A few weeks back, I raged against the machine that keeps grinding out the same old tired complaint – Lost never gives us answers. A quick run through the last few episodes has answered plenty. Hell, even the Nikki-Paulo episode provided Sun with answers to her Season 2 kidnapping.
The point is – these answers have come in a very satisfying way – meaning they provide just enough for us to chew over – enough clues for us to decipher – a heaping helping of brain candy to chew upon – without divlugling every last intricacy of the central mystery. After these last few episodes, starting with Locke’s ‘The Man from Tallahasse’, I declare that the naysayers don’t have much leg to stand upon. If you jumped ship when Hurley started spinning donuts in his Little Miss Sunshine van, then good riddance. For those that are in it for the long haul – who have allowed themselves to be sucked in by the central mystery and realize that the pleasure is not in the final destination but rather in the journey itself, these last few weeks have been fantastic.
One last word before I get to my observations. Where Nikki and Paulo’s introduction was ham-handed at best, Juliet and Ben were dropped into this series as seamlessly as possible. I think the reason for the success of these characters is that both impart a real sense of mystery and as every good Lostralian is prone to do – we ache to discover the back story and the hidden secrets behind the two. It helps that both characters are essayed by fantastic character actors – Michael Emerson embues his “bug-eyed bastard” Ben with a slick reptillian charm while Elizabeth Mitchell’s Juliet is a master class in acting and must be one of those ‘roles of a lifetime’ with the shear expanse of emotion the storyline has called for. It means something when I can’t wait for the camera to drift from our core 815-ers and focus back on these fascinating Others.
Anyway – enough with the preamble – on with the show.
1. ‘One of Us’ could be considered a direct sequel to the 2nd-half Season Opener – ‘Not in Portland’ as the flashbacks pick up immediately from where we left Juliet – with her ex-husband mysteriously squashed by a bus (ALWAYS Funny) and the good doctor taking up the offer from Mittelos (Lost Time!!!) Bioscience.
2. As I mentioned in my open, we learned a great deal in this episode. I’ll begin to run through the big ticket items and give you my take on where I think that leads – in no particular order.
3. So Juliet was attached to Goodwin. Goodwin was the Other that infiltrated the tail section and was ultimately offed by Ana Lucia. I have to believe that if the Others have ways of deducing James Ford killed an innocent man in cold blood the night before he got on the plane (they couldn’t have got that information from ‘normal’ channels) than they may know that Ana Lucia was the one who killed Goodwin. I’ll get to where I think that goes in a minute.
4. We learned why The Others are interested in kidnapping pregnant women as every pregnant woman on the island has died before giving birth. And not just died in a good way (if that’s possible) but in a way in which the “body turns on itself“, as Juliet alluded. This lends further credence to the notion that Ben is either a test tube baby or a clone (or are they one in the same) as he has stated numerous times that he has lived on this island his entire life. If that’s the case, how was he born? This may also explain why he has cancer and others do not – his artificial cells could be breaking down.
5. The dots between psycho Ethan from Season 1 and the seemingly good-natured Ethan we keep spying in flashbacks were connected as Ethan went off book and kidnapped Claire when he was discovered – although prior to that he had been performing some ‘experiments’ on behalf of Juliet. Now, given what we learn at the end of the episode, some of Juliet’s confessions need to be taken with a grain of salt, but I believe that piece of her tale. I don’t think Claire’s kidnapping was done purely to place an implant in her. If anything, the implant was probably just a little side project, a way of tagging her before releasing her to the wild. And when the time came for it to be useful, Ben found a use.
6. In the past few weels we’ve talked about the abundance of con men on the island. Ben himself duped Sawyer and stated the only way to gain a con man’s trust is to con him. Therefore I am not entirely convinced that her sister’s cancer had returned. That could all have been a ruse to get Juliet to stay on the island with the promise of curing her sister.
7. Meaning – Juliet may finally be exacting some revenge by conning Ben. In the closing moments we see her setting up camp while Ben, in flashback, provides her with instructions for inflitrating the beach. Of course, she does seem to be acting according to plan, and she hasn’t clued her confidante Jack into her plan, so maybe all is as it seems. But why inflitrate the beach – what is there to learn that they don’t already have copius files on?
8. Unless, the plan is to kill Charlie as revenge for Ethan and Goodwin. Exhibit A: That little exchange between Hurley and Juliet, where Hurley admits Charlie killed Ethan and they buried him on a nearby bluff. With Desmond running all over the island trying to save Charlie from himself (a slip on the rocks) perhaps he is missing the danger within. Hey, I don’t care how it happens, so long as it happens.
9. One last thing – and this is more of an Easter Egg than anything of substance – Juliet took off for Lostralia from Herarat Airlines. Herarat is an anagram of Earhart – as in Amelia. I think it’s more of a little wink to the fanboys who have speculated that the bodies found in that cave belonged to Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot who disappeared over the South Pacific.
That’s it for now. To quote Ben, “I’ll see you in a week” (or more to the point – in a day or so) for the Desmond-centric ‘Catch-22’.