LOST in Translation: Murder by Numbers

Season 6 Episode 8
written by Elizabeth Samoff & Jim Galasso
directed by Jack Bender

Let me start off by apologizing for my pre-Recon post from yesterday. The “sneak peek” I offered was actually for next week’s episode. No harm, no foul? All forgiven? As Smokin’ John Locke so aptly put it last night, “Nobody’s perfect”. But you know what, “Recon” was pretty darn close.

Here we are, halfway into Season 6 and LOST is firing on all cylinders. Josh Holloway has been phenomenal this season, showing some truly wonderful acting chops that have developed over the course of his Island tour of duty. I think Terry O’Quinn is rubbing off on the man. He’s selling every scene he’s in and he’s elevated his game and his character’s presence.

Sawyer’s always good for a smart ass remark or two, but he’s proven to be much deeper and the credit to that goes not only to the writers and directors, but to Holloway becoming a more rounded craftsman.


“Do you want to die alone?”
~Miles to James Ford

We begin as we have each week, taking a quick look at the flash-sideways world before delving into the more immediate gravitas of the castaways’ original timeline. And what a mindbender this elseworld turned out to be. I’ve known for weeks that Sawyer, aka James Ford, was a cop in this reality, but it was still an awesome reveal for me last night.

The inclusion of Miles as Ford’s partner was genius and I enjoyed the cameos by Charlotte Lewis and Liam Pace, even if I would have preferred my theory about the Driveshaft frontman being a part of Team Widmore to have been correct.

We picked up some interesting details about this other realm.

Sawyer, of course, became a cop rather than a conman, but he’s still haunted by Anthony Cooper’s scheme that led to the murder-suicide of Ford’s nuclear family.

Charlotte, still a ginger-haired Indiana Jonesess, works with Miles’ father in a museum.

No word yet as to whether Miles can commune with the dead, but if he can I would so totally watch a LOST spinoff series with Ford and Straum. It would be “smart ass comment” heaven.

Every glimpse into the flash-sideways has been to show the evolution of these characters sans Jacob’s influence and here we find Sawyer finally letting his partner in to his “little secret”. It was a huge step for James Ford… and a pivotal reconnect between two friends… that came to a screeching halt when Fugitive Kate crashed their little bromance moment.

For me it was one of the better elseworld excursions, but as fun as they are… the real action is back on the Island.


“A long time ago, before I looked like this,
I had a mother and she was crazy
so I had problems that could have been avoided
if things were different.”
~Dark Locke to Kate

I gather that the Locke-ness Monster’s mommy issues was the biggest event of the episode, at least as far as the mythology goes, but there were plenty of mommy issues to go around… namely Wicked Claire, who seems to have stepped out of a Neil Gaiman story and right up into Kate’s grill.

Quite a scary moment for our Ms. Austen as the Littleton Terror came at her fast and furious, wielding a knife. I love it when Aussies play with pigstickers and ol’ Claire was channeling fellow Downunderean Paul Hogan as she and Kate rolled about, Claire in the role of Dundee and the Runaway Girl playing a doomed crocodile.

And Sayid just sat there.

I repeat.

Sayid just sat there.

Wow. Dark Sayid just turned ten shades of darker. But never fear, fair Kate, it’s Smocke to the rescue, complete with a little attitude adjustment administered across Creepy Claire’s cheek.

Powerful, powerful stuff. The writers served up a platter of awesomeness with a side of kick ass with that scene, but they weren’t through as Flocke and Kate sauntered off for a little beachfront powwow, with the Hydra Island looming in the distance.

The Locke-ness Monster revealed to Kate, a woman with parental issues all her own, that he was the product of one crazy mama and that he has had a hard time coming to terms with the problems arising from that upbringing. when Kate asks why he’s telling her all this, he replies, “because Aaron has a crazy mother now too.”

And with that, let me say that I am totally hungry for the forthcoming “By the Sea”, the 15th episode of the season and one in which the castaways play no part. It’s all MIB, Jacob, and Mommy Dearest. “Recon” stepped into the batter’s box. “By the Sea” will be knocking it out of the park.


“Son of a bitch.”
~Detective James Ford upon capturing Fugitive Kate Austen

Skater fans were probably jumping for joy last night. Sawyer had his poignant moment with Kate’s discarded dress in the Polar Bear cages (still there after three years). Kate and James reconnected by the fire. Over in the flash-sideways we got an enthusiastic “Son of a bitch” from Detective Ford as he collared our girl in a Los Angeles back alley.

Me? Not so much. Oh, the writer’s sold it and it was dragging me in ever so slowly, but then I woke up and screamed, “JULLLLIEEEEETTTTT!!!”


“It’s either kill or be killed. And I don’t want to be killed.”
~Dark Locke to Sawyer

Okay, we’ve made it through the main course and all the side dishes. Time for dessert. Delicious, decadent and mysterious dessert. I’m talking about the juicy bits. Okay, Flocke’s Mother issues aside, Sawyer’s Recon mission to Hydra Island was a delicacy of delights.

Sawyer working a multi-layered con is pure magic and our boy was dipping into his bag of tricks to stay one step ahead of all the players.

First, I didn’t buy Zoe’s story for a second, and neither did Ford. You just can’t con a con man. Once her cover was blown and she whistled for back up, well I knew it was “game on”. “Take me to your leader.” Ha, classic Sawyer stuff.

His sit down with Widmore on board the SS Bad Ass showed two masters of manipulation going toe to toe. Loved it. Alan Dale is brilliant and really shined here. He’s one slimy dude and I don’t believe a word the bloke says, especially when he’s telling the truth.

Two really big questions: One… who killed the Ajira passengers? Was it Team Widmore? Or was it the Locke-ness Monster? Two… who or what does Widmore have locked up on that submarine?

Tackling the first one first, I’m leaning toward Smocke. Why? Because despite him playing nice back with his newly formed posse (Claire slap notwithstanding), I still get the sense that this dude would look pretty stylish with horns and a pitchfork.

As for what’s squirreled away in the belly of Chuck’s Whale, well I’m going to go a little crazy here and posit two possibilities, both of which are as stone cold crazy as Claire. Either we’ll discover it’s Desmond, who we’ve been told that the Island is not through with yet, or… and here I go totally off the reservation, it is all or a select few of the flash-sideways castaways.

I know… that’s crazy talk being shouted from the crazy train on its way into crazy town.

But I’ve got a feeling that there’s a deeper reason for the flash-sideways, and maybe this is it.

Okay, it probably isn’t, but it’d blow your freaking mind now wouldn’t it?

Of course there’s a third question looming out there… Who’s conning who? Everyone’s working an angle. Charles Widmore. The Man in Black. James Tiberius Ford. I’m not a betting man, but if I were my money would be on the shirtless wonder, because no one runs a long con like my man Sawyer. And the best thing is, he’s running his con by telling the everlovin’ truth.


Another great episode. So why do I think the best is yet to come? Maybe because next week LOST offers us the Richard Alpert-centric “Ab Aeterno”. A Richard Alpert backstory has just got to be full of mindblowing revelations, so I fully expect to be gobsmacked. Bring it on. I can take it.

As is usually the case I’ll be back with more missives as the days progress toward our next unveiling. Until then, there is this little morsel from next week’s entree.

6 Responses to “LOST in Translation: Murder by Numbers”

  1. Yeah, when I saw that next week was going to be the Richard back story
    I wet myself.

  2. It’s not just Richard’s backstory, next week they are finally going to tell us what the island is, who created it, and why.

    Here’s something I don’t get: Smoke monster can no longer take any human form other than Locke’s but he can turn into smoke and fly around (and possibly be invisible) so why then did fLocke have James do recon? I must have looked away at the wrong time because I didn’t see those sonar pylons James mentioned, but are we to believe that island now has those surrounding it to the extent Smokey can’t even get past the beach?

  3. cairnwood Says:

    I think FLocke sent James to Hydra Island to keep him and Kate separated so that he could work his mojo on her.

  4. C,
    You have truly given a LOT of good insight and conjecture regarding the whole LOST epic. I must agree with you about the purpose for ‘Cain’ (Locke) sending Sawyer to Hydra. I don’t think there is anything he does which is not part of a bigger picture plan.
    I also tend to agree that Smokey had recently been to Hydra (hence the ‘body garden’). I think Chuck’s people were clearing the beach because Chuck knows ‘Locke’ is across the pond. Notice the complete lack of shock on Charles’ face when Sawyer mentioned Locke’s presence? I am actually supposed to attend a “LOST Luncheon” today with people from my wife’s work today. I will bring up some of the points you have brought up and come back here with any new perspectives.
    I appreciate your perspective as a writer (particularly mystery) in analysing this storyline! We appear to think a lot alike, but you have brought some concepts to the table which hadn’t even occurred to me. :)

    • cairnwood Says:

      Next week will connect a lot of the dots, I think. Then I’ll probably have to reevaluate my thoughts on the whole bloody nightmare.

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