It’s with a heavy heart that I have to admit that Season 4’s run of ever-increasingly quality was has unfortunately been broken by the most recent outing – a spotlight on Kate episode named “Eggtown” Was it bad? Of course not! But did it meet the highs of the last few weeks? Not remotely.
In last week’s episode, we saw Sawyer asking Kate what can only be described as a really good question. Given that she’s a fugitive from the law, what, exactly, does she think being rescued will get her except for jail time? This episode brings us another of those wonderful flash-forwards explaining just what does happen when Kate makes it home.
Despite her celebrity as one of the Oceanic Six, Kate is nonetheless placed on trial for her many crimes, including the murder of her abusive father. This plot is, unfortunately, what drags the episode down. Much like the flashbacks of Lost seasons gone by, it’s immediately apparent that the action on the island is far more interesting that what’s going on in the time before – or after – the main adventure.
Kate’s trial seems to have been mainly shoe-horned in to give her desire to be rescued some credibility in the eyes of the audience. After all, we won’t have Sawyer’s question nagging in the back of our minds when we know how it’s all going to turn out, right? It’s fairly broken logic, but at least understandable.
Still, it’s not all dry courtroom tedium – Kate’s trial does drip-feed the audience certain facts about the public perception about the Oceanic Six (and more interestingly, their cover story) and there’s a blinder of an ending when the fifth member of the Oceanic Six is revealed as Aaron (Claire’s baby) who is now in the care of Kate. There’s definitely an interesting story there, especially considering that we already know that there’s something special about children on the island.
Of course, even if the whole sub-plot is bad, that’s only half the episode accounted for. On the island, Locke gets ever creepier as it turns out he’s appointed himself the dictator of his rebel commune, denying his “subjects” access to the prisoners, and ultimate banishing Kate for breaking Miles of his prison-shed.
In one of two unforgettably excellent scenes, Miles reveals a hidden agenda as he offers his target, Ben, the chance to get away free in return for a large sum of money. In the second scene, Locke punishes Miles for the attempt to go behind him by stuffing a grenade in his mouth, pulling the pin and uttering the classic line: “I realise that when I tied you up in here the other day, I made the mistake of failing to introduce myself: my name is John Locke.” Utterly hardcore.
It’s moments like that manage to buoy an otherwise disappointing episode. Perhaps it’s the relatively slow pace of the trial, or simply how weird Kate looks in makeup and tailored clothes (I thought Sayid looked ridiculous on the golf course last episode, but this is easily as bad) but it was inevitable after such a strong start that an episode would come along that didn’t live up to the standards already set, and in a way, at least we can be glad it’s happened – there’s no reason that next week’s episode shouldn’t be able to top this one.