Thursday, March 5, 2009
"Lost" recap: Michelle Dessler lives!
So, there were a lot of amazing moments on last night's episode of "Lost" -- the discovery that the left-behinds were stuck in the 1970s; the complete meltdown of Daniel Faraday; the gang's assimilation into Dharma culture; Juliet and Sawyer's romance; Sawyer's odd decision to use a girly pseudonym, etc. But maybe the best part of it all was the introduction of a new character, Amy, played by Reiko Aylesworth, whom I will always know as Michelle Dessler on "24." Sigh. I really miss her on "24," don't you? She really humanized Tony.
Anyway, back to "Lost." Not only did we get the revival of Reiko/Michelle, we also got a brief appearance by "Mad Men's" Jimmy Barrett (aka Patrick Fischler), a little background on the Other/Dharma tension that will eventually result in mass genocide, and a pretty awesome inside joke for the fans.
Let's dig into recapping episode eight of season five, "LaFleur."
When the episode starts, Sawyer, Juliet, Miles and Jin are where we left them, hovering slack-jawed around a rope stuck in the ground -- a rope that once had John Locke at the end of it. Then, we see Locke push the donkey wheel for, like, the millionth time, and cut back to the islanders. Another flash. When the flash subsides, the well appears to have come back but, when Sawyer attempts to jump in, he finds that it's only half-built. Whanh-Whanh. After his embarrassing actions, he and his gang find their headaches have subsided. The flashing has stopped. Their adventures in time travel also seem to have stopped -- but when are they?
We then jump ahead three years and Herc from "Friday Night Lights" is in a Dharma station, wearing a Dharma uniform, and getting his groove on to Tony Orlando with some chickie when Jimmy Barrett busts in, freaking out. The monitors show erstwhile Dharma leader Horace Goodspeed drunk and blowing up trees. Sigh. Those wacky Dharm-ites, with the booze and the explosives. Jimmy and Herc decide they must find "LaFleur." They go to a Dharma house knock on the door and...it's Sawyer! Clean shaven! What's going on? He and Miles find Horace, and Sawyer takes him home to his wife, Amy, who is pregnant and, it seems, as patient with Horace as Michelle was with Tony (I'm sorry, but she'll always be Michelle. Forever. So get used to it). Michelle goes into labor and they head to the hospital.
Jump back three years again. Sawyer and co. head to the beach, and come upon two men with guns. The men have already shot another man and have a bag over a woman' head, ready to do the same to her. Sawyer intervenes and tells the guys to put down their weapons. They don't and Sawyer and Juliet take the men out. They then pull the bag off the woman's head...yep, it's Michelle/Amy. She freaks out, and insists they bury the gunmen and take the third dead guy, her husband, with them.
She wants to know who they are, Sawyer gives her a story about being shipwrecked, they head off and she tricks them into getting zapped with the electric fence.
Ok, around this time, I had some difficulty keeping track of the whole Three Years Forward/Three Years Back thing, so I'm just going to divide the rest of the recap into two sections.
Three Years Back
Sawyer wakes up on a couch in Horace's office. He tells Horace that his name is Jim LaFleur (seriously? LaFleur? Mr. Badass would really want to be known as "The Flower?" Questionable). Horace is suspicious that Sawyer and co. are "hostiles," aka Others -- island denizens with whom the Dharm-ites don't get along. Sawyer say that he and his people were looking for the wreck of the Black Rock. Horace say they need to leave on the submarine. Sawyer said he wants to wait for the rest of his people but Horace says no go. Shortly thereafter, Richard shows up, as we all knew he would. He tells Horace that he knows their "truce" was broken and wants blood. Horace denies they had anything to do with it. Sawyer confronts Richard and fesses up to killing the guys, but points out that, since he isn't with Dharma, the truce wasn't broken. By the way, he says, did you bury that bomb? Oh, and I know that crazy bald man who came into your camp 20 years ago and said he was your leader. Richard is impressed, but he still takes the body of Amy/Michelle's husband. Horace, pleased with Sawyer's quick thinking, grants him two more weeks on the island.
Three Years Forward
The gang is still on the island. Michelle's baby is breech and the doctor doesn't know what to do. Sawyer hunts down Juliet, now working as a mechanic (?). She protests at first, but Sawyer tells her that the time they're in is so long ago, the island might not yet be a killer of moms and babies. She goes, and delivers the baby. It and its mom are fine. We also learn that Sawyer and Juliet are playing house now, and the appear to really care for each other. Uh-oh. This will could get ugly when Kate arrives. Meanwhile, Sawyer goes to Horace, now married to Amy/Michelle, and asks him why he got drunk. He found Amy's husband's necklace among her things, he explains. She isn't over him -- how could she be? It's only been three years. Sawyer/LaFleur explains how he got over a woman in three years, and Horace comforted. Then, Jin calls Sawyer to tell him that he's found Kate and company. Sawyer lies to Juliet and takes off. So much for being over Kate.
Highlights and notes:
* In between the episodes two flashes, we get a brief glimpse of the four-toed statue again...then it disappears and is not mentioned for the rest of the episode. Oh "Lost," how you tease.
* Three years forward Jin speaks perfect(ish) English, which makes sense. He's been around English speakers for a while now, so it seems reasonable he'd grasp the language.
* Great inside joke: Sawyer refers to Richard as "your friend with the eyeliner!" Ha! See, there were rumors that Nestor Carbonell (who plays Richard) was wearing eyeliner in his scenes. The rumor became so prevalent that the show's writers and producers have actually stepped forward to deny it.
* I've pointedly avoided mentioning Daniel, because I wanted to save him for last. First, what happened to Charlotte's body? Do the dead not travel in the flashes? And where was he during the three years forward scenes? We didn't see him. Is he already on the construction crew? Also, did he really see young Charlotte in the Dharma camp, or is just losing it big time?
* When Daniel declares that the time travel has stopped, he uses the metaphor of the stuck record again. Now that the travel has ceased "The record has stopped spinning." During this line, the camera spins around the circle of islanders. Nice effect.
* Just as last week's episode was a showcase for Terry O'Quinn, this was a centerpiece for Josh Holloway, who did an excellent job portraying Sawyer's nascent leadership. We saw him evolve believably from the rough and tumble skeptic to the smooth con man, ready to the play the part he needed to play in order to survive. Holloway has been underused lately, and it's nice to see him in the spotlight.