Thursday, November 15, 2007

Archive Post: S3E09 - "Stranger in a Strange Land"

Episode: Stranger In A Strange Land

Character: Jack

Hi, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed Wednesday’s episode, as I did. I have to admit, though, I tend to only be able to think about the Desmond episode still. It’s not that this past episode was bad… it just wasn’t nearly as cool as the one last week. But that’s not what this is about…. Let’s get into the most recent episode, “Stranger In A Strange Land”.

Achura: Jack’s Thailand-based mistress, Achura (Gesundheit!) is a strange character. She has the ability to see who people truly are, and is the one who gives Jack his tattoo. To be honest, I didn’t really like her character. Part of me hopes that this is the last time we see her… unless she turns up on the island in some weird mythology-filled way. J

Ethan Rom, MD? Jack was complaining to Ben about how they should have a surgeon in their group, and Ben’s shocking response was “We had a surgeon. His name was Ethan.” We’ve also seen that 3 years ago, Ethan was not on the island (in Juliet’s flashback). And, hey, wasn’t Locke paralyzed as of 4 years ago? Could it be that Ethan was Locke’s doctor? Or even a doctor for any of the other Losties? These are the kinds of backstory cross-overs that I would just LOVE to see!

Isabelle the Sherrif: One of the two new characters introduced in this episode, she controls the screen pretty well. It is also important to note that she is not the same lady who played the jeweler (oracle) in last week’s episode. That aside, it is strange how the others only have what they need. They only have one surgeon, one fertility doctor, one law official, but at the same time, have a dozen boats. So now that Ethan (their surgeon) is dead. Are they going to try to keep Jack?

The Triangle Becomes a Square: Kate, I’d like to introduce you to Juliet… your competition. While I don’t see Juliet and Sawyer ever being in love with each other, it is obvious that Juliet will come between Kate and Jack. Her jealousy of Juliet will likely lead to Sawyer’s jealousy of Jack, and it goes round and round until ultimately, Sayid ends up jealous of Hurley, and he doesn’t even know why. J

The “Other” Love Story (pun-intended): Don’t get me wrong, I love relationships in TV shows and movies… but it just bothers me when we’re constantly stuck in a love triangle (as most shows often do). I’m kinda tired of “Jack or Sawyer” and “McDreamy or McSteamy”. The relationships that I like are the ones like Penny and Desmond, who are just meant to be together and that’s that—which is why I really like the Karl and Alex relationship. Unfortunately, I don’t think Karl is gonna make it. He just doesn’t seem like a survivor to me. But who knows… I’ve been wrong in the past.

Who Are These “Others”? Jack wakes up to find Cindy and the other tailies standing outside his cage. He recognizes her and asks what she’s doing there. Her response is, “It’s complicated. We’re here to watch.” Her response is intriguing, because it implies that she knows what they’re doing, and is part of the plan. Has she too been brainwashed? And more importantly, why have they not already brainwashed any of the other Losties?

An Eye for an Eye: Juliet’s sentencing was based on their rule of “Eye for an Eye”. Juliet killed Pickett, so Juliet will in turn be killed. I think it’s important to keep this in mind, as it is a very defining character trait of the “others”.

Where’s the Boat Manufacturer? At the end of the episode, as Jack, Juliet, Ben, and all of their friends sail back to their “Home”, they row out to another bigger boat. So the obvious question is, “Where are all of these boats coming from?” And how many do they have? They had the one that Michael and Walt left on; they have the submarine; they have the boat from this episode; Alex had a boat that she gave to Sawyer and Kate; etc.

“Home” Sweet “Home”: On the subject of their village from the season premiere (Othersville), Karl says that Ben refers to it as “Home”. So is this where Ben promised that he would take Jack to? He promised that if he operated on his spine, he would let jack get off the island and take him home. Well, technically “Home” is on the other island.

Captain Bunny-Killer (if he catches us): While sailing back to the main island, Sawyer and Kate argued over whether or not to go back and get Jack. Sawyer says, “What do you think Captain Bunny-Killer will do if he catches us.” A half-awake Karl says “He’ll kill you…… God loves us as he loved Jacob.” At first, these seem like two separate comments, but when you consider them to be as one, it really makes you think. The phrase “God loves you as he loved Jacob” is from the infamous brainwashing video that Karl was watching. Could it be that the video also has messages in it that threaten the brainwashee to believe that Ben is a dangerous man.

Better Life? Once Kate and Sawyer got to the main island, they asked Karl about the kids, and what they do with them. Karl’s response was that they gave them a “better life”, a life better than Kate and Sawyers. Again, this goes back to Ben’s comment last year about how they are the “good guys”. So here is my thought on the “others”…. They obviously believe that what they are doing is good. But it appears that what they are doing is actually bad. So maybe they are all brainwashed to believe that the non-others are a lot worse off than they actually are. So Karl may be thinking that Kate and Sawyer are SO unfortunate, not realizing that they are actually better off than he is.

The Brand and the Tat: “He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us”. The revelation of the meaning behind Jack’s tattoo was probably the biggest revelation of the episode. I really like the parallel that was drawn here between Jack’s tattoo and Juliet’s branding. Juliet was branded as the Others’ version of a scarlet letter, so that she will forever be marked as a traitor, or as someone who isn’t worthy or doesn’t belong. Again, “He walks amongst us, but is not one of us.” Jack’s tattoo places him as an outsider, as does Juliet’s branding.

3 Huge Questions Answered? Dear ABC, please do not make promos that are misleading. It seems in the promos for the most recent episode of “LOST”, you promised that 3 of LOST’s biggest questions would be answered, and not a single one was. And if you consider the meaning behind Jack’s tattoos as one of the biggest questions on LOST, then you’re not watching the same show as I am. Now, I could understand if Jack’s tattoo was the blueprints to how the smoke monster works, or maybe a map of how to escape the island (ala “Prison Break”), then that could be considered important. But it seemed that the translation wasn’t any more important than if I had a tattoo on my arm that says “Obsessed with LOST” written in Comic Sans.

That being said, my lunch-hour is nearly over. Don’t hesitate to send me feedback. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the episode. Until next week…


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