On ''Lost,'' Kate flashes back to her marriage to a cop; plus, after she shows how she feels for Sawyer, Jack stabs Ben in the back
Lost, Evangeline Lilly
Credit: Lost: Mario Perez/ABC
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”Lost”: What Kate did for love

Lest Sawyer wannabes get the wrong idea, rocks, dirt, and bear droppings all over the ground do not actually put women in the mood. That’s a myth. More reflections on Kate-and-Sawyer sexytime, as soon as we examine Florida flashbacks and some flashes of temper.

”I Do,” the final episode before season 3 goes on hiatus, laid out more of Kate’s fugitive past and exposed some of her slip-ups. (Falling in love with a cop? Phoning the marshal who’s after you? Use your noggin, Freckles!) Kate’s flashbacks in Miami weren’t as exciting as the action on the island, but they were full of fun details: her alias, Monica; her happy wedding; taco night; her honeymoon tickets, booked on Oceanic; her negative pregnancy test (hinted at last season during Sun’s ”I might be preggers” scene on the beach); and the drug-laced drink she gave her husband. What’s the upshot? This is a woman perpetually torn between fight or flight. In the episode’s final moments, Jack illuminated Kate’s dual nature by asking her to recall a story he’d told when they first met: In it, Jack had described an attack of acute presurgery fear, and Kate had said her instinct would have been to run, to which Jack had replied, ”You’re not running now.” Juxtapose that with Jack inside the Hydra, screaming into the walkie-talkie, ”Run, Kate! Run!” while she refused, sobbing and terrified.

For theorists who believe the castaways are on the island for various forms of spiritual resolution, the inner battle of stay vs. go would seem to be the deep-seated issue that Kate is there to work though. Complicating matters is the fact that she’s torn between two men. (Don’t let a tryst in a polar-bear cage persuade you that Lost‘s love triangle is over.) Kate recognizes real love when she feels it, as seen in her memories of Kevin the Cop (played by Nathan Fillion of Firefly). Fast-forward to the island, post-abduction: Kate seemed to be struggling with her strong feelings for Sawyer and, I’m convinced, equally strong feelings for Jack. When Juliet marched Kate into Jack’s cell (how heartwarming was it to see Dr. Sourpuss’ face light up?), it was very telling that all Kate did was weep when he asked if she’d been hurt. I’m guessing she cried not because of what Jack asked her but because she realized he loved her and she dreaded having to eventually choose. On a related note, I sensed the potential for a Juliet-Jack romance dwindling in this episode, with Juliet seeming particularly blank.

I loved seeing Jack flip his lid in the OR and regain control of his situation. When he assaulted an Other in scrubs and demanded contact with Kate, my heart was racing. Tom’s priceless expression as he watched Jack’s outburst through an observation window was topped only by his hopefully-soon-to-be-infamous line ”Just hand her the damn walkie, Danny!” Surely, following the hiatus, Jack will stitch up the kidney-sac incision he made (um, ouch), so that Ben can wake up and restore order. That Pickett is wreaking havoc without anyone in charge.

But wait just an intercom-cracklin’ minute. Who’s really in charge? As Ben’s surgery began, hothead Pickett griped, ”Shepard wasn’t even on Jacob’s list.” Who’s Jacob? What list? One guess is that Jacob is the eye-patch guy introduced last week. Would that make Ben just a haughty underling who reports to head-honcho Jacob? Or is it that Ben the cancer patient has an identical twin named Jacob who wears glasses? Okay, I may be clinging to my twin theory too long, but I find the shots of Ben staring through those Harry Potter specs very ominous, as if something were not quite what it seems.

Back to Freckles and Ford, doing like they do on the Discovery Channel! I thought it was perfect timing in the series — not too soon, not too late. I was, however, a little surprised the new lovers threw that much caution to the wind: A. Kate was obviously not supposed to break out of her cage or into Sawyer’s. B. The Others don’t wear bells; they walk right up to, and past, the cages anytime they like. C. Sawyer’s aware, ever since Ben’s violent visit, that the cages are monitored. Then there’s the question of how grimy two plane-wrecked people on a humid island have to get before sex is unthinkable. Not that acting like animals in heat, outdoors in broad daylight, can’t be hot. But I kept thinking, that must be some powerful attraction to overcome what I can only assume is totally rank jungle stank. (Yes, this is a quirk of mine. I can’t stomach the Lord of the Rings films because of how often the characters appear to be in desperate need of baths.)

The important thing is that Kate threw herself at Sawyer and he confessed his love. He’s vulnerable to heartbreak; as I said, she’s in love with two men. (When Sawyer asked, essentially, whether she loved him, she was mum, kissing him instead, but I’ll bet the episode’s title is her answer.) I’m not as worried anymore that the Others caged Kate near Sawyer in a dastardly plot to encourage procreation. (Pickett was too eager to shoot him.) What seems more likely now is that Jack was taken hostage for his medical skill, along with two friends to use against him.

Jack’s heart broke in the Hydra control room (which was suspiciously empty and full of guns) after he spotted Sawyer snuggling Kate on a security camera. Then, desperate to ”get the hell off this island,” he consented to operate on Ben. But why, and how, did Alex help free Jack? It would seem Slingshot Sally has a history with Ben, who asked about her moments before surgery. Was she kidnapped from Rousseau and raised by Ben? Alex intrigues me, and I hope we see more of her.

If you’re already hating the hiatus, I have a book recommendation to help tide you over. Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake is a terrific novel about scientists who try saving the human race via a secret experiment called the Paradice Project. Sound familiar? The story includes a mysterious humanlike species (who could certainly be considered Others of a sort), a pivotal love triangle, and flashbacks to explain it all.

My wish list for the Feb. 7 episode: Answers to ten old (pre-season 3) questions and five recent questions, plus one new bombshell that blows our minds. To quote Locke’s eulogy for Eko, ”Let’s hope it’s not too long before we find out what the heck it might be.”

What did you think? Will Kate regret sleeping with Sawyer? Will Jack let Ben die? Is Alex a dissenter or a collaborator putting on a performance? Is Juliet a manipulator or a victim? And who is Jacob?

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