Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lost: "Not in Portland" Review

Lost returned from a self-imposed three month hiatus with an episode that extends the rabbit hole that is this series even deeper. The episode, and flashback, centered on an Other, Juliet. While one would think that an episode focused an Other would reveal a whole lot of the mythology, we actually learn that Juliet has not been a lifelong Other and had a life before, off the Island.

She was seemingly recruited by a front company (of Dharma? Hanso?), but she was reluctant to join them at first. Why? Many reasons: she was under the thumb of her ex-husband (whose methods were very much Ben-like), she feels obligated to take care of her sick sister (who she is trying to help impregnate, to give her a glimmer of hope), she is just a weak person previous to the Island experience. Indeed, the contrast between meek Juliet in the past and the strong-willed Juliet on the Island is striking. Lost does these character bits very well, and although they weaken as we know more and more about the character, Lost's introductions are second-to-none. Juliet was recruited by a Dr. Alpert and Ethan Rom (my favorite reoccuring character) for her fertility expertise. This gives further credence to the idea that the Others can't have children and why they kidnap them.

The present day plot picked up right where we left off before: Jack is threatening to let Ben die unless Sawyer and Kate are freed. Once Jack finds out that they are on a separate island, rather than fold, he steps up his demands. He also rats out Juliet and her plea to "accidentally" kill Ben. Ben wakes up at this point, but rather then be mad at Juliet tells her that if she complies with Jack, she, a prisoner too of the Island, can go home. In the end, Juliet has to kill an Other to fulfill Ben's wishes and is left alone with the slight hope of a return home.

We did get some myth hints in this episode, as Sawyer and Kate are helped out by Alex, Rosseau's rumored daughter and apparently Ben's "daughter". The trio saves Carl, Alex's boyfriend and intially, Sawyer's former cellmate, from what apparently is a brainwashing room. On the brainwashing screen, we see such omnious sayings as "Everything changes", "We are the cause of our own suffering" and "God loves us like God loved Jacob", Jacob being the mysterious list maker mentioned in the fall finale. What this all means is vague, but no less chilling.

This episode rekindled my love affair with Lost. I am looking forward to 15 more weeks of these sorts of episodes.

4 Buses out of 5.


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