TV Recap

My Two Dads

On ''Lost,'' we learn that fugitive bank robber Kate has an even darker secret; plus, Locke and Eko form a Dharma bond

Lost, Evangeline Lilly | BURNING DOWN THE HORSE Is the black stallion Kate's murdered father?
Image credit: Evangeline Lilly: Art Streiber
BURNING DOWN THE HORSE Is the black stallion Kate's murdered father?

''Lost'': Kate's original crime

So, Kate and a horse walk into a flashback....

There's a general consensus among Lost fans that Kate is the blandest and least engrossing character on the island — this despite the writers' desperate attempts to give her a labyrinthine criminal history. Tonight's episode, the first Kate-centric one of the season, did little to reverse that perception. We learned that Kate was leered at and possibly abused by her stepfather. We learned that Kate learned that her stepfather was, in fact, her real father, from her real father, who wasn't her father at all. (All together now: Whaaa?) We learn that Kate has ''murder in her heart.'' (Pseudodad knew this from birth?) And that Sawyer loves Kate, at least when he's feverish and raving.

And all of this adds up to...a gorgeous black horse. Is it the emblem of Kate's tormented gypsy spirit? A spectral revenant of Wayne, the father she murdered? A symbol of redemption? The dark stallion mentioned in the book of Revelation (as many have suggested)?

Who knows? And, quite frankly, who cares? Kate and her Bonnie-sans-Clyde hillbilly backstory have both always promised more than they've delivered in the drama department. The best moments of this episode were on the fringes.

First there's Locke and Eko, a screen pairing we'd all like to see more often. I'd watch Terry O'Quinn and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje play Parcheesi in total silence — they're both so rapturously good. Tonight, Locke's dominance is seriously threatened for the first time: Eko comes bearing enlightenment and warnings. (''Do not mistake coincidence for fate.'') He brings one of the missing pieces of the Dharma orientation film. (There are several splices, so expect more nasty surprises.) And Michael, unaware of the ''new'' revelations on the strip, is tempted by that demon, instant messaging, and immediately succumbs.

''Dad?''

''W…!''

Nice.

What's not so nice: I can already feel the Dharma mythology getting tangled. Perhaps I'm paranoid. I just don't want us on the path to the Black Lodge.

Notice how I'm not even broaching the subject of Jack and Ana Lucia. I know how y'all feel about Little Ms. Gunhappy. But just for the record, not every interaction between a male and a female has to be primarily sexual — even on a desert island. Even over shared Hatch hooch. Jack and Ana Lucia, I predict, will have more of a Locke-Eko vibe than a Sawyer-Kate frisson. They're inverses, after all — if the island math holds up.

And now, dear friends, I have questions for you: What's the time line on Kate's tale of woe? Sharp-eyed viewers have noticed Sayid on the TV in Pseudodad's recruiting station — he's being led away in shackles by American soldiers. Does this put the incident in 1991? Were air bags standard on most cars back then? Am I overthinking all of this? Please set me straight. Or, failing that, buy me a pretty black pony.

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Originally posted Dec 01, 2005