Lost in Retrospect: Outlaws

A very shoddy mechanism allows for some great examination of Sawyer, who (as I’ve previously mentioned) has become one of my favourite characters, plus some more good character stuff and an interesting touch on the mythology.

For a refresh on the episode, I suggest you visit Lostpedia’s excellent Wiki page.

The idea of hanging this entire story on a (probably) crazy boar is thin. Very thin. But I did like what it brought out in the characters. Sawyer and Kate’s game of “I Never” was a pretty intense scene, if you ask me, almost enough to make me buy into the love triangle as a source of dramatic story. The slow escalation, from friendly questions to sniping at one another, and then the big one. “Looks like we’ve got something in common” indeed. I commented in my post on that episode that “Whatever the Case May Be” should’ve held back the reveal of Kate having killed someone, because it would’ve been a much stronger reveal in this episode. For some reason, the scene where Sawyer chooses to spare the boar tugged at the heartstrings. I’m really not sure why. And then that final scene with Sawyer and Jack that made me (even now) punch the air and get excited for future episodes.

Sawyer’s personal flashback — that nightmare about his parents — is creepy. You know what’s coming, but hearing both the gunshots, seeing the father’s feet go limp, it’s enough to give me nightmares. The rest of the flashbacks were equally compelling, the two main scenes being the one in the bar and one outside in the rain. Christian in the bar… Bloody hell, that was a brilliant scene. John Terry took what was essentially a monologue and knocked it out of the park. And him saying all those things about Jack but not actually saying them to Jack is one of those frustratingly great moments that only come from characters that are three-dimensional, layered and real, because I hate his decision and yet I completely understand why he made it. The scene on the pier with Duckett was fantastic as well, mostly because of Josh Holloway’s brilliant portrayal of the emotion that both Sawyer and the audience were feeling: “oh crap!”

We get the return of a few mythology elements in this episode, but as with most of season 1, it’s more  of a tease than a meaty contribution. Hearing the Whispers was nice and creepy, and lend credence to the idea that the boar’s presence and motive was very unnatural. Sawyer’s dreams are easy to write off as simple nightmares, justifiable considering what he witnessed as a child. But he’s not the first to have some… interesting dreams on the Island. I’m thinking back to Claire’s dream in the opening of “Raised by Another”: blood on her hands, and Locke with one white eye and one black eye. Is this dream prophetic? Is it meant to stir Sawyer on to some action, perhaps even the action he actually undertook in the episode? I honestly don’t know… I will throw out one more idea, though. In Sawyer’s second nightmare, he saw that boar in the place of his father, walking towards his childhood bed. Before and after this sequence, we’re associating the boar with Duckett and that whole “It’ll come back around” statement as he died, but that nightmare might provide some other clues as to what drives Sawyer. Despite having gone all these years looking for revenge on behalf of his parents, is it possible that Sawyer really does hate his father, and he associated that boar with the man who murdered his own wife and left his only son alone? Hate would be pretty justifiable under those circumstances.

There were also some scenes in the episode that dealt with Charlie possibly having PTSD, but honestly, they were so few and had so little impact that I can’t bring myself to write much more about them. All in all, this was an excellent episode that did a good job of further fleshing out Sawyer, one of the most complex characters on the show, and made the love triangle slightly (slightly) more palatable while teasing some cool mythology ideas. Definitely one worth revisiting.


2 Responses to “Lost in Retrospect: Outlaws”

  1. Justin Mazaleski Says:

    I am enjoying reading your posts, they are very insightful. I am doing my own LOST rewatch, but my posts are more of a mixture of mystery discussion/me being a smart-ass. Yours are definitely more of the all-encompassing intellectual variety and probably are superior to mine.

    And yeah, I agree about the whole ‘Sawyer going after the boar’ plot device being kinda silly, but sometimes you need those silly moments, especially considering how heady the show would get in later seasons. Ahhh, sometimes I long for the days when an angry boar was all they had to worry about…

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