Last night, the creators of Lost and the marketers at ABC once again revealed their amazing ability to oversell themselves. The "Mid-Season Finale" (referring to an odd scheduling move in which the show, after six consecutive new episodes, is taking a break until February when it will pick up with thirteen more consecutive new episodes) was essentially billed as the "Best Episode of Lost Evar," and promised a truly shocking cliffhanger that would change the feel of the entire show. What the network delivered was an hour devoted to finding out more boring details about Kate's past and more tedious Jack-Sawyer-Kate developments.
While the Jack plot of the story was somewhat interesting, in the end it submitted to the unbearable Kate-Sawyer storyline. The Locke-Sayid-Desmond storyline, if it can be called that, was really nothing more than a set-up for the mystical adventures these folks are going to have in the latter portion of the season. And yet, the two or three scenes involving these characters were hands-down the most compelling portions of the episode.
So, what do we learn? During her life as a fugitive, Kate assumed a false identity, married a police officer (who was played by a guy that everyone seemed really excited about -- I guess he was on Firefly or something), decided she couldn't be a housewife after all and ran away again. She's so conflicted!
The big shocker? KATE AND SAWYER HAVE SEX!!!! The creators of the show seem to be missing out on something big here. Lost isn't Dawson's Creek. The amazing development that will alter the course of the show's universe can't be two characters hooking up. In the long list of mysteries that Lost foists upon its viewers, the mystery of whether Kate is in love with Jack or Sawyer ranks very, very low. Making this the centerpiece of the show's hyped-to-death mid-season finale is profoundly cheap.
As for the Jack story, while it had some nice moments ("At least you won't have to be disappointed for long," punching out the guy in the operating room, etc.), in the end it did nothing more than add a love-triangular element to the independently proceeding Kate-Sawyer plot. After Jack is allowed to "escape" so he can see Kate and Sawyer in the aftermath of their humping, we're led to think that he's willing to remove Ben's tumor because, now that he has no chance with Kate, he may as well leave the Island. Instead, OMG, he goes Bakersfield chimp in the OR to free Kate.
But will Sawyer get shot? Hopefully not. Will they shoot Kate instead? One can only dream.