'Lost': The Illustrated Man
Was it a really good episode, on the level of even last week's, which a lot of you really dug and which I've warmed to the more I've thought about it? Well, no, it wasn't. But if I'm going to be calling the writers out for all the threads they leave dangling, I should at least acknowledge when they bring a little bit of closure to a couple of others.
The present-day action, focusing largely on Jack and to a lesser extent on escapees Sawyer, Kate and Karl, all felt reasonably logical, at least by Lost standards -- which is a way of saying I didn't really feel a need to raise my voice at the screen. Kate even asked what might be considered a pertinent question or two of Karl, discovering that the Others only work on Alcatraz (which we already know, but she didn't) and live on the same rock as the Flight 815 survivors. Her queries also led to the night's best line, from Sawyer: "You have back yards? Well, ain't that quaint."
As for Jack's latest deal with Ben -- a promise to nurse him back to health in exchange for letting Juliet live -- well, I think I see where the good doctor is coming from. He was both feeling guilty about getting Juliet in hot water and recognizing that he probably needed whatever pull she still had with Ben to keep breathing himself. And, if I were Juliet and got off with a starburst-pattern branding on my lower back as opposed to death, I might feel a little in debt to Jack, no matter what Ben says about her not caring about him.
And if all that means spending a little more time with the South Pacific's wackiest extended family, that's all right.
That family, by the way, now apparently includes some of the tailies: stewardess Cindy and a couple of kids, last seen getting snatched in "The Other 48 Days" last season. Here was a place where Jack could perhaps have extracted a little more information about just what Cindy and Co. were "watching," but after hearing "It's complicated" for like the fourth time in the course of a day, I might have given up too.
Come to think of it, maybe that's what the crazy Clockwork Orange/Parallax View brainwashing Karl was undergoing conditions you to say when someone tries to get specific about just what the hell's going on. Karl didn't complete his course, so he was a little more willing to give Kate and Sawyer the lowdown -- about why the Others snatched kids ("to give them a better life") and just what it is they do ("projects," so annoyingly non-specific that it actually made me chuckle).
As for the flashbacks, I guess it's nice to know what Jack's tattoos say/mean ("He walks amongst us but isn't one of us" is the literal translation), but I'm not sure we needed any further evidence that Jack is a Leader of Men, but also Lonely. Also, I can't really see Bai Ling without thinking of this, so the illusion was kind of gone for me the moment she appeared on screen.
One thing is kind of bugging me: Ben's revelation that dead Other Ethan was a surgeon. Now, I understand that if you're having an operation being done near your spinal cord, you'd want a specialist. But if Ethan was that valuable to his people, why would Ben be sending him across the island to do nefarious things, knowing it might put Ethan in danger?
And I've more or less given up trying to understand why Kate feels the way she feels at any given time. I'll let you pick her moods apart down in the comments section.
While you're there -- how'd you feel about tonight's Lost? Glad to be done with Alcatraz? Psyched for the big reunion next week?