Thursday, December 01, 2005

the bad seed

I found myself profoundly annoyed at last night's episode of Lost (audio), What Kate Did.

Kate murdered her father, Wayne. Her reasons are frankly unbelievable, coming from someone like her: she didn't kill Wayne because he beat up on her mother, or because he hit on her, or because he was a low-life drunk. No, she killed him because he was her father, even though Kate's mother was married to another man, the man who raised her as his daughter, even though he knew she wasn't.

I suppose people really do buy into this sort of idiocy. When Kate found out that her mother's first husband wasn't her biological father, she essentially gives up on herself. She believes she can never be good, or have anything good happen to her, because her "real" father is a low-life scum.

What makes it worse? Her mother's husband, who raised her, never told her the truth (she found out by accident), because he knew that she would murder Wayne if she discovered it. We'll give him points for being correct, but, dude! C'mon, this is your daughter, you raised her -- is that the best you could do? Seriously. Kate asks him, Why didn't you kill him? and instead of answering something sensible like, you know: murder is illegal, immoral, and I'm totally opposed to offing people as if it were no more meaningful than killing a mosquito, we have a justice system you know, and it does work relatively well -- instead of something like that, he comes up with this winner: Because I don't have murder in my heart.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen! Kate was doomed from conception to be evil, because her daddy is a bad, bad man. It's all in the genes.

That is such crap.

We all have to deal with our genetics, but I refuse to believe we're doomed by them. Kate's Mother was obviously suffering from that pervasive negative self-worth pathology that aflicts a lot of women (not just poor ones), manifested when they tie themselves to wretched men and convince themselves they're happy about it. But her Mom also obviously had a good work ethic and kept a decent home, and her "father" obviously loved her and tried to do right by her when he was around -- since he was in the military, it's not clear how often he was there. The marshall even said that Kate had never been in trouble before, got straight A's in school, and seemed all good and well-adjusted and stuff.

What I want to know is, what happened to that girl? How did that farm girl, hunting with her dad and getting straight A's, morph into fugitive Kate? How did she let that one piece of information -- who her biological father is -- completely destroy everything she had ever done with her life, and anything she had ever planned to do with it?

What really makes no sense is, how does killing Wayne do anything to help the situation? OK, Kate feels as if she "rescued" her mother from a bad relationship, but clearly that wasn't her decision to make, and the route she took was completely whacked.

I know, the big thing about Lost is how fate rules all our lives. I guess maybe I've just done too much Lost too quickly, because it is getting on my nerves now. I can handle all the weird stuff on the island, all of Locke's semi-mystical "it was meant to be" yakkity-yak, but this stuff with Kate is back in the Real World, and it's garbage.

Yet how many people fall back on the excuse, the I had no choice, I was born into this, line? Here's a newsflash: we always have a choice, sometimes only between bad and slightly less bad, but the choice remains ours, and we have to take responsibility for whatever it is that we choose to do. That's the other thing that's pissing me off about Kate: she wants to be let off the hook for killing Wayne. Newsflash, Kate: you don't get to decide that your life and what you want are more important than Wayne's life. Sure, he was trash, but that doesn't make what you did any more right.

Mainly, now, I'm disappointed, because Kate's backstory just doesn't hold up. Only a sociopath would do what she did, but she's clearly not a sociopath. The Lost writers have veered into maudlin and ewww-inducing territories before, but this is the first time that I think they've just totally blown a character's backstory. Sawyer, now, Kate's doppleganger -- his story hangs together completely, as does everyone else's so far. But with Kate being such a central character, it's really disappointing to have them screw this up so badly.

I'm just not buying it. There's a difference between fate and a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Sheik Yerbootie said...

I told you "Lost" sucked.

Alive said...
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