It would’ve been hard to top last week’s episode… and it almost feels as if “LOST” didn’t really try tonight. “Stranger in a Strange Land” had its moments Jack and Juliet’s love connection, Sawyer’s manly moment with Karl, even our newest Other, Isabel the Sheriff (played by Diana Scarwid, not Fionnula Flanagan, thank you) was interesting enough. But even Jen, who liked tonight’s episode better than I did, conceded that Jack’s flashback was flat, and that Bai Ling isn’t much of an actress.
Okay, so getting “marked” was the theme of the night. Juliet’s punishment seemingly not much better than death, and Jack’s tattoo bringing trouble and conflicting meanings. Both now outsiders, an alienation that definitely seems to reference the episode’s namesake (Robert Heinlein’s novel of the same name). Achara sees into a person’s true nature, and finds Jack a “great man,” a lonely leader… a conclusion Ben came to in Season 2. So was Jack really kidnapped for his surgical skills? Or is there a larger plan? Methinks Jack is bad news for this Jacob.
We do get some additional context for the Others’ world. There are laws and a judiciary system of some sort. Alcatraz is a workplace and a dreadful one at that. And that, for whatever reason, they’re willing to vacate Alcatraz rather than risk an attack by or the return of survivors on the main island. What is going on? It sure would’ve been nice for Sawyer and Kate to ask Karl a few more questions before setting him free… but that would be too easy.
The Alex/Karl thing seems to be shaping up to be a major story arc, to be sure. Very “Romeo & Juliet,” I think, and maybe we’ll soon discover there’s a Montague clan to Ben’s Capulets. Jen suggests “Luke & Leia” as an alternate parallel… which would be another good reason for Ben’s objections.
And as I suspected, Kate’s “choice” last year, wasn’t, and now Sawyer knows it. Of course, Jack’s got a new girlfriend. Yet another love triangle. Or love trapezoid by the end of the season. But, says Jen, the Jack/Juliet thing may be more Stockholm Syndrome… or a ploy by Jack. I can see that.
Cindy returns, but isn’t particularly helpful. She seemed genuinely surprised at Jack’s hostility, but is it because all has been sweetness and light on Alcatraz, or because she (and the other captured survivors) have been thoroughly and forcibly brainwashed? I might be alone, by the way, but I liked the mention of Ana Lucia.
A couple of conversations left us confused, though. Jen wants to know when Jack asks who she shot why Juliet only says, cryptically, “It’s complicated.” Does she have a history with Ben and the late Pickett? And I’m curious about Alex’s question to Jack, about why Jack saved Ben after everything Ben had done. Is she disappointed? Or reluctantly impressed?
Notes and Notions:
- When Jack was lovingly applying aloe to Juliet’s “mark,” did she have a small bandage on her stomach? About where her sister got her shot in “Not In Portland”? Hmm.
- Ethan was a surgeon? Didn’t see that coming. Especially since he seemed to be deployed by Ben as a heavy more than anything. Spy, fighter, plumber and a doctor? Whataguy.
- It was good to see Emma and the little boy again. But could the “Teddy Bear” references be any less subtle?
- Cap’n Bunnykiller. Sally Slingshot. Bobby Brady. Sawyer was on a roll, as usual.
- The tattoo Achara’s brother saw is only half of the tattoo Jack has on the island. Does that mean we’ve got another tattoo flashback coming?
- LOST Locations: The picturesque beach where Jack was staying was Waimanalo Beach, a favorite spot for our family. It was strange to see Rabbit Island on the horizon… surrounded by dozens of other digitally-inserted islands. Achara’s brother’s restaurant and the tattoo parlor were Indigo Restaurant on Nuuanu Avenue. And the bustling Bangkok street was Fort Street Mall near Hawaii Pacific University and narrow Chapin Lane.