Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LOST: "What Kate Does" Reflections

Tonight's episode firmly established that there will be a lot more winks and nods to events from earlier seasons of Lost throughout season 6; a point made by the title, a reference to the season 2 episode "What Kate Did".

Which Kate does the title refer to? Or does it refer to both of them? The present Kate runs off after Sawyer, purporting to be searching for Claire, though it seems she's also just trying to be with Sawyer alone. The alt-2004 Kate starts running, only to show a tender side and help Claire.

There were a lot of funny lines in this episode. I particularly liked Miles' point about how Hurley is now the leader.

It seemed to me that Sawyer was regressing in this episode back to the guy he was in season one. He is going off on his own, and doesn't care about what anyone else does. And yet, he is a changed man. The scene on the dock makes clear how much of his life was tied to Juliet now and that he has lost that. I worried that he was hardening again, and maybe he is. But that scene was great. Will Josh Holloway get any Emmy recognition this year? Yet when Sawyer says some people are meant to be alone, isn't that just another way of saying "a tiger can't change its stripes"?

The scene of torturous diagnosis is a direct parallel to the scenes in "Solitary" when Sayid was tortured by Rousseau. She also used electrocution, and the thrust of her interrogation was to learn who he was and if he was sick. Similarly here, the Others torture Sayid in order to learn if he is "infected".

I like the reappearance of Aldo, the guard Kate smacked with her rifle. I like that he's so snotty to her. But maybe he should lighten up and be glad she only knocked him out and didn't shoot out his knees like she said she would.

We are told that Sayid is "infected"; that a darkness is claiming him. This must be the same sickness that infected Rousseau's team. I would very much like to know where this infection came from. Does it come from the passageway? Does it come from Smokey? Was he sick before he died in the pool or after? I'm glad that they have finally returned to the sickness issue. It's so far pretty consistent with "This Place is Death", though that was not exactly consistent with "Solitary". It may be that Rousseau simply assumed the Others were "carriers". But I do not understand the connection (if any) to the sickness that Desmond feared. Why was the Swan hatch (and the Arrow hatch!) marked Quarantine, why was he injecting himself with vaccine? Where did this vaccine come from? Did the Dharma guys invent it? Was Ethan trying to keep Aaron from being "claimed"? This seems unlikely since the Japanese guy's only course of action is to poison Sayid, not inject him. Maybe it doesn't work if the subject is already infected. While it doesn't all quite connect for me, I'm at least glad that this major thread from the first two seasons if finally being properly explored.

I really thought that Jack would make Sayid take the pill. It got to the point where I noted that tempting Jack with the promise of redemption always seems to work! Feel bad about crashing? Get 'em off the island! Feel bad about leaving? Get 'em back on the island! Feel bad about that too? Blow up a hydrogen bomb! Still feel bad? Give your friend this mystery pill!

When the discussion of the pill turned to faith and trust I was sure that the pill was going to be the new "button to push". Thankfully, Jack just blew up the computer as it were and tried to swallow the pill. Way to be proactive, Jack!

The guy's desk with the baseball on it reminded me so much of Sisko's office in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And when he started talking about how he keeps the interpreter as a means of separation and control, he reminded me of Gul Dukat when he occupied the station during the Dominion War.

What does he mean Claire was claimed? Who is doing the claiming? Was she claimed when Christian took her in the jungle that night, or did it happen some time in the three years on the island?

The big reveal of the episode was that, in keeping with the cyclical themes, Claire has now become Rousseau! She sets traps! She has a rifle! She even wears her hair differently. The only difference is this Claire is supposedly infected, while Rousseau was able to remain uninfected.

Back to the "flash-sideways" story. I noticed that the little bit of recap of Kate getting into the cab from last episode was different here. I always hate discontinuity between episodes like that.

Arzt does his best with a little Midnight Cowboy moment!

In the other timeline, Claire concluded that there never was a couple in Los Angeles to adopt her baby; the psychic had just told her that to get her on the plane so it would crash and she would raise the baby. (By the way, is any of the crap going on with the island related to Claire not raising Aaron? Was Kate right that if they got back together maybe it would stop?) In this universe, there was a couple, but they broke up and didn't take the baby. This leads me to wonder if there was also a psychic who set it up for Claire, or if it happened differently.

They go to the hospital and... it's ETHAN?! I like that he says his name is Goodspeed. This would make him likely the son of Horace Goodspeed, as he was in the other universe. Of course, we've never learned why he was called Ethan Rom in season one. Was this an alias, or was he simply not told about his real parentage? Anyway, this Ethan seems to know his father. When did they leave the island? It must have been before it sank. We must assume that this timeline diverged at the atomic detonation, so it follows this is an Ethan who was born on the island. It's funny the parallel of him working on Claire. But this Ethan is nice. I especially like when he says "I don't want to stick you with needles if I don't have to". This is SO different from the other Ethan, who snuck into the Losties' camp JUST to stick her with needles!

Doesn't it strain credibility that Kate felt bad and just happened to know where to find Claire after she kicked her out of the cab? Did she troll the streets looking for her?

I like that Kate used the alias "Joan Hart", just like she did back in season one's "Born to Run".

I wonder what is going to happen with this Claire. Will she keep the baby? It's funny to me that Claire has been in two episodes in this universe and it wasn't a big deal to me, but when she appeared in the jungle in the other universe I thought, "Oh wow! Claire's back!"

Favorite line: "As you can see, Hugo here has assumed the leadership position, which is great."

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