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Lost: S5E11: Whatever Happened, Happened

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You would think, since we've been bitching about Kate all season and since we've been bitching about the '70s storyline for the last month, that we'd be UBER bitching about last night's episode.

Shows how much you know. We loved it.

We'll go even further: we think it was one of the best shows of the season and probably the best Kate-centric show they've ever had. There are a lot of reasons for this and you're gonna sit there and listen to them. Ready? Here we go.

It was one of the best of the season because for the first time in a long time, we were given a show that seamlessly blended current and former timelines, gave us insight into the actions of a main character (one we had assumed we'd had all figured out), while over everything, there was heavy tension because the stakes were high. In short, it was a classic Lost episode.

See, we were whiny about last week's episode because it spent a lot of time on Sayid without really telling us anything we didn't already know about him. This episode offered up a Kate we haven't seen in a long time: a heroic Kate. For too long, she's been the ruler in a dick-measuring contest between Jack and Sawyer or she's been stuck being the mommy for reasons that made little sense to us. We once again see a Kate that has her own motivations and owns her actions. It was actually a little thrilling and made us pine for the days when she trekked off into the jungle against the orders of the men around her and did whatever the hell she thought was right at the time. That's a Kate we can love and we finally saw her again last night.

On top of all that, it filled in the blanks on the periods missing from Kate's story and gave us some of what we already figured out while pulling the rug out from under us as to WHY she made the choices she did. We (like so many other Lost fans) figured that Sawyer's whispered favor to her on the helicopter was a request to find Cassidy, his old flame, and their daughter, Clementine. Unsurprisingly, we were right, and the scene of their meeting offered us so much more than we had imagined.

We love the relationship between Kate and Cassidy. They seem to really get each other in a way that no one else in their respective lives do. It's rare to see female friendships on television that revolve around true bonds and deep understanding rather than the backstabbing of Desperate Housewives or the treacly "thank you for being a friend" of say, Golden Girls or Sex and the City. These are 2 unconventional women who have been there for each other and don't judge each other for the things they've done. We LOVED the way Cassidy delivered the line, "Oh my God...that baby isn't yours, is it?" She got it in a second and rather than judge Kate for the lie, she judged her for thinking she could lie to HER, of all people. Further, Cassidy uttered the truest line yet about Jack without ever having met him: "Yeah, well. Your Jack sounds like a real piece of work."

We do think Cassidy had it a little wrong about Sawyer. It made sense that she wouldn't have nice things to say about the guy, but ultimately, we don't believe that Sawyer hopped out of that helicopter just to run away from Kate. Yeah, he pretty much admitted to it later, but we don't trust his opinion of himself or of his actions. Jumping out of that helicopter was what set Sawyer on the road to heroism because it was his first truly heroic act. Yeah, he was scared of his feelings for Kate and yeah, he didn't think he deserved her, but he jumped because he was a hero, not because he was a coward. Cassidy was wrong and Sawyer was wrong when he agreed with her.

And speaking of Sawyer, how WONDERFUL when writers let adult characters act like real adults. We don't know if this will remain true in the long run, but right now, Sawyer's with Juliet and he's not tossing that aside because Kate showed up. He made that clear and we love him for it. Of course, that means that if the writers want to maintain some romantic tension, someone in that love quadrangle is going to have to die, and by default, that person would have to be Juliet, so THAT makes us more than a little nervous. Still, for now, we're happy. Sawyer and Kate DIDN'T act like self-involved twits and they DID state firmly their reasons why. Sawyer loves Juliet and he ain't leavin' her; Kate came back to the island to find Claire.

Wait, what? Kate came back to find Claire? And those dirty writers let us think she only came back to find Sawyer! Clever, clever writers. All this time, we thought Kate came back for purely selfish reasons and instead, she came back for the best reason of all. To find the mother of the child she's been raising. And the genius of it is, it all remains perfectly true to the character as we've known her. Kate is nothing else if not a user. It's her main character flaw. She uses people (men, mostly) to get her from point A to point B and then she runs away from those people. She realized last night that she'd been using Aaron to get over Sawyer (and it didn't hurt that the little tyke helped to keep her out of jail), but once she realized what she'd done, she gave him up. This wasn't running away. She did absolutely the right thing by giving Aaron to Claire's mother (something we never saw coming) and then offering her pledge to her that she was heading back to the island to find Claire.

Frankly, we're just happy that SOMEONE remembered that Claire even existed.

To add to all the sisterhood/motherhood themes running around, we had some fantastic scenes between Juliet and Kate. Again, we had characters acting like real adults (instead of backstabbing soap opera bitches) and we had two women taking control of a situation because they strongly felt it was the right thing to do.

In other news, Jack is still a douchebag, but at least we get more scenes of characters TELLING him he's a douchebag. LOVED that scene with Juliet storming into the bathroom, furious with him for his selfishness. We will say, though, he did get a great line in with Kate, when she said "I liked the old Jack," and he responded with a genuinely wounded "You didn't like the old Jack." Still, one good line doesn't change the fact that he was acting like a douche. We all know what a horrible person Ben Linus turned out to be, but only a douchebag would refuse to operate on a dying child.

And besides, in the douchebaggiest twist of all, Jack's refusal to save Ben is what ultimately turned him into an Other. Along with the oh-so covenient memory loss that will make him forget that Sayid ever shot him, we're wondering if that trip into the Temple will also possess him with the "sickness" that took Rousseau's team. Are all the Others - the true Others, not the hired help like Juliet - "possessed" by the smoke monster? That would explain why some of the Tailies, like Cindy the flight attendant, acted so weird after they went off with them.

And finally, the episode ended the best way it possibly could, in the present, with John Locke smiling creepily over the shocked Ben. We can't WAIT to see what happens next.


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I wasn't looking forward to a Kate-centric episode either, but I loved it as well. It did fill in a lot of the gaps we'd been wondering about. And I'm liking Sawyer more and more. Still think Jack is a douche. New Jack, Old Jack, same douche. And how funny were the comedy team of Hurley and Miles? Most importantly, my man Locke is back and I too can't wait to see what happens between he and his old murderous buddy Ben. Go Locke go!

Amanda in Austin

Great recap, boys! Bravo.

I had guessed already that Kate gave Aaron to Claire's Mom, so that wasn't a surprise to me. But it was a surprise to hear Kate say that she came back to the island to find Claire. Holy cow!

I cried when Kate was saying good-bye to Aaron. Probably because I have a little boy (with blonde hair even) who is 4, and so I put myself in Kate's shoes and my heart broke for her. So sad for Kate and for Aaron when he wakes up and has to trust a stranger to take care of him. Oy vey! I need a tissue.

Yes, Jack is a total douchebag. Hated his line about not knowing why he came back, but knowing that it wasn't to operate on Ben. WTF? How does he know that?

Also, I loved the time travel conversation between Hurley and Miles. Very funny, and perfectly captured what all the viewers are discussing amongst themselves. Really great writing and added some needed humor to the show. I laughed out loud.

Okay, but why did Kate and Sawyer agree so quickly to the terms that would save lil' Ben's life? He will lose his innocence and be forever changed (in a bad way). That was a creepy deal with the devil, in a Pet Cemetery kind of way.

Wonderful episode! Wonderful recap!

BIG YEAH for the *wink wink nudge nudge* time travel conversation between Miles and Hurley. The writers knew what we all were thinking and dealt with it perfectly. I LOVED that.

Go Kate for coming back with the best reason!

I refuse to believe that Juliet will be killed off and reject any suggestion that this might happen.

What will happen to Sayid?????

Jack? He can't win being a hero or the debil. He is doomed forever to be hated, makes me feel a smidge bad for him but not that bad. He reminds me of that kid you knew growing up that was always whining about how nobody likes him so he acts out all over town with a poutty lip.

And um...I peed a little at the reveal of Locke and Ben at the end. Ben's face was just fantastic and Locke never looked better or more immortal like. I am FREAKING OUT for next week! Ben came back to be JUDGED???!!!?? Wha????

Wait. Claire's alive? I thought she died under Dharma town rubble when Widmore's SWAT team attacked?

Loved Hurley's nod to Back to the Future!

Great recap for a great episode, but to say:

treacly "thank you for being a friend" of say, Golden Girls

is practically blasphemous, so watch yourselves.

Hugo for President

Maybe my Kate Hate is too strong, but I don't buy for a second that she only came back to find Claire, tears or no. Part of her reasons, sure, but there are other motives there (I'm looking at you, James). And excuse me, but how exactly did Sawyer break her heart when she was the one skipping back and forth between him and Jack? The look on Kate's face when Sawyer said "I did it for her" made the entire episode worthwhile!

And, while I agree about Jackass and his douchebaggery, you have to admit the guy can't win for trying. He butts in and takes charge and gets screwed. He tries to stay out of it and go all Locke/Zen on us, and gets screwed. (I have to say, I did love him calling Kate out on her line of b.s. I know, I know. More Kate hate.) I sort of thought his line of reasoning about operating on Ben before because of Kate - and then having it bite them all in the ass - had some validity to it. (Even if he is a douche.)

As I thought about it more, if you truly believe that Whatever Happened, Happened, even if Jack HAD operated, the results would have been the same. Could have turned out that he wasn't able to fix lil Ben and they had to go to the Others anyway. I'm not suggesting it's right to let a 12-year-old bleed out, but if you subscribe to the LOST time travel bible, he's actually correct about not being able to save him.

And hell yeah to more Hurley and Miles! I want them to be new bffs.

Oh, and WHERE do I sign up to have my innocence taken away by Richard Alpert?!

Thank you so much for paying attention to the gender dynamics of this show! As much as I love Lost, it is tiring to see the way that women are consistently conveyed as "in relation to man or baby X," as opposed to autonomous characters capable of their own motivations (tho' this is certainly a problem with TV more broadly, don't even get me started...). I think a lot of your observations in this area are spot on.

However, I disagree with your observations about Jack. Generally, yes, Jack is a douchebag. But here, I think for the first time we're seeing Jack truly embrace his "faith" in the island. For this, he gets a little closer to John and I think that is a good thing.

I don't want Juliet to die! I don't want Juliet to die! I don't want Juliet to die! Will writing it three times make it true?

Oh, I'm so afraid she is the big death in all the spoilers. I'm afraid she'll be the first victim of the fatal pregnancy phenomenon. Gaah!

This was a great episode. I too loved the relationship between Kate and Cassidy. The scene between Hurley and Miles was awesome. Jack's line to Kate about how she never liked him was so spot on.

I think Jack is on the road to redemption. the writers purposely made us hate Kate and look what this episode did.

Jack understood that it didn't matter what he did, he couldn't change the outcome of history. He wasn't meant to save Ben. It's what the episode is about.

Although the whole scenario is a classic time paradox. People from the future had to come back to the past in order for the future to transpire the way it did. In other words, the losties had to go back to the 70s so it would cause them to go back to the 70s in the future.

It's a chicken and the egg scenario.

At any rate, it doesn't matter as the storylines are still compelling and I'm enjoying these classic Lost-style episodes. I LOVED last season, but I like what the writers are doing this season, even though I was originally skeptical.

Hugo for President, thanks for making me smile with your comment:

"Oh, and WHERE do I sign up to have my innocence taken away by Richard Alpert?!"

Yes, please, to that!

"He won't remember any of this, and he will lose his innocence."

Really? My my, that's convenient, Richard. It just ties everything together! Will you also cast a spell on him to make him prick his finger and fall asleep for seven years? Then when he wakes up, he'll have to give you his first-born unless he can remember your name? Yes, that must be it-- that's why he had to go steal a little girl from Rousseau, because his first was taken by Richardstiltskin.

Hugo for President, thanks for making me smile with your comment:

"Oh, and WHERE do I sign up to have my innocence taken away by Richard Alpert?!"

Yes, please, to that!

Me three!!!!!
I have a feeling this is going to be a very long line.

Also-- Roger Workman can go choke. "I thought I'd be a great dad...but I guess the boy needed his mom," or something like that. Yeah, I guess he could've used a mom, but he certainly also could've used a father who didn't constantly beat the crap out of him because he blamed him for his own mother's death. What the hell, show? Why are you trying to make Ben's dad a sympathetic character-- so he can be one more guy for Kate to chase after, a consolation prize after Sawyer's rejection?

Hugo for President

Thanks Fresca, you reminded me:

The new LOST couple: Kate and Uncle Rico!

I agree with with everything you said, except for the parts about Jack. The way I see it, he gleaned from Sawyer and Miles that Ben was going to survive no matter what (whatever happened, happened, etc.) So he figured he'd just let the Island handle it, instead of blowing their cover by revealing himself to be a surgeon (and he probably didn't want Ben's killings on his conscience either). He had no way of knowing that the Island's method of healing Ben involved him losing all innocence and becoming the monster that Jack hated (augh...paradox!) And he's hardly the only one to blame. Roger, Sayid, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Richard, and Ben himself all had a hand in it. Whew, that was a long post. I'm loving these recaps--keep up the great work!

Never enough Hurley and/or Miles IMHO, so having such a great exchange between the two of them was the highlight of the episode for me.

One question on my mind - what's up with the blonde lady who "found" Aaron in the grocery store? They lingered far too long on her creepy smile for it to be insignificant. Was she an Other sent by the island to bring Aaron back?

Gelft, I think they were effing with Kate... and with us. We were all assuming we'd see the ghost of Claire or something, but instead it was a coincedence.

Or not.

What about the sly acknowledgment that the whole "back in time" thing doesn't even make sense to the characters; loved that exchange with Hurley and Myles.

I also don't think that Juliet CAN die, at least not until they return to the present. I mean she's the doctor they eventually bring in to fix the fatal pregnancy curse. (which I think will come out of something the OTHERS do in retaliation for a future transgression by Dharma)

Did anyone else think the woman in the grocery store looked like Claire or WAS the actress that played Claire? (It's been so long since I've seen her.)

We talked about how douchey to let a child die, how about Sayid shooting a child in the chest purely to kill him? What up with that? Will we see him deal with guilt over that action?

that actress was definitely not Claire - Emile de Ravin or something ... but I did think she was supposed to remind us of Claire or her mother a bit.

I really like Sawyer these days - the more they show him in dorky overalls and glasses, the better he gets.

I also thought this was a great episode. I actually think that they are setting Jack up to do something really big, martyrish probably. He's just such a sad sack, totally beaten down. I agreed w/ everything he said too, before he was just getting in the island's way, now he's a believer, and is bent to the island's will.

Hmm. I think this is the first time I've disagreed with you about a Lost episode. Not only was I bored by the episode, I didn't believe the writer's treatment of the characters. Jack refusing to operate on child!Ben? I don't love Jack, but I can't believe he'd do that. He has less reason to hate Ben than many others (like Juliet, for example), and he has shown himself throughout the series as someone almost desperate to do "the right thing". Not because he's some kind of saint, but because saving people is integral to his sense of self. If Jack isn't the man who makes people better, what is he? Why does he exist? I just don't think his ego would let him get away with sacrificing a child, if that makes any sense.

And Kate using Aaron to get over Sawyer? Really? Yes, I think she missed Sawyer, but I don't think that was ultimately her motivation. I think that coming from a situation where people for once depended on her, where she felt needed and part of something, back to her old, rootless life, was terrifying for her, and she clung to Aaron as if to a lifeline. Having someone who needed her and loved her kept her from drifting off. Writing it off as some sort of boyfriend - baby exchange shortchanges Kate, I think. Plus I find it trite and simplistic. I count on this show to uncover more complex motives in their characters; on that level, this ep disappointed me.

But I did love Miles and Hurley and the whole "wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey" conversation. That was classic.

I remembered that Kate crossed paths with Cassidy but I don't remember how exactly. What is the back story there?

I liked the scenes with Miles and Hurley because they were "real" a conversation that I would have with someone else trying to figure out the time travel stuff. I do have to say Jack won me back just a little this episode by standing up ( kinda) to Juliet and Kate and not doing something he didn't feel was right. Seriously I was a little happy Jack was willing to let Ben die, but then again as Sawyer says Jack doesn't think things out and the consequences of him not doing the surgery makes Ben who he is it!

I love the stark difference that is presented between Kate and Jack in this episode. He came back purely for selfish reasons, he doesn't really know why, he just wanted to come back. Kate came back to help people. She wants to find Claire and help the child that she's come to love, even if she was just using him.

Also, I agree with Jack being the biggest douchebag to ever be a douchebag. The entire time I was thinking - you can't judge this kid on what he grows up to be. Right now, he's just a kid.

So if you're brought to smokie by Richard, you're healed but "changed forever" or whatever he said, I'm trying to remember what happened when Locke got dragged in to smokie's lair early on in the show, how did he escape or was he let go?I guess you have to be brought there by Richard to avoid being a snack for smokie?
I think the writers are trying very hard to make us hate Jake, it's working, I'd like to smack him myself, but the writers have to be manipulating us for some future plot twist. Great recap as usual.

So if you're brought to smokie by Richard, you're healed but "changed forever" or whatever he said, I'm trying to remember what happened when Locke got dragged in to smokie's lair early on in the show, how did he escape or was he let go?I guess you have to be brought there by Richard to avoid being a snack for smokie?
I think the writers are trying very hard to make us hate Jake, it's working, I'd like to smack him myself, but the writers have to be manipulating us for some future plot twist. Great recap as usual.

I'm waiting for an update on Farraday and Desmond. :(

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