Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Crazy theory

I had a cool idea. I would continue watching "Lost" this season, but always be two weeks behind. Whenever I finished an episode, I'd post my thoughts and predictions on the blog. What would be cool is that that way everyone could see me being wrong in real-time, instead of needing to wait another week and trudge through the archives to find my mistakes.

Still, doing that would take time, and in any case Pat is badgering me to catch up now, so I will. Maybe I'll do it for the second half of the season. But I did want to put my totally wrong thoughts about Kate down before I see "What Kate did," which might crush my favorite theory.

Some background: the first few episodes of "Lost" were some of the most amazing pieces of television I've seen. The rest of the series has been cool, but has rarely touched the quality of the beginning. The first reason for this is that the series has turned away from the cool supernatural aspect of dark forces lurking in the jungle, which made possible the incredible atmosphere. Another, though, is that they've lost all their villains. One by one, every single castaway on the island gets their flashbacks shown, and as a result we see that everyone is really just a misunderstood person.

Sawyer was cool, an elementally selfish, devil-may-care persona who stood in thematic opposition to Jack's social pull. Yet we find out that he's really just a sad, rejected person who pretends to be bad to mask his softness.

Jin was dangerous, a vicious fighter and brawler, a true gangster who tormented his wife and didn't hesitate to kill. Except, he really was an honorable and courageous man who stood up against evil.

Michael was cruel, a domineering father who takes sadistic pleasure in ordering around Walt. Only, he is actually filled with so much love that he doesn't know how to express it.

Time and time again, we find out that none of the castaways are really bad, they're just victims of fate and misunderstood. Now, from a philosophical standpoint, this is interesting, and pretty close to the way I see the world. (My maxim in relationships is "Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.") But, from a dramatic point of view, it saps the tension out of the fledgling society and leaves only the island in opposition, which except for occasional bursts has actually been pretty well behaved since the show's beginning.


Wouldn't it be cool if, as the show goes on, the reverse starts to take place? What if the people who we thought were good and kind and caring are revealed to be violence incarnate?

Personally, what I would love to see happen is for Kate to emerge as the dominant villain of the series. Making this happen would be extremely cool. Here's why:

More than anyone else (that we know about), Kate has lived outside the law. She steals, she kills, she drives recklessly. But, we are led to think that she is somehow innocent. When I watched the first season, the impression I was left with was that Kate was falsely accused of something, ran away from her unjust punishment, and as a result got into increasingly serious scrapes as she attempted to redeem herself.

Now, why do I think that? Basically, I think it's because she's cute and she cries. As any guy will tell you, a cute crying girl can get you to believe pretty much anything.

With that in mind, it would be AWESOME if this continued for a season or two, as her backstory gets more and more filled with violence, until we finally accept that, yes, Kate was in fact a very bad person. And she's manipulative and heartless, unwilling to give up looking for what she wants. And unlike others, she doesn't see the island as a second chance, in the sense of a way for her to reinvent herself. Rather, it's a chance for her to inflict more pain upon the world than would have otherwise been possible.

The great thing is, this wouldn't at all contradict anything that's gone before. All that stands in opposition is some scenes of her crying (she was faking) and helping people on the island (she's trying to earn their trust for when she starts her killing spree or whatever).

Like I said, this will probably be blown out of the water when I finally see "What Kate Did," but I wanted to let you all know so you could laugh at me. No spoilers in the comments yet, please!

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