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"Exposé" is the fourteenth episode of the third season and sixty-third episode overall of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC)'s serial drama television series Lost. It was aired as on ABC in the United States and on CTV in Canada on March 28, 2007. The episode was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and directed by Stephen Williams.

The episode's story focuses on couple Nikki Fernandez (Kiele Sanchez) and Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro). The flashbacks reveal their lives before arriving on the island, and what they have been doing between day one and day eighty-one. The episode marks the first appearance of Shannon Rutherford (Maggie Grace) since her on-screen death early in the second season. Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) returned for the fifth time since his death late in the first season. Furthermore, Ethan (William Mapother) and Dr. Arzt (Daniel Roebuck) reprised their guest roles in flashbacks.

Plot

Flashbacks

The flashbacks begin with Nikki Fernandez (Kiele Sanchez) acting in a popular, Charlie's Angels-like TV show Exposé filmed in Sydney, Australiamarker, in which she is a guest star. She is also having an affair with the septuagenarian executive producer, Howard Zuckerman, who is very wealthy, while Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro) works as his chef. Paulo poisons Zuckerman's food, and the couple steals his diamonds, which are worth $8 million. The couple plan on returning to the United States on Oceanic Flight 815, encountering Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) and Shannon Rutherford (Maggie Grace) at the airport. Upon surviving the plane crash, Nikki and Paulo realize that they have lost the bag with the diamonds. Nikki consults Dr. Leslie Arzt (Daniel Roebuck), who tells her of a spider with the ability to paralyze people. He also gives her a map which leads them to The Pearl and the Nigerian Plane; they explore neither. When Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly) mentions that she found luggage from the plane in a lake, Paulo finds the diamonds, but does not tell Nikki. Instead, he hides them in the toilet at The Pearl and overhears a conversation between Juliet Burke (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Ben Linus (Michael Emerson). The two accidentally leave behind a walkie-talkie that Paulo takes. Later, when Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews), John Locke (Terry O'Quinn), Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick), Nikki and Paulo visit The Pearl, Paulo retrieves the diamonds by pretending to use the bathroom. Nikki figures out that Paulo has found the diamonds and decides to lure him into a trap. When he denies that he has the diamonds she unleashes one of the paralyzing spiders on him. She finds the diamonds and Paulo apologizes, claiming that he did it so that she would not end their relationship. As Nikki stands in a state of regret, the pheromones of the female spider attract a group of the male spiders of the same species and she is bitten on her leg. She buries the diamonds and sprints to the beach.

On the beach

Nikki then runs onto the beach, before collapsing where Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia) and James "Sawyer" Ford (Josh Holloway) are playing ping pong. As Hurley and Sawyer rush to her, she says something barely audible. She is soon pronounced dead. Hurley and Sawyer try to recount what Nikki said before she died and come to the conclusion that she said, "Paulo lies", although she actually said "paralyzed". Sawyer and Hurley begin an investigation and find Paulo lying lifeless in the jungle. Sawyer finds a walkie talkie in Nikki and Paulo's tent, and concludes they were working with the Others, due to the similarity. Hurley does not think the Others are near their camp, but Sun-Hwa Kwon (Yunjin Kim) reminds them that she was abducted nearby (unaware that it was Charlie who grabbed her). Sawyer tries to calm them down and says he will do a perimeter sweep. Meanwhile, Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan), who feels guilty, confesses to Sun that it was he who attempted to kidnap her. Sawyer returns, having found the diamonds, and the other survivors accuse him of being the killer because Desmond saw him arguing with Nikki just that morning. He gives the diamonds to Sun, but she later confronts him about kidnapping her and returns the diamonds because "they're worthless here." The survivors then hold a funeral for Nikki and Paulo, where Sawyer pours the pouch of diamonds into the grave. Nikki's eyelids open just as Hurley and Sawyer are filling the grave, burying her and Paulo alive.

Production

"Exposé" was the fourteenth episode of the series directed by Stephen Williams. The episode was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the pair had previously written eight other episodes of Lost.

Nikki and Paulo were killed off due to being disliked by much of Lost's fan base. [[Show runner]] [[Damon Lindelof]] admitted that the couple were "universally despised" by fans.Jensen, Jeff & Snierson, Dan, (February 8, 2007) "[http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20011203_3,00.html 'Lost' and Found]," ''[[Entertainment Weekly]]''. Retrieved on July 23, 2008. Lindelof explained that "back when we (the producers) had more good faith with the audience, we could have gotten away with these shenanigans. Given the backlash against them, we had to clean up the mess." Originally, there was going to be an entire flashback episode in which Nikki was going to be a crime-fighting [[stripper]], only to have be revealed that she was actually an actress. The decision to kill them off in one flashback episode was decided by the producers in December 2006.{{cite web |url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20034817,00.html |title='Lost' in Transition |accessdate=2008-07-23 |last=Jensen |first=Jeff |coauthors= |date=2007-04-13 |work= |publisher=''[[Entertainment Weekly]]''}} Although actress [[Kiele Sanchez]] said that she wasn't bothered by the general dislike of her character, she was very nervous during the burial scene, because she has [[claustrophobia]].{{cite web|url=http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-Editors-Blog/Todays-News/Lost-Boss-Explains/800011706|title="Lost Boss Explains Last Night's Double Demise"|accessdate=2007-04-11|publisher=[[TV Guide]]}} Speculation about the duo's deaths began months before the actual episode aired, Santoro said in an interview with the Brazilian ''[[Rolling Stone]]'' magazine that his character was going to die in the middle of the third season.{{cite web |url=http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/ilustrada/ult90u67403.shtml |title=Santoro Says That His Character Dies in the 3rd Season of 'Lost' |accessdate=2008-07-27 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date=2007-01-10 |work= |publisher=[[Rolling Stone#Internation editions|''Rolling Stone'' magazine, Brazilian edition]]}} Another clue about the deaths came when it was announced that Sanchez was signed on to film a fall 2007 [[Television pilot|pilot]] for the ABC show, ''[[Football Wives]]''.{{cite web |url=http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-pilotcasting-kielesanchezfootballwives,0,4345613.story |title='Lost's' Sanchez Playing 'Football' |accessdate=2008-07-27 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date=2007-02-14 |work= |publisher=Zap2It News}} The episode ran for a total time of 40:45 ==Reception== "Exposé" received mostly negative reviews. Daniel of [[TMZ.com]] said that the episode "was a complete waste of time", and that although he "wanted Nikki and Paulo to die", he did not think their deaths warranted an entire episode.{{cite web |url=http://www.tmz.com/2007/03/29/lost-diary-expose/ |title="Lost" Diary -- 3/29 |accessdate=2008-07-23 |last= |first=Daniel |coauthors= |date=2007-03-29 |work= |publisher=[[TMZ.com]]}} ''[[Entertainment Weekly]]'''s Jeff Jensen wrote that although he liked the cameo appearance of Billy Dee Williams, he did not think "Exposé" "will do much to change anyone's minds" about Nikki and Paulo, who were already unpopular characters. Brooke Tarnoff, a writer for UGO.com, wrote that she was "embarrassed" for Lost. However, TV Guide's Matt Roush very much praised the episode for "weaving flashbacks that appeared to be posthumous but really weren't while providing clever new angles on classic Lost moments from previous seasons", Roush went on to say that "Exposé" was "a welcome reminder that sometimes these producers really do seem to know what they're doing after all."

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