Little House on the Prairie. What was weird for me is when Sawyer sat down to watch TV I didn't question this show being on, as if I was still assuming Sawyer was living in 1977 when he was happy and when this show was in its prime. Except he's not. It's 2004. How is it that James Ford's television is set to a channel where reruns of old shows like this come on? Does it have anything to do with his past? Is he stuck watching the shows that young James liked when his childhood was unfairly and cruelly ended with two gunshots? What's more, good ol' Michael Landon says things that not only comfort Sawyer about perhaps seeing his dead loves ones again someday, they quite possibly serve to tell us that we are going to see our favorite LOST characters some day on the other side (we've long discussed the sub-theme of "sides," too). The words are enough to remind James to get busy living and trying to make things right with Charlotte, but no. Won't work.

 

Then of course our 2004 story ended with Kate being on the run, and captured by Sawyer, who recognizes her from 815 and the airport. Their paths cross yet again. And we wonder again at why policeman Sawyer would have so nonchalantly helped this woman escape federal Marshals and airport security.

 

Speaking of Kate, I thought of her most of this past week in relation to something I wrote about Richard last week:

 

Richard did indeed arrive on the Black Rock. In fact, he hasn't been back to that ship in all the time he's been on the island (must have some bad memories associated with it?). As speculated several postings ago, Richard was once in chains on that ship, and this would appear to be confirmed by the way he walks right up to a set of shackles and has a moment of reflection and recognizance. Of course, you don't usually chain up good and innocent men, so one has to wonder about Richard's past, and wait patiently for the Richard-centric episode we all have been anticipating for so long.

 

Where I was busy last week comparing how Jack and Richard had switched places, I was ignoring how similarly Richard Alpert and Kate Austen came to the island. Both strike me as good people chained up for perhaps-misunderstood or justified wrongdoings. We know that both were touched by Jacob, but also, that despite this touching neither has - as far as we know - been marked as a candidate. Jacob's touch turned Richard into not a candidate but an unaging advisor. If you continue the parallel, you could argue that this will then be Kate's fate as well. She is quite possibly the next Richard.

 

That is, considering she survives the assault we all know is coming from Claire. How did you interpret Claire's hand-hold of Kate just as Flocke is explaining how the Black Smoke killed everyone who failed to leave the Temple? I've talked with some who believe this was Claire in a moment of clarity from her madness reaching out to Kate in a childlike protective way. Could be. My take as I watched it, though, was more akin to something like the mafia's kiss of death, as in, the hand-hold of death. This is my last act of affection for you, Kate, before I take you down.

 

And sure enough, she tries, as Blankface Sayid just looks on, doing nothing. She gets her knife to Kate's throat before Flocke pulls her off and speaks to her about her "inappropriate" actions. Ask my wife, I hate this word "inappropriate." It smacks of someone who isn't your parent acting like your parent. And that's how it sounded to me here as well. Not so much like Flocke sees himself as Claire's daddy (though he probably has some traces of that left from times he assumed the form of Christian), but maybe more that he sees Claire as a child. It could be that the "sickness" has the effect of causing one to break with reality in a way that takes you back to a more childlike state of mind. Consider what we saw in this episode: Claire plays with dolls, holds people's hands, shows intense swings of emotion. Sayid views violence without acting to further or prevent it. Sawyer watches TV programs from his traumatic childhood.