February 25, 2008 | Comments ()

By Daniel Carlson | Lost Recaps | February 25, 2008 |


It would have been nearly impossible for “Lost” to follow up the top-notch “The Economist” episode, and as such, “Eggtown” in many ways has a pretty predictable drop in action from watching Sayid play an international hitman and guilt-ridden lackey for Ben in a future where nothing is right. Still, the fourth episode of Season Four, “Eggtown,” had some great moments that revealed themselves in the fashion the show has become known for and which I find myself repeatedly praising: Namely, answers to puzzling questions and fairly significant plot points were unveiled with stunning casualness, while the act breaks themselves hung on more mundane or instantly solvable dilemmas. The show is assembling itself week by week; you just have to pay a little attention.

“Eggtown” opens with a close-up of an eye, which is a popular motif for the show, and it turns out to be John Locke’s, which isn’t too uncommon either. But the episode isn’t really about him, or at least he’s not flashing back or forward or anywhere. Locke opens his eyes and makes some breakfast for Ben, who’s tied up in the basement of one of the houses in the Barracks, and whose bruises are beginning to turn an unsettling shade of yellow. Locke also brings down Ben’s own copy of Philip K. Dick’s Valis, but Ben sniffs that he’s already read it, and Locke suggests that a closer reading might reveal something new. Locke and Ben have their 736th showdown, this one about Locke’s desperation and inability to figure out what to do next with his part of the tribe. Locke says Ben can’t shake him, then walks out into the hall and throws the food against the wall like a whiny kid. A couple houses away, Kate and Claire are having coffee on the porch, and for some reason it looks like Kate has not only avoided a shower but has actually been smearing herself with dirt as a way to pass the time. Sawyer saunters up and shakes his mane at Kate; she flexes her freakish bicep back at him, and they begin to chat and flirt for a few minutes before arguing about what Kate is doing in Locke’s camp. She says she doesn’t trust Sawyer, but Sawyer says she’s just acting weird because she’s worried about a possible pregnancy, at which point she asks him to leave. Staring after him, Kate gets her very first flashforward: She’s sitting in a car, once again having familiarized herself with soap. She and her lawyer get out of the car and heads into a courthouse, where she’s charged with — and I am not leaving anything out — fraud, arson, assaulting a federal officer, assault with a deadly weapon, grand larceny, grand theft auto, and murder in the first degree. Kate stares down the judge and pleads not guilty, after which she’s remanded and taken into custody. Kate looks surprised at this turn of events, but then again, she blew up her father, so I don’t know what else she was expecting.

Back on the island, Jin and Sun, who haven’t been around for what feels like years, talk about where they want to move when they get rescued. Jin’s vote is for the U.S., and is weighing Albuquerque and New York as equal possibilities when Sun interrupts him and says she wants to raise the baby in Korea. Just then, Jack shows back up with Daniel, Charlotte, and Juliet. Sun asks where Kate is, and Jack doesn’t even try to hide the disappointment, curiosity, and hurt that flickers across his face when he says she stayed behind with Locke. And speaking of Kate: Back at the Barracks, she asks Locke where he’s keeping Miles, since she has some “personal” things she wants to discuss with him. Locke turns her down cold: “You may think this is a democracy Kate, because of the way Jack ran things, but this is not a democracy.” It’s a nice line that not only reinforces Locke’s worldview but also underscores that the castaways have begun to unconsciously see themselves as a self-contained society. It’s not just about surviving any more, but about who will get to set the rules for that survival. When Kate says that this sounds like a dictatorship, Locke caps the crazy talk by saying, “If I was a dictator, I’d just shoot you and go about my day.” At this point, Kate should probably leave immediately and go back to Jack, who has never told her he would kill her to make a point. But Kate likes her some bad boys, so she stays. She walks away and uses an elementary ruse to trick Hurley into revealing Miles’ whereabouts — Hurley compares it to “Scooby-Doo,” though you’d think for someone so clearly familiar with the show, he’d be able to tell when he was being conned out of valuable info.

Anyway, while Hurley cements his role as the lovable doofus, Kate heads down to the boathouse to visit Miles, who’s tied up inside. (The Others apparently had a lot of rope.) As soon as she walks in, Miles says, “So the Arab traded you, too.” Miles is now not just a douchebag, but a racially insensitive one; he’s clearly being set up for a giant fall, and I hope it’s soon. Kate asks Miles if he knows who she is and the crimes she’s committed; Miles, not being stupid, admits that he might, but tells Kate that he’ll only tell her what she wants to know if she helps him out. But he says he doesn’t want to be let go: “I’m right where I want to be,” he says, and there’s no way that’s going to be good for anyone. Miles says he’ll help Kate if she gets him one minute alone with Ben to talk about something.

Second flashforward: Kate, decked out in a prison jumpsuit, meets with her lawyer about the weakness of her case. The lawyer points out what Kate has been too dumb to accept, which is that by confessing her crime to her mother, she’s pretty much screwed herself in the culpability department. Kate’s lawyer suggests cutting a deal, which would mean receiving a 15-year sentence (nice that even the American judicial system bows to the mysterious numbers), and she’d probably walk after seven. Kate says she wants to go to trial and be put on the stand. Her lawyer counters that in that event, they’d have to make the case about character, not about what Kate did or didn’t do, since, again, she’s incredibly guilty. “I want him in the courtroom,” the lawyer says, but Kate refuses, saying, “You are not using my son.” This is the first bombshell, and it brings a load of questions: Where did Kate get the kid, and who’s the father?

Back on Hell Island: Jack can’t get a signal on the rescuers’ satellite phone, but cell service is always spotty on the beach. Juliet suggests calling 911, which Jack internally dismisses as too sensible, so he just stalks back to the tree line. Sun pesters him about Sayid’s location, and when Jack says he doesn’t know, she gets even pissier. She wonder aloud of Locke wasn’t right about the rescuers’ bad intentions, but Jack maintains that Locke doesn’t know what he’s doing. Sun says, “Then why is Kate with him?” Come on, Sun. Kate clearly stayed behind for Sawyer. You two have a bond; she was the one who figured out you spoke English. COME ON. Don’t go busting Jack’s balls over leadership issues and then take a swipe at his ability to keep a woman. Give the guy some space.

Meanwhile, Kate and Claire are hanging sheets out to dry at the Barracks. Aaron starts to cry, so Claire asks Kate to pick him up and rock him a bit, but Kate looks at Aaron like he’s a stable non-abusive guy with a steady income, meaning she freaks and backs away. Claire laughs and picks him up, then — despite immediate evidence that Kate does not want children — suggests Kate give motherhood a try for herself some day.

Third flashforward: Kate is back in court, and her lawyer surprises her by calling Jack to the stand as a character witness. Jack walks in, beardless and no doubt well into his closet alcoholism, while the D.A. objects on relevance or something. This is the scene where Jack drops some killer bombs about the cover story that the Oceanic Six have been spreading since they got back, and it’s amazing how much information is so casually delivered. A few episodes ago, the flashfoward saw Jack visit Hurley in the nuthouse and warn him about spilling the secret, and here Jack reveals the lie they’ve sworn was true in such an offhanded manner it’s almost easy to overlook how important the scene is. We don’t find out what happened, but we do find out what the Oceanic Six decide to say happened, and that’s going to be key. On the stand, Jack states that only eight people survived the crash, and that Kate helped them all get to shore and attempted to save two of the more wounded, who eventually died. He says that she was invaluable in looking after the group that would later be known as the Oceanic Six, and he further says that the marshal guarding Kate died in the crash, and that Jack never spoke to him. It’s a hell of a cover story, and now that we know it, we can start to ask more questions in a more specific direction: What happened to the rest of the castaways to keep them from being rescued, or even seen by the eventual saviors of the Oceanic Six? When did the Six decide on their story, and why? What could have persuaded them to lie? Kate interrupts Jack’s tale and says she wants him gone, since the trial is about her, not him. Under the cross-examination, Jack is only asked if he still loves Kate. Jack puts on his best Dawson-Leery-coming-to-grips face before saying, “No, not any more,” which is the final lie he tells under oath.

Back on the island, Hurley and Sawyer have moved in together, which would probably make a great sitcom. Sawyer is reading Adolfo Bioy Casares’ La Invencion de Morel, a sci-fi novel about freaky happenings on a Pacific island, while Hurley throws in a tape of Xanadu. Kate shows up to say hi, and Sawyer wastes no time before cracking open a box of wine and asking Kate what her real agenda is. Kate takes a slug and says she wants Sawyer’s help busting Ben out. Cut to Sawyer visiting Locke to play backgammon, while Locke asks Sawyer how the group is holding up and Sawyer tells Locke about Kate’s plan. It’s a pretty obvious ploy to distract Locke — admit to being used so it doesn’t look like you’re playing the guy — but Locke falls for it, and he and Sawyer head off to the boathouse to try and catch Kate. When they get there, they of course find nothing but an empty chair, since the plan was to get Locke out of the house long enough for Kate to bring Miles to Ben, which is just what happens. Up at the house, Kate leads Miles, whose hands are still tied, down to Ben’s basement lock-up so they can talk. Miles asks Ben if he knows who he is and who he works for, to which Ben gives a curt affirmative. Miles says he’ll lie to his boss and say Ben is dead if Ben agrees to pay Miles $3.2 million in cash. Ben and Kate are both pretty caught off-guard by Miles’ extortionist curveball, but Miles gives Ben a week to pay up. Kate drags him off and throws him against the wall, demanding to know just how much of her criminal record is known to Miles and his crew. Miles rattles off her record, and Kate’s somehow surprised. Again. As Kate is escorting Miles back upstairs, they run into Locke, who forcefully orders Kate back to her house. Kate does so and finally takes a shower. Claire finds her in the living room listening to Patsy Cline — country music, the music of pain — when Locke barges in and demands a word with Kate. Kate tells Locke about Miles’ plan, after which Locke says, “You’re not welcome here anymore. I want you gone by morning.” Locke is really not much on sharing.

Fourth flashforward: Kate is in some kind of meeting room at the courthouse when her lawyer wheels in Kate’s mother, now equipped with a breathing tube. Kate’s mom says she won’t testify if she can meet her grandson, but Kate refuses, saying she doesn’t want her mom anywhere near him. End of quasi-manipulative flashforward.

Back at the Barracks, Sawyer is reading shirtless, probably just waiting for Kate to walk in. She does, and they get back to some flirting before making out and falling out of frame like a couple about to make love in a 1940s movie. There’s a surprising amount of sex being had on the island. Down at the beach, Daniel and Charlotte are running a memory experiment with a deck of playing cards; after looking at the cards before they’re turned face-down and being timed by Charlotte, Daniel can only remember two of the three. He’s frustrated, though Charlotte says he’s making progress. Why is the apparently smartest guy in the rescue crew suffering weird memory losses? How long has Charlotte been coaching him through it? Before they can keep playing, Jack comes up and makes Charlotte use the satellite phone’s emergency line. She reaches someone named Regina and explains that Minkowski wasn’t answering the other line before asking about Sayid and the chopper. Regina says that the chopper hasn’t arrived, which understandably angers Jack. But then, we already know there’s a temporal anomaly encompassing the island as evidenced by Daniel’s weird rocket/stopwatch experiment from last week, so maybe Sayid and the rest are fine, they just got trapped in some weird space-time limbo while traveling.

The next morning, Locke goes down to the boathouse and gets positively frightening on Miles. Locke sticks a grenade in Miles’ mouth and pulls the pin, leaving it up to Miles’ tongue to keep the grenade from detonating. With that Locke, walks out like a badass. Up at the villa, Sawyer and Kate wake up in bed and start to make out. She crawls on top, but Sawyer flips her over and slides her arm up, pinning it down under the pillow while Kate says, “Wait, just slow down,” in a nervous tone that scares me and makes me wonder if “Lost” is about to go down a very dark road. Sawyer keeps kissing her and says, “It’s not like we’ve never done it before. I’m cool we didn’t go all the way last night. I get it, you were sad.” At this point my worry has become full-blown, since Sawyer looks five seconds away from adding sexual assault to his list of personal misdemeanors. But Kate pushes him off and rolls away, even as the camera pulls back to reveal that Kate not only had time to shower last night but also go shopping for boy shorts. Sawyer gamely fights through the blue balls to suggest again that Kate’s probably worried about pregnancy, but Kate tells him she’s not pregnant. His relief offends her, so she starts dressing to go back to the beach. They have the same old argument, and Sawyer says aptly, “I’m just gonna sit right here in my comfy bed, because in about a week, you’ll find some reason to get pissed at Jack and bounce right back to me.” Kate, hurt by Sawyer’s lashing out, slaps him and leaves, but not before they share a brooding look.

Final flashfoward: At Kate’s trial, the D.A. tells the judge that Kate’s mother won’t be able to testify for “medical reasons.” Kate and her lawyer meet with the D.A., during which Kate’s lawyer doesn’t do much to discourage the idea that he tampered with the witness. Kate strikes a deal that lets her go free for time served plus 10 years’ probation, meaning she can’t leave the state of California for a decade, which also obviously precludes Kate’s going back to the island to re-rescue the final castaways without upsetting the court. “I have a child. I’m not going anywhere,” Kate says. Outside the building, Jack approaches her and tells her he was lying back on the stand about not loving her. Kate says she’s heard him tell the fake story of the crash so often she’s starting to think he believes it. Jack asks Kate out for coffee, but she tells him they won’t be able to go out until he accepts her son and wants to see him. The boy still hasn’t been named, so it’s pretty clear that that’s going to be the key to the parentage: If Kate sees her son and calls him Sawyer, or Michael, or Hurley, or whatever, then Jack’s reluctance will make more specific sense. Kate goes home and finally sees her son. He hugs her and says, “Hi, Mommy.” Hugging him back, she says, “Hi, Aaron.”

Damn.

I admit I didn’t consider Aaron might be Kate’s son until she walked into his room and there was a little blond kid asleep in the bed. I’d been to busy wondering whether it was Kate’s, or who the father was, to realize that it just might have been Claire’s kid all along. Is Aaron part of the Oceanic Six? What happened to Claire? Did she give up the baby willingly, or was she killed? Does Jack know that Kate’s fake son is his half-nephew, which would mean he found out that Claire was his half-sister? Is it possible that Kate had her own baby and named it Aaron just to screw with me personally? (Unlikely, but you never know.) All around, a solid episode, with another killer ending.

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.

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Your Bird Can Sing, But You Don't Get Me

"Lost: Eggtown" (S4/E4) Recap / Daniel Carlson

Lost Recaps | February 25, 2008 | Comments ()




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