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Mommy Dearest: Juliet Proves She is One of Them on "Lost"

Oh. My. God. Now why did they have to go and do a thing like that for?

Just when I had fallen completely in love with Dr. Juliet Burke over the course of last night's brilliant episode of Lost ("One of Us"), Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse had to go and pull the rug out from underneath me again. One of the joys of watching this series is that nothing is ever, ever what it seems and, thanks to that magical narrative device known as the flashback, the audience's perceptions of past events on the show can be changed over and over again as little pieces of the truth are revealed.

Is Juliet evil as that final scene between her and Ben would seem to indicate? I don't think so. Nothing on this series is ever quite as black or white as it initially appears to be. Throughout last night's episode Juliet showed us that her main characteristic is that of self-preservation. She wants off of this island and she's willing to do whatever it takes to do that, even if it means siding with the devil himself.

Juliet admitted that she dragged Kate into the jungle and then handcuffed herself to her; if questioned by Kate, she would say that she did it to gain her trust as she didn't want to be left behind. She was given a gas mask by Ben (and certainly not gassed) and could have been that mysterious blonde woman we saw before the attack on Kate in last week's episode. As for helping Claire, it certainly did manage to turn the tide of suspicion against her and got the Losties to start trusting her... fast. Of course, none of them know that the real Claire got mysteriously ill is that the Others activated the implant inside her, causing her to become wildly symptomatic and planted the serum in Ethan's old drop point (marked with a symbol suspiciously similar to that branded on Juliet). As for the Others, they plan to rendezvous with Juliet in a week, leading me to wonder what exactly her mission is. She's managed to infiltrate their camp (much as Ethan did or her lover Goodwin did with the Tailies). Is she after the now-pregnant Sun?

As much as the episode's ending made me want to scream at the television, Lindelof and Cuse did a fantastic job of making me fall deeper in love with Juliet's character. Whether it was her frustration at being forced to say goodbye to her sister Rachel, the way she downed the tranquilizer-laced orange juice they offered her at Herarat Aviation (an anagram for A Variation Earth), or the way she transformed from a mousy researcher into a sexy woman (and ended up in bed with Goodwin), Juliet is a complicated beast. She bravely squared off against Sayid and Sawyer for the serum briefcase in the jungle, turning their guilt over the murders they committed over the years against them, but then walked off, a look of abject terror on her face. And she turned on Ben when he once again refused to let her off the island, knocking a glass out of his hand and screaming in his face. Juliet is one person you do not want to mess with.

As for the Others, they proved that they can make good on some of their miraculous claims. Mikhail really did have a huge data network he used to communicate with the mainland at The Flame... which Ben used to show Juliet that her sis Rachel was not only alive--her cancer in remission completely--but she did give birth to a baby boy, Julian. And somehow, in some way, the enigmatic Jacob did manage to cure Rachel's cancer, as promised by Ben. But why--if none of the Others ever got cancer--did Ben develop a huge spinal tumor? And why was he so scared by that turn of events? But for all of their promises and miracles, the Others can't seem to procreate (the pregnant mothers all die before giving birth) as something odd happens during conception. Which explains why they were so interested in Claire and her baby (though I am still not sure why Ethan had to hang Charlie along the way) and why they've been taking children. The future of their race (and way of living) depends on new members, whether they be born (thanks to Juliet) or taken and conscripted.

In any event, I cannot wait to see what Juliet and Ben have up their collective sleeve and just what Juliet is doing in camp. And, maybe, just maybe, the writers will prove my love for Juliet to be a good thing after all. Or will she turn on us completely and wind up killing Charlie as revenge for his murder of Ethan?

Next week on Lost ("Catch-22"), Desmond convinces Charlie, Hurley, and Jin to accompany him on a journey across the jungle, while Kate turns to Sawyer after catching Jack alone with Juliet. Can it be Wednesday already?

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Survivor: Fiji (CBS); My Name is Earl/The Office (NBC); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC); Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (FOX)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); 30 Rock/Scrubs (NBC); The BRICK Awards (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy (FOX)

10 pm: Shark (CBS); ER (NBC); Notes from the Underbelly (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: My Name is Earl.

Earl returns will a brand new episode tonight ("Harassed a Reporter"), in which Randy comes to realize the power of karma when he tries to pull away from Earl. Is it just me or does this show seriously need to step it up, given the strenghts of fellow NBC laughers The Office and 30 Rock?

8:30 pm: The Office.

On tonight's episode ("Safety Training"), Andy Bernard returns to work at Dunder-Mifflin following the completion of his anger-management classes, while Michael and Dwight attempt to illustrate the dangers of the workplace.

9 pm: 30 Rock.

On tonight's installment ("Corporate Crush"), Liz Lemon feels secure (uh-oh) in new relationship with boyfriend Floyd (SNL's Jason Sudeikis), while an NBC executive (guest star Rip Torn) warns Jack that he's watching him.

9:30 pm: Scrubs.

On a very special episode of Scrubs, members of the staff say goodbye to Nurse Roberts and begin to incorporate some of her lessons into their lives.

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 ("The Camera Man"), a segment on cartoonist Chris Ware and a filmmaker who documents his alcoholic stepfather.

Comments

Anonymous said…
A few things...

1) I don't think Rachel's cancer actually ever returned. Ben just lied about that knowing that his promise to save her life would keep Juliet on the island. Who knows whose X-Ray he handed her but if he can get a videotape of the Sox winning the series to the island, I'm sure he could find a x-ray of a middle-aged woman with cancer.

2) I read somewhere that proposes that Charlie is an embedded (pre-crash) Other. He's always around Claire's baby. He's the one that kidnapped Sun right before she found out about her pregnancy. He could have brought Claire to Ethan. Also, how about this? Maybe he shot Ethan in the same way that Mikhail shot Ms. Klugh.

Either way, the second-to-last episode of the season is called "Greatest Hits". With Charlie's musical background, I'm thinking it will be his flashback episode...which also means, I'm thinking he might be not long for the world of Lost.

3) What if Ben didn't hand Juliet the gas mask for that day in Othersville...what if he gave it to her for when the Others come to camp "in a week"...
Anonymous said…
::looks at Anonymous' note::

Yup, I had the same thought re: #1.

Stellar, stellar episode. After that scene with Sayid and Sawyer, I proclaimed, once again, my love for Juliet (and impressed my friends with saying out loud, word for word, right before she said it, the "more blood on your hands" line).

It's funny, I was thinking all through this ep that it was going to turn out that Juliet was not what she seemed, but I did not think at ALL that this was going to come to light in this episode. The ending was awesome. I agree, though, that she isn't as evil as that ending may portray. I think she's always been conflicted.

And I definitely think Sun better watch her back.

Question - is it just the others who can't carry a baby, or is it the island that is bad for women and that's why Claire was an anomaly? Cause, didn't Rousseau give birth on the island? How was she able to carry to term and survive? (this question comes from my friend Janet. I am her proxy asker)
Anonymous said…
"Herarat Aviation (an anagram for A Variation Earth)"

Or, as the recap I just emailed you suggested, Herarat is an anagram for Earhart. You know, who disappeared. While flying a plane.
rockauteur said…
Do you think Jack had a conversation with Sayid while they were hiking back to the beach that went like this:

Jack: So what have I missed while I was hanging out on Others Island?

Sayid: Eko died.

Jack: No kidding? Wow.

Upon his return to the beach, he was talking to Hurley.

Jack: So what have I missed while I was hanging out on Others Island?

Hurley: Eko died.

Jack: Yeah I heard.

Hurley: And Paulo and Nikki too.

Jack: Who?

Hurley: They were jewel theives. Oh yeah and Charlie and Sawyer were the ones who tried to kidnap Sun.

Jack: Wow communication went up while I was gone.

This was another great episode though I saw the Juliet twist coming. Hopefully, she is still playing Ben or at least isn't as bad as she now seems. Does she want Sun/Jin's baby? Or to understand their fertility? Or is Kate preggers? Since she did have sex with Sawyer - and it was Juliet's theory that "it happens" during conception - perhaps she is monitoring Kate? I'm glad we learned more about how Juliet got to the island - I'm curious what kind of bumpy ride the submarine had to take that Juliet needed to be strapped in for.

It was great seeing Goodwin again. I love that guy. Shocking that he was Juliet's lover. Interesting. Maybe that is why Michael was sent to kill Anna Lucia as well?
I don't care if she's good or bad... Juliet rocks! Her character has definitely breathed some new life into the show and I love the awkward chemistry between her and the rest of the castaways. I can't wait to see what happens after her 1 week is up!
rockauteur said…
ABC cancelled IN CASE OF EMERGENCY and is replacing that time slot with Lost encores for the remainder of the season! Yeah Lost encores! That should help in the numbers. (not those numbers, the ratings silly people)

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