LOST OBSERVATIONS: 1.08 Confidence Man

Lost Observations 1.08 Confidence Man

Welcome to LOST Observations: your guide through the clues and easter eggs scattered throughout ABC’s LOST. This time we’ll flash back to the first Sawyer-centric episode, “Confidence Man”.

Major plot spoilers for Seasons 1-6 ahead!

Confidence Man tells the backstory of James Ford and the man he used to be before crashing on the island. For the first time the flashback story does not involve the character’s journey to flight 815, but goes back to the character at another point in his life instead. There’s various cons and deceptions going on on the island as well. While Sawyer endures torture to con Kate into kissing him, Charlie tries to get Claire to move to the caves with him.

I became Sawyer.


LOST OBSERVATIONS: 1.08 Confidence Man

  • The first flashback scene is very similar to the one from The Long Con, except for the fact that Sawyer’s “Oops, my suitcase full of cash just fell open!” trick doesn’t work as well in the latter episode. Funnily enough, Sawyer ends up with more money after pulling a “long con” on Cassidy. But we’ll get to that later.
  • From Confidence Man:

SAWYER: What do you want, right now?
JESS: How could I want anything else? […] Oh, uh-oh, baby. I thought you had a meeting.
SAWYER: Yeah, but it’s not until 3:30.
JESS: Baby, it’s 3:28.
SAWYER: Damn it. [suitcase flies open] You weren’t exactly supposed to see that.

  • From The Long Con

SAWYER: What do you want, right now?
CASSIDY: Just you.
SAWYER: Oh, damn it!
CASSIDY: What is it?
SAWYER: I’m going to be late to that meeting I told you about. [suitcase flies open] You weren’t exactly supposed to see that.
CASSIDY: Are you serious? You just happen to have a suitcase full of cash? And you go to pick it up and then the lock just happens to break?


LOST OBSERVATIONS: 1.08 Confidence Man

  • Seeing Sawyer read his book, Watership Down, leads Boone to believe Sawyer has his suitcase (including Shannon’s inhaler refills) and is hiding it from the rest of the survivors. But as it turns out, Sawyer found the book washed ashore and doesn’t have the suitcase at all. So what happened to Shannon’s refills?
  • At the LOST 2009 Comic-Con panel, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) showed up as surprise guest to ask this same question. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were interrupted by the appearance of Michael Emerson (Ben) before they could answer. Probably as an inside joke, we finally got an answer to the early mystery in the Season 6 episode Lighthouse. As it turned out, the inhaler was near the entrance of the caves the entire time.
  • The writers originally intended to have Nikki and Paulo find the inhaler in Exposé.

LOST OBSERVATIONS: 1.08 Confidence Man

  • On and off the island, James Ford pretends to be “Sawyer”, a man that’s ruined the life of a child and possibly countless others, going as far as to endure torture. He gives Kate the letter he wrote as a kid and acts like it was written to him.
  • As revealed in The Incident, Jacob gave young James a pen to write the letter to Mr. Sawyer. James doesn’t remember this, but as the Man In Black described it, Jacob was “pushing [him] to the island”. I guess Jacob is all about subtlety.
  • Either by circumstance or by choice – depending on your point of view – James became the man he was hunting at age 19, when he owed some guys money and conned a “dumb” couple into giving him money to be able to pay them back. He embraced this new life as a con man, changed his name to Sawyer and dedicated his life to finding the man that ruined his life and killing him.
  • As shown at the end of this episode, there’s one important difference between James Ford and the “real Sawyer”: James cannot take the money of parents, like the original Sawyer had done to his. In this regard, James is similar to Ben Linus, who backed down from hurting mothers (Danielle Rousseau, Penelope Widmore), having grown up without a mother himself.
  • In The Brig, James finally gets to confront the original Sawyer, who turns out to be Locke’s father. Going by the name of “Anthony Cooper”, he had conned Locke into giving him a kidney, among other things. Cooper never fully reads the letter that was written to him, but tears it up instead, before being strangled to death with a chain by James.

LOST OBSERVATIONS: 1.08 Confidence Man

  • This episode shows Sawyer smoking a cigarette for the last time. He probably ran out, or decided to quit.
  • Jack holds his shoulder in pain after punching Sawyer. This is because he dislocated his shoulder in the previous episode, The Moth.
  • Jack tells Kate “We’re not savages, Kate. Not yet.” This line is mirrored by Goodwin in The Other 48 Days. Ana-Lucia responds with “If I were a savage, I would have cut off [Nathan’s] finger already. That’s tomorrow.” Luckily for Nathan, it never went that far (although he did get his neck snapped by Goodwin). The survivors of 815 were actually surprisingly civilized by the end of the show! It doesn’t always end the same.
  • Locke tells Sayid he suspects Sawyer of hitting him and destroying the equipment, while he himself was behind the attack. Did Locke feel that offended by Sawyer’s comment about his knives, or does he really just not care about who he has to “sacrifice” for “the island”?
  • Hurley feels offended by Charlie when he suggests Hurley is keeping food to himself. This is, however, exactly what he will do with the food from the Swan hatch after its discovery.
  • Even when being tied to a tree in the jungle of mystery and being tortured by a spinal surgeon and a genuine Iraqi, Sawyer feels like he’s in a position to make deals. He will tell where the inhalers are, but only to Kate, and only if she gives him a kiss. On the other side of camp, Charlie cuts a more innocent deal with Claire to get her to the caves, on the condition that he brings her peanut butter. Unlike Kate, Claire can appreciate the deception.
  • Sawyer tells Jack to “let (him) go”, because he has nothing left to live for after kissing Kate. In the final moments of the show, Jack lets go of his own life after being reunited with Kate and the other survivors. Later in this episode, Sawyer decides against burning the letter to Sawyer, still holding on to his mission to find him.

Look deeper into the Eye of the Island with more LOST Observations

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  1. Rosie says

    I find it sad that Sawyer was unwilling to overcome his desire for revenge against a man who merely cheated his parents and slept with his mother. Yet, it was Mr. Ford’s greed that allowed Anthony Cooper to easily con him. And it was Mr. Ford who committed the bigger crime of murder.

    I find it equally pathetic that Sawyer had to commit murder in order to let go of his childhood demons. But then again, Sawyer was always a vindictive ass.

    Like: Thumb up 0

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