'Lost': Course Corrections for 'What Kate Does'
Just to remind everyone of the premise of this series: there's no way that I can possibly cover everything, nor get everything right, during my initial recap. The mandate from The Powers That Be is to have a recap up as quickly as possible after the episode airs, and while I try to be as thorough and accurate as possible, it's just too much for any one person to cover everything in one pass. So here are eight more thoughts about "What Kate Does."
The single biggest thing I missed? The date on Claire's ultrasound, which dates the landing of Oceanic 815 in the sideways universe on October 22, 2004. A full month later than its original intended landing date. I don't have a lot to contribute to this fact other to invoke my inner Joey Lawrence and go, "Whoa." Looks like Oceanic Airlines is running the same flight patterns as Faraday's test rockets from Season 4 or something. Nice catch by the eagle-eyed masses that caught that. In my defense, I was still wiping away the tears from the Sawyer/Kate dock scene. I mean, uh, I was fighting ninjas at the time! Yea, that's what happened!
I didn't really touch on the implications of Dogen's speech about leadership with Jack. In suggesting that Lennon functions as an intermediary to lessen the blow of unpopular decision, Dogen's really making a subtle jab at Jack's empathetic leadership style. That, plus the conspicuous baseball on Dogen's desk, suggests that Dogen's well aware of Jack's history and psychology even before he arrived at the Temple. (This begs the question why Dogen made them all say their names upon arrival, but I think that's a contradiction the show wants us to ignore.)
But just compare/contrast Dogen/Lennon's relationship with that between Jack/Sayid. What the former have is a hierarchy; what the latter has is a friendship based on trust. Which do you think the show favors?
Fun times to see all the Kate hate return to the comments, both here and other sites. My God, I've taken my shots at her in the past, but I'm just not getting it this time around. If you wanna hate on her for anything, you could point to her rather callous attitude towards Jin as he expressed his desire to find Sun. As for the rest? I think it's just easier for people to say they hate Kate rather than look at what they have her doing onscreen.
In preparation for our next edition of " Orientation: Ryan Station," Mo Ryan and I have been prepping a list of things that fans seem to unfairly blame Kate for. So far, the list is about 30 deep, and includes things such as "the financial crisis," "the Haitian earthquake," and "According to Jim."
Got an interesting email from my friend in Atlanta this morning. She got her Ph.D. in Women's Studies from Emory University, with a concentration in Media Studies. She's like E.F. Hutton: when she talks, I listen. And here was her concern/comment about last night's episode:
Was Rousseau "infected"? Why is Claire behaving like Rousseau? Is she possessed by her? There are structural similarities-- both of them "loses" their newborn baby. Rousseau to the Others, and Claire because she walks away. Maybe there's a female spirit on the island-- which is why no one can get pregnant or give birth except for those two, who are possessed by her-- and this female spirit had to give up her child and so re-enacts this trauma with the few women she allows to give birth.
The idea of a female Island spirit struck me, because let's be honest: it's a pretty male-dominated Island in terms of power structure. The one element linked to anything feminine, Tawaret, has been long destroyed, and the fertility with which it's associated as has apparently suffered as a consequence. But this all ties in with my hunch that the destruction of Tawaret affected the psychology of the Island, which in turn affected the biology of those upon it. Mind into matter: that's the Island's modus operandi.
But she brings up a good point: since 1988, only two children have been born on the island, both were snatched away/stripped from the mothers, and both women went insane in the membrane. As to the potential female Island spirit governing everything? Well, long-time readers can probably guess whom I would nominate for that honor. If you're not a long-time reader, I'll give you a hint: her name rhymes with Bannie.
This week's "whatever happened will always happen" nominee: Claire having to raise Aaron herself. Last week, "Christian Shephard's body disappearing" was the big element that occurred in both the Island timeline and the sideways timeline. It was the first big event that announced that all the minor changed exhibited on Oceanic 815 couldn't change EVERYTHING about the reality we experienced over the past five seasons, and the mystery would-be adoptive father's disappearance is another example of forces well beyond the understanding of these characters is shaping major events, even if the paths to those events alters.
3, 7, 14, 15, 22, 41. I'm going to bet you $108 that those are the Numbers Hurley played to win the lottery in this sideways universe. We've already seen at least one combo of these numbers (uttered by the TSA agent at LAX), and last night, Claire told the nurse that it took three minutes to arrive at the hospital. Is three a magic number in this universe? And is that magic light...or dark? Hurley claims to be lucky, but he might be more cursed than ever.
One thing I've noticed in general online since "LA X" aired: there's some serious pre-emptive separation anxiety going on in the "Lost" community. These seems to take three major forms 1) people are either unwilling to accept answers that are presented onscreen, choosing instead to come up with a more complex, unsubstantiated claim to keep the level of mystery going into the season level, 2) anger when even more questions/mysteries are presented, and 3) palpable fear that the "sideways" storyline might not be a winner, and thus dismiss it after only two episodes.
What's funny about all this, at least to me, is that I've never been more chill about the show in general. I was in one of those three categories through most of the off-season, unsure how the final leg of the show would play out. Now? I'm pretty much enjoying the ride for what it is: a ride. I'm not sold on The Temple, but I once wasn't sold on the hatch. All of the feelings above are natural: people are possessive of the show something fierce, and each episode aired means one more step towards the end of a piece of pop culture that's pervaded our lives since 2004. But I worry that people are becoming, to use a word from last night's episode, "infected" by cynicism and angst because things either aren't currently going exactly the way the want or because they can't figure out which way it's actually going.
I'm not saying I am better or worse than anyone that has these feelings. All I would say is that if you can't try and enjoy the show, then I feel bad for you. I'm more excited than ever to write about the show and talk about it with others. That doesn't mean that I think the show's perfect by any means, but we're witnessing television developed and deployed with an audacity we might not see again for a long time.
Last but not least, your "What Kate Does" mixtape setlist should feature, above all else, Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Possess Your Heart." Not only does the name of the band work for the Claire/Kate storyline offscreen (Jeff Jensen beat me to the punch on this pun, darnit), but the title of the song accurately reflects the Sayid storyline. Other good songs to put on any mix inspired by this episode: Prince's "Thieves in the Temple," Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine," Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of The Heart," and Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," going out to my favorite Iraqi torturer having the tables turned on him.
Those are my thoughts 24 hours after "What Kate Does" aired. What are some of yours? Leave them below!
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Photo credit: ABC