Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Whatever Happened, Happened."

By the end of Episode 11, I realized I was mistaken in my recap from last week. When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong. Lost proves again and again that we, the viewers, are incorrect in our assumptions more often than correct. It's why we love the show--the unknowns, the surprises, the unbelivables, the brilliant acting, and the myriad of manners in which we attempt to suss out what the heck is going on here?

Last week I mused, "We now realize part of the reason why Ben is the way he is," in reference to Roger, Ben's no-count daddy. I retract that statement, with apologies to Roger, especially for stating, "He sucks and got what was coming to him in the purge." Dang, that was harsh of me.

The crux of 'Whatever Happened, Happened" is that we now know why Ben is the way he is. The irony of it is so delicious I can barely type these words without dancing around my living room. Ben essentially becomes the man we all love to hate...because of Jack. Jin. Sayid. Kate. Juliet. And Sawyer.

I could stop right there and say, "End of story," but what fun would that be? Especially when we get to see this woman again:
Jumping right into Kate's flashback here (because the opening scenes were boring--Jin rescues Ben Junior, Horace bores his people with a bunch of lame safety talk, and Kate meets Roger...yada-yada-yada...), I confess zero surprise at seeing our gal Cass on the other side of that door. In a manner of seconds the viewer learns (a) Kate's theme music is always provided by Patsy Cline, (b) the people in young Aaron's life are seriously in love with Perry Como's "Catch a Falling Star," and (c) what Saywer whispered to Kate before his heroic helicopter leap.

Cassidy then proves she has a clue, and also earns my respect by naming Kate's game before Kate herself even realizes the facade is falling. Witness:

*Cassidy instantly knows Kate is lying--about the money, about Aaron, and about Sawyer.

*She shamelessly calls Kate out, all but saying, "Girl, the jig is up." The Eagles sang it best, "You can't hide your lying eyes, and your smile is a thin disguise..." Now this should be Kate's theme song. Why has no one else been bold enough to wag a finger at Kate's numerous falsehoods? (With the exception of the U.S. Marshall, may he rest in peace.) Rock on, Cassidy.

Back in present time...er, present as in 1977 of course, the Head of Security springs into action, dutifully checking the Dharma perimeter monitors, dismissing Kate, and dispatching Miles to place Jack, Kate and Hurley on house arrest. What a man, what a leader...yes, our Sawyer has become a productive member of society. Granted, it's Dharma's society, but still.

Juliet commences with her attempts at saving Ben's life, and we are treated to yet another gory surgery, Lost-style. (Remember the days of the Marshall and his protruding shrapnel? Boone's almost-amputation? Jack's appendectomy?)


Look at all that blood! Panicking, Juliet tells Saywer she needs a surgeon to assist her in the OR, which is code for, "Go get Jack!" Upon Saywer's summonsing of his services, Jack intones, "Dude, I'm a janitor now, so unless it's a stopped-up toilet, don't be asking me to get my hands dirty." Jack's actual response,"Then he dies," is so Ben-like in its delivery, I almost expected Dr. Shephard to bellow a hearty, "Bwahahahaha!" Or at least go all bug-eyed.

We viewers are then treated to what I hereby procclaim to be the best scenes of Season 5 thus far. Oscar and Felix's time-travel bantering was my favorite part of last night's episode of The Odd Couple.

OK, so it was really Hurley and Miles but seriously...they were The Odd Couple. And Hurley was the audience's proxy, voicing his (and ours!) confusion at all this time travel stuff. Is it similar to Back to the Future? (Did we love Hurley checking his hand to determine if he's in the beginning stages of a slow fade? We did.) Is Daniel Faraday with Doc Brown and the Delorean? And when will we hear the strains of "Johnny B. Goode," or "Earth Angel?"

When Hurley attempts to understand Miles' explanation of time travel, lamenting, "That was confusing," know that the writers of Lost just gave the audience one big wink. The conversation between these two could be a verbatim recap of what Lost fans have debated for the past couple of years. Thank you, writers and producers of Lost, for acknowledging a very confused fanbase. This was sheer brilliance:

Miles (after Hurley has asked why Adult Ben didn't recognize Flight 815er Sayid as the man who shot him as a child): "Huh...hadn't thought of that."

Hurley (arms smugly crossed): "Huh!"

Exactly.

Meanwhile Kate morphs into a pensive do-gooder, gently giving Jack a smackdown for his refusal to help save Young Ben. (Uh, Hippocratic Oath, anyone?) Jack, who minutes earlier was channeling evil Big Ben, now embraces his inner John Locke, telling Kate he's been getting in the island's way.

Kate: "I don't like the new you."

Jack: "You didn't like the old me, Kate."

You know The Good Shephard wanted to give Kate two snaps and a head shake, then twirl on his heals and sashay out of the room, leaving her looking like this:

Kate 8.0, the upgraded model, continues in her random acts of selflessness, donating her blood for Wee Ben's survival. This means Ben has Kate's blood in his veins. OK, that's just creepy, y'all. We also learn, via her conversation with Roger, that Ben's daddy is really just a meanie pants when he's drunk. Roger really does care for his son. Kate also denies having any children. Whoops, her true colors are showing again. (Y'all knew I was gonna go there.)

I also want to point out the oblique comment Roger makes regarding "LeFleur": "Bastard doesn't ask any questions he doesn't know the answers to." It's said in passing (regarding Sawyer's inquiry into the whereabouts of Roger's set of janitor keys), but I'm staking claims we were meant to notice Roger's little appraisal of Sawyer. For the record. Plus, I enjoy any appraisal of Sawyer. Sigh.

Juliet, looking like the Angel of Mercy, with the little halo-effect braids atop her head, tells Kate that Ben is going to die. Oh, but The Others can help him! The other Others, that is. (Yeah, Juliet used to be an Other. Then she rallied with the Oceanic 815ers. Now she's a Dharma Gal. So this makes Richard and his people the other Others. Got that? Good.)

Embroiling themselves in more island subterfuge, Kate and Juliet agree to get Ben to the Others. Kate, proving that she is not only a hero, but also well aware of Juliet's relationship with Sawyer, regards Juliet and the life she's built in Dharmaville over the past three years. Had she allowed Juliet to sneak off with her and Pale Ben, Kate knows "Sawyer would kill me!" Wow...has Kate found a clue about reality in just the two days since her return to the island?

Flash forward to the scene in the grocery store, of Kate losing Aaron. Kudos to Evangeline Lily! She did an amazing job conveying the feeling of despair a mother experiences when her child seems to disappear in a manner of seconds. (You mothers will agree with me--we've all been there.)

The sole purpose of this scene was to set up Kate's reasoning for returning to the island. I won't rehash the conversation between Kate and Claire's mother, Carole, because I'm certain we all ascertained weeks ago that Aaron was handed over to his grandmother before Kate boarded the flight to "Guam." Kate's farewell to little Aaron was heartbreaking, and I found myself actually feeling remorse for Miss Austen, for the very first time. This must have been the day Kate 8.0 was uploaded. Cough-cough.

Back on the island, at the Zap-To-It fence, Kate witnesses Sawyer on his trusty steed (or VW van, whatever), presumably galloping to halt her from absconding with the wounded Ben. When he refers to her as "Freckles," my heart dropped. I'm not trying to make Lost into a version of Days of Our Lives (as my brother-in-law refers to all the "relationship stuff" on the show), but I am wholeheartedly against any loving feelings between these two. They've lost that loving feeling. It's gone. Whoa-oh-oh-ohhhh.

Juliet has convinced Sawyer it is wrong to let a kid die, even if that kid would eventually grow into the Ben we all know and love/hate, and this is why Sawyer is there to help. Sawyer tells Kate, "I'm doing it for her." Her=Juliet. Me=Happy! The look on Kate's face when she realizes Sawyer really does love Juliet is utterly priceless. I almost felt badly for her. Almost. But not quite.

Back in Dharmaville, Juliet goes gangbusters on an April Fresh Jack. When he first stepped from that shower I had a Dallas flashback: "Dude, if this becomes a Bobby Ewing/it was all a dream scenario, I will shoot my television!"
Alas, it's not Bobby Ewing. Merely a gratuitous, almost-naked scene of Matthew Fox, for which I say "thank you" to Lost's powers-that-be. Yep.

For the second time today Jack is on the other end of a verbal smackdown, this one delivered by Juliet. Furious at Jack for being unwilling to help with Ben's surgery, Juliet tells Dr. Shephard that they (the left behinders) didn't need saving, and that he "better figure out why" he came back to the island. Are we all in agreement that Jack has relinquished every ounce of the leadership status he once maintained with this group of people? Here's to hoping that having Kate and Juliet up in his face will convince our doctor to grow a pair and get with the program. While keeping out of Sawyer's way. Ahem.

Back to The Saving Of Ben, 1977 Edition: After a bit of light conversation ("Dangit, I ain't fit to be your boyfriend or Clementine's daddy, but hey--in the past 3 years I've grown up, Kate!"), some gamey-looking Hostiles capture Kate, Sawyer, and a fading fast Ben. The Head of Security has no fear, however..."Take us to Richard!" he commands.

Richard saunters from the jungle, effectively answering the question we've pondered since season 2...how/why did Ben change sides, from being with the Dharma Initiative to being one with Jacob? The answer? Oh, Kate and Sawyer handed Ben over to Richard, that's how. Easy-peasy, all wrapped up nicely, no? Of course not.

Before Sawyer gives Ben to Richard, He Of The Heavily-lined Eyes states the conditions of Ben's tranfser:

1. "If I take him, he's not ever gonna be the same again." Check.

2. "He'll forget this ever happened." Good. Check.

3. "His innocence will be gone." Um...wait, what?

4. "He will always be one of us." Gotcha. Check.

I waited for either Sawyer or Kate to ask what Richard meant by Ben's "innocence" being gone. Did Richard have plans to leave Ben in a community shower and just wait for him to drop the soap? Ew. Clearly, Kate and Sawyer were not concerned...they were all, "Take the kid--peace out, homeslice!" And in that moment, I believe both Kate and Sawyer realize the enormity of the situation.

Let me break down the enormity for you:

*Sayid shoots Kiddie Ben.

*Jin brings wounded Kiddie Ben to Juliet.

*Juliet attempts to save Kiddie Ben.

*Jack refuses to assist Juliet in her efforts to save Kiddie Ben.

*Kate sides with Juliet, goes off on Jack, shares her own blood with Kiddie Ben, and becomes an ambulance driver (VW van, whatever). (She's quite the heroine.)

*Sawyer trudges through the jungle carrying Kiddie Ben, eventually handing the child over to He of the Heavily-lined Eyes.

*The equation is as follows:

Sayid+Jin+Juliet+Jack+Kate+Sawyer=Why Kiddie Ben Becomes Benjamin Linus, The Man, The Myth, and The Legend. Way to go, Oceanic 815 survivors (and Juliet)...good job!

Dismissing a random Other's warning about Ellie and Charles (!), Richard takes Ben to The Temple. I don't think they were going for a prayer service, either.

Thirty years later, Adult Ben wakes up in the Hydra Station, John Locke sitting by his bedside.

"Hello, Ben. Welcome to the land of the living."

Are you kidding me? Fantastic ending! Ben is in shock while Locke is as calm, confident, and smug as we've ever seen him. Man, I love me some John Locke. Man, I love this show.

Questions for sussing:

*What happens in The Temple to change Ben into the man we all love to hate?

*Do you believe Kate really returned to the island to look for Claire, as she told Carole? Or is this just my wishful thinking?

*What will Sayid be doing when we next see him?

*Where in the heck-ola are Bernard and Rose?

Oh my...so much to discuss. And...GO!

21 comments:

FROGGITY! said...

more serious stuff later... i shall comment again (have a little one ready for a bath- so can't get in depth here) but wondered if anyone else was bothered by the fact that jack didn't really towel off before putting his shirt on? sorry, just a lil' ocd here.

(lol)

Heather said...

I noticed that, too! Gross. I don't know why that bothered me so much, but it did.

I loved Hurley's Back to the Future references! And how he was asking OUR questions for us.

Don't you think Kate thinks Claire is dead? I mean, really, did she ever leave Aaron before? Ever? I think the guilt factor was just kicking in, knowing Aaron's only living family member didn't even know he was alive.

And now Gabe is on my lap wanting to see the LOST pics. More later.

Kat said...

I am with Heather. Does Kate really believe that Claire is alive? I didn't think that any of them thought that.

I still wanna know how Richard went from looking like a Lost Boy when he first met Ben to being Mr. GQ.

And my other issue is actually Juliette. She is in the motor pool. And they pull her out to help deliver Amy's baby. No one seems to question the midwife skills of the grease monkey. And now she's doing surgery. And no one thinks twice about it? I just find that odd.

And Lula and Shannon...how will I ever compete with your recaps? Ya'll are the masters!

Shannon said...

The whole exchange between Hurley and Miles was the best of the episode. Fo sho.

And Hurley watching his hand to see if it (and he) disappeared? AWESOME.

I thought it was interesting to see a softer side of Roger Linus. It had me thinking maybe Ben's mean daddy would turn a new leaf... and this would somehow change Future Ben. Oh, well.


Kat, I also wondered about Juliet... she had to have told Horace that she's had some medical training. But it was said in this epi or the previous one that all "new recruits" are either janitors or in the motor pool. My guess is that she confessed to her medical backgroud (or some version of it) but likes being a mechanic!

Karen said...

Oh goodness. Where to begin??

First off, I was squealing with delight when it turned out that Jack (with help of the other 815'ers, of course) were the ones that turned Ben into Ben. I mean, seriously! Whatever happened, happened. They couldn't change it. And Jack thought he was changing it by refusing to do the surgery when, in reality, he was doing what he had always done in that situation! Brilliant!

I want to give Damon and Carlton a big ol' kiss for their genius.

I have always liked Kate and I thought it was great really getting to see the mommy side of her. When she finally admitted that she took Aaron because she needed him and then she gave him up because she knew that was what was best, well, that was when it was plain that Kate had done some major growing up in those 3 years. I've never been a Kate/Sawyer fan, but I swooned just a little when he called her Freckles. It was the first time I had ever rooted for them. They've both grown up. A lot. And that was what they needed in order to be able to be together. Love it.

There is so much more I want to say, but I'll stop. This is already too long of a comment.

I'm just ready to find out what happened to Bernard and Rose, Desmond and Penny, and the rest of the 815'ers that hadn't gotten evacuated to the exploded freighter. They are obviously NOT in 1977 since none of them have ever turned up, despite Jin and Sawyer's search efforts.

Denise said...

Questions you've posed:

What happens in the temple? Obviously supernatural. I have to admit that when Richard mentioned lose of innocence it never occurred to me to think of a shower scene. I was thinking more along the lines of Adam and Eve eating the Fruit of Life. They lost their innocence when they did that. I don't understand how that will happen to Ben, but I think it's along those lines.

Kate being back to look for Claire: In a weird way, yeah, I think she is. She only changed her mind to go back and leave Aaron with his grandmother AFTER he saw the Claire look alike (or a trashy version of her.) Seeing "Claire" made her decision process just spiral even faster to leave him with Claire's mother and go back to the island. I have to add here, as an adoptive mother, the scene where Kate left Aaron ripped my heart out. I'm the first one in line to tell you that blood lines and giving birth don't make you a mother. Kate WAS Aaron's mother, right or wrong, she WAS. And of course, that leads me into what in the world will Aaron be thinking and how much will he be grieving that his mother (Kate) is gone and he was left with a virtual stranger, even if she was a blood relative.

Sorry, the adoptive mommy in me gets a bit carried away sometimes.

What's going to happen to Sayid: One word: Smokey. Seriously. (Okay, that was technically two.)

Bernard and Rose: If they're just hangin' in the jungle I wish they'd tell us already. But since they're waiting to tell us, it better be dog gone good!

Eudae-Mamia said...

Being pulled out the door, but had to comment on this...

"You know The Good Shephard wanted to give Kate two snaps and a head shake, then twirl on his heals and sashay out of the room, leaving her looking like this:"

Hil.AR.IOUS!!!!!

Ah, Jack in a towel.

Hmmmmm.

I'll be back. Em

Denise said...

Just a heads up: Doc Artz site has an article by a new contributer about the behind the camera aspects to LOST, such as camera angles, the type of shoot is used. It's totally brilliant!

http://www.docarzt.com/lost/lost-news/lost-mise-en-scene-511-whatever-happened-happened/

Michelle said...

Yay for half naked Jack!

I have no clue whats going to happen to Ben in The Temple - I really am picturing an Indiana Jones style trek through this ancient temple.

Yeah Kate probably really did come back for Claire. Although she has made no attempt to ask anyone about her since they got back. She must also realize though that she probably won't be finding Claire in 1977 (b/c Claire isn't born yet, she looks way too young).

Christian Shephard is dead, Claire is with Christian, so can we assume that Claire did meet an untimely demise?

Rose and Bernard, poor things, gone but not forgotten.

Sayid is going to be running through the jungle and probably run into Richard. He'll ask him to borrow some of the eye liner and he'll become one of the others.

I seriously hope John - at the very least - gives Ben a good punch in the face.

FROGGITY! said...

okay. tag team back again. glad someone else was bothered by ye olde scene with jack and his non-drying.

i am with EM up there... FUNNY stuff.

so, the scene in the grocery store... with the blonde... was that supposed to be an other? also, kate going back 'to find claire' ... how do i feel about this?

interesting take on sawyer that cassidy had. not sure what i think just yet.

okay: as for the mysterious TEMPLE:
i am thinking the temple is supernatural as well.

richard warns that ben 'will lose his innocence.' reminds me of the scene a few epis back with rousseau's team and the changes that occurred when they entered the temple. they were hard and not the same. ALSO makes me think of when ben told alex (2 seasons ago?) to 'head to the temple'... and told her it 'wasn't for (the oceanic folk), it's just for us.' is that b/c the others' eyes have been opened? alex & carl were still innocent... maybe ben wanted them to go to the temple and 'change.' further, it makes me think of when ben told jack (in season 3?) that juliet will 'always be one of us'... she walks among you but isn't one of you...no matter what she says. is juliet gonna revert back later then?? and jack has that tattoo that says something to that effect. sooo... maybe sometime in the 70's JACK goes into the temple as well... ???????

okay, that's reaching. but these are the ramblings of a hopeful woman: hopeful that something will soon be revealed!

Kristen said...

My voice here today may not be popular BUT I thought Jack was the only one with his head screwed on right. Why would anyone help Ben? Give me a break. Juleit - cry baby. Kate - put some makeup on and leave us alone. Sawyer- dude, you're losing me with all your tenderness lately.

I for one was on Jack's side. Big time!

Lula! said...

OK, here's my deal with Jack:

More than ANYONE else, he is most responsible for Ben being handed over to Richard and the Others. His refusal to help Juliet with Ben's surgery essentially sealed the deal. Juliet had no other choice but to turn to the Others, or else Ben would have perished. Had Jack helped, it's likely Ben would've been OK...hence, no need for Richard. Jack set this whole deal in motion.

For him to whine, "I've already saved him once, I'm not doing it again..." Well, that's just shoddy medicine right there.

I love Jack, don't get me wrong. But his attitude sucks...he's jealous of Sawyer and Kate (yes, he is--I refuse to debate this fact!), he's still halfway in love with Kate (yes, he is), and he's obviously miffed at being regulated to sweep floors and clean potties. So...I think Jack needs to grow a pair.

Also...
don't think the irony is lost on me when it comes to Sawyer and Jack. These two have totally switched roles. Jack's even starting to swagger about like Sawyer did in Season 1. That whole shower scene? TOTALLY could've been Sawyer 3 years ago. My, how far we've come in the past 5 seasons!

Karen said...

Okay, so I've been thinking more about this episode and who is really to blame for Ben becoming Ben and I've been thinking about the convo between Miles and Hurley.

(Which was hilarious, btw.)

(But should not be overlooked.)

Whatever happened, happened. It didn't really matter if Jack had helped Ben or not because, ultimately, Ben did go to the Others, he DID get changed, and he did become Ben.

So, is Jack really to blame? Or was it going to happen anyway?

THAT, my friends, is the real question.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anymore about the article in Hawaiian newspaper about LOST being cancelled after this season? I hope it was an April Fools joke!

Kristen said...

My question is, why save Ben in the first place? I completely see the cause & effect of Jack saying no but who in their right mind would send Ben to the Others? You know what is going to happen...so why go ahead with it. Let him die already. I think that was what really irritated me with Juliet. And Kate.

Karen said...

Anonymous: It was definitely an April Fool's joke. Your heart can start beating again!

Kristen: To me, the whole point of Kate's flashback in this episode wasn't just to explain what in the heck she did with Aaron. That was part of it, sure. But the main point was to show that Kate became a mother in those three years that she was the not-exactly-legal guardian of Claire's son. The scene where she loses him in the store and the utter panic she feels shows the maternal connection she feels. Yes, anyone watching a kid would panic if they lost the kid for even a split second. But the look in Kate's desperate face was that of a mother who has lost her son.

And because she has that motherly instinct now, she can't let ANY child die. No matter who that kid will grow up to be. Just like Juliet said to Sawyer. Right now, he's just a kid and he has his whole life in front of him.

It's sort of like the question raised in the movie Minority Report. If you know someone is going to commit murder at some point in the future, is it ok to go ahead and lock them up now in order to stop that murder? Of course it isn't, because you can't punish someone for something they haven't done yet.

So that is why Kate and Juliet and Sawyer save young Ben. Because he could still turn out different.

Even though he won't.

Michelle said...

FROGGITY! - wasn't there a dharma station called the Tempest? I thought that was where Ben told Alex to go. Maybe I'm just confused between Temple and Tempest, I could have sworn there was a Tempest. ....

Michelle said...

you gals gotta check out the LOST Untangled (511) on ABC.com

I posted the widget to my blog. It was HILARIOUS. I cracked up from start to finish, you should really check it out.

It's way on the bottom of my blog.

(or at ABC.com/Lost)

Karen said...

Michelle: It's the Temple. Thanks for the heads up on the LOST Untangled. I'm going to check that out now!

FROGGITY! said...

you're right! there is a tempest. but it was the poison gas station...

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Tempest

ben told them to go to the temple. can't wait to discuss the temple after tonight's awesome epi!!

Michelle said...

(oh thats right! the Tempest was the poison gas station...jeez so many stations to keep up on)

Was anyone else sort of disappointed by last nights epi?
The preview was so deceiving. I was convinced Ben would have to face some Indiana Jones Style trials within the temple. I was disappointed with house easy he got out of there.

We've been afraid of the smoke monster for 5 seasons now, only to find out its really the "guilt monster"