Follow along! The episode guide for “Whatever the Case May Be” is in Finding Lost, pp. 75-79.
Season 1 established the standout characters by how many flashbacks they got – we’re only on episode 12 and we’ve already had 2 flashbacks for both Kate and Jack. I’ve never been a huge fan of this episode, even though it has a lot of great stuff in it, simply because of the way Jack and Sawyer treat Kate. It makes my skin crawl every time. Both of them take the case from her as if they’re somehow above her, chastising her like she’s some stupid child who needs discipline. Yet both of their actions speak loudly about their characters – Sawyer takes the case first because he thinks there might be something in it for him, secondly because he can use it to flirt with Kate (she keeps coming back for it, and he likes that) and thirdly because it gives him the upper hand in their “relationship,” or so he thinks. Jack, on the other hand, is a complete dick. He accuses her of lying and withholding information (like he’s not?!), and the moment she first tells him they have a problem he turns to her and shoots back, “WE have a problem, or YOU have a problem?” I’m sorry, Doc, but who the hell crapped in your corn flakes this morning? A day ago you were out in the jungle with Kate as the two of you chopped down Charlie, and the two of you were victorious in bringing him back to life. And now you’re biting her head off? One of the only problems with season 1 is that the writers were different on every episode, and there wasn’t that cohesiveness that was there now. One writer would write Jack as being annoyed with Kate’s mere presence, but in the next episode they’re chatting like equals. Next episode she’s hot for him, and then suddenly he’s all angry at her again.
Fun things I noticed:
• Sawyer asks Kate if she’s the navel-gazing, no-fun mopey type. I love his subtle reference to Jack here.
• Why is Sayid still referring to Claire as “the pregnant woman” when they’ve been on the island for 2 or 3 weeks? You’d think the one person who has been kidnapped might be a name everyone would know by now.
• Oh, Sayid. I love you. LOVE YOU. I love his character, I love his development through five seasons, I think Naveen is a brilliant actor... but I will never, ever understand his attraction to Bitchy von Ditz. It watered down his love for Nadia and made me lose a little respect for him. It was like when I found out David Boreanaz was married to an Irish screenwriter when he started on Buffy, and then became famous and dumped her and married a Playboy bunny. Sigh. The light of these people just kinda dims in my eyes.
• I’ve never understood why Shannon didn’t just say “Finding Nemo,” rather than going on about the fish movie.
Things that have new meaning:
• Sawyer tells Michael he better start looking for a runway. Did anyone else yell out, “hey, they’re building one over on the Hydra island!”
• Locke says, “The easiest way isn’t always the best.” Talk about understatement of the century, coming from that guy.
• I’d said that in the beginning of season 1 it’s hard for me to reconcile soft, sweet Rose with angry get-off-my-lawn Rose of the season 5 finale, but you can see the nice bridge here. She’s full of tough love, pushing Charlie to get off his ass, but the next minute holding his head while praying with him. I’ve always adored that scene between the two of them.
• Sawyer’s line, “Physics, my ass,” has a COMPLETELY different meaning in season 5!! Isn’t it weird that the one guy who had a basic understanding of physics (insofar as how it impacted construction) is gone by the time anyone needs it? Poor Michael...
• I’d forgotten that the writers played with our expectations of “what Kate did” throughout the first two seasons the way they did with Locke’s paralysis. By this episode fans thought she’d shot the guys in the bank robbery and that’s why she was being hauled in. Or maybe it was the guy she “killed”... (we know now that she didn’t kill Tom, but put him in the position of being killed).
• The line, “There’s a fine line between denial and faith” is a very important line for the rest of the series; Jack is a man of science, but when he sees the island disappear at the end of season 3, he insists that it didn’t, even though he just saw it happen. If there was ever a captain of denial...
• The end of this episode is beautiful (see, I really do think there’s a lot to love about this episode, even if overall it’s not one of my faves) with the way Kate plays with that airplane. It shows how her idealized childhood is still playing a role in her present. If you really want to see this scene used well, check out the “childhood” trailer for season 6, if you haven’t already.
• Kate looks at the toy plane with a lot of sadness in her face (and we know how why that is) which reminded me of her comment in "316," when she sees Christian's shoes in Jack's house and asks him why he holds onto something that makes him so sad. You'd think she of all people would already know the answer to that question.