"Confidence Man"

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010


Since Sawyer was one of the more mysterious characters on the show, I remember being pretty excited for “Confidence Man”, as it would shed some light on his past. It’s not a particularly great episode (either on or off the island), but it got the ball rolling one of the series’ biggest “everything happens for a reason” revelations – the identity of the “real” Sawyer and how he related to one of the other castaways. Some folks figured it out prior to the actual episode where it was revealed, but I was not one of them. Score one for the writers.

Sawyer’s “late for a meeting/drops the money in front of his mark” trick would be used 2-3 more times on the show, so it’s kind of fun to see it actually working again, since the other times resulted in a plot turn of sorts. It’s also the “sexiest” episode of the show thus far; not only is Sawyer’s female mark (marcy?) smoking hot, but fans of Josh Holloway probably wore out their Tivo buttons during a few key scenes in the episode (“It’s about bunnies!”). There’s also that kiss that Sawyer demands from Kate, which goes on long enough for us to understand she’s not exactly repulsed by the idea. Over time, there would be a lot of relationships forged, though most of them were sweet or purely PG rated (Hurley and Libby). But whenever it came to Sawyer, for whatever reason, it’d be more about the sex (until Juliet anyway). Remember when he boinked Ana Lucia out of nowhere? Dude got more play on this show than the rest of the guys combined.

Claire also finally returns after taking the last couple episodes off. Charlie’s trying to convince her to move to the cave, and uses peanut butter borrowed from Pee Wee’s Playhouse to do it. It’s a sweet little subplot, with a random jab at Australians (why wouldn’t they like peanut butter?) thrown in for good measure. Their relationship was one of the more tragic in the series, so this stuff sort of breaks my heart when I start thinking about the show as a whole instead of trying to be ignorant of future events. However, Walt doesn’t appear in the episode, presumably because he was somewhere being “special”, whatever the hell that meant (biggest annoyance I had as a fan – the fact that these goons didn’t think a kid would grow up faster than the time depicted on the show, forcing them to write his character out and leave a giant plot thread dangling forever).

Speaking of watching with all the knowledge of future episodes at my disposal, the scene where Sayid discusses his attack with Locke is fun to watch. And it’s interesting, because Locke deftly throws Sayid off track by suggesting it was Sawyer who did it, which leads to the first of several dozen scenes of Sayid, our protagonist, torturing someone. He atones by taking off at the end of the episode, ashamed at what he did, but it was still a pretty ballsy thing to do with one of the show’s more endearing characters. And it was nice, in retrospect, to have a major plot development that occurred as a result of character action that was in no way connected to Dharma stations or time travel or whatever. The mythology was opening up (and in the next episode even more so), but the events of the show were still very much rooted in these characters.

Where are we?

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