Tomboy Kate morphs into wimpy womanhood in one of Lost's most annoying moments. Yesterday we paid tribute to our favorite moments from the show, but now it's time to tear into the most disappointing, annoying and/or simply wrong moments. Bad omen: the worst of Lost is almost all related to season 3.
The Wussification of Kate. Kate starts out as a tough girl on the lam from the law. She's ready to run into the jungle, face down boars, and crawl into hatches at the drop of a hat. Dressed in jeans and tee, she's prepared for anything. But when she is captured by the Others, she's forced to wear that filmy dress. Ben wants Kate to "look like a lady." Is this because Ben's messing with her mind, or because the writers want to tailor Kate into a more "feminine" character? In other words, is the the above clip about Ben finding a way to shame Kate or the show titillating viewers who want to see Evangeline Lilly in a skimpy frock? It's probably a little of both, but I fear it's weighted towards the latter. In any event, the moment when Kate stares at her new self in the mirror is way too "Very Personally Yours" for this writer's comfort, especially when Zeke whistles at her, then adds an ominous, "He's waiting." (For men, or women too young to have encountered VPY, it was a menstrual education pamphlet that told schoolgirls about the wonders of womanhood and Kotex pads.) The fact that the scene gives me the heebie-jeebies speaks to its effectiveness, yet it leads right into another criticism of the show.
Women=breeders. "He's waiting." There's something ominously sexual about that statement. Ben and his band of followers are obsessed with reproduction, given that the island seems to have rendered its inhabitants infertile. In order to follow that storyline, the female characters are either new mothers (Claire), pregnant (Sun), possibly pregnant (Kate, after a little caged delight with Sawyer), or working on getting women pregnant (Juliet). Um, hello? Some of us believe that biology is NOT destiny and would like some strong female characters who aren't defined by their breeding status. Or at least let us have the old Kate back. She may be wearing pants again, but she's gone all wimpy, locked as she is in the Jack/Kate/Sawyer soap opera triangle (or quadrangle, now that Jack and Juliet seem to be an item).
In fact, I'd prefer less soap opera and more smoke monsters across the board.
My nomination for worst episode: "Stranger In A Strange Land." I know that everybody loves to hate on season 3's "Exposé" ("Razzle dazzle!"). But while Lost's proclivity for introducing characters just to kill them off can be annoying, wasn't it satisfying to see Paulo and Nikki buried alive? When I first saw "Stranger in a Strange Land," I thought that my beloved Lost had jumped the shark. After all, the major point of the episode seems to be watching the fugtastic Bai Ling almost fall out of her clothing. Add whiny, annoying Jack to the mix, and I came very close to reaching for the remote. (There may be a gender divide here; when this episode came on during my friend's season 3 marathon party, three women suggested fast forwarding, while the male host frantically shushed us.)
My nomination for most annoying character: Juliet. Yesterday, somebody commented that he and his wife did a little jig when Charlie died. I disagreed with that, but if Juliet bit the big one, I'd do the same. She's a smarmy, smug uber-mom who calmly tells you what's best for you even though you're old enough to take care of yourself. She gets on my very last nerve every time she's on the screen, though I did enjoy seeing her husband get run over by a bus. Now, if only she did. Honorable mention: Jack.
A week from today, I'll be reviewing the season 4 opener. In the meantime, tell me about your hatiest Lost moments.