Wow, that episode was very good. I really enjoyed it. In fact, I think that this is in the league of Flashes Before Your Eyes and The Man From Tallahassee when it comes to quality this season. The thing is, this episode performed on both levels, a great flashback paired with some good on-island stuff
It's kind of odd to think that Juliet, the Other that we've seen quite possibly the most of this season, may become a mainstream character to LOST. I mean, she is so manipulative and let's face it, who could trust her? With her whole deceptiveness playing a role in who she is, I wouldn't be surprised if Sawyer or Sayid just got tired of her threats and such and just offed her. But that isn't the point. The point is, LOST has finally given us the story of Juliet and the Others that we've been waiting for after being teased with the flashback in Not in Portland. The flashback is really the meat of the story this episode. Here, we find out how Juliet got onto the island (well, not entirely), we learned of a problem that is facing the Others, and we learn of Juliet's true intentions now that she is back with the survivors. Plus, on top of that, we learn why Juliet is still on the island and why she hasn't left.
Now, on the island, another problem is faced. Claire, as if out of nowhere, is faced with a serious illness that not even Jack knows how to cure. As Jack and the gang return from Otherville, Juliet is able to figure out what's wrong with Claire. And you know what? It is simply a great twist that may contribute to this game-changer that should be occurring sometime soon (and has already begun). Of course, this leads to Juliet revealing that Claire's sickness is related to the tests Ethan gave to her that kept her from dying before she gave birth. See, the problem is that no one on the island has been able to survive giving birth at all. With Juliet being able to impregnate her sister using her own little shot, the company of the Others finds use for her. Using Juliet's formula and such, they finally have a successful subject, Claire, that survives child birth. This, topped with the fact that no one has ever had cancer on the island is the top of the chain of what we learn during this episode. It explains why Rose is still alive, and what exactly happened to Claire.
Then, it gives us questions when they reveal that Juliet is acting like Michael did, with a mission from Ben to infiltrate the survivors to do something. That, unfortunately, isn't quite answered. Instead, we're gonna have to figure that one out on our own.
So, to recap, this was one of LOST's strongest episodes this season. I did deduct some points due to the fact that the flashback was extremely revealing and entertaining while the island story wasn't quite as good. All in all, I loved the episode and what it will bring in the next coming weeks with the season already barreling to the climax and that game-changer that, I'm sure, this episode was a part of.