"Little Hot for Heaven": Down in the Brig on Lost

Can it be next Wednesday already? I can't believe we only have a few episodes left before the end of Season Three of Lost and I'm breathlessly anxious to catch the next installment already.

Last night's episode of Lost ("The Brig") revealed some answers about what's been going on the last few weeks with Locke while also revealing a mystery that has lurked around the series since the early days back in Season One. I'm talking about the true identity of the con man whose actions lead to the murder-suicide of Sawyer's parents. While it's been hinted that the con man from all those years ago was the Man From Tallahassee (a.k.a Locke's dad), that theory was finally confirmed last night in a fantastically taut episode.

Locke. It looks to me as though Locke really has switched sides and could be more like Ben than I ever imagined. In this week's flashbacks, we're privy to what's been going on in the life of John Locke for the last eight days. Ben has once again told Locke that he's special and believes that his presence with them has enabled his own body to heal; miraculously, Ben is unable to walk with the aid of a cane, a rather large feat considering that his spine was recently operated on. Curious. But things on this island do heal very quickly, as evidenced by the bite mark on Locke's hand, courtesy of Anthony Cooper, a.k.a. The Man from Tallahassee. Ben wants Locke to prove himself to the Others and put his past behind him by killing his father; unless Locke brings him his father's body, he can't continue to follow them. But Locke's no killer and Richard Alpert gives him the answer to his conundrum when he hands him Sawyer's file.

Still, I can't believe that Locke pretended to be "undercover" and claimed to have infiltrated the Others when the truth is that he's become one of them, a follower so blinded by his need for answers about the island's nature that he'll sell out his fellow castaways. He used Sawyer to get what he wanted and what he couldn't do himself. Sawyer's hands are already bloody, so what's one more death in the grand scheme of things? But the weight of that cross Locke had to bear at the episode's end seemed mighty heavy...

Sawyer. I felt terrible for poor Sawyer. He finally came face to face with the man he held responsible for his parents' deaths, only to have that encounter blow up in his face. I felt Josh Holloway perfectly captured that slow recognition dawning on his face as he realized who Cooper was: Tom Sawyer, the con man who destroyed his family. (About the name, Cooper explains, "Huck Finn was taken.") And the fact that Cooper casually tore up the letter that Sawyer carted around for twenty-odd years perfectly summed up what a miserable SOB Anthony Cooper (or whatever his name is) really is. It also sent Sawyer straight over the edge as he strangled Cooper with his own chains. Sad. Revenge is a dish best served cold, but it doesn't appear to have done Sawyer any good.

The Magic Box. I'm glad that this was, in the end, a metaphor that Ben used to talk about the island. Though it doesn't really appear that it was the island that brought The Man from Tallahassee there, now does it? Instead, it seems as though Ben engineered his appearance from scratch and had his people on the mainland engineer a car collision and then brought him to the island. Perhaps on the last submarine trip, as a means of turning Locke to their side? I loved that Cooper thought he was dead and had gone to hell. Well, you got your wish now, pops.

Jack. WTF is up with Jack? He's acting completely OTT superior to everyone around him and has become a royal ass in these last few episodes. His behavior towards Kate was out of line (though I still don't know why she told him about Naomi or the satellite phone), regardless of what secret plan he's working on. Even scarier is the fact that he doesn't seem all that surprised by what Kate has told him and Juliet, which is... odd, to say the least. Just what secret do he and Juliet have bubbling away that Kate is not ready to hear? I'm not totally convinced I trust Jack lately but since Juliet is a mole who has infiltrated the camp at Ben's behest, I trust her motives even less. Has she pulled the wool over Jack's eyes or is there something more going on here? Either way, Sawyer knows she's a mole and the castaways are not going to be too pleased when they hear that... or that Ben is coming to kidnap the women in a few days.

The Lost Literary Allusions of the Week belong to the aforementioned Tom Sawyer but also to the finally-named-on-screen Naomi Dorrit, whose name conjures up Charles Dickens' "Little Dorrit," which dealt with the nature of bureaucracy and the flaws of society. Naomi doesn't actually know Desmond or Penelope (whew) but her company was hired by Penelope Widmore (after the events of the Season Two finale, no doubt) to find Desmond and was given a set of coordinates in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a task she and her companions dubbed a "fool's errand." We also learn that Ben's organizations went through some pretty intense means to prove that Oceanic Flight 815 crashed, staging a crash of a passenger plane in a four-mile deep oceanic trench. Or they managed to fake the photographic footage taken from the crash site.

Either way, the world believes our favorite castaways are dead. Naomi is there to rescue Desmond... unless this whole encounter is a set-up arranged by Ben after he learned of Desmond's existence. Which might be why Jack and Juliet are so shocked by the existence of the satellite phone. Naomi did claim that there are others on a platform eight miles away (holding out the promise of rescue), she speaks several languages and slipped Mikhail a message last week (saying that she was not alone), and no one actually saw the helicopter crash. I think Mikhail was en route to meet her when the Losties surprised him by getting there first. And this entire affair is going to blow up right in their faces next week.

Speaking of blowing up, just what was Rousseau planning to do with all of that dynamite? Curious... Me, I'm just happy we got to see The Black Rock again.

Next week on Lost ("The Man Behind the Curtain"), Ben introduces Locke to some of the island's secrets with a trip down memory lane, including some Dharma-related revelations and the identity of the mysterious Jacob, while Juliet's secret is revealed to the castaways.

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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.