This was a much better Oceanic Six-centric episode than the last, choosing to coagulate the group into adventure parings rather than trying to jam six (well, five, because Aaron really ever isn’t the hero of his own story) individual narratives into a 42-minute show, balanced with on-island action. I’ll assume that this structural feat is due to the greatness of Executive Story Editor Brian K. Vaughn, who penned “The Little Prince” along with the wonderful series of graphic novels Y: The Last Man.
That said, this episode wasn’t really special for me, either. Throughout my experience with the series, I have never, ever liked Kate Austen. Maybe her only truly likable moment for me was what Sawyer re-witnessed when he time-skipped to two months ago: her bond with Claire when she helps that ill-fated Aussie deliver her baby. I’m not quite sure what it is about Kate that I dislike; I think it’s simply that, compared to other characters, she’s much less interesting. If you were going to choose your favorite Lost episode, you would never pick “Tabula Rasa” or “What Kate Did” or even “I Do” (which has Nathan Fillion, thus making it more enjoyable than other Kate-sodes). You’d pick something else, like “Flashes Before Your Eyes” or “The Constant” or perhaps even last week’s “Jughead.” I don’t know, maybe I’m being harsh on Miss Austen. If anyone actually has a favorite Kate-sode, please feel free to tell me about it in the comments.
Kate’s plot did move forward some questions about who exactly might be trying to prove maternity. She leaves Aaron in Sun’s care, who is definitely some kind of evil now because the minute she gets Kate in that suit and gets her out the door, she receives a package filled with surveillance photos of Ben and Jack and a shiny new gun, hidden in a box of chocolates. That’s how I like to get my guns, too, incidentally. I clearly completely misread their scene in “The Lie,” mistaking some underlying passive-aggression in Yunjin Kim’s line readings as calm and reassurance. No, no. Sun is a total badass now, and she’s working against Ben. I think that can only mean one thing: she’s with Widmore. That would explain the reason for their airport shouting match, and Widmore is currently the only person with power we know of who is strictly anti-Ben.
In meetings with Dan Norton, Kate agrees to give the blood samples, but only if Norton will reveal who his client is and talk to him herself. Norton refuses, telling Kate that she will absolutely lose Aaron. This totally freaks Kate out, because her entire truth about her off-island existence is about to be completely shattered. In the cold open, we learn that Aaron’s parentage was part of the lie, but it wasn’t invented by Jack. Kate made it all up.
“After everyone we’ve lost . . . I can’t lose him, too.” – Kate
Jack agrees to weave that thread into the tale he planned to concoct about how the Oceanic Six were saved, but only if he gets Kate’s solemn promise to lead the vote about spreading their collective lie. If two people support it, Jack reasons, it will be easier to get the other four to go along.
Jack and Ben are still trying to get all the Oceanic pieces back together, but while Jack is out of the room at the hospital, an orderly/assassin comes in to attempt to tranq Sayid Jarrah, apparently not realizing that he’s dealing with Sayid Fucking Jarrah, who easily takes the man out and discovers Kate’s address in his wallet, 42 Ponderosa Crest.
Fearing for her life, Jack calls Kate and goes to meet her, even though she insists its not a good time. She explains the Aaron situation and he tags along with her to tail Dan Norton and find out who wants to know the truth about little Aaron. Sayid and Ben, meanwhile, head off together to go spring Hurley from the joint, a place he was absolutely certain he’d be safe from Ben forever. They all agree to meet later that evening at the Long Beach Marina, pier 23.
When Norton meets with his client, Jack realizes that the woman at the door is Claire’s mother. He goes in to talk to her after Norton leaves, hoping to explain to her why they decided to lie and maybe convince her that Kate is really the best person for Aaron to stay with. But the minute he opens his mouth, he realizes that she has no idea who Aaron is or what he’s talking about. All she wanted from Dan Norton was her settlement check from Oceanic Airlines. Jack advises Kate that it’s best to forget this whole thing, and to call Sun to get Aaron to the pier.
Sayid and Ben also meet with Dan Norton, who has been working for Ben to get Hurley out of jail, which will prove easy enough, considering that Norton has been able to prove that the prosecution has no case against Hurley at all. Ben and Sayid return to the pier, sans Hurley, whom they will get later, I presume, and meet up with Jack and Kate with Sun glowers at them all from a nearby parked car. Kate realizes that it was Ben all along that wanted to test Aaron’s parentage, which he rationalizes as simply because Aaron isn’t actually her son, which in Benspeak means, “So I could scare you into seeking refuge on the island.” Sun looks back at Aaron, and cocks her gun menacingly before she gets out of the car.
Back on the island, people are free from legal troubles, but full of time travel adventures! From where we left off in “Jughead,” Charlotte has got the time sickness, like, really, really badly. She’s out for over ten minutes before regaining consciousness, and when she wakes, she has trouble remembering who Dan is. Juliet wants to know why this is happening only to Charlotte, and Daniel says he doesn’t know. Clearly, he does, because he lost another girlfriend (who also has curly reddish hair, mind you) to this sickness back in the day. EW’s Jeff Jensen has a theory that Charlotte’s memory is being depleted because her version of the time sickness is special in that the choices Farraday has been making in his time jumps might somehow actually be erasing Charlotte from existence. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s one way to explain why she’s forgetting things like her mum’s maiden name and Dan’s pretty bearded face.
Locke wants to go to The Orchid station, feeling that it’s the key to stopping the time skips and getting the Oceanic Six to return. He plays on Sawyer’s eternal flame for Kate, assuring him that she’s not dead, and that Locke can bring her back to the island, because he has to. On their trek, the survivors come across a beam of light emanating from the island, but they decide to avoid going near it, for fear that they do not know “when” they are, deciding instead to head back to the beach to use the Zodiac to get to The Orchid. Miles gets a nosebleed, too, though significantly less severe than Charlotte’s. Sawyer hears some sounds in the woods. He goes to investigate and sees his beloved Kate, helping Claire to deliver Aaron. But then the sky flashes and the vision before him is gone.
Locke asks Sawyer what he saw, and Sawyer reluctantly tells Locke, but only after admitting that he knew from the light in the sky when they were. It was 2004, two months ago, on the night Boone died. That night, Jack pounded on the hatch door looking for a sign and he got one, in the form of the beacon of light that shone above the island.
Meanwhile, Miles tells Farraday about his nosebleed, and wonders why only he and Charlotte seem to be affected. Farraday tells him that he thinks the people being affected are those who have spent the longest amount of time on the island. Miles protests that he’s only been on the island for two weeks, to which Daniel questions, “Are you sure about that?” echoing a statement Miles himself made to Charlotte about her associations with the island last season. Miles is definitely Dr. Pierre Chang’s baby, as there’s really no one else it could be, but this leaves the question of Charlotte’s parentage wide the fuck open. I’m fairly sold on the idea that Retro Other Ellie will grow up to be Mrs. Hawking who will be Daniel Farraday’s mother, but what if we’re all wrong about that? What if Retro Other Ellie is actually Charlotte’s mother? And possibly the illegitimate child of Ellie and young Charles Widmore, thus making her Penny’s sister? It could work. I mean, one thing she has in her favor for that theory is an English accent. There are dozens of reasons why Daniel Farraday wouldn’t have developed his mother’s accent (being raised in the States around Yankee peers could be one; having a Yankee father could be another), but Charlotte would definitely speak that way if she were raised by English parents around English peers.
The group makes it to the beach to find the camp they once knew destroyed and the Zodiac raft gone. Instead, they find two catamarans and a bottle of water from Ajira Airlines, which Juliet informs them is an Indian airline that flies all around the world. They decide to load themselves into one of the catamarans and paddle around to the other side of the island. On the boat, Sawyer tells Juliet about what he saw, but before he can explain, the catamaran is attacked by another catamaran. Juliet is about to get all gangsta and shoot the attacking boat out of the water, but then the sky flashes and the survivors are cast into a stormy sea. As they pull their catamaran ashore, Juliet develops a nosebleed, too, substantiating Farraday’s theory about time spent on the island. They then happen upon some fresh wreckage . . . in French.
Out at sea, a group of French-speakers find a man floating on a small piece of wood. They pull him into their liferaft and take him amongst their things to the shore once the storm dies down. The man they’ve saved is none other than Jin, who was evidently close enough to the island to have been time jumping all along with the rest of the gang. I had a feeling that Jin wouldn’t be dead, but I wasn’t sure how he’d turn up. So having him saved by a group of seafaring Frenchmen was definitely not on my list and both a pleasant and welcome surprise. And who are those seafaring Frenchies? Why, Danielle Rousseau, about six months pregnant with the child Ben will one day steal from her, and her team of research scientists.
I wonder if Jin will be the next to develop the time sickness, as his interaction with Rousseau and her crew indicates that he has been a part of this past, always, and if, perhaps, the time sickness will ultimately be what kills off Danielle’s crew. Or, more accurately, what makes her kill them all. I’m not sure how that would work out since the time jumps seem to only affect the castaways, but maybe Rousseau’s people arrived on the island just as the island moved last time, before the Dharma Initiative got there. Maybe the person who moved the island that time was one Charles Widmore?
I’m really happy to see more of Rousseau, a character I’ve always liked. It will be interesting to see how she transforms from this perky, adorable girl to the rough, thorny noble savage of woman we’ve known.
I’m honestly surprised at the number of people who thought Jin was dead. True, this show does kill off its characters with an alarming frequency, and Daniel Dae Kim did fall under that whole prime-for-killing umbrella when he was arrested for a DUI a while back, but seriously, let’s think about this.
Jin and Sun have become the central romantic couple. More than Sawyer and Kate, more than Charlie and Claire, more than Jack and Juliet and definitely more than Jack and Kate, and their story possesses Lost’s most wonderful asset – its heart. The first three seasons, both in flashbacks and on the island, told a remarkable arc about their courtship, the mob complications, the affair, the pregnancy, etc. etc. etc., but by the end they learned to forgive each other of all of their problems, learn to communicate better and finally fall back in love. Then, at the end of s4, Jin seemingly blows up along with the rest of the freighter with Sun looking down from the helicopter screaming her head off.
Do you really think that after all the time, all the emotion, all the peaks and valleys of their relationship, Damon and Carlton would be heartless enough to kill off their most passionate story? God no. What purpose would that serve? Yeah, right now we’re seeing what Sun is like as a bad-ass post-island, but no true storyteller would leave a character – and us – in such misery just to mess with our emotions. That’s what other characters are for. Charlie had a destiny, so that’s okay, but Sun had Jin. That’s who they are.
And if we’re following the logic of the island – or at least conspiracy theory logic – Jin couldn’t have died anyway, since he rose above his problems and all of his conflicts both internal and external and could thus be considered redeemed.
You crazy people.