Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lostaholics Anonymous: Sawyer

Hello and welcome to this week's Lostaholics Anonymous. First, a few housekeeping things. My book is now shipping from Amazon, and you can pick up a copy here. If you already have a copy, either from me or through Amazon, here is my first request to go and leave a positive review (if you liked it, of course!) on the Amazon site. It's a tough sell to put out a book on a show after the show is over, especially on a season that was as divisive as this one. More reviews (and more stars!) will certainly help it stand out! And you will have my undying gratitude. And it will end this gnawing worry in my stomach of, "OMG, what if they all HATE it?!"

Secondly, I've been meaning to mention this for WEEKS and I apologize for not saying anything until now, but for months people have been asking me if I'm planning on hosting another Lost rewatch now that the series is over. I don't actually have plans to do that -- I would love to, but it took a LOT of my time last year, and I didn't end up having much of a break at all between books, which left me pretty exhausted by the end of this past summer. (It had been book... rewatch... new season... book.) But, I wanted to point you in the direction of a really fantastic rewatch happening right now with our own Matt Roeser (he of the wicked Lost finale parties). Matt and his co-hort, Justin, were smart enough to bring in guest bloggers so they wouldn't fall behind, and this week they're up to "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues." Check it out here, and get involved in some pretty amazing Lost discussions.

OK! But now onto our favourite redneck. Now, many people would argue that Sawyer was never that important a character. I mean sure, he was some pretty awesome eye candy, but take him out of the mix, and does the show really change that much?

Well, anyone who says that clearly didn't experience the same terror I did at the beginning of season 3 when Pickett was holidng a gun to Sawyer's head and threatening to pull the trigger. I REALLY thought he was going to do it. And to suggest he's not important undermines the immense growth his character went through.

Buffy was a show about Buffy. And Angel was a show about Angel. And yet, they weren't the ones who underwent the most development over the runs of their shows. That honour fell to Willow and Wesley respectively. Wesley went from a bumbling slapstick punchline to one of the most extraordinarily realized characters I've ever seen on a TV show. Willow began as a shy bookworm and ended it as a confident goddess.

The thing about Lost is, many characters evolved -- think no further than Jack's journey from man of science to man of faith. But Sawyer was a special circumstance because he was so complex. Not even the audience knew what he was thinking, and that's a combination of great writing, of evolving a character because he was interesting to viewers, and great acting on the part of Josh Holloway.

When we first see Sawyer, he's an angry, belligerent man who separates himself from the group, setting himself apart as the "every man for himself" type who looks out for himself and no one else. This is not a team player. What we didn't know right away was that Sawyer was also broken -- his parents had died when he was young, he'd taken on the name and con game of the man who was responsible for their deaths, and he'd just killed a man in error in Sydney, having been used by a scumbag who just needed to get rid of someone who owed him a debt. He has a child by a woman he had fallen in love with during a long con, and he'd set up a trust fund for his daughter for when she comes of age. When we finally realize there's a lot more to Sawyer than meets the eye, he became a lot more than just a pretty face.

By the end of season 1 he was playing well with others, helping to build a raft to try to procure rescue. At the beginning of season 2, he was faced with a new group of people -- The Tailies -- and had begun to realize when he set himself apart from them as their enemy that it meant he was part of the other group. It didn't stop him from turning on all of them in The Long Con and declaring himself sheriff, but it wasn't long before he was part of the foursome that had been kidnapped by the Others, and when he was hauled off to the cages and forced to break rocks, he realized he had fallen in love with Kate. They slept together, but he soon figured out that Kate still had feelings for Jack. He returned to the camp where he joyously discovered Dharma beer, joked around with his buddies, realized that Hurley had missed him, and he slowly began to integrate himself into the group. When Locke showed himself and led Sawyer off to The Brig, he was finally face-to-face with the man he'd devoted his entire life to destroying.

And this was where Sawyer became James Ford. He killed Anthony Cooper and then fell to the floor, devastated to find out that that pain in his gut hadn't gone away. Killing Sawyer had done nothing to change the way he'd felt for most of his life. Suddenly, he was 8 years old again, and writing that vengeful letter. Cooper's death didn't bring them back to life, and vengeance hadn't paid off. James now returned to the group very angry and isolated. At the beginning of season 4, he believed he was about to be rescued, but he had a connection with John Locke now, and when all signs pointed to the freighter folk being imposters, Sawyer left Kate and Jack and joined the opposite side. And it was with Locke's group that he became more of a leader. He rushed into a burning building and grabbed Claire out of it. He found Aaron in the crook of a tree and saved him, then led the group back to the beach. And when he could actually taste freedom, he knew someone had to stay behind in order to get the helicopter to the freighter, and so he did something that no one else could bring themselves to do: He jumped.

Back on the island, he time-jumped back to 1974, began a relationship with Juliet, and suddenly found himself a real sheriff, with a real sheriff's badge (that was embroidered onto his Dharma jumpsuit), and people looked up to him as their leader who was there to protect them.

Three years later, he was happily in a relationship, content for possibly the first time in his life, when Kate and the others returned. And with them came the complex feelings he'd had before, the memories of what had gone on between him and Kate, the pain of losing her, the animosity with Jack, the jerk he'd been with Hurley, and the realization that Locke -- the only other person who knew about what he did to Cooper -- was dead. Soon he found himself unveiled as a Dharma imposter, on the run and wielding a gun, and beating the living crap out of Jack in the jungle. And then... Juliet was dead.

In the final season Sawyer was dealing with the grief of losing the woman he loved after all -- and the reality of realizing too late that she'd been the one he truly loved -- and he went AWOL, shunning Kate but aligning himself with the Man in Black. After Jack defeated the Man in Black and saved the island, Sawyer joined Kate and the others as they left the island on an airplane. After he died, his sideways world existence was a reflection of the one he'd lived in real life: he was a cop, people listened to him, he was there to serve and protect, but he still had his demons. While on the one hand he was on the good side of the law, on the other he was still searching for his Sawyer, determined to get the same vengeance he'd found on the island. Constantly torn in two directions, his life was as fragmented as his image in the mirror that he smashed at the precinct. But in his awakening moment, he was reunited with Juliet, and he found the peace, happiness, and love he'd been seeking. Sawyer no longer meant anything to him, and all he cared about was her.

As much as he seemed to stand apart from the other characters throughout the series, if the finale showed that everything came down to connection, then Sawyer's story was of great importance: When he separated himself from them all, living a solitary life, he couldn't get ahead. He only found peace and happiness when he connected with them and worked together as part of a team, or leading them.

Sawyer was a character who you loved despite everything he did: whether he was conning Kate or Jack or Sun, or mocking Hurley, or taking advantage of Shannon's agony when she was having an asthma attack, or undermining Jack, there was just something about him that made him charming enough to keep liking.

But he was also a character that divided fans, like Kate did. Many didn't like him, or thought he was all but useless in the show's final season. The adamant Skaters were furious that he didn't end up with Kate, while the Suliets were over the moon at what happened in the sideways world with him in the finale. So where do you stand? Do you think Sawyer was a worthy character on the show?


Gillian Whitfield said...

Keeping this shorter, tonight.

I wasn't a shipper (as I said on the comments for the Kate discussion last week), and I didn't really care who ended up with who on the show as long as they were happy.

Sawyer, from the beginning, has been a fan favourite in my house. He's definitely not a sore sight on the eyes, in any case.

That's all I have to say for now, I'll be back tomorrow morning

The Question Mark said...

"I'm a complex guy, sweetheart."

One of Sawyer's first spoken lines on the show, & it really sums him up well.
On Lostpedia, there's a link where you can listen to snippets of all the character's themes composed by Michael Giacchino. I always found it interesting that Sawyer, who is unquestionably a heroic man when all is said & done, has a very scary, ominous theme song. Imagine somebody like Luke Skywalker or Samwise Gamgee having a scary theme just wouldn't sound right! But with Sawyer, it works.

Like pretty much every other LOST character, there's always more to Sawyer than meets the eye (I say, as I hum the Transformers theme). During filming of Season 1, everybody (including Josh Holloway) was anticipating Sawyer's early demise, due to his inability to get along with the other castaways. And in disaster movies, the "Sawyer-esque" character usually WOULD be one of the first guys to die. Who'd have thunk, back during Pilot, Part 2, that Sawyer would be one of only a handful of characters to survive the Island's challenges?

I think Sawyer is a great character (and him being a supposed mix of Wolverine & Han Solo only adds points in my book!) I think he alone was crucial in proving Jacob right: no matter what kind of person you are, mankind has good inside of them as well as bad. If somebody like Sawyer could come out a hero, then there's hope for everyone.

Except Phil. That guy's a douche.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I was in the minority of not liking Sawyer for a long time. Just as I started warming to him, he squashed a frog and lost me again.

But I came to love him as Juliet did, and he ended up a favourite of mine (though I must say all the characters became favourites - maybe even Jack.)

Hm, verification word 'caingal'. Does that mean I'm on the MIB's side?

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Haven't read anything yet. Just want to get this out and then come back in the morning. When I did a lost rewatch for the first time, it was Sawyer who stood out the most. His character arc was the most satisfying. He was the one that was so cocky and annoying in the beginning, but subtly, yet most convincingly, showed himself able to change, evolve, grow and endear himself to me. It may have taken a bit longer for the survivors of Oceanic 815 to feel the same way, but eventually he grew on them as well. I'll get into it more tomorrow, but let it be known that while I was truly a Jack fan, it was Sawyer that stole my heart.

Amy said...

Two Sawyer moments stand out to me above the others:

The first is when he kills Anthony Cooper in "The Brig." It was amazing to see his reaction when he realizes who this man is and how hurt he feels when Cooper just belittles him and tears up his letter. And then, when he finally gets his vengeance, it does not sustain him, but makes him more hollow.

The second moment, and still my favorite Sawyer moment in the whole show, is when he tells Jack about his conversation with Christian toward the end of season one when he's chopping wood and Jack's about to go off to the Black Rock. For me, that was the true start of Sawyer's incredible journey and the growth he experiences over the next five seasons. It was the first time that I felt he was doing something kind to help another human being. I like to think of it as our first glimpse of the real James Ford.

Anonymous said...

Like a lot of fans I disliked Sawyer at first but I gradually began to warm to him as the first season went on. In spite of his apparent dark side he could always be counted on to deliver the best retorts and the funniest dialogue in the most disarmingly charming way.

I decided early on that the fact that he is a voracious reader counted in his favor. One of my favorite scenes from early in the series is of Sawyer intently reading Richard Adams Watership Down (one of my favorite books) and apparently enjoying it. After that I figured that he couldn't be all that bad.

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Okay, so you know I love Sawyer. Like I'm crazy about that guy, in an "I'm a teenage schoolgirl and I can't stop thinking about him" sort of way. But it isn't just because he's so cute and looks so good chopping wood with his shirt off! He is absolutely worthy of my undying love, and his role as one of the main, and most important, characters on LOST.

I think his character is wonderfully complex, and like Lisa said, his character arc was very satisfying. Of everyone on the show, I think he came the furthest, and evolved the most. If anyone deserved the happy ending, it was him.

Things I love about Sawyer: He was brave (who can forget him kissing Kate and jumping from that helicopter, sacrificing himself for his friends?), a bookworm (look at all the books he read over those 6 seasons!), funny (imagine LOST without Sawyer's nicknames!), and emotional (when he finally let himself be). I loved how he loved Kate, how he wanted to protect Hurley, how he looked after his friends and "had their backs". What a long way he came from the pilot where he sat around smoking and being obnoxious...

Okay, now I'm going to read some more of your comments and then I'll be back. Oh, and I might flip through Finding LOST season 6 a few more times and go write a stellar review of it on Amazon! Because you know Nikki, we all LOVE it. As if we'd hate it!

Erin {pughs' news} said...

So it's a bit rambly (it's been a long day) but I wrote a very positive review and gave you 5 stars, OF COURSE. They say it will be posted within 48 hours. Watch for it!

paleoblues said...

OT: Alexandra Krosney, who played young Eloise in "Jughead", guest starred on "Nikita" tonight. At the end of the episode she finds her LOST son and his name just happens to be.....Daniel.

Regarding Sawyer, he lost my respect when he smacked Daniel in the face. He was mostly a big bully.

paleoblues said...

FYI: At the beginning of "The Package" when Sawyer offers Kate some cocoa she says "Where'd you find cocoa?" Sawyer replies "I didn't. Pretend".

Joan Crawford said...

I've had affection for Sawyer since the end of season one - but from afar. He was very cute - the naughty but misunderstood ManChild. He just was so much damn work. In the real world, you would have to basically rehabilitate him into being decent and it would be'd be the washed-out, soft spoken woman-at-home who picks him up from the police station. Again.
His paradigm shift was all based on a lie. Now, he lied for good (an action which I am a big supporter of) - and that was a big, positive change. He wasn't conning for money (though he did get power...), he was conning to protect his band of time travelers. But still, it was an act. That he then came to believe? Or maybe being a JerkFace was a big con and this new lie allowed him to realize who he really was? I just found the change from A-Hole to Flower-Picking-Bunny too dramatic. There had to be growing pains if it were real. Editor's Note: *the pale faced, hollow eyed woman talking takes a drag from her cigarette, stubs it out on the table and looks up to give a weary and knowing smile*
Then Kate shows up. The Longing! The Misery! The Joy! and he drops Juliet like a sack of cat poop (emotionally speaking, of course) temporarily for Kate. I think Juliet was right when she told him she knew he loved Kate. I think Sawyer was good enough however that he felt guilty and wanted to do the right thing.
And then Juliet plays her Trump Card and dies. Well, if that doesn't make you guilt-love someone, I don't know what will. And she didn't die choking on a piece of guava or some other normal island related mishap. Oh, no - she dies professing her undying love! Damn it Juliet - I already said I felt bad! Then Sawyer gets all Joni Mitchell on us and starts crying about what he's lost (and parking lots) and how great it was. And it was great... they had fashioned a nice life with one another and there was a deep love. But I wonder what would have happened if Kate hadn't been busy staring at an ant hill when Rose (who had gotten her groove back) was all "Being together is the best. Now you losers get the hell off my lawn!" and was looking at Sawyer, ready to meet his Intense Sexy Man Gaze. Did Kate give up Sawyer knowingly? For Juliet? Would Juliet have taken that awkward and weighty offer for tea? (What was that about? Was Rose trying to tell her to leave them?)
Of course, everything I feel has already been proven wrong by The Purgatory We Don't Call Purgatory. So it goes, I can live with that. *throws back her whiskey sour and walks out*

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Oh Joan Crawford, I love you! What a well written and witty piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Efthymia said...

I know this guy has A LOT of fans, but I was never really passionate about Sawyer, neither positively nor negatively.
I generally disliked him during the first two seasons because, well, he was mostly being an asshole. Every time I got to liking him a bit he went on to do another obnoxious thing and had me disliking him all over again. But I didn't hate him, and I liked watching him because he did have some of the best lines. So it was, I would never be friends with him, but he is good TV material. I actually felt very proud that I could be objective with him despite his looks, unlike my sister, whose brain went numb every time mr. Holloway appeared on screen.
Then he became a decent guy, a guy I would probably be friends with, but lost his edge, and all the good lines went to Ben or Miles.
He did have a very interesting evolution, and I loved how they portrayed him after the murder of the original Sawyer (that was some pretty good acting from Josh Holloway). But he seemed to keep his Every Man For Himself mentality, which especially annoyed me at the end of season 5 when he's all "I don't care that Jin, Miles and Hurley, who have been my friends and seemed to like me nevertheless, are in danger out there, I'm leaving the island to live the good life with my girlfriend".
I may be a minority, but I really liked the relationship between Sawyer and Jack; I think they could have become good friends, and they've had some great scenes together.
I appreciated him for not becoming as stupid as Jack did when it came to Kate. He did have an inexplicable soft spot for her as well, but he could actually see how the situation was, and I loved it when he told her in season 4 that she always ping-ponged between them, so he wasn't worried that she was mad at him. Therefore, I liked the Sawyer-Juliet couple a lot better, and I believe that it was the result of very good writing and acting that so many people bought into it and were left so heart-broken when she fell to her death.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say with this long -once again- post is that I found Sawyer an OK character. Not crazy about him, but never wished him dead or off the show.

M9 EGO said...

One word "LEGEND"....He got jiggy with Kate even though he had been eating fish biscuits.

Quarks said...

In my opinion, Sawyer was one of the characters who grew the most throughout the series. At the beginning, in the first season, he only cared about himself. He ransacked the plane, and the bodies, and the kept everything he wanted for himself, very rarely letting anybody else have anything. He pretended to have Shannon's asthma medicine, he was rude to everybody and invented nicknames for all the camp. He wanted to be hated. When he gave Kate the letter, he wanted her to think the Sawyer that it referred to was him. I think that Sawyer felt that he was the same as the Sawyer who had killed his parents, and if people were able to like him then people would be able to like the other Sawyer. And to Sawyer, that would be unforgivable.

The only person who Sawyer does allow to get fairly close to him is Kate. He feels an instant attraction to him, as he feels that she is just the same as him. They were both criminals, both killers, and both outcasts. In the same way that Kate could never get close to anybody because she was always running, Sawyer could never get close to anybody because he felt that he didn't deserve to. And in the same way that Kate caused Tom's death, Sawyer knew that of anybody got close to him, he would only end up hurting them, as he did to Cassidy.

At the end of the first season, Sawyer gets on the raft with Michael, Jin and Walt, and while initially it seems that his motives are purely selfish, he does start to get on with the other members of the camp. He tells Jack about his father, which should give Jack a certain amount of peace. He helps to build the raft so that the rest of the camp can be rescued. And he does all that he can to stop Walt being taken by the Others.

At the beginning of the second season, Sawyer is once again an outcast, except this time, he is not alone. He is not the only survivor who is separated from the rest of the camp, with the Tailies, but Jin and Michael are there also. And while Sawyer's opinion is still every man for himself, he appears much more guilty about it.

Eventually, he returns to the camp, but now he is no longer alone. The rest of the camp is starting to respect him fr what he did, and are almost starting to like him. So Sawyer does what he must to ensure that everybody hates him again. He takes over the camp, but even after this has been done, he still doesn't appear to be hated as much as much as he was at the beginning of the first season. He plays poker with Kate, Hurley and Jack, which is something he would never have done in the first season, and he is clearly upset by Ana Lucia's death. While he didn't love her like he did Kate or Juliet, he did still care for her. He admits that Jack is the closest thing he has to a friend, and he agrees to go to the Others to take revenge for what they did to Ana Lucia. He is becoming much more of a team player.

The third season starts for Sawyer with him in the cages on Hydra island, at the mercy of the Others. It is at this point where Sawyer's feelings for Kate really come to fruition. He kisses her while they are working, he lies to her and does what Ben tells him to in order to keep her safe, and eventually he sleeps with her. When they are finally able to escape, he realises that Kate's feelings for him might not be as string as her feelings for Jack. He worries that she only slept with him because he was going to die, and refuses to go back to get Jack after Jack told them not to. While he does appear to regret leaving Jack behind, he still feels that it is every man for himself, and he has to look out for his own safety, and not risk it by going after Jack.

Quarks said...


When he returns to the camp, everybody is happy to see him back. He helps Hurley and Jin with the VW van, plays table tennis, and actually starts enjoying himself. He starts to take a leadership position within the camp, and for the first time he actually becomes a full member of the camp. When Hurley tricks him into being nice, although he is initially annoyed, he realises that he does actually like being nice, He is a member of the camp, and he finally has a fairly good life.

Then, Locke appears and takes him to meet the man who killed his parents. He is at last able to kill the man who has haunted his life for so long. But once he does this, he discovers that he doesn't actually feel any better. Up to his point in his life, his main objective has been killing the real Sawyer, and now that this is done, he has no purpose in life. He has nothing to return home for.

When the whole camp goes up to radio tower, although he initially accompanying them, it isn't long before he decides to go and help the people who remains at the beach camp. He and Juliet make their way back to the beach, and although their relationship isn't a romantic one at this point, he finds that Juliet is the only woman other than Kate who can stand up to him, and isn't remotely intimidated by him. With Hurley's help, they save Sayid, Jin and Bernard, and for the first time, Sawyer is a hero.

At the beginning of season four, Sawyer realises that the real world doesn't hold anything for him, and is happy to stay on the Island. Sawyer is one of the few characters who doesn't go with Locke because of the freighter folk, but because he has nothing to leave the Island for. It seems as though his only regret about going with Locke is that he can't be with Kate, but that is soon rectified, when she decides to stay with him. But once again, that goes wrong when he is relieved that she isn't pregnant, and she leaves the camp again.

At this point, Sawyer starts to become a hero. He saves Claire from the burning building, and he fights to keep Hurley with him, where he can keep him safe. He finds himself caring about people other than himself, especially those who he feels are innocent. Claire and Hurley have never done anything wrong in their life, and they have not brought all the pain and suffering on themselves, unlike many of the others. So Sawyer feels that it is his duty to protect them, and get them back to their happy lives.

The fourth season ends for Sawyer with him jumping out of a helicopter in order to save the people he cares about. He has nothing in the real world waiting for him, so he is willing to sacrifice his way off the Island to allow other people to become happy. This is drastically different from the Sawyer from season one. He washes up on the beach where he meets Juliet, and finds out that the freighter has blown up.

This is where season five begins. Sawyer becomes the leader of the remaining survivors, where he has to deal with time travel. It isn't long before almost all of the remaining survivors are dead, and Sawyer finds himself the leader of a much smaller group. He doesn't know any of the people in his group particularly well, with Juliet being the only person who he starts to feel he can really trust to have his back.

Eventually, the time flashes stop, and Sawyer, Juliet and the rest of his group are trapped in the 1970s. Once again being the hero, Sawyer saves Amy, and his group gets taken to the Dharma Initiative. His knack for lying manages to keep them all alive, and Sawyer manages to convince Juliet not to leave on the submarine and stay with him. Thus begins three years living with the DI.

Quarks said...


In my opinion, Sawyer's time living in the DI was probably the happiest three years in his life. He was, for once in his life, important. He was the head of security, he was respected, and most importantly, he had fallen in love. Over the three years in the DI, Sawyer had mostly forgotten about Kate and his feelings for Juliet had grown until we was truly in love with her, and she with him. He was planning on proposing to her, and could actually imagine living a happy life with the DI for the rest of his life.

Then, Jack, Hurley, Sayid and, most significantly, Kate, return. Now, Sawyer's happy life can no longer continue, as he feels that he has to help his friends. He succeeds in getting them into the DI, but he knows that nothing will ever be the same. It isn't long before Ben's shot, he has to travel to the Others, and Jack's planning to set off a nuke. Sawyer's happy life is now going down the pan.

The worst thing about everything which is happening at this point is that his feelings for Kate are returning. To him , Kate had always been the one that got away, the one that he could never have been with. Now she's back, and he realises that he has to choose between someone who he felt an instant connection to, and someone who truly loves him and he truly loves. Sawyer will always love Kate, and for a short while he may have been in love with her, but I think that it was Juliet that he was really in love with. When Kate returns, all the initial feelings he had for her return, and he is temporarily blinded by what could have been. I think that given a few weeks, Sawyer's feelings for Kate would have died down, and he would be able to be happy with Juliet, the woman that he truly loves. Unfortunately, they do not have a few weeks, as Jack is desperate to stop everything from ever happening.

Sawyer would have been happy to leave on the submarine, and live a great life on the mainland. But once again, Kate gets in the way, and his feelings for her show themselves again, however momentarily. Juliet sees these feelings that Sawyer still has, and can't help worrying that she is going to lose him. Although at first Sawyer and Juliet try to stop Jack setting off the nuke, Juliet changes her mind after seeing Sawyer's feelings for Kate. She tells Sawyer that they have to try and do it, because she can't bear losing him, and if they never meet, then she'll never lose him. Thinking it is what Juliet wants, Sawyer agrees, and helps Jack to try and stop their plane from ever crashing.

However, disaster strikes and Sawyer finds himself losing Juliet. At this point, he finally realises that his feelings for her dwarf his feelings for Kate. he loves Juliet more than anything, but it is too late. Juliet is gone, and he is broken.

This is where season six starts. Juliet's death has completely broken Sawyer. He once again feels that bad things will happen to anybody he gets close to, so he escapes from the temple and tries to be by himself. When Kate finds him, he sends her away, after telling her he planned to propose to Juliet. It is not long before the Man in Black finds him, and Sawyer is finally able to discover what he is on the Island for.

Sawyer joins with the Man in Black, and once again wants to leave the Island. There is nothing in the real world for him, still, but there is nothing on the Island for him either. Sawyer doesn't trust the Man in Black, or Widmore, so he plans another way of getting off the Island. Unfortunately, he did exactly what the Man in Black expected him to do, and his actions resulted in the deaths of three of his friends.

Sawyer is finally able to leave the Island in "The End", but to be honest, he is probably no happier back in the real world that he was on the Island. The happiest time of his life, his time with the DI, has passed, and Sawyer was probably never as happy ever again.

Quarks said...


In the flash-sideways, Sawyer was one of the few characters who's life was almost entirely different from his life before the crash. He was a cop instead of a criminal, he had friends instead of just people he knew, and he was James Ford instead of Sawyer. The only similarity was that he was still hunting for the man who killed his parents.

There are however, several similarities between this life and his life in the DI. Once again, he was law enforcement/security, working with Miles by his side. He was respected. The only thing missing was Juliet, the one thing he needed most of all.

Eventually, Sawyer is reunited with Juliet, and they are able to be happy once again. We don't know what happened to characters once they moved on, but we know that they will be happy.

Sawyer is one of my favourite characters in the show, and, in my opinion, one of the most developed characters. He was frustrating at times, but we always loved him, regardless of what he did, especially as the series progressed. There are many favourite moments of mine which include Sawyer; along with Hurley and Ben, Sawyer probably had the best quotes in the show. His nicknames were almost always hilarious, and his insults had me laughing lots of times.

Sawyer was a fantastic character, and I believe he loved Juliet. When Kate told him she was not pregnant, he was relieved, but I think that if it had been Juliet, he would have been slightly disappointed. He was in love with Juliet, and he was finally able to be with her in the afterlife. He was finally able to be happy.

paleoblues said...

Re Rewatch: Is there a possibility of rewatching just Season 6 now that the book is out (which I've already read cover to cover, but have no one to talk to about it)? Just a thought.

Marebabe said...

Good discussion, everyone! I don't have anything to add, and I just want to say that the reason I didn't jump on here last night is that I broke my leg yesterday, and I was pretty out of it. Doing some better today!

The Question Mark said...

@ MAREBABE: Ouch! That happened to me last summer! Hope you get better soon!

Littlemo said...

Yes - Sawyer certainly was complex and the 'badness' inside him makes him more interesting to watch.
The heroes and good characters in a series (like Jack) can, at times, get boring to watch, and its the spicey, complex and bad characters like Sawyer that are much more interesting to watch and follow - because you never know what will happen to them or what they will do next.

Its certainly good to do a rewatch now we know all we do about him. You watch the early scenes with new eyes.
And the nicknames still make me smile

I agree with Amy - when Sawyer told Jack of his conversation with his father that really showed the humanity that was buried deep inside him. We also saw that when he jumped from the helicopter

Joan Crawford - I think Kate and Sawyer had a powerful attraction but that doesn't always equal a deep love. I think the truer love was between Jack and Kate and also Sawyer and Juliet.

I think the great thing about lost is that (despite what many would say) there is no single central character but a whole group of them and Sawyer is right there in amongst that group.

(to me the leading group are Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Sayid and Hurley. But I'm sure some of you out there would disagree :-)

Austin Gorton said...

Honestly, Sawyer was probably my second or third favorite character on the show, larger because, other than maybe Jack, his character developed the most in the course of the show. Plus, I'm a sucker for watching the development of reluctant leader-types.

I've never considered myself a shipper, but I definitely bought into the Sawyer/Juliet relationship, especially since it seemed to add to the narrative instead of distracting from it (like all the Kate shipper business seemed to).

@Joan: You continue to crack me the hell up.

Oh, and Nikki? Off topic, but Wesley went from a bumbling slapstick punchline to one of the most extraordinarily realized characters I've ever seen on a TV show. ?

I couldn't agree more.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

One thing I have wanted to point out for a long time may as well be here as it pertains to Sawyer. This is a blooper/continuity error that is not really a big deal but has always kind of bugged me. When we see Jacob handing young James Ford the pen with which to write his note to Mr. Sawyer, the actor portraying young James writes the letter with his right hand, but Sawyer/Josh Holloway is a leftie. I know. Big whoop. Just a comment.

Joan Crawford said...

@Erin - Aw, thanks, Lady! I am glad you enjoyed that - I seek to entertain* :)

@Marebabe - Oh no! What happened? It is hard to break a leg, was it a riding accident? I hope you feel better soon!

@LittleMo - ...I think the truer love was between Jack and Kate and also Sawyer and Juliet.

I completely agree with you. My post became a weird story from a sad, dispirited but wise woman I call "Tess". Her catch phrase is "Screw you guys for judging me!" She's a gem. You can see her emerge right around the Editor's Note part. That wasn't me, it was Tess. So you see, it all makes sense in the end!

*In that I am desperate for attention and approval, as are all joke-tellers.

Joan Crawford said...

@Teebore - Thanks! I am used to yelling down alley-ways and at inanimate it's nice to get some real human feed back.

sk said...

@Lisa(until further notice) said...

Maybe Sawyer was ambidextrous. He could mirror both hands. Maybe the grade school he attended as a young boy emphasized right handed habits, but Sawyer was a rebel and we know that he did not like to follow the rules.

Marebabe said...

Thanks, Question Mark and Joan for your concern and well wishes. It was a falling-off-the-front-porch accident. I now suddenly wish it had been a riding accident. That sounds way cooler! What I did was not in the least bit cool.

I am so very much better today (Saturday), but there’s no denying I’m still at the beginning of a very long road to full recovery. I’m being a good girl and keeping weight off the busted leg, and I’m also being well looked after and prayed for, which helps immeasurably.

I hope I’m not out of line to issue a Facebook friend request here on Nikki’s site. I’ve succeeded in connecting with a few of you Nik at Niters, but it’s hard when I don’t know a person’s real name. Nikki, if you say it’s OK to post my email address here, I’ll do it, but ONLY if you approve. There’s quite a bit of discussion about my accident on Facebook, and that is a much more appropriate place for such a topic.

LRTFaraday said...

I think I always loved Sawyer. On the outside he appeared cold and callous, yet I just knew there was a good person hidden deep inside, a side he did not feel comfortable sharing with anyone.
I think he evolved more than any other character. Nobody liked him and deservedly so, in season one, yet by the end, he was most everyone's friend, leader and hero.
After the Brig, when he was able to let go of his past and his letter, he changed. I found him really taking on more leadership and showing bravery and caring for others. He went back in season 3 to help save Sayid, Jin and Bernard, in season 4 - he ran into a burning cabin to rescue Claire and sacrificed his own rescue by jumping out of the helicopter for Kate and the others, in season 5 he became the leader of the group left behind and in Dharmaville, fell in love and tragically lost his true love. We know he would never have let go of Juliet.
In season 6, his story I felt was almost already told. He grieved appropriately for Juliet...I for one am so glad that didn't go back to Kate.
My favourite Sawyer episodes were season one "confidence man", and season 5 "Lafleur". I just love the scene where he's happy strolling around Dharma town picking a flower to bring home to Juliet. Aww so sweet.

JenniferS said...

I always loved Sawyer, but I never really saw him and Kate as in it for the long haul. I thought their attraction was based on them being very similar people in some ways -- but of course, the thing that attracted them eventually also pulled them apart. They were TOO much alike -- both too much fixer-uppers themselves to help anyone else.

"Lafleur" was the first ep I downloaded to my iPod, because I completely loved Sawyer and Juliet together.

I always enjoyed Sawyer's humor, but also was horrified at some of the things he did for revenge -- squashing the frog, humiliating Charlie and John in "The Long Con", and killing Tom at the end of season 3. He was always done in by his need for vengeance, trapped in his life-long quest to take revenge on Cooper, and even when that was over he didn't feel freed. He shot Tom after he apologized (OK, well, sort of apologized) for kidnapping Walt, because "I didn't believe him."

Sawyer had one of the more interesting journeys of the Losties -- besides Jack, he's really the only one who changed at the core. I wonder what the rest of his life was like after he finally left the island.

Fred said...

While coming late to this Sawyer-fest, I feel something significant about the character needs being said; namely, that Sawyer is a character most of the audience can identify with. No, not in the sense of "Gee, he's just like me," but more in the sense of "He pushes the right buttons in my psyche."

Now, if Hurley, and the writers admit to it, was more representative of the audience, asking our questions, delivering comic dialogue for our enjoyment, a veritable modern Costello to the main character Jack/Abott, then Sawyer served as a more approachable character than say Jack or Locke.

We adored Locke, loved each time he had a flashback episode, and pondered over some of his more than Zen lines, but his character evolved through 3 stages: (1) all knowing hunter, independent go it alone survivalist with ages of wisdom, (2) the "Losing My Religion" man of faith counter to Jack "Man of Science" that made up much of the seasons 1-4 dramatic conflict, and (3) the existential broken man of Season 5. In some sense, Locke was always a character to watch from a bit of a distance, but his character was always proven through his actions.

Natch, Sawyer was a man of action, but never of the grand action or superhero gesture. Sawyer's action always took on a more human dimension--his snarky remarks, his nicknames, and his witticisms were always at the human level, drawn from a love of popular culture, a play on words, and stereotypes (think of the humour in the lines Sawyer teaches Jin when they are drinking Dharma beer at the van). It was a part of enjoyment for the audience, and a weakness that could be exploited--no kryptonite to deflate Sawyer, just ping pong against Hurley.

Sawyer's approach to the group can be summarized in one word, community. Over the course of the seasons, Sawyer evolves a greater sense of community with his fellow survivors. Locke may bring in a boar to feed the group, but it seems more like a job. When Sawyer is tricked into hunting with Desmond, and brings back the boar, we see him engaging with everyone. As Hurley points out, Sawyer made everyone feel better about their situation--this is more than just food on the table, but community. And Sawyer carries this lesson with him into the past when he becomes the Head of Security at the Dharma village.

At the same time, Sawyer deals with very human challenges. When he is led to the cliff edge by Ben, he references Of Mice and Men. Sawyer, here, contrasts with Locke's broken man, a man whose love died from an aneurism years ago unknown to him. The chance for love is denied Locke, but that possibility is still afforded Sawyer--and even though it fails with Kate, it succeeds with Juliet. The door is always left a little open for Sawyer, so that even after Juliet's death there is still something for Sawyer to fall back on, the saving of the remaining survivors (again the sense of community).

There is an overall shift in Sawyer exemplified by his shift from "I'm in the wild, doc," to bringing his people into a community (the "I kept them alive for three years"). Sawyer's growing awareness of the value of community provides points of identification for us as viewers, while his humanness towards others (even in snarky nicknames) makes him a charcater whose presence we enjoy and certainly identify with. Had Pickett shot Sawyer at the cages, I am sure the tone of the series would have changed to something less warm and approachable, indeed, LOST might have become too intellectualized without the more human qualitites of Sawyer.

Austin Gorton said...

@Fred: I am sure the tone of the series would have changed to something less warm and approachable, indeed, LOST might have become too intellectualized without the more human qualitites of Sawyer.

As always, well said. This comment especially reminds me of season five and Sawyer's interactions with Daniel. Without Sawyer there to provide an audience proxy for Daniel to explain all the time travel stuff to and to react the most humanly to the concept of jumping through time (like his thank you/damn you reaction during the outrigger chase), it's likely season five would have been swallowed up by its more sci-fi trappings.

Linda345 said...

@Nikki. I'll be back here shortly, after I've thought through what I want to say about Redneck Man, but I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the S6 book and tell you I'm enjoying it, and WILL leave a review after I've read more. It's a nice, thick book with a lot of good stuff.

vw: coyew. When someone gets disgustingly flirtatious.

Linda345 said...

Marebabe, so sorry. May the Island heal you from afar.

Sawyer as character: He gave the story some needed balance. He was never part of some overarching mystery. You never wondered who he was supposed to "represent," as in a Christ or Satan: He was just, a guy. According to a DVD commentary, the writers adapted the character to Holloway's own personal style, eschewing the original plan to have Sawyer as a well dressed, upstate NY con man. They did well. Adding a southerner to the mix rounds out the ethnic and cultural color that works so well.

That's Sawyer as a character. Moving on to Sawyer as a person, well, let me just imagine myself as, say, a newcomer to an office, where all the Losties are my new coworkers. Sawyer would annoy the heck out of me. He'd be all, "Look at me, I'm so cute. See my dimples?" I'd be rolling my eyes all day. Then, I'd finally get used to him, and he'd be okay. He'd give me some laughs to make my day brighter, and he'd be kind of a bud. But oh man, when that guy Jack comes around and gives me an assignment, I'd be a dish of wiggling Jello! And when Jack's out of the office, I'd be visiting Sayid's cubicle a lot.

Now if this fictional workplace of mine had a policy where it's OK for guys to take their shirts off, but it's only one guy a day, I'd be hoping for Jin's turn!

Linda345 said...

What! No one's here? Well then, let me take the opportunity to continue my rant about Sawyer, my fictional coworker.

Another thing that annoys me is how Sawyer is SO envious of this guy I like, Jack. He feels really inferior around Jack, because he IS inferior to Jack. I heart Jack. Jack is the guy, the first day this group got together, everyone confused and scared, calmed them all down and said inspiring words that helped everyone get along and do their best. He helped a lot of people. And where was Sawyer? Outside, having a smoke. Jeesh! During an office picnic, Sawyer once challenged Jack to ping-pong. Do you know what he said to him? "At least there's something I can beat you at!" Give me a break! Oh, and when Jack has to be gone for a while, and Sawyer is the leader, guess what he says to Jack when he sees him next? He's all, "I'm a better leader than you because I read and I don't act impetuously." Yick! Ya know, good leaders don't make a point of announcing that they're good leaders, especially when the statement is designed to hurt! And by the way, you are impetuous. Remember how you got your gun taken by Ana Lucia? Oh, yeah, how did your "reading" help you there, huh? And one time your actions actually got some people killed (okay, we're not going to even talk about that). But, Sawyer, why take it out on Jack? He's been good to you. OK, granted he had you tortured once, but only because you were so darn stubborn about that whole "inhaler" thing. Other than that, he's been kind to you, or at least he's tried. And remember when you had those headaches? HE'S the one who figured out you needed glasses and got them for you. ARE YOU CONSTITUTIONALLY UNABLE TO SAY "THANK YOU"?

Another thing: there's this woman who works in the office, her name is Kate, and she kinda likes both Jack and Sawyer. But Jack can get kinda aloof, and VERY serious about work, so Kate goes to Sawyer a lot, because he's ALWAYS available. But now there's this new chick, Juliet, who, personally I think is too good for Sawyer, but the relationship seems to be going places, so who knows? Anyway, Kate obviously likes Jack better, so I think it's all going to work out just fine.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

@losyinyoureyes: I'm here. Hope I'm not too late. LOL, love your office. Are they hiring? Sounds like my kind of environment. I'm with you, that Jack sounds like a great guy. I heard he even looked good with his shirt off too -- before he shaved his chest for some crazy reason. I do like dimples, but not when they're used for just charm amidst sarcasm. Kate sounds pretty smart, playing the two like that, but it might just get her in trouble with the boss. The names Jin and Sayid sound foreign, which means accents, and I love guys with accents.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Sorry typo...lostinyoureyes, not losyinyoureyes. Oy.

Linda345 said...

Thanks Lisa! I'm totally with you on chest hair. Got that, guys? Ladies love chest hair!

Nikki Stafford said...

Hello everyone! I don't know if anyone's still checking out this comments board, but I've had the most insanely busy week and haven't had a chance to read the ongoing comments until now, and it's been such a delight reading through them for the past half hour or so!! And I've missed SO MUCH! Geez, Nikki, stay on your own board. (But see how much I just trust you guys to chat without me having to check in?) ;)

Erin, thank you for that review. I honestly didn't see your note here and just went onto Amazon that day to check for reviews for the first time since it had come out, and imagine my surprise to see one there! So I was super-excited, and didn't even get your warning!

paleoblues: Thank you for your comments about the book. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :) I'm kind of on pins and needles for this last one waiting for reviews, worried people won't like it. But I'm like that with every book, so...

Marebabe: OMG, I'm so sorry you've broken your leg! How awful. And absolutely, if you want to post your name or email or whatever you like here, be my guest. It's completely up to you. I hope you're feeling better. Take this opportunity to pick up a new series on DVD and kick back! (May I suggest Buffy or The Wire? Heehee...)

Nikki Stafford said...

QuestionMark: I had no idea that Lostpedia had their musical motifs! Do you have a link to that? I'd love to go and hear them. It's actually something that's fascinated me from the beginning... I can hum Ben's and Claire's and Locke's, but some of the others fall into the background and aren't as obvious so I'd love to check that out. There's a half-dozen papers waiting to be written on the importance of the musical motifs on Lost. ;)

And speaking of music, I now have the Transformers theme in my head because of you, but that's battling Joni Mitchell's Pave Paradise (Put up a Parking Lot) thanks to Miss Joanie.

Joan: You are hilarious. Never change.

Fred: Excellent points as usual. I've really enjoyed reading all of these thoughts on Sawyer and seeing the varying degrees of opinion on the guy.

Teebore: Another Wesley fan. I need to do some posts on him. ;) What a story arc... it still boggles the mind.

Nikki Stafford said...

Tomorrow night, get ready for: John Locke. It'll be a doozy. ;)

Rick Rische said...

Nikki wrote-

"QuestionMark: I had no idea that Lostpedia had their musical motifs! Do you have a link to that? I'd love to go and hear them. It's actually something that's fascinated me from the beginning... I can hum Ben's and Claire's and Locke's, but some of the others fall into the background and aren't as obvious so I'd love to check that out. There's a half-dozen papers waiting to be written on the importance of the musical motifs on Lost. ;) "

Oh absolutely. Someone called Michael Giacchino "the 15th Lostie" and I couldn't agree more.
His themes for all the characters are brilliant. Each character has at least one, sometimes two (Locke) or three (Hurley) to express different aspects of their personalities and personal journeys. And I loved hearing them all given a curtain call in the finale.

I own all the soundtrack CDs that have been released. Season 6 alone has a whopping four CDs of music released! How many TV shows can make that claim?

Anonymous said...

I like Sawyer, but he has never been a big favorite of mine. He had a bad habit of being a scapegoater. He solely blamed Anthony Cooper for his parents' deaths and refused to accept the fact that they were just as much to blame . . . especially Mr. Ford. He solely blamed Tom Friendly for Walt's kidnapping, despite the fact that Ben was the one who had ordered the kidnapping. By the end of S3, Sawyer should have known this. But he placed all the blame on Tom. By the beginning of S6, he solely blamed Jack for Juliet's death, despite the fact that she was mainly responsible. Although Sawyer blamed himself for convincing Juliet to remain on the island, his decision to pull the wires of that bomb in "The Candidate" as a clear indication that he had not absolved Jack of most of the blame.

Because of Sawyer's penchant for scapegoating, he was responsible for the deaths of six people. That is a lot of blood on one's hands.