Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lost, Ep. 16 – One of Them
OK. I have a new favourite episode. You want answers?? Now you have them!

Or… not.

I literally yelled, “NO WAY!” at the end of this episode. But you know what? I don’t care if Juliet blows up the entire beach with everyone on it. I LOVE HER.

This episode was a Juliet flashback. We discovered that she came to the island drugged up on a sub (which would have made even the calmest person just a wee bit skeptical), and her primary research was trying to figure out why none of the women on the island could conceive. Not only were they miscarrying; they were dying because they were pregnant. But she soon discovered she couldn’t save them. Ben tells her six months in that her sister’s cancer has returned and she’ll be dead soon, but tells Juliet that if she stays he’ll cure her cancer (he mentions that he can cure it somehow). So she stays. Has an affair with Goodwin, has her book clubs, and becomes involved in Claire’s pregnancy and kidnapping.

Meanwhile Claire becomes really sick, spitting up blood and passing out. As we saw in Maternity Leave, the Others were administering some sort of serum to Claire, and now she’s gone into withdrawal (or not, turns out…) But if all of the women on the island die when they become pregnant, where does that leave Sun?

And it turns out, the title of the episode doesn’t only refer to Juliet; the rest of the camp begins to think that Jack has become one of them, too, the way he protects Juliet and tells them about how he made a deal with the Others to leave the island.

What makes the Juliet episodes so exciting is they feel like season 1 flashbacks; this is a character whose background we don’t know, and everything we see about them is incredibly revealing. Of course, the critics of the show will complain that we were tricked into thinking we were getting answers, when in fact they were all taken back by the end, but I loved it.

Highlights:
-Sawyer calling Charlie and Hurley “3 men and a baby”
-the reunion between Kate and Sawyer
-Hurley admitting to coming over to keep an eye on Juliet
-Juliet’s argument with Ben in his kitchen: Two seriously amazing actors
-Juliet’s WICKED telling-off of Sawyer and Sayid. I cheered. You GO… bad person!! :) Total girl power. I don’t care if the girl is an evil woman putting other people at peril.
-Ben and Juliet approaching Mikhail’s house: “‘Mikhail, this is Ben’… He NEVER has his walkie on.”
-Juliet seeing her sister on the monitor, and the fact her son’s name is Julian (I got a little weepy seeing it).

Now We Know…
-Rachel was completely sterile because of the chemo, which most fans guessed anyway.
-the submarine is used to transport people back and forth between the island and the mainland
-all of the women on the island die if they get pregnant
**This would explain why Ben doesn’t want Karl and Alex together! He’s scared she’ll get pregnant and die.
-the Others are actually good; they were kidnapping Claire to save her baby.
-the Others are actually bad; they kidnapped Claire to implant her with a chip that would help them ultimately infiltrate the camp.
-it wasn’t that Ben didn’t want to read Carrie and therefore wasn’t at the book club; he was reading it, but Juliet was seriously pissed at him so she didn’t invite him.
-the Others knew exactly what Oceanic 815 was soon after it crashed, and had full access to all news reports and were able to start accessing records on the passengers at that point
-Rachel did have her little boy, and she and the boy are fine
-Ben put Juliet up to handcuffing Kate and dragging her into the jungle, and she’s in the camp just to infiltrate them from the inside
-Ben will see her in a week; either the Others are coming to the camp, or Juliet’s going to return to Otherville

Did You Notice?
-something I discovered when I was working on the episode guide for “Not in Portland” for my book, is that Robin Wiegert, who plays Rachel, also appeared in Deadwood as Calamity Jane, which shocked me. When she’s not weaving all over the place completely drunk and passing out in a pool of her own vomit, she’s virtually unrecognizable.
-when Juliet first comes out of her room in the sub, there’s a guy sitting at a table who looks like he’s dressed as a bumblebee, but he actually has one of the I Ching symbols on his back, inverted (the I Ching symbols make up the Dharma sign).
-there’s a major vicious streak in Hurley this week, the way he makes a point of telling Juliet where Ethan is buried, assuming he was a friend of hers
-again with the Jacob talk: they talk about him like a god. Notice how the moment Ben says his name, Juliet clams up, and he asks her if she’s lost faith in him.
-Juliet tells Sayid and Sawyer they don’t have time to talk, and Sawyer says they have all the time in the world. Uh… but Claire doesn’t, dudes. They must be ABSOLUTELY convinced that she’s lying.
-When Juliet is watching the feed of her sister, Ben says, “Richard, you can come back now.” Richard is the guy with the dark eyebrows who recruited Juliet (we also saw him in The Man From Tallahassee; he’s the guy who Ben calls into the room and tells to go get Cooper). So apparently Richard is someone who is wholeheartedly involved in the project, and Ben has no worries about letting him go back and forth.

Nitpicks:
-while it works dramatically to have Juliet show up last on the beach, there’s no way Sayid would have moved ahead of her so that no one was watching her any longer. At most, she would have been third to emerge.

Any Questions?:
-Mittelos Labs is located at an airport; could they have had anything to do with the flight going down, despite Ben pretending they didn’t?
-someone asked this on my blog last week, and in light of the subject matter of this week’s episode, it bears repeating here: How are we to believe that Sun is approximately 14-16 weeks pregnant? I’m 17 weeks and already look like I’ve swallowed a watermelon. Pregnancy shows up even more noticeably on someone who is as tiny as Sun is. Has something happened to her already??
-what is on the island making these women die? Why don’t they just take them off the island?? If Ben is so worried about Alex’s wellbeing if she gets pregnant, why not go off the island? Is there something he knows that we don’t? That if you leave the island you come down with cancer or worse? That the island heals all, yet infects all if you try to leave it?
-how can Ben cure cancer? How does he end up curing Rachel’s?
-so the one question remains: why kidnap the children? Is it because they can’t get pregnant, so this is the only way they can repopulate the Others? Or are they using them for testing?
-OK, so turns out what she told Jack was a lie – they were implanting a chip in Claire, and not trying to save her life. SO… at what point did Juliet turn? Was she really developing some serum to save the lives of these women? And then we have to question the events of Maternity Leave – we saw Ethan say he was going to kill her, and Alex helped Claire escape. Is Alex working with them, and not against them? Why would Ethan kill Claire if their entire reason for kidnapping her was to ultimately infiltrate their camp? Was it all a plan to trick Alex into helping Claire escape and make Claire think she escaped?
-to repeat what Juliet said: If Ben can cure cancer, then why does he have it? (and why are they assuming it’s cancerous, when it could have been malignant?)
-Tom told Jack at one point that Juliet and Ben had “history” and I thought maybe we’d see something more about it in this one. Did he mean a relationship? Is that why there’s so much hostility between the two of them?
-what happened to Sayid in Basra? Juliet asks Sayid if they know about Basra (large city in Iraq). A quick check on Wikipedia (because, as Michael Scott says, if anyone can post anything on any topic, it MUST be right), “After the first Persian Gulf War in 1991 Basra was the site of widespread revolt against Saddam Hussein, which was violently put down with much death and destruction inflicted on the city.” Was Sayid working on behalf of Saddam?
-is Juliet doing this because Ben’s promised her AGAIN that he’ll let her go home? Does that mean she really has been tricking Jack this whole time, and the moment she saw Rachel and Julian she was willing to do ANYTHING to get off the island?

Next week: A Charlie episode.

12 comments:

Fletcher said...

Great post, Nikki. One correction-- next week's episode is Desmond-centric, not Charlie-centric.

Crissy Calhoun said...

what a great episode. loved it loved it. and the preview for next week looked exciting too.

i love juliet and don't care that she's a con artist. she'll fit right in at the Lostie camp.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

She's lovely, isn't she? She has an exquisite face, and we know her heart isn't cold, at least in regard to her family. But I really do think she'd do anything to anyone to get off that island.

I liked the parallel to Locke with Ben in the wheelchair. The island healed Locke - did it harm Ben?

I knew I couldn't trust her, cause Sayid didn't. That's my boy. (There's a seriously disturbing image of Naveen in Grindhouse - my poor heart.)

Weakest point in the episode - the submarine conning tower looked so like CGI.

Where the heck are Bernard and Rose? Did Paulo and Nikki eat them?

Brian Douglas said...

Why doesn't anyone in the Lostie camp think it strange that Claire is just now supposedly going through withdrawl weeks after her last fix? Especially, I don't know, Jack would be sort of knowledge about things like that what with him being a doctor and all.

I think Juliet was telling the truth about why they abducted Claire. The implant was either a backup or a secondary plot on master manipulator Ben.

Also, I think this episode was titled "One of Us" not "One of Them" which was a season 2 episode.

Anonymous said...

I think you mean that it could be a benign tumour - Ben assumes it's malignant, i.e. cancer.

leor said...

you referred in your highlights to the line when ben says "he never has his walkie on"...my favourite part is his next line, when he says "we're coming to the house" then mutters "don't shoot us"

congrats on the pregnancy! when are you due?

Maddy said...

Em...the title of the episode was "One of Us," not "One of Them."

I loved the ending. Almost cried during the scene where she saw Rachel and her kid.

I just sort of wonder: Why doesn't anyone else at camp worry and rush over to help Claire? I mean, she spits up blood, and only Jack and Charlie walk away. Umm, noone else cares?

Maggie said...

Juliet can't be bad, can she?
when she said to Jack "My people had your friend tied to a swing set for 3 days, and i handcuffed my self to kate and lied about it" it sounded more like a confession, as it was accually the truth. But Jack took it more like a joke.

and when Juliet was talking to kate when she said that she needed to talk to Jack about Claire, she said " i know what to do, because I did it to her" sounded more like a confession also. But that part didnt fit in with the saving of Claire that Ethan did, that would be more like a "I did it FOR her" not i did it TO her, if you get my drift.

wow, what i wrote makes no sence, but oh well.

Michele said...

I loved this episode, too. Last week, I wasn't quite convinced that Juliet was an innocent victim and left behind by Ben. Throughout this episode, I started talking to myself saying,"Ooh, she IS a good person, after all. She IS a victim and my doubts were just silly." Then...BAM! Just as I was totally convinced that she was a sympathetic character, along came that ending!

That's why I still love this show - it still has the ability to throw in those twists now and then that blindside me.

Love your blogs, Nikki - I read them regularly. We have some similar tastes in TV and both obviously watch too much to keep up with it all!

Congrats on the pregnancy - wonder how your daughter will react. Hopefully, she'll welcome a new "doll" with open arms.

Michele
(your sister-in-law's sister)

The Chapatikid said...

I absolutely loved this episode, and the showdown between Juliet and Ben was the best dramatic moment of the season, I would have to say. Outstanding. There's only one more thing that bugged me about this episode, apart from those you all have pointed out...
Why is it that everyone was fine and healthy all this time while Jack was away from camp, but AS SOON as he comes back, someone falls sick? It's like they all have Munchausen's Syndrome or something.

Nikki Stafford said...

Hey Michele!! Great to see you here! :) I know what you mean about this show. Season 1 was full of twists, and then season 2 was exploring the avenues that season 1 had established, and now they're building new ones again. I love it.

Chapatikid: I agree about Juliet and Ben. These are two amazing actors, and from her anger to his early nonchalance to her throwing the glass and the look on his face of shock and hurt that she wouldn't believe him, to her crumpling on the counter... WOW. Loved it. I backed it up and watched it a few times.

gen said...

First of all, LOL about Michael Scott and Wikipedia ("The Office" rules!). Second of all, I completely agree--why isn't Sun showing yet? (Congrats on YOUR pregnancy btw!) Also, they've been on the island what, 90 days? Why is Sun's hair so freakin' long?! Look at the first season and how short her hair is; then look at it know. They should have made Yunjin Kim (the actress) keep her hair consistent with her character.

Also, Aaron is only a few weeks old. Are we REALLY to believe that Claire lost all that baby weight so quickly and is a skinny-minny all over again? She and Sun must work-out at the same island gym.