Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lost Rewatch Week #17: Left Behind, One of Us & Catch 22

Good afternoon, Lost friends! Welcome to this week's installment of the Lost Rewatch. I am still recovering from a very annoying and lingering illness, so I apologize for the delay once again. 

Given that this batch of three episodes featured Juliet quite heavily, I enjoyed revisiting her initial arrival both on the island and at the survivor's beach. 

So let's handcuff ourselves to one another and run through a jungle of theories together. 

Anagrams Are Us

Juliet meets Alpert and Ethan at Herarat Aviation before heading to the island. 

Herarat holds two meanings; it warns us that Juliet is a rat (HER A RAT), which we discover at the end of One of Us when it is revealed that she is still working for Ben, and it is an anagram for Earhart (as in Amelia...who disappeared while flying over an island). 

Desmond had a brief stint at a monastery which produced a wine called Moriah Vineyards, which is an anagram for Harmed Visionary. 

This isn't an anagram, but it is interesting...Boone's last name was Carlyle, and Penny was heading to Carlisle when she first met Desmond. Even at the basic level, nothing is mere coincidence on Lost

Crossing Paths

On the run in Iowa, Kate meets Cassidy, Sawyer's ex and his daughter Clementine's baby mama. 

In S5, Kate reunited with Cassidy to give her money for Clementine (per Sawyer's pre-helicopter jump wish). 

Escape Club

After the Others abandoned their village, Sayid noted that "it's like fifty people disappeared into thin air." 

Now that we are aware of an underground tunnel system, an obvious conclusion is that they descended beneath New Otherton to travel to set up camp in a new location.

Fate vs. Free Will

Yet another example/argument for this popular topic:

Ben, to Juliet: "If you CHOOSE to stay, I promise you, we will save Rachel's life."

Fight Club

File under...we'll never know. 

Here are the facts: Juliet is a fertility doctor. She has amazing reflexes and either serious self-defense or marital arts training, and has dislocated her should FOUR times. One of these things is not like the other. 

Foreshadowing Dialogue

Left Behind

Locke: "I don't want to go home, Kate."

Cassidy, to Kate: "I fell in love with the wrong guy."

Juliet, to Kate: "Ben has a thing for mind games."

Juliet, to Kate, about Jack: "You broke his heart."

Diane Janssen, to daughter Kate: "You can't help who you are, Katherine."

One of Us

Richard Alpert, to Juliet: "The place we're taking you to is special. You'll see things there that you never imagined."

Ben, to Juliet, about her sister's cancer: "Jacob said he would take care of it himself."

Juliet, to Ben: "If you can cure cancer, then why do you have it?"

Ben: "I'm not a liar, Juliet."

Ben: "We'll find more mothers. Who knows, maybe there's one on the plane."

Jack, to Juliet: "You want to get off this island more than anything in the world. It makes you one of us."

Catch 22

Brother Campbell, to Desmond: "For whatever reason, your path led you here and now you're ONE OF US."

Desmond: "I had a calling. I was supposed to leave everything that mattered behind, sacrifice all of it, for a greater calling."

Ruth, Desmond's ex: "Well it's a good thing a SHEPHARD didn't help you up."

Brother Campbell, to Desmond: "You've just spent too much time running away to realize what you may be running toward."

Logistics & Locations

I've often pondered and researched possible locations of the island, taking into consideration that it has the ability to 'move.' But the logistics in One of Us are still baffling to me. Allegedly, the sub carrying Ethan and Juliet left from the Miami area. They arrive on the island wearing the same clothes, unwrinkled. 

Regardless of whether that the island at that time was located near Fiji, Micronesia, Indonesia or in the general South Pacific...submarines do not travel much faster than 30-40 miles per hour. That sub has been around since the early Dharma days, and is probably not updated with the most modern technology. Thus, it is beyond unlikely that they actually travel to the island via the sub. Herarat Aviation must be one of their departure points for flights to an unknown locale where the sub is docked. That is why they drug the passengers; not for a rough trip but so that they have no idea HOW they got there. After they fly, the sub is the last method of transportation; it takes them to their final destination, the island. Ethan's comment that "the LAST leg is a little bumpy" merely corroborates this line of thought. 

The cord leading from the beach into the water and Looking Glass station is not located more than a few miles down the beach from where the survivors are living. So how is it that NO ONE besides Desmond & his hiking buddies saw or heard Naomi's helicopter? 

Lost Book Club

Naomi's bag contained a Portuguese copy of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. The book relates to Desmond on at least two levels; events and perspectives are presented out of order, and one has to decide whether to act selfishly to benefit himself or to work with others for the greater good...

Significant Moments/Firsts

Juliet meets Ben for the first time, upon her arrival to the island via sub.

We find out that Rachel had a son, and named him Julian (after her sister Juliet). 

Desmond meets Penny for the first time.

It is revealed that Juliet was sleeping with Goodwin (long before we discover that he was married to Others' therapist Harper). 

The Visual & the Visceral

When Juliet first looks up to exit the sub, the view reminded me of the perspective we get when glancing down into one of the hatches. 

To me, it is very clear that Juliet reminds Ben of his mother. There have been some who disagree, but taking the painting in Ben's den into consideration as well as the physical resemblance between Emily Linus and Juliet (and, arguably, Carrie Preston & Elizabeth Mitchell)...I do not see how it can be anyone else. 


In addition to needing a fertility doctor on the island, Ben recruited Juliet for his borderline Oedipal complex. 


The branding on Juliet's back matches the symbol on the tree above where the medical supply case was hidden. 

There is a framed photo on Brother Campbell's desk of himself with none other than Eloise Hawking. Given her role in Desmond's life (both in flashbacks and off island in the future), and that she was with Charles Widmore for a is fascinating to consider whether or not she had anything to do with the fact that Des met Penny Widmore for the first time at that monastery when she was picking up wine for Daddy Widmore. 

White Smoke Monster

It has to be significant that Smokey has only appeared in bright flash mode to two people, Juliet and Locke ("I saw a very bright light; it was beautiful."). 

IF Smokey is indeed a representation of or security system for the island, it spared both of them on purpose. Yes, Kate was with Juliet when it seemingly photo scanned them, but I truly believe that Juliet was its target during that particular chase.

And yet, Smokey appeared in typical black smoke form when chasing Kate and Juliet toward the sonic fence. To be honest, general consensus is that Smokey was deterred by the sonic fence, and yet I still wonder if it halted and retreated because of Juliet...


I love Kim Dickens, especially because of Deadwood. She just appeared on FlashForward, and certainly deserves her own show at this point. 

What I love about Cassidy is the way that she accurately reads and honestly speaks to Kate both in Left Behind and in S5 (Whatever Happened, Happened). Cassidy has only made a handful of appearances on Lost, but serves a very important role as one of the few voices of reason off island. 

In Left Behind, Cassidy reveals to Kate that she is pregnant. Here's hoping that she was taking shots of water when she and Kate were bonding at that bar...


Earlier this season, when Locke induced a vision via the sweat lodge and hallucinatory paste,  Boone told him to forget Desmond because "he's helping himself." I was reminded of that statement while watching Desmond take Charlie on that hike to rescue who he thought was Penny, in spite of the fact that Charlie was supposed to die on the way according to Des' own future flash. 

Even though Desmond acknowledges that his the images in his future flashes are out of order, he should have paid more attention to them. In one of the flashes, Charlie is clearly holding the parachute below Naomi, which would indicate that he's still alive after their hike to get to her. 

The following conversations between both Desmond and Brother Campbell and Desmond and Charlie further fuels my Crazy Charlie Theory, given that Charlie ultimately sacrificed his life based solely upon Desmond's vision (Claire and Aaron being rescued):

Desmond: Moriah's the mountain where Abraham was asked to kill Isaac. 
Campbell: And yet God spared Isaac.
Desmond: God may not have asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in the first place.
Campbell: It wouldn't have been much of a test, would it? Perhaps you underestimate the value of sacrifice.

Desmond: I keep saving your life, and what good has it done? Maybe it's a test. 
Charlie: Test?
Desmond: Like God testing Abraham...except that I failed, because I changed what I saw.


Ben asserted that Jacob himself would cure Juliet's sister's cancer. Is it safe to assume that he actually did? All along, we've assumed that the island has healing powers, but perhaps those powers lie in Jacob alone; we've seen him bring Locke back to life OFF island, and he may have done the same for Juliet's sister. 

That Jacob 'allowed' Ben to get a spinal tumor was the first indication that Ben was merely a pawn in his game. 

Even though we are to assume that it was Brother Campbell who helped Desmond from his drunken stupor to the monastery (given that he had a rope tied around his waist), it is possible that Jacob was the man who appeared in that garb to guide Desmond down that path. 


In S4 we see that Matthew Abaddon hired Naomi to escort the Freighter Four to the island, and Abaddon worked for Charles Widmore. 

And yet she had a copy of the infamous Desmond and Penny photo with her when she crashed on the island via parachute. DID Widmore know that Desmond was on the island, or was Naomi also hired by Penny Widmore to find Desmond after discovering her father's mission? 

By the way, it seems rather odd that among Naomi's items in her bag on this dangerous mission, there is a Hawaiian hula girl traditionally found on ones dashboard.  

Rachel Carlson

It never occurred to me before, but Richard Alpert introduced himself to Rachel (Juliet's sister) using his real name. 

When Juliet did not return home after six months, Rachel had to be alarmed and probably filed a report with the police. But Alpert & co. are smart; something tells me that as soon as Juliet left for the island, they coerced and/or blackmailed Rachel not to say a word to anyone. 

That Rachel's cancer had returned in the meantime but then was miraculously cured may have been part of it. 


I'm sure that this is yet another incident we'll never find out more about, but I've always been curious about exactly what happened in Basra...
Thank you again for stopping by and reading along. We are only mere months away from a new and final season, and I for one am very excited to be revisiting what I consider two of the best episodes of the entire series soon (The Man Behind the Curtain and Through the Looking Glass). 

As usual, please leave comments if you'd like to discuss any of the above thoughts or share theories of your own about these three episodes! See you next week.

- Jo


Todd W in NC said...

I agree that this was a good batch of episodes, especially because of Juliet who is one of my favorite characters too.

Great deduction about the trip to the island involving both a plane & the sub. I hadn't thought of that before.

What strikes me about the imagery of Juliet climbing out of the sub is that it's the reverse of her final fate on the island. Her first moment on the island is climbing up out of a hole in the water, out of free will, toward a man she eventually hates. Her final moment on the island is falling down a hole into the earth, perhaps due to fate, away from a man she's come to love. Full circle, and yet opposite. Such symmetry is typical on Lost -- impressive when it's intentional, spooky when it's accidental. ;)

Two things bug me about Juliet's mark. (1) They never explain exactly what it means & what the consequences are. (2) The way Jack reacts to it. Granted, as a doctor, maybe his concern was that the mark was permanent, or was painful, or may be susceptible to infection, etc. But, instead his reaction implies that he knows the deeper meaning behind it, making it even more frustrating that we do not. The natural assumption is that it's a mark of shame, exile, or getting kicked off some crazy list of Jacob's, but who really knows with those bizarre Others.

I never even noticed the photo of Hawking on Brother Campbell's desk. Good catch. Is it just me, or does she looked Photoshopped into that picture? (Hmm, interesting, the spellchecker accepted "Photoshopped" as a valid word and didn't flag "spellchecker" either. Blogger must have a pretty tech-friendly dictionary.)

Do you ever worry that the different ways the smoke monster reacts to people will be one of those details that's never totally explained? Even if we eventually learn *what* it is, I fear its many details may be left up to assumptions.

I wonder if Kate was ever shocked at the coincidence that the con woman that helped her turned out to be Sawyer's lover that she has to help one day. Sometimes it feels like Hurley is the only one that doesn't take the island-manufactured coincidences for granted.

Do you have any theories as to *what* exactly Jacob & his nemesis are? There's doubtless something supernatural about them and/or the island itself, but I can't help but wonder if some of the explanations about the island's healing powers, the smoke monster, Richard's apparent immortality, etc., are simpler than we expect and that even Jacob touching certain people is just a red herring (not sure how it could be though).

Ed S. said...

Hey Jo,

Great post as always. You pointed out a lot of things I noticed this time around and a few new ones.

In "Left Behind" I was very intrigued that the monster appeared with those white flashes of light and seemed very focused on Juliet, both times. I wonder if that was her version of "judgement" for killing one of the others.

In "One of Us" I noticed another FREE WILL moment when Juliet made a CHOICE to drink the tranquilizer. Richard even said, "No one if forcing you to do anything so if you change your mind..." Also, did anyone else noticed the eerie dialog when Richard told her, "You created life where life wasn't supposed to exist. That's a gift..." Chalk that one up to the INCIDENT reboot theory.

In "Catch-22" I was really intrigued by the conversation with Desmond and Brother Campbell. Maybe Desmond's sacrifice test wasn't to see if he'd sacrifice Charlie's life. Maybe it was to see if he'd sacrifice his chance to get off the island. Afterall, if he HAD let Charlie die, then Charlie wouldn't have been able to shut off the jamming equipment in order to get rescued. And just how the hell does Eloise know Brother Campbell??? Maybe they're family? Brother and sister? That would be one hell of a coinkydink!

thorsten said...

Cassidy… I watched Deadwood a couple of weeks ago, because all the Lost-connections, and could not place Joanie Stubbs. I had to look her up on IMDB, heavy forehead-slapping ensued.

Bumpy last legs… here we go again. My guess is that season six will show us how travelling to the Island via the sub works. I expect the 815ers in Timeline B to use this route.

Brother Campbell and Sister Hawking…
my musings on that one here:

Desmond… I used to have a lot of deja vus when I was younger, and always wondered if I was supposed to follow along, or change things.

If Jacob really cured her I guess he told her that Juliet is fine. We still don't know how comunication between Jacob, Richard and Ben worked, (and where Jacob got the paper for his messages!) Just watching Robin in the first season of LIFE.

Get well!

Anna Kathryn said...

Cassidy and Goodwin both show up on another of my fave shows, Friday Night Lights. When Cassidy's character on FNL is brought into the story I think we were meant to be wary of her, but I just love her (the actress) that I couldn't. Goodwin's character was immediately unlikeable. Go figure.

I WANT to know SO BAD what the difference between the white light scan and blake smoke scan is. Locke I could understand if MIB/Smokey are one in the same, but why Juliet? Confusing.

Also, you put marital arts lessons, which is a funny typo to me considering Juliet A. is divorced, B. had an affair with a married man. I'm not bashing her, nor saying these are faults, just pointing it out :)

Anonymous said...

Let's say Smokey creates a white light when he reads someone's mind (we saw flashes of electricity when he surrounded Ben in the temple). I'd say he might have been especially interested in reading Juliet's mind because he had already seen her killed during The Incident years earlier. Remember, there were certain sounds as Juliet was dragged by the chains down into the hole that matched Smokey's audio in later years...

As for the portrait of Ben's mother, Michael Emerson is an artist (he showed off a few of his paintings in a recent interview I saw) and could well have painted that picture of his real life wife...

Robert said...

Great comments, as always, Jo! Two thoughts came to me while reading your post.
1) A further Emily Linus/Juliet connection is that they both often wear light blue (and/or white, in Juliet's case), colors rarely seen on other characters. That these are the colors of the Virgin Mary (viz., the statues, etc.) may or may not be a coincidence, although the whole "immaculate conception" thing on an island rife with fertility issues and potential messiahs does cross one's mind. Or it could just be that, as a blue-eyed blond myself, the show's costumers know how good we look in blue!
2) Deja vu is sometimes described as occuring when someone (through stress or fatigue) is overwhelmed, and is the brain's way of saying: "this happened before and you got through it... relax."

Sean said...

Thanks for the rewatch articles! I really enjoy the format. Juliet probably got her self-defense training the same place that Ethan, Ben and the other Others got theirs. Part of their indoctrination? As for her previous shoulder dislocations...not a clue. Could be as simple as high school or collegiate sports injuries, which also would have given her the reflexes.

Ashleigh Rajala said...

With your theory of Ben's Oedipal complex... once we saw the scene in Season 5 where Juliet in 1977 helps to save young Ben's life after Sayid shoots him, I assumed that the woman Juliet "looks just like" is herself.

Dustin Winebrenner said...

I feel like Juliet got her self defense training in Other school, right after Latin class. These Others KNOW things.

The sub leaves the Portland area, did it not? Juliet and sis flew to Portland believing Mitelos to be nearby. That's where Alpert reveals they'll be taking a trip somewhere.

Portland's on the Pacific side, a sub could make it to wherever in the Pacific the island was at the time.

I believe the people are drugged on the sub so they do not experience the ill effects of traveling through the island's "time bubble" (like the helicopter getting stuck in time while going to the Freighter, and Desmond's mind coming unglued).

Do we know the lady in the painting in Ben's house is supposed to be his mother? Who painted it on the island?

I feel like the white flashes coming from Smokey are supposed to be it scanning/judging Juliet like it did to Eko and later Ben. Eko definately got some white flashes from Smokey (though not shown so brightly - his was in the daytime).

It's interesting that Smokey comes after Juliet shortly thereafter, seemingly to kill her (like it did to Eko). I assumed Smokey discerned that Juliet would not be faithful to Ben's cause in the Lostie's camp and was going to get rid of her.

Good call on Desmond "helping himself." It's the only answer I think of for him telling Charlie that Claire would be rescued with Aaron. I think he was lying, and he only once again saw Penny rescuing him.

Jacob did allow Ben to get a spinal tumor. But presumably he also BROUGHT Ben a spinal surgeon to cure him.

Naomi's cover story about rescuing Des and believing the Losties to be dead is terribly incongruent to what we learn she knew in S4 and later.

But I believe Widmore DID know Des was there. I believe both he and Hawking were instrumental in sending him there. Widmore more or less pressured Des into entering that sailing race, no?

Seems Widmore and Hawking both know Brother Campbell. Widmore made a donation and sent Penny to buy wine from him.

I always wondered if Desmond's prolonged vow of silence was a test by Hawking to see if he could stay sane isolated in an island hatch for years.

Sorry for the long comments. Second half of S3 has all my fav epis and is Lost at it's most exciting.

thorsten said...

Desmond's vow of silence a test by Hawking… good idea! Eloise knew that Desmond had to stay in the Swan for a pretty long time, at least in Timeline A… And then imagine, to get up every 108 minutes. Pure terror. You are right, he was honed by Hawking and Widmore for the job to come.

Evan said...

One possible anagram: Herarat Aviation = A Variation Earth

ZooBot23 said...

The vow of silence is a good idea, and I think it's really interesting to think about how Desmond was probably marked by these shadowy forces to do this bizarre task, all planned from Daniel's notes in his journal, I s'pose.

Jo, thanks again, I hope you're finally getting back to fighting strength!
These are some of my favorite episodes, and it doesn't bother me that we won't have much of the mysteries explained to us because then we'll be able to to debate the intricacies for years to come.
Until Lucas makes a Lost movie and tell us that the island is made of midichlorians! But, hey, if Jorge Garcia writes it...I'm there!