Tagged: season 3

3.03 “Further Instructions”

Having survived the destruction of the Swan station, Locke is directed to rescue a fallen comrade when he attempts to reestablish communion with the island. Desmond emerges from the Swan’s destruction a changed man. (Includes My Big Theory about Desmond!)

Written by Carlton Cuse & Elizabeth Sarnoff
Directed by Stephen Williams

Flashback

Sometime after his father stole his kidney and caused his breakup with Helen, Locke found himself a surrogate family in a religious commune living on a farm, a group he claimed had helped him “stop being angry” about his past. While on his way back there from a supply run one day he picked up a young hitchhiker named Eddie and brought him back to the commune, and the young man joined up with the group. But it was all a lie, on both their parts: the commune was just a cover-up for illegal marijuana production, and Eddie was a sheriff’s deputy sent to infiltrate it. Locke suffered no consequences for his involvement, as he was specifically chosen by Eddie and the sheriff’s department because of his history, which meant they believed he would be easy to coerce. Once again, Locke was left shattered from this experience with evidence of his own endless gullibility.

Now

One day after the destruction of the Swan station, Locke wakes up alone in the jungle. He sees Desmond running nearby, naked and disoriented, but finds that he himself has been rendered unable to speak. Locke returns to the beach camp on a mission, tearing apart his tent and taking the pieces to Eko’s unfinished church. He asks for Charlie’s help after pantomiming that he needs to talk to the island, explaining that he’s building a sweat lodge to enable him to commune with the island. Charlie has little interest in helping Locke after their falling out (last season), but eventually agrees. Locke concocts a hallucinogen for himself (probably the same one he dosed Boone with in 1.13 “Hearts and Minds”) and warns Charlie not to enter the sweat lodge under any circumstances. He builds a fire inside and takes his homemade drug, and soon he experiences a vision.

In his vision, Boone appears to Locke. Locke apologizes for Boone’s death, but Boone tells him it’s okay, that he was a sacrifice demanded by the island, just as Locke always believed. The two of them wind up at an unnamed airport where many of the Oceanic 815 survivors can be seen in strange, alternate versions of themselves. Boone explains that one person in this airport is in danger and Locke is the only person who can save him. They spot Charlie, Claire, and Aaron, and Boone says it’s not them — “they’ll be fine… for a while.” Sun and Jin argue nearby, while Sayid seems to guide them forward, and Boone points out that Sayid’s on top of things there. Hurley appears as an attendant at the check-in desk for Oceanic Airlines, where he enters the Numbers into his computer terminal, but Boone says it’s not him. Desmond is an airline captain, who is followed by a group of flight attendants; Boone says not to concern himself with Desmond, who’s “helping himself.” Jack, Kate, and Sawyer are nearby, going through security, which is overseen by Ben. Boone assures him that there’s nothing he can do for those three yet, because he has to clean up his own mess first. Boone then appears at the top of an escalator, looking as bloodied and battered as he looked when he was mortally injured in the beech craft’s crash. Eko’s “Jesus stick” is beside him on the ground, and Boone indicates that Eko is the one who needs saving, saying that “they’ve got him, and you don’t have much time.”

When he emerges from the tent, Locke speaks for the first time, telling Charlie that he’s got to save Eko. Charlie joins him, and in the jungle they find the cross that Eko wears around his neck. Locke explains that a polar bear dragged Eko through here. When they find blood on the ground, Locke tells Charlie to go back to camp, because bad things tend to happen to people who hang around with him. Charlie ignores this advice, and soon the two of them come across the site where the Swan hatch had once stood. Only now, it’s an enormous hole in the ground, showing evidence of an implosion that’s destroyed the entire facility. Next they find evidence that a polar bear is nearby, and wind up being chased through the jungle by the bear. But soon Hurley emerges from the foliage, on his way back from the Pala Ferry and his run-in with the Others.

Hurley gives Locke and Charlie the message the Others told him to deliver, and points out that Ben appears to be the Others’ leader — a revelation that Locke takes great interest in. Locke tells Hurley to return to the beach and pass along his message while he and Charlie finish their mission to save Eko. The two of them continue on and come upon a cave, where they seem to make unspoken amends to each another for their recent differences. Locke does what he can to mask his own scent, believing the bears have Eko inside the cave, and he goes in alone.

As he nears the beach, Hurley stumbles across Desmond, who’s found his way back to the beach camp but still has no clothes. He tells Hurley he woke up in the jungle naked, and asks for something to wear. Hurley produces a t-shirt large enough to cover Desmond’s private parts. Later, while the two of them return to camp, Desmond explains to Hurley what happened at the Swan station. Desmond surmises that the failsafe must have “detonated the electromagnetic anomaly,” which caused the station to implode. But Hurley is confused about why Desmond wasn’t killed in the implosion, a fact Desmond himself can’t explain. When Hurley mentions his concern for Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, Desmond points out that Locke is going to go after them — “he said so in his speech.” But Hurley has no idea what Desmond’s talking about, as Locke hasn’t made any speeches to the group lately.

Inside the cave, Locke finds a toy dump truck. Further in, he finds human bones that still have scraps of Dharma Initiative clothing on them. Eko lays nearby, but polar bear grabs Eko and attempts to carry him away. Locke saves him, fending the bear off with fire, and the two make a hasty escape. Eko is injured but alive, and Locke and Charlie carry him through the jungle to safety. While stopping so Charlie can retrieve water from a creek, Locke apologizes to an unconscious Eko for doubting him and getting them into this mess. He feels responsible for the capture of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer as well, believing he could have saved them if he’d gone along. Eko wakes up, but appears to be in a trance-like state, telling Locke that he will find his friends and save them.

Locke and Charlie drag Eko back to camp, where everyone wants to know what happened. A girl named Nikki points out that they need Jack, but Hurley steps forward and tells them all that Jack’s not coming back, because the Others have him. When everyone starts to panic, Locke steps forward to make a reassuring speech — a speech in which he pledges to find everyone that’s missing from their ranks. The significance of this is not lost on Hurley, who takes a meaningful look at Desmond, standing on the shoreline nearby, throwing rocks into the water.

  • The Swan station appears to have imploded when the electromagnetic pocket of energy beneath it was detonated. Everyone inside the station managed to survive, though Desmond in particular seems to have undergone a transformation because of it.
    Question: What became of the Swan station itself, and those inside it? [2.24]

  • What was Boone referring to when he said that Charlie, Claire, and Aaron would be fine “for a while”? Is something going to happen to them?
  • What did Boone mean when he said that Desmond was “helping himself”?
  • Will Locke do something to help Jack, Kate, and Sawyer eventually, since Boone told him he couldn’t do anything for them yet?
  • Why didn’t Desmond die in the implosion of the Swan station?
  • How did Desmond wind up naked after the Swan station’s implosion? Did the blast disintegrate his clothes somehow?
  • Where did the dump truck come from that Locke found in the polar bear cave? Was it a leftover from the Dharma Initiative, like the bones that were also in there?


“Further Instructions” is the fifth Locke-centric episode of the series

This is the thirteenth episode of the series to begin with a close-up on a single eye opening. The eye belongs to John Locke.

This episode marks the introduction of the much-reviled Nikki and Paolo, who appear to be mere redshirts in the crowd of survivors, until Locke offhandedly addresses them by name.

The Boone that appeared in Locke’s hallucination knew too much about things to come to be a projection of Locke’s subconscious. So who or what was he? Following the revelations at the end of Season 5, many fans have theorized that Jacob’s nemesis could have been posing as various dead people amongst the survivors for some time, such as the strange appearances of Jack’s father, Christian Shephard. Could this Boone in Locke’s vision have been Jacob’s nemesis as well? This theory is lent credibility by the fact that Jacob’s nemesis has presumably been plotting to take on Locke’s form all along. Was this Boone just another part of the manipulations that have been pulling at Locke his entire life, directing him on the path toward becoming the man who would defeat Jacob?

I did not remember the Geronimo Jackson reference in this episode. Eddie’s shirt in Locke’s flashback depicted the infamous band, and Eddie explained that it was a shirt that once belonged to his father. Since this little-known group keeps sneaking its way into the show, have we ever learned exactly who it is on the writing staff that’s such a big GJ fan?

My Big Theory about Desmond: Desmond seemed to undergo some kind of mystical “rebirth” in this episode, miraculously surviving the implosion of the Swan station, and emerging from that event naked — the same way each of us enters the world for the first time — and possessing newfound abilities to see the future. Daniel Faraday would later (or earlier, depending on how you look at it) tell Desmond that he is “uniquely and miraculously special” because of this, and that the standard time travel rules about not being able to change the past don’t apply to him. We’re meant to infer from this that just like his ability to see the future, Desmond owes his “miraculously special” status to whatever happened to him when he was in close proximity to the electromagnetic anomaly as it detonated. So… could it be that (assuming my big theory about Season 6 is true, and all current evidence makes it look very likely) Desmond’s unique status will carry over to this new timeline, and make him the one person in the entire world who knows that history has been changed? What if Desmond can remember how things are supposed to be, and knows that they’ve been altered? This could make him the lynchpin of the entire “dual timelines” story arc, perhaps as the person attempting to convince Jack, Kate, and everyone else that they have to put things back the way they were. I still believe that Season 6 is going to ultimately lead our protagonists to a fateful choice they’ll have to make between which version of history they want: the original, or the new one they created. If history’s alteration means that Desmond and Penny were never reunited (and let’s not forget, actress Sonya Walger is on record recently stating that she has so far been absent from Season 6’s filming), which also would mean that their son Charlie was never born, then presto: Desmond now has the perfect motivation for becoming the one to convince the survivors to undo what they did and restore the timeline to the way it used to be.

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3.02 “The Glass Ballerina”

Sun, Jin, and Sayid set a trap for the Others when Jack’s team doesn’t show up as planned. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Kate are forced to work on a manual labor project for the Others, and Ben attempts to make a deal with Jack.

Written by Jeff Pinkner & Drew Goddard
Directed by Paul Edwards

Flashback

When she was a child, Sun broke a glass figurine of a ballerina while playing at home. But she lied to her father about it, saying that the maid did it, knowing that it would cost the maid her job.

During the most difficult part of her marriage, Sun indulged in an affair with her friend Jae Lee. The two of them were caught in the act by her father, who instead of revealing Sun’s indiscretion to Jin, told Jin that Jae had been stealing from him and he needed the situation brought to an end. It wouldn’t be enough to merely “send a message” as Jin had done in the past; Mr. Paik wanted Jae dead. Jin refused, even to the point of resigning from Mr. Paik’s employ, but Paik pressured him into it using his marriage to Sun as leverage.

That night, when Jin went home from work, he was devastated at what he was being asked to do. A nervous Sun misread his anxiety as anger, until he explained what he’d been asked to do by her father. Sun suggested that they run away and start a new life together elsewhere, but Jin didn’t believe there was any way out from under Mr. Paik’s thumb, so he angrily left to do her father’s bidding.

Jin found Jae Lee at his home and beat him to a bloody pulp, but was unable to kill him. He told Jae to leave Korea and disappear, for both their sakes. But Jae was upset over losing Sun, and took his own life instead.

Sun attended Jae’s funeral, where she ran into her father. She asked if he would ever tell Jin about her affair, but he replied that it wasn’t his place.

Now

Sayid, Sun, and Jin wait a full day for Jack’s team to meet them at the black smoke fire they created, but they never arrive. Jin demands that they take the sailboat back to camp, due to Sun’s increasing morning sickness symptoms, but Sayid is unwilling to abandon Jack. When the situation turns into a tense standoff, Sun tells Sayid that he should continue with the plan, over Jin’s objections. Later, the married couple has a quiet talk, and Sun apologizes for disagreeing with him in front of Sayid. She admits that she came on the mission because she didn’t want to be separated from Jin again after what happened to him on the raft. As they continue to sail, they come across the Pala Ferry, the very spot where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were taken prisoner by the Others. It appears to be abandoned now, so Sayid suggests they dock the boat there until they can find a way to contact Jack.

At the Hydra station, after Juliet brings Jack some more food, she checks in with Ben, who has been observing Jack from a nearby room filled with monitors. An Other named Colleen descended into the aquarium and reported that Sayid had been seen finding the “decoy village” as planned, but there’s a problem: the Oceanic survivors have themselves a sailboat. Ben sends Colleen to put together a team to take the boat. She heads up top and tells her husband, Danny, about her mission and he warns her to be careful.

Outside the Hydra, Sawyer and Kate are taken from their cells by Danny to a makeshift construction site where ground is being leveled and flattened, and ordered to break up and move rocks. They’re both warned not to do anything to step out of line — including talk to each other — or they’ll be tasered. While Kate works at breaking up rocks, she’s approached privately by Alex who warns her not to let on that the two of them are talking. Alex asks Kate if she’s seen Karl, the boy who was locked up in the cage across from Sawyer before she was, but Kate never saw him. Alex also reveals that the dress Kate is wearing is hers. After Alex leaves, Sawyer is repeatedly warned by Danny to stop talking to Kate.

At the shore near the Pala Ferry, Sayid sets to work building an enormous fire for their new black smoke signal — a fire much bigger than the one he built at the Others’ decoy village. Sun realizes that something is amiss, and Sayid confesses his belief that Jack’s team has been captured, thanks to fresh tracks all over the pier. He plans to attract the Others’ attention with this big fire, take two of them hostage, and kill the rest. He asks her to lie to Jin about what’s happening until he can get the fire lit, because that’s his plan’s point of no return. It isn’t long before Jin figures out what’s happening, explaining to his wife that he understands English better than she realizes. He asks Sayid for a gun, intending to help with Sayid’s plan, and Sayid hands over a pistol. Though Jin is still stinging from Sun’s betrayal, both men agree that Sun would be safer if she remained on the boat. Sayid warns her that there’s an extra gun on the boat if she should need it. Sun points out that if she needs to protect herself, then that will mean that Jin is dead, and she won’t care about saving herself.

At the Hydra station worksite, Sawyer watches longingly as Juliet drinks from a canteen filled with water. She notices and tosses the canteen to him, but he makes a show of pouring the water onto the ground instead of drinking it. He turns back to his work, but decides to undertake one further act of defiance, walking straight up to Kate and giving her a deeply passionate kiss. When Danny and his friends run in to break it up, Sawyer’s ready, taking advantage of the opportunity to wrestle a rifle away from Danny and knock out several others. Juliet brought everything to a sudden end by leveling her pistol on Kate.

The Others show up as expected at the Pala Ferry, but instead of treading on the shore where Sayid and Jin are waiting, they bypass the shore and inexplicably sneak onboard the boat. Colleen is the first to enter the galley, where Sun is waiting, having retrieved the gun Sayid told her about earlier. Sun asks to be let off the boat, but Colleen refuses, saying she knows enough about Sun to know she’s not a killer. Colleen told Sun that the Others were not their enemy, but if Sun kills her, they will become enemies. Colleen advances on Sun and when the boat’s engine starts up, Sun is startled and pulls the trigger. The Others attack, but Sun escapes into the water. Sayid and Jin hear gunfire and run to the ferry, and as the boat leaves, Jin dives into the water, and is relieved when he finds Sun. The three of them return to shore having lost the sailboat to the Others, and begin the long walk back to camp.

Kate and Sawyer are returned to their cages after their long day of working, and Kate asks what he was thinking in defying the Others. Sawyer rattles off a laundry list of things he learned about the Others that are manning the work site, including their individual fighting capabilities and available weaponry — useful information for the future. It’s Juliet he’s most impressed with, pointing out that he could tell that she would have shot Kate without hesitation if it came to that. When Kate asks why Juliet called him “James” at one point in the confrontation, he finally reveals to her that that’s his real name. He tells her the two of them will wait for the Others to make a mistake, and that’s when the two of them will make their move. Unbeknownst to them, Ben is watching them and listening to their every word from his monitoring room below.

Ben visits Jack in his cell and explains that his aim in all of this is to get Jack to change his perspective on the Others. He introduces himself as Benjamin Linus, and tells Jack that he’s lived on the island his entire life. He tells Jack that this arrangement is simple: if Jack cooperates, Ben will send Jack home — and not home to the survivors’ beach, but home to Los Angeles. Jack asks what he’s supposed to cooperate with exactly, but Ben refuses to say just yet, instead ordering a television brought into the adjoining room, behind the plexiglas wall. Jack doesn’t believe that the Others can come and go from the island as they please, but Ben proves it to him by revealing things that could only be known by someone who has contact with the outside world. He even shows Jack a video of the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series to prove it. Once Jack is convinced, Ben promises him that if Jack will cooperate and trust him, that when the time comes, Ben will take Jack home.

  • Sun did indeed have a short-lived affair with Jae Lee, which leaves the paternity of her child in question.
    Question: Did Sun, as it appears, have an affair with Jae Lee? Was she lying to Jin about never having been with another man? [2.16]
  • Benjamin Linus.
    Question: What’s the real name of the man we know as Henry Gale? [2.17]

  • Why does Ben want Desmond’s sailboat? What does he plan to do with it?
  • What are the Others building near the Hydra station?
  • Who built the Pala Ferry?
  • How did Colleen’s team of Others reach the sailboat at the Pala Ferry without ever setting foot on the shore?
  • What does Ben need Jack’s cooperation with?


“The Glass Ballerina” is the third Sun-and-Jin-centric episode of the series. They’ve each had individual episodes devoted to them as well, but only two other episodes where the flashbacks focused on both.

The most interesting aspect of this episode to me now was watching the interaction between Sawyer and Juliet at the site where the Others were building a runway. We know that the two of them ended up falling in love and spending three happy years together among the Dharma Initiative, but I don’t think any of the fans ever saw that relationship coming. Seeing the playful way they interacted, even wordlessly, it’s kind of amazing that we didn’t pick up on their chemistry sooner.

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3.01 “A Tale of Two Cities”

The Others’ society is revealed as Jack, Kate, and Sawyer find themselves in captivity among them. (Recap includes My Big Theory about The Others!)

Story by Damon Lindelof
Teleplay by J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashback

On the day that Oceanic 815 crashed on the island, the Others witnessed the crash from the place where they live: a village comprised of small houses nestled far inland from the beach where the fuselage crashed. Just before the crash, a woman named Juliet Burke, inside her own small home in the village, struggled to suppress her own mysterious agony while setting up for a meeting of the Others’ “book club.” The book club argued over the merits of the book Juliet chose for them to read, name-dropping “Ben” repeatedly as someone that Juliet had obvious antagonistic feelings towards. Their meeting was interrupted by at powerful earthquake that shook the entire island — an earthquake we already know to be caused by Desmond Hume almost not pushing the button down in the Swan station and activating the electromagnet. All of the Others ran out of their houses to stare in horror and wonder as Oceanic 815 flew right over their heads and tore itself apart in the sky before crashing in three locations. The man we know as Henry Gale — in reality, the Others’ leader, Ben — exited his own house to watch these events unfold, and then barked orders to Goodwin and Ethan to infiltrate the survivors at the two major crash sites and report back to him in three days with “lists” — the same “lists of good people’s names” that Goodwin would later tell Ana-Lucia about after she figured out who he really was.

Following the deterioration of his marriage to Sarah, Jack went on an obsessive mission to find out who the new man in her life was. At one point, he learned that his father Christian had been in contact with Sarah outside of his knowledge, and he eventually accused his dad of having an affair with his wife, even going so far as to attack him while he was at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. When he landed in jail for the attack, Christian called Sarah to ask her to post Jack’s bail. Sarah later told Jack about this, revealing that Christian had fallen off the wagon due to Jack’s actions (so we now know that Jack was largely to blame for his father taking up drinking again after fifty days of remaining sober — and it was his drinking problem that would lead to the chain of events that ultimately caused his death).

Now

Following his abduction by the Others, Jack wakes up in a dingy metal room that we’ve never seen before. It’s a cage, and he is a solitary prisoner. He pulls a bandage off of his arm where blood has been drawn. One wall in the room is outfitted with a floor-to-ceiling plexiglas window, and there’s a video camera watching him from a corner high above. When Jack jumps onto a cot that’s dangling from the ceiling via chains and tries to break the chains apart, a woman named Juliet enters the adjoining room — behind the plexiglas — and tells him to give it a rest. Juliet tries to strike up a civilized conversation with him, and though he’s not interested, it’s clear that she’s not quite the same as the rest of the Others.

Kate — who also has a band-aid on her arm — wakes up in a shower room where the water from one of the showers is already running. Tom stands nearby and asks Kate to take a relaxing shower, using supplies he’s already provided for her. Then he exits and leaves her to it. When she’s finished with her shower, she’s alarmed to find that her clothes have disappeared and been replaced with a dress. Tom returns and takes her outside and down to a beach where “Henry Gale” waits with a table, chairs, and a prepared meal. A pair of handcuffs also await her at the table, which Henry instructs her to put on if she wants to eat. Henry expresses an interest in the love triangle that exists between her, Jack, and Sawyer. He then tells her that he arranged all of this for her so that she’ll have a nice, comforting memory to hold onto, because the next two weeks of her life are going to be “very unpleasant.”

Sawyer wakes up in an outdoor cell. He sees a large Dharma Initiative facility nearby that sports an octagonal logo different than any we’ve seen before. A second cell faces him from across a small walking path, and inside is a teenage boy who refuses to talk to him. Sawyer discovers some kind of dilapidated food dispenser in his cage, and when he tries using it, it delivers an electric shock so powerful it knocks him off his feet.

While Jack is alone in his cell, he thinks he hears his father’s voice over the facility’s intercom. Juliet returns and brings him food, but he refuses it. When he asks about the voice on the intercom, she tells him that the intercom hasn’t worked in years. Juliet asks him questions about his occupation, and then about what he was doing in Sydney before the crash. After he explains, she promises that he can trust her, and that she’ll never hurt him. When he asks why he and his friends were brought here, she doesn’t answer and leaves him alone. She returns again later and informs him that the drugs the Others used when he was brought here are going to make him dehydrated and cause him to hallucinate if he doesn’t eat something soon. She manages to talk him into it, but when she moves to enter his cell, he attacks her and demands to be set free. He holds her and drags her out of his cell, until they come upon a large door that he tells her to open, but she says she can’t or they’ll both die. “Henry” shows up and says that Juliet is telling the truth. Jack tosses Juliet aside and starts opening the door himself, so Henry runs and seals himself off from the two of them, leaving Juliet stuck with Jack. The door blows open and tons of water pours in, flooding the place in moments — they’re underwater! Juliet saves him by pulling both of them into her side of his cell and sealing the door. Once they’re safe, she punches him in anger and knocks him out.

Sawyer continues to try and figure out how to operate the food dispenser in his cage. The young man in the cage across from him asks how long it would take to reach the survivors’ camp, and what the survivors are like there. The young man subsequently picks the lock on his cage and then lets Sawyer out too, telling him to run in a different direction than the way he goes. Sawyer passes a number of empty animal habitats as he runs, but soon comes face-to-face with Juliet, who whips out a taser gun and zaps him. He’s returned to his prison, and Tom soon drags the young man — whose name is Karl — bloodied and beaten, to Sawyer’s cage and forces him to apologize for involving Sawyer in his attempt to break out.

Later, Sawyer finally gets his food dispenser to work, but he’s rewarded not with a meal but with processed “fish biscuit” animal food. Tom leads Kate in just then, and deposits her in the cell opposite Sawyer where Karl was previously being held. Noticing what he’s holding, Tom remarks to Sawyer that it “only took the bears two hours” to get a fish biscuit. When Tom is gone, Sawyer throws Kate his fish biscuit so she’ll have something to eat.

It’s quite a while before Jack wakes up, back in his cell. He notes that the facility has been drained of water, and realizes that it’s an underwater aquarium. Juliet, who’s watching him in her adjoining room again, points out that sharks and dolphins were kept here. She tells him that the Dharma Initiative named it the Hydra station. Jack asks if the Others are the leftovers from the Dharma Initiative, but Juliet stops short of giving a solid answer. She opens a large file folder and shows him that its entire contents are about him: his history, his work as a spinal surgeon, even current information on his family, including his father’s death certificate from Sydney. When Jack realizes he has an opportunity to find out what’s become of his family while he’s been stranded here on the island, the question he asks Juliet is a surprising one: he merely wants to know if his ex-wife Sarah is happy without him. Juliet says that Sarah has indeed found great happiness, and Jack is overcome with relief. Jack is now severely dehydrated, and Juliet pleads with him to please allow her to bring him some food and drink, and he agrees to behave himself this time. When she walks outside to the hallway to retrieve the food, Ben is waiting for her, and he compliments her work.

  • Ethan Rom is just one member of a large society living on the island known as the Others. Among them, he is a much more jovial and friendly character than the menacing man we originally met as Claire’s abductor.
    Question: Who is Ethan Rom? [1.10]
  • Ethan was living among his people in a small village on the far side of the island. It’s unknown how long he has lived there.
    Question: Where did Ethan come from, if he was already on the island before Oceanic 815 crashed? [1.10]
  • From what we saw of their village, there appear to be several dozen Others living on the island, at the very least. Given the size of the place, there could be as many as a hundred or more.
    Question: How many others like Ethan are on the island? [1.10]
  • The Others live in a manmade village of small houses situated in a clearing in the jungle, far from the survivors’ beach.
    Question: Where on the island do the Others live? [2.11]
  • Surprisingly civilized. The Others appear to live a lot like you and I, in houses that have electricity, plumbing, and plenty of modern comforts. They wear modern clothes, and relate to one another much the same way that Americans do, though everyone defers to their leader, Ben.
    Question: What is the Others’ society like? [2.11]
  • Though it still seems as though he answers to someone of greater authority than he, for all intents and purposes, the leader of the Others is Ben.
    Question: Who is the leader of the Others? [2.18]

  • What’s the source of Juliet’s animosity towards Ben?
  • Why did the Others have Kate shower and change into a dress?
  • Who was Karl? Why was he locked up?
  • Since he wasn’t returned to his cage, what became of Karl?
  • Why was Karl interested in joining the survivors’ camp?
  • Tom mentioned that “bears” were once the occupants of Sawyer’s cage. Did he mean polar bears? Is that how polar bears came to be on the island — brought there by the Dharma Initiative, to be used in their experiments?
  • Is Jack right that the Others are leftovers from the Dharma Initiative?
  • Where did the Others get such detailed information about Jack?


“A Tale of Two Cities” is the sixth Jack-centric episode of the series

This is the twelfth episode of the series to begin with a close-up on a single eye opening. The eye belonged to Juliet Burke.

This episode marks the first credited work by J.J. Abrams on the series since the pilot episode, which he also co-wrote with Damon Lindelof, and directed.

What can I say about that awesome opening flashback scene that hasn’t already been said? It was thick with answers, explaining so many mysteries all in the space of four and a half minutes, while also introducing Juliet and showing us pretty much all we need to know about her relationship with Ben. The sight of the Others living in a small city in the middle of the island was jaw-dropping, and seeing the crash of Oceanic 815 again from this new perspective was equally astounding. That final pan-out revealing the incredible size of the island, along with the relative positions of the Barracks and the multiple crash sights of the plane, putting a perfect cap on one of Lost’s all-time most astounding scenes.

Season 3’s flashbacks, even more than Season 2’s, lacked the thrill of the surprising twists and revelations that Season 1’s flashbacks contained. Many of them felt superfluous, telling us very little that we didn’t already know about these characters, with the exception of the flashbacks that revealed Juliet’s history and some of Ben’s. Jack’s flashback in this episode — which could be labeled the most unnecessary of all, given that Jack has been given more flashbacks than any other character on the show — actually worked for me, because of how much they altered our perception of Jack as an obsession-driven, tragic figure. It wasn’t a full retcon of his character either, because it dovetailed so nicely into what we already knew about him.

So. Season 1 was all about the survivors of Oceanic 815. In Season 2, we met the tailies, and were introduced to the first bits and pieces of information we would receive about the Dharma Initiative. Season 3 promised to take us inside the society of the Others, finally pulling back the curtain on just who they are and what they’re like. And it did just that — with the notable exception of explaining exactly the most tantalizing and elusive fact of all about the Others: their origins. As of Season 5, we still have not gotten a solid answer to this question. But I have a theory…

My Big Theory about The Others: We know from “The Incident” that Ben (and his predecessors) always ordered the creation of these lists at the behest of Jacob himself. We also know from “The Incident” that Jacob is somehow ultimately responsible for everyone that comes to the island — from the Black Rock to Oceanic 815, and who knows who else. Put these facts together and it looks like when the Others — who live their lives devoted to Jacob in some fashion — put together their lists that they’re following some longstanding protocol instigated by Jacob that’s enacted anytime a new group of people are “brought” to the island by Jacob. The Others are to weed out the “good people” and invite them into their society. We saw them do this with several members of the tailies including Cindy the flight attendant, with Walt, and even with young Ben and young Ethan in the past. This explains why the Others often seem cold and unsympathetic when doing what they do — in their eyes, they’re not doing evil, they’re serving the will of a much higher power. So any minor transgressions they commit along the way are justified, in the end. This also explains why the Others see themselves as “the good guys.” I’m going to go on record now and suggest that no member of the Others is truly indigenous to the island. Jacob and his nemesis in “The Incident” implied that there have been countless individuals brought to the island over the centuries. I believe that all of the Others have been “brought” to the island by Jacob throughout history, indoctrinated into the Others’ numbers, and repeated this cycle ad nauseum. For what reason Jacob is building numbers of followers on the island, isn’t entirely clear, though it’s almost certainly related to his never-ending conflict with his nemesis — a fact easily inferred from Ilana and Bram’s words and actions in “The Incident.” So there you have it: an explanation of who the Others are and where they come from. All that’s missing now is the why.

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