The Cost Of Living

Episode Report Card
Daniel: C- | Grade It Now!
Oh, thou shalt NOT kill. Right. Got it.

In Pearl station, Nikki's enjoying the orientation video (the one where Dr. Marvin Candle calls himself Mark Wickman), while Desmond, Locke, and Sayid poke around the wiring behind the bank of televisions. Paulo's nowhere to be seen. Sayid says the wiring is only one way, that it's a closed system. Nikki asks what the other televisions are for and rewinds the orientation video so she can replay the part where Candle/Wickman talks about monitoring the other stations' projects. "Projects. More than one. So maybe some of these TVs are connected to the other hatches," says Nikki. Locke says he's suddenly feeling very stupid. Yeah, especially considering he already turned on a television and discovered he could observe Swan station, no? I guess he's forgotten that. Sayid says he could try to "patch in one of the other feeds," to see if they can get another picture. So what did his "closed system," "one-way wiring" explanation mean? I have no idea. I think Sayid makes up his electronic blah-blah as he goes along, depending on how best it suits the plot.

Anyway, we hear a toilet flush, and Paulo comes out of what appears to be a bathroom. "The toilet works," he says. See what your open call for adventurers gets you, Locke? Paulo Bundy over here.

Sayid futzes with the wires a bit more, and one of the monitors comes on, showing a small room with banks of electronic equipment. "Those are computers! Great. That's what you're looking for! Now we can get out of here," says Paulo, munching on some fruit. I really hope Paulo won't be allowed to inflict his uselessness on any future expeditions. I also really hope he gets E.coli since no one ever taught him to wash his hands after going to the bathroom.

Just then, a face enters the screen, a man wearing an eyepatch looking directly at the camera. Nikki gasps. I might have too, had the ABC idiots not blown it by showing it in the previews last week. Everyone watches, rapt, as the man tilts his head quizzically, then reaches towards the camera, and turns something. The monitor reverts to static. Locke's really enjoying this. "I guess he'll be expecting us," he says, smiling.

Juliet enters the room across from Jack's cell, while he's pacing the floor. He turns towards her. "What, you don't trust me anymore?" he says. She says she trusts him just fine, but she's going to put a movie on. She's got a cassette she pops into the VCR even as Jack is all, "I'll pass on the movie." She insists that he'll like it. "It's To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a classic," she says. He insists he doesn't want to watch a movie with her, even though that'd TOTALLY be the perfect time to make a move on her. She says she'll turn the sound down, and he walks up to the glass. She says she wanted to apologize for him being brought here, for what's been done to him and his friends. She sounds sincere. "You have to know, we were desperate. It was all so we could save his life." Meanwhile, she's pushed play on the VCR, and Gregory Peck is looking really hot, and he's holding a cue card and looking directly at the camera. And the card says, "Ignore everything I'm saying." And I have to say I don't remember this part from the book, but I never did see the movie. Although, come to think of it, I don't remember Gregory Peck being blond. Come to that, I'm pretty sure To Kill a Mockingbird is in black & white. Or wait! That's Juliet! And she's seen Dylan perform "Subterranean Homesick Blues," or Love, Actually or some INXS video or something, depending on your frame of reference. Juliet continues. "Ben. He's a great man." Card reads: "Ben is a liar." Juliet: "I know you find that hard to believe, but he is." Jack glances up at the security camera behind Juliet's back. Card reads: "And he is very dangerous." At this point, Jack wheels in a television of his own and plays a video in which he holds up a cue card that reads, "Tell me something I don't know." Juliet says, "You probably feel like you don't have a choice. But you do, Jack. Free will is all we've really got, right?" Cards read: "Some of us want a change. But it has to look like an accident." Juliet: "Anyway, just wanted to put in my two cents." Cards: "It has to look like we tried to save him. And that's up to you, Jack." Juliet: "I told you before you can trust me. I want you to trust me now, when I tell you that doing the surgery is absolutely the right thing for you to do." Video Juliet is holding a card that says, "It's a complicated surgery. No one would ever know." For some reason, this cracked me up. She's really selling it on those cards! Juliet says, "It's the right thing, because he deserves to live." Card: "And I would protect you." The next card reads, "Now tell me to turn the movie off." Jack obliges, and even sounds annoyed. ["A hell of a stretch for our boy, there." -- Joe R] Juliet pretends to protest, and isn't there one more card? "Do you like me? Check one: Yes __ No __" She shuts off the video and walks to the door. "Think about what I said. Please," she says, and walks out.

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