Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lost Season 6, Episode 3: "What Kate Does"

Spoilers. My blog on Lost is up over at Smartpop. Here is a sample from that post, which you can click to read more.

I was worried that the third episode (it turned out that LA X parts 1 and 2 were the first two episodes, not the first only) would be a bit of a slowdown, but “What Kate Does” kept the momentum going. For starters, we pick up right where we left off — with what the resurrection of Sayid means. That in and of it self should not be remarkable, but this is LOST, where cliffhangers are often not returned to for 3 episodes or more, as we jump between various divided groups on the island for full episodes. Old LOST would have focused nearly exclusively on Kate going after Sawyer and left a different episode to cover Jack and Sayid. New Lost lets us know pretty quickly that Sayid is “infected.”

I have not had a ton of extra thoughts on this episode, but one thing I like that I did not think about till this morning is how Claire is the new Rousseau (wild woman with the gun and maybe traps and without her baby), or a version of Rousseau if Rousseau had become infected. It is a nice bit of recall and revision.

My friend Lucas is watching LOST with a different group of people, one of whom felt that the temple thing is just a variation on the cages thing -- that as much as the writers claim season 6 is like season 1 it is more like season 3. Lucas feels that the plan is to leave folks in the temple and they will slowly bump into all the answers. I don't feel that way, but there is a danger of stalling on the island as we slowly move the alternate universe forward. Something to keep an eye on.

One thing I recalled this week was that the creators said that all would be revealed in the final episode. This is important because it means that this is not a show where we get the big reveal of who the Man in Black is (and if they did not tell us at the top of 6 is must be a big one) and then spend a season or half a season on the consequences of that twist. The show will be almost 100% mysteries with a big reveal as the FINISH, not as the penultimate act break. BSG was like that and it was a mess, but I think LOST will do better (Mostly because I think BSG added in irrelevancies like the Final Five BECAUSE of Lost, and not as a consequence of the story they were trying to tell, which was at least one reason why it was so bad).

And I am obsessed with counting down. Only 14 broadcasts of Lost left, ever.


Kevin Maher said...

Why did BSG add the Final Five BECAUSE of Lost? It's an intriguing idea, but I haven't heard it before.

Geoff Klock said...

maybe it is just me making things up but feel like LOST pressured a lot of shows into developing a mythology to be slowly revealed. The creators of CHUCK for instance admitted they did not have a mythology at the start but created one because audiences demanded it. I think they demanded it because LOST made them think it was essential. And on BSG is really wasn't -- it is very easy to imagine BSG working fine, better in fact, without the FINAL FIVE for example. It is just a hunch. I may have overstated.

Stefan Delatovic said...

I think I've said this to you before Geoff, but it's this line of thinking that has me feeling comfortable going into the final run of episodes.

BSG was a great show but the ending was terrible, because they got wrapped up in mysteries, failed to answer them and then told the audiences they were wrong for expecting a resolution.

LOST, on the other hand, is built on the mysteries. While satisfying ends for the characters are paramount, I have faith that the creators realise that 'the mysteries aren't the point' won't hold water.

neilshyminsky said...

In response to the full review - Dogan and the baseball actually reminded me of Sisko from DS9. He, too, kept a baseball on his desk, and would pick it up and rub it when he was mulling something over. He was also the emissary of the Prophets, whose destiny it was to die protecting Bajor from the Prophets' immortal enemies. Make of that what you will.

"one thing I like that I did not think about till this morning is how Claire is the new Rousseau (wild woman with the gun and maybe traps and without her baby), or a version of Rousseau if Rousseau had become infected. It is a nice bit of recall and revision."

Is it actually a revision, though? I wonder if Rousseau was not infected herself, and if people who are infected are necessarily aware that they've been infected. I'm sure this'll be made clear some time in the near future, though.

I'm also pleased to note that this episode did nothing to dissuade me from thinking that my theory-of-everything will hold up. Kate goes to the island to find Claire, and ends up finding her and helping her decide to keep the baby. So this flash-sideways provides the redemption that she probably won't find on the island in the narrative present of the Lost-Prime timeline, where Claire has been infected and is probably beyond saving.

And apropos of nothing - that scene with Jack swallowing the pill as a way of testing Dogan was totally badass.

James said...

Neil, I think you have nailed the nature of the flash-diagonally-backwayses - on the evidence in the season premiere only, no less - and for that you deserve an imaginary medal.

So let's break it down; if you die, you can:
a) be impersonated by Smokey Adams, like Locke right now, Eko's brother(?), and various other "ghosts" we've seen.
b) be brought back by the pool, with the risk of "infection", a la Sayid.

I was going to peg Rousseau's team, Claire and Ben as b)s (Ben being slightly problematic for reasons I'll go into shortly), but only Sayid has been stated as being categorically Dead prior to infection. And Claire hadn't been near the pool before she went off with Dad.

So does Ben not know about the pool at all? We know it saved his life, that he would not remember the experience but would be irrevocably changed (for the worse) by it, so is his branch of the Others completely separate from Dogan's? Because they seem to share henchmen just fine. Dogan and Sol Star thought the pool could revive Sayid (sans infection if the water were clear, presumably), but Ben has never seen the dead brought back to life.

And if Ben was infected, does that mean infection just turns you generically evil, with no extra knowledge of/connection to Smokey Adams or the Island? That'd be kind of boring, if so. It would also categorise Christian Shepherd as an a) (since he knows a ton about the Island), which in turn would mean his body is laying around someplace.

Is there a chance that Claire's Rousseau-ness means she is no longer infected? I guess Christian could have ditched her to be a gun-totin' crazy lady of the woods, but maybe you can wait out the fever and there's still hope for Sayid. LAWST!

Of course, all the above convolution presumes that the mythology is going to be 100% consistent, which we've already seen is not the case, MILES.

Jeff said...

James - You got me curious, what are the inconsistencies around Miles?

I actually thought this was one of the weaker episodes of recent seasons. I thought this was a case of the writers stretching out to an hour a plot that should take about 15 minutes because the characters don't ask questions that any rational human being would ask. Jack keeps demanding to know what's in the pill, but doesn't think to ask how exactly Sayid came back to life or even what the 'infection' is? I got frustrated with that in seasons 2 and 3 and was disappointed they are doing it again.

James said...

Jeff: In the episode where the freighter team is introduced, his brief flashback has him going to a lady's house to exorcise the ghost of her son (or grandson, I forget.) He goes up to the boy's bedroom and does some hoodoo, asking the empty room "where is it?". He promptly finds some drugs or money (again I forget!) stashed in the room, and before leaving says "you're not doing her any favours by sticking around". It's vintage Lost: is he a genuine medium or just a con-man? He's both!

Cut to Miles' second flashback, to where he's being recruited for Widmore's team. He explains to his recruiter, and later to Hurley on the island, that a) he needs to be near a body (preferably not cremated) for his abilities to work, and b) that he can't commune with spirits at all, he can only "hear" a dead person's (last?) memories. Oops!

James said...
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