“What Kate Does” Recap and Analysis …
Previously, on Lost: Juliet died. Again. And again. After the
detonation of Jughead, an alternate timeline – somehow entangled with the current state of events – is created and the survivors of Oceanic 815 arrive safely at LAX, the Island now being underwater and inaccessible. None of them have any recollection of previous events, or even a conscious knowledge of the Island itself. Back in the original timeline now, Jack and the gang, led by Kate, are kidnapped by the Temple guardians, and critically-injured Sayid gets a dip in a dirty hot tub. Now Sayid’s back, all zombified and confused. So are we, as usual.
This week, on Lost: In the Temple, we hear the pitter patter of naked feet, as Lennon hurries to Dogen’s ancient office to tell him that “He’s alive.” The “he” being referenced, of course, is Sayid who is terribly vexed and confused. Jack, Hurley and Miles are amazed, and Jack asks Miles to go get some water. Miles is on it. Just make sure it’s not brown, okay buddy?
Over in the ex-con corner of the Temple, Kate is asking Sawyer if all this is possible. Sawyer spits out some bitter truth, saying that of course it’s possible; Sayid is an Iraqi ex-torturer, of course he deserves a second chance. Methinks Sawyer is a bit jaded, what with his beloved having been dropped down a hatch pipe and summarily six feet under. Sawyer scans his squinty eyes about the compound until Kate wonders what he’s up to. “I’m thinking about running, Kate.” Kate should like that, it’s what she does best. Other than getting kidnapped and stringing two or three guys along at a time, that is.
Speaking of running, over in LA X, AlterniKate is making her great escape from Marshall Dumbass and the airport. As we witnessed last week, she commandeers a cab with pregnant Claire an unwitting hostage in the backseat. Long story short, the cabbie pulls a Kate and runs for it, Kate ditches Claire on the side of the road, and makes her way for the first secluded service garage. Using the lucky Kate escape powers that only seem to work when she’s off the Island, she manages to find the one mechanic in all of LA that not only doesn’t ask questions of pretty girls in handcuffs, but actually helps them break free with his punch press. Kate is now able to cause mischief once again.
At the Temple, Jack examines Sayid’s nifty new scar, and Dogen and his guards insist that the Iraqi come with them for a few questions. Jack gets obstinate, as he loves to do, and there’s a scuffle that’s only broken up by a gunshot. It’s Sawyer, waving a pistol around like there are polar bears about. He tells them all, matter of factly, that he doesn’t much care what happens to Jack and the crew, he only wants to be set free into the jungle of mystery. Not having much choice, Dogen
obliges and James opens one of the gates, telling Freckles not to follow as he disappears into the darkness of the tunnels beyond.
Kate’s not happy with Sawyer’s edict. You can tell by her patented scrunchy face.
Cue the swirling Lost!
Now, Sawyer’s left the Temple and Jack is being manhandled by guards, so Kate does what comes natural – chases after the guy that ditched her. Kate brokers a deal with Dogen and Lennon to let her go out and bring Sawyer back. Jin volunteers to go with her to keep her from getting kidnapped again.
Back in LA X, Kate’s out of her shackles and changing clothes in her new mechanic friend’s back room. She takes a look-see through Claire’s baggage that was left in the trunk of the cab she hijacked and finds a picture of Claire, pointing to her pregnant belly. That’s right, master tracker, the girl you ditched on the side of the road is preggers. Kate puts on her multi-purpose scrunchy face and seems to have a change of heart.
What the?! An orca? Where’s the polar bear in this crazy timeline?
At the Temple, irony throws her fickle hat into the ring as we find Sayid strapped down to a table and slowly tortured by Dogen. First, he blows magic fairy dust onto Sayid’s bare wound, then pumps some electricity through the Iraqi’s chest. That doesn’t seem to do the trick, so Dogen grabs a hot poker from the fire and has a mini human barbecue while Sayid screams like a little girl. Lennon pops in after the ceremony is complete and tells Sayid that this was all a test and that he passed. Too bad Lennon’s lying.
I think I would have crapped a kitten if Victor Garber had been cast to do this torture scene. Alias, people. C’mon.
In LA X, Kate takes the cab and finds Claire, conveniently waiting at a bus stop. Turns out Claire is trying to make her way to Brentwood to meet the couple that is supposed to be adopting her baby. Despite some initial resistance, Claire accepts a ride from Kate.
Back on the Island, Kate and Jin – accompanied by Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and some other Temple heavy – are making their way through the jungle of mystery, tracking Sawyer. Mac and his buddy play the usual we’re-not-telling-secrets card, admitting only that the guards at the Temple are protecting Kate and the gang from the giant angry cloud that goes tik tik tik. Kate spots a “dummy” trail that Sawyer left – because he has all the time in the world to set dummy trails – and we all laugh. Despite her master tracking skills, Kate almost steps into one of Rousseau’s old traps, until Mac’s buddy saves her. Then Kate distracts them both, setting off the trap and escaping with Jin.
At the Temple, Sayid comes out of Dogen’s office and crumples down by a column. He says he was tortured. Jack gets all pissy and confronts the Temple leaders. They explain that Sayid is “infected” and that Jack must get Sayid to willingly ingest this magic pill that Dogen has whipped up in his ancient Egyptian pharmacy. Jack balks, but Dogen makes like Jack’s wife and guilts him into taking the pill out to Sayid.
Back at the Temple spring, Hurley asks Sayid if he’s a zombie. It’s good to see an old writer’s in-joke from leaked sources in season two make it back into the script. Jack asks to speak to Sayid alone and presents the quandary to Sayid: he’s got a magic pill that could make Sayid better, according to the powers that be, but he’s not sure what’s in it or what it will do. Sayid wants Jack to decide, despite the fact that Jack’s batting about a .250 when it comes to making good decisions on the Island.
No, the shaman Dogen doesn’t hand Jack a pile of dried herbs or a powder that could be sniffed, or even some of the hallucinogenic glue that Locke used to mix up in seasons one or two; he hands him a freakin’ capsule. That looks like one of the fiber supplements I take. At least it’ll make Sayid regular.
Kate and Jin are marching through the jungle. Jin wants to know where Kate’s plane landed, because Sun was on that plane. Kate doesn’t know, so Jin wants to head back to ask the Temple people. Kate asks him if he thinks they really care about him or Sun or any of them. “And what do you care about, Kate?” asks Jin. Ooooh, burn.
LA X. Kate and Claire show up at the residence of her baby’s potential adopters. A woman answers the door, in tears, and explains that her husband has left her and that she just can’t care for a baby on her own. Claire’s body decides to answer that bid of rudeness by going into labor and threatening to drop little baby Aaron on the lady’s doorstep whether she likes it or not.
The Island. Dharmaville, to be exact. Kate has tracked down Sawyer to his and Juliet’s old house in the compound. She spies on James and finds him digging up a floorboard to get at an old shoebox hidden there since 1977. Since Kate’s such a master tracker and spy, she is immediately spotted and Sawyer gets a tad upset.
In LA X, Kate has rushed Claire to the hospital, and they are ushered into a room. Kate goes out to find a doctor, and around turns … Ethan. Dr. Goodspeed, to be exact. Since the Island is resting peacefully in Davy Jones’ Locker, it appears as though Ethan has no reason to be in the company of Others. He attends to Claire, asking her if she’s ready to have her baby. Not really, says she. He explains that he can try to prevent the early delivery with some drugs, but he doesn’t really want to have to stick her with needles if he doesn’t have to. Irony strikes again. Claire’s not ready, so she agrees to the procedure and Dr. Goodspeed performs a sonogram to assure her that baby Aaron is in good shape.
Hello, Ethan. Seems as though he’s a really great guy when he’s trying to take care of a baby instead of kidnapping one.
Kate follows Sawyer out to the old sub dock, where James is doing a bit of brooding. Kate explains that she came back to the island for one reason: to find Claire. And she wants Sawyer’s help. Kate apologizes for everything, most notably for Juliet’s death. If she hadn’t come back for them on the sub, she explains, Sawyer and Juliet would have escaped and she’d be alive. Sawyer doesn’t blame her, though; he blames himself.
Choking back tears, he admits that some people are just meant to be alone. He also says that he was going to ask Juliet to marry him.
Gripping the ring he dug from the shoebox, and saying a silent goodbye, Sawyer tosses the ring into the ocean. We all cry just a little bit.
So does Kate. Dammit, why does she do things like this to make me almost like her?
At the Temple, Dogen twirls a baseball at his desk. Jack settles in for a little discussion between the two leaders. Jack asks Dogen who he is, and if he’s from the Island. Dogen says that he was brought here, like everyone else. Of course, Jack can’t wrap his brain around that kind of metaphysical symbolism, even though all of us watching knows exactly what Dogen is saying.
Hey, man … I don’t know what’s in this pill, but I’ll bet it’s some killer shit.
Dogen questions Jack about the pill, figuring that Jack hasn’t asked Sayid to take it. Jack gets all, well … Jacky, and wants to know what’s inside. Dogen can’t explain, and asks Jack to trust him. Then Jack does something impulsive and stupid again and tries to swallow the pill, so Dogen has to kick his ass and make him spit it up. Jack, holding his bruised ribs, demands to know what’s in the pill. Poison, Dogen reluctantly admits.
In LA X, some detectives come looking for Kate, but Claire covers for her. Claire asks Kate what it is she did to be chased. Kate asks Claire if she’d believe it if she said she was innocent. Claire affirms. Kate doesn’t say a word. You blew up your dad, sweetpea, you aren’t exactly innocent. Or did she? AlterniKate may have travelled a very different path. Just something to chew on.
At the Temple, Jack and Dogen have one last little conversation about why the Temple dwellers wish Sayid dead. Dogen utters something in Japanese, and Lennon explains that the closest translation would mean “claimed.”
“By what?” asks Jack.
Dogen leans forward. “There is a darkness growing in him, and once it reaches his heart, everything your friend once was will be gone.”
“How can you be sure?” stammers Jack.
Dogen leans forward, looks deep at Jack: “Because it happened to your sister.”
Cue the …
Waitaminute, we’re not done. Out in the jungle of mystery, Jin makes his way to a stream, bending down to sip at the cool waters. Before he can drink, he’s wrangled by Mac and his buddy. Mac demands to know where the bitch is, and when Jin says he doesn’t know and that he wants to go back to the Temple, Mac decides that the Korean may be better off having a little accident. Mac and his buddy disagree, and Jin makes a run for it, only to be hampered just a tad by the bear trap into which he has suddenly stepped. Hobbled, Jin falls to the ground, and the Others are on him in a flash.
“Where you going?” asks Mac, raising his pistol with a grin. Suddenly, he’s not grinning anymore as two bullets slam into his chest, dropping him to the ground. Wheeling around, Jin sees another bullet take down the other Other. Stunned, Jin looks up the river bank and sees the rough outline of a grizzled woman, holding a rifle. Ellie? Rousseau??
Nope. Hi, Claire.
Cue the THONK!
Looks as though the powers that be returned to fine form with this episode, recharging the formula and giving us a lot of new twists and turns. Even though it was billed as a Kate-centric episode, the secrets behind the curtain had much more to do with Sayid, the Others and, of course, our long-lost Island mother, Claire. We’ve got much to talk about, so grab your vials of Dharma vaccine and let’s …
GET DOWN WITH THE SICKNESS
After last week’s premiere I started contemplating all the loose ends that still waited to be revisited and tied up. Since Desmond was primarily on my mind, I started thinking about all the central points around his story and the tiny details that may have been lost along the way. I just couldn’t get the sickness out of my mind, and his insistence on carrying the vaccine that lie in the Hatch along with him when he left the Swan in season two. Thankfully, the writers brought the sickness back in full force this week and revealed not only one of the main sources, but a hub around which we could try and make some sense of the madness.
According to Dogen, Sayid is infected. With exactly what, we can’t be sure, but he refers to it as “being claimed.” From what the Temple dwellers have revealed to Jack and company, this claim appears to be the mark of Esau if we are to believe that they are protecting the Temple and their way of life from the Man in Black. Before this episode, we were not privy to the source of the sickness or infection, but we can now assume that the waters that run beneath the Temple as the main source. When Sayid was placed in the Spring, the waters were dark and murky. Dogen commented that he wasn’t completely sure of the outcome if they were to dip Sayid in the bubbling pool, but he is now convinced of Sayid’s infection. The source is now clear, but the circumstances that surround the pool, the sickness and the Temple are a bit muddy. Pun intended.
Throughout the seasons when Rousseau spoke of the sickness, she claimed that it was the reason that she had to kill her entire team. In “This Place is Death” last season, we see the whole story unfold. While searching for the radio tower, Rousseau and her team encounter Ol’ Smokey, and he drags Montand to the Temple, severing his arm. With Montand wounded below, the team, with the exception of Rousseau (and Jin, who was a temporal witness to the events), venture into the Temple through the Cerberus vent. Later, Jin witnesses Rousseau confronting her lover, Robert, on the beach. Two of the members of her team that had disappeared into the Temple were already lying dead on the beach, dispatched by the French woman. Robert appears to have been changed, acting in a very cool, detached manner toward Danielle. They stand with rifles drawn until Robert pulls the trigger. The gun fails to fire and Danielle puts him down. Throughout this standoff, Rousseau refers to the “sickness” that had taken over the team since they had encountered the Monster.
Removing that firing pin was a nice move, lady.
In relation to the science team infection, Dogen says to Jack that “the infection will spread.” Dogen may not be referring to an infection spreading within Sayid, but among those that surround him. This would make sense in the context of Rousseau’s team – if one was in need of help at the Temple and was infected, he was likely to spread it to the others he was closest to. In this way, we can infer that the infection may be either a literal infection, or a dogmatic one; Sayid may be infected with an ideal or even free thought that is detrimental to the paradigm of the Temple patrons, whomever they truly serve.
I believe the title of this week’s episode-inspired drink recipe speaks for itself.
The Crazy Hot Blonde
- 3 tablespoons of honey bourbon
(Evan Williams Honey Reserve, Wild Turkey American Honey)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup boiling-hot water
- Splash of milk or cream
This is a tasty variation on the old hot toddy recipe, that age old recipe for curing – or at least masking the symptoms – of sickness. If you haven’t had honey bourbon liqueur before, trust me, you’re going to want to get some. Put the honey bourbon, lemon juice and hot water in a mug and stir. After everything is well-mixed and the aroma of sweet bourbon and honey fills the room, add the splash of milk. The lemon juice will curdle it slightly, but relax – you’re now in the company of a hot blonde, who cares if she’s crazy. Drink more, and get down with the sickness.
Here’s the muddy part: at the end of this week’s episode, Dogen tells Jack that his sister had contracted the same sickness that now infected Sayid. Moments later we see Claire taking out some Others, standing with a rifle and looking crazed, just as Danielle had done countless times before. The parallel is clear – Claire is now almost exactly like Danielle. She is alone, relying only on herself, her baby removed from her by possible outside forces. She may not know who to trust, just as Danielle had admitted first to Sayid and then other survivors she encountered. Now, to draw that parallel, we must assume that Claire and Daniel’s circumstances are near-identical. However, from our perspective, Danielle never entered the Temple, and therefore did not come in contact with the muddy Spring. Her teammates, on the other hand, most assuredly did.
This raises huge questions. Danielle believed that her teammates were infected, but from the point of view of her teammates, Danielle must have appeared infected. The same would hold true with Dogen and his group in relation to Sayid. And, just as Robert was eager and willing to kill the woman he loved, Dogen, too, was more than eager to kill Sayid outright when he thought him to be infected. Danielle only killed out of self-defense, but Robert and the Temple dwellers were willing to kill outright. The same seems to be true of Claire.
As an aside, this “claim” would appear to be from Esau/MIB, at least if we take into account what the Temple dwellers have told us. But is it really? Who do they really serve, and who/what do they wish to protect the Temple from? It’s clear from the events in “This Place is Death” that Ol’ Smokey has open access to the catacombs beneath the Temple, so the Temple dwellers seemed to feel no fear from it before news of Jacob’s death. The Temple even seemed to be the home of Cerberus/Esau/MIB, so why would they suddenly fear its return? Were they under Jacob’s understood protection and could now no longer depend on him? Or could they actually serve Esau and are now open to some sort of barrage from Jacob who has been unleashed now that Ben dispatched him in the Statue?
Speaking of Ben, he’s another wild card. In “Whatever Happened, Happened” from last season, Ben is taken to the Temple after his fatal wound at the hands of Sayid. Richard tells Sawyer that if Ben is taken into the temple, his innocence will be lost and he will forever be one of them. Ben is healed, and does, indeed, become one of the Others. However, the same circumstances that surround Sayid and Claire must not surround Ben, as he was not judged to be infected and was allowed to live amongst the Others freely, even becoming their “leader.” Clearly he was not “claimed,” but later fell under the influence of Esau, regardless.
Then we have the Dharma Initiative and the Quarantine. Dharma knew of a “sickness” and was vaccinating their personnel for quite some time after the Incident. From their perspective, the sickness may have appeared much like how Rousseau perceived it. Members of the Initiative may have come in contact with the Hostiles and were subsequently “turned,” causing a form of insanity that made them inherently hostile. That’s assuming, of course, that the quarantine and sickness weren’t methods devised by Dharma to keep Swan subjects from venturing too far into the jungle. After six seasons, however, I seriously doubt that scenario.
Does anybody miss the Hatch as much as I do?
One other tidbit before we wrap this portion up: it’s mostly clear from Dogen’s actions that they can’t kill Sayid without Sayid willingly giving his life. Whether that is against a code, or if Sayid is unable to endure harm from most mortal weapons remains to be seen. If Sayid can still be harmed after his “resurrection,” then why not just shoot him if he is infected? Even if he is a zombie, they should know by now that a good, clean shot to the head usually does the trick. Of course, most of them have been stuck on the Island for awhile and may not even know George Romero’s name. (Just to be clear, the zombie thing is a joke – I don’t want an inbox full of people asking of the Island’s gonna be full of zombies, no matter how cool that would be.)
I realize that I may have raised more questions than provided answers in this bit of analysis, but I wanted to present most of the instances of the infection that we’ve encountered to foster thought and discussion. I think we’re still missing a big piece of the puzzle needed to finally figure out what’s going on with the sickness. Hopefully, more of that will become clear after we see more of the Claire that has become Rousseau’s doppelganger. (And, yes, I think those traps were set by Claire – but even broaching that topic opens a whole new can of worms; maybe next time).
THE OTHER MAN
Well, well, Dr. Goodspeed. His appearance at Mercy Hospital to take care of Claire was certainly unexpected. We were first introduced to Ethan – as Ethan Rom – in “Solitary” waaaay back in season one. Throughout the seasons we learned that Ethan acted as a spy and as a surgeon for the Others, kidnapping Claire and taking her to the Staff medical station to evaluate her and her unborn son, and prep her for a C-section to take Aaron to live amongst the Others. In Season five, we found out that he is the son of Horace and Amy Goodspeed, of the Dharma Initiative.
Back in 1977, Ethan and his mother, Amy, were part of the group to be evacuated from the Island prior to the Incident. It’s assumed that they got off the Island, but we don’t know at what time or under what circumstances he returned to the Island to join the Others.
In the LA X timeline, Ethan is not one of the Others (not that we’ve seen, anyway), and is not on the Island since it is underwater and inaccessible. It’s not known whether he was born on the Island, as it’s not known if Amy and Horace were ever part of the Dharma Initiative in this timeline. We do know, however, that Dharma was on the Island at some point since we see the remains of Dharmaville in the underwater shot at the beginning of “LA X Part 1.”
No matter the circumstances, it’s clear that Ethan and Claire’s “strings” (see analysis for “The Lie” from last season), or quantum states, are entangled. Just as he acted as a sort of surgical “caregiver” for Claire on the Island, so, too, is Ethan entrusted with the well-being of Aaron in the alternate timeline. I believe that this quantum entanglement extends to all those that have been involved with the Island in this, or any other divergent timeline that may have developed throughout the years that the Island has been in flux, or in a quantum loop. I hope to look more closely at this phenomenon as the season progresses and we see more instances of entanglements like Claire and Ethan’s.
MASTERS OF ALL, MASTERS OF NONE
Let’s talk briefly about Jacob and Esau – who’s really the bad guy, here? And are they one in the same, in a quantum sense or literary sense?
In terms of the duality of form, in last week’s final episode, Esau walks away from those on the beach, claiming that he is very disappointed in all of them. This displays a piece of his character that belies his reliance on followers, just as Jacob has relied. As far as actions – at least actions that we can clearly attribute to Esau in his smoke form – Esau clearly has only killed armed people as Ol’ Smokey, either in self defense or in the defense of another, such as Ben, when Ben was faced by Keamy and his team in season four. Esau spared Ben’s life because he needed his help, but if Jacob can assume a smoke form, as well (which we discussed briefly last week), then the actions of Ol’ Smokey have to be broken down and attributed to two different mindsets. This could explain why Eko is spared in “The 23rd Psalm,” and then killed the next time he meets Cerberus in “The Cost of Living.” Also, Locke sees Cerberus in “Walkabout” in season one, but is then attacked and almost dragged underground by Cerberus in that season’s finale. We either have a true wildcard in Ol’ Smokey, or we have two separate entities able to assume smoke form and running about the Island, enacting their own agenda.
That’s just one thought, though, I could be completely wrong.
FILE THEM UNDER MISCELLANEOUS
Just a few quick thoughts before wrapping this analysis up for the week:
HoboTrashcan founder Joel Murphy mentioned an interesting detail about Esau and Richard’s altercation in last week’s episode. In my recap, I state that Focke punches Richard in the face to take him out after Richard exclaims “You?!” to Focke. Joel noticed that the punch was to Richard’s throat, rather than to his face. I missed that, but it’s an important detail. Since Richard knows Focke/Esau/MIB’s true identity, it’s pretty obvious that he would want to shut Richard up quick, fast and in a hurry. The best way to do that, and insure that he couldn’t talk even if the attack didn’t result in a knockout, was to take away Richard’s means of speech. Richard’s knowledge of Esau may also enable him to encant some sort of protection ritual. Regardless, it’s best for Esau’s plans if Richard was incapacitated and mute. Nice catch.
I don’t think Ricardus is going to be singing karaoke for awhile.
In last week’s column I mentioned that Desmond turned the failsafe key at the Swan twice – once to bring down Oceanic 815 and once to implode the Hatch at the end of season two. I stand corrected – Desmond didn’t turn the failsafe key when Oceanic 815 went down, he simply input the shutdown/release code after the timer had run into the red zone. I got several emails and comments about that. Way to keep me honest, people!
HoboTrashcan reader Meaty was the first of a couple of astute readers to mention that not only did Jack and Desmond have a red mark on their necks; fellow quantum leaper Daniel Faraday did, as well. Daniel got his red nick during the scuffle at the mechanic’s pool in Dharmaville during “The Variable,” when he was grazed in the neck by a bullet. This is a fascinating little detail, as Daniel and Desmond’s quantum strings are very closely entwined since Daniel advises Desmond to find his constant, and later utilizes Desmond’s ability as the Variable to alter the course of events. Desmond and Jack’s strings are just as closely entwined, making Desmond the middle man of the quantum jet set.
What’s important to note here is that Faraday’s red mark is on the right side of his neck, whereas Desmond and Jack’s are both on the left. However, we see Jack’s mark as a mirror image. Fascinating. That little detail could mean nothing; could mean everything.
There are several hundred other pressing questions and intriguing details we could go into this week (I didn’t even get to Claire and her “missing time”), and many of you have asked for certain things to be brought up for discussion, but those will have to wait until next time. Right now, I’m ready to enter my favorite quantum state – that of sound sleep. Until next week, keep thinking those thoughts, and if you have an epiphany tell me something good.
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. Michael Emerson, Lost’s Benjamin Linus, called Kirkman’s recaps “one of the smartest articles I’ve ever read about what goes on on our show.” Kirkman is still hoping that Lost will end when Bob Newhart wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette, complaining of a strange, strange dream. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.