People whom I love and respect thought last week’s story was great, but it did nothing for me. Those same people were disappointed by “I Do,” and I thought it was a damn good episode. One thing I’m learning? The fact that people still have strong opinions, either way, is testament to the staying power of this show. And while I’m no “shipper,” this semi-season finale is cementing the fact that I’m into “LOST” for the characters. I’m curious about the sci-fi side, the mythology, the clues, the conspiracies. But I’ll take a deep character episode like “I Do” over a voodoo mystery any day. And Jen? She didn’t hate Kate at all this week. In fact, she rather liked her. And that, my friends, is saying a lot.
Let’s get this out of the way first. Kate’s in love with Jack. And Jack’s in love with Kate. Whatever prompted her to jump Sawyer’s bones, it wasn’t love. It may have been pure survival instinct. Or it may have been part of a deal, one she made with Ben on the beach that has yet to be revealed.
Remember, Ben told her in “Tale of Two Cities” that the “next two weeks” were going to be unpleasant. Tonight, soon after Jack tells Ben to get stuffed, Juliet tells Pickett that something was moved up, before “the two weeks” were over. I don’t think Jack’s refusal to do the surgery was what forced their hand… but rather, the revelation that Ben would need surgery immediately. I think they knew they would be able to get Jack into the O.R., they just had to do it sooner than planned. Likely using Sawyer and Kate to do it.
But, oh, these characters. Episodes like “I Do” remind me of what we liked about them, and wondered about them, in Season One. We see that Sawyer has indeed been broken, and his weakness is, of all things, love (be it Kate or Clementine). And that Jack the crying surgeon indeed has a spine. As I mentioned, Kate somehow managed to evade Jen’s ire this week, despite the bad wig and dirty cage sex (“Actually, I liked the dirty cage sex,” she confesses), so they must have done something right with her character as well. The moment she and Jack first see each other in the Hydra was all you needed to see. Evangeline Lilly actually acting. More, please!
And Ben and Juliet? So far, spectacular additions to the cast. We see Ben looking more sinister than ever in one scene, and looking totally impotent and helpless in another. Juliet, meanwhile, is immediately my favorite female character on “LOST.” She’s not a pretty face, she’s not a bitch or badass, she’s not a stereotype at all. She’s nuanced and rich and I cannot wait to learn more about her.
I also love how Alex is being handled. Popping in and out, an insider and an outsider, much like her mother Danielle. Ben asking about her before going into surgery tells us there is something significant between them, likely (yet another) complex father-figure relationship. It would also explain why she can be such a pain in the ass, yet still be allowed to cause mayhem throughout Otherland. I don’t get how she thought she’d be able to talk to Ben about Karl by sneaking back onto Alcatraz with a slingshot, though.
The weakest part of the episode — and the part where I think most fans were expecting much, much more — were the brief scenes with Sayid, Locke, and… those two. I admit, the jungle scenes were lacking, awkward, and may as well have been omitted completely. At least we had our first direct conversation about “the monster,” even if it didn’t give us anything we didn’t already know. That we close with Locke’s fixation on a Jesus Stick message tells us that he’s again finding purpose and direction, even if it’s just his overactive imagination.
Is it the “best episode ever” that the ABC marketing staff promised it would be? Nah. Is it a major cliffhanger? Perhaps not, though we were certainly on the edges of our seats. (The moment where Sawyer is on his knees, Kate pleading, the “LOST Theme” rising to a crescendo? I admit, I was totally sucked in.) But it was a strong serving of what I think “LOST” does best, and definitely makes me think the next 13 weeks will be very, very hard to endure.
Notes & Notions:
- Did Ben engineer Jack’s escape specifically to let him witness Kate and Sawyer together? We think so. “Nothing happens in that place that Ben doesn’t want to have happen,” says Jen. I did find it odd that Alex was the instrument of Jack’s escape, though.
- Tampa, Florida is becoming another major “LOST” hub. Hibbs sought out Sawyer in Season One ostensibly to settle up for “the Tampa job.” And now Kevin was a cop in Miami/Dade, filling out paperwork on a Tampa fugitive. And, of course…
- Who is Jacob? Pickett groused that Ben was putting his life in the hands of one of “them,” and not only that, but someone who “wasn’t even on Jacob’s list.” Jacob apparently drafted the first list of names, and Ben — discovering a spinal surgeon among the survivors — made a little addition. This implies that Jacob is higher on the Others’ totem pole than Ben, and perhaps the “him” we’ve wondered about since Season Two. For what it’s worth, there was a person named Jacob in “The Lost Experience.”
- So what got Locke so excited? The message on the stick was, “Lift up your eyes and look north,” and below it, “John 3:05.” Except that that line isn’t from John 3:05, but rather Genesis 13:14-17. John 3:05 reads, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Read both scriptures here. What does it mean in the show? Probably that Locke will climb a mountain, look north, and see Alcatraz.
- Ben gives Jack his word that Jack will get off “this island” after the surgery. Not only is Ben a proven liar, he’s also got an easy out. He can just ship Jack from Alcatraz back to the main island and technically hold up his end of the deal.
- I love that there’s now another entry in the “Juice Theory” that SamG posted to The Fuselage a while back. Kate laced Jack’s drink to make him sleep in Season One, and helped Sun try and drug Jin (getting Michael instead) to keep him on the island in Season Two. Tie that to the prominent mention of juice by the Marshall on the plane, and we’ve got a heck of a trend going. And so far, Kate has only used this trick with good intentions.
- Locations: Kate went shopping for “taco day” at the Times Supermarket on Beretania Street. She got married at St. Clement’s Church in Makiki.
- Music: “Slowly” by Ann-Margret.