"The Long Con" is the thirteenth episode of Season 2 of Lost and the 38th produced hour of the series as a whole. When Sun is attacked by an unknown assailant, Sawyer and Kate disagree with the claims that the Others were responsible, beginning to suspect a wider orchestrated plan.


Previously on Lost[]


Sawyer lies in a hotel room bed with the beautiful Cassidy. Sawyer attempts to perform the same trick he performed on Jessica, except when the brief case opens this time, Cassidy doesn't bite. She doesn't believe the coincidence, and also notices that the money is fake. She chides him for a clumsy attempt, and informs him that she didn't get any money from the divorce. Sawyer offers to leave - no harm, no foul; but Cassidy would rather he stayed. She wants to learn the con.

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Sawyer cons two men at a gas station.

Sawyer stands outside a gas station, fixing bogus price tags to junk jewelry, while explaining the con once again to Cassidy, who will be acting as a shill. They'll be looking at the price tags rather than the jewelry; and at the bandage on his nose rather than his face. Soon, the con is on. Sawyer approaches two men, Arthur and Peter, at the gas station, and offers them the necklaces (all priced over $1000.00 on the tags) at $100.00 apiece. The men are skeptical, but Cassidy walks up from the other side and buys two without hesitation. This encourages the men, and the fools and their money are soon parted.

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Cassidy reveals her wealth.

Cassidy is taking a shower, while Sawyer brushes his teeth. She wants to know what their next play is. Sawyer suggests the pigeon drop. Cassidy counters that they've already done the pigeon drop, along with the Tulsa Bag Scam, and the Lookie-Loo. She wants to play a big con. Sawyer corrects her jargon, and explains that a "Long Con" is when you convince someone to ask you a favor like it was their idea. The problem is that Long Cons take a lot of startup capital. Cassidy admits that she lied when she told Sawyer she got nothing from the divorce, and that she actually has $600,000 dollars. Sawyer seems reluctant but willing to consider the idea, so Cassidy drags him into the bedroom to sway him.


Gordy, Sawyer's partner.

Sawyer sits at a diner, and places an order with Diane Janssen, Kate's mother. He's soon joined by Gordy, who asks how the long con on Cassidy is going. Gordy scouted Cassidy out as a mark, and feels that it's time for payday. He says Sawyer is getting too close to the girl, and thinks he's falling in love. Sawyer wants to call off the job, but Gordy threatens to kill both Sawyer and Cassidy.


Sawyer looks at the photo of him and Cassidy.

Cassidy waits at home, with a briefcase full of money on the table. Sawyer walks in, agitated. He points out a black car across the street, and tells Cassidy that his partner Gordy is in it waiting for the money. She was the long con all along, and if he doesn't walk out there with the money, Gordy will kill them both. Sawyer takes the money out of the briefcase, and puts it into a duffel bag. Sawyer tells her that Gordy is only here because he refused to take her money. Instead, he proposes that she take the money and run to a motel, the Sage Flower Motel, off Highway 29, in Sioux City. He'll take care of Gordy, and either way, she'll be safe. Then he hands her a duffel bag, and pushes her out the door with proclamations of love. Cassidy then leaves.

Sawyer walks out the front door of Cassidy's house, and sits in the passenger seat of the black car. There's no one else in it. He starts counting Mississippi's. Once he's satisfied that enough time has passed, Sawyer walks back into the house, and pulls a second duffel bag out from under the table. This bag actually has the money. On his way out, he notices a picture of Cassidy and him, and sets it on its face.

On the Island[]

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Jack and Locke discuss how to handle who has access to the firearms.

Inside the Hatch, Jack and Locke open the gun vault. Jack enters, opens the Halliburton case, and removes the guns. Along with the weapons, the vault also contains the seven Virgin Mary statues that Locke confiscated from Charlie. Locke's left the heroin in the statues, because he's too self-admittedly superstitious to break open seven religious icons. Locke gives Jack the combination to the gun vault, and then suggests that Jack might consider keeping the medicine in there as well. It seems that Sawyer has returned to his pack-rat ways.

On the beach, Sawyer taunts Charlie for getting kicked out of Claire's tent. Charlie replies that Sawyer should be more concerned with his own tent, which at the moment is being ransacked by Jack. Sawyer walks up for a confrontation as Jack finds a prescription bottle. Jack accuses Sawyer of stealing the meds from the Hatch. Sawyer says he was simply reclaiming stolen property, as the meds were in his stash when he left on the raft. The two toe up for a fight, Sawyer threatening Jack, but Jack takes the meds and walks away.

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Kate gives Sawyer a magazine.

As Sawyer puts his tent back together after Jack's ransacking, Kate enters to both tease him, and give him a new women's magazine she's retrieved from the Hatch to cheer him up. Sawyer isn't consoled, because he lost his glasses on the raft. He asks Kate if she would read to him. Just as she begins reading aloud from the magazine, Locke walks by and greets them. This launches a conversation about the recent changes in group dynamics, such as Locke, instead of Charlie, sleeping next to Claire, and Jack and Ana Lucia's recent decision to form an army. This last bit is news to Kate, and Sawyer teases her, saying that maybe he isn't the only one "on the outs with the doc."

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Hurley enlists Sayid's help.

In a clearing away from the beach, Sayid is stabbing coconuts on a stake in the ground. Hurley saunters over and makes a joke, but Sayid isn't in a laughing mood. Hurley quickly gets to the point. It seems that Bernard had a shortwave radio, with which he could hear Boone's transmission from the Beechcraft, and Hurley has brought it to Sayid to see if he could boost the signal. Sayid is dubious about whether it's possible, and if it would even be worthwhile. Hurley tells Sayid that it was really just a project to cheer him up, and leaves the radio behind as he walks away.

In the jungle, Ana Lucia and Jack discuss their difficulties recruiting for the army. Ana Lucia is under the impression that everyone is reluctant to fight because they feel too safe, but Jack disagrees. There may be other trust issues involved.

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Sun in her garden.

Sun is working in her garden and is startled when the bushes behind her rustle, but then is relieved when Vincent comes running through. She frowns at the sounds of distant thunder, but suddenly a bag falls over Sun's head, and she's dragged backward into the bushes. Kate and Sawyer hear her screams through the pounding rain, and find her unconscious in the jungle. Kate runs to get Jack, while Sawyer carries Sun back to the beach. Jack arrives at her tent seconds before a frantic Jin comes in. Sawyer reports that he found her unconscious in the jungle, and her hands were tied. Ana Lucia proclaims that the Others are back. John insists that they'd made a truce, but Jack thinks they broke their word. Ana Lucia wants to arm up the group and comb the jungle, but Locke puts his foot down. He reminds Ana Lucia that it is more dangerous for them to give weapons to untrained people. Jack agrees and says that they should wait for what Sun will say about the attack, and then they are going to plan something.

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Kate and Sawyer search for clues.

At the scene of the crime, Kate and Sawyer are playing detective. Sawyer points out that the entire situation feels wrong. For example, how did Sun break free with her hands bound and while unconscious? And why are there tracks when The Others don't leave any? They find a hood hanging from a branch, but Sawyer points out that it's a different hood than the one used on Kate. "It's all in the details, and they're wrong," he says. But who would have motivation to scare 46 people, unless they were trying to con them into joining an army?

Over at Sun and Jin's tent, Jack is reassuring Jin. Sun's pulse is strong. She needs to be watched, but she is going to be fine. Jack steps away to get some water, and Kate is waiting for him. She asks Jack how well he knows Ana Lucia, and hints around Sawyer's theory. Jack won't hear it, and walks away. Later on, however, as he's strolling down the beach with Ana Lucia, she mentions that people, like Steve, are suddenly more willing to join the army, and Jack is forced to face the possibility. He asks her point blank where she was at the time of Sun's attack. As she questions his motivations for asking, Claire runs down the beach to tell Jack that Sun has woken up.

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Kate watches Ana Lucia, attributing that she is behind the con.

Back at the tent, Sun awakes to find herself in a double interrogation - one in English from Jack, and one in Korean from Jin. She doesn't remember anything, didn't see who did it, and doesn't know how many there were. Jin is satisfied that the Others are responsible, and demands a gun from Jack. Sawyer and Kate watch the entire exchange from a distance, and Kate realizes that the entire scenario is a setup so Ana Lucia can get her hands on the guns. She begs Sawyer to run ahead of the posse to the Hatch, and warn Locke that they're coming.

In the Hatch, John is searching through the books on the shelf to see if there is anything hidden in them. Sawyer tells him of the approaching mob, and suggests that Locke change the combination. Locke is intrigued by the reason behind Sawyer's sudden "heads up," and Sawyer tells him that he is doing this because it "will piss off Jack." Locke doesn't think that will stop them; he'd prefer to hide the guns elsewhere, but can't leave the Hatch unmanned. Locke pleads, and finally Sawyer agrees to stay in the Hatch and push the button for Locke.

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Sawyer toys with Jack.

Sawyer wakes up as the alarm sounds. Jack and Jin enter and find Sawyer near the computer. Jack asks Sawyer where Locke is but Sawyer brushes off his question. Jack then opens the gun vault, and finds that it is empty. Jack asks Sawyer where the guns are, and Sawyer suggests he call the police. Sawyer then throws Jack the bottle of meds that started this confrontation. Jack starts to take the bait, but Jin stops him.

Back at the beach, Locke sits apprehensively in front of a campfire. Jack approaches, and accuses Locke of breaking their agreement. Locke admits that he broke the agreement, and gives his reason: that there might be another accident. He then tells him the mistake he made by teaching Michael how to shoot, but Jack isn't inclined to listen. Just as things heat up, three warning shots are fired into the air -- to everyone's alarm. Sawyer emerges from the shadows with a rifle over his shoulder, to Jack and Locke's surprise. It is now apparent that Sawyer conned both Jack and Locke into giving him the weapons, as well as conning Kate. Sawyer then gives the following speech to the entire group.


"There's a new sheriff in town."

"How 'bout you listen up, because I'm only going to say this once. You took my stuff. While I was off trying to get us help, get us rescued, you found my stash and you took it. Divvied it up; my shaving cream, my batteries, even my beer. And then something else happened. You decided these two boys here were going to tell you what to do and when to do it. Well, I'm done taking orders. And I don't want my stuff back. Shaving cream don't matter; batteries don't matter. The only thing that matters now are guns. And if you want one, you're going to have to come to me to get it. There's a new sheriff in town, boys. Y'all best get used to it."

Later on, Sawyer sits on the beach, polishing his rifle. Kate walks up and asks how he accomplished getting the guns from Locke's hiding spot while he was in the Hatch pushing the button, but Sawyer isn't talking. Kate now knows that he played her all along, and thinks that he had something to do with Sun's abduction. Setting aside the how for a moment, Kate turns to the why. She doesn't believe it's got anything to do with revenge, or power.


Sayid and Hurley listening to the music

Kate thinks Sawyer just wants people to hate him. Sawyer reminds her that a tiger doesn't change its stripes. She runs, he cons.

Back at the campfire, Hurley is reading a manuscript called Bad Twin. Sayid walks up with the radio and a pole. Together, they tune it past Danielle's transmission, and find a clear signal from a classic jazz station. Sayid tells Hurley that, because signals from that frequency bounce off the ionosphere, the music could be coming from anywhere. Hurley responds, "Or any time... just kidding, dude."


Sawyer offers Charlie a Virgin Mary statue.

In the Jungle, Charlie approaches Sawyer. It is revealed that Charlie followed Locke and told Sawyer the guns' hiding place. Sawyer offers Charlie one of the Virgin Mary statues, but Charlie declines. If he'd wanted one, he'd have taken it himself from Locke's stash before he told Sawyer where it was. Charlie only participated in this con to make Locke look and feel like a fool. He also wants to be certain that Sawyer will never tell Sun that it was Charlie who attacked her in the Jungle. Sawyer agrees.

Charlie does have one question, however: What made Sawyer plan this out? Sawyer replies, "I'm not a good person, Charlie. Never did a good thing in my life."


  • The call sign of the radio station Hurley and Sayid find is WXR.
  • As Sayid and Hurley sit on the beach tuning the radio, at timeframe 39:27, a spark can be seen flying up from the fire and hitting Hurley just above the upper lip.
  • When Sayid approached Hurley with the radio he had modified, Hurley was reading the manuscript Bad Twin by Gary Troup. Gary Troup was the man who was sucked into the airplane turbine engine shortly after the crash. ("Pilot, Part 1")
  • Kate's mother Diane was briefly seen as the waitress when Sawyer and Gordy ordered their food.
    • This was Diane's only appearance outside a Kate-centric episode.
  • In "Outlaws", Sawyer drank during "I Never" to confirm that he has worn pink. In his flashback, he put on a pink shirt after sleeping with Cassidy.
  • When Jack asked John for the combination, John said: "I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're asking me because you're worried I might fall off a cliff or something." This foreshadowed Jack kicking the Man in Black (disguised as John) off a cliff during their fight in "The End".

Production notes[]

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • Consecutive flashbacks, possibly in the name of misdirection, replay a scene with several changes. In the first, Sawyer tells Cassidy to "Go, go, go." She leaves him, almost running. Sawyer then turns around with a scared expression. In the flashback revisiting the scene, Sawyer says "Now go." His hands are now on Cassidy's face. Cassidy turns to her right now, and leaves walking away. Sawyer turns around, but with no scared expression.
  • Jack clearly says "Jack" to John before asking for the combination. This was fixed in the Season 2 DVD.


Recurring themes[]

  • Kate's mother is at Sawyer's diner. (Character connections)
  • Sawyer cons both the survivors on-island and Cassidy and various others off-island. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Sawyer tells Charlie that he is "not a good person." (Good and bad people)
  • Sawyer tricks Locke into moving the guns so that he would be able to get the guns (with help from Charlie) where he can fool everyone. (Deception and cons)
  • Sawyer's pills have a theme of black and white. (Black and white)
  • Sawyer lied to Kate about him knowing anything about what happened to Sun, where this would make him tell Locke about Jack coming and moving the guns. (Deceptions and cons)  (Secrets)
  • In Sawyer's flashbacks he mentions to Cassidy that if he does not give Gordy $600,000 he would kill them both. (Life and death)
  • After Sawyer tells Cassidy the truth, that she was the long con, he then says he would take that sacrifice to help her by using her money to help them both out. (Redemption)  (Sacrifice)
  • Sawyer kept the secret of Cassidy being the long con from her. (Secrets)
  • Jack did not tell Locke about looking for the guns to take revenge on the Others. (Secrets)
  • Sawyer nicknamed Locke "Hoss", Jack "El Jacko", Ana Lucia "Ana Lulu", Sun "Tokyo Rose", Kate "Sheena" and Cassidy "Dimples." (Nicknames)
  • Cassidy helps Sawyer con the two men at the gas station into buying the junk jewelry the same way Kate helps Cassidy in "Left Behind" out of a failed con. (Character connection)
  • Sun is attacked in her garden after it begins to rain. (Rain)
  • Charlie faked the failed kidnapping of Sun at the request of Sawyer, and told him that she should never know. (Secrets)
  • Charlie helped Sawyer in order to get revenge on Locke. (Revenge)
  • Sayid corrects Hurley who mistakenly refers to the Nigerian plane as a Norwegian plane. (Black and white)

Cultural references[]

  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge: One of the books Locke is looking at while alphabetizing them in the Hatch is this Civil War-era short story written by Ambrose Bierce (1890). The story is famous for its unreliable narrator, irregular time sequence, and twist ending. (Literary works)
    • The Twilight Zone: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge was made into a short film that was featured as an episode of this television series (1964). (Movies and TV)
  • Donkey Kong: Sawyer says he is "this close to the high score on Donkey Kong." This is a Nintendo video game that was released in 1981. (Games)
  • Tokyo Rose: Sawyer calls Sun "Tokyo Rose." This was a generic name given by Allied forces in the South Pacific during World War II to any of approximately twenty English-speaking female broadcasters of Japanese propaganda. (History)
  • "Moonlight Serenade": Hurley and Sayid hear this song on the radio station, recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Miller, besides a musician, was also a U.S. Army Major. On December 15, 1944, Miller and two other officers traveled from London to Paris, and their plane simply disappeared. (Music)
  • "Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin'": This song by the Duke Ellington Orchestra was mentioned on the WXR broadcast. (Music)
  • "Coconut": When Sayid is cracking coconuts, Hurley references this song by Harry Nilsson (1971): "Hey, man. You gonna put the lime in the coconut, drink 'em both up? Lime in the coconut? The song?" (Music)
  • Sheena, Queen of the Jungle: Sawyer calls Kate "Sheena". Sheena is a jungle-dwelling comic book character, able to communicate with the wild animals. She was fiercely proficient in fighting with knives, spears, and bows, and improvised with makeshift weapons. She appeared in her own television series (1955–1956). (Movies and TV)
  • Bonanza: Sawyer calls Locke "Hoss." Eric "Hoss" Cartwright was a big man, the warm and lovable middle son of Ben Cartwright in this cowboy television show that aired from 1959 to 1973. (Movies and TV)
  • Bad Twin: Hurley finds and is seen reading the transcript for this book, written by the metafictional character Gary Troup. (Literary works)

Literary techniques[]

  • It appears as though Sun is kidnapped in her garden by the Others. It is then revealed that Charlie had faked the kidnapping as part of an elaborate con by Sawyer to get hold of the guns. (Plot twist)
  • When Sayid picks up the radio waves he says they can be "from anywhere" to which Hurley replies "or any time." It was later confirmed by the directors that the radio wave was from the past. (Foreshadowing)
  • Cassidy asks Sawyer to show her how to do a "long con" but it turns out that she was the long con. (Irony)
  • Sawyer suggests that he and Cassidy should find an Island and sit on a beach drinking. (Irony)

Storyline analysis[]

  • The rivalry between Jack and Locke escalates when Locke hides the guns. (Rivalries)
  • Charlie helps Sawyer in his plan to take control of the guns in order to make Locke look like a fool. (Rivalries)
  • Sawyer plots a way to get hold of the guns after Jack raided his stash while he was on the raft. (Rivalries)
  • Sawyer cons Cassidy out of $600,000. (Crimes)
  • Charlie kidnaps Sun. (Crimes)
  • Sawyer tells the rest of the group that they will have to ask him if they want a gun. (Economics)
  • Sawyer takes control of the guns and assumes a leadership role. (Leadership)

Episode connections[]

Episode references[]

  • Sayid and Hurley hear Rousseau's distress signal on the radio. ("Pilot, Part 2")
  • Jack corrects Ana Lucia that she means Steve, because Scott died. ("Homecoming")
  • Hurley mentions Bernard hearing Boone's transmission on the radio. ("Deus Ex Machina")  ("The Other 48 Days")
  • Sawyer is angry that his stash was raided while he was on the raft. ("Exodus, Part 2")
  • Locke says that they should hide the guns before there is another incident, referring to Shannon's death. ("Abandoned")
  • Locke feels guilty for teaching Michael how to shoot. ("The 23rd Psalm")
  • Locke refers to the confrontation with the Others in the jungle. Sawyer mentions Kate having a bag over her head. ("The Hunting Party")
  • Ana Lucia and Jack continue to discuss their army. ("The Hunting Party")
  • Charlie helps Sawyer to make Locke look like a fool, because Locke made him look like a fool. ("Fire + Water")

Episode allusions[]

  • Sawyer pretends to pull the same con routine on Cassidy as he successfully did on Jessica earlier. ("Confidence Man")
  • Kate states that both she and Sawyer know he doesn't know how to track. ("Outlaws")
  • Locke suggests to Jack that the reason Jack wants to know the combination to the gun vault is that Locke might, for example, fall off a cliff. Jack reminds him that there are a lot of cliffs on this Island. Locke saved Jack from falling off a cliff before. ("White Rabbit") Jack's response could also referencing Locke's lie about Boone "falling from a cliff", which is often seen as the starting point for their rivalry. ("Deus Ex Machina")