Summary and Spoilers
Sawyer burns himself on the kettle, cursing quietly so as not to wake up the sleeping Jin. Sawyer has thoughtfully let Jin sleep in to recover from his bear trap and Claire ordeal. As part of his new, sensitive persona, Sawyer actually has a full 45 second conversation with Jin without calling him by a new nickname like Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, or Sleeping Asian Dude. Now it is time to get up and panic, for those crunching approaching footsteps could mean that Claire and Unlocke are back. Sawyer tells Jin that he is ‘with Locke’ so he can get off this godforsaken rock, but gives his word that they will not leave the island until they find and take Sun with them. The crunches are generated by Unlocke, and Kate, and Sayid, and Claire. Kate breathes a breathy ‘hi’ at Sawyer and he replies with a throaty ‘hi yourself’. Get a tent, guys. Sawyer asks Kate about the whereabouts of Jack, Hurley, and Miles. Miles cannot be accounted for. Kate asks Sawyer if he is now with Unlocke. Sawyer says he isn’t with anybody.
Claire packs up her most cherished items like her scary knife and even scarier skull baby Unlocke says the Black Smoke killed the people at the temple; in the same smoky breath he promises to protect these people. Later, after Unlocke specifies that everyone should make camp for a couple of days, Sawyer gets impatient and wants off the island and now. Unlocke pulls him aside and explains that Unlocke and Smoke Monster are one and the same, which is why you never seem them in the same photo together, arm in arm. Unlocke brings Sawyer to a tiny outrigger and sends him on a mission to sail to Hydra Island, infiltrate the group there that would mean to harm Unlocke, and bring back information. Sawyer agrees because he believes it will bring him closer to getting on that plane and escaping this godforsaken rock.
Kate asks the now catatonic Sayid if he believes Unlocke. Sayid says he does, but his eyes are lifeless and his opinion isn’t of much value. Still, his weird state is enough of a distraction for Kate that Claire is able to jump her and push a knife toward her throat. Sayid just watches like it is TV, but Unlocke arrives in time to throw Claire away and tell her that what she is doing is ‘unappropriate’. Maybe it’s ‘inappropriate’, too?
Unlocke apologizes to Kate for telling Claire that the Others had her baby. Kate asks about Sawyer, so Unlocke brings her to the beach to talk to her about her problems and his. He says his mother was crazy and he had growing pains that created problems that he is still trying to work through.
As Kate walks back to the camp, Claire blocks her path to apologize for her earlier actions and to embrace Kate in a big hug. Anyone who did NOT think that Claire was going to pull a knife and plunge it into Kate’s back, raise your hand.
On Hydra Island, Sawyer visits old sites and reminisces about Kate and Juliet and the zoo where he was kept prisoner. He finds a tiny article of Juliet’s clothing and a huge Ajira Airways passenger liner. Following a trail of debris and shoes, he finds the stinking remains of the passengers, dead and clothed, arranged like logs on a campfire. A live one runs by and he tackles her. Her name is Zoe and she says she is the only remaining survivor. Zoe says someone or something killed all the other survivors while she was out gathering wood. Sawyer offers to take her to the other island. But she’s not who she says, and with a whistle, her armed accomplices emerge, capture Sawyer, and bring him inside the docked submarine. There, Whidmore meets with Sawyer alone. Whidmore claims that he didn’t send a freighter to kill everyone on the island and that he didn’t kill all those people in the pile just up the shore. Sawyer disagrees, but still proposes to tell Unlocke that the coast is clear, and then to deliver Unlocke to Whidmore, so Whidmore can kill him. In return, Sawyer demands that his people are left unharmed and are granted safe passage off the island. Whidmore agrees and they shake hands.
Back on non-Hydra, Sawyer stays loyal to Unlocke and tells him the whole story of what happened, including Sawyer’s lie to Whidmore about leading Unlocke into an unsuspecting trap. Sawyer alerts Smokie to the fact that Whidmore is setting up Smoke-stopping pylons.
Sawyer returns to camp to spend time with the somber Kate. His real plan is to let Unlock and Whidmore fight it out while he and Kate steal the sub and get off the island.
Sawyer’s Alternative Universe
Sawyer has just finished satisfying another beautiful rapacious young woman. He feigns being late for an appointment, grabs his case, and wads of cash spill out. But his date is not so easily conned by this ‘pigeon drop’. She pulls a gun on Sawyer. But she is soon disappointed to learn that her husband is the target, Sawyer is an undercover cop, and Miles is his partner in the van, dashing in with gun drawn to disarm the woman.
Back at the donut shop, Sawyer is calling every Anthony Cooper for some secret reason that he doesn’t want to share with Miles, even when Miles senses it and prompts him.
Later that evening, Sawyer walks into a restaurant/bar to meet the blind date set up by Miles. It is Charlotte, looking resplendent in red curls and a sequined dress. They trade stories about why they chose their careers in archeology and cop-eology. Charlotte is aroused by Sawyer’s cop/criminal personality, and soon they are in bed together. But maybe Charlotte’s easy seduction is manipulative. After sex, she digs through his clothes drawers, supposedly looking for a t-shirt, but dwelling for a long time on the photo and story about Sawyer’s sad childhood where he lost his parents. Sawyer catches her and kicks her out.
The next day, Miles confronts Sawyer, but it’s not about the way he kicked Charlotte out. It’s about Miles discovery that Sawyer covered up his recent trip to Australia. Miles suspects a motive for that trip that warrants it being covered up, and of course we know that the trip was all about revenge to the man who conned his parents. Miles drops Sawyer as a partner.
Back at home, Sawyer heats a TV dinner and watches Little House on the Prairie. The calming words of Michael Landon soothe Sawyer, and filled with remorse and perhaps a touch of lust as well, he shows up at Charlotte’s door with a sunflower and a six-pack. But Charlotte sends him away and tells him he blew it.
Sawyer confronts Miles, invites him into his car, and finally tells all, or almost all – he gives Miles the grisly scrapbook and details the events of Sawyer’s childhood. Sawyer tells all – including his plan to find the right Anthony Cooper and then to kill him. Before Miles can completely convince him to drop this plan, a car crashes into them, and the driver flees on foot. Sawyer and Miles pursue and Sawyer catches and de-hoods the crim – it’s Kate.
Zoe: Do you all have guns? I mean – whoever killed those people back there – they might come back.
Sawyer: We got plenty of guns.
Sawyer: What happened back at the temple? How’d you know to rescue everybody from that Smoke Thing?
Unlocke: I didn’t rescue them. I’m the Smoke Thing.
Gunman: Down on your knees!
Sawyer: Alright, alright, you got me. Take me to your leader.
Unlocke: A long time ago, before I…looked…like this, I had a mother, just like everyone. She was a very disturbed woman. And as a result of that…I had some growing pains…problems that I’m still trying to work my way through. Problems that….could have been avoided, had things been different.
Kate: Why are you telling me this?
Unlocke: Because now Aaron…has a crazy mother too.
"Son of a bitch!"
- Sawyer, on catching and de-hooding the criminal Kate
Kate: Even if we could get on that plane, who’s gonna fly it?
Sawyer: We ain’t taking the plane, freckles. We’re takin’ the sub.