I can honestly say that I know how “Daybreak” felt. Being a midseason replacement is tough.
On one hand, no one expects you to live up to what you’re replacing, but at the same time, if you don’t keep the majority of the audience interested and engaged, you don’t last long. I wanted take a second to acknowledge and thank TVGasm for running the contest and all those who voted to give me the opportunity to try to replace EdHill. Thank you. I also wanted to acknowledge my worthy opponent, Warren. I hope that we see more of his writing in the future around here. Finally, a tip of the cap to my predecessor, EdHill. He created the audience for Lost recaps and I’ll do my best to keep the majority of that audience interested and engaged.
Ok, end of speech.
After months of waiting, speculating, theorizing and anticipating, Lost fans finally get the episode we’ve been waiting for. The very first episode to focus on one of those evil “Others” rather than one of the more familiar Lost-aways. Enigmatic Juliet gets her very own episode and we get to find out if Jack’s surgical blackmail technique is good enough to give Sawyer and Kate a chance to escape. Why do I have the feeling that when this episode ends I’m gonna have more questions than answers? Oh, right, I’m a masochist…er, Lost fan.
I always end up with more questions than answers.Juliet sits on the beach, clutching a zippered case of some kind. She looks like she’s contemplating something. Finally she heads indoors, passing Ethan on her way to the end of the hall. Assuming that Ethan is still dead and buried on Island 1.0, this must be a flashback.
In the room Juliet enters, a woman in a head scarf sleeps beside a nightstand that holds a familiar looking octagonal symbol. She wakes up when Juliet sits down on her bed and fills a syringe from a familiar looking medication bottle that was in that case she was carrying. From the light but serious banter between the two women, we get the sense that this isn’t an evil scientist/victim relationship. Of course, Ethan and Claire had some banter between them and we all know how that turned out. Oh, wait, no we don’t.
The mystery woman wonders if Juliet is hesitating because she’s worried it won’t work or because she’s concerned that he will find out. The needlephobic out there all turn away at this point. The needle is for the mystery woman’s belly, reminiscent of the injection that Ethan gave Claire back in the Staff Station. Once the injection is over, we find out that Juliet is the mystery woman’s sister. So, probably not an evil scientist/victim relationship. We also find out that the two women aren’t in one of the hatches on the island, but in Miami.
Back in one of those hatches on the island, Ben’s heart rate monitor is working overtime as he bleeds out of that incision Dr. Jack made in his kidney sack three months ago. Juliet watches calmly as Jack takes control of the operating room and, apparently, the whole situation. The final scene from the end of the first half of the season replays, just the way we remember it. Jack gives Kate instructions to get away and radio him when she’s safe. To be sure that it isn’t a trick, he gives her a way to confirm that she’s really ok, by telling him the story that he told her they day they met. It’s great to see Jack effectively take charge this way. It’s also great because we can pretty much count on his screwing it up somehow.
“Kate, dammit, RUN!” he shouts at her through Danny’s walkie. Fortunately, it’s Kate and Sawyer on the other end of the walkie and not, say Charlie and Claire. Both of the Island’s Most Wanted have enough ass kick left in ‘em to overpower their captors and take the upper hand.
Back in the O.R., Tom instructs Juliet to stop the bleeding and stitch Ben up. According to Jack, she isn’t qualified. Maybe she isn’t. Of course, maybe she is.
Returning to the cage match, Kate’s captor is down and out, but Danny’s got some fight left in him. That’s just fine with Sawyer. Remember what happens when you press the big knife and fork button three times? So does Danny.
After Sawyer and Danny do their version of the Electric Slide and Kate takes a second to lock the two unconscious men in the cage, it’s Run Through The Jungle time.
In the O.R., Juliet issues orders to bring the two captives back. She banks on Jack’s humanity, betting that he won’t just let a patient die on the table. If you were wondering if Dr. Juliet the fertility doctor had the same kind of upstanding moral fibre, her instructions to kill Kate and Sawyer if necessary gave you your answer.
Back in the world, Juliet and her cellphone are in the Miami Central University Bio-Research Lab. Judging by the music, she isn’t supposed to be there. The cellphone call she answers is to confirm her appointment with a Dr. Alpert from Mittelos Bioscience. You can learn more about him here: Mittelos.
If you can get to it, (the site is up and down like Shannon’s bikini bottoms right now) in the “projects” area try Login: jburke Password: Rachel.
I don’t think it’s case sensitive.
As she’s filling her purse with more of that mysterious serum (Hmm…mysterious serum…) she was injecting into her sister, the lights come on, forcing her to duck behind a desk to hide. A man and woman enter, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t think it was Kate for a minute. What is it with the lookalikes on this show? This woman looks like Kate, Ethan looks like Kate’s cop husband, Juliet looks like Jack’s ex-wife. Bio-research, genetic engineering, twins, lookalikes…nah.
If they trot out a Hurley lookalike I’ll scream.
When the new arrivals start to get cosy, it looks like Juliet will get away with it, until her phone rings. Again. A ninja she ain’t.
Turns out that the man is actually her ex-husband, Edmund. Ed questions her about her presence and introduces her to the woman, Sherry. At this point, we know two things about Edmund:
1. He knows what Juliet is up to.
2. He’s a prick.
In the operating room, where Ben is slowly but surely bleeding to death, Juliet calmly informs Jack about the fact that they aren’t on Island 1.0 but in fact are on Island 2.0, a smaller piece of land 2 miles from the one Jack thought they were on.
Jack’s counter punch is to tell Tom about Juliet’s plot to make sure that Ben didn’t make it out of surgery. It’s unclear whether or not Tom believes him, but Tom’s no dummy. He sends her out, reminding her that she already told him she couldn’t help. I bet Tom lives to regret sending Jack’s only assistant away while the patient lies on the table…
As Danny gets released from fish biscuit prison, Kate and Sawyer make it to the beach and see just how far away their island is. They need a boat. Obviously the Others have to get back and forth between the two islands, so there must be a boat, right? Or a sub…
Sawyer’s sarcastic suggestion that they stop and ask for directions gives Kate the idea to do just that. She radios Jack.
Without warning, bullets start to fly. Somebody shoots the radio out of Kate’s hand! Impressive. Assuming of course that they were aiming at the radio. Apparently, Juliet wasn’t kidding about killing them if necessary.
A running gun battle through the jungle ends when Sawyer fires the last of his bullets. The two doomed lovers share a look that says “Nice doin’ ya!” and resign themselves to their fate.
Just when Jesse has Kate in his sights, out of the jungle comes salvation. It’s Alex and her sling-shot! Once again, it’s Run Through The Jungle time. She leads them to a camouflaged hidey-hole that fools their pursuers.
“Nice to meet ya, Sheena.”
Tom wants to know if Juliet really asked Jack to kill Ben. Ben’s kinda interested in the answer to that question too. Waking up in the middle of spinal surgery would be pretty traumatic for the average person. Ben seems to take his unexpected consciousness, and the fact that he very well could die in the next 27 minutes, pretty much in stride. All he wants is to talk to Juliet. I bet they have history.
Sherry, the new research assistant, fetches Juliet to Edmund’s office. We learn that his full name is Edmund Burke, same name as a semi-famous British philosopher who was despised by, among others, Karl Marx. Edmund wants Juliet to collaborate with him on whatever research she’s doing, barely disguising the implied threat that he’d make her borderline criminal research public and ruin her.
Tom, the new Jack assistant, fetches Juliet to Ben’s office.
Sawyer and Kate find out that in order to get off the island, they’re going to have to help Alex rescue Karl. No, not Karl Marx the despiser of Edmund Burke, a different Karl. Alex’s boyfriend, Karl. We all remember Karl better as “Chachi” from Kate’s old digs.
Ben and Jack have a little chat about what’s happening inside Ben’s open wound. Jack actually seems concerned about whether or not Ben is in pain. Me? I’d be looking for the nearest box of salt.
Once Juliet arrives, Ben gets Jack to allow him to speak to Juliet privately. Jack and Tom observe the conversation through the theatre window. In a bizarrely civilized moment, Tom actually introduces himself to Jack. Awkward silence ensues. We learn that Juliet and Ben have history. I’m shocked.
They finish they’re conversation, but unless you read thin, rat-like, barely moving lips upside down, what was said is a mystery. Whatever it was, Juliet is now going to help Jack’s friends to escape, providing that Jack finishes the surgery.
Dr. Alpert is pitching a job at Mittelos Bioscience to Juliet. Seems like a dream job, including freedom and even a medical mystery for her to solve. Unfortunately, her ex-husband would never let her take the job, and he’s got the ammunition to keep her in line. Mittelos doesn’t seem prepared to take no for an answer, but Juliet figures that he wouldn’t let her take the job unless he were hit by a bus.
“Whatever you think I am? I’m not. I’m not a leader, Mr. Alpert. I’m a mess.”
She may be a mess, but she’s a mess with a pretty good head on her shoulders. She takes the time to check the closed circuit tvs that are monitoring the island to try and figure out where the fugitives are. She isn’t impressed when she sees that Alex is with them.
Alex, Sawyer and Kate use the Wookie prisoner gag to get past Aldo.
Have I mentioned that Aldo isn’t too bright?
We learn that Ben actually is Alex’s Dad when Aldo calls for him on her instructions to call her Dad. Aldo wisely gives up Karl’s location before Kate has to do knee surgery with a rifle. Ok, so he’s not a complete moron.
Sawyer seems surprised that she’d actually shoot a man in the knee. Somehow, I’m less surprised.
Karl is being “programmed” in a similar to, but somewhat more modern version of, the “reprogramming” used in “A Clockwork Orange”. The images and noises we see are destined to be immortalized on the Lost chat boards as they get dissected in minute detail. Suffice it to say, it’s not fun.
They get him out, but he’s in bad shape.
Juliet tells Danny that they’re going to let the fugitives go. On Ben’s orders. Danny isn’t convinced.
The research that Juliet was doing has managed to impregnate her sister, Rachel. A Widmore Labs Pregnancy Test confirms it. All Rachel needs to do now is get healthy so she can see the kid grow up. Between that remark and the headscarf we are meant to think “cancer” but there are other possibilities.
Juliet runs to Ed to give him the news. He’s so impressed that he manages to step out in front of a major plot device…er, bus.
Jack questions Tom about why they didn’t just take Ben to a proper medical facility for treatment. Tom is just about to explain why the sky turning purple and Ben needing Jack’s help are related, when Jack nicks another plot device…er, artery. Not on purpose this time.
At Alex’s boat, Karl comes around long enough to warn Sawyer that Danny is behind him. Sawyer looks like he’s ready to reprise the Electric Slide with his old dance partner, but he doesn’t have a gun and Danny does. Just as Danny is about to pull the trigger, salvation comes out of the jungle. Again. This time, it’s not a sling-shot and it’s not Alex. It’s Juliet, gun ablazing.
How many freakin’ guns are on these two islands anyway?
Danny won’t be dancing the Electric Slide or anything else, ever again. Three to the chest and he joins his wife in Other Heaven.
Jack enlists Tom to act as a nurse. Tom’s about as good around blood as Hurley. Where’s Sun when you need her? Come to think of it, where is Sun anyway? Or Hurley or any of the other Lost-aways? I know that King Jack is the big kahuna, but I want to know what Locke and Saayid are doing right now. Sure, they don’t have anyone shooting at them, but they’re important too…
Juliet sends Kate and Sawyer off to “safety and freedom” on Island 1.0 but forces Alex to stay behind by reminding her that the only way her father will let Karl live is if Alex stays. What a sweetheart that Ben is. Where’s that box of salt?
Kate radios Jack back in the OR. She relates the story from their first meeting, about how Jack had accidentally cut the nerve sack at the base of his patient’s spine. How the fear he felt was so….real. How he counted to five, let the fear do it’s thing and then it was gone. And how he fixed her. Naturally at that moment he manages to fix Ben. He makes her promise that she won’t try to rescue him. Interestingly, we never hear her agree…
Kate and Sawyer paddle away.
In a morgue, Juliet watches the sheet being pulled over Edmund’s face. She’s given some paperwork to sign, but she’s too upset to sign anything.
Jack is monitoring Ben through the theatre window. He and Juliet discuss the surgery and Jack naturally wants to know what’s next. He also wants to know what Ben said that made Juliet want to save his life. Me too!
As she cries next to the body of her dead ex-husband, someone offers Juliet a tissue. It’s Ethan He of the hallway “hello.” As she’s about to try to figure out where she knows Ethan from, Dr. Alpert interrupts her train of thought. He and Ethan have come to try to convince Juliet to join their team. In a morgue? How creepy is that?
She puts together the fact that she said that she wanted her ex to be hit by a bus with the presence of Alpert at such an awkward moment. Alpert expertly reflects the guilt for Burke’s death back onto Juliet.
“You shouldn’t blame yourself.”
I know that I wouldn’t blame myself when I had a spooky guy from a shady company meeting with me over the still warm corpse of my ex to blame instead…
Mr. Persistent makes another attempt to pitch her the job. All they want is six months. She can be back before her sister gives birth. She’s naturally surprised that he knows about Rachel’s pregnancy, but he explains that they are very thorough. You gotta be thorough to get a bus in just the right place at just the right time…
Oh and a little hitch. Rachel can’t come, because the job’s Not In Portland.
Jack still wants to know what Ben said.
3 years, 2 months and 28 days (You just know that right now somebody is doing complex calculations to figure out how to tease those numbers into the numbers…) is how long she’s been on Island 2.0. Ben promised her that if she got Jack to do the surgery, save him and helped Jack’s friends, he’d finally let her go home.
Remember way back at the beginning when I said that I thought I’d end up with more questions than answers after this episode?
Lost fan. Masochist. Same difference.