Thoughts on “Not in Portland”

Well, well, the creative team wasted no time in plot development during this episode. It appears, based upon the reatings on the Fuselage website, that most fans found this to be an excellent episode, and I tend to agree, with a qualification or two.

First off, the brainwashing scene was great, smacking of Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange. I played that scene twice over at 1/4 scene to catch all of the snippets on the screen. I’m not exaclty sure, however, how this kind of experiment fits in with what we now know about DHARMA. We know that DHARMA stands for “Department of Heuristics And Research on Material Applications.” Heuristics is a particular learning model wherein the students learn through direct experience. However, brainwashing would seem to go very much against as heuristic learning system. Maybe it was a means of control or torture, unrelated to the greater initiative. At any rate, it was way cool.

Learning more baout Juliet was a wonderful way to learno more baout the Others in general. We now understand that she came there as a recruit, but that she’s been held against her will for much longer than she planned. We know she’s a fertility expert, which could connect her to theories about DHARMA being involved in life extension, or perhaps developing intranatal syrums to combat major outrbreaks of some kind. Maybe the apocalypse anticipated by the Valenzetti Equation has something to do with a scenario like in “Children of Men,” where rather than killing people on a massive scale, they are rendered sterile?

That’s my new theory and I’m sticking to it.

Oh, and seeing Ethan walk by in the hall of juliet’s apartment was a definite double-take moment. How long had they been spying on her???

On to the lame stuff.  The whole ex-husband-getting-hit-by-a-bus thing was so telegraphed, it might as well have been sent by Western Union. And though it was reasonable for him to die, it’s pretty much cliche to have a guy get hit by a bus. Why not have a giant smoke monster drag him away, screaming?  Come on now. As to the “coincidence” of Juliet suggesting the very thing would happen implies many htings, but I’ll wait to persume too much. Clearly, Desmond had some psychic mojo working, but I thought it had something to do with an island experience. Perhaps folks drawn to the island have these special abilities already in them, and osmething baout the project helps them unlock their existing potential.

But I digress…the bus thing was dumb. Point made.

I enjoyed getting to see more of Alex, and to catch her bantering with Sawyer. However, do we really need another sappy romance?  I know, I’m such a guy, but I was just hoping we would be relieved of the Jak-Kate-Sawyer triangle, when now they dump another one on us. My two cents is stick to the greater mythology, keep the big story moving, and make sure the back stories of characters help us tie together some of the several dozen loose ends we have yet to reconcile.

Overall, I think it was an excellent beginning. less than perfect, yes, but well worthwhile.

Only six more days until another episdode; that may be the best thing of all. No more waiting!

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