"Lost" spoilers coming up just as soon as I thank Kate for giving that shout-out to "Lost" fandom at large...
You know what I love? Puzzle movies and TV shows where a revelation towards the end changes the way you viewed everything that happened before, but which makes sense in the context of what everyone did. You know what I hate? Puzzles where the big revelation doesn't make a damn bit of sense if you think about it for even a second, and Juliet's entire one-act play with Kate was definitely one of those.
Maybe she's telling the truth about being left behind and feeling betrayed and wanting desperately to bond with Kate, or maybe Ben deliberately left her behind to place a spy in the Lostaways camp. Doesn't matter. Under what circumstance is her whole recreation of "The Defiant Ones" by way of a "Dynasty" mud catfight supposed to accomplish her goal of getting closer to Kate and the others? She has a handcuff key. She knows where Jack and Sayid are. She's seen the damn monster before and knows that the sonic wall will repel it. Why play dumb when there's no upside to it, not when the truth is going to have to come out eventually, not when Kate and Sayid and the people back on the beach are already going to be disinclined to trust her? What's the value in pretending you've never encountered the monster before when you're going to hide behind your defenses a few minutes later, especially when you can probably gain far more street cred with Kate by saying upfront, "We don't know what that thing is, but we know it won't go past our wall, so let's run for it"?
Again, this gets back to Ben's whole convoluted scheme to trick Jack into performing surgery on him, when all he had to do way back when was not send his people to kidnap, kill, torture and otherwise mess with the Lostaways, and instead just show up on the beach and ask for Jack's help? When I presented the "Can you help a brother out?" scenario back at press tour, Lindelof laughed and said that, with all due respect, my version wouldn't be nearly as compelling. And I know I'm not a TV writer, but if the only rationale for a character's behavior is "Because then there wouldn't be a show," something's not working right, you know?
So, more pointless mind games in the A-story, a relatively wheel-spinning flashback (albeit one that gives Kim Dickens a paycheck, and I'm always on board with that) and an amusing beach subplot that fails to ask an obvious question: Why isn't Hurley the leader in Jack's absence? Everybody likes and trusts the guy, he understands their physical and emotional needs better than anyone else, and he's been in the loop enough on the hatch and The Others and all that wackiness that he can make informed decisions about everyone's safety. Is it just because he doesn't have a washboard stomach like Jack and Sawyer?
It's kind of a moot point, since Jack's on his way back to the beach, but I think the show could have gotten some interesting mileage out of showing what life under Hurley's common sense, selfless leadership would be like.
What did everybody else think?