Episode Title: "Left Behind"
Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: Is Kirk Cameron guest starring this episode? Does it feature the coming of the antichrist and Armageddon? Probably not - although that's what a Google search on "Left Behind" will return for the first few hundred results. Looks like we're on our own for this one, kids!
Luckily, with this being a Kate-centric episode (our second of the season), it's easy to see how the phrase "left behind" could apply to her, a girl who is always on the run, leaving temporary lives (and people) behind. From her mother to her husband, Kate has had to continually leave the ones she loves behind in order to stay out of reach of the long arm of the law.
Likewise, the preview also featured a very alone Kate and Juliet, who seem to have been "left behind" as well, making their way through the rainy jungle all by their lonesome. For me, this brings up the most intriguing question of the episode - why are Kate and Juliet alone in the jungle in the dark, handcuffed together? Where is Sayid? Where is Jack? Why are they handcuffed?
Since this is really all we have to go on from the episode preview, and the episode description below doesn't offer much more information, we're left to let our minds wander. Seeing Kate and Juliet out in the jungle, away from the Others’ Barracks, would seem to indicate that Ben has let them go. I can't imagine a scenario where he would have only let Kate and Juliet leave... in fact, having Juliet part of the mix at all puzzles me.
You would think that logically, Ben would only send the Survivors away, keeping Juliet a pseudo-prisoner among the Others because of the amount of information she knows about the Others… information that if divulged to our Survivors could reveal some hidden weakness or secret of the Island. I guess there is always the possibility that Juliet has been somewhat kept in the dark about the true "secrets" of the Others, and doesn't pose that much of a threat to them if she were to join our Survivors - but why would she want to? Isn't staying with the Others her best chance for escape off the Island (what she ultimately wants, even more than making out with Jack), or at the very least the more comfortable lifestyle to live in is she’s going to remain trapped on the Island anyways? It doesn’t make sense to me. I could even rationalize why Ben would keep Jack and Locke at the Barracks (for their medicinal skills / "communion" with the Island, respectively), and would just send Sayid and Kate away – the two biggest “threats”. But all we see in the preview is Kate and Juliet, so we’ll have to do some guesswork here…
Which brings us back to the episode title. I’m assuming that Kate and Juliet are “left behind”, meaning they were originally part of a larger group, but the either intentionally or accidentally separated. Logic tells me that if Ben is getting rid of Kate and Juliet, he’s getting rid of Jack and Sayid as well. I could very easily picture a scenario where Kate, Juliet, Sayid, and Jack are all sent away / thrown out from the Barracks, told to return to the Beach and never come back. As a way to help prevent from attempting any sort of wacky return break-ins to the Barracks, they are handcuffed in pairs (which would prevent them from crawling over fallen trees to bypass the electric fence).
Resigned to the fact that their only chances to free themselves from the handcuffs lies in an axe at the Beach, the four of them begin their trek back… only to have something occur that separates the pairs. Although we see the freak storm in the preview, I don’t think that would be quite enough to do it… but something that usually accompanies the freak storms on the Island definitely could be... Our old friend Smokey.
Think about it – what a great way to find out how much Juliet (and in turn, the Others) know about Smokey than have a face to face confrontation between them? Seeing Juliet’s reaction would give us a huge amount of information about the relationship between the Others and Smokey – and in turn the power the Others really have on the Island. Is she calm? Is she afraid? Has she ever even seen Smokey before?
Beyond giving the audience more insight to the mystery of the Others and Smokey, this serves as a perfect plot device to force the two women “fighting for Jack” to interact with each other and work together if they hope to make it back to the Beach. Very clever Lost writers! It might seem a bit forced, and could just be an excuse for a catfight in the rain, but if the writers are smart, this gives them instant-conflict between Kate and Juliet, a reason for the two to hate each other, setting the stage for the “love rhombus” when all parties return to the beach. Kate loves Jack. Kate hates Juliet. Juliet loves Jack. Jack hates Sawyer. Sawyer loves Kate. It’s a storyline that the writers could conceivably (and unfortunately, will likely) drag on for the remainder of the season (at least), and this sets it all in motion in one nice and neat episode.
Episode Description: After discovering that one of her own has betrayed her to "The Others," Kate is left to fend for herself in the jungle with Juliet. Meanwhile, Hurley warns Sawyer to change his selfish ways and make amends with his fellow survivors or he may face a vote of banishment. Guest starring are Kim Dickens as Cassidy, Beth Broderick as Diane, Fredric Lane as the Marshall, Andrew Meader as Johnny, Bill Ogilvie as man and Shawn Lathrop as federal agent.
Episode Breakdown: You know, as much as we've criticized the ABC promo folks over the years, they did an excellent job this week, because I am very puzzled about what goes down in this episode. I’ve already mentioned how the episode preview showed nothing but Kate and Juliet rolling around in the mud (not that anyone is complaining about that), but then this week’s episode description gives us equally few details about the meat of the story.
Initially, I was even thinking that the first sentence was a repeat from two weeks ago, referring to Jack's siding with the Others when Kate broke in to save him – but then I got to thinking… if we assume that Kate, Jack, Sayid, and Juliet are all banished from Othersville, how is that an example of Jack betraying Kate? No, it must be the final member of the Rescue Party, the one who isn’t banished with the rest of them, Mr. Island Communion Himself, John Locke.
But how could Locke “betray” Kate to the Others? Don’t they already know everything about each of our Survivors – their pasts, their actions on the Island, their motives in rescuing Jack, etc.? Unless Locke is given some sort of choice – to allow Sayid, Jack, Kate, and Juliet to stay or leave (how I want you not to go), and chooses “leave”, I don’t see how he could betray her.
If this is the case, our earlier ideas about Locke would seem to be correct. He’s indeed in a position of power among the Others because, for some reason unknown to them, he has this “communion” with the Island that the Others have slowly been losing (the “Cowboys and Indians” theory, if you will). This would also mean that Locke may emerge as the new leader of the Others before the season is over, in what would be one of the coolest reveal scenes in the history of the show.
We’ve also been told that the Locke / Locke’s Dad storyline wouldn’t be resolved for a few more weeks. By sending Kate and Co. back to the Beach, you generate a number of interesting storylines to follow before returning back to the Others and Locke (the journey back, the love rhombus, Jack’s reunion with everyone, grilling Juliet for information about the Others), setting the stage for a season-ending confrontation between the Survivors (+Juliet) and Others (+Locke).
Meanwhile, our “B” storyline seems to deal with Sawyer facing banishment from the other Survivors unless he learns to share. Is this Lost, or Sesame Street? To me, this storyline comes out of nowhere. Everything we’ve seen about Sawyer since he returned from captivity has been him playing ping pong, reading books, and pining over Kate (three of my favorite things to do as well). What does he suddenly do to warrant being kicked off the Beach? I know the writers have been building up Sawyer to be changing in his ways (at least learning to love), so this comes across as a total 180 return to jerkdome… right before Kate is due to return to the camp, which would once again ruin his chances with her. It’s probably an excuse to have some “light” moments in what should otherwise be a pretty dark, rainy, heavy episode – but it doesn’t seem to have a lot of meat to it.
One last thing about this episode - I have no freaking clue about the flashbacks this week. If you check the Guest Stars, you’ll see Cassidy listed. For those of you who have forgotten, Cassidy Phillips was Sawyer’s former flame (or was that all part of the act?) who wanted to be a con, but ended up getting conned by Sawyer just like everyone else. When Sawyer was in prison, Cassidy visited him to show him a picture of a baby girl named Clementine Phillips, whom she claimed was his daughter. Although Sawyer refused to believe this, he still opened a bank account under Clementine’s Name with his con earnings. Of course, the problem with Cassidy appearing is that this is a Kate flashback episode, not a Sawyer. Having Cassidy appear seems to be another example of cross-pollination among our Survivors and the people in their lives.
But this isn’t the first time that Kate and Sawyer have had people from their pasts interact. If you recall, Diane also served Sawyer coffee in a café during a flashback last season. With both Diane and Cassidy appearing, I had this sudden fear that the writers would go Luke and Leia on us with Kate and Sawyer, but quickly dismissed that since it would mean that now TWO sets of siblings have had sex on the show (Boone and Shannon being the first)… and that’s a little outrageous, even for 10:00 pm.
But with the inclusion of Diane, Cassidy, and the Marshall, it puts this flashback in the timeframe of post-Kate blowing up her house and biological father, pre-Kate’s mom dying (so between “What Kate Did” and “Born to Run”). As with any character who has received a large number of flashbacks (I count this as Kate’s sixth), I’m not hopeful for a great backstory – let’s face it, it’s probably going to be about Kate outrunning the Marshall… again - but the Island action should be pretty solid.
Like I said, it’s so exciting (but leads to shorter posts, sorry) to have a week where literally anything could happen because the preview information reveals so little. Part of me knows to temper my expectations, knowing that we’re due for a few slow episodes in preparation for the season finale stretch – but with such a large number of very intriguing storylines dangling on Lost right now, it’s anybody’s guess the quality of each episode.
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