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Lost

Lost is a drama about a group of plane crash survivors. They land on an unknown Pacific island and have to learn to live together. ABC 2004-2010

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Episode 11 - Whatever Happened, Happened

15 October 2015

Present: In the 70s: Jin brings the dying Ben to Juliet. Jack refuses to help him. Miles tries to explain to Hurley why they can’t change the future. Kate offers to take Ben to the Others to see if they can save him. Juliet convinces Sawyer to go with her and they meet Richard Alpert. Richard takes him to the Temple warning them that he won’t be the same ever again. In the present: Ben wakes up to see Locke sitting over him.

Flashback: Kate visits Cassidy and tells her that Sawyer asked her to look after his daughter. Cassidy thinks Sawyer jumped out of the helicopter to avoid being with Kate. Kate almost loses Aaron at a grocery store and is freaked out. She visits Cassidy again and then gives Aaron to Claire’s mother. Kate tells her she is going back to the island to find Claire.

The Good: It’s another excellent character episode. Once more we get a thorough, well examined look into the psyche of one of the Oceanic Six and the reason they came back to the island.

I actually think two facts aren’t mentioned which shed another light on Kate’s behaviour. One is her own upbringing and bad relationship with her father (who she killed in 209). It caused her to go permanently on the run and she sacrificed a lot as a result (306). That running ultimately led her to the island where she suffered more heartache in a hundred days than she could have expected. So when she returned home it is understandable why she would have clung to Aaron and a stable life. Her upbringing also explains why she would have extra sympathy for young Ben and his difficult relationship with his father. The second neglected fact is that Kate had a vision of Claire warning her not to bring Aaron to the island (414). This undoubtedly shook her to the core and stirred up the guilty feelings she had over telling the world that Aaron was her son. Armed with those facts her story makes a lot more sense than Casidy’s theory that Sawyer was responsible for all of Kate’s behaviour. I assume that says more about Cassidy’s own bitter feelings than Kate.

Kate’s flashbacks paint a vivid picture of her conflicted emotions (see Best Moment). Credit Kate’s acting which is excellent, but then she has always expressed her emotions with great conviction (111, 209, 404). Her panic in the store is a nice demonstration of why she just can’t go on living a lie anymore. Her selfless decision to go search for Claire speaks of her genuine love for Aaron, though it will cause him some trauma in the meantime. But with the facts I mentioned earlier I think Kate’s decision to return to the island fits her character and explains why she wouldn’t want to talk about Aaron anymore (506).

On the island we can now fully understand why Kate would try to help young Ben. Particularly after she interacts with the remorseful Roger Lynus. It’s another tick in the win column for Lost that even abusive ass hole Roger gets to show a more human side and seem sympathetic as he awkwardly thanks Juliet for her help.

The episode also provides ideal opportunities for the other characters to showcase their emotional states. The most interesting is Jack who ignores his Hippocratic Oath and refuses to help Ben. His reasoning is that he is not going to make all the mistakes he made the last time he was on the island. He isn’t going to rush around trying to save the day; he is going to wait to be told what to do. It makes a lot of sense because Jack is now where Locke was at the start of season three. He has been humbled by the island and is awaiting further instructions (as Locke was in 303). Unlike Locke he isn’t excited to discover his destiny, he is calm. The writing makes his emotions clear when he retorts “You didn’t like the old me Kate.” Jack realises that even when he was the hero who got Kate off the island, she rejected him. That’s because he wasn’t meant to get them off the island and he descended into paranoia and anger (410). He knows he hasn’t become the person he is supposed to be yet and isn’t willing to leap back into that role, especially to help Ben. The delicious irony of all this is that if Jack had saved Ben he may never have become the man who put Jack in a cage (more on that later).

Meanwhile Sawyer shows once more how he has grown by helping Ben because Juliet wants him to. He recognises the goodness in her desire to help a child, no matter who he will become. More irony though because Juliet’s desire to help this child is based on the innocence of youth. But it is that innocence that is robbed from Ben once he is saved (again more on that in a sec). But Sawyer tells Kate that three years ago he wouldn’t have been mature enough to be in a relationship with her. It’s a subtle acknowledgement that his selfless act may have had a touch of cowardice to it after all. He is back to being efficient LaFleur too as he quickly realises who let Sayid out and then tells the Others to shove it when they try and push him around.

Finally Juliet gets very emotional about Jack refusing to help Ben. It seems to be an expression of her own fears about what Jack and Kate’s return might do to her new life. She is angry at Jack but also shows a strange intimacy by confronting him in the shower. She clearly still has feelings for him of one sort or another after he did so much to save her (309 in particular).

So Richard Alpert offers to save Ben’s life but says he won’t be the same ever again. He will lose his innocence and “always be one of us.” Richard then takes him to the Temple. It’s a fascinating scene (see The Unknown) on so many levels. The main two things I took from it were the irony and the morality. The irony of course is that if Sayid and Jack hadn’t done what they did, Ben may never have become the man he did. The morality (as I call it) is the issue of the Others strange beliefs in right and wrong, their ability to “convert” people to their way of thinking and the way they justify killing and kidnapping. I have long hoped we would get a convincing explanation for the Others’ philosophy, ideology and beliefs. We saw men possessed when Rousseau’s crew entered the temple (505). Could Ben be similarly “possessed” with conviction? The possibilities are endless (see The Unknown). The sense that those questions have answers is the most rewarding part of this at this stage.

Finally we get Hurley and Miles having a fun discussion over the possibilities of time travel and causality. It’s a relief to see them acting like normal people and asking questions and being confused. It’s also a sensible scene to throw in for casual fans who don’t think a lot about all the minute details of the show.

Speaking of minute details...I liked that Roger talked to Kate about how he was also recruited without knowing what job he was going to do (320). It makes it that bit more believable that she could be a mechanic who doesn’t know anything about engines. Kate also sings “Catch a Falling Star” to Aaron which is what Christian sang to Claire and what Claire wanted to be sung to Aaron (110). Horace really does like things laid back. He has his hands in his pockets whether he is investigating a break out or having a monumental showdown with Richard (508).

What’s especially enjoyable about this episode is that pretty much all the questions you might ask get answered. Jack explains why he is on the island and won’t help Ben. Sawyer explains why he is helping Ben. Kate explains why she is going back to the island and so on. The show definitely feels like it has a direction, a purpose and answers to give us.

The final shot of Locke grinning at his murderer is a classic Lost ending, pushing you to tune in next week.

The Bad: Just a few odd things.

Juliet yells at Jack that she didn’t need saving from the island because she has been happy for the past three years. But there’s no way he could have known that. In fact Locke told him to come back and help save her. So he would be within his rights to verbally slap her down for that statement. But then again he was probably distracted by the fact that she bizarrely walked in on him showering even though the house was empty. He was so rattled in fact that he didn’t bother to dry himself, he just put on a t-shirt over his wet body.

The way the scenes rolled out one could believe that Sawyer jumped out of the helicopter to avoid being with Kate. And that she was so heartbroken that she clung to Aaron. But that doesn’t ring true at all. She was conflicted over her feelings for Jack and Sawyer before leaving the island (317, 404) and was then very happy to become Mrs Shephard (410). But as I said, let’s assume that was just Cassidy’s theory.

Sawyer didn’t put the sonic fence back on after he and Kate passed through it. Considering it keeps out the smoke monster, that’s dangerous (315). Just as dangerous as leaving prison cell keys with the janitor. How exactly did Kate think she was going to get through the sonic fence anyway?

The Unknown: Amongst Cassidy’s Sawyer bashing she doesn’t mention the money Sawyer set aside for Clementine (in 304). Does she not become eligible to receive it until she turns sixteen or something like that? Hurley asks why Ben wouldn’t remember Sayid when he tortured him in the future. But neither he nor Miles suggests that maybe Ben just kept that to himself.

Of course now it looks like Ben won’t remember Sayid at all because of the way he is healed at the Temple. What exactly will he remember? How will his innocence be gone? Why does that make him an Other? How will he return to Dharma? What does all this mean in the grander scheme of the Others? What is the link between Richard, the Temple and their strange morality, loyalty and beliefs? It’s also worth asking what Juliet knew that made her suggest the Others could help. Did she think specifically about what happens in the Temple? She certainly hasn’t become irrevocably an Other has she? The Others are dressed in the now familiar rags and bare feet combo. But Richard is still in normal clothes. What’s the official dress code at this time and why? What roles do Ellie and Charles currently hold? Especially as they don’t seem to have authority over Richard. Which once more begs the question of who Richard does answer to? We have already seen him go behind Ben’s back to further his own agenda (319).

Best Moment: Kate losing Ben in the grocery store. Her panic seems fully justified and it seems like this will be the traumatic moment which led to her weeping to Jack (506). But then she sees him being led away by a blond woman (reminding us and her of Claire) before finally realising that he had simply wandered off. It’s such a clever scene because it manages to create great drama out of the audience’s expectations even though nothing actually happens. Kate’s acting sets it all off perfectly and in one scene we can fully understand why she can’t carry on with her life as it is. Like Jack and Hurley she is being haunted back to the island.

The Bottom Line: Another impressive character episode. Season five has now effectively combined the flashbacks of earlier seasons with the rapid plot developments of later ones. It’s no mean feat and deserves a lot of credit.

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  • Am I the only one who is wondering how Claire's mother got better? She was in a coma when the plane crashed and there has been no mention if her recovery. I hope the show addresses that at some point.

    Viewer score: 75 / 100

    Posted by oscar, 11/10/2015 12:09pm (5 years ago)

  • ["Her selfless decision to go search for Claire speaks of her genuine love for Aaron, though it will cause him some trauma in the meantime."]


    Whatever trauma that Aaron will experience is probably short-term. And quite frankly, Kate did the right thing by handing him over to Carole Littleton, as she should have done years ago.

    Posted by Rosie, 19/12/2011 8:34pm (9 years ago)

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