Given that we’ve just featured the Sawyer-centric episode “Outlaws” in our Unappreciated “Lost” Theatre series, I figured we could bring another series back into the light: Light vs. Dark. I’m in a series kinda mood this week. Blame Bob Dylan. I usually do.
In any case, showing “Outlaws” reminded me that I’d forgotten an important instance in Season 1 in which we might have seen the handiwork of the show’s potentially two biggest architects: Jacob and The Man in Black. Since this series strives to bring their previously hidden presence into the light, let’s grin and boar it while looking once again at “Outlaws.” See what I did there? I’m all punny and stuff. (I was going to call the ep “boar-ing,” and then realized I made that exact joke over a year ago when recapping this article. I am nothing if not consistent.)
The Episode: “Outlaws“
The Sequence: Throughout the episode, a boar stalks Sawyer in an unnaturally specific fashion. Sawyer gradually realizes that, despite all impossibility, the boar contains the spirit/essence/memory of Duckett, a man that he killed in Australia just a few weeks earlier. Sawyer vows vengeance against the boar for the animal’s constant attacks, going so far as trying to anger it by kidnapping one of its piglets. When finally confronted face to face with the boar, Sawyer lowers his gun, unable to pull the trigger.
The Case for Jacob: After the initial boar attack, Sawyer follows the boar into the jungle, where he hears The Whispers for the first time. Among the unintelligible noise is a clear phrase: “It’ll come back around,” a line that not only harkens to the last words of the man Sawyer killed but also unwittingly predicts the majority of Season 5’s plot. Were Duckett’s spirit placed into this boar, it would be the type of indirect “nudging” that Jacob specializes in. The repetitive use of “It’ll come back around” stands as a preparation for atonement. In other words, “You will have the chance to someday right this wrong.”
The Case for The Man in Black: The boar stands in for Sawyer’s guilty conscience, the same one that allowed Sawyer to be tortured and beaten for a crime he didn’t commit in “Confidence Man.” The Man in Black uses the animal to overtly provoke Sawyer to the point of violence in order to reinforce his own low sense of self and return him back to the path of revenge that has dominated his life. “It’ll come back around” stands a preparation for repetition: in “Battlestar Galactica” terms, all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. The Man in Black sends the boar to reinforce the fact that Duckett’s blood will only form the base coat of the others that will inevitably follow.
The Zap2it Opinion: Tough call. I wrote both of those paragraphs as thought exercises in order to try and complicate your instinctual choice on the matter. And yet, I’ve gone and muddled up my own thoughts on the matter. But I’m going with Jacob: his visit to Sawyer at his parents’ funeral indicates that he has great hopes for James Ford, and understands that the boar might help start the process of forgiveness that will be important if he’s going to grow into the type of soldier that will help him during the end game of the series.
What do YOU think?
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