Lost: Season 1, Episode 12

Whatever the Case May Be (5 Jan. 2005)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
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Kate and Sawyer discover a briefcase and the race begins to win ownership of it. Charlie is still depressed over Claire, and is given a sharp talking to by Rose.



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Title: Whatever the Case May Be (05 Jan 2005)

Whatever the Case May Be (05 Jan 2005) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jin Kwon (credit only)


Jack, Kate and Sawyer fight over possession of a newly discovered locked metal briefcase which might contain insights into Kate's mysterious past. More of fugitive Kate's background story is revealed, showing her participating in a bank robbery in New Mexico just to uncover something hidden in one of the safety deposit boxes. Meanwhile, Sayid asks a reluctant Shannon to translate notes he took from the French woman. A rising tide threatens to engulf the fuselage and the entire beach encampment, and Rose and a grieving Charlie tentatively bond over Claire's baffling disappearance. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

5 January 2005 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Kate is in the bank vault, the safety deposit box she opens is 815--the same as the flight number (Oceanic 815). See more »


When Shannon takes off her top to sunbathe, she has a bottle of water and a bottle of sun lotion next to her on her right hand side. During the scene with Sayid, the positions of the bottles change repeatedly between shots and in one shot the lotion disappears completely. See more »


[Sawyer has climbed a tree in attempt to break the briefcase]
Sawyer: Impact velocity. Physics my ass.
[He drops the case but it doesn't break open]
Sawyer: Son of a... Unbelievable!
See more »


References Finding Nemo (2003) See more »


La Mer
Written by Charles Trenet
Performed by Maggie Grace
See more »

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User Reviews

Whatever the point may be...
2 November 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"Let the girl go? Man, you have no idea, do you? The girl is the one who set you up. The girl is the one who picked this bank, picked this vault. This whole thing is the girl's idea."

Kate establishes herself as a leader and a plan-maker on the island, and through her bank-robbing flashback in "Whatever The Case May Be", we learn that she made very ethically different plans back in her life before the island. However, instead of contrasting this potentially solid but still poorly executed flashback with a similar tense dilemma on the island, Damon Lindelof and Jennifer Johnson write us an uncharacteristically poor main plot involving Kate, Jack and Sawyer essentially fighting over a briefcase.

The writing is sloppy all over the episode. Sawyer and Jack's exact reasons for being so intent on discovering the case's contents are unclear. Jack makes an out-of-character threat to Sawyer's health to convince Sawyer to give him the briefcase; the scene should have completely destroyed the credibility of both characters, but the actors made the scene seem plausible. The flashback is incredibly cheesy, unoriginal and predictable; it may have been effective if we didn't already know Kate was a fugitive. The episode suffers from weak dialogue saved by a passable effort by the actors, but even they falter on occasion, like Lilly does with her cringe-worthy delivery of the "It belonged to the man I killed!" line that should have been the episode's emotional climax.

More importantly, the entire story seems unimportant, especially when you consider that the toy plane's importance is elaborated upon in a later episode. The episode is overall quite skippable, but it is still a season 1 episode, and as a result still has some substantial positive attributes.

The subplots don't advance any of the story lines particularly far, even if some of the scenes in them are worth watching. Sayid converses with Shannon and Jack, hoping to make something of Rousseau's inscriptions, but in the end the most useful thing they find is a set of song lyrics.

Nonetheless, the episode does foreshadow the next one coming in true season 1 fashion. The gang move their belongings down the beach, and Boone begins to head off to the jungle with Locke regularly, to Shannon's suspicion. Likewise, Sayid and Shannon commence their interactions with one another, despite a disapproving Boone.

But the heart of this episode lies in three brief scenes between Charlie and Rose. Rose's real-world application of Charlie's problems helps him and the viewers get a sense of hope for all the characters. Her endlessly positive attitude is both uplifting and disturbing to an audience who assumes that she is in denial about her husband's obvious death, but hopes they're wrong about the situation. Fans who have watched up until later in the series will likely reflect on this episode as a negative one, but can at least reflect positively upon the days when Rose was less of a stereotype and more of a symbol of hope. Her presence makes one wonder whether or not it would have helped the show to have her, as was originally planned, on the show as a series regular.

"It's a fine line between denial and faith. It's much better on my side."

Standout performances: Matthew Fox, L. Scott Caldwell, Josh Holloway.

Standout scene: Rose consoles Charlie and prays for him.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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