LOST Revisited: “The Other Woman” (Mar 7)

First off, mad props go to Becky from Grand Rapids, for pointing out that the doctor on the freighter was named “Ray”. An “R” name! He does seem like the kind of creepy guy who’d engrave “I will be with you always” on a bracelet, too.

I think I’ve said it before, but Benry is funny. Sure, he’s unsettling and probably evil (though, on this show, evil is measured on a bell curve), but he’s really funny. Sometimes he’s just sarcastic, and sometimes it’s all in the delivery. And smitten Benry? Smitten Benry is the funniest of them all.

You know, I really thought that we were seeing a Flash Forward at the beginning, and Juliet was one of the Oceanic Six. That naturally threw me off, as I’ve been arguing that only people who boarded Flight 815 could be among the Six, and also that Juliet is the one in the coffin.

I got all thrown off by that. Well played, Drew Goddard (Writer of Cloverfield). Of course, I was watching with an interior design nerd who immediately declared that it was an Other house, based on the décor. And since the hotness of Island Desmond vs. Past Desmond was a big topic last week, I think it’s worth noting that Juliet is about a hundred times hotter when she doesn’t do her hair and get all dolled up.

I can’t find an anagram for “Harper Stanhope”, nor does the name appear to be a reference to anything. Sometimes a name is just a name. However, this is an exceptionally odd name, so if anybody has any suggestions, I’m all ears. She does not appear to be a very good therapist. Of course, if you were responsible for the mental health of Benry, Mikhail, and Creepy Ethan, you’d probably give up on trying to help people and focus on not getting stabbed.

Hey, it’s Tom/Zeke! I like his line to Juliet about how Harper would have her “crying about (her) Daddy” in no time. You know, just like 90% of the characters on this show. And Benry waiting with flowers was the most disturbing Welcome Wagon I’ve ever seen. I liked seeing their interactions in this episode, as Juliet’s other flashbacks have focused on the nuts and bolts of getting to the island and the pregnancy plague. It wasn’t his overwhelming power trip that kept Juliet on the island for years, it was his crush! Awwwww.

They’ve spent a lot of screen time showing Locke’s weaknesses as a leader, but in just one short scene this week, they illustrated how it’s going to fall apart for Jack. I mean, Jin doesn’t even speak the language, and he’s figured out that Jack is not being completely honest about the Fantastic Foursome. This can’t end well.

OK, Juliet apparently hasn’t kept up with her Island statistics, or else she would know that there’s an exceptionally high fatality rate among blonde women who hear backwards whispering in the rain. Anyway, we’ve got a Harper sighting! Now, I assumed she was an Island illusion, from the way she abruptly appeared and disappeared. However, Jack saw her too, so I don’t know what to make of that.

And here’s the thing about Harper. By the end of the episode, it’s pretty clear that she was lying to Juliet about some things. I’m not even convinced that Benry contacted her. Locke’s got him pretty well-guarded, and I’m not sure that what Harper tells Juliet fits with his plans. If she’s real, she may well have been sent by Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert, who’s been leading The Others around ever since Benry headed for the transmission tower. Almost everybody in this episode is lying about something, so it’s not like we should take possibly fake-Harper’s word for things.

Anyway, this is the first we hear of the Tempest. It sounds like it’s the station that powers the various hatches, electric fences, and suburbs on the Island. And also, apparently, houses deadly gas. Neat!

Back in the flashback, it’s Goodwin, with a mysterious chemical burn. He apparently works at the Tempest, but here’s the thing. If people are working there and occasionally getting burned, I feel like that can’t possibly be just a storehouse for poison gas. Isn’t it possible that they have a staff who are trying to keep the gas from escaping? I’m not completely sure that Benry’s keeping gas there for murderous purposes. That just might be a function of the Island, and they’re keeping it in check. Sort of like the electromagnetic build-up in the Swan. Sure, Benry has a history of murdering people with poison gas, but it doesn’t add up here.

And Goodwin’s married to Harper? I wish I could say they made a cute couple, but she scares me. I think she scares him, too.

On the one hand, knocking Kate out rather than telling her about the Tempest seems suspicious. On the other hand, she does tend to slow things down. Mostly, I think Charlotte likes sneaking up behind people and hitting them. It’s sort of her thing.

For all his manipulative abilities, Benry is not so good with the flirting. It’s sort of cute. And, she’s told that Benry likes her because “You look just like her”. My immediate reaction was that they meant Annie, Benry’s little friend from his flashback. We don’t really know if she survived the gas attack or not. But now that we know Benry hasn’t been living the sheltered life we thought, that opens it up a little. He could have a wife somewhere!

I don’t say this often, but Claire had a good point. It’s entirely possible that an approach that doesn’t involve beating up Miles might get him to give up some information. Of course, we haven’t seen him since Locke put a grenade in his mouth, so he might be a little more open these days. I just hope the fact that we’re seeing everybody question Locke’s leadership isn’t a set-up for a massive, avoidable failure on his part.

Benry’s connection to the rabbits comes up again. Locke is now feeding him his pets, which is all kinds of disturbing. Benry mentions the numbers on some of the rabbits, which I think is an important upcoming story point. In the Orchid orientation film on the Season Three DVD’s, Dr. Marvin Candle panics when two rabbits with the same number are in the same room. I thought maybe it was cloning, but I can’t imagine that cloned rabbits meeting one another could cause a problem.

OK, now it’s time to find out some things. I do think it’s funny that Benry taped over the World Series. Not only because he casually destroyed an artifact that was very important to Jack, but because The Others apparently have exactly one videotape. Anyway, here’s where we see that Charles Widmore is our bad guy, which makes complete sense. Now, I believe most of what Benry says here, except for his reasoning as to why they’re at war. Widmore’s the bad guy because he would bring people to the Island to see the miracles? Not buying that. But telling Locke that people will disrespect the Island and treat him like a freak pushes his buttons. Those are two of Locke’s least favorite things! If Benry could convince him that Widmore would push Locke out a window, he’d be running the Island again in no time!

The rest of it makes sense, though. Widmore bought the Black Rock diary in 1996, so he has enough information about the Island to know that it’s special, but not necessarily to find it. He certainly has the resources to devote to the search, too. We still have some questions, like how much Penny knows, but it’s progress. And it’s safe to say that Widmore is the man Benry’s at war with in the future. That makes sense, and I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it.

And Benry’s man on the boat? I can’t remember if I suggested Michael before (I know it’s come up in conversation), but that’s clearly who it is. Who else would Locke have to sit down for? Man, Benry is working thirty moves ahead all the time.

In the flashback, I was briefly confused by the reference to “Zack and Emma”, but those were two of the kids who were abducted from the Tail Section. The abductees haven’t really come up since Season Two, so it’s nice that they’re tying in all of The Others’ different schemes. And man, they bring up Ana-Lucia a lot this season. Considering she’s the person least likely to show up in any flashback ever again, that’s kind of weird.

I told you Charlotte likes sneaking up on people! And man, she and Juliet really went at it. That was not a hot girl fight, what with the way they were actually trying to cripple one another. Now, the fact that Daniel had to stop the gas from being released brings us back to the idea that the gas has to be maintained. The Tempest has probably been cleared out for a while now. Unless people actively have to stop the gas from escaping, there wouldn’t be a good reason to go in and stop the gas. Right? And Harper was trying to get Juliet to stop them, which means Harper was trying to kill everybody. And that means that she and her people (or the Island itself, if that wasn’t the real Harper) want the gas to be released. The pieces aren’t adding up here, and either everybody’s lying a little, or one person is lying a whole lot.

And Benry? You could tell Juliet that Goodwin died, rather than surprising her with his bloated corpse. Not cool, man. And he blows right past the obsessive line with “You’re mine!” If his infatuation with Juliet is one of his primary motivators, his interactions with Jack take on a new tone. We can’t trust anything he said to Jack, since killing the competition is now a possible motivation. Dangerous love, man…

This wasn’t a big game-changing episode, except for the Widmore revelation. But we did get some new characters and insights into The Others. Is it me, or do The Others get more upsetting the more we learn about them?

See you next week when the rest of the Oceanic Six are revealed!

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