Lost – “Stranger in a Strange Land”

“He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us.”

[Spoiler Warning: Plot Details will be discussed!]

Further expanding the world of the Others was something that the first arc of Season Three of Lost tried to do; some found it annoying, but I for one felt that it was important to the show’s existence past this season. Without expanding the Others, making them characters, it is impossible for the show to appear dynamic, and not just the same group of characters fighting unknown threats forever.

Really, while the episode featured a back story that gave us some insight into Jack’s tattoo, it was more about giving us a look into the society of the Others. All of a sudden we begin to see the children picked up from the beaches, and we see the flight attendant who Jack thought had been captured for good. We met Isabelle, the judge of sorts. We got to see civilians doing civilian things, and the starcrossed love of Alex and Karl.

While perhaps uneventful, the episode did a fine job of expanding their universe further. While some may want to return to the original castaways, I ask why? Why would you want to return to characters who, at this point, don’t have all that much to do? Sure, Locke and Sayid really need something to do, but in all honesty I think that the Others are better for the future.

What I think the show needs to be commended for is integrating them so well into the show’s infrastructure as characters, not just as a faceless threat. The entire Henry Gale arc was so well orchestrated, well-written, I cannot fathom how people are unable to relate to these characters. Juliet has become someone worth saving, not simply some random woman. Even Tom, our lovable gruff, has become…lovable. And let’s not forget Ben, ever so ambiguous in his evil. When they introduce someone like Isabelle, we KNOW she’s a bitch, even within the Others structure.

The back story of the episode, into Jack’s tattoo, seemed somewhat dull if not necessarily bad. The story of Achara and her relationship to Jack was somewhat supernatural, somewhat slow, but the biggest problem was that we kind of knew everything we found out. Jack’s a leader, but he gets lonely and bitter about it…sounds about right, no? It’s another example of how the Others can often be more interesting than our existing characters, people just won’t give them a chance.

Still, it did connect in with Jack’s future scenario with the Others. As his tattoo said, and as Isabelle pointed out it is quite ironic, he is indeed amongst those unlike him. He is really in the same situation as Ben was with the Castaways themselves, which I think is a great dynamic for the character. Simple or not, the back story was at the very least very topical.

Other than the back story, we only got to see some Kate and Sawyer drama, which interconnected with some Alex/Karl drama. It’s kind of tough to really root for the relationship yet, not that they’re still in somewhat mortal danger and all, but it’s clear that this is where things are headed (especially with Jack off with Juliet). Here’s hoping that next week brings them back together with Locke and Co., which I think should be very interesting in terms of their dynamics.

Speaking of which, where’s Jin and Sun? We saw Sayid return, so we know that they have to be around there somewhere, but we’ve yet to hear them discuss the foot or anything. I figure we’re due to return to them at some point; with the Others abandoning the island and Kate/Sawyer on their way to camp, things are setup for a return to a somewhat more normal dynamic.

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1 Comment

Filed under Lost, Television

One response to “Lost – “Stranger in a Strange Land”

  1. Pingback: The Lost Weekend: Reflections on Reviewing Lost « Cultural Learnings

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