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What Happened, Happened Recap

April 2, 2009
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Whatever Happened, Happened” is the eleventh episode of Season 5 of Lost and the 97th episode of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on April 1, 2009. Kate struggles to save a young Benjamin Linus from a gunshot wound at all costs. (

  1. Kate’s big season 5 flashback episode aspired to reveal why Kate was so emotionally invested in Aaron and managing the lie that he represented. Certainly time played a role. Funny now to think that Kate had been Aaron’s mother longer (three years) than Claire had ever had been (a couple months). Yet ”Whatever Happened, Happened” revealed that Kate needed to be Aaron’s mother. To fill her Sawyer void. To assuage her guilt over abandoning the Left Behinders.
  2. The marina sequence — a nexus point of destiny for the Oceanic 6, originally depicted in ”The Little Prince” and ”This Place Is Death — was revisited yet again in last night’s episode, as it was last week for Sayid’s flashback episode. And once again, we saw that boat with the word ”Illusion” emblazoned on the side. For the Oceanic 6, the marina = ”this place is death.” It is the place where the mirage of their after-Island happy endings — poof! — faded away
  3. Sawyer’s all Mr. Respectable now, the kind of ”Live together, die alone” leader Jack used to be. Meanwhile, Jack is back on the Island searching for destiny and his fulfillment, and while I don’t make that bad (not yet, at least), last night he came off looking a little…well, a little like Old Sawyer to me. In the same way Jack used to go barging over to Sawyer’s tent on the beach demanding help from the con man (Band-Aids, pills, etc.) and instead only getting bad attitude and ”What’s in it for me?” selfishness, now it’s Sawyer barging into Jack’s home, demanding that he apply his surgical skills to Young Ben, and getting a big self-centered ”No” in return. Yeah, yeah, there was a little more to Jack’s response to that — there always is, with anyone — but let us note this conspicuous role reversal. Jack is the new Sawyer. He even went shirtless last night! Wonder where that may lead? Sweaty cage sex? A Dharma library card? Crazy nicknames?
  4. Last night, there was that bit of business about knowing that Sawyer and Kate were coming to him. But how? Psychic powers? Hyper-attuned jungle senses? A Desmond-esque flash from the future? And why not let them come to him? Is that just not the Others way — or did you get the sense, as I did, that Richard didn’t want them to know anything about the Temple, aka The House of Smokey? So far, we only know of one castaway who is aware of the Temple’s existence: Jin. (See: The Affair of Montand’s Severed Arm.) I’m going to hazard a guess and say that his knowledge of this mysterious Island landmark is going to play a crucial role in the season’s endgame. And while we’re on the subject of the Temple: Do you think Richard and Smokey are roommates?
  5. Again, we are prodded to ask: What exactly is Richard’s relationship to the Others and his role in the leadership structure? My current take on Richard is this: He is like an angel to be wrestled with and overcome, like a sphinx to be solved and beaten, and should you be successful, you get the keys to the kingdom, the Island, and as part of the deal, he serves you faithfully until someone else comes along and knocks you off the mountain.
  6. the castaways are being made to understand that their participation in past events is shaping the future that they have already experienced. They have themselves to blame for the thing that is Benjamin Linus. We are the causes of our own suffering. Think about your life. At the same time, I didn’t quite know how to interpret this idea that Ben would be getting a memory wipe as part of his healing treatment. Did Richard mean that Ben would only be made to forget how Sawyer and Kate helped save his life? I hope so, because if Ben’s whole childhood is about to get erased, it really makes me look stupid for insisting to the whole world that Adult Ben remembers growing up with the castaways in Dharmaville. (Doc Jensen)
  7. Miles describes time as being relative to oneself. For them, the years go 197? (whenever they were born) to 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977… For Ben they go forward, and the “past” they’re in right now is Ben’s present. Miles is convinced that whatever happened, happened, and you can’t change it. Hurley, the lover of comics and reader/watcher of several stories of going back in time to change the past, isn’t so convinced. Is Miles right, and if so, where did he get his information from? Is it possible that THIS is his real usefulness?
  8. There are a couple of lines from season 4 that I can’t stop thinking about. One of them was when the psychiatrist tells Juliet that Ben is obsessed with her because “you look just like her.” His mother? A girlfriend? Now I’m starting to be convinced that the person she looks just like… is herself. Roger stands in the room where Ben is struggling to breathe, and tells Kate that what a boy really needs is his mother. Cut to Juliet standing over him, looking concerned and leaning down to help him. According to Alpert, he’s going to forget everything that happened up to the point where the Others took him, but maybe Juliet mothers him in some way after this moment, and he’ll remember that and become obsessed with her years later.
  9. The other line is one Charles Widmore delivers to Ben when Ben comes to visit him in the night and tells him that he’s going to kill Penny (Shape of Things to Come). I’ve always been unnerved by Widmore saying he knows WHAT he is, and he also says that they both know Widmore can’t kill Ben. In this episode, Alpert takes Ben to his camp and says Ben will never be the same. Then the one hostile says to Richard that Ellie and Charles will freak out if they find out, they being Eloise (presumably) and Charles Widmore, whom we saw as young soldiers in 1954. Is whatever Richard’s about to do going to render Ben immortal in some way?
  10. Did You Notice?:• There didn’t appear to be a noticeable exit wound on Ben’s back. Maybe it went through his side and that’s why there’s no blood?• Kate’s got her Patsy playing again. An interesting choice, since Kate’s got Sawyer’s picture in her mind, but Juliet’s got him. (not that Kate knows that yet…)• Kate sings “Catch a Falling Star” to Aaron, which is the song that Christian always sang to Claire when she was a baby.

    • After Sawyer and Miles took off with the janitor’s keys, leaving Horace and Phil behind in the cell room, Phil had a look on his face like something wasn’t right. I think he’ll be the one to eventually unravel Sawyer’s happy little fairy tale.

    • For all his snark, Miles seems to fall into the role of being Sawyer’s underling pretty easily, and takes orders from him without ever talking back.

  11. When Kate goes up to the guy to ask where the juice boxes are, he looks directly at her, and never do his eyes go down to look at Aaron. Then when she goes back to him to ask if he saw her son, he looks at her like she’s kinda crazy and says, “Your… son?” and as she runs away, he looks behind him as if to say to someone that she was nuts. Did anyone else think for a moment that Aaron was invisible in that scene or something? That grocery stock guy was very strange.• Kate and Aaron are wearing the same clothes when they go to Cassidy’s, as if they hadn’t slept at all the night before.• In the awesome smackdown scene between Juliet and Jack (did anyone else detect that maybe IF Sawyer has been pining for Kate, Juliet has been equally pining for Jack?) Jack says that he came back because he was supposed to, but doesn’t know any details. He sounds EXACTLY like Locke in this scene.

    • I don’t mean to be unfair to Sun, but Kate looked far more broken up over leaving Aaron than Sun looked about leaving Ji Yeon. (Nik at Nite)

  12. It’s interesting how the “Lost” crew is using the time travel component — and the paradox/no-paradox question — as a lens for character development. Sayid is blindly driven to change the future by killing young Ben in the present; newly-mellow Jack seems to subscribe to Faraday’s theory that events will transpire as they’re supposed to transpire, so his involvement is irrelevant (and convenient, because you know he doesn’t want to crack Ben open again); and Kate, Juliet and Sawyer believe it’s inherently wrong to let a young boy die, regardless of his future actions. In past seasons, Jack would have acted/reacted, Kate would have avoided making a decision, Sayid may have considered the long-range implications (he wasn’t always cold-blooded), and Sawyer would have shot the kid himself.
  13. Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking are both on the island in 1977 (I’m making the wild assumption that “Charles” and “Ellie” refer to these two). Richard claims he doesn’t take orders from either of them. So what gives? Was Widmore a recognized Other leader, or did he adopt that title? And I’m assuming that if Young Ben is assimilated into the Others, he’ll come to know Eloise Hawking … but what sort of relationship will he forge with her, where will her allegiances lie (With Widmore? With Ben? With Alpert?) and how will the Ben-Hawking connection lead to old Mrs. Hawking helping Ben and the Oceanic Six return to the island in “316”? And who is Daniel Faraday’s father? (The Lost Blog)
  14. Hurley and Miles started a new, special kind of friendship tonight that I hope we see more of in the future. Of course, it does make me worry for Miles a little. After all, people who come in contact with Hurley don’t always fare so well. But in Whatever Happened, Happened there was some fantastic dialog between the two on the specifics of time travel. Hurley definitely represents many of the feelings the fans have had this season. (Sledgeweb’s Lost Stuff. Click here to see video of the above conversations!)
  15. Do You See What I See? Probably Not.
    Not me, mind you… but the characters on LOST. Know what they see? Only what they need to see. Or more specifically, only what they need to be shown. Which is why when Jin turns little Ben over, the bullet hole in his zip-down hoodie is now on the exact opposite side of his chest – on the other side of the zipper. It’s not even close, it’s a complete mirror image of the spot where Sayid drilled him precisely through the heart.

    Continuity error? Maybe on 24. But this is LOST, and we’re seeing exactly what the island wants us to see, through Jin’s eyes. But through the eyes of Sayid? For him the bullet went right through the kid’s heart – no need for a coup de grace. And this, my friends, is how the island isn’t so much manipulating the events or happenings we see from week to week. What’s being manipulated are the perceptions and experiences of the characters on LOST, and yes, even the flashbacks. I’ll go further nuts on this at the end of my review, but for anyone still dangling from that last thin thread of the continuity argument? It just snapped.

  16. Jack put it all very well: he’s been here before. He’s already operated on Benjamin Linus to save his life. He’s already taken that shower that he’s about to take, he’s already stepped out in that towel and been reflected in that mirror… we’ve heard this song already. The only difference is that this time, Jack’s on the Locke side of the coin. “Maybe the island just wants to fix things itself” – this is something S1-4 Jack Shephard would never have said. Months, years of trying to deny the impossibilities of what’s been happening to everyone has finally give Jack a front row in the first pew of the church of faith – not science. This, plus his talk with Sawyer seems to have sunk in: Jack’s taken the time to examine all the actions he’s taken since flight 815 crashed, and he’s determined that nothing he did really accomplished anything. Whatever was going to happen would be unfazed by Jack’s intervention… and when Jack did intervene, it was simply because he was meant to. Totally maddening. Imagine realizing such a total loss of control – that nothing you ever did, or would do, really mattered at all. THIS IS WHAT JACK’S MEANT TO THINK. This is what the island has been trying very, very hard to show him. When Jack mentions he’d been “getting in the way” it’s because he HAD been getting in the way.
  17. And although Kate came back because the island summoned her, one cool thing to note is that Kate came back with a purpose: Claire. This seems pretty important considering that, other than Sun, no one else came back to the island with any sense of purpose whatsoever. Sayid came back unwillingly, and Jack and Hurley’s most popular answer: “We just gotta go back”.Also important, it seemed Kate couldn’t go back to the island until she’d resolved something: her lie. This was part of the whole redemption-before-getting-on-the-plane process. Jack, the inventor of the lie, had to finally (and besottedly) admit to himself that they weren’t supposed to leave. Hurley spilled the entire can of island beans to his mom at the kitchen table, absolving himself of his own lie. Sayid’s big lie was apparently trying to be a carpenter instead of a killer. And at the end of this episode, Kate finally tells Cassidy and Carole everything: all about the plane crash, Claire being alive, and how she assumed custody of Aaron. Her lie is now over, and that’s when she gets on the plane. Maybe Sun ended up in 2007 because she never resolved her lie? Dunno.
  18. Regardless, Richard makes a point to tell Sawyer and Kate that Ben will ‘always be one of them’. Unlike Juliet who could be easily excommunicated, Benjamin Linus would be forever initiated into the Others secret club. I get the impression that Ben is about to go through a subterranean, more personal version of island baptism than the rest of the Others have gone through (with Richard maybe being the exception). In exchange for his life, poor unconscious Ben is about to sacrifice his future ability to choose any kind of destiny all his own. Later on in life, I think Ben learns this might even be worse than dying.This is the reason why, above all else, I’ve always believed Ben not to be evil. He’s never been his own person, and has spent his life doing the island’s work. Just as the old John Locke has always been a puppet whose strings are constantly being pulled and manipulated by others, Ben’s own destiny has been unwantingly placed before him at an age where he could nothing about it. It sucks, and it’s always sucked. He knows this, and I think it’s why Ben shouts down the island with his whole “I hope you’re happy” speech and leaves via the donkey wheel. He wants to change things. Ben is thoroughly finished doing the bidding of this fickle bitch – he finally wants to have his own life. But in order to accomplish this, I think Ben knew he had to sneak back onto the island via some very shady means. Ben’s helping the O6 these past two seasons may have seemed to be according to the island’s plan, but I think Ben just had to make it look that way.
  19. Humor me for a minute, and watch Kate and Aaron in the supermarket. She asks where the juice boxes are, gets distracted by Jack’s call, and then loses Aaron. Watch the look the stockboy gives her when she tells him she lost her son: as he says “excuse me” his facial expressions register confusion, not concern for someone who just walked by with a little blonde boy in tow. Rewind to when Kate first asks the question, and the stockboy never even looks at Aaron. In fact, no one looks at Aaron in the supermarket at all, except for Kate. As she frantically runs through the aisles the next scene is shown, not surprisingly, in the store’s giant mirror.

    Suddenly Kate sees Aaron again, this time seemingly being led away by Claire. We know Claire is supposed to raise Aaron, and the island is showing Kate this. It’s slapping her in the face with the fact that she’s living a lie. It leads Kate back to Cassidy’s house, where Clementine answers the door. “Hi Auntie Kate!”, she says. She doesn’t say hi to Aaron. She doesn’t even look at Aaron. Strange too, because Aaron apparently rang the bell.

    Later on, Kate gives Carole a picture of Aaron on a tire swing. Immediately she asks “Where is he?” Kate answers her question with “two doors down”, but Carole continues to stare at the photo. Where is he indeed.

    Okay, let me back up a minute. Am I saying that I believe Aaron’s nothing more than a figment of Kate’s imagination, and that he never existed at all? Nope. Aaron is as real as reality gets – on LOST, anyway. There are lots of people who see and interact with Aaron – Cassidy for one. But I am saying this: Cassidy’s words this episode were all about how Kate needed Aaron, instead of the other way around. The minute Kate began wondering if Aaron wouldn’t be better off without her, he suddenly and instantaneously disappeared. (DarkUFO)

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One Comment
  1. Robert permalink
    April 2, 2009 11:29 am

    I thought that soldier that picked up Sawyer and Kate looked like Keamy with a beard.

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