Saturday, April 4, 2009

Killing Hitler? Nah.

Lost: Whatever Happened Happened
Season 5, Episode 11

Did Lost do the impossible? Did a Kate-centric episode NOT suck? I'm almost in shock over the events of last night's episode, not the least of which was the fact that Kate's story was--gasp!--interesting! That's not to say it was perfect.

Hit the jump for the my full thoughts.

Throughout the history of Lost, the episodes that I've always dreaded the most were the Kate-based ones. The reason for this is simple. Kate is an obnoxious and childish idiot. Plain and simple. In the first few seasons of the show half of the tribulations that the lostaways got into were because Kate wouldn't mind her own damn business and stay out of the frickin' jungle. That says nothing of the pathetic "love triangle" between Jack, Sawyer and herself.

So when I say that as of now, Kate is the only member of the Oceanic 6 who I feel legitimately has a purpose and a reason for being on the island(keeping in mind that we've yet to see Hurley's story prior to boarding Ajira Airlines Flight 316) and is now the character whose story I am most interested on the island, please feel free to express great shock.

I know, I know, Kate's flashbacks in this episode were still somewhat obnoxious and we had to see Aaron again but this time there was a purpose to them. Kate realizes that taking Aaron and lying about the rest of the lostaways still on the island was wrong. She decides to go back--not because she is forced to, not because she's depressed, not because she's afraid of curses--No, Kate decides to return because she can and must find Claire and the others. She decides that she must find them and bring them all home. No more lies, no more happy fake homes, Kate finally takes responsibility for everything and is attempting to fix it.

All of our characters have changed this season and last. Most for the worst, but Kate and Sawyer--two characters that I've roundly loathed for years--have grown and morphed into two of the most rounded characters in the cast.

Speaking of Sawyer, I couldn't help but cheer when he informed Kate that he wasn't helping her save Little Ben for any reason other than Juliet. He loves Juliet and although he's somewhat confused by Kate's return, he's still dedicated to Juliet. The pairing works, Sawyer and Juliet are a joy to watch, not quite Penny and Des but still fantastic.

So we know why Kate came back to the island, what else did we learn? Well, we know how Little Ben becomes Horrible-No Good-Very Bad Ben. Apparently Richard (who, we learn, does sorta have to answer to Chuckles Widmore, confirming that Widmore was at some point a major Other player. Opening up major questions about when Penny was conceived.) can take Ben to the Temple to be healed but it will taint him forever. So, when Sawyer and Kate deliver young Ben to Richard fully knowing that what they are doing right there is going to lead to so much of their suffering, it's a powerful moment.

Now, as impressed as I was with the episode, I did have one gripe. And it's something that I suspect I will be standing opposite of most Lost-fanboys on. Miles and Hurley's ridiculous "who's on first"-esque explanation of time travel was not only unfunny, but a terrible waste of time. Seriously, am I to believe that someone who reads as many comic books as Hurley cannot grasp the details of their time travel? No, it was a scene written SOLELY for the dullards in the audience who still don't get what has happened. You know the type, the same kind of people who didn't understand The X-Files despite the entire mythology being wrapped up in season six.

Aside from that niggling point, Lost is poised to finish with it's strongest season yet. I've every confidence that the producers have something epic in store for all of us.

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