It is a testament to how geeky I am that when I saw the title of this episode, my mind immediately conjured up an image of the illusive Recon Armor in Halo 3 online. Now that I’ve confessed, let’s move on…
One of the biggest themes so far in season 6 has been mirrors – characters keep seeing their reflections (mostly in the flash-sideways segments, what I call Timeline B) and pondering their situations. Also, in Timeline B, everyone seems to be the mirror-image, similar yet opposite, of what they are in Timeline A. Hurley is the luckiest person in the world instead of being cursed by his lottery winnings, for example. Ben Linus is still faced with the choice between Alex and some sort of power, but he chooses her in Timeline B. And Sawyer is still traumatized by his parents’ murder-suicide, but instead of becoming a con-man he becomes a cop.
Sawyer has been made, over the previous two seasons, into one of the best and most likable characters on the show. His growth and maturation as the de facto leader of the Losties who got stuck in the 1970s was amazing to see. He very quickly went from brooding, closed-off, angry Sawyer to thoughtful, loving, and almost fatherly James Ford. Because of that, I think, he has become one of the most human characters on Lost.
The Timeline B snapshots this week were very cool, at least for me. What struck me was the exploration of how Sawyer might have turned out if he had made one single choice differently – the choice to become a cop and stop people like Anthony Cooper instead of becoming con-man himself and merely seeking revenge. It’s a statement about the power of our choices, even at a very early age (Sawyer was 9 when his parents were killed).
I think that’s such an amazing concept for Christians to think about. So often we live our lives as if we have all the time in the world to “get right” with God. When we do that, we feel like our choices now don’t matter, like we can always change who we are and what we have become later on. But with Sawyer in this week’s episode, we get a glimpse of how a single choice can shape the entire course of our lives.
Of course, there’s still Timeline A Sawyer to wonder about… I honestly can’t tell where his head is at right now. When the Man in Black (henceforth referred to as MiB, Smokey, or Flocke) offerred to take him off the island, Sawyer’s response left me thinking that he was only thinking about himself. Then I began to wonder if he wasn’t trying to con Smokey, and therefore was only pretending to be on his side. But then in this week’s episode he gave MiB intel on Charles Widmore’s team and what they were up to, so I started thinking that maybe he really was with Flocke. But then, almost right after that, he told Kate that he wasn’t on anybody’s side, and that the two of them were going to steal Widmore’s submarine. So – on the side of good, on the side of evil, out for himself alone, or out for his closest friends… I honestly have no idea. Again, that’s what I love so much about Sawyer’s character development. In real life someone who had gone through as much as he has would probably be equally difficult to read.
Next week’s episode is about Richard, and it’s about time! I think we were introduced to Richard in season 2, and found out that he doesn’t age in season 3, maybe. My timeline might be off there… Regardless, it’s been an awfully long time that we’ve been wondering who exactly he is, what his role is on the island, how he came to be there, how he stopped aging, and (for me at least) exactly how much he has been pulling the strings, if at all, throughout this whole process. Exciting!