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Viewer recap: Not In Portland

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Not in Portland, which screened Wednesday, March 14 at 8.30pm:


Juliet sits on the beach crying as the sun sets over the water. Heading inside a bleakly lit corridor, she passes Ethan Rom, who gives her a "hello". Inside a candle lit room, Juliet finds a woman sleeping. Using a zippered kit, she removes a syringe and fills it with a substance marked A4993-E3. The woman then awakes, and Juliet discusses treating her, not because she is her doctor, but she is her sister. After injecting her sister (Rachel), Juliet draws back the curtains, to reveal not the Island, but Miami.

In the first sequence, the younger Juliet sneaks into the Miami Central University Medical Research Laboratory after hours. She gets a call from Diana, a secretary at Mittelos Bioscience, and "Dr. Burke" as she is called confirms her appointment to see Dr. Alpert the following day. Inside the lab room, Juliet pockets several bottles of the medicine she previously used on her sister, but is interrupted by a man and woman entering the room, flirting and caressing each other. Juliet hides, but her cell phone once more rings, giving herself away instantly. The man moves over, and after Juliet makes up a story as to why she is there, he introduces Sherry to Juliet Burke, his ex-wife. He asks Juliet to leave, and to shut the lights off.

Some time later, returning to work, Juliet studies genetic data on her computer, but is interrupted by Sherry, who besides being involved with her ex is also an employee, and is asked to see Dr. Edmund Burke immediately. In his office, Edmund reveals that he is fully aware of what she has been doing and suspects that the patient is her sister. He wants to collaborate as her findings could change the face of medical science, making both of them rich. Juliet is given little option with the threat from Edmund that refusal could mean ethical and even legal scrutiny.

Juliet attends her meeting with Dr. Alpert from Mittelos Bioscience, who is presenting a slide show about their facilities in Portland, Oregon, in the hope of recruiting her as a head of department. His pitch of independent funding and research freedom intrigues Juliet, who asks why they are interested in her. Alpert talks about Juliet's research, managing to impregnate a male field mouse, clearly impressed with her work.

He asks her to examine a slide of a womb CT sequence. Juliet assesses that it is a human womb, and judging by the scan, most likely of a barren patient in her 70s. However, she is told that the woman is in fact just 26 years old, and that she could find out why if she worked with them. However, Juliet begins to cry, stating that her ex-husband would never let her go, jokingly saying that short of getting hit by a bus, she was bound to him. Apologizing, she leaves, adding that she is no leader.

Back at home, Juliet tells her sister about the interview and her feelings of failure, but is shocked to learn that she has not failed, and that Rachel is pregnant. Rachel has the box and instructions for a Widmore Home Pregnancy Kit on the table. With the resolve that all she must do now is get healthy again, Rachel and Juliet embrace, and talk about confronting Edmund.

Juliet finds Edmund talking on his cell phone to his mother outside the lab. She tells him that Rachel is pregnant, but refuses to allow collaboration and testing on her own sibling. As Edmund argues, he steps out onto the street and is hit by a bus.

Juliet goes to the morgue to identify Edmund's body and sign paperwork. The doctor leaves her alone and she starts to cry. She is interrupted by the appearance of Ethan and Dr. Alpert. She half recognizes Ethan, and then begins to think back to her interview where she had spoken about Edmund getting hit by a bus. Alpert brushes off the comment, saying he doesn't recall, and that Juliet must still be in shock. He reveals knowing about her sister because of their "very thorough recruitment process" and asks once more for Juliet to come to Portland, just for six months. Juliet asks whether she can bring her sister, but Alpert admits it may be difficult for her to get her treatment at such a remote facility, as it is in fact "not quite in Portland".

On the Hydra Island

In the Hydra surgery room, Jack uses the walkie to tell Kate to leave the island with Sawyer and contact him when she's safe with the story he told her when they first met. With the Others' attention drawn for the moment, they attack and knock out Danny and Jason, and escape the cages, locking the Others themselves inside. Back in surgery, Juliet calls Jack's bluff and instructs Ivan to get Danny and recapture "Austen" and "Ford", authorizing them to kill if necessary. Juliet tells Jack that they can't escape because they are on a separate island. This only angers Jack, who reveals how Juliet had asked him to kill Ben. Though she denies it, Tom orders Juliet to leave the room.

While Ivan releases Danny and Jason, Kate and Sawyer make it to the beach and call Jack to ask for help in getting a boat. Danny and the two Others catch up, however, chasing them into the woods and destroying the walkie in the crossfire. Sawyer runs out of ammo and Kate is about to get shot by Jason when Alex sling-shots him and motions for Kate and Sawyer to follow her. She brings them to a hideout hole covered by a grass facade.

Ben wakes up and overhears Tom confronting Jack about Juliet's betrayal. He asks that Juliet be brought to him, and Tom fetches her.

Kate, Sawyer and Alex leave their hiding place. Alex says there is no tunnel to the main island but that she will take them to a boat if they help her rescue her boyfriend, Karl, who is being held prisoner somewhere on the island.

Ben congratulates Jack on his ploy and then asks to speak to Juliet alone. Jack and Tom watch from the observation room but cannot hear what Ben and Juliet discuss. Tom says that Ben and Juliet "have history". Juliet comes out, tears in her eyes, and asks Jack to finish the surgery. In return, Juliet will help his friends escape.

Alex brings Sawyer and Kate to another part of the Hydra compound in the jungle. An Other named Aldo is sitting guard outside, reading Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time," and Alex approaches claiming to have captured Kate and Sawyer. As they argue about "her dad" not wanting her to be there, Sawyer knocks him over and mocks him for falling for the "ol' Wookiee prisoner gag".

Kate threatens to shoot Aldo in the knee, so he reveals that Karl is at the end of the hall in Room 23. Kate knocks him out and they break into the room, where Karl is strapped to a chair with an IV in his arm and LED glasses on his face. He is being forced to watch a video with strange flashing images, text, and sounds. Sawyer is momentarily entranced by the video but Kate snaps him out of it. They remove Karl from his chair, and Sawyer carries him out over his shoulder.

Danny and company find Aldo, just as Juliet catches up with them after monitoring Kate and Sawyer's location from the Hydra video feeds. She tells Danny about her new orders to let them leave, but Danny counters that Ben would rather die than let them go.

Jack continues the surgery. He asks Tom why they didn't take Ben off the island for surgery. Tom starts to say something about when the "sky turned purple" but is interrupted when Jack accidentally snags an artery.

The fugitives load Karl onto Alex's small canoe. Sawyer comments on Alex being the "boss' daughter", and she acknowledges this. Danny arrives, ready to kill Sawyer, but before he can do so, Juliet appears, shooting him several times in the chest. Juliet tells them to leave on the boat, but that Alex must stay behind because she says it is the only way Ben will let Karl live. Alex agrees, saying goodbye to Karl. Juliet gives Kate her walkie-talkie.

The surgery is interrupted by Kate on the walkie-talkie informing Jack that they have a boat and are being let go by Juliet. Jack makes her tell him the story he told her when they first met, about how he conquered his fear when first surgery was in jeopardy, by counting to five. The story focuses on Jack and he is able to stabilize Ben. He makes Kate promise never to come back for him, and Sawyer, Kate, and Karl reluctantly sail back towards the main island in the canoe as Alex and Juliet watch on.

Juliet returns to the station, and meets Jack in the observation room. He asks what will happen now that he has removed the tumor for Ben, and Juliet says he'll go back to his cell until they figure out what to do with him. Jack demands to know what Ben said to make Juliet want to save his life, and she reveals that she has been on the island for 3 years, 2 months, and 28 days, and that Ben told her if she co-operated and he lived, he would let her go home. Juliet becomes emotional and leaves the room.

By Christopher Reisima

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