Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Episode 5.11: "Whatever happened, happened"

OK, to me, this episode means we've had two relative dud episodes in a row. I say "relative" because even when it's a little iffy, Lost is still way better than watching Gray's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives or any other show that does not feature time travel and monsters made of smoke. But to me, Season 5 started out awesome – like Season One awesome – and now halfway through, Season 5 is starting to feel a lot like the beginning of Season 3. You know, back when there was a lot of sitting around in cages or the porches of the Barracks eating sandwiches and wasting time with plots that weren't central to the island's mythology. But, I'm sure it'll turn around in the next episode, especially since that appears to be Ben-focused and not Kate-focused. But more on that later. For now, let's get into the details of tonight's episode:

JIN SAVES YOUNG BEN: I'm not sure why Jin does this, or why anybody is so eager to help Ben out this episode. Also, it's unclear whether or not Jin is lying when he tells them which way Sayid escaped to.

ROGER CHECKS KATE OUT: So, Ben's dad flirts with Kate, which was kind of funny. The term "wench" is thrown around, but surprisingly not referring to Kate. Roger doesn't seem to realize that his keys are missing yet, even though it's his van that's smashed into the side of the house. Hmm. I guess Kate's half-hearted smiles are too distracting. Kate should be nice to Roger, though, because he's one of the few options she has left on the island, now that Sawyer and Jack are off the table.

KATE VISITS CASSIDY: It was nice to see Sawyer's former love interest again, although her scenes were some of my least favorite of the episode because they just didn't ring true. First, she tells Kate that Sawyer jumped from the helicopter because he couldn't imagine living a normal life with Kate off the island. He couldn't commit. That sounded preposterous to me, but Sawyer later confirmed it was true when Kate asked him about it. Writing-wise, that logic seems a little off, but even more unbelievable is when Cassidy later says that Kate needed to take baby Aaron because Sawyer broke her heart. Um, what? How did Sawyer do that? Kate had her chance to live with Sawyer in a yellow Dharma house back in Season 3 and she ditched him to go back to the beach. And also, she DID need to save Aaron, because Claire freaking disappeared. What else should she have done? Left him there?

KATE IS DUMB, THOUGH: Why did Kate walk over to see Sawyer in the observation room? She's a terrible undercover Dharma Lostie. Sawyer was quick on his feet to come up with an excuse for her being there, but as they left, it really looked like Dharma Phil was onto them, furrowing his giant eyebrows. My guess is that he's going to tell Horace that he saw Jack meet up with Sawyer the night before the flaming van attack.

HURLEY AND MILES ARE JUST AS CONFUSED AS WE ARE: I liked Hurley and Miles's open discussion of time travel, even though it felt a little bit like the writers were trying hard to clear a few points up for us. I kept expecting Miles to pull out a white dry erase board and start drawing diagrams, UPS commercial-style. I also thought for a minute that Miles was going to get shot by Hurley, but only because Miles is so deadpan it was hard to tell he was kidding when he asked Hurley to shoot him. Death by deadpan. Not a good way to go. Anyway, at the end of their debate, Hurley brings up a good question and one we've talked about before on this blog: Wouldn't Ben have recognized Sayid as the guy who shot him as a kid? My first thought was, yeah, Ben remembered Sayid, that's why he shot Sayid a nasty look back in the episode "One of Them" after they first met, and why Ben later tricked Sayid into becoming his hitman. Maybe Ben even had Sayid's girlfriend Nadia killed as revenge. However, I think what happened at the end of tonight's episode with Richard makes that theory irrelevant. Because Richard claims that after he heals Ben, Ben will "forget this ever happened". Hmm. If that's why Ben doesn't remember Sayid, it's kind of lamely convenient for the writers. Like how C3-P0 conveniently had his memory erased by Bail Organa at the end of Episode III, so George Lucas wouldn't have to explain why C3-P0 can't remember that Darth Vader invented him. Nerd Alert!

JACK REFUSES TO HELP BEN: Jack is a real jerk lately. Although, I didn't blame him at first, Ben is not super nice or anything. He says he doesn't feel like saving Ben twice, but we soon found out the real reason Jack doesn't help young Ben. He's still mad at Kate for leaving with Sawyer after he helped Ben the first time. This is another example of the recent confusing character motivation by the writers. Dudes, I don't care about this relational drama stuff. Get back to the time traveling bunnies. Or, when in doubt, WRITE ABOUT THE MONSTER ON THE ISLAND. But spare us Jack's hurt feelings. C'mon. "You didn't like the old me, Kate," says Jack. Well, that's true. I'm glad you finally realized it, Jack. But maybe if you didn't always sound like you were out of breath every time you spoke, whine constantly and make bad decisions you would get more girlfriends, buddy.

THE CREEPY CLAIRE IMPERSONATOR: I have to say I was amazed that for a minute it appeared the writers actually went with my 'Kate loses Aaron in a store' angle. If you remember, on my old poll "Where is Aaron?", one option was "Kate lost him in the mall while shopping at Wet Seal." So I was kinda close. Kate checks her phone for one second and then Aaron is gone. She finds him with the grossest Claire clone I've ever seen. Kind of like a Spitting Image puppet version of Claire. Whoever she was, that lady was clearly headed for the door with Aaron. I'm going to have to guess this was one of Widmore's people, dressing in a Claire wig and trying to get Aaron because he's "special". Maybe somehow Widmore knew that Ben wanted Aaron on the island and wanted to find out why.

SAWYER HELPS KATE: But he makes it clear that he's doing it for Juliet, which I thought was classy. Sawyer is certainly taking over the hero role on the show lately. He even admits that he's grown up a lot in the last few years, which is nice, but once again I'd like to remind the writers that I'm watching Lost because I don't like shows like Gray's Anatomy and can we please get back to some sci-fi Awesomeness and explosions and stuff? Please?

JULIET DOES NOT RESPECT JACK'S PRIVATE TIME: Juliet's so angry she bursts in on Jack in the shower, in yet another whiny relationship scene. She yells at him and accuses him of coming back for himself, adding that she and Sawyer didn't even need saving. To Jack's defense, he did think that he left his friends stranded on an island with a monster on it, and Locke did come to him claiming that "horrible things happened" because Jack left. So, I think Jack was only right to assume he was coming back to save everybody. Also, Juliet and Sawyer can't keep saying that their happy life was interrupted in Dharmaville. I mean, they know that all of the Dharma folks are going to die in the Purge, so they can't stay there forever. And if they didn't want to see Jack and Kate again, all they had to do is take a sub to Tahiti and live out the rest of their days in the Seventies. In Tahiti. So I don't feel too sorry for them.

KATE GOES TO CLAIRE'S MOM: Ok, so if you're Kate and you JUST lost Aaron in the grocery store... why would you leave him two doors down in a hotel room by himself while you talk to Claire's mom? I mean, maybe Kate just sucks at being a mom. She also sucks at defending her actions to Carole Littleton. Why didn't Kate just tell her that people were trying to kill them on the island and that she HAD to lie to protect the lives of people on the island, including Claire? Kate also claims Claire is still alive, and that she's going back to the island to find her. So, I'm not sure how Kate is so sure that Claire's alive, but at least now we know that's Kate's reason for going back. Although, so far on the island Kate's been doing more time pouting in Sawyer's direction than looking for Claire in the woods. Also, THIS is what Kate can't tell Jack? "Never ask me that question again," she even says. Um, it's an easy answer. He's with his grandma.

RICHARD'S GOING TO DO WHAT TO BEN, EXACTLY? So, Richard comes out of the woods and says he can help Ben, but that Ben will forget this ever happened and his "innocence will be gone". Um, what? What are you taking this boy off in the woods to do, exactly, Richard? Since Sawyer and Kate were there for the well-being of young Ben, they might have asked for a few more details after that cryptic statement. As Richard's walking away, some Other guy with an oddly deep voice tells Richard that "Charles and Elly" will be upset. I'm assuming this refers to Charles Widmore and young Eloise Hawking, who are now possibly a couple and leading the Others. Richard responds by saying he doesn't answer to either of them. So what is Richard's role exactly? Curious. Richard takes Ben into the temple (that has a Land of the Lost style door in it) and somehow makes Ben evil.

WHATEVER HAPPENED, HAPPENED: So, one thing that is interesting about this episode: Jack decides not to save Ben's life a second time and doesn't intervene. "I'm always trying to fix things, but maybe I've just been getting in the way," Jack says. But in stepping aside this time, he forces Kate and Sawyer to look elsewhere for help, which in the end causes Ben to "lose his innocence" and become evil. If Jack had helped young Ben, then maybe Ben and his Dad would have patched things up (they both seemed headed that way by the end of the episode, before Richard came along). Ben would have had to confess to helping Sayid, and he would have to come to terms with life in the Dharma Initiative, maybe putting his fascination with the Others behind him as his relationship with his Dad improved. But this didn't happen. What did happen – and what ALWAYS has happened, apparently – is that Jack refused to help him and so Richard stepped in, corrupting young Ben further and pushing him past the point of no return. We know that young Ben rejoins Dharma after this (because he's much older when he pulls the gas canister out on his Dad) but I'm betting that when he returns from his time in the temple that he'll claim not to remember anything, but be full of evil plans of revenge.

LOCKE GETS ONE LINE THIS EPISODE: But it's a good one: "Welcome back to the land of the living". I have to say Ben looked surprised, so I'm guessing he didn't expect Locke to come back to life. I hope that's the case. I like to think Ben was just being evil when he choked Locke. For some reason.

PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK: Ok, the preview for the next episode looked very promising. First, it's a Ben episode, which is a step in the right direction. We see Ben on his cot, defensively telling Locke that he came back to the island to be judged. Huh? By the smoke monster? Or by the Others? For now, I'm going to guess that Ben's lying. The whole judgment thing is pretty much the perfect way to keep Locke from punching him in the face, so I think he's just stalling and making stuff up. But who knows, maybe he did come back for judgment. He also claims to have "broken the rules", so hopefully we'll learn more about what the heck that means. Next, we see him on the beach holding a water bottle, which I'm guessing could be the same water bottle that Juliet found in the outriggers back in the episode "The Little Prince". So maybe we'll learn who was manning the outrigger that shot at the Losties in that episode. My guess is Ilana and Ceasar were in the boat, shooting with his new gun he found in the Dharma station. Next, there's a brief shot in the preview that shows Ben on a dock with a gun pointed at someone, yelling "Not another word!" So, I guess we'll learn if it was Penny and Desmond he attacked on the docks and how he got so beat up before Flight 316 took off, which is nice. There's also some shots of Ben walking through what looks like the temple and a brief moment where we see Ben talking to Danielle, so I'm guessing that this is taking place sometime before the Losties got on the island, maybe back before The Purge happened and he's still an Other-in-training or something. Will we see Ben take Danielle's Baby? There's a brief shot of Ilana hitting someone (not with a boot this time) and then the final shot is Ben in front of the jungle (looks like the same place that Sun and Frank were on the dock) and Ben says: "What's about to come out of the jungle is something I can't control." Awesome. I predict a great episode. Because there's already guaranteed monsters, temples, jungles, and hitting. And because Ben is not caught in a love quadrangle. There are six episodes left this season. The next episode is called "Dead is Dead." Ben better not get killed.


Anonymous said...

Awesome blog post on an okay episode! I you rock big time!!! Thanks for doing this!!!

Zach said...

I'm still wrestling with this "what happened happened" thing - which is why time travel is so suspect in my book.

I think the whole "innocence" thing - when not being made gross by you - supports the knowledge-of-good-and-evil-this-might-be-Eden theory.

I still think this episode was better than last week's dud - maybe even just for Hurley's expository chat with Miles. Back to the Future, Dude.

Anonymous said...

hey, wes! it's coulter. i just have to tell you that this blog rocks. i watch LOST on thursday nights via internet and immediately read this blog as soon as the episode ends each week. it explains all the confusing plot stuff that i don't pay enough attention to because, let's be honest here, i'm basically in it for the hotties. just kidding!


Wes W. said...

I heard in Season 6 all the dudes shirts were going to go back in time.

Erin said...

Scary Claire was so so scary! But my first thought was that she was working for Ben.
Sawyer didn't break Kate's heart! She broke his heart. When he said he loved her back awhile ago she did not reciprocate. And she got engaged to Jack! Love Cassidy, but she's not a psychic friend. Let's not rewrite the story.

Jerry said...

Kate is a wench, and the device on the Jeep is a winch. These things can me easily confused.