Lost, television

Lost Forum: “Whatever Happened, Happened”

kate-sawyer_l

“Your fear of being a father is greater than your fear of jumping out of a helicopter and drowning?”

 

Straight to the recap!

  • We learn what Sawyer whispered into Kate’s ear in the season four finale: He wanted her to look after Clementine, Sawyer’s daughter with Cassidy.
  • Upon learning this, Cassidy responds, “What a coward.” (Kind of harsh, no?)
  • Chalk one up for female intuition: Cassidy knows Aaron isn’t Kate’s son.
  • Ben is hemorrhaging blood and Jin rushes him back to Dharma camp. Juliet starts operating on him but Jack refuses to. Kate: If you don’t help Ben, then he’ll die! Jack: “Then he dies.”
  • Articulating the confusion of millions of viewers, Hurley pulls out a Back To The Future reference as he looks at his own hand to make sure it’s not disappearing. He then grills Miles as to what happens to Future Ben, and by extension everyone else, if Little Ben doesn’t survive. (Finally, someone is asking some questions around here!)
  • In Jack’s absence, Kate steps up to save Ben’s life by donating blood. Then she patiently listens while Roger Linus gives a soliloquy entitled, “I Didn’t Turn Out To Be The Greatest Dad Ever.”
  • Juliet floats the idea that The Others might save Ben.
  • Kate runs with that idea and drives Ben to the sonic fence. Sawyer shows up too. They start marching Ben into hostile territory.
  • Juliet confronts Jack as he steps out of the shower, noting that he hasn’t exactly delivered on the Hippocratic oath since returning to the island. (Jack appears to put his shirt on before he’s dried himself, which we find bizarre.)
  • In 2007, Kate loses Aaron for a moment in the supermarket, then has a heart-to-heart with Cassidy. This leads to her returning Aaron to his grandmother.
  • Back on the island, Sawyer and Kate deliver Ben to Richard Alpert, who says he can cure Ben but at a cost: “He will always be one of us.” 
  • A subordinate confronts Alpert and suggests he run this by Ellie and Charles first. Alpert shoots back, “I don’t answer to them.”
  • Alpert disappears with Ben into a tree.
  • Future Ben wakes up in the infirmary to find John Locke is not dead anymore. 

 

John’s words to Ben at the end of the episode — “Welcome back to the land of the living” — raise the question: Was Ben in some sense dead (or maybe in a coma?) until he was healed by Alpert back in 1977? 

We’re reluctant to delve too deep into that (or any) question tonight, because as the comic Hurley-Miles dialogue taught us, the writers are toying with us. That scene was a poke in the eye to anyone and everyone who has hypothesized as to how exactly this time travel conundrum will play out. Hurley starts out asking the very pertinent questions about how Young Ben’s and Future Ben’s fates are tied together, and the ramifications for everyone if Young Ben dies. Miles deflects these queries at first, then begins to stumble as Hurley continues pestering him. (When Juliet walks in later to confront Jack, it’s clear Hurley and Miles are still talking circles around one another.) The message was obvious: The show’s going on whether you understand it or not. Just enjoy the ride.

It’s a testament to the writers that we allow them to jerk us around like this and still keep coming back for more. In less skilled hands, the constant misdirection and outright absurdity of the show could easily breed resentment from the viewer at being yanked around all the time. What exactly do the “Lost” writers think when they read discussion boards about the show? Do they chortle at all the harebrained theories? (Or do they see some and think, “That’s pretty good! Let’s work that in next season”?) It’s a curious relationship between writer and viewer, one prone to deception but also dependent on trust. So how much can they get away with and still have us trust them? At this late stage there’s the growing weight of expectation that they’d better be taking us somewhere worth going. But if we’ve followed them this far, they know we trust them. So who knows what they’ll try next?

 

[photo: abc.com]

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9 thoughts on “Lost Forum: “Whatever Happened, Happened”

  1. “Chalk one up for female intuition: Cassidy knows Aaron isn’t Kate’s son.”

    Chalk one up for learning how to spot a liar… just a little too late.

    Despite the “debate” between Hurley and Miles, it *seems* clear to me that Miles has the right basic idea: they can’t change the past–they were already in the past. The only point at which Miles’ argument seemed to falter was when asked why Ben didn’t remember being shot by Sayid. Richard answered that: he won’t remember anything.

    So, to summarize: it seems that Sayid, by shooting Ben, and Jack, by refusing to help Ben, each played an important role in turning Ben into who he would become. Bravo, gentlemen. Bravo.

  2. Dave Powell made the same point this morning about the (tragic) irony of Jack and Sayid failing to help Ben … when doing so could have really helped themselves down the road.

  3. Now, I’m still trying to decide whether this is what always happened (thus taking us into those questions of free will / destiny / etc) or whether it’s more a case of major events can’t be changed and minor events will “self-correct” somehow… i.e. if Sayid hadn’t shot Ben, their escape together would have served just as well to get Ben in with the Hostiles and make what happened happen, or if Jack had saved Ben (again) he would have run away to the Hostiles later anyway, etc. Under this theory, the big events are still pre-determined, but Jack wouldn’t have his breaking of the Hippocratic Oath on his conscience, nor would Sayid had to have chosen to embrace his role as a killer and continue living under that… so that you can’t change anything… except the kind of person you are.

  4. “Lost” enthusiast and zombie poet Ryan Mecum points us to this link for more intriguing analysis (especially under the “Perception, Illusion and Bruce Willis” heading).

  5. First off, congrats to Penn St for the NIT win. At least they won something this year.

    Secondly, where is the link to Doc Jensen? This is, I believe, two weeks in a row where I’ve had to go to the damn EW website (via google) on my own. This blog is really going downhill.

    I gotta say that I didn’t much like the first 55 minutes of this episode. It was possibly my least favorite episode of the season. Sorry, but I really don’t care who’s babysitting Aaron right now. I am not, have never been, and likely will never be a Kate fan. So her prominence in the epsiode didn’t do much for me either. Tad has concluded that a parent would find more of an emotional connection with this episode than someone (like me) who spends all of their money, time, and love on himself and his collection of Clash of the Titans action figures. I can accept that.

    The time travel debate was amusing, in that it just seemed to say “you don’t understand it, but that’s ok because we dont either!”. I’m over trying to figure any of that out.

    The last few minutes of the episode, including the preview for next week, were solid. Richard’s awesomeness can not be denied. Seriously, I’m starting to think he may have surpassed Ben as my favorite character. I really, really want to learn more about him. Is he some kind of contractor for the island who doesn’t take orders form the leader of the others? Is he close personal friends with the smoke monster? Why did he so quickly agree to save Ben? Can Erik continue to deny the Templar connection: Richard Alpert/Richard the Lionheart?

    As to our willingness to stick with the authors, I think they’ve clearly got us for the duration. I mean c’mon- I’m spending part of a beautiful Saturday morning writing about the show. I would disagree that we trust them though, and say that it’s our lack of trust that keeps us coming back. We don’t know what unexpected, out of left field twist they’re going to throw at us next. But by god, we’re going to be there to catch it and figure out where it’s leading. Which begs the question: Is the show a challenge now where we’re trying to complete a still-in-progress puzzle?

  6. An excellent analysis all around, Doc Allen.

    Is it possible to say that we trust our distrust of the writers?

    That link from Ryan Mecum really has me thinking. Does Aaron actually exist? Or do we only see Kate’s need to see Aaron? No one else sees him in the grocery store (except the woman who looks like Claire/is Claire). When Kate shows Claire’s mom Carole the picture of Aaron, Carole responds, “Where is he?” Kate answers, “Two doors down,” but what if that wasn’t Carole’s question? What if she literally meant, “I can’t see him”? There are a few catches here, as Cassidy clearly sees Aaron at the beginning of the episode. But during the “Maybe you need Aaron” speech she gives Kate, she doesn’t appear to see Aaron anymore. She does tell Kate to take a nap and that she’ll “watch your fella,” so that’s a complication. But notice that Cassidy’s daughter answers the door and says “Hi Auntie Kate!” but doesn’t even look at Aaron. What if Aaron has disappeared the moment Kate realizes he doesn’t need her?

    This is all straight from the link — I’m just summarizing for those of you who don’t click links.

    I can’t draw any parallels here to The Knights Templar, but I trust Mike can make that connection somehow.

  7. One other sidenote: Erin watched this episode the day after. During the scene where Kate gives blood to save Ben — as Juliet is putting the needle into Kate’s vein — Erin’s phone rang. It was Hoxworth. Asking Erin to donate blood. She said yes.

  8. Also, Ben took the Facebook quiz “What Lost character are you?” and was Desmond. When Erin took the quiz, she was … Charles Widmore.

  9. i still think the most intriguing thing in this episode was that jack put his shirt on before drying himself off after his shower. who does that? that had me thinking for a good 5 minutes afterwards.

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