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Lost Recap: What Grows Inside

This episode suggests a mystical explanation for this recapper's fall from faith: There is a darkness growing in me and once it reaches my heart, I may not be the fan I once was.

But I hope not! Because I'm delighted to see Claire, even bonding implausibly with her carjacker-turned-doula, Kate. This episode centered on good old Freckles, who provided fodder, in both timelines, for anyone with a Kate fixation: Jate fans, Skate fans, Claire-Kate 'shippers (Clate?), not to mention the legions who enjoy watching Kate be called "bitch" and "princess" and threatened with death — as well as the peculiar subset of viewers who believe that Kate is secretly the perfect Boys on the Side girlfriend, willing to hold your hand through an ultrasound when she should be runnin' from the law.

In Choose Your Own Adventure One, Sayid is aliiiiive! The gang responds: a deadpan glare from Goatee, jitters from Miles, relief from Jack, disorientation from Sayid himself, and angry snarling from Sawyer, who is busy bittering it up with Kate about the injustice of a torturer getting revived while Juliet rots.

In Choose Your Own Adventure Two, Kate carjacks a cab, terrifies Claire, nearly squishes Arzt, and makes eerie don't-I-know-you-from-some-other-timeline? eye contact with Jack. When the cabbie escapes, Kate takes the wheel, shoving Claire out on the street sans suitcase.

On the island, Hugo is the leader! Except that Jack is the one checking Sayid's wounds and getting uppity when the Others arrive with their jive-talking conversational hoodoo. Violence ensues! Then Sawyer waves a gun around, not to rescue anyone, see, but because he's snapped back to rancorous, libertarian, Puck-on–Real World San Francisco, Original-Sawyer Mode. And he runs.

Spooky Lost Logo, we missed you.

On the island, Kate promises she can track Sawyer and bring him back. She can be very convincing when she wants to be, even with tangled, dirty, island hair.

On the mainland, with incredible hot-oiled ringlets, Kate gunpoint-flirts a mechanic into releasing her handcuffs. Then she opens Claire's suitcase and finds a picture of her pregnant hijackee and a stuffed whale. Looks into a mirror, feeling guilty.

On the island, Kate preps to hunt Sawyer, the most dangerous game. But first, she makes sure to cement Jack's heart to her with melty eye contact. "Be careful," he says.

Goatee blows dust on Sayid, then hooks him up to a crackling torture device right out of The Princess Bride. Sayid begs — Why? — but gets a hot poker as an answer. Eventually, Lennon apologizes; it was a test, and Sayid passed. Except that he actually failed.

On the mainland, Kate, apparently having been dosed with ecstasy in a scene cut for space, returns the suitcase to Claire, who is first prickly and then implausibly warm, opening up about the adoption story and accepting a ride from her former (as in, about an hour ago) carjacker.

On the island, Jin, Kate, a bitchy Other named Aldo, and a quieter dude named Justin exposit with hostility. "Is this a press conference?" snarks Aldo, like some unholy love child of Sawyer 1.0 and Arzt, but with extra Kate-Hate. They find a Rousseau trap (weird, since Rousseau is dead) and in the bickering, Aldo reveals he's the guard Kate head-butted escaping the cages, which, c'mon, she was escaping, Aldo, what was she supposed to do, stun you with her hair?

The fight results in the Rousseau trap swinging down, then Kate grabbing a gun and escaping.

Sayid kvetches that the Others tortured him, but didn't ask him questions. This makes Jack quite butch, bossing his way into meeting with Goatee and Lennon, who do more of that Other-y thing, intoning ominous sentences without actually saying anything. They tell him Sayid is "infected" and Goatee offers Jack a green pill — which he's supposed to get Sayid to take willingly — and to motivate him, gives a deep massage to Jack's anxious redeemer glands. Christ, how many Others do these people need to meet before they stop responding to their guilt trips?

Miles, Hurley, and Sayid discuss whether Sayid's a zombie, but like all zombies, Sayid says no. Then Jack returns with the pill, somehow turning his conversation with Sayid into a referendum on Jack's guilt while Sayid murmurs softly about trust, rippling music plays, and excited Jack-Sayid types concoct erotic YouTube homages.

Jin won't escape with Kate, because he wants to find Sun. "Who do you care about, Kate?"

On the mainland, Kate is still bonding with Claire, their hair rippling in the California sun. The adoptive couple didn't show at the airport, which worries Claire, so she asks Kate to come to the door with her. But when they arrive, the adoptive mother is weeping: Her husband has left her and she can't take the baby, but never called Claire. So much implausibility is too much for Claire and she goes into labor.

On the island, Kate finds Sawyer, digging through floorboards for a shoebox of Juliet keepsakes and weeping. Kate tries to sneak away, but he hears her and pulls a gun. She makes sad-eyes, using up 30 percent of her seduction toolbox.

On the mainland, Kate is suddenly Claire's birth coach. She fetches a doctor — yikes, Ethan! Claire's at 36 weeks, a bit early, and Ethan decides to amp up the implausibility by offering her the choice of stopping labor or having the baby, which, believe me, makes no sense. Then suddenly there's an ultrasound! Much fear! "Is Aaron okay?" Claire moans — and things are fine, Kate is moved and bonded rather than, say, terrified that cops have been following her incredibly public trail.

On the island, Kate reveals her mission: She wants to find Claire. Which is actually quite reasonable, compared to some other motives I could name. Then there's grief-and-love talk about Juliet, with Sawyer insisting her death is his fault because he made her stay on the island. He didn't want to be alone. "But I think some of us are meant to be alone," he says — then tosses his engagement ring into the river. Freckles weeps, because damn, she could've fenced that ring. No, it's sad, I'm a jerk, sorry.

Goatee is tossing a quirky baseball. He explains that the whole translator shtick is to maintain authority (What? I thought the Taste of English was Bitter on His Tongue!). He's Dogen. He was brought here, like everyone else. But as it turns out, Jack didn't give Sayid the pill — and when questioned, Dogen insists he "can't explain, there isn't any time" and "you just have to trust me." Jack calls his bluff, swallowing the pill and invoking a rare case of Heimlich Fu. Because turns out the pill is ... poison.

There's a very silly ad for The Wolfman.

The cops arrive at the hospital, seeking Kate. Claire covers for her, then offers her a credit card, and Kate suggests Claire keep the baby, in which case, she'll really need that credit card.

On the island, Kate and Sawyer brood.

The Others brew Jack tea while Jack gives his fifteenth bleak chuckle. "Why would you want to kill Sayid?" he asks. Their nonsensically delayed explanation is as follows: Sayid's been ... claimed. There is a darkness growing in him and once it reaches his heart, everything Jack's friend once was will be gone. How can they be sure of this? Because it happened to Jack's sister — i.e., Claire!

Meanwhile, the cranky Others pummel Jin, debating whether they can kill him. Then Aldo nearly shoots Jin, until Aldo himself is shot. By Claire! Looking mighty kickass.

What We Know Now:
• Claire is the new Rousseau.
• Claire and Sayid are zombies. Or rather, they have "the sickness" that Rousseau talked about but seriously, doesn't that sound sort of like a zombie?
• Kate is at once a manipulative widower-macking wench and the finest birth-coach ever.

The Wha? Factor:
• What did Aldo mean when he wondered if Jin was "one of them"?
• What's creepy Dr. Ethan up to in the alternate timeline?
• How is a person who hates Kate to deal with this endless love triangle? I'm starting to hope she ends up with Widmore.

Photo: Mario Perez/ABC