LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 11: “Whatever Happened, Happened”

3 04 2009

The calm before the storm.  Do any of you feel like that’s right where we are now with LOST?  I don’t want to downplay this episode much, because we got two huge answers that, quite frankly, I didn’t see coming at all.  But the preview for next week, coupled with just the general direction that the Dharmaville storyline is taking, leaves me to believe that something really special and large in scale is right around the corner.  But I guess that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves, isn’t it?  First, let’s discuss “Whatever Happened, Happened”, because there were some pretty cool revelations…

Ben’s been shot on the right side…no, no, no, on HIS right side



Alright, is it me, or was Ben shot on his left side (Sayid’s right) last episode, only to have the wound show up on his right side this episode?  I only ask because I included a screen shot of it last week, and it clearly seems to have moved.  You really don’t expect those kinds of errors from the crack effects/make-up teams on LOST.  But I guess they’re entitled to a mistake now and then…right?

Kate carries on the Littleton tradition


Wasn’t the lullaby that Kate was singing to Aaron the same one that Claire had sung to her when she was younger?  Nice job by Kate to remember that, and share it with Aaron.  Actually, although this scene technically takes place fairly soon after the Oceanic 6 get back to the mainland, Kate does a masterful job of growing up in this episode.  It’s cool to see so many of the original characters grow in ways you wouldn’t expect based upon their actions in Season 1.  And Kate’s definitely not the only way to make a seemingly out-of-place decision in this episode…

“We’ve only got three janitors: there’s Roger, Willie, and that new guy, I just met him…his name is Jack”

Sawyer’s always been a clever chap, and getting promoted to Dharmaville’s head of security hasn’t changed that at all.  The way he asks for Roger’s keys so that he can allow him to incriminate himself is sheer brilliance.  But the fact that Goodspeed is aware that Jack had the ability to let Sayid out creates a pretty ominous situation.  Do you think that anyone would have reason to frame Jack for the situation?  If not at the start of the episode, perhaps by the end of it?  Things are becoming very interesting around Dharmaville these days…

“What the hell are you doing, Tubby?”

“Checking to see if I’m disappearing.”  Absolutely awesome dialogue here between Hurley and Miles.  The fact that the writers could tell, months in advance, that conversations would be happening around the internet just like this one after last week’s episode is really amazing.  What’s even better is that they use the conversation to once again hammer home the idea that “Whatever Happened, Happened.”  There is no magically changing the past like Back to the Future.  Ben had always been shot by Sayid, we just didn’t know it.  Of course, I went over this with last week’s recap.  So why rehash it?  Well, other than the fact that the scene was yet another nod to us hardcore fans, I think it sets up the table nicely for future episodes.  If we continue to believe Faraday (and so far, there’s no reason not to), then we know that Desmond is the one exception to this rule.  And we know from Eloise Hawking that the island isn’t quite down yet with good ol’ Des.  So don’t be surprised if someone tries to manipulate Desmond into changing past events, Back to the Future style.  Now that the rules have been set and seen, there’s no better time to try to break them.

“If you don’t come with me Jack, that kid is gonna die.”

Wow, so much to glean from just a few minutes of conversation here.  First of all, is this the first time in the entire series that Jack decides not to fix something?   In previous seasons, making a decision like this would be near-impossible for Jack, even if the subject is Ben.  In fact, Jack says as much himself–he’s done this before.  Not only time after time in a general sense, but even this specific case…saving Ben.  But now, somehow, some way, the island has helped Jack see the error of his ways.  This time, instead of following his compulsion to fix anything and everything…instead of doing the thing that wrecked his marriage with Sarah, instead of doing the thing that broke his heart as Kate and Sawyer did their thing in the cages, Jack fights the need to fix things, and instead does nothing.  Actually, it’s more than that.  Jack actually appears to not even have the desire to fix anything…it seems as though he’s kicked that habit altogether.  He’s clearly ready and waiting for the opportunity to fulfill his destiny when the island presents it to him.  Wouldn’t Locke be proud…the man of Science appears to have transformed into a man of Faith.

And simultaneously, he appears to have had enough of Kate’s games, and is putting her right in her place.  Kate knows that Jack has a thing for her.  In fact, she’s known it for awhile.  But this time, Jack knows that Kate knows, and that she tries to use that to her advantage.  But no dice this time.  He’s already given up everything for her.  He’s already saved Ben because she asked him to.  And where did that get him?  Heartache, as he watched she and Sawyer get it on in the cages.  Nope, this time, he’ll have none of it.  And while Kate tries one last, desperate attempt to get Jack to do her bidding: “I don’t like the new you,” Jack refuses to budge, and snaps her back into the reality of her own decisions: “You didn’t like the old me, Kate.”  Wow, truth hurts, doesn’t it.  I could see how alot of people might see Jack as being a cold, uncaring ass in this episode, but not me.  To me, Jack’s been spending the entire series helping everyone else, to the detriment of his own desires and happiness.  Kudos to him for deciding that he’s done being walked on, and that he’s ready to do something that’s right by him for a change.  But if nothing else, it sure as heck seems as though you can write off the Jack-Kate end of the love triangle, doesn’t it?

“She’s a universal donor”


Amazingly, Kate’s also going through a tremendous transformation right before our eyes, and it’s exactly the opposite of Jack’s.  Kate’s spent the entire series focused on herself: killing her Dad because it made her feel better about her mother’s situation, running from the law instead of facing the truth, even drugging and leaving a man she married because she couldn’t bring herself to do “taco night”.  But now, Kate is doing the right thing.  Instead of running away from the island, she’s come back to it.  Instead of sitting idly by while Ben loses blood, she donates her own.  And there’s more to come, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

Hurley and Miles continue the time travel conversation


Seriously, did the writers visit the future themselves when writing this dialogue?  I swear I saw discussions on message boards that were almost *exactly* like the verbal tennis being played in their scenes together.  It’s mind boggling how well these guys know their viewers.  Of course, this part of the conversation ends with Hurley asking the big question that Miles can’t answer: why doesn’t Ben remember Sayid, the man who shot him as a child, when they meet in 2004?  Ah, great question Hurley, and one that we get the definitive answer to later in the episode…

Kate loses Aaron…

…and quite possibly her mind in the process?  Actually, it’s this exact moment that causes Kate to head down the path of realization about what she’s doing.  The vision of Aaron walking with Claire (even though it turns out not to be her) strikes a chord with her.  Suddenly, she realizes not only that she’s been living a lie, but that lie has deprived both others, and herself of true peace and happiness.  But let’s wait for the full revelation before discussing the definitive conclusion about her behavior.

“I ain’t here to stop you, I’m here to help you.”


And help her he does.  But of course, Kate needs to know the why.  Why would he help her?  Why would he help Ben? (Especially since Jack wouldn’t?)  Well, the answer may have been a bit more than she bargained for.  Sawyer’s helping because it’s what the woman he loves wants him to do.  The answer is, he’s doing it for Juliet.  And really, that makes all the sense in the world.  Remember, even though it’s only been a few episodes for us, it’s been three years that Sawyer and Juliet have been together.  If you compare that to the three months that Sawyer and Kate played footsies, with Jack completing the love triangle, then it’s really a no-brainer.  But the bottom line of it is this: the Sawyer-Kate end of the love triangle appears over, doesn’t it?  Actually, it suddenly appears as though Kate’s got no romantic interest on the island, does she?  Hm…perhaps that’s just wat she needs right now…

“You came back for you!”

Juliet finally gets off her chest what she’s been holding inside since 4 of the 6 O6ers came back to 1977 Dharmaville.  She’s pissed that Jack and friends came back, and she demands to know why.  Why the heck would they break up their happiness?  Of course, she already told him…he’s come back for himself.  And while Jack won’t admit as much directly, he knows it’s true.  Even when the island calls on him to fulfill his destiny, it’ll be about *his* destiny, regardless of whether or not it benefits or impacts anyone else.  By the way, did anyone else think it was odd that Jack decided to put a shirt on right out of the shower, without even drying off?  That was a strange move.

“She had an interesting theory about why you jumped off the chopper…”

Sawyer and Kate’s heart-to-heart scene answers quite a few questions for us.  First, we get confirmation of what many of you thought all along…that last season’s whisper was all about Kate taking care of Sawyer’s daughter.  And in the smae conversation, we get a full-fledged admission from Sawyer: he was looking for an excuse to jump off that helicopter.  He wasn’t ready to play house with Kate, and he wasn’t ready to be a dad.  But the interesting thing is that he appears much more mature now.  If nothing else, he at least appears to be able to talk about what he is, and what he isn’t.  Or at least, what he wasn’t.  Yes, James has grown a lot as an individual these past three years.  It’s no wonder he wants so badly to keep up the Dharma ruse and play house with Juliet.  It almost excuses his behavior from last episode…almost.

Kate comes to grips with her situation…and comes clean to Carole


And the moment that we all hoped would happen finally occurs.  Kate finally tells Carole that Aaron is actually her grandson, and that she, not Kate deserves to raise him.  Certainly the right thing to do, but also incredibly brave on Kate’s part.  And, in what was probably the 2nd most shocking event of the episode, Kate reveals that the reason why she’s going back to the island is to find and rescue Claire.  Wow, I didn’t see that one coming at all.  But it really makes so much sense…much more than if she said she was going back for Sawyer.

Of course, before I move on, I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Evangeline Lilly’s amazing performance in this scene, and in the episode as a whole.  The cast has really been doing a fantastic job lately, and Lilly’s work here is no exception.  Her scenes with Aaron haven’t always worked, but if you didn’t feel at least a little tug on the heart strings when she leaves Aaron behind, you don’t have a pulse.

“If I take him, he’s not ever going to be the same again.”


And thus we get the biggest surprise of the episode, at least the biggest for me.  Ben’s recovery, lack of knowledge of Sayid, and his turn to the menace he is in the future all point to one thing: he’s been brought through the Temple.  I tell ya, that Temple is goose-pimple freaky.  It has the power to heal an irreparable gunshot wound, but it steals a part of your soul in the process.  The same sickness that Rousseau’s crew contracted is also what makes Ben tick.  Not sure about all of you, but I can’t help but to think Pet Sematary on this one.  I hope we get a bit more detail, but it really makes Ben a fully tragic character at this point.  The poor kid has his mother die minutes after he was born, his dad beats the crap out of him regularly, and a complete stranger that he lets out of jail shoots him for no reason.  And what does that get him?  A trip to the Temple..where his humanity is forcefully taken from him, turning him into a pathological liar and tool of the island’s will.  That’s a tough fate for anyone to endure.

One last thing to take from this scene: Richard comments that Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking are still on the island at this time (makes sense, since Charles said he was tricked into leaving by Ben, and he’s not old enough yet to pull something like that off).  But Richard also makes it quite clear that he doesn’t take orders from them.  So while it looks like Charles may have founded the Others camp, Richard was almost certainly not a part of the original team.  In fact, it looks as though he may have been around much earlier…

Post-episode questions:

  1. What the heck does that Temple do to people?
  2. Who *does* Richard answer to?
  3. What’s Locke got in store for Ben?
  4. Whose blood did Ben have on him back in “316”?  Desmond’s?  Penny’s?  His own?
  5. Are we actually going to see Ben go eye-to-eye with Smokey?  Hoo boy!

That’s it for this week!  Thanks for stopping by!




One response

6 04 2009

Another stellar episode. And yes, I wondered aloud also why Jack put on his shirt without drying off. Maybe it was just for continuity purposes? I mean, how would the scene play out if he were ardently buffing himself with a towel while being rebuffed by a castigating Juliet for his remissness? Anyway, I’ll get on with your talking points already.

1. The Temple seems like a sort of sanctuary (yeah i know, by definition it is exactly that.) But in addition to its healing properties, maybe a fortress or bomb shelter, nigh invulnerable to physical (or other, yet unforeseen by us) forces. Remember back in season three, Ben was herding his people to The Temple. I forget why offhand though, or even if we were ever told actually.
2. Richard is something of an enigma, isn’t he! Always appearing to be the humble servant of the island. I have a feeling that his character will be developed into something much, much more central and significant over the remainder of the show. That’s right, I’m side-stepping the question.
3. An island-vision, of course! That would be a nice throwback to earlier seasons when John first had the advantage on the island. He might feel that he has the power to either save or destroy Ben once and for all. And the ultimate “high-road” for him to take with Ben would be to try to help him come back to the good side of the force!
4. I’ll guess it was his own blood, at the hands of a vitriolic Desmond.
5. Heh, if my guess on #3 is correct, it’ll be a hoot! At any rate, it would be real nice to see some “bullet time” as the camera swings around flashes of Ben’s memories through the smoke.

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