Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Others' Justice?

Stranger in a Strange Land bothers me on so many levels, but the main problem I have with it is how inconsistent The Others' justice system and leadership structure seems to be in this episode. Why would they have a trial without Ben? Why wouldn't The Sheriff have questioned Ben? Why wouldn't Juliet had said to Isabel, "I was following Ben's orders." Why was Juliet present when Isabel questioned Jack?

Was Isabel acting outside her authority? Was she the Vice President stepping in during Ben's incapacitation or was she pulling an Al Haig? I'm still not a 100% convinced that the trial was real and not just a continuation of the Jack con.

And what the heck have they done to Cindy and The Children of the Corn? Room 23? Do they have a Room 23 equivalent back in Othersville?

If I hear "it's complicated" or some similar phrase again from these people, I, like Jack, am liable to lose it.


trevor mcfur said...

I hate to use 'poor writing' as an explanation for inconsistencies, but I really think that we've got to give them a mulligan with SiaSL. I wouldn't be so forgiving if they hadn't recovered in a big way over the rest of the season. But you're right, nothing adds up in terms of the Other's justice system, the sheriff hasn't been heard from again ... and the fact that she was killed off without even being given any screen time in the season finale is I think their way of giving her the Nikki and Paolo treatment.

Lost 2010 said...

Not my favorite episode by a long shot.

But from the storytelling standpoint, it's like they were planting the seeds for the plan Ben had to plant Juliet in the camp and take the pregnant women.

And at the same time, they planted the seeds for the betrayals that would lead to Ben's downfall. Jack aligns himself with Alex to help Juliet. And Sawyer chooses to send Karl back to Alex.

If not for Juliet, Alex, and Karl, the losties would have been sunk. Of course, poor old flashforward Jack probably wishes he'd let them kill her by now.

Paula Abdul Alhazred said...

I actually really like this episode.

Anyway, Ben was recovering from surgery, so he couldn't really attend the trial. As for Isabel, I gathered that she was acting a bit on her own authority, but that she's still upholding whatever legal standard the Others have. This episode sort of began to portray them in a more cult-like fashion, which got stronger near the end of the season.

As for Isabel's disappearance after this episode, I recall Gregg Nations saying they were trying to get the actress (Diana Scarwid) to return, but that she had other commitments. Still, I wish they had found a way to do more with her character, instead of pulling a "hey, she died too!".

andrew. said...

I think the fact that Damon & Carlton have come out and said that Ben was initially a 3 or 4 episode character, points to most of the stuff with the 'Others' being loosely filled in as they go. They may have had plans for natives of the island & the Dharma Initiative, but they probably didn't have the justic system or the hierarchy fully worked out. You can also look at the scenes with Ben locked in the Swan station, quoting Alvar Hanso & going on about how he's not the leader and they're going to kill him. It might be neat to think that he was lying the whole time, but it really doesn't really play right.

All of the stuff with Isabel seems to suggest that there is a larger & more organized society in place, one that Ben is a part of and answerable to. Yet, when you see the ragtag crew that are pulling up stakes and hiking to the temple, you quickly lose that sense. I think the powers that be are struggling with the Others story, making choices and then backtracking. This was all written before they had their end date mapped out for them, so i hope they have since formalized their plans a bit more.

Ofcourse, if i watched the dailies of Isabel's performance, i probably would have rethought whatever grand plan i had for her character too. =)

andrew. said...

oh yeah, i suspect Cindy & the kids had a quick stay over on Alcatraz where they had a few visits to Room 23 & got aquainted with the Others' way of life.

Why didn't they take any of the losties (other than Walt) there?

Why is that they have room for Cindy & the other tailies that they grabbed but poor Claire was going to get literally cut out of the picture.

i mean, i'd rather have Cindy around than Claire but...