Lost’s willingness to break formula is something I’ve discussed a lot in this space. But, the show gives me no choice, especially after an episode like last night. Lost, for the first time, unleashed a dual flash back/flash forward last night and I have to admit that they tricked me. There’s not been one Jin and Sun episode I haven’t enjoyed, which is both a testament to the depth of those two characters and the abilities of Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim. Yunjin, especially, gave a moving, Emmy-worthy performance throughout the episode, both on the island and off. Considering how much us Lost fans tend to focus on huge twists, the extensive Lost mythology and baffling cliffhangers, it’s nice to be reminded that it’s the characters who make the series what it is. If we didn’t care about these people and their fates, Lost wouldn’t amount to much of anything.
It’s easy to look back on season one and two and think “Hey, nothing really happened,” knowing what we know now. However, that’d be missing the point. Every episode was important in laying the foundation for every main character. Without this information, the fate of the island inhabitants would hold considerably less weight. What would last night’s episode had meant if we weren’t intimately familiar with Jin and Sun’s complicated past?
Aside from the episode’s structural brilliance, last night gave us some enlightening information. The forwardness of the Captain was refreshing, though we’re apparently not supposed to trust him. Michael’s long overdue appearance wasn’t built up in typical Lost fashion and was therefore not the disappointing reveal we all expected it to be. The matter-of-fact introduction coupled with Sayid’s calculated reaction was genius. Next week’s episode is going to be fun.
Now, to Jin. The most important piece of evidence regarding how he purportedly died was on the tombstone. The given date of his death was the day Oceanic 815 crashed on the island. If this is the case, then we can surmise that Jin is not a member of the Oceanic 6 and that there is no body beneath that Korean grave. This brings up a multitude of questions.
Is Jin really dead?
The way both Sun and Hurley acted in the final scenes when they visited the grave would indicate that Jin is in fact dead. Her sadness was of the hopeless variety. I believe that Yunjin Kim is a good enough actor that, if Jin was still alive back on the island, she would have conveyed at least an inkling of hope. But, I could be wrong. Unlike Claire and Kate’s situation, in which I see no real way that Claire would either give up her baby and stay on the island or Kate would take Claire’s spot and go back to the mainland in her stead, Jin remaining on the island makes some sense. Claire, in my opinion, is going to have to die. With Jin, it’s entirely plausible that he’d remain on the island if it meant the safety of his wife and unborn child. In summation, either Sun has completely given up hope about Jin making it back to the mainland ever, or he’s actually dead. Either way, it’s really sad.
Do we know the full Oceanic 6?
Didn’t earlier Lost promos state that by the end of episode 7, we’d know every member of the Oceanic 6? If so, does that mean that Aaron is one of the Oceanic 6? Aaron was born early enough on the island that a story could be fabricated in which Kate saved the baby (hence her “hero” title) right after the crash. This, then, brings up the question of the passenger manifest. Aaron’s name wouldn’t have been on it. But, and I’m going to need some help on this, parents don’t have to buy a ticket or reserve a seat for infant children, right? Couldn’t this be the reasoning for Aaron not showing up on the manifest? Wouldn’t this be enough to appease the press when the Oceanic 6 returned to the mainland?
What’s the deal with Hurley?
What struck me about Hurley’s appearance in the flash forward was his apparent lucidity. He could have just been putting on a good face for the benefit of Sun, but he seemed otherwise content with being one of the Oceanic 6. We know the flash forward occurred soon after their return to the mainland, but I can’t shake the fact that Hurley appeared in relative good spirits. What happens in the ensuing weeks and months that makes him both crazy and guilt-riddled about leaving the island?
All in all, it was a great episode, maybe the best of the season and for different reasons than any of the other season 4 episodes. It was all about the characters.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of ABC)