Lost Recaps S1E12: Whatever the Case May Be

by thethreepennyguignol

Sigh.

Okay, last week was still a great episode. It really was. God, you remember that? Tight plotting, great character moments, killer performances. Those were the days, man. Those were the days.

This week’s episode, titled Whatever the Case May Be, tops out with the pun of the titlecard. Because this is a fucking Kate episode. And, really, I want to make something clear: I like Evangelline Lilly, and I think she’s a pretty damn good actress. But Lost seems determined to only characterise her as the point on a love triangle between Jack and Sawyer, and God, it’s just fucking infuriating.

Episode twelve opens with Kate hunting for food in the woods, only to discover that Sawyer – who, lest we forget, blackmailed her into physical affection with the threat of someone’s actual fucking life – is stalking her in the process. But, of course, since this is the early noughties, instead of beating him to death with a shovel as he well deserves at this point, the two of them go for a sexy, flirty, giggly dip together in an abandoned puddle in the forest, where they come across a couple of corpses and a mysterious briefcase that Kate is keenly interested in.

But, Sawyer being the pigtail-pulling wannabe-alpha that he is, pinches the briefcase and forces Kate to try and steal it back. I’m not sure if the show thinks this is sexual tension, or something, but honestly, this entire plot is almost enough to sink this episode dead in the water. Sawyer’s at his handsy, fuckboy, sexual-assault-y best here, forcing Kate on top of him and refusing to let her go until she headbutts him off, and it’s just…

Look, I’m not trying to be all bleeding heart here, but it really fucking stresses me out to see a man repeatedly ignoring a woman’s aggressive anti-overtures and having it framed as mutual desire. If Kate really does want Sawyer, then the show has to do more than have her completely break character and plot to change her mind and frolic in a waterfall for five minutes with him before going back to punching him off of her. It’s fucking gross, man, and it’s bad writing, and my goodwill from last week has all but evaporated in the face of this incredibly unsettling plot.

Anyway. I actually don’t mind the rest of the episode, even if this storyline is just painfully irritating and poorly-concieved. Jack seems about as Fucking Done with Kate’s inability to remain remotely consistent with her character as I am, which is a relief; I swear, I’m starting to like Jack more and more, and he might even be my favourite character at this point. Naveen Andrews is back on the scene, flashing his beautiful doe-eyes at Maggie Grace as they sensually translate some French nonsense poetry together, and even Ian Somherhalder is far more tolerable since he’s been paired with his daddy bear boyfriend and top guide in all things knife-y John Locke; maybe it’s just that Terry O’Quinn has the charisma to sell even Somerhalder, but I’m actually finding myself looking forward to them turning up now. It’s an odd pairing, but one that works.

Charlie is also inching back into my good books after The Moth this week, as he shares a brilliant, quiet little scene with Rose; Lost is by far at its best when, like last week, it focuses on the humanity of its’ characters, instead of trying to outrun its’ audience with constant hints at what’s to come. Seeing them mourn for the loss of their safety, their futures, and the people they care for is about the most honest this episode gets, and Dominic Monaghan does have big Friend That You’re Granny Would Have Liked energy, so seeing him getting taken care of is a sweet moment that matches his on-screen presence nicely.

I’m trying not to let the show’s painful mishandling of the Kate/Sawyer nonsense get in the way of my enjoyment of it right now, I really am. But when it continues to undercut the development of one of its’ main characters because they need her to grind up on Sawyer every few episodes before going back to punching him in the mouth as God intended, it’s hard. But Lost is still trying, and, as long as it’s giving it the good old college try, I’m willing to see where it’s going to take me.

If you liked this recap, and want to see more stuff like it, please feel free to jump into some of my other recapping projects – the Fifty Shades of Grey book series, the first Harry Potter book, Doctor WhoGame of Thrones, and American Horror Story, to name a few. I also write about movies with my brilliant co-editor over at No But Listen. If you’d like to support my work, please consider supporting me on Patreon, or buying my books!

(header image via IGN)