Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In Defense of Juliet...

A lot of people have come down hard on Juliet for the way she acted in the finale. I’m not talking about detonating a hydrogen bomb (somehow the people who don’t like her seem to have forgiven her for that… oh Lost. How you change us) but for the way she cuts loose from Sawyer and tells him he loves Kate, despite his protestations to the contrary. Some say she’s whiny and needs to stop bitching just because Sawyer might have looked at Kate. Others think she’s emasculated Sawyer because of the way she talks to him like he’s a child. Others, defending her, say she’s jealous because she’s a woman (and that’s not intended in a sexist way, but saying she’s perceptive and not stupid and can see when a man is showing affections to someone else), and maybe she has a right to be so.

I think also the writers have tried to establish a history with Juliet that justified her behavior in the finale. I think I'm the last viewer who actually sees her point. :) But then again, I’ve loved Juliet from the beginning, so maybe I’ve always been able to see things from her point of view.

First, her parents break up. She apparently didn't see it coming, and while I'll admit the idea that your parents divorced and therefore you're doomed (come ON) is a little bit simple, I do know a few people who seem very jaded after watching their parents' marriages dissolve.

Then she has an affair with and marries Edmund Burke. Grade-A asshole. He sleeps with another research assistant and tosses her aside. She knows what it feels like to be the other woman. She leaves and comes to the island, BECOMING the other woman, but as much as she loves Goodwin, she hates thinking that she's actually the other woman (witness her breakdown in front of Harper when Harper confronts her on it). Goodwin is impaled, and she soon finds out that Ben thinks she's his, that he controls her and owns her. She makes a deal with him to leave the island, but is scarred by the experience.

So she comes to the camp, where it seems to be inhabited by Men Who Love Kate. Man #1, Jack, will do anything for Kate, but joins forces with Juliet and they seem to have a thing. But when they go to the Tempest station and she breaks down and tells him about Ben, he kisses her. Later, when Jack is on the operating table, she realizes he loves Kate and was just using Juliet as a pawn. He kissed her, and TOLD HER that he had her back and nothing would come between then. And then, like that, Kate did.

Sawyer pined for Kate for months after she left the island. No doubt in my mind. He stared at the ocean, we SAW the scenes of him going on and on and on about how painful it was for him, and it was. No doubt in the past 3 years he's been able to tell Juliet all about his brief but meaningful relationship with Kate, that they slept together, that he left her in the helicopter and he probably believes she’s with Jack. Eventually he resigns himself to the fact she’s not returning, and takes Juliet, who is, well, there. If Kate had been there, would he have been with Juliet? Probably not. And she knows that.

After three years, they’ve now established themselves, and Kate might be a memory, but she’s the one that got away. He loves Juliet, I truly believe he does, and he’s happy with her. He’s a better man, even if she does tend to talk to him like he’s a child at times, and he’s not the cad he was when he was with Kate. No more sarcastic remarks, and they’ve settled down. Then the Oceanic 3 show up in a Dharma van and Jin calls him and… he lies to Juliet. Doesn’t tell her where he’s going, just says he has to go somewhere. That lie was the beginning of the end. When he returns he tells Juliet, and Juliet’s whole world collapses. It’s the Jack situation all over again, but it’s more devastating because she truly believed she had Sawyer, and that they’d always be together, and she’d been with him for 3 years as opposed to Kate’s 3 months. But now it’s no different than her parents’ marriage, than her marriage, than Goodwin, than Jack. She begins watching for signs.

People can criticize Juliet for being whiny despite Sawyer professing his love, but there’s a reason the cliché “Actions speak louder than words” is so popular: it’s true. You can tell someone you love them until you’re blue in the face. But if you’re making ga-ga eyes at someone else, calling them Freckles (which, face it, is a far more endearing nickname than “Blondie”), looking in her direction when Bernard and Rose talk about true love, and following her everywhere, we know where his heart lies. And Juliet is heartbroken. He can corner her in the jungle and say, I will ALWAYS be with you, I love you, blah blah blah… but she’s right when she says she knows, and that’s why she has to leave. He’s staying with Juliet because maybe even HE doesn’t realize he loves Kate. Juliet is not being whiny or annoying in this scene… she’s a broken woman who’s been let down so many times, and now it’s happening again. (And many fans hate Kate now because of it, but it’s not her fault, either.)

Sawyer might believe, truly believe that Juliet is wrong, but she knows deep down that Kate is the one he loves. I’m not shipping here, I’m simply watching the program in front of me, and I think Juliet has every right to be upset. If she’s pregnant, as some people have speculated, that makes her upset even more heartrending. She certainly hasn’t told Sawyer, if that’s the case, and she’d rather lose the baby inside of her than have to deal with her heart being ripped out the way it has been. So… she detonates the bomb.

IF by detonating the bomb she rewinds the clock and puts things back to where they were, and we zip back to 2004 or 2007 or wherever and we watch some of these characters meet again like they don’t know each other, imagine how heartbreaking that will be for us. Have you seen the Buffy episode, “The Wish”? It’s an alternate universe where Buffy never came to Sunnydale, Willow and Xander are vampires, Oz and Giles are vampire hunters, and when they begin staking and killing each other, not really caring what’s going on, our hearts break. We’ve seen what they were when they were closest friends, so this alternate reality where they aren’t even aware of each other’s existences actually hurts to watch. It could be one direction the show takes next season, and it’ll be tough.


humanebean said...

Damn, Nik! As so often, you get right to the heart of this tangled web and sort it out in telling detail. I am in complete and utter agreement with you on this. And no, the fact that Juliet is the Island's most lovely woman (sorry, Kate worshippers) has NOTHING to do with it.

Okay, I lied. It has EVERYTHING to do with it, obviously, but have always found Juliet to be a fascinatingly complicated character and found her emotions and actions in the finale entirely consistent with all that we've learned about her. She was correct that the new Sawyer WOULD have stayed with her forever ... and perhaps never admitted to himself (or her) that he was still in love with Kate.

This is life, people. Sometimes you're with the one you love, sometimes you love the one you're with .... and if we're lucky, it's both. In the real world (and on the Island) hearts play tricks on minds. I know that if this is all we get of Juliet, I for one will regret it.

Anonymous said...

Great post -- you said everything I've been thinking since the finale.

dan said...

"her parents break up. She apparently didn't see it coming"

Well, she looked to be 8 years old so let's give her sleuthing skills a break. ;)
It's funny but I just realized reading your post that this season made me like a character I couldn't stand in previous seasons. This season, Juliet became a 'real' person instead of "the other woman" - sorry, there was no way to say it without getting the pun in there, so forgive me for appearing clever. Her motivations seem real enough to me and she was no longer "the extra woman who complicates the love triangle to stretch out that plot device for 2 more seasons." :) Meanwhile Kate has gone through the inverse for me. It's a bit like the recent Superman movie where after awhile all I can think is, "but why does he like her (or for Kate, why does everyone like her)? Where's the proof on screen?" Kate seems less and less logical with each season as Juliet has gotten more fleshed out. Maybe season 6 will be kinder to Kate.

Also, WTF are we going to do for seven months?

brodal said...

I'm so glad you wrote this Nikki! It takes a greater person to give up the one he/she loves than to hold onto that person knowing full well he/she isn't fulfilled or happy with you. See, I can't put it into words like you do! But I'm relieved to see I'm not the only one who sees Juliet's actions as something other than being whiny or bitchy. If you truly love somebody, you want their happiness as well as your own, and if their happiness isn't with you, then you have to let it go....and who knows, in the end they may realize it was and come back not because of a sense of committment but because it's what they truly want...Of course, on Lost island, happiness is relative...especially with a hydrogen bomb getting ready to explode!

I just really hope that Juliet will be back next season. There has to be more for her to add to the story...

Emilia said...

I've been thinking ever since the finale that next's year's story line will be "what could have been." For five seasons the show has been exploring these characters: who they are, where they came from, what in their backstory made them the way they are, and most importantly, who are they on the island? It seems to me the only question left unexplored is "Who would these people be had they never crashed on the island in the first place?"

Now, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't really think I can handle an entire season of Jack's medical drama. However, I do like the idea that all our characters were somehow meant to come to the island, and that if Oceanic 815 doesn't crash they'd have to make it to the island some other way (either by Jacob's hand or "destiny"). Either way, we'd get to see our characters' alternate journeys to the island.

Nikki Stafford said...

dan: "her parents break up. She apparently didn't see it coming"

Well, she looked to be 8 years old so let's give her sleuthing skills a break. ;)

Actually, I meant "apparently" in the actual sense of the word, as in, "It is apparent by the look on her face that she didn't see it coming." I think you took it as sarcasm, which is, unfortunately, how that word is too-often used, as in, "APPARENTLY *major eyeroll* the stupid kid didn't see it coming, like COME ON." :-D

So this was no knock on her sleuthing skills, just an observation about the look on her face, and trying to back up my argument about Sawyer. If her parents had been fighting for months or years, even an 8-year-old would pick up on the animosity (and in defense of 8-year-olds, they are wickedly perceptive), but she didn't see it coming at all, so maybe the fighting was behind closed doors, or it was a quiet realization.

So that's why she's extra-alert now, because these things can happen with no build-up, as she's learned.

I'm glad you like Juliet this season! I think I think less of Kate, too, I agree with you, and I don't like that. But then every time we see her in the outside world I like her again. Just not on the island. Why IS that? Weird.

Emilia: I agree that I'm not sure I'd be thrilled by a season of do-overs. There are SO many other mysteries to be solved in that season, I don't think they have time to introduce a brand-new storyline that way. But time will tell!

humanebean, anonymous, brodal: Thank you!

Benny said...

Damn good work putting it all into perspective. Sometimes, we see the characters' stories and, even thought it's poignant, we tend to forget that everything we've seen on them comprise their ENTIRE LIFE and what makes them the person they are right now!

If this kind of work were to be done for everyone (Locke, Jack, Kate, Sawyer) and anyone we've seen many flashbacks, it could certainly help us understand the current behaviour they project.

On a side note, if Juliet were pregnant, is there a chance the island would not let her die?

poggy said...

Thanks for writing this, Nikki - it sums up my view on the subject much better than I could have done! Next time I'll be in a pro Juliet/anti Juliet argument I'm simply linking to this post, lol. But then I'm biased - Juliet is (was? I'm in a place called Denial if you're looking for me) my favorite female character on this show. The main reason I was happy about the Sawyer/Juliet angle (in spite of having rooted for Jack/Juliet in the past) is that it obviously made her happy for the first time in a long while... but I guess that, just like her, deep down I knew that Sawyer/Kate had to happen again at some point. So the events of the finale make perfect sense to me... this doesn't change that it was pretty painful to watch her fall down that shaft :[

Leah said...

Freakin' awesome post and insights. I'm new to Nik at Nite but already loving it!!!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. I agree with all your points and wish all LOST fans get a change to read this.

The Shout said...

Nice post Nikki. I've never disliked Juliet but have always felt she had her own agenda and would most likely betray the Losties at any moment. If you'd been pretty much imprisoned on an island for 3 years, fighting a losing battle to save the pregnant women on The Island, fending off Ben's advances and having any hope of escape dashed, you'd certainly be more than a little cynical.

I think this season, once she is trapped in 70s DHARMA town, with the possibility of escape pretty much nil, that cynicism evaporated, which made it all the more harder when Kate and the others returned, just as she is beginning to think she can have a normal life again, with a man she loves.

Throughout her life,the relationships of those close to her (her parents,her sister,her lovers) have all ended badly,so when Kate turns up, and she sees Sawyer still holds a candle for her, its another in a long line of defeats.

Her relationship with Sawyer, who I think didn't know how much he loved her until he risked losing her, has become one of the most complicated and genuine on the show.

dan said...

Hmm, makes me wonder if all of the others had the same kind of stories where any of them could betray the rest of the group, or is Juliet unique in her "traitorous" ways? Nikki, yeah I did read that as sarcasm. I hope you didn't just badmouth sarcasm because he's a good friend of mine and I'd be forced to tell him if you did (sorry, we go way back me and him).

Nikki Stafford said...

Oh, Dan. I would never, EVER diss sarcasm. He has been an essential part of my life, and I owe him muchly. ;)

Sarcasm said...

Dissing me? That is sooooo nice!

That really makes me feel appreciated, it's not like anyone owes me anything!

B.J. said...

I think that Sawyer and Juliet was actually genuine, too. They have a much more mature relationship than anything involving Jack ever could.

Her detonating the bomb is another one of those lucid, calm moments I love her for, though I could see how detonating it could be more selfish than altruistic. She was going to die; she knew that when she dropped. When she woke up alive at the bottom, she had one chance to get herself out of a fatal predicament: reset history by setting off Jughead. If it works, then hey, a new life without the problem of ever coming to the Island; if not, she was dead anyway.

Anonymous said...

@Nikki: Thank you. Just... thank you.

@humanebeane: So much word.

@Beej: Total agreement with you as well. I think Sawyer did genuinely love Juliet, and that their relationship as depicted was on a par with Desmond/Penny and Sun/Jin in terms of depth and emotional maturity. Here's hoping we haven't seen the last of it, or of Juliet.

B.J. said...

There was a link on about Juliet having a few appearances next season in multiple episodes, but there are no indications of what kind of a part she will play.

Given that she is a major player in "V" on ABC (she will be sticking with the network, which means she will be able to come back for appearances much easier), I bet it will be minor, but still, it is exciting that she will be back at all.

Adi said...

Agree with every word. I've always liked the character of Juliet, ever since her first scene (Downtown), and her actions are understandable, in my opinion.

BTW Nikki, your season 4 book made it all the way to Israel. Looking forward to going to the post office tomorrow morning :-)

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Great points, Nikki! While I have always been rooting for the Kate and Sawyer relationship, I did grow to like Juliet better this year. She became more vulnerable, more likeable to me. I finally started to trust her, too. Never really did before, as I always wondered if she was still possibly "working" for Ben.

I felt sad for her watching Sawyer's feelings for Kate re-surfacing, and I cried when she was being pulled down into the hatch. It was very well acted by Elizabeth Mitchell. It was really poignant when she told Sawyer that she knew he'd stay with her forever if she let him, but that she knew he loved Kate and she hoped the incident would re-set everything, so she wouldn't have to go through the pain of losing him.

All of that being said though, I have an issue that I think it would be okay to discuss here (hope so, anyway!) At the end of season 4 when Sawyer jumped off the helicopter, there was no doubt in my mind that he was doing it because he loved Kate and wanted to make sure she made it home safely. He was thinking about her, and not himself, when he did it ("oh, my lovely Sawyer, how far you've come!" I thought to myself... and boy was I ever relieved when he swam ashore!)

So, I was NOT impressed this season when Cassidy suggested the reason he'd done it was because he was trying to escape and thinking only of himself and trying to avoid being in a committed relationship. I don't like where the writers were going with this. It seemed really out of keeping with the story up until that point to suddenly start implying something very different to what we'd seen. We saw how heartbroken Sawyer was, thinking Kate was gone forever (possibly dead). So I don't believe for one second that he was running away from her by jumping.

I thought it was great how he really came into his own in Dharmaville, gaining respect and getting to lead a more conventional and happy life, but I also think he was totally prepared to try that with Kate. Remember how he hoped she's stay in "New Otherton" with him and how he went through the closets in the Barracks to find some nice clothes for her?

Anyway, that's my two cents. What do y'all think? ;~)

asiancolossus said...

I had serious doubts about Juliet when we first met her with a caged Jack. I thought she was the female counterpart of Ben. And the producers and writers, slimy son of a guns they are made it appear multiple times that she was evil, but in fact she came across as a very sympathetic character. I still believe she is good and she is scarred, just like our other Losties.

I don't know if this theory has come up but if history resets itself and they still somehow crash on the island, I wonder if they will have their knoweledge intact, perhaps from Jacob's special touch, and yet Juliet would not remember anything as she was not touched by Jacob. Wouldn't that be heartbreaking, Sawyer would look for Juliet, she'd be living with the Others like nothing had happened but she wouldn't remember him...sigh...

Anonymous said...

I also started seeing things from Juliet's side and it broke my heart. I do feel that some of it is Kate's fault however....she knew what she ws stepping into and I don't believe she cared.

Batcabbage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

So she comes to the camp, where it seems to be inhabited by Men Who Love Kate.
And that's why she should have gone after Sayid. :) I don't think he knows Kate exists.

I still think Sawyer was feeling vestiges of old emotion when Kate came back, rather than true love. Like when Angel showed up at the end of Buffy season seven...

Jennifer said...

The only problem I've had with the portrayal of Juliet this season is that her love story with Sawyer has dominated her storyline. Other than the first few episodes in the 70s, in which she delivered the baby and helped to save Ben, she hasn't had much to do. The complexity and the calm authority she has always carried was overshadowed by her relationship with Sawyer, which suddenly became her defining characteristic. For a while, it seemed as though the only times we saw her were when people came to visit Sawyer and she happened to open the door.

But one thing I love, and that I felt was very true to Juliet's character, is that the writers never made Juliet and Kate's interactions too catty. Sure, there was tension, but they never seemed to blame each other for the situation. Just as you mentioned, Kate's not to blame for the way Sawyer looks at her, and Juliet is smart and mature enough to realize that. I despise the stereotype that women can't get along because of some inherent jealousy or love of drama, so I really appreciated that. Of course, ABC did their best to capitalize on the stereotype. I remember that the promo for "He's Our You" showed Juliet saying "I'm telling you to stay away" to Kate. I groaned at that, because Juliet is much too grown-up for that kind of silliness. Of course, the episode airs, and she actually says, "I wasn’t sure how to do it [tell Kate about her relationship with Sawyer] without sounding like I was telling you to stay away." Stupid network executives.

But this season did give me perhaps my favorite Juliet moment of the series: When Juliet, after having needed Jack's help to save Ben and being denied, is waiting in the bathroom to confront Jack when he steps out of the shower. The look on her face was amazing. I got a huge grin on my face and thought, "Man, I wish I were that cool."

Nikki Stafford said...

The one thing I have to say about this relationship (I keep most of my feelings about relationships in the comments, and not the main posts, so as to trick the shippers into thinking I don't talk about it) is that when it first happened, I felt there was ZERO chemistry between Juliet and Sawyer, and that this had been shoehorned into the season to create a love triangle that was ridiculous. But it's actually been Juliet's subtle looks at Sawyer throughout the latter half of the season, and his tender looks back at her, and her worry, and pain, that have made me believe in this relationship 100%.

I've often said I couldn't care less if Kate ends up with Jack or Sawyer, but this was one relationship I was sad to see end, if it did. (I still don't believe Juliet is dead, but whatever.) Elizabeth Mitchell had me at "When you're alone and life is making you lonely" and I have loved her character ever since. I believe when Sawyer let go of Juliet and she went down that shaft that his heart was ripped out of his body. It'll be interesting to see if those lingering feelings for Kate are as real now that he's lost Juliet. Will he realize that maybe he did love Juliet more after all?

Nikki Stafford said...

Jennifer: I agree with you about it becoming her defining characteristic, and also that the writers handled it well after all.

And the best part of the shower scene: that she never looks down, like it's not even worth doing so. Ha!

Jennifer said...

redeem147: I completely agree that Sawyer's reactions were based more on the vestiges of his old feelings. Especially after reading Nikki's post, I understand how Juliet's history would cause her to just assume that he loved Kate more. But I do feel like it was a mistake, and that the fairest response would have been to allow Sawyer a reasonable amount of time get his head back on straight. It had to be disorienting for his old world to come crashing into his new one like that. We have to keep in mind, though, that it was just as disorienting for Juliet, so I don't blame her any more than I blame Sawyer for a few absentminded glances.

Nikki: I actually did feel the chemistry right away. I loved how supportive Sawyer was of Juliet in delivering that baby, and that image of them cuddled up asleep made me feel all kinds of mushy.

But you're right--his heart certainly was ripped out when Juliet fell. Sawyer may have looked at Kate when Bernard mentioned the importance of being with the one you love at the end. But when the end seems to be actually coming, Sawyer only has eyes for Juliet. She's the one who gets the nickname, and Kate is just someone who may be able to help him save his Blondie.

Also notice that Kate works just as hard to save Juliet as Sawyer does. Though Kate's storyline has dragged for me a bit, I do like how, other than a doubletake at Sawyer and Juliet's living arrangement, Kate's dependence on men for validation seems to have eased up. She really seems more concerned now about doing right by other women. She developed a very respectful friendship with Sawyer's ex, she let Claire's mother have Aaron, she's dedicated to saving Claire, and she didn't try to sabotage Juliet's relationship with Sawyer. I have a feeling that Kate is going to come back in a major way next season.

Unknown said...

I don't think Sawyer loves Kate, but I think he is obsessed with her. Sometimes when an old flame reappears into your life, you have to sort things out. And Sawyer I think had only 3-4 days to do that in between "LaFleur" and "The Incident" ... Nikki, what did Sawyer's actions tell you in his last two scenes with Juliet? When the chips were down and Jack dropped the bomb, Sawyer's eyes were only on Juliet, not Kate. Had the bomb gone off, her image would have been the last thing he saw. Juliet saw that and smiled. Don't you think then she realized his heart was with her and she had overreacted? And if not then, his refusal to let her go at the very end? That was the most heartbreaking scene I have ever seen on any media.

Nashville Beatle said...

Very good insightful post and I enjoyed reading it. However, I take issue some what that Kate is totally innocent in attracting Sawyer's attention. Just when you think Sawyer and Juliet are going to make it off the Island and their future together is secure, here bops in Kate again. Not uncalculated on Kate's part I imagine. Kate has always done what's best for Kate.

dan said...

I find it a bit strange that people question Juliet smashing the bomb, as well as questioning her motives. All of the losties trapped in the past decide to sacrifice themselves, but the minute the bomb doesn't go off they should give up and go home? I actually wondered as Juliet fell if she would live and set off the bomb herself, then thought "nah, she won't survive THAT fall!" oh well. So Juliet finishes the suicide mission that everyone signed up for, and somehow she is selfish? Her earlier motivations may not be so altruistic, but when Jack drops the bomb everyone is ready and waiting to die. How does a 2 minute delay change anything (except in relation to time and Jacob, who seemed to be protecting the timeline from the future since only after he died did the bomb go off)?

KeepingAwake said...

The big problem I have with Juliet's 180 is that it still doesn't ring true to me. I can make a case for why she was so insecure about Kate's return, sure. But I don't see how that translates into suddenly deciding that detonating the bomb is the best idea since sliced bread.

The reason she gives-to save herself the pain of losing Sawyer-is inherently selfish. That's not Juliet.

Time and time again we've seen Juliet put herself, her safety and her happiness aside in service to someone else. Her only actions that fall on the selfish side are dating someone else's husband.

(BTW, I've always been a Juliet fan.)

Unknown said...

Juliet also didn't take into account what this would do to Sawyer. The Sawyer she knows is 10,000 times a better man than the one that would land in LAX on Sept. 22, 2004. She's much the reason he is a better man. Does she really want him to revert to that?? She did not think through her decision any more than Jack did.

Anonymous said...

Ask any woman who has a successful marriage if she ever talks to her husband like a child. If they're honest - they'll admit they do! (Oh sure, you can be the "cool girlfriend" but a married woman knows that crap only gets you so far). Look how much better Sawyer is after Juliet- he is no longer a piece of crap con-man anymore, not a remote, emotionally unavailable, tedious bastard. Miracle of miracles, he can admit when he is wrong and apologize! Stupid Kate. She doesn't even want him (when Sawyer looks at her during the Rose and Beardnard *credit to Ack* thing - she stares at the ground!)

Ali Bags said...

@Nikki - thank you so much for starting this level headed non-shippy discussion about a Lost relationship!

And the best part of the shower scene: that she never looks down, like it's not even worth doing so. Ha!
Lol! Totally agree with how awesome Elizabeth Mitchell was in this scene. Juliet's had Sawyer for 3 years, why on earth would she look at Jack?

If I was Evangeline Lilly I would be getting mighty frustrated with the character I was having to play.Ok - she has the men making goo goo eyes at her, but other than that........not a lot. There is no longer any reason why these men are so in love with her. Apart from her hair. And that's not really enough to keep love going through plane crashes, gun battles and nuclear bombs exploding.

Juliet on the other hand, is hot AND formidable.

M9 EGO said...

Hi All,
Just wanted to highlight how good the acting is and the writing must be for everyone to be talking so deeply about something I am going to have to say it .....NOT REAL !....its the biggest complimant we as fans can pay the LOST cast & crew. I'm going to be gutted when the show finishes....;-(

Nikki Stafford said...

Anonymous: Ask any woman who has a successful marriage if she ever talks to her husband like a child. If they're honest - they'll admit they do!

LOL! Actually, I wasn't sniping at her for it, just echoing what a lot of people have said, because I am absolutely guilty of this.

"Did you wash the dishes like I asked you? HELLO... I'm talking to you! OK... one... TWO... you don't want to see me get to three..."

Hahahahahahaha! And I'm rewatching the beginning of the season right now and Sawyer's acting like a bit of a buffoon... and a child. There's a reason she occasionally talks to him like one. He puts her in that position.

humanebean said...

EXACTLY. Sawyer often resents and rejects attempts to reason with him, mocking the opposing viewpoint and prolonging the argument at all costs until he wins. Juliet's simple, direct style of presenting clear commands to break this cycle is all too familiar to parents, I'm sure!

theSwan said...

I agree with you Nik, I'm also on Juliet's side. I can understand why some viewers judge her and for that hate her. But, can we all rewind and remember season 1? Before we got to know the cast. We all thought Sawyer was a jerk, but eventually, we saw his true colors. Every character on this show has a dark side at some point in the story-and yet we love them anyway.

flexible said...

@Yorick-Sun and Jin had a relationship where he was an abusive husband and she cheated on him to the point of not knowing who the baby daddy was. Desmond and Pen had her father on their necks and he had dreams and visions and sailed off to an Island because of that. Everyone had their drama. Whats mature and healthy about that? NOTHING but it was REAL. I think, in the effort to downgrade the Skate relationship people over talk the Suliet relationship and try to make it what it is not. In my opinion atleast.

It was a relationship that arose out of circumstances and lack of options. It arose out of shared pain as EM herself said. It was founded on a con. Genuine feelings of trust, loyalty and love did arise but as adults we all know to love is not to be INLOVE. It was safe. Sawyer was content. Its not the emotional rollercoaster and fireworks of Skate. Ofcourse, juliet is a better woman for him....but Love is not about who is better for you. It's about true feelings and you can't legislate for those. If we could all pick who we truly love there would be no heartache on earth.

That bomb was going to reset time. Not kill them. The final look to me looked more like confiriming their loyalty and friendship. I did not expect Sawyer to react any less than he did as Juliet fell to her death. He spent 3 years with that woman and she had more belief in him than anyone ever had. What else was he to do?

It does not change the fact that Sawyer did not deny her accusations. He did not even ask what look. Are we saying he could not have reassured her better than he did? Sawyer did not protest as some have said he did. He simply said "I dont care who I looked at. I am with you". Same with "I made a choice and I am sticking with it". He could have said. The look was nothing. It is you I love. It is you I want to spend the rest of my life with. Don't do this. Not "Y are you doing this?"LOL. She has just told you precisely why she is doing it and you did not deny it.

Everything started to sound like a duty to poor Jules and she made an adult and wise decision to end it. Juliet was standing right infront of Sawyer when Bernard and Rose said what they did. Sawyers heart led his head for just a second. His instinct was to look at Kate. Had he thought for just a minute, he would have looked at Juliet because "he's got her back". Kate looked at no one. Kate looked at no one at the end either. She was already looking at the scene as were Sawyer and Juliet. They turned to look at each other. Jack turned to look at Kate.

Kate has always been ambiguous and remains so which is why I find her complex, flawed, enigmatic and she remains my fav character on the show.

@Alibags-evangeline Lilly loves playing Kate. She gets frustrated sometimes but that is human but she thinks Kate is completely fantastic to play so she does not have those issues you have about Kate and why should she?! Without Kate, lost would be boring to me.

I do not think Sawyers feelings for Kate are vestiges of old feelings. There is nostalgia and there is longing. Any Skate anvil has been geared towards the latter. A couple talking about wanting to be together till the end no matter what happens and then Sawyer looking at Kate is not "vestiges of old feelings". He looked at the person that he shared that sentiment about. There is no other explanation fot it. Looking at Jules would have been easier because she was straight ahead :)

flexible said...

Please forgive all the typos. When I post too much, I think my fingers turn to pigs hooves. The evidence is before you.

Anonymous said...

People keep saying that Juliet made Sawyer a "better man". Really? He's still conning people, been conning the DI for three years now, and in FTL he was ready to abandon all of his friends without a second thought. If anything he's an even bigger liar than he ever was before, and more selfish.

Anyway, nice, insightful article, I'm glad I stumbled across it. :)

flexible said...

Oh, I agree with that Anon. I've been saying she neutered Sawyer. He did not become a "better" man. As far as relationships go he now believes he is deserving of a good one and can be in it. Thats some kind of growth I guess. Everything else about him either remained the same or went to squot.

Oedipus complex. She looked like his mother. Died infront of him like his mother. She was a calming influence and he could not do anything without her permission. She cooked and cleaned for him. The one thing he did without her say so, was hunt the returnees down and then when they arrived, decide without her permission, to bring them in. Other than that it was either "James James" Or, "No James". "Tell him James" I know as women we boss our men around sometimes but this was not bossing James around. This was mommying him and giving him instructions on what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Its the tone used to calm him that used to drive me mad. LOL.

KeepingAwake said...


I don't look at it as Juliet having 'neutered' Sawyer. They trusted each other and believed that the other had their best interests at heart.

You see the balance of it when Sawyer pushed Juliet to deliver Ethan and was the happiest man on the Island when Ethan was delivered safely.

As they both said several times, they had each other's backs.

After a time in a relationship, an emotional shorthand develops. Neither of you bluntly speaks your piece/gives direction unless it's either necessary, welcome, or both. I think with Suliet, it was both. Neither took offense when advised by the other because they trusted one another.

Sometimes I think the wildly divergent opinions about relationships on Lost come down to age and experience. I started thinking this when so many younger fans had no interest in the Jin/Sun marriage, while those of us who are a bit older felt their story to the core. ;)

flexible said...

@keeping awake-I don't understand what age has got to do with it. I can't imagine at any age anyone should understand what was initially an abusive relationship b/w Jin and Sun. Are you saying that the older one gets the more sensible adultery becomes or physical/verbal violence? I don't think so. I was always and still am interested in Jin/Sun and one of my disappointments this season was that they did not get to see each other.

As for Suliet, I respectfully disagree. It's not age. It's the "type" of relationship you like. If you like a "safe" relationship. One of convenience. Built on friendship rather than any deeper feelings, then you would enjoy Suliet. It's like marrying your best friend and I know that is fine sometimes, but most times, its best that you marry who you are inlove with and passionate about and as the years go by, a friendship develops with age. Sawyer and Juliet were like a 75 year old couple.

If you like natural relationships. That come with all the drama of adultery, mistrust, fights, commitment issues and so on but whatever the case, you feel at home when with that person, then you would appreciate the Skate relationship. That's my take on it.

There is no balance. Sawyer encoraged Juliet to birth Ethan. Before that, Juliet spent the whole time flashing period, calming Sawyer down even when there was no need. Stopping him from asking questions. He could not even get angry as a normal reaction. Before he could frown, she would be, "James. James". Then, she forced him to tell Jack about Phil in the cupboard. She outranked him infront of Jack just because he said "come with us freckles". He needed her permission to get off the sub. He was so used to asking her what to do, he needed her permission to go save Jack in the end. Whats worse, after his fight with Jack, all it needed was for Juliet to change her mind, and Sawyer was down with it.

In Sawyers effort to be unlike his parents and not the con man who is unfit to be Clems father or Kates boyfriend, he went to the other side and became a wuss. He had no mind of his own and was on apron strings.

Its almost the same dynamic as the Kate/Jack relationship in the early seasons. Kate hero worshipped Jack so much and believed in him so much that almost everything he did made sense to her and even when it did not, like the Cave or the search for Naomi, she did not really argue the point.

Sawyer and Kate are the only couple out of the messy quadrangle who are as equals. They did not have to be anything or anyone else to be together. Sawyer did not have to be La Fleur and Kate did not have to be Monica.

They just had to be Kate and Sawyer.

Barring Ethan, there is no other time when Sawyer told Juliet to do anything or advised her on anything. He was always the errand boy. Ofcourse a certain shorthand develops in every kind of relationship. If you know someone long enough and are close enough, its only human nature that you understand each other better. THey certainly had each others backs but I do hope that regardless of age, when people speak of their true loves and the person that they are inlove with, feelings are for more passionate and romantic than having each others backs. I have my best friends back as she does mine but when I think of my studmuffin, having of backs is the last thing that comes to mind.

Kate and Sawyer dont have to repeatedly say they have each others backs. They just do. As had been shown through out the seasons as their relationship developed and was also shown in the finale when she shot the man who was about to shoot Sawyer as well as help him from undrer the platform before it broke. They don't have to say it. It's a given. It's not one of their admiteddly, many issues.

Anonymous said...

While Juliet no doubt loved Sawyer, she did tend to cut him down and undermine his authority (the scene where she gives Kate the fence code in a not-so-subtle attempt to get her away from him comes to mind).

He couldn't be the real Sawyer around her, he had to be good little James who must mind his "p"s and "q"s. It was painful to see a formerly self-possessed, confident character reduced to such a state.

In stark contrast to the Sawyer we saw around Juliet, the Sawyer in WHH that helped Kate bring little Ben to the Others was exactly the Sawyer I love to see. Confident, in charge, he knew what he was doing and how to get what he wanted, but at the same time he showed compassion to little Ben and was understanding of Kate's feelings about him and Juliet being together. He was even cracking jokes to help lighten the situation as they were being escorted by the Others to see Richard. THIS, to me, was the real Sawyer, all grown up and matured. Not flower-sniffing LaFleur who lets his girlfriend walk all over him.

Nikki Stafford said...

KeepingAwake: I couldn't have said it better myself. Your comment is something I've been thinking for a very, very long time. Anyone who suggests that a good, solid marriage is based on passion and not friendship, well, isn't married. I'm not saying you can't have both, but a successful marriage starts with a friendship and grows from there. You find passion in friendship.

OK, I've said this before, and apparently using the English language simply ISN'T CLEAR ENOUGH. I will try one last time.

This is a blog post about one character, seen from her point of view. It's not a shipper post, and it's not about any other characters outside of what they have to do with her.

No shipper talk.

I've said it so many times before, usually only directly to one person (you know who you are) and I'm really serious about this. I don't want anyone on here defending Skaters or dissing Suliets or vice versa.

I've had to delete two comments here that seemed to do nothing more than do that. I've never, ever had to delete a comment before that wasn't just spam. So this was a very tough decision, but if I don't stop it now, this will continue to go throughout.

Listen, I said in my post that I think Sawyer is in love with Kate, or at least believes he's in love with Kate. So don't come on here defending the "Skaters" as if I was somehow dissing them, because I wasn't, and neither is anyone else here. I was planning on doing a similar writeup as this one for other characters, but if I do that, now you've made it so I have to stipulate no ship talk. I have thousands of readers, and every single one of them seems to understand my only request, my very simple request: no ship talk. My readers don't seem to be that interested in ship talk. So your long pleas about Skaters is falling on deaf ears over here.

End of lecture. Please don't make me lecture. ;) Seriously, there are SOOOO many other sites out there devoted to Skaters or whatever you want to talk about ship-wise. Please go there. Please.

flexible said...

Sorry, wanted to add this, which I think you would agree with NIKKI :) I read it somewhere and found it so apt.


Nothing could describe the Sawyer/Kate dynamic better than that and show the real difference b/w his realtionship with Juliet and that with Kate which is why I agree with your blog on the matter because I think it identifies that distinction b/w being inlove and generally loving someone.

Maggie Elizabeth said...

You said everything I had been thinking, but in a much more organised fashion.
I'm so glad that you wrote this, because now I can show my follow Lost lovers that I'm not the only one who understands Juliet's decision, as heart breaking as it is.
Juliet is my favourite character EVER, and I'm not exaggerating at all by saying I cried for the next hour after the episode. Elizabeth Mitchell's acting was extraordinary, which made the scene completely and utterly devistating. So when I finally pulled myself together, I went upstairs to go to sleep, and I look on my bed and there is my Lost magazine with Juliet and Sawyer on the cover.
The tears started again.

I think that Kate needs to decide which guy she is going to be with, and just stay with him so that the other one can begin to MOVE ON. She's so fickle.

Nikki Stafford said...

Maggie Elizabeth: Thanks for your comments! I've loved Juliet from the beginning, too.

To be honest, I don't think Kate's the bad guy here, either. My original intention with this blog post was to post this one, immediately followed by an "In Defense of Kate" one. But sadly, there ended up being shipper talk in the comments for this post, and when I asked for them to please stop, they just ramped up. I figured if I get into Kate, it'll just degenerate into something I don't want it to.

But the way I see it is, since she's returned to the island, Kate isn't interested in Jack OR Sawyer. They are both interested in her, and that's not actually her fault. She hasn't done a thing to encourage either one of them; she tried to break free from Jack; she didn't want to return to the island to be in Sawyer's face... she had moved on. She has discovered a love in Aaron she has never felt for another person, and I think she's so emotionally empty right now after leaving Aaron behind that she has no time to deal with the angst that Jack and Sawyer have over her.

That was going to form the basis of my Kate argument. But unfortunately, I thought it was better not to make it. I'll make it in my book instead. :)

The Rush Blog said...

The problem with this is that Kate loves Jack more than she ever loved Sawyer. Even when she was having sex with Sawyer back in late Season 3, she was expressing jealousy over Jack's friendship with Juliet.

Love isn't everything. I don't care if Sawyer did love Kate more than he ever loved Juliet. Love isn't everything. He would have never been happy with Kate and he knew it. Juliet was the only woman who could truly make him happy. Unfortunately for Juliet, she wasn't wise enough to realize this.

The Rush Blog said...

What I find ironic is that in the end, it was Juliet that Sawyer truly loved and he never got over her death. Poor Juliet. Her insecurity really led her to make the wrong choice.