Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review: Lost 3.16: One Of Us

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Ben's smelt something and Juliet's not happy about it.
From Wikia
Lost - Season Three, Episode Sixteen - One of Us
Written 14/3/14 (Happy Pi Day!)

Juliet is a very interesting character. It sounds bland when I put it bluntly like that, but it's nonetheless true in a way which marks her out almost immediately. Out of all the new introductions to the show, Elizabeth Mitchell's portrayl won we over in the least amount of time, and within the space of half a season, her episodes have become events as big as Locke episode or, as would later happen, a Ben episode. And that's because Elizabeth Mitchell and the writing team imbue Juliet's character with so many varying layers that you simultaneously sympathise with her and have no idea what she's really feeling. We don't trust Juliet... but we want to. And that's a distinction worth making.
     This week's flashbacks followed on from those in Not In Portland and followed until the present day, watching as Juliet turns slowly from the timid woman who was browbeaten by her ex-husband into the hard woman we see on the island. She is brought to The Island and Ben refuses to let her go, even as she discovers the hard way why they needed her - women who conceive on the Island always die of pregnancy complications if not taken off the Island. It is explained how Claire was a test case to prove their theory, and how Ethan took matters into his own hands. Ben manipulated Juliet by telling her that her sister had cancer, and then claiming that if Juliet stayed, then Jacob would heal her. This is then counteracted when, the day before the crash of Oceanic 815, Ben's tumour is discovered - the stories about healing cancer are a lie. We cut to just before The Others' leave The Baracks, and discover that Juliet's actions since Left Behind have all been part of one of Ben's masterplans.
      The Others' manipulative nature all seems to come from Ben (ignoring Jacob and all that Season Six crap, for those in the know), and we see throughout Juliet's flashbacks just how she is manipulated to follow his every whim - although clearly it's not as perfect as they'd like. Through this manipulation, through the despair and anguish it brings to her, she develops a rage and desperation which is clear throughout this episode. Part of the appeal of her character comes from a similar to Ben - you never really have any idea of what she's going to do or why, but the difference is that Ben is overall more malicious and petty in his true intentions, wheras Juliet has been driven to this personality by his destructive manipulation.
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The camp watches the "ocean waves" relaxation
video on loop. From Wikia
     On-island, and Juliet was marched back to the beach camp with Sayid, Kate and Jack. She's immediately distrusted by everyone and the dog, and it soon happens that Claire falls dreadfully ill. Juliet immediately claims responsibility, and goes to fetch medecine, leading to a confrontation where Sayid and Sawyer attempt to interogate her and she shuts them down due to her knowledge of both of their murderous and torturous acts off-island. Under Jack's protections, she gives the medecine to Claire, and earns the slight respect of the group. Of course, now we cut back to that flashback we mentioned - this scenario was set up a while ago, and nearly all of Juliet's heartfelt pleading was complete porkies.
      I'm very sorry if I've waffled at all today; I'm quite tired and out of it and all sorts of other things. It's strange to me that I am now only six reviews away from finishing this project, one I started four years ago in the Summer of 2010. My bafflement is helped slightly by this episode's quality, while by now I'm sure I've waffled on about with enough self-repeating procrastination that you stopped reading after the first paragraph. So, that considered, I'm off to go and watch the next episode. Have fun.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: Desmond finds himself in a Catch-22.

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