Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Review: Lost 3.19: The Brig
Obscure character connections that make good sense.
From Wikia
Lost - Season Three, Episode Nineteen - The Brig
Written 20/3/13

Locke's third centric this season, the last Locke centric I have left to cover, is quite understated for a story which both takes his current plotline into new territory and settles a score as old as the show itself for him and Sawyer. In that way it was quite wonderfully dark, as Locke first considered whether he should exact revenge on his evil, evil father, and then seeing him embrace his "destiny" by manipulating someone else to do it for him, in a set of scenes which were eerily similar to those in the Sixth Season. There are also hints of the season's finale creeping up upon us, with secret hidden plans and a confrontation between the survivors and The Others which is gonna be spectacular.
     We discover through flashback the events since Locke met his dad in The Man From Tallahassee - they were moved to a old Island monument, where Ben told Locke that he had to kill his father to achieve a special status amongst The Others, whom Locke now considers his people. When Ben, knowing Locke's attachment, uses it to show Locke up in front of his people, Richard Alpert gives Locke the file of one James Ford and suggests that Locke take a look. In the present, and Locke guides Sawyer away from camp with the proviso that he's captured Ben and that he wants Sawyer to kill him. When they reach the hiding place, the brig of the Black Rock, Sawyer instead finds Anthony Cooper, who reveals while blabbering that he was the conman who led to his parents' deaths. After Cooper tears up his special letter, Sawyer kills him there and then. Back at camp, and word goes round about Naomi - except to Jack, who is informed at the end of the episode by Kate, and then proceeds to reveal that he and Juliet have something up their sleeve for the next few days anyway...
     Dropping the spoiler bombshell here for a second (skip to the next paragraph, you strange people who haven't seen Season Six), the way that Locke and Sawyer interact in this episode is very, very reminiscent of the interaction between Sawyer and The Man In Black, also played by Locke actor Terry O'Quinn. Locke here has adopted Ben's own strategy - anything he doesn't want to do himself, he manipulates into doing himself, While it's fairly cack-handed (Sawyer is not the hardest man to fool, at least at this point in the show), it still shows a devious ingenuity which certainly did not exist before Island-times. He still can't bring himself to kill his father - the man who so many years of his life were spent obsessing over - but that doesn't mean Locke doesn't want him dead.
There are so many lines in this episode which become
brilliantly ironic in the last two seasons that I'm not sure
if it wasn't completely intentional. From Wikia
      While it was a Locke episode, the lack of an off-Island story meant that we got a lot of time to look at Sawyer too - this is sorta his episode as well, especially as him getting to face the man who killed his parents is something of a climactic step along his character development. And I gotta give the writers credit - it didn't feel as contrived as I thought it would that it just so happens that Locke's dad is the original Sawyer. Kevin Tighe's Anthony Cooper is a deliciously evil shit-eating villain, insults and indignities oozing out of his character like an oil slick. He's vastly, incredibly hateable as a villain, and yet all the same he is in no way cartoonish - people like Cooper really exist, and that's what makes him so brilliant.
      While not as mind-blowing as next week's Ben-centric episode, The Brig had a lot going on beneath the skin in terms of Locke's development - his capacity to manipulate others. I mentioned a few weeks ago how a lot of the character arcs in this season have been about attempting to take control of one's life and one's circumstances, and I think it's particularly funny that on Lost this means that Locke effectively becomes, as Sawyer has, the man he despises. The fact that Sawyer and Locke are more similar than previously thought it not only genius, but it's also a pointer towards the friendship they'd develop across Seasons Four and Five. And Anthony Cooper's dead. That's enough to make anyone happy.


NEXT WEEK: We see how Ben became the man he is today. Richard Alpert hasn't aged since 1973? Who's Annie? And if not Jacob, who is the man living in his cabin? All these questions and more to be asked in The Man Behind The Curtain.


  1. ["While it was a Locke episode, the lack of an off-Island story meant that we got a lot of time to look at Sawyer too - this is sorta his episode as well, especially as him getting to face the man who killed his parents is something of a climactic step along his character development."]

    This really burns me. Anthony Cooper DID NOT murder Sawyer's parents. The latter's father murdered Sawyer's mother before committing suicide. He would have killed Sawyer if the latter had not been hidden.

    Blame Cooper for cheating the Ford family if you must. But Cooper's scam was no excuse for the real destruction caused by Mr. Ford senior.

    1. I have no sympathies with Mr. Ford Snr., I assure you. What he did was evil, and it's a sad tragedy that James' refusal to admit this fact sees him hunting and eventually emulating Cooper with such obsession.

      Take it as read, in this article, that I speak from the character's point of view. To James, "Sawyer" is the man who killed his parents. He is wrong about this, but in his head this is the truth. Hence why I wrote that.

      Thanks for so many comments Juanita. :D