Greetings, Lost fans, Sodfather here. I have the opportunity to write an analysis for this intriguing episode while Brian is out and about, tramping all around Europe. So without any other hoopla, here is my take.
Flashbacks- I believe Lost is at its best when the flashbacks give as much insight, if not more, to what is going on the Island, and this episode was no exception. I mean look at the wealth of information gained in this episode: we know why for sure why Juliet was on the Island, the extent of Ben/Jacob's influence even in the outside world, the capabilities of the Flame hatch, and Ben is most comfortable in office casual. (okay, the last one we were probably already sure about, but hey he can sport a polo and khakis like no other villain in history.)
The flashbacks of "One of Us" takes place pretty much right where "Not in Portland" left off. However, there are a few things not explained in the small time between the two episodes. For one thing, "Not in Portland" left off with Juliet not quite sure about Alpert and Ethan. And there was something else, she was suspicious that they may have actually MURDERED her ex-husband! So, how good of smooth talkers are Ethan and Alpert? Evidently pretty damn good ones, as Juliet in this episode was arriving at an airfield and preparing for an airplane trip, and unknown to her, a submarine ride to the Island. So what was discussed that convinced her? Was it some kind of Island influence?
I am not quite for sure, but something seemed to come over when the tranquilizer laced orange juice was introduced. Maybe I have been out of the private sector for too long, but expecting a new recruit to take drugs in order to get to the location of your company doesn't seem very corporate kosher. So, why did she do it? I am guessing from her conversations with Ben, and even Alpert, that some tidbit of information was given to her about saving the babies, saving the world. But there is no real evidence of that at this time.
Something else that was finally talked about was the "history" that Ben and Juliet had. And, can anyone really blame Juliet for having sour grapes when it comes to Ben? She was told she could leave after a short time on the Island, and when she can't quite pinpoint why the Others gals are dying when they are pregnant, she doesn't really see any reason for her services needed. So Ben devises a plan where Juliet's sister has cancer again, but promises she can go into remission if Juliet will just stay a little longer. So when Juliet concedes and then later Ben takes her to the Flame hatch to see Patchy, shows her the healthy Rachel playing with her young son, we the viewers are left with asking did Ben really have anything to do with it? Did Rachel really have cancer? Is it possible for Ben to cure cancer when he has a tumor? I know some people on the boards swear that the EKG readings that Ben procures are not accurate in determining whether Rachel or not had cancer, and since I am not an expert, I can not say with any certainty one way or another, but I would love to read more info about it.
Something else about the Flame station. When Ben draws Juliet's, and our attention to the date of the paper, he says its today's date. Does that mean that there is a conflict in the funky time line theory? I don't necessary think so. Maybe the Island works in a way where one of the aspects can change when it needs to, either slowing down or speeding up, but they are also in a position to some how have the Island time work on the same wave as the outside world. Which would make alot of sense since the Others send agents like Alpert and Ethan work in the outside world. It wouldn't really work if they were somehow living in two different time lines. Somehow I think it is connected to the once magnetic field around the Island and the need for outsiders to take tranquilizers on the submarine trip to the Island.
And speaking of outsiders...
Back with the Survivors- Juliet found herself in some hot water between a mad Kate, a distrustful Sayid, and an understanding Jack in this episode. When Jack declared Juliet was "under his protection" I about laughed out loud, I mean does Jack really think he could take on Sayid? But once they got to the beach something interesting happened. Sawyer and Sayid, sharing in a distrust for Juliet, bonded and seemed to have a few tricks up their sleeves. If there is going to be any upheaval in Ben and Juliet's one week plan, it is going to be because of those two. If only Vincent was around join the posse, there would be no trouble on that beach.
Also, we saw a very sick Claire. Not that it would matter very much if she had bit the bullet this episode, as I am prone to worry about baby Aron, and since Sun and Charlie seem to be his primary care givers lately, no real trouble done. But of course her sickness was not only a ploy for Juliet to earn the Survivors' trust, but actually an implant that was inserted at some point in the past and only Juliet had the cure that was left by the Others. Most likely I am going to say I think it was Ethan who did it... but at what point did he insert an implant, and for what purpose could they realistically see the need for such a thing? Hopefully the truth will come out eventually, maybe even Claire can find out and go crazy, we haven't really seen that in awhile. I think though, that the focus is going to be put on Sun and her pregnancy, the Others finding out about it, and if she is safe.
But, I think the biggest question this episode brought up is whether or not Juliet can be trusted at all. I believe she can't be. She is willing to do anything, and I mean ANYTHING to get off the Island. If that means planning to kill Ben in surgery, then that is how it has to be, if that means helping Ben in some unscrupulous plot, then so be it. In a lot of ways she is like Michael in that respect. Nothing really has been shown that will make Juliet seem any different from selling out her new buddies. And that last few minutes certainly did nothing to help her case. And Jack sees her more of an equal and in the end, I do believe it will be Juliet who plays Jack. But this is the type of show that will show a segment like that and then pull the carpet from under us again right after we got up from the last time.
Well, that is it from me for now. Thanks for reading everyone and thanks to Brian for letting us guest bloggers getting on here, may we be good Bens to your Jacob!