Analysis: 4.4 Eggtown

Why Eggtown? The episode title had intrigued me and I was interested to see what it would come to mean, only to watch the episode and find precisely no reference to it at all! So I had to do a little digging and uncover that this 'eggtown' business was a thematic thing, like certain other aspects of this episode. . .

'Eggtown' as a phrase is about getting a bad deal, or more specifically, a place where there is nothing but a bad deal to be had. (It's apparently salesman slang parlance; 'eggtown' being a monicker for a trading area where there is very little of value.) When we think of our Oceanic 6 - where rescue and return to the real world has proved to be a burden and a curse; a bargain for freedom in return for their silence - the concept of a bad deal is instantly recognisable. Kate's flashforward showed her taking a deal to accept freedom; but she's restricted to the state, unable to be with the man she loves and is caring for a baby that's not her own. Suddenly the title Eggtown makes sense. Bad deals all around.

The salesman bartering connotations with 'eggtown' also covered Miles' business with Ben. (Talk about a bad deal; you haggle for 3.2 million bucks and wind up with an egg-shaped, primed grenade in your mouth.)

Interesting the precision of asking for 3.2 million. If Kate hadn't remained in the room perhaps Miles would not have had to be so oblique, but this 3.2 million appeared to be a disguised message that Ben eventually understood. $3,200,000 = 32 and 5 zeroes. 325. That's the bearing that Michael was told to stick to by Ben in Live Together, Die Alone to leave the Island. Miles, it seems, is telling Ben The Freighter People know the right bearing and can access the Island and unless Ben stumps up the cash he will do nothing to prevent it from happening.

The use of 3.2 million was one of a number of references to the figures 3-2 that played out thematically in the episode, a bit like the H-O letters in The Beginning Of The End. There was Dan only able to remember 2 out of 3 cards (I'll come to that). Sawyer set up his 3 backgammon pieces incorrectly - 3 columns away from the median rather than 2 (the thematic suggestion here that he is out of place in the love triangle (3-2) between himself, Jack and Kate). Kate's mother remarked that she had been told she had 6 months to live for the past 4 years (6/4 is the double of 3/2). Heck, there was only Jack's announcement that out of 8 survivors of Oceanic only 6 made it (if it had been nine we would have had a multiplying set: 3/2, 6/4 and 9/6!). To cap it all, this 3/2 business pertains to Jack and Kate. Jack and Kate may both wish to be together as a 2, but there's a third party in their relationship. . .

How does Kate having her own child fit in the real world? I have to believe the real world believes Aaron is Kate's biological child. Kate's own mother was willing to drop murder charges for the sake of seeing her grandson; would Dianne have been so keen if Aaron was known to be adopted? I doubt it. So I must consider how Aaron's presence fits into the cover story (8 survivors of the plane crashing in the ocean dwindled down to 6 - the Oceanic 6 - that were eventually rescued). Is Aaron one of the Oceanic 6? Personally, I think not. He's a human being, sure, but he's not a celebrity!

Let me suggest three options on how Kate's having a baby can be rationalised for the real world. Option One, she was pregnant (but not showing) before she boarded Oceanic 815, and gave birth to her child on this island in the South Pacific Jack spoke of. However, given that before she was captured and put on Oceanic 815 the only man she spent her time with was the one-armed farmer who sold her out to the FBI that would make him, Ray Mullen, the father.

That's not a pleasant thought. So Option Two has it that Kate got pregnant whilst on the island in the South Pacific. We don't know how long the real world believes the Oceanic 6 were awaiting rescue for, so this is conceivable (if you'll pardon the pun). This also makes it plausible for Jack to be the father, adding more weight to his claim that he doesn't love her "any more" in court (and makes it more credible why such a question would have been asked in the first place). For the record, this is the option I like the best.

Alternatively, Option Three concedes that Aaron really isn't Kate's biological child. The world accepts that Claire was one of the eight that didn't survive (maybe she died in childbirth?) and so Aaron was given over to Kate's care before they were rescued and remained in her care afterwards. Personally, I think this is the weakest and most unlikely of the explanations.

Is there a discrepancy about the age of Aaron? I mean, basically, if Kate's saying the kid is hers and it's well-known she was not heavily-pregnant when she boarded Oceanic 815 then Aaron's age and her story don't corroborate. Either Kate's brazenly lying and stating the kid is just big for his age (they do grow fast on the Island; just look at Walt!) or this is our first living proof that time moves slightly quicker on the Island than it does for the rest of the world. Couple in Daniel's timer experiments from the previous episode and this notion is gathering momentum.

I'll finish with a quick discussion about Dan. He was seen trying to memorise playing cards with Charlotte. I think there's a simple explanation for this, but one with interesting possibilities. Before we joined the scene I think Charlotte showed Dan the three cards, then flipped them over, and we joined them at the moment where Dan was attempting to recall what cards he had seen. I think it's that basic.

Possibly, through some traumatic experience, Daniel's memory is Swiss-cheesed. This goes towards his jittery manner, why he sometimes appears uncertain on who or what to trust, and why Naomi described him as a "head case". His genius hasn't left him, but his regular, functioning memory has been damaged - and Charlotte was just helping him with it. What this is perhaps foreshadowing are dramatic moments to come. If there's a situation where Daniel's memory is called into question and people's lives depend on it, he's not the guy you'd want that responsiblity falling to. And think of the manipulative fun Ben could have with a man who can't even trust his own memory? Oh yes, there are possibilities there all right. And in Eggtown, all the possibilities on the table usually mean a bad deal for everyone . .

1 comment:

Acharaisthekey said...

You know, reading this, it's funny that the 'father' of the child was not brought into questioning by the reporters? Legal issues were off, but wouldn't a reporter want to ask Kate ... "SO, are you excited to tell the father?"

Interesting plot hole I doubt will be filled.