LAYING AN EGG
"No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet." - C.S. Lewis
You know how it is when you try to break an egg with one swift motion over the side of a cup? But you slip and the egg falls on the floor and makes a gooey, sticky mess? You know that feeling?
Well, I think that's kind of what happened here with this episode. The good folks at Lostpedia are always very helpful after episodes like this, when you honestly can't imagine what the frak the writers were trying to say. They provided this informative blurb about the name of this episode:
"EGG-TOWN is a pejorative term that refers to the days of bartering, during the 1800s. A traveling salesman would have to barter his candy or tobacco or shoelaces for different commodities. A poor exchange would be for eggs, a relatively common item that is also highly perishable. Nobody wants to trade for eggs from a traveling salesman, because they have their own, so the salesman who accepted an egg in exchange was forced to accept a bad deal. Salesmen would use the term like "If I were you, I would stay away from Bogart. That's an egg-town." Of course, the lack of trust among salesmen was also high, and it was likely that one salesman would lie to another about the quality of a town's customers to keep them for himself. Invariably, the second salesman ventures into Bogart only to find it is truly an egg-town. He is either persuaded to not visit a town that has good customers or is tricked into visiting a town that can only offer eggs. In either case, the term "egg-town" represents a deal with undesirable outcomes."
I appreciate this description, because without it, I'd have had the entirely wrong idea about this episode. I'd be thinking more like - Who were those people in that cheery little yellow town? Was this the Alternate Universe episode where our characters all got bodysnatched into a situation comedy?
Sawyer and Hurley are just two wacky roomies now! How cute! A man who reads but his friend likes to watch tv! Quick, get them a spinoff!
And here's adorable little Clare! We learned that Clare really wasn't all that attached to ole Charlie. Seems all she really wanted was a way to get those nasty nappies powder fresh! (Sorry, Chollie.)
And look! Auntie Kate has dropped by to sit fer a spell. She's feeling all wistful about how sweet it must be to have a little young 'un to cuddle. Because apparently she forgot all about that fairy tale from last year...you know, the one where the pregnant women all DIE!!!!
Judging by the content of this episode, I think it was ok for all of us to forget about that silly story. I think the Super Sperm and the Killer Pregnancy subplots went the way of the Caves, into Loose End Limbo. Even though sex and babies featured prominently in this episode, that once major theme seemed to have become magically irrelevant.
In fact, we seem to have done a 180 all the way back around to square one.
Sigh. I thought we had at least covered that. But apparently not.
I was getting dizzy watching this episode. It was all so very confusing. Who were those people? I almost expected the Cylons to come marching out of one of the sunny little cottages. OK, I'll admit there were a few familiar sights.
Jack still can't get anyone to take his calls.
Hurley's still the butt of all jokes,
including the old favorite: Fat Man Takes a Dump Upstairs.
But overall, this episode felt like the bottom of a rabbit hole where common sense fell in and ended up like a loose pile of scrambled eggs...mixed in with the rabbit shit.
"I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching." - Jack Handy
Come on! Let's regroup. This is Lost. There are certain prevailing, underlying themes. Right? Like government for instance. Here we have John Locke, namesake of the great political philosopher, cooking up a recipe for his own personal utopian cult. He's going for something somewhere between democracy and dictatorship, with just a soupçon of metaphysical mystery mixed in.
He's instituted an interrogation protocol.
He's got Ben stowed away next to the Wishing Box.
He's assigned every one to their little houses.
Dinner is at six.
He's a little confused. He still doesn't understand why he hasn't received his communiqué from Jacob. And truth be told, he doesn't seem to be in this for the long haul - seeing how he cooked the last two eggs and then killed the chicken.
But he's trying to make sense of things, in his own demented fashion. He even comes up with this zany idea : "There's no use having rules if there's no punishment."
Hmmmm. Sure about that, John?
Kate has broken a few rules in her day. To be precise, there was:
Assault on a federal officer
Assault with a deadly weapon
Grand theft auto
and - the shiny red cherry on the top - Murder in the First Degree.
Whew! That sounds like Kate will have to go to jail for a really long time! Federal crimes. State crimes. Crimes in Iowa. New Mexico. Florida. Capital crimes. This is some serious shit. Naturally, a story about redemption will want to pay careful attention to how it addresses such a crucial theme of guilt and consequence. Of course we know Kate has to get set free, because she's needed in the storyline. But surely there will be a cool twist to how the writers acquit her. Surely the writers will use this opportunity to dole out another clue about the international crime bosses who are behind the nefarious Island mysteries.Or perhaps they'll use the trial setting to delve into profound themes of moral cause and effect, of what it means to face the bar of justice and accept a verdict. Or perhaps they'll just say the hell with it! Let's drink our lunch today!
At first it seemed confusing how Kate was being tried in California State Court for crimes she didn't commit in the state of California. But actually, this made perfect sense! Because see, it's different in Kollyfornya. It's Hollywood! They have crazy trials there all the time.
It's the magical venue where the laws of American jurisprudence all become part of the Code of Make Believe. In fact in Kollyfornya, even "character" has a different meaning. As Kate's lawyer explained, "It's not about what you did or didn't do. It's about who you are." Get it? It's like this:
Apparently, in Kollyfornya, evidence is superfluous. You don't have to face federal charges after state trial. The prosecution doesn't even have to put on a case. All you need is a star witness, preferably one whose prior death as a major plot point has been magically reversed,
and have this secret star witness bestow her forgiveness in a private backroom meeting. Even for the crimes she had no involvement in. Thanks a lot, Moms! Nothing like waiting til the last minute...
...but nobody cares. We're in a hurry here. We have a lot of contrived nonsense to stuff into one episode and we're running out of time.
That's not all you need in Kollyfornya to be released from seven felony counts on state and federal crimes committed in other jurisdictions. You need one more thing...
You need JACK! If Jack vouches for you, seriously, the state, the feds, God himself - they'll all forgive you. With Jack on the stand, looking for all the world like an angelic little choir boy with his scrubbed apple cheeks and his cowlick licked down, there is simply no jury on earth that will convict you.
Good Saint Jack came to the stand. He teared up.
He clenched his little jaw.
He reeked of sincerity.
Of course, he also committed Perjury. He blatantly lied under oath without a care in the world about it. Real perjury, not play perjury. He testified that only EIGHT survived the crash, that Kate singlehandedly saved FIVE of those lives and sustained them until rescue. But never mind that. Perjury, shmerjury - this is Dr. Emo we're talking about here. He said that Kate was really really nice to everybody.
And she's like the bestest person in the whole world.
And plus, she's really pretty.
So she can go home.
And that was it. Seriously. They could have thrown this project out to a class of fifth graders and they would have come up with something more convincing than this.
Of course this wasn't really about Kate's guilt or innocence. It was about All of Kate's Men.
Because, when you come down to it, it's never been about Kate at all, has it? Kate's just a vehicle the writers use to work out their twisted notions of sex and guilt.
They let Kate do naughty nekkid stuff with the beautiful Sawyer.
But then they make her act very offended about it.
There was a not so subtle message hidden in this episode. Listen up, kids: Sex iz bad. Srsly. What you want to shoot for is one of these chaste parking lot relationships, where you kind of stand around like wax museum figures and never touch. Preferably for years. That's where it's at. Trust me.
It's actually a very basic Morality Fairy Tale that grade school girls learn right from the kiddie magazines in their pediatrician's waiting room.
In this episode, Kate learned the very important lesson that there are two kinds of men:
the hot, saucy kind that are only good for one thing, and
the limp, noodly kind, that are just useless entirely.
There was a tiny bit of a double standard at work here. Seems the quality of mercy is only strained when Kate's the one dishing it out. She got so mad that Sawyer was happy about her not being pregnant on a deserted island with one of those killer fetuses,
that she knocked him in his head.
But when Dr. Schmoopy McPerjury gave her the cold shoulder
because his fragile, quivering psyche was too distraught and overwhelmed to face this
actual human being back in the real world, she seemed to be willing to cut him quite a break.
Maybe Kate has a soft spot for delicate men. Who knows? She seems to have been a loving and responsible mother to Clare's son Aaron. Could there possibly be some ulterior reason for her forgiving mood towards Jack? There was something creepy about this little family,
since we all know it means that something unspeakably tragic has happened to this little family:
Kate didn't just get herself a pass out of prison. She also managed to nab Clare's kid. Remember how Aaron was not to be raised by Another? Seems Kate was the Another that Clare was being warned about. Did Kate kidnap this baby to provide herself some kind of cover? Is she pretending to be his biological mother? Did the authorities just decide an American felon wanted on seven capital counts made the optimum home for a little Australian orphan? We'd think on it a bit more, but at this point, really - does anybody care?
Nah. Didn't think so.
What is Jack afraid of when it comes to baby Aaron? The kid didn't strike me as especially terrifying. Is he maybe like a Damian child? Is there something secret and evil about him? Or maybe a convenient sci fi loophole would come in handy here. Remember those 31 minutes? Aaron looked about two and a half, at least, meaning Dr. Emo has been ignoring his existence for quite a long while. Or maybe not. Maybe all those 31 minutes got stored up someplace and they're acting like a human growth hormone on little Aaron. Maybe Jack's only been avoiding Kate and Aaron for a few months, but Aaron's growth is super accelerated. You know, like Walt's. By next spring, maybe Aaron will be big enough to pitch for the New York Yankees! Or maybe there's some other crazy twist. Maybe that whole Ghostbuster theme that was introduced is all going to tie in when Aaron achieves his true identity:
I think that's about as good a theory as any given the quality of the presentation. I've come to the conclusion there is just no point in analyzing something, even an episode of Lost, when it descends to this level of schlock. Yeah, I know Locke gave Ben Philip Dick's Valis to read and Sawyer was reading The Invention of Morel and the helicopter didn't reach the freighter and Miles wanted exactly 3.2 million and Daniel is never going to be able to win at blackjack in Vegas.
I get it. But it feels like there's no point in going out to research time dilation theories and the implications of wormhole travel and all the esoteric literary references to twins and quantum physics if these writers think they can get away with shovelling us shite like this. This is a two way street here buddy. Let's just call a spade a spade. This was a clunker. From the high school musical make up all the way down to the choppy editing, it didn't feel like a story. It felt more like An Ending In Search of an Episode.
We know Lost will recover. We've been here before.
We just kinda hoped we'd never have to go there again.
"Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid."--Mark Twain
The prosecution rests. It's a first offense for this season. So, after due and sober consideration, we've decided to let you go with a week's probation.