Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lost: The Other Woman

Creepy. If you had to chose one word to describe Ben's actions in this episode (not just the series itself), that would be it. The Other Woman was an episode that outlined Juliet's romantic past with Goodwin, the Other who died, thanks to Ana-Lucia. We already knew the two were romantic with each other. What we didn't know was that Goodwin was married when they first shacked up, and that Ben is very jealous of Juliet. And she may look a lot like Annie, Ben's girlfriend back in his DHARMA days. The episode itself moved kind of slow, and was somewhat boring, but there were still some things to talk about. Including the fact that we might know who the ultimate villain of the whole series, and it's someone we've met before.

The recap: Juliet: Charlotte and Dan sneak out in the middle of the night. Jack, Juliet, Sun and Jin break up to look for them, I think, since we don't see Sun and Jin at all for the rest of the episode. (Thanks for the cameos!) While looking, Juliet hears the whispers, then Harper, a psychiatrist for the Others, appears. She says that Ben wants Juliet to kill Dan and Charlotte, because they are heading for The Tempest (power station) and will kill everyone on the island. After some whispers, Harper disappears. Jack is confused and creeped out, Juliet's kind of sad.

Kate runs into Charlotte and Dan, who look at a Middle Earth-type map and lie about what they are doing. When Kate discovers their gas masks, Charlotte knocks her unconscious. (Which, ironically, is a very Kate thing to do.) Jack meets up with Kate, which leaves Juliet an opportunity to ditch them, for no clear reason. (Well, maybe because she didn't want to risk them being exposed to [radiation?] in the power station...)

Juliet goes to The Tempest and finds Daniel furiously at work on the computer. He overrides the system, and the plant overloads and everyone almost dies, or so they wanted you to think. But, we've already seen the future, and it doesn't include zombies. Thanks anyways, show. Anyways, Charlotte and Daniel wanted to override and change controls at the station, so Ben couldn't use it in the future to kill everyone with gas. "He's done it before," they warned. (So that's how they killed the DHARMA initiative!) In the end, Charlotte and Daniel are semi-trusted again and Jack and Juliet kiss. Aw!

The barracks: Locke continues to make Ben food. When he brings Ben a rabbit, Ben asks if it had a number on it's side. Ben continues to manipulate Locke, who is too busy looking smug to fully notice. Ben cuts a deal that, if he's allowed out of his cell, that he'll tell John who's freighter it is offshore. Locke agrees. Ben has Locke open a safe (36.15.28), and inside is a video called "Red Sox." "I taped over the game," deadpans Ben.

The video shows Charles Widmore, father of Penny and enemy to Desmond, involved in some shady activity that may include kidnapping? Killing? I don't know for certain. Ben tells Locke that the freighter belongs to Widmore, that he has been looking for the island for a long time and wants to use it for his own gain. (It's Ben telling the story, so maybe only 75% truth?) Ben also gives Locke his files on Widmore. Ben also promises to tell Locke who his man on the boat is, but of course we have to wait a week (two at the longest) to find out who it is.

Flashbacks: After arriving on the island, Juliet is required to talk to Harper, a psychiatrist, whom Juliet hates. Juliet feels like she's isolated, because she is treated like a celebrity. Harper, who might be jealous of that, says that she was brought to the island probably because she "looks like her." Juliet confides her hatred of Harper to Goodwin, who turns out to be Harper's husband. (Awkward!) But since Goodwin is the only person Juliet feels comfortable confiding in, they become friends. With benefits. This does not sit well with Ben, who sends Goodwin off to the tail section and leaves him there, knowing that he'd be killed. Why would he do that? Because, Juliet is his. So... he's a creepy psychotic stalker boyfriend-from-afar who is also the puppetmaster for everything on the island. Good situation you're in there, Juliet.

What worked: I like how, even when it's kind of a boring, slow episode, it still takes at least five paragraphs to recap everything that happened. The acting was consistently good throughout, same with production.

What didn't work: The writing felt a little... flat. The dialogue wasn't creative, worse yet, it felt a little childish. The reason why Juliet ran off on her own to go to the power station was vague, at best. It felt maybe... rushed? (WGA strike side-effect?) And the power station scene was just silly. Juliet couldn't even get a kick in against Charlotte? And what about Charlotte? Is she sent from The Matrix? That fight would have fit right in on Alias, but felt contrived on Lost. And for me, there was nothing captivating about the plotline. Elizabeth Mitchell did a great job with what she had, which was not a whole lot.

Questions: Juliet gets a flashback, not a flash forward, so, will she live or die? Was Harper an apparition of the smoke monster? How did Ben get that information to Juliet? Did he? Is Charles Widmore as bad as Ben says? How did he learn of the island? What does he want with it? Who were those people on the Red Sox video? Was the power station used to wipe out the DHARMA initiative? Is Harper dead or alive?

Next week: We find out the last of the Oceanic Six (does Aaron count?), Sun has a question, we meet the captain of the boat, Bernard makes an appearance and supposedly enough stuff happens, because this was going to be the finale for this half, until ABC decided to air one more episode before the break. Here's hoping!

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