Being a fan of Science Fiction, you’d think that I’d love stories about time travel, when actually the opposite is true. I’m frequently frustrated when I’m brought through a series challenges and triumphs that the characters are experiencing and something happens to the timeline and everything they had experienced is suddenly wiped away and nobody’s the wiser.
You often see stories like that in Star Trek. I remember one particularly painful episode of Star Trek: Voyager where the ship goes through what was called, “The Year of Hell.” In this year they go through a challenging series of battles and struggles and right up to the brink of destruction when the timeline is changed and everything is reset back to normal and nobody remembers anything about it.
Why this is so frustrating is because one of the reasons to watch a continuing story is to share by proxy the experiences the characters are having. It’s nice to see them grow and change from the beginning of their challenges into different people who become almost like family to us.
This may all seem like a long detour around a short point, but this is one of the reasons I’m loving this season of Lost on ABC. I was initially leery of the introduction of time travel into the story, but I’m a big fan of the theory that they seem to be following that whatever might have happened in the past, actually happened—whether or not they knew they were involved in it—that’s how their present became to be the way it was. Which, by the way, is where this episode got its name, “Whatever Happened, Happened.”
In tonight’s episode we see the immediate after affects of Sayid’s shooting of young Ben at the end of last week’s episode. Apparently Sayid had also watched too much Star Trek and thought that he’d be able to kill Ben and erase all of the terrible things that Ben had him do. Not so.
We see too that Jack had also subscribed to the belief that he could allow young Ben to die and that would have prevented his problems as well. It seems to me that in reality, Jack’s refusal to help Ben is exactly what turned him into the heartless person that they all grew to hate. If Jack had done his surgical magic and saved Ben’s life, then Kate and Sawyer never would have taken him to the others for their special brand of voodoo help. Interesting.
Also in this episode’s flashbacks, we see what happened to Kate and what caused her sudden change of heart from refusing to consider returning to the island into another happy passenger on flight 316. It all revolved around Aaron and her decision that he needed to return so she could try to save Claire. That her relationship with Aaron could never be long lasting since there was so much unfinished business left on the island.
I was especially moved during her farewell scene with Aaron. During that scene I grew to respect the writers even more, not just for her character’s growth, bur for the growth of all the characters. It would have been so easy for them to have Sawyer bounce back into pining over Kate and leave Juliet and it would have been easy for Juliet to go back to being the other woman with either Sawyer or Jack, but instead the writers are allowing those 3 years that they spent apart from each other to actually mean something to the characters and to the storyline. It’s a brave thing to do, especially because it’s not looking like we’re going to be liking Jack very much after a while.
This episode left me asking the question, “why had they come back?” According to Kate, she came back to try and save Claire. Sayid thinks that the reason he was there was to kill Ben—which backfired pretty spectacularly—but is there a different reason that we’ll learn soon? I’m sure there is. What about Hurley? I’m sure these are all questions that will be answered in the weeks to come, and as always, there will be more questions presented in the process. I’m confident that this show is only going to continue to get better.