Monday, October 29, 2007

Kate's Nightmare

Oh, Kate. What would we do without our Freckles? She's like the obnoxious yet endearing little sister who steals our best jeans and gets nail polish on them, covets all Daddy's attention, and treats her own boyfriend like shit (when we know we could appreciate him sooo much better.) Half the time we want to smack her, but then there are those other times - like this week - when we see her hurting, and then we just want to wrap her in a blanket and bake her cupcakes and braid her hair until she feels better.

Why this week, you may wonder? Well, thanks to a bonus UK DVD disc and the ever buoyant and resourceful Lyly Ford, we are now able to view a deleted scene from the Season 3 premiere, a scene we've always wondered about, in which we finally learn what happened to Kate to give her those nasty cuts on her wrists between breakfast with Ben and her initial cage lock-up. Go ahead, take a look-see. But be warned... for Kate fans, it's not easy to watch.

Disturbing stuff, isn't it? I guess we'll never know exactly why this scene was cut - whether it was simply over the time limit, or too violent, or perhaps too emotionally dark for the leading lady and her fans. But since this scene doesn't change any plot points that were officially aired, and even clears up nagging questions by linking us from one scene (beach breakfast) to a later one (Kate being put into her cage with bloody wrists), it's safe to say we can consider it canon. In other words, in the Lost universe, this happened to Kate. It just took us a while to see it.

And thank goodness we finally did, because now, at long last, we can rule out some of the more absurd and outrageous theories of what went down during Kate's "missing scene." These theories were brought to us, as usual, by the Jater Think Tank. They included such notables as the idea that Kate must have been raped (because if she was already sexually sullied, why not sleep with the hillbilly?) as well as the speculation that she was inseminated with Jack's spawn. This second idea is especially noteworthy, because according to the Jaters, it didn't require any of the rigorous and time-consuming fertility treatments that are actually necessary for in vitro fertilization. Only one injection in the wrist was needed, since of course Jack's little swimmers are capable of navigating their way through Kate's arteries and capillaries until they locate her uterus - without even stopping to ask for directions! As silly as this theory is, they did themselves one better. There was at least one post speculating that Kate became pregnant with Jack's baby by a simple injection of... his blood. Does that one even need mocking?

So, Jaters, once again, you are wrong wrong WRONG regarding just about everything. Despite the yearnings of your extremely violent and misogynistic fantasies, Kate was NOT raped. She was not anally probed. She was not strapped to a table and forcibly implanted with the Seed of Jack. She wasn't even brainwashed with Jate fanfic and videos set to songs like Truly Madly Deeply, a fate only a little worse than the one that actually befell her.

The trauma that she did experience did not have to come from an outside source. It came from within Kate, because that is where her darkest demons reside. For some people, being handcuffed and locked inside a shower room might not seem like torture. But our Freckles has a complicated psychological history, and the most important thing to remember about her is that she is terrified of being in any way physically constricted. She's been obsessed with running away since she was twelve. A nice little bungalow in Miami is her equivalent of Gitmo. She will do just about anything, including getting her childhood sweetheart killed and living on an isolated sheep ranch in rural Australia, to avoid the fate of prison. For Kate, the ability to run, to escape, to take flight at a moment's notice, is as necessary as the air she breathes. We won't even get into all the metaphorical layers of what this implies about her emotional state, though those are fascinating too. Suffice it to say, Kate tends to go ape-shit when her worst fears - like being handcuffed - are realized. She not only is willing to scrape the skin off her own wrists to get those bastards off, she's willing to hang herself from a locker door and use the weight of her entire body in the same endeavor.

So you would think that, being in the middle of an interminable love triangle, both of Kate's would-be suitors would have early recognized this basic facet of her personality and would be able to respond to it accordingly. After all, they both love her, right? They both understand and deeply know her, right? Um... right?

If that's so, then how, in the name of Jex, was THIS allowed to happen?

And what about THIS?

Just like when she climbed back into her cage to stay by Sawyer's side, Kate faced her fears when she returned to enemy territory in order to rescue Jack. No, it wasn't the same kind of love that prompted her to act, but it was a strong and loyal emotion all the same. She knew there was a chance she would be re-captured and placed right back into her own worst nightmare, and she took that chance.

What did she get for her trouble? Let's review. Not a relieved welcome. Not a hint of concern for her safety, comfort, or psychological state. Certainly not a thank-you, or even the barest acknowledgement that she'd done something worth being thanked for. Not even a demand or plea that she be released, treated decently, or at the very least, not handcuffed. Instead, under Jack's tender loving gaze, she was placed in the ol' iron shackles again and locked up... again. And when our hero deigned to visit the prisoner, she got yet another heaping dose of blame and censure for being such a stupid slut. She slept with the man she loved AND she came back to rescue Jack? Really, Kate. What the hell is wrong with you?

But lest we make it seem all bad, she did receive a creepy behind-the-shoulder whisper from Jack that he would "come back" for her. You know, on the incredibly slim chance that he's able to get back to the real world and then somehow return and find the magically invisible island. So all is not lost, Freckles! None of our players go home empty-handed.

On a more serious note, could it possibly be more fucked-up that this is how Kate gets treated by not just Jack... but the writers? Her subsequent episode "Left Behind" seemed intended to let us know that Kate is a big fat idiot, and she should just stop trying to help people who she loves because she's only gonna screw it up anyway. (Thanks, Mom!) Whether you believe she made a mistake in impulsively going back for Jack or not, is it too much to ask that someone acknowledge her character growth or have at least a little sympathy for what the girl has been through this season? Someone who doesn't desire to control her and yet still wants to care for and protect her?

Ahhh... we almost forgot. Someone does.

Not only was Kate rewarded with some beautiful (and we're going to assume very satisfying) sex after she did the previously unthinkable and put herself back into a cage for her man's sake, but even before that pivotal moment, she was being taken care of by him.

This scene is all the more poignant and moving now that we know exactly what Kate had just been through, isn't it? After panicking and nearly breaking the bones in her own hands, followed by anguished sobbing on a cement floor, she's led outside and sees....

someone whose only concern is whether or not she's okay. He may not know exactly what she's been through, but he can tell by one glance that it wasn't nothin' good. And unlike a certain doctor we can think of, Sawyer's only objective is....

to make her smile.

So Freckles, it turns out there is someone who gets it. There's someone who knows you well enough to know that it doesn't require rape or some invasive gynecological procedure to freak you out and make you cry... it just requires being confronted with your own scariest personal demons. And he knows just what to say and what to do to make you feel better about it. Bottom line, he would lose his life before he'd be content to leave you behind, alone and defenseless and wearing chains that represent everything you're most afraid of.

So while I'm sure we'd all be glad to take your boyfriend off your hands during those times when you so clearly aren't treating him right, we also know it wouldn't work out. Because you're the one he's over the moon for. As much as it pains us to say it, you're the only one he'll ever love. And we can only hope that someday soon - maybe even this season - you'll come to understand just what that love is worth.

No comments: