Lost has this habit of introducing characters that I care little about (in some cases, I actively dislike them). Then, within one or two episodes, the series builds them up… and suddenly they’re fascinating!
That’s when I know they’re doomed, and in the next episode they’ll be blown up or eviscerated or shot.
If there is something to my theory, chances are that Juliet is for the chop. We recently watched “One of Us”, the episode where Jack introduces her to the rest of the beach bunnies and says, “Play nicely, kids!” Never mind that the Others abducted Claire, tried to shoot Sawyer, almost killed Charlie. (Okay, that last one may be understandable enough. Ahem.) Is it just me, or is Jack one of the most consistently naive people on that, or indeed any, island? Or is it just when it comes to women smiling at him?
Especially in this episode, Juliet’s really grown on me. She’s almost as fascinating as Benjamin “Henry Gale (hope you haven’t read Wizard of Oz!)” Linus was in season 2. Her backstory’s intriguing, and her motivations murky in a good, wanna-know-more way. Elizabeth Mitchell’s acting, especially in the scenes with Ben (see the YouTube video below, if you’re interested), has also become considerably more complex and interesting.
However, I think what I enjoyed most about this episode was how it started to tie up plot strands from the previous two seasons. While there are still dozens of big, red, blinking question marks when it comes to what watchers of Lost laughingly refer to as “the plot”, there are hints now that the writers do know what they’re doing. If the rest of season 3 can manage to do that while keeping things interesting for the last two seasons, then bring it on, I say. (Just don’t kill Juliet next episode, please!)