Sunday, March 28, 2021

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season 2, episode 13, The Long Con

On-Island Events: Locke and Jack stock the armory with handguns, where Locke has also hidden the seven remaining Virgin Mary statues. Locke suggests Jack lock up the medications in the armory as well. As Sawyer taunts Charlie for being banished by the group, Jack ransacks Sawyer's tent to take back stolen painkillers. When Kate brings Sawyer a magazine, he requests she read to him. While discussing group happenings, Sawyer lets slip that Jack and Ana Lucia are forming an army.

Hugo attempts to engage Sayid by showing him Bernard's short wave walkie but Sayid insists he's not interested. Jack and Ana Lucia discuss safety among the group members and Sun works at creating a garden. As a rainstorm breaks out, an unseen assailant puts a dark cloth over Sun's head and injures her. Locke and Jack disagree about how to protect the group; Jack wants to employ weaponry but Locke thinks guns are too dangerous. Out in the jungle, Sawyer suggest to Kate that their own people may have attacked Sun. 

Kate confronts Jack about bestowing too much trust upon Ana Lucia. When Sun wakes up and explains how she was attacked, Jin demands a gun from Jack as Sawyer and Kate watch. Kate assumes that Ana Lucia is making a play for the guns in the armory and sends Sawyer to the hatch to warn Locke. Locke agrees that the guns should be moved and asks Sawyer to assist him.

When Jin and Jack arrive at the hatch, Sawyer is present but feigns innocence when the armory's guns are discovered to be missing. Jack confronts Locke on the beach, demanding two guns. As they argue, shots ring out and Sawyer emerges from the shadows. He lectures the group about allowing Locke and Jack to make all the rules and for stealing his stash. Going on to state that guns are the only things that matter now, Sawyer walks off with a rifle, announcing himself the "new sheriff in town."

Kate is angry about being played but suggests Sawyer did what he did because he wants to be hated. When asked why he behaves the way he does, Sawyer responds, "You run, I con. A tiger don't change its stripes." Later that evening, Sayid comes to Hugo with the short wave radio he's modified, and the two listen to orchestral music together on the beach.

Sawyer meets with his partner in crime, who happens to be Charlie. He offers him the heroin statues back, but Charlie doesn't want them. When he asks Sawyer how he came up with the idea to con everyone, Sawyer replies, "I'm not a good person, Charlie. Never did a good thing in my life." 

Flashbacks: Sawyer's attempt to con a romantic interest fails but she asks him to teach her his trade.
Using junk necklaces, Sawyer teaches the woman, who he calls "Dimples," how to run a jewelry scam. Later, Dimples voices unhappiness at doing small jobs and asks Sawyer to show her a "long con." Sawyer says they don't have money for a long con but Dimples, whose real name is Cassidy, offers the six hundred thousand dollars she's been hiding from her divorce settlement.

Sawyer meets with a man in a diner (where Diane Austin is working) and admits he has the money but is hesitant about going through with whatever deal they'd previously worked out. Sawyer eventually returns to Cassidy, very agitated, and admits that he had always known about her divorce money. "You were the long con," he tells her, but no longer. Sawyer insists he won't take her money, tells Cassidy he loves her, and sends her off to a safe place to wait for him. Sawyer ensures she's gone and then makes off with her money anyway. 

Greater Meaning: Sawyer's attraction to Kate seems legitimate, but it doesn't seem to be enough to keep him from betraying her. Through his flashbacks with Cassidy we see that he successfully acted the part of a boy in love while doing crimes with his romantic partner, but as viewers, we also were betrayed (as was Cassidy, as were the group on the beach) by believing Sawyer's sweet talk. Sawyer has shown true emotion in the past over his search for Sawyer (senior, to whom his childhood letter was addressed), Walt's being taken from the raft, Kate, whispering that he loved her to Jack during his hallucinations after being shot, and even Jack's feelings regarding Christian after describing their meet at the bar in Sydney, but overall he seems to be more strongly motivated by revenge than love or even lust. Sawyer (senior) romanced his mother and caused her death; the man on the boat stole Walt from Michael and caused the raft to come apart, thwarting Sawyer's exodus; the group violated his privacy and stole his belongings. Perhaps he senses himself becoming attached to Kate, perhaps he felt himself becoming attached to Cassidy, and he continues to manipulate and scheme in order to push the feelings or the possibility of any intimacy aside. His reply to Charlie came with a small amount of regret; his ever-present smirk and surface level self-pride seem to vanish when he admits he's not a good person. Could he become one?

Further Questions

1. Does Sawyer want to be hated? 

2. Will Sun find out Charlie is the one who attacked her?

3. What will happen to the guns and the heroin?

4. Is Sawyer in charge now?

5. Will anything happen with the radio?