Television: "LOST" Season Six, Episode Two: "What Kate Does" Review

2/10/2010 Posted by Admin

Television Review

"LOST" Season Six, Episode Two: "What Kate Does"

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

The new season of "Lost" is in full swing now, with the second episode "What Kate Does" (a cute allusion to the season two episode "What Kate Did") giving us a greater glimpse at the purposes of both the on-island and flash-sideways stories.

Spoilers herein.

The episode starts right where we left off in "LA X." Despite the Temple leader Dogen and his translator Lennon claiming Sayid was dead, he seems to have awoken, alive and well. Dogen and Lennon don't seem too pleased about this. Jack and company question our good old Iraqi torturer a bit, but it's not long before Dogen decides he needs to make some inquiries of his own. But as some hubbub breaks out over whether Sayid will speak with the Other alone, Sawyer grabs a gun and makes a break for it. Lennon claims the problem is that Sawyer desperately needs to stay in the Temple if he wants to survive. Not a problem--Kate offers to go get him.

As you may have assumed based on the title, this is a return to the single-character centricity of seasons past. This one's all about Kate. If you're an experienced "Lost" fan, you know that tends to spell trouble. That's thankfully not the case here--this is definitely one of the best Kate-centric episodes of the series.

As Kate goes off to get Sawyer, the flash-sideways give us the immediate follow-up to her escape from police custody in the previous episode. She steals a cab and tosses a very pregnant Claire out of it. The last time we saw Claire was near the end of season four, and she gets a lot of pleasant screentime here. Generally, the flash-sideways serve as a sort of twisted retelling of the episode in which Claire gave birth in season one. We also get a vague idea of how these flash-sideways relate to the other timeline. Like in season one, Claire has to give birth and Kate is with her. Out of nowhere, Claire says the baby's name is Aaron, but she doesn't know why. It just sounded right to her. Is there a connection to the other timeline? Is it simply fate that Kate be present and the baby be named Aaron, whether the passengers of Flight 615 crash on the island or not?

In the regular timeline, Jack is struggling with Dogen on what to do with Sayid. Dogen claims Sayid is no longer himself--that he has a sickness. One can immediately assume this sickness is the same thing that afflicted the French team and caused Rousseau to kill them all. But what exactly does this sickness (or as Dogen comes to call it, darkness) do? We know for sure that it's not something Dogen wants to happen. And he tells Jack it's happened to someone else he knows as well, who we see in a totally awesome twist at the end.

As far as Kate-centric episodes go, this is easily one of the best, perhaps just below last season's "Whatever Happened, Happened" and season one's "Tabula Rasa." Episodes about the former fugitive tend to get really swamped in melodrama and excessive attention to the dreaded "love quadrangle," but it seems that now that "Lost" is in its final stages, showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse know what's important--the immediate story, the characters, the mythology, etc., not a romance that simply has no place in such a trying situation. We do, however, get an extremely heartfelt and brilliantly acted moment between Kate and Sawyer where the con man admits that perhaps he's destined to be alone. It's one of Josh Holloway's best moments, and considering how great he's portrayed his character throughout the series (especially in the last season), that's saying a lot.

But it's not all depressing and cryptic. Just as in last week, the creators give the fans some really great throwbacks to previous seasons. Rob MacElhenney, co-creator and co-star of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," makes a humorous and charming return as Aldo, the Other that appeared for a few moments in season three. He has a much larger role in this episode, and it's a great nod to the fans of both "Lost" and "Sunny." Also re-appearing is Ethan, the Other from season one who originally kidnapped Claire. In the alternate timeline, he's off the island and still a doctor, but this time he seems completely innocent, and he helps Claire when she thinks the baby's coming. This is both a charming look back at an old character and a glimpse at the connections the alternate timeline still seems to have to the other--even if 815 doesn't crash, Ethan still has a connection to Claire and her baby.

What's most important about this episode, though, is what it means for all the characters. It's called "What Kate Does," and the title is very appropriate. Kate always has had to run, had to help--it's what she does and no matter what happens or what timeline she's in, it's simply in her personality to do so. In one timeline, she's striving to find Claire, to make things right, and in the other, she's helping Claire, even sacrificing her potential escape from authorities to do so. No matter how much of a criminal she appears to be, there's a heart to her character that simply is unmatched. Conveying this theme is one of the most effective writing jobs a Kate-centric episode ever has received.

Two episodes in and we've got a solid opening to the final season. We have a basic idea of what we'll be seeing next, especially in the last 10 minutes of the episode, and with Sawyer, Kate and Jin all going off on their own as Jack, Miles and Hurley wait to see what is to become of Sayid, the writers have given themselves a lot of ground to cover. Not to mention the entire plot with Flocke, which wasn't featured in this episode.

I don't know where they're going, but I know I like it, and with two very solid episodes in a row, we've definitely got what could potentially be one of the best seasons here.

Grade: B

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  1. Edward29 said...

    Dark Claire is hot.