Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Review: Lost 1.12: Whatever The Case May Be
Sawyer tries (in vain) to open the Haliburton Case.
Lost - Season One, Episode Twelve - Whatever The Case May Be
Written 20/5/13

After the last three weeks of heavy developments, Lost returns to a slower but still acceptable pace this week, as three separate subplots work the characterisations - two in interesting directions, the remainder relying on some rather outdated character archetypes. The result was an enjoyable episode that had this strange sense of warm charm to proceedings - especially in the burgeoning relationship between Sayid and Shannon, which despite my poo-pooing of which in The End review is quite fun.
     While out having a cheeky swim together, Sawyer and Kate discover a set of seats from the plane in a waterfall pool, with people still strapped to them. They retrieve a Haliburton Case from the seats - it belonged to the Marshall, and contained guns and Kate's personal effects - a toy plane belonging to her childhood sweetheart. Kate convinces Jack to exhume the Marshall in order to get the key, and on opening it he discovers Kate's secret. Sayid asks french-reading Shannon for help in translating Rousseau's cyphers and maps. Shannon gets frustrated when the translations come out as gibberish, but she and Sayid bond when she remembers that the cypher contains the lyrics to La Mer. Rose acts all spiritual and wise to help Charlie recover from his near-death last week. Kate's flashbacks take her to a bank heist where she played the victim, although she in turn stitched up her fellow conspirators in order to retrieve the toy plane from the dead lover's safety deposit box.
     My favourite part of the episode was the Sayid/Shannon subplot, with Sayid seeking redemption in Shannon's relative innocence and Shannon finally finding someone who appreciates her as something more than a pretty face. It felt very much like a redemption for the character after 11 or so weeks of her being defined by ridiculously extreme vapidity (Sunbathing the day after the crash) and her incessant arguing with Boone (with whom she has incestuous undertones, as is covered in next week's episode.) Shannon actually felt like a useful presence instead of joining her brother as the show's loads.
Shannon and Sayid bond over "La Mer".
     Rose Nadler gets a bit of character development in the next few seasons to distinguish her amongst the cast, but here the Lost writers fall into the very unfortunate Magical Negro stereotype, in which a PoC character seems to exist solely to dispense spiritual wisdom to the unfortunate white protagonist figure. It's probably wrong of me, but I really didn't care about Charlie's storyline, and as much as I appreciated that his near-death experience didn't leave him fine and dandy, it was a tiddle bit dull for my tastes.
     And it's beginning to become such that the main Jack and Kate storylines, while still entertaining, aren't the most interesting part of the episodes. I call it over-exposure, really. 14 main characters and 12 episodes in, Jack and Kate have had three centric episodes each (if you include the Pilots). Whatever the Case May Be was a nice breather episode that nonetheless kept up some nice character work, but I question why this couldn't have been a Shannon-centric episode, especially seeing as Kate's only flashback development was a goddamn hint towards her fourth centric episode much later in the season.


NEXT WEEK: Boone and Shannon aren't blood siblings, it turns out. Thankfully. It's Heart and Minds.
P.S. This is my 750th Post!

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