JANUARY 21, 2011
AIRED: FEBRUARY 9, 2010
While it still has too much Lennon and Dogen for my tastes (ANY Lennon and Dogen is too much for my tastes, admittedly), "What Kate Does" is an improvement over the 2nd half of "LAX", proving once again that the show works better when focusing on a character on and off the island and working in the other folks as necessary. And, as anyone who has read this site for the whole run knows by now, focusing on Kate is always a good thing for me (she also ties Jack's record for centric episodes with this one, by my count).
When I started I said I would try to look at her role more objectively, to see if I could agree with the many folks who hated her - and I still don't get it. I fail to see how she's somehow an "annoying" character; she's tough, her "gray area" that a lot of the characters possess is fairly compelling, and she's one of the few who can be counted on to protect her fellow castaways, even the ones she's not particularly close to. Hell she even helped rescue BEN in Season 4 - that's a heroic act! And she gets a great "Flash Sideways" story here, realizing that Claire was pregnant and risking getting caught by going back to the airport area to help her. Yeah, what a jerk. Her breakdown after realizing Sawyer's misery is partly her fault is also quite moving, and Ms. Lilly really makes you feel the weight of everything that's happened to her over the past few years.
The episode also opens up more of the mystery of the sideways world, when Ethan appears at Claire's hospital. The hardest thing for me to wrap my head around was that everything from 1977 on would have been different, not just from the moment that their plane would have crashed, so at first (ironically) I was thinking "Well this can't be real, he should be on the island!". Now, knowing that it WASN'T real, I realized my error - if the bomb went off in 1977, his parents would have escaped, returned to the mainland, and had him there. Ditto for Desmond being on the plane - it's perfectly logical (in a Lost sort of way) that he could have been on a trip, as there would be no island for him to be stuck on.
However, on the other hand, Ethan's presence (as well as Keamy and other folks who'd appear along the way) just confuses me - is the entire world in this waiting area? Where do they go? I think we should have gotten a glimpse of "Lost Hell". Plus, maybe I'm wrong, but wasn't Michael not allowed in the flash-world because of his Island crimes? Wouldn't Ethan be under the same restriction? He killed one of the random castaways, beat the piss out of Jack, nearly killed Charlie... Just seems inconsistent to me.
I didn't mention the "Sayid dies" story yesterday, because here is where it got really annoying so I figured I'd save it. Part of why I hate the Lennon and Dogen characters is because all they do is create more questions (that are never answered) when we should be getting answers to the existing ones, and this is a perfectly good example. What do they mean by "infected" or "claimed"? Why poison him - if they wanted him dead they can just shoot him or Dogen could use some of his badass martial arts skills. HOW did he become infected? What the hell is up with the water turning color? WHO THE FUCK ARE THESE TWO ASSCLOWNS? Etc. And it just continues the complete destruction of Sayid's character - he gets to redeem himself a bit when they're on the sub later in the season, but "Evil Sayid" is easily one of the dumbest decisions they made this season (and there are plenty of them).
To be fair, there is one scene with Dogen that I like, when him and Jack talk (in English). There's nothing particularly exciting about it, but I like seeing Jack talk calmly to someone he is at odds with, instead of just mocking him the entire time like he did with Locke pretty much every time they met over the past 3 seasons. And Dogen's explanation of why he doesn't speak English was pretty good, especially since he's saying it to Jack, a guy who knows from saying shit no one wants to hear.
Oh, and Claire returns, saving Jin by shooting that asshole Other who made me long for the old Jin, who would have beat the guy senseless after two seconds of his bitching. Kate casually drinking water while he explained why he hated her so much (and then hitting him again) was hilarious though, so I guess that's better than a Jin beatdown. Still, Daniel Dae Kim hasn't gotten any good action in a while, and he hasn't had sex for at least three years - gotta be a lot of pent up aggression there (Jin, I mean, not Mr. Kim). Speaking of which, another thing about the three years they spent in Dharma-ville - what did Jin do all that time? Did he just give up trying to get back together with Sun? She thought he was dead, so she had an excuse, but he knew she was OK. Kind of lazy.
Tomorrow - the return of Helen! All hail the hiatus from Sons of Anarchy!
Where are we?