And we’re back. While I surmise that many Lost fans are thrilled at the show’s return after a lengthy hiatus, I’m sure a large segment of those fans are approaching the relaunch of season three with some hesitancy, having not been satisfied with the (apparent) lack of “answers” found in the first six episodes. I disagree strongly, but it seems the general sentiment of the viewing public-at-large is that the show keeps raising myriad questions while answering a fraction of them. I beg to differ, as I think most every “question” raised in the first two seasons has been answered…except, of course, for the end-all, be-all, meaning of life question: “what is the ultimate purpose of the Island?” I think we’ve had more than enough questions answered thus far, from the Numbers to the Others to Dharma to Alvar Hanso and on and on. Save the big one for the series finale in (hopefully no more than) two more years.
Anyway, on to tonight’s show, our first to feature Other flashbacks back on the mainland, focusing on the beleaguered Dr. Juliet Burke, who we find out to be just as much a captive on the Island as Jack and the rest of the castaways. In fact, the events that led her to be such a captive are the main focus of the episode’s plot. The main event being her smarmy ex-husband getting hit by a bus–wouldn’t you know it?–a day or so after she wished the very same to Dr. Albert of the Mittelos Bioscience corporation. Mittelos. Kind of a strange name, eh? So is a name like Mittelwerk. Thomas Mittelwerk, the evil doctor who overthrew Alvar Hanso and took control of the Hanso Foundation, which–as we all know–funded the early incarnation of the Dharma Initiative on the Island. Mittelwerk seems like the sort of guy who could arrange a murder by bus. With me so far? I didn’t think so.
Not quite as many sides as a Dharma logo, but it’s near enough to give me ammo to link it to the Dharma Initiative, in what is clearly a huge reach on my part. And the “Portland” in the mysterious Dr. Albert’s PowerPoint presentation looks suspiciously like Hawaii for reasons I’m sure no one can imagine. And by “Hawaii,” I mean the Island:
I think I get distracted by stuff like this–stuff that will undoubtedly become largely inconsequential by next episode–all too often, but it’s what I do. I digress yet again. One aspect or flaw of Juliet’s personality that becomes obvious is that she gets linked up with the wrong kind of men far too often. Her sleazy ex-husband Dr. Edmund Burke, the sure-to-be-evil Dr. Albert, and Chief Other Ben, who we learn has held her captive on the Island for 3 years, 2 months and 28 days. The prospect of ending that captivity is enough to make Juliet dissolve her tenuous alliance with Jack and force him to stitch up Ben’s back and save his life. Even inches from death itself, Ben still shows himself to be in control of all in his domain.
Including his daughter, who we find out to be little rebel Other Alex. From my vague recollections, Alex’s mother Danielle Rousseau had said her husband was dead, dying of the “sickness” that killed the rest of the crew on their ship. I guess “dying” is a relative term in Danielle’s world. (If you’re wildly confused by all the names I’m dropping at this point, not to worry, you can simply go back and watch the first two seasons on DVD right now. I’ll wait.)
I’ve got some more Lost-writing rust to shake off, so I’m going to devolve into bullet points now, but I think we’re set up for some pretty big reveals over the course of the remaining 15 episodes. I think those reveals will be big enough to completely change the direction and context of the show–we’ll find out nearly everything there is to know about the Island, and I have a feeling some of our castaways will be seeing the mainland in more than just flashbacks. You can’t count out another death or two, either. We don’t have all the answers yet, but I’m more than happy enough to sit back and enjoy the continuing ride toward the truth.
- When Jack asks Tom why they haven’t left the Island at all, Tom replies with, “ever since the sky turned purple…” which is interrupted in typical Lost fashion by some plot twist which currently escapes me. So does that mean the Others mode of transport to the mainland requires electronics that were fried by Swan Station’s electromagnetic pulse? Or do the Others need to communicate with the mainland to get their “ride” out of there?
- We get a gander at Ben’s method of keeping disobedient Others in line: by brainwashing them with a bombardment of images, music and sound coupled with sleep deprivation. Ben’s intimated many times that he’s lost faith in humanity in general and thus has kept he and his colleagues in seclusion on the Island, away from the prying eyes of a corrupt society. The visual stimuli Karl is subjected to seem to echo those sentiments, albeit in a less than conversational tone.
One of the slides features a quote from the Bible, “God loves you as He loved Jacob.” God, in this case, is Ben and Karl, His Jacob. There’s a good summary of the story of Jacob here.
- Another serum. Juliet injects her sister, presumably on a regular basis, with the serum she steals from the lab where she works. Her aim seems to be impregnating her clearly cancer-ridden sister. The obvious question: why would you impregnate someone so deathly ill? Perhaps Juliet’s work with the serum is the answer. If dead reproductive tissue can be regenerated in a cancer patient, what else might be possible with enough research?
The original Dharma Initiative’s ultimate goal was to prolong humanity’s existence by trying to alter the six prime factors of the Valenzetti Equation (4 8 15 16 23 42). A cure for cancer could certainly factor into that somehow. The kind of work Juliet was doing would be an obvious attraction for the Dharma project–or whatever the project’s become in the hands of Mittelos/Mittelwerk/Hanso/Whatever.
- For a dead guy, Ethan sure has shown up a lot this season. He appears near the end of the show as Dr. Albert’s sidekick, with that same creepy visage that gives everyone warm feelings.
- Kate, Sawyer and Alex break Karl out of Room 23, one of the infamous Numbers.
- An Oceanic jet is seen flying over Miami’s skyline in the opening scene.
- Both Alvar Hanso and Dr. Gerald deGroot make appearances in the brainwashing video Karl was being subjected to.
- The guard on duty (Aldo) in front of the complex holding Karl is reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, which “attempts to explain a range of subjects in cosmology, including the Big Bang, black holes, light cones and superstring theory, to the nonspecialist reader. Its main goal is to give an overview of the subject but, unusually for a popular science book, it also attempts to explain some complex mathematics.” [Wikipedia]
As far as our friend Aldo, take your pick of these Wiki entries in your search for meaning: Aldo Moro, Aldo Lambi, Aldo Castenada. Good luck, because I got nothin’.
Other Stuff From Other Sites
- Juliet’s sister’s pregnancy test is the now-ubiquitous Widmore Labs test, used in previous episodes by Sun and Kate. [Sledgeweb’s]
- The name Mittelos is an anagram for LOST TIME. [Sledgeweb’s]
- The phrases that popped up in the brainwashing video were titles mentioned in basic teachings of Buddhism.
“The Four Noble Truths
1. There is Suffering. Suffering is common to all.
2. Cause of Suffering. We are the cause of our suffering.
3. End of Suffering. Stop doing what causes suffering.
4. Path to end Suffering. Everyone can be enlightened. ” [TailSection]