Serial Watcher – Lost – Episode 3-16

Many people are going to love this week’s episode of Lost. Sadly, I won’t be one of them. I believe this week’s offering, “One of Us”, wasn’t as good as the recent episodes, though it wasn’t bad by any means.

This week was heavy on Juliette, as we continued to journey with her down memory lane. Her flashbacks didn’t really do much for me. They were designed to make her sympathetic and likeable, before the swerve, but at least for me they failed.

We joined Juliette from the day she bid farewell to her sister and arrived on the island until our present days. As if we did not know that she was manipulated to join the Island, we got hot on the head with it again, only this time it was more delicate. They told her she was about to be sedated, giving her a false sense of control of her destiny, knowing full well the sedative will do its job. On the island, Ben took over as the master manipulator that he is. He used her sister’s illness as means to keep her with The Others. It appears like the magical healing powers of the island can be transported off of it, and Ben promised to heal Rachel if Juliette stays until further notice (remember, she was only supposed to be there for six months). Of course Ben succeeds and she stays, and even builds a life there, including the book club and a relationship with Goodwin. All the while, she continued her mission, to find out what’s wrong with the pregnant women on the island and try and cure them the reason she was brought in.

The problem is that Ben developed a tumor. Finding this, Juliette, naturally, started to question whether or not he really healed her sister. Say what you will about Ben he’s a manipulator and uses people for his own needs, but he’s an honest manipulator. On the same day that Oceanic flight 815 crashed, he took Juliette to the Flame station and showed her a live video feed of Rachel playing with her son, to prove to her that she was indeed healed and alive. While they were there we learned that the Flame was The others’ communication hub with the outside world. Through the Flame they were able to contact their people around the world, gather information and use various databases. Showing her that kept Juliette on the island and perhaps was the final push needed to turn her completely to Ben’s side. Sure, she asked Jack to kill him, and was about to get on the submarine with him, but what was her real motive for doing so? We still don’t know.

Back in current time, Juliette joins Jack, Kate and Sayid on the beach. Jack is still the only who trusts her, though Hurly is also nice to her. Juliette however manages to turn some of the people’s opinions by curing Claire. Claire started to feel bad just before the four arrived and Juliette said she can fix her, as she was taking care of all the pregnant women and mothers on the island (And was responsible for Claire’s illness when she was taken by The Others). She goes out to a place where her medical kit is hidden, gives Claire a couple of shots and all is fine. Claire is healthy again and Juliette is accepted by the Lostaways.

But then came the swerve. Juliette is still with The Others and she’s on a mission from Ben. She wasn’t gassed and left by The Others; she’s on a mission to infiltrate the Lostaways’ camp. Claire’s illness was a result of a remote controlled device planted by her which was activated just when The Others left, giving her enough time to arrive on the island, cure her and gain the trust of everyone. I’m sorry to say, but that swerve wasn’t that shocking. I’m certain that many viewers of the show never trusted Juliette and were expecting her to show her true colors at one point or another. And this is the problem. They didn’t give us enough time to learn to trust Juliette so when they revealed the truth about her at the end, it wasn’t that big of a shock as it could have been. Not only that, we learned that Juliette and Ben are to be reunited within a week since they left, leaving us only 3-4 days. On a show that made slow burn one of its main characteristics, it felt weird, to get the setup and the payoff all within one episode. Another thing I didn’t like was that Jack is once again bitten by his feelings towards women. He had a thing for Kate and was crushed by her relationship with Sawyer (despite the fact that Kate didn’t really choose between the two) and now he’s bitten by Juliette, who he seems to develop a thing for. It’s like Locke who was constantly hurt by people off the island.

But it wasn’t all bad. We got some answers that we’ve been waiting for. We finally found out why The Others go after the children or pregnant women all of their pregnant women and mothers develop some kind of sickness so they need the children to continue their lineage. We also started to get an answer to the mystery of their contact with the outside world we now know it was done through the Flame. But this raises another question did Locke know that when he blew the Flame up? Was it part of his plan to never leave the island and not just an accident? Did the electromagnetic pulse from the implosion of the hatch really disable the Flame or was it still working and just looked disabled to throw the trio off? I also have a theory about the island’s healing power. Rachel’s cured, and I trust that Ben has something to do with that. But what if the way he achieved that was by bringing Claire to the island to be cured rather than send that power over to her? It makes more sense and will add another aspect to Ben’s manipulative ways he had got Rachel that close to Juliette but never told Juliette that or got then together. We also learned that the healing powers have a long lasting effect, as Rachel is still healthy, three years later. So Locke is not only an egotist for wanting to stay on the island, he’s also a sucker. And Ben’s manipulation of him, to blow the submarine up, makes him (Ben) an even bigger brilliant evil mastermind. The mystery of Ben’s own cancer though is still unanswered.

When I weigh the good of this episode against the bad, the scale is pretty even. The problem is that the ones we got lately were so much better, so this week’s episode just pales in comparison. Perhaps if it didn’t feel so rushed and the swerve was given more time to build, it would have been better. I also like the recent trend of giving us answers while raising new questions at the same time, instead of just giving us more questions with no answers. There’s a definite positive trend lately to Lost that I don’t think this week’s episode will really make any kind of a dent.

Sir Linksalot: Lost