D.O.C. zapped us with some very startling revelations this week, but at the same time it answered some longer-standing questions. We unraveled the mystery of Sun's pregnancy and probed the depth of Juliet's loyalty. And as we waited on Naomi's every word we found that she didn't say very much... but what she did was was mindblowing. Things I Noticed:
Juliet - One Last Scam
She got me. She really did. When Juliet mournfully explained Sun's predicament, I actually, for once, believed her. When she offered the secret midnight sonogram, I totally thought she was sincere. Juliet really seemed to be struggling, and I thought she'd finally made a breakthrough. FINALLY she was doing something for the benefit of someone else - something pure and good and not part of some vague and sinister master plan.
And then she opened that locker and pulled out the tape recorder. Damn.
I think however, that this is Juliet's last deception. The next scam she perpetrates will be against Ben. Although luring Sun to the medical hatch was part of Ben's grand design, I believe Juliet's motives were sincere. Unlike many of the main characters of the show, Juliet glances back into her pre-LOST life and sees wholesome things. Everyone's done bad stuff in their flashbacks and then come to the island to reconcile themselves, but Juliet's actually the opposite: the evil things she's done were only after she reached the island.
I was surprised at the way Sun opened up to Juliet, speaking her innermost secrets. I think Sun's trust overwhelmed her, causing Juliet's guard to drop. Sharing her past with Sun, Juliet once again gazed longingly back into her pre-island life. Leaving the message on the tape was perfunctory. NOT leaving the message would probably arise more suspicion. Ben's got a little mutiny on his hands with Juliet. Does he have the forsight to anticipate it? Hey... he's Ben. :)
Kate - Bun in the Oven
Maybe Kate's pregnant. Maybe she's not. It's impossible to say at this point, but we learned this episode that the Others are monitoring the situation a la Juliet. This is most likely why Juliet woke up handcuffed next to Kate a few weeks ago: she's on a deep cover urine quest. See ya in a week.
The important thing here is the reaffirmation of how badass Ben's plans always turn out to be. He administered just the right amount of deprivation, just the right amount of beatings, he left just the right-sized hole in Kate's cage to ensure dirty, needy prison-sex. And oops, hey look - let's kill two birds with one stone by 'accidentally' leaving the door to Jack's cell open, as well as the door to the monitoring station. Sorry, but the man's just unstoppable.
Mikhail - Version 2.0
Mikhail's back, running full tilt through the jungle in his filthy DHARMA jumpsuit as if blood never leaked from his ears a few episodes ago. Stumbling onto the 815'ers, his face was priceless - total shock. It's always exciting for us when things don't go exactly as the Others have planned, and it was especially awesome to watch Jin chase this guy down and beat the crap out of him Bruce Leroy style.
Patch-eye didn't care about or expect to see the 815er's, which can only mean he was chasing the fallen parachute. Yet he wasn't concerned about Naomi or any potential info she could give the main characters - if so, he wouldn't have allowed her to live. No, Mikhail wanted only one thing: the satellite phone. He knew it was there before even asking, and you're kidding yourself if you disbelieve that.
Logically speaking, Hawaii is one of the closest locations for a potential rescue mission to be launched. And Charlie/Hurley so desperately want this to be a rescue mission. Is it any surprise then, that one of them would find a hula doll? Nope. And the photo of Desmond and Penny? Desmond's doing, obviously. The Catch-22 book was a smug gift from the writers. Which leaves us of course, with the satellite phone... courtesy of our resident communications expert Mikhail himself. A man who has not been able to communicate with the outside world by any of his previous means. A man who would realize that a satellite phone (and ONLY a satellite phone) might be the answer to his communication problems.
Mikhail's smug grin makes a grand reappearance once he realizes they need his help. And after negotiating his release with Desmond (note the total lack of democracy here), he's more than helpful. Strangely enough, Mikhail once again offers more information than any other Other, hinting strongly toward the healing properties of the island itself. "She'll be fine in a day. It works differently here", he tells them. Every time he opens his mouth, it's almost like Mikhail can't help but give vital info. He's the island gossip. I'll bet Ben shipped him off to the flame station to keep him from flapping his gums.
Finally, Mikhail's apparent resurrection lends credit to the whole 'rebirth' theme on the island. I'm pretty sure Desmond died during the hatch implosion, waking up naked and reborn "in another life". I'm also certain that Mikhail was killed at the sonic fence. Taking this in mind, perhaps this is what happened with Klugh. Demanding Mikhail shoot her might've been her BSG Cylon-like escape hatch back to wherever the hell offed Others go. This would also explain why Mikhail thanked Locke for 'killing' him. Come to think of it, go back and watch the scene where Hurley's talking to Juliet about Ethan being buried "over there". There's a brief flash of a smirk on Juliet's mouth, almost as if Ethan's not really dead and she somehow knows it.
"Bah! Vozzek's saying that everyone who dies on the island is reborn!" No, I'm not. But there's definitely something fishy going on.
Jack - is Wack
It seems that no matter what Jack does since he came back to camp, he's acting 'strangely'. I thought it was very old school Jack-ish for him to approach Sun with questions concerning how she was feeling. It was almost as if he were taking up a proactive role again. Yet Sun was smart enough to question his motives, and I think rightly so. The whole conversation could've been a vehicle used by the writers to pinball Sun over into Juliet's court for the hatch portion of the story, but it could also be something else.
I still think Jack is Ben's backup plan, even unknowingly. And although 'date of conception' is a legitimate medical term, the irony of those letters spelling the word "DOC" wasn't lost (pun intended) on me.
Sun - Tough, Smart, (and Responsible for Jin's Prediciment)
As a character, Sun has a lot of depth. Her little miss innocent demeanor on the island is always belied by the things we see in her flashbacks: lies, deceit, adultery, and now even death threats. Her flashbacks are always cool.
The graciousness at which Sun handled Juliet's help was touching. These two characters bonded closely in this one episode, yet not to the point of blind trust. Sun gets a lot of credit for creeping back into the hatch to overhear Juliet's recording. Yet I tend to think Juliet intentionally let Sun in on the tape recording thing as a way to keep the 815'ers in the loop. She gave a miserably feeble excuse to go back to the hatch alone. After what they'd been through I think she wanted Sun to hear it all, especially the part about hating Ben.
We can all agree that Jin's father was the sweetest man on the show so far - in stark contrast to his hellacious bitch of a wife. I absolutely loved the way Sun dealt with Jin's mom. You immediately knew she was deadly serious about the threat she made. Her handling of these two people mirrored that recurrent black/white type of contrast, the good vs. evil balance of the entire show. Also note there was a very prominent zebra cutout in the secret sonogram bank vault. Always black and white.
The big thing to take away from this week's flashback is the fact that Sun is responsible for Jin having to work for her father in a gangster-like capacity. Up until the loan was given, Jin was small time. Once indebted to Mr. Paik, he was signed on to darker things. I can understand Sun sparing Jin the shame of knowing that his mother is a blackmailing prostitute, yet she allowed him to fall into her father's web of violence rather than tell him? And not only that, but to subsequently cheat on him and almost leave him based upon the 'monster' he'd become... a monster Sun herself had inadvertently created? Sun's list of bad things grows.
Desmond - A Man of His Word
Once again, Desmond knows more about the island than he lets on. More specifically, he seems to be catching on to how the island works - his precognition being only a part of it.
Desmond tells Charlie "Seems to me you've killed more of them than they've killed of you". This is a very telling line. Not only is he right about this (which would technically put the Others closer in line to their label of 'good guys') but his use of "them" and "you" is exclusive. Desmond's still a loner. Either he slipped up phonetically or he doesn't truly consider himself a part of the 815's just yet.
Desmond also makes good on his deal with Mikhail. It's overly important to him that he does this. "I gave him my word". How many times have we heard this line on LOST? Ben especially uses it. Does he lie and utilize deceit to his advantage? Hell yes. But when he finally gives his word, is that some sort of jinxable island-bonded law?
Ben gave his word to Michael and kept it. He gave his word to Jack, and got let off the hook on a technicality. Although he indirectly helped Locke destroy the sub, he still didn't violate his 'word'. He also gave Juliet his word that no one had ever gotten cancer on the island. When he himself got cancer he was adamant to the point of physically shaking Juliet around in his kitchen that she understand he hadn't gone back on his word. When he gave it, he believed it was true.
Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but there seem to be some immutable island rules that the Others somehow have to follow. I've mentioned other examples in the past, and the "you have my word" thing might be just one more.
Naomi - Quinti-Lingual Genius
I'm going to bypass Naomi's vast linguistic knowledge and go straight to the most chilling line of last night's episode - the part where she explains that flight 815 crashed with no survivors. Hurley's "What?" was absolutely perfect, a nice break from the usual "Dude" (which I'm sure he could've made work).
Once again we're slapped in the face with an inexplicable inconsistency in time and space, and once again I'm 100% sure someone will come up with a conspiracy theory to explain it. Someone will invariably make the case for an 'Oceanic coverup'. Maybe Hanso did a clean-up job, scattering wreckage and bodies and calling it a total wash. Hell, maybe Naomi is just a filthy liar. Whatever the case, there will still be non-believers. And that's fine.
For everyone else, LOST is headed down the supernatural road... and I suggest you stop fighting it and just enjoy the ride.
Once last time I'm going to make reference to a great show called Land of the Lost that dominated Sid & Marty Krofft's lineup in the mid 1970's. Three people are rafting down some Class 9 rapids when they shoot over a waterfall to their apparent deaths. Instead of dying, they end up in the Land of The Lost, a limbo-like place where all kinds of crazy stuff is possible. After many strange adventures they are eventually shown an inter dimensional doorway where they learn their true fates: they DID actually die when they hit the rocks. Much the same way Naomi claims the 815'ers are already dead... in her timeline, anyway.
Assuming there were no survivors of flight 815, the entire show becomes an offshoot of the "true" timeline - the one Naomi just came from. Everything that's happened on the island becomes an alternate reality running concurrently with the world in which the Red Sox won the World Series. If so, this tangent timeline wasn't caused during last season's finale when the sky turned purple... it happened when Desmond failed to push the button the first time. Although who's to say it didn't happen AGAIN during the hatch implosion, thus causing the precognitive flashes Desmond keeps seeing. And if that's true we can no longer call them precognitive. They're now alternate timelines.
The journey between Australia and the island now takes on a different meaning, and Ethan's "it's a hell of a ride" line makes a lot more sense. But we have to also wonder if the island is in a concurrent timeline or if it's actually hanging in limbo. If it were nothing more than an alternate universe where people survived the plane crash, rescue would've seemed a lot more likely. But considering the lack of all physical contact with the outside world (not counting incoming transmissions, of which I have serious doubts to their validity), it's more possible that contact cannot happen simply because they are frozen in time. Frozen at the exact moment the plane broke apart. 90 days have passed on the island, but no time has passed at all. Which would of course make the grand finale of the show end up on the same day the show started.
Whew. That's all I'm going to say this week. Season 3 is building toward an awesome climax, and I can't wait to see how it ends.