Note: This post contains spoilers for “What Kate Does,” the third episode in the sixth season of Lost. If you would like to go somewhere else to avoid spoilers, now would be a really good time.
Apparently ABC is calling the alternate timeline the flash sideways, so I’ll be sticking with their terminology in the meantime. At any rate, it looks like they are going to be showing us the various alternate paths that the lives of our characters take without the island in the sideways timeline over the course of this season, and this episode focused on Kate, and Claire by extension because their paths intersect. On island, everyone dealt with the fallout from Sayid’s return to life.
A key theme in this episode was trust. Sayid tells Jack he trusts him and will do what Jack suggests. Dogen tells Jack that Jack needs to trust him and Jack refuses, saying that he can’t even trust himself. In the sideways timeline, Claire takes a leap of faith and trusts Kate, and the two women end up thrust together. Kate in turn is forced to trust Claire when she’s hiding from the police in Claire’s room. I can’t help but wonder if the connection in the sideways timeline is related to the connection Claire and Kate had on the island.
We’ve already seen Jack and Locke forge a connection, however fleeting, but I note that in the sideways timeline, their relationship is still somewhat adversarial. Locke’s trying to be philosophical, Jack’s trying to be practical. Locke was also clearly skeptical in “LA X” about Jack’s surgical genius, and I will be interested to see how that particular sideways connection plays out, for more reasons than one.
One thing which I think is interesting about the way in which the sideways timeline is unfolding is how key things happen anyway. Kate is with Claire when she goes into labour after being betrayed by someone she thought she could trust; on island, it was Charlie who betrayed her, and in the sideways timeline, it’s the woman who reneged on the deal to adopt the baby. Evidently Claire’s baby was not fated to go to this couple and Claire really is meant to raise Aaron, no matter which timeline she’s in.
And, of course, Ethan popped up, right on schedule. Complete with offering drugs to “help” Claire, with Claire being skeptical. Obviously, when it comes to Lost, there are no coincidences.
Sally at Feministe called it last week when she suggested that although Sayid appears to have come back to life, he’s possibly been possessed. It’s clear that the people at the Temple were unnerved by his return, hence all the gruesome testing to try and determine who is really inside Sayid. If Smokey is inside Sayid, that would be a pretty neat trick.
But I have a theory about the Temple people, which is that they are maybe not as on it as they want us to think they are. They didn’t know when Jacob was dead, despite his connection to them, they didn’t really save Sayid (and may have in fact really messed up there), and they seem generally a lot less organized than one might expect. Either that or they’re trying to pull the wool over the eyes of our characters.
Meanwhile, in the forest, Claire appears to have taken the place of Rousseau. Both women lost their children, which is yet another example of a parallel which seems determined to express itself. Perhaps now we’ll be able to find out what happened to her when she disappeared.
Finally, apparently we can’t have an episode of Lost without the recurrence of the love triangle, which, people. So. Boring. I can’t even express how boring it is. Kate went from being this strong, interesting, dynamic, kind of kick ass character to being a ping pong ball who shoots back and forth between Jack and Sawyer. Bo-ring. It was actually rather nice to see her on her own in the sideways timeline; see, Kate can get by without pining after a dude!