301 – A Tale of Two Cities


Awesome opening scene, less than awesome episode.

I feel exactly the same about this episode as I did about the season two premiere, it starts out great, but then drops off into slow and boring character development.  The pace on this episode is glacial, it’s all just setup scenes with no real payoff.

The flashback in this episode was useless.  It has no purpose and doesn’t solve any mysteries.  I personally think that at some point in the future it will mean something but right now, it sucks.

And I have no proof of this, but I believe that this episode was originally meant to be a Juliet flashback.  I’ll bet that would have been too confusing so they switched it to a Jack flashback.  Again, I am assuming all of this, but that is how it seems to me.

I’d give this episode the 6.0/10.0

Character Impressions:






-It must have been pretty shocking for The Others to see an airplane.  They knew how hard it was to get to the island, or at least Ben knew.

-It’s kinda wierd that none of the Others react much to the plane crash, they look to Ben for leadership, he tells them what to do, and that is that.  I’m really surprised that I didn’t realize that they were all brainwashed.

-Good ol Ben saw the weak link in the chain and immediately went after Kate, if he was going to trick anyone it would be her first.

-Ben seems very, very vindictive when he looks at Kate with his scarred beat up face and tells Kate that the next few weeks of her life would be very unpleasant.

-Personally, I think the most significant thing that happens in this episode is when Ben closes the door on Juliet, effectively leaving her to drown when Jack opens the door to the aquarium.  He just left her to die.  A few weeks earlier he was in love and obsessed with her.  You know what they say, “A woman spurned…” oh wait-


-I enjoy all of the opening scenes with Sawyer, Jack and Kate.  The scenes were all so effective at throwing us for a loop, and while they gave us info about The Others and Dharma, but there wasn’t nearly enough to go on.  At the end of the episode you realize that you haven’t actually learned anything.

-That polar bear puzzle in Sawyer’s cage was unnecessarily mysterious.

-Sawyer is still getting beat up quite constantly even in the Others camp.


-I love the song “Downtown”.  Me and my friends still listen to it.  And the lyrics are hilariously ironic when you compare them to Juliet’s life.

-Juliet, “Here I am thinking that free will actually exists.”  That has a lot of meaning now that we’ve seen how Ben treats Juliet.

-Juliet does her best with Jack, but she meets the same problem as I do, Jack is just too stubborn.  Ben gave her a pretty hard job, Jack doesn’t really let anyone in, and her job was to get him to trust her.

-The problem with trying to analyze what Juliet says is that there’s still no proof that anything she says or has said is the truth.  Even now, everything we think we know about Juliet could easily be turned on it’s head.

-I love it when Juliet tasers Sawyer in the neck, if we had trusted her at all we would feel pretty dumb at that point (I know I did).

-I also enjoy it when Juliet takes Jack out with a single punch.  Juliet is a little bit like Sidney Bristow.

-Juliet says to Jack about The Others, “It doesn’t matter who we were, it matters who we were.”  That sounds like a mantra, especially the way she says it.  Is that what The Others think, do they all just forget about their real lives?  Do they all have to be brainwashed?


-I like Kate’s reaction to The Others stealing her clothes when she was having a shower.  “Where are my clothes?!?”  Does she think this is the gym?  She’s a prisoner.

-When Kate puts the dress on she looks in the mirror and you can tell that she desperately wants to get off the island back to real life.  Before this point I never really thought she was too into the whole rescuing idea.

-I almost shed a tear when Kate sees Sawyer and starts crying.  The conversation afterwards was pretty cute too.  I just love their chemistry, it works so well.














-Who is that guy with Sarah, he must be important in some way.  “Tell me what his name is” I’m with Jack on this one, I’m desperate to find out.

-Does Sarah have kids in this flashback?  We see her at a preschool, or daycare or something like that.

-I love it when Jack runs into the glass, in The Hydra.

-Most awkward Jack line ever, Jack comes to the divorce meeting without a lawyer, his first words to his former wife, “you look pretty.”  Hilarious.

-After that awkward scene, Jack begs to hear her new boyfriends name.  Sarah says nothing and walks away smiling.  What’s with that?

-I would have fought Juliet’s and Ben’s mind games just as much as him, but surely he could have seen that he was losing.

-Juliet says that Sarah is happy.  Who knows if that it actually true.  See Below.

-Christian got drunk immediately after Jack attacked him at the AA meeting.  That is pretty depressing, I can see how Jack could blame that on himself, it was completely his fault. I love what Sarah says, “Look on the bright side, now you have something to fix.”








-When Ethan comes out of Juliet’s plumbing box thing, I still didn’t want to believe that it was the island.

Mr. Friendly

-It was pretty obvious that Tom was gay.  You can tell that the writers told him, he was playing the character way differently.


-I originally thought that Karl was a spy.  Or that all of the scenes with him were just mind games for Sawyer.

-Karl was desperate to get to the survivors camp.  I guess I would be too if they had put me into Room 23.  That would have been interesting if he had made it.


-Is there any chance that Christian was sleeping with Sarah?  I know that’s kinda the point of this episode, to prove that that didn‘t happen.  But it didn’t completely prove it.  Maybe they had some sort of relationship another time.

-I love when Jack hears Christian over the communicator.  I still believe that Christian is trying to guide him to Jacob.

-The scene with Jack and Christian at the AA meeting is depressingly awkward.  It’s just painful to watch.  But at least Jack got arrested for it.

Flashbacks (what we knew then):

-Somehow I didn’t see it coming, for two seasons in a row I was tricked by the opening scenes, I was sure they were off-island.

-This episode was absolutely maddening, it answered almost no questions and it just confused everything.  I remember being very frustrated at the end.

Flashforwards (what we know now):

-The opening scene has what appears to be an earthquake, I always thought that that was when the plane hit the island, but it must have been The Swan almost overloading.

-Sarah and her mysterious boyfriend.  This subject really bugs me.  I have a theory about it, but even I don’t believe it’s true, I’ll write it up later this season.  I’m sure that at some point Sarah’s boyfriend will become very important, until then…

-The format of this episode, where the just focus on a very small group of characters, becomes much more common in season 3 and on.  In season two and one there were a lot of episodes where they switch back and fourth between groups, they do that less and less now.

_I think I’ve put this video on my blog before, but it’s very good.  Here’s what happened during the crash scenes, chronologically:

– Izi

2 Responses to “301 – A Tale of Two Cities”

  1. 1 Audrey
    May 7, 2010 at 3:14 am

    I actually just wanted to read this review to see if you poked fun at Jack’s line, “You look pretty.” IT’S JUST SO CREEPY HOW HE SAYS IT. I’ve watched this episode many times and I’ve never been really happy with the flashback being Jack’s. They dove right into Des, didn’t they? I think Juliet should have really been the central character in this one.

  2. 2 Jason
    January 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    6.0 is spot on. I don’t think they wanted to overwhelm a potentially new audience just tuning in by jumping around to Locke, Sayid, and some of the main cast still left at the beach. I still haven’t figured out the breakfast by the beach scene, but getting Kate into a dress and putting her next to Sawyer is one way to mess with his mind a bit.

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October 2008

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