A Tale of Two Cities

Tonight’s much-anticipated airing of the Season Three premiere of “LOST” was actually our second look at it, as we were among the thousands who enjoyed the sneak preview on Waikiki Beach over the weekend. And while the beach premiere was a blast, enjoying and analyzing an episode in one’s living room is a very different experience. I can definitely say I came away liking “A Tale of Two Cities” better than I initially did. Jen, meanwhile, loved it both times.

It was a strong opening act, but it was just an opening act, setting the stage for the pseudo-miniseries we’re getting this year. Though there were some moments of levity, it was nice to return to the menacing gloom I’ve grown to love, and while I’m certainly curious about our other survivors, I’m glad they limited the episode to Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. And this was definitely one of Matthew Fox’s strongest showings. Newcomer Elizabeth Mitchell, meanwhile, was fantastic. I’m immediately curious about her story.The opening sequence was certainly an eye-popper. At first just a tribute to the Season Two premiere, we’re disoriented and dazzled as we figure out where and when we are. A widebody jet breaking up in a clear blue sky isn’t something you’ll get in any other primetime TV show. And it was cool seeing how our friends “Benry,” Ethan, and Goodwin first started down the path to our survivors.

Jack’s flashback story is straightforward and illustrative. We see how low he spirals as his marriage dissolves, and the roots of the irrational side we’ve seen on The Island. The “cell phone” scene was a great way to jump into a favorite fan theory: that his father was having an affair with his wife. Jack thought Christian destroyed his marriage, but Jack’s mistrust ends up crushing Christian’s soul. And unlike some flashbacks, his journey is clear. He goes from having to know and control everything about his life and Sarah, to wanting simply to know whether Sarah is happy.

As for developments on The Island? It definitely seems like Kate’s “big choice” is going to be much more than just a minor shipper plot point. She asks about Sawyer first, and ends up in an adjacent cage. (I sincerely hope we’re not about to get into “DHARMA Captive Breeding Program” territory.) And speaking of favorite fan theories, we finally find The Hydra station, the “underwater hatch.” (Jay and Jack, rejoice!) And Sawyer’s rat-in-a-cage scenes were fun… if not a bit too cheesy. Souza on the loudspeaker, fish crackers with a DHARMA imprint, and poor Karl.

At first glance, there didn’t seem to be much in the way of answers to bigger questions. But the implications of two plot points and a couple of short conversations deserve some study. The reaction to the plane crash, for one, seems to imply that the Others were surprised on one hand (the crash wasn’t a scheduled specimen delivery), but that they had some protocols in place — something they had training for, even if they didn’t expect to ever have to use it. And Juliet’s file? Perhaps the Others aren’t as forgotten or isolated as some has thought. Seems like they’re still connected to the mothership somehow, able to collect names and obtain thick dossiers.

As for conversations, there’s the book club scene where Juliet and Adam argue about whether Juliet should pick a book Ben wouldn’t like (by, of course, Stephen King), and secondly, Jack’s chat with Juliet, in which both Jack and Juliet refer to the DHARMA Initiative as “they,” and Juliet makes clear that whatever operation is in place now is not what it was initially. Whatever Ben and Juliet and friends are plotting now, it’s probably quite a deviation from the original plan.

As I mentioned, I had my gripes about “A Tale of Two Cities” at first, but I’m also coming to terms with the fact that fans sometimes set their expectations too high. And those of us who endlessly speculate or seek out spoilers probably ruin the fun for ourselves sometimes. I’m learning to let go, and enjoy the ride.

Notes and Notions:

  • The Others’ village, and the charade Juliet, Adam and friends were failing to play reminded me a lot of an episode of Alias (also a J.J. Abrams show) titled “Liberty Village.” It was about a wholly fabricated suburb built in Russia to train agents to infiltrate a typical American neighborhood. The objective? Acquisition of an EMP weapon. Hatch magnet, anyone?
  • Another Kate in a shower scene! Big surprise.
  • A poster on The Fuselage picked up on a strong food theme in this episode. Juliet’s burnt muffins and sandwich toothpicks, Jack’s stubborn refusal to submit for food and water, Kate’s nice breakfast (followed by who knows what), Sawyer’s struggle for water and grain…
  • What was the deal with Karl? An Ana Lucia-like plant? An Other who went astray?
  • What was the Stephen King book? Adam dismissed it as religious hokum lacking metaphor. Carrie? The Stand?
  • The Stephen King shoutout was cute, but I wonder… will he be flattered, or annoyed? After all, while he’s a big fan of the show, he recently chided the show’s creators for trying too hard (he was not a fan of the four-toed statue).
  • Music notes: “Downtown” by Petula Clark, a good match with the Mama Cass song that opened Season Two. And Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” made a repeat appearance in Jack’s car (the same song Sayid and Hurley picked up on the beach via shortwave).
  • Location notes: The Others’ village looked like Camp Erdman in Mokuleia on the North Shore, Sawyer’s cage and the facility Kate was taken from looked like the old aviary at Paradise Park in Manoa Valley. Sarah’s school was Palolo Valley Recreation Center, the lawyer’s office was First Hawaiian Tower downtown (same location as Jin’s father-in-law’s office), and the police station was the old police building on Merchant Street.

60 Responses to “A Tale of Two Cities”

  1. LockeItUp says:

    This should be an interesting ride this season. Glad it’s back.

  2. jim says:

    Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. Whoa! Two long suspected plot threads confirmed: Jack’s father was responsible for Jack’s marriage ending, and there IS an underwater hatch! (Jack of Jay and Jack must be dancing around Raleigh right now…)
    But the strangest mystery occured in the first few minutes. Why would these people we call “The Others”, living in seemingly civilized comfort, react so instantly to the plane crash, as though they had been waiting for it? What is their motive? Fear? Self-protection? Something more sinister? You almost get the feeling that it has happened before. What do these people want? As was the case during the past two seasons, I can’t wait for next week’s episode. And each one after that!

  3. debbie says:

    This was the best Jack flashback……seeing him melt down in both the present and the past was gripping. And when Sarah tells him about Christian back on the sauce at the end was like a knife in the heart.

    Im watching that new show “the nine” right now……looks like its gonna be another good show!

  4. Jeff says:

    Jim, Jack’s father was not responsible for Jack’s marital breakdown…not fully anyway. I have a feeling you wrote this before the episode ended.

    Good episode, a tad bit lacking though. Too much prison scene’s, seemed like a lot of “filler” to me. Not enough answers.

    This show now reminds me of a cross between the movie “The Village” and the Fox TV show “Prison Break”.

  5. STR says:

    My Tivo cut the last two minutes of the season premier, what happened at the very end? Where can I view the previews for next week?

  6. jim says:

    i did miss a minute or so of the show. iTunes to the rescue!

  7. I just posted my thoughts on my blog. I wrote about the last 2 minutes there if you want to take a look see, STR. Looking forward to your thoughts tomorrow, Ryan & Jen. Now it’s time for bed…

    http://www.flipthisbody.com

  8. Myshkin says:

    ehhh it was good but i think thats because ive been waiting for the return of lost so long, anything would suffice. not enough answers, i felt. worst of all there were so many commercials. it seemed like they were to well prepared for the crash (the others) and that they are really sick people. whats the deal with that carl guy anyway? after they drag him off thats where they toss kate. next weeks episode seems more promising. i think todays was just setting us up for the next. i hope it does not dissapoint

  9. Taren says:

    I don’t know why everyone keeps on complaining about not having enough answers. We NEVER get enough answers on this show… I feel like every week when I log on people are complaining about not enough answers, “not enough answers” is what makes this show so great and draws us back each and every week! Just enjoy

  10. Jeremy says:

    I think this episode was FAR superior to “Man of Science, Man of Faith.” It told us so much about the Others, and Dharma. We got better info from a few words from Juliette than all of the LOST experience.
    I really like Juliette. It seems to me she’s the queen to Benry Gale. Maybe a situation where Benry is the leader, thus he gets the girl he wants, and Juliette just goes along with it. Cause Benry seems to like her, and she clearly isn’t as taken with him as he is with her.

    Also, it seemed obvious that the Others have been watching Jack since his childhood (maybe even birth?). I think we’ll find out that many random people in everyone’s flashback’s were spies. This theory has been out there for a long time, but I think the folder Julietee had confirmed that.

    If this is true, who else did the Others survey? Could it have just been Jack, Kate, and Sawyer?

    Anyway, we enjoy the site Ryan! Can’t wait to hear your (and Jen’s!) thoughts on the episode. Will this episode be in your next “Pith of Pop?” I hope so!

  11. Avery says:

    I am more confused than ever!!! It seems pretty clear ‘the others’ are mostly interested in Jack. Maybe Sawyer and Kate were taken in order to produce the desired reactions from Jack the others will soon be needing.
    I tried really hard to pay attention to secret signs/words etc…but nothing caught my eye.
    I am so excited LOST is back….can’t wait to read your postings Jen & Ryan!!

  12. Bubbette says:

    This eagerly awaited first episode reminded me of the shark episode. Not the one on the raft at the beginning of season 2, but the one with the Fonz.

    I’ve been struggling to try to summarize all that I didn’t like (or even, hated) about this episode and realize that my problem is that I have so little interest anymore to even try. I guess my fundamental problem is that there is too big a leap from the desert island ambience of the first two seasons to the Levittown suburia and the San Diego Zoo worlds of this episode.

    Everything else seems contrived beyond my willingness to suspend belief anymore. If there had been a more organic evolution from last season, I could have bought it. But what I saw tonight seems pretty arbirtary. Reminds me of when Northern Exposure introduced the guy that had to live in the bubble. Or when the Fonz jumped the shark.

    Most likely the following have been discussed already in the greater Lost-world, but I thought I’d toss them out anyway:

    A couple of nights ago, TCM showed a flick called something like “Goke: Body Snatchers from Hell” about a plane that flew into an orange cloud and mysteriously crashed on a desert island. Don’t know if it was an influence or not, but there a number of similarities to Lost.

    I’ve always thought that there was a connection between Lost and the computer game Myst and its sequels. Among other things things, the drawing on the wall in the Swan station is very reminiscent of drawings in the Myst series. In tonight’s episode, the similarly was even stronger. The puzzle that Sawyer had to solve in his cage reminded me of puzzles in Myst. This, by the way, is typical of the arbitrary business that so put me off of this episode.

  13. Briand says:

    One thing you’ve got to say about the producers of this show, they’re not rushing telling the story! This was a good setup for hopefully a long season. Couple things I really liked: the almost 3d CG shot of the island in the opening scene made the place seem bigger, somehow. Anyone know which Steven King book she was reading? And…I just loved Henry (Ben’s) reaction when Jack said “I’ll kill her”….”OK” There will be a lot of interesting interplay between Ben and Juliet.

    what were the two cities?

  14. Dave says:

    I enjoyed the premiere last night. I like the direction in which the show is moving… it’s about time that we learned a bit about “the Others” and their “pretending” that was alluded to toward the end of last season. Very cool. One of my pet concepts throughout the show is the Lacanian philosophy of self vs other – the Losties seem to think everyone is an “Other” who they don’t know, and the Others who were part of their group (e.g. Ethan or Goodwin) not called out as Others until they reveal their disparate interests.

    I also like that the show is getting a bit darker and more like a psychological thriller. It’s somewhat refreshing to see more of the flawed aspects of the Losties (Jack in this episode, and how for instance he derailed his father’s sobriety and may have indirectly caused his death). And I love that Sawyer and Kate are trapped in Skinner boxes. Not all that unlike the hatches.

    I do hope that we get back to the other Losties, too… I am dying to know what happened to Locke and Eko. I suppose that last season we got about three straight episodes of the exact same thing (the hatch from Jack’s, Locke’s, and Kate’s perspectives) and expect that this will not purely focus on the Hydra station and the bizarre experiments.

    I love the evocation of Desmond’s sequence last season in the hatch with Juliet putting on a CD and going about her routine when a geographical disturbance upsets things. Very sly.

    I also like some of the new Others being introduced… it seems as though we have a subset of the Others who are sympathetic to the Losties (e.g. Alex [Rousseau’s daughter], Juliet, and to a lesser extent Tom/Mr Friendly, Bea/Mrs Clue, and even Ethan [only with Claire]), with Henry Gale/Ben being far more hard-core and tyrannical.

    I’m interested to hear what others think. So glad we’re back and rolling.

    One last thought… reading jim’s posting above… one of my pet theories (sort of alluded to above) is that Dharma and the Others are not one and the same. For instance, Inman talks in the season 2 finale about the “Hostiles” on the north side of the island. Maybe the Others have been on the island for whatever reason, and Dharma came in and tried to take things over? That explains the “good guys/bad guys” thing – they might think the Losties are part of Dharma. Or maybe the Others were subjects in Dharma’s experiments but overran the experiment. Now the Others are subjecting the Losties to Dharma-like experiments in these decrepit facilities, turnabout being fair play and all.

    I know, it sounds a little crazy, but think… Henry Gale claimed that he never pressed the button, and that it didn’t do anything. Clearly it does something, but it makes me think that Oceanic 815 coming down wasn’t planned by the Others. They scramble to get information on the passengers after the fact; they don’t know who’s on the plane. And the only times we see the Others in uniforms or using the stuff in Dharma’s hatches is to run experiments (on Claire, on Jack/Kate/Sawyer). I’m struggling a bit to put it all together, but I think the Others are decidedly different from the Dharma folks.

  15. Rachel says:

    Briand, the book club was reading “Carrie.”
    Anyways, loved this episode and can’t wait to see what everyone else uncovers!

  16. Dave says:

    BTW, I meant geological… not geographical. Though I suppose a plane materializing could be geographical as well. =)

  17. EnviroCaper says:

    WOW is right….

    At first I was not totally loving the whole season premiere, but the more LOST I became, the more I enjoyed what was happening to our gang of losties….

    One question of note that I really thought would be asked when I checked the site today, what’s up with Jack and Kate ripping of the band aids?? Which I believe “the others” used after drawing blood……and if I remember right, Sawyer had no such band aid to rip off!!!!!

    Are these perhaps genetic experiments and they required more “genes” for their “pool”???? Walt also had blood drawn along with Claire….just something I quickly picked up on and would love to hear what anyone else has to say about it…..and other things of course!!!!

    Look forward to creating/testing our own “conspiracy theories” and thanks “guys” for hosting the site!!!!!

    cheers

  18. Tbons says:

    I love Lost and I thought the season premiere was great. There are soooo many questions with this show I don’t know how the writers are going to tie everything up.

    I wanted to make a note of something I thought about at the end of last season. Desmond mentioned being in a “snow globe” to Locke (I think) at least twice. Could there be something to that? There are polar bears on the island and in the last episode of season 2 the frenchmen report back to Penny that they’ve “found it” while obviously being surrounded by a blizzard. I’m sure someone’s mentioned this before, but I thought it was something I’d throw out there.

    Can’t wait for more LOST…

  19. schark says:

    For the couple of you who mentioned you missed part of the episode, ABC is streaming “Lost” (and all of their new shows) for free at http://www.abc.com. My VCR screwed up and didn’t tape, so I just watched it there.

    In fact, all of the major networks are streaming all of their new series for free online at their various sites.

    As for the premiere, I totally dug it. I missed that Sawyer didn’t have a band aid to rip off. Nice catch. I’m excited to have Michael Emerson (“Benry”) around for the whole season. Such an interesting actor.

  20. HeyBrah says:

    The show was a bit anti-climatic, but isn’t that the way real life mysteries appear once they are solved. My expectations of where the others lived did not match my expectations — a different dimension? NOT, a different time in the past or future? (NOT).

    I am now positive that the NOT Henry Gale is the he/him/etc. that was referred to by Desmond and the Fake Beard Other. Since our Desert Storm vet who was accidentally killed by Desmond claimed to work for Dharma and Desmond asked one of LOSTIES in a previous episode if he was him … (I can’t remember if it was Jack or Locke that was asked the question) but it appears within the realm of possibilities that they were expecting a visit from “him.”

    Could the primitive people who appear to be South Pacific types be the people that are the actual Hostiles?

    What I’m really trying to say is that there is more of a connection between the Dharma Initiative and the Others than the discussion thread alludes to so far.

  21. Dave says:

    HeyBrah — My read on “Are you him?” (Kelvin to Desmond, and Desmond to Locke) is that the initial Dharma initiative involved sending replacement people to the hatch. Obviously pressing the button even 108 minutes is a demanding task, and doesn’t afford much ability to venture outside. I would theorize that after time (a few weeks? a few months?) the people in the hatch would be spelled, or at least rotated out to one of the other six stations.

    I think “Are you him?” is the preferred way (maybe a Dharma password) to identify when your replacement had come. You would not be permitted to leave/relieved of duty until then. If the visitor responded, “yes,” then the follow-up question (as we saw twice) is, “what did one snowman say to the other snowman?” (We never got the answer to this aside from Desmond’s glib, “Smells like carrots!” when he was drunk.)

    Over the years, as Dharma sank into decrepitude, people stopped showing up on the island to replace those in the Swan. Kelvin Inman, for one seemed quite desperate for a replacement so he could take off. (He also seems to be part of the original Dharma initiative, since he clearly knew that he could leave the hatch without difficulty (yet maintained the theatrics for Desmond) but also clearly knew what would happen if he stopped pressing the button (unlike — maybe — the Others).

    Inman taught Desmond what to do when a replacement arrived. He thought he was following a protocol (like any good solider).

    So, long story short, I don’t think “are you him?” refers to the Other’s “Him.” I think the Others’ “Him” is either “Benry” or someone we have yet to meet.

  22. Dave says:

    I also see multiple snow references above. Do you think that the snow guys from last season’s finale are in a new version of the Dharma project? A cold-weather hatch equivalent? Especially with the polar bear showing up on the island… maybe there’s some weird explanation? Maybe Michael and Walt’s boat will wind up in the Arctic?

    Snowmen…
    Snow globes…
    Polar bears…
    Snowbound surveillance teams…

  23. Rick says:

    Where has King commented on the show recently? It’s hard to believe there’s anyone alive who wasn’t blown away by the sight of the statue.

    BTW, that “Alias” episode was directly inspired by the “Colony Three” episode of “Secret Agent,” which itself was a direct influence on “The Prisoner,” sometimes cited as a “Lost” influence.

  24. Rob says:

    The new character of Juliette is most interesting.

    Watch (if you have it recorded) how she behaves in the first scene. She’s obviously emotional but trying very hard to hold that emotion back.

    So is she unhappy with her life on the island? Should we be looking to her as a potential ally of our Losties? She must have sound reasons for doing what she does – the psychological work-over job she performs on Jack.

    Come to that, the Others actions must be gaining them something. Food, shelter and warmth they seem to have already. If Juliette’s dossier on Jack is anything to go by, they don’t lack for information either. Is the life they lead reliant on them performing some task? Some hangover-from-dharma related task?

    They aren’t complete monsters, they seem rational enough. I’m not even sure the Losties ARE the good guys anymore.

    Is it still the case that the writers and producers are going to keep this running for several more series? I’m not sure I can take it, and think I might get fed up with all the ‘answer’ teasing.

    There is often more value in brevity than a long painful epic. I hope they strike the right balance.

    However, I think the rating Wh*res will win ~sigh~

    R.

  25. buttle says:

    Am I just over analyzing, or does it mean anything that the CD case is not Petula Clarke, but for Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tounges.

  26. Stuart says:

    I’m not really much of a TV watcher so I’m new to Lost. I found it on iTunes. I finished watching the first two seasons just prior this third season’s premiere. I have not read anyone’s theories about the show, I’ve only heard there are many. I think the overall story of Lost is contrived to further itself mainly with an arbitrary set of plots that don’t stand up to close scrutiny in terms of story. There is a very, very high level of suspension-of-belief required by the show. But don’t get me wrong, I like the show very much and think the contrivance is wonderfully well done. It’s quite a fun game really, except that we cannot directly interact with it. The map of the stations on the island I think makes this clear. It’s a multidimensional board game in essence. I have theories about the show too which I’d like to get to later.

    But as to last night, off hand I’d have to agree with Bubbette that the leap from the island experience to this faux-suburban/zoo environment suddenly makes the show less appealing. I hope this is just a temporary feeling. The episode although intriguing at some level, was also fairly off-putting for me.

    I don’t think the writers are going to be tipping their hand anytime soon about the Others intentions toward Jack, Kate and Sawyer. They’ve also been very careful to leave open the possibility that the Others might really be “The Good Guys” in some way, as their leader professes.

    In the meantime I feel the cruel, unresponsive way in which they are dealing with them is going to get old quick. How long can they be treated like lab-rats without explanation until I stop being interested? That’s what I asked myself last night. Along with this is the question of why could they possibly be studying them like this? What do they not know about J-K-S that they can find out by treating them like animals? Is it just torture for torture’s sake? I found the scene of Sayid torturing Sawyer fairly unnecessary. Is this just more of the same, just to get our emotions going. I nearly certain there must be more to it than that.

    Remember it all started with a close up of Jack’s eye and the view of the island has gotten wider and wider. As we see more and more of the island from higher up, from underneath, from the past of the island and the characters, I thinking this is a pretty addictive game they’ve put together!

  27. Alex says:

    I’m thrilled about seeing this new season opening episode. At the moment I’ve only had time to watch the 3 first minutes, but — whaou — 3 great minutes! I’m looking forward to having time to watch the full episode.

    I’m also very happy about the return of The Transmission. This is the first place I always check right after watching any Lost episode: the episodes analysis and commentary made by Ryan and Jen are always of great interest (to me) and quality! I miss your podcast btw!

    Thanks for your work (and time) 😉

  28. Faraway J says:

    Did anyone notice the similarities between Ben/Henry Gale and Kate to the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Belloq entertains Marion and has her where a dress?

    Besides that, my bet is that the binder full of Jack’s supposed life, is full of blank sheets of paper which he’ll discover later. (And if so, he’ll throw them off a table and wipe his face after the rage subsides…..)

    Anyways, love the zoo idea and finally some resolution of where the freakin’ polar bears where kept………

  29. Beachybroad says:

    I find myself looking for significance in the insignificant! I try to notice all the little nuances and sometimes get so caught up in them that I miss the plot!! Jack’s being held in the “hydra” makes me think of the obsession of Charlie and even Mr. Eko about baptism. Isn’t it interesting that all the flash backs and even some of his on the island behavior has been leaning towards a “darker” Jack. His obsession with knowing the name of his ex-wifes affair man and his downward spiral. Yet once he has been in the water with Juliette, he emerges somehow “cleansed” of the anger and now wants to behave and of all the things he can ask, he is now ready to just know if she is happy. Could this be a “baptism” to a new Jack?

    Just a thought! Any chance season three will see the return of the podcast?

  30. Africa says:

    Great to have Lost back on air, and I feel this first episode introduced the season well.

    The others have a need for the Losties- if not, the Losties could have easily been destroyed. The Others agenda is still to be revealed.

    However, in order for the Others to achieve their goal, they need the Losties to co-operate. Thus, each have to be isolated, broken down and “reprogrammed” in accordance with the agenda of the Others.
    Jack, Sawyer and Kate have been chosen by the Others, as they are seen to be the leaders of the Losties. (What better way to influence the rest, than by subscribing/ compromising the leaders.)

    With this in mind, note the interactions between Juliette and Jack through the show.
    She needs him to co-operate, and is thus trying to establish in Jack that she is someone he can trust (“You can trust me Jack. I’m not gonna hurt you”).
    At the same time, she is also attempting to establish repor with Jack, and get him under a state of submissiveness/control, by getting him to follow her instructions, and re-inforcing in him that this is for his own good, and he should not feel like he is “losing”.

    Eventually, donning a caring persona, she speaks with Jack, while holding documents apparently detailing Jack’s life. Watch the scene again.
    At no point does she give him any definitive details of whats in the folder, and when asked how she got the information, she merely replies that she got it.
    The details that she does reveal to Jack are those that the Others could have easily been obtained from himself under chemically induced interviews (eg. using “truth serum”. Remember, he removed a band aid from his arm when he woke.)

    So, its heresay if she really has any of the details she claims to have.
    However, Jack believing this authenticity, and achieving peace of mind by believing that Sarah (his ex-wife) is happy, puts Juliette in a strong position of trust.

    Thus, Benry Gale is satisfied, as Jack has accepted Juliette in a trust capacity, and in this state, Jack’s grooming to the agenda of the Others can begin without resistance.

  31. Jaime Roberto says:

    So where are the kids? It seems that the kids that Michael and Eko saw tramping through the jungle were a lot rougher than the suburbanites in the Others’ camp, which was apparently devoid of children. Could it be that the kids were taken by other Others, and could the other Others be the Hostiles?

  32. Tappa says:

    Rachel,

    What scene did they show that the book was Carrie? – I could never make it out. That’s interesting in that the book is about telekinisis which was one of the areas of study of the Dharma Initiative. Maybe Ben doesn’t like the book because it gives the power a bad rap.

    Also is it a given now that the Others have sort of freakish strength? Ethan was able to lift Charlie off the ground in season 1 now Juliette knocks Jack out cold with one punch? What gives?

  33. Emily says:

    I’m not sure I like Juliet. But she is almost just like Meredith on Grey’s Anatomy, her mannerisms and personality. Especially when she burnt her hand and muffins. Anyone else get that feeling?

  34. Rick says:

    Tappa, it was the opening indoors scene where you could see it was Carrie, though perhaps only on HD, and even then perhaps only if you slow it down or pause (that’s what I did).

    I’d be surprised if they explain the freakish strength. I seem to recall Goodwin might have had it too, but I’m not sure.

  35. buttle – my boyfriend, Mike, noticed that about the Talking Heads CD too. As soon as he saw her pick up the CD he said, “Hey, Talking Heads CD!”, and then “Downtown” came on and he was really confused. I’m thinking they chose to switch the song later on (after already shooting the scene) and they didn’t notice you could see the Talking Heads cover. I’m glad they went with Downtown though…it’s a nice connection again to Desmond’s Season 2 opener. Both “Downtown” and “Make Your Own Kind of Music” were bouncy 60s tunes performed by similar female artists (Petula Clark & Mama Cass, respectively).

    So if anyone reading this has actually read A Tale of Two Cities, can you tell me if there is any connection between the novel and last night’s episode? And what are the 2 cities? The Other’s city and the survivors’ “city” of the beach? I found it interesting that they chose a Dickens novel title, when Desmond’s book from Penny was also written by Dickens.

  36. Peter says:

    >What was the deal with Karl? An Ana Lucia-like plant? An Other who went >astray?

    I’ve not followed the Lost Experience during Summer and I’ve got a memory like a sieve so apologies in advance if I’m asking the blatantly obvious but was Anna-Lucia a plant?? Someone please explain!

  37. Mark B says:

    Peter,

    Ana-Lucia was planted in the pit with Sawyer, Jin and Micheal when they were captured by the tallies. I’m pretty sure it was in “The Other 48 Days”.

    Carl (or Karl) could be;
    1. An Other gone bad (or good depending on your view point).
    2. A plant — though he never seemed to talk enough to Sawyer to be a plant but perhaps it’s a long con. And after all it seems the Others know a lot about the Losties anyway without having to resort to plants.
    3. A tallie who was taken by the Others who obviously Sawyer won’t know.

    I like option 3, though option 1 has some merit too.

    One thing I found confusing/irritating/unbelievable about Carl and Sawyer is how little thay interacted given the situation they were in. If I was Sawyer I would have quizzed Carl about what’s happened, what he knows and how he got there. If I was Carl I would have wanted to know who Sawyer was and how he got there. But then perhaps Carl has been ‘broken’ by the Others already or is suspicious that Sawyer may be a plant.

    Yet another question to add to the every growing list and in the official podcast one of Damon or Carlton said this was not only going to be a season of romance and adventure but one of answers ….

    Mark B

  38. Peter says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Mark B. Misread the original entry for AL to be a plant of the Others rather than a plant of the other part of the plane.

    Agreed, the Carl Sawyer incident was one that, true to form, brought out more questions than answers. Carl escaped too easily from his cage and also let Sawyer out in a matter of seconds which leads me to think he was a plant out to test whether Sawyer would escape or not.

  39. Bryan says:

    “I am now positive that the NOT Henry Gale is the he/him/etc. that was referred to by Desmond and the Fake Beard Other.”

    Not Henry also referred to ‘him’ in season 2 so I think there’s another bigger badder person they all will have to answer to.

  40. NemesisVex says:

    Well. I liked how the big WTF moment happened in the first five minutes of the show rather than the last 10 seconds. Aside from that, I’ve been too distracted with anticipation for the “Battlestar Galactica” season premiere tonight. I’d almost forgotten the “Lost” season premiere was this week.

  41. Aitor says:

    I really liked the episode, although I don’t think it was as good as last season’s premiere. Some random notes:

    * It’s kind of hard to believe that Ethan and Goodwyn arrived so promptly at the accident locations. “Benry” tells them they’d arrive in an hour. Even if they had some kind of vehicle, their camp seems to be pretty far (further than the mountains?), and in any case, they still had to find the exact location

    * Is the place were they’re being kept their base camp? Or are they being held on a different location from what we see at the beginning of the episode? Also, is Jack in the same location? Looks like it, but I’m not 100% sure

    * I believe it’s the first time we hear the word “Dharma” coming from any of the survivors

    * It’s interesting that the others have connections (and very good ones, it seems) to the real world. I didn’t see that one coming, although I’m not sure about that either. I don’t think Juliet gives Jack any information she wouldn’t have been able to obtain from say, Ethan.

    * From what she said, they’re no longer with Dharma. But who are they then? Former Dharma employees? They’re certainly still onto some kind of research. I think the mention to Kate of the two weeks ahead of her is an advance of the tests they’ll be going through

    * Why didn’t they show the name of the novel they were reading at the book club? They haven’t been shy in the past to show their appreciation to sci-fi books, movies, etc. They even show the author’s name (Stephen King) but not the title

    * Who is directing these people? I mean, when “Benry” was captured he made references about his leader (can’t remember if it was a he or a she), and I remember Mr. Friendly said something like “she won’t like it” (Juliet?), but from yesterday’s episode it seems like if “Benry” were in charge

  42. Dave says:

    I think Benry’s comments about El Jefe (the “He” we’re dissecting) were diversionary. Benry also calls himself Henry Gale. He lies like a rug to get people to believe what he wants them to believe, at least for the sake of his “experiment” or whatever this is. The rest of the Others do as well.

    I’m inclined to think Benry is the “He.” He just wasn’t about to tell the Losties that he was the man in charge of the Hostiles, for fear of the repercussions. More along the lines of when he pulled the whole, “if I was one of them, I’d lure your people into a trap…” thing.

  43. Tawl says:

    What if…

    Lost is simply (and creatively) a story ABOUT a fictional story that is being written, and what we’re watching is a writer’s mind at work as he tries to complete the story. In other words, we’re seeing though the writer’s imagination. (Hey, I know we are.. but what if we really, really, REALLY are? What if this is the whole point of Lost?).

    Far too many improbable events have happened in Lost that could (and would) only occur in someone’s imagination (a writer’s imagination). Characters seem to know what’s going to happen before they should (Interesting how everyone ran outside and looked for a plane in the sky, even before there was a plane to look for… and didn’t the disruption start out as an earthquake?). The Other’s seem to have supernatural strength at the right moments, “Benry” isn’t afraid to walk into a trap and be captured (he takes it all in stride, playing the game like a chess master). Look at the mixture of pop culture in every episode (comic books, book names, Sawyer’s movie nicknames for everyone, 60’s music, old computers, washing machines). Doesn’t this all seem a little strange for a “believable” story? (I know, I know.. no one ever said that Lost had to be believable.. but how about “logical”?). Lost is a collection of bits and pieces of movies, TV shows, books, comics, and other collectables from the past.

    Could it be that the Lost creators are playing the ultimate joke on us? And if so, it is brilliant! Image the last scene of the last episode of the series. Suddenly we find ourselves in a wannabe-Stephen-King’s office, watching a pulp fiction writer at work. The camera pans across various pages of his manuscript. We see words and phrases crossed-out, new ideas written-in, and suddenly we recognize scene after scene as we continue to read.

    Finally, Lost makes sense.

  44. Brian says:

    I really do appreciate this site. After each episode, I try to collect my thoughts (sometimes not many) and questions (usually very many) and then I come here to see what other fans have been thinking and questioning. I have to take issue with some of the fans who feel that each episode doesn’t give us enough “answers”. I feel like the lack of answers it what separates Lost from all of the other McDrama’s that are on TV where each question is neatly solved and answered within the time limit of a 60 minute show. I also feel like we probably are getting several answers to some of the bigger Lost mysteries and don’t quite know it yet (they’re hiding in plain sight). I believe the writers and producers of Lost when they say that they have a plan for 6 or 7 seasons and while I am impatient too… I am looking forward to being teased and challenged for at least 4 more seasons. The payoff will be more than worth the wait!

  45. ChicagoWahine says:

    Aloha,
    Does this mean the Transmission is back on the air? That would be great! We’ve missed you!

    What was with Jack’s appearing and disapearing star tattoos on his inner arm?

    Creepy how the entire show was “If you do this, I’ll do this.” Control, control, control. Creepy!

  46. writerboy says:

    First off, what a way to start Season 3! I think my biggest, “huh?” moment of last night’s premire was the fact that the Others were just sitting around doing seemingly normal daily activities prior to the earthquake and the plane flying over head, ripping apart and crashing. I mean, a book club meeting…baking muffins…fixing plumbing?

    Where are the Others we know – the gun-toting, barefooted, abduct people in the night, kidnap hysterical pregnant Aussie women, kill people with their bare hands ruffians? I know we have been lead to believe that the dirty, rag-wearing look was a facade, but I never expected the Others to be living in suburban bliss.

    What a complete 180 from what we knew of the Others last season. I keep going back to the whole camp they had where they took Michael. What was up with that place? Such an elobrate set, if you will, just to throw off one guy. I’m finding it harder and harder to have the things we DO know fit together.

    One minute the Others are creepy island-folk, then they are mad scientists pretending to be creepy island-folk, and now what are they… an extremely sophisticated group with some sort of utopian (?) town they are bent on protecting from anyone from the outside world?

  47. Teddy says:

    Okay, I may be tripping, but I watched a two or three minute sneak peek of the season three premiere of Lost on YouTube last week. It showed the part when Sawyer was pushing the button marked with the knife and fork. After he was “shoved” against the bars, Karl said “I told you.” Then Sawyer said, something (which was shown) but finished the comment with saying Karl’s name. Watching it live, they edited him saying “Karl” out of it, because Sawyer had just got finished asking his name, (which Karl ignored) and got no answer.

    Did anyone else notice this?

  48. Daren says:

    The shaking and the noise the others ones felt before they ran outside was not an ” Earthquake” at all, it was the electromagnetic anomally that Desmond caused on 9/22 becuase he did not enter the numbers. Remember when Desmond was running back in the hatch everything was shaking violently before he entered the numbers, that occurance brought the plane down and shook the whole Island and in the opening scence we had the pleasure of viewing it from the others point of view.

    To all those that expect more answers from every episode please sit back,
    enjoy the ride, becuse one day it will have to end and we will all be saying that
    was the best show on television ever!

  49. Shelly says:

    I really liked this episode. I thought it was cool how it opened with a close-up of the eye, just like the series premiere opened with the close-up of Jack’s eye after the plane crashed. I assumed that the “earthquake” was caused by Desmond not pushing the button, so it was an electromagnetic disturbance. Everyone’s ideas here are really good and I don’t really have any new theories to add. I’m just glad that season three has started.

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