Season 3 Episode 9

Stranger in a Strange Land

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 21, 2007 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (152)

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  • I liked it!

    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!
  • ok

    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 return to the Others' suburban-like homes on the main island. Flashbacks show Jack getting his tattoos during a strange vacation in Thailand. Stranger in a strange land is probably the worst episode of Lost yet can't beleave how poor this episode was, I have enjoyed every single episode of Lost so far but this one was terible nothing happened Jacks flashbacks were boring and the island stories were pointless, I can't remember anything good to say about this episde.
  • 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.

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

    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!
  • 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!!!!

    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!
  • Just an Update!!!

    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.
  • Underrated episode.

    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.
  • A Jack-centric episode.

    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.
  • Awesome.

    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.
  • Talk about being out of place

    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:5.5
  • Perhaps a good advertisement for Thailand but a second-rate episode.

    I used to believe that any Jack - centric episode like this one would be informative and exiting and any episode where Sawyer is prominent like this one would be entertaining. Not so much for either of them. On the island; Juliet is being tried for the murder of Danny Pickett and Jack uses his favour with Ben to save her from execution. Meanwhile, after escaping from the cages of the Others; Sawyer and Kate with the weary Karl make a daring journey back to their main camp. We see flashbacks to when Jack was in Phucket, Thailand and enters in a relationship with Achara (an impossibly seductive Bai Ling) who gives him a mysterious tattoo which forces him to get beat up and banished from Phucket forever. Basically nothing happens in this episode; what i've written is pretty much how it's played out only with lacklustre acting and more lagging. Isabel, the Other's "sherrif" is given her only appearence as the woman who decides on Juliet's fate, whether it's because she speaks so slowely or because her chracter is superfluous, i'm glad this was her only appearence on the series. If you're looking for an exiting or funny episode, look away as there's a fight scene or rather a scene showing Jack getting pummelled by some Asian guys but as it's filmed with the choppiest, hand - held camera imaginable the only person you want beat up is the Director and not even Sawyer can manage to attract much laughs. Aside from Bai Ling for the guys and a few scenes with Jack topless for the girls this episode is simply unwatchable.
  • Great episode which provides further valuable insight into Jack's head and heart...part of the mystery of his tattoo is explained

    Apparently, many Lost fans didn't like this episode much...granted, Lost is a plot-driven show and people like to see things happen. And things did happen in that episode, maybe not mystery-related things, but things happened: Kate and Sawyer get back to their island, even though Kate repeatedly tries to get Sawyer to turn back for Jack who explains to her that Jack is on his own now. Something that Kate has much trouble accepting. A crucial dialogue between Kate and Sawyer reveals Kate's guilt over sleeping with Sawyer and provides much insight into Kate's head and heart. Juliet's trial or rather the canceling thereof through Jack is another event that marks the episode.

    However, I believe what makes Lost so unique and worthy is that as much as it is plot-driven, it is the characters that make this show truly great. The psychological aspects are almost always mind-blowing, and without the characters the island wouldn't be much. It is the whys and the hows of those characters' behavior in the context of the island that makes this show so great; and one of, to me the most intriguing, special character is Jack.

    Often the really good ones are also the really boring ones. Not so with Jack. While he undoubtedly has a truly good and kind heart, he is a very complex man and I'm always happy to learn more about him and get into his head.
    The issues with his father obviously run very deep. He is constantly struggling to prove to his father, to the world, but above all to himself that he has what it takes, that he has the will to make it work. This constant struggle with himself, his lack of faith in himself combined with his unique commitment and sense of responsibility, and with his truly good heart lead to a troubled and complex man, or as Kate called it, "damaged goods". The fact that he always tries to move beyond anything any other person could bear, that he always wants what is good for the individual people he cares about and the group he's responsible for demonstrates immense strength. He is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of others, something that is perfectly expressed by his credo: "Live together, Die alone" (unlike Sawyer's which is "Every man for himself"). There is an altruism there paired with human fallacy that make him such a complex, intriguing and appealing character. He needs to fix things and people so much that he is often blind to the things that are whole. His commitment and his fear of not having what it takes never allow him to let go. And while that can lead to a self-destructive path, it is this very attitude that enabled him to save many people, many lives, among these Charlie's. Unlike many other men of science, Jack is anything but cold or unfeeling. Rather the very opposite: while he believes in reason he does not lack the ability to believe and has immense ability to love. He puts his faith in people and is guided by his heart, as his father said about him: "He always does what's in his heart". The fact that he doesn't deny anyone his help, not even his enemy, that his integrity is so comprehensive that he will stick out his neck, not only to ensure the safety of his friends, but that of Juliet who is in trouble, that he never abandons his principles, is stressed in this episode…and if you ask me, these points cannot be stressed enough. He's also very contradictory, or surprising. Next to his bedside manner, which from a guy like Jack we'd expect to be impeccable but really isn't, the probably most unexpected or contradictory aspects about Jack are his tattoos, and his master skill in poker. That particular skill, not only enabled him to get back the medicine for the people he's responsible for, but also provided some hilarious scenes between him and Sawyer :) In this episode the background of both those aspects is finally explained. Jack's quest for himself after his divorce lead him to Thailand, where an admittedly horribly acting Bai Ling, not only "sees" who Jack is, but because of Jack's insistence also marks her words forever on him. Those words, words that directly contradict his father's accusation that he doesn't have what it takes to make decisions, have a kind of liberating, maybe even redemptive effect upon Jack who forces his "gifted" acquaintance to brand him with them forever. Jack defies Achara's warning who is reluctant to mark him since he's not one of her people, because he never wants to forget who he is again. While the tattoo may not use the words Jack heard from Achara it carries their very meaning to him. However, only a part of his tattoo is explained through his encounter with Achara. The rest has yet to be revealed…and I can't wait for that to happen.
    Interestingly enough, Juliet is given a mark that identifies her as well, thereby providing a link between Jack and Juliet

    A truly great episode which was brilliantly written throughout, very well executed by Matthew Fox and which provided further valuable insight into Jack's psyche.
  • This was a joke. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who's not laughing. Worst episode ever!

    First of all excuse my English. It's not good. Like every tv series, Lost has it's highlights/classic episodes and week ones, with a lot of good/ok episodes in between.

    The thing is, even not so good episodes ("Whatever the Case may be and "Fire + Water" the 2 weakest until this one) had something to say. But "Stranger..." reaches another level. This episode can be resumed in 1 simple word: NOTHING.

    That's what we had for an entire hour. A boring episode, with an over exposed character (9 episodes so far, 2 of them Jack-centered). The flashback was no good either. Even Cindy's return along with the children of the tail section was ridiculous. Why Jack like, you know, didn't ask her simple straight questions instead of just yell like an retard That sums it up pretty fine. A lot of talking that added nothing to the plot. I like the mysteries, I don't want all answers at once, nothing like that. I just want something. New mysteries, character development, whatever. But here we have nothing. I'm pretty sure that, who skips this episode won't loose a thing and will keep in track with the plot just fine. In fact, I recommend that.
  • Jack's tattoo. Nothing really happens during this episode.

    This is the only LOST episode that I didn't think was superb. Usually, Jack flashbacks are the climax of a season. However, in this episode, the flashback is boring and has nothing to do with the "on-island" Jack other than his tattoo. On the island, the episode is too focused on the fate of Juliette who, at this point in the season, no one really cares about. Clearly, this was a filler episode. At the time this aired, LOST was getting a lot of flack for not answer questions and people were getting bored, frustrated, and losing interest. I feel that the last 6 episodes of Season 3 make up for this, and surrounding, episodes; making season 3 the best to date.
  • Under rated or...over hated? All lost episodes are amazing however, if you had to pick the worst one this would probably be it. Also, this episode has a great ending (instrumental montage).

    First of let me start by saying that all LOST episodes are amazing however, if you had to pick the worst one this would probably be it. Many fans did not like this episode because they were tired of Jack episodes (although the next Jack episode is THE best in the shows history so far) and it had some painful to watch moments. Although it did have some good ones too! I loved the part where the people are watching Jack in the cage and Cindy (by the way this is the first time they have seen eachother since "Pilot") and the two children from the tailsection ask him how Ana-Lucia is. To which Jack replies along the lines of "Are you serious? If you've got something to watch, Cindy, go watch it!" Also, the ending of this episode is one of my favorite endings in an episode. The instrumental music is beautiful and the scenes they show are great. The color of the whole episodes is interesting too.
  • The only bad episode I have ever seen of Lost.

    The episode of "Stranger in a Strange Land" is a very poor one. I am a fan of Lost and loved every season. My favorite so far is season three, and I loved Season 2 as well. I had low expectations coming into this episode because, I have heard so many bad things about it. So it sank below my low expectations. The casting of Bai Ling as the tattoo artist was poor, as I believe she cannot act. Why Jack travels to this country is unexplained, as is what happens to him after he gets the tattoo. The current storyline, about the dealing with Juliet was fair, but why introduce the judgmental older woman, just to this bland episode. Many other pointless and unexplained things happen, which I won't dive into, and finally, after 38 excruciating minutes, a plot twist. Thank god, for that. I may be cynical, and may not know what happens in the future that can justify this episode, but even with so many Lost episodes leaving unanswered questions, this one seemed the most convoluted. Leave this episode alone, and in the words of the Foo Fighters, "Let it Die".
  • The writers once again assume we're so desperate for Jack-backs that we'll like any episode that has them. And once again their assumption is wrong.

    Listen up, writers - Nobody really cares about Jack. His life pre-island is even more messed up than it is on island. We get the picture by now. His dad was a drunk, his wife ran off with another guy, poor Jack nobody loves him back home. His backstory was pretty much fully covered in White Rabbit and A Tale of Two Cities. What else is there to say about this guy in flashbacks anymore?

    Oh, he had a holiday fling with some foreign stranger who gave him his tattoos. Wow. So are we meant to be impressed by that? A whole episode dedicated to the mystery of Jack's tattoos and his flings with random women? Please.

    The Kate/Sawyer story was terribly written this time. I thought they'd have got back to their island by now - they hadn't. Instead they're spending time arguing over whether the real reason Kate wants to go back for Jack is that she's feeling guilty for sleeping with Sawyer. CONTINUITY, writers, please. I thought it was shown that she wanted to sleep with Sawyer because she loved him. Are these other writers even looking back to previous episodes when they write new ones? Sometimes I wonder.

    Oh and Sawyer is giving relationship advice to a younger member of the Others. Now I've seen everything.
  • Nothing special; just a little update on what's going on... Juliet:'(

    I feel so sorry for Juliet though, to get that ugly scar/mark must've been really painful. I can see that the others care about each other, but in a loose way that they would punish/execute anyone who disobeys the rules, no matter how close they were with them. Poor Juliet, seriously, I hope she goes back home.

    Jack has been doing... bad. Isabella looks kinda like one of those teachers you always hate but you know that you will always lose to in an argument, which is just my opinion. She knew about the tatoo and that he was lying, so she must have earned her position as the "sheriff". So Jack is going home now, how nice for him.

    Kate and Sawyer are just making camp and stuff, I sorta feel sorry for Alex and Karl though, must be rough for them. Just like Kate and Sawyer if Kate was left behind, basically.

    The whole flashback thing with Jack was kinda un interesting for me. It was ok, though. The whole thing was a little sketchy though; was Jack just on there for a vacation? Average episode, in total.
  • Why did we have to get an episode like this?

    Even though many people thought that this episode was the worst, I'd have to agree. Firstly, the flashbacks were not ideal and there was just no story to It. The episode itself was just Ok. Kate and Sawyer heading back to the original island with Karl while Jack spends his time in Sawyer's cage until they finally let him out. While Ben is in critical condition, there isn't much he can do. But seriously, those cursed flashbacks were awful! I just didn't get it, Obviously they took place after Jack and Sarah divorced and probably just before him and Christian had the argument over a young girl who died because his dad was drunk or something. Any other thing I could say is that I was glad to see Cindy and the kids but when Ana-Lucia's name came up, It was obvious that Jack was going to comment in a nasty way. Currently, the others were deciding whether or not to execute Juliet and when Ben heard this, he seemed to be annoyed so he ordered for Juliet to be marked. Jack also met the sheriff who asked him about his silly tatoos which to me is irrelevant. In conclusion, Jack seems to be allowed to do anything now instead of being cage the rage behind bars! lol. Ben, Jack and the others leave that island and set sail for the main island.

    Karl, Kate and Sawyer eventually arrived back on the main island and had a little gathering. But seriously, the island events for this episode was ok but the flashbacks sucked, I'm annoyed. After it was getting better so rapidly, we have to get this crap episode. Overall: Not bad but definatly not good either... Poor, poor, poor
  • Worst episode to date.

    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 return to the Others' suburban-like homes on the main island. Flashbacks show Jack getting his tattoos during a strange vacation in Thailand. Stranger in a strange land is probably the worst episode of Lost yet can't beleave how poor this episode was, I have enjoyed every single episode of Lost so far but this one was terible nothing happened Jacks flashbacks were boring and the island stories were pointless, I can't remember anything good to say about this episde.
  • No magic at all

    I most say I had much higher expectations for this episode. What it gave us? What new we did learned? That Jack struggle to help Julie... it was weird and not very logical and did not get much attention.. the storyline just did not worked out at all. Those flashbacks - were they so interesting? I most say not for me. I had no interest about how Jack got those tattoos. And lately it feels like most of the flashbacks are.. everyone had some relationship and somehow it ends and all. That one was exactly like this and when those flashback usually have something else too, then that.. it did not have. Quite pointless, I most say.

    And Kate and Sawyer. I am not sure what even went on there as that storyline got less airtime and they did not made no sense at all. Terrible episode. They could have done it so much better...
  • Meeeeeeeeeee...i got confused.

    I believe this episode actually starts pretty well, Juliette is in trouble for "wacking" that other guy (who is not important enough for me to remember his name:P).
    From here we have another Jack flashback and the term pointless fits perfectly on the flashback. Frankly i did not see the point of the flasback rather then the fact that we get to know where Jack got his tattoos from and what do they mean, but my question is...did we really need to know that via a flashback who really does not add anything new to the story?
    Despite the poor flasback at least we are seeing more events ocurring on the islands, will Jack ever return home? Will the other lost survivors rescue him and will they ever see him again?

    We have to wait to find out.
  • In a flashback, Jack has an awkward encounter with a Thai tattoo artist. On the island, the survivors still try to think of what do to about the Others.

    This episode was disappointing because we all expected to get "answers" to our lost questions. Then Jack shows up in Thailand looking drugged up and quite creepy. Talk about lost. This storyline has never been brought up again. I thought the crazy Thai tattoo artist was a prostitute and Jack wanted to have his way with her. It gave me the heebie jeebies and I momentarily lost my attraction to Jack. (Just momentarily, mind you, then the hint of a smile quivered upon his lip and I was all sexed up again.) Am I going off on a tangent? Sorry, I forgot, that's the job of the Lost writers.
  • Gaaaahhh! My eyes! MY EYES!

    Worst. Episode. Ever. A perfect summation of "Stranger in a Strange Land". The plot moves at a snails pace. Once again, we focus only on the love triangle people, while everyone at the beach is sadly forgotten. We were promised three answers to three of Lost's biggest questions. That was just a flat-out lie. Really, how many people were wondering how Jack got his tattoos? If you are one of them, then you are a sad, sad person. Because you helped make this episode possible. At Guantanamo Bay, I'll bet that they strap prisoners into a chair, thier eyes taped open, forcing them to watch this episode over and over again until they crack.
  • Another great review brought to you by "The Painful Review Team"! One mystery is revealed... how Jack got his tattoos.

    This episode of LOST is very special indeed. The previews the week before told us that we were going get three answers that we have been waiting to hear from since last season. We got one: how Jack got his tattoos. They attempted to tell us what happened to Cindy and the kids, but it just confused us even more.

    In the beginning we see Jack flying a kite on a beach in Thailand. A young boy offers Jack some soda which he buys. A woman named Achara comes up to Jack and helps him fly the kite. Later on Jack and the woman go to a resturant owned her Achara's brother. They talk about who they are until her brother gives her a package that he says "has to deal with her gift". In what appears to be several weeks later we see Jack and Achara sleeping together. Jack complains about how he hardly knows her and what her gift is. The next day Jack follows her to a tattoo parlor. Achara says that her gift is to see into people and give them tattoos that define them. Jack forces her to read him. She says he is a leader and a great man, and gives him that tattoo. The next day at the beach the young boy then runs away from Jack, and Achara's brother's gang beats Jack up and forces him to leave.

    Jack is moved from the aquarium cell to the bear cages. On the way he sees Juliet imprisoned and and Tom speaking with a mysterious woman. Outside Tom tells Jack that she is the sheriff. Juliet visits Jack about an infection Ben has after his surgery, but Jack says that he will not help her or Ben. At night the sheriff speaks to Jack. They take him to a room where the discuss Juliet's fate. In the morning Jack is visited by some others who say they are "here to watch". Among them is the flight attendant Cindy. Jack eventually ends up treating Ben's wound to save Juliet. The others leave for the Hydra island with Jack. The fight between Kate and Sawyer continues. Karl ends up leaving the two.

    The island story wasn't that bad if you ask me. I'm just not that interested in Jack. And heaven forbid if we ever get another useless flashback like that I will probably shoot myself.

    Note: This review and all others by this team are not meant to attack the opinions of any user[s]. We are merely telling our opinion on popular television programs. If you have a problem with our reviews send me or JoeLostDharma a PM instead of reporting abuse.
  • Season three's only true misfire.

    ABC’s promo department sabotaged this episode with the claim that we would get three major answers in this episode. The ad people, aware of the growing restlessness of answer-demanding viewers, threw that in the ad to try to assure them that something will happen. Only problem is the core of this promise: three major things weren’t answered. Jack’s tattoo’s were partially explained (I guess they thought they were going to do another episode), but did anyone really care? Jack’s tattoos were a mystery some producers hyped and most viewers ignored. Now that we know, does it unlock any major answers into the island or mythology?

    The second thing we learned was where the people went after The Others took them. The return of Cindy and the kids felt tacked on from another episode. They show up, speak with Jack for a few moments, not really saying much, and disappear. It doesn’t make any sense. All we get are vague statements like “you don’t understand” or “they’re in a safe place”, which considering the episode’s hype, could be considered anything from irritating to down right teasing. I’m also guessing “where are the kids” and “what happened to Cindy” were supposed to be two answers, but no one bought it.

    It isn’t fair for me to fault the whole episode on the advertising debacle. The creative team doesn’t work with the ad team, so the results can have too many spoilers or misrepresent the episode among other problems. When “Lost” is in syndication and even when it comes out on DVD, this ad problem should not be an issue to viewers and critics, but considering the negative reaction, “Lost” simply failed to make up for the ad screw up, resulting in a sub-par episode.

    The chronology of Jack’s flashback is puzzling. Considering how many he’s had, there are several points where Jack would want to head to Phuket to “find himself”; after his marriage fell apart, after the confrontation in “A Tale of Two Cities”. Not being able to fit it in the chronology hurts the context because we don’t know which event spurred Jack to go on his vacation or his unreasonable anger.

    Achara, played by Bai Ling, apparently was going to be featured in three episodes. Considering the overwhelmingly negative response this episode received, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see her again. This is reminiscent of another Bai Ling role, when she guest starred on “Angel” seven years ago. Her character then was supposed to be featured in several episodes, but was quickly jettisoned after poor responses as well. You have to feel bad for her with that track record.

    Considering how many flashbacks Jack has had, it’s important that they continue to incorporate new elements to Jack’s character and develop him further. Unfortunately, the tattoo flashbacks don’t do much of that. We know Jack is a leader and is often lonely because of that, but what else? Ultimately, the flashbacks serve only as a parallel to the current state where Juliet gets marked.

    Because she killed one of their own, Juliet is now branded with a mark that looks like an upside down version of the Scientology logo. This type of punishment seems fitting with older customs The Others have, but why would they put her mark in the same place coeds get tattoos on spring break? If they really want her to be branded as an outcast, why wouldn’t they place where it is harder to hide?

    The most obvious reason would be so Jack and Juliet can have a tender moment while he tends to this new mark. They have made a connection and since Jack knows she wants to leave the island, they have a mutual goal. Obviously his feelings for her earlier in the episode were what provoked him to sway Ben from executing her, as he doesn’t even care for sympathetic Others like Tom.

    A big problem with this episode is the introduction of “The Sheriff”, Isabel. Unfortunately for a show that has had such a great track record with its actors, this actress just doesn’t cut it. While the monotone may be channeling Hannibal Lecter similarly to the way Ben speaks, it just comes off as robotic. I’ve seen her in other work so I know she isn’t a bad actress, but she doesn’t quite fit on “Lost”. Perhaps Klugh was supposed to fill “The Sheriff” role, but the actress had other engagements and this role was meant to be temporary.

    One element in the episode that deserved a lot more exploration was Ben’s apparent slow healing. It’s been shown that the island has been able to heal Locke’s paralysis, Rose’s cancer and (maybe) Jin’s infertility. However, Ben can’t heal quickly from his surgery and is rather weak (the brief shot of Tom holding the umbrella over Ben’s head was intriguing). In fact, the infection is getting worse. Maybe this episode would’ve been better had they focused on Ben and hallucinations he had while taking the drugs for his infection.

    Leaving the Hydra Island effectively ends this introductory phase of the season, one that has been harshly criticized for not featuring much of our beach castaways and focusing too heavily on The Others. This shift in the narrative, with the promise that The Others prefer the main island and live there full time (if that was supposed to be the third mystery solved, then that makes the promos even worse), is certainly welcome to those who stuck through this one.

    It was clear in “Not in Portland” that there were some bumps in Kate & Sawyer’s relationship. Sawyer knew it as she emotionally retold the “Count to 5” story. Kate’s insistence that they return to Hydra Island (which Karl informs them isn’t where they live) is a clear indicator that although Kate slept with Sawyer, her affections are still split between the two men. As for Sawyer, hurt by this, tries to brush off their intimacy by saying that it only happened because she thought he would be dead soon, which may be partially true

    Karl and Alex’s relationship develops more. Of the romantic relationships, this one seems pure in its “puppy love” nature, which makes it more endearing. You feel bad for Karl seeing him sob over his lost Alex and smile when Sawyer convinces him to go for it, even if he may die in the process. There is a certain star crossed quality to it as their feelings override many of the politics meant to keep them apart.

    This episode came at a bad time. Following the hiatus, people complained about the show’s direction while praising the new hit show “Heroes” (a show with similar attributes. I won’t go into any comparisons here). They had two good episodes, but this episode may have been enough to tilt some viewers to stop watching. This episode taught them some major lessons in how delicately you need to treat some fans, or else the situation will become a full fledged fiasco. Despite its faults, it is forgivable considering many of the above average/excellent episodes later in the season.
  • Better than people say. It may not be the strongest Jack flashback episode but the story "on-island" is excellent.....

    Jack is left all alone and trapped in a cage. Juliette is put on trial by the others and they decide that they must punish her drastically. The episode is basically about Jack trying to save her life(he succeeds!). Kate and Sawyer continue to row away and back to the castaways camp. Kate begins to feel guilty about leaving Jack behind, but Sawyer doesn't share the same feelings. The music in this episode is up to its usual excellent standard and helps to develop the story. A new mystery is added in this episode, since a new character is added. She questions Jack in a "Why is he defending Juliette?" scene. This episode is really enjoyable and definetly better than "Flashes before Your Eyes" which I found to be.....Weird.
  • Not that bad

    'Stranger In A Strange Land' would have a better rating at TV.com if the ABC promo team hadn't been so deceptive in a lame attempt to prevent a further decline in ratings. They promised the fans not 1, not 2, but 3 big answers, and the episode didn't follow through with that promise. Does this lack of answers make the episode awful? I don't think it does. This episode is by no means amazing but it definitely has highlights that redeem it for me.

    Pros - The interaction between Jack and Juliet, the addition of Diana Scarwid to the cast (She's creepy and I like it), the scene with Alex & Jack at the cages, the score/editing that accompanied the exodus scenes from the hydra island, the Q & A session with the post-brainwashed Karl, Sawyer punching Karl when he finds him crying, Jack paying the price for being so demanding in his flashback.

    Cons - Flashbacks were weak, Phuket looked too much like any other Hawaii setting, Bai Ling was just terrible and miscast, the scene with Cindy was ruined months ago in promos, Jack did the laugh while smiling act far too often and seemed unreasonably forceful in the tattoo room (though it was probably because he had just gone through the divorce and was tired of being lied to)
  • Slow Pacing and Unanswered Questions make me lose interest!

    I've been watching Lost since the very first season and I agree with a few of the other posts on this forum...
    Lost has officially lost it for me.

    The pacing of most episodes is terribly snail-like. When the previews that air on the telly promise "answers to viewer's questions" we end up getting duped into watching another "snail's crawl" of an episode that still hasn't answered the BIG questions about this show. What is the monster? How did the Polar bears end up on the island? Are Jack, Kate and Sawyer really on another island or did the Others just tell them that to make them feel hopeless? Is the island really some sort of freaky magnetic sink hole? Are they in some sort of alternate universe or what? Why hasn't the black box on the plane brought rescue teams? Who and where are the Dharma gang? And that's only a few of the ??? that I have. There are so many others. And we don't seem to be getting many answers. Though I did sort of like the episode that fills in some blanks about Desmond.

    I just cannot bear to sit thru another dragged out episode just to be disappointed when what the previews promises the viewer never comes to fruition. Its getting painful to watch this show.

    So I think I am just about done with Lost.
    Stick a fork in me.

    Anyone else agree?
  • It was ............ok. Jack recollects the time he spent in Phuket, Thailand. After his wife left him.

    It was the worst episode of lost season 3 so far.

    don't get me wrong - i like jack. But it was not his best flashback story.

    The flashback - Jack recollects the time he spent in Phuket, Thailand - after his wife left him.

    What was happening on the island was far more interesting than the flashback in this episode.

    Jack makes a deal 2 save Juliet. - i still don't trust her. she will do what she has 2 - to save herself.

    we find out about what happened 2 the people on flight 815 who got taken by "the others" pretty cool. they are fine. the kids i mean.

    The others move back 2 the main island.

    It was ok.
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