Before I begin, let me get one thing off my chest: Like most of you, I did not like this episode. But like any Lost episode, it was still enjoyable and gave us plenty of topics to discuss (even if one of those topics was how much we disliked the episode)
In fact, the backlash to the episode was so great, Damon Lindelof tweeted "For those of you complaining of "filler." Seriously. PLEASE WATCH NCIS: LOS ANGELES. I promise not to hold it against you."
Personally, I believe that most of the negativity about this episode was because of the awesomeness of the episode preceding it, I can't really remember the last time there was such a jump from awesome-to-not-so-awesome in Lost, except for maybe "Flashes Before Your Eyes"
into "Stranger in a Strange Land".
But anyway, let's get into what actually went on in "What Kate Does". We'll begin with the flashsideways timeline, where Kate's escape leads to the (first) reintroduction of Claire. After a totally pointless scene with a mechanic, she goes back to find Claire, who apparently hasn't moved from where she was dropped off. Things get a little bit more interesting here, when Kate and Claire meet the intended adoptive mother.
According to the episode's credits, the mother's name is "Lindsey Baskum". For all you anagramaniacs out there, that's an anagram for "Used by Malkins". Of course, the whole Richard Malkin situation is one of confusion and blurred fact. But personally, I believe that he is a real psychic, and only told Eko he was a fraud in "?" to dissuade him from investigating his daughter, who apparently had a very real experience with Eko. But, in "Raised by Another" Claire came to the conclusion that Malkin saw her coming to the Island so she would raise the baby. However, in the sideways timeline he wouldn't have seen her on the Island...so would've he seen that Claire would end up raising him anyway? But then, why would've he sent her away anyway? He knew that she had decided to raise the baby herself. Is there a different reason, perhaps guided by destiny, that Claire had to go to Los Angeles?
Another interesting point of the sideways timeline was the appearance of Ethan Rom. Or uh, Ethan Goodspeed. It seems he's left the Island, and had a relatively good upbringing and is a pretty good guy. He's continued his path as a surgeon, but has avoided the path of being an evil creepy doctor, believing he "would rather not stick her with needles if he didn't have to". A subtle reference to original Ethan's insistence on jabbing Claire's stomachs with the biggest needles on the Island. Another more explicit reference to the original timeline is when Claire already knows Aaron's name, another obvious nod that there is a definite connection between the two timelines. Kate then departs the hospital, because she can't sit still for more than two minutes.
Back in our other timeline, it's much of a sameness. Kate heads off after Sawyer, who has truly become a broken man. Accompanying her are Jin, a redshirt Other named Justin, and not-quite-as-redshirt Aldo, who we havn't seen for fifty episodes. After a conversation about the Monster, Ajira 316, and Wookie prisoner gags, the group comes across a Rousseauesque (I like that word) trap. Unfortunately, it seems Aldo hasn't got any smarter over the past three years, and (along with Justin) is outplayed again by Kate.
Jin and Kate go their separate ways, as Kate looks for Sawyer and Jin looks for that reunion scene we've all been longing for. Of course, he doesn't find it and is instead confronted by a pissed off Aldo and Justin. But even though Jin gets stuck in a bear trap, the two Others still can't get a break as they are shot by the second reappearance of Claire, looking Rousseauesque, but still seeming to have some recognition of Jin.
Some way off, Kate tracks Sawyer down to the Barracks. In perhaps the highlight of the episode, a broken Sawyer tells of his plans to propose to Juliet, strengthened by incredible acting from Josh Holloway. We're only three episodes in, but already there are cries from some fans for an Emmy for Holloway.
At the Temple, Sayid is essentially tortured by Dogen, a process which includes blowing ash over him. Observant fans would've no doubt made a link between this and the ash circles we've previously seen. After a back-to-his-leader-self Jack hears of this, he demands answers, something he usually fails to get results with. He only really learns that Sayid has been "infected", the same word used to describe what happened to Rousseau's team in the 1980s. Dogen gives Jack a pill, and after refusing to give it to Sayid, he ends up just taking it himself, like any doctor would... Dogen then decides to admit it was poison, because Sayid has been "claimed".
Apparently everything Sayid was will be gone once the "infection" reaches his heart. And the same thing happened to Claire. Who Jin is now with. *cue L O S T slam*
But what is The Sickness? Danielle had been warning the Losties about it since Season 1, and after three years on the Island it seems its finally struck. Darlton have described it on the Official Lost Podcast as "making people go crazy". And there definitely seems to be some involvement of the Monster. Rousseau's team had all encountered the Monster, if Christian Shephard is a visage of the Monster, Claire has, and it seems the water of the healing spring has been tainted by Smokey as well.
So what does it do, other than make people crazy? My theory is that the infected become living minions of the Man in Black, giving the entity access to their body and soul before they die.
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.