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Juliet Finds Herself the Other Woman on "Lost"

While there may not have been any constants, time travel (subconscious or otherwise), or shocking endings, last night's episode of Lost ("The Other Woman") still managed to fill in some of the blanks to Juliet's backstory and offer some hints as to the future direction of this season.

While I was secretly hoping that the opening scene--in which Juliet was forced to unload to recalcitrant therapist Harper (Rescue Me's Andrea Roth)--was actually a flash-forward, I had a sinking feeling that Juliet wouldn't be one of the castaways to make it off the island... though if Ben truly thought she belonged to him, wouldn't he have done everything in his power to take her with him? Curious.

Goodwin. Thanks to some flashbacks and judicious editing of the flight crash, we're finally able to piece together certain aspects of Juliet's relationship with Goodwin. They meet cute over a chemical burn as Juliet badmouths her therapist and unknowningly insults his icy wife Harper. They quickly fall into an affair, with Juliet cast in the role of the other woman, jaunting off for beachside picnics (complete with wine swiped from the sub) while she continues her therapy with Harper. (Really, the Others couldn't have found a more, er, compassionate therapist?) Still, Harper was right about one thing: Ben does not like Juliet's relationship with Goodwin and does his best to destroy their relationship, sending Goodwin on a mission to infiltrate the tail section, from which he doesn't return. (Thanks, Ana-Lucia!)

Still, we know now why Juliet was willing to have Jack kill Ben on the operating table (he caused the death of her lover), but why was she now willing to listen to his commands to kill Charlotte and Faraday? Does she still secretly work for Ben or feel some allegiance to him, despite everything that has happened?

Harper. While this is the first time we've met Harper, she turns up in the present-day island timeline in the middle of the jungle, with a message from Ben for Juliet: she needs to stop Daniel Faraday and Charlotte from achieving their mission, even if it means killing both of them. I am not totally convinced that this was actually Harper. For one, her arrival was presaged by the mysterious whispers in the jungle; second, she had information about Ben and about Faraday and Charlotte's whereabouts that did not seem to be public knowledge; third, she disappeared just as quickly as she turned up, among another set of whispering voices. So was it Harper? Or a manifestation of the monster? I'm not totally sure. Juliet didn't seem shocked to see Harper alive but then again Jack DID see her standing there, so she could be more of the flesh and blood variety than ghost. Hmmm.

And her claim that Ben was right where he wanted to be deftly echoed Miles' comment earlier. So what is Ben's gameplan? Where does he want Locke on the board and what will his next move be? Fortunately, he won't be flooding the island with gas again.

The Tempest. Charlotte and Faraday, meanwhile, sneak off from the beach to perform a mission that they claim will save the lives of everyone on the island. (Interesting how their rhetoric seems 100 percent at odds with Ben's.) Armed with a hand-drawn map of the island, they make their way to another Dharma Station, The Tempest (whose logo appears to be a wave and a drop of rain), which they claim is a power station/toxic gas release center. (Or is it more like the US government's TEMPEST?) Pausing to attack Kate after she tries to prevent them from reaching their goal, they reach the Tempest.

This finally explains just how Ben was able to kill off the entire Dharma Initiative in one fell swoop, using the station to release a deadly gas that killed everyone on the island during the Purge. Was this the reason the hatch in the Swan read Quarantine and Kelvin used a gas mask when he left the station to walk about the island (or pretended to, anyway)? And how does that incident fit in with Rousseau's arrival on the island? And Kelvin's?

Lost Literary Allusion of the Week: William Shakespeare's "The Tempest," about a sorcerer and his daughter who are stranded on a mysterious island. The sorcerer raises a tempest which causes a nearby ship with his enemies to run aground. (Like the freighter? Or, ahem, like the Black Rock?) Using every means at his disposal--including magic, ghosts, and a creature named Caliban--the sorcerer is able to manipulate the survivors of the crash. So does that make Ben Prospero?

Charlotte Staples Lewis. She's far deadlier than she initially appears in "Confirmed Dead," or consciously tries to appear much friendlier to Locke's group. Still, she's obviously not above violence in order to achieve her goals, even if this time, it does seem as though she were trying to protect the castways... or whoever is due to arrive on the island. Speaking of which...

Charles Widmore. Finally! It's about time that we learned just who Ben is fighting against and who hired Abaddon to put together a team of operatives for this mission. It makes sense that it's Widmore who has been pulling the strings all along. He's obsessively searching for the island and is willing to spend millions in pursuit of this end. He's also willing to get his hands dirty, as evidenced by the secret "Red Sox" video that Ben shows Locke.

So does Widmore know that Desmond is on the island? Is that why Naomi had a photo of him and Penny? Was it coincidence that it was aboard the ship, was it a convenient cover story, or are they also attempting to locate Desmond for Widmore? Penny must be attempting to work around her father, conducting research that would lead her to the island. But how she knows about the island, its unique properties, or that Desmond is somehow there is still shrouded in mystery. Something tells me this mystery is just going to deepen over time.

Locke. I love how easily Ben can play Locke, though in this case, he doesn't actually provide Locke with some actual information about his nemesis, Charles Widmore, and a good analogy about the island, alluding to an incident involving the face of the Virgin Mary appearing on the side of a building in Florida. If that could draw 5000 pilgrims, just imagine what would happen to the island. It's true but seems a little too altruistic for Ben, if you ask me.

Still, it's telling that Ben is willing to show Locke the video of Charles Widmore that he's concealed in his living room. (Was the killing after the Red Sox's victory? Is that why it was taped over?) Even if it was a calculated ploy to earn his freedom. But the clincher had got to be Ben's admission of who his "man on the boat" was, a fact that Locke would have to sit down for. Which leaves only one possibility: it's Michael! I kind of wish we got the reveal at the end of this episode, as it's so bloody obvious that it's got to be Michael, especially from the scenes for next week's episode, in which Sayid learns the identity of their secret helper.

So did Michael and Walt ever get off the island? Was having them aboard the freighter part of Ben's plan all along? How long has Ben known about the freighter's existence? And why would Michael willingly work for a man who held him and his son captive? (Come to think of it, why would Sayid work for him in the future?)

Loved Hurley and Sawyer's reactions to seeing Ben walk out of his house, his laundry neatly folded, as he tells them he'll see them at dinner. Awesome. And Hurley's good at horseshoes? Lucky for him...

I can't believe we've only got two episodes left before Lost takes a little hiatus but, based on the episodes that have aired to date, I know that we are in for a thrill ride in these next two weeks.

Next week on Lost ("Jin Yeon"), Juliet tells Jin that Sun will need to leave the island in the next three weeks if she wants to live; Sun threatens to move to Locke's camp; Sayid gets a message from their "friend" aboard the boat not to trust the captain; Desmond and Sayid come face to face with the freighter's mysterious captain. I can't wait!

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Price is Right (CBS); Amnesia (NBC); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); Bones

9 pm: Ghost Whisperer (CBS); Dateline (NBC; 9-11 pm); Desperate Housewives (ABC);
House (FOX)

10 pm: NUMB3RS (CBS);
20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8-11 pm: BBC America.

If you happen to be staying in after a long work week, why not do it in true Anglophile style with back-to-back episodes of Coupling and new sketch comedy series That Mitchell and Webb Look, from the stars of Peep Show?


rockauteur said…
I think Juliet helped Ben out in this episode - because like everyone else - he manipulated her yet again... No matter what happens, everyone seems to fall victim to his machinations, no matter what dastardly deed her has done. In this episode, Juliet and Locke...

Another great episode and can't wait for the Michael reveal next week - just wish they kept his name out of the credits until then. Oh well. Haha. The Tempest station was cool - interesting that Ben actually used a station to do his deed - I didn't think just throwing some gas would be that effective so that makes more sense... But why didn't it go into the Hatch?

I wonder if Charles knows Penny is looking for Desmond... Thats the most intriguing part of that...
The CineManiac said…
So everyone thinks it's Michael, which kind of leads me to believe that the "friend" is someone else.
I know it will likely be him, but since everyone knows he's returning this season, and since it seems so obvious, I feel like maybe they'll throw us for a loop next week and it will be someone completely different, but clearly someone Locke knows
rockauteur said…
I was also happy to see Goodwin back... Just last week i thought to myself - I miss Goodwin and Tom and I hope they show up flashbacks soon... and sure enough they did... loved how they connected juliet's past on the island more to the tail section crash... keep giving us more layers guys.. its like an onion!
Unknown said…
1) of course the man on the boat is MICHAEL!
2) your best line today, "they meet cute over a chemical burn". LOVE IT!
I was also happy to see Goodwin and Tom. It was nice to get some of Goodwin's back story and I miss Tom's shenanigans and disguises. He's like the ultimate Scooby Doo villain.

As for Harper, she seemed a little forced into the plot but I'm hoping that more will unfold to her story that will explain things.

And I also loved the "They meet cute over a chemical burn." Something that would only happen on Lost!
Anonymous said…
I can't quite figure it out, but I love Daniel Faraday more and more with each episode I watch.
Anonymous said…
Beccah, I am right there with you. I can't help but fall in love with poor Daniel Faraday.

As for Juliet do you think she does go after Daniel and Charlotte because Ben asked?
Jace Lacob said…
Annie, I think it had something to do with her underlying guilt towards Harper and Goodwin's death. There's a reason it was Harper who appeared to Juliet with this "mission." If Ben was the one who sent her, there's a reason he's known on the island as a master of manipulation.
Jace Lacob said…
Justin, if there was a quarantine in effect at the Swan, maybe the gas couldn't permeate inside the station? We don't know for sure that the gas flooded the underground facilities; it may have just been above ground, after all.

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