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LOST 6.03 “What Kate Does” Review – Filler, or Epic Quest For Redemption?

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost
  Comments: 77

Filler you say?  I say, nay.  The adrenaline addicted Sci-Fi junkies that have hijacked the LOST viewership may be kvetching about how last night’s episode “What Kate Does” was filler, I prefer to think of it as a slightly ramped up harkening back to the first season when LOST was about the heavier existential questions facing characters – told against the backdrop of a weird island where magical things happen that, surprisingly, make a decent metaphor for the episode ‘theme.’  Not only did I not think it was filler, I also stand by my long running assertion that Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz write some of the best television anywhere when it comes to bouncing character centric stories off the wires of an overarching mythology.

I will say that I think the LOST writers have taken a gamble here in one regards.  I think when we know the context of the alternate universe, what it says about our characters will have much more importance in retrospect.  It’s a gamble because where we are now, the full weight of the subtle differences in character action are almost so subtle that they are subtext.

If you consider the ‘clips from the alternate universe’ that were shown at Comic Con, particularly the one where Kate is revealed as having murdered ‘the wrong man,’ her actions are quite different.  There was a bit of nobility to Kate’s fugitive run before, this time around there isn’t.   In this universe, Jacob didn’t interrupt her tendencies to do wrong with a little pledge of honesty.   Of course, whether that action had an impact on Kate or not is entirely up to question considering how she turned out.

All of that aside, there was a fantastic symmetry to this episode that made the writer in me green with envy.  In the alt timeline, Kate proceeds coldly and selfishly at first.  Dumping Claire on the side of the road and basically acting to save her own skin.  She runs into Mr. Mechanic/Machinist who slyly decides to help her out of her handcuff situation.  He is an amoral gatekeeper who releases her judgment free into a world where Kate can now judge her own actions.  She goes to ‘change’ her clothes, and winds up changing herself upon seeing the contents of Claire’s suitcases.  This triggers something inside her, something that tells her to turn around and reenter the dangers of the world in a quest for… redemption.

Redemption is all over this episode.  Kate attempts to redeem her actions to Claire, Jack is given the opportunity to redeem his role as architect of the situation, while Kate and Sawyer take turns blaming themselves as the architects of Juliet’s passing.  Kate pursuing Sawyer was all about Kate braving the dangers of the island to deliver her apology, but her ultimate goal was freedom – just like in the flash sideways of the episode.

The resurfacing of the ‘The Sickness’ was very satisfying for me as it is one aspect of the show that has been around since season one and not fully explored, and it creates a fantastic mini-arc for Season 6.  If death is the only cure to the ‘The Sickness,’  will two of our most beloved characters come to an end?   This is also another point where the symmetry of the episode comes into focus:  in the Alt-timeline, Kate is pursuing Claire to redeem herself; in the 815-crashed timeline, the same is also true.  Besides Kate’s quest for Sawyer, to redeem what she sees as her fault in Juliet’s death, Kate admits she is there to find Claire so that something good can come from all they have been through.  However, Claire is sick; sick with a disease that darkens the soul and makes the infected pure evil and, according to Dogen, irredeemable.  Whether intended or not, ‘The Sickness’ becomes a strong archetypal belief in the LOST verse that states, for the moment, that some cannot be redeemed by any action other than their destruction.  Funny, that’s the same philosophy Kate holds for her stepfather.  It’s a grim bit of Graveyard School poetry that, for the moment, seems to be forming a dark cloud over the LOST narrative.

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  • ninjaraiden2k

    I agree with the clothing analysis. She changed into the same attire she had in the episode “Tabula Rasa”.

  • Chaz

    “Besides Kate’s quest for Sawyer, to redeem what she sees as her fault in Juliet’s death, Kate admits she is there to find Claire so that something good can come from all they have been through. However, Claire is sick; sick with a disease that darkens the soul and makes the infected pure evil and, according to Dogen, irredeemable.”

    That statement suddenly illuminates Jack saying “Nothing is irreversible.” from last week as more important to me. Could Jack’s redemption come from ‘saving’ his sister now? Just a thought.

    • Nick Stevens

      Nice call. This could be what will set Jack up for going head to head with Flocke… it seems reasonably likely to me that one way to reverse the infection is to destroy it’s point of origin. Like killing the master vampire in old movies.

  • Kira

    Thank you Doc. I personally appreciated this episode. What better way to end a series than to remind us of past episodes and themes. Plus we were “warned” that this season would be more like Season 1, and the sci-fi craziness (albeit wonderful craziness) that occurred last season would end.

  • thetrunkmonkey

    Great review, didn’t notice all the layers until you mentioned them

  • WheresDesmond

    I agree with your point that Kate followed Sawyer “to redeem what she sees as her fault in Juliet’s death,” but only up to a point. To me the big reveal for Kate (not so much for the audience) was that Sawyer no longer has feelings for her, which I thought was one of the reasons she was crying on the dock after he left. In these first three hours she seemed to be falling back into her old patterns of running to him whenever something was not right between her and Jack, and each time she tried to do this Sawyer brushed her off. It didn’t seem to really sink in until she found out that he was going to propose to Juliet, however, and wanted just to be left alone in his grief.

    • dtruth

      At what point in the first 3 hours was something not right between Kate and Jack? Its just hilarious the way some fans see things. Kate is always criticised about not making decisions. She makes one and some dont like it, they start talking about the Kate of years ago. Its season 6. Kate made several decisions in this episode and stuck to them. YOU may not have liked her decisions but decisions they were. I think you and we all infact, might be wise to wait till the end of the season or at the very least, the middle, before we start claiming about who has feelings for whom and who doesnt. Last season after the 1st few episodes a lot of you were drawing conclusions. Then came episode 11, and a lot started claiming to be confused. LOST is not criminal minds. Its not an episode by episode show. Its the big picture. The whole story. Its a painting. You dont start critiqing a painting when the painter has just started. Wait and see the picture before you draw conclusions lest some fans start throwing toys out of their prams like last season and infact several seasons before. A lot of the accusation Kate gets for ping ponging is down to fans. Soon we will get a Sawyer centric and things will turn around and you will be one to get all angry…but you needn’t have been had you just waited to watch the story.

      Mind you, if Sawyer no less than 2 days ago still had unresolved feelings for Kate which led Juliet to agree to bomb detonation, I am not sure if it is the crying or the mysterious engagement ring that never found its way to Juliets finger in 3 years, that got you thinking sawyer no longer has feelings for Kate. Perhaps you should wait for his centric to see his POV. This was Kates. Sawyers is ahead.

      …and for those complaining about Claire getting in Kates cab? was that really the weirdest thing to you? An engagement ring under floorboards under a dresser, in a shoe box that had to be crowbard out was realistic? a poison pill that could only work if “willingly” taken, made sense to you?

      • Mata

        Made of WIN!!!

  • Vlad

    I am convinced the “alt-reality” is not that at all. I think the show will end with the scene just before Jack finds himself on flight 815 in the new timeline (the first-ish scene of LA X). The timeline starts again, with everyone having made steps in their personal issues and everyone living to reach the ultimate goal (we’ll find out what that is later). To paraphrase Jacob… it only ends once, everything in between is progress. So, the island scenes of this season actually happen “before” the ‘parallel universe’ scenes… in fact, i think they are universes in series, and not parallel at all.

    If that makes sense.


    • Doc as posited a “reincarnation” opinion. I don’t buy either theory, although it’s certainly plausible and based on what The Darlton have said, quite possible. Yours is akin to the loop-the-loop theory, but at least is open for some possibility for resolution even if we don’t get to see it.

      I’m not buying, though.

      Anyone hear that clanking noise between realities? Sounds just like the Donkey Wheel. The sideways flashes© are real, IMOHO, and Jack or Sawyer or even BEN will do something in the 2007 timeline to cause a reset.

      A mostly happy one.

    • Carlos

      I had another thought after the S6 premiere combined with the creators statement that it should’nt be called “alternate”. This episode 3 kept me thinking the same thing, which is: this sideway stoyline could actually be the final storyline, a long “happy ending” without us noticing so far. And Lost would end with that scene returning to the plane and we would remember what followed, a better life for each of our characters, even the dead (now back alive). Just a theory, but the only way i can think that would happen is that Jacob (if he’s the good one) would reward them with a “new” life after they win the island war. Kind of “i brought you here to help me win, now i return you to the point where i took you”, but everyone would keep some kind of experience, knowledge, improvement from what they went through and apply it to their new life, until they remember each other. Still i would need to know what happens to Charlie or even Desmond in this sideways flashes to know if this is plausible, but so far that’s my guess.

      • Perhaps the fates will mirror each other (reality-wise), but if it’s a blessing from Jacob or a refusal to play – a total act of free will – on the part of one of the characters, it is happening.

  • brent

    There is a lot of backlash against this episode. For me, it’s not bad because of a lack of mythology but I just didn’t enjoy the character motivations and off-Island is too predictable to be enjoyable. Look, I fully get that the post-landing timeline is set to mirror seasons 1-3 and that it will all make sense eventually in terms of Timeline A. But as soon as Claire went into labor I said, I bet Ethan is her doctor. If anyone did not guess that they have not been paying attention. But for me, there is too much hand-waving explanation subtext that the only reason anything happens on this show is because it’s. their. destiny. For example, Claire would never in a million years get in the cab again with Kate. The only reason: Destiny. I just don’t want “destiny” to be the motivation for every action this season.

    • Nick Stevens

      Actually I think the reason Claire got in the cab with Kate was the same reason that Kate went back for Claire. My read on that whole series of actions was less about Kate looking for redemption and more that they were both having the same kind of Déjà vu experience that we saw Jack having in LA X.

      • brent

        I basically agree with that. It’s not about characters seeking redemption. They don’t even know what’s going on yet. There’s just that occasional twinkle in their eye (Check out Jorge Garcia’s podcast where he goes over the scripts when they arrived – they are spoiler free – the direction is very specific). But that’s the thing, Claire gets in the cab because she is drawn to Kate… because it’s her destiny. That’s it. Because any other reason for getting into a cab with Kate at that point is not good.

        • docarzt

          It can be both.

          • Nick Stevens

            Yeah I only said it was less about redemption, not, nothing to do with it.

          • brent

            But it’s not about redemption off-Island yet. They don’t know. The off-Island scenes exist to show us the similarities between what happened on the Island and what’s happening now. Redemption doesn’t just happen. You have to actively seek it. That’s what is happening ON the Island. We haven’t crossed the tipping point for timelines A and B yet.

          • Nick Stevens

            To quote from Doc’s review “Kate attempts to redeem her actions to[ward] Claire”.

        • Nick Stevens

          You don’t think redemption might play a part for Kate? Y’know after she shoved a loaded gun into the face of a scared pregnant girl?

          • Nick Stevens

            Um, the above is in the wrong place. Keeps happening to me today.

          • brent

            It’s small-picture stuff until we tie A and B timelines together. Kate going back for Claire is as fishy as Jack blowing up the bomb to have another chance with Kate.

          • Nick Stevens

            You’re right, her guilt and subsequent need for redemption IS small picture stuff. The feelings of knowing each other even though they haven’t met that I believe are playing out, however, are bigger picture. I wouldn’t describe it as “fishy”, though.

          • DocArzt

            Yeah, also a point of this review. I think once the context of the A.U. is clear, we’ll be looking back over these flash sideways with a microscope.

  • Hipster Doofus

    I think Claire probably would get in the cab with Kate. That may put me in the minority, but this is a girl in Los Angeles who is *completely* alone. She has no one. It may have been a gamble for her to go with Kate, but what other options did she have? A pregnant Australian woman in LA with no belongings? Or a car ride from the stranger who returned her things.

    • Andrew

      yeah, the stranger who was waving a gun at her earlier. not smart.

  • Rob

    You make a great argument for the episode, Doc, but it isn’t just sci-fi junkies that hijacked the show that think it was filler. There were some moving moments in this episode especially the dock scene with Sawyer and Kate, but overall this reminded me of an episode I’d see in season 2 when they were trying to find direction for the show in terms of where they were going with it. In other words, it seemed like a filler episode to me. The good thing is that even when it’s a filler episode it’s still pretty darn good.

    • Major FX

      Well said, Rob.

  • The Smoke Monster

    Doc, I see your filler-episode objection but it’s not clear why. I look forward to LOST, I really do, but in this Final Season I’m expecting more than what amounts to an early-in-the-series character-centric filler episode. There’s precious few episodes left in this series and we should be wowed by each one ala “LA X”.

    It’s very frustrating that Jack did not stay on point demanding to know where Dogen and The Others were from. “I was brought here like you” is not an answer. I do like the new, pissed off Sawyer, too. And Miles’ sarcastic quips like “I’ll be in the Food Court” are priceless.

  • GeorgeM4

    Good try but I don’t buy it.

    Worst… Episode… EVER!

    • brent

      Maybe not worst ever but I have no problem putting it in the bottom 10%.

  • Jason

    Totally unrelated to the review, but does this episode count as the 2nd episode of the year or the 3rd? Isn’t the season set for 16 episodes or was it 18?

    Thanks to anyone who can clarify this for me. 🙂

    • brent

      18 hours over 16 weeks. Last night will go down in the books as Episode 603, the third episode of season 6.

      • Jason

        I assumed as much, since the show is listed here as 6.03 and the previous episodes were 6.01 and 6.02 respectively. That said, thank you for the clarification on the matter and letting me know how many episodes are in the final season.

  • Jason

    I assumed as much, since the show is listed here as 6.03 and the previous episodes were 6.01 and 6.02 respectively. That said, thank you for the clarification on the matter and letting me know how many episodes are in the final season.

  • notsoshaggy

    Hey, Doc! Some of us weren’t at Comic Con so you’re dropping of the alt-timeline version of Kate’s crime was an abrupt spoiler. Sheesh.

    • DocArzt

      Yeah I wasn’t there either, but I’m pretty sure anything that darlton showed was NOT a spoiler. It was presented as a prequel of sorts. Spoilers are about things that have not happened yet. I’d be willing to bet they think you know this already.

      Here is the video though. Check it out:

    • aug

      dang. you people are vicious. i thought the episode was pretty good. evilclaire at the end was awesome. the return of aldo. the temple scenes were great. and yea josh holloway stretched his acting muscles. all in all it was good stuff.

      • aug

        um yeah i totally posted that in the wrong place. sorry.

  • Filler? Maybe exposition, but hardly slow or disappointing. There was a lot of character development going on for Sawyer, Jack and Kate.

    Anyone catch that clanking noise between realities? Did it occur in the first 2 eps as well?

    Sounds like the Donkey Wheel turning…

    • meli

      I completely agree. I think in addition to character development there was a lot of setting up the plot as well. The characters are being put in place for the final conflict – who is on which team and why.

      • greg dharma

        “The characters are being put in place for the final conflict – who is on which team and why.”

        well, duh! how many websites did you need to consult before you figured that one out, Faraday?

        so tell me, how do the kate/claire scenes set up “the final conflict”? i can’t think of one way.

        the set-up mainly happened during the temple scene as the alt.timeline stuff doesnt advance the plot at all. it plodded in comparison.

        after this episode,i’m a little concerned that the show will follow this formula throughout the season: exciting 2007 revelations, mixed with boring 2004 “character development.”

        the only true developments which matter were Jack, Sawyers, Claires (in 2007), and Sayids. Everything else was taco stuffing.

        OTOH, if the sound is the FDW, it could be a hint as to how the island was moved. maybe it wasnt Jughead after all.

        • naultz

          i think the two alt timelines occur, based on the result of the bomb. If the bomb did detonate, it resets everything as jack had thought, and sinks the island creating our alt. timeline. If the bomb didn’t go off, instead what occurs is another flash in time and sends the losties to island circa 2007. S5 ended with a white flash of light ( the same as when the losties were traveling through time on the island) which would indicate the swan’s electromagnetic power was released, not the bomb, and that is what caused them to move through time. so in summation Bomb explodes=reset timeline, Bomb does not explode=flash of electromagnetic energy, sending losties to 2007 to join everyone else.

          • Here’s the deal, not a spoiler ’cause I have not read this anywhere, not affiliated with the show:

            The sideways-flash© is the result of Jughead. Now, how can this be? Simple. Scientifically, there is a split of the 2007 reality even though the bomb did what it was supposed to do, make sure the hatch, Dharma, was negated. Even though my lost love Juliet did her job, the full effect cannot be finished until Jack, Sawyer, or BEN (Bad Ben Ben Bad – but so many of you knuckleheads love him the writers are going to let him redeem himself [although you see him the mass-murderer in the NEW 2004, and again killing Locke…SUPPOSITION, not a spoiler] you are going to be so disappointed, just like the Locke-Lovers who will soon realize ol’ John is still a tragic loser) do something in the jangled 2007 timeline.

            And the final scene?

            Jack opening his eyes as all the stuff we have seen up to the last episode flashes through his head, validating the past, wiped-out lives, and giving us a meaningful happy ending.

            What happened, happened.

            But then, something else happened….

  • Okay, I posted this in the wrong thread, so I’m putting it here since it was a direct response to your review:

    I hear what you’re saying about it not being filler, and I agree it definitely has worth, particularly in those subtle moments in the other universe where the plane lands. The pier scene, as mentioned above, was also a highlight of acting, especially for Josh.

    However, it still felt like a deliberately slowed down episode with too much secret hoarding to the point that characters like Dogan started to come off as cryptic to a fault. We are too close to the end to have stalling like that.

    I also felt the plot writing (not the dialogue persay) has gotten a little sloppy. There were several instances in the Kate/Claire story that felt like they weren’t even trying to have logical cohesion.

    As for ‘the sickness’, it didn’t initially dawn on me that what Dogan was talking about with the Others is the same thing as the sickness Rousseau mentioned.

    I’m sure they are related though, but isn’t it still possible that perhaps Sayid is Jacob’s vessel, and this group of Others only know of the ‘darkness’ infecting individuals.

    I go into a little more depth on that in my own write-up here:

    Good review though, and I hope that what you say about the context of the alternate world does payoff these smaller details we are seeing now.

  • Chad Geri

    Excellent, excellent review. I agree entirely.

  • lostfanboy16

    i agree. I think since its the last season people want answers answers answers but what I want is good character stories and some answers as the season goes on and I think this episode delivered on the character

  • greg dharma

    that’s it, doc? that’s all you got?

    i can see your point about paralelling a S1 character-development Ep, but in S6 we want answers to the more important questions. we want to see the finish line, not wrap another layer of subtle nuance around a nuisance. yeah, a nuisance, i said it.

    we’ve had 5 seasons of character development and,let’s face it, Kate just isnt that deep. she was out-acted by Sawyer and Jack in her own episode–their complexities are actually compelling.

    as for Claire, she’s more of a tabula rasa than anyone else on the show. beloved? not by me. the most interesting part of her appearance last night was what it revealed–about Rosseau and her crew.

    maybe this episode will be more fondly remembered when it’s all said and done, but i’m not alone in saying it was a big let down after the adrenaline-pump of LA X–electrocuted Sayid and all.

    actually the temple scenes were pretty great–looking forward to more Dogen–but save the lame girly stuff for the Lifetime channel.

    • The Smoke Monster

      I’m so glad someone else noted the “lame girly stuff” ! I was thinking the whole Kate/Claire scenes were very chick-flick. The action needs to stay focused on the Temple/Others and with where the #$%^ Fake-Locke took Richard.

      • Ser Pounce


      • greg dharma

        not that i have anything against girls, but Lost killed off its one true female action hero (Juliet, who was a crack shot with a rifle as well as a surgeon) and hints of a non-meek Sun seem to have disappeared along with S5. Rambo Claire still looks a little too pretty, if you ask me. and Kate is rather unconvincing with a gun. maybe they need to send in Mrs. Hawking in a skintight Diana Rigg commando suit to kick some smoke monster ass. or Penny in a wet t-shirt & machine gun. Oh wait, i forgot about Alana. well, she’s a tough chick, maybe she can redeem herself for failing to protect Jacob. or at least borrow some of Ricardus’ eyeliner.

    • docarzt

      That’s all I’ve got. I gave it my best shot. 😉

      • greg dharma

        well, considering what you had to work with, i guess that’s ok. but it says something that Kate was completely overshadowed by Sawyer in her own episode. look, for girly stuff to work,its got to be emotionally-resonant and convincing. for me, it wasn’t. if it smells like filler, looks like filler, and tastes like filler, it’s probably filler.

      • Good shot. I shoot better.

    • dtruth

      Disagree with every line of this post that as I type this sentence it just occurred to me that it is not even worth responding to. Take care 🙂

      • Orson


    • Mata

      The lame girly stuff comment is disgusting. Like in bad-smelling, muscle-buldging, macho-manlish disgusting. Me Greg, Me Not Want Girly Emotions!

      • greg dharma

        mata, i think you are projecting your own pathology onto my post. personally, i thought the scenes with sawyer mourning over juliet were much more emotionally-resonant and far less contrived than the “Kate and Claire bond” scenes. i mean, who gets carjacked and hijacked, dropped off at a bus stop, then gets back into the car with an armed woman she’s never met just? yeah, that’s likely.

        OTOH, it’s entirely plausible that Sawyer would do everything he did–leave the temple, go to Dharmaville, cry over Juliet. i have no problem with him expressing emotions.

        what i dont like is Lost getting all sappy with Kate scenes which are slow, plodding, and reminiscent of chick-flick 101 subject matter. i like strong, capable women, but not when they’re fake. i guess Kate just irks me. sorry but that’s how it is.

  • Mark

    why do ppl feel the need to apologize for a weak episode. lost is not perfect. and “what kate does” is a prime example. good try doc but i dont buy it.

    and i also dont buy this line,”The adrenaline addicted Sci-Fi junkies that have hijacked the LOST viewership”. The viewership is predominantly us, the ones who have stayed with it to the end. The ones who care about the characters, the mythology, and who now want to be rewarded.

    If this is even a character episode, it wasn’t that great. What exactly did Kate do? Except waste a precious hour of the final season.

    • docarzt

      Well, let’s be clear. I moonlight as an adrenaline addicted Sci-Fi junky, so I didn’t mention the term with the intent of demeaning those folks. However, the full context is that LOST started out a largely character driven drama with a hint of fantasy and science fiction. By the logic that “What Kate Does” was ‘filler,’ seasons one and two largely counted as filler – and I don’t buy it, because by-gosh I was hooked back then.

      Frankly, the time waster I see is the need to have Lennon translate for Dogen. Once the jig was up and we found out he could really speak English, any translations became stolen seconds from the story clock.

      • Mark

        ia gree its character-driven. but that alone doesnt make it non-filler. its not as good as some of those addictive character-driven episodes from the first 2 seasons.

      • greg dharma

        doc, i see your point. however, this is Season 6, not season one or two. the characters have largely been fleshed out, especially kate. there’s not much hidden complexity still lurking under those dimples.

        OTOH, the temple is exactly what we haven’t seen in the previous 5 seasons, so any action taking place there does in fact advance the story.

        i think you comment about Lennon is a leeetle bit defensive. for an adrenaline-addicted sci-fi junky, you sure seem to have a soft, mushy spot right where your trigger finger should be. “Epic quest for Redemption”? yeah right. what exactly was so epic about Kate’s quest?

        i understand that Lost’s formula does involve character development, but i’m much more interested in development which actually advances the story. anyway, i’m glad we got the Kate episode out of the way.

        • Henry Holland

          doc, i see your point. however, this is Season 6, not season one or two. the characters have largely been fleshed out, especially kate. there’s not much hidden complexity still lurking under those dimples

          That’s exactly how I feel. God, I. get. it. Kate runs! James broods! Jack is a leader! Miles cracks jokes! I love this show but damn! it’s frustrating that there’s now only 15 hours of show left and they’re *still* trying to flesh out the characters. Plus I, for one, am sick of the stupid writing trick that goes like this: “I’m going to give you an answer to your question. [pause] Hahahahaha! No I’m not! Sucker!”. It was bad enough in seasons 1-3, but now it’s just lame.

      • Yes! And silly!. Although Skinny Lennon is a nice quirk, the whole thing is just beyond silliness…

  • Dharma77

    This was a great episode, and out of the 100 odd episodes, this ranks at least in the top 60. Granted, it wasn’t as mind blowing as LA X (Part 2 was just amazing, a top 10 ep for me) but I enjoyed it a lot. Seeing Ethan at the hospital freaked me out, and Jack’s new personality keeps me on edge the whole time. I must mention Sawyers contribution to this episode: He was fantastic, the 2 most recent almost-tear-jerking moments have came from him, 1) Incident Pt2 at Swan site and 2) In this episode when he is sitting on the pier with Kate and he is trying to hold back the tears. I am so glad this triangle is dead, Sawyer doesn’t want Kate and he made it VERY clear. A great epsiode, 8/10.

    • Mata

      If you are glad the triangle is dead, you are in for a BIIIG disappointment.

      • Dharma77

        And why is that?

    • greg dharma

      i think this episode would have been ok had it happened, like 3 years ago. and we did get SOME answers. but i stick to my earlier comment that what happened on the island was far more interesting than what happened off-island. and like i just told Artz, it says something about your character’s lack of emotional resonance when you are overshadowed (and out-acted) in your own centric. i’d probably rank it in the bottom 20, but that may be because the tempo/pacing shift from LA X was more abrupt than i had hoped for.

  • JackAttack

    I wouldn’t call it filler, but it also wasn’t nearly as entertaining as ‘Expose’, ‘Greatest Hits’ or any number of character-based episodes.

    Everyone seems to automatically think that if someone doesn’t like an episode that it’s because it didn’t answer enough questions. Could it just be that the episode is simply not good in-and-of itself?

    Technically speaking, ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ is PACKED with answers to long-standing questions, like what happened to Cindy and the kids. But does anyone claim that it’s a bad ep for a reason other than it’s just plain boring?

  • Widmore’s Bane

    “If you consider the clips…where Kate is revealed as having murdered ‘the wrong man,’ her actions are quite different. There was a bit of nobility to Kate’s fugitive run before, this time around there isn’t.”

    There is an important reveal dropped near the end of the episode that I don’t see anyone talking about. Kate to Claire – “Would you believe me if I told you I was innocent?”

    There is no way this comment was included off-hand. I think in the LAX reality Kate’s character arc will be based around trying to prove her innocence. The title of the episode (“What Kate Does”, not “Did”) is a nod to this, implying that she didn’t actually do anything.

    Instead of running away from something, she’s running towards it….using the strength she is gaining from her alternate-reality island experience to fuel her quest to get her life back. I believe she will be fighting to gain her outright freedom, instead of running from captivity. And she will achieve it through selflessness.

    I find this far more noble a character arc than the one where she was running from a homicide she tried to rationalize and justify because he was a ‘bad guy.”

    I’m typically not a huge Kate fan, but when I realized this was the likely arc this episode is setting us up for, I liked it a whole lot more.

    • From your lips to God’s ears, ’cause I think we’re seeing same sociopathic Kate from before. I noticed that line as well, stuck like a sore toe. I thought it was said in an insincere tone, but Claire’s assuming Kate was innocent didn’t jibe with what I heard.

      But you could be right, and I would like that.

  • joe_bones

    jacob didnt interrupt her with a pledge of honesty, he was facilitating her shoplifting to lead her down the path of a life of crime, one that would one day lead her to the island.

    not sure how you could misunderstand that pivotal scene. he was helping her get away with shoplifting.

    • I hadn’t thought of it that way, but that does make sense, unfortunately.

      Still, I have to think it was the other way around, hoping she’ll have had a better life.

  • Chip

    I saw this episode as redemption-driven, but a bit differently: The one major thing in common between flashsideways Kate and “regular” Kate is that she served as a sort of midwife for Aaron. The unspoken message, it seemed to me, was that’s her destiny. It really doesn’t matter whether she’s in LA or on the Island, nor is her crime apparently that important — her destiny is to assist Claire with Aaron.

    I suspect we’re going to see that in just about every episode this season: whatever the flashsideways and “regular” characters have in common is their destiny. Flashsideways Charlie was right that he’s supposed to die — but he’s supposed to die heroically, not self-centeredly.

    I am pro the return to the character-driven stories, particularly since the last half of season 4 and all of season 5 rarely were character-driven. However, the Sayid subplot, while critical, took time away from the main storyline to a degree that we would not have seen in season 1. The show needs to both be character-driven and wrap things up, but it might prove hard to find a good balance.

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