This week is late…again. I apologize, again. Sometimes I have real life commitments that keep me off the keyboard. Unfortunately it’s the ‘Gasm readers who are inconvenienced and I am sorry for that. The good news is that things look a little better for next week.
So, now that the formalities are done, let’s take a look at last week’s episode of Lost, just in time for this week’s.
We open with Betty…er, Juliet, in an office. In comes Veronica…er, Harper Stanhope, who is a therapist, something that Juliet doesn’t feel she needs.
Jughead’s the one with issues. Get off my ass.
After an uncomfortable beginning during which Juliet tells Harper that she feels that she’s feeling a bit under the microscope, Harper turns from pleasant therapist to bitchy she-cat, telling Juliet:
“Well, maybe you feel that all eyes are on you, but you’re not a celebrity, and soon enough you’ll realize that you’re no different than anyone here.”
Can’t you just see her being one of those gals that put Nair in the cheerleader’s shampoo bottles in high school?
Before the interview can go further, Moose…er, Tom busts in to get Juliet. It seems that Reggie…er, Ben wants to see her.
Duh, da boss wants you.
Juliet leaves with Tom, but if your freeze frame is REALLY good, you can see the message she left in the sand …
Tom takes her across the compound to see the house that Reggie…er, Ben has prepared for her.
Don’t leaf me this way.
Juliet is surprised that Ben has set her up in such fancy digs, and reminds him that she’s only going to be there for six months. Could Ben possibly be lying by omission when he says that they just want her to feel at home? Nah. Not Ben.
On the beach, Juliet is setting up her shelter. Sun jumps up from patting Hot Dog (Was that taking the Archie thing too far?) and gives her a hand but then wonders why Juliet is going to so much trouble when they’re about to be rescued. Could Juliet possibly be lying by omission when she reminds Sun that she still needs somewhere to sleep tonight? Nah. Not Juliet.
Just then, Jack slides into the conversation to ask if Juliet has seen Faraday and Charlotte. Seems they’ve disappeared, along with their stuff and the satellite phone. Jin, speaking Korean, explains that he saw the two newcomers heading into the jungle.
Jack asks why he didn’t say anything at the time.
“You said they are friends.”
Sun asks the obvious: “Aren’t they?” Anyone want to bet that Jack lied by omission when he answered?
Shortly thereafter, Jack has the gang on the move, searching for Faraday and Charlotte.
“If you cut their trail, call out to me. I’ll come to you.” When did Jack become Island Action Guy With Kung-Fu Grip? Did I miss an episode where they found a stash of cool guy pills? “Cut their trail?” Last time Jack tried to track someone he ended up tracking himself in a big circle and now he’s looking to “cut their trail”? And don’t get me started on “I’ll come to you.” It starts raining right as he says that so A) Bad things are about to happen. B) Crying on them won’t get them any wetter.
In the wet jungle, Juliet gets separated and hears…whispers.
(*Whisper Sidenote: I’ll post some possible transcriptions of the whispers. Credit goes to http://the-odi.blogspot.com which is where I found them. I don’t vouch for the accuracy, but here’s what they said they heard:
“Sarah is having another…”
“Is that the other woman?”
I actually hear “Sarah is having another…” but don’t know about the rest.*)
When she turns around she sees…Wet Harper.
(*More Whispers Sidenote:
“Sarah is having another…”
“Did you hear that?
“If she won’t save us then who is?”
“Sarah, somebody’s coming.”
Male: There is somebody coming
Female: Hold on one second
Male: There is somebody coming
Like I said, I have no way of verifying these.*)
Whisper plastic surgery can be overdone whisper whisper whisper.
Wet Harper, no less a bitch than Dry Harper, gives Juliet a message, supposedly from Ben. According to Wet Harper, Faraday and Lewis are headed to the Tempest. Ben wants Juliet to stop them from deploying the gas. Juliet wonders how Ben could know this when he’s a prisoner.
“Ben is exactly where he wants to be.” Odd how that echoes Miles sentiment. That doesn’t really bode well for Ben. I wonder how he likes his hand grenades? Over easy or poached?
“How am I supposed to stop them?”
“By pointing the gun. And pulling the trigger.”
Just then, Jack shows up. He wants to know who Wet Harper is.
“I’m an old friend of Juliet’s. I just told her where the people you’re looking for are headed. Maybe you and your gun can go, too.
At that moment, more…whispers.
(*Whispers sidenote II:
Male: “Sarah it’s someone we know, Sarah it’s someone we know”
Female: “I’m not answering”
Male: “Answer them”
“We have our answer”
“Can we trust her”
Again, I don’t vouch for the accuracy.*)
As Jack and Juliet look around for the source of the whispers, Wet Harper disappears. Fortunately, Juliet and her wet tank top remain.
Did I win the contest?
In a lab, Juliet sits impersonating Jack on the floor. She hears a noise that distracts her from her grief. She follows the sound and finds Archie…er, Goodwin.
Can’t we just all get along?
She spots the burn on his arm, which he claims to have done by leaning up against a transformer in the power station. She does the doctor thing and takes care of it. As she plays doctor with him, he brings up that morning’s loss of one of her patients, which makes her do a Jack again. He tries to tell her that it wasn’t her fault.
“Pregnant women are dying on this island. I was brought here to help fix that. So whose fault is it?”
Somehow, I think that the answer to that question will turn out to be the answer to so many more that I have.
Goodwin suggests that Juliet might want to talk to someone, perhaps Dry Harper.
“Harper hates me. We only talk because…we have to. I get the feeling that she is a mean…and spiteful person.”
“She’s my wife.”
Juliet uses her extensive medical training to remove her foot from her mouth.
As he gets set to leave, Goodwin offers his own ear for bending. Of course, from last season, we know that she’s going to bend more than his ear sooner or later. She offers a trade. If he won’t tell Dry Harper what she said about her, Juliet won’t tell anyone that he lied about how he burned his arm. She knows a chemical burn when she sees one. Methinks Goodwin knows a blond he can score with when he sees one.
Back in the wet, steamy jungle, Juliet and Jack are following Faraday and Charlotte to the Tempest. Jack hasn’t heard of the Tempest.
(*Shakespearean sidenote: There’s a good deal of parallel with Lost and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, but I’ll try to hit the high notes in short. It’s set mainly on an island, ruled by a guy who was shipwrecked there who has the son of a witch as his slave, until the island is invaded by some of the ruler’s former compatriots who bring their own political history with them when they too are shipwrecked. There are actually several more parallels that are of interest to Lost fans, so it’s probably worth checking out the wiki… It’s also noteworthy that one of the island’s spirits appears to several characters as a harpy – which made me think of Harper, Wet or Dry.*)
“It’s safer for you if I don’t talk about it.”
“No. Talk about it. Please.”
“It’s an electrical station that powers the island.” Um…that doesn’t seem very dangerous to talk about. Any bets on more lies of omission?
“Why would they go there? Hey. If there’s something you need to tell me, now’s the time to do it.”
“What I need is for you to help me. Will you help me?”
Jack doesn’t say anything, which Juliet takes as a “yes”. They continue on in the rain.
In a sunny glade, Faraday and Charlotte are checking their map. There are lots of unknowns. Actually, pretty much all that we see is “Unknown” which makes me wonder what the point of the map might be.
Where’s the Matterhorn on this thing?
Faraday is worried that he might not be able to do “it”, but Charlotte is convinced that he can.
Before I get a chance to ramp up my innuendo machine, Kate comes waltzing out of the jungle. C.S. Lewis draws down on her in a heartbeat but Daniel is able to keep her calm enough not to reduce the island’s hot chick population.
As Kate fills her water bottle, she quizzes the two about what they’re doing in the jungle away from where the supposed rescue would be taking place.
Charlotte tries the old “The sat phone is out of juice and we’re out here searching for our packs wherein are stowed more batteries” ploy, but Kate spots the bright green light on the sat phone staring her (and anyone else who cares to look down) in the face and sees through the ruse.
(*Debatable point sidenote: I don’t know who’s the bigger dipshit in this scene: Charlotte for not seeing the BRIGHT GREEN LIGHT on the sat phone in plain sight or Kate for pushing the issue with obviously untrustworthy Charlotte BEHIND HER.*)
When Kate pushes the issue by asking about Faraday’s pack and then further by asking to see inside, Charlotte finally sees her opportunity and cracks Kate’s skull with the butt of her gun. Before Kate gets knocked out Hollywood style, she sees the gas masks and hazmat suits that the pair are carrying, but of course we saw those back when we first met Faraday, so not a huge surprise.
Walking through the jungle, Jack asks Juliet about Wet Harper.
“She was my therapist.”
“You people had therapists?”
“It’s very stressful being an Other, Jack.”
I don’t have a smart assed remark for this bit. It stands on it’s own two sarcastic feet just fine.
Jack presses the subject but Juliet doesn’ t really want to discuss Wet Harper.
“I’m sure there are things from your past you’d rather not talk about.”
“Yeah, you read them all in my file.”
“Trust me Jack, you don’t want to see my file.”
Back in Riverdale, Betty and Reggie are discussing just what makes the pregnant women die. It has something to do with the immune system turning on the foetus in the second trimester. Reggie tries the old “hand brush” pick-up technique, to no avail. What’s next? The theatre seat yawn and stretch?
(*Way more information than you need sidenote: I used this exact same technique to pick up my first girlfriend. I was about twenty-five years younger than Ben at the time. If Ben is copping dating techniques from my teenage years, a ladies man, he ain’t.*)
Juliet is about to explain something about what she thinks might be the reason why it only happens to women who conceive on the island when Archie…er, Goodwin shows up with two lunches. He sees Ben and the look that the evil bastard gives him and lamely covers by pretending that he just had an extra sandwich rather than admitting that he was coming to see Juliet for a whole different kind of noon hour activity.
No we don’t want to sandwich. Now leave.
Shortly thereafter, Juliet is in session with Dry Harper. Within seconds of starting, the therapy session ends and next week’s episode of the Young and the Restless begins.
Dry Harper comments that Juliet looks just like “her” whoever the “her” in Ben’s past might be.
(*Speculation runs wild sidenote: Everyone from Ben’s mother to Jack’s ex-wife has been proposed as “her” on the web this week. Given that we’re watching Lost, my bet is someone unexpected, probably a woman we haven’t met yet.*)
Things further degenerate into bad soap opera territory when Dry Harper brings up Juliet’s relationship with Goodwin.
“When did you start sleeping with him?”
“Look, Juliet, I’m not an idiot. So just tell me. When did it start?”
“Okay. I’m not doing this. We’re done.”
“Please respect me enough to spare me the pretense that you are actually offended. I know. I followed you. Watched you.”
So, we now know that Dry Harper likes to watch.
(*Dirty mind sidenote: Is this how Dry Harper becomes Wet Harper?*)
And really, is it adultery if the wife is watching? That seems more like swinging to me.
Dry Harper warns Juliet that Goodwin might be in danger from Ben.
Again, if you have REALLY good freeze-frame, you can catch Juliet’s last words to Dry Harper.
In Occupied Otherville, Locke is butchering a rabbit when Claire comes over wanting to know what’s going on with Miles. She tries to convince Locke that his bad cop routine might benefit from some girly good copping. Locke’s not interested though and Claire is still completely useless.
“You do remember what Charlie said about these people?”
“All Charlie said was who’s boat it isn’t. Don’t you want to know who’s boat it is?”
I’ll give her a couple of points for trying and a couple more for standing up to Locke, even though he is rapidly spiraling into impotent hatch-wife II.
In his cell, Ben is reading Valis when Locke comes a knockin’ with his hasenpfeffer.
“Running out of chickens.”
“This didn’t have a number on it, did it?”
Obviously, Ben is probing to see just how much John has learned from living in Otherville and perhaps what he might have discussed with Sawyer. Either that or the numbered rabbits aren’t good eatin’.
Locke gives Ben some instructions about his dishes and laundry and makes to leave. Of course, Ben waits juuuust long enough and pushes the button.
“So has the revolution begun yet?”
In spite of the dead obvious fact that Locke ought to know better by now, he turns around and takes the bait.
“What are you talkin’ about?”
“Well, you’re the leader now. I know it’s a tough position. You have to deal with all those people constantly second-guessing your decisions. And it always starts out so innocently, doesn’t it? A question here, a comment there, and then if you’re not careful, you find you have a full blown insurrection on your hands. Believe me, your people are gonna be so angry when they realize you still don’t have a plan.”
“And I assume you have a plan.”
“I always have a plan.”
Hi. Welcome to this edition of “Understatement of the day”.
Locke figures it’s time to flip the situation and drops what he figures is a bomb.
“Does it involve you raising $3.2 million dollars?”
This does actually seem to catch Ben off guard for a second. Locke pushes by sarcastically offering to donate to the cause, putting a dollar bill in Ben’s hand. Was anyone else impressed that after all that has happened over the last three months that Locke actually has paper money in his pocket?
As he turns to leave, Ben tries to reel him in.
“I can help you, John. We have shared interests…or at least a common enemy.”
“And that would be our friends on the freighter.”
“Not them. The one they work for.”
Ben tries to deal his information for some privileges, but since Locke doesn’t trust Ben’s word, he isn’t willing to let Ben have any freedom on his word alone.
“All right, then. I guess I’ll have to show you.”
On a sunlit beach, Juliet emerges from the water and joins Goodwin on the beach. He has a bottle of wine and they appear very unconcerned with being discovered by their fellow Others. They discuss their situation and we learn that Goodwin has been sleeping on the couch for a year. Dry Harper, indeed.
We also learn that Ben has Goodwin working with chemicals that could kill everyone on the island, which makes him think that despite Ben’s crush on Juliet that there is nothing to worry about.
“What’s Ben gonna do?”
Cut to the plane breaking up over Otherville. That’s some implication.
We watch Ben send Goodwin and Ethan into their roles as infiltrators of the two groups of survivors. Given the conversation we just watched, we see the selection of Goodwin for his assignment in a new light. That Ben. It’s like he always has a plan.
Goodwin leaves without even saying “Bye” to either Betty or Veronica.
Back in the jungle, Jack and Juliet come across the little stream where Kate got her melon smacked.
“Something’s wrong. We should have caught up with them by now.”
“These people base jumped out of a helicopter, Jack. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Some low moans alert them to Kate’s presence. While Juliet offers to get water, Jack checks out Kate’s melon. Yeah…I’ll leave that. It’s just too easy.
Jack applies that standard First Aid technique we all know, getting the injured person with the bleeding head wound to sit up.
Once Kate explains how she wound up there and tells him that they had the gas masks with them, Jack looks around for Juliet. She’s nowhere in sight.
In Ben’s house, Locke leads a bound Ben into the living room. After confirming that they have a deal, assuring Locke that Ben’s people would have stormed the camp to get him back if they still wanted him, Ben directs Locke to open a hidden safe and extract a video tape labelled “RED SOX”.
On the tape, a familiar millionaire is seen getting out of a limo and pummeling a man Ben claims to be one of his operatives that was discovered. Ben claims not to know how Widmore knows about the island, but that he knows that the intent is to exploit the island’s more exotic properties. When Locke doesn’t see why that would be a problem, Ben tells him a story about people flocking to see a vaguely Virgin Mary shaped bunch of mold. If 5,000 people would travel to see mold, an island that was able to heal John Locke’s paralysis would be overrun if it’s existence was known.
Ben then hands Locke the other item in the safe, a file on Charles Widmore.
“Everything I know about Charles Widmore is in this file. Some of it’s vague, some of it’s guesswork, some of it’s concrete. But this is everything, and now it’s all yours. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all this sooner. But it was the only bargaining chip I had left.”
Am I the only one who doesn’t actually believe that Ben is out of chips?
“There’s one more thing I need to know. Your man on the boat. I want you to tell me who it is.”
“All right. But you might want to sit down.”
(*Speculation runs wild sidenote II: I’ve seen about a hundred different ideas as to who Ben’s man on the boat might be. There’s a fabulous thread about it at my blog’s discussion forum, the Purple Hatch. It’s the thread called “Barnum” but that’s just an accident of labelling.*)
Now that Jack has Kate with him, he’s no longer the cool tracker guy he was last night, content to let someone who actually knows what they’re doing do the tracking. Kate cuts their trail with ease. As they travel, he asks her about her choice to stay with Locke.
“I stayed to find out if the people on the freighter know who I am. If they knew that I’m a fugitive. That I’m wanted for murder.”
“Yeah they know.”
At the Tempest Station, Juliet arrives and as she prepares to open the door, we again hear faint…whispers….
(*Final Whispers Sidenote:
And again, no verification on that.*)
She uses the counterweight system to manually open the door, since the electronic door system has been destroyed. The pulley system makes a helluva racket, so stealth is out the window. She enters, puts her bag down and draws her gun.
Ben opens the door of his house and as he invites Juliet in, we see a portrait in the background that looks awfully familiar…
Hillary Clinton was almost pretty once.
Ben has invited her over for a dinner party and pulled the old “didn’t I tell you it was just us?” ploy. He might be Mr. Mastermind Villain Guy, but when it comes to the man/woman stuff he’s friggin’ Inspector Clousseau. Women don’t fall for this crap in real life, do they?
As Ben serves dinner, they discuss the children, Zack and Emma, that they’ve taken from the tail section survivors.
“They’re really sweet kids. Ben, they’ve been asking me about their mother in Los Angeles. I’m not really sure what to say.”
“They’ll stop asking in time.”
“They’re children. Do they really belong here?”
“They’re on the list, Juliet. Who are we to question who’s on the list and who’s not?”
Do I have to mention lies of omission?
Juliet then raises the issue of Goodwin remaining undercover after three weeks. Ben tries to sour Juliet on Goodwin by implying that he might be inappropriately interested in the survivor named Ana Lucia.
“After losing Ethan, it’s a risk.”
“Goodwin stays where he’s at right now, Juliet. There’s no reason for him to hurry back, right? But his assignment will be over soon. I promise you.”
Juliet makes her way into the Tempest station. She comes to a spot overlooking a bunch of equipment and while an alarm blares, she sees a figure in a hazmat suit working at a computer.
She creeps up and shouts at the figure while a mechanical female voice repeats “Repeated attempts to access storage tanks will result in contamination.”
When the figure turns, we see Faraday in the hazmat suit. “Juliet. What are you doing here?”
After Faraday tells her he can’t stop what he’s doing and turns back to the computer, she pulls his mask off.
“You wanna release the gas? You’ll die with the rest of us.”
“No, no, no. I’m not trying to release it. I’m trying to render it inert. I’m just trying to make it safe, Juliet.”
A second figure in a hazmat suit jumps Juliet and while a less than sexy girl-fight rages around him, Faraday frantically types away at the computer station. With two seconds left, he finally succeeds in stopping the gas from killing everyone.
“That…that was a close one.”
Ben enters Juliet’s office to find her reading Jack’s file. She tells him that he’s a spinal surgeon who can help him and Ben seems far less surprised and enthusiastic that we might expect under the circumstances.
“I need you to come with me.”
He takes her to a clearing, where they find Archie, dead.
Juliet is naturally distraught and demands to know what happened. With no witnesses, Ben has no answers. When she asks him why he brought her out to see Goodwin’s body, Ben responds with uncharacteristic fury.
“What, you mean instead of his wife?”
“You knew this would happen. You sent him out here because you knew this would happen. You wanted this! You wanted him to die! Why?”
“‘Why’? You’re asking me why? After everything I did to get you here, after everything I’ve done to keep you here, how can you possibly not understand…that you’re mine!”
After a pause, Ben returns to form.
“Take as much time as you need.”
I know, I know. The Riverdale analogy is not really accurate, but come on, we all know that Reggie would totally kill Archie, marry Veronica and have Betty for a mistress if he thought he could get away with it.
Back at the Tempest, Juliet and Charlotte leave the station and are confronted by Kate who draws down on Charlotte.
“Whoa, Kate, it’s all right. They’re on our side.”
“Our side, Juliet? She just knocked me unconscious.”
Charlotte apologizes and offers to show Kate just how they just saved her life. She is pissed off and not ready to let bygones be bygones without some proof. Jack on the other hand is willing to take her word for it.
(*Faith vs. Science Sidenote: It has been suggested that this acceptance is an indication that Jack is becoming a “man of faith” which would imply that Locke might become a “man of science”. Personally, I think that this acceptance indicates that Jack is becoming a man of “I’m sick and tired of dealing with Kate and would really like to be alone with Juliet” but that’s just me.*)
Once Kate and Charlotte head back into the Tempest, Jack asks Juliet if she’s okay.
She tells him about the instructions that Ben gave to kill the two from the freighter and that Jack is in over his head.
“Don’t you understand? These people came here to wage war against Ben, and Ben’s gonna win, Jack. And when he does, you don’t want to be anywhere near me.”
“Because he thinks I’m his. And he knows how I feel about you.”
After a lukewarm kiss, Jack has tough guy words for her.
“He knows where to find me.”
(*Final sidenote: A lot has been made of how passionless this kiss is, but I don’t buy any of the theories about it that I’ve seen. I think that the lack of passion was played intentionally by the actors, because the characters are BOTH playing a double game against Ben AND each other and the kiss was going through the motions for BOTH of them.*)
In the final scene, Sawyer and Hurley are enjoying that most cottage vacation of games, horseshoes. The oh, so lucky Hurley beats Sawyer’s leaner with a perfect ringer and after a comment about how lucky the big guy is, the two are left dumbstruck as they watch Ben stroll casually across the compound with a stack of neatly folded laundry.
“What the hell are you doing out?”
Ben, perfectly composed and enjoying the slack jawed expressions more than even getting his face pounded, casually answers as he goes inside.
“See you guys at dinner.”