Sunday, August 5, 2007

"What Kate Needs"

The LOST episode "What Kate Did" gave us the background material that revealed what Kate's criminal past was all about. But we are still questioning who Kate actually is. By that I mean, who is this girl who reacted to an abusive step dad (who was really her father), whose mother put the creep above her own daughter? Is the girl who is now a prisoner of her misdeeds a good or bad person? What could poor Kate have been if she had better circumstances in her life? And what are the internal obstacles that hinder her from figuring out how to find her true self and start over in a better way on the island with her own Tabula Rasa?

In many ways Kate is a lot like the character Aldonza, in Cervantes' "Don Quixote", and also in the play "Man of La Mancha". Aldonza is a village peasant girl of rough repute, but she is not ignorant. Her station in life has made her defiant of her position and street wise. Between the lines we can tell that she doesn't feel that she has any choice in what kind of life she gets to live, no matter how smart she might be, and it makes her bitter and mistrustful. I see a lot of Aldonza in Kate. She learned savvy skills from her Army step dad, and she is very brave in the face of challenges. Kate is also pretty good at reading her fellow castaways in some episodes. But something went wrong in her life and when it comes to raising herself above the circumstances she fell into, she seems at a complete loss as to how to do that.

Many times LOST bloggers have discussed what it is that Kate actually needs (in the way of a partner) to lift her out of her past. Does she need a Sawyer type of guy who is on to her bad side, loves her anyway, and treats her like an equal? Or does she need what it once looked as if Jack might be able to give her -- a kind of affection and appreciation that would lift her up from her depths and make her want to be a better woman? I think that although Kate needs to pull her own self up by her bootstraps and decide what kind of person she wants to be, she could also use a little prodding about now. Sometimes we all need a Don Quixote to see the best in us and to help us realize that we don't have to be what we were born into, or worse yet, what other people say that we are. We can be whatever great person that we want to be. Especially in God's eyes, we always have the choice of redemption, which is a major theme of LOST.

Maybe Kate's black horse vision is a reminder to her of her strong inner self. Of the Kate that existed before things in her life got turned around for the worse. Giving her the feeling that maybe she can still be that brave and strong mare once again. If Jacob controls Smokey and the visions, did he sense this about Kate and send the horse as a token of a Don Quixote type of inspiration to her? Kate needs someone in her life to tell her that a person can be much more than the worst mistake they ever made. Mother Teresa taught that the way to get someone to be their best self, is to treat them as if they are. That's what Don Quixote did for Aldonza, to inspire her to transform into the sparkling persona of Dulcinea, the ideal. That's what Kate needs.

UPDATE: My nephew hated the medieval image that I previously had for this post, because it had nothing to do with LOST or space. So, I changed it to this thoughtful shot of Kate immediately post-crash which I have always liked.


memphish said...

Nice Capcom. You know I think Kevin (Kate's husband) and Kevin's family were able to see all the good in Kate, but Kate's deception kept that from being real. I hope that's the "he" Kate has to get back too at the end of TTLG. Okay, that's related to how much I like Nathan Fillion, but still.

Kate's rejection of Sawyer's love in spite of her faults really ticks me off. After all she was the one who stepped things up in their relationship in the first place, but she wasn't able to either give what Sawyer needed or end things as a mistake. I guess as Fishbiscuit said in her S3 flashback -- that's what we get when nerds write romance. :D

As for Jack, his complete inability to provide emotional and physical comfort for Kate when she's hurting (and by that I mean a hug even) makes him unable to be Kate's Don Quioxte as well. As soon as in House of the Rising Sun, but again and again in Whatever the Case May Be, The Hunting Party, ?, and I Do, instead of being able to encourage or support Kate, he retreats and leaves her on her own or with Sawyer to pick up the pieces unable to see past his own disappointed expectations.

Sorry for the length and rambling, but that's what the triangle does to me.

capcom said...

Hey, great comments Memphish, thanks! I agree totally!

In Kevin she did find someone who looked at her with eyes of love and not criticism, you're right, and she just blew that all away. If she could not live up to that pedestal, she should never have gotten married. It could have been because he was a cop, and as it happened her faux pas was something against the law (not to mention that it was murder).

Her treatment of Sawyer also stinks to me as well. She made her choice to chose him, and now she wants to fudge her choice and string Jack along again, especially now that Juliet is making her jealous? Nuh-uh. Not kosher. It's obvious how hard it is for Sawyer's character to give in to feelings, and then she treats him like a piece of meat afterwards. Not that he isn't getting physical benefits, but I'm sure his preference would be to have her emotionally as well, after all they had been thru on Falcatraz.

And you're right, Jack has dropped the ball to have his chance to support and care about her every time. He's too busy crying and giving orders I suppose. And the fact that no one lives up to Jack's standards, not even Jack.

I kind of wish that TPTB would wrap up this triangle thing, and get on to other more important conflicts. :o)

memphish said...

Reading Evangeline Lilly's latest interview in the LOST magazine, you aren't the only one hoping they'll wind up the triangle Capcom. But I'm pretty sure we're stuck with the triange or rectangle or whatever shape it is.

Amused2bHere said...

I'm sorry, I don't buy Jack's "I love you" confession in the finale. When he said that I just went 'huh?' What a non sequiter. I don't think he knows what it is to love someone. Not really. And he's only known Kate a few months in an artificial environment. Give me a break.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's just a show. TV love is always instant and SO deeply felt. Bleck. It cheapens the real thing.

As for Kate, I liked your Aldonza/Dulcinea comparison, Capcom. If I remember the story correctly (it was many years ago I read Cervantes) Aldonza never does 'get' why Don Quixote is smitten with her or why he treats her well. I hope a different fate for Kate.

memphish said...

A2BH, I was trying to write the same thing about Jack and gave up because I just couldn't get it right. Thanks for nailing it.

I agree that Jack doesn't have a clue what it means to love someone. He had pretty bad role models in cheating dad and enabling mom. Then his marriage to Sarah was pretty much about having someone around that will put you on a pedestal which I guess his mom probably did to his dad too. It makes me wonder if she was Christian's patient when they met.

If I'd been Kate and Jack had said that to me in the woods on our way to the radio tower when I'd just seen Juliet kiss him, I'd have been in his face with a total "WTF?" instead of the sad, pursed lips.

cool_freeze said...

AMEN MEMPHISH!! :) I COMPLETELY agree! Jack is more of a whore then Kate! I really am starting to feel ashamed of my attitude toward Kate because I think she was genuinely torn apart between Jack and Sawyer....Jack isn't. He's a straight up PLAYA.

Alright, enough gangsta talk. :)

memphish said...

Capcom creates this scientific and literary blog and we're going all shippy on her. Was this what you intended Capcom? ;)

capcom said...

Heheh, anything goes with LOST discussions friends! :o)

You guys make great points, and I agree with the things you've said about the Jackmeister! He makes me think of how love borne of pity is rarely ever real love. I think that's how Jack loves, out of pity for the victims that he "saves", and then he's just not inspired to commit, as in always working and never being at home to see that he's lost Sarah out of neglect. If he was as committed during the relationship as he was after he lost her and was stalking her, it might have worked. Too late buddy!

It seemed like Jack might have been good for Kate in the beginning, but then we got to know what a mixed up guys he is. If she went with Jack, he might spend the rest of their lives together reminding her (in his oh-so-whiney-way) how he saved her from herself and then she’d have to leave him too. Then I started to see Sawyer as better for her. Sawyer's love could be good for her in that his acceptance of her as she is, could relieve her of some personal burdens and lift her to a higher place.

Truthfully, I have only read Cliff Notes versions of the original Don Quixote! But in Man of La Mancha, the Aldonza in the story Cervantes is telling his fellow prisoners tells Quixote on his deathbed to recognize her as his Dulcinea, and she tell Sancho to call her that too, so it finally sinks in. :o)

Great comments everyone, thanks!

Lisa said...

first visit... capcom, your questions are just as good as memphish's! ;-)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was looking for the "returned" Kevin locket in the flashforward.... while I think its Sawyer Kate is with.... I wouldn't rule out that Kevin researched her past, forgave and eventually exonerated her somehow...and now they are back together.


Lisa said...

The triangle is a real draw for me...why? I don't know... the drama maybe! While I'm here, I'll also second that I am fearful of Sawyer being hurt- as he told Karl in a round about way, Kate is the girl he'd name a star after.... swoon and sigh!

capcom said...

That would really be great if she somehow got back to Kevin. In fact, the way she says that she has to get back sounds like she is on a very short leash and on probation, if you will, with her hubby. Like, since he took her back, she has to really tow the line to prove that she loves him.

Sheesh, it's amazing how much our brains can fill in the missing parts, innitt?! :o)

I hope that TPTB don't wait too long with the answers, because after we have imagined all our own stories, the real story might be a let-down, heheh.

I think that if the triangle had some true conflict, as in ANY of the peeps involved talking it out, instead of just all these sideways glances and arguing around the subject, it would be more interesting to me.

capcom said...

BTW, Memphish thinks up the best questions! She's going back thru the episodes with the knowledge that we have now, to try to figure out how it's explained by what was revealed in Season 3, which is awesome.

Lisa said...

I think you BOTH have great questions... during the "school" year it is so difficult for me to get to these blogs- this is my first week to have some "summer" vacation (its a myth that teachers really get the summer off!). I've really enjoyed getting to read up on all the lit!

I agree though, the longer we have our own theories, the more chances we stand to be disappointed. However, so far, even if it hasn't been my version of what I thought should happen..... the writers version has been intriguing enough for me to "course correct" pretty happily! Speculation is more than half the fun... truly, though I'm not a super active speculative poster, I wonder if I'd enjoy the show half as much with out LoCos! I say speculate and deal with the consequences later! Viva la speculation!

capcom said...

Ditto Lisa! I would not be enjoying LOST half as much if I didn't have the LoCos to help me comprehend "the world of what-the-heck-is-going-on", as Kate said to Juliet. :o)

Lisa said...

oh my dear capcom- i never said I comprehended anything ;-) ha! that, is a claim i don't think i could make even with the help of locos!

cool_freeze said...

Dearest Capcom, I went back and apologized for my error in my link article. :) I AM SOO SORRY!! I knew though, I really did. It was simply a typo.

You and Memphish both are very good with questions. :)


capcom said...

No problem at all CF, I thought it was funny. And I figured anyway that some new-or-non-TLCers who didn't know me might think that I was a guy since I put that picture of a male at the Capcom station on my blog, so I was prepared. Some day I will find an image of a female at the post and change it! :-D

Well I think that we have together made some good strides with the mysteries Lisa! :o)

memphish said...

Fun thread Capcom.

I want to chime in on the "beware of too much speculation" thing. I think part of my dislike of Episodes 1-6 of S3 could well be linked to the number of hours I spent in the off-season both with my own speculations and reading a bunch of fan fic. People had thought of so many (better?) reasons that the Others would want Jack, Kate and Sawyer and what they would do with them and what happened at the Hatch that frankly I got too invested in those ideas and didn't enjoy the real ones perhaps the way I should have.

That's one of the reasons I'm trying to avoid casting spoilers right now. I really want to try to avoid going into S4 with too many preconceived ideas about who or what we might encounter.

Which is not at all to say I don't want to stop talking about all the things we have already seen and what it means. It can be a bit of a fine line, but I don't want to find myself in the bind again of going they can't kill Eko just because he's booked on Regis and Kelly only to find that sure enough they killed Eko.

capcom said...

That's for sure Memphish. I don't really like to speculate if it's in the vein of trying to guess what will happen, because that's kind of a waste of time. But I do like to speculate on things like the questions that you put on your blog, as far as trying to figure out what has happened and trying to fit the known pieces together, especially in hindsight. The problem is, since there are so many holes in what we do know, it forces us to speculate on future info to an extent as well. Darn TPTB getting our heads all twisted up like this! :-D

cool_freeze said...

Thanks :) Never want to hurt anyones feelings.

P.S. I got your comment on the video, but I had to repost the video because of some technical error. I loved the vid as well. :)

fibonachi_91 said...

By the way there is another reason for sawyer to be with Kate .They both have been criminals for some time.Or maybe it's a coincidence, I don't know but I am really looking forward to season4 because i want to see if their relationship continues...
p.s.I wish they were together in the real life.