Monday, January 13, 2014

LOST Rewatch: Whatever the Case May Be

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This episode was another Kate-centric one. And that upset my kids, who are (rightly so) tired of Kate's double-dealings, her inability to trust or speak the truth to anyone, and her basic love of shenanigans. Why, they wonder, don't we get some needed backstory on Hurley? Or Shannon and Boone? Why do we have to get more complicated tales of Kate's tricksy past.

And, well . . . I can't disagree. Could you? We learned that Kate was once mixed up with a dude in a New Mexico bank robbery. But of course, it wasn't that simple. Because nothing is ever simple with Miss Kate--who was going by the name Maggie during this Flashback. Her bank robbing cohorts thought they were in it for the money. But once "Maggie" double-crossed them, put bullets in their legs, and revealed that HER real goal was the contents of safety deposit box 815 [I let the number pass without comment.], well . . . they were as peeved at Kate as we the viewers are.

Back in the Island time, the surf is definitely UP and the Beach dwellers are forced to relocate their camps and fires further up the shore. This give Rose (hey Rose, welcome back!) an opportunity to call Charlie out for his post-Claire kidnapping moping. We need help, she reasons. And you're not the only survivor with problems. At first Charlie is incredulous. But Rose's calm self-assuredness wins him over and soon they are toting wreckage and suitcases together.

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 But I know that all you really want to learn more about is KATE.

So I'll tell you that she is once again playing Sawyer and Jack against each other to get what SHE wants. (In this case . . . well, it's a case. A Haliburton briefcase, as Michael informs Sawyer.) And this locked case was once owned by the U.S. Marshall and inside it is something precious to Kate. And if it is precious to Kate, then it surely must be vital to us the viewers and to everyone on the Island. We must all bend our efforts to helping Kate achieve her goals!

Well, everyone except for Boone and Locke, who continue to go out into the jungle every day. Are they looking for Claire, which is what you would expect? No. They are working on a way to learn more about the mysterious metal floor discovered at the end of the previous episode. And Locke is enjoying being a slightly nicer version of his boss "Randy" to Boone. But since Boone is so concerned that everyone else thinks they are a laughingstock, he is willing to put up with Locke's Mr. Myiagi routine. (Plus, I guess anything to get him away from Shannon, who hasn't done much but complain, get Charlie to fish for her, sunbathe, translate a bit of French, and successfully have asthma.)

Speaking of Shannon, Sayid is starting to get interested in her--and not just because of her supposed French-speaking skills. (Though, that is why he initially approaches her, to help him with Rousseau's scribblings.) But Shannon spends most of their time together complaining about how little French she knows and how she definitely won't be able to help him. In response, Sayid calls her out and coerces her to contribute. And since Sayid has moist, feminine eyes and a polite manner, Shannon takes the criticism better than if it came from Boone. Whether this translation work actually comes to anything of interest . . . I can't recall.

Maybe when we get to the Black Rock (which Rousseau mentioned to Sayid in Solitary). But that is a different moment for a different recap.

As for this episode, it was the first one in this first handful that felt like a piece-moving episode--meaning that it existed to get characters and plots from one thing to another without introducing lots of new revelations or answers. Such episodes become COMMON in later seasons of the show (and probably the source of most of the criticism LOST would face in coming years). But here, it sort of provides a respite, to catch your breath.

(Even if everyone should be using their breath to ask the question "Hey, are we going to find Claire or not?")

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