Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LOST Episode 6.03: "What Kate Does"

Aka "Why Kate Sucks".

...although despite all the Kate focus, it was still a pretty good episode. Not without flaws, but way better than any other show ABC tries desperately to convince us to watch during each Lost commercial break. (Like the promo for The Forgotten this week were they show they've cast Alex and Bernard in tonight's episode. Heads up, ABC: Nobody watches Lost for Alex and Bernard.) Now, let's get into the details.

First, on the island:

THE LENNON & DOGEN COMEDY HOUR: So, this episode starts abruptly with the flapping sounds of Lennon's bare feet running through the temple halls towards Dogen, who's sequestered himself away, deep in the temple, doing what he loves best—typing random letters onto an old typewriter with one finger. Maybe he's writing the Others' Christmas letter? I have to say, I like how Lost adds new characters every season but this time they're pushing it a bit. I'm sure in a few weeks I'll come around and I'll be posting how awesome both of these new characters are. (And they're way better than the duo of Justin and Aldo we meet later this episode, who made the Others seem like a lame, whiny fraternity. Anybody shocked they got killed?) Lennon and Dogen are surprised to find out Sayid's alive, maybe because they drowned him to him to death pretty thoroughly with a timer last week.

SAYID IS "INFECTED" AND "CLAIMED": Ok, so I guessed in my last post that whatever happened to Sayid is what happened to young Ben last season. But now I'm not as sure. Instead, it looks like we're finally getting insight into what the all the quarantine & infection talk was about in Season 2. I'm guessing it some kind of smoke monster infection...? Miles seemed to sense something was up, and was concerned that Sayid didn't glimpse anything in the afterlife. I'm assuming the other dead bodies he talks to tell him a little more. The writers also snuck in a joke about zombies, which was nice, because they've always joked that if ABC makes them do another season of Lost, it will be a zombie season. Which I personally would like to see.

SAWYER LEAVES: Sawyer escapes right off the bat, fearing a repeat of the slow, prolonged capture by the Others that we all endured at the beginning of Season 3. (Remember how many times Sawyer and Kate got put in and out of those polar bear cages? Felt like eternity.) He looks directly at Kate and says "don't come after me" but he might as well as said "I like pie" because she was going to follow him no matter what.

KATE FOLLOWS: So, in seconds she convinces the Others to let her go after Sawyer. At this point, I'm not sure why the Others care where Sawyer went (Jacob's list, I guess) or why they would want Kate to go after him. I can only assume they were glad to let her go after that "I can be very convincing" line. I was also confused as to why she couldn't give Sawyer a break. He's been trying to ditch her ever since she got back on the island, but whenever he turns around she's there pouting in his face. My wife and I figured out early on that Kate was hoping to find Claire, but I think she was also secretly hoping to score some Sawyer smooching on the side.

SAWYER BOUGHT A RING: So, in another attempt to clue Kate in and get her off his back, Sawyer says he was about to ask Juliet to marry him. He even bought a ring. Where did he get that thing? Is there a Zales Hatch on the island? Did he take the submarine into town one weekend to pick out a ring? This also begs the question: Did Sawyer and Juliet ever leave the island in the 70s on that sub? I'm assuming no, but I would have at least gone once to see Star Wars on its original opening night. Anyway, Sawyer cries, then chunks three months of Dharma wages into the bay. Next season, Zombie Juilet will rise out of the water with the ring on her finger and eat Kate's brain.

SAYID GETS TORTURED: Dogen goes all Sayid on Sayid with some ash, some jumper cables, and a scalding iron. I'm not sure what he expected to happen or how Sayid failed the test. Because if you did that to me, I would also scream and yell "please stop," and I haven't even been near the murky water fountain. Whatever Dogen was watching for, I'm assuming this is exactly what Rousseau was testing for way back in Season One when she also tortured Sayid with electric current (in the episode "Solitary.")

SPEAKING OF ROUSSEAU, OR TRAPS THAT AREN'T ROUSSEAU'S: Meanwhile, Kate, Jin and the Others Brothers argue on their way through the woods. Aldo makes some lame jokes and suddenly they see some traps hanging around them. Jin says they must be Rousseau's and Justin points out that she's been dead for a while (since 2004, technically.) He starts to say that this trap belongs to someone else, and I think we all know now that he means Claire. Which is pretty shocking, to say the least.

THE POISONED PILL: Dogen tries to get Jack to give Sayid a suspicious pill by appealing, wisely, to Jack's huge guilt complex. Because apparently the pill, in true Jacob fashion, only works if powered by free will and Jack must convince Sayid to take it. Dogen's manipulation of Jack made me wonder if Dogen and Ben ever hung out or if they liked each other. They're both Others, but It's hard to imagine them getting along. I'm pretty sure Ben would have cut someone else's hand besides his own to test the healing waters. Maybe Ben lead a separate Others faction that decided to live away from the temple in the modern day barracks and hold book clubs? Anyway, Jack talks to Sayid about the pill, then comes back in Dogen's room and they sit and chat for a bit. This time, instead of a typewriter or a bunch of Mr. Myagi plants, Dogen is playing with a baseball. I guess he's one of those prop comics? Or maybe he's a big baseball fan and was the one that Ben filmed the Boston Red Sox game for back in Season 3. Jack tries valiantly to get some answers for us about who the Others are by asking Dogen if he lived on the island all his life. Dogen says he was brought to the island, just like Jack. I'm guessing by Jacob? So, was everyone brought there? My guess is that Jacob and the Man in Black have both constantly been bringing people to the island in order to wage what ever battle they're waging. Which brings me to the next question:

ARE THE OTHERS GOOD OR BAD? I can't believe it's season 6 and I still don't know who the bad guys are. Remember in season 2 at the end when Ben claimed the Others were the good guys? That sounded creepy and like a cult or something but now we know they work with Jacob, and he seems pretty decent. So are they good? And what's up with all the killing and baby-grabbing they did in Seasons One and Two? Or the whole thing where they were trying to get Locke to kill his dad? I'm wondering now if Jacob has been away from them for a while and under Ben and Widmore's leadership the Others became more corrupt and evil? We know Ben wasn't talking to Jacob, and can probably assume he was manipulating the Others into doing whatever he wanted them to do instead. Maybe the Others were supposed to be good and that's why Jacob angrily said "What about you?" to Ben inside the four-toed statue. Jacob was angry because Ben, on a power trip, misled his people for years. But I guess we'll have to see.

"BECAUSE IT HAPPENED TO YOUR SISTER": So in anger, Jack swallows the pill and Dogen responds by Judo-Heimliching it out of his mouth. The Others are apparently so concerned about the infection that they were going to kill Sayid to stop it from spreading. They offer Jack some tea (which he finds hilarious) and then Dogen tells him that Sayid has been "claimed" by a darkness growing in him that's trying to reach his heart. And they know this because "it happened to your sister." This brings up a ton of questions. How did they know and why did they care that Claire was Jack's sister? Because of Christian Shepard being on the island? And is Christian a part of the smoke monster? (I'm assuming yes.) And how did Claire get "claimed?" Was she actually dead when that grenade launcher blew up her Dharma house in Season 4 during the freighter people's attack? I'm assuming maybe so, and then Smokey brought her back to life. I'm really interested to see more of Claire's story. And to find out if she really is evil or not. Evil Claire? Creepy. (Also, side note: Is Claire's face bigger this year? I think maybe so, but I'm not sure why. I'm certainly not one to talk, however, because those who've observed me over time witness that my massive head enlarges about 20% every year.)

So, now let's talk about the Kate-centric Flash Sideways. Here's what I noticed:

KATE MAKES A FRIEND. Kate finds the only mechanic in town who thinks it's humorous to be held at gunpoint by a murderer. Ah, murderers. (chuckle.)

KATE STOLE SHAMU: Kate steals Claire's bag which has the stuff in it she was going to leave for Aaron after giving him up for adoption. Including a stuffed killer whale. I know we've seen that whale before. Was it in Aaron's home when Kate was raising him? Or in Claire's creepy nursery that the Others made for her?

KATE GOES BACK FOR CLAIRE: And finds her, somehow. Then, also amazingly, Claire gets in the taxi with her, even though she knows Kate has a gun and will point it at pregnant ladies. Claire, you're dumb. You know what else you could do? Call a real taxi. That moment definitely felt HIGHLY CONVENIENT for the writers. But I wanted to see the characters hang out so I could learn more about this alternate reality, so I was okay with it.

ADOPTIVE PARENTS SUCK: Or at least that's what all TV and movies seem to want you to think. Thanks, America, for being PC about every topic in the world except adoption. Bigamy? Sure, you can't judge people. But adoptive parents? Worst kind of people imaginable. (For the record, it's also not PC to make a character discovering being adopted the punchline to a joke. Think about it. Very rude to adopted kids and adoptive parents. Still happens regularly on sitcoms. I'm talking to you Parks & Rec and 30 Rock.) Sorry, pet peeve. Anyway, a lady who was so into adoption that she found a way to adopt from Australia (which I'm pretty sure is not open for international adoption, but my wife can fact check me on that) decides not only to abandon her plans, but also to skip the call to the agency or to Claire to let them know. MAYBE if your husband died in a terrible accident I can see losing your sanity briefly in despair and not even picking up the phone. But you would surely find a way to handle that situation if your husband simply left you. You would make the call. Anyway, I was surprised by this because I really thought we were going to see Aaron get adopted and that his new parents would name him... JACOB. But that's another theory for another time. And it could maybe still happen.

CLAIRE GOES INTO LABOR: Also as I predicted last post, things are starting to happen that echo events we've already seen occur on the island in the original timeline. Kate was the one with Claire when Aaron was born on the island, and now we see Kate with Claire as the baby is almost born early in the alternate timeline. And who is there to help?

ETHAN GOODSPEED, M.D. Oh, creepy Ethan. Is there anything horrible your face can't insinuate? Even while being nice and sweet, Ethan manages to retain his "portrait of a serial killer" glow. One line of interest: "I don't want to poke you with needles if I don't have to." Remember my theory from my last post that THIS is the real timeline, and what happens on the island is the version that SHOULDN'T have happened? This line kind of implies that, I think. He'd rather do things this way then be the guy he had to be when he was brought to the island. Also, he's still known as Ethan Goodspeed (Horace's son) but in our regular timeline he was known as Ethan Rom. I'm assuming this version of Ethan never went to the island, and therefore didn't have to turn on his parents and participate in the destruction of the Dharma Initiative. Is there even a Dharma Initiative in this timeline? Or are the Goodspeeds just a happy family now? Maybe Ethan's dad Horace is just retired and on tour with Geronimo Jackson?

THE NURSE: Also of note, the Nurse was Kate's nanny Vernonica in the other timeline.

OFFICER RASMUSSEN, P.I. And even more noteworthy, they introduced a character named "Officer Rasmussen." Which is kinda goofy, although apparently a real name people have. Maybe she's a character from the other timeline, too? But I didn't recognize her. After the officer leaves, we have the single most unrealistic moment ever on the show Lost... a show that has featured time travel inducing frozen wheels and bi locating polar bears. I'm referring to the moment where Claire offers Kate her credit card. REALLY? Claire, c'mon. Kate accepts it ('cause she's klassy) then says she's innocent and that Claire should keep Aaron, which really isn't her business but it's Kate so she can say whatever she wants.

Whew. That's it from me. What did you guys notice? Here's what was in the preview for next week (mild spoilers):

Fake Locke says "Hello, James" to Sawyer, who's sitting in a Dharma house. Sawyer says "I thought you were dead." Locke responds "I am." Richard says something to Sun and Jin (who are together) that sounds like "Everyone you care about. All of them." Sawyer pulls a gun on Locke in the Jungle. Locke says in voiceover (I think it was him, anyway): "It would be such a shame to turn back now." Sawyer (I think) falls a long, long way off a rope ladder. Sawyer walks through the jungle and says "What is this place?" (Are they in the Dark Territory, perhaps? Or is he suffering from memory loss? I hope not.) The last shot is Locke saying to someone (looks like Richard's hair) "I promise I'll tell you everything." My prediction? He won't.


Anonymous said...

Jay did not like this episode.
It could have been culled down to 4 interesting minutes that took place in the temple.

bcrews said...

dude, don't harsh on aldo. it's Mac from Always Sunny in Philadelphia. putting together two great shows. good analysis.

Amber said...

I did not like this episode. There was seven minutes left and I was like, "What has happened?" Lamest episode I've seen in a looooooong time. I'm sick of the Jack/Kate/Sawyer stuff AND sick of Kate and Jack getting in their own way. Shouldn't have Jack caught on by now (especially after how the h-bomb thing went) that he SHOULD trust other people and not his own judgement. Seriously. I agree with Anonymous, the episode could have been 4 minutes and then there would have been time for other stuff.

Also, I'm so happy/sad that Sawyer was going to ask Juliet to marry him and glad that Kate found out. Maybe now she can give it up. Please Kate, just give it up.

Gerald L. Updyke said...

good blog, dude. very thorough and insightful.

Jin bought a Shamu doll for some diplomat in a previous episode. we were made to think it was for Sun, but it was actually a flash back. pretty cool scene. in the present timeline of that scene, i think Jin was dead.

as for whether "The Others" are good or bad, i propose they can still be considered good, despite Ben's poor leadership. let's look at it purely from a "How many people have you killed?" perspective:

Sawyer killed that guy in Australia, he put Kate's Parole Officer out of his misery (technically murder) and strangled Tom Sawyer.

Kate murdered her father and...drawing a blank. did she kill anyone else?

Sayid...who knows?

Charlie killed Ethan in cold blood.

Michael killed Anna Lucia and Libby, but i only fault him for the latter.

it just goes on and on. but as far as "The Others", i don't think they really killed anybody for several seasons. sure they beat people up, imprisoned them, etc., but i was always struck with the hypocrisy of the Losties calling The Others "Bad Guys" when they themselves were the ones doin' all the killin'!

Andrea said...

Actually, Jin bought a Panda Bear but the Shamu doll was seen in an O6 episode when Aaron was older and with Kate...hmm...See Doc Jensen (ew.com) for that long-winded info. Love the blog! We've been lurking since last season.

Tim McCracken said...

Wes you make me laugh, especially your referencing the smoke monster as smokey! and Clare's enlarged face ha ha but i have to say
I am not a fan of those fake stone temple sets that they keep introducing. The jungle and the Darma village feels more natural to the island. I have no idea why they have introduced Lennon and Dogan but i am excited to see a flash back of them soon so i can get more comfortable with them. As for Lennon one punch t the face and that guy is out for the count so i am wondering why Jack has not taken a swing at his mug.

Love your blog and love this show!

Donny Pauling said...

The mention of the polar bears... I seem to remember verbiage from some episode during some season at some time that seemed to hint the bears were brought there as part of an experiment.

Clear as mud, eh?

Donny Pauling said...

As for Sayid:

John Locke was inhabited by the spirit of ... the smokey dude (can't remember his name), so why can't Sayid be inhabited by the spirit of Jacob? Eventually we'll have a John Locke vs. Sayid death match. The people in the temple just don't realize it's Jacob yet. Why else would Jacob be so adamant about having Sayid taken to the temple for healing?

Who knows.

Donny Pauling said...

Ah, I just saw that you've also had the same thoughts about Sayid, before changing your mind. Tonight is the first night I've read your blog. It was recommended by a friend. 11 days ago I'd never watched lost. In the last 10 days I've watched every episode on Hulu and then came here at the aforementioned friend's suggestion.

Big Loud said...

SPOILERS for tonight's episode below...

So, I have to vent, that was an amazing episode.

First, we learned what the numbers mean:
4 - Locke
8 - Hurley
15 - Saywer
16 - Sayid
23 - Jack
42 - Sun or Jin (maybe the baby? though it's not on the island)

Second, the bodies from the first season marked with the white and black rocks (called "Adam & Eve" by lostpedia), must be Jacob and the Man in Black (Smokey). Also, I think we can assume they both came in on the Black Rock (boat) since we know now that they were once men. Interesting that the ship name is Black Rock and that the man in black is literally represented by a black rock...

Third, Kate IS NOT a candidate?! I mean, SAYID is a candidate, and Kate is not. Wow... so what the hell is she doing on the island?

Four, if Saywer had the opportunity to become Jacob since he's a candidate, then so did Sayid... so is Sayid now the new Jacob? If so, then what's up with Dogen trying to kill him?

Five, who is the kid?

Last, I'm extremely excited to see Katey Sagal back.

Wes said...

The only thing about the bodies being Jacob and the Man in Black is that I'm pretty sure Jack identified that one of them was a woman. I think it's more likely that two people we know will take the Man in Black and Jacob's place as rivals. Or maybe they will finally not be rivals and bring peace to the island? Desmond and Penny? Jack and Kate?

Sayid is infected, I don't think that's related to Jacob. I think it's related to Smokey.