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Lost Reviews and News

Key Points from "Whatever the Case May Be"

Season 1, Episode 12
Episode Air Date: 01/05/05

Point 1


Does anyone really care about Kate's past? In the early episodes Kate's seedy history was a catalyst, but with the recent abduction of Charlie and Claire, Charlie's near-death experience and Boone and Locke's intriguing discovery of a half-buried metal door, Kate's criminal history doesn't pique my interest anymore.

Nonetheless, these episode reviews aim to actually review the episodes, so in the name of due diligence I'll plod forward with this week's Not Particularly Interesting Kate Round-Up.

So it all starts out with Kate and Sawyer stumbling upon a pristine lake. The two strip down (For those keeping score: Kate sported a shirt and underwear while Sawyer went for the bare-chest-and-jeans ensemble) and engage in some gag-worthy "playfulness," including the "I'm pretending to drown you but not really" move. Somewhere amidst all this nonsense, the two dive deep into the lake and discover something that's not playful at all -- two decomposing corpses strapped into Oceanic airline seats. After 10 seconds of feigned fright, Kate and Sawyer dive back down for a second look. Sawyer rifles through the pockets of the deceased while Kate desperately tries to pry a metal briefcase from beneath the seat's metal frame. Her efforts prove fruitless, so Sawyer swims over to lend some braun. He yanks the case out and swims for shore.

And that's where he discovers that Kate is very interested in this metal case. She claims that it's hers, but Sawyer watches as she fumbles with the locks and calls bullshit on her ownership. Kate sulks off before Sawyer can launch into a full inquisition. The plot thickens ... sort of.

This metal briefcase is supposed to be incredibly important, but this sub-plot runs dry about 30 seconds after it starts, so instead of wasting time detailing all the twists and turns I'm instead going to boil it down to bullet points. My apologies if this is a little half-hearted -- to me, this briefcase thing was pretty dull.

So anyway, here's what you need to know about the Briefcase Plot:

  • Sawyer holds on to the MacGuffin -- er, briefcase -- for most of the episode. Kate tries to steal it back at various points, but she fails miserably.

  • Sawyer attempts to pick the lock on the briefcase, but the bugger won't budge. Then he tries slamming it on a rock. No dice. Finally, he launches the thing off a cliff and dammit if the briefcase still doesn't open. Honestly, the most interesting thing about this briefcase is its craftsmanship.

  • Kate asks Jack to help her procure the briefcase and of course Jack obliges. He does this despite learning that the key to the briefcase -- a key that Kate knows about -- is in the pocket of the marshall Kate was traveling with. Check that. It's in the pocket of the dead and buried marshall Kate was traveling with. Remember that guy? Jack brought him back from the brink of death only to shoot him dead. Jack, guilty about shooting the guy, opted to give the marshall a proper burial. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but now that he has to exhume the body so Kate can find her precious key, he's probably wishing he had burned the fella with the rest of the passengers.

  • Kate and Jack dig up the body and Kate goes fishing around the marshall's pockets for the key. She whips out the guy's wallet and quickly drops it when she sees it's teeming with maggots. Jack, in a display of true chivalry, brushes the maggots away and searches the wallet. But there's no key. Kate is shocked. Absolutely shocked. How could this be? Jack looks her dead in the eye and grabs her clutched hand. Kate sheepishly opens her fingers to reveal THE KEY. What's with this chick? Jack helps her exhume a rotting corpse and she tries to fool him with the old Maggots on the Wallet trick? C'mon Kate! You've gotta do better than that.

  • Jack gets good and pissed off about Kate's trickery so he storms off to acquire this oh-so-important briefcase from Sawyer. Sawyer isn't keen on handing it over, but Jack threatens to withhold Sawyer's antibiotics (he's still recovering from the knife wound), so Sawyer opts for the less painful route and relinquishes the briefcase.

  • Jack finds Kate sulking on the beach (as usual) and he demands that they open the briefcase together. He and Kate storm off to the Valley Camp and engage in a very dramatic Opening of the Case. The contents include:
    -- Four pistols.

    -- One box of bullets.

    -- An envelope marked "Personal Effects."

    -- Two issues of "Hustler."

    The key object is the envelope. Jack hands it to Kate. He watches as she opens the flap. She tentatively places her fingers inside. She clutches something delicately. She slowly pulls it out. It's ... it's ... it's ... A GODDAMN TOY AIRPLANE.

    Yes. That's right. The object Kate wanted no one to see. The object she went to great lengths to protect. The object that means more to her than anything in the world is a little toy airplane. Don't believe me? Here's a picture.

    Jack has the correct response to this anticlimactic development. He grabs Kate by the arm and demands an explanation. After much yelling and much prodding she finally screams: "It belonged to the man I loved! It belonged to the man I killed!" Kate breaks down crying. Jack walks off. And the rest of us scream "that's it?!"

  • Point 2
    Kate In addition to the riveting Briefcase Affair, this episode also revealed one of Kate's previously undisclosed crimes: bank robbery. Yep. Our sulky little Kate was a key figure in a botched heist at a New Mexico bank.

    The bank scenes were oddly boring (seriously -- how can a robbery be boring?), so here's a quick and painless round-up:

    • Kate charms the bank manager with a bogus story about coming to the area to take pictures for a coffee table book. She uses the name "Maggie Ryan" during this exchange, but this, like everything about Kate, is probably a damn dirty lie.

    • During the heist, Kate plays the role of Innocent Bystander. At one point she ends up with a pistol, but she wails "I don't know how to use a gun!" One of the bank robbers hauls her off to a rear office, where the two start making out. I'm not making this up.

    • The robbery team -- including Kate -- eventually ends up inside the bank's vault. Kate's robber boyfriend opts to finish off the bank manager, but before he can pull the trigger, Kate shoots her beau in the leg and guns down two of her other criminal accomplices. She demands that the manager open safety deposit box 850. He hands over the key and she cracks open the box. Inside is a single envelope that looks exactly like the envelope containing that ridiculous little toy airplane.
    Let's recap this airplane business: In an effort to get this thing, Kate stages an elaborate bank robbery; shoots three people; dives deep into a lake on a mystical island; digs around the pockets of a decomposing corpse; and lies to her most trusted island ally (and future love interest). For an airplane.
    Point 3

    Sayid finally gets around to deciphering the maps he stole from crazy Danielle Rousseau (the French woman who sent the 16-year-old distress signal). Unfortunately, the writing on the maps is in French and the only castaway with French language skills is Shannon.

    So Sayid sidles up to Shannon as she's sunbathing (promiscuously sunbathing, at that) and asks for her help. Shannon is feeling vulnerable because her brother Boone deemed her "useless" earlier in the day. Sayid uses the "I believe in you" technique, which works like a charm on the easily swayed ingenue.

    So Sayid and Shannon spend most of the episode pouring over maps and flirting. Yes, flirting. Shannon reveals that she spent time in France with "this guy," while Sayid looks on with an expression that says "I'd like to be 'this guy'."

    Eventually, Shannon's slow language translation frustrates Sayid. The two call off their rendezvous, but before she storms off in a huff, she offhandedly says the phrases Rousseau wrote seem familiar. Later that evening, Shannon sits next to Sayid on the beach and tells him that "the guy" she was with in France had a little kid who used to incessantly watch one particular movie -- "it was the cartoon about a fish, you know, one of the computer ones" -- and she now realizes that the music over the film's closing credits included the same words Rousseau wrote on the maps. She begins to sing the song in French (she might be useless, but she has a lovely singing voice) and we hear the unmistakable melody of Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea."

    So what does this tell us? I see two possibilities:

    1. Rousseau is out of her friggin mind.


    2. Rousseau has a dubbed copy of "Finding Nemo" and she really enjoys writing lyrics on maps ... and she's out of her friggin' mind.
    Point 4

    Claire's abduction has thrown Charlie into a fugue state. He sits on the beach and stares at the horizon, dreaming of times when life was simple and drugs were readily available. Under normal circumstances his inactivity would be acceptable, but an unusually high tide is threatening to swamp the Beach Camp and extra help could really go a long way. And that's where Rose comes in.

    Who's Rose? Way back at the beginning of the season she appeared in a couple of scenes with Jack. She's the woman who contends that her husband somehow survived the plane crash. For weeks she's been missing in action, but now she's emerged to help snap Charlie out of his grief coma.

    And snap she does. With a mix of tough love and spirituality, she tells Charlie that no one blames him for Claire's abduction and that he needs to ask for help before he can start healing. Later that evening, Charlie sits with Rose and begins to bawl. Rose takes his hand and prays. Now, the praying at first seems a little heavy-handed, but it does have relevance to Charlie's character. He showed a fair degree of piousness during his flashback episode ("The Moth"), so perhaps Rose's prayer session marks the renewal of Charlie's faith. Or maybe the writers were just feeling it this week ... who knows?

    Point 5
    Charlie Sun continues to pretend that she doesn't know English. In a brief exchange with Jack she uses hand signals to explain that a certain type of plant can help alleviate headaches. Her language ruse yields unexpected dividends. Kate, thinking Sun can't understand her, tells Jack about the guns in the suitcase and she also references her own criminal history. In a future episode this mistake will give Kate yet another reason to sulk. Thank God for that.
    Point 6
    Island Developments As noted in the Charlie/Rose section, an unusually high tide forced the Beach Dwellers to move their camp further up the coast. The importance of this move will undoubtedly play out in later episodes, but right now it doesn't mean much.

    This episode also clearly revealed that Kate and Shannon both have access to shaving equipment. Either that or they're blessed with exceptionally slow hair growth. The men on the island all have long stubble, but the island's female inhabitants (the ones showing skin, that is) don't have a single sign of underarm or leg hair.

    That's it for now. Be sure to drop by our "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.

    Next Episode:
    "Hearts and Minds" -- Boone wants to tell the castaways about the secret metal door he and Locke discovered, but Locke has other ideas. Meanwhile, Shannon's past is revealed. Airs: Wednesday, Jan. 12, 8 p.m., ABC.

    Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.

    Posted by Mac Slocum on January 6, 2005 11:43 AM |

    i hope shannon does not die!!! I want her and Sayid to hook up~!!!

    #1. Posted by: Shannon at January 6, 2005 1:00 PM

    I hope the bear eats all of them but Locke. He is the only one of the whole cast who is interesting. Maybe next season there will be a shipwreck close enough to the island that we can get some interesting people to interact with Locke. Oh yeah, I hope the bear eats Evil Ethan in the very next episode. He probably genetically engineered it. A polar bear that can live on a tropical island. OOOOHHH man what a stretch.
    The concept of this story intrigues me but it is beginning to fall apart.

    #2. Posted by: MINDBENDER at January 9, 2005 1:08 AM

    Hey there! Enjoying series one of Lost over here in the UK at the moment - isn't it great?! Surely the best TV show for a LONG time! I stumbled across this page while searching for the lyrics to "La Mer" the song that Shannon beautifully sings at the end of the episode (I agree that this one was a bit flaccid after last week's). Sorry to be a pedant but actually the song isn't a French version of Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea" in fact it predates it by about 15 years - it's by Charles Trenet - a French "chanson" legend. I wonder whether Darin was "influenced" by Trenet!

    #3. Posted by: Mike at October 16, 2005 7:19 PM

    Hello again - scrub that last bit...

    "[Trenet] decided to move to America where he lived for a few years. It did not take long before the Americans were fond of the French singer. After a few triumphant concerts at the Bagdad in New York, Trenet became a big hit in the States and was approached by Hollywood. He met the likes of George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong and stroke up a long-lasting friendship with Charlie Chaplin. His song �La Mer�, which according to the legend he had composed with Leo Chauliac on a train in 1943, was recorded in 1946. It was immediately translated into English by Jack Lawrence and became �Beyond the sea�. It was a smashing success in the English-speaking world where it became a classic. About 4000 covers were made of �La Mer� across the world"

    #4. Posted by: Mike at October 16, 2005 9:00 PM

    Wow - while doing my rewatching of season one, I've stumbled upon much that I had forgotten. wonder if Kate's toy plane is a prediction of her plane crash?? MIF

    #5. Posted by: meg at April 2, 2008 3:29 PM

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