By DAN COMPORA
Source: SyFy Portal
The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for “The Other Woman” episode of the ABC series "Lost."
This week’s episode of “Lost” begins with an attempt to trick the viewer into thinking it is a flash-forward episode. Alas, we learn it is yet another flashback episode, and the second one in a row. I should have known: the creators of “Lost” simply cannot leave the past behind even though the future is what the viewers really want to see. Still, this week’s episode contributed to what is shaping up to be a pretty solid fourth season.
When handled properly, the flashbacks still serve their purpose. The Others in the group, Juliette and Ben, still pretty much remain a mystery, so anything we can learn about them is relevant. While this episode was Juliette-centric, it actually revealed more about Ben. Fine acting carried the episode despite a few potholes in the plot.
Ben reminds me of Hannibal Lechter from “The Silence of the Lambs.” He has the uncanny ability to get inside people’s heads and manipulate them while he himself is at a tremendous, physical disadvantage. This of course defies all logic and common sense, but it does make for good drama. The more I hate Ben, the more I realize that Michael Emerson is just a very fine actor doing his job.
But let’s not ignore Juliette, who appeared vulnerable for much of the episode, only to show some serious determination, independence and strength at the end. It’s clear she has feelings for Jack, and she fears that showing those feelings will see Jack end up like Goodwin: dead as a result of Ben’s manipulations.
Sometimes the questions “Lost” raises are intentional riddles that contribute to the overall story. Other times, they are due to sloppy writing. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what is significant versus what is simply unclear.
How did Ben communicate with the psychiatrist Harper, assuming she was a real person? How did Faraday and Charlotte know about the Tempest and the poisonous gas? If Faraday is a physicist, would he necessarily know enough complex chemistry to render a toxic gas inert? How could Ben have assumed Ana Lucia would kill Goodwin?
I came away from this episode feeling that Juliette is truly good, and Ben is even creepier than I ever thought.
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