As I said in the recaplet, this was, it seems, a foundational episode. It kept my attention at all times, but I felt a large disconnect with Sideways Sawyer -- and it was more notable to me than the disconnect I've felt with any of the other Sideways Lost-Aways. After intensive review, I realize that that's because the sideways storyline was more fan service than actual plot. Let's have James be a cop, rather than a crook, but for the same sad reasons. But let's fake everyone out that he's still a crook at first, so that they'll be sad, and then get so, so happy! And let's have him take his shirt off, a lot. And let's have Sideways Jim and Miles maintain the bond they built in Dharmaville. Also, there should be sex -- lots of sex. How do we make it work? Oh, just throw it all together and remember, keep Holloway's shirt off. That's key.
Speaking of the same sad reasons, how old was James Ford when his daddy offed his mommy and then himself? Well, I swear that in the past, Sawyer said he was 8 years old, but maybe I was figuring wrong, or maybe I was basing that number on other people's figuring. In the time allotted me, I haven't been able to find a solid quote or date. If there's one out there (I mean an episode citation), please let me know. Based on Detective Ford's cold call to one of the Anthony Coopers, it seems that the murder-suicide still took place in 1976. And yet, in this episode, both Jim Ford and his newspaper clippings indicate he was 9 years old at the time of the tragedy. It seems ridiculous, in this season of changed lives, to assume it's a mistake, but I'm not going to drive myself crazy (okay, any crazier), trying to figure it out. If it's something, we'll find out eventually. If it's not, at the end of the season we'll chalk it up to a continuity error and be done with it.
Let's play armchair psychologist with Sawyer (and all iterations thereof), starting with Sideways Detective Jim Ford. How telling is it that he saw Sideways Kate's handcuffs, and yet aided her in her escape from airport security? Fine, in this episode, he didn't bother to help Liam Pace locate his druggie brother at the Cop Shop. Everyone has "not my department" moments. But when that's your credo? There's a problem.
Say for example you're an L.A. cop at LAX, and you see someone in cuffs who is clearly trying to escape, if you just let her -- there's something wrong with you -- dead wrong. Now don't get me wrong. I don't think this is an inconsistency or anything like that. I think it feels right in character with all the Sawyers we've known and loved through the years, including the one that is playing Let's You And Him Fight with Widmore and Faucke. It just seems to me that this trait is going to come into play, further down the line. Either Sawyer will get past this (like Sideways Jack seems to have gotten past his Daddy Issues and Sideways Locke seems to have learned to accept his physical limitations), or -- it will prove to be his fatal flaw.