Lost: The Long Con

Wow! I know I said that I liked the last original episode, Fire Plus Water, but The Long Con was really an excellent episode. In pacing, storyline and emotion, it’s easily one of the best episodes this season.

At first, I thought we’d see a much more straight-forward confrontation brewing between Locke’s touchy-feely, faith-based approach and Jack’s “save the world” go-get-em attitude, but there is something much simpler at work here: ego.

Jack wants to save the world and he’s willing to trust himself completely doing that.

Locke wants to find salvation and he’s willing to talk in circles and define trust in such a way that it only rewards those who find the faith he has.

Sawyer, on the other hand, is willing to be himself, whatever that means. If it means a charming, silver-tongued lothario, so be it. If it means hurting other people to maintain a bad boy image – a crippling, limiting, self-fulfilling persona – so be it. He’s succumbed to what he believes is his own destiny. In that way, he’s different than Locke who accepts destiny; Sawyer seeks to manifest destiny in what he sees as his image.

Three very strong egos going in three very different directions. Or perhaps they’re the Ego, Superego and Id of the island. I’ll let those with more of a background in psychology tackle that argument.

And then there were three (dominant male castmembers, anyhow). Maybe four or five depending on how Sayid and Eko contribute in a given week, but there is definitely a shifting of power and a realignment that happened this week. Kudos, Lost.

And how great were the parallel storylines? Raise your hand if you thought all the pieces of the Sawyer/Cassidy arc would match up so nicely with the island arc. Seriously. I was sure that Sawyer was being conned himself in both instances and I was caught unawares both times. Maybe he is that one-sided and bad, but it’s definitely him playing that Queen of Hearts part – the self-fulfilling prophecy of sentence before verdict.

Is Kate the island Cassidy? Does Sawyer think he can find love with her? How far down the rabbit hole (to kill the Alice in Wonderland theme) will she follow him?

So what did I learn? Who knows. Random thoughts:

  • Right 7, Left 33, Right 18
  • Locke is a man obsessed with numbers. This is a different code than a few weeks ago.

  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
  • The book Locke is sifting through in the hatch. Important as a red herring perhaps, since the story ends with the protagonist (and reader) realizing that the main events of the story were a dream. [Wikipedia entries for the story and Twilight Zone episode]

    Is this a coded message from the producers letting us know they won’t pull that kind of stunt with us? Fool me once … you know the rest.

  • Bad Twin
  • The title of the manuscript Hurley was reading. Written by Gary something or other.

    Could this be a nod to the whole (proven fake) genetic mirror theory? Is this another red herring or wink/nod to all the obsessive fans?

  • WXOR
  • The (presumably) AM radio station Hurley and Sayid listen to. Could Hurley’s “joke” about time travel be another clue?

    It’s an actual radio station in Florence, Alabama (assuming I heard the call letter correctly). Could it relate to a character on the show, a producer/writer or something else?

    The site linked above has lattitude and longitude coordinates if you want to follow that trail.

Ok. I’ve got to admit that tonight’s episode was really well done and will have me thinking for a good long time. A ton of little, tiny hidden clues and some very big, in-your-face changes at the camp.

I’ll stick with my initial reasoning and say that, despite some evidence to the contrary, people are acting like they would have acted if they weren’t stranded on an island. They’re becoming accustomed to their new lives and falling back into old patterns. And trust is again a major issue for all those on the island.

Plus, kudos to Charlie for screwing Locke in a vendetta style and then asking Sawyer his impetus. I get the feeling Charlie didn’t really relish playing dirty, no matter how good the revenge felt.

And props to Locke for taking responsibility for Michael and looking/feeling genuinely confused/vulnerable when he realizes his own personality and mistrust of Jack is used against him.

Honestly, this is the best show on TV, bar none. Always some new wrinkle (or an old wrinkle done in a new way).

As always, can’t wait for next week while I spend the next 7 days dissecting this week.

Leave a comment with your own thoughts.

6 thoughts on “Lost: The Long Con

  1. joe says:

    Seth if your the creator of this website you are awsome. me and my brother love this website.We go here for all of our Lost facts.I love Lost and everything about it I might be wrong but i think i am the biggest fan of Lost i might just be abseesed but with a great show like this you have to be absessed to realy know what is going on. because then you will be looking for stuff in the show to see if you find anything in the show that you did not see before.PLEASE RESPOND I WANT TO KNOW YOUR FEELINGS.Also thanks for loosining up on Locke he doesnt men no harm hes just a man of faith(Kind of like me).

  2. Josh says:

    I bet those pesky Dharma folks are sitting back in their viewing laughing at everyone jockeying for leadership positions in the “village”, a la Kang and Cotos during The Simpsons Halloween episodes.

    Almost lost in the Lost hype and the cattle call that is American Idol was U2’s domination at the Grammy’s last night. Erin Go Braugh!

  3. joe says:

    Also forgot to add that next week i think that when the dharma clock goes down to 0 nothing happens becase they put desmond down there to see if he would push the buttom that every 108 minutes.

  4. Phil Kloer says:

    Some good comments here Seth. I think the Occurence at Owl Creek shout out (with the cover upside down, no less), was the Powers That Be making a little joke about it all being a dream. I will state right now I will lead the mob with pitchforks and torches if it turns out to be a dream. It won’t.

    The Hurley time travel reference is more problematic. Could be a joke, or an acknowledgement. JJ Abrams even though he’s not guiding the showw directly at the moment, loves to embed little in jokes in Alias. I think it may mean something that we dont understand.

    I have thought all along it is very sgnificant we have no reference of the outside world. I think they are in a situation regarding placement in time and or space where they not where they (read also: we) think they are.
    My head hurts now. Must go watch something easy.

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