Season 3 Episode 7

Not in Portland

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 07, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,549 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

While Jack is in command as the fate of Ben's life rests in his hands, Kate and Sawyer help Alex in return for a boat, and Juliet makes a shocking decision that could endanger her standing with her people.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Season 3 back on track

    Maybe it was all the rummaging, hiding in the undergrowth, liberal use of guns, a handhewn boat and suddenly this starts to feel like Lost again.

    The barbarims of the Others is quite something. Danny appears to be an unconstructed thug, brutal and trigger happy. The ongoing treatment of Jack, his cruel captivity seems increasingly senseless. Surely they might simply approach him and as him to help Ben rather than devising elaborate mindgames.

    Finally Kate and Sawyer break free. They are *ahem* fully bonded now as a couple and it will be interesting to see if this intimacy persists once they return to their island. Btw 'hurrah!' for the boat rescue scene.

    Increasing sympathy and understanding for Juliet and her seeming pathological attraction to controlling males. Sinister revelation about D Initiative and its menacing and mercenary attitude.

    Let's hope that Jack does find a way off the island. It's been a stressful few days for him, he is due a break. And I for one would be relieved to have subsequent episodes based back on the main island. Ben makes an evil, awesome villain. How perfectly melodramatic of him to pop back into consciousness, sufficient to continue his machevellian machinattions, whilst anaethetised and with a punctured kidney. Though possibly a jump the shark moment?moreless
  • Gimmicky bus accident

    You know in eighties movies where the cat would jump out to scare you? The first time you saw it you said, boy they really got me there. The second time you saw it you said, got me again! The third time you saw it you said, geeze these writers need to learn some originality. In this episode a woman's ex-husband is standing on the street and a bus comes by and hits him. It's supposed to be a big shocking thing. Unfortunately, too many TV shows and movies have been using this same gimmicky scene and it is old and stale by now. Let me tell you what is stupid about this:

    1) Bus drivers have eyes. They are looking forward out the big window in front of them. They are not likely to hit people.

    2) A bus is a huge loud vehicle. It doesn't sneak up on you like a lion sneaking up on a gazelle. You can see it out of your peripheral vision and the thing roars like a beast. Yet in this scene there is no sound, and suddenly whamo.

    3) What is it with people stepping onto the street so they can stop and have a conversation? Like, for goodness sakes, if you want to have a chat stay on the sidewalk! Like I said, it's really stupid. Overall, this show held no interest for me.moreless
  • Awesome.

    The teenage "Other" Alex supplies Kate and Sawyer with a canoe to return to their island, but first she convinces them to help her rescue her boyfriend Karl from a room where he is being brainwashed by being forced to watch a video. Juliet kills Pickett, who is in pursuit of Kate and Sawyer. Jack finishes Ben's surgery. Flashbacks reveal that over three years prior to the crash, Juliet is a fertility doctor, and is able to make her sister fertile. Juliet is interviewed by Mittelos Bioscience. We learn about Juliet - she is cool, it's good to know more about her character. I love the scene with Jack, Juliet and Tom - awesome. I love the way Alex saves Sawyer and Kate. I love the fact that they have to then save Alex's boyfriend. I love the Jack scenes! I love the way Juliet shoots Danny. I love the scene where Kate is telling Jack his story, amazing ending!moreless
  • not in portland

    Wow, Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Zeljko Ivanek of Damages all in one episode? Now those are some high quality guest stars.

    This episode was pretty interesting, it gave us the backstory on Juliet, and what her problems are. I was not a fan of this character, and I really don't like Elizabeth Mitchell on V either, but the writers thought things needed to be shaken up and they gave this a shot so you can't fault them for that.

    Lost lost its direction a bit in Season 3 (no pun intended) and while every episode was still good, you can't argue this was not the same Lost as the one in Season 1.moreless
  • First look at one of the Others reveals -- a bit

    Up until the Other we've had the closest examination of is Juliet. Simultaneously cold-blooded and warm and supportive, we've been wondering about her ever since we saw the brief flashback at the beginning of 'Tale of Two Cities'. Now she becomes the first to get a flashback of her own, and the differences are so extreme, it's more than a little jarring.

    Juliet Burke was a fertility expert who worked in Miami (based on the timing of Kate' last flashback, she might even have been there the same time Kate was married to Kevin) She worked for a cruel and sadistic man--- her ex-husband, Edmund Burke. (We've got a John Locke, a Rousseau, and a Hume on this show, now we have Burke; at least one writer knows his eighteenth century philosophy) Edmund was a cruel and vicious man, and the only release that Juliet had was with her sister, Rachel, who Juliet was trying to impregnate even as she suffered from some form of cancer. But somehow her work attracted the attention of Mittelos Bioscience, a research company settled in Portland, led by the mysterious Mr. Alpert, and our old nemesis Ethan. It's not clear yet why they wanted Juliet so urgently, but it may have something to do with the fertility of the Others, and they seem willing to do anything. Edmund Burke seems to be an obstacle, so they seem to arrange to have him hit by a bus freeing her from her prison, and sending her to another.

    Now, on the island (this episode begins seconds after Jack has committed his attacked Ben) Juliet seems to try and take charge. Instead, however, the other master controller in her live, Ben, emerges from unconsciousness and demands to talk to Juliet. (Really need to do some work with the anesthesia, guys) and a few minutes later Juliet is willing to help free Sawyer and Kate.

    Sawyer and Kate have not been idle. They've run to the beach, hotly pursued by a royally pissed off Danny Pickett. They would seem to be doomed, but once again they are save by Alex, who rescues them, and hides them in one of her hiding places in the jungle. (Like mother, like daughter) She then offers to get them off the island, if they can rescue Karl, who is being held prisoner in Room 23. When they find him, Karl seems to be caught in the middle of a scene out of Clockwork Orange. Harsh discordant music is being played, bright images are flashed before his eyes with messages that seem to have no relation to them.. It's like something out of 24, if CTU was run by deranged hippies. We're not sure what Karl is being tortured for but he's around sixteen, Alex is around sixteen.... no, you actually don't have a dirty mind when you're thinking about this. Strange, though one of the bizarre subliminal message we see flashed is 'Plant a good seed and you will joyfully gather good fruit,' would seem to be a message suggesting that they want him to have sex. Also, another fact, by far Karl and Alex are the youngest Others around (Some might say that they wouldn't involve children in this, but that doesn't seem particularly viable with this bunch of people) And there's the fact that same seemed extremely interesting in having a top-notch fertility doctor working for them. Could the Others be incapable of having children? Is that why they expressed so much interest in Claire's baby and Walt?' You'd think therefore, they'd be interested in procreation.

    Unless of course, the child is one of their own. For one of the major revelations occurs when we learn that Alex is referred to as Ben's daughter. We now know that this is because Ben has raised her as his daughter, not for any biological reasons. But if he does care for her, torturing her boyfriend the way that he does really is overprotective parenting. Ben never does anything without a reason, though; we'll learn what that reason is soon enough.

    In the end Sawyer and Kate do manage to escape with Karl, albeit with Juliet's help. But there is a cost. Danny refuses to believe that Ben wants them to go free, and ignores her instructions. (Begs the question, why not simply have Tom radio them and tell them that Ben gave the order? However, given the general level of rage that Danny is at for most of the episode, I'm not sure even an order from Ben would stop him.) Again, the question is raised: where in the pecking order is Juliet? It's possible that Tom and Danny have been hear longer, and therefore can give her orders. But again, we don't get a clear answer for this either, and it's ultimately irrelevant, because Juliet kills Danny. Again, you know there will be repercussions for this as well. Jack also gives a warning to Kate never to come back for him. Given how frequently, Kate has ignored Jack before, it's a safe bet she's not going to be giving him much leeway with this either.

    Despite all of this Jack keeps his word, and manages to remove Ben's tumor (in what maybe the quickest spinal surgery on record , given the way things work out. Maybe it's the island.) He then asks Juliet what Ben promised her. She's says that she's been on the island three years, two months and twenty six days (Dr. Alpert told her she'd only be there six months) and that Ben promised her that she could finally go home. But as Juliet will learn almost as well as the survivors of Oceanic 815, leaving the island is a lot harder than you'd think. Despite everything she does in this episode, we end up feeling sympathy for Juliet. Part of that is due to exceptional work of Elizabeth Mitchell, who in just a few episodes has revealed she's nearly as brilliant as Terry O'Quinn and Evangeline Lilly, the heavyweights of this show. But it's also due to the writing. Juliet seems so solid and ice cold in this episode, it's hard to believe what a mess she was under the thumb of her ex-husband (another memorable villain portray by Zeljko Ivanek) It is not until all of the blood shed has passed that we realize that, unlike most of the Others, her icy facade is more of a mask than anything else. Right now, the Others still think she's one of them, but we will realize soon that mask hides more than even they know.

    My score: 9moreless
Kimberly Estrada

Kimberly Estrada


Guest Star

Zeljko Ivanek

Zeljko Ivanek

Edmund Burke

Guest Star

Rob McElhenney

Rob McElhenney


Guest Star

William Mapother

William Mapother

Ethan Rom

Recurring Role

M.C. Gainey

M.C. Gainey

Tom Friendly

Recurring Role

Blake Bashoff

Blake Bashoff


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (25)

    • This is the third episode this season to feature flashbacks that take place in Florida. The other two episodes were Further Instructions and I Do, which centered on Locke and Kate, respectively.

    • Juliet works in "Research Lab A-4". Four is one of the Numbers.

    • Goof: In Juliet's flashback, which takes place several years before 2006, she carries a handbag from the 2006 J. Crew collection.

    • Goof: The bus that runs over Juliet's ex-husband in Miami has the color scheme and unique rainbow decals found only on The Bus, the public bus system in Honolulu where the show is filmed.

    • Island events in this episode take place on December 3rd 2004.

    • The bus that hits Edmund has an ad for Apollo candy bars.

    • Juliet says she has been on the island for 3 years, 2 months, and 28 days, which would make her arrival time September 5th, 2001. This date is within a few months of Desmond's arrival.

    • The medicine Juliet tests on her sister is labeled TEST SAMPLE A4993-E3.

    • Jack speaks with Juliet after successful completion of the surgery. He tells her that he removed all the tumor. He then proceeds to tell her that she might want "a biopsy of the tumor to see if it's malignant."

      Tumors are usually biopsied first (a small piece of the tumor is sampled) to determine the nature of the tumor, malignant, benign or indeterminate. When the nature of the tumor is clear, then the appropriate treatment is planned, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or other modalities.

    • When Jack is operating on Ben in the prone position, the open incision reveals vertebral bodies (appears like a straight smooth column of sections), this is apparent throughout the procedure. In that position, the vertebral spinous processes (the pokey, boney protrusions) to which the muscles of the back attach should be evident instead.

      The human spine has 2 parts, the smooth bodies which stack up on each other to form the foundation of the spinal column and the bony arch of each vertebra which actually houses the spinal cord and provides attachments for the muscles of the back.

    • When Juliet is in her sister's apartment and opens the window to reveal that they are in Miami, a plane flies past. It is an Oceanic plane.

    • During Ben's surgery, when his heartbeat was back to normal, you can clearly see that the monitor says "108," once again the sum of The Numbers.

    • When Juliet is giving her sister an injection the plunge is at 4. Another small but deliberate placement of one of the numbers.

    • When we see Juliet's sister, Rachel, looking at her positive pregnancy test, and we can see that it is the same kind of test that Kate used in the flashback of the previous episode, "I Do." In fact, these pregnancy tests are manufactured by the Widmore Corporation just like the one Sun used in the episode "The Whole Truth."

    • When Juliet is in her sister's room, there is a book sitting on the night stand. When looking closely, one can see that this book is Carrie by Stephen King - the same book Juliet's book club was reading in the season three premiere.

    • The company which interviews Juliet is called Mittelos Bioscience. Mittelos is an anagram for "lost time".

    • The book the guard was reading was Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" which is about Big Bang, black holes, light cones and superstring theories to the nonspecialist reader. Its main goal is to give an overview of the subject but, unusually for a popular science book, it also attempts to explain some complex mathematics.

    • In the hospital room where Juliet first visits her sister, there is a lamp shaped like the DHARMA octagon logo and the design on the lamp is a yin yang symbol similar to the Hanso Foundation logo.

    • During Juliet's interview with Mittelos Bioscience, even though Dr. Alpert is using a digital projector, you can hear a 'clicking' noise when he changes slides as if he were using a slide projector.

    • If the audio of the brainwashing scene is played backwards, you can hear a woman repeating: "Only fools are enslaved by time and space."

    • During the brainwashing scene, we see two familiar images on the screen. They are pictures of Alvar Hanso behind a large office window and scientist Gerald DeGroot.

    • During the brainwashing scene, we see the words "God loves you as he loved Jacob". This could be another Biblical reference, but more likely refers to the mysterious Jacob that we have yet to meet. In addition, words such as: "Plant a good seed and you will joyfully gather fruit", "Everything Changes", "We are the causes of our own suffering", and "Think about your life" are seen on the screen.

    • In this episode we learn that Elizabeth Mitchell's character, Juliet, is named Juliet Burke.

    • The room Karl is being brainwashed in is room 23, one of The Numbers.

    • The Miami Central University's Medical Research Laboratory seen in the episode is actually the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

  • QUOTES (30)

    • Rachel: Jules, you didn't say no because of me.
      Juliet: Well, why would I want to go all the way to Portland for research that doesn't even work?
      Rachel: Because it does work. I'm pregnant. I'm preg - I'm pregnant.
      Juliet: What?
      Rachel: Look, look. I took a blood test, too. I didn't want to tell you until I was sure.
      Juliet: It worked?
      Rachel: Yeah.
      Rachel: My whole life all I ever wanted was to have a baby. And now because of you I can. Oh, God. Now I just need to get healthy. Now I just need to get healthy so I can see the little bugger get into an Ivy League school, you know.
      Juliet: You will. Of course you will. You will.
      Rachel: Now you can tell that bastard ex-husband of yours what he can do with his ethics.

    • Jack: You okay?
      Tom: Yeah, I just don't like blood too much.
      Jack: (holding a chunk of Ben's tissue in the air) Well, then you probably won't want to be looking at that.

    • Juliet: Shephard won't finish the surgery unless he knows his friends are off the island. Do you want Ben to die?
      Pickett: I know Ben would rather die than let them go!

    • Kate: (looking at the other island) That's our island?
      Sawyer: What, you didn't believe me when I told you before?

    • Sawyer: Happen to have a tunnel to the mainland?
      Alex: No, but I've got a boat.
      Kate: Can we use it?
      Alex: Yeah, but we've got to hurry.
      Sawyer: Hold on a second, sister. You just happen to find us in the woods? You just happen to have a boat, and you're going to let us use it, huh?

    • Juliet: I would like you to go back in there, put Ben under, and finish the surgery.
      Jack: And why would I want to do that?
      Juliet: Because I'm going to go help your friends escape.

    • Sawyer: (to Alex) Okay, Lollipop, you want to tell me how we're going to get by him with one gun and no bullets?
      Kate: I've got an idea.
      Sawyer: Of course you do.

    • Jack: So what now? I just go back to my cell?
      Juliet: Until they figure out what to do with you.

    • Jack: What did he say that made you want to save his life?
      Juliet: It doesn't really matter what he said.
      Jack: It matters to me. After everything that I have been put through, you owe me an answer. I want to know what he said.

    • Juliet: I've been on this island for 3 years, Jack. 3 years, 2 months, and 28 days. He said that if I let him live and I helped you.. that he would finally let me go home.

    • Jack: So you're safe, you and Sawyer?
      Kate: Yes, yeah.
      Jack: Tell me.
      Kate: Tell you?
      Jack: The first day on the beach- the day of the crash, the story that I told you. If you're safe, tell me.
      Tom: You think this is the best time, doctor?
      Jack: Shut up!!!
      Kate: (very emotional) You were doing surgery on a girl and you messed up. You made a mistake. You tore something on her back and all the nerves came loose. And you said you were so afraid. And you said the fear was so real. And you didn't know what to do, so you counted to five. And then you weren't afraid anymore. And then it was just gone. And you fixed her. You saved her.

    • Jack: I need you to make me a promise, Kate.
      Kate: Jack?
      Jack: Promise me that you'll never come back here for me. Don't come back, Kate.
      Kate: Jack, where are you?
      Jack: (to Tom) Turn it off.
      Kate: Jack! Jack, please, where are you?

    • Sawyer: (to Alex) So, you're the bosses daughter, huh? I never saw that coming.

    • Tom: Is it true? Did Juliet really ask you to kill him?
      Jack: Yeah, and in about 40 minutes she's going to get her wish.

    • Kate: We need a boat.
      Sawyer: (Sarcastically) Yeah, and some towels and a buffet lunch.

    • Juliet: Why don't we see if we can come up with some kind of peaceful resolution?
      Jack: A peaceful resolution?
      Juliet: That's right.
      Jack: Is that what you call asking me to kill Ben while he's on the operating table? Make it look like an accident?

    • Tom: Juliet, stop the bleeding and stitch him up.
      Jack: She's not a surgeon. She can't fix this!
      Juliet: He's right.

    • Ed: Because you're insufferable and you're mean. Well, uh, you asked me for the truth, Mom.

    • Ben: I'd like to speak to Juliet alone please, Jack.
      Jack: No. No, I'm sorry.
      Ben: Please, I'm asking you. One gentlemen to another. It won't hurt you to give me three minutes, will it, knowing I have only twenty-seven left?

    • Ed: I read your notes. I know what you took from the lab. The only thing I don't know is: who's your guinea pig?
      Juliet: Ed, I've...ugh...I've been doing my research in my own lab on my own time and I don't really see how -
      Ed: It's your sister, isn't it? Jules, there's two ways this plays out - One, your research is potentially genius and the other raises some very serious ethical questions. Maybe even criminal concerns. But, if you collaborate with me, based on my reputation, all this is viewed as cutting edge science. And, we will win prizes and drink champagne and do a lot of good for people. Why don't I give you some time to think about it?

    • Rachel: I fell asleep?
      Juliet: With candles burning; it's real safe.

    • Sawyer: (sarcastically) Why don't we just stop and ask for directions?
      Kate: (Kate switches on the radio) Jack, are you there?
      Jack: Yeah. Yeah, I'm here.
      Kate: Are you okay?
      Jack: I'm fine.
      Sawyer: (to Kate) Tell him I said hi...get to the point!

    • Juliet: You haven't thought this through, Jack. Your plan's not gonna work.
      Jack: Yeah? Why's that?
      Juliet: Your friends aren't going to make it back to your side of the island, because we're not on that island!

    • Sawyer: (Climbing out of the hole) Is that a hobby of yours, Underdog? Digging holes?
      Alex: Yep. That and basket weaving. Want one?

    • Sawyer: Don't get mad at me, just 'cause you were dumb enough to fall for the old Wookiee prisoner gag.

    • Juliet: Can my sister come?
      Dr. Alpert: It won't work, we're pretty remote, she wouldn't have the access to the treatment she needs.
      Juliet: But it's in Portland, there's plenty of clinics in Portland.
      Dr. Alpert: Well, actually we're not quite in Portland.

    • (About Juliet's ex not letting her leave)
      Dr. Alpert: Maybe we could reach out to him on your behalf.
      Juliet: Don't bother.
      Dr. Alpert: There must be something he would respond to -
      Juliet: If he were hit by a bus, how 'bout that? That would work. (starts crying) That was totally inappropriate. No, I, uh, I'm sorry that I wasted your time.
      Dr. Alpert: Dr. Burke, please you -
      Juliet: Whatever you think I am, I'm not. I'm not a leader, Mr. Alpert, I'm a mess.

    • Juliet: Don't let [Jack] fool you. He'll never let a patient just die.

    • Sawyer: Damn good con, Freckles. I almost believed you were gonna shoot that boy.
      Kate: It wasn't a con.

    • Jack: No, you do that and Ben dies.
      Juliet: (to Other doctor) Go.
      Jack: You think I'm lying, you think this is a bluff? I will let him die!
      Juliet: No, Jack. You won't! (to Other doctor) Go, get them back; if you have to, kill them.

  • NOTES (8)

    • First appearance by Nestor Carbonell.

    • This is the first episode to have an Other - centric flashback.

    • Although they were credited, Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Terry O'Quinn (Locke), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Kiele Sanchez (Nikki), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo), and Yunjin Kim (Sun) don't appear in this episode.

    • International Air Dates:
      Denmark: January 17, 2007 on Kanal 5
      Australia: April 12, 2007 on Seven
      Finland: September 27, 2007 on Nelonen
      The Netherlands: April 13, 2007 on Net 5
      The Czech Republic: October 14, 2007 on TV Nova
      Spain: Monday October 1, 2007 on FOX TV Spain
      Macedonia: Thursday November 1, 2007 on A1
      Germany: Monday December 3, 2007 on Pro7

    • This was the first episode of Lost to be aired at 10 p.m. Eastern

    • In this episode, we learn that Juliet's last name is Burke...which makes two doctors on Lost (Juliet and Jack) with last names that are the same as doctors on the show "Grey's Anatomy"

    • The episode title "Not in Portland" refers to a set of lines in the episode. Initially, Dr. Alpert tells Juliet that the research position will be in their Portland facility. Later, he states, "Well, actually, we're not quite in Portland."

    • A Juliet-Centric episode


    • A Clockwork Orange (1971)

      The room where Kate, Sawyer and Alex find Alex's boyfriend, is a near reenactment from the movie A Clockwork Orange where the anti-hero Alex de Large played by Malcolm McDowell is 'treated' in a psychiatric facility to abandon his unlawful ways. In the movie, Alex de Large is made to watch propaganda films and fed drugs all day.

    • When climbing out of the hole Sawyer calls Alex "Underdog". This is a reference to the cartoon from the mid-sixties/early seventies The Underdog Show. Underdog, a super-canine who talked in rhyme, was the alter-identity of Shoeshine Boy. He was usually called into action by his girlfriend, ace TV reporter Sweet Polly Purebred.

    • When putting Karl on the raft, Sawyer calls him "Cheech," a reference to his tripped out state. Cheech Marin was a part of the permanently stoned duo, Cheech and Chong. (Cheech also plays Hurley's father in the episode "Tricia Tanaka is Dead".)

    • When Sawyer and Kate are saved by Alex, Sawyer calls her "Sheena", a reference to the 1950's Quality Comics character Sheena, Queen of the Jungle created by Will Eisner.

    • Movie Reference: Star Wars

      The "Wookiee prisoner gag" that Sawyer, Kate, and Alex use to fool Aldo at the Dharma facility where Carl is being held is the same trick Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca use to enter the Death Star's prison during Episode IV: A New Hope .
      Karl is kept in room 23, Similarly Han, Luke and Chewbacca rescue Princess Leia from Cell Block AA23

    • This episode adds another reference to an Enlightenment philosopher, joining John Locke and Rousseau. In the flashback Juliet's ex-husband is named Edmund Burke, whose namesake is the famed philosopher considered one of the founders of modern conservatism, most famous for the quote, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."