I argued with quite a few friends over last week's episode. Most of them (and a lot of you) said that I was off, and that last week's show was actually really good. I had a hard time explaining my side until I read James Poniewozik, a blogger for Time.com. He wrote, "Last night's was a really cool episode of 'Lost.' That is a different thing, however, from a really good episode of 'Lost.'"
Sums it up perfectly. If someone can skip an episode of "Lost" and pick right up next week without having missed anything (because certainly no one will miss Nikki and Paulo), then that's not a good episode.
For all you "Lost" Diary newbies, here's how it goes. I gather with a group of friends watching "Lost," writing what happens on the show as it happens, and throwing in my two cents along the way. This week it's the usual crew -- Ari, Lauren and April -- except Matt is at the Lakers game, and my old college roommate Chris is in town. Let's roll:
10:00 -- It may have only lasted five seconds, but a chick fight is still a chick fight. Good times.
10:01 -- So the "Previously on 'Lost'" was about Sawyer, but we're getting a Kate flashback this week. That's kinda weird. Think Kate and Sawyer's ex will cross paths?
10:03 -- And there she is, running cons at a gas station. Kate and Cassidy are the new Thelma and Louise, just hotter.
10:05 -- Locke tells Kate he's leaving and that she is staying behind. Is it me or does Locke sound like he drank a giant glass of Others Kool-Aid?
10:09 -- Hurley tells Sawyer that they are planning to banish him unless he makes amends. Sawyer actually looks like his feelings are hurt.
10:10 -- Of all the frightening things I have seen on "Lost," watching the Others pack up all their stuff -- and put on GAS MASKS!!! -- has to be right up there. April thinks it's mustard gas, but Chris points out that since it's not World War I, it probably isn't mustard gas. Welcome to the party, Chris!
10:12 -- So let's do a little con man logic equation, shall we? Sawyer teaches Cassidy, who is apparently about to start teaching Kate. Thus, Sawyer taught Kate. Small world, ain't it?
10:14 -- Kate wakes up in the bushes ... handcuffed to Juliet. Interesting. And kinda hot.
10:18 -- "Ain't gonna get the Korean vote." -- Sawyer. Watching Sawyer fish is like watching Hurley run; you get the feeling that neither of them does it often.
10:20 -- Kate and Juliet together -- does have some level of suspense, but it's not like when Locke and Henry Gale get together.
10:22 -- "Welcome to the wonderful world of not knowing what the hell is going on." -- Kate. Hey, we've been there over two years, thank you very much.
10:24 -- Kate and Cassidy are kind of boring together. Thelma and Louise would kick their asses.
10:25 -- What percentage of guys watching "Lost" are debating who they'd rather sleep with, Kate or Juliet? I'll go with 80%.
10:26 -- Alright, I need everyone to be quiet right now. Kate and Juliet are about to have a cat fight, while handcuffed together, and in the pouring rain! This is what "Lost" would be like every week if it aired on Cinemax.
10:27 -- Damn it! Nothing ruins a catfight like an island monster growling.
10:30 -- So that was new. I don't think we've seen the island monster light up before. Juliet looks completely humbled.
10:32 -- Hurley is like the Ghost of Island Past, schooling Sawyer on all he's done wrong to people on the island. Too funny. The consensus in the room is that Hurley is making the whole exiled thing up.
10:34 -- "The reason Jack told you not to come back wasn't because he didn't want you to get hurt. It was because you broke his heart." Juliet to Kate. Ouch.
10:35 -- If Kate and Juliet ever do fight til the death, I'll be pulling for Juliet.
10:39 -- Note to the producers: More Desmond. If I ever met Henry Ian Cusack, the guy who plays him, I would have sign an autograph to me that read, "To Daniel, See ya in another life, brutha."
10:40 -- So Kate's reunion with her mom didn't go as planned. I think this scene is very telling. More on this later.
10:43 -- Kate and Juliet are having a pissing contest over who knows Jack better. Women. But that will have to wait, because the monster is back.
10:44 -- So Juliet had a key the whole time, which she waited to use until the moment she needed to activate the fence to repel the black smoke monster. If that isn't the most ridiculous sentence I ever wrote, I don't know what is. Oh, and now Kate and Juliet are covered in mud. Welcome to "Lost: Lesbian Overtones Edition."
10:50 -- Yup, Hurley made up the whole banishment thing to get Sawyer to be nice to everyone and groom him to be the de-facto leader of the camp. Well played.
10:52 -- Cue the sappy music and the cheesy montage.
10:53 -- But maybe this is a turning point for Sawyer. Doubtful, but maybe.
10:54 -- Kate is apologizing to Jack for screwing everything up. But she's really apologizing for making dirty, sweaty island love to Sawyer.
10:56 -- Kate and Cassidy have their teary goodbye and Kate almost learned about Sawyer.
10:58 -- So Jack wants to bring Juliet back to camp because "they left her behind too." Can she be trusted? And another thing -- why are they leaving? They got houses there, beds, a black smoke monster protecting fence. Shouldn't they bring everyone up there to live? Just asking.
After last week's "let's ignore everyone else on the island and just kill Nikki and Paulo" episode, it was good to get back to the characters we love. Juliet's little "woe is me, I got left behind" spiel feels like a big fat lie, but at the same time I can't figure out what the point of it would be. Maybe to get at Aaron? Or a pregnant Sun? I still think she's evil, but I think she might be a bit of a broken woman right now.
So going back to Kate's scene with her mom, I couldn't help but think about how everyone on the island is the way they are because of one thing. Locke has his dad, Eko had his brother, Jack has his ex, Hurley has the numbers, and so on. For Kate, it was her mom hanging her out to dry. The Kate we saw in this flashback wasn't quite the same fully-formed bad ass Kate we saw rob the bank back in season one. And the fact that she got that way indirectly because of Sawyer was a cool revelation.
All in all, I give this episode a B-. I was glad to get back to the main story and move the train along the tracks, so to speak. When I complain about an episode not "solving any mysteries," it doesn't mean I want every question answered right away. I just want to know we're at least moving forward and headed in the right direction.
Last week I asked you guys what makes an episode of "Lost" good to you. I am going to steal one user's comment and use it as my answer, since it was so perfect. They wrote: "1) Locke 2) Henry Gale 3) Solving a mystery or two before (or even while) opening up a new mystery 4) Plot twists that we don't see coming 5) See numbers 1 & 2."
So this week my question is this: Seeing Cassidy in Kate's flashback is just one of dozens of random connections we've seen between castaways. What was your favorite one? See you next week.