In tonight’s episode, we get a closer look at Juliet and her history on the island.
As usual, there are spoilers below for anyone who has not seen the episode. Everyone else, click on through and join the discussion in the comments.
Links and miscellanea
- This week’s official podcast featured quite a bit of substance from Cuse and Lindelof. Here are some highlights:
- Last week’s episode, “The Constant,” should be understood as Desmond’s past consciousness traveling into the future. That’s odd. I hadn’t thought of it that way.
- According to Cuse and Lindelof, none of the time travel that occurs on the show should be interpreted as changing the past, present or future. Thus, the flashforwards are what will happen—there are no alternate futures in play.
- For a primer on the time travel paradigm, go back and review Ms. Hawkings words to Desmond in the episode “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” Short version: “The universe, unfortunately, has a way of course correcting.” The idea of destiny will come into play again soon.
- By the end of episode 7, we will know for certain who each of the Oceanic 6 are.
- By the end of episode 8, we will know exactly where the Others have gone.
- Certain places in the world have a special connection to the island. Medenine, Tunisia is one. Ayers Rock in Australia is another. (I’m guessing that Madagascar, or someplace near it, is also one.)
- Faraday’s difficulty with memory is a condition that preexisted his arrival on the island.
- We will see something to do with the Orchid Station and time travel experiments on the show.
- This Q&A with Cuse and Lindelof at TV Guide is worth checking out. In it, the cast members ask their burning questions (and few of them are answered directly).
- Here’s a very amusing video montage of Sawyer’s nicknames, with commentary from the Onion’s AV Club.
- Elizabeth Mitchell says in this interview that she hopes Juliet won’t die. That’s understandable. I’ve come around on Juliet. At the moment, I like her a lot. I’ve always thought she was a great character, but now I don’t think she’s as evil as I once did.
- Terry O’Quinn took some time to talk to a class of college theater students this week. Apparently, his brother is a visiting professor at the school. That would have to be a thrill for the students.
- Matthew Fox says that he won’t do any more TV after LOST.
Observations and speculations
- LOST’s writers love the fake-out beginning. Here, we were being lead to believe that Juliet was one of the Oceanic 6, which would have taken some explaining, since she wasn’t on the flight. Instead, we are introduced to Harper Stanhope, island therapist and certified bitch. The disambiguation page at Wikipedia has lots of listings for “Stanhope.” Take your pick. Apparently, it’s a common name among British nobility.
- Harper is played by Andrea Roth, a veteran TV actress whose credits include a guest starring role on a Carlton Cuse-penned episode of Nash Bridges.
- I enjoyed seeing Tom again, this time with a mustache rather than a fake beard.
- Nothing good ever happens when it’s raining in the jungle. I fully expected someone to get shot.
- Just before Harper visits, Juliet hears (according to the close captions) “ghostly whispers.” So the whispers are associated with the Others. (Or, I guess, Harper’s a ghost.) This is not really a new revelation. The tailies heard the whispers when the Others came and snatched Cyndy, the flight attendant, for example.
- Harper’s appearance raises a lot of frustrating questions. How did Ben communicate with her while being held prisoner by Locke? How did Harper know how to find Juliet? How did she appear and disappear without being noticed? Was she actually there physically, or just appearing from some other location? (The whispers are also associated with Creepy Walt’s appearances in season 2, so I think this last one is worth asking.)
- The power station/chemical weapons facility is called “The Tempest.” This seems to be a Shakespeare reference. Naturally, The Tempest involves characters stranded on an island. I’ll let someone else draw analogies to the characters of Shakespeare’s play (chiefly, Prospero, Caliban, and Miranda) and the cast of LOST.
- Goodwin was tasked by Ben to develop the island’s chemical weapons system. He lies to Juliet about his injury, claiming that it happened when he pressed his arm up against a transformer.
- Nice line of dialogue: “It’s very stressful being an Other, Jack.” Juliet, of course, is the eponymous “Other Woman” of the episode’s title—several times over. She’s an Other, but she’s also the Other woman in at least three separate love triangles: Juliet, Harper and Goodwin; Juliet, Ben and Goodwin; and Juliet, Jack and Kate.
- Juliet says definitely that the problem with pregnant women only happens to women who conceive on the island. Thus, the paternity of Sun’s baby might determine whether she lives or dies.
- Harper comments to Juliet during one of her sessions that Ben has been good to Juliet because “you look just like her.” The implication (or maybe just my supposition) is that Ben has a former lover who is no longer around—perhaps a pregnant partner who died. This could be Annie, who we learned last season (episode 3.20, “The Man Behind the Curtain”) was Ben’s childhood sweetheart and only true love.
- Poor Miles. He’s probably hanging somewhere with a grenade in his mouth while Locke and Claire debate the relative merits of alternative means of interrogation.
- Ben’s power play when he sees Oceanic 815 go down is very reminiscent of David ordering that Bath-Sheba‘s husband, Uriah, be abandoned to die at the hands of his enemies so that he could have Bath-Sheba for himself. Except of course that Juliet is not Goodwin’s wife, and as far as we know, Ben had not slept with Juliet at this point. (Hey, the analogy’s not a perfect one.) It’s generally considered to be King David’s greatest failing.
- It’s strange that the Others don’t use DVDs. They seem to be committed to VHS technology.
- The combination to Ben’s wall safe (36-15-28) was also a clue in the Find 815 ARG. It refers to latitude coordinates for Tunisia. (Given Ben’s lechery in this episode, it could also be exaggerated female measurements.)
- Now we know (at least according to Ben) that Charles Widmore is, in fact, behind the freighter. So it’s not Penny’s boat, but it is Penny’s dad’s boat. Interesting. Ben surmises that Widmore is seeking to exploit the island’s powers. This may just be a ploy to appeal to Locke’s obvious sense of protectiveness towrad the island, but it may also be genuine. Penny knows about the island, but she apparently does not know that her father’s freighter is parked off the island’s coast.
- Somehow, it’s a bit disorienting to see Ben, the master manipulator, resorting to the old, “come on over for a dinner party—for two!” ploy.
- Juliet has been taking care of Zack and Emma, the children snatched from by the Others from the tail section, the ones that Ana Lucia felt responsible for.
- Ben tells Juliet, “Who are we to question who’s on the list and who’s not?” That would be the list that Jacob ostensibly made for Ben—”Jacob’s list”—not the list that Goodwin made.
- I’m still not sure what I think of the freighter people. Faraday and Charlotte disabled the island’s chemical weapons. Taken alone, this seems to be a good thing (Juliet goes so far as to say they are on “our side”), but it could also be a prelude to an assault on the island. It also puts an interesting spin on Ben’s promise to Jack that if the freighter people are allowed onto the island, everyone on the island will die. Ben might have been thinking that he would kill everyone on the island with the chemical weapon he had constructed rather than relinquish control of the island to invaders.
- Ben raises his game to a whole new level of creepiness when he tells Juliet that she belongs to him.
- Could Jack’s future desire to return to the island be a result of leaving Juliet behind? I’m just asking.
- Sawyer should not challenge Hurley to games of hand and eye coordination. Did he learn nothing from ping pong?
- I can’t help but think that Locke’s horribly over matched by Ben. Why is it that he doesn’t trust Ben’s word (smart move), but feels obligated to keep his word to Ben (dumb move)? Yet again, Locke is being played.
- By the way, right now I’d put the odds at about 2:1 that Michael is Ben’s man on the boat. I hate it when the shocking twist is something that the fans guessed a long time ago (see, e.g., Jack’s half-sister Claire, and Locke’s Dad, the Real Sawyer).
I enjoyed this episode. The flashbacks offered a nice recap of the Others’ chronology. It wasn’t as good as last week’s episode, but it was up to the high standards that this season has created.