Others.)  Sawyer, along with Juliet (who’s “got his back”), decides they must step in and help the woman.  In doing so, they end up shooting both men, to Amy’s horror.  Rather than being appreciative, Amy is in total fear, as Sawyer and crew have violated “the truce,” and their only act now is to bury the bodies.  Amy’s dead friend is Paul, who we learn is her husband.  And while we’re on the subject…

5. Paul.  Because of all the religious overtones this season, I decided to look up Paul in the Bible.  As it turns out, he was an apostle to the gentiles trained in Jewish traditions, who later converted following a “flash” from the heavens.  Paul, who once persecuted Jesus, came to proclaim him as the Christ.  Does this sound like a lesser version of “Doubting” Thomas the Apostle?  But I digress…

6. Faraday.  Before Sawyer and crew intervened in the saving of Amy, they returned to find Faraday alone, still kneeling over the spot where Charlotte would have been, mumbling something along the lines of “I won’t do it.”  Juliet asks about the whereabouts of Charlotte, to be informed that she’s gone, literally and figuratively.  Daniel is clearly distraught, and continues to mumble somewhat incoherently as they make their way to their Amy encounter (see, I can jump around in time, as well).  Daniel is quick to tell his pals, once again, that “It doesn’t matter what we do.  Whatever happened, happened.”  Here, once again, is the insistence of our inability to change the future, that the book has been written and there’s no sense in trying to change that.  And still I’m not wholly convinced.  Which brings us back to…

7. The Fence.  I’ve got to say, I was pretty excited to see the reappearance of the sonic fence.  What’s more, the obvious inability on the part of both Amy and the I6 (er, I4, thanks to the death of Charlotte and the disappearance of Locke) to trust one another was both predictable and enjoyable.  And even though I know the writers/creators are huge Trekkies who quite often pay homage to the show on LOST, I found the I4’s “brain disruption” and staggering as they walked through the still tripped fence unbearable.  I felt like I was watching an old episode of Star Trek, and was waiting for a Tribble to make an appearance.  The all-to-crafty Amy, whose husband Paul was being shouldered back to her camp by Jin, removes her ear plugs and stares at the fallen bodies.  And the next time we see Amy is…

8. Three Years Later.  Amy is in labor, which is a huge problem as, apparently, she was supposed to be on a submarine to the mainland.  Can we assume, then, that even at this point women couldn’t give birth on the island, or were they simply trying to ship her elsewhere to a more medically-sound facility?  I’m guessing the former.  (And by the way, is there any significance to all of this taking place three years later?  I mean, the fact that the O6 have been off the island for three years, and all:  is that length of time significant?  Maybe it’s nothing, but the only “three” I can think of with any significance — other than the love triangle that originally existed between Jack, Sawyer and Kate — is, of course, the Holy Trinity, which these days can’t be ignored.)  Because Horace is drunk, Sawyer furiously tracks down Juliet, who is doing some work underneath a Dharma van and has clearly adopted the role of “Mechanic,” as all Dharma members have clearly identified roles.  Juliet reminds Sawyer that they had an agreement, that she can’t help, that all the women she’s tried to deliver on the island have died.  A desperate Sawyer tells her she’s the only one who can help, and Juliet reluctantly agrees.  She takes over the delivery room where the baby is a breech, while Sawyer waits outside the infirmary, pacing, before being approached by…

9. Jin.  Thank God, writers, you found a way to let him speak English.  Seeing as how Jin has been on the island for three years now, Daniel Dae Kim at last has an excuse for saying more than “Monster!” and “Others!”  He informs Sawyer that he’s finished with 133 and there’s still no sign of their people, to which Sawyer says Jin should move on to 134.  I can only assume that they’ve worked out some sort of area grid of the island, and these coordinates designate where — or when — their friends will return, or at least where or when they should be looking for them.  But the whole “Jin speaks English” affair is quickly glossed over by the even bigger news, when we discover…

10. It’s a Boy!  Juliet emerges from the infirmary, tear-stained and disheveled, to reveal that Amy had her baby (a boy), and both Amy and the child are not only alive, but fine.  So there it is:  the first successful pregnancy on the island (as far as we know).  So, this raises two other issues.  First, what, then, happens in the timeline that later disallows women from giving birth on the island?  Or, did Locke somehow change something when he moved them that final time that somehow altered the course of the island?  Secondly, if women suddenly can give birth on the island, and we should assume that, unless they once again move the donkey wheel, no one is going anywhere in time anytime soon, will Kate give birth on the island?  After all, we know that she is back on the island, and I don’t know about you but I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that she’s pregnant with Jack’s child after that heated encounter in Jack’s condo before boarding Ajira 316.  What’s more, because of the whole proxy thing, her being pregnant while on board 316 makes for a nice stand-in for Claire.  But before any of this can happen, we need to get a grasp on…

11. Black Rock Captain Jim LeFleur.  Sawyer comes to in the rec room, where an inquisitive Goodspeed stands over him and gives him the third degree about him and his people.  Sawyer, a professional con man, says his name is Jim LeFleur (which, by the way, means “flower,” which would become an interesting image later in the episode), and that he captained a salvage vessel called the Black Rock that set sail out of Portsmouth.  Perhaps not fully convinced by his story, and still unsure as to whether not Sawyer and crew are “Others,” Godspeed informs Sawyer that he and his crew will be leaving on the submarine in the morning, which will take them to Tahiti.  We cut to Sawyer’s crew, and a dejected/crazed Faraday explains that the record is once again spinning, but “we’re not on the song we want to be on.”  In other words, there will be no more flashes, but we’re stuck in the wrong time.  Sawyer joins the group, and as preparations are being made to ship them out, an alarm sounds, signaling a security breech (another breech, huh?).  And even though this likely signaled a swarm of incoming Others, instead there was only one…

12. Richard Alpert.  Clad in his standard dress and eyeliner (thanks, Sawyer), Alpert plants a torch in the ground and approaches, where he is met by Dharma leader Goodspeed.  In one of the more interesting lines of the episode, Alpert tells Goodspeed that the fence “may keep other things out, but not my people.”  Hmmmm.  Convinced he can rectify the situation, Sawyer approaches, and says, “Hello, Richard,” to which Alpert responds, “Do we know each other?”  (For the record, I loved this.  This is twice now we’ve seen the “ageless” Richard Alpert not recognize two of our people, Locke being the other.)  Proving his knowledge of Alpert, Sawyer proceeds to ask about Jughead, and whether his people buried it, as well as the screaming bald man — John Locke — who entered his camp.  Richard, convinced that it wasn’t Dharma who violated the truce but Sawyer and his people who killed Alpert’s men, Alpert still insists he needs something to reassure his people.  Sawyer, of course, returns to tell Amy and Horace that they’ll need to turn over Paul’s body, but before they do, Amy removes…

13. The Ankh.  And just what is an ankh, other than a symbol that became wildly popular among idiot kids who thought it would be cool to have one tattooed on their ankles?  The ankh, friends, is the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.  And according to Hall’s Illustrated Dictionary for Symbols, it not only denotes eternal life, but “when held to the nose of a dead pharaoh [it] ensures his everlasting existence.”  The nose?  (Nosebleeds.)  Everlasting existence?  (Alpert.)  Eternal life?  (The island).  Yeah, that does seem to have some relevance to LOST, no?  And considering the Egyptian statue we saw at the beginning, not to mention the hieroglyphs we saw on the temple a couple episodes back, I think it’s safe to guess that perhaps the island has strong Egyptian ties, and was quite possibly populated by a group of Egyptians (or Egyptian followers) trying to discover the secrets to eternal life.  And one more thing:  Horus (Horace) was an ancient Egyptian God.

14. Sawyer and Juliet Sitting in a Tree.  Cut to three years later, and “LeFleur,” again dressed in Dharma gear, is wandering the grounds of Otherton.  He plucks a wild yellow flower from a bush (flower/LeFleur), and walks into one of the Dharma homes, where the dinner table, Dharma wine and all, is set for two.  (And before this gets away from me, how about that yellow flower?  If you go back and look at the Ajira Airlines logo, it shows a tiger “pouncing” on a sunburst, that looks remarkably like a yellow flower.  Thanks to Doc Jensen for pointing that out.)  And who’s making dinner?  Why, it’s Juliet, of course.  She thanks him for believing in him during the delivery, and the two kiss passionately.  Look, they’ve been hammering us over the head with this for weeks.  Sawyer and Juliet getting together was inevitable.  And seeing as how they’ve known each other for quite some time, the heart wants what it wants.  Or, maybe it’s not the heart, anyway.  Funny thing, though.  I mean, here they’ve still got Jin on O6 patrol, meaning they’re still anticipating the return of those who left the island, including Kate (who’s linked to Sawyer) and Jack (who’s sort of linked to Juliet).  So do they really think they’re still coming back at this point? Cut to…

15. Horace Goodspeed:  Daddy.  Horace wakes from the drunk he tied on to discover the good news (he’s a daddy) and the bad news (he slept through it).  Horace tells Sawyer that the argument he had with Amy stemmed from finding Paul’s ankh necklace in the back of her sock drawer.  A stunned Sawyer can’t believe something so ridiculous caused the spat, to which Horace confesses his guilt over being with Amy, as Paul only died three years ago, and “Is three years long enough to get over someone?”  That’s something Sawyer not only knows something about, but confidently explains his own “history” to Horace, telling him that he can’t remember Kate’s face, and that “She’s just gone, and she ain’t never coming back.”  Sweet, sweet irony, as Sawyer is only hours away from a phone call from Jin, which forces Sawyer out of bed to meet Jin in the North valley.  And where is he going?  Obviously, he’s en route to meet the blue VW Bus, carrying Jin, Hurley, Jack, and, yes, Kate, the woman who ain’t never coming back.  Oh, and one final thought…

16. Horace’s baby boy.  Um, who is Horace’s baby boy?  Figure he was born in 1977, which would make him roughly 30.  Any guesses?

That’s it for today.  I’m entirely too busy to spit out anymore. 

As always, have at it, you vultures!

BD

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Responses

  1. […] Charlotte’s apartment with both a sunflower and a six-pack in tow. (This calls directly back to “LaFleur,” in which Sawyer arrived at his shared space with Juliet in New Otherton circa 1977 and presented […]


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