Lost season 6, episode 3: “What Kate Does”

By February 10th, 2010 3 Comments

The more I thought about last week’s episode, the more I decided I liked it. Terry O’Quinn was having a blast, and I think he is the one we should be following. If he is having fun, then I am having fun. I think it was the 8 month gap between the end of season 5 and the beginning of 6. It took a minute to get into the flow of things.

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.”

We are not super-clear on what kind of infection, but it looks to be the same infection that made Rousseau’s group go crazy, the same infection that necessitated putting QUARANTINE on the inside of the Dharma hatch (?), the same infection that is killing unborn babies on the island(?). (I am assuming that The Man in Black / Smoke Monster’s impersonations of the dead is a separate thing, but Rousseau’s team in a season 5 timeshift dealt with some combination of the smoke monster and the infection — the connection was a little unclear but if the Man in Black is the Smoke Monster and the Smoke Monster appears as the dead, and the Smoke Monster is the illness … I am now confusing myself.). In any case it is good to see LOST returning to this ground.

We have some typical “Other” foolishness: “we have to ask Sayid some questions — we won’t hurt him [they torture him]” and “ok we tortured your friend but now we need you to TRUST us and give him this pill, which will help not hurt [it turns out to be poison].” As my wife pointed out, these guys occasionally want to grab the moral high-ground and claim “we are the good guys” but it does not stop them from never explaining anything so that they appear to be villains for long stretches. Also — some of the people I was watching with noticed that the device they use on Sayid looks an awful lot like the thing they use to torture Wesley in The Princess Bride — and this after I joked last week that Sayid was only “mostly dead.”

We also have some typical LOST foolishness where no one acts like a human being for long stretches — in the Alternate Universe plot (I am not going to call it a “flash-sidewise” because the events in the Alternate Universe take place in 2004 of that Universe, where the island events of Season 6 take place in 2010? Later, than 2004 in any case. Also, just for the record, I was not a huge fan of the phrase “Flash-Forward” not only because it inspired a terrible show, but because they were still Flashbacks — flashbacks to the island from the newly established post-island Oceanic 6 present. Anyway). Kate hijacks a cab at gunpoint, with Claire in it, ditches Clair, gets the cuffs off, then FINDS HER AGAIN, then talks Claire into getting a ride with her to her new adoptive family, goes to the door with her, takes her to the hospital, and hold her hand during the ultrasound. This is like a handful of hours, and Kate has gone from being Claire’s gunpoint kidnapper to what looks like a life partner pretty fast. Lost does this kind of thing all the time, but in Season 6 I feel like it is more acceptable because it is emotionally anchored, however strangely, in the primary universe we know where they know each other and were close — a universe where Kate raised Aaron as her own for a while. This feels like another place where the show gets sort of meta — offering a kind of explanation for crazy character behavior (in the same way that, as someone on Slate mentioned, the alternate universe is dealing with the question fans have had from the start — does any of what happened on that island matter at all?) And we get some great fun ironies as we compare the two universe — Ethan as Clare’s doctor, telling her he does not want to drug her with needles if he does not have to, and so on.

In another example of people maybe acting nuts, Sawyer leaves in a huff against advice and Kate follows — it was especially nice that Sawyer makes a joke out of the many times this has happened before, which stopped some of the guffaws at my house over the scenario. I liked him and Juliet together, and actually liked the scene on the dock with the ring. That was the simple, human stuff I was asking for last time.

The punch and the end was pretty awesome — We see Island Claire for the first time since the end of season 4, looking a lot like the new Rousseau — and her infection explains why she left her baby, sort of clearing up another mystery. I always liked her and am glad to see her back and insane. I feel like she can join the scenery-chewing Terry O’Quinn and really bring the crazy that makes Lost great.

But more than anything else I am glad Lost is back, and that I am all plugged back in again.

Random Observations
-I thought it was funny last week that, at my house anyway, there was a lotto commercial with a fat guy playing during Lost. This week I noticed Shutter Island — another story about a haunted island. And of course we get to see all the other ABC shows Lost Alum have moved on to. It makes marketing sense, of course, but is also kind of funny. Almost all the commercials are like a part of the show.
– Did Kate have a moment of recognition with Jack at the airport, as the cab drove away? Was that knowledge of or from the other universe, or just him realizing that was the woman from the plane?
-Rob McElhenney — Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — reprises his role as Aldo the Other! He was last seen in Season 3 episode 7, but he does not last long here. But we do get a meta joke about how Kate — and probably a lot of members of the audience — did not remember him from that long ago.
-Dogan has a baseball like Hatori Hanzo in Kill Bill.

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3 Comments On "Lost season 6, episode 3: “What Kate Does”"

  1. Andy Bentley

    After three episodes, I’m of the mind that these separate realities will merge as the characters become aware of their “other” selves. As Geoff stated, it would give a meta explanation for the quick bond between Claire and Kate. Notice the expression on Kate’s face when Claire names the baby Aaron. It’s similar to the deja vu’ look Jack has in LA X. When Juliet dies, she says “we” have something to tell you, rather than “I”. Because she was the closest to the explosion, she has already become aware of her other self.

    This goes back to last season’s principal that the island has a way of course correcting events. The Oceanic six obviously have a destiny to fulfill and the island (or the power behind it) will not let it be denied. When they return home in season 4, events transpire to force their return the following season. They up the ante in season five by trying to erase any experience of the island by detonating the bomb. The island devilishly offers them a taste of that experience, only to draw them back through this divided experience.

    I like that they returned to the infection plot. Could it be that The Man in Black or smoke monster (PLEASE GIVE THIS ENTITY A NAME!) has a way of infecting or coercing people similar to the way Jacob’s touch puts people on a path?

    I think the pull quote for this episode is Claire is the new Rousseau ;)

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  2. Kyle W.

    My best guess is that the island time is 2007, when the Ajira flight crashed.

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  3. Ben

    I’m thinking it’s 2007 as well, because the guard goes something like “You don’t remember me, but three years ago you knocked me out when you escaped.” to Kate. That happened in the linear timeline of 2004, so, if any logic at all can be applied (and I’m not saying it can), then it’s ’07 on the island and ’04 in L.A. so these aren’t sideflashes. Except they kindof are, citing the meta-awareness written about before. Loving it.

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