Monday, March 22, 2010

LOST: I was either gonna become a criminal or a cop. So, I chose cop...

6.08: "Recon"

This here's some rambling on the Detective James Ford storyline from the latest episode, in Los Angeles of 2004...


Who's up for a LOST spinoff series starring L.A.'s finest, Ford and Straume? The new VICE, only, L.A., not Miami, and fraud or whatever the department's called, instead of vice. Maybe our grizzled anti-hero cop will keep a rabbit Number Eight instead of crocodile Elvis? Holloway's contract will require at least one shirtless Sawyer scene per episode. Each show will kick off with a pre-titles scene that ends with him delivering the line, "Son of a bitch," in a variety of inflections, and at least one case will involve using the phrase literally. Title? I like LOST ANGELES, but would go with LOST ANGELS in a pinch.

I was *just* talking about this possibility—that Sawyer2 would be working undercover—w Zorky over the weekend, and had "called" it way early in the season with JG. I decided I had to let it go, tho, when I saw Sawyer help Kate dodge security in the airport. Damn Ford for being so cheeky with his lawmanship! The closest I was willing to go after his aiding and abetting Kate was private contractor. I should've known he'd be game for bending the rules for Freckles, tho, right? I loved the pleasant surprise in his "Son of a bitch" when he nabs Kate at the end of the episode.

And speaking of freckles, how wonderfully perfectly soft and fuzzy is that scene between Half-Pint and Pa Ingalls of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE? Which LOST creator's been walking around with *that* exchange burned into his brain since childhood? As a kid, I loved that show, and hafta own up to that scene having a powerful, touching, button-pushing effect on me. It's the perfect deus ex machina to push surly suspicious James Ford over to the sensitive-man-of-the-70s/90s Sawyer. Latchkey foster(?) kid, raised on television and all, seeing Sawyer in his Spartanly furnished apartment, in the corner of his couch, washing down his frozen dinner with a beer, in a dark living room illuminated by TVland or PAX on the television set... and having that clip really work him over. Just perfect!

I do not love that Ford's short-lived romantic interest turns out to be Charlotte. She's way more likeable in this version, true, and OK, it's a cross-reality logical choice, since Miles sets it up, and in the snowglobe they're both on Widmore's Fantastic Four... Altho... What were they both doing in September 2004 in the snowglobe, right? This is the first flashover that's involved comparatively *premature* delivery on fated meetings, right? That is, Sawyer, Miles, and Charlotte meet months earlier outside the snowglobe than they do inside. But, like JK said, with only the remains of a short season left, the writers are definitely playing to us a bit, choreographing as many LOST-reasonable convergences and conjunctions as possible.

In any case, it's only right that Ford blows it with Charlotte, leaving his dance card open for coffee with Juliet and Charlotte's for a set-up with another of Miles's friends, piano maestro (Jack's son's instructor? =) and science fiction writer Daniel Faraday.

Miles knows Charlotte because she works with his father at "the museum." So, Miles has grown up knowing his father. I'm gonna go with the idea that Miles and his mother were evacuated before the Incident and Pierre, after seeing how easily Radzinsky's ego and paranoia sent the D.I. into such chaos, and the grudging love and potential in his adult son from the future, left the Island and joined them soon after. Perhaps the presence of his father counters or wards off whatever happened in Miles's childhood the first time that triggered his latent dead-reading abilities. Or, maybe he's manifested a different ability, something that might have helped him, and continues to help him, in his law enforcement career—reading the living.

It's a bit of a stretch, but I think it's, well, poetically fair, y'know? The Miles we've met inside the snowglobe is, by default settings, all prickly and standoffish (when he's not just outright insulting), and looking out for number one. The Miles who's partnered with Ford asks after his partner, sets him up with a friend, and altho he doesn't know the details, can read Ford's unease and agitation about getting closer and closer to the man he holds responsible for the deaths of his parents. The ability to read the dead vs the living certainly would contribute to his character and personality in each reality, and the absence or presence of his father might have metaphysically contributed to which ability he developed. Yeah, like I said, maybe a of a stretch, but I like it.

Where does Miles get his last name Straume? Or does his name plate say Detective Chang?

Did anyone see a letter to Mr. Sawyer tucked into Ford's "Sawyer" file? That would tell us that Jacob visited him as a child and gave him the pen he needed to complete it.

Oh, hey, did you catch that when Ford asks why, if Charlotte's such a great girl, isn't Miles going out with her, Miles tells him he's already got a girl. Who do you suppose that is...? Naomi? Nikki? Oh, no way! LAPD? Anna Lucia?! Wack! Gotta be! =)

A sorta sad-making observation by JK—since Ford chose cop over criminal, it seems unlikely that he would've hooked up with Clementine's mom outside the snowglobe. Not that Clementine's had a huge impact on anything major, but I liked that Sawyer worked that mark in prison as part of a deal to take care of her. I actually thought that Sawyer's whisper in the chopper was about Clementine and THAT stash specifically, not just to make sure she was taken care of. Cuz Kate users part of her Oceanic settlement, and never mentions Sawyer's savings account. I still find that sketchy and annoying, much like Kate herself.

Interesting, catching sight of a clean-cut looking brother Liam looking to bail his brother out. What sort of divergence will we see with that relationship? Liam, the responsible, rehabilitated, family man? Charlie, the hopeless junkie? I wonder if, while he was dead/near-dead, Charlie actually saw or felt that he was fated to die in another reality, the way Juliet got to experience things in the other direction when she was near death. How does Charlie's story fit into any LOST-karmic framework, anyhow? Is he better off in this reality for just not dying? Will he meet Claire in L.A. and turn himself around and help her raise a proto-Jacobean Aaron?

A quick detour...


I don't love the idea that got dropped on us inside the snowglobe that Esau is a time-shunted (or reality-shunted?) "adult" version of an Aaron raised by another, in the snowglobe, while Jacob might be his counterpart, raised by his mother, outside the snowglobe. Light and dark versions of the same child. Allowing for a crazy Island discharge of some kind (traumatic enough to sink it?) that grabs two Aarons and shoves them way back in time, I'll admit that this theoretical poop shines up pretty nicely, but I don't think that it fits the tone and pace of the show as I know it, so I'm holding out for something else for now.

I still like my idea that Jacob elevated Esau to superhuman status as a lieutenant and/or companion, and Esau eventually turned on him when they came to a philosophical crossroads, perhaps somewhen/somewhere in ancient Egypt. Also, that Richard might have been Jacob's second attempt at such a creation.

Gotta say, I appreciated the thoughtfully punny goodness of the title of this episode, "Recon." There's Esau's sending Sawyer to scout out Hydra Island (every time I hear that, I think of a supervillain headquarters or global paramilitary baddies, a la Cobra =). Then there's Sawyer's playing both sides against one another. And then there's getting to do it all over again, and within that, getting to see him play a classic con again as well. Tasty puntabulous stuff. =)

Keep on keepin on~

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