I need to call a personal moratorium on all future spoilers including those backend credit cookies that provide a teaser for next weekâ€™s installment. After all, any promise of â€˜the islandâ€™s three biggest mysteries will be revealedâ€™ is bound to be met with disappointment. Make no mistake â€“ blame should not be levied at any of the creative forces working on this show for the lack of dramatic revelations. The promise of three whoppers is wholly an invention of the ABC Marketing muscle â€“ the same weasels that tease every crime drama with the phrase â€œâ€¦and a twist you wonâ€™t see coming.â€ Which loosely translated means, youâ€™ll peg the murderer in the first five seconds by focusing on the most prominent guest star. The point is, let the suits spin their yarn any way they like, ignore all the hype and weâ€™re bound to enjoy the show a helluvaâ€™ lot more.
That said, this was not a great episode. Despite my continued rage against the ADD-addled machine that continually gripes about this showâ€™s forward progress, I feel the need to voice my displeasure with the Jack-centric â€˜Stranger in a Strange Landâ€™. Every season seems to throw 1 or 2 episodes that literally kill time. Last year we had the Michael angst redux where we spent one full hour relearning the simple fact that he loves his son Walt and will do anything to get him back. This year, Jack fills those shows as we learn that Jack is distrustful of pretty much everyone. And man is he angry!!!
The good news – before I enacted my spoiler sabbatical, I glimpsed some early reviews of the next two eps. Good buzz on both, with the March 8th episode â€˜Enter 77â€™ supposedly containing a wealth of info on the connection between The Others and Dharma. Canâ€™t wait to see it all unfold.
All right, on with the show.
1. So, ABC, what did we learn? As near as I can decipher, the first major mystery was “What does Jackâ€™s tattoo mean?â€ Huh!!! Come again. I donâ€™t recall Jackâ€™s ink ever being a central plot point. Sure, whenever we glimpsed it I wondered what it was (I thought perhaps something military or prison related) but I never really gave it too much thought what with my head spinning about Dharma-brand sharks and psychic polar bears and all. Regardless, in this episode we learn that Jackâ€™s tats were grafted by a skanky tattoo artist (Bai Ling) with a gift to see a personâ€™s true being. Forced against her will to press Jackâ€™s flesh, she imprints upon him â€œHe walks among us, but will never be one of us.â€ Heâ€™s an outsider. An OTHER!!! When the â€˜Sheriffâ€™ point this out, Jack proclaims, â€œThatâ€™s what it says. Thatâ€™s not what it means.â€ I think she points this out not so much to show Jack how different he is from them â€“ The Others â€“ but rather, how much he has in common with them.
2. The second â€˜Biggestâ€™ mystery? What happened to Cindy the Aussie flight attendant? Again, not one that I lost sleep over but it was interesting to see that she had been inducted into the secret society. In this episode, Carl tells Sawyer that they give the people they abduct â€œbetter lives.â€ We know from past episodes that The Others are only interested in snatching â€˜Good Peopleâ€™. My guess – Cindy is one of those flight attendants that keeps the booze flowing on those long intercontinental flights therefore she is a â€˜good personâ€™ to have around.
3. The third mystery: what happened to the kids? Again, they are with Cindy and have been given â€˜better lives.â€™ Everyone certainly looked well dressed and adjusted. I thought that perhaps the kids were given the Clockwork Orange treatment but when the little girl asked about Ana-Lucia, it was evident that they retain their memories of their former lives, so who knows. Anyway, thereâ€™s some compelling mysteries there (â€œwhy take the kids?â€ remains a question) but at least we know theyâ€™re all doing well.
4. Now I take issue with the bloglodytes who complained that Cindy never explained why they were there to watch Jack. The answer is simple. Cindy says â€œWeâ€™re here to watch.â€ Not to watch Jack, though. The â€˜communityâ€™ has obviously been summoned to observe Julietâ€™s trial. Thereâ€™s certainly a puritanical vibe giving off by the societal rules that scar Juliet with her own scarlet letter.
5. That said, I think this episode was meant to bring Jack and Juliet closer together. Jack and Juliet share something in common â€“ theyâ€™ve both been branded as outsiders based on their transgressions against secret societies.
6. The arrival of The Sheriff is curious as it reveals layers to something Michael Emerson (Ben) recently stated in an interview. With him recuperating, he inferred that there is a power vacuum. The Sheriff appears willing to take the lead.
7. While I thought this episode was average at best, I did like the poetry of the final scene, set to Michael Giacchinoâ€™s sweeping score, which showed Jack and The Others on their exodus from â€˜Alcatrazâ€™ back to their homes. It helped solidify the bond developing between Jack and Juliet. Also, I canâ€™t wait to see Jackâ€™s expression when he comes across that idyllic stretch of suburbia planted in the center of the island.
Next week, the Hurley-centric â€˜Tricia Tanaka is Deadâ€™ co-starring Cheech!!!