Sunday, May 25, 2008

3.9 Stranger in a Strange Land

Kate and Sawyer and paddling back to ‘their’ island. Kate tells Sawyer they have to go back for Jack. Sawyer and Karl both say they will be killed if they go back. Sawyer, who is paddling the boat, holds sway – for now.

Tom visit Jack in his cell to tell him he is being moved. Jack thinks he is being taken to be killed. Tom says it isn’t true, and wonders why Jack would think of them that way. Jack gives a few examples of why he thinks that way (child-kidnapping, etc.) Tom infers that Jack is throwing stones from his glass house, but, frankly, I don’t understand how Tom can argue that the survivors are on the same moral plane as the Others.

As they head for their new location, Jack sees that Juliet is in his old cell. He also passes a new, mysterious member of the Others – an older, angular woman, dressed like a Nazi secretary.

Jack is placed in Sawyer’s old bear cell and fed food in paper plates squeezed through the bars. Tom identifies the angular woman as the sheriff. Jack also learns that Juliet is in trouble.

Sawyer convinces Kate that they should not sail around the island back to their people, but should instead make land and make camp. Kate is getting more and more annoyed by Sawyer’s control. Karl wakes up and gives some information about the Others. They live on ‘this island’; they do ‘projects’; they give kids a life better than the ones that the survivors can give. Karl reminisces about his nights with Alex, gazing at the stars in their back yards.

Jack experiments with pressing the bear button a few times, killing time until Juliet visits. She says his vitals are low and he has a fever. Juliet asks Jack to take a look, but Jack refuses. Juliet explains her motivations – she is in trouble for killing one of their own – the man that was going to kill Sawyer (and Kate, I assume).

Jack is visited by the angular Isabel, who questions whether he knows what his tattoo means. He says he does. She’s very arrogant. She asks Jack to come with her. Jack agrees. The destination is an inquiry into Juliet’s mis-deeds. Jack is asked whether Juliet asked him to kill Ben. Jack lies and says she did not. Isabel seems sure Jack is protecting Juliet, but Jack plays is straight and asks to go back to his cell.

While in his cell, Jack is visited by 20 or so people (including Cindy and the children). Cindy says they are there to watch – and they all seem to be docile and brainwashed. Jack reacts angrily, especially when one of the kids asks how Ana Lucia is doing. Jacks yells at Cindy to go away.

Kate wakes up and believes Karl is gone, but they find him a short distance away in the jungle, crying. Sawyer goes alone to talk with Karl – his talk starts off with a hard punch to the arm. Sawyer tells Karl that Alex is worth the time, and he should go back ‘home’ and try to find her.

Jack is visited by Alex. She wants to know why he saved Ben, even after all the evil that Ben do. Jack finds out that Juliet is about going to be sentenced to death for killing Pickett just before he was going to murder Sawyer and Kate. Jack says he saved Ben because he said he would. Jack finds out that Ben is still in control of the group, and asks to get out of the cage, so he can convince Ben to avert Juliet’s execution. Jack burst into OR and stops the Others surgeon from doing something with a syringe. Jack says Ben needs to be closely monitored by a doctor. The cost is that Ben must stay Juliet’s execution. Ben cannot move, so instead he sends a note with Alex. Alex bursts into the meeting with the note. Juliet’s life is saved; instead, she is ‘marked’.

Juliet visits Jack at his cage and shows him her marked back. Through the bars, Jack treats her with the leaf of an aloe plant. Juliet asks why he saved her life. Jack says Ben promised both of them passage off the island, and they together must ensure that he keeps his promise. Juliet tells Jack they are heading back to the ‘home island’.

Karl is gone. Sawyer and Kate start heading back to camp, but first, they discuss where they stand. Sawyer thinks Kate made love to him only because she thought he was a dead man. She doesn’t deny it.

Jack is taken to the beach, where he is going to be transported back to ‘his island. Like some biblical tableau, Jack rides with Ben, watching over him.

Somewhere in the jungle, Karl sits by a campfire, contemplating his next move, and looking up at the stars. Alex sits under the stars on the ship returning to the island. Jack and Juliet stand on the bow, and share a special look.

In flashback, Jack is vacationing on the beach in Thailand. His failed attempts to build a kite attract the help of a striking young Thai woman named Achara. Jack and Achara start a relationship, but the elusive Achara only visits when she wants, and keeps what she does a mystery. She says she has a ‘gift’, and that is all she shares. Their relationship is steaming – her nocturnal visits seem to be enjoyed by both of them – but Jack wants to know more about her. She says there are things happening here that he could never understand – like her gift. She tells him to just have fun and to stop asking questions. But Jack follows her one night and finds her place of work – a tattoo parlor. He demands to know her gift – she says she can read people. She defines him perfectly – a leader who is angry and scared. He demands that she tattoo this on his arm. The next day, he is beaten by a gang of angry Thai men, and told to leave the country, while Achara watches from a distance, crying.


Those tattoos on Jack are real. Matthew Fox had them before he began his work on Lost. The producers thought they worked well with his character, so they didn’t cover them up and worked them into the story.

The writers have done a great job of evolving Jack’s character from a pure, albeit reluctant hero, to someone who is deeply tormented and even a little insane.

Quotable Quotes

(Sawyer punches Karl in the arm)
Karl: Ow! What was that for?
Sawyer: So you’d cowboy up! Cryin’ in the jungle – I thought you people were supposed to be tough.

"Anyway, look, Karl – I’ve been with a lot of girls – some of them worth the trouble, some not. Every now and then, there’s one – one you name dumb stars with."
- Sawyer

Jack: I’d be much more impressed with you people if you had a good surgeon>
Ben: We had an excellent surgeon, Jack; his name was Ethan.

Jack: Do you see who I am, Achara?
Achara: Yes.
Jack: Who am I?
Achara: You are a leader, a great man, but this... this makes you lonely, and frightened, and angry.
Jack: Good. Now, put it on me. Put it on me!

Isabelle: [about Jack's tattoo] ‘He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us.’ That's what they say.
Jack: That's what they say. It's not what they mean.

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