Category Archives: Recaps and reviews

Recaps of LOST 6×03 “What Kate Does”

Recaps that I enjoyed reading this week:

Jeff (Doc) Jensen, in his recap at EW, calls Kate a “Good Shepherdess” in this episode, because she runs after the “sad strays of her flighty flock” — grieving Sawyer on the Island and pregnant Claire, all alone in L.A.

Jensen writes about how the title is in the present tense, and how that reflects what is going on in the episode. In both realities, the characters are trying to get away from their past.

He has two theories about the Sideways flashes. The first is that The Sideways world is the LOSTie’s afterlife, and the second is that the Sideways story is a metaphor for our relationship to fiction.

(My own take is that the Sideways story shows how fiction is written. A writer, starting with a character, will play with the character in his mind or in drafts, putting the character into first one situation then another, seeing which situation best gets the writer where she is trying to go, which one best reveals character, creates interesting conflicts, or barrels towards a satisfying resolution.

When I watch the Sideways world, remembering the original flashback world, it feels as if I am reading subsequent drafts of a story. The essence of the characters remains the same, but the details of their situations — their external circumstances — differ.

There is certainly more to it than that — I’m sure the LOST writers will ultimately merge all these worlds together, in some way — but I think it must have been a blast to write the Sideways scenes, creating two similar, but different, scenarios — and then getting to keep them both. An unusual opportunity to have one’s (Dharma) cake and eat it too.)

Back to Jensen’s recap: He makes an interesting point about the new-and-improved Jack having a Zen-like grounding in the present, which combines the episode’s theme of the present tense with the Zen backdrop provided by Dogen and his temple.

There’s a lot more to this recap (8 pages!), and you can read it here: Jeff Jensen’s recap of 6×03: Staying Connected.

Fishbiscuit, at Fishbiscuitland, offers sharp insights into Kate’s character. For example, she writes: “Whenever [Kate] does a person wrong, she turns around and pours her heart into helping them recover from whatever it is she just did.”

She can be very funny: “I know the poor man [Sawyer] needs his space, but he’s going to have to snap out of it pretty quick. We’ve only got three months left! I don’t want to see him dressing up in her clothes and building a shrine to her in his attic or anything like that.”

And she picks up on cool details: “Lindsey Baskum” (the name of the woman in the Sideways world who was supposed to adopt Claire’s baby, but didn’t) is an anagram of “Used by Malkins.” (Richard Malkin was the psychic who Claire visited, who told her to go to L.A. to give her baby to a couple he knew there. His wife and daughter made brief appearances on the show. Perhaps collectively they are the Malkins (plural) that the anagram refers to.)

She has interesting things to say about free will and fate: “Jack and Locke, Kate and Sawyer, Hurley and Sayid, Sun and Jin – all were brought to the Island by Fate. Dogen says that he was also ‘brought’ to the Island. It’s an Island of immigrants, where everyone is imported from somewhere else. There are no indigenous people. Who brings them there and for what purpose? That is the question we are now circling in an ever decreasing orbit, but it doesn’t seem to me that Free Will has much of anything to do with it.”

There are a lot more great points in this recap, and the well-chosen images and quotes make it a pleasure to read: Fishbiscuit’s recap of 6×03: Kate, Interrupted.

A week ago, I said that I wasn’t going to be writing any recaps this year. But then, as it turned out, I couldn’t resist writing something after all. What I ended up with is not quite a recap — I’m not sure what to call it (any suggestions?). I invite you to read it, if you haven’t already: Ms Terri’s (not quite a) recap of 6×03 What Kate Does.

Finally, if you want to quickly review the highlights of 6×03, here’s the “Previously on LOST” bit (which ABC calls, confusingly, “Quick Cut” on the video title) which (I assume) is what we’ll be seeing at the start of the next episode:

Thoughts on 6×03 “What Kate Does”

Though this episode wasn’t as exciting as the season premiere, there was much here to like.

Transitions between timelines

Most of the Island scenes flowed right into the Mainland scenes, and vice-versa. It reminded me of the way the flashbacks worked in Season 1, where there would be some action on the Island and then a flashback to a directly relevant scene from the character’s past.

I have no guesses yet as to what, if anything, these seamless transitions might mean, but they’re a great storytelling technique, giving the episode, with all its different plotlines, a kind of unity. The fact that we don’t yet know what that unity is about only makes it that much more intriguing.

See how smoothy these transitions flow:

Island Sawyer: “I’m thinking about about running, Kate.” Cut to mainland Kate running from the Marshall.

Mainland Kate driving. Cut to Island Kate turning a corner.

Island Kate, to Lennon: “I can be very convincing, when I want to be.”  Cut to Mainland Kate driving into mechanic’s shop, where she convinces the guy there to cut off her handcuffs and give her a place to change.

Mainland Kate opens Claire’s bag. Cut to Island Kate stuffing things into her own bag.

Photo in Claires bag in LOST 6x03 What Kate Does

Mainland Kate is about to drive Claire to her destination. Cut to Island Kate leading group through the jungle.

Kate leading group through jungle LOST 6x03

Island Jin to Kate: “Once you catch up with Sawyer, then what?” Island Kate: “I guess we’ll figure that out together.” Cut to Mainland Kate and Claire in the cab, where they will soon have to figure out together what to do.

Mainland Claire feels the baby coming. Cut to Island Kate, walking into the children’s playground in the deserted Other compound.

Kate in Others deserted playground 6x03 What Kate Does

Island Kate to Sawyer: “I was worried about you.” Cut to Mainland Kate, worried about Claire, rushing her to the hospital.

Kate holds Claire’s hand in hospital. Cut to Island Kate telling Sawyer that she came back to the Island because she needs to find Claire.

Kate is about to leave Claire. Cut to Kate about to leave Sawyer.

Leakage from one timeline to another

This was an eerie moment:

Kate: “Aaron’s a great name.”
Claire: “I don’t know why I said it. It’s like I knew it or something.”

I expect we will be seeing more leakage as the season progresses.


Sayid, the torturer, gets tortured. Could this be karmic justice or retribution?

Jack, who wants to save everyone, easily admits that he didn’t save Sayid from the gunshot wound. Is it his destiny to learn humility? Or maybe not, as he does save Sayid in the end.

The other Others

It’s so funny that the hippie Other with the Lennon eyeglasses is actually named Lennon. Even funnier is the way that Television Without Pity calls his constant companion Dogen “Yoko.”

Others Dogen and Lennon in LOST 6x03 What Kate Does

You have to stay

Dogen tells Sawyer, “You have to stay.” Sawyer answers, “No I don’t.”

Is “You have to stay” the Season 6 version of “We have to go back?” Will something terrible happen if the current band of LOST-ies do not all remain in the Temple?

Sawyer, Kate, and Jin all managed to get out. Was this a good or a bad move for them? I think they may be in trouble. As horror films have taught us, people in creepy situations should never separate themselves from the larger group.

The revelations

What’s a LOST episode without revelations? This episode had three, though we had to wait for them until the very end.

1. Sayid has been “claimed”!
2. Claire too!
3. Oh, look, the person who just shot those people is Claire!

Claire is back -- LOST 6x03 What Kate Does

And just because I like the love triangle …

Yeah, I know, many fans loathe the love triangle, but I still get a kick out of it, and out of moments like Jack’s leaning in to kiss Kate, and Kate walking away.

Jack and Kate in 6x03 What Kate Does

And the love quadrangle too …

I’ve already mentioned how moving I found the scene on the dock where Sawyer blamed himself for Juliet’s death.

Sawyer remembering Juliet in LOST 6x03 What Kate Does

All in all, a good episode, if not one of the all-time greats.

All screencaps are from, except for the screencap of Dogen and Lennon, which is from the ABC site.

LOST recaps

While I reserve the right to change my mind, I’m probably not going to be doing recaps this year. For one thing, my life is going to be chaotic for a while. I’m going to be moving back (and forth? and back?) across the country. But even if I had the time, I would still feel like I was reinventing the wheel — there are already so many great recaps out there, many of them much better than what I could do. Just to mention a couple for now:

One that I stumbled across for the first time this evening is by Lula on the blog Sussing Out LOST. Her recap of the first part of “LA X” (the second part is still to come) hits all the important points of the episode, catches details I had missed (Arzt and Frogurt were both on the plane) as well as subtle points I never would have caught in a million years (A character named Bram — as in Bram Stoker, author of Dracula — was killed with a stake through the heart!). Best of all, the recap is hilarious and made me laugh all the way through: Lula’s LA X recap.

My all-time favorite recapper is Fishbiscuit, who posts on her own blog, Fishbiscuitland, and also on DocArzt’s. Her recaps are brilliant, combining a keen eye for pattern and detail, amazing analysis, discussions of philosophy, science, and literature, which open up the episodes and tie them to the larger world of ideas, and a refreshing feminist perspective which I don’t think I’ve seen in any other discussion of LOST: Fishbiscuit’s recap of LA X.

There are many more fantastic LOST recappers, and I’ll be pointing to more of them as the season goes on.

Mini recap of 5×15 ‘Follow the Leader’

Miles and Jin watching the people get on the submarine

Miles and Jin watching the people get on the submarine

Although the episode title refers to a “leader” in the singular, there are actually two leaders in this episode who set out on parallel treks in different times — Jack in 1977 and Locke in 2007. Each is convinced that he is finally acting out his destiny. And each has Richard Alpert tagging along, as fresh and dewy-looking as ever.

Jack wants to carry out Faraday’s plan to explode the bomb, in order to put things back the way they were. Kate’s not interested. If everything is undone, she will just become a fugitive again, and will never have met Jack. Besides, she thinks, not unreasonably, that it’s irresponsible to go around detonating hydrogen bombs.

Ellie, though, is glad to show Jack where the bomb is. She knows she has just shot her future son and of course would want to see that undone. Not to mention that the bomb is right under the village of her enemies, the Dharma Initiative.

Sayid pops up (I had forgotten about him!) and rescues Kate from being shot by a Hostile. Kate takes the opportunity to head back to Dharmaville, where she is captured and put on the submarine in the impromptu prisoner’s quarters already occupied by Sawyer and Juliet. They were gazing into each other’s eyes and reveling in their sweet Suliet-ness until being rudely interrupted by Kate’s arrival.

Jack, Sayid, and Ellie, accompanied, for some reason, by Alpert, enter some very cool-looking underground tunnels and find the bomb, which apparently was not encased in concrete after all.

Meanwhile, Hurley, Miles, and Jin are in the hills above Dharmaville. Poor guys! Sawyer, who was supposed to lead them to the beach, is on the sub, apparently not caring that he was leaving them behind.

Miles, though, learns something important about his past. He watches his father, Dr. Chang, yelling at his mother, who has baby Miles in her arms, telling her she has to leave. Grown-up Miles understands that his father is yelling not because he is cruel, nor because he wants to get rid of his wife and infant son, but because he knows that yelling is the only way he will get his wife to leave — and save herself and baby Miles. And so the Island, once again, seems to have healed one of its character’s painful lifelong Daddy issues!

Thirty years later, in the Hostile’s camp, John Locke is glowing with alpha male energy. Alpert (who John aptly describes as a kind of adviser who has had that job “for a very, very long time”) and Ben appear submissive, but seem to harbor mutiny in their hearts, as they follow John on a trek to find Jacob, who no one has ever seen before.

Alpert had told Sun that he had seen all the 1977 Losties die. Locke told her that Jacob can bring them back. But Locke told Ben that he really wanted to find Jacob in order to kill him.

There’s a mind-bending scene where Locke tells Alpert that his time-tripping self is going to appear in the jungle with a bullet in his leg (just as we saw him earlier this season). Locke tells Alpert to tell the other Locke that he has to bring everyone back to the Island, and that in order to do that he will have to die.

So Locke’s instructions came from …. future Locke. So it’s all a big circle? Excuse me while my head explodes.

Screencap from Lost-Media, (c) ABC

Recap of 5×14 The Variable

Faraday, saying, "She was wrong."

Faraday, saying, "She was wrong."

An amazing episode.

After we’ve heard Jack wail so many times, “We have to go back! We have to go back!” it turns out that no, they didn’t have to go back after all.

Faraday’s theory about how you can’t change the past is turned on its head.

We see Mommy issues that are just as twisted as the show’s ubiquitous Daddy issues.

The episode starts with a fabulous beginning, quickly flipping through scenes we’ve seen before — Faraday telling space-suited Desmond to meet him in Oxford, Eloise saying “God help us all,” Ben shooting Desmond.

Then new footage of Desmond in the hospital, Penny and baby Charlie. Eloise Hawking shows up! Says this was her son’s fault.

30 years earlier…. Faraday is coming out of submarine hatch, which we saw at the end of the last episode. Faraday asks Jack why he came back. Jack says Faraday’s mother told him it was his destiny. Faraday tells Jack, “She was wrong.”

Flashback to young Daniel playing the piano. His mother asks him if he knows what destiny means, and says it’s a special gift that must be nurtured. His gift is his mind, his talents in math and science. So he will have no more time for the piano! “I can make time,” Daniel says, but Mom Eloise is unyielding.

Meanwhile in Dharmaville, Jack finds out that Phil is in Sawyer’s closet.

Faraday goes to the Orchid. Dr Chang says “God help us all” — we saw this earlier this season in Episode 1. Faraday says that there will be an explosion in the Swan station 30,000 times more powerful than the one in the Orchid. Dr C asks, how do you know? Faraday says, I’m from the future. Faraday tells Dr. C that Miles is his son. Miles is not pleased.

Flashback of Daniel graduating, getting his doctorate. Mom Eloise is horribly rude to Daniel’s girlfriend Theresa, then whisks him off to lunch alone. He tells her he has a grant from Charles Widmore! Her expression is unreadable. She gives him a gift, and then leaves. It’s the book that we always see him writing in, his constant.

Dharma time. All the Dharma losties are meeting, talking about skipping town, debating whether to get on the sub or go into the jungle. Knock on door. It’s Miles and Faraday. Sawyer, to Miles: “He still crazy?” Miles: “It’s on a whole new level, man.”

Flashback to Daniel freaking out while watching the news on TV about Flight 815 being under the sea. (We’ve seen this part of the scene before.) He’s in terrible shape from having sent himself through time, which destroyed his mind and his memory (and messed up his girlfriend and cost him his job). He doesn’t even know why he’s so upset by the broadcast.

Charles Widmore shows up! Tells Daniel that he had faked the Flight 815 crash. Offers him a new opportunity — to go to the Island. Tells him it will heal his mind. Says he shouldn’t be wasting his gifts. Faraday says, “You sound like my mother.” Widmore says that’s because they are friends.

Dharma Losties argue about whether to go to the Hostiles to find Ellie, Faraday’s mother. Jack wants to, Sawyer doesn’t. They both appeal to Kate, but it’s Juliet who tells them the fence combination. They split up — Kate, Jack, and Faraday take off. Faraday sees little Charlotte, tells her she has to leave. They have a shoot-out with Radzinsky.

Flashback to messed-up Faraday playing the piano. Mom Eloise comes in, tells him he should accept Widmore’s offer. She echos Widmore in saying that the Island will heal him. Faraday, pathetic, asks Eloise if taking the job will make her proud of him.

Dharma time. Faraday says, this is our present. Any one of us can die.” Well, there goes my theory.

Radzinsky finds Phil in Sawyer/Juliet’s closet. Uh oh!

Faraday explains to Kate and Jack that after the explosion goes off in the Swan, then the hatch will be built, the button will have to be pushed to keep the energy contained, Flight 815 will crash, and he himself will be on the freighter, and so on. All of that will be the result of the explosion that is about to happen.

He says he thought that you couldn’t change the past, but that’s because he was thinking of the constants. But what about variables? He says THEY are the variables. They CAN change their destiny.

And he intends to do that by detonating the H-bomb.

Back to Penny and Eloise, who says she has come to apologize. For once, she doesn’t know what is going to happen next. But Desmond is fine! He tells Penny, “I promised I’d never leave you again.”

Eloise walks out of the hospital. Widmore creeps out of the shadows. She tells him he should go inside and visit his daughter, Penny. He says that relationship was one of the things he had to sacrifice. She says, don’t talk to me about sacrifices. I sent my son back, she says, knowing full well what would happen.

Widmore says, “He’s my son too!”

Eloise slaps him.

In Dharma time, our trio creeps up on the Hostile’s camp. Faraday confronts Richard Alpert. Then young Eloise shoots Faraday! He says, “You knew. You always knew this would happen.” But young Eloise has a blank expression. Is she faking?

And is Faraday dead?

Screencap of Faraday (lightened/cropped) from the DarkUFO sneak peek video #2 in my previous post, (c) ABC

Instant recap of the LOST clip-show special “The Story of the Oceanic 6”

The Oceanic 6

The Oceanic 6

I’m typing this up during the commercial breaks of the show.

9:08 First segment was a fast-paced recap of the first four seasons, except for the flash-forwards, with the most emphasis placed on Season 4, especially the part where the Oceanic 6 decided they were going to lie when they got back.

It was okay. I’d rather be watching a new episode, but the fast pace kept it interesting.

One of the clips they showed was of Locke saying, “What if everything that happened here, happened for a reason?” You think he was giving a shout-out to this blog? Ha ha ha.

9:17 They went through material that had previously been shown piece by piece in the Season 4 flash-forwards (along with a few clips from Kate’s Season 5 flashback), telling the stories from the point of view of one character at a time, in a fairly linear fashion. This is what I had been expecting from the clip show — something similar to the Season 4 DVD feature “The Course of the Future.” The DVD feature went into more detail, though.

9:28 This segment was about Season 5, touching quickly on the left-behind Losties flashing through time, and then focusing on Locke going back to the mainland and trying to convince the Oceanic 6 to come back. We got to see Ben kill Locke, which I’m not sure I really needed to see again.

9:37 Meanwhile back on the mainland … These were scenes from the end of Season 4 and the beginning of Season 5, as the Oceanic 6 inched closer to going back. Not super exciting, although I was glad to see one of my favorite moments — Hurley throwing a Hot Pocket at Ben.

9:48 More on the Oceanic 6, before they left for the Island. This was all recent and familiar material. I did enjoy seeing Eloise Hawking in her underground lair again.

10:01 The last segment picked up with Ben attacking Desmond and Penny on the pier, and then showed, in linear order, scenes that had previously been jumbled: the Losties getting on the plane, the plane crash, and the experiences of the group that landed in Dharma time. There was then a brief moment with the Beachies, stopping at the point where Locke lowered his hood. What happened in the last few episodes wasn’t included.

This clip show would probably be useful for new viewers who want to get quickly up to speed, but if you are a regular viewer and you missed it, don’t worry. It was strictly a review, mostly of recent material. No new questions were answered, no secrets revealed, and no special insights offered. It was a fairly enjoyable way to spend an hour, but not a crucial one for the show’s fans.

Pictures of the Oceanic 6 (c) ABC, via Lostpedia

Recap 5×12 Dead is Dead

Smokie shows Ben faces from the past

Smokie shows Ben faces from the past

Ben, still wracked with guilt over Alex’s death, has come back to the Island to be judged by Smokie, who he calls “The Monster.”

That name could just as easily be applied to Ben himself. Ben is a cold-blooded killer, as we see in both the present storytime and the past via flashback. In the present, Ben shoots Caesar point blank, after manipulating him into attacking John. In the past, Ben tries to kill Penny, who he has never even met, just to get back at her father. He shoots Desmond because he is in the way. Surely Ben is the real monster of this story.

And yet, it’s a testament to Michael Emerson’s skill as an actor that we don’t simply hate Ben. When he tells Charles that baby Alex is not an “it,” Ben seems human, even endearing. When he sees the vision of Alex in Smokie’s lair, and he says her name, the love, and longing, and sorrow, and regret in his voice is heartbreaking.

The episode is almost as much about Locke as it is about Ben. Being dead for a while seems to have done Locke a world of good. It must have been like a little vacation, if we can judge by how refreshed he looks! He’s got his Season One macho swagger back, his confidence, his smile, his twinkling eyes, and his ability to do a magic mind-meld with the will of the Island.

There’s a lot of talk about the Island’s will. Not only John, but also Ben, Widmore, and Alpert all have lines referring to “what the Island wants.” At times, they seem to equate “what Jacob wants” with “what the Island wants.” Does that mean that Jacob is the Island, in some sense?

We see Ben in several stages of his life, and along the way, a few mysteries are cleared up. Charles, with a lot of hair, visits Little Ben and tells him the Island saved his life. Young-man Ben, with a teenaged Ethan, takes baby Alex. Several years later, Alex is in a swing, and Charles is banished from the Island.

In the present, Ben appears freaked out that John is alive, and says that knowing it would happen is different from actually seeing it. Ben and Locke then take the Island version of a buddy road trip. They run into Sun and Lapidus. The latter has had it with dead men walking, and wants to leave Crazy Island. But Sun wants to stay and find Jin. Locke tells her he has some ideas for how she can do that.

Ben lies to Sun, and tells her that “dead is dead” and that he had no idea that Locke would come back to life. Or is it Locke he had lied to, earlier, when Ben told him he knew he would come back — and Sun to whom he is now telling the truth?

In any case, it’s off to the temple, an encounter with Smokie, and the appearance of undead Alex. Strangely, when undead Alex suddenly grabs Ben by the throat, out of all the many topics she could have chosen to discuss with her father during this rare opportunity for communication, she chooses to speak about John Locke.

She says she knew Ben was planning to kill him again, and that if Ben so much as touched John, she would hunt him down and destroy him. She orders Ben to listen to every word that John Locke says and to follow his every order.

That’s quite a good deal for Locke!

Earlier, when Ben was on the porch of his old home with Sun, he heard a rustling in the jungle. He said to Sun, “You may want to go inside. What’s about to come out of that jungle is something I can’t control.” He meant Smokie, of course, but then when it was Locke who walked out of the jungle, Ben’s statement still applied – John Locke is someone Ben can no longer control.

Mysteries solved:

Ben killed John to bring everyone together so they would come back to the Island (or, at least, that’s what Ben said).

Ben took baby Alex to save her.

Ben’s injuries when he boarded Flight 315 were from Desmond beating him up after Ben tried to kill both Desmond and Penny.

Unsolved mysteries:

What’s in the crate on the beach?

How did Ethan come to be with the Others?

Who is Ilana, really? And why did she ask Lapidus “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” and why did she knock him out when he couldn’t answer?

And who was Caesar? Was he just the innocent victim of Ben’s manipulations that he appeared to be? Or did he have a secret role on the Island as well?

Ben and the Smoke Monster (lightened) from screencap by (c) ABC

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