The True Believer:
The Manipulative Ms. Juliet
Throughout this week’s episode of Lost, it became incredibly clear that Juliet’s story is incredibly important to where the Others currently stand on a variety of issues. And, based on the cure provided to her sister by the mysterious Jacob, it can’t be too surprising that Juliet is in fact a true believer in everything the Others stand for. It puts a fair amount of the island’s past into perspective, and we learned more about how they operated in the days before the giant purple flash from the Hatch.
Let’s look at some of Juliet’s past actions and try to reconcile them as more or less Ben’s manipulations, shall we? It’s a little game I like to call:
Juliet’s Manipulative Past:
Genuine or False?
The Mutiny – Genuine
Remember back at the beginning of the season when Juliet presented the “Some of us want a change around here, do the surgery and then have him killed” plan Bob Dylan-style to Jack through the video? I think that it was actually Juliet’s plan to have Ben killed and to in some way take his place; while she is certainly a believer in the cause considering what happened, I still think that she and Ben have trust issues. Here, she seemed to be representing some form of movement within the Others against Ben’s leadership, and I think this was a truly genuine belief.
The Promise – Undecided
When Ben promised Juliet that getting Kate and Sawyer off the island would get her home, I am conflicted as to whether this actually happened. We never actually got to her what Ben said at this point, and this could have been the point where Juliet realized that the best option at this stage was to begin to gain Jack’s trust. However, Ben could have actually promised Juliet that he would let her off the island if she followed his plan, although the fact that we never got to hear him say it makes me think that it was certainly more manipulative than we realize.
The Submarine – Undecided
I think it really depends on whether Ben actually promised her anything; I think it’s clear that she wants to go home, and yet her desire to leave has never truly been seen. If the promise was genuine, and Ben was going to let Jack and Juliet go home, then she was more than prepared to leave. It would also mean that Ben allowed Locke to blow up the submarine entirely to screw over Juliet and keep her and Jack on the island. However, what if they had never planned on taking them home all along? What if they had planned to simply have the submarine head to a different location and screw over Jack? What if it had all been planned from the point where Juliet was in the operating room with Ben? In the end I’m leaning towards it being a genuine desire to go home…but how does that explain what followed?
The Infiltration – False
The problem is that there’s no question that the infiltration was false, that she was lying to Jack and Kate and all of this. However, why would she agree to this? Was the submarine being blown up enough to have her just immediately assimilate back into the society? Or, was the entire submarine thing all designed to increase Jack’s trust in her? Hell, it’s still entirely possible that Juliet is in some way playing with Ben and is subverting his authority in some way.
What’s the result of all of this? We really don’t know all that much about her at all. In fact, to be honest, I think we are less sure about her motives now than we were before. Her faith in what they stand for, in Jacob’s healing ability, adds a newly complicated perspective on her past. Now, rather than being someone who was kept against her will and who had no connection to their beliefs, she appears to be a true fundamentalist, a believer in what has occurred. This is a very interesting development, I think, and one which still doesn’t define her as good or evil. Much like when she was introduced, she remains a reminder of the complicated network of individuals that make up the Others.
As for the rest of the episode: Sawyer and Sayid remain skeptical (Let’s hope they stay that way), Kate remains bitter about the whole scenario with Jack and Juliet, and Desmond is still another sort of oddball who likely has some questions for Juliet that would prove quite interesting. If you want to know what else went down, go ahead and read the full recap after the jump.
Previously on Lost: Juliet’s back story (Pregnant Sister, left behind with Kate, etc.), and then Juliet’s abandonment and subsequent assistance from Jack.
We open to our foursome traveling through tall grass as they make their way towards the beach. On the whole, it seems to be quite awkward, even as they cross over a small stream. Sayid believes that they’ve found a good place to make camp. Jack decides to get some firewood, and Kate calls dibs on going with him. They each gather wood angrily, and Kate asks if Jack wants to talk about the week spent with The Others.
Jack says he made a deal with them that if he took care of Ben they’d let him go, and he apparently didn’t ask any questions. Kate is unsatisfied with this answer (Is she ever satisfied?).
Meanwhile, back at the camp, Juliet washes herself and prepares for another awkward conversation as Sayid states at her. No, not the sex talk, but rather Sayid’s curiousity. He wants to know everything…but first, who is she?
We head into her past, as she takes her first little trip to Mittelos Bioscience. Ethan grabs her bags, and there’s a long stretch limo of sorts waiting. Juliet and her sister are forced to say goodbye at this stage, at the front gates, and Juliet was reasonable second thoughts. Her sister tells her to not blow it, they share “I Love Yous”, and Juliet goes off to make them proud…by being taken to an island and held against her will.
Sayid repeats the question: “Who are you?” Juliet: “If I told you who I was, if I told you everything I know, you’d kill me.” Sayid threatens her that he’ll kill her anyways, but Jack returns to ensure that Sayid doesn’t get too impatient while she’s under his protection.
We return to the island, as Charlie returns to the beach with some laundry and finds that Aaron is crying…and Claire seems to be sleeping right through it. Charlie stops in to make sure that little Aaron isn’t being neglected, and Claire doesn’t seem to be okay at all. She feels a bit off, didn’t sleep well, and perhaps she’s coming down with something. She also just put her baby in the possession of someone doomed to die, so she’s clearly also mentally unsound.
Juliet is rather understandably worried about Sayid and Kate’s reaction to things, considering that her situation is ever so negative. She and Jack flirt back and forth, and she talks about her nervousness, which sends us into the past year again.
Dr. Burke is getting some vitals taken it seems, as they’re at Herbert Aviation. They test her blood pressure, and she’s finally having some issues. She was fine with the paperwork, she was fine with the not telling her friends, but she’s not so fine with the orange juice tranquilizer. However, where she’s going is a special place with a lot of turbulence. She created life where life was not supposed to be, and where they’re going she can do just that in new ways. She’ll see things there that she’s never imagined. All of this convinces her, and she drinks the orange juice, and whammo. Lights out on Juliet.
She wakes up strapped to a bed, and Ethan’s there to make sure that she gets unstrapped. The last leg is always a little bumpy, it seems, which says a lot about the nature of this particular…nope, it’s not a plane, it’s a submarine ride. Juliet emerges from the red-lite cabin and Ethan let’s her know that they’ve arrived. She emerges from the top of the sub in high heels to find that she’s now in a tropical paradise.
Benjamin Linus is there to greet her, and he’s looking forward to working with her. What exactly they’ll be doing, however, is unknown.
We return to what Sawyer describes as “Three Men and a Baby” (He counted Hugo twice), as Hurley and Charlie spend some time with Aaron. Claire, meanwhile, is suffering from a headache and the newly helpful Sawyer is about to grab some aspirin for her when “Son of a bitch.” Jack has returned. Behind him comes Kate, which pleases Sawyer a little bit more, but we’ve yet to see the one person we’re still unsure about in this scenario.
Hurley and Jack share a hug, Charlie does the same, Sayid gets some love, Kate and Hurley share a moment, and Jack and Sawyer hug it out (bitch). And now, of course, Kate and Sawyer get their little moment which manifests as a meaningful hug. Sawyer, however, interrupts to note Juliet standing awkwardly, as everyone points and stares at the newcomer as we go to commercial.
Juliet sits on the beach alone (Well, at least they didn’t stone her to death) until Hurley stops by to sit with her. “You’re like one of them, huh?” He doesn’t remember her from the dock, after the whole shocking incident, and she explains that she had the day off. And then smiles. Hurley is charmed. He asks her about her career, and she notes that he appears to be her bodyguard. He notes that Ethan was the last one of their kind to be on the beach, and he’s buried over that way. Soooo.
We find ourselves back to an operating room, as Juliet spends some time with the doctors (Including Goodwin, the one Ana Lucia killed, and Ethan) and then heads out onto the rocks for some necessary rest and relaxation. The patient, who died, made a choice to be pregnant, and knew she was taking a risk. She believes that there is something going wrong at conception, not further into the birth, and Juliet believes that unless they take someone off the island (not an option, according to Ben) she won’t be able to do anything.
Ben, however, isn’t so quick to let her go. She wants to be there for her sister’s birth, but he’s here to deliver word that her cancer is back and that she’ll be dead by the point she gives birth. She is more than a little peeved off, but Ben still thinks she should stay on the island because he will make sure that Jacob will cure her cancer. Every woman on this island needs her, and if she stays and helps them Rachel’s life will be saved.
Back on the beach, a pow-wow between the village elders (aka principle cast members) is taking place regarding Juliet. Jack wants the folks to trust her, and Sun is more than a little bit sketchy. Sawyer suggests that they torture her, Sayid isn’t a big fan of it, and insists that Jack’s trust just isn’t enough. Kate defends Jack, and calls Sawyer ‘James’, which is damn cold. Jack’s actions start to be brought into question, and Claire’s sudden nosebleed-esque illness suddenly takes precedence
Juliet shows some concern for her situation as Claire is checked on by Jack, and grabs Kate quickly. You see, Juliet knows what is happening to Claire. Why? Because Juliet did it to her. Oooooh…commercials.
We return to the island where Kate is escorting Jack to speak to Juliet regarding the situation. Sawyer and Sayid chat about it, and they’re getting a bad feeling about this scenario. Juliet notes that she is having a latent reaction to a medication designed to ensure that Claire didn’t die in the late stages of her pregnancy. Her immune system is having some issues with this process.
We head back into the past and see that there had been Ethan and others giving interjections to Claire on a regular basis to ensure that she wouldn’t reject the pregnancy. After Ethan was figured out, he winged it and kidnapped her. Juliet knows that he left a stash at the camp, and wants to go get it. To Kate’s frustration, Jack agrees to let her go.
We return to Juliet’s past as she’s in bed with Goodwin, and then is called away to spend some time looking at Ben’s tumor. This appears to be the moment when we first learned about it, and considering that Ben just said he would eradicate tumour this must be tough to take. Ben just finished reading Carried, you see, and he doesn’t take to this news well. He’s surprised he has cancer, but there’s no confirmation that it’s cancerous. She wants to know why he’s scared if he can cure it, and he doesn’t really know…and Juliet slaps the glass out of his hand and wants to talk to her sister.
She’s all worked up, but Ben claims he told her the truth. He gave her his word, as if that means anything. She cries into his shoulder, emotionally damaged as ever, and she wants to go home. We don’t really get a true resolution to the scene, just Juliet continuing to cry on the countertop as we head to commercials.
As we return, Juliet is cutting her way through the woods and finds a small marking in a tree where she unearths a small kit to which she knows the combination. She’s ordered to step away from the case by Sayid and Sawyer, who point out that Jack ain’t here right now. It actually contains only medical supplies, as she said, and they want her to talk now to test the “If you know you’ll murder me theory.” She notes that it’s interesting that these two are the moral police, and wonders if Sayid knows about all of the people he’s tortured. She’s curious whether everyone knows about the man James shot in cold blood the night before he got on the plane. She’s taking the medicine back, whether they like it or not, so she won’t die; because these two don’t need any more blood on their hands. She takes the case and walks away, right into her back story.
We find ourselves back to the season premiere, and the joys of ‘Downtown.’ We move through the book club in fast forward, and the plane crash finally manages to drown out the music. Goodwin, Ethan are sent out to the Tailies/The Beach, and Ben notes that he’s out of the book club now. Ben was looking for hr this morning, you see, because they need to talk. They have some time, he says, and he wants her to take a walk with him. They head out to the Flame Station to spend some time with Mikhail. There’s something Ben needs to show her.
Mikhail has all of the flight information on his screen, including all of the news coverage of the plane disappearing and is already working on intensive workups on every passenger. Ben is angry about the liar comment, and connects to Richard who is live in Miami as we see Rachel with her young child. The cancer disappeared, and her healthy baby boy (Julian) was born. Ben assures her that he is not a liar, but she still wants to go home. Juliet thinks her work is impossible, but says they’ll just find more mothers. Maybe there’s one on the plane. Ya think?
Juliet returns to the beach with her medical kit, and Charlie is immediately skeptical. Jack trusts her, however, and thinks that therefore Juliet should be trusted by proxy if they trust Jack. Charlie accepts this, but he might just be not even trying by this point. Jack ensures her that he won’t be able to protect her should this go bad. However, Juliet notes that she’s already alone, really, and then injects the syringe into Claire’s belly.
Aaron grabs onto Charlie’s finger as he holds onto Claire’s hand. She wakes up and seems, well, relatively okay, and wonders what happened. Charlie is elated to see that she’s not dead (That makes one of them), and Juliet sits off on the beach on her lonesome. Jack stops by with a tarp and some pillows and blankets for her to set up a little home. Claire is awake, you see, so she’s been welcomed into the fold based on her heroics.
Still, Jack lets her know that they’ll need answers eventually. Juliet notes how she never has to explain herself to Jack, and he notes that she was there. She was about to get off this island with him, you see, and he saw in her eyes that her drive is to get off this island more than anything else. And that, you see, “makes you one of us.” And, in the end, it’s really quite true…except that it’s not in the least.
We flash back: Juliet recites that she is to “take Austen into the woods…” as Ben quizzes her on her plan. Juliet thinks that it is going to be a problem, considering what they did, but Ben says they can activate the implant within Claire. Ben tells her to tell Jack that she can save her. That the medkit will be at the drop site. Is Juliet alright with this? She’s fine. You see, she’s really one of them. And Ben will see her in a week.