OCTOBER 2, 2010
AIRDATE: JANUARY 5, 2005
According to the invaluable Lostpedia, "Whatever The Case May Be" was the highest rated episode of Lost's first season (which means, given the show's decline in ratings as it went on, would also make it one of the highest rated episodes period), which is kind of ironic, since it's a Kate episode, which a lot of fans tended to dislike, and it's also not a very good episode.
And by that I mean it's an episode that follows the pattern of (too many) later season episodes, with a lot of treading water. Last week's episode introduced the hatch, but we only get one scene about it this week, with Boone bringing Locke an ax to help open it - and that's it, we don't see them actually USE it. Meanwhile, Kate wants to get a locked briefcase that's in Sawyer's possession, but won't say why. And when we find out, it means nothing to us (and it won't until near the end of the season), though it does have a few handguns that will be very useful over the course of the show. And then Sayid and Shannon translate the papers he stole from Rousseau, but they turn out to just be some lyrics from "La Mer", i.e. worthless (though we get a nice little Finding Nemo reference, so there's something).
The most significant thing in the episode is probably the creation of a new camp further up the beach, which I think will be the location for camp for the rest of the show. It's interesting to see everyone settling into their lives on the island, picking out good spots to set up their new homes rather than just toss something up for hopefully temporary shelter. According to Lostpedia, the episode takes place on Day 21, so it's been 3 weeks - not an unreasonable reaction. I probably would have built a hut (or at least asked someone who knew how to make one to do it for me) after like, 3 days tops.
Hell the episode doesn't even really bring up any new mysteries (save the toy airplane), even unsolved ones. The closest we get to one is how the Marshal's briefcase, which we learn was checked, ended up underneath the seat of a passenger who presumably was in the main cabin. But that's the sort of thing that's more of a plot contrivance than a mystery, I think. I am also curious about Boone's claim that the other folks see him and Shannon as jokes. I would like to know where that came from. Like, with all the shit going on and 46 people around, who was like "You know sucks? Boone. Guy's worthless!"? Then again I'm also baffled why out of 46 people, there's at least 20 or so men around, yet none of them hit on Shannon, who is hot as hell and just sitting by herself sunbathing most of the time. Kate makes sense - she's always off doing stuff and/or palling around with the two alpha males; you'd have to be a moron to try to hit that. But why is Sayid seemingly the first guy to even talk to her since Charlie in the first couple episodes?
Speaking of Kate, she looked good in her flashbacks. It was the first time we saw her sort of made to look pretty, and further cemented my crush on her. But I was disappointed, as I'm sure many were, that the episode didn't reveal anything about why she was on the run, and instead just introduced a new mystery. It also doesn't fit very well into her entire backstory - once we have all of the information, we know that the "bank robbery" would have occurred after she was already on the run for killing her dad - is this really the sort of crap she should have been focusing on? And if it was indeed that important, wouldn't Edward have known that and thus had someone watching the place? Just doesn't quite gel for me.
I'd like to point out that we're now halfway through the first season, and things will start getting more mythology-heavy. We will also soon be losing the survival aspects of the show, as they will open the hatch 12 episodes from now and never again have to worry about food, shelter, supplies, or anything else one might have to worry about on a deserted island. In retrospect I wish they had stretched this part of the show longer, but alas. Makes me appreciate these pre-hatch episodes all the more I guess.
Where are we?