Previously on Lost: Forty-eight people of uniformly above-average attractiveness were stranded on a magical electromagnetic deserted island in the middle of God and Lostzilla Know Where, love triangles ensued, Smackfarthing was kicked in like a week, The Numbers were bad, omgwtfpolarbear, the island cured cancer and paralysis but not The Crazy, beachninjas culled the weaker members of the herd, hatch go boom, new people were added and then killed off, new new people were added but were just kind of annoying and lame, Locke saved Eko but Eko died in the very next episode so it was kind of pointless, Henry was really Ben but it really was a tuuuumahhh. P.S. Your wife speaks English and she's pregnant with someone else's baby.
Previously on "Previously on Lost ": Sawyer tasted like fishbiscuit. Kate and Sawyer consummated their dirty jailhouse love. Jack found out and went haywire during Benry's surgery out of the goodness of his heart, or the shortness of his temper, or something, and told
Right now on Lost: It's a Muffin episode. I heard a lot of groaning in advance about this--people! Don't you want to know how the hell she ended up on this island? What the hell's going on with her and Benry? You don't want to know at all? You don't think Muffin is completely hardcore and awesome? Fine, I'll just be in my corner over here.
We open with (a much curlier) Muffin in a room with a beturbaned woman who looks like a cancer patient, and she gives her a scary giant painful shot in the stomach. The woman says something about wanting to go to or see the beach, and Muffin (pulling open the curtains on a giant picture window) says something to the effect of, "Everything's the beach in Miami." So we're not on the Island and we're not in Otherville, in other words--which is interesting, because at the beginning of the scene, she totally passes Ethan ("Hello!") in the hall. We also learn that the woman is Muffin's sister, and that Muffin is anxious about--well, what looks like experimental treatment for her sister's cancer.
Back in the present, we pick up from the previous episode
Flashback. Muffin is on her cell phone--obviously I don't have notes, but in retrospect I think she might be talking to someone about her upcoming interview--sneaking into the Super-Sekrit High Security Bioresearch Lab, where she gaffles a couple of vials before Some Guy and Some Hussy stumble in mid-makeout, and Muffin's hiding behind, like, a counter or something when her cell phone goes off. Busted! Also, Some Guy is her ex-husband, and he actually goes to the trouble of introducing her to Some Hussy. And then asks Muffin to turn off the lights on her way out. Nice.
Otherville OR. Now alone with Jack (and Free-Bleeding Benry), Muffin turns around and tells Jack the flaw in his brilliant plan: Otherville-by-the-Sea isn't on Craphole Island. It's "a smaller island two miles away." You know, just like Benry showed Sawyer
Muffin's Minions arrive at the Otherville City Zoo bare minutes after Danny and Other Guy were locked up and set them free. Danny, somehow, is not dead from electrocution. Seriously, this guy is like the D-1000. So now the whole gang takes off after Sawyer and Kate, who have only now made it to the shore, and Kate's radioing Jack to tell him that they need a boat, and all of a sudden the walkie-talkie is shot out of her hand and they have to make a run for it again. And there's a nice jungle shootout where nobody really seems to hit anybody, which is a shame because now Sawyer has no more bullets and Muffin's Minions are still coming. And then Alex Rousseau pops up and pulls them into a homemade covert, you know, with a nice little leafy trapdoor and everything, and the three of them watch as the Minions pause, discuss the problem ironically, and run off "that way!"
Otherville OR. Benry wakes up. What? That's right, Benry wakes up. He's still face down, free-bleeding on the operating table, but he's heard a good bit of the conversation, which means that he knows Jack pulled a fast one (and congratulates him! "I should have seen that coming") and that Kate and Sawyer are on the loose and that Muffin tried to get Jack to kill him. And now he (Benry) wants to talk to her (Muffin).
Flashback. Muffin's ex, Dr. Edmund Burke, says that whatever she's doing, because he could tell she was doing something in the Super Sekrit Bioresearch Fridge, he wants in on it. Verbatim, "I want in on it." And he's already figured out that she's experimenting on her ill sister. And he wants in on it. They could make Burke sleazier, but it would be hard. Also, Some Hussy is now Some Research Assistant (Muffin: "... Of course you are"). Anyway, Burke wants "in on" her sister's suffering on the off chance that it produces miracle results, because then they can publish and drink champagne and be famous. Asshole. He reminds me a lot of Dr. Romano on ER, except somehow not.
Zeke tells Muffin that Benry's woken up. "How?" gasps Muffin. "[Jack] says that [dammit, Jim!] he's a doctor, not an anesthesiologist," says Zeke.
Out in the Alexandrian jungle, Rousseau Jr. tells a suspicious Sawyer that she does want something in return for the boat: she wants them to rescue Karl, aka Monkey Boy,
Otherville OR. Muffin agrees to talk to Benry, but she wants to talk to him alone. Jack is understandably nervous about this, because if she offs Benry (and it would be so very, very easy), he's lost his only bargaining chip. But he and Zeke are convinced to watch from the observation window up top, and we see Muffin, elbows on her knees, hunched over talking to Benry. She looks like she's laughing a little at one point, and then definitely like she's crying. We don't get any sound, by the way, which is fine, but then the camera gives us under-the-table shots of Benry without sound, and quite frankly, if the camera's under the table that means it's in the room, from a storytelling point of view, and we should be able to hear. Be consistent! "Did she really ask you to kill Ben[ry]?" asks Zeke. "Yeah," says Jack. Zeke takes this in. "Name's Tom," he says, in a friendly fashion. Jack's all like, Whatever, McFakebeard.
Muffin returns to announce that she's going out there to help Kate and Sawyer escape.
(ZELJKO IVANEK! That's why Burke looks familiar! And like Paul McCrane, he was also creepy on The X-Files back in the day. Well, that's one mystery solved.)
Anyway, the reason I was at the IMDB in the first place was to look up the character name of Muffin's interviewer, which sounded like either Halpert or Albert, but it's not listed, so I'm going with Halpert. Also, for some reason my affiliate cut off the beginning of this scene, so I was only gradually able to figure out what was going on, which is (in a nutshell) that Dr. (Mr.?) Halpert wants Flashback!Muffin to come work in Portland for (at least) six months on Super Sekrit Fertility Research Miracle Cures, but she breaks down and says that she can't, because her ex-husband would never allow it. In fact, she throws a little bit of a hissy and wishes aloud that Burke would get hit by a bus. And it was at this point that I knew that Burke would, in fact, get hit by a bus. In fact, this'll be the third time that a J.J. Abrams has used the Sudden Bus plot point, and that's only the three times (on Felicity, and then Michael a couple of seasons ago) that I know of.
Otherville Media Center. Muffin's at Benry's big bank of cameras searching for Kate and Sawyer--and finally finds them in the jungle with Rousseau Jr. "Oh, hell," she says.
Otherville Detention Center. Some Young Guy is sitting out front with a rifle reading A Brief History of Time. Kate has an idea (Sawyer: "Of course you do"): Alex will march them up to Some Young Guy, announce that she captured Kate and Sawyer in the woods and needs to lock them up tout de suite. Some Young Guy (or Aldo, as we will discover) starts to give Alex some lip about it, and then she says that if he doesn't believe her, he can radio her dad. Who is, by the way, Danny the D-1000. So he does, and right as he's getting orders "not to believe anything she says!," Sawyer relieves him of his rifle and the radio is smashed. Kate tells Sawyer to shoot Aldo (Sawyer: "Aldo?") in the knee to get him to tell them where Karl the Monkey Boy is being held, and Aldo's all like "I don't know!," so Kate snatches the rifle away and is about a milimeter from evaporating this guy's kneecap when he starts screaming "ROOM 23 THE KEYS ARE IN MY BACK POCKET!!!1!" So they tie up Aldo and Kate is totally sweeping dark corners like a one-woman SWAT team and it's kind of awesome. Sawyer voices some doubt that she actually would have shot the guy, and she disabuses him of that notion with a quickness. Maybe she's finally learned something from Muffin.
So they get to Room 23, and there's poor Monkey Boy restrained in a chair getting a neon Clockwork Orange treatment. Whatever they're brainwashing him with, it involves some seizuriffic flashing and title cards like "Everything Changes" and "Think About Your Life" and "We are the causes of our own suffering" and even something along the lines of "God loves you as He loved Jacob," which possibly weirds me out more than the rest of the film--moon, gears, eyeballs, dolls and everything. Also, it involves screaming techno music, and Sawyer's starting to get hypnotized by it himself. So finally, after Kate and a weeping Alex have yanked out Monkey Boy's IV and stripped off his neon goggles and snapped Sawyer's lizard hindbrain out of its trance, Sawyer heaves Karl over his shoulder and off they go.
However later (there's no telling), both Muffin and Danny and the Minions (have you heard my new band, Danny and the Minions?) have caught up to sad-ass Aldo. Muffin informs the Minions that Benry wants to let Sawyer and Kate go, but the D-1000 spits that he knows that Benry would rather die than let them go. Yeah, about that...
Flashback. Muffin comes home from her interview and meekly, wistfully (O hardcore Muffin, where art thou?) tells her sister that she's not going to take the job with Halpert--number one, he's kind of creepy, and number two, the job's all the way in Portland. Of course we know she really doesn't want to leave because of her sister, but her sister has good news: she's pregnant. And this is when we, and by "we" I mean "I," realize that Muffin's been treating her sister's infertility--if the sister looks like she's had chemo, it's a side effect of a completely different treatment. The "cancer" look is the side effect, not the illness, if you see what I'm saying. And they cry and they're happy.
So the next day, Muffin catches up with Burke and tells him that her sister's pregnant, which is the miracle result he was hoping for--but she doesn't want to publish the results, "because it's my sister." (As we go into this scene, Burke is on his phone telling someone how bitchy she [the someone herself] is, basically--and it turns out to be his mother. Way to be subtle, guys.) And I forget what Burke is actually saying to Muffin at this moment, for reasons that will shortly become apparent, but he's sort of walking backward dismissively, you know, like he's going to turn and cross the street and BUS. Yup, it's the Abrams Special, right on time. I actually said "OH MY GOD" out loud, because even though I knew it was going to happen, somehow I wasn't expecting it to happen right then.
Otherville OR. Time is running out, but I guess Jack's decided to go ahead and start patching Benry up since Muffin's said she's going to help Kate and Sawyer. We see him drop something icky in a dish, and like two hours later I realized that was the actual tumor itself. I r smrt. (Zeke, meanwhile, is being queasy in a surgeon's mask because he, like Hurley, does not like the sight of blood.) So he's fixing Benry up and then he nicks an artery for real this time. Oops!
Down at the (other) shore (no, the other one), Rousseau Jr. has pulled out her hidden boat. It's a... some kind of boat. Look, I don't do boats; I don't know. It has a sail and thingies on the side. I'm sure y'all will tell me what it is. So they're heaving Karl into the boat and Karl's coming to and he murmurs, "Danny...," and Sawyer's like, "Not Danny! Sawyer!," and Karl's like, "NO, SERIOUSLY, DANNY." And there's Danny on the beach about to shoot them all, and suddenly here's Muffin and she totally blows Danny away. Like, three times. And Alex is just staring, because if I'm understanding this correctly, she's the daughter of Danny and Crazy Rousseau, right? But Muffin's going to help them get away, and Alex apparently has a strained enough relationship with her father that she's more than happy to go. Except that Muffin then says, "No, Alex, you're staying here. The only way Danny'll let Karl live is if you're here when he wakes up." When he wakes up? Are you kidding me? Man, he really is the D-1000. So Alex has a tearful goodbye with groggy Karl, who ends by saying "I have to go to sleep now," and I kind of wonder if he's even going to make it to Craphole Island. But before they can even start off, Muffin hands Kate her radio: she's got to call Jack back and tell him a story.
ETA: Commenters are now telling me that I’m not understanding it correctly after all--Alex is really Benry’s daughter, and that’s why they’re waiting on him to wake up. Which means that the D-1000 just had a really, really bad day.
Of course, Jack's trying to unkill Benry as we speak, so this is kind of inconvenient, but he makes Zeke hold the radio up so he can hear. You know, while Zeke is also supposed to be squeegeeing blood out of Benry. Well, so much for ever being able to use the Count to Five story as a secret code again. So she retells him the whole story he told her in the pilot episode, about turning that girl's nerves into angel hair and losing his shit and then counting to five and sewing her back up, and Kate's crying the whole time, and it is way awkward for Sawyer (the current Mr. Kate) and Muffin (the future Mrs. Jack) to watch. And Jack just keeps sewing Benry up the whole time, and I know this is some kind of circle-of-life way of repeating the Jack Saves Everyone motif, but they are playing the sad death music, and I kind of start hoping that Jack won't be able to save Benry. Don't get me wrong; Henry creeped the living hell out of me, but I rather like Benry in his natural habitat. I just really kind of wanted him to die, though, just for the irony. So anyway. Jack fixes Benry, and Kate's crying, and it's awkward, and then Jack says, "Promise me something, Kate. Promise me you won't come back for me." And then he turns off the radio, and Kate loses it. Fortunately, Muffin and Sawyer are able to convince her to heave-ho with the boat and they--Sawyer, Kate and Monkey Boy--are off.
Flashback. Muffin's at a morgue signing papers for her ex-husband's body, and she breaks down crying, and hey! There's Ethan with a tissue. "Hey, do I know you?" And look, here's Mr. Dr. Eyeliner Halpert! He still wants Muffin to come to Portland. And then Muffin puts her hands to her mouth because she realizes she told Halpert she wanted Burke to get hit by a BUS, and he DID, and now he's DEAD, and he's DEAD FROM BUS. And Halpert's all like, "You shouldn't blame yourself. And don't worry, if you come to Portland, we'll let you go after six months so you can be with your sister when she delivers." And now it's time for the classic Wait I Never Said That, How Did You Know moment. And they're at least subtle enough to just show us Muffin thinking through it, not saying it, but you can tell she's sitting there thinking that running the reason she couldn't go to Portland over with a bus is so obvious that they must be trying to tell her something. Something like "We don't take no for an answer." And they know about her sister, so now her sister and her sister's baby are at stake. But why can't the sister come with them to Portland? "Well," says Halpert, "we're not really based in Portland. It's somewhere... more remote." No kidding.
Otherville OR. Jack's watching Benry... heal, or something. Like, he's just standing there watching through the observation window. Muffin joins him and he asks what Benry said to her. "It doesn't matter," she said. Jack nearly blows a gasket: "No, IT MATTERS. What did he say to make you save his life? After what I've been through, HULK JACK DESERVE TO KNOW!" So Muffin tells him: Benry said that if she let him live, he'd let her, after three years in Otherville, go home. And Jack just stares at her, because I have to think that on some level he thought, Kate wants Sawyer, and I've kind of got this thing with Muffin going, so I'll let them go and tell them not to come back for me and I'll stay here and it won't be so bad. Yeah. ABOUT THAT.
Next week: "We've got to do exactly what Jack told us not to!" Ah, it's just like old times.