My mind is just totally blown right now. I know I've said that before, but this time, I really mean it. I feel like Minkowski after his last fateful ride on the time-travel express. Between the frantic searching on the Internet for facts and names and the hysterics that came at the end of the episode, I hope I am able to articulate everything coherently. Be patient with me.
Tonight we learned that Sun is one of the Oceanic Six. Is that list now complete? If you include Aaron in the equation, Sun makes six survivors. But who the heck knows for sure? I am so beyond even trying to figure things out ahead of time at this point - I simply surrender to the manipulative story-crafting genius of Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. (Ben wouldn't stand a chance against these guys.)
I guess that a person well-versed in Chinese and Korean would have known right off the bat that Jin's story was unfolding in China during this episode. What was not so obvious (at least to me)? He was in China
in the year 2000. Yes, folks, tonight's twist was a double whammy - a flash-forward coupled with a flashback. Right off the bat, it seemed odd to me that Jin would not be by Sun's side as her labor progressed. After all, it appears that the Oceanic Sixers received huge settlements, so it's not like he would be working. The first tangible clue? The comment from the cashier about the stuffed dragon and the fact that it would be very popular during the year of the dragon. A quick look at the Chinese calendar confirmed for me that the dragon is celebrated every 12 years - the last one being 2000. At first I suspected that the island's time-shifting was the culprit and that we had landed in 2012. Then I thought that we would learn this was Jin and Sun's second child. Wrong and wrong. Jin's story was actually occurring in the past, two months after he and Sun married and four years before the fateful flight. An additional clue? Jin's older-model cell phone that he drops while trying to get into the taxi. (Props to my husband who caught that right away.) More on this later....
Getting back to the rest of the action... talk about burying the lead! Turns out that Michael is alive and well and going by the name Kevin Johnson. (No great shock there, since we've all been wondering when he would surface.) I will not leap to the conclusion that Michael is Ben's man on the boat without further evidence, though that seems to be the case for the moment. I do think that his reluctance to run into Sayid indicated that he recognized him. (Correct me if I am wrong, but Desmond came on the scene after Michael was gone, so he wouldn't recognize him.) Is Michael the one who has been providing aid to Sayid and Desmond and sabotaging the efforts of the crew? First, the door is left ajar. Then, the note that reads, "Don't trust the captain." And
how about this Captain Gault? A quick search on his name turned up some interesting info about the fictional character who shares his moniker. (Click
here for more on that.) What are his motives? Why is Lapidus so fearful of his wrath? What is up with this "heightened case of cabin fever" that has his crew encasing themselves in chains and jumping to their watery deaths? (Regina was played by stuntwoman-actress
Zoe Bell in what looks like the shortest guest stint since
Fisher Stevens time-shifted his way to a brain aneurysm.) And what of his revelation that the black data recorder he possesses was recovered from the wreckage of Flight 815 along with the bodies of 324 victims? After explaining that his employer, Charles Widmore, spent a great deal of money to make that recovery, Gault offers up the following query to Sayid and Desmond: "Can you imagine what kind of resources and manpower go into pulling off a feat of that magnitude? Faking the recovery of a plane crash. Putting 324 families through a grieving process based on a lie. Where exactly does one come across 324 dead bodies?" The captain and his crew seem to believe that Ben is the one with the answers to these questions.
Back on the beach, Sun's growing mistrust of Juliet (fueled by Kate) leads her to decide that Locke's camp is the safer bet for her, Jin and the baby. Juliet's concern for Sun and her knowledge of what's in store leads her to come clean to Jin about Sun's brief affair. (At first I was uncertain why she made the revelation, but then I realized that she was just trying to shake Jin's faith in an effort to delay their departure.) I thought Jin's fishing trip with Bernard and the talk between those two was well-timed and provided Jin with a chance to consider the options. "It's all about karma, Jin," Bernard explains as he details why he went with Jack in spite of Rose's island-fueled remission. "You make bad choices, bad things happen to you."
Just how bad do things get? Jin's absence from his daughter's delivery does not bode well. Sun not wanting to give up her wedding ring and only starting to ask for Jin as the medication made her woozy were definite clues. Then we got confirmation that Jin's story is indeed a flashblack. As Hurley made his appearance at Sun's door, I knew what was coming. Sometime between the island and his daughter's birth, Jin dies. Hurley and Sun's visit to Jin's grave was heart-wrenching as Sun introduced their daughter (named Ji Yeon, as Jin requested) to his gravestone, naming 2004 as his year of death. (I tried to do a little research on Korean gravestones and didn't have much success in trying to decipher the various dates. If anyone can shed some light, please chime in!)
If Desmond and Penny's love story represents the hope that is waiting at the end of the story, Sun and Jin (beautifully portrayed by
Yunjin Kim and
Daniel Dae Kim) have provided a tale of people rediscovering their love and their purpose in the midst of horrible circumstances. The crash of flight 815 provided these two with a second chance, and tonight we seemingly received the sad confirmation that a happy ending is not in store.
Some other tidbits to ponder:
- What the heck was the deal with the blood on the wall? Another case of cabin fever?
- As Sayid comments that the boat isn't moving, the doctor replies, "Well, if you say so."
- The name on the side of the freighter is "Kahana." From my quick research, that seems to be a city on the island of Maui. What's the significance of that name?
Despite the ups and downs of the last few seasons, I have continued to be consistently entertained by this show. The continuity of the storytelling and the emotions that are coming to the surface in these eight episodes have me convinced that the best is yet to come. What do you think?
Dying to see what happens next? Not sure you will make it to next Thursday? Click
here for Matt Mitovich's interview with Juliet herself, Elizabeth Mitchell. And check out the
Online Video Guide for full episodes and previews.
For another take on this week's
Cheers & Jeers.
My mind is just totally blown right now I know Ive said that before but this time I really mean it I feel like Minkowski after his last fateful ride on the time-travel express Between the frantic searching on the Internet for facts and names and the hysterics that came at the end of the episode I hope I am able to articulate everything coherently Be patient with me Tonight we learned that Sun is one of the Oceanic Six Is that list now complete If you include Aaron in the equation Sun makes six survivors But who the heck knows for sure I am so beyond even trying to figure things out ahead of time at this point I simply surrender to the manipulative story-crafting genius of Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof Ben wouldnt stand a chance against these guys I guess that a person well-versed in Chinese and Korean would have known right off the bat that Jins story was unfolding in China during this episode What was not so obvious at least to me He was i