Season 4, Episode 7
Episode Air Date: 03/13/08
So here I was thinking this would be a nice, tidy Sun-Jin episode ...
How stupid of me. I forgot that in the new end-date-determined "Lost" universe every episode matters. I gotta hand it to the "Lost" producers. I didn't see this coming at all.
So, let's dive right in to this surprisingly surprising episode.
We encounter a number of important developments on the Sun-Jin front:
- Juliet tells Sun that her continued presence on the island will end badly ... both for Sun and her baby. According to Juliet's calculations, Sun needs to depart within three weeks if she wants to save the baby and herself.
Under normal circumstances Sun would undoubtedly heed the advice of her OB/GYN, but seeing as how Jules has a bad track record in the trust department (and seeing as stupid stupid stupid Kate is planting seeds of doubt in Sun's mind), Sun decides that Juliet is full of crap.
Actually, Sun's BS detector is running at full capacity for most of this episode. She makes it very clear she doesn't trust Juliet and, in another scene, she asks Daniel Faraday if he and the freighter folk are going to rescue the castaways or not (the answer: uhh, probably not ... but maybe!). Sun is now the antithesis of a every other "Lost" character. Has anyone on this show ever been this direct? Next week she'll confront Ben about his bug eyes.
Anyway ... the Beach Crap Index is way too high for Sun, so she tells Jin they're packing up and moving to the barracks with Locke. Or so she thinks.
See, Sun underestimated Juliet. She didn't realize that Juliet will do anything to protect a patient ... including going so far as to reveal a horrible, treacherous secret.
Juliet, in a desperation move, tells Jin about Sun's affair.
Because I'm an unabashed Juliet apologist, I feel the need to justify her actions. Sun left Jules no other option. A trip to the barracks would seal the fates of Sun and the baby, and dammit, Juliet just can't go through that again. So if a marriage-shattering revelation is the only way to save lives, then so be it. God bless you, Dr. Burke.
- Jin reacts as you'd expect: he storms off and goes fishing with Bernard. The two row out to Jin's favorite fishing spot (using the stolen Other boat that carried Kate, Sawyer and Karl back to the main island in season three), and Bernard uses this opportunity to wax poetic about marriage and karma and ... oh hell, I don't know what he's talking about. Basically, Bernard says that doing the right thing inevitably pays dividends.
Apparently, Bernard hasn't watched this show.
- Bernard's words are Neosporin for Jin's broken heart. When Jin returns to the beach camp later that night, he cooks up a delicious "I forgive you" seafood dinner for Sun. The pairs reconciles and all seems well ...
But then we come to the flash forward.
Usually, I can watch an episode of "Lost" and get a decent handle on the major plot developments. But this episode's flash-forward threw me into a tailspin. If I miss something -- or if the flash-forward is clearer to everyone else -- please, please share your thoughts in the comments area. I can use the help.
So here's what I think happens:
- Sun makes it off the island.
- Sun is pregnant and living in South Korea (I think). She experiences complications early in the episode and is rushed to the hospital. At roughly the same time, Jin receives a call on his cellphone and he darts into a nearby store to buy a baby gift.
Upon arriving at the hospital, nurses recognize Sun as one of the Oceanic 6. Sun, doesn't have time for autographs because a 7-pound creature is jazzercizing her internal organs.
A doctor soon tells Sun a C-section is necessary, but Sun insists on waiting for Jin. Then, in one of those "only on TV" moments, the baby begins to emerge on its own and BLAM! out pops a little girl. Mother and daughter are healthy and happy.
Moments later, Jin rushes into a maternity ward clutching a giant stuffed panda (it's a gift).
And this is when things get screwy ...
- Jin isn't there to see Sun. He's not even at the same hospital.
Jin is working for Paik Automotive. He bought the panda and rushed to the hospital so he could extend best wishes to an important ambassador. And, just to drive home the confusion, Jin later tells a nurse that he's in no rush to have kids because he's only been married for two months.
- In the final moments of the episode, the writers decide that one twist just isn't enough (thanks guys). Hurley travels to South Korea to visit Sun and her new baby (she named her Ji Yeon -- the name Jin wanted). Mother, daughter and Hurley visit a cemetery. They stop and look down at ...
wait for it ... waaaait for it ... this one is gonna hurt ...
Sun and Hurley are mourning dead Jin!
At first I thought this was an elaborate act orchestrated to protect the "live" Jin from media exposure. But that doesn't make sense because the only person Jin and Sun feared was Sun's daddy, not The Media or The World.
And then I got a good long look at the gravestone. The text is in Korean (translations welcome), but three dates are visible:
I assume 11/27/1974 is the date of Jin's birth, and we know 9/22/2004 is the day Oceanic 815 went down. But what's the significance of 3/20/1980?
And, more importantly, how/when did Jin die?
Sidenote 1: (Update 3/14/08): As many have noted, it appears we witnessed our first combined flash-forward (Sun) and flash-back (Jin). The "Year of the Dragon" comment from the shopkeeper and Jin's Mulder-esque cellphone are good clues (until the producers later reveal it was actually a flash-forward with a mistaken shopkeeper and a really old phone ...).
Sidenote 2 (Update 3/14/08): The initial version of this review contained incorrect information. If you're super interested, you can check out the Editor's Note at the end of this review to see what I screwed up and what was deleted.
One nitpick: This is the second time the writers have employed the "drug-addled flash-forward character" device. In "Through the Looking Glass" an intoxicated Jack talks about his Dead Daddy as though he's alive, and in this episode a medicated Sun calls out for Jin during delivery. I hope they don't employ this trick in the future because: 1. it's kinda lame and 2. it gets me every time!
The "Man on the Boat" mystery appears to be solved in the final moments of this episode. In case you hadn't guessed, it's Michael.
Michael is posing as a guy named Kevin Johnson. The how and why surrounding Michael's return will presumably be revealed in next week's Michael-centric episode, but for now we can put to rest the man on the boat theorizing and instead turn our attention to more pressing matters. Like Cindy's scarf.
The real revelation in this episode comes from a new character: Captain Gault, supreme commander of the Freighter Folk and Vinnie Jones doppleganger.
Capt. Gault would get along well with Sun because both have a strong command of blunt communication (and both think the name Ji Yeon is really quite pretty).
Mere seconds after Desmond and Sayid meet the captain, Gault tells them Charles Widmore is financing the freighter operation and -- more importantly -- the Oceanic 815 wreckage "discovered" earlier this season was faked.
And here's the kicker: Gault suggests that Ben is behind the fake.
Now, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt because we really have no reason to believe anything Gault or Widmore says. And we know we can't believe anything Ben says, either. Nonetheless, the plot is thickening real good right now.
Beyond Michael and Capt. Gault, there were a few additional freighter moments in this episode:
- Operating the satellite phone is hazardous to your health. The first operator -- Minkowski -- suffered a time-warp brain implosion and in the early moments of this episode we watch Regina (Operator No. 2) pull a Virginia Woolf (with chains instead of stones ... but same idea).
- Lapidus takes the helicopter on an errand. Is there a Taco Bell inside the Hydra Station? Where'd he go?
- Assuming Michael is truly the Man on the Boat, he deserves a gold star from his buggy employer. He ripped out the radio equipment, screwed up the ship's engines, and instigated some sort of "kitchen incident" -- all without getting caught or raising suspicion.
Oceanic Six roll call time!
The 9/22/04 date on Jin's gravestone leads me to believe he is not among the Blessed Six. So, that means we only have five confirmed Sixers: Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid and Sun.
So who's No. 6?
We've also seen five other islanders in off-island locales: Aaron, Ben, Jin, Michael and Charlie (I know ... Charlie's dead, but he was still "off island"). Walt probably belongs on this list as well, but let's not make assumptions just yet.
The list of characters who haven't appeared in flash forwards is notable, especially since the Oceanic 6 tag doesn't necessarily mean a character doesn't leave the island. The following list is off the top of my head, so let me know if I missed anyone.
Characters we haven't seen off the island:
- Desmond (the freighter doesn't count)
A few closing questions and observations:
- Best Line: "I need the panda." -- Action Jin to a shopkeeper.
- Second Best Line: "Where exactly does one come across 324 dead bodies?" -- Capt. Gault, stating his case against Ben.
- The castaways are getting pretty good with island directions. Kate tells Sun and Jin: "Once you get to the stream, head northwest ... it's pretty much a straight line for a day and a half."
That's all I've got!
Be sure to drop by the "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.
Editor's Note (3/14/08): This review has been updated to include new information. I removed references to Jin making it off the island because, well, that's probably incorrect. I also deleted a long and useless paragraph that talked about the chronology of flashforwards. Unfortunately, these edits don't mask the fact that I screwed up the backstory/future-flash hook. To that end I offer a hearty "my bad, yo."
"Meet Kevin Johnson" -- Sayid meets/finds Ben's man on the boat. Airs Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC