Stranger in a Strange Land

Episode Reviews (154)

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1,679 votes
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  • 9.0

    I liked it!

    By VGFreak8, Mar 22, 2011

    Jack has flashbacks of how he got the tattoo. He meets a woman with a gift of seeing who people really are and marking them. She marks him against her will and locals beat him up and tell him to leave.



    Jack is moved to Sawyer's cage. Juliet has killed one of the Others, so she is on trial. Sawyer, Kate and Karl get to the other island. Jack saves Juliet's life by making a deal with Ben. He has an infection, so Jack agrees to take care of him. Sawyer talks to Karl about Alex.



    This episode was great! The flashbacks didn't make too much sense to me though. This episode gets a 9.0 out of 10!moreless

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  • 9.1

    There is alot to take in at this point as this episode is split, we have 3 of them leaving the island, Jack having flashbacks to his time in Phucket and Juliet having to face a court of the others, for her actions taken in the last couple of episodes.

    By captainbritain, Mar 22, 2011

    The 3 in the boat are half way across when Kate says that they have to go back for Jack, Sawyer disagrees saying it was Jack's wishes for them to leave him, Karl in a semi-daze tells them that if they go back they will kill them both, then mutters "God loved you as he loved Jacob" and passes out.



    Tom goes into the room Jack is being kept in and tells him they are going to move him, Jack says is that your way of saying you are going to kill me, Tom asks him what kind of people does Jack think they are, so he rattles off a list of crimes only to get told, would you like some stones for your glasshouse and is moved to the bear cages outside, possibly the one Sawyer was in.



    He settles down and shortly after Tom brings him a sandwich, Jack says he likes it the way Juliet does it, lightly grilled and with sticks in them, he asks after the other woman, the figurative sheriff, but when he is asked about himself helping out Kate and Sawyer he remains still and ends the conversation.



    Kate believes that they should be heading around the shore, not into land, Sawyer argues saying they have no food, water or a map to navigate around the island and that they can go and camp on the island for the night. They get onto land and whilst it is still light Sawyer offers mardy Kate some fruit, who refuses and Karl tells them they should not fight as they are lucky to be alive and to be together. They talk to Karl about things, like projects, back yards and names of made up constellations.



    Juliet is escorted to Jacks cage and asked if he'll help with Ben, as he has got an infection around his stitches. Jack refuses to help Juliet of Ben. Later Isabelle, the sheriff, approaches Jack talking chinese and asking if he knows what it means as it can be hard to translate, he says he does. He is taken to a room in the hydra where he is asked to explain questions regarding claims that Juliet asked him to kill Ben, he remains very silent and lies and says that he made it up to cause disdain amongst the ranks.



    From Jack's flashbacks we learn that he spent about 6 weeks in Phuket, most of which is spent with a tattoo-artist / personality seer, but he makes her see into him and then tattoo it to his body, but she doesn't want to as he is an outsider, not allowed, but he insists, the following morning he is beaten by her brother and friends and told to leave the beach and country.



    The following day Jack is like and feels like an exhibit, as the ones taken by the others are outside the bear cages, Cindy the stewardess is there, but the qustions are making Jack angry and he shouts at them to leave which they do. Alex comes to see him, breaks the cctv camera and lets him out in order to go and see her father, to get Juliet's execution stopped, which they do after he has promised to see that Ben is looked after properly.moreless

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  • 7.0

    Actually, this episode is underrated. Some of the script was dodgy, but the story was pretty good.

    By PabloExobar, Mar 22, 2011

    First. TV.com scores are really tricky. By TV.com's rating system this episode should be around 4-5. Between "poor" and "average". But... it's at 7.9. However, 7.9 is awfully low compared to other episodes, even though 7.9 is "Good", almost "Great."



    my point is that TV.com ratings are flawed. I think this episode is underrated becuase in reality this 7.9 score is probably a 5. Anyway, the reason this is underrated is because some people just automatically start hating an episode if it's Jack centric. Yes, it was not nearly the best Jack episode, but there were a couple of very decent scenes.



    I'd say the flashbacks had all the weak parts. It felt a bit forced, Achara's character was way too artificial, it was simply bad writing. Her lines were all like "I'm mysterious" "I have a secret" "I cant tell you anything, you're not supposed to know!" Not cool. Because of this, the conclusion of the flashback might be very confusing for the majority. The island plot on the other hand was between Good and Above Average. At only one point I thought it was weak-ish, and that was Kate and Sawyer letting Karl go. That was cheap!



    The previous episode's theme was "LOVE". Now, Sawyer letting Karl go just so he can reunite with his love, if we follow the concept of the previous episode is ok. BUT NO, it is not! Sawyer letting Karl go would've been fine if he actually answered some of the most obvious questions. Heck, Sawyer, the guy who hates being not answered to was happy to let Karl go without him even telling him WHO the hell the others are.



    Apart from this, it was a good episode. Finding out a bit about the others' community(that they have a law system) and developing the relationship of Jack and Juliet were great elements.



    Overall, perhaps, the weakest effort of season 3, but that's saying alot: It was still good!moreless

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  • 4.0

    Every Season of Lost so far I have seen has had at least one real dud and this is one for Season 3. And the timing couldn't have been worse!!!!

    By martync7, Mar 22, 2011

    As if things for Lost wern't bad enough with rapidly declining viewing figures and disparaging fan comments, the writers turn in this added salt to the wound. I'm not sure if it is the worst of the series to date but it is pretty close. Up to now I have always enjoyed Jack flashback episodes and could never agree with fans negative remarks about them. How could you not love episodes like All the Best Cowboys... and Do No Harm from Season 1 or Man of Science, Man of Faith from Season 2. Most fans criticisms are targeted at the flashbacks themselves rather than the island action. I personally enjoy the Jack flashbacks - they are always copelling, emotional and full to the brim with tension and they never harm the momentum of the island action, which Kate flashbacks or Jin and Sun flashbacks tend to do.

    Post-Man of Science, Man of Faith, however, I would agree that his episodes haven't had the same punch as is expected. The Hunting Party fell a little flat come the end, A Tale of Two Cities offered some exciting moments but the scope was limited to a few characters and locations and did harm the dynamic of The Others somewhat. And that brings us to this one which hurts the dynamic of the show. Some people complained about the lack of answers again but that is not something I grumble at. I let the writers tell the story the way they want and hope that they tie up everything come the end. I don't try to hasten all this to happen overnight. Others complained about the flashback itself, which I would agree is the weakest flashback yet. The island action is not that much better, however, as not much happens to carry the episode along. There have been few episodes where my attention has been averted to something else whilst watching. Boring is a harsh word to use but it is the best way to describe what happens. So the writers try to answer some more questions but none of those answers are important enough to really move the plotline along. But as I have said before, I don't mind that too much. After all people should not complain, as the last three episodes have all given us answers, even if they're not the answers we were looking for.

    The thing that is sorely missing from this episode and indeed much of the 3rd season so far is the sense of the adventure that we had in past seasons. As soon as the season began the narrative and visual landscape changed. The Others' true colors had been revealed which harmed the mystery and creepiness of the show and focus on the Hydra station limited the freedom to move the characters from point A to B with an adventure. The show needs to get back the Missions, the treks that was key to teh show's success in the earlier days.

    Seeing characters communicating is good for the character drama, if it is really gripping and compelling but you can have too much of it and this season has seen too much of it so far.

    This is my only complaint but Season 2 started off a little slow too only for it to fire on all cylinders in the second half. I can only imagine that that will be the case with this season and as the ratings improved considerably from here on in that is sure to be the case.

    This would be Lost's lowest point before the revival. From this point on Lost would regroup, reinvent and restore itself to its former glories. But as more fans drifted by the wayside it could have been too late to prove it to the masses!moreless

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  • 5.6

    Just an Update!!!

    By Dante_Edy, Mar 22, 2011

    Logic/Details - » Not only this episode appeared in bad time, is a little above average. Again, a episode centered in Jack and make all the sense, he is the only one that still a captive for the others. This also have consequences for Juliet as well, since she was willing to kill Ben in the process. After all, this episode is about filling you with details and time management.



    Progress -» If you have time management, then only one thing that happened and what is relevant, the rest is just to fill the 40 minutes.



    Emotions/Stimulation/Highlights -» Nothing relevant, most of the Jack Flashbacks are boring and feel forced. There are one or two scenes that you want to see, because you may wanna know Jack and Juliet fate.



    Ending - » Nothing to report.



    Overall - » The weaker episode of this season and one of the worst episodes ever made in Lost, but still have one or two scenes that you may want to see. Overall, this episode is just a small update.moreless

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  • 9.5

    Underrated episode.

    By Hexsins, Mar 22, 2011

    People really seem to have a problem with this episode, but I think it's an example of trying to read too much into things that are unimportant or explained later on indirectly (we'll see).



    I enjoy Jack episodes, so I suppose I'm biased, but it was nice to see that he was eventually able to move on from his divorce and find himself in Thailand. The cultural parallels between his marking and Juliet's branding were a nice touch -- both are outsiders for their leadership abilities.



    I'll respond briefly to two problems another reviewer had: 1) It's clear that Ben knew Juliet was going to be executed and that he was going to let the law unfold as written. The only reason he commutes her sentence is because Jack makes a deal with him and, we suspect, he's looking for an excuse to let her off since he has feelings for her.



    2) Jack yells at the crowd of people, some or all of them kidnapped survivors, because they're staring at him like he's a sideshow freak. Obviously they've been turned somehow, and if the writers don't decide to tell us how it happened, it was probably unimportant. I suspect as we learn more about the Others' culture we will understand how they turn people. No biggie there.moreless

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  • 10

    A Jack-centric episode.

    By Writer2000, Mar 22, 2011

    All things considered, I thought that this was a really great episode. I would definitely have to say that I think that this is both the best Jack-centric episode of Lost that they've had so far, and it's definitely also my favorite of all the Jack-centric episodes that the show has ever had at this point in time. I really like how this Jack-centric episode didn't really focus on Jack's relationship with his father since I was getting tired of all the episodes of Lost that dealt with Jack's issues regarding his father. In addition to Jack's story line, I also loved the Kate and Sawyer story line in this episode. In closing, I thought that this was an amazing episode of Lost in every possible way, from the script for the episode to all of the actor's performances, and I can't wait to watch the rest of my Lost: Season Three DVD set.moreless

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  • 9.0

    Awesome.

    By Sarah_LOST, Mar 22, 2011

    Juliet is put on trial for killing Pickett. With Jack and Ben's help, Juliet does not receive the death penalty. The Others and Jack begin their journey to the Others' homes, which are located on a different island. Flashbacks show Jack getting his tattoos during a strange vacation in Thailand. I love Kate and Sawyer - they have a awesome bond together, you can't help but enjoy watching them together. I love Jacks scenes he is awesome and is my second favourite character on this show. His back story is really good too - plus he is so hot. I also love Tom, he is pretty cool. The scense with Juliet and Jack are great in this episode too. I love the way Jack is getting questioned in this episode - awesome storyline. The scene between Sawyer and Carl is great too where they're talking about women! Great episode.moreless

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  • 5.5

    Talk about being out of place

    By DavidB226Morris, Mar 22, 2011

    From the high point of the season to what is arguably it's lowest point, I had a somewhat higher opinion of this episode when I first saw (and even then I didn't think much of it/) Stranger in a Strange Land' has some interesting parts to it, but considering that the writers would never follow up on them, they make this episode somewhat frustrating.

    The episode immediately follows the actions of 'Mot in Portland' with Jack finally being removed from the Hydra part of the to the cages where they kept Kate and Sawyer. They then follow up by moving Juliet to his old cage, but unlike the previous episodes, they make sure that he sees it .Is it possible that what follows is an exercise done to demonstrate that they are going through with something. Immediately afterwards, we meet a woman named Isabel-, who Tom classifies as the sheriff, and is clearly in charge of carrying out some kind of law involving Juliet's murder of Danny. But immediately before that, Juliet comes out with pictures showing that Ben's wounds have become infected, and that he needs further medical attention. After Jack refuses, Juliet is led away, and not long after the 'investigation' begins. Isabel asks Jack (with Juliet in the room) about Jack's accusation that Juliet wanted to see Ben dead. Jack lies to protect her, and somehow Isabel knows this However, before going any further with this, Jack demands to be taken back to his cage.



    The next day, Jack learns through Alex (who deliberately knocks out the camera) that Juliet is about to be executed for her murder. Jack asks her several questions, all of which she answers honestly. She then asks Jack the million-dollar question: Why did Jack save Ben? The only answer that Jack gives is that he took an path, and as we have seen Jack's actions on and off the island, we know he believes very seriously in the Hippocratic Oath. That probably motivated his actions more than anything else. Afterwards, Alex lets him out of his cage, where he investigates the wound and says that it needs to be seriously watched or he Ben could never walk again. We will soon learn that this into what usually happens on the island, but Ben will be the exception to the rule. For that reason, though, Ben overrules Isabel and takes the execution that she has coming, and commutes it to a mark. Branding is a biblical punishment, so it does seem to indicate they might have killed her, would they?



    Now here's the problem. Everything else we know about the e Others indicates that Ben is the ultimate authority.. If there was going to be an execution, (and Ben did hear some of what Jack mentioned, so he might well know she was plotting against him) wouldn't he have ordered in the first place? Is it possible that the entire exercise with Isabel was staged for Jack's benefit, in order to manipulate him into saving Ben's life? The argument against it would be that Alex, who clearly disagrees with everything her father's been doing, seems so willing to help Juliet and Jack, and not her father? Why would she go along with it? And Isabel seems to operate apart from Ben? What's her real role? We don't know because after this episode, we never see her again. This would seem to indicate that the writers weren't thinking that hard on this.



    But Alex is not the only familiar face Jack sees--- we see a group of Others, and among them are Cindy, the stewardess who was in the tail section, and Zach and Emma, the two children Ana Lucia rescued. All three were taken by the Others, and now seem to have completely been assimilated. How? Especially in the case of Cindy, who has been in their custody less than a month? Is there some kind of brainwashing or drugs that they use? Does it involve what we saw in Room 23? We never find out, mainly because Jack, apparently seeing this as yet another betrayal, yells at this group to go away. And why'd he do that? Tom, Isabel, and Alex all approached his cage and asked questions, he was perfectly all right answering them, and he had less reason to be friendly.



    I've already commented on how Jack's flashbacks are generally the weakest, and this one is pretty lame as well, but it does have some benefits. For one thing, in Thailand, it is shows Jack truly happy almost for the first time. He doesn't understand the language, he doesn't know anybody, and with the presence of Achara, he seems truly free for the first time. H e seems to have gotten away from all the ghosts that have been chasing him. But, as always, Jack can not let anything go. He has to know what Achara's secret, and once he finds out, he demands that he she brand him, even though the consequences when they come are ghastly. And while I know that the actual translations of Jack's tattoos is a really minor mystery, I'd been wondering what it meant since Season 1, so I was glad that we got an answer to one question.



    The only other characters that we see of the Losties are Kate and Sawyer, who are now carrying Karl, who seems to be getting over his torture relatively fast (He does, however, mention Jacob in confusion, making it the third time we've heard this name. Who is Jacob?) Karl seems completely disconnected from what is happening, and clearly misses Alex, so even though he probably could tell them a lot about the Others Sawyer sends him away. Of course, he tells Kate that he was doing it to save himself, but you've got to admit, Sawyer must have felt something for a man whose lost his Karl. But again, we never learn who is Karl? Was he born on the island? Where are his parents? Was he an Other? Unfortunately, we're never going to get answers to these questions either.



    'Stranger in a Strange Land' is an unremarkable episode to be sure, but what makes it so weak is that it sets up a lot of really interesting possibilities that the writers never answer, not now, not ever. They did something similar during Season2 (remember that army Jack and Ana were going to raise?) but considering that so many of our questions about the Others have been revealed by now (though not close to all), it feels that the writers didn't try hard enough or make the real effort.. Which is something they don't do very often.

    My score:5.5moreless

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