Monday, November 16, 2009

Jacob's Foot: Outlaws


File1X16-SawyerIsland The episode: Outlaws

Original Airdate: February 16, 2005

Written By: Drew Goddard

Directed By: Jack Bender

Content: Sawyer becomes convinced that a wild boar has a personal vendetta against him after it ransacks his tent and attacks him in the jungle. Meanwhile, Hurley and Sayid try to help Charlie come to terms with what he did to Ethan. Flashbacks in this episode center around Sawyer's time in Australia and his hunt for the real Sawyer.

Why It's Worth Re-Watching: This is the 'Sawyer vs. The Boar' episode. It's comical but it's a serious episode. It's one of the funniest episodes in LOST actually because of the hijinx with Sawyer and the boar. I think both Sawyer episodes of season one are terrific. I think this is the BETTER of the two actually. This episode develops Sawyer's character even more than the 'Confidence Man' I would argue. I love the set-up for the scene between Sawyer and Jack which takes place in the finale before Sawyer takes off on the raft. The scene between Sawyer and Kate, when they play 'I Never,' is brilliantly done.

The flashback is very strong. We see how badly Sawyer wants to kill the man who destroyed his family. We actually see Sawyer as a child experience the murder of his mother and the suicide of his father. Sawyer's not a character who has been turned to ice by the events of his childhood. Sawyer doesn't want to kill an innocent man. One could argue he's not even a killer (even though actually he is) and that is because of how he handles the moment right after he's killed a man. For example, after he kills the real Sawyer in 'The Brig,' he's distrubed by until the beginning of season four. He's distant from Kate in those last few episodes. Right after he strangles Locke's dad to death, he's visibly shaking and he vomits. It's visceral and powerful. The look on Sawyer's face after he's shot Duckett and Duckett whispers that he was going to pay Hibbs, Sawyer is entirely unprepared for that. He didn't expect to kill an innocent man. Sawyer didn't even pull the trigger the first time he visited Duckett at his shrimp place. Sawyer's a killer but he's not a born killer.

The murder of Duckett provides some retrospective insight on Sawyer's behavior earlier in the season when Kate theorized that Sawyer wants people to hate him. Sawyer had just killed Duckett in what turned out to be cold-blood. When Sawyer invited Sayid to torture him, he might've been thinking about Duckett. This flashback, since it occurs right before the plane crash, definitely adds a new perspective to earliest part of the season. This is another reason why I think LOST is the greatest show of all-time.

Anywho, on the Island, Sawyer's haunted by the words of Duckett. Duckett told Sawyer that 'it'll come around.' When Sawyer's tent is infiltrated by the boar, he chases after it and then he loses it. The whispers come and then he hears those words.

Sawyer spends most of the episode searching for the boar so he can kill the boar. He consults Sayid about the whispers before abandoning the conversation. The boar comes to represent Duckett as the episode progresses especially after Locke meets Sawyer and Kate in the jungle and tells them the story about the dog and his foster mother:

The words of Locke that echo when Sawyer comes face to face with the boar are: "but my mother thought it was, thought that Jeanie had come back to tell her that the accident wasn't her fault, let her off the hook." That seems to be the case during the final boar scene. Sawyer stares at it and the boar stares at Sawyer, and then Sawyer drops the gun and tells Kate that it's just a boar. It's a powerful scene.

With that sentiment in mind (letting someone off the hook), Sawyer decides not to tell Jack about his meeting with Jack's father in the bar. Here's that scene before I continue:

Sawyer has what Jack needs to feel like he's been let off the hook but he doesn't (not until Exodus Part 1 as mentioned earlier). This episode is about letting oneself off the hook. Oh yeah, another thing to think about: Sawyer gives Jack a look when Jack tells Sawyer that his dad is dead because Sawyer was literally in a bar with Christian not too long ago.

Anywho, back to letting oneself off the hook. Take Charlie for example. In the previous episode ("Homecoming"), he shot Ethan multiple times and killed him. He's not the same. He's distant and sort-of cold with Claire. He's spending time alone. Hurley asks Sayid to help Charlie so Sayid does. Sayid tells Charlie a story about how he volunteered to be on the firing squad of the man who killed a police offer he knew's wife and children as a result of a car bomb. Sayid explains how he did the duty without a single ounce of remorse but then, for no reason, woke up at night, replaying what he did in his head. Sayid wants to know that Charlie doesn't have to pretend to be alone because he isn't. It's a wonderful moment of fellowship on the Island. It's beautiful storytelling. After Sayid tells him this, Charlie takes that walk with Claire that she asked him to take earlier in the episode. This conversation for Charlie lifts his burden of guilt (wherever that guilt is placed).

'Outlaws' is one of LOST's best. You can watch the whole thing at

Drew Goddard wrote the episode. He's an alum of Buffy and ANGEL. In fact, one could argue he salvaged the seventh season of Buffy. He wrote one of the season's bests (Selfless). He co-wrote one of the series' best episodes (Conversations with Dead People). He wrote one of the season's strongest episodes (Never Leave Me). He wrote and co-wrote two others (Dirty Girls and Lies My Parents Told Me). For ANGEl, he wrote the tremendous Wesley-centered episode (Lineage), co-wrote the brilliant "Damage," the underrated "Why We Fight" (Steven S. DeKnight (another one of my favorite screenwriters) was the other writer for both of these episodes). He wrote "Origin," an episode that helps to bring closure to the Connor story. LOST landed an absolute talent when they got Goddard. "Outlaws" is his first episode. He left the series during the fourth year because of his success with Cloverfield. He co-wrote Cabin In The Woods with Joss Whedon AND directed it (that movie will be out next year). Drew Goddard is pretty damn cool. He also appears in 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.' He wrote some other LOST episodes. Some of them have been written about and are in the Jacob's Foot archives. Others have yet to come.

The always reliable Jack Bender directed this one. He is the ace of the directing team one could say. There's a season one featurette on 'Outlaws' which takes you behind the scenes of the making of the episode. You get to see Bender in all his glory.

I think I've written enough for now about this episode. Do watch.

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.