Thursday, October 15, 2009

3.07 Not in Portland

Follow along! The episode guide for “Not In Portland” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 54-60.

I loved this episode the first time I saw it, because it was seeing a new character’s flashback, something we hadn’t done in a long time. I think it made Juliet a very sympathetic character for me, even though it didn’t work on everyone. And come on… watching Edmund Burke get hit by that bus NEVER gets old.

Fun things I noticed:
• In making the connection between Burke and Ben, we see that Juliet moved from one controlling tyrant to another.
• Alpert’s eyeliner was perfect from the beginning.
• How much do I love that she makes a throwaway suggestion and Alpert makes it happen? Who WOULDN’T want to work for that company? “Yeah, I had this boss who was a horrible Nazi bitch when I was in high school and worked in a grocery store bakery, and I’d love for her to fall into a fire.” As Bart Simpson would say, “Coooool.” (The above statement about the boss may or may not be true.)
• Did anyone else ever think Karl was a bit of a schmuck? I could never see what Alex saw in him.
• So… Jack always comes off as a bit of a lousy surgeon. We’ve seen him open a woman’s dural sac, then he’s always popping and slicing arteries. Pfft… as if one miracle could overlook the other stuff. ;)
• Rachel uses the same pregnancy test as Kate.

Things that have new meaning:
• That ultrasound of the woman’s womb is still a big unanswered question, and one many Lost fans (including myself) keep coming back to in later seasons. Is it a womb of a woman who’s time-traveled? Why is the island rapidly aging women’s wombs but not the rest of them? I’m assuming the source of the failure to bring a baby to term on the island is in these ultrasound pictures, but it’s not clear yet what they are. (Or… it really is a womb of a woman in her 70s and Alpert is just putting one over on Juliet.)
• One of the messages in Room 23 is “Everything Changes,” which could be a suggestion that everything WILL change. Maybe when Jack drops the bomb? When they go back in time? Or is it a purposely untrue statement?
• We all wondered if Sawyer had any memory of Juliet holding a gun to Kate and how that might have made the beginning of their relationship a little… awkward… but maybe he also remembered her saving his life here. Could one cancel out the other?

35 comments:

Marebabe said...

He wasn’t exactly getting even (how could he?), but I liked seeing Sawyer give Pickett a nasty shock before running away from the cages with Kate. Time was short, but he still took a moment to dish out a little poetic justice.

When we first saw Juliet with her sister, Rachel said that “he” wouldn’t like what Juliet was doing (the injections). At first I wondered if she was referring to Ben, but then I saw that “he” was Edmund Burke. This episode was full of puzzles like that, starting with that opening shot of Juliet sitting on the beach of what turned out to be Miami. Letting us see Ethan in the hall was another poser that made viewers question: where on earth are they?

I know that having a sterile environment is important in a surgical procedure. So why did everyone start breathing their bully-germs all over the O.R. just because there was an interruption in Ben’s surgery? Jack and Juliet pulled off their masks, and Tom came in wearing street (island) clothes and no mask. Meanwhile, Ben’s surgical wound was open and exposed to all those nasty, airborne microbes. Later, his stitches got infected, and I’ll bet this carelessness in the O.R. was partly the reason.

I loved the contrast between weepy, fragile Juliet (when she said to Richard Alpert, “I’m a mess”) and the grim, determined Juliet (marching out to help Sawyer and Kate escape). There was a great parallel too, because Edmund and Ben, both controlling bastards, were key players in both scenes. The tears were because Edmund wouldn’t let her leave, and her steely resolve was because Ben had told her that she could finally leave after three years.

Marebabe said...

I'm reminded of a very intriguing theory that I read recently, which proposes that Ben's beloved Annie is going to die in childbirth, and Ben’s grief will be the crucial element that will affect everyone and everything. It’s the point upon which the whole story turns. (If you want to read it for yourself, you can find it on Zap2it’s Guide to Lost, an article written by Ryan McGee, posted on 10-7-09, and entitled, “Lost: Weird Science, Part 2”.) Ryan also posits that the mysterious X-Ray shown to Juliet in “Not In Portland” belongs not to some no-name Other, but to Annie herself. I said it was intriguing!

Gillian Whitfield said...

I threw my hands over my head and cheered when Richard showed up. But not as loud as I did 19 minutes ago.

I love when Burke gets hit by a bus. I do admit, the first time I saw it, I jumped, but I love it.

Joan Crawford said...

Karl was a total weiner.

Joan Crawford said...

“Yeah, I had this boss who was a horrible Nazi bitch when I was in high school and worked in a grocery store bakery, and I’d love for her to fall into a fire.”

I don't know what has gotten into you tonight, Nikki, but I LOVE IT!

tiasabita said...

I've heard the Ed and the bus scene is the coolest thing ever when viewed frame by frame. (I only watch on-line so I don't have that technology!) Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

Susan said...

@ Nikki: What does Alex see in Karl? Well he's about the only person her age, and they probably spend a lot of time together.

Why exactly does Juliet kill Danny? Did Ben ask her to as part of the deal? Or did she do it on her own because she didn't think she could stop him in time from shooting Sawyer and Kate? Or is it part of the long con that gets Jack to eventually bring her back to the Losties' camp?

SonshineMusic said...

I don't think we really see enough of Karl to get a fair picture of him. He risks a lot to help the Losties on multiple occasions. I dunno. I always liked the kid.

More comments to come, but it's late and my bed is calling.....

The Question Mark said...

Karl seems like a good kid. as Sawyer points out, he's no cowboy, but his heart is certainly in the right place.
truth be told, I've always wondered why there was nevere any mention of Karl's parents. Does anyone else think that maybe he was a stolen baby, same as Alex? If so, who might the Others have stolen him from?

RICHARD ALPERT rocks the casbah! I'm so glad he's become an official regular in Season 6. I like how he's always so professionally happy and calm. It's like nothing bothers him. Ever.

The scene where Rachel reveals that she's pregnant never fails to choke me up.

Teebore said...

Did anyone else ever think Karl was a bit of a schmuck? I could never see what Alex saw in him.

Yeah, he never did much for me either. He strikes me as one of those "we're not sure when the show will end, so we'll toss out some characters and see what sticks" characters from around this time. And once they were able to map out their story and they knew they wouldn't to draw things out using Karl, he hung around in the background until he could get killed off.

He's one of the few characters for whom I won't mind if his story is done: he served his purpose as Alex's boyfriend and an illumination of the pregnancy problem on the island.

Now, the pregnancy issue and Room 23, two mysteries to which Karl is tangentially linked, are two to which I definitely DO want some resolution.

Jazzygirl said...

Even knowing the bus scene was coming, I jumped. :P And yes, it was so nice to Richard! :)
The actor that plays Edmund played a badass in True Blood too.

studiorose said...

Karl: bleccch. OTOH, Alex is no prize herself. Okay, disagree with me if you want to, but she looks like the love-child of Angelina Jolie and Fievel (the mouse).

I LOVE Juliet's sister. Apparently she was adopted, because she's wonderful and sweet-natured and bubbly and kind, and I wish we could see more of her than just that glimpse with her kid in a future episode.

Joan Crawford said...

There are no cats in America!

Marebabe said...

@Joan: Um... what?

Joan Crawford said...

Hahaha, sorry! I was referring to Fievel - the little cat from that 80's cartoon movie. They have a song in it about "No cats in America". What was then name of that movie?

Studiorose mentioned him in her comment above mine - she started it! :)

Nikki Stafford said...

"Somewhere, up there
If love can see us through...
Then we'll be together
Somewhere up there
Up where dreams
Come true...."

Now you'll have that in your head all day, haha! Oh crap. Now it's in mine. :(

I think the movie was called An American Tail? I remember going to see it as a kid. :)

Nikki Stafford said...

Wait, now I'm doubting my childhood memory. I think it's Somewhere OUT There... Fievel's always looking up when he sings it. ;)

Marebabe said...

Thanks, ladies! I never actually saw the movie, but EVERYONE who was within earshot of a Top-40 radio back then remembers the song "Somewhere Out There", because it played roughly every 10 minutes for months!

SonshineMusic said...

Ah HAHAHAHAHA! Joan, I immediately knew what you were talking about (and have had "There are no cats in America" running through my head ever since I read it), but I started dying with Marebabe's comment - seriously I was laughing so hard because Joan's comment seemed so off the wall.

This is why I love coming here. :)

But I do have to disagree. I love Alex and I cried angry bitter tears over her death.

I think my favorite part of this episode was the way Alex dished it right back at Sawyer and he was like, well all righty then.

Yet another character (Juliet) referred to as "special" - this time by Richard (so happy to see him)

I know Nikki mentioned this in her book, but I find it quite funny that it takes Mr. Friendly 13 whole minutes to walk outside to get Juliet. You'd think he'd want to hurry when Ben's life is on the line.

JW said...

Did anyone else ever think Karl was a bit of a schmuck? I could never see what Alex saw in him

I've thought the same thing from the beginning! But I figure doesn't have a whole lot of choices in boyfriends.

My only other comment is that it's fun in these episodes to see more of the important characters and elements begin to fall into place.

studiorose said...

Okay, I grudgingly admit Alex is kinda cool (with her bad-ass slingshot), but she still looks like Fievel, and I'm not budging on that one. :)

Never saw the movie either, but loved the song. Wasn't it Linda Ronstadt?

Marebabe said...

@studiorose: Yes, Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram sang together on that song. I've always liked how prettily Linda sings the high notes. She's really quite the super-dooper soprano. I'm not sure, but I think probably if you went to YouTube and typed in "Pirates of Penzance", you might get to hear some amazing singing she did in that.

Marebabe said...

p.s. Yup. I just checked on YouTube, and there is your actual multitude of "Pirates" numbers to choose from. Try "Poor Wandering One" for a good Linda Ronstadt showcase.

JW said...

And if you're interested in seeing how bad Linda's first band was, check out her live version of "Different Drum" with the Stone Ponies. The worst band with the best singer!

Marebabe said...

@JW: Well, all I can say is when you're right, you're right! Eww!

JW said...

@Marebabe: The drummer sounds like a malfunctioning dishwasher, doesn't he?

Marebabe said...

@JW: I could NOT have said it any better myself. Tee-hee! One never knows where these comment tangents will lead, does one?

Blam said...

@ Nikki: The FL entry sez, "[I]n the previous episode, Danny refers to 'Jacob's list,' as if there's an important man on the island named Jacob." You must look back at (perfectly reasonable) comments like this and think, Had I only known!

Blam said...

I've really missed discussing Lost with all o' y'all. As I told our hostess privately earlier this year, I picked up the first FL during the Season 3 hiatus and it was the perfect antidote for the months-long wait. How serendipitous that I'm finally able to join the Rewatch with the first post-hiatus episode (okay, a week late, but still)!

Blam said...

@ Susan: You make an excellent point about Karl being the only person Alex's age amongst the Others. It begs the question of how he got there, never mind how much or how little Ben encouraged their relationship. While the truly long-standing Others like Richard, of whose numbers we're unsure, presumably want to bear their own children on principle, it's curious that more children and/or families don't seem to have been selected for recruitment from off-Island. Had Michael and Walt not ended up there via the crash, might Mittelos or some other cover organization have approached one of Walt's parents? One would think that scouting special children would be at the very least a desirable parallel track to waiting for them to show up on the Island and then kidnaping them.

Anonymous said...

The base of the lamp on Rachel's night stand is an octagon with a yin/yang symbol in the center.

Juanita's Journal said...

So… Jack always comes off as a bit of a lousy surgeon. We’ve seen him open a woman’s dural sac, then he’s always popping and slicing arteries. Pfft… as if one miracle could overlook the other stuff. ;)


You really did hate Jack, didn't you? He cut open Ben's kidney sac . . . deliberately.

Juanita's Journal said...

So… Jack always comes off as a bit of a lousy surgeon. We’ve seen him open a woman’s dural sac, then he’s always popping and slicing arteries. Pfft… as if one miracle could overlook the other stuff. ;)


You really did hate Jack, didn't you? He cut open Ben's kidney sac . . . deliberately.

Nikki Stafford said...

Juanita's Journal: Since you're clearly new to this wonderful thing called the "Internet" I'll let you in on a little secret: a semicolon followed by a closing parenthesis indicates a wink, which means the words that precede it are generally a joke. Judging from the nasty comments you've been methodically leaving on this Lost Rewatch over the past couple of years, I'm thinking you're probably missing the main thing that my readers and I had for so many years: a sense of humour.

Juanita's Journal said...

It's interesting in how Sawyer was so determined in getting his revenge with Danny Pickett that he ignored Kate's desperate cries for them to escape. This reminds me of his determination to seek revenge against Anthony Cooper and Tom Friendly.