Even on the island of lying liars, Juliet stands out, with her unique combination of sad doe eyes and icy Kabuki gaze. She's a mind-game artist as masterful as Ben; she's an abused wife trembling to be rescued; she's both! All of which made this episode especially satisfying, because it kinda-sorta explained how Juliet could possibly have transformed from that trembly lamb of a doctor who just wanted to save her sister to Ben's psychological puppet master. At least she wasn't lying when she explained, “It's very stressful being an Other, Jack.”
As for Locke, Jesus, man, why not just give Ben your remaining kidney and be done with it!
The Past: The Other Woman
Juliet, newly arrived on the island, is getting therapy from the pissy Dr. Laura of Otherville, Harper. Then in neat narrative slices, we fill in a tragic love story that slots into preexisting Other chronology: Juliet falls for Goodwin, that hunky sociopath who infiltrated the Tail gang. Sadly, he's married — to her shrink. Also, Ben wants to make Juliet his queen. This is back in Juliet's days of Tousled Vulnerability, so she offers anxious half-smiles as matters deteriorate: First Harper confronts her, then Ben sends her lovuh to be speared by Ana Lucia. Finally, Ben invites her over for a nerd seduction of ham and lies and eventually shows her Goodwin's speared corpse with the creepy Valentine come-on “You're mine” and the punch line, “Take all the time you need.”
Along the way, Juliet transforms from pinned butterfly to morally ambiguous manipulator designed to hit every button in Jack's sanctimonious head. Or, we guess, woman in love with Jack, but we don't think so.
The Present: Gas Leaks and Conspiracy Theories
Hey, a whole new station, filled with gas! Faraday and Charlotte sneak off; Jack and Juliet pursue; but then Juliet is accosted by a Botoxed Harper, who tells her the Freighties are trying to gas the island and Juliet should shoot 'em in the head. Because Ben says so. Okay! Then Kate shows up and Charlotte clocks her and basically it all ends with some frantic keyboarding and a ticking countdown, as Juliet confronts Faraday and Charlotte while they attempt to — take your pick — gas everyone or prevent everyone from being gassed. Or something else. Then Juliet and Jack kiss, even though he told Kate he loved her, what, the day before? But we guess they were on a break.
Meanwhile, Locke unshackles Ben in exchange for a videotape of Penny's dad and some magic beans. Claire is glowingly relaxed in the aftermath of Charlie's death, and Hurley and Sawyer are surprised in the midst of horseshoes when Ben ambles by with a pile of sheets. And as far as we know, Miles still has a grenade in his mouth.
What We Know Now
• Ben and Juliet, sitting in a really threatening tree.
• The freighter is indeed Charles Widmore's boat, and according to Ben, Widmore is an evil genius who plans to turn the island into Jurassic Park and must be stopped.
• Like God's love, Ben is everywhere. And he's encouraging people to kill one another in His name.
The Wha? Factor
• What the heck are Faraday and Charlotte up to?
• Who was this “she” that Harper referred to, the one Juliet resembles? Ben's mom? Annie?
• Who is Ben's man on the boat, you teases! Okay, it's probably Michael, but tell us! TELL US, DAMMIT! —Emily Nussbaum