First, the big picture. It’s a genius move to go back to flashbacks on one of the principle characters that we know the least. Filling in more Juliet’s story, and by association, Ben’s, was very, very satisfying, especially coming on the heels of the last few segs that were way more question-raising than answer-providing.
Most intriguing thing to me about our sixth installment — “The Other Woman,” penned by Drew Goddard and Christina M. Kim and helmed by Eric Lanueville (he’s come a long way from swabbing the halls on “St. Elsewhere”) — is how much it provided firm evidence of Juliet’s complicity in the Others’ dastardly deeds. We’ve grown to know her only in her heroic resistence-fighter mode, but in reality, she’s got some ‘splaining to do.
Sure, Juliet was duped into joining a super-elite research org, etc., but the progession of the flashbacks in this seg makes clear she knew a lot, if not everything, that Ben was up to in New Otherton: the dossiers on the survivors; snatching the tail-section survivors, including the kids (remember Zach and Emma?); heck, she even fingered Jack for Ben as being an accomplished spinal surgeon.
When Ben starts dispatching his lieutenants as Oceanic 815 disintegrates over their heads, it’s clear that the focus is not on helping survivors, but somehow exploiting them. (How many times have we seen that scene? Yet each time there’s a slightly different perspective on the reaction in New Otherton, which makes for a creatively satisfying way for ABC to amortize a costly fx shot.)
At the same time, the flashbacks humanize Juliet even more by filling in her back story of having an affair Goodwin and being the object of Ben’s obsessive, possessive desire.