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Lost is a drama about a group of plane crash survivors. They land on an unknown Pacific island and have to learn to live together. ABC 2004-2010


Episode 16 - Outlaws

12 January 2017

Present: Sawyer wakes up to find a boar in his tent. The boar later attacks him as well. He heads off for revenge and Kate joins him. The boar further antagonises him but when he finally catches him he doesn’t kill him. Charlie appears to be suffering mentally from murdering Ethan. Hurley asks Sayid to talk to him.

Flashback: We see Sawyer’s parents being killed. In the recent past a man called Hibbs comes to see Sawyer. He says he has found the man who killed his parents, he is living in Sydney. Sawyer tracks him down but can’t kill him. He goes to a bar and meets Christian Shepherd. Christian unknowingly convinces him to go kill the man which he duly does. But as he is dying he reveals that he isn’t Sawyer, but that he owed money to Hibbs.

The Good: The twist that Sawyer was fooled into killing the wrong man is a good one. His story builds nicely to that conclusion. Hibbs (Robert Patrick) is excellent in his role and sounds very convincing. The man who sells Sawyer the gun brings up the idea that maybe he isn’t really a killer which sets up his confrontation at the shrimp shack nicely. What follows is a pretty tense scene where Frank chats away amiably as Sawyer squeezes his gun tighter and tighter. It does a great job of conveying the emotions rushing through Sawyer.

Which leads Sawyer to an interesting conversation with Christian Shepherd. It’s a surprise to see him and it’s not clear at this stage how important it is that they have met. The fact that Christian talks Sawyer into murder isn’t meant to be the key point, I don’t think. But either way Sawyer ends up killing the wrong man and clearly that will stay with him for a long time. His inability to kill him initially painted Sawyer in a clear light. He is a con man and a “grifter” but he is no hardened criminal whose morality has long gone. His own foolishness leads him to murder and now the story with the boar adds another layer to that. Sawyer has to realise for himself that he can’t always blame others for his problems. Hibbs is no more responsible for his sins than the boar is.

Nicely shadowing Sawyer’s story is Charlie. It’s good to see direct follow up on his guilt and pain over killing Ethan. Both he and Sawyer will have to live with the consequences of their actions. Hurley and Sayid play their roles well here, drawing on their established traits to comfort Charlie. Similarly Kate and Locke play those roles for Sawyer.

There are a couple of nice jokes with Sayid showing us his dry sense of humour (“perhaps he (the boar) wanted to go camping”) and Sawyer discovering the boar had pulled his shirt out of his bag and peed on it. Sawyer also has a line which I like very much. Having discovered an uninhabited island, the survivors could safely assume that one day it will be inhabited. Presumably once they are rescued, some country will want to lay claim to this tropical paradise. So Sawyer very appropriately comments “I take comfort knowing someday, this is all gonna be a real nice shopping complex. Maybe even an auto mall.” You suspect it never will be.

The Bad: You can see why Kate is a difficult character to get your head around. This is the hardened criminal who once infiltrated a gang, convinced them to rob a bank and then shot them all. And yet here when Sawyer picks up a boar piglet she whines like any sweet middle class girl would “you’re gonna hurt it!”

Both Sayid and Locke having appropriate personal stories to relate smacks of unimaginative writing. It is an effective and interesting technique in television shows but it needs to be used sparingly.

The Unknown: Is there any significance in Christian Shepherd’s meeting with Sawyer, beyond the coincidental?

Best Moment: Sawyer teaches Kate to play “I Never.” There aren’t many scenes in Lost where we learn seemingly trivial details but here they are actually very revealing. Sawyer says “I never voted Democrat” to which Kate counters “I never voted” which are actually very interesting statements. Sawyer says he has never been in love and Kate reveals that she was married, though not for long. Sawyer finishes us by saying “I never killed a man.” To which they both drink. “Well, looks like we got something  in common after all.” It’s a terrific scene: entertaining, funny, flirtatious and very revealing.

The Bottom Line: A much better effort from Lost. Charlie and Sawyer are given a good amount of attention and characterisation. Though Sawyer’s story struggles to live up to his first flashback (108). That is a harsh criticism but in the face of such a high quality story, this is bound to be a slight come down.



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  • This was a good comeback from Lost.

    Sawyer is one of the show's most compelling characters and Josh Holloway is really great at playing him. Sawyer is doubtlessly the star and has excellent character scenes both on the island and in the flashback.

    The on island plot is a little silly but it's written excellently and the humour is well placed. Sawyer is used perfectly to get an emotional response out of an episode that, on the surface, was just about killing a boar.

    Kate and Sawyer's I Never scene is fantastic television and reveals a lot about the characters in a fun way.

    The flashback is excellent as we see Sawyer meet Christian, making an important early connection in these characters' lives. It's very intriguing and is integrated into the story seamlessly. The rest of the flashback was excellent as well.

    I loved seeing Charlie get some focus following his murder of Ethan. He shares a nice scene with Sayid.

    Lastly, I will say that this episode really surprised me. I did not remember enjoying this episode so much the first time I watched this.

    Overall, this episode is a vast improvement and is one of the finest character episodes this season. This episode manages to build an excellent plot off of basically nothing and it deserves immense praise for that as well.

    Viewer score: 77 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 09/01/2017 2:14pm (4 years ago)

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