3.16 “One of Us”
Juliet seeks acceptance among the Oceanic survivors, but receives only suspicion and dangerous accusations.
|Written by Carlton Cuse & Drew Goddard
Directed by Jack Bender
After she signed up with Mittelos Bioscience, Juliet was forced to say goodbye to her sister newly-pregnant sister Rachel, but promised to return in time for the birth of the baby. The plan was that Juliet would only be gone for six months, off at a very secret location — a place even she couldn’t know the location of while she was being taken there. Richard Alpert and Ethan Rom escorted her to a private hangar owned by a company called Herarat Aviation, where they advised her to take a sedative for the pending journey, because “it can be pretty intense.” Juliet balked, but Richard told her that the place they were taking her to was very special, and that she would see things there that she never imagined. So she agreed, took the sedative, and passed out.
When Juliet woke up, she wasn’t on an airplane. She was on the Others’ submarine. When she emerged, she found that the sub was parked at the dock near the Barracks, where she got to take her first look at the island. She met Ben for the first time there, when he welcomed her to the island.
Juliet quickly discovered the reason that she was brought to the island: the Others cannot reproduce. Pregnant women on the island die during the late stages of their pregnancy, and after six months of study, Juliet hypothesized that the mysterious cause of it occurred during conception. She asked Ben to take a pregnant woman off of the island to test her theory, but he refused. So she pointed out that her contract was up and it was time for her to return home to be with her sister. Ben revealed to Juliet that Rachel’s cancer had returned and she wouldn’t be able to make it to full term with her baby. He showed her her sister’s medical report, and Juliet was outraged that he’d kept this from her. But he promised her that if she agreed to stay, the mysterious and powerful Jacob would cure Rachel’s cancer. He pointed to the fact that none of his people on the island had cancer as evidence of Jacob’s abilities, so she agreed.
Juliet developed a romantic relationship with Goodwin during her time as one of the Others.
Three years after her arrival on the island, Juliet was devastated to learn that Ben had a tumor growing on his spine. She wasn’t upset for Ben, she was angered to learn that he had lied about the Others/Jacob being able to cure cancer, and demanded to know if this meant that her sister had never been cured. She confronted him with the news — which he was surprised and scared to hear — but he insisted that what he told her was true. She demanded to speak to her sister as proof, a request he denied, so she emotionally begged him to go home. He denied this request as well
The next day was the day of the Oceanic 815 crash, and shortly after it happened, Ben took Juliet to the Flame station. Mikhail had already gathered information about the crashed flight, and was monitoring news feeds from around the world about the flight that vanished over the south Pacific. Ben asked him for detailed files on every passenger, which Mikhail said he was already working on. Ben asked that they uplink to Richard Alpert, who was holding a camera in a park in Miami, taking live video of Juliet’s sister Rachel, and her two-year-old son. Both of them were happy and healthy, and Ben pointed out that Rachel’s cancer went into remission, as promised, two years ago, and she gave birth to her son, whom she named Julien after her sister. Juliet was relieved and thrilled and overcome with emotion at the sight, and again asked to go home. But Ben refused again, saying that she couldn’t leave until her work was finished.
Before the Others evacuated the Barracks, Ben came up with a plan for Juliet to infiltrate the Oceanic survivors. She was never gassed and knocked out as she later told Kate; she was in on the whole thing from the start. Claire did not become sick out of withdrawal to a drug Juliet created, and we’re left wondering if there ever even was a drug. The true cause of Claire’s sickness was an implant the Others placed inside her, which Ben activated in anticipation of Juliet’s infiltration, so she would have a crisis to solve when she got to the beach, allowing her to earn the survivors’ trust. When Juliet had the plan memorized, Ben told her he would see her in a week.
Jack, Kate, Juliet, and Sayid stop for the night on their way back to the beach to camp for the night. Jack and Kate go to find firewood, and she takes the opportunity to ask about what happened during the week he spent alone with the Others. He explains that he kept as low a profile as possible, and upheld his end of his deal with Ben. He says nothing of Juliet, and Kate is immediately suspicious of this. While they’re gone, Sayid grills Juliet, demanding long-desired answers about why the Others are on the island, terrorizing the survivors, making lists, kidnapping children, et al. But more than anything, he says, he wants to know who she is. Juliet insists that if she tells Sayid everything she knows, he’ll kill her. When he threatens to do so if she doesn’t answer his questions, Jack returns and warns Sayid to leave her alone. Sayid agrees temporarily, promising that Juliet will answer his questions sooner or later. Jack counters this by stating that Juliet will tell them what she knows when she’s ready, and until then, she’s under his protection.
Charlie finds Aaron crying in Claire’s tent, but she’s out cold and doesn’t hear her son crying. Charlie wakes her up and suggests that she might be getting sick and that she should get some more rest, and she agrees.
Claire later emerges from her tent looking terrible, and asking for aspirin. Sawyer volunteers to get her some, but on his way to his tent, he spots Jack returning to the beach, followed by Kate and Sayid. The survivors are finally reunited with their doctor/leader at long last — and Sawyer and Kate share a tender reunion as well — but the good times end fast when the survivors see that Juliet is there, too.
Hurley is later the first to extend an olive branch to Juliet, joining her in a private spot on the beach to talk. But Juliet quickly realizes that he was sent there by his friends to keep an eye on her.
That evening, Jack addresses the survivors and asks them to trust that Juliet is no longer one of the Others. But they refuse, wanting answers from her. Jack informs them of Locke’s betrayal with the destroyed submarine, but Sawyer is still angry that Jack worked a deal with Ben and is now vouching for Juliet. Claire suddenly starts to bleed heavily from her nose, so Jack and Charlie rush her to her tent. Juliet notices the commotion and asks Sun and Jin what’s happening to Claire, but they blow her off, so she goes to Kate, telling her that she thinks she knows what’s wrong with Claire — because it’s something she did to Claire herself.
Kate brings Jack to see Juliet, who explains that Claire is having a reaction to a drug Juliet created to try and keep pregnant women alive on the island during the late stages of their pregnancies. Claire was administered the drug by Ethan after she was abducted and taken to the Staff medical station. Every pregnant woman on the island that Juliet has met since coming here three years ago died — until Claire. Kate registers silent concern for Sun at hearing this news, but says nothing for now. Juliet explains that shortly after the crash of Oceanic 815, Ethan infiltrated the camp to keep an eye on Claire, take blood samples of her, and administer the drug designed by Juliet. The Others found, based on the samples, that she had consistent symptoms with all of the other pregnant women who died on the island, even though she didn’t conceive there. But when the survivors realized that Ethan wasn’t one of them, Juliet says, Ethan “improvised” by kidnapping her — a bad decision he made alone, a decision which was never part of the Others’ plan. Juliet insists that Claire is going through withdrawal from the drug that saved her life, and that if she gets another dose, she’ll be fine. She knows of a stash of the drug that Ethan kept near the caves, so Jack agrees to let her go get it.
Juliet locates the stash right where she said it would be, but Sayid and Sawyer follow her there and tell her to stop what she’s doing. They find that the case she’s uncovered in the ground is full of medical supplies just as she says, but aren’t impressed. They want her to give up all of her secrets right now, but Juliet argues there isn’t time, that Claire needs this medicine right away. When they order her at gunpoint to start talking, Juliet regroups and uses her knowledge of their respective pasts to outwit them with sheer force of personality. She points out that the two of them have no business acting as the camp’s moral police, what with all of the people Sayid has tortured and the man in Australia that Sawyer killed in cold blood the night before Oceanic 815 departed Sydney. She asks Sayid if he’s ever told the survivors about something he did at Basra, but then tells them they’re going to let her take the medicine back to Claire because neither of them need more blood on their hands.
Juliet returns to camp with the medicine in hand and administers it to Claire. Jack quietly tells Juliet that if this doesn’t work and Claire dies, he won’t be able to protect Juliet anymore. She’ll be on her own. Juliet says she’s already on her own
A few hours later, Claire’s health returns. Jack rewards Juliet with supplies she’ll need to survive on the beach, like a tarp and blankets, as her official welcome to the group. He says that she’s earned some trust from the rest of the survivors for now, but that they’ll need some answers from her at some point. Juliet asks why she never has to explain herself to Jack. He says that he saw her face when the submarine exploded, and he knows that the thing she wants most in the world is to leave this island. And that makes her one of the survivors. (But this was not the end of the story; see the final entry in “What We Learned” below.)
- The Others need a fertility doctor because some attribute of the island causes pregnant women to die there, before they’re able to give birth. They hoped that Juliet’s expertise might help them overcome this problem.
Question: It would appear that the Others recruited Juliet to join their ranks because of her expertise as a fertility doctor. Why do the Others have need of a fertility doctor? [3.07]
- The Others were able to gather detailed files on every person flying on Oceanic 315 using the communications equipment at the Flame station.
Question: Where did the Others get such detailed information about Jack? [3.01]
- Ethan told Juliet that her journey to the island would be intense, and then later he strapped her into a bunk in the submarine, explaining that “the last leg is always a little bumpy.” What is it about the island that makes journeying there so difficult and fraught with danger?
- Why do pregnant women die on the island before giving birth?
- Do the Others and/or Jacob actually have the ability to cure cancer?
- If the Others and/or Jacob really do have the ability to cure cancer, why did Ben develop a tumor on his spine?
- What dark deed(s) did Sayid commit at Basra?
- Why did Ben order Juliet to infiltrate the survivors’ beach camp? What’s planning to do in a week?
“One of Us” is the second Juliet-centric episode of the series.
With the addition of Juliet Burke, the number of people living as part of the survivors’ camp has risen to 44.
“One of Us” functions as a bookend with “Not in Portland” from earlier this season, continuing the flashbacks that began in that episode, right where they left off.
I still wonder if it was ever in the overall plan for Juliet — contingency or otherwise — that she might eventually be reunited with her sister Rachel. I always held out hope over the years that it could happen, mostly because of the promise she made to her sister to return. But it seems unlikely now.
Another thing I’m wondering is if Jacob ever actually cured Rachel. Based on what we learned of Ben in Season 5 — namely, that he had never in his life interacted with Jacob at all — I’m thinking that his promise to Juliet that if she stayed on the island, Jacob would cure her sister’s cancer, could have been a ploy on Ben’s part. Maybe Rachel’s cancer never returned, and Jacob never had cured it; perhaps this was all a lie cooked up to manipulate Juliet into staying put.
Finally, we have a full explanation of both Ethan Rom’s infiltration of the camp and what happened to Claire during her abduction and why. It’s good stuff, but in true Lost fashion, it only led to new questions. Namely, why pregnant women die on the island before giving birth. This is a question we’ve never been given an answer to, and I really hope we get one. Somehow, I suspect that Jacob’s nemesis is to blame. Maybe he did something to the air or the water, causing this reaction in pregnant women.
“One of Us” paints a fascinating portrait of Juliet as every bit as much of a victim as the Oceanic survivors, but one who’s had to live with her confinement to the island much longer than them. The experience has transformed her from an innocent scientist into the strong, cunning strategist she’s had to be in order to go on living.
Does Elizabeth Mitchell have the ability to make you cry, or what? I got choked up all over again during the scene in the Flame when Juliet first laid eyes on her healthy sister and young nephew. Of the entire Lost cast, I find Mitchell to be by far the best at coaxing tears out of viewers.