Key Points from "The Package"
Season 6, Episode 10
Episode Air Date: 03/30/10
We are officially done with character development. Here's how I know: If a Sun / Jin episode has the mythological density previously reserved for Locke or Ben episodes, then it's quite clear we've arrived in a whole new "Lost" era. Screw the poignant relationships. Bring on the revelations!
And that shift isn't necessarily a bad thing. Frankly, the mythological parts of this episode glossed over some of the harder to swallow aspects of Jin and Sun's storyline -- and I'm not even referring to Sun's sudden inability to speak English (see key point No. 4 for more on that).
But let me stop there. I have a strict "no bitching" rule for season 6 -- what's the point? -- and I intend to stick to it. (That's only applicable to me, though. I certainly think criticism from others is warranted and justified.)
So enough with the intro. Let's jump in.
I find it interesting that we learned more about various rules and repercussions in this episode than we did in Richard Alpert's history lesson. That was very unexpected and quite clever.
For example, we discover that for Flocke to leave the island, all the candidates that haven't been crossed off the list need to go together. And it would seem, based on Flocke's brief conversation with Sun, that he can't force candidates to do anything; they have to go forth on their own.
In addition, we confirm that Flocke can't travel to the Hydra island in his far-more-convenient Smokey form. And -- this is just a guess -- he may need to go there in the company of a candidate. That would explain why he recruits Zombie Sayid for "Operation: Recover Jin."
Flocke also claims that Claire's name is not on the cave wall. More interesting, he also says Kate's name isn't on the wall "anymore." I have no idea what that means (does Flocke have access to industrial strength Wite-Out?). Nor do I know what the relationship is between the cave wall and Jacob's lighthouse (where we did see Kate's name). Which one contains the real list of candidates?
And in a very curious and ambiguous bit of dialogue, Charles Widmore says that if Flocke successfully leaves the island, "everyone we know and love would simply cease to be." That sounds pretty dire, almost as though Flocke's incarceration is tied to time itself.
See what I mean about density? You don't encounter that kind of stuff with Sun and Jin. Typically, we get a running motif of true love with a garnish of adultery or misunderstanding or forgiveness or the Korean Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Something like that.
And all that lovey/romanticized business is still present in this episode, mind you (the pictures of Ji Yeon got me, I'll admit). It wasn't jettisoned outright. But here's the thing: the longer Jin and Sun are separated on the island, the tougher and less poignant their story becomes. Hell, Rose and Bernard got back together faster than these two (I know, I know ... that's an outright lie; but it certainly feels that way).
Now, I realize that Sun and Jin have only been in the same time period for a matter of days -- perhaps a week. From that standpoint, it's not outrageous to think it might take a while for their paths to cross on the island's seemingly infinite mass. But the audience doesn't really care about island time. Most of us function on "episode" time, and in that sense Sun and Jin's separation is far harder to understand. Especially now with Jin in Widmore's custody and Sun stuck speaking Korean with the raggiest taggiest crew of islanders you've ever seen.
The alternate timeline scenes in this episode were odd. I'm not sure what we're supposed to take from them, other than tying up loose ends introduced in other alternate storylines.
Anyway, we learn that Jin and Sun aren't married, but they're carrying on a clandestine affair. Then we learn the affair isn't as clandestine as they thought, and Mr. Paik hired Keamy and his goons to kill Jin as retribution for groping his daughter. Mikhail Bakunin cameos, Sayid sorta-kinda helps Jin escape from that meat locker, bullets fly, Sun gets shot, and then, with a bullet lodged in her belly, Sun tells Jin she's pregnant.
Since we still don't know what the alt timelines are supposed to represent, I do think it's worth considering the repercussions of Sun being wounded and/or killed. What happens to your island self if you die in the alt verse?
Unlike most episodes, where' the A-line island story, the B-line flashback/forward/sideways, and a reasonably-organized C line, "The Package" had a mish mash of extra bits tossed into the mix. A gumbo of "Lost," if you will. So my apologies for what follows. This may be the messiest key point ever.
In no particular order, here's the other stuff that blipped on my radar:
- Desmond = Widmore's package. Hrm. Let me rephrase. Desmond = the guy locked in Widmore's submarine. And it would seem he's an important part of Widmore's plan to stop Flocke. How? Why? Where's Penny? Where's little Charlie? All great questions. All unanswered.
- Jin is briefly locked in Room 23, the subliminal-message cell once used by the Dharma denizens (and Ben's Others) to keep horny teenagers in line. But here's a question: remember how the subliminal messaging Karl endured featured the line "God loves you as He loved Jacob"? Was that line added by the Others or was it part of Dharma's material? These questions dovetail with something I've been mulling lately: were all of the island's inhabitants lured there by Jacob? Or, was it a smattering of Jacob's candidates and anyone else who happened to stumble across the place? Put another way: Was Dharma Jacob's attempt at a massive recruitment effort?
- Remember how Claire tearfully apologized to Kate for that whole attempted stabbing thing? Yeah, don't put much stock in that. Flocke reignites Claire's bloodlust by suggesting that once Kate helps him assemble the candidates, Claire is free to do whatever she likes to her former friend/midwife.
- Richard's big plan is to destroy Ajira 316. Now, I don't mean to be callous, but wouldn't it be just as easy to destroy the one guy who can fly that plane? Everyone knows I'm Frank Lapidus' biggest fan. Love that guy. "We're not going to Guam, are we?" still ranks as one of my all-time favorite lines. But, you know, if we're talking life-death-future-of-the-universe stuff, I could see how Lapidus' survival could at least surface as a discussion point.
- Jack and Sun have come a long, long way. I'm sure Jin's non-dead status cracked the ice. But even so, it's really something to see Sun put so much trust in a guy she once despised.
- Jack also says he's going to help Sun and Jin get "on that plane and as far away from this island as you can get." That's a curious line. It doesn't exclude Jack from the passenger manifest, but it doesn't include him, either. Is Jack secretly organizing a campaign to run for Jacob's vacated seat?
- It's never a good sign when an adversary quotes you back to you (the "wise man" Flocke referenced was Widmore himself). So I'm guessing Flocke and Widmore aren't on the same team, and that opens up the really intriguing possibility of Widmore and Ben working together.
A few closing questions and observations:
- Best Line: "Unless Alpert's covered in bacon grease, I don't think Hugo can track anything." -- Miles.
- Second Best line: "Hey! Don't talk about bacon." -- Frank.
- Third Best Line: "She hits her head and forgets English? We're supposed to buy that?" -- Miles.
- Fourth Best Line: "No, because that'd be ridiculous." -- Sawyer to Flocke, after learning Flocke can't fly to the Hydra island as Smokey.
- Sun's inability to speak English sure feels like a groan-worthy soap opera twist, but what if -- and this is a big if -- it actually represents a "leak" from the alternate timeline? Could this be evidence of Alt Sun and Island Sun meshing? Alt Sun doesn't know English, after all. Is that a reach? Sure. But we already saw Juliet mumble something about "going dutch" just before she died, so I think there's a hint of precedent for this leak theory. And, from a storytelling perspective, I could see the "Lost" crew using what initially appears to be a cliched plot device (Amnesia? Really?) in a unique and twisty way.
- Zoe is a geophysicist who's got a soft spot for electromagnetic pockets and chunky glasses. I'm starting to wonder if she's got a connection to Radzinksy.
- I challenge you to convince me that Sayid is not a zombie. Good luck.
That's all I've got!
"Happily Ever After" -- Mr. Hume, I presume? Airs Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.