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Sawyer & Locke meta


Still processing this episode.

Locke and Sawyer's lives were both ruined by the same man. Do either of them have the guts (or whatever you want to call it) to kill him? Both of them have hesitated when it came time to pull the trigger before, but both have caused a great deal of damage themselves. Locke willfully led Boone to his death, thinking that a "sacrifice" for the island was justified. He showed no remorse at all in killing Mikhail, and he surely knew that shoving him into that fence would kill him. Sawyer killed Duckett out of revenge, even though the man he thought he was only responsible for his parents' ruination, not their deaths.

I never figured Sawyer would get a chance to confront the real Mr. Sawyer and now that he seems he might get that chance, will he? I don't think so. It took a bottle of whiskey and the encouragement of a stranger to go confront the man he thought was the real Mr. Sawyer the first time. And now that he's killed the wrong man, I don't see him rushing to kill anyone else in cold blood. I was earlier musing that the island has had an effect on Sawyer, forced him to socialize, given him the opportunity to make friends and be part of something and to be heroic. Not that he hasn't also fought and conned and betrayed and stolen and been a complete pain in the ass. I just wonder if Sawyer is still capable of murder.

The island has emboldened Locke and made him reckless. He didn't have murder in him before the island. He didn't kill that undercover cop. And he couldn't even comprehend that his own father would try to kill him, even after what he'd done to him, and even after Locke suspected him of murdering his would-be son-in-law once he got suspicious. (I have to say, in TMFT, they cut from pre-island Locke hearing about Peter's death to on-island Locke looking out the window for signs of trouble. For a second, I thought it was still on the island and Locke was worried that his father would come after him now.) But on the island? Yeah, Locke is racking up a lot of collateral damage.

After this episode I think we've seen just how vulnerable and easily manipulated Locke is, both by Ben and his own father. In their drives for revenge, both Locke and Sawyer are thinking and acting out of blind obsession. And since they were both abandoned as children and spent time in foster care, they are still blindly thinking and acting on selfish whims like children and still seeking approval. For Locke to not see what his father was truly capable of, even when he'd been victimized by him as an adult, suggests that Locke is still seeking his father's love and acceptance and he couldn't bring himself to believe he was truly evil.

And I think this episode throws some light on Locke's wanton destructiveness, even if it is a rather recent development. Locke's maniacal devotion to the island, to the button, to solving its mysteries, is like pursuing his father all over again, and he won't let anyone stand in his way. He's been exerting all this selfish, destructive energy in feeding the island and his own newfound recovery and he hasn't cared who's gotten hurt all along the way, but is he really capable of coldblooded, premeditated murder? I don't know. I don't think John Locke knows who he is. Is he at all like his father, who is so devastatingly ruthless? I think he'd very much like to be. Despite everything, I think he admires his father.

I do think that if Sawyer is able to confront Cooper and see what kind of man Cooper is, and all he's done, he'll realize that no matter how much he's copied himself on the man who he's been hunting, he never did become him. He's just not capable of such incredible cruelty. I like to think he would feel, finally, that he is, if not a good man, than not a completely bad one. I do not think that they can let Sawyer kill Cooper and I also don't think that, at this stage, he would. Not that that couldn't be some very compelling TV. I'm kind of dying to fic it but I already wrote spec fic of Sawyer meeting the real Mr. Sawyer that, of course, the show did so very much better.

Anyway, for the first time in a long time, I'm very curious to see what happens next, not just with Locke and Sawyer, but with Jack now that his deal has fallen through and he has to deal with the repercussions of having made it, since, no matter how noble his intentions, there is still an element of betrayal in it.

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( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
frightened
Mar. 23rd, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
Is he at all like his father, who is so devastatingly ruthless? I think he'd very much like to be. Despite everything, I think he admires his father.

Locke does seem to want to be this ruthless, survivalist, hunter-type, and that, more than his actual actions, creeps the hell out of me. (It's not just because I'm vegetarian and he seems to want to kill anything that moves, I swear...) You can absolutely see why - sudden disability, plus a guy who is that ruthless and should care about him keeps gaining stuff at Locke's expense. Still, I find it incredibly creepy and disturbing. (It may also be an English thing: no cultural context for hunting and survivalism and weaponry and whatnot.) I mean, I live with a woman who's pretty damn capable - she's a qualified mountain expedition leader, and has done courses in stuff like how to fall down a crevasse and not die - but dude, Locke's creepy. In a way that Sayid the soldier and Rousseau the jungle woman just aren't.

I do think that if Sawyer is able to confront Cooper and see what kind of man Cooper is, and all he's done, he'll realize that no matter how much he's copied himself on the man who he's been hunting, he never did become him. He's just not capable of such incredible cruelty.

It would be good to see. Aw, Sawyer. Guy needs a break.

I do not think that they can let Sawyer kill Cooper and I also don't think that, at this stage, he would.

Yeah. I think killing Duckett really took something out of him, and shooting the Marshall finished the job. Poor guy looked really grief-stricken in Tabula Rasa. He might decide third time's the charm, but somehow I doubt it. He did tell Walt on the raft that he had to kill someone, but I think that was probably just Sawyer being Sawyerish, and saying it to a kid when you're stuck on a raft and feeling cranky is different from actually doing it when you've shot two men now and both times it went really wrong.
halfdutch
Mar. 24th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
I agree, Sawyer might still talk the talk in wanting to kill the real Mr. Sawyer but I no longer think he's capable of it. He was barely capable of it the first time he thought that's what he was doing.

Locke, on the other hand, has gotten increasingly creepy and unhinged. The way he killed Mikhail was pretty damn similar to his father pushing him out the window. I can't see Sawyer doing that at all. If Locke is willing to kill someone that casually (and risk all their lives by blowing up the hatches, and all this after sacrificing Boone), then I can only imagine what he'd do when facing his father again. Then again, his father intimidates the hell out of him (as he surely would Sawyer) so I can almost see him hesitating, just like he did in confronting him before. But then he's changed: I don't think he would hesitate after that eight-floor drop. And this is a chance he never thought he'd get.

I am very curious to see what happens next!
alemyrddin
Mar. 23rd, 2007 10:11 am (UTC)
I do think that if Sawyer is able to confront Cooper and see what kind of man Cooper is, and all he's done, he'll realize that no matter how much he's copied himself on the man who he's been hunting, he never did become him. He's just not capable of such incredible cruelty. I like to think he would feel, finally, that he is, if not a good man, than not a completely bad one.

I really hope that Sawyer and Cooper will meet. It would be a sort of revelation for Sawyer, to know he's not become him, despite his career as a conman. It could do him a great good... Maybe he would finally be able to accept himself and feel worthy of love and friendship.
Perhaps Sawyer will kill Cooper, but I think that, if it is going to happen, it will not be a cold blood murder, but an act happening during some sort of action, like rescuing his friends (Kate?) or for self-defense.

halfdutch
Mar. 24th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
I was just thinking that it might be like the confrontation between Sayid and his torture victim. How can you forgive someone who hurt you, even if, in Sawyer's case, you could argue that the Real Mr. Sawyer is not directly to blame? I like to think that Sawyer wouldn't necessarily forgive him, but that he would realize that killing Cooper in cold blood would solve nothing. And that he really is better than that. I hope so, anyway.

Between Locke and Sawyer, one of them's got to kill Cooper and my money's on Locke at this point, definitely. Sawyer isn't the same man who shot Duckett and now Locke is growing increasingly dangerous. I was just saying in another comment, it's like they've switched destinies since coming to the island.
ficangel
Mar. 23rd, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
I never figured Sawyer would get a chance to confront the real Mr. Sawyer and now that he seems he might get that chance, will he? I don't think so.

I don't think so, either, and I definitely agree with the effects of the island's growth on both men. Sawyer is not alone. Much as he acts like a snitty bitch about it, he has a social network that he can fall back upon that isn't dependent on the twists and turns of the triangle. He and Jin are buddies. Hurley is almost more Sawyer's BFF than he is Charlie's these days. And we all know that Rose is everyone's mama and would whup his ass if he tried to go down that death spiral again. Sawyer hasn't quite let go of his self-hatred, I don't think, but he's learning to cope with it in more constructive ways. (That sounds disgustingly 'hold hands and cry' to me, but it's true.) If the island is a metaphor for the growth that each character needs to go through, then Sawyer's growth into manhood has been about letting go of that furious, scared boy trapped under the bed.

Locke's journey into manhood, meanwhile, is also about letting go of fear, because for all that he's determined to be the survivalist hunter type, it doesn't seem to me that he really became hardcore about it until after he was pushed from the window. He was involved in the pot-growing commune, sure, but he hunted with a gun rather than a knife and was still comfortable with certain modern amenities. If he becomes the survivalist and badass hunter, then his father can't hurt him. It's kind of sad, really. As sympathetic as it is, however, I still think that Locke is going to kill RMS as part of his self-appointed journey into manhood/the show's gradual phasing of him into the dark side. There was no excuse for destroying that submarine. None.

Oooh, even though you didn't explicitly touch upon this in your post, I don't know what to do with the question of what RMS deserves at all, and whether his death at the hands of Sawyer or Locke would be murder or an execution. He's a murderer. I don't think that there's any doubt that he killed Peter. But then, so are Sawyer and, very possibly, Locke (I have no doubt that he killed that federal agent now), and RMS looked so very pathetic and scared there that I went from seething hatred to kind of rolling my eyes at how small the former big man was in about three seconds.
halfdutch
Mar. 24th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
I think that Sawyer has definitely come a long way, and yet (as I was just saying in my prevous meta post ;D), for every step he makes forward, someone knocks him back a step or two. Kate's rejection has to sting. But then we have Hurley, as you point out, seeing right through Sawyer's antisocial bluff. And for all the silliness of the ping pong game, no one there hates Sawyer, they just like to take the piss out of him. I think there's a lot of fondness under the annoyance. Getting Sawyer to drop the nicknames is a way of getting him to drop that front that's keeping everyone at arm's length.

Locke's journey into manhood, meanwhile, is also about letting go of fear, because for all that he's determined to be the survivalist hunter type, it doesn't seem to me that he really became hardcore about it until after he was pushed from the window.

Definitely. It's almost like he pushed his father to push him, to prove that he'd rather see him dead than be any kind of father to him. He just couldn't see it before then. Reminds me (in a roundabout way) of that Hank Williams lyric, "You never shut your trap until I blow my lid."

If he becomes the survivalist and badass hunter, then his father can't hurt him.

Very true. Locke has become his father in a way (especially with the increasing ruthlessness) in the same way that Sawyer become the thing that destroyed him. They both took on different aspects of Cooper: Locke the selfish, murderous rage and Sawyer the con and the charm. Not that Locke hasn't conned and Sawyer hasn't murdered, but Locke is the one who's on the more dangerous path, now that he's on the island, whereas Sawyer seems to be letting go of that self-destructive drive for revenge. I almost think Locke is going to get himself killed in the process (and that is pure spec) because he has so completely gone to the dark side that I just don't see him coming back. It's like since coming to the island he and Sawyer have switched destinies, in a way.

It's interesting that Sawyer chose not to become his father, who was, ultimately, powerless in the face of what destroyed him and could only complete the destruction of his wife and family. Sawyer is both would-be avenging angel and destroyer and even while he blames RMS, he must hate his father that much more. I imagine he only has contempt for the men he robs and whose wives he seduces. But as Sawyer, he has the power. His goal to kill RMS would fulfill his little boy sense of justice (and do the job his daddy couldn't), but at this point, that is not the one thing that is still driving him. First and foremost, he's always been about survival.

And I don't know what RMS deserves: faced with perhaps the two people he's damaged the most, I think one of them has to take the opportunity to get revenge. But then again, it's like the dilemma facing Amira, Sayid's torture victim. Once she finally had him at her mercy, she forgave him rather than do exactly what he did to her.

I sincerely hope we get to see this play out in all its ramifications because we all cry foul if it doesn't. Still, I don't know that they're going to give this the depth and the kind of payoff it deserves.

gottalovev
Mar. 23rd, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
very interesting. I don't think Sawyer would kill RMS either. but Locke, who had already anger management issues (before his dad pushed him out the window) probably could. I cannot wait to see Ben playing them both.
halfdutch
Mar. 24th, 2007 06:54 am (UTC)
Locke is really, really out of control. At least when Sawyer was in self-destruct mode he was only trying to hurt himself. Locke seems determined to take out everyone with him. I am very curious to see where this goes. It could still be that Cooper's not really there but I think he is there, but brought in for some other reason... and dear God, they better let Sawyer in on this storyline!
deej240z
Mar. 23rd, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
It makes me sad to say this but I have no idea anymore if Sawyer would really kill Cooper if he had the chance. The writing has been all over the place for the past season and a half. They'll write what they write. *sigh* It's all a moot point anyway because I'm not counting on Sawyer getting that opportunity. This is Locke's story. The possibility of Cooper being Real!Mr.Sawyer is just a sidebar at the moment. And you know how they handle those! If Sawyer is included in this storyline, I will be pleasently surprised. But I'm not holding my breath.
halfdutch
Mar. 24th, 2007 06:53 am (UTC)
I know. It's an exercise in futility to try to see continuity where there really isn't any or to expect them to deliver the powerful payoff we're all expecting now with Sawyer and Cooper. They must know that Sawyer needs to at least confront the man! If he's sidelined from that, I will not be a happy fangirl, but Sawyer's stories have never had much to do with the bigger picture on the island, just to serve the triangle or to serve as comic relief. Now, the Long Con, that was masterful. If they could do that again .... and hey, we are due for one more Sawyer episode, right? I admit it, I'm getting my hopes up again.
alliecat8
Mar. 23rd, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
I came to the same conclusion about Sawyer last night after angsting over the question all day, but you summed it up much more eloquently than I could have. My gut feeling is that I trust Sawyer to rise above his obsession for revenge. I don't have that same trust in Locke at all.

I adore this idea:

I do think that if Sawyer is able to confront Cooper and see what kind of man Cooper is, and all he's done, he'll realize that no matter how much he's copied himself on the man who he's been hunting, he never did become him. He's just not capable of such incredible cruelty. I like to think he would feel, finally, that he is, if not a good man, than not a completely bad one.

The thought of him facing TRMS and finding his redemption rather than his damnation feels so satisfying and right. There would be no point, none, in letting Sawyer act out his revenge fantasy now. He's a stronger man now than he was pre-island, and I daresay a happier one. Cold-blooded murder is the act of a hollow man, one who believes that his soul is already doomed. I just don't think that Sawyer believes that anymore. I'm not sure he's consciously aware of that yet, but if confronting TRMS accomplishes that, then I think it's perfect. If it turns out that Cooper really is real and not a manifestation of Smokey, and that he is TRMS, then any other outcome will feel like a cheat.

Locke'll kill the bastard, though. And I don't blame him one bit.
halfdutch
Mar. 24th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC)
My gut feeling is that I trust Sawyer to rise above his obsession for revenge. I don't have that same trust in Locke at all.

*nods* Sawyer has demonstrated much more compassion and concern for the greater good than Locke ever has. Locke is like a honed-in missile. I think Sawyer's been waiting for this his whole life and he's almost learned to live with it in a way, whereas this is a kind of new obsession for Locke and one that's consuming him completely.

Locke's recent actions are so destructive and he doesn't care who else gets hurt. I was just saying in another comment that he's become even more suicidal than Sawyer ever was, because he has nothing -- and everything -- to lose. He would rather die than leave the island and I think he's on a one-way collision with death if he doesn't let up soon.

But yeah, Cooper might not really be there at all. Because it's awfully damn convenient that he is there, to be shown to Locke at just that moment. It would have required a helluva lot of preplanning to have him there for just that purpose. So either he's not really there or he's there for some other reason. Given this show's love of connections, that wouldn't surprise me.

Since the Others seem to know everything about everyone, they must know about his connection to Sawyer... but didn't ever trot him out for Sawyer's benefit. But if he is there and Sawyer never gets a chance to confront him, I will feel robbed. Just as we wanted to see Sawyer making a choice to rescue Jack or not, we need to see Sawyer make a decision for revenge or redemption. I'm not sure I trust the writers when it comes to Sawyer... *crosses fingers*
foxxcub
Mar. 24th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
While I definitely don't believe Sawyer's capable of out and out cruelty, I do think when it comes to facing Cooper, he might still have it in him to at least seek some sort of revenge. He's still not okay with letting people get close or love him (Kate doesn't count), and there's just a part of me that still wants to believe that the scared little boy hiding under his bed from his daddy would strike back somehow at the man who took away his family.
halfdutch
Mar. 24th, 2007 06:41 am (UTC)
It's a very interesting question. What would Sawyer do now, given the opportunity he's been waiting for his whole life? As I said, I think he was barely able to bring himself to kill Duckett and we saw what kind of effect that had on him.

And it does seem like it's more Locke's right to kill Cooper, if it comes to that.

I don't think Sawyer would do nothing but to react as swiftly and viciously as Cooper did, I can't see that. He has to work himself up to it. In the real world, he might not have had the chance to get the jump on Cooper. But here on the island, he just might. I'm going to be very interested in this, no matter how it plays out. If it doesn't involve Sawyer at all, I'm going to be disappointed though. It's such a HUGE part of his story and to bring Cooper to the island and not give us even a meeting ... now that would be cruel.

I do still wonder how Locke and Sawyer would regard each other once they realize all they have in common. I can't ever see them teaming up or even being friends. It seems like Locke is the one on self-destruct mode now and Sawyer isn't anymore, so much.

foxxcub
Mar. 24th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
It's such a HUGE part of his story and to bring Cooper to the island and not give us even a meeting ... now that would be cruel.

Oh god, I know. I'm also intrigued as to how Locke would react to Sawyer--we saw how he shrank away from the Sawyer-esque guy who tried to pump him for information about Cooper. Would he treat Sawyer the same if only he knew the truth about him, and not the other way around?
halfdutch
Mar. 24th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Locke is definitely lacking in empathy, so I don't think he would feel any kind of connection to Sawyer, alas.

And I keep going back to the scene in Outlaws where Locke talks about his foster mother and sister and the dog -- and Sawyer not mentioning he was also in foster care. Of course, Kate would realize both. I should watch that scene again. I don't think that either Sawyer or Locke like to dwell on that... and hey, they are both (the only two?) who know his real name is James. Hmmm. *ponders*
foxxcub
Mar. 24th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
and hey, they are both (the only two?) who know his real name is James.

Oooo, good call. And I kinda hate it that Kate's referring to him as James all the time now--WTF gives her the right all of a sudden? Just because Ben called him that in front her? Locke I can understand, since he uses Sawyer's real name as some sort of power play against him, but with Kate it's just obnoxious.
halfdutch
Mar. 25th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
Yeah, she calls him James when she's not mad at him and Sawyer when she isn't. And that is a kind of power play too, like "Okay, I'll keep my distance, then. Like nothing ever happened. Sawyer." And definitely obnoxious. It's also a way to keep everyone else from finding out his real name and causing confusion, I guess. Heh.

But... does Jack know?!
foxxcub
Mar. 25th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
You're right, Jack should know if he was paying any attention at all in "The Hunting Party". Locke called him James right in front of Jack, remember?
frightened
Mar. 25th, 2007 08:57 am (UTC)
Hurley must know, since he had the manifest, and that's how Locke found out. But Hurley's too much of a sweetheart to even mention it. *Snuggles Hurley*
lolathehated
Mar. 25th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
just a quick question: was it ever actually stated that Cooper is the real mr. sawyer?. where is this being inferred from? like, i get that they were similar con men, but did her mention a woman he conned being killed? just wondering.

i, too, am very interested in seeing what happens, for the first time in a while. this episode really brought it back!
halfdutch
Mar. 25th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
It's never been explicitly stated on the show, but like the Jack-Claire connection, everyone's thinks it's going to be revealed sooner or later.

We all jumped there after finding out that Cooper is a con man and that he's the right age. And his being from the South seems to confirm that. I believe that Damon and Carlton said they had a line in either a Locke or Sawyer backstory that came right out and said so but ended up cutting it. So, like the Jack-Claire thing, they've all but confirmed it, even though it hasn't been on the show. Sorry I can't remember anymore where I read that that interview where they said that.
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