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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 02/22/2007

'Lost' Episode 9 -- A Big Distraction

By Liz Kelly

Spoilers Ahead: If you haven't already watched last night's installment -- "Stranger in a Strange Land" -- please do so now at ABC.com.


Achara (Bai Ling) greets Jack in Phuket. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Tonight on "Lost": Will Bai Ling distract Liz enough to ruin her enjoyment of an otherwise watchable episode?

Well, almost.

For anyone out there who just checks in on Thursdays for show analysis, I spend the rest of the week immersed in the world of celebrity news. Don't get me wrong. I love me some hot celebrity scoop, but "Lost" and these Thursday posts function as a sanity-saving oasis for me, a DMZ free of break-ups, breakdowns, deaths, arrests and... oh wait. Nevermind. Anyhow, imagine my dismay when settling in for an evening of "Lost" -- where the closest thing to a celebrity would have to be Hurley -- only to be slapped in the face with grating, fashion-challenged Bai Ling (Jack's Phuket love mama), a B-list actress at best who usually enters my orbit because of this.

Unfortunately, Bai was only the first of many annoyances for me in last night's episode. I'll detail the rest of them after the jump, but to avoid being a total Charlie (definition: pessimistic whiner) let's talk about what we learned first, because we did get a few revelations -- and it's a good thing since show promos promised answers to three big questions:

1. The Others live on the main island. Bratty teenager Karl explained to Kate and Sawyer that the Others just use the small island for "projects" and spend most of their time in the picturesque village we saw at the beginning of the fall season, giving Tailie kids "a better life" and flirting in backyards. By projects we're meant to assume he means spinal surgery, polar bear testing and Jack taunting. New sci-fi-hairdo-having character Isabel, aka "the sheriff" (Diana Scarwid, who you may remember as the adult Christina Crawford in "Mommie Dearest" or Cher's girlfriend in "Silkwood") also let slip to Jack that she's come to the island only temporarily, to settle the little matter of Juliet's murder rap.

2. Cindy lives! That's right, everyone's favorite Oceanic Airlines flight attendant -- who we last saw disappear in season two -- turned up last night, too, to gawk at Jack and completely ignore the fact that he was behind bars while attempting to engage him in a little cocktail party small talk. Apparently Cindy, who may be a great flight attendant but probably shouldn't be caring for children, brought a few of flight 815's long-missing kids with her to watch Juliet's murder trial and possible execution and politely ask after Ana Lucia.

3. Jack is a leader. Are you kidding? Was the third revelation really meant to be a translation of Jack's tattoo, which apparently says "He walks amongst us, but is not one of us." As explained by the previously mentioned annoying pixie Bai Ling, Jack is a leader, but he's afraid to be a leader, so he's lonely and angry. Duh. This guy wears his M.O. on his sleeve. No need for a cryptic Chinese tattoo. Lame.

Last night's annoyances after the jump...


Jack (Matthew Fox) answers Isabel's (Diana Scarwid) questions as Tom (M.C. Gainey) looks on. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Bai Ling was annoyance No. 1, but she had a lot of help in watering down the potency of last night's episode. Here are the rest (at least for me). Add your own in the comments section.

2. The past two weeks made shrewd use of flashbacks, using them to help elucidate the events unfolding on the island. Last night's Jack Thailand flashback did little more than give Matthew Fox a sex scene and some ink.

3. Despite the "revelations" delivered in the episode, we got no closer to solving any of the myriad mysteries of the island (black smoke, guy in alternate hatch with eye patch, whereabouts of Michael and Walt, etc.)

4. Last night's episode backtracked. Despite Kate and Sawyer's new status as "friends with benefits," the two have again devolved into bickering caused by Kate's desire to go back for Jack.

5. Ben's infected stitches. I'm no doctor -- I don't even play one on TV -- but I do find it hard to believe that the Others don't have some kind of silver bullet antibiotics stashed somewhere that would clear Ben's boo-boo right up.

6. No Locke. No Sayid. No Desmond. No Claire. No Sun. No Jin. No Bernard. No Rose.

New Mysteries:
Juliet's brand -- what does it mean?
Karl tells Saywer, "God loves you as he loved Jacob," which was also included in last week's brainwashing sequence. Anyone want to weigh in with a theory?

Next Week: "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead -- Hurley discovers a wrecked car on the island and uses it on a mission of hope."

Join me today at 2 p.m. for the weekly Celebritology Live chat. We'll talk "Lost" in the last 15 minutes. And a heads up -- I'll be out next week, but fellow "Lost" watcher Jen Chaney will be here with the weekly analysis.

By Liz Kelly  | February 22, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Lost, TV  
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Comments

I agree, the Jack flashback was the least important one I've seen. And I can't wait for the reunion next week so I can see some of the other Losties that have been missing this entire season but I still get excited before the show comes on each week and it's the best thing on TV hands down...and by far. This season has done a lot to advance the plot and answered some questions and I have really liked the pace of the eps...altho this one was a little slower than the rest. I loved Saywer's after school special moment with Karl and I loved Jack's response to the Sheriff's translation of his tats: Yeah, that's what it says but that's not what it means. How very 'Lost' of him.

Posted by: Josh | February 22, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I think Bai Ling is smoking hot. Sorry.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I don't really have anything to say about last night's episode. But I noticed something in the last seconds of the previous week's rerun. When Desmond was telling Charlie of his supposed fate, Desmond's face was perfectly lit half dark, half light. Half black, half white. I distinctly remember the writers in interviews more towards the beginning of the show's run saying the black and white motif would be crucial. How, I'm not sure. But I remember them pointing out the backgammon scenes between Locke and Walt and the black and white game pieces, and later the black and white of the hatch's flip-tab timer -- the hours one color, the seconds the other. Desmond's face was so asymmetrically light nd dark, it was impossible not to notice the second time around. Sorry, no conclusion or speculation -- just an observation.

Posted by: LoveStreet | February 22, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Why can't any character on this show have a normal conversation. That is perhaps the most unbelievable thing. That Jack (or kate, or sawyer) wouldn't say "ok, sorry I yelled before, but could you just tell me what's going on here. Thanks".


And those 3 big questions were BS. Who cared?

Posted by: Katie | February 22, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Last nights episode was very disappointing... those were the 3 big revelations?!! Are u kidding me? There was no plot advancement, flashbacks were a waste to time because they served no purpose, cleared up no questions, were non-intruiging, just tv filler... I love the show but I expected a lot more from last night especially after the big tease of "3 revelations"! And Jack's behavior with the Others makes no logical sense... why cant he seem to take a stance, ask some questions, or simply refuse to cooperate with them... My attention is definitely beginning to wane... not quite sure if losing that extra hour of sleep is worth it anymore...

Posted by: md | February 22, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Last nights episode was very disappointing... those were the 3 big revelations?!! Are u kidding me? There was no plot advancement, flashbacks were a waste to time because they served no purpose, cleared up no questions, were non-intruiging, just tv filler... I love the show but I expected a lot more from last night especially after the big tease of "3 revelations"! And Jack's behavior with the Others makes no logical sense... why cant he seem to take a stance, ask some questions, or simply refuse to cooperate with them... My attention is definitely beginning to wane... not quite sure if losing that extra hour of sleep is worth it anymore...

Posted by: md | February 22, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The Others live on the main island? Lizm isn't that an assumption on your part? They only indicated that they don't live on that little island. There may yet be another island.......

Posted by: Kim | February 22, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

When he was asked about Ana Lucia, I wanted Jack to yell "She's dead you idiots!" in hopes of waking up the seemingly brainwashed upductees. Why wouldn't he use that opportunity to ask where the heck they've been?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I was disappointed w/last night's ep. I felt unsatisfied. But I do think that we haven't seen that last of Achara. Don't ask me why, I just feel like there's something more...

Posted by: Linda | February 22, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see a boat out in the distance during the final scene? Or was it just another short/squat island?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Lost is losing it. I'm a faithful fan of the show from the beginning and will be to the end, but I sympathize with those who are finding the glacial pace of the story annoying, to say the least, and the convoluted contrivances infuriating. Last night was the third strike for Lost. They had three chances to win back the audience by coming out of the gate of hiatus like gang-busters--hooking us all back into the drama like they did in seasons past. Instead, I could just sense millions of would-be Lost enthusiasts tuning out and turning off. Lost is heading for oblivion because it's failed to maintain its fan base. Lisa de Moreas is right: There's a lot of arrongance on the writers' part behind the steady decline in viewership.

And, sorry. I couldn't have given a rat's patooti about Jack's tat.

But I'm still watching...

Posted by: Not Shlomo | February 22, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see a boat out in the distance during the final scene? Or was it just another short/squat island?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was really disappointed by last night's episode as well. No surprises, nothing interesting. Heck even Jack's tattoo is lame (although I do find it intersting that that girl makes that much money tattooing people and he had to leave the island for getting one. She must be really good. I'd like to make that kind of money hitting people with her ink sticks.)

Posted by: Melinda | February 22, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was really disappointed by last night's episode as well. No surprises, nothing interesting. Heck even Jack's tattoo is lame (although I do find it intersting that that girl makes that much money tattooing people and he had to leave the island for getting one. She must be really good. I'd like to make that kind of money hitting people with her ink sticks.)

Posted by: Melinda | February 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

My husband, who hates Lost, looked up from his book just in time to notice the boat & say "Why is that boat there?" (I hadn't noticed it). Was it the boat that we later saw Jack & Juliet on w/ Ben? Were they just using the little boat to get to the larger boat?

Posted by: m.a. | February 22, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I started watching "Lost" this season because it's halfway decent TV storytelling. Not that I have any faith in J.J. Abrams, after what he did to "Alias" after season 2, but whatever.

I slept off and on throughout last night's episode. Enough said. Someone get that Bai Ling chick a cheeseburger.

Posted by: late joiner | February 22, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

If you're gonna "mark" someone, why mark them in a place that is only seen if the person is nude or wearing a skimpy bikini?

And what was with Bai Ling's hair? I thought tiger striping ended with the 80's?

Posted by: Buck Dharma | February 22, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes I saw the boat - I got the impression they had to go out to the big boat as the lagoon may have been too shallow to bring it in. Or was there a boat there? It was kind of murky so it was hard to tell - that and I have the stomach flu right now so near the end I was pooped...

I want to know what the BFD was about Jack's tattoo. Both as a secret (so what? a doctor has a tattoo? my college roommate - a kick-butt power business woman - has a belly ring under her power suits), and why on earth it was forbidden for him to get the tatt in the first place.

Bai Ling's English is so heavily accented, it was very hard to follow her during the scene where she explains her gift and why she wasn't supposed to share it with Jack.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | February 22, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Yes! There was a boat in the background, I saw it, sat up and asked my roommate, did they just show a cruiseship in the background? Not the boat they took over to the island, but a really big boat-- or its a cruiseship shaped island. Is Lost getting so lame that they can't even bother editing anymore?

Posted by: Jack is so annoying | February 22, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I hate Bai Ling. She is a terrible actress. The only interesting thing about her is she is super skinny (which is why I guess she gets work). Couldn't they get Lucy Liu

Posted by: Michelle | February 22, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I honestly thought Jack's tattoos were Matthew Fox's real tattoos. I never thought twice about them until suddenly they were "something."

Seems to me that they're setting Jack up as a Jesus figure.

I do like this new kick-ass-yet-seemingly-whacked-out Jack. Like he's gonna be the next one to snap & shoot random people.

Best line of the nite? "Cowboy up!" God I love Sawyer!!

Posted by: Bored @ work | February 22, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I just reread my post. When I asked "Or was there a boat there?", I meant closer in to the shore, not the one in the distance, which was plainly visible.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | February 22, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

If Ethan was the "others" surgeon, why would Ben send him to be with the passengers? I thought it was stupid just the mere fact that if something happened, which it did, they(the Others), will be left with no backup plan. But then again, it makes for a great storyline.

Just a thought.

Posted by: EP | February 22, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

A few points:
-- I believe there are 3 islands: the "main" island the Losties are on, the "Alcatraz" island where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were imprisoned, and a third island that contains the suburban-style settlement where the Others live their allegedly idyllic lives.

-- I was quite confused by the flashback. OK, Jack, a handsome and prosperous western tourist, has a fling with a sexy but somewhat mysterious Thai woman in Thailand. Big deal.


But what was the significance of the darn tattoo?


Why would her tattoo business be such a big deal that she kept it secret from Jack?

Why would Jack, on the other hand, be so insistent about getting a tattoo from her (he seemed to attached as much significance to it as she did, which is completely inconsistent with his scientific, skeptical personality -- so even if the tattoos meant a lot to the Thai villagers, why would they mean squat to Jack, the enlightened rationalist?)

Why was Jack's Thai lover, the tattoo lady, so reluctant to tell him that she saw him as a "leader who's afraid to lead"? Heck, I've been told a lot worse than that by lovers! It really wasn't such a bad thing to say about someone, yet she acted like it was so terrible dark secret?

Finally, why were the Thai guys so upset that she gave him a tattoo? This totally confused me. I could see if she had a jealous Thai lover or something like that who wants to get rid of Jack, but what's the big deal about the tattoo.


I really would like to hear theories/explanations about the Thai flashbacks ...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

A few points:
-- I believe there are 3 islands: the "main" island the Losties are on, the "Alcatraz" island where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were imprisoned, and a third island that contains the suburban-style settlement where the Others live their allegedly idyllic lives.

-- I was quite confused by the flashback. OK, Jack, a handsome and prosperous western tourist, has a fling with a sexy but somewhat mysterious Thai woman in Thailand. Big deal.


But what was the significance of the darn tattoo?


Why would her tattoo business be such a big deal that she kept it secret from Jack?

Why would Jack, on the other hand, be so insistent about getting a tattoo from her (he seemed to attached as much significance to it as she did, which is completely inconsistent with his scientific, skeptical personality -- so even if the tattoos meant a lot to the Thai villagers, why would they mean squat to Jack, the enlightened rationalist?)

Why was Jack's Thai lover, the tattoo lady, so reluctant to tell him that she saw him as a "leader who's afraid to lead"? Heck, I've been told a lot worse than that by lovers! It really wasn't such a bad thing to say about someone, yet she acted like it was so terrible dark secret?

Finally, why were the Thai guys so upset that she gave him a tattoo? This totally confused me. I could see if she had a jealous Thai lover or something like that who wants to get rid of Jack, but what's the big deal about the tattoo.


I really would like to hear theories/explanations about the Thai flashbacks ...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

God, I hate Bai Ling! She just reeked of trash, and it makes Jack look sad to have slept with her! What ticked me off was an allusion by Tom to Jack that he was behaving like a hypocrite in criticizing the Others ("oh, this house is glass? let me get you some stones.") So I thought there would be some sort of revelation of what 'bad thing' Jack had done in his past to justify being on the island with the other 'flawed' losties. The reveal is that he 'made' some chick give him a tattoo? Ooooh, really evil of ya there, Jack.

Posted by: deegs | February 22, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, how do these people COMMUNICATE???? Everything is "too complicated to explain" ..... Last night's episode was a bunch of fluff!!! (And of course nobody could explain anything) Why don't they stop wasting my time? I keep watching hoping that the potential shown earlier on will somehow be fulfilled. This all is beginning to look like sheer desperation on the part of the writers.

Posted by: Pinky | February 22, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, thank you Liz for highlighting how much of a distraction/detraction Bai Ling was in last night's episode! She was just so out of place, and anyone who's glimpsed her insanely heinous personal style in real life would have a hard time separating her character from that (especially since her seriously sub-par acting doesn't help us suspend disbelief). Jack can do (and has done!) better. Tsk tsk.

Posted by: Julie | February 22, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed last nights episode, granted it left a lot to be desired but i think it hints at the fact the 'Dharma Initiative' is farther reaching. I think the fact that Achara(sp?) called Jack an outsider indicates that she is part of something and for it to have any relevance, that something has to be the DI. I think this episode will have more meaning once more info is revealed.

Posted by: bg | February 22, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Liz should do Thursday morning analysis of a show that isn't horrible and disappointing, like Friday Night Lights. Now that is the best show on network television.

Posted by: Chris | February 22, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, she only gave him the row of characters on his arm. On the island he's got a whole lot more ink underneath them. I'm sure the Lost fan sites have the interpreted script from all the Thai that was used. But if they're hoping the average fan goes THAT far to find something out...well, that's just ridiculous.

Third island...after the first show a few weeks back there were links here to the Mittelos Bioscience website that had a map with 3 islands.

Posted by: Ink | February 22, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm giving up on this show. I truly hate Jack, Kate and Sawyer. They annoy me more and more with each episode. Their storyline is not interesting, and it never really goes anywhere. Jack's flashback was boring and didn't add anything to his character.

Posted by: jp | February 22, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, she only gave him the row of characters on his arm. On the island he's got a whole lot more ink underneath them. I'm sure the Lost fan sites have the interpreted script from all the Thai that was used. But if they're hoping the average fan goes THAT far to find something out...well, that's just ridiculous.

Third island...after the first show a few weeks back there were links here to the Mittelos Bioscience website that had a map with 3 islands.

Posted by: Ink | February 22, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, she only gave him the row of characters on his arm. On the island he's got a whole lot more ink underneath them. I'm sure the Lost fan sites have the interpreted script from all the Thai that was used. But if they're hoping the average fan goes THAT far to find something out...well, that's just ridiculous.

Third island...after the first show a few weeks back there were links here to the Mittelos Bioscience website that had a map with 3 islands.

Posted by: Ink | February 22, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Like the rest of you, I thought last week's episode was pretty lame. However, it comes one week after what may be the best episode of the entire series. The scene where the jewelry lady told Desmond not to buy the ring was one of those "white rabbit" moments which are what make this series for me. I would rank this episode right up with Claire's episode in Season 1 where she met with the psychic -- absolutely incredible TV!

I'll have to watch last night's episode again, but I'm pretty sure that Carl specifically told Kate and Sawyer that the Others live on the same island they landed on. This also matches the flashback early this season when Ben etc. saw the plane crash; the camera panned back and you could clearly see that the plane crashed on the same island where the Others lived. I don't think that there is any third island.

Overall, I think you just have to chalk last night's episode up as one of those plot exposition things that they just had to get out of the way. Hopefully we'll be back on track by next week...

Steve

Posted by: Steve | February 22, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Ink said:

he's got a whole lot more ink underneath them.


I thought the additional ink was ABOVE the row of characters, with the design part of the tat.

What this means, I dunno.

And may no longer care, as I'm growing really tired of Lindelhof's bait and switch.

Posted by: More ink | February 22, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Jack's complacency and willingness to just follow them all around and not ask questions is driving me nuts. Jack and Ben need a scene like this...

You want answers? I think I'm entitled. You want answers?! I want the truth! You can't handle the truth!

(Just wouldn't be the same without Tom Cruise)

Maybe that's where this is all headed. The Others are the good guys who are holding the whole world together...so let's go back to Jack Nicholson as Col. Jessup (kind of fits with something Ben might say):

Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You?...You have the luxury of not knowing what I know...my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties you want me on that wall (island), you need me on that wall (island).

Holy crap, if they ripped this whole idea off from A Few Good Men and I wasted this much time on it...I'll pull a Code Red on myself.

Posted by: JackNeedsToGrowAPair | February 22, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Never mind Bai Ling's tiny frame and freaky fashion sense, what the heck is going on with her teeth?
I couldn't concentrate on a word that came out of her mouth.

Posted by: Yikes | February 22, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Are they setting up the others as a cult on an island with brainwashing capabilites? They seemed like a cult to me, particularly with the "God loves you" line.

The writers ideas of 3 big reveals and my idea of 3 big reveals are completely different. The tatoo wasn't even on my top 20 list of questions. What in the heck is the big whoop about him being afraid to lead? Oh you're afraid to lead but your a leader boo frigin who. Unless I'm mistaken they've just set up another question. Why was it so bad that she give him the tatoo?

Can't he just move over and let Said and Locke lead because they seem more equiped than Jack and for the love, ask some bloody questions. A lot of stuff could be wrapped up if these fools will take the opportunity to just ask some friggin questions. At one point I stopped looking for answers because they weren't coming. I think I'm going count on the recap as a way of staying in the loop with this show.

Posted by: petal | February 22, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Maddening, yes, and a bit of a waste of an hour (or maybe 35 minutes, once you take out the endless commercials). I still have faith they're taking this somewhere, though the ABC marketing geniuses should be fired for last week's promise of "three of Lost's biggest secrets revealed", when A. Nothing big was really revealed B. they gave away any semblance of surprise in the promo itself

Posted by: Mike | February 22, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Last night's episode reminded me of a book I'm reading right now that's probably more than 300 pages too long (it's 800 pages total).

The problem is that everytime a character in the book figures out the big mystery, instead of simply announcing what they've discovered, they decide that they can't say anything until they think about it a bit more or won't say anything until a meeting is convened. Of course, in the meantime something happens, and they get killed before they have a chance to say anything, leaving us no closer to figuring out the mystery despite the fact that the reader just wasted several hours reading the last 100 pages.

I feel the same frustration watching Lost. The fact is, we've got all the characters we need to give us all the answers we need, but nobody seems to want to ask the appropriate questions. So, just when we think the answers are coming, we realize we've wasted another hour of lives and gotten now closer to the truth.

This wasn't so bad when there was interesting character development and backstory involved, but this week we had to suffer through Bai Ling......

Posted by: Jaredd | February 22, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"Lost" has lost it. At the end of Season 1, they teased us with the hatch and the raft/Michael's kidnapping, and early on in Season 2 they dealt with those.

At the end of Season 2, the hatch blew up, Michael and Walt sailed away, Kate, Jack, and Sawyer were taken by the Others, and there were some Portuguese-speaking dudes in the Artic/Antartic. After 9 episodes, we know what has gone on with K,J, and S, and after last week have a slim idea of what happened with the hatch, but have no clue if Michael and Walt really found "rescue," or what in the world Penny is up to.

The Lost writers have introduced too many characters and too many plot lines. They are ignoring the reasons that people fell for the show. Get back to basics, and the beach. Show us Sayid, Hurley, Locke, and the rest. Focus on Tom, Julie, and Ben, if you are going to show the others. Let Kate and Sawyer wander in the jungle if needed.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

If the producers think that fans consider the following questions to be 3 of Lost's biggest secrets, then this show has already jumped the shark.

1. When did Jack learn to fly a kite on the beach?
2. How is Ben's recovery from back surgery going?
3. What plant is good to help treat a recent branding wound?

Those were the only questions answered unfortunately. I would have been much less disappointed in the episode if they hadn't hyped it like they did.

Posted by: Mac | February 22, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm just offended, as a Thai woman, that Bai Ling was brought on to play a Thai character. She's a women of ill-repute, shall we say - and that her character is Jack's "love mama" just solidifies the stereotype that the m.o. of Thai women is to seduce foreign men.

Also, if Achara's gift is to serve Thais only, why is the tattoo written in Chinese characters?? Seems like a poor attempt to write Matthew Fox's tattoos into the script.

Posted by: tk | February 22, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm just offended, as a Thai woman, that Bai Ling was brought on to play a Thai character. She's a women of ill-repute, shall we say - and that her character is Jack's "love mama" just solidifies the stereotype that the m.o. of Thai women is to seduce foreign men.

Also, if Achara's gift is to serve Thais only, why is the tattoo written in Chinese characters?? Seems like a poor attempt to write Matthew Fox's tattoos into the script.

Posted by: tk | February 22, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

RE: New Mysteries:
Juliet's brand -- what does it mean?
Karl tells Saywer, "God loves you as he loved Jacob," which was also included in last week's brainwashing sequence. Anyone want to weigh in with a theory?

There were a number of biblical allusions on last night's show--Karl's comment is one. Refering to Jacob who tricked his brother Esau into giving him his birthright. Might be an metaphor for the rivalry between Jack (the good guy) and Sawyer (the bad boy).

Juliet's mark is akin to the mark God put on Cain after he killed Abel. And someone even uses the "eye for an eye" saying--again from the old testament.

The Others are the so-called "Good Guys" and the theme of good vs. evil, black vs. white, redemption, salvation, etc. have always been woven through the Lost plotlines.

Posted by: Stella | February 22, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm just offended, as a Thai woman, that Bai Ling was brought on to play a Thai character. She's a women of ill-repute, shall we say - and that her character is Jack's "love mama" just solidifies the stereotype that the m.o. of Thai women is to seduce foreign men.

Also, if Achara's gift is to serve Thais only, why is the tattoo written in Chinese characters?? Seems like a poor attempt to write Matthew Fox's tattoos into the script.

Posted by: tk | February 22, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Abc totally oversold the "revelations" last night, which were minor questions at best.

The tattoo is significant in that, as Ms. Hawking said to Desmond in last weeks episode (that turning the key and pushing the button would be the "greatest" thing he did in his life), Jack was marked with "greatness" as Bai Ling said in this weeks episode.

Some of the lostees, like Desmond, are destined/brought/marked, for the island. Jack is also one of them. (I suspect Hurley, Locke, and perhaps others are as well.)

But the other stuff was soooo no big deal. Kate loves jack - big whup. The others live on the island -- so what, we already know they move back and forth through the submarine.

And the boat we saw was a new, larger one. Remember, Ben gave Walt and Michael the other, smaller motorboat to leave on.

Posted by: Brett | February 22, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm still at a loss as to which three big questions were answered. We already knew from the season opener the others lived on the main island. We already knew the others had the kids and were taking care of them. We didn't know what Jack's tattoo meant, but big deal. (Plus, "That's what it says. It's not what it means," is semantical nonsense.)

But did anybody else see when Jack was applying the aloe to Juliette's back that there was a bandage on her stomach that she tried to cover? Maybe I was hallucinating.

Posted by: koolmoeb | February 22, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm still at a loss as to which three big questions were answered. We already knew from the season opener the others lived on the main island. We already knew the others had the kids and were taking care of them. We didn't know what Jack's tattoo meant, but big deal. (Plus, "That's what it says. It's not what it means," is semantical nonsense.)

But did anybody else see when Jack was applying the aloe to Juliette's back that there was a bandage on her stomach that she tried to cover? Maybe I was hallucinating.

Posted by: koolmoeb | February 22, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm almost cured. I had been a loyal watcher since Day One, but I haven't watched an episode of Lost since the hiatus. (Of course, I'm still reading Liz's analyses, so I've obviously got a ways to go yet.) I figure I'll just watch Medium in real time and one day catch up w/ Lost on DVD.

I AM sorry I missed the Desmond episode last week, tho. Sounds like one of the best in a loooong time. When this show is on (like Hurley in the mental institution, anything w/ Eko), it's really on. The problem is, the "on" episodes are becoming fewer and farther between. Sometimes, we get good moments, lines, or scenes--but it's not sustained.

Characters who need to die: Jack, Kate, Charlie.

I'm OK w/ Michael and Walt never coming back, but I would like to know what happened to them sometime before the series wraps up.

Posted by: sen | February 22, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm almost cured. I had been a loyal watcher since Day One, but I haven't watched an episode of Lost since the hiatus. (Of course, I'm still reading Liz's analyses, so I've obviously got a ways to go yet.) I figure I'll just watch Medium in real time and one day catch up w/ Lost on DVD.

I AM sorry I missed the Desmond episode last week, tho. Sounds like one of the best in a loooong time. When this show is on (like Hurley in the mental institution, anything w/ Eko), it's really on. The problem is, the "on" episodes are becoming fewer and farther between. Sometimes, we get good moments, lines, or scenes--but it's not sustained.

Characters who need to die: Jack, Kate, Charlie.

I'm OK w/ Michael and Walt never coming back, but I would like to know what happened to them sometime before the series wraps up.

Posted by: sen | February 22, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Eye for an eye -

Kind of interesting, any Lostie who kills an other, get's killed too:

Anna L - Goodwin
Eko - 1-2 of them
Juliet - almost
now Charlie is on the list - Nathan
next is Sun - curley que.

What do you think?

Posted by: dr | February 23, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The writers are lost. Do they think we've been waiting to find out what Jack's tattoos mean and where he got them? Who cares?

Jack had Cindy right in front of him and does he ask her what's going on, where have you been, why did they take the kids? No.

Another bad episode, and after a good one on Desmond. That was fun, this was stupid filler dragging things out past the point where anyone's going to care.

Posted by: SteveH | February 23, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Let me throw a real monkey wrench into the literary allusions. When Jack is attacked on the Thai beach by all the boys, was I the only one reminded of the Tennessee Williams movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, Suddenly Last Summer, where the homosexual cousin of Taylor, played by Clift, is attacked and killed by the boys he had been seducing by using his mother (K. Hepburn) and cousin (Taylor)? Is it possible that the tattoo says something more outrageous than "stranger among us", thus evoking the boys' attack?
Jack, though very attractive to women, doesn't seem to have had a lot of success with them. Maybe he was just too devoted to work, but maybe his marital breakup was due to something else being alluded to.
And maybe Jack's story in Thailand isn't over with yet. Maybe he did something violent or taboo there that we haven't seen yet.

Posted by: Lindy48 | February 23, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Let me throw a real monkey wrench into the literary allusions. When Jack is attacked on the Thai beach by all the boys, was I the only one reminded of the Tennessee Williams movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, Suddenly Last Summer, where the homosexual cousin of Taylor, played by Clift, is attacked and killed by the boys he had been seducing by using his mother (K. Hepburn) and cousin (Taylor)? Is it possible that the tattoo says something more outrageous than "stranger among us", thus evoking the boys' attack?
Jack, though very attractive to women, doesn't seem to have had a lot of success with them. Maybe he was just too devoted to work, but maybe his marital breakup was due to something else being alluded to.
And maybe Jack's story in Thailand isn't over with yet. Maybe he did something violent or taboo there that we haven't seen yet.

Posted by: Lindy48 | February 23, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The Thai flashbacks were an almost complete waste of time. I also agree with whoever
wrote that it's strange that they would bother to mark Juliet on her back...If
they are implying that she, like Jack, was branded as an outsider, then the logical
(and biblical) thing to do would be to mark her somewhere that could be seen: the
forehead, even an arm...
The only thing the Thai flashbacks gave us was a reason for Jack, the Outsider,
to stand up for (and bond with) Juliet, the Outsider.


As for "god loves you as he loved Jacob", the obvious allusion would
be to the birthright story. Esau was the first born, but was cheated out of his
due by his twin brother Jacob...yet Jacob is the one considered to be a great man
in the Judeo-Christian perspective (though it is his father who blesses him, not
God).

One interpretation: According to Karl, the Losties are Jacob, the others are Esau.
So, the Others were on the island first.They were potent, hunters, seekers. Then
the Losties showed up and messed everything up for them, and the Others resent them
for it.

A more half-baked interpretation: the patented Lost Father theory. Jacob is the
one who winds up with his father's blessing, and possibly God's favor. Nevertheless,
he has a pretty difficult adulthood. Marries the wrong woman. And the right woman.
Has children with both of them, and their maids. Favors the sons of his favorite
wife, causing the other sons to turn on that one. Favorite son is stolen away, reported
as dead. God loved Jacob, but that didn't stop his life from being a soap opera.
I haven't sorted this one out yet, but since it has to do with fathers and sons
and stolen children, I thought I'd give it a shot...

Speaking of stolen children, I was intrigued by the glimpse of the flight attendent
and the children (AND the teddy bear!!!) and trust that they'll give us more
in due course...

And thanks to the above comment, it just crossed my mind that on a show about other-ness and outcasts - and especially one this purposefully cross-cultural, it's a little odd that there isn't a single gay character.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 23, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone happen to notice the loaded cargo ship in the background when Kate and Sawyer did their little boat scenes? Was that a mistake, or did it actually mean anything?

Posted by: Pinky | February 23, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick of Jack I really can barely watch the show anymore. Yeah Jack we get it, you have issues, you're deep, you brood.

I usually just fast foreward through Jack's scenes now and I'm on the fence about continuing to watch.

Posted by: cambel | February 23, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

what the heck is so wrong with Bai Ling? granted, she's a b-movie actress, but she did just fine in Lost.

I think that there's some female jealousy going on, which is demonstrated by one poster saying she needs a cheeseburger. Some people are naturally skinny--my sister is tiny, but she eats like a cow. She's just Korean and has good genes. You don't need to be fat to be "normal." Perhaps that poster needs Weight Watchers.

Posted by: Joe Momma | February 23, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

In commenting on Jack's tattoos "the Sheriff" noted that Chinese characters are difficult to translate correctly. Why CHINESE characters, when Jack got his tattoos in Thailand? In Thailand, the Thai language is spoken and written, and it does not use the same characters as Chinese. I wonder if this is a clue. I don't think the writers would make such a big mistake.

Posted by: Librarian | February 23, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

You all realize that if we have to keep coming to a blog each week to try and understand what the hell happened on the show, the writers have failed us, the customers, miserably.

Frankly, I'm sick of the writers' teases and fraud. Obviously, they have not heeded the strong advice of the customers (who are leaving by the thousands each week) and their bosses at ABC--move things along.

Posted by: Rex | February 23, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I think that the point of Jack's tatoo is that he and Juliet have a common bond now that she is "branded" as well. Juliet is an outsider to the Others. She has not lived there her whole life like many of them have. It's natural that she would feel some sort of kinship with Jack.

Also, maybe the bandage she was trying to cover is a result of some of her research that we saw a few episodes ago. Is she trying to get herself pregnant?

Posted by: Stephanie | February 23, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I really can't stand the way this show has become The Jack Show. Can't stand the actor or the character and am constantly amazed that they destroyed their amazing ensemble to showcase this character - out of all the more interesting, more charismatic choices they had available. In addition, the Kate & Sawyer romance, which I had been enjoying and looking forward to future developments, seems like just another sacrificial lamb to this intensely unlikable character. I think they're losing me.

Posted by: Jeanne | February 24, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

X-Files fans may also remember Diana Scarwid as the "Pusher's" sister. Cerulean blue...

Posted by: Charodon | February 24, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe you folks who are so down on Jack. If it weren't for him, folks, half the other Losties you're so fond of wouldn't still be alive. Jack to me is one of few truly good guys on the Island -- sure he broods a bit, but he's a great doctor and a really decent guy who tries to do what's right ... and he represents the forces of reason to me (he's reason based, unlike the faith-based John Locke -- who too often confuses "impulse" with "faith" anyway.)

Posted by: SJH | February 24, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

This show has totally jumped the shark. The average daytime soap has more believable characters and answers more questions. Those so-called "big reveals"--none of them on the top 30 list of questions the Lost writers have raised. Jack's tattoo's? C'mon. And, of course, in answering that question that nobody cared about, the writers raise more mystical issues that they'll never bother to answer, because they don't give a fig about their viewers. Lindelof must be laughing all the way to the bank about how he's duped us for so long.

Well not me, not anymore. I'm done with this waste of time. The show is hemorrhaging viewers, so ABC will cancel it, no questions will have been answered, and everyone still watching will go off and write fan fiction conclusions that'll be a heck of a lot better than anything the show creators would bother to do...because the viewers actually care.

Posted by: Shark Chum | February 26, 2007 1:57 AM | Report abuse

JackNeedsToGrowAPair: I love your Few Good Men idea. Nobody on the island bothers communicating. It's so stupid.

Posted by: Shark Chum | February 26, 2007 1:58 AM | Report abuse

My wife (Chinese) got as good look at the tattoo this time and translated it as "Giant eagle sky-fighting," i.e. a Chinese Air Force slogan. That kind of ruined the whole episode right there.

Posted by: CS | February 26, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Bai ling was terrible! Their ratings are sooo low- she was not help. I hope they move it back to an earlier time. I know tons of people that no longer watch it at the 10pm hour.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

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