I thought briefly about talking about the “everybody hates Kate (centrics)” thing, but since every other LOST recapper on the interwebs has talked it to death already–nah. Let’s move on.
First of all, I have to say that I caught the greatest movie of all time, The Princess Bride, on Sunday before typing up this recap. Maybe it’s just transference, but it seemed to me like there were an awful lot of nods to that movie in this episode, in addition to one truly epic Empire Strikes Back nod. [note: I actually wrote this before reading Erika of LongLiveLocke’s recap that also noted a Princess Bride vibe. It’s weird that we both picked up on it. Then again, maybe Damon & Carlton are just closeted Carl Reiner fans.]
We start out right where we left off on the Island, with Sayid still a little wobbly from the effects of [Miracle Max] the brackish-but-magical waters of the Temple baptistry.
While most of our Losties are delighted to have their own Man In Black (tank tops) back,
Sawyer was feeling considerably less upbeat. Largely because his dearly-departed and recently-buried Juliet stayed dead.
He runs off, telling Kate not to come after him. But as we know from when Jack gave her similar instructions on Hydra Island, the odds of her not coming after him are negligible.
The Temple Others insist that it is very important that they get him back. Kate offers to track him, and Jin offers to come along ostensibly to look out for Kate but in reality, to get a chance to find Sun. Aldo, the guard who fell for the old Wookie prisoner trick back on Hydra Island and a friendlier African-American Other named Justin go along to be either their armed escort, or their prison guards, depending on how you want to look at it.
Either way you look at it, they’re not terrifically good at the job, because Kate and Jin lose them about five feet into the jungle. But not before they all notice some very Rousseau-esque traps, and the Others remind us that in this reality, our friendly neighborhood crazy French chick has been dead about three years. Thank you, writers, for that little bit of foreshadowing.
Back at the Temple, the Others have done a complete 180 from being extremely freaked at the prospect of Sayid dying, to being equally freaked that he’s now walking around post-mortem.
They drag him back for some good old fashioned torture-testing which they tell him he passed. It involves hooking him up to The Machine (okay, a machine), blowing volcanic ash across his chest, and electrocuting him (Sayid, upon returning to his friends: “They didn’t even ask me any questions.”)
Let’s hope they don’t decide to freeze him in carbonite for the rest of the season.
Jack runs in to the office of Dogen, the irritable Japanese leader of this particular group of others. Dogen and his completely unnecessary translator Lennon tell him they were diagnosing Sayid for some kind of bizarre untranslatable malady (which is described alternately as “infected” or “claimed.”)
I say Lennon is entirely unnecessary, but that’s not entirely true. His purpose is less translator and more intermediary, helping the leader keep a nice objective distance from the people he leads. In other words, he walks among them, but he’s not one of them. And here you thought there was no point to “Stranger in a Strange Land!” Next we’ll be finding out there were secret clues to the Island mystery tucked into Billy Dee Williams’ dialogue in “Expose.” But I digress.
Dogen attempts to convince Jack to give Sayid a pill that looks like an herbal supplement. Sayid will have to take it of his own free will for it to work–and the Others feel that after torturing him, his trust in their intentions is probably fairly low. Sayid offers to take the pill from Jack, if he genuinely thinks it will be the right thing to do. Instead, Jack returns to Dogen’s office and attempts to swallow the pill himself, earning himself a Heisman Heimlich from Dogen, and an admission that the pill is poison.
And also, that whatever “darkness” is claiming Sayid has already taken Jack’s sister, Claire. BOOYAH!!
Speaking of Claire, let’s briefly recap the off-Island story: Kate hijacks’ Claire’s cab after a notably weird look of recognition at seeing Jack again outside the airport. The cabbie defects. She kicks Claire out somehow without noticing her 36 week pregnancy, and convinces a grizzled machinist to pop the handcuffs off her. Then she has a pang of conscience upon opening Claire’s bag and realizing she kicked a pregnant mom out on the wild streets of L.A. So she returns to the corner to find Claire waiting on a bus, and convinces her to let her give her a ride to the couple who are planning on adopting her baby. Because after all, she came back. To be honest, if I had to choose between a ride on a Los Angeles bus and hitchhiking with an armed felon…I dunno, I think I’d still take the bus. Also, if she had money for cab fare before, and Kate was being honest about not taking her money (I guess she took the $200 to pay chop shop guy out of the cab’s cash box) wouldn’t she have had money for another cab? But I digress…
So they ride on over to the couple’s house only to find out that the husband left the wife, and the wife couldn’t get it together enough to call Claire and say “Um, about that baby adoption thing? Not gonna work out. No reason to fly 27 hours to California.” The shock of this news drives Claire into premature labor. Kate drives her to the hospital, where friendly obstetrician Ethan offers to either deliver the baby tonight, or try to stop the labor. Claire opts for a later delivery, and covers for Kate when the federales show up.
So, that’s what Kate does in the other reality.
What she does in the Island reality, is chase after Sawyer, and find him digging up the engagement ring he was planning on giving to Juliet from his old Dharma house. They have a brief conversation where he admits he holds himself responsible for her death, because he kept her from getting on the first sub off the Island back in the 70s. Kate tells him she came back to the Island to find Claire, and was hoping he’d help out. He tells her good luck getting back to the Temple by nightfall, and returns to his personal Pit of Despair.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, Jin’s efforts at reuniting with Sun are foiled by Aldo, Justin and a bear trap. Just as Aldo is about to shoot him, a very Rousseau-esque Claire pops out of the bushes and kills Aldo and Justin.
See ya next week, as we recap tonight’s episode The Substitute.