Tuesday, February 23, 2010

still lost in thought

Only for those who are up to date with season six...

Maybe John Locke's body wasn't ultimately such a great choice for Smokey to take. As Sawyer said, "Locke was afraid even when he pretended not to be, but you're not afraid." Locke was searching, desperate, for meaning in his life when he hit the Island. Everyone else wanted off the rock ASAP. He would have been far easier to influence than any of the other 815 plane crash survivors.

Witness what happened to Mr. Eko. I think I finally understand why Smokey didn't kill Eko the first time he saw him. He was impressed at Eko's lack of fear. And hopeful that Eko might be a new recruit. Smokey tested him in the form of his brother Yemi, trying to win him over. But Eko was still unafraid, and his own man, unrepentant. He never would have been a candidate to fall under Smokey's influence.

With Jack, Smokey has been more successful. Appearing as Christian definitely freaked Jack out and tapped into his guilt and vulnerability. But Jack, at least at first, was far less susceptible to anything mystical or out of the ordinary about the Island. He couldn't even believe that the Yankees lost the World Series to the Red Sox until Ben showed him the tape (right there with you on that one, Jack—it's still hard for me to accept.)

Now Smokey is focused on Sawyer. Again, I think he's barking up the wrong tree. Sawyer may be wracked with guilt and pain over his beloved Juliet's death, but he's still Sawyer. In fact, I think the fact that he is again "Sawyer" may just save his ass and everyone else's that we have come to care about, and possibly the Island too. I don't want it to stay under water, do you? It's also significant that Sawyer saw young Jacob and quickly took in how spooked Smokey was—both by the kid and the fact that he could see the kid too.

Smokey has made a point of addressing him by his birth name, James Ford. Jacob had him listed that way on the ceiling. Dogen found his name that way on the list stashed in the ankh. I suspect that in the sideways-verse he is more James Ford than Sawyer in demeanor and behavior. But the Sawyer we know from the crash of Oceanic 815 and his backstory was a consummate con man. And while I watched Smokey try to weave his web from the jungle to the cave, I also watched Sawyer. And I think (and hope) that Sawyer is running the longest and greatest con of his life.

In fact, think about who Sawyer was in the three years in the 70s he was with the Dharma Initiative. He was Head of Security. In the sideways-verse he warns Hurley about telling folks how rich he is, as potential prey for conmen like himself. Or is he? Maybe Sawyer is at heart a watchdog, a security man. The perfect person to protect the Island. Time (traveling) will tell . . .

Smokey knows James Ford's got nothing to lose, but so does Sawyer. And I'm betting that the fact that Kate's name wasn't on the ceiling hasn't escaped him (as it hasn't most viewers who searched the screenshots after the episode.) Sawyer jumped out of a helicopter so that Kate (and Aaron) could get back to civilization. He got off the sub because Juliet and Kate convinced him it was the right thing to do. He's full of bluster, always, but he also always looks out for his crew (Jim LaFleur!) and he does the right thing when it counts. Look out Smokey, you may have met your loophole.


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