Seriously, this was one of those episodes that had me totally hooked from the first minute - savoring each scene (both on Island and in Flashback, what a rarity!) and when it ended, my first thought was "this might be the best episode of the season". This was television at its best, and continues what may be the greatest streak of episodes I've ever seen. I really think at the end of it, I'm going to look back on Lost Season Three and rank it right up there with Buffy Season Two as the greatest pieces of storytelling I've ever seen.
So what was so great?
- The Writing. Thinking about it, this was right up there with "Walkabout" in terms of ending twists. The writers spent the first forty minutes totally convincing us that Juliet was to be trusted (she admitted to kidnapping Kate, explained the Claire kidnapping, was understanding of the mistrust, looked pretty hot), and then with one scene totally pulled the carpet out from under us. So what does this mean?
- Juliet. I think Jack was right (and the flashbacks seemed to confirm) that what Juliet wanted more than anything is to get off the Island. But once Ben proved that Rachel was alive and well, Juliet realized she had to keep up her end of the bargain too. Once she figures out how to make babies on the Island, she can go home... and the best chance to figure out how to do it is to infiltrate our Survivors - to study Claire and Sun (although you could still argue that the Others don't know she is pregnant yet). But does this mean that everything with threatening Ben's life was part of the plan too? Or did she legitimately think that Jack offered the chance to "cheat" her way off the Island?
- One Week. So what in the heck is going to go down in one week?! Lucky for me, assuming the next two episodes continue at the same pace as most episodes, "one week" should coincide with the first episode in May, right when I get back. It's worth nothing that this is also the episode where Locke returns and we're supposed to get an explanation about the Locke's Dad mystery. Are the Others going to storm the Survivors' Beach? Is Juliet going to lead our Survivors into a trap?
- Jacob. Once again Jacob was referenced in a way that makes him / her / it seem like a "god". Most intriguing was that we learned apparently Jacob's power exceeds far beyond the Island, as Jacob was able to cure Rachel's cancer back in the good ol' US of A. But how?
- Wishes. I know it's crazy, but if you believe Ben's line about "the Island granting wishes" a lot of things make sense. Ben wished that Rachel would get cancer to use as a bargaining chip with Juliet. Once Ben found out he had cancer, he wished a plane would crash that had a spinal surgeon on it. While he was at it, he also wished the plane would have a pregnant woman on it. Perhaps "Jacob" is some mythical Island "god" that grants wishes, but only to those who are worthy.
- Cancer. I found it very intriguing that Ben said "no one on this Island has ever had cancer" as if cancer was some problem of the rest of the world that they were immune to. But why? Due to the unique magnetic properties of the Island? Or due to their communion with a benevelont Island "god"? If you buy into the Cowboys and Indians theory, it would explain why Ben suddenly got cancer, and why it came as such a shock to him - it was the Island's way of saying "you screwed up".
- Life. Lastly, this episode got me thinking about a quote from the Lost creators early on in the series. The question was "what is Lost really about?" Their answer was that "Lost is about life." While I took that to mean it was about anything and everything (aka - a cop out of an answer), maybe we should have taken it literally. What if Lost is really just about a group of people trying to sustain life (the Others making babies) in a place that is free from the death and destruction (and cancer) of the rest of the world? That would pretty much sum up Lost as being "about life", wouldn't it?
I can't think of ending on a better comment than that.
Just for fun, try the new Message Board for comments on this episode. See if it's easier to follow and read than the traditional Blogger Comments section!
...and with that, I bid you all adieu. I'm still around for the next day or so, so I may reply to comments here and there, but the next full fledged post you'll see from me won't be until May. Although I'm insanely excited for my trip, I have to admit, I'm going to miss Lost for the next two weeks.
Jonah Yoyo, I turn the keys of the Blog over to you first for your "One of Us" Analysis. Treat her like a lady while I'm gone.