“Every Man for Himself” features the series lead characters still imprisoned in the old zoo. Sawyer attempts a desperate escape plan and is paid back in a very questionable way. When his plan fails he is brought into a medical facility and show a bunny in a cage with the number 8 painted on its back. Ben, the leader of the “Others”, shakes the cage until the bunny goes limp. In a typically humorous turn Sawyer asks: “Did you just kill that bunny?” Ben explains that a pacemaker was installed in the bunny that was programmed to basically blow up its heart if its heart rate went above its estimated relaxed rate. Before he knew it Sawyer was getting a big needle shoved into his chest. When he awoke he had a heart monitor on his wrist and was warned that if his heart rate went above his standard relaxed rate his heart would explode. He was also warned that if he told Kate about it they would install one in her too. This whole thing just seemed a little ridiculous to me. First of all he just had the most minor of bandages and his recovery from the surgery was quite phenomenal. It just felt too much like a stretch. If you could sell yourself on it though, some fairly exciting tense scenes would follow.
Jack was brought to a hospital room to save the life of the woman Sun shot in last week’s episode. Unfortunately he was too late and the woman died. The importance of this scene was for Jack to notice someone else’s x-rays hanging on the wall. Being a spinal surgeon he knows a spine with a tumor on it when he sees it. All of a sudden his presence and the presence of Kate and Sawyer makes more sense. They haven’t been brought to this camp for some sinister reason. They were brought here because Jack can save the life of one of its members. No doubt Kate and Sawyer will be used as bargaining chips to make sure Jack will agree to helping. It feels like we’ve been given an answer, and perhaps we have, but so many more questions remain. Even with that answer the “Others” are still apparently running some kind of social experiment on Sawyer and Kate. They clearly see on a camera that Kate can climb through the top of her cage but she has chosen to remain in the cage to try and help Sawyer. Also, it’s revealed that Sawyer’s implant is indeed a fake and was only put there as part of an elaborate con to gain Sawyer’s respect. With that reveal Ben also shows Sawyer that he and Kate are actually on another island, separate from the one where his friends are. Ben explains that there is no escape because they are isolated. In my way of thinking this should just give Kate and Sawyer the determination to escape and find the boat the “Others” use to travel between the islands. I question how no one has ever seen this other island before, especially Sayid, who went on a walkabout a while back and circled most of the island.
In the end this whole plot thread just felt clumsy to me. It felt like the writers desperate attempt to get everything set up for the next two episodes. With that said, Sawyer always makes every scene he’s in a great one. He’s a character I didn’t like in the early days but he’s grown to become one of my favorites and the chemistry between him and Kate is palpable.
Desmond’s ability to know the future plays more heavily this episode with him warning Claire that she may want to move down the beach a bit until he can get her roof fixed up. The whole thing seemed odd, but Desmond’s an odd dude. Then when the rains came it made sense, as did the weird contraption he was building. I’m not for sure what to make of this plot thread yet, primarily because I haven’t invested myself into Desmond as a character. He doesn’t intrigue me as much as I think the writers would like him too.
At the end of the episode we learn in the preview for next week that the “Other” with the tumor is in fact Ben and we see Jack trying to convince Ben how dire his situation is. We’re also promised that the next two episodes will change everything. This season so far has unfortunately been more reminiscent of season one than season two. I think the series “lost” a few viewers at the end of season one because they felt like they had wasted the entire season being toyed with and not getting much real plot. Season two picked up the pace quite a bit, offering answers and more questions throughout. Season three, at least so far, appears to be going back to the series old ways including the part about losing viewers. Let’s hope these next couple of episodes make the impending long winter hiatus worth the wait.