Key Points from "One of Us"
Season 3, Episode 16
Episode Air Date: 04/11/07
Who is Dr. Juliet Burke? Is she a kind-hearted researcher who brings hope to childless women? Is she a calculating super-ninja with a murky agenda and a thirst for revenge?
Or, is she both?
Back in "Not in Portland," the first Juliet-centric episode, the case was made for Jules' nebbish nature, but after witnessing her ass-kicking skills in "Left Behind" and the jaw-dropping twist at the conclusion of this episode, I don't know what to think of dear Dr. Burke. (Well, that's not entirely true -- I "think" she's one of the most interesting characters on the show).
But now it's time to stop thinking and start recappin'.
The early portions of "One of Us" focus on Juliet, Jack, Kate and Sayid as they trek from Bennsylvania back to the beach camps (Juliet's knowledge of sonic death fences removes peril from the journey, which is nice). Along the way it becomes apparent that Kate and Sayid have major issues with Juliet. Kate shows her ire by uttering exactly four syllables in this entire episode (I'm not even sure she has a full line of dialogue), but Sayid prefers a more direct route: He demands Other details from Juliet -- lots and lots of Other details.
And just as it seems a great geyser of answers is about to spring from Juliet's mouth, Jack swoops in to shut down the inquisition. Jack -- who continues to show unparalleled idiocy -- seems to think he's "protecting" Juliet, and part of this protection involves her taking the Fifth whenever and however she likes.
So the juicy Sayid-Juliet showdown hinted at in last week's previews was yet another anticlimactic tease from the marketing department (thanks, guys). Fortunately, there's plenty of good stuff to cover this teaser faux pas.
Things get very interesting when the group eventually returns to the beach camp. Sawyer is the first to spot Jack, and his expression is priceless: a mix of relief -- because he doesn't have to be camp leader anymore -- and disappointment -- because this leader thing was growing on him.
At first, the surprise arrival of Jack, Kate and Sayid spurs hugs all around, but when Sawyer catches sight of Juliet standing down the beach, the mood turns sour ... fast.
"What's she doing here?" Sawyer growls.
It's an excellent question, and it's one Jack tries to answer for the rest of the day. In a true "Survivor" moment, the castaways hold a town meeting while Juliet sits alone on the beach (she's the Richard Hatch of "Lost" -- minus the nakedness and tax evasion). Hurley joins her, partly following orders (he's supposed to keep an eye on her) and partly because he's the island's guest coordinator and dammit, he just can't help being hospitable.
Hurley notes that Juliet wasn't present during last season's dock incident (the one with the poison darts and the burlap sacks and the kidnapping). And Juliet, God love her, has the perfect response.
"I had the day off," she says with a small smile.
Hurley is momentarily assuaged, but the Others' atrocities aren't easily forgotten and he can't resist the urge to dig at Juliet. Hurley says the castaways are a little iffy about Others because one of them -- Evil Ethan -- infiltrated their camp, kidnapped the pretty pregnant girl and tried to kill their C-list rock star.
"We buried him over there," Hurley says, nodding toward a blank patch of sand covered in Vincent's poop.
Juliet doesn't respond.
As night falls, Jack continues to make the case for Juliet. He uses the old "if I trust her, you should trust her" technique, but after three months of this Other business and freaky islands and Jack's occasionally shaky leadership, unchallenged belief in a very flawed doctor just isn't going to cut it.
The mob's mood turns angry when Desmond asks about Locke: Where is he? What happened to him?
Jack can't help snarling. He says Locke went with the Others after he destroyed the submarine that was supposed to take him off this godforsaken island.
A ripple of anger/confusion zips through the crowd. What's that, Jack? Submarine? Explosion? ESCAPE?!
Jack backtracks. He tells the assembled that he made a deal with Ben so he could eventually return with a rescue party.
Sawyer scoffs. The rumbling crowd grows hostile.
Fortunately for Jack, a high-powered stream of blood suddenly shoots from Claire's nose.
You see, Claire was walloped by a three-ton ass truck at the beginning of this episode. Early on, she wakes from a nap looking pale and confused. Initially, she and her fellow castaways think she accidentally sipped from the urine trough or got into a bad stash of mangos, but as the episode progresses, it's clear that Claire is in a world of hurt.
That hurt bubbles over at the town meeting. A river of blood shoots from her nostrils (nice effect) and Charlie summons Dr. Jack. This works to Jack's advantage since he was three seconds from being strung up by his fellow castaways.
As Jack tends to Claire, Juliet appears at the periphery of the camp. She's been staying in the shadows, but Claire's sudden sickness has her concerned. And rightfully so.
Juliet quietly tells Kate she needs to talk to Jack. Kate huffs: Why? Why would Juliet have any interest in Claire? And what does Juliet think she can do to help?
"I did it to her," Juliet says.
Juliet and Jack quickly confer and it's during this consult we learn something very interesting about this island: it hates pregnant women.
Juliet tells Jack that for the last three years (possibly more), she's seen case after case of "Evil Baby Syndrome" (EBS ... won't you please help?). The women's bodies turn on the babies and treat them like a "foreign invader."
"Every pregnant woman on this island died," Juliet says.
So what's that have to do with Claire? She already had her baby and both mother and child have been fine for weeks. Or so it seems ...
Juliet reveals that during her kidnapping, Claire was injected with a serum (developed by Juliet) meant to protect her during the pregnancy (so that's what Ethan was doing in "Maternity Leave"). Obviously, the serum worked, because Claire delivered Turnip Head and lost her baby weight in record time. But now, a "latent reaction" is turning Claire into a blood fountain and unless Juliet tends to Claire immediately, Jack's sister will become Jack's dead sister. And in a convenient twist, Juliet just happens to know the location of Evil Ethan's secret medicine stash.
Jack doesn't blink. He tells Juliet to get the medicine. (Uh, Jack, she's smokin' and all but don't you think blind faith is a little iffy on this island?)
So Jules runs off to retrieve the case and it must be quite a journey because the sun rises before she reaches a big ol' tree marked with a spidery brand (it resembles the "brand" burned into Juliet's back). Juliet digs around nearby leaves and finds a locked metal case. She spins a combination into the padlock and cracks it open, but just as she's about to make off with the case, two visitors appear from the treeline.
Sheriff Sayid and Sheriff Sawyer are in town.
The unlikely allies have decided that all this Juliet business just needs to slow down. They followed Jules so the three of them could have little talk and sort things out.
Ah-ha! Now we're gonna get some answers! Right? Right?
Nope. Sayid and Sawyer don't realize that Juliet is a 10th Level Jedi (Darth Burke?). She deftly overcomes her adversaries by weaving a tapestry of guilt and confusion that dredges up the tortured (and torturing) pasts of Sayid and Sawyer and mocks their moral hypocrisy.
The trick works. Sayid and Sawyer are speechless (and I think Sawyer cries a little).
"I'm taking that medication back to Claire and you're going to let me, because if she doesn't get it, she's going to die," Juliet says with deadly calm. "And the last thing either of you needs right now is more blood on your hands. These are not the droids you're looking for."
Juliet walks off. She is a BAD ASS.
Juliet returns to camp (eight days later ... but no one mentions the delay) and she and Jack prep Claire for an injection of Juliet's Snake Oil. Charlie initially protests -- after all, Juliet was sorta involved in Claire's kidnapping -- but Jack pulls the "do you trust me?" maneuver and Charlie backs down because he's a feeble-minded former hobbit and Jack is Jack.
Juliet pokes the tip of a needle into Claire's stomach, but now it's Jack's turn to hold up the proceedings. He touches her wrist and looks into her eyes. "If something happens to her, I'm not going to be able to protect you anymore," Jack says. "You'll be on your own."
Juliet doesn't flinch. "I'm already on my own, Jack."
With that, she plunges the needle into Claire's stomach.
Three hours later ...
Claire wakes to a new day, looking dewey fresh and sporting a HyPro glo. Juliet's Magic Juice did the trick and Claire is now right as rain.
It's a big moment because not only does Claire get to live for another few episodes, but Juliet's quick thinking and swift action have opened the door to broader acceptance from the castaways. Jack finds Juliet sitting alone by the shore and presents her with the island's highest honor: a tarp, a blanket and airplane pillows.
He takes a seat next to her and the two share one of those conversations that only takes place on "Lost."
See, if it were me I'd immediately pummel Juliet with questions: Who are you people? Why does the island have its own source of birth control? What's with all the hatches? Why doesn't Ben have any eyelashes? Where'd the Others bugger off to?
Et-cetera, et-cetera, et-cetera.
But Jack doesn't bother with any of that little stuff. He does offhandedly note that his fellow castaways will "eventually need some answers," but Jack, apparently, doesn't much care.
Juliet asks him why that is -- "Why don't I have to explain myself to you?"
And that's when we're treated to another installment of Jack's Wacky Logic:
"You were there," Jack says, all hero-like. "You were standing right next to me when that submarine exploded. I saw it in your eyes. You want to get off this island more than anything else in the world. That makes you one of us."
Juliet smiles softly. The two sit and watch waves and sip on tequila and tonics ... oh wait, that was Ana.
Initially this appears to be the end of the episode, but then something big happens. Something profound happens. Hold on to your hats, this is gonna be a doozy.
In the closing moments of the episode, Juliet cheerfully hangs her new tarp. As she works, the scene intercuts with a flashback sequence.
And this is when we discover that things are not what they seem.
We see Juliet and Ben sitting in Ben's dark apartment. Ben is in his wheelchair and Juliet is wearing the light blue sweater she wore in "Left Behind."
Ben asks Juliet to go over their "plan."
Plan? What the hell?
Juliet lays it all out:
Step 1: She's going to drag Kate into the jungle, handcuff herself to Kate's wrist, then tell Kate that she, too, was gassed by the Others. If Kate catches on to the lie, Juliet must admit to the ruse and claim it's the only way she could gain Kate's trust.
Oh ... my ... god
Step 2: Juliet must go back to the beach with the group. Juliet voices mild apprehension about this part of the plan -- she thinks her status as an Other is going to cause problems.
And this is when we learn just how eeeevill Ben truly is. He says that an "implant" in Claire has been activated and within 48 hours sweet little Claire is going to be sick as a dog. "By the time you get to that camp you'll have a nice big crisis to solve," Ben snickers.
Step 3: When Claire starts to hemorrhage from her eye sockets, Juliet will retrieve medical supplies from a predetermined location (the big tree with the mark on it). She'll then rush in, save the day and earn the castaways' trust.
"Tell Jack that you can save her," Ben says, summing up the plan. "He trusts you."
Juliet grows silent. Her eyes are a 1,000 miles away.
"Are you all right?" Ben asks.
Juliet blinks and looks up. Her placid look reveals nothing.
"I'm fine," she says quietly.
Ben hands her a gas mask. "See you in a week," he says, rolling off.
The flashback sequence ends.
Back on the island, Juliet looks at the castaways and considers them all (Desmond, Charlie, Claire ... and then Jack). Turning away from her new tribe, she stares at the horizon and grabs the last two strings of her tarp.
The strings knot together. A wayward fleck of symbolism lands in my eye.
AND THAT'S WHEN IT ENDS! SWEET FRANCIS ON TOAST, IT ENDS!
Honestly, I don't know how to process this so I'm going to go stream-of-consciousness and hope something useful pops up:
My brain hurts.
As backstories go, this was one of the best. Not only did it offer a glimpse into Juliet's make-up, but it also revealed a few island clues.
So here's what we learn about Juliet:
Juliet's backstory also reveals a number of island tidbits:
A few closing questions and observations:
That's all I've got!
Be sure to drop by our "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.
|"Catch-22" -- Desmond's "future flashes" inspire a jungle trek that could prove problematic for Charlie. Airs Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 10 p.m. on ABC.|
Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.