Nick's "Lost" Re-cap: episode 2 – You Can Run, But You Can't Hide

By NICK GORINI

“I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on
Running on – running on empty
Running on – running blind
Running on – running into the sun
But I’m running behind.”

– Jackson Browne, Running on Empty

Too obvious a reference? Maybe. But you know that an episode of Lost centering on Kate is going to have to mention ‘Running’ more than a few times to restate what her issues are.

“I’m thinkin’ about runnin’, Kate.” Sawyer says it in the first few minutes of this episode, and we know he’s voicing Kate’s constant thought stream – in whatever timeline she happens to be trotting through. If they can be this obvious, by golly, I will, too.

If this was a Sawyer-centric episode, I’d probably be quoting that touching Van Halen ballad, ‘Runnin’ (NOT running) With the Devil’. As a matter of fact, that song may be quite apropos in coming episodes – more on that later this week.

THE ‘SIDE’ TIMELINE (aka, what used to be called the NEW timeline, before the producers let us know in a post-premiere interview that this was the wrong way of thinking):

Picking up right where last week left off, Kate has commandeered a very pregnant Claire’s cab using the Marshall’s gun (question: in real life, do cops really lose their guns so easily? Happens a lot on TV.). Before getting ten feet, we nearly plow over the good Doc Arzt, who gets to do a pretty decent Rizzo impression (“I’m walking here! I’m walking here!”).

The cab soldiers on, but not before Kate locks eyes on Jack. They instantly share a deja vu moment, letting us know that Jack isn’t the only Lostie becoming aware of alternate realities.

The cab driver bolts from the cab, followed shortly by sad-looking Claire, kicked to the curb without her purse and luggage. Kate pulls into an auto chop shop and implausibly, the friendly mechanic helps her lose the handcuffs with for a couple hundred bucks. I wonder how many escaped felons and convicts wish they’d bumped into this guy.

If you were wondering where you’d seen him before, the actor’s name is Jeff Korber and he was on ‘China Beach’, and ‘Sons of Anarchy’. I scrambled on the interweb to find him because I was convinced he was on an early ‘Lost’ episode. I was wrong, proving that this show will make me chase shadows in broad daylight.

Kate goes into a back room to change and finds Claire’s picture and baby stuff, triggering guilty pangs, and possibly some hormones. She also gets the strong sense that she’s seen this before. Obviously, the universe wants her, Aaron and Claire to be intertwined, no matter how much she runs.

Kate drives back and finds Claire right where she left her, on the side of the road, waiting for destiny, or maybe just a bus, to pick her up. In another implausible moment, Kate, who minutes earlier held a gun to Claire’s head, manages to convince Claire to hop BACK in the cab for a ride to Brentwood, to stay with the family who will be adopting her unborn baby. You see, the were supposed to pick her up at the airport, but got their days mixed up and… WAIT! WAIT A MINUTE.

Follow the jump for more….

Now, last week, I accused Kate of extreme stupidity for hanging out in baggage claim after beating a G-man senseless and stealing his gun. Well, I think Claire just topped her. Not only that, but Brentwood? Really? OJ Simpson’s old stomping grounds? Uh, no thanks.

Faster than you can say “The Juice is loose”, Kate and Claire pull up to the Adopterers, uh Adopters, house. Kate thinks this isn’t going to work, but Claire’s clearly in denial. Crikey, she let an murderous criminal drive her there in a stolen cab. Lots of denial. To cap this denial, Claire asks said criminal to accompany her to the doorstep of this couple’s home.

At the door, a weeping, broken woman opens up and apologizes profusely. Her husband just left her and she can’t take care of a baby on her own. She meant to call Claire, but I guess phone calls to Australia might be too rich for her blood. On cue, Claire collapses with contractions. (Note: for you writers out there, try writing an alliterative sentence that includes words like “cue”, “collapses” and “contractions”. It’s good, clean fun).

To the hospital! Where we have an awesome reveal: Ethan Rom, the very first Lost villain, is back! And is still a doctor that wants to help Claire have her baby! Only this time, without the kidnapping, violence and attempted murder of Charlie. This Alternate Ethan is a really nice guy, with good bedside manner, and with his original last name: Goodspeed! Horace’s son, remember? In this side universe, his family got off the island, and because the island sunk, they never came back! He never had to work for Ben, and infiltrate the plane crash survivors, and never had to die. It was good to see Ethan again, and even in the original timeline, he had moments of real tenderness with Claire. It was an early example of this show forcing us to think beyond Heroes and Villains.

After some timeline-parallel discussion/re-discussion between Claire and Ethan, Claire decides that, even though she can have the baby now, she wants to wait until it comes naturally. Then, in a great scene pulling us back into our memories of before, the baby appears to flat-line, throwing Claire into a panic where she shouts, “Is Aaron okay!?” Kate has ANOTHER deja vu moment. That name… That name…

The healthy heartbeat is quickly found, Ethan reassuringly tells Claire, “Aaron will be a handful”, and Kate and Claire hold hands tightly, both knowing there is some transcendental connection of some kind.

Later, detectives check in on Claire, asking her of Kate’s whereabouts. Claire plays dumb while Kate hides. After they leave, Claire tries to get Kate to confess her sins, but Kate plays cryptic – guess we’ll figure out what she’s guilty of in a future episode. They exchange grateful thank-yous’, Claire willingly parts with her credit car, and on her way out, Kate encourages Claire to keep Aaron.

I like that we’re seeing the juxtaposition of both Kate and Jack doing good things in one timeline, succeeding where they failed before, while the original Kate and Jack are miserable, convinced that their plans have crumbled at their feet. How this plays out will be very interesting.

THE ORIGINAL TIMELINE:

The episode began right here, with John Lennon racing to his boss George Harrison to let him know that Sayid’s alive! Dude! It worked! Only, again, Miles is quietly looking askew at all of this. Everyone seems mystified, but happy. Everyone, that is, but Sawyer. He reminds Kate that Sayid is a torturer who shoots at children. Guess we can kiss Sunny Sawyer g’bye for awhile, if not possibly for good. This is also when Sawyer lets Kate know he’s thinking of escape.

Our beloved crew is dragged outside to face The Beatle doppelgangers – with John, George, and Jack looking a little like Paul, we now have dopey, dazed Sayid looking sorta like Ringo. Hey! The Fab Four is back!

Miles gets a few good zingers in at Hurley’s expense (too few lines – Miles is the most under-utilized character on the show), and we see that Sayid’s wound is nearly healed. He thanks Jack for saving – which Jack didn’t do. It was the coffee pot Sayid swam in that did the trick. Why doesn’t he remember? And why are all the Temple folks so unhappy that his guy’s walking and talking?

Of course, the temple folks want to take Sayid away to “talk” and don’t want to tell anyone why. Jack echoes us, the audience, by saying, “I get the feeling you won’t tell us anything.”

Jack steps in to prevent them from dragging Sayid off, and a fight ensues. Sawyer sues the diversion to grab a gun, tell everyone he’s leaving. The leader of the Temple tells Sawyer he needs to stay. At first, this is a firm order. But he becomes more pleading, gently t
elling Sawyer, “Please – you have to stay.” But surly Sawyer says ‘See ya’, and reprimands Kate, in front of everyone, to not follow him! A public diss! Awww, Snap!

Sawyer’s outta there. Lennon declares that they have to have Sawyer return, and Kate quickly says she can get him back because she “Can be very convincing when I want to.” Jin quickly volunteers to join her, although I’m not so sure Jin plans on coming back to the Temple. After three years, he’s finally back in the timeline where his wife is. He’s got some stuff to do, man.

Off they go, with a couple of Temple people, who actually DO turn out to be more of our official ‘Others’ in tow. This leaves physically restrained Jack with no choice but to watch Sayid get hauled off for an ‘interview’ and a ‘check-up’ by our friendly Temple leaders. Kate and Jack get a warm moment to almost embrace, before agreeing to take care of each other’s friends and to be careful.

In the other official ‘Old Lost Character Cameo’, we get actor Rob McElhenney, star of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’, and one of the others who ate the butt end of Kate’s rifle three years earlier in an old episode of Lost. Remember him? Ah, well. Probably not, but it counts as a return character, nonetheless.

By the way, he’s still pissed at Kate and lets her know. I think he may officially be the most sarcastic ‘Other’ next to Ben. He spends the next few minutes just slamming on Kate, while his sidekick, a seemingly nice fellow named Justin just wants to be everybody’s friend. He even prevents Kate from stepping into what looks like an old Rousseau booby trap. Speaking of, when Rousseau is mentioned, Justin starts to answer that she’s been dead for years – couldn’t be one of her traps. But he doesn’t get to talk much, because this sarcastic guy won’t shut up. And everytime Jin starts asking questions about the Ajira Airlines flight Sun was on, sarcastic guy starts flapping his jaws again. I think he needs to drink a tall glass of what The Rock calls, “Shut-up Juice,” and I think Kate is fixing to serve it.

Bam! She did it, and she and Jin use the booby trap to knock out nice-guy Justin, who probably deserves a much great fate than being another island Red Shirt. When Jin looks around asks Kate, “What are you doing?” She replies, as you guessed, “I’m escaping.” Oh, Kate. Don’t you know you can’t do that here?

Back at the Temple, Sayid is getting another taste of his own medicine, strapped to a toture board much like he did in his past, and much like Rousseau did to him in the first season. Now, not only does he get mildly electrocuted and branded with a hot fire poker – the Temple leader blows dust all over him! The nerve!

Very curiously, and worth mentioning, Sayid seems to be unfamiliar with all this going on. Shocked and in tears, weeping. Remember when Rousseau tortured him? He knew the second he woke up in her cave what was going to happen. He didn’t want it to happen, but he was fairly resigned to the process, having experience as a professional torturer and all. I mention this because this not the same Sayid. Something is significantly different.

Post-torture, Lennon walks in and apologizes for “The test. It was necessary.” But Sayid, the good news is “You passed!” As he’s dragged back to the root beer pool, Lennon looks at his boss and says, “I just lied to him, didn’t I.”

The Temple leader answers: “Yes.”

Back at the spa, Sayid tells Jack all about this fun test, leading Jack to stomp off to the leader’s botany lab (we’re going to learn what those plants are REAL soon), to question their testing methodology. Lennon and his pal seem to be treating Jack with respect and talk to him as an equal, but they tell him that Sayid is “Sick” and “Infected”. Lennon does get in a great line about Jack not seeming to be the kinda guy with a sense of humor, which is about as accurate of a one-sentence description you can get of that guy.

They give him a pill to administer to Sayid, because the patient has to take it willingly in order to work. It will ‘heal the sickness’, but they adamantly refuse to tell Jack what’s in the pill, Jack says he won’t give anything to Sayid unless he knows what it is.

But the Temple leader must have read Jack’s file. He subtly reminds Jack of all the people that have been hurt or killed helping him in his cause (the manner in which he is told would indicate that both of these men have led many people down a similar path): ‘There have been others who have been hurt or died helping you. This is your redemption. This medicine, your friend needs it.’ Jack takes the pill back with him.

This temple leader is similar to Ben in many ways. We quickly see he can manipulate emotions as well as Ben can, but he seems cooler, more distant in his approach. How long has he led these people? I bet we already know someone very close to him, but I’m keeping that idea under wraps for now.

While Jack’s gone, we get more great lines from Miles and Hurley. First, our guys are quizzing Sayid on the afterlife: Any white light? Any angels? Nope. Sayid ony remembers being shot, and waking up.

Hurley, to Sayid: “You’re not a zombie, are you?”

Sayid: “No Hurley. I am not a zombie.”

Jack arrives and asks to speak with Sayid alone. Hurley likes that idea, because he when he’s involved, he always ends up being forced to do something he hates. As they leave, Miles gives us THE best line of the episode:

“We’ll be in the food court if you need us.” Please, please give Miles some more to do or say, Producers!

Jack, being an open communicator, shows Sayid the pill and tells him that they want him to take it. Sayid asks Jack his opinion, to which Jack replies, ‘I’m not the one who saved you – they did. I don’t know what to do. But I won’t try to make you do anything you don’t want to.’ Sayid lets Jack know where he stands: ‘I don’t care that they save me. It’s who I trust that matters. You want me to take that pill, I will.’

A lot gets written about Jack and Kate, Kate and Sawyer, Locke and Ben, Locke and Jack, etc. But over five years, Sayid and Jack have developed quite a bond. While they may have disagreed at times, they usually respected each other’s approach to things, and more often than not, had each other’s backs. To see these beaten, bowed but unbroken men leveling with each other in what they both seem to know is an approaching endpoint, it reminds us that the bonds formed by these people who have been through so much continue to endure. It’s good stuff.

Back in the jungle, Jin argues with Kate about abandoning everyone back at the Temple. He also pointedly asks her as she turns to run: “What do you believe in?” He’s got love on the brain, and he’ll find Sun if it kills him. I hope it doesn’t, and I hope we see more off good-guy Jin, who I really like, than bad-guy Jin, who well, like I said last week, is a jack-ass.

Kate knows where Sawyer is, of course. He’s back in the old Dharma suburbs, in his old yellow house, tearing up the floorboards to get a shoe box out, while wiping dirty tears off his face. He hears Kate watching him from the other room – he cocks his pistol and orders her out of the shadows. Speaking of, I think I’ve seen more than a hundred shots of Sawyer cocking a pistol, with that badass look on his face. They just LOVE that shot on this show. If Josh Holloway can’t carve out some sort of action-star career out of this, I’ll eat one of my many hats.

Kate and Sawyer end up on the old submarine dock, talking about regrets and the island. She admits she came back to find Claire (though finding Sawyer was a fringe benefit, I am sure), and reunite Aaron with his mother. But Kate feels horrible because she showed up and messed up everything Sawyer and Juliet had.

But Sawyer has his own guilt. Remember that last year, Juliet was going to hop on the 1977 submarine and head back ‘home’, or whatever may have been out there. But Sawyer feels horrible because he convinced her to stay so he wouldn’t be alone. ‘I killed her’. He throws the wedd
ing ring he was going give her into the water and tells Kate to get lost (pun not intended). Kate’s in tears.

Back at the Temple, Jack goes to speak to the leader, whom we find out is named Dogen. Dogen is throwing around the same baseball that Jack had when he was imprisoned by the Others back in Season..2, or 3? Jack asks Dogen why he doesn’t use his mastery of English with his own people, and Dogen explains that being “separate” from his people helps him be a better leader, especially when he has to make unpopular choices. Hmmm… I thought Dogen was supposed to mirror Ben in some ways, but perhaps he’s serving as a mirror to Jack as well.

Anyhow, he tells Jack that he was ‘brought’ to the island, same as Jack, many years ago. But enough about me Jack, did you give your friend the pill? No? Why not? You need to trust me.

But Jack says he doesn’t trust himself anymore, so how could he trust anybody else? Awesomely, in a flash of old Jack, he decides he’ll find out what this pill is, and suddenly pops it in his mouth. Well, that sure shocks Dogen, and he quickly pulls off what can best be described as Kung Fu Heimlich, beating the pill out of Jack before he swallows it. No surprise – when Jack asks what it is, Dogen simply says, “Poison”. So this is the treatment for the sickness we’ve seen ‘infect’ various people on the island through the years. And I thought those were just cute little Bonsai plants Dogen was tending to. Apparently Dogen is President of the island chapter of the Hemlock Society.

Lennon runs in, also shocked: He tried to swallow it? Jack sits back down for tea with these fine fellows, while they explain to him that they believe Sayid has been “Claimed”. Claimed by what? “There’s a darkness growing inside him”. Once that darkness reaches Sayid’s heart, they say, he will be gone forever. When Jack questions there belief, they counter with the shocker that they’ve seen this before: “It happened to your sister!” Oh, what has happened to our sweet, junkie-dating, felon-abetting Claire?

Last scene, we see the two jungle-bound Others, Justin and the sarcastic guy, catching Jin as he was heading back to the Temple. Sarcastic guy beats and Jin and debates killing him, while poor Justin just wants to get back to the Temple. Jin runs away and (only with this show can I type this with a straight face) he steps into a bear trap. Sarcastic guy is just about to kill Jin when Bam! Bam! He’s shot down. Then poor Justin, who wasn’t doing a damn thing, gets shot down, too. Sorry, dude, you’re this week’s Red Shirt.

Jin looks up, and of course, it’s Claire who did the shooting! Looking kinda grunged out and more than a little nuts.

Yeah, Kate’s still running. But looks like she’s got to run back and save her friends again.

Folks, I intend to post my other two categories, ‘Questions to add to the pile’ and ‘What to keep in mind for next week’ in a couple of days. Suffice to say, the internet chatter is going nuts about the next week’s episode. Why? It’s called ‘The Substitute’ and will show us what “Side Universe” Locke is up to these days. Without spoiling anything, I can tell you that this episode is supposed to throw in some real shockers about this other timeline that should give you a real kick in the pants.

Thanks again for reading, and for watching.

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