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What Nikki Noticed: 6.03 “What Kate Does”

By Nikki Stafford,

  Filed under: Lost News
  Comments: 25

So first off, my apologies for posting this so late. Wednesdays are typically very busy days for me (and that was before the days of Lost on Tuesday nights) so the show switching to one night earlier hasn’t been an easy transition for me. But maybe I’ll start putting my thoughts together right after the episode so I have something up here more quickly.

So what to talk about? This week’s episode, “What Kate Does,” raised some interesting questions about the nature of Sayid’s body being “claimed,” and what that could mean. Has it been possessed? Has he been killed and there’s something inside him now? Or is Sayid still inside that body but being hushed by something else that’s in there and taken over? (Maybe it’s years of Angel and Buffy with the real Liam co-existing in Angel’s body with the demon, or Fred being killed so Illyria could take up residence in the “shell” that was once her body, but for some reason that doesn’t seem like a weird question to me.) The thing is, I brought up this question and discussion on my blog already, and the comments have lit up discussing it further, so I’d like to talk about something else.

Maybe the shipper stuff?

Ha, just kidding. Other than I will say I thought Josh Holloway put in an incredible performance on the dock, and it’s one of the best scenes he and Evangeline Lilly have ever done. The two of them were amazing.

Instead, I wanted to address something I didn’t cover already in my blog post for this episode: the fan reaction to it. Because, of course, the post went up about an hour after the episode had aired, so there’s no way I would have known the fan reaction. I can only really cover off my reaction of it at that point. And what I said was that I was a little worried in the first half, but then it really picked up in the second. The response of many of my readers was that it was a huge disappointment, or that it was yet another one of those non-answer episodes that don’t belong in a final season where we’re expecting lots of answers and not MORE questions. Other people said it was a Kate-centric episode, and those have never been that interesting, so they knew going in that it was going to be bad. And still others said they didn’t believe for one second that Kate could hold a gun to pregger Claire’s head, then hijack her cab, dump her at the side of the road and take her wallet, bag, and baby things, and then come back and say, “Yeah. Sorry about all that… hey, wanna ride?” and Claire would TAKE HER UP ON IT.

So what do I say about all of this? Well, I don’t want to be an apologist for the show. And I’ll admit, as I confessed on my blog, that in a final season with SO much to wrap up, I’m a little nervous about introducing entirely new elements like Dogen and the Temple or spending an episode not answering anything. But it’s not like we have two hours left; we have the majority of the season still before us, and they can still cover a ton of ground in the 15 hours we have left.

If this show were all about the sci-fi aspects, or the mysteries, or the sheer bafflingness of it, I don’t think it would be anywhere near as successful as it is. Lost is a show about characters, about people, and about their emotions. The reason we want to know about what’s going to happen is because we really care about these people. Seeing Ethan as a doctor actually warmed my heart. A year ago my reaction would have been to scream for Claire to get out of that hospital. But after seeing him born, I have new sympathy for him. We saw him as a scraggly kid with Ben Linus, hiding in the bushes having been kidnapped by the Others and being one of them. But in this reality, he presumably left on the sub with his mom when the island was being evacuated. He got away, he started a new life, and rather than being stuck in a compound with women dying on his table and never bringing new life into the world, he’s a successful ob/gyn with a really good bedside manner. It was heartwarming.

Under normal circumstances, I think Claire wouldn’t have gotten into the cab with the kidnapper. And Kate wouldn’t have risked everything to get Claire to the hospital. But I believe they have some sort of residual knowledge of the parallel timeline… it’s like Claire instinctively knows that Kate is someone she can trust, and Kate knows Claire is someone who is important to her. Notice Kate’s face when Claire said the name Aaron: it went straight to her heart, like that name belonged to the most important person in the world to her. And in the original season 5 timeline… it did.

I think the Temple stuff might have been a little slow for us now, but what it did is lead us to exactly the questions that will ultimately give us the answers we want so badly. I think “What Kate Does” might end up being one of those episodes that is FAR more important in retrospect than it ever was at the time. Remember “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead,” with the VW van and the skeleton named Roger that seemed like a standalone? That episode became far more important later on down the road, and this one might, too.

And if it doesn’t, well… at least it slowed things down slightly after that whopper of a season premiere. I think next week’s episode will have us back to our old speculatory, excited ways. Come on over to my blog and read lots more, including identifying another Canadian reference on this week’s episode, and, later tonight, revealing the mystery behind a very strange and amazing package I received last week.

Nikki Stafford is the author of the Finding Lost series of books, which offer episode-by-episode guides to each season. The guide to season 5 is now available at, and is currently working on the season 6 book. She posts regularly on her television blog, Nik at Nite.

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  • humanebean

    Well said, Nikki. I think that expectations for the final season were running SO high … and the was BEFORE the LOST-apalooza of a premiere the showrunners threw at us last week. The character elements of the show remain the mortar that holds together the other, more eccentric bits … even as the sci-fi/supernatural components sometimes threaten to blow everything to smithereens. Ultimately, the long-lasting satisfaction that fans may feel about this last season will derive from a compelling resolution to the story arc of our beloved main characters.

    That being said, I’ve heard in a lot of the commentary about “What Kate Does” a disappointment in the clumsy storytelling that I feel was evident in this episode. Certainly, ANY episode of LOST, let alone one that is dealing with an alternate timeline, jungle ziggurats with life-regenerating whirlpools and supernatural ‘sicknesses’ is going to throw out some improbable plotlines. What I found most awkward was not the implausibility of some of this week’s story (I signed up for that!) but rather some leaden dialogue and scenes in which the developments tried the patience of the well-informed, devout fans who feel that they understand these characters (and the normal flow of abnormality in the show) from the inside out. The high points of the show were excellent – the scene you cited on the dock with Sawyer and Kate, the appearances of Ethan and Claire (both versions) and some snappy one-liners from Our Man Miles.

    Here’s hoping that next week’s episode sees a return to form by the brilliant writing and directing team we trust so implicitly that we are startled when we find that some of their work doesn’t measure up to their usual high standards!

    • anon

      cool story bro

  • Hipster Doofus

    Didn’t read it yet, but one comment:

    No need to apologize for posting late. I like that reviews tend to drift out all week between episodes. Gives me a little bit to read every day.

    Then you have Doc Jensen’s 8 page posts that generally take me a few days to finish (yes, I have a very short attention span.)

    • anon

      bro cool story

  • lockeheart

    good review. Yeah though this episode wasnt really that bad. I think the reason everyone is putting up such a big fuss is because we didnt get any of the fake locke/ben/richard storyline. Which was disapointing, but made perfect sense.

    • anon

      story bro cool

  • Multiple

    I think the episode, somewhat boring when considering that we all want answer, showed us some important things. Like the inconsistancies (bloopers). These are really different iterations of the events that have always happened. In other words we have been seeing many (several anyway) sideways story telling all along. Remember Jacob saiyng There is only one end but each time there is change. Examples: Miles going up the stairs to ghostbust, coming down – different picture frames; Stretcher boy removing stretcher twice in same scene; Sawyer having two different types of pistols in the same scene when he wants to leave the temple, etc.

    • Multiple

      …oops! Forgot to point out about Kate paying $200 bucks out of Claires moola, but saying to claire that she didnt touch anything, being wanted for murder yet being innocent plus although they may not realize everything they seem to instinctively know whats to be done. Anyway…

    • anon

      cool bro story

    • Henry Holland

      Miles going up the stairs to ghostbust, coming down – different picture frames

      On The Fuselage, that was revealed as a continuity error. This show has a LOT of continuity errors, but they really stick out when they try to recreate scenes from the past. Example: The Others seeing 815 break apart, then telling Ethan and Goodwin. They recreated that scene with Goodwin’s wife Harper and it was totally bogus because we never saw her there in the previous times we’d seen that scene, from different angles even.

  • grasspike

    I actually think that the answers we all want will not really take that much screen time to answer so we should expect many eps like this one this season.

    They have to answer what they are going to answer in a very simple way. Each one will only be a fine lines and take a few minutes.

    Factoring in time for commercials we have around 700 minutes left of the show that is way more time than we need for answers

    • anon

      cool story bro cool story bro

  • Laura

    I actually thought “What Kate Does” answered a lot of important questions. To wit:

    Just how predictable is Kate?

    Just how bad an actress is Emilie de Ravin?

    Could the writers make me care even less about Jack-Kate-Sawyer?

    Will Dogen’s smooth smarminess make me actually long for Radzinsky’s tantrum-throwing petulance?
    Sadly, yes.

    Consequently, would I like to punch Dogen in the neck?
    Yes, at my own peril, of course.

    Will these “Sitting Around at the Temple and Talking About Our Feelings” episodes make me look back in fondness at all the “Running Through the Jungle and Screaming at Each Other” episodes?
    Sweet Jeebus, yes.

    Just how good an actor has Josh Holloway become?
    Very, very.

    And finally…

    “What Kate Does”?
    Suck all the enjoyment out of watching LOST, pretty much any time she’s on screen.

    • grasspike

      LOL true very true

    • Josh

      Thats actually a pretty great review.

    • anon

      bro cool story bro

    • Henry Holland

      Hahahaha, well done.

  • jessea

    your answers to the doubters was a relief. as i read what others had posted about, i thought, “what? really? people thought that? no…” and your comments were really on point with what i was thinking. the ep did give answers, or the beginnings of them, and it was reminiscent of Season 1, in a sort of literary loop mirroring the time loop. I loved it…glad you did too…

    • anon

      story cool bro

  • greg dharma

    so what did you actually notice, nikki? your review is basically a long explanation of why you’re not an apologist for a sucky episode–by lost standards. so, no, it wasnt terrible, it just wasnt awesome, except here. and there. but not there. or there. know what i’m sayin’?

    • anon

      cool story bro.

  • laura

    Why doesn’t anybody find it strange that Ethan, in the alternate reality, gave Claire drugs that seem alot like the drugs he forces on her on the island?! He gives Claire a choice in the alt-reality, but it’s obvious she’s gonna pick the drugs because she’s not ready to be a mom. The scene really focusses on this, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence! He’s maybe even giving her the same drugs, because Aaron is still part of some plan. I liked the ep btw!

  • Eileen

    This review looks like nothing more than the writer advertising for hits on her blog. When I come here, I don’t expect to catch up on the the writer’s thought process by going somewhere else.

    • humanebean

      Ouch! Um, then what DO you come “here” for? A quick survey of the various articles on the site reveals that many, if not most, have links to more extensive articles/blogs elsewhere or perhaps just links to other items of interest to a LOST fan. I didn’t read this article as a “review” of the show but rather the thoughts/opinions of the author relative to the most recent episode. Seems to me that the article accurately summarized “What Nikki Noticed” about “What Kate Does” … and about the online response to the episode on her own (excellent, IMO) blog and other posts here. You don’t NEED to click on to her blog if your interest in what she has to say doesn’t prompt that action. I may have missed the giant flashing button reading “YOU MUST VISIT MY BLOG. NOW. I SAID NOW. AND AGAIN LATER. THAT IS ALL”. C’mon Eileen! (sorry, HAD to go there)

  • longlivekingnick

    I finally figured out what the Island does… its all right here! So simple, the island is just something that adds to the losties mana pool… I am sooo smart!