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Lost: A Tale of Two Cities

Juliet: "It doesn't matter who we were. It only matters who we are."

And it's a whole new ball game.

I thought that opening was a flashback at first. The 'burbs? Identical tract houses? I must admit that I was seriously unintrigued by the Others back in season two; the rags and huts and drugs didn't do much for me. But the Others in this setting were a lot more intriguing. That shot of Flight 815 breaking up in mid-air was something. And I loved the continuity of Henry, a.k.a. Ben, giving Goodwin and Ethan their initial assignments.

The Others Book Club was discussing Carrie, Stephen King's first novel, published in 1974. Discussing such an old book implied that they weren't in contact with the outside world. But Juliet had a whole file on Jack's life. How could she possibly get such a thing if the Others weren't in contact with the outside world?

My theory last season was that the Others wanted Jack, Kate, and Sawyer specifically because they were a love triangle, because it was the only thing I could think of that connected the three of them. And now, I'm starting to think I was right, since Henry Ben asked Kate about mentioning Sawyer before Jack. If Kate had said Jack's name first, would they have put her in a cell across from Jack instead?


So Jack was in an observation chamber... under water. His imprisonment and questioning by new cast member Juliet appeared to be very personal. She could have left him food and water while he was unconscious, but she didn't. She wanted him to submit to her. The flashbacks showed us a whole new and negative side of Jack as a stalker ex-husband, contending their divorce, jealous of Sarah's possible relationship with Christian to the point of losing it at an AA meeting, and even getting arrested for it. What more don't we know about Jack?

Planet of the Apes has always been an old sci-fi favorite of mine, and the whole thing with the separated gorilla (okay, bear) cages felt like Sawyer as Charlton Heston and Kate as Nova. If my analogy holds water, they'll either mate them (I'd love to see that) or try to manipulate Sawyer with Kate. They already manipulated Sawyer into providing food for her. Were the shower and the dress intended to make Kate more attractive to Sawyer? (Like that would make a difference.) But seriously. Why a shower and pretty clothes just for her, if not to make her more attractive? Henry Ben mentioned feeling civilized before things got unpleasant. Are they trying to make Jack and Sawyer revert to the primitive? Will they set them against each other?



Character bits:

Several new cast members: Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Michael Emerson (Henry Ben), Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet), Kiele Sanchez (?) and Rodrigo Santoro (?). Harold Perrineau was out, as I expected. That makes a cast of sixteen.

Jack told Juliet that he was a repo man. Interesting choice. What does that say about Jack, particularly in this relationship with Sarah?

Jack went to Columbia, and graduated a year early.

Juliet had a copy of Christian's autopsy report. How did Christian die? We still don't know, do we? I think Jack knows, though.

Last season, Christian named Ana Lucia "Sarah," so we knew Christian had a thing for Jack's wife. But Sarah said that Christian was communicating with her only in an attempt to help Jack. Time will tell, I guess. I can't imagine any woman preferring Christian (alcoholic) to Jack (dedicated fixer of others), unless she was self-destructive. Of course, stalking is bad, too.



In the office scene, Christian said, "Let it go, Jack." A minute later, Jack heard the same thing over the intercom. Juliet said the intercom hadn't worked in years.

Juliet said Carrie was her favorite book.

Sawyer called Carl in the next cage "Chachi." Is Carl an Other or a prisoner? Where did he come from?

Henry Ben and Juliet appear to have a troubled relationship. Were they married? Involved? Just squabbling for power?

Christian was attending AA meetings in the Lynford hotel.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is about the insanity of the French Revolution, and one man sacrificing his life to save another man who looked like him, for the sake of the woman they both loved. Dickens is Desmond's favorite author. And hey, twins again.

Bits and pieces:

— The episode began with a shot of Juliet's left (blue) eye. And she did what Desmond did in last season's opener: she put on music, a CD with the title, "Speaking in Tongues." Except the song was "Downtown." There is no downtown on the Island. Note the contrast of the old song on a modern CD.


— Our new Dharma symbol on both the underwater bunker and the above ground facilities near the cages was the Hydra, the nine-headed monster from Greek mythology. Juliet said the Dharma Initiative was a long time ago, implying that the Others are not members of the Dharma Initiative.

— Juliet confirmed that there were sharks and dolphins. That explained the shark with the Dharma logo on its fin.

Carrie, as nearly everyone knows, is about a teenager with strong telekinetic abilities who destroys her entire town, prom first. (In the movie, it was just the prom.) I think the key word here is "telekinetic." Remember Walt's "special abilities."

— What was with the blood tests? Did the three of them just get infected with whatever the quarantine and vaccine were all about? Juliet said, "The drugs we gave you when we brought you here have serious side effects, including dehydration." Did she mean the drugs in the darts?

— "Wear this" reminded me of "Eat this" in Alice in Wonderland. Why did Kate get a special breakfast (that she didn't eat) with Henry Ben? I think he was just trying to get info from her about whether she preferred Jack or Sawyer. And how did she get hurt between the beach and the cage? Attempting escape from Zeke?


— Last season a death button, this season a death door. Except Jack and Juliet didn't die. Although it does appear that Henry Ben will sacrifice his people at the drop of a hat.

— We finally got a good look at the tattoo under Matthew Fox's arm.

— There were lockers and group showers. Do the Others have a community center?

Quotes:

Juliet said, "It doesn't matter who we were. It only matters who we are." This was a lot like what Sarah said to Jack in the final flashback: "It doesn't matter who he is. It just matters who you're not."

Zeke: "Only took the bears two hours."
Sawyer: "How many of them were there?"
Had to be polar bears.

Jack: "Is she happy?"
Juliet: "Yes, Jack. She's very happy."
She is? And was that the guy in that final scene?

Three out of four polar bears,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

4 comments:

ChrisB said...

The producers of Lost certainly like to open their seasons with a head scratcher. It wasn’t until I saw Ben that I understood what was happening. The whole book club in the suburbs thing certainly ramps up the Others’ story.

So, we now have another woman lead. Does this mean that our triangle is going to evolve into two couples? I kind of hope not; the triangle is fun to watch. Having said that, it certainly feels as though they are setting up Juliet/Jack to work together and Kate/Sawyer to work together.

What also struck me in this episode is that Jack appeared to be nearly off the rails, both in the cell and in the flashbacks. The intensity of the stalking was unnerving and I was surprised at easily he threatened Juliet’s life. All of which made his capitulation at the end that much more sad. I truly hope Sarah is happy, but I think Juliet was only telling him what he wanted to hear.

Sawyer, on the other hand, was kicking some ass. Trying to escape, finally working out how to get the biscuit and the water and taking care of Kate. What a role reversal for our two main guys...

Josie Kafka said...

Argh, the cages! Season Three is the season I like least and have watched least. I might have only seen it once except for a few key episodes.

Note to future re-watchers: you can pretty much skip most of the flashbacks and it all moves much more quickly. First-timers should probably watch them, though. Just remember that it gets better soon.

celticmarc said...

On the plus side, after seeing that crash montage on the web, the teaser of this ep is great, A beautiful parallel between Juliet and Desmond, one underground, the other above. Cd player vs vinyl records.

On the negative side though, now I understand Josie's comment. Watching these experiment will be painful. (and, I won't fast (flash ?) forward)

I really love how Sawyer says SOB !

"Let it go, Jack. Ya man, LET IT GO SOB.

I guess Ben-Henry is getting his revenge after in own stay in the hatch, huh ?

*"Good work Juliet ! Thank you Ben."

alexandra said...

Amazing opening with Juliet and the book's club:great acting.
Jack and his divorce:he can't let go,he can't fail,he can't lose control,he has to fix.
Ben and his tactics:he scares Kate with the handcuffs,he distances her from Jack and draws close her to Sawyer.
The underwater acquarius is a set disturbing and claustrophobic,the bear cages look more confortable.
Our love triangle in captivity,not one of the best plots at all.