Namaste, y'all! Wednesday's episode of Lost was about truth-telling. It was bound to happen. One of the Oceanic 6 had to crack. But who knew it would be truth-challenged Kate? In 1977, she is motivated by her newfound maternal instincts to save the life of a child, even if that child grows up to be Benjamin Linus. Circa-2006, Kate visits Cassidy, Sawyer's con-woman former girlfriend, to honor his pre-helicopter-jump wishes. And in 2007, we learn what happened to Aaron, and why Kate decided to return to the island.
So let's get to it! (As usual, I've rearranged the narrative. I hope this isn't annoying.)
Jin comes to, gets on the radio and reports that Sayid is headed north. (Aside: Is he telling the truth?) Interestingly, he doesn't tell the guy on the radio that Ben has been shot. But he does load him into a VW bus, stat!
Back in New Otherton, post-flaming bus crash, they are preparing for another attack, where, in general, chaos reigns. Horace reports that "one of us" freed Sayid, which launches a witch hunt/investigation. He reports that only Roger Linus (Ben's dad), Jack (as in Shepherd) and Willie (as in Nelson — no, not really!) have janitors' keys, one set of which unlocked Sayid's cell. For a second, I thought that Jack would find himself in some hot water, even though we know what really happened.
Kate has an odd little bonding moment with Roger Linus, Ben's dad, about receiving crappy Dharma assignments. It's actually a little flirty — eek! Jin arrives with the mortally wounded Ben, breaking up the sexy-eyes showdown before something horrible happens.
Roger's keys are missing (duh), which Sawyer discovers as he meets up with Ben's dad, who is dutifully waiting outside the hospital as Juliet tries to stabilize Ben. The little guy is hemorrhaging, and Juliet tells Sawyer that he needs a real surgeon, with a knowing look.
Meanwhile, Kate, Jack and Hurley are under house arrest by Miles. Hurley amuses me by floating the Back to the Future theory: that they'll all start disappearing if little Ben dies, since in the future he's the one who convinced them all to come back. "You're an idiot," Miles concludes, and he repeats Daniel's "whatever happened, happened" theory. I have to admit: I want Daniel's theory to be true, if only because if it isn't, it'll open the narrative up to all kinds of plot holes. But my gut tells me that it isn't — at least not entirely.
Sawyer asks Jack to come to help save Ben, and he refuses! Kate tries to convince him to change his mind, but New Jack is resolute. "He's just a boy, Jack, you can't let him die," she pleads, surely with thoughts of her surrogate son dancing in her head. "I've already done this once. I've already saved Benjamin Linus, and I did it for you. I'm not going to do it again," he says.
This is when things get interesting. Because Jack says this: "When we were here before, I spent all my time trying to fix things; do you ever think maybe the island just wants to fix things itself? Maybe I was just getting in the way." This is a shift in perception of significant proportions for the man of science, and I'm guessing that if Locke had witnessed it, he would smirk just slightly.
Kate, on the other hand, is not amused. "I don't like the new you," she spits. "You didn't like the old me, Kate," he spits right back. Despite her bizarre bid to become Ben's new stepmother, "Whatever Happened, Happened" isn't a banner episode for Kate's love life, as we'll soon see.
Juliet has stabilized Ben, but his skin is so pale that Three Dog Night wrote a song about it. Kate shows up at the hospital, ready to donate blood, since she's a universal donor. Juliet and Kate have some girl talk (sexist, I know!) about Jack. She tells Juliet that she's really, really mad at him because he's being a big dummy-head and didn't write back to her in math class. "Off-island, did something happen with you two?" the ever-serious Juliet asks. "We were engaged; does that count?" Kate snarks.
Roger barges in, suddenly playing the role of concerned parent. Kate convinces Juliet to let him stay. He confesses to Kate that he knows that Ben stole his keys to help Sayid escape, and acknowledges that he isn't in the running for Father of the Year. He also asks Kate if she has kids, and she says no. "I guess a boy just needs his mother," Roger says, as he tells her how Mrs. Linus died in childbirth. Kate's heart breaks into a million pieces, as she is surely thinking about the boy she left behind.
Meanwhile, back in the Otherton University physics-department faculty lounge, Profs. Reyes and Straume debate. It's a winky discussion that is clearly designed to speak directly to the befuzzled audience. "All this already happened," Miles says. "This conversation already happened, but not for you and me." (Huh?) Frankly, even if this conversation already happened, it doesn't mean it ever made any sense. I'm totally lost. (See what I did there?)
All I got out of this exchange is that time isn't a straight line for them anymore — whatever that means. "Shoot me, please," Miles tells Hurley in exasperation. My thoughts exactly, Señor Ghostbuster. Trust me — and ask my colleagues — I can talk about Lost until the cows come home, but when the rhetoric takes a turn toward the metaphysical, I just want to curl up under a blanket and watch the Where the Wild Things Are trailer again.
But! That said, Hurley asks an intriguing question: In 2004, when Sayid was torturing Ben, why wouldn't Ben remember getting shot by that same guy when he was a kid? Putting aside for a second that Miles just accepted all that pre-freighter backstory that he couldn't have possibly known before, yeah, why didn't he remember?
In the same vein, why isn't Roger Linus all: Why is the motor-pool lady sticking wadded-up gauze inside my son's abdominal cavity? But he isn't and she is, so let's move on. Juliet has stabilized Ben, but she tells Kate that she can't fix him, that he's going to die. Kate refuses to accept that conclusion. "Maybe there's something they can do," Juliet offers. "They?" Kate asks. "The Others," Juliet says.
So the lay-deez load the ailing Ben into a sporty blue VW van, and, after some squabbling, decide that Kate is going alone to bring Ben to the Others, Hostiles, whoever. Juliet tells Kate that she is going to have to tell Sawyer the truth, but that she'll give her as much of a head-start as she can. One question: Where's damaged dad Roger while all this is going on?
Sawyer soon catches up with Kate and Ben, but, surprisingly, he's not there to stop her; he's there to help her — and he called her Freckles finally. Aw. Except... "I'm doing it for [Juliet]," he says. Ouch. So off they go, trudging off into the jungle to find Richard Alpert.
Juliet and Jack face off about Ben, but mostly it's about why the Oceanic 6 came back. "We didn't need saving. We've been fine for three years," Juliet reveals. "You came back here for you." Well, not exactly. Jack says he came back because he was supposed to do something. (Again, what a 180 this guy has undergone!) "Do what?" Juliet asks. He doesn't know, but Juliet suggests with a harrumph that he'd better figure it out.
Back in the jungle, Kate tells Sawyer that she took care of his daughter. "She looks just like you when she smiles," she says. Sawyer seems uninterested. "I bet you and Cassidy had a lot to talk about," he prompts (they did -- see below). Kate presses on. "She thought you were worried about what would have happened if you didn't [stay]," she says, kind of harshly. To punish her right back, he says, practically apropos of nothing, that he and Kate never would have worked out. Tear.
Of course, Kate and Sawyer run into the Hostiles in short order. But no whispering this time, did you notice? They take them to Richard Alpert. "Where the hell did you come from?" Sawyer asks, as Alpert materializes seemingly out of nowhere. Alpert recognizes little Ben, and agrees to save his life.
But there's a catch: "If I take him, he's not ever going to be the same again. He'll forget this ever happened, and his innocence will be gone. He'll always be one of us," Alpert reports. "Do you still want me to take him?" Yes, says Kate. This is an "a-ha!" moment in that now we know how cuddly-cute Harry Potter Ben became the adult-sized Voldemort (yeah, I said it) we know now, but let's face it, it's kind of a narrative cheat.
One of the redshirt Hostiles warns Richard about Ellie and Charles. "Let [them] find out," he barks. "I don't answer to either of them," he says, hinting at the Hostile hostility that is to come. It also goes a long way toward explaining why Mrs. Hawking and Widmore are no longer residents of Funhouse Island. With that, Richard cradles Ben in his arms, and takes him off to what appears to be The Orchid, where he will presumably enroll young Ben in megalomaniac school under the tutelage of... Professor Jacob?
CIRCA-2006 (I'M TOTALLY GUESSING)
We see Kate visit Cassidy. (Aside: At the beginning of this scene, we see Kate singing "Catch a Falling Star" to baby Aaron, which you might recall is the song that Claire requested that her potential adoptive parents sing to her baby, since her father once sang it to her.)
"Sawyer sent me," Kate says with a thump. Cassidy recognizes Kate from both their previous run-in and her subsequent Oceanic 6 fame, and invites her in.
(Aside: Me likey the cover version of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)" in the Lincoln ad ABC couldn't get enough of tonight.)
Kate gives Cassidy an envelope full of money, and says that Sawyer told her to take care of Clementine, his daughter. "She's asleep in her crib right now; want me to wake her up?" Cassidy says. Kate's all: Um no, psycho, let her sleep. Kate tells her about how Sawyer sacrificed himself so that the helicopter could continue to fly, but a clearly bitter Cassidy isn't impressed, calling him a coward and insisting that he was just "trying to get away from you." Way harsh.
This Cassidy is a perceptive grifter, no? Not only does she intuit Kate and Sawyer's romantic past — "you have the same look on your face as I did when he ditched me" — she also (somehow?) knows that Aaron isn't Kate's son, despite Kate's insistence that she was pregnant before she met Sawyer. It's then shockingly revealed that Kate has told Cassidy the whole truth about the crash of Oceanic 815, to which I ask: Why? Was she just worn out and needed a sympathetic ear since things at home were tough with Jack?
2007 LOS ANGELES
We're back at the Long Beach marina again, except this time we see things from Kate's perspective. After she storms off, there's no $125 glass of Scotch in her future (although she looks like she needs one). Instead, it's milk and/or juice boxes from the supermarket for Aaron, where Kate ignores a call from Jack and momentarily loses her fake son. But fear not, some skanky-looking blond lady, who looked a bit like Claire from behind for a second, has him, and he's safe.
"Hi, Auntie Kate," says Clementine, Sawyer's no-longer-sleeping-in-a-crib daughter says. A clearly distraught Kate is apparently now buddies with Cassidy, who is totally that friend that tells you the hard truth. "Why would I expect him to be taken?" Kate asks, of her panicky supermarket sweep. "Because you took him," Cassidy replies. As Kate tries to rationalize her unorthodox adoption, Cassidy rightly tells Kate that she needed Aaron because Sawyer broke her heart. Aw. Kate's romantic prospects are so bad tonight that she's, like, five minutes away from being a sad, broken cat lady to whom Saturday night means a scented candle, Lean Cuisine Chicken Acapulco with Fiesta Rice and a Moonlight marathon on DVD.
Thank God she's going back to the island! Kate goes to see Mrs. Littleton, who is still holed up in the no-tell motel, and spills her guts: Claire is alive; Aaron is her grandson, yada yada. When Claire's mom asks why she didn't come to see her in the first place, Kate admits that she needed Aaron. And then she gives her Aaron so she can go back to find Claire. Among other things! As a particularly tear-jerking Lost score swoons, Kate says goodbye to an adorable, sleeping Aaron, who is lit as if he's in a manger. "Goodbye, my baby," she croaks. Sniff.
2007 ON THE ISLAND
Back in the makeshift infirmary set up for the survivors of Ajira Flight 316, Ben wakes up and is greeted by Locke's shiny bald head: "Hello, Ben," he practically sings. "Welcome back to the land of the living." Ben's face actually goes from shocked to resigned to shocked again as the soundtrack goes... thump!
What did you think of whatever happened in "Whatever Happened, Happened"? Did you miss Locke, Sun and Ben tonight? What's up with Jack? Did you understand that conversation between Hurley and Miles better than I did? What will be the fallout from Kate's rampant truth-telling about the Oceanic 6? Will she ever find a boyfriend again? And are you, like me, putting Back to the Future in your Netflix queue?
It looks like a Ben-centric episode, and it's called "Dead Is Dead" — what do you think that means? "I came back to the island to be judged," Ben tells Locke. I'm freaking out about the image of a gun-wielding Ben charging down a dock at the marina, warning, "Not another word." If he touches Des and Penny, I will totally time-travel and make sure Sayid's good work sticks!
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