Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Lost, "Whatever Happened, Happened": What did baby Hitler ever do to you?

Spoilers for tonight's "Lost" coming up just as soon as I ask Miles about time travel...
"I'm going back to find your daughter." -Kate
Miracle of miracles, a Kate episode I liked. One I really liked, in fact.

I was tempted to open this review with a quote from one of Hurley and Miles' many debates over the "Back to the Future" changeable model of time travel (Hurley's horse) versus the closed-loop "12 Monkeys" one (Miles'), since it echoed arguments we've been having on this blog all season. I don't know where in the production process this was written, but showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof had to know that, even with all of Faraday's explanations, some fans would be confused about how the closed-loop works, try to pick it apart for inconsistencies, ask about how someone could die in 1974 when they were still alive in 2004, etc.

So those scenes certainly worked as a meta commentary on the season, as Hurley scenes tend to do. But the rest of the episode was devoted to showing that the set nature of the timeline doesn't have to suck all the tension out of events. We knew that Ben would survive, because he was still alive 30 years later, but there was still plenty of drama to come out of how he survived. As Miles notes to Hurley, "we never experienced how it all turns out," which leaves a lot of wiggle room. Jack can sit on the sidelines because he just assumes Ben will be okay, and while he's right, his inaction also tells us about where Jack is now mentally (bitter because he believes -- wrongly, as it turns out -- that Kate has come back for Sawyer, and also running away from his savior complex), just as Kate, Juliet and Sawyer's attempts to save the future monster tell us who they are (that Juliet is still a fundamentally good person, in spite of all the horrible things the adult Ben will do to her, that Kate now has a strong maternal streak, and that Sawyer loves Juliet enough that he'll do this for her).

Beyond that, we get to see how our characters, whether or not they know or care about Faraday's theory, wind up affecting their own futures with their decisions. Sayid shoots Ben last week because he wants to save himself and everyone he cares about from this monster; instead, he sets in motion a chain of events that guarantees Ben will become exactly that monster. (Though I would have liked it better without Richard explaining that Ben would never remember the circumstances of the shooting. Hurley's objection to how Ben behaved when he first met Sayid in season two can be waved away as Ben play-acting, and I think a lot of the Ben/Sayid scenes in the Oceanic Six era have an added kick if Ben knows he's fashioning Sayid into the man who's going to shoot him as a kid -- and gets a sadistic thrill out of knowing that he'll survive, but that Sayid's soul will be destroyed in the process.)

Like last week's "He's Our You," "Whatever Happened, Happened" was very much a throwback to the original "Lost" episode model, focusing primarily on Kate and trying to use flashbacks to her past to illuminate her present circumstances. But where I felt disappointed by what it seemed like "He's Our You" wasn't telling us about Sayid's vendetta against Ben(*), here I gained a newfound appreciation of Kate -- and, for that matter, of Evangeline Lily -- as I found out her reasons for returning weren't what I had initially thought.

(*) A lot of commenters, by the way, made persuasive arguments that there wasn't supposed to be a betrayal -- that Sayid simply blames Ben for unleashing the killer Sayid had tried to keep bottled up for most of his life. I like that interpretation -- in many ways, it's more interesting than simply finding out Ben had once again lied to someone -- but I don't think the episode did a great job of selling it as Sayid's motivation in that episode, and throughout the last half-season.

There was no shock ending like the show often gave us (or tried to) in the earlier seasons, but we didn't need one. Sometimes, it's enough -- even richer than a twist ending -- to just see a natural emotional progression, as we watched Kate struggle with the guilt of raising a boy who wasn't hers, of keeping Aaron from his grandmother, of leaving Claire behind (even though, as she explains to Mrs. Littleton, Claire had disappeared and there was no time to look for her). Kate's a character who's generally been defined as running away from things. Here, she's running to something, and while I thought/feared that something was James Ford, it turns out her motives are much more selfless than that. She's come to rescue the mother of the boy she loves so much -- and that is a Kate I can get behind, even as I fear that she's going to wind up coming between Sawyer (who called her "Freckles" by the sonic fence) and his Juliet.

Some other thoughts:

• At first, I was troubled that none of the characters were questioning why they should be saving the man who will one day cause them all so much grief, but Sawyer dealt with it enough for my needs near the end. We've seen this kind of story so many times in other sci-fi series that the debate about killing Hitler in the cradle would have simply felt obligatory.

• Earlier in the season, I used to keep the running tally of how Sawyer and Miles were battling for island comedy supremacy. With this episode, it feels like Miles has won by default. Sawyer has matured so much that, while he can still be funny (see last week's line about how they went three years without flaming buses before Jack came back), he's much too important to be relegated to sarcastic comic relief anymore.

• I have to assume that we're going to see a whole lot more of Ben's time with The Others, possibly even Ben as a child. One of Richard's lieutenants brought up Ellie (presumably Ms. Hawking) and Charles Widmore, both last seen in 1954 in "Jughead," and we know Widmore blames Ben for his banishment from the island. If it was late '70s Ben who was responsible for Widmore's exile, as opposed to the post-purge Ben of the early '90s, then there are far fewer complications about Penny's birth, how Widmore became such a respected businessman, etc.

• It's been nearly four full episodes since we last saw Locke, from the glimpse of him turning the donkey wheel at the start of "LaFleur" until the end of this one. And while these have been among the season's strongest episodes, one glimpse of Terry O'Quinn's face as Locke enjoyed Ben's surprise at seeing him alive was all I needed to wish I could travel back in time and insert him into those episodes without messing up the timestream.

• Looks like the Dharma folk have been pretty easygoing about Juliet's surprise medical credentials, though of course not a lot of time has passed since she delivered Amy's baby.

• As most of us assumed, Sawyer was telling Kate on the chopper to take care of his daughter Clementine. It was good to see Kim Dickens again as Cassidy, and to hear Cassidy's clear-eyed take on the man Sawyer used to be, but did anyone else expect Kate to be really surprised to see that Sawyer's baby mama and her old con artist partner were one and the same? I suppose she could have figured this out on her own while preparing to meet Cassidy after her trial ended, but it seemed odd to me.

• In addition to my newfound appreciation of Kate, I have to say that, unlike Kate and Juliet, I'm kinda digging the new Jack. He's still a selfish ass in some ways, but he's a mellower, more interesting selfish ass.

• What do you make of the blonde in the supermarket? Foiled kidnapper or helpful shopper? And, of course, she looked like Claire from behind, which only added to Kate's feelings of guilt about "stealing" Aaron.

• This episode was a bit lighter on Sawyer than the last few, but Josh Holloway still had a very nice moment as Sawyer got to hear about his daughter from Kate.

• Was Sawyer's line to Kate about how they had The Others right where they wanted them a reference to a movie (maybe "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid")? To a previous Sawyer/Kate scene (maybe during the polar bear cage arc)? It sounded familiar, but it just might be the sort of thing the Han Solo types Sawyer's modeled on might say, whether or not any of them specifically did.

As always, reminder of the two basic rules for "Lost" discussion: no spoilers (that includes previews, interviews, stuff you've read/heard elsewhere, even the Darlton podcasts), and make an effort to read everyone else's comments so you're not doing a "Did anybody else think about..." point on something 16 other people have already mentioned.

With that in mind, what did everybody else think?

213 comments:

1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
Jeff. H said...

I found the meta-commentary somewhat annoying because I don't think the closed-loop theory needs so much explaining.

I agree about Ben losing his memory; I'm near the end of rewatching Season 2, and nothing about Sayid and Ben's first encounters necessitated a memory wipe. I liked what it added, in fact.

Lane said...

I liked this episode a lot, too

the Hurley/Miles schtick was hilarious

Hurley with those muttonchops looks like the bartender from "3 Amigos" (I keep waiting for "My Little Buttercup" to play).. and is it me or does Clementine's mom look like vintage Pam Dawber?

Lydia said...

This is my first time posting on here (even though I read it every week) and my first time with a theory of my own. I think Ben will somehow get Charles to turn the donkey wheel and therefore force him off the island. That would explain how he has the cameras in the desert when Locke appears. Also that might fix the time shift between the Ajira 316 people and the original Oceanic 815 survivors.

Also was Richard taking Ben to see smokey in the temple? Loved the episode and thanks for the insights Alan.

Carmichael Harold said...

I thought this was a very strong episode, in particular the character beats seemed to really work well, when oftentimes (especially in Kate episodes) they don't.

Jeff H. said...

Also, Ben not having his memory wiped would have created a nice reason for him knowing so much about the losties right after they crashed and making lists, no?

Now I really don't see why they did that.

Anonymous said...

I liked the hints that Widmore and Ellie were the ones really in charge of the Others-- confirming Charles' claim from weeks back-- but that Richard just doesn't care.

And Hurley and Miles could have an entire episode's worth of their arguing (they tried to rope Jack and Juliet into it too!). It would be one of the best of the series.

J. Biscuits said...

If Ben became an Other, complete with pre-Other amnesia, when Richard took him to the temple, how does Ben get back to the Dharma side of the fence?

We already know he was working as a "workman" with his father, which is how he was able to complete the purge. I can't see Lafleur letting him back into camp knowing what he knows about Ben.

EOTW said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
phil said...

Hey Alan did you get the feeling jack was talking to the audience when he was making sandwiches and talking with kate. Mostly the people who don't like his character.

Alan Sepinwall said...

EOTW, what did I say about not discussing things Damon and Carlton said in the podcast?

Carmichael Harold said...

As you mentioned, Alan, I also really dig the irony of it being Sayid and Jack that both try to keep little Ben from becoming big Ben, but it's precisely their actions that lead to him turning into who he is.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I can't see Lafleur letting him back into camp knowing what he knows about Ben.

It's entirely possible LaFleur won't be in a position to deny his return, either because the Dharma people will have kicked the Lostaways out by then, or because our heroes won't be in 1977 by then.

Paul Kinfer said...

I've been wondering what "present day" on Lost will end up being. Since we know "What's happened happened," anything that's happening in the past is already decided. Only the future can be influenced.

So what if the writers end the series where present day is 2010? The whole show would have taken place in the past, so no one would have had free will, so to speak.

I hope I'm making my point clearly enough, because I think it does matter in what time the audience's POV is considering the show's thematics. Will it end up staying in 2007? Any guesses?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I also really dig the irony of it being Sayid and Jack that both try to keep little Ben from becoming big Ben, but it's precisely their actions that lead to him turning into who he is.

Yeah, if Jack had only stopped making sandwiches and picked up a scalpel, maybe Ben would have much greater affection for the people of Dharma, regardless of how he felt about his neglectful, abusive bastard of a father.

Will Eidam said...

Sawyer: Where's the Doctor?
Juliet: At the Looking Glass Station, it's a Friday.



Any thoughts as to what that means?

Toby O'B said...

I've always figured Richard has spent however long he's been on the Island letting someone else be in charge, knowing that eventually that person might be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice - that is, turn the wheel and be banished forever.

I'm willing to accept the mind-wipe of Ben if it means we're going to see some kind of mumbo-jumbo down in the Temple. (Getting a nice 30's movie serial buzz from that idea. LOL)

I also think that even though this means Ben will still turn out the way he did because of Kate and Sawyer's intervention, they've still changed some of the events that have already happened. Was Ben taken to the Others mortally wounded in the original timeline? We'll never know now, I guess, but Ben's flashbacks leading up to the Purge didn't seem to give even a hint that it ever happened. To me it seems like he now will be staying with the Others rather go back to live with the Dharma folk. (Or will they send him back as a mole?)

Whatever..... It's the same old mantra - I'm in it for the ride!

Eric said...

While I liked the Hurley/Miles time travel discussion, I thought Hurley should have had a better grasp on things, given that he's a comic book fan.

Carmichael Harold said...

"Yeah, if Jack had only stopped making sandwiches and picked up a scalpel, maybe Ben would have much greater affection for the people of Dharma, regardless of how he felt about his neglectful, abusive bastard of a father."

Yeah, and Ben would never have had to go with Richard to the temple(?) and become an Other For Life in the first place.

Will Eidam said...

Also, while we're giving "The Wire" shout outs any time a character shows up on a different show...

How about a "FNL" shout out for Kim Dickens, especially with the 2 year renewal?!? (I know she's been in other Lost episodes, but I saw her in a new light this episode, after having seen her brilliantly as Saracen...Bill Simmons needs to come up with a theory on this, where an actor's other characters from other shows benefit from the one main character they play that makes them shine. Time to go write to the mailbag!)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Juliet: At the Looking Glass Station, it's a Friday.

I thought she said "until Friday."

Ben said...

- So, its all Jack's fault! if he had operated on Little Ben, then he would have been ok. Instead, Sawyer/Kate take him to Richard and as the ageless one said, "he will always be one of us".

Wow, Jack essentially whiped out all the folks in the Dharma Initiative, not to mention all the 815's he got killed because he let the freighter folk on the island. He is the Angel of Death!

Ben said...

Alan, I was also confused by the lack of surprise about the Kate/Cassidy meeting. I mean, did I miss something or was there no discussion between Cassidy and Kate over the unbelieve coincidence that they both "knew" Sawyer yet they seemed like it was shared knowledge?

But wait, then Kate doesn't tell Sawyer that she already knew Cassidy? Also, Sawyer says they "probaby had lot to talk about." Is he saying that generally or again, are was there a conversation had that we were not privy to between Sawyer and Kate?

Jordan said...

I thought the end was the most interesting part. Richard is one of my favorite characters and yet again Nestor Carbonell gave a great subtle performance. They dumped a lot of backstory on us and settled the time travel business (even if it meant a little too much breaking of the fourth wall by the greek chorus). Well done.

Adam said...

I believe I saw a deliberate Andreas Gursky homage in the supermarket scene.

Number Five said...

"You're free to go at any time...I'll just shoot you in the leg." Miles is definitely the king of island comedy. I did like his and Hurley's scenes though, not just for the humor but for showing them trying to grapple with the situation they were in.

At what point should character actions in a TV drama stop being ascribed to feelings of love/bitterness towards other significant people in their lives? I'm willing to bend a lot because it's TV, but talking about Sawyer's decision to jump out of the helicopter in terms of his various feelings for Kate, Cassidy, his daughter, etc is taking it too far. Similarly, if Jack didn't want to operate on Ben because of the Hitler argument, that's one thing, but if he was just in a snit over Sawyer being all manly and stealing his ladies, that's monstrous. Even Juliet phrased her anger towards by Jack by saying "I needed you and you let me down." How about "you violated your oath to do no harm, jackass?"

Yeah the Dharma folks have been pretty easygoing about a lot of things! I like how subtle the show has been at suggesting that for all their attempts at security, their insistence on pretending they're living in Suburb, USA dooms them when their competition are the crafty, rugged Hostiles and their ageless, badass leader (ok, more like chief of staff) Richard.

It was interesting they had Kate and Cassidy meet, since the writers had said all the crazy coincidences from the first two seasons were less direct Island-y portents and more writerly thematic statements. But having them meet required them to go through on at least one connection.

I also thought it was one of the best Kate episodes as well as Evangeline Lilly's performance.

Matt Brown said...

I don't think anyone has mentioned the NEW mystery we have, one even greater than "how did Jack get his tattoos" - why does Jack still shave his chest?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, Sawyer says they "probaby had lot to talk about." Is he saying that generally

I think he just meant that they had a lot in common as two of his exes.

Carmichael Harold said...

Out of curiosity, does Richard's comment that Ben will have lost his innocence once the Island/Jacob/Flying Spaghetti Monster saves him, mean that everyone who has been saved by the Island/Jacob/FSM has, functionally, become an Other?

If so, that would clearly mean Locke, but I think it could also mean all of the survivors of the Oceanic flight.

Ben said...

(Alan - i swear I had this part written before I even read your review. great minds...)

Another strong showing from Darlton and crew, though heading in, I too was nervous about a Kate -centric episode.

I have been a little down on Evangeline Lilly the last season or so, but I thought she really shined tonight. For the first time in a while, I felt that Kate had passion, she was invested in something. Maybe that is just a change in character, but I also thought it was the actress bringing more to the role.

- the time travel talk between Hurley and Miles was sooooo funny, just like the talks I have had with various folks over the last week! Way to go writers, appreciate the nod that it is a head scratcher!

Lane said...
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sedeyus said...

It's not that I think these last couple episodes are bad but at some point I would like to see some forward momentum outside the past. It's getting a little tiring to see a season of characters stuck in a past they can't control or change. I'm getting a little scared that we're gonna have one of those back-to-the-beginning series ending where we see the purge, find out that the castways somehow caused Oceanic 815, and that baby Charlie is actually druggie Charlie.

Mark B said...

I don’t think Ben’s lack of memory from this childhood trauma is anything unusual. The show made it clear the child was bleeding out and actually went into a hypoxia crisis while under Juliet’s care. Oxygen loss to the brain is sufficient in and of itself to wipe out memory of the recent events.

What is more interesting is Richard’s acknowledgement and warning that The Others are somehow truly different and any transformation is permanent. There is some delicious irony in that Jack’s refusal to save Dharma Ben directly leads to the course of events that creates Other Ben. It is also quite a premise by the authors that the maternal instincts of Juliet and Kate, two childless women, trump their rational understanding of the wickedness to follow. Letting a child die is so maternally wrong they can’t do it. Better to exist an Other than not exist at all.

Sujay said...

I thought Juliet said, "at the looking glass station, with Faraday," not anything about it being Friday.

Lane said...

Out of curiosity, does Richard's comment that Ben will have lost his innocence once the Island/Jacob/Flying Spaghetti Monster saves him, mean that everyone who has been saved by the Island/Jacob/FSM has, functionally, become an Other?


I think they get brainwashed, like Rousseau's husband

Nugget said...

When Sawyer called Kate "Freckles", my heart sank. But then it swelled when he said that he was "doing it for [Juliet]". I have never doubted that Sawyer legitimately and fully loves Juliet, but it was nice to have a little confirmation. Hee.

Also, when Kate and Sawyer were discussing how Sawyer would never be good for Kate or Clementine, I thought that Josh Holloway played that moment beautifully. The second Juliet's name slipped past Kate's lips, Sawyer got this little faint, longing smile on his face. And that's when I swooned.

Oh, and Miles & Hurley? Made of win. Absolute hilarity, plus each had valid time-travel theories. I was laughing and nodding in agreement all at once.

Finally, I completely agree with your assessment, Alan, of Kate in this episode. Her motives were unexpected, and thus they inspired pride and admiration in me. Finally -- finally -- I liked Kate.

Ben said...

// Alan Sepinwall said...

I can't see Lafleur letting him back into camp knowing what he knows about Ben.

It's entirely possible LaFleur won't be in a position to deny his return, either because the Dharma people will have kicked the Lostaways out by then, or because our heroes won't be in 1977 by then.

-----------------------

Yes, I am very confident that the Losties will be gone before Ben gets back.

Lil Ben's memory is getting wiped. Since we do not believe that odler Ben remembers this encounter with the Losties, they have to be gone by the time he gets back or he WOULD know them.

The Rush Blog said...

Finally, I completely agree with your assessment, Alan, of Kate in this episode. Her motives were unexpected, and thus they inspired pride and admiration in me. Finally -- finally -- I liked Kate.


I still don't. Why? I feel as if Cuse and Lindehof had tried to manipulate me and other viewers into liking her again. In fact, this entire episode feels like a big manipulation job.

Are we expected to have positive feelings about Kate again? It's not happening with me. I thought that Cuse and Lindehof would do a better job than this. Apparently, I was wrong.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Lil Ben's memory is getting wiped. Since we do not believe that odler Ben remembers this encounter with the Losties, they have to be gone by the time he gets back or he WOULD know them.

Is he going to have three full years wiped away, though? I have to assume he'd remember at least something of LaFleur and the others -- if for no other reason than that it's the best, most interesting explanation for Ben's obsession with Juliet and the "You look just like her" line from "The Other Woman."

Anonymous said...

Agreed it was the best Kate episode in years, and Lilly was fantastic.

About Sayid, I also think something is off with his story. I suspect Ben killed or was involved in killing Nadia and that Sayid (not being privy to all the time travel conversations) believes killing young Ben could actually save her.

The Rush Blog said...

Kate's a character who's generally been defined as running away from things. Here, she's running to something, and while I thought/feared that something was James Ford, it turns out her motives are much more selfless than that. She's come to rescue the mother of the boy she loves so much -- and that is a Kate I can get behind, even as I fear that she's going to wind up coming between Sawyer (who called her "Freckles" by the sonic fence) and his Juliet.


Everyone is so busy complimenting Kate for trying to save Ben. Yet, no one is asking why.

Why is she doing this? For what reason? So that we, the audience, can cheer her again?

Daniel said...

I enjoyed the episode until the last few minutes, but man I hated, hated that last conversation with Alpert. For one thing, I agree with everyone else that wiping Ben's memory is the least interesting route to take, but even worse is the presumed brainwashing Ben is about to undergo. What's wrong with him becoming a monster due to the treatment from his father and the Dharma culture? Why does it have to be so artificial and not just psychological?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I suspect Ben killed or was involved in killing Nadia

Ben found out about Nadia's death only after he landed in the desert following the moving of the donkey wheel. He had nothing to do with it.

Club4911 said...

*it was "until Friday"

*Why did Widmore say to Ben that they both knew that he couldn't kill him? After this episode, this process that Ben is about to go through could be the explanation.

*If Juliet was an "other" - is she familiar with this process because she went through it as well?

KC said...

I finally came to appreciate Kate this episode. So often, even in her selfless acts of daring rescue she came off as ego-centric, yet here I saw her as heartbreakingly unselfish and sympathetic. Her decision to return to the island and leave Aaron was wrenching.

Not sure I like the notion that Ben gets an erased memory, seems deflating. I mean if he is simply evil for evils sake, then why bother with everything else?

I guess everyone in camp had been distracted with the threat of possible attack, but it did seem odd there were so few people around that they could get young Ben to and through the fence without arousing much attention in the midst of possible siege.

Loved Hurly looking at his hands waiting to disappear.

Jack determined not to come running to the rescue and save Ben and once again be Kate's lapdog resonated. Jack always does the wrong thing at the right time.

Anthony Strand said...

Everyone keeps talking about Ben getting his memory erased. Maybe I misunderstood Richard's line, but didn't he say something like "He won't remember any of this?" I took that to mean the process that would heal him, not the events leading up to it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Everyone is so busy complimenting Kate for trying to save Ben. Yet, no one is asking why.

Why is she doing this? For what reason? So that we, the audience, can cheer her again?


Because she feels very maternal, because she just left behind her "son," and because she had a brief bonding moment with Ben's father immediately before finding out Ben had been shot.

You can call it manipulative, but it made sense to me.

Nugget said...

@ The Rush Blog
Are we expected to have positive feelings about Kate again?


See, I never had positive feelings about Kate. At best, I tolerated her. At worst, I loathed her. (Though, it was usually more the former rather than the latter.) With tonight's episode, though, I liked her. She finally dropped the pathetic-ness and the put-upon nature and she became a pure, altruistic, and loving person. I was proud of her for the first time.

@ Alan Sepinwall
Because she feels very maternal, because she just left behind her "son," and because she had a brief bonding moment with Ben's father immediately before finding out Ben had been shot.


While I do agree that this is part of it, I'm also inclined to think that Kate is thinking about her purpose behind returning to the Island -- finding Claire. Ben has always been supremely omniscient, and I think that Kate feels that adult Ben is necessary to finding Claire. As in, he might know where to at least begin looking.

The Rush Blog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Rule #1, The Rush Blog: Be nice.

Pat said...

But then it swelled when he said that he was "doing it for [Juliet]"

I didn't think it was so clear who Sawyer was doing it for. Upon viewing, the context of his conversation made me think he was acting out of a desire to protect a child - as if he was saving Ben for Clementine's sake.

Just as Kate was acting with maternal instincts, Sawyer was acting out of fatherly affection.

Anyone else have this interpretation?

The Rush Blog said...

What's wrong with him becoming a monster due to the treatment from his father and the Dharma culture? Why does it have to be so artificial and not just psychological?


This is another problem I had with this episode. This is another example of contrived writing in this episode.



I finally came to appreciate Kate this episode. So often, even in her selfless acts of daring rescue she came off as ego-centric, yet here I saw her as heartbreakingly unselfish and sympathetic. Her decision to return to the island and leave Aaron was wrenching.

I didn't find it wrenching . . . considering that she had kidnapped Aaron, used him to form a relationship with Jack (however brief that was) and kept him for nearly three years. I was relieved.


I am so disgusted with this episode.

The Rush Blog said...

Just as Kate was acting with maternal instincts, Sawyer was acting out of fatherly affection.

Anyone else have this interpretation?



No . . . I didn't. Is this another attempt at pushing Skate love?

jim treacher said...

This one really did a headf*** on me. These people are the way they are now, in no small part, because of Ben. And because they are the way they are, they decide to save him. Before he's really him. What they're doing is actually causing him! They're creating their own misery, and they know it, but the alternative is even worse. It's... damn. Kudos to them, that they were able to use so much of this show's history to make something entirely new.

Evangeline Lily has always been a better actress than she's given credit for, and she was absolutely magnificent here. But just to be a pig: Kate + pencil skirt = SCHWING!!!

I'm digging the new Jack too. Kind of reminds me of Charlie from Party of Five, actually.

Oh, and Miles & Hurley are the new Laurel & Hardy. Discuss.

JasonR said...

This is such bullshit.

Boy, Cuse and Lindehof really played the fans like morons with this episode. Or perhaps the fans wanted a reason to love Kate again.

Kate had left over maternal feelings from Aaron and decided to transfer them to young Ben? Are you fucking kidding me? I'm supposed to buy this crap?


I can't speak for Alan, but I would appreciate it if you took your insults of the audience (and producers) elsewhere.

Feel free to dislike the episode, feel free to disagree with other people here, but being condescending and insulting won't get you anywhere.

Nugget said...

@ Pat
Anyone else have this interpretation?


That's actually a really interesting theory and given Sawyer's growth and maturity, I think it's certainly possible. However, he mentioned Juliet right before making that statement, so I'm inclined to stick with the more literal interpretation.

You've given me something to think about, though. Thanks!

Pat said...

No problem - that's just how I initially interpreted it.

I'm not saying it's correct, but I think ruling out the possibility future SKate love or further tension based solely on Sawyer's (somewhat vague) comment may be premature (unfortunately).

dave s said...

I love the new Jack, who is sounding a lot like John Locke these days ("I came back because I was supposed to... I don't know why"). Did that Juliet/Jack convo parallel a Locke/Jack convo verbatim?

I really want to stay in 1977, and I assume we will since there's been no Faraday explanation yet, and I hope we're close enough to the end of the series that we can start seeing things like what happens with Ben when Richard takes him into the building.

(By the way, what was that building? I felt like it was familiar, but couldn't place it)

But I have no idea how Sawyer & Kate can go back into the Dharma camp and life go back to normal. I guess we're close enough to the season finale that the good old days are over.

Looking forward to the drama, but this stretch of episodes has been very satisfying. Hope they stay with the character beats and don't jump back into 90mph plot movement. I feel like they're nailing the plot movement / character development balance.

Oh, and that last scene was delicious. Bring on John Locke.

Lester Freamon said...

One of Richard's lieutenants brought up Ellie (presumably Ms. Hawking) and Charles Widmore, both last seen in 1954 in "Jughead," and we know Widmore blames Ben for his banishment from the island. If it was late '70s Ben who was responsible for Widmore's exile, as opposed to the post-purge Ben of the early '90s, then there are far fewer complications about Penny's birth, how Widmore became such a respected businessman, etc.

If Widmore and Ms. Hawking left via the Frozen Donkey Wheel, they could have ended up anywhere in the timeline. The polar bear left in the 70s and ended up in the distant past. Ben left in Jan '05 but ended up in Oct. 05. Locke left God knows when and ended up in 2007. So maybe they're present all the way up until the Purge, but end up going back to the right time for everything to work out.

-Why hasn't anyone noticed or remarked on all the weird character connections? Sawyer was at the nexus for three of them and he knows it. He met Jack's dad at the bar in Sydney. Locke's dad conned his parents and orphaned him. And Kate was friends with the mother of his child. Jack too, knows that Sawyer met his dad and Claire is his sister.

-Maybe the Temple brainwashing procedure is why the kidnapped Tailies didn't time-travel with the rest of flight 815.

dave s said...

And count me amongst those who like the new Kate as well. Everything in this episode felt earned and in keeping with her character, even the stuff with Ben.

Oh, and I think the Miles/Hurley stuff was necessary. I spent a half-hour last week trying to explain closed-loop to a friend who was certain that A) Ben was dead and B) There's now an alternate reality. It was maddening.

PaulRW said...

"Miracle of miracles, a Kate episode I liked. One I really liked, in fact."
That really says it all.
Plus: Miles and Hurley = fun

Steve said...

By far, the most meta episode of the show.

I felt that the entire banter between Hurley and Miles, and Jack's monologue were both vehicles of the audience. The fans have been arguing/observing the points they made, and I think Damon and Carlton were granting us a big payday. Plus, the banter was hilarious.

No matter what Jack did, Ben would end up exactly the same way.

As much as I loved the episode, I can't hear the title screen music without thinking of the great first and second season episode that dealt with the mysteries of the island.

jim treacher said...

I've been struggling with the closed-loop thing too. And being a blogger nerd, I can actually document it:

http://jimtreacher.com/archives/002041.html

The Rush Blog said...

The new Kate is a pile of contrived bullshit. I'm beginning to suspect that the writers had Sayid shoot Ben so that Cuse and Lindehof can allow Kate to run around the island acting like Mother Teresa in order to be popular with fans again.


And by the way, what was the point of allowing Sayid to shoot Ben, if the latter's memories of the incident would end up being erased? To begin the process of Ben becoming a monster and blaming Jack for it? That could have been done with Ben keeping his memories.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Strand said...

Everyone keeps talking about Ben getting his memory erased. Maybe I misunderstood Richard's line, but didn't he say something like "He won't remember any of this?" I took that to mean the process that would heal him, not the events leading up to it.


I had a similar reaction. I took Richard's words to mean that Ben would only remember Sayid shooting him and perhaps, Juliet trying to save his life. And that's it. No Kate. No Sawyer. And worse of all, none of his father's concern.

The Rush Blog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jim treacher said...

I actually deleted the part of my comment where I noted that The Rush Blog is an unbelievable creep, because I didn't want to start any problems.

So much for that.

Nugget said...

@ Pat
I'm not saying it's correct, but I think ruling out the possibility future SKate love or further tension based solely on Sawyer's (somewhat vague) comment may be premature (unfortunately).


Oh, I completely agree that the triangle/quadrangle is far from finished and that there's much more romantic drama to come, but I like living in denial. Sawyer & Juliet are totally in love and will live happily ever after. Lalalala...

Yeah, right. Heh.

The Rush Blog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer J. said...

Rush Blog,

The fact that you cannot even follow the simple request that our moderator has given you tells me that you do not want to play nice and maybe you should be banned from blogging here. This way we can all enjoy our Lost discourse as we like it: civil and considerate.

Jennifer said...

A Good Kate Episode is the new Good Troi episode.

Good on ya, Kate. I was always neutral about you, but this was good. Also, I'm happy that this episode is NOT about which dude she will end up with- it's neither, and yay.

Also, I liked seeing her with Cassidy, and actually being honest and non-selfish with Grandma Littleton.

Wasn't Grandma in a coma when Claire flew out of Australia?

Jennifer J. said...

Alan, please do something about Rush Blog. I fully expect to be cursed out next.

The Rush Blog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jim treacher said...

I'm a creep? Fuck you.

Never let it be said that I am not amenable to reason.

The Rush Blog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jim treacher said...

What the fuck?

Well said, my friend. Well said indeed.

jim treacher said...

What the fuck?

And many of the fans are buying this shit.

This goddamn show sucks big time.

And instead of getting rid of her, they dump some contrived and shitty episodes like "Eggtown", "The Little Prince" and this latest pile of shit.

This show sucks BIG TIME.


It's called cold hard reasoning based on empirical evidence, people.

Anonymous said...

wow, just don't want it, you crazy mofo

Anonymous said...

I mean watch, just don't watch it..

why a fictional TV show makes you so filled with rage and fury is scary.

Do you play connect 4 with Hurley?

Michael said...

I hope they're going to explain Starbuck's new Viper by the time this is all over next year.

Jake said...

Rush blog, I agree that Evangeline Lilly is not by any measures a good actress, and that her appeal is mostly physical. However, she has definitely improved from season 1. We are finally moving away from her characterization as a fugitive criminal, which honestly never quite sat well with me.

Cory said...

@ Michael
I hope they're going to explain Starbuck's new Viper by the time this is all over next year.


Best.Comment.EVER.

dez said...

What do you make of the blonde in the supermarket? Foiled kidnapper or helpful shopper?

I'm thinking F.O.B. (Friend O' Ben). I think Ben set that up to push Kate toward returning. The lawyers didn't work, but that sure as hell did!

I still don't trust or like Kate and won't until I actually see her do something towards finding Claire, but I'll go along with it for now.

Miles + Hurley = sunshiny day. I flove them! Also, I really want Faraday back. It was nice having Miles & Hurley explain it all (like Clarissa!), but I miss me some Daniel.

The ending with Locke narrowing his eyes as he welcomes Ben back to the land of the living was awesome--and fodder for those who suspect the Others are dead already, I reckon.

shea said...

I'll second Jennifer - Rush Blog's comments are ruining my enjoyment of this thread.

I'm really surprised that Jack and Kate haven't even ASKED anyone if they knew anything about Claire. Even just a further explanation to how she disappeared. I think the only explanation they got was "we lost her", which I would have assumed they would have taken as "she's dead." But if they are assuming that she is alive - you would think Jack might ask about his sister.

It's possible Ben will wake up and assume Juliet saved him...I like the idea that he does have a memory of them. It seems, that even if he doesn't remember being shot, (although I'm siding with - just the healing process will be forgotten) he will wake up and says something like, "what happened to me?" (I'm also assuming/guessing that he does return to the Dharma camp for a little bit and Richard will say something like - it's not time yet)- that someone will fill him in and say, "we know you stole the keys, we think the hostile shot you."

Losties cover is definitely very close, if not already, totally blown. Maybe they will return and come clean, (Sawyer is going to have a hard time explaining why he went to the Others AND why Kate accompanied him) and then get banished...

This episode was a little too sappy for me...but gave me some things to think about.

Anonymous said...

Rush Blog: It's just a television show! If it annoys you so much, why do you continue to watch it? And why do you put so much time and effort into writing about how much it annoys you? Makes no sense.

LeeZy said...

I just thought of a new Jeff Jensen-like theory while watching the end of the episode again...

Little Ben is a spiritual proxy for all the children on the island. When he was shot and now has to be healed by whatever Alpert will do for him in the temple, his innocence will be lost. What if his innocence is lost for all children on the island and therefore childbirth will now be cursed... or something... (sorry it's late, I'm not thinking clearly)... but do you get my gist? Maybe this is the incident that causes childbirth to be impossible?

Byron said...

Look, if Ben's evil, he's really only evil to about a hundred people, tops. Killing him as a kid would because he pisses you off 30 years later is kinda selfish. Killing him as a kid because he murdered about 80 Dharma people is more defensible, but no one is bringing that up.

Hitler killed MILLIONS of people. There's no comparison.

James M. Barrie said...

Steve said...
"By far, the most meta episode of the show".

What about Exposé? I rewatched it a few days ago, and damn, what a great episode. Never the meta-commentaries were so well-delivered as they were here. And the entire episode is one big meta-commentary, so I guess that makes it the most meta episode of the show, doesn't it?


I had fun reading Rush Blog's commentaries, because his irrational anger just made me like this episode even more.
He says it was a shameless manipulation to make us all like Kate. Oh, no, we're so naive, we bought it all!

What do you call manipulation, anyway, man? The whole flashback made perfect sense within the logic of the show and the psychology of Kate's character. It didn't leave any holes, it was well acted...
I can't really see what you're calling manipulation, unless you're sugesting that writing a plot that makes perfect sense (even if it's in order to make us like a character - and you can't prove that) is manipulation.
If you wanna go down that road, then every freakin' show on television is manipulative, 'cause every single one of them is made with a particular purpose in mind - make us care for this or that character, make us laugh, make us cry, make us cheer, leave us thrilled... everything written within the internal logic of the show, of course.

So, Lost is one huge manipulation to make us go crazy trying to solve its mysteries. And - shockingly - they succeed! Oh, no! I've been manipulated for five years! Damn you, Darlton!

But, even though I loved this episode, I have to ask, once again (and I think everyone forgot about it because the episode was so damn great):
WHAT ABOUT ROSE AND BERNARD???

karaokequeen said...

Eh, not sure I'm buying Kate's maternal motives myself, though I'll let the show run with it.

But was I the only one bothered by the fact that Kate basically left Aaron alone in a hotel room by himself - twice - after nearly losing him in the grocery store? Even if she and/or his grandma were just two doors down.

Re: Ben, I guess from that look on his face he really, really wasn't expecting to see Locke alive again. So much for my vague suspicions that Ben's known all along what's going to happen/has happened.

I am having a hard time believing that Sayid would have missed Ben's heart. Especially at such close range. Especially a man of Sayid's, um, skills.

Hurley-Miles were awesome.

toonsterwu said...

Tonight made me think of BSG ... All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again. It was a solid episode that put in motion two things, IMO, that wasn't given enough attention -

a) I think this begins the Jack-push

b) It asks the question ... who is exactly is Richard Alpert?

Granted, there's a lot more on the way, but those are two intriguing side nuggets for me. I'm curious about the power structure before ... and now ... and I'm curious how much Ellie remembers.

Now onto my one main concern about the show. I understand the need to "break" Jack and build him back up, newer and better, but I wonder if they've gone too far. At the end of the day, whether fans like it or not, Jack is, unless they throw a huge curveball, the central character of this ensemble, the hero of the story. It seems clear that other people came back for minor parts - for example, Kate came back to find Claire. The problem is ... while I still like the character, I think they've made Jack into a person that too many people won't buy as the hero. And that could hamper the overall emotional impact of the future storyline. Look, much as we love all the characters, they are all essentially hovering around, putting the pieces in play, for Jack vs. Christian. I mean, they have some side roles, and some characters have storylines that carry weight (like Locke, although if we're honest, a case can be made that he simply a MacGuffin of sorts to move Jack along, and his overall value is questionable).

I know the pieces have to be put in play for the super duper season 6 ... and as such, Jack focus won't be online for awhile. That said, I hope that push starts soon (and maybe, tonight, Juliet gives him the push).

maitresse said...

Can I propose a moratorium on the phrase "killing Hitler in the cradle", and all associated comparisons?? Benjamin Linus is a far cry from Hitler! I forget who was talking about genocide (was it on the show or just on this blog?) but come on. Killing off the Dharma Initiative (as someone pointed out last week) is an act of mass murder, not genocide. So if anything, call it "killing the Unabomber in the cradle."

Other Sean said...

I'd like to toss this out there; what if Richard KNEW that saving young Ben ultimately tied into the time paradox(es) and saving the Island? We saw Locke start this chain in 1954, and we saw Sawyer acknowledge to Richard in 1974 that he knew Locke and was on Locke's side. When young Ben was brought before Richard in this episode, it was Sawyer that did it and told Richard that Kate was with him. And then, Richard gave her an unusually long look before spelling out what taking Ben really meant. To me, it's possible he was putting the pieces together in his mind, in that moment.

This could also explain why Richard said he didn't care if Ellie/Eloise and Widmore found out, that he doesn't answer to them; because he serves Jacob and the Island, and their messenger is John Locke and his friends.

tabernacle said...

I don't know if this is the reference that Sawyer's comment to Kate ("right where we want them") seems to echo:

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time" -- Lieutenant General Lewis B."Chesty" Puller (when surrounded by 8 enemy divisions)

Molly Q said...

I'm really surprised that Jack and Kate haven't even ASKED anyone if they knew anything about Claire. Even just a further explanation to how she disappeared. I think the only explanation they got was "we lost her", which I would have assumed they would have taken as "she's dead." But if they are assuming that she is alive - you would think Jack might ask about his sister.

My joy in this episode was the moment someone, FINALLY, remembered Claire. It's bugged me since the middle of last season that she could be so quickly forgotten, considering how much time the same group of people spent racing around the island looking for the pregnant Claire and the lost Walt, etc.

Sawyer jumping out of the helicopter? I wanted him to admit part of it was guilt and responsibility for letting Claire get "lost" and that he couldn't leave without at least attempting to find her. When Locke disappears in the stuck well, he seems to turn that into a crusade to stay on the island in the 70's and find Locke, but what about Claire? Even if we can assume he meant Claire, too, why not mention her name at least once?

And why would Kate not tell Jack why she's there? One reason Jack was so tormented back home was knowing that he'd left Claire, his own sister, on the island. One of the reasons he couldn't bear to be with Kate was knowing Kate was raising Claire's child. Right? So why wouldn't he embrace Kate's decision to go back to find Claire? Wouldn't she expect him to not only support her, but help her?

FlopEJoe said...

Alan, this is the most I've ever disagreed with you in a review. I thought this was one of the most painful episode of Lost. The 2-3 leading up to this one were great and this was just a slow leaking tire of a let down.

Kate joined the "Return to the Island" crew telling Jack to never speak of Aaron again so there must be some horrific story to be told. Turns out she... wait for it... left him with his grandmother??!? OMG, that's terrib... wait, what? That's what happened? Maybe I'm not keyed into the [m|p]aternal instinct and missed something.

Miles and Hugo were funny. Juliet's goodness was nice to see. Jack is, as I've always suspected, a jerk. But I didn't get much out of this episode. Ah, well... more adventures to come, I'm sure.

Lizbeth said...

Kate raised Aaron as her son for three years and as such, he is as much her baby as he is Claire's. And I think Evangeline Lilly did a fine job of selling Kate's maternal pain/guilt.

Up until last night I couldn't get over my own maternal outrage at Kate (and Sun for that matter) for abandoning their children to go back to the island. Now at least it seems as if Kate did it for noble reasons -- to find the mother of the baby she loves and would do anything for.

As a mom, I couldn't imagine making the sacrifice Kate made (leaving her son without knowing if she'd really ever see him again) -- so yeah the scene was heart-wrenching and elevated Kate's character for a change.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Kate told Jack they couldn't talk about it (leaving Aaron with Grandma) because then Jack would know Kate has told half of Los Angeles that their whole story is a lie and that they left people behind. Grandma or Cassidy could tell anyone what Kate told them. All hell is probably breaking loose in LA, with Oceanic trying to find the island to collect all their money back from these hucksters. Plus maybe Geraldo Rivera is going to start a crusade to find the missing...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Rush Blog, please leave and don't come back. You can express your dislike of an episode without attacking the people here who liked it. I asked you to stop and you became even more belligerent.

There are plenty of other places on the Web to talk about TV. Please go find one of those.

BF said...

When did Harold Perrineau start using 'The Rush Blog' as his handle?

Anonymous said...

As a parent I find Kate's abandoning of Aaron horrific - she's the only Mom he knows, a single Mom at that, and she just leaves? Why can't she tell Jack and anyone else going back to find Claire while she acts responsibly and doesn't run away for once? Sorry, I'm in the "the writers are trying to make us like her again" camp, as they hit us over the head with the "Kate has maternal feelings" hammer.
I LOVED Jack finally telling off Kate, Juliet et al. I've been waiting for a character to say something like that which actually takes into account their knowledge of what has happened and an analysis of their current situation.
And Alan, I agree that that last 2-3 seconds of Terry O'Quinn's face turning into a smile was fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Also, as a couple folks have mentioned - why didn't anyone get the doctor? There is communication between the stations - wouldn't however long it took (can't be days) for the doctor to get back from The Looking Glass be better than driving a dying kid around in the back of a van and carrying him through the woods?

cty said...

okay episode, my one complaint about the show is that the writers are somewhat bald at times - unlike a number of posters here, I found Hurley and Miles' meta-commentary overlong - and agreed with Shea on this being a little too sappy (viz the overbearing soundtrack that accompanied Kate's teary farewell - altho agreed that Lilly was great here; btw, can they give Hurley something to do besides acting as the audience's surrogate? they've done the impossible - Hurley is boring).
-- re Jack's shower: was he just so stunned by Juliet's rebuke that he forgot to dry off before putting on his shirt?
-- maitresse and others bring up a good point, although i do like the smart way the writers have avoided making too much of the Hitler analogy (that's been more done to death in the comments, it seems). I believe it was Sayid, though, who used the term "genocide" to describe the Purge, a few episodes back. Maybe someone can clarify that.
-- Really like the way Claire is gradually being re-introduced into the main story, including that hazy out of focus Easter-Egg figure (i just can't see that as a production error).
-- Losties in '77 are just about done. One or two more episodes and they'll be in New Jack City, surely.
-- is there anyone dimmer than these Dharma people? Horace's "who are you" to Jack and "what's she doing here?" when Kate's caught with Sawyer, and his subsequent drop of the subjects just struck me as dumb. Or perhaps, carrying around nearly five seasons worth of this stuff, i'm being unfair.
-- thanks for the blog Alan, and giving the miscreants enough rope to hang themselves. however, i do miss the more intelligent contrarianism of Undercover Asian Man.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The "baby Hitler" comparison doesn't speak to the scale of Ben's crimes so much as it does the fact that someone going back in time to try to kill Hitler (either in the cradle or simply as an adult before he rose to power) is a science-fiction staple, and it's an archetype Cuselof are clearly playing with here.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Club4911 said...

*i agree w/ Kareoke - Kate may have maternal instincts but not good judgement. Leaving 3yr old child, asleep and alone in a shady motel would not win her mom of the year awards.

james said...

The Rush Blog was in full effect tonight. Crazy kid couldn't convince anyone so he kept on posting.

I enjoyed the episode. I'll just echo similar sentiments. I thought the Miles-Hurley comments were directed toward the audience and was amusing.

Jack's comments felt very Locke-esque. I LOVED when he told Kate she never liked the old him which is oh-so-true. I enjoy Jack letting go. It's a good transition.

I was really glad for Sawyer's conviction to stay with Julliete and Kate's reasoning to come back not to be Sawyer. Where as I had thought they were going to ride out this childish love square, I'm glad they squashed it or at least they temporary did. I'd be happy to see them all stay the way they are now. I don't need to see Jack with Kate or Julliete.

Richard's comments might take away from Ben transition into the character we know today but it fits with what they've shown us. For example, Rosseau and her reactions with those sucked by the Black Monster.

The only question I'm confused as is what's influencing John Locke? He's clearly had some force on the island. Unless like the two groups of people there are two forces at work. One a negative force represented by the dark mist and another positive force represented by the dark mist? I don't know but there's some explaining to do.

I expect we'll see the rise of Jack in some form and probably Kate's death.

The Cheese said...

I'm in the camp of buying Kate's actions and her decision.

Overwhelmed with guilt and fearing being a f-up of a mother, she decides she must go find Claire.

This incredibly hard decision leaves her distraught and in need of comforting. Thus the Jack booty call. We all get comfort different ways. Lucky for Jack.

How many of us, or how many people do you know run to ex's during times of need? Just for some comfort. Plus, who else was Kate going to run to?

I believe she tells Jack to never ask about what happened to Aaron again, because it's too hard of a thing to discuss. She doesn't want to talk or think about it more than she has to.

She's a flawed person, that has perfected the art of running from things and thus is just reverting to old tactics of burying feelings/ memories.

Just my interpretation.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"Rush Blog, please leave and don't come back."

Thank you, Alan.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Molly Q said about being glad that they talked about Claire again.

Sometimes I wish they would at least name drop people or issues even if they don't really get into them.

LIKE ROSE AND BERNARD. OR CINDY AND THE KIDS. Couldn't people just work their names into a conversation about what is going on? Why didn't Hurley ask Miles, "Hey, wher'e are they?" and Miles just say, I don't know where they are?"

When they don't address this stuff, as a viewer I feel a little abandoned and insulted.

Anonymous said...

Count me as someone who loved the Miles/Hurley convo. I feel Miles' pain. "Why don't you ask me some more questions about time travel?" had me rolling.

And I also agree with karaokequeen. I thought Kate's maternal instincts were pretty terrible. Claire was going to give Aaron up for adoption anyway, and so Kate took care of him as her own. Good on her. Then, she suddenly decides that finding Claire is better for Aaron, even though Claire was going to give him away anyway and Kate is the only family he knows? And then she just leaves him with Claire's mom, whom she doesn't know from Adam? I really, really don't think that was The Right Thing to Do, or maternal at all, and I don't understand why she would be looking for Claire. It doesn't make sense for Aaron, and Kate was fine leaving her on the island the first time (if she's even alive).

ALSO (and sorry for the rambling)... Kate and Cassidy kept talking about how Sawyer broke Kate's heart. Um, didn't Kate have her pick of Jack or Sawyer and just never decided? She strung them both along and hooked up with whomever was closest, if I remember correctly. So I'm not sure how Sawyer broke her heart. So yeah, also count me among those who still don't really like Kate or understand her motivations. Though she was considerably less mopey this episode (and out of the worksuit and into a tight shirt), which was a big plus.

-R

Alan Sepinwall said...

Sorry if this was said, above. I admit I didn't read all of the posts

If you can't follow my request and do the common courtesy of reading anyone else, then no one's going to be reading your comment, either.

Anonymous said...

On Kate in a Pencil Skirt:

I am always intrigued by Kate's style off island. She is so rugged and tomboy beautiful on the island. I am always a little surprised how glam she goes in LA with the pencil skirts and the straight hair.

Also, her style does not seem like that of a young mother.

I don't know. I love her look but it doesn't seem to fit any aspects of her character. I guess it could be a way of showing different sides of her?

Rhonda said...

Last week, I called for Kate to be thrown into the nearest volcano as an island sacrifice. If she were here right now I'd apologize to her. This was the first time I've actually liked her since season one. I truly hope the writers allow her to be free of any romantic entanglements because that's when she's at her best. I love the fact that her reason for returning to the island is to find Claire and I fully accept that this is based on her maternal instincts as Aaron's foster mom.

Now that Ben has Kate's blood flowing inside his veins, does that make the two of them blood-brother-and-sister? At least that's the way it worked when I was a kid. ;)

I enjoyed all the personal revelations from last night. Things some fans have more or less surmised but haven't heard from the characters' lips. Roger Linus confessing to Kate that he's been a terrible father; Jack admitting that he's waiting for the island to let him know what to do next (or words to that effect); Sawyer's indirect declaration that it's Juliet he loves. Very satisfying for me, at any rate.

I completely enjoyed Miles and Hurley's dueling discussion on the consequences of time travel. There was such a "Who's on first?" feel to it.

Anonymous said...

Miles says "When Ben turned the wheel, blah blah, time shifted."

Does anyone know about the donkey wheel besides Locke and Ben? Who told Miles? Maybe Locke told the Oceanic 6 about it but why does Miles know?

Was there ever a conversation on screen about this? Or does this depend on there being conversations happening off screen?

Danny Cohen said...

This episode proves, once again, that the writers/producers know what they're doing. As they did with Locke in the middle of Season 3, blowing up stations and subs, we thought he was crazy, and it turns out he was just trying to stay on the island. I could not stop thinking "how are they going to make it not seem like Kate is the worst person in the world for abandoning Aaron," and it turns out they did a wonderful surprise that she abandoned him because he will never be her full son. She'll always have the fear of losing him, and the best thing for Aaron is Claire. I was very satisfied by that revelation.

This then gives me extreme hope that they know what they're doing with Jack, who, hasn't been that active in the season as a whole. He hasn't been the leader. Someone else posted that the is now Locke, which makes as he was always meant to be Locke (look at that final mobisode). But right now it is painful to watch him write off saving a child's life and just sitting back.

I am excited for the back end of this season. I have a feeling that the earlier episodes will gain strength once their paired with the later episodes.

Big props to whoever made the connection of why Juliet was time traveling and Libby+Kids were. You can actually become an Other through something at the temple (bar mitzvah?). Something Juliet never went through, I guess.

This was a solid episode and continues to show how much Lost knows what's going on with itself. (just look at the runway, which, at the latest, was conceived at the end, if not beginning, of Season 3.) That being said, I am missing the dread that comes with a really cool Lost episode, because we are so comfortable in this time period. The audience has too much knowledge and power. I'd like to have my mind messed with a little more, please.

zb said...

Alan, didn't Sawyer told Kate, on the island (before the helicopter scene), that he had a daughter? I have this recollection of seing them speaking about it and he even told the mother's name and Kate looked like she recognized it, but I've been trying to figure out in wich episode that happened and I just can't remember. Maybe in season 3 finale? Or maybe I'm just imagening things... Oh man, I'm completly lost...

Anthony Strand said...

Anon - I assumed Locke told Miles (along with Sawyer, Juliet, Daniel and possibly Charlotte) about it when they were time-jumping together.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing to think of Jack's psychological journey over the past week or so. We first saw him as a suicidal drugged-out hallucinating crazy-bearded depressive about 28 episodes and almost two years ago, but that was really only a few days ago in Jack-time. I don't know what that means (for either the character or the actor), but I just thought I'd point it out.

Stef said...

An Anon poster above did mention this, but the biggest red flag for me in the course of the episode was that we saw Kate tell *two* different people the real story of flight 815. Cassidy and Grandma Littleton now know everything. Will they both keep the secrets? (Grandma is more likely to, I'd guess.) Have any of the other O6 blabbed like Kate did? Now I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that in present day (2007?) storyline, the news is starting to get out and the world may be learning more about the Island. Maybe not, but it seemed like too big a slip from Kate for it not to have repercussions...

R said...

Danny Cohen above and Alan in his review make good points concerning why we should Kate now...but it all depends buying Kate's motivations, and I don't. Again, why can Kate never be Aaron's mother? I know several people who have been adopted and they are doing just fine. Why is leaving Aaron behind with someone whom Kate barely knows better for Aaron?

The only way I could buy all of this is if instead of looking at it as Kate changing and finally running to something (Claire), as Alan noted, we look at it as Kate once again running away. She admits she adopted Aaron for her own reasons, and she can't deal with that guilt. She also can't deal with the feeling that she is going to lose him. So rather than sticking around and being a good mother and doing what is best for Aaron, she runs away from the guilt. And rather than be a good mother and fighting for her son (if she were to ever lose him anyway), she preempts it and just gives him up. She did the easier thing in this episode, and justified it to herself by calling it The Right Thing, which it is not.

R said...

...why we should *like* Kate now. Sorry.

Jordan said...

Am I the only one who expected to see the numbers show up a lot more in Dharmaville? We haven't seen them at all. Could Hurley bring them with him?

spiderpig said...

Great recap/comments as usual Alan. Don't have much to add except that I really need to skip the "Last time on Lost" scenes show at the beginning of the show. As soon as they showed Cassidy I was like "oh, that's what Sawyer whispered in Kate's ear" and when they showed Jack talking to Claire's mom I was like "oh, that's what Kate did with Aaron and came back to the island". I didn't even need to watch the flashbacks since it was all answered neatly in the first 60 seconds of the episode. Boo.

I absolutely loved Hurley looking at his hand waiting for it to go transparent. I'm glad he and Miles had that meta commentary about time travel. At least it gave them *something* to do.

I really wanted to smack Kate when she said "I don't like the new Jack" and Jack said she didn't like the old one either. Step off, Freckles! I love the new Jack (old Jack made the baby Jesus cry) and his "Then he dies" comment about Ben. Love it!

Can I geek out for a moment and say that Jack reminded me of Worf in the ST:TNG episode where Dr. Crusher was trying to persuade him to donate blood to an injured Romulan and Worf refuses? New Jack is as bada$$ as a Klingon! :)

Dr. Crusher: *This* Romulan didn't murder your parents. And you are the only one who can save his life.

Lt Worf: Then he will die.

J. Pitts said...

Maybe lil' Ben will get the Clockwork Orange-like brainwashing that Karl (remember him?) got back in season 2.

Anyone think that'll ever be explained?

J. Pitts said...

Oh, and I don't think we've talked about the role reversal that jack and sawyer have had. Sawyer is now the guy with the savior complex, and Jack is the cynical I am just out for me kind of guy now-I think this is what makes both of them so likable now.

Anonymous said...

Following up on a comment I made a few weeks ago. I really believe John Locke is somehow future Jack. 2007 jack goes back to 1977, and stays in that "continuum" until 2004 when he gets on a flight with 2004 Jack (now John). The more I see of 1977 Jack, the more he is headed in the direction of 2004 John. Is that possible from a time travel perspective (well in the absurd reality of this show)? Thoughts?

Andrew said...

I don't think that it's a bad thing to have another, different, exposition of the rules of time travel. Especially when it's Hurley and Miles. And that it comes within the context of this episode, where it establishes that Kate, Sawyer and Juliet have the Others save Ben and have always saved Ben.

As far as whatever happens in the temple giving Ben amnesia, perhaps that isn't as important for Ben's own story (for the reasons that many other commenters have mentioned above), but for Claire. In season 1, Ethan took her somewhere and when she returned to the camp, Claire did not remember who these people were or that she was in the crash of flight 815. Perhaps she went into the temple for the healing/otherization procedure that Ben went through, as did the members of Rousseau's science team.

I thought Juliet said, "at the looking glass station, with Faraday," not anything about it being Friday.

I thought that it was Friday, but I hope it was, in fact, "Faraday," because that would at least acknowledge that he didn't just fade out of existence, Marty McFly style.

Speaking of Back to the Future, this is funny, An open letter from Doc Brown to Marty McFly.

Andrew said...

Does the time traveller's prime directive (do no harm to the future) trump the Hippocratic oath (do no harm)? Does it affect the ethical determination if the time traveller knows that he's experiencing 12 Monkeys/Lost-style time travel instead of BTTF-style time travel?

Whatever the answer, Jack is still a jerk. And that just by shaving the beard doesn't not make him a jerk. But the fact that he's become, essentially, Locke (convinced that he has a purpose and that the island is going to guide him or something) could be an interesting character development (or regression).

Q Ball said...

Welcome to the Land of the Living. - Locke

Anyone else as interested in this line as I am? Like another poster said before, I think this really hints to the fact that the Others may in fact be dead, or at least not "living."

The fact that this episode (and the episodes prior) have ben so good without some of the more interesting characters (Faraday, Locke, Desmond) gives me some hope that the last part of season 5 is going to kick ass!

Also, Alpert continues to interest me and every moment he is on the screen gets me up on the edge of my seat. My favorite theory has always been that Alpert has been on the Island since the Black Rock and he was the captain. I would be one happy Lost fan if that turned out to be true.

Agree with the view that Kate's plight is becoming interesting for once and Miles & Hurley were the perfect characters for some meta-commentary on time travel.

Bobman said...

An Anon poster above did mention this, but the biggest red flag for me in the course of the episode was that we saw Kate tell *two* different people the real story of flight 815. Cassidy and Grandma Littleton now know everything. Will they both keep the secrets? (Grandma is more likely to, I'd guess.) Have any of the other O6 blabbed like Kate did? Now I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that in present day (2007?) storyline, the news is starting to get out and the world may be learning more about the Island.

I wonder what effect this would even have. The only reason they lied in the first place is to keep people from looking for the Island, right? Considering how difficult the Island is to find, that's almost a moot point. Someone mentioned Oceanic coming for their settlement back, but why would they do that? The settlement is compensation for the hardship of the crash; the existence of the Island does nothing to remove that (considering all that happened in those 108 days, they arguably deserve MORE).

So aside from their lives being different if and when they return to the real world present, I dont' know what the real story "getting out" would do.

rosseau said...

I've said this elsewhere, but I think the supermarket scene was a reference to an old Ian McEwan novel, The Child in Time. Haven't read it, but from the Internets, the story is about a troubled man of the future who loses his little girl in a supermarket. The daughter's name is Kate and her disappearance (or abduction) sets in motion the hero's road to redemption. There are also characters in the novel called Charles and Julie. And, according to wikipedia, time travel elements in the story.

Anonymous said...

@stef: "Have any of the other O6 blabbed like Kate did? "

The only one I can think of is Hurley, who told his parents.

Michael said...

Re: the "land of the living" comment - there's nothing to read into that. It's the equivalent of saying "good morning, sleepyhead" to someone who has just woken up.

Word verification: unseless, which is the state of not having any unse.

bapbap said...

I'd just like to agree with "R" a few comments above. What Kate did was similar to what Sawyer did -- jumping out of the plane looked noble, but it was also selfish. Sawyer basically agrees with Cassidy's interpretation of the event when Kate repeats it to him. Similarly, Kate acts noble in going back to get Claire, but her real motivation is to run away from Aaron.

Danny Cohen said...

In response to "why couldn't Kate be a mother?" Of course adoption is 100% wonderful way of having a family, but for Kate, it wasn't. She said to Cassidy that she felt "relief" when she thought Aaron was taken. It's about time, she felt. However, she still loves and cares for Aaron, therefore needing to go and find Claire. (Also, I like the idea that Claire went through a similar procedure to Ben in the temple to make her not time travel) She is running away, true, but to give a better life to Aaron.

Another note: Locke must've been thinking about what to say for the entire night in the most dramatic way possible.

Jillian said...

I am certainly not the first to have this take, but it is worth repeating in light of this episode - could it be that the others are dead, and can't have children because life can't come from death? Assuming Claire wasn't taken to the temple (or wherever the death of the others occurs) she and Rousseau would still be able to deliver a healthy baby on the island, just as Sun was able to conceive a healthy baby on the island. Although the island 6 killed the others who were attacking Amy, so maybe they aren't dead, just undead with the looming possibility of total death.

Anonymous said...

Evangeline Lilly knocked it out of the ballpark in this episode. Just incredible acting. Loved how all the pieces connected here with Cassidy and Clemintine and Aaron and the grandmother... good stuff.

Was I the only one expecting Kate's own mom to somehow come back into play?

annie said...

In response to Alan, going with the idea that the blonde in the supermarket is a helpful shopper.

Ben's surprise at seeing Locke surprised me. I figured Ben knew Locke would survive if he got back to the island so his reaction left me intrigued to hear the rest of that conversation.

I'm in the camp that says Jack is the central hero of Lost. And he finally had lines that made sense to me. He's calm, decisive, a bit cocky - my stereotype of a surgeon. Loved his line that Kate didn't like the old Jack either. He's not cutting anyone any slack.

I've always been neutral on Kate. The storyline works for me for the character Kate, but as a mother, I just could never have left my 3 year old with a stranger grandmother to go find the biological mother, so the story feels more contrived to me than maybe the writers intend.

Speaking of motherhood - the Losties have father issues and thus far the offspring of the Losties have mother's leaving them - Ji Yeon, Aaron, and potentially Charlie if Ben carried out his plan to kill Penny.

belinda said...

It was a good episode, but I found it pretty hard like some of you to swallow that Kate's motivation behind going back to the island is her awoken maternal sense to bring her child's real mother back to civilization. I do think it is probably the only logical (or one that doesn't involve the sometimes tedious love triangle thing) explanation why she's back, but even with good acting and a more or less convincing story in this episode, I have no idea why I don't really buy it either. Perhaps I really am pretty tired of her as a character overall. She's had a ton of Kate focused episodes in the past, yet she's probably one of the few main characters that I don't particularly care as to what happens to her hereafter.

Regardless, it's a good direction for the Kate character though, since I'm supposing she'd play a part when/if the whole MIA Claire thing comes to light. If that is the case, I suppose this was a good setup episode too.

I wonder if we'd ever get into Miles' backstory. We still don't really know much about him, other than his ability to talk to the dead and that he likes money. I like Miles. He and Hurley make a good comic relief team on the island.

Seeing Locke at the end there certainly gave me goosebumps. I've missed Locke.

Anonymous said...

I'm really excited to see how Kate's mission to save Claire and bring her back home plays out.

And the scene with her and Jack a few episodes back when she comes to his house after losing Aaron in tears and then starts kissing him now makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

Alan do you really read through all the comments? I can't believe how many there are these days! If so, you rock.

Kacie said...

The one thing that saddens me about the maternal instinct/leaving Aaaron with grama thing is that it really makes it seem like we're pretty much done with Aaron, and that is is somewhat unimportant to the story. It seemed like there was some major buildup about Aaron being special, needing Claire, etc. Now Claire seems to be significant, but not Aaron. If they dump Walt in the same way, I will not be happy.

R said...

@Danny Cohen, I was thinking the same thing about Locke's greeting to Ben. What a ham. I think he nailed it though.

And I understand the position that Kate went to find Claire out of her love for Aaron. I'm just not clear on *why* she thought finding Claire would be better for him. To me, the best thing for Aaron would have been for Kate to stay and raise him. I think that the writers intended us to have your interpretation of things, but for me it just doesn't seem genuine. Oh well.

belinda said...

Or, and I'm feeling like I need to rewatch some old episodes now. I can't seem to keep track of who knows what when now. When Hurley asked Miles why Ben didn't recognize Sayid when he was torturing him, I keep thinking, should Miles know about this? When was he on the island at the time? Has he met all of the 815 gang?

Same thing happened when I saw Sawyer asking Richard about Ben. We know that Richard knows Ben, but judging from his questioning look, Sawyer doesn't know this from his future past. Which was strange.

And I know I had that feeling too last week about Ben, or who knows what about Ben exactly, who's seen Ben do this and not that, etc.

I'm pretty comfortable with the whole time traveling bits, but much less so on this who knows what bit. Am I the only one feeling like I am an amnnesiac

Juanita's Journal said...

That was a badly written episode. It really was. I felt as if I was watching the emergence of "Saint Kate", instead of an interesting episode about the reasons behind a woman's choices. But there were no reasons given for Kate's sudden desire to save Ben's life. The episode had her in a state of frantic over Ben's condition that did not make any sense. Even worse, the episode went too far and had her donate blood to him.

When I heard that she would finally be confessing the lie about Aaron, I thought she would be confessing to Sawyer, Juliet and the other castaways. Instead, she confessed to Sawyer's old girlfriend. That was disappointing. So, Sawyer still doesn't know about the lie surrounding Aaron. Nor does he know that Kate had no intention of returning to the island to save his life. And she still has the murder of Wayne Jensen hanging over her head. If we're supposed to root for them to get together following this episode, I think that the writers have failed. At least with me.

Last, but not least, Kate tells Cassidy that she plans to return to the island, find Claire and get her back home. How? Is Kate really that stupid? Surely she must have realized that there was no way to achieve this in 2007. She does not know about the runway that Frank Lapidus used to land Flight 316. Locke had destroyed the Dharma sub back in Season 3. And Kate knows about the destruction of the freighter. How was she planning to send Claire back to Aaron? Or was she talking out of her ass?

And why did Jack refuse to save Ben? Was his reason the same as Sayid's? Because Ben will grow up to be a manipulative and murderous man? How did Jack suddenly become anti-Ben, again? I read a piece on this episode on WIKIPEDIA and it claimed that Jack was to blame for creating the monster, Ben Linus. I cannot buy that. It seemed as if they are trying to absolve Sayid of his crime. And that does not work with me.

Speaking of Sayid's crime, it seems that Ben will no longer have any memories of it, following Richard's treatment. If this was the case, what in the hell was the point of Sayid shooting Ben in the first place? What were the writers trying to achieve? Was the shooting nothing more than a contrived event to make Kate lovable to the fans again? Was it a plotline to explain how Ben became so murderous? Hell, they could have done that and allowed Ben to retain his memories of the shooting. This whole "erasing Ben's memories of Sayid's crime" made no sense to me.

You know, ever since "Eggtown", Kate's story arc has been badly handled by the writers. It started with that ludicrous attempt by her to get information from Miles about her status as a fugitive. Then it developed into the storyline surrounding her custody of Aaron that went no where. The only thing that the Aaron storyline achieved was a temporary estragement between her and Jack. The storyline surrounding her return to the island . . . badly written. And now the producers dumped this badly written episode on the viewers in order to make Kate favorable to the viewers again. They even used this episode to blame Jack for Ben's slide into darkness. It seemed to be working . . . but at a heavy price. In the end, all Lindehof and Cuse did was sacrifice any semblance of artistic achievement for bad characterizations and mediocre writing.

How sad.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan do you really read through all the comments?

Of course I do.

Sujay said...

Woop, guess I was wrong about the Faraday/Friday thing. It was "until Friday." Wishful thinking I guess. :D

Joe said...

Don't you think that Ben's breakfast date with Kate in the mini-arc at the beginning of Season 3 could somehow be related to her saving his life in the past?

Perhaps a "thank you" before he locks her up?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Is there a reason why Richard thinks he recognizes Kate? He seemed fixated on her, asking her who she was and if they had met before.
(sorry if this was addressed in some episode, I only started watching this season...).

Bobman said...

(sorry if this was addressed in some episode, I only started watching this season...).

And THAT'S the biggest question you have?!

Stacy said...

I was very happy to see more of Miles, I really hope we see his back story.

I very interested in Richard’s line that he does not answer to Charles or Elle, this confirms what some people have been saying, that he answers to the island. His job is to do what is best for the island, including finding the right leader.

As far as Ben’s memory is concerned, Richard just said “he won’t remember any of this”. That can include getting shot or what happened after he was shot.
I do like the fact that Sayid, Jack, Kate, Juliet and Sawyer all had a hand in turning Ben into who he is. Sayid shot him, Jack refused to help, and Kate, Juliet and Sawyer brought him to Richard. And to all you disappointed that Ben was turned evil by artificial means, I don’t think that’s all there is too it. Maybe whatever happens in the Temple makes him more intoned with the island and willing to do anything for it, I don’t think this automatically turns someone bad, I still think is father played a huge part into making him who he is.

It has now been five episode with no Desmond, the writers BETTER be planning something big for him to make his fans happy.

littlegirltree said...

@Toby O'B
Was Ben taken to the Others mortally wounded in the original timeline? We'll never know now, I guess There never was another timeline. Miles explained it, what is happening in the past always happened, there was never any deviation.

@ karaokequeen
Ben, I guess from that look on his face he really, really wasn't expecting to see Locke alive again. So much for my vague suspicions that Ben's known all along what's going to happen/has happened. Miles’ same explanation applies here, too. Ben only knew what he did about what was going to happen because of info he got from the time-traveling Losties about the future. He’s not omniscient, he is just using the info he soaked up during his weird little life.

@ Other Sean
I'd like to toss this out there; what if Richard KNEW that saving young Ben ultimately tied into the time paradox(es) and saving the Island? I think the same applies to Richard as does to Ben. Richard still seems not in-the loop. He’s green and still learning. When we first met him (speaking in terms of linear time) w/ Widmore, he was just an ordinary guy. He’s not yet become the mysteriously wise Alpert of the future.

@ Anonymous
It doesn't make sense for Aaron, and Kate was fine leaving her on the island the first time (if she's even alive). I think Kate was living in a constant state of paranoia and guilt and blamed herself. She figured that the only way to stop this was to revolve it by finding Claire. She was such a wreck, I think she felt like it was compromising her mothering abilities.

Anonymous said...

re: Ben's potential memory of Juliet from her time in the 70s and his obsessoin with her because of it....

Maybe i'm just remembering really really wrong, but wasn't there also a little blonde friend of Ben's that was referred to in one of his flashbacks early on? I always thought he just had a big ol' crush on some chicky that died or ran away or something. After Charlotte was introduced as a child at Dharma at the same time, i even thought that might be her, although why a 2005 Ben wouldn't recognize the name at least.... Maybe that theory falls apart eventually, but am I way off bout the little girlfriend Benny had back in the day....you know, before he had a pager?

Danny Cohen said...

I disagree with everything that Juantia says, but that is alright. That being said, I want to argue!

Kate felt sorry for Roger Linus, knowing that she recently left "her" child, she wants to help a father and a son. That is why she was "a state of frantic over Ben's condition."

Kate's thinking of "planning to send Claire back to Aaron" could be by utilizing the method that Locke used (which she doesn't know the specifics of, but it worked for Ben and Locke...) I don't think she is stupid, but hopeful. It is better than omniscient characters who make decisions based on facts rather than nuances that result in mistakes and lies and guesses.

I share Juanita's problems surrounding Ben's memory being wiped out. It would make everything Ben does that much more interesting with him knowing that he's seen all these people before. However, for all the other characters, and the process of Othering, it needs to be consistent.

CDG said...

Here's the thing: Kate did NOT adopt Aaron, she kindof...appropriated him.

Understandable under the circumstances, maybe, but it made complete sense that she would always be living under Damocles sword. The only thing keeping Aaron with her was the lie - otherwise he would have gone immediately to his grandmother. It makes no difference that Claire intended adoption while she was pregnant - she birthed him, kept him, and mothered him on the island. She is his mother, not Kate, and I totally bought Kate being torn up by the conflict between the love and attachment she came to have for Aaron and the knowledge that he wasn't rightfully hers and would be gone when she was found out. (That's why she ran away from the lawyer.) And of course she knows that the more time that goes by, the worse the heartbreak for Aaron.

(And I've got a kid that age, so the hotel room thing drove me crazy too, not the going down the hall to talk to Grandma, but the taking off and just assuming she'll be able to go over there and take care of him with no problems arising on the way. Place the kid in her hands before you leave!)

Anonymous said...

@Bobman- It's not the biggest question I have, but a question pertaining to this episode. I've been reading this blog and watching the episodes that people reference online. And basically, just go along for the ride.

Bobman said...

It's not the biggest question I have, but a question pertaining to this episode. I've been reading this blog and watching the episodes that people reference online. And basically, just go along for the ride.

Don't worry Anon, just teasing you; I just can't imagine jumping headfirst into this show without the backstory, there's just so much there I would be completely lost :)

jim treacher said...

Look, if Ben's evil, he's really only evil to about a hundred people, tops. Killing him as a kid would because he pisses you off 30 years later is kinda selfish.

You might see it differently if you were one of those 100 people.

Killing him as a kid because he murdered about 80 Dharma people is more defensible, but no one is bringing that up.

Sayid did.

As a parent I find Kate's abandoning of Aaron horrific - she's the only Mom he knows, a single Mom at that, and she just leaves?

Because it's the only way to find his real mom?

Does anyone know about the donkey wheel besides Locke and Ben? Who told Miles?

Good question. Daniel, maybe? We still don't know what happened between the opening scene of the season and now. Or then. Now/then. [hands Hurley pistol] Shoot me. Please. Please?

I really believe John Locke is somehow future Jack.

I like the idea, but we've already seen Locke's birth in the '50s and childhood in the '60s. As well as Jack's childhood in the '70s. Seems pretty clear they're two different guys.

When I heard that she would finally be confessing the lie about Aaron, I thought she would be confessing to Sawyer, Juliet and the other castaways. Instead, she confessed to Sawyer's old girlfriend. That was disappointing.

Why? They were friends before, when Kate was on the run, and Sawyer asked Kate to help his daughter. It's not so much that Kate confessed as that Cassidy saw through her (she was a con artist, after all), and Kate realized there was no point in pretending with this woman.

P.S. I think Locke said "Welcome back to the land of the living" because "Check it out, you murdered me and now I'm not dead anymore, and I'm gonna get you!" was a little too on the nose.

Bobman said...

I really believe John Locke is somehow future Jack.

I like the idea, but we've already seen Locke's birth in the '50s and childhood in the '60s. As well as Jack's childhood in the '70s. Seems pretty clear they're two different guys.


I can't think of a single way in which Locke could conceivably be "future Jack." Maybe in mentality (Jack suddenly becomes spiritual and a believer in the island? Maybe) but literally? It makes less than zero sense based on all the backstories.

Anonymous said...

jim treacher suggests maybe kate left Aaron "Because it's the only way to find his real mom?"
The problem is - why is Kate personally going back to the island the only way to find (and presumably return) Claire? Does Kate have some magic power that none of the others going back (even just Jack, who would be looking for his half-sister!) would have to find and get Claire physically back to Aaron?
To me it's laziness on the writers/producers part that they did not give us a better view of why Kate has to do this personally at the expense of leaving a little boy without his Mom - likely because they just wanted to set up the "Kate cares about kids" storyline for saving Ben. And in the process sacrifice intrinsic character believability.

Anonymous said...

[I]As a parent I find Kate's abandoning of Aaron horrific - she's the only Mom he knows, a single Mom at that, and she just leaves? Why can't she tell Jack and anyone else going back to find Claire while she acts responsibly and doesn't run away for once? Sorry, I'm in the "the writers are trying to make us like her again" camp, as they hit us over the head with the "Kate has maternal feelings" hammer.[/I]

Thoughts like that ran through my mind while watching the episode last night. I thoroughly liked the episode and was very impressed with EL's performance. BUT... as my 10 month old son slept peacefully upstiars, I kept thinking... if I were the only parent this child knew for THREE YEARS and decided to suddenly leave him with his biological grandmother who is a complete stranger... well, that's a pretty traumatic and awful thing to do to a kid.

So yeah, a bit manipulative on the writers' parts, but that's how this show has always been. And I can support a Kate who is going back to the island to find his "real" mom (even though I think at this point Kate is his real mom in Aaron's eyes and finding his biological mom isn't going to help Aaron much or do much for him.)

Love Miles. Love Sawyer. Loved the 3 seconds of Locke at the end. What a great look on Terry O'Quinn's face. BRING IT!

jim treacher said...

The problem is - why is Kate personally going back to the island the only way to find (and presumably return) Claire?

Because they all had to go back. Without her it wouldn't have worked. That's what they've been told, at least.

To me it's laziness on the writers/producers part that they did not give us a better view of why Kate has to do this personally at the expense of leaving a little boy without his Mom - likely because they just wanted to set up the "Kate cares about kids" storyline for saving Ben.

Because as much as she loves him, she knows she's not his real mom. And now she has a chance to go find Claire.

It's not like she left him standing in the street or something. He's with the grandmother he never even knew he had. And possibly his mom. (Although I don't think it's going to work out that way, but there's no way Kate can know that.)

littlegirltree said...

@Anonymous
The problem is - why is Kate personally going back to the island the only way to find (and presumably return) Claire? Does Kate have some magic power that none of the others going back? Yes, she does, Locke told her so. He tried to make all of the O6 see that they are responsible for the fates of the Losties left behind on the island.

jim treacher said...

How about this: Kate stays with Aaron. What happens when he grows up and figures out that she's not really his mom? And she knows she had a chance to find his real mom, and was literally one of the only people in the world who could've done it, but she didn't? That would be better?

Pepsi said...

I see I'm not completely alone in this, but I found myself enjoying the "new Jack". I haven't really felt much for this central character since Season 1. As an unabashed Locke cheerleader, I suppose Jack never had a chance with me. =)

I'm hoping for more and more of this relaxed and accepting attitude from him in the future. In the words of Morpheus, "He's beginning to believe..."

The new Kate? I don't buy it. I think she's still running, but in all honesty, I don't care much either way.

Loved the reappearance of Locke and even more, the slightest bit of fear that seemed to cross Ben's face when their eyes met.

Lastly, I'm of the opinion that Sawyer was referring to Clementine when he said he was "doing it for her."

Anonymous said...

Good comments - much food for thought. I know she was told they all had to go back but she got on the plane with no idea if they all were going to be sitting in those seats - in fact based on what happened at the marina it was likely they all were NOT going to be on the plane (Hurley was in jail and not even at the marina).
This gets to the heart of the idea of all the O6 going back - from her character's perspective just before that Ajira flight, she didn't seem to care/believe Locke or Jack that she had to be there to make it work, and this episode implies she was on the plane for her own purposes, not to make the magic of them all being there work.

Juanita's Journal said...

Look, if Ben's evil, he's really only evil to about a hundred people, tops.


Why do people keep acting as if Ben was responsible for the Purge? I thought he had simply helped and it was Richard or Jacob who ordered the Purge.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! He's just following orders..... wait, are we getting back to a baby Hitler discussion?

Juanita's Journal said...

Because as much as she loves him, she knows she's not his real mom. And now she has a chance to go find Claire.


And do what? She knows that Locke had destroyed the sub. She knows that the freighter had blown up. How was Kate planning to send Claire back to Aaron? Use the Donkey Wheel and start the whole time jumping mess again? What?

And Kate still has to account for her kidnapping of Aaron and the past crimes that includes Wayne Jensen's murder.

And why place the blame for Ben's turn to the "Dark Side" solely on Jack? Sayid has to take the blame, as well.

This episode does not feel right.

Juanita's Journal said...

BUT... as my 10 month old son slept peacefully upstiars, I kept thinking... if I were the only parent this child knew for THREE YEARS and decided to suddenly leave him with his biological grandmother who is a complete stranger... well, that's a pretty traumatic and awful thing to do to a kid.


I have to disagree. Handing Aaron over to Carole Littleton was the right thing to do. Kate had no business raising Aaron in the first place. What she had done with him was illegal. It was wrong. By kidnapping Aaron in the first place, she had set in motion for any future trauma that Aaron would suffer on the identity of his parents and grandparents.

JDubTrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JDubTrey said...

Oh, by the way, Cuselof have mentioned the Hitler metaphor themselves. If you want to blame someone for the ubiquity of it, blame them! :)

JDubTrey said...

A few things I want to vent about (looooooong):

As Alan said, why is it accpeted that Juliet is a doc now? I mean, Sawyer et al openly admitted that they were NOT others nor Dharma, so we really don't know how they were accepted into the fold. Maybe Dhamra knew she was a doc but didn't need her to practice. As of right now, it looks like she's changing oil one day, delivers a baby the next day and is running a shock trama unit the third. Anyway, since Juliet can do no wrong in my eyes, I will overlook this! Hopefully this gets answered in a circa 1974 flashback.

Also as Alan said, why is Kate not suprised to see that Cassidy is Sawyer's old girl? To be more clear, it shouldn't suprise Cassidy that Kate knew Sawyer because she probably heard from reports of the crash that both people were on the plane. However, there's no reason that Kate should have known ahead of time that her ol scamming beast rolldog was Sawyer's baby momma. Did Sawyer whipser Cassidy's name too? If not, I guess Kate got over the suprise on the drive to Cassidy's house. By the way, how many ex Deadwood actors are in this show? I used to think Kate Dickens was bangin back in the day....

BTW, there's really no use watching the ABC promos for this show. The way they set it up, Horace was going to hang all the new recruits by the genetailia until they starting singing about what happened to little Ben. Of course, we knew that Kate, Jack and Hurley had nothing to do with it, which was going to make this show quite pivotal. As it turns out, the guy that arrests them is Miles, who spends the whole time shooting ths ish with Hurley. Jack is making sammiches and PMS'ing about Kate's motives, and Kate is saving the children of the world while stopping to play footsies with a-hole papa Linus. Good show, but not nearly what ABC was selling. ;)

I disagree with Alan's notion that Kate appeared to be returning for Sawyer. This was the furthest thing from my mind. Think about it, Kate doesn't want to go, then comes back to Jack in LA and says, "I got your back.....don't ask about Aaron EVER AGAIN...now let's make love." What part of that made jack think that Sawyer had anything to do with her going back? To me, it HAD to have something to do with Aaron. Nothing else made sense. Just another reason to dislike Jack, IMO who seems to think that Kate's back because she hasn't driven a 'Ford' lately.

The whole Cassidy Jedi mind trick was a bit forced. So, Sawyer jumped from a descending helo (which by itself is not so safe), into the sea/bay, and then swam back to an island that he was told would undergo untold horrors....just because he didn't want to committ to Kate? Are you kidding me? If anything, Sawyer had no life in the real word and wanted Kate to stay with him. Then, Cassidy extends that notion and accuses Kate of latching onto Aaron to fill the void left by Sawyer. I wasn't buying any of that, but whatever floats your boat...or in this case, gets you back on the plane.

Bobman said...

I have to disagree. Handing Aaron over to Carole Littleton was the right thing to do. Kate had no business raising Aaron in the first place. What she had done with him was illegal. It was wrong. By kidnapping Aaron in the first place, she had set in motion for any future trauma that Aaron would suffer on the identity of his parents and grandparents.

I have to ask what you believe would have been the best course of action. Claire had disappeared without Aaron. Should Kate have stayed on the island rather than be "rescued", on the off chance that Claire was alive and would come back? Should she have handed the baby over as soon as they were rescued, possibly dooming him to a life of foster care? If I remember correctly, Jack never told her about Claire's mom until recently, so she didn't even know Claire had family to give the baby to, that's a big risk to take when she feels so responsible for Aaron's well-being.

hypotamoose said...

Did anyone else think that when Kate lost Aaron in the supermarket that something had happened in the space-time continuum to make Aaron (or at least, Aaron's being in that spot at that exact time) blink out of existence.

I really thought they were going for a Mulholland Dr. vibe there.

Also, I really thought that Ben was going to open his eyes, see Juliet, and from that point forward remember her as the one who saved his life.

Anonymous said...

I agree with JDubTrey.

Alan great review as always, but...
Where do you get the idea that Jack is bitter because he thinks Kate came back for Sawyer?

When she finally agreed to come back, she tells Jack to never ask about Aaron and then jumps his bones.

So she has a secret about Jack's half sister's baby and then sleeps with Jack, how does that get him to think see is returning for Sawyer exactly? I don't follow.

I think you are putting motives in the old character you didn't like, that frankly the producers, writers and actor never intended.

Jennifer J. said...

Thank you, Alan. :)

l.b. weighs in said...

@ Bobman,

Kate was at Christian's funeral with Aaron when Claire's Mom introduced herself to Jack and told him Claire was his sister. Kate heard the whole exchange.

Thought is was a great ep. I think one of the things it showed was that no matter what happened Ben would end up how he ended up. Even if Jack had stepped in and saved him, and his brush with death had made his Dad treat him better something else would have happened to trigger his gassing the town. Just like Desmond not being able to save Charlie, or Michael not being able to kill himself.
The question for me is what is it going to do to Jack when he sees the results of his not helping.

And I loved the meta time travel talk! And a friend of mine who has watched since the start but doesn't read the blogs found it very helpful. Not all viewers spend the time we do thinking about it!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Where do you get the idea that Jack is bitter because he thinks Kate came back for Sawyer?

When Jack tells Kate that she never liked "the old me," there's so much jealousy in his voice that he might as well have had a scarlet J emblazoned on his Dharma jumpsuit.

Yes, she slept with him after giving up Aaron, but she was immediately cold to him afterwards, and I can see how Jack would view that as Kate throwing him some goodbye sex, in memory of the three years they spent together, before she headed back to Craphole Island in search of her one true love.

JDubTrey said...

I actually do agree with Alan that Jack was insecure about Kate. I just don't agree with either "Jack" or Alan that they should have thought Kate went back for Sawyer.

Obviously Kate adores her "son". Why would she return unless the reason was related to her "son"?

Plus, to me, "Goodbye Sex" and "Let's take a trip together to find my ex" don't mix. If Jack did think that, he must think that kate is Grade A b__tch on wheels.

jim treacher said...

And do what? She knows that Locke had destroyed the sub. She knows that the freighter had blown up. How was Kate planning to send Claire back to Aaron? Use the Donkey Wheel and start the whole time jumping mess again? What?

You're right, she shouldn't even have tried. Bad Kate.

Jerry said...

"Hurley with those muttonchops looks like the bartender from "3 Amigos" "

Ah, yes - Fred Asparagus. Also so memorable as "Pepe!", the cheaper, Mexican equivalent of Norm form the 'Cheers' episode in which Sam bartends South of the Border.

Yep - Garcia does look disconcertingly like that guy, in face and build. I wonder if he's related?

BF said...

I liked the hints that Widmore and Ellie were the ones really in charge of the Others-- confirming Charles' claim from weeks back-- but that Richard just doesn't care.

But we know during the "Jughead" era that Richard was Top Dog and Charles & Ellie were subservient. What happened between Richard & C/E during the intervening years?

ghoti said...

I don't understand why choosing not to directly save Ben's life makes Jack any more of a "jerk" than Juliet, Kate and Sawyer.

Ben becomes who he becomes no matter what anyone chooses to do in 1977. If Jack decided to operate, that's what happened and Ben turns out exactly the same.

Travis said...

so few people are asking the question that bothered me most about this episode: How does Sayid, a life long hitman, NOT kill Ben with that shot? How many people has he killed before, and this time he misses the mark?!!

Also, @ l.b.wieghs in: Kate was at Christian's funeral with Aaron when Claire's Mom introduced herself to Jack and told him Claire was his sister, but I don't think it was apparent that she heard the whole thing. I seem to remember she was waiting outside the room...

Sara Pens said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

How does Sayid, a life long hitman, NOT kill Ben with that shot? How many people has he killed before, and this time he misses the mark?!!

Because the island, as we've been told many times before, has ways of keeping people alive if it wants, and so maybe it pushed Sayid's aim off just enough to save Ben's life, while still leading to the chain of events that ends with Richard taking Ben into the Temple.

l.b. weighs in said...

@ Travis, I rewatched that a month ago, Kate and Jack are in the back of the church/funeral home and she steps away from him as Carole stops to talk to him but she is only a little bit away and the look they exchange after Carole leaves made me think that she heard the whole thing.

As for Sayid not putting a bullet in little Ben's brain... I really wish they had had him head towards Ben and then be spooked by a noise or something, then we could all be wondering if old Smokey was going after him!

l.b. weighs in said...

but I agree with Alan, even if Sayid had stood over little Ben and been able to pull the trigger the gun would have jammed, I mean you don't save Michael from suicide half a world away and not be able to manage the mojo on your own turf.

Alan Sepinwall said...

**HARRY POTTER BOOK SEVEN SPOILER!**-although if you haven't read it by now you kind of deserved to be spoiled.

No, they don't. There was a way to make your point while being vague. That wasn't it.

Anonymous said...

Good episode, but I have one minor gripe with the writers: Kate is a universal blood donor now? Really? Jack was the universal blood donor in season 1 and the only one who could give blood to Boone, so Kate had to deliver Aaron. I'm sure the writers would tell me that Kate simply didn't know her blood type then (Hurley had said almost none of the 815 survivors did) and she found out later but it seems like lazy writing. Its as if whenever the writers need a character to be a little more heroic and selfless, they make them a universal blood donor and have them donate to another character who is bleeding to death. Thats lame.

Reminds me of Charlie going from being unable to swim in season 1 (he sends Jack to try and save Joanna because he can't swim), and then Charlie claims to be a champion swimmer in season 3 and makes it to the looking glass station. Like the blood donor thing, there are possible explanations. But it still feels awfully sloppy and I expect better from this show. Considering that they're juggling all this crazy mythology and wacky timelines, they could at least be consistent with the character details.

jim treacher said...

Sayid had been drugged earlier in the day, and presumably he'd never killed a little kid before. Oh, not to mention that he'd just traveled 30 years back in time. I can buy that maybe his aim was off just enough.

Jordan said...

I think I missed something. Did Sayid shoot Harry Potter last week? And after Alpert took him into the temple he became a wizard?

BF said...

Jordan, you're way off. The name of the temple is Rosebud.

7s Tim said...

the temple is actually a snowglobe and the last 3 years with dharma have been a dream, which will be revealed when bob newhart steps out of a shower

Jordan said...

Kid looks a lot like Harry Potter. I'm just saying.

KB said...

He looks like a little white kid with glasses. All little white kids with glasses look exactly like Harry Potter. Exactly.

Shaun said...

I will never understand why so many people hate Kate. Is she really that much worse a person than any of the other characters on this show? The only "squeaky clean" characters on this show are probably Hurley and Claire (depending on the reason she left Aaron, like dying).

Anonymous said...

Shaun, just speaking for me, I don't like the other characters because they are "squeaky clean" (whatever you mean by that). Hell, Sawyer's my favorite character and he was a total a-hole and murderer.

Kate. Is. Boring. I guess I don't "hate" her. She is just horribly boring and badly written. I like EL just fine, but from Season 1 it's like we've had the "JACK IS THE HERO KATE IS THE HEROINE ROOT FOR THEM" shoved down our throats. But they should show, not tell us. You can't force us to root for people. I've never really rooted for Kate or Jack.

The only time I found Kate marginally interesting was when she was paired up with Sawyer because the two actors have such great chemistry. But now Sawyer is happy with Juliet, so I wouldn't mind if Kate and Jack both blew up on a sub.

JDubTrey said...

Ghoti,
I don't think Jack is a jerk for wanting to see Ben dead. However, we must admit that HE WANTS BEN DEAD. The rest don't (save for Sayid). Miles may believe that Ben will live no matter what, but Jack is certainly willing to test that theory.

Shaun,
I just find Kate boring, like Anonymous said. She's got a nice body, she's spunky...she's also a double murderer (the second one would be felonious homicide) who flipped flopped between the two male leads. Maybe she's not boring, maybe I just don't care about her. Yesterday's ep was a great job by EL, but to be honest I really didn't care why Kate decided to come back.

In the larger sense, all of the O6 with the exception of Sayid are boring (he was working with Ben). They wanted to leave and they now have contrived reasons for being back (save for Sayid and Sun). The I5 didn't want them back.....hell, they themselves don't even know why they are back!

Laura said...

Wow, Evangeline Lily has come a *long* way since the pilot. I normally really dislike Kate-centric episodes, but she really sold it in her goodbye scene with Aaron. I'm not saying her work is Emmy-worthy, but it's been really nice to watch her evolution as an actress.

Speaking of evolution - I've sometimes had issues with characterization and motivation on this show, but I've recently been very, very pleased with the character arcs. Sawyer's maturity, his "grown-up" relationship with Juliet, Sayid's downward spiral, Jack's borderline-spiritual reaction to coming back to the island, Kate's maternal streak, even Miles and Hurley as debate partners - these, to me, are believable and wholly interesting twists on the characters we were introduced to on day one. I've always been in love with this show for its tangled web of a plot, but I'm finally starting to get invested in the people. Five gold stars for the writers and cast.

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