Kate’s walking along the beach and finds Sawyer’s clothes and favorite book, Watership Down, bundled together. He arises from the shallows and proceeds to flirt with her as we’re accustomed to seeing. In this quick opening, we’re reminded of Sawyer’s affinity for Kate, which is important to the episode.
Flashback: Sawyer’s in bed with a woman in a hotel room and he’s told the time and freaks out, saying he needs to get to a meeting. He grabs a briefcase and it opens revealing stacks of cash. The woman, Jess, asks about the money because any sane person would and Sawyer proceeds to tell her he has an investment opportunity for oil drilling but only has a portion of the money. His meeting that afternoon is with another potential investor. Jess makes a play and offers to be his partner investor using her husband’s money (aha, the plot thickens).
While traipsing (I love that word) through the jungle, noises alert Sawyer and he finds Boone going through his stash. Uh oh.
Jack is tending to Sayid’s head wound in the caves, learning about how Sayid’s plan was sabotaged. Boone is brought in all bloodied up from getting a beating by Sawyer. Boone explains to Jack that he was looking for Shannon’s asthma medicine in Sawyer’s stash believing the medicine was there because Sawyer was reading Boone’s book, Watership Down.
There’s no real Plot B storyline in this episode besides Charlie and Claire getting closer. They talk about food they miss and Claire reveals she craves peanut butter. Charlie promises to find her some and goes to Hurley, implicating Hurley might have a hoard of food, which is presumed because Hurley is what might be described as hefty. Charlie apologizes for the bad form and eventually settles for bringing Claire an empty jar and make believing peanut butter inside. It’s cute and definitely shows the progression of their relationship but otherwise doesn’t propel the story forward.
Back to the good stuff!
Jack shows up to Sawyer’s tent and begins rummaging through things telling Sawyer to give him Shannon’s medicine. Sawyer doesn’t appreciate it and before they can throw down Kate shows up. She tells a storming off Jack that she can get the medicine from Sawyer because according to him they a connection (whatever that means).
She asks and Sawyer says he’ll hand over the medicine for a kiss. Kate declines of course and begins to tell Sawyer she knows he’s putting on a front as a guy who’s the enemy of the people. She mentions the letter we’ve seen him read on multiple occasions and he hands it over, telling her to read it out loud. The letter is written by a kid saying he knows Sawyer slept with his mother and got his father to give him his money. The kid reveals his dad killed his mother and then himself, blaming Sawyer for his parents being dead (woo, heavy…).
Sayid’s on his mission to determine who sabotaged his mission and confronts Locke, asking his whereabouts. Locke says he was skinning a boar and couldn’t be accounted for but tells Sayid that someone who wanted to sabotage a rescue would be someone who is benefiting and profiting off of their current circumstances. Locke implicates Sawyer but Sayid claims Sawyer had an alibi, setting off Kate’s bottle rocket which was too far for him to get to Sayid. Locke says a delayed fuse could have been made using a cigarette and hands over a knife just in case there’s a next time (that’s foreshadowing if I’ve ever seen it before).
While Jack continues to try to help Shannon, he and Sayid form up to take Sawyer and make him give over the medicine. Sayid reveals while in the Republican Guard, his training involved getting information from the enemy.
Sawyer wakes up from a nap to see Sayid before getting knocked out and is dragged into the jungle. Kate tries to intervene but Jack shoots her down. Once awake, Sayid shows Sawyer the carved bamboo shoots he plans to press up under his fingernails (I still cringe every time I watch this scene). Sawyer refuses to speak despite Sayid’s efforts and when he’s threatened to lose an eye, he tells them he’ll only tell Kate where the medicine is.
She arrives and Sawyer tries his luck with the kiss payment, which she obliges much to her chagrin. Afterwards, he tells her he doesn’t have the medicine. Kate gives him a nice strike against the face and tells Jack and Sayid that Sawyer doesn’t have the medicine. Sayid confronts Sawyer again and the two tussel as Sawyer breaks free from his constraints. Sayid uses his Locke-given knife to stab Sawyer in the arm severing an artery. Jack jumps in and saves Sawyer even though Sawyer tells Jack to let him die and that if the tables were turned, he’d let Jack die (harsh, man…harsh).
Flashback: Sawyer meets with Jess and her husband, David, to go over the investment opportunity. David is reluctant not trusting Sawyer. Sawyer offers to let David handle his half of the money overnight, earning trust. Next we see Sawyer in a bar where he’s explaining his plan to the actual owner of his half of the money (happening to be 160K). Sawyer gets threatened and told he better deliver all the money come tomorrow. The next day Sawyer is finalizing the deal with his marks but is conflicted once their son shows up. Sawyer has a change of heart and calls the deal off even though he’s likely going to be putting his life at risk (no bueno, man).
Sawyer wakes up and finds himself stitched up. Kate’s there and tells him she’s been reading the letter and figures out from a stamp that it was actual Sawyer who wrote the letter as a kid. Exposed, he tells her a confidence man named Sawyer conned his parents which led to their deaths. As he got older he needed money quick and figured out how to con a man and woman assuming the identity of the man who ruined his life. Talk about tragedy.
Jack returns to the caves and finds Sun (with the help of Michael) has located eucalyptus leaves to help Shannon’s breathing. Sayid announces what he did do Sawyer was something he vowed never to do again so he decides to self-banish himself away from the group.
Another strong episode and one that I think makes Sawyer a far more sympathetic character than originally laid out for the viewers. He’s multi-layered and this will come out in later episodes. The more I watch this show, the more I realize how much he grows as a character.