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Girl Power: Kate and Juliet Struggle with Being Left Behind on "Lost"

I am convinced more than ever now that Lost is truly on a roll again, having found its third season groove that not only propels the plot (and the characters' backstories) forward bit by bit but also reminds me of the setup and tension of Season One. And that, my friends, is a Very Good Thing.

On last night's episode of Lost ("Left Behind"), there were several moments that had me sit up an cheer (and a couple that had me scared out of my wits), which is truly the sign of a great Lost installment. And while it might have been Kate's flashback this week, the episode advanced the stories of not just Kate, but Locke, Sawyer, Juliet, and Jack. And we learned that the Others--or Juliet anyway--don't know any more about the monster/security system that the Losties do. Curious.

Locke. Where to begin? Following the events of "The Man From Tallahassee," Locke seems to have clearly joined up with the Others now, or at least he's gone to great lengths to make it seem that way. (Hell, if your dad, responsible for trying to kill you, turned up at the isolated mystery island you were stranded on, you'd probably do something crazy too.) I was shocked that the Others told Locke exactly what Kate had done (the whole killing her lousy stepdad thing) and that they allowed him to say goodbye before they all seemingly disappeared into the ether. (But what exactly happened to his hand?) Where did the Others go all of the sudden? Why leave the village?

Whatever the reason, every single man, woman, and child living in the Barracks is suddenly gone. Jack and Sayid are gassed and left to their own devices within the commune; Kate and Juliet are dumped in the jungle and left to fend for themselves. But why exactly? Leave it to the cunning Juliet to handcuff herself to Kate (remember those cuffs, Katie?) so that Kate couldn't take off and leave her behind (definitely the theme of the evening). So the two begin a trek back to the Barracks to find Jack (though Juliet tells Kate exactly why Jack told her not to come back from him), winding their way through the jungle. Did I mention how Juliet taking down Kate at the beginning of the episode was a thing of absolute beauty? 'Cause it really was. I thought it was a blast seeing these two extremely strong-willed women being forced to work together to survive. Especially since they are on opposite sides of a rather warped love... square?

Flashback: Kate, in attempting to communicate her estranged mother, runs into Cassidy (Kim Dickens), Sawyer's former girlfriend-turned-mark, in the past. Cassidy's turned into a bit of a con artiste herself these days, hawking fake gold necklaces at a gas station in a con that reminded me an awful lot of Sawyer himself. (Hmmm, so Anthony Cooper turned Sawyer into a con man, and Sawyer in turn turned Cassidy into one.) The two bond over their shared hatred of people who betray them and Cassidy agrees to help Kate (a.k.a. Lucy, using yet another saint's name, a la Simon Templar), who learns that her mother thinks she's evil and warns her that the next time she sees her the first thing she'll do is call for help (which she does, in the hospital). Oh, and Cassidy wasn't lying when she tells Sawyer that he has a daughter; she tells Kate here that she's pregnant and Sawyer is the baby daddy.

Meanwhile, Kate and Juliet encounter the monster itself. What terrified me even more than the sudden downpour and that familiar clicking noise was the fact that Juliet didn't seem to know what the black smoke was. (Terrifying.) Later, she admits that the Others are aware of the "monster" but they don't know anything about it, except that it doesn't like their sonic fences. (Hmmm, were they built expressly to keep that thing out?) I'm still trying to puzzle out exactly what the monster did to Juliet--it almost seemed to be photographing her with that bright light--as it didn't seem to "recognize" her.

Bravo to Juliet for activating the fence to keep that thing away from them (curious that she knew the code), but it raises the question that, if the fence were turned off, is Patchy McPatches (a.k.a. Mikhail) really dead? Or did the Others just turn off the fence as they left the Barracks, dumping Kate and Juliet on the other side? Either way, the black smoke doesn't like sonic-based attacks or when people (like Juliet or Eko and Locke before her) stare it down. Very, very curious.

I loved the Hurley-Sawyer storyline last night ("You, sir, Hugo, are rotund"), even if I knew right from the start that there was no vote and Sawyer wouldn't be, in some Survivor-like twist, banished from the tribe and forced to live half a mile down the beach. But still, you have to give Hurley credit for forcing Sawyer to be nice to everyone in the only language he understands (self-preservation), in order to mold him into more of a leader. The scene between him and Claire was hysterical, with Sawyer saying how much less wrinkly Aaron is now. Aw, sweet. Still, while just about everyone came around to the "new" Sawyer, there's still one whose trust he doesn't have: Sun. Still, the whole setup and payoff of the storyline reminded me of Season One again; hell, they even name-checked Steve.

Next week on Lost ("One of Us"), it's reunion time as Jack finally makes it back to the beach, but his fellow castaways are less than pleased when they see that Juliet is with him, we finally get some answers about Juliet's past (and get to see that submarine), while Claire is suddenly stricken with a mysterious illness. Uh-oh.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Survivor: Fiji (CBS); The Office (8-8:42 pm)/30 Rock (8:42-9:21 pm) (NBC); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC); Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (FOX)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); Scrubs (9:21-9:54 pm)/Andy Barker, P.I. (9:54-10:23 pm)(NBC); Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); Family Guy/American Dad (FOX)

10 pm: Shark (CBS); My Name is Earl (NBC; 10:23-11 pm); October Road (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8-8:42 pm: The Office.

Not only is tonight a brand new episode of The Office, it's also a super-sized extravaganza that yours truly got a sneak peek at a month ago. On tonight's episode ("The Negotiation"), Darryl meets with Michael to try to get a pay increase, while Jim deals with the fallout from Pam's (inane) confession to Roy that she kissed Jim. It all starts here!

8 pm: Ugly Betty.

On tonight's repeat episode ("Fake Plastic Snow"), Betty realizes her feelings for Henry and tries to avoid him at the Mode Christmas Party, while Marc is fearful that Wilhelmina wants him dead. Good times.

8:42-9:21 pm: 30 Rock.

GOB Alert! The show I can't get off my mind grapes (finally) returns tonight with a super-sized episode! On tonight's installment ("Fireworks"), Will Arnett guest stars as a West Coast NBC exec who threatens Jack's job, leading Jack to enlist the aid of one Kenneth. Meanwhile, Tracy gets served with paternity papers. I cannot wait!

9:21-9:54 pm: Scrubs.

On tonight's super-sized episode ("My Long Goodbye"), everyone copes with the possibility of Nurse Roberts' death in their unique ways. Me, I'd probably make her a face cake.

9:54-10:23 pm: Andy Barker, P.I.

On the series' fourth episode ("Dial M for Laptop"), Andy's laptop disappears, leading him to race to file his father-in-law's tax return, only to expose a credit card scam in the process.

10:23-11 pm: My Name is Earl.

On a repeat episode of Earl ("Robbed a Stoner Blind"), Earl is tempted to save the world from global warming (not that certain people believe it exists) when he and Randy discover someone on Earl's list (guest star Christian Slater) living an eco-friendly life on a commune.

10:30 pm: This American Life on Showtime.

Based on the popular NPR radio series, this brilliant new Showtime drama seeks to capture first person accounts of single themes. On tonight's episode ("God's Close-Up"), host Ira Glass explores two thematically-linked personal stories about getting closer to God, including an artist who serves dinner to a diverse group of people.


Jon88 said…
I don't read as deep into this show as some, but for what it's worth: I thought Juliet took Kate outside the fence (after turning it off) and handcuffed the two of them together. She did, after all, have the handcuffs key.
Anonymous said…
Dudes, the forecast looks grim for Dr. Jack making it to season 4... a) next week Dr. Juliet joins the castaways, providing a convenient replacement in-house physician for said castaways... b) Hurley is already grooming Sawyer to be their new replacement leader... c) Locke is getting cheeky again, and the last time that happened, he almost killed the world... it appears Jack Shephard won't be attending to his flock for much longer.
rockauteur said…
Anonymous makes a good point about not needing Jack anymore - and now that his purpose with the Others is done, do they really need him around?

This was another great episode, though it killed me that Kate didn't learn Sawyer's name from Cassie. Will these people ever learn to ask questions? Haha!

Great revelations that Juliet had never really seen Smokey the Monster before and that she and the Others don't know much about it. I'm glad she and Kate saw it though. Supposedly, the combination on the gate was none other than the infamous numbers sequence. How long has the gate been off? Did Locke/Kate really need to go "around" it (meaning did Mikhail fake his death?) or did the Others turn it off when they left? Where did the Others go? Why did they leave? Jack should grab the castaways and move them into the Others Village! Working water people! Showers! Bikes! Pool! Recreational activities! is there another Others Village?

Where is Rousseau? When did Juliet handcuff herself to Kate? Who threw them in the jungle? Why did the Smoke Monster photograph Juliet? So interesting!!

Can't wait for the reunion next week. Who is the flashback of the week? Another Juliet one (within the confines of the island) or do we get another Sayid one?
Another great ep! I love the switcheroo - how Locke is now with the Others and Juliet is with the castaways. I can't wait to see how that all plays out. And seeing Juliet take down Kate in the opening was awesome. Not that I have anything against our favorite feisty felon but, come on, that was pretty darn cool!
Me said…
It was definitely an awesome episode. Though I didn't like the whole idea of Juliet being chained to Kate for some reason. I did enjoy Hurley's setup and how it was so convincing for Sawyer because it was such a simple con (I call it more of a prank). As for The Others, I think they've just gone back to the other island.

As much as Lost has gotten alot better than earlier in the season I feel like they've run out of ideas to milk. I mean, I love the whole barrier from the black smoke but there just doesn't seem to be anything like a hatch or some other kind of story-arc for them to stretch into another season.
The CineManiac said…
I too feel like Lost has finally made it back to it's first season greatness. This past weekend I had the chance to hang out with some of the cast members at Lost Weekend 2007, and found out some interesting info about some of this upcoming season on Lost. Head over to my blog to check it out.

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