It’s really a shame I didn’t get to write my thoughts on this episode sooner, because again … I really liked it. But work is work, and time is scarce … so you’re getting a look back at “Lafleur” a day late from me.
My wife and I both really liked this episode for a few reasons. First and foremost, it featured Sawyer, and it shed him in a different light … different than the “guy with no shirt who spouts off one-liners” character that he’s been reduced to in the past two seasons. Besides his courageous leap from the helicopter last season, Sawyer’s character has gotten little “beef” in the story arc, and this week’s episode changed that — and in a positive way. (Sawyer has always been a rough character with a good heart … we got to see just how much of a good guy he can be).
Another reason we liked it — it was a nice break from the sciency time travel theme that’s made our heads spin the past seven weeks. True, this episode did jump back and forth between 1974 (the year Locke finally stopped the time warps and left the island) and 1977 (the year the Oceanic 6 find themselves back on the island). But the science was kept at a minimum this time.
Instead, this episode went back into the love theme that’s kept many of the non-geeks so enthralled with this series. In “Lafleur” — the French (NOT Creole) last name Sawyer made up when he, Miles, Juliet, Daniel and Jin joined up with the Dharma Initiative after quitting the time leaps — Sawyer and Juliet develop a relationship, one they apparently had three years to develop. We see a calmer Sawyer, one who’s mellowed in his three years of somewhat normalcy. If you’ll recall back when he was sick and taken care of in the hatch a few seasons back, he was amazed to wake up in a real bed … only to learn (disappointedly) that he was still on the island.
More than anyone, Sawyer’s wanted to leave the island and lead a simple life … which ironically, he never had. He found that life with Dharma, which is why he asked Juliet to stay (she had the option of leaving in a submarine) .. and in his three year’s time, he slowly got over Kate.
Of course, by episode’s end, Kate, Jack and Hurley are escorted to Sawyer by Jin, and those feelings toward Kate seem to rush back to Sawyer when he sees her again. He doesn’t know Kate is possibly pregnant with Jack’s baby, and …. wait, see? Sounding like a soap opera, right? Where’s the talk of time travel, religion, destiny and science?
Like I said … this episode was a welcome shift. I’m sure next week, we return to the whole “raison d’etre” in an episode entitled “Namaste.” But I liked this episode. I like that Juliet (who had feelings for Jack) seems to have fallen madly for Sawyer, who tried to convince Dharma’s Horace that his wife could love him just three years after she lost her first husband and used Kate as an example.
Other things I liked:
• Sawyer’s conversation with Richard Alpert
• The glimpse of the statue (the same statue we saw four toes from way back in Season 1)
• More of a backstory to Dharma’s history with the “hostiles”
• Daniel seeing a young redhead whom he believes to be Charlotte (though as Lostpedia points out, Ben said in an earlier episode Charlotte was born in 1978 … four years after this).
• We know the Oceanic 6 and the islanders are in 1977 now, but what year are Ben and the crew/passengers of Ajira Flight 316 in?
• In Season 3’s episode, “The Man Behind the Curtain,” we learn of Ben’s growing up in the Dharma Initiative before finally taking it over. Did this happen before 1974 (would have had to happen in the 1960s or early 70s, looking at Ben’s age), which would mean Ben was in Dharma for three years with Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, etc. Wouldn’t he have remembered them?