Lost – ‘What Happened, Happened’ – 5.11

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Oh how I wish my Lost recap had landed on April 1st. I would have treated you all to an in-depth dissertation of Sin City – that made for Skinemax soft-core smut that I’ve stumbled upon once or twice or repeatedly. So many mysteries to ponder in that one. Alas, we had to settle for me pimping the site out for one day only and judging by the hits, it appears some of my long-time readers are looking to spice up their lives. Shhhh, I won’t tell if you don’t.

Anyway, that’s over now as we turn the page into April, knowing we are a scant 6 weeks away from the end of this show. And then I can rest my weary fingers for another year. Hopefully in the 9 months that elapse between the end of Season 5 and the beginning of Season 6, you’ll forget all about the fact that I seem to posit one theory a week that gets immediately rejected by the show the following week. The amazing thing is that you guys tune in here week after week under the assumption that I know what I’m talking about. Take it from me, if you use that proverbial notion of 100 monkeys typing at 100 typewriters for 100 years, you might get Romeo & Juliet – well, I’m the 101st chimp looking for the ANY key.

All right – Let’s get Lost.

1.   While there were a few scenes that really hooked me this week, I have to confess, I’ve never been a Kate fan. I find her episodes to be the weakest in the series with the same tired notes being played over and over. We get it!!! Kate’s damaged goods with Daddy issues who’s always latching onto the wrong fella and usually heads for the hills the moment the going gets good. Over and over we get this and frankly, I don’t care. Whenever a Kate flashback episode would appear in the early seasons, my mind would just check out. This one held my interest a little more, as we got the on-island drama focused on Yong Ben’s fate but the cutaways to Kate’s pre-flight routine just bored me silly. Regardless, I’ll try my best to hit the main beats below. If any of you are Evangaline Lilly fans (even aficionados of those old L.A.-based phone sex ads that first got her noticed), I apologize. I just don’t see the attraction. Give me Juliet, Penny or hell, that swarthy LaFleur any day of the week.

2.   I’m gonna’ get all the Kate blah-blah-blah out of the way first so I can focus on the nuggets that did intrigue me. First up, we’ve learned the mystery of what happened to Aaron and in typical Kate Austin style, the big reveal was a letdown in comparison to the build up. Aaron being sent to live with his Aussie Granny is on the level of the airplane in the safe deposit box. If they wanted to blow my mind, they should have had Kate putting Aaron in that safety deposit box and then giving the airplane to Claire’s Mum. All that intrigue for nothing. She didn’t lose him to supernatural forces. Aaron wasn’t hijacked by Ben and company and sent to the same mysterious psychic phenomena lab that they sequestered Walt in. Nope – he’s safe and sound, half way across the globe marveling at the fact that water spirals counter-clockwise down a drain. So, all that “Promise me you’ll never ask me where he is again” pillow talk that she laid on a horny Jack was just more Kate Austin melodrama. I know, I’m coming across as atypically downbeat but she is the one character that has always grated on my nerves so I can’t stand it when we waste the better part of an hour on her. It’s like being force fed a marathon of Lifetime woman empowerment movies and if I never have to see Meredith Baxter Birney or Another Woman’s Husband again, it will be too soon.

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3.    The other “compelling” mystery involved the secret request that Sawyer whispered in Jack’s ear. It turns out, Sawyer just wanted Kate to check in on his darling Clementine.

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4.   I will say that the sequence in the supermarket was haunting. For one – with it’s garish lighting, that supermarket set looked eerie which added to the urgency when young Aaron disappeared. And then we got Claire’s middle aged doppelganger, who for a good Samaritan seemed to be beating a fast retreat to the front door. It was a well executed, creepy scene that certainly played on my fears as a parent.

5.   And it underscored Kate’s epiphany. That she’s not ready to anchor herself to anyone. At least she’s come to realize that none of these hooks ever take. Her “flight risk” is her own personal demon to tame and she realized that neither through Jack, Sawyer, Aaron or her former cop husband – there’s just no rehabilitating her. That calls to mind that wild stallion that Kate encountered on the island back in Season 2.

6.   And this personal revelation awakens a mission in Kate – to return to the island and find Aaron’s mother which was the one plot point that did resonate with me as that is one loose thread I am very interested in following. Where has Claire gone? Again, my assumption has always been that she’s dead – what with her kinship to Zombie Christian and all. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

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7.   I loved those debates between Miles and Hurley on the nature of time travel – specifically what they can and cannot change. Miles did a great job articulating the flow of time,  which matches what we’ve talked about in these recaps. At the same time, he did find himself perplexed as to why Ben wouldn’t remember Sayid later in life. Now, I still hold to the theory that he wouldn’t remember that because it hadn’t happened yet but this episode seemed to dictate that he should remember it. Of course, by the episode’s end, we got a pretty clear definition of why Ben Linus would not recall the incident.

8.   The thing is, I think that logic applies to Ben specifically and not anyone else. In other words, those who are time traveling are currently doing these things for the first time so they would have no prior knowledge of the things they are doing. They – uniquely – have taken that off ramp from the standard time line and are now interacting with the past. But, this episode seemed to argue that the people they encounter in the past may have some knowledge of things that occurred when they encountered them presuming they ran into them later in life (i.e. Danielle).

9.   So, for Ben, his memory is wiped (more in a moment) but that still opens up the question of why Danielle would not recall having met Jin. Previously, I held to the theory that she wouldn’t recall meeting Jin because it hadn’t happened until Jin went back in time. And with her dead, she would not have that new memory. Last night’s episode seemed to indicate that she should know. If that’s the case, then I chalk it up to 16 years spent isolated and driven insane. At no point were they really dealing with a rationale person so that neatly explains that piece.

10.   Miles confusion neatly summed it up. Time travel is tricky and just when you think you have it figured out, you end up confusing yourself. I think that was a nice tongue-in-cheek scene to basically tell Lost-obsessives to just chill out and stop working over every little detail hoping to find a time ending paradox. This is entertainment, after all. It’s not like our existence depends on a perfectly defined space-time continuum. So, they are basically saying – whatever happened, happened. Just go with it. And I’m fine with that. In fact, I usually take time travel stories on a surface level. I like seeing people pop back to an earlier time line, make a few anachronistic jokes, try to kill the potential leader of the Future War against the Machines and then make it back in time to rock the mike at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. So, I’ll go with the flow.

11.   By the way, if Oldham is their Sayid, I think Miles is the new Sawyer. I love this dude’s acerbic tone. Granted, he’s got a way to go to match the master. Where he tosses a “Tubby” at Hurley, Sawyer would have jabbed with “Jabba”.

12.   The early Jack scene was surprising. I knew he wouldn’t assist with the surgery but I was a bit surprised in his reasoning. Rather than blowing his cover, Jack fibs a bit and tells Kate that he won’t help save young Ben’s life because he doesn’t completely agree that he should. Later he drops his armor a bit and let’s Juliet know that he came back to the island because he thinks there is a purpose for him there. In a line that neatly echoes Locke’s (The Man of Faith) continued proclamation – he feels he is meant to do something – he just doesn’t know what. That represents a major shift in his original goals, where he now seems to believe that the island is an entity of some sort and he has blind faith in it.

13.   I was also very pleased with Sawyer’s statement to Kate – “I did it for her” – meaning Juliet. That statement helpfully erased any worries that Sawyer was going to drop his sweet life for another chance at Freckles but it appears that LaFleur has grown up a bit in the 3 years that he’s been stranded there.

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14.   The end sequence was the best – with young Harry Potter being delivered to the Muggles (errr Others) for safe keeping. Juliet’s earlier worry foreshadowed this event – as if she knew there would be a terrible price to pay in entrusting Ben with The Others. Richard underscored that by telling them “He’ll lose his innocence. He’ll never remember any of this. He’ll be one of us.” And in that moment, Sawyer and Kate realize that they helped birth the monster.

15.   As a quick aside, one of the Others mentioned Charles and Ellie to which Richard angrily dismissed – “I don’t answer to them”. Of course not. It’s Jacob that calls the shots. This makes me think that the majority of The Others are not derived from the same cloth as Richard – which goes back to our theories that Richard is a primal, indigenous inhabitant of this island.

That’s enough for now and with that episode, we get the obligatory Kate story out of the way. Whew. Let me know what you guys have.

See you next week for Episode 5.12 – ‘Dead is Dead’.

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Comments now closed (16)

  • As I read the recap, I realized just how much of last night’s episode I had missed…we watched it an hour late, I was exhausted from working the phones all day with 6 siblings and a Dad being medflighted to ICU in FLA, I am in my 7th week of losing a battle to a massive sinus infection, but I still thought I had enough in me to watch the show. Not a chance, gotta see it again…I will say that I agree 1000% about Kate, never liked her, the little sidelong glances are just annoying, and keeping Aaron was just wrong-even if she is realizing it now. I saw bits of it, but not the Hurley-Miles exchange which I MUST see. I always thought Kate turned Aaron over to his Nana once she figured out where she was, so no surprise there. And I did see Locke greet Ben, which was priceless.

    I did stay up for the end of Life on Mars,a show Ron and I both loved. Anyone else out there?

  • Even though I do love me some Kate, I have to agree that there were some slow-ish parts here, but overall I thought it was a good story. The supermarket was the best for all the reasons you pointed out, especially the Claire thing. I thought the meeting with the Grandma was good too as were the Cassidy chats. Actually, I guess it was her on-island stuff that dragged for me.

    Thought the stuff with Cassidy was kinda lame, but didn’t we expect this all along to be Sawyer’s request of Kate? I actually thought Kate was going to leave Aaron with her instead of the grandmother for a little bit there.

    The Hurley and Miles conversations were excellent, but I don’t think they change anything we already believed/established. Ben doesn’t remember Sayid shooting him because that memory hasn’t bubbled into his brain yet like Desmond’s later sudden remembrance of Daniel’s request to find his mother. I think we’ll see next week that Ben remembers it now and I don’t think whatever Richard does with him causes a blank slate, but maybe it will. The expression on Locke’s face once he welcomed Ben back to consciousness was super excellent. His 30 seconds of time were possibly the best of any character in the episode. Anyway, same thing with Danielle never knowing Jin before she bought the farm; she was dead by the time it happened so no way for it to bubble to the *future*.

    Finally, I agree with you on LaFleur telling Kate in no uncertain terms he was saving Ben for Juliet and not her. Like he later said to her, he’s grown up in three years and also moved on.

    @Aunt Sharon: I started watching Life on Mars when it started the season. Got like four or five in and figured it was going to get canceled. I caught half of last week’s and all of last night’s. I liked the ending and the show was good. Too bad it found the fate I thought it would.

  • I agree with the supermarket sequence, well done, and I echo the sentiment as a parent. And I was think the same thing with the scenes with Miles and Hurley, probably just there telling the Lost-obsessives to take it easy. Now, seriously, did everyone notice last week and in the scenes how Sayid clearly shot Ben in the heart and then it was in a totally different side later. No biggie but even Sean last week noticed how it was pretty clear he could and should be dead. I’m not too cool on the whole Ben going to the others thing and those comments of innocence lost? I don’t know, this kind of changes the dynamics for me. There seems to be a touch of evil there and although I’m not saying Richard is Godly, I did see some benevolence in him. I always love the way everything turns out but I’m hesitant on this. Anyway, we had a scene of them entering the Temple, that was cool. And that final scene with Ben waking up and seeing Locke? Priceless.
    @Aunt Sharon, yes, did see Life on Mars. Interesting ending. I liked it. Do you think that always going to be the ending or written in due to cancellation? Hope you dad is ok and your sinus infection clears up.

  • And definitely agree on Sawyer telling Kate saving Ben was for Juliet, excellent. Sawyer has been awesome, and has moved onm like you all said. Kate’s gorgeous but blah, agreed, Juliet’s sexier, hot all around and Penny is just darn sweet.

  • Just watched it again (Andi got in late last night and hit the hay immediately so I just watched it with her). Anyway, it played better for me on second viewing. I’m bumping this up to a 4 rating. Still not the greatest Kate fan but I found a number of scenes really well done – including the little quiet chat between Kate and Roger Linus.

  • @Carlos – I think it’s a bit inconclusive where Ben was shot. My take (after seeing it twice) is that when Jin turns him over, the blood has spread in that direction – but we never actually see where the wound is.

  • @Carlos – I completely agree with your take on Richard. I think there is benevolence there. In fact, I think Richard’s later attitude towards adult Ben is indicative of that – almost as if The Others got more than they bargained for in bring him into their fold. Richard has never seemed evil to me (although he has his rules) while Ben certainly has – and later in life, its no secret that who they really want leading them is Locke.

  • BTW – Next week’s episode looks great and from the looks of things, we go inside the temple and it appears Smokey shows up (my guess – Ben goes into the temple and then is chased out by the ‘entity’ he once had control over).

  • @ Carlos We never missed any of the 13 episodes, but I do know that it was canceled before the final one was shot. I would have bet my widescreen that they were going to go with the classic wake-up-in-the-hospital scenario, so we LOVED the ending! I just laughed through the whole thing, especially catching all of the little hints in it.I thought it was tremendously creative and allowed a satisfying ending to the story. The writers were actually pretty inventive through the whole thing, but maybe only people who perhaps graduated from high school in 1973 ( like me!) really enjoyed it for reasons other than the story. God knows I didn’t have to work as hard as I do for that other time travel TV show!

    On a side note- yesterday one side of my nose started bleeding with this infection, and Jessi looked at me and said ” Oh my God, Mom, you’re an Other”

  • It was canceled and they were given the opportunity to film a series finale. That’s what I read somewhere anyway, so this was probably what they planned. I’m not sure if it was the same ending as the British original series though. I know someone that watched that one and said it was a good ending as well, so I am thinking maybe it was the same. It definitely seemed to tie everything together for the end with all the references related to something in 2035 and of course it provided the real meaning behind the show’s title, although NYC ’73 is certainly pretty alien to anyone from our time. 🙂

  • Based on the description in my Media Center guide for next week’s episode and from the trailer at the end of last night’s, it would appear that Ben is seeking out smokey to be judged. I am guessing this is a Mr.-Eko-moment-type-thing.

  • @Aunt Sharon – So instead of getting you immediate medical attention, she just made a glib pop-cultural riff. Kids these days!!!

  • Oh – and technically you’re not an Other. But you are likely traveling through time. What’s the world like in 5 years? Oh please tell me I’m not bald.

  • @Ed- Even if you are, you have tried on a variety of long-haired looks on the pages of late,enough so that I am beginning to question your motives… I suggest you run a contest and decide on your Look for the future!

  • Ed, the only comment I have is that if the theory of not changing the future is true and young Ben was not handed over to the Others orginally why did he turn out the way he did without being healed or whatever Richard will do for him. He was obvisously unhappy and wanted to be an other from his first meeting with Richard. I assume Richard knew at that time that Ben had potential to be an Other, and maybe a leader, as he told he would need to be patient. Then we see Ben as an adult co-ordinating with the Others the killing of the Dharma folks. So I assume between then he had met with Richard many times up until that time. So would Ben end up the same either way? Not sure. He certainly was not paitent as he went right for Sayid and sprung him as a means to get to the others. Plus I can’t wait to see how Sawyer explains to Roger Linus and Horace for that matter why he turned Ben over to the Others.

    I never minded Kate the way that you do. She is strange as she can be very strong at times and then wishy/washy at other times. I admire her reason for coming back to the Island though and her realization that she took Aaron more for her than for him. They could have made up a story that Clarie has survived and delieverd the baby so he could live with family. I thought Jack’s Locke like revlation more telling.

    BTW, I can’t wait to see Hurley’s episode to see how he came about to be at the airport. We know he was in jail and Ben worked to get him released, but how did he know about what plane to get on. It wasn’t Ben becuase he freaked out when he saw Ben on the plane. Plus did he bring the guitar for Charlie? I know you will LOVE it if the Hobbit make another return to the show.

    I agree I think next week’s episode looks great. I think Sawyer and Ben’s characters have really taken control of the show.