Ever since the introduction of Paulo and Nikki, fans of the series have expressed their absolute hatred for the new characters, despite the fact that the show’s creators stated, in so many words, to just deal with it, since they would likely be around for a long time.
I don’t know what to think of that statement after watching tonight’s episode. Initially, it seemed like both Paulo and Nikki were dead in the ground, and if that was the case, then why did the writers even bother? By the end of the episode, however, it became clear that they were actually just paralyzed (more on that later) and awoke just as they were being buried (alive!) in the beach. Now, I don’t exactly know where they’re going with this, but I’d really like to know if they’re pretty much screwed (read: dead) or if they’ll somehow make it out of that sand grave before they really do die.
The flashback in this week’s episode was actually shared by both characters, since they knew each other before the crash. Nikki is a… stripper? No wait, she’s actually an up-and-coming actress who’s just finished a scene with the Billy Dee Williams on a “Charlie’s Angels” clone called “Expose.” Razzle dazzle, indeed. Paulo, on the other hand, is the personal chef for the director of the show, but after he old man suddenly dies from a “heart attack,” it’s revealed the two are actually in cahoots. They’ve just conned, poisoned and stolen a bag of diamonds from the poor man (yes, I was thinking the same thing: more criminals on the island?), but they’ll never get the chance to spend them.
The rest of the episode was split into two halves. The first was based around the idea that these two characters have been on the island since day one, and in order to make the audience believe so, recreated several scenes from the first two seasons with both of them popping up in places we all know we never saw them before. That was a bit pathetic – especially bringing back Maggie Grace, Ian Somerhalder and the dude who played Arnzt. Still, it seems that these guys were quite the explorers. Not only did they discover both the drug plane and the Pearl hatch first, but Paulo also spied Ben and Juliet talking about their impending abduction of Jack and Co.
Uh… you could have warned them you know.
Long story short, all either of these two really cares about is finding the diamonds. Nikki wants them for herself, and Paulo wants them so Nikki still needs him. The latter is the one who finally finds them (in the same pond as the case with the guns, no less), and when his secret is discovered, Nikki plans her revenge. Unable to get a gun from Sawyer, Nikki goes the island route and tosses a Medusa bug on to Paulo, which quickly bites and paralyzes him. Unfortunately, Nikki gets a couple bites of her own, but that doesn’t stop her from burying the diamonds before passing out in front of Sawyer and Hurley.
And that brings us to the second part of the story: the crime scene investigation. The Frat Pack (that’s what I’m calling Sawyer, Hurley, Jin and Charlie these days) are on the case, but aside from finding the two bodies lying in the woods, they really can’t figure anything else out. Sawyer gets blamed (of course) and Charlie confesses to Sun that it was actually he who faux-kidnapped her several months back, but no one ever determines the cause of death. Which brings us back the beginning: Nikki isn’t really dead. I’m not so sure about Paulo, since we never saw him actually open his eyes (and he would have done so before Nikki, right?), but they’ve both just been buried alive (presumably) with no way of calling for help.
Will everyone’s favorite survivors to hate make it out alive, or have the writers just found a convenient way of clearing up the message boards? Tune in next week to find out. And if not, then at least we get to see Kate and Juliet go at it… in the rain!