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Lost: ... In Translation

Jin: "In a good world, she would hate her father, not me."

This show just keeps getting better as it adds layers of complexity to the characters. Jin, another one-note character (and not a very pleasant note at that), has finally revealed some surprising depths.

The flashbacks mirrored "House of the Rising Sun," giving us the same story but from Jin's point of view. (In translation, so to speak.) Until now, I thought Jin married Sun in order to work for her father... but he didn't. We now know why he took the job, where the puppy came from, and why Jin came home covered with blood. Jin may be overbearing with his wife, but he was too good a man to let that thug commit murder. He actually risked his own life for his principles, and did something he found despicable in order to save Han's life. I was moved to tears twice: when Jin looked at himself in the mirror and started to cry, and when he begged his father for forgiveness. (It was so lovely that Jin's father instantly forgave him, too.)

Like everyone else on the Island, Sun always believed the worst of Jin – because they never communicated. It was ironic that he did everything out of love for her, that deep down, he was the lover she really wanted all along. She has no idea what he went through for her sake. If he had told her the truth about her father and about his past, and if she had told him he was too controlling, perhaps they could have connected. Perhaps they could have been happy.

We now know why Sun and Jin were on the plane. They were supposedly delivering watches to Paik's colleagues, but Jin intended for them to escape permanently from Sun's father. (Which they did – just not in the way Jin intended.) It occurred to me that Jin and Sun both wanted to go back to the beginning. Sun hasn't, but Jin has. He is now a fisherman, like his father. He has finally accepted his past and embraced it.

The Most Obvious Symbolism this week was Jin's hands: burned in the present, bloodied in the past, will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hands, and so on. The fact that they were delivering watches while they were escaping from Sun's father brings to mind all sorts of puns about time running out, too.

On the romance front, Boone made one final attempt to warn off Sayid, and I was surprised that it almost worked. I was glad it didn't. I think Shannon wants to start anew, to change. She seemed softer, somehow. More power to her. And less to Boone, who clearly felt that he would be the loser if Shannon found happiness.

I loved what Locke told Shannon about beginning again. It's certainly a consistent theme for this show – that the Island allows everyone to get rid of their old baggage (pun intended) and start over. That final scene where Sun dropped her towel and was finally free to bathe in a bikini was just lovely.

I was completely unsurprised that Michael's raft went kaput. I also guessed early that it was Walt who set it on fire, since Walt looked so unhappy about going to New York. Walt likes the Island; it's a permanent summer vacation for him. What surprised me was that this was one Island incident that didn't remain a mystery.

Character bits:

Jin's full name is Jin-Soo Kwon. Sun's father, whose name is Paik, owned a car company.

Han's little girl was watching Hurley on television! He was getting into a car, and there were captions. What was Hurley doing on Korean television? News? Reality show? Did he win the lottery? Maybe he wasn't joking about the $83,000 he owed Walt.

It just occurred to me that Michael may have gotten his name from "Michael, Row your boat ashore." Just kidding.

Sun revealed to a fairly large crowd of survivors that she spoke English. Everyone was shocked, which proved that Michael and Kate can both keep a secret.

Jin finally spoke one English word at the end of the episode: "Boat." I bet that he's going to start learning English now, if only so he can say, "Pass me that two by four."

Sawyer gave us a new bunch of nicknames: Doc (Jack), Chief and Bruce (Jin), Betty (Sun).

When talking with Walt about cool fathers, Locke said his own father was not cool. Locke is the type of person who probably had a terrible childhood.

Bits and pieces:

— This episode began with a closeup of Jin's right eye.

— "...In Translation" appeared to refer to the language barrier, but it also referred to Jin's inability to communicate with Sun. That, plus if you combine Lost with In Translation, you get a Bill Murray movie.

— Daniel Dae Kim in a tux? Yum. Sun looked gorgeous in that scene as well. And she looked unbelievably good in that blue bikini.

— Hurley's CD player stopped working. Has that always been where the music came from?

— Another reference to the famous novel: "It's Lord of the Flies time now."

— I don't think Michael should try again with the raft. Shipping out into the Pacific on some tied together twigs and airplane parts? Seems pretty dangerous to me.

— Sayid to Shannon, who is tying knots: "Do you have a past in the Navy you've neglected to tell me about?"

Genuinely surprising and moving. Any episode that makes me cry gets four out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I have started playing my own version of "Where's Waldo" during the flashback scenes, looking for the others. I had completely missed Hurley, although I watched the scenes twice each. Good eye!

    I saw a parallel between Sun/Jin and Shannon/Sayid. The former have broken up because they can't seem to communicate with each other; the latter have come together because they did. Shannon/Sayid is an odd pairing, yet I like it. There is something very sweet about the way she is with him. And, to pat myself on the back, I commented in "Confidence Man" that Sayid seemed a bit too eager to help her and that she had an odd relationship with her brother. I'm so often wrong, it's nice to catch a thing or two. :-)

    And, in a show filled with horrible fathers, Jin's is the exception that proves the rule. I, too, welled up as Jin cried in his arms.

  2. "Has that always been where the music came from?"

    Yes, in Season One. I think they break that rule in "Everybody Hate Hugo" in Season Two with a montage set to indie rock.

    I loved, loved, loved Shannon and Sayid with the cute rom-com teasing about her becoming a spinster. She actually said to him something like, "Why don't we get some rope and spend some time together on Saturday night to see what happens?" Sayid is a funny guy, too.

  3. In one episode sun was planing to leave jin at the airport if she had she wouldn't have been on the plane .. and I'm not sure yet if she even knew jin was making an escape from her father ... only half way through episode. But I did see hurley on tv .. that's why I stopped half way through episode to Google it and see if it really was him.. this show seems to do things like that often.. like Sawyer meeting jacks dad in bar. . And there was another but I can't think of it now ..
    Anyway back to the show !

  4. One thing I don't like is that out of what 45-46 ppl now .. we only see a few and know a few I know 45-46 ppl to show and tell about each episode would be too much to follow.. but at least show them more.. show them interacting with the others and it would be nice to see them contribute at least some conversation .. but that's my opinion.

  5. I love the dog thing. I imagine that guy's internal dialogue going something like this:

    Must give him a gift. Must give him a gift. Money? No, money would be crass. I'm a government employee; I can't go around paying off gangsters. Objet d'art? No, no: that's basically fragile money. And my wife would kill me. Daughter? No, of course not. Tasteless, and I do love her. Dog? That's absurd....or is it? He's a good dog. He's got all those extra folds of skin. Jin could keep all kind of stuff in there. He's like a cargo-dog. Plus, he has a pedigree. Dog!

  6. I have to be honest and admit that I never truly connected to the Sun/Jin story lines, however I always thought Jin got an undeservedly back rap for his behavior in most of Season 1.

    The Korean culture is so different from what most of us know, that we may struggle with some of their customs. An American or British ( or any other typically Western country) marriage is normally a partnership where both sides contribute in something resembling a 50-50 trade-off.

    There are some areas where the man will take the lead, and some where the woman may take the lead, but most are decided with both partners sharing and compromising.

    I believe the Korean culture, regardless of whether we agree with it or not, has the man take the lead in almost all situations, and it's a matter of honor that we just don't deal with regularly.

    And, while Jin's actions towards his wife seem overly harsh, it's relatively normal for their culture.

    They wanted to get married because they loved each other, but Jin really had no idea what he was getting into with her father, and it seems odd that Sun would so quickly accept her father's approval without wondering why.

    Overall, taking into account what we learn later in the show, I end up far more sympathetic towards Jin, than towards Sun.

  7. I enjoyed how we revisited some of the exact scenes from Sun’s flashback episode through the lens of Jin, to see the very different perspective of the same event. It really pays off here, and starts to humanize Jin. Also, I just love Daniel Dae Kim, and continued to enjoy him on Hawaii 5-0 for many years (I guess he just put down roots in Hawaii, eh?).

    I also loved that the episode ended in silence after Hurley’s Walkman died. Not even the little drum beat that usually signifies the end of the episode, which made me laugh.


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