Season 3 Episode 9

Stranger in a Strange Land

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

Episode Fan Reviews page 4 of 6

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  • A great character piece about Jack, executed and directed with skill, creating a lingering mood reflecting the themes of connection, leadership, and loneliness.

    This episode was well directed and kept up the pace with the plot and dialogue interspersed with the flashbacks to keep the audience interested. The episode also didn't dumb down any of the dialogue for the audience, like when Jack countered to the sheriff of the Others that she knows what the tattoo says, but doesn't know what it means. I loved Jack's maniacal laughter when the little girl asked him about Ana Lucia, as he's dumbstruck by their ignorance and inability to see or question what the Others were doing to the Losties. Jack's hostile manner seems completely justified after all the offenses the Other's committed against the Losties. I could see clearer parallels being drawn to the idea that the Others are deemed the "good" sheriffs and police people, the Losties are the "bad" criminals, bad seeds, and guilty people, and the kidnapped people like Cindy are like the ignorant mass public who are like sheep who just see black and white. I could see parallels drawn to the Bush administration, their treatment of Arab detainees for suspected terrorist activities, and the unwillingness of the American people to call them on their ends justifies the means trampling of civil liberties. Similarly, the Others are kidnapping, experimenting, and hurting the Losties without clear regard to them, and think that they are still the "good" guys. Other aspects of the episode that were wonderful were the glimpses of Elizabeth Mitchell which made you understand why Jack was falling for her. The scene where Jack applied aloe to Juliet's mark, and in which she tentatively reached for his hand was marvelous. I'm totally loving how Jack's bond and connection with Juliet has grown, and how he took action to save her and show her that he cared.
  • Very disappointing from last week !

    They promised that a lot of things would happen in this episode yet nothing is answered. We just know that Cindy and the kids are fine and that Ben is the leader while Isobel is second. We saw how Jack only got half of his tattoo so they can make another flashback to see how he made the other half ...
    Anyway i did enjoy this episode but it was a real cooldown after Not in Portland and Flashes before your eyes. The next episode though looks promising and Hurley centric episodes were always my favorite...almost favorite :D
    Isobelle rocks just as i had hoped that she would !
  • Juliet's fate hangs in the balance as Kate and Sawyer make their way back to camp.

    I understand that this is a "transitional" episode, meant to drive the storyline into the greater plot for the rest of the season, but that said, it still could have been much better. Not only was this episode hyped through the root, but it followed one of the best episodes in a long time. Unfortunately, the episode was a major let down for me. Jack's flashback was almost entirely pointless (with the exception of the beautiful Bai Ling), and very little progress was made with the Ben/Juliet/Jack dynamic. Thankfully, they are forced to leave the Hydra (although I'm not entirely sure that their fear of the Losties is founded). They have spent far too much time on the Others this season, and it will be nice to get back to the beach. I give this episode a 6, because IMO it was one of the weakest episodes so far of the weakest season.
  • A major let down after last week.

    This episode was good, but I expect great episodes from Lost. It was definitely a filler episode. I have never really cared about jack's tattoos or how he got them. I wanted a whole lot more from this episode. I would of rather learned more about Desmond and his powers than how Jack got his tattoos. I wanted to learn more from Carl about the others and his life on the Island. That was much more interesting to me. Obviously, Carl has never seen any TV. Who doesn't know who Bobby from the Brady Bunch is? That part with Sawyer cracked me up. But, those moments was few and far between. Hopefully next weeks episode is MUCH better!
  • Thai is not Chinese.

    I understand that American TV has no responsibility in cultural accuracy but since "Lost" did so well in Korean culture, I have high expectation. Just to clarify, Thai is not exactly Chinese. Thai has a strong cultural background and they own written languages. The tattoo on Jack's arm is neither Chinese or Thai. I highly doubt it is base on any language at all. I thought it just a logo but when someone is able to read it on the show and claim it is Chinese, I am so disappointed. Firstly, the wording is not Chinese at all. Secondly, I expect a big storyline or big secret behind the tattoo. I guess I just have to wait for the "hype" to show up.
  • in the words of hurley: "dude, that episode sucked"

    in the words of hurley: "dude, that episode sucked"

    I was so excited about this one because of the great Desmond episode and I wanted to know what the big surprise was...wow...the surprise is a vague start at uncovering the mystery of jack's tattoo which no one cares about...the only good parts were in the lost preview moments...you don't even need to watch the episode...

    And I was really happy when Jack got to ask a question only to be slapped in the face with "where's juliet?"

    Come on!

    She's the enemy! Who cares? Ask where you are and what's going on!

    I hate wasting my time with this crap...but then again I'm wasting my time typing this...

    Did anyone notice that everyone on the island talks like this:
    "Where are they? The Others, where are they?
    "How old is he? Walt, how old is he?
    "Does it hurt? Your tumor, does it hurt?
    Just say what you want to know and leave more room for action!!
  • This one hurt a bit.

    This episode was rather painful to watch because of the buildup. The advertisement billed this as answering certain questions. However, it was all a lie. Rather than answering questions, it only gave us cryptic responses that could only be understood by the writers.

    I was mostly bothered, however, by the fact that nothing happened. There was no progress made in the story line to keep us interested. Rather than moving us forward, we just were treading water (and even sinking a little bit if you ask me).

    I do not care about the character on whom we focused and did not feel any more involved in their lives despite the flashback. I found myself asking, "Why do I care?" Unfortunately, this has been a theme for this season for me viewing it.
  • After last week's apparent return to form episode, I was really looking forward to this week's installment of Lost.....only to come away pretty much disappointed with the whole exercise.

    After last week's apparent return to form episode, I was really looking forward to this week's installment of Lost.....only to come away pretty much disappointed with the whole exercise.

    I like Jack's character. I've enjoyed watching his development and backstory from the beginning. But did we really need an entire episode to deal with what we already know about him--Jack is a "great man" who will often shun that responsibility and the burdens of leadership and greatness the world thurts upon him. Whether or not that stems from some issue of wanting to somehow get his father's approval and never getting it, I'm not exactly sure. But the flashbacks here and the episode itself didn't cover much, if any new ground or give us any new insights into Jack. If anything, it felt like they were trying to have a cool reason to have Bai Ling guest star on the show, what with her being in all those deleted scenes from the last Star Wars movie.

    And we got more of the Sawyer/Kate drama, which is rapidly starting to test my patience. And this is me, the great Kate fan talking here. So, they go back to our island and Sawyer decides that his night with Kate was "oh you're going to die" pity sex. Which maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. Or maybe it's just Kate isn't happy with what she has but wants what she can't have. Or maybe this whole love triangle is just being forced on us when there are lots of other interesting plotlines this show could and should be following. For example, we've seen next to nothing of the other members of the castaways for what seems like ages. Which must be great for the actors playing them since you get paid, get to live in Hawaii and have to do virtually no work while the Big Three (as I'm calling them now) get the lion's share of the show time.

    I like the Big Three--I've said it before and I'll keep defending them. But it's getting harder and harder to do when they're becoming the show's only focus and neglecting the plethora of other interesting characters that I also signed up to see.

    So, I was frustrated with the episode. Because while we got some answers, did we really learn anything important?

    I guess we did. We found out what Jack's tatoos say (yeah, I was losing sleep on that one) and we learned where they came from. We found out the island that we've been holding everyone captive on isn't really the Other's home. Which that one is a real head-scratcher and a half. What is the purpose of this island and why did everyone wander over to it?

    That said, I did like how Jack tried to play everyone. He tries to fool everyone into thinking he lied about Juliet's overtures to kill Ben to save her life. I'm wondering how much of the apparent romantic interest Jack is showing is real and how much of it is some game he's playing for some reason. Certainly, she falls into his pattern of needing someone to save by loving them. In this case, he bargains for her life and saves it, though he's told by Henry she's one of them and will never be what Jack wants or hopes she can be. Interesting, but we've seen that Jack rarely listens when others give him romantic advice. So, why start now?

    I'm still curious as to where in Jack's timeline the flashback fell. Was it post the break-up of his marraige to Julie Bowen? I need to check the DVDs and see if Jack has the tatoo in those flashbacks or not because I honestly don't recall right now. (Or I could Google it, I suppose...I bet there is someone out there who knows).

    I also found it interesting that the stewardess showed back up and we saw those who had been taken by the Others. But we're still not sure as to why. I also liked Jack's talking to Tom, asking him how they should react to the Others who come in, kidnap children and cause the death of others in their group. That was a nice scene.

    But these things were isolated bits and pieces in what was, overall, a pretty frustrating episode. It promised answers and certainly it gave them. But it seems like the producers are dancing around getting back to the main group for some reason and I'm not sure what that is. I'd love to think we'll get back there next week, but for all I know we'll get a Sawyer flashback....
  • I seem to be the only 1 but I really enjoyed this ep. Got to know more about how the others operate, their ethos and morl stand points. Stuff about Jack's tatoos was interesting but need explaining which I'm sure will be clarified in

    Thought this episode was incredibly well written. While it may not serve the overall arc of hugely there were a lot of good psychological insights.

    Sawyer was brilliant and hilarious as usual and the banter between him Kate and Karl was very entertaining.

    Found last episode to be very predictable and so enjoyed this one. In heavy drama you need and enjoy the odd golfing episode.
  • Average lost episode that had imposible expectations to live up to.

    As the followup episode to last weeks awesome series changing episode, Stranger was a let down. The expectations were just completely impossible for this episode to reach. This did not help due to the misleading advertising campaign of three of lost biggest questions will get answered. I am still not sure what they were. This episode on its own was a average lost episode. That means a few question get half answered and the show creates even more questions. We learn what Jack's tatoos mean and how he got them. We also learned Juliet's fate and her new positioning in Others hierarchy. This episodes seemed overall to be a setup episode for future episodes later on in the season.
  • Overall, this episode seemed to have a lack of focus. None of the attempted parallels seem to come together by the end, which makes the episode somewhat unsatisfying.

    Some episodes manage to balance the present and past with a strong sense of metaphor. At the very least, the connection between past decisions and “present” conditions should be strong enough for the audience to appreciate the point being made. When the metaphor or parallel is forced, the episode typically suffers as a result. And when the writers try too hard to build up connections that are obtuse for the audience, the episode doesn’t have a prayer.

    It’s not entirely clear what the goal was coming into this episode. Jack’s flashback reveals that his true self is a leader of men, good and noble. And that has been shown over the course of the series to some degree. The flashbacks also seem to demonstrate how that positive aspect of Jack’s character is continually undermined by the most negative aspects of his personality. And this has also been aptly demonstrated over the course of the series. Jack is stubborn, impatient, entitled, and angry. Jack is also deeply troubled by that which defies logic and reasoning.

    Of course, all of that has been established already. Now it feels redundant. The goal of this episode should have been progress towards that hidden nobility or a clear signal that his inability to move past his negativity will lead to something terrible. That’s been the hallmark of “Lost” since the first season. That’s where the episode fails to do anything new.

    The writers use Jack’s mark, an indication of his true self, as an analogue to Juliet’s situation. Jack’s tattoo states “he walks amongst us, but he is not one of us”. The Others’ sheriff, for lack of a better term, interprets that as an ironic statement, applicable to his current situation. But it’s a rather clever way to refer to a leader. A leader is often forced to stand apart from the rest.

    So what does this mean in conjunction with Juliet’s “mark”. Any kind of analysis is hampered by the fact that the meaning of the mark is only implied, not fully explained. Juliet appears to be some kind of social pariah, no longer trusted and barely tolerated. So in a sense, Juliet walks among the Others, but she is not one of them. If that literal meaning is wrong in Jack’s case, however, then is it also incorrect in Juliet’s situation? Perhaps the connection is that Jack and Juliet are perceived as outsiders, but they will ultimately emerge as the ones in control. Whatever the case, the writers were reaching for something there, and it’s quite possible that they missed.

    There also seems to be a parallel between Jack and Sawyer. Sawyer appears to make choices that undermine his relatively new relationship with Kate. Jack seems to have something simple with Achara, but he can’t leave well enough alone and his choices destroy the delicate balance between them. Delving into the details, of course, the parallel doesn’t quite hold up.

    For one thing, Sawyer’s problem with Kate has less to do with his insistence on survival and sympathy for Karl than Kate’s lingering feelings for Jack. Kate is the one feeling guilty about leaving Jack behind, even though Jack insisted on it. Kate is the one who wants to use Karl to pull together an attack plan. Sawyer may be insensitive to her emotions over the whole ordeal (and characteristically willing to screw things up with her), but he’s not creating a situation out of nothing.

    On the other hand, Jack let his own insecurities and control issues get in the way of his free-spirited affair with Achara. Granted, her characterization was bizarre enough to test the patience and understanding of any reasonable man on the planet. Her personal style was one step short of exhibitionism. But this seems like a case of trying too hard to give Jack some small justification. The writers make Achara so over the top that the depth of Jack’s psychological damage is somewhat mitigated.

    It’s fairly clear that Jack suspects Achara might be a prostitute. Her overall appearance is suggestive of a life on the fringe; she actually looked like the personification of an anime character. The comment about tasting something salty was, quite possibly, a thinly veiled reference to a certain sex act on her part. His decision to follow her into one of the less savory parts of town, complete with her barely-there red dress, was reinforcement of his assumption. It would have been a bit more intriguing if Achara’s questionable behavior was more subtle. It still ends with Jack acting like Achara’s entire life was his to question and dominate, so his issues were laid bare and the consequences were justly severe, but it wasn’t as effective as it could have been.

    The point being that Sawyer’s situation with Kate was more about Kate, and Jack’s situation was all about Jack. So the parallel doesn’t quite hold water. The writers have also tried one final connection between the three relationships under study in the “present”, but that conclusion is based on assumption. The final act seems to draw a connection between Jack/Juliet, Sawyer/Kate, and Alex/Karl. One relationship possibly blooming, one relationship on the rocks, the last relationship in the midst of idealism. If that was the intended conclusion, then the rest of the episode wasn’t framed to lead into that or provide insight.

    So ultimately the episode feels like a lost opportunity, revealing the origin and apparent meaning of Jack’s tattoo but little else of note. More than that, there’s no apparent progress in Jack’s development. It’s not clear when Jack’s trip to Bangkok took place, why he felt the need to find himself, or why he was so angry. And the trip to Thailand seemed rather extraneous and clichéd.

    It certainly didn’t help that the ABC promotional department made the claim that three major questions would be answered during the episode. One has to wonder how they came to that conclusion (especially since the producers asked the same question). Yes, the mystery behind Jack’s tattoo was solved, but was that really a major question? The fate of those abducted by the Others is revealed, but only in the sense that they are alive and part of the Others’ community in some way. That still only counts as two possible questions to be answered. So what the hell were they talking about?

    In the end, this episode simply didn’t come together. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. “Lost” is struggling, thanks to the timeslot move and the dissatisfaction with the focus on the Others. This episode once again pertains to the Others and Jack’s unusual captivity, and that may continue to frustrate the audience. On the other hand, this is part of the complication phase of the season arc, so this is building towards something that might change the status quo in a major way. Hopefully this will be a momentary setback along the path.
  • great getting more stuff happening, but is it with those flash backs

    this eposode was devently not my favoret, but it answers to some of my quetions. like Jack's tattoos, even though it was a stuped thing, and what island the others live on. i didn't like the Jack flash backs at all. i don't care how got the tattoos i just wanted to what they mean! i want to get back to the beach and back to Kate and Sawyer. their going to have to talk more about what happened between them. they cant just leave it like that. i think it should be Kate and Sawyer then Jack and Juliet. i hope Alex gets back to Karl soon.
  • And Then What?!

    "What Was That?!" Is All I Can Say After Watching This Episode. I Mean Seriously, Is This The LOST That We Used To ACTUALLY Like Watching? Did They Change The Writers Or Something? The Only Thing I Cared About Was How What The Tattoos Meant, and That Was The Only Moment I Liked. The Past Of How He Got The Tattoos Was Pointless! I Hated The Girl! For Some Odd Reason, She Really Annoyed Me! Thank God We Don’t Have To See Her Again (At Least I Hope Not). Anyways, It Wasn’t A Very Good Episode, Not My Favorite Story Line! Hopefully, Next Week's Will Be Better (Fingers Crossed)

    This episode was soooo boring. As usual nothing gets explained and very little happens. They even introduced new charecters, like we dont have enough already! i remember when Lost kept you on the edge of your seat waiting for another episode...those days appear to be long over now. i am beginning to get overly tired of their lets create a billion new questions per episode strategy. Cant they just explain it all and go from there?! At the moment you feel like they are about to explain it and then absolutely nothing happens all episode. i am gettin well and truly bored!
  • A good episode despite it's confusing sub plots and over thought flashback.

    In "Strangers In A Strange Land", we learn why Jack got his tattoos. Wait a second? Wasn't it publicized as revealing THREE island secrets. Not that I didn't care about Jack and his tats but that is the wrong way to advertise a filler episode. The Good: We see another amazing performance by Elizabeth Mitchell who continues to shine. It's good that we FINALLY see what happened to Cindy and the kids. I loved the tension between Kate and Sawyer back on their "home" island.

    The Bad: Jack's flashback... a little pointless and very confusing. The thai woman was very good but the flash back in general was over thought. I barely even understood it. The Karl/Alex story was a little corny, and so was that music at the end. Although I liked that they showed Cindy it never reveals anything. "We're here to watch." Watch what, Jack trying to get the bear treat? And finally as I stated before NOTHING is revealed. The Verdict: I give this episode 7 and a half coconuts out of 10. I just hope next week with Hurley (my favorite character) will regain the momentum that started with "Flashes Before Your Eyes."
  • I am a huge fan of Lost. I don't need action to feel an episode was a good one. Even still: This 3.09 was a big disappointment! It was OK in general TV series level, but on Lost scale it was one of the poorest episodes ever.

    There have been this kind of calm episodes which have been really great. But this one was a weak one.

    - Poor, loose flashbacks of Jack's life. - No real new mysteries, no answers to old ones.

    All the greatest Lost elements were completely missing tho whole episode!

    It felt like this episode never started... There has to be somekind of filler episodes sometimes, I understand that, but this one wasn't good even on a filler episode level.

    And one more thing: so far I've understood that the focus has been on Jack/Sawyer/Kate lately, but now I start to get a bit frustrated. 1st and 2nd season had so many interesting characters. Please bring'em (more) back on 3rd one as well!
  • Didn't seem to get anywhere

    This is one episode of "Lost" that I kept waiting for things to be said/done and it just never happened. The mind can only take so many mysteries, and I am about mysteried out. Some of the lines were difficult to hear, e.g. in the conversation Jack had with Cindy, the Flight Attendant. I stopped the TIVO and played back twice and still had trouble hearing what Cindy said when Jack asked what they were watching. The Sheriff from the "other's" town was pretty scary, she always is, to me, because I still remember her from "Mommie Dearest." I kept hoping that Julia would "turn".... it just isn't there. I think Jack and Julia would be a cool couple. I just wished the writers had given us more solutions than mysteries in this one. Maybe next week.
  • Oh my God, you mean this was a whole episode?

    Seemed to me to be a little lacking in plot. (You have to save our leader, he's wounded!) NO, I WON'T! (but blond girl will be in trouble if you don't!) NO, I WON'T! (But we mean it!) FINE I WILL. I liked getting a little insight into how he got his tattoos, but come on. Why does everything have to be weird? Why couldn't he have just got them late one night after having one too many like everyone else? I did like the girl who gave them to him though. Well, not her so much as her hair. Did you see how it looked like it had feathers in it? I want hair like that. :P Oh yes, and the thing with Sawyer, why is it no one can ever like Sawyer for more than five minutes? Pitiful. :P

    I give this episode a 5 for the girls hair and the tattoos. I give it a negative 5 for lack of originality.

  • We learned about Jacks tat and that was that.

    So it took them an hour to tell us about Jack's tattoo. Something that could have been referanced to in an episode in about 2 minutes max. Hmmm great writing guys. Way to fill an episode with fluff. Oh and we learned they were mad at the woman doctor, and jack made a deal to save her, go figure I wouldn't have saw that coming (sarcasm alert). I expect ratings to drop to 10 - 11 million next week. As this series marks another episode of lackluster storyline and development.
  • "It's what they say... it's not what they mean." I took Jack's final line of the episode to be applied not to what's written on his tattoos, but to the three monumental revelations we were promised in this episode.

    LOST Episode 3.09 "Stranger in a Strange Land"
    Airdate: Wednesday, February 21st 10:00PM-11:00PM

    "It's what they say... it's not what they mean." I took Jack's final line of the episode to be applied not to what's written on his tattoos, but to the three monumental revelations we were promised in this episode. They SAID 'three of LOST's biggest mysteries will finally be revealed,' but what they MEANT was 'yea, it's gonna be another episode where nothing really happens but our ratings are falling to the lowest they've ever been so I guess we're better off lying to you so you'll all watch.'

    I wasn't even aware prior to this episode that the meaning behind Jack's tattoos was considered to be one of the biggest mysteries on the show. I'd easily trade the answers of this so called mystery for about 100 other mysteries that have been left unresolved since the start of the series. But even the disappointment in uncovering Mystery # 1 wouldn't have been too much of a letdown had Jack's flashback held my interest in the slightest. It was good to see a Jack episode that didn't delve back into a story involving his father or his marriage for a change, but I still found his flashback as a whole to be lame and boring. While it did serve as a different mood setter for Jack's character and in essence reflecting on his attitude on the island during the episode, the attention focusing on a different side of Jack's character development shifted away from what an episode mid-way through the third season of a mystery drama SHOULD be focusing on: the development of the plot.

    One of my biggest pet peeves with LOST has been its frustratingly slow storytelling methods in getting from Point A to Point B in certain arcs of the plot. For example, last season we had about a six episode span between the time Benry was caught in Danielle's net to the time Michael let him escape. With the question of whether or not Henry Gayle was actually Henry Gayle being the top storyline at that that point, that's six episodes where virtually nothing happened to further the overall plot. Much similar to the case this season, more so with the three episodes since the show's return, where the only real progress in the story has been Kate and Sawyer's escape.

    This slow storytelling also applies to what we assume was the second almighty mystery reveal when we got to find out what happened to everybody else that The Others kidnapped. Well, we found out they're still alive. We found out they're here to "watch" Jack. And oh, we even found out that they were ever so unkindly not informed that Ana Lucia was murdered by Michael when he was forced to free Ben in exchange for his kidnapped son and to be let off the island. Guess the Others didn't feel that fit the necessities of giving them a "better life" as their Bobby Brady look-alike made claim to. But yea, another major letdown from what the hype of the episode seemed to promise. We didn't find out anything about the kidnap-ees, just that their story was reintroduced and that we probably won't get the answers we thought we were getting in this episode until much later on.

    The biggest mystery of all is perhaps what the third major mystery actually was that we supposedly found out about. Even after rewatching the episode I have absolutely no idea what this third revelation was. Could it be the mystery of why Jack, Kate and Sawyer have all still never thought to ask the obvious questions to The Others of what is this place? Why are you all here? Where are we? I guess that mystery was resolved with Jack using his "free questions" to Alex of what's going on with Juliette and Sawyer opting to use his Other chat time to and encourage Carl to go back to his girl just in time to get killed by Captain Bunnykiller. The only thing I could think of for actually being the third mystery is where The Others really live. But again, that was also not answered and rather just introduced to us in the final minutes of the episode.

    But seriously, even had there not been the huge hype with three big mysteries revealed, I still don't think I'd be pleased with this episode. It felt like we were watching a day in the life of Othersville when things go awry rather than an episode of that show called LOST where the mysteries of that weird island are supposed to be explained and events of actual importance are supposed to take place. The letdown of three promised to be resolved mysteries that were seemingly useless/not explained at all/not even sure what they're referring to, just made the episode that much more disappointing. The only thing I thought it had going for it was the continuance of Sawyer's new creative nicknames, Jack's witty responses to The Others, and the anticipation of next weeks's reunion/plan to rescue Jack and go to war with The Others. I hope this anticipation results in a strong outcome however, because this might be the worst three episode stretch LOST has ever had.

    Overall Episode Rating: 7.8
  • ABC makes the error of overhyping a transitional episode

    One of the central themes of “Lost” is the argument of “science versus faith.” Someone once said in the middle of season two when everyone hated Lost (surprise, surprise) that that central theme could, in fact, be applied to the Lost writers themselves. That you either have faith in the Lost writers – that one day everything will be answered and that it’ll all make sense – or you don’t. Well, it appears the casual fans and the unfaithful are deserting Lost by the truck full, all the while the faithful stay planted…positive that one day their loyalty will pay off. I’m part of the faithful myself. Out of everyone I know I’m the only person who isn’t considering turning the channel, or hasn’t already abandoned it (most everyone I know left during season two).

    This series of episodes is “Lost’s” greatest challenge, and they’ve really got to pull something out of their hat soon if they’re hoping to stay in the top twenty shows (which will keep ABC from tampering with the show directly). But if ABC is hoping to save Lost than they’re going about it in the wrong manner. Promoting three major secrets to be revealed during a transitional episode? That’s a slap in the face to even the most faithful fans and could even potentially discourage them from watching. I’m sure even the producers of Lost were producing the preverbal brick when they saw that promo. The episode itself was fine for a transitional episode. The Jack flashbacks are seriously becoming tedious though, and these flashbacks in particular seem forced. Perhaps because we’re trying to cover a month worth of material in about ten minutes. But I didn’t really buy or care about Jack & Achara, and we could have used some more clarification on what Achara did and why she was unable to tattoo Jack. I’m assuming that it’s a cultural thing that we don’t understand, but a little more clarity would have been nice. I also thought the scene where Jack asks Achara to tell him who he is, and then to tattoo him, was extremely forced from Matthew Fox. Yeah, Jack is an unstable character who wants to get to the bottom of things and doesn’t like people deceiving him…but he just seemed like a madman when he was grabbing Achara and telling her to look into his eyes. I would think the rational Jack with his lack of faith would be more inclined to merely disregard Achara’s practices from the get go. As for the rest of the episode, I don't really have anything negative to say. Sawyer and Kate have made it to the main island and are having relationship problems already. Now that Kate has made her choice between Sawyer and Jack, she appears unhappy with it. She apparently doesn’t like her “real father” Sawyer and now wants her “adoptive father” Jack back. Meanwhile, Sawyer releases Karl, which I thought was kind of stupid – considering that their side could have at the very least interrogated him for information. Perhaps Karl will willingly tag along considering the fact that he considers himself a dead man walking…and perhaps Sawyer knows this. If this is the case than maybe it’s not so stupid.

    Meanwhile, at “Club Other,” Jack has a conversation with the abductees. I’ve got to say that while I was a little peeved that nothing was really answered in the exchange, I did think the conversation itself was hilarious. Jack screaming at Cindy and the little girl asking about Ana-Lucia was pretty funny. Juliet has become ostracized by the Others, allowing Jack and Juliet to grow closer to one another. Juliet also becomes “marked” in a Scarlet Letter-like fashion (though perhaps it should be bigger and more identifiable). It would be interesting if this entire plan were hatched by The Others from the get go in order to manipulate Jack and possibly convert him to their side (similar to the abductees, which could have something to do with why they were “watching”). That they knew Jack would attempt to save his friends during the surgery and Juliet actually didn’t kill Pickett, but shot him with blanks to make it look like she did. Because honestly - without his handcuffs on - Jack does appear more comfortable around The Others than he should towards the end of this episode. Maybe when Kate, Locke, and Sayid finally find Jack…maybe he won’t be the same Jack that left. Anyhow, at the moment, Lost has two very big flaws. The first is romance. The Lost writers don’t know how to make us care about romance…actually, no, forget that…they do know how to make us care, but not about thrown together romances. When Jack is rubbing Juliet with aloe in this episode (which, by the way, seems more “Sun-like” than “Jack-like”), it feels real. It’s already one of the stronger romances of the series, and they haven’t even done anything romantic yet! Meanwhile, when Karl is talking about naming constellations with Alex in his backyard….? Who gives a damn!? Who the heck is Karl!? I tried talking about this with one of the people I watched this episode with and their response was “Who’s Karl?”

    I know it’s probably important to the series, but at least give us more time with the characters before giving them romantic soliloquies about other characters we don’t even know! I bet most casual fans don’t even know who Alex is! The same thing can be said about Penny & Desmond last episode, Jack & Achara this episode, or even Sawyer & Kate in the last couple of episodes. When the Lost writers try and convey romance to us…it just slows down the pace of the show. They’ve been doing that a lot lately. Heck, I’m already dreading the Paulo/Nikki episode coming up here in the next few weeks…I mean, we don’t even know who they are and now they’re going to suddenly ask us to care about their story!? Secondly, I think the lack of exposition on Lost is a real problem. I was talking to someone about Lost the other day and they were going on the normal rant about how they don’t answer questions. They mentioned the polar bears. I had to tell them that Lost DID in fact answer the question about the polar bears. That they not only answered it in the Orientation film in the episode “Orientation,” but they alluded to it earlier this season when Tom told Sawyer that the bears were able to get the fish biscuits faster than him. The fact of the matter is that they answered the question about the polar bears so subtly that most people don’t even realize that the question was answered to begin with! I think a lot of people are expecting the answers to be obvious…like Tom would go “It only took the bears an hour to get the fish biscuit…And That's Where The Polar Bears Come From!!!!!”

    It was the same thing this episode. Three questions were answered this episode (albeit, not major revelations like the promo suggested), but reading the forums most people don’t even know what the answers were! Perhaps, in order to retain the high ratings, the Lost writers should add an exposition dump or two into the mix instead of trying to remain subtle. I’d rather have an exposition dump than have my show cancelled, that’s for sure.

    But, one things for sure. Lost is probably so much better on DVD than it is on TV. To watch each episode simultaneously; to actually know who Karl is and to actually pick up on these subtle questions being answered. Cause it’s really this week in between episodes that is killing Lost. Hell, you probably wouldn’t even think twice about Sayid not being in the past several episodes if you watched them consecutively on DVD. To end this review, Stranger In A Strange Land was a good transitional episode. It puts The Others and Jack on the main island, which’ll allow our original survivors to hopefully wage the war that has been promised to us for so long now. Hopefully that’ll regenerate some interest. You just have to have a little faith.
  • A poorly written episode. The Jack flashback is utterly pointless. However, the episode gives direction on Ben's "promise" to let Juliet and Jack "go home"...

    To start it off, the Jack flashback was absolutely forced. There is no value to the main story on the island, the actions which Jack took in his flashback. The way the flashback was done was utterly pointless and simply irrelevant. The writing is weak, we do not know why Jack so wanted that tattoo, and is stalking of a stranger...WHY?

    ABC promised to reveal THREE mysteries. The way they are presented are rather abrupt, and has no proper lead-up or purpose. Whether they can be called the BIGGEST mysteries is also questionable.

    Back on the island, we *may* see something come out of Jack and Juliet, and the episodes ahead may be promising, given how this episode ended. The ending is actually a nice setup to the coming excitement - if the writers don't mess the coming episodes up that is.

    The way the script and story was written again, was simply not up to scratch. Dare I say even some of the acting seemed extremely fake. The guest star Bai Ling does a proper awful job acting in general and even Jack...maybe the it was so poorly written that it was actually impossible to act properly? Even the scenes with Sawyer and Kate felt cheesy at times.

    In the end, the "others" leave that island to go to their village and as Juliet says, what Ben calls "home". Did the master of liars manipulate language to his own advantage, promising to take Jack and Juliet back to his "home"? We can only wait and see.

    As a whole, even Fire + Water had more convincing acting and scripts. 6.5/10, a very poor episode considering 9.2 means "average" at TV.com.

    My personal "British University" rating...3.9/10, a fail.
  • This episode is just one of the numerous ones why I hate being addicted to LOST. I am going to try and seriously quit the show this time, I went to bed sooooo angry last night. Hopefully this time I can stick to quitting...

    It was such CRAP. There were supposed to be 3 big questions answered. The only things everyone here at work could think were 1) Jack's tatoo (even if that was a question... who the hell cares) 2) the others dont live on the smaller island the only work there (I pretty much assumed that, and even if you didnt, once again who the hell cares) and 3) the people kidnapped are still alive and "watching something" (also assumed and once again, if not... who the hell cares!!!!!)

    When Ben's daughter came to jack to ask why he saved Ben, and Jack was like, "I have a question for you first", I definitly got excited thinking here we go, let's reveal something awesome. And he asks "what is going to happen to Julia?" That moment is when I was done. I told my friend, who is blindly obsessed with this show, I hope they cancel it after this season so it never gets to finish and EVERYONE ends pissed off with nothing answered. It would be so appropriate.

    I was originally annoyed it was moved to a later time slot and it ran same time as South Park, so this is the straw that broke the cammels back. Lost is like a drug, you know it isnt good for you and you should stop, but you watch every week. Well that's it, I am done, NO MORE LOST!!!! And I seriously loved the show, but I have found myself leaving frustrated more times than fulfilled. It has lost one very big fan....

    ... then again I've said that before.
  • not much of a thrill, no romance, no nothing actually. maybe its required for the rest of the series... i dunnow...

    i think this is one of the weaker episodes of this series.
    there wasnt much story development, or intence action scenes...

    so what could this episode have meant?
    "he walks among us but he is not one of us" - i think thats the keyphrase; it means jack is in some way "an other"-
    ethan walked among the island's ppl, yet he wasnt one of them, Juliate (must have spelled wrong, im sorry) is one of "the others", and yet she is not one of them. given this and the connection that is starting to bond between Jack and Juliate, I think this episode means no more then a short story, to anylize in literture class. (all of that if i anylized correctly).
  • This was probably the worst episode of lost I can remember.

    This was a horribly boring and slow episode that we could have done without. After a classic episode last week, they drop down a real stinker this week.

    The backstory was incredibly cheesy and could have gone without being told. Apparently Jack meets some Thai whore who doubles as a "magical" tattoo artist. She has the power to describe anyone with cliches and then brand that on their arm. For some inexplicable reason, this skill can only be used on natives or something. Then to defend the honor of their lame tattoos, the natives attack Jack in a 5 to 1 fight, yeah that's real honorable.

    The storyline goes nowhere with Ben and Jack and Juliet. Somehow Ben keeps getting sick so Jack holds all the cards, and he wants to save Juliet from being killed by the court or whatever. Some forced on cheesy drama, an overdramatic conversation between Jack and Alex, and then some other boring things and eventually they just brand Juliet.

    The only redeeming part of this episode was the fact that Sawyer had some good jokes (Sally Slingshot, Bobby from Brady Bunch). Carl is a horrible actor and he cries over Alex. There is some cheesy forced drama between Sawyer and Kate(who decides halfway into their boat trip to go back and save Jack). And again, we don't get to see any of our island friends. Total rubbish episode. I'm sorry I wasted my time.
  • I felt like a stranger wacthing this strange show! Okay Okay and eggageration but the promo misleading. Juliet and Jack grow deeper and Kate and Sawyer gorw farther apart.

    The Promo was so misleading it makes me mad that ABC just wants to make money and for those of you who think Lost will be cancelled over low ratings go wacth American Idol :( Still promo very misleading. Jack goes into the Cage Sawyer was in I love how he dosnt figure out the contraption POint 1 for Sawyer. Loved the beginning when Jack told off Tom on how there not bad. Kate wants to go back for Jack Sawyer rejects that offer and they paddle back to the main Island. Frankly no 3 mysteries were reveled I mean for there Lost moments the showed Cindy coming back and I guess thats one even though we all knew it was happening. still like I said this brings all new theroies why are they there I thought they are bad people? The children are safe maybe they warped there brains and only those that they needed to keep like Walt? who knows just keep wacthing. Jack goes to trial, and is asked to look at Bens back and we find out Eathan was a surgeon please dont tell me that was an Island Mystery! Jack makes a trade to wacth over ben I love this storyline between them (I guess this will put the Island healing abbilites to work) fro exchange they dont kill Juliet rather Juliet gets a mark for some reason I thought the mark would be 666? I know werid huh. Isabell new character who reads Jacks tatto were he got in Tibet from who I thought was a hooker but had the power to see people and Jacks a born leader and good man but which makes him lonley and angry. He gets beat up for getting the Tatto becasue he defiled thhe girl. The tatto actually says "Not One of us" I love how all the charcters try to find themselves are runaway from certain things. Overall an okay episode Jack and Others leave to the bigger Island next week we get loads of Hurley and Sawyer and kate return for a reuion you cant miss!
  • I can’t help it; I love this show!!

    I can’t help it, I love this show!!

    While this epi did not live up to the hype, IMO it was very entertaining. I think there could have been more explanation of certain aspects, such as why Achera wasn’t allowed to tattoo Jack. Was it only Jack, or is it anyone who isn’t from Thailand? Is that why she had to keep her job a secret in the first place – to keep Jack from asking? How did everyone know that he got the tattoos? Did she rat him out? Why did they have to beat him. If they were going to give us an explanation, it should have been a much fuller one. It certainly didn’t deserve a full episode, but this was just a little too sketchy.

    I was hoping that when they revealed the status of those who had been kidnapped, it would have been in more detail. It’s good to see that Cindy and the children are well cared for, but what has been happening with them? So, what was the point of seeing them walking around barefoot and dirty and wearing raggedy clothes in past episodes? And what were they watching – Jack sleeping? Why? Made no sense whatsoever.

    Why oh why did Sawyer let Carl go without finding the location of their homes? Sawyer is a smart guy, so why did he do something so stupid? Is it a calculated risk on Sawyer’s part? Does he think because Carl believes he will get killed if the Others get him, that Carl will find his way to their camp and help them willingly? I hope something like that happens, and not that Sawyer was ignorant to the potential of Carl. Kate couldn’t believe it either that Sawyer let him go. It was nice, though, to see Sawyer’s soft side.

    I was sorry to see that Sawyer and Kate are not progressing smoothly in their relationship. Hopefully it’s just a bump in the road. It looks like Juliette and Jack may have a budding relationship.

    Isabelle is a great name for the sheriff! Ben’s still the boss though. What’s the purpose of marking someone. The mark is where it can’t be seen! Was she branded? What right did Ben have to get all huffy about Ethan, the surgeon, being killed when Ethan was the one who hung Charlie and kidnapped Claire? And according to Alex when she was helping Claire escape, Claire was going to be killed by them after her baby was born.

    As always, looking forward to next week!!
  • Not as good as last episode, but an improvment from what we have come to get used to in season 3.

    This episode was by all means O.K. It is nothing compared to the previous episode which was one of the best episodes that has aired in the LOST series for a very long time, but it is an improvement compared to the other episodes we have seen in season 3, and I guess that is positive. However, where is the old LOST feeling? The feeling of mysteries surrounding the island, mysterious hatches in the forest, unknown people, mysterious transmissions? It is all gone. I realise that the feeling of mystery will be obsolete when the mystery itself is solved, and I guess it kind of is solved, but replaced with what? Love, jalousy? There really isnt that much happening in LOST anymore, and that is a really sad feeling.
  • Great episode Very adventourous and well worth the watch Stuff can be done to improve the story though.

    Jack recalls the time he spent in Bangkok, Thailand, and the interesting people he met while he was there, including a talented tattoo artist and the formidable Sherry.
    Its a great episode, iam being soft though giving it a 10 but i thought it was a very adventourous episode and is on a whole getting really exciting. I dont know who the people on the island with jack are. I really cant wait to find out what happens next. I did not however understand this episode too well. With sherry and the thailand situation and her gift. It was slightly out of character. But as a whole lost is improving and hopefully will continue to get better
  • Rather dull Jack episode with nothing much new.

    3 Secrets revealed? Jacks Tatoo? "walks among us, but is an outsider" Booooooooring. What were the other 2 secrets? The other plane people taken by the Others in Season 1? Um, we already knew they had them. The 3rd secret? That LOST producers and writers have "LOST" their way? Thats no secret. Ever since Season 3 started its been an excercise in frustration. Even when we see the characters on the beach its briefly and they dont do much of anything. I was originally going to give this an 8.5, but after reading the other reviews I just had to ding it another point (and Im probably being charitable with a 7.5). I just cant bring myself to give LOST anything less than a 7. Last week was a step forward but this week? 2 steps back.

    LOST has fundamentally changed this season and not for the better. The focus has shifted from the original cast to a focus on the Others - none of which are even slighly likable; they are really starting to annoy the crap out me.

    Next week the Others are going back HOME. Which is? The Big Island - we know that from the opening of Season 3 where Ben sent 2 groups of his people to capture survivors from the fuselage in one area and the tail on the other side of the Island. I really hope LOST can regain the magic of Season 1 and 2. I really really want it to. But if they keep producing episodes like this, it wont and it will die.
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