THE 'LOST' EPISODE OF DAY
The Episode: Not In Portland
Original Airdate: February 7, 2007
Written By: Carlton Cuse & Jeff Pinkner
Directed By: Stephen Williams
Content: While Jack is in command as the fate of Ben's life rests in his hands, Kate and Sawyer help Alex in return for a boat, and Juliet makes a shocking decision that could endanger her standing with her people.
Why It's Worth Re-Watching: The Phillies lost the World Series tonight. They are my favorite baseball team. I am bummed. But nothing will cheer me up more than writing about LOST. Plus, LOST is now about two months away from returning even though a premiere date has not been set. Without further ado, here's why you should re-watch Not In Portland.
First of all, it's Juliet's first flashback of the series which means you get many scenes with the wonderful Elizabeth Mitchell and you meet Richard Alpert for the first time in this episode as well as get an inside look at how The Others manipulate in their recruiting process. About the flashback, the flashback revolves around Juliet, her cancer-stricken sister, and her quest to get her pregnant. After all, The Others were interested in her because she's a fertility doctor who is trying many new things in the field. She eventually succeeds in getting her sister pregnant.
The meat of this flashback involves the recruitment. She works for her ex-husband Danko (I know I should refer to him by his character name in LOST but I now see this actor as no one else but Danko from HEROES...Danko seemed and was ridiculous so every time I watch this episode he will always be Danko) who will not let her career advance and who looks down on literally everything she does. He is her biggest obstacle when Mittelos Labs comes to recruit her. This is when we meet Dr. Richard Alpert. It seems that Alpert, Ethan, and The Others are the reason why Danko is eventually run over by a bus because Juliet, in her upset way, says the only thing that'd free her would be Danko being run over by a bus. When he is, and she's weeping by his dead body in the morgue, Alpert and Ethan show up to offer their condolensces and tell her that they really want her working for them. Juliet feels like Mittelos were directly involved but Alpert denies it in his Alpert way.
This is flashback is very interesting though. On re-watch it is not the best flashback of Juliet's. But when it originally aired, Juliet was a huge enigma. When she injected the medicine into her sister, nobody knew, at first, what she was doing. The flashback opens on a beach in twilight with Juliet crying. Ethan passes her as she walks to her sister's room but it's just Miami. It's brilliantly mis-leading because this episode was the first episode to air after the six episode pod that was the first six episodes of season three. The sixth episode "I Do" ended with a cliffhanger. Jack was going to let Ben die if Kate and Sawyer weren't set free. Juliet also wanted Jack to kill Ben. Obviously, the writers wanted to mis-lead the viewers into thinking Ben is dead and that's why she is crying. I love that device.
Anywho, this flashback casts Juliet in a new light. We find out that she was basically manipulated into becoming an Other and that Ben hasn't let her go home in the three years she's been on the Island. She has tremendous love and loyalty to her sister. It's great.
As for the on Island action, Juliet kills Pickett to save Kate and Sawyer so they can take a boat back to their Island. She does this because Ben promised to let her go home if she makes sure Kate and Sawyer are set free so that his life is saved by Jack.
The episode has some wonderful comedic moments such as Tom's fear of blood. It's funny mostly because this is the man who was once the most menacing of the Others, and in this episode, he hypervenilates at the sight of blood. I get a kick out of Sawyer's soft spot for Karl. When Sawyer finds out the person that needs to be saved before Alex takes them to the boat is Karl, Sawyer sighs and gives in. Sawyer is the man.
There's a great moment of humor on the official LOST podcast as well when Damon says he is wearing the goggles Karl has on in Room 23. Oh yeah, Room 23 is seen in this episode. For more on Room 23, you might want to check out the webisode. And then watch the rest of the webisodes. They're great.
Overall, it's an action-packed episode with great character development. This is the beginning of the amazing season three episodes that followed the pod. Season Three is magnificent. Elizabeth Mitchell is wonderful in this episode. Matthew Fox does a stand-up job as always. Stephen Williams did a terrific job directing the episode.
The full episode is available on hulu.com.