Ending the controversial six-episode arc of Season 3’s Fall with a Kate flashback might not have been the sanest thing the producers of Lost ever did. People were already fed up by the slow pace, the complete dominance of the Others, and the surfeit of screen time for two bozos we’d never seen before. But now? This is just the episode after Eko dies and the one before Juliet’s ex gets pancaked by a bus. As such, it goes down much smoother. DVD is like a spoonful of sugar that way, people. It helps both the btwrth and the Kate flashbacks goes down much easier.
4) In Short
"Should I tell her there are cameras everywhere, or will that break the mood?"
8) On the Island
Kate is awoken to the sound of Sawyer idly setting off the trap inside his bear cage. Tension abounds between them.
Down in the Hydra, Jack is examining the x-rays and blood work done by Juliet on Ben. He tells Ben in less than one week, the tumor will be inoperable. "You need to be in surgery yesterday," he says. Ben agrees to immediate surgery; Jack laughs. He doesn’t plan on doing the surgery: he just wants Ben to know how he’s going to die. When Juliet tries to step in, Jack barks at her. Well, not literally, but you get the gist. Ben stares bug-eyed at Jack as we head into the opening credits.
Pickett comes to gather Kate for work. Sawyer’s supposed to get the day off, but Kate insists they are a team. Pickett relents and takes them both to the quarry. While working, the loudspeakers tell of a "compound breach." While Pickett tries to ascertain the threat over his walkie-talkie, in runs Alex, slingshotting her way to FREEDOM. Or, at least to Pickett. She wants to know where Karl is, but before she can learn, an Other hauls her off. While being led away, Alex tells Kate not to believe any of them, and that they will kill Sawyer just as they’ve killed her boy toy.
In the jungle, Locke removes Eko’s cross from his body. He suggests that they bury Eko there, not back at the beach. When he tells the group he’s going back alone for shovels, Sayid forcefully invites himself along to discuss what really killed Eko. Sayid is skeptical about the existence of Locke’s "monster," and notes that Locke doesn’t seem to be heading back to camp at all. Locke states that he needs to make a small detour first.
Kate watches Juliet talking to Pickett a bit later. We hear muffled lines from them: something about Pickett saying, "It was only supposed to be two weeks," in reference to Ben’s promise to Kate back at the season’s start. Juliet asks Kate to put a hood over her head; if she doesn’t, Pickett will kill Sawyer. So, hood it is then!
Juliet leads Kate into Jack’s cell in the Hydra. It’s the first time these two have laid eyes on each other all season. Just an inch of glass separates them, and yet they are essentially worlds apart. Juliet leaves them to give the two "privacy," ironic, given all the cameras. They exchange what amounts to small talk, given the circumstances. Kate only starts to break down when Jack asks if they "hurt" her; she tearfully tells Jack he has to do the surgery. He angrily asks what they’ve done to her, but stops cold when she mentions the threat to Sawyer. "We’re done in here!" he shouts to the camera. In the surveillance room, Ben angrily mutters, "Get her out of there," apparently stunned that didn’t work.
Kate returns to her cage to find Sawyer missing. She fears the worst, but Sawyer soon gets led back to his cage by Pickett. Pickett gives him a little love tap to the back of Sawyer’s neck with this butt of his gun. He’s a people person, that Danny. He tells Sawyer if he’s got any last words for Kate, he best say ’em that night.
Locke leads the eulogy for Eko. Apparently that "detour" involved finding Eko’s Jesus stick. He says that he knows Eko died for a reason; he just hopes to learn soon what that reason is. As he kneels down to drive the stick into the ground as a headstone, a certain bit of Scripture upon it catches Locke’s eye: "Lift up your eyes and look north."
Kate fills Sawyer in on Ben’s plan for them all. Sawyer yells at her for telling Jack to perform the surgery, saying his life isn’t worth saving. This sets Kate off; she climbs out of her cage, unlocks Sawyer’s door, and orders him to run. Sawyer finally confesses to Kate the truth of their situation: being on a second Island, having nowhere to run to, all that fun stuff. He tells her he kept the truth from her so she’s had some hope in her life. Apparently that’s a soft spot for Kate, and the two do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.
That night, Sawyer once again revisits the moment in which Kate said she loved him in order to stop Pickett’s beating of him. She neither confirms nor denies meaning it, but kisses him instead. "I love you, too," replies Sawyer, reading the situation generously at best.
Inside the Hydra, the communications device starts to sputter and cough. A female voice that sounds an awful lot like Alex says, "Try it. The door." Jack manages to leave the room, and soon comes across the surveillance room, which also doubles as an armory. He loads up on weapons, but stops cold when he spies Sawyer spooning with Kate in the bear cage. Up behind him sneaks Ben, who confesses his own surprise at Kate’s choice of man. Jack surprises Ben by agreeing to do the surgery tomorrow morning. And in return, Jack wants one thing: to get the hell of the Island. Ben agrees.
The following morning, Jack and Juliet prep for surgery. He firmly tells her to follow his lead inside. Ben is still awake on the table, lying face down. He notes that everything will be quite different afterwards. No diggity, no doubt, sayeth Jack. Ben counts backwards from twenty, but barely makes it to eighteen before succumbing to the sedative. Once under, Jack makes an incision, and Pickett makes for Sawyer. He’s incensed that Ben put his life in the hands of someone who wasn’t even on Jacob’s list. Jacob? Who’s Jacob? Wonder if he’ll be important.
Pickett enters the cage in the pouring rain just as Jack makes an incision in Ben’s kidney sac. He’s picked neither Ben’s plan nor Juliet’s plan, but his own: Ben has one hour to live, and in that time, he wants Kate and Sawyer to be released. He demands to talk to Kate on the walkie-talkie. Just before Pickett shoots Sawyer execution-style, Tom calls to him over the walkie. Jack asks Kate if he remembers the story he told her on the first day on the Island. She does. He orders her to retell that tale when she’s safe. in the meantime, "Kate, damnit, RUN!"
15) Off the Island
A woman walks down the hall of a hotel lobby: it’s Kate, who puts a shopping bag on her bed. Inside? A wedding dress. As she opens the case, an officer outside her room announces he’s going to break down her door if she doesn’t let him in. Upon opening the door, we realize this is her husband to be. It’s Captain Malcolm Reynolds himself, fresh from helming Serenity. But since this is Lost, not Firefly, I’ll just call him Officer Mal and move on.
Kate and Kevin make small talk after…um, after smoochies. Horizontal naked smoochies. They discuss their impending nuptials, and during this conversation, we learn he knows her as "Monica." Oh, Officer Mal, so no one told you life was going to be this way. Clap clap clap clap.
Kate stares at herself in the mirror, looking every inch the nervous bride to be. Kevin’s mother Suzanne comes in. She has a present for Kate: a locket passed down from Suzanne’s mother. Looks like Kevin’s the first of four boys to get married, so Kate gets the heirloom. The priest that marries them breaks the land speed record for making ironic comments about the bride, then marries the pair. Officer Mal looks delighted, as does "Monica."
Hey look, it’s the Stepford Kate, buying groceries in the local store for Taco Night. She runs outside in the pouring rain to a pay phone, where she calls a familiar US Marshall. She doesn’t want to run anymore, she says, and Edward Mars quickly deduces she’s met a man. He tells her he’ll stop chasing if she can truly settle down. However, he says they both know that won’t happen. Kate’s timer goes off, and she hangs up before the call can be traced.
Over breakfast, Kevin surprises Kate with two tickets to Costa Rica. He’s surprised to see a hint of sadness come across her eyes, and hugs her tight. Looks like Mars was right about her inability to stay in one place. Too bad for Kate, who’s now taking pregnancy tests (referenced in Season 2 during a conversation with Sun) and crying about her lot in life.
Soon after, she makes Kevin an ice tea with an extra ingredient: sleeping drugs. Knowing he’s going under, Kate confesses everything about herself to Kevin, telling him that while she loves him, she cannot stay. As he passes out, she hands back his mother’s locket into his now unconscious hands. Oh, poor Officer Mal.
16) The Mythology
This episode is plot-heavy, not mythology-heavy, although we do get our first mention of Jacob. And boy, did that give people something to talk about in the months between this and "Not in Portland."
I kind of feel like I talk about Jacob all the time here on the blog, so I don’t want to use this section to try and cover everything about possibly the most enigmatic figure in the Lost universe. But as more and more characters talk about him in the upcoming episodes, I’ll try to impart as much Jacob-centric wisdom as I can as it relates to that particular ep.
23) The Moment
Not like it wasn’t freaky before, but 50” plasma + Blu-Ray edition of Lost Season 3 + extreme close-up of Ben’s spectacled mug as he watches Jack dismiss Kate from his cell = FREAKY.
42) In Retrospect
- The odd calm that Ben exhibits from going under the knife looks now as befitting a man who thinks he’s newly in the Island’s favor. Since we now know that the Island can give health (and life) as much as taketh away, Ben potentially now sees all that that he’s done since the Lostaways crashed as justified, given that it’s produced the end result he desires. What could go wrong now? Oh Ben of misplaced faith.
- Mikhail tells Kate in "Par Avion" that he was not on Jacob’s list due to being "flawed." So, apparently it’s OK to put those not on the list on quarry duty, just not OK to have them perform complex medical procedures. Glad we cleared that up.
- I still think that voice on the communications device sounds like Alex, but given Ben’s seeming engineering of Jack’s "escape" I can’t see how that’s right. But any and all theories you have are welcome as to the identity of the voice.
108) In Summary
Seen as a piece of the early part of Season 3, and not as a mini-cliffhanger, this episode holds together quite well. Everything Hydra-centric comes together in a satisfying way. When first running through Season 3, I thought perhaps the Others wanted Kate and Sawyer to conceive a child in lieu of their own shortcomings in that department. But it’s clear now any and all physical interaction between them were in service of tuning Jack into the correct frame of mind to save Ben’s life.
Everything off-Island is pretty damn weak, even for a Kate flashback. And that’s saying something. But Ben’s right: everything does change after this episode, as everyone’s Hydra nightmare is almost over, we get a few completely kick-ass episodes lined up, and things start moving nicely towards the season game changer absolutely no one saw coming.
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