Lost season 4 episode 6 review

What is The Tempest? (Apart from a play by Shakespeare about people stuck on an island... hey, wait!) Danny puzzles over the new Lost mystery...

Ben

Okay, we get it already. The spy is Michael. Michael! MICHAEL. Harold Perrineau’s been in the credits since the first episode of the season, he was obviously Des and Sayid’s “friend on the boat” that I forgot to mention last week, and last night Ben told Locke he “might want to sit down” before he revealed his spy’s identity. We didn’t get a name, but unless the show turns a 180-degree-turn on our heads and Boone is the spy then we don’t need one because we know it’s MICHAEL FOR FRAK’S SAKE.

Moving swiftly on, last week’s episode of Lost – “The Other Woman” – focused on Juliet, former Other and fertility doctor. And I guess it’s true what they say – once an Other, always an Other. (I think that’s what “they” say, at least.) Once it had turned out that Daniel and Charlotte had scurried away from the beach camp and into the night, Jack and Juliet went searching for them in one direction, and Sun and Jin in the other so they could set up next week’s Sun-and-Jin-centric episode. Once in the jungle, Juliet heard a barrage of whispers – the whispers – before confronted by a familiar face: a woman by the name of Harper who appeared, seemingly on Ben’s behalf, to give Juliet her mission before literally vanishing into thin night with the whispers. The mission at hand? Killing Daniel and Charlotte, who had headed to a new Dharma station called The Tempest.

Jack asked Juliet if her and Harper were friends – not exactly, as we found out. Harper was her therapist upon coming to the island and the wife of her now-dead lover, Goodwin. In flashbacks, we saw how the doomed-from-the-start affair between Goodwin and Juliet played out, along with an insight into just how domineering Ben can be and the point where their relationship began to sour. This was an episode where the drama was led purely by character rather than the spiralling complexity of the island mythology, and hence seemed a bit weak upon my first viewing – we’ve been hit with so much of the mind-blowing stuff this season that this episode initially felt like an unwelcome digression. However, upon rewatching the episode for this recap, I appreciated its moments of romantic drama from the flashbacks more than the present-time storyline because it showed us that every once in a while, it doesn’t hurt to have an excuse for Michael Emerson and Elisabeth Mitchell take centre stage. Awesome, awesome actors.

In a red-herring opening, we were led to believe that Juliet was one of the Oceanic Six – not possible, you may think, seeing how she wasn’t on 815 – before dead ol’ Tom poked his head into Juliet and Harper’s session (not sure about the moustache M.C. Gainey, but it was great to see you again). We learnt that Ben had been putting the moves on Juliet from the moment she arrived on the island, a side of Ben I don’t think we’ve seen before. Ben-with-a-crush is basically the usual creepy Ben but with a dollop of almost puppyish enthusiasm on top – just watch how he acts around the doctor with a dopey grin on his face and more than the slightest hint of desperation in his actions.

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What interested me is that despite the issue of Juliet wanting to go home from last season’s flashbacks (she called Ben a liar, remember?), Ben’s infatuation with her never quite stopped. With the crash of 815, he found a way to take him out of the picture and with quick thinking, deployed him to the tail section and sent him to life as an Ana-Lucia Kebab. The cad. In the final flashback scene, he finally lost his nerve and threw a temper tantrum towards Juliet, chillingly telling her “You’re mine” before remembering his place and offering her time to mourn over Goodwin’s corpse. Creepy. At least Juliet got a smooch out of Jack at the end of the episode to make up for all the, y’know, emotional torture.

Back in the present, Juliet slavishly made her way to The Tempest, an electrical station that apparently powers the island. However, there seems to be… dangerous… radioactive gas… in it? I’ll be totally honest here – I didn’t get this part of the episode. What exactly were Daniel and Charlotte doing at The Tempest? We saw Daniel trying to override the computers within the station so he could render the gas “inert”, which I didn’t understand either. If Ben so wanted to use the gas within The Tempest to harm those on the island, would it have been a radioactive surge that would wipe them out? Or if it powers the island, does it power the separation between world-time and island-time? This should have been food for thought – instead with all the flawed exposition, it was merely morsels.

Something more interesting: could the whispers be controlled by Ben? In previous recaps, I claimed that Jacob must have the ability to give powers to those he deems worthy – Hurley’s apparent ghost encounter with Charlie, Locke’s seeming indestructibility – and what he gave Ben was the voice of the island. Could this be what Harper meant by “he’s exactly where he wants to be”? Is Ben raising hell from within his tiny cell?

Talking of the tiny cell (more of a tiny utility room), Ben finally spilt the beans on who sent the freighter – Charles Widmore. Ding, I knew it! What does this mean for Desmond, who is on the freighter as we speak? Is Widmore going to try and stop him from ever seeing Penny again? Will he even kill him? Gulp. Whatever the context of Widmore’s involvement in the freighter’s plan, it was enough to get Ben back into a normal bed. What happens now that Ben is, seemingly one of the camp? The look on Sawyer’s face come the episode’s end was priceless – a sign that things are about to go from bad to worse.

So, a good episode, even with all that malarkey over The Tempest. So, out of confusion, I’m leaving you with a few questions. What woman from Ben’s past is it that Juliet resembles? (I’m guessing Annie, the girl from his childhood, or the unknown blonde woman he has a picture of in his house.) What’s Ben’s next move? Does Ben have powers? Would Claire really make a good interrogator? Does Charlotte have the hots for Daniel? And what the frak is The Tempest?!

Til’ next week, I’m Lost.

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