pop culture | no politics
Author's Note: Having grown tired of what's currently available on TV I've decided to rewatch some of my all time favorite shows. I'm limiting myself to one episode per week in order to experience the storytelling as it was originally intended, which hopefully will preserve the thrill of having to wait a week to see what happens next. This article covers the LOST episode “Whatever the Case May Be", which originally aired on January 5th, 2005.
Previously on LOST: Claire is taken by Ethan, a man the survivors know wasn’t on the flight. Locke and Boone discover a mysterious metal object buried in the dirt. Sayid is captured by Danielle Rousseau, and manages to escape with some of her maps and notes on the island.
After last week’s action-packed “All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” LOST turns the burner down and lets the story simmer for an episode. “Whatever the Case May Be” sees the characters take a break from the search for Claire (for some unexplained reason), paving the way for more exploration of the love triangle between Kate, Jack, and Sawyer.
We immediately join Kate who has wandered deeper into the jungle in attempt to find fresh fruit, and she quickly discovers that she’s not alone. Sawyer has followed her to “protect her” (nothing we’ve seen from Kate Austin to this point would indicate she can’t take care of herself), but she seems to appreciate his company. They stumble across a lagoon complete with a waterfall, a reminder of just how much beauty there is on the island to contrast against the danger the survivors have encountered. Sawyer flirtatiously suggests a swim and Kate accepts the offer, and the two soon find themselves exploring the murky water that lies underneath the surface.
The bottom of the lake ends up being full of horrors, as they discover some more plane wreckage along with some of the less-fortunate passengers from Oceanic Flight 815. Kate spies a fancy travel case that she claims is hers and asks Sawyer to help her recover it, to which he agrees while taking note of her sudden interest in this particular piece of luggage. They pull it from the water and it doesn’t take Sawyer long to realize that she’s lying, and while she feigns disinterest he takes the locked case away to add to his stash. He wisely predicts that Kate will come calling in the night to steal it, and when she does he’s able to maintain possess for the time being.
Kate’s next move is to use Jack, telling him that the case was the marshal’s and that it contains four handguns which obviously would add a new dynamic to the group if they were introduced. She tells him that the key was on the marshal’s body which Jack buried, and since we’ve already seen several failed attempts by Sawyer to open the case with brute force we know they’re going to have to exhume a corpse. In a disgusting scene full of retching and a few maggots they find the marshal’s wallet, but Jack catches Kate pulling another fast one by palming the key and feigning ignorance. Jack is so desperate to love this woman but trust is of the utmost importance to him, and this latest betrayal once again drives him to treat his potential romantic interest like garbage for the remainder of the episode.
Jack threatens to withhold Sawyer’s medicine if he doesn’t hand over the case, and after reminding Jack that Kate can’t be trusted he gives the doctor what he wants. Back at the caves Kate and Jack finally turn the key to reveal what’s inside the box. It does indeed contain the aforementioned pistols, as well as a green envelope marked “personal items”. Inside is a toy airplane, and when Jack asks about the importance of the item Kate responds by saying it belonged to the man she loved. Jack, still smarting from her failed attempt at slight of hand once again demands the truth, and Kate screams that it belonged to the man she killed before breaking down into tears.
Meanwhile Locke and Boone have their own case that they’re trying to crack open as they continue to spend time deep in the jungle where they found metal buried within the ground. The duo is operating under the cover of searching for Claire, and when Shannon presses for more information Boone points out that he’s at least trying to contribute to the group. Soon afterwards Sayid approaches Shannon for help translating some of the notes he stole from Rousseau, but her French is mediocre at best and it isn’t long before he’s frustrated with her lack of skill. But we see the first hint of a potential romance blossom between the pair, and as the episode closes Boone watches the couple with a rather unpleasant look on his face.
The flashback featured in “Whatever the Case May Be” is surprisingly simple, not even involving a change of location. The entire segment takes place in a bank in New Mexico, where Kate actively participates in an armed robbery to gain access to a safety deposit box. It turns out the box contains the toy airplane, which amps up our interest into why this seemingly trivial trinket is so important to this enigmatic woman. So there it is, Kate was under arrest because she’s a bank robber! Sorry, it’s way more complicated and that answer is still down the road aways.
Poor Claire is all but forgotten this week, although Charlie remains shellshocked by her abduction. Rose steps up and manages to break through to him, reminding him that nobody blames him for what happened to the young pregnant woman. She reiterates her belief that her husband is still alive, despite the fact that he was in the tail section of the airplane.
Next week on LOST: “Hearts and Minds”, which explores the backstories of both Boone and Shannon.