Lost' Dueling Analyses: Ji Yeon
In which Jen Chaney and I contemplate last night's mid-season, lima-bean spritzed episode.
Jen: So we don't know exactly how Jin died. But we know he is being mourned in what may be the most elegant use of flashback/flash-forward in the series so far. Instead of seeing the flashback/forward of one character, we watched the off-island stories of one unit: Jin and Sun. The fact that Jin's was a flashback and Sun's was a flash-forward tells us that, at some point, these two irrevocably intertwined people are ripped apart.
Let's assume that Jin catches a case of the so-called "cabin fever" -- otherwise known as Desmond's time-shifting disease -- upon attempting to leave the island. Let's further assume that's what causes his death (obviously we'll discuss this further).
It only makes sense, then, that we would see Sun's life post-island and instead, we would see Jin's life in the year 2000, the year of the dragon, as the toy store clerk notes. If time fractures for Jin as they depart the island, perhaps it is this period in his life, or perhaps even those moments, that he keeps bouncing back to.
But let's put all the Hawking-esque hocus-pocus aside for a minute. This was an episode that told, more than anything, a tragic love story and tricked us with the flashback/flash-forward device to convey the everlasting bond between husband and wife, a bond reinforced by the joint gravestone shown at the episode's end. Wherever Sun goes, Jin goes. And that's why the narrative has to follow them together, in tandem. I can't think of a more subtle, beautiful way to honor their marriage.
And yeah, I cried. Really, how could you not?
Liz: Spoken like a happily married woman, Jen. I didn't cry at that moment, but I was definitely moved. The poignancy of Sun and Jin's bond, like that of Desmond and Penny, only further de-emphasized the petty Jack-Juliet-Kate-Sawyer love square. When I did come close to tears was the moment a suited Hurley showed up in Korea to congratulate Sun and meet the newly born Ji Yeon.
But, just so we're clear -- we now have an Oceanic Five -- not six -- yes? We've got one more slot to fill.
Much more after the jump...
Jen: Well, that's where I am confused. LindeCuse said we'd know all of the Oceanic Six by the end of this episode. So are they counting Aaron? Is Jin somehow considered one of the Six, since his body seems to have made it back to Korea? The math on this is fuzzy.
As for Hurley, he had my favorite line of the night: Looking at the baby and saying, in that way only Hugo can, "She's awesome."
Liz: It'll be interesting to see what the conventional wisdom arrives at on the Oceanic Six. But, despite the revelation that Jin bites it, we had another big reveal in this episode: Michael aka Kevin Johnson. And his reveal -- though a sight for sore eyes -- marks the writers' one fumble this season -- they telegraphed his arrival as early as episode two.
Jen: I'd go one better and say they telegraphed his arrival at last year's Comic-Con when they announced Harold Perrineau was coming back. Once you knew that, then heard about the man on the boat, all you had to do was connect dots. But this finally explains the appearance of Kevin Johnson in "Lost" Madness, an issue I know was plaguing everyone's dreams.
Liz: Right. Still, it will add an interesting wrinkle to the second half of this abbreviated season. Based on the look-ahead for next week's episode, it doesn't seem as if Sayid is particularly happy to find Michael again. And Michael's note to Sayid and Desmond -- "Don't trust the captain" -- raises an interesting question:
Should we even trust Michael? After all, we have found out in the past that he will stop at nothing to save Walt. His sabotage of the ship seems to be for that purpose -- to keep the ship there until he can find Walt, not necessarily help the rest of the Losties.
Jen: Michael also didn't register that he fully recognized Sayid. I assume he knows who he is, but then again, it's never wise to assume on "Lost."
Liz: Michael could've also been playing dumb. For the benefit of that ship's doctor -- who is, by the way, really creepy.
Jen: He is creepy. He almost looks like he could be McPatchy's long-lost brother. You know, without the patch. Re: the captain, interesting that his name is Captain Gault, a name he shares with this fictional character.
Liz: Hmmm, a "morally ambiguous" captain who has knowledge of secret societies and the occult. By the way, I'm glad you heard his name correctly. It sounded to me like he said "Captain Goof." And, well, we know that can't be right.
Jen: Captain Goof? That's Ben when he's trying to serve ham to a dinner date.
I have not read these stories, but if Wikipedia is to be believed (and it better be on some level, since we point to it constantly), this character stands at the helm of different ships in each tale. And he is involved in a secret society. In other words, a figure of mystery.
Liz: Another reference to sailing ships of yore is to be found in the book Regina -- the short-lived Zoe Bell -- was reading as she sat guard over Sayid and Desmond: Jules Verne's "The Survivors of Chancellor," a fictitious diary of the survivors of a sinking ship.
Jen: Yeah, I noticed that. I was surprised it took this long for them to reference Jules Verne.
Liz: I'm sure you join me in annoyance at Zoe Bell (you may remember her from "Grindhouse" -- she's the one on the hood of the car here) being cut so quickly from the show.
Speaking of quick cuts -- did you happen to catch what was on TV in Sun's apartment in her flash-forward?
Jen: I did. Good ol' "Expose."
Liz: Yep -- RIP Nikki. Speaking of exposes, Let's talk about Juliet.
Jen: Oh dear Lord. I understand why she did it, but that violated the girlfriend code in a big way. Not to mention patient confidentiality.
Liz: Right. I suppose she sees it as using every tool at her disposal to protect Sun. But, I don't know. Seems a little iffy justification. If Sun has three weeks until she starts showing symptoms of the island pregnancy sickness, I sure hope Juliet has a more likely way to get her off the island than waiting on the freighter crew.
Jen: Well, she needed one of them to stay. And if one of them did, she knew the other wouldn't go. That was the fastest way. And who would know better than someone who had recently been involved in an extramarital affair?
Liz: Speaking of the freighter again -- I'm wondering where that copter went.
Jen: Lapidus needed to go to CVS to run an errand. What, you don't believe Capt. Gault?
Liz: I kind of do believe Capt. Gault -- at least when it comes to his explanation of the Oceanic 815 black box. His explanation would account for a lot of what we saw in the season opener -- the underwater shots of a downed plane stuffed with bodies. And the public's belief that Oceanic 815 is a closed case.
Jen: But based on Gault's explanation, it seems to me Ben and Widmore are in cahoots, no?
Liz: I think you're going to need to walk me through how you arrived at that conclusion. It seems to me that Widmore is trying to trace Ben because he faked the wreckage. And that assumes that Ben planned for the Losties' arrival on the island -- or caused it.
Jen: Here's my thought process on this. Gault made a point of asking where someone could possibly get that many bodies. And the obvious answer is: Ben's leftovers from the Purge. That ditch Locke fell into didn't seem to have as many corpses as it should have.
Liz: Right. I'm with you so far. But that hardly implicates Widmore as a Ben co-conspirator. And wouldn't those purge bodies have been a little further along the decomposition road?
Jen: You would think. But, as Gault asked, where else would he get that many dead bodies? Only other thing I could come up with was the Black Rock, but those would be even more decomposed.
Liz: Yes, but we also know Ben seems to be able to come and go from the island at will. Meaning he could easily have found bodies somewhere else -- an Eastern block morgue or anywhere.
Jen: My thought was that Ben helped Widmore stage the crash under an agreement that he'd leave Ben and everyone on the island alone. And now Widmore is violating the agreement.
Liz: Now I'm with you. So Widmore and Ben had a deal and Ben pulled a fast one on him? I like it.
Jen: Either way, it's still Ben finding bodies, right? It also explains Ben's willingness to give up Widmore to Locke. He's ticked at him for breaking whatever their "contract" was. This idea isn't fully formed in my mind because there are still obvious unanswered questions.
Liz: One of my unanswered questions: Could Bernard have worse timing?
Jen: Poor Bernard. I like that he briefly turned "Lost" into an episode of "My Name is Earl."
Jen: Another item worth noting: Shortly after Gault's explanation of Widmore and the black box, we see Jin, in the past, working for Mr. Paik.
Liz: Yes, trying to curry favor with the Chinese ambassador to Korea.
Jen: Let's not forget Paik Industries is tied to the Hanso Foundation and Widmore Corp. Not to suggest that Sun's father orchestrated the crash or cover-up or anything like that. Just, as you said, that all things are interconnected.
Liz: Yes, that nothing is a coincidence. So, next week promises to be a big show. We'll have -- hopefully -- an explanation of what happened to Michael after he piloted that boat away from the island at the end of season 2.
Jen: Indeed. "Meet Kevin Johnson" is the title, so I would assume we will learn that information.
Liz: And Cynthia Watros -- Libby -- will appear in some capacity.
Jen: And Libby returns as well! Jinx again.
Liz: Here's the official promo from ABC: "Sayid confronts Ben's spy on the freighter, and Ben urges daughter Alex to flee Locke's camp in order to survive an impending attack."
Jen: It's supposed to be a cliffhanger, so hold on to your lima beans. Actually, I think we should raise one final question about this week's episode.
Jin and Sun's daughter: What issues might she face, health-wise or special powers-wise? She was conceived on the island; Aaron was born on the island ... will they team up in the future? Fight crime? Attempt to outhaunt Taller Ghost Walt? This notion of children carrying on the island's legacy ... I think we'll be coming back to that one. That's all I am saying.
Liz: Shape of, an eagle. Form of, an ice cube! I actually have one last question, too.
Small detail, but in the cell where Sayid and Des were led at the end of the episode -- whose brains were splattered on the wall?
Jen: Good question. They seemed, uh, fresh. Is it possible Lapidus really didn't run an errand?
Liz: Good point, so until 2 p.m. ET?
Jen: Indeed. We'll see you all then for this week's live "Lost" Hour discussion.
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| March 14, 2008; 10:44 AM ET
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