For musical piece, see Recon (composition).

"Recon" is the eighth episode of Season 6 of Lost and the 111th produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on March 16, 2010. The Man in Black tasks Sawyer with a mission.


On the Island[]

6x08 SeeingKateAgain

Sawyer and Kate reunite again.

Outside of Claire's hut, Sawyer wakes Jin and tells him that Claire and Locke said that they will be back by sunrise. Jin wants them to get out of there, but Sawyer says he's with Locke. Jin tells him that it's not Locke, and Sawyer replies that he knows, but doesn't care who he is, as long as he can get them off the Island. Jin says he won't leave without Sun. Sawyer promises that if she's there they will not leave without her. As they speak, the Man in Black in his Locke form leads his group into the camp. There are 22 of them in all, including Sayid and Kate.


The The Man in Black comforts Zack and Emma.

Inside her hut, Claire packs a few belongings and goes to the cradle to tuck in the make-do skeleton doll of Aaron. Kate comes in and asks Claire what's in the cradle. Claire replies that it's all she's had. The Man in Black calls everyone together. He says that he understands they have questions and he will make himself available, but not now. He wants to take advantage of daylight and get moving. Cindy wants to know what happened to the people who stayed at the Temple. The Man in Black pauses before saying that the black smoke killed them. Zack begins to cry and "Locke" goes over to him and his sister Emma to comfort them. Meanwhile, Claire takes Kate's hand and Kate reacts with uncertainty to this gesture. Sawyer and Kate talk about the whereabouts of their friends. Kate asks him if he is now with Locke. Sawyer tells her that he is not with anybody.

6x08 IDon'tWantToBeKilled

The Man in Black justifies his recent actions in the Temple.

They trek until "Locke" says there is a clearing ahead where they will camp for several days. Sawyer interrupts and asks when they're getting off "this rock." The Man In Black is annoyed at the interruption and suggests that they talk in private. Once aside, an angry Man in Black tells Sawyer that he wishes he hadn't interrupted him. Sawyer sarcastically apologizes and asks how "Locke" knew to rescue people from "that smoke thing." The Man in Black says he is the smoke thing. Sawyer is incredulous that all those people were killed and asks why. The Man in Black replies that he gave them the opportunity to leave peacefully, but they didn't take it. He explains that those people believed they were protecting the Island from him, whereas all he wants to do is leave. He says that it is either "kill or be killed," and he doesn't want to be killed.

6x08 ThatDress

Sawyer finds Kate's dress in the Hydra cages.

They arrive at the beach with a view of Hydra Island. The Man in Black tells Sawyer to take an outrigger to Hydra Island to do some recon. He tells Sawyer that he will find Ajira Flight 316 over there and that he has reason to believe that some of the Ajira passengers mean to do them harm. Sawyer asks what to do if he runs into trouble. The Man in Black tells him that he's not worried, because Sawyer is the best liar he ever met. He tells Sawyer that if he encounters anybody he should gain their trust, find out whatever he can and then return. When Sawyer asks what the purpose of the recon is, the Man in Black says, "we get on that plane, we fly off this island, and we never look back." Sawyer takes the outrigger out to Hydra Island and walks to find the plane. He passes the cages where he and Kate were held prisoner and finds the dress that she wore at that time. He wistfully reflects on their time there.

6x08 FightingForAaron

Claire attempts to murder Kate. Sayid looks on indifferently. (promotional still)

Kate sits down to talk to a distant Sayid. She asks him if he believes Locke can get them off the Island and Sayid says yes. She asks if he is okay and he says that he is not. Claire suddenly attacks Kate from behind, trying to stab her in the throat. Kate screams at Sayid for help but he looks on disinterestedly. "Locke" appears and roughly throws Claire off of Kate, saying that Kate did what she had to do by taking Aaron when she couldn't find Claire. When agitated Claire doesn't calm down, he slaps her full in the face and tells her that what she just did is completely inappropriate. Kate is distraught and when the Man in Black asks her if she's alright, she angrily yells that she is not.

6x08 PutYourHandUp

Sawyer is taken captive by Zoe and the rest of her team. (promotional still)

On Hydra Island, Sawyer finds the plane. Drag marks in the sand lead him to a pile of decaying bodies. Sawyer draws his gun when he hears and then sees a woman running from him. He chases her and brings her down. She calls herself Zoe and claims to be the only one left alive of the survivors from Ajira Flight 316. She says that she heard screaming while she was collecting wood, and when she came back to the campsite the others were all dead. Sawyer walks with her to the outrigger as she asks a lot of questions about the group he is with, including whether they have guns. They reach the outrigger, and Sawyer pulls his pistol on her. She whistles and four men appear from the bushes with rifles; they take Sawyer prisoner.

6x08 ComeWithMe

The Man in Black offers to show Kate where he sent Sawyer.

Kate is sobbing in a grove apart from the others. "Locke" joins her and apologizes to Kate for Claire's attack, saying he has to take responsibility for Claire's behavior because he told Claire that the Others had her baby. Kate asks why he would say that and he tells her that Claire was devastated without Aaron, so he gave her something to hate in order to keep her going. He goes on to say that hearing the truth from Kate caused Claire to release all of the anger she had been holding on to for so long. Kate replies that his explanation is very insightful considering that he's a dead man. He responds by promising that he will keep everyone including Kate safe. Kate asks where Sawyer went, and the Man in Black, offering his hand out to help her get up and smiling, tells her that he will show her. She gets up without his help.

6x08 CrazyMothers

The Man in Black shares his mother-issues with Kate.

He takes Kate to the beach and points out Hydra Island as the place he sent Sawyer. Kate recognizes it as the island she and Sawyer were locked in cages. The Man in Black says that he is not a dead man. He says that he knows what Kate is feeling because his mother was crazy. He says that a long time ago, before he looked like he does now, he had a mother who was very disturbed and as a result of that he had some "growing pains", problems that he is still trying to work his way through and that he could have avoided had things been different. Kate asks him why he told her this story and the Man in Black replies, "Because now Aaron has a crazy mother too." Later, Claire finds Kate and makes an apparent heartfelt and teary apology. Kate remains very wary as Claire falls on her sobbing and thanking her for taking care of Aaron. Kate eventually relents and returns the hug.

6x08 ShakingHands

Widmore and Sawyer make a deal.

As Sawyer is taken to the submarine at the Hydra Island dock, he notices armed people erecting pylons around the dock, similar to the sonar fence on the main Island. Zoe takes him inside the sub and in a corridor Sawyer notices a padlocked door. Zoe takes him to a room where Charles Widmore introduces himself. Widmore asks if Sawyer knows who he is. Sawyer replies that he is the man who sent a freighter to the island with orders for the crew to kill them all. Widmore denies murdering the people from the Ajira flight. Sawyer is direct about John Locke sending him to the island and what Locke's purpose is. He says that they both know that the man who sent him is not really Locke. Sawyer offers Widmore a deal: he will tell "Locke" that the coast is clear and that he didn't find anybody. Then he'll bring "Locke" right to Widmore's doorstep and Widmore can kill him. In exchange, the people with Sawyer don't get touched and they get safe passage off of the island. Widmore agrees to this deal.

6x08 ADealIsADeal

Sawyer informs the Man in Black about Widmore's plans.

Sawyer arrives back at the beach and the Man in Black runs to join him. Sawyer tells him all the passengers are dead, and "Locke" asks him what happened. Sawyer reveals everything about Widmore and his crew, the submarine, the locked door, the pylons similar to those surrounding the DHARMA barracks, and the deal he made with Widmore. The Man in Black tells Sawyer that he appreciates his loyalty. Sawyer replies that "a deal's a deal."


"We're taking the sub."

After nightfall, Sawyer sits down next to Kate and she asks him why he's running errands for "Locke". He claims he isn't running errands for anybody. He tells her about Widmore and reveals his plan to let Widmore and "Locke" fight it out. He says that while the two men have their hands full, he and Kate will take advantage of the situation and get off of the island. Kate points out that they can't fly the plane. Sawyer says, "We ain't taking the plane, Freckles. We're taking the sub."

Flash sideways[]

6x08 I'mACop

James tries to convince Ava he is not a con man.

James lies naked in bed with a woman named Ava. Ava reminds him about an imminent appointment. He dresses and grabs a briefcase that falls open and spills out a great deal of bundled banknotes. He explains that the money is for an investment and that he won't take long. Ava points a gun at him, saying he's a fool if he believed she'd fall for such a basic con trick. James replies that she's the fool because the whole situation is a set up: the room is bugged and surrounded by cops. He explains that the cops just want her husband and encourages her to save herself by playing along and taking the briefcase to him. Ava disbelieves him and continues holding him at gunpoint, so James says the code word "LaFleur". A police team, led by Miles, bursts into the room and arrests Ava. Miles tosses James his LAPD badge and James addresses Miles as "partner."

6x08 WhereIsCooper

James attempts to locate Anthony Cooper.

Back in the police station, Detective James Ford is calling a list of men named Anthony Cooper. As he rings one, Miles arrives with a mug of coffee for him and overhears the name "Anthony Cooper." James hastily hangs up and attempts to hide the list. Miles inquires about the call and James claims that it was an old buddy, setting him up with Los Angeles Lakers tickets. Miles asks if James met this friend in Palm Springs when he went there last weekend. James is momentarily puzzled by the mention of Palm Springs, but he soon recovers and talks about getting drunk and having a good time there. Miles reminds him that he has a blind date with a co-worker of Miles' father that evening. As James tries to back away from the date, Miles regards him suspiciously. Miles says that he needn't tell lies and can be truthful to him. James tells Miles that he has no reason to lie to him.

6x08 YoungFordFamily

Charlotte finds a family picture of young James and his parents.

James arrives at a bar and calls Miles to ask what his blind date looks like. Miles explains that she's a redhead. James finds the woman and confirms her name is Charlotte. They dine and Charlotte tells James that she's an archaeologist. She asks James why he decided to become a cop. He tries to make light of the question by making reference to the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt. Charlotte replies that she wants the real reason, not the one he uses with all the other women. He smiles and says that at a certain point in his life he realized that he could become either a cop or a criminal; he chose cop. Later, they are in bed together at James' place and Charlotte asks to borrow a T-shirt. He directs her to one of his drawers as he goes to the kitchen for water. Charlotte rummages in the drawer and finds a folder marked "Sawyer." A photo showing a couple with their son slips out, and Charlotte opens the folder to replace it. Inside the folder she sees an old newspaper cutting about a man killing himself and his wife; they were survived by their 9 year-old son. The photo in the clipping is the same as the one that fell out of the folder. James comes in and, realizing what she's found, flies into a rage. Charlotte tries to explain that she didn't mean to, but he tells her to leave.

6x08 NoMorePartners

Miles quits as James' partner.

The next day at the station, Charlie Pace's brother Liam is asking the duty sergeant about Charlie's arrest. Liam approaches James, but James tells him that that is not his department. Miles emerges and abruptly tells James to come with him. Miles is furious because Sawyer outed Charlotte out of his place at night. Miles also says he has traced James' credit card transactions and discovered that James was in Australia, not Palm Springs. Miles talks about trust, but James tells him that what he was doing in Australia is none of Miles' business. Miles says that he is not James' partner anymore and leaves. James stares at himself in a mirror on the wall, then punches his reflection, smashing the mirror.

6x08 NoBloodyWay

Charlotte rejects James' apology.

That evening, James arrives home and prepares a microwave frozen dinner. He sits down and watches an old episode of Little House on the Prairie. A little girl, Laura, tells her father that she would be devastated if anything ever happened to him and her mother. Her father tells her that if you live your life worrying about the future, life will be over before you know it. He tells her that people aren't really gone once they die, and that you hold on to their good memories until you see them again. James decides to leave, and he goes to Charlotte's apartment to apologize (with a sunflower and a six pack of beer). However, Charlotte tells him that he blew it and closes the door in his face.

6x08 DaguhterOfABitch

James captures the suspect, and discovers a familiar face.

The next day as Miles leaves the LAPD office, James calls him over to his car. Miles reluctantly gets in and James hands him the folder marked "Sawyer." James explains that when he was 9 his father was conned by a man named Sawyer. James' father was so upset that he shot James' mother before committing suicide, and the only lead he has is the name Anthony Cooper, so he went to Australia to follow it. When he does find Cooper, he's going to kill him. Miles asks why he has never told him this, and James tells him that he knew Miles would have tried to talk him out of it. Miles admits that this is true. As they speak, the sound of a police siren approaches and a blue sedan suddenly crashes into the driver's side of James' car. The driver jumps out and makes a dash for it as James and the pursuing squad car chase her. The fugitive runs down an alley, but James captures her as she emerges and slams her against a gate. He realizes that he recognizes her. It is Kate, the woman he encountered at LAX and passively helped in evading the law enforcement personnel.


Production notes[]

  • Evangeline Lilly (Kate) becomes the second cast member to appear in 100 episodes.
  • This is the only episode of Season 6 in which Matthew Fox (Jack) does not appear.
    • This is consequently the last episode of the series in which he does not appear, if we count archive footage seen in "Across the Sea".
  • Josh Holloway (Sawyer) returns after being missing for three episodes.
  • This is the first episode of Season 6 not to contain a Previously on Lost ("LA X, Part 2" does contain one if shown as separate episode).
  • This episode continues the trend begun in Season 4 of crediting former main cast members as guest stars only—and not "special guest stars"—with Rebecca Mader (Charlotte Lewis).
  • Charlotte Lewis makes her first appearance since "Follow the Leader", a gap of nine episodes, however it wasn't Rebecca Mader who portrayed her then.
    • Charlotte Lewis becomes the fourth former main character to appear in Season 6.
  • Neil Hopkins (Liam Pace) makes his first appearance since "Greatest Hits" after a 40-episode span. This also marks his first appearance outside a Charlie-centric episode.
  • This episode was originally broadcast on March 16 (3/16). It addresses the fate of Flight 316's survivors after the principal characters leave to go to the main Island, and is the first time the plane has been shown since "Namaste".
  • A Lost: on Location featurette for this episode is included on the Sixth Season DVD and Blu-ray sets. It covers the flash sideways scenes, and particularly the car stunts.
  • In a deleted scene, Jin warns Kate about Claire having threatened to kill her.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • The tail number for Ajira flight 316 was N25705 when it originally appeared in the episode "316". However, in this episode, the same plane bears the designation N9748C.
    • In reality, N25705 is the tail number of a Boeing 737 currently in use by United Airlines. N9748C is a tail number reserved by the FAA for film use, and has been used in many other TV and film productions.
  • At the police station, Sawyer uses Microsoft Word 2007 in the flash-sideways timeline set in 2004.
  • Jin doesn't use his crutch at all to support his foot, even though it is badly damaged.


The Season 6 soundtrack includes the following tracks from this episode:


Recurring themes[]

  • The clock on Sawyer's night stand in the flash-sideways timeline reads 8:42. (The Numbers)
  • Claire attacks Kate for taking Aaron. (Revenge)
  • The Man in Black says off-hand "I forgive you" to Sawyer's sarcastic apology at interrupting him. In Season 3 he tried to get Eko to seek forgiveness. (Redemption)
  • The Man in Black reveals he is the "smoke thing" to Sawyer, but not to the rest of his followers. (Deceptions and cons)  (Secrets)
  • The Man in Black talks about his issues with his mother. (Parent issues)
  • Claire apologizes for attacking Kate. (Redemption)
  • Kate crashes into James' car and is apprehended shortly after. (Car accidents)  (Imprisonment)
  • All the survivors from the Ajira flight have been killed from an unknown cause. (Death)
  • Sawyer still has feelings for Kate after coming across her dress in the cages. (Relationships)
  • Sawyer uses a sunflower as a romantic gesture. (Relationships)
  • Zoe lies to Sawyer about being a survivor of Ajira Flight 316. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Sawyer refers to Widmore as "Chief" and to Kate as "Freckles." (Nicknames)
  • Ava refers to Sawyer as "Dimples." (Nicknames)
  • Sawyer refers to the Barracks as "New Otherton." (Nicknames)
  • In the flash-sideways timeline, Charlotte works for Miles' father at a museum. (Character connections)
  • James and Charlotte have a one-night-stand. (Character connections)  (Relationships)
  • James and Miles are partners in the LAPD in the flash-sideways timeline. (Character connections)
  • In the flash sideways, Liam Pace is trying to find his brother at the LAPD station, where he asks Sawyer if he knows where his brother Charlie is being held. (Character connections)
  • Sawyer says that he is pitting the Man in Black and Charles Widmore against each other, in order to create a distraction that will allow him to steal the submarine. (Deceptions and cons)
  • James attempts to con Ava into taking a briefcase with a hidden tracking device to her husband, a known con man wanted by the LAPD. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Zoe says, "Thank God" when Sawyer tells her that there are other people on the main island. Sawyer tells her that God has nothing to do with it. (Religion)
  • Sawyer is captured by Widmore's people. (Imprisonment)
  • In the flash sideways, James secretly tries to track down the man who ruined his life. (Secrets)
  • The Man in Black tells of his crazy mother and his "growing pains", a story reflected by the relationships between Claire and Aaron, Danielle and Alex, Eloise and Daniel, and Locke and his mother. (Coincidence)
  • Sawyer, while under arrest, had passed by Boone, a brother inquiring about his sister in the Sydney police station. Sawyer, the cop, passes by Liam as he is inquiring about his brother Charlie in the L.A. police station. (Coincidence)
  • James and Miles are partners as detectives for the LAPD in the flash-sideways timeline, having also been partners in law enforcement for the DHARMA Initiative in the original timeline. (Coincidence)
  • The Man in Black rationalizes his slaughter of the Temple dwellers as "kill or be killed", stating that he doesn't want to be killed. (Life and death)
  • At the police station, James looks into the mirror before he breaks it. (Mirrors)
  • Sawyer lies to Miles in the flash-sideways timeline about going to Palm Springs, when he was actually in Sydney looking for Anthony Cooper. (Deceptions and cons).

Cultural references[]

  • Indiana Jones: James compares Charlotte to this globe-trotting archaeologist. They later regret she didn't bring her whip. (Movies and TV)
  • Little House on the Prairie: James watches a rerun of this American television series that ran from 1974 to 1983. In the episode that James watches ("Remember Me, Part 1"), Pa Ingalls tells little "half pint" that "if you live your life based on what's going to happen... before you know it, your life is over." James once confessed to Kate in the original timeline that he used to be a fan of the series. (Movies and TV)
  • Watership Down: This novel, written in 1972 by Richard Adams, is on James' chest of drawers. The novel is about anthropomorphised rabbits searching for a new home after one has visions of death approaching their oppressive society. The rabbits find what they think is utopia, but discover that it is a farm with traps and snares. They find that they have to live together or die alone, while establishing new rules by which to live. (Literary works)
Sawyer's books

The books in Sawyer's room

  • A Wrinkle in Time: This sci-fi children's novel, written in 1962 by Madeleine L'Engle, is on James' chest of drawers. The story follows Meg Murry, a teenager who travels in time and space with her younger brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin O'Keefe. Their mission is to rescue her father, who is a scientist being held prisoner on an alien planet dominated by a large dark cloud called "The Black Thing." (Literary works)
  • Lancelot: This novel, written by Walker Percy in 1977, tells the story of Lancelot Lamar, an attorney who finds out he is not the father of his youngest daughter. Lamar kills his wife by blowing up their house. He ends up in a mental institution with his memories, where reality and the past get blurred for him. (Literary works)
  • Bullitt: Sawyer references this 1968 Steve McQueen police film as the reason he wanted to become a cop. The movie is best remembered for its car chase scene through the streets of San Francisco, regarded as one of the most influential car chase sequences in movie history. (Movies and TV)
  • Los Angeles Lakers: Sawyer and Miles are fans of this basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. (Games)

Literary techniques[]

  • Although it initially seems to be that James is still a con man in the flash-sideways timeline, he is actually a cop working undercover as con man. (Plot twist)  (Juxtaposition)
  • In the original timeline, Kate tells Sawyer that they're having rabbit for dinner; in the flash-sideways timeline, a copy of Watership Down is seen in James' room. (Juxtaposition)
  • The first words that James speaks in the original timeline and the last words he speaks in the flash-sideways timeline are: "Son of a bitch!" (Regularly spoken phrases)  (Juxtaposition)
  • Miles asks James if he wants to "die alone." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • The Man in Black, in the form of John Locke, tells Sawyer "I don't want to be killed." (Irony)
  • Sawyer reveals to Kate that his real plan is to have Widmore and the Man in Black fight it out while Kate and he steal the submarine and leave the Island. (Plot twist)
  • The Man in Black tells his group that the people who stayed at the Temple were killed by the black smoke, but now they are safe from it and he will protect them. (Irony)
  • The Man in Black approaches Kate in a grove of banyan trees, which have previously acted as a barrier against the Monster. (Irony)
  • Kate is told by the Man in Black that Claire will probably get over her ordeal. Later Claire embraces Kate, apologizes for the attack and thanks her for tending Aaron. (Foreshadowing)
  • The Man in Black tells Kate about his "crazy" mother. (Foreshadowing)
  • The program Sawyer watches discusses that when people die, memories of them remain to sustain their loved ones till they reunite. This is reminiscent of the premise of the flash sideways world, whose dead characters wake up to memories of one another. (Foreshadowing)
  • With a single code word, James springs a group of armed men (police) on Ava in the motel room, saving himself from peril at gunpoint. On Hydra Island, Zoe springs a group of armed men on Sawyer with a single noise, placing him in peril at gunpoint. (Juxtaposition)
  • The exact same theme music that is used as Kate makes her escape from Los Angeles International Airport in "LA X, Part 2" is playing moments before James catches Kate running out of the alley. (Foreshadowing)
  • In the original timeline, the Man in Black tells Sawyer that he's the best liar he's ever met, whereas in the flash-sideways timeline, James seems to be a rather lousy liar who is called on it by everyone he meets. (Juxtaposition)
  • The Man in Black tells Sawyer he gave the people at the Temple the chance to leave peacefully, but when they did not comply he killed them. In "Jughead" Richard states the Others gave the US Army the chance to leave peacefully, and killed them when they refused. (Juxtaposition)
  • In the original timeline, Sawyer reveals to Kate his plan to leave the island with her. In the flash sideways, James catches Kate while she tries to escape arrest. (Juxtaposition)

Storyline analysis[]

  • James and Charlotte have a one-night-stand. (Relationships)
  • Kate, under pursuit by the police, slams into Det. Ford as he sits in his car, after which he manages to run down the seemingly random suspect, but then recognizes her as the handcuffed woman he gave a break to at LAX. (Crimes)
  • Sawyer makes various assumptions, including that Charles Widmore wants to kill the Man in Black. Widmore points this out by remarking Sawyer actually knows little. (Rivalries)
  • Claire tries to kill Kate for taking Aaron. (Rivalries)
  • Widmore's people are setting up defences against the Man in Black. (S-Missions)

Episode connections[]

Episode references[]

  • Charlotte tells Sawyer about her work as an archaeologist. ("Confirmed Dead")
  • Sawyer tells Widmore that he knows him because Widmore sent a freighter full of mercenaries to the Island to kill everybody. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
  • Miles mentions his father. ("Some Like It Hoth")
  • The Man in Black previously mentioned 'taking care' of the remaining Ajira passengers. Sawyer is sent by him to investigate the current situation. ("The Incident, Part 1")
  • Liam Pace comes to the LAPD office to ask about his brother Charlie, who was arrested on the Oceanic 815 flight for drug possession. ("LA X, Part 1")
  • Claire attempts to fulfill her claim to kill Kate after finding out she was raising Aaron. ("Lighthouse")
  • The Man in Black tells his group that the black smoke killed everyone who remained at the Temple. ("Sundown")

Episode allusions[]

Unanswered questions[]

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Recon/Theories

External links[]

ABC Press Release