Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lost, Ep 9: Stranger in a Strange Land
This week’s Lost episode featured another Jack flashback, one that presumably happened after he went crazy with jealousy upon losing his wife. In the timeline of Jack’s background, it appears he had hit rock bottom, and escaped to Thailand to try to start fresh. But once he got there, he found Achara (played by Bai “Fugly” Ling), and began an affair with the mysterious woman. He saw her being handed large sums of money, and she explains to him that she has “a gift,” and both of those things, coupled with her skimpy wardrobe, leads him to assume she must be a prostitute. He follows her to what appears to be a red light district in Phuket, and discovers she’s a tattoo spiritualist of some kind: She can see into the heart of who people really are, and then she “marks” them. Thus… the tattoo on Jack’s left arm. Not the whole tattoo (apparently the fancy 5 part above got added later) but the line of Chinese characters written along the bottom. We discover the characters mean, “He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us” which pretty much nails Jack to a T.

Meanwhile, on the island, Juliet is on trial for killing Danny; Kate and Sawyer escape with Karl, who is pining after Alex; Ben’s stitches have become infected; and Jack is moved to the outdoor cage once occupied by Sawyer. There’s a new sheriff in town, and no, it ain’t Sawyer. Her name Isobel. (OK, I guess the Björk lyric doesn’t work there, because it’s probably spelled Isabelle.) Jack is called in and asked point blank if Juliet asked him to kill Ben, and he says no. They know he’s lying, and he goes back to his cage. When he wakes up, Cindy and the other Tailies who were taken are all standing there (!!!) and they all look completely normal, untraumatized, and they say they’re “here to watch.” Cindy looks at him like he’s crazy when he acts angry and confused. Alex confronts Jack and wonders why he saved Ben, and Alex says Juliet is going to be executed. As soon as Jack realizes she’s on Otherville death row because she saved Sawyer and Kate, he changes his mind about Juliet. He strikes a deal with Ben to take care of him as long as Ben commutes Juliet’s sentence. Juliet is marked by them, and when she comes out to talk to Jack in his cage, he says they’ll work together to ensure both of them get off the island. Meanwhile, Kate and Sawyer have an argument where Sawyer tells Kate she only slept with him because he was a dead man, and that she still loves Jack. They let Karl go because he’s in love with Alex and wants to go back to get her. Jack accompanies Juliet and Ben back to the main island and Kate and Sawyer make their way back to the beach.

-The Others don’t live on the small island, they only go there to work on “projects.”
-the kids and other people they kidnapped are alive and well. And “watching.” But what that means, exactly? Still a mystery.
-Ethan was the Others’ surgeon

-Tom folding the paper plate in half to hand Jack his sandwich
-Sawyer calling Kate “Magellan”
-Karl not knowing what the Brady Bunch is
-Sawyer referring to Alex as Sally Slingshot
-Kate asking Sawyer if she should walk beside him or 10 paces behind. Ooh, SNAP!
-the musical score at the end; it was beautiful, and it was new

Did You Notice?:
-Karl says “God loves you as he loved Jacob,” which is one of the things that flashed on the screen at him
-Tom uses the cliché on Jack of “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” insinuating that the Losties have done things that were as bad as the Others
-the Thai boy who talks to Jack on the beach has various Hindu symbols on his shirt, and one of them looks like the Dharma symbol
-Sawyer bosses Kate around, refusing to let her have a say, which is remarkably similar to the way Jack has always treated her.
-Isabelle looks a lot like Kate’s mom, and has the same smoky voice (it’s not her)
-the two kids with the Tailies are only supposed to be a month older than when we last saw them, but they’ve clearly aged
-Ben tells Jack he has a horrible bedside manner, which is what both Sarah and his father told him
-Jack began stalking Achara in the same way he was following Sarah, being all sneaky and angry. He’s got this menacing glower that comes over him when he’s pissy, and he has it whenever he sees Kate and Sawyer together.
-the mark on Juliet’s back kind of looks like an upside-down Star of Bethlehem

Any Questions?:
-the flashback connected us to the fact Isabel was asking about Jack’s tattoos; that Jack doesn’t appear to fit with anyone – he never fit in with the Losties and now he doesn’t really fit in with the Others – but also because he fell for Achara the same way he fell for Sarah, and then both of them let him down. Now he’s starting to fall for Juliet; will she let him down, too?
-Jack only hits the button twice, whereas Sawyer hit it until he was zapped. What is that indicative of? That he lacks the faith to think if he hits it enough times something will happen? That he gives up too easily? (We know that’s not the case.) That he’s anticipating something bad will happen on a third try?
-Isabelle says that Jack’s tattoo is ironic. Which means that the meaning of the tattoo is the opposite of the wearer, yet the tattoo is fitting, so is she using the word incorrectly, in a “it’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife” kind of way? Or does she know something we don’t?
-why does Cindy constantly look over her shoulder while talking to Jack? Is she looking in the direction of the camera?
-so did Kate sleep with Sawyer out of sympathy? Does her heart lie with Jack?
-if Ethan was the Otherville surgeon, why the hell did they send him out into the field, rather than sending one of the other few dozen Others who lived there? That was a huge risk, and one that didn’t pay off.
-someone with closed-captioning help me here: Bai Ling doesn’t really know how to act, so I can’t understand what she says here: “You are a leader, a great man, but this, this makes you lonely, and __________??? And angry.” Fertent? Verdant? Inadvertent? WHAT?
-why is marking Jack “against her people”? How does the Thai boy see the marks through Jack’s shirt? Why do the other guys beat him up? Did Achara tell them to?
-Tom has always been my favourite Other. Why does he look disappointed when he heard Juliet’s sentence has been commuted?
-what does Juliet’s “mark” represent? Is it like the scarlet A in Hawthorne’s novel?
-when Jack tells Juliet they’re going to work together to make sure they both go home, she looks suddenly shaken and upset, and looks up. Is she putting him on, and she realized she just won, and doesn’t like herself for doing this? Or was it relief?

Nitpicks: Juliet is leaning back against the boat on the way over to the other island. Wouldn’t she be trying to keep OFF the place that just got marked?

Music: Sawyer sings “Show Me the Way to Go Home,” a traditional American folk song:
Show me the way to go home,
I'm tired and I want to go to bed.
I had a little drink about an hour ago,
And it's gone right to my head.
Wherever I may roam,
On land or sea or foam.
You will always hear me singing this song:
Show me the way to go home.


Emily said...

Hey she say's frightened. I thought it was fertent too. I was like what the crap is that? Haha. I had to rewind it over and over and finally put subtitles on.

poppedculture said...

You liked the music interlude at the end? I thought it was a little too Titanic for my tastes, with Jack "I'm the King of the World" Shephard looking wanly off into the distance.

And Jack wouldn't have taken such a beating on the beach if he had pulled the stick out of ass and used it for defence.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on Jacob:

Jacob stole his older brother's inheritance (birthright, includes blessing) and yet God favoured him above his more honest brother. Jacob's sons became the precursors of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Is this a reference to the Losties usurping the Others' place on the Island? Or is this something The Others think about themselves, that they are favoured.

Ben (Benjamin) was one of Jacob's sons.

Anonymous said...

I didn't really like last night's episode. For all the hype that major answers will be given, they basically gave it away in the promos. I'm a big fan of Lost, but they made a mistake doing that promo, because it was anticlimactic. I did like the ending though.

I can understand more and more why the revolt by fans. Promising answers and only getting hints here and there.

The Chapati Kid said...

Why isn't Saiyid Jarrah back yet? He's one of the most interesting Lost characters. And I was so disappointed that Kate had pity sex with Sawyer, because really, how can having sex with Sawyer be a mission of mercy? Finally, did I hear wrong, or did Carl/Karl (Alex's bf) say that the Others live on THIS island? On the same island as our Losties?!

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's clear that it's referring to the Biblical Jacob, father of the 12 sons who create the 12 tribes of Israel in the old-testament. There appears to be some religious symbology, also, in "Lost". I'm not a regular viewer of the show, but I have seen it a few times, and it is interesting--although violent, with the many shootings and killings and suchlike. Still seems to have some quite interesting content in its plotlines, though.