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‘Lost’ gets lost in Kate-dom

Well, every week can’t be last week. After that thrilling Sayid episode, “Lost” calmed itself down last night. No assassinations, forbidden love affairs, shocking betrayals or revelations, really. Even that last-second “reveal” of perhaps another one of the Oceanic Six turned out to be a bit of a dud. Of course, nobody said it had to be a character with tons of dialogue. Or any. (Heh-heh.)

The episode was Kate-centric, which reminds me why the first half of last season was soooo annoying. When love-tangled Kate is supposed to be a catalyst, the show starts shutting down emotionally. (Ironic, no?) That whole Jack-or-Sawyer dilemma was a distraction that drove me batty, and setting it in driving rainstorms in zoo cages didn’t exactly perk things up. Last night’s flash forward to Kate’s post-rescue travails was also numbing stuff. So she’s on trial for killing dear old dad. Is this news? Could it be more blandly delivered? How expressionless can actress Evangeline Lilly get? Ditto Matthew Fox? How anybody can care if these two uptight characters get together or not is beyond me. Put them under fluorescent light, and they’re even more dreary.

lost ben locke.jpgAnd all this futureworld mopery is taking time away from the meaty happenings back on the present-day island. “I’m exactly where I wanna be,” said Miles, the psychic helicopter dude held prisoner by Locke’s tribe, who wanted to speak to former island biggie Ben, another captive. Ken Leung and Michael Emerson may be the two current most interesting actors in this mix, so things could have heated up. But theirs was a fleeting meeting. It was Locke who came between them, though, and Terry O’Quinn is another fascinating soul, proclaiming last night “I’m responsible for the well-being of this island.” Never mind the castaways on it.

There were more hints about the fracturing of the time/space continuum, or alternate realities, or whatever mumbojumbo you wanna call it, with Miles saying to Kate, “Who knows, maybe you didn’t survive the crash.” And the helicopter carrying Sayid and Desmond hasn’t arrived at the supposed rescue boat, even though it left “last night.”

Others can parse the meaning of the $3.2 million dollars Miles tried to blackmail from Ben, and other persnickety clues. My interest will never be that detailed. But the power of the island does intrigue me, along with its ability to shape the societies that exist upon it. Only eight passengers “survived” the crash, we’re told. Does that mean some stayed and some returned to civilization? Did Kate “survive” or not? What the heck IS Ben’s deal? Whassup with Miles and the rest of his study group? And how come future Jack wants to go back?

It can’t be only to screen Hurley’s VHS copy of “Xanadu.”

[Above: Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson in ABC photo from March 6 episode of "Lost."]

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