Lost – ‘The Other Woman’ – 4.6

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Last year, one of my favorite episodes was ‘Not in Portland’. This was the episode that filled in Juliet’s back story and showed us how the good doctor came to the island. We got to see Ben’s Brave New World through her virgin eyes and really experience the wonder of the island and the community that DHARMA had established there. In addition, this is the episode that furthered the time travel talk originated in the Desmond episode ‘Flashes Before Your Eyes’ – with Juliet being recruited by that mysterious company Mittelos Bioscience (Mittelos is an anagram of Lost Time). Also, although Juliet was shown to arrive via sub – she was drugged ahead of the trip by Richard Alpert who warned her that it was a necessary procedure. “The ride there can be a bit bumpy.”

On that topic, EW posted an article yesterday where they went to producer Damon Lindelof with their interpretation of last week’s ‘The Constant’. Lindelof vets most of what they write (and by nature – confirms our speculation as well). Anyway, it was interesting so I thought I’d repost it here.

From Jeff Jenson’s March 6th EW.com post:

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO DESMOND?
In ”The Constant,” Desmond became ”unstuck in time” after flying through a thundercloud crackling with strange electricity. He experienced something like time travel, though not bodily time travel; instead, his consciousness shuttled between two different time periods, Island present 2004 and Desmond’s past 1996. But here’s the tricky twist: Desmond’s Island-present mind wasn’t the one doing the time traveling. When Desmond got hit with Island magic, his consciousness got knocked off-line and was replaced by his 1996 self. It was this older Desmond consciousness that toggled between present and past throughout the episode. Once Desmond ’96 completed the errand of getting Penny’s phone number so he could call her on Christmas Eve 2004, Desmond’s present-day mind came back online, but rebooted with the new memories created by his time-travel adventure. I know: tricky stuff. But I had the chance to run all this by Damon Lindelof — and he says this interpretation is correct.

Anyway, the point of all of this is last night’s Juliet-centric episode slightly disappointed me on two fronts. First, I’ve come to expect a lot of mythology movement from her episodes and in this episode, I thought the story spun its wheels a bit. The second is after the dizzying highs of last week’s Desmond episode, a let down was to be expected. It wasn’t a bad episode by any stretch but not as superb as we’ve come to expect either.

With that said, on with the show.

1.   In Juliet’s back story we learned that she was previously linked to Goodwin – albeit as The Other Woman. Goodwin is married to the island’s therapist who angrily confronts Juliet on her indiscretions. The twist is, she doesn’t care that Goodwin is tramping it up – rather she is concerned that Goodwin’s affection for Juliet will end in his demise. As she puts it – “It’s not you who I am afraid will hurt him. It’s Ben.”

2.   Earlier in the episode, Juliet is told that Ben is really taken by Juliet. The therapist Harper says, “Of course, you look just like her.” Who is this mysterious her? My guess is Ben’s childhood friend – all grown up. Could she have survived the original Purge and morphed from Ben’s playmate to lifemate? My guess is she may be one of the victims of the island’s negative effects on pregnant women. Perhaps this explains Ben’s drive to correct this catastrophe – he has a personal stake having lost his “wife” and child to the island’s destructive force.

3.   I thought it was a nice touch that during Juliet’s flashbacks we got little bits and pieces of the flip side to events we saw depicted in ‘The Other 48 Days’. For instance, we now know the children were taken because they were “on the list” – recalling Jacob’s infamous list of ‘good people.’ During that dinner scene with Ben, he expresses his gratitude for how well Juliet has bonded with the children – Zack and Emma – who she says “Keep asking about their Mom in L.A.” Of course, the bug-eyed bastard raises the creepiness factor when he replies “In time, they’ll stop asking.”

4.   Our frequent contributor Chris brought this up last week when he asked where Ben’s people were. This week, Locke echoed those comments. If you recall, Richard Alpert was leading the people “to a very old place” – some ancient part of the island. This occurred in the episode last season when Ben led Locke to Jacob’s shack. In the season finale, Ben ordered several members to the beach for a raid and ordered Richard to bring the rest to the “temple”. So that’s where they are going and that’s why there hasn’t been a rescue. Plus, it’s pretty much been implied that The Others are glad to be rid of Ben.

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5.   Well, some of them. In one WTF moment, the whispers returned and with them whisked in Harper who came bearing a message from Ben. Was Harper a ghost – sent by Ben? She seemed to arrive and depart with the whispers which in the past have heralded the arrival of Ghost Walt and Jacob’s Haunted Love Shack. Or, do the whispers mask ‘teleportation’?

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6.   Harper’s message was that Faraday and Charlotte were headed to a power station – The Tempest – to gas the entire island. Of course, as with everything Ben reveals, that was merely a shade of the truth. In reality, they were headed there to render the gas harmless. What’s the purpose of that gas. Did the Dharma Initiative install it as a fail safe should anyone ever breach the island?

7.   If so, that explains Faraday and Charlotte knowing about it and having that be one of their prime directives. As we learned on that Red Sox tape (how could Ben tape over the ’04 victory?) – Charles Widemore is the owner of the freighter and is searching for the island to exploit its unique properties.

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8.   While Ben is usually one conniving bastard, I think he was telling the truth to Locke for once, and I think this neatly explain his psychology. He will do anything to protect the island, including kill mass numbers of people. For Ben, the island is paramount to all. His tale of finding Jesus in some mold underscores it. If people would flock to genuflect before a grilled cheese, what would they do (and pay) for a genuine Fantasy Island that grants infinite healing powers? Widemore is a business man and his role and intent is purely corporate. He intends to profit from the island – if only he could find it. I’ll say this much – with the end in site, Lost has really begun to drop some answers on us. Of course, many more mysteries remain, but it was nice to finally put a face to the freighter folk.

9.   Well, all but Ben’s mole. Although now we know that Locke knows. “You’re going to want to sit down for this”.  From the trailer, I’d say we find out his identity next week. I’m calling it as Michael. Ben gave him specific coordinates to leave the island but we never saw the rest of their exchange. This could have been part of his deal to get Walt off the island. We’ll see.

10.   Ben’s island saving mania had truly driven him mad. That final exchange with Juliet – “Because You’re Mine” is all you need to know about how crazy he really is. But – despite his psychotic bent, I still think he’s one of the good guys.

Charles Widemore. Now there’s your Big Bad!!!

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Comments now closed (4)

  • Ed, I too was a little disappointed with this episode. But like you said after last week’s it was only natural that it would not be topped. It was just one of the necessary episodes that carry the storyline forward.

    Is Ben good or evil? Still a tough call as I say he is not so much evil but a little demented. “You are mine; now take as much time as you as need.” They way he delivered that was just creepy. He obviously has Juliette freaked out so much she tried to warn Jack, but you he would not back down. Now we know why she was so desperate to get off the Island and/or convince Jack to kill Ben when trying to talk him into the surgery. It’s funny though from some of the past episodes it appeared that they were romantically involved, but now we know the feeling have always only gone one way. I had forgotten about Ben’s young friend from when first came to the Island. I think what you said makes sense.

    I still can’t figure out Charlotte and Daniel. They work for Widemore so unless they were deceived by him, you would think they were up to no good. But I think they could be good and are just scientists trying to break new ground with the properties that surround the island. Plus man, can Daniel Faraday type well with heavy bio-hazard gloves AND while two women are fighting it out behind them while he threatens the entire island. I think they realize that they are not there to save these people and must have a feeling that Widemore does not want anyone to leave the Island. Especially in light of the fact that the” wreckage” of the Flight 815 was found.

    I am interested in the spy on the boat is and have felt for a couple of weeks it was Michael. But how would Charlotte and Daniel know about the Tempest and how to render the gas inert? Unless it was the person on tape who was kidnapped and they had spilled their guts. Either that or somebody else must turned on Ben and is giving Widemore that information.

    Looks like Sun and Jin centric next week. Plus we find out the last two of the six. We’ll if anyone was right. I think I had Juliette in there, but she could not be part of the six since she was not on the plane. I think they are hinting to Sun and Jin, but I don’t think they both get off. So maybe just Sun. I had Sawyer as well. We’ll have to see about him.

  • I think I was let down slightly, but just because it wasn’t the same pacing as the previous week… the sense of urgency (except at The Tempest). I guess it would be a little hard to follow that up.

    Anyway, I think you forget that we already knew there was a Goodwin/Juliet hookup. What episode was it that we see the two of them in bed together? I don’t think I dreamed it. Wasn’t it in “Not in Portland?” The reveal here was that he was a married man and Juliet was “The Other Woman.” I wonder if we’ll find out why Harper was so off even from the start. She already disliked Juliet even before she started in with Goodwin. Perhaps Harper was just jealous of Ben’s affection for Juliet that made her a “celebrity.”

    I think you are right about Juliet looking like Ben’s little friend all grown-up. Maybe she did end up with him and died during childbirth.

    With regard to Juliet’s encounter with Harper in the jungle, I think that was Smokey. I’m also starting to think the cabin is Smokey too and that is how it has been moving about. What was interesting was that Jack saw Harper too, which means it is a physical manifestation and not just in the mind. I think all previous encounters of a person’s form were solo, right? So, if you now add Ben and Locke’s visit to Jacob last season, they fit together? One thing that seems to have been revealed is, that whatever it is, smokey or teleportation, it is under the control of Ben, and how is that possible? Why would Harper help Ben now except out of fear, especially if she is still alive and with Richard’s group? Nope, I think she is dead… and a ghost… and that is how Smokey can use her form. Hasn’t everyone projected been dead? So, how does Ben control Smokey? Does he control Smokey? Did he make the cabin appear to Hurley in order to get doubt in Locke’s head? This puts in question the talking to Jacob part though, which did seem to surprise Ben, so maybe they aren’t the same.

    As for the Tempest station, I believe their mission was to release the gas — I think they had enough equipment for their entire party — and they went against those orders. Charlotte certainly seems to have a hot/cold mean/nice streak in her for some reason, so she had you thinking otherwise, but Daniel is so clearly a good person that it is easy to see him going against this order. As for the gas, I think it was made into a weapon, but that might not have been the initial purpose set forth by Dharma. After all, it is this same gas that is revealed to be the gas The Others used to take control of the island from Dharma. I think The Others weaponized it.

    I think the map came from the captured Other and not Michael. He wouldn’t have had the knowledge of where the Tempest was or what it did because why would Ben ever tell him that? I think it is likely that Ben sent him on his way off island and to Fiji where he hooked on with the Widemore crew.

    That leads me to question where Walt is and whether he or Michael turn out to be the last of the Six because I think at this point, Sun is the fifth and I still don’t know if we are counting Aaron as the sixth since he wasn’t a passenger on the manifest, but rather, inside one. 😉

    Loved the end with Ben walking the compound and telling Sawyer and Hurley, “See you guy’s for dinner.” He does always have a plan and I doubt that was his last chip.

    Anyway, I think next week gets us back on track, not that this week wasn’t, and everyone is happy again. I expect to see Ed throw up another 5 Mooninites.

    @Chris: Good call on Faraday’s typing with the heavy rubber gloves on. I was thinking the same thing. Also convenient that Juliet and Charlotte didn’t trash anything important during their GLOW match.

  • Okay, just reread and forgot a bunch of things…

    Forgot to add that Mile’s inclusion on the team likely has to do with the Smokey/ghost thing… duh. Seems that Widemore’s A-Team each has a particular skill chosen for the tasks at hand.

    I also meant to say that Walt likely isn’t one of the Six as it would be hard to explain Giant Walt to the real world.

    The gas does explain why anyone working for Dharma always left the hatch wearing a containment suit though… there may have been a protocol there, so maybe they did weaponize it, but then, why do they still send food in the drops if they think the island is operating normally? I’m sure the Others kept up the rouse, Mikail at the Comm station. Was the gas a failsafe against experiments gone out of control or another layer — final measure — of defense against the Others (like the fence)?

    Still think I am forgetting something else…