Thursday, October 8, 2009

3.04 Every Man For Himself

Follow along! The episode guide for “Every Man For Himself” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 31-35.

Dear Writers: Why did you EVER think we were going to like Nikki and Paulo when you made them so horribly, annoyingly dickish? Darlton later said, “Well, I guess the fans just weren’t up to seeing new characters being brought up from the background.” Oh really? We love scenes with Widmore, Eloise, Richard Alpert. Hell, you introduced an entire freighter of new people in season 4 and we went for it. No, it had NOTHING to do with them being background characters, it’s that you made them SO immensely unlikable. And now I’m wasting even more of my time talking about them. (If you want to see more of my rants on these two d-bags, check out my Season 3 book…) ANYWAY. Back to the cages we go with this episode, and this is where we first discover that they’re on two separate islands. Again, I don’t have a lot to say about this episode that I didn't say in my book already…


Fun things I noticed:
• Wow, Paulo. SO giving of you to let Desmond have your golf club so he can die with it in the jungle. You are SUCH a douche.
• Sawyer spouts his mantra, “Every man for himself” and Kate repeats Jack’s, “Live together die alone.”

Things that have new meaning:
• The Others are masters of psychological manipulation, as we see in this episode. The question is, did they learn it from the DI, or did the DI learn it from them?
• Juliet looking scared to perform the surgery is the same face she has when Sawyer runs out to her in LaFleur and tells her to try to deliver Amy’s baby. No wonder she was so scared… not only did every woman lose her baby when she was the fertility expert, but she lost Colleen, too. I’d forgotten about Juliet trying to save her like that.
• I love Sawyer and Ben quoting Of Mice and Men to each other as some sort of game of cat and mouse. And when we see Sawyer reading the book in prison, we realize that he’s not reading heady literature on the beach because it happens to be the only stuff he could find in the suitcases; he’s always read this stuff.

23 comments:

Marebabe said...

First of all, what’s up with Jack watching cartoons? I decided that, like all the music choices in the show, there is very likely a reason that we saw a blurb from that particular cartoon. So here’s my analysis: It’s from a World War II-vintage Warner Bros. cartoon called “A Corny Concerto”. (You can see the whole cartoon on YouTube if you want to.) Just now, the word “war” caught my attention. There’s a war coming in S6 of Lost. Hmmm. Anyway, in the “Blue Danube” segment of this cartoon, there’s a mother swan being followed by her 3 babies and an unwanted, tag-along black duckling. (The obvious symbolic thing is the swan, as in Swan Hatch.) Then a big vulture captures the baby swans, and the black duckling rescues them. He becomes a hero to the swan family, and is accepted by them. The end. I think Juliet selected the cartoons for Jack to watch, and I think the theme of rescuing captives is a personal favorite of hers. After all, Jack isn’t the only one who wants to get away from the Others. She started wanting to leave a long time ago.

Jack was told that the intercom speaker had been broken for a long time, so any voices he heard from it must’ve been hallucinations. But we heard Alex telling him to try the door, so add the broken intercom to the list of lies that have been told so far. The Big Question in S3 was when was anyone telling the truth. There was so much inexplicable, confusing stuff, and most of it was because we didn’t know who to believe.

I had zero sympathy for Pickett as he watched his wife die. And that was before he beat Sawyer’s face to a pulp. Why did he demand to know if Kate loved him? I’ve never understood that. Anyway, he’s gonna get his. But he doesn’t deserve to be shot. He deserves to be nibbled to death by ants!

Juliet was all upset after Colleen’s death and said, “I’m not used to death.” But hasn’t she lost nine pregnant women during her time on the Island? I guess maybe it would take more than that to be able to take it in stride and be “used to it”.

I loved the end of this episode when Ben took Sawyer up to the hilltop so he could see that there are two islands. It was so beautifully filmed, and the dialogue was absolutely wonderful. “The only way to gain a con man’s respect is to con him."

Gillian Whitfield said...

This is probably my second favourite Sawyer episode. I saw Kim Dickens on FlashForward earlier tonight, and the first thing I thought was "Cassidy!"

The scene where Cassidy shows Sawyer the picture of Clementine is completely different for me this time around.

SonshineMusic said...

Juliet: "We make decisions together." Ha! and again I say HA!

I love bunnies and it makes me so SO SSSSSSOOOOOOOOOO mad every time Ben shakes the cage like that.

Hurley: "Is that....art?" hee hee

Sawyer: "you'd like it. Puppies get killed." ::snork::

Josh Holloway can give you like ten different emotions with a single look. It's really quite impressive. I love when he first sees the picture of Clementine.

minor nitpick. Shouldn't the heart monitor keep beeping at the end. Sawyer doesn't take it off, but he gets angry, slugs Ben and then is shocked by seeing two islands. It would have been better for them to have him rip it off and throw it on the ground (very in keeping with his character, too) than to just cut out the SFX.

Susan said...

Sawyer may be an effective con man, but he's also pretty gullible himself. He gets conned by Hurley, Jack, and now Ben.

re the Desmond and Paulo scene, I loved the part where Paulo says disbelievingly "you know how to play golf?" and Des replies "I'm Scottish." ROFL

The scenes of Jack in the Others' OR are hilarious. Here's this guy who is being held captive by violent murderous people, and when he gets into surgery, he orders them around like any surgeon in any OR in the world, and the Others just take it and do whatever he tells them.

The Question Mark said...

For me, this was the very first episode that showcased just how dangerous Benjamin Linus could be. We've seen him put one over on Jack & Locke in the Hatch, but let's face it: Jack & Locke are both insecure men with extreme control/trust issues. Playing them against each other must have been child's play for Ben.
But seeing him do what he did to Sawyer and Kate made it clear that the Others do NOT d**k around; if they want something from you, they will get it through any necessary means. Staging the whole pacemaker operation was a twisted but brilliant ploy at earning the behaviour of someone like Sawyer.

Also, we've been terrified of the Others since Season 1, but when we see Juliet baking muffins for her book club, and Ethan taking care of a pregnant Claire, and Tom giving Kate shampoo and towels, we can't help but think. "Hmm...maybe they really ARE good guys. Maybe we just fear them because we know nothing about them."
But once Ben tells Kate that the next few days are going to be "very unpleasant", all of our worst fears are confirmed. Whoever these people are, and however sweet they may appear, they are dangerous, and they are about to do some horrible things to our beloved Losties.

I see it as the equivalent of a child with a dog. You let the child play with the dog, but you warn him/ her not to play too roughly or to tease the dog, because it may become threatened and bite. From then on, the fear of being bitten by that dog is constantly lingering in the child's mind. They may seem to forget about it when they're playing fetch or feeding it, but once that dog actually does bite them, they get that sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs and they know: "I was right to be afraid."

Personally, I think that's worse than an unsubstantiated fear. The Losties all now have perfectly rational reasons to be afraid of Ben Linus; he all but said, "You're gonna be very, very afraid."

studiorose said...

Okay, why is Paulo hitting all their golf balls into the ocean? Jack's gonna be po'ed the next time he wants to have a tournament.

Sawyer, until now, I could take or leave, but this episode made me love him. Specifically, his question to Ben: "Did you just kill that bunny?" The "tough guy" that Sawyer pretends to be would've said, "Big deal, a rabbit's dead. What else ya got?" but when strapped down, helpless and not in control, his true nature comes out. Love him now.

Oh, and I still think Cassidy is conning Sawyer with that baby pic. We see later that she really does have a baby, but there's no proof it's Sawyer's. He should have demanded a paternity test before he set up that bank account, knowing how much she loved learning to con people.

Marebabe said...

@studiorose: I had to check just now, because I wasn’t sure myself, but Paolo has a whole bucket FULL of some green golf-ball-size fruits, which he is using for practice. I had this scene confused in my mind with (I think) a Season One bit where Jin was practicing with small rocks. That was the time when Hurley came by and said, “You should try sea urchins. They got more ping!” (I’ll bet the sea urchins HATE that!) Anyway, wasting real live golf balls by hitting them into the ocean would be a serious crime, the consequences of which do not bear thinking about.

SonshineMusic said...

@studiorose: about Sawyer, Cassidy and Clementine. I kind of wondered if she was conning him too, but after seeing this episode again, I don't think so. He's in prison and she had no reason to think that he would do anything. At that time he had no financial solvency. And he sets up the account in Clementine's name, so Cassidy wouldn't be able to access it, right? It just doesn't seem like she really got anything from it or had any way to know he would set up that bank account. jmo

Fred said...

Good for Hurley. Even with the loss of Libby, he's making a fruit salad for lunch when he makes his comment on Desmond's lightning rod.

Notice when Desmond is watching Claire and contemplates the future of the lightning strike, there is a fire behind him. The scene is much like one we saw with Locke, and the fire burning behind him.

Love Ben's line to Sawyer: "The only thing we put inside you is doubt." Right, exactly what the writers have put inside every fan of the show.

Nikki Stafford said...

studiorose: Why is Paulo hitting the golf balls into the ocean? BECAUSE HE'S AN IDIOT.

For the longest time in my house, that became my biggest insult to my husband. "GOD, you're such a Paulo." "Oh yeah? Well, you're such a..." "DON'T. Even. Try. It."
"Sorry."

He knew how much it rankled that I shared a name with... her.

Teebore said...

And now I see I should have left my comment about liking the idea behind N&P but not them here, instead of on "Further Instructions".

Ah, well, that's what I get for not reading both posts before commenting...

Bottom line, I'm with you Nikki, when the producers say "Well, I guess the fans just weren’t up to seeing new characters being brought up from the background" they're missing the point: we don't mind seeing new characters being brought up from the background, we just mind if those characters are N&P.

Which is what makes me hate N&P even more: they convinced the producers not to bring any of the other background characters forward, and I really liked the idea of doing that periodically.

Susan said...

LOL Teebore I read both your comments and I have to agree with you. It was a great idea that didn't work well in the execution.

I predict that the season 3 episode that will have the most blog posts will be "Expose." ;)

Marebabe said...

Hey, everyone! Rejoice with me, for today I received the 3 "Finding Lost" books that I've been waiting for. I now own the complete works of Nikki Stafford on the subject of "Lost", and I can now follow along with the rest of you. (I only had the Season 4 book before.) And, Nikki, thanks for the autographs. Those are sweet!

tiasabita said...

This is officially the episode where I stopped watching. Ben said 'we're not killers', but they sure as hell are torturers and I really want to understand why. When Ben also says at the end something about in order to break a con man you have to con him, maybe this explains some of the brutal actions of the Others but geez...

Sawyer has the best angry eyes ever!

The actor playing the crooked prison warden is one of the scariest guys I've ever seen. He's fab for the part!

The first time I watched this episode and saw just a hint of a smirk cross Sawyer's lips when Munson asked for Sawyer's help moving the stolen cash, I suddenly thought 'OMG, Sawyer is conning this guy!' I was so proud of myself when it proved to be true! I almost always am the one saying after the fact, 'Ah, now I get it!'

@Marebabe - I also don't totally understand why Pickett asked Kate about loving Sawyer. The Others' ultimate plan was to get Kate and Sawyer to form a bond that would then alienate Jack so maybe the extreme abuse would really stir up the emotions in Kate and kind of speed up the bonding process. Don't know, just rambling!

The Question Mark said...

@ tiasabita: regarding the prison warden, I AGREE!
That actor is the scariest-looking man on the planet! I would hate to run into him in a dark alley.

Oh, and Nikki, I love how you call Paulo's significant other "...Her"

Jazzygirl said...

I don't think Cassidy is conning Sawyer either. I this was put in to set us up for all the things to come...him telling Kate in the helicopter, Kate finding Cassidy, etc. I don't think she knows about the bank account in S5 because she flips out when Kate tries to give her money and says it's from Sawyer.
I am just going to TRY to ignore N&P as much as possible. I know that will be incredibly hard when they go to the Pearl, and of course Expose, but still. Just keep thinking...this too shall pass. :)
And I agree that this is where we see the true nature of Ben Linus. I know I was scared the first time I saw it...and I still get the creeps watching him when he's looking at the screens with those glasses on.
As for whether the Others might be the good guys...well, one thing I noticed that could support that is when Tom gives Kate the clothes and says in a really sweet and soft tone "you let me know if those don't fit." What??? It doesn't jive at ALL...here, sleep in a CAGE and use a bucket to clean yourself (what about the bathroom?) but yet be super concerned if the clothes don't fit?

Susan said...

Tom is an interesting character, because he has no problem doing the horrible things that he is asked to do, but there are several scenes of him acting friendly towards the Losties.

Nikki Stafford said...

Jazzygirl: Oh no. No no no no. Don't try to ignore N&P; it's no fun. Trust me. You must embrace the hatred. EMBRACE it. Hating them was one of my fave things from season 3... topped only by their deaths. OH how I'm looking forward to ep 14!!! I might rewatch it more than once... ;)

JW said...

I didn't think this was a bad episode, but I found it to be a bit of a filler episode. I don't get the whole, "We need to con Sawyer to get him to respect us" logic, and the twist ending of Sawyer conning for the Warden didn't do much for me either, or lead to anything. It seemed to me that the writers just wanted to play with us (or con us) for an episode before moving the plot forward again.

You know, this is the first Sawyer flashback that has not followed a Charlie flashback.

The Rush Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Rush Blog said...

For me, this was the very first episode that showcased just how dangerous Benjamin Linus could be. We've seen him put one over on Jack & Locke in the Hatch, but let's face it: Jack & Locke are both insecure men with extreme control/trust issues. Playing them against each other must have been child's play for Ben.

But seeing him do what he did to Sawyer and Kate made it clear that the Others do NOT d**k around; if they want something from you, they will get it through any necessary means. Staging the whole pacemaker operation was a twisted but brilliant ploy at earning the behaviour of someone like Sawyer.



Even Sawyer and Kate are prone to being conned, thanks to their insecurities. At least two men - Hibbs and John Locke - managed to make a chump out of Sawyer by exploiting his desire for revenge. And he managed to make a chump out of Kate in Season 2 by exploiting her jealousy of Jack's friendship with Ana-Lucia. What made them so special?

RosieP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Rush Blog said...

Dear Writers: Why did you EVER think we were going to like Nikki and Paulo when you made them so horribly, annoyingly dickish?

Most of the show's major characters are dickish, aside from Hurley and Bernard.

As for this episode, the most interesting thing about it was the revelation of a second island.