This is a recap of Lost Season 5 Episode 11 entitled “What Happened Happened”, originally airing April 1, 2009. It contains more spoilers than a “Fast Cars That Flip Easily” Convention (had a week off, I’m rusty on these intros)
BABY GENIUSES 3: SUPERDOOPER BABIES
Kate opens the episode conversing with a suddenly congenial Roger Linus, who approaches her in a friendly manner even before learning of his son’s gunshot wound and later exhibits genuine remorse for his son; apparently Lost has chosen to make Roger alternately likable and a-holish depending on what’s convenient for the episode, not unlike Big from Sex and the City. While recounting the death of Ben’s mother, Roger continues the streak of Dharma employees uttering sentences that are more meaningful to the Oceanics than they realize:
Episode 8 – Horace remarks to Sawyer “Is three years really enough to get over somebody?” Close up on Sawyer for his DUN-DUN! moment.
Last Night’s Ep – Roger remarks to Kate “A boy just needs his mother.” Close up on Kate for her DUN DUN! moment.
Next Week’s Ep – Radzinsky remarks to Sayid “I guess if you’ve killed a whole bunch of people from a powerful rival businessman’s syndicate, you’d be a total dumbass if you went to bed with a shady, overly-aggressive women who identifies herself as a ‘professional.’” Close up on Sayid…
We finally received confirmation that Kate dropped Aaron off with Claire’s mother before bolting for the island, affirming yet another one of my predictions (which is bizarre, because I usually predict Lost with a ‘Mel Kiper Mock Draft’ level of instantaneous inaccuracy).
Ben didn’t draw and quarter Aaron after all, and actually wasn’t even involved in Kate’s change of heart unless he hired the creepy Claire-ish woman who was ‘helping’ Aaron in the grocery store — the camera did deliberately stay on that woman’s face long enough for me to believe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of her, and I don’t think that’s my Lostparanoia talking. I’ll leave it to EW to determine whether or not the camera stayed on her for exactly 4.815162342 seconds.
WELCOME BACK TO THE LAND OF THE LOST. LIVING, I MEAN. CRAP, CAN WE TAKE THAT AGAIN?
Most of this season’s cut-to-end-titler shots — an addictive staple of this show since day one — have been largely unspectacular moments that ended up being quickly diffused in the following week’s episode; I even saw the ‘Sayid shooting kid-Ben’ thing in last week’s ep coming from miles away, and I’m not saying that in a “your a-hole friends coming out of Sixth Sense” voice. This week’s ending, though, opened up some monumental implications.
First off, Locke had a touch of badassery in his voice when he delivered the line “Welcome back to the land of the living.” We’ve never really seen a devious, vengeful Locke before — he’s ranged from venerable to inexplicably independent to sacrificial to dead, but we’ve rarely seen him take pleasure in anything, let alone savor an opportunity to give Ben a taste of his own Benison (a pun on ‘medicine,’ not ‘venison,’ but I guess it could be that too).
Second, and more importantly – what the hell does the line mean? Perhaps whatever Alpert did in the past with kid Ben brought him back to life through time-disruption, or shot him through to the future to keep him from ever dying, or maybe he and Locke were both already dead when he strangled Locke with the wire, or maybe when either of them die they just end up back on the island in the present. Whichever it is (I’m guessing none of the above) it’s at least a step up from the “Hi…I’m Ben” non-twist two weeks ago. The “Next Week On Lost” teaser showed a lot of Ben happenings, too, which is as much a guaranteed solid episode as the presence of Darryl guarantees a good Office episode.
MILEBBOTT & HURLSTELLO
As much as I enjoy Hurley (and Jorge Garcia’s portrayal in particular – he better be in a lot of stuff once Lost goes off the air), a friend of mine pointed out a few weeks ago how the Hurley “asking what the audience is asking” lines have evolved from being weekly humorous distractions into more substantial self-awareness that sort of undermines the producers’ commitment to their ridiculous plot. Last night’s episode featured two full scenes of Hurley and Miles discussing how wacky their time travel situation is, with Hurley on more than one occasion speaking on behalf of the viewers “I still don’t get it.” The only people watching Lost at this point are the hardcore fans — I doubt too many viewers are randomly jumping in and loving it — so why bother suddenly upping the self-aware factor when we’ve already shown we’re willing to accept (and in fact, are drawn in by) the show’s deliberate absurdity?
That’s not to say that a weekly “Taller Ghost Walt” line isn’t a welcome haven, but why take four seasons to get us on board with ridiculous plot twists then suddenly second-guess yourselves and devote 10% of each episode to a cathartic “let’s take a moment to acknowledge our ridiculousness.” Also, why isn’t Faraday explaining their time travel? Is he off shooting Inglorious Basterds?
LOSTDS AND ENDS
– When Aaron told Kate he was thirsty and needed “milk,” I said to myself, “No frickin’ toddler wants to voluntarily drink milk,” but when he immediately wanted a juice box instead, I was like, “Ok, Lost knows how to write children, I’ll back off a bit.” Also, the ABC.com player is sponsored by Florida Orange Juice — is Lost heading down the Top Chef slippery slope of product shots??
– Jack is now far and away the bitchiest character on the show. Kate and Sawyer actually preferred the option of risking their lives to bring kid Ben to the Others on the chance that they might be able to help him rather than spending more than two minutes trying to convince Jack to perform the surgery. I don’t blame them either, and I actually credit Lost for defying tv conventions and making the “normative main character white guy” the most cowardly and least likable character on the show.
– Part of me wanted to hear Jack say “No, I’m gonna let Ben die ’cause I want to see how the producers get out of this one.”
– Roger Linus and Tom Petty, side-by-side:
– Last but not least, last night reaffirmed perhaps my favorite aspect about the writing on Lost – Horace, like almost all the side characters on the show, is actually a competent individual who makes well-informed decisions and figures things out and justifies his status as the Dharma leader. On any other show (24, for example), Horace would be a hopeless egotistical idiot who would keep making wrong or evil decisions that it’d be up to the main characters to fix. Having side characters that are equally or sometimes of superior intelligence to the established characters makes everything that this show does feel so much more earned.
Episode thoughts, theories, questions, predictions, explanations of Locke’s final line, and more demands for a recap of last week’s episode — leave ‘em all in the comments!