Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lost - Season 3, Episode 16 - "One of Us" Recap/Review

Last week, I ended my review of "Left Behind" with a warning that the Lost writers better redeem themselves after a mediocre episode with a great one. Well, I'm happy to report: They delivered! This week was almost overloaded with the ever-elusive "answers," new mysteries!, deeper character exploration and even some old fashioned, "Oh oh, what's wrong with Claire this week?!" First, the recap!

The episode starts with some wide sweeping shots of the beautiful island. Sayid is leading Juliet, Kate, and Jack through underbrush. They stop at a clearing and even though it looked super bright to me, Sayid says they should make camp for the night. Kate and Jack go off to grab some firewood and make inane conversation while Sayid fixes his best Commando stare at Juliet until finally she says, "Go ahead, ask me." Sayid then lists all his question in quick gunfire-like sentences. Juliet responds with, "If I told you everything I know, you'd kill me."

Flashback! Juliet is in a car with her sister, Rachel. They stop at a guard station where they are greeted by Ethan and Richard Alpert. Juliet is told her sister can go no further. The two sisters hug. Juliet assures her she'll be back in time for her pregnancy.

On the Island, Jack and Kate return. Jack immediately tells Sayid to "leave her alone!" Sayid is calm, as always, saying she'll answer his questions eventually (hint, torture, hint.) Jack is surprisingly agressive. He says she's under his protection. After some dramatic looks, the LOST logo appears.

On the beach, Aaron, Claire's baby, is crying insistently. Charlie - who's kinda getting annoying with his Mr. Mom shtick - stops by Claire's tent and picks up the baby. She tries to wake her up, finally succeeding. They're both surprised she hadn't heard the baby. Claire admits to feeling "off" and Charlie agrees to watch the baby for the morning.

Back in flashback-land (Miami, presumably), Alpert leads Juliet through an empty executive airport. They greet Ethan and he asks to take her vitals. Juliet agrees. Richard Alpert pours a glass of orange juice into a cup and then follows it with powder from a small packet. Juliet asks what's this drink. He says, "It's orange juice with a very large dose of tranquilizer." Juliet is finally concerned about all the shadyness and refuses to drink it. Ethan laughs, "That would be a bad idea."

Juliet says she signed all their non-disclosure agreements and agreed not to tell anyone in her family where she's going, but she has to take a stand somewhere! Richard, sounding a lot like the cool condensing Ben, tells her she has trusted them this far, she needs to continue to trust them and that where they're going is "special." In one big gulp, Juliet drinks the juice. Her eyes go blurry and she passes out...

Only to wake up strapped to a bed. Ethan appears, smiling as usual. He quickly pulls the straps off her and allows her to wake up. She's obviously not on a plane, but a submarine. She walks down the narrow hall. Ethan says, "We're here," and to which Juliet replies, "Here where?" She looks up to see an open porthole. Without any prompting, she walks up a ladder and out into the beautiful clear blue sky of our Island. There, at the dock, she is greeted by Ben who shakes her hand and says, "I look forward to working with you."

After the longest flashback ever, we return to Normal Life on the beach. Charlie, holding Aaron, is telling Hurley how to cook oatmeal while Sawyer walks by and makes some typical jokes. Sun and Jin are preparing fish or doing laundry or something. Suddenly, the humdrum morning is broken by an image coming up the beach. Sawyer sees him first and mumbles, "Son of a bitch."

It's Jack! And Kate! And Sayid! Hugs and lovey-dovey music ensue. Until Sawyer sees... Juliet! She's standing down a small hill with all the regular cast joined together in the camp. Sawyer says, "What's she doing here?"

After a commercial break, Juliet is sitting calmly on the beach. Hurley comes up and sits next to her. He says he doesn't recognize her, from when the Others captured them, shocked them, and put bags over their heads. Juliet jokes, "I had the day off."

The next flashback opens with Juliet in an operating room. Goodwin is working with her on a patient, a woman with a lot of bleeding abdomen. Juliet looks resigned. Finally, Goodwin gives up too. The patient has died.

We next see Juliet on a rocky shore looking out at the water. Ben comes to see her. He tries to console her, saying that woman had chosen to get pregnant and Juliet did the best she could do. Juliet then says, "I think it occurs during conception," which has huge repercussions. Finally, some answers. If the women on the Island cannot get pregnant, we finally have an answer why the Others kidnapped the children from the tail section back in Season 1 and why they experimented on Claire and why they stole Rosseau's baby, Alex.

Juliet then tells Ben that her sister will be giving birth soon and she wants to return. Ben has some terrible news for her, though. Juliet's sister's cancer has returned and she'll die before she gives birth. Juliet is devastated. But Ben says that they can cure her (umm..okay?) IF she stays on the Island and continues her work. Juliet doesn't believe him at first then Ben breaks out the big J word and says something, "If you don't trust me, trust Jacob."

Back on the beach, Jack is hosting a roundtable discussion about Juliet. Most of the crash survivors are not thrilled with an Other being in their midst, but Jack keeps pushing for her. At some point, Claire walks into the crowd and stands next to Charlie. She whispers something about not feeling well and suddenly she collapses. Charlie catches her and then notices blood coming out of her nose and mouth. He screams, "Jack!!"

Jack and Charlie carry Claire back to her tent and lay her down, Jack asking questions all the while. A little farther away, Juliet pulls Kate aside and says she has to talk to Jack immediately. Kate goes over to Claire's tent and pulls Jack aside. Together, they meet with an obviously nervous Juliet.

Juliet says she knows what's wrong with Claire, because she did it to her. She tells them that women on the island can't get pregnant and once the Others found out one of the Flight 815 survivors was pregnant, they undertook a series of tests on Claire, administered by Ethan. Until Hurley figured out Ethan wasn't on the plane and he improvised, kidnapping her and taking her to the Staff Station. Juliet says that was never part of the plan and she only wants to help Claire. She knows where Ethan kept some hidden medical supplies and she begs Jack to let her go get them.

Jack agrees, amazingly, without sending Kate or anyone else along to supervise. Off in the bushes, though, Sayid and Sawyer notice the three of them having a conversation and are intrigued.

Flashback time again! Juliet is in bed with Goodwin. She's ruminating on the fact that she's been on the Island now for three years. She then goes to the living room of her house and attaches some x-rays to a lightbox. The worrylines on her face take on crateresque proportions. She goes to see Ben and shows him the x-rays. She says, "You have a tumor on your spine." Ben is obviously worried and that angers Juliet. "Why are you worried??" she demands. "If you can cure cancer, why are you worried?!" She then asks Ben again if she can leave. When he says no, she starts to cry.

Out in the woods, supposedly next to the caves where Jack had set up a second camp way back in Season 1 (again), Juliet finds a tree marked with the same symbol that was burned into her back after she killed another Other. Near the tree, she pulls out a briefcase from some brush. Before she can open it, though, Sayid and Sawyer emerge to stop her. Juliet urges to open the case, which contains medical supplies just like she said. But the two of them are not convinced. They won't let Juliet go until she lets out some of her secrets and repents for all the bad things she's done. Juliet turns it around and talks about all the bad shit they did before and after they got to the Island. She asks Sayid about Basra (a city in Iraq) and whether Sawyer told his friends that he shot a man in cold blood the night before he boarded Flight 815. Stunned by her knowledge, the two men are silent as she grabs the case and runs back towards the beach.

Next, we see a very familiar sequences of images. Juliet puts on a CD, stares at herself in the mirror, and then participates in a book club meeting. It's scenes from the first episode of the season! We all know what happens next. There's a loud boom and everyone rushes out of their homes in Othersville. They look into the sky to see Oceanic Flight 815 breaking up over the Island. Just like last time, Ben immediately sends Ethan and Goodwin out to infiltrate the groups and report back. "I want lists in three days!" he shouts after them. Ben then looks at Juliet and says he needs to show her something.

He takes her to The Flame, to see Mikhail. They stop a little in front of the house and Ben tries to radio ahead. He curses! "Mikhail never keeps his walkie on." They walk up towards the house, Ben shouting not to shoot them. Mikhail responds with, "Come on already then!" They enter The Flame. Mikhail is sitting in front of a bay of screens, all showing news footage of the disappearance of Flight 815. Ben says he wants full reports on all the passengers. Mikhail responds, "Already working on it." But they have other business today. Ben points at a screen right in the middle which shows a Miami newspaper, dated September 22, 2004. The camera then pans out to show Juliet's sister and a running and jumping baby boy, named Julian. Juliet immediately starts to cry and touch the screen.

"Yesterday, you called me a liar," Ben says. "You can see for yourself I'm not."

At Claire's tent, Juliet comes with the medicine. Charlie is concerned, but Jack says that he trusts Juliet and that should be enough for them. They administer the medicine to Claire. After a quick commercial break, she wakes up looking healthy and smiles at Charlie and Aaron.

Further down the beach, Jack gives Juliet some tarp and rope and points out a spot she can use to set up a tent. Juliet seems grateful. Jack then tells her that sooner or later she's going to have start answering questions. Juliet wonders, though, why she doesn't have to explain herself to Jack. Jack replies that he knew he could trust her when he saw the look in her eye when the submarine exploded. He knows that she wants to get off this island as much as the rest of them and that makes her "one of us."

Later, Juliet is stringing together tarp across her tent while we have a series of quick flashbacks that show her talking/scheming with Ben the night before the Others left their village. Juliet goes over the plan to kidnap Kate with Ben. Ben then mentions that they've activated the implant in Claire and Juliet will have a nice big crisis to solve as soon as she gets to the beach. Ben stands up and says, "I'll see you in a week."

* * *

What a ride that episode was! Juliet is quickly becoming the most interesting character. And we saw quite a bit of Ben this week, whereas he was mostly absent since his surgery. All his dialogue is fascinating. It seems like he's lying all the time, but he actually speaks mostly the plain truth yet mixes in lies to go along with that truth so that you can never get the whole truth. At first, I didn't like him as the villain of the show but after this week, his slick style is, in my opinion, a winner. He's been playing Juliet, and everyone on the Island, since the beginning and he's perfectly capable of dealing with obstacles and disturbances and changing his plans to coincide. The big question now is, Who is Jacob? Ben's father, perhaps? If so, where is he? Is he the one who defeated Dharma and what is his hold on the Others?

Jack continues to play the lovestruck fool. Vaguely reminds me of when he fell for crazy Ana Lucia. Character-wise, it should be very interesting to see how he reacts when Juliet turns on him.

And speaking of Juliet, is she the best liar of them all? Or is she playing both sides? If you recall, she tried to enlist Jack in killing Ben on the operating table. She was then punished. Was it all an act? Is she Ben's most trusted follower or, like Jack, does Ben love her and trust her despite the fact that she's working to destroy him?

All very interesting questions that will keep me guessing till next week. Lots of little asides for the fans thrown in, like seeing Ethan and Goodwin, The Flame (remember I hoped to see it again?), the plane breaking up over Othersville (one of Shawn's favorite scenes) all make for one of the best episodes of the season! Good job Lost writers!

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Blogger Shawn said...

Excellent Recap, Elad!!!!

Seriously this week was great. You made some great points about Ben's lies/truth. I wonder what is really up with him.

And Juliet really is amazing. She plays both sides and you believe her both ways. I have no clue what's going to happen but I can't wait to find out!

April 12, 2007 4:26 PM  
Blogger kovoor36 said...

i finally caught up with last nites episode, this is defly the lost i was missing!! im so excited for the last 5 episodes and finale!!

April 12, 2007 7:37 PM  

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