Season 5 Episode 4

The Little Prince

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 04, 2009 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (34)

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  • A castaway fate revealed, and a familiar face returns

    The title of the episode refers to one of the most beloved books in literature, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the story where the Little Prince arrived from outer space, ends up stranded in the Sahara Desert with a pilot who has crashed there, the adventures that brought them both there, and the story of the child's fate-- until death and beyond. Though it's not spelled out this way (the writers are too smart for that) it's obvious that in this context the Little Prince is Aaron, a little boy with bright blond hair who was borne in a foreign place, and who Kate now loves with every fiber of her being. To paraphrase the novel, he has 'tamed' her. As we see in the first flashback, Kate formed a bond with Aaron not long after rescue, and while she might have been compensating for everyone they left behind (particularly Sawyer), she is willing to do just about anything to protect her child.

    This means, of course, that it's going to take a hell of a lot more than Jack's good wishes to get Kate back to the island. The attorney that came after Kate in the opener is central to the story. Kate tries to ask to meet with her client, but the attorney tells her he ahs a court order to compel her to give a blood sample. Anybody whose watched enough Law & Order over the years knows that this ludicrous given the way the legal system is maintained. They'd be in pre-trail hell for years, not instantly. But when it is reveal that the lawyer works for Ben, well, everything makes a lot more sense. Ben knows all of the secrets that Kate's been hiding, and knows which buttons to push to get a reaction. How he figured doing this would somehow make Kate pliable coming back to the island is something the show never bother to explain, but Aaron will be the reason she goes back.

    She may not be back on the island, but Kate's still affecting people there. After the first flash, Charlotte is still unconscious, and tense as the situation is, it leads the two remaining survivors of Flight 815 (well, we don't know what's happened to Bernard & Rose, but they're not here) to talk about the next move. Locke has reasoned out that perhaps the best way to stop this is to go back to where this mess started --- the Orchid. Locke also tells him that he thinks he has to bring all the survivors back to the island, particularly Kate.
    Sawyer is convinced Kate is dead, but the real effect of this doesn't occur until we realize where we've flashed back to --- around the time of 'Do No Harm', just while Claire was giving birth to Aaron. When he sees the woman he fell in love with helping Claire, the pain on Sawyer's face is unimaginable. And it causes him to open up for the first time on the show--- and to Juliet, of all people. But he's convinced what's done is done, and that he needs to find another reason to go on. Ironically, that reason is staring him right in the face.

    Of course, if the flashes keep happening, that may not be very likely. Charlotte has been showing the most serious signs of deterioration, but there are two more flashes in this episode, and at the end of them, Miles and Juliet are also getting nosebleeds. What's unclear is how these flashes are affecting them this way. Daniel surmises that it may have something to do with the length of time spent on the island, and since it was theorized that Charlotte was born there in the Season 4 finale, that makes a certain amount of sense. Ditto for Juliet--- she's been here over three years. But why Miles, who's only been here for a couple of weeks. Could there have been yet another reason why he was selected for this mission in the first place?

    The second flash seems to take some time in the future, and having seen Season 6, it's pretty clear when in the future it's been. But the next flash we get we know where we are very soon--- the smarter of us may have picked up on it the moment we heard the people speaking French. It's November 1988, and Danielle Rousseau and her team have just crashed on the island. If you were distracted from that by the lack of subtitles, there's probably a much better reason for that --- you were squealing in delight to see Jin pulled on board the raft. He survived the explosive by getting on the wreckage , and has apparently been time skipping with the survivors. Which once again begs the question--- how big was the radius of the island? The freighter was a long way from it in Season 4. Then again, it caught Daniel, so maybe it's got a big tent.

    Back on the mainland, Ben is in the middle of weaving his web, and the Oceanic 6 doesn't trust him. Sayid has just regained consciousness when once he's forced to fight off yet another attacker. It's still not clear who he works for, but he has Kate's address in his pocket. Jack goes after Kate, naturally, and they learn that the attorney is also working for Claire's mother, which makes her a blind alley. In addition, he's also responsible for getting Hurley out of jail (how'd this guy end up on Ben's Rolodex any way?). Sayid and Kate travel to the marina to meet with Ben, but they have no interest in returning. Sun is there, but definitely not for the same purpose. She's been paying for surveillance on Jack, and that has led her to Ben, who she has every intention of shooting right between the eyes. (I know, Jin's alive. Still would've been a good idea.)

    This episode seems more of one drawing people together rather than any particular focus. By now, there were some fans of the show who rather openly disliked Kate by now. I'm still not sure why, as Evangeline Lilly continued to give superb work. Particularly in this episode, we know that even though Kate may not be his birth mother, like Claire, she would do anything to protect Aaron. Her agony is just as real. It's also haunting to watch Yunjin Kim in this episode. The sweet woman we saw on the island seems to be gone, and in her place is a ruthless, manipulative woman with a killer instinct. I really hate to say this, but she is her father's daughter. And Josh Holloway continues to demonstrate his enormous range, as we see James come face to face with his greatest loss.

    'The Little Prince' is an episode about getting the character where they need to be, and despite some big time revelations, seems a little like filler. But we are going somewhere. Now that Jin's alive, will he ever see his wife and daughter? On this show, reunions are often messy, and in their case, a lot will come between them