Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Review: Lost 1.16: Outlaws
Saywer shoots the man he thinks conned his parents.
Lost - Season One, Episode Sixteen - Outlaws
Written 29/5/13

After most of the season spent its time exploring characters and then redeeming them for their faults, last week saw a turnaround - an exploration of how the characters are trying to better themselves after their sins of the past. Who better then to look at than Sawyer, whose main plot this week felt a little odd, even if it did allow for a great many character moments. A fair chunk of the episode's best moments are in the flashbacks, which is a nice change, but there's some good wherever you look.
     In his flashbacks, we saw Sawyer pointed by friend Hibbs towards someone who used to be called Sawyer, leading him to believe that it is the conman who led to his father's murder-suicide (which you have to blame his Dad for a little bit, there's really no need for murder-suicide just cos your wife lied to you). The man is Frank Duckett, a US ex-pat who now lives in Sydney, leading Sawyer to go there in search of him. He initially is put off by Duckett's pleasant demeanour, scared of killing him. A conversation with a drunk and saddened Christian Shepherd (Jack's dad) pushes him to get it over with, but upon fatally wounding Duckett he discovers that he's been conned by Hibbs, and that Duckett was just someone who hadn't repaid a loan.
     On the Island, Sawyer's tent is ravaged in the night by a boar, who later attacks him in the Jungle. Sawyer, believing that the boar is out to get him, employs Kate's help to track and kill the boar, reluctantly giving her carte blanche over his stash. On their journey they play a revealing game of I Never, have a creepy conversation with Locke, and have their camp raided overnight by the boar. However, remembering Duckett, Sawyer is unable to kill the boar and lets it go free. Elsewhere, and as Michael's raft is nearing completion, Sayid helps Charlie deal with the shell-shock he has after killing Ethan.
Kate drinks in Sawyer's game of I Never.
     The game of I Never scene and the scene in the Australian bar are by far the stand-outs of the episode, with the former throwing us a variety of future plot hints in a way that jumps from joviality straight to tension on the sound of a pindrop. The scene in the bar is quite tragic, like something out of a piece of Classic American literature, as we hear a man whose lfie has gone to hell lament his own weakness and the actions that led him there. It's scenes like that that distinguish John Terry's Christian Shephard out as one of the best guest characters on the show, and his work in that scene is an utter delight.
     I don't get much to say when they're good. The scenario surrounding Sawyer's personification of his victim Frank Duckett into an arsey boar is a silly one and it stretched credulity at times that right after the Ethan incident the camp would be willing to accept Sawyer's wish to go out and hunt it. But the character moments were good enough that the overall effect was a pleasing one, and finally seeing the depths of Sawyer's demons brought another side to the character that I really liked.


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