Follow along! The episode guide for “Stranger in a Strange Land” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 75-81.
Probably my least favourite episode of Lost. And looking back on it a couple of seasons later, the entire episode isn’t a loss, really… there are some funny moments. But this flashback is utterly useless, and hell, the tribunal on the island seems to come from out of nowhere. At this point in time, the tattoo stuff was junk, Isabel is a one-off, they went nowhere with the plot, or Juliet’s mark, or Jack being separated from the rest of the group, or ANYTHING. As such, I don’t have much to say about it. That said, maybe at the end of season 6 they’ll do something with all of this and I’ll be referring to this episode as the harbinger of what’s to come. But regardless, I will never like Bai Ling. Nothing can change my mind on THAT point.
Fun things I noticed:
• There were so many things that seem to have been thrown into this episode just to confuse us, and a couple of seasons later they’re still not clear. Karl says they were giving the kids a better life. Does he know that or is he just going by Ben? (And since when did he ever listen to Ben?) Achara and the tattoo is a big, WHA?! a few years later.
• Jack is acting unlike himself. He always asks questions, yet he lets Cindy walk away without firing a ton of questions at her. He is known for not letting things go, and yet he pushes the button twice and then walks away. You’d think, like Sawyer, he would have pushed that thing until he’d been electrocuted, but instead he gives up really easily. Maybe he really does think he’s going to die.
Things that have new meaning:
• When Cindy says they’re there to watch, she utters one of the most talked-about lines to this day on the show. What does she mean? Is this yet another psychological experiment where some of the kidnapped watch other kidnapped and see how long it takes for them to break down? Are they sitting in the tribunal and watching Juliet? Why doesn’t she offer any more explanation? Of course, this scene is just one more moment of confusion that’s not explained, and hasn’t been to this day. Here’s hoping it is before the end of the series.