Sunday, February 28, 2010

Greek 3.14: "The Tortoise and the Hair"

“Politics is all about scare tactics. Didn’t you learn anything from the Bush years?”


As a newly minted attorney currently figuring out how to finance yet another degree (Master of Public Policy) so I might have a shot at legislative practice, I totally should have seen the end of this episode coming. And I would also tell Casey to stay far, far away from law school and pursue a different advanced degree instead. Although who knows, by the time she would graduate, maybe the economy will have picked up. We can hope. Casey’s been bitten by the politics bug, much like I was last spring, but the road ahead is long and hard. If organizing a voter registration event was all it took to be hired by a legislator, I would have been there for four years by now. Been there, done that. I suppose I should appreciate that “Greek” didn’t make attaining a career in DC too easy for Casey. There is definitely realism in what she encounters in this episode, even if it does have a bit more silliness than real life.

In the interest of keeping this post from devolving into a bitterfest (and really, some pretty awesome things have happened for me this week, for the first time in a long time, so I really shouldn’t be bitter right now), let’s get to recapping the plot a bit. The main plot for the episode was that Casey is trying to start thinking about her future, and Cappie is most definitely…not. He’s more interested in the annual KT turtle races. Casey has once again decided that she wants to pursue a career in politics. She’s brushing off her bad experience with the ZBZ congresswoman’s office over the summer. It was seeing an article about a bill the congresswoman was working on when Casey was in DC that made her a bit wistful for DC, and I can understand that. It’s reading about issues in the local newspaper that I was working on the state legislature that made me want to pursue legislative work as a career.

Ashleigh tells Casey that she ought to talk to Rebecca about what DC life is like. Which is good advice, considering Rebecca’s dad is a former Senator and all. Rebecca, understandably, has a very jaded, pessimistic view of DC. She tells Casey that everybody there is just out for themselves and for power. Casey, however, is still determined to be an idealist- not everyone in DC must be awful. Despite her warnings, Rebecca is helpful. She offers to introduce Casey to Joel, a former staffer from her dad’s office. He’s currently working on a campaign for a local Congressman, and he asks Casey to help out with voter registration efforts on the CRU campus.

Casey’s voter registration table isn’t very successful until she gets more advice from Rebecca. Scare tactics. By telling people what horrible things could happen if they don’t vote, Casey gets more than enough new registrations to make Joel happy. She even has an idea to expand the effort. She wants to have a big voter registration party at Dobbler’s, with free cover for every new voter. Joel thinks it’s a great idea. Casey is convinced that if she does really well with this project and the Congressman is elected, Joel might hire her as a Legislative Aide.

Meanwhile, Rusty is having career issues of his own. His faculty advisor, Dr. Hastings, has assigned one of his advanced physics students to be Rusty’s assistant, and it’s none other than Dana, the girl he blew off and then later insulted a few episodes back. To make matters worse, Rusty is feeling extra pressure because Dr. Hastings has embraced Rusty’s success as an opportunity to get back at his former research partner who took all the credit for something they both invented.

Dr. Hastings drags Rusty along to a meet and greet with the Dean where he promises the Dean that they’ll have the self-healing wire ready to patent ASAP. Rusty is pleased enough at being the “Wunderkind” instead of the “Anchor” that he doesn’t really question all the hype at first. Dana warns him that she’s studied the project, and unless they change the formula for the wire, it will never work for more than five minutes. Rusty brushes off her warning, excited that he’s about to have a big interview with Engineering Weekly.

At the interview however, Rusty has a major attack of guilt and self doubt. He chooses that moment to reveal that the wire isn’t going to work. Dr. Hastings is understandably pissed, and the Dean is as well. Luckily, Dr. Hastings still sticks up for Rusty, and both of them will continue to work on the project. Dr. Hastings even has a very Star Trek technobabble fix for Rusty to try. When in doubt, reverse the polarity! Dana, who had left the project in disgust over Rusty’s behavior, ends up returning as well, and it seems like she and Rusty are on their way to at least establishing a productive working relationship.

Casey’s story turns out mostly positive as well, and she has a similarly windy road to travel. The voter registration party at Dobbler’s is a success, but miscommunication with Joel almost derails everything. Because Rebecca had gone on and on about how skeevy everyone in DC can be, Casey thought that an invite from Joel to attend a “debriefing” at his apartment was a come on. He actually did literally mean a meeting at his apartment, and all the other volunteers were invited too. Casey goes on a tirade about how Joel’s a slimeball, and then she’s mortified when she figures out the truth. There’s good news and bad news for Casey. Joel isn’t especially upset by what happened, and he and Casey are still cool. The bad news is that people with just Bachelor’s degrees don’t get hired as Legislative Aides. Casey makes a decision: she’s going to law school after all. Cappie ends up pleasantly surprising everyone at the end, too. Instead of pulling away from Casey due to fear of graduation, he takes a big step. He picks up the form to declare a major.

The C story that focused on Ashleigh and Dale is so silly that it doesn’t really warrant much space here. The ZBZ house needs a new hasher, but Ashleigh is gun shy from Fishergate. The sisters want another hot guy around the house, but Ashleigh ends up hiring Dale (who needs money to fund his research since he lost out on the grant to Rusty) because she figures he won’t be a problem like Fisher was. The sisters revolt, and Ashleigh is asked to fire Dale. Dale quits first, though, when he hears about Fisher and thinks Ashleigh wants him to be her boy toy, too. The sisters end up thinking Hunter, the new, hotter hasher is creepy, and they want Dale back. Dale and Ashleigh reach and understanding, and all is well in ZBZ land.

This wasn’t an especially memorable episode, and as you can probably tell from the beginning of the post, brought up a lot of personal issues for me. One thing I did like, however, was how Casey and Cappie’s relationship is being handled. Time and time again I think that the Greek producers are going to break them up, and every time I’m proven wrong. They end up stronger than ever. I really do appreciate that. Casey and Cappie need to have moved beyond on again/off again, and I hope that continues to be the case.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Community 1.16: "Communication Studies"

“No. I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m Abed. I never watch TV.”


“Communication Studies,” which was advertised by NBC as a Valentine’s Day episode, was a pretty cute episode of “Community.” I don’t think it will be among the show’s most memorable episodes, but it had its sweet moments. There were good moments for Jeff/Britta shippers, and some interesting character growth for both characters. In this episode, however, I really think Abed stole the show. He was completely hilarious, both as “drunk” Abed and “broken” Abed when hung over the next day. Usually I find Abed vaguely creepy, but everything about him in “Communication Studies” was comedic gold.

The episode opens with the Dean informing the Greendale student body that the Greendale Human Being will be walking around campus dressed vaguely like a Cupid and delivering Valentine’s messages. This was somewhat funny, although I think the writers should lay off the “Dean is super politically correct” jokes for a little while. Those jokes are usually funny, but they’ve been going to that well a bit often recently. The only thing that’s kind of original about this iteration of the running gag is that the Human Being doesn’t really like his newest job. He’s actually pretty surly about it.

At study group, Jeff gleefully plays a voicemail Britta left for him the night before. It was a serious drunk dial, and most of the study group agrees that it comes with “implied booty call.” Britta enters the study room as this conversation is wrapping up, clearly hung over. She’s horribly embarrassed when she finds out about the drunk dial, and when Jeff plays the voicemail for her, she runs out of the room. Abed, comparing Jeff’s situation to sitcom episodes where one character sees another naked, tells Jeff that the only way to restore balance is to drunk dial Britta in return. I like that Abed’s knowledge of pop culture has a purpose here instead of just serving to give Abed a unique voice.

Similarly, the Greendale Human Being actually sort of propels the B story of this episode forward instead of just being comic relief. Troy and Pierce are feeling a bit left out because the Human Being has been delivering Valentines to a lot of people, but not them. In Spanish class, their luck finally seems to change. It’s quickly painfully obvious, however, that Troy and Pierce sent the Valentines to themselves. Señor Chang, being the obnoxious person he is, of course has to milk this situation for all its worth. He goes on a rant that embarrasses Troy and Pierce in front of the entire class. Shirley and Annie are mortified for Troy and Pierce, and they vow to get revenge on Chang.

After being a bit skeptical, Jeff enlists Abed’s help in drunk dialing Britta to restore the balance of the study group. I liked this plot because Jeff and Abed are a rather unconventional pairing for “Community,” and Joel McHale and Danny Pudi play very well off each other. Abed tries to approach the whole thing like a director coaching a performance out of an actor, and at first, it doesn’t go especially well. Jeff is pretty drunk, but his rehearsal drunk dial doesn’t seem genuine to Abed. Jeff complains that Abed may be a good director, but he’s not a good drinking buddy. Abed, who normally doesn’t drink, decides to take one for the team and join Jeff in a debaucherous evening.

In an homage to The Breakfast Club, Jeff and Abed both get wasted, and even the pizza delivery guy gets in on the antics. This was a much, much funnier montage than Jeff and Pierce’s “performance” in “Spanish 101.” There was dancing and all sorts of silliness. The next morning, Jeff finds out that he made two phone calls. One to Britta as planned, and one to Professor Slater. Depending upon what he said in each message, this could get ugly. More amusing, however, is Abed with a hangover. He’s “broken” and unable to make his usual 80’s pop culture references. Instead he babbles about “Molly Ringworm” or just says “movie reference.” I think this is Danny Pudi’s funniest performance of the series thus far.

Jeff and Abed miss Spanish class due to being hung over, but plenty happens there without them. Shirley and Annie’s prank has been put into play. The Greendale Human Being has a delivery for Señor Chang. It’s a poorly forged letter from Princeton inviting Chang to join the faculty there. He sees through the prank right away and naturally suspects that Troy and Pierce are the culprits. They have reason to want to embarrass him, after all. Señor Chang employs his usual reaction to such situations- ridiculous threats. Pierce and Troy, even though they haven’t admitted to being the pranksters, must accompany Chang to that night’s Valentine’s Dance dressed in ladies’ pants suits. If they don’t, they will fail Spanish. Shirley and Annie look on in shock but don’t own up to what they did.

When they see how ridiculous Troy and Pierce look, Shirley and Annie get an attack of guilt and offer to confess to Chang. Troy and Pierce are okay with their fate, though. Pierce explains that they had been feeling low because they didn’t have ladies who cared about them on Valentine’s Day, but now it’s clear that they do, even if it’s not in a romantic way. Troy and Pierce want to man up and protect Shirley and Annie, and they take their punishment. Troy and Pierce dancing with Señor Chang was kind of ridiculous, although I did like that the punishment was to dress in pants suits instead of dresses. I think dresses wouldn’t have been as original.

At the Valentine’s Dance, Jeff also must face consequences. Professor Slater had asked him to be her date, since she had to chaperone. He still doesn’t know what he said to either Britta or Professor Slater, so he’s preparing to have to talk himself out of a lot of trouble. Britta shows up and pulls her own prank. She makes Jeff think that he invited her to be his date to the dance during his drunk dial. Jeff figures out she’s messing with him pretty quickly, but the trouble doesn’t end there. Professor Slater is pissed because when Jeff called her, he was upset that he wasn’t talking to Britta. Britta, however, comes up with a quick save. She plays the beginning of her own drunk dial from Jeff. In the message, Jeff is saying how Professor Slater is the perfect girlfriend, and he hopes that Britta can be as happy as he is. Professor Slater is satisfied that nothing’s going on between Jeff and Britta, and all is forgiven. Britta confides in Jeff that what she played was only the first 20 seconds of a 40 minute message. We’re left to wonder what else Jeff had to say.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Lost" Fifteen Favorites: "LaFleur"

“What about me? You really going to leave me with a mad scientist and Mr. I Speak to Dead People? And Jin, who’s a hell of a nice guy, but not exactly the greatest conversationalist.”


So, I’ve pretty much abandoned my attempt at Olympics coverage in favor of providing more of my usual scripted TV content. Other than yay USA for winning so many medals, the USA vs. Canada hockey game was awesome, Johnny Weir was way underscored, and the top two ice dancing teams were gorgeous, there isn’t really all that much to say about the Olympics. I’ve decided to throw in a Fifteen Favorites as I attempt to continue slogging through the TV I missed from being sick and watching the Olympics. Episode Fourteen on my list is season 5’s “LaFleur.” My thoughts after rewatching it this afternoon are rather different than when it was first broadcast, but overall it’s a lovely, understated episode that does a lot of character development, so it’s most definitely worthy of being on this list.

This episode deals with the aftermath on the Island of Locke descending into the depths of the Island and fixing the Frozen Donkey Wheel. It turns out that Ben didn’t quite turn the wheel correctly in the season 4 finale “There’s No Place Like Home,” and that is what caused the non-Oceanic Six Losties to experience all the crazy, painful time skips. As Dan later puts it, the record is no longer skipping, but they’re not on the song they wanted to be. They’re in the 1970’s at the height of the Dharma Initiative.

The moment that reveals the time to which they’ve traveled is pretty spectacular. We see somebody turn on some really old stereo equipment (reminiscent of the iconic “Make Your Own Kind of Music” and “Downtown” scenes in the season 2 and 3 premieres respectively), and some 70’s music starts to play. Two people, one in a Dharma jumpsuit and one in a very 70’s blouse begin to dance. What really delighted me about the scene was that the Dharma Initiative guy (a security officer), whose name is Jerry, is played by the same actor who played Herc on Friday Night Lights. It’s always nice to see any FNL alum do well.

The episode flashes back and forth between the Losties right after the time skips stopped and the Losties three years later. The scene I just described is of the “three years later” variety. Phil, another guy in a Dharma jump suit, isn’t especially thrilled to see Jerry and his girlfriend goofing off on the clock. Jerry’s girlfriend turns out to be useful, though. She sees something troubling on one of the security monitors. At first Jerry and Phil wonder if a Hostile is making trouble near the sonic fence, but it turns out to be worse, in a way. It’s Horace Goodspeed, leader of the Dharma Initiative contingent on the Island, and he’s drunk and blowing up trees with dynamite.

On rewatch, it’s clear that the three years later scenes were very carefully crafted to create two sort of surprising reveals. The first comes early in the episode. Phil and Jerry realize they need to alert their boss LaFleur about the Horace situation, and they’re clearly afraid of LaFleur. They argue over who has to wake him up, and they aren’t looking forward to it at all. LaFleur, of course, turns out to be none other than Sawyer. He actually seems like a decent boss to Miles and Jin in later scenes, so I don’t know why Phil and Jerry are so afraid of him. The other carefully crafted reveal is that Sawyer and Juliet are a couple and living together, but that doesn’t happen until near the end of the episode.

Sawyer and Miles are able to retrieve Horace and bring him back to the Barracks pretty easily, but the drama doesn’t end there. Not by a long shot. Horace’s very pregnant wife Amy goes into labor while Horace is still completely passed out. To make matters worse, the baby is breeched, and there is no OB/GYN on the Island. The Dharma Initiative usually sends women to the mainland to have their babies. Sawyer sees only one option. Juliet has to come out of “retirement.” Juliet is not thrilled when Sawyer interrupts her at work at the motor pool. I do love that Juliet decides to become a mechanic in her new life. One of the things I’ve always liked about Juliet is that she’s not afraid to get dirty, whether it’s playing mind games with Ben or working on a Dharma vehicle.

Juliet is reluctant to get back in the baby game because her experience with pregnant women on the island has been one tragedy after another. I get the feeling that’s why she chose to take a job with the motor pool in the first place. She just couldn’t deal with losing patients any more. This time around, though, Juliet has success for the very first time since she arrived on the island. Both Amy and baby end up just fine. Horace is kind of a different story. He’s understandably upset to realize that he missed the birth of his son. That evening, Sawyer and Juliet share a celebratory dinner. It’s clear how fully they support each other. Sawyer believed without a doubt that Juliet could successfully complete the c-section, and Juliet always backs Sawyer’s assertions of authority. They work well together.

A lot of the most interesting work in this episode happens back in the immediately post-time skip scenes. It allows us to see the genesis of the respected/feared leader that is LaFleur. After Dan takes a moment to mourn Charlotte, whose body didn’t travel with the Losties on their final time jump, Sawyer suggests they all head back to the beach. There were a number of interesting things going on here. First was contrasting Dan’s mourning of Charlotte to Sawyer’s recent mourning of Juliet. They both seem disconnected following their losses, but Dan’s disconnect is childlike while Sawyer’s is angry. Watching Dan babble about how he wasn’t going to tell a younger Charlotte about her future reminded me of Topher from Dollhouse when he can’t deal with having caused the Apocalypse. Both performances were superb.

Sawyer assumes the leadership position following the end of the time skips, and it shows just how much he’s grown. When trying to convince the other Losties to return to the beach, he says that it doesn’t matter if their stuff isn’t there anymore- they can “build new stuff.” Sawyer of seasons 1 and 2 cared more about his “stuff” than anything else except maybe Kate. He hoarded anything he could get his hands on in his “stash,” and Heaven help anyone who tried to raid the stash. It’s also interesting to watch how Juliet supports this transformation. She vocally supports the beach plan, even though she admits to Sawyer that she thinks it’s a bad idea.

Sawyer’s plan is cut short when the group hears gun shots. A man is on the ground and two men with guns are trying to put a hood on a woman’s head. Sawyer and Juliet immediately draw their rifles and charge in. One of the gunmen is about to shoot Sawyer when Juliet shoots him first. Sawyer then shoots the second gunman. Sawyer then approaches the woman, who turns out to be Amy Goodspeed. Only her last name wasn’t Goodspeed at the time. She was on a picnic with her first husband.

Despite the fact that Sawyer and Juliet saved Amy’s life, there’s still a lot of mistrust on the part of Amy and the other Dharma Initiative folks. Amy tricks the Losties into thinking that she turned off the sonic fence around the Barracks, when she actually just turned it down to a non-lethal setting. Sawyer spins a tale about how the Losties were the crew of a salvage vessel that shipwrecked on the Island. He wants a week or two to search the Island for missing Losties, but the Dharma Initiative wants the interlopers off the Island on the very first submarine.

Sawyer does finally start winning Dharma’s trust when he smoothes over a little problem with the Hostiles. Richard Alpert shows up at the Barracks demanding justice for the two Others who were killed by Sawyer and Juliet. Sawyer makes it clear to Richard that he’s not with Dharma, so the truce hasn’t been broken. He kind of blows Richard’s mind by recounting in detail the events of “Jughead,” which took place about 20 years earlier by Richard’s reckoning. As a show of gratitude, Horace says the Losties can stay at the Barracks for two weeks to look for their lost crew members.

Sawyer and Juliet sit by the docks contemplating their predicament. This scene is especially tragic after Juliet’s death, and especially after Sawyer and Kate’s conversation on the dock in “What Kate Does.” Juliet wants to leave the Island ASAP, even though she won’t be going back to anything she knew on the mainland. Sawyer, however, convinces her to stay for two weeks until the next sub arrives to keep him company. The fact that he just asked her to stay because he didn’t want to be lonely would later haunt him.

The end of the episode seems to spell doom for the newly revealed relationship, though. Sawyer is awoken early in the morning by a phone call from Jin. Some of the Oceanic Six have returned to the Island. Sawyer, not telling the complete truth about what’s going on, tells Juliet to go back to sleep. He then hightails it out to Jin’s location in a Dharma Jeep. Sawyer is thrilled to see Hurley and happy enough to see Jack, of course, but his expression completely changes once Kate steps into view to one of disbelief. He’s going to have some serious feelings to sort out.

When I first watched “LaFleur,” my initial reaction was “oh hell no, they better not mess up Sawyer and Juliet.” I liked how their relationship was mature and supportive. As time went on, however, as much as I appreciated that such a relationship was being showcased on television, I came to miss the sheer chemistry of Sawyer and Kate, so I’m back to hoping those two crazy kids can work it out (after Sawyer mourns Juliet for an appropriate time, of course). Despite the shifting of my shipping loyalties, however, I can still appreciate how beautifully constructed this episode is. It’s a lovely character piece in the middle of all the fast moving mythology stuff that has been happening ever since Jack told Kate “We have to go back!” in “Through the Looking Glass.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lost 6.03: "What Kate Does"

“As you can see, Hugo here has assumed the leadership position. So that’s pretty great.”


While I wouldn’t say this is one of my favorite episodes of “Lost” by far, some excellent performances by Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lily, and a surprise visit from Ethan, saved it from stooping to “Stranger in a Strange Land” and “Eggtown” levels. The episode began to answer some interesting questions, raised a bunch more questions, and the Sideways verse (creator Damon Lindelof has said in a bunch of interviews since the season premier that he doesn’t think the word “alternate” should apply to the storytelling device being used this season) once again provided a place for some fascinating character interaction.

A lot of the action in this episode still takes place in the Temple (which is still pretty lame), but at least the Temple action starts to give us some explanations. To say that Sayid being alive again has caused a bit of an uproar would be an understatement. Dogan and Lennon are most definitely in a panic. Over Jack’s protests, Sayid is sheparded away from the rest of the Losties. The Temple Others than proceed to torture him with electric shocks and a hot poker. Lennon claims that the torture was a test, and Sayid passed. This is pretty obviously not the case, though. I can watch gruesome stuff on television, but my level of tolerance is just below torture. It’s why I’ve never rewatched the episode of “Firefly” “War Stories,” even though it’s an excellent episode from a storytelling standpoint. And it’s why I will probably not rewatch this episode very often.

Jack is pretty much the only person really focused on Sayid. Hurley is trying to understand everything, and Miles is pretty much just standing around and making snarky remarks. Sawyer wants to get out of the Temple, and so does Kate (which they do, thanks to Sawyer somehow getting a gun). This is completely in character- both are free spirits and don’t do well when cooped up, even if they aren’t being kept in one place for malicious reasons. Jack is peppering Dogan and Lennon with questions, which is actually kind of refreshing. Dogan’s answers are still pretty cryptic, but at least Jack is asking the questions in the first place. Dogan wants Jack to give Sayid a pill, but he refuses to tell Jack what it contains.

Jack actually shows a surprising amount of character growth in this episode. And I am not at all a Jack fan, so it is very difficult for me to admit this. Jack acts rashly, like he often does, but it’s genuinely out of concern for Sayid, not some need to feel better about himself. After Sayid tells Jack that he’ll take the pill if Jack says it’s okay, Jack rushes back to Dogan and once again demands to know what’s in the pill. I’d like to think that Jack genuinely doesn’t want to betray Sayid’s trust. Jack goes so far as to swallow the pill, and Dogan is forced to perform the Heimlich and admit that the pill was poison. Dogan explains that Sayid has been “claimed” and will become completely dark in time…just like Claire.

The Temple folks are pretty irritated that Sawyer left, so they take Kate up on her offer to track him and bring him back. She’s accompanied by Jin and two others, one of which is the guy she hit over the head with a rifle outside Room 23 on Hydra Island back in Season 3. Needless to say, that guy doesn’t especially like Kate. Actually, nobody really seems to be much of a Kate fan at the moment, except maybe Jack. And as far as he’s concerned, there’s no accounting for taste. Kate manages to get away from the Other chaperones and leaves Jin (who has finally switched his primary concern back to finding Sun) in the lurch. Sawyer also isn’t especially happy to see Kate when she shows up in New Otherton. He wants to mourn Juliet, and Kate is getting in the way. He pries up the floorboards in their old house looking for something important. The engagement ring he was going to give Juliet.

You might think that the smidgen of Sawyer/Kate shipper that still resides in me despite travesties like “Eggtown” might be irritated by this turn of events, but it resulted in superb performances by both Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly. Sawyer’s anger and grief is both beautiful and painful to watch. Kate’s breakdown as she realizes that it actually isn’t all about her and what she wants is almost as powerful. She actually feels guilty that she was preoccupied with her plan to use Sawyer to help her find Claire for Aaron when he’s actually really, really hurting over the loss of Juliet. Speaking of Claire, Jin is the one who actually finds her. Only I don’t think she’s going to be all that useful to Aaron. She’s pretty much become the new Rousseau, crazy traps and all.

Although the stakes weren’t quite as high in the sideways-verse in this episode, there was still plenty of intriguing character interactions and surprise reveals. Okay, some characters did things that were just plain stupid, but it was still kind of fun. I really think that the sideways-verse is the reward to those of us who always really paid attention to the Easter eggs such as random characters meeting in flashbacks over the years. Our attention to detail is paying off, and it’s certainly making my viewing experience enjoyable.

The “flash sidewayses” (is that an acceptable plural?) this episode focus on Kate, which makes sense considering the title of the episode. It picks up right where we left off, with Kate hijacking Claire’s cab. There were two things about Kate’s initial getaway that made me especially happy. The first was Dr. Arzt being annoying as ever trying to collect his sprawled out luggage in the middle of the crosswalk. The second was Kate glimpsing Jack and having some sort of déjà vu moment. I really can’t wait to find out just how the two realities relate to each other, and moments like that one make me convinced that the two stories we’re seeing play out are really connected somehow.

Kate ends up kicking Claire out of the cab and hightailing it to a shady-ish mechanic shop to get her handcuffs taken off. She looks in Claire’s suitcase for potential clothes to change into and gets an attack of guilt when she sees that the suitcase is actually full of baby stuff. Claire is still waiting on the street corner where Kate left her, and she inexplicably accepts an offer of a ride from Kate. Claire needs to get to the house of the couple who is supposed to adopt her baby. Shutting the door on the “Kate and Jack were the couple in LA who were supposed to adopt Aaron” theory, the woman who answers the door at the address Claire gives Kate is not anyone we’ve met before. She says that she didn’t show up at the airport because her husband just left her. Repeating Claire’s dialogue from “Raised by Another” almost word for word, the woman says that she just can’t raise a baby alone right now. Claire then picks a really inconvenient time to start having contractions.

Kate rushes Claire to the nearest hospital where who is waiting but Dr. Goodspeed, aka Ethan Rom. This was probably my favorite moment of the episode. I do love those random mind bending moments that Lost knows how to bring so well. The best part was Ethan telling Claire that she could either have her baby or he could stop the contractions, but he didn’t want to stick her with needles if he didn’t have to.

I like how there’s a symmetry about the sideways-verse. Claire instinctively knows her child’s name is Aaron. Claire and Kate are also once again closely connected through Aaron, and Kate is connected to Aaron’s birth (even if it was early labor that was stopped this time around). It leaves me feeling like the big events we’ve seen play out for the past five years are inevitable for our characters, and watching that all play out is pretty cool.