Lost in Retrospect: Whatever the Case May Be

After a string of episodes that played on the nerves, the heartstrings and the show’s mythology, this one is a let-down. But then again, I was never a fan of the love triangle.

For a refresh on the episode, I suggest you visit Lostpedia’s excellent Wiki page.

The flashbacks were probably the most informative part of the episode, or at least of the Kate plots. We knew that Kate was a fugitive, which suggested she wasn’t exactly a hugs-and-roses kind of person all the time, but she’s stone cold in this episode. Capable of shooting her accomplices with very little provocation, acting in self-interest rather than in self-defence. And masterminding a successful bank robbery demonstrates a level of intelligence and forward-thinking that I wish she’d displayed more often on the Island. I like that the character had a darker edge; I much prefer characters that have some ambiguity to them, grey areas to their personalities. Makes them more interesting and more realistic.

The case. Ah, the case… a MacGuffin if I ever saw one. Normally I like when a mystery is dangled in front of my nose, and a good-old-fashioned “what’s in the case?” should’ve been right up my alley. But unfortunately, it was less about the mystery and more about showing off the love triangle, which is starting to show its seams–and we’re halfway into season 1 of a six-season series. The final reveal of Kate’s toy plane and her admitting that it belonged to the man she killed was weak–the same reveal, that she was a murderer, was done much better in “Outlaws”. And while seeing Jack force Sawyer to back down the way he did was kinda awesome, I wish that confrontation could’ve come over something more meaningful.

The subplots were all a lot more interesting, even though they only made up a small portion of the episode. Rose demonstrates more of her trademark awesomeness, helping Charlie cope with his survivor’s guilt. It was also good to see Dominic Monaghan play another side of his character; he’s a fantastic actor and I wish he could get a lead role in a series to really show this off. Locke and Boone were barely a footnote in the episode, though we saw more of how this master/apprentice relationship has developed. Shannon got to have a scene with someone other than Boone, and while I was never onboard with the Sayid/Shannon relationship, I like how he was able to bring Shannon out of her shell and get her to be a semi-contributing part of the Losties. Finally, I couldn’t help but prick my ears when Sayid claims that all he heard in the jungle was wind and regular noises, not the Whispers. To me, it smacks of creating another Scully character to pitch against Locke’s Mulder over the coming seasons.

A very short post, because this wasn’t a meaty episode. While I like what the flashbacks demonstrated about Kate, the love triangle dominated the story even as I started getting sick of it all over again. Very good subplots couldn’t make this one a high-ranker, a classic or something to go out of my way to rewatch.

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