Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Lost" Fifteen Favorites: "I Do"

“Kate, damnit, RUN!”


I think “I Do,” episode six on the Fifteen Favorites list, is really a love it or hate it episode of “Lost.” And I believe I fall pretty firmly in the “love it” camp, although not quite to the level that I did the very first time I watched it. I remember kind of being in a daze as I did some laundry after watching “I Do” the first time, overwhelmed by the emotion of all the performances in the episode. And for those of you who despise the idea of Sawyer and Kate and think of “cage sex” as the epitome of everything that ever went wrong with “Lost,” there’s at least a guest appearance by the wonderful Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” and now “Castle” fame. It’s not exactly Fillion’s best performance, but he brings to a rather shallow role what he can, and it does illuminate some interesting things about Kate.

It’s rather fitting that “I Do” directly follows “Outlaws” on this list, as the two episodes work fairly well as companion pieces. The flashbacks in this episode illuminate one of the more interesting revelations from Kate and Sawyer’s game of “I Never” in “Outlaws”- that Kate was married once, but it didn’t last for long. We see Kate in a motel room, gazing at her bridal veil, when there’s a knock on the door. The person outside the room identifies himself as police, and we’re supposed to think Kate’s in trouble. It turns out to be Kevin, her loving (and kinda horny) fiancé.

Since Kevin is a police officer and doesn’t know a thing about Kate’s past (he thinks her name is Monica), it’s clear that this can’t possibly end well. If those two facts aren’t enough, there are anvils dropped all over the place during the preparation for the wedding and the wedding itself. Kevin’s mom mentions “Monica’s” honesty as she gives Kate a locket that she herself was given by her mother on her wedding day. The officiant at the wedding mentions that Kevin says he loves “Monica” because “what you see is what you get.” In addition to all these honesty anvils, it’s clear that Kate isn’t meant for domestic life. The scene where she’s talking to Kevin on her cell phone as she grocery shops for “taco night” just shows how out of place she truly is in this existence.

There’s a very “Catch Me if You Can” moment where Kate calls Marshal Mars on a pay phone and begs him to stop chasing her. I guess he’s feeling a little generous (or he feels like he’s making a bet he can’t lose), because he tells Kate that if she can truly stay put with this guy, he’ll let her go. At the moment, I think Kate truly believed that she could make it work with Kevin, but it doesn’t last long, obviously. A negative pregnancy test sends her into panic mode. It’s not entirely spelled out, but I think it’s the idea that she was ready to actually have a baby with Kevin that scared her and made her think she really needs to start running again. She tells Kevin the truth as he’s getting woozy. She drugged him so he’s got plausible deniability, you see. Then she sadly resumes her life on the run, leaving the locket with Kevin as he lies unconscious.

On Hydra Island, Sawyer and Kate’s situation has reached a breaking point. Sawyer’s still demoralized from what Ben showed him at the end of “Every Man for Himself,” and Kate is bound and determined to make him snap out of it, since she doesn’t realize the full gravity of the situation (that they’re on a separate island miles from their own Island). Pickett is also still Hell-bent on killing Sawyer as revenge for Colleen’s death. Kate probably saves Sawyer’s life when Pickett says Sawyer has the day off work, but Kate insists that if she’s working, Sawyer’s working, because they’re a team. It’s pretty obvious that Pickett was trying to get Sawyer alone to enact his revenge. It’s not a typical day at work, either. Sawyer and Kate are doing their rock breaking and hauling thing when an alarm goes off. Alex, armed with her sling shot, has infiltrated the compound. She’s demanding to know where Karl is, but she’s just hauled off as she screams to Kate that the Others killed her boyfriend, and they’ll kill Kate’s boyfriend, too.

Juliet expertly takes advantage of the situation. Jack has been refusing to operate on Ben’s spinal tumor, and Kate might be able to tip the scale in favor of the Others. Juliet reminds Kate that Pickett is just itching for a chance to kill Sawyer, and if Kate convinces Jack to do the surgery, Juliet says they might all be set free before Pickett has his chance. The scene that follows is one of the most iconic and sad scenes of the series. Separated by the Plexiglas in Jack’s cell, Kate tearfully begs Jack to do the surgery. Jack is furious, demanding to know what the Others offered Kate to make her ask such a thing. When Kate tells him, between sobs, that Sawyer will be killed unless Jack does what he’s told, Jack gets even more furious and refuses to speak to Kate further.

Back in the cages, Kate has had enough of waiting around. She climbs out of her cage and breaks the lock on Sawyer’s. Sawyer, however, isn’t going anywhere, and he chooses that moment to tell Kate the truth about their predicament. Kate’s response leads to the now infamous cage sex scene. It’s very difficult to judge what Kate’s feelings are in this moment, and I think that might be why this episode doesn’t quite affect me now the way it did when I first saw it. Kate has always had a certain affinity for Sawyer, and I believed her feelings to be genuine at the moment, but so much has happened since to negate whatever happened there. I guess I should have seen that coming when Sawyer asked Kate if she meant it when she told Pickett she loved Sawyer, and she only responds with a kiss. That’s a typical move from The Bachelor[ette] when the Bachelor/ette is trying to be cagey about his/her feelings, people! And yeah, I just admitted that I have watched that franchise, although I didn’t watch the most recent season. It was fun to gab about it with my best friend who happens to live very far away, okay! I’ll stop being defensive now and go on with the recap.

Of course, as Sawyer and Kate are cuddling after the cage sex, Jack, thanks to being let out of his own cage by Alex, sees Sawyer and Kate on one of the security monitors. He’s now willing to do the surgery because he just wants to get off the Island as quickly as possible and forget everything. The next day, everything is prepared for the surgery. Pickett decides to take advantage of the distraction to finally deal with Sawyer once and for all. Luckily for Sawyer, Jack is still scheming. He slices Ben’s kidney sac with a scalpel, and he tells the Others who are watching that Ben now has only one hour to live unless they do what Jack says. Jack wants to talk to Kate on the walkie-talkie. Pickett, who had the gun to Sawyer’s head in the midst of Kate’s screams, has to stop what he’s doing and hand over the walkie-talkie. Jack wants Kate and Sawyer to get the heck away from the Hydra, and he wants her to radio in with the “count down from five” story when she’s safe. Kate dithers, muttering that she can’t leave Jack. Jack startles her to her senses with the now iconic line that you see at the beginning of this post.

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