Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lost: Lameo and Juliet

Brief "Lost" spoilers coming right up...

In isolation, "One of Us" was a perfectly okay episode. The flashbacks told us new information, fit seamlessly into the teaser from the season premiere (complete with an explanation for Ben getting kicked out of the book club, still the funniest line of the season), did a good job of explaining Juliet's transformation from the woman she was in Miami to who/what she became, and was in general a good showcase for the versatile Elizabeth Mitchell.

But I'm suffering a severe case of Others Fatigue, which, coupled with Jack being his usual obtuse, gullible self, makes it hard for me to get too enthusiastic that, at its heart, is just another one of Ben's mindgames, even if it brought back Goodwin for five minutes.

Your mileage may have varied.

33 comments:

paul c. said...

Come on, Alan, I was expecting you to get your "Freaks" on for the post title. Every time I saw the show title ("One of Us"), I heard the freaks singing: "gooble, gobble, gooble, gobble . . ."

Dennis Wilson said...

Let me get this straight: You're upset because a character acted in character?

Alan Sepinwall said...

No, I'm just bored by certain characters acting in character. Something can be character appropriate and boring at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Jack is a chump and it's getting old. I laughed out loud when he told Sayid that Juliette was under his protection. I did like that they revealed that she was following Ben's orders to infiltrate the beach, all in the same episode. Finally some details get put out on the table without the excruciating wait for the writers to make up their minds.

BF said...

Gotta disagree. I thought the episode was great and reminded me, if nothing else, of a Heroes episode in the way that it moved.

So we know that the island "cures" cancer thanks to Juliet's sister. That explain's Rose's recovery, but not Locke's. Maybe that's why they took him: for further testing.

And with Sun showing no signs of Island Pregancy sickness (yet), it continues to foster my belief that she was preggos before she made landfall and maybe her old English coach who committed suicide is the daddy.

Although I do wonder ... why was Juliet so rip-roaring-ready to help Ben in his re-infiltration scheme? Did he promise her another way off the island? After 3 years, she's gotta know better.

jim treacher said...

Every episode needs to have Elizabeth Mitchell naked in bed eating ice cream after she just got laid. Ratings problem solved.

How many episodes until we get the flashback about what happened after Ben showed Juliet her sister, which was the sequel to the flashback about the Others watching the plane crash? Maybe a flashback about what Ethan was eating for lunch AT THE VERY SAME MOMENT Juliet was yelling at Ben.

Kristin said...

I thought it was a good one. Loved the look on Sawyer's face when he saw Kate coming back...and how apprehensive he was about what her feelings towards him might be.

And the implant thing was creepy. What kind of implant? Can they use it again? Do Jack and the others who were captured also have one of these things embedded in them?

I still don't understand why Juliet would go along with Ben's plan after what she had been through. When the plane crashed, she was emotionally a wreck about not being able to go home and see her sister. Why would she go along with his plan? What has he promised her? It doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense to me what's compelling her to follow his orders.

Alan, I think the problem with the show is dragging the stories out for so long gives the audience too much time to think through the possibilities. And then, when the writers finally decide to throw us a bone, some of us have already been suspecting it for months. (for example, that Juliet was bad and manipulative all along)

Still waiting for them to deal with the 4-toed statue.

Tom G said...

I must just be as dim as everyone thinks Jack is, because I thought it was a very good episode. We learned a lot about Juliet, which told us a lot about The Others. I tend to think Juliet (maybe another gullible one) has a plan of her own independent from Ben's. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I still have a TON of questions.

1) How did they cure Rachel's cancer? Up until now we've been lead to believe the island has some sort of healing powers. Is it not the island? Did they also secretly inject Rose with something during the night? And what about Locke's ability to walk now?

2) Is the thing that's killing all the pregnant women related to the "disease" that Rousseau said her crew got? Or that Desmond's friend in the hatch was worried about? And what was the "implant" they put in Claire? Did it have some non-sinister purpose or was it only there in case they needed leverage later?

3) Why doesn't Ben want anyone to leave the island? Wouldn't that be the easiest way to save the pregnant women? Or are they already too sick with the mystery disease? He obviously doesn't want anyone to leave though since he won't let Juliet go either and it's pretty much the only explanation for why they wouldn't just be upfront with Jack and Claire about the pregnancy issues and Ben's tumor--because everyone would want to be sent home.

4) Is Juliet going to double-cross Ben (and I'm glad we at least found out about their plan this week and it wasn't dragged out for months)? Does this plan have anything to do with her punishment from the "trial" we saw a few episodes back? Can we even really believe her story about her treating Claire and Ethan improvising the kidnapping? Does Jack really trust Juliet that much? Or is he just keeping his enemies closer?

Anonymous said...

I liked it. We wanted answers and we got some.

Random thoughts:

Does anyone else think Juliet looks younger and somewhat otherworldly on the island compared to her old life in the flashbacks? Her hair is much better on the island (a perm is not her look) and her skin seems smoother and sort of glows.

Also, not sure the island itself cures cancer. Didn't Ben say that Jacob would do it? I wonder if Jacob exists or if Jacob is really Ben.

I liked what Juliet said to Sayid and Sawyer about being all righteous. She was manipulating them for bad purposes but at the same time, everything she said was true.

I also laughed when Jack said Juliet is under his protection. Also laughed at the way Kate looked disgusted and sort of roller her eyes.

BF said...

2. Clancy Brown wasn't afraid of island disease. He was using the "QUARANTINE" scare in order to keep Desmond in the hatch so Desmond wouldn't discover whatever the hell Dharma is hiding from the rest of the world.

Eric said...

I enjoyed the episode, but I'm watching the show with diminished expectations these days.

If I was writing the show, I think I'd kill Jack in the season finale. I think he'd be more interesting dead than alive. Maybe the 815ers would examine why they listened to him, and make some conscious leadership choices.


I'd kill Ben too. What do the Others do without him?

paul c. said...

I enjoyed the episode. It moved the ball on some things, and raised new questions as well. That's the same thing the show has been doing since season 1. And I found it perfectly entertaining.

I also thought the writers were having a little fun with some of the fan complaints. Yes, Jack is unquestioning, and we'll make it clear the other characters (esp. Sayyid) find this annoying too.

I thought Jack's speech to Juliet at the end was hilarious. "They'll have some patience with you for a while, but you better start giving them some answers." That had to have been inserted in response to fan reaction to this season.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't it be true that Calamity Jane's cancer NEVER relapsed? Ben telling Juliette her sister had cancer could be a lie in the first place, so it was no problem showing the picture of her with her kid two and half years later.

That seems more plausible to me.

And while I don't like Jack these days, he did twice say something to the effect of "I'm not protecting/can't protect you forever." He expects answers too. He's just, unfortunately, being nice ignorant Jack instead of screaming ignorant Jack.

lar said...

Here's the question I want answered:

Why didn't Juliet and Kate take showers while they were in the Others' compound? Seriously, they were filthy--they couldn't spare ten minutes in the shower while the guys grabbed some clean clothes and food? Maybe that leftover chicken from Ben's fridge?

That detail really bothered me through the whole episode. It's *possible* that I'm overly invested in this show. But I'm just sayin'.

Cheesesteak said...

Ooh! I just got a happy thought. Once Juliet is shown to be the mole, will that mean Jack won't be the leader anymore? He pretty much staked his reputation on her trustworthiness last night, so when the truth comes out ... could it be Sayid '04?

Anonymous said...

I had the same thought as Cheesesteak. Sawyer seemed pleased but disappointed in Jack's return, as he seemed to like being the new ad hoc leader. He was even doing nice things, but now with the return of Jack, he is relegated to that which he was before.

Couple that with Jack's clear investment in Juliet, and well, maybe Jack will be out of favor once her scheme is revealed.

The only other option is that Jack is vindicated because Juliet is REALLY working with him and not Ben and it's all a ruse to trick Ben. That would seem a bit lame.

Mo Ryan said...

Isn't Jacob now the magic answer for everything?

Jacob, who is surely the owner/operator of the Magic Box?

I must admit, I did like the ep. Elizabeth Mitchell can really do no wrong, and the flashbacks actually were good.

Yeah, Jack's been hit in the head one too many times with the Stupid Stick, but I'm sorta used to that now.

I did like Juliet telling off Sayid and Sawyer, the would-be moral police. Well played, ma'am.

Anonymous said...

Jack is becoming one of the least interesting characters. His moral certitude and lecturing is becoming rather tiresome.

rover said...

Speaking of questions,

5) Was Rousseau pregnant when she arrived? Had she already given birth?

6) Didn't Ben state a couple of episodes ago that he was born on the island? How would that fit with the contention that all pregnant women on the island die during pregnancy? Is it a relatively recent development, or was Ben lying (I am shocked! SHOCKED!)?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Ben allegedly never lies, according to Lindelof and Cuse, though I suppose we have to make an exception for when he's impersonating a dead balloonist. He said he had lived on the island all his life, which isn't exactly the same thing as being born on it.

And I realize that I'm being lukewarm about an episode that does so much of what I usually complain is missing (answers questions, new flashback material, interesting character interaction), but it's like the belated attempt to make people like Ana-Lucia; The Others are just so tainted in my mind by what's already happened that I start zoning out whenever we get too involved in their world.

Anonymous said...

The whole "we'll see you in a week" just ties in to the fact that the season finale is coming up in about 5 more episodes.

I have to say - I too must be as dim as Jack (though not dim enough to ever utter the words "she's udner my protection" - still can't stop laughing!!, and certainly not to Sayid!!) - I LOVED the episode.

TuckPendleton said...

Hey Mo --

I'm also pretty sure Jacob captained that pirate ship onto the island....ARRRRRRRRR!

Christy said...

I certainly liked this episode better than any of the other mostly "other" episodes.

Why did they show us the final scene with Juliet and Ben? Lost never does that. And frankly, I'd prefer to have been speculating about it for a couple more weeks. My bet is that Juliet will cross over to the Losties side and we needed that scene to understand her journey.

Anyone catch that the name of the woman who Ben vehemently insisted choose to get pregnant was Sabine? (h/t:Just Another Pretty Face)

Anonymous said...

I agree this was better than any of the Others episodes. Mostly because it didn't focus exclusively on the Others and because we were actually told some of their motivations.

And I'm SO glad they showed us that scene at the end. I'm tired of them dragging things out. Plus, in this case it wouldn't have been a surprise that Juliet was a plant since the audience already expected that. I'm glad they didn't try to make it into one.

Anonymous said...

I had wondered, and I think someone else posted here last week, about why the gang didn't move to Otherville what with the nice houses and ice cream and all. If Ben's really planning on seeing Juliet in a week, I wonder what her reaction would have been if someone had proposed that.

And I think the funniest line of the night was Juliet's response to Hurley saying he didn't recognize her from when they were first kidnapped: "I had the day off."

ale said...

I think Jack losing face and Sawyer becoming leader of the camp is what the writers are setting up. There's supposed to be a major change that will shakeup up the stream of the show. I read that the season finale will definitely set up a LORD OF THE FLIES scenario, so maybe there will be factions: Locke/The Others, Jack, and Sawyer/Sayid? That would be very interesting.
All in all, last night's episode was great, and I for one am glad to see LOST back in true form.

dotter said...

Elizabeth Mitchell was amazing.

I think she's only helping Ben so that she can get off the island. Jack said it, she wants to get off the island just as much as they do. Only she doesn't care how she gets it done.

Hurley and Juliet sitting on the beach was a great scene.

If Ben was born on the island, does that preclude him from the cancer-curing powers of the island? Does that mean Aaron is at risk? How does the Island's judgment of good and bad coincide with the Others' judgment of good and bad people?

Anonymous said...

I must say, I don't understand all this annoyance/frustration with the Losties not asking the Others questions. Do we not remember that they had Ben in custody, roughed him up quite a bit, and all they got was "Here's my story and I'm sticking to it"? Have the Others ever seemed inclined to care if the Losties know who/what they are? It seems to be more in their interest not to say anything. So now, Sayid "finally" asks the question, only to get the inevitable "I could tell you but then you'd have to kill me" answer. Wow, I feel much better that Sayid asked. I think the reason they haven't bothered asking in the past is because except for Ben, they haven't really had the upper hand in too many situations. When Kate and Sawyer were caged, I did not get the impression the Others were going to spill their guts if asked a question. So why all this obsession with whether or not the Losties ask the questions? We will see over the next few episodes if Juliet is inclined to answer any questions, and why would they trust anything she told them, anyway?

BF said...

Well, the poster child for "not asking questions" was Jack having Ben immobilized on the Operating Table and parlaying that advantage to gain .... absolutely nothing.

BF said...

by the way, any particular reason the picture changed?

Alan Sepinwall said...

by the way, any particular reason the picture changed?

Because when I originally did the post, ABC's media site didn't have any pictures up from the episode, so I snagged a shot from "A Tale of Two Cities." In the afternoon, they finally posted episode-specific shots, so I went with one. ABC in general does this weird thing where they make certain pictures available before an episode airs and more spoiler-y ones only after, so I often find myself changing the "Lost" or "Grey's Anatomy" photo a few hours after I first post.

Dark Tyler said...

You know, it's funny that the show did exactly what they where satirizing in "Expose".

Still, retcon or no retcon, it would be lovely if someone reminded that lovely gal Juliet that poor little panicked Ethan hung Charlie from a fucking treetop.

Plus, you know, that whole Michael-killing-two-innocent-women thing. Little stuff like that.

I would start asking specific question re: the "reveals" but this episode just bored the fuck out of me.