Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"One of Us" Instant Reactions!

Brian's One Word Review: Enthralling.

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.

62 comments:

Stef said...

I agree this was a fantastic episode.

To me, the biggest "aha!" moment was when we saw Patchy watching all the news coverage of the missing flight 815! The world has not forgotten about them.... tie that in with Penny's search, the EMP, the comms being down, and my belief that whatever cloaking/shield/stealth field they had hiding the island must've gone with them, and I have to believe that somehow the outside world is going to come calling.

But first, something's going to happen in one week!

Anonymous said...

They sedated Juliet.. there is something that's demanding about making the move to the island. Didn't they say it's always rough?

Sort of reminded me of hitchikers guide where you needed beer before 'hitchhiking'.. but I digress...

This makes me think that there is a shift, maybe there are multiple realities.. perhaps they 'slid' through time.. maybe they didn't actually cure Rachel.. as time has a way of 'correcting' itself. It would be like ben you tell you that she lived through cancer but then died some other way.

Then again, maybe there are wishes.. such as Juliets husband being hit by a bus.. perhaps this is the same magic that cured Rachel?

How much of what Juliet said about ethan/claire was true? It would seem that most of it was a lie. They DID implant her with something.. but were they really trying to do this experiement? Perhaps... but why would they make that implant, and how would they know to do it? It's pretty darned evil... what's their angle... it would SEEM that they could have come out of the woods and greeted them.. gained their trust instead of grabbing the kids and the 'good ones'. That way, they probably could have been up front about saving the babies.

I'll have to chew on all of this for a while. Great episode, I was shocked that they went ahead and told us of Juliets deceit instead of leaving up guessing. THANK YOU!

Oh, and there is obviously some money behind this.. if it's not Hanso/Dharma.. then who? Widemore?

me said...

After watching that episode, I think I'm going to miss you and your analyses even more, Brian. ha!

Really... that was an amazing episode that I can't wait to watch again already.

Safe voyage, Brian! Have fun!

Chris B. said...

Where the crap are Rose and Bernard?!?! We don't even see them in the background anymore! And you;re telling me we wouldn't see them when Jack & Co. return to the beach?? I understand they aren't in the storyline at the moment....but it's going to make it kind of weird when we do see them again. Like.."Oh yeah....those two, I thought they died or something" I say "weird" of course as I'm talking about a show where a smoke monster chases people on an ancient mysterious island of wonder.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Brian, if your plane disapears and you end up on some island, be leary of 'others' and smokey monsters.

Anonymous said...

I want to 4 toed statue.. I'd be wanting to check that out.

Maybe Rose and Bernard moved down the beach?

INOWHATELOST said...

The Others are pure evil. They are E-VIL like the fru-it of the de-vil...

I say that LOST has jumped the shark.

I say just kill off all the good people and give us some crappy watered-down, answer-NOTHING ending ala ALIAS and prove what a worthless storyteller JJ is!

Here's a good idea - Juliet can fall through a skylight, and Ben can live for eternity trapped under a big rock. Now THAT would be original...

Matt said...

I'm just confused as to what the Other's want with the survivors! Are they going to try and figure out info about Claire and (Somehow) Sun? It doesn't add up as to why they are going through all this trouble (kidnapping, drugging, implanting) to MAYBE figure out how to have mother's live through pregnancies. I clearly understand Juliet's motives, but Ben is coming off as purely a cult leader. By the way, Sayid isn't done yet. Why was he so shocked that Juliet knew his secrets? PLEASE answer me! (PS: Hugo is just an honest to God good dude. I can't believe he didn't make Jake's list!)

Rebecca said...

My only real complaint is how easily the Losties are manipulated. Sayid and Sawyer had the right idea to grill Juliet, but the got cold feet when she predictably used their pasts to manipulate them into empty threats. Get some guts, especially from two really tough dudes! Remind her that maybe it takes people with bad pasts to recognize the Others as being bad.

Renee said...

Bye Brian~
Be safe!

Seventoes said...

Wait a second, didnt Ben tell juliet that her sister's cancer was back int he first place? Why should she believe that? Maybe she's been fine all along, and Ben knew he would need a bargaining chip with her, so he told her that the cancer was back, then later say that Jacob "cured" her!

It fits in, and it sounds just like what Ben would do. I dont know where to post this, so imma post it in the message board too.

Ang said...

This episdoe was one of the best so far. I never trusted Juliet and the ending of this episode certainly proved it to me.

And I agree that we haven't heard the last of Sayid and Sawyer's questioning. They are both way too tough to let a girl bully them around.

Brian I hope you have a wonderful trip...you will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing regarind Ben telling a lie regarding Juliette's sister's cancer killing her. In any event, it is interesting how the Ben character is portrayed as a man of his word which actually is his ticket to manipulate people (ie; Michael, Juliette, Jack). Superb performances especially by Mitchell and Emerson too...superb!

So far as the story arch goes, it is hard pill to swallow regarding Jack having full trust in Juliette. It seems to defy the character that has thus been developed.

Anonymous said...

Jump the shark, what an overused term. Lost will jump the shark when the do a 'musical' episode.

Ahh.. wouldn't that be a great scene? Locke, after the crash, rising from the wheel chair singing and dancing about 'walking again'.

That would be jumping the shark.

susa said...

I can´t wait to see how they continue to tell the Locke-Story! Imagine Locke turning up as a kind of spiritual leader with a loyal group of Others following him - like he wished he would be.
Nice thought about the "life" concept for the show, Brian, but I would not be surprised, if there´s still more to it, as it is often in "life".

Anyway, have a great trip to my wonderful home continent, and don´t get lost!

smacky said...

My only nagging question is this: We know the Others have a fantastic research team in the outside world (they were already working on passenger histories as the plane was still burning on the ground!), but some of the stuff they know... In about three months time they were able to trace Sayid's movements from Iraq to Paris, investigate his time in Paris, and learn of his overnight abduction by the husband of one of his torture victims? An event that happened in one night, years ago? Also, in just about three months, they were able to trace Sawyer's movements in Australia and deduce that he shot a man (an event where there were NO witnesses)?

I'm not proposing a new theory, but it's almost like the Others can read the losties' minds. How else would they know some of their most hidden, darkest secrets?

Claire said...

Was it my imagination, or did anyone else see it?

When Juliet was crawling along the dock after getting out of the sub, she looked up to the island and saw the hills. The hills rather looked like an ancient city that had grown over with greenery. Anyone else notice that?

SinkingDeeper said...

I did notice that the hills looked like there were some odd patterns/erosion...but just barely noticed it before it changed shots...maybe someone can rewatch and tell...

Brian said...

Whoa whoa whoa anonymous poster. You say "musical episode" like it's a bad thing. While I don't see how it could ever work on Lost, it has been used very succesfully on both Scrubs and Buffy - neither of which "jumped the shark".

Lost will jump the shark when it features Sawyer riding a motorcycle, jumping over a pool of Dharma sharks. Luckily, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

robin said...

Just a small thought...But when Juliet told Jack "I AM alone (or on my own?)," I think she meant it...So that even though she's spying for Ben and Co. (which will inevitably separate her from the Losties, she's still just doing what she has to in order to get herself off the island. Not really an other...but not really a Lostie...

Gregory said...

I love that they are allowing Ben to be a man of his word. What an exteremly unexpected trait for any story's super-villian (which goes to support the whole good-bad role reversal).

I think the Locke storyline isn't too hard to piece together. Noone has really indugled his spiritial journey needs since Boone (save Eki but Locke was pouty when Eko was being open-minded). So, the Others are providing full sponsorship of this quest cause Ben is looking for one single answer as well "what gives, why am I getting sick at all, and not recovering?"

Anonymous said...

OK, will it jump the shark when the island is uncovered and they open a the "Dharma" Resort? Where visitors wishes come true?

Anonymous said...

It's not a city... it's natural geological formations. However, you notice that you can see similar hills from the 'otherville'.. which makes since since that's where the docks are.

Let's not reach too far.

tobiasly said...

Am I the only one who freeze-framed and looked at the closeup of Ben's doctor papers on Rachel showing her cancer?? Up at the top, it said "Sex: Male" and "Weight: 187 lbs." or something like that.

Another honest mistake from the Lost extras department, or were those papers really fake?

Anonymous said...

I think a Juliet motive that has been overlooked is the fact that she was banging Goodwin (and looked good doing so). Tack that on and Juliet has yet another score to settle with the plane crash survivors (even though Ana Lucia is already dead).

That being said, I have to say that Ben is HUGELY playing Locke. Ben's a liar and a manipulator. Ben's leading Locke to believe that he's in communion with the island and that he's somehow in favor and Ben is not. If that were the case, Locke would be Ben's rival. There's no way that Ben would want to help Locke become more understanding of it. He's playing him once again. Locke's a tool.

Alec said...

Apparently, the charts were EKGs -- nothing you'd diagnose cancer from.

Sodfather said...

What an awesome episode, I am Jonah Yoyo btw, and hopefully I will nitpick this episode with the scrutiny it deserves. Thanks for the opportunity, Brian. And to everyone on here, expect my anaylsis in the next few days.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with post above (from anonymous) saying Juliette is evening a "score" given Goodwin's death. Nothing suggested any real emotional attachment between them and writting Juliette's arch to be rooted in a vendetta to revenge Goodwin's murder would be thin and forced...very soap operaesque IMO. I think Juliette is not "one of us" (meaning she is out for herself to get off the Island).

Anonymous said...

The symbol on the tree is the same as the symbol branded on Juliette's back after her trial.

Fantastic episode, loved it.

Brian enjoy your trip and yes you will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I think that the symbol on Juliet's back is just a crude brand version of what was on the tree last night, which is kind of similar to an anglo-saxon rune that relates to life/death.

Brian said...

I just have to say that it is absolutely KILLING me to not write an analysis of this episode. Instead, I've just been spouting off all my thoughts and theories on the episode to co-workers today. It's just not the same without getting them down on paper. Maybe I'll just write them on the plane for my own peace of mind, then leave them in the pocket of the chair in front of me for some future person to be thoroughly confused by...

Anonymous said...

yeah....hey Brian, if you write it, post it! agreed, killer episode. amazing how measured these writters are in giving up reveals but again, killer episode no doubt!

Anonymous said...

yeah Brian Post your thoughts on the forums just like the rest of us that way you get them out of your head and Johan yoyo can still do his analysis. I bet even he'd agree you should do that.

okiegal said...

As much as I love Jack, I think those of you saying he's playing Juliet and doesn't really trust her are wrong. Remember, he has a real weakness for people (especially women?) who need him to save them. I think he is totally conned on this one.

Also, it makes sense that Juliet would still side with Ben & Co. Even though she wants off the island more than anything else in the world like our survivors, she knows they don't have any means to get her off. Her only hope is to continue working with Ben.

Greg said...

The airfield Juliet goes to is HERARAT. I see three explanations or easter eggs here. First, "HER A RAT" - describing Juliet (at least as we currently know her). Second, it's an anagram of EARHART, as in, Amelia, the aviator who disappeared somewhat mysteriously and perhaps on a remote island. Third, it is similar to Ararat, the mount where Noah's Ark is supposed to have landed and a new world civilization begun. So, question: am I overanalyzing, and in what ways, or are the Lost writers this creative! (I vote for both!)

Anonymous said...

not a chance Jack is playing Juliette. Juliette is devious...along with Ben Linus, she's one of the more interesting, dimensional characters i can recall on contemporary TV...cable or network.

On another note, anyone know of a detailed 'timeline' outline what has transpired, from show conception till now, with every key story line, anywhere on-line?

amber said...

Lostpedia has a good timeline

Jason said...

Here is a good timeline of the whole series. http://www.lostpedia.com/wiki/Timeline

Enjoy

RIP Posts said...

OMG, what a great episode. Juliet proved me right. She is a desperate woman willing to do anything to get off of that island. I'll be talking about this one all week.

Anonymous said...

I just realized something. If women can not give birth on the island then where did all those children come from? There were very young children in the episode when Jack was captured and in the cage. They had to have been 5 or 6 years old. Do the others keep arriving at this island daily? Being that these kids were not born on the island. I am confused.

Anonymous said...

The Kids are crash survivors. Most of them anyway.

Other said...

Season 2 Episode 5 - "...And Found"

EKO: A round heel. This is fresh. These tracks...
JIN: Michael.
EKO: Yes, Michael. They don't leave tracks.
[They continue on, but Eko stops suddenly to look and listen. Jin says something in Korean but Eko ignores him. Jin says it

louder and Eko puts his hand over Jin's mouth and shushes him. Then we see them hidden in the brush with just their eyes showing.

Then we see several sets of legs walking by, the last one carrying a teddy bear hanging from a string.]


Season 2 Episode 7 - "The Other 48 Days"

[The tail section of the plane crashes into the water near the beach.]
[Day 1]
...
ZACK: Emma -- my sister, my sister. Emma! Emma!
[Eko goes back in the water to rescue Emma and brings her to the beach. Ana sees her and leaves a man lying on the beach to go to

help with Emma.]
ANA: I'll be right back.
EKO: She's not breathing.
[Ana begins CPR. Eko sees the boy watching.]
EKO: Come with me.
[The boy drops his teddy bear by his sister while Ana administers chest compressions on Emma.]
EKO [to the boy]: Don't look. She will be fine.
[Emma spits up water and regain consciousness.]
ANA: Good, let it out. You okay?
EMMA: Where's my mom?
ANA: I don't know.
EMMA: She's meeting us in Los Angeles.
YELLING MAN: Help! Help! Anybody see my wife?
ANA: We're not there yet. I promise, we're going to get you home soon, okay.
...
[Day 12]
...
[At night on the beach, a roaring fire. Everybody sleeping. The camp is attacked and the kids and some adults are taken.]
Unknown Voice: Behind you! Behind you!
EMMA: Help us, please!
LIBBY: The kids, they took the kids.
...
[Day 27]
...
ANA: What about the kids? Did you kill them, too?
GOODWIN: Children are fine. They're better off now.


Season 3 Episode 9 - "Stranger in a Strange Land"

JACK: What are you doing here -- with them? I thought you were taken -- you were -- you were captured.
CINDY: They're not, um -- it's not that simple.
JACK: What are they doing here, right now? What are you doing here?!!
CINDY: We're here to watch, Jack.
JACK: Watch what?
[The little girl, Emma, from the tail section approaches.]
CINDY: What is it, sweetheart?
[Emma whispers in her ear and waits with a big smile.]
CINDY: She wants to know how Ana-Lucia's doing.
JACK: Are you serious?
CINDY: What?
JACK [angry]: If you've got something to watch, Cindy, go watch it!! Go!!
[The little boy, Zach, hands his teddy bear to Emma and stares at Jack in confusion as the group of people walk away from Jack.]

Other said...

Also:

http://www.lostpedia.com/wiki/Teddy_bear

gisele said...

In reply to okiegal I would like to remind you a scene where Jack was sitting on the beach, pretty much the same way with Kate in the beginning of season 1, as he was with Juliette at the end of this episode. He knew Kate had done something bad but did not question her, just like he seems not interested in questionning Juliette. Jack has a talent for trusting people after he looks into their beautiful eyes!

Brian enjoy your vacation, try not to miss Lost too much but do remember to come back to us, we need your imput. Bon voyage.

Anonymous said...

Juliet's sister listed as a male on the EKG/Cancer sheet.

Ok, I think the answer to this is simple. Those are EKG readings, correct? Well, I don't understand why a person with cancer would need an EKG unless they had some sort of circulatory cancer.

The EKG is not from Juliet's sister, it's from the BABY INSIDE THE WOMB! Ultrasounds and sonographs can keep records of heart rates. I think that's what we're seeing. She had a male baby...Julian. Maybe I'm wrong. Who knows. Fuckin' great episode, though!

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice that the mark of Ethan's medicine drop point is the same as Juliet's Mark (what she was branded with for punishment)?

Am I right here?

BH

robin said...

anonymous-
Regarding the Male EKG/Cancer sheet...Not sure if this is accurate, but someone else posted that there was a weight listed as 187(ish) lbs. If it was for Julian then I hope Rachel had a cesaran, cause that'd be one hell of a baby to push out!

Anonymous said...

Hey Robin,

If a woman is going to a OBGYN, they'll list her weight and they'll list the sex of the baby she's having.

At least, I hope so. I'd hate to give birth to a 187 fucking pound brat!

Anonymous said...

TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO PROPS! Lost is famous for erroneous medical sheet. Remember the medical sheets for the Girl Eko was researching? For a male in an Hawaii Hospital? You're reading too much into it.

It is an EKG, and I don't understand what this would have to do with Cancer... at all. And a 5'11 baby would hurt...

kram said...

If Danielle and Ben are Alex's real parents, and Alex appears to be about 16, and Ben's lived on the island his whole life, then how is it possible that Danielle was able to give birth when all the other pregnant women on the island could not?

singhy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
singhy said...

OMG OMG OMG! Wow wow wow! Just seen it and that is one of the best, if not the best, Lost Episode I've seen. Wasn't quite the full reveal of the Others I hoped for after the first two minutes, but I still don't think I've learnt so much in one episode before!

Will post something more coherent later when I come down from this high ;-)

Anonymous said...

Danielle and Ben are not Alex's parents. Danielle was on a scientific mission with the father of her unborn child when they crashed. She gave birth and The Others stole the baby. Ben then raised her as his own and told Alex her mom died during child birth.

brad said...

I'm excited to see the guest writer's breakdown of "One of Us"!

Good Luck, we will be supportive!

Other said...

I second that, but I'll still miss Buddy Jesus :)

Akysten said...

How did CFL give birth on the island? Maybe she wasn't there long enough? It's odd that the two people who had babies from the outside didn't have problems? Or maybe the baby birth issue didn't exist 16 years ago.

S said...

The sickness:

Whatever Juliet is trying to save the island's pregnant mothers from may have nothing to do with auto-immunity and antibodies. Claire was 'sick' because of an implant, whatever the others have injected her with was probably for something else other than the immune disease Juliet explains about.

This may mean that Sun will not get sick soon (as has been speculated) regardless of whether she conceived on the island with Jin or not.

I think the research the others are doing with regards to pregnancy might have to do with the whole 'good person Vs bad person' thing. Juliet says "it happens at conception"... what if she isn't talking about the illness but the establishment of whether a person is 'good' or 'bad' (by some pre-established other criteria).

Goodness Vs Badness was a pretty strong theme in 'left behind' where the irrational behaviour of Kate killing he stepdad is highlighted.

Kate's mother loved evil stepdad guy and could never forgive his cold blooded murder, no matter what the details were.

Kate was put in a situation and she made a choice to act badly (even with the best intentions) despite there being many other actions she might have taken in that situation. I thought this was interesting because Kate's mother seemed pretty 'good' in that episode. Kate was inherently bad despite the fact she was brought up by a mother who seemed good. It ties in with nature Vs nurture and all that... Did Kate's nature defy the nurture she had received?

This is also interesting because the (fake?) psychic was adamant that no-one else but Claire should bring up Aaron (would he grow up evil otherwise?), implying that nurture could overcome nature?

Just a few thoughts about lost themes. Anyone have anything to add on thins?

-SJ

Anonymous said...

has anyone explored the idea or possibliity that Goodwin may have impregnated Juliette? That may be the rationale for showing her having casual sex in One of Us. I think the timeline works for this to be possible and discovered soon. The fact that she would have noticed missed menstrual periods can easily be explained.Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

First, Brian I only discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago. I totally enjoy it. I enjoy anyone who is as addicted to Lost as I am, and I love reading your thoughtful pov.

Second, Haven't noticed any mention of this anywhere, but I can't be the only person to have thought this... We've heard of "the sickness" described by Rousseau as having infected all of the other 5 members of her team about 2 months aft their arrival on the island. Now we've seen Claire get very sick, and learned that it was "implanted" by Ben's group, and activated at a specific time.

So, is it possible that what happened to Claire is also what happened to the members of Rousseau's team? Perhaps the Others also implanted this virus in her team members (they had 2 mos) in order to leave Danielle alone & vulnerable and activated them just as it was time for her to give birth.

Just a thought. :)

sg

e said...

They could've also put an implant in Sawyer when they did the "faux pacemaker" surgery...

- e

www.longlivelocke.com

Jimmylegs said...

That's just a way to stop people from fucking on the island. Smokey is a prude!

Ethan said...

Since nobody spoke to this, Greg (way upthread), you are correct: Herarat is an anagram for Earhart. It just dawned on me in the wee hours of this morning, which shows how quick I am with anagrams.

Interesting theory re: Submarine, folks. Hmmm.