Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Review: Lost 2.9: What Kate Did

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Wotcha doing Kate?
From Wikia

Lost - Season Two, Episode Nine - What Kate Did
Written 1/8/13

I hereby welcome you to an episode that mixes up absurd visions with soap opera relationships and some genuinely powerful drama thrown somewhere in there like the red baseball cap that ruins an entire washload of white shirts. Kate's storyline is an oddly and wonderfully one in that her flashback story is alway 100% more interesting that whatever she happens to be doing on the Island that day, and so as if to compensate her episodes are always (and I mean always) bumpered with other plotlines to keep things movely along nicely. The main island trivia meant that the revelation of What Kate Did lost a bit of its narrative potency, but fuck it.
     In the all-important flashback, we see Kate tuck her abusive, alcoholic stepfather into bed before riding away into the sunset as she blows the goddamn house up. She visits her mother with an insurance policy and a crytic hug, a move which makes it easy for Marshall Mars (whom we met in Season One and whom I love in this episode) to catch her on her way out of the state. Luckily she is saved when Mars, after giving her a long psychoanalytic talk, is forced to swerve due to a black horse standing in the road. She escapes and visits her dad, Sgt. Austen, where she reveals that she did what she did because she discovered that Austen was not her real father, and that she couldn't live knowing that the man she despised was a part of her and she had no way to stop it.
     On the Island, Kate opts out of Shannon's funeral to look after Sawyer, thinking she's going mad after seeing her Horse in the jungle. Sawyer randomly gets... possessed, I guess, and starts strangling her, leading to her having a mental breakdown which ends with her kissing Jack and having a heart-to-heart catch-up with a woken-up Sawyer. Locke shows Eko and Michael the Swan Orientation tape and both notice a missing strand of film, which Eko reveals as being inside the Bible he found inside the Arrow, the DHARMA station the Tailies inhabited on the other side of the island. Just as Locke and Eko discover that the missing reel is about making sure not to use the Swan Computer for outside communication, Michael receives a computer message from Walt.
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Michael discovers the joys of AOL.
From Wikia
     It was inevitable that a Kate episode would end up bringing more focus on the Love Triangle, especially with the way that it feels so often as if it's 50% of Kate's raison d'etre just to keep it going. It had so little bearing on any actual plot and I really can't feel for any of these characters' dilemmas because Kate does change her mind back and forth faster than an astable circuit with an overall resistance of 10 ohms changes state. Like, Kate and Jack don't really have consistent story arcs yet this season, what with all the new characters and stuff. It seems a bit weird to be trying to throw twists and turns and knots into a rope that isn't properly bound yet. The resulting "I saw a horse" freakout is still one of Lost's weirdest premises, even after smoke monsters and polar bears.
     I did enjoy everything, though. It was clearly striking to continue the momentum of the previous few weeks, with Kate's effing massive background revelation and the beginning of the "Michael turns" storyline with him communicating with Walt. But the triangle storyline is one that I find particularly tedious and I think that the whole "I'm going crazy and seeing visions" thing is already a Lost cliche even by this point. The mishandling of Kate's on-island storyline doesn't wreck the episode, and most of it's perfectly fine, but it does move your attention away from the good kids when there's one sat in the corner speaking in tongues. And that's the last weird metaphor I have for you today.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: We hear just how much of a badass motherfucker Mr. Eko is as we discuss the merits of The 23rd Pslam.

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