Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jate Daily News: Susan Lewis That Shit

I know Caroline promised that I'd be updating next with an in-depth discussion of my thoughts and predictions for "Something Nice Back Home," and that's still what this is going to be - it's just not a discussion of the same thoughts and predictions for the episode that I had originally intended to write about. It was going to be a lovely blog that painted the pretty picture of Jack and Kate sharing a home together in the hills above Los Angeles whilst raising little Aaron as their own precious son. It was going to more or less spell out why it's entirely probable that Kate (and Aaron - Jack's family) is that something nice back home for him. It's a fantastic masterpiece in my head, made even more beautiful because there's such a good chance that it may come true, and I still plan to get it written. Stay tuned though, because tonight is about something else entirely.

Tonight is about Susan Lewis, that spunky little blonde doctor from the golden years of NBC's ER, and how one of her trademark moves is going to play a huge part in the upcoming episodes. Or, at least, I'm predicting that it will.

Let's do a little bit of exposition for the kids who didn't watch ER back in the day, shall we? I'll try to make it quick. In season 8 (arguably the last truly great season of the now laughable series) we found ourselves watching the drama of the Susan/Carter/Abby/Luka quadrangle. It was a weird quad, because Abby/Luka weren't even together anymore - they had a nasty breakup in which he shouted "Carter can have you!" on top of many other wretched insults - but had managed to mend fences enough to maintain a close friendship; so close that she was sleeping on his couch after being forced out of her apartment for a while. Carter and Susan, on the other hand, were great friends who found themselves in need of good company and great comfort because, let's face it, Susan was lonely and Carter was too pansy to step up and fight for Abby once she and Luka were kaput. Save for the whole "Abby and Luka build back a great friendship and become roommates" thing, it was a quadrangle that is strikingly similar in every way to the Juliet/Jack/Kate/Sawyer quad that we currently have on Lost.

Even Sawyer's "You'll find some reason to get pissed at Jack, and bounce right back to me!" comment in the Skate breakup was said for the exact same reasons as Luka's "Carter can have you!" in the death of Luby. It was a man exhausted by trying to be with a woman who is clearly splitting her affections between two men.

The quads are the same, you guys! Susan and Juliet are the same! It's freakishly similar, and that only serves to bolster my belief that the Lost quad is headed for the same outcome that the ER quad experienced in that wonderful eighth season - specifically, the episode entitled "Secrets & Lies." This episode saw our trusty quad in a pickle of circumstance, as they all got in trouble at work (along with one adorable med student) for joking around with the ideas of sexual harassment. They were sentenced to a day-long seminar on the topic, but the seminar's instructor got caught in the snow. Cue a wonderful twist of events that leaves our quad trapped in a room together all day with nothing else to do but talk, laugh, flirt, argue, and - ya know - fence. It was brilliant, because it presented Susan with the unexpected opportunity to witness Carter and Abby interacting without interruption; for her to see just how jealous he got over the idea of her living with Luka; to realize that no matter how great he treated her or how long he dated her, his heart was actually inextricably tied to Abby.

I see a very similar (albeit totally more dramatic) situation being set up for next week's episode, "Something Nice Back Home." Jack falls horribly ill - we're talking a matter of life and death, people - and it's up to both Juliet and Kate to work together to save him. It goes without saying that we will get plenty of Jacket and Jate interaction with this episode, and it definitely should go without saying that Kate is going to be beside herself with worry. Juliet is going to see that. What's more, Juliet is going to see a side of Jack that she's never really seen before; a side of him that's vulnerable, weak and scared. And in that state of distress, Jack is bound to reveal emotions in front of Juliet - whether purposefully or otherwise - that she's not bound to like. In the promo that we got after last night's episode, there's clearly a moment in which Jack lies sick in bed, looking completely broken and slightly upset, and tells Juliet very bluntly: "I want Kate."

What does he want Kate for, exactly? I don't know. But I'm almost certain it's going to give way to at least one ridiculously Jatey and emotional scene - one that will either be directly witnessed by Juliet, or at least felt in it's intensity as the emotions become charged when she gives in and allows Kate to take care of him instead. The details aren't exactly what's important here - all that matters is that I sense Juliet getting a heaping taste of the Jack/Kate bond and suddenly taking notice that it's not as simple as she originally thought. To me, Juliet has been existing in a romance with Jack under the premise that Jack no longer wants or loves Kate after how she "broke his heart" when she cage!sexed Sawyer. She's going to see quite clearly that, although he was indeed hurt by that and other Skate instances, it did nothing to lessen the love that he feels for Kate. Juliet is an intelligent woman, y'all, and I think she's alert enough to take notice of the connection that Jack and Kate share when they're given a few uninterrupted moments to express themselves. She'll come to realize that no matter how hard Jack may be trying to fight it and move on with her, his heart is inextricably tied to Kate.

Just like Carter's was to Abby in that classic, game-changing episode.

And what Susan Lewis did at the end of that day-long seminar-gone-psycho is the same exact scenario that I see Juliet Burke following in the footsteps of after "Something Nice Back Home." It's impossible to truly explain the wonder of "pulling a Susan Lewis," and for that reason I am just going to ask you all to watch the clip. It's the last 10 minutes of the episode, but skip ahead to about 6:54 in order to watch the final and pertinent scene:

For the record, you should all watch the entire clip and the two other clips that comprise the entire episode simply because it's brilliantly written (by John Wells. I'm still shocked.) and beyond hilarious. John Carter and Luka Kovac engage in a fencing match, guys. Hilarity. Watch it. But in the meantime, let's get back to the point.

Susan Lewis pulled off one of the greatest breakups in the history of television, all because she was being completely selfless and focusing on what would make the man she was dating most happy. When the lightbulb went off in her head and she realized that what would make him most happy was not, in fact, her, she chose to set him free while at the same time attempting to make him face his feelings for Abby and finally do something about it. A similar scenario almost took place with the Addison/Derek/Meredith triangle on Grey's, as Addi eventually admitted that she should have just let him go, and kind of did take place with the Finn/Meredith/Derek triangle when Derek opted to walk away because Finn was "the better guy." If you watched The O.C. then you've seen the slightly more bitter version of this selfless breakup technique, as Anna dumped Seth once it became obvious that he was still crushing on Summer. Anna, like Susan, also made sure to point out to the male that it was time to step up to the plate and finally be with the woman he loved. This is not a new breakup format by any means, and it's a totally valid plot bunny in the path to ending a triangle.

The fact that we're dealing with more than a triangle on the island these days - just like our favorite hospital co-workers were back in their day - makes me think it's even more likely and justifiable that Juliet Burke is gonna Susan Lewis that shit. The producers have told us that a lot of what happens in the upcoming finale rests "on the axis of the triangle," and they're talking about the Jate/Skate triangle. No mention of the quadrangle takes place, which leads me to believe that the quadrangle no longer exists by the finale. And I don't personally think Jack Shephard is the type of guy who would break up with a woman he even slightly cares about - this is a man who needs to fix things, not break them. So in order for us to get back to the trusty and annoying triangle, Juliet is going to have to end it with Jack.

I really don't see why she'd ever do that unless she's either a lying bitch or a selfless and caring friend. She wants what's best for Jack in the end, which I'm sure she'll soon realize means setting him free to be with the one he truly desires. And Susan Lewis paved the way for all the underdog girlfriends of TV land to do exactly that with dignity, grace and a nice big dose of redemption in the eyes of the opposing 'shippers.

We've already been promised that "Something Nice Back Home" is going to produce a "happy twist of events" for Team Jate, and we've all just assumed that it's in reference to the FFs only; who's to say that this happy twist isn't in actuality a Jacket breakup giving way to a Jate hookup? Anything is possible. And just because the same episode has been repeatedly touted as revisiting the Jacket relationship, there's nothing that says we're revisiting it in a romantic way. It could just as easily mean that we're revisiting it in order to watch it fall apart. Nothing can be taken at face value with this show, and that's a lesson we've all learned the hard way over the years.

It may not happen by the end of next week's episode - although I personally really think it might - but I do predict loud and proud that Juliet will put her own personal spin on the Susan Lewis Breakup Speech at some point before the end of the season.

And then we can all go back to stressing over that tried and true Jate/Skate triangle instead.

Truth be told, that actually sounds pretty damn favorable to me.

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