Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lost, "What Kate Does": The fugitive pigeon

A review of "Lost" coming up just as soon as I go to the food court...
"What are you doing?" -Jin
"Escaping." -Kate

"This ain't 'Sliding Doors' or any other kind of 'What If?' story. Promise." -Damon Lindelof
After the season premiere made me giddy to be back on the island, and intrigued by what was happening off the island, "What Kate Does" was a less thrilling experience. Interesting in spots - mainly on the island - but mainly it left me wanting to jump ahead to the next episode for a more serious fix.

Now, some of my lack of enthusiasm comes from this being a Kate episode, but not all of it. Kate's never been my favorite character, but I've liked some of her previous spotlights ("Whatever Happened, Happened" was one of last season's stronger hours). But because the character's still fairly opaque after all these years, and because Evangeline Lilly's one of the less compelling members of the cast, it tends to put her episodes at a disadvantage from the jump, and one that "What Kate Does" could never quite overcome.

Last week, I enjoyed the 2004 scenes in part because it was fun to be reminded of how characters like Jack and Locke and Jin behaved at the start of the series, in part to get to play What's Wrong With This Picture? on things like Shannon's absence or Sawyer's lack of self-loathing.

As Lindelof told me last week (in the line quoted above), the 2004 scenes are more than a simple What If?, and the use of a new sound effect to transition from one timeline to the other - as opposed to the familiar whoosh used to connote flashbacks and flashforwards in seasons past - suggests something hinky's happening. Maybe Faraday's plan for Jughead worked belatedly, and the season will build towards the timeline being reset to the LA X one, or maybe the two realities are on a collision course, but there's more to the mainland scenes than just wondering what might have been if the plane hadn't crashed. (Like finding out, for instance, that the couple who were going to adopt Aaron had, in fact, just split up and wouldn't have been able to take in little Turnip-Head.)

It's a new puzzle, but until we have a better sense of what it means, we either need to get a lot of fascinating clues, or those scenes have to work as a good standalone drama the way the better flashback episodes did. And "What Kate Does" didn't offer up enough of either.

We got a few clues: Ethan (going by his parents' last name of Goodspeed, rather than his Nom de Others Rom) working as a kind and patient mainland OB/GYN (because he got off the island as a baby in "The Incident" and never went back once it sunk for whatever reason), and there was a sense that both Kate (in her look at Jack, and then her reaction when Claire said Aaron's name) and Claire (in her "It's like I knew it or something" comment about the name) remembered bits and pieces from the timeline we know. Mainly, though, the 2004 scenes were a chance to see Kate play ultra-capable fugitive again, and to have her meet Claire in one timeline while searching for her in the other, and those scenes in and of themselves weren't that interesting.

Maybe I'll enjoy the 2004 scenes more when we get to some other characters (I look forward to seeing alt-Jack and alt-Locke become BFFs), but this week it was largely a distraction from all that was happening on the island.

And even the island scenes were only sometimes satisfying. Though the circumstances aren't exactly the same as when Jack was eating sandwiches and watching Red Sox games in season three (here, he drinks tea and admires Dogen's baseball), nor is Jack's mindset, it's still another instance of Jack being held captive by The Others and demanding answers they're incredibly slow to give. Dogen finally starts opening up at episode's end after Jack does his clever/suicidal gambit with the poison pill (given Jack's head space at this point in the story, I think he'd have been just fine if Dogen hadn't Heimlich'ed him), but until then, parts of the episode reminded me of one of the series' most frustrating stretches.(*) As Hurley puts it, "They caught us... again."

(*) They even brought back Rob McElhenney from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" as Aldo, last seen being hit by Kate's rifle butt in "Not In Portland" as Kate and Sawyer were making their escape from Alcatraz.

On the plus side from the Temple scenes: I quite like the gravity and mystery of Hiroyuki Sanada's performance as Dogen, and I was even more intrigued by how un-Sayid-like Naveen Andrews seemed, seeming so timid and confused and in pain - and sounding oddly close to Andrews' native British accent - as Sayid the torturer was himself tortured. Is this, in fact, Sayid? He appears to have Sayid's memories, but then, so does Smokey-as-Locke. But if it were Jacob animating Sayid's corpse, Dogen and company wouldn't be so eager to poison him. The start of Dogen's story about Claire, and Jin's glimpse of Claire looking very much like Rousseau (and clearly having set the Rousseau-ian traps Kate, Aldo and Justin stumbled across earlier) could suggest that the "infection" involves people on the island being possessed by the island's dead. (Maybe Sayid's British accent suggests a Charlie influence?)

But the strongest parts of the episode took place in the ruins of New Otherton, with Sawyer still grieving Juliet (just as he opened season five mistakenly mourning Kate and the rest of the Oceanic Six, only more hardcore because he spent three years loving this woman) and Kate recognizing, as Jack did last week, that her return to Craphole Island has been a complete and utter fiasco. She has no idea how to find Claire, is running from The Others again, and Sawyer (whom she may have come back for, in addition to her desire to find Claire) is both in love with a dead woman (whose death Kate feels partially responsible for) and in no condition to help her go Claire-hunting. Being in Josh Holloway's orbit tends to bring out a spark in Lilly that isn't always there opposite other characters, and the scene at the dock was a strong example of that.

Mainly, though, "What Kate Does" was a table-setting episode. I can see lots of things introduced here paying off interestingly down the road, maybe even as soon as next week, but there wasn't enough meat for the episode to really succeed on its own. I imagine this is one that will play better as part of a DVD marathon, especially for those of us going back after we already know what the 2004 scenes are all about.

Some other thoughts:

• Hurley's leadership of the group seems to have already come to an end, as he was happy to let Jack deal with both Sayid and Dogen, but his brief tenure did lead to a hilarious bit of Ken Leung deadpan sarcasm as Miles explained to Sayid that Hurley had assumed a leadership position.

• Say this for the Dharma Initiative: they may have been dumb to stay on the island and dumber to let Ben Linus massacre them, but they know how to build a bungalow colony. Pipes still work 30 years after they were built, and 3 years since anyone lived there and did any work on them.

Jeff Kober, who played the helpful mechanic, is a familiar enough face that I was surprised he only appears to have been cast for a one-scene part. Maybe he'll pop up again fixing another character's car, as the 2004 stories revive season one's six degrees of separation storytelling?

• Funniest exchange of the night: Hurley asks Sayid if he's a zombie, and a tired, pained, recently-resurrected Sayid (or whoever he is) replies, quietly and seriously, "No. I am not a zombie."

• Joan Hart, the name Kate gives to the hospital, is an alias she's used before, first mentioned (I think) in season one's "Born to Run."

• When the cab nearly runs over Arzt, and he screams, "Hey! I'm walking here!," he's re-enacting this iconic, improvised scene from "Midnight Cowboy."

• No time for Smokey or any of the other beach people this week, but good to know that Jin is finally attempting to reunite with Sun. Here's hoping he doesn't spend most of this season like Michael in season two, running aimlessly around the jungle screaming, "SUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!"

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

Worst. Episode. Ever.

Fernando said...

I loved Sawyer saying "Of course he's alive. He's an Iraqi Torturer that shoots kids." O Sawyer.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

I want Jeff Kober's character to get a spinoff with Frank Lapidus.

dead souls said...

I hope this is the worst episode of the season. What a complete waste. The flashsideway was ludicrous: "Why sure, crazy lady who hijacked my taxi at gunpoint, I'd like a ride."

D.B. Cooper said...

What Alan said. This is one of those episodes that reminds you that for a show that makes such a big deal about being character-based, several of said characters are paper-thin, inconsistent, or just stupid.

I'm also terrified by the quote om EW (Lindelof or Cuse) that promised us lots of the Love Triangle stuff "we've been wanting" to close out the final season.

Alyson said...

I am so glad I'm not the only one who does.not.get the love some folks have for Evangeline Lilly/Kate. The Kate-centric episodes have always bored me, and I could not possibly care less about whether she ends up with Jack or Sawyer.

Here's hoping Josh Holloway gets a good, Emmy-worthy episode this season, because he's totally earned it.

Anonymous said...

Let's boycott Lost until they do away with all Kate episodes. That will hurt the ratings and it will force the network to intervene and fix the show.

Michael said...

I cant believe Chuck and Sarah didn't get together in this episode!!! (Wrong thread?)

About Claire and Sayid:
Jack's sister was "infected", like Sayid, and hanging out in Jacob's cabin with Christian Shepard who was a dead body resurrected on the island. It seems possible that he was resurrected in the same sense that Locke was, possessed by the MIB. Therefore, does this mean that Sayid has a similar destiny as Claire at this point which may or may not make him a servant (for the lack of a better word or explanation) of MIB?

Hope I wrote that question coherently. I'm having a lot of trouble making sense of the whole scenario in my head.

Laura said...

Actually enjoyed this episode quite a bit more than I expected, though I agree that it seemed geared toward laying the groundwork for major events to come.

I took notice of Sayid's slightly different-sounding accent and thought maybe it was just an error (it's not like he's had a lot of dialogue recently). I'm curious as to whether or not that will tie in later.

I also really dig your suggestion that "the "infection" involves people on the island being possessed by the island's dead". Wonder how Smokey might play into that?

It was nice to have Emilie de Ravin back, and I thought Josh Holloway did a particularly excellent job with his scene on the pier.

Personally, I think the season's off to a strong start.

Marc said...

Thanks for the review Alan. It certainly didn't pay off the answers many were hoping for, but I ended up very intrigued for what's to come. What exactly is the infection? Like you said, is it possession by the dead on the island or a sort of reanimation by smokie? I also am really enjoying the Dogan/Lennon dynamic. It may seem frustrating to some, but I have a feeling it will pay off well later this season. I would appeal to those who are frustrated with this episode as "filler" to be patient and think of this as just a chapter in a story that is necessary for a satisfactory payoff. I have faith in Damon and Carlton.

J-bone said...

Claire accepting the ride from Kate was ridiculous. Kate offering Claire a ride was ridiculous. Kate hanging around the hospital was ridiculous.

God, I hate Kate episodes.

Greg said...

The 2007 scenes just seemed to be wheel spinning till the end, which you would hope the show would be past in this race towards the finish. And I find myself not caring about what's happening in 2004, hopefully we don't have too many more of those episodes to go. And why would Kate still be driving around in that taxi while the cops clearly would have the plates?

Maybe Claire as Rousseau will extend to her running around ranting about her baby.

Andrew said...

There were some very interesting things in the margins of this episode, even if just about everything focused on Kate wasn't necessarily interesting.

Has Rousseau been dead for the 3 years since 2004, or even longer than that? Who was infected-- Rousseau or her team who went under the Temple wall? What's up with Claire on the island?

Maybe it was because I watched an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia immediately before Lost, but Mac as an other was somewhat distracting.

Jack's questioning of Dogen was at least slightly more focused than his questioning of the Others back in season 3. Maybe it's because we're closer to the end that the writers have figured out the end game and are willing to give us answers, but it also made Jack a better proxy for the audience and less of an idiot than he seemed back in season 3 when he was tossing a football around with Tom.

Unknown said...

Totally boring transitional episode but Josh Holloway is rocking it this season. At this point, the fact that Dogen and Lennon just won't answer reasonable questions makes no sense and is frustrating. Stop putting things off, Darlton -- this is the end, already!

Mr. Thinker said...

"What Kate Does" is have off-Island plots that I can't stand, amiright guys?

Paul Allor said...

Two thoughts:

1. I didn't think I could possibly be more bored and disinterested in Kate ... then I saw this episode.

2. It's always sunny on Craphole Island!

David Clarke said...

I hope It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia gets with Kate. If they don't, I will boycott It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia in the hopes that they force ABC to change Lost to my will.

Andrew said...

Oh, my!!

Claire (probably) 'died'/was resurrected in "The Shape of Things to Come." Rousseau died in the episode directly before that.

Sayid died and resurrected in "LA X." Jacob died in the episode directly before that.

......Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Far from the Worst. Episode. Ever., but I found myself thinking, "Let's get on with it!" a couple of times.

The Waitress said...

Where was Green Man? Sweet Dee?

Devin McCullen said...

Here's my wacky theory of the week: What if we've had the infection thing the wrong way around the whole time? Instead of the smoke monster infecting all of the other French people, and Rousseau has to kill them, what if Rousseau was actually the one he took?

That would explain a)Claire's apparent evolution into Rousseau 2.0, and b)Rousseau's convenient helpfulness to the survivors, which helped move them in the direction Smokey wanted them to go.

I don't actually think it's the case, but it's a fun idea.

LB said...

I loved the scenes with Jack and Dogen. Discussions of leadership and how Jack was able to get the truth.

This is two weeks in a row that I've liked Jack a lot. I've never hated him but he gets annoying. I'm sure he'll be back to that in a few weeks but so far, so good for him. Like Alan, I look fwd to him and Locke interacting off the island.

Myles said...

I think that starting with a Kate episode is REALLY intelligent. At the end of the day, the "Flash Sideways" stories are not going to be a constant stream of confusion and mythology, designed more to bring out subtle differences in characters before eventually growing into something larger.

Here, we saw the Flash Sideways used for a very mundane purpose: reintroduce Claire into our narrative (it did nothing for Kate). It helps mediate expectations, so that flashes which do break out with something more substantial (Locke, Jack, etc.) feel more momentous.

I think parts of the episode were a bit too uneventful, but I think that Lost needs to remind viewers that just because we're in the final season doesn't mean that subtle character development isn't one of their go-to moves - "What Kate Does" wasn't perfect, but I felt it came together well enough and will (as Alan quite intelligently, as per usual, points out) likely play better on DVD once it gains context.

Eric Johnson said...

I was disappointed that we didn't get even a glimpse of the "statue group" this week, but otherwise I can't complain too much.

The infected/claimed plot information was good, and I think benefited from coming out in a few bursts. "Infected" reminded me of what happened to Rousseau's team and the hatch with its "Quarantine" stamp. "Claimed" adds another connotation, and makes me intrigued to go back and watch some of the fights between members of Rousseau's team after their encounter at the temple wall last season. I'm not certain where they're going with it yet (unless all the "zombie season" jokes were just a misdirect), but it at least seems tied to a lot of things that have gone before.

Definitely a slower episode, especially coming off of a pretty busy premiere, but I think I'm liking what they're setting up here.

Sam Hobart said...

As soon as I realized this was a Kate episode I knew Alan was going to have problems. On the bright side, this is probably the last Kate episode ever, right?

I got the sense that both Kate and Claire were making decisions for reasons they didn't really understand, i.e. naming him Aaron and the cab ride. Could be for narrative convenience or could be a clue that memories of the other timeline are bleeding through a bit.

Anonymous said...

If the smoke monster and the giant foot don't get together I will permanently switch my allegiance to whatever Christian Slater is currently connected to.

dying alone said...

1. Kill Kate already.

2. I am REALLY hating the term "flash sideways."

3. I hope the continuity guy plans to publish his chronological timeline. It will be most helpful in lowering my blood pressure.

4. Are the Others not confused that people keep disappearing and reappearing? I had forgotten Rousseau died YEARS ago!

TimmyD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KC said...

This episode felt a bit like hanging out at the food court...we're taking a break and having a snack while waiting to get back to the hardcore shopping in the mall.

AppleJill said...

It is amusing to me that the Oceanic group just can't just stay in one place for any length of time.

I've always imagined a Risk-like map on the wall of the writers room tracking the positions of all the LOSTies.

Chrissy said...

I agree it was a "table-setting" episode, but I enjoyed it. Lilly isn't exactly Meryl Streep, but I thought she did a good job with the scene where she realizes what's going on with Claire, and I liked their interactions. I agree with the poster above that neither one of them could have told you exactly why they were doing the things they were doing in conjunction with each other. Kate appears to be feeling some of the maternal pull she would experience in the original time line, and Claire appears to trust her despite having any number of reasons not to.

I also liked Jack sticking to his guns with the capsule - I actually wasn't expecting him to recommend Sayid not take it. I'm wondering if the infection might actually be a good thing - maybe it's the Temple folk who are in the wrong.

Anonymous said...

This one gave "Stranger in a Strange Land" a serious run for its money.

mck said...

To Anonymous, the first poster - Have you seen Stranger in a Strange Land?

I'm fine with how the episode played out. It offered some great moments and is clearly meant to set up the next few episodes.

Loved the infection theory. Perhaps the whispers are what in fact infect people?

Jon said...

Loved: claire as rousseau. Mac from always sunny. Sawyer & kate at the dock. And thank god miles is still around: "we'll be waiting in the food court" lol!
Hated: sawyer escaping and kate chasing after him AGAIN, claire giving the fugitive who held her up hours before her credit card (really?!?), wasting half the episode with jack and The Pill while getting no real answers
Overall, too much stalling. Not the worst episode ever (in large part due to the final seconds) but after the smokey reveal last week I was pretty disappointed

Allison DeWitt said...

If any episode of "Lost" is worse than the Nikki and Paolo one, just shoot me. This wasn't a warp speed event but it wasn't the worst by a long shot, IMO.

It was a pleasure seeing Jeff Kober, however briefly. More Kober, here or anywhere with a good part.

Josh Holloway was excellent. Emmy worthy, indeed. (And remarkable it's so emotional to watch when Elizabeth Mitchell keeps croppinbg up in "V" commercials during "Lost".) The part on "claiming" of Sayid was confusing but it could be an interesting twist. Hugo was hilarious and made me think zombies (and vampires) are about the only scary things not seen on this show.

I'm interested in the Kate/Claire/Aaron relationship. Kate reaction after seeing Claire's photograph, then looking at herself in a mirror, reminded me of Jack's reaction last week. He stared into the plane's bathroom mirror and seemd a little bewildered, even before he looked at his neck.

Will they ever get around to the "psychic's" warning that Claire should be the only one to raise her child/rest of that plot twist..who the heck knows?! As long as some questions are answered, I'm good.

Next week looks like a nice dose of NotLocke.

Oh..nice catch on " "Hey! I'm walking here!" . I missed hearing that line, I think I was laughing.

Scott said...

I was waiting for Kate to die at the end of this episode, and I was disappointed it didn't happen. I was really hoping Claire would snipe her instead of Mac (which was a distracting cameo.) This episode was one of the worst in Lost history because it wasn't good and the bar this season is so high, and they seemingly wasted the second episode. I'm tired of Kate. The writers seem to have nothing interesting for her to do.

Anonymous said...

barely entertaining at this point; just a few one liners

the storyline is really bad scifi

Jim said...

Remember how Darlton used "Frozen Donkey Wheel" as the code name for the climactic game-changer in Season 4 ... and then it was an actual frozen donkey wheel?

Maybe all the jokes about the Zombie Season had a kernel of truth to them.

Krista said...

I really enjoyed this episode. It was not nearly as exciting as the first two episodes, but I felt it was a strong table-setter.
I like Kate, despite her flaws, as well as Jack, so that may account for my positive reaction to the episode. I like that they tied Kate's desire to return to the island back to Claire and Aaron; I also enjoyed Sawyer's scenes (always do); and I love the interplay between Jack and Dogen. My brother mentioned that this episode only opened new questions without providing any answers, but I find that fun from time to time.
The biggest question is the nature of the infection. I think Non-Locke IS Esau, but I think the infection of Claire and (possibly) Sayid is of a slightly different nature.
I agree with former posts: this episode would probably play really well in a DVD marathon. I think the season is off to a great start and I cannot wait until next week.

Anonymous said...

Probably Not True Theory Time: Everything that is not these "flash-sideways" is a dream. That means the five seasons before this one were also a dream. These "flash-sideways" are actually reality. That's why there are subtle changes. Because the details aren't always the same in dreams, since they're dreams. Anything can happen in a dream.

What is the purpose of this dream, and who is having the dream? I have no idea...

Rabble Rouser said...

I wish I wasn't so attracted to Kate because I detest everything about her besides her looks.

The worst part is that if I was on the island I know I would be putty in her hands. "Whats that Kate? Kill Locke? Sure, no problem. You want to go grab some mango's later? No big deal if you don't, I understand you are busy. Yeah, I'm glad we're such good "friends" too. Let me know if there's anyone else I can kill for you, it's really no problem!"

dez said...

Ack, placeholder! And worse, a Kate-centric placeholder! Yeah, the last moments were effin' awesome, but the rest of Kate? Eh, I'll keep it in the back of my mind hoping for an eventual payoff to everything it set up.

Loved the scenes with Sawyer, Sayid, Jack, Hurley, Miles, and the Temple Gods. And even when he's being nice, Ethan is still creepy.

Matt said...

I liked it - I always feel like Lilly and Kate get a bad wrap in the fan community. I'm still not sure where the alt-timeline is going, but I like that Ethan is always meant to help Claire, Kate is always meant to be there for the birth, etc.

As for the 2007 stuff, I'm not a big "Give me answers!" guy, because the show is more satisfying than it isn't. But in the words of Larry David, having said that, this is the millionth time that somebody says "I'll answer anything you want to ask me" only to say "Just trust me" when someone actually asks a question. For all the talk about how they're in "answer mode" they've gone to this well like twice in the first three hours of the season!

That quote from Lindelof is interesting, but I'm still hoping that this alt-thing is done in the next week few weeks. When is that interview going to run, Alan?

paul in kirkland said...

I watched the first couple of seasons and gave up because it was going nowhere.

People told me it got better so I got caught up via Netflix. The last couple of seasons were definitely better than when I quit, but part of that was because since it was Netflix I could ffwd through the really bad stuff.

And now this season seems like just a big long con to the series finale. Just dragging on and on.

Two episodes in, I'm not impressed; I'm only watching because it's the last season.

Tony M said...

Well, I'm in the minority. I thought it was a terrifc episode. I think people need to be a little more pateint and let the story play out. And as for observations like "Kate giving Clare a ride was stupid"...well obviously the things that are happeneing in the 2004 LA time line are suggesting that these people are somehow intertwined no matter how hard they escape it.

Anonymous said...

Jeeze! Lots of Kate hate floating around here. I enjoyed her bits on the island. It all showed her character development over the years. It progressed with them making decisions on the love triangle which I do think they are closing up. She's still drawn to Sawyer but is waiting for Jack to make the move. She's a great mirror of reflection into how Sawyer has changed over the past 3 years. He's a man now, no longer haunted by his past, and no longer caught up on Kate.

In the alternative time line we see Kate and how her life would have/might have/will play out if the island did not occur. Part of this storyline is to iterate that these people are connected by more than just the island. Call it fate if you will or tragic coincidence but they're bonded together. It's important we understand this.

Finally, I enjoy episodes like this for the simple reason they allow me to enjoy the action packed or the dramatic
enticing ones more. Most of this episode does not pull at you, it lays a path to follow. Like a book there are passsages that need to be written so the development to the "pivotal" scenes may occur.

On that note,


I can't believe he hasn't had more acting jobs. It's hard for me to think he almost quit acting before landing this gig. Thank god he did. Such raw emotion and talent pouring out of his face, his eyes, his swagger. Can old boy act? For god damn sure!

I'm always shocked by how great the acting is on this show. I do believe it's slept on because of it's genre.

fbihop said...

I thought the most significant overlooked part was the look from Kate to Jack; she KNEW him just like Jack knew Desmond. Like when something is on the tip of your tongue and you just can't figure it out.

Unknown said...

So Jacob is "Day Man" and MIB is "Night Man." The Losties have to pay the Troll Toll. I'm still working out my theory, but this was a important episode.

Unknown said...

Kind of a letdown from the first episodes...I wasn't buying that 2004 Claire would be so friendly to the woman who stuck a gun in her face and kicked her out of her cab. Generally, this episode had all the usual faults of a Kate-centric episode, and the island scenes were more table-setting than anything. It wasn't Stranger in a Strange Land bad, but definately lower-tier.

J said...

It's really disappointing to find that, given that they only have 16 hours to flesh out a whole second dimension and address whatever "questions" they want to address, that there *could* be a filler episode.

I got giddy seeing an ep called "What Kate Does" because they're consciously twisting old episode titles, and because her Lost-X storyline at least has some built-in momentum. But she not only didn't go anywhere, she went backwards, and then just hung around. Nothing in this episode was as weighty as the America's Most Wanted clip the producers showed at ComiCon.

Lost-X seemed an intriguing idea last week, and I'm still curious as to how they'll reconcile the two realities (and somewhat amused by the differences - I think I'll always gasp when I see Ethan);
but this episode was a solid reminder, as was pretty much all of Season Five, that the best parts of the show almost always happen on the island. By that rule, until Lost-X establishes a path toward reconciliation, it's going to just feel like a curiosity.

(Though just having Jack there makes the island a less interesting place. It felt like there were five or six minutes of people going "What's in the pill?" and of me wishing I had a poison pill all my own)

It really is nice to see them giving Holloway a workout; as far as I'm concerned, he's had the most impressive stuff all series long. Can't wait to see what he and Not-Locke get up to next week. Can't wait to almost completely forget about this week.

Anonymous said...

I can't be the only Canadian who got excited at seeing Dayo "BLT from Original Degrassi" Ade as the other (non-Aldo) Other. Sure, he died, but what a way to go.

BigTed said...

While the Lostaways have certainly made their share of mistakes over the course of the show, think how much better things would have turned out in almost every situation if the Others were capable of giving a straight answer to a damn question once in a while. Of course, there's no rational reason for it except to string out plotlines and keep the audience in the dark. And the fact that the show is still pulling this nonsense after all these years is kind of infuriating.

Meanwhile, will we ever know what it is about the Others that makes them such amoral creeps (torturing at will, getting mad at Kate for having the temerity to hit one of them while escaping from their prison)? Clearly it's not just Ben or his leadership that turned them bad. But I have no idea if this is a question that's ever going to be answered or, again, just the way they are because it suits the plot.

Henry said...

I actually said to no one in particular as the episode was going along (and focusing on Dogen), "I hate the Others." They never get to explaining anything concretely and if I were Jack or Hurley or Miles, I'd be demanding what the hell was going on. When Dogen FINALLY tells Jack it's a poison pill, I said calmly, "Okay..."

You brought up a good point that it was like the show had traveled back to the beginning of the third season, when the batch of six episodes with the three of them stuck on Hydra Island basically expounded the same sentiment. I thought the utterance of hating the Others felt familiar.

Not much else to say about the episode. Um, Ethan showing up in the same exact hospital Kate happens to go to was a surprise. All in all, I missed Emilie de Ravin as she's been missing on the show for so long. They better have a good explanation for what Claire's been doing in the three years she's been MIA on the Island.

Elle Dee said...

I can suspend my disbelief and accept almost anything that happens on the Island, no matter how silly or over-the-top. But somehow I still expect scenes that take place in the "real world" to make some degree of real-world sense (even if it's the "sideways" real world). That's why "Eggtown" is my personal pick for worst episode ever. And that's why Claire getting back in the cab with Kate was almost enough to completely ruin the episode for me.

Ultimately, Sawyer's gut-wrenching scene at the pier and the potentially interesting developments in the last couple of minutes saved it from being a complete waste of an episode.

Anonymous said...

OK, I seriously don't get the hate/disappointment for this episode.

This was a great episode. Yes, I said great. If people *really* think it was as bad as "Stranger in a Strange Land", I challenge them to break out their DVD's and watch that episode and this one back to back.

Night. And. Day.

I do agree that this episode was a "table setter" episode....

... And that's a *good* thing.

We see more hints that something strange is going on in Sideways Universe (the looks of recognition between Kate/Claire and Kate/Jack, the name Aaron popping out of nowhere).

We see Jack finally, *finally*, start to get over being a mope and start reasserting himself. We *finally* see Kate confiding in someone about her motives.

We get the Lostaways finally, finally, start to get the Others to start asking questions, and not take their evasiveness any more.

(Really, Jack swallowing the pill was sheer genius. I literally cheered at that point)

And, oh yes, we learn a little more about a little thing I like to call "The Sickness".

The fact that the writers decided not to junk that storyline and actually address it head-on fills me with joy.

And that's just a few of the great moments of this episode (all of the Dogen scenes were boss, for instance).

Not an A+ episode, but still a solid A.


Course I am an unrepentant Kate fan, so what do I know? :p


Henry said...

Oh, is this episode worse than "Adrift" or "Stranger in a Strange Land"? Really? I don't think so. It's not one of the best, but I think this is more middle of the road.

We're two weeks into the season. Let's put some faith and patience out there.

Anonymous said...

"We get the Lostaways finally, finally, start to get the Others to start asking questions, and not take their evasiveness any more"

Ooops. That's supposed to be "to get the Others to start ANSWERING questions", not asking.

I swear I proofread my post before sending it. But obviously I didn't do a good enough job at it. :D


Mo Ryan said...

Can you call Darlton and ask them why Jeffster wasn't in this episode?

Actually Kendall had the best comment so far. Truth be told, don't the "Nightman" lyrics from "It's Always Sunny" kind of relevant re "Lost" and MIB/Jacob?

"Night Man, sneaky and mean....Every night you come into my room and pin me down with your strong arms, And pin me down and I try to fight you, You come inside me and fill me up and I become the Night Man....It's just two men sharing the night. It might seem wrong, but it's just right. It's just two men sharing each other."

Sorry, it's been a long day.

RD said...

If Kate & Claire's relationship doesn't become romantic, I'm going to boycott this show. I'll only watch it on Hulu and I ask you all to do the same. Let's get the audience under 1 million to stick it to the writers. That'll show 'em whose boss! It's about time this show had a lesbian relationship with two beautiful female actors.

On a more serious note, I thought this episode was a filler episode. Even as a filler episode, it wasn't a very good one. I didn't believe that Claire would go into the Taxi with the same person that hi-jacked her. I find it hard to believe that Claire would stay at the bus stop, instead of calling cops. I also find it hard to believe that it took the cops quite a long time to find the taxi considering Kate is wanted for murder. That bothered me.

There were some positives though. I loved Sawyer in this episode. He plays the grief of losing Juliet and the guilt that he feels so well. He also regained that wit and sarcasm that he used to have at the beginning of the show.

All in all, I thought this episode was the worst LOST episode I've seen in quite a bit, and with saying that, I still enjoyed the hour. I don't get tired of seeing the Losties running around in the jungle or the temple or getting captured by the others.

With next weeks episode coinciding with the first Men's Ice Hockey Olympic game for Team Canada, I might just have to DVR LOST. However, I'm sure next weeks episode will be great. *Writing on chalkboard ala Bart Simpson* I will trust the LOST writers. I will trust the LOST writers. I will trust the LOST writers.

afoglia said...

I don't see any reason to think that Claire is "possessed" by Rousseau, or anyone else. More likely the Man in Black converts people to his side by "infection." How he gets them infected, and whether Rousseau, not her fellow Frenchmen, were actually infected will hopefully be answered later. Besides, we've seen no possession yet. Smokey just takes the form of the dead, never actually using their bodies.

I'm more curious if they consciously did a flash-sideways of Kate because she got the first flashback episode in the first season. If so, would that mean we should expect Locke next week (perhaps getting his legs restored), and Jack the week after (getting his father's body, or resolving his feelings towards the man)?

Is it even possible to have Locke flash-sideways episodes if Locke is dead? (Would there be island scenes of Locke's corpse lying on the beach? Perhaps a "Weekend at Bernie's" homage?)

Anonymous said...

After thinking about it a bit more, I wonder if this episode is going to become a bit like "Trisha Tanaka is Dead". That is, an episode that was viewed very skeptically (if not hated) in some quarters, but when looking back on it in the totality of Season Three, it turned out to be a pivotal piece of the Season.

After all, one way to look at this season is to treat it as one big giant episode (heck, practically every episode since late Season Three has more or less one big giant episode). So there must be a reason why the writers are putting these elements in play right now.

Eh, I dunno. I'm just throwing stuff out there to see if it sticks.


Then again, I also loved TTiD on its initial airing, so it's also clear that my judgement might be suspect in that regards as well. :p :D


Ben said...

Never understood the Kate hatred but I thought the episode was average, lots of set up, a few groans but I'm fascinated by the Claire/Rousseau parallel.

My biggest gripe was having to watch the exact same scene from the premiere again with Kate seeing the FBI agent and holding up Claire's cab. The full scene was obviously extended, but why start with 20 seconds of what we already saw? Could have just as easily picked up from the same spot as last week to the same effect. I had the same complaint last week with Juliet falling into the hole. Seems small but I feel like Lost has set too high a standard to start patronizing its loyal audience with repetition.

tribalism said...

“What Kate Does” appears to be a step backward in Kate’s development—or at least how the show portrays her. Island Kate is once again chasing one of her preferred alpha males (this time Sawyer) while LA Kate is once again on the lam. Her constant (although often vacillating) pursuit of either Jack or Sawyer and her tendency to run had been her most defining characteristics up until “Whatever Happened, Happened”, but the latest episode is another regression back to her previous impulses. Perhaps “What Kate Does” wouldn’t have been so disappointing if it wasn’t for the fact that “Whatever Happened, Happened” had proven that a Kate-centric episode could actually be quite rewarding.

Sawyer’s relapse to old habits was handled in a far superior fashion. When he drew a pistol and announced that he was leaving and didn’t want anyone to follow him, I thought that the man who had changed most significantly throughout the series—you know, the former conman who started jumping out of helicopters and working as the Dharmaville sheriff—would be reverting to his former self: that lone wolf/ me-first/looking out for number one kind of guy. But his behaviour had significant meaning behind it. After Juliet’s death—an event he considers himself to be complicit in—he believes that some people are meant to be alone. The scene with him and Kate on the dock was really heartbreaking and a truly standout moment for the series. I just hope that Sawyer doesn’t forget the “live together, die alone” mantra that has been ubiquitous throughout the show if he expects to survive to the end.

If anyone is interested, you can click on my username for a link to my blog where I go into further details about this episode including my thoughts about how the universes are seemingly converging with one another.

Drifter said...

I never understood the (from my perspective) irrational disdain for Kate/Evangeline Lilly. I think she's fantastic and full of charisma. Kate is a fantastic role compared to most primetime female roles. She has flaws but next to Hurley has always been the one character you were sure was ultimately a good person. But then sometimes I wonder am I just so enamored/enchanted by her that I am the irrational one overlooking her shortcomings?

Funny how this parallels what I feel this episode is about. The lens through which we're viewing things on the island is subjective and flawed. The Smoke Monster is considered 'bad' or a 'taint' that 'infects' while Jacob is 'altruistic' and 'noble' and 'good.' Didn't Jacob help push Sawyer towards a soul-consuming several decades long path of vengeance? Didn't Jacob let Nadia die? You know the show is going to flip things on us by bringing us around to see things through the Smoke Monster's side and seeing the warts of Jacob.

Kate the fugitive who can "be very persuasive" is awesome. Also bold gallants from the mechanic to Claire helping her is a nice touch. Seeing Claire for the first time in 2 years was also a treat for long time fans. Tom Cruise's cousin Ethan is always cool and a little creepy. Sawyer finally finding happiness last season to sinking lower than ever is heartbreaking. And I love this Dogen character. Also we got to see Rob McElhenney's "Aldo" again. I thought it was a great episode.

HMM2 said...

I agree that under normal circumstances Claire accepting the ride from Kate would have been ridiculous, and Kate offering Claire a ride and hanging around the hospital would have been as well, but the other reality (or fate) is pushing these characters and altering events. Jacob still touched all of these characters, even in this altered reality, and they may still be serving his purposes.

CitylifeJC said...

Surprised no one noticed what my friends and were pretty positive was an empire strikes back reference as the carried sayeed back in and he said "they didn't ask me any questions"

xyz said...

Sawyer: "He's an Iraqi torturer who shoots kids. Why shouldn't he get another go-round?"

Geez Sawyer, bitter much?

I vow to boycott this show until the writers make Sawyer sweet and cuddly again. I will not watch the episodes live, I will not even watch the episodes on or Hulu, I will download the torrents to make sue the ABC gets 0 ad revenue. That oughta teach them a lesson.

@RD: I know you are joking but in all seriousness I felt quite strong sexual tension between Claire and Kate, infact I was convinced that they were going that route till the end.

Scott J. said...

I loved this episode. I'm not a big Kate fan, but I enjoy her well enough when she's not trying to prove her worth/loyalty to Jack/Sawyer. Even though this did have her chasing after Sawyer, she wasn't pining for him or seeking approval the way she has in her insecure moments. She's simply worried about him. Hell, I'd chase after him too, because I'm worried about him.

The flashsideways meanwhile had a whole independent-women vibe that hearkened back to "Maternity Leave" (Kate & Claire's expedition to the medical station), and I'm surprised and impressed to be reminded of an episode like that at this stage. And then there's Aldo, which struck me as a hilariously random reappearance at first but was really another nice bit of continuity in Kate's story.

That's what pleases me, having all these little bits and pieces of the character's history on the island feeding back into her overall story as it inevitably begins to draw to a close. That's what I'm hoping to see for all my favorite characters, so while Kate isn't one of said favorites, I feel like this bodes well for the rest of the season.

And yes, it's exciting that we're now witnessing first-hand how The Sickness works. Two of our original castaways have been "claimed" by The Sickness. That's crazy!

About the reset timeline in general, I can't shake the feeling that, actually, these people would have been just fine without the damned Island. I'm shocked by that, because the show has done a good job of selling the idea that the Island saved them all from their pathetic lives and gave them meaning.

But if I think about it, nobody on 815 was in such a bad state that they needed a magical hellhole of an island to "fix" them. None of their problems were irreversible or beyond redemption. John Locke, for instance, was not a broken man. If anything ultimately broke him, it was the Island. In "LA X", he seems only temporarily defeated, which makes sense in retrospect. You could turn him away from a thousand walkabouts, and he'd still be John "Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do" Locke.

I do not want the events of the past 5 seasons to be undone, but I don't believe it's what was "supposed" to happen. It just did.

Of course, another episode could change my mind... again. It's LOST, haha.

One last note. Aaron's name coming to Claire out of the blue is basically how it happened in the original timeline, too. She blurts it out unexpectedly after Rousseau kidnaps him in "Exodus", and when Sun asks her what the name means, Claire just says she doesn't know. So I'm not sure if that "it's like I knew it" is hinting at residual memories of the Island, or if it just shows that something ethereal is speaking the name to her in both timelines.

Kensington said...

Sorry, I'm still very much infatuated with Evangeline Lily, and, consequently, enjoyed this episode very much.

I did, however, have difficulty getting past Rob McElhenney. It was just too weird seeing Mac running around Craphole Island.

I seem to be losing touch with a viewer consensus. I loved Monday's Chuck, too.

belidna said...

Me too. Chuck rocks!


Perhaps because Kate's original story of being a fugitive wasn't really all that interesting, I've always wanted to see her get caught as supposed to being her 'master escaper' self (I was especially unsatisfied that when the Oceanic Six got back to the world, somehow Kate didn't need to go to jail and lived in luxury from what I assume to be some kind of compensation from Oceanic). But anyway, I think the flash sideways (which aren't really sideways, since one reality's in 2007 and the other in 2004 - a flash diagonal?) suffered even more because Kate is paired up with Claire - who we haven't seen in a long while and also had a relatively dull storyline (though I did like that her baby is seemingly following the psychic's 'not raised by another' fortune). Perhaps I don't remember them two being all that close on the island (I know they're linked by Aaron, but as individuals Kate and Claire weren't exactly best buds), so I'm failing to see the interest in seeing their interaction of the flash diagonal scenes (at least, not until I find out more).

That being said, I can't wait to see what Claire/Rousseau is up to. I always thought Rousseau's death was premature given how little we know about the character, so it might be nice to rediscover it - if the whole 'infection' thing is indeed referring to dead people on the island inhabiting bodies.

In that case, who is Sayid? I'm sure he's not the same in a similar way as Ben was (which begs the question, who is Ben?) by how he's acting, but given the reaction of The Others, perhaps they think Sayid is not inhabited by their leader Jacob, but Esau (hey, the Others might not know what's happening at the foot with SmokeyLocke, right?).... But then they find out, Sayid is neither Jacob OR Esau, and is ....actually a mix of Boone and Charlie, then I'd have a good laugh.

I'm curious as to why The Others need to keep them alive - I just hope we get to find out soon enough or else it would be just a tad too much like S3 - The Others, kind of a buzzkill with their inability to answer a straight quetsion on the show, huh?

Sawyer made me cry! I'm still pretty pissed too about Juliet, but poor guy there. SAD.

Joseph Thomson said...

Once again, another cliffhanger spoilt by the bloody promos.

First we had Sayid being tortured by Dogen in the promo spoiling the whole 'OMG, Sayid's back!' thing.

Then we had Claire with the gun, two weeks before the episode even aired.

I suppose it's my own fault for watching them - and I don't watch Lost for each episode's conclusion anyway - but it's just a bit of a shame that ABC can't figure out a way to show us promos without us being hideously spoiled.

So I guess it's a no promo policy for me again then.

Yellowdog said...

I can believe how amateurish the writing was in this episode. They have completely gone off the rails and it's just sad. I was actually embarrassed for them last night. At least ten times I rolled my eyes and couldn't believe what I was hearing. Ugh.

bsangs said...

Boring. I can't believe this was the second episode they gave us in the final season. What a waste of an hour. Truly stunned by how poor it was.

belinda said...

Oh, and this

I noticed that on Claire's sonogram, there's a date on it - and it's NOT september 22, 2004, but one whole month later, october 22, 2004. So...the flight 815 where everyone we knew was on the flight that landed safely was one month later than the original?


compain87 said...

It's nice taking a break from the Chuckpocalypse and get my Lost on.

I got a good laugh seeing Mac but it was distracting wondering if Kate would fall for the D.E.N.N.I.S. System.

Being as I was one of the few Losties that enjoyed LA X(I'm calling the Alt Universe even though Darlton said its not an Alt Universe) more than craphole island in the premiere, I enjoyed the island much more in this episode. That had more to do with the fact that the show involved 2 of my least favorite characters in LA X, Kate and Claire. I just don't enjoy her character, and that was the whole reason I enjoyed LA X, to see Jack without the weight of the Losties on his shoulders, Locke being vulnerable, Sayid searching for love and being seen on the plane as just a potential terrorist instead of a torturer, The Jin-Sun dynamic of which one is the bad person in the relationship. I could go all day with the characters but with Kate it simply is "Oh she is on the run".

I really enjoy hearing people complain about Kate, it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one. I am curious to know why we all seem to hate her. To me the only reason her character development happened was because of Aaron.
She was the reason for Tom Brennan's(childhood friend) death, after this event I never understood while she continued to run. I'm fine if she keeps insisting she is innocent for killing her father but the Tom thing she never felt any guilt or she might have accepted the blame and turned herself in. So I really can never accept her as a good person if she continues to be on the run. While she was on the island it seemed like she was assuming this leadership role when her whole adult life she was on the run by herself. Her role on the island never felt genuine.

Well that's just my own thoughts but I won't pretend to understand her character. If anyone else has comments on Kate and their criticism of her or even why you love her, I am interested because in all honesty this is the first time I've given any thought to her since late in Season 3.

JT said...

Please god let this be the last kate-centric ep. She's the most boring person on this great show.

Please god get Sawyer over his mope. I love Juliet as much a the next red-blooded hetero male but enough is enough.

Unknown said...

well, i'd never enjoyed those kate-episodes but they are nice and sometimes nicer than another ones.
I really enjoyed this episode but i still found myself wondering: what if rousseau were really poisoned by the smokey and she wasn't on the good side always?
what the f*** is going on with sayid?
Did Charlie get into his dead-body? cuz in my book it seems as he's get so many un-sayid-like behaviors.

The producer ought to know it: the end is just on the corner, then it ain't time to stay putting things off, it's time so get some things fixed out.
I'd better be excited about the endign, but this week i got myself sort of unhappy with its episode and so many times i got myself thinking: Lets get on with it.
Also think the most-exciting-moment-ever on this week-episode were the moments off-island.

.s.: Say it to Dharma People: were you guys dumb for staying or dumber fro getting massacred by Ben Linus?
What's the worst things ever?


Kate said...

All the Rosseau connections just remind me of how poorly constructed/written that character was. Hope this season's people get a better fate.

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

Watching people get tortured by Others who are So Much Cooler, without any explanation. Reminded me of the worst parts of high school. Or season three.

Really felt like I'd been here before: our heroes being manipulated and tortured by sneering We're-Smarter-Than-You-Are mystics/Others, and the most basic questions being O Just Too Impossible to Answer Right Now. Did any of these Others think that if they just once kind of, you know, Explained the Situation, that Jack and Friends might be a whole lot more cooperative?

What made it more irritating this time is that the Arrogant Mr. Mysterious is YET ANOTHER CHARACTER WE DON'T EVEN KNOW. I know that other posters here kind of like the Japanese Samurai protector, but I am so uninterested in him. Or Lennon. Or any of these people. is this really what we need, after six years? A WHOLE BUNCH OF NEW CHARACTERS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND?

I don't mind Kate as much as others here; I've always thought she was interesting-- but less interesting than most other characters. She only comes alive in the presence of James.

Feels to me as if this timeline is going to eventually merge into the 2007 one, but how they'll pull that off remains to be seen.

But last night's episode left me really discouraged after a great first week. An hour of torturing people with red hot pokers? Hanging out with Kate, and Claire? We waited six years for this?

LDP said...

. . .Evangeline Lilly's one of the less compelling members of the cast.

I find her very compelling, although I'm willing to admit that perhaps you and I define "compelling" differently.

Mopey Sawyer = Boring Sawyer.

Anonymous said...

Kate is fun to look at, but other than that I'm disappointed they are wasting valuable time with the stuff they've shown us thus far. Not revelatory about the characters, not interesting, just mediocre and treading over the same ground we've already walked numerous times.

kp said...

I think it's funny how people are mad about all the "unbelievable" things taking place in the LA X timeline like Claire accepting a ride from Kate or giving Kate her credit card. Because really, these things are FAR more unbelievable than a smoke monster, zombies and time travel.

It's Lost! The entire show involves the suspension of disbelief, so I think we need extend that to this sideways timeline. I always tell people who get frustrated with the show that you can't go into it thinking that it's about the world we live in. Even if this new timeline occurs in the "real" world, it still involves an island that sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

Also, I'm trying to have faith that the "infection" really ties into the first 5 seasons. Not so sure I can take another new mystery this late in the game.

Steve said...

Alan, I don't know if I'd read too much into Sayid's accent just yet. Naveen Andrews has been known to drift in and out of the Iraqi accent in the past (re-watch the scene in The Incident when they're in the tunnels getting the warhead out of Jughead - he's speaking the Queen's English then).

Also, I noticed a bit of a continuity gaffe - in Season 4's Meet Kevin Johnson, Ben sent Alex, Rousseau and Karl from the Barracks to the Temple, and said "If you leave now, you can make it there in a day and a half". In tonight's episode, it couldn't have taken Kate and Sawyer more than an hour or two to make the same trek.

LDP said...

And another thing . . . why didn't we ever see these new Others in earlier seasons. Do the original Others of Ben, et al., know they exist? If so, are the two groups at odds somehow? Maybe Ben's Others have been duped by the Man in Black all this time?

It could be my confusion over the show's timeline, but I'm starting to feel this is a really big hole.

Steve said...

@LDP. See my comment above re: Ben & "our" Others' knowledge of the temple. Here's the exchange of dialogue I mentioned from Season 4:

BEN: This is a map to the temple.

[Alex takes the map.]

BEN: It's a sanctuary. It may be the last safe place on this island.

KARL: How come we don't know about this?

BEN: Well, it wouldn't be a sanctuary if I told everyone, would it? The rest of our people are already there. If you leave now, you can get there in a day and a half.

MC said...

So I am definitely convinced now that the MIB is going to come back as Bryce Larkin.....

Anyways, I have to say that the big clue to me that LAX Kate was starting to remember things was when she saw Shamu in Claire's bag. If my memory serves, that was the same whale Aaron had while living with Kate.

While I agree this episode was pretty much a snooze fest, still have to tip my cap to Josh Holloway for putting on one of his best performances of the series. You really, REALLY felt for Sawyer in this episode and I hope around award season he gets some recognition for this episode.

xyz said...

katie said "Also, I'm trying to have faith that the "infection" really ties into the first 5 seasons. Not so sure I can take another new mystery this late in the game.

The illness is not a new mystery. It was referenced throughout season1 and season 2 by Rousseau and we saw it action in Season 5.

What made it more irritating this time is that the Arrogant Mr. Mysterious is YET ANOTHER CHARACTER WE DON'T EVEN KNOW. I know that other posters here kind of like the Japanese Samurai protector, but I am so uninterested in him. Or Lennon. Or any of these people. is this really what we need, after six years? A WHOLE BUNCH OF NEW CHARACTERS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND?

Yes we do need new characters. People were making this exact same argument at the beginning of Season 4 and in Season 5 over the new characters being introduced, eventually we learned their importance and came to love and enjoy them. The writers have brought us this far, I'm not going to start second guessing them now. They were introduced probably because they are essential to whatever the show is trying to do this season.

Kensington said...

Weren't Kate's legal problems addressed two seasons ago after the Oceanic Six were rescued?

I don't think they just left that hanging. Am I remembering correctly?

Rick said...

Unfortunately, the alternate timeline appears to have the same problem as the Season 3 flashbacks, only this time writ large.

Unlike Season 3, in which the flashbacks at least colored our understanding of the characters to some degree, we have no idea what to do with the alternate timeline, because the showrunners have failed to tell us what they mean. Said another way, an episode of Lost in this, its final season, tends to feel like a 20 minute window on the Island we care about accompanied by a 20 minute dream sequence/tone poem which really doesn't mean anything (at least not yet).

To put it mildly, this is a problem.

The good news is that this problem can be, at least in part, retroactively corrected. If, at the end of the season, we find out, for instance, that the show is adopting some type of "wheel of life" explanation, that the alternate timeline is actually a representation of where the characters go when they die (or any of an infinite array of explanations that give meaning to the alternate timeline), at least we could give some internal weight to the proceedings occurring in "fake" 2004, even in the episodes we are seeing now.

In my humble opinion, however, it is a mistake for the show to try to maintain a mystery around the alternate timeline, as it seems intent on doing, as that mystery is essentially unanswerable at present, and creates a show that feels disjointed and oddly short for a prime time hour long.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see a call back to Sawyer's idiotic decision to talk Juliet (plus Hurley & Miles) to stay on the island in the 70's when they were offered a chance to leave.

Everybody loves to comment on bad decisions by Jack or Kate, but Sawyer has made some bad choices that cost lives too.

The dead from New Otherton say hello.

Anonymous said...

Lost may not be predictable, but a review of a Kate episode by Alan is.

blah blah not a compelling character..

blah blah Evangeline Lilly's performance blah blah...

blah blah does have a spark with Sawyer blah blah...

Please cut and paste and save for next Kate episode.

edub said...

I have no problem staring at Evangeline Lilly for an could've been on mute and that would've been good for me...

david bushman said...

I am amazed they seem to be repeating the construct of the dreaded season three, with the survivors once again passive captives of the Others, but I have a feeling it won't go on nearly as long this time. The infected-Claire development throws me for a loop, because I thought the fact that she was hanging out in Jacob's cabin with Christian meant they were both on the side of Jacob, but to be honest I can't remember if Jacob was there in the cabin with them. As for Kate-bashing, I don't get that at all. I think she is one cool chick.

Anonymous said...

Was I the only one who would've liked to see Aldo make his presence known at the temple by saying "Wassup, bitches?"

Jeff said...

Like most people, I get tired of the lack of communication on the island. I hate that they keep writing these things where Jack (the audience) is asking a relevant question (where are you taking him, what is this) and just gets answered with silence or a fist. I also like Jack's current attitude--broken, very self-aware of his lack of control.

But, ultimately, I trust Damon and Carlton, so I'll go with the flow.

christy said...

belinda said: "I noticed that on Claire's sonogram, there's a date on it - and it's NOT september 22, 2004, but one whole month later, october 22, 2004. So...the flight 815 where everyone we knew was on the flight that landed safely was one month later than the original?"

That's interesting! Because in my quest this past week to figure out if the new timeline was actually in 2004 or not, I came upon this screen shot:

The date next to Sayid's signature at the bottom seems pretty clearly "04" but I couldn't figure out why the month and day seemed so deliberately mangled and unreadable. And it was the only actual date I could find in the episode--even the immigration stamps, which were given a clear shot by the camera, had no dates.

Of course, there's also the fact that it also says Sayid's birth year is '72, which...who knows what if anything that could mean.

Naomi said...

It wasn't just Claire accepting a ride from Kate, Kate offering Claire a ride, and Kate hanging around the hospital that was ridiculous. It was also that it was an entire episode about Kate being on the run, Kate helping Claire with her pregnancy, Sayid getting tortured, and Jack acting like a dick to some Others who captured him. I've seen all those episodes before, and I didn't enjoy them much the first time. Lost does best when it's trying to top itself and do something ridiculous, and this whole business of recreating on-island experiences off-island in 2004 was tedious in the extreme. Here's hoping non-Kate-centric episodes do better, because there are certainly intriguing ways of bringing the characters together. For example, I would love to see Sawyer conning Hurley, as others have suggested.

I agree with what Myles said up-thread about the function of this episode as bringing Claire back into the narrative. But maybe it could've been better if it had been set up as a Claire-centric episode, with Kate running from the law (or failing to do so) predictably in the background. Or whatever. My point is, I get that the characters have to get back together off-island, that Claire needs to be introduced, etc., but there was surely a way to do all that which wasn't lazy and boring.

That said, "Stranger in a Strange Land" was DEFINITELY worse by lightyears.

The Pants of Freedom said...

“Hey, so I know I pulled a gun on you while I stole a cab, also, I took your purse and your suitcase. Anyway, listen, you want a ride?”

“Sure crazy armed lady. By the way, how did you know I would be still standing right here?”

“Oh, Los Angeles is a small town.”

“Listen, I am going to have my baby, and I want you, crazy, gun wielding, cab stealing person I just met to be there when I have it. also, can we take the cab that has surely been reported stolen to the hospital and just leave it out front? Because surely no one will discover that bit of news while looking for an escaped murderer.”

“Yeah, if the cops do find me, I am just going to say I don’t know anything, and they are going to leave and I can just walk out unnoticed, because no one is going to be watching the pregnant lady who was in the cab which was hijacked by the escaped murderer.”

“Sweet, you are awesome, new best friend.”

“I love you too, escaped convict I just met who has held a gun to my head as recently as 3 hours ago.”

Anonymous said...

No one has mentioned Ethan's line?

"I don't want to stick needles into you if I don't have to."

I have a feeling we are going to see a lot of lines like these.

Anonymous said...

I can't bellieve Dennis wouldn't let Mac wear the Duster to the island.

Anonymous said...

I was kind of bored with this episode. I find Kate to be the least interesting character among all the losties although imo they try very hard to make her seem bad ass and misunderstood. All I ever got was whiney and boring. I'm curious about Sayid, not sold that it is Sayid. But I want him to be because I love the scenes with him and Jack. I never bought Sawyer and Juliet's great love so every scene he has about her falls flat for me. I feel like they wasted this hour and didn't really give us much. Two seconds of Claire at the end wasn't enough for me.

Devin McCullen said...

I know the island chronology is never that precise, but isn't it still the same day that Juliet died? Give Sawyer a little time to get over his loss before you start complaining about his mopiness.

Mr Whirly said...

Alan, again you nailed my thoughts almost to a tee. My main issues with this episode were twofold: 1) Last week the coming of the Smoke Monster sent panic throughout the Temple. Where was that this week? Did they forget? And when Sawyer just casually walked out the door, why didn't they rush to shut it and throw ash all over it?

2) Cab Driver Kate was a ridiculous moment. Claire getting back in the cab was dumb, Claire asking her to come up to the house was dumb, the cops who questioned her in the room about Kate barely asked her anything and Kate stepping back into the room a nanosecond after they left was unbelievable.

I know they have a lot of info to cram into the season but cutting corners by making the characters do dumb things isn't the way to end a great show.

P@ said...

Locke said in Expose - "Nothing stays buried on this Island".

Now, people who have been buried seem to be ...infecting the living.
Maybe that would be why the Others had their Viking funerals instead. (Remember that? When they dressed in robes and set the bodies on fire? Maybe it's because people who are buried on the Island don't stay buried.)

As for the episode itself, yeah, it was not a fantastic one, and yeah, there was plenty to roll ones eyes about (why the heck wouldn't Claire have gone to the police after she got out of the cab?), but I'm still pretty much along for the ride, and trusting that the show in it's entirety will be enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

I had a thought. Why wouldn't the others just shoot Sayid if he were that dangerous? Why make Jack poison him. Why not just kill him when you were electrocuting him?...Hey maybe he needs to do it himself...Maybe they can't kill him...Maybe...(sob)...he really isn't Sayid.

Michelle said...

This reminds me of an article I read before the season started in which they listed, "Who will Kate end up with?" as one of the biggest, most anticipated questions to be answered in this seasion. I think the reason why most people watch the show is because it isn't based on romantic entanglements, and I have to agree that Kate's storyline essentially can not drive the plot alone.

What I am wondering about, is what Mr. It's Always Sunny meant when he said, "you don't remember hitting me over the head 3 years ago." When did that take place in the story line, was it during a time flash, I didn't recognize him...

Josh M. said...

It happened when they were breaking Alex's boyfriend out of the "Clockwork Orange"-style room.

christy said...

Anonymous said: "I had a thought. Why wouldn't the others just shoot Sayid if he were that dangerous? Why make Jack poison him. Why not just kill him when you were electrocuting him?...Hey maybe he needs to do it himself...Maybe they can't kill him...Maybe...(sob)...he really isn't Sayid."

Good question. And is it the same reason Smokey can't kill Jacob and Ben can't kill Widmore?

Chrissy said...

While there are definitely some questionable plot maneuverings so far this season, I don't think the existence of the Temple or its people is one of them. Ben sent "his" Others there a while back, which accounts for the presence of Cindy and Aldo, but it makes sense that the place wasn't just sitting dormant. The Others have been without leadership (Ben turned the Donkey Wheel, Locke disappeared) for three years, so if Dogen was middle management back when Ben was in charge, it makes sense that he'd be in a leadership position now.

I am curious about that, though. Did Ben know Dogen? It seems likely. I don't see him accepting another leader on his level, and we've always been told there is only one leader of the Others.

christy said...

The thing with Aldo is funny, because everyone has their little pet mysteries or minor characters that Darlton have always been trying to discourage us from getting our hopes up about whether they'll ever be resolved, but they seem to try to bring them in when they can. People have been asking about Cindy and the kids for years, for instance. And finally they came back.

But was anyone thinking "gosh, I hope they bring back that one guy Kate pistol whipped that one time! What happened to him?"

I wonder if this was a subtle little joke about all that.

Chrissy said...

In defense of Claire - she's a young girl, 8 months pregnant who's just finished a 15-hour plane ride. Her bag has been stolen, which likely contains her phone and money. She's in a foreign country, in a city she's never visited. While I still think she was being influenced by island-y motivations, there are crazier things than taking a ride from someone who has no obvious motive to hurt you. Also, let's face it, Claire has never been the brightest crayon in the box.

Kate's behavior also isn't that out of character - she's cutthroat but also pretty loyal - didn't she try to make sure the reward money would go to the farmer who turned her in? She doesn't want to be imprisoned, but she does have a pretty sturdy supply of guilt running through her for the things she does to people.

Now here's a question. In the pilot, Greg Grunberg tells them that they lost radio communication and had turned back to land in Fiji before they crashed. It certainly doesn't seem like these people were detoured to Fiji, but the premiere did imply that they were passing over the island. So, did they lose radio communication, and if so, did it just come back on mysteriously, making it possible for them to continue on course? And if not, why were they anywhere near the island at that point in the flight?

Anonymous said...

This episode made me miss Nikki and Paulo. =/

Unknown said...

Did anyone else find the Sayid torture and subsequent weakness scenes curiously similar to the torture of Wesley in "The Princess Bride???" Just saying...

Devin McCullen said...

One other thought - if the infection made Claire become Rousseau, due to the timing of Rousseau's death, then Sayid would most likely become Juliet. Slashfiction writers can take it from here. (Thinking about it, I'm sure that happened a long time ago.)

debbie said...

I thought the most significant overlooked part was the look from Kate to Jack; she KNEW him just like Jack knew Desmond. Like when something is on the tip of your tongue and you just can't figure it out.

I thought that was because Jack DID kinda know least, had met him before, while they were both running up and down the steps at that stadium...I can't remember what episode that was from.

I got the sense that both Kate and Claire were making decisions for reasons they didn't really understand, i.e. naming him Aaron and the cab ride. Could be for narrative convenience or could be a clue that memories of the other timeline are bleeding through a bit.

I thought that about Hurley taking the (short-lived) "leadership" position. Seems like he's way more confident and business-savvy in the new 2004.

Bryan Murray said...

So, Dogen was a Japanese baseball player who was summoned to island on the way to his first major league contract - only possible explanation of the spinning baseball. Have we ever had any baseball references besides the Red Sox never winning the series stuff?

I agree that a table setting episode is a little tough to stomach in the final season but I think Alan is right: things will be different after we understand the implications of the Lost X timeline.

Have to admit that I kind of like Jack a lot right now (he actually has some self awareness and hatred really) and liked seeing Kate getting her mojo back with the Others. She is still crazy though.

You'd think Chuck is the most popular show ever made seeing all the comments about it in the LOST post...maybe I should move season 1 up in my Netflix queue to see what I'm missing.

Blair Waldorf said...

OMG. This really is the zombie season. Like Sayid would admit he's a zombie?

Anonymous said...

"then Sayid would most likely become Juliet."

LOL! Although the similarities are there . . "I've spent the last three years as Ben's emotional hostage. He used the death/health of my loved one to force me to follow him and carry out his his dastardly deeds. Nadia?? Who is this Nadia? Oh, Hey, James, you look good today."

Anonymous said...

How many times has Sawyer, or Jack, or whoever told Kate not to follow them and then she does anyway ("I thought I could help")?

Yay Emile de Ravin!! I have missed her.

How is Kate innocent? She is wanted on connection with burning down the house with her father in in, correct? Which she did do, corrrect?

Benjamin Standig said...

Not my favorite episode by a long shot, but I like others do not get all the Kate hate.

I do agree she is one of the least developed characters, especially in terms of the island mystery, but I think that largely has to do with the change from making her the leader to Jack (this is before the pilot was shot).

Ultimately, her going on the lamb to find Claire makes sense, but the excuses being made before that was revealed (escaping, going after Sawyer, etc) were the weak part.

In the end, everything that happened on island is happening in some way during the alt. timeline stuff. Until we know why, I'm not ready to condemn the season. But, Darlton, please hurry!

Adam said...

I have a theory as to why the Others are so adverse to revealing secrets, and why they're so terribly violent to the Losties. I don't believe its only a writer's crutch:

Robin said...

So, does the date discrepancy on Claire's sonogram prove that this is truly an alternate timeline, and not just a reset button to the past. And if so, if these two timelines mesh together, can there be 2 Kates and 2 Jacks? Does 2007 Sawyer find 2004 Juliet?

Geesh...I'm a sci-fi geek and I'm confusing myself :)

Overall, it WAS a meh episode, but I understand it was setting stuff up for later. I agree with the comparisons to S3 though. I think the show suffers greatly when they have more than 2 timelines/stories going on simultaneously. So they at least need to get all the people on the island together, QUICKLY.

Other said...

don't forget that another J.J. Abrams project jumped the shark with "zombies". Ah, Alias...the good old days.

Slow episode, but I the best I can come up with is that Sawyer's distress and angst will lead him to ally with Fake Locke, and he'll end up on the opposite side of Jack and Kate in the final skirmish (possibly setting up a last minute switcharoo where he'll either martyr himself or tip the scales in favor of the good guys somehow)

Stephen King's "The Stand" is a big influence, I think. The backgammon board is currently being divided out into the black and white pieces.

Anonymous said...

With respect to people complaining about the unrealistic aspects of the 2004 storyline, I have to agree - it felt like very lazy storytelling, and I was very disappointed by the writing. Even putting aside the unlikelihood that Claire would be willing to get a ride from Kate after having a gun to her head, or that she would simply be sitting at the bus stop after the encounter (and not stuck getting questioned by the cops – and what, they wouldn’t help a pregnant woman get a ride?), the fact that Kate could escape LAX in a stolen cab, drive around the city in it, and then hang out at a hospital (where she left the cab out front) without feeling any real heat from the fuzz is just dumb. And please spare me the “you can’t expect realism from a sci-fi show” argument – I get that there are fantastical elements to the show and have accepted them, yes, but that shouldn’t give the Lost writers free reign to get lazy with any and all real world elements of the show. I’m not saying that LA cops are geniuses, but I also don’t think they are complete idiots. At least have Kate pick up a different car along the way, change her hair color, put on a fake mustache – anything. Otherwise, it’s just D-U-M, dumb.

Lizbeth said...

I was getting a Stephen King "Pet Semetery" vibe last night...

Also, earlier in the day yesterday I picked a random episode of Lost to watch and it was "Maternity Leave" which couldn't have been a better episode to pair up with "What Kate Does."

If you recall, in that ep Claire is afraid Aaron is "infected" so she goes off in search of the hatch where Dr. Ethan gave her injections...Kate acts as Claire's protector throughout, it is a very female-centric episode...and it reminded me that indeed Claire and Kate have always shared significant scenes together.

I was wondering if perhaps we're seeing that Kate and Claire are each other's constants - that all the lostaways are skipping through time and thus will be drawn to their constants...

Lost TV said...

Definitely a waste to watch. I don't think I even finished watching the episode.

annie said...

Kate annoyed me, but I love this Sawyer. To me he's showing actual character development, whereas Kate revolves around kicking ass and chasing boys. Her coming back for Claire is good, but in a show with so few female leads, I wish she wasn't so often defined by Sawyer/Jack.

I made a connection between Sayid's torture and Princess Bride, too.

Despite some stuff being dragged out, I mostly like the Temple Others, and Jack with them. And I saw it coming with jack taking the pill. In a good way.

The idea of LOST having zombies upsets me; I like that its mythology doesn't rely on such a trendy trope.

What holds my interest best is the machinations of the Jacob/Esau/Island/Smokey/Ben/Locke storyline. And I guess the "shadow of the statue" people are part of it, too.

The Others in the temple seem to be anti-Smokey, but Ben isn't, and Smokey lives under the temple. Does Ben not really belong among the Others all along?

There's also the puzzle of the cabin. Was Christian lying when he said he spoke for Jacob?

Kenrick said...

I bet that guy speaks in Japanese so they can really draw out the scenes and fill up time.

Scott J. said...

Dogen's use of electrocution on Sayid also calls back to Rousseau torturing him the same way in season 1. Was she actually testing him for the Sickness, too?

McNater said...

What does everyone think of this guys explanation of the time travel? I like it.

Anonymous said...

I think we are seeing parallel universes, dimensions and there are 2 of each person affected. Kate who was in the plane crash, and Kate who wasn't...etc... This was caused by the history changing event of the explosion...etc...
Last night wasn't so terrible, I mean it was definitely the appetizers before the big meal for sure ... just enough to get your mouth watering. The worst episode ever was that one a couple seasons back with that unheard of couple, the porn chick and her boyfriend or whatever that were fighting over stolen money and got bitten by spiders and burried alive... now that was a BS episode!
But, anyway, I could clearly see the differences in Sayid because he's always been my favorite character. I agree that he is infected in some way because, his ressurection came so late instead of instant ... and the waters were murky, which was unusual.
I don't think Claire or Russo were infected as much as they have cabin fever in a "The Shining" sort of way. -SuzRocks

Anonymous said...

Was it my imagination or were there more commercials then usual in this episode, it was going from one short scene to a 2 minute commercial break over and over again.

GabbyD said...

i have a basic question about the plot:

when kate returns to claire, how does she know where she'd be sitting?

did she just drive around until she found claire?

DWood said...

To Anonymous from 1am...I too noticed BLT and the sad part is that was the best part of this ep for me...

dez said...

If Sayid is possessed by one of the island's dead, it's possible he's possessed by Nikki and/or Paolo. AIIIEEEEE!

Unknown said...

I'm surprised that no one has picked up on the fact that the characters in the LA X storyline obviously, to some extent, recognize each other without knowing why, and also seem puzzled by themselves (evident in the scenes in last week's episode when first Jack, and then Kate, see to react as though something is "off" when they look i the mirror. Also, the LA X characters are not as they were at the beginning of the series - they're the people they've grown to be while on the island. I think that explains why Kate and Claire would trust each other implicitly so soon. Whatever happened, it wasn't a simple re-set to 2004; the characters have vestigial memories.

Laurel said...

I think this was the worst episode so far (and I hope ever) maybe not because it contained the hokiest plotlines and dialogue (although if you made that argument I wouldn't disagree) but because there is so much riding on every episode of this final season. With what 14 eps left I feel almost desperate for answers or at least forward movement. Yes, yes I still care about the characters and the character driven stories, but not at the expense of wrapping this show up with the final season the show deserves.

Unknown said...

Halfway through this episode I found myself aimlessly playing brickbreaker on my blackberry before I even realized what I was doing. That about sums up my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I just watched this one again and enjoyed it significantly more than I did the first time. I think part of my initial disappointment was that nothing really happened in the 2004 timeline. Somehow knowing that nothing much would happen made it less disappointing.

Meggan said...

LOST still has not passed the ultimate test of strong female character development: two women must have a meaningful conversation about something other than men or babies. Claire is defined by Aaron, 98% of Kate's scenes are with Jack or Sawyer. And when you get these two women together in the same car, what do they talk about? Claire says isn't the neighborhood great, Kate just sits there and gives Claire weird looks. And remember, the only reason Kate even went back for her is because Claire was pregnant! The baby bag that Kate stole tugged at her heart strings - how do I know? Because the overbearing "sad" music was playing in the background. Do all female fugitives risk being caught for the sake of perky pregnant women?

Horrid episode.

Refidnas said...

My wife is Japanese, and she says that the word that was translated as "claimed" is used to describe what happens when someone dies and God comes and takes their soul.

Diana Frost said...

A not so great episode. I expected more answers. We deserve more answers and less teasers.

For the first time ever I almost fast forwarded the kate & claire scenes. They bore me.

And if Sayid is not himself, then he REALLY IS a zombie. Look the word up people.

Darlton is conning us big time. I really, really, really don't them two guys!

Uncle Milty said...

While not the focus of the episode, there were some interesting thoughts expressed on the subject of leadership. Twice now, the Others have questioned Jack regarding Sayiid's wounding. Each time Jack has owned responsibility, saying
that while he didn't do the shooting, that Sayiid was shot carrying out Jack's plan. For this questioning to take place in both the Temple spring, as well as later with Dogen, it is obvious that responsibility is important to both the Others and the writers. In the same discussion, Dogen explains his use of Japanese and Lennon as a translator. He says that they are buffers between he and his people, making it easier for Dogen to issue unpopular directives. Jack pulls a "leasership stunt" by popping the poison pill, showing he would not ask a follower to do something he personally was unwilling to do.

Up to this point, we've seen Ben lead through terrorism and manipulation, Locke fail to lead, even though he had the inspiration and the conviction, and Jack trying to muster up "what it takes" to lead, which according to living, breathing Christian is being able to slug down Scotch at the end of the day with no regrets for the hard
decisions that befall a Chief of Surgery. What will the writers tell us makes a great leader?
Jack is the central character in this saga, and his journey will lead us to the outcome of "Lost".

sydb said...
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Anonymous said...

Kate episodes, like Kate herself, always suck.

Mark B said...

IF, the writers are attempting to create a mirror reflecting the prejudices of the viewers, then WOW, have they succeeded. I have no Kate hatred, so I don’t understand the Kate hatred. I do understand the implausibility of storylines, if the storyline is absolutely, scientifically and realistically supposed to be plausible. The Kate and Claire taxi hook up may truly be one of those improbable situations that improbably happens in the story being told.

Kate’s actions were never directly against Claire’s interests and Kate went out of her way to correct any harm she caused our pregnant, alone in a foreign country, mother to be. Criticism that this turn in the plot line is unbelievable is like saying Frodo finding a secret back door to Mordor through a giant spider hole is preposterous, based on ALL WE KNOW about spider holes. Evangeline, if you are reading this … keep me in your dreams!

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

@Rick: Great point about the "flash sideways" being too disconnected from the main island story line to be compelling.

I also worry that the "flash sideways" format will prove unsatisfying down the road. It strikes me that there are three possibilities:

(1) The "flash sideways" world is a dream / alternative universe that never comes to pass. If this is the case, why do we care? Why are we wasting time learning about how things did not turn out?

(2) The "flash sideways" world is the real world post-Jughead. In which case, why are we wasting our time trying to figure out how our original timeline did not turn out?

(3) The two worlds exist in parallel and at some point the timelines will merge / our characters will have to "choose" which timeline they want to live in. This choice / dilemma/ paradox could be interesting in a Philosophy for Dummies kind of way, but it could also be "Its A Wonderful Life + Smoke Monsters".

Whatever the case, these worlds need to merge sooner rather than later because I can take one Lost universe in which characters are making frustrating, unrealistic choices but not two...

christy said...

I assume Alan will be along shortly to delete the Anonymous at 2:30AM comment, as it pretty clearly doesn't fit in with the "being respectful of each other" vibe he's valiantly trying to cultivate in the comments here.

But this episode, being that it focuses mainly on two of its female characters interacting with each other, seems as good a time as any to say that, yes, LOST is one of my favorite shows and yes, (as with one of my other favorite shows of all time, The West Wing), I wonder and worry about its treatment of female characters.

On one hand, the show does a better job than most of creating female characters that are:
As tough and physically capable as their male counterparts (Kate, Ana Lucia),
As intelligent and successful at their work as their male counterparts (Charlotte, Sun), or
Both (Juliet, Naomi, Rousseau).

But Doc Artz's review of LA X last week brought up a smart point--he related LOST to the comic book trope of "women in refrigerators," basically pointing out that like in superhero comic books, when a woman dies on LOST, her story stops being important and it becomes all about what her death means to the man/men in her life, and in Doc Artz's words, "when a male character is killed off, he frequently returns, altered in ways that make him even more intriguing and intrinsic to
the tale."

This rings true to me, and I've always been bothered somewhat by what struck me as a discrepancy in the deaths of male and female characters on LOST. Female characters are much more likely to die, and sooner after being introduced. And male characters, when they do die, are much more likely to "come back" in some way that's meaningful and involves a lot of screen time. It would really be disappointing if, after all these seasons of developing Juliet and her back story, she becomes nothing more than a reason for whatever Sawyer does next. As Libby was to Hurley. As Shannon and Nadia both were to Sayid.

As to Meg's point, the Bechdel Rule actually only mentions men, not babies. But I can see how you could consider What Kate Does as breaking the spirit of the rule if not the letter. It's really made me think back on the conversations and interactions the female characters have had with each other over the years, and besides the fact that yes, a lot of them have been about men, a LOT of them have been about babies. There's Kate and Claire, of course, whose main connection is Aaron. Kate and Juliet's connections are obviously man-centric. Then think of Juliet and Sun--most of their interaction was about Sun's baby or Jin. Sun and Kate teamed up to poison Jin. Juliet and Harper--men. Claire and Rousseau--babies. Kate and Cassidy--men and babies. Even Juliet and her sister. I mean, there is definitely the occasional exception, but really, for a show that has had TEN female leads and a bunch of important supporting female characters, and that also has a lot of themes that are neither romantic nor domestic, including monsters, time travel, religion, destiny, physics, metaphysics, anthropology, guns, golf, fisticuffs, polar bears...the women sure do spend a lot of what little time they spend together talking about men and babies. There are no two female characters having the kinds of conversations that Hurley and Miles have, for example.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Once again, folks, let me remind you of the cardinal rule around here: Talk about the show, not each other.

If you can't do that, your comment gets deleted. Period.

Anonymous said...

Lost has never been a feminist show. The Shield and Battlestar Galactica did a far better job of portraying women than Lost ever did, IMO. The one character that allowed them to briefly break away from their standard female roles was Ana-Lucia, but her introduction was botched so the audience hated her, and then she died when she was starting to get interesting.

It's sort of a shame that a show that was so innovative in so many ways fell into the usual sci-fi traps when it came to portraying women.

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

I apologize for my comment that got deleted. I don't wanna break the rules.

Hutch said...

I agree with Anonymous regarding Lost being a show in which female characters are not allowed to develop and grow in the way many of the male characters do. I feel that this has been a disappointing and annoying element in an otherwise interesting series. For the most part females are searching for their identity in the eyes of men, while the males are getting on with more important things. When I think of female character development in a series like Six Feet Under for example, there is no comparison. Too late to hope for miracles now I guess....

Anonymous said...

okay. so christian's body becomes claimed by esau when oceanic 815 crashes and his body is missing in the 2004world.
and john locke was unable to walk before the plane crashed... perhaps he was claimed right from the beginning?
and perhaps richard "ram 'the eyeliner' dass" alpert was claimed a long time ago by jacob? perhaps they are capable of claiming more than body at a time?
i dunno... just bored at work thinking about it.

7s Tim said...

Anyone know if they made reference to the number of their oceanic flight v2.0?

Mac made reference to Sawyer (I like that the Others called him Ford, nice touch that) shooting someone in his escape. Seems like a harsh thing for him to do and then it only gets a one liner noting it. just weird.

And why did Miles get such a beat down when Jack resisted Dogen taking Sayid? Hurley just stands there, as does Jin, but he gets hurt bad.

Lost has created its mythology by telling small character based tales dealing with heavy parallels between the Island story and the off-Island stories. While I think some of this story was a little slow off-Island, especially the scene in the car between Claire and Kate, I also found it important to setting up the influence of the original timeline on these alt-characters. And nice grab on the notation of October as the month, another important difference we've been given.

Maybe if there was more action in 2004 it would have been a little peppier for people. eh.

Hutch said...

Question: If Claire was 36 weeks pregnant, how was she allowed to fly?

dez said...

And why did Miles get such a beat down when Jack resisted Dogen taking Sayid? Hurley just stands there, as does Jin, but he gets hurt bad.

Possibly because Miles knows Sayid is not really Sayid and might pipe up about it?

Anonymous said...

I have read all the comments and the main ones that stick out to me.

The alternate timeline is taking place in October 2004, not September 2004, which is why Claire is 36 weeks pregnant and giving birth.

I loved the term flash diagonal. Very smart whoever came up with that. Afterall they are not flashing to the same time in the alternate reality. They really are flashing both sideways and then back. So I agree flash diagonal is a better term than flash sideways.

Lockab said...

Sayid wasn't tortured.

Dogen put on a show for Sayid to make him think he was being tortured. The hot poker probably wasn't very hot and the electrical gizmo not really juiced up. Since Sayid isn't really Sayid anymore, but some sort of ghost/zombie/whatever, he doesn't feel pain. He was tricked into pretending to feel pain and therefore failed the test.

Lennon wasn't lying when he said he wasn't tortured.

Anonymous said...

Hutch said...

Question: If Claire was 36 weeks pregnant, how was she allowed to fly?

7:12 PM, February 11, 2010

while highly unlikely, a pregnant woman is allowed to fly in the third trimester as long as they have a note from their doctor. at least that has been my experience.

Charlotte K said...

Am I the only person who thinks it's hysterical that Jack pops that big pill himself, given his history, and that the last time we heard about Jack & pills, Ben was flushing them down the toilet???

Anonymous said...

I was pretty disappointed with this episode like many others have stated here. After the season premiere, I was really looking forward to this episode. What a let down!

I think the whole destiny thing with all the characters in the non-plane-crash-dimension is great (I got a kick out of seeing Ethan at the hospital with Kate and Claire, as well as Jack and Locke appearing to come together), but I didn't buy how easily Claire accepted the ride from Kate after having a gun pulled on her and being kicked out of the cab. On a side note, what is super-escapee Kate doing driving the same stolen cab around all over the place? Seems to me like Kate would know better and would have ditched the cab the first chance she got.

I was really hoping for a few answers (like maybe one) in this episode and wasn't happy that it just raised more questions. It seems to me that there have been enough questions raised throughout the series to where a few of them can be answered each episode and still leave enough intrigue for the series finale (there's really not very many episodes left since we essentially get half a season worth of episodes due to the season starting in Feb).

Sawyer did have a great scene on the dock with Kate. It made me feel bad for him and sad that Juliette died.

Perhaps not the worst episode ever, but I expected a lot more in these final episodes. The time for "table setting" episodes should be over... that's what the previous 5 seasons were for.

annie said...

I thought we did get some answers, albeit subtle in their delivery. In the elevator at LAX - at least a 30-45 second ride, Sawyer is charming to Kate but no "connection" was evident; yet Kate and Jack catch eyes from a distance and they obviously feel the deja vu. That told me that it's Kate and Jack that will always find one another, not Kate and Sawyer. And with Claire and the taxi - equally implausible to Claire and Kate's jungle birth where Jack was detained by the dieing Boone. To me, the writers were saying these two women and this baby are linked - not something I thought they made particularly clear in early seasons but now are making sure we know for sure.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this has been brought up yet, and I apologize if I'm re-hashing, but does anyone else get the feeling that the MIB and Jacob are actually the same person?

Two sides of one man pulling him apart?
When MIB tells Jacob that he wants to kill him, maybe he is just referring to killing off that side of himself.

Two sides of man, one inherently good and altruistic, the other only out for himself... one who believes in destiny, the other free will.

Obviously there are many many other implications, I just wonder if anyone else is thinking they might be one person not two.

IreneInIdaho said...

I had never thought of that, nor seen it anywhere else, but what a great idea it is!!

HMM2 said...


Have you seen this:

HMM2 said...

Lost Valentines Day Cards:

Illuminati Ganga Operative Persona said...

I'll just point out - a propos the date issue - that if Locke did do his walkabout in this reality then the date for everyone's departures would have to be delayed....
Not sure if this is also another indicator of Locke's focal position in the cast.

Lockab said...

Jughead never blew up. Whatever happened, happened. Jack etc. didn’t change anything from how it always happened. Otherwise, what are we to believe happened the “first” time around, the time that they all went back in time and didn’t blow up Jughead? We know they went back in time and that in 2007 their Dharma recruit photo is still up on the wall at the Barracks. So this is still the same timeline in which they went back and lived in Dharma 70s, the same timeline in which Oceanic 815 crashed, and the same timeline in which the Swan station’s still been built. So if we’re to believe that in this timeline, they didn’t blow up the bomb, what did they do and where did those people go? The same Jack Shephard who dropped a thermonuclear device into a hole in 1977 has reappeared along the same timeline but 30 years later. So what happened to the Jack Shephard who supposedly didn’t drop a bomb down a hole? Answer is: such a man never existed. To me, this means that the “alternate” timeline, is not a result of them having done anything “different”. The two major mysteries introduced this season are 1: what is this alternate/parallel/other timeline? and 2: How/why/when did the island sink? We've been led to believe and did a good job of convincing ourselves that the answer is that they blew up the bomb and changed the past and this alternate reality where the island has sunk is the result. I now believe that that is all completely wrong.

I think this makes sense. One major thing I can’t work into this is why Richard Alpert told Sun he saw them all die. Did he just think they died because they all vanished around the site of where the real incident, an event involving electro-magnetic energy, occurred?

I hope there’s a moment down the line where it is revealed that Jughead was always a dud.