NOVEMBER 20, 2010
AIRED: OCTOBER 25, 2006
As usual for Sawyer episodes, "Every Man For Himself" focuses on a con, but it's unique in that he cons someone who deserves it, in this case a fellow criminal. Also, he's not doing it for financial gain, but to get out of prison, which is kind of noble, I guess (though we must wonder what he was going to do with his finder's fee had he not learned of Clementine's existence). Add that to a better-than-usual Island story for the guy, and you have one of his best episodes.
Because not only are his storylines above average, but it's also the first episode to show that he really does care about Kate beyond his understandable desire to get caught in a net with her. Protecting her from knowing about his heart rate monitor is possibly the nicest thing we've ever seen him do, and there are other moments of humanity sprinkled throughout - he even tries to defend a little bunny! Speaking of which, the first time I saw this episode (when I thought he really killed it) that part really upset me. After all the stuff they've done, it was the first time I felt truly terrified of the Others.
And his newfound humanity allows for humor - dumping the bucket of cold water on his head to "calm down" after seeing her undress is hilarious every time. I also like that he lies about his age (and makes me feel fat - he's only an inch shorter than me yet weighs like 50 lbs less? F U!). Additionally, we learn that he's been a fan of reading long before the Island - I always assumed it was something that he picked up after the crash since he had nothing better to do, but we see him in prison reading "Of Mice And Men".
Also, while he's always been a "main" character (opposed to glorified supporting ones like Claire), it's the first time he's been at the forefront of an important piece of the puzzle; namely that they are not on the main island, but an "Alcatraz" a good boat ride away (no swimming to safety). I'm pretty sure it's the first (and possible last, can't remember) time Sawyer has been privy to important information concerning the Others that no one else has. We still don't know why they wanted him here (though we get a pretty strong hint of why they wanted Jack), but at least if they send him home a la Hurley he'll have something interesting to share.
As for the other stuff, we have Jack trying to save the girl Sun shot two episodes ago (again, the swapping of "Glass Ballerina" and "Further Instructions" really made no sense at all - I think if I ever watch the season again I will reverse their order), who is the wife of Pickett. Pickett may be one of the more vile Others, but you gotta feel for the guy here (it doesn't hurt that Michael Bowen is a great, underrated actor), sobbing as he beats the piss out of Sawyer. And I love Jack's little moment with Juliet, when he tells her he doesn't care about how she feels (which you can almost sense is a lie, though she's clearly hurt by it anyway). I don't know if it was a lack of time or what, but they never really followed through on Jack and Juliet's obvious feelings for each other; I think they kiss once and that's about it. Eh, she was better with Sawyer anyway.
We also get our first non-Hatch related Desmond subplot! As was hinted in the last episode, he has seemingly gained ESP as a result of the Hatch implosion (it was a trade for his clothes, I guess), and uses it to save Claire, or so we think. It's a perfect example of how often Lost characters would be seemingly incapable of just TALKING to people - why not just tell her he has a vision? With all the weird shit on this island, like anyone would raise an eyebrow? But it's worth it for Hurley's hilarious reaction to the odd structure he builds ("Is that... art?") - possibly one of his top 5 all time best reactions (#1, of course, being "You got some... Arzt on you.").
On the downside, Kate sheds her sundress and puts some pants on. Given the amount of climbing she does to get in and out of her cage (Ms. Lilly is pretty capable with this sort of stuff - have they picked a new Tomb Raider yet?), I find this to be a very unfair decision on the part of the writers/costume folks.
Tomorrow: the shocking death of a character whose actor didn't want to stick around.
Where are we?