Lost: The Other Woman
(S04E06) I didn't think it was possible, but the Lost writers actually found a way to make Ben creepier. All they had to do was add a "lovesick stalker" dimension to his personality. For a Juliet-centric episode, it seemed like we learned a lot more about Ben than the intriguing Dr. Burke. We also got some significant answers about who's behind the freighter mission--from Ben, of course. Perhaps the only thing Ben doesn't know is how to have a healthy romantic relationship.
Gallery: Lost: The Other Woman
The episode opened with a nice little Oceanic Six fakeout. Juliet met with a therapist named Harper Stanhope and explained that she was feeling uncomfortable about her recent celebrity status. Dr. Stanhope told her that, as time passed, these feelings would stop. At that moment, Tom interrupted the session; Ben had summoned Juliet. In her first week on the island, Juliet was a "celebrity" due to her status as a hotshot fertility doctor. Ben, holding a bouquet of flowers, was waiting for Juliet in front of her new house at the Barracks. He pulled out all the stops, and even got her some opera CD's. Juliet didn't see the point of all the "fuss," since she was only going to be on the island for six months. Ben didn't seem to mind going the extra mile for her.
Later, Juliet was crying alone in her lab. They had lost another pregnant woman that day. She came upon Goodwin in the supply room, where he had been looking for gauze. He claimed that he had burned his arm on a transformer at the power station. As Juliet worked on Goodwin's wound, he tried to comfort her about the dead woman. When he suggested that she confide in Harper, she said that Harper appeared to be mean and spiteful. Goodwin informed Juliet that Harper was also his wife. Gulp. He told Juliet that she could always talk to him, and Juliet thanked him by keeping his secret about the real source of his injury (a chemical burn).
Ben's infatuation with Juliet was obvious during his meeting with her at the lab. He couldn't stop staring at her, and was visibly jealous when Goodwin popped in to offer Juliet some lunch. Harper was on to Juliet and Goodwin's relationship as well. She confronted Juliet during a therapy session, and warned her to stop seeing Goodwin for his own safety. If they didn't end their affair, Harper implied that Ben would make trouble for Goodwin. She also mentioned that Ben treated Juliet well because she reminded him of someone.
Juliet didn't end the affair, but was becoming increasingly worried about getting caught. Goodwin wasn't concerned, and argued that Ben had bigger issues to deal with--the deadly chemicals that Goodwin was working with, for example. Once again, Ben proved to be a brilliant improvisor. When 815 crashed, he sent Goodwin away from the Barracks to evaluate the Tailies. While Goodwin was gone, Ben made his move. Juliet arrived at his house for a dinner party that was really a date. They chatted about Zach and Emma (the two Tailie kids), and Juliet wondered why Goodwin was still living with the Tailies. Ben reassured her that Goodwin's assignment (read: life) would be over soon.
Sometime later, Ben led Juliet right to Goodwin's impaled corpse. That was cruel, even by Ben's standards. Juliet finally realized that Ben kept Goodwin with the Tailies because he knew Goodwin would be killed. When she asked him why, Ben went up a few notches on the crazy meter. Furious, he told her that all of his effort in bringing her to the island made Juliet his. In Ben's mind, hiring someone to do strange fertility research is a form of calling romantic dibs.
Before she had a chance to set up her beachfront tent, Juliet was off on another mission with Jack. Charlotte and Daniel had broken away from the group without being noticed. Juliet pursued them into the jungle, but was distracted by the scary island whispers. At that moment, Harper appeared before her. Ben had some new orders for her: take out Charlotte and Daniel before they released deadly gas from the Tempest station. Jack approached them, but Harper took advantage of another series of whispers (or did she cause them?) and disappeared.
Meanwhile, Daniel and Charlotte used a sketched map of the island to make their way to the Tempest. Kate ran into the pair on her way back from the Barracks. She saw through their weak lie (retrieving batteries, indeed) and discovered their gas masks, but wasn't quick enough to avoid getting knocked out by Charlotte. Jack and Juliet eventually found Kate, and Juliet sneaked away while Jack fussed over her head wound. Kate told Jack why she stayed behind at the Barracks while they tracked Juliet.
Juliet reached the Tempest station just in time. Daniel, decked out in biohazard gear, was trying to override the system that controlled the gas storage tanks. Charlotte played dirty yet again and hit Juliet when she wasn't looking. After Juliet had her second girlfight of the series, she realized that the Freighties weren't trying to release the poisonous gas. They were trying to render it inert so Ben couldn't use it on them as a last resort. Daniel and Charlotte already knew that Ben used the gas once before during the Purge.
Juliet brought Jack and Kate up to speed when they arrived at the Tempest. Kate, still upset that there was another hot chick on the island (or about the bump on the head), went in to see the truth for herself. Juliet told Jack that the Freighties were on the island to wage war against Ben, and that Ben would win. She warned him that Ben was extremely possessive and that he knew about her feelings for Jack. She didn't want another man's death on her conscience, and told Jack to stay away from her. Jack kissed Juliet and said that Ben knew where to find him.
Back at the Barracks, Claire began to question Locke's decisions. She wanted to take a nicer approach to dealing with Miles. At the very least, she wanted to learn more about who the Freighties were and what they wanted. Locke brushed her off and brought Ben another meal. Ben could already tell that Locke's leadership style was failing with the other survivors. He told John that he had a plan and some crucial information about the person who sent the Freighter, but he wanted some freedom in exchange.
Ben led Locke to a hidden safe in his living room. The safe contained a video of the man in question, who turned out to be Mr. Charles Widmore. The video showed Widmore beating a blindfolded man; Ben said he was an Other who had gotten caught by Widmore. According to Ben, Widmore wanted to "exploit" the island and all of the people on it. Ben gave Locke his dossier on Widmore, and began to tell him the identity of his inside man on the freighter. Naturally, this was done off-camera. There would never be two big reveals in a single Lost episode.
Elsewhere, Hurley and Sawyer were off playing horseshoes in their own private "comically mismatched roommate" subplot. They were shocked to see Ben cheerfully stroll out of Locke's house with bed linens, enter a house of his own, and say "See you guys at dinner!"
I'm still not impressed with Jack and Juliet's chemistry. Last season's kiss was unconvincing, and this week's wasn't much better. I understand that they bonded during Jack's stay with the Others and that they share a desire to leave the island, but is there any other basis for their romantic feelings? Penny and Desmond blew those two out of the water in "The Constant."
Is it just me, or did Michael Emerson totally steal this episode from Elizabeth Mitchell? His performance in both the flashback and his "manipulation of the week" scene with Locke were outstanding. I was fascinated by the lovesick version of Ben. He was almost sweet there for a minute. Also, his casual greeting to Hurley and Sawyer at the end of the episode was too funny for words.
Goodwin's wife was named Harper Stanhope. Stanhopea is a genus of the orchid family. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have said in several interviews and podcasts that the Orchid station film includes important clues about the island and time travel (Lostpedia has more on the Orchid orientation film).
Does Ben like Juliet because she resembles his mother, or does she look like someone we haven't met yet?
My favorite line of the episode: "This didn't have a number on it, did it?" --Ben, on his rabbit meal.
A close second: "It's very stressful being an Other, Jack." --Juliet, on why she needed therapy.
Next week--Sun's pregnancy dilemma, more of Desmond and Sayid on the freighter, and "a face you never expected to see again." If one more "original" person guesses that it's Michael, I'm going to lose it. In the meantime, check out additional Lost coverage at AOL.
|No--it still isn't working for me.||954 (57.2%)|
|Absolutely! Kate can't get all the guys.||645 (38.7%)|
|Other (elaborate in comments).||69 (4.1%)|