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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