February 11, 2010
LostZone: Season Three Stall Tactics and Claire’s Disappearance Explained!?
It seems the showrunners still have too many hours to burn off before they can
start to answer our biggest questions.
If the Season Six premiere of Lost was reminiscent of Season Four,
with its new form of storytelling and all the wonder it brought to the island,
then the follow-up episode, "What Kate Does," would be a throwback to Seasons
Two and Three. Instead of focusing on the new mysteries (such as the
confirmation that Jacob’s nemesis, who disguised himself as Locke, is also the
smoke monster), this very long hour was dedicated to two storylines that felt
like they were designed to kill time.
Oh no! Jack is being held hostage again!
A Little Ride With Kate
Like all of the castaways, Kate has always come in two flavors:
Fugitive and Island-Dweller. Some might say that Love Triangle Catalyst is a
more appropriate title for her jungle-exploring self, but that’s secondary. This
week, we got to learn about the other Kate, a woman who is still on the run for
killing the rotten bastard she called daddy. In theory, this should have been
very exciting. Her early flashbacks during Season One were filled with suspense
and intrigue that helped develop a character we’d end up watching for the next
six years. They made her likable; she was no saint, but we understood her, and
we wanted to know more.
This year, I feel like I’m at the place we reached during Season
Two for some characters, and Season Three for others – the point at which I stop
wondering about each castaway’s past and begin to only care about the future.
"What Kate Does" revolved around a silly, hard-to-believe story in which Kate
hops into a cab, points a gun to the driver and tells him to speed away.
But wait! He’s got a customer! And look who it is … a
I can support a story that moves in this direction – after all, the
writers really, really want to make it clear that the new off-island scenarios
partially mirror what happened on the island. But I’m having a hard time
believing that, after Claire flees the vehicle, Fugitive Kate would take the
time to return to the scene, pick her up and return her bag just because she
realized the young woman had a bun in the oven. Though it’d be hard to pretend
that Lost has ever been realistic, I find it even less plausible that Kate could
continue to drive around town in a stolen cab without getting caught.
Four years ago, an episode like this might have made sense. Back
then, the producers had no idea when the series was going to end, so they had to
do whatever was necessary to avoid revealing too much too soon – otherwise they
could be in deep trouble if the show lasted longer than they anticipated. But
now, with only a few months until the finale, I’m getting the sense that the
showrunners still have too many hours to burn off before they can start to
answer our biggest questions. Why would that be case, when there are so many
questions left to answer? My long-held assumption has been that the majority of
the show’s key secrets are linked so tightly that when you reveal one of them,
you inadvertently reveal all of them.
So much for ABC’s promo, "The time for questions is over."
At times, the Lost video game made players feel like they were going around in
Sometimes the show creates that same feeling.
Captivity isn’t Captivating
Can I have a get-out-of-jail-free card? Please? "What Kate Does"
has taken us back to the Season Three monotony when Jack, Kate and Sawyer were
held hostage by the Dharma people, and I want to escape. This time, they’re
being held in a temple for their "protection" (presumably from
the-man-who-isn’t-really-Locke). But no matter how the writers try and sugarcoat
the story, it’s still the same time-wasting premise. Outside of the very slow
buildup with Sayid, the mysterious thing he’s infected with, and a pill of
poison (which Jack swallowed, oh my!), the imprisoned scenario did nothing to
advance the story.
Jungle Claire Unveiled
Sayid’s latest torture scenario (hmm, someone’s torturing him
again? I’m stunned) was used to pave the way for Claire’s long-awaited
return on the island. It seems that Sayid is "infected" with something that will
consume his heart. Proof-seeking Jack was as skeptical as ever, so Dogen finally
revealed one of the previous victims: Claire.
This was the only mysterious and intriguing part of the show.
First, what is the infection? Considering Dogen’s response, it’s easy to assume
it’s connected to the smoke monster. You might also start to consider the
circumstances that led to the death of Rousseau’s people – maybe she wasn’t
crazy after all. I always assumed that she thought her people went nuts because
they spoke of seeing the dead, a phenomenon that seems to occur with everyone on
the island except for Rousseau.
Second, how did Claire get infected? She (apparently) walked away
from her baby at the end of Season Four, but would the infection really have the
power to make her do that? Sayid hasn’t shown any symptoms yet, which could mean
that Claire was infected long before her disappearance. But how and when? I’m
betting there’s a very subtle clue in Season Four, and that we’ll be able to
figure out what that clue is as soon as Sayid starts to get sick (if he ever
Third, what does the infection actually do? Up until this week,
Claire was seen with a man that appeared to be her father. But we still don’t
know if it was her father or merely a manipulation by the smoke monster or some
other powerful being. Either way, Claire looked a bit weird – she had a strange
look on her face, as if she was in a peaceful daze. If that odd image was Claire
(and not merely an illusion), it makes me wonder if the infection is less of a
virus and more of a mechanism that allows New Locke to control/influence her.
That would explain why she disappeared and why Dogen and his people
are so terrified of Sayid’s infection.
the new Lost timeline, this lovely hatch was never built.
Other Stories to Come
Considering the direction of “What Kate Does,” many Lost fans are
probably fearing what they’ll get from the next set of Flash Sideways (the term
the show’s producers use to describe the new off-island scenarios). Frankly, I
am too, but remain hopeful that this episode was an unfortunate freak accident.
In the back of my mind, I see a spectacular scenario in which the off-island
Sawyer encounters Juliet and the on-island Sawyer finds out and goes crazy
because he, the one with all those memories, cannot be with her. Let’s dissect
that thought – and hopefully a much better episode – in GameZone’s next edition
LostZone – Previous Installments
February 4, 2010:
Thoughts and Theories From the Mind-Blowing Season Six Premiere
February 1, 2010:
Are Lost and Final Fantasy VII Unofficially Connected?
LostZone is a new, ongoing feature on GameZone aimed at discussing the show’s
most breathtaking moments (and, if necessary, its most depressing bombs) while
dissecting its most intriguing mysteries. Stay tuned for new installments.