Because this is the final season of Lost, we expect every episode to deliver resonance, answers and intrigue. That was the certainly the case on last week's two-hour premiere, but "What Kate Does" slowed down the action considerably.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we're guessing fan reaction will be a bit muted as a result of such high expectations for each of the 16 episodes this season.
With a focus on who we consider to be the weakest character on the show (no offense, Evangeline Lilly) and with no sighting of the most fascinationg (Fake Locke) this installment did feel like a let down... but that doesn't mean it didn't deliver a number of questions and answers. To wit:
What is the infection? We know what it's not: the time-traveling illness that killed Charlotte. We'd been operating under the assumption that the nose bleeds and physical ailments (i.e. death) associated with the island-jumping were what affected Rousseau's shipmates and what the "QUARANTINE" warning on the door of the hatch was referring to.
But apparently not, huh? This begs multiple questions: When did Sayid become infected? Was it a result of the temple water? If so, is Ben infected? When did Claire get dipped in there?
What's the deal with Claire? She was her normal self in the sideways world of 2004 (more on that below), but was in serious need of a comb when we quickly saw her on the island to close the episode. She set traps like Rousseu, she hid in the jungle like Rousseau and she had the same taste in fashion as Rousseau. Earlier in the episode, one of the new Others referred to Rousseau's long-ago death, but was quickly hushed by his friend.
What do they know about her? And is Claire in any way connected to our favorite, deceased French castaway?
Theory: The infection is related to being possessed by the dead.
And about those Others... They know as much about the castaways as Ben did when we first truly met him and his shady pals to start season three. They know Sawyer's real name; that Claire is Jack's sister; that the Ajira flight crashed on the island. Of course, Aldo (shout out to Rob McElhenney from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia!) didn't want his cohort revealing anything of importance... but why?
The temple folk seem intent on Sawyer and company HAVING to remain on their grounds, but won't reveal their reasons.
Dr. Goodspeed?!? Yes, our jaws dropped when Ethan turned out to be Claire's doctor. And events from 2004 appear to be unfolding in a similar fashion to how we initially saw them - Claire's baby isn't going to his adoptive parents; his name is Aaron; Kate is connected to the birth; Ethan appears to have some agenda related to him.
But we were equally taken aback by Ethan's last name: Goodspeed. He must be Horace and Amy's child.
But the main problem is that it's difficult to get emotionally invested in any 2004 scene. Cuse and Lindelof have insisted this is not a "What If" world and events are actually taking place. It's safe to assume the two realities are on some sort of collision course.
Still, until we comprehend this puzzle better, the 2004 world must give us interesting clues about how it's different from the original 2004 world;or scenes from it at least must keep us fascinated and excited on their own merit, as the flashbacks did back in the day. Kate and Claire's interactions in "What Kate Does" accomplished neither.
OTHER QUESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS FROM THE EPISODE:
- Terry O'Quinn already has competition for that Emmy. How great was Josh Holloway in the scene on the dock? Makes us hope our Theory of Last Week comes true.
- It's nice to see Dogen speak English, and intriguing why he doesn't like to do so: What sort of orders does he give his people, many of which they don't apparently like?
- Someone on the Lost writing staff likes baseball. Ben showed Jack the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004 and Dogen has at least some interest in the sport.
- Maybe Jack is like Derek Jeter and Sawyer is David Ortiz because... okay, nevermind.
- One of the funniest lines in series history? Miles' sarcastic confidence in Hurley as the group's new leader.
- We need more from Dogen: Someone "claimed" Sayid? He was brought here, just like Jack?
Let's turn it over to our readers. Do you have any theories on those final two questions, or anything else from the episode? What did you think of it?