On Tuesday's episode of Lost, Sawyer makes a decision to break away from the pack to tend to personal matters. Sayid's fate becomes inextricably linked with Jack's when the Samurai givesJack an ultimatum. In the post-815 world, Kate and Claire find each other under unusual circumstances, and their interactions seem vaguely familiar. But do they seem familiar to them?
AT THE TEMPLE
"What happened to me?" Sayid asks. "You died," Jack says. Kate is befuddled by this development, but Sawyer isn't. "Of course he's fine. He's an Iraqi torturer who shoots kids. He definitely deserves another go-around," he snarks. While Sayid is getting acquainted with their new circumstances (Temple, Samurai, etc.), Sawyer has a gun and he's decided to leave. "Please, you have to stay," the Samurai says, but nobody tells Sawyer what to do, so off he goes. "Don't come after me," he says. But, well, you know Kate. The eager-beaver tracker says she'll be able to bring him back, so off she and Jin go to find him. Did anyone else think her goodbye to Jack seemed, I don't know, final?
Meanwhile, back at the Temple, the Samurai has strapped Sayid down to a table with a really ominous-looking headstrap. He blows some dust over him, hooks him up to an electrical device of some sort and shocks him. For good measure, he sticks him in the gut with a hot poker and burns him. Lennon apologizes for putting him through all that. It was a test, and he passed. After Sayid leaves, Lennon asks the Samurai, "I just lied to him; didn't I?" "Yes," he replies solemnly. (So far he does everything solemnly, so just take that as a given unless otherwise indicated.)
"They didn't ask me any questions," Sayid tells Jack, which my Star Wars nerd friend tells me is almost exactly what Han Solo said after Darth Vader tortured him to lure Luke to Bespin in Empire Strikes Back. Significance?
So what test did he fail? Was it the "Are you the Man in Black?" test? Or was it the "Have you been occupied by the spirit of Jacob?" test? It's too soon to tell, but clearly the Temple powers that be aren't real jazzed that Sayid is among the living again.
That becomes clearer when Jack goes to see the Samurai to ask him why he tortured his friend. He's mixing something green with a mortar and pestle, and it ain't pesto. Lennon says they weren't torturing him; they were diagnosing him. He tells Jack that Sayid is sick, "infected," and that he needs Jack to get him to take a pill because it won't work unless he takes it willingly. To make sure Jack does, the Samurai lays on the guilt and tells Jack that since it was his fault that Sayid got shot, this is how he can redeem himself. "If you don't give it to him, the infection will spread," he says, which has all sorts of implications in this context, doesn't it?
Let's all watch Miles carefully, as he's a character who withholds a lot, so it's important to register every word, every expression. Here he's quizzing Sayid about whether he had a near-death experience. Last week he was kind of giving Sayid the stink-eye after he died, as if he was either communicating with a dead Sayid or trying to. Plus, and I hope I'm not getting ahead of myself here, Miles was one of the last people to see Claire, wasn't he?
Jack tries to get Sayid to take the pill, apparently opting to trust the mysterious Samurai and/or feeling guilty. Sayid says he trusts Jack, so if he wants him to take the pill, he will. But does he?
The Samurai is spinning a baseball, symbolizing the Japanese "bubble" economy of the 1990s and the havoc it wrought on the American... eh, forget it, it's probably just a baseball. More importantly, the Samurai has a name: Dogen. (FYI: Wikipedia tells me that Dogen Zenji was a 13th-century Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher who taught a form of meditation with the goal of enlightenment.) Dogen exposits that he was brought to the island just like everyone else, and that Jack knows what he means. He also explains that he doesn't speak English because he needs to remain separate from the people he's in charge of. "It makes it easier when they don't like the decisions I make for them," he says.
So... Jack didn't give Sayid the pill because he doesn't know what it is. Dogen asks him to trust him. If I were Jack, I'd be like: You've got to be effing kidding me, trust you? On this island? Instead, he's like: "I don't trust myself; how am I supposed to trust you?" which is just sad. "Let's see where trust gets us," he says, and he takes the pill.
Dogen lunges at him and gets him to spit it out, which is good because it's poison. Now we're getting somewhere! Jack asks why Dogen would want to kill Sayid, and he exposits that he believes that Sayid has been "claimed." By what or whom? "There is a darkness growing in him, and once it reaches his heart, everything your friend once was will be gone," he replies. How does he know that? "Because it happened to your sister," he replies.
Now, for a second I thought: Oh great, now we meet Sally Mae Shephard from Omaha who is also on the island in some strange coincidence. How many new characters are you going to throw at us this late in the game, Darlton? But then I regained my faculties and realized: Duh. Claire. So then does that mean she's alive? Dead? Resurrected? Tainted by evil? Stay tuned!
So Kate shanghais Claire's taxi, and they speed off into the Los Angeles sunshine. Well, they do once they get past Arzt, who's blocking the crosswalk. "Hey, I'm walking here. I'm walking here," he bellows. In that moment, Kate sees Jack, and for a fleeting moment, she appears to recognize him. The cabbie flees, and Kate gets behind the wheel. She takes Claire's purse and kicks her out of the car.
Kate pulls into a garage, gun drawn, and asks the grease monkey (Jeff Kober, who played Dodger on China Beach) for assistance in freeing her from her handcuffs. He does, for $200, and she tells him that she's wanted for murder. She asks if she can use the bathroom to change, and in Claire's luggage, she sees all her baby stuff and a picture of her pregnant. There's a twinge of something. Recognition? Sympathy? What?
Whatever it is, it leads her back to Claire, who's waiting at a bus stop. She returns her luggage and offers her a ride to Brentwood, where Claire's adoptive family lives. When they arrive, Claire oddly asks if Kate will go in with her, which would be weird under normal circumstances, but judging from the flashes of memory the writers seem to be indicating, it's not that unusual.
Enter Mrs. Baskin, aka the woman who was supposed to adopt Claire's baby. It seems that Mrs. Baskin is having a bad week, as her husband left her and she's not prepared to raise a baby on her own. This is obviously bad news, and the shock sends Claire into labor.
At the hospital, Kate again accompanies Claire, and stays with her while she's being examined by one Dr. Ethan Goodspeed! He says he can give her drugs to facilitate the delivery, but "I don't want to have to stick you with needles if I don't have to," he says. Heh. She says she's not ready, just as the fetal monitor flatlines. "Is Aaron OK?" Claire asks, apropos of nothing, and the mention of the name triggers something in Kate. But the baby is fine. "I have a feeling that Aaron is going to be a handful," Dr. Goodspeed says.
I have a theory that Daniel Faraday's "whatever happened, happened" speech will bear more fruit this season, as we see the major events of the last five seasons over again, just slightly tweaked in their context and players. This scene at the hospital seems to confirm that, but for now I'll wait and see if Jack falls in love with Locke after performing spinal surgery on him before definitively making up my mind.
Claire is looking at an ultrasound picture when cops come to question her about "Joan Hart," the woman who came to the hospital with her. (Aside: Kate's pseudonym is obviously a sly reference to Sabrina the Teenage Witch — well played, Darlton!) Claire lies for her, and even gives her her credit card to facilitate her escape. "Aaron is a great name," Kate says. "I don't know why I said it," Claire reports. "I think you should keep him," Kate says, as she departs. Food for thought!
So... in this post-815 world, Kate has already succeeded at doing what she set out to do when she boarded Ajira 316. Discuss.
KATE, SAWYER and JIN
So Kate and Jin are off to see the Sawyer. Accompanying them are Aldo (Rob McElhenney, who plays Mac on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) — who says he's protecting them from the smoke monster — and Justin.
Jin asks Kate where their plane landed, and I'm wondering why they haven't covered this information before now. Justin says, "I think he means the one that landed..." but Aldo cuts him off. When Justin saves Kate from triggering what Kate calls "one of Rousseau's traps," Justin says, "The Frenchwoman? She's been dead for years. This couldn't be one of..." Aldo again shuts up his loose-lipped friend.
"You don't remember me, do you?" Aldo asks Kate, and I'm glad he did because I kept thinking: Who is this guy? Well, he exposits, he's the guy that Kate rifle-whipped when escaping from jail in New Otherton. And then she does it again and trips the booby trap to get away from them.
Kate tells Jin she's not going back once she finds Sawyer, since she's not interested in being a prisoner — in any alternate reality! Jin, of course, wants only to find Sun, and if I were him, I'd be like: When does my mission become a priority? "Who do you care about, Kate?" he asks. "Once you catch up with Sawyer, then what?" "I guess we'll figure that out together," Kate replies, with an optimism that I'm not so sure that Sawyer merits.
Kate arrives in an abandoned New Otherton and quickly locates Sawyer in his old house. He removes a shoebox from under the floorboards, removes something and begins to cry. He hears a noise and pulls his gun on Kate. "What the hell are you doing here?" he asks. "I was worried about you," she says.
The pair head down to the Dharma Dock of Reckoning (a lot of heavy conversations have taken place here, no?), where Kate says she returned to the island to find Claire and reunite her with Aaron. They exchange guilt about Juliet's death, and Sawyer reveals that he was going to propose to her and produces a ring. "But I think some of us are meant to be alone," he says significantly, as he tosses the ring into the water. "You can probably make it back to the temple by nightfall," he says to Kate, who begins to weep, crestfallen.
Ack! Does this mean the end of Skate and Jate — all in one tidy episode? Please argue irrationally in the comments below!
Jin is drinking water by a stream when he's confronted by Aldo and Justin, who seem pretty ticked off. (Nice Dharma knapsack, Jin! Now available on ABC.com, I'm sure!) He tries to run away, but he gets caught in a bear trap. Just as a crazy-eyed Aldo is about to shoot, shots ring out from the hillside and the pair fall dead. (How often has that happened on this show?) It's Claire, looking all kinds of Rousseau, and her tiny, beautiful brain looks really taxed as she tries to figure out what the heck Jin is doing there -- and where he's been for three years. (Oh Claire, if you only knew!)
So what did you think of "What Kate Does"? Will each of these alternate story lines show us the Lostaways getting their ultimate redemption? Did tonight's on-island action spell the end of both Skate and Jate? What has happened to both Sayid and Claire? And what do you think they serve at the Temple food court? (One mango smoothie, coming up!)
Watch full episodes of Lost in our Online Video Guide or with your My TVGuide.com DVR and follow TVGuide.com on Twitter for more breaking news and scoop