Wednesday, April 22, 2009

LOST: Kate

All these drawings are based on scenes from the most recent Kate-centric episode, “Whatever Happened, Happened”. Drawing Kate turned out to be a colossal pain in the butt, with many more ‘misses’ than ‘hits’. Attractive women are always a problem to draw, and trying to express Evangeline Lilly’s unique pixie quality without distorting her horrifically, proved to be a huge challenge. I’m anxious to publish the results I finally arrived at, good or bad, and move the hell on.

There’s been a lot of development in the longtime characters this season. Many of them have come to personal turning points, and it usually feels well-earned, it’s not cheap catharsis. We humans have to go to difficult places to confront the delusions we’ve spent our lives laboring under, and we have to get humbled and defeated many, many times before we start to get the message. Therefore it’s gratifying to see characters who have made the same mistakes throughout the series (and throughout their lives, via the flashback structure) actually make some progress.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how meaty the character-focused episodes have been. It was apparent that we were in for several episodes detailing how the O6 all wound up on the Ajira plane, but I wasn’t sure they’d really deliver the goods when the time came. The writers really had their work cut out for them this episode. They had to plausibly motivate Kate to leave her adopted child behind and get on the plane with the hated Jack, for no readily apparent reason. Not only did they do so, but they did it in a way that got to the heart of the character’s fundamental issues.

Kate’s fundamental flaw is emotional selfishness, and her tendency to justify selfish actions as altruistic. This episode beautifully orchestrated a series of events that led her to that crucial understanding of herself. Her love for Aaron—and consequent guilt about lying--was such that she had to stare her own weakness right in the face and be changed by it.

It seems to me that once she had to honestly face her less-than-noble motives for adopting Aaron, she might start to acknowledge her pattern of doing whatever is emotionally convenient for her. She might look back over the rest of her life and see that she’s behaved selfishly in other important moments. For starters, the act that changed her life, the killing of her stepfather. She preferred to believe that she did it for the sake of her mother, but most likely she wanted revenge for her own reasons. She also might be inclined to look at her history with Jack and Sawyer: She kept them both on the hook because it suited her, and now she has to live with having lost both.

It also seems to me that this episode throws a new light on Jack’s abandonment of Kate and Aaron, similar to the Sun/Jin episodes that made Jin’s behavior more sympathetic. Jack basically went crazy and walked out on Kate and Aaron, boo hiss. But consider the fact that Kate’s motivation for adopting Aaron was to fill the emotional void left by Sawyer. Jack had to have realized on some level that he wasn’t who Kate wanted to be with. He was Kate’s partner in raising Aaron because, once again, it was convenient for her to have him around.

Evangeline Lilly was called upon to really sell the heartbreaker of a climax to this episode, and she did. I wanted to try to do a picture from the scene with Aaron, but when it came time to watch it again I had to turn the sound off, I didn’t want to revisit the place that scene took me. It was a hell of a painful scene, requiring some serious acting, and she killed it.

Next in the barrel: Ben Linus.

Mahalo at'cha boy!


Anonymous said...

Your postings about "Lost" make me wish I watched the show. Excellent work, as always.

Steve Buccellato said...

Dude, you have the serious skills. I love these Lost drawings.

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Anonymous said...

you're really talented.

i periodically google evangeline lilly, because i'm in love with her.

anyhow, i'm in the process of pitching a screenplay to hollywood studios. i might want to have some scenes from it illustrated, but not in either a marvel or fantagraphics kind of way. maybe in your style.

my screenplay is like hitchcock's strangers on train meets the bourne identity meets shooter meets mr and mrs smith.

i can't pay now, but if i sell my screenplay i can payback.

i'm still considering this. i'm in NYC.

if you're at all curios, drop me a line at

cheers. and, again, nice work.

Anonymous said...

sorry. just read your info. you're a working pro. you're good. you should be.

when i see a blog, i ten to think unemployed. that's no comment on your talent. tom