Season 6, Episode 8:
ReconAt Claire's camp in the jungle, Sawyer makes tea and waits for the Man in Black to return. Jin wakes up and panics, trying to get away before Claire and "Locke" return, but Sawyer admits he's with the Man in Black and persuades Jin to stay, promising to help find Sun. The Man in Black returns, along with Claire, Sayid, Kate and the others who left the Temple before its destruction.
James Ford finishes getting giggety with a lady, Ava, in a shabby hotel room. As they're cuddling, Ava notices the time and reminds James that he's late for a meeting. While dressing and rushing out, his suitcase opens and wads of cash, dozens of them, fall onto the floor. Ava sheepishly tells Ava that "you weren't exactly supposed to see that." However, while James explains that it's for a business deal, Ava pulls a gun and demands the money: she saw the scam coming a mile away, on account of being married to a conman. James claims the whole thing was a setup to get to Ava's husband and that the cops are listening in, waiting for his signal—a prearranged codeword—to storm the room. Ava doesn't believe him, so James says "La Fluer" and LAPD officers storm in, led by Detective Miles Straume, who tosses a badge to James, his partner.
In her tent, Claire tends to the squirrel-baby; Kate watches, and begins to realise how crazy Claire has become. Outside, the Man in Black announces to his "recruits" that they'll need to continue marching, and once they reach their destination, he'll answer any questions. Cindy, the stewardess-turned-Other, asks what happened to the people left behind at the Temple, and the Man in Black replies that the Smoke Monster killed them. When the children, Zach and Emma, take this news badly, the Man in Black consoles them, before giving the order to "move out". As they leave, Sawyer asks Kate what happened to their friends and learns that most left the Temple before the attack. When Kate asks if he's with the Man in Black now, Sawyer answers that he "ain't with anybody".
At his desk in the police precinct, Detective James Ford is running down a list of names, all of them men called 'Anthony Cooper'. He hides this from Miles, and claims he was in Palm Springs on vacation the week before (rather than in Sydney, Australia). Miles has fixed James up on a date with a woman who works at the museum with his father and talks the reluctant James into going. When the talk turns back to James' trip, Miles senses some deception and encourages him to be honest, but James says he's got no reason to lie.
The Man in Black and his recruits march to a clearing where they're to make camp for a couple of days. This angers Sawyer, who thought they'd be getting off the Island immediately. The Man in Black asks to speak with Sawyer in private, slightly upset at having his authority questioned in front of the group. He admits to being the Smoke Monster, and tells Sawyer that he gave the Others a chance to leave peacefully before killing them. He leads Sawyer to an outrigger on the beach, within view of Hydra Island, and asks Sawyer to go on a mission: travel to the smaller island and do some recon on the Ajira plane and its passengers, which may be a threat to the recruits. That plane is the best chance of leaving the Island for good, and the Man in Black believes that Sawyer, the "best liar I've ever seen", is perfect for the job.
James shows up at a restaurant to meet his blind date: Charlotte Lewis. They hit it off, discussing her work as an archaeologist and how James became a cop.
Charlotte: Do me a favor, James, and don't treat me like all the other girls that ask you. Tell me the truth.
James: [reluctantly] Well... I guess I got to a point in my life where I was either going to become a criminal or a cop. So I chose cop.They go back to James' apartment and... *ehem* ...get caught in a net. Afterwards, Charlotte looks through James' drawers for a t-shirt and finds a file marked "Sawyer", containing photos of James' parents and news clippings about their deaths. When James sees her looking through the file, he flips out and orders Charlotte to leave.
Sawyer arrives on Hydra Island and wanders through the abandoned DHARMA station, stopping for a moment outside the empty bear cages before moving on. At the Man in Black's camp, Kate tries to talk to Sayid, but he's become almost completely zombie-like. Out of nowhere, Claire attacks Kate and tries to kill her while Sayid passively watches: she's only saved by the Man in Black's intervention. He brings Claire into line by hitting her in the face—which shocks Kate—and forcing her to apologise. On Hydra Island, Sawyer finds the Ajira plane, parked exactly where Lapidus landed it, as well as all the luggage and supplies strewn across the adjacent beach. He finds several trails in the sand left by something being dragged and follows them to a mass grave where the bodies of the remaining Ajira "survivors" have been piled up and left to rot. Something moves in the jungle and Sawyer is just in time to see a woman running away from the gravesite. He chases her down and, at gunpoint, asks who she is.
After a brief run-in with Liam Pace in the precinct foyer, James is dragged into the locker room and yelled at by Miles, who is incredibly pissed off. At first, James thinks it's about the Charlotte situation, but really Miles has discovered that James was in Australia during his vacation week, rather than Palm Springs like he claimed. Miles gives him another chance to come clean, but James snarls that it's none of Miles' business. After Miles decides they can't be partners anymore and storms out, James sees his reflection in a mirror and, angry, punches it.
Sawyer gives Zoe some water and asks about what happened to the other Ajira survivors. Zoe claims to have been out collecting wood when she heard screaming, and came back to find everyone else dead; she dragged them all into the jungle, rather than leave them out on the beach. Sawyer offers to take her back to the Island. In the jungle, Kate is sitting alone and crying when the Man in Black approaches. He apologises for Claire's behaviour and takes responsibility, since he was the one who told her that the Others had taken Aaron because he felt that she "needed something to hate" in order to survive on the Island. When Kate asks where Sawyer went, the Man in Black offers to show her. On Hydra Island, Zoe asks Sawyer a lot of questions, about the pilot, about the group of people he's with, about how well armed they are. It doesn't take Sawyer long to see through the con and pull a gun on her, but once caught, Zoe signals a group of armed note men and they take Sawyer captive. On the Island, the Man in Black takes Kate to the same beach he brought Sawyer. He tells Kate about Sawyer's mission, but that's only half the reason they're there: the Man in Black wants to talk.
The Man in Black: You referred to me as a dead man. I am not a dead man. I know what you're feeling, Kate. I know what you're going through.
Kate: And how do you know that?
The Man in Black: Because my mother was crazy. Long time ago, before I looked like this, I had a mother, just like everyone. She was a very disturbed woman. And as a result of that, I had some growing pains. Problems that I'm still trying to work my way through. Problems that could have been avoided had things been different.
Kate: Why are you telling me this?
The Man in Black: Because now, Aaron has a crazy mother too.On Hydra Island,
James drinks beer, eats his microwave dinner and watches an episode of Little House on the Prairie note . It moves him to take a six pack of beer and a sunflower over to Charlotte's apartment and try to apologise, but she's not hearing a word of it and tells James that he "blew it" before shutting the door in his face. James leaves the sunflower at her door and leaves.
Sawyer descends into the submarine and is led by Zoe to the boss' private office, though on the way he notices a door with two padlocks and an armed guard on it. In the office, Sawyer meets Charles Widmore face-to-face for the first time. After some antagonistic chit-chat, Sawyer admits that he was sent on a recon mission by "John Locke", though Widmore already knows who he's really talking about. Sawyer offers a deal: he'll tell the Man in Black the coast is clear and lead him into Widmore's trap, in exchange for the "recruits" getting safe passage off the Island. Widmore agrees. On the Island, Kate is returning to the camp when she runs into Claire, who apologises for attacking her earlier and thanks Kate for taking care of Aaron. On the beach, Sawyer returns in an outrigger and is met by the Man in Black, who admits the mission was really about scouting Widmore's defences. Sawyer lays out everything he heard and saw, claiming his real plan is to help the Man in Black to outmanoeuvre Widmore.
James shows up outside Miles' apartment building and, in James' car, he finally comes clean about how his parents died and how his hunt for "Sawyer" led James to Australia and to the name "Anthony Cooper". Just then, another car crashes into them and someone jumps out, trying to escape on foot. James and Miles give chase and manage to catch the perp, only for James to realise he's seen this person before: it's Kate.
That night, Sawyer and Kate sit by the fire in the Man in Black's camp. Kate asks why he'd willingly help the Man in Black, but Sawyer reveals that he's been conning everyone: his plan is to let Widmore and the Man in Black fight it out, and while they're distracted, he's going to commandeer the submarine and leave the Island for good.