ozmissage (ozmissage) wrote in het_reccers,

Character Manifesto: Juliet Burke

Fandom: Lost
Character: Juliet Burke
Pairings Included in Manifesto: James “Sawyer” Ford/Juliet Burke, Jack Shephard/Juliet Burke, Sayid Jarrah/Juliet Burke, Daniel Faraday/Juliet Burke, Boone Carlyle/Juliet Burke, Desmond Hume/Juliet Burke, Charlie Pace/Juliet Burke, Richard Alpert/Juliet Burke, Christian Shephard/Juliet Burke


Credit: navras_rheya

It doesn’t matter who we were. It only matters who we are.

Trying to nail down just one thing that makes Juliet Burke a great character is no easy task. Trying to explain to you why she’s my very favorite character not only on Lost, but in anything ever is impossible and would quite frankly involve a sure to be scary dip into my psyche. But I’m going to give it a shot anyway because I can not talk about Juliet without involving a whole range of feelings. Mostly flailing.

I don't think it's an overstatement to say Juliet renewed my faith in Lost. Season three just happened to coincide with a time when my own life was in a state of flux. Television was not my primary concern and much as I adored Lost, season two had left me frustrated, but I tuned in to the season three premiere “A Tale of Two Cities” and was instantly captivated by the new character on my screen.

She was in many ways a mystery. From the beginning, Juliet was framed as an outsider, a wild card. The writers tried very hard to make us question her every move. Was she one of them? Was she one of us? The answer was simple, despite what the writers would have us believe--- she was neither.

It was obvious from her first scene in which we saw Juliet fighting to hold back tears as she started her day with a little help from Petula Clarke. It was easy to see that her life was a mess even before she burned her muffins. This was a woman clearly trapped in a bad situation who was completely and utterly on her own.

Then a plane fell out of the sky.

From that point on, Juliet was a certified badass. Whether she was scheming with Jack to let Ben bleed out on the operating table or killing Danny to ensure Sawyer and Kate’s safe return to the main island, Juliet proved that she could be tough and hard and as cold-hearted as necessary to get things done.

But that’s not all she was.

I’m not a leader, Mr. Alpert. I’m a mess.

Before the island Juliet had a failed marriage and a sister dying of cancer. I would never call her weak, but she was timid, more fragile than the Juliet we know and she had a whole mountain of insecurity issues that would haunt her for the rest of her life, not to mention directly cause the end of it.

Ultimately, she was driven by her love for her big sister, Rachel. And later that love would be her primary reason both for wanting to go home and for staying on the island---Ben supposedly made a deal with Jacob on Juliet’s behalf to keep her sister alive in exchange for Juliet’s continued help with their fertility issues. The only thing Juliet ever truly wanted was to be reunited with her sister and nephew. One of Lost’s greatest tragedies is that she never was.

What’s appealing about Juliet isn’t that she’s strong, it’s that she became strong. She is an infinitely relatable character. She starts out as shockingly normal. Yes, she’s a genius scientist/doctor who can impregnate male lab rats (badass), but outside of that she could be me or you or anyone we know. She loves her family. Her marriage fell apart. Her backstory is not one made of crazy like most (all) of the other castaways. Adversity shapes her into the gun-toting, Latin-speaking lady we know and love. She’s flawed and somehow that only made her more human, more real to me.

I’m already on my own, Jack.

Which brings us to the shipping portion of the evening. Juliet’s relationships with men were tricky, if for no other reason than she was perpetually portrayed as “the other woman”. There was always someone the dude supposedly loved more; a mistress, a wife, Kate. It was insanity, but it’s something that has to be dealt with when we’re talking about Juliet because it ties right into those insecurity issues I mentioned before. There was a sense that Juliet believed that she couldn’t be loved and that’s tragic in a way that both breaks my heart and that I understand. Once again, the woman is relatable. At least she is if you happen to be me.

Happily…well maybe not entirely happily, at least one man proved her wrong.

Let me just say this up front, there is not a single character Juliet can not be shipped with (and I’ll try to prove that when we get to the recs). My primary ship was Juliet/whoever makes her happy, but I do have my favorites. Sawyer/Juliet is and always will be my OTP if for no other reason than they were good for each other and they were happy together and these two simple things are really all that matters to me. But I’m also fond of Jack/Juliet and I’m still bitter that they never went for Sayid/Juliet because there’s no way that wouldn’t have been epic. Then there’s Richard/Juliet, which is full of time travel epicness and the odd pairings that really shouldn’t work, but absolutely do.

I am the host and I do pick the book, and this is my favorite book. So I am absolutely thrilled that you can't stand it.

There are so many other things I could tell you about Juliet: she’s selfless enough to pass up an opportunity to get off the island in order to ensure the safety others, she has a delightfully sarcastic sense of humor, she’ll have your back in a fight, she’s a Stephen King fangirl, she faced down smokey and didn’t blink, she fell down a well and still managed to detonate an atomic bomb, she puts toothpicks in grilled cheese sandwiches…and in case I forgot to mention, she’s frakking gorgeous.

But I’ll stop. Suffice it to say Juliet Burke is a remarkable, layered, complicated woman.

And she is and always will be my very favorite.

Fic Rec #1: Homeward Bound
Pairing: James “Sawyer” Ford/Juliet Burke
Author: elliotsmelliot
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: This fic is the most honest exploration of Dharma-era Juliet’s motivations that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s largely a gen piece, but at the same time it reveals how Juliet came to a place where she would be ready for a relationship with James.

Fic Rec #2 the laws of nature rebuild her world destroyed
Pairing: James “Sawyer” Ford/Juliet Burke, Daniel/Charlotte
Author: mollivanders
Rating/Warning(s): G

Why This Must Be Read: Juliet Burke rewrites history and saves them all. It’s a truly original, moving piece that manages to feel epic in scope without needing a huge word count

Fic Rec #3: Long Way Back to the Beginning
Author: valhalla37
Pairing: James “Sawyer” Ford/Juliet Burke (past Jack Shephard/Juliet Burke)
Rating/Warning(s):PG-13, character death

Why This Must Be Read: This an aching, gorgeous AU about an alternate Oceanic 6 that includes Juliet. She goes home, but nothing works out quite the way she thought it would.

Fic Rec #4: The open sky is painted blue
Pairing: James “Sawyer” Ford/Juliet Burke
Author: angela_weber
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: This fic is told from Sawyer’s POV and I just love seeing Juliet and their relationship through his eyes. Sharp and beautifully written.

Fic Rec #5: Through our bodies together
Pairing: James “Sawyer” Ford/Juliet Burke
Rating/Warning(s):NC-17, sex

Why This Must Be Read: A missing, much more satisfying reunion scene before Juliet and Sawyer get ushered into the light.

Fic Rec #6: It’s Been a Decade and One
Pairing: Jack Shephard/Juliet Burke
Author: missy_useless
Rating/Warning(s):PG-13, character death

Why This Must Be Read: She tells anybody who listens, “There are many things in my life that I regret, but this is not one of them.” Photos in her wallet: David. David and Rachel. David and her mother. David and her father. David and Jack. The best and most vivid look at a life that wasn’t.

Fic Rec #7: the last one, turn out the light
Pairing: Jack Shephard/Juliet Burke
Author: falseeeyelashes

Why This Must Be Read: Dark and twisty with an amazing Juliet voice.

Fic Rec #8: miles from where we came
Pairing: Jack Shephard/Juliet Burke
Author: angeldylan628
Link: http://community.livejournal.com/soapboxblues/8386.html

Why This Must Be Read: Five children that changed their lives. A fascinating look at the life Jack and Juliet could have shared.

Fic Rec #9: put out the fire (with gasoline)
Pairing: Sayid Jarrah/Juliet Burke
Author: colourmayfade
Rating/Warning(s): R

Why This Must Be Read: If her heart ever breaks, it does so coldly, coldly and quietly and no, Sayid doesn't wonder.

Fic Rec #10: The Third Act
Pairing: Sayid Jarrah/Juliet Burke
Rating/Warning(s):PG-13, off-screen violence

Why This Must Be Read: Tonight, their mission is a joint one. A short, but awesome AU.

Fic Rec #11: So It Goes
Pairing: Daniel Faraday/Juliet Burke
Author: valhalla37

Why This Must Be Read: Juliet and Daniel board the sub together. This one will make you ache.

Fic Rec #12: blame it on a simple twist of fate
Pairing: Boone Carlyle/Juliet Burke
Author: janie_tangerine
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17; sex, mentions Boone having an unrequited crush on Jack

Why This Must Be Read: It basically rewrites history from season three onwards and it’s amazing how easily and honestly Boone and Juliet fit together.

Fic Rec #13:I’m Dead on the Surface But Screaming Underneath
Pairing: Desmond Hume/Juliet Burke
Author: slybrunette
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: When the helicopter takes off without them on it, it’s like everyone goes into mourning.

Fic Rec #14: I’m Not Your Saviour
Pairing: Charlie Pace/Juliet Burke
Rating/Warning(s): PG

Why This Must Be Read: They make their escape together. AU.

Fic Rec #15: our hearts from iron
Pairing: Richard Alpert/Juliet Burke
Author: colourmayfade
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: Richard teaches Juliet how to shoot. Achy and gorgeous.

Fic Rec #16: This monster we call vengeance
Pairing: Christian Shephard/Juliet Burke
Author: cloudytea
Rating/Warning(s): R (sex, alcoholism)

Why This Must Be Read:When the whiskey wears off the next morning, he knows this is just a one-time thing. He goes home to Los Angeles, thinking it as an occasional speed bump in his otherwise straight-laced life. Juliet goes back to her broken marriage and sleeps in a bed her husband also shares with research assistants and secretaries.

Tags: fandom: lost, ship: juliet burke/boone carlyle, ship: juliet burke/charlie pace, ship: juliet burke/christian shephard, ship: juliet burke/daniel faraday, ship: juliet burke/desmond hume, ship: juliet burke/jack shephard, ship: juliet burke/james "sawyer" ford, ship: juliet burke/richard alpert, ship: juliet burke/sayid jarrah, special: manifesto

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